Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The terrible thirty-somethings

An hour at the beach...that was all we needed. That, and some prayer and a change in my attitude.

It is only Tuesday and the week has been proving to be a rough one. Yesterday was bumpy. Even in light of Sabian's offer to take Addie for a bit so I could get some things done. Even when he fixed a couple of chairs (without me asking) I wanted taken care of. Even when he offered to let me lay down while he tucked my hair behind my ear (one of my favorite things). In the midst of this he was taking care of his responsibilities at church, meeting with pastor, rushing off to visit someone in our congregation who had a family member pass away and then rushing back to eat dinner quickly before kids arrived at our house for a bible study.

All the while, I continued to fret and worry and let the things on my mind eat away at me, making me an impatient wife and mommy. I knew it was mostly me. 95%. Okay, maybe 99%. The messes and the independent toddler shouting "My do it! My turn!" about one hundred times a day didn't help, but my reactions and my frustrations weren't her fault. They were (and are) mine.

This morning we needed a diversion. Addie and I went to the beach. We were only there an hour. We dug, we ran, we swam and she held my hand as I helped her walk through the waves into the deeper water, until I had to carry her. And then, together we watched fish jumping out of the water. We caught seaweed and spun in circles and watched the jets from the air force base fly overhead. Addie practiced her floating and kicking and blowing bubbles in the salt water.

I don't want to be a fair weather mommy. I don't want to just be a "good" mom when times are good and then succumb to frustration and aggravation when we have tough days. I know there will be tough days and I'm going to be frustrated and tired and weary again. When these times threaten to overwhelm me, though, I have a choice as to how I respond. I am thankful for the moments God gives me, the split seconds when I have time to think and consider how I'll react. Unfortunately I don't always take advantage of those moments and I react negatively. In those moments I am thankful for His grace and teaching and pray that I learn for the next time.

This blogging thing can be a funny little world, but it's one where sometimes you read about someone else's day and you realize it's not just you. You may or may not read these posts, but if you need to know it's not just you, or a little encouragement might give you a little boost, then take these links for what they are...

From my friend Christine, mom of two and an all around awesome encourager and example.

A good, good reminder from Little Miss Momma, a link I found from another blog.

Encouragement and a Godly reminder for what comes first. (Cute jewelry, too!)

Either there's a common theme for what us moms are going through these days or God is pointing things out to me personally and calling me to have a greater focus on Him. Really, that's what all of this comes down to. The frustrations, aggravations, worries and bad attitudes are more evident of where my heart is, where my trust and faith are, rather than caused by the normal behavior of a growing toddler. Zing.

Sometimes I think rather than experiencing the terrible twos in our household, I'm going through the terrible thirty somethings.

If you take the time to read some of these posts, I hope they encourage you as they have me.

I am thankful for a loving and forgiving husband, for a daughter that, though she may not remember these days, loves me in spite of my faults and for a Savior who created me, loves me and offers me grace that I do not deserve but humbly accept! 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Wishful crafting

I think I've said something like it before, but there is a wishful crafty person living deep down inside of me. I stroll the aisles of Michael's and Hobby Lobby and feel like I am filled with inspiration, only to forget about that initial inspiration and abandon my ideas or I realize some of those projects are waaay beyond my crafting ability. Maybe it's not so much crafting ability...more like...patience.

Either way, every now and then I get the push to actually do something, however simple it may be. Addie was playing with a white board and markers at church one day and I realized it would probably be a great idea for her to have one at home, along with the teaching (on my part) and understanding (her part) that she doesn't write on walls, just the white board.

We recently had our back door replaced, which is off of our little laundry room, which is right off of our kitchen. The new door lacks a window (a little sad about that) so I initially thought about painting the door with chalkboard paint until I remembered how much I really wouldn't want chalk dust all over my clean clothes and that black paint would make the room seem darker. I then thought about painting it with dry erase paint but figured it was easier and cheaper just to get a board.

I figured if I was going to get a board, it might be fun to dress it up a little. So this is what I did:

Addie has put the board to good use since I put it up. When I bought the ribbon I couldn't decide between the floral or the green polka dot so I bought both. And, both are different widths and I wasn't sure which width I wanted. I was able to use both, since the wider width looked better and the floral print disguises any errant marks when Addie doesn't color inside the lines. The green came in handy to make the "flowers" for the corners and I had buttons on hand already to glue for centers.

