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our tiniest princess turned one today! what was possibly the longest year of my life has actually come to a close. who would have believed it? now we enter what i hope is a new beginning. out with the old long, exhausting doctors appointments…in with the new, long exhausting therapy appointments. okay, okay – i need to be more optimistic. yes, we will have two days of therapy a week, but hopefully a lot less doctors to visit and a lot less testing to do. i’m counting on this. so, if this next year looks anything like the last i hereby promise to start a riot. i’ll do it all by myself. i will loot and turn over cars until all doctors call and cancel our appointments. i mean it. you hear me, medical community?!! don’t test me.

unfortunately, if the rest of her second year looks anything like today – it does not bode well for our local authorities (i’m crashing store windows and stealing radios as i type). today was what i would deem – a bad day. her g-tube started malfunctioning yesterday so i begrudgingly (and by begrudgingly i mean you could hear me swearing from here to guatemala) took her to the hospital to get it replaced with her more permanent, smaller mic-key button. this is something we had scheduled to do two weeks from now – not on her birthday. her birthday was supposed to be a light and cheery day: therapy in the morning, then park, then a happy lunch followed by naps, and in the evening a fun family dinner. but alas, i’m starting to get the notion that life doesn’t tend to happen on my terms. it has only taken me this entire year to finally get that lesson beaten into my head…one of many hard lessons God is waiting on me to learn. *sigh*

did you know that they don’t use local anesthesia when taking out a tube from a A PERSON’S STOMACH and pushing in a new one? they don’t. that’s right – our little lucia cried and screamed for the better part of the day. did you know the x-ray contrast they use to to check placement of the g-tube causes diarrhea? it does. so she was crying and pooping the day away.

before i delve into a rant of how lucia’s birthday did not go as planned – let me tell you something else. she is finally asleep…happily snoozing away in a motrin-induced slumber. and i’ve spent a long time staring at her.

this precious angel, this sweet beauty.

and all i can think is – how in the world did i get so lucky? who am i to be so blessed? don’t get me wrong – it has been a ridiculously hard year. as much as i want to pretend to be strong and holy and tell you it was a piece of cake with God at my side – i can’t. this year has tested and tried me and has found me to be weak. frail. needy. tired. it is a truth i can’t mask or pretend away.

i am weak.

BUT…i am blessed.

ridiculously undeservedly blessed. with this child lucia. with this child isabella. with my husband. with our great families. with you – our friends. and most of all this year has brought me face to face with the unshakable, undeniable reality that God exists and that i can rest my heavy heart on Him day after day after day. and i can rise up each morning and lift my hands up and thank Him and praise Him and love Him and laugh at the crazy notion that my weak self is so loved by the Creator of life.

PRAISE YOU JESUS for this year. for my daughter. for her weakness. for mine. what a beautiful story you write. i am in awe and am left completely in love with You. and i give my word to rise up and praise you in the brightest of days and the darkest of nights.

happy, happy first birthday lucia!