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What I See

May 4, 2021

When she competes,
the crowd sees the girl on the right.
But, I always see the little girl on the left.
I can’t help it. I always do.
That image of her is burned into my head and my heart, and it always resurfaces when she faces a challenge or a competition of any kind.

I’ve heard countless voices ask how she is able to do what she does, in various sports, despite her limb difference. They wonder where her strength, her resilience, and her tenacity come from. I feel privileged to know where they come from. They come from God, first and foremost. But, they also come from the life experiences of that little girl on the left. Those experiences from her early, formative years are forever threaded into the fabric of her life.

Grace was born a fighter. A survivor. She has faced things that most of her peers never have, or ever will. She spent her first two years of life without a family, in a land where limb differences are not celebrated (to put it lightly). She had to learn how to roll with the punches, from a very early age. While many of her peers spent their toddlerhood enjoying episodes of Dora the Explorer, snacking on Goldfish crackers, surrounded by excessive amounts of toys and stuffed animals, she was on the other side of the world, walking a very different path.

For these reasons, and more, I find myself fiercely protective of her. I see the way she carries herself as an athlete, and so much of it is shaped by her early life experiences. Though she has no recollection of her first two years of life, they most certainly helped shape her into who she is today. And who is she?

She is a pillar of strength.
She is an overcomer.
She is an inspiration.

And she is my daughter.Β πŸ–€Β 

Baseball Boy

April 24, 2021

And so it begins! ⚾

River’s 1st baseball season kicked off last night

Hoping that this is the start of a great adventure for him! πŸ’™

Sonic!

April 15, 2021

Haven’s Sonic Party @ Sonic Drive-In. πŸ’™πŸ˜πŸ’™

Thankful for everyone who stayed, stopped by, or drove through last Thursday to wish our buddy a happy birthday, despite the awful wind! We lost several balloons, and had a hard time staying warm.

But, Haven still had such a great time. And that’s what mattered most! Thanks again to you all!

Freshman Femme

April 13, 2021

She did it. ❀️

Our girl who has been singing and performing since the moment she could speak set a lofty goal for herself, and achieved it. She knew that only a handful of incoming freshmen would be selected to join the PHS “Femmes Fatales” show choir next year, and she wanted to be one of them. So, she prepared, she prayed, she confidently auditioned, and she found out last Friday that she had earned herself a spot. I’m new to the world of Plainfield Show Choir, but I’m told that this is quite an accomplishment. It’s hard to watch your children grow up. But, at the same time, it’s such a joy to watch them discover their God-given gifts and passions, and pursue them with their whole heart. It’s one of the greatest joys of parenthood.

Congratulations, Sidney! Your dad and I look forward to watching you shine onstage throughout your freshman year and beyond!

Easter Sunday ~ 2021

April 12, 2021
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The tomb is empty.

Our hearts are full.

Her Debut

April 11, 2021

This girl blew us away yesterday.

Took the mound for the first time ever, kicking off her first fastpitch season at the Cascade Jamboree. She worked hard all winter for this moment. But, Bryan and I had no idea how it would go, once the pressure was on.

Though extremely nervous, she went out there that first inning and struck out every batter she faced. She was overjoyed. Best part of all was that her dad was there to see it. He was supposed to be coaching/watching Grace and Sidney play today, but their tournaments were rained out. So, he got to be there (unexpectedly) to support her at her pitching debut.

Such a blessing for her…and a proud dad moment for him. πŸ’™

Worth Celebrating

April 10, 2021
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πŸ’™#AutismAwarenessMonth

When he loves something, he really loves it. He’s always been that way. His life has been marked by a series of obsessions. Obsessions that tend to dominate his thoughts, actions, and conversations.

I have six children. Yes, they have all obsessed over things throughout their childhoods. But, he does it on a whole different level. It’s not the same. While this can become unhealthy, at times, it is also one of his most endearing qualities. His passionate interests, his depth of knowledge about certain subjects, and his uninhibited enthusiasm regarding specific topics are just a few of the things that make him such a joy to parent. We’ve never actively fought against those things. If anything, we’ve fed into them…because it’s always felt like the right thing to do.

One of the things he’s been most fixated upon this past year has been DC Comics (Superheroes and Villians). As soon as I saw that The Children’s Museum was opening a new DC Justice League exhibit this spring, I knew we had to get him out to see that. We went last week, and he had a great time. Just as I have so many times before, I chose to feed into his fixation rather than fight against it. I got to witness his enthusiasm and excitement, and listen to him share his endless knowledge about countless DC comic book characters. It was a great way to spend a cold April day, and a fitting way to kick off Autism Awareness Month. In this family, we don’t just observe this month each year, we celebrate it…because it IS something worth celebrating.

“My Savior”

April 10, 2021

Loving Carrie Underwood’s new CD. (“My Savior”)

As much as I enjoy contemporary Christian music, I truly miss hearing the great hymns from my childhood at church each week. Putting this CD on while I drive, and belting out the words with Carrie, is something I look forward to every day…

The Fourth

April 10, 2021

Last week, our softball/basketball/volleyball player jumped into her fourth sport.

Track & Field.

She made the PCMS “varsity” squad, and will be representing them in the 100M, 200M, 4x100M relay, and long jump. Excited to see what she will accomplish in this new endeavor! ❀️πŸ’ͺ#redpride

Impossible.

April 10, 2021

Happy Birthday to our sweet ray of sunshine! β˜€οΈπŸ’›

His 1st day on earth was almost his last. From the moment he took his first breath, pain has been his constant companion. But, joy has been his constant companion, too. It’s impossible to steal his joy. It’s impossible to have a bad day with him around. And it’s impossible to express how much we love him!