Growing up, I never thought I would marry. Luckily for me, I was wrong and married Steve thriteen years ago. We went on a relaxing honeymoon and drove around Lake Superior which took about one week (it's a big lake). On the first day of our honeymoon, we toured the Glensheen Mansion (Duluth, MN).
Thirteen years after our honeymoon, Steve and I returned to the Glensheen Mansion and I am still a very happy wife. As you can see, my life has changed drastically, but for the better. We now have two beautiful daughers and a handsome little boy. Unlike the above photo, Steve no longer has to hold me up. In fact, I'm not only able to stand on my own, but I can do it while holding my boy. Somebody pinch me, because I think I'm dreaming.
I never imagined that I would have kids, much less great kids. Before my new diagnosis, raising the girls was so physically challenging for me. I wasn't able to walk them to the bus stop, cook them nice dinners or play tag with them in the yard.
Because of my new medication, I was able to drive my girls to the YMCA and take a Zumba class with them. For 45 minutes we danced together, side by side. I couldn't help but smile that I was on my two feet participating in a physical activitiy with my girls.
I may not have been able to play in sports as a young girl or adult, but I'm going to take every oportunity to take Winona and Sharon to the gym with me. Tomorrow we will being attending a Yoga class. Never in a million years would I have thought that those words would come out of my mouth. How lucky am I!
This past weekend we went up to the Boundary Waters and stayed at a cabin on Moose Lake. While there, we spent a day fishing. We met our fishing guide, Sue, at the dock at 8am and didn't return until nearly 7pm. This was a first for me and prior to our departure, I wasn't a bit nervous. I knew that I would be able to sit in a rocking boat for several hours and walk into the woods to use the latrine.
When we headed to shore for lunch (our guide brought a shore lunch), she asked me to jump out of the boat and hold it just enough so it wouldn't float away. I have to admit, I wasn't sure if I would be able to do it and my sister-in-law, Emily, offered to do it for me. Even though I was uncertain of my abilities, I had to try and I knew that there was a good chance I would fall into the shallow water in the process.
As soon as I got to the front of the boat and we were inches from shore, I put my right leg on land and quicly said, "I'm glad I've got long legs!" And that's when I just about did the splits over the water. I had one leg planted on the ground and the other still in the boat. I was able to get both legs on land without falling in the lake. I was proud that I attempted this task, but after lunch I asked Steve for help getting back into the boat. I wasn't about to press my luck and wanted to stay dry the rest of the afternoon
I really enjoyed spending the day fishing, talking with Emily and getting to know Sue, all while watching the great view God had created. I must add, that I caught nine fish. Not bad for a rookey. Of course, I couldn't have done it without the help of Sue.
My oldest daughter, Winona, is only two weeks away from beggining middle school. Yesterday, I took her to school to get her class schedule and locker assignment. I couldn't help but feel excited and nervous at the same time. I'm excited for Winona because she will do great, but I felt the nerves because middle school was a difficult time for me.
One of the things I struggled with in junior high was my ability, or should I say inability, to crack the code on my locker. No matter how hard I tried, I rarely got it unlocked on the first try. So, when we got to Winona's locker yesterday, I had to try and unlock her locker so I could prove I could do it. I turned the dial three times to get each number just right. And like magic, it opened! I looked at Winona and beamed. I felt like I had just conquered the world!
As I think back to the middle school locker and the numerous times I failed to get inside it, I realize that I probably couldn't keep my hands steady enough to acuratly stop at the correct numbers. Everytime, I went to my locker I hoped that I would get in without any trouble. I was so lucky that the janitor would be near by to help me get in to it. Yes, the janitor. He was my angel those first few weeks of junior high and prevented me from being late to all my classes. Sure, things may not always be perfect, but they always work out.
I have to wish Winona luck as she goes into the sixth grade. I know that she will do great!!! I should add that Winona got into her locker on the first try and is confident that she will have no problems with her locker on her first day of school.
I can't help but feel grateful for the new life that God has given me. A little over three years ago, I couldn't take my kids to the park and now here I am swinging with a toddler in my lap. I was able to do this without worrying if I would fall off the swing or drop my little boy. And we had so much fun together!
I have to make this a quick post because John is getting into everything and I don't have the girls here to help watch him.
It's hard to believe that I have done so much this morning at it's only 9am! I just took banana bread out of the oven and my carmel rolls are almost done rising. It still amazes me that I can phsyically measure and stir ingrediants to make homemade baked goods. Plus, I'm doing it while stopping to get John out of trouble (he's one and into EVERYTHING). I love that I can take the time to enjoy all the sweet things in life. I am so blessed.
Yesterday the girls and I (along with my mom and John) went to the Ridgedale mall to shop for back to school clothes. We roamed the mall for nearly five hours and were sucessful in our search for the pefect pair of jeans for Winona and cute shirts for Sharon.
It is a great feeling to be able to walk without holding onto my mom or needing to use a mobility scooter. I can get in between those narrow paths of clothes so my mom doesn't have to bring everything to me in the big isle. Yesterday, I was able to dig through piles of jeans until we found Winona's size. Plus, I could assist Sharon is getting the shirts that were up high, so she could get a better look at them.
I can't help but feel blessed to be able to shop independtly with my daugters. My mom always had to come with to help me. These days, I can call her to come shopping with us just for the fun of it! I love my mobility and will NEVER take it for granted.
I have been feeling a bit stressed these past few days while thinking about my book that I desperatly want to finish. With stress, comes lack of sleep. Lack of sleep causes balance issues and issues with my hands ( I have dropped my keys many times this week, but that's okay.)
While being overwhelmded with the project of trying to review and edit my book, I can't help but pause and thank God for all of my blessing. When I go to bed I thank God for all He has given me and that helps calm me and really think about what is important in my life.
I may want to write a successful book, but that will only happen if that is part of God's plan. If what I write will truely help others to apprecaite the little things in life, it will all work out. If it's not part of His plan, then that is just the way it's going to be. If I can go to bed at night and give thanks for my husband, healty children and my mobility, than there really isn't anything else I can ask for. As my dad always told my mom, "Everything will work out in the end." I don't think I could say it better myself.
Yesterday while I was at the gym I talked to a woman who I see there regulary. Through our conversation it came out that she is 47 years old. I had always thought that she was no more than 40. I couldn't help but ask, "What's your secret?" She simply responded, "Be happy and have a positive attitued." I don't think I could have said it better myself.
Keeping a positive attitude is key to having a healthy, happy life, so I have a bit of a dare for you. Can you go one day without thinking or saying something negative? In todays world it's not easy, but I suggest that we both give it a try. So many people could benefit from this: our kids, spouse, co-workers and people driving down the road next to us. We can do it and we need to do it!
Good luck and think positive!
After living the first 33 years of my life thinking I had Spastic Diplegia, a form of Cerebal Palsey, I was correctly diagnosed with Dopa Responsive Dystonia (DRD). I am on new medication and doing things that I never imagined possible. This has changed the lives of my husband and two daughters. I truly believe that I am living a miracle each and every day. Life can't get any better than this!