Good Things

I always have the best of intentions of staying consistent in this space and then life happens.  I cannot believe I used to be able to post here daily.  That seems like such a long time ago.  I had all these well laid plans for posts and writing more often in here with the new year, but as always, life happens and we have to roll with it.  Last week sweet Leo go pretty sick and ended up spending 4 days in the hospital on oxygen to try and give his body the boost it needed to fight some winter germs.  It seems impossible to keep him well considering he just does not have the reserve the rest of us have and having 5 siblings who all go to school and then come home germs in tow.  He’s back home now and we’re trying to settle back into our routine again.

While we were in the hospital with Leo we figured out he was in the same room as Amon was when he had his open heart surgery.  Talk about a flood of memories.  So thankful for this place and cardiac teams who care and love our kiddos deeply.

We ended 2018 on an absolutely exhausted and emotional note with sadness looming and a scary car wreck that left our van totaled.  Not exactly what we had planned.  We had already been kind of dreading 2019 with Leo’s surgery on the horizon and then, as most families with kiddos with special needs, our medical deductibles starting all over and preparing for more bills to start rolling in.  It’s a stressful time so we went into over drive trying to be grateful and hopeful even though we all were feeling quite the opposite.

So we talked ourselves up and I continued on in my gratefulness journey (more on that later) to try and let clearer hearts and minds prevail.  Some days it’s easier to wallow in the sadness, but it takes a different kind of strength to see all the goodness and choose gratefulness in the midst of the hard.

Just after the new year we headed to Montgomery Bell State Park with Andy, Becky, Meiya and Nia.  This has been an on-again, off-again new year’s trip and we were so excited to go again this year…we were not going to let the wrecked van situation stop us.  Our crew loaded up in Josh’s truck and a rental car and headed out.  We knew this time together would do us some good.

We hiked and swam and ate yummy food and watched movies and stayed up late and made smores and talked about things going on in the world.  The kids played in the woods and got wet feet in January temperatures and I thought about Everett almost the whole time.  On our hike one day the kids searched for heart shaped things and I snapped all the photos.  I love how they each knew why we were looking for those hearts…those little reminder of their brother and cousin.  These crazy awesome kids made my own heart feel seen.

January has carried on just like the rest of the world.  We remembered the day we met Winter for the first time 4 years ago.  It’s a hard, weird day because it represents such loss and such gain.  We had different hopes the night she was brought to our house.  All these people who love her had hoped and worked so hard for reunification and it didn’t pan out.  Now we hope and work so hard at our open adoption with her beautiful birth mom.  I watch them when we’re altogether and I feel like the luckiest women alive.  I am in awe of them both and how strong, resilient and incredible they both are.

Hudson and Solomon started basketball this month which was new to them.  It’s been so fun to watch them play a game they both really enjoy.  When they were little we first pushed baseball, but they both had other plans and for us, it was so important to let them lead in this area.  We want all our kids to try different things and find those things they genuinely really love to do.  Basketball has been one of those and I love watching them love it.  It doesn’t hurt one bit that one of their best friends is on their team too.

We’ve celebrated Aunt Jen turning another year younger and wiser. 😉  Jen lives on our street and is our saving grace often.  Whether watching Leo so we can all go to the movies or gathering up Amazon packages so they’re not rained on or picking up Harper to take her to a friends house when we’re in a jam, she always comes bearing a smile and TicTacs.  We also celebrated Campbell turning 16 and Cooper being on the Coming Home Court his senior year.  OMG time please stop.  These two made us an aunt and uncle.  They were our very first nephew and niece.  I have such precious memories wrapped up in them and I love they both still like to come to our house and hang out and rarely turn down an invitation to game night.

Bonus:  Cooper is not embarrassed when we roll up to his high school carrying signs and acting like fools over how much we love him.  And his friends are just as cool with it too.

Please someone send Winter a personality.  She is zero fun. 🙂

Amon and Leo have been making so much progress in overcoming their mountains.  I look at them in absolute wonder.  My pride cannot be contained.  They work so hard and are stretched outside of their comfort zones daily.  It’s not easy to feel different and it’s definitely not easy to feel different and to keep choosing to smile and move forward while working so damn hard.

Amon has been giving it his all in school and I could have sobbed a river when his teacher sent me this photo accompanied by such kind words about our boy.  Then while Amon was working really hard on his sight words he said, “Mrs. Wooley says I’m on fire.” and then he flashed me his wickedly sweet smile.  Knowing he is so loved by her means more than words could ever convey.

And Leo.  I will never get over watching him in all his therapies.  They are the most physically and mentally exhausting moments of his week and he is pushed so hard because we all know he has it in him.  He huffs and puffs and goes all blue lipped through them all while sporting his grin.  Two weeks ago he worked his shape puzzle all by himself and when I asked him what color the yellow paint was he said, “Yell-low” and then I died from pride.  Could not have been more proud of our guy because I know the work he has put in to do those two things.  Nothing is going to stop these two brave heart warriors.  They’ve got more grit and heart than most of us.

Now Solomon’s birthday is around the corner and I cannot believe February is almost here.  January was gone in a blink.  We’ve got so much to be grateful for.  We’ve got so much to sit in awe of.  We’ve got bright spots everywhere and we’re working hard to see every last one of them.  Here’s to all the good things which surround us, capturing each moment and tucking it away at the end of each day to remind us of just how lucky we indeed are.


  1. Your family is amazing and I’m so glad all we’re safe in the wreck!! Will be praying for Leo’s ability to fight those germs!
    Here’s to gratefulness in 2019!

  2. BarB cole says:

    Leo had Everett’s blanket, even his breakfast was rainbow colored. Sorry to hear of his scare, praying he stays healthy. GREAT REPORTS on all the kiddos! The trip sounded amazing and the pictures proved it was. Continued prayers and hugs!

  3. Laura,
    You have Young Living Essential Oils, use the Thieves to help ward off the germs. Diffuse or apply. We have to fight those nasty germs to and it really does work. Prayers for all of you

  4. i love the hope i hear in that last paragraph. Laura your family is always in my thoughts and prayers.

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