Archive for January, 2015

Much To Ponder

January 14, 2015

So 2015 is starting out as somewhat of a mixed bag…

On one hand, GREAT JOY!  A post-Christmas visit from my brother and his family spilled over into the New Year and so the start of 2015 rocked with cousin fun.  🙂  Then, just four days after the Wilsons left, we had the privilege of hosting a student from Australia through a program at the boys’ high school.  Needless to say, Rudy was in “extrovert heaven” and pretty much demanded everyone’s attention for 2 weeks straight!  Ha 🙂

Okay, just one more pic of the cousins.

Okay, just one more pic of the cousins.

We had some Aussie fun (i.e. Tim Tams & Vegemite!) with our new friend Daniel.

We had some Aussie fun (i.e. Tim Tams & Vegemite!) with our new friend Daniel.

On the other hand,  it has also been very heavy…lots of heartbreaking news that has come like a one, two, three punch.  Just 3 days after my brother’s family returned to Kansas, they received the devastating news of a dear friend’s suicide.  A friend my niece expressed concern about while they were here and a dear soul with whom my Olivia enjoyed a pen pal friendship.  Yesterday was Emilie’s memorial service and my niece Emma was asked to speak.  My heart has been heavy for the Wilson and Munyan families all week…it’s so hard to watch loved ones (my niece especially) hurt in such tragic circumstances.  I’m grateful for the few but truly memorable times my path crossed with Emilie’s.

Olivia with Emma, Emilie and Gma Jo in 2011.

Olivia with Emma, Emilie and Gma Jo in 2011.

And changes in the life of our family are unfolding as we’ve gotten word of significant members of the Rudy’s Beat community moving on…the most recent being dear nurse Sara.  The reality is that Sara is terribly over qualified to be Rudy’s school nurse and she is PERFECT for her new professional opportunity (100% excited for her) but she has been such an important part of Rudy’s school experience the past 1 1/2 years (truly God given) that it is hard to let her go.  ;(

Rudy goofing around with Nurse Sara!

Rudy goofing around with Nurse Sara!

(Deep sigh) I’m uncomfortable with certain kinds of change and I’m beginning to face the reality that 2015 will be a year of big change as members of Team Rudy transition, expectations are adjusted and (the biggest known change, of course) as Wilson prepares for a strong high school finish and heads off to college. All of which are great reasons to celebrate but also have sad ramifications for me which is adding to the heaviness of this week.  “Be anxious for nothing”…”Be anxious for nothing”…”Be anxious for nothing”…not an easy exhortation for me to put into practice sometimes.  ‘Praying for peace of mind and heart as I ponder the present and approach the future with faith.

Rudy’s biannual check-in with the heart docs at UCLA was originally scheduled for last month but was postponed a couple of times landing on next Thursday (1/22).  Our visit to the pediatric heart clinic will include an echocardiogram, labs, consult with the cardiologist on duty and a quick chat with Dr. Alejos…all pretty routine.  Stay tuned.

Inspired Creativity

January 5, 2015

The kids returned to school today (except Rudy…he has one more day of vacation), the Christmas decorations are all packed up and stored for next year (except for the Christmas tree…not quite ready to take EVERYTHING down yet) and I’m up and at ’em this morning ready to tackle the list of “to dos” (except I may just do today in my pajamas…not quite ready to get dressed).  🙂

The Wilsons flew back to Kansas on Saturday and Rudy had the longest nap on record Saturday afternoon after they left!  Ha Ha  As is our MO, we packed a lot into our 6 days of cousin fun and are grateful for the fun memories made.

Family photo at the Reagan Presidential Library

Family photo at the Reagan Presidential Library

Presidential Library selfie!

Presidential Library selfie!

Flannel fun!

Flannel fun!

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A Christmas vacation well spent!

A Christmas vacation well spent!

Rudy was gifted a sweet tribute this past weekend as well…a friend from church recorded a song he wrote for Rudy and gave us a copy (I’ve attached it below).

It’s always such a blessing to see (or hear) the creativity inspired by Rudy.  We’ve received a handful of gifts of love over the years that were all inspired by Rudy’s energy, determination…smile.

Remember CeCe VanNortwick’s Rudy’s Heart?

Rudy's Heart...all dolled up!

And Steve Subject’s portrait after Rudy’s Wish Trip?

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And, of course, Greg Lawler’s photographs that flood this blog.

This is one of the first pics Greg took of Rudy.

This is one of the first pics Greg took of Rudy.

It touches me deeply to experience how others see our boy.  I say “experience” because that is exactly what an expression of creativity is…AN EXPERIENCE…a moment in time captured by the artist that tells a story filled with emotion and depth of thought if you explore it long enough.

Thank you, dear friends, for the many thoughtful gifts of love and creativity that we’ve received over the years that continue to encourage and bless our family…especially as we start a new year…another year of unknowns but also another opportunity to live in faith and hope.  I wonder what will inspire us in 2015?  I pray we’ll have the presence of mind to stop and experience the precious moments that can easily be missed and be transformed by them.  May your 2015 be an inspired year filled with beauty and growth too!  🙂

Here’s Greg and Kristin Kirchmaier’s song: