11/13/2012 at 06:20 PM EST
, Lauren Scruggs accidentally walked into a spinning plane propeller and lost her left hand and eye
, among other injuries. Since then, she's made an amazing physical recovery
Even more astounding? Her perspective on what's happened.
"It's kind of weird to say, but I wouldn't trade it," Scruggs, 24, tells PEOPLE in an exclusive interview. "I have seen it as a miracle. I've been through a lot but I'm living."
Make that thriving
. During PEOPLE's recent photo shoot at her home outside Dallas, the Lolomag.com editor
shared what her life is like today, from adjusting to her prosthetic eye and several different prosthetic arms, to re-learning how to tie her shoes and drive.
"Sometimes it's easy to dwell on the fact that I don't look the same," says Scruggs, who is releasing a memoir written with her family on Thursday. "But every day I'm feeling better and better."
Lauren's parents and twin sister Brittany also opened up to PEOPLE about how they're healing as a family.
Says Lauren's father, Jeff: "You don't take life for granted anymore."