Thursday, September 27, 2012

12 Years Ago

That day 12 years ago is still so fresh in my mind, September 25, 2000.  I remember the room, the excitement, the smell and all the feelings I felt all at the same time.  Your daddy was right beside me the whole time, both of us with no clue what lay ahead as we anxiously awaited the arrival of our firstborn.  That day we added the most important title we would ever carry to our resume...Mama and Daddy.

At 3:44pm an 8lbs. 4oz. baby boy made his way into the world and into our arms.  We were then thrown into a crash course, Newborn 101 in which we were required to function on little to no sleep and jumped up to every cry, fuss and squeak we heard come out of that tiny body.  Out of necessity we became adept at diaper changes, bottle feedings and burping (the baby not us, ha ha).

I would start the phone calls after every well child visit reporting on his weight and length.  I bet he wouldn't find that to cute if I were to post his stats today, huh?  He's a bit to old for that I guess.  He's too old for 9:00 play dates at the park and his Thomas the train set.  He's old for his big Tonka dump truck and his favorite show "Bear in the Big Blue House" too.  A play drum has been traded for the real thing and pretend phones have been replaced by the real deal.

We are in a constant state of change from the time we are born until the day we are called home and while I can't hold him in my lap anymore (not comfortably anyway) I love the age he is at now.  We have some wonderful conversations and at least for now he still wants to talk to me and spend time with me.  

Yes, things are different than they were 12 years ago.  He's different and I am different, but I wouldn't change a minute of this wonderful journey we have been on together...mother and son.
Psalm 71:6-8 "By You I have been sustained from my birth; You are He who took me from my mother's womb; My praise is continually of You.  I have become a marvel to many, for You are my strong refuge.  My mouth is filled with Your praise and with Your glory all day long."

Monday, September 24, 2012

Our Weekend in Pictures

Our weekend started out like this...

Can you see the football at the very top of the screen?  It almost got cut out completely thanks to the photography stylings of one Chad McManic.  In case you were wondering, Cooper only wears one glove because he likes to keep his flag pulling hand glove free.

Next up was this guy...

Not the best picture quality because I had to zoom in so close to get the shot.  He was a lot farther away from me than this picture shows, but a great catch nonetheless.

And then there was this guy in his flag football debut...
 Pulling flags

 Getting the play call from coach

I see these pictures and the obvious comes mind, I know y'all are thinking it too....umm...Heisman trophy...yep I thought so.
Where were all the college scouts?  Don't they know they need to be on the 1st and 2nd grade flag football field, ha ha.

So there you have it, our weekend in pictures.  Chad, SK and I didn't do much more than watch a lot of football games.  We did manage to venture out for something other than football Sunday afternoon though.  We went to see the movie Unconditional with our church family.  Cooper went with us and our church provided childcare for the others.  This movie isn't for the little ones but it was a great message of God's unconditional love in the darkest of times.  I highly recommend it and feel that as Christ followers we should be out supporting movies like this.  If we want to see more movies like this in the theaters then we have to support them when they are released.

Shout out to our awesome church...when they provide childcare for different things at the church I never assume that SK is included because I know she is more involved and her care has to be planned out specifically.  Thanks to our friends who love to take care of her and rise to the occasion whenever they are needed to give Chad and I a break.  They act like it's no big deal at all, but it's a big deal to us!  Thanks to all who love and care for our girl.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fall in the air

The only bright side to school starting back and summer being over is fall in air.  Those wonderfully refreshing cool morning temps are descending on Alabama this week.  I have brought out the fall decorations and am loving the many shades of orange in and around the house.  I have a display of small jars on my mantle that are filled with candy corn.  It's so cute I love it, but I have noticed the candy corn is disappearing.  Yep, my boys just can't help themselves...there is no telling how much candy corn we are going to go through between now and Halloween.  It seems as though I am having to "top off" my jars every couple of days, ha ha.

We've been trying on jeans and long sleeve shirts only to find that nothing fits from last year.  I'm not really surprised since we tend to grow them pretty big around here.  I love seeing the long sleeve shirts and leggings back in Sophie Kate's closet as well.  It won't be long before Sassy gets to wear the new gray boots that her daddy bought her.

We have another football weekend ahead of us and if the weather continues to cooperate I am seeing a crock pot full of chili in our future.  Hope everyone enjoys a wonderful weekend.

