Thursday, May 26, 2011

Seeing the Promise

Remember this post? Well, the other day Emma spotted this in the sky, and I'm not sure if I was more captivated by its beauty or the fact that He allowed her to see it before any of the 100 other people at the park. She spread the word, and we all stood in awe.


Yes, this photo is real, and, yes, I actually took it. But, honestly, I just clicked. The beauty...well, that's God's doing people.


(Linking up to You Capture: Pretty today.)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011



Today, as we played outside, she disappeared inside for a while. Just when I was about to worry, she reappeared with three cups of water in hand and the proudest smile on her face. "I got us all water," she said, glowing.

The other day, at 4pm, she asked to take a shower all by herself. At 4pm. It was important to her. I could tell. So I helped her get her stuff together, gave her a quick tutorial on how to wash her hair, and closed the door.

On Friday, she graduated from Kindergarten. My baby graduated from Kindergarten. I bought her a cross necklace as a small gift, and I was so afraid she wasn't going to like it. It was just so simple. No sparkles, no frills, no pink.

She told me she loved it. And I know she meant it.

I don't write about her much because I'm not sure it's my place anymore. She's been growing (up) so much lately. She feels so deeply and yet lives so freely...she's complicated and words just won't do her justice. She is truly the big sister, and I am convinced she is a big reason why God decided we were special enough to be blessed with Brooklyn.

I am so very proud of my baby. My first. Her Faith inspires me, her passion challenges me, and her smile reminds me of why this Mommy thing is the best thing I ever did.

I love you, Emma Kay. I see you reaching, stretching, finding your wings. And as much as my heart is aching, it is also beaming with pride and waiting to embrace you whenever you need catching.


Saturday, May 14, 2011



So I realize that I haven’t been very good about updating all of you on how Brooklyn is doing physically. It hasn’t been on purpose. Most of the time, I’m just too tired to type it all out, and sometimes…well, I just don’t want to. Or, rather, I’m not ready to. But after seeing all the wonderful comments about the photos I posted a few weeks ago with Brooklyn sucking on her toes, I feel I at least owe you a quick explanation of how our little Rockstar is doing.

She has been a busy girl the last few months. She has physical therapy once a week for her gross motor skills and occupational therapy once a week for her gross and fine motor skills. She is delayed a tad on both, but that is to be expected since she is still building up her core strength. Her casts and her head size put her at a disadvantage from the start, and because she is missing leg mass (muscles), her center of gravity is off. Needless to say, she is working hard to catch up.

She can roll over from belly to back, but when it comes time for back to belly, she struggles. She tries so hard to do it, but her legs get stuck and she needs a little help getting them out of the way.

She is definitely kicking and can bend her legs at the knee, although both take some effort. It’s pretty clear that she doesn’t have any feeling in her feet or toes, but that doesn’t keep us from tickling, rubbing, and praying over them every chance we get. We’re not sure if she has any feeling between her ankles and her knees, but she definitely has feeling in her quads, as evidenced by her giggle every time they get tickled during a diaper change. According to our physical therapist, quads are all that she needs to walk.

She is THISclose to sitting all by herself, and I am so proud of how far she has come in just a few months. She no longer cries through her therapy sessions and is happily interacting with toys and her therapists. She still, however, hates tummy time, but she is starting to tolerate that more and more.


We have done some weight-bearing leg exercises, but because she lacks feeling in her feet, she doesn’t quite understand that she can support her body with her legs. So we are going to have to teach her legs what to do—and that will take time.

She will also need to have surgery in the next two months since her first foot surgery didn’t take, so she will be back in casts right around her first birthday. A bummer for sure, but the good news is that once she is out of the casts, she goes right into a stander, which gives us a huge incentive to get her feet where they need to be.

I have to admit, watching her work isn’t always easy. I know what my other girls were doing at this age – Kendall was practically walking – and I am trying hard not to go there. There is just so much that I took for granted. And then, of course, I see other babies her age crawling around and standing, and we aren’t anywhere near that.

I’m not going to sugar-coat it…all of that hurts. Up until now, the differences have been minimal. Brooklyn has been just like any other happy, kicking baby. But now…now the things we feared the most are starting to surface and, well, that can take its toll on a mama’s heart. Honestly, it has been taking a bit of a toll on all of our hearts.

But as I am learning, this is all part of the process of acceptance. I am learning it is okay to hurt and not be Miss Positive all the time because if I am really going to work through this in a healthy way, I’m going to have to admit that I do get sad. I do get frustrated. And I do get disappointed.

