Monday, July 26, 2010

Living the Snug Life

I feel so cheery right now. At this moment, I am reflecting on the snuggles I received last night. I had snuggled with my bug for a while before I laid her in her bed for the night. After she was fast asleep and off to dream land, where sleepy grins live on her face without her knowing, my booger told me he wanted to snuggle before he went to bed. I offered to rock him in the rocking chair of Lennon's room if he could be quiet while she slept. He excitedly obliged. We sat there rocking in silence, when I realized, he is so big. He is almost my height... well not almost, but close. Lake is now 42 inches tall and I am 65 inches tall. He is barely four years old and I know soon he will pass me up. He will always be my baby boy. He is growing so fast... and just as I was about to tell him how much I loved him, he looked up at me and whispered, "You are such a sweet mommy." My heart was immediately mush and with tears in my eyes, I said "I love you more than anything in this world." Then, I put his big boy self in his big boy bunk bed and kissed him good night.

This morning, my alarm sounds to awaken me from a deep slumber. It is the sound of church bells. I love hearing them because it reminds me of my grandmother's house in 'Strop City (that's Bastrop for everyone else). When I was younger, she lived close enough to a church with a bell tower that would sound every hour. I can remember perfect spring days out on her porch. Enjoying life, drinking sweet tea and swinging on the porch swing. It gives me warm fuzzies just thinking about it. I long for the day I have a house with a porch, surrounded by land and trees... neighbors far away... nothing but the sound of birds and bees and my kids chatting about silly things that make them laugh or what happened that week ... a place where me and my love and our booger and bug can sit and swing or rocking our chairs, drinking lemonade and sweet tea.

I love nothing more than to snug up with a soft blanket on the couch in a cold house, warm hazelnut coffee in hand, and a good something to read. As I type, sitting next to me is a large mug of warm hazelnut coffee topped with Redi Whipped Cream and I am missing my friend. I miss our late night chats. I miss our good cries and most of all, our hearty laughter .... mostly at what a moron I am. I am seeing a road trip in my near future.

This past weekend, I spent more time with one of my oldest and dearest "besties" than we have spent together in probably 10 years. It made us both realize how badly we needed that reconnection. It also made me wish so badly she lived here. She snuggled my bug all day. I know Lennon was in snug heaven. She loves nothing more than snuggling and attention. I wish her boys knew me... like really KNEW me... not just as that lady that accidentally broke my arm. Ok, so I didn't break it... it was a mutual breaking, involving a 4 year old jumping on my back and me rolling over before he could land again. Followed by a trip to the emergency room. Followed by a visit two years later, where he politely said, "Do you remember when you broke my arm?" and me saying "I remember when you jumped on my back and I rolled over and you landed on your arm and it broke." Kids, they are so clever.

I realize again today how truly blessed I am. I have an amazing husband who makes me laugh and see the world as one big joke. I have two amazing children who steal my heart with one look. I have amazing friends who will cry with me, laugh with me and hold me accountable without judgement. I have a God who loves me as I am, while teaching me to love myself, in spite of myself. On days like today I realize my life might be perfect, even when I am not.

"Today was a good day." - Ice Cube

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lifestyles of the Rich in Love

It all began on a Friday morning. I attempted to introduce Lake to the melodious quartet, Boyz II Men.... we started with MotownPhilly, all the way to Yesterday and back... and after we bent a knee, the water ran dry... and so did is attention span... I knew this because he politely said, "I am tired of listening to the radio. I am tired of your music, mommy."

Soon, the sun was shining down on us as we approached the white sands...
Nope, sorry, that was not another reference to the Boyz.

Our trip (Ode to Lake) began .... feet in the sand... minus one tiny foot, to my dismay.

It was only the second time my Booger has been on a real beach. He first landed in San Diego / Laguna Beach, but it has been 3 years since. As every parent who has been through what we have so far this year, we felt we owed this to him... for all he went through while Lennon was in the hospital... even up through the time I was on bed rest... I just couldn't play with him the way I had always done and so I felt guilty... He was such a trooper, praying over me and baby Lennon all the time. Though, nothing could fight the tears I cried this Friday morning, driving away without my bug. It was like I left her at the hospital all over again....except I knew she was not sick, and her heart was strong. I knew she would be in the care of Granny and Poppa and Aunt Robbie.... and I knew they would work her muscles and work her motor skills... That I knew, without a doubt.

After a few tears, a long drive and many laughs... we landed in Gulf Shores, AL.
Even my Charles gave an award winning pose for me.... :)
Let the festivities begin!
Yes, I do mean the throwed rolls! I love this place... I was, however, disappointed they didn't come around with that Hulk sized bacon. But I made do with all the passin's.... more fried okra please!
Charles requested a table for three... I had to wait in the car, because my tired little man was sound asleep in the backseat... I just couldn't bare to wake him. He had such a big day at the beach.... So I started snapping pics of myself out of sheer boredom... I truly do look better tan. This southern girl loves a bronze bod.
After a few human head sized rolls, a blue balloon that lasted all of five minutes, and three very full bellies... Lake burned energy and calories on the handmade train, fire truck and tractor.
After that, we headed back to the hotel with a promised stop at the pier. I never realized just how scared I was of sharks until that moment. Note to self: Xanax. I think it was the length of the pier out onto the ocean, combined with the depth of the water, the signs for shark fishermen, and the darkness on the water. I was terrified. I walked only on the concrete parts... holding my breath and praying to God I would go quickly if this thing went down.
The next morning... we woke early because Lake just won't sleep in... had a hearty breakfast... and gave BP the middle finger from shore.
Since the beach was so disgusting we took a long walk to assess the damages...
Since there was a lot of tar.... we decided to christen the pool. When it was Lake's nap time... and we knew this because of his attitude ... Charlie blessed my flip flops off by taking him to the room for a nap and letting me enjoy the sun... the way it needs to be enjoyed... in peace and quiet.
And then I realized just how many freckles I have....
No amount of "ME" time is complete without a little Cosmo and Brit Brit...
At this time I want to give a big "Thank Ya Bunches" to our hotel for putting up the rules of the pool... One can never be too cautious... (I gag a little picturing the person with open lesions, skin disease and diarrhea diving off into the pool before I could make my escape)
The next day, we took Lake to Waterville... I just KNEW he was going to ride all the slides, since he was exactly the height he needed to be in order to do so... 42". But, alas, I was wrong... he would not even ride the smallest of baby slides.... I was sooooooooooooooo disappointed.... But he did redeem himself when he hopped on this roller coaster. Though after it was all said and done, he promptly informed us he would never do that again.
After a quick burger and fries to go along with my fried face....
We did a little souvenir shopping at Souvenir City... I can remember going in the giant shark's mouth every time I have been to Gulf Shores.... And it's not a vacation until you buy things you will never wear.... Charlie sporting a tee that would make Uncle Eddie proud....
Still laughing at these flip flops... obviously, they were made by drug lords... or terrorists.
The next day, we lunched across from this... Just in case you miss home a little too much, there is a trailer on the any color you fancy... complete with Christmas lights up year round. I got a hunch, this might not be Katrina proof.
Every time we entered or exited the hotel, Lake asked his buddy at the hotel lobby counter for another cookie.... once, she didn't have cookies and because the look on his angelic face nearly broke her heart, she had a Popsicle for him when we returned.
Soon it was all over .... the car was loaded down with more stuff than we came with...
Our bodies were worn out and darker than we started out...
And our shorts needed to be left unbuttoned for a while....
We hit the road home to our bug...
No trip to Gulf Shores is complete without a stop at this place...
And because my bug needed her very own pair of watermelon inspired tennies....
And... I needed, yet another, pair of gaudy goods....
Then we were home... and I was able to smother the bug with love. My heart was melted when I handed her to her daddy so I could fix a bottle and she had a complete meltdown until she was returned to my arms.
Confirmation: she does know who her momma is.
That is when another set of tears filled my eyes... not of sadness, but of joy.
The next morning I woke to this as I usually do.... after a 6am feeding, my bug gets the privilege of sleeping in mommy's bed for a few hours... and snuggling with me til my heart explodes.

That is a sight I missed... a sight I will never tire of.
And all the world was right, again.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Jena Jena Bo Bena

Lady Lennon finished appointment number two today of OT with Patchez. Momma made sure her chunky bug was dressed to impress, as usual. I found it quite hysterical that the lady working the front desk thought it necessary to tell me, "She doesn't have the strong features of Trisomy 21. To be honest, with her small eyes, you would think her dad might be Asian." So you are saying my daughter looks Asian? Interesting.

Today is a sad day, but only for a minute as we hugged Uncle JC and sent up prayers for him and his family with the loss of his beloved sister. In order to do this, we had to make the 1.5 hour drive to a little place I like to call "God's Country"... Jena,LA.
My future designing diva patiently waited for mommy to get dressed for the wake. She watched her favorite (or is that mommy's favorite?), David Bromstad pull off yet another beautiful design for yet another lucky family... when, oh when will my day come? She is holding her head up so well, for minutes at a time... just so proud I could squeal.
We packed the diaper bag and strapped the kids in their seats. Then we hit the road, after a quick run through Wendy's for a spicy chicken sandwich. At this time I would like to explain a moment of lost brain cells. I do hope they return. I have ordered the same thing my entire life. Spicy chicken, no mayo add mustard cheese and pickles. For some reason, I ordered "Spicy chicken, no mayo add mustard ketchup and pickles". So to my surprise, when I opened my sandwich I was angry because my beloved cheese had been replaced with ketchup. Charlie and Lake both told me I did not order cheese but in fact, ketchup. I recall none of this. Anyways.... Both kids fell fast alseep almost immediately.
Here my bug is, looking all fabulous for her Aunt Val and Uncle JC.

It was only sad for a minute because I know he has a peace about his sister and we were able to spend time with Aunt Val and Uncle JC, and friends. Nurse Lark was there. I have no doubt she was enamored with her as she was the day she met and helped deliver her. Yet, I wondered the whole evening, if she remembered seeing her pulled from my belly and noticing "it". The traits of Trisomy 21 that grace my bug's face and body. I pushed those feelings down deep and breathed. Then we had fun.

At the Jena funeral home, Aunt Val took in every chance she got to love on the bug. We laughed and joked about the fact that Jena now has a prison that holds 1800 inmates... "It's kind of on the DL, down low", she said. As if a prison on the DL isn't funny enough, Valerie didn't think Poppa knew about it, but I told her I would place money on the fact. Poppa knows a little about most things and lot about Jena. So she asked Poppa, "Did you know Jena has a prison with 1800 inmates?" Poppa looked at her with a reassuring, "Yes." Laughter broke out between Val and I because Poppa never lets us down, especially when in reference to the town of Jena.

I was searching my iphone for pictures of the bug to show Val and pictures of booger to show Stephanie when I realized, my phone was not on WIFI. I asked Charlie, "Does this place have WIFI?" My Charlie laughed and made a joke, as he usually does, "WIFI in a funeral home? Not really the place you wanna draw a crowd." Then he pretended a conversation between himself and a Jena resident (said in his best country accent), "Man, who died?" ... "Aw, no one, just checkin my email." Coincidentally enough, as we were leaving the parking lot, Charlie said, "What do you know, I just got WIFI - Town of Jena, WIFI."

Still daylight and hot as hades outside, we left the funeral home and said our good byes. Then headed to the one and only place to eat in Jena, Burger Barn. It is just as you imagine, a red barn. Next door to Burger Barn, the owners decided to venture out and open up the Burger Barn Brisket House. And because I just love to eat with carcasses hanging over me, we chose chose option two, Burger Barn Brisket House.
On the ride home, Charlie asked Lake, "Do you know another word for Donkey?" Now, don't let your mind go to the gutter like I did. I glanced at Charlie with a furrowed brow, daring him to teach our 4 year old son a dirty word. He said, "Another word for donkey is Burrow." I had totally forgotten that word existed. Mind out of gutter.

We passed thru the tiny town of Olla and remembered the morning after the F3 tornado blew thru, almost leveling the tiny town with only a blinking yellow light. Zooming by the "Git R Done" car wash on the left, and "Nita's Gifts" on the right.... I noticed Nita was selling her business if your interested... including the contents. Passing thru Columbia, the town - not the country, we drove past many convenient stores. I saw what I thought at first was a sumo wrestler in red sumo "undies"... but in actuality, it was just a redneck in red swim trunks. My bad.

Nearing home, we turned on the radio at Lake's request. Skipping over explicit rap stations we stopping on country music. Charlie made reference to how I knew most every song. I reminded him I grew up in Swartz and went to Ouachita, and that my high school was smack dab in the middle of corn and cotton fields. I also reminded him I wouldn't mind if he drove an F250 and we lived in "God's Country". That's when he reminded me he listened to "alternative" music and did not and never would drive a big truck and that I knew that about him when we met and married him. That is when I reminded him I married him anyway and I loved that he wasn't like everyone I went to school with.

We ended up home around 10pm where Charlie snuggled with Lake til he fell asleep and I snuggled with the bug after her last bottle. Then my head hit the pillow and I don't remember much after that.... except a scary dream I will never repeat.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Spoon Full of Sugar

The neighbor's dog is barking something viscous and it makes me nervous. I don't think I have heard that dog bark since we moved in over a year ago. I am going to ignore it and put my mind on something else before my mind allows me to go to that scary dark place where people lurk in the night searching for people to wrong and innocence to rob.

(in reference to
So I read her blog from July 6, and after I read that, I read her blog on the birth of her daughter, Nella... And after I read both, I had a good cry. By good, I mean terrifying. Sometimes it's theraputic to just let the tears fall like rain. However, in my case, it's much more like hail. Hard, downpours of softball size hail... Accompanied with Katrina winds and flash flood warnings.

I do my darnd'est to walk about this journey with a Mary Poppins cheery disposition. If I had a dollar for every time someone told me since March 24, 2010, that I should read her blog I would have at least 72 extra dollars. I knew it would be hard. So I acted like I read it. By acted, I don't mean that I lied. I actually read about a paragraph of her birth and quit. I just couldn't handle it. I couldn't stop crying enough to even focus on the words of my laptop screen. So I ignored everyone after that. Until yesterday, that is.

I want to be transparent. When she spoke of wanting to give her back and take her "perfect" family and run. I felt that feeling. I thought that thought. I remember telling another mother, after many weeks of zero sleep and tear soaked pillows, "I have thought things no mother should ever think. Something is wrong with me." It wasn't that I didn't love her. I loved her too much. Yet, too much is not enough (Thank you, Cyndi Lauper). I was scared. I was hurt. I was mad. I was devastated and greiving. I was in love. I was overwhelmed.

After I read it, with snot dribbling and tears streaming, I ran to her room. Literally stood up and ran. She was sound asleep amidst the zebra print, birds, polka dots and stripes I had specifically made for her so many months before she graced us with her presence. I scooped her up like a giant ball of mint chocolate chip ice cream. (Thanks to my handy dandy experience at Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors) I spoke sweetly into her sleepy ear and I reminded her of how completely amazing she is and how perfect she is just the way she is. I dripped tears all over her and I soaked her shirt with all that was in me. I tried not to hug the life out of her. I succeeded; go me. She eventually woke up and burped a stinky formula burp in my face and I nearly vomitted but I kept loving on her anyway. The entire time I was changing her wet diaper I was talking to her and smiling and crying at the same time. With her still sleepy and probably confused almond shaped eyes she watched a tear roll down my face. I followed her eyes as she followed my tear until it fell off onto her scar. Then she looked at me with a scrunched brow as to let me know I might be scaring her a bit with all my crying so I dried it up as much as I could.

So when I say that she rolls over left and she rolls over right and she rolls from her belly to her back and she rolls from her back to her belly... I am not saying it for bragging rights (like I did with Lake)... It was said because she is a miracle. Every breath she takes, every beat of her newly patched heart is a miracle. I shall never take her for granted. I shall never forget the day she went into Congestive Heart Failure (the words still send shivers down my spine). How my entire being was rocked to the core. I can never allow myself to forget... After all, you can't know where you're going if you don't know where you've been. (Thanks, Tow Mater for those words of rear view mirror wisdom)

Why my God chose me will always be a mystery. I have always believed He gives us little and if we do well with little He will give us more and if we do well with more, He will give us much more. So somewhere along the way, I did something good and I am not sure what it was, but it was enough for Him to increase my pay. Of course I believe this NOW... after I changed. After my heart starting thinking clearly. After I knew she was no longer my lot, but my blessing. I get mad at myself even now, for thinking this was a bad thing... like, I pulled the lottery black dot... let me walk to the center of town and everyone pick up their stone. Let the beating begin.

Now, I may not know why but I do know how truly amazing and sweet as pie she is. I know that she has the sweetest fattest cheeks and I want to gnaw a hole in them, they are so sweet. How every day her sweet as sugar smile lights up the room. How her brother thinks she hung the moon. How her daddy is a changed man. Lady Lennon will forever be a light in a dark world. As her mother, her advocate, I will stop at nothing to make sure no one puts that light out. She will shine like a beacon in the night, bringing joy to anyone who draws near. Her heart will over flow with love and our cups will runneth over.

It felt good to get that cry out. I am not known for holding back. It had just been a while since I had one of those and especially one of those over this. I can go back to being my usual Mary Poppins-ish self.

Just a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down, in the most delightful way.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Up Syndrome

I think every blog should come with a warning... so this warning label reads:
This post jumps from one subject to the next and back again.

I love my name. Taryn. It's unique (less and less unique, I am finding out over the years). My mom "done good". However, I go by another name that I like much more. Mommy. I never knew until I was a mommy how much I would love it. I also never knew how much laughter, and tears, come with being called Mommy. It's the little things that make it so wonderful.

Lake: For instance, my son, Lake, making me a house made of Legos. He thought of everything I would need: A pet horse, weapons, fake flowers and real flowers, a tanning bed, jet packs to get around town, a washing machine, hot tub, pool, diving board, bed that doubles as a dinner table, picture frame with a picture of the ocean, extra set of legs, two windows. While we were playing in my new house, we took our jet packs and "skipped school". Instead of going to school we picked up a pizza. This was all his idea, just so you know. I mean, he gave me a tanning bed... a kid after my very own heart! An extra set of legs... those were actually his extra set, but he said I could borrow them.

Lennon: I posted this pic (BELOW) the other day on my Facebook. I bought this shirt 11 years ago at the Goodwill. I bought it because Down Syndrome gives a negative connotation to such a wonderful blessing in disguise. I mean, yes, there are downsides to DS and you just gotta roll with the punches.... but, there are so many wonderful aspects, or so I am learning, to this. These people, the ones with just one more chromosome, love more, forgive more, hug more. They have more happiness and a zest for the little things in life. I think we all could use a little more of that. But the weirdest part was, when I purchased it... I thought, for a split second, "I will have a kid like this". But because I do believe in the power of the tongue (it has the power to speak life and death), I never spoke my fear aloud. Even when I was pregnant with her, I thought every single day of my pregnancy, "My baby has Down Syndrome". I never told this to anyone. Only after she was born and I was able to fully grasp the fact, and when I was able to move on with our new life. I just think it's weird, or one huge co-inky-dink.
Today, my cuddle bug was fussing in her bed. I knew she was hungry so I fixed a bottle and went to get her up to eat. She was on her belly! I had put her in there on her back. So now we all know she can roll BOTH ways! I almost screamed with delight when I saw her. It just made me so happy. She is doing so so so well with her developmental milestones. She is proving to us all that she is going to beat all kinds of odds! Down Schmown! Love that girl. Lennon has my heart so tightly wrapped around her tiny little fingers. I hope she knows it.
Back to Lake: We made a little family trip to Home Depot the other day. Lake saw this tractor and gasped with laughter! He loves tractors.... though if it cranks up, dude is no where to be found... running for the hills screaming he is. He hates the noise. It scares him, being so loud and all. Anyways, he hopped on and said, "Mommy, do you want to take a picture of me on this tractor?" That is 4 year old code for "mommy, take a picture of me on this tractor". Of course I wanted to take a picture of him on that tractor! Wouldn't be a mommy if I didn't!
Lake's latest obsession is jeans. He wants to wear them every day with his cowboy boots. He wants to wear them to school, but I won't let him because it's so hot and they play outside. So he makes me promise that when he gets home from school, I will let him put on his jeans and cowboy boots. He even wants to sleep in his jeans. I just don't get it. It's the same pair of jeans every day, not just any jeans. If he becomes a redneck I just don't know what I will do. I am pretty sure his daddy will be broken hearted. Lately, his new word is "Figurin'".... "Mommy, you know what I was figurin? I was figurin we could make snocones today. What do you think about that?" or "Mommy, I was figuruin, I would eat a corndog for lunch and then some applesauce. Does that sound good, Mommy?" Where oh where does he get this language? I have NEVER used the word, figurin'! Things that make you go hmmmm....
Back to Lennon: So many people have sent me this website to read. I specifically refer to the July 6th post "On Down Syndrome". I read this today and for the first time in a while, I let it sink back in. The fears, the reality of it all. I cried so hard I felt as if I literally burst my heart. I had to compose myself quickly, so that my little cousin didn't see me and get scared. An adult wailing like I was can really scar an 8 year old girl. Kelle put into words what I have not been able to do. Just the whole aspect of parenting and how fragile your heart becomes when you have a baby. Especially if your baby is extra special or extra tiny.
I love being a mommy to Lake and to Lennon. I wouldn't trade the two bundles of joy I have been given for anything else. You just never really know where life is going to take you until you are there. But what can you do? Waller in pity or make the most? I choose to make the most. Live it up, you know.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Today was plain awesome.

