Wednesday, September 30, 2009


This weekend we spent some time with my Mom's side of the family. Tomorrow will be one year since we lost my precious Granddady, or as Abby called him "Grandy". He was the rock and cornerstone of our family. I like to think we are who we are largely because of his wisdom of things above and faith in God. We all met out at the cemetery and then went back to my Nana's to have lunch. Here is a picture of Grandy about 2 weeks before he died while he was in the hospital. One of his nurses thought he needed a little "spiffing up" that day :) We miss him terribly, but oh what a grand time he is having over there! Be-a-U-tiful!After lunch, the guys went through some of Grandaddy's things in his shed. Abby came out with the hardhat that he wore for years on his job and his boots that he tended his garden with. How precious for her to have these things to remember her Grandy by! Here's a shot of her with her treasures and one of my favorite pictures of Abby and Grandy when she was a baby. Doesn't she look like him?? Everyone used to think so :)
Ellie Kate was just hanging out during all the fun :) (Tongue out - her new favorite position!)

Going to the cemetery was hard. It is the same place Olivia is buried. It's also where my brother and sister are buried. We had never really explained this to Abby, but this time she asked who the two other small stones by Olivia were. Stewart explained that they were Mommy's brother and sister who were in Heaven with Olivia. Abby thought a minute, and then, it was almost like a comfort to her. I was like she was! She went around telling the family that was my brother and sister just like hers in Heaven. It was sad, but touching at the same time. It's amazing what that little, young mind has had to process in her short years. God has comforted her and shielded her in a way I never could.

That night, we debuted the Harvest dresses for the year. Yes, I'm one of those holiday themed, OCD, match my children mothers :) I did get them half price at the end of the season last year though, so it's all good :)

And here is our newest Daisy Scout on her first outing to the police station!!

We found out today that Abby is going to have surgery Monday morning. They are going to put tubes back in her ears, take out her adenoids, and "clean out" both sinus cavities! Not fun, but we are hoping this will help her with some health issues she has fought for several years. We were planning to go to the Smokies for Fall Break, so we are going to go for a few days this weekend to distract her from the upcoming events. Please say a prayer for us in the coming days! I hate it when the babies are sick! Ellie Kate is feeling better - let's hope it stays that way!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Did I really see the sun come out today? I found myself looking up thinking, "I think that's what it is - I haven't seen it in so long, I had forgotten what it was like for the days to not be gloomy!" I've actually been able to say that alot this week. Maybe not literally, but I am finally feeling a little sunshine deep in spots that I had hidden away where no sun could reach.

I've never hidden the fact that I have struggled with fear, panic and anxiety before. I guess some would say I've earned the right. Maybe - but that's not where one wants to land, much less stay! Here's the thing, yes we've had a HARD couple of years. Yes events have unfolded in timing that could almost seem unbearable. It was nothing we were EVER prepared for, yet we were there. The struggle in me was not that it was hard - it was that I wouldn't allow myself to LET it be hard! Some OCD, Type A, control freak side of me (wait, did I admit that? :)) felt like it was my duty as a Child of God to remain strong in the face of adversity to prove outwardly what I was certain the Lord was helping us through. There was never a doubt that HE was helping us, but He never erased the events of the last two years. He never took away the indescribable, crushing grief of losing Olivia, too quickly having to say good-bye to my sweet Granddaddy, caring for and losing Stewart's father all too soon, and compounding it with attempting the ultimate trust with another pregnancy all in the span of one year. But HE was there. He comforted us. He carried us through days we thought unbearable. That is the God we serve!

Here's where I've missed the boat. His grace and mercy didn't end as that year came to a close and as we welcomed a healthy Ellie Kate to the family. Of course it didn't! He was right there when she had to stay in the NICU - all 8 pounds and 14 ounces of her! But also, the grief didn't end there either. That's what I wasn't ready for. That's what my struggle has been for the last 9 months. My daily battle has been how to be so thankful to our God for what He has given us, all while my insides were silently still raw, open, and crying. How could I express that now? To the world, our tragedy ended with a beautiful little package named Ellie Kate. If I expressed the fear of losing something again, if I didn't stand strong to be an outward symbol of everything He brought us through, how could I say I knew He had been with us?? WOW - who did I think I was??? Seriously - why have I expected more of me than even our Heavenly Father would? His mercy and comfort is still there because He, more than anyone, knows I still need it. For months, I have spent so much inward energy trying to fight this battle in silence that it was showing outwardly. When I finally was brave enough to admit it, I was spending every minute of every day trying to be the picture of what I thought others thought I should be. It wasn't what I felt, and it wasn't even what God meant for me, but somehow I convinced myself it was my duty to put on the brave face. I've spent so much energy on my inward battle, I haven't had the energy to stop and see the sunshine, smell the flowers or even wonder at the beauty of our own personal "rainbow". Stewart said it best - my glass that was always half full by nature was not only half empty, but down to one drop!

