Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Allowing hope in

And no, I'm not talking about sweet little Hope Hintz who now has her forever family  : () ... we are super super excited and overjoyed for this precious family.


I am finally allowing hope to take root in my heart. Precious Hannah Mae has made an incredible impact on my cold heart (I guess it wasn't completely cold, but oh my, how it has warmed). I have wanted to hope, wanted to day dream and plan. I have wanted all the sweet feelings and dreams I had with Owen...all the innocent dreams of pregnancy.
It is not the same, but I am feeling moments and hours of pure joy and hope. I haven't had a whole day of it yet, but last Tuesday was pretty close.

I was almost 11 weeks pregnant with her when we bought her first outfit. A little brown bear coat with ears on the hood. We weren't really looking to buy, just looking to look, when we saw it. I wanted it so badly. I wanted everything that it meant in buying that little coat. I wanted the six month baby just sitting up on her own. I wanted the chubby little face poking out of the hood with ears. I wanted it all.




So, we bought it, and allowed ourselves to hope. I still didn't want other people to buy our baby things...it's hard to explain. I was just allowing myself to hope, but wasn't ready for all that meant. Does that even make sense?

But, with Christmas...and just finding out that our baby is a Hannah Mae...well, you can imagine the stockpile this little girl has. I think I am handling it well (well enough). I am taking it one day at a time. One kick, one breath, one moment of trust and hope at a time.


We went shopping yesterday and couldn't help but look at things for our little girl. We've been looking for something that said 'I'm the little sister' or 'I love my big brother' but hadn't been successful until yesterday. We finally decided to go back to the store we bought Owen's crib and dresser and car-seat from. There are so many memories and emotions we have from this particular store, but it turned out to be the place that had what we were looking for. A cute little bib with 'I love my big brother' written across the front.



My heart melted even more.


I am ready to hold this little girl in my arms and smell her sweet baby smell. I want to tell her about her big brother Owen and about Jesus. I want her to understand how much God loves her and know his saving grace. I want to cuddle her to sleep and hear her precious giggle. And I really really want to change some poopy diapers (I know some of you won't understand this, but seriously, I was really looking forward to EVERYTHING about mothering Owen and now Hannah Mae). I want to be sleep deprived from caring for an infant, not from grieving my baby boy in Heaven.

I am trying, really trying, to take this one day at a time. We are now halfway there. 18 weeks 4 days down...18 weeks 3 days to go. It should feel like going downhill, right? I still feel like I'm slowly trudging uphill, but really when I think about it (and try hard for perspective), these past 18 weeks have gone by fairly quickly. I am ecstatic to be halfway to holding her in our arms.

We are ready. 





This Jesus Storybook Bible is the best. I had never heard of it, but Chris's dad got it for Hannah Mae for Christmas. I've read some and I just love it.



I am super excited about reading to little Hannah Mae. Which, by the way, we already love doing.


Bet you can't guess what college team we cheer for....





I promise I'm not a weird cat lady, but this is me and Maggie the (rather large) cat. I practice my baby holding moves on her.
She doesn't mind.





2010 here we come!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

If you guessed...

GIRL   then you're right!

We have a boy and a girl, and two little peanuts called Chipmunk and Sunshine. Praise God.

You all knew that I had a 'feeling' that she's a girl all along, but I was wrong with Owen, so I was trying to keep an open mind (if Chris is reading this then he's calling BS on me).

When we got to the room the ultrasound tech said that since I was 17 weeks 4 days, we couldn't be positive that we'd see the money shot very clearly. At that point I was just so anxious to see all the baby's organs and measurements that I didn't care about the gender. Once we got the doppler on my belly, there she was in all her glory. Even with my untrained eye I could tell she was a girl. The tech asked again if we wanted to know and I said, 'Well, I think I see a girl.' She replied, 'Yes, that is definitely a girl.'
I mean, I won't get graphic, but the difference between boy and girl was pretty obvious (I know, that was a definite 'duh' statement). I remember seeing Owen's little boy parts and thinking...wow, that is a boy!


And for her name...



Hannah Mae


Isn't it beautiful?

Hannah has been our number one choice since I found out I was pregnant. The morning I took my first pregnancy test (at 5:45am), I stayed up and read my Bible for a bit. I knew exactly what I wanted to read. 1 Samuel 1-2
The story of Hannah and Samuel. Hannah prayed for years to conceive a child and in her old age, she was given Samuel. What a beautifully redemptive story of faith, hope and preserving, knowing that God does care about us and love us despite what our circumstances look like. Hannah is Hebrew for God's grace. I've also seen God's favor as the meaning too.
What could be more wonderful?

And now for some pictures!
This was taken in the waiting room, trying not to pass out before the appointment.
I just have to laugh at myself in this picture. Can't you just feel the tension in my face?



Last year was the first year we sent out cards as a family and we loved doing it, so we decided to send out cards again this year with a picture. The brown teddy bear I'm holding is Owen's teddy, the one we received from the hospital on the day I was discharged . We included him in the picture last year and this year he's holding an ultrasound of little sister, Hannah. I'm also wearing a pink scarf in honor of the little girl growing in my womb. The scarf was also the clue in telling family that we found out she's a girl.
Oh, and I know...Maggie the cat does not look happy. Trust me, she looks like this the majority of the time.




I hope everyone had a beautiful day yesterday. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Praise God

He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. And right now, He's the same God who saw fit to write Owen's days as 35 weeks 5 days in my womb.
He saw fit for Owen to have complications in my womb, some of which we knew of and others that slipped past medical care/intervention.

He saw fit for this little baby to have all organs and fingers and toes present and accounted for. Perfect and whole.

Praise His Holy Name.


I've never felt so much relief as I did when I watched the ultrasound tech type the words: NO ANOMALIES SEEN.

What beautiful words!!!


And yes, we did see the gender. My babies are not shy. Owen was so proud to show his mommy and daddy that he was a boy and this little baby was only too happy to oblige as well. (If you feel so inclined, I thought it would be fun to have a little poll of your thoughts on this baby's gender. Just look above this post.)


We are overjoyed. I am on cloud nine and I don't think I'll be coming down for quite some time.

Thank you all so so so much for praying. God is so faithful...He is the always the same.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry making

I'm not sure where this expression came from and typing it just now felt like an out of body experience. Merry making...


hm...

Still thinking about that one.


Anyways, last week was hard. This little baby of ours is such a stinker. Just when I was feeling great movements and maybe even seeing a little bit of a pattern with waking and sleeping, yep you guessed it. The baby has flipped and decided to face my back, so now I'm getting like nothing. argh. Well, okay not nothing. I can feel some pokes and kicks every now and again, but it's nerve wracking not to feel constant/consistent movement.

