Last night, I was sitting on the couch in our living room. All the lights were off, and just the last bits of sunlight were filling the bedroom of my girls. It was their bedtime, and neither one was tired. A struggle all parents know too well.

The bedroom door was half open, and I could see the beautiful silhouettes of my two girls – One bouncing on the bed, while the other held herself up by the edge, waving one arm excitedly at her big sister. Laughter filled the air. Then, Bailey leans down and kisses the top of Emma’s head.

The only thing that would have made this moment even more magical is if by some chance Phillip Phillips’ “Home” started playing in the background.

I sat back on that couch, soaking in the moment, and suddenly realized how close we were to never having Emma.

Before Emma, I started an ambitious path to become a Chiropractor. Through some unfortunate events, I had to drop out in the first quarter. It was frustrating, to say the least. I was extremely resentful and heartbroken over the situation, and for a long time, I focused on what I had to give up.

Fast forward to two years later, and here I am, the mother of two beautiful and healthy girls, and I get to watch them become best friends.

Emma would have never happened had I not had to quit Chiropractic school.

I can go back to school anytime in my life. I can never have Emma again. The odds of us being born is well over 1 in 400 trillion!

Life is a series of chance and luck.

Hard work, planning ahead, putting in the time and effort, and all of that other stuff are important, and yes, they do make a difference most of the time, but there are no guarantees in life. Just recently, I read a story about a young man who graduated high school top of his class with a football scholarship, and he was shot and killed just hours after graduation standing up for a friend. It’s times like this we question humanity and fairness. A good kid doing the right thing, and he gets killed for it. Heartbreaking.

It is uncomfortable to think of life as so fragile. That, at any moment, it can change course, or even end.

One decision can change everything. Had I not responded back to Spencer’s email over 9 years ago, none of this would even be here today – Our gym, our girls, our friends, our families.

An email. That’s it. A simple reply changed the fate of our lives.

Last night, watching my girls giggle together, hoping that they’d wear each other out soon, for the first time since it all happened, I wasn’t bitter about Chiropractic school.

I was thankful.

Instead of focusing on what we lose or have to give up in a situation, turn towards all the things you have to gain from it. Getting laid off gives you an opportunity to find a better job, or maybe even the chance to go back to school. Getting cheated on by your husband gives you an opportunity to learn to love yourself, and find a better partner in life. Losing a loved one teaches you to appreciate life, and spend more quality time with those around you.

Life is hard and unfair. But, we always have a choice in how we deal with it.

Choose gratitude. Always.

Emma will always be my daily reminder of how lucky I am in life. A 1 in 400 trillion chance!

Thank you, Life! 🙂