thankful

I noticed that a lot of my posts talk about challenges and things I wish I could change. In celebration of Thanksgiving this past week, here are 6 things that I am grateful for in this life (there are a ton more, I could profess my strange love for potatoes and rainy days but I don’t want to scare you away with TMI and information overload).  

Smart peeps
Doctors, therapists, etc may think they are just doing their jobs. Going to work and going through the motions, but they changed me. They fixed my body, taught me things and made me strong.  The nerd in me likes to think they had a little Private Practice and Greys going on and steamy love triangles were brewing when they were not saving the world. Makes them extra cool. 

Family and faith
Our family is huge. We have a giant support network of people who would drop everything to help.  Even though we can’t see them often, the love remains the same. I get the same unconditional love from the one who created us all. Now that’s priceless.

Technology
I love gadgets. iAnything…I want them all.  I also love social media. If you really stop and ponder– it’s AWESOME. It has connected me to so many interesting people around the world.

Eyes and ears
I love the ability to see and hear. Being able to see my son’s sweet face and hear him say mama is amazing. If I were ever to lose one of these gifts, I pray it’s my not hearing.  It’s safe to say AMC and sign language are NOT friends.

My husband
Yeah, I know he falls under “family” but I think he’s fantastic enough to get his own category. He is adorable, funny and brilliant. I learn from him daily and love to watch him as we move through the different phases in life. Seeing him as a dad leaves me with no words. He’s perfect.

Ruffles, lip gloss and clothes (lots and lots of them)
I’m really thankful to be a girl. Life without these things seems boring and sad. The more ruffles, the better! {grins}

What are you thankful for this year?

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cameras…lights…please don’t faint

This morning I had the awesome opportunity to share a bit of my story on the Morning Blend.  I am the girl who stops breathing when I have to present at work and as I have gotten older I tend to avoid public speaking as much as possible.  I must admit it’s pretty ironic since I went to college wanting to be a news anchor. With that said, you can imagine how well I slept last night. Check it out!

struggles

I took the train to Chicago last week for work.  I am thankful for legs that are strong enough to get around the train station and up on the train. However, while I was there I couldn’t help but notice all the obstacles that us with varying levels of physical challenges might face.

When boarding you walk down a long sidewalk along the train until you get to the car with an open door. Swarms of long-legged, strong people rush past you anxious to get on the train. I was grateful because it meant they would already be on and I could take my time climbing up the steps.

Most wouldn’t give it a second thought, but once you reach the train door they have a wobbly bright yellow step stool that brings you closer to a small narrow flight of slick metal steps. I also noticed that this collection of steps is accompanied by the world’s skinniest railing to use for support. It is pretty awful.  Add a heavy bag on your back and it’s a little scary.

After I was up they mentioned there is a ramp that can be pulled out, but it didn’t seem worth the hassle. I could just picture standing there with my bags waiting to be the last on and off, just so I could use the ramp. I think Amtrak still has some work to do on their accessibility.

On a happy note. The hotel had something awesome.

If you have Arthrogryposis the odds are high you are not a huge fan of vending machines. It’s bad enough that we would rather go thirsty over the fight to twist open a bottle top in public. So when you do get a soda from the machine you don’t want to struggle with that too.

When your hand is bent it is not easy to reach in a low door and fish out a bottle.  We can’t extend our hands the right way to grab it. 

We also don’t have the strongest grip and so a cold, wet bottle makes it extra hard. Struggling with the low trap door while standing with crutches has to be a sight. If I stop and really think about it I can’t help but laugh. It has to be a good show.

This is why I typically avoid vending machines.

Well, I found a hidden gem. This machine grabs the beverage and a glass door opens with the beverage standing up and at a perfect height.  There is no bending or fighting with the small flapping doors.  I’m in love. 

holding hands

My son is almost two.  It is starting to become hard to remember life before him even though we were married 6 years before he entered our world.

We used to come home from work, eat dinner and watch our favorite shows while multitasking on our laptops and phones. We had so much free time – we did not even know it.  Our house was clean and free of clutter. If we liked something we bought it because we had not yet experienced the pain of the weekly check to daycare. 

Oliver has added a new twist. He’s taught us things, whether we wanted to know or not. We mastered going to work on two hours of sleep.  We learned the tricks to nursing, avoiding leaky diapers, staying sane during the food throwing stage and getting him to nap.

I have found that each stage brings a different challenge. Some just were tugs on my heartstrings as mentioned in no…no…no…DADA and some are blatant reminders of the things I physically can’t do. 

One night after work this week the weather was perfect. The leaves were floating down from the trees filling our street with brilliance and the air held the crisp intoxicating taste of fall.  If that wasn’t enough, it was still warm enough to play outside and enjoy the magic.

Oliver started walking down the sidewalk and grabbed my husband’s hand to join him. He then held out his hand to me, looked at me with his big blue eyes and said momma?…he was inviting me to join the walk. 

I can’t walk, hold on to my crutch and hold his hand.  Before my husband, I was the type who would see a Sandals’ commercial and wanted to be the hot girl walking on the beach at dusk, you know holding the hand of a dreamy guy. Well, this moment blew that type of fantasy away.

I would have given anything to hold the hand of the sweetest boy on earth and walk around the block. 

I felt bad because he’s too young to understand and I would never want him to think that mommy doesn’t want to walk and hold his little hand.   I understand that it’s small potatoes in the grand scheme of life, but at that moment it made me really sad.