Friday, 3 July 2015

MOTY Recognition

The excitement of the Mother of the Year awards is dying down, and it's hard to go back to normal life, because let's face it - nothing is ever going to be as exciting as this year!  It's not every day you get such a lovely recognition, are in national magazines and on national television, get to hang out with celebrities or hang with the Prime Minister at his home. 

So it's lovely when friends send me pics like this - they spotted me in the Woman's Day magazine at the doctors surgery.   It makes it feels like it's not all over just yet.
 
It's also lovely to have received more letters from politicians in the mail.  Over the last month I have received letters from three politicians including the Premier Will Hodgman who presented me the Tasmanian Mother of the Year award.   I had to laugh when I saw he crossed out 'Mrs King' and changed it to Lisa.  We are obviously on first name basis now! ;)
Before the national awards in Sydney, I was contacted by someone who works for Rosemary Armitage.  She said that Rosemary wanted to do a 'special interest' speech about the award and our family, and asked if I was happy for her to.  I met with them and was interviewed for about an hour, and Rosemary gave the speech after the national awards.  I have no idea about politics, so I had no idea that politicians give speeches about things like this in parliament.  If you click on the picture you can watch the video of Rosemary's speech.
http://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/video/mlc/RA-28-5-2015-LisaKing.mp4
I also received a letter from Andrew Nikolic who spoke in Federal parliament about me! It's overwhelming to receive so much recognition, but it's also lovely to know that my community is proud of how we have dealt with our circumstances. 


It was also lovely to get a special package in the mail from Magdelena Photography with the portraits that she took of Jalen and I, on the morning of the national award.  I love the ones of Jay, but am not keen on the ones of me - not because they're awful photos, but just because I had so much makeup put on and I don't usually wear a lot, so I just look at the photos and don't think it looks like me.  
Someone from our church who writes articles for public affairs, also sent in an article to Mormon Newsroom Australia.  It was published a few weeks ago. You can read it here or by clicking on the picture below.  
http://www.mormonnewsroom.org.au/article/latter-day-saint-woman-named-tasmania-s-mother-of-the-year
We had parent teacher interviews at school this week, and Harri was showing me some of his work books (I feel like I see less of what's the boys are doing at school, now that I'm working at the same school as I don't make the effort to go into their classrooms as much, as I just get into work mode).
This journal entry made me smile so much.  When I came off the stage after the national Mother of the Year award was announced that it was Leanne from Queensland, Harri put his arm around me and said 'you're still the Mother of the Year to me Mum', and that's better than any award :)
It's been nice that the excitement and recognition has spread out over a few months, but unfortunately life has to get back to normal.  Even though it's all over, I know it's always going to be something that will always give us a boost, as we remember how lucky we were to be a part of such a special experience.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

TOFW Presenter!

In 2011 I heard about a women's conference being held in Sydney called 'Time Out For Women'. I didn't know very much about it, except that it was a church thing, but not officially run by our church but a company which is owned by the church (that all makes sense right?!) and that presenters come over from the USA for it. 

My cousin Carli was helping out with it, so I figured if she had something to do with it, it would probably be good and decided to go along with Mum to it.  It was in August and it was just a few months before Noah passed away.  I remember feeling mentally and physically exhausted at the time, and I was so nervous about leaving Aaron at home with the boys for the weekend, but also so excited to have a break and some real 'time out'. 

Mum and I had the best time and Time Out For Women was so much better than I imagined it would be. I expected it to be 'churchy' which it was, but it was so different than I imagined. The speakers were so engaging, and funny and interesting and the music was incredible. It ran the whole day and I thought it would go slowly, but it went way too fast.  It was also awesome to catch up with different friends who were there from all around Australia.  

While I was there I was taking photos, and a lady who was one of the organisers from the USA, came up to me and asked if I could email her some of the photos (because I had a 'good camera').  She wanted to use them on their website and promotional material. When I got home I emailed her the photos and mentioned that I did a blog post about it on my blog.  She read my post and asked if she could share it on the TOFW website, because the Sydney event was the first international event they had really done. 

A couple of months after the event in Sydney in 2011 Noah passed away, and then Aaron.  Because TOFW had posted my blog, they had heard about what happened and had been in touch with me via Facebook and email.  One of the presenters who I loved Laurel Day even wrote about what had happened on her own blog, and had posted a link to the fundraiser with my beautiful friend Naomi had started for us. 

