I'm still learning how to navigate holidays with two kids. One of which isn't there for half of them every year. Please, someone tell me how to keep the joy and excitement and happiness when half of your heart isn't there? This is the real and raw stuff. This is the hurt side of it, even in a situation as amazing as ours! Now look, I'm also not so naive (at least anymore) as to how hurtful it is for Jake and Angie. Especially Angie. She's her MOM! I can't even imagine it.. I have only known sharing Kailee, she on the other hand, birthed her. Now, not discrediting Jake, he's her daddy and loves her just as much.. But mama's are just different. I think we can all agree on that one. Even with an amazing relationship with your dad, there is just no comfort like that from a mother. But my heart does hurt too. I am not her mom but she is absolutely my child. I don't know how many people that makes sense to, and that's okay. It's the truth. I miss Kailee every second she isn't with us, but holidays come with an extra sting. Now that Hank is old enough and is so excited about holidays, it's so sad not to share that excitement with his sister. And visa versa with Boston, it's dang hard! It's been a huge challenge for me to try to keep the joy and excitement for Hank's sake, even when Kailee isn't with us. I'm trying, and it has gotten a tiny bit easier, but I don't know if it will ever be perfect. It's the hardest part of our situation, no doubt.
This year our Easter weekend was JAM packed full of fun! We drove all over, or at least it felt that way! Friday after work Jake, Hank and I headed up to Grandma Jeri's house for the night. Cheyanne had a bridal shower that next day, and Jake was doing a wedding up in Tremonton so it worked out great for some time with my grandparents. I love them SO much! You'd never guess they were 80 years old (well, not grandma quite yet!) they are still so involved and do so much with us and our kids! We are SO lucky! Grandma had dinner planned and of course it was steak, baked potatoes, rolls, salads and all the yummy things you could imagine. Seriously, eating well at her house is NEVER a problem! Hank loved being there, seeing the ducks out front and playing with the new toys. He also loved the big fish grandpa has mounted in the office and kept calling it a shark! It was hilarious! He had to take each one of us back there to show us the 'shark' :) We had such a great night!
Saturday morning before the wedding and shower, they put on an Easter egg hunt for Hank! He was OBSESSED with the eggs this year, I had to serve his snacks in them and everything! He was so cute searching for eggs, and had to open each one as he found it! He'd take a bite of the treat or eat a jelly bean before moving on to find another one! It was so cute! Easter Egg hunts at Grandma Jeri's are THE best! Kailee has only done 1 or 2 there, and she talks about it EVERY year! They put treats and money in the eggs and their huge back yard makes for some awesome hunts! We are so lucky to still have them in our lives and so active in everything we do! Chey's shower turned out so cute and so much fun and Jake's wedding went awesome as well! SO proud of him and Mustache Ministry! ;) He really is so great with people and this little side gig has been fantastic for him!
After the shower and wedding we rushed back home for our Easter party with the Andrus Family! We hurried to meet to get Kailee and head to the party. Another perk to 'making it work'... It was Jason and Angie's holiday. They could have said, "our weekend/our holiday", but because we are in a good place, that is NEVER the case! As long as it doesn't interfere with plans, we always make it work for KAILEE! She is the one missing out if any of us try to be selfish with our time. It is amazing to know that we will work it out for her to be to everything whenever possible! So thankful they were so willing to work with us on the party! With a weekend that packed I didn't have time to prep my part of dinner it so we made it just in time to get it ready before dinner! We did pizzas and they were all SO yummy! The kids had a blast hunting eggs and playing outside, it was a gorgeous day! They love being at grandmas and being together! It's fun to have such extremes with our families.. My side has just the 4 grand kids, but due to circumstances of split families Hank is the only one that is always with us, so our time with ALL the Andrus cousins is really special, fun and important!
We took Kailee back after a fun night and then it was home to bed so the Easter Bunny could come! He did good this year and didn't spoil Hankster too much! The traditional swimsuit and Summer outfit and then a couple books and treats and we called it good! He loved it, and especially loved hunting for eggs! He would get SO excited when he'd find them it was so cute! Holidays really are so much better with little's! We enjoyed a very rare down day at home on Easter Sunday and it was wonderful!
So many great memories and happy times, even through the feeling of incompleteness. I'm not sure if that will ever go away, probably not but I have tried very hard to change my attitude, especially since Hank has been born to think of it as a blessing that I have K in my life at all, and not sadness because she isn't always with us. I'm sure it's something I'll have to work on for the rest of my life, but she is worth it times a million!
Hope you all had a special Easter! I'm not much of a religious person anymore, but I do know what this day represents and I'm so grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ. I'm grateful to know and FEEL that He lives! One of my favorite Hymns is "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" and that song is one I still sing in my head often, especially during the Easter season and it brings me so much comfort.