Monday, May 19, 2014

What's your story?

Our Spring semester of horseback riding ended a week ago with a horse-show put on by the riders of Special Equestrian.

This has been such a neat thing for us to experience with her.
Our girl received a first place ribbon and a trophy. Somebody please tell me how every participant does not deserve a trophy...go ahead, I dare you!  I'm not sure who was more excited for her...Chad and I or Grey.
As you can see, Sophie Kate pretty much relaxes when she is on her horse.  It was a sweet ceremony and she got to ride a long time which she loves.  These animals are such good therapy for her.  I am so thankful that she is able to participate in Special Equestrians at this time.

There is a new movie coming out soon called "The Fault in Our Stars," actually it is a book being made into a movie. Now I don't put myself in situations to read or watch sad books or movies, but I have seen the movie trailer for this book/movie that I will not be reading or watching and there is one part of the trailer that I absolutely loved.  The main guy character is talking to the main girl character and he says, "What's your story?" The young girl replies, "Well, I was diagnosed when I was 13..." The guy then says, "No, I mean 'what's your real story, your hobbies, your passion." I seriously love that part.  I've decided this is going to my new response for Sophie Kate.  When doctors, therapists, etc ask me about her story I am gonna say, "Well, she loves music and being outside.  She is happiest around her brothers and likes to be right in the middle of noise and chaos.  She smiles really big when you get on her level and talk to her."  I can't wait to see all their faces.

Seriously, if I tell you she has Cerebral Palsy what does that really tell you about her?  If I tell you she is feed through a feeding tube and is on continuous oxygen now and she has seizures and she is nonverbal and is wheelchair bound...what does that really tell you about who she is? But when I say she has a smile as bright as sunshine and she lights up when you talk to her not at her and she's really into Tinkerbell right now...well, that's a description.  When I say she likes for someone to read to her and smiles when listening to music and likes to be tickled well that my friends is a story worth telling.  

Okay so while I will most definitely not be seeing this movie because it's going to be super sad and I don't do that to myself anymore, I have to say that I really love that part of it and am quite satisfied that it is the only part of that movie I will ever see.  I am so going to do this though and I will report back and let y'all know about all the funny looks and responses I get.  She is so much more than the sum of her diagnoses.   

Monday, May 12, 2014

Any given Sunday

Upon pulling into the church parking lot on Mother's Day Sunday, Chad leaned over to me and said, "Whew, we made it.  Happy Mother's Day."  I had to smile, because that pretty much sums us up.  We get up early most mornings and Sunday mornings are no exception.  I get up around 6:30, ok 6:45 at the latest.  I don't think it would matter if I got up at 5:30 because that last 20 minutes is going to be filled with some kind of crazy no matter how much we prepare in advance.  

It's just the nature of the beast with getting four kids and two parents up, fed (at least some of us), dressed and out the door kinda sorta on time.  Usually one if not more of us end up getting muffins from the coffee bar at church and at least one if not more of us end up without breakfast because we just ran out of worries grandparents, that's almost always the parents.  One of the funniest things I find myself regularly saying on any given Sunday is "Put on your church flip flops." Yep we have church flip flops and just regular every day flip flops.  Is there really such a thing as a dressy flip flop? Seriously, if wearing flip flops to church is wrong then me and my third born don't wanna be right.

We only live about two miles away from our church but that 2-3 minute drive in on Sunday morning (depending on the traffic light) is full of..."does everyone have their Bibles," "put the electronics down,"  "is anyone listening to me" and "you better not be playing those things in church." Yes, we are very spiritual on our ride to church every Sunday morning, ha ha.  

All that early morning hustle and bustle though becomes worth it when I sit in church with that sweet girl.  There, much like home, she is surrounded by people who love her. I can feel the richness of the words I am singing when she sits beside me in the arms of her daddy.  This week I sang the words, "Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders/Let me walk upon the waters/Wherever You would call me/Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander/And my faith will be made stronger/In the presence of my Savior" with my arms around Sophie Kate. Those words are so real to me.  My arms, my heart and my life literally wrap around those words.  I can see them in the struggle and pain she and I have experienced.  I can feel them in the warmth of her skin.  I remember them and sing them to her when I sit beside her in the quiet.

It is not lost on me that our girl is back to going to church with us every Sunday.  It is a sweet gift to my soul.  This is a beautiful, painful, wonderful, difficult journey we are on with our God and our girl.  Our faith grows stronger every day through hurt, through healing and through the hope we have in Christ.  He turns our darkness into light and our mourning into joyful song. May we be so careful to ever and always point to our Savior, "The author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2).

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day

These four call me mama...
and it doesn't matter what they give me on Mother's Day or where they take me to eat.  This relationship is forged in the everydayness.  It started as I carried them warm and close with me for 9 months.  It grows stronger with every hug, kiss, tear, smile and conversation we share.

Cooper and I have laughed so hard lately.  I hope I never forget the sound of him laughing uncontrollably and I hope he never forgets how much we laugh together.  I recently had a conversation with Jacob about how much I value his individuality even when it seems like others around him don't.  I've spent time scratching the back of my youngest son because when I do he'll lay beside me forever.  I've held the hand of my little girl, looked into her sleepy eyes first thing in the morning and told her over and over how beautiful she is and how much she is loved.
It's cute how Chad tries to get them to get along and not complain on Mother's Day, but it's just about impossible to get 3 brothers to get along all day long no matter what the occasion is.  We're loud, we play hard and laugh even harder.  They are all mine and I don't want them to be anyone other than who they really are.

Happy Mother's Day to all of y'all getting it done...I feel your joy and your pain, we're in this thing together.            

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Is it summer yet?

It's that time of year when I deem the school year so close to being over that I kind of start "checking out."  The weather has turned a summertime kind of warm and Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner signaling an official start to our summer.  I can't check out completely though because there are still some projects to wrap up and Middle School exams to get through so I have to power through or at least pretend to for my kids, right?

I am weak though and our weekends are only foretelling the awesomeness that is in store for us when we can sleep late again.  My children, knowing the end is near, sense my weakness.  With high hopes of getting checked out early or even possibly getting to stay home, Grey says all the right things like "I need a pajama day" or "I just want to stay here with you and Sophie."  He's good, he's real good and I am powerless to his charms in my weakened state.

Sophie Kate's appointments are going to push on into our summer.  We are still in the process of having splints made and fitted properly.  We have appointments scheduled for Botox injections and for check ups on how she is doing with her new equipment.  However, she's feeling good right now and we are all back at church together.  She gets the biggest kick out of being around people.  She loves waking up to the rowdiness of all her brothers being home so this summer ought to be the time of her life, ha ha.

I want her to see and do and go and feel and smile and know that she is loved so so big.  We are ready not only for some quality time with our boys but also quantity time.  So you can see how when Grey says, "I just want to stay home with you and Sophie," I get a little bit mushy and weepy inside.  Yep, we're ready for you to be home with us too...all of you.