Miracles from Heaven: Willow’s First Movie (& Your Next One!)

imagesOn Wednesday, I had the distinct pleasure of attending a beautiful collaborative event between The MOMS Network and Good Housekeeping magazine. Willow and I hightailed up to Midtown Manhattan for a press and blogger screening of Jennifer Garner’s new movie, Miracles from Heaven, which is now open in theaters across the country.

We enjoyed light refreshments including the new Good Brew iced tea from AriZona (So tasty!) and bubbling Skinny Girl sparklers. (Willow totally wanted some but I had to divert her attention to sneak in my own sips!). Aside from the obvious question-mark that hovered over my nearly-sixteen-month-old and myself as we nervously noshed on cantaloupe and (I) prayed she’d make it through the film, it was a breezy and lovely reception followed by a pretty well uninterrupted viewing session for us Gerson Girls.

Willow and I graced the step and repeat with a sign sharing the last time I witnessed a miracle. My response was “The first time I saw my daughter,” but funnily enough, by the end of the movie I wished I could go back and scratch that out to swap it for something more accurate. Read on and you’ll understand.


Garner’s new film is based on the true story of Anna Beam, a little girl from Texas who suffers from a serious, painful illness that completely disseminates her quality of life. The plot focuses on her mama Kristy Beam’s (played by Garner) tireless fight to find a cure that will save her daughter. A miracle occurs (I’m not ruining it here, I promise, but the ending is uplifting), and tears are shed all around. In fact, there were so many sniffles surrounding us in the theater on Wednesday that little Willow pouted up her lips and rubbed her own little nose in solidarity, without having much if any understanding of the story she was witnessing.

A beautiful, tender, and soulful story that focuses on the real miracles of life, the message of Miracles from Heaven is undeniably hopeful and loving. As a Jewish person, I was able to connect with the faith-based plot, despite it revolving around a Christian family and community. I believe that even those who are not as spiritually inclined will find comfort and solace in the message that miracles really are all around us.

In the amazing question-and-answer program we were treated to post-film, Denise Albert and Melissa Gerstein of the MOMS Network sat down with Jennifer Garner to talk life, love, and miracles. It was an upbeat, family-based chat during which they all (and all the moms in the audience!) agreed that this whole parenting thing is as tough as it is rewarding. But Garner’s message was as clear as the movie’s:

“Everything is a miracle,” she told us. “Family is a miracle. Love is a miracle. Friends are a miracle. Wine is a miracle!” She is so right. Open your eyes, look around you. Don’t miss it. Don’t get so lost in the shuffle and the stress that you forget to make a wish or say a prayer or watch a sunset. Don’t discount the tiny miracles happening all around you, like the simple smile from a passerby as you wearily schlep the kids to school.


Life is a miracle in its essence, and it doesn’t take religion to see this. But if you are a faith-based movie lover, then you’ll definitely adore Miracles from Heaven. Willow and I call it a must-see. I’ll be forever grateful that my girl’s first movie was this one, even though she wasn’t old enough to really understand it. But we’ll watch together when she’s older. Until then, and forever, if anyone asks me the last time I witnessed a miracle, I’ll look down at my little girl and reply, “Just now.”

Make sure to follow @theMOMS @GoodHouseMag @SkinnyGirlSpark and @DrinkArizona on Twitter for the latest in what moms everywhere need to know (and sip!).

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About Jenny

Jenny Studenroth is a cosmetics junkie and bridal blogger from New York City. After graduating from Middlebury College in 2007 with a creative writing degree, she went on to the beauty departments at Elle and the Wall Street Journal magazines, before becoming a freelance writer. Her wedding blog is BorntobeaBride.com. Jenny and her husband Josh split their time between Brooklyn and Washington, DC along with their cat Dolce and pup Harry. The family is expecting their first human baby in the fall.