Happy birthday to me; I’m officially 23! 🎉🎈
I got birthday hugs & the sweetest gifts from the amazing College Inn crew! Tifani gave me this fancy mug & a beautiful candle that smells sooooo good & says “Hello, Sunshine” ☀️ She said I am the most sunshine-y person she knows & I always brighten her day! I teared up & honestly still do thinking about it. And Austin gave me the bright, gorgeous flowers you see in the pictures below! I was so surprised & so happy I was literally shaking. I still can’t believe they did that!
Then I got to spend my birthday evening with my parents & Clyde 🙂 They showed up to my apartment door wearing giant party hats & big, cheesy smiles…which totally caught the maintenance workers off guard when they answered the door, lol. We went to Mellow Mushroom & had some delicious gluten free pizza with onions (my favorite)! After dinner, we went to McDonalds & sat at a booth for hours drinking hot chocolate, just talking & laughing about everything & nothing at all. I am so incredibly blessed to have a family who truly enjoys one another’s company & who can have fun doing just about anything. My parents are my best friends & I don’t know what I would do without them. We are a dysfunctional bunch, but I wouldn’t change a thing.. ❤
And Peter wants to take me to a birthday dinner tomorrow night! We were supposed to see each other tonight, but I was feeling a bit low after some things happened & so I asked if we could reschedule. I am actually excited we’re going tomorrow instead, because, as dumb as this may sound, that means the celebration isn’t over 🎉
I received some really, really sweet text messages & voicemails today that reminded how many people out there truly care & love me, today & every day, even though we may not get to see one another often. I really needed that, especially lately.. ❤
I truly appreciate everyone who helped make my special day so special, both in person & from a distance! I feel the love 😘
Here’s to year 23!!
Got to meet my beautiful little [adopted] nieces tonight!
So excited to be an aunt & SO incredibly obsessed with their sweet little selves ❤
Not all superheroes wear capes. Sometimes they look like tired parents in flip flops, perched in uncomfortable armchairs. A constant in the storm, a comrade in battle, hand-in-hand, never wavering. Clothed in strength, patience, determination, faith & unconditional love.. ❤
I had the BEST time with these lovely ladies today! I cannot even begin to express how needed this get-together was…not just for me, but for all of us. Spending time with people who truly get it– talking, laughing, commiserating, joking, and just BEING, no strings attached– is truly the best medicine. No one flinched when someone whipped out a nebulizer or strapped on a neck brace or flushed their port or tripped over their tubing. Laughing, we raced up to help each other (usually just adding to the chaos…lol, but the thought was there). It was the first time in a long time I felt genuinely happy.. ❤
I had a great time with my youngest sister yesterday! We haven’t gotten to spend much quality time together since my family was torn apart in 2012…but recently we’ve been bonding– amidst and despite our family’s dysfunction– and I can’t even tell you how much its meant to me. We had a really cool conversation around 2am. It started when she asked about my feeding tube. Not in an “ew gross” or otherwise insulting way, but she genuinely wanted to know what “happened” and why I went from being a healthy, normal kid to a sick teen/adult. She asked about the ins and outs of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and how it affected/will continue to affect my life. The whole conversation, never once did she make a judgmental remark or tell me to stop talking. Despite living with me for extended periods since I became sick, she honestly did not know much of anything about my illnesses until that point, and it was truly a sweet and special moment for me…although that may sound weird to some. Prior to recent weeks she and my other sister Kerian have had nothing but nasty, degrading comments, spoken with the intent to hurt me. And they’ve succeeded. Both can be incredibly mean-hearted and they know how to be manipulative and hit a person where it hurts (especially Keri). But this conversation with Bre tonight, plus all the fun we’ve had lately talking and joking, driving around, swinging at the park, watching Supernatural, and just being sisters has my heart so full: I cannot help but feel cautiously hopeful. I find myself praying and pleading with God that this lasts. Regardless, I am thankful for these past weeks and I love my lil ginger sis.. ❤
Chopped off 14 inches of my hair to donate to make wigs for kids battling cancer!! My hair hasn’t been this short since I was 13. I didn’t realize how much hair weighs, especially hair as thick as mine…I feel so much lighter! This new style is gonna take a lot of getting used to, but I am very excited to be able to give my hair to such a good cause 🙂
Today Lucie officially graduated from NC State’s Poole College Of Management with a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance! Not only did she finish such a difficult degree (with English as her second language), but she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a GPA of 3.6. We are so proud of her! Today was a very long day…Shannon and I did not sleep at all last night (or the night before, actually), and she, Hillary and I left for PNC Arena at 7:45am (and didn’t leave until after 4, ha ha). But it was beyond worth it as it was absolutely wonderful to watch our sweet roomie walk across that stage. I love our little graduate so much!
Messages from my sweet best friend remind me why I keep fighting through nights like these. Love this girl more than words could ever express. Through it all, she gives the best pep talks & is always there to hold me, dry my tears, make me laugh, & fight right along side me. I am so, so incredibly blessed… ❤