Wednesday, September 19, 2012

our Bailey girl

Some of you may know that we lost our sweet boxer dog, Bailey back in August (during the first week of school). Needless to say, this has been tough for our family. She was almost fourteen years old and within the past year or two, had become a permanent fixture on the couch. Now that she is gone, I am realizing that she was also a major fixture in our lives. We miss her so much.

In September of 2002, Trip and I were looking for a dog, particularly a boxer. Someone posted an ad in the Atlanta Journal who was relocating to a small apartment in DC and was looking for a good home for her boxer. I immediately responded and Trip and I found ourselves interviewing against two other families for Bailey. The lady even visited our apartment to be sure it was appropriate. It is a good thing she picked us to be Bailey's new owners because we immediately fell in love with her and would have been crushed if she had gone to someone else. Bailey was playful, mischevious, energetic, and full of humor from the start and we treated her like our child, spending hours playing with her after work each day. She was a good soccer defender and loved to help Trip practice his ball skills. She always accompanied me on my runs by the Chattahoochee River in Atlanta. I will never forget the time she chased Trip's mom's Persian cat to the top of a tree and the nightmare it was to get that cat down. It took Barbara a long time to forgive Bailey for that.

When we moved to Asheville in 2004, Bailey came too. She was at our wedding in 2005 and barked through the entire ceremony. When Harding was born in 2006, I started noticing that Bailey's hair was beginning to gray and she was calming down. Boxers are known for being great with kids and Bailey was exceptionally loving and patient with ours. Anytime I had to go upstairs to nurse a baby in the middle of the night, Bailey came along and kept me company. She always looked worried when one of them was crying, like she thought they were her babies also. She put up with Harding dressing her like his superhero sidekick and tolerated Shelby constantly crawling onto her dog bed and petting and kissing her.

Bailey dog, our quirky, wiggly butt (a boxer trait), faithful companion and family member....we could not have asked for a better pet. Thanks for all the joy you brought to our lives. The couch looks empty without you curled up in the corner. We love you.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

We're All Good

Our number one goal for the summer was to get Shelby walking. Two weeks ago (and right before Labor Day weekend), she took her first steps by herself. This afternoon she walked all the way across the living room slowly, steadily, and with purpose...she started to fall over a couple times, but then corrected herself and kept going till she reached her destination. Nothing short of amazing.

The kids are one month into the school year at a brand new school and they are thriving. They love their teachers, they are making new friends and learning, and they are happy. We have an incredible babysitter who picks them up from school and brings them home. I don't have to rush out the door at work leaving multiple things undone to pick the kids up from two different daycares and then rush to get somewhere else in a hurry. These days, doctor appointments and therapies are much less frequent. Trip and I have even found time to exercise regularly.

I am thankful that Shelby's care is finally getting easier (there have been some very tough times in the past three years). I am slowly and intentionally learning how to not put so much pressure on myself to be perfect. In so many tangible ways, things are really going well right now and I am grateful. I'm also terrified that something will happen to upset the sweet spot we've found this fall. What if Shelby's shunt fails like it did a year ago? What if her migraines come back? What if she starts having seizures? These are the anxieties that surface when I wake up in the middle of the night...I'm dealing with these fears. But for right now, we're all good and I am embracing it.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Watch the video below for some exciting Shelby news:

Can you believe it?  Our amazing little girl is walking!  I think it's hilarious how Tiffany and I have been working so hard with her, and getting frustrated as she resisted.  But, of course, when Adam (her OT) works with her, viola - she takes ten steps without assistance.  For some reason Adam has no trouble making her do things we struggle with.

But, whatever it took, we are ecstatic that she has made this progress.  I hope her walking will progress quickly now that she has confidence in her ability to balance and take steps.