Gratitude

My Little Loves

February 9, 2016

Since my blog inspiration is lacking of late, I thought I would share with you about the kids lately.  I’ve been telling myself for several days now that I need to post but either I run out of time or I’m not sure what to post about!

But anyway, Elena is finally getting back to her silly self.  We had been battling something the last month or so and are glad to see her on the mend.  She is totally in love with school and continues to let her personality shine through there.  In fact, last week her teacher sent us two videos of Elena with her friends.  One was during music class, where she was quite vocal about how much she loved the groundhog song they were singing and the other of a little boy singing her song, all the while she grinned from ear to ear!  Both of these brought tears to my eyes.  As a parent you always want your child to fit in, but when your child isn’t physically able nor can talk, you wonder about the level of interest their peers will have in them.  For us, seeing the children love Elena regardless of her abilities not only makes my heart swell, but reminds me that I wish all people could be as loving and inclusive to those who are different than us.  Elena is such a social little girl and especially loves when other children interact with her.  I pray all the time that Elena’s light will always outshine her disabilities so that other’s can love her the way she wants to be loved.

She still keeps us on the go with her schedule, but are looking forward to next week which brings us a day off school and a break from the Jackson Center.  Though I wish we were headed to sunny Arizona for a visit with Gramma and Grampa, I just wasn’t brave enough (nor had enough hands!) to handle flying with both kiddos alone!  I’ll just have to keep suffering through the winter 🙂

Now about our other wild one!  Boy, Cal just keeps us laughing.  I mean this kid is joy.  He is such a good boy and we are loving watching him grow and his personality emerge.  At almost 22 months, he loves puzzles, blocks and all his sports stuff.  He loves our family dance parties at night, keeping us laughing at his dance moves and his new attempts at singing the songs.  It’s pretty hilarious.  About a month ago, he became obsessed with guitars and trumpets.  Any time he hears a song with either, he announces “tars” or “trum-pits”.  He says lots of words, but his favorite right now being “no way”.  Not just no, but no way.  He has strung together a couple of sentences, my favorite being “I oh you” (interpreted, I love you).  Ever my little helper, he loves putting things away, sweeping, dusting and helping me put on Sis’ shoes of a morning.  Cal has the sweetest, gentlest spirit but knows he can be funny, giggling to himself and uttering “oh gosh”.  I swear every thing he does I try to take mental picture of it because he’s growing so fast.

Our family has our challenges, but I tell you, I have two of the sweetest kids on the planet.  Life can be cruel, uncertain and just plain old mean sometimes, but I’m a firm believer that it’s how you react to what life throws you that counts.  I was reading a story the other day of a Mom with two little girls with severe special needs.  This is what she said:

“For the first year of Claire’s life, Hartley said, she and her husband lived in a state of perpetual panic and sadness. The vision of their perfect life had been shattered, and they had no idea how long they’d have their baby girl. But Hartley’s priorities shifted in those 12 months. Perfect was in the eye of the beholder, and to her, she still had the perfect family. She was going to stop mourning the life she didn’t have and celebrate the one she did.” Read the full Washington Post article here

I couldn’t help but know exactly what she meant.  I remember coming to that exact conclusion.  That the life I thought I was going to have evaporated, but once I stopped mourning that loss,  I was able to see everything that our family is.  Our beautiful kids bring perspective and joy into our lives every single day.  I’m just so happy that I can realize that and be done mourning my imaginary life.  

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This is Elena. Our Light. You can see all the goodness and joy that shines from those deep blue eyes. She loves sneezes, yawns, industrial toilet flushes, automatic paper towel dispensers and The Star Spangled Banner. Music is her everything, specifically Moana, Frozen (really all Disney), Queen & Taylor Swift. Nothing makes her squeal quite like swimming, fast boat rides and her two brothers in trouble. In addition to her megawatt smile, Elena reminds us to cherish the smallest of victories, to live in the present, and to daily dwell in a posture of gratitude for every breath and every blessing.  

More About Our Story

I’m Emmalee, an ordinary gal born and raised in the Heartland. Wife to Chad, and Mom to Elena, Calvin & Turner, I spend most my days ridin’ dirty (literally so much trash) in my minivan carting kids to and fro. When I’m not being a Momager, I excel at self-care, cooking gourmet meals my kids won’t eat and deep-diving all the feelings. Most days, my attitude is gratitude, just taking life one step at a time.

Emmalee & Elena

Meet The Gals