Psalm 139:13-16

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

Saturday, December 8, 2012

What do you believe your God can do?

Another goal accomplished through God's grace in our lives.  To Him be the glory.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

One Month In (Updates)

I'm the worst pictures from Halloween or Thanksgiving!  :(  :(  I think I'll dress Grace up in her outfits again and have a photo session!  ha

Grace was the cutest bumblebee for Halloween!  She had fun at our church's celebration.  We were all sick for Thanksgiving.  Grace had (probable) salmonella and a cold.  I had an upper respiratory infection, and Chad never went to the doctor, but he did not feel good either.  :(  But we still had a lot to be thankful for!

I just wanted to post an update on Grace after going to TLLH for a month.  First of all, the school and its staff are AMAZING!  We love them so much and are so thankful Grace got in early!  She has adjusted well.  Her second day there was pretty hard, but other than that she has done very well.  We sent one of her favorite toys with her for a while, and we are still sending her paci and her blankie just in case.  She is eating well at school, but still will not drink anything.  Stubborn girl!

Immediately, we noticed a difference in her speech.  She will chit chat the whole way home everyday.  She tells me about her teachers and her new friends and what they do everyday!  She has started saying "w," "n," and "l" sounds.  She has been standing in a standing frame at school, and I can tell she has gotten stronger!  She tried to pull up yesterday at school (video below), and she did great for me yesterday when I was working with her on this skill.  For the past two days, she has reached for me when I picked her up.  Melts my mama heart!  She is also doing good for OT...she is almost putting rings back on her ring stacker by herself!  Grace is also crawling all over our house!  She is crawling fast and is very curious about everything!

We are surely blessed.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

What I Am Thankful For

Sunday night, our pastor encouraged us to speak about what we are thankful for.  Several people spoke and their words were so sweet and their hearts were so thankful.  Of course Chad and I didn't speak (we do NOT like to speak in public).  This blog is about as public as I get, so I wanted to take the opportunity to say what I am thankful for, the big and the small.

1.  I am thankful for my big God who loves me endlessly, shows me such great mercy and grace, teaches me, and moves me.  He is good.

2.  I am thankful for Jesus, my Savior, Redeemer, and Friend.  I am thankful for His sacrifice and for the salvation He has given me so freely in spite of my sin.

3.  I am thankful for my family.  Chad is an amazing husband who sacrificially provides for our family and loves me despite my (many) faults.  Grace is my true love.  Her life blesses my heart and I cannot even put into words how thankful I am for her.

4.  I am thankful for the lessons I've learned through my daughter.  Her strength and perseverance are inspiring.  Her feisty-ness keeps me busy.  She challenges me to be a better person.  She has taught me what love really means.  She gives me a glimpse of how much my Father loves me.

5.  I am thankful for my parents, sister, brother, in-laws, nieces.  I am thankful for our extended families.  You love me always.

6.  I am thankful for my church family.  The love and support they give are amazing.  I am thankful for our church staff, our Sunday School class, Grace's teachers and nursery workers.

7.  I am thankful for my job.  I am thankful for the ability to be a nurse.  My patients and their families are inspiring.  My coworkers are like my second family and we truly love each other.

8.  I am thankful for my home, my dog, my car, the food in our house, the clothes that I am blessed with, the bed I sleep in.  These things are much more than some others have.

9.  I am thankful for Grace's therapists, Karen and Kim.  We have been going to them for almost a year now, and what a year it's been!  They have seen us on our good days and our bad, celebrated every milestone, and guided Chad and me to know how to work with Grace so that she will continue to progress.  Simply put, they are amazing!

10.  I am thankful for Grace's school, The Little Lighthouse.  We are three weeks in, and they already love Grace with all their hearts.  The staff and volunteers are selfless.  I cannot say enough how much I love them and how much I am thankful for them.

11.  I am thankful for friends, old and new.  They have taught me, inspired me, cried with me, been my support, and encouraged me.  I love you!

12.  I am thankful for online friends.  You who I have never "met," but who have joined with me in prayer and thanksgiving, and offered so much love and support.  Thank you.

These are a few of the things I am thankful for.  Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!  :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Immeasurably More

From time to time, I check my blog and update information about Grace.

