5 Reasons I Smile

The ultimate goal of this blog is to spread awareness and show how beautiful life can be. We have four amazing daughters. Our youngest was born with Down syndrome. If just one person stops here and leaves with a different, better perspective about Down syndrome, then it is worth it. Regardless, I have 5 Reasons to Smile!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Celebrations: Life, Love and Mama

May is full of some extra special days for us. We have Mother's Day, a Birthday, an Anniversary, and they all fall in the same week! Now, we just had a wonderful Memorial weekend, with some big first-time things occurring. As much as I want to write about those (maybe tomorrow), I want to get down what we celebrated earlier this month, before it is June!
For me, 2010 has felt different. During 2009 I was still dealing with the emotional impact of Kamryn's diagnosis. She was born in August of 08 and I carried a heavy sadness with me until about the end of 2009. Where I was in August of 2008, and where and who I am now has been transforming.

I NEVER knew I could appreciate life more, because I had a HUGE appreciation for it.

I NEVER knew my (our) life could be better than it was, because it was GREAT.

I NEVER knew that I could really embrace this path and feel like my life was perfect, (perfect for us).

I realize now, there was so much I never knew. I see life a little differently now. It's clearer and more beautiful. And all the celebrations, they seem to be so much sweeter.......

Mother's Day 2010 - There is no better way to spend the day than at the park (with four of my favorite girls, my mom, my sister and Zack)! Sometimes, I have to pinch myself...I'm the luckiest mommy in the world!

the girls before church and at the park

Diondray's Birthday...BBQ at our house! By the pictures, it appears to be a child's party (there was a bounce house in the back yard too)! All those kids have parents, their parents happen to be our friends. :)

We also celebrated our 13 year wedding anniversary. We had a wonderful dinner (for two and not one picture). Not to make anyone jealous :), we are going to a spa this month to celebrate.

I really do have 5 Reasons to Smile...........

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I choose Happy

I am happy. Not for any particular reason (although I do have tons of reasons to be) I just am. One of my favorite expressions is Life is Beautiful. I write that phrase quite a bit and I truly believe it. I believe that I wake up everyday with a choice. I have a choice, to be happy, or not. To smile, or not. To embrace my life, or not. To see my cup as over flowing, or not.

It's funny. I sat down tonight, intending to post on a few things we have done this month, but I have discovered that what I "plan" to write isn't always what flows from my fingers to the key board. It is reminding me of my life.....how what I "plan" may not be what happens. I never "planned" to blog and here I am. :)

Why all this happy talk? I don't know. I do know that when I sit down here I often reflect about my day, and my girls, and my husband. And they make me happy.

So tonight, it's all about tea parties and the park (because if you haven't noticed we love the park)!
Tea anyone?

All by herself she climbed into the tunnel
and tried to poke her head through the circle. It was
so cute! Her sisters noticed and joined her!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Sky

is so beautiful this morning! I just dropped off my girls at school. As Kamryn and I drove home I noticed the sky and how beautiful it is today. It is a crisp baby blue. The clouds look like someone grabbed hold and pulled them apart, but stopped just before they actually broke. It is bright and clear. It was just beautiful. Then I realized it's always there, always. Some days I don't even notice it. I don't even look up at this beautiful sky that surrounds my world. It made me wonder what else I am missing daily. There is so much beauty in this world and sometimes I don't even notice it. I am so glad I noticed the sky today, I will probably look up more often. :)

We are off to play.........

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Just a Day

I love the everyday of my life. Taking the girls to school and picking them up. Sitting at the table working on homework with Jaden, while the other three play around us. Watching them on their scooters at amazing speeds (and I am usually yelling, "Brynn shoes and helmet!"). Bedtime, when the house is quiet and we all sit to read a story and now Jaden reads it to us.

