The month started out with lots of sickness (for our entire family) and Braxton hicks contractions (for just me). And ended with this little guy! And oh my goodness...I've been smitten with him ever since we met (just moments before this picture was taken). We all have been!
We hunkered down and enjoyed the first weeks as a family of six. We stayed home as much as possible and learned who Levi is and how he fits into our family...perfectly! Joe also turned 32 which was celebrated with a lunch and trip to Walmart (without kids!) because we sure know how to party;-)
I'm pretty sure this was the longest, slowest month in history! Time moved so slow it felt like it had practically stopped as we waited for Match Day. The fact that Joe was away for the entire month (back at school) and my parents were in Montana (waiting for my sister-in-law to have her baby) and Levi decided he would rather nurse all night instead of sleep DID NOT HELP. But we all survived and finally we learned we would be moving to Texas!
April brought Joe's very last day of medical school!!! Which means I did a lot reminiscing (see collage above) and pondering what life in residency would be like. Joe made a quick trip down to Texas to buy us a house and cowgirl boots for our girls. We are thankful for both.
I spent most of May working like a mad woman sorting, purging and packing our belongings. Preparing to move our crew cross country was no easy task (even with 80% of our belongings already boxed up in storage!). The highlight of the month was our Memorial Day weekend trip out to my sister and brother-in-law's ranch in South Dakota. All 14 grandkids (plus their parents and grandparents) were under one roof all weekend! It was so much fun. Minus the small incident in which four kids locked themselves inside an antique trunk that has no key! That part I could have done without. The rest was great:)
This month was HUGE. Absolutely filled to the brim. End of school year for the kids. My birthday. Charlotte's 5th birthday. Isaiah's 8th birthday. Medical school graduation for Joe. All of which were much anticipated and celebrated. After we finished partying we packed the truck and hit the road for our 1400 mile move. If there is anything that will test your sanity it's a cross country move with a 4 month old and a 2 year old while the sale of your future home is falling apart. Trust me. We survived and Joe started residency. Like as a real doctor! Oh and we got the house in the end.
Besides working on our tans, we celebrated Hannah's third birthday with a "Par-tea" with new friends. At the end of the month the big kids started school...at different schools. Just to keep life complicated. Isaiah started third grade and Charlotte started KINDERGARTEN! They both did great. I however struggled with the decision to start Charlotte in kinder so young. Joe finally got to work in the emergency department!
The little kids and I found our groove at home with the big kids at school all day. MOPS, storytime, tumble time and playing at parks. We hosted a medical student, his wife and three children for two weeks. It was really fun and it made me wish medical families always lived together. It was great built in support and babysitters! Charlotte started dance once again. And Joe was on an orthopedics rotation.
Joe started a month of nights. And I HATED it. It was a tough month for all of us. Thankfully my parents and cousin and aunt & uncle came for a visit. It was a much needed distraction. Not enough of a distraction for me to wonder if maybe I wouldn't be able to survive three years of residency with four kids though. And just when I thought my proverbial plate was full we added our first pet to our family. Frankie the baby tortoise. Oh and Isaiah finished his second soccer season. He was a scoring machine!
November brought sweet relief in the form of a lighter schedule for Joe and more family time. Oh and slightly cooler weather. Thank you ultrasound and radiology rotation! The month started with a visit from Papa & Grandma. Then we hosted a "Friendsgiving" dinner in our home for all the residency people. Followed by a three day family camping trip. It was the the first time we needed jeans and jackets since we moved here! The kids and I drove up to Dallas to spend Thanksgiving with my cousin and her family while Joe returned home to put in a bunch of hours in the emergency department.
It has been a blur of activity. Decorating, shopping, baking. Going from one Christmas activity to the next. I'm not sure quite where this last month has gone?! But I know it's been a good one! Especially having family here for Christmas. And even though it was a work week for Joe he was able to get to the beach with us one day and to the Christmas Eve church service.
So where does that leave us now? Enjoying Joe's week off as a family. (And by "enjoying" I mean getting projects done around the house...hanging pictures, painting walls, cleaning & organizing the garage, etc. and playing with the kids. We are preparing for the next six weeks. Which are notoriously the worst ones of intern year. Trauma rotation. And by "preparing" I mean getting my parents settled into life with us. But mostly we are excited to see what 2016 has in store for our family! And if I'm being completely honest, just a tad nervous too:) Here's to another year!