Posted (Tina) in All Posts on April-14-2008

Ella and I went on another walk around the community today. It was another California-esque day in the mid-70s, so the weather was perfect. She sported her headband and shades…way too cute.

This afternoon, Ella had a physical therapy appointment. It was good to start up again. The PT noted how much Ella had strengthened, even over the past few weeks since she first saw her. That was reassuring. We worked on more neck support exercises. The session went a bit longer (45 minutes) and Ella did great through the entire session. Right at the end, the PT lifted her out of the chair and had her sit up. At that point, Ella had a meltdown. She was tired and did not want to work anymore. Based on the few sessions that we have had up to this point, it was great to hear that the PT thinks that Ella will continue to make tremendous progress over the next several weeks. She noted that we will likely not recognize her in a few months.

Another new thing today: I tried feeding Ella bananas. Unfortunately, she did not like them. Her response was similar to that of the sweet potatoes. So although she LOVES monkeys, she is not into bananas. Bummer! Oh well, we know that she likes pears and we will simply have to buy some other fruits and veggies for her to try in the coming days.

Today was our 13th wedding anniversary. Wow, time flies!

Tonight, Nurse Michelle came over and watched Ella so that we could go out to dinner together. That was so sweet of her – – we had such a great time.

Our friend Sara made sure we were taken care of for this special day! Her husband Matt works at a really nice restaurant in town. Complete with wine, steaks and dessert, we enjoyed every moment. From the time we walked in, there was a table reserved for us. Then, Matt wanted to make sure that I enjoyed my glass of wine, so he let me taste several to make sure it was one I liked. At the end, Matt told us that everything was settled. Wow…that was too nice. We knew that we would have a chance to meet Sara’s other half at the restaurant, but had no idea that we would be treated like VIPs. His only request is that we entertain him and Sara, if they decide to visit Denver some day. Yeah, I think we can make that happen.

Also, even though Ella was fussy for most of the day and into the evening when we left, it was nice that we had no concerns about leaving her. When you have NICU nurses that love Ella and took care of her for months in the NICU, there is not much concern leaving her with one of them. Administering meds, feeding via a g-tube, monitoring oxygen, etc. is all second nature. That is such a relief and makes for a worry-free time.

It is not likely that we will get breaks like this anytime soon, not even in Denver. Although we have lots of friends that love us and the Bun, she is complicated and a handful for someone that doesn’t have experience with her and her medical issues. This just meant that we appreciated and savored every moment tonight.

It is hard to believe that we have been together for nearly 18 years and married for 13 years. We have been through so much together, but this past year with Ella tops it off. I can’t imagine going through this journey with anyone else. And to see what God has done in our lives and how He has worked!

On this day, we praise Him for our marriage and our baby girl.

Lesli on April 14th, 2008 at 8:35 pm #

I marvel with you, girlfriend! You have had an amazing adventure with God this past year. You’ve drawn so close to Him, and taken so many along with you. What a gift. I am praying that God would send some NICU nurses into your orbit in Colorado who have a heart to serve you and Josh by giving you a night off occasionally. I think your major problem in Colorado is going to be fighting all the people off who want to love on Ella! Especially Grandpa, who will probably hand off Taco and Manny and walk off with Ella for a while! If lifts my eyes to the Lord in thanksgiving as I look at the beautiful faces of you two girls! Nice way to end my evening. Love and prayers to you.


Williamsburg on April 14th, 2008 at 8:36 pm #

Happy, _happy_ anniversary, Mr. & Mrs. West – I know Happy Birthday in French is already Bonne Anniversaire – I don’t know what happy (wedding) anniversary is, but we’ll ask our French student, Thomas, who just arrived tonight how to say it. In any language, we love you and are so blessed by the way God has blessed your marriage, your relationship and now your family – it is truly such a miracle to see you three together and know that it was absolutely His perfect plan with exactly the right people. We _so_ can’t wait to have you home – enjoy FL while you can =) XOXOXO

Angie on April 14th, 2008 at 8:36 pm #

Happy 13th Anniversary! Glad you guys got to have a nice dinner to yourselves. Ella looks great!

Gloria & Red Jacobsen on April 14th, 2008 at 8:45 pm #

Just want to echo all the well wishes from everyone! so glad you two had such a wonderful anniversary! Ella looks like a fashion model baby ,out with her happy fashionable Mom! Lots of prayers to the West family! all the best! Gloria & Red

Kristen on April 14th, 2008 at 9:33 pm #

Wonderful! So happy you were able to go celebrate for the evening! May the next 13 years be full of joy and blessings!

The Roberts Family on April 14th, 2008 at 10:13 pm #

Happy Anniversary and what a wonderful celebration!
Too bad Ella didn’t like the bananas…was it the jar kind? None of our babies liked those, they preferred fresh. 🙂 Hope she likes what you try next.
As always, we are praying for you guys, and though we are strangers, we think about your family often.

The Laz Fam on April 14th, 2008 at 10:50 pm #

Happy Anniversary! Thank you for sharing it with us!! 🙂
Love – KTJB

Jim and Char Jordan on April 14th, 2008 at 11:00 pm #

The picture of you two is just precious. Anniversaries are even more special when you have traveled a very rough road for quite some time. You have an un spoken connection, not just a marital connection with those who have traveled the same road, but an eternal connection. LOL Jim and Char

Linda (Frostproof) on April 15th, 2008 at 4:54 am #

I am so glad you had a wonderful anniversary. Yesterday was also my anniversary. We were married on Easter Sunday in 1974. I wish you many more years of happiness and joy with your beautiful daughter. God Bless your family.

