Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Big TWO!!

It is hard to imagine that two years have gone my since I felt my world come crashing down on me. Two years, but the emotions are still so close to the surface, I still cry, sometimes out of grief and others out of the immense joy I have felt from being entrusted with this sweet angel. Over these past two years I have grown more than I thought possible. I have seen miracles happen. I have learned to stop and smell the roses, celebrate the small things and be grateful for health and the challenges I have had to face. No one really talks about the sorrow they feel when their child is diagnosed with a disability. This is not something a parent ever hopes or dreams of for their child. When Kamren was young he was in speech therapy and was given the label of being in special education. My heart sunk that this label was put on him and I cried. He was in speech for less than a year and now he has no issues and that label has not followed him. Abraham was labeled with speech issues and developmental delays. Again, my heart sunk and I felt alone and like a terrible mother. I felt that these delays were due to me not being a good enough mom for him. I really beat myself up for years. Sitting in IEP’s and hearing how far behind he was just broke my heart. I didn’t know what more I could do for him and that hurt me. I did not understand why I had gone through this with these two boys, why did they have to struggle. Why were they different? What did I do to “ruin” them. It was not until I had BrynnLe that answers began to come. All that I learned with Abraham was to prepare me for her. I learned that I had to be my children’s advocates and their be her voice and to take control and not feel like a victim or blame myself. Although I did blame myself many times after getting her diagnosis, I think that is the natural thing to do. All moms can understand the sorrow and grief I went through, we all have challenges at some point in our child rearing years. I have never really spoken of my sadness. But it is real and surfaces from time to time. I cannot even start to list the amazing things that have happened over these last two years. Our family closer, our boys are so amazing and have an understanding and love for those who are different. I am in awe of them and their willingness to go outside them selves and stretch and grow. I have the best family and friends. I have an amazing support system and I feel the love of those around us. I have made some of the best friends who I never would have with out BrynnLe. She has taught me more about myself in these two years than the last 10! My heart is overflowing with gratitude. And I know that has replaced most of the sorrow and heartache. I am so thankful for those who have joined us on this journey and I am honored to be all of my children’s mother. What a great gift they are to me. I am so blest. Happy Birthday Miss BrynnLe! You are loved more than you will ever know. a href="" imageanchor="1" >

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

How and where to begin? As I think about this past year I cannot even express my feelings of gratitude, anger, peace, love and some sadness too! It is hard to think that just one year ago Eric and I were in the hospital anxiously awaiting the arrival of Miss BrynnLe. Our home was ready to be invaded by pink and all things frilly! All of you know that it was a shock to us to learn that she was born with Down Syndrome. Since that time our family has been on the most amazing journey. One that I would never have chosen yet it is one that I would never give up now that I am on this amazing path. We have had a year full of Buddy Walks, Down Syndrome research, our first 3-21 celebration, and many more Down Syndrome activities. Our boys have learned to accept others as they are, that we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father. We are all perfect in His eyes. We have made wonderful friends and have been so blest with a great support system.
Eric and I have grown stronger! As for myself I have learned to speak up for myself and my kids. I know when to push for things and when to go with the flow. I am my kids biggest advocate and their biggest fans. I have the worlds greatest children. Each of them are here on this earth to do something amazing. It has been a wonderful year of growth for us. I have loved getting to know other families with children who have Down Syndrome. I have felt more love from friends, family and strangers than I could ever imagine. BrynnLe can light up a room. Her smile is contagious and she is one of the most loved baby girls I know! I have a love for each of our boys, they all have a special place in my heart. BrynnLe brings a calm to my life, she brings the Spirit with her. I cannot explain it, she grounds my life. In the crazy life we lead she is the calm in the storm for me. I love holding her and watching her little mind at work. She has overcome some great obstacles in her life and I know she will continue to amaze me. I am so glad that she came to our family. I am so thankful for her. I am thankful for her health. I am thankful she is ours. I am thankful for our extended family and for our friends who have been our pillars this year. to those of you who don't have a child with Down Syndrome in your life...I encourage you to reach out to a family who does. Your life will be enriched beyond what you can imagine. A year ago I didn't really know this world existed and I am ashamed to say that I didn't reach outside of my comfort zone. Now as I sit and look at our beautiful daughter I am speechless. copy and paste to watch the video, it is kinda cute if I say so myself! :)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Another year older...I pray wiser too!

How does time go by so quickly when we get older. It seems that when we are young all we want to do is be bigger so we can do more things. We think that getting older is going to be so much fun and we will have so much freedom. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to time travel back to a day when I young, but I would not mind if time stood still for a moment and I could take it all in. Our kids are growing up so fast, I feel that they are forced to be older than they are. With technology and media being thrust at them every place they go they have to be. How did our kids get to old? How do I have a 14 year old, I remember being 14! As I look back on this year of my life I can say with tenderness that this has been one of the most trying and most rewarding years of my life. I have been stretched and molded more this year than in the past 15 or so years. The last time I remember being tested as much is when I live in Mexico and Costa Rica with my parents. Looking back on those tough years now all I see is the amazing experiences and growth that happened in my life. I have come to appreciate the challenges that were placed in my life as a teen. Last year at this time I was about 7 months pregnant with our darling little BrynnLe. We were all anxiously awaiting her arrival and getting things done around to house to welcome her home. I can say that I am very thankful not to be pregnant this year and that our family is finally complete. Here are some things that I have learned this year: True friends stick by you no matter how hard life gets. Family (blood relatives or "adopted") are those who matter most. As soon as you feel comfortable with life Heavenly Fathers will oft times throw you a curve ball. Even adults are bullied, and it is O.K. to stand up for your self. You are the only one that can choose how you will react to a situation. My, well our kids are so amazing and have taught me how to be accepting of others. I have the best husband in the world (no, it didn't take me till now to realize that) I have an amazing extended family. My in-laws are amazing too! No matter how many times I fall, I have to get up. I have to be an advocate for my children, no one else will. There is a whole world out there that many people don't realize exists! Not all people are comfortable with those of us who are "different" It is my job to educate people about Down Syndrome My boys will be BrynnLe's biggest support system and they will fight for her to have all that she deserves. I love having a girl! I am more aware of people around me. I have learned to come out of my shell and meet new people. The list could go on and on! Most of all I am so thankful for all those who have stood by our family and have lifted us up in times of need and in times of us growing and being stretched to what felt like our limits at time. I am so thankful for BrynnLe and for the joy she as brought, she has opened doors that I didn't know existed and she makes everything right. I love our boys, they challenge me in different ways and I am thankful that they love me despite my faults as a mother. My greatest accomplishments in life are my children, they bring me the most joy and heart ache as well. I love Eric with all my heart. He is amazing. He works hard to support our family, he honors his Priesthood and is my best friend. He loves me for me and that means the world for me. He is the only one that knows all of my faults and fears, yet he is there for me with all my crazy ideas! Here is to another year, it can only get better. Here are some pictures from this year!