Made of Gray

2015 Wrap-Up List

Raising the Rare ChildHolly D GrayComment

I tend to like lists and with the start of 2016 already underway; making a list seems to be a quick way to look back on our crazy year. 

1. 2015 was the year that we transitioned Caleigh's GI, Surgery, Endocrinology, Genetics and Hematology care to Boston Children's Hospital and traveled there three times. April, June and September. The tug of war with nurses, doctors and insurance has been enough to make a baby cry. The decision to rearrange her care was completely worth it. Caleigh grew 3 inches and gained 12 pounds this year. After three years we finally needed to buy new clothes. She looks healthier and well traveled. 

2. This month marks one year since the arrival of Caleigh's amazing Nanny. She's had her own wild and crazy year, but Eric and I seriously wouldn't have made it through without her. She treats Caleigh like the stubborn 8 year old that she is and I love it. We simply adore her. 

3. Eric was hit by a pickup truck while he was riding his bicycle in March. He went through shoulder surgery, months of PT and ended up missing a ton of work. His dear Bianchi bike was totaled and he has yet to grudgingly pick a replacement. His physical self is on the mend and we are hoping that his bicycle luck gets better in 2016. 

4. On top of our crazy travel schedule back and forth to Boston, Caleigh outgrew most of her adaptive equipment. Her manual wheelchair, bed, shower chair, and AFOs seemed to be the hardest hit. She received a Tobii Eyegaze communication device this year too. I'm hoping to do a review and introduction to all of the new goods in the coming year. 

5. 2015 brought Caleigh's 8th birthday. Eight beautiful years for our girl. 

6. Randomly enough Caleigh broke her nose in October during a bike riding accident. Her nose healed nicely with no complications. Bicycles and our family took a break for the rest of the year.

7. Caleigh was the flower girl in her Uncle Heath & Aunt Joeli's wedding in November. She did a great job and the wedding was beautiful. Dressing up and partying is definitely Caleigh's thing. 

8. At the end of November, I resigned from my position as social media and marketing manager at NICU Helping Hands. After being with NHH for almost two years, it was an emotional decision that came down to my self care. I love what I did, all facets of it, but my soul needed a break. I came to a point where I really couldn't do it all. There is no balance when something has to give. 

9. During the break down point, I started seeing a therapist for the first time since Caleigh was born. Long overdue. Finding someone that not only listened but offered solutions was the key. I was diagnosed with PTSD which really wasn't a surprise to me. Que sera, sera. 

10. 2015 was a challenging year for Caleigh's behavior. I feel like we've made a break through with our strong learner, but each day offers a new testing opportunity. More days than I can count involved screaming and tantrums. I'm hoping my renewed focus on family will be the consistency that she needs in 2016. 

11. We started 3rd grade in the fall by slowly moving through the curriculum. Again, with me being home more with Caleigh and her discipline on track; I hope to pick up the pace with our year round homeschooling. It was definitely a struggle in 2015. 

12. 2015 was the year for me to start showing my artwork again. I was chosen to be in three gallery shows. One in Fort Worth, Dallas and one in Tennessee. It was a nice jumpstart into making art with a purpose. You can read more about my current body of work here

13. We were able to finish up the construction and remodeling of our home. Caleigh has wider doorways and not an ounce of carpet left in the whole house. Life with liquids, spills and accidents is SO much easier. We're even missing some popcorn ceiling texture. Now for that master bath... 

14. 2015 was the year that Caleigh decided that Santa isn't the real deal. It made me feel pretty sad, but it's another typical milestone that is to be expected. Merry Christmas. 

15. Eric turned 35, I turned 34 and we celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. When I think about being in my thirties it feels like an outer body experience. Like I'm watching future me. This is obviously because I will forever be and feel 26.  

For 2016, I'm clearing my head and heart. I'm going to care for myself, and my family with no regrets. 


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