tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-26355469549604892572015-02-20T15:58:09.592-05:00This Journey Our LifeRachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08581856966246498735noreply@blogger.comBlogger141125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2635546954960489257.post-81527269320771487942015-02-19T22:59:00.000-05:002015-02-20T15:58:09.615-05:00A new season of life (and choosing to give some instead of none)<span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">It's hard to believe that <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2014/02/a-letter-to-my-daughter-for-her-4th.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">an entire year has passed since I last posted!</span></a>&nbsp;I've had a few posts sitting in the drafts folder yet somehow I never managed to press "publish" as often as I'd planned. &nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">I'd even delayed to write this post because it seemed impossible to catch up on what has taken place over the past year and picking things back up after taking such an extended break felt overwhelming. Even more puzzling was that I couldn't pinpoint exactly <i>what </i>had caused me to quit blogging altogether. &nbsp;It wasn't until I read <a href="http://myhometableau.com/when-some-is-just-right/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #990000;">this post over at <i>My Home Tableau</i></span></a>, that I realized why. &nbsp;I too am a procrastinating perfectionist who struggles with what Johanna accurately describes as,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;">"</span><span style="background-color: white; color: #534640; font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; line-height: 21px;"><i>putting things off when I don’t feel I have the time to do it the way I feel it should be done or at least how I would like for it to be done".&nbsp;</i></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #534640; font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; line-height: 21px;">&nbsp; I could relate completely to what she was saying and the solutions and commitment she shared in her post made quite an impact on me.</span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #534640; line-height: 21px;"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #534640; line-height: 21px;"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">Because I was struggling to put all the time that I'd like to into blogging, I had decided to neglect it completely. Because I was frustrated with its look and the hurdle of redoing it, I had decided to avoid it altogether, determining to post again only after the makeover was complete. <b>Because the setting wasn't ideal, I procrastinated.</b></span></span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #534640; line-height: 21px;"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span></span><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><span style="background-color: white; color: #534640; line-height: 21px;">But the following statement made me realize those reasons were silly. She said, <i>"</i></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #534640; line-height: 21px;"><i>I refuse to let the year go by without making&nbsp;some&nbsp;progress simply because I can’t put all the time into things that I’d like to."</i></span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">I didn't want another year to pass without any progress in blogging (or any other area of my life for that matter!). Even though I can't put all the time into blogging that I'd like to right now, <i>some </i>blogging is better than <i>not </i>blogging. &nbsp;Even if the posts may not be against the aesthetic backdrop I'd prefer, each crafted word can still be used to paint a dazzling picture. <b>But if I keep waiting for perfection I'll never seize the opportunity to begin.</b></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #534640; font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; line-height: 21px;">Johanna finished off her post by saying, <i>"</i></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #534640; font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; line-height: 21px;"><i>I’m committed to believing that&nbsp;some&nbsp;is not just&nbsp;</i>okay&nbsp;<i>or&nbsp;</i>good enough<i>, but that it is</i>&nbsp;just right<i>&nbsp;for me in this season of life."</i></span><br /><strong style="background-color: white; color: #534640; line-height: 21px;"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span></strong><strong style="background-color: white; color: #534640; line-height: 21px;"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">This season of life.</span></strong><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-IoPO0njuuvI/VOZZi8bH-GI/AAAAAAAAFac/Dm2hH8s3FoQ/s1600/babyfeetwatermark.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-IoPO0njuuvI/VOZZi8bH-GI/AAAAAAAAFac/Dm2hH8s3FoQ/s1600/babyfeetwatermark.jpg" height="265" width="400" /></a></div><span style="background-color: white; color: #534640; line-height: 21px;"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">That subject has&nbsp;</span></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #534640; font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; line-height: 21px;"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">been on my mind since October when the birth of our newest addition brought along plenty of changes, placing me in a different season of life than where I was even just four months ago! &nbsp;</span></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #534640; font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; line-height: 21px;">We are <i>thrilled </i>to have Grace as part of our family.</span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-kBrzryt6DHo/VOawfIevl5I/AAAAAAAAFa0/xc6yeYxMpT0/s1600/gracewatermark.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-kBrzryt6DHo/VOawfIevl5I/AAAAAAAAFa0/xc6yeYxMpT0/s1600/gracewatermark.jpg" height="400" width="265" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7LQt2G8xeGc/VOZZl28mK3I/AAAAAAAAFak/HIv-XKJy8Iw/s1600/kidswatermark.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7LQt2G8xeGc/VOZZl28mK3I/AAAAAAAAFak/HIv-XKJy8Iw/s1600/kidswatermark.jpg" height="265" width="400" /></a></div><span style="background-color: white; color: #534640; font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; line-height: 21px;"><br /></span><i style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; line-height: 21px;"><span style="color: #990000;"><br /></span></i><i style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; line-height: 21px;"><span style="color: #990000;"><a href="http://myhometableau.com/when-some-is-just-right/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #990000;">Johanna's post</span>&nbsp;</a></span></i><span style="color: #534640; font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; line-height: 21px;">was certainly timely for me and just the encouragement I needed to jump back into blogging. &nbsp;During this season of life I'm not committing to a certain number of posts per week on a specific number of days, but I am committing to </span><i style="color: #534640; font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; line-height: 21px;">some.</i><br /><i style="color: #534640; font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; line-height: 21px;"><br /></i><span style="color: #534640; font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; line-height: 21px;"><b>Your Journey: </b><i>Are you a procrastinating perfectionist? &nbsp;If so, what solutions have worked for you to overcome it?&nbsp;</i></span><br /><span style="color: #534640; font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; line-height: 21px;"><i><br /></i></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-S0ak7xH7nWk/T73Dmqq-TfI/AAAAAAAABOU/7tCBRFWvqT4/s1600/rachsig3.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-S0ak7xH7nWk/T73Dmqq-TfI/AAAAAAAABOU/7tCBRFWvqT4/s1600/rachsig3.png" /></a></div><span style="color: #534640; font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; line-height: 21px;"><i><br /></i></span><i style="color: #534640; font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; line-height: 21px;"><br /></i><i style="color: #534640; font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; line-height: 21px;"><br /></i><span style="background-color: white; color: #534640; font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; line-height: 21px;"><br /></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #534640; line-height: 21px;"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #534640; line-height: 21px;"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #534640; line-height: 21px;"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #534640; line-height: 21px;"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span></span><span style="background-color: white; color: #534640; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, Tahoma, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 21px;"><br /></span><br /><br />Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08581856966246498735noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2635546954960489257.post-8839765293279101472014-02-21T12:37:00.004-05:002014-02-21T15:09:17.350-05:00A letter to my daughter for her 4th birthday {Five Minute Friday}<br /><div><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><span style="background-color: white; line-height: 21px;"><i><a href="http://lisajobaker.com/five-minute-friday/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #a64d79;">It's Five Minute Friday!*</span><span style="color: #c27ba0;">&nbsp;</span></a></i>Where a group of us join together for five minutes of writing without worrying about if it’s just right or not, hosted by the<span style="color: #a64d79;"><a href="http://lisajobaker.com/five-minute-friday/" target="_blank">&nbsp;</a><i><a href="http://lisajobaker.com/five-minute-friday/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #a64d79;">lovely Lisa-Jo</span></a>.</i></span></span></span></div><div><span style="background-color: white; line-height: 21px;"><i><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span></i></span></div><div><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><span style="background-color: white; line-height: 33px;"><b>Because, "...often our perfectionism gets in the way of our words." </b>&nbsp;</span><i style="background-color: white; line-height: 33px;"><a href="http://lisajobaker.com/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #a64d79;">-Lisa-Jo Baker</span></a></i></span></div><div><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings></xml><![endif]--> <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>JA</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:SplitPgBreakAndParaMark/> <w:EnableOpenTypeKerning/> <w:DontFlipMirrorIndents/> <w:OverrideTableStyleHps/> <w:UseFELayout/> </w:Compatibility> <m:mathPr> <m:mathFont m:val="Cambria Math"/> <m:brkBin m:val="before"/> <m:brkBinSub m:val="--"/> <m:smallFrac m:val="off"/> <m:dispDef/> <m:lMargin m:val="0"/> <m:rMargin m:val="0"/> <m:defJc m:val="centerGroup"/> <m:wrapIndent m:val="1440"/> <m:intLim m:val="subSup"/> <m:naryLim m:val="undOvr"/> </m:mathPr></w:WordDocument></xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" DefUnhideWhenUsed="true" DefSemiHidden="true" DefQFormat="false" DefPriority="99" LatentStyleCount="276"> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="0" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Normal"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="heading 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 7"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 8"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 9"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 7"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 8"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 9"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="35" QFormat="true" Name="caption"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="10" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Title"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="1" Name="Default Paragraph Font"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="11" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtitle"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="22" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Strong"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="20" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="59" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Table Grid"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Placeholder Text"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="1" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="No Spacing"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Revision"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="34" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="List Paragraph"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="29" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Quote"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="30" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Quote"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="19" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="21" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="31" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="32" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="33" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Book Title"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="37" Name="Bibliography"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading"/> </w:LatentStyles></xml><![endif]--> <!--[if gte mso 10]><style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style><![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> <br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">And I'm excited to jump back in again after my extended break (<a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2013/04/of-chocolate-fudge-brownies-ice-cream.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">my previous Five Minute Friday post was last&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></a></span><span style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2013/04/of-chocolate-fudge-brownies-ice-cream.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">April!</span></a>)</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><!--EndFragment--></div><div><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><span style="line-height: 33px;">Today's Prompt:<i>&nbsp;</i></span><i>SMALL</i></span></div><div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /><b>GO</b><br /><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><i>Dear Sophia,</i></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><i><br /></i></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><i>Your birthday is coming and you can’t wait but I wish that time could stand still. It’s flying by faster and faster and the rush of it can be overwhelming.<o:p></o:p></i></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><i>It seems like just yesterday that you were a tiny bundle I carried home with me. I was thrilled be cradling you as we exited those hospital lobby doors together, my prayers and dreams come true! &nbsp;Even though bringing you home right away was much scarier than I realized it was sweeter than I could have ever imagined.<o:p></o:p></i></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-E2XDJ2dVPEE/UweDppweXDI/AAAAAAAADF4/kULD7olUy1I/s1600/meandbabysophia.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><i><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-E2XDJ2dVPEE/UweDppweXDI/AAAAAAAADF4/kULD7olUy1I/s1600/meandbabysophia.jpg" height="640" width="424" /></i></span></a></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></i></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;">Today, the dimply curves of baby skin are slowly fading from your face and I wonder how it’s already been four years?</i></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><i></i></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><i> <o:p></o:p></i></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oOnhjrGW9fc/UweGKPI07lI/AAAAAAAADGM/ejtuHSKi03Y/s1600/sophiaandmefall13.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><i><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oOnhjrGW9fc/UweGKPI07lI/AAAAAAAADGM/ejtuHSKi03Y/s1600/sophiaandmefall13.jpg" height="425" width="640" /></i></span></a></div><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><i>I love to watch the tiny fingers of your petite hand wrapped around a crayon, coloring a picture in your princess coloring book (and I find it adorable that you’re left handed like Daddy and big sister!).</i></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><i>Stay small sweet Sophia and climb into my lap, let’s read another story.</i></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><i><br /></i></span><b><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><i>Because you've taught me it’s the smallest moments that make up the most beautiful memories and we have more pages to discover together.</i></span></b><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KyD-OTxWI1Q/UweTjOIMLeI/AAAAAAAADGk/L0e8gLMy5C4/s1600/quotefromfiveminfridaypost22114.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KyD-OTxWI1Q/UweTjOIMLeI/AAAAAAAADGk/L0e8gLMy5C4/s1600/quotefromfiveminfridaypost22114.jpg" height="640" width="480" /></a></div><i style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></i><i style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;">I'm discovering the truth of what they say: some days do seem long but the years are much too short. So let the hours drag on and may time linger because I know I’ll blink and four more years will have passed.&nbsp;</i><br /><o:p><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><i><br /></i></span></o:p><i><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">Stay small sweet Sophia and climb into my lap.</span></i><br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><i><br /></i></span></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><i>Love,</i></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><i><br /></i></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><i>Mommy</i></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>STOP</b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-97DHA_G0NFg/Uwd8__B8meI/AAAAAAAADE4/iHRyISQhmMQ/s1600/rachsig3-2.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; display: inline !important; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em; text-align: center;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-97DHA_G0NFg/Uwd8__B8meI/AAAAAAAADE4/iHRyISQhmMQ/s1600/rachsig3-2.png" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i><br /></i></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i><br /></i></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i><br /></i></div><!--EndFragment--></div><div><br /></div><div><br /></div><div><br /></div><div><br /></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08581856966246498735noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2635546954960489257.post-28697715663685286152014-02-20T18:34:00.002-05:002014-02-20T19:01:51.067-05:00The Choice: A Micro-Memoir<div class="MsoNormal"><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">In order to grow as a writer and a blogger I recently set personal goals pertaining to each but knew that strengthening my writing skills might involve some uncomfortable stretching and reaching. &nbsp;The first step out of my comfort zone was joining an online writing group. The second step? I needed to quit observing from the sidelines. Today's piece is my participation in the first assigned writing exercise.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><i><br /></i></span><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">The challenge?<i> </i>A micro-memoir.&nbsp;<span style="background-color: #fafafa; line-height: 22px;"><span style="color: #2c2c2c;">Because, </span><i style="color: #2c2c2c;">"For a writer, it is the practice of learning to see and capture in small bites the story of a life." </i><a href="http://narrowpathstohigherplaces.com/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;"><i>-</i>Alia Joy</span></a></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><b><br /></b></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><b>Here is a chapter from the pages of my story.</b></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><b style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: xx-large;"><i>The Choice</i></b></div><div style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;">My ears were ringing from the blow of his forceful words.</span><span style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp; </span><span style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;">The painful jab of each one punched through the tension heavy in the air.</span></div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">The hum of the fan turning in the corner of the hospital room couldn’t drown out what the doctor was trying to say.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Though he attempted to share his logical solution in a neatly wrapped package of fancy words, his intentions were plain.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">“Your only option is to discontinue…”<o:p></o:p></span></i></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">His voice trailed off, quieted by the thoughts swirling around my mind. <br /><br /><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Discontinue.</i></b><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">As in scents of lotions and perfume no longer available at my favorite store in the mall, or dishes no longer manufactured by a certain company</i>? <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">Discontinue.<o:p></o:p></span></i></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">My head throbbed with confusion as I struggled to process what he had said. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>The cotton hospital gown clung to my sweaty skin, as feverish chills cascaded down my spine. Infection was creeping through my body but that’s not why I felt ill. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">“<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Your only option is to discontinue this pregnancy.”<o:p></o:p></i></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">Discontinue.<o:p></o:p></span></i></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">The word echoed louder, ricocheting between us. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">Wasn’t he a doctor? Why wasn’t he offering a solution that would help or heal?<o:p></o:p></span></i></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">The expression on my husband’s face jolted me back to reality, and I knew I wasn’t dreaming this nightmare.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">My husband.</i> <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">I closed my eyes, allowing my mind to drift again. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">Just months before on a sun-kissed, breezy autumn day we’d pledged our love through vows to one another unaware what lay beyond the threshold. We could never have imagined that a weekend in May would find us here in this hospital room, facing the unimaginable.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Instead of choosing selections from a menu on the weekend date night we’d planned, we were faced with the decision of choosing life for our unborn child.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">Discontinue.