A story about faith, love and believing in miracles …

I post these words every year. I don't think I will ever be able to change them. To do so would be an injustice to her. To me. And to all our family and friends who stood by us then and who continue to share this life with us now. This story is about our beginning together. It is a story of faith and love … and believing in miracles.

We were told when I was about 11 weeks pregnant 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 still born … 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 adamant and angry “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 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 who 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 on her own and with no hole in her heart. (Sure, she has 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.

Eight 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 … 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!!!

Advertisements

Summer’s end and a change of pace …

It's our last Sunday of summer break. Sid and George are at college. Libs and Reese return to school on Tuesday. This summer has been a DOOZEY. Emotional and exciting don't even come close to describing it. The summer of 2017 will go down as one of my all time favorites.

I never want summer to end but there is something about the routine that comes with the start of a new school year that grounds me. Summer months tend to feel (and be) more spontaneous and frivolous. But the Fall, winter and Spring months have a coziness to them. Our days are filled with the orderliness of schedules, sports and school, and by the end of August I'm usually ready for it. Fall and winter around this house are filled with magic and traditions that I have come to love. This year we even have some different things planned as well. I'm looking forward to both the familiar back-to-school regimen and the new life we will carve out for ourselves. Our family dynamics are not the same with two of my four children out of the house now. Life will undoubtedly be different, but I know it will be good for all of us.

So am I ready to say "goodbye" to these incredible days of summer? Yes. I believe I am. I will tuck their memories away in my heart. And I will be grateful for each and every moment that I got to spend with the people I love most in this world. God blessed me with another summer … and I truly can't be more thankful.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are ready for a change of pace!!!

Go with the flow …

Winding down from the past eight days hasn't been easy. Coming home to a house that is down so many in numbers has just been weird. And of course now it's time to get ready for Libs' and Reese's first day of school next week AND their birthdays.

Life is ALWAYS busy. At least mine is. And I love it. I don't mean the busyness. I mean the "life" part. My life is never boring. It's full of change. It's full of happiness and pain. We have great times and we have struggles. It simply amazes me that it all keeps moving fluidly. And we just glide along with all of it mapping out a new course as each day passes.

I agree that times can be hard. I'm currently in one. I'm grieving the changes in our family. I miss my kids and what was. But I know I'll adapt and figure it all out. That is the beauty that comes with accepting life as it is and as it should be. It will come. This time might be difficult but my life is still incredible. I still laugh and enjoy every crazy mixed-up and turned around situation I find myself in. And I love and adore the people who I have chosen and who have chosen me share them with. We drift through this life together like a stream. My life takes many twists and turns. I don't always see what lies beneath the water. Heck, sometimes I don't want to. But it's all a part of this magnificent opportunity we have been given time and time again … to find joy in each new day. And as long as I have breath, no matter what I may be facing, I will seek it.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you go with the flow!!!

Driving away …

Today we leave this town. Today we leave my son George at his college knowing that we won't see him again for two months. This is hard. This is going to be the most difficult day in this whole process so far. I've lived this once before with Sid. I didn't do it gracefully. I cried. Heck, I sobbed. I wasn't myself for a good week and even then I was pretty sketchy. I expect the same will happen again. And I make no excuses. It's not every day that you get in your car and leave your child knowing that you won't see them again for months. I joke and say that this whole thing would be easier if I hadn't been the one to teach my kids how to use a spoon! Seriously, they went from not being able to feed themselves to leaving for college in what seems to be a really short time. Logically I know that I had about 17 years from spoon usage learning to college classes but today that gap in time doesn't seem nearly long enough today. I selfishly want more time with George. But my love for him somehow allows me to also want this new life for him even more. And even though I don't think I'll ever feel ready for it, I know that he is.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you drive away!!!

Ready for the next BIG thing …

We were all over the place yesterday. We started off with a relaxing morning at our hotel. Then we picked up some more things for George's dorm room and went to a nice lunch. We later headed into San Francisco to drop off some things at Sidney's new place and also for some fun. After an unusually late dinner we headed back to our hotel. We were all pretty tired from our day and George fell asleep on the way home. I was glad. He has a HUGE day tomorrow. It's not every day that you move into your first college dorm room.

