What if …

I realized something about myself today. I have grown to have very little patience for people who are major doom and gloom-ers. I don’t mean people who are negative at times or even people who are pessimistic by nature. I mean people who go to extreme awful places in their thoughts and decide to share them with me to drive their point home. Like somehow recruiting me into their “kooky” is going to benefit anyone. These are people who make situations worse, not better. And they attempt disguise their thoughts as helpful or precautionary. Um. No. No they are not. Don’t get me wrong. I find worrying and anxiety to be beneficial at times. They get us thinking and help call us to action. But unwarranted worry is not helpful. It’s hurtful. And it’s exhausting. To watch someone engage in this type of behavior is downright unpleasant.

I have written before that I used to be a worrier in my early 20s. I worry now, but differently. It’s far more discerning than it was when I was younger. If I worry it’s got meaning. I also believe that my optimism has won out over fear. It takes precedence in even the most unpleasant situations I face. I somehow always manage to find some room for hope. I like that about myself. I like that life and its’ mishaps haven’t made me bitter or worrisome. Life is not easy. Heck, it can me down right awful at times! But I figure I’ve come this far without losing my hope and without assuming the worse. I don’t think I’ll be changing anytime soon. So the doom and gloom-ers can steer clear of me. I’ve got better things to do. Like deal with reality. Happily and hopefully.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you don’t dwell on WHAT IF!!!

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Fabio the Fitbit is alive and well …

Let’s go back a year. Last summer a friend of mine, Kim, and I ran the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon. It was an absolutely fantastic race put on by Destination Races. It was coordinated so well. Honestly, it is one of the best races I’ve ever had the privilege to be a part of. From the expo to the finish line activities, it was an incredible race experience. And the course was beautiful!

Anyway, one of the race sponsors was Fitbit. So runners were given a discount on Fitbit purchases. I decided to buy myself the Fitbit HR I had my eye on. And I immediately fell in LOVE! The day after the race Kim and I decided my Fitbit needed a name. I name everything, so why not? HA! Kim came up with the name Fabio. Of course I thought that name was perfect! And just like that, Fabio the Fitbit came into existence.

OK, back to now. Well, sorta. For weeks now I haven’t been able to sync Fabio the Fitbit with the app on my phone. I wasn’t sure why. I thought that perhaps I somehow managed to damage Fabio’s Bluetooth thingy. OK, that totally made me laugh! Anyway, I just hoped Fabio would fix himself. That’s how I roll with electronics. Delusional grandiose ideas of miraculous repairs. Totally rational. OY! But then, when we were in Las Vegas, I swam with Fabio. Oooops. He was submerged in water for a good 15-20 minutes before I realized what I had done. Needless to say I thought I had officially drowned Fabio. NOPE. He never stopped working! NOT. ONCE. I was utterly shocked! And totally impressed with Fitbit! WOW!

But despite not dying in an accidental watery submersion, I still couldn’t get Fabio to sync to my app. UNTIL TODAY! Yep, you read that right! After weeks of not working properly and almost drowning, Fabio the Fitbit is working perfectly again! YAY!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are alive and well!!!

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!!!

Head in the clouds …

I’ve always been a dreamer. I think it is one of my biggest flaws and one of my greatest blessings. Even when I was a young woman filled with anxiety I still managed to dream BIG. Now that I’m older many of my anxieties have fallen by the wayside which leaves lots of room for dreaming. I think that by allowing myself to dream I have had a better stronghold on hope. It really has worked for me in just about every situation I’ve been in. Even the really ugly ones. I think the ability to dream has also allowed me to maintain a certain measure of flexibility in my thoughts. If one thing doesn’t work out exactly the way I had hoped it can be easily modified. My thinking can be changed, and before I even realize it a new dream is in place. Some things have to change to bring us to the right place in our lives or to help us reach our goals, right?!?! From the bottom of my heart I believe that both God and the universe direct me in the way I need to go. I find so much comfort in that. Rigidity definitely has no place in this dreamer’s life. With all the twists and turns my life has taken I think rigidity would have been the end of my happiness. My soul would have deflated like a balloon decades ago. My spirit would have been crushed. Dreaming has kept me happy and hopeful. So … I guess I’ll just stick with it.

Well, I hope you all have a day where your head is in the clouds!!!

A glimmer of hope and a Joe’s O …

I’ve mentioned before that Reese’s biggest delay is in her oral motor development. One significant issue we have is that she doesn’t chew. Despite years of therapy and trying to teach her how nothing has “turned-on” that ability for her. Nothing. And no amounting of testing, evaluations and specialists can tell us why. So I purée, mash and grind all her food. She’s a great eater but she is choking hazard. And that’s just scary. Really, really scary.

As a parent, you do what you have to do. Therapy, puréeing, whatever. If your child has a special need, you just meet it. You change and do what you have to do to help your child thrive. The changes soon become part of your daily activities and a part of your normal routine. But in addition to these adaptions a slow disappearance of hope occurs too. You start to forget what you had originally wanted for your child. You mourn and move on.

Until this morning I wasn’t even aware of the amount of hope I had lost in this area of Reese’s development. We have adapted well to her limits and her nutritional needs are met quiet well if I do say so myself. Let’s be honest, it was no coincidence that I chose to become a certified nutrition and wellness consultant. I’ve always loved nutrition but my Reese was a huge motivator for me to get my certification.

Anyway, I say that I “realized” all this this morning because twice today Reese picked up 1/4 size pieces of Trader Joe’s Os and put them in her mouth. She needed help getting them to her molars to “chew” them but she totally got the concept. WHOA. This is HUGE.

And IT all came flooding back to me. The hope and dreams I have for my little girl.

Perhaps I’m being selfish but I also want those things for me too. Simple things that parents don’t think twice about are things that Reese and I have never experienced together. I have never seen my daughter delight in eating her birthday cake. I have never seen a smile come across her face when she was given her favorite cookie. And I’ve never not worried that she would choke if I wasn’t there to meticulously monitor her food intake. Yes, I selfishly want all that … for her.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are given a glimmer of hope!!!

Doing it anyway …

Yesterday I got into a discussion about running and working out. Particularly about the numerous times I’ve been asked if I’ll ever stop.

That’s always such a strange question to me. 

I’ve been working out since I was 12 years old. It’s part of who I am and who I’ve always been. I don’t know anything different. Even the two years post back injury I did anything and everything my doctors would let me do (which wasn’t much, but I did it anyway).

I get hurt A LOT. I have A TON of setbacks. But I’d like to believe it’s because I’ve never stopped pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I love learning about the body God has gifted me with. I like figuring out what it’s capable of. This body of mine never ceases to amaze me. Seriously, WHOA! It’s also about chasing down dreams. I have a lot of them. Still.

Some days come easier but overall, it is NEVER easy to keep up this lifestyle. Trust me, it’s nicer to sleep in. What I do and how I do it is a choice I have to make every day. I choose to keep trying, fighting and living. This is how I am … and despite the pain, blood, fractures, sprains and tears it’s always been worth it.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you do it anyway!!!

Feeling nostalgic …

Sid took an early train to see her boyfriend this morning. I drove her to the train station. On my way back I opted for a different route home. I took me by California State University, Fullerton. My alma mater. One of them anyway. I didn’t realize it but this is graduation weekend. Despite being early there were many people arriving. Some walking. Many in their caps and gowns. It really took me back. I remember my graduation days from both Fullerton and California State University, Long Beach like they were yesterday. Such great days, filled with so much excitement, reflection and hope! I know I’m feeling more emotional these days with George’s high school graduation just around the corner. So I’ll just dismiss my crying watching perfect strangers cross the street.

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