Saturday, December 19, 2009

Merry Christmas - Recap of Our Year!

2009 brought many joys and surprises. The biggest one (well perhaps not in weight as he was only 8lbs and 3 oz.) was the birth of our second son, Nathan Graham Paskins. Nathan, or Nate-Nate as we affectionately call him, was born on New Year's Day. He was the first baby born in the hospital this year, and the hospital provided us with several gifts to celebrate the occassion. However, as our financial friends pointed out, we just missed the tax deduction. Oh well, that is something to look forward to in 2010.

However, we were not done with surprises on that day. We almost instantly realized that Nate-Nate had Down syndrome. This was a huge shock to us and took a lot of prayers and support to help us adjust to this new reality.  We have had countless visits to doctors and therapists (as regular readers of this blog know), but we are encouraged that Nate is quite healthy, and progressing more and more each day.  He is a very sweet, smiley little guy.

Cody (who turned three in September) enjoys being a big brother - although he had his reservations at first. Once he figured out he could make Nate smile, it became one of his favorite pastimes. In August, Cody began Pre-school three mornings a week and loves his Montessori program. He's all boy and loves anything and everything transportation-related, playing chase, playing catch and moving constantly. Cody will tell you that his favorite food is salad - with several varieties of fruit close behind. He could eat bowl after bowl of fruits and vegetables and is probably the healthiest eater in the family.  Cody is so much fun and continues to entertain us with his great personality.

Danielle is keeping busy and doing great. Not only does she take care of the boys during the day, but she has started a Women-only Boot Camp that meets at 5:45 in the morning. In September, she reluctantly ended her stint as a Baby Boot Camp Instructor, after 3 1/2 years, to focus on the boys - especially Nate's frequent therapy appointments. On top of that, Danielle is involved in the reunion committee for her 20th high school reunion. Oh, and one last note, Danielle also is getting quite a reputation for her prowess in baking chocolate chip cookies. As a personal trainer, she likes to call it "job security".

Bob is still at KPD Insurance and, despite the economic conditions, doing quite well at his job. The boys light up when he is home and constantly want to play with him or help him with family projects. This year he captained the church Men's softball team. The team went 3-6-3 (yes, apparently there are ties in softball) so he is looking to improve on that for next year. Additionally, he has played drums at church several times over the year and tries to play pick-up basketball once each week. His highlights of '09 were going to see Star Wars in concert, and getting special backstage passes to hang out with the band, the Fray.

We thank you all for your support this year. We are extremely blessed to have such love surround us through the twists and turns of life.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to your and yours.

With thanks and love,

Bob, Danielle, Cody and Nate-Nate

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ah-ha Moment

I recently had a pretty big "Ah-ha Moment".  

Since Nate was born on New Year's Day, we still had a wall in our family room covered with Christmas photo cards of many friends and family when we brought Nate home from the hospital.  This wall remained that way for several months as it served as an amazing reminder of the support system we had.  But the wall also served as a reminder to me that our family photo for Christmas cards would be much different than I ever thought.  I shed many tears thinking about our '09 photo and thought making our photo card this year would be very painful.

Well, I picked up our cards yesterday and realized that I hadn't even given it a thought.  Instead, I'd simply thought how much I loved the pictures we got of our sweet little guys.

Another realization that feels really, really good!