Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Summers Family Year in Review - Merry Christmas

The letter was written, the cards were bought but most were not sent out.
Not going to give excuses, I'm just hoping to do better next year.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours.

Happy Holidays from our family to yours. It’s hard to believe that 2009 is already coming to an end. The majority of the year just flew by, while some days seemed like they lasted forever. This has been a year full of ups and downs for our family. Our faith has been tested, but our love for one another is stronger. Our family has grown in many ways and we have truly been blessed.

In January, Benjamin turned 2 years old. He is a tender hearted child with a lot of spunk. He is fun and funny and adds so much to our family. He likes to laugh, imitate his brother and wrestle with his dad. He’s very independent and loves to do big boy things. He’s been potty trained and sleeping in a big boy bed since March and started two day a week preschool in August. January was an extra exciting month for us because we found out that we were being blessed with our third child. We couldn’t have been happier.

In March, Jack turned 4 years old. He is an intelligent, creative and highly passionate child. He is a good big brother who deeply loves his siblings. He enjoys being a teacher and the leader. He loves reading, writing, role playing and dress up. He loves figuring out puzzles and mazes and spending time with his parents. He’s a chatter box and a story teller. Our first born has quickly grown into a big boy. March was also the month when we got some news about the baby. We were overjoyed to find out that the baby was a little girl, but saddened to find out that she had Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. It was a very difficult time for our family. There were so many unknowns and so many unanswered questions. As a stay at home mom Nicole had little time to grieve and deal with her emotions during the day. The boys kept her very busy which in retrospect was a great thing. They were busy attending classes at the nature center, going to story time and frequenting all of the local parks. The days were full and fun, but also tiring. The boys have LOTS of energy!

We were very lucky to have a few fun family getaways this year. We chose to stay pretty close to home, but they were super fun just the same. We went to Carlsbad to go to LegoLand, Wrightwood to take the boys sledding, camping in Yosemite and at Bolsa Chica State Beach and even a weekend in Escondido.

On July 29, 2009, at 2:10am our baby girl came into the world. She was 5 weeks early but apparently ready to start the fun. She weighed 4 lbs 9.5 oz and was 16 inches long – pretty tiny. We named her Annabelle Grace Flower Summers. Side note: We named her Annabelle Grace, the boys named her Flower. They called her Flower throughout the pregnancy and when we asked Jack why they called her that, he promptly told us that it was because a flower is the most beautiful thing in the world. We thought it was sweet but never intended to add it to her birth certificate. However, that all changed once she arrived. Right after her birth we were reminded by one of Annabelle’s doctors how lucky she was to have her big brothers to love and protect her always. He was right and we felt that they deserved to have a say in naming her. So that is how she got her beautiful (and long) name. The boys just adore her and they love to make her smile.

Annabelle had her back closure surgery the day she was born and had her shunt inserted (for the hydrocephalus) 5 days later. She has had four surgeries in total and we are hoping that is it for a long while. She is a strong little girl with an amazing personality and spirit. She is patient, happy and her eyes sparkle when she smiles. She has taught us so much about life and what really matters in these 4 ½ months she has been here. She is just a joy and has truly completed our family. We feel so blessed to be her parents.

We truly feel blessed about so many things. This year we have seen the absolute best in people – our family, our friends and even strangers. People have rallied around us to support us during some of the most difficult days we have ever experienced. We have been showered with love and support, in so many ways – food, financial support for Annabelle’s medical bills, babysitting, non-stop prayers, a shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold, countless e-mails and cards reminding us that we are not alone in this journey. We have even made amazing new friends who are walking this same journey with their families. Our lives and our hearts have been forever changed this year. Although, this has been a difficult year for us, when reflecting back upon the year it is the happy and special moments that clearly overshadow the more difficult days. We feel so blessed to be starting 2010 together as a family of five. We are confident that this next year will be even more blessed and more amazing! We hope that the coming year brings you and your family all of love, peace, health and happiness that you deserve.

All our love – The Summers Family

Please feel free to check out our family blog throughout the year:

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