Now I'm mulling over how to tweak the advent calendar I made for Christmas last year, but was a little late in finishing it. I'm also tossing around ideas for a couple of Christmas decorations for our house and what I'm going to make to give away this year. Last year it was cinnamon honey butter, which was a hit, but I think I'd like to do something different this year.

I suppose it's time to get this Monday rolling. I am thankful for Sabian, who offered to take Addie for an hour this morning so I can get some things done.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Consignment Craze

When it comes to shopping I'm more about the outcome than I am the process. I approach it a little more guerilla style - I'm in and out as quickly as possible, but if it has to take a little longer to make sure I get what I like, so be it. If I do a quick initial run through and don't see anything at first glance, there's about a 10% chance I'll actually look through the racks. While I do like getting new things, I like to go about it as quickly as possible.

Before we moved here (and before I had a kid) I wasn't much into consignment shopping. Not because I was necessarily against it, I just didn't shop consignment stores much. I tried consigning some clothes at a store back home and the experience soured me a little so I guess I just gave it up.

Once we moved to Florida and I got pregnant not long after getting here, I realized consigning was a great way to buy kids clothes. I don't buy all of Addie's clothes on a consignment basis, but I find it is a good way to find some items. One store in particular was great when I was buying before Addie was born and while she was really little. I haven't been as fortunate with the store as she has gotten bigger, but now I have a new source for consignment clothes...BIG consignment sales.

I don't know if they didn't have these sales in Illinois, or maybe I just wasn't looking since I didn't have Addie then, but since moving here I have discovered the fun of these sales. I first got hooked when I found out about the Fairytale Sale, which takes place twice a year at the fairgrounds in Panama City. The first couple of times I hit this sale I shopped the day of the sale but I quickly figured out that there were ways to get in early and getting in early was the real ticket. For this year's spring sale my friend Libby and I consigned and volunteered the day before the sale and we were able to get in and shop that night before. Genius. That really was when we had first dibs on all of the items. Volunteering the couple of hours before the early sale opened also gave us the opportunity to scout out specific items so we knew just what to beeline for when the sale opened.

The fall sale was yesterday but again, we volunteered the night before so we could get in early. I didn't think I had anything to consign this time around but ended up scraping together a few items. I mean, why not try to make some money at the same time I'm spending a little?

I will say that when I shop these sales I am pretty selective. As it is, if Addie has something that is pretty worn out/stained/just looks really bad, we either give it away or if it's really bad, it's seen it's last days. So, when I'm at a consignment sale I'm pretty picky about what I buy. This time around I was on the hunt for jeans and shoes. Brand new, these two items can be some of the more expensive items we buy and when it comes to shoes, Addie doesn't stay in one size for too long.

I ended up walking away with one pair of shoes, one pair of Old Navy lounge pants, an Old Navy top, a skirt and two pairs of Old Navy jeans. I also found a toy cash register and a Step 2 shopping cart that would be a great one for playing outside. My total was around $35 for all of it. The jeans were my happiest purchase, as I have to buy jeans in the next size up for the length but then I have to make sure they have an adjustable waist because while Addie's legs are a mile long, her waist is slim. Old Navy jeans do both for us. Both pairs are cute, but I looooove this pair:

The cuff at the bottom was what sold me on them...and it didn't hurt that they were $2 and in great condition.

It may seem like I didn't buy much. There was probably more I could have purchased but it would have just been because of that thrill-of-the-hunt-there's-only-one-of-these-and-I-got-it adrenaline rush. It is easy to fall prey to that feeling but I feel like I've learned to suppress that urge and just buy what we need and what's really a good deal.

When I first discovered and shopped the Fairytale Sale I started hunting around the area for more sales like it. I've been to one other, which was last year, where I remember buying two pairs of name brand jeans for Addie, skinny jeans she wore out until she could wear no more. I was sad when she could no longer wear them!

There is another sale, a BIG one, in Dothan, AL. I have heard about it from other moms and I keep hearing about it. It seems it might be legendary. In fact, the women who run the Fairytale Sale shop on their own at the one in Dothan. I found out it is next month and runs for a few days. I won't have the chance to get in early as a volunteer (a little inconvenient as it is an hour and a half away) but I think I'm going to plan to go anyway. I may not get first pick, but it could be worth checking out.

