the day everything changed.

david, inspiration By January 7, 2016 55 Comments
At some point in each person’s life, pain shows up. That’s the day everything changes. What was true one moment is gone the next. The path turns sharply in an unexpected direction. It’s disorienting, unfamiliar terrain.
When it happened to me, I knew in the depth of my soul, things were broken and would never be the same again. The pain, in all its heavy darkness would be with me for the rest of my life. Instead of the happy, healthy baby I imagined, our son was born with a severe disability and a body that didn’t work correctly. The joy of anticipating our son turned to grief as they hooked him up to monitors and tubes.
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But slowly, as I started to accept it, the pain became part of me. It was still there but it wasn’t quite as heavy.  I loved cuddling with David and feeling his soft breath as he cuddled into my shoulder. And that first smile when he was three months old was like wind behind me–moving me forward. Each footstep didn’t feel so exhausting.

from pain to joy-01Then, to my surprise, a little bit of joy peeked through the clouds, like ray of sunshine. I wasn’t expecting it and I almost felt guilty. It must be a fluke, right? A little accidental joy. But little by little joy showed herself. The pain was still there, it’s there today, it’s part of me and part of my journey. But the pain has allowed me to feel joy in a new, fresh way that I couldn’t before. The pain helps me appreciate the joy. The pain makes the joy much, much sweeter. The day that pain showed up, it changed everything.
And in it’s crazy, mixed up way, the brokenness of pain is making me more whole.

from pain to joy-02
Every morning I slip the sunburst ring on my finger as a reminder.
Has joy started to peek it’s head through the clouds in your journey? I’d love to hear.
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hello olympian

david, hello monday By May 4, 2015 16 Comments

Last week David participated in the Special Olympics here in San Luis Obispo. He rocked the 25m assisted walk and was pretty exhausted by the time the Softball Throw came around. We had such a fun day and I have lots of pics to share with you! How about some hellos for a brand new week?

***Hello Monday is where I greet the new week with an open heart and a fresh perspective. It’s a new beginning–and there’s so much to be thankful for! Join me by leaving your own hellos in the comments section or linking up a hello monday post there!***

Hello torch bearer! David was a torch bearer in the opening ceremonies. And he was adorable!

Hello exploring before his events. So much to see!

 Hello going from Impossible to I’m possible. Awesome.

Hello to one of the sweetest teachers on the planet!

Hello getting a fire helmet and chatting with the firemen.

And hello sitting on the fire truck!

Hello pep talk from Dad before the event.

Hello ready, set, GO!

Hello silver medal winner!

Hello working in the Dominican Republic this week.

Hello lots to do and plan and design.

Hello hard-working Dominican team. They rock!

Hello jet lag and catching up on email.

Hello sipping some of the best coffee in the world.

Hello missing my boys.

Hello sunshine, ocean waves and mango.

Hello to YOU! What are you saying hello to this week? It’s a brand new week with beauty to be found.  Leave some hellos in the comments or link your own hello monday post there.

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investing in love

david, finding love By January 31, 2015 No Comments

The fall mornings are always chilly even though after a couple hours the sun comes out to warm everything. Before we leave the house, I pull a warm vest around David and strap him snuggly into his car seat. As we arrive at school, I slide open the van door, give him a kiss on the cheek and lift him from the car.

David has special needs. He was born with a rare genetic disorder called Cornelia de Lange. Because of his syndrome, he doesn’t use words to communicate, he has only two fingers on his left hand and he depends on us to feed and diaper him. David is very relational and loves to cuddle and hug—but he is cautious with new people. At times he voids eye contact and prefers to play alone.

At the beginning of the school year, he took hesitant steps toward the classroom, pulling on my hand and trying to slow my pace. It was a new school with new faces to get to know. Every morning, his teacher would bend down and with a big smile on her face, and welcome David to school. For weeks it went like this, hesitant steps culminating in a warm welcome and a fairly disinterested David.

