My Wish for You

I love books!! I have always been an avid reader, and I knew I would always read to my child once we had one. I can never resist buying Abigail new books. I found this new one at Barnes and Noble the other day, and it is officially my new favorite book to read to Abigail. It’s called, “I Wish you More” by Amy Rosenthal. Here’s the link for it on Amazon if you are interested.

It’s a little poem so beautifully written about what you wish for your child. Here’s a couple of pages from the book itself to show you.

The pictures are my favorite part. But the last page reads, “I wish all of this for you, because you are everything I could wish for…and more.” Makes me cry every time!

The front cover says, “Some books are about a single wish. Some books are about three wishes. This book is about endless good wishes. What will you wish for?” So I wrote a little poem of what I personally wish for Abigail. It’s not all cutesy like the book is, but it’s still my heart to my child. But if you need a new book to read, or a present for Easter then check this one out!!

Abigail Paige Lidh,

I wish you to know you are beautiful, not just on the outside (even though somehow you are the most beautiful two year old around), but on the inside.

I wish you would stay joyful always.

I wish you would always be determined and fight for good.

I wish you would have wisdom and discernment in all you do.

I wish you would grow strong in the Lord and follow Him.

I wish you would always know Mommie and Daddy are so proud of you.

I wish you knew how many people love you and how many people you inspire daily.

I wish you would find your passion and purpose in life and focus on that.

I wish you to be a humble servant.

I wish you to be a prayer warrior.

I wish you knew you are capable of so much.

I wish you will always smile through life’s greatest obstacles.

I wish you won’t ever let what people say determine how you feel about your self.

I wish you would find your self worth in Jesus.

I wish you would know Jesus loves you simply because He does.

I wish you would rely fully upon Him and trust Him in all you do.

I wish that when this life doesn’t make sense or isn’t fair that you find the peace of God.

I wish that you prove everyone wrong and make your own miracles happen!

I wish that you keep your childhood innocence for as long as possible.

I wish you get your daddy’s sense of humor.

I wish that you never give up.

I wish you always know you will always be my baby girl.

I wish you so many things that I could fill pages, but mainly I wish you know you are the best thing that could ever happen to us and we love you beyond words.


I will always love you, Abigail!


Off to the Races

Well folks we are off to the races! Our lives just got very exciting and action packed after a very long time of waiting. Of course we don’t know anything officially about Abigail’s diagnoses, but chances are looking better than ever before that we will know something soon. I can’t give a lot of detail simply because I don’t have a lot of details to give. The doctors want to run a muscle biopsy on Abigail before they give us any official diagnosis or answers. They are hoping the biopsy will reveal the answers they need to complete the puzzle of sorts, which would also be known as my daughter.

We had a whole exome study done of Abigail’s genes last year. Out of every single gene there was one that was mutated, as they call it. That one mutated gene is the gene that affects muscles, and would explain a lot of why Abigail is the way she is. However, since all her other tests have been normal they would not give us a diagnosis or put a name on anything for us. However, we completed an ultrasound and another EMG last week (it’s a test where they stick little needles in Abigail’s muscles and test how they respond to stimuli – it sounds a lot worse than it is), and the doctor said he definitely saw effects of that mutated gene. Hence why we are going for the muscle biopsy to prove what he saw was right. If the muscle biopsy agrees with all these findings we may just get a diagnosis three years later!

Of course this diagnosis won’t change anything for Abigail. Especially since it seems to be genetic there’s no fixing it. Therapy and working with her will be her best forms of medicine, and she’s already improving so much we aren’t too worried about her. Of course she will have to fight to do everything. Things won’t come naturally like they do for most children because her muscles are essential diseased. But if anyone can overcome the odds then Abigail can. I know we will have lots of information to take in and questions for the doctors when a diagnosis does come, but even if their prognosis is that Abigail won’t be able to walk I don’t think I will be able to believe them. In just two days of having leg braces, she is already standing better! I think that girl can do anything if she wanted to.

