Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Littlest One

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I’m not really sure where to start with you my littlest one.  You have handled the past few months so well and Daddy and I couldn’t be more proud of you!  A new school, a new classroom of friends, new teachers, and you have shown us that you really can handle these changes with ease (most days).  I have missed you so much the past few months, but I know we are doing what is best for you right now.  You need this, you need to find your sense of self away from me and the house.  You need to grow, learn, talk, play, love new adults that aren’t in your immediate family.  You need these experiences.  Time is on our side, and I have all of the confidence that you will figure out this crazy thing called life and blow us away. 

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A very wise friend told me that Grace is writing her own story.  It may not have been the story that Chris and I had written in our minds and our hearts when she was born.  But it is hers and she will own it.  (wink, wink you know who you are…)  This really spoke to me.  I was so hung up on accepting that things weren’t going exactly as planned, that her little life was harder for her in so many ways.  Yes, sometimes words don’t come easy for you, emotions flow just under the surface ready to explode at any moment, siblings are on edge when the tantrums start and they know when to get out of your way, and sleep has been our demon on many occasions.  Odd things bother you, strangers, mow mows (lawn mowers), birthday parties, loud noises, thunder storms, playing with neighbors, moving from one thing to another, and much more.  BUT, I felt that things were better, you were improving, you were talking so much more.  All of this growth was just on your own time and in on a different clock than my other two.  After two full months of testing by a caring team of teachers and professionals, they told us that you needed a special preschool for children just like you.  Children growing at their own pace, in their own way and a perfect place for you to feel safe and be pushed at the same time.  

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All of this doesn’t change how I feel about you, my littlest one with the beautiful blue eyes.  The school, the preschool, the testing, the labels, the teachers.  You are still YOU.  My Grace Ivy.  My sign from above that all is forgiven.  Life might be messy and not the story we planned. BUT it is our story, my Gracie girl.  Someday you will feel comfortable and confident enough to show the world just how truly special you are.  Your amazing comedic timing, your silly laugh, your giggling face as you run around the house in your birthday suit.  You are you, and you are mine.  That is all I need to know for now and forevermore.

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And there are two other people on this planet that love you just as big as your mommy and daddy.  I think you know who they are…

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Gracie singing “Reindeer Pokie” with Bradley and Ellie

Friday, January 16, 2015

What a Year It Has Been

I found out this morning that my wonderful Grandmother, Shirley Wingo Saunders passed away.  She hasn’t been with us for the past few years, and with each month, with each visit we have become more and more aware that we were losing her.  Alzheimer's is a cruel disease that hurts the diseased as much as the family surrounding that person as they watch them slowly disappear. 

In my mind’s eye I have visions of summers on her land in Warrenton, digging potatoes from the garden, riding in tractors, playing with her old teaching supplies, learning how to play Skip Bo and other old card games, eating delicious home made food and getting surrounded by her love and warmth. 

I will choose to remember those years and moments.  The past five to six years have ben really difficult, but the person I morn today is the one I lost a long time ago.   

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I was lucky enough to have Grandma at Bradley’s baptism, and these are some of the last photos of the “real” Grandmas that I have.  I will treasure these pictures and know that she is looking down and smiling at me.

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I love you Grandma, and I miss you so much!

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I already had this video finished this week, and wanted to share it with you.  It is our families pictures from this past year.  It only seems fitting on a day like today that I will cherish all of these millions of little moments.  They go by so quickly.

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Christmas Memories

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We kicked off Christmas with some Gingerbread fun at the Boar’s Head Inn.  We got all decked out in our Christmas finest and enjoyed the beautiful decorations.  They always have the Boars Head decorated to the nines. 

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My mom met us at the gingerbread event this year again and we had so much fun.  The kids ate roughly as much candy as we put on the house.  They always have great candy at this event and the kids love it!

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We had to pose with our finished house!

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We also got a chance to visit with Santa and tell him what we wanted for Christmas.  Bradley asked for a pottery wheel, and Ellie asked for a dollhouse.

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The night before we left for Disney World we celebrated Bradley’s birthday with our family.  The kids didn’t know they were leaving for Disney in the morning, and our family came to celebrate and pick up Grace for the weekend.

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Grace was a huge fan of Bradley’s birthday cupcakes….

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Bradley got some great gifts for his birthday, but his most prized possession was his new Star Wars quilt that my Mom made for him.  The fabric is so detailed and it even glows in the dark!

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Ellie and I stopped by Bradley’s class to bring cookies to his friends and sing him happy birthday.  It was a beautiful day when we visited so we even got to eat lunch outside. 

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We managed to squeeze in a few holiday crafts after school.  The girls helped me make our grinch gak for school, and they made some cute Santa paper crafts too.

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Chris and I snuck out one night to go to his holiday party for work.  The event was held at the new design center that he was a part of planning and building.  It was great to celebrate there after all of the work he has put into the new building!

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Ellie and I snuck away one afternoon to see the Nutcracker with the local Charlottesville Ballet.  It was pretty good for a local performance.  Ellie’s dance teacher was in the ballet, and Ellie loved looking for her during the different scenes.

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One afternoon the three kids and I went bowling!  It was one of the first times I have taken all three kids to an event like this by myself.  Grace loved bowling and we will definitely be back again!

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I have more pictures from Christmas morning, but I haven’t gone through all of them yet!  It was a fabulous holiday month, and the trip to Disney was icing on the cake!

Friday, January 9, 2015

My Jedi Warrior Boy

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This little Jedi Warrior had the time of his life at Hollywood Studios!  Bradley got his chance to take on Darth Vader and I don’t think his life will ever be the same.  Chris and Bradley got to the park early to sign up for the Jedi training, and it was so much fun to watch him in his element.

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After their training when Darth Vader walked out, three of the kids from Bradley’s training group ran off the stage.  Darth Vader was no joke comeplete with smoke, storm troopers, and music!  I was intimidated! 

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Bradley said that he wasn’t scared at all!?

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Throwing some of the force around!

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His little group after their training…

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This was our last day of the trip and Ellie was finally feeling a lot better!  Ellie and I split up from the boys and went to an amazing Frozen Sing Along!

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After the sing along Ellie and I went to the Honey I Shrunk the Kids play ground.  She thought it was amazing, and we watched this movie this summer.  The kids loved the movie, so it was really fun to be there!

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Ellie and I went to the Beauty and the Beast play also.  It was fantastic!

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The kids loved walking around Hollywood Studios, the weather was beautiful and it was a great last day in the parks!  We had dinner and headed back to the Magic Kingdom for he Very Merry Mickey Party.  One last post about Disney, I am already ready to head back!

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