Sometimes you just have to get real with yourself. Not with God - He already knew the ins and outs of my every thought. I had to admit to myself that the only person making these demands on me was me! I'm working on it - it's a daily battle that I will overcome. Lord help me always see the sunshine, but accept the clouds too. Just because there are clouds, does not mean the SON is not present! My focus today is sunshine. I will stand still and enjoy the sunshine in my life. Isn't it a great thing??

Here's my littlest sunshine :) Both she and big sissy have DOUBLE ear infections (yuk!), but she's still all smiles for Mommy. How could I not sit back and just enjoy this life??

Saturday, September 19, 2009

TV Debut

Well, I'm no Amy George :), but here is my television debut! Channel 48 showed up at school one morning last week to do a special story on a feature at our school called the Eagle Bank. It was certainly not the morning I would have picked! I arrived at school 10 minutes late after struggling with Abby to take her antibiotics for her poor ears and hadn't had time for my morning Diet Mountain Dew! I'm surprised I even knew what my name was! Oh well - the kids did great!

Friday, September 18, 2009


I just saw this on another blog I follow. It brightened my Friday morning. Hope it does yours too!

"'Sorrow is one of the things lent, not given.

Joy is given; sorrow is lent.

Sorrow is lent to us for just a little while

that we may use it for eternal purposes.

Then it will be taken away and everlasting joy

will be our Father's gift to us, and the Lord God

will wipe away all tears...'

-Amy Carmichael"

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"REAL" Bloggers

Get this, last night as Stewart and I were recapping the day, running over today's commitments, generally commenting on how CRAZY our schedule has been over the last few days, he looks at me and says, "REAL bloggers blog every day!" AS IF!!

Let me set this scene......for those of you who are friends on Facebook, I'm sure you saw this past weekend's laments that my 5 year old had 4 parties to attend this past weekend!! None were really any we could not go to, so you can imagine the marathon we ran this weekend! Not to mention the fact that Stewart and I went out of town last weekend by ourselves (more in a later post :)) which was wonderful, but in turn led to 20 loads of laundry waiting on me this past weekend! So Monday morning, I was exhausted and not even finished with the weekend's chores and facing another BUSY week! Well while I was in the doctor for a checkup Monday morning, Abby's school called - come get her, her ears hurt, the nurse says red with fluid! Yikes! Of course I had several work commitments I needed to finish that day. Tuesday I started out trying to work from home (not sure how anyone really is productive doing that!), ended up talking Abby into staying with Grammy while I went to work and tried to do a whole day's work in a half day! Oh - I forgot to mention - Stewart had class Monday night in Gadsden and a meeting Tuesday night, so I was also by myself all night with the chaos!

Ask me - did I know I hadn't opened the mail in a week, did I realize I hadn't updated the blog in forever, did I know that I was slowly but surely being buried alive by domestic bliss??? OF COURSE I DID! Did I really need him to innocently look over and say, "REAL bloggers blog every day!" Seriously!!

Why do I blog? I've always loved to write, when I found time to do it. I've never been a fancy journal girl, but I liked it when I had a topic. I guess I never had a topic until it became my therapy, my reality outlet, my communication tool after we lost Olivia. I was inspired by reading other's blogs. I've mentioned before, but Amy George is a true inspiration for me. I remember stumbling onto her blog in the early weeks after Olivia's death. I went all the way back to the beginning of her story. Reading her posts gave me courage. It made me know that others had walked this road. She stated things that I felt but couldn't put into words. I remember making Stewart sit down and read some of them and saying, "That's what I meant - that's what I feel like!" Check this article by Amy in this month's Valley Babies. What a great description of why we do what we do! I'm also overwhelmed at the people I have "met" through this outlet, and those who, for some reason, keep up with my family! I firmly believe God places people in your path at a time and reason under His guidance!

There are still so many things I would love to put into words that just aren't ready to come out yet. I guess that fruit still needs to ripen up a bit :) To that end, many posts are coming with lots of pictures and maybe even some with few words (especially for my husband who says my posts are TOO long!!)

To my REAL bloggers out there - keep it up!! Quantity is not necessarily quality!! A special HI to my new blogging friends - it's cool when your friends start jumping on the bandwagon! Check out some of the new links on the side :)

More soon :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Oops!! (from Ellie Kate)

Hi guys - it's Ellie Kate! Sorry Mommy hasn't posted in a while. She's REALLY busy, and most of it is with me! Maybe she'll get back soon whenever she figures out how to keep me busy long enough for her to type! We're all good - lots of stories soon!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Calling all Followers!

Hey guys! I'm just interested to see who all reads my random ramblings. If you haven't joined as a "follower", would you? I think it would be cool to see! Also, I'm getting close to the 10,000 hit mark - WOW! I should throw a party for everyone - HA! We'll just keep reading and praying for each other and call it a day!

Seriously, it's humbling and exciting at the same time - sign up!