September 27, 2012

Bilateral Vesicoureteral Reflux

Will was officially diagnosed with bilateral Vesicoureteral Reflux (VUR) last week. After his UTI several weeks ago, his amazing pediatrician ordered a VCUG and renal ultrasound to see if the infection was caused by an underlying issue. And it was.

So what does all of this mean?

Here's my super dumbed down explanation:

The picture above shows the anatomy of the kidneys/ ureters/ bladder. In a normal person, things flow downward out of the kidneys via the ureters into the bladder and are then expelled from the body.  In an individual with VUR, urine is able to "reflux" out of the bladder and up into the ureters. Depending on the grade of VUR, it can flow all the way back up into the kidneys. People with VUR have an extremely high chance of contracting UTIs due to the urine transporting bacteria into the ureters while is flushes back up.

Will's VUR is bilateral (in both kidneys/ ureters) and primary (meaning he was born with it). His tests showed that he has grade 3 reflux in one kidney and grade 4 reflux in the other.

The main concern with VUR is reoccurring UTIs as well as scarring/ damage to the kidneys. This alone is enough to warrant action but when you add in Will's other health issues, and the fact that he will be receiving intense chemotherapy (that is notoriously harsh on the kidneys) in 5-6 months , his urologist is being rather cautious!

We met with a urologist Monday and have started Will on prophylactic antibiotics. The go to antibiotic for VUR is bactrim but of course nothing is ever "easy" or "normal" for us and Will cannot be on on that medication as it tends to lower blood counts. We don't need to give anything that could possible decrease his already low counts!  So he is on the second best antibiotic for this issue. Our hope is that this antibiotic will hinder subsequent UTIs.

A DMSA kidney scan has also been schedule for early November and will let us know if any scarring is present and how the kidneys are functioning. Best case scenario is that this will serve as a a baseline, show that no damage has occurred, and two properly functioning kidneys. Worst case is that damage and/or loss of function will be identified and will need to be surgically corrected. 

We will also talk surgery if he has breakthrough UTIs despite the continuous antibiotic.

The fact that something else is wrong worries me.

The fact that it is related to his kidneys, which will be stressed during chemo, majorly freaks me out.

I am pretty terrified that one of two things will happen - 1) he will go into chemo/ transplant with kidney damage and will not be able to handle the harsh chemicals found in the chemo or 2) chemo will cause damage which will cause more infections which is obviously not a good thing when dealing with a baby that has zero immune system post BMT.

Alex tells me I am borrowing unnecessary stress as we have no clue what the DMSA will show or how Will (and his kidneys) will deal with chemo but I can't help but worry about these things.

I have seen kids suffer kidney damage from chemo. I have watched a young boy struggle with daily dialysis due to side effects of chemo/ bone marrow transplant. I have witnessed sweet babies that I have read books to, hugged, and loved pass away due to kidney issues caused by transplant.

I know too much.

I have seen too much.

Kate was in relatively good health when she started the BMT process. I wish I could say the same thing for Will but, at 5 months, he is already much more sickly that Kate ever was. If it isn't high fever from a UTI, it's an ear infection. If it isn't an ear infection, it's a virus. If it isn't a virus, it's another ear infection. If it isn't the second ear infection in two weeks, it's a sinus infection.

He has literally been battling something since his first fever from the UTI.

I'm trying very hard to cling to the Word and pray for peace but, I have days where all I want to do is scream. 

My heart hurts so badly as I watch my happy go lucky boy have miserable days where he only wants to be held and can't get comfortable. He has so much pain and struggle ahead of him. Why does he have to be struggling now?

Obviously no one can answer those questions but, that's where my mind is.

We'd appreciate prayer for Will and this latest setback as we navigate yet another diagnosis.


September 26, 2012

Catching Up

I feel like I am in a blogging funk. If I'm being totally honest, my anxiety has been on the rise and I just feel very unsettled/ out of control. I've got an appointment this week to discuss my medications/ dosages and see what we can do to help me through this. I'm certain Will's new heath issues (post coming tomorrow) and current hatred of sleep are the driving forces but I know I can feel better which makes me determined to see what I can do to make that happen. If you could keep me in your prayers I'd greatly appreciate it!

I'm also certain our weekend in Disney World with my family will be the best medicine for my soul. Six days. I cannot wait.

