Heart of a Servant. Strength of a Fighter.

ELIZABETH CRAIG PHOTOGRAPHY

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500,000: how many cases of NMO that have been documented worldwide.

Unknown: how many people have died as a result of NMO.

3 to 90: the age range of those that NMO can strike.

9: how many years John has lived with NMO.

7: how many months pregnant I was when we found out John had NMO.

20+: how many times I have written his eulogy in my head.

5: how many years it was touch and go.

4: how many years it’s been since John decided to fight back.

Weekly: the times John gets emails from people around the world telling him their story of living with NMO and what an inspiration he is to them.

Daily: the times John exercises in an effort to stay alive for Ella and me.

10: how many races John has run for those who cannot.

9.28.14: the date John ran the Great…

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13 Reasons PR Girls Are Going To Take Over The World

Thought Catalog

As someone who is lucky enough to work in an industry heavily populated with PR girls, I have recently come to the conclusion that they are, in fact, the most perfect creatures that God has blessed us with. Between their endless energy, powerful networking, and untouchable leather iPad cover game, they are poised to take over the world. Here, 13 reasons why:

1. They never stop working. You will receive an email from them at 6:30 AM, presumably sent from the gym. You will receive an email from them at 11:45 PM, likely sent from their table at a fusion restaurant. Both emails will be perfectly-written, and full of whatever pertinent information you didn’t even realize you needed. PR girls never sleep, only close their eyes for a few minutes at a time and then get back to work.

2. They look good while doing it. One way to spot…

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17 Things You Learn From Growing Up In The South

Growing up in the South, I couldn’t agree more!

Thought Catalog

A childhood in the south is an interesting thing. It provides a very clear picture of the kind of America most northerners make fun of, but often don’t understand. Yes, a lot of the stereotypes are true, but many of them aren’t what you think they’d be. And it can be a pretty great place to be a kid.

1. Southern food is truly the best. Whether it’s spicy gumbo, fried chicken and biscuits with honey, sautéed greens, or BBQ meat that falls off the bone — the south has it locked up. You grow up with that food and it is the stuff you will be craving for the rest of your life. The day I arrived back in America after a few years abroad, the first meal I had was fluffy biscuits with sausage gravy, two sunny side up eggs, and a glass of real sweet tea. It…

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125 Years in the Making

This time four years ago my body became inflicted with pain and my legs grew so weak that I had to crawl up the stairs to get to my bedroom. Being in college in Alabama, I remember being so scared not knowing what could possible be wrong with me. Little did I know, during those painful moments what would be in store for the upcoming months. Upon flying home to Virginia I was immediately sent to this hospital were my life became consumed with tests, misdiagnosis and doctors who’s faces offered a sympathetic look that meant one thing: I wouldn’t walk again.

After weeks of simply laying in a bed, motionless from the waist down, a doctor came in with the answer I had been waiting for. The last option to try to cure the autoimmune disease attacking my spine would require an aggressive form of chemotherapy and a move to Sheltering Arms Hospital. By the grace of God, my Mom never told me I was going to Sheltering Arms to learn how to live my life in a wheelchair and there wasn’t hope that my legs would move again. From day one of physical therapy I was determined to walk again and willing to push as hard as I could, because I was not willing to give up the promising future I believed I could have. And then one night, my leg moved.

From that night forward, I worked even harder to gain my strength back and learn how to walk again. Less than six weeks later I walked out of Sheltering Arms. While my story has been aired in local television commercials and even a documentary, I cannot say that it is completely my story. Without the hard work of my physical therapist, my amazing doctors, motivation from the Sheltering Arms team, the nurses who became my best friends and my faithful family, I would not have a story. I owe so much of who I am today to all of those people who motivated me to learn how to walk again to kept me sane during times when I wanted to give up.

Tomorrow evening I will be attending Sheltering Arm’s 125th Anniversary Celebration with fellow former patients, doctors, physical therapists, and other members of the Richmond community. It is such a wonderful feeling to know that I was small part of this wonderful hospital’s history and I look so forward to celebrating finding the Power to Overcome.

Sunday Funday – Richmond, Virginia

I’m sure the phrase “Sunday Funday” has popped up on your Facebook newsfeed, in a Twitter hashtag or you’ve overheard it on E! Entertainment one time or another. No, I’m not talking about that coral hue of Essie nail polish, but an end-of-week celebration that’s made diving into pitchers of mimosas and taking advantage of the ever popular brunch a nationwide spectacle.

