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!

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  • Family is precious and I couldn’t imagine losing my son or my brother. What a tragic loss. I hope you have a wonderful time with your family and friends. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas Crystalin!

  • I have been following your blog for a while and I always enjoy it, but this is your best post yet. #morethanjustcutephotos

    • Thank you so much! I’ve been wanting to write more and include more personal post… but haven’t made time to sit down and write. Thank you for the encouragement :)

  • I’ve been a long time reader but first time commenter on your blog. This post is probably one of the best posts I’ve read in years, and I really mean it. I’m constantly trying to put things in perspective and not harbor too much stress/negativity/annoyances in my life; this was a great reminder to keep doing that so thank you. :) Have a Merry Christmas, Crystalin!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it (and I’m so glad you finally left a comment)! I hope to sit down and write more personal posts in 2015 :)

  • Hi Crystalin,

    I am also a long time reader but have never commented. Thank you for this post and for reminding us to take a step back and remember what is truly important. =)