Nothing for Granted began in January 2011 shortly before our youngest son was diagnosed with a rare congenital heart defect. In fact, it was created one short day before his official diagnosis. It started as a way to update our friends and family—both near and far—on our daily lives as we met with doctors and made plans for Lukas' future. This blog served as my outlet during my pregnancy as I shared my fears and aspirations about what the months ahead would hold. I asked for prayers on a near daily basis and held nothing back. In the months (and years) since its inception, it has turned into so much more. This blog has allowed me the extraordinary opportunity to share our most treasured moments as family. Both the highs and lows. This has become my place to write about all of life's little inspirations and musings.
We never imagined our world would include heart defects, open heart surgeries, cardiologists, or abbreviations, but we wouldn't trade it for anything. Becoming the parent to a heart baby opened my eyes in ways I can't describe. Suddenly life gained a whole new meaning. Gone are the days where moments and breaths are taken for granted. This journey has helped me to realize that sometimes things happen we can't explain or control. Those are defining moments in our lives that shape who we are. In the face of the impossible we have to smile and remember it's something beautiful. That's just what our lives are—beautiful. We are determined to make the most of every single moment and live for the here and now—with intention, purpose, and deeply ingrained contentment.
My hope for this blog is to educate others and spread awareness. In the beginning I read so many blogs from other heart families that inspired me and helped me through some of my darkest moments when I thought for sure life as I knew it was over. If I can return that favor for even a single person—I have accomplished my mission. I hope others read this blog and are inspired not to give up, but to keep forging ahead. While the journey is tough, what lies on the other side is incredible. I promise.
"To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." - Ralph Waldo Emerson