About five months after Aaron passed away TOFW asked me if I would do a guest post for them for their website.  I was used to writing for my own blog, and found that writing was good therapy so I agreed to.  It grew into something much bigger than I ever imagined and I ended up doing 23 posts for them over a period of time! It was great therapy, but also hard work trying to write a post that was good enough, as it was so different to just writing on my own blog where my writing is a lot more casual.  You can read my posts for TOFW here.

I was so excited to hear that TOFW was coming back to Sydney in August 2013, and Mum and I booked to go again and it was so nice that my sister and sister in laws were also able to go to the second event.  Mum, Nicki and I even became 'team members' which meant we helped out on the day with ushering, ticketing etc.  We had a lovely weekend again and I was so excited this time to see some of the organisers and presenters, who I had become friends with through writing for them for so long.  

Over the last couple of years I have gotten to know these ladies a lot more and know about their personal lives, and their families.  It's been fun to get to know each other and when Laurel made a comment on Instagram a couple of months ago for me to email her as she wanted to 'chat' about something, I assumed she wanted me to do a blog post for TOFW again.

I just about fell off my chair when I got her email, and she asked if I was coming to TOFW this year as she said that this year they wanted to have a 'local presenter' and she wanted me to be it! I emailed her back with my heart racing (and not in a good way!) and was freaking out and had so many questions.  Laurel is a busy girl (she is the VP of product at Deseret Book Company- they run TOFW) so she's hard to get hold of at times, so it took a couple of weeks to hear back from her.

We set up a date to Skype as I was anxious to hear more information about what she was hoping for.  It was so fun to talk to her and she told me that there would be a local presenter in both Sydney and New Zealand this year.   We are both giving a very short talk to go along with the topic for this year which is 'Living Proof' (of God's love in our lives etc).

I have been busy with my friend Alison who has put together a video introduction so I don't have to spend my time introducing my 'story'.  She's done such a great job with it and although it's sad because our story is sad, I think it's also beautiful.  I now have to take some time to sit down and write my talk.  I'm actually finding it hard to write because I have so much that I could say, but not enough time. It's hard to work out what the most important things to say are.  I don't think I'll have a decent nights sleep over the next four and a half weeks. 

I'm feeling very overwhelmed and humbled that I would be ask to speak at such a huge event, and am so nervous about it, but I'm grateful that I can share some things that have happened over the last four years or so, because I'm always grateful to talk about my boys in Heaven, and I feel that although it's been the hardest thing we have ever been through, we have also received so many blessings.  

Anyone wanting to register can click on the image below. There's some amazing presenters coming including David Achuleta (runner up on American Idol) who I'm very excited to hear. 
http://tofw.com/events/97

Two Birthdays in Heaven

Yesterday would've been Noah's 14th birthday, and my Dad's 63rd.  I always felt sorry for Dad once Noah was born, because his birthday was kind of forgotten.  He didn't seem to mind at all though, and said he loved sharing his birthday with Noah.  It's still hard to believe that Dad isn't here anymore, and that they were celebrating together in Heaven this year.

I can't imagine Noah being 14 but will always think of him being ten.  On his last birthday on earth he slept the whole day away, and I think we knew that we probably weren't going to have many more birthday with him as we could see that his poor body was very tired, even before he got sick and ended up in ICU.   

I have found that the lead up to anniversaries, birthdays and other celebrations are usually harder than the actual day, but even though Noah's birthday was in my mind for the past month I was feeling okay about it.  For some reason I found my own birthday harder, even though I don't care about my own birthday (unlike Aaron who would decide on presents for his own birthday six months in advance!).   I think my own birthday is hard because even though I don't care about it, Aaron was always here to make sure that a bit of fuss was made, so it's even more obvious that he isn't here.

This year though I was actually feeling okay about Noah's birthday.  I wish more than anything that things were different and that he were still here, but the sadness and grief isn't as overwhelming. 

The lead up wasn't bad at all this time (being very busy helps!) but my beautiful friend Simone dropped in with a card, flowers and a yummy raw cheesecake from my favourite place to eat, on the day before Noah's birthday. She said she always knew the lead up was hard, and wanted to let me know she was thinking of me. I  joked that I felt okay so she should take them back, but happily ate the yummy cheesecake the night before Noah's birthday, and was very grateful for a friend who is always so thoughtful. 

