32. 

Happy birthday to the best man I know! 

Yesterday this amazing guy mentioned he keeps two sticky notes on his computer at his desk (he works at a credit union as an MSR) to help him during a day. I asked what they are and he shared one says ‘Prequel’ to remind him that everyone has a story before they met/spoke to him, reminding him to be gracious and loving despite how they are when they speak to him. And the other is ‘RUA’ (Are You Awake) which reminds him to find God in the now, to remind him we are always connected to God. I just again was struck with how incredible and deep this man is!  I’m so thankful he was born 32 years ago today, that Jesus captured his troubled 16-year-old heart (in a juvenile detention center) and changed the course of his life drastically (you should ask him his story – it’s incredible!), that we met and I’ve now had 11 years of celebrating his life! I love how passionately and deeply he lives every day (even at work).

 Happy birthday Ted!! We love you!

Chaseyboy’s 4th Birthday Parrrrrty!

I’m trying to play some major catch up with our life. Here are photos from Chase’s 4th Birthday!ChaseyboyBirthday4-3

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“Friend Anthem” helped his momma make Chase this pirate map that we used as decor!
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ChaseyboyBirthday4-7Chase4thBirthdayCollage9 I found this free printable from online and cut them to my liking for cupcake use. (I didn’t do all the folds and such, just simply cut around the characters.)ChaseyboyBirthday4-52above: my favourite photo of the day! photo 2photo 3Chase4thBirthdayCollage7Brave little souls, walkin’ the plank, over dolphin shark infested waters.
Chase4thBirthdayCollage2Chase4thBirthdayCollage6 If they made it safely across they got a tattoo.Chase4thBirthdayCollage5
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since we are moving, we asked for things like traveling books and activities or itunes cards :)photo 5Chase4thBirthdayCollage4ChaseyboyBirthday4-8Watermelon boat “cake”ChaseyboyBirthday4-17 Chase4thBirthdayCollage3 Cannot believe my first baby is FOUR. What?!Chase4thBirthdayCollage

It was a super fun and adventurous birthday for my firstborn little love, ahem, pirate.

He didn’t want to get a photo with just momma, too many friends and fun things to do and see I suppose :)

But we did get one great one as a family.

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Pirate Davis clan :)

Can’t wait for many more years with our sweet Chase Journey!

Ted.

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(Ted – covered in dirt and grim from working on our garden, holding a vegan peanut butter, oreos and banana pie that was AMAZING!(recipe from a friend))

My awesome babe turned 28 the same weekend as Mother’s Day. I don’t know if I even have the words to fully convey my feelings and my heart in regards to this man.

He is so many things all wrapped up in one:

He’s passionate.

If something is on this man’s heart, he’s unstoppable. Sometimes this changes from month to month, but for the most part he is passionate about justice, mercy, grace, identity in Christ, what is truly means to be The Kingdom… as well as things like photography, capturing people’s stories: the beautiful and the awful.

I’ll file “energetic” under passionate as well. Although, it does help that he no longer drinks 6 shot Americanos ;)

He’s inquisitive.

He loves learning and to be informed. I mean, this man is constantly learning and researching, listening to podcasts, reading, listening to NPR, and BBC news, etc. He amazes me with how much he is able to take in and remember.

I think what astounds me even more is his heart behind his research and also his willingness to research even the most difficult, controversial subjects that most often Christians just bash or share their opinions ignorantly. He has challenged me OH SO MUCH, in such a beautiful way.

He’s determined.

I can only think of one time where I thought Ted was giving up on dreams. One, out of many times that he’s faced trials, major difficulties, set backs and momentary “failures”. He is truly the most determined man I know. I think his sons are taking after him in this area and if they use it as their daddy has, I have no problem with this sort of determination! What a man!

He’s visionary, a dreamer.

He is a dreamer to the max. I am more practical but also a dreamer as well. I think this is why we are truly pursuing our dreams with the belief that even though some days it doesn’t feel like it, we’re on our way.

His heart for our family, for people, for our lives, etc… it’s INCREDIBLE and I truly pray he never ever loses that part of who he is.

He’s grounded/rooted.

