Monday, January 31, 2011

My Soft Place

I have come to realize that we all roam this home we call Earth searching for our place.  Our meant to be, soft spot, comfy place to fall.  That place where you can just be you and let it all hang out.  That place where no matter how bad the day, you can submerge yourself in it's glory and you'll come out better, happier, more peaceful.
My place has been there all of my life, I just didn't realized how incredibly much until I had a special needs baby.  Somehow, when you are thrust into another life all together for a certain amount of time, you realize when you come out of it just how important it is to crawl your way back to that soft spot.  Yah, I left my soft spot for quite some time to become a wife and Mommy.  I learned this weekend that I can have both. That I need both.  That the healing that comes from it is so worth the extra effort.  That time subdues it all, but when you really get down to it there is still heart ache so deep it throbs in your bones.  There is fear so thick the tears well without thought.  There is sadness for the changes so radical it still blows your mind.  So every day I take myself to that soft spot. Whether it be the wee hours or dusky goodness; the streets of this town, the gym or muddy trails far away.  It is my soft spot.  That one place I go where my mind can be free, my fears can just be and by the end, hope always prevails. There is something liberating at the end of each workout with that adrenaline pumping. The sweat dripping my body almost as if they were the tears and emotions needing to be released doing it that way instead.  That high that I have found cannot be replaced.  It is my therapy.
So like a druggie, I am constantly looking for my next high.  The next race, the next adventure, the next place to leave it all behind at.  Not because I care about what it does for my body (although I won't lie, that part rocks too) but for what it does for my soul.  My beaten, broken soul.  It really is, but this soft place is slowly healing me.  Renewing me in ways that I didn't think were possible.

         Next Adventure

Yes, I got all high school girl and decorated the car!  I am my son's voice. I let the world know how awesome he is whether it be through the blog, my big ole mouth, the car or whatever else strikes my fancy. I run in his honor and it makes me a child again, excited and proud. So glass chalk and french braid pig tails it is....


Oh my stars was it freaking awesome!  I knew it would be fun. I knew it would be wild.  Yet it was so much more than that.  It was downright thrilling. I don't know why. Can't explain the "sickness" I have, I just know that I very literally smiled the entire way!


Oh' it was nasty, muddy, dirty, tire hopping, car jumping, rope climbing, balance beam, army crawl in a blacked out tent, log rolling, fire jumping, barbed wire fence skimming goodness. Yep, you heard me right. It was the craziest friggin day of my life and I think the high is still in the building from it.


I know I know there are far more exciting and ahem.... safe things to take to in life, but I love a challenge and as each obstacle came into my line of vision the smile got wider and wider.  Cause really, isn't life all about taking whatever comes your way and rocking it.   I am kind of good at the whole climbing, skimming, hanging on when there's nothing left, laughing at the absurdity of it all thing.  So too, was Warrior Dash.  I looked around at all the others high on it and giggled.  I wasn't the only one that found it so exhilarating.

no joke i had a manicure the day before. i am a girls girl and this was not ok with me. first thing i did when i got home was scrub my nails with a toothbrush)

(those were white shoes and socks prior to the race)

My friend Charity, who's son Asher, has the same heart condition as Pax was with me and while she was nervous as hell to begin with, I saw that high when she crossed the finish line all mudded up.  It was in her, just as it was in me.  The bad ass mom that could do nothing for months on end, but stand by was no longer just standing by. We were leaving all of that pent up frustration and sadness in the muddy swamps we had just groped our way through.

(oh lord when I saw her near the finish line i jumped up and down so hard cheering i peed myself, cause i get it. i get her and vice versa.  some days no words are needed. like this day when we both took to the swamps to heal our hearts.)

(heart mamas unite)

It was that good!

