Happy 2nd Birthday Derrick!!!


You are two years old today.

Wow.  My BABY is two years old.  That just sounds crazy to me.  That will take some getting used to, that's for sure!

I can't believe that these first two years have gone by so quickly, but at the same time, I can hardly remember life before you were born.  April has become somewhat of an emotional month for me since you were born.  Knowing your birthday is here reminds me of all of the hurdles you've been through and all that you still face.  But it also reminds me of how very precious life is.  It reminds me of how your daddy and I have been given such an amazing gift in you and how we have learned to fully rely on God to take control of your life.  Because really, none of it is in our hands.

When we went into the hospital on the Sunday night before you were born, the only thing I was focused on was hearing your cry.  Hearing you cry immediately meant you were breathing on your own, and to me, that meant you had a chance to fight.  I didn't care what I had to go through to get you here, I just wanted you here and I wanted you safe.  I prayed and prayed that you would be able to hold your own, that I could hear your cry, and that I would be able to see you before they took you away from me. 

Laboring with you was a roller coaster.  Your heart rate kept dropping and we were literally 30 seconds away from an emergency c-section when you decided you were ready to face this on your own.  (That should have been a sign right then of the independent little boy you would become.)  I remember holding my breath once I knew you were coming.  I couldn't take another breath until I heard you cry.  To this day, it's still the sweetest sound I've ever heard.  I had a peace wash over me, letting me know that you were going to be ok.

Your daddy went with a team of about ten doctors and nurses to get you cleaned up and monitored.  He came back a few minutes later to show me your face on the camera screen because I didn't get to see you once you were born.  That picture of your little face made it all worth it.  I finally got to see you and touch your tiny hand about an hour later.  It was perfect, and so were you.  You made me a mommy, Cheeks.  There's nothing better than that.

The first year of your life was filled with surgeries, procedures, doctor visits and therapists, but this year has been very "normal."  You have had the pleasure of just being a little boy.  No surgeries, no ambulance rides, no hospital stays, no twice a month scheduled visits to the doctor, no therapies and no strange procedures.  You go to well visits at the pediatrician's office and your three month visits to the cardiologist.  That's it.  You've been a "normal" little boy and we couldn't be more thankful! 

You love to do all things boy!  Being outside is your absolute favorite thing to do!  You also love cars and all types of balls.  You love to get dirty and you really love to play in the water...especially if it's the dogs' water.  You love to take walks through the woods and just soak it all in.

Sometimes when I'm watching you play or hear your contagious laughter, or when I'm putting you to bed and we're "rock minute," I'm overwhelmed with tears.  You are an incredible little boy and I am so blessed to be your mommy.  I have enjoyed these past two years more than I have ever enjoyed anything in my life.  I hope you know how much I love you.

While I wish so badly that I could stop time, I also can't wait to watch you grow up and see what's in store for you.  I hope you have big dreams Cheeks, because I know God has big plans for you.  I hope you follow Him closely and I hope that you realize what amazing work He has done in your life.  Once again, you've made it to a milestone that many babies like you don't get to meet, and I hope that humbles you.  I hope you never, ever forget about the chances you've been given.  You're not lucky, Derrick.  You're blessed.  My birthday wish for you is that you will bless others with the life you've been given.

Happy birthday sweet boy.  I love you....to the moon and back.


Its Daddy's turn!

First of all, Happy Birthday buddy!  I cannot believe that you are already two years old.  It seems just like yesterday that we were anxiously awaiting your arrival in Charleston.  Before you know it I will anxiously be awaiting for you to come back home from your first time driving.  That may seem like a stretch from two to driving but you will understand someday (never thought I would say those words, sorry mom and dad).  You have gotten so big.  I cannot believe how INDEPENDENT you have become.  I love that you like to do things for yourself but sometimes you get a little crazy upset when things don't go your way.

Let's see what you have been up to.  You are definitely my child in that you LOVE to listen to VERY loud music.  Anytime I am painting (which seems to be ALWAYS) we both love to turn it up.  You love to "ride Blue Car".  I think you like to ride with me better because of how I push you really hard and let you go down the hill (don't tell mommy that I let go and run beside you).  You are so observant.  You seem to pay attention to everything.  You have really begun to love climbing.  I especially enjoy turning my head for two seconds to see what new places you have conquered (the top of the table, playing with chapstick in our bedroom window sill,....).  You are pretty fascinated with spray paint.  We have been preparing for your birthday and seem to be spraying everything.  You were sitting in the garage with THREE cans of spray paint in your lap trying to get the tops off.  Again, do you see the two second theme.  You love for daddy to play guitar on your guitar.  You especially love when I act insane and sing the hot dog song from Mickey Mouse (did I just tell everyone that?).

I have beyond enjoyed these two years.  You make me a better person.  You teach me daily that life is too precious to get stuck on the bad things.  While I would NEVER choose for you to have your "special heart,"  I would not change how it has affected our lives.  Happy Birthday big buddy!!!  I love you more than you will ever know.




  1. Absolutely beautiful!!! Happy 2nd Birthday Derrick!! Heres to many many more!!!


  2. Happy 2nd birthday, Derrick! I hope you have an awesome day!

  3. Happy Birthday Derrick!!!
    Sue Shelton & girls

  4. This is so beautiful!!! Love you Derrick - thank you for being an inspiration to me and my little heart warrior! Enjoy being 2!!! Happy Birthday!

    Amy & Bodie (oh, and Sierra - remember, your future wife? tee hee hee)

  5. Such sweet notes!! Happy 2nd Birthday Derrick!! You are such a special little man and a super heart hero!

  6. Happy 2nd Birthday Derrick. I love following your big boy adventures on here...keep mom and dad hopping (they secretly love it). Can't wait to see you with your baby sister.

  7. Shame on you guys for making me tear up!

    Happy Birthday, Derrick!!!

  8. Beautiful birthday letters to Derrick! Loved reading them both! Happy 2nd Birthday Derrick! I have enjoyed watching you grow up over the past two years and become the big boy you already are! Hope you have a blessed day on your special day!!

  9. Happy Birthday Derrick!!! I can't believe it has already been two years. I can't wait to see you again this summer! :)

    Stephanie Hazelwood

  10. SOOOO glad you have a blog. Those letters from mom and dad will be precious to him some day when he's old enough to read. THANK YOU for sharing your sweet boy with the rest of us. One very loved little guy!

  11. HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY BIG GUY. Wishing you many blessings this coming year and before long you are going to be the best big brother a little girl could wish for. Hugs Marilyn U

  12. Happy Birthday D! You are one amazing little boy and I am so proud to know you and for Lorelei to have you as a friend! We love you tons!
    Jess, John and Lorelei

  13. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BIG D!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    You are one amazing lil kid :) and you have the best parents you could ask for.

    PS- No worries, Justin. We've all had our day with the Hot Dog song ;)

  14. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DERRICK! You are still as cute as ever in that picture. Happy Easter too!

  15. Derrick is adorable! He heart is similar to my Eli's. Sorta. lol He's not exactly HLHS, but is treated as such. I found you via Kelly's Korner. :o)

    Lisa @All That and a Box of Rocks

  16. I just stopped over from Kelly's corner. Our daughter was born with CHD also, as well as a missing ear. She just turned 3, and has had one surgery so far. I am enjoying reading your story!