I've since noticed on Facebook and through friends that there are some sales like this back in Illinois. I'm not so crazy that I'd road trip it home for one, but if I just happened to be there...

I am thankful I was able to find some good deals for Addie this weekend. Here's to hoping my stuff sells and I can at least break even ;)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Today is Tuesday

It's not Monday, it's Tuesday.

In my last post, which was on Sunday night, I said I'd be back tomorrow, meaning Monday. I was not back on Monday, but I am back today, which is Tuesday.

We've had a busy start to our week. Yesterday Addie and I made an uncharacteristic Monday jaunt to Panama City. Uncharacteristic because, as I have written before, Mondays are usually down days for us, the day I try to get the bulk of my domestic duties done and a day for us to take easy and go no where after our busy Sundays. I was anxious to buy some supplies for a project I am working on for Addie, although I haven't been able to work on it yet and probably could have waited - hoping I can get to it tonight. Either way, we got out of the house, stopped by Chick-fil-a for lunch and were home in time for a nap for Addie, which meant house cleaning time for me. We were also preparing to have kids over that evening for the 30 Day Youth Challenge Sabian has been leading.

This morning we had the pleasure of hanging out with Micah and Ivory while their mom was off for a doctor's appointment for their new brother who will be arriving in October. We had a fun morning with them filled with lots of squeals (very high pitched, all 3, I might add!) and Goldfish crackers.

Building "towers" and knocking them down.

Sweetest boy you'll ever meet! Hard to get him when he wasn't moving!

Ivory requested a picture of herself while she was screaming.

Addie, enjoying it all.
I think I said in my last post that I'd recap our week last week but honestly, I don't remember much of it. Our weekend, I do remember, but sadly have no photos to accompany my recap. Friday Sabian caught up on the things he couldn't do Thursday since we ran around what felt like a million places. Friday around 4:30 we made it to the beach for the first time in weeks. It was as though Addie was greeting a long lost friend when she set her eyes on the water and her toes in the sand. She ran and ran, dug and dug and we played and played in the waves. It was so nice to be there around sunset and so nice that Addie wore herself out for a great night's sleep.

Saturday was hot but we went to the park to feed the fish and turtles. In the process, Addie added her flip flop to their meal and we were resigned to playing longer at the park while we waited for her shoe to float to shore. This would have been well and good if it hadn't been so hot, if Addie hadn't been complaining since she had to run around with no shoes on and if we weren't generally a little soured that her shoe was in the water. It did finally make it close to the edge and with the aid of a borrowed pole from a camper, Sabian waded in (about shin high) to the mucky, yucky water and retrieved the shoe. My hero.

Unfortunately, I currently cannot find these shoes. After all of that effort to retrieve her flip flop to make them a pair, she wore them to church Sunday night and now they have disappeared. My hunch? I had them on top of the car as I was putting her in her car seat to take her home Sunday night and they flew off. I retraced my drive (which is all of three, maybe five minutes, and they weren't to be found. Granted, they were $2.50 Old Navy flip flops but Addie has gotten so much wear out of them this summer (despite her rapidly growing feet!) and since it will still be "summer" here for a while longer, we probably could have still used them.

I have this hunch of their demise (or someone else's gain) because as I was leaving church Sunday morning I did the same thing to my bible. But, I saw it and was able to turn back. Not sure where my brain was this weekend!

Rewind back to Saturday. In spite of our somewhat deflated trip to the park (saved by the bubble blower Sabian thought to bring along) we had a birthday party to look forward to that afternoon. Addie's friend Ivory (the screaming cutie in the picture above) turned three last week and her mom put together an awesome party for her. Ivory's pink and blue ice cream parlor party was, pardon the pun, so sweet. Lee Ann left no stone unturned and created a perfect little party for Ivory. Strawberry lemonade, cupcones, homemade ice cream, handmade accents and candy, candy, candy - all in pink and blue. Addie had a great time and enjoyed eating dessert for dinner. She loved her handmade ice cream corsage so much so that she didn't want to take it off and when I took her shirt off later that night she still wanted it pinned on - ouch ;) . Take a look at the link above for photos from the party.

