Before I get into our Buy Virtual! Win Tangible! winners, I want to brag a little on my husband. As part of his road to retirement, there’s a full assessment of his physical & mental well-being.  We always thought it was just his back (injured in a parachute accident 20+ years ago). We learned early on that his injuries impact the vast majority of his vertebrae, as well as numerous discs.  Surgery is not an option. Now, it turns out he has multiple additional injuries as well. It is disheartening.

What is an option, what is a possibility right now, is an intensive rehabilitation program that teaches him how to move his body, how to strengthen his body, in a completely different manner than before. It is exhausting. Physically and mentally exhausting. He is rebuilding his body, by sheer will power, from 06:30 to 20:00 every day. He has gritted his teeth and gone through “torture” every day so he can live longer, happier, stronger without surgery. Without pain.

I held him in my arms for the first time in a week last night, and I could feel the difference. In just a week he is standing straighter, there are new muscle definitions in multiple places and for the first time, in our entire marriage, he said:

“My back does not hurt.” The difference is not surgery. It is physical therapy, modification, acupuncture, bio-feedback, psychological therapy, intense exercise and a team of doctors and therapists pushing him beyond his limits. I wish this amazing program had been available years ago. I wish this program was available to all soldiers injured in the line of duty. The difference it is making is enormous. I know he will never be the same, he will never be strong or fully healed, but he will be able to move, albeit in a very conscious manner, in a mostly pain-free way. I feel we have won the lottery.

Obviously he does not want me to post pictures or videos of him rebuilding his body. They start from the ground up, and his biggest challenge right now is to crawl (like spiderman) and/or inchworm his way down the entire hallway in his hospital ward. It sounds easy, but I tried it myself. It is not easy! So, instead, I’m going to announce the other winners in my life… the winners of our Buy Virtual! Win Tangible! Contest!

I downloaded the list of all purchase in Valentina’s Creations store from January 28 – February 03, 2017 and then used your order numbers to find a winner at! The following numbers, in order, are our winners:

Winner #1: Sherry Pennington!

Sherry wins: The Dreamer: Drawing 01 hand-drawn by Valentina!

Winner #2: Nancy Lowe!

Nancy wins The Dreamer: Drawing 02 hand-drawn by Valentina!

Winner #3: Hiromi Hatazawa!

Hiromi wins The Dreamer: Drawing 03 hand-drawn by Valentina!

Sherry, Nancy & Hiromi; you will be receiving an email from me at your registered store email to confirm your mailing address. Then these gorgeous drawings will leave my house for yours! I am so excited for the three of you. Congratulations!