Everybody has their own way of dealing with life.  Everybody has there own soft place to fall.  I only hope that those of you reading have found yours. What heals you? What gives you strength when there is none?  Many of my readers are special needs moms and the journey is far from easy so I share my place with you because without it, I wonder who I would be today.... I think I would still be the exhausted, weary, sad mom.  Don't get me wrong, lord knows, I still have plenty of those days, no doubt, I have just learned to channel that.  We went to St. Pete for a cardiology check up last week and while Pax checked out great, I was still full up of everything that hospital represents to me by the time we got home. I was bitter, grumpy and ugly.  So I left. I went to the gym, sweat it out and by nightfall I was a new person, hope had prevailed yet again.  

So whether it be Warrior Dash or sweating in your own home in front of the tv.  Meditating, yoga or a hot bath. Find that soft place.  Love it and visit it often. The rewards are endless.  The healing, priceless.  The renewed hope, essential.   The smiles, emanating.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

I get so frustrated sometimes because I want to write every day. It is SO healing for me, but I have three children and time seems to slip away from me.
We have been busy round these parts.  Paxton had a cardiology check up on Monday and everything came back perfect (well, perfect for an HLHS baby)  I was so excited to hear that he was on the up and up.  Going there never ceases to remind me of where we have been and where we have yet to go.  I sort of always prepare myself for some sort of "issue" to come up, but so far that hasn't happened.  Pax likes to surprise with his, never when you think it will happen, only when you are most unprepared does he up and cause commotion.  That's Pax though and I adore every single inch of him. He is so grown up now. We are on the verge of chucking the bottles and this breaks my heart. He is my last, and it only reminds me that there will be no more "babyness" around anymore.  I could SO be one of those moms that has a baby on her hip until the day she dies, but I am smart enough to know that Pax needs me as do my other two.
He is allllmost walking. He can stand on his own for short bits of time. You can see the strength builiding in his upper body and it makes me so proud. He has been behind the eight ball living in a hospital so much, but he rallies as always and will be off and running before we know it.
He is ALL boy. Plays in the dirt, water, toilets (god forbid they are left open), anything he can get into and make a mess of is fair game.  He really and truly takes no crap from his brothers, can get in on a wrestling match like he owns the place and throws a punch harder than my four year old.  It's quite comical, however telling the other two that he's just a baby doesn't work so well.  And those eyes, gal dangit if telling him no isn't the hardest thing ever. Walks around constantly saying "what's that?"  and "wowwww"  oh' it's just precious!

Austin is so grown up now. Helps me with whatever I need (mostly), refuses to sleep as in, ever, likes to hang with the big kids which happens to be the complete opposite of the child I came home to last year.         He adores his Mommy (me ; ) beyond any sort of measure, truly.  Thinks he's karate kid, superman and a rockstar all at the same time. Is very into picking out his own clothes, socks, belt and shoes.  Rocks my world each and every day.

Mason (Mase, Maci, Moo Moo) is absolutely the snuggliest little man to ever roam the planet. Oh my stars how I adore him.  Mommy he says every day "you're my best friend, arenchoo?"  Be still my heart forever and ever.  He copies brother on every.thing!  Is wicked smart, remembers everything and reminds us what to remember. We were walking through Publix last week and he said "look Mommy, gauze!"  I looked at him sideways thinking where in God's name did you learn what gauze is... I barely know what gauze is ; ) he's a sponge, has the language capacity of a full grown adult. For sure he will outsmart me many times over in the coming years.

I am doing pretty good. Finally starting to feel like the last year is behind us and ready to put it to rest and forge ahead into the future.  I am starting to feel like more of my old self again. I see the Mommy I used to be. I have it together more, remember more, keep up more. Lord knows I have my days, oh yes I do, but for the moment it feels good to have my head on straight.

This weekend I will once again be joining my girls in Lake Wales for a race called Warrior Dash, google it, you will pee yourself and wonder all at the same time what the hell I am thinking paying to do such a thing! Ohhhhh I love a challenge and am wicked excited to see how we do running a 3 mile race over hay bales, through lakes, under barbed wire fence and jumping over fire.  Told ya, it's CA-RAZY.  I am psyched to share with you how it goes.  It's full blown girls weekend and we are all gonna pile in the Tahoe, head North and laugh with the best of them.  Much, much needed!

