Surgery Day

I realize that I haven’t written a blog in about 5 or 6 months now. I blame life for that! ha. Honestly, I’ve been so busy with the girls, and things going on that by the time I have a minute alone I literally just want to vedge out!…but, here’s a little update regarding our Addy girl and how her first surgery went.

So, the day we had been anxiously awaiting snuck up on us, FAST. So fast! I was not particularly ready in any way to be going through what we were about to face but I knew that we would look back and wonder why we ever stressed it in the first place. Adalynn couldn’t have anything solid, or milk after 2am. We bathed her real well, fed her, put her to bed, and woke her at 2 to give her the last bottle she would have until about 4pm the next day. Brian’s parents came to stay with us so that Payton could be at home and to also be spoiled while we tended to the littlest of the fam. She had a BLAST!

The morning of Adalynn’s implant surgery we got up and got everything ready to go so that we could get to the hospital in time for them to have us checked in and ready to go! On our way down the hospital called us. (I was so concerned) Brian answered and I couldn’t hear a thing the nurses were saying. I thought they were going to cancel her surgery, which would have upset me soooo, very much. I was so ready for this day to be over I couldn’t imagine having to wait any longer, but much to our surprise, they were ahead of schedule. We were able to check in early get to our room, and get her back way faster than we expected! The anesthesiologist, is a great friend of ours, who I actually grew up babysitting his kids, so I had an extra sense of ease letting her leave with him to head back to her surgery…it made it soooo much easier to watch her leave in his arms, although inside I wanted to just cry my eyes out. At this point in our journey I feel like I have to hold all of my emotions in to be strong for my husband, and Payton, and Adalynn. I see all of her progress myself, so I almost feel like Adalynn and I have a special little connection. No one really knows what all goes on behind the scenes of things. Having a child with special needs is FAR from easy, and I praise every mother that has to deal with anything extra that a healthy, and 100% hearing child doesn’t have to deal with. We go to therapy and appointments, multiple times every single week! It is like a second full time job, aside from my first full time job of a mother to two, alone everyday! No one truly understands our particular situation, and all are different. It makes things more real for me, because I feel like Addy and I are a unit. I do everything with her, all the things that she goes through, I go through (not physically, but emotionally) I watch her grow, in many ways…I grow with her. Its actually funny because before I had children I feel as if I was a little more emotional than I am now that I do have children. Maybe it’s a Mom thing, but I just tend to “try” to keep it together.

Anyways, Adalynn’s surgery only lasted about 2 and a half hours. We were expecting 4 so we had my parents and Brians with Payton, come keep us company until it was over. Well, as soon as we walked down to hang out, they called us up to meet with Addy. I was sooo excited but also had crazy thoughts. Why was it over so quickly? Was something up?…walking up we saw our surgeon and he has a smile on his face and told us it went great and smooth. I was so relieved and so ready to hold my sweet girl. They brought us up to a post op room, we would be staying overnight to have her monitored so we had to be moved.

When they brought her to us that assured us she was still very out of it, but also being very cuddly. I snatched her as fast as I could. Poor Brian. Dad’s are pretty much chop liver when it comes to this stuff. She was ALL mine. I honestly didn’t know how I’d sleep because I wanted to watch her every waking second. Once we got settled in the room for the night, we had Payton and my parents and Brians come up to see her, even though Addy was all out of sorts. It distracted us for the most part, but I was still very concerned about Addy, so it was hard to relax.

Once our families left we decided we should get some food so we took turns going to the cafe. I went, and came back to eat while Addy slept and then Brian went while I watched her. I will never forget my short lived sense of guilt in that moment alone, sitting eating my burger watching my little baby sleep, but with IV’s in her arm, and a massive bandage and head wrap over her head. I felt as if we made the wrong choice. How could we do this to our 10 month old baby. Put her through this pain before she could decide on her own, make her own choices?? What if we did the wrong thing? I cried alone until Brian came back, and pulled myself together. My least favorite thing is letting someone see me cry…now that we are 2 months post op, and one month post activation with her learning at a very fast pace, I can’t imagine not going through with her implant surgery. I don’t know how I could live without my baby ever hearing me tell her, I love her.