The only picture I have from the party. This was after Ivory changed from her sweet pink & blue dress that Lee Ann MADE for her. Notice Addie's corsage.
So, here we are at Tuesday afternoon. Sabian checked the calendar for me and it is exactly a month from today when fall will officially hit. "Hit" as in the season will switch over on the calendar but it will likely still feel like summer here. Don't get me wrong, the mild winters here aren't so bad, I'm just really missing the Midwest transition to fall.

I guess you could say I'm missing home in general. The people, the places, the overall comfort of being home. I am thankful for here and for the things I am learning, things that I do feel compelled to share but am still mulling over the words.

For now, I am thankful for dinner cooking in the crockpot and for the sudden gray skies we have. Makes for a cozy rest of the day, I hope!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Whatever's in the fridge

It's Sunday night after church and we're eating whatever we can find in the pantry and the fridge. For Sabian, that means leftover burgers and pasta salad from lunch. For Addie, it means Ramen noodles (her choice), corn and yogurt. She was asking, "Time to eat?" during church so it was evident she was pretty hungry.

For me, it was a fried egg and cheese sandwich with mayo. 

Fried egg sandwiches make me think of my dad. He made really good fried egg sandwiches.

I've been thinking a lot about my dad lately. I miss talking to him.

Back with more tomorrow with our week/weekend wrap up.

I am thankful for this weekend and looking forward to a new week.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The short and sweet of it

I should have been in bed long ago. As I type this, my husband is sleeping in a chair next to me as he tries to "stay up" so he can catch up on a (recorded) St. Louis Cardinals baseball game. He's very tired because he stayed up all night last night creating and finishing a DVD for our youth group to show at a DVD release party earlier this evening at our house.

On our couch one of our college students, Allison, is snoozing. She's very tired because today she drove to Atlanta and back for a baseball game and on her way home, she hit a deer and totaled her car. She and her passenger are okay, but her house keys are in her wrecked car.

And me? I did not stay up all night, nor did I get into an accident - I'm just tired. But, not too tired for a quick blog post. A rundown of our past few days:

We spent two days last week with my sister, brother-in-law, niece and two of my nephews while they vacationed in Grayton Beach. Addie and I went out on our own one day and Friday we went back, this time Sabian was with us. It rained some while we were there so we spent some of our time hanging out in their rental, part of the time in the pool and part of the time doing a little running around. It was really good to be with them and Addie loves being with her cousins. 

Sabian and I had a day date Saturday. We had lunch and perused some furniture stores in search of a new couch. Still looking for a deal, but the looking went soooo much faster without a two year old in tow. I am certain Addie would have loved to have jump-tested the couches in each store, but being childless for a few hours meant speedy trips in and out of the stores. It was good to have that time with Sabian. I sure do love and appreciate him!

Something - the heat? the in and out of the stores? the big lunch? - wore me out Saturday. When we got home I had about an hour and a half of gladly doing nothing on the couch before we went to another going away party for another college student leaving us. So happy for Clay, although bittersweet as we are sad to see him go, too.

Sunday, oh Sunday. Busy Sunday. As I said above, Sabian was up all night (no exaggeration) making the DVD for our annual year end DVD release party. Yes, school starts tomorrow but tonight, believe it or not, was the most convenient night to have it.  So, we had another full house until it was time for those who were able to make it to pack up and get ready for school tomorrow.

And now, two passed out in the living room, one sleeping soundly in her little bed and me, about to wake Sabian and send him to bed.

I thought I was going to have to leave this post picture-less but found a few on my iPod. Despicable, having spent time with my family and on a date with my husband and I didn't take any pictures.  I'd like to think it's because we were having so much fun I didn't think about it. Yes, that's it.

Making my famous chocolate chip cookies for my cousins!
Where are Addie & Ethan?

I think...

...I see...

I am so thankful for the time we had with my family, so thankful for my date with Sabian and very thankful Allison and Sam came out of their scary ordeal tonight without a scratch.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Girl time

Last Friday night thirteen of us girls from our church loaded up and headed out on a little adventure. Our first stop was a dolphin cruise.

