Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Birthday Number Eight

Here we are again.
6:00 a.m. 
Remembering that moment.
Remembering the first glance at her sweet face.
Remembering the fear.
Most importantly, remembering the overwhelming love and immediate need to protect.

Eight years.
Eight years of holding my sweet and precious angel.
Eight years of thanking the heavens above for this gift.
Eight years of trying to make this world see past a diagnosis.
Eight years of tears and frustration, and undeniable love.

Today has always been a difficult day.
Today is more difficult than in years past.
Trying to explain to my precious angel things she cannot comprehend.
Me, remembering the past eight years and the voice of encouragement that I no longer hear.
Today, we will celebrate the life that has brought so much joy to this world.
We will spend the day as we always do - as we see fit - in order to bring joy to Addie.

Today is eight years.

Eight years of you by our sides.
I thank you each and every year, and each and every year I mean it from the bottom of my heart.
We could not do it without your encouragement, support and love.

Happy Birthday to my beautiful, sweet, precious Baby Girl!

Happy New Year to each of you!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Eve

Every year, I swear that I am going to have things done early so I can actually have the opportunity to sit down and do nothing for a little while on Christmas Eve.
Once again, it didn't happen.

I was busy right up until the moment that our first guests arrived.
My dear friend Amy and her husband stopped by to see Addie and Julien and brought presents that made them very, very happy!

There is a farm that Addie loves to play with in the sensory room at her school.
Since it is something that she loves to play with, I added it to her wish list this year.

Addie was thrilled to see that Amy and Eric got it for her!

Addie was also in need of a refill on Play-Doh and Amy brought that for her as well.
Both items have been played with numerous times since Christmas Eve.

Julien - just being Julien.

Thank you Amy and Eric for the gifts and for spending time with us!

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Best of Times with Friends

My friend Patti, held the gingerbread house decorating party of all parties! 
We met last night with Dewana and a few other friends for a priceless evening.

Julien was more than happy to come along, not realizing that he would primarily be in charge for the first part of the evening.
Addie loved all the attention she was getting from him!
She adores when he gets to be her "helper".

Addie and I had just finished seeing a local version of The Nutcracker and I think she was tired from our very busy day.

She let Julien do all the work.

I know most of you remember Trenton!
We loved spending time with him and his family - so much fun!

Bergen was the ever gracious hostess and thanked each of her guests for coming to her party - so sweet!

Everything was going very well, until....

Although I don't think it's worth upsetting Addie, I tried to convince her that everything was just fine by taking Julien to see Santa.

She didn't fall for it and was glued to Dewana.

That is Mom multitasking at its finest!

Trenton's Dad had a lot to discuss with Santa..

Patti and Santa - on his way out of the building.

He made one last attempt to see Addie.
He let her pick a few prizes although she was absolutely petrified of him!

After we assured Addie - 112 times - that Santa was gone, she sat with us and continued to decorate her house.

The last pictures of the evening.

My sweet, sweet babies!

The gingerbread house made it home in one piece,

although Addie tried her best to dissect it.

Thank you again Patti for the wonderful evening - it was a night of precious memories!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas Party

Addie really enjoyed her Christmas party at school!
Thankfully, Chris and I were able to attend and we loved watching her interact with her friends and have so much fun.

We made a snowman.


I use the word, "we" loosely.

We decorated a cookie

and Addie took sweet pictures with her friends.

Addie is so excited over all the Christmas related activities!
She is all about Rudolph, snowmen and Santa and she has really enjoyed helping me wrap presents this year.
I love seeing her so happy!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Pictures with Kim

I'm not exactly sure how it happened, but two years passed since we last saw Kim.
I cannot believe it.
Last year, we had my brothers wedding and I thought we would have family pictures made.
Then somehow, this year was halfway over before I even realized it.
I booked this session several months back and was bound and determined to keep the appointment.

Kim, didn't let me down and managed to capture several sweet pictures of my babies.

I absolutely adore Kim and highly recommend her to anyone who is looking for a new family photographer.
Next time, it won't be two years before we see her again!

A Friendly Warning...

You might not want to ask me how I'm doing.
I might actually tell you.
I might also tell you about how Addie is doing since the loss of her beloved GaGa.

I function better when I don't have to answer that question.
Not that I don't sincerely appreciate it, it's just not a question with an easy answer or at the very least with an easy - honest - answer.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014


Despite two days of trying, Santa pictures were a - no go this year.

Addie was so excited when we talked about having her pictures made with Santa and every time we see a Santa on television or a yard decoration, she shrieks with joy.

When it was actually time for her to take a picture with Santa, there were tears, despite the best efforts of Addie's caregivers.  

