“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together there is something you must always remember, you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart I'll always be with you.”

~Winnie the Pooh


sweet summertime

we have been having such a fun summer i have barely had time to sit down and post about it.  after carson finished his robotic rehab we were finally able to really enjoy our summer.  we have slept in late, stayed up late, watched movies, played on the slip and slide, rode bikes and went to the aquarium with friends.  it makes me sad to think we only have a few more weeks before the daily grind starts up again.  we've got a few more fun little trips planned and also a few more days of sleeping late.  i love my kids just a smidge more because they don't get up at the crack of dawn!

slip and slide fun.  they love taking slow-mo videos.

the beluga's at the aquarium were fascinated with our little group.  they kept swimming right up to the glass and i swear they were trying to communicate with us.  it was amazing!



seriously, it was so cool.





how sweet is this little outline?



grandma white's memorial

the week before our robotics therapy we went to illinois to remember my amazing grandma, emma white.  she passed away back in december but the family decided to wait till the summer to celebrate her life so that we could all be together.  the white family is one like i have never seen and am so lucky to be a part of.  i am one of 19 grandchildren and my kids are 3 of too many to count great grandchildren.  my grandma was one well loved lady and it's still hard to believe she isn't here to sit at the table, drink coffee and chat with.  she was an incredible person who loved her family.

we are a loud and crazy group of cousins but i think hands down the best family around

this picture is just awesome.  this was the best we could get with all the great grandchildren.  it was like herding cats, with a hose spraying water and dogs chasing them. 


robotics therapy

phew!  what a busy two weeks it has been.  carson just completed a two week intensive robotic therapy program at children's healthcare of atlanta.  10 days of driving back and forth and/or staying down town at andrew's parents (which was a huge life and time saver!), waking up early, being stuck in rush hour traffic and just being flat out exhausted.  and that was just me.  poor carson was the one who was really wiped out.  but it was all totally worth it.  he got some really good muscle stimulation and really good therapy.  since carson had his surgery back in january of 2015 we have really been working on strengthening his legs.  there are some muscle groups that just can not be reached with typical PT.  by doing the robotics program they were able to use NMES (neuro muscular electrical stimulation) to help stimulate the correct muscle in the correct way while walking, riding a bike, and also on a anti-gravity treadmill with the hopes of helping his brain remap how to use the correct muscles  it was all so cool and hard to believe that all of this is just down the road (about 40 minutes) from us.  we met several families who were from all over the southeast staying at the ronald mcdonald house just to take part in the program.  there was no question when they called to say they had fit carson into the 2 week intensive program that we wouldn't do it.  he was a rock star and true to form, charmed everyone.  i'm sure the "you can go to toys r us and pick a toy if you don't give any problems" didn't have anything to do with how well he tolerated everything.  honestly though, he did great and we were able to get the most out of the time we had there and also got some really good resources for home.  we will definitely be going back!

stretching and warming up some muscles (and also showing off in front of all the pretty PT girls in the gym).

using the bioness system for the first time.  it was a little unfamiliar to him to feel some muscles being activated but he adjusted well.

walking on the super cool anti gravity treadmill.  i kinda wanted to get in and try it for myself.

here is a video of using the treadmill.  you can see when the chamber inflates with air carson's feet are lifted off the ground almost.  it was really cool.

and this is the bike that he used every morning.  he is hooked up with electrodes and they would fire the correct muscles as he is peddling the bike.  

and when you work super hard and have to be hooked up to electrical stimulus you develop some what of an appetite.  a definite positive side effect for carson.  when he asks to eat i jump.  this time it was triple chocolate ice cream.  you don't have to ask me twice!


another year in the books

i know have a 2nd and 3rd grader in the house!  how?  how is it possible that my two little boys aren't so little anymore?  where in the world is the time going?  this school year has been by far the best.  we have been shown over and over that moving to buford was the best decision we ever could have made for our family.  it may have been rough in the beginning while we were still building the house and driving back and forth and back and forth but it all seems like a distant memory now.  the boys did such a good job this year and both were excellent students.  what's even better is next year they will be at the same school (buford splits their kindergarten and 1st grade in one building and then 2nd-5th in another).  after years and years of being in different schools they will finally be together.  of course, they are now approaching the age where they don't want to wave to their brother in the hall but it sure makes my life easier.  and lets face it, that's all the matters!

first day

last day.  stop growing up so much!

carson's award ceremony.  he was on the all As and Bs honor roll and got the PE award!  look at that sweet face and how proud he is!

and brooks had his "promotion" walk from 1st grade.  he did such a great job this year and has become such a good student.  plus, look how cute he is!
brooks graduation1

brooks graduation2

as if i could forget her, this is how shelby spends most of her time while at the schools with me.  how am i ever going to remover her from my body so that she can go to school for herself?  that's another battle for another day.


you were only with us for 40 days.  your entry into this world was not easy and not at all like i had dreamed it would be.  for 40 days your fought for every minute, we sat by your side, watched you struggle but prayed that you would make it.  then one minute you were just going back for a quick routine surgery and the next our lives were never the same.  lots of things about that time are blurry and hard to remember.  it's been 9 years now.  but that day, i remember every single second as if it just happened. 

i didn't see it then but God played a big part in that whole day.  He knew it was going to be your last here with us and soon you would be in Heaven.  it was supposed to just be a routine surgery to see what was making you not be able to hold down any feeds.  but for some reason i knew i needed to call your dad and tell him to hurry and get to the hospital.  as we sat down to wait i decided to use the pumping room to get some bottles ready for you and your brother, carson.  i spent a peaceful 20 minutes by myself, little did i know just outside the door our whole lives were about to change forever.  and from that moment till 9:27 in the evening we somehow held it together.  and somehow 9 years later we are still.  not a moment goes by that i don't wish for some more time to snuggle you or to tell you how much you are loved, but you know that.  you see us every day and we see you.  in every rainbow, every star and in three little faces here smiling at me every day.  carson, brooks and shelby are the luckiest kids around to have you as their brother waiting for them in Heaven.  as much as i wish you were here with us i know it is so much better where you are.  happy Heaven day, sweet Cooper Phillips!  



mother's day

"i am who i am because you are who you are."  

yes, that quote is from the recent iphone commercial but i just love it.  i am the mom i am because of who my kids are.  each of them is so unique and special and they all just fit with each other so well.  they make my job of being a mom so amazing.  it isn't always easy or picture perfect but who lives life that way anyway?  i couldn't imagine my life without them.  all four of them.  i have learned through motherhood that not everything is in our control but it is all how it is supposed to be.  i may not know why, but one day i will.  for now, i am loving life here with these three little gifts from God.  i am who i am because they are who they are and i am grateful for that every day of my life. 


buddies on a boat

how lucky are we that our new house is less than 10 minutes away from lake lanier?  and how lucky are we that our new neighbors and buddies have a boat on the lake and invited us out for the first boat ride of the season.  we had such a great time cruising the lake and grilling hotdogs for dinner.  two of the boys were brave enough to get in the water but were a little chilly once they got out.  two were brave enough to put their feet in and splash, but that was as far as they were going.  and one was pretty ticked with me that i told her no, she could not go swimming with her bubba.  thank you bothams for making monday night so much fun!

buddies on a boat!
buddies on a boat

no fear for the first jump in
the jump

i think his face says it all
after the jump

trying to decide if he's brave enough to jump
brooks on a boat

captain e!
captain emerson

first mate, carson 
carson on a boat

making waves

and, if looks could kill...she really wanted to jump in with brooks but i wouldn't let her.  can you tell how she feels about that?
shelby on a boat