To be honest, while we missed getting together with people, we slowed down and just enjoyed one another as we settled into our life as five.
As the snow disappeared, we left our cave, ready to rejoin the rest of the world.
Exploring outside was always an adventure! As Cole's awareness awoke, the girls loved sharing their favorite festivities with their brother. Books in the shade, jogs in the park, and dips in the pool with friends and family made for one fantastic summer.
While the air began to cool and the leaves began to crunch, Cole's situation was becoming more mysterious. Once again, doctors advised us to keep his exposure to germs at a minimum. Now that teething was in full swing and everything found its way to Cole's mouth, this would be a challenge in any environment out of our control.
For the second winter we wrapped ourselves inside, armed with Lysol and "magic soap" for decontamination as well as crafts and games to ward away cabin fever.
Luckily, this winter has been a mild one. Bundling up and getting outside during the warm spells has provided us all with a breath of fresh air. The brisk walks keep Cole out of harm's way while giving us one thing we can still all do together as we wait for cold and flu season to subside.
Even though it's been difficult to not always go where we want to go as a family, we've been making the most of the situation. Gwyneth is honing her skills as a card shark and Paige's creativity has been blossoming as she sketches her ideas for The Next Great Baker.
When life begins flashing at the speed of light again, I know I will miss these quiet days. For now, I will cherish the time we have had to grow together, to really stop and just focus on the most important thing in my life, my family. And someday, I hope the kids will laugh when they remember the year mommy was crazy and followed them everywhere with the bottle of Purell.