Sunday, January 1, 2012


Graham carries this calculator everywhere, yeah we know he is UBER COOL! :)

2011 was a challenging, interesting year. As with anything in life it seems that we flourish and fail in times of struggle. It takes us stretching, pushing and pulling to succeed sometimes and often times despite our efforts we still fall short and more challenges await. It's interesting though the strength you find in challenge and tragedy if you look hard enough. Well, we've looked and found it. The year began with so much hope and promise. Nolan was strong and doing well, we were settling into three kids quite easily actually much easier than I anticipated. Then February came, Graham broke his leg and found his dreams of becoming a peg leg a reality. My concerns for Nolan's lack of development grew and so did numerous appointments and specialists, until finally June 30th an answer. Although, you may find an answer it may not be the one you want. For Nolan it meant Infantile Spasms a horrendous diagnosis and our worst fears were confirmed. It was a very dismal Fourth of July with the help of my bestie and family it was salvaged for a brief moment and then the month of July seems a blur, Nolan was miserable…blew up to a balloon... the first  two photos are from our first night in the hospital and the last was just 1 week later for an updated EEG.  It hurts my heart to see our boy so miserable and remember how difficult that time was for all of us.

But, it also reminds me how far Nolan has come, how strong he is and how much he is capable of.  Also all of the outpouring of love and support from so many of our friends and family during that time. Nolan took ACTH for 28 days, two injections daily given by us, honestly easier than I thought and I have earned an RN from that experience in case you are wondering!  Anyway, he began smiling, interacting, coming to LIFE in just two weeks!  

It truly was a miracle and through all of that so much peace, appreciation and gratitude was found.  I often talk to my friends and Jeremy and discuss how now my heart literally doesn't ache anymore, there aren't ANY moments that I see a boy Nolan's age and it sinks thinking what he "could" be.  It used to, not that long ago, I wondered if 20 years from now I would still be "stuck" in that world.  But, I wonder, without the tragedy of seizures would I still be "stuck" wishing for more?  I like to think that if he had developed with typical peers with Down Syndrome it would have been an easier journey, but perhaps not.  Perhaps I needed that tragic experience to realize, how grateful I am for just who Nolan is, JUST AS HE IS.  Not that I wish that or wanted that.  Don't get me wrong.  I still think about life and compare to his peers, but now, well it's different, it's "Oh that is what 16 month looks like for typical kids." And well that's about it.  Nolan isn't typical at all, he is spectacular!

 I love that he smiles and lights up your heart every day.  He is such a gentle, sweet soul and  that radiates through him.  I like that with every little milestone we celebrate it like a rock star.  And he just can't stop, he went from doing near nothing in August, to babbling, crawling, grabbing at toys, feeding himself, holding his bottle, giggling non-stop and crying when he's mad, yes we even are grateful for his new personality, even though he used to like to shop a lot more before he learned to crawl!  Amongst all of Nolan's accomplishments and growth this year, Graham started Kindergarten!  And Audrey began preschool!  

They seem so grown and old now....where does the time go?  Graham seems like a sassy teenager who likes to challenge our knowledge, for instance, Elfie brought him a penguin pillow pet, and he said, "why did Elfie bring me a penguin, that isn't Christmas?" I said, well don't penguins live in the North Pole with Santa? He said, "No, they live in the South Pole in Antarctica."  Yeah, he's learning a lot in Kindergarten!  Forget who's smarter than a 5th grader, I'm not smarter than my Kindergartner.  
Audrey, well she's still a shy, little girl who lets her sass shine to her brother the most.  She is loving school too and learning many new songs and improving her art skills!  Her Christmas program may just be the cutest thing EVER!  She practiced her songs day and night and was excited to show them off, a little case of stage fright led to more mumbling and shy smiles than anything else, perfect just the same. 

This year we learned that bouncing on air can break your leg.  
That your children can break your heart and fill it back up just as quickly.  
Family and friends are essential to survival.  
Relationships and love are the most valuable thing in life.  
Crawling like an inch worm is the cutest thing ever.  
And well, one more thing....
just when you think you have a handle on life and a plan for your future you get another curve ball....

We didn't plan to have another baby in 2012, but yep we are going to have one!  And sometimes the best gifts in life are surprises!  We know it's going to be tough having 4 kids 6 and under and well just as with everything else in life you just gotta go with it.  I can't wait to share it all FINALLY!  It's been a LONG 12 weeks to try to not give it away, morning sickness has been ALL day sickness!  
Here's to an amazingly adventurous, exciting, promising year 2012!  
We love you all!

Happy New Year!

Wrapping presents naked, why not?

I'm going to be a BIG brother!
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1 comment:

  1. Wow, Grace! Congratulations & my love to you all!


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