<o:p></o:p></span></i></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">The word sliced into my thoughts.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">Dizzy with emotion, I felt faint.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I squinted toward the doctor towering over the foot of my hospital bed, the glare of his stark white coat burning my eyes. He spat out rehearsed statistics and facts, his face gleaming with satisfaction over his knowledge and expertise of the field.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Noting the smug look of confidence etched across his face, I wanted to scream. <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Doesn’t he know this is a baby? </i><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">My baby.<o:p></o:p></span></i></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">18 weeks of this first pregnancy had only adorned my waist with its subtle curve, but I knew a fragile being was forming in the safety of my womb<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">. Had it only been yesterday that I’d heard the static swooshing of a heartbeat while my eyes followed the shadowed image swimming across the ultrasound screen?<br style="mso-special-character: line-break;" /><!--[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]--><br style="mso-special-character: line-break;" /><!--[endif]--></i><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">I requested different options, but the doctor argued that discontinuing the pregnancy was the safest solution with the lowest risks. He rattled on, assuring us that we’d be fighting proactively against an infection on course to claim its victim soon.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">Discontinue.<o:p></o:p></span></i></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">Abruptly, I announced my choice: we’d pray for a miracle and let God decide.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">“From your lips to God’s ears!” <o:p></o:p></span></i></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">He barked out the challenge, exposing his threat. I winced at his response because in fearful doubt I worried about the answer. Deep within, a struggle waged; I knew the choice wasn’t mine to make. I nodded slowly, words stumbling out. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>Yes, God would do the choosing. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">Following the doctor’s exit from the room, a somber stillness hung in the air.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>My cries pierced through its silence, a river of teardrops rushing down my face. Each beat of my heart pulsed with love, pleading for the life of my unborn child to remain sheltered beneath its soothing rhythm. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">And my prayer uttered from trembling lips found grace upon God’s listening ears.</span></i><br /><i><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span></i><i><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span></i><i><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span></i></div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-92aU3iK2A6w/UwaPVS_y44I/AAAAAAAADEo/zZmhmEshxjM/s1600/rachsig3.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-92aU3iK2A6w/UwaPVS_y44I/AAAAAAAADEo/zZmhmEshxjM/s1600/rachsig3.png" /></a></div><i><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span></i></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08581856966246498735noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2635546954960489257.post-89528335135686768642014-01-14T12:26:00.000-05:002014-01-14T12:26:25.785-05:00One Word 2014 {A New Year's Resolution}<span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">Last year was my first time participating in <a href="http://oneword365.com/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">OneWord 365</span></a>.&nbsp;&nbsp; Instead of making an entire list of New Year's resolutions, the idea is to choose one word that will be a central theme or focus throughout the new year.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">Last January, my word was a fairly easy choice because I knew that change was on the horizon for our family. With many unknowns before us, my spirit was growing restless in the waiting.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2013/01/one-word-2013-new-years-resolution.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">I desired to rest</span></a>. &nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">Choosing my word for this year hasn't been as easy. &nbsp;This post was beginning to collect dust from sitting in the drafts folder, and I considered not participating at all. &nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif; font-size: large;"><br /></span><span style="font-size: large;"><b><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">Sometimes words that are slowest to come are the ones you need the most.</span></b></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">I looked up synonym after synonym of words that I wanted to be the center of this year. Nothing jumped out at me. In one final attempt, I decided to look up an <i>antonym</i> for a specific word.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">This word whispers lies, haunting the heart and mind with confusion. It raises suspicions, clouding thoughts with judgment or fear. Masquerading as a refuge, its walls hold many captive.</span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8jsQGkn3OWY/UtHWhxif1nI/AAAAAAAADB8/ptx-Rb2ani4/s1600/lucasfencewatermark2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8jsQGkn3OWY/UtHWhxif1nI/AAAAAAAADB8/ptx-Rb2ani4/s1600/lucasfencewatermark2.jpg" width="425" /></a></div><span style="font-size: large;"><b style="font-family: Times,'Times New Roman',serif;">It asks more questions than it answers</b><span style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;">.</span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; text-align: center;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; text-align: center;">It's a word I've carried around far too long, one that I don't want to follow me into the new year.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><i><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><b>Doubt</b>.</span></i><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">This year, I'm choosing to replace the doubts.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">With what?</span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Buc3O3pttfs/UtVvtlKgLbI/AAAAAAAADDA/OuXttgnXNwI/s1600/oneword36514themeverse.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Buc3O3pttfs/UtVvtlKgLbI/AAAAAAAADDA/OuXttgnXNwI/s1600/oneword36514themeverse.jpg" /></a></div><a href="http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/" style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">Oxford Dictionaries</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;"> defines confidence as:</span><i style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;">&nbsp;<span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 15px;">the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust;&nbsp;</span><span style="background-color: white; color: #222222; line-height: 15px;">the state of feeling certain about the truth of something. &nbsp; <b>God's Word calls it hope</b>.</span></i><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">I choose confidence...</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">&nbsp;<i>…in my<b> relationship with Christ,</b> believing His love and goodness toward me.</i></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><i><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">…in my<b> marriage</b>, obeying His example of love.</span></i><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><i><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">…in<b> </b>my<b> parenting</b>, leaning on Him for strength.</span></i><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><i></i><br /></span><i><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">…in my <b>relationships with others</b>, fulfilling as He calls.</span></i><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><i><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">…in <b>each moment</b>, ignoring whispers of doubt.</span></i><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><i></i><br /></span><i><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">…in <b>every situation</b>, fearing the Lord, not man.</span></i><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><i></i><br /></span><i><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">…in <b>every circumstance</b>, </span></i><i><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">remembering His promises to me</span></i><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><i></i><br /></span><i><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">…in <b>His provision</b>, knowing He will make a way.</span></i><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><i></i><br /></span><i><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">…in <b>every opportunity</b>,</span></i><i><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> relying on His power alone.</span></i><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><i><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">…in <b>His plans</b> for our family, abiding in His grace.</span></i><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-7CFRYXTo7Co/UtHMbGEalYI/AAAAAAAADBM/gMr6Blnkmmc/s1600/oneword365watermarkpic.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="425" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-7CFRYXTo7Co/UtHMbGEalYI/AAAAAAAADBM/gMr6Blnkmmc/s1600/oneword365watermarkpic.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif; font-size: large;"><br /></span><span style="font-size: large;"><b><span style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;">This year I choose&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: Times,'Times New Roman',serif;">confidence</span><span style="font-family: Times,'Times New Roman',serif; font-style: italic;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: Times,'Times New Roman',serif;"><i>in Him</i></span><span style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;">.</span></b></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-nCwPHTNg0yk/UtNhlujB9HI/AAAAAAAADCQ/dkzfSzxUdzY/s1600/rachsig3.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><br /></a><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-nCwPHTNg0yk/UtNhlujB9HI/AAAAAAAADCQ/dkzfSzxUdzY/s1600/rachsig3.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><br /></a><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-nCwPHTNg0yk/UtNhlujB9HI/AAAAAAAADCQ/dkzfSzxUdzY/s1600/rachsig3.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-nCwPHTNg0yk/UtNhlujB9HI/AAAAAAAADCQ/dkzfSzxUdzY/s1600/rachsig3.png" /></a></div><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08581856966246498735noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2635546954960489257.post-19823481571148139072013-12-31T10:59:00.002-05:002013-12-31T14:40:42.707-05:002013 Blogging Year in Review {This Journey Our Life}<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-n_FT3VeQWlg/UsLhiiNdr9I/AAAAAAAADAc/2ezveH8_xOY/s1600/2013bloggingyearreview.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="384" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-n_FT3VeQWlg/UsLhiiNdr9I/AAAAAAAADAc/2ezveH8_xOY/s640/2013bloggingyearreview.jpg" width="640" /></a></span></div><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">As those of you following along here already know, I've only posted <i>once </i>since April. On this last day of 2013, it's hard to believe it's already time for the {Blogging} Year in Review.&nbsp; It seems like just yesterday I was sharing the <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012/12/2012-blogging-year-in-review-this.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">Top Ten Posts of 2012</span>.</a></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><b>I'm thankful for readers who still check in when writing is sparse, for followers who still embrace every post shared. </b>These top ten posts are based upon what each of <i>you </i>preferred reading here throughout this past year.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><span style="font-size: large;"><b>&nbsp;Top Viewed Posts of 2013</b></span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">10.<span style="color: #6fa8dc;"><span style="color: #6fa8dc;"><a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2013/03/celebrating-preemie-parents-parents-of.html" target="_blank"> <span style="color: #3d85c6;">For preemie parent</span></a><span style="color: #3d85c6;"><u>s</u></span></span>.</span>&nbsp; <i>An introductory post for Parents of Preemies Day 2013.&nbsp; As parents of preemies there comes a time that we are celebrated in honor of all that we have mourned</i>.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">9.&nbsp; <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012/08/fear-of-change-five-minute-friday-post.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">Fear of Change {A Five Minute Friday post}</span></a>.&nbsp; <i>This post was written for a Five Minute Friday in August of 2012.&nbsp; Little did I know then how God was already working, already changing.&nbsp; I'm thankful that "He has made a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."</i></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">8.&nbsp;<span style="color: #3d85c6;"> </span><a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012/10/31-days-of-support-embarking-on-journey.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">Embarking on A Journey (the day I found out my daughter was blind)</span>.</a>&nbsp; <i>On Day&nbsp;2 of the 31 Days of Support Series, I shared the moment I first realized my daughter was blind. </i></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">7.&nbsp; <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2013/02/five-minute-friday-what-mama-did.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">What mama did (the embracing)</span>.</a>&nbsp; <i>This post was written for a Five Minute Friday, following a four-day series Lisa-Jo had on her blog entitled <a href="http://lisajobaker.com/2013/02/what-mama-did-the-imagining/" target="_blank">"What Mama Did</a>."</i></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">6.&nbsp; <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012/01/journey-of-faith.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">Journey of Faith</span></a>.&nbsp; <i>This is the post in which I first shared the story of Cami’s premature birth; it also provided the inspiration for this blog and its name.</i></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">5.<i>&nbsp; </i><span style="color: #3d85c6;"><a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2013/03/a-poem-for-parents-of-preemies.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">A poem for parents of preemies</span></a></span>.&nbsp; <i>This poem is dedicated to every parent of a preemie.&nbsp; Whether you were blessed to bring your baby home, or your heart still aches with grief because you couldn’t; whether you’ve walked the NICU journey in years past or are currently trudging along its path. Today—every day—you’re celebrated. (It was also featured <a href="http://grahamsfoundation.org/blog.html?fb_18405866_anch=29246588" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">here on the Graham's Foundation blog for their second annual Parents of Preemies Day.</span>)</span></a></i></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><span style="color: #3d85c6;"><span style="color: black;">4<i>.&nbsp; </i><a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2013/04/walking-by-faith-our-journey-continues.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">Walking by Faith: Our journey continues</span></a></span></span><i><span style="color: #3d85c6;"><a href="http://./">.</a>&nbsp; </span><span style="color: #3d85c6;"><span style="color: black;">The post in which I shared of our plan to move to South Carolina in order for Cami to attend the SCSDB (and the last post before my blogging hiatus). From Rudy's job to Cami's transition at school, the Lord has clearly guided every footstep, providing for every need along our path.&nbsp;</span></span></i></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><span style="color: #3d85c6;"><span style="color: black;">3. <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012/06/fathers-day-poem-for-my-husband.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">A Father's Day Poem for My Husband</span></a>.&nbsp; </span></span><i>This poem was written as a gift for my husband for Father’s Day (2012) to express my gratitude for the man he is.&nbsp; With the number of people brought to my blog via Google searches for "poem for husband" or "father's day poem for husband" it is no mystery why this poem remains in the same spot as last year!&nbsp;&nbsp; =)</i></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><i><br /></i></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">2.&nbsp; <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012/09/31-days-of-support-for-your-special.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">31 Days of Support for Your Special Needs Parenting Journey.</span></a>&nbsp; <i>The most viewed post for 2012, this post is a compilation of the entire series that was written and blogged for my participation in the 31 Days challenge, <span style="color: #6fa8dc;"><a href="http://www.thenester.com/2012/06/31-days-in-2012.html" target="_blank">hosted annually by the Nester</a></span>.&nbsp;&nbsp;</i></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">1.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2013/03/100-ways-you-know-youre-special-needs.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;"> <span style="background-color: white;">100 Ways You Know You're A {Special Needs} Mom</span><span style="background-color: white;">.</span></span></a>&nbsp; <i>Inspired by<a href="http://lisajobaker.com/2013/05/100-ways-know-youre-mom/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;"> Lisa-Jo Baker's 100 Ways You Know You're A Mom</span>,</a> I asked fellow special needs moms what being a mom looked like for them.&nbsp; It turns out that it looks similar for all of us!&nbsp; </i><i><span style="color: #3d85c6;"><a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2013/03/100-ways-you-know-youre-special-needs.html" target="_blank">This list</a>&nbsp;</span> includes what real-life special needs moms shared with me, in addition to my own thoughts and ideas, all based on actual events. Take a moment to read and you'll notice an extension of the list forming in the comments too!</i><i> </i></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">This year has been one filled with change, during which time it was quiet around here. I appreciate your support along the journey, and I'm eager to share with each of you who continue following<span style="color: #3d85c6;"> <a href="http://This Journey Our Life" target="_blank"><i>This Journey Our Life</i></a></span> throughout 2014.</span><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-P-vcmPwrerw/UsLiY9hGHlI/AAAAAAAADAk/DZ6LOjLe-vM/s1600/rachsig3.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-P-vcmPwrerw/UsLiY9hGHlI/AAAAAAAADAk/DZ6LOjLe-vM/s1600/rachsig3.png" /></a></span></div><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08581856966246498735noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2635546954960489257.post-62468085751867619852013-11-05T22:36:00.003-05:002013-11-05T22:40:52.537-05:00Singing for Joy<div><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">Much has taken place over the past several months of my blogging hiatus. &nbsp;The break began unintentionally, but I've enjoyed a much needed time of rejuvenation. &nbsp;I plan to return to writing here again, and I have much to share in the weeks ahead. &nbsp;Today, I wanted to begin by sharing a brief update on Cami.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span></div><div><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">As many of you remember, <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2013/04/walking-by-faith-our-journey-continues.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">we moved this summer in order for Cami to attend the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind </span></a><span style="color: #0b5394;">(</span>SCSDB). When she was accepted as a student in August, we learned of her exact placement &nbsp;in the school (based upon her evaluations and testing).</span></div><div><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span></div><div><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">She attends the special education program offered at the SCSDB. &nbsp;It is still a part of the SCSDB, and just like each of the other separate schools (the School for the Blind and School for the Deaf) it is in a separate building on the campus. Within the school, classrooms are divided by those who are visually impaired and those who are deaf, with the majority of students having more than one disability. &nbsp;This school offers more specialized instruction, and each class is taught by a special education teacher who is also a teacher of their respective field (blind or deaf).&nbsp;</span></div><div><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span></div><div><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">Cami has been thriving in this environment which is <span style="color: #3d85c6;"><a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2013/04/when-mainstream-classroom-wasnt.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">similar to her placement last school year</span></a>,</span> this time with a program and education more suitable and individually tailored to each of her specific needs.</span></div><div><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span></div><div><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">In a recent re-evaluation meeting with her educators, we discussed giving her more opportunities to develop her skills, allowing her to grow and progress as much possible. &nbsp;This was addressed mainly because &nbsp;she is considered to be a high functioning student in her classroom setting, and they don't want to restrict her potential. &nbsp;They specifically mentioned giving her more opportunities to interact with students who attend the School for the Blind, its atmosphere more like a mainstream classroom setting. &nbsp;</span></div><div><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span></div><div><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">We agreed.</span></div><div><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span></div><div><b><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">And today she embarked on this path of opportunity, taking a tiny first step toward a new direction.</span></b><br /><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-61vkbrZnpvg/Unm1DmyfWaI/AAAAAAAAC9U/QFXxQ9y9Cvk/s1600/CordeiroFamily-046.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-61vkbrZnpvg/Unm1DmyfWaI/AAAAAAAAC9U/QFXxQ9y9Cvk/s400/CordeiroFamily-046.jpg" width="266" /></span></a></div><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">For the first time, Cami will be participating in an extracurricular activity.</span></div><div><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span></div><div><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">When her teacher contacted us to see if this would be something we'd be interested to have Cami involved in, there was no question in our minds that it would be a perfect fit for her.