Thursday, December 31, 2009

(Bump) A Sober Reminder

There's no delicate way to say this...

Every year, the late hours of New Years Eve and the early morning hours of New Years Day yield a high number of transplant calls.

Please, don't drink and drive. And, if you must go out on the roads without alcohol, be extra careful.

Organ donation/transplantation is a wonderful thing, but not so much at the expense of somebody's stupidity.

Thanks.

Nate

2009

As we approached Thanksgiving this year, Tricia and I attempted to reminisce about last year's Thanksgiving...only problem was, as hard as we tried, we could barely remember just a few fuzzy details about it. As we moved closer to Christmas, we realized that we couldn't remember much of Christmas 2008 either.

This time last year, Tricia was just coming out of several months of chemo, and was still in the early stages of her transplant recovery. We were still "new" parents, adjusting to life with a little one who was still completely dependent. We were living with my parents and had just bought our first home, and I was spending several hours each week working on renovations. It's not wonder we can't remember much else...

2008 was a year of incredible stress and hardships in our lives. But, as I read My Last Blog Post of 2008, I am also reminded that it was a year of miracles, gifts and blessings. In comparison, as I look back on 2009, this year has been a time for us to use those same miracles, gifts and blessings to give to others.

For the first time during our marriage, Tricia spent less than a week in a hospital in one year (in fact, I can't remember the last time she spent less than several weeks in the hospital). For the first time in our marriage, we've gone more than a few weeks without a scheduled doctor appointment or an unexpected trip to the ER.

2009 has proven that our lives can be, comparatively speaking, "normal". We traveled more this year than ever before, unhindered by medical equipment and doctor appointments. We spent more time on the beach, walking around our neighborhood and just enjoying time with our friends and family than we could have ever imagined before the transplant. We found our groove as parents and have rediscovered what the word "routine" means.

We do not take for granted all of the people, most who are complete "strangers" to us, who have spent hours praying for our family, all of the cards and gifts that were sent our way while we were living at the hospital, all of the encouraging emails and blog comments. Because of the blessings we've been given and the freedom we're now experiencing, we find ourselves in a place where we can return the blessing to others...2009 has been a year for us to "pay it forward" in so many ways.

The investment that others have made in us over the past few years is now bearing fruit in our lives and in the lives of others. Much like I've learned to love giving Christmas gifts more than receiving as I've grown older, this year, Tricia and I have been able to focus less on our own needs and more on the needs of others, giving more of our time, energy, resources and lives to people who could use an extra blessing or two.

I've told you before that I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that God never wastes a hurt...He always has plans to use the struggles and dark days in my life to eventually help others who are experiencing similar situations. I also believe that He asks us to never wastes our blessings either by using them for selfish gain and prideful recognition. Everything I have and all that I am is only because of Who He is and what He has given to me...to keep these blessing to ourselves would simply be to waste them.

So, thank you, our friends and family and blog readers, for blessing our lives and giving us the opportunity to return the favor!

There is no way to know what 2010 will bring. We certainly pray that it will be another "easy" year for our family. But, whether it's another season of good health or a year of stress, our only desire is to use what He gives us all to bring glory to Him and blessing to others.

Nate

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mrs. Potato Head

Gwyneth is ready to trade in for a new pair of glasses...

video

Nate

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

There Was a Little Girl Who Had a Little Curl

Nearly two years old, and Gwyneth is still a curly blond. I was born blond, then it turned red when I was about her age, and then finally brown. Both Tricia and I have always had a few waves in our hair, but never as curly as Gwyneth's is turning out to be. We're hoping it stays that way.

Tricia's been ready to do the first hair cut since forever, but I just can't bear the thought of cutting those beautiful blond curls, even a little bit. All of her hair fell out when she was about 5 months old (see Here), so her hair is now about 18 months in length.





How long did you wait until you gave your first born girl her first trim?

Nate

Cousins

Believe it or not, these four are all cousins (well, two are twin siblings)...and, they're all less than 18 months apart and live within 10 minutes of each other...and, in just another week or two, they'll all be crawling. Needless to say, it is going to be a lot of fun watching them grow up together!

Nate

Monday, December 28, 2009

Santa Paws





I have to give Tricia credit for these photos, BTW.

