28 April 2014

Summer: Rosie's 4th Birthday

Another post from our summer that I'm finally getting around to catching up on the blog: Rosie turned four!

My beautiful daughter has grown so much - kids have a habit of doing that, huh? I think the change between three and four is quite remarkable. Toddlerhood is left behind and Childhood comes to the fore. My Rosie is growing into quite the little lady.

We had a lovely day celebrating with family. Rosie is a very shy wee thing, so even though she loves her family the most, she still tries to hide behind me when she knows we're all looking at her - like singing happy birthday and unwrapping presents. Most of those photos of all her birthdays so far have her burying her face into my neck. Sweet, funny little girl.

Lucky Rosie got to enjoy having her Auntie Sarah here, all the way from London! She enjoyed opening up her present from the other side of the world!

Rosie's favourite animal is a hippo, so we decided on a pink hippo cake - because although I'd like to do a whole themed party with lovely decorations and other theme-y things, I know that ain't gonna happen! Thankfully, she was super-impressed with her cake!

From her Poppa (my Dad), Rosie started a lovely collection of Sylvanian Family toys. I had a little house when I was a girl which I had passed on to Rosie so we decided to fill it up with a new family and some furniture. It's so sweet! There's something about miniature things that I just love. She plays for hours with it, sitting quietly at the table. (Until she screams at one of her brothers to get away before they ruin it. That's not so peaceful.)

Rosie-girl, you are a lovely ray of pink sunshine in our family. You are sweet and shy and mostly enjoy playing by yourself, but you can run a great game by bossing your brothers around! You love to be surrounded by your family and you always make sure that everyone is happy and safe. You have a really special bond with Gryffen and never like to go to kindy in the morning until you've said goodbye to him, even if he's not awake yet. You are very tall and your blonde hair has a lovely gentle curl, though you hate it when I brush it, even though I try to be gentle. You absorb everything around you, often spouting spelling words and maths sums to surprise me with your knowledge! I think you are an empathetic little soul, having a deep sense of emotions for yourself and others. Not that that means you are always the embodiment of patience and kindness, but that I see you have an awareness of feelings. We just need to work on the way you express them, my little wildcat.

I feel so blessed to have you as a daughter, my Rosie. You bring such a wonderful dynamic into our family. And how spoiled will you be with three brothers to protect you one day?! Your Papa and I pray for another fun-filled, joyful year of growing and learning with you. We pray that He would make Himself known to you and that your heart would always be Spirit-filled. We love you, my girl.

15 April 2014

One Year Ago...

Today marks the day that, one year ago, Hayden came off his bike on the road on the way to school, ending up with a serious concussion and a smashed up face.

What a year we had. It was certainly a tough one - though there was the highlight of gorgeous Gryffen's arrival into our family. I am thankful that amid the hard slog of dragging my family through a concussion recovery and newborn arrival, I can testify to God's grace as He carried us through. I learned a lot last year and am really thankful for the lessons I learned as we muddled through.

Utmost is a sense of gratitude for my little family. How close we came to being fatherless! You just never know what's around the corner do you? Family time is very precious.

I have learned to be uber-productive. For quite a few months I was it: Chief Job-Doer. Everything that needed to be done needed to be done by me. Throw a few kids in the mix and I became excellent at getting ALL THE THINGS done in small snippets of time. I'm sure I do more with my time now than I ever did when I only had one or two children!

As I read back over all my blog posts from the time of Hayden's accident, I am reminded of how much I was blessed by being able to keep a positive attitude. It was a hard time, but I was able to see God's hand in the ways we were looked after and taken care of by Him and by the hands of those around us. We were given meals and treats, the kids were looked after, Elliot was taken to and from school, the ACC we really helpful, and school (Hayden's work) were incredibly supportive of both Hayden and me. I learned that our people, our community, are one of the biggest blessings in our lives. I had thought I already knew that, but to see everyone in action was both humbling and incredible.

One year later, we only have small reminders of Hayden's concussion: a positively disgusting scar on his chin (thankfully hidden mostly by his beard), a small one above his eye, a couple on his hands and arms, a few moments of forgetfulness, an occasional tendency to get overwhelmed in busy situations. We don't know if those last ones will be with Hayden forever, or if they will fade away over the next year or two.

Overall, it's very good to have last year behind us. I'm glad to have had it and for the lessons we learned, but I'll take a simple year now please! And yes, Hayden does still ride his bike - and I do tell him more often to be careful.