</span></div><div><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span></div><div><b><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">Cami is now a singer in the chorus at the School for the Blind.</span></b></div><div><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span></div><div><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">As a 4th grader, Cami is one of the youngest among the middle school through high school age participants, but we are excited to see her eagerly embrace this new challenge. Her teacher sat with her during today's rehearsal and will work toward having Cami sit through future rehearsals independently. &nbsp;</span></div><div><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;">We continue to thank the Lord for allowing Cami to progress as much as she has, and we continue to receive assurance that she is right where she belongs.</span><br /><br /></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08581856966246498735noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2635546954960489257.post-66627909692321918462013-04-29T19:09:00.001-04:002013-10-30T22:57:39.207-04:00Walking by Faith: Our journey continues...<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-MF1OjVuHTY4/UX79U40BfLI/AAAAAAAAC6w/UgWWjvHj33w/s1600/thisjourneyourlifeverse.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="425" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-MF1OjVuHTY4/UX79U40BfLI/AAAAAAAAC6w/UgWWjvHj33w/s640/thisjourneyourlifeverse.jpg" width="640" /></a></div><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">Last year, after receiving <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012/09/some-answers-to-our-questions-update-on.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #6fa8dc;">the news of Cami’s more recent diagnosis</span> </a>we continued on with another search. Our goal was to find an educational environment that would allow Cami to develop to her fullest potential while providing the necessary tool and resources appropriate for her needs.</span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">Last week, I shared that<a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2013/04/when-mainstream-classroom-wasnt.html" target="_blank"> <span style="color: #6fa8dc;">Cami was placed in a resource room</span> </a>for the 2012-2013 school year.&nbsp; This placement was simply the first step in implementing an important decision we had made regarding her education; it </span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">was a temporary solution until we determined what environment would best suit all of her needs.</span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"></span><br /><div class="MsoNormal"><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">In our quest to find the right school for Cami, we plunged into conducting our own research. We discussed options with specialists, read countless materials of information, researched online, visited several different schools, and spoke with a variety of people experienced in working with children who have needs similar to that of Cami’s.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">Each person that we talked with had no previous knowledge of what had been discussed in our separate conversations with others, yet a recurring suggestion continued to be made. As we weighed the information we had gathered against our own personal observations and first-hand experience, one fact continued to stand out above the rest.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">Though it’s undeniable that Cami has additional needs surrounding her more recent diagnoses, we had to acknowledge the fact that <i><b>many of her struggles stem from a result of her<span style="color: #3d85c6;"> <span style="color: #6fa8dc;"><a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012/10/31-days-of-support-embarking-on-journey.html" target="_blank">primary disability</a></span></span></b><span style="color: #3d85c6;">.</span></i></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">Suddenly, the answer became clear. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">She needed to be in an educational setting that was able to provide the proper supports, tools and resources directly related to her vision impairment, while offering a learning atmosphere appropriate for the needs surrounding her secondary diagnoses as well. </span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><b>We realized that recurring suggestion needed to become a reality</b>.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">Throughout our quest for answers we asked the Lord for wisdom.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">And He gave.</span></i></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">We asked him to clearly guide us.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><i>And He led</i>.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">After much prayer, the Lord has confirmed to us that His will for the next step in our lives is to move to South Carolina in order to allow Cami the opportunity to attend the South Carolina School for the Blind as a non-residential student. We will be moving June 1.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">We are stepping out in faith, trusting the Lord to meet our needs in providing a job for Rudy and we are excited to see how He will.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>We ask that you’d pray for that along with us.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">Please also pray for the overall transition into a new home and new school (for Cami).<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>If you’ve been reading along for any amount of time you know that she doesn’t handle a change of routine or changes in general very well.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>We’ve already begun to prepare her as best we can but it’s hard to say how it'll go until it happens.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Please also pray for Lucas and Sophia to adjust to all of the changes this will bring for them as well.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">We rest in knowing the Lord has faithfully guided every footstep, clearly marking the path He wants us to take.&nbsp; Placing one foot in front of the other in faith, we are thrilled to follow Him into the next phase on this journey, our life.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">&nbsp; </span><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-a6RBvbwcGEs/UX7Vnn6-4iI/AAAAAAAAC6g/pVwvtaXN25c/s1600/rachsig3.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-a6RBvbwcGEs/UX7Vnn6-4iI/AAAAAAAAC6g/pVwvtaXN25c/s1600/rachsig3.png" /></a></div><br /><br /></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08581856966246498735noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2635546954960489257.post-52749210389449500962013-04-26T10:52:00.001-04:002013-04-26T15:19:10.544-04:00Of chocolate fudge brownies, ice cream, and friendship {Five Minute Friday}<span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> <i><span style="color: #f6b26b;">I</span><a href="http://lisajobaker.com/five-minute-friday/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #f6b26b;"><span style="color: #f6b26b;">t’s</span> Five Minute Friday</span></a>!* </i>Where a group of us join together for five minutes of writing without worrying about if it’s just right or not, hosted by the </span><a href="http://lisajobaker.com/"><span style="background-color: white; color: #f6b26b; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><i>lovely Lisa-Jo</i></span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Today's prompt:&nbsp; <b><i>FRIEND</i></b></span><br /><b><i><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span></i></b><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yM8FW9SFO_s/UXqTXwpDXcI/AAAAAAAAC6Q/v4a3Ncgydy8/s1600/footba.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img border="0" height="302" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yM8FW9SFO_s/UXqTXwpDXcI/AAAAAAAAC6Q/v4a3Ncgydy8/s400/footba.jpg" width="400" /></span></a></div><b><i><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></i></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">GO</span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span></b><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">The shock of the news punched me in the gut. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>Hurt sliced through my heart like never&nbsp;before and&nbsp;my body ached with grief.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><b>Because wounds afflicted in anger cut deep</b>.<o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> In one brief moment our lives had changed and the securities we had assumed as guaranteed had been yanked out from beneath us.&nbsp; After&nbsp;sharing the news with our parents, there was no question who I’d call next.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">As I struggled to speak through my tears she patiently listened before speaking the words she knew we needed to hear.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">“Come over.” <o:p></o:p></span></i><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Arriving to their house was like coming home after a long journey.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The lights from their house spilled out through their back door, inviting Rudy and me&nbsp;to step inside. As&nbsp;we&nbsp;walked through the kitchen into the dining room, the smell of warm chocolate wafted through the air.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><o:p></o:p></span><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">The menu from dinner has faded in my memory, but I’ll never forget the dessert.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">The homemade chocolate glaze perfectly complemented the warm fudgy brownies topped with a hearty scoop of mint-chocolate chip ice cream towering high above the bowl. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>It was comfort food in highest form.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">To this day I can’t eat a brownie without that night crossing my mind, but it isn’t the painful news I remember.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">It’s&nbsp;my&nbsp;friend.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><o:p></o:p></span><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><b>Because gifts offered in kindness and love heal deeper</b>.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">And friendship is one of the greatest gifts of all.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><b><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">STOP</span></b></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> <o:p></o:p></span><br /><o:p><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><b>Your Journey:</b>&nbsp; <i>What small&nbsp;act of kindness from a friend&nbsp;was huge to you?&nbsp; Feel free to share your story about it in the comments!</i>&nbsp;</span></o:p><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-a9B2Q0ec6Ww/UXqREoxyYRI/AAAAAAAAC6A/fYcHZpK2M2g/s1600/rachsig3.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-a9B2Q0ec6Ww/UXqREoxyYRI/AAAAAAAAC6A/fYcHZpK2M2g/s1600/rachsig3.png" /></span></a></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><o:p><span style="color: #3d85c6; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><a href="http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012/01/31/top-10-desserts-for-your-super-bowl-party/" target="_blank">Photo credit: chocolate-covered Katie</a></span></o:p></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><a href="http://s1249.photobucket.com/albums/hh517/rachcordeiro17/?action=view&amp;current=rachsig3-1.png" target="_blank"></a>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08581856966246498735noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2635546954960489257.post-58894816056761187392013-04-23T13:03:00.002-04:002013-04-23T13:03:35.244-04:00when the mainstream classroom wasn't appropriate for my daughter {An update on Cami}<span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-X2RHcq_lhr4/UXa4AzEzCBI/AAAAAAAAC5g/9xx_uTIX-qU/s1600/camibyriver.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="276" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-X2RHcq_lhr4/UXa4AzEzCBI/AAAAAAAAC5g/9xx_uTIX-qU/s400/camibyriver.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div></span><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">This time last year we were knee-deep in the trenches with a variety of struggles Cami was facing in almost every area of her life. Throughout her entire school year Cami&nbsp;struggled&nbsp;academically, socially, and emotionally (just to name a few!).<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">We waded through each situation of each day with a feeling of helplessness. At night, we pillowed our heads in exhaustion from the amount of energy required in addressing and dealing with each struggle, not to mention the toll it was taking on our entire family.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Between her struggles, our research, extra appointments, and repeated, extended phone calls from her teachers it seemed to us that no end was in sight. We bathed each day in prayer, pleading for answers. <o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><strong>We were desperate for help</strong>. </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"></i></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Desperate for hope</i>.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Because at that time it seemed there were neither.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">One of our main concerns&nbsp;driving us to seek further answers was how far she was falling behind her fellow peers in school. We’d been under the impression that the gap between her and her schoolmates would begin to close more with each passing year, hopeful that it would.<o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><strong>Instead, that gap was widening</strong>.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">She wasn’t making progress in any area.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>She was at a standstill in her overall development, a fact further exacerbated by some new, emerging emotional and behavioral tendencies. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>As a result, she had begun to take some steps backward.<o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">It was clear to us that it wasn’t from lack of supports in place.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>With the amount of her therapies totaling 21-22 hours of extra support, in addition to her having a one-to-one aide, there was no question in our minds that Cami was receiving excellent help.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><strong>We were puzzled</strong>.<o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">The more frequently she displayed signs of exhaustion and anxiety, the more we realized that something needed to change.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span></em><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">But what?<o:p></o:p></span></em><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012/09/some-answers-to-our-questions-update-on.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">Cami’s recent&nbsp;diagnosis</span></a> provided another piece to the puzzle.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>A puzzle we were desperately trying&nbsp;to piece together in order to understand the best method and approach through which to meet her unique needs.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">After spending an extended time voicing our concerns to the specialist and discussing Cami’s needs and strengths in detail, we finally felt that we had begun to receive an explanation behind much of her tendencies. This information&nbsp;helped&nbsp;us to better understand the importance of&nbsp;focusing on her strengths,&nbsp;confirming to us that Cami needed to be in a different educational setting.</span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">We were certain that Cami would thrive in a more focused educational environment, one that could be tailored to her specific needs. It would need to be an environment that would enable her to learn necessary academic and social skills, but through instruction appropriate for her. It would need to be a place where she would be challenged to succeed and master skills, but not pushed or forced beyond her capabilities.&nbsp;<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">We took a step back to determine what environment would be the <em>least restrictive</em> for her&nbsp;learning needs.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><strong>It would have to be outside of the mainstream classroom.<o:p></o:p></strong></span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">At the beginning of this school year, Cami was placed in a <a href="http://specialed.about.com/od/idea/a/resourceroom.htm" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">Special Education Resource Room</span></a>. She spends the majority of her school days in this room, but still participates with&nbsp;a general education third grade-level class, for non-academic subjects such as Music, Art, lunch, and (adapted) P.E.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><strong>The results have been<em> </em>incredible</strong>.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Overall, Cami has made some significant strides in almost every area (many of which I plan to share in upcoming posts since I’d like to highlight each one individually, as well as the fact I don’t want to make this post too long!).<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Did this magically fix every struggle she faces?<o:p></o:p></span></i></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">As much as I wish it did, <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">it doesn’t</b>.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">There are still some aspects in her educational needs that we are concerned about, and we continue to pray for wisdom regarding those as well.</span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Does that mean from this point on she’ll accomplish every milestone&nbsp;we desire&nbsp;for her to meet?<o:p></o:p></span></i><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">As much as I wish it did, <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">it doesn’t</b>.<o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">All we&nbsp;can do&nbsp;is provide the necessary support our&nbsp;daughter needs to take the next step—<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><strong>today</strong>.</span></i><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times;"></span></em><br /><span style="font-family: Times;">And by God's&nbsp;grace&nbsp;we will<em>.</em></span><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times;"></span></em><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times;"></span></em><br />&nbsp;</div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GuAee0HdNUg/UXa6VsVd-NI/AAAAAAAAC5w/m387pEGQ-3w/s1600/rachsig3.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GuAee0HdNUg/UXa6VsVd-NI/AAAAAAAAC5w/m387pEGQ-3w/s1600/rachsig3.png" /></a></div><o:p><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span></o:p>&nbsp;</div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><o:p><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">&nbsp;</span></o:p></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><o:p><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">&nbsp;</span></o:p></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><o:p><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">&nbsp;</span></o:p></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><o:p><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">&nbsp;</span></o:p></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><o:p><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">&nbsp;</span></o:p></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08581856966246498735noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2635546954960489257.post-80039624058871641932013-04-05T13:16:00.000-04:002013-04-05T13:39:34.726-04:00what you need to know when your baby comes home from the NICU {Life After the NICU}<span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"></span><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><i><span style="color: #f6b26b;">I</span><a href="http://lisajobaker.com/five-minute-friday/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #f6b26b;"><span style="color: #f6b26b;">t’s</span> Five Minute Friday</span></a>!* </i>Where a group of us join together for five minutes of writing without worrying about if it’s just right or not, hosted by the </span></span></span></span><a href="http://lisajobaker.com/"><span style="background-color: white; color: #f6b26b; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><i><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">lovely Lisa-Jo</span></span></span></i></span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">.</span></span></span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">&nbsp; </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">For today's Five Minute Friday I'm doing something a bit differently than my usual five minute writing exercise.</span>&nbsp; I'm using the five minutes to share about a wonderful resource since that is what first popped into my mind after reading today's prompt</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">Today's Prompt:&nbsp; <i><b>AFTER</b></i></span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><b>GO </b><i><b><br /></b></i></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">&nbsp;It only takes a simple observation of watching Cami climb the steps to her school bus to trigger memories of her<a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012_01_01_archive.html" target="_blank"> days in the NICU</a>, reminding me of exactly how far she has come.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">We had no idea that <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2013/03/i-ts-five-minute-friday-where-group-of_8.html" target="_blank">the day we brought her home</a> from the hospital was also the day we <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012/10/31-days-of-support-embarking-on-journey.html" target="_blank">embarked on a different, longer path</a>.&nbsp;<b>&nbsp;</b></span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><i><span style="font-size: x-large;"><b>We we're leaving behind the before and entering the after</b>.</span></i></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">Because the NICU journey doesn't end on discharge day.*</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><a href="http://lifeafternicu.com/"><img alt="Life after NICU" src="http://i875.photobucket.com/albums/ab318/asprik/LANlogosmall.jpg" /></a></span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">&nbsp;<span style="color: #3d85c6;"><a href="http://www.lifeafternicu.com/p/about.html" target="_blank">Life After NICU</a> </span>was founded in October 2011, by moms whose children were hospitalized at Rush-Copley Medical Center in Illinois.&nbsp; Their site states that, "<i>Life after NICU is a support group for parents at all stages of the NICU experience, from pre-delivery until long after heading home. Our <span style="color: #3d85c6;"><a href="http://lifeafternicu.com/">site</a></span> and <a href="http://facebook.com/lifeafternicu">online forum</a> provide parents with a safe space in which to share personal stories, ask questions, find resources and information, and process emotions about their experience. We want others to know that they are not alone, and that they will get through it."