But she persisted. She showed love and kindness to David. She invested in him…

I’m sharing at {in}courage today. Hop over to read the rest of the post. 

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Hello David! {hello twelve!}

david, family, hello monday By July 7, 2014 15 Comments

David turned TWELVE! Every year I can’t believe how old he is, partly because time flies and partly because he is so tiny–he seems to defy age. But this year he seems older to me. He has more opinions. He has new ideas. He has taken to laying on the couch and crashing midday. He is acting like a pre-teen. It’s crazy and exciting and awesome. And sometimes it’s hard too. I’m getting to know him in a new way.

This year we had a very mellow day. We went and saw ‘How To Train Your Dragon 2’ and had presents and cupcakes in the backyard. Celebrating David’s birthday holds meaning for me. His life is precious. He is loved and cherished. He has changed our lives in beautiful ways.

How about some hellos for a new week?

***Hello Monday is where I greet the new week with an open heart and a fresh perspective. It’s a new beginning–and there’s so much to be thankful for! Join me by leaving your own hellos in the comments section or linking up a hello monday post there!***

Hello cupcakes! Hello cute topper!

Hello bubbles! What a fun addition to our party.

Hello happy. That smile slays me!

Hello brother helping open presents.

Hello new toys to play with!

Hello silliness and laughing. David loves being the center of attention.

Hello serious bubble making.

Hello reflecting on what we love about David. His determination, his silliness and his cuddles.

Hello frosting. Yum! More please!

Hello messy!

Hello father/son selfie!

Hello celebrating one very amazing kid!

Hello sneaking away for a couple nights with Steve. I can’t wait!

Hello seeing family next week. Hooray! The Omaha cousins are coming!

Hello haircut. My favorite.

Hello BBQ and fresh fruit.

Hello crazy summer days that fly by.

What are you saying hello to today? Leave some hellos in the comments or link up your own hello monday post there!

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the best kind of worn out

david, finding beauty By June 10, 2014 10 Comments

This post is from four years ago. I just ordered new shoes for both boys and they arrived yesterday–and I remembered this post. As soon as I looked it up, I got tears in my eyes and knew I wanted to share it with again. It gives me all kinds of hope.

worn-out-hand-stamped-jewelry*

these are the shoes david wears every day.

and guess what? they’re worn out.

there’s a hole right through the bottom of the shoe.

and you know how he did it?

exploring, walking, running, and generally getting into trouble.

wornout-hand-stamped-jewelry*

and we couldn’t be happier.

i remember when david was born

and the doctor told us he would never walk, or talk

that he may not see or hear.

and we cried.

and we wondered and waited.

and one day, when he was five years old-he did it!

for months, he’d been pulling up, cruising, but finally, HE WALKED!!

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and now he’s wearing out his shoes.  love that.

here are some new kicks. get busy wearing them out, kid!

worn-out4-hand-stamped-jewelry*

and david we love you.

you are pure joy and silliness.

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the most important thing.

an everyday moment, david By April 25, 2014 12 Comments

After I changed my third poopy diaper that day, I turned to my husband and said, “I’ll always change diapers. I will never NOT change diapers.” Our oldest son David has a disability and will likely be diapered his entire life. At the end of a long day, I felt defeated. I felt done. I felt empty.

Then my husband asked me, “What if changing diapers is the most important thing you do all day?”

“What do you mean?” I asked. How could changing a diaper be important? I create jewelry, I write a blog, I speak at conferences. How could something so menial and mundane, like changing a diaper, make even the smallest difference?

I’m blogging over at {in}courage. Hop over to read the rest! 

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david and goliath

david, finding beauty By April 4, 2014 106 Comments

If you sat through Sunday school every week, like I did, then you know the story of David and Goliath. When David was a young boy, he went out to fight the mighty giant Goliath. He didn’t wear armor and he carried no sword. Armed with five smooth stones and a slingshot, he rushed toward the giant, striking him with a stone between the eyes. The giant fell facedown to the ground. With God on his side, the mighty giant was no match for David.

