Momma and Annabelle…

not sure why my nose looks red….

Every momma dreams of bring her newborn baby home from the hospital.

No momma ever imagines doing so with a 10-month-old.

But a year ago yesterday, I did exactly that. Oh how sweet. Oh how wonderful.


Our coming home was definitely a-typical. We were on 24hour oxygen support. Continuous gtube feeds over night and most of the day. The little girl we brought home was still very sick (sicker than we realized, actually.)

But she tought me so so so much. More than I could ever express here.

She taught me to cherish every moment being home (although there are still moments even this Momma needs a little escape!)

She has forced me to get on a schedule, something I never really liked the thought of.

She’s challenged my patience, my ability to function on no sleep, and gave me my first opportunity to call 911 and ride in a helicopter. (I’ve promised her a  cool helicopter ride when she’s older if she never pulls that one again!)

She’s made me very comfortable with calling doctors after hours at all times of night, has taught me the value of a stethoscope, and what normal BP/RR/HR are.

I’m a pro at changing gtubes out (even though I still HATE THAT one) and I could make meds in my sleep if I had to.

She came home on 20 medications… she’s finally down to 9. PROGRESS folks!

She came home on 24 hour oxygen at 1/2 liter, and is down to night oxygen only at 1/8th liter (and hopefully that will not be needed after we say bye-bye to tonsils!)

She came home unable to support her weight in anyway and unable to roll over. She now clocked TWENTY… count them TWENTY AMAZING WONDERFUL GLORIOUS steps at PT on Wednesday! We also tested her out on the stairs just to see how she did… we’d never tried it before. What did my baby do? Climbed up the whole flippin’ set of stairs! (Then tried to dive down head first, but that’s beside the point!)

She’s made all this fabulous progress being HOME!

But another thing Annabelle has reminded me of is this: Our earthly home is temporary. Heaven is our “ultimate” goal-home.

05/24/12 – My own bed still.AH!

And our earthly home? It’s movable. I love having Annabelle “home” but you know? Those 10 months in the hospital? We brought home to Annabelle. Not only in blankets and toys and decorations (although those were super important!!), but we brought her our love. And that’s what it’s all about, hmm?

Thriving and living and being Jesus’ light wherever He allows you to lay your head.

I pray every day that we get to stay “home” with Annabelle, that our hospital days are few and far between in the future. But I also pray that we’ll remember that four walls can’t contain us, they don’t define or limit our level of joy.

Thank you, Jesus, today, for bringing my baby home. Because another thing Annabelle has taught me is to be thankful… because too many of her heart friends skipped an earthly 4-walled home and went to Jesus’ arms to be taken to their permanent home… causing those sweet, wonderful, loving parents to have to go “home” with empty arms.


Holy crap, Mom, there’s a monster behind you!
HA HA, made ya look!

I’m a big girl now… crawling on your knees is for babies!!

I have a tongue!

I can stick it out this way…

And that way….

It’s a pretty cool tongue, I must say.
Look, I can WALK to Momma!! Still perfecting it though… (and she proceeded to dive headfirst into the camera right after I clicked the button!)
I. MUST. CHEW. (Teeth much?)

Compared to 2011 go home day….

Last minute grueling PT session with Miss Paige… All 4’s were NOT a favorite of Annabelle’s! But she loved her some Miss Paige!!!

My wagon and my dolly, let’s get this SHOW ON THE ROAD!

The princess’s chariot….

Alright, this is more like it!

05/24/11 – My first night in my own bed… well, my own port-a-crib anyway. Momma made me sleep there for quite a while before I graduated to my REAL crib, but it was okay. It was still HOME!!!!!!!!!

(*note* I have other at home pictures… but were unable to locate them! I think other people took them for me, so they are on other camera’s that are not loaded to my computer. That WILL be remedied ASAP!!!)



  1. I've loved following your family on this journey.

  2. What a journey! So blessed that you are home and Annabelle is doing well. Loved the pics!

  3. Beautiful post, Krista! Such a wonderful reminder about how to view life and love!
    Hugs to you and your sweet baby girl (and big girls too!)

  4. BEAUTIFUL!!! I love it! 😉
    Kristy Branson

  5. How wonderful! You can see the difference. And just wait, she'll like walking so much that she'll strengthen her legs in no time and be running to you. I'm so happy for you and your family.

  6. Oh how I loved this post- the pics, what it represents and especially this "four walls can't contain us, they don't define or limit our level of joy." – what a FANTASTIC reminder. xoxo

  7. so sweet, tearing up remembering that amazing moment

  8. Someone from ACFW suggested I come checkout your website because I wasn't sure if my daughter's dedication website would work for my fiction writing as well. Everyone's advice was to start a separate one specifically geared toward my fiction writing. But someone else told me to check out yours because "thought I'd give you a link to my friend Krista's blog. Her baby girl was born with a heart defect, and she's done a nice job of blending her personal life with her writing. There are many ways to do this, of course, but Krista's the best example I can think of who's done it successfully."

    Your site has touched my heart. I teared up and am still crying from reading it. This site has touched my heart. You write so beautifuly about your experience. You and I have a unique perspective in how short life on this eartch can truly be. I am so thankful that you still have that beautiful little girl here on this earth. Someday I will be able to see my little angel again but that will be the day I meet her in heaven.

    Thank you for opening your heart up to us.

    1. Kristena…

      I've debated many times on whether or not to seperate them, especially in the beginning of Annabelle's journey.

      I did a LOT Of praying about it, and really, that is what I'd suggest most. If you'd like to e-mail me privately, I'd be happy to share the pros and cons I came up with for me personally, but in the end, it is going to be different for each of us.

      What I basically decided to do is to have this blog be about me. HA, that sounds selfish, but really, I titled it One Woman's Dream, and my heart is for people to see how God took one woman's dream to be a Godly woman, wife, mother, and writer and how He takes the meager offerings I can give and works in ways I could never imagine. My hearts desire is that people will see Jesus through my life, and thus through my blog, and through my children's lives, including Annabelle. Annabelle has become a huge part of my blog, and she's the reason many follow,a nd I'm super cool with that. God has changed my life, and many others, through Annabelle's story, and I don't think He's finished doing that.

      SO my writing is entertwined with my blog, because being an author is a dream I had… have… as well.

      Okay, this could be a blog post in itself… HA! Anyway, again, if you'd like to discuss, please feel free to e-mail. There is no right and wrong, and I know people who have done it successfully either way.

      Love and prayers to you, and I look forward to meeting your little angel in Heaven someday! *hugs*

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