A Beautiful Risk

Two weeks ago, two different families that were “friends of friends” lost children on the same weekend. One a newborn baby who inexplicably never breathed, and one a teen in a freak accident. Since then, I have not been able to stop thinking about this post I wrote back in October 2007 (!!!) about my baby Sophie, for the old online magazine TopBlogMag. I finally searched for it so I could re-publish it here for you guys, because it adequately expresses my thoughts on what I’ve been feeling for these two families, and on the great way we expose our mom hearts when we have kids.

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She’s sleeping soundly, and I pause to observe a rare moment of calm in my wild child, my crazy girl, my daring daughter. Her long, fine hair covers her thick eyelashes and rest on her plump, peaceful cheeks. She is, to me, simply amazing. But I am, of course, her mother.

Eleven months ago, I exhibited the opposite of the serenity she now sleepily displays. I was pregnant with her, and on the cusp of giving birth, rotund, uncomfortable, and scared. I was anxious, apprehensive, and fretful about my baby girl. My fears frustrated and confounded me. I already had a son, and he was healthy and strong. I had done this before, what was wrong with me? I just wanted her out, and as my pregnancy progressed I became more and more convinced she would be safer outside the womb than in.

A few days before my due date, after a doctor’s appointment where once again, everything looked fine, I sat down to try and analyze my fear, to seek to know the enemy that was taking the joy out of this pregnancy. What I came to realize after some careful, quiet thought, was this: because I already had one child, I knew what I had to lose if something went wrong with this pregnancy. I knew what it was like to hold my own child in my arms, to nurse it at my breast, to feel its breath on my cheek, to marvel at its first smile and revel in its first laugh. This baby already had my heart. Giving her life meant risking her life, and I already knew I couldn’t live without her.

A few days later, right on time, my risk, my beautiful risk paid off. My daughter came into my world healthy and strong, just like her brother. The last eleven months she has brought me joy upon joy, and looking at her now I don’t regret the risk for a minute. Still, knowing what I have to lose, I don’t think myself brave enough to take it on again.

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My Nephew Has More Championships Than Your Nephew

FanAunt Drew

Not to brag or anything.

Because I have nothing to do with his genius (clearly!!), but my nephew Drew just one-upped himself, or two-upped himself, and won not one (like last year) but three national championship titles at the Rubik’s Cube 2015 US Nationals last week! He not only won the National Champion title in his specialty, the Pyraminx (the pyramid-shaped one, which you will see below) he also won the top spot for a crazy puzzle called the Skewb, and the BIG one – the 3×3
“regular” Rubik’s Cube! He literally won that one by .01 of a second. It is like the OLYMPICS up in here!

And that’s not ALL! He holds the world record on Pyraminx for an average solve time of 2.56 seconds (that’s an average of 3 solves, dropping the high and low times of 5 solves). But at Nationals, he also set a new North American record for the single-solve of the Pyraminx in 1.68 seconds. Yeah. You’re gonna need to watch this about 1o times to grasp it!

WHAT JUST HAPPENED?? I love the crowd’s reaction on this. These people are USED to this kind of thing and they were still blown away!

Oh, and here’s a Skewb solve, in case you were wondering what that is.

Drew says over and over when people are amazed at his skills, that he practices about 2 hours a day. Also, he started this when he was nine, and he’s almost 16. So, he’s been working on these mad skillz for almost 7 years!

Needless to say, the family is quite proud of this kid! I am super-proud of ALL my nieces and nephews. I am totes biased but I think we have an exceptional family! My brothers and sisters-in-law have set the bar pretty high for kid raising. No pressure…

Way to go Drew! You kinda rule, and I really enjoy being your #FanAunt.

Everyone, do Drew a favor and go like his Facebook page, Drew Brads, Speedcuber! Since I contributed nothing to his genius, I DO like to contribute to getting his name out there. :) You can also subscribe and share his YouTube Channel, XTownCuber.

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Take Summer Out With a Bang With LivingSocial #Giveaway

living social

I am super-excited to bring you a sponsored giveaway from LivingSocial! All opinions are my own.

You guys KNOW I love a deal, so when LivingSocial debuted a few years ago, I was on it like white on rice. If there is an event or activity my family wants to do nearby, I always hit LivingSocial first to make sure there’s not an awesome deal. We’ve done some really fun family activities on the cheap with LivingSocial including our favorite local waterpark, bowling, and mini-golf! Bobby and I have also had some frugal date nights by purchasing LivingSocial vouchers for some local restaurants. And – beyond local, I’ve gotten some great deals on gifts at LivingSocial, too! I even got my Costco Membership for an awesome price there!

sophie-joshua-suits

Another fun way I use LivingSocial is by checking out their local deals when we go on vacation! I’ve added some bang to our vacation budget by finding LivingSocial vouchers for family fun activities and eateries in the town we’re vacationing in! Bonus!

If you haven’t tried LivingSocial yet, you are REALLY missing out! So,  I am going to give you some incentive. To celebrate the end of summer and making the most of what’s left of fun in the sun, I’m giving away $50 in Deal Bucks to LivingSocial!! Whoop whoop! It’s easy to enter: simply leave a comment below telling me the BEST deal you’ve ever gotten on LivingSocial. If you’ve never tried it, go to your local LivingSocial page and tell me which deal you most want to purchase.

One winner will be chosen at random on Thursday, August 6 at 6pm EST. GOOD LUCK!! Don’t forget to share this giveaway – and the LivingSocial love – with all your friends!

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