Homecoming 2014

Homecoming 2014

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Angels Among Us

Most of you who read my blog already know that we are expecting our third sweet girl in October. Our journey to get here, 8 months along, was not an easy road. Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a real condition (for more info about this condition please go to www.helpher.org) and one that I would not wish even on my worst enemy. I continue to suffer from morning sickness, but am thankful those first 6 months have passed. Honestly, to be completely depleted of nutrients, fluids and bodily functions is a low point that few will ever experience. It is a point where you can see how death can be good escape, but you continue to hold on to God's promises so you push just to make it to another day. As blood would pour from my mouth (due to esophagus tearing) I would cry out to my Lord for mercy. I would cling to my Christian music and weep as I read my bible. Each day as night approached, I would pray the next day would bring relief and this "morning sickness" would be over. As each day turned in to weeks, months, my body continued to break down from a strong athletic build of 125 pounds to a boney barely 103 pounds. As you can imagine, there were many days spent on iv medications, shots given, medicines attempted, anything to bring relief. All the while my body slowly breaking, my heart heavy, and the idea of losing this sweet baby due to severity of malnutrition and dehydration took over, I fell asleep on my couch. I had a dream that I knew was heaven sent. In the dream, I was approached by my Granny in heaven. She saw me crying and she brought me over and asked me, " What's wrong darlin?"I replied, and told her all about what was happening with this pregnancy and she just held me, patted my back and reassured me that this baby would be just fine while reminding me that all of the women in our family are strong and it will all be ok. I woke up and just started balling. The following few days continued to be bad, but I kept thinking about my dream, clinging to some hope that what my Granny said in my dream would be true. I ended up in the hospital again for about my 8th admission stay and was greeted by the same nurse who always took care of me. She put me in the same bed I had been in the other 7 times and she began a new i.v. for me. A few days later, she came in and said today you are going to get a roommate. I had never had one up until this point in my stays so I was little taken back. In came a large, African American woman, who was going to have to have gall bladder surgery. I guess she was nervous because she began talking a lot to me and asking me questions. At this point I was hoping for my discharge papers to go home and get back to my sweet girls and own bed. I tried talking as much as I could, but honestly was too weak to do a lot of it. Finally, the doctor came in and gave me my discharge papers and I began preparations for going home. As I began to leave, this sweet woman said, "come here darlin and give me a hug." Her tone was friendly and warming and her words so familiar. I naturally did what she asked and she gave me the biggest, warmest, hug and as she patted my back she said, "everything is going to be ok with you and that baby. I just know it." She also told me she would pray for us. I then asked her what her name was and she said, "Wanda". At this point, I was totally taken back. That was my Granny's name and her love and embrace was just as my dream. I couldn't believe it. Holding back tears, I told her thank you and that we would pray for her too as she went through surgery and healing and we left. As we went home and while home, I just couldn't get this moment out of my mind. Truly, God was telling me to keep trusting and he used his Angels to help me in my lowest point. I have always believed in Angels and read about them in the bible, but honestly, hadn't studied enough about them to think there are modern day angels sent to watch out for you. Regardless of your thoughts or mine on the matter, I knew God used this woman and her circumstance to be my Angel of the moment. He knew how badly, I needed that extra support and reminder. Those long days of crying out for mercy and asking HIM if he is listening was all shown in this one moment. He was listening, he was answering, and from then on I knew we would be ok. Mind you, it was several more weeks of suffering, but this time instead of a aching, longing heart, my heart was full and content. My patience and faith had grown and now at over 8 months pregnant, baby Riley Joy is doing perfectly. We have both gained our share of weight, my "morning sickness" well is now just the normal case and we are counting down the weeks until she makes her grand arrival. My heart is overwhelmed and I wanted to share this story with our loved ones so that you know God listens and answers prayer. Sometimes and often times not on our time, but in HIS perfect timing. He uses people to minister to others, so be prepared to be used or to be shown through others his will and words for you. Our family has been very blessed by many angels in our midst. Friends to be there no matter how low you are, to encourage and care for my children when I couldn't, to make meals for them so that they could have a home cooked meal. A back rub from a best friend while reassuring you that you'll make it. Every little and big thing was a ministry to me. I am humbled by HIS love and the love that my friends and family have shown around me. My prayer is that when the Lord calls me, that I too will be a minister and angel that is needed to provide that support and love. Exodus 23:20-23 "See, I am sending an angel before you, to guard you on the way and bring you to the place I have prepared. [21] Be attentive to him and heed his voice. Do not rebel against him, for he will not forgive your sin. My authority resides in him. [22] If you heed his voice and carry out all I tell you, I will be an enemy to your enemies and a foe to your foes.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The First Breath

