Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Seven Years.

Seven long and very beautiful years.

It's Addie's "Happy Birthday Cupcake Cake Day".
At 6:00 a.m., I kissed her little face and thanked God for this day.

We officially enter year seven.

She makes me want to be a better person.  
I wake up each day, thankful, for this life that I have.
  I cherish each moment, even in the midst of heartache and I focus on how I can enjoy each day.  
Addie has a way about her that pushes me to be more patient, more loving, more driven to focus on the moment.
  She has a way of teaching me to keep my sights focused on the blessings that surround me.

This year, my Little Monkey had more accomplishments than I can recall.  

She learned to say that she was "six".  

Although sometimes, she is "five"

learning that she is "seven" is going to be a challenge.  

She learned to walk down stairs - under the continued supervision of her loving family and caregivers.  

Addie learned the names of her new classmates and lovingly remembers her friends from days past.  

Addie continued to impress me with her associations of people and places.  

She has an amazing way of compartmentalizing events.

Addie learned to say her version of The. Blessing.  


She can count past ten.  

Not every color is blue. 

Not all fruit are apples. 

She learned to spell her name.

She lost her first tooth. 

She is learning to ride a bike.

She found her dancing shoes again,

but taught her Daddy that he will remain the only tennis pro in the family.

She was the flower girl in a very special wedding, 

and she learned to open presents like a pro. 

My Little Monkey continues to display her God given gift on a daily basis.
She offers others hope,
she unknowingly educates people on how to see life differently 
 most importantly, 
she brings joy to so many people in everyday life.

It is an honor to be the Mother of a child who fills others hearts with love.

Addie struggles in ways that even I don't always realize - 
but her determination to succeed is remarkable.

Today we celebrate the birth of my angel
I try to remain focused on all the joy that this day brings.

Thank you for the last seven years.
For your prayers.
For your support
for loving one of God's most precious angels.

We need you with us this year and each year after.

I cannot wait to see the miracles continue to unfold in this coming year.

Happy New Year to you and your family on the most joyous of 
Happy Birthday Cupcake Cake Days!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Gathering Number.... ?

Christmas at Chris's Dad's house.

The stupid smocked polka dot reindeer dress that I bought two years back, finally made it to a Christmas gathering.
...along with Addie's favorite pearls AND rain boots.

As long as she is comfortable and happy, that is all that matters to me.

and she was comfortable

and happy to have a new ballerina doll.

Addie even complied with taking a picture with Nanny - in honor of Nanny's 92 Christmas.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

We understand, Thomas...

We are all feeling just like Thomas.
Worn out and ready to nap just about anywhere.
Christmas was wonderful, just exhausting.


I'm beginning to think that there is no such thing as a full night's rest.
I think mattress companies and pharmaceutical companies created the myth just to get parents to try to fall for the whole scam.
They are probably in cahoots with under eye concealer companies as well. 

Just sayin'

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Although you may not understand one word my sweet Little Monkey is saying, all that matters is she chose to bless our food this Christmas morning.  
You might be able to hear her "Amen" at the end.
She is 
So.  Sweet.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas Eve

Standing and looking at my messy kitchen tonight reminded me of how very fortunate I am.
I spent a wonderful evening with my family.
We opened gifts, ate way too much food and snuggled into a warm living room.
Chris and I are preparing a breakfast casserole for us to enjoy soon after Santa's departure.
We will have food on the table in the morning and presents under the tree.
Despite my messy house, despite the hardships we are facing, we are beyond blessed this Christmas.
Our Christmas morning will not be perfect, but we will have beautiful memories to cherish.

I realize many of you are facing hard and uncertain circumstances this evening and you are in my thoughts and prayers.

From my family to yours - 
we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a day filled with peace and blessings.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Dance Party

For the Little Monkey's Christmas Party at dance, we got to go into the studio and watch Addie (instead of through a mirror)!