Yesterday, I was reading my "Please Pray" page, attempting to make any needed changes/updates.  When I read this prayer request:

Please pray "That a spot would open for Grace to get into The Little Lighthouse next year (2013)---she is number 7 on the waiting list"

It hit me.  I was praying that a spot would open next year.  God blessed us in His perfect time this year with a spot for Grace at TLLH.  His plan is perfect.  I was praying in a way that made sense in my plan and in my time.  I'm so thankful that God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.  (Ephesians 3:20)

He continues to teach me through my precious child. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

First Day

Grace had a first of school at The Little Lighthouse today!  I left a sleepy and confused little girl at school, and made it outside and almost to my car before I cried!  Her teacher Ms. Beth said she did great!  I got updates and even a sweet picture during the day.  I know Grace had so much fun and made new friends today.  Grace was SO TIRED when I picked her up!  Ms. Beth said she refused liquids today and didn't have a wet diaper, but she took 8 ounces of milk when we got home and had a wet diaper before her 2 hour long nap!  Tomorrow is dress up day for Halloween!  :)

Here are some pictures to remember the day!  Thanks for your prayers today!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Quick Update

I have a very quick, but very important update!  I will blog about this in greater detail later, but right now I'm getting ready to have my long week at work and I'm in the middle of making Grace's Halloween costume.  :)  I wanted to let our faithful friends who have joined us in prayer over the last two years know that


Grace will be in the Green room at The Little Lighthouse, and we are beyond excited and thankful.  What an amazing answer to prayers and continued proof that He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine!

Thank you for joining with us in prayer for this.  Please pray for Grace on Tuesday that this will be an easy adjustment and that she will make new friends.  Please pray for Chad and me (me especially) as we adjust to the new schedule.  I cried during our screening just thinking about her not being home with me all the time.  But we are SO excited about this amazing opportunity for our sweet girl!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Two Years

Tomorrow will be two years.  Two years since we learned of Grace's heart breaking diagnoses.  Wow.

The years have taken away the sharp sting of that day.  It is now mostly a dull memory.  It reminds me of God's love and grace for our family.  Even reality is beginning to dull.

God is good.  Even if these past two years were ones of grief over losing Grace had God chosen to take her to heaven He would still be good.

He has taught me that He is good.  Period.  Not based on our circumstances.  Even during the bad times.  Even if he doesn't choose to heal.  He is still good. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Boots and Standing Update

The punkin is doing great with her boots and her standing frame!

She wears her boots during her waking hours.  Her foot gets out of the right position at times, so we have to adjust it back, but other than that, she is doing great.  She has learned to tolerate them so well and she can even crawl in them.

We got her standing frame last week, and she's up to standing about an hour at a time.  We are working on getting in it twice a day.  She likes standing in it.  She reads books and plays with her favorite toys while she's standing.  She doesn't like to pull up or stand without the support of her standing frame, but we are working on that too.  She did not do well in PT yesterday, which was disappointing.  :(

The only pictures of have of her in her standing frame are on my phone, so they are not good quality.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Special Boots

My sweet baby girl got her "special boots" (AFOs) today.  I think she looks precious in them!  They have ladybugs on them with teal foam and light pink straps.  Next, we get to start working on standing and walking!!!  We should get our standing frame next week, and our PT is ordering our walker!  I am SO excited about this next step in therapy and the independence this will give Grace. 


Psalm 13: 5-6
"But I trust in your unfailing love.  I will rejoice because you have rescued me.  I will sing to the Lord because He has been so good to me." 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Palliative Care

Palliative care.  Those words mean so much to me.

Having worked as a pediatric nurse with the palliative care team for my patients, I never dreamed I would need them.  That is until October 2011.  Then I desperately needed them.

As soon as we got Grace's diagnoses, we started meeting with Dr. Boyte and Jackie.  We talked about things no parent should ever have to even think about.  We discussed best possible scenario and worst possible scenario for Grace.  I don't know if I was just protecting myself or pessimistic or what, but I honestly believed the worst possible scenario would happen for Grace and our family.

