what one year can do.

One year ago today, we met this girl. Since then, well… words just don’t seem adequate. She’s amazing.

She has learned to crawl (sort of), pull to stand, climb, walk and dance.

She had tubes placed and adenoids removed. She had a CT and 6 sedated bronchoscopies. She had tracheal-slide surgery and open-heart surgery, which required a two week hospital stay.

She has gained over 6 pounds and grown 4 inches. She’s gone from 0 teeth to 16. And her hair has gone from buzz cut to bob.

She can drink from a cup and feed herself finger foods. She can draw circles and lines with a crayon. She can pretend to eat and talk on the phone. She has over 60 signs. And she has the best fake cry, ever.

And as much as she has changed, so have we. Because of her.

I asked my kids to share their thoughts on Clementine, the year since she’s been home and how she’s changed our family. And I think they pretty much sum it up, and much better than I ever could.


Tinie hugs people when they cry. It’s cute because she’s so adorable. We play with the Little People together and she pretends like she’s one of the Little People. – Tallula


She makes our family funnier because she’s says stuff like, “Ajujujujuuu!” She likes to play with bubbles and pop them. I love her. – Poppy


She’s a great sister. She is learning a lot, like saying words and signing words like cracker. And she’s learning to ride her bike. I’m glad she’s my sister because she’s cute. – Vivienne


She gives us a big smile even on the darkest day. I can just look at her and tell that she’s going to grow up and be a smart girl. – Shepherd


Tinie has changed our family by making us more happier and making our family funnier. Especially when she dances. – Jude


When she was little she couldn’t walk at all but now she can. And back then our family was not very silly but then Tinie came home and our lives got funnier. She loves to be funny and she makes everyone laugh. – Isabelle


She’s changed our family a lot, now our family is a lot sillier because Tinie’s very silly, like when she makes silly noises and does silly dances. – Sophie


It’s hard to imagine her not being here. Whenever we’re sad or bored she does something to make things happy. And she’ll come over to give a big hug and laugh – she’s the cutest person ever. – Dalton


There’s never a dull moment with Clementine. And she happens to be the most adorable thing in the whole wide world. I’m so thankful that I have such an awesome little sister. – Asher


a beautiful reminder

We recently had a opportunity to have our family photos taken professionally. And, of course, I jumped at the chance.

I shared a few of these on a post at No Hands But Ours, but there are a few more. And since this is where I *attempt* do the memory-keeping for this family o’ mine, I wanted to share them here most of all.


I didn’t have super high expectations. After all, no one got new clothes or had their hairs did. Only a few of our outfits even really coordinated. And one of us was missing her nap. But I just figured we’d go out there and have fun.

And, other than missing my biggest boy, I think they’re kinda wonderful. Especially because I am completely crazy about the people in them.

Just look at Clementine’s face in this one, y’all. She’s trying to pound it with the photographer.


And, oh-my-heart, that smile.


And these smiles – all eight of them.



We had our last family pictures taken almost a year ago, just a few months after Clementine came home.

And a whole lot has happened since.

When we had those taken, we didn’t even know about Clementine’s undiagnosed special need.



So now, to have pictures like these after the year we’ve had, well… they’re just good for my heart.


So much represented in these faces.

So much that the Lord has done and continues to do.



So very thankful for these beautiful, and much-needed reminders of His goodness, sovereignty and faithfulness.


Thank you, Liz, for capturing our family in a way that gives this mama a big reason to smile.


how we do Halloween


I’ve shared before about our *ahem* spin on Halloween. This year we changed it up even more. The verdict is still out on whether or not we’ll do it this way again but, all things considering, it was a really good time. We used to do Halloween pretty traditionally. Here we are in 2008. Jude […]

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what I didn’t know


If y’all didn’t know it yet, October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month (you can find an awesome post about it on No Hands But Ours). And as a mama to a precious bug with and extra chromosome, I not only feel it my duty to share all the sweetness that is Clementine (although I kinda […]

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celebrating Poppy


She turned six at the end of last month. Strangely enough, it seems like she’s even older than that. Poppy is simply an old soul. She’s a thinker. A watcher. And always keenly aware of everything going on around her. In fact, she’s more frequently put “in charge” around here than most of her older […]

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end of last school year and beginning of this one catch-up post.


So I’ve been in a fog of denial lately. But when October arrived, it hit me. Time to face it, chalk up how very much I’ve missed, and move on. I missed the last day of school pictures for last year. I missed the first day of school pictures for this year. But that’s just […]

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you did it.


A few months ago I shared about a very special little one who needed our help. Her name was Joy and she was in the loving care of Meredith and Morning Star Foster Home. But her heart was broken, and only a major corrective surgery could repair it. I asked y’all to join with me […]

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to China for Clementine – my favorites: Shamian Island


Yesterday marked nine months since we met Clementine. We didn’t celebrate with a cake or a photo session. Our girl is still deep in the recovery stages of open heart and slide tracheoplasy surgery. I’ve shared a lot of the last few weeks on Instagram and I’m not sure yet if I’ll sit down and […]

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here and now.


It’s been a while since I’ve pulled out my big girl camera for anything other than the slew of birthdays we celebrate over the summer. But this is a special occasion. I wanted to capture our girl, where she is right here and right now, before heading into this great unknown. Also known as the […]

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Clementine’s real special need


When we reviewed Clementine’s medical, it was pretty boring. In a really good way. Down syndrome, a minor heart issue and developing relatively well. Once we’d committed and were well into the wait, we got word of her breathing issues. Asthma? Pneumonia? Bronchitis? She was hospitalized for the entire month of April. Then in September […]

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