You may remember we took a dolphin cruise back in April for Sabian's birthday. It was much chillier then than it was when we set off on Friday but we still had a good time. Our evening started in a rush as we were running late to get to the boat by 5:15. While most of us made it in the nick of time, some of our group was still on their way when the boat was supposed to launch. One of the things that makes me the most uncomfortable is putting people out, so you can imagine how I felt as we were waiting and waiting and waiting for the rest of our group to arrive. I was so thankful that they held the boat...for 15 minutes. It was actually a little comical and the guys on the boat were really nice about it. We stayed behind and thanked the captain afterward and he had a no worries attitude about it, for which I am grateful. 

I am also grateful we saw a lot of dolphins. We kept telling ourselves, "See? If we had been here 15 minutes earlier we wouldn't have seen them!" Whether or not that is true, I was so thankful we saw them and had a beautiful sunset boat ride.

My photos of the dolphins aren't that great but we did see a lot and we saw them up close. When we went in April we spent our time on the upper deck but I realized to get a closer view it was good to be on the lower deck. It was so cool to see the dolphins right under us. Truth be told, the water looked really inviting, especially since it was so hot. I gave up my marine biology dreams a long time ago, but this trip reminded me of those days. We resisted the urge to jump in (we'd already held up the boat, what was a few more minutes?) and headed out to eat once we docked.

Waffle House. I love Waffle House and so does our youth group. When we moved here, like Chick-fil-A, it was a plus to see Waffle House restaurants everywhere. Granted, they are grungy and you come out smelling of grease, but those buttery, syrupy waffles are so good. This particular location was actually the nicest and cleanest I'd visited and the staff was great. We were the only ones in there so we enjoyed their full attention. The manager snapped the pictures of us above and asked that we send him copies so we could hang on their picture board. One day we will be famous for eating waffles.

We made it back to church (a much more leisurely drive back compared to the one on our way to catch the boat!), played Word Salad (I'll give these details later) and all headed home.

Scheduling a night like this can be tough, given that everyone is always headed in different directions. But, when it comes together like it did Friday night, it is a good time.

I am thankful for these girls!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Toes, flowers & brownies

There are clothes in the dryer that need to be put away and dishes in the sink that need to be washed. In 18 minutes when my brownies come out of the oven I am off to lay down for as long as Addie's nap will let me.

She was up at 6 this morning. Every now and then she decides to get up early but it isn't a normal practice for her. Early for her is usually around 7:30. On days like these, especially when it is gray and rainy outside, she is ready for an earlier nap and so am I.

But first, a couple of things from last week.

I stole away for a pedicure, my first in a while, and it was wonderful. I also brought some of these home when we went grocery shopping:

As often as I can I love having fresh flowers on the table. For $5, I couldn't pass them up. I know some people think flowers are a waste of money, given that they last just a few days and then die, but I love having them around. Sabian could get me fresh flowers for birthdays, Valentine's Day or just because and I'd be happy.

I'm also about to place an order for some labels for Addie from Kiddo Tags. Maybe it is because they could fall into the school supply category (and I LOVE school supply shopping!), but I'm pretty excited about this order, especially since I purchased a deal to get $30 worth of labels for $15. I know Addie isn't in school yet so right now there are just a few things I'll use them for, but now I'll have a stash and Addie should be set as far as labeling her stuff for a while.

Six minutes until the brownies are done. I suppose I could fold that laundry while I am waiting. Sabian is starting a 30 day challenge for kids in our youth group who are willing to participate. We're meeting with them for the first time tonight, which is the excuse behind the brownies. I'm vowing to just eat one and to make sure the rest are either eaten or taken to other homes tonight. My willpower has been zilch lately.

I am thankful for a rainy day.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Dog days of August

Sheesh, it is hot...betcha haven't heard that lately.

We've spent the sweltering days of the last week simultaneously resting and keeping busy. Is that possible? It's been a slower kind of busy, more moving at our own pace type of busy. Some time spent at home, some time spent out and about.

In the midst of the busyness we've dealt with (sigh) some more sickness. Rewind to this post in June when Addie had yet another ear infection. About three weeks after that appointment we had a follow up with the doctor. I don't normally schedule follow ups but the doctor was wanting to see her again to see if, when prescribed antibiotics, Addie's ear infections were actually getting better. If not, then we'd start to explore other options for taking care of her ears. It was a good thing we had the follow up scheduled. 

