Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Checking In From Moose Creek Ranch

For the next few days we are nestled into a cabin that sits on the edge of a small stream, where the air is clean and smells of conifers, and the night sky is filled with stars that you wouldn't even begin to see in the city.
After Emily was fast asleep Jason and I snuck out of the cabin and went for a walk.  The air was cool and it was beautiful.  We didn't go far...although Jason reassured me that his headlamp would be a sufficient weapon against any bear we might encounter, I didn't believe him.

We are minutes away from both Jackson Hole and the Teton National Park.
We drove to see the Grand Teton tonight.
The sun was in the absolute worst possible place for a decent picture, but as it turns out, I'm in love with the picture I got.

Do you see that tallest peak?
Jason has climbed that.  Listening to his description of that hike, I'm grateful he did it before he became a husband and a father.

The stream that is gurgling right outside my window is lulling me to sleep, but let me share my other favorite picture so far from our trip.

God has given us such a beautiful place to live...I hope that you can see that beauty wherever you are.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Happy Birthday Emily

We love you sweet girl.
Thank you for coming into our family three years ago.

Friday, July 25, 2014

On Being Emily's Mommy

So here's the thing.

There is something about living your life every single day with the question of 'what if' in the back of your mind, or the not so back of your mind depending on the circumstance, that changes you.

There's something about quieting the fears, over and over again, every single day, that makes you look at life differently.

And there's something about the heaviness of an unknown future, more unknown than just the unknown that is part of existence, that makes you weary.

There are a lot of tears, there is a lot of grief that hits you when you least expect it,  there is a lot of telling yourself over and over again that it's okay to let go of what society tells you is the norm, there are quiet moments when you wonder if you are always, for the rest of this life, going to feel the heartbreak that came the day you were told there is something wrong with your baby.

But here's the other thing.

There are moments of clarity, glimpses of the bigger picture, of the eternal picture, that can only be defined as divine ... and in those moments of clarity you know that all of it - the good and the bad, the bitter and sweet - it's a gift.

It's a gift bigger than you can comprehend, and because you know it's a gift ... because you know she's a gift, you live your life differently than you might have otherwise.

You play in the water more, even if it means changing her clothes three times a day.
You laugh at the puzzle pieces that are thrown across the room, because you know she does it to hear the sound once they land.
You sing the alphabet song 27 times a day.
You let her sit on your lap while you're working, and patiently delete what she manages to type.

You stop at every single little thing that has a number and you wait while she points to each one.
You snuggle her to sleep every single night because it's what she needs.
You willingly share your space in the bed when she wakes up and comes into your room every morning between 2:00 and 3:00 because it's also what she needs.

And in those moments when your patience is stretched as thin as you think it can be stretched - you find a little bit more, and you remind yourself that she didn't ask for any of the hard parts of her life.

And when you finally drift off to sleep at the end of each day you hope to one day have even a portion of the courage and strength that this little girl has - and you thank God that you have the blessing of being her mommy.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Swimming and Puzzles - That's All We Do

Hey World,

I don't know about you, but I've been busy.
There was a time I blogged every single day - I had stories to tell and I never ran out of thing to write about.
Life isn't as exciting as it once was that's for sure - but I wouldn't change anything.
Snuggling with Emily every night makes up for every ounce of lost excitement.

Jason has been home for a few weeks and we've enjoyed our warm summer days.
We've done a lot of swimming ... actually, Emily has done a lot of swimming and Jason and I have done a lot of watching.
We're on our third pool of the summer.
The first was too small.
The second was too big.
And the third was just right.

(Actually the second one wouldn't hold the air and we gave up.)

 * * *

Jason and I went to a local production of Les Miserables a few weeks ago.
It was an outdoor theatre and it was perfect.
The sun set as Eponine sang "On My Own" - and really, it was perfect.
I've seen Les Mis on Broadway four or five times, and yet this show was more touching to me than all of the Broadway versions.
I was glad it was dark so that those around me couldn't see how much I cried.

This past weekend Jason, Becca, my mom and I saw Wicked.
I love it and could see it every week and not get tired of it.

Jason's parents drove five hours to be here to watch Emily while we went.
I was so grateful for their willingness to do that for us!

* * *

In all of my spare time (which is usually from the hours of 11:00pm - 2:00am) I redid one of our bathrooms.

I love how it turned out.
A neighbor of mine does finish work and when I told him that I wanted wrap around shelves he was more than happy to make them for me.
It's nice to know talented people.