And I don’t mean like at his Bank job or in a home or a place… in fact, quite the opposite in those areas (I mean, come on, if you know Ted, a bank job? REALLY? He’s amazing at it, but seriously, not his dream job! Beats, Walmart though! Ya do what you’ve gotta do!)… what I am talking about is in his beliefs, his goals, his dreams and most importantly in who he is. Many times, I have seen people give him flack for this or that or even his job(s) and he stands so firm in belief that there will be more ahead for us. He stands so firm in who he is that a lot of the time, he often doesn’t feel the need to defend himself even when others are wrong or cruel to him. He teaches me so much in this area.

He’s a DEEP and an “outside the box” thinker.

I feel these two go hand-in-hand for him. I know I am obviously bias, but I think many that really know Ted would agree… he is one of the deepest people I know.  He’s often misunderstood and even comes across offensive. Why? Because he often challenges our Christian views and judgments that we so often spout out without truly thinking or even knowing what we’re talking about (me too). He challenges me to research and to learn the heart of God and what it means to be The Kingdom and to have mercy. To be accepting and loving as Jesus was. He rubs even our Christian peers the wrong way, but if you take a moment to listen you’d be oh so challenged and deeply reminded of the love of God. If you can just get past the initial sudden defensiveness you feel ;)

WHOA.

He’s a “people person”.

He wants to get to know you and your story and what makes you who you are. Where you’ve been and where you want to go. Also, he’ll most likely ask to take your portrait … kidding, sort of.

He’s hilarious.

6 years later and I’m still laughing til I cry. seriously. He’s so shocking too, bahaha

And together we are the biggest pair of Nerds.

He’s SO much more…

486690_10151457083626989_1995457267_n…a fun and playful and loving daddy. They ADORE him!

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An incredible husband – not in the gives me back scratches and brings me flowers and gifts sort of way but in the deep stuff – like how well he loves, encourages and affirms, challenges me in my weakness and how he TRULY loves me as Christ did the church.

Ted, I am one BEYOND blessed woman.

And I just HAVE to share because it’s hilarious…

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Ted’s actual birth day (the 10th) the boys and I popped by Ted’s work (he worked ALL day) because I was afraid they wouldn’t celebrate him… HA, I was wrong! LOVE it. Made me laugh so hard.

Happy birthday, my love!!

26.

On my 16th birthday my family and friends threw me a surprise birthday. 10 years later, it happened again! I arrived at what I thought was a meeting to work on DIY projects for my dear friend, Chey’s, wedding and instead was shocked to find a small group of my friends (and momma and sister) there! Even a friend was “there” from afar via skype!
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And oh my word, was I beyond blessed by them. They {each} took time at the part to create me 6×6 canvases for my craft room wall. Each canvas has truth, or a word or who they feel I am. I could cry even now as I think of them.birthday13Best. gift. ever (especially for the craft-lovin’-girl I am ;))photo-1

We also had wine with sorbet and played a little Hearthrob which was a blast. Many laughs. 20130323-184059.jpgEarly the next morning, we dropped the boys off with their Mimi (my mom) for the night and next day. We came home and Ted made me healthy breakfast burritos while I got ready.20130323-194039.jpg

When I saw I got ready, it didn’t end up looking any different than any other day (besides no little hands grabbing at my legs :)) I had {HOPED} with my whole heart – okay, a little dramatic, but really.. I had hoped curlers would work to help curl my hair, as my hair is as straight as a pin since I’ve had kiddos. It didn’t, but at least I tried to be a little fancier for Ted ;)

We ate and then headed out. Where? To downtown Denver, where Ted surprised me with a “getaway”!!20130323-185449.jpg