I remember June 23, 2006 like it was yesterday. Hubby and I were off to a routine doctors appointment and ultrasound when the perinatologist came in and said baby C has not grown in about 2 months and you will have her today. We knew from prior exams that she was not growing properly and at a normal rate and honestly, they had us frightened at the thought that this baby could be a stillborn. When we checked in with our OB and got the information that if she was in fact 3 1/2 pounds and 15 inches long as the ultrasound depicted, then she would be delivered at one hospital and immediately flown to another hospital with a higher level of care. As you can imagine, we were nervous and frightened that this day could end in two ways. One, it could end in life and a healthy baby. Two, we could have to prepare for the unimaginable of losing a child at birth. Either way, we were prepared. We, along with family and friends had prayed hard throughout this pregnancy that baby C would be a healthy baby and that God's work would be done. We dropped off our sweet G, packed up our last minute bags and headed to the hospital. It was there I was prepared for a C-section more vitals were ran and the baby was monitored constantly. I remember looking at that monitor and thinking, keep fighting little one, Mama's got you!!! Once prepared, we headed to the delivery room waiting for the unexpected to happen. It felt like eternity, but in actuality, baby C was born at 9:36 p.m. She came and immediately, I heard that first cry. She made it, she took that first breath and with every one of her tears, I shed about 20. I cried that moment for life, I cried for those months of worry and exasperation of never knowing, and finally I cried out of sheer joy, sweet Caroline made it! Once she was born she was whisked away for measuring, our second feat of the day, would she be able to stay or would she need to be transported? As the Lord has it, baby girl weighed 4 lbs and was 17 inches long at 37 weeks gestation. She just made the size and gestation time to be able to stay with me. Yet another example of God's promise to those who are faithful to him. Caroline was a small, but healthy baby girl who was ready to meet this world and blow the socks off of every person she would ever meet. Now 7 years later, she is still our little C, but still full of dynamite. She has the perfect toothless grin and has a big heart for those around her. She is a loyal friend and admirer of her big sister. Her abilities in athletics is far beyond her peers and her laugh is contagious! She is learning about our Lord and what it means to be one of his followers. On Sunday mornings, she can be found singing loudly in service while entertaining others around her. Her humble spirit is shown every evening as she bows her head to pray. Her prayers show her maturity and she is sure to not miss a person. Her heart is pure and her faith is enough. When I look at her, I pray for a future full of joy, but enough grace to cover mistakes as she continues to seek him and becomes a Christian woman. She will for sure be light unto this world that no one has seen before. Her love is genuine and her drive is ambitious. First breaths of a new baby is one we often times take for granted, I know I did after having my first child. With Caroline the Lord showed me a new path, one that I could not control, but a path that could be found through faith and prayer. She and all she is today, is an example of things hoped for, yet are not seen. A reminder that he cares for us and even the smallest of these. His promise is true and his love is never failing. These things I now understand despite what outcome we may have had on this day 7 years ago. I am thankful daily that he has blessed us with a chance to hold her and mold her to the person he wants her to become. Happy Birthday Caroline Faith, may you set this world on fire. Continue to burn bright little one, the Lord has got you!!!
Photo Credited to " A Beautiful Moment Photography by Megan"

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Things!

