Me and Jacob

Me and Jacob

Friday, May 17, 2013

This Day, Ten Years Ago

     I woke up exactly 10 years ago today excited because it was my wedding day. My dad came in my room, wrapped his arms around me and balled his eyes out. It was the best hug I've ever received and the worst one as well. We cried and held each other for what seemed like an eternity and then he quickly said he was proud of me and left my room. I finished getting ready and drove to the church where I was greeted by all of my friends and family. It was such a fun day with all the people I love.

~ Heather doing my makeup~

     After I was completely ready and dressed I walked down the aisle and sat on the front steps of the altar. Erick and I had decided that we wanted to take all our pictures before the wedding so we could spend most of our time with our guests. Because of this, we decided to have a special moment before we took pictures. I sat down on the altar and waited for him to come in the back doors of the church. I was so nervous waiting, because I had a big box of letters that I had written for him specifically to give him at that moment.


~ Seeing me for the first time~

     We had so much fun during those 30 minutes of alone time. We laughed, cried and talked about everything that transpired that morning. It really was the best moment of the day. After that 30 minutes was up we took pictures and went back to our hiding spots before the wedding was supposed to start. During the waiting time between pictures and the wedding my mom realized that I had popped a seem in my dress on the front that really wasn't that bad but she screamed "Corrie, you have a whole in your dress!" I had held back most of my emotions until that moment. Luckily she had a sewing kit in her purse and it was fixed within a matter of minutes. 
     The rest of the wedding went off without a hitch and we had so much fun dancing and visiting with all our loved ones at the reception.

     It was a wonderful day, and looking back at all the memories have been so much fun. However, all of this would mean nothing if it weren't for the 10 years after this day. We've been through a lot. We've been on top of mountains and in the deepest valley's but one thing I have been reminded of is that true love endures all. Love isn't something that you feel all the time but it's the perseverance even when things are tough. We've had a wonderful 10 years and I look forward to the next 10 years. I'm sorry to everyone else because Erick will be the only one to get this, but Erick, you will always be my BBF!! I chose you 10 years ago and I choose you today!! I love you!!!

~ My Favorite Picture~

Love is patient, love is kind
it does not envy, it does not boast,
it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others,
 it is not self-seeking
It is not easily angered 
and it keeps no records of wrongs
Love does not delight in evil 
but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects
It always trusts
Always hopes
Always perseveres.
Love Never Fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4 - 8a

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Stop The Press

      For the last 4 1/2 years of Jacob's life his nutrition has been a huge burden on us. All that kid would eat was salty, crunchy foods and a few crunchy sweet items. His diet consisted of the following: pretzels, potato chips, Cheetos,  cookies & Popsicle's. We substituted his nutrition with Ensure shakes but after a few years he was tired of those and would no longer drink them. We started trying to give him vitamin supplements and the fiasco of holding him down to force the medicines in him wasn't working and became heart breaking and miserable for everyone. His skin felt scaly and no matter now much lotion I slathered on him, his skin was never smooth like it was supposed to be. Sometimes his eyes had dark circles under them and he didn't sleep well. We weren't sure if the circles were because of lack of nutrition or because of lack of sleep and was the lack of sleep caused by the lack of nutrition? Everything always seemed to come down to his nutrition. We figured that if he got the appropriate nutrition his skin would be normal again. If he ate right his mind may sharpen and strengthen. If he ate healthier maybe his meltdowns would diminish. If he was healthier maybe he would sleep better. Our worries always came back to Jacob's nutrition.
      Jacob started occupational therapy (food therapy) a little over a year ago. For the longest time we were just trying to get him to lick foods that were undesirable to him and this seemed to last forever!! The next step was getting him to bite the foods and then spit them out and then bite them and swallow them. I have to say, that kid has worked so hard. I can't tell you how many times I've seen him gag, but he just kept working and trying. At times I thought it was hopeless and at other times I would see little improvements. The idea of him ever eating anything healthy always seemed way way way in the future. Until recently!! I don't know what it is about wheelchairs that that kid likes but his therapist lets him sit in a wheelchair and all of a sudden that kid is eating with no rewards and no gagging...WHAT??? For about two months he would only eat healthy at food therapy and wouldn't try anything at home. But I'm happy to announce that last night for supper he ate steak, cheese and strawberries. That is the absolute healthiest meal Jacob has eaten in 4 1/2 years!!! And not only did he eat steak, he asked for seconds and even thirds!!! Over the coarse of the past week he has eaten something healthy with every dinner. His list includes apples, bananas and carrots and he's tasted a few other things. I've been so overwhelmed with joy!! Not to mention that he lets me give him his medicine now with very little fussing, considering what we were dealing with a year in a half ago. His skin is so soft again and even though he doesn't always sleep good, he's healthier, talking more and seems happier most days. This is one huge milestone that we've struggled with for a long time and I praise God that Jacob continues to progress and be a huge blessing to us. We love that boy with everything we have and it overjoys me to see him let go of his hindrances.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Causes of Autism

    Whenever the subject of autism comes up, it never fails that someone in the conversation is going to ask my opinion of what causes it. Some speculate vaccinations while other's think it's genetics, environment or both. I really have no idea what my opinion is on this subject. I always struggle to answer their questions straight forwards. Jacob was always different, even as a baby, before he had vaccinations. I used to rack my brains trying to figure out what I did wrong or what the the doctor did wrong or what does society need to do to change the rise in autism. We fight for a cure, we search for answers and we ponder what our children would be like if they were "normal."
    While all of these questions are valid, I decided to give up the fight a long time ago.  Not that I'm not continuing to fight for Jacob, but I decided to lay down my armor and be content with my life. I was driving myself into depression trying to answer the questions of why and how. I was allowing Satan to feed me lies about Jacob and myself as a mother. The problem with continuing to ask these questions is you get into a pity party for yourself, and others. You start to focus on everything that is going wrong and not looking at all the blessings.
     I went to the zoo with a friend yesterday and while we were there, one of her four children kept asking "what's next mommy", "when are we gonna see the ________??" (fill in the blank) As we were walking, he asked again. She kindly knelt down, looked into his sweet, excited eyes and said, "If you continue to always look at what is behind or what is ahead, you will always miss what's right in front of you." What a great lesson for all of us!!
     On the way home from the zoo, the subject of autism came up and that famous question was asked of me again. "What do you think causes autism?" Again I was stumped for words and I never gave her a simple concrete answer. Autism isn't simple and a simple answer just won't suffice. We talked almost the whole way home about Jacob, autism and life with a special needs child. I guess that conversation will always follow me. I'm starting to think that I could have the entire conversation while I am asleep.
     We got home and I began to think about our day together and what a wonderful time we had. I remembered the lesson that she was trying to get across to her 4 year old and I began to put it into context for my life. If I continue to worry and wonder about why Jacob has autism or if I continue to overly pursue his future and worry about it, then I will miss everything that Jacob is accomplishing right now. He's growing and accomplishing so much that I don't want to take for granted everything that God wants to teach me through this moment in my life. This moment is what counts because it's the building block for Jacob's future.