So here's a snippet of what we've been up to this month!
Hanging out at TCH
About two weeks ago we spent the day at Texas Children's finishing up Kate's annual testing. She had her GFR (a 4 hour kidney test) as well as a hearing test. As far as I know everything looks good!

Will was such a trooper hanging out at the hospital all day! Thankfully Natalie and Colt had an appointment as well so we had friends to keep us occupied during all of the waiting that comes with the GFR (blood draws happen 1, 2, and 4 hours after a medication is injected via IV).

Kate also had a great nurse in Nuclear Medicine that really kept Kate calm and included her in everything that was going on! Kate even got to flush her own IV! I obviously have spent a decent amount of time at a Children's Hospital and can confidently say a good pediatric nurse can make a scary situation no big deal for a child. I'm realizing this more and more the older Kate gets - she is now totally aware of what is happening and I love that a good nurse will involve her and talk her thought whatever is about to happen!

While we were at the hospital, Kate received a package from her donor!  We hadn't heard from him since November so I was starting to think (and obviously respect) that he may want to remain anonymous. I was so excited when our donor coordinator called to let us know Kate had a something waiting!

Words cannot even express how amazing it was to open gifts and letters from her donor and his family. She received a book with a note, a letter from the donor's mom, a letter from her donor, and a stuffed fox and baby fox. In our last letter to him Kate told him all about how much she loves the zoo and talked about some of her favorite animals. Her donor replied back and told Kate all about his favorite animal - the fox. Kate loves her fox and baby fox and has slept with them every night since receiving them! I am praying that he fills out his disclosure papers so that we can learn who he is!

Early Mornings
These two cuties have decided that 6am is an acceptable wake up time. This momma is NOT a fan. At all. Especially since Will is up every 2-3 hours at night.  Where did my good sleeper go? I'd like him back.

I let Kate watch Mickey in our bed one early morning and now I think she wakes up early for the sole purpose of coming to cuddle in our bed and watch TV. I've been seriously limiting her TV lately so I am confident she is taking advantage of her free TV pass in the wee hours of the morning!

Enjoying the Weather
We have been enjoying the "fall" weather here in Houston. I use the word fall very loosely as we are still hitting 90 nearly every day. Fall here means it doesn't hit 90 before 10am. This is huge to us and we are taking advantage of time at the park without dying of heat stroke!

There is an awesome park in the Heights (about 5 minutes from our house) that we've been going to on the weekends. Due to the layout of the park, I can't really take the kids by myself but we love going as a family! Kate loves that "bubbas" can swing right next to her and Will loves falling asleep in the swings!

Also? I'm learning to let go a bit in the clothing department. This sparkly Minnie shirt? Um, it's not quite my style. But Kate picked it out and was dying to wear public. So I swallowed my pride and let her!

We've spent several days at our "go to" park as well! I love that I can take both kids by myself and that we can all burn off some energy! Kate looks so big to me in these pictures. Maybe it's the dress? Or just that she is actually becoming quite the little girl!

(We are working on sliding like a lady. Clearly Kate hasn't gotten the memo that her knees are friends just yet.)

And don't even get me started on Will. Sitting up on a slide? STOP! I cannot take that he looks so much older than 5 months! I need him to stay little forever!

We've been busy!

I've slacked off on our Facebook Page (link) lately but have promised myself to update with pictures over there while we are at Disney. I have zero intentions of blogging while in Orlando but I thought posting a few pictures on FB and Instagram would be a fun way to share the magic so be sure to follow me both places!


September 24, 2012

Menu Monday

I'm linking up with Rachel again for Menu Monday! As I explained in my last Menu Monday post, I cook some on the weekend so I don't have to do as much during the week.  I didn't do as much cooking this weekend (we got a sitter and had a DATE NIGHT Saturday so I didn't cook) but here is our menu!
Sunday: Crockpot Beef Stroganoff and roasted brussel sprouts
Recipe from According to Nina. I added a diced onion and minced garlic to mine

Monday: Hamburgers, baked sweet potato fries, salad
Tuesday: Chicken tacos and homemade guac
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Probably more leftovers
Friday: Take out
Saturday: No clue! Probably whatever we can find in the fridge without heading to the grocery!

Clearly, I didn't menu plan as well as I normally so this week. We will be at Disney World all next week so I wanted to make sure we don't have much food in the fridge when we leave.

