Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard JR Smith is taking a much needed vacation with the beautiful ladies in his life.
The 31-year-old hopped on a private jet last Friday with his wife Jewel and their three daughters: Peyton, Demi and Dakota.
But it is no ordinary vacay, as it marks the Smith family’s first ever trip with their youngest Dakota.
Baby Dakota was born five months early this past January and weighed less than a pound.
The prospects were not good, but the little fighter has managed to overcome the remarkable odds. The little cutie will soon turn seven months.
Smith and wife Jewel have shared a number of adorable photos of Dakota on Instagram. One sees Smith’s baby girl giving his face a squeeze as he plays in the the pool.
His wife captioned one of the snaps: ‘Loving the continuous…seen and un seen GROWTH within our Union.’
Jewel also posted an stunning video from the view of their family’s penthouse hotel suite looking over South Beach.
It has been a very emotional seven months for the Smith family. Their difficult journey began on January 2 when Jewel gave birth to Dakota at just 21 weeks.
As is the case with all micro-preemie babies, the odds of survival were less than 10 percent.
But with the help of dedicated doctors and baby Dakota’s determination she continued to grow and get stronger.
She spent a number of weeks in Neonatology at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital.
But baby Dakota defied all odds to hit every milestone quicker then expected. She slowly started to put on weight, become more and more responsive and finally, in May, cross the six-pound mark.
Dakota was finally able to check out of the NICU and join her loving family at home for the first time.
Smith was able to be by his wife’s side for the first two months of baby Dakota’s hospitalization. He fractured his thumb back in November and that kept him off the court.
He was back at work by March.The Cavaliers once again earning a spot in the finals of the NBA Championship.
But the 2016 victors lost in five games to the Golden State Warriors.
Jr’s wife Jewel made the decision early on to be very vocal about her daughter’s battle as well as her own struggles.
Five days after Dakota’s birth, Jewel announced to the world what was going on with her family.
‘We decided to share with the world what’s been going on with our family in the past five days.’
We know a lot of you congratulated us on the expectancy of our little baby girl, but we had her five months early. ‘
‘She’s five days old today and her name’s Dakota, and she weighs one pound,’ explained Jewel in the video on Uninterrupted.
‘We know we’re not the only family going through this, who has been through this and who will ever go through it.’
‘That’s why we decided to share what we’re going through with you guys. Please keep us in your prayers, and we’ll do the same for everyone else.’
Jewel started a blog and social media pages were she gives open and honest accounts of what is going on in her and Dakota’s life.
The most recent of these came last week, with Jewel writing about how difficult it was adjusting to Dakota’s less-than-ideal sleep habits.
‘When Kota Bear came home she was doing her own thing, she was not on a real schedule and she had her days and nights mixed up…BIG TIME LOL!’ wrote Jewel on her blog, My Kota Bear.