The seat

Every once in awhile, I’ll look across the room and David will be sitting or playing on the loveseat in our living room. It is such a beautiful juxtaposition for me. That is the loveseat Jason & I sat on the day we received our prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome for David. We told Jason’s mom the news on that seat. Jason sat in silence with tears running down his cheeks on that seat. We sat underneath a cloud of sorrow on that seat. We were confused and scared and overwhelmed on that seat. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to think about that day without thinking about the loveseat and the shock and grief we experienced there.

And now there’s today. Almost two and half years to the day after receiving our diagnosis. Every single thing has changed. We still have the loveseat, but it’s filled with joy. Our biggest surprise and sweetest blessing plays on that seat. It is truly a seat of love (yep, I went there)

  

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Thankfulness: the surprise

Day twenty-nine: I know there are many people who don’t like surprises; I’m not one of them. I love surprises. Planning them, being surprised, surprise parties, even just general knowledge of surprises – I love them all. (Scratch that, I love good surprises) I think they’re fun and exciting. They’re usually celebratory and for a specific purpose. They often lead to amazing memories and stories to share for years.
2013 brought its share of surprises to our family. Most were “bad” so they weren’t my favorite kind. From our Down syndrome diagnosis to David’s arrival a month early, we were blindsided and knocked over by surprise. But, we’ve made it through and we’re stronger. I’ve said that a million times already but really, our “bad” surprises have turned out good. Our lives are unexpected and not at all what we expected and surprising. But that is exactly what we signed up for. We said for better or worse and truly, through the worse, it’s gotten better.
I’m so grateful for this season, our lives and the continual surprises that keep coming our way. Keep the good ones coming!

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Baby number three – April 2015

Thankfulness: the joy

Day eighteen: Technically, I could write 30 posts about my children. But I don’t want to bore you. So I’m trying to mix it up a little & show all the little things about my kids that I’m thankful for.
Today, it’s the overwhelming joy that this little guy brings us & exudes. I know, “kids with Down syndrome aren’t always happy”. Then someone should tell David. He’s really almost always happy. What a joy he is to our lives! I’m so thankful for his happy nature.

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Thankfulness: the energy

Day fourteen: I may never say this again so read this closely. I am thankful for Ella’s energy. (Gulp, that was hard to type – it’s a double edged sword)
From the day she was born she has been excited, animated, stubborn, feisty & fierce. I knew early on that she was going to give me a run for my money. She is strong willed, passionate & has energy that should be bottled – we’d make a fortune!
Some days her energy exhausts me and frightens me for the future; I’m only going to get older! Other days I just sit back and observe. She is creative, fun, excited about everything & on the days I sit back and let her, she inspires me.
I am so glad God blessed me with the surprise girl I prayed for. She’s everything I dreamed of and nothing I expected. I’m so thankful for her.
Though she be but little, she is fierce.” William Shakespeare

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Thankfulness: the mess

Day ten: I have dreams of having a beautiful home. Not a huge mansion, but a beautifully decorated home. In high school I planned to become an interior designer, not because I had any talent for design but I hoped the profession would turn me into someone with style. Even now, I follow designers & home interior gurus on Instagram and love the way they style a room, knowing I’m an observer only. My home is cozy, just not particularly stylish.
Last year, we redid our guest room into Ella’s big girl room to make space for David. She is obsessed with mermaids so I scoured Pinterest for mermaid & nautical inspired rooms. The board was full of beautiful pins & while the final result wasn’t exactly what I had mind, Ella & I were both pleased.
The more I dive into my design side (read: my imaginary side) and the more bloggers I follow & inspiration I muster up, the more I admire these beautiful pictures and gorgeous room designs. There are tablescapes for every occasion and gallery walls for every home. Stunning white couches, cabinets and carpets are featured everywhere and I’m overwhelmed and pin it all. And then I remember, I have children.
I have no idea how “real people” with children keep a house stylishly decorated. Every single corner of my home is touched by children. From the crayon pictures all over the fridge to the bins of toys in our living room. Even our bedroom has toys & cups littering the end tables & floor. There is no space untouched. And the mermaid room Ella & I so adore? Here’s what it looks like now:

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I planned & expertly executed a “dream room” and then a 4 year old moved in. And she loves books and princesses and Legos and babies in addition to princesses. It’s her room & she wants to set up parties & move bins and while I think it would look so much more “stylish” minus the circus tent or adding the handmade underwater mobile I spent hours crafting, her room is totally hers. It makes her happy and it’s a place she feels comfortable. It’ll never be featured in a Pottery Barn catalogue but I’ll take the mess over the design any day.
“Excuse the mess, my children are making memories.”

The sibling

This morning, I heard David talking in his crib. Ella was up, but I was still in the shower so I asked her to go and entertain him until I could get there. This is what I walked into

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Ella is such a good big sister to David & as you can see, they adore each other. I cannot wait to see this relationship bloom!

The flower

I had to share.  This is the perfect way to sum up our sweet DavidImage

His purposes will ripen fast,

Unfolding every hour;

The bud may have a bitter taste,

But sweet will be the flower.

-William Cowper