Thursday, December 30, 2010


Last week leading up to Christmas was filled with so much joy for Tyler and non stop fun. We packed so much in to our days but it was all worth it to see and hear Tyler overflowing with so much joy.
There were bounce houses, cookie decorating contest, parks, cousins to play with, running around outside, and falling in to Nana and Papa's pool while riding his bike (yes you read that right). Tyler rode his bike in to the deep end of pool. Ryan ran and jumped in after him so he was only in the water for about 10 seconds.... I really can't handle any more scares..... Tyler is cute because every time he talks about falling in the pool he also states that Daddy saved him... I think God had a lot to do with it, too. The only thing that did not survive the jump in the pool was Ryan's phone.
So thankful for Tyler's smile and laughter. No matter how much my heart aches Tyler can also manage to bring a smile to my face.

Cousins: Caleb, Ty, Josh, and Jacob (several faces missing)

More Cousins: Kassidy, Shay, Callie, Caleb, Josh, Tyler, and Jake (missing one cousin)
Nana and Ty

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Soaking It All In

I am behind but it has been easy to get behind the past week and a half because I have been surrounded by two of my favorite boys in the world, and a house full of cousins until today. I have loved all the special time I have had with Ryan and Tyler but it has also made me ache for Landry.... I think this week has all reminded us that their is someone missing.... I will catch up on all the pictures and special memories we have created with Ty this month but I want to soak up my boys as long as I can.

Christmas Eve filled with balloons

Our Christmas was filled with family, and it was a good place to be this year. We spent the week before Christmas with Ryan's Family and had a big Christmas Eve gathering with Ryan's family. Tyler loved all the fun play time he got with his cousins. We had full days and I have a lot of pictures to post.... once again I am behind..... It is easy to do these days.
Ty really got in to Christmas this year and his favorite part was opening gifts. He would even open gifts that were not his. Tyler truly brought a lot of smiles to my face. It was a bitter sweet day for me and Ryan. I longed to have Landry with us the whole time we were with Ryan's family.....
Christmas Eve marked Landry's 5 Month Birthday. I can't believe it has already been 5 months because it feels just like yesterday to me. We also do a balloon release for Landry's month Birthday. We knew we would nCheck Spellingot be home to release 5 balloons to Landry on Christmas Eve so I asked Ryan's Mom if she would be ok with releasing balloons for Landry at our Christmas Eve gathering... I did not want to take away from the family Christmas or ruin anything but I felt that Landry needed to be apart of this Christmas. Linda loved the idea... On Christmas Eve we went and got 12 red and green balloons... I know it is not 5 but there was a house full of little kids and I did not want any whining or arguing so I got 12 and I did red and green in honor of the season.
The balloon release was truly my favorite part of Christmas Eve. It brought me great joy to see Landry's Brother, Nana and Papa, Cousins, and Aunts and Uncles writing special notes to our littlest. Bitter Sweet as the them of our Holiday but we loved being able to find joy in special moments.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Good Friends and Family

We loved having our house full of Cousins and good Friends last week. It truly helped our week be just a little brighter. Park and Sm ores made our Christmas break......

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Doing The Most Good- Part Two

Last Friday Morning I put on my Volunteer hat and passed out Christmas gifts with the Junior League for the Salvation Army. I dropped off Tyler at school and I made my way to the Salvation Army toy distribution site. When I drove up there were of line of people waiting in the cold to be able to get in side to get their Christmas gifts. When I was walking past them to go inside my heart broke for them and then I spotted several little babies and I really wanted to scoop those precious babies up and bring them inside with me.
The individuals that received a box or boxes of gifts (each child in a family got their own box of gifts) had to qualify and they could only seek help from one agency.
Once the families walked in our job was to take their number and find their box. Before they got the gifts they had to sit and listen to a 20 minute message. The message was about God. I stood their in awe and I felt very humbled to be apart of this ministry that is truly seeking to do the most good for our community members in need and that no matter the hard time they are in they should always put their trust in God and him by our side all things are possible. I think it was message I needed to be reminded of that day, as well.
My hurt truly broke when I saw one of my Ex students that to this day will always always hold a special place in my heart. She has three little children so I am so thankful that she was able and willing to seek help so her children could have a Merry Christmas. Not that many words were spoken but my prayer is that this beautiful individual is safe and happy.
My heart did break when certain individuals would complain about the gifts they received.... and then there were also the ones that tried to take advantage of the system.... How could you be so greedy when you are being offered assistance to help provide you and your family with a Merry Christmas.
I know my heart was changed forever on this day and I will always be thankful for all the many blessings I have in life. I will always strive to do the most good for my family, friends, and Community.
Thank you JLBC to opening up my eyes to so much good this year.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