Tuesday night, I had completely convinced myself that the baby was in Heaven with Jesus. I was feeling nothing from the baby and having the experiences I have had, I just went to worst case scenario and believed that we had lost this little one. I was wide awake Wednesday morning until 3am waiting and wishing and begging the baby to move. It was an awful night. My mind kept replaying the morning I knew something was wrong with Owen- so many bad memories.

I woke up early Wednesday and got an appointment with the nurse to hear the heartbeat later that morning. I sat in the waiting room with a hugely pregnant woman, a woman with an infant, and another couple with a 2 year old. Yep. That was fun.
I was called back and the nurse found the heartbeat after a moment. I just was not convinced that it was the baby's and started to cry, but after a minute or two I was finally convinced that it was indeed the baby's heartbeat I was hearing. 154 beautiful beats per minute.
I cried some more, which I think concerned the nurse a little. I'm still not so sure she really understands how difficult this is. When I walked out of the office, I ran into the NP who just looked at me and said, 'Sweetie...I wish there was something I could do to make this easier for you, but I think it's just going to be a hard road.'

*big sigh of relief* Thank you for getting it. 


Yes, this is a hard road, but one I'm so thankful to be on. Before the baby moved positions, when I was feeling a lot of movement, I found myself thinking: This baby may live. This baby may live. This baby may live.

Yes, this baby may live.



Depending on when we decide to get an amnio and then induce, I have roughly 20 weeks left. Tomorrow we go in for our anatomy scan. I am so excited to get another peak at the baby. We haven't seen our sweet little one since the beginning of November. I have to admit that I am unusually (or maybe it's the usual) anxious about seeing all the parts and measurements. I want everything to be healthy and normal. With Owen, our anatomy scan was the first indication that something might be wrong. Of course, we were lulled into complacency because of semi-negligence from the doctors, but I HAVE to give this to the Lord because He is sovereign over everything.

I just want a fast forward button; a scan chapters button so we can be at May already.


Last Wednesday, after the heartbeat check, I went over a friend's house and we had a great time making peppermint bark. Can you say delicious? These two friends are the ones who helped plan and make Owen's birthday a beautiful day. Their little girls are just adorable. I always have a fun time with them, but afterwards, I get this extremely 'let down' feeling when I leave with no little one to get home in time for a nap. I always leave by myself. It's not easy to be constantly reminded of what you don't have, but I don't know where I would be without these two friends. I have to admit that it does make it easier that their two-year-olds are girls. Owen would have been seriously in love with these two beauties.

Friday morning, I baby-sat little G. for a bit.  L. if you're reading this, no we did not watch A Charlie Brown Christmas three times (um, yes we did). I sat on the couch while sweet little G. played on the ottoman and got up and down, up and down while watching the show. Sometimes, I just can't wrap my brain around the fact that Owen would be that big now. If he was living with us, then I would have a little guy running around my house wanting to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas over and over.

(edited to add: I can't believe I forgot to mention that Friday was also our FIVE year wedding anniversary!)
Chris, Papa...I love you more than words can say. You have been the husband that I always dreamed of marrying. Though you're not perfect, you get it right a lot of the time. I can't believe how much we've survived together, or how much more in love I am today than I was five years ago. I'm sorry for how I fall short in our marriage, as your wife, your best friend. Thank you for your gracious and forgiving attitude you always have when I mess up. I love you, Pops.


I guess I officially joined in the commercialization of Christmas this year by going Christmas shopping this weekend with the women-folk in my family. Every year, for four years now, we take a trip to the big city of Atlanta and shop at a HUGE mall, then we spend the night and do it all over again the next day. The mall was packed both days. I haven't been surrounded by that many people in a long time. There were a few sneezers and coughers walking past us, which made me both nervous and angry at the same time. Seriously, people cough into your elbow (or inside your shirt, I don't care) or stay home.

And I got my first dirty look this weekend. What, you ask, was that all about? I guess I'm just used to them, but I tend to get quite a few ugly looks when I'm pregnant. I got so angry when people did it when I was pregnant with Owen, but my perspective is drastically different now.
The joke in my family is that I look 12...I've looked 12 since I was 12. Maybe, I'm starting to look a little bit older as grief and wrinkles take their permanent place in my life, but apparently I still look young. I don't feel young, but I guess I do still look young. Anyways, my sister-in-law was saying something about how excited she is for my belly to get really big, and I responded with, "Get really big, it is big." (I should say that I don't normally talk about my pregnancy out in public or rub my belly like I did with Owen, but it's getting hard to hide my growing belly. I mean, I'm the same size with this baby as I was with Owen in my 26th week.) We were walking down the mall, and this lady (probably my age or a little older) whips her head around to stare at me and my belly, all the while giving me the before mentioned 'dirty look'.
But I understand. I really do. I have given this look many a time, usually completely unaware that I was doing it. My face just naturally aligned itself into an 'ugly face' whenever I saw a pregnant woman. It's hard to say what previous (or current) experiences someone has and you can never judge a book by its cover.


Tonight, Chris and I are going over to Tonya's house for dinner. I am super excited. Chris and Gib haven't had the chance to meet yet, so I'm looking forward to them meeting and getting to talk. Chris has only met one other man who has the same experiences as him, and it is such a special and important thing for him to be able to talk to someone man-to-man about his grief.


We are going in for our scan at 8:30 tomorrow morning, but I don't expect to be able to post until later in the day, probably in the afternoon. I am bouncing in my chair as I speak (type) unable to contain the joy and nervous energy I have at seeing our baby tomorrow. Please pray that the baby cooperates and we can see all his/her precious organs, and that everything is healthy and normal.
Please don't be too disappointed that I won't be able to share the gender news right away. We are going to wait until we see family to tell them the news in person and since some of them read this blog, I can't share it here until after Christmas. I'm serious when I say after Christmas, because I'll probably be on here first thing in the morning on December 26th posting the news and probably the name too.
Thank you all for your continued prayers. We know our Father hears them.


I am praying that everyone is able to enjoy Christ's presence during this special time of year.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Heavenly Father,

I admit it, sometimes I listen to what the devil whispers and wonder if maybe he has a point. Sometimes I can't even tell it's him. But, Father, thank you for the Spirit. I repent of my sin.

When I start to listen and doubt and think differently of you than I should, the Spirit and your Word intercede and I see that all he wants me to believe about you is really who he is. He is the coward, the thief, the liar, the one who wants to see me hurt and lost.

You are the only one who can be trusted; when every man be found a liar, you would still be true (Romans 3: 4).
We praise your holy Name, and wait for your return.

Amen.


