In October, I did sit down and do a brief medical update and a fun birthday post; however, that post got lost after I had spent hours of writing a clever poem about the last five years of Emma's life (I know, save save save) Anyways, I never got back around to finishing or publishing those posts, so today I will do my best to update you on the last several months in a fun post and then do a post about her medical issues.
In September, Emma was asked to be a part of an event called the Portrait Project. This event raises awareness for children fighting big battles. Emma had her picture taken by a professional photographer and unveiled it at an event in Dallas. The event raised money for the cancer center at Children's Health in Dallas. We were honored to be asked to be a part of the event and the portrait that was taken was beautiful.
Emma started the month of October with the bang. Her PICC line broke and she was admitted to the hospital a few days before her birthday to get a new one placed. The team worked tirelessly to get her out before her birthday party and we arrived home just a few hours before the fun began. Being the big five-year-old girl that she is, Emma is getting to make a lot of decisions. She told me that this year she wanted a monkey and alligator birthday party. While this may seem strange to some, feel free to YouTube "five little monkeys swinging in the tree," and you will see why Emma's favorite song became the theme for her birthday party. Emma was surrounded by family and friends on that day and had a good time despite being sleep deprived and sore from a recent procedure and hospital stay.
We are so blessed to celebrate another birthday with Emma. I challenge all of my mom friends out there to not be sad about milestones and birthdays. So many of my friends in the heart community would give almost anything to be able to celebrate another milestone or birthday with their little one. For this reason and many many more, we are joyful for each milestone and birthday that we get to experience with our little sunshine.
October brought about many more fun activities as well. We had or annual Mended Little Hearts of Dallas pumpkin patch event. It was an unseasonably warm day, so Emma wasn't quite content with being out for the event in the hot sun. But it was a great turnout and we enjoyed continuing to support and encourage heart families in the DFW area.
We also took a much-needed family vacation. We took our camper to Lake Texoma for a week. Gramma and Grampa took their trailer as well and we enjoyed a relaxing vacation in the summer-like temperatures. Grampa, Gramma, and I all got to waterski on a 90 degree October day. We went on boat rides, attempted to go fishing, took walks around the park, watched Max and Gramp play with the remote control boat, had friends come down and play one day, and just enjoyed being together.
Emma also got to choose what she wanted to dress up as for Halloween. She decided she wanted to be a monkey and she wanted Max to be an alligator. Halloween is also daddy's birthday, so we enjoyed celebrating Scott's birthday when he got back from a business trip that day. Emma really second-guessed her choice of being a monkey because she hated having to wear the head piece. Check out the hilarious the tips for pictures with these two crazy zoo animals.
November has been pretty busy yet normal for us. I'll detail how our week typically goes. On Monday and Wednesday she sees physical therapy, homebound school, and speech therapy. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, she has school with mommy and Lorelei and occupational therapy. Fridays are typically an early morning cardiology appointment to check labs and change her PICC line dressing in cap.
We traveled to Oklahoma for Thanksgiving. We spent some time with my Gerth grandparents and Scott's side of the family. We enjoyed some yummy breakfast made by my MawMaw and delicious lunch made by my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. It was a short but sweet trip and we loved spending time with family.
So what have Scott and I've been up to? I have been diligently working on my dissertation. I got some news at the beginning of this Fall semester that has really lit a fire under me to get my dissertation done by the end of the spring or beginning of the summer semester. So, I am spending a lot of my extra time and late nights working on analyzing data and writing my last two chapters. I am also continuing with my volunteer position with Mended Little Hearts to Dallas. This is something that I really enjoy doing. I've always hoped and prayed that my experience with Emma can make a difference. Speaking of Mended Little Hearts of Dallas, during this time of the year when we're looking to fill our stockings and trees with presents. I come to you and ask that if you're looking for a way to give back to some families that may be spending their Christmas in the hospital consider visiting dallas.mendedlittlehearts.net and donate via PayPal so that we can provide comfort and care items to these families while they're in the hospital.
Scott has been very busy with work. October had him going to Washington DC and Las Vegas. November has seen an increase in nursing home facilities in the state of Texas, so he has been busy getting those implemented. Scott has also volunteered as one of our Bible class leaders, co leader for our life group, and is working with the Thrive campaign at our congregation to help provide food to those in Low socioeconomic locations in McKinney. I am so proud of how hard he works for us and those in the community.
As you can see, we have been a very busy family over the last few months. It is a good busy, it is back to some sort of sense of normal. Don't get me wrong, there is always her heart failure. It affects us on a daily basis. Her body does not have normal stamina, and there are days when she is completely worn out; however, her endurance and will to keep living inspires me daily. Speaking of will, this kid is one hard headed/stubborn little girl. Please don't ask me where she gets it from LOL. Emma has decided that she's just not going to participate in activities. One day she had to go to timeout five times in the period of an hour for not finding five things in her sensory tub. It is not uncommon for this little one to get multiple things taken away from her on a daily basis. I love her fight but she knows better and has to learn how to obey as well. She keeps us on our toes for sure. We are looking forward to the holiday season. We have a lot of fun family activities and mommy school activities planned. Thank you for continuing to pray for our sweet girl. We cannot thank you enough for the love and encouragement. God is good! All the time! God is good!