I will say, recovery was so hard. The first night was just waking and crying, and trying to get pain meds (just Tylenol) in her, making sure her head wrap was on ok, and that she was comfortable. There is NO where to sleep for the parents. I feel for you, parents that have to stay more than one night…it was so hard. Her therapist warned that she would have her total normal energy the next day and that we would need a sitter or someone to keep an eye on her all day so we could catch up on sleep. And man, was she right. We both slept awful. And the next day, it was hard to take even an eye off of her. She was on the go. She was completely back to normal other than some head wrap, gauze and a tiny bit of pain. We were zombies for a few days.

We are so happy that we are on the road to hearing with Adalynn. We have a very long way to go, but every little step is huge for her. We have her second implant surgery scheduled for June 21st ( Brian and mines 4th wedding anniversary!) what a way to celebrate! Ha! We will have plenty more to celebrate after this milestone in our lives so we’re happy to give up the day this year! Thank you all for prayers and thoughts. Addy has done tremendously well since being activated. Her therapists are more than thrilled with her progress for “one month old hearing” she’s progressed so well, and she is so very smart that I’m scared 😂 her and Payton will have me whipped in no time. But don’t tell ’em!

By the way, we LOVE CHOA! We have thought about moving out of state numerous times for better living, and financial opportunities but having them here makes us stay! And I don’t regret it one bit. They are TOP NOTCH of Peds! Atlanta is the place to be if you need any pediatric care. I recommend it 10/10 to anyone that asks me!

I’ll try to remember to write a blog about our activation day and how life has been since then!

I’m scared to have another baby…

Disclaimer: This does not mean we are having another baby. It is just my thoughts on IF we decided to have a third child in the FAR future.

I know that having a child is more than just “having a child”. This day and age, there are so many things to consider when growing your family. Even when you have a 100% healthy child with no complications, no future problems that you can foresee….a baby costs SOOOO much money. I feel like some people don’t even realize until they have one of their own, (I didn’t) but even the littlest cost, means taking away a cost that you can spend on yourself. And, by that I mean, a pedicure, a hair cut, a shopping spree, a lunch with friends. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from being a mom, it’s that I am most certainly LAST, always.

I buy the organic baby foods, or make it myself, I buy the good brands of clothes for my babies, or choose to let them go to preschool at church, all while I’ve been wearing the same clothes since high school, and having the most unhealthy hair I’ve had in my life, no joke.

But, to get to my actual point of this, other than scaring people out of having kids. ( it’s by far been the most amazing part of my life thus far…no matter what I give up!). Brian and I have a huge chance of having another child born deaf. We have no clue at this point how much hearing loss our future child could have. It could be none, to very little, to profound, like, Adalynn who needs cochlear implants to hear us speak. But, no matter what, we have that chance. And even if our child is born with even slight hearing loss, it will most definitely, only get worse with time.

Of course, knowing this gives me so many scares. I’ve gone through more scares than I could have ever imagined in my life with just Addy herself. I play it off as a strong mom (which I like to think I am.) but, I’m not very strong at all. I’ve cried countless times in the shower, countless times in the car, to almost every appointment of Adalynn’s, and have had countless nights where I can’t even sleep because my mind is racing about things I could do to make Addys life better. (My husband thinks I need sleeping pills.) You’d think I’d get used to this new life, but I can’t. I don’t like to cry in front of anyone. Honestly, not even my husband..if I cry in front of Brian, it means I’ve held in my emotions wayyyyyy longer than I can handle, and even then I try to change the subject as quick as possible so I can wipe away my tears. I really like to keep to myself, but I also think for Addys sake I need to let people know her story, so they can pray for her…Not us, but her!! We will make it through, but I know that her life will be tough. It could be worse, yes, but I also know for a fact she will never, ever, have it easy. Not that we won’t be here for her. I’m in her corner for as long as I live!

