Sunday, February 10, 2013
I made it! I made it through my entire three-week training in New York. I made it away from my husband and babies for three whole weeks. I still cannot believe I did it! The first week was the hardest. I cried really hard when I'd talk to Brandon and hear Aubrey's little coos in the background. Hallie would cry on face time, which would make me upset too. The first week was just awful. I absolutely hated it. I was mentally exhausted from all the information being pounded into my brain, and I was emotionally exhausted from missing my babies and the thought of something happening to them while I was across the country. I had visitors on the weekends and that really helped to break up the trip. I am so thankful for such awesome family members and friends. The second two weeks went by so fast! I don't know if it was because I finally got the hang of things, or if I was just so distracted and focused on the training that it went by more quickly. Either way, I'm thankful it did. I even experienced my first snow while I was there, which was really cool. I also felt like Avery Kate was with me every step of the way. I felt closer to her being there, than I have felt in a while. I know she was with me. I also had a few break downs about Avery Kate. It seemed like she was just constantly on my mind the entire time I was at training. And, the strange part is that Hallie started talking about Avery Kate the day I came home. Brandon said she didn't mention her one time while I was gone. I know it's because she was with me, helping me through such a hard time. I'm so lucky to have my own personal angel on my side. As much as I hated being away for so long, I'm actually glad it happened. It forced me out of my comfort zone, and it also brought Brandon closer to girls. Any time I would leave Aubrey in the past, I had this terrible feeling in my stomach. The anxiety I had was sky high, even if I would only be away from her for 30 minutes. So now that I was forced to be away from her for such a long period of time, I'm OK. It's strange how things work out. Now, I can drop Aubrey off at Honey and Pops, and I am totally fine. It feels so good to feel normal when I drop my baby off at her sitter each morning.
While I was at training, I was asked the questions, "So why would you leave teaching?" "You didn't like teaching?" and many similar questions the entire three weeks. I thought I had it all figured out with needing change since Avery Kate passed away. I felt embarrassed or silly for not being OK teaching at that school anymore. I thought something was wrong with me for not being able to go back and teach there. But then I thought about it. Even though our situations are completely different, the children and staff of Sandy Hook Elementary don't want to go back to that building. It's traumatic, and they don't want to constantly have to be reminded of that horrific day, reliving the worst day of their lives. That's exactly how I feel. I absolutely loved my school and the people I worked with. Those people are the ones who helped me through the worst day of my life. They supported me and were there for me when I needed them. They made my days brighter. And still, I can't go back there and feel normal. I can't go back there and not have that awful feeling in my stomach. I know that everything happens for a reason, and this change will be for the best.
After a long three weeks, I finally got to go home to my babies! Hallie was waiting at the airport for me with a huge sign and balloons. She had the biggest smile on her face. I couldn't wait to hug her! She came running to me, "Mom! I missed you sooo m..... You got a new purse??" She doesn't a miss a thing! We left the airport and went to pick up Aubrey. That was honestly one of the hardest things. I was so happy to see her and squeeze her, and I just couldn't help but imagine the feeling I would have if I could see Avery Kate again. I just kept hugging Aubrey and thinking of what I would do if I could hug Avery Kate just one more time. I still get a lump in my throat just thinking about that.
So now I'm home and back to our everyday routines. It's funny how much I've missed making bottles, doing laundry, bathing kids, etc. I just missed being a mommy. I'm so happy to be back home. I've started my job now and I absolutely love it! I'm so glad I took the leap of faith and the step out of my comfort zone. My friend, Elise, shared a quote with me, "Walk by faith, not by sight." I feel like I have lived that quote to the fullest these last few months. I have faith that God will see me through my darkest times, and he has never let me down. Aubrey has truly been my rainbow following the worst storm imaginable. I feel so happy about my life. I have a wonderful husband, amazing children, and a job that makes me happy... But that scares me. The last time I felt that way, my precious Avery Kate was ripped from heart. I'm scared to be happy again. That's where the faith has got to come in. I'm trying, but I'm still scared.
Here is a quote that goes along with this post:
"Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step." -Martin Luther King, Jr.
I don't see the whole staircase, but I'm OK just taking baby steps. As long as I'm moving forward, I know I'm moving in the right direction.
Here are a few pics from the trip: