Sunday, January 10, 2016

Celebrating Nine Years!

My sweet girl had a very busy day!

We spent the day by having lunch at one of Addie's favorite restaurants, then I took her shopping at one of her favorite toy stores - and let her look around until she was content with her choices. 

After shopping, we went to pick up Addie's Birthday cake and another cake to share with everyone else.
That was one of Addie's favorite parts of the day!

We had a little bit of downtime while waiting for Julien to arrive home from work, so we made the most of it.

We camped out in Addie's tent

and played dress up with Rudy.

Addie climbed up into the chair and asked for a picture.
She was so excited to be celebrating her big day!

Addie was so appreciative of her gifts and loved them all,

but she adored having Julien light the candles on her cake

she has definitely gotten the hang of blowing out the candles on her cake, but

with so many candles, she needed an extra hand from Julien!

After presents and cake, we went out to dinner at another of Addie's favorite restaurants, but this time with her Julien and Bailey. 

Julien didn't even mind holding Addie's baby so she could eat her dinner.
He would do anything to make her happy!

and finally, 
per Julien's request, Bailey took this picture of Addie and Julien's hands.
So.  Sweet.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Birthday Number Nine

Today is the ninth anniversary of one of the most heartbreaking days of my life.

Nine years later and there are very few days when I don't think about that moment.
6:00 a.m.
The joy.
The confusion.
Seeing my sweet, beautiful baby girl for the first time.
Falling in love with her so deeply right in the midst of so many heartbreaking emotions.
Nine years later and my need to protect her is fiercer than ever.

While today is one of the most difficult days for me, it doesn't take away from the overpowering love and pride I have for Addie.

She continues to grow and learn.  
There are more and more moments where she catches me by surprise with a new word or phrase.
There are more and more moments when I am privy to hearing her sweet voice express a memory that I didn't even know she had.  Moments when I know she remembers people, places, things and events of the distant past.  Those moments of realization brings about the deepest and most overwhelming emotions.

Addie is a beautiful, sweet angel that I am so honored to call mine.
She brings joy to so many people and has touched so many lives, all while we continue to make people see past a diagnosis.

Today, we celebrate my sweet Baby Girl.
Nine years with my sweet Baby Girl.

We are celebrating this day, as we always have, as we see fit.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your continued support and love, we couldn't do it without you.


I was going through some pictures and found these.
Before now, I didn't want to share them.
It honestly was too hard for me and such an incredibly private moment.
I know most of you remember this moment in your life.
The moment in which you first saw your new baby.
For me, this moment of joy was replaced by fear and confusion.
This was the exact moment when the nurse placed Addie next to me and said the words that I will never forget, "there appears to be a problem".
When the nurse brought Addie to me, she was crying.
The nurse placed Addie next to me and walked away.
I was unable to reach out to hold Addie.
The only thing that I could do was move my hand so that I could rub her head.
I wanted so badly to take her in my arms, kiss her and tell her that everything was all right.
I wanted her to know that it didn't matter what had happened in the moments preceding the first time that I touched her.
It didn't matter what others might have said, it didn't matter what was done and it didn't matter that the nurse didn't congratulate me, she only let me know that this angel that was next to me exhibited "a problem".
I couldn't take Addie in my arms, but I reached over to her and I touched her head.
This picture was the exact moment in which I did that.
This picture captured my thoughts and my love for my baby because the moment that my hand touched Addie, she stopped crying.

That was all captured in this one picture.
That private moment was captured for all the world to see, the only thing that is not clearly visible in this picture is the hand of God as HE held my baby close to me for me to touch and whisper to and to tell her that I loved her.
There was no nurse standing there with us, there was only our God and my husband watching as this moment unfolded.
I knew then that I would always be there to wipe away the tears and to take away the fear.
Addie completed my life.
This was the moment that forever changed my life.
I thank GOD for trusting me to take care of one of his most special angels.

The entrance into our "Wait and See World"

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Gingerbread House Party

Once again, we had a phenomenal time at Bergen's Gingerbread House Party.
It was so wonderful to have downtime with friends and to watch the kids having so much fun!

Santa came to visit and all of the children, except Addie, so enjoyed spending time with him!

While everyone else was posing for pictures with Santa, Addie sat quietly, refusing to make eye contact.

After we reassured Addie that Santa was gone, she was more than happy to sit in his chair and have her picture taken.

She loved watching all of the other children and she was content to sit back and do just that.

She didn't hesitate to act all silly for pictures - and the debate over carrying around a naked baby - was not worth the effort.

Sweet little face!

We are so honored and blessed to be part of such a special and very memorable event!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Lazy Sunday

We spent a much needed lazy Sunday outside watching Julien and Chris work on Julien's Jeep.
Addie was content to sit back in her chair and watch the guys until a lizard managed to find its way into the garage.
Addie got all excited while watching Julien try to catch it and once he did, Addie was all about wanting to see it.

So when Julien let the lizard go, Addie was all concerned and insisted on going over to pick it up.
It was a good thing that Julien got to it first and nudged it with his foot before Addie could try to get it. 
She was much more OK with picking it up than I ever would have been!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Little River Canyon

The first hint of cold weather, we headed out to enjoy every possible minute we could. 

While everyone else walked down to the falls, we hung out, taking pictures and people watching - one of our favorite pass times!

We had what felt like - a really long wait - for everyone to come back and join us, so this Little Monkey was less than thrilled at having to sit down and have a snack.

She happened upon Julien's mask from Halloween and managed to overcome her fear of it

and put it on long enough for me to take a quick picture!

Everybody was coming back to meet us

and Addie went running to them - screaming with joy!

We had so much fun sightseeing

and took lots and lots of pictures.

Even I managed to snag a picture with this handsome guy.

We most definitely love any chance we get to be outside, especially considering our cool Alabama weather doesn't last nearly long enough!