It's a beautiful (albeit smoggy) day here in SLC, UT. The sun is out, it's hovering around fifty degrees. Soon, I will be gorging on tons of delicious food.
But the real beauty of this day is the chance to reflect on the blessings in my life.
I'm not going to lie, this life is hard. It's full of trials. At least, my life has been. It's had its ups and its downs. Some of the downs have been very, very low. But if I try to look for the good, I can always find it in abundance.
Many of you have been reading this blog for years, following me through all sorts of trials and triumphs. There has been joy, there has been grief and pain. There have been tears of happiness and tears of sorrow.
In just over a month, a lifelong dream of mine will be coming true. I will be a published author with Scholastic. I remember as a little girl, reading The Babysitters Club and wishing I could be Stacey. I thought if I had diabetes and was from NYC, then people would like me. I signed all of my i's with a heart like her. I even pretended I had diabetes at school once in second grade, hoping it would win me more friends. (That was an #epicfail, btw.) Harry Potter is my favorite series of all time. And The Hunger Games is in a league of its own. Scholastic book fairs...I LOVED getting those flyers at school growing up. When I had sleepovers with my FarMor (my Swedish Grandma), she would take me to the mall to get something, and I always had her buy me books. Reading and writing have been a part of me my entire life.
And now, in just over a month, my book will be on a shelf with that same logo on the spine.
It is unbelievable. As I sit here writing this, I'm trying not to cry, and failing. (Unfortunately, I'm in a public place, too.)
Having a dream come true is an interesting thing. It's beautiful and amazing, but it's also hard in surprising ways. I've poured my heart and soul into this book, I've done everything I could to make it the best it could be. Am I perfect? No. Is my writing flawless? Of course not. But I tried my best, and I love these characters with my whole heart. I hope that many of you will, too. I know not everyone will and that's hard. It's hard to hear when people don't understand Alexa or Damian or Rylan the way I do. But that's also the beauty of writing a story and giving it to the world. It is no longer my story. Once you pick up that book, it becomes yours. You will meet these characters and experience their stories on your terms. My hope is that for some of you, you will lose yourself in Alexa's story, in her failures and triumphs. In her weaknesses and her strengths. This is a story of overcoming loss, of continuing on no matter what. It is a story of finding love amidst pain and fear, and it is a story of discovering true strength and the courage to overcome all obstacles on the path to the hope of a better future.
DEFY is preparing to spread its wings and take flight into the world. And that is both thrilling and terrifying. It is happiness and dreams-can-come-true and this-is-really-happening.
Not all of our dreams come true, this I know. God has blessed me with much in my life, but some of it has come at a great cost, and some blessings have not come at all, as much as I wish they had. But I do know that God loves me, and I know that all of the blessings in my life are from Him. I have an amazing husband. I have three beautiful, healthy children. There was a time when I thought I would never have children, and then a time when we had to face the reality that we might only have one. We have an angel in heaven, watching over us. And miraculously, I have two more gorgeous children, even though getting them here were some of the scariest trials I've endured. I want more babies, I wish I could have more. There may yet be another miracle or two in store for me, but I hardly even dare hope or pray for that. I don't want to be greedy and risk leaving my family without a Mommy. But as I sit here, thinking over my life so far I realize just how incredibly blessed I truly am.
I hope that all of you are with those you love today, whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not. I hope you take the time every day to look for the good, because all of us are blessed in unique ways. Some blessings may only come after we do all that we can--as was the case with my dream of getting published. I struggled and worked for years and years to get here, but because I never gave up, I eventually had that dream come true.
And I am so grateful that I never gave up and never quit.
I am grateful for so much.
I am blessed.