A view into the life of a family who encountered a different future than expected, but has become all the richer for it.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Life With The Messicks

God has truly been blessing us with some wonderful days here at the Messick home. Let me give you some examples!

Mark and his dad are building a fence in the back of our yard and we are so excited about it. I'll be so glad to know the girls can play in the backyard without being able to wander into the street at the front of the house or the creek at the back of the yard. I love already how it dresses up our yard and it's not even complete yet! Mark and his dad are doing a wonderful job and I'm so impressed with how great the fence is turning out since they have never built a fence like this before.

Victoria continues to do well. She will have her next round of therapists come in the next few weeks. I am hoping they will have good things to say about the progress she has made. She still cannot sit up on her own and is still very small, but she is gaining strength and weight progressively. She is a strong little girl and is very active. I believe she will continue to amaze us all as she grows and develops!

This past weekend Mark and I were able to spend a FREE night at the Battlehouse Hotel in downtown Mobile.
The Battlehouse Hotel is a newly restored old hotel and it is absolutely beautiful! Before we checked into our hotel room, we went to see a new movie called Fireproof. It was such an inspiring movie and I found myself weeping during several moving scenes. You have gotta check it out! After checking into our hotel room, we used a gift card to eat at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and certainly enjoyed our dinner there! To top off the whole weekend, Mark arranged for me to have a massage at the new spa that the Battlehouse opened up about 3 weeks ago. Talk about being pampered! It was awesome! I love massages and haven't had one in a very long time, so this was very much appreciated! We had a great, much needed break from the rat-race of life and were able to recharge and reconnect. I'm so thankful for a husband that recognizes a need to get away with his wife every-once-in-a-while! He is a gift!

We are so thankful for how God continues to walk with us on our journey of life. No matter if the times are wonderful or terribly difficult, we still find Him by our sides. He never leaves us and at just the right moments, we feel special reminders that He loves us so much. I think sometimes ... I don't know how people live this life without Him!

PS - My heart goes out to a lifelong friend, Allison Woodruff Rich. She lost her mother, Shirley, to cancer this past Saturday night. Mrs. Shirley was always a special friend of my parents and she will be missed. However, we are comforted by the fact that she knew the Lord and is finally free of the bonds of her aching, earthly body. She is finally at peace with the Savior that redeemed her and we know we will see her again one day!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Good Report

This past Friday Victoria had a checkup at her cardiologist's office. We had another great report! Dr. Mayer said she looks and sounds great after being off of her blood pressure medication for about two weeks now. He told us, again, that she had been blessed with a "beautiful heart repair." He said there is very MILD leakage and that she should continue to be just fine without any more blood pressure medication. Dr. Mayer will see her again in six months. After her six-month-checkup, he said he will then just see her once-a-year. We cannot express how thankful we feel for the favor God has shown our little baby girl!

Victoria has also really been doing well with her therapy sessions. She is beginning to hold her head up pretty steady and I can tell she is gaining more strength in her upper back. She is enjoying "tummy-time" much better and can actually hold herself up with her arms now. She still has a long way to go, but she is making big strides and I'm very excited to see her progressing.

A day or two ago, I actually caught Victoria sleeping on her tummy. This was a first. She had rolled over in her bed and looked so cute. I just had to take a photo, of course! She doesn't always end up in this position, but every once-in-a-while we'll walk in to check on her and she will have rolled over.

Mark took a cute photo of Victoria and me tonight. She has such a cute smile in this picture! She is truly a gift from God and we want to thank all of you for your continued prayers for sweet Victoria Jayne.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Gymnist In Training

Today we were about to leave for a trip to the mall when I went in my bedroom to get Victoria and place her in her car seat. I noticed she was doing a full-on split by holding her socks with her hands. It was the funniest thing I had ever seen! The girl has it going on with flexibility!

If you know anything about Down Syndrome babies, you know they have low muscle tone. In case you don't know exactly what that means, here is a quote I copied in from www.babycenter.com.

"A child is said to have low muscle tone — hypotonia — if his muscles are on the loose, floppy side. You may find it unusually easy to move your child's arms and legs when they are relaxed, or that he seems to slip through your arms when you pick him up."

