I have been so bad at blogging, and I apologize. These weeks have been filled to the brim with painting, packing, cleaning, organizing, trip preparations, end of school year fun and just general life stuff. We have moved out of our rental, moved our things into the living room of our new house and are currently waiting for the wood floors of the bedrooms to be ready so we can move things in. In the meantime, we have been living out of suitcases at my sister's house, in Hawaii and now at my mom's.
But wait, Hawaii!? Last week we were treated to Steven's dream vacation thanks to the Make-A-Wish foundation. They exceeded all his expectations and put us up in a beautiful resort on the big island. He got to explore a volcano and snorkle and swim with dolphins and see lots of sea turtles all over the beaches. On the last night of the trip, he and I went on a boat ride around the resort (the resort had a tram and gondola system to get around the grounds) and then went stargazing on the beach (the resort was right on the beach). He told me that he never expected that Make-A-Wish would send us to such a nice place and how he wished he didn't have to go home. He asked if we could just save all our vacation money and go to Hawaii every four years instead of vacations anywhere else. It was so sweet--he was so happy with how it all turned out.
All the kids loved it, but I must say that Laura was a little young for Steven's adventurous spirit. She would have been happier to just stay at the resort the whole time, but Steven (and I) couldn't pass up the chance of being in Hawaii to see new things and so there was more driving and walking than she was up for. Still, she had fun and wants to go back, especially so she can play with the new friends she made at the swimming pool.
In all honesty, traveling with little kids can be hard, and doing it in the middle of a move and pregnant isn't ideal either. At one point I was really upset with myself because I thought, Sonja, you are probably the only person in the world who can be sitting on a beach on an all expenses paid trip to Hawaii and be stressed out. But one thing I have learned from our experience with cancer is that you can't wait around for things to be perfect, you just have to seize the moment. And so, though I failed that philosophy part of the time, most of the time, I was just grateful and happy for the beautiful moments and the great memories that we made.
One of the highlights of the trip was a luau that Make-A-Wish sent us to. We all loved the dancing and entertainment. Steven must have taken over 100 pictures of the dances and he didn't stop smiling the whole time. During dinner, the band had Steven stand up to be recognized and then dedicated a song to him. You've probably heard it, it is "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" arranged by Iz, a Hawaiian singer. I love that song and when dedicated to Steven and his wish trip, it was full of meaning to me. I cried through it all and felt overwhelmed with gratitude that there are people out there generous enough to make dreams come true and that Steven is doing so well that he could enjoy such a wonderful place.
I am also so grateful for all the friends and family who have helped us with our move and with the renovations that we have done so far. Without help, I really don't know how this all would have worked out. We have a little more time until we will actually move in, but we should be staying at our new house sometime within the next week.
I am planning to make a video about our trip that will have lots of picture, videos and hopefully even Steven telling about his favorite parts. There is so much to tell--hopefully pictures will help cut down on the words :).