Just one day later, Addie was happy to see the jolly old guy in the parade.

She is such a mess.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

A week in (very few) pictures...

Julien's special birthday dinner with Just Us that I wanted him to partake in, ended up nothing like I had planned.
I wanted him to try a new place - away from our normal stomping grounds - and he defaulted at the very last minute.

I'm blessed that he isn't high maintenance, and doesn't demand extraordinary things, but every once in a while, it would be nice to step outside our comfort zone (for something of our choosing and not because we have to).

Yes, so very much to be extremely thankful for.
We went to my aunt's, it was nice not to have to worry about hosting it at my house.
My favorite oldest brother came down from Michigan for Thanksgiving and the Iron Bowl
found this little frog that he just had to get Addie.

He was a fun addition to the day.

This is as good as it got - low quality cell phone photo - post dinner.

We have so very much to be thankful for, and don't think for one second that I'm not keenly aware of every bit of it.

Can you please use that in a sentence?

I love hearing every new development in Addie's speech, and love the challenge of decoding some of her words. 

For the month of December, Addie is very much focused on everything Rudolph. 

That's great and all, but on many occasions, I have to use my detective skills to determine if she is indeed talking about Rudolph 
- or rather Olaf
because when sweet Addie says each word, 
they sound exactly the same. 

Monday, December 01, 2014

Julien's 16th Birthday

Julien - being who he is - didn't want a fuss made over his birthday.
He didn't want to go out and do anything, so we just had family over to celebrate.

I ordered him a cookie dough cake - and forgot the candles -
catered Italian
and he was happy.

Simple enough although I begged him to do something "more".
I felt like he deserved it.

He still adores the camera.

My pitiful candle display was embarrassing, but that's all I could find in the cabinet.

I hope all his wishes come true!

Since Julien technically already had his 16th birthday present, I bought him another one to match.

He adores them both!

I have all these sentimental thoughts running through my mind, but he would be less than thrilled with me if I wrote them.
Every once in a while, I do what's right.

As I always tell him, he's "my favorite oldest child"
and I love him beyond measure!

Happy 16th Birthday to my precious Baby Boy!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Preparing for the Party

Addie was all about helping me get everything ready for Julien's birthday party.
She arranged and rearranged the plates and napkins numerous times and wanted to help with every little detail.

When she saw my brother's car pull up in front of the house, she got so excited and ran to the front door - the whole time she was yelling for "GaGa".
She stood at the door watching everybody walk down the sidewalk and it just tore my heart out when she looked up at me and asked, "GaGa?".
That created a bit of a setback for my emotional well-being for the evening.
I know Addie misses her tremendously and she asks about her every single day - multiple times a day.

Julien told me that the decorations were cute and sweet and I told him that it was a tie between the mismatched theme I created or he could have had a baby zombie theme.
He thanked me for my efforts and we proceeded forward with the party.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Day "Off"

Since the kids were out of school for Veteran's Day, I made a point of packing as many errands into the day as possible.
I'm thoughtful like that.

We started the day with a trip to the salon for haircuts.
I am so incredibly relieved that Addie isn't afraid of going to the salon anymore.
We are rather fortunate to have people who are patient and sweet with Addie and the patience finally paid off!

We also managed a trip back to the adoption agency where the bear came from.
Since we were there and headed for another - horrible - appointment, I bought Addie a "prize" in hopes of bribing her into allowing me to keep some of my sanity

seeing as how we were going to THE DENTIST!

This poor kid is still traumatized every time we go.
It takes three people to hold her down while the dentist cleans her teeth.
It's horrible.

The good news is that her teeth were nice and pretty, which meant I tried to ruin that by taking her for ice cream.

She seemed excited about a trip for ice cream, but failed to eat any of it.

We have six months before we get to do it all over again.

Monday, November 17, 2014

One week...

until Julien turns 16.

He is one excited 15 year old!

Football Season

Well, I totally failed at being a good documenter of the football season.

I don't even know where I left off and I don't even know the final stats.
I'm just that awesome right now, and feel really bad that I messed up the information "for" Julien.

Varsity did go to the playoffs in Mobile last week, but lost.
That's about all I can tell you.

Football Season 2014...that's a wrap.

Rotten girl has had a little bit of a break from being on the go every single day.

Julien got a three day break from practice, and moved right into wrestling.

HHS has their first wrestling match tomorrow night.
After Julien taking a year off from wrestling, this should be interesting.

He is definitely looking forward to it and poor Addie will have to get acclimated to the hours upon hours of being stuck in one stinky gym after another.

Tis the season!