Today was no exception, it was a great day. I picked up Brynn and Kamryn from school and we decided (just because we could) to get McDonald's and picnic at the park. However, Brynn wanted to picnic in the car. (That was a new one). We played in the warm, but windy weather until it was time to pick up the older girls ("older" but still little). Then we all headed to the grocery store. Do you know how much fun you can have at the grocery store with four girls, all who want to help? When we got home, I was unpacking the groceries and I held up a bottle of fat free Ranch dressing and said "who put this in the cart?" of course, Naomi looked up and matter of fact said, "I did, we were out." (She is more on top of it than I am!) I asked her to show me next time she was going to put something in the cart, as we don't buy fat free dressing (it really doesn't taste as good)! :)

People are always commenting on the fact that we have FOUR girls. They seem to feel sorry for us. :) Trust me, I get why. But we are enjoying every day of it!

Picnic in the car! :)

Kamryn's word for swing "Wheeeee"
that is what she says when she sees one!


Lizard hunting, I am serious. Poor lizard!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

feeling tired

I have been writing, but I can't seem to finish. When I open my blog, it is still bitter-sweet for me. I am writing and sharing because of one extra little thing. To be honest, sometimes I just want to pretend it doesn't exist. Down syndrome. It is not a huge part of our life, but it's part of it. I wonder where I really am with acceptance, because even though 96% of the time I embrace my life (and I feel so fortunate, I really do)....every once in awhile I just wish she didn't have Down syndrome. I feel bad just saying that, like it's not OK for me to feel that way. But right at this moment, that is what I am feeling.
I am also feeling tired! May is full of some extra special days for us.....celebrating mamas, life and love. I was planning on sharing, but I am worn out, like her.............

Just uploading those pictures made me smile. That feeling I had a few minutes ago, it's gone. However, I'm still tired, maybe I can share the exciting stuff tomorrow. :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Why does a week feel like a month?

I wasn't sure about blogging, in fact, it is still something I am uncomfortable with. I do like that it may force me to document experiences in our life that we may have forgotten. The little things we may not remember, but really mean the most. Most important, each time I get nervous at the key board, I remind myself that my sharing is a way for me to advocate for my girl. To share our beautiful life.

It has only been a week & 2 days since I posted last, why does it feel like a month? A few things I want to share, because trust me there is more, but I don't have the time to share it all! :)

On Friday, April 30th, I went on a field trip with Naomi and her class to our local fire station. WE LOVE FIRE FIGHTERS! Her favorite part, the bus ride! That just made me laugh!

Now, this next part should be a post on its own, but it's not going to be. Right after Kamryn was born, Diondray told me that he wanted to train and complete an Olympic triathlon. I had just had Kamryn, our 4th daughter, who happened to be born with Down syndrome. I happened to be devastated. However, we have always supported one another and this was something he wanted to do.

He trained very late at night and very early in the morning (so it wouldn't interfere with the girls or me). In May of 09 he completed an Olympic triathlon which is a .93 mile swim, 40k bike ride and 10k run. The triathlon he did, known as the Wildflower, is one of the hardest. It is located in the middle of no where and you must camp the night before the race. Which means you don't sleep well, also the course is very difficult. He did it, the girls, my mom and I were there, it was amazing to see! Although you don't see much, it's not really a spectator sport. We saw him enter the lake, come out of the lake and about 3 hours later he crossed the finish line. What I loved was that the girls were able to "see" the process, like a metaphor....their dad had a goal, he worked/trained hard and he accomplished his goal. They kept asking him what place he came in and if he won and I would smile and say daddy won because he finished and that was his goal. Of course they didn't get that, but someday they will.

Now, he is hooked and this year just him and I drove up (May 1, 2010), pitched a tent and he raced the next day.

This is the "transition" area, where you go from swim, to bike, to run. There were approximately 35,000 people there! WHO KNEW, this was such a sport?!

He finished! His time was 20 minutes better than last year! (His time was 3 hours and 20 minutes) Did I mention I am married to a TRIATHLETE?!

Today, May 8, 2010, the girls and I went to our school music and art day. It was a warm, beautiful day......Brynn had her face painted.

We played, had lunch and listed to a drum line, jazz band and rock band. It was great! My four girls, I think this picture is so cute! :)

Life is so beautiful! (Sorry, I never get tired of saying that)! It really is!