Nine years ago today we were in Las Vegas saying "I do." I can't believe it's been 9 years? It doesn't feel like it's been that long, but then again it feels like it's been forever. Forever in a good way. Zoie was only 4 years old when Randy and I got married. She looks so much like her Dad and Raygen looks so much like her.
Nine years ago my Dad gave me away. I look at this picture and I don't recognize myself. I was so young and so naive. Don't we all wish we could go back and tell our younger self all the things we have learned along the way? I so wish I could. I wish I could tell myself that things were going to be okay and everything would work itself out. That I am strong enough to handle it. The girl in this picture is not me. I don't even relate to her anymore. All her wants and dreams are completely different then mine today. Is it strange that in 9 years I feel like a completely different person?
I'm still a mother, a sister, a daughter, and a wife, but not that wife. Because in 9 years I have struggled with infertility, had 2 miscarriages, had a baby with half a heart and struggled with self-doubt and body issues. This bride in this picture has no idea what the future holds for her. No idea that she is strong enough to handle it.
Today I am a different person. I'm a stronger person. I understand that life isn't easy and nothing comes without hard work and the grace of God. I have seen my daughter go through things that no mother should have to witness. I have been humbled by God and by the love of family and friends. I have learned that I really don't care how nice my house is or what car I drive because I'd rather spend my money taking my kids on vacation. My favorite place to be is anywhere surrounded by my family.
I have a true, deep love and respect for my husband. You so often hear "That which doesn't break you, makes you stronger." That is what Raygen has done for our family. She has made us stronger. There is a lot of stress in any marriage, but when you have a child with a life threatening heart defect it can take a toll. There isn't a moment where it's not on our minds and heavy on our hearts. I think we both try to live life to the fullest and make sure our girls needs are put before our own. We have walked 9 years together and we will continue to walk whatever path God lays before us.
I've said many times that fitness has become my outlet to deal with stress and it has really helped me. If I'm training for a race or just working out to stay in shape I love using products that help me make the most of my workouts because I don't have a lot of time to waste. I just received the newest IdealFit protein and BCAA flavor and I have to say I'm hooked.
Every morning this week I have made a Mint Chocolate Smoothie. I use one cup almond milk, one tablespoon cocoa, and some chocolate NuNaturals syrup and it's been delicious.
Who doesn't love Strawberry Kiwi? They go together like PB&J. This has really helped get me through some tough cardio workouts this week. I recommend this flavor a lot.