*</i></span> <br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">I wish that there had been such a resources around when we brought Cami home at the end of 2004 but I'm glad it's available for other NICU parents to utilize today. </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">Whether you're a NICU parent yourself or know someone who is I hope you'll pass on this helpful resource.&nbsp; <span class="userContent">Life After NICU would love for you to help spread the word about <a data-hovercard="/ajax/hovercard/page.php?id=307646369247416&amp;extragetparams=%7B%22group_id%22%3A0%7D" href="https://www.facebook.com/lifeafterNICU?ref=stream&amp;group_id=0">Life after NICU (support group)</a> by repinning <a href="http://pinterest.com/pin/4362930860360056/" target="_blank">this picture</a>. </span></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><span class="userContent">Their desire is to find more members of the NICU "club" to help them know that they are not alone.&nbsp; </span></span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><span class="userContent"></span></span><br /><div style="line-height: 0px; padding-bottom: 2px;"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><span class="userContent"><a href="http://pinterest.com/pin/4362930860360056/" target="_blank"><img border="0" height="550" src="http://media-cache-is0.pinimg.com/550x/4b/d1/2c/4bd12c1e9a25154ee7019ca89936717c.jpg" width="550" /></a></span></span></div><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><span class="userContent"></span></span><br /><div style="float: left; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-top: 0px;"><div style="color: #76838b; font-size: 10px;"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><span class="userContent">Source: <a href="http://lifeafternicu.com/" style="color: #76838b; font-size: 10px; text-decoration: underline;">lifeafternicu.com</a> via <a href="http://pinterest.com/aimsprik/" style="color: #76838b; font-size: 10px; text-decoration: underline;" target="_blank">Aimee</a> on <a href="http://pinterest.com/" style="color: #76838b; text-decoration: underline;" target="_blank">Pinterest</a></span></span></div></div><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><span class="userContent"></span></span><a href="http://pinterest.com/pin/4362930860360056/" target="_blank"><br /></a><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><span class="userContent"><span style="font-size: x-large;"><a href="http://pinterest.com/pin/4362930860360056/" target="_blank"><i>Go </i><b>HERE</b><i> to repin picture</i></a>. </span></span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><span class="userContent">&nbsp;<b>&nbsp;</b></span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><span class="userContent"><b>STOP</b></span></span><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><span class="userContent"><b>Your Journey: </b><i>&nbsp; Are <b>you</b> a NICU parent?&nbsp; If so, what resources did you find most helpful after you brought your baby home from the hospital?&nbsp; I'd love to hear what you have to share!</i></span></span><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-XvoNIsi74PY/UV8DJmdHXUI/AAAAAAAAC5A/lJP5kvqyjxY/s1600/rachsig3.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-XvoNIsi74PY/UV8DJmdHXUI/AAAAAAAAC5A/lJP5kvqyjxY/s1600/rachsig3.png" /></a></div><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><span class="userContent"><i>*quoted from the<a href="http://www.lifeafternicu.com/" target="_blank"> <span style="color: #0b5394;">Life After NICU website</span></a></i></span></span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><span class="userContent"><i>&nbsp;</i><b> </b><br /> </span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08581856966246498735noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2635546954960489257.post-23173443295036785232013-04-04T12:50:00.000-04:002013-04-04T15:25:52.196-04:00A guest post, link love, and a youtube video {This Journey Our Life around the web}<span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><span style="color: #3d85c6;"><a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2013/04/when-raising-your-special-needs-child.html" target="_blank">As I mentioned</a></span>, I enjoyed a much needed break during the week<span style="color: #3d85c6;"><span style="color: black;"> of Spring Break</span>,</span> but I'll be honest I'm having a hard time getting back into the routine of writing and blogging.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">Currently, I have several posts in the works and looking forward to sharing them with you once they're ready. &nbsp; In the meantime, I thought I'd share the recent places you can find <span style="color: #3d85c6;"><i>This Journey Our Life</i> </span>around the web. <b>&nbsp;</b></span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><span style="font-size: x-large;"><b>A guest post</b>&nbsp;</span></span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">I guest post regularly for one of my favorite websites, <span style="color: #6fa8dc;"><a href="http://www.differentdream.com/2013/04/a-sweet-special-needs-victory/" target="_blank"><i>Different Dream</i></a></span>, a gathering place for parents of children with special needs. <a href="http://www.differentdream.com/2013/04/a-sweet-special-needs-victory/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">This post</span></a> shares a recent victory for Cami, allowing her to make another stride towards independence. <b>&nbsp;</b></span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><span style="font-size: x-large;"><b>Link love</b>&nbsp;</span></span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">&nbsp;My friend, <a href="http://www.justlaine.com/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">Laine at<i> It's Just Laine</i></span></a>, shared my <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2013/03/100-ways-you-know-youre-special-needs.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">100 Ways You Know You're A Special Needs Mom post</span></a><span style="color: #3d85c6;"> </span>as part of her <a href="http://www.justlaine.com/2013/04/great-posts-by-some-of-my-favorite.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">recent favorites list</span></a>. I appreciate the kind words she had to say about it and I know as a mom to both a child with complex heart defects as well as former preemie she relates to much of it. <b>&nbsp;</b></span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">I am honored that another friend, <span style="color: #3d85c6;"><a href="http://naturallyerin.com/home/" target="_blank">Erin at <i>Naturally Erin</i></a></span><i>,</i> also shared <a href="http://naturallyerin.com/best-of-the-web-this-week/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">the list as part of her Best of the Web post</span> </a>. I loved hearing her thoughts on it and am thankful for her kind words.<b> </b></span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><span style="font-size: x-large;"><b>A Youtube <span style="font-size: x-large;">v</span>ideo</b>&nbsp;</span></span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">Recently, Cami had a field trip to the <a href="http://www.kennedy-center.org/index.cfm" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">Kennedy Center</span></a> and since then has repeatedly requested to hear Fanfare for the Common Man (Copland). On Sunday, she she kept trying to play her version of it on the piano (focusing mostly on the percussion parts) so Rudy decided to help her out by playing the brass lines. Below is a video of their impromptu performance of the song:</span><br /><br /><br /><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/itGm8lK6QPw" width="420"></iframe><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">Having trouble viewing it?&nbsp; <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itGm8lK6QPw" target="_blank">See it here</a>. </span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">Thanks for taking time to read (or watch!) <i>This Journey Our Life</i> around the web!</span><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_h27_1Unbis/UV2yp6BFvkI/AAAAAAAAC4w/4BlrSJJ-th4/s1600/rachsig3.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_h27_1Unbis/UV2yp6BFvkI/AAAAAAAAC4w/4BlrSJJ-th4/s1600/rachsig3.png" /></a></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08581856966246498735noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2635546954960489257.post-8066941186528568412013-04-04T12:17:00.002-04:002013-04-04T13:03:16.768-04:00when raising your {special needs} child seems mundane<span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">It's been kind of quiet around here because I was enjoying our Spring Break!&nbsp;&nbsp; We spent a week visiting family in North Carolina while enjoying a much needed time of relaxation.&nbsp; </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">It was refreshing.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">Well, except for the trip to the emergency room.&nbsp;</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">Surprisingly, it wasn't one of my children this time...it was me. &nbsp; A CT scan confirmed the source of my severe pain was from what we had suspected: a kidney stone.&nbsp; </span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">As I lay on the hospital bed writhing in pain, I couldn't help but think of all the families whose lives are affected daily by a loved one's chronic pain or the parents whose child is hospitalized indefinitely. </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">Thankfully, after only 3 1/2 hours I was able to head home armed with a prescription for pain medication for any future episodes along with an invaluable lesson. </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">One trip to the ER made me realize how much I had begun to take for granted. Though Cami has her fair share of struggles, these days the majority of them don't directly affect her health or require urgent medical care. Because she hasn't had to be hospitalized in several year I've grown comfortable, assuming that we're past that stage of life.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-69jX1mWfzGw/UV2nBLLgOfI/AAAAAAAAC4g/WkKj5TX6k1M/s1600/camionbench.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-69jX1mWfzGw/UV2nBLLgOfI/AAAAAAAAC4g/WkKj5TX6k1M/s400/camionbench.jpg" width="265" /></a></span></div><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><b>I had forgotten what a gift the ordinary days are, allowing myself to consider them mundane</b>.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">But that day in the ER caused me to remember the prayers I'd whispered long ago, when I'd said I'd give anything for an ordinary, uneventful day.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">&nbsp; </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">And every day we live such one--</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><i>sublime</i>.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><b>Your Journey:&nbsp; </b><i>What is something that has helped <b>you</b> avoid taking ordinary days for granted? Feel free to share your heart in the comments!</i></span><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zM2edgOnisU/UV2lWjn57NI/AAAAAAAAC4Y/DDcUpz3OzgI/s1600/rachsig3.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zM2edgOnisU/UV2lWjn57NI/AAAAAAAAC4Y/DDcUpz3OzgI/s1600/rachsig3.png" /></a></span></div><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08581856966246498735noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2635546954960489257.post-73061012328699067032013-03-18T01:05:00.000-04:002013-03-18T16:59:02.643-04:00100 Ways You Know You're A {Special Needs} Mom<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">This past September, I got a good laugh out of<a href="http://lisajobaker.com/2012/09/100-ways-know-youre-mom/" target="_blank"><span style="color: orange;"> </span><span style="color: #e69138;">Lisa-Jo Baker's 100 Ways You Know You're A Mom</span></a> (not to mention I had personally experienced #8, #44, #71, and #80 on her list).</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">I am blessed with the privilege of being Mommy to three beautiful children, each of whom I love more than words can adequately express.&nbsp;Much of the&nbsp;space on this blog is dedicated to sharing about my journey of raising a child with special needs, my oldest.</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><b>Because the day I was ushered into the world of motherhood, it was as a special needs mom.</b></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">Inspired by <a href="http://lisajobaker.com/2012/09/100-ways-know-youre-mom/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #e69138;">Lisa-Jo's post</span></a><span style="color: #e69138;">,</span> I began writing down ways I know I'm a {special needs} mom.&nbsp; I had come up with a fairly lengthy list on my own, but I wanted to make sure I included other mom's perspectives. </span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span></div><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">I wondered what being a special needs mom looked like for them.</span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><b>As it turns out, it looks the same for us all.</b></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">Whether&nbsp;you're a special needs mom or someone who'd like a peek&nbsp;into what life is like for those who are, I'd love for you to take the time to read through all <b>100 Ways You Know You're A {Special Needs} Mom.</b></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8Ub21EWFlM4/UUaOcsMJ9KI/AAAAAAAAC34/ts_MkhBSMNQ/s1600/camimommy100waysspecialneedsmom.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="426" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8Ub21EWFlM4/UUaOcsMJ9KI/AAAAAAAAC34/ts_MkhBSMNQ/s640/camimommy100waysspecialneedsmom.jpg" width="640" /></a></span></div><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">1.You’re on a first name basis with everyone in your insurance billing department.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">2. The <span data-ft="{&quot;tn&quot;:&quot;K&quot;}" id=".reactRoot[17].[1][2][1]{comment515516771824718_516351195074609}.0.[1].0.[1].0.[0].[0][2]"><span class="UFICommentBody" id=".reactRoot[17].[1][2][1]{comment515516771824718_516351195074609}.0.[1].0.[1].0.[0].[0][2].0"><span id=".reactRoot[17].[1][2][1]{comment515516771824718_516351195074609}.0.[1].0.[1].0.[0].[0][2].0.[0]"><span id=".reactRoot[17].[1][2][1]{comment515516771824718_516351195074609}.0.[1].0.[1].0.[0].[0][2].0.[0].[0]">pediatrician's office keeps your child's file at the front desk for easy access.</span></span></span></span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">3.You love when people ask you questions.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 4.You hate when people ask you questions.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 5.Trips to the doctor have become more frequent than trips to the mall.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 6.The only thing constant in your life is change.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 7. You wish you had the power to read minds, <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012/10/31-days-of-supportday-11-how-i-feel.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">because then you’d read hers.</span></a> <o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 8.You haven’t had a full night of rest since….<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 9.(You don’t know because you’re too tired to remember.)<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 10. <span style="font-size: large;"><span style="font-size: x-large;">Some days <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2013/02/five-minute-friday-what-mama-did.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">you want your mom</span></a></span>.</span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 11.Your heart is so filled with love it could burst.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 12.You believe strongly that your child has taught you more than you’ve taught them.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 13.You’ve created an alter ego for important meetings and appointments.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 14. You struggle with feelings of guilt.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 15. You’re braver than you ever dreamed possible.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 16.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; Your eyes still well up with tears when your child gets on the bus</span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 17.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; You despise when people call it the short bus, especially because it’s not.</span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 18.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; At follow-up visits to the hospital, you have a growing fear your child will be re-admitted to the NICU.</span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 19.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Your life can be categorized into two segments: before your child’s diagnosis and after.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">20.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; <span style="font-size: x-large;">You’ve vowed never to take the ordinary days for granted</span></span>.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 21.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; Some days you do.</span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 22.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>You launch into detailed explanations of your child’s diagnosis in response to being asked their age.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 23. You have personal fans and cheerleaders, otherwise known as family and dear friends.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 24. You never underestimate your gut feeling and have come to respect it.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 25.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>You own at least one mascara-stained pillow case.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 26.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>You can recite the name, dosage, and frequency of medications in your sleep.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 27.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>You gauge your child’s moods by their breathing patterns on the trach.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 28.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; You quote a verse every morning while waiting for the school bus </span>.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 29.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The smell of hand sanitizer causes the most vivid flashbacks from your child’s hospital stay.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 30. You color code notes based on each individual therapists, doctors, specialists, and appointments.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 31. <span style="font-size: x-large;">One brief moment of eye contact from your child speaks to you louder than if they’d screamed, and you know they were saying,<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>"I love you, I trust you, and you’re my best friend”.<o:p></o:p></span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 32. You notice the panic on the faces of other parents watching your child play at&nbsp;the park.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 33. Getting an uninterrupted night of sleep causes you to become alarmingly frantic in the morning!<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 34. You don't go anywhere without your three ring binder of referrals, records and insurance paperwork.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">35. You’ve learned the strongest fighters come in the <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012_01_01_archive.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">smallest packages</span></a>.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 36. The therapists and teachers working with your child know more about what’s going on in your life than your friends do.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 37. You have panic-driven thoughts of being hit by a bus and immediately&nbsp;go into overdrive to make sure others are competent to care for your&nbsp;child by writing detailed care notebooks.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 38.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The phrase <i>“Good job using your words”</i> has become your standard response in conversation with anyone.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 39.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>You know enough special education laws to pass the bar exam.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 40.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><span style="font-size: x-large;">You’ve learned to see beauty in the simple</span>.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 41.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;You realize the <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012/10/31-days-of-supportday-15-importance-of.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">danger of comparison</span></a>.</span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 42.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>You’re most embarrassing situation involves over-explaining&nbsp;your child's unique, heightened&nbsp;sense of smell while assuring the person they don’t stink at all.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 43.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>A thorough search through your purse produces gauze, feeding tube extensions, syringes, medical tape and a host of other medical supplies...but still&nbsp;no keys.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 44.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>You couldn't&nbsp;be more&nbsp;proud of <a href="http://www.livinglaughingandloving.com/2012/03/guest-post-beautiful.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">what he said about his sister</span></a>. <o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 45.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>You try to predict your child’s occupation based upon their current fixation/obsession.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 46. You have prayed your child through being able to live, breathe, drink, eat, see, hear, sit, crawl, stand, walk, run, speak... and a million other things!<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 47. It hurts every time you hear someone complain their child won’t stop talking.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 48. You’re fluent in reading acronyms such as OT, PT, SPT, SID, ASD, EOE, CP, PDD, TBI, IEP, O&amp;M, or EA/TEF (just to name a few).</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 49.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>You have a love-hate relationship with <a href="https://www.google.com/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">Google</span></a>.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 50.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><span style="font-size: x-large;">You have the pharmacy number on speed dial</span>.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 51.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; You paus</span>e to watch the sweet young lady with down syndrome who lives in your neighborhood get off the bus, wondering what the future holds for your child.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 52.