July 03, 2018

Marvelous Mettle

Mettle suggests an ingrained capacity for meeting strain or difficulty with fortitude and resilience.  (a challenge that will test your mettle)

There are many words that we use to describe our Chloe girl ❤️ The one above is a perfect one for her this year!!  

Chloe had a bunch of “firsts” beginning with attending the 1st Camp No Limits Teen Camp in Maine!  It was awesome and she is super excited to go again this summer!  She conquered some major fears and survived her first time white water rafting...during which she thought she just might die. ☺️  

She then went on to tackle the medium Ropes Course at the Maryland Camp No Limits.  CNL continues to be a place of community, encouragement, support and safety for Chloe.   

At the end of last summer, I felt like Chloe really needed an outlet, something relaxing and therapeutic. God impressed upon me to look into horseback riding lessons. A few weeks later, through a friend from church, Chloe was taking riding lessons from a dear woman who generously gives of her time and talent to teach Chloe!  It has been extremely challenging for Chloe, probably the first time she has truly struggled with her prosthetic leg doing a physical activity. So many times we forget she has anything different to deal with because she so able. But this was a real challenge, physically and mentally and emotionally. She pushes through every lesson and doesn’t give up.  She learned so much and in her own words, learned that she doesn’t have to be perfect, that she just has to give it her best! 

In the fall, Chloe began her first year of High School, how did that happen??!  Ninth grade was extremely challenging but she again and again met each hurdle head on.  Public speaking, though she says she hates it, you’d never know it to listen to her.  She rocks it every single time!! 

Chloe took on the role of Harriet in Jane Austen’s Emma for her school’s Drama Production. She was truly mesmerizing!!  

On top of her schoolwork, Yearbook Club, a large role in the school play, playing volleyball for school...She was awarded the Guardian Award for Excellence in Academics for earning straight A’s all year. We were even more proud to watch her receive the Guardian Award for Excellence in Christian Character. ❤️✝️ 

Last fall, thanks to her amazing prosthetist, Chloe took an intro scuba diving course and LOVED every minute of it!  She definitely wants to do it again, who knows? Maybe go for her diving license?!! 

Chloe loves all of the extra curricular school activities, especially the dances!! She loves dancing circles around her brother, lol!! 😉 It’s so fun to watch them do things together. ❤️ 

Our Chloe girl is a delight to our hearts, a joy and pleasure to be around. She radiates the love and compassion of Jesus. She is kind, generous, selfless, hard working, determined, pure in heart, smart, focused and loving.  Our family was complete when God gave her to us.  When I allow myself to think back to 12 years ago when we could have lost her, I am at a complete loss for words of gratefulness to God for sparing he life.  I know God’s hand is on her in a special way!  We are certain that His plans for her are so good, better than what we can imagine for her.  It is a privilege to stand back and watch her...the difficulties she faces truly test her mettle and inspire her to draw her strength from her Savior Jesus Christ, through Whom she can do all things through Him Who gives her strength!

So once again, I ask our friends and family to join us in celebrating Chloe’s Alive Day, the day God spared her life and gave her back to us! It is a day that we will never let pass without acknowledging God’s faithfulness and grace in our lives. We are so thankful for Chloe and the blessing and gift she is to us and to all who know her! God is so good, all the time God is good!

Our Chloe girl...our Vibrant Joy!

July 03, 2016

Courageous Joy

Today marks the 10h anniversary of Chloe's accident, a life changing experience for our girl and for our entire family.  I cannot believe it's been that long, so much has happened since then.  It's funny because Chloe just stumbled upon this blog and I shared with her why I continue to write on here every July 3rd.  This is for her.  My prayer is that Chloe will be able to read through all the posts about her and see how God's hands has rested powerfully on her from birth.  

It's been good for me as well, in the beginning it was more about having a place to pour out my heart in those first agonizing days after her accident.  In the last few years, it has developed into a yearly testimony to all the amazing things that God has and is doing in and through this amazing young girl! 

I love to tell her story in pictures...

We have been through so much as a family.  God has been the glue and we stand today together, the bond of love stronger than ever.  All the glory goes to God!

Family Love

Camp No Limits continues to be a HUGE part of our lives!  As Chloe grows as a young lady, we are excited to see how her role changes from camper to mentor.  She and Emma have a super strong bond through some tough shared expeiences.

Camp No Limits, CT ~ Attended camp by herself for the 1st time!

We are always amazed by the things Chloe is able to do, there are truly NO LIMITS!!

