Thursday, June 20, 2013

An Update on Laney

It's been a little awhile since I posted prayer requests and an update on how our little Elena is doing.  Summer is flying by.  I can hardly believe her second birthday is just a couple weeks away!  I feel like I just finished planning her first birthday!

We're looking forward to having a therapy free day each week in July.  Her Mother's Day Out program is out for the summer and she doesn't begin her new therapy at the Jackson Center until early August.  We plan on spending some time at the pool, the zoo and maybe some shopping with Gramma :).  It will be so fun to not be planning every single day around nap schedules and therapy! We can't wait!

While Elena is doing well, Mom and Dad admittedly have been a little frustrated.  It has felt like we've been at a plateau for a few months now.  We're anxious to see a bump in progress.  She is sooo close to sitting, but just can't make the leap.  She still struggles with keeping her little head up and maintaining her trunk control.  She can sit typically for 10-20 seconds before she ends up tipping over.  This is a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE milestone for her and we're just so anxious for her achieve it.  I know it isn't our timing but it feels like we've been on the cusp with this for months.  Bless her heart, it is just so difficult for her.

As if sitting wasn't frustrating enough, eating is even more frustrating.  She isn't eating nearly the volume she was back in December.  Every time we sit for "bites", it's a battle.  She usually wins, as it's hard to wiggle a spoon in her mouth when it's clamped shut!  Some days are more encouraging than others, but it is SO slow.  We remain committed to her eating, but it's impossible sometimes to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Sitting and eating are such big milestones for Elena to inch towards independence.  I can't explain how difficult is to be continually working on these tasks and to see minimal improvement.  If only we could will her to achieve these feats!  We would be so grateful for prayers for these two things.  I find myself saying a million little prayers throughout the day for her.  Sometimes our list feels so long that I can only mentally focus on these two things.

Our days are usually frenzied and sometimes very long, but our girl is still so content.  She provides me with infinite smiles and giggles, which are so darn cute with all her new teeth!

As always, thank you for your continued love and support of our family!  No matter how much time goes by, I still tear up when people tell me they still pray for our girl.  Our journey can be so daunting sometimes, but it is so, so comforting to know God still hears prayers every day for Elena's continual healing.  So thank you.

Prayer Requests:

-That Elena would SIT!!
-Improvement in eating
-Improvement in Elena's muscle tightness/weakness
-Improved vision
-That we would see an increase in her ability to move her arms
-That Chad and I would continue to make the right decisions for Elena's care

Last but not least...we promised the sweet Shaw family that we would post a picture of the adorable outfit they sent Elena this winter!  She didn't cooperate too well when trying to take a picture but let me tell you she rocked it and was so cute in it!!  Thanks for thinking of us!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Martha's Vineyard

You may remember me blogging about a Ronald McDonald House fundraiser  back in November.  During a silent auction, we bid on a week's stay at a house on Martha's Vineyard.  This past week we traveled to the East Coast for a few days with our friends the Ertels, the DeMoss', Kyle and my brother and sister in-law!

We had so much fun!  Our house was on 22 acres in the middle of the island.  It was a perfect setup.  We enjoyed bonfires, bocce ball and whiffle ball games.  During the days we explored each of the towns on the island, definitely getting our fill of crab cakes, lobstah rolls and chowdah!

It was a great trip with great friends!

Pulling into the harbor

 The Gents:  Ev, Aaron, Chad, Andy and Kyle
 The Ladies:  Amy, Alisha, Lindsay and me

 Taking in the sights!

 Kyle enjoying some attention from us ladies :)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

I wanted to give my honey a little recognition today on the blog.  He generally doesn't enjoy any kind of public acknowledgement of himself, it makes him really uncomfortable.  He is a fly under the radar kind of guy.  But, just this once I want to brag on him...just a little :)

Our anniversary is coming up a little later this summer.  I once heard someone say that your wedding is only the beginning.  It's the beginning of a lifetime of ups and downs, joys and sorrows.  I knew on my wedding day that I was marrying my best friend, someone I could always depend on and who always (well, mostly) laughed at my jokes.  It's funny though, I knew all that but it has really been special to see all of what I "knew", be put into action.  I, without a doubt, believe that God put Chad in my life because He knew that Chad would be the perfect person for me to walk through life with.

