Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Just like that it’s 2015!

And if I’m being honest, I have to tell y'all it’s been a tough thing hearing 'Happy New Year’ over and over again.  We know that things are only going to get more challenging and scary and hard as time goes by…so finding the ‘happy’ in the new year is, well, tough.  But as I sit here and reflect on just these first 6 days of 2015, we have had so many joyous moments intermixed with all the challenging ones.  Sometimes (all the time), we just have to slow down and consider the good things God has provided.  The simple things in life can be the things that provide the most joy.  

One thing is our fireplace.  It’s true. :)  It’s been 11 years since we have had a fireplace but now that we do, we are taking full advantage…as I write tonight, there is a crackling fire going and it just makes me smile.  

Little things.

And big things.

Elle’s speech and behavior are immensely better…and there is no practical explanation.  She is happy and funny and silly and giggly and is speaking in sentences.  She’s not just imitating words or phrases we say…she is speaking with independent thoughts and language.  She is a delight and we are soaking it up.  

Mercies upon mercies.

Milla’s motor skills and strength are still declining and her seizures are continuing to increase in frequency and severity.  She cannot walk or even sit unassisted.  However, she has been a happy girl.  Lots of giggles and and a good bit of silliness.  And lots of snuggles and hugs.  Our Milla has never been able to say ‘I love you’ but she shows us her love every day and I know she understands our love for her.

And Ann Carlyle is doing really great.  She has had the time of her life during this Christmas break.  So, so much fun with friends and cousins, sleepovers, horseback riding and a mountain of doughnuts.  :)  She is happy and content and her compassion and love for her little sisters grows daily.  

So while we face unspeakable heartache and challenge in this new year, we will remember God’s love.  We will remember that we will run and not be weary…we will walk and not faint.  We will remember that God is a merciful God and we will make daily choices to see the joy and to remember our Jesus, the Son of God, that came to earth as a baby, to live among us, to mourn with us, to suffer, so that we may have life in Him.

I read this months ago (I can’t even remember where - I’m pretty sure one of you wonderful people sent it to me), but I wrote it down to remember the truth within:

"Do you fear difficult circumstances? You need not fear. The Lord reigns as king above every circumstance. Obedience to him may require that you go through hard times that seem to have no reasonable explanation or way through them. His path may seem to lead you into quicksand, but you will find that underneath is solid rock, a place of true security.”

When the fear threatens to undo me, I will remember that He already knows what will happen tomorrow - no need to be afraid.  

We made the trip to Birmingham for Christmas just fine - the girls did well in the car and the sleep while there was normal (well, our normal).  Thank you for praying for these things!!  We had a wonderful time with my family and then came back to Memphis to spend some time with the Gieselmann clan.  All 4 of Frazer’s siblings were in Memphis, so we had a crazy but great time with everyone.  20 kids all together!!!

And so we are back into the swing of things this week with school and PDO and work and so many appointments.  (Frazer is just getting over the flu and thankfully the girls and I are still healthy!  Please continue to pray for health!)  We had Milla’s swallow test today to make sure she wasn’t aspirating any liquid or food into her lungs.  She didn’t fully comply with the whole test but we got her to do a little bit…more than I thought we would get out of her.  She is not aspirating at this time, but she came close so we will start using a thickener in all of her liquids.

We have Elle’s speech evaluation later this week, an appointment with the girls’ neurologist next week as well as an appointment with another doctor who specializes in palliative care.  (And then all the other regular appointments like physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc.)  I now consider myself a professional waiting-room-waiter.  

Thank you to you all who are diligently praying for us and for you all who are physically helping us get through each day!  We have people helping us get just a little extra hour of sleep in the morning as well as people at the house all the time to help us take care of the girls or babysit while I go to the store or while I take one of them to an appointment.  We have dinners coming faithfully and fresh flowers that help make my house a home.  We have seen an truly unbelievable amount of generosity and sacrifice in every aspect.  The goodies for the girls (and us!) and help financially and gift cards to restaurants, etc…our cups runneth over.  :)  THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

Much love as always,


  1. Thanks for the update. We love you!

  2. Dana, Thank you so much for sharing these updates. I have been praying for you and your family for months. I no longer work with your Mother, but received pieces of updates when she was able to share with co-workers. I have shared with my Sunday School class which adds another 50 or so faithful prayer warriors to the long list of your supporters. May God continue to strengthen you all and give you peace and mercy beyond our understanding. Michelle Gresham, Bessemer AL.