Camp No Limits, Maine

So thrilling to see the advances in prosthetics!  This was such a fun time shared with good friends.

Camp No Limits, MD ~ Tried a running foot for the 1st time!

Chloe not only sets and achieves physical goals but she does the same with academic goals.  She finished 7th grade with all A's!  She works hard at everything she does.

1st Day of School ~ 7th Grade for Chloe and 9th for Alex

She was very excited for her very first middle school dance at school!  
What a special girl she is, truly her father's joy!

1st School Dance

We love to see her in sports!  Chloe loves being active and playing on her school teams.

Played soccer for her school

She is a beauty inside and out!

Havre de Grace, MD
She had the opportunity to attend four different Camp No Limits in the past year ~ 
Camp No Limits, FL ~ Gator fun!

Camp No Limits, FL ~ Dominating the Ropes Course

Camp No Limits, FL ~ Amp Buddies
For the most part, this year has been incredible for Chloe physically with one exception.  In December, she injured her leg and ruptured an area of bursitis she's had for awhile.  Her leg swelled to double the size and she was out of her leg for weeks.  So hard to see her like that, but she's a champ!  We were able to get her a wheelchair and we just carried on as normal.  Chloe never complains and has a smile on her face no matter the obstacle.  
It is evidence of God's mercy and grace!
Longwood Gardens with the girls ~ Always smiling even when in pain and in a wheelchair

This girl loves the beach like her mama!  We enjoyed a little family getaway to VA Beach.
Beach Lover

Chloe loves playing softball and had an awesome year!  No one except another amputee understands how much harder Chloe has to work  to do the same things others do in sports.  We are so proud of her, she works twice as hard as anyone on her team!  She never complains, never whines, never feels sorry for herself, never asks for extra slack, never asks to be treated special.  I'm pretty sure most of the girls and their parents on her team this year did not realize that she has a prosthetic leg!  :)
Softball girl

She is FULL of laughter and joy!  What a sweet blessing this girl is to our family.  How lost and lonely we would be without her.  We give all thanks to God for saving her life 10 years ago.
Silly Girl

She was thrilled to be in her first school play and to be one of her favorite characters from Anne of Green Gables!  I do believe she has a natural talent for drama!! LOL :)
1st School Play ~ Chloe was Diana and Alex was Gilbert in Anne of Green Gables

We were so excited that Chloe's good friend, Emma, was able to attend the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Camp that Chloe went to in CA last summer.  These guys are our heroes and they just give the kids inspiration and confidence that is extraordinary!  This year they were close enough for us to go down and watch the final big game.  It was awesome!!  Chloe loved seeing her friends again and was honored to be the bat girl for them.  She had a smile from ear to ear and talked about it all the way home!
Super pumped to be the Bat Girl for her friends from the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team!

Good catch!

Our sweet girl, such a precious gift from God on loan to us for a little while...
Courage, Strength, Faith, Laughter, Faith, Love
This girl...what can I say?  The older she gets, the more open she is and talks quite often about her accident and how it has changed her life.  After the WWAST game on the way home, Chloe told me that she was grateful to have the life she has.  She is grateful that she had her accident because she never would have met the people she has met, made the friends she has, been able to do all the amazing things she has done.  Let me tell you, it was one of those conversations that I will remember for the rest of my life.  Talk about emotional, this mama was a hot mess!  All I could think of was the goodness of God.  To see my daughter's faith grow, to see the beauty from ashes that God has orchestrated...it's unbelievable!  I will always struggle with some of the whys and the wanting to trade places with her, I would in a heartbeat.  And yes, whenever she has hard days or pain, I ache and I mourn for what was "normal life"...I can't help it, I'm her mama.  But the majority of time, I just revel in how far God has brought her and how He knew from the begining of time that this was Chloe's journey.  The day that rocked our world was not an accident in God's perspective...He was with us every moment.  He's been with us every step, every day and every year since then.  Her heavenly Father created her and gave her everything she needs to meet every obstacle head on, conquer it and move on to the next one with a perseverance and tenacity that is mind blowing.  God's hand rests powerfully on our daughter, whose name means Vibrant and her Father's Joy.  These words could not describe our girl more accurately!   

