Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Magical Shoes!

"Life isn't a matter of milestones but of moments." -Rose Kennedy

Today was the day. Today was the day I've longed for. It was a day that prayers were answered and tears were to hard to hold back. Today was the day that our little Landon took his first steps - one...two...three...four...and five. As I stood in awe, my emotions were filled with amazement, relief, and thankfulness. Today was the day that God filled me with a gift of tiny toes walking in step.
It's been a long journey. At a young age, Landon showed signs of muscle weakness (particularly in his lower back). Our little Landon has had his share of doctor's appointments, tests, and treatments. After seeing several specialists, Landon was diagnosed with benign hypotonia.
Basically, this condition means a child has low tone with no known reason of acquiring it. They can have it anywhere and/or everywhere along with a series of other aliments. We were lucky though. Landon was diagnosed with low tone only in a couple of places, including his lower back and mouth muscles. This "benign" hypotonia will get better in time with a little help from therapy.
For 6 months now (wow time has flown), we've been going to physical therapy with our amazing therapist Dr. Kristen. She decided to order Landon shoe inserts a few weeks back in order to stabilize his balance and give him more support. They now fit perfectly in a "magical" pair of Adidas shoes that were a gift from Papa Raftery.
Today was an average Monday afternoon. Landon went to his weekly 30 minute therapy session with Dr. Kristen, while Kennedy and I played in the waiting room. It wasn't long before Dr. Kristin called me back to her office. (This never happens so I knew it had to be good.) She sat me down a few feet in front of Landon while she held on to his hips from behind. As she released her hands, I watched as our Landon took five beautiful steps towards me - it was a moment I'll never forget!
It's been a long road to this point and I'm sure some challenges still are ahead. However, the road thus far has been filled with knowledge, understanding, patience, and most of all faith. Landon is a beautiful, smart, and healthy child that has given me an amazing opportunity to walk along side him in this journey of life.
Video to follow!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!


One bright and shining light, That taught me wrong from right,
I found in my mother's eyes

Those baby tales she told, That road all paved with gold,
I found in my mother's eyes

Just like a wandering sparrow, One lonely soul, I walked the straight and narrow, To reach my goal, God's gift sent from above, A real unselfish love,
I found in my mother's eyes.

Your birthday is a beautiful reminder of the love and dedication you poured into my life! Thank you for being a source of strength and continuing to be a person I can always trust and confide in. I love you Mom! Happy Birthday!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fall is Here!

I love this time of year! Although a lot of my "fall" memories date back to my life up north, I still enjoy the idea of fall. It reminds me of my childhood years...jumping into a pile of leaves, hunting for the perfect pumpkin, watching the summer scene fade away, and most of all sharing a Thaksgiving meal with the people that matter most in life. I thought I would share one of Jared's favorite soups. It's perfect for this time of year and reminds me of the beauty of FALL!


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Red Light Green Light and a Kennedy Classic!

Miss K really (emphasize really) enjoys riding her bike! Landon has found a great way to keep up with the BIG kids with a little game of RED light GREEN light. It's actually quite amusing and I had to catch a few shots of their game. Here's how it goes....Landon grabs the back of the bike and Kennedy says green light. She starts peddling fast...faster...then a little faster than my comfort level. With a quick halt she says red light. Next are the sounds of Landon's irresistible belly laugh (contagious I might add!). This goes on and on until one or the other gets worn out or when Landon's knees have had enough. This was just a small part of my day that brought a smile and a sense of being a child again....it seems we all need those days once in awhile!

OK...so here is the Kennedy Classic! One of Kennedy's favorite things to do these days is pick up Max's poop with dad (yeah a little gross to say the least). She gets her gloves on and marches to the back yard with this sense of DUTY. She goes around searching for the mines and gets super excited when she spots a new one. This was her right after she walked in from her poop call - I'll let the rest speak for itself!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Loving on Purpose

Tonight was a night where the reality of life, parenthood, and relationships was put forth right in front of me. Jared and I signed up for a 6 week parenting class at our church called "Loving our Kids on Purpose" by Danny Silk. Going into it I was optimistic. I was hopeful that we would learn new techniques and gain insight into this whole world of parenting; however, I never knew I would walk away feeling inspired and ready to be a mother that God intended me to be. I've learned a lot in my Christian walk, yet I feel I haven't truly grasped my place nor my purpose. I thought this class would teach on traditional Christian ways of parenting:obedience, compliance, and discipline. Instead it spoke of teaching our children to manage freedom and not to live in a series of constraints. We can't be afraid of their mistakes or failures. Instead we need to respond to them with love. We have to remove the fear of punishment - 2 Timothy 1:7 "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind". There is no fear in love. One of the biggest and most important ingredients to parenting is the heart to heart connection as well as empowerment, providing a safe place where they feel they can be themselves, and providing unconditional love - obedience, respect, etc will never be as important as our connection. So often, it's easy to want control and when we don't have it we feel threatened. I realized through tonight's class that my parenting will either build self control, personal responsibility, respect, trust or it will build fear that attacks our connection. I'm so excited about the upcoming weeks and the truths that will be revealed. We are handed these beautiful lives that deserve our love and trust. I'm truly grateful for this experience!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Park Fun

