Pip's 6th Birthday Bash




To My Fav boy on the planet - #SEVEN


My first kid, turns SEVEN today. 
And as I sit down, to think about what I want to tell him. 
I write, "I feel all sorts of things". 
Yet, he has no idea the gravity or the real kick-in-the-teeth kinda week I've actually had. 
And he might not ever understand the wild-ride-of-an-emotional rollercoaster, I've been on the past few days. 

Pip has been fighting a bacterial infection. 
And with type-one-diabetes, it makes everything incredibly complicated. 
She's so uber clingy. 
Not wanting to eat.
Yet, has high BG's.
So giving LOTS of insulin - amounts that would normally tank her. 
Then living always on the verge of when things will flip. 
Please, other #T1DParents, tell me you get what I mean.

Then one of my closest friends in the world, 
got in a MAJOR car accident. 
Where she broke her freaking back. 
And the car was flipped upside down. 
But, her boys were hanging from their seatbelts. 
And she just leaped into action. 
Went momma-mode & got them free. 
I'm in awe & so very thankful they are still here. 

And then my bestfriend, since we were babies in our church's nursery. 
Had her son 12 years ago today.
And she always said, she was gonna have three. 
But, as soon as he came.
I loudly proclaimed him as my Fav. 
My own mother, told me that was "not nice",
and that I was probably making the other children feel bad. 
But, yet I still did it. 
Then he got cancer. 
And now he's my favourite little boy up in heaven. 
And I got a new one here on earth.
Who oddly enough shares the exact same birthday.

My son, Noal was born 3 weeks early, on Maiysn's 5th birthday.
We thought it Fate then. 
But, now know it's bonded us forever.

And while it makes me beyond emotional each birthday since we've lost him. I will never be able to understand my best friend's pain. 

Today my son opened a card from his Auntie Laurs. 
He smiled at what she wrote & all the new Hockey cards she picked out. 
We talked about Maiysn & acknowledged how sad his mom must be feeling. 
And how lucky I felt to get to be able to celebrate the guts outta him. 

And while, I did just that. 
I loved him up so very much. 
My heart ached for my dear friend. 
Who would give literally anything, 
to have her sweet boy back. 

On top of that already helluva a big week. 
Found out yesterday that Pip's knee surgery wasn't successful. 
Let out a wild "FECK" in front of the Doctor, before I could even stop myself. 

So, yeah, I'd say, I'm feeling all sorts of feels indeed. 
And this doesn't even get into how I can't wrap my head around how much I love my birthday boy, or how quickly time is fast-forwarding by. 

[End of sidenote.]

My Noal,

Today you turn SEVEN. 
And I feel all sorts of things. 

"How can this bloody be happening SOOOO fast!!!"
"Man, Alive I love that boy so so so much."


"I hope we remember these days forever."

Because, if you haven't already notice.
Time has a way of making things fade. 
So, by the time you grow up,
you may only remember the really BIG moments. 
And not so much, the day-to-day.

But, I hope I remember them for you. 
For us. 
For a time later in life.
When you need to remember who you are. 

And what you come from and 
why you are, how you are. 

So, things like how, you somehow have this magically ability to make others laugh. 
And outta all three kids, I love that you are the most cuddly. 
I want you to remember that you have these momma-bear-characteristics with your siblings & anyone littler than you.
That you speak your mind, stand your ground even if it's when you dramatically downright refuse a berry - any kind - like I'm trying to give you rat posion - every time - I try. 
I hope you never give up, kinda like how no matter what since you could, you have at least 8 excuses to get outta bed every SINGLE night. 
I want you to always be just the sweetest, like when you leave me little hand written notes in a jewelry box, you bought me at your school's yard sale last year. 
And I want you to remember this gentleness about you, when you still like me to rub your back, as I sing a song, I sang to you when you were a baby. 

And even though you are only SEVEN. 
It's hard to even remember you as a baby. 
Life somehow becomes so in the NOW. 

So, I get that the details won't be seeped deep. 
And that you're gonna only recall the most memorable moments or the ones I wanna forget.
Like a few days ago, when I watched you & Theo. 
Bang heads in just the perfect way, 
that the end of the bed took him down. 
There was lots of blood.
You bravely ran for towels & 
then calmed him down, while pressing against the wound, as I ran for ster-strips. 
And thank freaking God, for our hack job of an effort. 
You did great kid!

