Monday, December 31, 2012

The Lucky Ones

Year Six
6:00 a.m.
The images flash through my mind as I calmly remind myself to focus on the moment, not the harder moments of this day and of this time from six years back.

I think everyone has a turning point in their lives.
Some people have several.
There are experiences that lead you to those moments, whether led by fate or chance.

I was led to Addie and it wasn't by chance
it was a turning point to the incredible life that we have.

The last six years of my life have proved to be some of the best years of my life thus far.
Through the moments of pain, grief and fear, I have always maintained the certainty that I wouldn't have wanted any other child and having Addie in any other capacity is never a thought that crosses my mind.

Addie is a beautiful and amazing angel.
One who defies all odds, who overcomes all obstacles and who loves to prove people wrong.

Addie is a beautiful spirit, who has a heart of gold.
She loves with her whole heart.
She is intuitive above all comprehension.
She is the light in the darkest moments.

Oddly enough, each year it is the same.
My heart aches as we celebrate this day, not for the child I thought I may have, but for the confusion and errors in my own mortality.
On year six, my daughter still cannot tell me who she wants to invite to her birthday party.
She cannot tell me what kind of cake she wants or the design to adorn the top.
She cannot give me a wish list of presents a mile long,
so I struggle to fulfill every wish that I imagine she has.
My heart aches because I never want this day to end and to see disappointment in her eyes because I got it wrong.

I search for the right cake, the right clothes, the right presents.
I ask her ad nauseam to tell me what she wants to make her day so special, as I vocalize each detail.
In response, her face lights up with the brightest smile, and I never know which detail made her happy or if it is just hearing me talk to her about everything that I wish I could do to make her day so special for her.

It doesn't take much to see Addie's beautiful smile.
Being surrounded by the people she loves, her endless supply of babies and her cupcake cake makes her the happiest.
Or at least, that is what I imagine makes her the happiest for it is what brings me the most peace.

I can never live my life in the past, although there are always certain memories that I replay.
Memories from this day six years ago.
There are moments I wish I could change, most of them the moments when I was most fearful.

I push Addie to be the best she can be each and every day and if one year from now, she still can't tell me the flavor for her birthday cake, her wish list or guest list, I will find contentment in knowing that we are the lucky ones.

We are blessed for all that we have.

I am thankful for this day, thankful for the opportunity and thankful for all of you who - six years later - are still following our journey and still providing us with the support and love that we so desperately need.

Thank you for your continued support and prayers.
Thank you for loving Addie.

We celebrate this day as we have the last five - in a way that is most precious to our family.

I look forward to 2013 and to the beautiful memories it will hold.

In closing, I am reposting the link to one of my favorite posts.
I am not always good with words, but Strawberry Roan is as close as I can get.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Small Update

I'm tired.
This recovery has taken longer than I expected.
The holidays have worn me out
and tomorrow
is Addie's Birthday!

I am so thankful that Chris and Julien are willing and able to help me as much as possible, because there is no way I could have gotten through Christmas without their help.

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!
...more pictures coming soon!


Oh yes, Christmas Eve at our house is to be envied.

Forget the fine china and cashmere,
we opt for polka dots and

leisurely rides through the woods - in pajamas.  

The mud room is marked for completion in 2017. 
Until then, boots get parked in the foyer.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Party...Number Two

It's December and the time of never ending parties.

This gathering took place at Chris's dad's house.  

Addie had so much fun playing with her Aunt Katlynn.

More coloring books and bubbles.

Time for presents...

E.R. Baby got a pretty new outfit...

which Addie adores.

Nanny got Addie a new outfit, and Addie loved all the pretty colors and the deer on the front.

Addie was worn out from all the excitement.

After playing with all the new toys, Addie helped Katlynn clean up the never ending box of bracelets before we left to head out to Christmas gathering Number Three.

December 23, 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Sweet Friend

Addie brought home a bag of gifts from a friend in her class.
There was no name on the gift...

Girls love cars too and this Little Monkey was all about her puzzle,

coloring book, crayons and

toy cars!