The last time I did a Menu Monday post someone left a comment asking if Kate eats what we eat. I tried to email a response but there was no email account attached to the comment (y'all - PLEASE attach an email to your blog/comments- I love responding to people via email and cannot do that if there is not an address to respond to - read this post (bullet point #1) to learn how to do it).

The answer is yes - Kate eats what we eat. I am not a short order cook. I make one dinner and we all eat it. I have never been one to make a separate meal for her. When she was on soft table foods she would eat whatever veggies I was serving as a side. She is so far from a picky eater which I love! It makes my life easier! I really think introducing her to so many different foods, so early on made her the eater she is today! 

September 20, 2012

The Story of the Stolen Mum Mum

Kate got a swing for her birthday. While I was at the beach her PaPaw and Daddy rigged it so an elephant could swing safely hung her swing in our teeny tiny backyard. Kate is obsessed and we spend at least an hour a day outside swinging.

Tuesday we were out enjoying our afternoon swinging time. We normally venture out while Will is napping but he was anti sleep that day so I decided to bring the bumbo and a mum mum out to keep him occupied.

Kate had a blast!

She would stay out there all day if I'd let her!

While Kate was happily swinging, I gave this sweet boy his mum mum.

Will is serious about his food. The boy can eat but mum mums are new and he hasn't quite figured out the best plan of attack for them just yet.

Within seconds of the mum mum making an appearance, a certain furry friend was eying Will's treat.  You'd think Ollie never gets fed. I can assure you that is not the case.

Bubba made sure Ollie knew how he felt about the situation and continued to chow down while giving Ollie some serious "don't you even think about it" looks.

Ollie kept sniffing.

Will kept defending his territory.

He even threaten to throw some bows if necessary.

I turned to push Kate for maybe 15 seconds and in that time Will starts crying and Ollie is no where to be found (no pictures as I was tending to my upset baby).

Easy to please Will forgot about his mum mum the second I gave him something else to hold on to/ shove in his mouth.

However, this is what I saw as I picked my camera back up to take more pictures...

I'm thinking this dachshund is guilty of stealing a mum mum from a baby. 

But I'll let y'all decide!


September 18, 2012

Running for a Cause!

We all survived the 5K! Daddy did much better than momma and the beast double BOB.

What a weekend we had!

I mentioned it in my last post but, this past weekend was the Houston Be the ONE Run to promote the Be the Match national bone marrow registry!  We had a blast supporting such an important cause!

We kicked off our weekend Thursday morning at the KHOU station to promote the registry on Great Day Houston! Kate was so funny in the green room but the minute we started filming our segment (which was live) she clammed up and just sat there with the biggest stink face! She could give McKayla Maroney a run for her money! Cearly she was not impressed with being on TV.

While I wish Kate would have shown her precious personality, I will not complain one bit about my very active two year old sitting perfectly still on the couch for an 8 minute segment!

Saturday we were up bright and early to head out to the Be the ONE Run. The real reason we were all running:

Running in memory of Tynan brought back all of the emotions of his passing. I am still so sad that our sweet cowboy has gone to be with the Lord. Of course we were also running in honor of Kate and Will but Tynan occupied my mind Saturday morning.

Uncle Andrew came out to run too! Kate adores her Uncle Andrew despite not looking at the camera for this picture. My friend Katie also came out to run with us but I didn't get a picture. :(

Kate's survivor button says it best.

There was a great mix of people at the race - survivors, family members of BMT patients, people honoring loved ones that have gone to be with the Lord. It was amazing to see so many people come together for a cause that is so dear to my heart. One thing that was extremely special to me was seeing the caregivers (nurses and doctors) there to show support for patients they have cared for. We have been so blessed with amazing doctors and nurses that truly love my children. Knowing that the individuals caring for Kate, and now Will, on a medical level actually love them and are fighting for them makes all the difference.

Holly is a wonderful nurse who was at Texas Children's while Kate was inpatient and recovering at home. Kate adores Holly! Holly is now working at MD Anderson (still in BMT) and we miss her dearly! Kate always asks for Miss Holly and now knows that Holly has a new job! We loved visiting with her after the race!

Be the Match is still taking donations! You can donate through our team site (link) or make a general donation to the nation registry!

Either way, know that 100% of your donation goes toward growing the registry and supporingt patients dealing with transplant. If every person that follows this blog would donate just $5 we would raise $2,790! That is enough money to cover the costs of adding nearly 30 new potential donors to the registry!

Also, please consider learning more about the process of joining the registry!

