This past week has been full of blessings. I have been thinking all week about how lucky we are to be together as a family and have so many wonderful things going on in our lives.

First, Tyler had his 6th birthday. He is growing into such a nice, caring, and loving person with a silly side to compliment it. I am so proud of him and the way he has handled the first month or so of Kindergarten. He has made new friends and adjusted to a new school. We were able to celebrate all day Thursday with family starting with Grandma in the morning, Nana all day, and Grandpa, Grebbie, and Mimi at night. The boys are surrounded by people that love them and being able to celebrate Tyler’s birthday and give him a day to feel special was very important.

We also had Nana stay in town all week with us to help with many things around the house. Then on Friday both of the boys cousins (my niece and nephew) came back in town with their Grandpa. We are able to see my niece from time to time but we haven’t seen my nephew in a while and being all together has been so much fun. The boys love their cousins and it’s been non stop fun since they arrived. We also spent a good part of Friday making a traditional Polish meal called Kluskas. James’ grandma and great-grandma would make them, and her recipe has been passed down through the generations. It’s basically potato dumplings mixed with sautéed onions, bacon, and eggs. Traditionally it’s eaten with sauerkraut on top as well. They are so good but the preparation is very labor intensive. However it makes for good family bonding time and James, his mom, and I had fun making the meal for everyone.

Today was Tyler’s birthday party and once again I was overwhelmed by the important people in our lives who came to celebrate with him. We had old friends, new friends, neighbors, school friends, and family. Everyone had a fantastic time. Tyler is so loved and I hope he felt that today because I sure did. It was amazing to look around at all the people from so many different aspects of our lives, many people who have stuck with us through a tough year. Here are just a few of the MANY pictures we took today… and yes, that is Spiderman that you see in the pics. He made a special appearance today just for Tyler! And his party was held at a special place to us, Brandon Crossroads Bowl, where James and I have bowled league together for many years. Everyone there is wonderful and made the party so special for our family and all Tyler’s friends that joined us.

1 year ago, Tyler’s birthday party happened to be the day before we left for St. Jude. Even though we smiled through it for Tyler, it was more of a goodbye party than a happy celebration. There was so much uncertainty about the future. But today was 100% a happy and good time! It was a celebration of Tyler turning another year older, but also us being back where we belong. A year ago we didn’t even know if Caleb would still be with us, but today he ran down the lanes and threw a bowling ball better than most kids his age! I’m just so thankful for everyone who was there today.

Tonight we started his 3rd chemo cycle since we’ve been home. We still have 3 cycles to go after this. It will no doubt be a tough week. He probably won’t be able to go to school and we’ll monitor his counts closely. We are scheduled to be at St. Jude in a couple weeks for scans and checkups so we are hoping for another pretty good cycle where his numbers recover quickly so we can stay on track with treatment. I am so thankful the St. Jude walk last week and Tyler’s birthday party this week fell at just the right time in Caleb’s treatment to allow him to be there. If it would have fallen on a different week he may not have felt up to it or it may have been too risky to have him around that many people. So thank goodness he could be at each of those events, because they both meant so much to our family.

I will update everyone again as the week progresses. I am going to bed tonight with a grateful heart.


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