You know that old saying, "It takes a village to raise a child"? It's definitely true. And in my case, it has also taken a village to get me through this pregnancy.
I am so, so incredibly grateful for all of the dear family and friends that have come alongside us in this journey to Baby #4. What with the bedrest and all the other medical struggles that have come up, we have asked for a lot of help.... and received it generously from a huge number of sources. So even though this baby's arrival is still 6 weeks away and I'm sure that more wonderful angels will bless us before then, I wanted to just take a moment to thank everyone that has kept our family functioning for the last 34 weeks. HUGE "thank yous" to:
* Andrea, Carrie, and Kristen, each of whom willingly drove 1-2 hours with their own kids in tow, to take care of my kids while I sat on the couch (and have even repeatedly offered to do it again!).
* Katrina, Jamie, Amie, and Mary Anne, all part of my "camp family," who have watched my kids and shown them way more fun than I am capable of right now.
* Nana Helen and Grammy Tina, for clearing their schedules to stay with us for multiple days, taking care of the kids, uncomplainingly bunking with Bryn, cooking us meals, and cleaning my house.
* Grandpa Dave and Grandma Diane, for help from a distance.
* Theresa, Lisa, Beth, Sara, Amanda, Mel, and countless others, for passing the word about our babysitting needs and giving us great recommendations. Special thanks to Carrie, who helped us make the connection that let to us finding a summer sitter.
* Lisa, Paige, Danielle, Emily, Meg, Jamie, Samantha, and Liz, for being AMAZING babysitters, loving on my kids, and making life all-around easier for me.
* Larinda, for agreeing to take on our craziness for the summer.
* Amanda, for bringing over an amazing homemade meal. The Camp Tecumseh kitchen staff, for "family style" dining that keeps me from having to cook. Michelle and many others for offers of meals (which I plan to take you up on soon!).
* Katrina, for doing my grocery shopping (and scolding me when I attempt to do it myself).
* Christine and Jeff, for rolling with the punches, listening to my rants, trusting me with their sweet little girl, and fulfilling my "Glee" cravings.
* Andrea and Carrie, for keeping me connected to the outside world, and a myriad of messages that make me laugh out loud.
* Andrea again, for introducing me to my new "Gilmore Girls" obsession, and for keeping me well-stocked with books and reading recommendations to alieviate the boredom. Also Sara and Beth, for generous offers to be my own personal book delivery service.
* Bryn, Shay, and Liam, for being the best kids in the world. For putting up with having to obey someone different every single day (although admittedly, sometimes they do this with more grace than other days), for all the kisses and cuddles, and for still being excited about the baby's arrival, even though it has turned their worlds upside down.
* Ben, for doing double-duty on household chores, cooking, cleaning, and childcare ever since the hideous migraines of my first trimester. For nights when he brings me dinner in bed, for watching cheesy girl movies with me, and for reassuring me that everything is going to be okay.
* The countless friends and family members, both near and far, who have prayed with us and for us, for safety and health for both the baby and me.
We love you, dear friends. Thank you so much for lifting us up these past 34 weeks!