This year I bought a decorative sign for our house that reads, “Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in the quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.” This year, Oliver’s daily seizures have continued and the physical demands of his medical care continue to increase. We have moved him into our master suite complete with a handicap shower, bought him his first car, which happens to be a handicap accessible minivan (stop being so jealous), and ordered all manner of medical equipment (most recently, braces for his legs to correct his toe walking). Despite his inability to speak, his smile communicates very clearly what he loves, and his blue eyes shine when he is experiencing joy. Especially with Oliver, the eyes really are the window to the soul. Sometimes in the midst of the struggle with Oliver’s health, we find ourselves dreaming of that “rare and perfect tomorrow”, and forget to enjoy the gift that is a gloriously average day.
This year, Andrew worked on more productions and helped scout for a movie that we hope will decide to come to NC in 2016. In his “free time” (wait, what is that?) he tried unsuccessfully to catch up on sleep, squeezed in the occasional tennis game, and ran all over creation shooting houses for sale. Stephanie continues to lead Lanier Property Group, and Mondays are still her favorite day of the week. She has enjoyed opportunities to speak this year about entrepreneurship, women in business, and company culture. We thank God for your support of our business throughout the past 3 ½ years…you’ve helped us “live the dream.” The dream always was for LPG to provide a flexible and financially stable way to take care of Ollie. What is remarkable is that our company family now has 28 children (3 on the way in 2016). It is amazing how a dream for one child can turn into a blessing for 27 more. *Unsolicited advice: If you have a dream, go.after.it! The right kind of dreams create a factory of blessings for other people. Success that is shared is the sweetest of all rewards.
As you may know, our niece Haley has been living with us for the past 2 ½ years while attending college. She will graduate this December and move back home to Concord. Her presence in our life has been such a gift! This fall she surprised us by getting engaged to her boyfriend Austin (a young man we’ve adored for many years). They will be getting married in October, and we are looking forward to celebrating this big life moment with them.
Oliver has grown so tall and strong in 2015. He now has a very big indoor trampoline for his room to help with his strong need to constantly be in motion. He likes to jump for joy like it’s his job :-) Making him smile makes us incredibly happy, but can be a challenge; on certain “bad days”, it is hard to find ways to reach him. We continue to be amazed by Oliver’s 5 nurses, 5 therapists and 4 teachers. We also are very thankful to have our family members in town to help us share in Oliver’s life. In Ollie’s case it does not take a village, it takes a small, caring city :-)
I’ll leave you with a quote by Anne Lamott. “Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or your novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen.”
We wish you a holiday season full of gloriously ordinary moments, radical silliness, and dreams that lead to a factory full of blessings.
Love, Andrew, Stephanie & Oliver