2011 was quite the year in the Larson home. It came like a rushing wind and is leaving like a soft breeze. Wanted to remind myself of the year that changed everything for our family.
January was also the month that Mabel started in Early Intervention.
February was the last month that we have any photos of Mabel laying on her tummy. Since this month, she has stopped doing this completely.
I officially opened RameeLin Photography Studio in our house! It was a year of blessing for my little business!
March is a memorable month for me because it was the month that I felt sadness take over. Seeing this photo brought to life alot of my fears about Mabel and made me incredibly sad and fearful.
In March, we had Mabel's first EEG that gave us a seizure disorder diagnosis. She started her medicine that same day.
In April, we celebrated Harper's First Birthday!
May came flooding in and we celebrated with summer activities!!!
May was also the month that 'Mabel's Able' was born. Since then, it has become an official not for profit organization and with the fundraisers we have had in 2011, we raised over $3000 for different causes! It has been amazing and inspiring!
In June, we officially started summering! Lots of sun, lots of water, beach trips and more.
Mabel continued in Early Intervention and we saw her grow stronger during the summer months.
July was a huge month for our family!
We held a 4th of July party that included so many of our friends and family.
Mabel had her first birthday!!!
This was also the month we met with the retinal specialist in Chicago regarding Mabel's eyes. We got her 'vision impaired' diagnosis early in the month.
We celebrated the kids' birthdays! Nora turned 5.
And Braden turned 4 (in September...but we celebrated together.)
We met with our genetics team for the first time in the July heat.
August was spectacular in so many ways!
We held our first ever "Mabel's Able 5k Race' and raised about $2000 for research for rare diseases and mito. So many of my friends showed up for us and supported our efforts. This was a turning point for me in alot of my friendships and defined much of the rest of the year in many ways.
In September, we took our annual trip to the pumpkin patch. We watched the seasons change and embraced the cooler weather.
October was surgery month. Mabel had her g-tube placed.
It was a long, hard, exhausting month for our family.
The kids and I buckled down on school work and turned the studio back into a classroom. I officially stopped taking pictures.
We celebrated Halloween with spider man, a giraffe (not dressed up here), snow white and a spider!
In November, we celebrated Thanksgiving at Famous Daves and my 27th birthday.
In December, Mabel got her AFO's.
The kids sang in their very first Christmas program at church!
And we celebrated the birth of Jesus with a great Christmas!
This year I have been to more Dr's appointments than I can count, have lost friends and gained new ones, I have learned more about research and DNA than I ever knew I could, I have wrestled with God and loved Him new, I have made seizure records, and emailed with genetic counselors, I have felt victory and loss.
My marriage has been tested, my hair color has changed almost weekly, our kitchen changed colors as well. We traveled many miles, we embraced change, we felt lonely and we felt surrounded.
2011 was a great year of sadness and frustration for me.
It was a year of growth and solitude.
2011 was a year of quiet and being inside of myself. This year I learned that no matter how much I give to others, they aren't always going to do the same when I need them to--and that's ok.
I have learned that people are good, genuinely and some people aren't good at all.
I have learned that medicine is still far behind and research is lacking.
I have learned that I am capable of teaching my children to read!
I have learned that I am a good mom, even in the chaos.
I have learned that a good cry is greater than a good Dr. Pepper--and that's big of me to say.
I have learned that exercise is far more important than I ever knew and I learned to truly appreciate the gift of breath.
I have learned that the gentle gift of listening is the greatest gift anyone could give and I appreciate those who have listened.
I have learned that prayer is powerful but God is sovereign and I'm better for knowing that.
I have learned what the word GRACE really means and I am so grateful.
2011 was bittersweet for me but I am thankful to see her go.
I am hopeful that 2012 will bring great victory in many areas and even if sadness accompanies it, I now know I am equipped to handle it. I am doing a lot of reflecting today, but then again I have done that every day this year.
Ultimately this is what I can say about this year...
2011 was a year of quiet reflection, strong growth, incredible change, painful reality, and remarkable love.
Here's Hoping that 2012 is that and so much more!!!