Thank you for visiting my blog! If you are visiting because you have experienced a pregnancy or infant loss, let me say that I am so very sorry. I started this blog shortly after our Baby Grady was stillborn on November 12, 2008. Please visit the sidebar below called "Labels" to find the topic in which you are interested, or just read as your heart desires.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas 2009

I hope this past Christmas was a blessed one for you and your family! One filled with peace, love, joy and celebration of our greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ.

I've enjoyed reading on some of your blogs how you spent the holidays. I wish that I could write something amazingly profound and fun that we did over Christmas, but the truth is that I had the flu. To say it was a bummer would be a bit of an understatement!

Last Monday night, Ebe and her husband, Chris, came over for dinner. We really enjoyed them being here. The girls were great entertainment, especially when they did the "Cupid Shuffle". Chris and I even did it with them once while Gib and Ebe watched. Great entertainment for them, I'm sure! I just had a tiny, hacky cough which felt like my throat was dry but otherwise felt fine. Luckily I'm a great hand washer and coughed into my shoulder. I've been so worried that Ebe would get sick, but so far I think she's fine (at least from being around me). She's pregnant (hop over to her blog and see what she's having!), and I would feel terrible if I got her sick. Especially with what I had. Let me tell you, it was some BAD stuff!

I woke up Tuesday not feeling so great, but the girls had looked forward to going to a Stone Mountain Christmas since Thanksgiving. I couldn't disappoint them, so off we went. I somehow made it through the day, feeling worse as the day progressed. When we got home my fever was 101. The next day, Wednesday, I thought I would surely die. My head and face felt like they would explode off of my body at any given moment. Christmas Eve I was a little better, and on Christmas Day, I thought I might live.

Praise God, I'm MUCH better and no one else in my family seems to have gotten sick from me. So many things were out of the norm for us this Christmas but the girls took it in stride and understood. We didn't get to make our famous brownies to pass out to our neighbors. We didn't get to go to the BIG Christmas Eve service that our old church was hosting at the Gwinnett Arena (I had really been looking forward to that!). We didn't get to have my family over for our traditional Christmas breakfast of biscuits and homemade chocolate syrup, with other stuff of course. We didn't get to have Gib's parents come over Christmas evening for dinner. But Gib did take the girls to my brother's house to see their family on Christmas evening, so at least they got to see some family and have a yummy Christmas meal (and I have to say they brought me a plate home, too, which I was able to enjoy since I was feeling a bit better).

Santa brought the girls a Wii and they've had a great time playing it. Jessica is the best at most of the games so far. She and Gib had very sore arms the day after Christmas from all the boxing and baseball they played. I played it for the first time yesterday and it is a lot of fun! I want us to save our money to get Band Hero to go with it...I'll be the drummer.


Since I'm finally feeling better, I'm going to try to catch up on some housework today. The girls were so sweet when I was sick to do some laundry, including washing and drying TWO pairs of Gib's work pants that are dry clean only. OOPS! I'm taking the girls to the doctor this afternoon because they've had coughs for too long. The doctor told me their coughs could last up to two weeks but its been a month or longer. Time to see what else we can do. And before I go, I just want to say a little something to my sweet husband...

Dear Gib,

Thank you SO MUCH for being so sweet to me when I was sick and taking such good care of me. I so appreciate you taking the girls AND Buddy to your parents on Wednesday so I could rest. Thank you for making sure I had ice water to drink and frequently checking to see if I needed anything. Thank you for taking care of and entertaining the girls, cooking for them and keeping them happy and quiet. Thank you for assuming total care of Buddy (I think it was good for your bonding *wink*). Thank you for going to get Grady's stocking and the reindeer plate for Christmas morning. Thank you for making me chicken noodle soup. Thank you for going to Waffle House on Christmas Day to get me hashbrowns because I thought they sounded good. I'm so thankful to have you as my husband and love the way you loved me when I was sick!


Here are some pics from Christmas and Stone Mountain.

In front of the mountain.

Mailing letters to Santa.

Just a cute picture.

On the train freezing our hineys off.

Some pretty lights.

This is the closest we came to seeing Santa (other than the parade). The girls didn't want to wait in line to sit on his lap.

