A Much Needed Break…

The past week we have been on holiday to Devon, staying a few miles outside of Bideford. It was Asa’s first holiday, and a much needed a break for us all. My Mum joined us for the first few days, which was great! …Especially when Emelia woke early in the mornings because of the light curtains! Thanks Mum! :-)

Here are a few snapshots of our holiday.

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Day trip to Bude, in Cornwall.

20130317_132533 20130317_133225 20130317_13410120130317_142309I saw this in a shop window and *loved* it. What great family rules. I need to be reminded of this often as I’m not always very good at being positive and living in the moment…

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Another beach, this time off the beaten track. The name escapes me right now, but if I remember, I’ll add it at a later date! What a beautiful place! Despite the sun shining, it was rather chilly, so after playing on the beach, we warmed up with a delicious hot chocolate just before the sun set. Personally, it was bliss for me. Being with my best friend and husband Jon, our two precious and beautiful children, my funny and helpful Mum, the sunset, the beach, a hot chocolate and a timely reminder of my awesome Creator who makes all things beautiful and without mistakes.

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Another day, another beach. A lovely day spent in Ilfracombe and surrounding areas. God had been good in granting us lots of sunshine this holiday!

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Asa’s first taste of ice cream. “Thanks Daddy!”

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I love these people!!!

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Two sleeping children. All that sea air really does make you sleepy :-)

“We Know What We Are But Know Not What We May Be”

Since January, I have had recurring gallstone attacks. The pain is often unbearable, and most of the time, I would rather experience labour again than these attacks. Honestly! Many of you will have gallstones too, but will remain unaffected. Every now and then, these gallstones block the main duct of the gallbladder resulting in this horrendous pain that cannot be alleviated by the cocktail of prescription drugs I currently have. Emelia knows that sometimes mummy has a “very sore tummy” and she is so caring, so compassionate and so kind (usually!). A lot of these attacks have been on the weekend which means Jon is able to help out with the children and sort their meals. I should add here that the majority of these attacks come in the early hours of the morning, usually around 3-6am and can last anything from 1 – 8 hours, sometimes lasting on-and-off for a couple of days.

This weekend, I was ill again. Jon took the children out for the morning while I caught up on some much needed rest. When they all arrived home on Saturday morning, Emelia had made a card for me (ahead of Mother’s Day the next day). She rushed straight up to me, gave me a cuddle, handed me the card and proceeded to ‘take care’ of me. She brought me the remote control for the TV (she knows me well!), and came over with her Peppa Pig medical kit. Nurse Emelia was brilliant and gave me a thorough poke and prod!

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Jon took the children over to the church for an open day. This lovely photo was taken by the very lovely Bethany Newberry – thanks Bes!

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Emelia taking care of mummy! (This is not my finest photo – remember, I was poorly!!)

Emelia’s kindness made me wonder about her future career. Lately, I’ve been more preoccupied with Asa’s future; what will he do? Who will he be? Will he attend college? Will he have a job one day? What kind of job might he have? This weekend, I have been thinking more about Emelia’s future. This little girl of ours is… well, where do I start? She is independent(!), caring, funny, assertive(!), chatty and compassionate. Seeing how well she ‘took care’ of me, I wondered whether she might become a nurse or a doctor. My best friend Amy is a nurse and Emelia often refers to her as ‘Nurse Amy’. Emelia would make a great nurse. She would also make a great entertainer of some kind, as she loves to entertain and put on ‘shows’ in the evening, singing and dancing around her piano. One of her favourite things to play with is her wooden kitchen and all the food items stocked there. She is forever having tea parties and ‘cooking’ – perhaps she’ll be a chef… She is very inquisitive too – always asking “why?” or exploring new places or things, so maybe she’d become a police woman, detective or work for the MI5 or MI6!

Then I moved away from thinking about Emelia’s career because, to some extent, it doesn’t really matter to us what she does, so much as who she is. We pray she’ll grow up to know and love God for herself, but this cannot be forced (nor should it be) – she’ll have to make that decision for herself. She is incredibly friendly and social, she loves running in the fresh air and she enjoys meeting new people, whether that is at the beach, park or soft play. She is funny and kind. One of my favourite things about her is that she regularly says “I love you mummy” and “I love you daddy” – and she even adds in sometimes “I love Asa” and my heart melts that little bit more. This little girl has a lot of love to give. I know that as both our children grow up that they will be very special to each other (among the usual sibling rows and complaints!). We’ve already seen how sweet and loving Emelia is towards her baby brother and we know she will be an amazing sister to Asa when they’re older too.

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I’m reminded of a t-shirt that a beautiful young lady, Natty, wears. The t-shirt has a quote from Hamlet:

“We know what we are but know not what we may be.”

To see the lovely Natty wearing the t-shirt, click here

How apt are these words? Asa and Emelia are individuals and no-one can know what the future holds for them, only God Himself knows that as He has a plan and a purpose for each of their lives. Asa has Down’s syndrome, that we already know, but the world is his oyster, just as it is for Emelia. Yes, we know things are going to be a bit different for Asa than they will be for Emelia, but opportunities are increasing for people with Down’s syndrome and the future is wide open! We are looking forward to seeing Asa’s personality, passions, creativity and dreams come out, just as much as we are with Emelia. We have such hopes and dreams for these two precious children of ours – and we hope you do too.

So to any parents of babies or children with DS, or if you have DS yourself, don’t lower your expectations, dream big! The world is your oyster. xx

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20130314_115014Later on in the week, I took Asa to his physiotherapy appointment whilst Nanny and Grandad Shaw looked after Emelia for me. Physio always seems to wipe poor little Asa out and he always sleeps well afterwards! How cute is he!!!

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After Asa’s physio, Nanny and Grandad Shaw had Asa while he napped so I could take Emelia to the park for some quality one to one time. Sometimes I feel guilty that I don’t spend enough time just ‘being’ with Emelia, so I love, love, love getting some time with just her. One of her favourite things to do is to visit the park – her smile is proof enough of that. What a beautiful smile she has! There isn’t anything much better than a laughing, happy, contented child. Jon and I are so blessed to have both our wonderful children in our lives. We are also blessed to have family and friends nearby who are willing to help us out with childcare. Thank you especially to Nanny and Grandad Shaw. :-)