So, I am singing the title of this blog to the tune of "Little Orphan Annie"... "Yesterday was plain awful! You can say that again. Yesterday was plain awful!" But today, not so much... it was plain awesome and you can definitely say that again!

Booya! Just in case you didn't read my super proud mom Facebook / Twitter update.... My bug, my beautiful little ray of sunshine, reached a milestone today! She rolled over from her belly to her back! Not only once, not only twice, but THREE times in a row! Then she was tired. Ha! Just in case you don't think this is a big deal... I looked up the average milestones for children with DS (see below). Keep in mind, she just turned 3 months on June 24th!

GROSS MOTOR SKILLS: Children with Down Syndrome
Rolls from stomach to back
6m = Average
5m to 12m = Range
Lennon can do this!
Supports body on arms, lifts head and chest when lying on stomach
6m = Average
3m to 10m = Range
Lennon can do this!

Today in the pediatrician's office, for her 3 month check up... I was waiting... she was laying in nothing but her diaper on the little "bed". They weighed her and checked her height. They measured her head. She is almost at the top of the chart on all these things. Just one more confirmation from God. He is still at work on her body. I placed her on her stomach, still careful not to put pressure under her armpits... and I got down face to face with her. I put her on her elbows and she sat up, holding her own... chest up and head up, checking out the painted alligator on the wall. Then she turned her head sideways and rolled. I thought, "Ok, I have showed her how to do this so many times, let me just place her arms by her sides and see if she can remember to bring them up and push herself up." So I did. There she was, laying on her belly, arms by her sides and cheek down still looking at the alligator on the wall. Then, just like we had rehearsed time and time again, she brought her arms up to her face. Then, she moved those elbows underneath herself and pushed up so she could get her head and chest up... That is when she arched her back and head to the left and threw her knee up, pushing on the bed with her foot and rolled! I was so excited I almost scared her. I kissed and laughed with her. Then that nasty devil came in and tried to take my joy saying "Are you SURE she did that?" So I rolled her back over and we showed that devil! She showed him two more times!! I literally started crying. Tears of joy streamed down my face, because she was doing so well and I knew it was something I prayed so hard for and God heard me. I called and He answered. Dr Stanley walked in just then and I laughed and said, "I promise this is tears of joy!" He laughed and said, "Ok what are we celebrating?" I said, "She just rolled over three times! From belly to back." I placed her on her belly to show him and she lifted her body up on her elbows, and tried to hard to get that leg over but she got tired and laid down. That stinker! She did it on purpose I am sure! She was so tired... but Dr Stanley knew I was not lying. He said, "That is really really good... not only for a 3 month old but especially a Downs 3 month old! That is awesome!"

