Pics October 2010 - March 2011

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas 2009

Celebrating Daddy's "30th" !

Wow!! What a year. I can't believe that Sam is 9 months old already. Which also means in 3 months he will be a year old! This has been quite a year. As I thought about everything that we have experienced in 2009 I am overwhelmed with joy and thankfulness of the Great and Mighty God we serve and worship. He has blessed us beyond our wildest dreams with the most precious little man that we fall more in love with each day. I never imagined that I could love something so much. He brings smiles and tears of happiness to my face so very often. I was thinking about our time in the NICU this past week. Some of the memories are so vividly etched in my mind but what I remember the most is the first time I saw Sam in his little bed (box). I remember his birth being such a special, yet scary time. Then he was here and I automatically felt so close to him even though I couldn't even touch my very own son. I had naturally weighed all of the outcomes of his birth and thought about how hard it would be if the Lord decided to take him to heaven. As hard as that would've been I knew that God would have still been in control and provided the peace needed for a situation like that. As I rethought all of those thoughts this Christmas, the birth of Christ was so much more special to me. I thought about Mary and how scared but obedient she and Joseph were. (having your child in a manger!!) I thought about God and how hard it must have been sending his only son to us sinners knowing the outcome was death on the cross. How thankful I am this Christmas season to have celebrated the greatest birth in the world and the grace that was shown for me and my sins when God sent Jesus to us. Having your own son seems to put so many more things into perspective for me. I am so very blessed to have Sam and family and friends that have prayed for us and been there for us to help us through a year like we've never experienced before. Merry Christmas 2009! We are looking forward to a fun-filled 2010!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

November 15, 2009

This is me and my cousin Elizabeth.

Cutest little monkey ever!!!!!!!!!

I think my cousin Elizabeth is really fun and I smile at her a lot.

I'm getting big! I was 15 lbs 8 oz a couple of weeks ago. I like eating my food and playing in my monkey jumper and riding in my car outside. The dr said I have allergies and that is why I've had a snotty nose since the beginning of September. My favorite thing is chewing on anything I can get in my mouth because I have two teeth coming in. My mommy thinks they are really sweet until I bite her finger as hard as I can. Tomorrow I am moving up to the next class at daycare. I'm growing and learning fast. My family can't believe how sweet I am.

Monday, October 12, 2009

October 12, 2009

We had two doctors appointments this past week. We had our 6 month check-up with our pediatrician in Dothan. It went well. Sam is now eating cereal in his fruits in the morning and at night with veggies at lunch. :) He is getting big!! He weighed 14 lbs 6 oz and was 23" long. He did have to get some shots and he DID NOT like that a bit. We will not go back again until our 9 month appointment.

On Friday we went to Montgomery for the developmental appointment. After waiting for 3 hours to be seen, Sam was asleep and not real interested in "playing" with the toys they had to assess him with. The examiner explained to us that they expected him to be the developmental level of a 4 month old (this was determined by my due date). We were told that Sam tested on a 5 month old level! We were thrilled that they dismissed us and we do not have to return to Montgomery for anymore appointments at this time. Praise the Lord!!

Our next big appointment is in December when he goes to the pediatric opthamologist. We are continuing to be amazed at how wonderful and powerful our God is and we are still praying that the Lord will continue to protect Sam from sickness and allow him to develop properly.

Sam has rolled over and is very strong. He likes to stand up and try to sit up on his own. He will sit up for several seconds alone. He is smiling and laughing and talking a lot and we are loving every second of it!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

September 20, 2009

Look at those eyes!!! I love them. We loved taking pics of Sam's eyes even when he
was in the NICU.

As I get on Ethan's blog several times a day to check his progress and look for specific prayer requests, I realized how connected you are to the situation through these blogs. I remember people emailing me wanting more pics of Sam and more information. So...I apologize for not updating near enough. I have videos and pics galore but haven't found a time to consistantly add new posts. I'm going to really try to be better about that. (for me too, I like to go back and see God's powerful hand throughout this journey)

