happy happy new year

Hi!

I’m back from what seems like one of the longest and best weeks of 2015.  We finally made our dream a reality:  taking Bea to the beach!  It seems silly but the one week I look forward to ALL year long is the week my family goes to Longboat Key, Florida.  We have been going there ever since I can remember and every year, we have more laughs (and day drinks) than the entire year combined.  We typically take this trip over 4th of July week but this year a little curveball named living donor transplantation changed our plans.

Ever since Bea was diagnosed last March (the 9th to be exact) I was determined to get her to experience this trip.  As her condition got worse and her future was unknown (just so unreal to still even think about), I was laser focused on getting her to LBK before her transplant.  When the date was chosen for surgery I obviously knew this wouldn’t be an option for any of us so my sights were set on spending her 1st birthday (December 28th) on the beach.

She WOULD get through this surgery and she WOULD be well enough by her birthday to go.

Since surgery, every check up, visit to the doctor, etc concluded with the question of “do you think we will be able to take her to the beach in December?”.  Every time I asked, I got the answer of “yes” from our doctor and she was certainly right.

We Jordan drove 17 hours on December 26th and we did it!  We reached our goal of toes in the sand in 2015!  It goes without saying but the fresh air, change of scenery, and being able to somewhat treat her like a “normal” baby was JUST what the doctor ordered for all of us.  She enjoyed cake on her birthday, played in the salt water, ate more sand than I expected, and hit MANY milestones along the way.

We spent the week with my parents and my older sister, her husband, and their baby – Patrick – who is 9 months.  I never realized it but since Bea has been on lockdown, she has never really interacted with another baby.  We’ve been keeping Patrick and Bea apart for fear she would get sick but this trip – we let them play, interact, and spend the majority of the week together.  And it did WONDERS for her.

We woke up her birthday morning and Bea gave us the best birthday present of all – she started crawling.  We have been so stressed about her lack of mobility and have been going to PT for WEEKS (and we still will) but she took one look at Patrick (who is a moving machine) and off she went like it was NBD.  Jordan and I looked at each other and just burst into tears.  It was such a special moment.

All in all – the trip was incredible, my family is amazing (although we missed my younger sister and her fiancé who were vacationing in Mexico), and I just feel so blessed.  

2015 was a trying, scary, and just overall difficult year.  Being introduced to a brand new love I didn’t know existed was overwhelming and then the possibility of losing that was unfathomable.  In 2015 I experienced my highest high and my lowest low and we were tested.  My marriage was tested, my character was tested, and my faith was tested.  Now, all three, are stronger than ever. 

So cheers to the great things ahead in 2016!  To health, happiness, and all of the fun that the new year will bring!

#BEAstrong

Hillary

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