All the feels …

This morning I had a yucky awful terrible run. Those are THE WORST and they usually leave me pretty irritable. About an hour after my run I spoke with my son, George, who is in Germany. This was THE BEST! My spirits were quickly lifted after hearing his voice. I miss him more than words could ever describe and his calls make me feel SO MUCH better. But a little while later Libs sent me a picture of herself after she got her hair styled for her senior portraits that she’s having done later today. This got me CRYING. When did my Little Libby Lu Lamb Chop become this beautiful young woman?!?! Needless to say, my morning has been chocked full of emotions.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you feel all the feels!!!

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A season of change …

I woke up about 4:30 this morning and I immediately felt a difference. The air was colder. And not because the air conditioning was set too low. This was the real deal. Our house was colder because the temperature outside has dropped. I didn’t have to get up get so I buried myself in my blankets and started thinking.

Things are changing … again.

I have prepared myself for all that is coming over this next year. Actually, I guess I’ve more “braced myself” for it and surrendered to the unknown. HA! We’re going to have some wonderful adventures and a whole lot of clarity coming our way about many different things. I’m truly excited about all of it. Overwhelmed by about half of it. And maybe even a little sad about some of it. But I keep reminding myself that things are going to turn out the way they’re meant to be. That regardless of time or distance, the people who I love most, will be where they need to be, doing what they need to do, and becoming more of who they’re meant to be. I can’t complain about that.

I got out of bed, threw on my running clothes and headed out to get my miles in. But I was stopped quite unexpectedly. I felt IT the second I opened up our front door. It took my breath away. There it was. Cool crisp air that wasn’t there a few days ago. Although we won’t see or feel a true Autumn in our area for a few more months our mornings will reflect it much sooner. As a runner I will enjoy the cooler weather. And this year I will allow it to gently remind me that change has, in fact, begun.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you feel your seasons change!!!

Perfectly …

Today is my daughter Libby’s 17th birthday. To say that time has passed quickly since the day she was born is an understatement. I remember her beginning like it was yesterday.

I was standing in a deli after church on a Sunday morning when I realized that I was pregnant with Libs. I had just prayed the day before, that if the timing was PERFECT, that I would love to have another baby one day. Life was definitely not perfect at that time. I had just returned back to work and was loving the contract that I took with a local hospital. My head was in a different place. Yet there I was in that deli, already stricken with ALL DAY sickness and knowing that I was headed into what would likely be my third high-risk pregnancy. NOT the perfect time but it definitely all turned out PERFECTLY! God knew that our family needed Libs and He knew exactly when we would need her. I saw God move so much when I was pregnant with her. It was truly miraculous. And she came in God’s PERFECT timing. Libs was born into this world to a room full of laughter. All of us, doctors and nurses included, were laughing and having a wonderful time. Her birth was honestly like a party. I remember when I first held her, I felt an unexplainable familiarity with her. I felt like I had held her my whole life. She fit PERFECTLY into my arms, my heart and our family. I can’t imagine us without her! Libs is one of the funniest people you will ever know. I love how she sees and relates to this world. She is genuine and honest. She has always been a justice-seeker and she is incredibly fair. Libs is a gifted artist and brilliant, but most of all, Libs is kind and compassionate. This girl has a HUGE heart. I couldn’t be more proud of the young woman that she has become and of all the things that she has already accomplished. Life will take a lot of twists and turns for her over this next year. But I have no doubt that her future will turn out exactly how she came into this world … perfectly.

Well, I hope you all have a day where things turn out PERFECTLY!!!

Close but not quite …

I’m not sure whether I love or loathe my internal body clock. Today I am definitely leaning towards the LOATHE. I was supposed to be able to sleep in this morning. And by sleeping in I mean that I could get up at 7 am instead of 5 am if I wanted. But my body wanted no part of that idea. It has easily retuned to its’ early riser back-to-school and training mode (my natural state) with gusto. And apparently, 4 am is the new 5 am. I guess it’s similar. Sorta. But it’s definitely not 7 am. Ugh.

