So, Jonathan actually surprised me this year!
(Well...... sorta surprised me). Sorta - meaning - I gave him the idea months and months ago and thought he forgot about it, but he secretly remembered and pulled off one of the very few surprises he has ever attempted to pull off!
I found out a few months ago about this really cool web service where you can upload your blog to it, and then have it printed out in book format. The whole time I was writing my bedrest story on my Bedrest Boutique blog, I was paranoid that it might just disappear one day in cyberspace. I kept thinking that surely there was a way to back it up, but I just didn't know how. Anyway, I was reading someone else's blog and she had a blog post about making her blog into this wonderful, hardback, coffee table like book. I was immediately sold on the idea!
I visited the site (http://www.blurb.com/), but was overwhelmed with the amount of time it was going to take to design the front and back covers, each page layout, the inside jacket, etc. I told Jonathan that it would be a good Mother's Day present for me (this was in January!). I didn't ever expect him to actually remember that, much less sit down and take the time to work on it without me knowing about it!
You see, he is a non-surprise-kind-of-guy so his usual style would have been to tell me ahead of time (way ahead of time) that he wanted to do that for me, thus removing any trace or element of surprise. I would have spent the weeks leading up to Mother's Day knowing what to expect, feeling slightly disgruntled and disappointed that he couldn't have just gone one step further and shut up about it! Really what he doesn't understand is that the secrecy, the thoughtfulness, and the discipline it takes to keep me in suspense means just as much to me as the gift does!
He came through though, so enough of my I-hope-he's-reading-this-so-he'll-know-next-time - just-how-much-I-love-surprises tangent!
Anyway, I received it in the mail today, and it is absolutely amazing. You can see pictures of it here and here and here.
I can't believe the flood of emotions that came over me while I was flipping though it.
Well..... I guess I actually *can* believe it when I stop and remember what a journey it was.
Living in the hospital for seven weeks with my husband and (then) three year old daughter was very challenging. Not knowing if we were going to come home with our baby girl or not was a life altering, humbling experience.
Life at home for an additional 10 weeks with very few privileges, and still not knowing the outcome, was not any easier.
It was a journey. Indeed.
It was the kind of journey that stopped me dead in my tracks - freezing me - causing me to look around and hold onto all who were dear to me.
It was the kind of journey that pushed me beyond my comfort level, demanding that I relinquish all control, confronting me daily that I didn't know what the future would hold. I didn't know if there would be a baby to hold.
It was the kind of journey that woke me up at night as I yearned for peace and understanding and God's grace.
It was the kind of journey, so arduous, so exhausting, that you think it won't ever end, but now looking back doesn't seem quite so bad. Especially given the gift of life that we now call "Dylan Grace".
It was the kind of journey that shook me. Challenged me. Defined me. And most significantly, changed me.
It was the kind of journey that was worth all the unstable, rocky terrain because the view looking back is spectacular. Astounding. Miraculous.
It was the kind of journey that I would do all over again.
It was a journey. Indeed.
P.S. Click here to order your own copy!