The fact is, that I know this could change our choice on having another baby. I’ve always wanted lots of babies. I won’t lie, having a child, and giving up a job I truly love, to be home and take care of them 24/7 has not been easy, and most certainly, and honestly not been my number one choice. I have had a job since the age of 14, and known nothing other than working hard for my own money. There are days that I WISH I could go to work just to have a “break” from being a mom. There’s never really a break from being a mother, even when you get an hour at target. I always find myself in the little girls section trying to decide what they need for next season that I could find in the clearance aisle, when I originally went to look for ONE new shirt for myself…for once, and then eventually leaving the store with not one thing in hand…HAHA. That’s literally what happens when I get a chance to shop alone. Or, when I go to Kroger while the girls are asleep on Sunday, to do our weekly grocery shopping and, even though the girls are both sound asleep I try to hurry home, so that if they wake up, I can be there to help Brian, as if he wouldn’t know what to do if they woke up (for the record he knows) but I feel 100% guilty for having even a second alone. I know all of you moms feel the same. It’s like we need our husbands to hand us money, and say to our face, “go spend some money on YOU, for once, turn your phone off, and get a massage, pedicure, and manicure, we won’t do it until we are forced. It’s a fact!!! I’ve never done something for myself unless my husbands forced me to, which is rare. We always forget to treat ourselves, when we really need it most.

So, having a child that needs more attention is rough. I have to basically talk out our entire day, in her ear in hopes she heard what I am saying, until she gets her implants. It may sound simple, but narrating your entire day, in detail to a 7 month old that you have NO CLUE, even knows the extent of a speech they hear from you, can be extremely draining. There’s days I feel like such a failure as a mom, for not being able to narrate my day like I wish I could be able to with a child that is hearing. Payton is on a whole other level than Addy. And that is ok, but as a mom that is a completely different job.

I think in my mind, knowing all of the appointments we will have to go through and all of the therapy my child and I will have to go through.(when your child goes through therapy at a young age, it is mainly for the parent attending, not the child itself.) so, I am pretty much going through therapy for me, to learn for Addy to teach her. Which you could say, I didn’t sign up for, but obviously, I will do all I can to benefit my babygirl. I won’t say it’s easy, I feel like I’m in school all over again. When I wish I could , quite literally be in school for myself to finish college (my dreams of being a labor and delivery nurse have been put on hold, and may never happen at this point.) but, realize my own child is more important than myself.

With all of this being said, I am more interested in having another baby, hearing or non hearing, because at this point in life I feel like God has prepared Brian and I to be able to physically, and emotionally prepare for a child that God wants us to have. We have talked about the option of adoption because of the genetics we have been handed, and we are both completely FOR growing our family, weather it is through adoption or through God giving us another child genetically, hearing or not! We will be grateful in any situation, and we will love our child NO MATTER WHAT! I think what scares me is that I will be given more than I can handle but, so far I have been proven wrong. As much as I want to think I can’t handle this, God has shown me that my friends, and family are here for me. As much as we wish we could afford the “better life” for Adalynn, something new comes up that can help us. It will never be an easy road, and that’s ok, we have each other to make it through.

Addy girl’s hearing loss update

It’s been almost a whole month that I’ve posted anything. I feel like that’s the norm now. I try to get in a groove of writing more but life, kids, and wife duties kind of take over.

I really try not to have overwhelming daily thoughts about Adalynn’s condition and the fears I will personally face in the near future but it seems to be all I can think about lately. Hopefully the holidays coming up, and being around family will brighten the days.

There’s actually been A LOT we have talked about, and learned lately about Addy’s hearing loss. It’s answered some of our questions, but also made me have even more worries than before.

