Second chances: another try after a mistake or failure.

So many people experience mistakes and failure, almost on a daily basis. A mistake could be made if my hand slips putting on eyeliner, when I accidently put in more flour than called for or making the wrong turn down the street. Failures could be measured by your struggles yet in my life, failures are sometime accompanied by struggled yet gives the opportunity for second chances.

In the past three years my life has drastically changed. My life went from right to left then backwards and forward again.

This time two years ago I was sitting home, probably blogging, missing my husband who at that time somewhere between New Jersey to Idaho in federal custody. We had just finished a "bid" in New Jersey and with hopes of him being release in January drastically changed when he was picked up for another charge we were fighting. Little did we know that our hard work and faith paid off when in April of 2012 he was released.

And there it was a second chance. What now? 

As a "former" prison wife, I know what its like to worry, to get excited for over mail, be under the everyday stress of not only being alone but doing it alone. I think every woman in that position have an idea of what is going to happen and what they want to happen but then life happens. You continue to live, to work and you get caught up in everyday things that those things you wanted to do or those things that you wanted to happen, haven't.

It's a completely different dynamic once your loved one comes home, I met my husband before he was incarcerated but once he steps outside the first time beyond those gates and walls you realize that you both have changed. And yes, its still him and you are still you, but something has changed. You both appreciate each other more because of what you and your husband just went through.

He now looks at life as though it can disappear at any moment, this is his second chance, and yet this is your second chance as well because in the long run you are his support, his love and most of all you are his wife. I almost took it on as a challenge, that his second chances were going to be my mission. And that is a mistake. Just like his mistakes he has to learn from them, so do I. In all instances you can't control every situation, you can't control what he does, what he says you can only control yourself. But for my personally, I felt as though I need to have some sort of control because lets be honest I just spent all that time, working double time, writing letters daily, having the headache from GTL, spending many nights alone, worrying and waiting - no one wants to do it again. No one. 

Looking back on the situation I wish I would have changed somethings, wish that maybe I took that time for me. In all that time I almost felt guilty if I didn't write or if I missed a phone call, but in reality it takes a toll on you. Who says we don't deserve one quiet night, a bubble bath, a book and a lite candle. Once my husband came home it was like, "whoa, you're invading my space." When it was his space too but I got to accustom to him being gone that now it was like a brand new fresh relationship and I wasn't sure if I was ready for him to spend the night, let along leave his toothbrush.

Now fast forward eight months, I gave birth to our baby boy four months early. Just in that time we were re-living and re-loving all over again, we got pregnant and had a huge stressful situation in front of us. And at that moment it was like, we got this, we've been through hardships before. But you never know what can or will happen next in your life. You will always be going through something, whether its children, job loss, a death in the family and you will look back and think, we got this.

That's the power of second chances. 

Second chances give you the power to live again, to experience new things and experience the dreams you have always wanted to. 


The things you take for granted . . . someone else is praying for.
 Be grateful. 

Grateful is something that we have learned through the 14 weeks of Cooper being in the neonatal intensive care unit. Grateful for Cooper, for the strength he has continued to posses and the courage he has shown day after day. I couldn't be prouder of the little 5 pounder. Proud to show him off and for the world to know that my son, born 16 weeks early fought for his life for weeks, that he overcame tests, x-rays, brain bleeds, ultrasounds, breathing issues and more. That makes me proud. And I realize that this is just the beginning, now Cooper will have a whole life to be even stronger and more courageous. 

I couldn't feel anymore grateful. I know how lucky we are, how lucky we have become that Cooper not only got to walk out of those hospital doors but he left with his eyesight, no brain issues, formed perfectly, and just on oxygen. We are grateful. 

Cooper is so special to us. 

Every little cry, suck on his bottle is a blessing to us. We know how lucky we are. We know that there are families that aren't as lucky as we are, so we never take this experience for granted. While it wasn't ideal, it wasn't fun or pleasant - it was worth it. Every single worry, tear, sleepless night, scare, walk into the NICU - all of it was worth it. It was worth it all to have Cooper alive at home and growing. 


We have been home now for a week. I can't even believe it. It is such a big change. A newborn baby, at home for being gone for nearly 14 weeks and more.