First, we ventured through the Denver Art Museum. This is one of my favourite photos from the weekend. It felt so good to laugh together like this again.20130323-185434.jpg20130323-184123.jpg20130323-185439.jpg20130323-193046.jpg20130323-184107.jpg20130323-184308.jpgThis man… amazing. The Lord has brought us out of a super dark season the past few years, together. I couldn’t be more thankful for him and our Father for helping guide us (still a work in progress, but really, when isn’t a marriage?)20130323-184235.jpgA shot of Ted shooting the shot you see directly below him :)20130323-185459.jpgAfter the museum we tried Mad Greens for the first time. DELICIOUS! It is basically set up like a Chipotle or Qdoba but with salad choices instead! Definitely recommend if you have one near you.20130323-185454.jpgoh my heart ;)20130323-184143.jpgAfter we ate, we strolled around and grabbed an afternoon coffee before heading to our hotel for check in. I was STUNNED when I saw the hotel. It is the nicest hotel, besides our honeymoon in Cancun, that I’ve ever stayed in. I almost felt like I didn’t belong, honestly, but had to remind myself, this was a blessing and to accept it!
20130323-184219.jpgRight: view from our room, taken by Ted.20130323-184136.jpgA KING sized bed. Which further encourage my desire for a king so co-sleepin’ parents like us can have a little space ;)
20130323-193040.jpgWe dropped our things off at the hotel and headed to 16th Street Denver to explore. We wandered around for a bit, just chattin’ and people watchin’. We decided we wanted to see a movie and visited a theatre that was “high in the sky”.

We ate a mediterranean style pizza at The Mellow Mushroom. The place was PACKED because it was St. Patty’s eve and holy. moly. Thankfully the waitress placed us in a (mostly) quiet corner, perhaps because we weren’t wearing green she thought maybe we didn’t want to be in the crowd ;) Ted and I sat and had a phenomenal conversation along with an amazing dinner. I appreciated this weekend especially because it gave us some time for deep, quality conversation which is hard to come by sometimes. We talked of our dreams, goals, where we hope to be, and what the Lord is speaking to each of our hearts currently – which meshed – and I can honestly say that was the first time in a few years that it has happened like this. I felt a part of me be sparked back to life, which might sound dramatic – but true.

SO.VERY.THANKFUL.

20130323-184159.jpgOur goober faces. Ted asked them for the highest room available – without extra charge, and we got a room on the 27th floor! We died laughing as we tried to point to the exact place we were staying. The photo of Ted is right. Mine, not so, “because I’m SO short he couldn’t get the angle right”, hehe.
20130323-184243.jpg After the movie and dinner and before the real St. Patty’s day craziness started, we headed back to our hotel. We watched the movie The Words, went down to the fancy shmancy bar and had a drink to relax. Went back to our room and I even took a bath and went to bed early. What?! ;)20130323-185444.jpgNight view from our room.20130323-184228.jpgThe next morning out of habit, I woke early, well actually I did “sleep in” but that was 7:15am. I woke to find Ted reading as the sun was rising over the Denver skyscrapers. 20130323-184053.jpg

(sugar in the raw was a little inside-flirt we had going on when we were dating. He would give me honey packets randomly, and I would give him sugar in the raw. It’s silly but a sweet memory and it was especially sweet to find packets at our table that morning!)

Ted and I ate breakfast at the hotel and I had a SUPER embarrassing moment. First, in my defense, I slept 8/9 hours straight, which I haven’t done in I have NO IDEA how long. I was a “zombie”, for lack of a better word.  Also, the booths we sat in were super tall – so you really couldn’t see over them at the people next to you. And, it was a super fancy breakfast buffet, but of course, so even more embarrassing ;) Our waitress came and filled our waters and told us we could head up to the buffet. I was first in line and headed back to the table before Ted. I sat down and I waited, and waited, and waited. 15 minutes had passed and I couldn’t believe how long it was taking him. I was about to get up when our waitress came by, looked at me a little oddly and asked to fill my water. I handed my glass to her and thought it was odd that it was empty! I quickly realized I was at the WRONG table. And not only that, but when I stood to find our booth I saw Ted with his food at the table directly beside me. OH MY WORD. The worst part is our waitress didn’t find it one bit funny. Ted thought it was hilarious and I just wanted to crawl under the table.

Some people get too little sleep and can’t function, um, apparently I’m the opposite!

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We left the buffet, walked around downtown Denver for a few hours, had lunch, checked out  and then headed to IKEA, a camera store, and my first time ever, World Market where Ted bought me all of these globes ;) I kid.

For a couple who is horrible at scheduling consistent date nights, last weekend was definitely refreshing. It was also our first “getaway” since we’ve had kiddos. We’ve always talked about it, but to actually do it was so incredible!

