Monday, February 28, 2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy Birthday, Brooklyn!

Hooray! She is one!

At one year old, Brooklyn likes:
- snuggles, hugs, and kisses - so affectionate!
- bath time
- food!
- two naps a day, and 12 hours of sleep at night
- taking all of the dvd's out of the cabinet
- taking laundry out of the basket
- formula and her bottles!
- her blankie, but no paci
- her sister

At one year old, Brooklyn does not like:
- therapy! she is so over being made to work.
- getting dressed
- headbands, bows, sunglasses, hats, or anything else on the head or face
- the sippy cup

She has four teeth and can eat just about anything. She doesn't say anything but da-da and uh-oh, and is on a 3 month level for speech. She is on a 6-8 month level in gross motor skills. She can pull up to stand and can crawl like a champ. She mastered waving this month, smacks her lips for "kisses", shakes her head no, and insists on coughing whenever she hears anyone cough. She is almost done with her lung injections... the last one is next week, hooray!

Flexible, and generally even-tempered, she is a joy to be around. She is sweet, laid-back, and smiley. She is a Momma's girl, but has smiles for anyone as long as Momma is close by. She does well in church nursery and with babysitters.

This first year has been very full, but has flown by. I wish we could keep her little forever! But more than anything, we are enjoying watching her grow, and are looking forward to seeing her grow into a beautiful young lady who brings God glory.

Happy 1st Birthday, Brooklyn! We love you to the moon and back.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

One Year Later...

What a year it has been, and looking back on everything that has happened in the past year, I'm not sure I can even summarize my feelings in a blog post. But I don't ever want to forget how faithful God has been to us... and to Brooklyn.

When our children were born, we chose a verse for each of them. For Brooklyn, we chose Ephesians 3:20-21, "Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end." One year later, this verse is so dear to our hearts because we have seen it, time and time again. And we want Him to have all of the glory.

I don't believe in coincidence. So, when Brooklyn came early, but was over a pound heavier than the doctors hoped for, I knew it was God. When she happened to be born in the hospital with the biggest and best NICU for hours and hours around, it wasn't coincidence. When they said she would be in the NICU for six weeks, and she was in discharged on the eighth day, I knew it was God. When we picked the closest available pediatrician off of Google, and she turned out to be one of the top pediatricians in the US who specializes in special-needs children, and teaches up-and-coming residents in medical school... that wasn't by chance. When I reconnected with an old friend on facebook who walked me through the medicaid waiver process... are you getting the picture? God's hand has so clearly been on Brooklyn from day one.

Brooklyn was born a fighter, and she continues to overcome obstacles daily, with a passion. She gets angry, frustrated, and tired, but she keeps at it. And most of the time, she does it with a smile on her face. Through all of the injections and treatments and therapy, she fights. And she has the sweetest spirit I've ever seen. If only we could all stay so sweet in the face of adversity.

I've learned so much from Brooklyn's life, and I can't wait to see what God has in store for her. I don't know why God chose me. Some people might be taken aback by having a special-needs child. And it is not easy, at all. But I honestly don't know why God chose to bless me with this little life. I get to witness miracles all of the time. I get to know unspeakable joy and pride when she accomplishes something she had been working at so hard. I consider myself absolutely blessed beyond what I deserve. God gave me Brooklyn, with all of her extra special needs, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I'm so thankful for this gift, and can't wait to watch her turn one tomorrow... and see what the Lord has in store for her future many more years... He is so faithful.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Almost One.

I can't believe this girl is almost one.

And the closer to one she gets, the more fun she becomes.

She is so busy, but so sweet!

Looking more like a toddler each day...

But yet so snuggly...

She just melts our hearts with her cute antics.

We just couldn't love her chubby cheeks any more!

I consider myself so blessed to have journeyed this past year with this little blessing.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cruise 2011

Orient Bay, one of the top 10 most beautiful beaches in the world.

Blackbeard's Castle, St. Thomas


The sign says it all...

Magen's Bay, also one of the top 10 most beautiful beaches, famous for its heart shape (I had a hard time seeing that too, its a bit of a stretch, but its gorgeous).

Botanical gardens at St. Peter's GreatHouse

St. John and Tortola

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

Bunny foo-foo.

Coco Cay, Bahamas

Freedom of the Seas, our ship, the second largest cruise ship in the world.
Those are 200-person boats down in the water next to it.

Formal night #1, Valentines Day 2011

Formal Night #2

Jet ski in the Carribean waters

Casino time. Darren went in with 10 dollars, and came out with 19. I went in with 10 dollars and came out with $0.01. Moral of the story? I shouldn't gamble.

Ice sculpture by the pool.

Mini golf on the roof of 14-level ship = windy!


Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

Elephant. When asked how he chose the animals, our stateroom attendant said "its based on dinner." Uhm, what? We never had elephant for dinner...

Johnny Rockets on board! Need I say more?!

This was way harder than I anticipated.

Flowrider surf simulator.

Walk for Wishes one-mile walk as part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation fundraiser.

Ice sculpture and decorations.

Last day at sea.

Cruise 2011 = smashing success!