I kept thinking about Mum with it being Dad's first birthday since he passed away, and wondered what she was doing for it, so we organised to meet up at his grave to leave some flowers and have brunch together.  I hate that Dad's grave is a bit of a drive from us, because I would like to visit more often, so it was nice to go there for his birthday. 

Kobe hasn't been feeling very well, so I let him have the day off school, but told him he would have to come with me to meet up with Grandma. He didn't mind at all, and was happy to go to visit Grandpa's grave for his birthday.

Mum and I had a bit of a laugh as Mum was telling us that just after Dad had passed away, she went to the cemetery and sat at a grave and had a big cry,  but she was sitting at the wrong one! Because Dad's grave still doesn't have a plaque, we weren't sure which one was his, and had to go back through my old Instagram photos to make sure we were at the right one. I'm sure Dad was having a little chuckle at us!
Kobe was excited to see Nan and Pop's grave and kept saying 'it has an ANZAC Day thing on it!'. 
We decided to go to the Raspberry Farm for brunch which was delicious.  Kobe was keen for pancakes, but didn't realise that it was going to have raspberry ice cream and raspberries on top. He's used to just plain pancakes with maple syrup and cream.  You should've seen his face when it came out! You would've thought that they had served him up something not worth  mentioning! Talk about fussy! I sacrificed my eating sugar free (it wasn't hard to convince me...it was a birthday after all! :) and polished off his pancakes which were delicious, and he was happy to have plain pancakes, with maple syrup and vanilla ice cream.
After school we picked up some helium balloons and went to the cemetery to release them at Noah's grave. 



Kobe was obviously not feeling too sick, as he did a massive skid across the grass and got grass stains all over his jeans. Boys!
While we were at the raspberry farm, Mum pointed out a lady who used to be one of my favourite teachers in Primary School. She was my teacher in Grade 3, so I went up to her to say hello.  I told her she used to teach me and as soon as I said my name (using my maiden name) she remembered me and was so excited to have a chat. 

I told her I was a teacher and as we were leaving, she ran up to me with a bunch of flowers from her car. She said 'teachers deserve flowers from other teachers', and told me they were from her garden.   Such a lovely thing to say and do! I always remember her as the teacher who always took us outside to work in the garden.   The boys and I took the flowers up to Aaron's grave after school. 
After going to the cemetery Kobe and I went along to watch Harri play basketball (he is the one jumping).  It was nice to be busy, rather than just dwelling on the day.  Jay had organised to go to the movies with a couple of his mates, so we didn't see him again until later in the night.
All week the boys kept asking me what we would be doing for Noah's birthday, as they knew it probably  meant we would get takeaway for tea.  I asked them what they wanted to do and Harri said 'get KFC because Noah loved KFC!'.  I cracked up laughing and said 'yeah he always had it down his feeding tube!' and then Harri came back with 'no - he eats it up in Heaven now!'. 
After Jay got home we had birthday cake.  Harri and Kobe were both a little teary during the day and said they both felt sad, but overall it was a lovely day.  We joked about how Grandpa and Noah would've been partying up in Heaven together and hoped they saw the balloons we sent up. We miss them both very much.


Wednesday, 24 June 2015

The Sporty One

Because of Noah's condition, Aaron and I didn't really encourage the boys to play a lot of sport when they were little.  It was just too hard to commit to much, when we weren't sure how Noah's health or mood would be from day to day.  
 
It's hard not to compare yourself to other families though when you know so many kids play multiple sports during the week, and you wonder whether your kids are missing out by not doing the same thing. 

In saying that, even if Noah wasn't disabled, I'm not sure that I would've encouraged the boys to do too much anyway, because I think that it's also important for kids to just have down time.

When Aaron was still here Jalen played basketball, and Harri started Auskick (which I dragged myself to after Aaron passed away as I hated the early winter mornings) and they both started drama which we were happy about even though it's not a sport, but they've both since given it up.

Harri is definitely the sporty one in our family, and would play a sport every night of the week if I let him (and could afford it!) .  He's one of those kids where it just come naturally to him. 

Harri is so happy this year as I've finally started to do feel like I can cope with taking more on, which means he gets to play more sport.   Before now I haven't been discouraging the boys, but also haven't been encouraging them to do much after school and on the weekends.  I found that just starting back teaching was enough for a little bit, and I don't think I could've coped if I was running around every night after school as well.

