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Update + Ice Skating

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So, it’s no secret that life around here has been crazy, hectic, and stressful the last few weeks/ months as Sarah has battled Crohn’s Disease worse than ever and had surgery one month ago. Two weeks after the surgery, she ended up back in the emergency room with a new, large abscess that stretched across her abdomen and she was in the hospital for four days. She’s had a drain in the abscess that I’ve been flushing twice a day for a little over two weeks now.

We went to the doctor yesterday, hopeful that the drain could come out, but the doctor said she’d have the drain for another two weeks. It was disappointing news, but Sarah took it like a trooper. She’s hanging in there and I’m glad to see her positive outlook because when she first learned she’d have to have a drain, it was quite devastating.

With the number of doctor’s visits and hospital days, the new year hasn’t been exactly like I had imagined. Well, actually, going into the new year I had no idea how tough things would be. It’s been hard for her to get around and basic things like showering require my help. But, I’m not complaining. The size of her abscess could have been deadly and the narrowing of her intestines before surgery was dangerous. I’m so thankful for her amazing surgeon and for modern medicine. 100 years ago, we would have probably buried her in the ground. I’m so thankful for every day we have!

We are going to try and take more walks this week to help her ease back into being active and hopefully by the time the drain comes out she’ll be feeling strong and healthy.

Sarah did travel with us the week to Knoxville for her sister Hannah’s ice skating test and performance. Which leads me to the next part of this post.

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Left to Right: Laura, Emily, Sarah, Hannah

So, as many of you already know, my daughter Hannah began ice skating about 2 1/2 years ago after begging us to let her take lessons for over a year. We live 2 hours and 3o minutes from the nearest ice rink so that means she gets to ice skate one day a week. And on that day each week we wake up at 3:30 in the morning, get dressed, load the car and drive to the ice rink so that she can be on the ice at 7:00 am and have her first private lesson of the day at around 8:30 am.

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She typically skates for a total of 8 hours with a few breaks and has a second private lesson at 4:00 in the afternoon followed by a stroking class and then her Freestyle class. And then we pack up and head home, usually getting home around 10:00 at night. It makes for a long day.

It’s a huge commitment.

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Warming up.
Warming up.

But, watching her work so hard for something she’s so passionate about makes every sacrifice, every long hour standing in the cold helping coach her, every exhausting morning/ day/ night and each long drive back and forth worth it. Before ice skating Hannah struggled with self-confidence. She struggled with not really knowing what she was good at and maybe even feeling like there was nothing she was really good at. Ice skating changed all of that and I’ve seem her blossom into this beautiful young woman.

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I was looking back at videos of her on the ice one year ago, two years ago and the difference in her poise and confidence is amazing! She still has much to learn and there is always something to work on or polish. But she has worked diligently and it has paid off. And I’m so proud of her.

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Before her performance.

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She had her Freestyle 3 Test this week on Tuesday afternoon and she passed! It’s something she has worked on for months, so it was exciting to watch her on the ice, showing off her skills. Her sisters Sarah, Emily, and Laura came to watch and support her, too. It was a good day – a day to celebrate her accomplishments. She scored a “9” on her Backward Arabesque and an “8” on Salchow Jump!

Backward Arabesque
Backward Arabesque

After passing the test, Hannah posed with her private coaches – Larry LaBorde who owns the ice rink and is a USFS Gold Medalist in Ice Dance and Devon Renfro. These two people have invested so much in Hannah and I’m so thankful. I said they  look like proud parents in this picture!

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And finally, I had so much fun – as always – helping Hannah get dressed for her performance and doing her hair. Just like when my other girls have their music recitals, doing their hair special makes the day even more special. This hair style was done a on whim – I was playing with her hair trying to come up with an idea and I am in love with this hairstyle. It was so easy to do too!

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I’m very proud of Hannah and can’t wait to see what the future holds for her.

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6 Comments

  1. That is so wonderful. My daughter is an equestrian. I know exactly what you mean about seeing how hard they work with such Dilagence. The focus, drive, passion that is needed to accomplish their goals. Such a gift from God. You as her mom are also such a gift, to see what she needs and to have the patience and love to guide and be there for her. She looks beautiful!!! I will send you a picture of my daughter on her horse!
    1. Hi Terry, thank you! I'd love to see the picture of your daughter and her horse. My girls have horses too, but it's Sarah especially who wants to work with horses professionally when she grows up. I'll have to share some recent photos. What does your daughter like to do with her horse? Does she want to go into an equestrian profession? That's so great!
  2. She looks lovely in her photos--and I am SURE she will always appreciate your supporting her in this dream! Love her hair style too! My daughter has long hair, and I would love to do this style on her, so I have to ask--when you french braid the side, do you then pull it all into a ponytail before continuing to braid the rest and wrap it around??? My daughter Alison would LOVE LOVE LOVE to be able to ride horses, but we haven't been able to afford it at this point. She also loves swimming, however, and is able to be a part of a local Swim Club which has helped her in many of the same ways that ice skating has helped your daughter.
    1. Hi Susan! Hannah's hair style was really easy, but it's kind of hard to explain. I actually did two braids. One that started as a French braid from the front of her head. When It reached the end of the top of her head I simply continued the braid and then had her hold the braid out of the way. Then, I took the rest of her hair and pulled it into a pony tail, even with the top of her head. I braided the pony tail and wrapped it into a bun, pinning in place a few times. Then I wrapped the other braid around the braided bun and pinned it all in place really well to insure it would stay in place all day and last through jumps on the ice and such. Sprayed it with hair spray and added the jeweled pins. It would probably be easier to show in a video if I get the chance. :) That's great that you daughter loves swimming. It's great to see our kids flourish, isn't it?
  3. I am so glad I found your blog. We have a lot in common. I have a Sarah and a Hannah. My Hannah has been dealing with issues like your Sarah for . . . a long time. I will pray for you. Especially that God will use you as a comfort and strength for your daughters.... and the others He puts in your path.
    1. Cathy, I'm so sorry to hear your daughter has faced a battle with her health as well. It's hard to see our kids suffer. :( I'm so glad we have a God who loves and supports us through it all. Thank you for your prayers. God bless you and your sweet family!

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