a makenzie restoration

✝ Makenzie will never be forgotten. She was such a role model both in dance and life.  Makenzie’s story and legacy, the Stocker family and Makenzie’s best friend Caitlin have all helped me in dealing with my own personal grief with Jessi.  They taught me to “turn my mourning into dancing” and showed me that I can get through this.

Don't Worry. It Will Be Okay ...

61767397100The dreams about her have subsided. I don’t think about her everyday as I have in years past and I’m needing to play old audio to remember her voice. Six years ago today, my oldest daughter, Makenzie — who is now my youngest — was invited into heaven.  “Six years” is a long time as I think about all that has happened since.  Great things.  Hard things.  Things to celebrate and things to mourn.  

As I spend today in the back corner of a small-town coffee shop, I think about the word “restoration.”  More-so, I think about what it takes to be restored.  Brokenness first.  Surrender second.  Expertise third.  Time last.  Then, restoration births new life.  That’s God’s way.  He takes my broken and hurting heart for the loss of my child and calls it to surrender.  He reaches out and holds my surrendered hands first to comfort, then…

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dear jessi

dear Jessi || Journey for JessiDear Jessi,

I have been thinking about you a lot lately, and that usually means I am missing you more so than usual.  Every little (or huge) reminder of your constant presence never ceases to bring me back.  It is truly amazing how much you are still touching my life.  I would not be the person I am now without you.  You have turned my life into an ever-shining bliss of happiness and sunshine.    You continue to inspire me to always be encouraging towards others.  In fact, I am now a Beachbody Coach helping and empowering others to find health and fitness–something that I never would have had the courage to pursue if it was not for your encouraging voice in the back of my mind throughout the process.  I want to help people just like you have/are helping me: that is to be the best version of myself no matter what, to always challenge myself in order to grow and to constantly strive to live life with heart, health and happiness.  

Recently, I have been too wrapped up in bringing light to others’ lives (which is amazing), but I only say “too wrapped up” because I started to settle back into my “comfort” zone again–not like before thank goodness, but enough to become a little too stressed and anxious like the old Emily (you know the one).  However, you saw this before I did and you intervened ASAP.  This may sound silly to others, but you know exactly what I am talking about.  You tricky trickster.  Last night at my cooking class training, I met the CSU’s “new” nutritionist–Kelsey.  I could not believe it!  Especially when she said she was teaching cycling again at the Rec.  When I heard this I knew.  I knew this was you reaching out to me.  It took everything in me to not bust out cry-laughing, but I managed not to (unlike now…)  You knew I needed this push because the truth is, I have not stepped into that cycling studio since you left.  I could not even imagine what would happen when I sat down next to your bike…

Regardless of my fears, I took your challenge.  This morning, I got up at 5:30 am and headed to Kelsey’s cycling class.  At first, it was a little overwhelming, but as class started, I felt stronger–physically from Kelsey’s crazy good cardio class of course, but also emotionally.  I overcame this emotional challenge of being in that studio–a place where our friendship really grew every Tuesday/Thursday at 7 am freshman and sophomore year.  It was good to be back, Jess.  I cannot thank you enough once again.  You inspire me, you encourage me and you challenge me every day to be a better human being.  No one else may understand or see the value of this victory, but to me, it is another page turned in the story of my “Journey for Jessi.”

love you always,

Em

half a year spent blogging

Happy almost New Year!  I cannot believe the year I have had… It has been a crazy adventure to say the least, but one of my favorite and most memorable parts of the year, has been sharing it with you all!  I started this blog this past summer in June after losing my best friend back in May. Continue reading

realizing the journey

realizing the journey--Journey for JessiMy third year of college has come and I am settling into the year as the first-weeks-of-school-festivities come to a close.  I have been ridiculously busy lately as made obvious by my lack of posts…  I am thankful that things are winding down so I can get back into my fitness routine (I might have back-tracked a bit…) and focus on my priorities.  My goals for this month are to declare my nutrition major officially, get back on the health train, and register for the Boulder Spring Half Marathon.  I need to begin running more often again in order to get back into the swing of training. I need to take better care of my body.  I am a firm believer that the body can do wonderful things (like running a marathon) if you take care of it.  I know I need to train properly and effectively as I cannot help but think of Jessi–I am running the Boulder Half for her, for goodness sake.  

Continue reading