Thursday, January 29, 2009

Divas

It's official - I'm raising two divas!! We've known this for a while with Abby. There's simply no denying it! I'm sure something I've done in raising her has led to this, and I'm sure I'll regret it (already do some days :)). There is no doubt she is a girly girl!! Now Ellie Kate is making her own statement that she is going to follow in her big sister's footsteps!! She has let me know, in no uncertain terms, that we will be doing things HER way and not mine!! Let's just say that my back and shoulders are screaming from holding her all week because that's just the way she likes it! I think I need to investigate a sling/carrier! I might get something done that way! Don't let anyone kid you - I LOVE IT, and wouldn't have it any other way than their way - within reason! That said, someone slap me if my kids get TOO obnoxious and I seem to not notice - HA!

Here is Abby having a tea party with her "friends". This is one of the few times she has played alone since EK was born. She used to disappear all the time and play, but now she stays underfoot constantly. I guess she's afraid she'll miss something!! Hopefully, this is just a new sibling thing that will resolve itself!

This is a shot of EK's developing nursery. I will post better pics when it is done, but EK seemed to like her first look at her crib, and as you can see, Abby had fun "helping" me get things together!




Valentine's Picture - This is Abby and one of her friends, Kensley. Aren't they cute?? Thanks Marty, oh sorry, AUNT Marty!!


Look how big Ellie Kate is getting!! She is already almost 13 pounds!! We have a checkup next week. I'm afraid Dr. Laue is going to wonder if we've already started feeding her Happy Meals!



One last clip - I know I have gotten this in an email before, but one of the teachers I work with sent this to me this week. She is struggling with things in her own family right now, so I hope this helped her as much as it did me. Maybe it will you too!

video

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Pray for Ms. Meg!

Abby has attended Huntsville Gymnastics since she was two. Her teacher through each class has been a wonderful, patient lady named Meg Hall. She is a long time gymnastics instructor and also teaches at several dance studios in town and has a large part each year in the Nutcracker performances. Last night, as she was leaving Huntsville Gymnastics, she was shot in the face in an apparent robbery attempt. The center was closing at the time, so I don't think there were students or parents there, but this is SO shocking! We were just there Monday night and will be there again Thursday night. What is this world coming to?? Anyway, from the news reports, Ms, Meg is in critical condition. Please pray for her, her family and the close knit staff at Huntsville Gymnastics. Here is a link to the news reports:
http://www.waff.com/global/story.asp?s=9744384

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What a difference a year makes

I caught myself today thinking about this time last year. Last year, it had been about 2 months since we lost Olivia. I thought I had "managed" my grief, worked through the fog, and was getting on with life the best I could. Now when I look back, I realize that it was really just God sheltering me from the rawness of emotions that were still present. I cried today because I wouldn't let myself cry this time last year. I think I was afraid I would never stop. I read now about others in the fires of that grief, and I cry for them because it is NOW so real what we went through. As I type I am holding our "rainbow" in one hand and typing with the other. What a difference a year makes!! Is the grief gone, no - but it is more manageable. Do I have any answers for why it happened, no - and I'm sure I never really will. All I know is that this is the path that God placed us on, and I will trust that knowledge! I don't want to be the poster child for parents of stillborn children, but I do feel a want and a need to help others who have been through or will go through this trauma. You can go through it and come out whole, and even a better and stronger person on the other side!

I saw bits and pieces of an Oprah episode last week about your best "spiritual self". There was a couple who had lost a child and had sold everything they had and travelled around the country in an RV trying to find a peace for their life. As the "expert" spoke of methods, meditations, and other things, I couldn't help but feel very sad for the millions of people buying into these principles. I don't want to get into Oprah, her views and her influence on the American public, but needless to say they weren't talking about the God who shielded and comforted me during those first raw days and months and continues to comfort us every day. This couple eventually divorced because they, as a couple, couldn't find a common ground to work through their grief. I was never more thankful for the peace and knowledge that I have in God who comforts me every day. I was also never more thankful for my husband and the strength God gave our relationship to make it through this! It hasn't been easy, but I know we are stronger for it!

A friend sent this in the mail to me today. He was worried that it was after the fact and he should have sent it earlier, but it really couldn't have come at a more perfect time. He found this passage the night his brother and his wife lost the last two of their triplets who were all born at 19 weeks and did not survive.

"I know what you are thinking. You need a miracle. What better one could I give but to make this little one whole and new? I could do it; but I will not. I am the Lord and not a magician. I gave this little one a gift I denied all of you - eternal innocence. To you she looks imperfect - but to me she is flawless, like the bud that dies unopened. She will never offend me, as all of you have done. She will never pervert or destroy the work of my Father's hands. She will remind you that I am who I am, that my ways are not yours, and that the smallest dust mite lying in the darkest spaces does not fall out of my hand.....I have chosen you. You have not chosen me."