Summers in Jax can be extremely hot! We haven't had many opportunities to enjoy the park lately unless it's early morning or early evening. I had some errands to run this morning and I promised Miss K that I had a surprise in store for her as long as she minded her manners while we were shopping (this age requires occasional bribes!) We ended up having a great afternoon at the park despite the heat.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

One of my passions in life is cooking! I love it! I love cooking with fresh ingredients and experimenting with new recipes. Early on in my marriage, Jared would frequently ask me if I was absolutely sure that I enjoyed this cooking thing. It's funny because to me, there is no chore involved - sure there are nights that a simple dinner is whats in order; however, I'm always striving to give my family food that's fun, nutritious, and most of all filled with love. I owe so much of my passion to my mom. She was always cooking wonderful dinners throughout my chidhood that my friends would often enjoy as well. She taught me a lot in life, but my love for cooking came from her! I thought it would be fun to start an addition to our blog that included a weekly or bi-weekly recipe - it's a way to share one of my loves in life with you! http://samsilantro.blogspot.com/

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Our weekend getaway!

Some people love surprises, others don't, and then there are those like me that fall in between. Jared has been planning a surprise weekend getaway for our 5th wedding anniversary for over a month and I've been extremely antsy! Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that he has been planning something special but I just couldn't take the fact of not knowing! So Jared met me in the middle. Each night for a week, I received clues. It actually became quite the event - I loved it! My mom flew in on Thursday to watch the kids over the weekend (thanks again mom!) and we were set to leave Friday morning. The day was finally here and we were off to one of my favorite places - DC! DC is awesome! It's a place mixed with culture, diversity, history, and beauty. We checked in at the Crown Plaza in downtown DC (thank you Greg for a wonderful anniversary gift!). We spent the rest of the afternoon getting pampered at an eclectic spa in the Georgetown district. This area is really neat - cobblestone streets, unique eateries and shops, and an array of entertainment. We had dinner at a local restaurant called Mei n Yu. The cuisine was a blend of Middle-Eastern, Thai, and African - we had a fabolus dinner! Saturday was spent looking at different neighborhoods and getting a feel for the area. We have a chance of relocating here and it was a great chance to explore! That evening we went to dinner at a place called Lima which was a blend of Cuban and South American foods - our dinner was outstanding and the mojitos were an added bonus. We finished our night at a comedy show featuring Jamie Kennedy who is one of our favorite comedians. Sunday morning, we headed down to Pax River which is about an hour southeast of DC. It was a beautiful drive filled with windy country roads and local produce stands. The best way to describe southern Maryland is peaceful. There is a stillness about this place that Jared and I loved! We did some exploring in Pax as well and found some great areas. Solomons Island, connected by a bridge, is a quaint fishing town filled with shops and restaurants. We had dinner at The Pier where you actually eat on the pier - it was a gorgeous evening. Before we knew it, Monday was here and it was the end of a beautiful weekend. We made one last stop in Old Town Alexandria before our flight where the streets are lined with local shops and the hustle and bustle of DC is forgotten - this was my favorite area! We had an amazing three days celebrating a marriage that I treasure!

Our dinner at Mei N Yu - beautiful decor!

Our hotel was in the heart of DC

Breakfast at Au Bon Pain

Solomons Island

This room was in a model home - I loved the idea of the mirrors on the wall.

Shout out to Honda!

Enjoying my morning Starbucks

This is a typical street in DC - filled with trees and people.

Yes - we made it into Chipolte while we were in Pax River. This is an added bonus if we move there!

Jared - Thank you for a wonderful weekend. My surprise was worth the anticipation and I love that you made our days so special!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Daddy-O!

You are a gift to us Jared! You have an amazing way about you. The way Kennedy and Landon run to you and the way that you make me feel as your wife is something I'm so blessed to be a part of. Thank you for being a husband that covers his family with strength, stability, laughter, and most of all love. There are days that I'm in awe of the way you pursue your dreams and how you have an unwavering commitment to both your country and your family. I love you sweetie and I'm blessed to call you my husband! Happy Birthday!