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Ten Things of Thankful | Friends and Family Edition

What a couple of weeks we’ve had around here!

It all started with celebrating 24 years of marriage a couple of weeks ago. I am so thankful for my sweet man! I am blessed to have met him when I was 13 and married when I was barely 20. He is a wonderful man, husband, father, provider and friend.

I am also thankful for my bestest friend since high school, Kristi. She celebrated her birthday the day after our anniversary. She is someone who I don’t get to see often enough, but she is the hardest working, most generous, loyal, trustworthy and awesome person. She has been through a lot the last year and she never fails to give anything less than 100% to her family, her job, her church, regardless of what else is going on in her life. She is amazing and I am blessed to know her.

Kristi and me collage

mockingjaypumpkinThen, there was Halloween. My kids have always enjoyed dressing up. Each year they plan their costumes way ahead of time. Last year was the first year they did not trick or treat. It was a little sad, but they both still wanted to dress up, but they stayed home to pass out candy. This year, Halloween started out fun. Clyn cleaned out the pumpkin, Emma sketched a Mockingjay on our pumpkin (Y’all do know about Hunger Games, right??), and Jacob carved it. My contribution was the photo you see here! HA. It looked pretty cool and some people knew what it was. The true HG aficionados, anyway.  Jacob was dressed as Uncle Si, of Duck Dynasty fame and Emma was dressed as Dorothy. They both looked so awesome! We handed out candy for a bit and then Emma went over to her friend Harper’s house to pass out candy. We had lots of trick or treaters and ran out of candy a little before 8, so, along with Uncle Si, The Hubs and I headed back inside and turned off the porch light.IMG_5026

And that is where the fun ended. Because about 15 minutes later, I received a call from Harper’s mom saying that Emma has been bitten by a snake. A copperhead, which is native to our area. Emma stepped down the front porch steps to hand a kid some candy and felt something stick in her foot. It was dark on the steps and who in this world even begins to think that a snake would be hanging out on the steps?? Fast forward, and Harper’s family rushed Emma to the emergency room at our local hospital. I met them there and Hubby followed me in his car. I arrived just as they were wheeling Emma back. I am pretty sure that I got there in record time. God saw fit to make sure every every traffic light was green between my house and the hospital. It was pretty miraculous. A couple of hours later, Emma was receiving the anti-venom. And a couple more hours later, Emma was being transferred by ambulance to the large hospital in the next town (about 30 minutes away) that has a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), where she could be monitored very closely. We spent Halloween night there and the next night in the intermediate intensive care unit and then she was released late Saturday afternoon. She missed a few days of school, but she is slowly getting better each day. Yesterday, was her first day without using her crutches and I think she overdid it. Maybe walking around at the fair all afternoon wasn’t such a good plan. But today she is resting. Throughout the whole process, there was, and is, much to be thankful for:

  • It was Emma who was bitten instead of one of the little kids who was trick or treating. Venom doesn’t have to travel as far in a little one.
  • Emma received treatment quickly, thanks to Harper’s family getting her to the ER so fast, and ER staff who understood the seriousness of treating snake bites in a timely manner.
  • We were able to get to the hospital quickly to be with Emma…it is no accident that all those lights were green!
  • The hospital had the anti-venom in their pharmacy.
  • Emma did not have an allergic reaction to the anti-venom. And it did its job and halted the progression of the venom.
  • God sent people to treat and care for Emma in both hospitals who knew what to do and how to treat snake bites and who were wonderful with kids.
  • No surgical intervention was needed, as it sometimes is with snake bites.
  • My brave and amazing Emma, who kept her sense of humor and was so strong. She really is something special.
  • The massive outpouring of love and encouragement to us and the prayers of so many—it was just amazing. And meant so much to all of us.
  • The miraculous peace I felt throughout the whole thing.
  • Emma is getting better every day.

It is during times of crisis that you truly appreciate what you have and who you have. I could see the grace of God in the face of each doctor, each nurse. I could feel the prayers and love of so many.

As I looked around the pediatric intensive care unit and saw the lives of children literally hanging in the balance, I was overwhelmed with gratitude, knowing that my daughter would leave that hospital and she would return to life as usual, enjoying all the things she did before. I knew there were some families who would not have that. I met one such mama in the family waiting room as we both were getting some coffee. We can’t understand why things happen as they do, we can only embrace those who are suffering, give them a word of encouragement, and whisper a prayer for them. And never forget to be grateful.

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On the weekend, I link up with the Ten Things of Thankful Blog Hop to celebrate all the things I am feeling especially thankful for this week. You can join in the gratitude at Lizzi’s blog—Considerings.

Ten Things of Thankful

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I would say yes again.

wedding pic

Today, October 28, 2011 marks 22 years of marriage for my Sweetie and me.  I have been married more than half my life…kinda weird to think about it that way.

We were just kids that day in 1989—he was 23 and I was 20. I look at my Emma now, at age 13, and am FLOORED to think that when I was 13, I met her father for the first time.

I look at my Sweetie today, and I am so grateful.  He works hard. He is a man of integrity. He is an amazing daddy to our kids. He loves me, God help him! But he does.  It blows me away and I stand amazed at that fact. After 22 years, he still has the hots for me.

I am blessed. I am grateful for the man God has given me to do life with.

Thank you, Sweetie, for loving me and for putting up with me all these years. Thank you for our children. Thank you for being the sweet and wonderful man you are.

I love you.

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