First Time For Everything

Sunday afternoon was such a gorgeous day outside and since we had two of our Nephews in town with us Ryan decided to take the three to our Neighborhood Park, Miller Park. I decided to stay home and take care of some chores around the house. Not even 30 minutes of being gone I get a call from Ryan stating that I need to call the Urgent Care Clinic and see about getting an appointment for Tyler.
My heart immediately dropped and I went in to full panic mode. Ryan said that Tyler got a deep cut on this head... when he walked in with Tyler and his face had forehead was all covered in blood. Well, I lost it and was frantically trying to find my purse and get my keys. Tyler really was doing well and Ryan put a band aid on the cut to stop the bleeding until we could get it looked at. I had to take Tyler because Ryan needed to stay home with the other boys. Tyler was not looking forward to go to the doctor. He was a mess in the car... poor baby. When we got the Urgent Care clinic they took one look at me and said he will need to go to the ER and they will probably do a CT Scan. I am not sure what I was thinking when she said this but I know I started praying even harder.... I also knew this Momma had to be strong for her biggest.
Thankfully the ER was close and it was not at the same Hospital that we were at the Landry... that would have hit a little too close for me and Tyler. I had already called my Mom and she met us at King's Daughters just as I was trying to get us signed in. Tyler was very calm and just laying his head on me while I got us signed in.Tyler immediately went to his Ghee. I was so thankful she was there... she helped me so much and she is always so calm. I loved her company and I know Tyler loved it, too.
We got in with Nurse about 30 minutes of being there and she did all the routine stuff and then she looked at his cut and she said that it did not look too bad and they will probably just use superglue on the cut and that was music to my ears.
After 3 hours in the ER I walked out with a little boy that just need some superglue to keep the wound closed. I was so in awe of my biggest and how brave he was. I laid with on the hospital bed with Tyler as the Doctor was fixing his cut and I just looked in to those deep blue eyes and realized how blessed I really am and that both of my boys that I carried for 9 months were my greatest gifts and I am in awe of my biggest and littlest and for being so small they are both so brave.
The highlight of the 3 hour ER experience is when the Doctor finally walked in and Tyler looked at her and said " We have a train to catch". We did catch that train......

Polar Express

Sunday, December 19th was a day that we had been looking forward to ever since September. I found a train ride our of Cedar Park, called the North Pole Flyer. You dress in PJ's and board a train with Santa, Mrs. Claus, Carolers, a Storyteller, cookies, and hot chocolate. We decided to take two of Tyler's Cousins with us. I think all the boys had a great time. It was so fun to see their faces light up with all the lights and the excitement of the train.
It was a very memorable night and I loved being able to share with Ty the book and the movie (The Polar Express). Tyler was so excited about going to the North Pole..... Jacob, Tyler, and Caleb

Waving good-bye.
Santa gave Train Whistles to all the kids on board. He took it but he looked so scared.
Of course we had to by a train.... well, it did keep them entertained for most of the train ride back.
The train ride was 2 1/2 hours and Jacob is the only that did not make it through the whole ride... keep in mind that our train departed a 7pm.... It was a long night for us all. I know there were nicer cars that we could have been but we were all cozy and sang and laughed with our little train buddies.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Wish

We are leaving tomorrow to go and spend a few days with Ryan's family for Christmas and we will be back home on Christmas Eve.
We have had two of Tyler's cousins in town since yesterday and we have loved every minute of it. It has made me long for Landry so much but I have loved all the laughter, whining, mess, bedtime stories, and playing non stop. I know what my Christmas wish is. I have tons of pictures and posts so maybe I will catch up while we are gone...
I told Ryan early this evening that I wanted to go check on Landry and wish him a Merry Christmas. I go an see Landry every other day and sometimes more so it breaks my heart that I will not be able to see him.. especially on Christmas Eve his 5 month Birthday. Ryan said he wanted to go with me so we loaded the 3 boys up. I know none of them really understand because they kept asking if they would get to see Landry when they get back to our house..... The boys ran around the empty yard behind us and then went to play in the truck....
I stood over Landry the whole time and cleaned up his area... and then Ryan wrapped his arms around me and we wept together.... it was so beautiful and much needed. I love you, Ryan. Merry first Christmas in Heaven, Landry. This hurts.....

