Monday, November 30, 2009

Photo Shoot

We had the most fun photo shoot with our friend Abby a few weeks ago...

I am so thrilled with how these turned out...

The weather was great...

The scenery was beautiful...

Seriously who are these beautiful children and do they really belong to me?!?

Lord, have mercy...

My heart and my life are so full...

James 1:17 "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows."

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Kiddie Table

The kiddie table at our Thanksgiving dinner this year...

It's official, we have outgrown the dining room table at Chad's parent's house. That's the G-man surrounded by all his cousins. They were so darling sitting at their little table with their very own table cloth, thanksgiving plates, matching cups, complete with place cards beside each plate just like the grown ups.

FYI-we were hosting a Flat Stanley for Thanksgiving this year, but I thought this picture was so cute of the little kids place settings.

We had put a little of everything on their plates and after we got past the "I don't like that stuff, "I'm not eating that" and "Can you take that off my plate," they all hunkered down and ate their share of bread with butter, corn and some buttered pasta (made just for them). The grownups deemed it a success b/c we actually got to enjoy a meal with them and decided not to fight them on their food choices. They were so precious.

Cooper and Jacob were at the grownup table this year as was Sophie Kate, which is "no fair" b/c I had to sit at the kiddie table growing up for WAY longer than they ever had to, but it's OK I'm not bitter or anything.

Why is it that as kids we can't wait to finally be at the grownup table or at least that's the way it was for me anyway. The kid table is way more fun, you get waited on hand and foot and you don't have to clean up. Not only do you not have to clean up but you get offered any cookie you want the then you get taken downstairs to a huge playroom where movies are playing and all manor of toys are waiting to be played with. It was our mission to keep that group happy. Doesn't sound like a bad deal for them does it? I think I want to go back to the kiddie table next year, ha ha!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Week

Thanksgiving week is here and I know all of you are thankful for a short school/work week. Evidently the short school week doesn't apply to us b/c we just decided to ditch all together. My boys are thankful for out of town family that we decided to go visit in lieu of going to school this week, ha ha!

Their days at my parent's house have been filled with playing outside, riding bikes, playing with cousins, playing Wii, building legos, going to the movies, a trip to Chuck E. Cheese, roasting marshmallows, making smores and eating just about whatever they want. Isn't it written somewhere in the Bible that there is a time to be scheduled and then a time to be schedule-less...well maybe not.

This is what SK looks like when she is schedule-less...

Yes, we will be coming back into town for Thanksgiving, only to be greeted by more cousins, more food, more family, more laugher and more unscheduled fun. I'm afraid all this excitement is only going to lead to a more and more dreaded Monday morning. I will only have myself to blame for that. In the meantime, I am going to enjoy it and soak it up.

Happy Thanksgiving, we are truly blessed beyond measure.

"You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever." Psalm 30:11 & 12

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's Beginning to look a lot like Christmas

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around our house. I realize that many people are absolutely appalled that I would dare decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving after all folks this isn't how I was raised. I also know that I am in very good company with many of you out there who love to get all the Christmas decorations out the day after Halloween.

Well, we weren't quite that early but we did do the Christmas decorating "thing" last weekend and by we I mean me and the boys. Daddy helps with the boxes but that's as far as it goes for him. Although he does know that it brings me joy to put up all the Christmas stuff, so he sacrifices and brings up box after box way earlier than he would like to.

It does make me happy to see the warm glow of Christmas tree lights after the sun has gone down and all the lights in the house are off, it always has. It's such a special time of year to spend with children. During a parenting series at our church recently we were reminded that we only have a certain amount of weekends left with our children until they are grown and out of our house. It was frightening to see that number flash up on the screen and then get smaller and smaller signifying the fleeting time we really have left with our children at home with us. Wow, I hate to even think about the small number of Christmases we have left with everyone under the same roof. Isn't that such a pleasant thought, leave it to me to bring the crowd down. How on earth did I get so off task? This post really wasn't supposed to be sad and pitiful, but it seems as though I just can't help myself.

Alright, back to the fun stuff, decorating for Christmas...

SK is always fascinated by all the lights at Christmastime, they really get her attention. So we set her in front of the Christmas tree and let her look to her heart's content.

You will always find SK up on all the latest trends. Someone is keeping her hip to the animal bracelet craze...I think it was Jacob.

And speaking of some of my "helpers," here we have the naked chef...

and the naked sous chef, ha ha I couldn't resist that one.

Sophie Kate looking up at the Christmas tree....awww baby girl what I would give to know what you are thinking. Probably that we are all making too much fuss about what Christmas is not about and not enough fuss over what Christmas is really about. You get it don't you sweet girl, probably more than we think you do.

I am comforted by this truth, that when we suffer and die for Christ, it only means that we will begin living with Him in Heaven. Even when we are too weak to have any faith left, He remains faithful to us and will help us, for He cannot disown us who are part of Himself, and He will always carry out His promises to us.
2 Timothy 2:11, 13

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sophie Kate's New Swing

The weather has been just beautiful here the past two weekends, so we have been able to get Sophie Kate out quite a bit to enjoy one of her birthday presents.

This swing was given to her by her MiMi and PawPaw.

I think they are waiting for me to stop taking pictures and come push them.

The G man has decided to take matters into his own hands.

I took these pictures one night after getting SK ready for bed, actually it was the night before her birthday. Holy cow, she is beautiful. I know I am her mother and all but y'all are going to have to give me a minute I can hardly stand her gorgeousness (if that's even a word)!