We talked about our birth plan with the palliative care team.  We wept and our hearts were broken in front of them.  We ultimately with their help made the most difficult decisions of our lives.  We decided to focus on Grace's quality of life, do everything we could to not let her suffer, and to let her die peacefully if God chose to take her to Heaven.

Our palliative care team walked with us on this life changing journey.  They listened to us and got to know us and our heart's desires for our precious Grace.  They supported us in unimaginable ways.  And I'm sure they would say they were just doing their jobs.  :)

These precious people have become like our second family.  They were present on Grace's birthday.  They helped us truly celebrate her life that day and even during my pregnancy.

Grace's first picture

Since then, they have celebrated every precious milestone with us and our dramatic and feisty 18 month old!   

Jodee, Dr. Boyte, and Jackie with our new family

Today is bittersweet.  Today Grace graduated from needing to see the palliative care team.  This is a big step!  We are eternally thankful for Dr. Boyte, Jackie, and Jodee for everything they have done and for all they mean to our family as well as so many other families.  Thank you will never be enough.

Grace and Dr. Boyte today

Saturday, September 22, 2012

This Day is a Gift

"You will never have this day with your children again.

Tomorrow, they'll be a little older than they were today.

This day is a gift.

Breathe and notice.

Smell and touch them;

Study their faces and little feet and pay attention.

Relish the charms of the present.

Enjoy today, Mama.  It will be over before you know it."

-Jen Hatmaker

(idea borrowed from a friend)

Sunday School

Just realized that I meant to post about Grace's Sunday School teachers a while back, but forgot!  I've been a little busy with my crawler!  :)

Grace recently moved up to the 1 year old Sunday School class at church, so I wanted to post about her first Sunday School teachers: Ms. Kathy, Ms. Mandy, and Ms. Laura.  Grace started going to church on Easter Sunday, 2011.

This was Grace's first Sunday at church - I think she was about 6-7 weeks old
This was her first Sunday in Sunday School - I think she was about 3 months old
And this was her last day in Sunday School in the baby room with her teachers Ms. Laura, Ms. Kathy, and Ms. Mandy
This was on the day of Grace's dedication with our family, friends, and church staff
I am SO THANKFUL for my daughter's precious Sunday School teachers.  They made her first experience with church and Sunday School a wonderful experience not only for her, but for Chad and me, too.  To know that she had teachers that not only "taught" her about God's love, but they truly love her so much.  I think you all read my blog, so THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for starting this journey with us!  We love you all so much and are so thankful for you and your service to our God. 

Now I need to take pictures with her new teachers, Ms. Alisha, Ms. Kay, and Ms. Kandice!  :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Evan Parker Cornett

Evan Parker Cornett was born on Aug. 26, 2012, at 10:50 p.m. to his loving parents, Chris and Lauren Cornett, at the Women's Center in Tupelo. He weighed 4 pounds, 10 ounces, and was 18 inches long.

While we knew his life would be short, everyone who knew him during this time was most certainly blessed by his presence. We anxiously awaited his arrival and once he joined us in this world he visited with us for four and a half hours before leaving his mother's arms and was carried away by the embrace of our Lord. “There is no foot too small to leave an imprint in this world” and he did just that. He walked into our lives and touched our hearts forever.

We are honored and humbled by the charity and selflessness of those around us. We give very special thanks to Mary Meghan Mabus and Stephanie Rhea Barcia for documenting our time with our precious little one and Will Rambo for his continued support and prayer.

Evan is survived by his parents, Lauren and Chris Cornett; grandparents, Jan and David Rowan, and Charlotte Walton; great-grandparents, Katherine and Royce Hill; aunts, Leigh-Ann Corder and Camille Rodgers; uncles, Denny Corder and James Rodgers; cousins, Kelsey and Ethan Corder, and Adam and Ellinor Rodgers; and many great-aunts, great-uncles, cousins and family friends. He is preceded in death by his great-grandparents, Annie Lois and Byron Fitzgerald, Jamison Rowan, and Argie Guy Cornett.

There will be a private graveside service at Pontotoc Memorial Gardens today, Aug. 29, at 2 p.m.