Of course we realize that this muscle biopsy won’t be easy. They will be removing a piece of Abigail’s left bicep, and we have yet to hear all the details. And we also understand that the biopsy could come back clear and we would be back to square one with Abigail just being a puzzle to figure out. But we are praying for some answers. We are praying she continues to grow strong and improve. We are praying for wisdom for our doctors. And we are praying that Abigail will fight hard, and show people that she can overcome any obstacle!

We are so proud of her and her determination! She is such a trooper through all this. Poor thing has been dragged around from doctor to doctor. She has undergone a lot of scary looking tests. She has been fitted for equipment. And there has been a few tears along the way, but mostly just a lot of smiles. I love her happy little personality and I am glad she can smile through it all. She helps us feel better about all this because we know she is strong and it takes a lot more than some scary diagnosis to get her down! So we are off to the races to fight, to get some answers, and to show a little joy in this world.

move mtns

My Hope Restored – Part 2

A year ago a blogged a beautiful story about how God renews us; how He gives us grace and restores our hope. You can read it here. A lot of times Abigail’s situation seems hopeless. Even as I write this we have given up on our doctors. The geneticist just said they could no longer help us, and our neurologist has come to a dead end we believe. We are seeking other doctors to go to, but for now no one seems to know how to help Abigail. It is frustrating, confusion and, as a parent, it makes you feel helpless because you cannot do anything for your child. But a year ago I wrote this, “But these last few months I have come to realize that if I do not think positively about Abigail’s situation, and give her the encouragement she needs than who will? God has shown me that being my daughter’s biggest cheerleader is my calling for now.”

What an encouragement for my soul today! That is why I have come to love blogging because it is like keeping journals. You can always look back to see God’s hand working in your life. So many other special needs parents who are much wiser than me have told me that I am my child’s best (and sometimes only) advocate. I have to fight for her because so often the medical field and even the school systems do not care for your child.

These last few nights that I have been putting Abigail to bed I have been whispering her worth to her. It makes me cry every time. But even if she does not get it I want my daughter to know she is smart. She is worthy. She is beautiful. I want her to know we are proud of her. I want her to keep fighting and stay determined. I want her to know she can do great things. I want her to know as much as mommy and daddy love her there is Someone who loves her even more. I want her to know that God has a plan for her, and she is capable of bringing Him glory even now.

These moments with her mean so much to me. I love being able to stay home with Abigail and have fun with her and take care of her. I am often way too protective and stuck in my ways, but I would not trade these precious days with anything. My little girl has such potential to do great things. My dreams for her may have changed, but my hope in her is higher than ever! Everyday I see her improve and grow stronger. She is understanding so much now and she has the potential to do incredible things in her future.

So even in the face of all we have against us, my hope is being renewed. I am cheering for my daughter and I want her to know she has so many other cheerleaders too! So many of you reading this blog have encouraged me in ways you won’t even know. I just wanted to say thank you for following along with us in our journey. Thank you for all your encouraging comments. Thank you for loving my little girl from near and far. Thank you for being there! And watch out because I truly believe there are some exciting new things about to happen in this little girl’s life!

IMG_2289 (2)

Our Little Puzzle

We went back to the geneticist today. We haven’t seen her since last year when we received the results of Abigail’s genetic test. After a whole year you would think the doctor would have a lot to talk about and questions to ask, but she did not. Last night before we left, I told Jordan either they would want us to do more tests or they would send us home with no more answers for us, and that’s actually what happened. Basically the doctor told us that there is nothing else she can do for us. Abigail’s genetic test came back with two abnormal genes. Out of those two genes one would affect Abigail’s muscles, however since her muscle tests and reflexes are all completely normal nothing matches us. The doctor even said today that she does not understand how the tests are saying two different things. If this gene is the reason Abigail is developmentally behind she should be failing her tests, but since she is passing everything they cannot explain why this gene is abnormal. It is all a puzzling mess.