You know, I have believed since she was diagnosed that she would A) not be the "average" DS kid and B) that God would heal her completely. I don't usually tell people that I believe that because the few times I have said it, I know the look on people's face... it is always "Riiiighht... got your hopes up do ya?" They they follow up with, "Of course" as if to reassure me they actually believe in miracles. I pray this all the time and if you think I didn't rejoice and praise my gracious powerful God today, you are an idiot. I literally cried... Ok, you got me... I wailed in my car on the way home because I was so over joyed and happy. Ugh, I am so dramatic I get on my own nerves. But I was sooooo excited an relieved! I worked with her so much to get her to roll, but I know, ultimately she is in God's hands and on His time. I can only do what I humanly can do. He does the rest. It reminds me of how God wants to see if He can trust us with the little things before He opens the door to bigger things. Once again, my God showed me who He is. Once again, He reminded me He is slowly healing her and bringing her that much closer to the miracle I believe and pray for every day.... total restoration. Complete healing of Down Syndrome. I know some people are reading this thinking, "Oh yes, God can do it..." but deep down, they had a fleeting thought, "But will He? Yikes, I don't know, but it's good to have faith like that." Well guess what? Those thoughts are not faith. So where is yours? If we don't have healing then all the beating Jesus took was in vain. I do not think for a second what He did was in vain. It was for us, for our benefit. I have all the faith in the world that not only He can, but He will. It won't be because of anything I did... it will be to bring Him glory. He will prove to everyone who He really is and what He is capable of. It will be right on time when it happens - even if it is many many years from now. I know that I know that I know it is going to happen. I have known Lennon will be something special, something magnificent and someone who knows who her Healer is. She will not take any credit for it, she will give it all to her God. Because of the miracle He is performing in her body, there are going to be lives changed. People are going to see God for the powerful being He is. I get so excited thinking about it. She is going to be married, have kids and experience all I dreamed she would. She will not be robbed of any of these great things God and life has to offer. I pray even now for her husband, that he is a strong Christian man who has a healthy fear of God. I pray that he will lead Lennon and their family to a long and lasting relationship with Christ, if He should tarry His coming.

Today has been so wonderful. In more ways than one. Not only did I get to experience this great milestone in a Bug's life... but we had dinner tonight with a super sweet family. I love hanging with people who just make you laugh and feel at ease. There is no pressure for conversation... it just flows naturally. Our kids love each other and get along great. As a matter of fact, I get so tickled thinking about how funny Lake and Bailey are... When I told him we were having dinner with Bailey he said, "I haven't seen Bailey in weeks!" Ha! I don't know if he even knows what a week is! The last time they saw each other, they were playing hide and seek in my house... then Charlie came home and they wanted to hide from him. I don't know who's idea it was but they hid really well. He couldn't find them... where were they, you ask? Well, Bailey was sitting on the toilet and Lake was in her lap! I let out a hardy belly laugh just re-picturing it all over again! Overall, they are just really down to earth good people and I am so thankful for their friendship. We definitely don't hangout enough! We have hung out with the kids often enough so next time, I am planning an all adult dinner! I might even cook! And I might invite Nikki's sister and her boyfriend. Who knows what we'll do but I am sure it will involve much much more laughter and real conversation! Yay for good people! This world needs more people like Levi and Nikki.

Here is a pic of Bailey and Lake from two years ago... I always joke with Levi that we'll be inlaws one day and we'll look back at these pics and say "That was the day it all began..." I laughed out loud at that... I just picture the "what if" it gives Levi! Ha!

(Yes that is a buffalo in the background)

Lake is now the proud kid with after pre-K care! Woot woot! Thanks to Kaitlyn! I cannot tell you what a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I don't trust many people, but Kailtyn I trust. Everyone has always said such great things about her. She will be keeping Lake and his friend, MJ for sure and possibly his friend Noah if they have not found care yet, in our house until we get home from work. Yay! I am doing my happy dance right now! It involves much booty shaking and hand waving.

OK... enough blogging. I gotta get used to going to bed early! I am going back to work in a few weeks! YUCK!!