Before David was born, we had already picked out his name. As I held my tiny son in my arms those first days, I marveled at how appropriate the name was.  Born with a syndrome causing a serious heart defect, two fingers on his left hand and global delay, our little boy entered the world with his own giant to face.

At eleven years old, my David faces his Goliath every day.

He has no words, but patiently takes my hand and leads me to what he wants.

He suffers from reflux throughout the day but is quick with a smile between episodes.

He’s eager to make a new friend. If you bend down next to him, he’ll likely throw his arms around your neck or climb up onto your lap.

He faces countless doctor visits, invasive procedures and surgeries, but instead of being bitter, he’s joyful.

He wakes up ready to greet the day and walks to school with a spring in his step.

My David battles his giant every day. He rushes toward the day with bravery. With God on his side, this syndrome is no match for David.

Are you facing your own Goliath? I would love to hear about it.

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a friend in need…

david, inspiration By February 20, 2014 3 Comments

Since David’s birth we have had many hospital stays, surgeries and difficult times. And during those times, we’ve had friends who have walked beside us and loved us well. I’m not sure I would have known how to love someone well, before experiencing such intense pain, sadness and stress firsthand.  It’s hard to be in need. I’d much rather be the one to encourage and bless, rather than receive. Wouldn’t you? But being needy means someone else gets to serve—and that’s a beautiful thing!

We just completed a short hospital stay and I was reminded of how small acts of kindness can carry such great meaning. I’d love to share some of the simple ways that others have encouraged us during difficult times.

I’m blogging over at {in}courage today. Hop over and read the five ways you can encourage a friend in need!

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I’m so glad you’re you.

david, finding love By February 4, 2014 8 Comments

for david…

I’m so glad you’re not like I expected you to be.

I’m so glad you have your own passions and hobbies.

I’m so glad you came along and turned everything upside down.

I’m so glad you aren’t perfect. I’m not either.

I’m so glad you changed my idea of what’s beautiful.

I’m so glad you showed me how to be a mom.

I’m so glad you love to be silly.

I’m so glad you’re you.

Because you are truly amazing.

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hope for the broken

an everyday moment, david, finding beauty By January 10, 2014 45 Comments

Yesterday I took David to the Gastroenterologist {GI for reflux, etc} for a regular check up. As we started to discuss the daily pain David endures with reflux, I could see concern on the doctor’s face.

On an average day, David has between 30 minutes-one hour of pain. And it’s acute pain. On the pediatric pain scale, it’s a ten–he arches, screams and he’s inconsolable. It’s heartbreaking and he’s a troooper. Soon after a painful episode he’s happy and smiling and playful again.

Our GI doctor was concerned with the pain level and frequency. He wants to run some tests {endoscopy and Ph probe} in the next couple weeks to evaluate David’s current state of health and the severity of the reflux. For the endoscopy, David will be under general anesthesia–which terrifies me! But then the doctor and I started to discuss what the tests my reveal and how we would deal with potential issues. More surgeries, a g-tube and other possibilities were discussed. And that’s where I start to freak out. I let my mind wander to the ‘what if’s’. I’m aware how NOT in control I am. I don’t know the future. I have unanswered questions. I want David to be happy and pain-free. I want David to be healthy. And a lot of the time he is healthy–but in situations like this, I’m reminded that David’s body is quirky and things don’t work quite right. Some of them are small things, some are big things.

And I feel my heart breaking. It’s hard to see your baby hurt. It’s scary to face the unknown.

So today, I’m reminding myself about the things I know are true.

1. There is hope.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18  So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

2. God cares.

Psalm 147:3 God heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.

3. Today, this moment is beautiful.

Matthew 6:34 Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

Are you struggling with a broken heart? Share it with me! I am so grateful for the ways you come alongside me and love my little family. I want to journey with you too!

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