Even with her face full of food, she is still SO beautiful. She is the MOST beautiful thing I have ever seen! Today, I was feeding her lunch, and we were both giggling and I couldn't get over how much I just love this little girl. There are definitely moments where my heart swells and feels like it might burst. These are some of my most favorite pictures. Taken with a cruddy phone camera, and in the middle of lunch, but it captured this heart-swelling moment.

I guess while we're at it with the meal time pictures, check out this series of pics capturing this gal try to feed herself with a spoon. :) Everything she does makes me proud!
(she was a little upset when I stopped feeding her, but it didn't last long when she realized she was pretty awesome at it herself.)

Please forgive momma for this messy hair do. Bath time was to follow so I didn't try. ;)


SEPTEMBER 11. 2011

TEN years ago today, I was 18 years old, and in my first year of Bible school at His Hill. When we were told what had happened in New York, I was a little confused, and not really understanding the impact of the events that transpired that day. They would change America. They would also change the class of 2001-2002 of this specific Torchbearers school. Specific things come to my memory when I think of that day. A friend from Canada crying and crying and only wanting to go home. No flights were going in or out of our closest airport, or anywhere in the states. She thought about driving, or about taking a bus or a train, and didn't mind that it would take a few days of traveling. She only wanted to be with those she loved. I was feeling lucky that my family was only 2 hours away, and I wanted to be with them. Someone else was being missed, and he happened to be in Wyoming. We all wanted to BE with those we loved, wondering if that might end soon. I also remember that the big screen TV in the Fish House was turned on for the first time since being at school. We watched smoke rise from the Towers in the same scene we have all seen over and over and over for the last ten years. It started sinking in how REAL this was, and like many Americans, I was fearful. Not only fearful, but analyzing life at that moment. That weekend, I drove home, bring along a great friend named Genevieve. We spent time with my family , which helped the strange loneliness we both felt, but only helped a little. Before heading back to school on Sunday, we went to church. The church was PACKED. The chairs were filled, the walls were lined and the doors were open to allow those in the hallways to hear. I believe that this is the way MOST churches in the states looked that day. Pastors most likely lost sleep over "the PERFECT SERMON" for their congregation that day. More people went to church THAT Sunday, than on Christmas and Easter. WE NEEDED GOD. AMERICA NEEDED GOD (again)!! We need God just as much, ten years later, as we did that day, and I pray that it doesn't take more and more tragedies, surprises, devestations for us to realize it. I will not forget the incredible men and women who fight and die for our country every day. I do not forget the President that did all he could to defend and protect our country. He fought for justice that just happened to be won only a few months ago. We live in a great country. A country to be proud of. We are blessed.

My life 10 years later:

This past week, my state was hit with out-of-control wildfires. In one town, only about an hour from my home, 1,554 homes have been destroyed and almost 35,000 acres. Other towns closer than that have also lost homes in the past week. It makes my eyes sweat, as my dad would say, to think of these families that now have NOTHING. All week, I have wondered what I could do. The community of Austin and surrounding Austin has joined together to HELP. To donate, to give, to pray, to be support. Today in church, I prayed that the people of these towns will FEEL the prayers of other people. Personally, when I went through the biggest trial of my life, I FELT prayers of others. Please pray, if that is all you can do, for the families that have lost literally EVERYTHING. Pray that they would feel peace and possibly realize where that unexplainable peace comes from. If you would like to donate to helping these many many families, you can, HERE to the AMERICAN RED CROSS OF CENTRAL TEXAS.

There are still things I would like to write about our personal life in the Schmidt house, and after some serious talk, I feel like this might make things a little lighter. We were blessed with some amazing weather this past week, and I know that it was just a little tease of some wonderful fall that is to come. The mornings were cool, and the grass was dewey. After a summer full of 100+ degree days, a high of 89 was bliss. I know, crazy, but BLISS I tell you! I FINALLY made it out to 'MY' running trail again, and it made my week. I missed taking Annabelle in the jogging stroller and missed being able to run OUTSIDE. This weather has made me want to fold up darn old treadmill and lock him away. It was incredible. So incredible, that I even broke some personal running records. :)

One morning, I planned to meet a friend at the park with her two kiddos. We were going to hang out a bit, then my dad and sister were coming to walk with Annabelle while I took off on a little jog. Just a morning to enjoy the 'cool'. Just before I was about to decide to take off, a gal and her sister came walking up with a few kiddos of their own. She was holding a sweet bundle in her arms, and immediately said, "Hey! I have a designer baby, too!" She turned her around, and I noticed the sweet little look of Down Syndrome. :) SO, my plans of going on a jog were immediately forgotten, and I engaged in sweet conversation for over an hour, with a momma that speaks my 'language'. DS language, as in words and phrases like, low muscle tone, ECI, DS, PT, OT, NICU, Kelle Hampton, DSACT, Buddy Walk, transport team, etc... It was amazing, and I know it was a gift.

Annabelle has learned a sign! Did I already say that in the last post? Anyways, she seems to be doing so well at communication the last few weeks. We worked and worked to get her to say "eat" and she does! Now, she is saying it just every time she wants something. Even if it's not food. But, at least she is communicating. so adorable. I am so proud of this girl.

We have ECI appointments every week now, between OT and a DS. It is overwhelming to me that there is something every single week, but I know it's got to be a good thing. I feel blessed that we have the opportunity to do things like this for her, and for our knowledge as parents. :)

So, I am a little distracted. Remember last fall how I LOVED Sundays!!!!! Well, Craig is OFF on Sundays, and now that it is FALL, we have football!! Yes! I love Sundays! So, i am going to end this post and hang out with this little family I LOVE. I am so so blessed. :) Happy SUNDAY!