Monday, October 13, 2008

Tonight I want to dedicate my entire blog to those who have helped us through our amazing pregnancy, the birth of our quads, and continue to support our family each and every day. There are no words for how touched we have been in our lives by you.

And by you I mean YOU.

If you are taking the time to read our blog and keep tabs on our family you are supporting us through your thoughts and that in itself means so much.

The list of those whom we want to thank is so much longer than we could have ever imagined in our wildest dreams... some of you are friends from grade school... some high school... a lot of you are friends from college... co-workers, professional collegues... neighbors.... friends of friends of friends.... nearly every one of our family members are on the list - more than once... and some of you... well... we may not have had the honor of meeting you, or even talking with you... but you were there for us through your prayers... no matter which group you fall under in we are forever endebted to for all that you have done.

The birth of our four newest healthy additions to our family is a true testimate to the power of prayer.

True, most days are a blur as of late... time has never went by so quickly (I guess that happens when every single millisecond of your time is accounted for some how!)... by time has never been so precious either (especially around 3:30am!). I am so thankful to be able to stay home with our children and bear witness to each smile, belly laugh, hug, and watch in amazement as our babies grow and thrive before our very eyes.

I know that I have to start somewhere in thanking you all - the task is absolutely impossible to do it all in one sitting, or one lifetime for that matter. Please know that you are ALL in our hearts every day and every night as we give thanks for all that we have been blessed with. But there are some in particular that I want to share with you tonight. I really, truly wish that I had time to list each and every one of you by name.... but this is the best I can do for tonight.

First of all, God. We aren't shy about saying that we knew from the beginning that we were chosen by Him for rhis role in life -yet up until the day our babies were born healthy we honestly did not know what exactly this might entail for us. We vowed to love each one of our children no matter what - and we know we have God to thank for the fact that we now kiss 6 healthy, happy children goodnight in our home. And we also believe that your prayers to God for our family played a huge part in His decisions for our family... so thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Our families. We have the most amazing families - as I am sure that throughout the course of this blog you have gotten wind of that fact. And thank you Lord for giving us the sense to SEE it and be GRATEFUL for them. Too often we all get caught up in taking our family for granted. They are THERE. We don't necessarily get to CHOOSE them. And, by goly, sometimes they just get the short end of the stick for being a comfortable outlet in our lives. (read: the first ones we complain about and get irritated by) But, in the end, Jeremy and I recognize how rocking our families are... they have been here for us time after time after time through some pretty darned crazy times in our lives. The best part about family is that they just KNOW what to do. They don't wait for an invitation, they just show up without being asked (for better or worse? ha!). And they know it all already... they have lived it all with you... they know the real YOU. Thank you to our families. We started this journey with absolutely zero family with us in Northern Michigan... and by the first of November we will have at least 5 family members here with us!!! Currently we have grandma Horner living with us to help with the quads - what a blessing. She also lived with us in Bellaire during Aiden and Caleb's first year of life... we are constantly amazed at what a strong, giving, positive influence she has on our family. The boys have latched onto her 100% all over again - I am officially chopped liver in terms of my 'war' card playing ability with grandma Horner around =) And no one can read a book like her either - just ask the experts (Aiden & Caleb)! AND THIS AMAZING WOMAN IS 78 YEARS OLD!! Chalk it up to taking excellent care of yourself, exercising daily, and having a strong sense of purpose in your life. Every day that woman wakes up refreshed and ready to spread joy in some way, shape, or form... and she does.

