Friday, May 18, 2012


I've been so inside my own head this week that I haven't given much thought to the monumental situation coming up here in 13 days - the end of the school year.  For the last two years, we've been so exhausted that we were just pushing through to get to summer so we could rest!  And this year really is no different.

But I have been reminded twice in the last 18 hours that I can't miss the importance of the end of this year.  I can't approach with just a "get-through it" attitude because it will be the only time my baby graduates from Kindergarten.  There is no big ceremony planned but in the midst of going about our lives, working to recover "normal", I've put aside the thoughts of what the start of this school year entailed.

Sophia started this school year with chemo still in her system.  She started the first day with the possibility of still having cancer.  We had to wait till the 2nd day to find out she was in remission.  Most poignantly, she started this year completely bald.  This is her and sister on the first day of school, August 22nd, 2011:

That picture was taken nearly nine months ago and it feels like a totally different world.  The girls are bigger, stronger, faster, smarter - they have each learned so much and blossomed like the precious flowers they are.  I am so full of emotion, thinking about how God has blessed us this year and just how much He has so tenderly cared for us as a family.  Sophia stopped wearing her hat 7 months ago - on November 4th, 2011 (you can read about that hilarious and totally unexpected morning here).  She now looks like this:

Don't let the short bangs fool you - she has lots and lots of hair.  This is from the back:

He has restored the months the locusts of cancer and chemo took from her by giving her back this gorgeous, soft and incredibly thick hair.  Our hair is our crowning glory as women, and the crown God has blessed her with covers a smart, sassy, confident little girl.  She was all of those things at the beginning of school but now she has really grown into it and lets others see it all the time.  She no longer ignores all the kids that know her from the T.V. spot, she smiles and waves and says Hi back.

She is comfortable with her celebrity.

As school comes to a close, I want to focus on the special moments in her life and in Natalie's.  (Because she will be in THIRD GRADE in a few months!!  I can't believe it.)  I want to be there to experience this momentous year of her life - the one that transitioned her out of the sick little girl with cancer to the unstoppable Sophia no one will ever forget.

Thank you to that Dad that asked me how she was doing last night at the school's open house and to Susan Shenker, the principal, who reminded me again about what this year has meant to our family.  Such a wonderful community, lovingly holding me accountable to the things that are really important.

Thank you God for this year.  May you continue to bless both my girls with the ability to great things in Your Name, and things that will change the world.

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