I thought I would have to teach my daughter about the world; turns out I have to teach the world about her. They see a girl who doesn't speak,
I see a miracle who doesn't need words.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Last Day Of School!

It's already been a week since the last day of school!  Time to juggle more schedules and activities - yippee!
This has really been a GREAT year for Zach and he loved 4th grade.  I'm super proud of him for all of his hard work.  He received four awards at his awards assembly, made honor roll three out of the four marking periods and also received his AR (Accelerated Reading) t-shirt for reaching 100 points this year. 

This time next year I'll be an emotional wreck again :)
After school Zach went to the last day of school pool party and then we celebrated the last day of school in what has become a tradition for him and I by going to our favorite Hibachi Steak House.

After his ice cream dessert he wanted to set up a pillow fort in the living room and have a 'camp out'. 
Some how he managed to sleep up on the comfy couch and I wound up sleeping with the dog on the floor with the all the pillows....well played Zach :)
So here's my rising fifth grader on his first day of fourth grade:
...and on his last day...
And here's the big graduate on her first day of fifth grade....
...and this was her on the morning of the last day....
...she figured she already graduated so why bother with a half day!
Here's to a great summer making lots of fun memories!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

5th Grade Graduation

I'm not going to lie, today was a real emotional roller coaster for me.    It's so bittersweet and weird to be so happy and sad at the same time.  I lost count how many times I randomly started crying.   I wish I could really articulate my thoughts but they are seriously all over the place.  We have been at the same school for seven years.  Seven years is a long time - it's a lot of routine and it's comfortable and safe.  It's been hard having Alex and Zach at separate schools and although we have great relationships with most of the staff at Alex's school, I don't know any of the parents at her school and when you walk into something as big as a graduation when you've been in a school that long, it's a little isolating.  Recognizing that Alex is moving on to a new phase of her life means that I need to come to terms with the fact that she's growing up and honestly, that scares the beejezus out of me. The older she gets the more I'm forced to think about how big she is getting and what that means for her and my future - and while I'm not rushing it - I KNOW how fast time flies and it's middle school today and high school tomorrow and it's just so hard to watch her grow into a"tween-ager" and know she's not a little girl any more.  When Alex first started school the doctor's were still telling us that she was going to catch up and be 'typical' in some areas and clearly at her graduation today that's somewhere in the back of my mind and although I try to suppress thoughts about how today could have played out if Alex was typical it's there, and it's still raw and very real.   I hear all the other fifth grade girls talk about what parties they are going to go to and what camps they are going to go to and how they are looking forward to the big fifth grade pool party that Alex wont go to because by the time it starts she'll already have been asleep for two hours.  Aaron and I spent the last two days meeting with an attorney and banker finalizing a special needs trust for her and her needs when we should have been collaborating on a party or really cool gift instead and those realities just make me sad.  I know we have LOTS to be thankful for and that we have been blessed beyond measure and I am thankful for that, but the bottom line is that there are certain milestones in her life that are just going to be a mix of emotions that will make me a little sad and today was definitely one of them.  At the end of the day though, Alex has really seemed to grasp the concept of graduating and she truly seems very happy and for that I'm thankful.
So here's her day in some pictures....

Getting ready to leave this morning - I think she was contemplating the last 7 years :)
Or maybe she was thinking how much she's grown since Kindergarten.

Either way - it's so hard for me to believe she was about to graduate elementary school (insert tears).

Before the ceremony I got some pictures of Alex and her teacher Ms. P.
And her with Ms. P and Tammy - they've all spent a lot of time together this year!

Tammy has been working with Alex on self control and not yelling and screaming at inappropriate times - and for the most part she's being doing pretty good with that - but we've been talking and talking and talking about graduation and every time we've talked about it she smiles so wide and we can tell she is absolutely excited.  Once all of the kids were coming in and the ceremony was getting started Alex was letting her excitement be known :) I did get up and go talk to her and she did settle down. 
When they were calling her class she quieted down and seemed to be listening.

...and then she was called and she, Ms. P and Tammy were off to the stage to collect her certificate (and my tears began to roll again)... 

 Alex was really funny when she got her certificate - Tammy placed it on her lap...

...and she would not look away from it - it was almost as if she was trying to read it to make sure it actually said she graduated :)

Once the graduation was over we went back to her classroom and took some more pictures...
Sissy and her GQ brother :)

...and with MeMe and Papa

...and with Ms. P and her instructional aides Ms. Myra and Ms. Lauren - we missed Ms. Laura :)

...and our happy little selves :)

And then it was time to leave (more tears) and we took some pictures in front of the school....

...and Alex was actually waving "bye bye" once we got outside....maybe she's more ready than I am!

And one pic of me and my handsome boy who was so happy to celebrate his sister.
 Once we left school we went out to eat and Alex and Zach enjoyed a little bit of sibling time.

This afternoon she was invited to a 5th grade only "Red Carpet Party" so I dropped her and Tammy (and my camera!) back off at school and while she 'rolled' the red carpet with Ms. P, Zach and I loaded up all of her supplies and equipment and headed home (and I shed a LOT more tears)....

My sweet girl taking it all in.

Doing the limbo :)

 ...and waiting in line for a prize that she won.

Tammy gave me pictures they took with props in a photo booth -  I wish I could share the pictures but they are not showing up on my camera - some of them are hysterical! 

I'm so accustomed to doing everything with her so it was weird for me for her to be at a party without me, but on the flip side, I'm guessing she might actually have enjoyed that....a lot :)  Driving away from the school for the last time was really way more emotional than I thought it would be.

Zach took this picture of her and I once she got home and she answered all of my yes/no questions with her eyes about the party with lots of enthusiasm :)

I KNOW Alex is ready to move on - I KNOW she is very excited for middle school and I am excited for her and her new venture.  Tammy and I took Alex two weeks ago to tour her new school and spent time in her classroom and I KNOW there are GREAT things in store for her - thankfully I have the summer to pull myself together. 
Onward and Upward my sweet girl - I am SO PROUD of you and all of your accomplishments and I am excited for how this new chapter is going to enrich your life.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


I have a lot I want to blog about, but it's been such a busy time and I haven't had anytime to upload pictures and just sit for a few minutes to write.

I did have to take a minute to write this though.

This morning I was cleaning out Zach's backpack and going through some of his papers.  This year his class has worked a lot on poetry and his poetry folder happened to be what I started going through when I found this....


I am a brother
I understand that it is hard
I say I understand
I dream that my sister will be verbal
I try to make her happy
I hope she is okay every day
I am Zach Hayes

I don't even have words -  it's been a Kleenex kind of morning.