You have the ability to SAVE LIVES! Be the change, get involved, be the match, and give someone a second chance!

September 13, 2012

2012 Be the ONE Run

I am reposting this since the run is just two days away! Please consider helping us reach our fundraising goals and/ or come out to support Be the Match this Saturday! Also, if you are in Houston, the kids and I will be on KHOU Great Day Houston (channel 11) this morning between 9-10am to help spread the word about the National Registry and the Be the One Run!

Anyone who has ever spent any time visiting my teeny tiny space of the interwebs knows how important bone marrow transplants are to my family.  It should come as no surprise that the national registry, known at the Be The Match organization, is also incredibly important to us.

Be The Match can be thanked for increasing the donor registry and allowing my children to both find life saving donors. 
In an effort to raise money for Be The Match, and raise awareness about the national registry, Alex and I have made the decision to run in the Be The Match Be The One run here in Houston!  I've officially started training for the 5K in this insane heat as I have decided I will run the entire thing for my children!  Running a 5K is the least I can do after the fight Kate and Will have fought. 

If you are local, we would love for you to join on team and run/ walk with us in September 15!  However, if you are not local, we would still love your support.  Alex and I have pledged to raise $2,000 for Be the Match.  If you would like to make a donation in honor of Kate and Will, visit our team's website (link) and do so!  All proceeds are tax deductible and go directly to Be the Match to help cover the costs of testing new donors, providing support for transplant patients and families, as well as helping to fund BMT research!  There are also races in several other cities around the US if you are interested in running but do not live in Houston!

We hope that you will help us reach our goal and appreciate all of the support we have so very much!


September 11, 2012

Bestest Besties EVER!

Yes, I just posted a bikini picture of myself. Yes, I just had a baby 5 months ago. Please be kind. I still have like 10 pounds to lose. Also? My arms look double jointed or something.

If you follow me on InstaGram or Twitter you are very well aware of the fact that I've been on my first kid free girls trip since I gave birth to Kate!

That's right! It may have taken me two years to leave my babies but I finally did it and I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I've made in a long while!

We started planning this trip MONTHS ago. I've had a countdown on my phone for ages.

However, when Will got sick nearly two weeks ago, there was some question as to whether or not this trip would actually happen.  Thankfully my in-laws were already planning on coming out to help Alex with the kids. Add in the fact that my mother-in-law had a wonderful conversation with me last Tuesday that made me feel like it was ok to leave and plans remained! (I am so blessed by my in-laws! They would do anything for us which makes decisions like getting away so much easier!)

Thursday morning I woke up at the crack of dawn and headed to the airport to fly to Birmingham. Yes this was a beach trip but there was no way I was making Erin drive 5+ hours on her own! I needed all of the girl time I could get and I must say our drive down was such a treat! We had such a great time just talking - without any distractions!

Erin and Barbie are two of my dearest friends from college. Surprisingly, the three of us didn't hang out together, as a group, while in college. Barbie and I met the day I pledged my sorority. Erin and I met in a summer Maymester finance class. I totally facebooked her after noticing her name on an attendance sheet because I thought we could be great friends. Good thing I was right or else I may be in jail on stalker charges.  I even set her and her now husband up!

Thank you Zuckerberg for allowing our friendship to start.

Ok. Back to our trip!

We seriously had an amazing time and it was exactly what this exhausted momma needed!

Thursday night we did a bit of shopping and ate at a restaurant we will never return to again.
My children did not get my blue eyes. It makes me slightly sad.

Friday we drank like we were still in college had a great time and enjoyed a few adult beverages. The condo fridge never would have looked like this. We are way too sophisticated to only have alcohol in the fridge. So we stole this picture from someone else.  We also would never have drunk girl dance parties on the beach.  Ever. That's our story and we're sticking to it.

While we were on the beach a sweet lady walked by and offered to talk some pictures of all three of us.  Bless her heart. She knows what is is like to take a Yaya trip and not have a photographer. Her sweet husband waited patiently as she snapped so many wonderful pictures!

We headed to Cosmos Friday night - if you are ever in the Gulf Shores/ Orange Beach/ Perdido Keys area RUN to Cosmos. The food was delicious and the drinks?

 Oh my! Sweet tea martinis? YUM! Drinking with a straw is optional.

Also optional? Taking selfies all day long...and getting FRIED. I am still so red and in pain. And my "girls" need a lift.