Being here has also allowed us the opportunity to re-aquaint ourselves with Chuck (Buddy) and Suzie - Jeremy's second cousins (I think? Is that what you are considered when it's your mom's cousin?). They are some of the sweetest people we know and their daughter Julie and her husband Rick are the fantastic couple who are allowing us to stay in their cottage all winter here in Traverse (Julie is the one all the way on the left, with Chuck and Susie on the far right)... knowing now what type of social calendar these quads need to hold (read: doctor app'ts) each week I can NOT IMAGINE how we would survive if we were indeed still living in Bellaire. Thank you, thank you, THANK you Julie and Rick. Without ever having met us you opened up your home to us...
Here are some pictures of the gorgeous "cottage" of the Forzano's we are staying in on East Bay. We are so blessed to stay here - a little piece of paradise. I wake up every morning to nurse our quads to the sunrise - Aiden and Caleb climb into the big master bed with us and open the shades just enough to color the room with a rainbow of fantastic oranges and reds (Jeremy and I joke that this is our TEQUILA SUNRISE... boy, does THAT sound good or what?). I believe that Julie and Rick may start renting their cottage out next year (if they could just get those stinking Lewandowski's out, eh?) - their kids are now in high school and busy as ever so they can't make it up as much - so keep them in mind if you are looking for an amazing place to get away in TC... we only hope that by our spreading the word a bit we can help give back to this wonderful family for all they have done to provide our family a place to call home during this crazy transition in our lives.
Our friends. How do we even begin to try and write about each of you whom have touched our lives over the course of the past 10 months? It's simply impossible... please know that we appreciate each one of you. Whether we see and talk to you daily or once every two years... whether our kids know each other by name or haven't even met yet... whether you dropped us a note or simply kept us in your prayers... we treasure each of our relationships for the unique closeness they hold.
Several of you have gone so far above and beyond that we wish there was more we could do or say to let you know how much we appreciate you... someday - mark our words - someday...
To all of our Techie friends, particularly: Scott Nemecek, Dan Schultz, Tim Bonk, George Moeke, Mark Hurley, Nate Curell, Steve Loveland, Brian Stopyak, Keith Latendresse, Ben Wickstrom, and every other person who was involved in this website, blog, and particularly the Quad Open...
People ask the simple question "So, how was the golf outing?" That question in itself conjures up so many emotions for both Jeremy and I. There is no easy response. We usually end up pausing for a bit trying our darndest to come up with a good answer THIS time... but in the end something muttled and along the lines of "It was amazing. One of those events in life that you never forget and relive 100x over in your head - like your wedding or something. Everyone is there for YOU and it's all so overwhelming."
Yes, this is all true. But there are several key differences that make all the difference in setting this event apart from anything we have ever experienced in our life...
#1 - You plan your own wedding and invite people to come celebrate. We were more or less informed of this golf outing after it was already set up and the information distributed. Our friends and family THOUGHT UP THIS EVENT FOR OUR FAMILY on their own time.
#2 - People expect you to get married, they come to your wedding, you go to theirs... it's the way it works. A baby shower is one thing... but a golf outing to raise money for our family is so unfathomable...
#3 - Nobody sponsors the tables and/or the beverages at your wedding to support you and your new spouse.
#4 - I've never won a 50/50 raffle at any wedding before. You?
#5 - At the end of a wedding we usually end up in some big circle singing really bad versions of "Miss American Pie" and reliving the glory days... at the end of our golf outing it was nothing but tears... and it still is.
Please know that we spent the majority of the outing laughing and/or crying our way through each hole. We saw each and every sign, each and every face, heard each and every laugh... thank you, thank you all for everything you did to pull such an awesome event off. Jeremy and I were able to golf together knowing that the very next day our first baby would come home healthy and happy into our arms. We couldn't have thought of a more fitting way to spend our final day separated from our quads than with all of you whom we love and care about so much. If only we had more time to thank each of you personally and talk for hours...

