July, shortly after diagnosis/November, one month post-repair
This year I am thankful for so many things that no matter how many things I name here, there will be just as many, if not more that go unnamed. But here are a few anyway…

I am thankful for that precious baby up there, that we decided to have another baby a decade after our last, that we didn’t let K’s medical needs keep us from taking a leap, that she has been such a perfect addition to our crazy family.

I am thankful for her safe and gentle birth.

I am thankful for the early months of endless nursing. While we were in it, it seemed never ending, but it was such a short and precious time in retrospect and I miss it.

I am thankful that our pediatrician detected her murmur and sent us for an echo.

I am thankful for echocardiograms and EKGs and x-rays and labs (even though we hate them) and all kinds of medical technology.

I am thankful for doctors and nurses.

I am thankful that we live near one of the top hospitals for pediatric cardiology.

I am thankful for the medications that kept her alive while we waited on surgery and carried her through surgery and recovery.

I am thankful that my body has been able to provide milk for her for 7 months and counting, even if I did have to give up dairy and I totally hate pumping. Hate. Pumping.

I am thankful for my stupid fancy pump and the ability to rent it anyway.

I am thankful for Jenn, our precious milk donor, who also willingly gave up dairy for people she had never met to help provide milk for our sweet baby. Who does that mean? Someone awesome, that’s who.

I am thankful for elemental formula which has also contributed to her growth. Yay, science.

I am thankful for blood donors.

I am thankful that we live in such a magical time that people were able to stop my baby’s tiny heart and open it up and put it back together and then bring her back to life. Real magic.

I am thankful that we are on the other side of this surgery now and can breathe a little easier.

I am thankful that Josie has healed up so well and is thriving. Look at that chub!

I am thankful that K’s health has been mostly good and we have been able to focus on Josie during this season.

I am thankful for a husband who is always in the trenches with me, who has walked through all of this beside me, and always makes burdens feel much lighter. He’s the best.

I am thankful for friends and family and even strangers who have helped carry us through this crazy year. If you are reading this, that probably means you. Thank you.

I am thankful that even though it has been a scary year and I could have lost both my best friend and my baby girl to major medical issues, they are both still here with me.

I am thankful that God is always good, even when life isn’t easy or clear–maybe especially when life isn’t easy or clear–and for the peace that provides.

And there is more, so much more…it could fill pages, books, libraries…but for tonight, this will suffice. We are so incredibly blessed and our hearts are so full. Thankful, indeed.