Saturday, December 22, 2012

Playing a Little Catch-up

Even though it is the most wonderful time of the year, it's also the busiest...which is why I am waaayy behind on my blog posts.  So let me rewind a bit and give you a glimpse of what we have been up to...

Let's rewind to the Buddy Walk, which I said I would write about and never have.  It was an incredible day with friends and family.  I am so grateful for "Team Deacon" and all of the love and support that we received.

 And then there was Halloween, which I celebrated with my Super Handsome Ninja/Karate Kid, my Beautiful Butterfly, and the Cutest Little Fish ever!

 (Disclaimer: This is the only time you will ever catch me kissing a fish!)

Next, my Big Boy turned one. This was a very emotional event for me, considering how much my life has changed in that one amazing year. And I mean the good kind of change. Around here, we don't just have birthdays, we have birthday weeks, so we had a home celebration on the day of Deacon's birthday, and then a bigger one the weekend after.

Special thanks to my mom for all of her help with planning and to my friend, Sierra, for making Deacon's birthday shirt.

And then there was Thanksgiving, which was also an emotional time for my family this year.  For as long as I can remember, we have gone to Memie's house for Thanksgiving...spending time with family that we don't get to see often, feasting on her delicious homemade dressing and potato salad followed by dad's banana pudding, betting in football pools, and then when we are so full that we feel like we are about to explode, we pile on Memie's bed with a stack of sale papers and map out our Black Friday purchases.  Over the years, the crowd has gotten smaller, and we have lost some very special loved ones, but the tradition has still been the same. But this year, Memie had just finished her treatment, and her Doctors advised that she not be around children for several more weeks, so things were different.

We spent the first part of the day with the Tharpe clan at Dustin's parents. His aunts enjoyed introducing Deacon to his first bites of turkey and dressing, which he thoroughly enjoyed.

Then we spent the evening at my parents' house.

My Mom and Dad live across the street from my Grandma. The adults took turns going over to visit her, but it was killing us to know that we were all having a good time visiting and she was sitting over there by herself, unable to spend the holidays with all of her family and especially her great grandbabies.  It had been over a month since she had been able to see the kids, and we couldn't stand it....we decided to be rebels and break the rules. We bundled up the babies, took a stroll across the street, and busted out in the first caroling session of the season with "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." It meant so much to her and to us.  Turns out, she was sitting there contemplating coming over to Mom's knowing that she shouldn't.  She said that she had actually stopped and was praying about it when she got a knock on the door. Best rule I ever broke. :)

Around here, Christmas begins way before Thanksgiving.  I couldn't stand it, our tree went up on November 7th.  And Tree Trimming Day is a big event at our that requires hot chocolate with whipped cream and sprinkles, Christmas music, and a Christmas movie playing in the background.    One of my favorite things about our tree is that it is full of ornaments from our past and present, and each year we get to relive so many different memories with each ornament that we put on the tree...from the paper angel that I made in the first grade to the snowman fingerprint one that Noah made for me last year, each one has a special meaning.  The kids love going through each one and saying, "Oh, remember this one...". I love Tree Trimming Day!!!

And from there, we have been soaking in the season...enjoying all of our favorite Christmas traditions old and new. I will post more on that later, right now, I have to go, because I have some serious business to take care of...there is little girl waiting on me to paint her nails red and green.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Letter to my Baby

Dear Deacon,

As I sit here on the eve of the day you were born, I cannot help but think about this night one year ago and how we had no clue what would take place the very next day. I knew you were in my belly and I could not wait to get you out, I knew I loved you, and I knew that our lives were about to change when you got here. Your Daddy and I were busy trying to get everything perfect before you arrived, and you wouldn't know it now, but we were so proud that we had just cleaned out the garage and were actually able to park in it.

I remember bits and pieces of the night before you were born, but I vividly remember many details of the day after.  I remember walking out the door to go to Chickfila and to our doctors appointment. I remember not being very hungry and only eating a small cup of chicken noodle soup.  I remember feeling very sick and uneasy as we patiently waited in the doctors office.  I remember telling your Daddy that I had a feeling something might not go right in this appointment.  I remember the doctor's face when he told me that we needed to go directly to the not pass go, do not collect $200...we had no time to even process what was happening.  I remember the feeling of fear that overcame me as they wheeled me out of my room and into the OR. I remember the song that was playing in the background as you were being delivered. I remember the tears of relief that rolled down my cheeks the moment that I heard you cry for the very first time. And I remember the first glimpse of your beautiful little face as your daddy held yours up to mine. Oh, how I remember every little detail of that day.

