Don’t You Dare



We found ourselves in downtown Raleigh on a Thursday evening, walking about Fayetteville Street Mall, looking for some reasonably priced grub for the crew.  This was another spontaneous outing while we escaped from an eerily clean house for a last minute showing.

There were lots of food trucks and people selling their wares.  Live music was pulsing in the air and my children spied a booth hosted by the Carolina Hurricanes.  It was an inflatable slap shot zone where kids are given five attempts to shoot a puck and hit winning targets.  The prize was a red t-shirt.  8/9 O’Melias gave it a go.  Maddie was our only winner.

Gabby passed on making her best slap shot attempt.  I was secretly relieved.  I knew it would be a struggle for her to one-handedly grasp the hockey stick and make contact with a puck sitting on pavement.  We moved onward.  We contemplated our need for ice cream.  It was then that Gabby decided, yes, she needed to step up and give this hockey challenge her very best go.  Ugh. My feelings were so very mixed.  I was thrilled she was being courageous, yet concerned she would be discouraged or suffer embarrassment.  I stood and watched as she stepped right up to the young man running the show.  He handed her the stick. [Read more...]

What More Could We Ask For?

Gabby Turns 10


I recently took my Gabby girl back to UNC for a follow-up appointment with her orthopaedic doctor.

I swung our 12-passenger van widely to make the turn into the parking space.

“Oops.  We can’t park here.  This is a handicap spot,” I remarked.


“What is handicapped even for?” she asked.

I began to explain.  I began to tell her how much some people struggle to get around…


And then I saw them.

A mom pushing her severely handicapped child.  They exited from the front of the building and walked toward us.

“We thought that would be you, Gabby.  We didn’t know if you would ever learn to walk, talk, or read.”

[Read more...]

His Ways Are Higher


Pie Face

Pie Face.


When I first heard about the game I thought it would be ridiculously fun to play with family.

I should have made my purchase before Thanksgiving though, because when I went to buy it, the stores were sold out.


Fortunately, our neighbors came through and saved us from much sadness when they gifted us the game!

Woohoo! Thanks, Griffis Family!


We sat down to play the Saturday before Christmas.  I wondered how my Gabby girl would do.

She has a tendency to experience sensory overload when input exceeds her limits.


Heck, it will probably be good therapy, I rationalized.

It will expose her to a different sensory experience in an entertaining way.

[Read more...]

Happy 9th Birthday

Happy 9th Birthday!


I guess there are just some birthdays that seem bigger than others.

They stand out for whatever reason.  They strike a mama’s heart in a different way, with more severity.

The age they’re turning, it screams “older” more loudly than the other years.

That was this year for me.

It was deafening.

It was crazy!

How could my sweet girl be turning 9?!

This. Can’t. Be.

[Read more...]

6 Years Seizure-Free

Cookie Cake!


This was the first year it happened.

The first year September 14th slipped by unnoticed.

I vowed this would never take place.

I promised we would always remember what the Lord did on that day.

In my defense, it was a Monday.

And I did have an uneasy, nagging feeling that day when I glanced at the date on my iPhone.

I even wondered out loud if I was forgetting the birthday of a special someone.

Then it dawned on me two days later…

Seizure freedom. [Read more...]

Gabby Turns 8!

Frozen Cake

She wanted “Frozen” and she wanted to be surprised.

She wanted an ice-cream cake with “Anna” and “Elsa” on top.

She wanted lots of beautifully wrapped presents.

She wanted to play games like “Pin the Tail on the Donkey”.

I love a girl who knows what she wants!

Except when her real birthday passes without adequate recognition, and she’s more than a little bummed.

It was hard on this mama to wait-it-out without the slightest suggestion that there might be something more to come.

So I reminded her that we would eventually celebrate. ;)

[Read more...]

5 Years Seizure-Free!!

I have surrendered the life and future of my sweet Gabrielle many times over.

I have released dreams and relinquished expectations.

I have placed my trust in Jesus.

8 Years Old!


In a way, I think deep down, I always felt like I was settling for something less good.

A less desirable life for my daughter, not just a different one.

A more difficult life for my daughter, filled with struggles and overcoming, perhaps even dependency.

A more difficult life for me.

[Read more...]

Hands and Feet

Hands and Feet

Have you ever noticed that emotional arousal creates incredibly vivid memories?

When your body’s stress hormone is released, memory making is kicked up a serious notch.

That’s why when something really amazing, terrifying, or shocking happens, you often remember what you were wearing, where you were standing, the music that was playing, and the smells that surrounded you.

I have many intense, detailed memories from the years when my Gabby was her sickest.

[Read more...]

2014 Dreams on Wings



This was our first year participating in Dreams on Wings as ‘Team Gabby Faith’.

We were running to celebrate our miracle daughter, Gabrielle, who underwent a right hemispherectomy almost 6 years ago.

We were running to celebrate the amazing 4 1/2 years of seizure-freedom we’ve been given and all of her accomplishments that have come with that.

We were running to raise awareness of this radical brain surgery and to support the Hemispherectomy Foundation, an organization that does so much for these special individuals and their families. [Read more...]

Betsy Murphy, MPT

Betsy and Gabby Girl


We’ve had an amazing physical therapist working with Gabby for the longest time now.

She’s very good at what she does.

She’s smart.

She’s knowledgable. [Read more...]