The girls opened one present on Christmas Eve from Mommy and Daddy (new pj's) and saved the rest for Christmas Day.

Christmas morning.

Christmas day.

And please pray for my dear, sweet friend, A. She had her baby yesterday but labor didn't go as planned. She ended up with an emergency c-section. Baby seems to be doing okay, praise the Lord, but her recovery is going very slowly. Thank you.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Busy. Busy. Busy.

I literally have ten minutes to write a post, so here are a few bullet points about what's going on.

*** I finished my Christmas shopping last night. I went by the Dollar Tree (my favorite dollar store, where everything is really one dollar). I was looking for some Christmas thank you cards, but instead got some reindeer antlers for Buddy and a stocking for Grady. Yes, friends, I got my most precious son in heaven a stocking from the dollar store! I've been looking for a plain white stocking and couldn't find one anywhere. I saw it and couldn't resist for the price. I'm going to take it to a local place today to see if it can be embroidered with his name.

The irony of this is that I ended up in line behind a mom and her baby. As I was standing there I couldn't help but think how everyone around was oohing and aahing over this baby and no one knew how I was hurting inside. Or who the white stocking was for. But when it was my turn to check out, the cashier told me how pretty she thought my Grady necklace was. I said thanks and couldn't help but tell her about my sweet baby boy. She probably didn't care and was probably very taken aback, but I got to talk about my baby boy, and I always love that.

*** Jessica had an awards ceremony yesterday and got five awards and a ribbon. I was certainly proud of her for her good grades and perfect attendance. But I was also thrilled when my husband walked into the gymnasium and surprised us both!

*** Today is another super busy day. Jessica has a sing along at 8:15 this morning and a party at 10:30. Emma Grace has a party at 1:15. Somewhere in there I have to wrap a few presents; deliver a present; get my paycheck; go to the bank, grocery store and the embroidery place; and get two ornaments. The girls and I are then coming home to bake some cookies for a cookie swap, ornament exchange and game night with our small group tonight.

I'm out of time. Gotta hop in the shower and wake my girls up in 15 minutes! I'll hopefully post more this weekend. Hope all of you have a great day!


Monday, December 14, 2009

A Bit of Guilt

I'm really tired tonight. I don't have much to say, but I'm feeling a bit of guilt.

I shouldn't.

But I do.

I picked up my Baby Grady journal last night to see what I had written this time a year ago. There wasn't an entry for December 13th. The entry was for December 18th.

The beginning said, "I wanted to write on your one month birthday (12/12) and your planned birthday (12/14) but I didn't. I think I was too emotionally exhausted."

My heart sank as I read those words last night.

This month is the first month since Grady went to heaven that I didn't remember his birthday on the 12th. He would have been 13 months old.

Part of me felt good about this as I know I'm making progress and moving forward. A grief counselor would probably have a hay-day with me right now.

But the mommy part of me feels really guilty for not remembering my son's important, special day. If he were here and alive, I certainly would have remembered the day he turned 13 months old.

The pain is still there. It hasn't gone away.

I think about him all the time. Every day. In everything I do. I'm amazed at how my life has changed so much. Because of one little person that I never really got to know. One whom I love so very, very much.

My eyes and heart have been opened up in so many new ways.

New and treasured friendships have been brought into my life as a result of Grady's short life here on earth.

My relationship with God has grown so much stronger, despite the distance I created with Him in the beginning. He is still a mystery to me. His ways and His thoughts. But I love Him still. And He loves me. He has carried me and will continue to carry me...that I know for sure.

I hope you know that in your heart, too.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas Card Dilemma

Oh, the simplest things can bring me so much stress these days.

In the past, I've never questioned whether or not to send out Christmas cards. I've sent out a picture card every year since Jessica was born. But this year, I'm not sure if I'm going to send them.

Not just because I don't have a good picture of the girls (I could work on that here at home), but mainly because of the cost. Last year I sent out 150 - 175 cards and announcements of Grady. I'm extremely blessed to have added so many new friends this year and that total would be close to 200! Between the cost of the cards and postage, I just don't know if I can justify spending that much money this year. It isn't something I budgeted for, but you can bet they'll be in the budget for next year!

So, tell me what you think about this...


