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!!!

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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!!!

Time changed much but not us …

I work up early this morning, despite being up way too late. The house was quiet and I began feeling a bit nostalgic. I always do this time of year. With summer break ending and the new school year starting in a few weeks I tend to feel similar to how I do on New Years Eve. It’s my time to reflect and I look back on summers past. With two adult children off to college I feel even more emotional than I normally do. And it all came out this morning! I spent much of my early morning looking through old pictures of my kids. I laughed, I cried and I soaked in every wonderful memory. It is like time stood still for a moment, but also flashed by in an instant. It’s all a blur but I remember almost every second of it. It sort of makes me sad yet I also delight in knowing that so much has changed but not the love we share and the memories we keep. They are our constant and they are our story. And they are what makes us … US. I am comforted in knowing that no amount of time or distance can ever change that.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you can say that time changed much but not us!!!

Joy in the journey …

Today we celebrated my son George! He is 19 years old and all I keep asking myself is HOW?!?! No matter how old he becomes or how tall he grows, George will always be my precious little baby. And the sweetest little boy who gave me the best and tightest hugs in the world. But as much as I have enjoyed watching George grow up, I’m finding it absolutely wonderful to see him take on the world and become the man he has envisioned. Being his mom has been one of the most beautiful experiences I have ever known. And I am so grateful that God chose me to walk through life with him.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you find joy in the journey!!!

Our summer story …

It’s (almost) the most WONDERFUL time of the year! Tomorrow is Libs’ and Reese’s last day of school. Thank you SWEET BABY JESUS! It has been a long DOOZY of a school year and these girls need and deserve a break.

Summers look a lot different around here now. With Sid in San Francisco full time and George home from college but working, it’s definitely not the summers of our past. Gone are their days of early childhood. Thankfully, because of Reese, we are still allowed glimpses of them peppered into our every evolving lives. I cherish these moments that keep us connected to those carefree times. I wish that they were as abundant as they were, but I have learned to take what I can get. And trust me, I am grateful. Because even though they occur differently now, they are all still so precious to me. So. So. Precious.

As I look back over the past school year I am reminded of how quickly time passes. People grow out of routines. Life simply changes. Again, I am thankful. And even more so that this family of mine, just seems to roll with it. I am the one who hangs on tighter to the past. Which is silly because, as painful as I find all of this sometimes, I have found that change has never let me down. I have learned that as the pages of time continue to turn, it allows us to write new and adventurous tales into our family history. It is a perspective that has not come easy for me. But I’m continually feeling the comfort it brings me. It is nice to know that nothing is truly ending … it’s just the beginning of another new chapter.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you begin to write your summer story!!!

It’s just not the same …

Yesterday my son George headed back to his university ready to start the Spring semester. Again, I don’t do any of this “letting go” thing gracefully. I am sad he left. I love my kids and every second I get to spend with them is a gift. George is such a presence in our home, especially in the morning. He wakes up in a great mood. He always greets me with a cheerful “good morning, Mom” and an “I love you”. He usually has me laughing within minutes. He has such a sweet and genuine smile. His heart, GOLD. And this morning, I am missing all of it.

Well, I hope you all don’t have a day that just isn’t the same!!!