Before Lauren was born, I vowed that Disney would not have a place in my child's life. Hahaha. Nice try. One year ago today, she saw Tinkerbell: Secret of the Wings and since then we have purchased every Tinkerbell movie out there (there are four) and for Lauren's first real Halloween, I caved and made her into the thing that she loves the most... Tinks.

It took Matt literally prancing around the house in Lauren's wings to entice her to put them on. It took me tell her she could deal with it as she cried over her shoe covers. After a while she became enchanted with both and loved her new little look.

We planned to take Lauren to a few houses to do some trick-or-treating. At the first house, standing there clutching her wand in one hand and her pumpkin bag in another, she realized that by doing one of her favourite things (knocking on someone's door to say hi), people would open the door and give her stuff! She was hooked.

We did three blocks watching her little tutued bum wiggle its way down the walkways as she ran to the next door. She would tap on the door, one of us would knock a bit more loudly, and then she turned on the charm with a huge laugh and smile when they opened. People would begin to place candy into her bag and Lauren would swipe it out of their hands and fumble it into her pumpkin purse by herself. With a prompt of, "Say thank you," Lauren would sign thank you to the person before turning be helped down the stairs so that she could run back down the walk.

Tonight was one of the best nights of Lauren's life! We all had so much fun. This makes any memory of last year's Halloween fade away into the background. I can't wait until next Halloween when we can do this all again.



I have a 21 month old shoe-obsessed little lady who prances around my house. We used to keep her shoes in a drawer in her room, but every morning (and all day long), she would come to us with new pairs of shoes for us to put onto her little feet. Her shoe collection now resides downstairs, but that doesn't seem to stop Lauren. She will now put on any pair of shoes that are left upstairs in our house... regardless of who they belong to or if she can walk once she is into them. 


But shoes aren't the only things that she is into. I have had to hide three of her shirts because whatever I dressed her in wasn't good enough and she would pull out either her Tinkerbell shirt, her bright yellow cat shirt or her Rapunzel shirt (darn you, Disney!) and lose her mind if one of them wasn't layered over top of the cute little outfit that I had dressed her in. Once it was on her body, she would walk away, happily chattering to herself and admiring her newly bedecked torso. So now those are hidden away deep at the back of her dresser. Problem solved.

However, I think the accessory that takes the cake is Lauren's Pumpkin Purse. I grabbed this at the Dollar Store thinking that it would be the cutest little bag for her to use at the three or four houses that she goes to this year to trick-or-treat, but I made the mistake of jokingly putting it on her head one day. Whenever she thinks of it, she opens up her closet and pulls it out. Ever since I made that "joke", the pumpkin purse goes on her head ever since. This child won't wear a hat to save her life, but a pumpkin purse? No problem. I've got my hands full with this stubborn little one.



For weeks, we were so excited to take Lauren to the pumpkin patch. We bundled her up, bundled ourselves up and hopped into the car to make some memories. I thought that it would be great to head to a pumpkin patch that also has some animals to look at but maybe we should have seen the animals after the pumpkins. Lauren would have been happy to spend all of her time with the chickens, "wowing" at the cat and peeking in on the pony. She certainly wasn't super excited to be taken away from them and told to pick a pumpkin (aka a dirty tripping hazard). We managed to get a few photos that made it look like she even enjoyed that part but next time we may just hit up the petting zoo and buy a pumpkin on the way home at the grocery store.



When Lauren was only two days old I saw it... the Stink Eye. I don't think she gave it to me on purpose but, nevertheless, there it was. Her little baby eyebrow raised, while she looked at me with a cold, assessing look and pulled that mouth into a pout. I knew I was in for it.

Last weekend, at Thanksgiving dinner, Lauren needed to go for a time out and, from across the room, there it was again, but now it is the year-and-a-half, doing-it-on-purpose stink eye.

Thankfully the stink eye is sprinkled with other expressive faces as well. One of her other most expressive times is whenever she is trying to pull things apart. Lauren found a piece of tissue in Aunty Elysha's shopping bag the other day and proceeded to rip it with a slew of facial expressions.


Lauren might kill me for this one day.



Since returning to work and trying to balance that and being a mom and cleaning those pesky toilets, I have put She's A Miracle on hold. But now I have incredibly exciting news...