Sam is almost 25 weeks and he is coming alive. He will laugh out loud and smile at you like crazy. (only when he wants to, he doesn't work well on demand, I hear this is normal for kids) He is eating oatmeal cereal twice a day (morning and night) and drinking about 4 oz of milk at a feeding. He is eating every 2-3 hours. He has had a bad stuffy nose over the past couple of weeks so he seems to really get tired during his bottle. He still takes little naps during his bottles. He is grabbing things and he automatically pulls them to his mouth. This was a big thing for us. The dr asked at this last visit if he was grabbing things yet and we had to say no, but it wasn't long until the began grabbing the toys on the carseat. He loves riding now. He talks to himself in the mirror every morning on the way to school. He has also realized how to stick out his tongue, but we're not sure that he knows how to control getting it back in this mouth as well. He will stick it out and even smile with it sticking's quite funny. I thankfully report that he officially slept through the night!!!! A couple of nights ago we put him to bed around 9:30 and didn't get up unitl 5:30!!!!! Yay. We repeated this little routine for 3 nights and then last night.. not so much. We got up at 3 then at 6 then at 7:30. It's ok though, he sure was sweet everytime. His fussing for a bottle is more like talking instead of crying so I laugh at him a lot. I think he's yelling at me and since I can't really tell what he might be yelling at me, he won't get a spanking for it until they are words. =)

As I read Ethan's blog everyday I am reminded again about how far we have come. Seeing the pictures of tubes and reports of feedings and residuals floods my mind with memories from the 42 days in the NICU. Oh how great is our God!! I fail to give Him enough praise for all He has done for us. I know that each breath that Sam takes is a miracle and blessing from Him . With each new day Sam does things that I prayed he would be able to do. When you know the risk of being on a vent and sedated for a while without feedings, you pray for things some people might never think of with a newborn. Our God is faithful and gracious. He heard our very first cry to Him and He has overwhelmed us with His love for us. We know that Sam is a special little guy and I believe that He has great plans for him. Even though we still have many more developmental and eye appointments to go, we are overjoyed and thankful for the things that Sam can do. Please remember to lift Ethan and his family up in your prayers. They got to see Ethan's eyes last night and I remember how exciting that was. Those babies seem to talk to you through those eyes. :) Ethan has a blog you can follow to get his specific prayer needs and rejoice with them as the Lord continues to give them strength for each new challenge. (a link to his blog is on the right side of Sam's page)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Please Pray!!!

We got news last night that some of our dear friends (that had a baby yesterday around 1:45pm , 8 lbs 11 oz) were having their baby boy to B'ham for low oxygen levels. This morning I got a text saying that the baby is in critical condition. I've been told that he has fluid on his lungs. They have ruled out any heart problems. Please pray for Baby Ethan, Bonnie, and Kerry Williamson. I know what it feels like to know that there are people all over the world praying for your child and the power that there is in God's children crying out for healing, peace, and comfort no matter what the outcome may be. When I look at Sam even now I know that he is a living testimony of God's Power. Please lift the Williamson family up in your prayers.

Monday, September 7, 2009

September 7, 2009

His orange and blue monogramed outfit he wore Friday before game day.

The outfit his Honey (aunt Linda) gave him. It was the last day to wear his white pants. :)

Sam has been growing so fast. We are around 12 1/2 pounds now. He has really come alive. He stays awake for longer periods of time and will just laugh and smile so big at us. I'm sure we look funny to him when we get down in his face and talk that "baby talk" to him. He really likes his juice and cereal. This weekend he has had a stuffy nose and even though I know he isn't feeling well, he has been so precious. His daddy had the flu a couple of weeks ago and we spent the week at Nonna's house. God protected him from catching that and I'm very thankful. I have been looking forward to my first "school holiday" so I can stay home with him. It was nice to get up this morning and not have to rush to daycare. He played and laughed and we sucked snot out of his nose. This was a big weekend for him. It was his first official "college football" weekend. He hung out in his Auburn attire wishing he could have some boiled peanuts. I assured him it wouldn't be long. :) We have some appointments coming up. October 9th we will be traveling to Montgomery to go to his developmental appointment. They say it will take about 2 hours and they will assess him from head to toe. I'm not sure what all will happen but I imagine that they will compare the things he does to what would be expected of a child his corrected age. We'll see what happens. I pray that everything is right on track. I'll try to keep you updated!

