It's been a road of milestones, worries, and blessings since the Waldrop family welcomed sextuplets six months ago, and they decided to give back to say 'thank you' to everyone who has helped along the way.
In some ways, things are the same outside the Waldrop's Albertville home since we visited last year. Inside is a whole other story.
Every kind of baby gear from bounce chairs and bottles, to changing gear and car seats, is organized across the home.
"Nine kids and six babies, it is definitely a challenge finding time for anything other than taking care of our kids," Courtney Waldrop said. "The babies sleep all through the night," her husband, Eric, added. "The good Lord knew He had to give us good sleepers or we just wouldn't survive," Courtney said with a laugh.
They've found a whole new normal. "They're the best babies, the best babies, but it is six of them," Courtney said.
Tag, Rayne, Blu, Rawlings, Layke, and Rivers, plus their brothers Saylor, and twins Bridge and Wales, keep things busy.
The couple has been together since the eighth grade. They got married in 2004, and a few years later the couple welcomed their first boy, and then the twins in 2012.
They wanted another baby. "Within one month we got pregnant but we lost that pregnancy. So we knew we would have to do fertility again," Courtney said. They were shocked when the couple found out they were expecting not one baby, but six. The doctor told them the chances of multiples was very low.
The Waldrop sextuplets are the first to be born in Alabama since 2011. The family welcomed the six new little additions in December. Since then, and even before the babies were born, people from all over the world reached out to help. "We've been very, very, blessed with a lot of love and support," Courtney said, "We wouldn't be here right now without all the love, support, and prayers."
So, the couple wants to give back. Similar to the gender reveal 5K fundraiser held last year, the Waldrops are holding an event to say 'thank you'. "It's just our way of trying to say 'thank you' to all the help we've received in our community, so we are going to do a 5K race."
All of the proceeds and donations will go to Albertville City Schools, and Real Life Pregnancy Center, which is a local organization. The 5K run, or walk, if you want, will be Sunday, July 1 in downtown Albertville at the Farmers Market. It's free to attend, and registration is $35 for the run. For groups of ten or more, the cost is $25 dollars. There will be food vendors, music, and a free t-shirt for the first 300 runners. Registration and festivities start at 6:30 p.m., a chance to meet the babies starts at 7:30, 8:00 kicks off the race, and fireworks are at 9:00. Donations are welcome.
For the Waldrops, it's all a way to give back. "To think where we were a year ago and where we are now, we're just extremely blessed," Eric said, "It's been a really long journey. It's been hard at times, but it's been such a blessing."
Actually, six. "Six blessings, yeah. The Lord definitely saw us through," Courtney said.
The Waldrop family will be featured in TLC's new series Sweet Home Sextuplets, premiering this fall.