My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. Luke 1: 46-47

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Growing and moving

The other night I was lying in bed trying in vain to go back to sleep. Two hours earlier, Chris and I were asleep on the couch; him stretched out across the ottoman in front of us and me curled up on the rest of the couch. It was a weird way to wake up, though not uncommon in our house. I blinked my eyes open and looked around- 11pm, Christmas tree lights still bright, television glowing in the background. I rolled over off the couch and shuffled into the bathroom to take my nightly Lovenox (a.k.a. the 'nox') shot. What a fun way to get ready for bed, huh?

By the time we both got our teeth brushed and various other nightly things done, I wasn't the least bit sleepy. I was lying there, feeling fairly rested, when I felt this little tap...tap-tap in my lower abdomen. I quickly put my hand where the tapping was coming from and felt a small push back. I gasped and elbowed Chris to get his attention. 'Do you want to feel the baby?' I asked excitedly. Well, you can imagine his response. He brought his hand to where mine was lying and I pressed my hand over his. And there it was again. This time the gasp came from him.

With Owen, it took forever for Chris to feel his feet kicking and arms punching. I am truly amazed at the movement from this baby. It's not consistent and there's really no pattern at all, but this baby must be really strong...um, it's that or I've lost all the muscle tone in my stomach. Yesterday afternoon I was fretting over having not really felt the baby move much the past day or so when all of a sudden, there it was again. Tap, tap..tap tap tap.
I hear you, little one. I hear you.
And tonight, I think I literally felt this little one roll over. And just now, as I was typing the above paragraph, I think the baby did some kind of a summersault.

It's not at all how I thought I'd feel. A few weeks ago, I wrote a post lamenting movement and wondering how I'd react when I could feel this baby move.
But I don't feel those things at all. I feel more in love with this baby than ever before. Every day I fall more and more in love with my littlest one. My youngest.


Thank you, Lord. Thank you for the sweetness of a baby moving in my womb. Thank you for the comfort of your Word and of the Spirit. Thank you for every day we spend with this baby.
Thank you for hope.


We are days away from knowing this child's name. Our Father has already written it in His book...I can't wait to find out what it is.

And now for gratuitous belly shots:


 at 13 weeks

and

at 16 weeks


Okay, so I couldn't decide which picture was the most 'awesomest' so you get two. Enjoy.



This is just a fun shot of Chris' new glasses that he got tonight. Yay for glasses that aren't 5 years old!


__________________________________________________________________________________

Oh, and I just have to share the news that two friends, one a MISS and blog buddy, the other a real life friend, both had their precious sub babies recently. Well, Miranda had her baby last Thursday (I have a post coming up on that) and Anna had her baby early this morning. Praise God!! Praise God, both baby boys cried when they were born and are doing wonderfully.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Like a fetter

I didn't really know what a fetter was until I starting reading Pilgrim's Progress with Chris.
A chain. In my mind's eye, it's an unbreakable iron chain. 

After seeing this amazing picture of a fetter in the book, singing Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing had such a different impact on me. I've always loved this particular song and now, I love it all the more.


O to grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O, take and seal it
seal for Thy courts above.


After that last post, and particularly after the whole of last week, I will always be eternally grateful that I am chained, bound, shackled and stuck to a God whose goodness and love never diminish or fail.

Thank you for your encouraging thoughts and words of love. I know you've been praying for me too. And thank you for praying for sweet K. and her family. Chris said the funeral was beautiful, a wonderful celebration of A.'s life and a reminder that her life continues on in a greater way, in the midst of the never ending Light. Please continue to pray for all those left behind, waiting for that great reunion in the sky.



There is so much I would like to share with you. I spent a lot of time deep in the pit of sadness. And you know, if it had just been a pit of sadness, then I don't think I would have written that last post. It was more than sadness. It was fear. Fear and worry...fear and worry that I dwelled on for days. Fear and worry that intensified anger and doubt. I spent hours questioning God, wrestling with God. Did you know that Israel means 'wrestles with God'?
Interesting, right?

I don't think we're not supposed to wrestle with God or never question Him, but I do think we can be disrespectful and dishonoring to the God who made an everlasting covenant with us, the God wrestlers.


I wish you could have been at my church on Sunday. The sermon was on peace; the peace of God. It was a much needed reminder of what it meant to the world when Jesus was born. It was a fulfillment of the promise that no, God has not forgotten His people and one day, He will return to make all things right.
Things suck right now. Really they do. And they have since sin entered the world, but the promise of a Savior, a King, the One who comes to redeem His nation, has not been forgotten.


I was thoroughly convicted at the end of the sermon when our pastor asked,
'Do you care that Jesus has come and is coming again? Do you embrace the offer of rescue but shun the idea of submission? Perhaps, you simply don't care that Jesus is King. Why? Because it goes back to why we need a King at all. The King is the one who brings peace, so the Kingship is tied to your experience of peace. If you've already created a measure of peace in your lives, why do you need a King?
You may believe that life is manageable. And up to this point, maybe it is. The problems aren't too big, the occasional rewards or benefits you receive are enough to keep you going. In effect, you've become your own king, you've created your own kingdom where your own definition of peace is at work in that kingdom.
If that's you, then the kingdom you've created- that's an illusion. Your kingdom will eventually collapse. Our brokenness runs much too deep. The best spouse, the best family, the best children, the best vacation, the best friends, the best job won't be sufficient. It wasn't sufficient in the Garden...it isn't sufficient now; particularly in the midst of horrible brokenness.
Even if those things are strong and good in your life, we're not free to create and live within our own personal vision of peace. That is what Adam and Eve did; that was the ultimate act of rebellion...rebellion is exchanging God's vision of peace for your own. The question is- are you in this kind of passive aggressive mode of rebellion against God?

...Are you angry with God right now? Are you angry at what God is doing in your life?...The source your anger towards one another is not the other person, the source of that anger, the source of your inability to forgive or to be kind, is because you're angry at God and your anger at God is going to destroy those around you. God is calling us to repent through this story (Matthew 1: 18- Matthew 2:12)
...submit yourself to King Jesus and the peace that He offers, confess your sin of anger, forgive, give up wanting to be right, repent of your lack of charity towards others, and offer the peace of Jesus (the same peace that He's offered to you) to one another.
Jesus is the King who offers us peace and He invites all people to worship and experience the peace that He brings. Jesus is for anyone who sees the brokenness of this world, who sees the brokenness in their own lives, that sin and rebellion at a very deep level, and have come to the conclusion that they in their own strength can do nothing about it.
Thirty years after the visit of the wise men, Jesus makes this offer to all who seek his presence... 'Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light' (Matthew 11: 28-30).
There will come a time when everything in this world will be as it should be. That's why we're celebrating Advent, we're waiting for the arrival or the coming of Jesus again. And when He comes again, it will not be in weakness and suffering, it will be in power and glory and His peace will completely recreate our lives in this world (see this in Revelation 21).'


