2012 has been a big year for the Strobel's
We started the year off with lots of anticipation about the birth of our first child. We were knee deep in names, paint colors, and parenting books. In late February we hosted a gender reveal party. At our 22 week ultra sound we had the ultra sound tech write the gender on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope. We then gave the envelope to our neighbor who called the baker. The next night we cut into a bright pink cake and found out that we were going to have a daughter, we were over the moon!
After finding out the gender we started to debate names. Eric was set on Palmer and I really wanted Paisley. Neither one of us wanted to budge but finally we came to an agreement on Piper. In March Piper’s God Mother started painting her purple argyle room. Kristi really made my vision come to life.
In late March I was put on bed rest and Eric stepped up and took over all the household responsibilities. He was such a trooper and a pretty good nurse (most of the time). It was a long 9 weeks filled with lots of health concerns and worries but on May30th Piper was delivered 28 days early by emergency c-section at 10:01pm. Our whole world changed in a moment. We knew we wanted to be parents but we had no idea how much joy and love we would feel for our little girl.
In mid September we had Piper baptized. It was a memorable day as we were surrounded by so many friends and family. We feel so blessed that God gifted us with the opportunity to be parents to such a wonderful little girl.
Eric continues to work for Lorillard Tobacco. Eric is very committed to his work and is hopeful to move up in company in the years to come. Eric also continues to be a huge sports fan or as I like to say a "sports junkie". With the birth of Piper he only made it to one sporting event this year. He went to a Notre Dame game in November for his birthday. Eric is already trying to help mold Piper’s sports interest, she already has a Cubs, Mets, Jets, Colts, and Norte Dame Shirt.
January 6thwe welcomed a new nephew Walker Martin Clark into the family. Our oldest nephew Liam was glad another boy joined the ranks. With the addition of Piper the Sparks Grandchildren count is up to 2 boys (Liam 6 and Walker almost 1 year) and 5 girls (Alivia 9, Kinsey 7, Layla 4, Addison 4, & Piper 7 months). All the nieces love Piper to pieces they call her Pipey and beg to hold her from the moment we walk in the door. Piper made my parents Grandparents for the 7th time and Eric parents Grandparents for the 2nd time. This year the Sparks family gain 3 babies (Walker, Piper, and Kate) but lost 2 remarkable men. My Uncle Scot and Grandpa Dale are now in heaven having a cup of coffee together. On the Strobel side Ben is our only nephew. He will be 2 in April. He is a ball of fun and full of energy!
It is hard to believe that only 7 short months ago Piper joined our family. She has brought us so much joy. The time is passing to quickly, it seems like just yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital. We love being parents and are seeing the world through a new lens. Being a parent is joyous and heart wrenching all the same time. We just want the best for our little Piper. A concern since her birth has been her head size. The Dr.’s have been watching her from the beginning. Last Friday Piper had an MRI and CAT scan, later that evening we received a phone call from her pediatrician. Piper was diagnosed with Microcephaly (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/microcephaly/DS01169) Some people live unaffected and others have severe developmental delays. We are hoping and praying that Piper lives unaffected by her Microcephaly. No matter the severity we will take this on one step and day at a time. Our emotions are still raw with the new diagnoses but our hearts are full of faith and hope.
We started this year feeling very blessed and we are now ending this year with that same blessed feeling.
God is Good
We wish you a blessed 2013
P.S. One thing I learned about myself this year…I am THAT mom that talks about her baby all the time and wants to show everyone pictures of her and tell everyone about her newest tricks!