A catch-up post for today. We've begun our official "re-entry" back into the real world! As most of you know, since Ellis' hospital release we have been on lock-down at home until cold and flu season passes. It was a long, and I mean LONG, four months at home as just our little family. Yet it as long as it was, it was only for a season. Now we are able to get back to a normal life and it feels oh so sweet.  Our first real outing was to the zoo. We picked the most perfect day to get out of the house and enjoy it. This was Ellis' first time to visit anywhere really, besides a doctor or a hospital. I was a little nervous at how she would do but I shouldn't have been. She did great. She really loves being inside her stroller and being wheeled around. It was the perfect day. 

The kiddos continue to get along and love each other so well. I'm not sure there's anyone Ellis adores more than her Milo. Good thing the feeling is mutual because he is obsessed with his baby sister. As much as I love getting to get out and about, some of my most precious and valued moments are spent at home with these two. Seeing their bond develop is just the coolest.

Along with the Zoo Ellis got to experience another first, her first church service. This past weekend was our first time to go back to our church home that we love so much. Again, I didn't know how she would do with the music volume and all the new faces. Once again she surprised me and slept peacefully the entire time. Milo also loved being back. When I asked him what he learned in kids class he smiled really big and said "I learned that Jesus loves doughnuts." Always about food with that one. 

We celebrated after church with another first, her first time at a restaurant. We chose Mexican food of course. It's crazy to think she's nearly six-months old and just now able to do so many things for the first time. The wonderful thing is I don't take one bit of them for granted. That's the gift her illness gave to us. 

Being out in the "real world" is incredible, but as much as we get to get out we are still tethered to our real world, of doctors appointments. This week it was physical therapy. Ellis is doing great at therapy and still testing about a month behind. We are going to bump up some of her sessions to work even harder at some things. Endurance has been an issue for her and she hates all the little work-outs we do at home. It's hard as a parent  because you want your child to be able to play and just be a baby. We don't really have that luxury. We have to work a little harder with her to make sure she is where she needs to be. It's not always easy and appointments are never fun. But before it was all appointments and only appointments. I'm thankful now we can mix in some fun things so it's not all work no play. 

I think if there's anything that our lock down reminded me is that everything has its time and place. It was so hard being isolated this winter. It felt as though it would never end. But here we are, with that season behind us, and a new one on the horizon. I try to think that way with appointments. There won't always be so many and it won't always be this hard. I look at her progress and it takes my breath away. I know I'll be saying that all the more once we get farther down the road. 

Thank you for your continual thoughts and prayers. We feel them intensely and treasure them deeply.    





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