July…a bitter sweet month

July marked a season of change for our family. This month, we found out Elliotte doesn’t have Sanfilippo. It came with mixed emotions. On one hand, we were happy for Elliotte and the excitement of firsts we will be able to experience with her. On the other hand, it brought new sadness for our kids. I think I mentioned in previous posts this experience in length.  Elliotte is a reminder of all the things Jayden and Brooklyn can’t do, at the same time, we celebrate she will be able to do new things!  It is hard to say the least.

Most of our life is bitter sweet.  July being no exception as it also brought about Jayden and Brooklyn’s birthdays.  Birthdays are such a celebration. On the one hand, we are thrilled we have had another year with them, but, at the same time, it marks a date closer to the end. Time flies when you are hanging on to the lives of your children.  Brooklyn turned 3 on July 14. It marks a looming decline of skills. Brooklyn has exceeded expectations and continues to amaze us with how well she is doing. The more skills, I dread, the harder it will be when they are gone.  She sings songs, says “I love you” (and a ton of other words) and understands. This makes discipline harder….but one smile from her the difficulty doesn’t matter…much, HA!


Jayden turned 6, July 25. My gentle giant is getting to be such a big boy.  We see the effects of Sanfilippo and it gives us new appreciation for all the things he still can do. It is just a matter of time before walking, eating, and other things disappear. I treasure his laugh, his smile, his soul….I can’t imagine not seeing it everyday.  But, such is life.  God hasn’t prepared me for those moments.  It’s hard being a realist.  I have to remind myself that it is ok to be sad and at the same time, trust God.  It is this dance, so to speak. I can’t get optimistic or pessimistic.  I acknowledge the pain for what it is, while simultaneously placing my hope in Christ and what He did on the cross as being enough. Did I mention it’s hard?


I also had a wonderful time with my dear friend, Kelly Hubert at the Tenderheart luncheon for the third year in a row. Joan made scrabble tile necklaces for every lady. Charles Tillman of the Bears invited me up to share our story and even put his arm around me! Yeah, I am pretty much famous now! Ha!  Charles, and his beautiful wife, Jackie are simply amazing. They are who you want every person with fame and money to be like. The entire luncheon was God honoring as woman after woman shared thanks to the Tillmans for their private generosity during the year to some struggling families and many women gave glory to Christ for their strength. You would think being in a room with 100 women who have done their time in Children’s hospitals and some even loosing children would be aweful, but it was the most comforting and beautiful place to be.  As much as we want to run from pain, or are scared to enter into someone elses, I truly believe that is where God makes available His most beautiful blessings.


We also had a chance to witness heaven on earth during a simple children’s parade at Jayden’s school. With “God bless America” over the loudspeakers, Joan and I entered fighting tears at the beauty of all the students lined up in blue and red.  Many with teachers by their side or pushing their wheelchairs, they paraded around the building waving American flags. I was so proud to live in a country that doesn’t throw away these beautiful creations.  What a blessing to witness.


We also celebrated with our dear friends, Jason and Sarah Alm, as they welcomed Mr. Luca Roger Alm into their family. Talk about a God story. For years they struggled with fertility and decided to adopt. All the money came in right in time for them to be chosen by the birth mom, and within 48 hours of getting a call they were chosen, they brought their son home. Awesome!


We also rejoiced with our friends, Jay and Michelle, as they celebrated their son Bonn’s birthday. We had a nice time seeing their new house and playing with all things Thomas.


We love our friends so much and the Henry’s are no exception! We had a little visit from them. They are so easy to be around and their kids are a dream. They get their sweetness from their parents.  Jud and Katie are amazing!


We also have been enjoying our “East Coast” friends, the Petersens. They have 3 boys and a fourth on the way. They too, are so fun to be with.  Heidi cracks me up…and we wonder where Logan gets his eccentric personality!


July. What a bitter sweet blessing!
















3 thoughts on “July…a bitter sweet month

  1. I have a knot in my throat and tears in my eyes…it is hard! so hard! Your strength in the midst of hardship continues to amaze me! Your kids are so precious and sometimes i forget that they aren't mine:) Thats how much I love them! They are so blessed to have such amazing parents like you and Jut! I love you mama and am constantly praying for you and desiring to stand in the Gap for you! I miss you!


  2. Another amazing post! I am continually bowled over by your courage and grace, Stephanie. My heart aches because you have to endure what no parent should have to, but your conviction that all three of your children are perfect just the way God made them is a guidepost for many. Thank you for sharing!


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