Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Gearing up the the Heart Walk

A few weeks ago the Nashville American Heart Association asked if I would be willing to tell Cain's story to a local business here in Nashville.  The business was SMS Holdings and they are very active in the Heart Walk.  They have monthly luncheons for employees each month leading up to the heart walk and this past Friday I was their speaker.  You would think telling Cain's story wouldn't be hard considering I tell it often but I'll be honest in saying that I was more nervous than I thought I would be.  I think the nerves set in after I found out there would be 100-150 people at the luncheon.  Basically, I told Cain's story, why I decided to get involved with the American Heart Association, and my experience in raising money for last years heart walk.  I enjoyed getting to do something like this and hope I can do it again in the future.  I'm pretty sure I won't be as nervous next time.

Speaking of the Heart Walk...the Nashville Heart Walk is this Saturday and our "Little Heart Heroes" team will be participating again this year.  I'm looking forward to the walk and have been working hard this week to raise money so we can reach our teams fundraising goals.  Our team is hoping to at least raise $1000 and we are currently at $580.  If you would like to donate to help us reach our goal you can do so by clicking on the following link.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Birthday Surprise

I had the best weekend and best surprise on Thursday.  It was my 33rd Birthday and I thought I was going to a birthday dinner with just Brad, the kids, and my neighbors.  To my surprise my parents and granddad drove 8 hours from Louisiana to be be with me for my birthday.  I can't tell you how shocked I was to see them.  I talked to my mom a time or two during the day and had NO CLUE she was in the process of driving here to surprise me.  I was so excited to see my family and even more excited to find out they were going to be spending the weekend in Nashville.

Cain was just as shocked and happy to see his MiMi, Poppa, and his Great-Granddad as I was.  He could not stop smiling through dinner.  It was just too cute.

Brad, the kids, and my parents spoiled me with sweet birthday gifts.  But one of the best birthday gifts of all was the fact that I turned 33 and I was fortunate enough to have my Granddad here to celebrate with me.  I know making a 8 hour drive certainly isn't easy for a 84 year old and it means so much to me that my Granddad wanted to come along with my parents to surprise me.

Brad, Cain, Callie, Mom, Dad, and Granddad...thank you all so much for making my 33rd birthday so wonderful.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Brother-Sister Love

I am absolutely LOVING how much Cain and Callie are finally interacting with each other.  For months I had been hoping and praying they would have a close bond.  For the first several months Cain really didn't have too much to do with Callie.  He would pay attention to her every now and then but that was about it.  Once she started crawling and chasing him around he is completely in love with her.  It has been so much fun to watch them play together and laugh together.

They love playing in the bath together, laughing at the dinner table, playing around Cain's train table, and giggling at each other on car rides.  Just the other night I told Cain to tell Callie goodnight and he said "night, night Callie" and leaned over and gave her a kiss!  MELT MY HEART!!!   It is precious to hear him say her name.  It comes out as "Cow-we".  It makes me smile every time I hear him say it.

Oh and I just remembered...the other night Cain woke me up in the middle of the night yelling for Callie.  He would not go back to sleep so I finally brought him to my bed and he said Callie's name over and over for about an hour.  He kept laughing and making the silly noises he makes at Callie.  I'm quite positive he wanted to play with her but there was no way I was about to have the two of them playing together at 2 o'clock in the morning!  I know I just said how much I love to watch them play together but I would prefer for that not to be in the middle of the night.

I pray they always love each other and have a close bond.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Chuck E Cheese

We were recently invited to a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese which turned out to be fun for the whole family.  Cain had a blast and I must admit Brad and I had way more fun than you typically expect to have at a 4 year olds birthday party.

Cain's never been to a Chuck E Cheese but it was like he knew he was going to walk into a fun place before we even entered the doors.  He kept looking up at the Chuck E Cheese mouse on the building and smiling at it which I thought was adorable.

I also think he had a good time sitting at the table eating pizza and birthday cake with the "bigger" kids.

His favorite game turned out to be the football game.  He had so much fun "attempting" to play this game.  Thank goodness his Daddy was there to assist him.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Day Out with Thomas the Train

**Disclaimer**-Cain has been given a haircut since these photos were taken so he can finally see again!

On Sunday we took Cain to a Day out with Thomas.  If you know anything about Cain, you probably know he is pretty obsessed with Thomas the Train.  Actually VERY obsessed!!

I've been excited about taking Cain to see Thomas the Train all year long.  I've known for months and months that he would be making a stop in Nashville at the Tennessee Central Railway and I couldn't wait to take Cain (and Callie too of course).  

