It’s been a few very full weeks! Here’s a tiny peek into them…
Kaitlynn made the decision to quit figure skating — something she had been contemplating for awhile and felt the time had come when she found out two of her coaches would be moving this summer. She finished out her testing that she wanted to do and then skated her last session the last week of school.
She has learned and grown so much through figure skating and we will always be grateful for how it has played such a significant role in her life. But we’re also excited for her to have a lot more time and space in her senior year to be able to pursue other things that she’s not been able to because skating has taken so much of her extra time.
We went to Starbucks after skating and then sat in the car and celebrated and recounted all the gifts and blessings of skating these past many years. It was a special way to mark this moment for her. We can’t wait to see what this next year holds!
Kierstyn continues to really enjoy swimming lessons!
Working on the photo board for Kathrynne’s graduation. I’m so grateful that Kaitlynn and Kathrynne helped me pick which pictures to include and then helped me create the board.
Trying on her cap and gown the day before the big day!
We were so blessed to have so many family members in town for Kathrynne’s graduation. It was fun for them to get to enjoy our little kids!
All dressed up for the graduation and not super happy about it. 🙂 Don’t worry, he only cried for about one minute — of course the minute I was trying to take this photo — and then was happy as can be as soon as we got into the car!
It’s official! She’s all done with high school!
One of the special parts of graduation day was seeing Kierstyn go around and interact with multiple seniors she has come to know and love. I love that our younger ones can bring so much joy to so many teenagers!
Not the best family pic we took, but I had to share this one because David’s expression is priceless!
I had to recreate this photo that we took last year with Kathrynne and her best friend, Isabel, at her graduation. I can’t believe Kaitlynn will be a senior this year!
I didn’t get many pictures of the party or the food table set up, but here’s what the beautiful balloons looked like before we set this table with Chipotle!
My hope was that the graduation and party would be deeply meaningful for Kathrynne — and it was! From the the special time with extended family, to dear friends who showed up for her party (almost 70 people came!), to the amazing party decor and food (thanks to @graceemayberry and @roseandplumliving + Chipotle)… she just felt so loved and celebrated!
Kathrynne and I sat in our room at the end of the day (Jesse was gone with David all night at a sleep study… because of course it had gotten scheduled months before on the day of graduation!), and we recounted so many special memories, funny moments, encouraging conversations, and just the goodness of God throughout the whole day.
Everything came together so beautifully even though there were hundreds of moving parts for the day. While I was bone tired at the end, it was the kind of exhaustion that comes with so much joy and fulfillment!
One high school graduation down, five to go!
We got to watch my friend’s 10-week-old baby for the weekend. He was a trooper and slept through most of the graduation party and then came with us to Silas’ out-of-town baseball tournament!
Micah is growing up so much!! He just started walking (see the video here) and is talking a lot and wants to try to do everything his older siblings do plus eat all the things all the time!
Our screened-in porch is getting hours and hours of use these days. The weather has been so beautiful and the shade is just perfect that it’s almost always a nice temperature out here!
Jesse and I have also been going on long walks many evenings. It’s good exercise and fresh air, we get to have some focused time to talk while pushing little ones in the strollers.
Jesse snapped this picture of me one morning recently. I love it so much because this is my life right now!
I posted the above picture on Instagram with this caption: “Will he ever talk?” “When will he get his feeding tube out?” “What do you think his future will look like?”
I get questions like this almost daily. And I so appreciate how much people care about our David and his future.
The truth is: I don’t have answers. I don’t know if he’ll have a full vocabulary some day. I don’t know if he’ll get his feeding tube out. And I have no idea what the future holds.
But I know this: he teaches me daily that our society puts a lot of value on what we see outwardly. That talking and walking and eating and interacting socially are the markers of success and the definition of progress.
There’s not a clear linear progressive trajectory for David. There are many unknowns for the future. But he’s forging his own path and he’s excelling at it.
Do we hope he learns to communicate with words? Honestly, instead of making that the goal, I’m celebrating that he has gained so many pre-verbal skills, that he’s rarely frustrated with communication, and that he’s learning more and more ways and cues and verbal sounds to indicate what he wants.
Yes, the hope is that he eventually gets his feeding tube out and eats 100% orally, but for now, we’re insanely proud of his progress in deciding he is interested in food, that he often wants to eat now, and many days is consuming 120+ calories orally. That’s HUGE!
Most of all, we celebrate the gift he is to our home and lives and how much he loves life. He doesn’t care about the goals others set for him or whether he’s hitting them. He’s just happy to sit and play with a ball for an hour. He doesn’t know that some people feel sorry for him or that he’s labeled “developmentally delayed”; he’s just thrilled to sit in our laps, hug us repeatedly, and play peek-a-boo and have dance parties.
Every day, David teaches me that what we often place so much value on (checking things off a list, hitting goals, outward progress) isn’t the be all end all of life. Loving people, living in the present, and fully soaking up the here and now are some of the most important things we can spend our time doing. And let me tell you, David is off-the-charts successful at those three things!
Kaitlynn and Kierstyn made cake pops one day recently.
On an evening walk!
We had an unexpected surprise happen a few weeks ago: we got to start babysitting for the little boy we fostered for 8 1/2 months back in 2020. We had been regularly babysitting him the past two years after he reunified with his mom. But then she had gotten consistent childcare and so we hadn’t seen him for almost 6 months.
Well, some things changed with his childcare and she asked if we could help out again. We were thrilled to do so!
So we’ve had him for 30-40 hours a week the past few weeks and it’s been such a gift. He’s 3 and full of energy, but also the sweetest child!
And he ADORES Micah!
I took this pictures of the two boys the other day! I just love how more and more they are becoming such buddies!
Baseball tournaments with four little ones (since we’ve been babysitting for C at most of them recently) mean you bring a LOT of extra stuff!
We brought spray bottles with water at last weekend’s baseball tournament and it was a HIT!
There you have it: a little peek into the past few weeks! If you made it through all those pictures, whew! Thank you for being here and being such cheerleaders for our family! We are grateful for this life — even on the really tiring days! — and we are grateful for each of you!