Thank you to Jen Wickstrom, Dana Salladay, Kris Stevens, and Tonia Nemecek for all that you have done to look out for every need our family may have in bringing our babies home. You have all worked endlessly to provide our family with all the "stuff" we hadn't even thought of... on your own, through donations and other moms. Even the biggies - home, car - you continued your quest and were constantly brainstorming ideas for us and making calls. Thank you, ladies.
Thank you to Heidi Schramski for coordinating a meal schedule for us now that the babies are home. Holy Toledo - what a huge help! You thought up this amazing idea that you could come up with a schedule and find people to BRING US dinner 3x/week!!! And thank you to each one of you who volunteered to bring these meals - we have never been so fat and happy! Sorry to anyone whom we've scared off with our over-the-top noise level home... but some of you sure did get lucky and show up to a peaceful house with 4 sleeping babies and 2 toddlers playing nicely outside. Don't talk to the other group, and if you do - don't believe a WORD they say =) But it truly is a huge weight off our shoulders and a great opportunity to see so many of you that we wouldn't otherwise have the chance to (ummmm... we don't get out much anymore folks).
Thank you so Sara Hurley for volunteering to do our laundry each week... that poor woman didn't know what she was getting herself into!! The bib laundry alone is astonishing with quads - we are starting to wonder if they were all born with a dribble mechanism that we forgot to disable!!??!! Thank you Sara, what a horrible job you have so enthusiastically taken on. You wouldn't believe the amount of time it saves our family... oh, yeah you would because it is the same amount of time that we are taking AWAY from YOUR family... ugh.
Thank you to Jen Kosakowski for putting together an enormous donation package for the Munson Manor while we were staying there... we couldn't be more proud to know someone as thoughtful and caring as you. We can tell you first hand how much your generosity was appreciated by the wonderful people at the Manor. Thank you.
Thank you to every other friend out there who has written, called, sent packages - I know I sound like a broken record - but we appreciate it all. I know there are so many more of you I want to mention - please know you are all in our thoughts.
To all our volunteers. What a phenominal group of women we have assembled to help out with our quads!! We "knew" each one of them through a friend of a friend of a... you get the idea... at the end of the day it is a crazy small world and we were somehow connected to each one of you which helped us welcome you whole heartedly into our home. Thank you for holding our quads - babies need to be held and feel loved and I appreciate your arms to help do this more than anything. It also allows me a little time each day to dedicate to our older boys - which is so important. A feeding/diapering session typically takes around 2 hours for me, then pumping, and they eat about every 3-4 hours.... so we are a bit more tied to the home more than they are used to. All the things we took for granted: bike rides, walks to the park, scootering, trips to the beach (thankfully this is out our back door now!)... are very tough to do with mommy and four babies...
And our big boys deserve a huge thanks too - they have been troopers through it all. The big move from Bellaire to the Manor (whoa), mommy being in and out of the hospital, the constant flux of people coming/going, babies? what babies? mommy not being able to play or move much, mommy and daddy going to the NICU a lot, the move to the cottage, the babies coming home, starting school, volunteers in and out of the house, mommy being tied up with taking care of the babies... the list goes on and on... fairly traumatic experiences all jumbled together for a 2 and 4 year old. We couldn't be more proud of them.
Thank you to Bill Marsh Price Point for letting us "borrow" their 15 passenger van until they find us one in our price range and size to accomodate or family. Yeah. That's right - BORROW. We would not all be able to travel in one vehicle right now if it weren't for the wonderful people at Price Point - we went to see them about a week before the quads started coming home - they heard our story, took one look at the Vibe, then the Sorento and did everything in their power not to laugh at us... Uhhhh... you're not all going to fit... morons. So maybe they didn't SAY that - but they really didn't HAVE to, now did they? Anyhow, thank you so much. We are refraining from putting the flame stickers down the side until we have a van that is OURS (flames courtesy of Aunt Dana - NO JOKE).
Thank you to Eastside Laundry for STARTING A DIAPER SERVICE IN TRAVERSE CITY!!! Did I mention that there was NOT a single service when I began my quest way back when? This self-proclaimed up and coming GREEN city doesn't have a diaper service for those of us who want to use cloth diapers!! I was amazed, and a little ticked off, so I began to call laundromats in the area to see if I could convince anyone into giving it a whirl - BINGO!!! I hit the jackpot!! Not only did Eastside agree to start one up - but they are COMPLETELY GREEN and have free delivery and pickup!! THANK YOU!!
It occured to me in writing this blog that nearly everything we have in our lives right now - all the basics - have been touched in some way by one of you. Home:

Thank you to each and every staff member at GT Women's (Dr. Madion's office), West Michigan OB (Dr. Jelsema's office), and Munson Medical Center (particularly ultrasound, OB, and the NICU) whom touched our lives and helped deliver our babies safely into this world. We will never forget the love and compassion you showered our family with - thank you for all that you did in making our family feel comfortable and supporting us through the rollercoaster we experienced in your trusting medical hands.
Thanks again to the Munson Manor. We will miss you all and think of you often (as we run through the cottage yelling at the tops of our lungs!!).
And, thank you, thank you to my husband, Jeremy. I love you and our family with all that I am each and every day. We do not have much time to call our own lately but you are always on my thoughts and in my heart... I have never doubted for one second that I am the luckiest wife and mommy on the planet being paired with you... thank you for all that you are to me and our children.
I love you. Forever.


Dana said...

That has to be the most amazing thank you I have ever read! I can't even imagine having the time or brain power to accomplish such a feat with 4 babies and 2 kids. You are an incredible person and Mom. So glad ya'll are doing fantastic!
Dana M.

Steven said...

Great to finally see the entire family picture! Also, Lew in the van is Classic. Hope you guys are getting along alright and things aren't too crazy.

damien said...

i have been following your blog for a very long time now . to days blog was excellent so glad all the babies are home safe and sound.

have a great week .
a blogger here in orlando fl

Kara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kara said...

Great post and thank you for sharing your life with "us" in the blog world. I can't imagine how crazy life is with 4 babies. I thought it was crazy with 2, but!!

Keeping you and your family in my prayers.