Shafer Meets “Gaifer”


Oh my goodness…what a month this has been! Shafer finally got to meet one of his favorite people…Bill Gaither! Our good friend, Gordon Mote (pianist for the Gaither’s), arranged for us to personally meet “Gaifer” (as Shafer affectionately calls him) right before he took the stage in Chattanooga for the Gaither Homecoming concert. It was a magical moment to see Shafer meet such a legend that has impacted his love for music in a profound way. Shafer has been a fan since he was only weeks old as the beautiful music would lull him off to sleep at naptime and bedtime.

March Madness


Shafer loves basketball. The Daves are a basketball-loving family as we’ve spent the last 6 months consumed with the game. My husband, Kevin, and I coached Shayli’s 5th grade basketball team at Brainerd Baptist School. Kevin also coached Sharayah’s 3rd-5th grade community league, and Shanel and Shaw’s K-4/K-5 team. Every morning Shafer would wake up and say, “Going to ballgame today?” He fell in love with the sound of balls bouncing, sights of pretty girls, and smell of fresh popcorn popping—not to mention dozens of people doting on him since he is not out in public very often.

Love You Much


Ah…sweet Shafer. What a bundle of love he is! After weeks of talking with others about his phrase “thank you much,” (see November’s blog) he has surprised us again with a new saying. When he first took my face in between his little hands and looked me square in the eyes and said “love you much,” I thought my heart was going to come out of my body. In that moment, I was deeply moved as my 2-year old expressed such gratitude to his mother.

Happy New Year


2011 will forever be one of the most significant years of my life. As I ponder all that has transpired over the last twelve months, I am brought to tears. What a mixture of sweet sorrow and unexplainable joy! I wasn’t sure if I was going to avoid a heart transplant from the heaviness I seemed to be carrying—at times the tension, stress, and worry seemed too much. Due to the faithfulness of my Heavenly Father, He lightened the burden and carried me when I was all but done.

Christmas Blessings


What a joy to celebrate Jesus our Savior at home with Shafer and the family! Words cannot adequately describe the miracle of seeing Shafer being fully alive as a 2-year-old enjoying the sights and sounds of the season.

Thank You Much


Wow…the impact that 3 little words from a 2-year old can have! When Shafer first responded with “thank you much” after I handed him his sippy cup of milk, I was deeply moved.

Celebrating Shafer Turning Two

  Brittany Pic of Shafer.jpg

One of my favorite songs has always been “Celebration” by Kool & The Gang. The music has a way of pumping me up and creating a mood of excitement and fun. And boy did we celebrate on Shafer’s birthday at the milestone of him turning two.

A Dream Vacation Come True


Magical. Amazing. Happy. A Dream Come True. Just a few words that keep coming to mind as I reflect on our recent trip to Disney World. Who would have ever thought that on the incredible journey of caring for Baby Shafer that we would be given a dream vacation?

A Tribute To Our Medical Team

Gratitude. Our hearts are overflowing with an immeasurable amount of joy for all that our medical team has done to assist with our care. God has used Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt to provide hope and healing to our family. The skilled doctors, surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, and other support staff have been the human vessels that have given Shafer an extension on life.

Home Sweet Home

Shanel, Sharayah, & Shafer
enjoy our first brunch back home.

After seven weeks of being in Nashville, we are finally settled back at home in Chattanooga so Shayli, Sharayah, and Shanel could start the school year. What a blessing to reacquaint ourselves with home and to see Shafer doing so well.

It is hard to believe the surgery is over and now we are well into our recovery. We are making weekly trips to Nashville for regular clinic visits and labs to keep a check on everything.

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