These were taken on SK's actual birthday, November 3...and yes she wore her tutu again all day just because she can.

My sweet one year old...

My two year old sunshine...

"As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field." Psalm 103:15

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Need to Smile

These make me smile BIG time...

I need to smile, I have found myself not smiling lately...

If anything can make me smile, this has to!

Obviously these are from this summer, they were taken at the splash water park here in town.

I am definitely in some kind of funk, mentally and emotionally I am just not doing well. I am sad and am feeling attacked by satan. I am even going so far as to go back and read scripture that I leaned so heavily on back when SK was born. My plan was to share some of those verses but everything is so raw and at the surface right now that I don't think I can. I feel like I need to keep journaling and keep talking to God so that He can work this thing through.

In the meantime, I am thankful for this little red head, y'all he is hysterical...

even when he is upset.

So proud...sharing his work with us at his 3K open house.

Grey and Duchess(my parent's dog)

His beloved blankie...

Praying for some better more upbeat days ahead, thanks for checking in on us.

Monday, November 9, 2009

My Daughter

In and amongst all the celebration, tutu wearing and present opening, SK also earned herself a well visit to her favorite pediatrician for turning 2. Our girl is now up to 29 pounds 11 ounces and is 35 inches tall. Those are in the 85th and 90th percentiles, respectively for 2 year olds, for those of you who were wondering. Do y'all remember when we were struggling just to get SK to double digits?

When we started Wet Tots at Lakeshore Foundation she was not in double digits and that was in April of 2008 I think. She has come a long way since then, but I remember many a post about SK hanging around in the 8 and 9 pound ranges and wondering when we would hit the big 1-0. Now here we are a year and a half later pushing the big 3-0 pounds. It hasn't been an easy road but here she is growing and thriving and her doctor was very pleased, he thought she looked very healthy. Her blood work was great, she is growing appropriately and she is a happy girl. It's nice to be affirmed that what we are doing is exactly what our girl needs and is benefiting her to the fullest.

I still feel though that our relationship as mother and daughter is seriously lacking. I wouldn't say we really have fun together, to be honest I really don't know how to do that with her. There is so much work involved with her, medically speaking, just meeting her needs takes up a lot of time. Then there is all her therapy and while I adore all her therapists, there is a never ending list of exercises, activities and stretches that need to be done with SK everyday. I'm not sure it's even possible to do all of it in one day, maybe if I gave up caring for our other children and abandoned all housework I could get it all done, but I'm not sure.

So all of that adds up to work. It's all work to me, she has to be fed, she must have her meds, she needs to be stretched, she has to bear weight, she needs to work in her gait trainer, she needs to work on sitting unassisted and on and on and on. Whatever minute I might have here and there during the day is spent on the boys, on housework and yes on the computer. Although my computer time mostly takes place before she gets up or after she goes to sleep. So there is really not any time left for her to just be herself or for me to just be her mama.

I am her doctor, her nurse, her therapist, her cheerleader, her napping spot, her protector, her advocate and her voice. But I can assure you I am anything but fun to her and I feel positively rotten about that. I love her dearly and will do anything for her, she is work though and the mother/daughter bonding has not come easily.

Every minute of every waking day I am face to face with what was lost, then there are the tormented nights or equally worse lying awake thinking about what needs to be done tomorrow or what wasn't done today. I have said this before but sadly I am no closer to an do you move through the grief process when the grief never ends, when the situation is never resolved. It is never ending, constant and relentless.

No, I am not over here thinking what a marvelous miracle she is and what a privilege it is that I get to take care of her. I am thinking about what I have lost...playing with baby dolls and having tea parties, playing kitchen or with her stuffed animals. I don't even know b/c I haven't had the chance, maybe she would have been a tomboy, she does have 3 big brothers for heaven's sake, who knows? Or who will ever know?

I don't want to hear that it will all be ok, b/c it's not. I don't want to hear that I am doing a good job, b/c I don't care, how could I not take care of her. The best thing you could do for me is to hold your children tighter and please, please, please not take them for granted. Do not take it for granted when they beg you to come and play with them, do not take it for granted when they won't stop talking. Do not take one single day for granted and I will start trying in some way to do the same here.

Thank you for allowing me to share my emotions and feelings freely and without condemnation, they overflow and cannot be contained some days.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Halloween Birthday Party is it that my baby girl is two now. She's such a big girl, she's growing so quickly, everyday I see less and less baby in her and more and more toddler. Her face and her hair are so "little girl" and not so much baby anymore. I can't believe it's been two years already, it feels like forever ago and just yesterday all at one time.

I thought it would be cute to do a Halloween birthday party for Miss Sassy this year. The only problem with that was that I had ordered her a birthday party outfit and then she also had a Halloween was a fashion dilemma...but she worked it out.

Birthday party...

Trick or Treating...

SK pulled it off no problem.

Some more shots of the birthday party...

Cousins, cousins...

and more cousins...

SK getting lots of "help" opening her presents...

Her sweet cousins, Emma Claire and Jill have got her lined up like one of their baby dolls, but they were taking such good care of her.

The little ones are always mesmerized by the big kids, it's no different here...

This one was mistakenly taken before SK got her hair did...

Too much tutu? Nah!!

So darling, the most beautiful 2 year old I know!!

Such a fun day spent with our family, I am so glad to share it with y'all.

Have a great weekend!