The room was full of parents and despite the audience, Monkey did an amazing job!
She was a little nervous at first.
Any change to her routine causes a bit of anxiety, 

but it didn't take long before she was all smiles!
She made sure that Julien was watching her the entire time.

When it is time for Monkey to change from her ballet shoes to her tap shoes, she knows exactly what to do.
A teacher has to assist her, but following the routine requires no prompting at all!
She loves every single part of her class.

Ready and waiting.

She cracks me up.
Monkey loves music and just can't help but dance.
Every other little girl is being still and waiting for their turn, but not Addie. 

My Monkey.
The dance moves are not perfect, but she puts her whole heart into it.
I know I have said it a thousand times before, but when I see her dance or run or sometimes even walk, I am in awe of her.
She is simply amazing
and her determination and pride is unfathomable.

December 12, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Thank you Jaycob!

Addie's friend Jaycob gave her a Christmas Angel

and nothing is sweeter than seeing this Little Monkey so full of joy!

Thank you Jaycob for Addie's very special gift!
We miss you!


Daddy told Mommy that despite Lexus's best advertising efforts, it would most definitely not be a "December to Remember".

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Dear Santa,

It took the collective, patient effort of my loving teachers and caregivers, one professional photographer, two school days and six years and 11 months of my life, but you finally got a picture with me.

Sure you had to sneak in behind me, and it is highly possible that I did not even know you were there until after the photo was taken because I was so happy to be getting my picture taken with ToTo, but those are the minor and unnecessary details.

I have been a very good girl this year and I am not asking for anything, unless you want to bring me a new baby, because the 36 I have already are not enough.

My heart has enough love for plenty more, and not every square inch of Mommy and Daddy's house has been consumed by babies, yet.

Please bring lots of presents for Julien, he's been a good boy this year too.  He even drove me home from school one day and that makes me very happy.

I don't know what you can bring for Daddy, but make it something special, because I love him so much.

Rudy already got his Christmas present and he says, "Thank You!".  However, he isn't sharing with Thomas and Alley, so can you please bring them a toy to play with?

...and a little snow on Christmas morning would be nice too...


p.s., Mommy said to ask you if this would fit in your sleigh.  She said something about our driveway and a big red bow and dreaming...

GX 2013

Sunday, December 15, 2013


It's not often that I don't have a quick reply for most any situation, except when it comes to situations involving Addie.  
I try to be mindful of the fact that not everyone knows how to address sensitive situations (unless you're family and then there is just no excuse).

However, on this occasion it wasn't the typical Addie comment that left Julien and me speechless.

Julien and I took Addie to our favorite grocery store, just not the one closest to home.
Julien was buckling Addie in so she could "drive" the cart, when two middle aged men came up to get their cart.

Misguided stranger:  speaking directly to Addie - "Hi, you are just precious!  Are you helping your Mommy and Daddy shop today?".

Addie: smiled and giggled

Me: "I hope you have a great afternoon"....shudder.....as we moved the cart further away.

Julien and I just stood there looking at each other.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our Thanksgiving Day was peaceful.

My children even agreed to a few pictures 

although after Julien had a moment to think about it

and realized Addie was trying to kiss him on camera, he decided that it was time to torture her 

scream like a girl.

Which only made her hug him more

and the only way out of the situation was for him 

to temporarily act like he loves her

no matter how painful it might be.

ToTo came too and as always, was the life of the party!
Addie loved taking him outside for walks in the yard and I'm pretty sure he didn't mind either.

November 28, 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Big Bear

After Julien successfully retrieved his driving permit, he requested a trip to the store to locate the new wallet that would house his prized possession.

While at the store, Julien spotted this homeless bear and decided right then and there that the bear needed to come home with us so that we could find him a new home for Christmas.

This ginormous bear should bring quite the smile to the face of the recipient.
Until he finds a new home, he is staying with us,
and taking up a lot of space.

November 27, 2013

Monday, December 09, 2013

Sunday, December 08, 2013

The Day After...

