Yo soy La Lay

adventures in family, faith, and Down syndrome


The holidays always lend themselves well to being nostalgic. It’s almost required, isn’t it?  And when we throw Sweet Girl’s birthday into the mix, sheesh, pull out the Kleenex!

I keep sitting down to share her milestones this year, to tell you how far she has come, and to celebrate the joy of having her big personality in our house.  The problem is, all I keep focusing on in my own mind is that there is no picture of Tessa and I together on the day she way born.

Funny what the mind holds on to.

There is no sadness in her existence.  There is no wistful dreaming of taking away her struggles.  There is only a smiley, fun, curious little three-year-old with an independent streak a mile wide.

She loves to wander from room to room, searching for items that are supposed to be out of reach to pull down and steal for her toy room.  Current favorites are my pot lids and mixing bowls, along with any of Ellie’s coloring utensils.

She wants to do all of the things that her cousins do, and insists on being included in the fun.  She is always singing.  She is always talking.  She has excellent manners, though the phrase “no, thank you” is more of a curse than a blessing these days!

She loves pretzels and broccoli and frosted animal crackers.  She grabs books from the shelf and tells you to sit so you can read them to her.  She gravitates toward people who are hurting and gives great big, melty hugs, drumming her tiny little fingers on your back to make sure you know that all is well.

In three weeks, she’ll take that little preschool classroom by storm.  Tessa’s huddle will get bigger and bigger.  And as freaked out as I am to send her into the giant world, I can’t wait to go on this adventure in the passenger seat.

Happiest of birthdays, Tessa Lynn!  How thankful we are that God sent you to us. ❤️


Happy birthday, Bean!

We knew we were in trouble when one of the first words that Ellie learned (after cuckoo) was “beer.”

This kid is nuts! And I can’t believe it, but this kid is now THREE. Good golly, when did that happen??

There has been much fuss over Tessa’s Birth Day. In comparison, Ellie’s was essentially routine. A monumental day for John and I, rookie parents who dutifully painted our nursery, packed our bags weeks in advance, and researched newborns for months in preparation, but blissfully mundane for the others involved.

I was one of those moms who went to the hospital three times and got sent home before it was actually real labor. Three days past-due, I spent the afternoon before her birth buying an obscene amount of antibacterial hand gel from the Bath and Body Works semi-annual sale (which, coincidentally, sits unused in our bathroom cabinet to this day). There, the contractions began.

Labor with Ellie was long, 36 hours from first contraction until her birth. Looking back, I’m certain that she just wanted to make sure that we realized that she was going to be independent from day one.

When our sweet little Bean was born, full head of hair and a healthy cry, I literally sobbed simply because she was a she. It’s ridiculous, really.

Ellie is our go-with-the-flow, fun loving, precocious little comedian. She has the gift of gab and an insane vocabulary that she uses to get a reaction out of anyone who will listen. Everything she says is comical. Her easy-going zest for life is refreshing, but there is a strong-willed streak that makes me pull my hair out in frustration while laughing uncontrollably at the same time. I adore her goofy little laugh, her sweet smile, and the fact that she makes no apologies for liking me better than John. 🙂 Life is never dull for anyone with a three-year-old, but I’ll tell you what… this girl is really, really going to keep us on our toes as she grows older.






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