Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Buddy Walk 2009

Hello family and friends,

My daughter, Marissa Joy, is the absolute light of my life. She was born on September 21, 2008 and we found out she had Down Syndrome that same day. Although mixed with a flood of emotions, the greatest was love. Overwhelming, powerful, and inspiring. It's been a little less than a year and although we have encountered challenges, the love has remained and has grown even stronger. It is my love for her that pushes me to educate people about Down Syndrome, advocate for her when needed, and to just be there as a mom.

One way that we, myself and family, are able to educate people about Down Syndrome and to open the doors for inclusion is through Buddy Walks that happen all throughout the country. Our family will be participating in the Buddy Walk of West Michigan in support of the 11th Annual Buddy Walk® to raise funds for The Triangle Down Syndrome Network. Please help us reach our fundraising goals! Just click "Sponsor Us" to make a donation.

Please consider joining out team as well. There's a link on the same page if you would like to walk with us on October 11th.

Donate Here

Thanks, in advance, for your generosity!

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dress Up with Marissa

There are some days that it's just nice to sit back and not do much of anything. Now that doesn't happen very often between daycare, work, volunteering, and life in general, but Marissa and I were blessed with one of those days after church on Sunday. I figured she's nearing the 1 year mark so I started pulling out all her 12 mo. clothes. She's still in her 6-9 month sizes, but there's nothing wrong with being prepared, right? Anyway, we played dress up and I took some pictures. I guess I should say, I played dress up and Marissa tolerated it for a little while. ;-)

She wasn't too happy with me at first...

And she even questioned my taste in outfits...

Then she decided I might know what I'm doing even though it was a little big...

She loved her outfit that was from when I was a kid...

She was happiest in her birthday dress from Grandma Heath...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Just another episode with Pepper

So, I tossed and turned last night worrying about poor Pepper. I have a friend that works at a no kill shelter. I called her and asked for help. She was able to arrange placement for Pepper there. I figured rather than leaving him with owner #3, I'd pick him up and The Haven would find him a nice home.

So I called owner #3 to say I was going to pick Pepper up. Well, wouldn't you know...there was a HUGE thunderstorm here last night (remnants of Hurricane Bill). Pepper was scared out of his wits and took off. Owner #3 had a fence and everything, but Pepper is gone.

I'll keep my eyes open for that sweet little beagle, but I think he just didn't want to be owned. He's just a run free sort of dog.

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Saturday, August 22, 2009


So it's been a while since I blogged. Life has been so busy with Bradley being gone. My side of the family came for a visit, then Bradley's side, now we are back just the 2 of us. And while Bradley's half was in town I lured home a stray beagle that we nicknamed Pepper.

So I needed to find Pepper a nice home. My husband is deployed, I have a infant to take care of, a cat, and we have some up and coming travel plans. First I checked online & called some beagles have been reported missing. Then I posted him on freecycle requiring someone to meet me at the vets office and pay for his shots. Someone called me, agreed to me terms, and we scheduled a meeting.

Well, the vet's office started out awful! between my bad back, pushing the stroller, and a borrowed collar that was apparently too big for Pepper, he slipped out of it & ran away! Across a busy street, through a neighborhood, and into a park. While he's running across the street I ran inside asked someone for help because I couldn't chase after him with the baby! So I let some stranger watch Marissa and I ran for Pepper. I gave up catching him and went back for Marissa. I explained what happened to the family, left with Marissa...then we went back to the park. 1.5 hours later I caught Pepper in the park & took him back to the vet where the family met me for a 2nd time.
So as of Wednesday, Pepper had a new owner.

Friday rolls around, and I get another message from someone completely different saying they found Pepper tied to their fence! I'm thinking, "what the heck?!?"

So long story short...

Pepper ran away from owner #2. Pepper was found by owner #3 as he was tied to her fence Friday morning. Owner #3 thought the details were off, so she drove by #2s house and didn't like the looks of it and refused to give the dog back #2 started calling & threatening me to return Pepper immediately. #2 just happens to work at the Sheriff's Dept in the neighboring county and was telling me they were going to get their friends involved so I was quite nervous about all that. Ultimately, I had to call the police because #2 was blowing up my phone and harassing me! Owner #3 says she's a lawyer and would handle it from there and I haven't heard from #2 since!

I didn't even have the dog to give back. It was crazy, Jerry Springer, unnecessary drama. All because I tried to find Pepper a nice little home. I am debating to go to owner #3 and just take him back to find a new home. sigh...poor Pepper, he's just been through the ringer the last few days.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Amazing Accomplishment!


Marissa has been sitting up consistently and independently for a couple of days now. Although it's not exactly what her therapists are looking for, I'll take it! I'm so happy for her that she is accomplishing this goal. We made this with Bradley in mind, but I'm sharing it with everyone. :-)

So apparently, the video isn't always available. You can also watch it on my MobileMe gallery.