Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Nudge

{OPTIMISM} a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome.
  • anticipation, assurance, brightness, buoyancy, calmness, certainty, cheer, cheerfulness, confidence, easiness, elation, encouragement, enthusiasm, exhilaration, expectation, good cheer, happiness, hopefulness, idealism, looking of the bright side, positivism, rose-colored glasses, sureness, trust
These simple words have BIG meaning to me. Having an optimistic attitude truly creates peace, reduces stress, and gives you an all around happy life.

I have been very encouraged, lately, by other MPS families and foundations that we are on the right track of doing great things. There is so much hope in the world of MPS right now. We pray that this hope will be in time for Livia's generation, but only God's Will will prevail. The plans He has in store for us and our children, I feel, are big. To know that we are on the right track, is a great place to be. To feel positive about the hard work ahead of us, to make a difference in other children's lives, is an anticipation of constant gratification. My desire with our foundation is of course to help fund a treatment for Sanfilippo Syndrome. Let's just say, a treatment is found and administered in, oh, say three years. Then what? I envision our family spreading our story to other's in hopes of inspiration and support. To know that whatever they are given in their life, there are people who will stand by them and help in whatever way possible. Maybe we will get to a point where we can help support families with medical expenses or equipment. Yesterday, as I was trying to shut my eyes for just 20 minutes, I felt a nudge and a whisper. My heart was telling me, Kelly, there is no time for this, you have work that needs to be done. Before, when my mind would wonder when I was trying to rest, I would get very annoyed that I couldn't just turn it off. This time was different. I compare it to really loving your job to really hating your job. When you hate your job, you find every excuse/complaint during your day. It's hard to get up in the morning and go to a place that you just don't enjoy. When you love your job, it's effortless. It makes every aspect of your life better. So what I'm trying to say is, I'm really loving my job right now. I feel like I've found my place. I feel like I'm on the path that was set forth for me. My heart is in what we are doing. To me, this is optimism..........and it's synonymous to what Liv Life is all about!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May 15th, 2011

MPS awareness day.......................a day to tell people about our kids, here and in heaven. There are so many creative people in the MPS world. Creative in the sense of how to spread awareness. Last year we had business cards made, attached purple suckers (if you haven't guessed by now, purple is the color represented for MPS) and handed them out to the community. I really want to do something more next year. I want to get our church and schools involved. I'm seeing a balloon launch or something fun like that. I think if would be amazing to do a month long awareness at our church and then the weekend of the 15th have the entire congregation in purple. Just a few ideas, and we'll see where the year leads us.

This year, I challenged friends and family to wear purple on May 15th and tell people about Liv and MPS. I then asked them to send me their purple pics. Something this simple, and yet I'm so touched by the support. People's generosity gets me every time. Generosity doesn't always come in the form of a dollar. Generosity comes in joining in on a challenge, giving words of encouragement, offering support, or just being there. A dollar here or there is nice, but it's not always what generosity looks like. I can't explain how important these small gestures are to me. I can't imagine going through this feeling alone. Knowing that we have friends and family that will stand by our side and take pictures in their purple clothes really means the world to me. Enjoy the purple collage and I'd be happy to take suggestions for next year's awareness day! LOVE YOU!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Just when I needed it the most!

Having a foundation, a blog, organizing events, being a mommy, being a wife, doctor's appointments, natural history studies, being a friend, email's, etc. etc. etc. This is my life. At times, I can lose momentum having so much on my plate. Some days, I want to give up. Being overwhelmed is not a fun emotion. It's a vulnerable place where Satan can easily walk into my life, whisper in my ear, and encourage me to just give up. Some days, 24hrs just doesn't cut it to get everything done that I feel needs to get done. When I know I have an event coming up, I try to schedule (in my mind) everything that needs to get done. I'm focused and determined to do it. The end result is what I'm working for. Awareness, funds, maybe inspiring someone along the way. Then it's over. The encouraging words, being gathered with intentional and generous people. It's all so uplifting. But when it's all over and everyone goes their own ways, I feel almost a let down. Not from people and their generosity, but from all the momentum leading up to the event.

Then inspiration comes just when I need it the most. I had the honor of having a chai tea latte date with Tasha Ives. She is someone that I've wanted to meet for a very long time. When Jake and I first started going to Rockford First is when we learned of the beautiful Ives family and their daughter, Sydney. Sydney, at the age of 10, was diagnosed with stage 3 inoperable brain cancer. She won her battle against this cancer 18 months later and went home to be with our Heavenly Father. She is now "Living In Peace" in our eternal home. Their story and foundation information can be found @ Please take a moment to learn about this family and their foundation. So, meeting with Tasha this morning was just what I needed. She gave me insight and almost a boost of that momentum I was talking about. To meet another strong mother that has had a difficult journey, that could advise me as well as share a Faith with me, is something that can help me thrive and inspire me to accomplish what we've set out to do. Our situations are different, yet the same. We may not go through the same motions, but we may share the same emotions. That support brings me a lot of comfort. To have someone who is open and willing to let us in, is an amazing gift and blessing!

