Deciding.

Joy.

 
(Questioning eyes.)
























Sometimes, choosing joy is easy.  Sometimes, your baby is happy and smiling and chatting with the baby in the mirror.  Other times, choosing joy is difficult and painful.  You look at the calendar and wonder when your baby is going to have open heart surgery. 

(Yawn.  Because baby yawns are cute.)
























I often hear that kids with Down syndrome are always joyful.  Ellie isn't always joyful, but she brings me great joy.  She works hard to do what comes naturally for other kids, but she doesn't seem to mind.

(Most of the time.  I called her a physical therapy dropout this week.  After 45 minutes of hard work, she sprawled out on the floor and cashed out.  Her sweet therapist said she got an "A++" for the session, but admitted to being an easy grader.)

Ellie helps me seek joy in little things.  Here are just a few of the little things I am choosing to celebrate:

* I'm running a four mile race on July 4, and am starting to feel like a runner again.

* My new camera lens has been ordered.  (Because my husband is awesome.)

* I just won hair clippies on Patty's blog, which may help with mohawk control.  (Doubtful.)

(Who needs to control a mohawk?  Not me!)

















* Ellie has been happy in the pool.

* Ellie's music box makes her smile, and sometimes, she can turn it on all by herself.

 
















One year ago today, I found out I was pregnant.  I didn't think that we'd be faced with the emotional turmoil of Ellie's diagnosis of Down syndrome, of a heart defect, and of a GI problem.

I am asked quite frequently if I knew about these issues prior to Ellie's birth.  The answer is yes, we knew about the Down syndrome at eleven weeks.  That answer usually leads to the next question.

Did you have trouble deciding?

Sweet Ellie, when you grow up and read this someday, I want you to know that the answer is no.  No, we did not have trouble deciding that you would be part of our family.  We knew we loved you.  We were terrified and uncertain about many, many things.  We cried a lot.  But Eleanor Claire, you are our bright ray of light.

Even when you aren't happy.

(Pre-cry face.)

















And finally, just because the squirrels have been absent for awhile...
















The {Giveaway} closes Sunday night.

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