This week has been fun packed, but a rough one at the same time. I've only missed one day at the Y and my whole entire body is killing me. And this girl on the left is the one I have to thank.
My cousin Kerri will surely kill me for posting this photo when I have others, but at the moment I can not seem to find a single one.... Love you K!
Julie came into my life through my cousin. Kerri had married Julie's brother. I think the first time I remember seeing her was at Kerri's baby shower - forever ago, before I was married. We knew of each other though Kerri over the years that followed, but didn't actually know each other. We each had our first child around the same time, and just a few months later we were both pregnant again. WITH TWINS. I will never forget the shock in Kerri's voice telling me Julie was having twins too.
Our first real meeting sticks out in my mind because we were at my aunt and uncle's house at a birthday party. She came over to me, bumped my stomach with hers and said something like 'Hey look, our twins are playing together'. I don't think we could have managed to hug each other if we wanted to we were both so big. Though it was still a while longer before we got closer, I remember feeling this instant connection with her. I had 3 boys 18 months apart, she had 3 girls 15 months apart. There wasn't really anyone else who could relate to us having 3 'babies' under the age of two and all the chaos that constantly came with it.
When the twins were still small Julie was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called ALK Negative Anaplastic Large Cell Non Hodgkins Lymphoma. I wanted to include a link but I'm having trouble finding just the right information on it. It is similar to the kind Jon Lester of the Red Sox had (but he was ALK positive which is better). Things were not good.
I'm not going to tell her story for her, but I will tell you that Julie is an incredible fighter and she is hands down the absolute strongest.person.I.know. Without a doubt.
She has had my butt back in the gym working out with her and she is tougher than tough. Our 6 kids play in the childcare center together and we work out. Kettle ball class, an hour of weights the other day, Pilate's today. I told Julie I was cursing her the day after the weights when it hurt to even pee... and today in Pilate's she joked about what this blog post would look like as we made faces at each other and laughed in between the pain. At the time I thought of all the funny ways I would describe how bad that class was - but the reality is that this is so what I have needed. Someone there to kick me into shape. And that's just what she's doing. I am ever so grateful. I find myself complaining about the pain and I realize this is nothing. If Julie can do this after all she has been through, I can do this - and without the whining.
We have a running joke that we will be related someday because her 3 girls will marry my 3 boys, but that's not 100% accurate because one of my boys is going to my girl Lianne's daughter (the one I refer to as my honorary daughter).
What, you haven't heard of Italians that arrange marriages?
At any rate, I am sure at least one of those girls will marry one of my boys (and right now my money is on our 2 middle ones because today they seemed inseparable). And I am so grateful to my cousin for bringing us all together. Julie said she wouldn't read this post for fear of what I would say about our workouts, but I hope she does. I'd like her to know how much she means to me.