Okay, so when I started transcribing this sermon, I didn't expect to write so much, but seriously, it's a great sermon. If you want to hear the whole thing, just email me (ebe.mnly@gmail.com) and I'll send you a link so you can listen to it on iTunes.


The former things will pass away. No more death. No more tears. Complete peace.


I have to admit that the anger I struggle with is something I don't think I can be 'victorious' over in this life. It's a constant struggle to submit to God's will and repent of my sin. I know that the anger is wrong and I know that His will is perfect and good, but in this fallen world there is so much to point at and say, 'God, where are you? Are you really good? Do you really care?' There is so much temptation to sin. Our flesh constantly battles with the Spirit in us...
But He's here and He's good and He loves us.

Confess, repent, believe and move forward. We are going somewhere. Somewhere good.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Demoralized

I guess it really started after I told the rest of my family that I'm pregnant. We decided to wait until Thanksgiving to tell the grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins (just on my side). I think it was my mom's idea. I remember thinking, 'She wants me to get past the first trimester before telling anyone....' 
I didn't realize the pressure I would feel after telling them all. Especially in regards to my mom's mother. Her third child, a son, died a few hours after being born with underdeveloped lungs. Not many people in my family know I lost our third child. We just didn't tell anyone. I can't face telling my family I've lost another child. I can't watch my grandmother grieve another baby. It's just not fair...

I know. I know. I haven't lost this child. This child isn't dead.

But right now, that's all I feel. I feel demoralized and angry. I can't imagine looking into my family's eyes again...seeing the hurt, confusion, and questions. Why does this keep happening? Why can't my body give my children life? Isn't that one of its main purposes? I already feel like my body is a colossal failure...what will happen if this child dies too?

Just as I wrote that last sentence, I think I felt a tiny kick...I've been feeling some things that feel just like a baby moving, but it's easy not to let myself hope. 


Yesterday, Chris called home to tell me that a lady he works with- her daughter died over Thanksgiving weekend. I burst into tears. I don't really know her all that well, but Chris and K. have a special relationship and she has always been so kind and understanding about Owen. She made an ornament for us last year that has Owen's name on it. 
Her youngest child, a son, died a few years ago in a car accident. And now, her only living child, her daughter, has gone home too. 
I just don't understand it. I'm so angry and sad and confused and hurt for her and her husband. 

I got off the phone and just started yelling at God. I don't understand him. And right now, I don't know if I like him very much. Immediately I felt awful for saying this, but if I'm not free to say it, then Jesus isn't who he says he is. 

Why, God, why

One child. One headstone. One funeral. One missing chair at the table. Why now two? 
It's not fair. It's just not fair. 


I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and stayed awake for awhile. I thought, if I'm awake, then she's awake. What can she be feeling? How will she cope with the grief of two children? The funeral is this afternoon. I was going to go, but I know that if I did, I would fall apart. For her, her husband, her daughter's husband and son, for the ones left behind...for me. I didn't want to take anything away from her family. I didn't want to become the center of attention as my sobs might become too loud. I haven't been to a funeral since Owen's funeral 2 years ago. 


This morning I woke up angry. Hostile. I felt my stomach and wondered why it feels flatter than it has in the past few weeks. Maybe this child has died too. 
Why hope, why desire anything when it seems like he doesn't care about my desires or hopes at all? 

I know I probably shouldn't publish this post...I know a lot of you think I am strong and my faith is so great.
I am not. It is not.
I am struggling. I feel like I've been wrestling with God for the past few days and today, I just feel like giving up. 

Okay, God, if you feel you must take this child home too, then do it.

I'm tried of trying to convince you to let me raise this child. I'm tried of begging for this child to live. I can't change what you've ordained and I can't understand any of it. 



If you can pray, please pray for K. and her family. The funeral is in one hour. Another funeral. Another saying goodbye. 

Monday, November 30, 2009

Waiting

Yesterday in church our pastor read a quote from Dietrich Bonheoffer which succinctly reminded me of why I blog. I guess a part of me had forgotten. Thanks to those of you who helped remind me as well; you are an encouragement. 


Advent is a time of waiting. Our whole life, however, is Advent- that is, a time of waiting for the ultimate, for the time when there will be a new heaven and a new earth, when all people are brothers and sisters and one rejoices in the words of the angels: "On earth peace to those whom God's favor rests." Learn to wait, because he has promised to come.
Dietrich Bonheoffer

Yes, come quickly, Lord. 


I hope everyone had a peaceful Thanksgiving. I remember when I thought there was nothing to be thankful for, and I remember feeling like there would never again be anything to give thanks for- I hold you all close in my heart, you who feel the depths of despair washing over you. 


As for this year, well, I told Chris this afternoon that I think we'll skip Thanksgiving next year. This is the second Thanksgiving in a row that he's gotten really sick. Last year, he got the stomach virus (a really really bad case, in my opinion) on Thanksgiving night and was sick for 4 days. I waited and worried, wondering when I would feel that first twinge of sickness, but even after caring for him I didn't get sick. Thank you, Lord. 
I've also never been more thankful for a washer and dryer as I was last year (the first three years of our marriage we didn't have one). 

This year, he has gotten some kind of a mystery illness. I have no idea what he has, but he felt awful yesterday. It started as a headache and then progressed to a really bad headache and nausea. I tried to talk him into staying home from church, but seeing as he leads worship, he felt obligated to go. When he came and sat next to me for the sermon, he scooted his chair away from me and mouthed the words 'I think I have a fever.' My heart sunk. 
I felt his forehead and he was burning up. I was sure he had the flu. I just about lost it in the middle of the sermon, but I managed to sit there, worrying the entire time (I know, I know). After the service ended, my friend S. turned around to say goodbye and I lost it. I just started crying, worrying for the baby's health, for Chris. I hate the flu. 

When we got home, we stood in the parking lot arguing about what I should do. He wanted me to pack a bag and get away from him as soon as possible, but I didn't want to leave him there alone. I didn't want to get sick, but then again, I wanted to take care of him.

It was all moot. We took his temperature and it was completely normal. I made him take a shower and eat soup, while I made him a little make shift bed on the couch. His face was flushed and still really hot, but he didn't have a fever. After a long restful sleep last night, we decided it still would be best if he stayed home from work today. His head is still hurting and he feels really tired, like he's been sick for a week, but altogether he's feeling much better. I'm beginning to wonder if he had a migraine headache. He's never had one before, but his symptoms fit the description. 
It also could be allergies of some kind. He had really bad allergies when he was a kid, but doesn't suffer as much as he did when he was little. We cut down our Christmas tree yesterday before he started feeling really bad, so I wonder if the tree is the culprit. He doesn't want to take the tree out of the house because he's feeling better- but I still wonder...

