Posts tagged ‘birthday’

March 18, 2013

Birthday Love and Gratitude

bday photo_cropped

Hi, Everyone! It’s Brooke here. So, this is the time of year when my fellow Pisceans come out to play—we really couldn’t ask for a better time of year to celebrate. Early spring in Texas is beautiful. The mornings are still a little cool, the tulip trees and daffodils are blooming in their purple and golden glory, respectively, and all the critters are actively rejoicing in the close of the bitterly cold winter. This year, my birthday fell on Tuesday, and to tell you the truth, I was kind of disappointed it was going to be a workday. Internal thoughts: Really? How festive can Tuesday be? What a drag. Blah, blah, blah. Anyway, first Monday came along, and my heart was quickened by a few early birthday wishes from my friends at work. Then Tuesday arrived, and sweet wishes arrived throughout the day from people in all parts of my life—kind acquaintances, dear family members, and precious friends. Many of these kind thoughts arrived online, and as I set about replying to each of them, something magical happened. As I typed each little note, I reflected on my relationship with each sender, thankful for the connection tying us together. Then I sent my warm wishes back from whence they came. I spent all day doing this, except for several intervals of actual work, and what a wonderful day it was!! I felt absolutely bathed in a steady stream of love from sunrise to after dark. I so hope that each of you experiences a day (or lots more!) like this in the very near future. It does your heart a world of good.

heart leaf

This year was the big 3-8 for me. Yikes!! When did I get to be within spitting distance of 40? And more troublesome, why was this bothering me? In years past, I’ve always loved birthdays—what better way to celebrate the day that a loved one entered this wonderful world? Also, because there’s nothing we can do to make time go backward, we might as well embrace its inevitable forward movement with joy rather than dread. Now, the tiny thought teases my brain that those sentiments are easily expressed by people basking in the prime of their youth, with their facile optimism—but what does one say or think as the years creep along? Really what I’m wondering is what has my life been up to this point and what shall its purpose be going forward? Something about 38 seems so . . . serious. So grown up. Like I should have my crap figured out by now. Darn it!

What I’ve decided this means is that I need to slow down (for a little while), be still, and reflect on what my goals are for the future, rather than living each day frantically trying to meet obligations, deadlines, and expectations. I know I’m not the only one who struggles with balance and wanting to live a radiant, authentic life, despite the busyness of each day. But thankfully, on many days, and one day especially last week, I was reminded that my life is full of joy and love all the time; that if I’m continually thankful, my sights will be set on powerful, positive things; and despite occasional evidence to the contrary, this is a beautiful world.

Give thanks for a little

I’ll leave you with the “Desiderata,” one of my favorite poems that I keep close to my desk. I’ve spent many idle moments pondering its message of peaceful living amid a chaotic and sometimes discouraging world. I repeat it silently in my head like a rosary or a mantra, checking for relevancies in my life as I go through each line. And two things happen every time—my eyes tear up as my heart recognizes these same truths and my soul is soothed. It’s literary Xanax. Purrrrrrr. Have a blessed week!

With love, Brooke
desiderata

February 12, 2013

An early delivery….

If you are reading this on the day it was posted, then today is February 12, 2013. Exactly 7 years ago today I was blessed with my second daughter, Bianca Elle. She was born at 6:10 am weighed in at 6lb 2 oz. She was perfect. I can remember holding for a quick second while the nurse snapped a picture and whisked her away. I thought to myself, wow, this is new since my last child. What I didn’t realize is that they were giving me the picture because they were not allowing her to stay with me. Bianca, while a healthy weight, and breathing on her own, and seemingly perfect, was born 6 weeks early. Let me take you back….

Before I got pregnant with Bianca I had gone for my yearly check-up and the doctor discovered some pre-cancerous cells on my cervix. We did a procedure called a LEEP, which removed the part of the cervix that was affected. When I became pregnant with Bianca, the doctor told me that this could cause me to have a condition called an incompetent cervix. He said I could go about my pregnancy as normal, but when I reached 16 weeks, they would start to do transvaginal ultrasounds every two weeks to monitor the length of my cervix. If it shortened each week, and reached a certain number, I would have to go on bed rest. I thought to myself, no way that will happen. At the time I was still an elementary school teacher and I bartended one day a week. But, as the story goes, I indeed did have to go on bedrest from month 5 of my pregnancy on. It was tough…I had all these grand plans of writing books, scrapbooking, showering…lol…but mostly I watched television and tried to not worry about my butt growing larger and larger. One night , February 9th, I woke up in the middle of the night to wet pants. I thought, geez Danielle, did you really just pee on yourself. But, as I examined closer I realized that it was clear and odorless. In a panic we called the doctor and he informed me to go directly to the hospital as it seemed my water was leaking. Oh no! Please no. Its too early..my baby wasn’t ready yet. The doctors decided to hold my labor off some…they gave me steroids to strengthen Bianca’s lungs, and then induced me on February 12th at midnight. 6 hours and a few pushes later, there she was. Perfectly healthy and a really great weight. They said at that rate she could have been 11 lbs had I gone full term (my theory is that she was just crowded in my belly, because I am a pretty small person, and decided it was time to come out). They took her to the NICU and for the first time in my life my heart was completely broken. Matter of fact, as I write this, I am overwhelmed with the memory of that feeling. To all you mothers out there who did not go home with your baby right away, or ever for that matter, my heart hurts for you. Because Adrianna was 4 at the time, I knew I had to go home. I asked to be released the very next morning, which they agreed to. I saw a lactation specialist and pumped and pumped and pumped in hopes of producing enough milk to bring back up to the hospital each day. I called the nurse every hour, and she was happy to talk to me and tell me how Bianca was doing. I would drop Adrianna off at daycare in the morning and sit with my Bianca all day until it was time to pick Adrianna back up. I would just hold her against my skin and when it was time to go, I would cry and cry until I had no tears left. She was only in the NICU for a week, but that week seemed like an eternity.

But here we are, 7 years later! Bee is such a unique kid. She loves Harry Potter, and dinosaurs, and garage sales. She has never a met a paper clip or a piece of paper that she didn’t want to put up for safe keeping. She plays volleyball, loves animals, and makes my heart melt with every smile and funny joke she makes.

Happy Birthday Bianca Elle Hinson! Image