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Somehow you always end up carrying your daughter’s cane more than she does.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 53.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Your life revolves around your child’s nap schedule.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 54.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; Calming your child during&nbsp;their public meltdown in Target while curious onlookers observe, </span>elevates your heart rate and causes you to sweat more than<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008ZB4C50?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creativeASIN=B008ZB4C50&amp;linkCode=xm2&amp;tag=thijouourlif-20" target="_blank"> <span style="color: #3d85c6;">a&nbsp;Zumba&nbsp;workout</span></a>.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 55.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>You wonder what your life would be like unaffected by special needs.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 56.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Due to an extended period of creatively dealing with your child’s sleep issues, your children now refer to Tums as “sleeping pills”.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 57.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; Y</span>our medical expenses regularly surpass your mortgage.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 58.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; The movies </span><i><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0038M2AZA?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creativeASIN=B0038M2AZA&amp;linkCode=xm2&amp;tag=thijouourlif-20" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">Temple Grandin</span></a></i>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000803BQ2?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creativeASIN=B000803BQ2&amp;linkCode=xm2&amp;tag=thijouourlif-20" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;"><i>The Brooke Ellison Story</i></span></a>, and <span style="color: #3d85c6;"><i><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001T4Y1II?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creativeASIN=B001T4Y1II&amp;linkCode=xm2&amp;tag=thijouourlif-20" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">Autistic-Like</span></a></i>&nbsp;</span><span style="color: black;">inspire</span>&nbsp;you to never give up.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 59.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>You drive the absolute longest way to church (even if you are late) to avoid a meltdown over a change in routine.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 60.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; You celebrate your child saying "NO" simply because it means they’ve&nbsp;voiced words.</span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 61. <span style="font-size: x-large;">You think </span><a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012/03/brave.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6; font-size: x-large;">your child is braver than you</span></a><span style="font-size: x-large;">.</span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 62.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>You dread homework more than your child does.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 63.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Your creativity and adaptability surprises you.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 64.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>You couldn’t do any of it without <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012/06/fathers-day-poem-for-my-husband.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">his help</span></a>.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 65.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Seasons at your house are: Summer, Fall, Winter and IEP meeting.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 66.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; You don’t laugh at jokes people tell about Braille being on drive-through ATM’s.</span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 67. You second-guess your decisions</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 68. You readily admit&nbsp;to&nbsp;using bribes.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 69.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; You wear the titles of teacher, advocate, mediator, therapist, nurse, and translator.</span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 70.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;<span style="font-size: x-large;"> Mom is your proudest one.</span></span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 71.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><i>“She loves toys with music and lights”</i> is the one statement you regret saying most.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 72.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>You buy enough batteries to personally keep Radio Shack in business (see #71).<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 73.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; You are your child’s voice.</span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 74. You’ve been asked countless times by others if you’re a nurse because of your medical knowledge.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 75. You take it personally when someone says the <a href="http://www.r-word.org/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #6fa8dc;">"R" word</span></a>.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 76. You notice every time someone stares.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 77.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Your biggest fear is double-booking appointments and missing one as a result.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 78. You’ve witnessed strength in your own child that is stronger than your own </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 79.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>You dream about the day you’ll be able to return all of the help you’ve been given, already planning what you’d do.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 80. <a href="http://not-alone.org/2013/02/12/no-more-tears/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">This dad’s writing</span></a> makes you cry.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 81. <span style="font-size: x-large;">You know more medical terms and jargon than a third-year medical student</span>.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 82. You’re convinced that IQ is a meaningless number.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 83.Your first thought after hearing a screaming child in a store is, <i>"Maybe they’re autistic?"<o:p></o:p></i></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 84. You feel like a walking medical dictionary.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 85. You pray <strike>daily</strike> hourly for strength.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 86. You wouldn’t wish this life on anyone.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 87. You wouldn’t trade it for the world.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 88. You meet every challenge with firm resolve and determination.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 89. You’re elated when your child proves doctors wrong.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 90.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span><a href="http://newlifesteward.com/when-god-speaks-softly-a-guest-post/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">You hear Him whisper softly</span></a>.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 91. You glare at the men in the booth at IHOP&nbsp;for&nbsp;making fun of&nbsp;the adults seated in their dining section&nbsp;&nbsp;who are all residents of a group home for the disabled.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 92. You regret not having the courage to say something instead.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 93. <span style="font-size: x-large;">You celebrate different.<o:p></o:p></span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 94.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; You <a href="http://www.differentdream.com/2012/06/are-you-discouraged-remember-the-moments/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">relish hand-squeezes</span></a>.</span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 95. You’re thankful that your stubbornness and persistence have finally found&nbsp;a use.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 96. You’re guilty of underestimating your child’s capabilities and abilities.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 97. You've lost count of the number of x-rays, CT scans and MRI's, each&nbsp;with enough reports to wallpaper your whole house, garage and barn.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 98.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>You get a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach when the number of your child’s school flashes across the caller I.D.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"> 99. Today you&nbsp;feel like giving up.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">100. Tomorrow you’ll get up and do it all again.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><b>Your Journey</b>:&nbsp; <i>See anything <b>you</b> think should be added to this list?&nbsp; If so, let me know...I'd love to hear!</i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-iEFYDJRKoko/UUaZHfMzhrI/AAAAAAAAC4I/cMKhxPbudsE/s1600/rachsig3.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-iEFYDJRKoko/UUaZHfMzhrI/AAAAAAAAC4I/cMKhxPbudsE/s1600/rachsig3.png" /></a></span></div><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><o:p><i></i></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><o:p><i>The preceding list includes some of what real-life special needs moms shared with me, in addition to my own thoughts and ideas, all based on actual events. To protect their privacy I'm not sharing any names, but I do appreciate each of the ladies who helped to contribute.&nbsp;&nbsp; </i></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><o:p><em></em></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><o:p><em>Disclaimer:&nbsp; Some affiliate links were used in this post, providing you the opportunity to purchase some of my favorite products.</em></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><o:p><em></em></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><o:p><em>Also linking up with:</em></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><o:p><em></em></o:p></span><br /><o:p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <img alt="TheBetterMom.com" class="aligncenter" height="125" src="http://www.thebettermom.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Better-Mom-Button-125.png" width="125" /></o:p>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08581856966246498735noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2635546954960489257.post-28944046284004211672013-03-15T16:19:00.001-04:002013-03-15T22:23:25.045-04:00When all you need is rest (Five Minute Friday)<span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> <span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><i><span style="color: #f6b26b;">I</span><a href="http://lisajobaker.com/five-minute-friday/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #f6b26b;"><span style="color: #f6b26b;">t’s</span> Five Minute Friday</span></a>!* </i>Where a group of us join together for five minutes of writing without worrying about if it’s just right or not, hosted by the </span></span></span></span><a href="http://lisajobaker.com/"><span style="background-color: white; color: #f6b26b; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">lovely Lisa-Jo</span></span></span></em></span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">.</span></span></span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times;">Today's Prompt:&nbsp; <strong><em>REST</em></strong></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span></span></span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times;"><strong>GO</strong></span><br /><strong><span style="font-family: Times;"></span></strong><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Gently, I tuck back my daughter's hair behind her ear, tracing the outline of her face with the tip of my finger.<o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><em>“Just rest, sweet girl”</em> I say softly.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">But still she fights, resisting the sleep that needs to come.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><em>“You’re going to be very tired in the morning, if you don’t fall asleep soon”</em> I say.&nbsp; I try hard to convince her the importance of rest.</span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><strong>But it means nothing to her</strong>.<o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><em>Why does she have such difficulties sleeping?</em> I wonder.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>My mind recalls the times we’ve put her to bed at an early hour only to discover hours later on our way to bed that she’s still lying there wide awake.<o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Later that night as I pillow my head, I realize that I’m having trouble allowing myself to succumb to rest too.&nbsp; </span><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Not in the physical sense of the word, but in a spiritual sense.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span></span></span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">I desired it enough to make it <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2013/01/one-word-2013-new-years-resolution.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">my word for 2013</span></a>, yet still I struggle.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><em>Do His promises mean nothing to me?</em> I&nbsp;ask myself, the words&nbsp;of my husband still echoing in my mind.&nbsp; He’d asked me if I enjoy worrying, a question that had shocked me to my core.</span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> <strong>I don’t blame him for asking.</strong></span><br /><strong><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span></strong><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Either I believe Him or I don’t<o:p></o:p></span></i></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Either I trust Him or I don’t.<o:p></o:p></span></i></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Either I choose to rest or I don’t.<o:p></o:p></span></i></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><strong>That night I finally&nbsp;rested.</strong></span><br /><strong><span style="font-family: Times;"></span></strong><br /><strong><span style="font-family: Times;"><em>And still I rest--</em></span></strong><br /><strong><span style="font-family: Times;"><em></em></span></strong><br /><strong><span style="font-family: Times;"><em>&nbsp;in Him.</em></span></strong><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><o:p><strong></strong></o:p></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-sKHuaPEHbjw/UUN_WB6W6XI/AAAAAAAAC3s/O024i1ttciU/s1600/Matt+11-28.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-sKHuaPEHbjw/UUN_WB6W6XI/AAAAAAAAC3s/O024i1ttciU/s400/Matt+11-28.jpg" width="308" /></a></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><o:p><strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; {<a href="http://rebekahblocher.blogspot.com/2012/02/blog-post.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">source</span></a>}</strong></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><o:p><strong></strong></o:p></span>&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-9Z0gwOiezkw/UUN-JOLCzkI/AAAAAAAAC3g/R59T5nGafwU/s1600/rachsig3.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-9Z0gwOiezkw/UUN-JOLCzkI/AAAAAAAAC3g/R59T5nGafwU/s1600/rachsig3.png" /></a></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><o:p><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">&nbsp;</span></o:p></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08581856966246498735noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2635546954960489257.post-73775920563787640472013-03-13T08:03:00.000-04:002013-03-13T08:07:23.965-04:00Finding comfort when you doubt<span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">It's easy to <span style="color: #3d85c6;"><a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2013/02/for-when-you-doubt-decisions-in.html" target="_blank">doubt decisions you've made in parenting</a></span> any child, but when it comes to parenting a a child with special needs those worries become amplified.&nbsp; All decisions are crucial, each one affecting your child's overall health and progress for good or bad.<i>&nbsp;&nbsp;</i> </span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">Sometimes this realization causes fears, worries and doubts to come crashing down, threatening to crush us beneath their weight.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;">I often say that much of caring for Cami and her needs has been a learning-as-we-go process, because it has been.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><b>But I'm thankful there has been Someone guiding each step.</b></span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><span style="color: #3d85c6;"><span style="color: #3d85c6;"><a href="http://inablecommunity.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/he-guides-every-step/" target="_blank"><i><b>Read of how I find comfort in the midst of doubts,</b></i><b> here</b></a><span style="color: #3d85c6;"><i><b> </b></i><span style="color: #444444;">at the (in)Able and <span style="color: #3d85c6;"><a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2013/02/welcome-to-included-dayspring-incourage.html" target="_blank">(in)cluded </a></span>communities shared blog.</span></span></span></span></span><span style="color: #444444;"> </span><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5VbpDXhbUig/UUAJVGkZ7OI/AAAAAAAAC3Q/tDw9-jmHU8s/s1600/rachsig3.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5VbpDXhbUig/UUAJVGkZ7OI/AAAAAAAAC3Q/tDw9-jmHU8s/s1600/rachsig3.png" /></a><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: Times,&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif;"><br /></span>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08581856966246498735noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2635546954960489257.post-12372186743779616852013-03-11T15:34:00.001-04:002013-03-11T15:50:56.057-04:00A timeline (in pictures) of our baby's first weeks in the NICU <span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">I enjoy painting pictures with words and by now I'm sure you're&nbsp;aware that much of my writing stems from all that I've experienced since and because of Cami's premature birth.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">But today I'm going to let pictures tell the story.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Out of&nbsp;our <strong>176 day</strong> <strong>NICU journey,</strong>&nbsp;the days&nbsp;in the beginning stretched on the longest with every hour&nbsp;Cami was alive, <em>miraculous</em>.&nbsp;&nbsp;There were many days we were uncertain of her survival,&nbsp;but with God's hand upon her she fought to live!</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Today is a flashback&nbsp;to some of the milestones that stand out from the <strong>first ten weeks</strong> of&nbsp;Cami's NICU stay.&nbsp; </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><strong><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Our lives were forever changed upon the birth of our first child</span></em></strong><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/--S2WvFxcaiw/UT4etmWW3rI/AAAAAAAAC0I/-0PPIIX1XiA/s1600/Cami+in+Isolette+-+2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/--S2WvFxcaiw/UT4etmWW3rI/AAAAAAAAC0I/-0PPIIX1XiA/s400/Cami+in+Isolette+-+2.jpg" width="400" /></span></a></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong><em>Camelia Faith born at 9:53 a.m. 6/17/04</em></strong></span><br /><strong><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 23 weeks, 1 day gestation</span></em></strong><br /><strong><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 1 lb. 2 oz. (527 grams), 11 1/2 in.</span></em></strong><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><strong><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Unable to hold her, but thankful to let her feel our love through touch.</span></em></strong><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-CtqvOTVuPvs/UT4iBTpnHLI/AAAAAAAAC0Q/FT9KA9NsJEc/s1600/holding+mommys+finger.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img border="0" height="242" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-CtqvOTVuPvs/UT4iBTpnHLI/AAAAAAAAC0Q/FT9KA9NsJEc/s400/holding+mommys+finger.jpg" width="400" /></span></a></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-51P-Jvmwcj0/UT4iR16fJSI/AAAAAAAAC0c/SNXTBoVDI9w/s1600/Daddys+Hands+2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img border="0" height="276" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-51P-Jvmwcj0/UT4iR16fJSI/AAAAAAAAC0c/SNXTBoVDI9w/s400/Daddys+Hands+2.jpg" width="400" /></span></a></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-TephExaLt38/UT4iqPX7CfI/AAAAAAAAC0k/AI0KOSB2jY8/s1600/Mommy+and+Daddy%2527s+Hands.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img border="0" height="276" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-TephExaLt38/UT4iqPX7CfI/AAAAAAAAC0k/AI0KOSB2jY8/s400/Mommy+and+Daddy%2527s+Hands.jpg" width="400" /></span></a></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><strong><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">We felt like real parents when nurses let us change her diapers and give her baths.</span></em></strong><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-m7UEHpdIq-o/UT4m5I27HJI/AAAAAAAAC1Q/M_aCRj8ewN8/s1600/Changing+Cami's+Diaper.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img border="0" height="276" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-m7UEHpdIq-o/UT4m5I27HJI/AAAAAAAAC1Q/M_aCRj8ewN8/s400/Changing+Cami's+Diaper.jpg" width="400" /></span></a></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SxooP33VIpA/UT4nBUZwEcI/AAAAAAAAC1Y/gke9EpujO8g/s1600/Daddy+Changing+Diaper.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img border="0" height="276" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SxooP33VIpA/UT4nBUZwEcI/AAAAAAAAC1Y/gke9EpujO8g/s400/Daddy+Changing+Diaper.jpg" width="400" /></span></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-vFhlddbpP4o/UT4o1njB0ZI/AAAAAAAAC14/AWbqF4qRQqM/s1600/Giving+Cami+a+bath+-2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img border="0" height="276" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-vFhlddbpP4o/UT4o1njB0ZI/AAAAAAAAC14/AWbqF4qRQqM/s400/Giving+Cami+a+bath+-2.jpg" width="400" /></span></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><strong><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span></em></strong>&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><strong><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span></em></strong>&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><strong><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span></em></strong>&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><strong><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">At five weeks, we were able to "hold" her, cradling her over her isolette (incubator).