Monday, August 3, 2009

August 3, 2009

Ok, so it's been a while since the last update and I can't wait for you to see how much our little guy has grown. We went to Destin for a week and Sam loved his first vacation with his Nonna, Pawpaw, Aunt Cori, Uncle Debo, and Mommy and Daddy. We took him to the beach one day and he stayed asleep the whole time. It was really overcast and a good breeze was blowing off of the ocean - so I'm sure it was the beginning of a love for the beach. It was my last full week with him before I start back to work. :(

On the way home from the beach I sat in the back with Sam and just stared at his sweet little face and thought of how far we've come. The Lord has blessed us in so many ways. It brings tears to my eyes to think about all of the things we have to be thankful for. A baby born 2 months early and weighing 2 lbs 12 oz now weighs over 10 lbs and has started smiling and even laughing a little bit. It seems so unfair to see parents struggling through the death of their child or an incurable sickness, but reminds me that I have a miracle living in my house. I've been with Sam 18 weeks and enjoyed every second of the fears and laughs that came along with each day. From the 42 days in the NICU to the 2 1/2 months we've been at home, Sam has filled my heart with joy and a love that I've never imagined possible. Last night was a long night as I thought about the chore ahead of me-DAYCARE. I prayed for strength and a peace that only God could give as I knew that I had to take him today to meet his teachers and begin a new chapter in our lives. Sam of course just looked around with those beautiful eyes of his, while his mama was fighting to hold it together. I've always known that my children would be in daycare but I never thought about the emotions that come along with having to leave them that first time. I made it through it! School starts Wednesday. Sam and I are going to enjoy the day together tomorrow. I love him soooo much. Thank you Lord for your creation and for allowing us to be Sam's parents.

Monday, July 20, 2009

July 20, 2009

Getting ready for bed.

Look how much I've grown!!

Sam is really growing. He is about 9 1/2 lbs. We have enjoyed watching him grow a little each day. His eye contact has improven and he is smiling at us every once and a while. He is sleeping about 31/2-4 hours between feedings at night but sometimes it seems like he eats every hour during the day. :) I've been loving the time I can spend with him all day long because it is nearing an end. I begin school the first week of August. Sam will be going to daycare. I'm really nervous about it but I know that he will be fine ( I'm going to be the one that's having a hard time). So be thinking and praying for us August 5th. (my first day of school) We go to the dr again Aug. 12th for more shots!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

July 5, 2009

Talking to my Nonna

Happy 4th of July!

We had a good visit at the dr. this past Thursday. Sam had gained 42 ounces in one month and weighed 7 lbs 15.5 oz. So I'm sure he has easily broken the 8 lbs mark by now. The dr. said he was doing good. Sam got his newborn shots at this appointment. He was not very happy about those 3 three shots. He is still eating about every 3 hours sometimes 4 (usually at night if it happens). He drinks anywhere from 3 - 4 oz at each feeding. Last night was good because he only got up once in the night to eat. I really like that schedule! I hope he will try it again tonight. =)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

June 25, 2009

Father's Day

My wild eyes =)

We are overwhelmed once again at the wonderful love and the mighty healing hand of our Savior. We just let the eye doctor and were told that Sam's blood vessels from the optic nerve had grown correctly to the retina and crossed the plain properly!! No more blood vessel check ups. Dr. Thompson really took his time and explained R.O.P. to us once again. Sam had ROP because of his prematurity. When he was delivered at 31 weeks, his development that was taking place in my womb came to a hault. In this hault, Sam's eyes stopped where they were. Usually the vessels properly grow and attach to the retina around 38-40 weeks. With Sam it has taken much longer but they are there now! God has continued to shower us with His blessings each day. It is so exciting to see Sam grow a little more each day. I can't believe that it has been 12 weeks since he so quickly came into our world and he is 4 weeks old from his due date. He is around 7lbs 8oz now. We've been able to take him more places which has been a little easier for me during the day. It was so exciting to be in church with him on Father's Day. Jeff and I never could have imagined the joy that having a child brings you. I continue to thank God for the simple things that we experience with Sam each day. I may be sleep deprived but that's much better than visiting the NICU all day, everyday. I'm thankful for things that some first time parents might not think about like being able to get him up out of his bed when he's crying or giving him a bath or even changing his clothes whenever I want. ( Sam might not be so thankful about the clothes changing) At 3am when he is wide-awake and sometimes crying and I'm trying to figure out what to try next, sometimes I sing to him, usually Jesus Loves Me and he calms right down. Singing that song to him sometimes brings tears to my eyes. Especially when Sam looks up at me with those beautiful blue eyes and looks so happy. When I sing the words -little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong - it melts my heart because I know just how true those words are in Sam's life. When Sam (and Sam's family) was the weakest, our Lord provided strength and healing in his little body. At the eye doctor today, the nurse and dr continued saying how strong Sam was (as all 3 of us were trying to hold him down for the eye exam). I'm amazed at the strength of this little guy. He holds his head up and turns it without any problem. The other day when he was on his tummy he began grunting, I'm thinking this grunting was in relation to messing up a diaper, he began pushing up with one of his hands and his legs and if he could've moved the other arm out from under him, he would have rolled over. :) I know that we still have a long journey with Sam full of excitement, worry, and even fear at some times. I also know that our God is still holding Sam in His hand and protecting him which provides me with a peace about all of the things we might face in the years to come. Thank you for all of your prayers during the past 3 months. We wouldn't have been nearly as strong without the persistent encouragement and support from our family, church family, and friends. Please continue to check Sam's blog for updates and prayer requests. I'm trying to get better about posting updates. I want everyone to know how God continues to work in his little life and our family. Also, continue to pray for Sam to develop properly. We have another pediatric drs. appt July 1st and an eye appt with the opthamologist in 3 months. I'll let you know how it goes. We love you guys!