This is not the first time a doctor has been confounded by Abigail. We have seen a lot of doctors and many of them scratch their heads at her. She is so far behind in so many areas, but her progress is steady and she is so social and medically great so they cannot pinpoint what is causing her delay. We have another MRI scheduled next week and another EMG to test her nervous muscular system the week after. Our neurologist is retaking some tests we have already done so she can have data to compare and make sure Abigail is developing and is structurally fine.

We are so used to doctors not being able to help us, and not giving us any answers that we no longer worry about it. When we first began this journey I would research for hours and cry when the doctors could not help us. We had a doctor tell us once that Abigail would never develop or outgrow her delay, and that was heart breaking as young parents who were lost in this process. But now I know that doctors do not have all the answers, and that they are not always the best in their field. I take what they say and do what is best for Abigail.

I have learned to trust my gut, and not let disappoint and worry overtake me. I try not to think about planning every detail of Abigail’s future and I am learning to take things in stride. When we found out Abigail would need glasses I was okay with that, but then two months later when the eye doctor then said we would have to patch her eyes too I almost started bawling in the office. How much can one little girl go through? How many tests will she have to endure before the doctors find the answers they need?

I dread going to doctors’ appointments now, and hearing they cannot help us. I dread hearing she is going to go under another test that will just come back normal. I dread Abigail’s future that the medical field will just want to treat her as a guinea pig because she is medical odd, and they love that. But I am so proud of Abigail and no matter what some doctor may say, or what some piece of paper may read, she is conquering things everyday! Yes, on a piece of paper Abigail looks like she cannot do much, but if you saw her every day you could see her progressing.


Getting casted for her leg braces. She hated every second, but we are excited to get her braces soon!!!

She is amazing how she is so determined. Her physical therapist and me always talk about how she wants to do more and how she wants to move and play and grow but her poor little muscles just do not quite know how to work. She is being fitted for leg braces to give her some support through her legs and ankles, and her stander is on the way. With all this support we are hoping we can at least get her up, and if we can get her up we are hoping she will love it and want to do more. It is one baby step at a time, and I love it. I love watching the tiny little victories happen everyday. I love watching her learn what she is capable of, and I love seeing my baby turn into a little girl.

Yes, I do worry about her, but not as much as I used to. Every parent worries about their child. But I know this little girl can do anything she sets her mind to. Will she ever walk? I am not sure, but if she does then we will cry buckets when we see that first step and if she does not ever walk then we will conquer other mountains that come our way. This is how I have begun to think. We have a mindset of what is normal. Babies should hit milestones at certain ages, children should be able to jump and run, and they should be about to talk and express themselves. But Abigail has taught me that if the normal does not happen then you can still survive.


Helping me in the kitchen tonight. She somehow got powdered sugar on her nose and it made me laugh!

Tonight I wanted to bake cookies for Daddy and for our therapists tomorrow for Valentine’s Day. I have always wanted my child to cook with me. I was so excited to have a little girl to play dress up with and cook. But Abigail can’t stand at the counter and help me stir the batter. She can’t sit at the table and place sprinkles on cookies and make a huge mess. But tonight she helped me in her own way. And she made a nice big mess for me! So no while she may never be my sous chef, she is still my kitchen buddy and I love it! She may be a puzzle, but God made a hole in my heart where Abigail fits perfectly!!!

Seeds of Hope

Gardening is not my thing. I was not born with a green thumb. I have dreams of having plants in my home, but I kill everything. I always wanted a venus fly trap when I was a teenager, so I got one for my birthday one year. I fed it a lady bug and killed it. I did grow some rosemary plants this summer. They were looking great and then I knocked the pots off the windowsill promptly killing those. I do have one plant by my front door that has miraculously not died for six months. I don’t even know what it is, but it’s apparently my perfect plant. I water it when I think about it and do nothing else with it and it’s still growing so I really like it whatever it is.

