Summer 2016 started off with us leaving Kansas City and heading back to our roots in Arizona. The move was less than expected, though we were grateful for the amount of time we did have to prepare to leave what are surely some of the dearest friends and family of our lives. Living in KC taught me about mommy friends, and friend friends, and church friends, and the unwavering and outrageously spoiled love of an Uncle Charlie and an Aunt Annie. So to say leaving was hard would be an understatement. Perhaps the only thing that made it okay was knowing that on the other side of that 18 hour drive were our parents, lots of our siblings, and a plethora of cousins for our littles. The emotions attached to the events that happened leading up to, and following our departure from KC are many, so in effort to keep this readable by future me, I'll just quickly give a run down of the chain of events. Let it be known that with each nutty and seemingly impossible thing that happened, there was ALWAYS a miracle attached. Here goes.
Two days before we left, Mellee came down with Hand Foot Mouth.
The day before we left, we realized tons of our stuff wouldn't fit in our shipping container.
We quickly sold as much as we could and left what was left with friends, (thank you Harmons!!)
On moving day we put what hadn't sold on the curb for free, and drove away.
We stopped at a fertility clinic and transferred an embryo (with instructions not to sit, lift, or stress).
Got about 4 hours out of town and Collin got violently sick.
We quickly stopped and got a hotel, Collin got worse, not better.
The next morning I got in the driver's seat, we said a prayer, and took off.
Collin was rapidly, and visibly deteriorating, and we didn't know why.
We stopped in Albuquerque and put him on a plane to Phoenix to have his parents get him to the ER.
I proceeded to do a lot of stressing, lifting, and sitting.
I drove the kids the rest of the way by myself to my mom's house in AZ.
Collin made it to the hospital and after several days found out he was bleeding internally.
He had lost half of his blood supply and was admitted to the ICU.
I left the kids with my mom and drove to Phoenix to be with Collin.
While in the hospital I took a pregnancy test to see if the IVF had worked.
Do to the stress, sitting, and lifting, I'll admit I had low hopes.
The test was positive. I was pregnant.
The hole in Collin's esophagus healed, he received a blood transfusion, and over time recovered.
We got the kids, moved in with Collin's parents and Collin started looking for a job in AZ.
Instead, he was offered a wonderful opportunity for a summer gig in Chicago.
A week later we packed up and drove the 24 hours back to the midwest.
I started getting sick, very, very sick. Pregnant, indeed.
We spent the next 2 months moving from one AIRBNB to another.
We got to see Jaron and Shelly in Wisconsin and old friends from Racine. Amazing.
We got to drive to South Dakota for a Martin family reunion.
It was time for Nolan to start kindergarten, so we packed up and headed back west.
We stopped in KC and picked up the stuff we'd left earlier that summer and got to see old friends.
We got in one last squeeze with Uncle Charlie and Aunt Annie.
We drove back to AZ.
We arrived in AZ just in time to get a lunchbox, backpack, and a few school supplies.
Nolan started school with 7 of his first cousins at the same school.
I started experiencing brutal pain and was certain I was miscarrying.
We rushed to the ER only to find out I had kidney stones. What a relief!
We moved into Coll's sister's back house and Nolan plays every day with cousins.
I get to go to lunch with my brothers any time I want!
We get to make the short 3.5 hour drive to see my mom, vs. the 15 hour drive it used to be.
Collin teaches design at ASU.
After being pretty sure I was pregnant for 16 week, we finally decided I should see an OB.
The ultrasound confirmed my pregnancy and told us that it's a boy. We are thrilled!
Life has now slowed down for us substantially, and looking back on the crazy summer of 2016, the events above certainly remain with me, but what stands out even more are the miracles we saw over and over again, the prayers we felt every step up the way, and how obvious it was that The Lord's hand was in every bit of our journey. Collin knocked on death's door, I kept a pregnancy that was a miracle in the first place and then should have easily not lasted given our circumstances, the kids have overall been healthy and have adjusted well, and life is just really, really good.
We are so looking forward to continuing to settle down here, make more memories, and to make Arizona our home again.