Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Avery!

Unbelievably our "baby" girl turns four today! It is hard to fathom that four years have passed since we brought home our 'little' ten pound bundle of joy on Christmas Eve. So much has happened in those four years. We could have never known on that blessed day how much our entire lives would change, for the better, because of this precious little girl. Avery has fought countless battles, overcome so many hurdles, and beaten odds stacked high against her. Avery fills our home with joy and laughter, keeps us constantly on our toes, and makes our lives complete. I can't begin to explain to you the love that I feel for her. Of course I love both of my girls more than life itself. . . but I love each one very differently. The love I feel for Avery is a fierce, protective love. It is all encompassing. It takes my breath away. I cry just thinking about the fact that God found me, just an ordinary girl, worthy to the mommy of such an extraordinary little girl.

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I cry just thinking too, that my "baby" isn't a baby. She's four! She goes to school two half and three full days a week and continues to master one goal after another. While the drive to her school in the city is long, the progress Avery has made makes it worth each and every mile! She has all her teachers wrapped around her finger ;) and they celebrate her milestones right along with us! Just this last week she went potty on the big girl potty for the first time and had two dry days at school! Santa is going to put some big girl underwear in her stocking and we are going to give potty training a go! She is putting puzzles together, drinking from a big girl cup, matching pictures and objects, following simple directions, knows her nose, her head, her tummy and her toes. She can imitate a ton of letter sounds, and her favorite song to sing is the "alphabet sounds song." She is sleeping through the night in her big girl bed and helping me dress her in the morning. She can buckle (and unbuckle) her car seat. She dances and claps her hands to her favorite songs. She still loves "Moe Moe" (aka-Elmo), cows, and trains. She has discovered new love for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, carrying shoes, kitchen utensils, and Bath and Body Works lotion bottles around the house, and flushing the toilet:) She has also fallen in love with daddy's tool bench and tools this year. She has learned so much in such a short amount of time and we are so thankful that she continues to be seizure free almost every single day!

This weekend we celebrated her birthday with her Grandmas and Grandpas. As some of you know, I do love to plan a party! I love to pick a theme and sometimes go a bit overboard with decorations, party favors, and games. I had a grand idea in my head to use a "gingerbread/candy" theme for this birthday, but with Avery's birthday so close to Christmas I didn't get to do as much as I wanted with the theme. But you know what? The day was absolutely perfect.

In every single way.

For one very important reason. Avery. It wasn't the decorations, it wasn't the invitations, it wasn't my famous wrapped silverware (which were all cute-mind you:) It was the joy of one little girl and everyone in the room felt it. Avery's happiness decorated our home, her hugs and snuggles were the perfect party favors, and her giggles, peek-a-boos, and patty-cakes provided the joyful entertainment.

You can't plan that, you can't purchase that, and they are the. most. important. things.

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Avery was full of joy from the moment she woke up until she crashed at the end of the day. She was so excited to see her Grandmas and Grandpas and gave big hugs to everyone and kept saying "Hiiieee!" "Hiiieee", "Yay!" "Yay!", and "Oh boy!" all afternoon! She was just so happy and excited. It was almost as if she knew that it was her special day and she loved it!!

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For the past three years Avery's birthday's have been bittersweet for me. Each year for a different reason, but bittersweet none the less. We celebrated Avery's first birthday under a cloud of dread as her first brain surgery was scheduled just a few days after her birthday. I can only admit out loud now, after all these years, that many nights before her first birthday I rocked her to sleep and sobbed as silent tears fell on her sleeping face. As I sat and rocked her to sleep I allowed myself to wonder if Avery's first birthday would be her only birthday. I had this horrible fear that she wouldn't make it through the surgeries and we wouldn't get to bring her home. No mommy should ever have to contemplate these things. But contemplate I did and it was heartbreaking.

Her second birthday was interrupted by a blizzard and a nasty seizure that pretty much ruined the evening, and her third birthday was more of the same. Seizures and sadness. We tried to celebrate. We "faked it" for Kaylen's sake, and the faking hurt more than doing nothing at all. Just thinking about all of those days that were supposed to be joyous occasions, that we just managed to survive, makes me sad.

But here we are a year later, and what a difference a year makes, This year, finally, Avery was able to enjoy her birthday! And so we celebrated! We celebrated the miracle that this little girl is. We celebrate all that she has accomplished and all that she will accomplish. We gave thanks to our good and gracious God, that has blessed us beyond measure with the precious gift of our Avery Elizabeth.

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Happy Birthday sweet Avery girl! Mommy loves you with a perfect love that knows no limits. Mommy will love you forever and ever to the ends of the earth. You my love, are truly amazing, and I am so very blessed to be your mommy.

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2 comments:

Laura Garrett said...

Thanks for bringing tears to my face first thing in the morning :) Even though we don't "know" each other I think of you lots and I am so happy that things are going well. Definately worthy of major celebration. Happy Birthday Avery.

Laura
Cody 22 mths w/ TS & Ethan 3.5 w/o

Karina Vader said...

Ohhh you made me cry!

I agree with Laura.

I'm so glad your baby is OK. Happy birthday Avery!