Praying for fellow HLHS friends Kian and Izaak as they fight big fights in the hospital right now.   It's a continuous fight for all of our babies, but prayers work so big prayers and heart hugs coming your way boys.

I am off for an afternoon work out.  Need to burn it off, release the mind, heal the soul.  It's a sickness I tell ya, but there are far worse vices in life right?

I'll be back on Sunday with what I am guessing will be pretty hysterical pics of us Mommas covered in mud and smiles!


Friday, January 21, 2011

Naples Daily News Half Marathon 2011

It occured to me sometime over the weekend that I have now been running this same race for 15 years.  I may have skipped a few years in there while I was away at college gaining the freshman 15 but I always come back. Here I am, 31 years old and still pounding the same path I did so many years ago.  When my biggest worries were how I was going to get to see my boyfriend that night.  Oh' to be that free again.

I ran this race last year 3 months post partum. Three months after the hardest two months of my life.  I was hellbent on running it for my boy. The boy I had just watched suffer through more than any person should ever have to in a lifetime and he did upon entering the world for two solid months. My heart was beaten and weary and I needed an outlet. I needed to feel like I was doing something for my boy other than sitting bedside to him unable to help.  So I put on my running shoes and my shirt and ran my heart out.

 ( Man what a difference a year makes.  My little chipmunk cheeks and no calves ; )

I ran in Paxtons honor last year and I did again this year.  I think because I was still running on no sleep and auto pilot last year at this time that it didn't sink in just how powerful this was for me. How healing, how therapeutic.
For whatever reason, this year the race meant so much to me and it's hard to explain.  I think because I am very consious of just how far I have come since the last time my feet pounded that course.  I have become confident in myself and my ability to take care of our sick son.  I have learned to handle anything that is thrown at me no matter what that might be.  I have learned just how far I can be pushed and still hang on.  I have learned the true meaning of life, the power of it, the fragility of it and just how little patience I have for those that don't understand that.  I now know that I am strong.  That if I can make it through last year I can make it through anything.
I stood on that starting line this year, 365 days later than the last time I stood there and I was full of pride.  I was full up of so much emotion and I do believe it radiated from me. I didn't realize just how much until I looked back at the pictures...

I was doing this for my son and I was so proud. Come hell or high water I was going to rock it.

Along side me were two of my dear friends.

One I met the very first day I was wheeled to the hospital next door to see my son for the first time since he was born seven hours later. I will never forget it. I was in a wheelchair at the elevator and this beautiful woman walked up and asked about my son and told me her son had the same heart condition.  The rest my friends, is history because the two of us pulled each other through those long days at the hospital. We watched out for one anothers babies while we each took breaks, we texted with updates and vitals. We got diet cokes and smoothies for each other. We cried in the hallways and bitched to each other.  We got each other in a way that only two heart moms can.  Here we are a year later together running in honor of our miracle babies.  I love you both Charity~ever!

The other met Paxton when he came home from the hospital and has never left us since.  Kimmie fell in love with Pax the day she met him, not that I can blame her.  She has been at the hospital with me to take shifts so I can rest. To remind me to eat. To help me pull it together when I had/have very little left.  To remind me that every single emotion I have is completely normal and sometimes that's the most important thing to us heart mamas.

This race meant a lot to all three of us (actually 4~ that would be Morgans, another dear friend that is always there at the drop of a hat for us~ instead of running she watched the guests of honor while we ran)  For we have all been in the thick of hospital life and it ain't pretty, but this day made it glorious!

Oh. yes. it did.

I started running and I literally had to hold myself back. I felt like I had so much inside of me that I could have sprinted the entire way.  There are days where I swear I could Forest Gump myself through various states, where the only thing that makes me feel better about it all is to run.  To allow my mind to run away with itself.