“An angel in the Book of Life wrote down my baby's birth. Then whispered as she closed the book, ‘Too beautiful for this Earth.’” As we carry on, you will never be forgotten.

Please pray for this family today.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Evan is with Jesus

Evan's Aunt Camille wrote this update this morning:

"I met the most amazing little boy last night.  He made the sweetest little sounds and had ticklish feet.  His skin was the softest soft.  And he was beautiful.  He stayed strong for his family for five and a half hours!  Lauren told him about some very important things that little boys needed to know about.  And Chris held onto him a lot.  We said goodbye to him this morning which was incredibly hard and sweet.  I can only imagine the multitudes in Heaven taking care of him right now.  God has been glorified in so many ways because of Evan.  I thank God for letting us love on Evan for the past nine months while growing closer to Him at the same time.  Please continue to pray for Lauren and Chris."

My heart breaks to have to write that he is in Heaven, but I know that he is richly blessed because he only knew love in life.  I praise God for giving them gracious time with Evan.  I can imagine his precious family passing him around and oohing and ahhing at his sweet body.  I'm sure they commented about who he looked like and kissed his sweet cheeks all night.  I can't imagine how empty their arms feel today. 

I pray that God would be their Comforter and their Strength right now.  I pray that Lauren's body would heal quickly and easily and that she would have minimal pain.  I pray for her broken heart, as I'm sure she will always feel incomplete without her first boy here with her.  I pray for Chris, as he tries to be strong and take care of Lauren.  Lord, give peace to this family as only You can provide.  Carry them through this nightmare.  Remind them of the sweet memories they have with Evan.  Give them joy through their pain.  Most of all, remind them of your great love for them. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Evan is here

He was born at 10:50.  Please continue to pray for his family.

This is an update from Camille, Lauren's sister:

At 10:50 Evan Parker Cornett was born, crying!  Lauren and Chris have had great bonding time with him.  Chris is holding him now.  Evan is breathing on his own.  Lauren is finishing up her C-section surgery.  Their wedding photographer is taking tons of pictures!  The staff, nurses, and doctors here have prayed with us and them.  I thank God for all of them and all of you.

Evan will be here soon

Please pray...they are taking Lauren back for a c section now.

Evan-Second Update

Evan is not here yet.  From the Facebook updates from her mom, they were thinking she may have to have a C section.  She said Lauren is very tired and of course upset.  Another update after that one said that she is progressing, but she still has a long way to go.  His heartbeat is still good.  That's all I know.  Please continue to pray.

Update on Evan

Lauren went into labor today, so they will be meeting Evan 4 days early!  I cannot imagine how they are feeling, but I have been praying that God's presence will be so evident that all will taste and see Him today.  I saw an update on Facebook about an hour ago that said that Evan's heartbeat is good.  Please - PLEASE - join with me in prayer for Evan and his precious family! 

Saturday, August 25, 2012


I am posting a prayer request today for one of my oldest and dearest friends Lauren, her husband Chris, and their precious little one Evan.  Evan has anencephaly and he is going to be induced on August 30.  I am feeling a sense of desperation in my prayers for him and his family.

You can find Lauren's blog here.  Please join with me in prayer that Lauren will have an easy labor, that Evan will be born alive, that they would get to spend a gracious amount of time with him, that their families will get to meet him, and for a miracle for Evan to be healed completely.  I pray for sweet memories, for little anxiety, and for a peace that surpasses all understanding.  I pray that if God chooses not to heal Evan on earth, that he would pass peacefully and that Lauren and Chris would be comforted in knowing that Evan is perfectly healed in Heaven.  I pray that others would continue to be drawn closer to God through Evan's life.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

My baby girl has started CRAWLING!!!  Praises to God for this miracle and all the miracles in Grace's life! 

"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer."  Romans 12:12

Friday, August 17, 2012


It is with great sadness that I have to post that our precious friend Hayden is now in Heaven.

I met Hayden and his parents Lauren and Brent when I was his nurse several months ago.  His mama called him her "earth angel," which described him perfectly.  I have taken care of many special babies, but Hayden and his family hold an extra special place in my heart. 

