Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Four

I remember this day four years ago very clearly, Georgia, Brian and I were all sick as dogs with a head cold and I was extremely pregnant.  Showing no signs of progression I went to pick up Pho for dinner, something a friend had recommended to help us kick our colds.  I never did get to eat my Pho, shortly after coming home my contractions started and less than two hours later I was holding you in my arms.

I never knew how much I could love having a son, you are such an incredible human being, one I credit for helping our family regain the focus it desperately needed.  You allowed us to move away from the focus of doctors and sickness and move toward family and all the joy of my dream of being a family of four could bring.

Leo, you are sweet and funny, shy and silly, you love to snuggle and you are very coordinated.  You love to help me in the kitchen, and help dad with anything that has to do with tools.  You love your sister, you love playing with her.. anything from American Girl Dolls to air hockey, if your'e playing with her, you're happy.

You are all about superheros, legos, trucks, rocket ships and riding your bike.  During your school conference your teacher said, you are a joy.. you're a good friend, kind to others, you wait your turn and participate in class.  You truly have a sweet heart.

This morning you crawled in our bed early and fell back asleep.  When you woke up, daddy said, happy birthday, you smiled.  Then he asked, do you feel any different? You nodded very surely, when he asked how, you weren't sure but you knew you were definitely bigger.

Happy fourth birthday Leo, words cannot express how much I love you, you are such a gift.  I look forward to the adventures that lie ahead.



 Birthday pancakes!
 Leo and I decorated his cake together, I think we've got the superheros covered! 



Wish made, it's official.. he's FOUR!
Nana & Bawdy came by for a birthday dinner and brought a big surprise.. I think he likes it!



Arizona Getaway

During February break we escaped the cold for a few days of Arizona sun to visit Nana and Bawdy.  We packed in golf cart rides, pool time, an animal park and a mini family reunion.  It was a really fun getaway!

 Nana & the kids taking the golf cart for a spin
 Shorts & t-shirts during sunset.. it was snowing at home!
 the friendly ostrich

 Leo fed this giraffe a little snack!
Georgia fully embraced a little pool time.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Six Years

Sometimes I wonder if the anniversary of Georgia's transplant won't weigh on me for months leading up to the actual date.  I can feel the stress seep in and notice that my heart becomes just a bit more fragile as the memories of our history come creeping to the forefront.  The heartache is still there, but so is gratitude.  I look at our life today and can clearly remember a time when this life, the one I am actually living seemed completely unattainable.

As Georgia gets older I want her to think of January 19th as a day to celebrate and to give back.  We would not be here today if it weren't for the love, kindness and generosity of so, so many people.  I kept thinking of Manuel and how selfless he was, he was told there was a need and simply out of the goodness of his heart and soul he gave.  In this spirit my sister and I started putting a plan together of how to celebrate the SIXTH anniversary of Georgia's transplant.

Our plan was to celebrate health, milestones and kindness.. with lots of fun along the way.
Our day started with fulfilling a longtime request.. Georgia got her ears pierced! In true fashion, she didn't even flinch, smiling the whole time.

Next up we headed to Target with our cousins. Each kid had their own basket to pick out things to give to give to some special kiddos on the cancer floor at Seattle Children's. They were all very thoughtful about their choices, it was so great to watch them discussing their gifts.

The kindness of one man is why this day is possible, thank you Manuel, you signed up to be on the German bone marrow registry before Georgia was even born.. you are a phenomenal human being and we are profoundly grateful.

Our last stop was a well deserved cupcake, this is a day worth celebrating indeed.


 Georgia and Lauren discussing her earring choices.

 Checking our her newly pierced ears!

She didn't even flinch...
video



 Shopping!
 Dropping off our bags at Children's
 Happy 6 sweet girl, what a miracle.





Where Does the Time Go?

All I can say is that this winter has been a whirlwhind.. a good one, but very busy!  I can't believe how long it's taken me to update the blog.  To get myself caught up, here is one big photo (and video) post...


The Handsaker Christmas
Baking with Nana

 These four cuties took a few photos for their Christmas present to their grandparents, Georgia (7) Holden & Landon (5) and Leo (3.5)



  On a mission to find our tree
 Our Christmas tree!


 Santa At the Alaska Airlines holiday party


Santa's grand entrance...
video


 Christmas trees at the Fairmont Hotel

Our visit with Santa

Leo had a looong list for Santa....
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Nana & Bawdy took the kids to see Merry Christmas Charlie Brown
Our annual winter trip to Montana was fantastic as usual!







The snowy fun continued back in Washington

Coffee date with this handsome fella

Family ski day at Crystal

Museum of Flight




Cute cousins

Georgia and Leo have a tradition of decorating Brian's birthday cake.. no sugar was spared!

Georgia's school had a Sock Hop.. these two were dressed for the part!

These two are the sweetest!

An after ski treat for this little lady!

My very own Superhero...
video

Leo is still riding.. faster than ever on the new bike from Blake!
video