While gardening is not my thing, it has always been a hopeful dream for me to become a gardener. My dad has always planted a vegetable garden every summer, and I think it’s amazing that such a tiny little seed can grow juicy red tomatoes, and the perfect okra. Plants are amazing things! They start as a tiny seed and with a little bit of water, sunlight, and care they can grow to be ancient oak trees, or food to nourish households, or flowers to add beauty to tables. I know there’s a lot that goes into growing plants that I don’t understand, but the whole process amazes me!

Last year was a season of winter in our household. We had just transitioned to a new home and a new city. We were looking for jobs, a new church, and doctors for Abigail. We were figuring out a new routine and adjusting to leaving behind old friends and finding new ones. It was very quiet and uneventful as the winter season usually is. We were ready for a new season to be upon us, and life to begin again. Jordan would often remind me that ‘this is just a season, Heather.’ Well sometimes a few months can feel very long when you are waiting for things to happen.

But as the new year approached and I began thinking of new goals and dreams I had for 2018, hope came too. Right now this hope is just in tiny little seeds. We have not seen anything mature yet, but God has blessed us with these seeds of hope and I think spring is soon coming for our family. These are some seeds of hope that are being planted in our lives right now:

1.) Jordan thinks he has found a way to begin a teaching career, something he has been wanting for a long time now. He will have to work and study really hard the next few months to accomplish his goals, but if anyone can do it he can! If all works out perfectly he could quit both his retail jobs, be home more, and he would be happier with his career. We are praying big time for the next couple of months to go well.

2.) We had a meeting about Abigail going to preschool in the Fall. I was very hesitant about it before going in, but the ladies at the meeting reassured me about all my doubts and fears, and now I am excited about her starting school. She would have double the therapy time, and be able to socialize with children her age. I just think huge improvements could happen! I’ll be a basket case when she leaves me (it will only be four days a week and half days at that), but I know it will be the best for us both.

3.) We also just met with an equipment guy today, and we are going to apply to get Abigail a stander and a wheelchair she could push herself around in.


This is the stander will we be getting!

I am so excited to get her these pieces because it will help her so much! Our physical therapist is also considering getting her into leg braces to work on strengthening her legs. There will be a lot of changes for Abigail, but much needed changes to try to help her walk!!!

4.) Abigail has been pulling up on everything lately! Oh, she wants to stand up so bad so I know the fight is in her to gain mobility. She is a crawling machine. Her poor elbows stay carpet burned now because she pulls around so much. I invite her to follow me from room to room instead of carrying her, and she is so good about listening and coming with me. She is also becoming a better communicator, and can tell you when she is done or when she wants something. Her speech is even coming along in its own way. Just so many improvements happening almost over night!

5.) There are so many areas I want to help in and there are so many needs I see. I keep seeing little doors cracking open in front of me. I am praying the right opportunity comes along and that I can see it when it comes. Through things at church and talking to my friends and other moms at therapy my eyes are opened to things that need to happen. I am ready to do more, and I now when the time comes I will be ready to respond.


We are both so thankful for little seeds of hope (and some warmer weather)!!

So all these little seeds are being planted, and I pray that they take root and grow into huge blessings. Waiting for a garden to grow is hard, but while you are waiting for the fruit to be produced there are so many things you have to do in between. I know we will be busy watering and nurturing these seeds to grow into beautiful blessings this year. I only pray we are good stewards of the things God is blessing us with, and that the fruit will produce new seeds that we can share with others.

I have learned so much in this season of winter that I know will help as the spring time approaches. God has taught me a lot about trials, temptations, doubts, patience, love, self-control, relationships, and so much more. I am thankful that God gives you quieter seasons of life to allow you to learn the things you need to learn before the busier seasons come. I feel prepared and ready for what the days ahead may hold. I know that I will never be done learning and I still have a lot to work on personally, but I also know that I am not alone. And when then seeds begin to take root and grow you better bet that I will be admiring my life with awe and with a very thankful heart!


