Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Just Me

Since I'm usually the family cameraman, pictures of of the kids and I together are rare. After looking at these pictures that I took of myself and the boys, I'm thinking maybe its a good idea for me to stay behind the camera. Oh well. It's me, it's real, it's my life.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Some of my favorite Thanksgivings in past years took place at our house, where I spent days slaving over the kitchen, preparing a giant meal. This year, we joined Aaron's parents at their house for the holiday...and boy!, it was really nice not to do the cooking! We just showed up, a delicious dinner was all ready to go, and we ATE! I feel a little guilty for not making more of a contribution--thank you Grovers for the wonderful feast:)
 I guess it was poor timing on my part, but would you believe that just as the meal was being put on the table, my baby insists that he was hungry too? Feeling impatient, I tried at first to just eat my dinner really fast, but it was clear that Ben wasn't going to let me enjoy my meal before he got his. So, I excused myself and, as everyone was partaking of those first few bites of the Thanksgiving meal--the pinacle of the Thanksgiving holiday--I was sharing a quiet moment, snuggling my baby--a very fitting reminder of what I am most thankful for this special season.

After dinner, while the men snoozed on the couch watching a sporting event, we ladies carried our post-Thanksgiving tradition on and made this cute little craft:
When we were living at the hospital during our ordeal with Ben, my mom would ask me every afternoon before she joined us for her shift in the evening if there was anything we'd like her to bring us...a snack? a pair of slippers? a magazine? I found it so strange that in the five years that we have owned our home and worked every day to fill it with the nice comforts of life, that I couldn't for the life of me think of a single thing that I needed. With an entire houseful of things, there was not one single thing in that house that mattered. Thats not to say that I'm not grateful for the many nice things that we have, but I learned a very valuable lesson at that time about the things that really do matter. The things that matter aren't things. I won't even try to begin a "What I am Thankful For" list, because I wouldn't have enough paper or ink, but here are the things that I couldn't survive without:

- I have never found as much strength, hope, and comfort as I have found in the past few months in the gospel through prayer, scripture study, and personal revelation. I am so grateful for my Savior, His gift of the Atonement, and the chance that I am given everyday to do a little better. I am so thankful for my relationship with my Heavenly Father. He knows me, He loves me, He hears me, and He answers me. God is good. Miracles happen.

- I am thankful for Aaron, my partner. It is an invaluable blessing to be able to walk this journey with my best friend.

- I can't describe how grateful I am to have been given the three most precious boys in the world. I honestly can't figure out why Heavenly Father has entrusted these special boys to me. Me! They are my most prized possessions and I love them dearly.

- At 28, I feel like I lean on my parents (and in-laws) more than ever. I am oh so thankful to have a mom that I can call (and call her I do!) when I am feeling low and receive words of encouragement, friendship, and support. I truly believe that many of the tender mercies of the Lord have come to me in conversations with my mom. I am ever so thankful to have such involved parents-in-law who take such good care of us: babysitting the boys so that I can take Ben to therapy, giving Aaron and I much-needed date nights, taking the boys on dates and making them feel special, and just being a part of our family.

What a lucky girl I am!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Snow Day!

Snow in November may as well be like Christmas in July--its an exciting event! The schools close, work stops, and everyone stays warm indoors in jammies and watching movies...with occasional trips outside to play in the snow. The boys had bunches of fun bundling up in their coats, boots, and gloves and making a snowman at Nana Grovers' house yesterday.


I found these pictures on Aaron's phone that he had taken of Max on Halloween night and had to share, even if a little late. Silly boy.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Giving Thanks

1 Thessalonians 5:18 "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God."

I thank the Lord every day for the many, many gifts that I have been given, the blessings that I have received, and the miracles that I have witnessed. My heart is full of gratitude; my blessings are too many to count.

Friday, November 19, 2010


We recently had an appointment with a specialist who hadn't seen Ben in two months. Here are few of her comments:

- "I'm just blown away by how well Ben is doing!"
- "Ben is the one in a million kid."
- "I'm bubbling over, I'm so excited about Ben's progress!"
- "We'll have to revise our goals because Ben has already accomplished the goals we set."
- "What a fighter!"
- "I can't wait to report how well Ben is doing; I can't wait to see him again next month."
- "I don't think we've even scratched the surface of Ben's potential."

....sweet music to my ears:)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Light Bulbs

In my zeal to follow Ben through his journey towards recovery, I have been a little neglectful about documenting the equally exciting accomplishments of Hank and Max. Oh my little Matsy-boy. Seemingly overnight, Max went from speaking in one or two word phrases to speaking in complete sentences! Some little light bulb must have just turned on, because Max is suddenly just talking like crazy! Its been so fun to watch him make new linguistic discoveries and see his satisfaction when he is finally able to express himself--and I love watching more of his cute little personality emerge!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

You've Come a Long Way, Baby!

I can't let this day pass without acknowledging its significance--six months ago today my precious little then-five-week-old baby got very, very sick. This is certainly not an event that I want to celebrate or relive, but I can't help but be amazed, and honor, how far Ben has come in such a short amount of time. He is nothing short of a miracle! I am just brimming with pride for how hard this little boys works everyday and for each and every accomplishment that he has made. You can do it, baby. Keep it up!

Aquatic Therapy

Two weeks ago we added aquatic therapy to Ben's therapy regimen. After the first session, his therapist, Tanya (pictured) said she thought that the session was very successful. If you call thirty minutes of fussing with intermitent breaks of crying successful, then it was a hit! Thankfully, in his last session, Ben started to get a little more comfortable with the water and even started to play and splash around a little. Who knows? In time maybe Ben will learn to like the pool and be my water baby--with all cute baby chub he should be extra bouyant:)

Friday, November 5, 2010

soon-to-be 7 Months Old!

I hope someday Ben can find it in his heart to forgive me for posting this nakie baby picture...just too squishy to not share!
I have many nicknames for Ben, but one of the funny little names that I call him is Manjaben, like Benjamin backwards. The other day I was singing a song to him, using the nickname Manjaben, and realized how fitting that little nickname actually is. In Italian (Aaron's second language) "manga" mean 'to eat' and "bene" means "good" or "well." So, Manjaben in Italian literally  means "eat well," and from the photo above, it is clear that my little Manjaben definately eats well:)
In a few days Ben will be seven months old! As I laid in bed last night, my mind replayed scenes from the past seven months--some of the most horrifying and painful experiences and also some of the sweetest and most precious moments I'm sure I will ever have in my lifetime. I love Ben to peices and I'm thankful that he has taught me how to be a better person and a better mom. He inspires me to try more, work harder, and be better every single day. I love you my sweet Benjamin:)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Stick 'em Up!

For Halloween this year, Hank and Max dressed up as police officers. I've never been a big Halloween fanatic and one of my biggest complaints is that I go to all the trouble and expense of buying (definately not making) Halloween costumes just so the kids can dress up for an hour or two on one night of the whole year. Well, I got my money's worth this year because Hank and Max wore these costumes for a week straight--even to sleep!
Such cute little police partners! With his cute little face and his hat pulled down over his eyes, Aaron and I think Max looks like Fivel Mousekowitz.

We were naughty and took the boys trick-or-treating even though it was Sunday--we couldn't contain their excitement and we caved! Max was a little nerveous about all of the spookey decorations and scarey costumes and only made it around the block before he was ready to cash in his candy. Hank, on the other hand, just wanted to keep going and going...and going.