With that being said, I recommend a getaway night or a few hours to any couple.

Thank you for the sweet birthday wishes everyone! You made 26 seem awfully special! :)

a rainbow birthday party

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I recently decorated (and photographed) a little girl’s Rainbow themed birthday party! It was pretty fun decorating for a little girl. Don’t get me wrong, I love planning boy birthday parties but the fun, bright colours were a blast :) I thought I would share just to kind of get my name out there to see if others in the area would ever want to hire me to help do the decorations (seriously, I love this!) I’ll let the photos do the speaking, thanks for stopping by :)RainbowPartyFinals (10 of 19)RainbowPartyFinals (7 of 19)RainbowPartyFinals (16 of 19)RainbowPartyFinals (12 of 19)RainbowPartyFinals (9 of 19)

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Thank you for stopping by! I hope you are either inspired or ready to hire me ;) hehe…

I’m currently working on a few wedding shower’y parties and Chase’s pirate themed 4th birthday party. Getting a head start here and there when I can! I get my love for party plannin’ from my madre! She threw us the most creative and unique parties!

“Little old man” Shai’s UP 1st Birthday Party!

It’s hard to believe but our baby turned 1 just last week. Ted and I are both taken aback by how time seems to just fly lately. Didn’t I just have this little one?! Recognizing the speed of our lives makes me want to be sure to pause momentarily to capture the moments of their lives. Last week his birthday fell mid-week so we did things as a family on the day of his birthday but Sunday the 11th Shailo had his first birthday party. It was inspired by Disney Pixar’s UP. And what better way to celebrate Shai? Our baby whom we thought looked like a “little old man” from day one. Anyways, enough chatting. Here are photos from his birthday week and birthday party:

Even before the party really began, Shai took his roll of the little old man in UP quite seriously. He grabbed hold of a balloon and really only let go of it to change into his birthday outfit, open gifts and eat cake, but of course!


{Happy birthday} to our fun-loving, super social, determined, friendly, adventurous, energetic, and incredibly daring little one!

and might dashing as well :)

(I did my own personal take on UP and went with a more vintage inspired UP)Shai’s cake. Clearly my sweet friend, Chey had nothing to do with this cake hehe. But I am thankful we were able to create a simple cake, what I’d hoped for!
Shailo was a little confused at everyone singing to him and why momma would let a flame be so close to his little fearless self. Haha!He dug in and ate the cupcake as fast as he could. The cutest, funniest moment was a few minutes after devouring his cupcake, when he ZONKED.

(Below are the photos of his birthday taken with a phone)…

Some more details of the party and cute (but pixely) photos of Shai.Happy 1st birthday, our beloved Shai. You have added such a fun spunk to our family dynamic. You are incredible and we are so very blessed and thankful to call you ours, Shailo Valour: God’s gift – our brave, fearless, daring and peaceable warrior.

painting with trucks.

We started a fun tradition when Chaseyboy was a year old and that was, around each of his birthdays he would do a painting of some sort. This year the painting was especially fun for him! I am sharing way late, as he did this right after his 3rd birthday but here it is (all photos taken with my phone);
This year he painted with trucks (I saw a similar idea with cars on Pinterest!) He helped me choose 4 trucks to go in each of the 4 colours.

Super fun and really easy. What a cool project!!

We also made Thank You cards for his birthday gifts. I just cut copier paper in half, folded them in half and he painted them! Very easy and very fitting with his Cars themed birthday party!

If you have a boy or girl who loves cars/trucks this is the {perfect} craft! And could also make the perfect gift for a grandfather’s garage! ;)

Celebration of her life.

September 17th the one year anniversary since Eisley’s birth.

We decided to get away as a family and it was truly what we needed. We spent 4 nights in Denver, some days around our friends and others just as a family. It was a time of remembering her, grieving our loss of her here and celebrating her life.

I really struggled as the anniversary of her passing and her birth came, for many reasons but mostly because it was the first year and I was wondering how on earth could I possibly do anything to commemorate her life in such a special way. I had many ideas on my “list” and was terrified that I wouldn’t honour her in the best way possible. As the time came, I let go of what I had planned and went with what we were feeling. Everything just fell into place naturally and traditions that we will do each year just came about. I feel we did the best in honouring her and no matter how much or how little we could have done, she’ll always hold a place in our family and in our hearts. There are a few things we really wanted to do this year and some things every year and I won’t share everything we did but here are some photos from out weekend.