After the wedding, we got to enjoy a couple days enjoying the beautiful beach weather.
It.  Was.  Perfect.

The kids were off - the - hook.

My sweet and precious angel sat back and watched as her prized vending machine wins were

used for cosmetic "enhancements".

Oh....the pride....

November 3, 2013

Wednesday, December 04, 2013


My Little Monkey is still very much in love with her dance class.
She asks about "dancing" every time we pass by and when "dance day" arrives each week, she is absolutely elated!

...and such a people watcher...

...and so proud...

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

In the Clouds

There is nothing like reaching a goal, making it to a milestone or causing mass celebration. 
On a dreary Tuesday in December, receiving this video was more than enough to make my entire afternoon week month.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Oh My

I officially have a permitted driver.

We only had to wait just over three hours for his turn to take the test.
Nothing like a little waiting game to amplify his nervousness.
There was little reason to worry, 

triumph was all his.

November 27, 2013

Losing Baby Tooth Number One

Sunday, November 24 was a very busy day for us.

Julien turned 15 and Addie lost her very first baby tooth.

The loss of the tooth explained a whole lot.
Addie literally slept the weekend away.
She wasn't herself at Julien's party on Friday night and although she had a good night's rest, Addie was so sleepy all day on Saturday.
While eating lunch, she fell asleep at the table, and I cannot remember that happening even when she was a baby.
She was more than happy to go to bed and she slept for three and a half hours before I finally had to make her get up.
After dinner, she went right back to bed.
While I was laying with her, I noticed her two new teeth nestled snugly behind her baby teeth, but her baby teeth were still very firmly in place.
Not even a little bit of wiggle from either one of them.

Other than a low grade fever, there were no other symptoms and she had me very worried.

Sunday, Addie was so sleepy again, but chose to lay around instead of sleeping the entire day.
After I got her out of the shower, I sat her on the bathroom counter to check her teeth again and that's when I noticed that her tooth was laying all the way forward!


Despite my ability to handle blood and gore, pulling teeth is not one of my strong traits.
I immediately started yelling for Julien and I grabbed a towel and grabbed hold of her tooth (to stabilize it until Julien arrived) and the tooth just came right out.

By that time Julien was in the bathroom and Addie looked from Julien to me and then back to Julien and then started clapping!

No tears.
No drama.
From her or me.
It was much less stressful that I had imagined it would be.

I got Addie dressed, took her downstairs and retrieved a baggie.

Addie was thrilled to show off her tooth!

She then proceeded to take her baggie and put it in her backpack.
Which left me beyond puzzled.
Addie then said, "Morris", "Allison", and upon my confirmation that she wanted me to contact her teachers, I did.
"Morris" and "Allison" informed me that if Addie brought her tooth to school, she would get a tooth necklace from Nurse Shannon
and apparently Addie knew this from paying attention to her friends at school.

Smart, smart girl.

After two days of debate over whether or not we would sign the permission slip for the Tooth Fairy to come and visit Addie, we opted out.

Addie has no expectations and doesn't ask
right or wrong,
it's what we did.

Just like with Santa.

She has been terrified of Santa, so instead of torturing her with stories of him creeping into our house at night, we enjoy Christmas,
with way less emphasis on Santa.

and we enjoyed this milestone with very little emphasis on the Tooth Fairy.

Instead of the Tooth Fairy retrieving Addie's tooth and leaving a prize,
Addie got a prize for losing her very first baby tooth and for being such a good girl.

We won't focus on the Easter gift bag.
I've been busy and recycling is good for our planet.

The Little Monkey was so excited to get a present!

She loved the rabbits...

and her new purse...

but it was the new toothbrushes...

that made her so, so happy!

Just like me, it doesn't take much to make Monkus happy 
it's the little things that bring us the greatest joy...

Like wearing a tooth necklace from Nurse Shannon, pettiskirt and football jersey 
and being the proud owner of two new toothbrushes.
She makes me smile.