Blech.



I feel pretty uneasy about the baby today. I guess all that worrying has a price. I don't think I've felt the baby move yet, but maybe just maybe I've been feeling some movement. I know I said I was sort of dreading feeling movement, but now I wish I could feel something, a tiny foot kicking or an elbow, something to ease this fear a little bit. 


Lord, help me believe that you are sufficient. 

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Something on my mind

I've been turning something over and over in my mind for quite some time. The dilemma of making public blogs private is not a new issue. People have their reasons for doing it...I have my reasons for thinking about it, but should I do it?
I just don't know.

I feel like I could be more specific in my prayer requests or maybe even be more honest (did you think that was possible?). I often wonder who's out there...who's reading all my thoughts and fears and wonderings?

This is something I've been thinking about since I started my blog a year ago. Why do people blog? Why did I want to blog? Why am I now blogging about blogging?

Who knows.

Everyone has their reasons, I suppose.
I guess I have mine too.

But my purpose in this post about blogging is to get your opinion on the subject. What do you think about making a public blog private?
What would you do?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

13 weeks tomorrow

The beginning of my second trimester. Haven't seen one of those in almost 2 and a half years. 

My pregnancy week by week book says to expect to feel movement in the next few weeks. It's been exactly 2 years and 2 weeks since I felt Owen move. 
I'm not sure what to expect when I feel this little one's foot kicking my ribs, the same way Owen did when he was alive. Will I be sad, joyful, overwhelmed with grief, anxiety? Will I fall apart? 

I'm a little concerned that I may just fall apart when I'm able to feel this baby move. Looking back, I know exactly when Owen died. Will I constantly be waiting for this baby's movement to stop? Will I ever be able to relax when this little one is sleeping? or waking for that matter...


On top of the worries I have because of Owen's death, my history of pregnancy losses, and my medical 'issues', I'm also extremely concerned about staying healthy. The flu that's going around, well the two flus that are going around, have me on the edge. The edge of a total breakdown. 
Seriously.


I know you all are praying...thank you. 
Please continue to pray for us. Sometimes I can feel my heart stop when I think of losing this baby. Our Father knows the deepest of deep desires of my heart...please pray that I will lean on Him and trust His goodness and love.


This is the first week (I may be speaking ahead of myself) that I haven't called the doctor's office for a heartbeat check. I've been to the office every week since my 5th week of pregnancy. I know my doctor doesn't care and his nursing staff is great, but sometimes, I really hate being that patient. You know, the needy one with all the 'problems' and 'issues', the one that can't relax. 

There is a lot going on in our lives, other than growing a life, but it seems that sometimes that's all I can focus on. 
Will you also pray for my sweet and supportive husband? There are some things going on in our personal lives that are hard...things that can make him a little tunnel-visioned and pre-occupied. You know, like I can be when I worry about this baby. 
He's a great man. I don't praise him enough, but he is really an amazing husband. The kind you dream about when you're a kid. Please pray for resolution, for comfort in the waiting and security in the Lord (security in the world would be nice too, but I doubt that's a worthy prayer request). 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Whoa

Yes, I just said that...just like Joey from Blossom.

I've had some crazy technical difficulties with my margins lately. I finally figured out that my 'Celebrating Owen's life' post was messing up my margins. I have no idea why. I'm stumped.
So, I had to delete the pictures and basically re-write the post. Maybe some day I'll get the pictures back on the post, but for now I'm just happy my blog looks normal again.


Anyways, I'm not feeling nearly as lighted hearted as the above paragraphs might sound. One year ago today, I miscarried my third sweet little baby. Little did I know then that my soon-to-be good friend, Tonya, was at the hospital delivering her little boy Grady.
Grady and Owen shared the same due date, one year apart. Now I imagine Owen partying it up with Grady, celebrating one year in Heaven (though I don't know how time works there). 
Please stop by Tonya's blog and offer her your love and prayers.


Last night, I lost it. 
I mean, really really lost it. I was in the kitchen making soup and I just happened to turn the radio to the local Christian station (which normally *gasp* I don't listen to) and the Steven Curtis Chapman song about Heaven and his little girl was playing. One moment, I'm stirring tomato soup and the next minute I'm kneeling on the tile floor sobbing. 
I miss my little boy so much. My heart aches with the longing inside. I cried out to the Lord with my sorrow and longing, knowing that He hears me and cares about my sadness. But I still don't understand it. 
I don't understand why Owen died. Two years later, I'm not any closer to understanding the purpose or meaning. 

But I know He loves me. He hears me. He cares.
He will make it everything right one day. 

Monday, November 9, 2009

Celebrating Owen's life

Thank you for all your prayers and emails and sweet comments (and the card, Tonya) as you remembered our little man with us this past week. I wasn't expecting to be such a mess in the days leading up to Owen's Heaven day, but I was.a.wreck.
I was trying to explain it to a friend and all I could come up with was 'listless' (I still haven't looked up the word, so I don't know exactly what it means, but it felt like it fit my mood). I felt restless and edgy, but I couldn't do anything, nor did I have anything I felt like doing. I felt ready to jump out of my skin.
That was Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
It came as such a shock, but I should have learned by now to expect the unexpected with grief. Chris went to Philadelphia the weekend of Halloween and got back on November 1. I guess I was busy worrying about him up in Philly that I didn't consider being hit by a such a big wave when he got back home. To answer your question Sara (thanks for asking!), yes we are still heading up north next Fall. Lord willing, we will have a cute little 3 month old when we move. We're both really excited about the move and the new adventures that seminary will bring, but of course, there's a lot to think about and do before we hit the road. I'm ready for all the changes that next year will bring.


Chris took off work on Owen's Heaven day (November 5) and we spent the day together. We had planned on going up to his grave-site, but decided to wait until Saturday to go. Instead, we stayed in town and had a peaceful day at home. We went to the doctor for a quick heartbeat check on our littlest one. That helped settle my nerves considerably.
We had lunch (littlest baby wanted a cheeseburger) and went up to my old workplace. I worked at the front desk of an administrative building on a college campus during my pregnancy with Owen. I was sitting at my desk when he died. I don't know if I can explain it, but I just had to got back there on this anniversary. Maybe a part of it is that we won't be here (Lord willing) on Owen's Heaven day or birthday next year. We'll be in an unfamiliar city with no old haunts or places that remind us of Owen. I sat in the lobby near my old desk for thirty minutes. We arrived there (not coincidentally) at the time when Owen was last alive here on Earth. It was a weird sort of countdown all day long. We would look at the clock at 12, 1:30, 2pm and say, 'Owen was still with us this time 2 years ago.' Again, not coincidentally, the receptionist left early that day and when it passed 4:30, I got up and peeked over the edge of the desk and took one last look at the chair I had first felt Owen move and where I felt his goodbye kicks.
Then we left. I don't know if I'll ever go back there. I don't think I need to anymore.


