Monday, July 2, 2012


THREE YEARS AGO TODAY... was the happiest day of my life.  I married my best friend 3 years ago and vowed for better or worse, having no idea just how much the next three years would have in store.  I look back at photos and sometimes hardly recognize myself (mainly because wow, I was actually tan!)  I look back and think we look so young, although we really were not that young.  But we were so idealistic and full of big dreams and big ideas.  We had packed a few suitcases and quit our jobs and moved from Australia to Houston and bought a beautiful house and we were going to fill that house up with puppies and babies! And here we are now, 3 years later and we have one puppy with enough personality for four and 2 babies who have managed to totally fill up our house and our hearts.  This blog has mainly been about Max and Addie but of course there would be no Max and Addie were there not first Al and Steph so I decided to tell the beginning of their story with our story...

JULY 3, 2009... a perfect day

I met Alister in high school in Australia and we started dating at the very beginning of 2000- twelve and a half years ago now.  We have said many times how incredibly grateful we are that we had our college years and our young carefree years together. We hold very dear to our hearts our memories of being 18 year old kids with nothing to do but occasionally study for an exam or write a paper.  We had a wonderful time together.  Al is so laid back and spontaneous and he brought out this great side in me and taught me how to live in the moment and follow my heart.  We grew up together and finished college and started jobs and changed jobs and had our ups and downs figuring out exactly what we wanted for our futures separate and together.  By the time we got engaged 8 years into our relationship, we knew that we were what we wanted for our future. 

Engagement Photo

Newly engaged, we formulated our amazing plan... we were going to move to Texas and buy a house.  I wanted to be near my parents and we thought we'd try the whole American family thing.  We were going to move there, get jobs right away, buy a great house, get some dogs, get married and then start popping out those babies.  We really thought we had it all figured out.  We were so excited.  We headed off to Houston, Texas with so much hope and expectation we were just about to burst! And 6 months into our move here, our family and friends from all over the world came out and we had this amazing wedding week.  It was so much fun and we just loved every moment.  The parties leading up to the wedding were great, the wedding was beautiful and being surrounded by all our family and friends who are normally so dispersed was such a special time.  I love anniversaries because it's a great excuse to look back at all the photos and remember all the details and enjoy it all over again.

Dad walking me down the aisle

Wedding Party

 I now pronounce you husband and wife

 Party Time!

Wedding over... let the marriage part begin....

TWO YEARS AGO TODAY.... I was pregnant with twins!  Our first year of marriage was honestly nothing quite like we had expected.  Our dream and our plan was really very hopeful and didn't really consider that things like finding new jobs and getting pregnant could actually be more difficult than anticipated.  So our first year of marriage was realizing that maybe everything wasn't going to go according to the formula and road map that we had set out for ourselves.  Al not being able to get a full time job and having trouble conceiving were difficult things for us in that first year.  But on July 3, 2010 I was pregnant with twins and Al finally had his permanent residency secured and we just knew things were turning around.  We went to the movies on our anniversary and saw whatever Twilight movie was out of the time (because we are super cool) and I sat nauseous through dinner... but oh so happy!  Two babies on the way and back on track to our all our dreams and plans coming true...

Ok so I wasn't really showing like that at 6 weeks pregnant on my anniversary, I promise! Just the only pregnant photo I could find!

ONE YEAR AGO TODAY... Addison was in congestive heart failure.  We actually wouldn't get that diagnosis for two more days but she was incredibly sick.  And we were scared out of our minds. And confused and overwhelmed.  It had been less than two weeks since the babies had their kidneys removed and Addison was clearly not doing well on dialysis.  We didn't know why or what to do for her.   The babies had been in the NICU for 6 months at this point and we were really not very close to getting them home and suddenly Addie was sicker than she's ever been. It was the worst time of my entire life.  Al and I quickly went and got some Mexican food and then spent the night sitting next to the babies, worrying and sleeping in our Ronald McDonald house room. 

Taken on our anniversary last year

Our dreams and plans seemed so far away and our life seemed so tiring and scary. But you know, we survived it.  All of us.  Together.  We found a way to hang in there and sometimes even laugh along the way.  Through 2 more months in the NICU.  Through bringing our babies home on dialysis and figuring that out.  Through Addie getting sick again on PD and having to go on Hemo.  Through finding out about Max's brain.  Through a lot of things that we never could have imagined making it through. It's not the love story you envision but it is a tremendous love story to live all of that together. 

AND TODAY...  we celebrate our 3 year anniversary in two separate states but happy and full of HOPE. Our baby girl who was fighting for her life a year ago is just doing amazing. She is healthy and has this new life and is just bubbling over with joy.  Our sweet Max is so much stronger than ever, no longer turning blue and will be getting a kidney within a year.  We may not be the idealistic obliviously happy people we were 3 years ago but we are also not the scared overwhelmed people we were one year ago.  We have survived 'worse' and 'in sickness' and looking forward to maybe some 'better' and 'in health'.   And what's more... We have worked out that our life can look absolutely nothing like our plan and our dreams and still be everything you need.  We have learned that happiness and love just don't always look how we had envisioned.

Happiness and Love...

Bringing on the better...

It is a very Happy Anniversary indeed.