That's what it did while I ran.  The miles passed by so quickly and I was blown away by how good I felt. I kept waiting to hit a wall and then my mind would wander to the two gorgeous boys on my shirt and the adrenaline would pump.  Knowing all of my boys were waiting at the finish made me push harder.  If I thought I was hurting I would take myself back to the day that I walked in and saw my son on a ventilator, medically paralyzed with his chest cut open.  Nope, I wasn't hurting. The only pain that could even begin to compare to that was the pain in my heart over not being able to take it all away from him.  So I just kept running and I felt like I was soaring.  It is truly amazing how Paxton has changed my life.  How he has changed me.  How I feel like  I need to get his story out there. I am his vessel and I won't rest until I have accomplished that mission. His pain will never be in vain. His struggle will always be glorified because the mountains he has climbed in one year are miraculous.

It matters SOO much to me that he know how proud I am of him.  It matters to me that people understand just how amazing he is. How strong and happy.

I finished the race just under two hours (1:59:45) which was my goal.  I beat my time by over half an hour.  I am in the best shape of my life and I know just why that is.


A friend texted me this just yesterday:

You said something to me last night that made me understand your drive.  You said if Paxton can survive two open heart surgeries you can do a half marathon.  Since then you have been unstoppable. I think your drive, in your mind, is connected to his progress. You are his strength and willing him through all of this. You are giving each other strength and it is totally unintended.  Now that is LOVE.

That friend will never know how much those words meant to me.
She is right, there is a drive in me now that was never present prior to Paxton. It, in a lot of ways, is indescribable for me.  I just know there is a force behind me now.   He will always know me as his Mom, the person who is there through it all, the person who will do whatever she has to for him.  I know he feeds off of me, I have been told that since I was pregnant with him and I like to think that big smile and his drive are what he has chosen to take from me.

I sit here typing wondering what next years annual half marathon will bring us.  I have 15 years worth of memories on those streets. Some of the most life changing and memorable, only these past two years and that is such a gift.  It really, really is.  We have been given such a gift in Paxton, in all of our children.  All three of them teach me every single day the beauty of life and the power of love.  The love I have for my babies is so deep I cannot begin to explain it. I only know that my purpose here is them, special needs or not.

So while today, I was yearning for the high that those 13 miles brought me, I sought out Paxton who had a special Mommy's day alone today, and made him big belly laugh and there too was a high.  He's good like that.  Just as running and cross fit are good like that too.  Within them, I find a solace and peace I can't seem to find elsewhere.  All of those things that I cannot control in life feel some sort of release out there on the pavement or in that box as I sweat and push myself more than I ever have in my life.  This year, the results speak for themselves.  The drive and the determination speak for themselves and I am proud that is shining through in my son.  He has given me that gift and I only hope I can be half the person he has been to me, that all of my children are to me.

Warriors Heart Brothers


(Dearest Asher~ I wish I could put into words how much you mean to me.  To see you as a wee one, to sit at home hearing of your struggle, with the knowledge that we were so close to losing you, oh' you will never know the prayers being sent out to you that day. Instead, in total Asher fashion, you proved everyone wrong.  Oh' how I adore you. How proud I am of you when I see you scooting all bad ass across the floor because nothing is going to hold you back, stroke or otherwise. You are a rockstar and I will always be here for you and your Mama. This journey has made us family and your smile, your wild faces on command and your zest for life are infectious!  Just know you have another woman in your life who completely and utterly loves you, always)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

So I Lied...

So I have this really kick ass post about my weekend last weekend that I have had ready to put up all week. Except my computer wouldn't upload the pictures and naturally as I began working on that my body decided to fail me and come down with a migraine to beat all migraines.  I woke up at 4 am on Thursday in more pain than I can remember. The nausea was overwhelming and my typical migraine medicine that typically works was not doing the trick. So after taking what I am sure was not the "recommended" dose of that we had our boys packed up and taken to school while I rolled around on the bed like a cow in labor.  Oh' it was not pretty my friends.  I can't even imagine what I must have looked like, but when you feel like a vice is wrapped around your head you pretty much just don't care.  I was begging to go to the hospital and so we went.  After what seemed like an eternity (when in actuality it was quite fast for an ER), I was hooked up to iv fluids and given the pain/nausea relief I so very much needed. Within seconds I could feel them coursing my body, the nausea lifted and the pain became very foggy.  Sweet intravenous drugs, how I adore you when I most need you.  Granted there's only been three times aside from childbirth that I have had to use them, so don't think I am an addict or anything because that I am not.  But, when you feel how I felt yesterday you give more thanks than humanly possible that those drugs are available.  So I came home and slept the rest of the day.

