*This post may contain affiliate links.

Happy Monday Friends, I hope you all had a wonderful weekend like we did!

This past week we celebrated Madison’s 8th birthday and went to Moonshine Beach.

24 Week Preemie (twin).

First off, I just want to show and remind my readers how far Maddie has come and what a long journey it has been for the both of us and our family. Who knew that little girl would be so sweet, silly, moody and sassy! Ha!

Every year I am so thankful for Madison’s health and where she is today! We have had some tough years health wise and some tough years behaviorally which really made me feel like we would never get to this point, or this point seemed sooo farrr away! 

Although every year brings its new set of challenges, in respects to her Autism, we readjust and learn to tackle our next set of obstacles and keep moving. 

Although it was Maddie’s 8th birthday, it also would of been Brody’s 8th birthday too (her twin brother). I always think to myself about what could or would have been, would he be like her…would Brody look more like Maddie or more like Bryce… 

On these milestone days, my heart always aches a little more thinking of him not being here… Today marks the 8 year anniversary of his passing. (7-23-10) 

Losing a child is something you never get over. The sadness in your heart never truly goes away, it changes a person. But you learn to keep suiting up and showing up and fakin’ it, til you’re makin’ it.

*This post isn’t meant to be a downer, but this is my blog and I want to acknowledge the importance of this day.

Birthday Present Fun.

Maddie’s Birthday fell on a Thursday this year (7/19), which meant Jarret was still up at work. So the kids and I spent the day super casual by starting the morning with opening present from us and from Grandma Vicki & Grandpa Jeff. Those were the only presents here by birthday morning.

More came later in the day from UPS and this week, since all our family lives in other states.   

Here are a few of the things she got!



Maddie was ‘hatching’ her Hatchimals on camera because she was on a video call with my Mom. 

Maddie loves anything little!

Checking the Hatchimals check list.

Family Selfie before we went to the Mall for Madison to spend some birthday money at Claire’s! I swear that store is all things Maddie!

She got a Bunny sleeping mask because she loved how soft it is and a soft kitty paw that meows. There’s a video on YouTube behind this kitty paw!

Moonshine Beach.

Friday Jarret came home from work and Saturday we headed out for Moonshine Beach, which is a beachfront on Table Rock Lake in Branson.

Ever since we went to the Lake in Utah, the kids have been asking to go back to the Lake every week. So we made that happen and I’m so glad we did!

Early Saturday morning, while Jarret stayed with the kids, I went to the store for beach toys and inflatables to float on!

We got there about an hour after it opened to get a good spot and glad we did because all the good spots filled up fast!

Jarret making the Daddly trips back and forth for ice chest, chairs, umbrella, inflatables…

The water was so nice and clear!

When it is so humid outside the only real way to keep cool is to be in the water!

Bryce and Naomi were doing operation bury Bryce in the sand.

Here was our little camp!

Parent selfie!

Relaxin’ with his family after a long week of welding on the rails.

Moonshine Beach, Table Rock Lake, Branson

We stayed till 2 o’clock and headed back home to get cleaned up, eat dinner and head to the store for Jarret to get a new hat for his birthday. Which his birthday is tomorrow! (7/24)

That’s it folks. We are down to our last few weeks of summer vacation and soaking the last of our lazy-easy days in before the scheduled days start. I hope you all have a great week and I’ll talk to ya soon!



  1. Vicki Elrod
    July 26, 2018 / 1:38 am

    Thank you for sharing your feelings. Celebrating Maddie's birthday is a bittersweet day of happiness and sadness. We all wonder and think about Brody. I love you. Your a great mother.

  2. Kathy DeMoville
    August 2, 2018 / 1:12 pm

    Sharing about how this loss feels will help someone else going through this too. You are a beautiful person. Love these pictures. Happy birthday Maddie!

Leave a Reply

Looking for Something?