As does his mom.  Lauren has taught me how to be a better mama, and how to truly celebrate every moment.  She had such amazing HOPE for Hayden.

As sad as I am that Hayden is now in Heaven, I am rejoicing that he is perfect and whole, in no more pain, no longer suffering.  He blessed us with his presence on earth, and now I look forward to seeing him again one day.  :) 

Please pray for Hayden's family as they have his funeral tomorrow.  

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Choices and Thank Yous

Today, I am choosing to be thankful for the miracles in my life.  :)

Check out what my girl did in therapy today!  

 This is the first time she has ever fed herself all by herself!  She actually fed herself three puffs...I was in shock, so I only got one on video. 

p.s.  Thank you to everyone for the encouragement yesterday!  Ms. Kathy, Auntie Susan, Aunt Lesia, Marilyn, Alita, and sweet Tina (all the way from Greece!)...thank you!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Eating Issues and Other Ramblings...

I have wanted to write a post about Grace's eating issues for a while.  However, I've been anxious about the comments I might get in response it.  I'm now ready to be honest and hopefully I will receive positive and encouraging comments!  :)

Grace has had eating/feeding issues for a while now.  When she was a baby, she took her bottles with virtually no problems (I even had to try a lot of different bottles because she was spitting up so much).  The only small problem we had was she would take a while (longer than 30 minutes at times) to finish bottles, but after briefly seeing a speech therapist through early intervention, this problem was corrected.  We sailed along and she did fine with transitioning to rice cereal and to stages 1 and 2 baby foods.  She loved to eat, and would pretty much eat everything.

We started having trouble when we were beginning to try to transition to a sippy cup and table foods.  We see a speech therapist on an as needed basis currently, and she has helped us so much!  Through a lot of work, which at times seemed like it wasn't working, Grace now eats most table foods.  She still gags on slippery foods, especially fruits like peaches and strawberries.  But she is able to eat pretty much anything.

She still refuses any type of sippy cup.  She is very sensitive to anything new.  I tried to take away one of her bottles thinking she would be more thirsty and would cooperate with a sippy cup.  That did not work.  Instead, she started getting a little dehydrated.  So I added back that bottle.  She currently takes 3 bottles a day (at 10, 3, and 8) in between meals (at 8, 12, and 6).  Thankfully, she is now only taking whole milk (no formula).  She won't even hold her bottles, although I have recently been using handles that I found that go with Avent bottles.  I've been placing her hands on the handles.  I think she will get it eventually.  During meals, we try to get her to take liquids (milk, water, juice) off of a cup edge (we use nosey cups).  She will take anything from nothing on bad days to maybe an ounce of liquid with meals on really good days.  She is usually pretty offended by even seeing the cup.  I've tried working with her with straw drinking, but she hasn't gotten that yet either (although we haven't been working on that long).

I have a hard time with knowing the balance between pushing her to overcome her sensitivities, and when to be okay with her being sensitive.  

We make her try and feed herself puffs or goldfish (at least 5) before her meals.  This consists of her eventually trying to pick up the puffs/goldfish (after a lot of encouragement) and then us putting our hand around hers so that she will hold it in her hand.  Then we guide her hand to her mouth and put the puff/goldfish in her mouth.  She is proud of herself once she realizes what she's done, but she does not know how to do it on her own.  We've been working on this skill for months.

It is exhausting trying to feed her.  It usually takes around 30 minutes.  While I am thankful she can eat by mouth (many of the children we know with diagnoses like Grace's are tube fed), it is still very exhausting.  There are times that I cry during meals.  There are times that I get angry.

I HATE the disabilities.  I HATE THEM.  It breaks my heart that my child struggles with things like these issues that come so naturally to other children.  EVERY milestone she meets is a pure STRUGGLE.  There are days when I am okay with all that we go through to teach Grace to do new skills, and there are days that I give up and grieve for the things Grace has to go through just to do things that other kids do without even thinking about them.

Some days I feel the (extreme) pressure to achieve "normal".  I want her to be able to do all the normal things other kids do.  Then I realize that maybe she will never be "normal".  This realization is both relieving and utterly heartbreaking...relieving because it takes the pressure off to achieve "normal," and heartbreaking because I know in my heart she will never be normal.

