Jamul, California

September 19–20, 2015

Last night we arrived in Jamul and got to spend a little time with our fabulous friends… until our girls showed us the door so they could have a sleepover. We came back in the morning and had an awesome time full of fun and laughter.

these girls know how to party

While the girls tore the place apart, the parents got some good time together. We got to catch up, enjoy some food and relax. I for one was grateful for the opportunity to exhale.

They knew that ability to breathe was something we needed. See, them opening their beautiful home to us wasn’t the first time this family had been there for us. The mother of those twin mermaid-Jedi-farmers has been friends with Melissa for years (they used to be in a singing group together, but that’s another story).

Her and her sister have taken many beautiful pictures of our family, including the amazing set of beach photos with Atticus. Those were taken right as we learned his cancer had become chemo-resistant and had started growing again.

They captured such beauty and joy. You can see his personality in every shot. But in a matter of days, the disease in his bones was causing him too much pain to even walk. Days after this photo he and I got on a plane (covered by the generosity of a wonderful human) for New York to seek treatment he couldn’t get in Phoenix.

When Melissa joined me in New York, she had to fly 3 kids across the country by herself. This dear friend came to Phoenix and joined her for the trip, helping her wrangle kids and bags from Sky Harbor to the Ronald McDonald House in Manhattan. We are so grateful for this family and the blessing they’ve been in our lives.

This first day set a tone that would follow us through this trip — a tone of deep gratitude.

The next day…

… we had a laid back morning which started with chasing the girls around a park in Chula Vista. Then we went to church with Melissa’s family.

Some of the people there knew our story and wanted to say hello. We distributed a lot of hugs ;-)

That afternoon we grabbed a reduced portion of our things, got the baby boy set up with Melissa’s mother, and headed out for our next stop, one county away.

Our oldest rocked her shuffle… for a while

And her sister held on as long as she could…

But naps were smart. They would need their energy where we were going.

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