A New Year

Last year I wrote a blog about how 2017 might just be a year of miracles (you can read that blog here). Well, I am not sure it was the miracles we were necessarily looking for, but 2017 was full of some good things! Yes, very small, simple blessings, but to us these things were BIG. Jordan was promoted at work and even though he had to pick up a second job we were blessed financially to finish the year with only one income. We never were scared of where our next meal would come from, or lacking clothes on our back. Sure, money was tight and we could not splurge on the latest, greatest things we wanted, but how badly did we need those things anyway? We found a church home (finally). After searching, we now call Eastwood Baptist home. We are not involved as much as we would like to be, but that is something to work on this year. I retired my old Jeep Liberty I had since I was 15, and now drive a tank (that’s what I call the Expedition because it’s HUGE). I like having the room and being the big guy on these Cobb County roads. And this small town girl actually does not mind driving around here now. I even honked my horn at someone the other day! So watch out world!!!

IMG_8100 (1)

Abigail achieved some milestones as well. Again, not your typical ones, but around here we celebrate everything! Abigail can now feed herself, she loves to pull up with her arms, and she can crawl around pulling with her arms so well now. She loves to play with her toys, and loves you playing with her. She has found a new love for Sesame Street. She loves music and laughing. She is getting friendlier around people, and even around little kids! We started speech therapy, which is helping so much. Abigail is learning sign language, and can do about five signs by herself now. She is becoming more and more vocal everyday! She can say, “bye”, “yeah”, “ma-ma”, “da-da”, and sometimes we swear we here a “hey”. She is sleeping in her new big girl bed like a champ, which we are all grateful for. We just switched her to a new OT, so we are excited to see how that will help her. And she is growing up to be the most beautiful blond headed, blue-eyed girl you will ever meet.

Every year I try to focus on a key Bible verse and one word to keep me going throughout the year. My 2017 word was “Press on” from Philippians 3:14, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” I just really helped me when things would come up with Abigail or I would get discouraged. Almost like Dory in ‘Finding Nemo’ said, “Just keep swimming.” That’s what kept playing in my head, ‘just keep pressing on.’ God has called me to this life, and He will see me through. But every time I wanted to quit and throw in the towel I was reminded of this verse. I was so helpful! I am glad God impressed it on my heart last year.

So these last few weeks I have been thinking of what my 2018 word and verse would be. I haven’t come across anything, but today I sat down with my new devotional and the very first verse was Psalm 9:10. It could not be more perfect. It reads, “Those who know Your name trust in You, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” So my word for 2018 is seek. I pray I seek the Lord this year. So often I feel like God is a million miles away, when in reality He is right beside me but I forget to seek His face. I want to seek after my husband, my family, and others in my life. I want to seek God’s face in decisions I make, and I want to seek His love, joy, peace, and forgiveness in my life. So here is to a year of seeking. I am not sure what will be found by the end of these twelve months, but I pray as I blog in the beginning of 2019 that I can say I found some amazing treasures in the Word of God, and in my life that I have taken for granted. I pray this year will be full of blessings and treasures and wild adventures! I love how Ms. Frizzle says it on ‘The Magic School Bus’, “Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!”

psalm 9-10

A Trip to Chili’s

How do you explain to a two-year-old about special needs? How do you explain to her that a little girl her own age cannot do the things you can do because her legs don’t work quite right? We came face to face with this situation this weekend, and I have been pondering these things myself.

My mother-in-law and her husband took Abigail and me out to dinner Saturday night just so we could get out of the house for a bit. We had been home for over two days and I was going a little stir crazy, so we all packed up and went to Chili’s down the road from our house. Well apparently everyone in town was stir crazy or didn’t want to cook (or couldn’t because they didn’t have power) because everyone was at Chili’s. So we sat with another family that came in before us in the waiting area for about 15 minutes. What a 15-minute wait that was!