I feel like I'm rambling.  I hope something here makes sense to some mom who has been there and can encourage me with positive thoughts and/or advice.  Thank you for listening!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

***PT Update***

Grace got into the crawl position ALL BY HERSELF this morning in PT!!!!!

Praises to God for this big goal that she met!

Next on the agenda: staying in the crawl position, crawling on her own, and pulling up!  We are also going to be getting a hip splint, AFOs, and a standing frame in the near future.

God has big plans for our little girl.  We are privileged just to watch and be involved.

Thank you, Lord, for helping Grace to accomplish this big goal.  You knew we needed success.  I pray that you will help her to continue to meet goals with strength and courage.  Continue to give Chad and me strength and patience as we watch you work in her life.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for ALL that you have done in her life and for all that you will continue to do to bring glory and honor to your great name.  We love you and praise you for all your good works.  Thank you for letting us witness your glory. 

The Little Light House

Last week, Chad, Grace, and I toured The Little Light House.  TLLH is a developmental center for children with special needs.  Children that go there have special needs like cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, hydrocephaly, autism, etc.  Currently, they have three classes with eight children in each class.  Last year, they had 10 graduates!

Grace has been on TLLH waiting list since February when our PT suggested it.  To be honest, I learned about TLLH while I was in the hospital after having Grace, but at that time, we didn't really know what Grace's future needs would be.  In February, Grace was number 33 on the waiting list.  I called the week before last to schedule our tour since they recently moved.  The director Carrie said, "Let me check and see where Grace is on the waiting list," and she started counting, "one, two, three...," and she got to the number seven.  Grace is NUMBER 7 on the waiting list!!!  I was expecting to maybe be in the 20s.

What does this mean?  Well, it means that there is a very good possibility that Grace will be a student at TLLH next August!  We just need them to graduate 7 this year, which they probably will.  I cannot tell you how excited I am for Grace to attend TLLH!

"The Little Light House offers a tuition-free early intervention program for children birth to six years consisting of intensive therapeutic care and cognitive remediation. Addressing a child’s physical ability, wellness, mind, and community, our year-round program promotes systematic, long-term, healthy change. A Bible-based curriculum specifically designed for children with special needs is the foundation for our classroom structure. Working alongside parents, our staff members develop individual education plans with measurable goals for each child. School sessions are held Monday through Thursday, from 8:30am to 1:30pm." 

Doesn't that sound AWESOME??!! Please join with us in prayer that Grace will be a student at TLLH next year!  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Playing Catch Up

We've been busy this summer, so I am playing catch up with this post!  

At the end of June, we helped celebrate Grace's friend and future husband Walker's first birthday!  He had a splash party, and we had so much fun!

 Making a splash!

 The birthday boy was busy splashing too!

I recently got to see one of my oldest friends, Lauren.  When I say "oldest," I mean we met in the seventh grade in Coach Murphy's class (17 or 18 years ago!).  We surprised Lauren at her work!  It was great to see her!  Please pray for Lauren, her husband Chris, and their baby Evan.  At 20 weeks pregnant (in April), they found out that Evan has anencephaly.  Her blog is

We celebrated Independence Day by spending time with family and friends.  We went to Pickwick, went swimming, and had a fish fry.  Grace enjoyed the fried fish and all the good sides that came with it!  We enjoyed celebrating Independence Day as we remembered what the day is about, celebrating our country's freedom!

 Grace was posing

My twin sister Kristen and me

 Also since my last post, I turned the big 3-0!  I worked on my birthday, so we forgot to take pictures.  :(  I celebrated by spending time with family, getting taken out to dinner by Lyndsey and Suzanne, enjoying lunch and cake thanks to my coworkers, and getting visited at work by Chad and Grace!  This is going to be a GOOD decade!  :)

Grace has been doing great in therapy!  First of all, she is almost there with crawling!  Our newest focus is teaching her to get into the crawl position on her own and keeping her legs at a 90 degree angle to her body while in the crawl position (she likes to have her legs/knees/feet under her like a frog).  She got really upset in PT this week (and last week), but she did really good.  Our PT wants Grace to be able to get into the crawl position on her own by next week!  We have a lot of work to do, but I know she can do it!  She also did great in OT last week!  Our newest focus there is teaching her to pull objects to herself by pulling the string that is attached to them.  Make sense?  Apparently this is a big skill to learn.  I think she'll do it very soon!  We also saw our ST last week (we only see her as needed).  Grace continues to have issues with taking in liquids in any way other than her bottles.  I was hoping we could start teaching her to drink through a straw, but our ST says we are not ready for that yet.  We will continue what we are currently doing (teaching her to drink at the edge of a cup) and get her less sensitive to things on/in her mouth.  

