Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Very Happy Girl

As a mother, I have always prayed for my children to be carefree, healthy and happy (the way children are supposed to be). When we found out about ME's brain injury, I was devastated. I found it very difficult to be not crying, much less happy. Now that we have had time to adjust to our new hopes/dreams/expectations for Mary Elizabeth (and yes, they HAVE changed....but for the best, I am sure - a whole 'nother post); we are a happy family that giggles often again.

Although I ask myself all the time "why?!" this happened to my baby girl, I truly now believe that God has a definite purpose for Mary Elizabeth and our family (exactly WHAT purpose I have no idea). I believe that we are meant to teach something to someone (maybe in our family, maybe a stranger??)...sounds pretty vague, I know...but I am positive of our mission (just hazy on the details).
Slowly, God has helped ME progress in her therapies, her weight gain, her overall quality of life (she used to have horrible tummy pain and now it is completely gone). I have prayed diligently for this progress...often impatiently. Every time I feel like I may be on the verge of a meltdown, God gives me something - a beautiful day with both of my kids (no whining) happy and laughing together or a new skill ME picked up or a super sweet Benjamin telling me he loves me the most....just enough to get me through. His grace is sufficient.

St. Paddy's Parade

This past Sunday we went to the St. Pat's Parade. We were invited to a party at one of Mary Elizabeth's therapists house (on the parade route). After a tricky time getting there (Seth ended up dropping me, Em, ME, Ben and Owen off and walking with Virginia after they parked), we were amazed at the spread! Boiled crawfish, jambalaya, fettuccine, hot-dogs and Cane's for the kids, beer, coke, lemonade, cookies, cake, brownies, etc... Yumm!
We had a great time...catching beads and candy AND cabbage, carrots, oranges and even a banana! Ben and Owen caught a football, then played with it for hours (tackling, stripping the ball, etc...they were like BIG boys!) Virginia stood faithfully with her hands up for every float (of course!), and Mary Elizabeth enjoyed the floats and noises with her Daddy.

We left after only 36 floats (the parade was like 100 floats+)...tired and happy. We walked and walked...and walked some more. Ummmm, where is our car? Seth and Virginia parked, so the rest of us had no clue. When we reached 48th street, Seth was positive it was not that far...he KNEW it was 42nd street. We asked Virginia - she said, "49". We ignored her (of course) and turned around. We walked and walked and walked some more. Owen got tired and rode on top of ME's stroller. Virginia and Ben started dragging their feet. Em and I tried to stay upbeat, while Seth got more and more frustrated. When we got to 42nd street....you guessed it! No car! Hmmmm...
Seth told us to meet him on 45th street, while he went ahead of us to try and find it. Em and I dragged the kids the last few blocks while Seth ran ahead (he was embarrassed and very flustered at this point...Em and I were mildly amused). Whew! Seth was waiting for us at 45th in OUR CAR!!! Hooray! I am sure at this point I don't even have to tell you what street it was on, but just in case you still have no clue - 49th. We ended the afternoon with Coldstone Creamery...ice cream for everyone! We had definitely earned it!

Monday, March 5, 2012

We Got Ella!!

Recently, one of our dear friends moved to New Orleans...and into our neighborhood! This has been such a blessing, because it has been so nice to have an old friend nearby. I have made some wonderful new friends since being in Nola, but there is something comforting about old friends. Benjamin also happens to be "bestest" friends with my friend's daughter, Ella...and even though we have been away from them for well over a year, he still talks about Ella alot. We are sooo happy to have Ella, Leigh Erin and David here with us.

Isn't she beautiful? We have been apart for so long, she has grown into a little girl!! She used to be a sweet little toddler...
Dinner out after riding bikes
City Park
BEIGNETS! These two are already starting a routine of beignets together once a week!
Ella is in love with Mary Elizabeth...she is always hugging her, kissing her, talking to her, etc...AND...Benjamin has started too (thanks Ella!)! After almost a year of pretty much ignoring his sister, he has finally realized she is here (and staying!). Mary Elizabeth is thrilled...anytime Benjamin or Ella pay her any attention, she gets sooo excited.
This was at the Freret Street Festival last weekend. We had fun, the kids danced to a live jazz band, and we all ate and ate!