11. Wow. In some ways it's so hard to believe my baby girl is 11, and in some ways it feels like I have no clue what my life was like before this journey. When you have children, your main mission is to teach them. Teach them what is right and wrong, teach them how to be good citizens, teach them their ABC's, teach them everything they need to know to be happy and successful. In our case, Alex is the one that has done all of the teaching. She has taught me how to be patient. She has taught me to be grateful. She has taught me not to judge. She has taught me how to live in the moment. She has taught me how to laugh in situations when all I want to do is cry. She has taught me the true meaning of perseverance. She has taught me that hard work DOES pay off. She has taught me not to sweat the small stuff. She has taught me that there are good and caring people in this world. She has taught me that I am so much stronger than I ever thought I could be. She has taught me how to be an advocate. She has, unfortunately also taught me what true heart break feels like. I don't say that in a bad way, but when she can't communicate her needs/wants/hurts, it's heartbreaking. When all I can do is hold her when she's seizing, it's heartbreaking. She has taught me so many other lessons, but probably the most important is true, unbiased, unconditional love. She is definitely a phenomenal teacher of human emotion.
Since her birthday was on Friday and school was closed for the Thanksgiving holiday, we went to her school with cupcakes to celebrate on Wednesday.
We came in with quite the entourage! My niece Emily, my mother-in-law Bev who flew in from Niagara Falls, my mom and my dad.
Me and Mommy being silly!
Oh, birthday celebrations are great!!!
On Friday morning when she got up we celebrated with some presents....
Alex LOVES rains sticks. Always has. Have a feeling she always will! The problem with the rain stick is that she can't turn it over herself to make the beads fall and make the noise she loves to much. I found a ball that she can hold onto herself that has a mini rain stick inside so she can make the noise herself...SCORE - she loves it!!
Friday night we had some friends over for cake for her to celebrate. We decorated the kitchen in a princess theme and everyone wore a tiara - even the boys...they were great sports!
The birthday princess!
Travis, Alex and Tabitha...being silly!
Zachary wrapped his own presents for Alex and helped her open them - I always say it - but I LOVE how she looks at him.
Birthday love from Daddy.
No matter what the present is - you can be sure it will be a hit as long as there is tissue paper involved!
Her new silly hat from her Auntie Dearest!
On Saturday it was my Dad's birthday so my mom hosted a FABULOUS birthday dinner for Alex and my dad. Alex LOVES Elmo so my parents went on countless searches to find the new LOL Elmo.
Needless to say she was not disappointed, and of course, Zach was right there to show her how it worked.
Birthday cake time for Alex and her Papa.
Her favorite gift was probably all of the love from her favorite man.
I would say she was a happy birthday girl!!
I did a REALLY bad job of getting pictures with her and family and friends this year....so I apoligize!
I love what Aaron posted on Facebook as his status for the day....I think it emulates how a lot of us feel and our wish for her.
"Happy birthday to my little angel who is 11 years old today, I love you Alex. You bring so much joy to our lives and you are my special girl. I pray for a great year of nothing but amazing accomplishments and health."
So happy birthday my sweet girl. You are loved beyond words.