The night before her appointment Addie and I visited Sabian and the kids at youth camp. During the service Addie started acting a little strange and I realized she was burning up. We had the camp nurse take a look at her and her temp at the time was 103-104. When we went to the doctor the next day her ears looked great (was so thankful!) but the doctor told us it looked like Addie's fever was due to parvovirus, a common viral infection kids can get. Since she had a slight rash as well we knew she was no longer contagious and we were sent home to treat and watch her fever. The next couple of days were fine and she was back to her old self.

Fast forward to this week. After a full week last week of VBS, Sunday I realized that Addie was feeling a bit warm again. She was running a slight fever but acting totally normal, so I figured I would keep an eye on it the next couple of days. For a couple of days her temp was slightly raised but she continued to act normal - until Wednesday. That morning she woke up really early and was really hot. She was very subdued and spent the morning on the couch, something she has never done. I got us an appointment with the doctor that afternoon and in my mind, thought this was just a continuation of what we'd experienced a couple of weeks before.

Long story short, the doctor wanted to get some lab work done quickly so we'd know what was going on with Addie, so she sent us to the hospital for blood work. Addie was a brave little girl when they drew blood, crying, but not for long. I will say, I think it helped that the doctor told us to request going to the pediatric floor to her her blood drawn. The nurses up there were wonderful. After we got home that evening she perked up and by morning was back to her old self. We heard from the doctor last night and all of her test results have come back normal, which means whatever was causing her fever was likely viral.

The one time she moved to eat some yogurt, which she didn't touch.

This was all good news as some of our plans this week included seeing some of our close friends from home. In that group of friends there are Kevin and Judy, parents of Jay, Jeff and Joel. Jay and Jeff are married and between them have kids ages 7, 4, 2, 1 and 9 months. Since Addie was feeling better and had no fever we were safe to visit them a couple of nights ago and really enjoyed our time with them. The McCulloughs are friends I have known for as long as I can remember. Now that we all have kids the catching up consists more of snatches of conversation in between refereeing, but we had a great time. Sabian was sweet to entertain a few of the kids for a bit so that we could actually sit and talk and we had some more time to focus more on conversation when the kids (sans Addie!) went to bed.

Alexis (pictured above) and Addie are two peas in a pod. Her mom, Joy, and I always compare stories and joke when we talk long distance about how much it sounds like these two are alike. They've only really been with one another once before this week, but both are two fisted pacifier aficionados, each girl sports a head full of blonde curls and both are busy. They are climbers, runners, yellers and into everything. When together, this likeness works both for and against them. But, either way, it was fun to have all of our kids (six) together.

It was sad to leave but we'll be headed out that direction again this week to see my sister, brother-in-law, niece and two nephews!

There's more to our adventures of the past week but soon we are leaving to attend a goodbye party for one of our college students heading to his freshman year in the next couple of weeks. Sad to see him go but excited for his opportunity.

I am thankful that Addie is well and I am thankful for our visit with friends this week.

Monday, August 1, 2011


I was thinking, probably like most of you, how crazy it is that it is August already. As I was thinking about it I went back to last year's August posts and read this one I wrote early in the month.

Seems that this time last year I was thinking some of the same things. It was still hot and it was still crazy that it was already August.

I also wrote about how Addie's vocabulary was growing, which it still is, in leaps and bounds. Almost every day she'll string new words together to form a new sentence that I didn't know she knew. Sabian and I exchange that, "Did she just say what I think she said?" look and marvel at how she is growing so quickly.

What's different about that post from last year and this one is that last year she was still refusing to say "Mommy." Now I hear it about a million times a day. When I've heard it for the 999,999 time and I get to the point when I think I just can't hear it one more time that day, I am reminded of what a sweet sound it is, even when it's said over and over and over...and over again.

Time is passing by fast. Not only are the days on the calendar a blur but Addie's little moments are passing by, too. I love where she is right now, even on those tough days, but I see how fast she is growing up. Sunday night as she was up with the kids on stage, dancing during the last VBS service I could feel myself smiling - big - as I tried to capture it on video. I realized, as I was taking the video, that there was no way it would match the real thing as I was watching it take place. 

Addie knew where I was the whole time she was up there. Even though she stayed on stage and jumped and clapped and tried some of the other motions, because she could see me, every now and then I would see her lips move and they were saying, "Mommy." I was proud of her that she stayed where she was, but even prouder to be that sweet girl's Mommy.

I am so thankful for Addie.