“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
my sweet little shelby is getting so big so fast. she's full of energy and loves to do anything her brothers are doing. she is bound and determined to keep up with them. we were out walking around my old neighborhood and brooks was way far ahead on his scooter. she was running with the most determined look on her face saying, "see bubba. i get him. see bubba. i get him." she would not let me pick her and and carry her, she was doing it on her own. that's my girl!
she's not as easy to follow around with my camera anymore but she sure is precious when i do capture her
her sweet little profile is the perfect mix of both the boys. most people see brooks in her but i definitley see carson there, too.
the last few weeks and been a bit of a blur. after a solid month of packing up our house into pods, storage units and any free space in my parents' house we were all exhausted. and we still had 3 weeks left of school to get through. and a wedding in dallas to attend and dance our hearts out at. so to say the least we are beat.
moving out of the old house was a lot more difficult on both the boys than i thought it would be. the poor kids miss their house terribly. each one has had a few little meltdowns that have also brought me to tears. one time brooks was so upset because we didn't have a home anymore. it's hard to see them so confused. we take them by the new house several times a week so they can see that we do actually have a home it's just not ready yet. sometimes i forget they are just six and eight. thank goodness little shelby has no clue what's going on. i couldn't handle one more!
little miss watching the moving truck pull in
what the boys did as we packed up the house
our last family photo on our front steps. it didn't turn out like i had imagined. shelby was pushing me away because i wouldn't let her run up and down the ramp to the trailer. carson was 2.2 seconds away from falling asleep and clearly brooks was not too happy. andrew and i were flat worn out from moving the majority of our stuff by ourselves. i never want to move again. ever.
and then as if we weren't already tired we still had 3 weeks left of school. thank goodness we have amazing neighbors who let us basically move in with them so that i could get the boys on their buses so they could get to school. it's hard to believe the boys are done with 1st grade and kindergarten. i now have a 2nd adn 1st grader!
first and last days
the best part of the last few weeks was by far cameron and jay's wedding. we all flew to dallas to celebrate and had a fantastic time. the kids were precious and walked down the ailse better than i ever thought possible (believe me, the rehearsal was not good). all three had a blast dancing the night away, or at least till my parents took them back to the hotel so that mama could have some fun herself!
the only way to fly with three kids. thank you flight attendant for the free bottle of adult beverage.
look at my three little angels. they were precious.
andrew got to walk his mom down and then also walk with his dad and sister. it was so beautiful.
i blinked my eyes and all of the sudden it's may 21. i used to worry and stress over this day approaching but this year with moving, building a house, going to dallas for a very special wedding, finishing the school year and having three kids i didn't have time to worry. i never thought the day would come that i wouldn't count down the days and minutes until may 21. instead this year i woke up, got the boys off to school and had some time to think about what i wanted to write this year. i look at all three of my kids here and think about how lucky i am to have them. they are beyond precious. their smiles, little personalities, the hugs they give for no reason, the things they say and do. i love it all and wouldn't change a thing.
without may 21, 2007 i don't know what my life would be like. that day, eight years ago was beyond the worst day of our lives. i remember every second of the whole day. i felt pain that i never thought i would be able to feel. i did not want to get out of bed the next day. but i had carson who needed me in the nicu. carson saved me and continues to save me every day since. and then we had brooks and then shelby. they all are here to keep me going and i know who sent them to me. while not a day goes by that i don't wonder what my life would be like if cooper were still here i am so thankful for the life i have with him in heaven. it has taken me a few years to get to this point but i know that i will be with him one day and then my heart will feel whole again. until then, my three little angels here will keep me smiling.
we let balloons go today to heaven for our brother, Cooper. three blue and one pink. my three boys and my sweet girl. i love them all more that i could ever explain.
all three waiting to let the balloons go up to heaven to their brother
it is one of the last few nights that i am sitting in our very first
home. andrew and i have been here almost 13 years. it doesn't seem
possible to type that number. 13. lucky 13. and for the most part of
those 13 years we have been lucky. blessed is probably a better word.
we've been blessed. we walked into this house two 23 year olds wide
eyed and clueless to what would lie ahead. at that age it all seems
possible. marriage? ha! easy. parenthood? please, no problem.
being home owners? it's a new house, what could go wrong? we found out
all these things, and plenty more, are far from easy but worth all the
blood, sweat and tears that go into it all.
this house we became husband and wife (that's right, we bought it before
we got married but don't worry, i had a ring before i signed the
papers...not that it matters. i knew we were both here to stay from day
one). we became pet owners, and found out that is not as easy as we
thought. our bo-girl is still here with us. we like to consider her
our first child we ever brought home. we also found out we were going
to be parents, three times, here in this house. we found out the good
(so good...like amazingly good), the bad (being parents is really hard!)
