Giggles …

During the day our home can get VERY quiet with everyone gone. It’s something I don’t think I’ll ever get used to especially after having had four children. Kids come with a TON of noises! But there is one noise that has to be one of the cutest and sweetest sounds I’ve ever heard. I look forward to hearing it after being in a silent home. It always puts a smile on my face and Reese is REALLY good at it!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you hear lots of giggles!!!

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Overcoming every obstacle …

I’m not sure if this is about bad luck, perseverance, the love I have for my son or just straight up craziness.

Last year Family Weekend, at George’s university, was canceled due to the Northern California Wildfires. Sad, but COMPLETELY understandable!

Flash forward to a few weeks ago …

I was in a sad-missing-my-son kinda funk, so I booked flights for this year’s Family Weekend. But it sort of backfired. It actually made me a little bit sadder because I realized that the weekend it was being held was two months away. UGH. A few weeks later I was trying to remember if I had booked a rental car along with our flights. I SERIOUSLY, couldn’t remember! In searching for that confirmation, I realized that I never made a hotel reservation. THAT would have been a HUGE BUMMER had I not caught that one! Yesterday we got the official Family Weekend registration email but when I went to register the links didn’t work for me. I finally figured THAT out and then realized that I didn’t know George’s Student ID # to complete the registration. I looked EVERYWHERE for it but I still couldn’t find it. So I text George and, after a few hours, he text me back and gave me his ID number. YAY!

I am happy to say that I was FINALLY able to complete all the details of this little trip … um … I think.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you overcome every obstacle!!!

Sending a whole lotta love …

I am a little behind getting Sid and George’s college care packages in the mail this month. I like to get them out around the first of the month but that didn’t happen. I have always made Sid’s college care packages but last year I found a company that provided a year full of care packages and they handled EVERYTHING! So I decided to give them a try for George. They sent out GREAT baskets full of treats that were scheduled for delivery about once a month. They hit all the major stuff too, with a welcome box, holiday boxes, finals boxes and even one that got sent “out of the blue”. Each was delivered with a handwritten card that I submitted with my order. I loved the idea! And I really thought the cost was reasonable. But here’s the kicker … while I have absolutely no complaints about the company itself, I still HATED IT! I missed sending personalized packages so much! So this year I am back to making them all myself. And I’m loving it! Today I completed almost three months of care packages, minus the perishable foods, plus a special treat for midterms and finals. I am on a roll! And although my packages aren’t going to be as timely or as elaborate as the ones I can order, they are going to be sent with something that I think is going to make them much better.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you send a whole lotta love!!!

Faith, love and miracles …

Despite posting these words every year they still bring me to tears. Happy tears. Tears that warriors cry after winning a long battle. I don’t think I will ever be able to change how I tell this story. To do so would be an injustice to her and to me. And to all of our family and friends who stood by us then and who continue to walk through this life with us now. This story is about our beginning together. The story that we all fought so hard to tell. It is a story about 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 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.

Nine years ago today, through God’s amazing grace, Reese Lindsey Grace Henry 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.

Happy 9th Birthday to my precious miracle! Reesey Roo you are my JOY, the smile on my face and my WHY! Mommy loves you and all of your extra parts 💕

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

Feeling happy …

I am pretty sure our birthday kicked-off weekend has been a success. Libs and Reese have had a lot of fun. We have a few more things planned for today and then we will be heading home. Libs mentioned yesterday that she wants to do this every Labor Day weekend until she graduates. I quickly realized, that means ONE MORE YEAR. Talk about a flood of emotions rolling in! I can’t seem to ever wrap my head around how quickly time passes. After raising two children to adulthood (and now almost a third), you’d think I would have a handle on it by now. NOPE. Anyway, passing through our days can often seem LONG. Our challenges NEVER seem to end. And there is ALWAYS something to do. But when I look back on all of it, I can truly only see the beauty in it. I can’t help but feel blessed to have had the privilege of raising these incredible souls. And despite the struggle I often feel of “letting them go”, when I look back on the life we have shared together, I find myself overwhelmed by one feeling.

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

And then there were two …

Sid left very early this morning to return to school. With George already at school that leaves just Libs and Reese at home. The whole house sounds and feels different. It looks different too. Inside is a stark aftermath of a busy summer. Outside looks almost barren with the lack of cars. The changes are almost disorienting. After coming home from moving Sid into her dorms her freshman year a friend of mine came over to visit me. She said that she was shocked by the energy change in our home. And I couldn’t agree with her more. I was struck at that very moment with a true understanding of what it meant when people say “making your house a home”. I had always lived that way but it was such a different way to experience those feelings. Our house is a living breathing thing because of the souls who both live and visit here. They are the ones who make it a home. And the changes I see and feel around here are because of the love I feel for them. Do I wish that they were always here? Yes. A million times, yes. But I also love the things that this house has become because of their absence. Adulthood comes with new challenges and new sources of joy. This is now the place where they return to share all of that with me. I am comforted knowing that this house is a place that, no matter where life takes them, will always be their home. It is their safe haven in tough times and a place to celebrate all the good. A place that they can always count on to receive unconditional love.

We are considering a big move in the next two years and my thoughts have been drawn to our future house. Where will it be? What will it look like? It’s a bit anxiety provoking with all the unknowns. But then I remember that it really doesn’t matter where the house will be or what it will look like. That house will be filled with everything this house is and more. Undoubtedly our family will grow with marriages and grandchildren. I simply can’t wait for those kind of wonderful changes! Those kind of blessings sure makes all the growing pains that I feel now seem trivial. And when I get past all my wild emotions, deep down I know that our new house will become a home with a familiar story to tell. The story of a family who’s love, history, adventures and traditions make their house a home.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are down to two!!!

The times, they are a-changin’ …

Packed boxes. Full suitcases. Books. Supplies. Plane tickets. And lots and lots of different emotions. We have been HERE before. And I can’t seem to get that song out of my head.

Well, I hope you all have a day where “the times, they are a-changin’”!!!