Highlights of 2014

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January 1, 2015 by texashekmans

January

  • We had a really fun time ringing in the New Year in Michigan with the Hekman fam, and then a heck-of-a-time returning to Texas as planned! Our flight was scheduled to leave Detroit during the midst of a record breaking “Polar Vortex” that hit the area. No joke, the temperatures were no higher than 10 or 15 degrees for several days in a row. And to top it off…the airport’s fuel pipes were frozen shut for the first time in history. Our flight didn’t leave for three days so we were very VERY thankful to have a warm cozy place to stay with my Mom (Violet’s Grandma “Gigi”)  in Ann Arbor.
  • When finally back in Texas, little Ezra was beginning to grow and my morning sickness kicked in. I felt quite nauseous all day for several weeks. As a result, Violet watched a ton of PBS Kids television shows, and we also visited the Children’s Museum a ton so that she could run around safely while I sat down as much as possible and sipped on sparkling water.

February

  • Scott turned 30! We celebrated at home with balloons, cake, new jeans for Dad and a birthday party with dozens of friends.

March

  • We successfully survived the feat of potty training a feisty little 23 month old!! It was SUPER hard for the first week, and still seemed impossible even during the second week. We had lots of accidents and lots of trouble with her just simply not wanting to go when we knew she needed to. But on the exact day (day #15!) I said I was going to give up, she turned a corner somehow and it got a lot better. Whew. Praise God. He truly gave us patience, perseverance and tons and tons of grace.

April

  • Violet turned 2! We visited a farm to pick fresh strawberries (and also to feed goats) to celebrate together as a family, and then we celebrated with friends from all over Austin at Central Market with cupcakes and balloons and the best playground a 2yr old could ask for. The poor girl had a pretty bad ear infection (which we didn’t know about until the following Monday) during her whole birthday weekend so she wasn’t really herself, but we had fun and know she did too.

May

  • Dad enjoyed his annual brothers weekend, and Mom and Violet enjoyed a girls weekend at home! We went to a drive-thru Wildlife Ranch together and screamed and laughed as we fed deer, elk and even zebras. I’ll never forget how loud we both screamed and laughed as the zebras literally came into our laps in the car with their huge mouths. Lol!

June

  •  Violet’s closest-in-age girl cousin Esme and her mom Jill came to visit us for a super fun girls week! Jill and I bonded over the joys of having energetic and fun-loving toddler girls, watching The Good Wife together, and many other things…including the hilarious experience of letting your toddler pee in a travel potty in the trunk of your car. Yep. True. We have Violet do this all the time and were happy to introduce Esme and Jill to it. 🙂 It was a blessing to me to spend such quality time with Jill ( a much loved Hekman sister-in-law!)

July

  • We enjoyed a blissful vacation in Michigan! We spent a few days as just a family of 3 in Scott’s parents’ condo in Niles, MI to unwind and bond after a busy spring and summer kickoff. My Mom (Gigi) joined us to celebrate the 4th of July and watch Violet’s first fireworks, which she LOVED! We met up with a ton of Scott’s family at sweet Aunt Jane’s house in Spring Lake, and we also enjoyed countless perfect days at Silver Beach in St. Joseph. We went from there to spend a few fun days in Grand Rapids with Scott’s parents, and then for more beach days with my Dad in Muskegon. It was a really wonderful trip that left us feeling relaxed and thankful for our family and God’s beautiful creation of the lakeside beach. 🙂
  • Sidenote….just for records sake….we drove back from MI to TX in the new-to-us Buick that Scott’s parents let us buy from them. It was a long ride but we made it, and even say we would do it again to save money. Whew. We shall see!