When we met with Adalynn’s surgeon just last week, we got back her genetic testing from when she had blood drawn around one month old. While it gave us clarification of what caused her to have hearing loss, it was all complete jibberish to me. I followed about half of what he said. So, Brian decided to break it down, do some research, and put it in words that I can understand, as well as our family and friends that may have questions about it. We found that this could be something passed to any future children should we decide to have another, as well as affect Payton’s children and Adalynn’s. It gave us a lot of things to think about, and of course worries for our future grandchildren, even. Here is the synopsis in detail of what occurred with our genes to cause this.

(Im sorry that the quality is poor on this but I hope it all makes sense!)

It’s not something any parent wants to have to go through with their children that’s for sure, but we are thanking God that it is something that we can improve with modern day technology, to give her hearing in a hearing family. We talked about our worries together, and made this decision after lots of discussion, and prayer. When you are a fully hearing family, having a child born profoundly deaf raises a lot of decisions that we as parents have to make for her in hopes that we’re doing the right thing. Our opinions may be different than others and that is ok. We are doing what we believe is right for Adalynn.

We are scheduled for an MRI this month in which she will be sedated for. (Prayers for that, please! I am so nervous about this.) As I’ve said before, the MRI will give us clarification that she does, indeed have all of the internal parts that she needs to be implanted. Our surgeon said that if all plays out, we could try to get her scheduled for surgery for her first implant as early as 10 months old. Hearing that my 10 month old baby will be enduring such a life changing surgery makes my stomach turn. Although, I know this will enhance her life in many ways, I can’t help but worry tremendously about her. I would take her place a million times if I could.

We didn’t want Addy to grow up “deaf” from the time we found out. Not that we are ignoring that she is. We know she is profoundly deaf, we know that one day she may tell us she doesn’t want to use her implants. We love her however God made her, and whatever she decides to do in the future, we will always stand with her! We want her to be proud of who she is, and confident in what she knows! But we have decided to take this route for the simple reason that we ARE a hearing family. We never want her to feel left out of any discussions we have at the dinner table. We want her to splish, splash in the bath tub with her sister and be able to hear our giggles, and be silly with us. We want her to be able to join in on reading books aloud before bedtime. This will give her that ability. It’s amazing what technology can do and although I am nervous wreck, I am excited for my baby to fully hear me one day. And that day will be the best day.

Some people have asked me about sign language, and why we don’t start teaching her. If I didn’t know any better, I would ask the same. But, we WILL teach her sign language in the future, we are all actually wanting to learn. Right now, though, our main focus is getting Addy to hear. Once she can hear, we can teach her speech, once she can speak, of course we can teach her ASL, but to live in a hearing world, we are going to focus on just that. HEARING. She will have to learn the sounds of many things. We will continue speech therapy, and she will catch up to all of the other children her age.

We are so beyond blessed that other than her hearing loss, she a healthy baby. She just had her 6 month check up and she is totally on track with every other child her age. We did find out she may need a helmet to help the growth of her skull, but we will find out for sure on Friday. We fall more in love with this happy baby every day. Anyone who knows her, could tell you how happy she makes them. She puts an instant smile on your face! Please continue to pray for us as we go through her MRI, and preparing for her first surgery that could happen in the next 5 months..love you guys!

P.S. I did a little change up to my blog page. I actually want to totallllllly revamp it soon but….life! Could take me a year to do that hahaha

HAPPY TUESDAY💕

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What’s been happening!?

It’s obviously been a while since I’ve written a blog. I have no real excuse for it, except for that I have just been busy, and have had nothing to write about. I do have A LOT of people asking me how Adalynn has been doing, in therapy, with her hearing aids, when surgery will be, and just in general. I figured I would give a little briefing about what’s been happening lately, along with some other little thrown in things.

So, first off, Addy is such a happy baby. While all of this is still hard to take in on a daily basis, seeing her happy makes me so happy! It makes me feel as if, although she is profoundly deaf, she doesn’t need to hear me to know how loved she is by, Brian, myself, and her big sister! She is currently in her hearing aids almost 13-14 hours a day. They say that is great since they recommend 10 hours a day. She recently had her very first booth hearing test which went…as well as we imagined with a 4 1/2 month old. We knew going into the first one it wouldn’t be completely accurate with her still being young. She sure is a trooper though!

