Sunday, January 1, 2012


I'm a big fan of montages. "One Shining Moment" at the end of the Final Four? I eat it up. The tributes at the Academy Awards? Love them.

So I present my somewhat-clumsily written montage for 2011. These are the moments that still make me laugh and cry. Sometimes both.

All of the miracles leading up to Jossie's birth, allowing Jeremy to be there, me to be awake for the actual moment and Jossie being given the best care possible from the moment she took her first breath...Leaving Jossie at night in the NICU, I would close her window shade because I was afraid the nurses would forget and the sun would wake her too early in the morning and me doing anything to feel like I was in control...Friends Amy and Mark allowing Jack to climb into bed with them while they kept him during my hospital parents' and Jeremy's parents unending generosity in their own personal ways to support us...the thoughtfulness of our family and friends who surrounded us in love throughout the weeks surrounding Jossie's arrival...future brother-in-law Daniel emailing Jeremy and me the day before he proposed to Cassie...crying at the pediatrician's office after learning Jossie was on the growth charts for her actual age...reuniting with our nannyshare friends after they moved to Cleveland...holding Jack on our friends Emily and Steve's new rooftop deck in Wrigleyville, the summer breezes encircling us as we took in Wrigley Field and the views of downtown, so grateful that our friends had moved back to early dinner at Navy Beach at the end of the earth - Montauk, NY - everything sparkled that evening - the drinks, the food, the water as Jack tried to skipped stones...Jack so capably adjusting to life as a preschooler and big brother...standing with my co-workers at the conclusion of our gala benefit at the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve, the moon heavy over the Lake Michigan shoreline and our U.S. senator stopping by, not as a politician but as a person supporting our work...seeing my sister's nurturing ways and spunk in her toddler daughter...Maria's daughter Ruby telling me that she's "loved Jack since he was two months old"...Jack's preschool teacher crying as she said good-bye to one of Jack's classmates who would be moving over winter break...looking at my perfect baby nephew Logan on Christmas Eve across the dinner table...holding my two brown-haired babies on my lap Christmas morning, feeling their sweet heartbeats...

What 3 lbs 6 oz has taught me: People I know have had much harder troubles than me in 2011. I'm grateful for my family's health and will never take it for granted.  I continue to reflect on the babies in the NICU during our time there - beyond just surviving, they embodied the human spirit of thriving. We use that word a lot now - thrive - to talk about how Jossie is doing. But I think it's also a good outlook for 2012. Life is always going to have its usual trappings (like sweeping up crumbs underneath the highchair - I hate sweeping up crumbs underneath the highchair) but you can choose your outlook for how you spend your days. Take care of yourself and the ones you love; spend more time doing things that are important to you; and try your best to tamp down your worries and trust you are making the right decisions.

From today's daily devotion from Fourth Church: We are each called by God--called to be better than we believe or allow ourselves to be.

Here's to writing the best stories we can for our lives in 2012.

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