Friday, November 26, 2010

A Year and Half of Heaven-Sent Happiness

Who knew 18 months could be so handsome?
Or curious..
Or thoughtful...
Or funny...
Or silly...
Or super wonderful!
18 months has brought the words "aptitude" and "attitude" to new levels. :) Jet is surprising us everyday with what he knows and can do - taking steps and getting so strong and independent. And with that independence has come a brand new feistiness that neither of us have ever seen before! lol. Jet is all about what Jet wants to do and when and how he wants to do it. He's still as sweet and cuddly as pie - but instead of a sweet peach pie he's more of an apple tart! He's learning what is okay and NOT okay to do though and we're staying on our toes trying to teach and guide this little elf into getting presents instead of coal in his stocking. ;) But he has never been more loved, adored and cherished as he is now and we are so grateful for this little boy.
Happy Half-Birthday little man!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

So Thankful

You know you've been busy...
When your son takes his FIRST STEPS 4 days ago and you haven't sat down to blog about it!!!
I mean, what is going on here?! Can any of you believe it!? I am usually creating reasons to blog and now I have a HUGE one and I can't sit down at the computer!
Until now...
So yes.
Our little boy took 3 and 4 steps at a time several times this past Saturday!
Did we know it was coming? NO!
But did I have the camera ready? YES! lol.
Well technically this is a reenactment - but I did get video on my phone of the actually first stepping moments.
Sweet little miracle steps.
You know, we experience so many feelings as parents. Joy, anticipation, fear, love, sadness, gratitude - but all these are never so acute or ever-changing as those I've seen in those families who have special journeys - like ours - with SB. One day you're standing on top of mountains, the next you feel as if you'll never get out of the darkest valley you've ever been in. I suppose all life is that way at times - but those families who I'm speaking of (including my own) can especially relate. It's a miraculous, tumultuous journey and I can't witness a single milestone or give thanks for a single blessing without thinking of everyone else on this journey with us. Having these families with us - encouraging us - inspiring us - is possibly the greatest gift God could have given us to help us through. I feel it's how He tells me - "I've not left you alone. Here our some others - like you - who will help you. I will help them to help you. And you will help them as well."
You - all of you - you are God's gift to me.
And I am so thankful.
But along with the blessings we offer each other in the form of understanding and support - I have to admit there are times when I fight feelings of sadness or worry, when I compare my child with other children on this journey.
"Will my child ever do that?"
"Should my child already be doing that?"
I'm sure all of us have heard such questions echoing in our heads. Why do some families keep facing obstacles that others don't have to? Why is that little boy crawling while my older child can't sit up? Why is her child talking when my child is 5 months older? Don't they all have Spina Bifida? Wasn't her lesion in the same place as my daughter's? Why are they so different??

I find it part of my routine explanation of SB to say to others "well, every child with SB is different, just like every child without SB is different, no matter how similar they may seem" - but do I believe my own definition? Apparently not. I compare and question along with everyone else in the world. Why do we do this?? It just puts pressure and strain on an area of our life that in so many ways we can't control. It blinds us from seeing the little blessings before us when we have our sights set on the "next big milestone"! We can't celebrate the little victories when we keep trying to take on the next battle.
I'm sure many of my fellow SB mommies look at Jet and think "Wow. He is doing so well! I wish mine were doing "_____." (fill in the blank). And I agree! He is doing amazing! :) But I wanted to share that I don't always see things that way - I see other SB kids walking at 16 and 17 months and mine's 18 months and just starting. I hear them talking and counting and sounding so adorable! And I can count Jet's words on 2 fingers (although I have to say I think "mama" and "dada" are the best words anyone could ever say. :) But this comparing - though natural- isn't healthy. It makes me feel like we're not doing good enough. It brings us down. It distracts us.
"You're crazy! Jet is doing so GREAT!" you'd probably say. And yes - I am! We are all crazy! Because every time we take these things for granted - every time we wish our children were doing something better then what they've just accomplished - it's like we are throwing these blessings in God's face and saying "this isn't good enough - I want him to crawl/stand/walk BETTER, SOONER, FASTER!" We don't mean to - but we stop being thankful and start being demanding. It makes me shudder to think how many times I've done that.
But God is so GOOD!
He doesn't take the blessing away or send a lightening bolt to strike me where I stand.
He gives me time.
He gives me you.
He gives me perspective.
My bracelet from Kari came today - I was so excited as I was unwrapping the tissue paper - couldn't wait to put it on! I didn't remember what I had asked to be embossed on the little ring charm until I turned it around and read with great familiarity - PERSPECTIVE.
Beautiful, Wise Perspective, herself, had arrived once again and now joins me on my wrist to follow me wherever I go. And as I type she reminds me once again to Thank God for the blessings we've been given. For the gifts our children have - the different talents and ways they excel. They don't all do things the same, or at the same time, or in the same way - but they all do one amazingly, beautiful thing - they give perspective. To us. To our families and friends. To the SB community. To total strangers.
The give perspective every day to everyone they touch with their lives.
And what a precious gift that is.
I, for one, can never have enough.
And I am so thankful.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Fun offer for fellow Bloggers!