Today, I am back in business. Lord have mercy does it feel good to feel good again. I am playing catch up today, but just wanted to drop a line in and once again say in good ole' Jenn fashion to keep checking back because a really awesome post has been waiting.  My life, as always, is CA-RAZY and I have established nothing will ever be done when I say that it will.  It's just the way things are now and I allow myself to be ok with that.  I have learned how to not sweat the small stuff because I know it will still be waiting there for me tomorrow.
Oh' life you keep trying and I keep winning. I'm good like that.
Gonna sign off for now and try to get those pics up and running and maybe cuddle a little more with this not so little man who is just about as in love with me as my boys are.

( Farley is our outdoor cat, cept he knows when I come rolling in that I never say no to anyone and waddles right on in like he owns the place, straight to my side of the bed. )

I wanted to post this poem that I read on another heart blog. I think it touches on a question all of us moms with special needs babies ask...

The Chosen Mothers by Erma Bombeck

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures, and a couple by habit. Did you ever wonder how mothers of children with life threatening illnesses are chosen?

Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting His instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He instructs His angels to make notes in a giant ledger. "Armstrong, Beth, son, patron saint Matthew. Forrest, Marjorie, daughter, patron saint Cecilia. Rutledge, Carrie, twins, patron saint Gerard."

Finally, He passes a name to an angel and says, "Give her a child with cancer." The angel is curious. "Why this one God? She's so happy." "Exactly" smiles God, "Could I give a child with cancer a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel."

"But, does she have patience?" asks the angel. "I don't want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wears off, she will handle it." "I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence that is so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to give her has it's own world. She has to make it live in her world and that's not going to be easy."

"But, Lord, I don't think she believes in you." No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness." The angel gasps -"Selfishness? is that a virtue?"

God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she'll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn't realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take anything her child does for granted. She will never consider a single step ordinary. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see...ignorance, cruelty, prejudice...and allow her to rise above them." She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life, because she is doing My work as surely as if she is here by My side." "And what about her patron Saint?" asks the angel. His pen poised in mid-air. God smiles, "A mirror will suffice."

Oh some days I feel all of things and others I wonder what happened to the woman/mother I used to be.  As I wrote above, I allow myself the change and see that the reason for it far surpasses the person I used to be anyway.
Heart Hugs To All Of My Co Heart Mamas Out There. So many of them are knee deep fighting the fight and I think of you all daily.

I'll be back. Y'all keep the light on for me ; )


Monday, January 17, 2011


half marathon post ready to go to print  ;) ( i wish)  except the pics won't upload. i'll have it up tomorrow once i get whatever kink this is worked out.
it's so special so check back in.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


T-Minus 9 hours til my race tomorrow morning. I am so gal dang excited! Mainly because I will be surrounded by amazing friends, two little heros that we are running in honor of and lots of celebrating to be had when all is said and done. Please stay tuned for what I imagine to be really awesome, emotional pics coming your way soon.

Just as I said last year 3 months post partum when I decided to run 13.1 miles....

"If my son can survive open heart surgery at 4 days old, then I can run a half marathon"

And I did, and I will again tomorrow in his honor along side another near and dear to my heart person who's son is Paxtons heart brother.

