I have been thinking so much this past week, with the littles' birthday upon us. And before I can write anything at all about what this year has taught me, or share some of my favorite moments, I have to first thank a few people.
How did my little family make it through this year? People. So, so many good people.
Firstly, many good friends, family, and acquaintances poured out so much love. We received beautiful letters, Facebook messages, well wishes, warm hugs, motherly advice, and prayers from so many. One lesson I learned during this, my first year of motherhood, is that it truly does take a village. So thank you to those of you that reached out to us through the written word, social media, good vibes, and of course prayer. You have no idea the strength I gained from those little encouragements along the way.
Danny's med school friends. The bulk of them think we are completely insane and I have sometimes come to the same conclusion. But they have been such a strength to him and done so much to include me. They volunteer to babysit so we can go on dates (even when they don't know how to put a diaper on...) and come to the house and let us feel young when sometimes parenthood makes you feel anything but. Thank you! But especially to my girl Vai and Danny's bestie Luke for being so unbelievably kind.
Next, my AMAZING New York ward and family. I cannot begin to describe the testimony I have gained about where the Lord leads us. I moved in to a ward filled with "twin moms" and it has been such a blessing. They are not only proof that you can survive but also wonderful examples of faith and patience. They have given me so much guidance, equipment, clothing, diapers, support and certainly more than one shoulder to cry on. One Sunday in particular I was just struggling so much and one of those mothers came and took a baby, put her arm around me, and just sat for a little while. Eventually she got up to leave but not before looking me square in the eye and saying, "You are so strong. Strong enough to be these sweet babies mother." It meant the world. My friends here have been one of the biggest blessings and I could not have gotten through all this without them constantly reaching out. They have opened up their homes and their families to include us and it has given us a little piece of home here in Upstate New York.
To Sophie and Lincoln's therapists, also known as my dear friends. Thank you for your service and support this year. You have each done something for my children that I could not do myself and I will be eternally thankful.
To my Catts family (whom I am often terrible at calling back) thank you for forcing me to break my silence, keep in touch, and always doting on my sweet babes. I often don't deserve the gracious love you offer. Thank you for Danny and giving him a place to lean when I don't have the strength to do it myself.
To my sweet siblings. There are no words. I have never felt so loved as I did in the darkest moment of my life when only you guys were there, sitting in the living room helping me carry the burden of a lifetime. I love you each for your individual strengths and as a whole for the strength we find as a family.
To my goodly parents. Who have gone above and beyond this year to help our little family. I know there is a debt we will never be able to repay and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for always being so willing to give. I can never explain how much I love you. For helping me become who I am, for being the role models of a lifetime, for teaching me to be a mother, for taking care of my sweet children, for loving my husband as your own, and for holding me together when I had absolutely no power to do so. You are the foundation on which all my happiness is built upon. And I am so, so grateful.
To my baby sister. I hope you know. What we went through together this year will be the cherished memory of my life. And of all the struggle, you were ten times the strength. You saved me. You, sweet girl, are the definition of empathy.
To the sweetest man I will ever know. I find myself in a giant hole with no way out. No way to repay what you have given of yourself this year. Thank you for never expecting me to, for loving me with no strings, no point keeping. You have loved me in a way that shakes me to my core and in a way I never knew there was a capacity for. Thank you for holding us, and this little family, together when everything could have so easily fallen apart. To be your wife, is the greatest blessing the Lord has ever afforded me.