I hope with the title of this blog, you are now singing or at least humming to the song from the popular musical " Sound of Music." If so, continue, it will help my writing flow a lot better for you. Every year since almost 9 years ago I begin the same rituals. I get a cold, feel lousy for a couple of days, and then begin to feel better, but not quite myself, so I stay inside for an extra day or two doing the things that I have always done. I guess this is my asthma's way of giving Winter one last kick in the rear (because unlike most asthmatics, mine is way worse in the Winter). I digress. As you can see, according to the timeline, it is close to when my sweet baby G arrived on the scene. Of course, I didn't know it then or realize it would continue to happen, but I get a serious case of nesting. I do sheets, clean out closets, revel in the fact that I can now maybe squeeze in to some smaller shorts, realize oh dear, my legs are awfully white, must sit outside, and dream of Spring and Summer days. Lucky for me, I have mostly lived in places where there are some sneak previews to Spring. San Diego, is perfect for them. Today as I have for years now, began to think of turquoise colors, soft yellows and greens, birthday parties, Christ's resurrection, flip flops and sunscreen, cousins and baseball games. Played my bbq playlist because everyone knows Spring brings out backyard grilling. Oh and did I also mention, that this time of year fills my heart with Mardi Gra, beads, moonpies, and crawfish. Maybe it was the 5 lbs I ate by myself when I was pregnant that has forever engrained in me these rituals. I will never know. I ordered my new depression glass plates to add to my collection. For anyone that knows me, knows I love two things, my Granny and anything that reminds me of her and mason jars!!!! So I got my aqua mason jars out, gave them a dusting, and verified my shipping for the plates. Please see pictures below. I am in love and think they are the perfect pieces to any Spring and Summer table decor. So bottom line, it's a good thing that Ground Hog did not see his shadow because this Mama is ready for Spring. Here are some pictures of my favorite things! Take a minute and enjoy what you love most about the upcoming seasonal change.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Embrace Them!

Recently, my husband and I have been given many teaching opportunities within our church and we are willfully accepting to take on this new challenge. It excites us, yet makes us really nervous. With each new lesson we read together, we laugh and reflect on the past. We talk about us before the kids came, how things were after having children and the many places we have lived and family's that have touched our lives. We have truly been blessed and now looking back, things have always worked out to God's plan, to his perfect plan that he made just for us. During this teaching process, I have come to know so many mothers and friends who are in the exact same place I was 5 almost 6 years ago. Their days are filled with preschool, naps, tantrums, and potty training. It is a time that I know personally was challenging for me. I remember those days, they were long and tiring. My husband was deployed and my days were spent mostly like the movie Ground Hog Day, where every day was the same thing. I had a 3 year old that could talk too well for her own good and very busy, a baby just being weened from nursing and still not always sleeping through the night due to her reflux. I was tired, alone, and completely overwhelmed. Now being more a mentor to others, people have asked me, "how did you do it?"! My first initial thought and response is to take a deep breath and almost laughlingly, I reply, "you're not going to kill them." I know this may seem obvious, but those tiring 3 year old years could put a wearing on any mama. Days filled with tantrums and crying can wear on anyones patience. And trust me when I tell you that strong willed children are put on this earth for a reason. We may not understand it at first or see the people they are becoming while they are thrown out in front of a Walmart, but listen when I tell you, it will come. You won't kill them and the moments do pass. The grooming years progress and with each new stage will rise new challenges, but just as when they are 3 they will pass. Now my G is 8 and no longer making the sliding doors at a Walmart go crazy, she is a calm, insightful and a loving little girl. She is embracing every new thing as a new challenge and is determined to succeed at each one. She still has a lot to learn, but she is seeking HIM and learning. This makes me so proud as a mother. But while living in those moments of me holding her and rocking her as she cried, seemed like they were endless and I may never see this blooming little girl. I remember I would fill the air with song. Some days she would join in with me, other days the only thing that would be heard were her sniffles and my voice singing. Honestly, I began this singing ritual more for myself than for her. It calmed me just as much so that finally we could talk. I could reflect on words I was going to use and she could catch her breath. Once everyone was calm, I could remind her of the good spirit/ soul that God gave to her and how her behavior did not reflect a christ like heart. Now at 8 baby girl is singing to herself on bad days and what is she choosing to sing, " Bless the Lord oh my soul, Worship his holy name." So if there is anything I would like to share with any mama dealing with a baby out there that is stronged will. Remember it is only temporary though I know it doesn't feel that way, know that God gave you the perfect baby for you and them the perfect mama, made just for them. Know that your fruits are holy and will pay off. Pray with them and for them, sing to them. But more than anything, instead of yelling, or being angry, embrace them. Because when they are older and these moments have passed, what song will your little one choose to sing to make themselves feel better?