But, you do great every day. 
No other seven year old I know. 
Takes after a sister, 
like you take after our Pip. 
You, are that Girl's HERO. 
She loves you so.

I love how you stand up for her. 
And try to teach people to not be afraid. 
To think differently. 
When all those kids, the first day of summer camp. 
Kept asking ya, "What's wrong with her?"
I'm so glad you handle it like you do. 
You're one of the good ones, Kid. 
I'm so proud to be your mom. 
I always think I got so lucky, with you.

And, no other seven year old, 
knows how to treat diabetic lows 
or steer people away from food that has gluten in it. 
Or knows how to call 911 or where insulin & a needle to save their sister's life is kept.

You, have a lot on your plate kid. 
Not, only are you busy being a KID.
But, you deal with loads of different stuff, 
other seven year olds don't even know about. 
And I just want you to know, 
that I know that. 
And I'm so proud of how you have handled everything. 
And I love seeing who you are, emerge these last few years, 
because they become the core, 
of who you become...

So, my darling 21-FREAKING-HOURS

I know what you go through as a seven year old, is kinda extraordinary. 
But, I want you to know, 
if who you become later in life is ANYONE, 
like who you are today. 
Pleasure is all mine. 

Because, Son, you are magnificent!!!

You are charming. 
And confident. 
Silly & full of spice. 
You are chatty & kind. 
And loud & slightly obnoxious at times. 
You are freaking hilarious. 
And you're pleasant to be around.

And even though at certain times you can be a down-right-annoying-bratty-little-bugger. 
All in all. 


And, Noal, I sure hope to GOD
who YOU are today. 
Carries you through. 
Whatever life has planned for you throughout.

Happy Birthday Kid.
I love you so.
You're my fav boy on the planet...



Dear Pip, 
My sweet whirlwind-of-a-daughter. 
Every single night, before you fall asleep. 
I tell you, 
"I love you. I'm so proud of you. 
And I'm sooooo happy that you're mine." 

And every single night, I mean every single bit of it. 
But, today. 
My heart can't even, tell you how damn in love with you.
I really am.
I am so glad life decided YOU needed to be my daughter. 

Because today darling, you shined, 
oh so bright. 
It's like you knew today was because, of YOU.
And girl, you proudly soaked in every minute. 

You hammed-it-up for the cameras.
You kept making people giggle, as you dramatically reacted to something they said, with, "OH MY GOSH", as you put both hands over your cheeks & kinda curtsied. 
You demanded we sing the silly songs we've made up for each other. 
So, in front of a room full of people, I had to flap-up-my-arms like wings and sing in a high-pitch-English-accented voice, 
"Momma Bird - Momma Bird - I am your Momma Bird." 
You taught the other kids how to say, "cheese" or posed their hands to copy what you wanted them to do. 
You yelled out, "next boy" whenever you wanted to meet the next kid.
You were excited & made time for every single person you met. 
You made them feel welcomed. 
You invaded a few's personal spaces. 
And when you didn't want to participate, you let us all know. 

You did YOU!
Like you always do. 
And I'm so proud of that. 
So, on a day like today. 
When I got to witness tears from other mommas, who shared their stories. 
About how they got their child's Down syndrome diagnosis. 
Googled it - Got discouraged - Found YOU. 
And, YOU changed their perspective. 
How incredibly powerful. 
My God, child, what PURPOSE your life holds. 

Pip, I am honoured to be your momma. 
And I am humbled to be able to host a day like today. 
This is our FIFTH Year making a #differentisbeautiful Calendar & every year I know it goes down as one of the best days a human being can possible live. 

I am forever changed because of YOU. 
You have dented the universe forever.
And I am so glad, you are my girl.  

I love you beyond...

[All photos by Eden Grove Photography]
[#differentisbeautiful Calendar shoot hosted by Delta Waterfront]


*Call Out - 2019 #differentisbeautiful Calendar*

Happy Soul Project's #differentisbeautiful Calendar is for these kids & families. 
It's to show them we think their child is outrageously beautiful.
It's to honour the hours, days, months they spent in hospitals, doctor appointments, seeing specialist and therapies.
It's to stand beside them and pat their backs for a job well done.
And it's to shout from the rooftops how special, important, valued and awesome they are...

We will be shooting our 2019 #differentisbeautiful Calendar on July 15th in Kingston, Ontario @ the Delta Hotels by Marriott Kingston Waterfront.