Ten years ago, if you would have asked me to forsee where Chloe would be, where we would be as a family, I never in a million years would have guessed!  Isn't that God?  He is able to do much more than anything we could ever think or imagine!  And so, by faith today I look another ten years down the road to when Chloe is 23 years old...I see amazing things, I see the sky is the limit, I see the ripple effect of God's grace extend outward to so many others through Chloe, I see her setting goals and demolishing them, I see her growing in grace and love, I see her continuing to be a living testimony to the goodness of God.  Friends, so many of you have walked with us these past ten years...continue to believe with me. Believe and have faith for yourselves, for your families...have Hope!  God never disappoints us and He will never let us down!

July 03, 2015

Life to the Fullest

One of my favorite things to do on this date, is to pause and take time to look back over the past year to see what God has done in Chloe's life and how far He has brought her.  It is such a faith builder for me personally and I pray that it will be for Chloe too one day.  Physically, Chloe has had a phenomenal year with no issues with pain or problems with her prosthesis.  Emotionally, she has also had a phenomenal year with incredible growth, maturity and her increasing ability to OWN who she is, to shine brightly and to THRIVE in her world!  This amazing girl is such an example to all those around her, especially her family.  Chloe is the last one to complain, the last one to look for sympathy, and the last one to make excuses.  She is full of compassion, love, gentleness and joy!  She excels in everything she does with such passion, commitment and tenacity to grow and improve every day.  Every year I am blown away by the opportunities that God opens up to her, many of which are possible because of the "accident" that happened 9 years ago today.  

How is it possible that 9 years have passed since the day that rocked our world and shook us to the very core?  You know the saying, time heals all wounds.  In many ways I would agree with this - most of the time I go throughout my days never thinking about that terrible season.  I am able to talk about it freely and I am able to share with others Chloe's story of how God spared her life and redirected her path in such a way that is more incredible than I ever could've imagined.  Chloe has gone through very difficult and dark days but I know without a shadow of a doubt that God never left her and that He is actively at work bringing incredible beauty from those ashes.  These days I don't struggle with a longing to change her path, to make it better, to fix it or trade places with her - not that I don't struggle ever.  That's just called being a mama :).  But as Chloe grows and matures, my faith grows and matures as I watch God gently unfold all these amazing things He's doing in her and through her.  And honestly, I stand amazed and in awe of the beauty that flows from this girl that God has gifted to us for a time.  As the years pass, I am painfully aware that time with Chloe at home with us grows shorter.  And so we jump in with both feet to everything we can join her in and together we are able to enjoy the ride that God has us on as a family.  Our future, Chloe's future is very bright because God is the one that hold it in His hands.  

I say the same thing every July 3rd and I will continue to say it every day, that God is good all the time…and all the time God is good.  

The past year for Chloe in pictures, most recent ones first...It's been such an incredible year!  

Chloe and Alex enjoy a trip to Toronto with the family this summer.

Chloe begins summer softball league for 2015.

Chloe was chosen with 19 other amputee kids to fly out to spend a week in California at theWounded Warrior Amputee Softball Kids Camp.  It was one of the most incredible weeks she's ever had!  The inspiration given by these amazing Vets was awesome!  The connection they had with the kids was magical, I cannot even describe it in words.  

The Big Game - WWAST kids camp.  Lightning vs Thunder :)

For the first time, Chloe met and made friends with girls her age who were also amputees.  Every other camp, Chloe has always made friends with siblings of amputee kids.  So this was a first, an incredible first!! 

The guys were so awesome, spending time working with, teaching, encouraging and inspiring our kids to grow, succeed, improve and excel!  Their motto: Life Without Limbs is Limitless. How true!!

Chloe got to take a weekend trip to NYC with her 6th grade class this May.  What a fun time!! 

Soooo thrilled to go with her!!!

Chloe "aka" Smash - continues to love playing softball!!  

For the first time in 9 years, Chloe decided to do an open design with her leg.  She went with a zebra design which I think is the coolest thing ever!!!  We are SO proud of our girl and the beautiful amazing young lady she is becoming! 

First concert with her BFF

Much to celebrate at Christmas! 

Chloe had a part in her school Christmas play.

Tackling the bungee trampoline at Camp No Limits in Maine.  

Working on her PT and biking skills at CNL.  

Rocking our CNL shirts at the showing of Dolphin Tale 2!

First day of 6th grade at her new school (joining Alex).

Conquering the giant swing at Camp No limits in Maryland. 

Zip line fun!

Wet zip line, goes right into the water!! Talk about facing your fear! 

Loving her open design leg at Mrytle Beach!  Less hassle for swimming and less questions asked!! 

Our family - such a blessed gift from God!  

Restored 316 Designs