The pasta party here at our house tonight swelled my heart to see two amazing miracle babies babbling and screeching at each other in a language only warriors can understand.
It's gonna be good people! So stay tuned.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

mad stream of consiousness....

i looked at the date on my last post only to realize it's been long over a week.  some days i don't know where the time goes. it makes me a little sad because it is important to me that i continue to keep up with this blog. not only for my readers, but most importantly for myself. it is the one gift that i want to keep for my boys.  so i talked with my husband and he promised to give me an hour each night to dedicate to blogging and writing. i have some big dreams forming for the future and in order to achieve those i am going to need to carve out that time and make it a priority.  so dear friends, dear readers keep checking in with us because thoughts, posts and pictures are coming.  i just returned from a trip to tampa with austin, our oldest, where he is receiving laser therapy treatment for the vitiligo on his face.  we are hoping this helps to improve the pigmentation in the areas that have gone white, therefore hopefully decreasing the chances of him being picked on in the future.  quite frankly he is perfect and gorgeous to me either way, but kids can be mean and cruel so we are trying to keep ahead of the game.  pax continues to maintain for the most part here at home. there have been two times that he has had to go on oxygen for the day and then he rallies.  i attribute it to dehydration. some days he drinks like a camel and others he just isn't interested, but without a feeding tube I can't supplement when he won't drink.  so far we have been able to work through it and continue on our quest to stay the hell out of the hospital!  way to rock it pax, who by the way is very nearly walking!  ohhh i am so excited for him.
mason is oh so precious.  our little outgoing, social butterfly who has the speech of a 40 year old man.  it's jaw dropping how smart he is. he's three years old and we are walking down an aisle of the grocery store and he yells out "look daddy, gauze!"  we look at each other thinking...gauze.... i barely know what gauze is let alone a three year old and you can most certainly bet we didn't teach him that.  he continues to walk around wishing everyone "happy howydays and happy new yearrrr" ohh' i adore him and how snuggly he has become.  when he hugs me he says " mommy, big squeeze!"  or will randomly say "mommy you are my best friend, arentchoo?"  oh' my stars who's heart wouldn't melt hearing those words.  i continue to work on gaining some weight after the stress of pax being in the hospital. that put me behind the eight ball in a big way, but i am getting there.  i still work out 5 days a week and thrive off the stress relief it provides.  i figure there are far worse vices in life. this sunday i have a big race coming up.  a half marathon. 13.1 miles to be exact.  i am sooo excited.  last year at this time i was 3 months post partum running the same race. today i am in the best shape of my life (thank you cross fit) and am wickedly curious to see what my time will be.  oh last year at this time...amazing what 365 days will bring.  i have come SOO far. quite frankly i am a completely different person today.  and so,  life continues on round these parts ; ) wanted to jump in and update all of my peeps. i have some of the most amazing, devoted readers and i thank each and every one of you that leaves a comment or reaches out.  i didn't intend for that to happen when i started this blog, but seeing that it has reached others makes me happy.  seeing that paxtons story has touched others brings me such joy.
one wrote: if all the lights in the world went out, your smiles would light the way...
bestill me. thank you blogosphere friend.  thank you all. thank you those who pray for my son. i promise to update more.

in the mean time, check it....

sweet jesus it just doesn't get any better.


Monday, January 3, 2011


When I look back over the past year I realize what a whirlwind it has been.  I think about just how much has happened in that time.  How much I have changed, how my family has changed and how much life has changed.  Some days it's all to much, but most I am full of gratitude for all that those 365 days have taught me.
Christmas was amazing as I watched my babies glow in the excitement that Santa and presents and company all bring.  They were truly in heaven and giggled and belly laughed til they could no more. We made cookies and lots of "nom nom's"  to fill our tummies!  We decorated and sang carols all cheesy like. The boys made me pee myself singing.  Jingle bells came out "Shingle bells" and they never really got the lyrics to the end so they just mumbled along and it was too funny.   Suffice it to say they got a little jingle jangled with their lyrics, but it made for oh' so funny video footage.  They'll thank me later ; )

Austin has made it very clear he loves photography as much as his Mommy and decided to once again hop in on all the action and take a couple shots himself. I gotta say, for four years old, the kids got an eye.

(Seriously, Austin took this! Impressive right?)

