Life After NICU

Five Christmases

We are very grateful that we’ve been able to create some beautiful Christmas memories with James. Each Christmas has been the ‘Best Christmas Ever’ at the time. Here are a few of our favorites.

James was still in the NICU for his first Christmas. ‘Best Christmas Ever’ because, against enormous odds, he was here! Made even more special because I fed him for the first time Christmas Eve, and Daddy did Christmas Day. We didn’t know it at the time, but we’d be bringing James home in just two weeks.

Christmas 2010

We ordered the smallest size we could and rolled up the arms and legs multiple times trying to make it fit. He was pretty little still, but looks like quite the chunk in this outfit. 🙂


Christmas 2010

His beautiful stocking was handmade by Grandma and filled with many NICU-friendly goodies.


Christmas 2010

Best Christmas snuggles.


Christmas 2010

Daddy feeding James for the first time. Can’t beat that for a Christmas gift!


James’ first Christmas at home was the ‘Best Christmas Ever’ because our sweet boy was home. We were grateful to celebrate his first Christmas in the NICU, but nothing beats waking up in your own home Christmas morning, with your little guy right there. We were able to experience a few Christmas traditions together, like decorating the Christmas tree and having photos taken with Santa. He was definitely not a fan the first time he met Santa, but Santa won him over in the end.

Christmas 2011

Love how his sweet friend Eleanor tried to comfort him. One of my favorite Christmas photos.


Christmas 2011

James was captivated by the lights and colors of the Christmas tree.


Christmas 2011

We ran into the big guy again and James was in awe!


Christmas 2012 was the Christmas of Trans Siberian Orchestra. James saw them for the first time in Grandma’s room while we were decorating the house for Christmas. He was captivated right away and always signed “more” when the dvd ended. When James ended up in the hospital a couple of weeks later we played TSO for him, trying to bring some comfort any way we could. It’s been one of his favorites ever since. ‘Best Christmas Ever’ because Christmas Day was the day they finally told us, after three long weeks, that James was going to be ok. Doesn’t get any better than that.

Christmas 2012

We made our very own Elf on the Shelf for our Christmas Cards. A couple of weeks after this photo was taken we hung it outside is ICU room at Children’s. We wanted all of his doctors and nurses to see as much as they could of the real James, not just the sedated little boy laying in the hospital bed.


Christmas 2012

RSV and pneumonia will do a number on a little guy with asthma. His love of music, more specifically Trans Siberian Orchestra, got us through Christmas in the ICU.


We were so thankful to be home and healthy for Christmas in 2013. James loved the tree and the lights, and was starting to get interested in things like decorating sugar cookies and the gingerbread house. His Granny spent the night Christmas Eve, and we had a peaceful, quiet Christmas day at home. James wasn’t too interested in anything that showed up under the tree. The whole experience was a little overwhelming for him. Still the ‘Best Christmas Ever’ because James was healthy and home. We definitely don’t take that for granted with this guy.

Christmas 2013

Whenever we couldn’t find James, he was usually behind the tree looking at the reflection of the Christmas lights.


Christmas 2013

James’ first Gingerbread House. Notice all of the icing in the bowl…he preferred to take the decorations off the house!


This year was our first Christmas in Tennessee. ‘Best Christmas Ever’ because James truly enjoyed Christmas morning for the first time. His smiles, excitement, and curiosity were so precious to see. He loved having his Uncle Dennis, Aunt Tracy, Cousin To-Tie (Kendra) and Cousin Aiden all spend the day with him. The excitement continues….Cousins Kaleb, Gabe, and Addy are spending the week with us (and Aiden and Kendra joined us again yesterday)! Little munchkin won’t know what to do when they all leave next week. (Doctors’ appointments and his first day of school will be a good distraction!)

Christmas 2014

One of his favorite gifts. He had the biggest belly laugh every time he swung at the ball.


Christmas 2014

Just hangin’ with his Big Blocks, cozied up in his new James-sized chair.


 Many wishes for a happy and healthy 2015!



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