I’m not the type to come up with New Year’s resolutions. I tried many times in my younger days…and failed miserably! Instead, I have found that the New Year is a good time to reassess life and think about how I can be a better person, which leads me to an ambitious year ahead.
I’m not quite sure how I can top 2015. After a few years of ups and down, last year was SO amazing. Not only did I make a big career move, Ryan and I decided to plant roots in Springfield and bought a house that we absolutely adore. After four years in Springfield, we finally feel like we’re “home”. On top of that, Peyton continued to wow everyone in her path. She took off with development, catching up to many children her age. She crossed off more specialists and doctors, graduating from her cardiologist and Nicu check ups. Peyton learned how to walk and hasn’t slowed down ever since! She began talking and really showed off her spunky personality. All in all, 2015 was picture perfect.
So, how can I make 2016 even better? I came up with three goals that aren’t outrageous, they are simple things I can do to enhance an already exciting time in my life.
Be my daughter’s biggest advocate
This is something I already do, but I want to continue to look out for Peyton’s best interests. From weekly therapy sessions to keeping an eye on her health, Ryan and I want Peyton to get the best care possible. We are SO lucky to have an amazing team of therapists and a nanny that has a teaching background, but 2016 will bring a lot of changes. We plan on enrolling Peyton in preschool in the fall and her therapy sessions could change because of her age and the Early Intervention program. These next few months will be filled with plenty of meetings…and I’m sure a few tears as we watch our miracle child grow up before our eyes.
Be a better wife
I’m sure this is something so many parents can relate to: Once children come into your lives, the marriage changes. For us, it hasn’t changed in a bad way, it’s just different. I remember getting concerned texts and phone calls after Abby and Parker died. Friends and family were wondering how Ryan and I were doing. Oftentimes, the loss of a child can destroy a relationship, sometimes even leading to divorce. But for us, our bond became stronger. My husband almost lost all three of his children and his wife in one night. Thank goodness I’m here today and I thank God that Peyton is healthy and here as well. Between the normal craziness of life and raising a child with a few higher needs, our marriage has been put on the back burner. We work opposite schedules and tend to spend every waking hour with Peyton. This year, I am making it a point to concentrate on my marriage. We only get out for a date maybe once or twice a year…but that is going to change in 2016! It’s time to get back to our relationship and make it a point to spend time together without children. Ryan and I have been married for 6 1/2 years, together for over 12, and I love him more and more every day. I’m a lucky girl!
Honor our triplets through charity work
Ever since I was a child, I gave back through volunteering. So, it was a bit of a surprise after our children were born and we became one of the families I was used to helping. It’s a bit surreal, but we’ve embraced the opportunities that have come our way and are so honored to be able to share our stories through various charities. We have a big spring with Children’s Miracle Network as the students gear up for the annual Illinithon dance marathon. We can’t wait to take P to the University of Illinois to dance away the day with “Team Peyton” and raise money for such a good cause. And 2016 brings a new opportunity as we have been named this year’s Ambassador Family for the March of Dimes of Central Illinois. Peyton is the youngest baby to survive in our area, and we are honored to help raise money for an organization dedicated to giving a fighting chance to every baby. And on top of our active charity work, I have a very ambitious goal: I would like to get a non-profit up and running this year in honor of our angels, Abby and Parker. For two years now, we have donated children’s books to our local Nicu for families to take home. It’s a simple thing that brings comfort to Nicu parents while keeping our children’s memory alive. I was overwhelmed this fall with sharing our journey of child loss through television and writing, that my plans had to be put on the back burner. But, things are slowing down and I finally have time to dedicate to getting a non-profit going. I’ll be working on our mission statement and getting a board of directors put in place and hope to have exciting news about the progress in the coming months. (I still need help coming up with a name!!!)
As I wrap up this post, a huge smile has swept over my face. This past year was filled with so much happiness and positive news and I know 2016 will be great! Thank you to the thousands of new supporters who have joined our journey and to those of you who first got to know me when I was pregnant 3 years ago. I’m honored that my children have touched your lives in some way and I look forward to pouring my heart and soul into my writing, while hopefully inspiring some of you along the way.
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