One thing that Matt and I are focused on is not moving past Lauren's sickness in a way that allows us to forget others who are still in the hospital. I've been brainstorming ways that I can give back and random donut drops isn't enough. Instead, I've hooked up with people in the hospital to offer a sale in the She's a Miracle shop that I'm so incredibly excited about... and just in time for Christmas!

I'm excited to announce that for every bow purchased between now and Christmas, either in person or online, a matching item will be donated to a little girl undergoing treatment in Children's Hospital. My goal is to give more bows to the hospital than I currently have in stock. That means that, not just girls on the cardiac ward, but also little ladies on many other wards will be able to choose a bow for themselves to hopefully bring smile to their faces and some joy to their day.

Over the next few days I will be adding to the Etsy shop so that all of the feather bows are listed there as well. Those ones are perfect for big girls too. I often wear one when I wear a messy bun to fancy things up a little bit. Keep an eye on the shop!

(This beautiful photo was taken by Heather of Heather Eastwood Photography. I think we will be using her soon. Her images are so gorgeous and there might be a reason coming up to get some photos done....)



There are no deep thoughts for this post, just pictures of a day that I enjoyed with my little girl. Looking at birds out of the window, having an appointment with her IDP consultant (who says Lauren is doing great), playing at the park and generally just being happy.

Looking for birds...

And then she saw one!

Dreaming of eating it?

Trying out a ponytail.

I don't think we're quite there yet.

"Lauren are you in a curtain fort?"
"Lauren, are you having fun?"
She then grabbed a book and read it while sitting in her curtain fort.

Surprise! I'm here!



After all is said and done, I am thankful for having a child who had a terrible and life threatening condition. While it was the worst thing that has every happened, the whole situation taught me many valuable lessons, with one of the most impactful being that everyone has a story.

As a kid, I used to get really mad that I would never see my own face. I was the type of child who had many strange and extravagant thoughts, so this was pretty much par for the course. It frustrated me that, while I could look into a mirror to see a reflection of myself, I would never really see myself. It made me angry that other people could see me, but I could only see everything below my neck. In that same way, I could see other people, but they would never see themselves other than as a reflection. 

When I got older, I had a general understanding that the world didn't revolve around me, but until I had a kid and the world really did stop revolving around me, the story of others never made much of an impact of how I lived my life. Things in other people's lives made me happy or sad, but then something shiny would come along and I would be distracted from really understanding. But I understand now. 

When Lauren was still in the hospital, on one of my "sanity outings" I went to Whole Foods to pick up some food. I remember the overwhelming urge that I had to scream to everyone about where my daughter was and how fragile her situation was... but I held it together. That's what you do. You hold it together because, heaven forbid, the answer to "How are you?" be anything other than "Fine." We don't really want to hear how people are doing because we are busy with our own story and have little time for theirs.

That's what I've been slipping back into over the past week or so and I hate it. My car broke down, our furnace wasn't working, my computer at school (which is pretty important for a librarian) crashed, and all of the cd players in the listening centres stopped working en masse. And all of those things piled on each other to make one big lump of junk that sucked me in and held onto me. I even threw out that flippant saying that I swore I would no longer use, "This is the worst day of my life." Thankfully Matt threw some cold water on my pity party by pointing out that he can think of two days that really were worse. Much worse. 

So, with much prayer, I will be pushing back to focus on the grace that allowing to think of other people's stories provides to me. I find that it is so much easier not to judge or speak harshly about others when I'm focused on the fact that they have a story too. It is amazing that out of Lauren's terrible situation last summer, I found a simple, yet difficult, way to live with more grace. It is amazing what the Lord can use. 

But we all know that this isn't what you really come to the blog to hear about. So, without further ado, here is Lauren's story as of late.

She likes to dramatically ride around on her wheely bug.

She might not talk, but she has gotten really good at signing for food. I kind of feel like she could get food from the hardest heart with those big blue puppy dog eyes.

What a big girl posing in her winter jacket!

Umm, this is not what I had in mind when I told him to go to Lauren. I was hoping for a nice picture of the two of them together, not of him giving her a big slobber.
I usually enjoy going to the dentist but going and trying to hold a toddler still on your lap...not the best. It starts off well and goes downhill quickly.

This is how she told me she was done her juice. She's crazy. At least she keeps me smiling!

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