Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Hiker's Christmas

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Christmas and were able to spend the day with family and/or friends.  I got an early start to my day.  In  fact, the girls were up just a little after six am.  They enjoyed opening gifts from me and Steve and of course Santa.  Steve and I don't always exchange gifts, but did this year.

As I opened my gift from Steve I was a little off guard because the bag was from a sporting goods store.  This is my 35th Christmas and I have never received any sport type gift in my life.  I couldn't imagine what could be in it.  To my surprise the gift included hiking socks, hiker's back pack and special hiking sticks.  Never in a million years would I have asked for or even wanted these items for the obvious reasons.  My how things have changed.

One of the activities that Steve and I enjoy doing together is hiking.  We have hiked two of the Apostle Islands near Bayfield, Wi and the unforgettable ten mile hike of Pictured Rocks in Munising, MI. I was so proud of myself for completing these two hikes that I bought a patch from the each of these National Parks to remember these long walks by.   Being able to see beautiful scenes by foot is an amazing experience.  It is so much better than by car.  In fact, we are looking forward to many more years of exploring God's great land.

As I looked at my Christmas gift, Steve told me that I should sew my patches onto the backpack.  I nodded in agreement and told him that can't believe that this was a gift that I would be able to use.  My whole life I struggled to walk just a few feet at a time.  Now, I'm able to walk miles at a time with Steve and our daughters.  I didn't just receive a great hiking gift today, I received another day of mobility and Independence. I love my life and can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring!

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Busy Busy

I am really looking forward to the kids winter break from school.  We won't have to run out the door to all of the activities (basketball, girl scouts, church classes, etc.)  The girls can play with friends and we can just have fun together.  It's really hard to believe how much our lives have changed all because of my correct diagnosis.

A year and a half ago, I only left the house if someone was taking ME somewhere!  I was home all day long and couldn't do much other than sit and watch television.  Steve would always make sure to get me out of the house on the weekend with some type of activity (Costco run or having dinner out).  My mom would take me to the gym a couple days during the week and that saved my life.  Not only did I need the strength training, but I needed the social interaction.

Now, all I do is run the kids here and there. All I can really think is, "I'm so glad I can do it."  They were not able to be this involved in so many activities before,  because of me.  I know that I was a good mom then, but now I feel like a Super Mom.  More often than not, when I'm taking Sharon to basketball she will ask me, "Mom, do you remember when you couldn't drive at night?"  To that I normally answer, "I will never forget that."

When I began taking my new medication over a year ago, I had two fears:
1) What if this medication doesn't work forever.  I can't  live a normal life and go back to the way I used to be.
2) I don't EVER want to forget how challenging my life use to be, because it's necessary that I appreciate every little gift that is given to me.

I hope you will take time out of your busy day to count your blessings.  I think you'll be surprised with how many you have.  I know I am.