Thank you so much for making Addie's day!
She has already put the puzzle together, has been carrying around the cars in her backpack all weekend and is halfway through coloring all the pages in her coloring book.

Thank you so very much!

December 21, 2012

In All Fairness

The cat is incredibly patient and doesn't mind being tortured with the abundance of love tossed his way each day. 
He hasn't destroyed the Christmas tree or even acted like he much cares for it.

 Yet, he still manages to find himself in a mess of trouble almost on a daily basis.

Addie tries her best to talk to him

and she knows that lots of love is what all animals need even when they are wreaking havoc.
She hugs him

and pats him

and he seems to be content to absorb Addie's words of wisdom.

All the while Thomas perches nearby.
I imagine he was shaking his head in complete disgust the entire time.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Treasures!

Tis the Season

Somebody has to do it.
My gracious and giving Mother bought a fantastic gift for Addie.
Since my Mother is unable to assemble the gift, and the Elves were already working overtime, the duty defaulted to Chris.

I'm not much help right now in my current state of painfully slow recovery, but right after taking this incredibly flattering picture, I did make a steaming cup of hot chocolate with peppermint marshmallows for my husband.
Not exactly his drink of choice, but seeing as how we will probably be up all night, its the only drink that would do.

When Chris is finished, Addie will have a kitchen nicer than ours.
How that is fair, I have no idea.

Wish us luck!....

Saturday, December 22, 2012

So Incredibly Rotten!

It doesn't matter the occasion, if Julien is present, he takes front and center in Addie's life.

When Jaime called for Julien and Addie and asked who was going first, Julien stood up and walked away.
Addie, thought Julien was leaving her and she jumped up, started screaming and running after him.

In an effort to minimize the embarrassment, Julien grabbed the little Monkey and she took charge from there.
She pointed to the purple cape, "asking" Jaime to get it for her.
Then she waited for Julien's cape and then in no unspoken terms, made it clear that she was going first.

...and so she did...

We only thought Monkus would get out of the way when she was done.
She stayed snuggled with Julien  the entire time while he got his hair cut.

I think she's just a tad bit crazy over Julien.

I adore Jaime for her patience and willingness to put up with my crazy family.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Time for Gifts!

After the paparazzi calmed down and backed away, it was time for gifts.
Trenton wasted no time opening his gift, 

while Bergen clearly has opening gifts down to a science.

The girls loved the radio controlled My Little Pony.

Addie is still working on learning to rip right into a gift.
However, she has learned to ask for, "scissors" because she knows that is the magic key into unopened items.

When it was time to leave, nobody was shy about giving hugs.

Trenton gave hugs and told everyone, "Bye" and I can only imagine his relief when we all finally left.
It's tough having company over and invading your territory...especially when it's all girls.

Dewana and Ronnie - A HUGE THANK YOU for being such a gracious hostess/host and for allowing us to enjoy your beautiful home for the evening.
You are amazing and I cannot thank you enough for all you do!

Christmas with Friends

This past Sunday, we spent the evening catching up with friends!

Dewana invited us over and as is typical, wouldn't let us do a thing.
The most difficult part of the night was walking two feet from the car into the basement in the rain.
After that, all I had to do was sit down, relax, talk, laugh (ouch) and eat (obviously not an issue).

As the evening progressed, it was time to torture the children by making them pose for pictures.

Poor Trenton.
His house was not only invaded by girls, but then he had to sit next to them and appear happy about it.

Bergen and Addie were just as happy as could be!

The Santa Claus tree - I love seeing it each year!

Addie was all ready for round two.

Trenton wasn't overly thrilled at all the photos (who can blame him?).
Patti knew exactly what to say to get a smile out of him!

That's right...
"Roll Tide!" Addie threw her hands in the air in an overly dramatic gesture (sorry Chris).

That got Trenton smiling!

....poor Trenton...
He just needed a moment of silence.
I have a feeling he was praying for the night to end and for the girls to go home.

This is one of my all time favorite pictures of him - I love it.