Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

Every October for the past 3 years we have been going to Harvest Valley Farms in Valencia, PA. We happened upon this farm by chance the first year we decided to go to a Pumpkin Patch and loved it so much that we have continued the tradition ever since. 

Our trip to the Pumpkin Patch is my FAVORITE activity we do all year long. If I could spend every weekend in October at the Pumpkin Patch, I would. I love the crisp, cool weather, the vibrant colors of the leaves, the warm apple cider, and most of all, spending time with my little family. So needless to say, I was excited to take Maddie, for the first time, on this trip.

At the farm, there is a small corn maze (perfect size for a 3 year old),

face painting (It was really difficult to paint Maddie's tiny little cheek, but the cute little high school aged girl did a great job and worked really quickly!)

a petting zoo, a hay ride (you'll have to wait for this picture, because it's our annual Christmas Card photo), and of course, the pumpkin patch.

When we got home, Aiden was eager to decorate his pumpkins. Three small pumpkins, 4 full jars of paint, and 15 minutes after he had started, Aiden had painted his pumpkins and was ready to get more! Luckily for him, we still had his school trip to the pumpkin patch.

We had a GREAT time at the Pumpkin Patch, and I'm already looking forward to next year! 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Maddie's Mavericks

The Buddy Walk was almost 2 weekends ago, and I'm just now getting around to blogging about it. I don't really have any excuses except that we have been really busy, and if I get the chance, I'll blog about all of that, too. :)

The weekend was AMAZING, to say the least! We had lots of family come in from out of town to help us celebrate all weekend, and I couldn't have been happier to have them all in. Their show of support meant the world to me, and I don't ever think I'll be able to show my appreciation to everyone for coming out.

Since this was obviously our first year, we didn't know what to expect. When we would ask people, the most common response was, "Oh, it's a great time. You'll have a blast!". Being the planner and organizer I am, I needed something more concrete. So, when someone mentioned that they feed the people that come to support their team, I took the idea and ran with it, and we had one heck of a celebration. Because, after all, that was what the day was about, celebration. Celebrating our individuality and extra chromosomes, and realizing that even though we are all unique, we truly are all "more alike than different".

There was tons of food, a petting zoo, a train ride, an ambulance, and much, much more to do while we were there.

When it came time for the walk, our guest of honor immediately fell asleep, and continued to sleep through the entire walk. But, what baby doesn't want to be snuggled warm and close to Mama while she walks? It's enough to put anyone to sleep!

Luckily, everyone else was ready to go!

(We were about in the middle of the whole walk, and this is looking behind us.)
Maddie's Mavericks

At the end of the day, both kids were exhausted and fell asleep in the car on the way home.

I've said it before, but loving my children is the best gift you all have given me. I worry about Maddie being accepted throughout her life, but I know that no matter what happens, she will always have her "village" of people to lift her back up. You all showed me that at the walk. It gives me so much hope for Maddie's future, and makes me one proud Mama to be a part of this group! Thank you!

*P.S. The counts aren't in yet on how much money the Buddy Walk raised all together or how any of the individual groups did, but as soon as they are, I will give everyone an update.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Buddy Walk

October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Every October, the National Down Syndrome Society celebrates this month with an annual Buddy Walk. The Buddy Walk is designed to support awareness and inclusion of people with Down syndrome and they are held all across the country hosted by local Down Syndrome Associations. This year, Grant and I, and our families will be walking in Maddie's honor at the 16th Annual Buddy Walk for the Down Syndrome Association of Pittsburgh. 

We invite you all to come and participate with us, and support “Maddie’s Mavericks”. Please visit to register. If you cannot attend, but would like to donate, go to the above address and click the button saying you cannot attend, but would like to donate instead. In the line marked "Buddy's Name", please put "Madelyn Williams". The site will be available for another week, until October 11th, after that, if you would like to walk with us, you will have to register at the walk itself. Donations will be taken by the general DSAP donation link. There is an option to specify who the donation is in honor of and you can type in "Madelyn Williams Buddy Walk 2010" so they know it is for this event.

Grant and I would like to thank everyone so far for your love and support, not just for the Buddy Walk, but also since Madelyn's birth. The last 8 months have been such an amazing whirlwind, with lots of highs and lows, but the whole time you all have been so generous. I knew we were cared for, but I had no idea how blessed we were to have so many friends and family that truly love us. You will never know how much you have helped us through this time and I could spend a lifetime thanking you all individually and it will never amount to the gratitude I have in my heart for you all. Madelyn is a lucky little girl to have such a wonderful support system. She is an amazing little girl and I can’t wait to see what big things she has in store for her life. She is going to do great things, I just know it, and I can’t wait for you all to see what impact you’ve had on her as well. Thank you all for loving my children, there is no better gift!