Photos

Family Photos
The first time we were able to hold Brenna, she was two weeks old. It was New Year’s Eve 2011 – the very brightest way to ring in 2012.
One of my all-time favorite pictures of our girl – she looks like a little gnome! 🙂
Our very first family picture – Brenna was about 2.5 weeks old and Connor was 2 years, 4 months.
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After 5.5 weeks in the NICU, we received some very exciting, very overwhelming news – we would be bringing our baby girl home!!
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Three months old
Family photos taken in June 2012CourtneyWestlake-2036
In September 2012, we made our annual outing to the pumpkin patch!
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October 2012 was a turning point in Brenna’s first year – after we had spent months in and out of the hospital, battling skin infections, and undergoing several surgeries. Her health began to turn around, and after being so sick she didn’t smile for a whole month, her energy and spunk finally came back!
Family picture! May 2013
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In May 2013, Brenna first began standing up in her crib! When she turned two, she began to walk, and finally crawled at 28 months. Her progress has been slower – because her skin can be restricting and sometimes painful at the joints if her skin splits there. But she’s so determined to be independent!
In August 2013, we had a beautifully perfect day at the park, and we grabbed some photos of our kids that are still some of my favorites!

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Our family, September 2013

To celebrate Brenna’s 2nd birthday, we had a Cookie Monster Bash with our close friends and family!

A cute Valentine’s Day collage, 2014
These smiles light up my world!
March 2014
September 2014
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August 2014
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Connor and Brenna have a wonderful sibling relationship and are each other’s biggest fans. And we’ve found that because difference is all we know, it seems it’s not so different after all.cIMG_1500
In June 2014, our family attended our first national family conference hosted by the Foundation for Ichthyosis and Related Skin Types, and we met several other kids who have Harlequin Ichthyosis!
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Family photo in front of our new home, October 204cIMG_2594
 In January 2015, Brenna started preschool!
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Our family photos in June 2015 are some of my favorite ever!
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“Laughing all the way…” 🙂 Merry Christmas 2015!
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19 thoughts on “Photos

  • January 28, 2016 at 12:28 pm
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    May God bless your family and be the Strength and the Rock of your family forever!! Much love to Brenna!

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  • January 31, 2016 at 10:06 am
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    She is gorgeous and her smile is contagious ! Blessings to you and family!

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    • February 1, 2016 at 6:27 am
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      Thank you so much!

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  • February 5, 2016 at 7:17 am
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    I am incredibly touched by your dedication to not just care for your daughter, but to create awareness of the condition. People like you, like sweet little Brenna, make this dark world a brighter place. I pray that she stays healthy, happy and that every day you can find joy despite the struggles you endure. She is truly beautiful in every way. Thank you so very much for sharing your story. You all are truly a blessing!

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    • February 5, 2016 at 7:24 am
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      Thank you so much!

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  • February 21, 2016 at 4:06 pm
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    She is so adorable! Such pretty blue eyes. I hope she has a wonderful future.

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  • February 24, 2016 at 9:39 pm
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    touching story. Bless you and your family. Brenna is a beautiful little girl

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  • February 25, 2016 at 12:11 pm
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    Thank you for sharing your storey with us. You have a beautiful family. Brenna is absolutely gorgeous!

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  • March 30, 2016 at 2:37 am
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    Your children are Just beutiful! I feel identified with you, my baby girl has congenital ichthyosiform erythroderma, she’s 3 months old. The Best wishes for you and your family!

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  • April 5, 2016 at 6:00 pm
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    I discovered the existence of this disease just today. At first I saw the pain these poor babies must be going through. I also thought about the pain the parents must also go through. But then I saw the beauty of these children. Your daughter is so beautiful, in fact both of your children are. By the pictures, I get the feeling Connor is a good big brother. Brenna and Connor seem to love each other very much and they seem so happy. I have fallen in love with both of them. Good luck to your whole family and you will be in my prayers. Thank you for sharing your family story with the rest of the world.

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  • April 21, 2016 at 9:58 pm
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    Your family is beautiful! Brenna is precious. May God continue to bless your family on your journey. You are giving hope and inspiration to others. Thank you for sharing your story with the world.

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  • May 27, 2016 at 9:53 am
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    You’re family is beautiful. The looks of joy of your children’s faces speaks volumes of the love in your family. Thanks for sharing your journey, as it helps be embrace the differences in my family too.

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  • June 23, 2016 at 7:14 pm
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    I am an obstetric care provider and we had a baby born yesterday at our centre with harlequin ichthyosis. He came out strong and breathing well and we are carrying him and his family in our hearts as they adjust to this new reality. So inspiring and encouraging to see your beautiful daughter in these pictures.

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  • August 11, 2016 at 10:42 am
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    I came upon your website while pinning one of your pictures in Pinterest. Have never heard of harlequin ichthyosis until today. I found myself engrossed in your website – reading your stories and looking at pictures of your children. What beautiful children you have and you can see how much love they have for each other. Brenna’s smile is contagious – in fact both of your children have the same contagious smile – you cannot help but smile looking at them. I wish nothing but the best for you and your beautiful family. You are truly blessed.

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  • September 19, 2016 at 4:23 pm
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    On the Brenna’s 2nd birthday photo Brenna like a little cute sweety cherry tomato :v If you happen to pass Turkey Istanbul I want to entertain you family 🙂 God bless you!

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  • September 21, 2016 at 3:00 am
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    Im writing from Turkey. My name is Cansu. Write to explor new. You have two babies in the incredible beauty. And I wish them luck throughout life 🙂

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  • December 26, 2016 at 4:38 pm
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    Hi Courtney,

    Yesterday I saw fotos of Brenna on the internet for the first time and since that moment, I can´t stop thinking about her: She ist such a beautiful girl and I wish the best for her. I see your fotos and tell to myself: Love is all we need, everything else doesn’t matter and that´s what I see in the fotos when you look at her: love. Just minutes ago, I called a friend and told her about Brenna and how affected I am by your story.
    I say this with all honesty: She is the most beautiful girl I´ve ever seen.

    Best wishes,

    Britta from Germany

    Reply

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