We had brought a blanket with us to campus and went outside to sit on the field where we often had lunch together during Owen's pregnancy. We laid on the field and read the Bible together, then the beginning of Pilgrim's Progress. It was a sweet time of remembering.


We left before it got dark and headed to Target. Sara (unknowingly) gave me the great idea of using Owen's gift cards last week. Believe it or not, we had 3 gift cards that were unused before Owen died. We were saving them for a stroller or diapers, things we could get after he was born. Chris and I decided to use them (none of them lost their value!) on things we could get in memory of Owen. We bought two frames. One to frame a picture of the three of us and one to frame the onesie I bought to tell Chris I was pregnant with Owen (the yellow 'Homemade' one) and a little Pooh hat. We found a great shelf for some of his things and two flower pots with Paperwhite bulbs I'm going to (try to) grow. We also bought four little fish! Weird, I know...but it was so fun to pick out our new little friends and buy them for Owen's birthday. I know he would have thought they were so cool.
Chris' mom sent us beautiful flowers on Owen's Heaven day and a plant as well- and you all know how I feel about plants.


On Saturday, we went the two hours to Owen's grave-site. It was a beautiful day in the mountains. Again, believe it or not, we hadn't ordered Owen's headstone until Saturday. Everytime we visited his grave, I just didn't think I could do it. It seemed so final, like the last thing to cement his death. I know he's been gone two years...it still feels like yesterday.
My grandmother went with us to the funeral home and helped us with the arrangements. We knew what we wanted engraved on it, so all we needed to do was pick out the stone. My grandmother has lived in this small town for almost 80 years and has used this funeral home for her baby son, her mom (and dad, I think), her husband, as well as many aunts and uncles. I was so thankful when we walked in and my grandmother just took charge. It wasn't overbearing or weird at all; it felt like she knew that maybe we couldn't do it. 'We're here to pick out a headstone for the baby' were her words. Again, it wasn't weird...she uses his name sometimes, but calls him our baby a lot too. She does the same thing for her son, Charles Cooper. Her baby, she calls him.
Even though we waited so long to pick out his stone, I feel anxious for it to get here and placed into the ground. I think it will be in by Christmas.


On Owen's birthday, we had lunch with a few friends and released balloons. Again with the believe it or not, but I hadn't planned anything for his birthday. I had tried- I had made small plans, but I just didn't know what I wanted to do. Thankfully, my friends took charge. They arranged a meal for us Sunday afternoon for Owen's birthday and a time for us to all be together. Chris and I brought 7 (we had 10, but popped 3 in the car) blue balloons to release in the backyard.
It was perfect. A cloudless cool November day. There was almost no wind, so when we let them go, they went almost straight up in the sky.






The two little girls below are daughters of my two good friends. I consider them Owen's little friends. G. is 9 months older than Owen and E. is only 3 months older than him. It was priceless to hear them sing Happy Birthday to him and watch their faces as they let their balloons go.

This picture is L. explaining that even when the balloons get really high and you can't see them anymore, it doesn't mean that they disappeared. They're still there, just too far away for us to see. Like God, she said, and Owen too.


L. said we made a nice looking family and I have to agree. 
This is the body of Christ.




Precious May baby is measuring 1-2 days ahead. Dr. Wonderful changed my due date to May 28, but I try not to think about that day...I count three weeks ahead, which is Mother's Day weekend.
We have our anatomy scan scheduled for December 22. I'll be 17 weeks 3 days. Just in time for Christmas!

God is always sweet, always faithful and gracious, but there are times when you can see and feel his love so tangibly. Owen's 2nd anniversaries were such a time of peaceful remembering and hope. I am so thankful to God, I have almost no words to express this gratitude.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Rememberings

Lately I've been spending a lot of time deep in memories of my last days with Owen. Maybe it's the combination of massive amounts of hormones and the continunous march of days passing by, getting closer and closer to November 5, 6, 7, 8...

I call them rememberings. My doctor uses another word. The term flashback brings to mind war veterans, victims of kidnappings and abuse.

I know exactly where I am. I can still hear the radio, the television. I can feel the chair and pillows underneath me. There are other things there too. An examining bed. An ultrasound machine. The sound of static in the air. No heartbeat.

It feels so raw, like my whole body is an open sore.
Anything can trigger them, and suddenly I'm lost in a world of rememberings. The sounds, the smells, the overwhelming sadness.

Someone told me the other day that they didn't want me to be sad anymore. That it makes them sad to think that I'll be sad for the rest of my life. The suggestion was even made that having a child that lives will somehow make me less likely to think of my children who are no longer living with me- that I won't miss them as much. A replacement child, I thought silently.

Don't worry...I lovingly corrected them.
Despite the fact that his death is all most people ever think of, Owen is not just his death.
Sometimes my rememberings are stuck on this tragic event, but those last few days of carrying Owen (after his death) are not all I think of when I remember my precious first born son.
Owen is a joy.
A rambuncous little boy with dark hair who spent most of his time kicking me in the ribs and pushing his butt out as far as he could. Everytime I rolled over in my sleep, he would push back against the bed as if to say, 'Mommy, seriously, I was sleeping just fine until you woke me up.' The first time I felt him move (and knew it was him) was after drinking a peach and mango smoothie at work. Yes, in the same chair I was sitting in when he died.
I have so many memories of talking to him, making up songs about him (my favorite song is entitled 'I'm a naked baby...'). Chris and I sang hymns together and read him so many books. The one I remember the most is Where the Wild Things Are. I laid with my head in Chris' lap, his arm around me, my arms wrapped around Owen.
I'm not going to give up my sweet memories of my son just to get rid of the bad ones...I will remember them all. together.
And I will remember the God who held me that dark November 6 night. The night I thought my heart was being crushed...the night I thought I would surely die.
I will remember the God who gave me a precious son to carry 35 weeks 5 days, who gave me the strength to deliver him three days later, and the strength to continue living and breathing two years after I thought I would die of a broken heart.
It's all a part of the same beautiful story.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

checking in

I have another post I plan on getting finished, oh- probably within the next month or so, but until then, I thought you all might like to see another picture of our adorable baby.

This was yesterday. I know it's not the best picture, but it's a picture of an ultrasound, so I guess it's bound to be fuzzy (we don't have a scanner). 


Can you see her little arms and legs? If you tilt your head to the right and squint...it's a great picture! The head is at the top and butt on the bottom. 