Last year Harri started playing basketball at the YMCA with a few friends from school.  It was very casual and even though it was his first year playing, he picked it up very quickly and soon felt like he wanted to move on from there.  This year he is loving playing club basketball with 7 of his friends from school.  
One of the boy's Dad coaches the team and does such a great job with the boys. They all love him, and I love watching him interact with Harri.  It means so much when men treat my boys so well, now that Aaron isn't here. 
Harri kept begging me to play soccer during the summer holidays, and I knew that it was a winter sport and wasn't at all keen to be standing out in the cold and rain on a Saturday, like it was with Auskick. I actually thought that he would forget about it and would stop asking, but just before the soccer season started, he asked if I had enrolled him to play yet.  I kept forgetting to do it, but when he asked me for (almost) the hundredth time I got onto it. 

He joined a local club team and didn't know any of the kids on his team when he started, but it has been so nice to watch him make friends so easily and quickly with the boys on his team.  He loves training and playing once a week, and loves his coach. 


Our school recently had their cross country, and Harri usually does pretty well in it, but he was surprised that he came third this year (better than he usually does).  I told him it must be because he's getting fitter with all the sport he's been playing. 
He was excited to represent his school in the LSSSA (inter school cross country) and it was nice that he got to see his cousin Jai there, who was running for his school in a different race. 
Harri said he wanted to come 9th or better, because that's what he usually came, so he was very surprised and happy (and so was I!) when he came 4th!
One of the teachers made a comment to him to imagine how well he would go if he actually did some training, and that inspired him to give the Parkrun a go the next weekend with Jai, as he and his family do it every couple of weeks. 
They both did really well, and Harri is keen to keep running regularly, in between playing basketball and soccer (if he can fit it in). 
It's been nice to see Harri so happy doing the things he loves, and I'm surprised that I don't actually dread going to watch him play soccer on a cold Saturday morning. It's worth standing in the cold, wind and rain to see him so happy. 

Thursday, 18 June 2015

41

June is a big month for birthdays in our family.  Yesterday it was my turn and I turned 41.  I didn't dread my birthday coming up at all, and I don't care at all that I'm 41, but the day before my birthday grief hit all over again, and I realised it was going to be a harder day than I imagined.

The day before my birthday Aaron's Dad and step Mum came to visit to drop off something for my birthday.  While they were here Kobe started to look sad. I asked him what was wrong and his lip started quivering and he said that they didn't have any presents for me. I told him that it was okay as I didn't want any presents, but he got very upset and said he wanted to go and get me something.

After they left I yelled out to the boys to get ready as we were going out, so they could get me something (with my money!).  The next thing I hear is a groan, and I yelled out to ask who was groaning (actually thinking it was Harri!) but Jay told me it was Kobe. I asked Kobe what was wrong, and he was that he couldn't be bothered to go out now!

I actually felt a little hurt, and tried to be mature about even though he's only 7 and told to not worry about it then, and that we wouldn't go out.  I really didn't want any presents, and birthdays aren't a big deal to me, so I was actually quite happy to stay at home, instead of going out in the cold and dark.

A few minutes later he came to me crying saying 'just tell me Mum! Do you want a present or not!?'.  I told him I didn't want a present, but if he wanted to buy me a present then that would be nice.  He was so worked up about it and kept repeating over and over 'I want to get you one, but I just don't know if you want one!'.  I guess for a 7 year old it's very confusing as you know how exciting it is when it's your birthday, so to hear from an adult that they don't want a present just doesn't make sense.   I could tell that he really wanted me to wake up on my birthday to a present, so he decided that we were going out to get one.

It touched me that he wanted to do something for me (especially when Harri and Jay didn't even mention anything about wanting to get me something) but then after we kept talking about whether or not I wanted one, it hit me how crappy things still are.  I wished Aaron was here to just sort it all out, instead of us being in tears about it.

Usually when I wake Kobe up he just groans at me, but yesterday I woke him up and he straight away said 'happy birthday Mum!' which was so sweet.  Jalen said happy birthday later in the morning and then as Jay gave the boys my presents to give to me, Harri suddenly remembered and said 'oh is it your birthday Mum! I forgot!' which didn't really start the day out well.   I just keep reminding myself that they are just kids (and boys for that matter!) and that kids can be very selfish and it's hard for them to think outside of their own little world sometimes, but I have to admit that I felt sad that the boys (other than Kobe) didn't think of doing anything themselves. 

The nagging 'mother of the year' came out in me (definitely NOT mother of the year material!) and I later told the boys how sometimes they should think of others more, and that it's hard every day for me and just a nice little card or note, would've made my day more than anything. I didn't want them to feel bad, but I think that sometimes they need to be reminded of certain things. 

