Friday, December 18, 2015

2015: The Elliott Family

I hate addressing cards and sending them. Most times I don't finish them until months later. I am horrible at it. But I am going to make myself feel better and say I am helping out the environment by sending a digital Christmas Letter this year. So here goes...

2015 was incredible year for our family.

I unfortunately had to spend a good part of the beginning of it in/out of the hospital and high risk doc's visits, but it TOTALLY was worth every second when Theodore Lee Elliott graced this earth with his presence on April 12. He was perfect in every way and has brought joy that is indescribable to our family. 

We were able to do a lot of traveling this Summer, including an epic trip when we packed up all the kids including 9 week old Teddy and my niece AKA baby whisperer, Marya, and traveled over 2000 miles total to Disneyland in July. Teddy did incredible in the car and the rest of us heard 999 of the 1000 jokes out of Henry's joke book he decided to read to us. I will be happy if I never hear another knock-knock joke again. It was a magical time and we are so happy we were lucky enough to do it.

We have committed to traveling WAY more as a family and are planning our trip for this summer. Henry wants Banff, Canada. Amelie wants Branson. The cheese making  factory on the way down was enough to inspire a life time of return visits for her.  This pretty much sums up their personalities.

In August Amelie started kindergarten at the same french immersion school Henry attends. She ADORES it and speaks and especially sings french very well already. Henry is thriving as a 1st grader and excels at math and English skills the most. As his teacher says he is an old, wise soul in the body of a seven year old.

The both get on the bus everyday except on days that I sub as the school nurse, then mommy gets to go to school with them. They love having me there.

As if our home town couldn't get better, Kansas City celebrated a  ROYAL win as WORLD SERIES CHAMPS! We joined over 3/4 a million of our closest friends and went to the parade downtown. 

Our beloved city continues to be lit up in blue and we love it!

In November just days before the third anniversary of Claudie's death, we had to put down our beloved black lab/border collie mix, Faith. It was extremely hard for all of us. Hattie (our 3 year old shih tzu dog) is taking it most hard losing her big sis.

Thankfully, the Shermans (my sister Audra's family), the Groners (my sister Allyson and her family) and my brother John and niece Renee came for Thanksgiving and were able to give our family a much needed fun distraction.

Dustin continues work very hard at his engineering job wherein he takes lead on the Gateway Project. So if you are frustrated by roadwork you can take it up with him. He diligently provides for our family while balancing home life. His company is so happy to have him...and so are we!

The holiday season has been packed with pageants and festivities. Amelie and I were able to attend The Nutcracker from the KC Ballet. It was so special. 

Santa visits were interesting this year in which Henry decided to go rogue. His original plan was to ask for a nintendo DS but once he say Santa he decided to ask for a St. Bernard puppy. (NO WE ARE GIVING HIM ONE! And if you think it's a good idea the dog can stay at your home). 

Teddy is LOVING discovering Christmas. The lights and sounds and especially the trains at Union Station are his favorite.

Overall, 2015 has been a great one. We are so blessed to have each and every one of your in our lives and hearts.

The Elliotts
Dustin, Alyvia, Henry 7, Amelie 6, and Theodore 8 months

Monday, December 14, 2015

Three years later: WE FORGOT

We made a promise to these first graders to not forget...

I told myself as I sat on my couch watching on the TV the horrific coverage weeks after burying my own daughter, I would never forget. But we have forgotten. We have forgotten the innocent faces of little first graders forced to die in fear at the hands of a coward hiding behind an assault rifle.

We have forgotten the 100s of lives that have since met similar fate and will continue to meet similar fate.
Rhetoric and political agenda has made us forget that goal for innocent lives to be saved!

Shame on us for not pouring ourselves into research to provided data on prevention like we do on other matters like drunk-driving, drug-overdosed, and SIDS.
Instead, the fear paralyzes us from doing anything that would promote any real change.
But do me a favor: look into the eyes in the picture above. Imagine they are your first grader, your brother/sister, your nephew/niece, grandchild. Imagine they are the little child's voice you hear playing outside every evening when you arrive home from work.

Here are some tweets shortly after Sandy Hook from parents:

Picking up my 9YO from school today was shockingly hard. Sadness, anger, and also reason, screaming for us to talk about

I can't believe anyone believes the solution to this problem is more guns. I'm going to enjoy my weekend w/my kid & hope common sense wins.

7yo: "It should be impossible for people to get guns." No kidding.

Please, I know several of your first reactions are going to be to dismiss those tweets for various reasons and some of those reasons might be valid. But please answer why does a human being need to own an assault rifle? Sure there might be reasons for handguns for personal protection, and rifles for hunting but an assault rifle??!! And sure people can still use any gun or a knife or a stick for that matter to kill someone. But, aside from a bomb, an assault rifle is the only other single thing used to others so quickly.

And for those of you who continually state, it's a HEART problem, not a gun problem. I urge you to think first of the logic of that. . It's also a heart problem to drink and drive. We have laws against that. Should we do away with them? It's also a heart problem to rape someone. Welp, if someone wants to rape someone they will. So let's do away with that law too. Of course it's a heart problem, OUR HEART problem. EVERY SIN IS A HEART PROBLEM. BUT THE ONLY HEART WE HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IS OUR OWN AND FRANKLY MY HEART CAN HANDLE ANOTHER INNOCENT PERSON DYING NEEDLESSLY!

For those of you who want to create positive change there are some things you can do to support it:
This is a great group similar to M.A.D.D. on FB that does walks and lots of other great things to promote awareness and research as well on info on what politicians are doing and what they are not doing to help the cause:

This is another great site for Sandy Hook victims that helps us keep our promise:

And for all the hateful responses I have gotten on the past on this topic and the ones I am soon to get in the future, I will reiterate: It IS a heart issue...your heart and MINE and I am only responsible for mines, so I will not engage in futile debates.