Things always have a way of working themselves out. I know what will get done will get done. My heart is in what we are doing, and knowing God's Will will be done, can help me accomplish these goals. I hope the beginning of this post wasn't whiny. I have no desire to quit our foundation or our events. This is only the beginning of what I feel like is going to be something big. Thank you, Tasha, for this morning. Thank you for your insight. I look very forward to seeing your foundation grow and working with you in the future. I also look forward to getting to know you and your family. It's nice to meet another sister in Christ!

Dedicated to the Ives family!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Small accomplishments

My Finley Faith will be 2 on the 13th. She is growing and changing daily. She makes me laugh more often than not. One of the traditions I've started for her is to write her a letter for her birthday. My plan is to give them all to her when she is 18. I'm starting to think about that letter and what I want to put in it. This second year of her life I feel like I've really bonded with her. The first year of her life, I think I was in a time of mourning. Not over her, but she was 8weeks old when we got Liv's diagnosis. Finley's infancy, {this makes me so sad}, I feel was taken from her and me. I can remember holding her or feeding her, and watching Livia play, and just sobbing. Of course it took awhile to find out tjat Finley did not have MPS, but in my heart I knew she would be just fine. I can honestly say, I didn't really worry about her having SS. I refer to Finley as my miracle. I look at her everyday, at least once a day, and literally stop and pray my thanks that she is mine. Even if she is throwing the worst tantrum, I think to myself, at least I get to experience it.

This blog was sparked this morning from Finley asking me for some "wa wa" aka....water. She's gotten to the point where she really loves drinking out of a small plastic open cup, not a sippy cup. She gets so excited when I pull one out. Her favorites include a Hello Kitty cup, and a Disney Princess cup. She will choose which one she wants. She then squeals in delight. As I was pouring her water, the mixed emotions came flooding in. I was so proud of Finley for reaching this small point in her growth, yet it made me realize that she is/has gained on Livia in development. Livia is doing really well, but there is no way I could give her an open cup without a mess to follow or me helping her through her breakfast with it. These small accomplishments are really big in my world. Who would have thought that drinking from a cup would warm my heart and make me so sad all at once.

Both of my girls are such blessings in my life. They have helped me become the person I'm proud of today. I feel like I'm fortunate to be aware of these "small accomplishments." I don't let even the small things go by without a notice. Livia Grace, Finley Faith, I love you more and more each day! Thank you for being mine!!! xoxoxoxoxox

Monday, May 2, 2011

History and Leaving a Legacy

We are all writing our own stories. The stories of our life. The truth is, one day, we will all pass away. Heavy, I know. I'm sure I've lost a lot of readers already. But, if you are still reading, please keep going, because I'm sure this will make you think~ What will people say about me when I'm gone?

This past Sunday I spent the morning with my dad, sister, aunt, uncle, and two cousins at my Grandma and Grandpa Fish's house. Grandma died in November, so my aunt and dad are in the cleaning out phase. They asked us to gather together to sort and pick out any items that we'd like to keep. When we arrived at the house we found my aunt sorting through all of my grandma's jewelry. She was matching earrings, laying out bracelets and necklaces all along a bed. We admired the pieces recalling items that we remembered or remembered her wearing. There were dishes to look though, furniture, old pictures and albums, table clothes, crocheted doilies that we had fun trying to guess what you did with them, and the list keeps going. We took turns picking items that we wanted to keep. Going through the house and still smelling like grandma and grandpa's house really brought back a lot of memories. For me, the emotions didn't really hit until I got home and started washing the glass pieces that I brought back with me. Everything that I was touching had history. Where did it come from? Were some of the items passed down from past generations? It made me think about my grandparents legacy and how proud I am of where I come from. It also made me think about my story and the legacy I want to leave. I put away the beautiful glass pieces in my china cabinet, washed up the doilies and took the jewelry to my room. I picked out a doily that fit on my dresser underneath my jewelry tray. I started to go through the jewelry from my grandma's, matching the earrings again and trying on the rings. That's when the tears started. I missed them. I wish I could go back and tell them so much. My grandma, no matter what, even a couple days before she passed, had a smile on her face when I walked in her room. Her generosity and beauty is her legacy. My grandparent's legacy is a good one. The stories I hear from my dad and aunt are good. I learned this weekend how much my dad loved his mom. She spoiled her grand kids, but I think she spoiled my dad just as much. Not only with "things," but real love.

This journey called life is nothing like I planned or envisioned for myself. Ironically enough, I think it's become better than I could have ever expected. I say "ironically" because how can I think that when my baby has a terminal disorder? Well, it's because I've found through this tragedy who I am, what I believe in, and what I'm capable of. I've learned how important it is to write a story that is positive and inspiring. I want to leave a legacy for myself, my children, and my future generations that is going to spark something in them.

I wanted to share a few pictures of the items that I took from my grandparents home. I'm getting some furniture and a set of china that are not in these pictures. It's hard to say which item I will treasure the most. They all have a great story, but I want to share one with you. My dad hasn't kept a lot from the house. Only the items that really have meaning to him. He told my aunt that he really hoped we would pick this one thing. He wanted us to have these glass banana split dishes. He loved them so much and had great memories of them. My sister and I split them and can't wait to make our own memories with them. My dad is bringing me the furniture in a few weeks and we will be having banana splits when he visits!