Stewart Christmas Letter 2013
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Stewart Family. 2013 was a great year for our family. We were able to vacation at Lake Texoma, go to the Great State Fair of Oklahoma, spend most of the major holidays in Oklahoma, watch our precious Emma grow and learn, adopt a puppy, and so much more.
What a great, eventful, fun, wonderful year Emma has had. Emma has made tremendous strides in her therapy over the last year. With the help of her dedicated therapists and nurse as well as new medical equipment (i.e.: wheelchair, standing frame, crawler, ankle braces (AFOs), etc.); Emma has gained muscle strength, cognitive abilities, better communication techniques, fine motor improvement, and overall better understanding of the world around her. She continues to surprise us with her drive to learn and grow.
Last Winter, Emma contracted RSV which manifested itself as restricted airway disease aka asthma. This has been an ongoing battle for Emma as she already has compromised respiratory system. She is on a lot of medication in hopes to keep it at bay; however, the fall and winter months are hard on her and result in intermittent periods of 24 hour oxygen support, full feeds through the NG tube (doesn’t feel like eating), and long days/night of coughing spells. Emma continues to see an onslaught of doctors for various health issues. She is currently stable cardiac wise, but will more-than-likely undergo a cath lab procedure this coming summer to help us determine the next steps to take to help her heart.
Obviously, the majority of my time is spent taking care of my sweet Emma. I take her to all of her doctor appointments, arrange her therapy and nursing schedules, handle most insurance debacles, and most importantly spend lots of time getting snuggles.
I have been working diligently on my PhD. I passed my qualifying exam last November and officially received my IRB approval this October. I am currently gathering data for my dissertation at a wonderful private school nearby. I am enjoying being back in the classroom and watching the darling pre-k class in action. My goal is to have my dissertation finished before the end of Summer 2014.
I am also a Coordinator for Mended Little Hearts of Dallas. I visit heart families in the Heart Center at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, gather materials for and assemble Care Bags, and help educate and promote Congenital Heart Defect Awareness.
My wonderful husband is still working for Pharmcare USA. He has worked for this incredibly caring company since he was in college. He is now a Director for Clinical Services. He travels frequently all over Oklahoma and Texas (and sometimes beyond) to nursing and assisted living facilities. He truly puts his heart into helping the residents and ensuring that their pharmacy related needs are being met. I am so thankful for a husband who works so hard to provide for his family.
In his spare time (what little he has), he enjoys running, working out, playing video games (to my dismay..lol), and spending time with his family. Emma just lights up when he gets home. He can make her laugh like no one else.
Max is the new addition to our little family. Maximus (Max) was Scott’s Birthday present this year. He has wanted a puppy for a long time and I finally gave in to his request. We adopted Max from Collin County Humane Society at 7 weeks old. They know his mom is a Rottweiler, but his dad is unknown. Either way, he is going to be a BIG dog. He has been a joy, aside from the indoor potty incidents and random chewing on things he is not supposed to be chewing on. Emma likes him more and more, which is a good thing because we are going to be sending Max to school to become either a service or therapy dog in about 4 months.
We appreciate the continued prayers, support, and encouragement each of you send our way. We are so thankful for all of our friends and family who make life’s journey easier, more fun, and even a little more interesting J! We pray that each of you have a great 2014. Please remember that our purpose on this Earth is to serve HIM who makes our life worth living.
As always, God is Good! All the Time! God is Good!
Scott, Sarah, Emma, and Max