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This. Is. Us.



This. Is. Us.

Now.


The four people who fill the space of every inch in my heart are pictured together in this photo.

Nope, they are not posed. They are not beaming with fake smiles (or even looking at the camera).

Hell, I can't begin to guess what is happening over to the left ๐Ÿ˜œ


One was freezing.

One was angry for no apparent reason.

One kept blowing away off his makeshift easel.

The other, clearly in her own world.


The entire 10 minutes of this session was a HOT FREAKING MESS.


But guess what? This is my FAVORITE picture of them. Because it's real. It's our story. It's who we are.


We are not your conventional, All American family. We've been given a life with the hardest of trials and managed to defy the odds. Most people who know our story thank God they are not us and pray they never will be. I get that.


If you would have asked me five years ago to describe what I imagined my family photo to look like today, I promise you this was far from the image in my head.


I thought God was going to lead me down a smooth and freshly paved road. Bump free. A straight path with a nice scenic view. No detours. No forks ahead.


Hahaha, jokes on me.


Instead He decided to drop me off on one of those level B roads. The one with the giant "CAUTION: ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK" kind of roads. Fasten your seatbelt and cling tightly to anything you can. Oh and pray, a lot. You're going to need.


We've been traveling on it for 2 and a half years. It has been anything but easy. Far too many tears to count. Too much heartbreak for words.


Did I ever foresee there would be a photo in place of one of my children because they were no longer on earth? No. God no.


But things happen. The awful things you think can only happen to other people. Not you. Never you. Until they do. Somehow you find a way to survive. You crawl through the darkness searching for the light. Eventually you begin to see life through another lens.


This photograph. I can't help but smile and laugh. All four of my children together. Their personalities shining through.


One harassing her big brother.

One making sure his little brother stays perfectly placed and safe.

One letting us know loud and clear this is not his idea of a good time.

One from above, belly laughing as he watches this epic photo shoot fail.


How lucky I am to be chosen to be the mother to these amazing souls.

I am raising legends, on earth and in heaven.


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