Dirty diapers, dozens of bottles and the endless beeps of his oxygen monitor - life of a mother. And I love it.

Cooper is such a blessing. Really.

We are getting used to being home and re-adjusting, unpacking and re-organizing. And more than anything getting into the groove of things. Getting up at night, getting used to his oxygen needs, making bottles etc. etc.

None the less being home is an amazing feeling.


Four generations, Annette as a baby (left to right) her mother Michelle, grandmother Jackie and
 great grandmother Esther.

Turning 27 tomorrow, it has me reflecting on life, love, where I am and where I want to be.
This is not where I ever thought I would be in life. Once upon a time I dreamed of a life full of power at some swanky advertising company, married with kids in my early 20s, a tight knit and close living family with every holiday intermixed full of love and laughter. 

While my life isn't quite "that" I feel that I have accomplished some of that. 

I always thought that I would be married early and start having children early. Now at 27 Tom and I haven't been married for two years yet and we haven't even had the chance to bring Cooper home. Older and what I like to think as wiser, there is a perfectly good reason why I was lucky to have children later. 

I was able to meet and marry the love of my life. I was able to get to a decent place in my life including work, emotionally and maturity. And at 27 I know I have the tools of what it takes to have a child, especially one as special as Cooper. I may not work at a swanky advertising agency but I know my job and I am great at it. I have worked so hard for the past 5 years to be great at my job and it satifies me. 

The husband I have, I couldn't be more grateful for. He really is everything I wanted as a husband, loving, caring, funny, outgoing and just plain fun. 

Everyone goes through their own battles in life with trials and tribulations in hopes of making you a stronger version of yourself. I won't bore you with the tortures, the lies, or even my own bad decisions but in everyone is a truth and really an eye awakening moment in your decisions. I am not happy with all of them I have lied and betrayed friends and family but in the end I am me. 

I am happy with me. 

So this birthday is different for me, my very first birthday with a child yet the first birthday by "myself." Cooper and I will hang out all day together and while we will miss Tom being with us, there is always next year. 

At 27 I feel like my life is just now starting, a great husband, cutest kid, a good job and loyal friends and family. 

Dear Cooper

Dear Cooper,
Laying quietly, eyes unopened, breathing tube, feeding tube, IVs and fluids could sum up the first few days of your life. We never planned for you to have such an early delivery nor such a scary one but you are loved just the same. We have no "excuses" or tall tales of why you came early, it was just in our cards. Maybe your father and I were so excited for you to arrive God granted our "Can't wait until Cooper comes," small wishes.

I want you to know this isn't your fault. That you are special enough to be born early, that the world wanted to meet you 16 weeks early. And we will never regret that. You were created out of pure love between me and your father, a young and innocent marriage that wanted and planned for you.

You may face hardships later in life because of your prematurity but know that this is you, and still perfect. Remember that we as your parents will make sure you get the best of the best and that you have had the best of the best nurses and doctors to help you thrive in this big world. Between brain bleeds, blood transfusions and supported breathing you have already conquered more in your little 3-pound body than most adults do in their entire lives.

Cooper, please remember to be honest and true as you meet new people in life. That every single person is fighting their very own battle so be kind. Be yourself, because you are good enough. Always tell the truth because in the end the truth will never get you in as much trouble as a lie.

Always remember that you are loved. You will make mistakes, you will trip and fall but as your parents we are always there for you. Always. Life isn't always easy but remember that just at 10 weeks old you have already overcame so much. Cooper you are a warrior you have overcame so much pain and near-death with endurance, love and pure dedication for life, even as a tiny baby.

We never want to let you down, but in all honesty I am sure there will be a time where both your father and I will let you down, make you mad or even disappoint you. But please remember we are only human as well, we don't mean to hurt you but we aren't perfect so don't hold it against us. We may not always be the best mother or father but it won't be for lack of trying. We promise that we will do everything we can to prepare you for what you will face in life. We promise that we will never desert you, that we will always be there for you, no matter what hardships you face. We may not always give you what you want but we will always do our best to give you what you need.

Above all else Cooper, we promise that we will love you and do our best to make sure that you have everything you need. We realize that our life is no longer our own, it belongs to you and our family now. You are our treasure, never forget that.

Dad and Mom

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