Monday, February 20, 2017

Happy 10th Birthday, Elijah!

Today marks one decade since our oh-so-beautiful oldest son entered the world. I have spent today thinking back on that day. I remember the smell of the NICU, the way the skin on Elijah's neck felt sooo silky soft and how his small, confident smile told me that everything was going to be ok. I remember being afraid of the uncertainty, but falling head over heels in love and having hope for the future. I remember doing a lot of silent wondering about how his life would play out. We were told over and over that "We just don't know." His doctors didn't know how well his heart would work or how many surgeries he would need. They didn't know if he would grow well or talk well or walk well. There were so many things we could have become consumed with, but by the grace of God we didn't. We kept our eyes turned upward and we cared for Elijah the VERY best we knew how.

I was sitting next to my boy in the NICU when a sweet nurse shared something with me that I'll never forget. She said, "You know he's going to be great, right? These heart kiddos, the ones who have to go through so much, they stand apart." At the time I didn't know what that meant, but I cherished her words and made a point to remember them.

Ten. Years. Later. I cannot even believe what obstacles this boy has overcome and what an incredible little person he has become. Back then, in the days of the NICU, I never could have dreamed that in the following decade Elijah would:
Have 24 surgeries and be followed by 14 medical specialists.
Love Jesus, his little bro, chess, stuffed animals, movies, jokes, Pokemon, cheese, animals, water, skiing, horseback riding and anything that involves going really fast.
Crave adventure and meeting new people.
Have visited over 30 of the 50 states.
Have dreams of being a scientist and a baker and a dad when he grows up.
Look people directly in the eye when he speaks.
Be thriving in school.
Have a little brother that he loves to pieces.
Be such an incredibly smart boy.
Love singing and dancing to worship music.
Tell me, after a middle-of-the-night bloody nose incident, "See ya in the morning, Babe."
Be growing well, talking well and walking well.
Stand apart.

His first decade is an incredible story of love, faith, strength, courage and perseverance. Dan and I have said to each other since even before Elijah was born that he was going to teach us more than we could ever teach him and those words couldn't be more true. He has changed our worlds for the better in so many ways. I love this boy with all my heart and I cannot wait to see how the next decade unfolds!


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Valentine's Day 2017

Happy belated Valentine's Day! Our boys love Valentine's Day and are not shy about sharing their love for everyone. Yesterday after school they put on a "show of love" in our living room where they sang and danced for me for 40 minutes. Sammy kept writing down lyrics and professing his love for mama. He wasn't always comfortable performing so he'd make Elijah sing on those songs while he took care of drumming or dancing. It was great and I soaked in every word!

Dan and I celebrated in typical fashion with a steak and crab leg dinner after the boys were in bed. YUM!

Two weekends ago the boys and I visited the Stillwater ice castles. They were so cool! Elijah and Sammy had fun navigating their way through the castles with maps in hand.

And the cutest little first grader ever had his Valentine musical performance at school on Friday. It was ADORABLE. Sammy participated in the singing AND actions for the first time ever! He kept glancing our way with a cute, toothless smile on his face. This boy melts my heart!

My boys are constantly making me laugh, but this is the one thing I can think of from recently. Sammy has been crawling into bed with me early every morning. If it's before 6:30 I ask him to be very quiet, no talking, sleeping only. One morning he agreed to that request and after lying next to me quietly for a minute, he loud-whispered, "MOM. In the morning, can I tell you about my nose?" It was so funny and random that we both laughed forever.

Elijah has been doing great in school! He's had many great days and we are so proud of him! We had stellar conferences recently for both boys. Elijah's grades are AWESOME for Elijah and Sammy's grades are AWESOME for Sammy. We learned that Sammy is in the 99th percentile for math (wow!) and that he is excelling in every subject.

Elijah has had a few specialist appointments recently that have gone great. He has a few more in the coming weeks. In the next few days we'll be gearing up for his TENTH birthday! Crazy!

Thanks so much for reading and my apologies for being so scarce recently. It's been a bit of a rough start to the year, but things are looking up!