This past weekend, Chad and I had our first date night in a long time, and we decided to take a family picture before our date!  We also took pictures of the cousins on Sunday after church.  Enjoy!

 Grace was busy trying to take her shoes and socks off
 Pretty girl in her dress from Aunt Susie all the way from Thailand!

Ok, I think that about catches you up!  Please continue to pray for Grace!  There is a list of prayer requests on the right side of my blog.  Thank you!

I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Crawling Update Take 2

So, we didn't quite meet our goal of crawling unassisted by the time we saw our PT again.  But, Grace did the best she's ever done for crawling in PT yesterday!  Here's the proof :)  You can hear me say "Oh, wow" in the background.  Ha!  I'm very proud of my baby girl! 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Crawling Update

Grace did her first few UNASSISTED crawls in PT this morning!  It was a "breakthrough," as our PT said! We were so excited!  Grace celebrated by throwing a big, old-fashioned fit.  :(  Oh well.  I hope this is the beginning of her crawling on her own!  Please pray that by the next time we see our PT (2 weeks from today bc she will be out of town next week), that GRACE WILL BE CRAWLING!  We have a lot of work to do in order to get there.  Our PT told me to "shove crawling down Grace's throat".  Please pray for strength, perseverance, and motivation. 

Thank you! 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Grace is 15 months old!

Wow...time is flying by!  Our baby girl is 15 months old!  When did this happen?  I just blinked!

Grace is doing great!  She is big cousin to baby Lydia.  Her personality grows and grows with every new day.  She is silly, feisty, funny, smart, stubborn, and sweet.

She is eating like a big kid these days.  She eats pretty much everything we do.  We are still working on increasing her liquid intake and weaning her from her beloved bottles.  She still take 2 bottles a day, and we will slowly work to take those away.  She still will not use a sippy cup (she drinks from the edge of a cup), but she doesn't totally refuse it now.  This is a small step in the right direction.  We are still working on self feeding.  We are so not there yet, but I know she will learn this skill when she's ready.  For now, I just feed her like a momma bird!  :)

Grace is so close to crawling on her own.  She just can't figure out her arms.  She reaches for everything these days, so the motivation is there (finally).  The newest skill we are working on is pulling up.  She really is doing well with this, and she is getting stronger and stronger.  Our PT says we will stay with crawling/pulling up for a while.  There is a lot of development that happens with these skills, so we will hold off on walking for a while.  I can't wait to see her cute diaper booty crawling around my house!  Hello, baby proofing! 

Grace is doing great with OT.  She is consistently holding objects for 15 seconds and using both hands to hold a rattle at midline.  These were her long term goals, and they are met!  Our OT is working on her new plan of care with harder goals.  Grace is also easily putting her paci in her mouth, using both hands together very well, and transferring objects from hand to hand.  She also is getting better at not putting objects behind her.  The newest things we are working on is putting objects back in a bowl, taking rings off/putting them back on her ring stacker, and playing with shaving cream/whipped cream.

Other random facts about our 15 month old:
-she wears size 18-24 month clothes and size 5 diapers
-she loves our dog, Maddy
-she is working on saying momma consistently at the moment
-she loves her toy piano, ring stacker, baby, beads, bowl, rattles
-she enjoys watching Dora, Veggie Tales, and Sesame Street
-her new favorite game is "Ride the Little Horsey"
-she takes at least one nap a day, sometimes two
-she loves her blankie and pacis
-she enjoys bathtime and loves playing with her bath toys
-she loves "reading" books
-she recently found the edge of the bed
-she loves being outside

I think that catches everyone up on our precious little one.  Enjoy some pictures!  :)

 Meeting cousin Lydia
This was at the fetal medicine reunion.  Grace loved the Braves' mascot!
Sweet punkin

P.S.  I promise I take more pictures of my child...they are just usually on my i phone!