Because Victoria is "floppy," she sees a physical therapist every few weeks. The therapist teaches me things I can do with Victoria that will help her get physically "fit." She is now 6 months old and still cannot sit up and even has trouble rolling back over once she has made it onto her tummy. She has trouble holding her head up while on her tummy, but is definitely getting better with her head control when I hold her up. She will be behind in doing a lot of things physically, but we are working hard on improving from day to day.

In the meantime, I thought you would get a kick out of the photo of her split!

Today, I also put her in her exersaucer for the first time. She is so small that I had to wrap a towel around her. It was great exercise not only for her physically, but also for her eyes. She sees a vision specialist also, by the way. She did a great job, but did tire quickly. Here is a video of her in the exersaucer.

Continue to pray for her muscle-tone development. Ask God to give her extra strength to keep herself moving to make great big muscles in her body!

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Musician In Training

Now that Elyssa is in 3K, I have lots more time to spend with Natalie. While I was on the computer, I let her play on my keyboard for the first time today. So, get ready ... here is Natalie Joy's first official mini-concert!

Monday, September 8, 2008

My Mind Is A Blur

The past few days have been emotionally, mentally and physically draining for me. My life has been so busy that my mind seems a blur. Ever been there? At times, I find myself longing for the slower pace that I knew in my youth.

I grew up in, what my friends called, "the country." Back then, I spent so much time enjoying my surroundings and nature. I loved going outside and looking at the stars. I loved hearing the insects singing in the afternoon hours, as long as they were not attacking me. I enjoyed watching the birds and just being "quiet." I was a deep thinker back then. Can you believe I had some of my best quiet times cutting grass! Yes ... some of you may not believe this, but I actually enjoyed cutting grass on our riding mower! I would put my headset and bathing suit on, and go riding for hours. I'd work on my tan, sing and have quiet time all at the same time!

It was easy in those days to focus my mind. No one needed much of me. As long as I finished my chores or school work, my time was my own. I was not pulled in a lot of directions and I could "think straight."

As there is a time and season for everything, the season I'm living in right now is very unfocused. I feel as though I'm being pulled in a million different directions. Everyone needs something of me and at times, I feel I have nothing left to give. My brain is on overload and I feel myself longing for more quiet moments. I know many of you may think to yourselves, "Well, that is what you get when you have three babies in a little less than 3 years!" You have every right to say that, I suppose. But, I don't believe for a moment that any of my children are a mistake. I do believe, in the midst of my craziness, that everything in my life right now truly IS a blessing and ordained of God.

So, as insane as I feel right now, I'm am constantly brought to my knees to ask Almighty God to simply "help me." I am reminded daily, no second-by-second, that I can do NOTHING without the Lord's help. It's only in Him that I can function and not lose my mind in the process.

May God slow my busy thoughts and help me once again ponder over His wonderful works. May He give me time for me! May He help me take time to breathe deeply, relax and enjoy this crazy ride.

PS - Here are a few recent pictures I thought you'd enjoy!

This is my brother, Alan, and his wife, Mandy, with Victoria. We all watched the Alabama game at my parent's house this past Saturday. Roll Tide!

Mark looks so handsome with his pretty baby girl!

Victoria gave a cute smile in this photo!

Last, but not least, I had to share a video of Natalie. She ate some chocolate pudding for the first time the other day. She made a TOTAL mess, but loved her pudding. This video is hilarious to me, except I remember the pain of cleaning her up afterwards! Hope you enjoy it!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Gustov AND "Chip!" (Part II)

Today is Labor Day and we are indoors thanks to Hurricane Gustov. We took a little video from our backyard. There is a little creek that runs in the very back part of our yard called Hell's Creek. We have had such a large amount of rain from the hurricane that the creek has flooded way above what we have ever seen before. We thought you would like to see the video we took.

Here are a few photos of Elyssa and Natalie standing on the back porch. Elyssa got an umbrella last year at Christmas and she LOVED that she was able to use it today to walk out in the yard with me.

PS - Many of you were pretty humored by Elyssa saying "Chip." I wanted you to see this video of Mark trying to get Elyssa to say "Chip" without such an "Alabama accent. As you can see, he was not successful! In her three years of life, she has already delved too deep into the southern culture to escape its affects!