This past weekend for the first time in over seven months it felt like we were doing just that. Really living.
Don't get me wrong. We have been living for the past seven months. Matter of fact we have been doing a lot of living. For the past seven months we have been witness to some of the most amazing things ever. We have been able to watch the most precious baby girl grow and change each and every day. So we have indeed been living.
But at the same time it didn't feel like we were really living.
Have you ever gotten something brand new and wanted to share it with everyone? We did. We got the most amazing gift from God and we wanted to share her with everyone.
Have you ever gotten something brand new and wanted to share it with everyone, but couldn't or at least not right away? We did. We got the most amazing gift from God and we wanted to share her with everyone, but we couldn't or at least not right away.
For the past seven months we have lived either in the walls of the NICU at Baptist or in the walls of our house. We have been on "house arrest" as I like to say. There have been days, even weeks at at time that I haven't seen the outside of my neighborhood. But we did it and for very good reason. And to be quite honest I would do it all over again if it meant keeping Morgan Kate healthy. It has been difficult at times, but so very worth it.
But this weekend we got to live. Really live.
As we were leaving our neighborhood Saturday morning I noticed that Travis was wearing his wedding band and college ring. I chuckled out loud and said, "So, you finally decided to put those back on, huh?" He started laughing and said, "It feels good. I feel like we are finally living again. Really living."
I'll explain. While in the NICU neither one of us wore our wedding rings or any other jewelry for that matter. Visitors that came had to remove their jewelry as well. There happens to be nasty, nasty germs that live in the cracks and crevices of your rings and bracelets. Gross. So for the four months that we were in the NICU we didn't wear them. Once we got home it continued. We wanted to do whatever it took to keep Morgan Kate healthy, so we didn't wear our rings. It may sound crazy, but we did it. Just like someone becomes accustomed to putting on their rings each morning, we became accustomed to not wearing them. It was just our way of life for a little while. Several weeks ago I decided it that it was okay for me to start wearing my rings. But Trav just put his back on this past weekend. (It may also have something to do with the fact that we couldn't remember where we had put his rings.)
There are so many things we have become accustomed to in the past seven months. Our way of life changed. We have become accustomed to not wearing our wedding rings. We have become accustomed to constantly washing our hands and using sanitizer. We have become accustomed to staying at home. We have become accustomed to not being able to go anywhere. We have become accustomed to not having visitors or making visits. But this weekend all of that changed. We were able to get back to really living.
And it felt so good. Amazing in fact. We couldn't have had a better weekend.
I have not spent the night at my parent's house since last June. Now that may not seem like a long time to some, but it felt like an eternity to me. So this weekend was really special and important for me. It felt like I was really living again.
Saturday we spent the majority of the afternoon at my grandmother's farm. We even took Morgan Kate and she loved it. We walked around, I took pictures, I breathed in the fresh outdoor air, I took pictures, we rode the four-wheelers, I took pictures, we got the four-wheelers stuck, I took some more pictures. In case you haven't caught on there was lots of picture taking. We even "hula hooped". We did not set out with those intentions, but we happened to find a hula hoop while we were out there and we all decided to give it a try. So much fun. I recommend that everyone try the hula hoop. It was an afternoon full of living. Really living.
Saturday evening after Morgan Kate was in bed we sat up and dyed Easter eggs. Well Mom, Mama Jean, Trenholm, and I dyed easter eggs. The men were no where to be found. We were able to talk and conversate and really catch up.
Morgan Kate did awesome that night. She slept so good and followed our normal routine perfectly. My parents had put a crib up for Morgan Kate in my old room. And not just any crib. It happened to be the crib that I once slept in, and Owens slept in and Kyle slept in. Mom had bought all brand new bedding and decorated my room to look more like a nursery. Mom had even gone out and bought diapers and wipes so that we didn't have to worry about bringing them. Everything was absolutely perfect.
Sunday we spent the day at my grandmother's for an Easter picnic. Morgan Kate was able to meet the Hardison side of the family for the first time. I was so happy to be able to share my little girl with my family. It was a moment I have longed for and dreamt about for quite some time. I happen to think I have the most amazing family on both my mom and dad's side. So it was quite a special day to be able to share Morgan Kate with them.
Living. Really living. That's what we were able to do this past weekend.
Last night I found myself feeling rather sad. I was sad that the weekend was over so soon. It literally flew by. But I also went to bed with a big grin on my face. I was smiling because I had had a terrific weekend. I was smiling because Morgan Kate had done exceptionally well on her first overnight. I was smiling because my parents had made each moment so special. I was smiling because I was able to share our daughter with my family.
And I was smiling because we were back to living. Really living.
*As I mentioned before I took many, many pictures. So instead of including them all in this post, I created a slideshow. I hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoyed taking them.