I remember waiting patiently in the recovery room as visitors trailed in to tell me congratulations.  I remember the shock of knowing that you were already here safe and sound when I didn't expect to meet you for another month.  I remember feeling guilty for showing too much excitement, because there was a family on the other side of the curtain that delivered their baby extremely early, and I was not sure how he or she was doing.  And then, I remember the moment the doctor walked in asking for your Daddy.  I remember the gut wrenching feeling that came over me when he told us that you most likely had Down Syndrome.  I remember the numbness that came across me and stayed for the remainder of the evening...a numbness that had nothing to do with my epidural. The rest of the evening seems pretty hazy to me.  I just remember that I did not shed a tear, but your Daddy however could not stop crying.  I remember consoling him as he laid next to me in my hospital bed. For him, joy came in the morning when he got to visit you in the NICU.

For me mourning came in the morning. I remember staring at the clock as it hit 6:00a.m. and that is when my tears began to fall. I was crying uncontrollably when my doctor came in to make his rounds...and I'm talking the ugly cry...the one you don't want anyone to see...EVER.  Poor guy, he had no clue what had taken place since he delivered you.  When he left the night before, he was so proud of his healthy 34 week baby that went straight to the nursery instead of the NICU.  But I remember what he said to me....he told me that you were my baby and that God gave you to me, and that no matter what, I was going to love you and take care of you, because you were mine! At the time, my numbness had gone away, and I was feeling a lot of things...I felt like you were not my child and that there was no way that you could be the same baby that I had been carrying for all of that time or even the same one that was held up to my face just hours before when everything was good and happy.  I kept wanting to go back to the recovery room and rewind to the before the doctor came in, and I wanted things to be different. I felt as if I had lost a child. I felt angry. I felt responsible. And I felt very afraid...afraid of you. And for that I felt guilty.

About four months ago, I was cleaning things out, and I found the camera that was left in the NICU for anyone who came to visit with you.  I had forgotten about it and apparently had never looked at the pictures before.  When I saw this picture, the feelings of guilt began to creep up inside of me again, and I have to tell you, Buddy, I am so sorry!  You loved me unconditionally, and I am sorry that for the first few days of your life I was not sure how to love you back.  I am sorry that I was scared of you. I am sorry that I cried uncontrollably for two days after you were born.  What the Doctor said was WERE WERE the same baby that I carried inside of me...God DID give you to me, and I WAS going to love you and take care of you no matter what!  I am sorry that it took me so long to realize all of that. I really am!

Silly me, if I had known then what I know now, I could have saved myself a lot of tears, heartache, and regret.  As of now, the only thing I am scared of is life without you!  In this past year, you have changed my life in a way that is hard to even describe to others.  You have taught me the true meaning of unconditional love. You have taught me how to smile more, laugh more, love more, care more, try harder, and gripe less (your Daddy may disagree with that one, but I swear it's true).  You have taught me how to worry a lot less about what people think, to care more for others, and how to appreciate the differences of each individual. You have taught me how to not take things for granted and to appreciate all of life's special moments and to just soak them all in.  You make me want to be more try new new to new places.  You make me want to make a difference! You have taught me so many things past year, and I know that you are not done teaching. Thank you for all of these lessons, Little Man! You have made Momma want to be a better person.

I know that things don't and won't always come easy for you. It has taken you longer to do some things than it has taken others.  But guess what? You have still done them...just in your own time frame!  And that is perfectly okay.  Don't ever let anyone tell you it isn't. I am so proud of you! I don't want you to ever think there is a mountain too big for you to climb.  You can do anything you set your mind to, and I want you to always believe that.  As long as God allows me to, I will be there to push you, cheer you on, and protect you!

I love you so much, Baby Boy! I cannot believe that you are turning one!

Happy birthday to my Little Sunshine Boy! Momma loves you!!!!!