A Thank-full Thanksgiving

Holding true to our tradition we made the trek down to California to spend Thanksgiving with the Bugbee/Byrne side of the family.  Because this is a post about being thankful I am going to skip over the horrendous flight down here.
Thanksgiving was spent with most of the family.   The boys loved seeing everyone, especially their cousin Maddie.  Alex and she are like two peas in a pod.  They were inseparable the entire visit.  Well, until the end when the time arguing got to be more than the time getting along.  

One of our many feeble attempts to get a picture of all four grandkids.

This year I have been reminded over and over of the precious nature of life.  Despite the many ups and downs we face, I continually am reminding myself of the gifts I have been given...  my three healthy children and a healthy family.

The kids had so much fun and, luckily, the chickens even preformed a few times while we were here.

And what's Thanksgiving without a little post meal football?

Time to feed with Grandpa.

Graham kept his distance from the horses.

And when they did let out a "Nay" came running back to Mama.

Catching a lift with Grandpa back to the barn.

...And this was only day one!

We have so much to be Thankful for!


Graham's Cleft: 1 year later

It still baffles my mind that we have gone from this

 to this

in what seems like a minute.

I still remember the day we found out like it was yesterday.  The pain, the tears, the unknown.  It almost seemed to much to handle at the time.  How were we going to survive this?  How was our little boy going to survive this?  Would he nurse?  Would he eat?  Would he require numerous surgeries?  These were just a few of the questions that played on repeat in my head for months after.  Well, until the day we met this little guy really.
Now, one year later I look back and I thank God for my little cleft baby.  He made me a better mom.  He reminded me of how precious life is.  He taught us strength, unconditional love and acceptance.  He was the best lesson I could have provided for my two older boys.

A few weeks ago we had his one year follow up with his craniofacial surgeon, Dr. H.  Graham has amazed everyone with his success.  The original plan was for him to have a "touch up" surgery at about 4-5 years and then maybe again as a teenager.  Well, the general feeling is that he most likely will not anything more until his teenage years!  Yeah!  That, of course, is separate from all of his dental or orthodontia procedures that he will almost certainly need at some point.  He is missing at least one tooth and a few are coming in sideways.  I'll take it though!
Now we won't be seen with our Cranio docs until 4!  Truth be told, I'm going to miss them.  They brought us through such a stressful time in our lives.
I can't thank the Craniofacial team at Seattle Children's enough!

Mr.  Cheeseball at his appointment.

I am so bummed I didn't think to get a picture of him with his doctor's at this appointment.

Some days...

...Pajamas are acceptable at 3 in the afternoon

There's no rules when you're one.  
Thank goodness.


A slap in the face...

 The boys have me at my wits end.  Their fighting, their bickering, the constant tattletaling and crying has nearly caused me to do things I am sure would not win me the mother of the year award on numerous accounts.
But you know what, I'll take it.  Because every night I get into bed ready to blog about my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day and then I look at this blog and my heart breaks.  I take a deep breath and thank God that I get to hear the noise of chaos coming from my three crazy boys.  It's not fair.  No mother should have to endure the loss of a child.  No mother deserves to feel that pain.  I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like.  I just wish there was something I could say, or something I could do to take the hurt away.  But I can't.  I can't bring her baby back.
What I can do is hold my babies tight.  Be thankful for every moment I have with them.  And cherish the chaos that is my life because it is precious and every day is a gift.  
This is why I can't blog.  Whatever I may have to say about how tough my life is right now pales in comparison to the loss of a child.