Thursday, January 1, 2015

Bye-bye 2014...Hello 2015

I've been thinking all day about how to describe our lives in 2014. If I had to describe it in one word, that word would have to be.... blessed! We have been blessed beyond our wildest dreams this year. It was a year of great change, in all facets of our lives. It was a year of great sacrifice. It was a year where we received so much love and support from our family, friends, community, and strangers. It was a year where I truly learned to surrender everything to God and let him be completely in control of our situation and lives. It was a year of great friendships. It was probably the most memorable year of our lives. Here's a look back at our 2014.
I was on bed rest at home. We drove to Dallas every week for my checkups with my maternal fetal specialist. This is when Brady started watching a lot of tv.... I hated for him to watch tv, but it was the only way I could spend time with him since I was in bed all the time.

This is how I spent all of January... Thankfully my guys hung out with me.
This shirt was given to me by one of my students.

Steven is such a wonderful hubby. He laid all the sets down in my 4 Runner and put an air up mattress in the back for me to lay down on for our trips to see my doc in Dallas.
I was put in the hospital (Baylor Univ. Med Center) on Jan. 31st. I spent the entire month of February in the hospital growing the quints in my belly. I enjoyed lots of company from strangers, nurses, friends, and family. I was away from Brady most of the month and it broke my heart to not see him everyday.

Nothing like a selfie in the bathroom of a hospital.  Look at my 24 -25 week baby(s) bump!
Brady loved to play with my hospital bed. He'd call the nurse's station several times and push the buttons to make the bed go up and down. I was just glad to see him and spend time with him. I also loved my pillows! Pillows are a pregnant girl's best friend.

This was the wildest/craziest/happiest/most blessed month of our lives. Brady turned 2 on March 15th. We celebrated his birthday in the hospital. Three days later, the quints arrived!!!!! I was 29 weeks 1 day pregnant when they arrived. Steven was at work (3 hours away) at the time and he made it to the hospital in 2.5 hours and was there for their birth. They were little and very premature but they were fighters and survivors. The hardest part of the whole experience was leaving the hospital without my babies.
Brady on his way to visit me in the hospital.

Riding 3 hours to see mama in the hospital is hard on a 1 year old. 

I enjoyed every second I got to spend with Brady.
The day before the quints arrived.

5 bracelets for 5 precious babies!

I spent all of April living at my friends' (Paula & Dave) house. I'd get up every morning and drive to BUMC and spend the whole day holding and loving on my babies. I got to see Brady a little more but still mostly on the weekends. Steven drove to Dallas every weekend to be with me and the quints. Family members would come out to see the babies and would bring Brady. I went home for the first time since Jan 31st for Easter.
Kangaroo care with the babies

You can tell how little they were by the fact I could fit two of them in my shirt at the same time. (l to r) Tessa & Gracie

At the end of April, the flu & RSV ban was lifted and Brady got to meet his brother & sisters for the first time. (Mom holding Brant)

I went home to be with Brady for Easter.

I spent all of May doing the same thing as April...going to the hospital everyday and spending the whole day with the babies. They were growing and getting better. I got to hold all my babies at one time this about a hand full!!!
Mother's Day...all the quints back together for the first time.

An armful of love. 

Whenever Brady came to Dallas, we always tried to do something fun for him. I even rode this train through the Grapevine Mills Mall. The things we do for our little ones.

For Steven's 33rd birthday & my 34th birthday/ Mother's Day, we had dinner at the top of the ball in Dallas. It was delicious and we really enjoyed a night out. And the best part is that the restaurant was close to the hospital, so we went to visit the babies afterwards.

Brant was our first baby to come home!!!!! Tessa soon followed, but after a week of not eating well, she ended up back in the hospital..but not at BUMC..she was at Children's so I was being pulled in 3 different directions.. Home with Brant, Children's Hospital for Tessa, and BUMC for Mia, Gracie, & Rayleigh. It was SO difficult. Our girls all had major surgeries and it was super stressful. Thankfully, God got us all through it! And, I got a new brother-in-law!!!! Kayla and Jeremy were married on June 28th. Brady and I were both in the wedding.
Look how cute Gracie was in her strawberry outfit.

Last picture together until the end of July.

Brant came home (to Dallas)!!!!

And he was instantly spoiled rotten...he loved getting all the attention.

Next came Tessa!!!! I love Brady's face.

Brady loves Tessa

All dressed up for Kayla's big day!

The beautiful bride
My new brother-in-law, Jeremy. The wedding was beautiful.

Mia, Gracie and Rayleigh all came home from the hospital. Not on the same day. Rayleigh was the last baby out of the hospital. We packed up all our stuff in Dallas and drove home, to our home, on the last day of July! We were welcomed by several of our friends and family and it felt so wonderful to finally be HOME!
Mia came home.
Then Gracie.
Last, but not least, Rayleigh came home!!!

It was hard saying goodbye to Paula and Dave, they were so wonderful to open their home to us.

It was so nice to have all my family together under one roof. We had lots of people over at the house, nurses, therapist, and family. It took some getting used to, having people in our house all the time, but we're so thankful we had all the help.
Our friends lined our street to welcome us all back to Maud!!! What a wonderful community we live in.

Home Sweet Home

We bought a new van for our big family!
People in our community gave us a beautiful baby shower. We are so blessed!
Football season started so Steven, Brady, and I enjoyed getting out and watching my nephew, Gage, play varsity ball. My niece, Makenna, cheered (junior high). I spent most of my days, at home with the kids. We only left the house for doctor's appointments.

The fair was in town...we took Brady and he had so much fun! So did Gavin!

Brotherly love

Brady loves painting

The babies are so big now, I can only hold 2 at a time. (Tessa & Gracie)

We were starting to get into a good system at home with the babies. We dressed up for Halloween as the 101 Dalmatians. We hosted a family Halloween party after a little trick-or-treating. We had a weenie roast...!
The babies started eating baby food.

I ran the Race for Cure in honor of Paula

We have the cutest pumpkins

Halloween fun with my loves.

A month of thanksgiving...we had so much to be thankful for. We were thankful for our family, healthy babies, and the love and support we received throughout this year. We hosted our families for a Thanksgiving dinner. Our family is so big now, we had to set the tables up in our garage. It was so much fun and I'm so thankful for my wonderful family.
I'm so thankful for our family.

I can't imagine life without Brady. He is such a wonderful, sweet, and funny little boy. He makes my heart melt.

I'm so thankful we have our quints and they are all healthy. 

December was a busy month. The babies were sick most of the month. Steven and I celebrated our 8th anniversary. Christmas was a wonderful time. We spent the holidays with our family. It's so hard to believe this year is over!
I'm so in love with these 7 people!

The girls, just hanging out.

Santa came!!

Ugly Christmas sweater/shirt/outfit party!

Happy 8 years to us!!!
Good-bye 2014... you've been a year we'll never forget. So many memories, so many blessings! Thank you God for blessing me with another year here on earth and thank you for your son. Thank you so much for my beautiful family.

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