Sunday, October 26, 2014

Because of YOU...

Because of YOU...(those that have watched and shared the WCCO story)

more people are aware of how a diagnosis of Down syndrome is often delivered, that many families leave the hospital without a congratulations, and babies are not celebrated...and it's time it CHANGES! You shared with others that EVERY child should be celebrated!  Thank you.  Over 17,000 times it has been shared on FB and viewed over 307,000 on Yahoo.  This morning, in Colorado and Tennessee, two people heard about Jack's baskets on KLOVE.  I have been contacted by Baby Center and Twin Cities Mom Blog to share more about what Jack means to us and the mission of the baskets.  To God be the glory!

Because of YOU...(those that have monetarily donated or given your gifts) 

more than a 100 families will be presented with gifts, encouragement, and resources included in Jack's baskets!  From coast to coast... Hawaii, Texas, New York, California to name a gave to a mission that will change lives!  Thank you!  You are changing families' stories.

Because of YOU...(mamas and papas that raise children with Ds)

I am encouraged by your stories.  Thank you for sharing your love for your child, what your child has taught you, and how you didn't allow society's views effect how you raised your child.  I received over 100 emails from people across the nation.  You have paved the way for us to have resources so readily available to us.  Your hard work and determination is not overlooked.  I value it so much and I know many other young parents do too.  Also, thank you for sharing the painful moments you have experienced.  Things are going to change.

Because of YOU...(Liz and Tom from WCCO)

the world got a glimpse of our lives with Jack.  They saw the joy he brings to us daily, the amazing love we have for him, and the need for things to change.  You shared our story, but it was a story much bigger than ours.  It was story of many others, it was a story about all our children with Down syndrome.  They are precious, they are loved, they are to be celebrated.  The way you expressed the mission and the heart of who we are, the way you zoomed in on Jack's eyes, you had the world in tears.  Thank you, you have no idea what this means to people with Down syndrome and their families.

Because of YOU...(my family and friends)

I have felt the love and support, which led me to be courageous to share our story.  To have tough conversations, to ask questions, and to get stuff done.  Thank you for empowering me with your encouragement, your prayers, and your love for my child.  I can not thank you enough for who each of you are in our lives and what you have taught us.  Thank you, thank you.

Because of YOU...(my Savior)

I get out of bed everyday.  To live out the purpose You have for me.  Thank You for constantly guiding me, giving me discernment, and strength to keep pushing.  And because of YOU, I have the gift of life, and to watch these amazing people around me grow and teach me more about Your love.  You give me much more than I deserve and without You, I am loss.

Monday, October 6, 2014

18 months...Stay tuned to WCCO TV!

Wow, what a month it has been!  
Where do I even begin to update you on the amazing month we have had!?!?!  Here's a quick get's ALL good!

Here are few of my favorite pictures of our latest adventures!

With Jack crawling now we are definitely having to work on both boys' ability to share and play gentle with each other.  And...let's keep it real...they love to bite each other.  Come on boys.  Teeth are for eating, not biting.  Ugh.  Seeing the boys in their swimming gear makes me miss warm temps!  We got this water table out after I realized that Jack would stand and splash for 10 minutes!  Seeing him upright and loving life was so exciting!  

Jack went for a routine check up at the Down syndrome clinic at Children's where they review his progress.  She said he looked great and asked to see him in a year! 

IGGJack.  Ahh, yeah...we like to have fun!

Jack loves feeding himself and I finally caught him giving us this look...
"Are you serious Mom, another picture?" 

Jack is learning sign language and here is a video of him saying the word more.  He sure does love food! :) 
We go to speech therapy twice a month and I love to see all the fun things he is learning and communicating.  He loves to imitate expressions and is very interactive.  He enjoys clapping and singing but his favorite is dancing!
Jack just went to the eye doctor today and they said his eyes look great!  No cute glasses.  We will follow up annually.  I swear he loves charming nurses! :)  

At the end of September we went to the Step Up for Down syndrome walk in Como park.  It's like a huge family reunion and I love getting a chance to see so many others rocking this extra chromosome.  October is Down syndrome awareness month and a great opportunity to share how amazing people with Down syndrome are.  

Did you know that I teach in a building where there are 5 parents with a child with Down syndrome!  Talk about an amazing group of people!  

 Carrie and Jack. 
Carrie's sweet daughter, Gracie, always reminds us she is watching over us on special days like this, as she passed away at 18 months old.  Carrie and her husband recently adopted their sweet Olivia in June and she has an extra special chromosome.  They walked in honor of both their daughters.  Livy & Grace.  

Jack and his buddy Drew!  I love that boy and his family! 

Jack goes to my friend's (and coworker) house twice a week while I am working.  I love getting updates and pictures of Jack playing with her youngest son and another friend with an extra special chromosome.  They sing, dance, play, go for walks, and work on many skills.  Having him go to daycare there is such a blessing!  She has a son with Ds and she tells me often how Jack reminds her of her 8 year old.  She is the mom my doctor called the morning after Jack was born.  You can read about that blog entry here.  Isn't God's plan amazing?!?  

We are all about fall and one of our favorite things is going to watch our alma mater's amazing football team!  This past weekend was homecoming and it was great to see classmates and a great game!  

Best part of my day is singing and giving my boys their blessing at bedtime.  Tears.  

One morning Chris text me this picture at work.  I just about screamed!  He pulled himself up!  We have been working hard on this.  He went from kneeling, to one leg up, to STANDING!! WOOP, WOOP. 

Some very exciting news...Gigi's playhouse is excited to partner with us to get Jack's baskets in all 15 birth centers in the Twin Cities!  WOW!! We are hopeful that each family will start their new path off with a gift, encouragement, and resources!  The Gigi's medical outreach team, including DSDN, is working hard to get the baskets together so we can get them to the hospitals!  With the partnership with Gigi's Playhouse-TC the baskets can be tax deductible!  

 If you are interested in donating, please click the yellow DONATE button at the bottom of the page.  We can not thank you enough for your support.

On October 1st, we celebrated 8 years of marriage.  I can not express in words my love for my husband.  Here was my post on our anniversary...
Chris and I celebrate how great our God is! 8 years ago we committed our lives together in marriage and sang this song in a chapel filled with people that love and support us. We are beyond blessed and I am so grateful for my husband. It's you and me against the world. How great is our God.

That morning, we prepared for a visit from WCCO as they are doing a story on our lives with Jack.  Stay tuned to WCCO TV on Monday, October 20th at's going to be a good one.  EEK!  

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About Me

My photo
The name of this blog was inspired by Kristin Armstrong's devotional book, Strength for the Climb. I am a midwest girl married to a handsome, hardworking, God-fearing man and the mother of two boys. My eldest son, a social butterfly that has enough energy and excitement to make anyone tired and a personality that will make you giggle with laughter. My youngest son, can cuddle like no other, and his eyes will speak right to your soul. Both of my sons have taught me more about God's grace and goodness. We are blessed to have an extra chromosome in our family as our sweet Jack was diagnosed at birth with Down syndrome. With that, I am reminded daily to trust and rely on God's perfect plan on this journey called life. I am a child of God and grateful to my Heavenly Father for His continued blessings, guidance, wisdom, and most importantly for saving my soul.