Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008

We feel so lucky to have had such a wonderful year! Wonder what 2009 will bring?? :)


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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Wow..what fun!

Wow...we have had a such a fun week! This post will be short because I am still exhausted. The holidays can sure take it out of you!!

AnnaKate loved all of the excitement this year. She was so cute opening gifts. I have added some of the pictures to the slide show on the right side bar.

One of the gifts this year that my Aunt B gave her was a piano. It was not just any piano...of course it was a miniature baby grand piano. We now need a little candelabra to go on top. Video of the melodic music to come!

I hope you had a wonderful time celebrating with family and friends.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas filled with family, friends, laughter and love.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Giggle Box!

Talk about giggle box!! AnnaKate has always been a giggler when we do something funny but she has really started to laugh more at things she does. It is cute to watch her entertain herself. She really likes to play in front of her mirror and laugh at her reflection. The other day I heard her laughing in her room all by herself. When I went in to she what was going on this is what I saw...

I hope you are having lots of giggles this holiday season.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Picture this!

I have no picture of what happened so you are going to have to use your imagination!!

I went in to check on AnnaKate last night before I went to bed. She is usually sleeping very soundly and just needs to be covered back up. Last night she was sprawled sideways in the crib with her hands behind her head. Her legs were propped up on her bumper (yes, she still has a bumper in her crib.) and each foot was sticking through the slats on the crib. It was so funny! I wanted a picture but my mom instincts told me that waking a sleeping child with a flash was not right.

What kind of things have you found while checking on your kids at night?

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Spirit

I love decorating for Christmas! This is the first year that AnnaKate has really gotten into the tree. Every morning we have a tree lighting ceremony. We light the tree in her room and sing "Oh Christmas Tree" (which I know very few words...). You should see her giggle!!! She gets so excited! We then go and light the big tree and sing. It just makes my day to see the excitement in her eyes.
I have added a new addition to my decorations this year. I have really been eyeing the vintage-style paper houses. My mom started collecting them a few years back and they are just beautiful. I love vintage Christmas decorations so these fit right in. I have displayed them on the tops of my bookcases in the living room.

I have loved reading about traditions that all of my blogging friends are doing...advent calendars, Elf on the Shelf, etc. I can't wait to start these with AnnaKate. Billy and I have had a tradition for quite a while to watch certain Christmas movies. Last year we "upped" this tradition. We now watch a Christmas movie every night of the holiday season. (I will admit that some nights we don't make it through the whole movie!) We love spending the time together and getting in the spirit.

What do you do to get in the Christmas spirit?

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Meyer Center Holiday Ladies Luncheon

AnnaKate's school, The Meyer Center, does a huge holiday fundraiser each year. Today was my first time attending the luncheon. This is more than just a luncheon--it is an event for over 1,000 people and it raises over $175,000 for the school. It was an amazing event! They had a huge silent auction of over 400 items. It was fun to walk around and mingle with friends, drink a mimosa and bid on a few gifts. During the luncheon they did a live auction and a beautiful tribute to the Meyer Center founder, Dr. Leslie Meyer. Edwin McCain also sang a few songs...I just love him!! He is from Greenville and a huge supporter of The Meyer Center. They also had two parent of which was me! I agreed to speak and then got a little nervous. But I wanted others to know how important her school is to us. For those of you who don't know, she attends a preschool for special needs children and she gets all of her therapies at school!! It is truly an amazing place like no other. She started when she was 1 and she will hopefully stay there until she is 6. We feel so blessed to have The Meyer Center in our lives. I thought I would share my speech with you. You would have been so proud--I did not break down and cry at all! (Jessica...there is little tribute to you in it!)

Hi my name is Kelly and this is my daughter AnnaKate. It is a privilege for me to speak to you today as a Meyer Center parent. No parent ever expects to need the Meyer Center. You expect a typical child and let’s be honest you want a typical child. But we found ourselves needing the Meyer Center and we could not feel more blessed to be a part of such an amazing place. I want to share AnnaKate’s story with you.

My husband and I were so fortunate to be able to adopt AnnaKate. After infertility issues an adoption situation literally fell right into our laps. We were able to follow AnnaKate’s birth mothers perfect pregnancy and actually go to the hospital to pick up our daughter. A few physical characteristics led us to believe that something may not be typical with AnnaKate. I remember telling my mom, Mom…I don’t care she is ours. And she was! This precious little gift was ours. Shortly after her birth she was diagnosed with Rubenstein Taybi syndrome. This rare genetic disorder causes severe developmental delays and mental disabilities. We were pretty crushed and had to grieve the loss of typical. We were embarking on a new kind of normal. Normal that included tons of doctor’s appointments, therapy sessions, slow weight gain, missed milestones, constant illnesses and that feeling of just being different.

But at a year old, AnnaKate started the Meyer Center. She was typical at the Meyer Center. We had found a family that understood and a place where we fit in. AnnaKate made friends and so did I. I made friends that understood what it is like to raise a child that is not typical. The Meyer Center is truly unique place like no other. AnnaKate’s teachers and therapists treat her like their own. They have high expectations for this little girl and she will meet them with their help. AnnaKate’s progress at the Meyer Center has been amazing to watch. As I said before, you never expect to need the Meyer Center but if you find yourself there you will realize that it is truly a place like no other and you will feel privileged to be a part of it. The quote that is seen all around the Meyer Center is, “If disability is a hurdle then this is the place they learn to leap”. To me- that says it all.

About 5 years ago my husband and I attended a Meyer Center benefit concert with Edwin McCain. That night sitting in those seats I had no idea what the future held for us and that today I would be speaking to you and sharing how the Meyer Center has touched our lives. We never expected to be on the receiving end of the Meyer Center’s services. We are so grateful for Dr. Meyer, all the supporters of the Meyer Center and for you. AnnaKate would not be where she is today without the Meyer Center and your generosity. Thank you for coming today to support the work of the Meyer Center and our precious little AnnaKate.

Our table

AnnaKate was in the tribute video. The picture was from Halloween--she was "Precious"!

This is proof that I spoke. I did not hold the "wiggly worm" the whole time!! She had to make a graceful exit.

Edwin McCain is just fabulous. He topped of the day!

Cathy and I shed a few good tears!

My mom, me and AnnaKate

My photographer, Marsha, me and AnnaKate

It was such a special day. I am so appreciative for all my family and friends being there to support us.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Visit with Santa

My friend Carrie and I have a neat tradition of meeting at the mall to take our girls to see Santa each year. This year Carrie knew that Rebecca would not like the man in the red suit and she was right. Rebecca screamed and cried. Carrie kept her cool and said take the picture, this is what memories are made of! I love that attitude Carrie!
Here are our pictures...AnnaKate enjoyed visiting with Santa and seeing the huge Christmas trees.

I just had to throw in last year's picture. She looked so little!

(I think Santa has put on some pounds!!)

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