Phone Calls

The other day I picked up the phone and one the other end it was a women calling from Pottery Barn Kids telling me that (Landry's Baby Registry was about to expire and I could receive 30 percent off any item that was left on my registry and so if there were any items that we needed for Landry, then now would be the time to get them) The women kept talking... my first thought was hanging up but I knew that would be rude and then I thought about interrupting her but she really was a fast talker. All of the sudden she paused and asked me how the baby was? I stumbled trying to find the right words to tell her about Landry and she truly felt horrible and we quickly ended our conversation. I was in tears by the time I put down the phone. I was just expecting that at all.
I wish I could of told her that Landry sleeps wonderful on this PB bedding every night and the bath towels complete the boys bath and match his brothers towels perfectly....I guess I could have told here that his monogrammed train blanket kept him nice and warm as we held him for 2 days.....
I just got another phone call from the target registry and I politely told them that we have everything we need. Well that is not true...... It is funny that we try so hard to find everything for our babies that will keep them fed, safe, happy, and warm. I would take back all of those items in a heart beat if I could have the one thing I wanted.....I would want the little blessing that I created the registry for.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Presents Under The Tree

We decided that tonight would be the night to start wrapping gifts. I have really done ok with running around buying gifts... well it did take me a while to get motivated. It was not the full excitment as in years past but I was ok. When people asked me what I wanted I really could not answer them because stuff and gifts for me did not matter. I really don't care this year what I get..... I am just being honest. I did ask for items for the NICU where Landry was. I will share more later...
Now that I think about it I must have been oblivious to the fact that these gifts we are going to wrap are for Christmas... maybe I was numb or in denial. However, I really enjoyed finding special surprises for Tyler this year because I feel like he deserves a lot of surprises and to have a wonderful Christmas. I know that may be selfish of me but he lost a brother this year and I want him to be filled with love and get everything he asked for.
Pulling out the paper and our huge plastic bin of bags and bows I was over come with heartache and sadness. I dropped and sat on the floor crying for a while. I was doing ok until tonight. I guess it hit me that there will be no gifts for Landry under our tree and we will not be able to hang the stalking we already had for our littlest. I will not have pictures of our two boys in their matching PJ's. It all hurts so much right now and I am still crying as I type this..... It was bound to hit me at sometime, I guess.
I still remember last Christmas when Tyler put on his Big Brother shirt and told our families all about a new blessing...... Landry.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Spirit Of Christmas

Picture a little boy standing in front of proud parents and Grandparents screaming and in tears yelling that he wants his Mommy. That little boy was Tyler last year during his Christmas program at MDO. Therefore, when it came to this years program we really did not know what to expect this year. On Wednesday Morning Tyler's classmates were becoming Angels, Sheppard's, and Wise Men. I loved being apart of the preparation and watching Tyler become one of the 3 Wise Men. He loved his costume.... I loved it, too. When it is time for the Moms to leave so we could get our seats one little Wise Men started crying because he did not want his Mommy to go... can you guess which Wise Men it was? He stopped by the time I got to the door. He can be a little dramatic at times...
I walked in to the Parish Hall and found a row of seats in the back. I thought the front row might be too close. Ghee walked in right after I found our seats. Poppy had to miss this year but we got it on video for him. I was talking to my Mom and and one of my good friends when all of the sudden Ryan walks in. I was so happy to see him because I did not think he would be able to make it due to finals at school but he snuck away. I truly loved having him there and I felt a little more complete with him there.
We saw Tyler's class coming in and we thought about hiding so he would not get scared and want to come over to us like last year. Tyler walked right in with his chapel hands (precious... the program was during their Wednesday Chapel time) and walked right over to the platform. We were all three smiling from head to toe. The program was so precious and all of the songs and movements were priceless. Tyler truly loved every second of it. His favorite part was when they passed out bells. I did think the 3 Wise Men ever put them down. I think it is safe to say they stole the show. I will try and get the video up sometime soon.
At the end of their program at Chapel Service they sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and they even had a Birthday Cake. Ty has been singing Happy Birthday ever since. Our biggest sure did make us proud!
I thought more about the Spirit of Christmas and I know that Christmas really has a whole new meaning to me. I find myself clinging to reason for the Season and that is Jesus. I think Tyler reminded me that the true spirit of Christmas comes from Jesus Christ and his selfless love and sacrifice that he gave to all of us.
I have grown to love hearing Christmas songs this year because I think of Landry and how beautiful all the Christmas songs are up in Heaven. I can only imagine......

