Friday, January 25, 2013

Right Now.

Has it really been 8-months since I last wrote? Yikes. I realize I've neglected this little space I created during a time when I yearned for my thoughts to live somewhere other than inside my head. Please believe me when I say I still yearn to perch in front of my computer and spill my innermost thoughts and feelings with you all. Life has just gotten in the way more than I ever should have allowed it. And with that said, I now present you an update on the last 8-months of our lives.

For the sake of being 100% real, honest, and open, 2012 was a year filled with amazing highs and crazy lows. There were many beautiful moments, but many difficult ones too. 

Lukas turned one, which was terribly bittersweet for this overly sentimental mama. On that very special day, we celebrated a year of struggle and triumph. A year of bravery and strength. But mostly, we rejoiced that this very special little boy who completed our family was happy, healthy, and present. Jonathan and I decided on a small, intimate celebration with our family, as we simply wanted to take in what a miraculous journey our son had been on with those who had never left his side. Small as it was, the day was really a beautiful occasion and more than a few joyful tears were shed for what beauty and amazement is yet to come.

Lukas' birthday festivities served as our "high" following a harrowing low. Without going into great detail, the month of May was life altering for our family — and not just our little family of 5. My entire family was rocked and the aftermath left each of us needing to pick up the pieces and make alternate plans for how we would move forward. My grandfather wrapped up an incredible 36-year career, and because my husband worked for him, that meant he wrapped up career his career there too. Thankfully, everything on that end worked out as perfectly as it could have, given the circumstances. I have since started down a new career path at Butler University, where my family has a long, rich history. I could not be happier there doing what I am. Likewise, my grandfather has moved onto many great things that utilize his immense brilliance, talent, and experience. For this, I am very grateful.

Towards the end of 2012, we were hit with another situation that proved heart breaking, at best. My oldest son was diagnosed with ADHD. This isn't a fact I've made overly public, even to family, because its been tough. Jonathan and I, along with Riley's amazing care team, are currently working on a concrete plan for him. But that journey is far from over. We've been relentless in our quest for answers and the best possible care and plan for Riley's needs. In a strange twist of fate, we also learned Riley had an encephalocele containing brain tissue and cerebrospinal fluid. He underwent an MRI for a completely unrelated issue and much to our surprise, the encephalocele was found. We have seen a neurosurgeon regarding the issue, who felt no management was needed at this time. But because I'm relentless and feel more than one voice is never a bad thing, we are currently awaiting a second opinion on the appropriate course of management, if any, that needs to be taken.

From that low, we celebrated a fun "high." I graduated in December with a master's degree from Ball State University — my dad's alma mater. All the pomp and circumstance of the ceremony and the delicious celebratory dinner with my family brought me a great sense of satisfaction...and a huge sense of relief that I no longer had to turn in homework or spend hours on end cursing my perfectionist self as I wrote and re-wrote papers.

Through it all, I think the past 8-months have taught me a great deal more about living in the here and now and really savoring each present moment. Sometimes that means making last minute changes to what you thought was a pretty grand master plan. Sometimes it means just letting what will happen tomorrow, happen. And sometimes it means just learning to let go a bit more. Each day presents new challenges and moments that will either make you curse or smile. I'm slowly learning to be okay with that. Tomorrow is tomorrow and today is today and I'm learning to worry about what bridge to cross when I get to it. I'm a big believer that things generally work out as they are meant to. I'm not so sure I believe its because of grand design per say, but I think its because we've been bestowed with the wonderful gift of freewill, and that freewill allows us to shape our own destiny. Things will always pop up that are beyond our control, this is simply a fact of life. Difficult moments arise, but its up to you to determine what you make of that moment and how you move forward.

While I've had a few more of those moments than I care to admit in the past 8-months or so, I'm happy to say that I've stood tall through the tests and my resolve as never been stronger. I've found the silver lining in the down-and-out moments and have taken them as opportunities to grow. 

So my friends, I apologize for my absence and my neglect. I promise to be more present and continue sharing with you the very thoughts that brought this blog into existence. I promise to share more photos, and not just crappy iPhone ones — real ones where I've taken the time to perfect the exposure, focal length, and shutter speed. Ones that keep it real and share what our life is all about, good, bad, or indifferent. 

Until next time.
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