Greetings friends and family,
The 4 Webbs' July 4th celebration this year was without a doubt the most boring in my entire life, but sometimes it be that way. I have 40 years worth of memories that include lighting something on fire or watching someone else light stuff on fire every July 4th. It's too hot in Phoenix to sit in 100 degree heat to see a live display. The dry conditions, local laws, and recommendation of our fire department friend turned us off to lighting our own in the driveway. Ouma and Oupa and Kendra and I were too apathetic and tired to even turn the TV on to see some other display. In some ways I think this reflects a shift in our mindset about what is important too. We had a rare early bedtime and some fun at church the next day. Kendra got in on a picture with our pastor as we had fun with a social media blitz of patriotism.
During Ouma and Oupa's month-long stay I took surprisingly few pictures because I spent much of the time working, which is a change from the chaotic previous two months. The twins made their own memories with them and that's a big benefit. Memories of grandparents don't always have to be thrilling or adventurous to be meaningful. I have a few memories of my grandpas on both sides where we were just doing mundane things together. The most important part is that I actually have memories of them. None of mine are glamorous, but I appreciate the time I was able to spend with them. I watched the Walton's, Gunsmoke, and cartoons on a 13 inch TV with my grandpas. Easton and Layla watched the invasion of Normandy in 3D on a three-story screen at the IMAX with Oupa. What a drastic difference in format of the TV watching experience! Even so, the main point is still the main point: time with grandpa.
Kendra kicked me out of the house for a while. Well, maybe it's not exactly like that... I offered to take the twins to California so she can rest and take care of herself. all of this depended on two things: 1. Kendra's back felt well enough to manage without me 2. Ouma and Oupa were willing to spend more time with us after helping and caring for the twins for over a month. I am working from my office in Sacramento so there is zero vacation time or work-related excuse for me not to be here.
I got cold feet at the last minute and wanted to stay in Phoenix, but Kendra asked me to go for a few reasons. She gets several days in a row without managing the twins alone because now that Ouma and Oupa went home she would be full-time caring for the twins while i'm at work. That's a lot of additional stress considering she has so many doctor's appointments throughout the week. Also, the twins are used to being in Sacramento every summer and taking this trip provides another layer of stability and consistency in their lives.
As an added bonus, Kendra's brother, Logan, and his wife, Bree rode with us so they could spend time with her sister who is also in Sacramento. The trip went exactly as planned without any incidents. We stopped in LA for some dinner and I took this picture of mountains behind us. What you can't see is the 30 degree drop in temperature.
I'm grateful for our big van to transport us across the country. It's getting close to the 100,000 mile mark, but we've never had a major problem with it. Plenty of room for everyone and our travel gear! Easton and Layla watched the Rocketman movie and giggled their way through the miles of boring desert.
Now I'm stuck with Facetime as my only means of seeing Kendra. It feels really odd to be so completely physically disconnected from Kendra after spending the last three months as her primary care giver. I was deeply involved in everything from getting her close on to the more unsavory parts of chemotherapy side-effects. and now, I'm just a two dimensional image with voice and motion. At least I have this!
Here is Sacramento we are welcoming the latest member of our family, Barbie. She is Kendra's brother's fiance and we all love her dearly. Next year we'll make it official with the wedding ceremony, but Ouma and Oupa already consider her part of the family forever.
I get all kinds of advice from people about how to navigate this time with Kendra's cancer treatment and healing vertebrae phase. One of the most consistent is to take time for "me time". It's a valid piece of advice and I take it seriously. I lift weights in the gym about 4-5 times a week. I'm not a big muscle-head, but I keep showing up and taking care of my body. Not bad for 40 years old.
Dinner on the outdoor patio of a restaurant is not an option in Phoenix this time of year, but here in NorCal it is! The trees and pond and foliage are a welcomed change of scenery.
The sun still shines brightly on us, but is not hot enough to back cookies on the sidewalk. The twins are doing so well considering Kendra's limitations and absence while we are here.
I'm wearing my Godfidence shirt regularly in my rotation of clothes. It's a point of connection with Kendra because she wears hers too. I let Easton take this picture of me for no apparent reason at all. The twins are still getting the hang of photography and so am I.
We only have a few days left here in Sacramento. Not sure when we will get to see Oupa again this year though. It'll be a while though because of the school calendar for him and the twins. This is what summers are made for and we are happy Oupa gets the time off. Most kids with a grandpa who works don't get weeks of time together. I am very appreciative for the big block of weeks we get with him. Even though Ouma is retired, the number of weeks she's spent with Kendra and our family is beyond self-less. She's the MVP with regards to the success of the 4 Webbs over the past few months.
See you soon!