Dear Melissa Graves,

One week ago at around the time I am composing this post, the unimaginable happened to your family.  I have been thinking and praying for your family since the news broke that evening that your son had been taken by an alligator at Disney.  I prayed harder than I have in some time.  And as hard as I was praying, I am sure it could not hold a candle to your pleas with God.

Here we are, one week later.  I am angry at God for your son not being found healthy.  This is one of those times that make me question so much.

Many times this week I found myself tearing up for you, a total and complete stranger.  Words truly cannot convey how so sorry I am for you and for your husband.

I wondered a few times this week why this was affecting me so differently than so many other horrific stories brought to us daily by the media and I realized, it hits close because it could have just as easily been me.   We were in Disney just a few short months ago.  I remember the joy I had in telling our children we were going to the most magical place on earth.  I remember being excited myself as a 39 year old woman because I knew- at my age- that it really is a magical place where dreams come true and good always wins.

I have tried to think of ways to help your family.  Some small token to let you know that my family felt your loss.  Across this great country of ours, we have felt for you.   We still do.

I have decided to donate several children’s books (classics and new releases) to our local libraries in Lane’s name and honor.  Inside each book, I will have a label explaining that the donation was made to honor Lane Graves, a little boy taken from his family and encouraging the adults reading these books at bedtime to snuggle a little closer and love a little harder.

reading

I encourage everyone reading this blog to please do the same and comment to me that you are.  I hope this small gesture brings you a smile during this unimaginable time.  To know that your boy is remembered.  He is being thought of and his life is mattered.  That because of your little boy, libraries across the USA (hopefully) will receive numerous donations and that countless parents will read the donation label and will give their little(s) an extra squeeze.  Hug a little harder.  Appreciate a little more what we all take for granted.

Please know that your little boy will be remembered and thought of in Maryland.  And so will you.  I will continue to pray for you and I will forever be sorry this happened to you and your family.

XOXO

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2016 Word- Immerse

Hello, friends!  It has been awhile and I have missed you!

As many of you remember, my word for 2016 is Immerse.  I explained in a previous post why I chose that word and that that signified for me.  Please feel free to check it out.  My blog post today is a sort of report card on how my practice of One Word has been going so far these first 2 weeks of 2016!

I would give myself a strong B on this report card.  There are some “projects” where I really have “nailed it” and other pop quizzes life has thrown at me that I have bombed!

First-the WINS- We had the immense pleasure of taking our children to Florida the first week of the year.  I planned to immerse myself in this family time and truly get subsumed by the blessings I have.  I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t be on social media; no posting, no blogging.  I wouldn’t be calling and texting people back home constantly.  I was just going to be immersed in these memorable moments.  I am happy to say I did just that and was so much better for it.

Second, we got a new puppy this week, aptly named Atticus and he is a mini goldendoodle.  He is a cutie and I had vowed to myself that I would fully immerse myself into his proper training for my future sanity and for that of my hubby’s.  So far, so good.  Only 2 accidents and one was totally a human fail.

Third, I got to work with the super-talented Jennifer Didio of Jennifer Didio Photography for the purpose of having professional head shots to use for upcoming projects.  I was so nervous about this.  Knowing that I am not where I want to be ‘weight-wise’ and having many insecurities about my appearance; far to many to be listed here today, and just not being able to control the outcome were huge hurdles for me to jump.I decided to muster up my courage and follow my own preaching which is to revert back to the word I’d chosen to be my motto for 2016.  Would backing out of the photo shoot be immersing myself in this creative life I say I want?  Would I be immersing myself into this one life I have by running scared or by quitting while I was behind?  No- to stay true to this, I would have to immerse myself into the experience, hesitations and all.  Was it easy?  Hell no!  HELL NO!  But, I did it.  I didn’t cave to my own negativity.  And that to me is a huge win!

There are things this year I feel I am not succeeding with.  My most important role of wife being one of them.  I know I need to be a better wife to my husband.  He is a remarkable human and he deserves to spend his time with a remarkable human in return.  There are times I fall sooooooo damn short.  I want to work on immersing myself into my marriage more and into my husband.  History has proven for us that we are so much better when we are working together.  I need to let him in and hold him in the high esteem with which he deserves.  He would blush if he read this and say I was super wife, but sometimes- and I think you ALL will be able to agree with this- sometimes only we can truly know our shortcomings and what we COULD be verses what we ARE.  I know I can be a better wife.  I strive to be, everyday.  I want to immerse myself in that task so my husband can be living the best life he can.  He deserves it!

I also need to become more immersed with my healthy living goals and aspirations.  It is so easy to slip off track and ever more difficult to get back on.  I want to become immersed in the dedication to a healthy mindset- everyday in 2016.  And always.

I have exciting news coming soon.  Stick around to be the first to hear it!

Thanks to all of you who are taking this ride with me.  I am so thankful for you all!