She ended up getting hungry and tired so we scheduled another for October when she’s a little older. We will plan on having multiple of these booth tests to nail down exactly how much loss is in each ear. We meet again with her surgeon in two weeks, and I’m completely anxious about that. I have a million questions to ask. We will most likely be scheduling a date for her to have an MRI done to make sure she is eligible for the implants. (It will confirm her having all “parts” in order to be implanted successfully.) This is not something I’m excited for, yet it’s just a tiny preview of what we will have to endure for her surgery. I’m not too fond of the fact that my little baby will need to have anesthesia at such a young age, but I’m learning to give all my worry to God. I’ve gotten better at that through this journey.

As of now we are continuing to take Adalynn to therapy once a week, which no joke is starting to take its toll on me. I don’t like having to ask anyone for help, let alone miss picking up Payton from preschool one day a week. Even though I’m just missing nap time, I don’t like burdening anyone’s day…It’s basically an all day affair on Thursdays, and by the time I’m home I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus, and have ZERO alone time. But I know it is all for Adalynn’s future and I wouldn’t want to compromise that because I’m “tired” I mean let’s face it mamas are always tired anyways! She is doing very well in therapy, and I’m so so proud of her, although it bores me to death being there for a whole hour. I love watching her learn, but trying to keep her focused for an hour is seriously so hard. On top of making sure she is fed, awake, and happy. That’s a struggle, but overall she is doing great and I’m learning so much about how we can help her at home, as well as building a great friendship with her therapist. We love her.

In other news, I have found a really yummy soup. Thank you, Ali! It is perfect for the cooler days we have ahead of us, and I’m excited to make it again, and try to perfect it. It’s rare my husband is up to try something new so when he was ok with me trying it I got super excited. Overall it was really good. Maybe slightly spicy for Payton and I, so next time I plan to do some ground beef in it too and more broth. Here is the recipe! I hope y’all like it.

Pasta Fagioli

Another cool find lately, thanks to my sister in law, is these pancake, waffles, and French toast sticks from target. I had been wanting to find a better alternative to the eggo items Payton is obsessed with for breakfast, and these have been a HIT! She basically eats them daily. Makes my life a little easier 😊

They can only be bought in stores. Not eligible for shipping. But, what woman doesn’t love browsing around target?!

We are headed to the beach this weekend for our first vacation as a family of four! Actually it’s our very first family vacation just us, ever! I couldn’t be more excited! I don’t consider a vacation, a vacation if there’s no beach. Can not wait to be in my happy place!

Ok summertime…BYE!

I don’t know about y’all but I am ready for fall! It’s my favorite time of the year. If you were to ask me 3 or 4 years ago I’d tell you summertime was my favorite. But, let’s face it…when you have children the days of laying out by the pool, or going with friends to hang on rooftop patios are long gone. Bringing kids in the heat is like playing with fire. They hate the heat. At least my babies do. And the pool? Forget about it! I mean I still take them, because Payton enjoys swimming so much but if you don’t have help then it’s literally a workout. Not only a workout to get out the door, but once you’re there your eyes are glued to the kids. Making sure they’re staying hydrated, sunscreened up, and always wearing their floaty. It’s a full on job.

With that being said, FALLLLLL! It’s now my favorite time of year. Not only is it football season (Brians favorite!), it’s pumpkin everything, leaves crinkling, cool, crisp air, beef stew, and my absolute favorite,Halloween!! I was in the hospital ready to have Payton on Halloween night, 2014 and they waited to induce me until the next day, but I would have loved a Halloween baby. She’s still my little pumpkin though 😉

Last Halloween was a bust! Payton refused to wear her Ariel costume so she wore her jasmine pajamas😂I love this fall picture for Payton’s second birthday!