* * *

I have a lot to update where our little lady is concerned but I'll save that for another day.
She's well and she's happy.
And she's two weeks away from turning three!
Where did the time go?!

Monday, July 7, 2014

I'm Feeling Lighter

We went hiking tonight.
It was the first time I've been hiking in a long time.
A really long time.
Truthfully, I was nervous to go because I was sure I would die.

In my other life I hiked three or four times a week, and I've missed it so much.

Tonight reminded me that I need the mountains...I think my soul needs the mountains.

I won't wait so long to go hiking again.

Emily sang the entire way up the mountain - there is nothing sweeter than Emily singing.

And there is nowhere more beautiful than where we live.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Simple Reminders

One night last week I stopped at a new park I had seen on the drive home the day before.
In our book, the more slides a park has, the better it is.
This park didn't disappoint and Emily was in heaven.

There were a lot of little kids playing, and one little boy, who was maybe six years old, took an interest in Emily.
After several attempts at talking to her, and only getting little squeaks and finger pointing from her, he turned to me and said, "She's a shy little one isn't she?"

I explained that Emily wasn't shy - she just couldn't talk.

"Really?  She can't say anything?"

"She can say words with sign language," I said, and then asked if he knew what sign language was.
He said he did and we left it at that.

A few minutes later Emily's shoe fell off and the little boy jumped down from where they were playing and got her shoe, and gave it back to her.

Emily made the sign for thank you and the boy looked at me with a question on his face.

"That's 'thank you' in sign language," I told him.

"I had no idea," he said.  He sounded like such a little grown up.

I could tell he was thinking about it for a minute and then he said, "Gracias.  That's thank you in Spanish.  I'm learning a language just like she is."

I immediately got a little teary eyed at the innocence and compassion of this little man.

He wanted nothing more than to relate somehow to Emily - to understand her.
And in his way he did just that.
He took her differences and handled them perfectly, and made it so that there was no difference at all...they were two little kids playing together, both of them learning a language that would allow them to communicate.

In that moment I hoped with all of my heart that people would always show my sweet Emily that much love, and I was reminded of the need there is for me to also extend that same love to everyone I come in contact with.

We should all spend more time at the park...that's the moral of the story.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

They Should Make Longer Ropes

I'm at the end of my rope.
I need something to give, but there is not a single thing that I can change right now to make life less end of my rope-ish.

Here's just a taste of life recently:

My debit card number got hacked.  I caught it after just one charge, and the bank blocked my card.  I don't usually carry cash and so I'm mostly stuck until my new card comes.  Tonight I took Jason's card to go and buy milk.

I ended up in the ER over the weekend due to a mosquito bite that quickly turned into cellulitis.  Enough people told me that cellulitis is not something you mess with, and has the potential to be life-threatening that I took them seriously and went to the ER (it was late enough that no other medical facility was open.)  They put me on a heavy duty antibiotic and it looks like I'm going to live.

Emily's occupational therapist came today and after assuring me that Emily is smarter than any other child he sees, he kindly told me that he feels Em's lack of speech at this point is a more severe problem than we've assumed up to this point.

And this comes after learning this week that insurance won't cover private speech therapy because speech isn't something that Em had and then lost.

The therapist also recognized that keeping Emily from being bored is a full-time job.
And it is.
He gave me a few apps to download that are for preschool/kindergarten age kids - he thinks they will be at the level Emily is ready for.

Bless her heart.
She's leaps and bounds ahead of the game and she can't even say the word hi.

It's becoming a source of frustration for her actually.
Emily is the most calm, patient, happy toddler I've ever known, but in this one thing, she loses patience quickly.  And all the sign language in the world doesn't help that frustration...because in her mind she thinks she's talking, but all that comes out are her little squeaks.

(Speaking of patience...I was texting with a person from our local search and rescue team.  I have some medical supplies I am going to give to the team.  Every single time this guy referred to patients they treat, he spelled it 'patience.'  I wanted to tell him that I could only give him the supplies once he learned how to spell the word right.)

One more little thing and then I'll let you see some pretty cute pictures of our girl.

Let's make a pact right now...that we will never ever ever ask someone when they are going to have another baby.
Say it with me: "I will never again ask a woman when she is going to have a/another baby."

I don't need to elaborate on the reasons why we're making such a pact right?
Because I will.
If I need to.
I'm just worried I might not be able to make it sound nice...and stuff.

Here - some pictures.
This little waterfall is right outside of my office.
When Em needs a break this is where we go.