Sam's newborn pics are online for viewing. go to
click on proofing - the password is 033109 they are only up until July 4th Check them out, enjoy!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

June 23, 2009

I love sleeping when my aunt Cori is holding me.

Naptime on Nonna's Couch!!

Sam is still growing. We weighed him the other night at home and he weighed 7 pounds! He is getting big fast. He likes to keep us on our toes by changing things all the time. He likes to drink different amounts each time and only sleep during the day (bc he's on his tummy). Even though he keeps us wondering what's next, we are very proud of him. We go to the eye dr. Thursday. We are just praying that we will get good news. :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

May 17, 2009

Sam actually stayed asleep through part of his bath. We found it very entertaining. We are still trying different bottles to see what works best. This bottle holds 8 oz and looks as big as Sam does. :) We had a better night last night. He stayed asleep between the feedings. I said a prayer of thanks this morning when I realized I had actually gotten a little bit of sleep between the grunts and feedings.

Sam loves Aunt Cori and his mama loves when she spends the night! :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

May 16, 2009

Our little guy that was born 2 pounds and 12 ounces is growing fast. We have a digital scale that we bought to kind of track his weight gain. It is not as accurate as the Dr's office but it lets us know whether or not Sam is gaining or losing weight. Last Thursday night Sam weighed 6lbs 0.5oz! Tonight he weighed 6lbs 9oz. He has been eating like crazy which is good but very tiring for me. :) His daddy calls him the milk monster (like the cookie monster). It is weird for me to look at someone else holding him and see how big he is really getting, but very exciting. Sam was getting a little better with his night schedule but just blew it the last two nights. When I say he stayed up all night, I mean that! He didn't go back to sleep after his feeding at 11 until 4am!!! I am very sleepy after two nights in a row without sleep. I'm not sure if it's a phase that he's going through or if he is just a stinker, but I'm hoping that our nights will get better very, very soon. We went to the morning and evening service on Sunday. He is still grunting a lot and I think it is rather disruptive in a church service. Sunday morning he even began passing some gas. He sleeps during the music pretty well but he wakes up to distract Bro. Richie as he preaches. I'm glad some of our church family is getting the opportunity to see the baby they have been praying for since March. We have our next eye exam Thursday the 25th. Please continue to pray for Sam's eyes. I'm also praying that his nights will get better and he will be able to sleep at least 3 -4 hours between each feeding time. That would probably help the headache I have right now. :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

June 9, 2009

Sunday morning

Sam has been a very busy little boy the past several days. Saturday he went to my church baby shower. Sunday he went to a church service for the first time and did pretty good. He began grunting early on but he went right on to sleep once his Pawpaw got him. Monday he went with me to the school for a short visit. It has been nice being able to take him a couple of places. We are still being very cautious with where we go and being around children - things like that. We don't want him to get sick. He is getting bigger and bigger each day. Sam is drinking almost 3 oz when he takes his bottles. His sleeping at night has improved a little bit but we still have a long way to go. :) My family and I have heard a new cry from Sam in the past couple of days. It happens when it's feeding time. He now has a cry that says - " I'm extremely mad because you haven't fed me yet!" It's kinda funny once he stops screaming. I believe he is getting a little bit of a temper. We don't go to the dr again until July 1st and his eye appointment is in Dothan at the end of June. I believe around the 25th. We are still praying that everything will continue to develop and grow correctly especially those beautiful blue eyes.
Sam's hand next to his uncle Debo's hand (uncle Brandon)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

June 4, 2009

Sweet dreams.

I like my new bottle, I can hold it too.

This is my thinking face.