There’s always so many fun fall activities to do. We try to go to pumpkin patches or fall festivals as much as we possibly can. This year I want to make a weekend trip to stay in a cabin in blue ridge. My sister just moved super close to blue ridge so maybe we can make part of one of our days all about visiting her and seeing her beautiful campus and meeting her new college buddies. The weather is perfect for hiking, and actually having an enjoyable time at the park. We used to have a zoo membership when we lived closer to it, so we would go almost every week, and Payton had a blast. What does everyone else like to do during the fall time? Any fun things around kennesaw/acworth area that would be fun to add to our fall list of things to do?

This feels like yesterday! I was also 3 months pregnant here, and I already miss being pregnant.

With Halloween coming up I had so many cute ideas for all of us to dress up for Halloween as a theme. Payton loves toy story so I thought Brian could be Woody, she could be Jessie and Addy and I could be Mrs. Bo peep and a little sheep. I’ve looked up multiple DIY costumes to try and make at least mine and Brians, but I’m just not into it. I love the idea of being crafty, but I’m not. Ha. Buying adult costumes is a little crazy to me, since they’re outrageously priced, so I think we will just dress the girls up! I like to spend the money on decorating the house and outside anyways because I know that the girls will enjoy having the house all spooky. I always wished we had the best decorated home when holidays came around growing up, so I plan to try and do that for them! I remember the people two houses down from my parents always went ALL out, scary music, the fog machine, cemetery in the front yard, and the lady dressed as a witch every year. She was my favorite house to visit!

I also, have a whole new reason to love this time of year since Payton’s birthday is in the middle of fall time, and the day after Halloween. It’s going to be so much fun celebrating her the day after she gets to go trick or treating every single year. I can’t believe she will be 3 in less than three months 😦 she’s so smart, and such a big girl I can’t even take it!!

I hope everyone has a great rest of the summer, even with the heat some days getting in the 90’s. Hanging by the pool lately hasn’t even helped because the water is like a hot tub! We are headed to Destin in just a few short weeks and I am so, so excited to be in my happy place with my three favorite people ever!❤️

Family weekend of FUN

This past weekend was so, so busy. I have a love/hate relationship with being busy on our weekends. I love being out and doing things and making new memories but the late nights with early mornings knock me on my butt by Monday haha

Friday we had my aunt, uncle and cousins come visit from New York. We are clearing out my grandmas house to get ready to sell it so everyone wanted to go through all of the stuff and take what they liked. We’re all so sad to be selling the house but its what’s best for everyone at this point. The homes in her neighborhood are being torn down and rebuilt by millionaires because her neighborhood is the PRIME spot to be in for school district, and is the perfect location to almost anything in Atlanta/Kennesaw/Marietta. We would LOVE to live in east cobb one day. And that is our plan!

So, Friday we all went to the pool, and ordered pizza and went to my parents house to hang out and catch up. I love when my NY family is in town because we always have the BEST time. I’m probably closest with Amanda of all cousins on both sides and I love seeing my aunt Lori, uncle Terrence, and big Joe. Love them to death, and I SO wish they were closer to us.

Payton is hilarious. For some reason she is so shy with Uncle T and big Joe. She literally won’t even look at them. She’s quite the character. Aunt Lori has THE touch with the little ones. Even when Payton was very little and we went to Dave and Busters one night she was able to calm Payton down when she was fussing and Brian and I were still trying to figure out the whole parenting thing. Ha! Some people just know exactly the right way to talk to the little ones, and she is one of them. I love watching her with my girls. It’s so sweet. And Addy was obsessed with her beautiful locks of curls!

Saturday morning we were up and out of the house bright and early. My youngest brother Michael, was playing in the corky Kell classic down in Atlanta in the old braves stadium, Turner field. Georgia state took over the field and turned it into their football stadium so it was pretty cool to not only see the transformation but to also be back on braves old stompin’ grounds. Made me miss it so much. I have so many memories at turner! I always love watching my favorite football player. Although they lost by one in overtime, my brother played SO good. I’m so proud of him. He made the first touchdown of the game!! GO MICK! I am so ready for football it’s not even funny. Can’t wait to watch him finish out his senior year strong.