We had our favorite people over, those who love the boys best and they had ants in their pants over all the fuss Christmas brings... oh' to be a kid again. I would watch them do their hand flapping, pee pee dance of excitement and wish for just a moment that I could return to that place of innocence.  That place where ones biggest fear is of boogy "mans" in the dark.  There is no concept of the things that fill my mind on a daily basis for them and I spend my entire life trying to allow them to stay that way for as long as possible.  Some people say I spoil them. Some tell me I need to be harder, tougher, stronger with them.  I say, "bite me", for what I would give to be a child again.  What I would give to have a Mama that will cuddle with me til the worlds stops turning.  A Mama that can calm the wildest tantrum with gentle words instead of threats.  A Mama that has shown so much love that her boy will randomly turn to her all the time and say "I wuv you too Mommy!"  A Mama that tries with every ounce of her being to keep the world and all of it's adulthness away for as long as humanly possible, because dammit there's enough time for that.
So of course I go all out for Christmas, with sheets that remind them of Santa heading towards them on his sleigh to look at every night as heavy eyes drift off.  With decorations at every turn.  Candy filled jars on every table (for the record the boys did just got to the dentist last week ; ).  That's how my Grandma did it for me and that's how I will always do it for my boys.  That sparkle of excited innocence emanating every corner of our house and a Mama who thrives off it far more than she should.

It's what life is all about.  Piling in the car on Christmas eve to wander the neighborhood streets with windows down screaming at the top of our lungs "Happy Holidays friends!" Listening to the boys oooh and awww over each house we passed.  I got all misty eyed and introspective as I glanced in the backseat at my whole life.

Pure heaven they are!

Then returning home to put cookies on a plate for Santa and watch as their cups runneth over at the mere reminder of what morning brings.  Oh' sugar plums were dancing in their heads, for sure. 
And Mommy's and Daddy's who then ran upstairs and did assembly line style passing of hidden presents to under the tree.   I sorted and stacked and arranged as if my life depended on it.  It had to be just right.  It had to be just so, for my babies who mean more than anything to me.  

When morning came we had to hold them back while I went to grab the camera so I could get that first shot of my sleepy eyed babies making their way to the tree...

(Paxtons infamous old man smile)

(Thank you Janet for the lovely wrap job ; )

Then we piled in the car and made our way to the dam fams house ; ) and began all over again. The talking and laughing, screeching and running, eating and pouring.  

(Above and below pictures courtesy of Austin~ haha Meme ;)

("Nana" and my workout partner, diet pepsi (blech!) loving, goldfish cracker scarfing, will do anything for you peep) 

One of the boys most favorite people ever! They demand "Morgans" at any given time.  The first person I ever left my first born with -HUGE!  And one of my closest  nugz inhaling, trey songz drooling, nuvo chugging, greys obsessed, short dress wearing, diet coke loving, always there peeps!

( The boys "Nanny" and my personal fashionista, diet coke bringing, obsessed with clean as much as I am, organizing fool, make you pee yourself laughing, Kardashian wanna be, take it all in stride peep)

Oooh we love us some good company!  It was a Christmas to remember for the boys and I know as they get even older they'll come to hopefully appreciate all of things that I hold near and dear to my heart about the holiday as well.  I am setting the traditions now so that one day they will be able to do them with their families.  Thank you Grams  and Gramps for instilling that in me.  I miss you more than you'll ever know.

It was epic and enjoyed by all...

We cheered to another year amongst us this past weekend.  May it bring health and peace for us.  I always wonder where we will be on every New Years eve, next year at this time.  I've come to realize holy crap there is no telling what plans have been laid for this impending journey.  Either way, I embrace it and hope for the best.  Life takes us to the edge and reels us in, this I know for sure.  Run from it or bathe in it, either way the world continues to spin and life goes on, so I'll just say "BRING IT 2011!" because there isn't much more that can knock me down than 2010 did!  I like to think we can only go up from here....

Happy New Year Dear Friends!
May you all find the joy that is to be had....  Pax sure has and man if we can't all learn some from him!

  (i am right in front of him here and this is how my boy looks at me, if there's anything better I don't know what it is...)


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