Wide awake …

Before getting sick I was an early riser. No, I mean REALLY early. I woke up before my alarm usually about 5 am, easy peasy. And FULL of energy. That has NOT been the case for 16 months now. Don’t get me wrong, the nagging fatigue is gone. THANK GOD. But waking up is a whole different ballgame for me now. I wake up groggy. No more bouncing out of bed. You’d think I’d be used to it by now. NOPE. After decades of being one way, you don’t forget it … NOT EVER. Anyway, that being said, I’m INCREDIBLY thankful for the recovery I’ve had thus far and for all the neurological bullets I dodged. I just recently had a physical and my doctor told me again how lucky I was to have had no lingering issues from the encephalopathy. She also seemed very hopeful that I’m going to one day feel FULLY like myself again. Needless to say I left that appointment feeling GREAT!

When you are in the midst of recovery and healing you don’t always feel or see the progress you have made. I can now that so much time has passed but some things still really bother me. Like the difficulty I have waking up. It’s incredibly frustrating to say the least. But as soon as I get frustrated I remind myself of how far I have come and of what could have been (EEEEK). And now I have the words my doctor said to me. I’m going to CLING to her hopefulness. And let life unfold.

This morning I received a little gift. I woke up at 4 am. All on my own. And feeling like me again. This has happened a few times now. I have learned that these mornings don’t last. Tomorrow or the next day will likely be a different story. But that’s OK. I enjoy having a glimpse of the old me. No matter how fleeting these mornings may be I couldn’t be more grateful to still have them.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are WIDE AWAKE!!!

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Don’t settle …

Just in case no one has told you this today, please, let me. YOU ARE WORTH WHATEVER YOU ARE HOPING FOR. You deserve THE BEST.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you don’t settle!!!

Unfiltered …

My favorite color is pink. It always has been, ever since I was a little girl. If something comes in pink, I choose that one. I’ve owned a pink bowling ball, pink golf clubs and pink pepper spray. If you can think it, I’ve probably owned it in pink. HA!

Early this morning I stumbled across some pink landscape photographs. I was instantly drawn to the color. Then I had to “google”. Of course none of the pictures were real. Don’t worry, I knew this going into my google search. PHEW. I was just curious about what the pictures looked like in their original forms. They were stunning! And this really got me thinking. Probably too deeply, about life.

I try to live an honest life. I will tell you how IT is. If I feel a certain way, you will know. If I like something, you will know. If I don’t, you will know. If I’m sad or frustrated, you will know. And when I’m happy and overjoyed, you will know. I’m simple like that. And I’m pretty sure I’ve been this way my whole life. The effort to hide or fake my life never appealed to me. It also sounded exhausting. Like SUPER exhausting! This blog and the one I originally started on Facebook came out of all that. Being real. And still being happy and hopeful in that REALNESS no matter how yucky it may get. Maybe being “matter-of-fact” and “head in the clouds” isn’t a combination that works for others. But it’s worked for me this long, so I guess I’ll stick with it … and secretly keep hoping that someone discovers a real pink forest.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you live unfiltered!!!

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!!!

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!!!