Celebrations and holidays are harder days than usual, and because I don't get excited about my own birthday I didn't expect it to be a hard day.  But I went to school on the verge of tears, and just wished the day was over already. 

Thank goodness Kobe was excited about it, because he made me smile all day.  Before the bell went, two of his cute friends came into my office to wish me happy birthday.   They said Kobe had told them it was my birthday and it was so cute that they wanted to come and wish me happy birthday.  Apparently he had been telling his class for days!

After a few tears in the morning with a lovely colleague of mine, I got busy at work and the day got better as it went on.  My EAL students don't celebrate birthdays because it's not a part of their culture (but they aren't against celebrating birthdays) and when they arrived in Australia they didn't even know the months or when their birthdays were.  We have been doing a lot of work on it and they have all their birth dates listed in the room that we work in.   They are always asking me how many more days it is until their birthdays, and when it is their birthday I have gotten them something little and we always have cake.

Just a couple of weeks ago they asked me when my birthday was. I told them and then they asked me why my birthday wasn't up on the wall with theirs. I told them that I didn't need my birth date up there as well, but they disagreed so one of the boys wrote it up for me.

Yesterday the older girl that I teach said 'happy birthday Mrs King!' as she put her arm around me and then said 'I don't have anything for you sorry'.  I smiled and told her I didn't expect her to get anything, but thanked her for saying happy birthday.  Then her brother said later in the afternoon 'when is your birthday Mrs King!?' (as they knew it was coming up) and I said 'today!'' and then he looked confused and said 'why we not doing anything!?' as I think he was hoping we could share some cake!

After work I came home and decided that I was going to have a massage.  There have been some Chinese massage places open up recently and it's just a little bit too convenient to walk in and have a quick massage without an appointment.  I think I need another job to keep up the habit as I've been way too many times already!   It was so nice to just sit down for a bit and relax. 

The boys and I then went out for tea at our old faithful - Hogs Breath Cafe.  When we were given VIP cards when it first opened up in Launceston, so we often choose to go there for birthdays.  The best thing is when it's your birthday month you get a free meal, so Kobe and I both got to have a free meal last night! 
Just as we were leaving, one of Kobe's friends came in with his family.  We hadn't met his parents before, but knew that his Mum follows me on Instagram as we have commented back and forth to each other before.  I went to say hi and to meet them, and we had a little chat before leaving. 

When we got to the counter to pay the bill, we were told that someone had already paid it!  We were so shocked and asked who (as I hadn't really told anyone we were going there) and they told me that the family of Kobe's friend had paid for it! We couldn't believe how kind people are. There are so many beautiful people in the world. It was a nice way to finish off a hard day.
It was lovely to get lots of texts, calls and messages throughout the day which made the day a bit better and it was also lovely to get some beautiful flowers delivered to my door from some 'anonymous friends'.   I also had people sending me photos of double rainbows that were in Hobart and also Sydney yesterday, because it made them think of Aaron and Noah.   I'm missing them so much right now.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Did I Know?

There were many times when we were driving in our old van as a family, that I would look back and see this in the rear view mirror.  Sometimes the boys would all be awake and would be chatting away, and other times they would fall asleep as we would drive to my Mum and Dad's house or would be going somewhere as a family. 
I remember having feelings at the time that 'life isn't going to get any better than this'.  It made me want to treasure those days even more than I already did.   When I had those feelings I thought it was because I knew Noah wouldn't always be with us, and I knew that one day the boys would be older and Aaron and I would no longer be the most important people in their lives.    

I always wondered what it would be like after he passed away, and knew that it was these little moments that would mean the most.  I knew that Noah wouldn't always be with us, but I had no idea that Aaron wouldn't either. 

Now when I think about it I wonder if I was being prepared to know that my life was going to change forever, just a couple of years later.   I would often get an overwhelming feeling that this is the best that life is going to be...RIGHT NOW.  

Because of the feelings I had, I never took these little moments for granted.   What I would give now to look back in my rear vision mirror to see this, and to have Aaron sitting in the passenger seat next to me.   

Saturday, 6 June 2015

My baby turns 7

Kobe's birthday always seems to creep up on us. We know it's in June, but it's right at the beginning of June, so I start panicking in the last week of May when I realise that it's only a week or two away. 