We had our visit to the eye dr today. Sam was not as quiet during the exam this go around. I would scream too if they put those metal clips in my eyes. The dr said that everything is still looking ok and we needed to go back in 3 weeks. We can rejoice in the fact that there are no visible problems so far and continue to pray for those little vessels to grow and attach correctly. We do get to go to someone in Dothan next time instead of Montgomery. Thank you for your prayers.

This is Sam's sad face....we think it's pretty cute.

Check out my kicks!

Monday, June 1, 2009

June 1, 2009

5 pounds 5.5 ounces!! Sam has gained almost an ounce a day since his last drs visit. The dr said everything looked good and to come back in a month. :) We will be going to Montgomery Thursday for the next eye appointment.

May 31, 2009

My due date was Friday, so Sam is 2 days old now. :) He is still growing and eating more. He especially likes to eat at night. You know, instead of the sleep thing you should do at night. He thinks we should eat at 11 pm sleep for an hour or maybe two and then have a little snack and diaper change and then stay up until the 5 am feeding. Very tiring but he is really cute while he's in the process! I believe he is having some tummy pains pretty often. He grunts a lot, not just a little cute "I'm in the room grunt" it's more of a "please make this gas go away" grunt. He turns red, balls up his fists, and even chokes himself sometimes when he has a really bad one. Wish I could push the gas out of him or that's what I think it is anyway. It's crazy how that line you always heard your parents say in painful situations. Something like - I wish it were me going through this or I wish it was me it happened to - takes on a whole new meaning when you are watching your own child making faces that look really painful. He might have me fooled for some extra kisses and attention. :) We go to the dr here in Dothan tomorrow (Monday, June 1). I'll post his new weight and updates from the visit tomorrow night. We also have an eye appointment on Thursday in Montgomery. I can't wait for the day when we can take him somewhere other than the drs office. It will be a good, but scary day. I'm not sure that I'm ready to have people breathing all over him and touching him or his seat without scrubbing their hands or using sanitizer. Sounds crazy huh?

Please pray that Sam's tummy pains and grunting will begin to let up and he can be a little more comfortable. Continue to pray for Sam's little eyes. They seem to be getting a lighter blue. (more like his daddy's) We are still unsure about his sight. We will see what the dr says Thursday. Hopefully he will say everything looks great!?. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

8 weeks old today!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

May 24, 2009

It has been an exciting yet tiring week. Sam is so precious! Jeff and I have enjoyed having him at home with us and watching him grow each day. Sam is still small but he thinks he is a real big boy. You certainly wouldn't think he was a preemie hearing his cry at 2 am. :) We are still working on getting on a regular schedule. Sam thinks that you are suppose to stay awake at night and sleep all day. I've always been a "night-owl" but now I think I would enjoy a night of sleep. Every second of each sleepless night is worth it! We are still working hard on the feeding issue. We are trying to get Sam to eat more at each feeding and he is doing some better. He is eating between 55 and 65 ccs at each bottle feeding. We tried a different bottle tonight and he seemed to do a little better. We are very proud of Sam and how he has adjusted to everything and continued to grow a little each day. We go back to the dr. next Monday. We will see how much he has grown. Please continue to pray for Sam. Pray that Sam's eyes and blood vessels will continue to grow properly and that his appetite will get larger (along with his weight). I know that I've not done a good job updating the blog daily - it's been a little busy around here. :) I will try to put pics up on a regular basis but will probably only post information once a week. Thank you for your continued prayers and support. We've come a long way and praise God each day for the little miracle He's blessed us with and we are trusting that He will continue to bless and protect Sam as he grows older.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

May 18, 2009

Sam had his first drs visit in Dothan today. The dr called him a "thriving preemie"! Yipee, we didn't lose weight our first week home. Sam now weighs 4 lbs 7 oz. The dr did say that we need to feed Sam more at each feeding every 3 hours. This is going to be a task. Sam does this thing we like to call sleeping when we try to get him to take a bottle. :) He doesn't sleep the entire time, but he falls asleep mid-way through the bottle. You wouldn't imagine the things we do to try to wake him up. From feet rubbing/tickling to a cold wet wash cloth on his face. Sometimes he sleeps most of the way through the bottle feeding and then wakes up acting hungry at the end of the bottle feeding. I think it was easier feeding Sam in the NICU when you have nurses around that could 'fix' mostly anything including a screaming child. I also had my school baby shower today. It was wonderful getting to see everyone after so long. It is an humbling experience to have friends and co-workers that go the extra mile for you in times of need. I got so many wonderful and much needed things. Thanks so much Highlands!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

