Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 366

HAPPY BIRTHDAY HAZEL!
Each morning of her life at 4:10, the time of her birth, we would take a picture celebrating another day well lived...the triumph of the human spirit...family...miracles...the goodness of God...and the power of L-O-V-E. Today is Day 366, with our daughter, without our daughter; but we continue to celebrate.

On the morning Hazel had to leave us, there was a light beautiful snow. It just cleansed everything outside and made the world seem new. Everything had a faint beautiful glow. Since then I have taken snow as a "sign" from her that's she's near and loves us.


Luckily this winter we have had ridiculous amounts of snow as evidenced by our mailbox below. And although I hate shoveling, I can't help but think she's laughing somewhere.



Lastly, because of Hazel's uniqueness I know many of you were not able to witness her life in person. I just wanted everyone to see how incredible she was. How real she is. At the end of this video watch for the smile. She smiled!

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And if you're questioning how she was able to live 7 days let me show you her fighting spirit. This is bath time so she's a little indecent, but it's adorable.

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We want to thank everyone for helping us throughout this past year. We could not have made it this far without you. I hope you will go out and do a good deed for someone today, hug your kids a little longer, and tell the important people in your life that you love them. Also, if you need an excuse to eat cake you can say you're celebrating Hazel's birthday. She won't mind.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Aotearoa

Friends do you remember when I said that I was really going to start living again this year?
I'm doing it. Slowly but surely, I'm doing it. I am getting out there and living my life. I'm making plans and following through. I'm daring to hope and even better daring to dream.
I have dreamed for 12 years of going to
The Land of the Long White Cloud or Aotearoa.
I cannot count the number of times that I sat in class in the CAC or Old Gym and listened to the New Zealand exhibit perform at the PCC and thought, "someday I'm going there."
And now I am.
What makes this trip even better is that I am going to New Zealand for my little sister's wedding. Jamie and Xander will be getting married April 23rd in Whangarei on the North Island.


Come on- it's obvious why he loves her. She's fun like her older sister.




But a wedding isn't fun unless you have fun people there. Introducing your fun wedding party- Nikki Forsberg, sister-in-law extraordinaire and lyrical dance machine.



Father and Mother of the bride and the reason the saying "Pakehas know how to party" came into existence.




And lastly, the most photogenic bridesmaid- me. Jamie is so lucky I am going to be in a lot of her pictures.




All of this just affirms that living is definitely worth the risk. I continue to pray that all of you are well and dreaming big.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Snow Days

So as some of you know we have had an active January. It has snowed and snowed over the last 2 weeks. This picture was taken after the first storm. We have had a few more since then and added to our glorious snow piles.

Gidget is too short to be able to maneuver through the snow so we dug her an elaborate tunnel system in the backyard. It's fun to watch her freak out and "run the track." However, she did learn how to walk over the fence after the last ice storm. Now there is a moat inside of our fence to accompany the tunnel system.


In the last two weeks we have only had 4 1/2 days of school due to the snow which means we are getting a lot of extra sleep around here. This is the usual pose you can find Gidget and I in after shoveling.



Lastly, proof that Travis is turning into a New Englander. He is actually considering buying a snow blower after this winter.

video

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Art of Living (Inspired by Alycia Bryll)

Dear Friends
I'm sorry about the 4 month hiatus. I have been loosely committed to this blog from the beginning, but I was really having difficulty finding something to talk about. The other day I was catching up with a good friend, Alycia Bryll, and she completely inspired me.
She was one of my swimmers a few years ago. When I saw her the other day, it struck me that she was now an adult. She has transformed into this different person- maybe because of age, possibly because of what she is learning in college, or more likely because of how her experiences are shaping her into someone else.
I have been doing a lot of reflecting on my life also. In July of 2009 I was this person. I was so thrilled with my life in the sense that things were going well. I had a loving husband, great job, and was working towards my Masters. I didn't have everything that I wanted, but I surely had enough.
I was happy. We were happy.

And then a month later we found out we were pregnant and this whole journey of transformation began. It was scary and painful, long and drawn out, and completely unavoidable. I handled it by withdrawing from the world. Not standing still necessarily, but standing back.
Terrified to move forward. Essentially scared to live.

And here we are now. 2011. There was this sense of excitement that accompanied the New Year. Maybe it was more relief, but it just felt hopeful for the first time in months (maybe years.) This year I am dedicated to LIVING. Not just moving through the motions or counting down the days, but truly living. Allowing myself to breathe, feel, fear, try, be. I look forward to sharing it with you and wish you all a wonderful New Year.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

This week in the news

As many of you know we have been closely following the news over the past week or so and have found it to be (mostly) wildly depressing. But every once and a while there are some real gems reported as news. Please let me take this opportunity to laugh a little at life, to enjoy some levity if you will. Sometimes you just need to laugh.




