The Day That Changed Everything


President’s Day was February 18th, 2013. It also happened to be my son Matthew’s eighth birthday. It is also a day that I will never forget, because it changed everything.

We went out to lunch that afternoon to celebrate Matthew’s special day. Just the four of us laughing and carrying on together. One of those “kid dates” that you wish could last forever. Everyone was safe, happy and healthy. Later in the afternoon when my husband Steve mentioned “a little chest pressure” it was tough to take seriously. “Go get it checked out” I said…believing he would return that evening from the ER with a diagnosis of indigestion or anxiety and a recommended follow-up.

Fast forward 24 hours and we are receiving the news that Steve has major occlusions on the left side of his heart and will require a quadruple bypass within 48 hours. The cardiologist has to tell me this several times before I actually hear him. Steve? He’s only forty! We are first-born rule-followers! We don’t smoke. We eat well. We have eliminated processed foods from our pantry shelves. We work out regularly. He ran 6 miles last week. It can’t be real. Not Steve. Not now. Game changer…

This past Thursday, May 16, 2013, marked 12 weeks post-op for Steve. I think it’s safe to say we both have gone through periods of grieving (for the life we both knew 12 weeks ago), anger, frustration, and fear. However, we are both grateful for the experience because it showed us what an amazing community of people we are surrounded by every day. We never felt alone. Our kids were very well cared for and our refrigerator was stocked for weeks.  It has strengthened our faith in God and in human kind. We have been given a second chance – to maximize our own health – and to raise children who live will grow up to live healthy, balanced lives.

There are three reasons I decided to launch this blog:

1. To share our story and journal our experiences. Health and wellness topics have always been an interest of ours, but suddenly we find ourselves craving knowledge. We are eating differently than ever before – stepping out of our comfort zone and trying new things. We are changing the rules. It makes me happy to think that all of this is could be happening for a reason…to help others get truly healthy…right along with us!

2. To connect with all of you. We can learn from each other. My hope that this is a place where we can all share our experiences – and help each other figure out answers.

3. To hold myself accountable. This is all very fresh and new for our family. Steve is still healing and the pain has dulled; but it still exists. What happens 6 months from now? Eating well and staying active as a family cannot be a passing trend for us – we do not have that choice. We are raising two young boys with a significant family history. We have a responsibility. We have to change the rules.

So I feel like this is the beginning of a crazy story…and I am the author…but I have no idea where it will take us from here. I hope you will join me – and help me figure it out along the way. What exactly is “well-balanced?” Will we raise little vegetarians? Will we like tofu? Will I be able to survive without cheese? (OK…I think I already know the answer to that one…)

Stay tuned,



4 thoughts on “The Day That Changed Everything

  1. Tonia Davies

    I had a “wake up call” myself when a couple of years ago my dad had a heart attack fixing our roof. He was 55. I have 6 aunts and uncles and they are all on heart medication. Since then I have made serious efforts to cut saturated fat out of my family’s diet. It is hard since we all love dairy products (ice cream & cheese) so much! This winter I read Sugar, Fat, Salt by Michael Moss and everything FINALLY really hit home. Both my husband and I have become vegans (with the exception of supplements) and have eliminated all sources of saturated fat from our diets. I really recommend this book to anyone trying to change the way they live. You will look at the food in the grocery store differently!

    1. wellbalancedfamily Post author

      Hi Tonia! Thanks so much for sharing your story. I have been curious about that book…I’ll have to pick it up. We are Michael Pollan fans, and have also read the research connected with “Forks Over Knives.” I hope you continue to follow my blog; sounds like there is a lot we can learn from your family’s experiences!


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