Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Full Schedule!

Me, Caroline, Jacob and Tara (Micah was snoozing inside!)

I have been blessed with many Taras in my life! God gave me the opportunity this weekend to meet the Tara that is living a very similar life as mine. She lives over 1700 miles away, and yet was coming to my town for a family member's wedding! God is so amazing! We were able to spend quite a bit of time together and my heart is so full from talking with her, and yet it breaks that we were brought together under these circumstances. Let me backup and document the events of the last two weeks...

This has been a really tough, emotional few weeks. Funny as it sounds, it surrounds the wonderful things people have been doing for our family.
The week before Memorial Day I lost my voice and ended up on antibiotics. Lucky for me, I had Grandma Tracy and Mimi as nurses to help Caroline and I. It is too hard to be sick without help!
Memorial Day weekend Thomas' whole family came for the big Ditch Dig of 2009 in our backyard! Caroline had a blast playing with her cousins and despite the rain all weekend the french drain is up and running! I love getting all together because of the love that the family shares, but of course the absence of Thomas is hard to take.The only picture I took during the "dig!" Caroline and her cousin John Thomas enjoying capri-suns.

We ended up back at the house where we spent Christmas and I did not realize how hard that was going to be on me. Especially when Caroline went looking for daddy to help run the trains in their train room like they did over Christmas. Enough about that...
We then spent the next day and night with my whole family after Jett's first photo shoot. He's the cutest little baby boy ever! (Raye Law Photography)Once we got home we met with some drywall guys to work on our house and a plumber to help with our water heater. We were then ready for the painting of the kids' rooms to commence! Nick and Alisha, friends from our college years and the youth ministers from our church, were so nice to start on Thursday night during our bible study and work until Saturday night to finish both rooms!! Nick is meticulous and thoughtful about painting and I LOVE that because that is exactly how Thomas was about painting! Caroline was so fun about it. She would cover her eyes, yet totally peeking, as she walked into her room. The expression on her face was priceless. She would yell, "Nine-ey's room Purple!" (Nine-ey is the newest nickname she has for herself) and after a few seconds of admiring her room, she would then say, "See baby Thomas' room!" and run across the hall to see that amazing paint job. She has repeated this each day since Saturday! So cute. Thank you Alisha and Nick for your time, energy and love put into the beautiful rooms!!Sneak peek of Caroline's purple room! Her first nursery was also purple-click to see.

Saturday was also the day for Har-Ber High's Thomas Culp Memorial Scholarship Fund car wash. Becky, Jett, Caroline and I were able to stop by and see these amazing students working so hard in the hot sun to honor Thomas. I have mentioned this before, but at certain times, my circumstance hits me as being very real. Seeing Thomas' name on the posters they were holding was one of those times. I told Caroline that we were going to see some of Daddy's friends and students and she thought that was really neat. She's still saying, "Daddy's friends wash cars!"That evening Caroline and I went to what I thought was the Har-Ber science department's end of the year get-together. Turns out it was really a surprise baby shower for baby Thomas! When I realized what they had done, it was really hard to keep it together. I try really hard to put on a strong, happy face most of the time, but I could feel the wall breaking down. I am so blessed to be surrounded by people who truly care about us. Mr. Paul and Mrs. Marianna, also hosted and cooked yummy fajitas for us all, put this pool together just for Caroline! (The pictures from the shower were all taken by our friend, Kyle who is married to Lynsey who is a fellow science teacher of Thomas' at Har-Ber. We all became great friends over the years.)We received tons of gifts, a diaper cake and several presents from Thomas' students for our baby! I couldn't stand it any more! The last present was a drawing of Thomas and Caroline that one of his students took a month to complete. They had it matted and framed for me. When you look at the picture I took of it below, you can imagine how I reacted. Lots of tissues needed.
Caroline looking sassy with her pink "soccer ball" as she calls it. Even Caroline received gifts at Thomas' shower!

After a day of church activities on Sunday, I got to go with Lynsey (who is due with a boy on the very same day as me!!) to Central Junior High's end of the year assembly. Thomas did his MAT internship and taught his first year there. They presented Lynsey and I with a check from a fundraiser they held for the scholarship fund. After hearing Lynsey, on behalf of Har-Ber, speak to the school about all of Thomas' wonderful qualities, I found it hard to get my thank you out. Luckily, Caroline was cooperating and letting me hold her for strength to get through saying my thanks. The whole school stood up and clapped for us--it makes me cry now, like I did then just thinking about it. We were told they are going to hold this fundraiser annually!
Whew...what a week.So I've finally caught up to where I met Tara, Jacob and Micah! We were able to spend a long time here at the house talking and letting the kids play together on Saturday. After the assembly on Monday we spent more time together at the park and their Mimi's house. Preston's and Tara's family went out of their way to make me feel like a part of theirs. They are such a wonderful, Christian family.
Jake and Caroline (she LOVED the fairy costume Tara got for her!)

I feel like I've known Tara forever! We share so many of the exact same feelings, thoughts and fears-but best of all we both share an unshakable faith in God that He will see us through this forever! He won't ever get tired of our emotional roller coaster of feelings! That is so comforting. Tara, I love you and I love that God brought us together so that we will not feel lonely or isolated-He is taking care of us!

Blessed girls

Prayer request: Tomorrow is my glucose test for gestational diabetes. Please pray I pass the first time!!


  1. Hi. You don't know me, I went to college with Tara Newby. I just wanted you to know I regularly read your blog, and I pray for you and your daughter and the little one coming! I cannot say I understand how you feel, but I can say that I believe in a God that heals, ALL pains...


