Thursday, December 31, 2009
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.
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.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
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?
Monday, December 28, 2009
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!
Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
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!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Mike decided to build an igloo on Sunday morning...Gwyneth (and the rest of us) were highly entertained.
Thanks so much, Mike & Lisa, for housing us for an extra day/night and helping entertain Gwyneth! You guys ROCK!
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
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!
Friday, December 11, 2009
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.