Grace is no longer “Brace Face”

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It has been a long road…about a year longer than expected due to some stubborn 12 year molars that waited until Grace was 15 to make their appearance but the day has finally come…

Grace is no longer Miss Brace Face.

Wednesday night Miss Grace was dealing with mixed emotions as she prepared for bed. As excited as she was to have the braces off she was feeling a bit sad and scared. It wasn’t the process of having them removed that upset her, or fears that she wouldn’t like the result.. she just felt like she was saying goodbye to a part of herself. They were such a big part of her look for so long that she just couldn’t imagine not seeing them when she looked into the mirror.

I understood what she was saying. The day before she had her braces put on I felt the same way. I didn’t want her to lose her “Gracie” look and I was afraid that by altering her smile we would lose the look God gave to her. It sounds so silly but I could understand what she was saying. Her is Miss Gracie’s initial intake photos at Dr. G’s office.

Gracie's intake photos at Dr. Gulland's office. She looks so little.

Gracie’s intake photos at Dr. Gulland’s office. She looks so little.

The next morning Grace woke up more excited and less unsure. We dropped off Ozzie at school and headed to the orthodontist. There was time for a quick “before photo” before Grace was called back.  We waited in the waiting room for 1 1/2 hours as Gracie had her braces removed and was fitted for a retainer. I was called back to meet with Dr. G and go over instructions and follow-up care. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the end result of three years of work. What a beautiful smile! After we received the information we needed we headed back into the waiting room where Molly had a gift to give Grace that she bought a few weeks ago. Knowing how much Grace has missed chewing gum Molly bought her a pack of her favorite flavor.

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After her appointment we made one more stop before we had to drive home for piano lessons. When I asked Gracie what foods she missed most while having braces she said, “corn ON the cob, salt water taffy and caramels.” Since we are in the wrong season for good corn on the cob we stopped at the candy store for a bag of caramels. Gracie ate one as soon as we got back to the car and declared it the best thing she has ever eaten.

Caramels!

Caramels!

After piano lessons we left to pick up Ozzie and head to Rusty’s Taekwondo lessons. Molly and Tyler stayed home for some special one on one time. After getting Rusty settled I drove Gracie and Ozzie to Great Clips to get hair cuts. Gracie decided that she was going to grow her hair out while she had braces and then get it cut, for a dramatic new look, on the day her braces came off.  She was growing it out so that she could donate it to Locks of Love, a charity that takes donated hair and makes wigs for children undergoing chemotherapy. The donated hair must be at least ten inches long. Gracie was nervous that her hair wouldn’t be long enough to donate but it was plenty long.

Gracie's hair bound with rubberbands and ready to be cut.

Gracie’s hair bound with rubber bands and ready to be cut.

The end result was adorable!

Grace with her hair donation.

Grace with her hair donation.

When we arrived home she was eager to show Toby. He thought she looked pretty but wasn’t thrilled about how grown up she looked…spoken like a real dad. 🙂

For school Grace had to submit a photo for the yearbook. The deadline was yesterday but she wanted to wait until her braces were off and her hair was cut so at 8:30 at night we were doing a photo session so that she could submit her yearbook picture before the 9:00pm deadline.

Here is the result… Gracie’s 9th grade yearbook picture.

My Gracie...beautiful inside and out.

My Gracie…beautiful inside and out.

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