Friday, December 28, 2012

Holiday hooplah

Christmas has come and gone. The past month has been filled with many fun outings and general merriment! We started the month with the holiday tree lighting in our downtown. It was just like a Lifetime movie and the weather couldn't have been more perfect. We made a trip to Chicago to Grandma Betsy and Papa Lenny's . We went to Medinah for their annual Santa brunch. Last year we went and we all left thinking it was a little lame. Other people must have complained too because this year was much improved. They had face painters, lego land, a bouncy house and of course Santa! The kids got age appropriate lego sets and lots of candy! They were over the moon with excitement. Last weekend we had our annual neighborhood caroling party. This year was the largest turn out we've had. We had 10 families and over 30 kids! Our house was busting with kids and cocoa, wine and appetizers. The next day we traveled to Grosse Point to see my sister and her family. My parents were there also as they were spending Christmas there. We got to see their beautiful new home and the cousins got to hang out and play. On Christmas Eve we hosted our neighbors and Jeff's sister and her boys. We had a delicious beef tenderloin with all the trimmings. It was relaxing and laid back and a perfect way to spend the evening. We were awoken by Matthew at 4:30 AM!! on Christmas morning. We held him off until 6 and then the Christmas craziness began! We were all done with presents by 7:30 and after our traditional Christmas morning breakfast of egg casserole and cinnamon bread, went to Grandma Barb's to celebrate Christmas with Jeff's side of the family.
We came home and settled into a couple of days of playing and eventually fighting over toys and with each other. As the New Years approaches I am amused by the postings and blogs I am reading about everyone's resolutions of what they plan of changing, doing and being in 2013. The past several years I have used the excuse of busyness to basically blow the whole resolution idea off. But, I feel like maybe this year could be the year to set some goals and see them realized by the end of 2013. I would like to use my calendar in 2013. That probably sounds ridiculous but it is something I always have great intentions with but come February I am running to Hardings at 4am because I just realized Matthew has snack. With more therapies coming on board for Matthew, my reliance on the calendar will really be imperative more than any goal. We are simply too busy not to keep track of it all. I would like to be more intentional about the time I spend with Jeff. The other night we were watching t/v together and we ended up snuggling together on the couch. It was so nice and we never do it. Often after the wack-a-mole bedtime routine, we're exhausted and irritated and just retreat into our separate couches and veg. I would like to start doing more things together, even if it is watching t/v. I would like to be more successful with accomplishing daily quiet times. When I do this I have much more peace in my life. If I begin my day with a little coffee, prayer, Bible reading, and a few deep breaths for good measure, my life runs much smoother. I long for that yet I fail miserably at seeing these type of goals through. I am hopeful that I can change this in 2013! I would like to be more fiscally responsible in 2013. With student loans and school expenses and lots of trips to Biggby for studying and of course..COFFEE, my spending has been a little free these past few years. As Jeff continues to remind me, this needs reigning in. I promise to try harder. To think before buying, to clip a coupon and actually remember to use it at the store, to eat leftovers instead of ordering out, to pack my lunch.Would any New Years goals, resolutions, what have you, be complete without a "BE MORE HEALTHY" goal? Of course I have goals to lose weight, work out more, eat better on the agenda. But this year it is different! Why you may be asking yourself, well one tiny reason, MY 20th HIGH SCHOOL REUNION! It is in July and what better motivation than that do you need? Finally I have a goal of finding the right job when I graduate. I know I will be tempted to just get a job and a paycheck but I very much want the job that is the right match with where I have been and where I am going personally and professionally.  So there you have it. The end of the year post. The wrap up of all things 2012. I hope you readers out there have a great New Years celebration. Be safe, see you in 2013! Peace!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Today we found out Matthew has mild cerebral palsy. As I have written before on this blog, we've suspected this for awhile now. We had to wait six months to get into the pediatric neurologist but we've been treating his symptoms with weekly occupational therapy and a home program as well for the past five months. Mostly Matthew's cerebral palsy affects his muscle tone, strength and balance. He does do some quirky things as well but the neurologist pointed out that these are compensations he's made to adjust to how the cerebral palsy makes his body feel. We had his blood tested today to rule out any muscle enzyme issues but the neurologist is fairly certain that isn't it. Once the tests come back, Matthew will have an MRI, to show if there is any brain damage. The MRI may not show any damage but he will still have a CP diagnosis. Physical therapy and a special speech therapy will be added to his therapies to help strengthen the various muscle groups that are affected. A few people have asked me how I feel to actually hear the confirmation from a medical professional that our son has cerebral palsy. Overwhelmingly, I feel grateful. Looking back on how Matthew's birth played out, I am so grateful that his cerebral palsy isn't more profound. In so many ways you would never even know that he struggles. I am grateful for experts and therapists and millions of opportunities that our son is afforded that will help him be the best Matthew Simpson he can be. I do feel a little guilty and a little sad that we didn't put this together earlier but feel that every time Matthew hit a bump in his development, we've met it head on, getting him therapies and support when it was needed. We have never buried our heads in the sand. Do I wish I could go back to that delivery room and changed the reality of what happened in that OR? Yes. At the end of the day, thinking of all the things you would do differently doesn't really serve any purpose. Instead we choose to move forward, figure out a therapy schedule, explain things to Matthew without freaking him out because there is no reason to freak out. My boy's got this. 

Sunday, December 09, 2012


My blog is SEVEN years old! SEVEN YEARS PEOPLE! Do you know when the last time I stuck with something for SEVEN YEARS? That would be practically never, wait, I have nearly been married ten years so I guess that's a lie. Let's just say follow through and me are not kindred spirits! I am so thankful for this space of mine. I love that I have written memories of the past seven years of my life. I can tell you with certainty that they have been unlike any I have ever or will ever experience again. This parenting season of my life has stretched me to the point of insanity at times. I love that I am able to look back at the times when I thought  I wouldn't last another moment and see that, in fact, I did. I love reading about the seasons, the people, the struggles, the failures and the accomplishments we've had as a family. I love that I started this blog with a six month old son and I now have a seven year old son and two daughters. I love that I admitted I was terrified to be expecting our little surprise three years ago and that three years later I can't imagine a world without an Ellie Simpson in it. I love that seven years later, as I approach my 10th wedding anniversary, I can see, on the computer screen how perfect Jeff and I are for each other. I love that those vows we said back in April of 2003 have come to be true. The words we said to each other back on the chilly Spring day have so much more meaning to me now, having lived life together. Having children and bills and real life happen has made me so grateful that I chose so wisely back then. I am grateful for the documentation I have of my children's lives. People who are older and always wiser than you tell you that you will forget these years. Some of them even dare to say I will miss this season one day, and as I read back on things I had long forgotten, I am at times brought to tears. My baby, who didn't say a word till he was two and a half, now is a bright, sensitive and articulate seven year old. Caroline blossomed from a colicky infant to a talented, sweet and spunky six year old. Ellie, who we couldn't even imagine having enough patience and time and love for has broken the mold for our hearts and our love for her and her brother and sister seems endless. The patience, well we're always a work in progress aren't we?! This blog has also taught me about the nastiness of people. With ill words and FB defriending and leaving a church we loved, in the end we realize there is ill will and craziness   everywhere, even if it's masked and sometimes you need to step away and just say, Enough. Thankfully I have been blessed by the blog world much more than I have been hurt by it. Seven years later I am thankful and grateful for my piece of the internet!