Keeping it REAL and still seeing the BRIGHT SIDE …

We all have a foundation from which we view our world and the things that happen to us and around us. It can be either negative or positive. I believe, that I am wired to be positive. Yet despite Living in LaLa Land I am also very realistic when it comes to the things that really matter. Heck, it’s the whole reason I started this blog! Sadly, I have found that some people perceive realism as being negative. And I’m sure that it can be for some people. But for me it’s about being in an genuine place, accepting how things are, and changing them if I feel they need to be. I would rather deal with the straight up raw facts of a situation than be left floundering in the UNKNOWN or a CANDY COATED blur of reality … because it is in this HONEST CLARITY that I am still able to find my hope.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you keep it REAL and still see THE BRIGHT SIDE!!!

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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!!!

Love and a loss for words …

Happy Mother’s Day everyone! Words can’t express how much I miss my mom. But in a way that comforts me. It means that I loved and still love that woman HUGE. Sometimes you get lucky enough to experience something in life and you get to just FEEL it. For me it’s the motherly love she filled my life with. I can still feel it. But to describe it, explain its’ influence over me and how I feel about loosing her, is not something I’m capable of. It’s just too big. But I try to express it in different ways like living genuinely, just the way she taught me. And in sharing her legacy of hope every single day and at every opportunity I get. It may be 24 years since her passing but her influence on me, my family and our little world will continue on forever. And that is certainly something to celebrate.

Well, I hope you all have a day where love leaves you at a loss for words!!!

Happily and hopefully still at it …

Today is my blog’s 7th year anniversary. That is a whole lot of years filled with hope. And that just makes me smile. Thank you all for sharing them with me.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are happily and hopefully still at it!!!

Hell hath no fury like a runner disappointed in themselves …

I did my long run yesterday … and it was horrific. I was looking forward to it and had no reservations about getting it done, but it got ugly. REAL UGLY.

The first six miles were fine. Completely uneventful. But by mile 8 I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me. The miles that followed were even worse. The word NASTY describes it about as good as “ice cube” describes an iceberg. Yep, it was THAT BAD. It was honestly one of the toughest training runs I’ve ever had. Don’t get me wrong I have experienced these awful miles before. Some runs just SUCK. And this one SUCKED HUGE.

But as much as I loathe these trying runs, I have also grown to appreciate them. Not at the time, of course! At the time I’m too wrapped up in the misery to see anything good. I wonder why I continue to subject myself to the disappointment. I wonder if my body was ever meant for distance. I berate myself with all sorts of negatives! The appreciation I have for tough runs comes later when I realize that I can suffer greatly and still somehow manage to survive. There is something in this realization that gives me strength. Knowing that I can push myself mind, body and soul is empowering. It’s hell, but it’s empowering!

Thankfully by the next day, the memory of my terrible run fades and I begin to think about my next long run. One that I envision will be better. WAY BETTER. The best part of this is that my mind believes it’s possible. Somehow my feelings of defeat morph into determination. FIERCE determination! And it gets me back out there, HAPPILY, week after grueling training week. To try to explain this roller coaster of emotions and self-inflicted physical torment sounds insane even to me. But I guess that’s why they say runners are crazy, HA!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you can’t wait to do it all over again!!!

Fresh eyes and some new hope …

Reese and I saw her pediatrician today. Although the appointment had nothing to do with her feeding issues, of course her doctor asked. And I’m glad she did because we brainstormed a little. AND I am excited to report that we have a new consultation scheduled! We have tried it all. Therapies, assessments, scans, (you name it) to figure out why Reese is still not chewing. It has presented as an issue for both her nutrition and her safety. Heck, one of the main reasons I went back to school was to make sure I was doing everything I could to keep her off a feeding tube! Although I’ve been successful with her nutritionally the choking risk remains. And it’s scary. So needless to say, I am THANKFUL for this new opportunity and GRATEFUL to still have more options to explore.

Well, I hope you all have a day where fresh eyes give you new hope!!!

Living your highest potential …

When I was young I believed that finding my purpose in life would also be when and where I would find my greatest joy. When all the other drama I focused on would just miraculously fall by the wayside. Like a BOOM of clarity that would leave me feeling good and right and comfortable in my own skin.

And … it is ALL that.

But there is something that I have learned as I’ve gotten older. Something my young mind never considered.

I’ve got A LOT of different purposes. Actually, TONS.

It is a blessing to know this now and it’s something I wish I could go back and tell my younger self. How freeing it would be to know that all my eggs weren’t in just one basket. To understand that time and wisdom opens doors to new opportunities to recreate or find one’s purpose. With all the gifts we are given and the diverse personalities we embody I can’t imagine that God would only have one BIG thing for us to become. We are capable of so much more! And as I inch closer to my 50th Birthday I am wildly aware that time dictates nothing. As long as I have breath, I have purpose. It’s just up to me to allow it to happen. Over and over again. To seize every exciting day as a lesson and treat it as an opportunity to grow even more into me. Could you imagine if we all lived with this freedom? A world where we never gave up on ourselves or settled. Where change was welcome and passions were lived no matter what our ages may be. I don’t know about you, but I think it would be pretty amazing.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you live your highest potential!!!