Cain seemed excited from the minute we got out of the car.  We had great parking and you could hear Thomas the Train music as soon as we opened our car doors.  I'm not sure Cain knew what to think of it all.  

This was Cain when he first saw Thomas the Train-mesmerized!!

A Day Out with Thomas was basically like a little Thomas fair...train tables, a small train to ride, a petting zoo, a magician, little putt putt golf areas, inflatables, etc.  The main attraction was getting to ride a real train that Thomas the Tank Engine was pulling. 

It was a slow 20 minute ride towards downtown.  I was nervous that the kids would be restless but they seemed to enjoy the train ride. 

After the train ride, you could stand in a long line to get your picture taken with Thomas (which of course cost extra) so we attempted to take our own pictures.  As you can see Cain couldn't take his eyes off of Thomas long enough to take a picture.  I think he was still mesmerized about seeing Thomas the Train in person.  

The weather was perfect and it turned out to be a great little family outing. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First day of MDO

Today was a very big day for a special little boy!!  Cain started "school" today.  He will be going to MDO (Mother's Day Out) at a church in our neighborhood twice a week.  It was only recently that I decided to enroll him in MDO.  Both Cain's speech therapist and his TEIS developmental therapist suggested we consider it.  Cain interacting with other kids his age should really help with his speech and other developmental areas.

So today was the big day....his very first day of "school"!!  Cain did great and the teachers (Miss Brittany, Miss Tina, & Miss Joy) said he seemed to enjoy his day.  I am so excited about this new adventure for him and I know it will be good for Callie to have special alone time with her momma!

I tried to get Cain to take a picture with me before I left the room but he was already way too busy exploring the room and all the toys.  This is the best picture I could get...

Of course Cain found the trains right away.   He was busy playing with Thomas the Train so it made it easy for Callie and me to slip out the door.

The best part of my day was picking Cain up.  He looked adorable (and way too big) walking out to my car carrying his little backpack.

 It's hard but I'm having to relax a little and realize that Cain will probably get sick at some point during the school year.  Obviously it's still not great for Cain to get sick but we are finally past his three surgeries and hopefully his heart could handle an illness better than it could before the 3 surgeries were complete.  Cain going to school is just one more reminder of how far we have come in just 2 1/2 years!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

We recently had the chance to take Cain & Callie to their first baseball game.  I'll be honest...I don't think either of them even knew we were at a baseball game but we still had a great time.  The American Heart Association invited us to the game to help kick off the 2011 American Heart Walk.  The walk is coming up at the beginning of October so the AHA is in full swing getting ready for this years walk.  We were able to sit on the Home Run Deck and enjoy food and fun with other heart families.  I think there were about 5 kids with us that had all undergone heart surgeries.  It was amazing to watch each of them run around nonstop.  My friend Becca (who is Colby's mom) was at the game and said that she sometimes laughs and thinks that God must have known what he was doing when he gave our boys only half a heart because we can't imagine the energy they would have with a whole functioning heart.  The energy our heart kiddo's have is certainly amazing at times!  

Brody, Colby, and Cain
Colby giving Callie a big hug! 
My little wiggle worm that was too busy playing to stay still for a quick picture with Daddy
Between these two (Cain & Colby) they have undergone 6 open heart surgeries in less than 3 years.  Neither of them stopped running for even a minute.   They are two busy boys.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Dixie Classic 2011

At the end of August we traveled to Louisiana again.  This time we went to DeRidder, LA and spent the weekend with several of our college friends.  This was our 8th year to all get together at one of our houses.  The first year was at our house in Nashville, several years we have gone to Dallas, and the last few years have been in south Louisiana.  I love our group of friends and love our time spent together.  We are lucky to have all stayed so close after college!

On Friday all the girls went and played golf while the boys went to another course.  A few college girls came to the house and kept all our kids so we could get away for a few hours.

This is the golf game Brad lost and now has to grow a mustache. (maybe I'll post a pic of his mustache once he is finished growing it)

We had a blast over the weekend...riding 4-wheelers, playing on a big water slide, and just enjoying watching all our kids play with one another.

On Saturday we set up camp at the Whiskey Chitto River on a sandbar that was the perfect size for our group.  We had the sandbar to ourselves and it was a perfect little area for the kids to run around and play.

I don't remember when or why we started calling our yearly get togethers the "Dixie Classic".  But somewhere along the way that name came up and it stuck.  Now we have yearly shirts and cups made with "Dixie Classic" printed on them.