May 14, 2009

We had a long, but good day today. Sam's eye appointment was today. We had to travel to Montgomery and back - Sam was ready to get out of his car seat! :) They put drops in his eyes to dilate them and then we waited on the doctor for a little while. When the doctor came in he put these metal clamps on his eyes to hold his eyelids wide open. He said he was looking at the vessels behind his eyes. They are checking to see if the vessels are growing correctly toward the retina. The doctor said today that everything is looking good!!! We do have to go back in 3 weeks for another check-up. It was music to my ears to hear that everything is looking good. :) We are praying that Sam's eyes will continue to grow properly and that we will be getting good news again in 3 weeks. Thank you for remembering us today. God has continued to show his love and power. He has used so many things and people to confirm that He takes care of His children. It has been mind-boggling to see how our friends and family have been so unselfish and made many sacrifices to help in so many ways. Thank you to all who have gone the extra mile to show your love and concern for us, we are very grateful.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May 12, 2009

It has been wonderful having our little precious baby at home. We can go look at him or hold him whenever we get ready. I know that sounds silly, but there were so many things that new parents take for granted sometimes. It was an interesting first night. My mama stayed to help because my exhaustion hit me once we got home. Sam grunts a lot. It is funny to think about not knowing what kind of noises he makes at night because we've never spent the night with Sam. His grunts are rather loud but he is alseep. Obviously, his grunting keeps me awake checking on him. :) I was sleeping really good and all of the sudden I heard a very loud cry in the monitor. It startled me because it was the first time I've ever been awakened by my baby's cry. It was a joy to be able to get up and go see Sam in his room getting his diaper changed. Sam has done very well adjusting to a lot of changes in the past couple of days. Of course Jeff and I are also adjusting with him! We are still praying for Sam's little tummy to digest his milk and that he will be able to drink enough milk at each feeding to continue to gain weight. We are also praying that his eye exam will go well Thursday. The doctor is watching his eyes very closely for any signs of problems. If there is a problem, there's a very small window of time to perform a surgery that will correct them. We are praying that everything is developing properly, but if not we are praying that it will be caught early enough fix. (even though surgery on his eyes would be a bit scary for me) We are giving God the glory for all He has done!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

May 11, 2009

I would like to start by apologizing for the late posting on Sam's progress. I know that this is the only way some of you can keep up with us. Well, I have offically experienced Mother's Day. It was the best thing in the world to be able to hold him and see his little eyes looking at me so sweetly. It was like he was telling me "I love you mama". It was amazing to feel what it's like to love something so much. And I again I'm reminded of how much God loves me to give His son to die a cruel death for someone so unworthy. It is overwhelming. Sam had a good day. I wish I could remember all of the detials from the past two days to share with you. What I can tell you is that after 41 days of Sam being in the NICU, this is a Mother's Day I will never forget. I have learned so much about myself, my family and friends, and the faithfulness and power of our GOD! I've seen a change in me and I believe a lot of other people have been touched through this time. Sam is a living testimony of a loving God that not only hears but answers our prayers in a mighty way. With all of that said - I would like to tell you thank you for your prayers and thoughts and countless words of encouragement. Know that we have felt each cry lifted on our behalf. Today - Monday, May 11, 2009 - I was so thrilled as I buckled my son into the car seat for the first time and brought him home to Dothan. It has been a little scary but wonderful. Jeff and I are beside ourselves. We still have a ways to go, but this was a huge step that we have been waiting for. We did come home with some orders like returning to Montgomery Thursday to see the eye doctor again and things like - not going out for a while, not having a lot of visitors, and stay away from other children. Sam is still very small and we have been told to take extra precaution with even the simplest things. We're ok with this because we don't want to be back in the NICU. It was a little sad leaving today. We've made so many friendships with the staff of the NICU. They have been a blessing to us and Sam. Some of the nurses loved Sam as if he were their own. This made things so much easier when I had to leave each time. We are certainly going to miss so many of the wonderful people there. We plan on visiting! :) Please continue to pray for us as we begin our lives as a family at home now. I still have some butterflies about some things. I want Sam to continue to eat well and digest his food. He needs to continue to gain weight and develop properly. We also need to get a good grade on our eye exam! :) Thank you again for your prayers and I will try to keep the blog updated with pics and info but it might not be as often now that my schedule will be a little different.