Matt, Abby, Austin & Caed on April 15th, 2008 at 4:54 am #

Congradulations you two!! God has definitely blessed you both with each other and Ella. It’s so wonderful that He lets us be a part of a family down here…just think of the rest of the family we’ll meet someday. We continue praying for you three.
PS…Caed had a few mashed up peas last night along with a little bit of sauce off the meat and he seemed to like it!

snyder family on April 15th, 2008 at 5:24 am #

congratulations im soo happy for yopu i hope god will fill your e days with love and kindness

Charlotte Rehrig on April 15th, 2008 at 5:41 am #

Ha ha ha! I have not read the letter today yet, I just had to respond to the first picture of Ella Renae, (and get my smile fix for the day.) Cliff’s Mom

Steve and Joan Odell on April 15th, 2008 at 6:05 am #

Happy Anniversary! Each day is precious no matter what is going on. Ella looks so very good and praise God she is strengthening. Hugs – Steve and Joan

Kuhn Family on April 15th, 2008 at 6:26 am #

With all that God has done for you and your little family, I am sure it will be nothing for him to send a new person that is capable of taking care of your Bun for special nights/days. We just celebrated our 12th anniversary and have four boys already! You both look so wonderful in your picture together; what a happy time. I agree with the person about the “real” bananas; a blender is all you need AND they are cheaper. They tend to be a bit chunky, but you can add whatever you want to it to smooth them out, say pears anyone? Thanks for sharing your journey with us all. It is always a wonderful way for me to start my day to read your posts and to have you have a special night added more to it. God bless you and hope you have a wonderful day in that California weather. Tom, LoriAnn, Tyler, Zackary, Seth and Jonny (Colville, WA)

John & Estela Williams on April 15th, 2008 at 6:46 am #

Happy 13th… what an awesome accomplishment… Congrad’s to you both! The Bun is looking so cute in her head band and shades… also looking stronger. That is so wonderful to see… God is AWESOME. Glad to hear your anniversay was great… that is how it should be. Love you guys and have a blessed day!

Anne & Bob on April 15th, 2008 at 7:23 am #

Many blessings to you on your 13th anniversary. As people who work in the marriage field, it is such a blessing to see a couple working so well together as a team through the beautiful and the difficult times. Your faith is such an inspiration to us! Gainesville will be less when you leave. We haven’t seen you since the night of Par’s surgery, but have kept up with your blog. The three of you have been in our prayers.

Chambers Family on April 15th, 2008 at 8:43 am #

Happy Anniversary… Who says 13 isn’t lucky. You are blessed with many friends and impact the world daily with Ella. Glad you had a night out without worries.

Food note: babies have to try things something like 7 or 9 times before they really know if they like them… But my guy didn’t like bananas either unless I mixed them with rice or oatmeal cereal. He is two and still won’t eat a banana.

Eli Brown on April 15th, 2008 at 8:53 am #

Happy Anniversary. I remember the two of you being such a strong couple way back in college. That was 15 years ago. You have to be rock solid now. Congratulations.

Heidi Ham on April 15th, 2008 at 9:27 am #

Happy Anniversary! So glad you two have people around you to give you blessing as well. You bless me each day as I come to your sight and catch up on your lives 🙂 Love the beautiful pictures!

Avery Kronz on April 15th, 2008 at 1:14 pm #

happy Anniversary! I am sorry I have not had time to see how Ella has been doing. Its been very busy around here! Ella looks adorable! love, Avery Kronz

Laura Marold on April 15th, 2008 at 1:25 pm #

Happy Aniversary!! I’ve been playing catchup with your journey today and the video of Ella eating the pears made me so happy that I felt the tears coming on. She is getting so much stronger and it is awesome!! Love, Laura M.

Joel Snyder on April 15th, 2008 at 2:43 pm #

Ella, Sorry the trial run with bananas didn’t work out but I think maybe you can try them again. Happy Anniversary to my heroes. I am so glad that Michelle was able to help you. Also that Sara and Matt were so gracious and made your celebration so great. The weather is terrific today in the mid 70’s but as always in Denver high 50’s and rain and snow in the foothills tomorrow. Taco and Manny send their love and can’t wait for you to come home. I will check on you later. Love,Grandpa!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Julie Kirk -Saudi Arabia on April 16th, 2008 at 1:57 am #

i just had to say happy anniversary and yes, you are so very blessed….what a beautiful family.
How do you guys look so rested? Great pic of the two of you.

Shannon on April 16th, 2008 at 10:58 am #

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to the both of you! My daughter and I check on Ella every couple of days and it is exciting to see her making such great progress. Thank you for sharing each day with us. Hope to see you once your settled back home again.

Tracy Schultz on April 16th, 2008 at 12:40 pm #

Jar-bananas are gross! I don’t blame her for rejecting them. Maybe later she’ll love them-the way God intended them.:0)
Congratulations on your anniversary! Just think, thirteen MORE years and you’ll have a TEENAGER!! Sigh… It really does fly by.:0)
Take care!

Post a comment

Name:  (required)
Email:  (required)