As I have written previously it was important for me to do something meaningful for the babies' first birthday. I was so excited and honored to get to be a part of the Anchor Run on their birthday weekend. The Anchor Run was a race in memory of sweet Georgia Godwin, a neighbor of my parents who was only a little older than James when lost her battle with cancer. She was an inspiration to so many including our family. The money from the race benefited multiple causes, two of which being the children's hospital where the babies were born and the Ronald McDonald House. When I saw that the race date was the day after the babies turned one I had a flash back to that day the previous year. The babies were about 12 hours old, on ventilators, unable to breathe on their own, with some huge odds stacked against them. I thought to myself, "How amazing would it be for us to be able to run this race one year after that terrible day and celebrate together how far these babies have come as well as remembering sweet Georgia?"
The other part of this story is that I absolutely HATE running. A 5k is not even that far but when I started trying to jog I could not even make it 30 seconds. To say that my body was a wreck after that pregnancy is an understatement, not to mention it had been a year since I had been able to work out. Anyway this past May once RSV/Flu season was finally over and we came out of isolation I started going to the gym and attempting to get into enough shape to run this race. As much as I hate running it was a huge motivator to me. I tried to always use the time running to spend time praying- I prayed for Georgia's family, for the kids in the children's hospital, for their parents and their marriages and for the stress that having a sick child brings to a relationship. I prayed for those children's siblings and grandparents and for anything else I could think of. I prayed for all the babies and families in the NICU that we had met and for those who were still there. I'm sure people at the gym thought I was crazy because more than once I would start crying while running, thinking and praying for all these people. And honestly when I got tired of running I thought about what those babies and kids go through and thought "suck it up Em and get moving!"
The day of the race arrived and I had emotionally blackmailed/recruited some extras. Ryan graciously decided to run with me and offered to push the double stroller which was a huge help.
|James and Harrison came for the 1 mile fun run.|
|The first people I begged to do this with me were Sara and Rebecca. I asked them because I knew they would say yes and I love them for it! It was so awesome to do it together.|
|My parents came to do the 1 mile with the boys.|
|Nana and Davis decide to join in too!|
|Harrison met me and ran across the finish line with me|
|Then both boys went with me to meet Ryan and the babies so we could cross the finish line together|
|Super emotional and awesome moment for us as a family|
|We did it! And boy it was hot!|
|I was so excited that Whitney and Rod came to run the 5k with us as well! We have an awesome supportive family.|
|It is crazy to me how much Harrison looks like my dad! I think my poor dad had to carry him for the whole mile fun run.|
My only goal was that I wanted to run it without stopping and I did it! I have no desire to ever run another, lol. It was definitely an incredibly special thing for our family to do together though. Crossing that finish line with those two babies while reflecting on where I had been with them the year before- God is so good!