Sunday, May 17, 2009

I'm firing myself

Crawford, Bailey and Caroline in a box. Boxes are way more fun than any toy you can buy!
Tara always does special things for Caroline when she comes. She brought flower stickers to paint onto Caroline's nails.
Caroline was very serious about not touching or messing them up. She sat like this for at least five minutes straight.

So, like I said in the last post--it has been a week! Very high 'highs'-having fun with Bailey and Crawford for a week and finally getting to meet Jett and then by the end of the week some lows.

Shortly after introducing Caroline to Jett (See post below this one!) I got a mild sore throat that turned into a full-fledged sore throat and fever (no worries-I did not touch Jett that morning!!) It is awful being sick. It is awful not being able to talk or play with your two year old when you are sick and it is even more awful when you start to feel sorry for yourself. (Blessedly, Caroline's grandparents Bill and Tracy showed up at my door right when I was starting to feel desperate! They took care of us both all night and day. God knew I needed them right at that moment!! Hallelujah! My mom switched off with them and she is taking care of us now!)

I think the events of the week caught up to me right when my fever hit. I know very well that the loss and grief I am going through will be closer at times than at others. I am also very well aware that God chose to reveal a lot to me about a week ago-right when He knew I would need it to draw on in the upcoming days. It's so nice that He cares enough to prepare us even without us knowing we are going to need it.
I finally broke down and decided to read William P Young's "The Shack" (along with the other 2 million people who have already done so!) I resisted it for a long time because it just sounded sad and I am not into "sad" stuff right now-I've had enough of it to last a lifetime. I can't remember why exactly, but I decided it was time. If it really was that good, I must read it.
Let me get to the point. (Disclaimer: I understand that it is Christian fiction, but I got a lot out of reading it.) A lot of those "hard" questions that are asked by all of us during and after tragedies are brought up and "answered" in this book. I never felt the need to blame God for what has happened to us, but I have thought about how He could have stopped this from happening to us and He didn't. This book helped me understand that "bigger picture" that I keep trying to focus on to make sense of what has happened. I think everyone should read it.Then Thursday night we had our next video on Esther. God knew I needed this message, too. Beth Moore said toward the end of the video that we are to fire ourselves from trying to figure out how things are supposed to happen. That the "how" of life and what is to happen in the future is not for us to figure out. That God figures out how it will happen. We just have to be faithful and willing to let God do it.
I was all ears for that. I have been thinking about so many "hows" lately. How am I supposed to not cry through the whole birth of our baby boy? How will I stand it that Thomas is not the one driving us home from the hospital? How am I supposed to raise two children to be the fulfilled, productive Christian citizens of the world that Thomas and I had prayed and dreamed about??...I could keep going, but you get the idea.
I felt very freed by Beth's words "Fire yourself from the 'how!' I do not have to know how. I just have to trust. Right now, that is a big burden lifted from my shoulders. God knows 'how' all my questions and concerns will be answered even though I can't imagine at this point "how" that will be!
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9

My adorable nephew is here!

Here's a pic of the fam I took a few hours after his birth!

What a week! My sister Becky went in on Tuesday for a checkup and she didn't leave the hospital until Thursday evening with sweet Jett in her arms! 7 lbs 4 oz 21 inches long.
He is an absolute doll and I am head over heels in love with him the moment I saw him. On Friday morning we went by to introduce Caroline to her cousin! She says that he is " so tute." (cute) All of her hard c's at the beginning of words are soft 'T' sounds. (Remember "Yummy, hot, toe-toe from my last post?... pictured below)
Back to baby Jett. She was even willing to give up her "bobby" (her pacifier) and let him borrow it. I think maybe I can use this eventually to let go of her bobbies forever-maybe you all can help pray for that transition!Sweet cousins! She is going to be a wonderful big sister. I'm convinced after seeing her with baby Hayden and now baby Jett!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Our big girl

