Christine and I have spent the last 16 years together learning to love each other, and while we have had some great examples including the Holy Family, we have had varying degrees of success. One of the excuses we allowed ourselves for not getting it “right” all of the time was that things weren’t normal. Either we were pregnant or had a newborn, or were starting to feed one of the kids solid food, or we were pregnant, or had a newborn, or were…….you get the picture. Amazingly enough, in 16 years of loving Christine after a lifetime of searching for her, and 12 years of marriage, we have yet to have a routine or normal anything. It seems as if no two weeks are ever the same, there has always been a wrinkle. This summer, we were all set, no pregnancy, no newborn, no one learning to eat, no moving (4 moves and 6 houses in 12 years including 2 houses we never even moved in to). This was to be the first normal summer we had ever had as a couple. I pray that this does not become the norm.

What Christine and I desired in this search for normalcy was consistency, because in consistency, we could control things better, we could plan better. We could in effect rely more on our ability to predict what tomorrow would bring and be prepared for it. None of that is bad, being prepared is a good thing, just ask the Boy Scouts, planning is a good thing, just ask E.F. Hutton, and consistency is a good thing, it is essential when raising children. But taken to the extreme, this reliance on our own abilities and planning skills can have a deleterious effect on our reliance on God. Rick Warren talks about self-reliance taken to the extreme as EGO or Edging God Out. When we start to believe that we can do it ourselves, that is when we are in trouble.

This summer, despite our best laid plans has not been normal, it has not been routine. What it has been over everything else is humbling. I have never needed or accepted so much from so many in my life. We could not have accomplished all that we have so far without all of you. Catie will be coming home soon because of all you have done and the support you have provided, thank you. Last night, the kids and I went to an end of summer party hosted by the Somervilles. Lisa stopped the party and we all gathered together as she led us in a prayer for Catie, it was beautiful and touching, thank you. Wednesday, the kids head to New Jersey for 11 days with Mom-Mom and Da. While they are there, both Maggie and Max will have an opportunity to visit Catie and Christine, Maggie with Aunt KC, and Max with me. It also gives Megan an opportunity to turn her talents to running the Catie Fund with the help of the new computer at the house, (thank you Joe and Carrie). Megan can be reached at

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.  She will be coordinating local assistance that you have offered and will be reaching out to those who have volunteered.  When we get back on the 24th, we will do the quick transition as school begins on the 25th; another normal summer gone away.

So here’s a prayer that I need to pray more often. Stop looking for the normal or the routine as an opportunity to get more efficient. Our tomorrows are not meant to be cut and paste versions of today. Tomorrows are gifts to be cherished and experienced as and for the unique experiences they were created to be. I need to make the most of them. Thank you Catie for teaching your dad a valuable lesson by the way you embrace each new day. And thank you Christine for living vicariously through the experiences of a 7 year old and then telling me about it. No more radiation to the brain, what a milestone, thank you all who have been a part of this journey, we could not have made it this far without you and need you to help us finish it out. And thank you God for giving me a situation where there is no doubt that I need You.

May you all have a restful night and may you be at peace with those you love before your head hits the pillow.

Love and God bless,

Christine, Kevin, Maggie, Max, Catie, Mia, Molly, and M.E.

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