Blessed to be 2 today!

I’m up early today, buddy.

Daddy left for work already – it is just a little after 5am.

I’m listening to your breathing through the baby monitor and am anxiously waiting to hear your morning babble of “Mama,” “milk,” “football,” and “uh ohs,” that you do every morning as your welcome a new day.

What a year we have had, Evan.

I can hardly believe I am going to kiss you this morning, pile your blankies on my head to make you laugh, and then scoop you – my now 2 year old! – up in heap of kisses and hugs.

We had an amazing time celebrating your birthday this past weekend.

It was everything I imagined.

The look on your face when you walked into the room – the monkeys, elephants, lions, and other animals sitting atop tables – and your buddies – Dora and Diego (balloons) floating nearby as you ran and squealed, “MAMA!!” as you ran into my arms – is one I have tucked away safely in my “Evan” box that sits snugly inside my heart.

As I welcomed guests to your “Adventure,” I smiled and thanked them for coming, I could hear your excitement, your laughter, your singing…your joy…as you bounced with your friends and family.

Your joy.

We celebrate your birthday big…as we did last year and this year…because as big sister says, “It’s our family birthday right?”



I don’t know if you realize, Evan, what a big piece of the puzzle you are in this family.

You were the missing piece that finally made us whole.

You bring laughter, silliness, messiness, and boundless fun into our home.

You bring all these things with no hesitation…despite all you have been through.

You don’t know what awaits you next month….but your Daddy and I do.

We try our best to be present for you instead of focus on the days ahead.

Because, well, you deserve that.

You – we – deserve a day that is wholly focused on being carefree – laughter – fun – joy.

And as we go through the challenges of your normal – each birthday is celebration of each milestone you achieved within the last year.

This past year…you endured a 10 hour craniofacial surgery, a recovery where you stopped breathing 3 times, an ER trip where you were diagnosed with an awful stomach bug.

You got poked an prodded at cardiology visits…and a heart catheterization in a hospital that was foreign to you and us.

You learned how to drink.

You learned how to eat…and man…do you love it!

You learned how to walk…now run…and jump…and climb.

You learned how to color…your favorite color is “reh.”

You are learning how to talk….”Mama” being your favorite word (as it should be…always), “Dada,” “Football,” “Guitar,” “Eat,” Milk,” “Wa-wa (water)” – those are the major players….but your language and your signing is improving every day.

You love to play pretend. You love to make “music” with your toy instruments, pot and pans, anything that you can beat on the wall or the floor…we call that music in this house.

You dance like a pro…well…you dance like your Daddy.  Mainly just bending your knees…but it is much cuter on you than it is when your Daddy tries to break it down.

You are all boy – dirt, trucks, baseball, football, basketball, cars.

You are everything I ever wanted…and everything I didn’t know I needed.

Today is technically your birthday…but this day…2 years ago…is the day I was born, too.

I was birthed into a world of special needs…the Heartland became my new family.

The past two years I have learned to talk, to walk, to eat and drink in all that is our new life.

I have learned to play pretend…acting as if all is well.

I have memorized the melodies of the “beep beep” on feeding pumps, oxygen monitors, hospital equipment.

I have learned to dance.  I have learned to laugh.  I have learned to find joy….despite all you have been through.

I am just a fan and follower of your story…I just get the privilege of seeing your story unfold minute to minute.

You endure every procedure. You fight each surgery to stay alive.  You do.  As many, myself included, watch in awe of your strength and fight.

So, today, on your birthday, we will celebrate all of you – your struggles, your broken heart, your put together smile, your endless laughter, your will to live, and your strength.

Today we celebrate you.

And we will blow out your birthday candle together and I will wish for the both of us….for many more birthdays to come.

Happy birthday, buddy.




  1. Happy Birthday little buddy!!! It brought tears to my eyes to see the excitement and pure joy when Dora and Boots came in that room. Your Mama sure knows how to throw a party. Love you!!!