All is well here!!!  I do apologize for our tardiness and in advance for the length of this post. I also apologize for grammatical errors and if I ramble as it is a bit late.

We are all doing well - Elijah is doing GREAT and his little sister, Dimitra, is too.  A few things to update on, as it's been awhile, so I will do my best. This post pretty much marks one year since we started this blog and I want to thank those of you who have followed along!

December 16th the kids and I were on the way home from speech therapy, at Children's Hospital, and we were involved in a wild car crash. We were rear-ended and our only car was totaled. We were preparing for our semestrial drive out to California to visit with Vasiliki's family, the following week,  and this trip we couldn't postpone because Elijah's Thio (Uncle in Greek), Pete,  was getting married! The insurance company got right to work and set us up with a brand new rental van! This was a huge step up from the mighty silver bullet - our trusty toyota corolla that had gotten us back and forth for the past 4 years and we were very appreciative! We all got checked out at the Hospital after the wreck. I had a concussion but CT scan showed no bleeding or swelling. My main concern was the kids and they checked out fine so we were ready for the trip!

We had spent a few days in the ER prior to the wreck because Elijah had been falling A LOT. We think its because he is getting more confident with his age and doesn't like to use his walker as much. Elijah's Oncologist wrote for him a  new helmet and we were set for the trip! (Elijah still can't walk unassisted and he still doesn't laugh or cry. These are all things that we are praying will come back).

Christmas was a success! Opened presents and made a birthday cake for Jesus (we know that Dec. 25th isn't really Jesus' birthday but it sure beats some of the pagan rituals that some continue to do on this day).

Left for California on the 27th  and it was a wonderful drive out in a nice new BIG van. The scenery was AMAZING as always. The sun rises and sunsets were incredible and its hard to beat a snow covered New Mexican Desert. Couldn't have asked for a better trip out. The kids did great and we arrived on the 29th. We were all so excited to see the family, friends and to be back in California.

Vasiliki let me spend  New Years Eve with my favorite band on the planet, the Tedeschi Trucks Band, at my favorite venue on the planet, the Warfield!   The history in the Warfield is so thick and sharing New Years with the Tedeschi Trucks band there was unforgettable. The band, as always, treated me as one of their own. Such a great group and so good to see them all again.
It was  such a great show and it was so good catching up with my good friend Oteil Burbridge. Eating dinner with him and his brother Kofi, backstage, is something that I will never forget.  It's always good to see Oteil and It's amazing how rejuvenating it is to see old friends after a long time apart. It had been 6 months since the last time that I had seen him and ironically at that exact same venue. What's the chances of seeing a friend 23oo miles from home, completely unplanned,  twice in the same year? On a side note, please keep his awesome wife, Jess, in your prayers as she is in Rwanda right now as a Field Communications Officer for the  Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International.  You can keep up with her amazing journey on her blog @ http://www.jshousephotojournalism.blogspot.com/. Jess and Oteil were very instrumental to our family during Elijah's time in the hospital and we love and appreciate them very much. Jess makes the best chicken pot pie that I have ever put in my mouth by the way! True story!!!  Good friends really are hard to find but well worth what ever it takes to keep them!

Spent a few days visiting our favorite spots in Monterey,  Pacific Grove and Big Sur. We did a lot of driving! Visited Muir Woods again. This was the first time that we had been to Muir Woods since Elijah's diagnosis. He was just a baby the last time we had been there and it was so neat to go back with him almost 4 years later. The Trees are still Huge. Muir Woods is like Disney to me. It's one of those few places that doesn't get smaller as I get older.

We cut Elijah's hair for the wedding so now he looks like a little man! (you will see in the pictures below)

The wedding rehearsal, dinners,  wedding and reception were absolutely beautiful!!! Elijah was a ring bearer and Dimitra was a flower girl. They did so good for their first time in a wedding. We are super excited for Pete and Helene and wish them a life of health and happiness!

We made it back home safely on the 8th (I think) and we have been house hunting ever since. Please pray that we can find a house soon. It's hard to go from having a home to not.  OH and that van ... it made such an impression on us that Enterprise sold us one just like it!! We are the proud owners of a 2011 dodge grand caravan!  The super cool thing about that is, believe it or not, its 10 dollars cheaper a month than what we were paying on the corolla! YEAH!!!!

Dimitra turned 3 on the 23rd of January so that was super fun and Elijah will be turning 5 on February 25th! I get very emotional just thinking about it all  but I'm just gonna say that birthdays are huge around here and we don't take them for granted!

I got word, on the way back home from the trip,  that a childhood friend of mine had passed away from her battle with cancer. She was an amazing soul and will be deeply missed by many.

We have read of good and bad news from our Children's Hospital family over the last few weeks. This kind of life isn't something that anyone asks for but we consider ourselves family with those that have been affected by cancer. We love and pray for the families that we have met through this journey but we really despise the circumstances around it. Please keep these families, and ours, in your prayers. Please keep all who have been affected by cancer in your prayers.

Thank you so very much for keeping up with us and most of all for your prayers for our son!!!

Just as the last time out, I leave you with a few pictures from the trip.

God Bless You,

gary, Vasiliki, Elijah and Dimitra


12/05/2013 23:13

Thanks for the post to this page


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