In many ways, I feel like we are climbing a mountain. Sometimes we are full speed ahead with our eyes on the prize, while other times we are exhausted, trying to find our way around a bump, or just need a break. All of that is part of the journey.

At this week’s physical therapy session, our therapist did something new. She propped Brooklyn’s arms up against a chair as she held her legs straight, and it looked like she was standing on her own. And in that moment, I got to experience a new part of the journey—the mountaintop.

I can’t tell you what an awesome feeling it was to get a glimpse into Brooklyn’s future. My heart felt like it was literally going to burst. I was so proud I could barely contain myself—and she wasn’t even really standing by herself.

Not yet, that is.

This journey is rough and I know it will be long, but I now know that it will be those mountaintop moments that will make every rough patch, every bump, every stumble more than worth it. As a man I respected very much used to say, “Onward and Upward!”


Sunday, May 08, 2011

Monday, May 02, 2011

To Not Forget

Confession time...

My girls do not have baby books. Well, Emma has one, but I think I spent one day filling it out when she was like 1 month old, and Kendall's is totally empty and downstairs in the basement near the wrapping paper. (I think.)

And, well, poor Brooklyn didn't stand a chance.

That was truly why I started this blog way back in 2005. I didn't start it to become some celebrity blogger or get all sorts of free stuff (which is a good thing cuz none of those things even came close to happening); I started it because it was an online stat keeper, memory logger, and photo holder. But then I had Kendall and I realized that as much as I loved writing about my girls for fun, I couldn't do it if it meant sacrificing the time I had with them.

Now I could get all noble and say that I purposely decided that experiencing life with my kids was more important than blogging about it, but really, the decision was more along the lines of I'm-totally-overwhelmed-with-this-mommy-thing-and-I-can't-take-on-one-more-task-without-losing-my-mind.

But I'm starting to forget stuff. I can feel the little nuggets of cuteness, the stories -- their stories -- slipping away, and it scares me. Somewhere in the midst of "getting through the day," they went from my babies to little ladies that are starting school, losing teeth, and spouting the word, "whatever." And it's not so much the milestones I'm afraid of missing, it's what is sandwiched between the milestones. Those little moments that define them much more than any milestone ever will. Those moments that I know I will miss. Heck, I already miss them.

So, here is a list of random things I don't want to forget. Things I remembered today and hope I will always remember, but just in case I don't, I'll have this nice little list as a reference. Maybe I'll do this regularly - since these are clearly very short lists of the majorly cute things my girls do (a-hem!) - but I'm not making any promises. I like to keep you guys on your toes after all. (Translation: I never can seem to follow any sort of blogging schedule.)

So without further a-do, a random list of Forget-These-Not:

  • The way she used to say "applepines" instead of "pineapples" (still not sure how she found out the correct word...)
  • The way she narrates when she plays with any sort of figurines or Barbies ("Wait, Ken, wait," she said, as she ran down the stairs.)
  • That she read me an entire Fancy Nancy book at the age of 5 (and continues to blow me away every day)
  • That she prayed for Brooklyn literally every day until she was born
  • She lost her first tooth on April 25, 2011...when she should have been sleeping but instead was informing me that she and her sister were in fact not sleeping but were playing and she thought I should know
  • The way she wraps her blankie around her head like a babushka every night before bed.

  • That she says "berry" instead of "very" (Our berry own Strawberry Shortcake.)
  • She calls leprechauns "leppermens" (and will never be corrected by me...)
  • Her opposing desires for all things action-packed and beautiful (i.e., she wants to either be a pirate or a ballerina for Halloween; would like her birthday theme to be cars; and wants Barbies and a pink or purple Power Ranger -- the one with the dragon -- for Christmas)
  • How she needs to give me "a hug, a kiss, and a mah" before bed (which is followed by a few dozen "Let me tell you somefings")
  • That she reminds us to do the prayer bucket every day and loves to pray for other people (especially "the people in Japan")
  • The way she brought down the house at her Christmas program this year (The girl has moves!)

  • The wide goofy grin she gives me as soon as she's done nursing
  • The way she grips my "Mom" necklace like it's her lifeline
  • The giggly cry that tells me I must hold her N-O-W!!
  • The way she lights up when she sees her Daddy or her sisters
  • Her pink blanket that is now her trademark at Children's Memorial (Just ask any nurse...)
  • That it only takes that very blankie, a few snuggles, and the chorus of "Here I Am to Worship" to get those eyes ready for dreamland