What A Year It Has Been!

This time a year ago, Tanner and I were embarking on the longest, loneliest 15 minute drive of our lives. We were driving from Yukon to Baptist hospital where our tiny little boy was waiting. Attached to tons of wires and tubes that were, for the moment, keeping him alive. What a difference 365 days can make.

This February 18th, we spent the day eating Daddy's grilled hamburgers, baked beans and, of course, cake and ice cream. We sang happy birthday and opened presents. He especially loved his Thomas the Train riding toy and his singing birthday card. The boy loves to dance! It was a wonderful day. A few tears, but no heartbreak. Prayers, but no pleading.  Many hugs, but no need for someone to hold me up. Lots of love, but this time with no fear. We couldn't have asked for a better way to spend Cooper's first birthday. We are so grateful for to have our baby boy, happy and healthy.

Dear Cooper,

Happy Birthday Little Man! What a fun day it's been. I know you will never remember this day, but Mommy and Daddy will never forget it. We had so much fun with all your cousins, but the best part was spending the day with you! You bring so much joy and laughter into our world. We can't imagine what we did before you came along. Mommy and Daddy thank God everyday that he sent you to us. We pray that we can guide you in a way that leads you to Jesus. We pray that you love and serve God with all your heart. We are so blessed to be your parents. We love you! Can't wait to see what the next year has in store.

With all the love in my heart,

Cooper - The Movie Star

I've been trying my darndest to get a video done for Cooper first birthday party. I want it to go from his conception (ultrasound pics......we don't have any video of his conception. heeheehee!) through his first year. I love the way it's turning out so far, but I keep getting stuck. The ultrasound and maternity pics are cute; the video of his birth is amazing. After that......I'm struggling. I am still haunted by the week we spent with him attached to all the tubes and wires of the NICU. I keep thinking someday I'll get over it. Someday it won't hurt to look at the pictures from his first week out of my tummy and in my arms. Someday I won't be jealous of the families that got to spend that time together at home instead of in a hospital. Someday I'll accept the fact that this was God's plan for my son and that it has and will continue to work for our good. Someday.....

Reading blogs of parents who have spent way more time in the hospital with their children than we did is a great reminder of just how lucky I am to have Cooper - home and healthy. I've recently started following the blog of a mom who lost her baby after only 67 days. I am inspired and in awe of her incredible faith. She hurts and misses her baby boy terribly, but continues to praise God. You can check out her blog here.  Click on The Story of Jude and grab a box of tissues. You will be utterly amazed at the strength of Mandy's faith and the grace God continues to pour out through her words.

I'll keep working through my emotions about Cooper's start in this world. And I'll keep reminding myself that how you start doesn't determine the rest of the race. I'll keep working on the video. Maybe I'll share it when it's done.