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!!!

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!!!

Happily living in denial …

Today my little girls start school. But with Reese in 4th Grade and Libs a senior in high school I realize that there is something that I should probably no longer hide from … my babies aren’t babies anymore. But ya know what? I’m going to do it anyway.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you live happily in denial!!!

Far away …

Today my son George officially found out that he will be studying abroad his next school year. He will be heading to Germany, and he will be leaving sometime this summer and he will be returning in late Spring 2020. When he sent me a copy of his acceptance letter I literally stopped and wept. My son’s dream came true. And it’s absolutely beautiful. As much as I struggle with the changes that have come with having adult children and the directions we have all been pulled, I can’t help but feel overjoyed. I am so incredibly thankful for the opportunities that have come George’s way. He has worked hard and he has persevered and God has blessed him abundantly. I know that at some point the distance and the time apart will hit me like a ton of bricks. But for now, I’m just going to be happy for my son and grateful that he is living the life that he’s dreamed of.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you get to go FAR AWAY!!!

Stay humble, work hard and relax harder …

Yesterday was my son’s first full day at home in 2 months. I am so HAPPY he is back! He has been very busy at school, so keeping in touch this semester has seemed different. Not difficult and not distant, just different. George has created a nice life for himself at school with friends, clubs, sports and church. And he’s a good student. It’s really all a mom could ever ask for. I honestly couldn’t be happy for him. The thing that blows my mind though, is that he handles almost everything on his own now. Shopping, scheduling, meetings, appointments, etc. It has been such relief to see him take these responsibilities over easily and master being an adult. We have always had a great relationship so thankfully he balances all of that out, still asking for advice and assistance when he really feels he needs it. As a mom, I needed him to get to THIS place in his life NOW. Why? WeIl, if it all works out George will be studying abroad the entire next school year. This is also something he’s handled all on his own. Which has shown me so much about my son. He is driven. He is responsible. He knows what he wants and he is capable of making it all happen. And somehow he maintains an air of humility that is rare to see these days.

Yesterday, we had fun. George loves to cook so we shopped at his favorite butcher’s market to get food for his week home. We planned out our week ahead. And we also started researching and shopping for some of the bigger items he may need for his year abroad. It’s all very exciting! I am so thankful that he includes me in all of that when he can and I am grateful that there are pieces of it that I can still help him with. And it really helps me have a better understanding of what his year away will be like. A familiarity of sorts. I think he knows that including me in what he can somehow makes it all a little easier for me knowing he will be so far away for so long.

If I had to describe my son in one word (it’s really impossible to do that) I would choose KIND. He knows that I will never let my fears hold any of my children back from chasing their dreams. So he does his best to ease my nerves when he can. Even if he has no time in his day, he will find the time to reach out to me if he thinks I’m worried. I appreciate his compassion. And I appreciate him so much.

Yesterday I surprised George by sending him off for his first day spa visit. This was DEFINITELY not something he would have ever planned for himself. Not. At. All. But I sure think he deserved it.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you stay humble, work hard and relax harder!!!

The same but different …

My son George headed back to his university this morning. I absolutely love it when he is home. Before he graduated from high school we would have daily talks. At some point almost every afternoon I would make my way to his room and plop down on his couch for our talk. Out of all the things that I miss about this kid when he is at school, that is what I miss the most. Sure, we text, talk on the phone and FaceTime, but it’s not the same.

This holiday week was a busy one for us and although George and I found plenty of time to have our talks and hang out, I never made it to the couch where our talks usually took place. We laughed a little bit about my rigidity on this one since I literally talked his ear off all week. He is SO patient with me! HA! Anyway, we did have our talks this week and we spent lots of time together, but there is a part of me that will always remember a simpler time. A time when he was just a knock on the door away. I miss those days, but I am finding that lately I embrace the changes easier knowing how happy he is with his life. THIS could quite possibly be the most comforting thing I’ve felt as a mother. When your child is happy, nothing else seems to matter. At least that is how I feel.

This morning I got up and made one of George’s favorite breakfasts, Eggs Benedict. We were busy trying to get him out the door with packing and loading his car. But I just had to do it. I made my way to his room and plopped down on his couch. We talked briefly, but he completely understood that I needed a moment there. I had to claim a little of our past together in the midst of his beautiful NOW and on the verge of his incredible future. I can accept all the change that has happened and all the change coming, but the mom in me will still steal a glimpse of his childhood every chance I get.

Well, I hope you all have a day that is the same but different!!!

A hand to hold …

As of yesterday afternoon my world finally calmed down. Yay! It’s honestly been a whirlwind. A wave of relaxation literally washed over me after my last meeting yesterday. Last night I realized that I’ve been so busy that I hadn’t really even given much thought to my favorite holiday fast approaching. Even after decorating, confirming with George when he would head home and after booking Sid’s flight it still hadn’t hit me. Talk about distracted!

I had big plans today. Plans to nurture myself. THIS is so important. Seriously, we all need to do more of it. But that’s a topic for another day. My day started early with a wonderful carefree run. I prayed. I thought about Thanksgiving. I thought about how blessed we are and how thankful I am. And then it hit me! ALL of my babies will be home. SOON. I was instantly overcome with emotions. I have not been with all four of my kids at the same time since early August. That’s a first. Again, I don’t like it but I wouldn’t want it any other way. They are off living their lives and becoming who they are meant to be. It’s beautiful.

The picture I posted with this blog is quite a few years old but it’s one of my favorites. I’d be lying if I said that I don’t miss those days. I do. They were days when we were all a bit younger and life wasn’t pulling us in so many different directions. I’m not one to want to turn back time, but I do like to look back. It makes me appreciate our togetherness even more now. I love our family history and the memories that we have made. They are, after all, what paved the way to what is our now. Again, it is beautiful. I know that our NOW might not look like our THEN but it still takes my breath away. These incredible souls are my WHY. I am blessed to be their mom. So so so blessed. And I am grateful that regardless of how much time passes or the distance between them, that they will always have each other to walk through life with. As an only child I wanted this for them. No. I needed this for them. And knowing that they have each other fills this mama’s heart with immeasurable peace and joy.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you have a hand to hold!!!