</span></em></strong></div><strong><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span></em></strong><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--zvHLHYtwpE/UT4vrzFkV9I/AAAAAAAAC24/F7aBj2_Q5XA/s1600/Rachel+cradling+Cami+over+Isolette.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img border="0" height="276" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--zvHLHYtwpE/UT4vrzFkV9I/AAAAAAAAC24/F7aBj2_Q5XA/s400/Rachel+cradling+Cami+over+Isolette.jpg" width="400" /></span></a></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-1uvAS-F1Nbs/UT4lfuI9o7I/AAAAAAAAC0w/2ziCP8yk5BM/s1600/Cradiling+Cami.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-1uvAS-F1Nbs/UT4lfuI9o7I/AAAAAAAAC0w/2ziCP8yk5BM/s400/Cradiling+Cami.jpg" width="276" /></span></a></div><u><span style="color: #0066cc; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span></u><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><strong><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">After seven weeks, we were thrilled for a chance to hold her in our arms!</span></em></strong><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-gfi2wHeR614/UT4mJzvTK1I/AAAAAAAAC1A/CNRuug0YL10/s1600/Mommy+Holding+Cami+-+Wk+6.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-gfi2wHeR614/UT4mJzvTK1I/AAAAAAAAC1A/CNRuug0YL10/s400/Mommy+Holding+Cami+-+Wk+6.jpg" width="322" /></span></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span>&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span>&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QzVSTXfztfk/UT4mCNHLdJI/AAAAAAAAC04/IkjwTZhkDCY/s1600/Mommy+and+Daddy+Gazing.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QzVSTXfztfk/UT4mCNHLdJI/AAAAAAAAC04/IkjwTZhkDCY/s400/Mommy+and+Daddy+Gazing.jpg" width="276" /></span></a></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DgqpFICVd2c/UT4mbFgrrzI/AAAAAAAAC1I/ES6o3oHXATc/s1600/Daddy+Holding+Cami+-+2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DgqpFICVd2c/UT4mbFgrrzI/AAAAAAAAC1I/ES6o3oHXATc/s400/Daddy+Holding+Cami+-+2.jpg" width="276" /></span></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span>&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bvC1hTIzFec/UT4nRTmhr2I/AAAAAAAAC1g/5tX-MK9Pwfg/s1600/Mommy+Holding+Cami+-+Wk+7.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bvC1hTIzFec/UT4nRTmhr2I/AAAAAAAAC1g/5tX-MK9Pwfg/s400/Mommy+Holding+Cami+-+Wk+7.jpg" width="276" /></span></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span>&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span>&nbsp;</div><strong><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">&nbsp;After ten long weeks, we were thrilled that&nbsp;she was off the ventilator (onto CPAP)!!!!</span></em></strong><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-h8YlblIy0-Q/UT4nxTy5AYI/AAAAAAAAC1o/uG1OWwORq-4/s1600/Off+the+Vent+-+Wk+10.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-h8YlblIy0-Q/UT4nxTy5AYI/AAAAAAAAC1o/uG1OWwORq-4/s400/Off+the+Vent+-+Wk+10.jpg" width="276" /></span></a></div><strong><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span></em></strong><br /><strong><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Smiling even bigger to finally hear her cry!</span></em></strong><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xdQ16BzhDYI/UT4oLFnzChI/AAAAAAAAC1w/v20ZXqAyVIU/s1600/Mommysmilingtohearcamicry.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img border="0" height="276" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xdQ16BzhDYI/UT4oLFnzChI/AAAAAAAAC1w/v20ZXqAyVIU/s400/Mommysmilingtohearcamicry.jpg" width="400" /></span></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">.&nbsp; </span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span>&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><strong><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Cami was blessed to have Barb as her primary nurse.&nbsp;She lovingly cared&nbsp;for Cami throughout her entire six month stay.</span></em></strong></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-hbhlBEKkG-g/UT4qRBM8ZkI/AAAAAAAAC2A/fk8JS1lN91Q/s1600/Cami+and+Barb.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-hbhlBEKkG-g/UT4qRBM8ZkI/AAAAAAAAC2A/fk8JS1lN91Q/s400/Cami+and+Barb.jpg" width="276" /></span></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span>&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span>&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><strong><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">More of my favorite captured moments</span></em></strong></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xAnn6STGVs0/UT4rFQUgrOI/AAAAAAAAC2Q/8SQsxIULq6M/s1600/givingCamikiss.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img border="0" height="276" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xAnn6STGVs0/UT4rFQUgrOI/AAAAAAAAC2Q/8SQsxIULq6M/s400/givingCamikiss.jpg" width="400" /></span></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span>&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YA4FqcaxUwA/UT4q-bXs82I/AAAAAAAAC2M/nLaCWO0HKmc/s1600/Daddy+Holding+Cami.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img border="0" height="276" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YA4FqcaxUwA/UT4q-bXs82I/AAAAAAAAC2M/nLaCWO0HKmc/s400/Daddy+Holding+Cami.jpg" width="400" /></span></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span>&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span>&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-OIDxlBerWcI/UT4rxGJZt4I/AAAAAAAAC2g/TaCX8FC_MmY/s1600/mommy+kissing+cami+wk+15.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img border="0" height="441" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-OIDxlBerWcI/UT4rxGJZt4I/AAAAAAAAC2g/TaCX8FC_MmY/s640/mommy+kissing+cami+wk+15.jpg" width="640" /></span></a></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; {Week 15}</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">There were, of course, many more milestones during Cami's NICU stay but I'll share those another time.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Thank you for taking the time to view these pictures, each one a reminder of God's grace in Cami's life--His grace in ours.</span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-PrPnjRUf198/UT4vC7p7kgI/AAAAAAAAC2o/iDBkpaSEQzE/s1600/PicMonkey+Collage.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img border="0" height="446" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-PrPnjRUf198/UT4vC7p7kgI/AAAAAAAAC2o/iDBkpaSEQzE/s640/PicMonkey+Collage.jpg" width="640" /></span></a></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-m6em-uhK8SI/UT4vN7x6jLI/AAAAAAAAC2w/hNIZRjT_E9Q/s1600/PicMonkey+Collage2withstats.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img border="0" height="212" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-m6em-uhK8SI/UT4vN7x6jLI/AAAAAAAAC2w/hNIZRjT_E9Q/s640/PicMonkey+Collage2withstats.jpg" width="640" /></span></a></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><strong><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">"<em>For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."</em> Jeremiah 29:11</span></strong><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dEMTR4ghv4I/UT4xK0YYmoI/AAAAAAAAC3A/5ASWHooGr3g/s1600/rachsig3.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dEMTR4ghv4I/UT4xK0YYmoI/AAAAAAAAC3A/5ASWHooGr3g/s1600/rachsig3.png" /></span></a></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br />Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08581856966246498735noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2635546954960489257.post-69261790989992275532013-03-09T15:18:00.005-05:002013-03-09T15:22:48.483-05:00A poem for parents of preemies<span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Though I don't usually post on Saturdays, today I am honored to share with you that </span><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><a href="http://www.grahamsfoundation.org/blog.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;"><span style="background-color: white;">t</span>he <i>Graham's Foundation Blog</i></span></a> (producer of </span><a href="http://parentsofpreemiesday.org/main.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #6fa8dc; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Parents of Preemies Day</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">) featured a poem I wrote.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><a href="http://grahamsfoundation.org/blog.html?fb_18405866_anch=29246588" target="_blank"><span style="color: #6fa8dc; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><i>"Each Day&nbsp;Too&nbsp;Long"&nbsp;</i></span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">is for every parent of a preemie. Whether you were blessed to bring your baby home, or your heart still aches with grief because you couldn’t; whether you’ve walked the NICU journey in years past or are currently trudging along its path<i>.</i>&nbsp; </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">I'd love for you to </span><a href="http://grahamsfoundation.org/blog.html?fb_18405866_anch=29246588" target="_blank"><span style="color: #6fa8dc; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">hop on over there to read it</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">, sharing it with anyone you know whose baby was born too soon.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><i><b><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">And don't forget about </span><a href="https://www.facebook.com/#!/parentsofpreemiesday?fref=ts" target="_blank"><span style="color: #6fa8dc; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Parents of Preemies Day tomorrow</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">!</span></b></i><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Bnj78AG34zM/UTuY6P7HEQI/AAAAAAAACz4/WybZEd1Fi5E/s1600/PPD-logo-squared-fb.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Bnj78AG34zM/UTuY6P7HEQI/AAAAAAAACz4/WybZEd1Fi5E/s320/PPD-logo-squared-fb.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">I'm looking forward to </span><a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2013/03/celebrating-preemie-parents-parents-of.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #6fa8dc; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">participating myself</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">, sharing pictures from throughout Cami's NICU stay. I've&nbsp;worked through&nbsp;sorting&nbsp;then scanning&nbsp;many pictures and&nbsp;I hope you'll be back here to see the ones I've chosen for tomorrow.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><b>Your Journey</b>:&nbsp; <i>Are <b>you</b> planning on participating in Parents of Preemie Day tomorrow? If so, I'd love to hear how!</i></span><br /><i><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span></i><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8l4NS06PZqU/UTt88cOrxRI/AAAAAAAACzw/z8RNOUeWRUQ/s1600/rachsig3.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8l4NS06PZqU/UTt88cOrxRI/AAAAAAAACzw/z8RNOUeWRUQ/s1600/rachsig3.png" /></span></a></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span id="goog_750982746"></span><span id="goog_750982747"></span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br />Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08581856966246498735noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2635546954960489257.post-89260190150418875892013-03-08T13:12:00.002-05:002013-03-08T13:43:33.680-05:00when it's time to bring your preemie home from the NICU (Five Minute Friday)<span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> <span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><i><span style="color: #f6b26b;">I</span><a href="http://lisajobaker.com/five-minute-friday/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #f6b26b;"><span style="color: #f6b26b;">t’s</span> Five Minute Friday</span></a>!* </i>Where a group of us join together for five minutes of writing without worrying about if it’s just right or not, hosted by the </span></span></span><a href="http://lisajobaker.com/"><span style="background-color: white; color: #f6b26b; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">lovely Lisa-Jo</span></span></em></span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">.</span></span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span></span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">In light of the upcoming <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2013/03/celebrating-preemie-parents-parents-of.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #6fa8dc;">Parents of Preemies Day</span></a> in addition to the fact that our <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2013/01/again-five-minute-friday.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">dear friends are currently walking the NICU journey</span></a>, these days my thoughts are often on memories of <span style="color: black;">Cami's NICU stay</span>.&nbsp; After reading today's prompt, a special day immediately jumped into my mind.</span></span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span></span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Today's Prompt:&nbsp; <strong><em>HOME</em></strong></span></span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><strong><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span></em></strong></span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><strong><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">GO</span></strong></span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">For <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012_01_01_archive.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">six long months</span></a> we visited you both day and night.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Every time we left the goodbyes seemed harder than the day before because we wanted desperately to take you with us. <o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><strong>We were a family without&nbsp;having ever&nbsp;lived&nbsp;under one roof</strong>.<o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Until.<o:p></o:p></span></em></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">One day in December we got the news we’d dreamed of, praying for&nbsp;so long!<o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">We had our practice run one night in<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;a </span>room right off the NICU and it felt wonderful to be just the three of us without any nurses or doctors interfering (though sometimes we missed their help!). <o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Nervously, we carried the car seat carrier which held you,&nbsp;while trying to maneuver the oxygen tank and apnea monitor but no extra weight could hold us back.&nbsp;&nbsp; Briefly, the thought flashed through my mind of bolting out the door for fear doctors would change their mind, making you stay another night.<o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">The day we’d imagined for months had finally arrived, but not with fanfare like I’d often pictured. </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Quietly, we slipped out saying our goodbyes to everyone we’d come to know and love then walked down to the lobby, your primary care nurse still at your side—still at ours—snapping pictures along the way.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">On that day, there was no “<em>It’s a Girl</em>” balloon, announcing our baby’s arrival. No cart of flowers to wheel out to the car.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>There weren’t any meals stocked in our fridge. No&nbsp;stack of cards spilling out of our bags.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">But none of that mattered.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> <strong><em>Because today we were bringing you home</em></strong>.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times;"></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-EbFgM7wjAiU/UToprhm2-tI/AAAAAAAACzg/ejP-8HhzaFw/s1600/P28201081_022_207.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="321" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-EbFgM7wjAiU/UToprhm2-tI/AAAAAAAACzg/ejP-8HhzaFw/s400/P28201081_022_207.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><span style="font-family: Times;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Christmas 2005 (Cami, 18 mos.)</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><strong>STOP</strong></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Unfortunately,&nbsp; I don't have any digital copies of the hundreds of pictures we have from Cami's NICU stay including the one of us leaving the NICU behind.&nbsp; It is definitely on my to-do list to get them all scanned someday soon, and I'll be sure to share when I do! </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><strong>Your Journey:</strong>&nbsp; <em>What's<strong> your</strong> story about bringing somebody home? Or&nbsp;&nbsp;going home? I'd love to hear!</em></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-EveckgFfvzA/UTonXzYrGdI/AAAAAAAACzY/-_g2WUfBgzw/s1600/rachsig3.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"></a><br /></div><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-EveckgFfvzA/UTonXzYrGdI/AAAAAAAACzY/-_g2WUfBgzw/s1600/rachsig3.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-EveckgFfvzA/UTonXzYrGdI/AAAAAAAACzY/-_g2WUfBgzw/s1600/rachsig3.png" /><br /><br />&nbsp;</a><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> <o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times;">*<span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><em>Want to join the Five Minute Friday fun? Link up with Lisa-Jo and the rest of us over </em></span><a href="http://lisajobaker.com/2013/03/five-minute-friday-ordinary-2/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #e69138; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">here</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">.</span></span>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08581856966246498735noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2635546954960489257.post-51556306646430342242013-03-07T09:40:00.001-05:002013-03-07T09:40:20.896-05:00for when you worry no one will help your (special needs) child<span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">On this journey of raising a child with special needs, I’ve experienced <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012/10/31-days-of-supportday-30-broken-hearts.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #6fa8dc;">hurtful wounds</span></a> along the way. There have been unkind words, thoughtless actions and ignorant remarks. <o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><strong><em>I try hard to forget</em></strong>.<o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">However, I’ve also witnessed the kindness and compassion of others, a healing salve for my heart.</span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><strong></strong></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><strong><em>I try harder to remember</em></strong>.<o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">After we began attending a new church, I worried a lot about the&nbsp;changes&nbsp;Cami would face. I also wondered how people would reach out to her since no one knew of her history or needs, something that’s not always easy to explain in the casual conversation typical of meeting new people.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">But soon,&nbsp;a <a href="http://www.differentdream.com/2013/03/the-kindness-of-a-little-girl/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">little girl's kindness</span></a></span><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">&nbsp;calmed my fears.<o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">You can read about&nbsp;it&nbsp;<a href="http://www.differentdream.com/2013/03/the-kindness-of-a-little-girl/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;"><strong>here</strong> at&nbsp;the <em>Different Dream</em> website</span></a>, where I’m guest posting today.*<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><o:p><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><strong>Your Journey</strong>:&nbsp;&nbsp;<em>What kind or compassionate act has someone done for <strong>your </strong>child? I'd love to hear about it! </em></span></o:p></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><o:p><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">&nbsp;</span></o:p></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-T3FYgNquU3E/UTgIAdewknI/AAAAAAAACx4/VqMkxnyL38Y/s1600/rachsig3.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-T3FYgNquU3E/UTgIAdewknI/AAAAAAAACx4/VqMkxnyL38Y/s1600/rachsig3.png" /></a></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><o:p><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">&nbsp;</span></o:p><br /><o:p><span style="font-family: Times;"></span></o:p><br /><o:p><span style="font-family: Times;"></span></o:p><br /><o:p><span style="font-family: Times;"></span></o:p><br /><o:p><span style="font-family: Times;"></span></o:p><br /><o:p><span style="font-family: Times;">* I enjoy the privilege of guest posting regularly at the <a href="http://www.differentdream.com/about/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">Different Dream website</span></a>, a gathering place for parents of special needs children.</span></o:p></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08581856966246498735noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2635546954960489257.post-34560574362728664092013-03-04T01:50:00.004-05:002013-03-07T14:56:58.122-05:00For preemie parents, (Parents of Preemies Day 2013)<span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif; font-size: x-large;"><strong>A Time to Mourn</strong></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Around 16 weeks along into my first pregnancy I was elated to finally be over the extreme morning sickness I'd experienced for the past several weeks.&nbsp;Feeling better, my mind pondered many questions. <em>Would my baby be a&nbsp;boy..or a girl?</em> <em>Whose looks would&nbsp;he/she favor?</em>&nbsp; These mysteries and more&nbsp;captivated my thoughts.&nbsp; &nbsp;I purchased several cute maternity outfits, anticipating the day my stomach would grow&nbsp;large enough to&nbsp;need them.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><strong>But they were never to be worn</strong>.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Our&nbsp;daughter shocked&nbsp;everyone&nbsp;with her entrance into&nbsp;this world because at <strong>23 weeks, 1 day</strong> gestation&nbsp;she was<a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012/11/a-world-prematurity-day-post-for-all.html" target="_blank"> <span style="color: #3d85c6;">born too soon</span></a>.&nbsp; </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Upon her birth, we were catapulted onto the ride of our lives.&nbsp; Some refer to it as a rollercoaster; others, as a marathon.&nbsp; No matter the&nbsp;analogy used to describe it, all would agree that life in the NICU is a <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012_01_01_archive.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">journey&nbsp;of a lifetime</span></a>.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">We found ourselves&nbsp;in the midst of a journey&nbsp;for which we were unprepared,&nbsp;marked with&nbsp;twisting paths scaling treacherous terrain.&nbsp; </span><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">We&nbsp;knew&nbsp;we&nbsp;needed courage and strength for the days ahead; but as&nbsp;I&nbsp;first gazed&nbsp;upon her helpless, fragile body, I didn't feel very&nbsp;brave.&nbsp; Then the realization sunk in:</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><strong>We were parents</strong>.