Friday, September 26, 2014

Weekend Links 9/26/14

Being #unstoppablemoms when you really don't want to
Doing the work -  "I discovered I didn't need to be a selfless martyr to be a good mom. I am discovering I am worth time and attention too." Truth. 
Trust the path

A few firsts this week. . . 

First full pony tail for this girl. . . I am so in love with it. . . and the little ringlets at the bottom??? I seriously can't even handle it. . . 

And first successful transition from laying down to sitting up, on her own, for this girl!

She was quite proud of herself. . .
Happy weekend! 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Chicken For Cohen Syndrome!

We are excited to announce that Chickfila Greatwood is partnering with us by hosting a Spirit Night to help raise Awareness for Cohen Syndrome! Our Clara (left) and her precious friend, Kathrine (right), were lucky enough to have been diagnosed at an early age. We are so very thankful to have a fellow Cohen family nearby (it has been diagnosed in fewer than 1,000 cases worldwide)!

November 21st is a special day for our family, as it marks the one year anniversary that we learned of Clara's diagnosis. We hope to do something on or near this day each year in her honor, to raise awareness & celebrate the beautiful special needs community. We hope you can join us by attending our Spirit Night. Money raised at the Spirit Night will go directly to the Cohen Syndrome Association. Check the flyer for details & please mark your calendars! 

We are so grateful to our family and friends that have walked this journey with us, and who will continue to do so in the years to come. We are blessed by your support, constant encouragement (especially on those hard days), and prayers! Brandon and I feel very convicted that despite all of the hard, God chose us for this journey for a reason, and are committed to making the most of everyday. We feel honored that God selected us to be Clara's parents.

Hope to see you on 11/21!

For more information on Cohen Syndrome click here

I apologize in advance for blowing up social media between now and 11/21 with posts regarding the Spirit Night. Go big or go home! 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Weekend Links 9/19/14

An Open Letter to My Twenty Year Old Self 
Things that don't exist in Ethiopia 
Bad Middles, Good Stories - "When life hands over some terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days, you have to remember it's just a middle. And you're writing a good story. And when it's your story that has a bad middle, you get to be a part of writing the ending. Of making sure that the bad middle has a purpose and a resolution and a character that finds her way home." Love this. 
Instagram Envy, Being Authentic on the Internet, and When It's Time to Break Up with a Blog

Special Needs
Sensory Interventions: Solutions for Middle and High School students with Autism Spectrum Disorder 

Mental Health
Be someone's safe place 

Our house is currently battling sinus infections, fevers, a rash, and a staph infection (I will spare you the details but just imagine my right ring finger swollen, bright red, and just well. . . gross. You're welcome). Needless to say, few happy pictures were taken this week.

Thus, I will leave you with a few happy pictures from a few weeks ago. . . love when we spend time outdoors as a family.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Summer bucket list. . . closing out summer

We were able to check a few more items off our summer bucket list. We didn't get to everything but that is ok. This was not about perfection, just about being a little more intentional with our time & creating some extra fun in our days.

First up. . . trip to the carousel! (You might notice this replaced a trip to the beach. It was just too hot for such things. An indoor activity seemed much more appealing when it is 100% humidity and 100 degrees outside.) We knew Clara would either love or hate the carousel. No middle ground. And thankfully she LOVED it. Y'all, seriously she LOVED it. She was laughing and smiling and having the time of her life. She rode four times and was then fussing and mad when we had to leave. Memorial City Mall Carousel for the win!

 Waiting in line (again). . .

Camille got to ride once. . . had to save those tokens for big sister. . . second child probs. . .

 This face pretty much sums up her joy. . .

That same day, after naps, we took one last trip to the neighborhood pool. This wasn't on our list, but the pics are too cute not to share. The shallow side is only 8 inches deep. Perfect for Clara to walk around and splash. It took her about 30 minutes to really get comfortable walking on her own, but once she warmed up she was good to go.

Camille post swim. . . We don't call this girl drama mama for nothing. She is happy and smiling 95% of the time. But that other 5%? Yep. . . pretty much comes out of nowhere. Her face below proves my point, does it not? :)

Going. . .
 Going . . .

Gone. . . I guess she doesn't like the backwards egg shirt?

Next up. . . trip for frozen yogurt. We went a little early and let Clara walk around the Sugar Land Town Center. There is plenty of space for her to explore and walk around without us having to hold her back for any reason.

Loves finding her shadow. . . cutest thing ever.

 A little book reading. . .

While Clara was reading, I was attempting to feed Camille her dinner. This probably was not my smartest parenting move to date. Baby food all over the place. All over.

Clara gearing up for her fro-yo. . .

She loved looking at all the colors. . .


Camille enjoyed a bite or two as evidenced by the blue sprinkle leftover under her nose. . . 

We headed downtown one Friday to enjoy lunch with daddy/Brandon at work. Clara was in awe of all the people, sights, and sounds. My sister in law, Tiffany, also works downtown so we called her to come down to say hi.

 Aunt Tiffany and Camille. . .

Clara playing at daddy's desk. . .

Brandon's coworker, Ms. Rhonda, loving on the girls. We saw lots of other employees but didn't snap any photos.

We were invited to the Splash Pad one hot morning and were thrilled to accept the invite! A little swing action prior to splashing on the pad. Camille and Zane were sharing a swing. SO cute these two. I can't even.

Zane, Camille, and Jake. . . cuties!

Clara and her friend, Audrey. . . Audrey's pose cracks me up . . .

Ok so I put finger-painting on the list. I was trying to branch out and think of a sensory activity that would push Clara a little bit and help stretch her comfort zone. Well stretch her comfort zone it did. Translation = major meltdown. I could not even bring myself to document. So we settled for some soap based finger paint in the bath and called it a day. Mommy did all the painting this time. You can pin this if you want.

We were also invited to the zoo a week or so ago so decided to go for it. As with the carousel, this was not on the list but since an outing such as the zoo is no easy task for us (meaning. . . one parent with two kids who both needs lost of assistance getting around) I decided to add it to our activities! Was a hot but super fun morning!
Watching the sea lions. This was by far Clara's fav animal portion of the zoo. She was able to look down and see them swimming and splashing pretty closely, and thought it was hilarious. Love her smiley face.

Again, this girl loves her shadow. . .

Clara's favorite non animal portion of the zoo is a little play area that has a piano. The pic below looks as if Clara and her lil friend Aedan are holding hands. Let me clear the air and say Clara was indeed slapping his hand away because she wanted the piano all to herself. Sorry Aedan!!

Wendi and Camille. . . love this pic! Camille was so sweaty but thankfully nowhere near as sunburned as this picture makes her look. . .

The Houston zoo also has a little splash pad. I brought a swim diaper and t-shirt for Clara to play in and she was loving it!

Camille and Austin playing in the shade. . . 

Sweet friends. . .

Can you guess which one of these three was not a fan of the pic???

Group shot. . . We missed you, Jenna!!

Overall it was a great summer! Excited for the fall season which we hope will bring a tad bit cooler weather & lots of exciting new memories!
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