Saturday night we decided to have dinner at twin peaks (my uncles choice) haha it was right next to their hotel so we met them there for some beer and wings. And it was YUM! It was the first time I had been there and it was actually pretty awesome. It wasn’t packed for a Saturday and we had a great time.

We decided to call it an early night and go home and get some rest. The next morning we met for lunch with Peg, at a local spot by her house called Aj’s seafood and subs. I had never been but it was an awesome little hole in the wall. I want to take Brian back one day. He stayed with the girls since they were napping. When I got back Payton had just gotten up and I decided to take her to the pool with everyone while Addy was still asleep and Brian was finishing up some of our weekend laundry. It was such a hot day so we didn’t wanna get Addy out in the heat. She hates being hot. Payton had so much fun with Amanda in the pool!

After the pool we went back to my parents for a cook out with everyone before they headed out the next morning. I was so determined to get pictures of everyone since we are rarely all together and I knew we would all appreciate them in the future. As soon as Addy got there I handed her to Peggy because I knew she was dying to hold her. It was probably the best sight my eyes ever saw. Thank God for brian because he knew I was going to want pictures of this and he started snapping away. I’ll never have to forget that moment because of these pictures.

Payton loves to be in the kitchen. At home, at her Gigi’s, whenever she has the chance to help she has such a great time. Aunt Lori had her helping in the kitchen and I know Payton was so enjoying herself.

And of course Addy girl got all the lovin!

The rest of the pictures are of Peggy and her three sons, the wives, then all the cousins, and then all of us! I’m going to cherish these family get togethers so, so much.

Time moves faster than you think

I can't believe that we just moved my itty bitty 6 pound 13oz baby sister into her dorm room at college. I swear it was just yesterday that I remember running into her room the second I heard her cry, and mom was sooo tired (kinda like my life now HA) I always wanted get to her first to help my mom out, and rub her little peach fuzz hair, or sing her a little song. She was literally like my "little baby." I think having Anna and Michael as a baby sister and brother was the best thing ever. It made me have such a love for kids. We were 8/9 years apart so it was like I got practice for my dream of being a mama one day. And now that I am a mom, I feel like I want to "mother" her even more. Even though she's technically an adult now. HA.

I was so excited to hear that she chose to go away to school. Something I have always wished I had done. I think a huge part of growing up is living on your own and having the responsibility of "taking care of yourself" even though she's still funded by mom and dad. I'm so proud of her in so many ways. She's always been loyal, and honest. She's always true to herself and a hard worker when she has to be ☺️ The day kind of snuck up on all of us, I think. I wasn't even about to miss your big day, so moving you in myself was a MUST!

Anna is attending Young Harris college in North GA. She was able to go on an athletic, and an academic scholarship. The campus itself is so beautiful. I wish that the pictures did it justice, but they don't. Her dorm room is TINY. Like any other dorm room but putting two girls things in there and keeping it organized and cute was tough but they made it work, and it will be their home for now. They share a toilet and shower with their suite mates next door. I hope they can all get along 😬 here are some pictures of the campus and her new home! I loved getting to follow Anna around and see her campus.

Anna,

As your big sister I just want to give you a little advice, which I know you'll follow 😊 don't forget to always ask if you need help, be honest to yourself and your friends, never feel like you aren't worthy of something, give everything you've got in everything you do, and love whole heartedly… Having you as my sister has been one of the best things in my life. I can't wait to watch you succeed in all you do. Love you SO much, and I'll always be here for you.
…geeze, this has me thinking about a wedding speech. Can you give me some years to prepare that? Cause I sure wasn't ready for this and it hit me fast.
Good luck rockstar! #7

Love, Shan