I've been feeling a bit better the past few days, so of course, I was worried yesterday and called to get an appointment. They got me in yesterday afternoon and baby is doing great. Growing right along track, with the most beautiful pounding heart. 
The shots are getting easier to do, but I've been bruising more lately. I have the most sensitive gag reflex, so that's fun too. This pregnancy is so different from my other three. It's kind of like being pregnant for the first time, except without all the sweet naivety and blissful innocence/ignorance. 
And no, I don't know that this baby is a girl ;) but I have a strong feeling that it is. Just a feeling. Of course, I felt the same way about Owen, so I really can't be trusted. 

Friday, October 9, 2009

Just really scared

Please pray for me. I am tired. Weary of fighting off the worry. I'm afraid. Terrified.

Nothing's happened since my post a few hours ago. I'm just scared. I don't want this child to die.


edited to say- 
he daily bears us up

yes

praise God

he daily bears us up

A bun in the oven

We had another ultrasound yesterday. I went alone because Chris couldn't take off from work. I wasn't worried (much) as I sat there in the room waiting for the doctor. 

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise him, all creatures here below. Praise him above ye heavenly host. Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
The doxology kept running through my head as I sat there. 

When Dr. Wonderful came in for the ultrasound, he decided to try an abdominal ultrasound because I'm so thin. We were able to see Owen at 7.5 weeks with an abdominal ultrasound, so I wasn't too surprised.
But as I sat there and he pushed harder and harder on my abdomen to see the baby, I started to worry. What if...what if...
These two words are almost always on my mind.

I won't leave you in suspense, we saw the baby's heartbeat very clearly. It was a beautiful sight. Then he switched the machine to the option where you can see blood flow; oh my goodness.
How beautiful is the work of the Lord.
You could see the blood being pumped from one chamber to the other. It was amazing. Incredible. 

And frankly, such a relief. 


I spent most of the week in bed because I've been so nauseated. I opened the refrigerator to get some water the other day and gagged just at the sight of the food. It didn't even smell. at all. That was such a weird feeling. 
I was so sick on Tuesday that I can honestly say I started with the crazy talk. You know what I'm talking about. Lord, if you relieve this nausea, I'll....
I promise I won't freak out and worry about the baby. I promise I'll just be grateful for a reprieve. I Promise.

He knew full well that I wasn't going to keep my promises, but I have been feeling better. I'm still queasy, but not to the point where all I can do is curl up in a fetal position. As soon as I started feeling better on Wednesday, I started to worry. He is still gracious to me despite my unfaithfulness. He doesn't deal with me in accordance with my sin. He deals with me in accordance with the righteousness of Jesus. 
I'm so thankful for that...

especially because right now, I'm worrying and have been since midnight. 

I know! I just saw this sweet little one's heartbeat yesterday, but it did little to assuage the worry I felt in the middle of the night. I felt well enough to feel hungry last night and was able to eat a chicken quesadilla for dinner. Then, I worried. And worried some more. 
Why wasn't I so ridiculously nauseated anymore??? I even went for a walk last night with my husband, who I haven't been able to be around much. I'm quarantined to the bedroom when he's eating. oh, the smells...
I talked to Dr. Wonderful about this yesterday, but I've also been crampy. It's like a tight, heavy feeling in my lower abdomen. He said it was perfectly normal to have cramping because the uterus is growing bigger and being stretched by the massive amounts of hormones circulating in my body. You think I would remember this from my pregnancy with Owen, but no. I don't. That was two and a half years ago and I've had two early losses since then.
I'm a big bag of crazy.

(Please take this with love, but please don't leave any scary comments about cramping...please?)


I've passed the point in pregnancy when we lost sweet sunshine, and next week (Lord willing) I'll pass when we lost little chipmunk. 

I'm 7 weeks. 

I would love a few more weeks with this baby. I would love about 6 decades with this baby. 

I'm thankful for today. It's all I have. 

Friday, October 2, 2009

Praise God

A beautiful thumping pounding heart.


Praise God!!



And he is before all things and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It's not easy being green

Yes, friends, I am sick. It is a great comfort to feel so nauseated, but as the title expresses- it's not easy. 
I had NO idea that pregnancy nausea could feel this way. Crazy, right? From my current perspective, looking back at my pregnancy with Owen I wasn't sick at all. 
I remember feeling gross at night before bed. I didn't feel well when I got up for work in the mornings, but I could usually keep moving and I'd feel a bit better after eating. 
I keep thinking that if I eat something then my stomach will feel more at ease, but it is not so.

I woke up around 3 am a few nights ago and felt so sick that I was concerned that I had the stomach virus or something worse. 
It was awful.


Wow.


But, you know, though it's not easy and not very fun, I'm so so comforted by the nausea and don't wish it away at all. In fact, when I start feeling a little better (which weirdly enough happens around dinner each night) I start to freak out a little bit. 

I was (and still am) overwhelmed by all your thoughtful and prayerful comments. Thank you so much. We are very much in need of you prayers. Some days are easier than others. I was not doing all that well on Sunday. I just felt such despair and sadness. I don't want to be separated from another child. I look ahead to the next 7 months and wonder how we'll make it through. 
I get overwhelmed very easily. 
I need to be reminded to rest each day in God's love and goodness, in his sovereignty and power. I need to be reminded of true things, constantly
Not things that sway with emotion or things that come from the world-

But the true and beautiful things of God.

Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation. Psalm 68:19


I have another ultrasound on Friday. I think I'll be 6 weeks then and I pray we are able to see one of the most beautiful sights and sounds on Earth. A heartbeat. 
I haven't seen a heartbeat since Owen. I was 34 weeks the last time I saw his heart beating- two weeks later, there was silence and stillness.

We never saw our chipmunk's heart beating. We didn't have an ultrasound with sunshine; we were scheduled for one the week after our sweet baby died. 

Needless to say, I am aching for the sight and sound of this baby's heart. Despite the nausea and other symptoms, I worry about this little one. a lot. 

Please pray for us- 8:30am on Friday. I will post as soon as I can that day, hopefully with wonderful news. 


Thursday, September 24, 2009

a tiny little thing

Yes, I am pregnant

Five weeks today. 

We had an ultrasound this morning (it's early, I know), but because of my history my doctor deemed it necessary. 

And there it was, a tiny little thing...a perfect little home for our baby. A sac measuring right along with our timeline and sitting in a perfect spot in my uterus. Praise God.


We are ecstatic and overjoyed and nervous and afraid and overall, just a little bit crazy

I've gone back and forth about whether or not I'd post our news this early, but seriously friends, I need your prayers. I would love for you all (my wonderful blogging buddies) to be involved in this new baby's life, just as you've been involved in our journey thus far. 

