Reading my friend Anna's recent blog post inspired me to write a short post about what I feel thankful for this year. Unfortunately (or fortunately for my family and friends), I am not nearly as funny or sassy as Anna! If you want a good laugh, be sure to read her post.
I won't pretend that this has been anything other than a difficult year for me. However, I've gone through other difficult times and it's true that it always does get easier and better as time goes on. I am lucky in SO MANY ways. First, I am lucky to have Natalie and I try to never forget how easily that may not have been. She loves me unconditionally and completely. I am inspired by her persistence and amazed by how much she is learning and asserting her independence lately. I also love how she curls up against me and sticks her little hands under my arm to go to sleep at night.
In addition, I also happen to have a truly awesome family. I don't even dread spending time with them during the holidays like many do. In fact, I look forward to it! My family understands me like no one else and they do everything they can to help with Natalie. Seeing my nieces and nephews grow up and interact with Natalie is amazing. They get so excited to see her and they help her do things that she has difficulty doing on her own. Natalie loves giving everyone kisses and likes dancing with Ronan and Kiernan and wrestling with Carter.
Then, last but not least, I have the greatest friends! They keep me entertained (Roller Derby - need I say more?) and help me out whenever I need it. Many of my friends have known me since junior high or high school and know me as well as my family does.
So, in case I don't say it enough or at all, I truly appreciate all of these people who make my life (and Natalie's) so much better!
I am mom to Natalie Elizabeth, a strong and feisty 8 year old born, along with her twin brother Andrew John, nearly 17 weeks early on 9/2/06. Andrew passed away on 9/4/06 and Natalie spent 110 days in the NICU. As a result of her premature birth she has Cerebral Palsy. Despite her challenges, she is constantly doing new and amazing things and surprising everyone!