I’m the sort of person who remembers dates, especially year anniversaries of dates. I remember the date of my high school graduation, the date of my first date with Ryan, and the date I found out I was pregnant with Grayson.

One year ago today, December 30, 2010, is a date I will always remember. One year ago today my life and my family’s future changed significantly, although we had no idea at the time how significantly.

Grayson was 3 months old and had his first cold. He was coughing and congested, so I took him to the doctor. It was, of course, right before New Years and I wanted to make sure everything checked out before the holiday. He was given a prescription for his inhaler and we were told to use the bulb syringe, humidifier and saline drops until it cleared up.

Right as Dr. D and I were wrapping up our conversation, I hesitated, debating whether or not to even say anything. I remember my exact words.

“I know I’m probably being a paranoid new mom, but I wanted to ask you about a few things.”

I went on to tell her I’d noticed that Grayson wasn’t tracking with his eyes, that I sometimes noticed some strange movements of his eyes, and he had only about a week before started smiling.

Well, it turns out I wasn’t being a paranoid new mom. Not at all. In the last 365 days I’ve gone from being a new mom just trying to adjust to having a typical newborn to adjusting to life with a special needs kid with a list of symptoms and a team of doctors larger than I can count on both hands.

December 30, 2010. I was 3 months into my flight to Italy when the flight attendant softly whispered that the plane was being rerouted to Holland*, a beautiful country with tulips and little boys in wooden shoes.

My 2011, my new life, started a year ago today. 2011 has definitely been the hardest year of my life, but also the best. I’ve never been more tired, scared, and uncertain of the future, but I’ve also never felt more loved. I’ve watched my baby boy struggle to meet physical milestones and battle serious health issues, but I’ve also watched him learn to laugh, give kisses, and melt hearts wherever he goes.

I enter into 2012 with great uncertainty, but also great hope and anticipation. I pray that 2012 will be a year of clarity, but it could leave questions unanswered, and may bring a crop of new questions. What exactly is going on in Grayson’s little body? What does his future hold? Will he ever walk? Will we be able to have more children? are all questions I hope to have answered in 2012.

I’m not making any resolutions this year. 2011 taught me life happens the way it happens despite other plans. But I will live 2012 so that I have no regrets a year from now. I will love my family, laugh with my friends, and celebrate Grayson for what he can do, not what he can’t. I will continue to fight for my son so that he has the best care possible, and try not to worry too much about medical bills and other things I can’t control.

Despite everything, it’s been a good year. The best year.

*You can read about Holland and Italy here.


  1. Jillian Moller on December 30, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Love love love you! You inspire me.

  2. Erin on December 30, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    As always, beautifully written! I know 2011 was a challenge, and hope 2012 will be calmer and full of answers. Love you-

  3. bessie16 on December 31, 2011 at 2:32 am

    A great post! Hope 2012 turns out to be the best year of ur life

  4. Sarah on December 31, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    I'm so honored that I've been a passenger on your journey! I've been so amazed this year to watch you roll with the punches and just keep on loving your visit to Holland! You know, this means we're about to have OUR first anniversary, lol. We'll have to celebrate!

  5. Stefanie Blakely on December 31, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    I cry every. single. time. I read that. So beautiful. Happy 2012– here's hoping it brings so many more beautiful memories with sweet G.

  6. babyfoodsteps on December 31, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    what a difference a year makes! I am so glad our paths crossed and I look forward to laughing with you (cause sometimes you have to do that instead of the alternative!)…and celebrating the milestones of that sweet lil guy!

  7. Lee, Michelle, Cooper 4 and Allie 3 on December 31, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    Love your perspective! I agree – no resolutions just to treasure each day and each moment that we have these jewels entrusted to us ….

  8. poeticaperture.com on January 2, 2012 at 2:48 am

    Elizabeth, I've given you a Versatile Blogger award. See details here: http://poeticaperture.com/2012/01/01/the-versatile-blogger-award/Congrats and Happy New Year!Naomi

  9. Esperanza on January 4, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    Oh Elizabeth, I'm sorry it's taken me so long to comment. And I'm sorry I haven't commented more. Did you know that you were the number one commentor on my blog?! You left 134 comments on my blog last year. I'm not even sure how to say thank you to that.I'm certainly not repaying in kind either. I don't know what I'm so bad at commenting on your blog. It's not for lack of caring about your or Grayson. The opposite is true in fact. I think about you both all the time. I think about what an amazing job you're doing. I marvel at your infinite love and undying patience. I think of how I'd do such a horrible job at being the mom of a child who needed so much. I think of how incredibly lucky that boy is to have a mom like you.I think the problem is I'm not sure what to say. I'm not sure how to say it. I've never been in your position and have no idea what it feels like to go through what you go through. I don't have any advice. I don't want to sound silly or trite. I sometimes feel like I'm just saying the same things over and over again and that none of it is helpful.I promise I'll be better about commenting. Every time I walk into Isa's room I see the beautiful sigh you made her. Every time I think of you and wonder what you and Grayson and all your crazy dogs are up to. And every time I think, Oh, shoot! I need to comment on her last post!So this year my new years resolution is to comment on all your posts. Please hold me to it!Happy 2012. I hope you get all the answers you're looking for so you can better care for your beautiful little boy.

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