Rusty is 16!!

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My pregnancy with Rusty was wrought with hard emotions.

It was while I was pregnant with him that I began to experience symptoms that would later result in my diagnoses of Myasthenia Gravis. When I was two months pregnant with Rusty I began to have vision issues. By three months I was seeing double and experiencing weakness in my hands. By the time I began to show, I was having muscle weakness in all my large, voluntary muscles. What should have been a time of joy and excitement became a season of worry and fear as we searched for answers. It was a time that normally would have been filled with fun appointments to the hospital for ultrasounds of our baby, and instead was filled with appointments to the neurologist and MRIs to look for tumors or lesions on the brain. It was a season of worry for all of us as we searched for answers, and the excitement of baby #3 was pushed to the back burner.

The diagnoses of Myasthenia Gravis brought a measure of relief as we ruled out scarier and more terminal diagnoses, but also brought new feelings of grief and sadness as we processed this new, “game changing” reality. The biggest shift being the acceptance that this meant no more babies. It was not that we had actively discussed having more children, but I struggled with having that choice “stolen” from me, especially in light of the fact that the focus of that season of my life was now fully on my health and not on enjoying and relishing my last time experiencing pregnancy.

Halfway through my pregnancy we found out we were expecting a boy. This delighted Toby and terrified me. This news brought a new level of anxiety and feelings of inadequacy. I didn’t consider myself a “boy mom” and didn’t know how I would manage the trucks, toads and busyness of a boy. I thought I was doomed to be a failure to this son God was blessing me with. But He knew what he was doing and the moment I held Rusty in my arms he stole my heart.

His pregnancy was wrought with stress and chaos and yet his personality was so different than his circumstances. He was quiet and gentle and dear…a blessing far beyond our expectations.

That sweet personality has remained through his growing up years. Now our gentle giant, he remains quiet, kind, and unassuming…content to serve others with no notice and no accolades. He has been such an incredible blessing in our lives and we are so grateful 16 years ago God blessed our family with this bundle of joy!

I can look back now, at that hard season of life, and see God’s hand in every closed door. I can now discern the path He was laying for something bigger and better. At that time I felt unheard and unseen by my Heavenly Father, when in reality it was the very opposite. He was never nearer than during that dark time of life. When I felt most alone in my grief, He was in fact carrying me. I now can see the truthfulness of the song lyrics:

answered prayers

How grateful I am that God didn’t give me the desires of my heart. How grateful I am He didn’t follow my plans. How grateful I am for unanswered prayers, for had He given me what I asked for we would have never been given the opportunity to love Rusty, Ozzie and Tyler.

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On Tuesday my bouncing baby boy turned 16!

I still can’t wrap my brain around it.

We began our birthday celebration as we always do, with a morning serenade and cupcake. The birthday boy also received the traditional “free pass” from school that the kids always get if their birthday falls on a school day.

This year it worked out perfect, as Rusty had big plans for his birthday…first and foremost was wanting to taking his driving permit test. He felt prepared and was eager to take the written test. This quarter in school he has been taking Driver’s Ed as one of his classes. He has also been studying the manual and taking practice tests online, all in preparation for this big day.

Before we could head to the DMV though, first we had to gather all the required documents. We gathered his birth certificate, social security card, a blank check for his fee, and then drove to MedExpress for the mandatory driver’s physical.

Then it was off to the DMV, where we joined 100,000 other people in the waiting room, waiting for our number to be called.

After 45 minutes of playing “I spy” with Tyler in the sterile, uninspiring surroundings of the DMV waiting room…(boy what a challenge!)…Rusty was called up to the front.

He presented his paperwork and was seated at one of the computers to take his written test.

He passed!

We now have another child on the road. Just as we finish up Molly’s driving training we get to begin again with Rusty. šŸ™‚

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“A New Set of Wheels” was the prevailing theme of this birthday, beginning with his gift from Toby and I, extending to his birthday dinner decorations,

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and carrying over to his 16th birthday party this Saturday at the roller skating rink.

Rusty received his birthday present a few days early. (I don’t think Toby could wait any longer to surprise him!) Rusty has been asking for a dirt bike for a few years…something he can use on our 52 acres of land. Feeling he was too young to consider it before, Toby only started to get serious in the search for a used dirt bike in good condition in the last 6 months. He found a great deal on one being sold a few hours away and make a trip out there to check it out a few weeks ago, bringing it home and hiding it right under Rusty’s nose for the last two weeks.

On Saturday night we told Rusty he was getting his gift early. Setting him down in the living room Toby brought out a gift bag. Rusty unwrapped it, discovering a spare part that came with his new dirt bike. Toby told him it was the first piece of his gift and the rest of the parts…that he will need to assemble… were in the front yard. With a look of confusion on his face he stepped outside.

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Confusion turned to delight when he saw his gift and realized dad was just trying to throw him off the scent.

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The next hour was spent teaching Rusty all he needs to know to enjoy his new toy safely and letting him try it out. Toby won some major brownie points with this one!

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Tyler may have been a bit jealous…he donned his own helmet and pretended his bike had a motor too. šŸ™‚

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Tuesday evening, after Molly returned home from work, we celebrated Rusty’s birthday as a family and the kids each gave Rusty the gifts they had bought him. Each put a lot of thought into their gifts for him and were very generous in their choices. Rusty was thrilled with them all!

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Happy 16th birthday, Rusty, how grateful we are to call you our son!

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