Okay, I'm finally going to do it. I'm ready to announce on this blog that Miss Caroline has been completely potty-trained for an entire month! I have heard about the "jinx" that blogging about this can lead to, but I'm ready to face it. I can't keep it inside any longer! Caroline chose to do this on her own and has never looked back. She never even wore pull-ups (not even at night!) Just cold turkey, she's potty-trained. Believe me, I am not taking this for granted at all. I'm seriously considering this a blessing from God. I've heard about some of my friends going through "potty boot-camp" and staying home for three or more days, etc. Not Caroline. One day after deciding to be a big girl, we took her to Branson to visit Silver Dollar City. Not one problem, not one pull-up. Amazing.Train ride at the "City" (as Caroline calls it)
As I just mentioned we visited SDC early last month and I haven't had time to blog about it! Growing up, Becky and I had some of our best memories visiting the amusement park. It seems like we went each summer for several years. Thomas and I had planned on taking her this spring, so I was determined to see our plans through!Mimi, Aunt B, Caroline and I all went and had the best time. We ate "fair" food (dippin' dots, funnel cake etc.) Of course, we went through "Grandfather's Mansion" ( like a "fun" house.) Sweet Mimi obliged Caroline and went through two or three times with her as well as rode the rides countless times with her. Aunt B and I had to rest several times that day and due to our "conditions" We had to watch more than "ride," which was just as fun. (The park is situated in the mountains, so we were also tired from climbing the hills! My calves hurt the next day!)
It is so fun experiencing SDC as an adult with a 2 year old. It makes you feel young again!

Catching up with Caroline:
  • We just went to her two-year checkup and the doctor was impressed with her verbal skills. He said she is much more like a 3 year old than a 2 year old. It was cute, as he was talking to me she would nod her head and look at me with her hands in the air like "Are you listening to all this?" She was most impressed with the stick-on earrings she got when we were finished.
  • She can count to 11 (sometimes skipping "4," but I think it's because it's hard for her to say.)
  • She still calls herself "Nine-uh," but I've heard her say "Caroline" twice, so I think she just likes the nickname.
  • She could eat a whole bottle of ketchup if I let her.
  • She is very much into dancing. She likes to wear "dancing dresses" as she calls them. (Any dress is a "dancing dress.")
  • She likes to sing-her favorites right now are Old McDonald, (still) Twinkle, Twinkle, and a song from Dora where whenever we go anywhere she sings "Where are we going? -clap, clap, clap-the bathroom!" or wherever (mimi's house, the park etc.)
  • She calls blueberries "boo boo bee bees" She also says "Yummy, hot, toe-toe" (instead of cocoa.) I'll try to post audio next time, too cute.

  • She talks to Aunt B's and my belly saying, "Watch baby Thomas" "Watch baby Jett" and then she'll play peek-a-boo "with" them.
As for baby Thomas, he is kicking up a storm-which I LOVE! I have an appointment next Thursday and maybe I'll have more info on him!
As for me, I am trying not to dwell on the fact that the school year is coming to an end. This will be another difficult transition for me. With both of us having been teachers, we always looked forward to our summers off together and planning hiking trips, picnics, and working in the yard. I will be having to "reinvent" myself and routines for the summers now. It's hard to describe, but I will be doing "okay" one minute and then the next I will feel like the air has been knocked out of me as I remember or a piece of the reality of our situation hits me.
I can say that I am having some new "understandings(?)" about life lately. I will hopefully be able to put them into words soon, but for now I'll just say that I realize how each day is an opportunity to do "good" in the world or someone's life. We are all going to die someday. I know that it is morbid, but it is true. We don't like to think about it (and we shouldn't dwell on it) but it is important to realize that some day will be our last one here on Earth. What then?? How will we feel (if we have time to reflect!) about how we lived our lives? Will we feel we made some kind of lasting impact? Are we happy with what we've accomplished? Any regrets? If we think about those things now, we can do something about them! Most importantly, will we be ready to meet our maker? (I know that sounds like a line in a movie) Seriously, I am so happy that I have an actual relationship with God and when I go to meet Him, we will know each other! I wouldn't want to have Him have to try to remember my name! (ha!)

Anyway, I guess what I am saying is-enjoy each day-and if you aren't, then change what you are doing. Life is too short. Be confident in where you are headed when your time is over, because that one day will be here eventually. If I am able to find joy and be happy (on most days) in such a sad circumstance then everyone must realize that it is not me, but God! He never changes. His promises have been the same from the beginning of time and I am living proof.

"To console those who grieve in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of mourning; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified." Isaiah 61:3

"Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

Thank you for your continued prayers. It comforts me so much to know you all care!