Monday, September 17, 2012


I was listening to a local radio show this morning and they were talking about the hope we have in Christ as Christ followers.  It got me thinking that hope can come in many forms.  We say we have "hopes and dreams" for our future, our kids say they "hope" they made a good grade on their test, we may "hope" our team wins their game this Saturday.  I have prayed hoping God will heal our girl this side of heaven.  Even though the answer to that prayer has been "no" so far, I still have hope...our family still has hope.  It's not the kind of hope that can be taken away because of hard circumstances or a difficult diagnosis.  It's not the kind of hope that diminishes because our hearts are hurting.  It's not the kind of hope that we abandon because we don't get our way.  It's the hope we have in our Savior.  It's the promise we have as Christ followers that this earthly life is not all there is, because of what Jesus did on the cross for our sin we are able to have a relationship with our Creator.  

I sat across the lunch table from a friend last week.  She is the mother of a special needs child who is now in heaven. With tears in her eyes and a huge smile on her face she talked about her son...he's not in pain anymore, he's healed and she knows with absolute certainty that she will see him again one day...that's hope!  She beams when she talks about him.  She hurts, yes, but she has hope.  

It is not a hope that is tied to earthly wants and desires, no matter how noble or selfless those wants and desires may appear to be.  How could I not hope that Sophie Kate is healed one day?  As her mother it is one of my deepest desires, but that is not where my joy and my happiness lie, if that were the case I would have never been able to smile again.  It is the hope we have in Christ, in His promise...I belong to Him and can never be taken out of His hand.  I was never promised a life without difficulty, life without trials and hard times, but I have been promised that God will never leave me and that He will always go before me and make a way.  I have been promised that one day I will be with Him in paradise for eternity and one day my prayers will be answered because SK will be healed either here on earth or in eternity.

Romans 8:24-25 "For in this hope we were saved.  But hope that is seen is no hope at all.  Who hopes for what they already have?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently."

Friday, September 14, 2012

iPhone Pictures

This week we wrapped up our Parent Chat Nights with all of the boy's teachers.  Yes, each one has been on a different night which is good...the problem is they have all been on the same nights as our 3 flag football practices.  Let me just say that the term "divide and conquer" doesn't begin to describe how creative we have had to be this week. 

I took this picture of one of Grey's journal entries during 1st grade open house...
OK, not like private journal more like his writer's workshop journal at school.  It's so sweet.  I love how he wrote that he loves her to "bef"(death) and how proud he is that "she gos to school with me."  He also wrote about flag football and that he is the best.  Glad to see he doesn't have a problem with his self esteem, ha ha.

Sophie Kate after losing her first tooth...

Love this one of my smiley girl one day after church...

I saved the best for last because this one cracks me up.  I don't even know what song was playing but Grey walked right over to her and stuck that ear bud in her ear.  I love that he always thinks of her.
Therapy is going well and SK is loving her stander at home. Flag Football games start this weekend so sister will be out and about to all her brother's games.  We are loving the hint of fall in the air and our football Saturdays.  

Monday, September 10, 2012

Not a baby anymore

Sophie Kate continues to be on a roll of "firsts."  Her first laugh last Tuesday was followed by losing her first tooth on Wednesday (Sept. 5).  It happened as I was getting her into her wheelchair to go into school.  Knowing since her last dentist appointment that she had a couple of loose teeth, my fear was that it would come loose in her mouth and that she might aspirate it.  When it came loose it slipped under her tongue, but luckily I was able to fish it out.  The tooth she lost was on the bottom and right in the middle and the two teeth on either side of the one she lost are loose as well.  She may have quite a gap of missing teeth if all those decide to come out at the same time.  SK is inching closer and closer to her 5th birthday and losing teeth is just another sign that I don't have a baby anymore.

I have mentioned before how important it is for SK to bear weight on her feet.  The way she does that is in a stander. The school has one she uses there and they are very generous to let us use it over the summer.  We have tried to get insurance to pay for one for home use, but they don't see it as medically necessary.  They don't mind paying for surgery after surgery to correct all the problems she may have but refuse to pay for something that could keep all of that from happening in the first place...makes perfect sense, doesn't it...don't get me started!