and the just flat out, no parent should ever have to deal with, not
fair, part of being parents. really not fair. and through it all we've
come home to this house. our home. it has seen it all and kept us
safe. i have more memories here that i will take with me when we leave
than i ever thought possible. but, this house. this incredible house
that we have poured our heart and soul (and a lot of our money, most of
it not by choice) now belongs to another family. i'm not going to lie,
it hurts. a lot. but all good things come to an end and even better
things lie ahead.
thank you good ole' deerhaven
trial for being so much more that just a house. you were home. a great
home. may your new owners love you as much as we did and then some.
some changes are on the horizon for the hess family. without going in to too much detail (because it could go on forever if i get on my soapbox) we are moving. the county we live in, gwinnett, was going to move carson to yet another school for 2nd grade so that he could still receive smaller teacher to student ratio and more individualized instruction. he still needs quite a bit of "hand holding" to get his work done in a timely manor. he understands the skills, just needs extra help to get it done. he is our day dreamer, shall we say. anyway, our home school where brooks goes doesn't have enough resources available to make this happen (imagine me saying that with a very big throat clear and angry face because to me it just doesn't make sense, but i am just one parent and have been told that it would not be the best use of tax payer dollars and that there is no recorded data that moving a kid, with special needs mind you, around from school to school to school is harmful to their self esteem. i call BS. just sayin'...i'd like to see how they would handle it if it were their kid being yanked around. soapbox, sorry.) and the current school he's at (his second school. kindergarten program was at one school, 1st grade is at another and who the hell knows where 2nd grade is) can't service him either. the moment i heard the words out of his teacher's mouth i saw the for sale sign in my head and made it a reality just a few days later. it's a shame that a county so large with so many resources can't make a kid with special needs feel welcome and like he has a place in this community, too. again, soapbox. don't even get me started. this could go on for quite a while.
so, where are we going (because our house is SOLD! 30 days on the market and it was snatched up--much more to come on leaving good ole deerhaven trail. many tears have already been shed). we are moving just a few miles over to buford city. we have heard so many wonderful things about this school system. it's actually been ranked the #1 school system in the state of georgia. and they have seen carson's IEP (individualized educational plan) and are ready to accept him with open arms. hopefully, no more moving around. he will see consistent faces from year to year just like it should be. so we are now a buford wolves family. the boys will finish out where they are at but come next school year they will be in the same system. halleluiah, can i get an amen! we should be breaking ground on our new house any moment now and will be done (fingers crossed and prayers answered) and moved in by the end of august. we lost out on a house we desperately wanted so we just decided to build on one of the last lots in a wonderful neighborhood. it is going to be an incredibly stressful time but all well worth it. we're making a change that's not just for us but for our kids. i pray every night that it's the right change and that the boys (and shelby one day) thrive in their new school. all good things! i just keep saying it to myself, all good things.
our new home. or at least where it will be built if it ever stops raining long enough for them to start!
and just so the neighbors know how we roll, shelby decided to undress in broad daylight.
eight years old. eight years ago i was praying that two boys would hang on just a little bit longer. it didn't happen, i still don't know why they were born 14 weeks early. that's another conversation for someone else one day. i'm going to guess that his "birth" day will be the only one that carson will make an early entrance to. he is the most laid back, take my time, move at my own pace, day dream all day long kind of kid. he is the most amazing kid i know. more things have been thrown his way and how does he handle it? with a smile. the most amazing and genuine smile (even with those big ole' goofy front teeth). his smile is contagious. just like him. carson is contagious. his personality, his innate ability to make people smile is beyond me. in his 8 years he has been through more and conquered more than most kids i know and always with a smile. thank you carson, for making me a mom, for paving they way for your younger brother and sister, for being the most loving, sweet, caring, motivated, best hugging, sweetest little voice, 1 lb 15 ounce miracle anyone could ask for. you have already moved mountains, kid. keep on, kiddo. all good things coming your way.
to our sweet, feisty, strong-willed, unbelievably cute brooks on his sixth birthday,
you came into this world at 4:11 am, a few weeks early just to make sure your birthday came before your older brother's. true brooks move. but it's ok, carson didn't mind. you are such an incredible son, little brother and big brother. i remember being pregnant with you and wondering just how you would fit into our family. we were only used to one little boy, what would life be like with another? the minute you were born, the second i heard you cry out i knew that you would fit just perfectly. you were supposed to be ours. i can't imagine our lives without our little blonde fireball. and though you gave us a good scare in the beginning you have managed to become one of the cutest little miracles here on earth. you can test our patience like the best of them but boy are you worth it. watch out world, with those lashes, dimples, smile and personality nothing will stop you. we love you to the moon and back and infinity and beyond. happy "golden" birthday, buddy!
those dimples! seroiusly.
six years old today. time is flying.
and the yearly birthday questionnaire. it's so fun to see how it changes each year.
and guess who's birthday is next...how are these two brothers getting so big? i can't deal with this. the other day i was telling the boys i thought they should just stay 5 and 7, that i couldn't deal with them being so big. brooks responded with, "you still have shelby, she's still little and cute." thank goodness for that!