*Why Holland?

Hi!  I'm Ruth, the blogger who is on "A Trip to *Holland".

My blog actually has nothing to do with Holland.  While I'd love to visit Holland, I've never actually been there.

So, why on earth did I give my blog a name that makes it sound like a travelogue?  Excellent question!  The name of my blog refers to an essay by Emily Perl Kingsley, "Welcome to Holland."  In her essay, Kingsley compares the experience of parenting a child with a disability to landing in Holland, after you planned and packed for a trip to Italy.  The line from the essay that I find very meaningful is this:

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

Welcome to my tour of Holland.....

.....which officially began when my third child was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. Having one child with special medical needs was an unanticipated challenge, but when our fourth child was born with many more medical issues, I truly began a life-changing, unexpected journey. This sweet baby died shortly after her first birthday, and that, too, has been part of this trip I never planned.

I originally began blogging because I believed blogging was probably cheaper than therapy.  While it definitely has been therapeutic--and cheap!--I've also come to appreciate the opportunity to have a record of my progress: from the frustration and disappointment of the unwilling tourist to the more seasoned traveler who is learning that there can truly be joy in any journey.

This little travel diary of mine has a lot of variety!  My postings are about my family, my home, my challenges, my concerns, my successes, and my effort to enjoy the views from a different place than I planned to visit.  Recently, my role has shifted--all my children are in school, no one is in the hospital, and I can actually sleep at night.  As wonderful as it sounds, this wasn't supposed to be on the itinerary, yet!  Lately, one of the thrills of this journey is rediscovering who I am now and what I am capable of accomplishing.  

So, whether you are here to keep up with my family, find a craft tutorial, see what I've been sewing, get a new recipe, or to find out more about congenital heart defects and genetic/metabolic disorders: WELCOME,  
and travel safely!