Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Farewell 2013…

2013 you have been so good to us… I almost hate to see you go.  This year was without a doubt one of the very best… I mean how can I say it was anything else… it was the year our baby girl got a second chance at life.  This year was a game changer for our family in many ways.  That doesn’t mean that it was without its share of heartache and stress… we had plenty of that… but there was always that underlying happiness… that feeling that our prayers had been answered and that the only place to go was up.  Of course it was not all smooth sailing, but given what we have faced in years past everything feels manageable.

Our Year In Pictures:



DSC_0005-001                              1 day post transplant February 14th





DSC_0215                       Patrick’s first time on skis!

DSC_0029                              I think this may be my most favorite picture of 2013












2013 was a year of change in many aspects.  It brought new schedules, routines, and fears…some things stayed the same but mostly we embraced a lot of change.  We realized who and what was important.  We made those things a priority and eliminated the rest.  I stopped stressing the small things and really started loving and living life again.  We gained a new sense of normalcy. 

I am excited and hopeful that 2014 will continue to bring us new opportunities, good health and fun!!

I’m off to pop some champagne…and kiss my love at midnight!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Saturday, December 28, 2013


A Snapshot of our Christmas

Our Christmas was lovely! Absolutely lovely.  Mike’s request was to stay home this Christmas.  No running around from place to place.  Which truth be told made me a little sad.  Sometimes the unknown and a break in tradition can be stressful.  When in actuality it was nothing but perfection. 

Some of our favorites!


Our favorite gifts in 2013

Patrick:  Batman Lego 2 Xbox game

Kathryn:  Tough decisions… toss up between the Barbie Dream House and the Crayola Jewelry kit

Me:  my new lens for my camera 18-135 Loving it so far

Mike:  I asked him 3 times I am not sure he give me a final answer.  He is pretty pumped about his New Stephen King book… but I think the new knife set may be the winner.

Some of our favorite moments:

Patrick: Logan and Mason and Connor playing

Katy: Uncle Cousin Johnny Boy Coming

Mike:  My wife being happy and having a great day.

Me:  Hosting our First Christmas.  It was so lovely being home and surrounded by family.  Pure happiness.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Goodbye 5…Hellooooo 6!

That has been what Katy has been telling me all week.  Partly to tease me…she knows I want her to stay my baby forever and partly because she is super excited it’s her birthday! Birthdays are exciting!

No, I have no idea how we went from this:

Easter Outfits-066

to this:

Playground 3-14-39

to this:


to this:


To This:


To This:


Katy is nothing short of a miracle… but she is so much more.  She is smart, and funny. She is kind. She has a great sense of humor.  She is pretty easy going. She is so creative… she loves to create.  Which makes this mama very happy!

Katy has been through more in her six years of life than most of us adults have and yet has a beautiful smile on her face each and every day.  She LOVES school.  She LOVES dance.  She is working on beginning reading and it is just amazing to hear her vocabulary explode each day. 

Katy may seem a bit reserved at first glance, but once you get to know her you quickly realize she is anything but. 

As I sit here typing this… I just kissed my baby girl goodnight for the last time as a five year old.  Of course like most moms I sometimes wish time would stand still.  I often think what I wouldn’t give to go back and have just one day with this little sweetie:

Yellow Spring Coat-14

But then I wouldn’t have my funny, sassy side kick!


Of course we can’t celebrate this milestone without thinking of Katy’s donor.  Because I am pretty certain that without that amazing generous gift…our girl wouldn’t be here for us to sing Happy Birthday to tomorrow.  I still can’t even believe that just a year ago… that was such a real possibility.  I really believed that last year was going to be Katy’s last birthday.  Now I am confident that because of this amazing gift we will have lots of Happy Birthdays with our sweet baby girl.  


So excited to see what this next year brings for our sweet girl!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Magical Moments in December


Is there a month more magical than December?  I try to make BIG things out of little things all year long.  But, nothing I do from January through November can top what happens naturally once December 1st hits.


We haven’t put the village up the last couple of years… the kids were completely enamored with it.


Now truth be told even before I had children December 1st would hit and it would have this effect on me… Mike will tell you our first Christmas I had him up at 4:45 AM on Christmas morning.  It makes perfect sense that my engagement ring was strategically placed on an ornament. Kathryn even arrived 5 weeks early making her the best Christmas present ever!  See… lots of magic happens in December.


December is full of family traditions.  Making Christmas Cards is one of my favorites… although I am just not sure they are going to make it in time this year. 


Riley Family Christmas Party!



These crazy elves are back with their antics.


Writing Letters to Santa!


Patrick’s Christmas Show! Gosh I love his Preschool and I am so sad this is his last year!


Making Christmas Gifts



Gingerbread Decorating!


Throw in some snow…and it is like Fairy Dust on top of a Rainbow!!!


We still have lots of magic to squeeze in before the new year!!