Attention Blogger Buddies!

You can get 50 FREE Holiday cards from Shutterfly with a promo code that they, themselves will send to you! All you have to do is write a 150+ word post on what card you like the best!! You can't beat free! ;-)

I saw this offer on another friends blog and had to do it myself! Christmas cards can be time consuming but I love getting them and Shutterfly has so many cute designs this year! Last year was our first year doing Christmas cards (had to show off the little guy of course!) and I loved how they turned out. This year we are using Shutterfly and I can't wait to get started! There are so many beautiful cards to choose from! One that instantly caught my eye is this one:

I love the contrasting colors and the simple design. The message is short and sweet and matches the youthful look of the card. The fact that the photo is the focal point made this design an instant favorite (you know I love pictures! lol) and it keeps it from looking too busy. I can picture my own little guy on the front which of course would be just precious. :) Right?!

I also love this card:

It has the option of using multiple photos (if I can't make up my mind!) and I like the contrast of the black with the faded green and red. Of course it will depend on the picture we choose and I haven't quite narrowed that down yet but I can't wait to decide on the perfect picture for our Christmas card!
So don't wait! Check it out for yourself!

· photo Christmas cards to

· wall calendar to

· gift tags to

***Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly… learn more:

Walk n' Roll

Sunday was breezy, beautiful and bursting with fall colors - a perfect day for the SBAG Walk n' Roll.
Jet was admittedly more excited about the leaves at the park than the walk itself.
And it was fun look back at last years walk and see how much he's grown.
Last year we had late notice about the Walk n' Roll but still managed to pull together a fabulous team to walk with Jet as well as do some last minute fundraising. We looked awesome.
This year was oddly enough a repeat - we tried to find out when or if the Walk n' Roll was even happening with no luck...until the last minute. And rather than attempt another chaotic fundraising and team-organizing, we decided to go small this year - but small can be just as big when love in involved...and you know we had love.
Jet and his Aunt Kayleigh. So glad to have her close by again. :)
David did a week long fundraiser at school to raise a little money - and we donned our amazing, new T-shirts ...
And we rocked it!
And Jet walked it!
...well, some of it. :)
And we had a blast. :)
Redefining Spina Bifida all the way!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dear Grandpa...

I heard that you were not feeling good
So, like a good little grandson should
I made for you a special treat,
To help you get back on your feet!
(Too bad before we two could meet...
I had to eat...your special treat.)
But I'd also like to say...
A very Happy Veterans Day!
To my Grandpa Penny, Geedaddy Palmer, Papa Vaughn and all those who have served our country.
Thank you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Gift of Family

"The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family." ~Thomas Jefferson

For my mom's birthday this year, we ("the kids") joined together to come up with some big ideas (after all it was a big birthday). We came up with a few surprises we were excited about - and one of them (perhaps my favorite) was family portraits.
(My SIL Kelly cracks me up. She's the beautiful brunette who always knows when to strike a pose.)
Pictures of her kids (and 1 grandbaby) for her to hang up, show off and treasure however she wished. No surprises I liked this idea huh? ;)
So we asked a dear friend of ours (who has a uniquely beautiful photography style) to capture some birthday wishes and family moments as a gift to our mom. We all LOVED the outcome...perhaps my mom most of all.
And the surprise gift was that in taking these pictures for our mom - we got some amazingly sweet pictures for us to treasure as well.
Pictures of love...
And laughter...
Pictures of siblings....
And sisters...
The ladies...
And the ladies-man...
The silly...
And the sillier...
Thank you so much Mary - you did a phenomenal job.
Oh... and happy birthday Momma. :)
We love you so much!

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