Crystalin and Mike Engagment PhotosPhoto by Christine Sargologos

The other day I was catching up on my DVR and caught an episode of Ellen. I immediately recognized a gal on the show and remember reading about her story on Instagram. After seeing her husband in the audience and hearing more about her, I realized it was Jacqui from Baby Boy Bakery. Earlier this year Jacqui and her husband, Dan, lost their 3 year old baby boy, Ryan, in a tragic car accident (read more about Ryan’s story here). I remember seeing all the red balloons on social media to support the family, reading their story, and completely losing it. I am an emotional person, I cry about everything, but this story touched me so incredibly much. While watching the show the other day and listening to Jacqui’ tell her story, I couldn’t help but start sobbing again. Like not just tears, but a loud cry. That family has been through hell this last year, but Jacqui is still so incredibly grateful for her current situation and you can tell she’s just an amazing human being.

After the episode I headed to her blog to see how the family has been coping. Jacqui writes about the journey without her son and most recently talks about how hard it’s been during this holiday season. The holidays are all about family, but even more so when you have children. I can’t even imagine what it feels like to lose a child or begin to understand the pain. I don’t know if this particular story brings me so much emotion because I lost my brother when I was 19 years old (he was 20), or maybe it’s because she’s a fellow blogger, or maybe it’s because the way it all happened was so tragic. What I do know is that this family is brave, strong, courageous, and so incredibly inspiring.

Watching Jacqui on the show, reading some of her blog posts, and scrolling through her Instagram feed reminded me to take a moment to reflect on my life during this special time of year. While I may be stressed out about wedding planning, frustrated because I’m in a career rut (that’s a whole other post), envious of other bloggers traveling the world, or annoyed that my fiancé doesn’t love to take my photos for Instagram/blog, it’s not what life is about. Life, especially right now, is about love and being grateful for what you do have. It’s so easy to get caught up in the routine of life, but a story like that of the Saldana family really puts things into perspective.

I hope this holiday season you can live in the present, spend quality time with your loved ones, and be grateful for what it is. Cherish those simple little moments because those little pieces of happiness are what life is all about.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and happy holidays!