August

  • The end of my pregnancy with Ezra was even nearer than we realized….and Violet and I spent most days at the beginning/middle of this month at the pool of course. What else can you do when 9 months pregnant, in August in Texas, with a 2 year old?!?
  • On Monday the 18th, she and I joined our neighborhood friends for a morning swim at the local outdoor YMCA pool, and then we stopped at HEB on our way home. My water broke there. Luckily it was unnoticeable to others, and it was after we had already checked out. But still, I’ll never forget how my body trembled that day (as we packed up our bags and prepared to leave Violet with some friends). I remember feeling like I was trembling with overwhelming amounts of joy and surprise.
  • Ezra’s life began!!!! With much gratitude, we welcomed our sweet baby boy to the world! Our hearts ached as he was quickly whisked off to the NICU and spent his first 5 days of life there to regulate his breathing. But we rejoiced as he healed and we brought him home as a family of 4.
  • We were SO thankful for the selfless and generous help of my Mom after Ezra was born this month. She dropped everything to fly across the country and help us in a million ways during the very unexpected and long and super hard hospital stay….and then also the exciting but overwhelming first 2 weeks of his life! She played endlessly with Violet and helped bring sanity and joy to us as we healed, adjusted, recovered and rested.Thank you again, Mom!!

September

  • I’m convinced that this month and the 3 that followed went by faster than any other 4 consecutive months of my life. Faster and faster. It’s all such a blur but I’m trying to be present and enjoy the moments that continue to fly by…
  • It was a huge blessing to have my Dad come visit us for a whole week at the beginning of this month! Scott was back at it with a lot going on at work during the days and often even the evenings, so Violet, Ezra and I delighted in having my Dad around to help. He also played endlessly with Violet, helped me clean and cook and grocery shop, and even found time to help us with some pretty big house projects that badly needed our attention! Thank you again, Dad!!!
  • Scott endured the busiest month of work he has ever had…and much to the credit of God’s amazing grace and lots and lots of prayer…we endured as well. Thank you to everyone who brought us meals (THANK YOU!), sent gifts, texts, prayers, etc. It meant a lot and we are so thankful for you all!

October

  • We continued to adjust to being a family of four this month, and tried to figure out how to just get into the groove of our “new normal”. I’d say we did this, for the most part, and we had fun visiting a pumpkin patch, several fall festivals, and celebrating Halloween.

November

  • Ezra was diagnosed with torticollis and plagiocephaly on Oct. 30, so November was crazy full of dozens and dozens of doctor appts! Right when I thought we had found our groove, our routine was completely thrown out the window. It was hard, to say the least, to drag a toddler and an infant around town and in and out of so many appointments. Whew. More on this in a separate blog post, hopefully soon.
  • Thankfully we had a lot of fun family visits this month to distract me from the difficulties of baby physical therapy and dr appts!
    • Scott’s sisters came in town to celebrate Alicia’s 40th birthday and I was so blessed to celebrate with them, as much as Ezra would allow.
    • My brother Myles and his fiance Sam came to meet Ezra and hang out with us for a weekend! They continue to be some of my most favorite people to spend time with and I was so blessed by their friendships and fun all weekend.
    • My Mom came for Thanksgiving, as well as Scott’s sister Laurie, her husband Matt and new baby girl Winnie. It was a blast to celebrate Thanksgiving with them, topped off with a spontaneous trip to the mall (special for the sales at Gap!) all together with 7 kids and 7 adults.

December

  • We kicked off this month celebrating my 29th birhtday, special with a cake made by Gigi (my Mom) and Violet. It was so sweet to watch Violet get excited about celebrating my birthday and especially fun to have the 3 generations together for the day. I am so thankful and blessed!
  • The rest of the month was quite a blur, with a beautiful wedding celebration of our friends Keller and Katie Martin, and 5 Christmas parties all in the span of 2ish weeks.
  • We praised God that Ezra’s torticollis improved a ton this month, and his PT and chiro appts were greatly reduced.
  • We were a little shaken up by my receiving news that I had melanoma in my leg, but were quickly relieved to know that my Dr. was able able to surgically remove ALL of it and they don’t expect any problems with it anymore at that site at all. It was/is alarming for sure, but nothing to worry about for now. Just a suuuuuuuuuuper big conviction to wear LOTS more sunscreen on my LEGS, and all over my body, and a great great reminder of God’s sweet grace to me (and all of us) in our continued health.
  • We rejoiced and celebrated Jesus’ birthday together as a family and with my brother, his fiance, my sister and Mom as they came to Austin and stayed with us for the week of Christmas. It was an incredibly blessed week with many many highlights in itself! One favorite in particular for me was the memory of Christmas morning, made extra special by silly and sweet Violet who was delighted to open present after present. Her joy reminded me of the joy we experience as we continue to discover God’s unending gifts to us in Jesus.
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