So my adorable Ryli turns 19 today. How ridiculously fast these years have flown by! I remember being worried before she was born that I couldn’t possibly love another child as much as Daly Kay…how could I divide the love in my heart between two children? Silly mama, having more children MULTIPLIES the capacity for love, not divides! Which I learned the minute I held that little 5.5 pound baby in my arms.
Ryli had multiple health issues in the womb and truthfully has struggled with her health numerous times since. But all those trips in and out of various hospitals launched a love of medicine that culminated in a medical missions trip to Haiti this summer and spurred the desire for medical school in her future.
Tired of “dealing” with health issues this year she fought back and fought hard. Overcoming numerous obstacles, she began training for the Marine Corps Marathon which she and her father will complete in two weeks. She also competed at the National Triathlon Championships in Wisconsin this summer after placing first in her age group at a local qualifier. With every mile run, weight workout, swim team practice and book read on nutrition, mind training, and overcoming stories of personal biographies like that of Brian Boyle in Ironheart, she ran and swam her way closer to becoming the kind of woman she always wanted to be. A stronger, faster, more competitive version of the same lovable, hilarious Ryli we always knew and loved. It was a fight that started within her and eventually she overcame all her previous personal bests in any former competition to accomplish what she never realized she was even capable of…but believed she could be with consistent training and just plain old dedication.
Ryli has always been an incredibly intelligent, beautiful and witty young woman…but in the last six months she has surpassed every goal she has set for herself and worked hard for every mile in the pool, on the road, and in her personal goals. I couldn’t be more proud of her for every hard won battle in her health, her faith, and her competitive drive. She inspires me every day to fight hard in the heavenlies for her and all God has in store for her future.
Ryli, I love you with all of my heart and your father and I are far better people for having you in our lives to teach US and inspire US. What an incredible joy you are and how thankful we are to the Lord for all He has taught us and given us wrapped up in the gift of YOU. Happy Birthday my darling.
Below are some pictures from the National Triathlon Championships…
Typical Ryli…Always making us laugh!