Monday, November 16, 2015

All Things Fall

I have always loved all things fall since I was a kid. As soon as a crispness begins to build in the air and the leaves fall from trees and dance about through the wind, I get excited. Since having children, the season has become even more special. We look forward to visiting pumpkin patches and combing through ideas for Halloween costumes. I am not sure if I get more excited than my ever-so-anxious four year old, who began talking about her costume in August this year. The thought of spending time with family over Thanksgiving and spending hours decorating the tree sends me over the edge.

But last fall took on an entire new meaning when our precious Brayleigh was born. Her birth was a blessing, yet because of her struggle to survive, I fell deep into an abyss. The air was crisp, and the rustling leaves became my husband and I, shuffling to and from home to the intensive care unit. With the uncertainty each day, it felt like nothing else was more important than being by Brayleigh's side. Picking pumpkins would just not happen that year, and brainstorming about costumes meant going through the dress up clothes already hanging in the closet.

She eventually came out stronger, and a year later, I am thankful more than ever that she can get to be a part of our family's fall tradition.

Here we are at the pumpkin patch festival in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

Here are just a few photos from Halloween.  She went from a cat dress, to Wonder Girl and then a spider.  I was her spider web that she tightly clung on to.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

One Year Celebration

Celebrating 12 Months and Thriving with Trisomy 18

Brayleigh reached her biggest milestone yet last month.  On the 8th of October, she celebrated her first birthday, a milestone that we were not certain we would see.  Less than ten percent of babies diagnosed with the life threatening illness get to see their first birthdays.  In honor of this day, we celebrated Brayleigh with a huge party, themed "The Gift of Life."  Beautifully decorated gift boxes and inspirational scriptures graced each table.  "Every good and perfect gift is from above." James 1:17

Nearly 100 people were in attendance from family members, to friends and out-of-towners , to doctors and nurses who cared for her over the past year.  The gold, pink and mint colored decor was a reflection of the sparkle and light that our little girl has brought to this world.  There were poster-sized pictures of her on the walls and the windows, in what seemed to be a gallery that chronicled her life. We had speeches, given by ministers and people from the medical profession who shared their perspectives on how Brayleigh's journey has changed them, and there was not a dry eye in the place as I struggled through tears to personally thank each and every one of our attendees for being a part of her story.

We danced and celebrated God!  We look forward to all that is in store for her this year.