Wednesday, October 24, 2007

How far we've come . . .

I cannot explain the feelings that I get when I look back at these pictures of Gavin during his first days . . . an opening in his back, an IV in his head, and cords and tubes surrounding a helpless little body surrounded by a confused and devastated family. But, with consistent therapy and a lot of prayers, his legs have relaxed and he is sitting up on his own. This feat has a new meaning to us as every milestone is both a challenge and a miracle.
I just recently printed out these pictures and placed them in Gavin's room. The are not there to remind us of those sad and tragic times . . . they are there to give us hope . . . as proof of how far we've come.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


When people hear our daughter's name, they inevitably ask, "Was she born in the fall?" And I always laugh a little when I tell them that she was born in February. And, there are lots of reasons why she was given that name . . . because when I was just a few months pregnant and proposing name after name on an exhaustive list . . . it was the first name that gave me a little shiver. It was the first name that I feared a negative response from Jeff and immediately felt so relieved and excited when he said he liked it. And, because I adore Autumn . . . even before Autumn became our Autumn.
At this time of year, I get a little thrill from just stepping outside. The crispness and chill in the air urges me to stop for a deep inhale everytime, no matter how late I am. The canyon is alive and I seem to notice a small waterfall or bridge that I've never noticed before - even though I tend to be less than observant. At this time of year, I feel the kind of excitement I get when I am especially missing Jeff and I count the minutes until he arrives, check my reflection more than once and dab on some lip gloss with good intentions.
I am so lucky in life to still get butterflies over a man that I knew I would like by just seeing his picture, to feel giddy when seasons change and leaves turn colors, and to know that day after day and year after year those feelings will not change. Some people 'stop to smell the roses' (I actually make this a rule), some people get into the Christmas spirit (me, too), and some find various hobbies to enjoy . . . but, it seems that too many people view all of this as a distraction along their road. Our lives move by us with every turn of the clock . . . and I, too, sometimes let this happen. So, I thank Autumn for being the moment in the cycle of nature that slows me down to look around. I live for picking out a pumpkin, cheering for my favorite football team, for a drive in the mountains, for a warm sweatshirt, and for snuggling with my family by the fire. Looking at our Autumn incites these same feelings with new memories created everyday.
We are so lucky to have Autumn . . . and all the emotions that signify her name . . . in our lives.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Picnic and "Girl" Cheese

Life seems to run smoother and I seem to accomplish more with my job when Jeff is home with me and the kids during the week. I'm sure it sounds counterproductive, but to have them there in the house with me while I work seems to help me focus. I can be diligent at work knowing that I will take a lunch break with my very favorite people (Autumn says I'm her "best friend" - and I feel the same . . . although I have heard her make the same claim to Jeff . . . hmmmmm). It seemed like a perfect Fall day for grilled cheese and "pink" soup (aka tomato soup).
Autumn was playing outside while I made lunch. When Jeff came out to join her, she ran up to him and was so excited.
This is what she said . . . "Daddy, daddy, we're going to have a pic-a-nic. Mommy's making me a "girl" cheese sandwich. Are you going to have a boy cheese sandwich"?
It's little moments like this when I wish I could hold Autumn so tight that I could save the words she says, the raw excitement in her eyes, her innocent mistakes and everything about her forever. Sitting under her playset at her tiny picnic table with the whole family, eating "girl" cheese and pink soup, picking out the red trees on the mountains . . . there is absolutely nothing better in life. This is what I live for.

Discovery Gateway

Over the weekend, we decided to take the family to Salt Lake City so that the adults could play at the Apple Store and Autumn and Gavin could play at Discovery Gateway. I wasn't even aware of the place until my friend, Becky, took her kids a few weeks ago. It is so cool . . . from a miniature grocery store to a play house and science experiments to a mini studio where you can make your own mini movie or pretend like you are a news anchor . . . amazing. Autumn loved it. For the part that Gavin was awake, he was pretty mesmerized by the zillion kids running around and all the colors to see.

One of Autumn's favorite parts was seeing Robbie, the Robot. Once he came into the room, we said hello, gave him "five", took a picture . . . and then quietly and sweetly stalked him until he went back to his Robot home to eat lunch and take a nap (well . . . that's what we told her in a futile attempt to convince her it was lunchtime/naptime for everyone).

After the Discovery Gateway, we walked to Ztejas, a favorite restaurant in SLC. Jeff and I highly recommend the mac 'n cheese with chicken and the chicken stack . . . yummmmmmy. It was rainy and cold at an outdoor mall . . . but, it was such a fun day with the family.