Well, I hope you all have a day where it’s close but not quite!!!

Faith, love and miracles …

I know that this is the 10th year that I’ve been blessed to share this story, but I still cry like I wrote it yesterday. This story is about our beginning together. The story that we all fought so hard to tell. It is a story of faith, love and miracles.

When I was about 11 weeks pregnant we were told that she did not look quite so “typical” … I didn’t care. I loved our baby. And I prayed.

A few weeks later we were told, that not only was our baby “not typical”, but that there was a chance I would be delivering her stillborn. I wanted our baby even more fiercely than I had before. And I prayed.

Several weeks later, we almost lost our baby … to which I screamed an angry and adamant “NO!” And I prayed.

A month later we were told that our baby had a “very large hole in her heart” … to which I said, “I don’t believe you.“ And I prayed.

Two months later we were told, “Your baby is small” … to which I laughed and said, “Of all the things that you have told us, this seems pretty manageable.” And I prayed.

Two weeks later, on what was supposed to be a brief doctor’s visit before we headed to our local water park, we were told that our baby was not growing, that she was too small and that she was not acting the way that she should be. We were told that I would be given another amniocentesis to see if her lungs were developed. If they were, my doctor wanted to take her right away. I felt like my body was failing her. And I prayed.

My doctor gave me a drug to speed up our baby’s lung development. The results of the amniocentesis were not what we had hoped for. My doctor told us that our baby’s lungs were not developed, our baby could not breath on her own. Now we had a team of medical professionals. They hoped nothing would go wrong for the next 48 hours so that the steroid that they had given me would have time to help our baby’s lungs grow … to which I said, “OK”. And I prayed.

Less than 24 hours later I had a hospital room full of people wearing blue. They were running around and pumping my body full of fluids and drugs. We were told that we could no longer wait. We were told that our baby would not be breathing and that she would be very small and weak … to which I cried in her father’s arms and said, “I’m scared.” And I prayed.

Minutes later I was strapped to a table. I had refused anything that would alter my mental state. I wanted to be there for our baby. It took a long time to get her out. I was told that she was so small that she kept slipping through the doctor’s hands. I kept screaming, “Is she out?!?!” And I prayed.

Then, I heard a cry … to which I thought, “That is a loud cry for a baby who is supposed to be weak, small and not breathing.” And I prayed.

A few minutes later our baby was brought over to me, warmly swaddled, pink as could be, breathing all on her own and with no hole in her heart. (Sure, she had some extra chromosomes, but who cares about that?) And when I saw her I thought, “You are my miracle and I love you.” And then, I praised God for our beautiful daughter.

Ten years ago today, through God’s amazing grace, Reese Lindsey Grace was born by emergency cesarean section. She was 6 weeks early. She weighed 2lbs 15oz and was 15 ½ inches long. My world has not been quite the same since that day … and I would have it no other way.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you celebrate a miracle … and always remember to pray!!!

Cotton ball clouds …

I’m not sure of exactly when I first noticed them but I know that it was back in college. And it was definitely at summer’s end. I remember because I was out late with some friends and the temperature was warm and humid. We sat on blankets at a park by a little lake. It was then that I noticed them in the night sky. So delicate. So beautiful. They were everything perfect to my impressionable young heart. They softened me. And they stuck with me. So much so that every year at the same time I take note of our night sky. I’m sure that they have a scientific name and reason but I never cared to learn them. I just simply enjoy them for what they are to me. Fond memories. The coming of age. Hope. Love. Friendship. I have seen a lot of incredible night and early morning skies over the past 3 decades but these will always remain my favorite.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you see cotton ball clouds!!!

Pretzel sticks …

When I was little girl I had a favorite salty, crunchy, and snappy snack. And every time I reach THIS level of soreness in my training, I think of them.

Well, I hope you all have a day where your legs don’t feel like pretzel sticks!!!