Lately I turned 36. I celebrated with a pedicure. And I got my hair styled and some makeup put on my money maker. My money maker hasn't had makeup on in three months. Three months. I kind of liked it.
Lately life is a blur. A blur of this routine we seem to have built for ourselves. A routine founded in survival. A routine in which every hour of every day is accounted for. And surviving we are.
Some might even say thriving. Because lately, Sister is so big she can actually wear her hospital bracelets. Before this, she wore a sticker on her back identifying her as Girl Sara Smith. It's like with bracelets now, she can hold her own. Lately, this makes my heart soar.
As does this. Lately it's been hit or miss with the feedings. But as of today, she has completed three whole feedings in a row. We're trying not to get too excited. Because lately there has been talk of going home soon if she can get this feeding thing down. Be still my heart. Be still.
Lately there has been lots of staring. Staring at my beautiful baby girl who has continued to grow and fight and completely have us mesmerized by what a gift life is. What a gift she is. What a gift her brothers are. What a gift her nurses and doctors have been. They have become my friends as I sit with my girl, day in and day out. Friends who love her and know her and root for her. How do you ever say thank you for that?
And lately - as in like this morning - this happened:
After 49 days, my boys got to see my girl with their very own eyes. It was a quick hello - just looking, no touching - and they have not been able to stop talking about it since. Nico just asked, "Mama, is Gabby coming home soon?" Oh, I pray. I pray every day.
Lately, it has become abundantly clear that blessings lie hidden in all struggles. Blessings of growth, of new friends, of firsts that will forever be imprinted in your heart.