&nbsp; <em>Her</em> parents.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><em>Parents&nbsp;of a <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2013/02/a-poem-for-my-micro-preemie-baby-five.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">{micro} preemie</span></a></em>.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><strong><span style="font-size: x-large;">A Time to Celebrate</span></strong></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><a href="http://www.grahamsfoundation.org/home.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;"><em>Graham's Foundation</em></span></a> is setting aside a day to celebrate every parent of&nbsp;a preemie with the second annual </span><a href="http://parentsofpreemiesday.org/main.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Parents of Preemies Day</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> this&nbsp;<strong>Sunday, March 10</strong>.&nbsp;This day of awareness&nbsp;<em>recognizes the courage and commitment it takes to stay strong and resilient when premature birth turns a family's world upside down.</em></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-GTu5UQe-4rw/UTQ2XmwIqhI/AAAAAAAACxY/DCI_mp7QYQk/s1600/PPD-logo-squared-fb.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-GTu5UQe-4rw/UTQ2XmwIqhI/AAAAAAAACxY/DCI_mp7QYQk/s320/PPD-logo-squared-fb.jpg" width="320" /></span></a></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span></em><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">If you're a parent (or grandparent) of a preemie, you're invited to participate in a variety of ways from sharing photos and stories on the </span><a href="https://www.facebook.com/parentsofpreemiesday" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Parents of Preemies Day Facebook page</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">, to attending<span style="color: #3d85c6;">&nbsp;</span></span><a href="https://www.facebook.com/parentsofpreemiesday#!/parentsofpreemiesday/events" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">local events</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">&nbsp;hosted in your area. </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">As&nbsp;part of this year's Parent's of Preemies Day, <a href="http://www.grahamsfoundation.org/home.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;"><em>Graham's Foundation</em></span></a> is also hosting a </span><a href="http://ppdtwitter.eventbrite.com/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">live twitter chat</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">, allowing moms and dads, NICUs, and prematurity professionals to join together in celebrating the strength and resilience demonstrated by parents of preemies at all stages of the journey.&nbsp; I'll be participating in the chat as well&nbsp;and would love to hear from you there! {You can find me <a href="mailto:%7B@JourneyOurLife" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">@JourneyOurLife</span></a>}</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Whether you're a parent or grandparent of a preemie or a supporter of those who are, we'd love for you to join us in spreading the word about <a href="http://parentsofpreemiesday.org/main.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">Parents of Preemies Day</span></a>, helping to share&nbsp;the message worldwide.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times;"><strong>Your Journey:</strong>&nbsp; <em>Are <strong>you</strong> a parent of a preemie?&nbsp; Or do you know someone who is?&nbsp; Please feel free to share your story in the comments!</em></span><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times;"></span></em><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times;"></span></em><br /><span style="font-family: Times;"></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-sPccVYBKo7g/UTQ-bjG6uVI/AAAAAAAACxo/eUHmsQ1MhxA/s1600/rachsig3.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-sPccVYBKo7g/UTQ-bjG6uVI/AAAAAAAACxo/eUHmsQ1MhxA/s1600/rachsig3.png" /></a></div><span style="font-family: Times;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br />Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08581856966246498735noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2635546954960489257.post-15723245006670314972013-03-01T11:36:00.002-05:002013-03-01T11:38:27.250-05:00What I've witnessed because of my daughter's special needs {Five Minute Friday}<span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> <span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><i><a href="http://lisajobaker.com/five-minute-friday/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #f6b26b;">It’s Five Minute Friday</span></a>!* </i>Where a group of us join together for five minutes of writing without worrying about if it’s just right or not, hosted by the </span></span><a href="http://lisajobaker.com/"><span style="background-color: white; color: #f6b26b; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">lovely Lisa-Jo</span></em></span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">.</span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Today's prompt:<strong>&nbsp; ORDINARY</strong></span></em></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><strong><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">GO</span></strong></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">&nbsp;</span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Some days,<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I allow my thoughts to wander to what ifs and&nbsp;soon&nbsp;I’m immersed in my own imaginations of what life would be like.<o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><strong>A life unaffected by the world of special needs</strong>.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">But quickly, I’m jolted back to reality with the sober realization that I wouldn’t be the same. My life wouldn’t be the same. Our family wouldn’t be the same.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><strong><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span></strong><br /><strong><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">I wouldn’t have witnessed the beauty found in the sights I’ve learned to see it in today.<o:p></o:p></span></strong><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">I’ve witnessed her triumphant smile after struggling to button her pajamas.<o:p></o:p></span></em><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span></em><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">I’ve witnessed the sincere kindness and concern her brother and sister display.<o:p></o:p></span></em><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span></em><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">I’ve <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012/12/on-achieving-milestones.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">witnessed her accomplishing the tricky task of putting on tights</span></a> by herself.<o:p></o:p></span></em></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><em> </em><em>I’ve <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012/03/brave.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">witnessed the courage she displays</span></a> in climbing the steps onto the school bus each day.</em>&nbsp;</span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span></em><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><em>I've witnessed her delight&nbsp;in spinning, a sense of security evident in her smile</em>.</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MuYA7UU20cA/UTDVhrbOqHI/AAAAAAAACxI/6Ebf4CZi6mU/s1600/PicMonkey+Collagecamitwirlwatermark.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img border="0" height="212" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MuYA7UU20cA/UTDVhrbOqHI/AAAAAAAACxI/6Ebf4CZi6mU/s640/PicMonkey+Collagecamitwirlwatermark.jpg" width="640" /></span></a></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span>&nbsp;<em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">I've witnessed her growth in many areas of struggles, each one <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012/05/our-23-weeker-preemie-superstar.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">defying the odds</span></a>.</span></em></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><em>I've witnessed God at work in her life, God at work in my own</em>.</span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> <em>I’ve witnessed beauty in the day to day moments, moments I might have otherwise overlooked had she not <a href="http://www.differentdream.com/2012/09/visual-impairment-what-cami-sees/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">taught me to see</span></a>.<o:p></o:p></em></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span><strong>Because around our house, the ordinary <em>is</em> extraordinary</strong>.</span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-PBEzpeyEpBc/UTDVOETi3RI/AAAAAAAACxA/FrwLdjjeFqE/s1600/lucasleaveswatermark.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img border="0" height="266" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-PBEzpeyEpBc/UTDVOETi3RI/AAAAAAAACxA/FrwLdjjeFqE/s400/lucasleaveswatermark.jpg" width="400" /></span></a></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">And I see beauty in it all.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><strong><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span></strong><br /><strong><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">STOP</span></strong></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span>&nbsp;</div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><strong>Your Journey</strong>:&nbsp; <em>What ordinary moments are most beautiful to <strong>you</strong>? I'd love to hear so feel free to share!</em> </span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-f01_vEk28SM/UTDU21baAQI/AAAAAAAACw4/2YyKL5hh11Q/s1600/rachsig3.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-f01_vEk28SM/UTDU21baAQI/AAAAAAAACw4/2YyKL5hh11Q/s1600/rachsig3.png" /></span></a></div><o:p><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span></o:p><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">*Want to join the Five Minute Friday fun?&nbsp; Link up with Lisa-Jo and the rest of us over </span><a href="http://lisajobaker.com/2013/03/five-minute-friday-ordinary-2/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #e69138; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">here</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">.&nbsp; </span>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08581856966246498735noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2635546954960489257.post-68644008701609997602013-02-22T09:07:00.001-05:002013-02-22T09:23:33.596-05:00Five Minute Friday: What mama did (the embracing)<span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">On Fridays I link up with<span style="color: #e69138;"> </span></span><a href="http://lisajobaker.com/"><span style="color: #e69138; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Lisa-Jo</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> and a community of over 200 others who write for five minutes flat. <em>“Not for comments or traffic or anyone else’s agenda. But for pure love of the written word. For joy at the sound of syllables, sentences and paragraphs all strung together by the voice of the speaker.” (<a href="http://lisajobaker.com/"><span style="color: #e69138;">Lisa-Jo Baker</span></a>)</em></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br />Today's Five Minute Friday follows a four day series Lisa-Jo had on her blog about<span style="color: #e69138;"> <em><a href="http://lisajobaker.com/2013/02/what-mama-did-the-imagining/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #e69138;">"What Mama Did"</span></a></em></span>.&nbsp; Each writer has shared&nbsp;unique memories of their mothers with us, and it's been amazing to read. </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times;">There are <em>many</em> unique memories I have of my own mom, but five minutes is too short of a time to share about&nbsp;her singing, her creating, her laughing, and so many more.&nbsp; Today's five minute friday focuses on the first thing that popped into my mind: my mom's hugs and her&nbsp;genuine, unending love and&nbsp;care.&nbsp; <strong><em>The embracing.</em></strong></span><br /><strong><em><span style="font-family: Times;"></span></em></strong><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Today's prompt:&nbsp; </span><strong><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">What mama did</span> </em></strong><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><strong><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">GO</span></strong><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">On <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012_01_01_archive.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">that morning eight years ago</span></a> I was never so relieved to see my mother’s face appear in the doorway. She rushed to my side, throwing her arms around me as she whispered, “<em>Oh, Rachel, I’m here.”</em> </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">At that instant my mind flashed back to my fifth grade year.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><strong>Suddenly, I was 10 years old again</strong>.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span><br /><span style="mso-spacerun: yes;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Her hug had embraced me without a moment’s hesitation as salty tears of rejection and disappointment spilled onto her shoulders.&nbsp; Because when you’re in 5<sup><span style="font-size: x-small;">th</span></sup> grade making the first cheerleading squad feels like your whole world.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><strong>And in those moments that she held me, I knew my pain was hers</strong>.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">And now&nbsp;here I was ten years later with unimaginable fears and pain ripping my heart in two.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>I trembled at the impending birth of my firstborn who wasn’t supposed to come this soon.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>But even through my fearful tears I found comfort as her arms quickly embraced me, the subtle sweetness of her perfume a familiar and comfortable scent to my heart.<o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">She witnessed her firstborn granddaughter enter into the world as a <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2013/02/a-poem-for-my-micro-preemie-baby-five.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">tiny, fragile package</span></a> but she hid the fact that she felt afraid too, her focus and concern to encourage and comfort my broken heart.<o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Later that night after receiving a visit from the doctor with news that my daughter might not make it until morning,<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>my mother wrapped her arms around me again--not with her own words but with His.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Soon, I was able to find sleep as the soothing sound of her voice reading a Psalm of hope and comfort faded into the background.<o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">We still don’t live near each other and seven hours is a long way to travel for her hug. <o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><strong><em>But no matter the distance I'll always run&nbsp;to her embrace, where she’s waiting with open arms</em></strong>.<o:p></o:p></span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><strong><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">STOP</span></strong><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/--dvY0y5R3Ec/USd4tnHrjyI/AAAAAAAACwU/Vc2RngvoVmM/s1600/2011-12-28+22.53.13-1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/--dvY0y5R3Ec/USd4tnHrjyI/AAAAAAAACwU/Vc2RngvoVmM/s320/2011-12-28+22.53.13-1.jpg" width="212" /></a></div><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><div style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;"><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif; font-size: large;">Mom, thank you for your unfailing love and support throughout the entire journey of my life. I love you.</span></em></span></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><strong>Your Journey</strong>:&nbsp; <em>What's a unique memory that you have of <strong>your</strong> Mom?&nbsp; I'd love to hear!</em></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ut7w3lZnVHo/USd0klHtp_I/AAAAAAAACwM/4zYeBNO_rKw/s1600/rachsig3.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ut7w3lZnVHo/USd0klHtp_I/AAAAAAAACwM/4zYeBNO_rKw/s1600/rachsig3.png" /></a></div><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><a href="http://s1249.photobucket.com/albums/hh517/rachcordeiro17/?action=view&amp;current=rachsig3-1.png" target="_blank"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span></a><br />Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08581856966246498735noreply@blogger.com4tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2635546954960489257.post-86440399627453069812013-02-15T09:15:00.002-05:002013-02-15T09:16:03.513-05:00a poem for my micro-preemie baby {Five Minute Friday}<span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">On Fridays I link up with<span style="color: #e69138;"> </span></span><a href="http://lisajobaker.com/"><span style="color: #e69138; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Lisa-Jo</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> and a community of over 200 others who write for five minutes flat. <em>“Not for comments or traffic or anyone else’s agenda. But for pure love of the written word. For joy at the sound of syllables, sentences and paragraphs all strung together by the voice of the speaker.”&nbsp; (<a href="http://lisajobaker.com/"><span style="color: #e69138;">Lisa-Jo Baker</span></a>)</em></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">For&nbsp;today’s Five Minute Friday, my words&nbsp;poured out as a poem expressing some of the emotions I felt during Cami’s NICU stay.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Prompt<strong>: <em>BELOVED</em></strong></span><br /><strong><em><span style="font-family: Times;"></span></em></strong><br /><strong><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">GO</span></strong><br /><strong><span style="font-family: Times;"></span></strong><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">I gaze beyond the glassy wall</span></em><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">That separates us still</span></em><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Longing only to bring you home</span></em><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">I tell you, “Someday I will”</span></em><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Deep inside I know</span></em><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">You must grow and learn to breathe</span></em><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">But with every goodbye I whisper</span></em><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012/03/aching-arms-aching-heart.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">It aches</span></a> even more to leave</span></em><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">From the very first moment we loved you, </span></em><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Even before we ever met</span></em><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">But when we laid our eyes upon you </span></em><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Our words cannot express</span></em><br /><em><span style="color: #0b5394; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012_01_01_archive.html" target="_blank">You came earlier than we expected</a></span></em><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">As a tiny, fragile gift</span></em><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">There was happiness and sorrow</span></em><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Every emotion we felt—mixed</span></em><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">The road ahead seems long</span></em><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Known only to God above</span></em><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">But He gave you to us and He’ll protect</span></em><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Precious baby, our beloved.</span></em><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times;"></span></em><br /><strong><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">STOP</span></strong><br /><br /><a href="http://lh5.ggpht.com/-pP6TAtHySCo/UR5BDNaaUGI/AAAAAAAACuw/RtDHcBTbD7k/s1600-h/rachsig3%25255B3%25255D.png"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img alt="rachsig3" border="0" height="43" src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/-rUY16tIGRLM/UR5BD3Q86xI/AAAAAAAACu4/JpxC0BPblVQ/rachsig3_thumb%25255B1%25255D.png?imgmax=800" style="background-image: none; border: 0px currentColor; display: inline; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" title="rachsig3" width="166" /></span></a><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">&nbsp;</span><br /><div class="wlWriterEditableSmartContent" id="scid:0767317B-992E-4b12-91E0-4F059A8CECA8:eb294003-e16a-47c3-a438-9224bd01aff5" style="display: inline; float: none; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Technorati Tags: </span><a href="http://technorati.com/tags/Five-Minute+friday" rel="tag"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Five-Minute friday</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">,</span><a href="http://technorati.com/tags/parenting" rel="tag"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">parenting</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">,</span><a href="http://technorati.com/tags/NICU" rel="tag"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">NICU</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">,</span><a href="http://technorati.com/tags/special+needs" rel="tag"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">special needs</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">,</span><a href="http://technorati.com/tags/Special+Needs+Parenting" rel="tag"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Special Needs Parenting</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">,</span><a href="http://technorati.com/tags/premature+birth" rel="tag"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">premature birth</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">,</span><a href="http://technorati.com/tags/prematurity" rel="tag"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">prematurity</span></a></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08581856966246498735noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2635546954960489257.post-67662085079098272392013-02-12T02:00:00.000-05:002013-02-12T10:28:47.005-05:00Welcome to (in)cluded, a Dayspring (in)courage community<span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Back in October, </span><a href="http://www.incourage.me/"><span style="color: #2288bb; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">(in)courage</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> introduced the first session of several smaller online communities. These communities were filled with women traveling along separate journeys, </span><a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012/10/31-days-of-supportday-17-supporting_17.html"><span style="color: #2288bb; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">reaching out to others</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> walking a similar path.