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Still don’t get it? Here’s how Urban Dictionary defines “Sunday Funday:”

“By celebrating the “Sunday Funday” you can extend your weekend festivities just a little longer before hanging up your party pants. This day typically starts out with mimosas or bloody marys aka hair of the dog. It then typically continues through out the day until you find yourself wasted by about 6:30ish. Since the “Funday” ends early enough, you can rest assured that you will go to bed aka pass out early enough to be perfectly refreshed for work on monday morning.”

If you’re currently a Richmond resident like myself, or just in the area for the weekend here’s a short, sweet list of the best things to do to commemorate this festive day.

  • New to the game. If you’ve never joined in on the Sunday Funday excitement, I suggest starting off easy and enjoying a few hours with some friends over brunch. Visit Richmond.com’s list of the best deals for finding mimosas and brunch in Richmond. Don’t worry, they’ll have Bloody Mary’s too! Browse here.
  • For the museum and history buffs. Visiting the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond National Battlefield Park, Virginia Capitol Building or the Museum of the Confederacy on Sundays are perfect for taking in some of Virginia’s history!
  • Take a walk. After spoiling yourself with chicken and waffles from Mint Gastropub, you’ll want to walk off all those calories from that southern comfort food. Walking threw Maymont Park or strolling along the Canal are a great way to take in scenery and fit in some exercise too!
  • Budget friendly. If you still aren’t 100 percent how you should spend your Sunday, check out Groupon or Living Social for some great ideas that are specific to the Richmond Area!

Since tomorrow is Sunday, I hope you take these exciting suggestions and put them to good use! Experiencing Richmond is a great way to get to know the dynamics of the city and enjoy yourself while you’re at it.

A Little Thing Called Love

It was a crisp, fall Friday night and I was putting my cheerleading uniform on to cheer for my high school’s football team. Like so many of my fellow classmates we lived for Friday night spent under the lights of our small town “stadium.” Little did I know that that night would be one that I would still remember eight years later.

I noticed him right away. We went to church camp together when we were kids and he was from a neighboring county, a rival of my high school’s football team. He was tall, lanky and had piercing blue eyes that could stop you dead in your tracks. It was that night that we began “talking” {as we referred to it then} and just a few short months later he would ask me to be his girlfriend. Today marks the eighth year anniversary of that day.

Our relationship as been anything but easy. Right out of high school I went to the University of Alabama and during that time he moved to the southern part of Virginia to work. During my sophomore year of college I became incredibly sick. I returned to Virginia and he was by my side the entire time, even when I gave him every opportunity to leave. After I was finally better, he decided to join the Army and now he has been a United States Solider for more than two years. Needless to say, our hometown romance turned into a long distance love that we have held onto for quite sometime.

We always joke about how people ask us relationship advice when we have only dated each other. Long distance relationships are not something I’d want any couple should go through! It is really hard and can make you crazy, depressed and even insane. Our biggest motivator is that we both wanted to accomplish so many goals and we were each other’s biggest support. I wanted to go to college and get a degree and he wanted to serve his country just as his father and grandfathers had done.  Simply,  our ability to not be selfish is what has gotten us through is.

I know being in a long distance relationship will not be forever. We will be able to live our happy ever after one day and when that day comes I will be the happiest girl in the world. I am so lucky to have found the man of my dreams at sixteen and to have had eight wonderful years with him! Cheers to many more years to come and only three more days until he comes home for Christmas!!

 

Engagement Season

Everyone is well aware that wedding season begins in May and lasts throughout the summer, but did you know that the holidays kick off engagement season?! With this in mind I had to share The Knot’s video on what NOT to say to a newly engaged friend. While t is a hysterical video, it’s sadly in the comments we sometimes make when we find out our friend is engaged! Enjoy!

 


Pink Palm Internet Promotion

As you may or may not know, I am the E-Commerce manager of a Lilly Pulitzer signature store! With Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday almost here  I thought that I would offer my faithful followers a speak peek for tomorrow’s sales! By shopping with the Pink Palm and using the discount code “SHOPLOCAL25” you will receive 25 percent off online until 11:59pm Monday evening!

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Happy Shopping!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wanted today’s post to allow me to say how thankful and blessed I am to have such wonderful friends and family! They are truly some of the most amazing people on Earth and I am so lucky to have each of them in my life! I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank my follows and those of you who have supported me in this blog!

I hope all of you have a lovely day and remember to be thankful not only today, but every day!
Happy Thanksgiving!!

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The Power of Faith

I must admit that I was not going to post something today, but when I saw this video I knew that I had to share it!! While recording a music video, Carlos Whittaker was approached by a homeless man who knelt beside him, with tears in his eyes, and begin singing with Whittaker. The power of faith reigns in this video as it is so moving and inspiring. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do!

Video Credit: YouTube