We decided to do a family photo and a balloon release each year on the week of her birthday.

Another thing we would love to do each year is to make cupcakes with the kids and celebrate her life as one in our family. We want our boys and future kiddos to know their sister and who she was and is to our family.

Left: Chase’s god momma                                         Right: Eisley’s god momma

Melts my heart. <3

Pink Gerber Daisies remind us of her. Chase is blowing the flower to “make a wish” like he does with dandelions.

It was a bittersweet yet {healing} weekend for our us.

Eisley-girl, you are forever in our hearts and apart of our family.

“anniversary reactions” & “shadow grief”

Last night I spent most of my time reading and taking in (most) every word of a chapter in ‘Empty Cradle, Broken Heart’. The section was called ‘Anniversary Reactions’. How perfectly fitting as we have now entered this week of anniversaries.

As I read, it helped bring clarity and peace to my mind with some of the things I’ve been struggling wondering. The book talked about having anniversary reactions and I really wanted to share a bit of what I’ve read.

You may find that you have particularly bad days at certain times of the year. These “anniversary reactions” are normal responses to the grief of anniversaries relevant to your baby’s life and death…anniversary dates are special and painful …

Anniversary reactions can be discouraging, especially as time goes on and you feel as though you’re putting your life back together. You may be surprised by the appearance of these emotions… some call this “shadow grief” – the dull background ache that stays with you; anniversaries simply bring that ache to the foreground.

When I read that about “shadow grief” it really resonated. One of the struggles, and I’m not sure how to even word this, is that I am aching everyday and yet there are specific dates that bring this ache our in me more than ever. I wondered if maybe something was wrong with me that on specific dates, it’s harder than others. A part of me know that it makes sense, totally. But then another part of me struggled with this as well. Was something wrong with me and my struggling?

As the dates of Eisley’s passing and her birthday come, pretty swiftly, upon us I found myself struggling more and more as this week drew nearer. I knew that the dates themselves would be really difficult and also bring up a lot of painful and precious memouries.

I think my biggest fear and struggle is wanting this week to be meaningful, to honour her memory and to help us in healing. I am worried and fearful that I will miss something or be unable to do something that I need to, for her and for us as a family.

All along I’ve wanted to still celebrate her birthday. I know that it could possibly sound weird, how could I celebrate her birthday when she wasn’t here with us? But something inside of me just really wants to, at least for this year and possibly in the years to come. I struggled at first, thinking that I was weird or messed up or maybe I was in denial still. But as I think about it more and more, it’s what I want and need. I want to celebrate her life and who she was and is to me and us as a family. I want to recognize her as a part of our family, even though she’s no longer with us. She’s a part of us forever.

And then last night, something so simple yet profound (for me) hit me; every day we are thankful for Chase and the dynamic he brings to this family and once a year we celebrate his life, his birthday. Even though every day, we’re thankful and recognize his life, we still do that once a year. It’s special and memorable and for him.

It’s different with our Eisley-girl because she’s not here and also in that, every day we ache and miss her whether it be like what they talk about with “shadow grief” or it be more intense. And it makes sense that, just as once a year we celebrate Chase’s birthday, that once a year the date of her passing will be more intense and difficult and also that I have a longing to celebrate her birthday as well. To me that date of her passing is very difficult, with a lot of painful memouries, shattering dreams, etc. The date of her birth I remember as peaceful. It is the day that I got to hold my baby girl in my arms, see her beauty and her features that resembled her daddy and me. To me, September 17th, though painful it was beautiful as well.

I want to celebrate her and I know this year, I need to.

I guess I just wanted to share a bit of where I’m at and also hope that this could maybe encourage and help a momma who has lost a baby as their anniversary dates come and with each year.