Anyway, I realized that he fell asleep about 30 minutes into our drive back when his breathing changed. It caught my attention and I looked over at him. He was sound asleep and I was suddenly stuck with more emotions than my heart could handle. It was like my entire being was flooded with 18 years of memories. Memories of my precious baby boy who has now GROWN into an incredible young man. A man about to start his new life at college. A man about to chase his dreams. And it all seems to have happened in the blink of an eye. It overwhelms me. All of it. I couldn't be prouder of my son. Or happier. But I am sad for me. I am going to miss this kid. A lot.

I reached over and touched George's face as he slept. It has changed so much. HE has changed so much. I guess I startled him as he woke long enough to grab ahold of my hand. His hands are not the little boy's hands who held my mine all those years ago. They are a man's LARGE hands. My hearts wanted to scream out, "Who's hands are these? Where are my baby boy's hands?" But I didn't. I know who's hands they are. And it's all just so hard to believe.

George held my hand briefly before falling back to sleep. I continued our drive back to the hotel thinking about the years that have passed and the years that lie ahead. All that newness. But knowing in my heart that it's time. It's time for all this TREMENDOUS change. Life has brought us here. And this is where we must part (at least temporarily) and trust where God is going to lead us. Son and mom. Mom and son. Son. Mom. Wherever life takes us. THIS is where we let go.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are ready for the next BIG thing!!!

I can’t imagine what it will be like …

Next Sunday I will wake up to two sleeping children. Not four. Sid will be in her new house and George will be settled into his dorm. It will be the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. I'm trying very hard to picture what this new chapter will look like. What it will sound like. And what it will feel like. But I just can't. I'm not sure if it's my heart or my head that can't fully grasp it all. But I can understand why I can't. It's just too big. It's all so emotionally charged. And it's unfamiliar. A life not yet experienced. A life unknown. I'm literally at a loss at what to expect. So, I guess I'll have to wait to see what it's like when I wake up next Sunday morning. BIG sigh.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you can't imagine what it will be like!!!

I’m going to miss this (boxes and bags included) …

Our house is a disaster. Moving Sid and George out of the house on the same day is just NUTS. But it is the only way it all makes sense logistically and with the time frames we have been given. So, we have two people who are cleaning out their rooms and closets. They are also, at the same time, boxing up things that they will take with them, things they will leave here and things they will donate. Then you have me who keeps buying things to make sure they have exactly what they need to actually move out. We also Libs who is getting ready to start her sophomore year of high school and a busy tennis season. And we have an excited Reese who is eager to "help" with everything. Oh! And let's not forget the online orders that are starting to arrive. You know, the stuff I thought should be ordered for school for the younger girls to save time as summer draws to an end. Yep, this house is an explosion of boxes and bags. And you know what?

I love it.

I look around and I see FAMILY and LIFE and LOVE. I see ADVENTURE and NEW BEGINNINGS. It's what's happening NOW to and for my most favorite people in the world. It is a snapshot in our lives. A time that will pass quickly but will have lasting memories. This is US. And our US is on the verge of another major change. It excites my soul and breaks my heart all at once. I want to keep my children little and safe and with me. But I also want them to grow and experience life and learn every lesson they can even if that takes them away from me.

I will always look back at this time in our lives as truly special. An unexpected gift from God. When Sid moved out I wasn't sure if we would ever get this much time together again. I accepted that. But when I got sick last Fall it's all that I could think of. US. Together again. These past few months with everyone home has been exactly what I had hoped for … and needed. To see it all change again is hard. But I refuse to be greedy. I got my heart's desire. Now it's time for these amazing young souls, that I had the privilege to raise, to venture out into the world. I can't wait to see what is in store for them. For me. For us.

Thursday is coming quickly. The day all this change goes into motion. I'm ready. More importantly, THEY are ready. I am consumed with every mom emotion I have ever felt. I am blessed to feel so much and experience this unusual balance between loss and gain again. Life will take on a new shape for us. I know this and it's OK. Our time together will be altered by distance, schedules, and responsibilities. But we will figure it all out. Love just does. A new normal will soon set in and this transition will become another notch on our family belt. The hardness of this will all fade away. But for now, I will just cherish every last familiar messy moment we get spend together. Boxes and bags included.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you're going to miss this!!!