I stand thankful for being chosen - for both the good and the bad.

I'm going on a date!

These would be happy words if this applied to me, but these words came from the lips of our 4 1/2 year old diva! Last night while we were eating supper, Abby announced she was going on a date with a boy from school. After Stewart both looked at each other in shock, we proceeded to see if she really knew what she meant. Oh she did!! After more discussion, we figured out that she had acquired this new terminology after Stewart told her he was taking me out on a date for my birthday a few weeks ago. She not only remembered, but decided it must be a cool thing to do! Oh me - she picks up on everything!! I'm telling you - I don't have to wait until she's 13 to be worried. I'm starting now! She's already "married" this same little boy from her class, so we may be in for it when she really does get old enough to entertain all of these thoughts!

Things are here are busy but very good! Ellie Kate is growing so much! She has already outgrown almost all of her newborn clothes and sent me scrambling to see what she has in the next size. Unfortunately Abby was born in the summer so the hand-me-downs don't work out just yet!

Here's a cute picture from the other night. Abby loves for Ellie Kate to join us for her bedtime story :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New pictures!

OMG - I LOVE these pictures!! I know it is my family, but really it's about the photographer!! We use Simplicity by Christy, and she does things I've never even thought of!! Her blog is linked to mine if you'd like to see more of her work!

For now, go to www.simplicitybychristy.com. Go to Client Proofing in the lower right corner and enter "stephanie" as the passsword. Let me know which one is your favorite!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

SMILES

I couldn't stand it - I had to share! Look who I caught smiling today! Ellie Kate had supposedly smiled at my dad and Stewart, but no one else ever saw it! :) Today I managed to catch a couple of pretty clear grins. I must have spent 2 hours laughing at her and trying to get her to smile again. What a great way to spend a day!!




What was I thinking?

Whew - I'm not sure what I was thinking! I have been looking forward to this maternity leave for a long time. Not to overstate the obvious, but I knew if I got to this point, it meant I had a baby that needed me to be home to take care of it. That has happened (Praise the Lord!) I also had these grand visions of the things I could get re-organized, catch up on scrap booking, lounge around and read books all after I took care of Ellie Kate's needs. HA! I know there are countless women now reading this shaking their heads thinking, "Oh that poor delusional girl!" I'm doing good to get a shower every day and making sure everyone gets where they need to be, somewhat on time (which in our family usually means 10 minutes late) with clean clothes on! Hopefully I'll get some kind of routine going here soon, but in the meantime here are some pictures I did manage to snap over the last few days.


Here are a couple of shots from Ellie Kate's first outing to church - just getting dressed was enough to send her into a deep sleep!


This was on the carousel at Bridge Street. We took advantage of one of the last days before Stewart and Abby both went back to school to just enjoy some family time!


This past weekend, Abby was a flower girl in her cousin, Beth's, wedding. She was over the top about getting dressed up in her dress and cape and getting her hair done. Look at her in the picture with Beth - Abby kept calling them the snow princesses!



I hope to have the link to the proofs from the newborn session with Christy soon - I'll let you know!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!!

Every year I have the same two resolutions - get more organized and lose weight. It's like a weird tradition. I stress myself out over both of these topics for 4-6 weeks, give up, and get back to life as usual. This year is a little different. I am still doing my every year tradition of buying storage bins and making big plans for how to organize every closet, drawer, nook and cranny and keep it that way. I've also already planned for my 6 month Weight Watcher membership and have added a Wii Fit to the list this year. But this year I am going to try to just let it go and enjoy every minute of my family! I know that sounds simple, but for all of those type A, slightly OCD moms out there (give it up - you know who you are!) this is harder than it sounds! I have the most wonderful gift of a great husband, and 2 healthy children. This is everything I have prayed for and I intend to enjoy it! I don't know why I can get so wrapped up in the "stuff" of everyday life that I forget to look around and enjoy my blessings, but I am determined to start! Will my house be perfectly clean, organized, and will I be a size 8 - NOPE! Will I be more relaxed and appreciative of what the Lord has given us - I think so! The journeys we have been on the last 18 months have certainly been unexpected and trying and most days I had to keep busy just to stay sane. Now I think it's time I sit back, take a deep breath and just say "thank you"!


On that note - a dear friend of mine sent this You Tube clip to help me while we were in the hospital with Ellie Kate. It is a testimony and song from a Christian artist. Watch it and listen closely - you may even have to listen a couple of times to really comprehend the depth of what he says. The second part of his testimony is what really touches me - Amazing! (Thanks Becky!)

New pictures of the girls soon!