Nate

Christmas Article

With Gwyneth's second birthday quickly approaching, and our family of three celebrating our first Christmas in our new home, our friend and writer, Connie Sage wrote a follow-up story on our family which ran in one of our local newspapers on Christmas day...

Christmas at the Lawrensons looks pretty ordinary.

A 7-foot tree trimmed with white lights and childhood ornaments. Presents under the tree. A big dinner planned with family.

But for Nate, Tricia and Gwyneth Lawrenson, today is particularly joyful: Mother and child are healthy.

Gwyneth, who will be 2 years old on Jan. 8, was a “micro-preemie,” born at 1 pound, 6 ounces while her mother, Tricia, was on a ventilator.

Three months after Gwyneth’s birth, Tricia, who was in the end stages of cystic fibrosis, received a double lung transplant.

“This year we can relax and enjoy the holiday season and spend time with family,” said Nate, 28....

Read the rest of the article Here!

Nate

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas from the CFHusband! I pray that this Christmas is fun and life-changing for you!

Nate

BTW, look for us in the Virginian Pilot today!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Santa!

video
Nate

The Lawrenson Family Carolers


Enjoy the sweet harmonies of The Lawrenson Family Carolers...our album is hitting a Walgreens near you in late June, 2017!

In all seriousness, we were able to carol for some people who really needed some extra Christmas cheer this year...I hope that you're doing something fun and meaningful with friends and family this Christmas as well!

video

Nate

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ho Ho Ho!

On the way up to NJ on Wednesday, we stopped in Norfolk, VA to visit Santa (the real one, you might remember from Last Year) with some great friends. Gwyneth was a little hesitant at first, but Santa pulled out some jingle bells, and he and she quickly became friends. We love how the photos from this year and last year are nearly identical!









2008
2009
Nate

Monday, December 21, 2009

More SNOW!

We spent several days last week with our great friends, Mike & Lisa in NJ. We had intended to do the Kirschner Family Christmas in PA on Saturday, but the two feet of snow kept us in NJ for an extra day. Gwyneth loved looking at the snow, but, as you can see below, wasn't too crazy about being in the snow.












Mike decided to build an igloo on Sunday morning...Gwyneth (and the rest of us) were highly entertained.

video


Thanks so much, Mike & Lisa, for housing us for an extra day/night and helping entertain Gwyneth! You guys ROCK!

Nate

Sunday, December 20, 2009

SNOW!

Tricia and I have been stranded in NJ for the past few days with some friends during this blizzard...seriously, the most snow fall I've ever seen!

video

Nate

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Future Mrs. Claus?






Nate

Monday, December 14, 2009

For No Other Reason

I'm posting this for no other reason than that I like it a lot.

Nate

Here We Come...

...a caroling!


And, boy, have we been practicing!

One of our favorite Lawrenson family traditions is to go caroling a few nights before Christmas to people's homes...not just singing to anyone, but caroling for people who could really use some extra Christmas cheer in their lives. This year, we're loading up with about a dozen Lawrensons (and, we can all do more than just carry a tune in a bucket!) and heading out one evening next week to have some fun and encourage others!

If you know somebody locally on the OBX who could really use some of that fun next week, feel free to shoot me an Email and let me know who they are and where they live and why they might need our cheer! I won't make any guarantees, but we'll do our best to sing to as many people as we can!

Nate

Friday, December 11, 2009

Rough Winter

The cold, germy months of winter are the toughest for CFers, especially those who are already hanging by a thread. Just in the past few weeks, I've read of a half-dozen CFers passing away, some who were waiting for their new lungs.

Please, take the time to pray for the Cystic Fibrosis community this winter. And, if you haven't already, please, please, please, consider becoming an Organ Donor. Here are a couple of quick Organ Donation & Transplantation facts:

> There are over 100,000 people, the size of a small city, on the transplant list in the US.

> There were less than 10,000 deceased organ donors in the US last year. (that's a ratio of 1 organ donor to every 10 transplant patients).

> In the time it takes you to shower today, 1 new name is added to the US transplant waiting list.

> From the time you woke up this morning to the time you wake up tomorrow morning, 18 people will die waiting for their transplant in the US.

Nate

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Music

Nate

Cold Weather Fun






Nate