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree

My favorite part of our tree this year. I love being able to see both of my boys shining bright at night.
Today was non stop errands for us. I am trying so hard to get in the spirit of everything this year but I am really struggling...... I remember our fist Christmas with Tyler and how everything was so special and fun and this year I long to have that special and fun feeling back. I have learned to see Christmas through Tyler's eyes these days... However, honestly sometimes that is hard for me.
Well, I am off to make Sandwiches for Tyler's school party tomorrow. It is last day of School for Ryan and Tyler. I can get excited about that!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Love Of A Child

I received this beautiful email today from my close friend, Jen and attached was this special picture that her sweet little girl, Avery drew for me. I had tears rolling down my face when I saw this.
Avery has such a big heart and she truly has a compassion for others. I love Avery's heart so much. Below is the conversation Jen had with Avery. Thank you so much Jen for your friendship and please tell Avery how much I appreciate her special drawings.
(Avery was going to town creating drawings this evening. I asked who they were for and she said "Mrs. Holly I just love drawing pictures for her. How do you spell Landry, Mom?" Next thing I knew she showed me this one.)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Doing The Most Good

Last Friday I fulfilled one of my life long dreams. I rang the the bell for the Salvation Army at our Mall and I took Tyler with me. I think it is so important to instill voluntarism and giving to those less fortunate than us at a young age. I was so excited when I found out one of the Junior League's volunteer projects for December was bell ringing.... I knew right then that I would take Tyler and he had the best time. He lasted over a hour so that even better. But then again who would not want to give to this Boy. I will say the money really started coming in when he put on the Apron. He would always say Thank you and Merry Christmas. I was one proud Mommy that afternoon. Thank you, Tyler for volunteering with me. I had a blessed time with you. I love you my biggest.

Ty's Ghee and Daddy also game to visit... Ryan got Tyler at the tail end when he was done.

Monday, December 13, 2010

21 Years

Thursday, December 9 marked 21 years in Heaven for my Older Brother, Justin. He was killed in a car accident when he was 15 years old and I was a 7th grader in Middle School. I still remember just like it was yesterday waking up to the sounds of my Mom screaming and Shouting and then hearing her echo the words, Justin is in Heaven..... my life stopped just like it did this year on July 24. Justin was a joy to be around and I looked up to him just like any little sister would do. What a wonderful a loving young man. I was blessed and still blessed to be Justin's little sister.
My parents were so amazing and strong during this time and I now find myself wondering if I am as strong as they were those days.... but then again I know they had to be strong and carry on for me just like what we are doing for Tyler. I also remember after the accident thinking that I had to be strong and make my parents happy so they would not hurt as much.
Time does not stop when you are hurting and life does and will go on. My heart grows lighter with each passing year but I still miss him everyday and wish that I was not a only child (That is why friends mean the world to me and I cherish all of my close girlfriends). I will say that my family felt more complete when Tyler Justin joined this world 3 years ago. My parents adore Ty and have so much love for their 1st Grandchild.
When we got the news that Landry was not going to make it I found myself praying that Justin would be there to welcome his littlest Nephew Home. I would tell Landry every chance that I got that God is going to take your pain away and welcome you Home with his loving arms and your Uncle Justin will be next in line to hold you forever. I have to cling to that truth. Plus, what a beautiful picture.
This year was really hard year for me. My body ached this year.... sometimes the pain seems so strong. December 9th 2010 was a long and draining day. It held Justin's 21 years in Heaven and my Dad had a small procedure at Scott and White (He is doing ok). I remember walking in to S&W the Morning of my Dad's procedure (thank you to my amazing Father In Law for coming in to town to watch Ty so I could be with my Mom all day) at the same entrance where I walked in waiting to have Landry and then walking out with out him. I kept praying for God to hold my hand all day. I am so Thankful to have such a Strong God that can handle it all. I found the waiting to be the worst and it truly reminded me of Landry as we would sit for hours waiting for news. Sitting in the conference room with my Mom waiting for the Doctor to come in and talk to us. I looked at my Mom saying this is just too hard and way too soon for me. My Dad will be ok and I am so thankful that God held me and my family that whole day and will continue to hold us.
All I can say is that I am so thankful and truly blessed. I have lost two of the most important Boys in my life but I am thankful to be a Little Sister and a Mom. Save a place for me Justin and Landry.
Justin Howard Vaughn... 1989. My Handsome Brother

Not This Year

This is what happens when Tyler sees Santa this year:

I think we will be writing Santa a letter this year.