As a disclaimer: We do not think that rape is funny, but we love their response to something so traumatic. And yes, I have been hiding my husband because they're rapin' everybody out here. Homeboy.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Have you ever been friends with an angel?


Have you ever been friends with an angel? We have.
In fact, we're the parents of an angel. It's kind of an elite club that no one wants to be a part of, but you are all the same. This week we tearfully welcomed our friends Jim and Helen into that club. For those of you close by you may have been following the news or seen Gus' obituary in the paper. What these articles have failed to mention is that Travis was there.

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Tuesday afternoon Travis received a phone call from our co-worker and good friend, Jimmy A, asking if he wanted to go fishing with he and his son. Anyone who knows Jimmy knows wherever he goes, Gus goes. And you didn't mind having him tag along because he was was an awesome kid.

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So they decided to go kayak fishing at Norwich Lake, Jim and Gus in one kayak and Travis in another. They noticed that a couple boats were going a little faster than they should, fast enough to make Travis somewhat nervous as the sun began to set. He decided he would move about 200 yards away from Jim and Gus to find another fishing spot when he heard a loud bang. He initially thought the speedboat had hit a dock until he heard another boat asking if everyone was ok. And then he knew what had happened.

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As he paddled to the accident, Travis saw Jim attempting to hold Gus above the water. He was eventually able to slump him over the side of the kayak until Travis was able to get into the speedboat and pull Gus up. It was at that moment that Travis was able to see the magnitude of Gus' injuries. He was missing his left arm, had broken ribs, ruptured lungs, and gashes on his head and legs. Jim had also been injured with a gash on his leg and deep bruising and swelling on his lower back.

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Travis held a towel over Gus' back in order to keep as much air as possible in his lungs, but for the second time in 6 months he was holding a dying angel. Jim was able to tell Gus how much he loved him and was proud of him while waiting for the ambulance, but soon after he left his Father he was gone.

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I visited Hazel the other day, begging for her help to comfort her broken hearted Father and friends. As usual, she was willing to drop whatever she was doing to comfort me. I perceived her tell me that she had been at the accident and helped Travis do what he needed to do in those horrifying moments. I wonder what Gus saw as he looked around the boat that night. She wouldn't have looked like the baby in the pictures he saw at her memorial service, but I hope he was able to recognize her. I pray that her presence was a comfort to him in those confusing and painful minutes.

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Oh how we pray for you Adampolous family!
What an honor it is to know your angel by name. And we're so grateful to all of you who cared for us during our time of need. So many of your actions and words have guided our steps over the past few days. It is going to be a long journey of healing for all of those involved, including Travis. He is feeling the effects of what I would diagnose as PTSD and continues to struggle deeply to digest what he saw. If you notice that he is not his jovial self, please be patient and sensitive to what he has been through recently.

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Sweet dreams Gus. We can't wait to see you again on that bright morning of the Resurrection.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Homesick

There's a song lyric that goes,
"Homesick...cause I no longer know...where home is."
I guess that sums up how I started feeling 6 months ago.
Homesick.
If home is where your heart is, then I am out of place.

The geneticists have come up with a working diagnosis for Hazel-

Cerebro Oculo Nasal Syndrome

The only thing is, they have nothing to really confirm that. Nothing from her blood work indicates genetic abnormalities. According to Hazel's DNA, she should have been completely normal. And CON syndrome does not explain her hands or my condition. There are no new case studies being done in the foreseeable future so we may never know why Hazel was the way she was other than that's how she was supposed to be.

The Doctors are not concerned about a recurrence of CON syndrome if we are able to have more children. There have never been two cases in one family. They are somewhat concerned about other genetic syndromes, especially Fragile X, but I don't have the energy the worry about that now.
In other news, my kidneys have been doing really well. After a lot of blood samples and beefing up my iron for a few months I am looking good. The Doctor says I still have some extra water and swelling going on, but nothing severe. We'll talk more about what another pregnancy would mean to my kidneys when the time comes. Until then, I think they are grateful to have me stable.
And lastly...
I have been called as the 2nd counselor in the Primary Presidency or the 7th level as hell as I refer to it. I should probably censor my true feelings because the Primary President might read this, but she should know what she is getting.
I have never understood children. Not so good with them. They don't understand references to pop culture or use sarcasm, they require constant attention and over dramatization, and they are brutally honest.
I was actually voted least favorite Aunt by my own nieces and nephews. Yes, they ranked us and I was dead last. And just because telling me once would not be clear enough, they repeated it several times so I would know I was not as pretty or fun as Auntie Nikki.
I can say this though, I will be the most organized and researched counselor anyone has ever had. I am money at finding and generating ideas and information. So I am off to aspire to
awesome-ness. Go and do likewise!