Cancer is so limited

Last week - on Monday 17th August - we lost my beautiful and brave sister to cancer. Although she battled with the disease over the last thirteen or fourteen years her deterioration over the last month was rapid and shocking to us all; we would never have realised at the start of the summer holidays that she could be gone so quickly.

I loved my sister greatly. She was gentle, kind, faithful and hilarious. We were so similar and she has helped shape me, our family, and made life all the better for having been in it. Although we lived apart it is difficult to imagine going through my days without her being a phone call or text away. It still hasn't sunk in.

Right now the grief is raw and overwhelming. It overshadows everything and we are clinging on to each other and God to make it through the days. I am so grateful that I got to spend her final days with her and tell her I loved her before she died. I know so many don't get that opportunity.

As we gathered together yesterday for her thanksgiving service I was touched that so many people had made the effort to come to show their love and appreciation for my sister, and for our family.

I wish I could write more eloquently about how I feel and what she meant to us all but it is difficult to find the words. We have come home today and it feels strange to be going back to 'real life'. Somehow we've got to find our way into a new normal, although right now that seems impossible.

Cancer is so limited...
It cannot cripple Love
It cannot erode Faith
It cannot eat away Peace
It cannot destroy Confidence
It cannot kill Friendship
It cannot shut out Memories
It cannot silence Courage
It cannot invade the soul
It cannot reduce Eternal Life
It cannot quench the Spirit
It cannot lessen the Power of the Resurrection

(by Rob Muncy, Cicero)


3 Months

I know I say this every month but I am still surprised that Alys has only been with us such a short time. We seem to have crammed in such a lot in three months and she's already developed so much. For anyone still in the newborn haze...the days seem long but it will only be a short while before they feed less, don't need six changes of clothes a day and give you more sleep at night. Just hang in there!

I'm a little late with Alys' three month update, but at 16 weeks she:

// is an absolute joy! We are completely smitten with her.

// is a very contented baby; we rarely hear a peep from her! She's napping fabulously and will self sooth herself to sleep right on cue. She's also started sleeping through the night 7pm (ish) to 7am(ish!) with a top-up at 10pm.

// has found her thumb!

// seems much more interested with things around her, is getting more alert by the day and chats away (especially to me) saying 'geeee geee!'

// likes to be sat up to see what's going on and can spend short times in the Bumbo now.

// gives us huge smiles a lot of the time, especially when we wake her from a nap - just like her sister was at the same age!


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The Week That Was

This week has been good and slightly less hectic than some of our recent ones!

The girls and I did chores and played in the morning and then Josh took Ivy in the afternoon as I was frazzled after solo parenting for ten days in Devon.

Josh's sister (and her family) arrived for a camping trip so we went out to lunch with them and I spent the afternoon doing chores and reading up on my new essential oils and diffuser that arrived that day (you'll be hearing lots more about these I'm sure!). It was our eighth wedding anniversary.

Ivy went to play with someone from church in the morning so I tried to relax a bit, did some baking and a bit of cleaning. We played in the afternoon (had a tea party!) and after the kids went to bed I did some crafting and made some all-natural essential oil air fresheners!

I baby-sat my nephew in the morning (I had fun with three!!) and in the afternoon I had ladies' bible study and did some chores.

It was Josh's day off so we went to the zoo and had loads of fun. Ivy is really at an age where she can get into things now and she really loved going on some of the vintage fun-fair rides. My heart exploded with love seeing her joyously riding the mini-roundabouts (see the video here) but also broke a bit as she's growing up so fast!
We had a work BBQ in the evening but we were all exhausted and were glad to get home and to bed!

A quieter day. Some ladies from my bible study group came over to help me put up a shelf and repair a hole which Ivy made by pulling the shelf down (argh!) which was a great weight off my mind. We spent the afternoon chilling out in the garden and then Josh and I had a date in the evening. We got chips from the van and walked up onto a headland and watched the sea...perfect!
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