After dinner we headed to the Florabama. It was a no picture, no phone, no facebook, twitter, no instagram night. We'll leave it at that.

Unfortunately Barbie (aka the super fun friend who keeps things exciting) had to leave us to go raise money for Mississippi State (Hail State - so glad we killed Auburn) so Erin and I settled into our normal granny roles which included eating yummy food, getting mani/ pedis, and sleeping.

While I was sad to see Barbie leave, it was nice to have some laid back time enjoying our lovely condo and resting up! I will take all of the uninterrupted sleep I can get these days!

It was SO hard to leave Kate and Will. I literally fought back tears all day Thursday. But my goodness this trip was so amazing for my soul! There is nothing like time with your yayas away from all responsibility!

But I must say, when I got home, and had two sweet babies rejecting my desire for a "mommy is home" picture, I knew I was in *MY* heaven.

The beach may be wonderful but these two miracles (and their daddy) are my purpose in life!

September 7, 2012

Goodbye Dry Hair!

I feel like I am a broken record when it comes to talking about the state of my post-baby skin, hair, body, etc. Will's pregnancy really did a number on it all! He is so very worth it but man, I'm pretty much a hot mess!

I am currently in the "I really need a hair cut but am shedding like crazy thanks to postpartum hormones and don't want to cut off all of my hair in case a large percentage of it falls out" stage of just having had a baby.  Add in the summer heat and humidity and I was not a fan of the frizz ball that was affixed to my head.

My ends are, well I guess I should say were, dry and damaged. I've tried so many different products since giving birth - cheapies from Target, expensive salon products, middle of the road products.  Nothing seemed to help my hair.

I've always been a huge fan of Dove products and was excited when Dove and BlogHer approached me about a review of the all new Dove Damage Therapy Intensive Repair conditioner.

I started using the product as soon as it arrived in my mail box. If I'm being totally honest, it usually takes me a day or so to open boxes, move product to the bathroom, remember to try them out, etc. But, literally, the second this conditioner hit my doorstep it was in my shower waiting to be used.

This new Dove conditioner has a patented technology to help repair damaged hair. Fiber activated technology penetrates deep inside the hair strand, helping rebind damaged proteins while the patented micromoisture serum targets damage, repairing the surface of hair by sealing lifted cuticles.

The first thing I noticed when using the Dove Damage Therapy Intensive Repair conditioner was that it was thick and creamy. I absolutely hate conditioners that don't "stay put" when I use them.  This may be TMI but I am a creature of habit and always put conditioner in my hair and let it sit while I shave my legs. Always.  There is nothing more annoying than having conditioner run out of my hair while I shave. There is zero point to letting conditioner sit in your hair if it just slips right out.

I was so glad to not have this problem at all. The Dove conditioner stayed put which allowed it to work its magic and repair my hair!

Within a 1-2 days I honestly noticed a major difference in my hair. My ends are still damaged (nothing but a good cut will completely fix that) but they are so much better than they were. My hair is also soft and sleek!  I've also noticed that my hair is much shinier and my frizz seems to be less!

I would highly recommend this condition to anyone! Dove has four new conditioners in this line and I highly encourage all of you to visit the Dove Hair website so you can select the best product for your hair!

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September 6, 2012

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

While I was planning the menu for Kate's party, I took to twitter and asked my favorite mommas if they had any great oatmeal raisin cookie recipes to share.  I am not a fan of oatmeal raisin cookies so I never make them and therefore did not have a go to recipe.

Several people responded and I ended up doing a test run of my sweet friend Diana's recipe.  The cookies were amazing - and that says a lot coming from someone who doesn't even like oatmeal raisin cookies.  They were a HUGE hit at the party!

I decided to make cookies to celebrate Kate's one year post transplant anniversary and went right back to this recipe because they are that good! But this time I swapped chocolate chips for raisins.


They were divine. I'm talking one of the best cookies I've ever eaten. 

Thankfully Diana gave me the ok to share the recipe with y'all so run out and make these, ok?

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
From the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook circa 1908s

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup shortening (I followed Diana's suggestion and used the Crisco sticks)
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or raisins like the original recipe calls for)

In a large mixing bowl stir together flour, both sugars, salt, and baking soda. Add shortening, egg, milk, and vanilla. Mix together with your hands (can use a spoon but hands are easiest/ best) until well mixed. Stir in oats and chocolate chips (or raisins).

