Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Beautiful One

Dear Miss K ~

It's your DAY today! It's your day to shine, your day to celebrate all that you've become!

Five years ago, God sent me the most precious gift. A gift full of love, tenderness, warmth, spunk, and beauty. Your heart is so full of life and I can't thank you enough for giving me the opportunity to be your mother! 





All the reasons we adore you so! 

Happy 5th Birthday my beautiful one!  

Saturday, June 19, 2010

In the midst of the storm...I will be still

"The blessing is not that God has promised to remove all obstacles and dangers. The blessing is that He is with us always, even in the midst of the storm."

Tuesday started like any ordinary day. The kids and I spent the early part of our morning playing with cars, barbies, and trains. We've adopted a routine where we have a good 45 minutes of pure play before we start our day and it really has proved to be a success! Normally after play time, I head upstairs and get ready; however, I felt "led" to fold laundry this particular morning (sounds strange I KNOW!) As I sat downstairs with the kids playing behind me, I was struck by a strange grunting noise and knew it came from Landon's direction. As I turned around, my world came to a complete stop. Landon was lying on the ground in a full seizure. His precious body was shaking and I felt like the most helpless mother. In a matter of seconds, Kennedy ran upstairs and grabbed my phone. I called 911 and the paramedics arrived within 5 minutes. I never felt pain like this before. It was a pain that I can't describe except to say that my heart literally felt like it was breaking. Questions surrounded me...why was this happening? what caused this? will my baby be ok? As the ambulance took us to the hospital, I prayed that God would be along side of us and He was! 

Landon's seizure lasted for about 1 minute and by the time we arrived at the hospital he was back to himself except for the normal exhaustion that follows a seizure. Numerous tests scan were performed including a cat scan and an EKG...all of which came back normal. We were discharged and left will instructions to follow up with a neurologist. While I felt like we were leaving with a lot of unanswered questions, I was hopeful that this next chapter would lead to answers about not only this seizure but possibly Landon's speech delay. 

Fast forward three days to Friday morning. 

This was Landon's last day of his speech therapy preschool and he was excited as ever to play with friends! I dropped him off and gave him the mommy smooch he adores. As Kennedy and I drove away, my mind was filled with all the "to-do's" to get accomplished before 12:30.  First stop was a doctors appointment where I naturally turned off my phone. As I left the doctors office around 10:00, I looked down at my phone only to find 15 missed calls and texts. My heart once again stopped. I knew it was Landon related. The first message revealed that Landon had another seizure and to call immediately. I cried out and as my emotions took over, Kennedy asked if Landon had another seizure and I knew in that moment I had to be as calm as I could. After talking to the paramedic over the phone, the plan was to meet Landon at INOVA Fairfax Children's Hospital. I called my friend Megs and as always, she was right along side of us helping us in any way she could. Papa Raftery was on his way as well and Jared was flying back from Norfolk, VA after a day trip. 

As they wheeled Landon into the hospital, my heart was heavy but he was alert and crying...I couldn't ask for more. I picked him up and held on to him as tight as I could. It was amazing to have him in my arms and I knew he felt safe in that moment. Shortly after we got to the ER, Papa Raftery and Jared arrived. It was comforting to have the support of grandpa and the love of my husband! 

The doctor decided to admit Landon to the pediatric unit in hopes of receiving an EEG which studies the brain waves for possible seizure tendencies. After a lot of waiting, they performed an EEG which revealed that Landon had seizure activity mainly on the left side of the brain which also controls speech. The neurologist sat and talked with us for a good hour about Landon's development, past history, and future plans. She decided to put him on medication for the time being in hopes that it suppresses the seizures. While she explained he could struggle with seizures for life, 75% of childhood cases grow out of them in 2-4 years. We are very optimistic and feel like we at least have more answers this time around. We also have a follow up appointment with our neurologist this Tuesday where we will discuss a variety of topics and future goals. 

One thing I've learned through these storms, is that God has not left our side. He was given us strength, wisdom, and protection. While I've never doubted His love, there have been times where I questioned why Landon has had these cards dealt to him. However, I know that despite my inner struggles of the "why's", He is there. Just as He has been here through everything. God continues to whisper that Landon is a gift. He is a blessing. He has amazing plans for him and I know that one day we will look back on these moments and be grateful for the challenge. 

In the midst of these storms...I will be still!

I want to say a special thank you to Ben and Meghan for being such great friends! We are blessed to have you all in our life! 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Can you tell me how to to get to Sesame Street!

The East Coast is filled with fun adventures! We've been waiting for the opportunity to take the kiddos to Sesame Street Place near Philly for some time and when the Andersons asked us along, we couldn't resist!

 We made our way up to Philly on Saturday (which was an adventure in itself) where we enjoyed some famous philly cheese steaks and some sight seeing along the way. 

After our bellies were filled to the rim, we made our way to a fountain located in central Philadelphia. We thought it would be a great nightcap for the kids! We were able to put our "parent" title to the side and let the kids be was an amazing experience! So often we are afraid of the mess, the dirt, the clean-up, etc, etc. but it was so invigorating to just let our guard down and let them be free. And free they were!

The next day we headed over to the much anticipated Sesame Street Place. The kids were beyond excited when we pulled up and they saw their favorite characters everywhere. 

Here's a snapshot of our day...

This past weekend was a lot of fun! Weekends like this don't come very often but when they do, they are PRICELESS! The kids excitement and the shared memories are worth every moment of exhaustion! Thanks for a great weekend Anderson's!  

"It's a magic carpet ride
Every door will open wide
To happy people like you--
Happy people like
What a beautiful

Sunny Day
Sweepin' the clouds away
On my way to where the air is sweet

Can you tell me how to get,
How to get to Sesame Street..."

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


We've had lots of reasons to celebrate around the Raftery household lately!

Celebration #1
Miss K, or should I say our graduate, celebrated a BIG accomplishment last week. She graduated from preschool!!! Maybe it's the over emotional side of me, but as I watched her receive her diploma I got choked up. She has grown in so many ways and as she enters this new phase of life, the life of kindergartner, I can't help but be overjoyed. As we drove to her graduation, she told me that she was happy to be graduating due to "all of her hard work". This witty side of Kennedy has been something that Jared and I have grown to adore. Her humor, her take on life, and her love continue to remind me of why I am a mom. I'm proud of you sweetie!

CLASS of 2010!!

Celebration #2
In addition to Miss K's graduation, we celebrated my graduation from Columbia College. Unbeknownst to me, Jared had been planning a surprise party in Ohio to honor my accomplishment. We drove into Ohio under the assumption that Jared had an alumni event to attend on Saturday. However, Jared had been working up some major party plans instead. As Jared and I walked into my moms mill, he turned to me and said, "do you know the reason we are really here" and with that I opened the door to a room packed with family and friends! I was SHOCKED! With the help from my mom and the rest of our family, we had a wonderful weekend that I will truly treasure! It made me feel beyond special that Jared would do this to honor me! I love you babe!

A BIG thanks to all who made the long trip into Ohio...I'm blessed to have you in my life!

(pics coming soon!)

Celebration #3
We celebrated Landon's 3rd Birthday this past weekend with a great group of friends! I'm still trying to figure out how these past few years have flown by!

We Love You Mr. MOO!!!