  2. It sounds like you have an amazing support group. I am glad that you were able to meet someone who can understand how you are feeling. It is hard for any of us to understand what you must be feeling unless we have walked in your shoes. When we went through 8 years of infertility it was therapeutic to talk to some one who understood our pain with out us having to explain every detail.

    I have never met you or your family but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Thomas is proud of you. It almost broke my heart when I read that Caroline was walking through the house asking for daddy. We are deeply saddened that your family has to walk through this tragedy. My family and I have spent the last 20 months walking beside our dear friend and sister in Christ as she said an earthly good bye to her husband. She too was pregnant. She was the one to find her husband on her 34th birthday 14 days before the birth of their first son. There are still days that it seems like it can't be real but there are more good days than bad now. I am sharing this because you said that you try to be strong and I just want you to know that those around you do not expect you to look strong and happy all the time. We are grieving for you guys and we can barley keep it together at times. Please know that we see amazing strength even when you feel like you can barley breath. Jesus wept openly for his friend Lazarus even though he knew what was to come. Our God is a God of emotions and he certainly understands ours. We continue to pray for strength, comfort, grace and mercy as only our creator can supply.

    I think it will help the healing process that so many people are keeping Thomas' memory alive.

  3. A great post...thanks for sharing with us. I honestly can't fathom what you're going through but please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. I think you are incredibly strong. I wish you, Caroline, and baby Thomas abundant blessings.


  4. Wow, you've been busy. That drawing is incredible. That is something that Caroline will have to cherish forever.

    Good luck tomorrow with your glucose test, I hope they get it done early so baby Thomas can eat!!

  5. Sounds like you have been so busy! That's great that you met Tara with you two having so much in common. That drawing of Thomas and Caroline is beautiful! They done a wonderful job. I pray for you and Caroline all the time. I know you may have some days worse than others, but God is with you and I know Thomas is so proud of you. Good luck on the glucose test tomorrow!

  6. Bonnie, I found your blog thru another friends blog a couple months ago. I have been following it since. My Name is Elisha. Your blog brings back so many memories for me as I lost my husband almost 6 years ago(6-17-03). Our only child was 3 months old when his father died in Iraq. They never met each other as he was deployed with the Army when I delivered our son. I know the feelings you are having and have traveled that road you are finding yourself on.

    Please email me if you ever need someone to talk to. I may not always have the answers but I will always have a shoulder to lean on.


  7. I'm so glad you have friends who are helping & supporting you during this time. I hope your glucose test goes well, so you won't have to take the 3-hour one. :( Praying for you & your family!

  8. hi there - I too have been following your blog for awhile but never posted because honestly I didn't know what the right words to say would be. I too went to college with Tara and have grown to love Tara for the woman she is the strength and unshakable faith she has. MY heart breaks daily for both you and Tara. I know God has a plan in all of this and I firmly believe he is using both of you to change lives for His kingdom - and what an exciting thing to be apart of. I will continue to pray for you and your sweet little girl and boy daily and I am looking froward to seeing how God takes this tragedy and makes something so beautiful out of it. Keep looking up on those days when your pain is too much for you to bare on your own because He is there waiting and wanting to hold and help you. You are loved!!

  9. Wow! You have had an amazing and busy week. I am so blessed to hear of everyone surrounding you with love and the list of people that want to be with you and do things with you just keeps going and going. I love you so much Bonnie!

  10. Bonnie-
    We recently moved to NWA in October and I heard about Thomas on the news after Christmas. I have wondered for a while how his family was doing and then today went to Gusano's for lunch. I grabbed the Peek A Boo, found your story, and when my husband showed up I had to fight back tears in the restaurant.

    I came home and read your blog. Caroline is adorable and it sounds like you are coping. I will be thinking and praying for you. I am SO sorry for your loss. How wonderful that you have a church family to help support you in this time.

    I redesign blogs and am always looking for people who inspire me or are just amazing people. I would love to give you a free blog design as one of my Inspirations for the month of June or July. Let me know if you are interested!

  11. Hello! I hope your glucose test went well. I never did like drinking the sweet orange stuff...too sweet for me.

    I cried all the way through your post. If I was that emotional, how emotional the week was for you!

    I had no idea you were getting to meet Tara in person. I think it is incredible how God has brought you two together in the midst of tragedy. It is just a reminder that He is there even when we don't see Him or feel Him...

    Hopefully see you tomorrow?

  12. oh I miss you SO MUCH!! I am sad to be a thousand miles away... but I'll be back or you'll be here:) Love you tons, talk to you soon!

  13. What a busy and emotional time for you. I hope your test went well. I am still praying for you everyday. I am so glad that you have so many people watching out for you. May God's love continue to comfort you.

  14. Hi,
    You don't know me at all, I found your blog on Tara's - I know her sister Malory from Bible college. I wanted to let you know I think your little girl Caroline is precious and I wish you all the best with your 2nd baby too. I hope you can feel God's love and presence, especially in the hard times. Praying for you and will continue to read your blog.

  15. What a joy it is to read this post and know that you are surrounded by so many people who love and support you. I think about you often and pray that God will continue to sustain you.

  16. I enjoyed reading your blog today. Will add you to my prayer list.
    I am still finding my way around blogland....
    I always love making new friends..

    I am posting about Disney so hope you will stop by.
    Each comment enters you for the June giveaway.

  17. Sounds like you have been really busy. That was so nice to have the car wash for the scholarship and the baby shower for you! The drawing of Caroline and Thomas is very touching!!!

  18. That picture of Thomas and Caroline is PRECIOUS! What a perfect gift.

    Thanks for being such an example of God's faithfulness to me. I love seeing God work through you. What a blessing!

    Still praying for you!

  19. Wow. God is so good. It's moving to see how HE is pouring out His blessings on you both. I can't thank you enough for sharing all of your feelings and stories. I love you!