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">They wanted us to </span><a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012_05_01_archive.html"><span style="color: #3d85c6; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">connect with friends</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> who get where we're at, friends who would encourage us along the way.&nbsp; </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">I’m excited to share with you that today marks the beginning of session two, and you’re invited to be a part.&nbsp; You can find the entire list of communities </span><a href="http://www.incourage.me/incourage-community-groups"><span style="color: #3d85c6; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">here</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">, <i>including several new groups offered during this session. </i></span><br /><i><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span></i><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">I’m also thrilled to share that during this second session I have the privilege of co-leading a new community for special needs moms.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ZMj3PR5UoTc/UQqLluIJlEI/AAAAAAAACow/WDO8Xd6ll94/s1600/special-needs-stories.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ZMj3PR5UoTc/UQqLluIJlEI/AAAAAAAACow/WDO8Xd6ll94/s1600/special-needs-stories.jpg" /></span></a></div><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">As special needs moms ourselves, <span style="color: black;">Mega</span>n and I want to welcome you to a place where you’ll fit right in, where you’ll feel comfortable sharing your heart.&nbsp; This will be a place where you’ll always be welcome, where you’ll feel that you belong.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-size: x-large;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><b><i>It will be a</i></b> <b><i>place where you’re</i> (in)cluded.</b></span></span><br /><b><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span></b><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">We don't want this to be another item to add to that never-ending list of responsibilities you shoulder&nbsp;and it's not a contract-binding membership, intruding on your precious time.<b> No piles of paperwork to wade through; no drowning in information overload</b>.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">We want to offer&nbsp;a safe&nbsp;place for you to share whatever it is that's on your heart, helping you connect with other women&nbsp;who are familiar with all the twists and turns&nbsp;on this winding road.<br /><br /><b>Because no two journeys are identical but we're all trudging along similar terrain.</b></span><br /><b><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span></b><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">You can find Megan and I </span><a href="http://www.incourage.me/incouragers-special-needs-stories"><span style="color: #3d85c6; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">here</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">, and we’re inviting you to<span style="font-size: large;"> </span></span><a href="https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/492269474149448/"><span style="color: #3d85c6; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">join our Facebook group</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> for the chance to meet and chat with other special needs moms who get where you’re at.&nbsp; </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">We’ll also be sharing regular posts over at the </span><a href="http://inablecommunity.wordpress.com/welcom/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">(<i>in)able &amp; (in)cluded communities shared blog</i></span></span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">. It’s a unique opportunity for both sister-groups to be encouraged together.&nbsp; </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Who knows? There may even be a link-up or two here at <b><span style="color: #3d85c6;"><i>This Journey Our Life</i></span></b> since sharing our journeys with each other&nbsp;can help&nbsp;us learn to navigate our own.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><b><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Because here we’re not only sisters in this world of special needs motherhood, here we’re all sisters in Christ.</span></b><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><a href="https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/492269474149448/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #3d85c6; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Hop on over to Facebook</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> and introduce yourself--</span><br /><b><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span></b><br /><b><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span></b><br /><b><i><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif; font-size: x-large;">We can’t wait to meet you!</span></i></b><br /><b><i><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span></i></b><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img alt="megan" border="0" height="190" src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/-T0Aj9NOPc3Q/UP9xL4bp8PI/AAAAAAAACjw/DrjlJ9EU9a4/megan_thumb%25255B2%25255D.jpg?imgmax=800" style="background-image: none; border-width: 0px; display: inline; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" title="megan" width="186" /></span><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><a href="http://lh4.ggpht.com/-pYAqjmA7atE/UP9xMxqVYHI/AAAAAAAACj4/ojvdFkgj7JA/s1600-h/rach%25255B7%25255D.jpg"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img alt="rach" border="0" height="186" src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/-imMugjSC0SM/UP9xNSnM39I/AAAAAAAACkA/zMlTrYsaLgI/rach_thumb%25255B5%25255D.jpg?imgmax=800" style="background-image: none; border-width: 0px; display: inline; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" title="rach" width="127" /></span></a><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<i>Megan</i>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<i>Rachel</i></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><a href="http://lh5.ggpht.com/-RiAD-JkOx4k/UP9xN2uK_jI/AAAAAAAACkI/O58uzMvF1fo/s1600-h/rachsig33.png"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img alt="rachsig3" border="0" height="43" src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/-RbPRXx3HmKo/UP9xOjeHXpI/AAAAAAAACkQ/7pYV_CvFozQ/rachsig3_thumb1.png?imgmax=800" style="background-image: none; border-width: 0px; display: inline; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" title="rachsig3" width="166" /></span></a><br /><div class="wlWriterEditableSmartContent" id="scid:0767317B-992E-4b12-91E0-4F059A8CECA8:041caeee-d9ff-4de0-b72c-4fd50f1682bf" style="display: inline; float: none; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Technorati Tags: </span><a href="http://technorati.com/tags/(in)couragement+for+(in)cluded" rel="tag"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">(in)couragement for (in)cluded</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">,</span><a href="http://technorati.com/tags/(in)courage" rel="tag"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">(in)courage</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">,</span><a href="http://technorati.com/tags/community" rel="tag"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">community</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">,</span><a href="http://technorati.com/tags/friendship" rel="tag"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">friendship</span></a></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08581856966246498735noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2635546954960489257.post-71457705605396115342013-02-11T11:31:00.004-05:002013-02-11T12:31:34.973-05:00Liebster Award, Special-Needs Edition<a href="http://boynamedsilas.blogspot.com/"><span style="color: #3d85c6; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Alana at A Boy Name Silas</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> nominated me for a Liebster Award, Special-Needs Edition! </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Today in participation with the official Liebster Award rules, I’ll be sharing eleven random facts about Cami, and sharing my answers to Alana’s questions.&nbsp; I hope you’ll stick around to read through all of it so that you can get to know Cami better!</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="font-size: large;"><strong>11 Random Facts about Cami</strong>:</span></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times;"></span><br /><a href="http://lh5.ggpht.com/-jlkNpNfr9yk/URkbUoxJxkI/AAAAAAAACtI/_WfHg5kGL-s/s1600-h/camiwatermark%25255B5%25255D.jpg"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img alt="camiwatermark" border="0" height="586" src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/-AgEqPPl03dI/URkbVWk_3pI/AAAAAAAACtQ/LBDDpW5kf14/camiwatermark_thumb%25255B2%25255D.jpg?imgmax=800" style="background-image: none; border: 0px currentColor; display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" title="camiwatermark" width="380" /></span></a><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">1. She goes through stages of obsessions with several different objects which include: flashlights, batteries, and her light-up, musical dolls/stuffed animals.&nbsp; The obsessions seem to rotate but are usually triggered by something. (<em>e.g.—if one of her light-up, musical dolls stops working her conversations will focus only on batteries and won’t stop until we take her to the “battery store” (Radio Shack).</em></span><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times;"></span></em><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">2.She knows which dolls or toys take AA or AAA batteries. (see number 1)</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">3. As far as we can tell, she has perfect pitch.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">4. Although she appears to be predominately left-handed in some instances she is ambidextrous.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">5. She has great sense of humor and is funny!</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">6.&nbsp; When someone is singing a special in church, she will ask who it is <strong><em>if</em> she likes it</strong>.&nbsp; (Whether she does this because she enjoys their voice or the particular song being sung&nbsp;remains a mystery). </span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">7. Cami displays her best social skills when playing or interacting with her little brother (Lucas) and little sister (Sophia)! She loves her siblings!</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">8. Cami loves going to other peoples houses. If she’s revisiting someone she remembers exactly what she played with or did the last time, wanting to do it again even if it was months or years ago! <em>(See # 5 below in questions below).</em></span><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times;"></span></em><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">9. Cami is very talented at imitating any type of accent (and even the sound of different peoples voices), which can be very entertaining! =)</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">10. As a 45 lb., 8 1/2 year old, Cami is already 40 times her </span><a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012_01_01_archive.html"><span style="color: #3d85c6; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">birth weight</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">!</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"></span><br /><strong><span style="font-family: Times;"><span style="font-size: large;">My answers</span> to</span>&nbsp;</strong><a href="http://boynamedsilas.blogspot.com/"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><strong>Alana at A Boy Named Silas</strong></span></a><strong>'s questions</strong>:<br /><span style="font-family: Times;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">1. <strong>Think of the day your child received his or her diagnosis. What is the first word that comes to mind? </strong><em>Tears</em>.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">2. <strong>Who is your favorite doctor, specialist, or therapist for your child and why?</strong> <em><strong>Currently</strong>: Cami’s speech therapist is my favorite because she seems to be Cami’s favorite.&nbsp; This is actually the first teacher she has mentioned herself, without prompting from us.<strong> Past</strong>: 1) her <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012/09/a-light-in-darkness.html">first neonatologist</a> was my favorite out of all six that she had during her NICU stay because he was a believer and would tell us what specific things we should pray for concerning her care. 2) a TVI who always made herself available no matter time of day (or night!), putting up with my numerous phone calls filled with questions!</em></span><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times;"></span></em><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">3. <strong>What symptom of your child's disability breaks your heart the most?</strong><em><strong> </strong>Her inability to see the magnificent hues of a rainbow because of the impossibility of describing it to her</em>.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">4. <strong>What symptom of your child's disability is actually somewhat endearing?</strong> <em>The way she spins effortlessly, happiness radiating from her face.</em></span><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times;"></span></em><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">5. <strong>What is something your child is REALLY good at?</strong>&nbsp;<em>Remembering the smallest seemingly insignificant details—anything from dolls, toys, sounds, food, etc.—from months (or in some cases years!) past, usually from an experience that impacted her in some way (both enjoyable and </em><strong>not </strong><em>enjoyable).</em></span><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times;"></span></em><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">6. <strong>In three words, describe how you have changed after becoming a special-needs parent.</strong>&nbsp;<em>Determined. Compassionate. Observant.</em></span><br /><em></em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">7. <strong>How has having a special-needs child impacted your spiritual life</strong>? <em>It has strengthened my faith and personal walk with the Lord, teaching me the necessity of depending on His strength not my own.</em>&nbsp; </span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">8.<strong> Would you take away your child's disability if you could?</strong> <strong>Why or why not?</strong>&nbsp; <em> Some days I wish I could take away at least one. Secretly, I’ve wondered what it would be like if she was blind without an intellectual disability or had only an intellectual disability without blindness? In the end I have to rest in the fact that God created her to be exactly who she is and that brings me peace.</em></span><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times;"></span></em><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">9. <strong>What is the most disrespectful thing anyone has ever said to you or your child</strong>? In the midst of one of Cami’s meltdowns (which to date, is one off the most major in her history of meltdowns)someone interrupted our efforts to calm her, implying that all she needed was to be disciplined! It was disrespectful to say to us in front of Cami in addition to the fact that it thwarted our efforts-in-progress.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">10. "<strong>One thing I wish more people realized about my child is</strong> ... <em>She is a person who is worth taking the time to get to know.&nbsp; While I appreciate the efforts some people make to be nice by simply saying a casual hello in passing (most times of which she’s unaware or they’ve passed on before she can respond), I wish that they’d take the time to slow down to speak with her, getting to know who she is.”</em></span><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"> </span></em><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">11. <strong>If you were to articulate all the wishes you have for your child, what would they be?</strong>&nbsp;<em> My utmost desire for her is that <a href="http://www.thisjourneyourlife.com/2012/05/five-minute-friday-poem-perspective.html"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">she would be able to know and understand Who Jesus is</span></a> and how much He loves her! I also wish for her to experience friendships and to master the necessary skills to be a completely independent individual.</em> </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times;"></span><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Now it’s my turn to pass out the award to other special needs bloggers! </span></em><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times;"></span></em><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Here’s my nominations:<span style="color: #3d85c6;"> </span></span><a href="http://arearrangedlife.com/"><span style="color: #3d85c6; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">A Rearranged Life</span></a><span style="color: #3d85c6; font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">, </span><a href="http://www.merklfamily.blogspot.com/"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><span style="color: #3d85c6;">Our journey on the spectrum</span>,</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">&nbsp;</span><a href="http://scbusf.blogspot.com/"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Our Adoption Journey</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">, </span><a href="http://www.funkyfaithgirl.com/"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Funky Faith Girl</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">, </span><a href="http://hellobutter.wordpress.com/"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Hello Butter</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">, </span><a href="http://puzzlepiecesandelephants.blogspot.com/"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Puzzle Pieces and Elephants</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">, </span><a href="http://www.prayingforparker.com/"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Praying for Parker</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">, </span><a href="http://www.lifeasaleach.blogspot.com/"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Life As A Leach</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">, </span><a href="http://prematuritywithlove.blogspot.com/"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Because Miracles Happen</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">, </span><a href="http://peculiartreasure73.blogspot.com.au/"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Peculiar Treasure</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">, and </span><a href="http://www.abilitybeyondmeasure.blogspot.com/"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Ability Beyond Measure</span></a></em><br /><em></em><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Though I haven’t met any of you personally I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and would love to learn more about you and your child.</span></em><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times;"></span></em><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><em>First, just share eleven random facts about you our child, and then answer the questions posted below.&nbsp; </em><em>I’d love for you to place a link to the post containing your responses—just link it in the comment section so I can hear what you had to say!</em></span><br /><em><span style="font-family: Times;"></span></em><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><strong>Questions for&nbsp;<em>nominees</em> to answer</strong><em>:</em></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">1.&nbsp; When did you embark on your special-needs parenting journey? (share your child’s diagnosis story)</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">2.&nbsp; How do you balance spending time with your other (non-special needs) children? (if applicable)</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">3. Share an act of kindness someone has done for you or your child.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">4.&nbsp; What is one thing you want people to realize about your life as a special needs parent?<br />5.&nbsp; In what ways has&nbsp; raising a child with special needs affected your relationships/friendships? </span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">6. What brings your child the most joy?</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">7. If you could describe your child in three words what would they be?</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">8. What aspect of your child’s special needs has been the hardest to accept?</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">9. If you and your child could take a dream vacation where would you go?</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">10. What’s the most important lesson your child has taught you?</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">11. What advice would you share with a parent just beginning their journey of parenting a child with special needs?</span><br /><span style="font-family: Times;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Thanks for participating!&nbsp; </span><br /><br /><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><strong>Your Journey:</strong><em> If <strong>you’re</strong> a special needs mom, check back here tomorrow for an amazing opportunity to be part of a community with others who get where you’re at!</em></span><br /><br /><a href="http://lh5.ggpht.com/-iAgJ60gl1ag/URkbVlNpYiI/AAAAAAAACtY/RnJkkbJ3OiA/s1600-h/rachsig3%25255B3%25255D.png"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;"><img alt="rachsig3" border="0" height="43" src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/-T9m7WehETec/URkbWfFkIYI/AAAAAAAACtg/ZfzSZpWZf1U/rachsig3_thumb%25255B1%25255D.png?imgmax=800" style="background-image: none; border: 0px currentColor; display: inline; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" title="rachsig3" width="166" /></span></a><br /><div class="wlWriterEditableSmartContent" id="scid:0767317B-992E-4b12-91E0-4F059A8CECA8:6ea1f85e-7667-43af-a029-86e142b06214" style="display: inline; float: none; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Technorati Tags: </span><a href="http://technorati.com/tags/Camelia" rel="tag"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Camelia</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">,</span><a href="http://technorati.com/tags/Special+Needs" rel="tag"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Special Needs</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">,</span><a href="http://technorati.com/tags/Special+Needs+Parenting" rel="tag"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Special Needs Parenting</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">,</span><a href="http://technorati.com/tags/Parenting" rel="tag"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">Parenting</span></a><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">,</span><a href="http://technorati.com/tags/just+for+fun" rel="tag"><span style="font-family: Times, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif;">just for fun</span></a></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08581856966246498735noreply@blogger.com1