Kobe has been counting down the days till his birthday for about a month and a half.  He kept saying 'I can't believe I'm almost seven!' and either can we. It makes me sad when I think that he was only three and a half years old when his Dad died and he had already lost his brother.  It's too much for a little boy to have experienced in such a short time.  But I'm so grateful that I had those feelings to have another baby, even though having another baby was the last thing I wanted.
He has made the last three and a half so much easier for all of us.  Some days we want to strangle him, but he keeps us laughing all the time and it's just what we have needed. How cute was he on the day of Aaron's funeral?
As lovely as it was to be awarded the title of 'Mother of the Year' I am definitely not the best Mum ever as poor Kobe has never had a birthday party with friends. He's had birthdays with family, but when Noah and then Aaron passed away it was all just too hard, and I've learned to cope just by doing what I know I can handle.

Parties are not my thing and I hate having to stress about it all - who to invite, the food, the cake, what to do, the cost, and how to keep them entertained.  I also think that kids don't really need to have a birthday party every year, so I'd been putting off having a big party for Kobe as long as possible. 

Last year I promised Kobe that he could have a birthday party when he turned 7, so he has been so excited about it.   When I woke him up on his birthday he straight away said 'yes! The day of my first birthday party ever!'.  Talk about a way to make me feel even worse! ;)  It was nice that he was so excited about it.  He jumped out of bed so fast and couldn't wait to open his presents.  

He requested pancakes for breakfast but I convinced him that choosing a special cereal that he doesn't usually get to have would be easier before school (see definitely not Mother of the Year!) so he was happy with Cocoa Pops.

It was nice that his birthday fell on my day off work, as it meant I could meet his class for their excursion to the museum.  He was so happy that I could come along.

The grade 1 classes have been learning about the Tasmanian Tiger and I had already supported two of my EAL students on the same excursion this week, so if you want to know anything about the Tassie Tiger I'm now an expert!
I don't dread birthdays and celebrations as much as I used to but it's hard not to feel sad on birthdays and anniversaries, because you just wish everyone was here for these extra special days. 

I haven't been to the cemetery for a while - probably a couple of months, which is pretty amazing considering there was a time where I would go once a day.  All day I just kept thinking about Aaron and how much I wished he was here.  I kept getting thoughts to go to the cemetery, but I was busy all day - first of all watching Harri at music competitions, then going on Kobe's excursion and getting ready for the party.  But the next thing I knew I was driving into the cemetery.  I think I just really wanted to feel Aaron close that day and I just wanted to spend some time sitting at his grave.

I couldn't stop thinking about how excited Aaron was the day that Kobe was born.  He only ever wrote one post on my blog and it was the day that Kobe was born.  He was just so happy and proud, and I sat at his grave and read the post he wrote, and laughed to myself about the funny things he wrote.  I  miss that funny man so much.

After I sat for a while at Aaron's grave, I went to visit Noah's and it was lovely but also sad to see Mia's Mum and siblings at her grave with balloons.  Mia passed away two years ago on Kobe's birthday, and her Mum and I had a huge hug and talked about how crazy it is that we are meeting at the cemetery. 
Kobe couldn't wait to get home from school so we could get going to his party.  I thought for a second about having a party at home, but decided I would rather pay the extra to have the kids entertained somewhere else.   He really wanted to go to Airtime 360 which is an indoor trampoline place, but it wasn't open late after school. I tried to convince him to have his party on the weekend, but he desperately wanted to have it on the day of his birthday, so we ended up having it at laser tag. 

Kobe invited six of his friends from school, and some friends from church and their siblings.  He loved running around with his friends, playing laser tag.


He was very spoiled with some lovely presents from everyone - again lots of footy things. 
The lovely cupcake fairy has been so kind in making us birthday cakes each year since Aaron passed away, and I don't at all expect her to keep doing it for us.  She has been unwell and is taking time off at the moment, and sent Kobe a birthday message apologising for not being able to make his cake this year. I told her I don't expect her to, and was glad that Kobe was happy with an ice cream cake again this year, because having to make a cake would've stressed me out big time.  Aaron was the one who usually made or at least decorated the boy's cakes. 
He had a lovely birthday and it was nice to see him have so much fun with his friends.  When I put him to bed that night though he started crying and said how much he was missing Daddy.  I'm not sure how much he can remember about Aaron after three and a half years, but there's no doubt that he knows how hard it is to not have your Dad here, especially on special days like your birthday. 

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