As most years do, this one has come with its trials and triumphs. For once our year was not completely consumed by Sara's medical status, as previous years have been. And because of this, we got the opportunity to participate in many more events with CTF and the family than in previous years. I would like to think that for the most part, we lived a "normal" life this year.
This year started with Sara's 5th birthday. It wasn't a big event this year, but as this whole year showed, a key person was missing. This year was filled with events that reminded us of Amy's absence. It was harder some times than others, but we all still miss her VERY much!
In February, we made what has become an annual trip to Disney. We went to Disneyland in CA, and enjoyed a long weekend together. For the first time in I can't remember how long, my dad, sister, myself, Sara, and my nephew were together on a family trip. We did it for a couple reasons...to restart our relationship as a new family since over the last several years our relationships have been very strained, and to help us to grieve the loss of my step-mother. It was a difficult trip. but a lot of fun at the same time. I just had to focus on Sara and Corbin's amazement and excitement! My dad has already decided that he wants to go to Disney World in 2013, and it sounds like he has quite the idea of what that trip will look like! Should be a good time!
In July, we were invited to Colorado National Speedway to see the CTF car in its first local race! We got to go into the pits, meet the driver, and all the local NF Heroes (including Sara) had their names printed on the car as part of the paint job to honor them. Sara is a huge racing fan (We watch NASCAR each week), so this was a big deal for her! I hope they come back again next year so that we can see the car in action again!
Another big event over the summer for us, was Sara's new walker! Sara decided at the end of last school year she wanted to walk "like the other kids in her class". So to PT we went, and with a new walker Sara grew in leaps and bounds. After several months, Sara was walking like a champ. She uses her walker most of the day at school walking to specials, lunch, and recess. Its amazing to see, especially since doctors told us it wasn't ever going to happen!
Sara started kindergarten this year, and does she love it! Sara loves her teacher and new friends, and they love her as well. She continues to be at the head of the class academically, but has struggled some with her fine motor skills. She has excelled at reading and math, and is always in love with art projects. We look forward to doing the science fair early in 2013!
Again this year, we attended the Annual Denver NF Walk. I was on the planning committee this year, and it was a lot of fun...and a lot of work! It was great to see everyone come out and support CTF and all those affected by NF. We had a big team again this year, and its so amazing to see everyone come out who loves Sara so very much and supports her through it all. Sara also received the NF Hero Award this year at the walk, which was a pretty big deal. They give the award out to one child each year who shows perseverance and helps to spread awareness of NF throughout the community.
In November, Sara got the opportunity to try something new. My sister has become involved with a horse rescue this year, so we got the opportunity to take Sara riding. Sara was fearful at first, but warmed up to the big animals. She started riding with me, but as you can see, got to the point of riding alone with someone walking along side her and someone else leading the horse. I'm hopeful that once Sara is out of her cast from surgery early next year, that then maybe she will be able to do some therapy riding to regain strength in her lower muscles.
And in December, the biggest event of the year for us....Sara's hip surgery! It went amazingly well, and Sara showed what little girls are really made of. Strength, love, resilience, and determination! She rose to the occasion like she always does, and faced this amazingly scary event with a grace and understanding beyond her years! She will have the cast until early or mid-February.
Happy holidays to all of our friends and family! We pray the Lord watches over you now and always. Have a very happy and fulfilling new year!