Chad is the glue to our family.  He keeps us grounded, when I'm overly emotional.  He always has some ridiculously positive quote to reassure me when I'm feeling blue.  He can make Elena and me laugh until our cheeks hurt.  He is the strength to my weaknesses.  He works so incredibly hard at his job to provide so that I can continue to stay home and work with Elena.  For Chad, our family always, always comes first.

And to Elena.  Gosh, is he the best Dad.  I'll never forget seeing him the first time he held her when she was born.  I feel like I saw his heart change before my very eyes.  It is such a joy to me when I see them together.  He is the definition of a hands-on Dad, taking an active role in every aspect of her care.  I often have to remind him that she is up 30 minutes past her bedtime, just because Daddy wants to hold her.  Seeing how much he loves her makes my heart burst.

He understands when I need a break or am tired and takes over without hesitation.  I am so thankful to have a loving, caring, understanding partner in all of this.  I cannot even imagine having to walk this journey without him.  And Elena just may be the luckiest little girl in the world to have a Daddy who loves her to a million pieces.

We love you more than words can say Chaddy.  Happy Father's Day to a very deserving Father!  You're the best!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

We're Moving!

I feel like my little blog here has been suffering from some neglect.  For good reason...things have been CRAZY with the Hinton family!  We've been arranging summer schedules, vacations, therapies and....oh, we bought a house!

I can't even begin to describe what a HUGE answer to prayer this was.  Like huge, the way it all worked out.  

About this time last year, I began doing some research on schools.  In Indiana, Elena receives early intervention (ie therapy) through a state program called First Steps.  When she turns three, they send Elena to a developmental preschool through her local public school for preschool and all therapies.  I knew that her third birthday would creep up on us if we weren't careful and we would find ourselves in a panic.  We weren't completely comfortable with the setup of the current school district we live in, not to mention we were quickly realizing our house wasn't going meet Elena's needs for very much longer.  So, after lots of phone calls, research and discussions with Chad, we decided it was time to move to the 'burbs.  We settled on Zionsville, an adorable little town just Northwest of Indy.  It made sense for lots of reasons and we loved the small town feel it has.  

We looked and looked and looked some more, for about five months.  All the while, I was fretting about finding a house to suit our family AND all of Elena's needs AND stay in our budget AND timing the selling of our house AND where we'd go if we couldn't find a house AND where would we continue Elena's therapies AND where would we put all her stuff.  Navigating this process with a child who needs a lot of daily proved to be very stressful.  I spent a lot of time trying to pray away all my stress and trust that God would find us the perfect house to meet ALL of our needs.  

And boy, did He deliver.  One day while stalking the real estate website for new listings, I saw a nicely structured house with a 1970's interior in one of our favorite neighborhoods.  I didn't think too much about it but decided to send it to our realtor (who promptly thought I had really lost it and become totally desperate) to just check out.  We pulled up on a rainy day to a house overgrown with 5-foot tall weeds, but nestled on a great lot in an idyllic cul-de-sac.  I immediately loved it.  Within the first 2 minutes in the house, I knew it was ours.  

After about twenty minutes, we got in the car and Chad asked me what I thought and I burst into tears and said, "that's our house!".  The house was an obvious fixer-upper, having been vacated by an elderly couple two years before.  But it was a sprawling ranch with endless potential.  A RANCH!  On a CUL-DE-SAC!  In our favorite NEIGHBORHOOD!  A blank canvas to MAKE OUR OWN!  I mean, it was perfect.  Long story short, after a few intense hours of submitting an offer, it was ours! 

It is such a huge answer to my prayers.  Every one of the details I was stressed about took care of themselves.  It was such a reminder to me that stress and worry can be so unnecessary.  It isn't possible for me to be in control  and plan everything.  What is necessary, is trusting that God will work out all the detail, the ones that are out of my control.  And He did.  

As we begin to enter into the "stressful" time of remodeling an entire home, I haven't felt an ounce of stress because I know everything will work out.  It has thus far and I'm certain this is where we are supposed to be.  

And if you know anyone who is looking for an adorable Cape Cod this fall...... :)