Whirlwind Weekend….

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This is going to be a post without photos. It’s been a whirlwind weekend and I haven’t had time to unpack let alone download the photos from the two cameras due to our unexpected split-family Easter.

I need to start with telling everyone how much I love Easter. It was my grandmother’s (my mom’s mom) favorite holiday and she made sure that we were all raised loving it as much as her. Growing up I remember spending almost every Easter in Appleton, WI with her. The entire family would be there in her teeny tiny little house. There would be people sleeping in beds, on pull out couches and all over the floor. You really could not walk through the house without stepping on a sleeping person. It was awesome! We would all go down there for the entire week prior to Easter and enjoy the family time with all the aunts, uncles and cousins.

Since my grandmother passed away quite a few years ago (how many now??) it hasn’t quite been the same. The spirit of Easter isn’t there like it once was; however, in my heart I still enjoy it and look forward to it as much as I did as a child. I miss those Easters with my mom’s family. My cousin Paulie and I have talked about having one again one of these years. One where our kids would now run around and play together as cousins like we once did. And one of these years we will do just that….

For the past 4 years that we have been in Atlanta, our new tradition has been a big family gathering with Jim’s dad and family. The kids are all dressed up and the Easter egg hunt is scheduled. It can be complete chaos with kids running around, dogs barking and adults chatting, but again it’s perfect. It’s just what families are all about.

And this year was no exception. I was really looking forward to the Easter egg hunt in Big Canoe, GA again. And Ryan and Owen had matching outfits with ties (thanks mom!!). Easter baskets were ready, outfits were picked out and plans were confirmed. Until it all changed that is.

It all started last Wednesday with a phone call from my mom that my step grandma Betty was in the ER with some stomach/intestine pain. The news was tough to hear, but the medical staff didn’t seem to think it was anything to be concerned about and sent the family home for the overnight.

I should explain that my grandma Betty was going to celebrate her 95th birthday on April 11th. She was in great health, lived in her own apartment and still drove until very recently. She was a delight to be around with many great stories to share. She was gentle, soft spoken and kind. She was very caring and considerate. I loved the way she spoke with her hands and gestured as she explained things while telling her stories.

Over the years she told many of the same stories over and over and nobody minded. We all loved listening to her words regardless if we could tell the stories ourselves at this point.

On Thursday morning, April 9th she passed away. It was a shock. Granted, she was about to turn 95 so we had to expect it at some point, but we certainly did not expect it last Thursday.

Our Easter plans changed in an instant. Ryan and I were on our way to Superior, WI with about 12 hour notice and Jim and Owen were staying in Atlanta. You all know of Owen’s numerous ear infections so I didn’t feel comfortable taking him on an airplane. Plus he was still on antibiotics from his most recent ear infection.

While Ryan and I were very excited to see Ga-Ma and Ga-Pa, we weren’t excited to be heading up north under these circumstances. We made the most of it though and enjoyed our time together. Ryan absolutely LOVED being with Ga-Ma and Ga-Pa which was a nice since he hadn’t seen them in a year. We Skype with them often so he definitely knows them, but being with them was a great experience for him.

He would scream and clap when we would see them if we had been a part for some reason and he would cry if we left in a seperate car from them. It was so sweet. He absolutely had a blast at their house. Plus he liked to boss their collie Taffy around. I had to keep reminding him that Taffy isn’t used to a toddler and doesn’t listen to him like Delta does. But he didn’t stop trying to get her to mind.

We enjoyed our Easter and had a little egg hunt for Ryan. He was so excited and would scream with joy when he found another egg. We also dyed eggs and he had a great time with that. It was nice to be with my mom again for the holiday. There was laughing and crying; it was a nice weekend considering the situation.

The funeral was on Monday and was beautiful. All of grandma Betty’s friends and family were there. She was so well loved.

I headed back to Minneapolis on Monday evening with the anticipation of Shanna being in labor with baby #2!! I couldn’t wait. I was so excited that she was going to have the baby while I was in town. It couldn’t have been better timing.

Sadie Suzanne was born on Monday evening and weighed in at 6 pounds 9 ounces (I think that’s correct!). Ryan and I were able to see her this morning and she’s amazing. She is beautiful and perfect and quiet and sweet. She is absolutely amazing and perfect. I am just so excited for them and for Sylvie to be a big sister.

After a quick visit with the new baby and proud parents Ryan and I were off to the airport. We nearly missed our flight (5 minutes to spare), but got on the plane and headed back to ATL with a very mellow and uneventful flight.

We landed in ATL and our family was reunited again. Well almost. Daddy picked us up and we were then off to get O-wee. Then our family would be complete again. On our way to daycare, I received one of the most heartbreaking calls ever. My cousin Paul (mentioned above in the post) received a diagnosis this morning that his 8 month old son, Arlo has cancer. I am seriously going to stop answering my phone since it all seems to be bad news lately.

Again, I need to back up a bit. Arlo and Owen were born on the same day, August 13, 2008. Nicole (Paul’s wife) and I were in the hospital texting each other with updates on each of our labor pains. Even though we were many miles apart (WI and GA) we were bringing cousins into the world at the same time.

When I received that call today, I broke down in tears. I can’t imagine what they are going through as a family. And I don’t want to experience that ever. An 8 month old baby? I just don’t understand why. I just don’t. You can read more about their journey on their caring bridge page at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/arlo/journal. Please keep Arlo and his family in your prayers during this tough time as they are learning what the treatments will be and what the journey ahead holds for them. I will also be posting updates as I have them.

In addition to all of this, our niece Megan had surgery today. She is 5 years old and has mitochondrial disease. Most everyone who knows us, knows of Megan’s journey throughout the past years. She is an amazingly strong and beautiful little girl. And Ryan absolutely loves her!! We all do. You can follow her updates at http://www.carepages.com/carepages/megansheridan.

That was our whirlwind weekend. It’s nice to be home and to have all of us together under one roof again. I missed my little O-wee so, so much. Just as I know Jim missed Ryan. And yes, Jim and I missed each other too 😉

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