Side note: Reading ‘Emtpy Cradle, Broken Heart’ is helping me immensely and maybe it could help you too. I’ve read a few books that have helped my grieving and this is the only one that is written by someone with a Ph.D. I wasn’t sure I’d like it but I love it. They interview several momma who’ve lost a baby as different times or stages in pregnancy or after birth. Each momma has a different perspective and way that they are grieving. It has helped me immensely to not feel so alone or abnormal in what I’ve felt since we lost Eisley. If you haven’t heard of this book or read it, I seriously recommend it. It doesn’t reach you as a spiritual level, really at all, but it does help in other areas. 

“I’m Chase and I’m two!”

Monday was our Chasey-boy’s 2nd birthday! He will proudly tell you, “I’m Chase and I’m two!” enthusiastically and while holding up not TWO fingers but ten :)

Chase Journey Davis – July 18th, 2009 2:14 am – 8lbs 15oz 22in

42 hours of labor ending with a C-section because of his size. He was beat up, bruised and tired (and I guess had a massive cone head from being stuck for so long, but I never saw that). I’ll never forget the first time I saw him, while lying on the surgical table. Dr. Hill held him up to peek over the top of the blue sheet before me and said, “Hi mom!”. After that I zonked out and lost totally memory of what happened next due to meds and exhaustion, but I do remember that moment and always will. He was immediately sent to the NICU due to his breathing and low glucose levels and was there for 5 days. Sunday, July 19th, they wheeled me in I held him for the first time and was in awe of his size, beauty and blonde hair.

 

You can read more and see more photos of his arrival here.

(newborn and 2)

His first year was full of non-stop growth and firsts and milestones. I seriously documented EVERYthing. It’s so fun to look back and see exactly where he was just the year before. He officially started walking at 9 months and has been running ever since 11 months, I swear. It’s always go, go, go, go, go with this boy.

I watch his personality and character grow with each month still and it’s incredible. I see a little bit of mommy, a little bit of  daddy and a lot of just Chase. I’ve realized lately just how much he has changed in this last year and stand in awe. Besides physically, he’s grown intellectually more than I would have imagined. He constantly surprises us with how quickly he picks things up from other kids, us, a movie, or just by observing people.

(left: 1 year, right: 2 years)

Chase is very active, prefers the outdoors, loves going for walks, playing at parks and swimming – no amount of time is enough for this boy to swim- he is a fish!

He is very quirky and particular, both of which I find amusing (most of the time). He loves to peel stickers or price tags off of things (that’s his job after we go thrifting!). He loves lining his cars, trucks, trains up in a perfect line. He will lie down to play with a car and watch it’s wheels move back and forth. He points outs if a kid is doing something that is a “No no” for him. It bothers him a lot if something is out of place, whether it be an item in the house or a spilled drink or a broken toy, etc. He isn’t the snuggler he used to be but if someone needs comforted, he becomes a little comforter and even wipes away tears and hugs your head real tight to his. He loves the colour blue and points it out wherever we go. He notices backhoes, trucks, trains, motorcycles and airplanes way before we ever do. He is always asking us and those around;  “What is that?”.

(1 year and 2 years old…Chase  still lies in the grass and giggles as it touches his ears. LOVE!)

He is a funny one. Constantly cracking us up with things he does or says.

(Showing me where his baby brother S is)

His desire to be the center of attention has grown immensely since he now knows there is another baby in mommy’s tummy that she talks and sings too. He was so young when we were pregnant with Eisley that he would just say “Baby” but didn’t understand much at all. With Boy S, oh he knows. He rolls his eyes at us sometimes when we ask him where his baby brother is or if he could give Boy S a kiss. Other times he just walks right up and says his nickname for his brother and kisses or pats my belly.

He still loves music and his love for music makes me curious of what the future holds for him but we shall see. I will invest time, energy and money into whatever he is passionate about, but I want him to decide what that is as he grows without influencing him one way or another. But I have a feeling music will always be apart of his life, just like his daddy :)

(a photobooth photo from each year)

From the beginning Chase and motherhood have taught me so much. Chase is constantly reminding me to see the world of endless possibilities that we seem to forget as we become adults. He has inspired me to enjoy the little things in life again. He’s shown me incredible, selfless and unconditional love. He’s challenged our way of thinking and living and inspired us in more ways than we could have imagined.

Excited to see what this next year holds for this awesome, inspiring, challenging but incredible 2-year-old little man!

Love you, Chasey-boy!