Lydia is HOME!

My niece Lydia is home as of yesterday!  We are so happy that our "Golden family" is all back together!

Lydia is doing well.  She will be on medications for at least a year, and several doctors following her.  But she is just acting like a regular little newborn!  This is a big change from even just a week ago when I was her nurse!

As we learned in Vacation Bible School last night, nothing is too difficult for our God!  We taught the kids (third and fourth graders) the story in Joshua 3 and 4, when the river stood still.  Of course, as always, I learned so much through the Bible story as well (maybe even more than the kids)!  In this Scripture, Joshua selected 12 men, one man from each tribe of Israel.  He told the men: "The priests will carry the ark of the covenant to lead the people.  When the feet of the priests touch the Jordan River, the waters will stop flowing and stand up to make a path through the river."

The Israelites followed the priests to the bank of the Jordan River.  As the priests walked into the river, the water stopped flowing.  The water piled up, making a dry path to the other shore.  The priests stood in the same spot until all the Israelites were safely on the other side of the river.  Joshua told the 12 men whom he had selected to each take a stone from the middle of the river.  He instructed the men to carry the stones on their shoulders to the place where they would camp for the night.  Joshua also set up 12 stones where the priests had stood.  Once the priests had crossed and stepped onto the shore, the river began to flow again.

The Israelites camped near Jericho that night.  They made a memorial with the 12 stones from the river.  Joshua told the people that the stone memorial would serve as a reminder to the people and future generations of God's power.

Joshua 4: 24 "He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God."

I love that the waters stopped flowing when the feet of the priests touched the Jordan River.  God tested their faith.  I can't imagine what they were thinking.  I know I what I would be thinking.  Couldn't the waters have stopped flowing when they got close to the river?!  Our God knew they needed to experience His power in this way...their feet had to touch it.

I also love that their path was dry!  They didn't cross at ankle height.  They didn't cross by wading.  The path wasn't even damp!  It was dry!  Our God is POWERFUL!

Our God is STILL powerful TODAY!  He has taught me this over and over again, but of course the best example in my life came on March 4, 2011 in a 7 pound, 1 ounce bundle of baby. 

Every life is a miracle.  Every life is precious and helps us to know and experience God's power.

Here's another example of God's power!  This is a picture of Lydia at HOME!  Praise God!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lydia Transition Update

Lydia has now been in the transition unit of our children's hospital since Sunday.  She continues to make progress!  I actually got to be her nurse the past two days, and it was my honor! 

Here are the updates from her mom, Lori.

Monday: Lydia had another good night!  She got moved to another unit yesterday.  She is still being monitored, and access is still pretty restricted, but it's a step closer to home!  She still has a lot of goals to meet before then, but it feels good to know we are on the right track.  I came home to give Jaycie some much needed attention while Jason stayed with the baby girl last night.  Jaycie has been a real trooper, but is having a hard time only having one of us home at the time.  Thank you all for your continued prayers!  So thankful for each day.

Tuesday: Lydia seemed to have a good night last night.  Trying to adjust the dose of seizure medicine she is on, and they are doing an EEG now to determine seizure activity level.  She was more awake last night which was so sweet.  I'm ready to hear her cry, see her eat, do the things a baby is supposed to do, but I know those things will come in time.  Thank you for your continued prayers for Lydia and our family!

Wednesday: Lydia had another good night.  She took a bottle!!  If she can maintain a good eating schedule they will stop tube feedings.  We are seeing progress every day!  Still no word on EEG results from yesterday, and we are still trying to get all seizure meds balanced.  The Lord's definitely got some big plans for this little girl!

Thank you SO much for your prayers for this precious little girl and our family!  We are blessed with great prayer friends!

Here are some pictures of our sweet Lydia! 

 Look mom, no oxygen---wide awake in the middle of the night
 Sweet family of four
Eating by mouth and loving it