Children's Rehabilitation Services (CRS) has come through with a stander for us and they delivered it on Friday. SK has been in it every day since.  She loves being upright and being on eye level us and her brothers.  How do I know? Because she has the sweetest grin on her face and even turns her head from side to side to look around.
I mentioned hope in the last post and how scary that can be just when you start getting comfortable with the way things are.  After seeing his sister in her new stander, Grey commented, "I can't wait until she can stand on her own, you know without that."  He really thinks she might do that one day...he hasn't lost hope.  I pray nothing in life ever comes down so hard on him as to cause him to lose hope. What happened in my pessimistic "grownup" mind that I lost hope?  It's a fine line we walk...reality, hope and doing everything we possibly can to give her every opportunity for a full, healthy life.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 "He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end."

Thursday, September 6, 2012

When She Smiles

When she smiles, everything else seems to fade away. She has a way of pulling you in with just a smile.  Even though she has never spoken a word she speaks volumes to me with just a smile.  Sometimes it's a smirk, sometimes it's a kind of half smile and then sometimes it's so big and so wide that it's not possible for it to get any bigger...because if it did it would not be able to contain itself and would spill over into full blown laughter...and that's exactly what happened Tuesday afternoon.  Sophie Kate laughed out loud for the first time in her life!

It was just the two of us and I was preparing to move her from her recliner to the sofa so that I could give her water and meds.  I warned her that my hands were cold and then proceeded to pick her up.  Well, my cold hands and the tickle under her arms caused that huge smile to break out across her face and then the laugh that could not be contained.  Her first laugh.  I asked her "Was that a laugh, did you just laugh?"

Chad walked in about 10 minutes later and tickled her under her arms and she did it again for him too...we both heard it.  I tell you what that little girl had to be sore under her arms the next day because we tickled her like crazy the rest of the evening just trying to hear that laugh one more time...but we did get to hear it once.

I don't remember when the boys' smile turned into their first laugh.  That first baby belly laugh, you know what I am talking about, it's so cute, but I don't remember when they did it for the first time.  I took it for granted.  They were going to do it.  I knew they were, just like they were going to sit up, crawl, talk and walk...I took it all for granted.

I keep running those moments over and over in my mind. Her laugh, what it sounded like, what it looked like, how I felt just in case I don't get to hear it again for a while.  I never want to forget it.  Hope creeps in again, it can be a scary thing.  Just when you convince yourself that your OK with the way things are, then something like this happens and you dare to hope again.  It's scary and exhilarating at the same time.  
Upon hearing about SK's laugh, one of Sophie Kate's nurses sent me a message that said "I pray that you are blessed everyday with your children's laughter."  What a wonderful thing...simple, beautiful and music to a mother's ears.  I have waited over 4 years for this...I did not take it for granted this time.

Psalm 68:19 "May the Lord be praised! Day after day he bears our burdens..." 

Monday, September 3, 2012

First Avenue Rocks

We decided to stay here over our three day weekend and enjoy things close to home .  We had a great long weekend with friends, football and a little something extra.
We took everyone to First Avenue Rocks in downtown Birmingham, it's an indoor rock climbing facility.  It was a first for us but definitely won't be the last.
In the beginning, Grey couldn't get more than a couple of feet off the ground before falling back on the thick foam mats that surrounded the climbing areas.

However, it didn't take long for him to find his way to the top and just look at that smile once he made it!

 Cooper and Jacob were all over the place, climbing up any and all surfaces.

We broke for lunch and then these boys, blisters and all came back for round two, ding ding!
All smiles at the top...
 Getting chalked up before the climb...
Ahh, success...

As you can see from the pictures sometimes the boys had on a harness and sometimes they didn't.  There was only one wall where a harness was required and once they got to the top they would let go and repel down, or in Grey's case he would get 2-3 feet off the ground and then "repel" down to the mats, ha ha.  Grey actually did better without the harness, he was able to climb up and back down all by himself, he did great!  Jacob probably did the best job of getting up any type of wall there, but I can assure you that even though they all came home sore, hurting and with blisters aplenty...they were ready to go back at again the next day.  Sweaty and all they had a ball!

Sister was with us all day and in her classic style had a smile on her face the whole time.  She was sporting her new AFO's and a pair of her new shoes.

Our teams won and the SEC did well.  We spent time with friends and spent time at home with just each other.  It didn't hurt my feelings that our Labor Day started out dark and rainy either cause that gave us all and good excuse to be lazy, stay in our pjs and do pretty much nothing all day...a pretty perfect Labor Day in my opinion.