Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Long Weekend Love

This entire experience with our unborn daughter has taught us something very important, to protect our marriage.  We know that half of all marriages end in divorce and that your chances of success are lower when faced with tragedy or the death of a child.  With this in mind, we decided early on to protect our marriage as much as we could.  As we wait for Hope to arrive, we've realized that all marriages need to be highly protected and guarded, no matter what is happening in your life.  Marriage is an amazing thing, but it has also failed or fallen apart for so many people.  We feel that this experience has already opened our eyes to the many things around that will try to destroy your relationship.  We have been challenged to fight for our marriage, even while things are going well and our love is strong.  We are no longer unaware of the fragility of all relationships.

Since Hope was diagnosed we have made our date nights with one another a priority.  This past weekend we headed to Jasper, just the two of us, to celebrate our fourth anniversary and invest in our marriage once again.  We had a fantastic weekend away and were sad to see it come to an end.  The Fairmont was kind enough to bless us with a lakefront suite and many perks that were unexpected.  I highly recommend them for a weekend getaway as the staff went above and beyond the call of duty to make our experience amazing.  I believe my large belly earned us free valet services, hot chocolate, candy and other treats throughout the weekend!

I won't bore you with all the details of the weekend, but will give you some of my highlights.  We saw a lot of elk, this is exciting if you're not from Alberta originally.  We went to a matinee, Shawn had to see a chick flick because the theatre was small and the other option was a kids movie!  I would recommend 'The Vow' but you'll have to ask Shawn for the man's view.  We ate some wonderful meals without the distraction of our little girl.  We swam in the heated outdoor pool each night and enjoyed sleeping in every morning and napping each afternoon.  Most importantly, we were reminded how much we love being together, the fun we have and the comfort of each others company. We were also reminded how much we love our little girl(s) and missed Sadie like crazy!

Sadie spent the first two nights with her grandparents and the last night with friends in our home.  She seemed to be perfectly happy when we got home and is adjusting to the changes beautifully.  We even packed her up and dragged her over to a friends house tonight.  She went to sleep well there and didn't seem to worry that we might leave her again.  It is a relief to know that she's doing well when we're away, but we still miss her like crazy when we're not together.  We talked of her often and were both eager to see her smiling face again when we got home.

As we get closer to our departure (4 1/2 weeks), I'm struck with the reality that my friends aren't coming along as well.  I realized today that even if I make time to see each one of them once a week until I go, I'll only see them 4 more times!  I spend many days out with friends and their kids, I will miss the social interactions but also that bond that I have with so many incredible woman in Calgary.  I'm thankful that my mom will be with us in Edmonton, but truly wish I could bring so many of my friends along as well.

Falling asleep at night has become my greatest struggle.  Shawn sent me out of bed tonight as I was keeping him up and he needs his sleep for work.  I toss and turn but can't seem to stop my brain from going wild and it keeps me up.  I've decided that I need to set a suitcase in the basement and start putting things in it that I know I need to bring, but don't currently need.  That way, I won't have to store that information in my brain and try to remember!  I know that the sleepless nights are more than a packing dilemma, I have a lot of fear of the unknowns ahead and the emotional stress involved.  Please pray that God would give me peace at night so that I can fall asleep and get the rest I need.

While we were away, our friends painted Sadie's big girl room and our guest room for us.  This is a task we had hoped to accomplish, but were pretty sure we'd never get to.  It was a wonderful and very kind gift that we are truly grateful for.  The next two weekends have been devoted to the final house renos. Now that the windows, furnace, attic insulation and new roof are all in, we need to do the finishing touches.  We realize that once Hope is home, we won't have the time to paint the baseboards, change the door knobs and finish all the other little projects.  We are blessed to have a group of men that have agreed to come over and help Shawn accomplish these tasks.  It not only takes a village to raise a child, it takes one to prepare for a baby sometimes!
Not sure why the walls look pink in this one, the lower picture shows the wall colour

Once again we are overwhelmed by the kindness and willingness of others to jump in and help out.  We are humbled by the outpouring of love we've received and believe that it carries us through the really hard days.  We know that each day will become more stressful as we approach our move to Edmonton, and our due date.  Thank you for continuing to pray for us and standing with us in this journey.  Please continue to pray for Hope's very tiny aorta to grow and that she would arrive with a healthy, natural labour before I have to be induced.

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