Wrapping it up

It’s been awhile. Several months have gone by since we’ve “caught up” with a new blog post. We’re ready for the new year, but how can you go forward without a backwards glance? After all, 2020 has been awfully memorable.

A lot has happened to us this year, especially in the last six months. The scariest thing that our family experienced, and still has us scrambling to cope, was a diabetes diagnosis. As luck would have it, our now seven year old son, Nathan, has type one diabetes. T1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. His pancreas does not function as it should and he has to receive multiple daily insulin injections in order for his body to be able to use food for fuel. We were fortunate, and Nathan was diagnosed early. This helped him to avoid a hospital stay at the time of diagnosis. Many newly diagnosed type one kids experience a much scarier diagnosis process than Nathan did. We are grateful he was spared that, especially during COVID times. Nathan is doing well now, and we continue to adjust medications and learn more about how to handle diabetes together.

Because of the type one, life is different for our entire family. In some ways, having a child with T1 diabetes is much like having a newborn again. There is no room for forgetfulness or lack of meal planning. Snacks and insulin supplies go everywhere with us. We’ve also been reminded that sleep is a precious commodity. Night time checks, alarms and adjustments are often necessary. Just this morning, I tried to put an empty pan in the oven in an effort to bake biscuits. Dustin stopped me and asked what I was cooking. I laughed as I looked at the empty pan and blamed it on a lack of sleep. No complaints will be found here, of course. There is only time for commitment and the hope to bring awareness and a cure for this disease. The whole ordeal has really opened my eyes to the medical problems that people all around us deal with, and we never know about. And that is another reason why kindness and love are so important.

During the month of October, we were able to take a wonderful trip to the mountains of Colorado. Our entire family met there to celebrate my grandfather’s 80th birthday. We are a close, loving family and over 30 of us were able to be there to celebrate with him. He hardly seems 80 years old and can climb mountains with his young grandsons. He is such a treasure to our family and I’d have a hard time sharing exactly what he means to all of us. I’d post a photo of him here, but he’d likely not approve and I’m smart enough to know I best respect his wishes. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen him happier than he was while we were all together in those Colorado mountains.

Anyways, we did a lot of hiking and fishing while there. We caught our legal limit of rainbow trout most days and enjoyed gorgeous scenery on the rugged hikes. We had a blast and are still reliving the memories.

Throughout the years, we’ve visited Colorado several times. It will always hold a special place in our hearts. The bright yellow Aspens and the cool mountain air beckon us back time after time.

November found us back on the farm, playing catch up. We decided to keep the farm store closed, due to COVID concerns and our desire to protect Nathan as much as we can while he is adjusting. Our extra time has been used to repair fences and work the cattle. Fall months often provide great weather for sorting and weaning calves for group sales.

The boys are really becoming more helpful all the time. They enjoy the work and we certainly appreciate the extra hands.

When we weren’t working cattle this fall, the boys and I spent a lot of time hiking on the farm and enjoying the fall colors. The extra exercise is helpful in controlling Nathan’s glucose levels. Being outdoors as much as possible makes us all happier people.

December found us looking forward to the holiday season. It was a different holiday this year, as we didn’t gather with family in the way we usually do. We were able to see each other, mostly outside, in order to protect our elderly family members. The kids enjoyed the countdown to Christmas and were glad to see that they hadn’t been gifted coal this year. How could such little hard workers receive coal, anyways?

So, goodbye 2020. It was rough at times but it held plenty of sweet times, too. We are looking forward to what 2021 will bring. Like many of you, we are hopeful for safer, peaceful times.

Happy New Year!

Thanks for reading,
Ashley

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