About Me

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After being told I would never be able to have children, I am now a stay-at-home Mommy to Maddie who happens to have Down Syndrome. I've been married 16 years to my best friend, having the time of my life. Thanks for stopping by and sharing in our little journey through life.

Friday, December 28, 2012

A Wonderful Christmas!

This year I was more ready than ever to relax and be surrounded by family for Christmas!
We began our visit with seeing the lights at Crystal Christmas.

Maddie really enjoyed the train ride!
waving bye to Grammie...

Sunday morning, Maddie wore her brand new hat that a certain Santa made for her!! : )  

When Maddie opened her Christmas gifts, she especially liked her Finding Nemo DVD. 
She gave us her best fish face!! : )

And then we enjoyed a white Christmas!!

Hope you guys had a great Christmas
and a
Happy New Year too!!

Friday, December 21, 2012


Monday morning I found out I was pregnant.

Wednesday morning I found myself in the ER, having had a miscarriage. 

We knew it was always a possibility having both risk factors of an ectopic pregnancy or a trisomy 13 pregnancy. 

I'm still processing the week, and I'm discovering two things that help me deal with loss. 

1) I'm not sure if this is the most healthy thing to do, but it seems to help me. I give myself permission to cry as much as I want but only for a certain time frame.  I cried a lot on Wednesday and felt it was time to move on yesterday. 

Our preacher gave a sermon on loss a few weeks ago. 
We read from the 2 Samual 12 when David loses his son to an illness.
While his son was sick, David wept, fasted, and pleaded with God to save him.
Once his son had died, David washed up, ate, and worshiped God.

2) The other thing that I know has helped more than anything else is to focus on gratitude.

I am so grateful for those two wonderful days of knowing I was pregnant.  I swear I had an extra bounce in my step and I just couldn't stop smiling the entire time. 
These are days I will look back and always treasure and remember.

I am so grateful that this came sooner rather than later. 
I think it was God's gracious mercy on us. 

I am so very grateful to have Maddie. 
She had all of these same odds stacked against her and yet here she is!!

I'm grateful to have yet another perspective on what a miracle life is.

I am so grateful I will one day see our baby in heaven.
A wise, dear friend of mine suggested we name him.
Even though the pregnancy was early, I believe life begins at conception.
We have decided to name him Asa.
It means Healer in Hebrew.
We know he is completely healed and in the arms of Jesus.

OK, so maybe a few more tears and then I'll be done.  : )  

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gracie Has a Tumor

Poor Gracie is at the Vet today getting her tumor removed. 

We will know more once we get lab results back.
They will check to see if it's cancerous, and if it is if they got it all and what type of cancer it is. 
Hoping she's OK.   


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Maddie's First Conversation

I realized last week I've taken communication for granted when Maddie and I had our first real conversation!
We were walking to the park.  
Maddie was in her stroller.
As we turned the corner, and she realized we were going to the park this was our conversation...

Maddie: (squealing with delight) YAY!!  Slide, yay!
Me:  Yeah, the slide?  Is that what you're most excited about?
Maddie:  Kank-ooo (thank-you) momma!!

She's always been able to communication, whether it was non-verbal, using signs/gestures, and a few words here and there.
But this...
was a REAL back-and-forth conversation!!!

It's so exciting : )  

She's accomplishing so much.
I can only imagine what things she will accomplish next year. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Advent Activities

Amazingly, I had my stuff together this year and we have been doing advent activities with Maddie each day.  
I bought the Truth in the Tinsel e-book this year and it is absolutely perfect for us. 
Each day there is a scripture to read and an ornament to make all of which takes maybe 30 minutes at the most.  
If you don't think you can do an ornament a day, she has the highlights to focus on (love that this mom gets it!)
What I love most about it is the fact that 
1) it's geared for younger children
2) the focus is on Jesus and not Santa Claus
Maddie may not completely understand everything but it's still on her level and I think she's picking up lots of bits and pieces!  

So, first we set up our advent stockings...

I made these a couple of years ago using Martha Stewart's pattern.

Then, each night Maddie pulls out the topic for the night hidden in the stocking.
We read a scripture and then make an ornament. 

Day 1:  Jesus is the Light

Day 2:  Jesus is King
So, this night we read the scripture, but I was too tired to get everything set up for a craft.  That's the great thing about this...you can do as much or as little!!

Day 3:  The Story of Zechariah
haha...this one makes me laugh it's just so darn cute!
Because he was unable to talk until John was born, you use one bubble from the bubble packing sheet for his mouth.  
So Clever!

I don't know who's having more fun...me or Maddie! : )  

The other thing we are doing is reading a book before bedtime.
I've wrapped all of our Christmas books with a number and each night Maddie gets to open the present and we read the book right before bedtime.  
Clean Mama Printables offers the advent tags free on her blog!!
I first read about this on Counting Coconuts blog a couple of years ago.
Despite my best efforts in collecting 25 different Christmas books, I am still a few short.
So, I guess I'll re-wrap some favorites and use them again!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

What We've Been Up To

Christmas-time is so exciting!!  
We started the season off a little rough though.
Maddie got sick over Thanksgiving break and is slowly but surely getting better.   
Friday she went in for her 4 year well check-up (a little late, I know)
She had to endure 3 shots and then the poor thing had to go to the lab to get blood drawn.  
We have to check her thyroid every year, so this was our annual visit.  
She did pretty well with the shots.  
I tried to prepare her ahead of time, so I told her it was going to hurt, but it wouldn't last too long and thinking about it hurting is usually a lot worse than the real thing.  
After the first poke she said, "Hey!" 
And then she squirmed and fought a little through the next two, but she never cried!

That was good, but I was dreading getting the blood drawn.  
It's never pleasant.
We had a long wait in the waiting room, but thanks to the ipad, she and I practiced recognizing letters using this app.  
(yay for free educational apps!)

Then it was time to get it over with.
Two different lab techs looked at both of her arms and then decided on the left one.
They stuck her with the needle and she fought them, moving the needle and missing the vein.
They bandaged her up and we had one more chance with the right arm. 

This time we all held on a little tighter.
They successfully got the needle into the vein and then we had to wait what seemed like forever to get enough blood for the test!!

We got it, and amazingly Maddie NEVER CRIED!!
She's the toughest little thing I've ever seen.
So brave!!

Now that all that is over with and she's feeling better we are ready to enjoy the Christmas season.
I'll share tomorrow a couple of fun advent activities we've began.  : )