Preheat oven to 350. Grease cookie sheet or use a silpat mat.
Drop dough in tablespoon size mounds about two inches apart.
Bake for approximately 12 minutes (you don't want to over cook).

I wish I had a picture to share! Unfortunately we inhaled these cookies and I thought of a picture way after the fact.

Y'all enjoy! And do not blame be for any weight gain that may occur due to eating a dozen of these yummy cookie fresh from the oven!


September 5, 2012

Cookies & Milk with Kate! Happy 2nd Birthday!

I am finally getting around to blogging about Kate's birthday party!

A bit of background - I picked out {what I thought was} a precious theme for her party. I started brainstorming, planning, and envisioning everything I would do. One thing I didn't do? Talk to Alex about it. I honestly didn't think he would care about the party theme.

Well friends, I was wrong. Very, very wrong. I just happened to mention the party planning to Alex about six weeks before Kate's party. And he HATED my idea. The man who couldn't care less about things like this absolutely hated everything I had planned out. 

So, I started from scratch and planned a party in a short six weeks. I browsed many party planning blogs and finally settled on a Cookies & Milk theme! And I have to say, I am so glad we went with this theme over my original idea! I loved how everything turned out and Kate, who is absolutely obsessed with cookies, had a blast!

Before I started on any decor, I went to Sarah to have the invitations designed. She is amazing (she did Will's announcements) and I absolutely love with what she came up with!

It really set the tone for a pink, chocolate, cream, and white color palette!

While browsing the internet, I came across a cookies & milk party Anne, of A Party Style, did for her daughter and was IN LOVE. This party was probably my biggest inspiration (and is obviously where the cake design came from). It was elegant, clean, and not to "babyish". I am just not a huge fan of parties that scream "baby/ toddler" and I know this is probably the last year that I can get away with doing something I love rather than something Kate selects. I know Dora, Elmo, and Mickey parties are in my future so I wanted to enjoy this year before character parties take over!

I decided to focus on our dining room fro decorating purposes with a few accents in the kitchen. I knew that the living room would be where all of the kids played so I didn't want to spend to much time with details in that room.

I transformed my dining room into a cookie buffet! I wish I had more detailed pictures of everything (a huge regret of mine- I simply ran out of time getting everything together) but, I really loved how the final cookie table came out!

And can we talk about this cake? OBSESSED! And it was oh so yummy!

The china hutch and buffet were emptied and decorated as well! I ended up keeping it pretty simple but I really love how it looked.  And, tooting my horn a bit, I was really impressed with my DIY for the hutch. I don't DIY. It's just not my thing. But I did just about everything for this party (painted letters, made all of the ribbon wraps for the cookie containers, did the tissue poms, used a hot glue gun - this is HUGE for me) and am so proud of the time and effort I put into it all.

Before anyone arrived, we let Kate climb up on the table and go to town on all of the cookies! She was amazed and kept saying "cookies? cookies for TayTay? I eat dem? Mo?"
How precious is her SheShe Made dress? Will had a matching bubble but he slept during most of the party. I'm glad he wasn't awake and fussy but I wish I would have gotten a few family pictures.
Girlfriend is serious about her cookie eating
We were worried how Kate was going to do with so much attention focused on her. No clue why we were worried because she loved it and totally hammed it up during the entire party! She kept walking around saying "I two".  She also adored opening all of her gifts. She studied each and every present she got and told everyone thank you!

Caleb, a fellow BMT patient that lives in Wisconsin, was in town for his annual testing and we loved having his family here to celebrate with us!

Kate also loved having everyone sing Happy Birthday to her! She waved, looked around, smiled, and said thank you while everyone sang! Little Miss Social Butterfly!

A huge thank you to Melissa, our great friend and photographer for pulling out her camera at just the right moment to capture this picture!

While I loved planning this party and making sure everything was as perfect as possible, the most important thing about that day was seeing our friends and family come together to celebrate Kate. I know I am constantly talking about what a miracle her life is but every single day I stop and thank the Lord for watching over her and allowing us to continue to parent her here on Earth.

While we loved filling our bellied with tons of cookies (that I made from scratch - never again) we really loved celebrating Kate's sweet life and look forward to celebrating many more years!

A big thanks to Maxine Webber of Grace Photography for editing several of the pictures I took at the party. Another huge thanks to Melissa Pickens of Melissa Pickens photography for pulling out her camera at just the perfect moment! Both of you have allowed us to have memories we will always cherish!
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