If your child is interested in being a part of this beautiful project - Please send an email to: info@happysoulproject.org

Please watch & share: https://youtu.be/Y0cmgGlDQQg

🎵 “Better Place” by Rachel Platten


"Special Needs Momma"- #Dayinthelife

Yesterday, at 3:18 am my daughter's Dexcom-CGM-Continuous Glucous Monitor, set off an alarm, that bolts me outta bed & has me racing down a hallway to get to her.
My little girl's blood sugar was dipping dangerously low.
And if not treated, she could potentially go unconscious and it could be fatal.
Without that alarm, my daughter might not have woken up. 
Some nights, when her Dexcom isn't working - It's impossible to sleep.

At 6:38 am I changed my five year old daughter's diaper.
At 7:02 am I poked one of my daughter's fingers, to get a BG reading, figured out the amount of carbs that were in her breakfast and administered the amount of insulin she needed to cover the food she'd hopefully eat all of.
At 7:03 am I gave my daughter her daily thyroid medication & waited & watched like a prison guard till she knocked it down her hatch.
At 7:05 am I made my daughter a gluten-free bagel, in a separate toaster because of cross-contamination.
At 7:15 am I packed my daughter a carb-counted-rationed-and-portioned-pain-in-the-arse T1D/Celiac lunch.
At 7:20 am I gathered the supplies needed, just so my daughter could step out of the house; insulin, a backup pump, test strips, lancets, an emergency glucagon kit and items like apple juice and rockets to treat if her blood sugar drops. 
At 7:30 am I put on my daughter's knee braces and kissed the scars on her caps.

At 7:35 am I get annoyingly irritated at the speed in which my daughter needs to get ready. Hustle up already.
At 7:45 am as I drove to the hospital for a day with FIVE-FREAKING-APPOINTMENTS, I watched my daughter beam from her car seat and yell out, "Mom. Mom. Mom - me so happy."
At 7:46 am I realized my daughter didn't care what we did, a day with her mom, to her, was EVERYTHING. 
At 8:20 am my daughter is STOKED and is in her ELEMENT. As soon as she sees the parking garage, she knows what the day holds. 
  • Pushing as many buttons as she can possibly get a hold of. Girl lives for an elevator. 
  • Greeting anyone - ANYONE - who crosses her path. She probably, proudly said, "Me Pip - Your name?" to 127 people yesterday.
  • It was a day to wait in numerous playrooms within the hospital, all spaces she loved to explore. 
  • And see nurses, receptionists, doctors and specialists, who have known her since she was born. I loved watching her be totally comfortable & confident with them. Getting right behind the desk to greet a receptionist, who once gave her a teddy bear & me a pile of snickers to get me through one of her many surgeries. Showing off her language skills to the nurses, who have loved watching her thrive despite every challenge she's been faced & have hugged me along the way. And impressing the docs with her independence & ability to remember what to do, for all the different tests she needed to have done.
  • She knew it held a day of taking silly pics & watching home videos with her momma.
  • Having a lunch "date" or a snack, either in the hospital cafeteria or a nearby cafe. 
  • And it meant she got to feel so outrageously brave the entire day. Being loved up by me, right beside her for every poke & prode. Getting high-fives & fist pumps from anyone she possibly can. And then be lifted up by her brothers & dad, when we talk about our days at dinner. She undeniably knows how strong we all think she is, on a day, like yesterday.

And yes, the day held so much more that I could have continued documenting for y'all minute-by-minute.  
Like at 9:03 am when I had to wrap her in my arms with all my strength, whispering in her ear how much I loved her & that they were almost done, as they poked around for a vein during blood work. 

Or how much it blew finding out that her ear tubes only stayed in for six months - So, most likely another surgery after summer.  
I could even get into how much it sucks to hear doctors give "wait & see" as the answer. 
Or explain, how I've learn to live in this constant-state-of-fear, wondering when something is going to "break" on her next. 

This is the life of a "special needs or whatever you want to call us" momma.
This is a glimpse of what we go through.
In just ONE DAY.
And yes, yes our children are BEYOND brave. 

I went out with another "special needs momma" last night & although our stories and our children are completely different. 
Our struggles. 
Our challenges.
Our fears. 
Our worry.
Our stress.
And our absolute delight in our child, that gave us this title, remains all so relatable.
And the underlining characteristic, I see in all of us. 
Is how bloody brave we really are.