We are celebrating our little May baby's life each day, enjoying this sweet time with such a wonderful miracle. But seriously, I'm struggling not to wish the days away until May.

We need your prayers. We do believe that our Father has lovingly numbered this little one's days already, and yet we still pray for as many days with him/her on this Earth. We would love to bring this baby home to raise and watch grow up, to do all things we long to do with our children. 

We are praying for comfort and rest in this time of, what's that, yes- more waiting. If my calculations are correct, then we are in week 5, which means we have 32 weeks until sweet May baby is born. I really don't want to wish away these precious pregnant days, but I don't have to tell you that pregnancy no longer holds the innocence and naivety that it once held. Frankly, I'm scared.

I want to be all bliss and joy, but there is so much worry and fear. 

Please pray that we'll rest in our Father's loving arms and listen to no other voice but His alone.

I'm sorry to spring the news in such a vague way, but I really didn't know what I was going to do, and then the words just popped out. 
That's a pregnant brain for you.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

some things

This whole not posting very often thing is hard. There's so much to say, so many things going on- it's hard to concisely update on our life, as well as write about what we're feeling and thinking when you don't post but every 2 weeks or so. 


Instead of 7 things, here are some things:


43 days until the second anniversary of Owen's Heaven day
46 days until his second birthday

Chris was accepted into Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and Redeemer Seminary in Dallas, TX
The plan is to attend school next fall
Where? Undecided at the moment and we'd appreciate your prayers

Currently watching a man take professional pictures of a cappuccino and some cakes...weird
Grateful for the cessation of rain, enjoying a sunny fall day
Feeling tired and moody
Wondering when I will be able to hear about other women's pregnancies and not feel jealous, bitter, afraid, lonely and sad
Whining/wondering/struggling not to think that it feels like I will always be the one whose baby dies

I held a baby boy yesterday
The first boy since I held my precious Owen's limp body in my arms and kissed his soft cheeks
This little boy kept picking his head up off my shoulder and slamming his forehead into collarbone- my first thought- I've got to gain some weight, I am way too bony
I loved feeling his soft skin on my face and watching him look up at me wondering who in the heck I was
I had been wanting to hold him for a few weeks- he's the same age my Sunshine would have been

I'm really, really afraid to get the flu
I mean, seriously, I'm on the verge of investing in face masks and getting a plastic bubble

We have finally, yes finally, found all the sources of cigarette smoke smell coming from our kitchen and I am super excited to say that we are smoke free and loving it 
After almost four months of running around smelling different potential origins of smoke smell, it is nice to walk into the kitchen for the simple reason of getting something to eat

I'm not ready to tell

oops, I think I just did.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ode

With the end of Labor day weekend, I can think of nothing better than an ode to summer (and an outrageous amount of pictures).


*clears throat*


Summer, oh Summer. How I will miss your long days.

With Fall approaching and the weather soon changing,

I can't say I will miss how wet my clothing stays.



With a blistering neck and a really bad tan line,

I'll remember fondly the warmth you brought me this year.

The chigger bites were a plenty, oh and a jellyfish run in,

But the pleasures outweigh the perils any ole day.

A broken air conditioner during this long hot season

is a small price to pay for a trip to the beach and an ice cold cherry coke.




Still there?



Okay. Good. Thought I might have lost you there. Anywho.


Summer was fun. I can't believe that Labor Day is over and Summer will officially be gone in less than two weeks. We had a prettty good summer. 
We took two trips to the beach and have attended two weddings (with one more coming up soon!). We moved the beginning of June into a really cute apartment in the middle of town. We've been up to my parent's lake house a few times where I caught a couple of huge (read 2 lb) catfish.

Recently we went to a pig pickin'. Um, if you haven't been to one or even know what one is- you must look into it. We didn't get the pleasure (?) of seeing the whole pig, head and all, but what I saw was plenty. Coming from a former vegetarian I can tell you truthfully I was a little apprehensive, but it was a fun night.

Oh, and the cats had fleas. twice. Apparently it's been a bad year for fleas. Well, a good year for fleas and a bad year for animal owners. We had to give them both a bath. If you know anything about cats, you know that they h.a.t.e. baths. It was a good laugh for us though.

I don't know if this is a summer activity, but I am in the middle of making my first quilt. I'm pretty pumped about it. Admittedly, it's not going to be perfect, but I've had a great time working on it. It's definitely a baby blanket. A baby girl blanket. It's all pink and yellow and green. I know I don't have a girl, or even a baby at home, but I've had such a sweet time praying over the little girl who will one day, Lord willing, use this blanket.

We've really missed Owen this summer. I just wonder what kind of little man he would be. What kind of trouble he'd be getting into. One of my good friends said, rather thoughtfully, that her laid back daughter, G., probably wouldn't really like hanging out with Owen very much. She said she imagined him as a rambunctous little boy who was into everything and was always moving. I thought it was hilarious, and probably very true.

We are tenderly stepping into fall knowing that November is right around the corner. Two years-





Ready to be bombarded with a whole lotta pictures? 

No? That's okay...I'm gonna post them anyway. ;)

This is our living/dining area of our new place. It's small, yes; but quite a lovely little place.

I had a birthday this summer. Yay. 
(Look at Chris' face in this picture. I think he was excited. Maybe.)

This is my dad. We went to the beach with my family in July. 
He caught quite a few sharks. And he put them all back in the ocean. 
That's a nice thought, isn't it? 

Me and Chris at the beach.

Well, here's the inspiration. 
A horse pooped on the sand right in front of our 
umbrellas and the tide was coming in. I so did not want to get in the water and see a kernel of poop float past me. So, I did what any city girl who's never shoveled poop before would do, I got my trusty shovel and took it up to the bank and buried it.
Who knew?

This is my mom, her sister and me relaxing at the beach house (not that you could tell we are related).

Chris and a friend practicing the music for my brother's wedding.

The wedding rehearsal. I was my brother's 'best man'.

The luncheon before the wedding. I'm siting next to my now sister-in-law.



Yes, I am dancing. I love to dance and have been finding myself dancing more these days.
Praise be to God.

Dancing again. I made my dad dance with me. 

Oh, Maggie. You were such a good sport. Sort of.
I don't know where they got fleas, but man, what a pain.

This is the farm where we had the pig pickin'. It was a beautiful night.


WARNING: avert your eyes if you're prone to vomiting. 


YUCK.

Snapping peas, watching the first Georgia football game of the season.

My quilt! Well, my quilt in progress. I'll be sure to post the pictures when I'm finished.



Congrats if you made it to the end of this post. That was a long one. I'm not even sure y'all care what I did this summer. Oh well... 
I kind of needed to post something light-hearted. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

I'll try not to go so long in between posts, but I can't make any promises. 
The words are there, but sometimes the strength to write them is not.