Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Olivia

Two years ago our lives were changed forever by the birth of our angel, Olivia. Nothing can describe the impact of this event in our family. Words can also not describe the amount of love, comfort and grace we have felt from God throughout this process. Words are not coming tonight - it's bittersweet. You can't have rainbows without rain, but the rain is SO hard! I'm thankful for what that rain has taught me, and I am SO thankful that rays of sun are shining on our family now. How sweet is that SON!




Tuesday, November 17, 2009

One more thing....

Last post for the night.....

Kensley is coming home!!!!

Check out the Praying for Kensley blog. There is a big Welcome Home welcoming event planned. I am counting on friends and family to keep me (and you) updated with pictures since I won't get to be there (still in Montgomery!)

Lots of Fun Stuff!

Playing at the park with friends and a rescheduled class field trip to Tate Farms - Fun stuff!!!













My Baby is Growing Up!!

My baby is growing up!!! Last week Mom and Stewart had to keep Ellie Kate seated as much as possible to make sure she didn't walk while I was in Montgomery!! I finally got the camera out and let her go!! Oh me.....between the 7 teeth (yes, I said 7), walking and all the jabbering that sometimes makes sense it is becoming more and more obvious that our baby isn't going to be a "baby" much longer!!! Here is some of the video - quality is not so hot because I did it with my cell phone so I could upload in Montgomery :) Please ignore my obnoxious voice!


video

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bathtime!

This is how I do bathtimes now-through pictures :( At least EK doesn't seem upset by this! Thanks Stew for keeping me in the loop!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Stepping Outside the Box

I'm officially outside my box!! I was watching an episode of Oprah today about women stepping outside of their box. These women all had varying stories of life events in which they had focused on other things and become complacent with their own lives. They were using drastic events to step outside their boxes and get perspective. As I watched these ladies skydive, skinny dip, etc. I thought, "Wow - I've never thought about needing to do something so drastic!"

But as I continued to think, I realized that here I was 3 hours away from my family, knee deep in a new career path for which I have NO, repeat ZERO, previous knowledge, and all of this has happened in less than a month. I am ABSOLUTELY outside my box!! Then I started wondering WHY? The answer is simple - God's will.

In reading books, articles, blogs from other people who have experienced a tragic event, there is always a "pre-event" period and a "post-event". There are obvious things that trigger outward "post-event" reactions - holidays, seeing other babies I know are Olivia's age, memories, etc. But our lives are completely changed FOREVER from the events of November 18, 2007. These changes are not always evident, but the makeup, the very character and moral fiber of your being is forever affected by these types of events.

For me, losing Olivia, and then quickly having to trust God through our pregnancy with Ellie Kate forced me to surrender to God's will in my life. I had no choice - I certainly didn't choose the path, so the only option was to give in and try to trust that HIS path was somehow better or more suited for me than the one I would have chosen. Would I have chosen to lose Olivia - of course not. But - would I have Ellie Kate if that hadn't happened - probably not. Would I have the appreciation and first-hand understanding of grief and what it does to you - no. Most importantly - would I truly understand the depths that God can protect you, guide you, and shelter you from the storm - absolutely not!!! Hear me now - I am NOT saying I appreciate and understand exactly why we lost Olivia. All I am saying is that I am trying my best to TRUST that this was God's all-knowing plan for my life.

Also part of this plan, I have to believe, is me getting outside of my box! I have worked for 11 years in education and have 3 degrees to show for it. Yet, here I am training for another career. Why?? In a strange way, it is yet another path forcing me to surrender to God's will. This time, I asked for this path. I have been praying for an opportunity to present itself that I may have more time and energy to focus on what's important - God and my family. I believe this is it. I have an excitement about not only the job I will be doing, but how I believe it will be a positive impact to my family. Don't get me wrong - I'll still be working, but to know that I can take my babies to the doctor when they are sick without major rescheduling, run home for a quiet lunch to refocus my thoughts during the day, sing at a funeral when needed, just go eat in a school lunchroom for 30 minutes to have that quality time with my girls - it is priceless!!

Time and energy are things you can't create and you can't get them back when they are gone. If November 17, 2007 has proven anything to me it is that surrendering to God's will, and not your own, is the ONLY true path to happiness and righteousness in HIS eyes. I am so thankful for everything He has guided us through, and even more thankful for that He is providing me the courage and trust to follow Him outside "my" box!!!

Just a thought - maybe if we ALL got out of OUR box and followed Him, He would lead us to HIS box :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween :)

Hi all! I hope everyone had a great Halloween weekend!! We had a busy one. I helped a few others plan a VERY last minute party for the 7 and under crowd from church along with the normal Halloween activities. We didn't trick or treat much this year. I really want to live in a subdivision this time of year so the girls can have that TRUE trick or treat experience. Stewart said next year we'll invite a few friends and pull a hay trailer behind the four wheeler and "group" trick or treat - ONLY IN ALABAMA!!! HA! Here are a few pictures of the girls!

Getting ready to carve pumpkins!
Pumpkin guts!!
Abby playing at the Halloween party!
Ellie Kate and Papaw "supervising" the inflatable slide!
My husband - the goth boy. (Yes - he is a high school principal. Yes - his students did see him. No - I never thought I would ever paint my husband's fingernails black!)
DIVA!
Get it Hannah Montanna!!

Our little flower!!
Check out those cheeks!!!