The family consisted of a young mother, her two children (a little girl we soon discovered was only two months older than Abigail and her little brother who was about 6 months I am guessing), and the mother’s parents. They were a sweet family and we instantly started talking about the snow and road conditions and power outages. My mother-in-law was holding Abigail, and I was across from them in the other seat. They were sitting right beside the little girl and her mother.

The little girl and Abigail were having a staring contest. You see Abigail loves watching children. I think they fascinate her. The little girl finally got brave enough to ask Susan (my mother-in-law) what Abigail’s name was, so Susan told her and asked her name. She was the cutest little girl with light up rain galoshes on. Susan asked her how old she was and she said three, so the mother had to chime in and say she was only two. We couldn’t believe that she was Abigail’s age. Her mother said she was in the 97th percentile. Abigail is in the 10th, so you can only imagine what the size difference between them was. I explained to the adults that Abigail had special needs, so that might be one reason she seemed so tiny. Well the little girl couldn’t comprehend Abigail was two just like her. She kept saying she was only one, and Susan kept telling her, ‘no she’s two just like you.’

Well everything was going peachy until the little girl asked if Abigail could get down and play with her. Susan told the little girl that Abigail couldn’t leave her lap. Her mother tried to tell her that Abigail’s legs don’t work like hers and of course the why question kept coming. You could tell everyone was getting a little tense with not knowing what to say. Then the little girl asked if Abigail could sit beside her. Of course another round of ‘no’s’ and ‘why not’s’ commenced. So Susan finally told her she could play with her but Abigail would have to sit in her lap. I knew this was going to go poorly the moment that little girl stepped towards Abigail. Abigail loves looking at kids, but she does not like kids in her bubble much less touching her. Well that sweet little girl so lovingly held Abigail’s hands. It truly was the cutest thing, and I wished I could have taken a picture. But all the touching was way too much for Abigail.

I calmly got up from my seat anticipating Abigail’s freak out, and it came quickly. Her bottom lip quivered (a sure sign tears were coming). I scooped Abigail up, and the mother was like did my daughter do anything? “No, not a thing. She was the sweetest to Abigail, but Abigail cannot tolerate children. I am so sorry.” The little girl’s face crumbled. I told her she did nothing wrong and that Abigail was going to be okay. I had to walk away to calm Abigail down and when I got back the family had been seated. I told my mother-in-law everything was good. Abigail was back to laughing and dancing to the holiday music in no time. And when we left we stopped by the family’s table and wished them a goodnight. The little girl waved good-bye, so I knew she was okay too.

But goodness, what a situation! It really was not a big deal probably to anyone else, but those 10 minutes rocked my world. This is my life. No one knows how to react when you say special needs. I felt so awful for that little girl and her family. I know they had no idea what to say or do to explain Abigail. I was no help either. Looking back I should have taken Abigail and showed the girl how Abigail’s legs don’t work right. I should have held her and had a ‘dance’ party in my lap while the little girl stood beside us. There are 15 different things I could have done now looking back. But I sat there and watched this family meet a special needs little girl for the first time with no explanation.

I know it’s not a big deal. They probably won’t even remember us tomorrow, but I will never forget this. I know situations like this will come again. Children will ask questions, and I will have to answer to them and their families. I will have to explain why at two a little girl cannot walk or talk or even sit. I don’t know if I will have all the answers, but I hope to help and encourage as we go. Explaining special needs to a two-year-old is tough, but I hope that little girl stays as loving and sweet as she was that night. And I pray that one day Abigail will accept a sweet handhold from a fellow pier. That little girl’s hand in my child’s hand tonight meant the world to me. I know it was brief, but it shows bridges can be gapped and my daughter can be accepted. Such a simple thing, but such a huge Christmas blessing – a simple hand hold from a sweet little two-year-old girl at a Chili’s restaurant.