Things Loved in November

November was an incredibly difficult month in the G&D household, no doubt about it.  Kate’s recovery was more challenging than anyone could have anticipated—“the worst I’ve seen,” her surgeon confessed during a follow-up visit.  And just when our little girl was finally turning a corner and getting back to her usual self…she got the stomach flu. 


Last month pretty much sucked. 

I couldn’t have been happier to turn the calendar page and start getting back to life as usual, but I can’t say goodbye to November without first sharing my love and gratitude for those who helped us through it.  This month’s “Things Loved” post is dedicated to them:

1.  Kate’s surgeon (Dr. Delora Mount), her nurses (Sarah, Carly, and Natasha), and all the staff at the American Family Children’s Hospital who did everything they could to ensure that Kate had the support and care she needed.  I’m brought to tears thinking about their kindness, compassion, and patience.  We are so blessed to have such an amazing resource just minutes from our home, and I am forever indebted to the staff at the Children’s Hospital for the care our daughter received while she was there. 

2.  Our families for their concern and support, and most especially G’s mom “Grandma Pam” (or “GaGa” as Kate calls her) who cleared her schedule to help us care for Kate (and brought me wine).  I say all the time that I don’t know what we’d do without her, and I especially don’t know how we would have gotten through November without her!

3.  I have the most incredible friends.  I really do.  This appreciation goes out to all my “in real life” friends, my “online friends” *cough*Whores*cough*, and to my blog readers.  Thank you so much for all your messages of support, cards, emails, toys for Kate, dinners brought to our home and gift certificates for carry-out meals from our favorite restaurants.  Thank you also to those of you who shared your own similar stories with me.  My inbox is overflowing and I have many replies still to write, but I want you to know that I am so touched by everyone who took the time to drop me a line; thank you so much.  More than anything else, I want to thank you all for your positive thoughts and prayers which impacted me so strongly and profoundly that I will never again in my life question the power of prayer.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for praying for Kate’s health, and for loaning me your strength when I didn’t have any of my own left. 

4.  My job.  That I surprisingly still have.  Even though I needed to take off twice as much time than I had originally planned.  You remember that I told you that I no longer work Mondays, right?  Well now my coworkers and I joke that I no longer work Mondays and Novembers.  Looking at my timesheet for last month I’d say that’s about right.  I feel so blessed to work for an organization that values the family needs of its employees and graciously provided me with the flexibility I needed during this time.

5.  My wonderful husband Greg, who deserves more backrubs than my pudgy little fingers could ever sufficiently give.  I told Kate when she was born that I picked the very best Daddy I could find for her, and nothing proved that more than what we went through together during this time. 

6.  Kate.  Our amazingly strong and incredibly resilient daughter, who experienced a life’s worth of pain over this past month, and yet still managed to smile despite her swollen face.  Greg and I could not possibly be more proud of our precious baby girl!


  1. 1

    So many blessings within so much turmoil! You are amazing to recognize them. Cheers to December! :kiss

  2. 2

    You done got me in all kinds of tears and slobbering. So happy for pretty Kate. Keep on keepin’ on sister.

  3. 3

    Even though it was a hard month you all got through it. Especially Kate so here is looking up towards December and a wonderful new year!

  4. 4
    Anonymous says:

    Aw, I’m in tears. You forgot to thank yourself… for your own strength and courage. You done good mama. XO, Marcia

  5. 5

    What a perfect all things loved post. I hope December brings you blessings!

  6. 6

    I always love your “things loved in” posts, but I have to tell you that this one is special, different, extremely touching, and written by a proud, strong mom…

    I am so glad that everything worked out so well with Kate and that you FOUND THE POWER within yourself to keep at it, especially when times got rough…

    Better roads are ahead, I promise…

  7. 7

    I’m sorry that you had such a rough November. My favorite mantra (will sipping on some vino) is “This too shall pass” and it did! Glad to hear that little Kate is on her road to recovery!

  8. 8

    I agree with Allison. It’s tough to find the positives in such a bad situation but you managed to do it. And the other poster that said you forgot yourself. I don’t know you IRL but I do know that you are a great mommy. Everything you said was really sweet and I hope Kate recovers quickly and ya’ll can move on.

  9. 9

    Ah, sweetie, I’m getting all teary eyed over here. Sweet sweet post. Thank goodness this is over and you guys can try to get back to normal life again. I don’t think I told you this so I’ll tell you here… One day during the 30 Day Giving Challenge in November I set up a monthly donation to The Smile Train in honor of Kate. I know her cleft was different than The Smile Train kids but it I felt good about it anyway. :) Love you and love Kate.

  10. 10

    What a beautiful post! It’s amazing how being surrounded by positivity, prayers, and love can get your through the toughest situations. I pray that your precious Kate is doing much better and that you were able to enjoy Thanksgiving.

    I truly love reading your blog, I say that every time I post (although I don’t post as much as I’d like to…)

    Many, many blessings to you this holiday season!

    Angie from Miami :)

  11. 11

    This brought a tear to my eye and a smile to my heart. Big hugs to you and your family. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2011 (and the rest of 2010.)


  12. 12

    I am a total lurker– and a much older mom (when Kate is a HS senior I will be there for you). Loved this post. There is about a sick child. You are right in that we are SO fortunate to have such excellent care so readily available.

    Have a great holiday season. You deserve it.

    Liz M

  13. 13

    Thank you so much for your comments everyone; they mean so much to me!

    Beth–You never cease to amaze me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making a donation to The Smile Train in honor of Kate. I was in tears when I read that; it was such an incredible thing for you to do. I’m so blessed to have you in my life!

  14. 14

    Your little girl is so cute :) I hope December is wonderful for you!

  15. 15

    On the plus side, December can only get better! Glad to hear that Kate is feeling better. Love your blog!

  16. 16

    When your child is sick, nothing else matters. I can honestly say that because I have been there.

    I have been reading your blog and I can certainly relate. I have just recently decided to start a blog myself.

    Wishing you peace, good health, and happiness this December.

  17. 17

    aw! such a sweet post. as a mother, i’m tearing up thinking of everything that you guys went through. wishing you guys and Kate better health and many blessings in 2011.

  18. 18

    Thank you so much everyone!

  19. 19

    I seriously just wanted to cry while reading this. I mean it is completly amazing how people come together during a time of need. I love the compassion and thought that goes into each and every post. I will continue to keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. Have a wonderful Christmas and may the New Year bring happiness and health to you all.

  20. 20

    Thank you Julie!

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