I'm thinking about composing a Christmas letter to email to everyone for whom I have an email. Attached would be a collage of photos from this past year of our family.

Does anyone know how to make a collage of photos? If so, please email me and share your knowledge!

Then I thought I would buy a small pack of Christmas paper and print the letter, along with a few of the collages, to mail to those for whom I do not have an email.

So what do you think... Would that be tacky? Or do you think it's a good "green" idea? (for both my budget and the environment!)

Speaking of Christmas cards, I got one yesterday addressed to Gibson, Tonya, Jessica, Emma Grace and "angel boy" Grady.

That warmed and touched my heart to the core!

Off to get dressed for something called "Married Life Live Goes Christmas" at Northpoint Community Church. We're going with our small group from church. My girls are going next door to hang out with their BFF Sidney and are so excited they can't wait. Even though they aren't spending the night, bags and sleeping bags are waiting by the door. The weather is very cold here and it's supposed to start raining. Yuck! Oh well, it should still be a fun night!

Have a great rest of the weekend! Let me know what you think about my Christmas card dilemma....


Monday, December 7, 2009

Not Me!

I've always wanted to try this, so here goes. There's a first time for everything, right?

Not Me! Monday was created by MckMama to admit, and own up to, some of our imperfections and those things you certainly would never do...nope, not you!

Or me.

1. I most certainly did not use mismatched bedding on the twin bed upstairs for our guest this past week. I would never do that. I would most definitely go against what Dave Ramsey teaches and spend money that is not in our budget to buy matching bedding, just for appearance sake.

2. I did not make a mattress pad from a folded queen size sheet, and cover it with a twin sheet, because I did not have one for that mattress. That would be terrible. Our guest would certainly not be comfortable on that.

3. I am always very careful in the kitchen when I cook. I absolutely did not try to pick up an iron skillet with my bare hand after cooking cornbread in it at 450 degrees. That would be careless and just plain ridiculous.

4. I would never buy my husband a pair of fleece lounge pants for Christmas and then just give them to him. I would definitely wrap them properly and put them under the tree until Christmas day.

5. I absolutely did not leave the dishes, or my kitchen, untouched from Friday night until this afternoon. Only someone who doesn't care about the appearance of their kitchen would do that. Most definitely not me!

6. I did not spend all of Sunday afternoon snuggled up under a blanket watching episode after episode of Hoarders while my children played upstairs in the bonus room with a friend. I am much more attentive to them and would most certainly be more productive!

7. My feet never get cold. So there's no reason that on said afternoon that I heated a rice pack in the microwave, put it on my feet and tried to get them warm. Isn't that what socks are for?

8. I always follow the rules of etiquette, so I most definitely did not forget to have Emma Grace make a birthday card for her friend's present that I delivered last week. I would never forget something so important, even if Emma Grace did have the flu.

9. I did not make Emma Grace stay in the pants she spilled sweet tea all over yesterday after church. That would be mean, especially considering how cold it was here. I always keep an extra change of clothes for my children, even at ages 6 and 10, in my car. (HA!)

10. And lastly I did not take these cheesy before and after photos of myself today because I was SO excited to get my hair cut and colored. Only a goof ball would even think of doing that. Not me!

***Edited: I realized that blogger puts the first picture in a post on other people's blogs and on blogger dashboard. I could NOT have the before picture plastered all over the place. So here's the "after" picture first...

And here are the before pictures...

(See how white-headed I am? A disgrace at 37 years of age, I must say. Thank God for Casey and color!)

So there you have it! My first Not Me! Monday post. It was actually very fun! Maybe I'll do it again soon...


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Happy Belated Birthday, Gib!

Yesterday was my hubby's birthday! I wanted to post last night, but I was too tired. His best friend from high school, Stephen who lives in Vermont, is visiting with us until tomorrow. So far, praise the Lord, he hasn't gotten sick from Emma Grace and neither has anyone else!

Gib had to work yesterday, so Stephen and I went to see him. Some very nice ladies Gib works with gave him some balloons. They did this last year also.

I remember Gib's birthday so clearly last year. I still had a list of people bringing us meals after Grady went to heaven. I can't remember who brought dinner that night, but I had gotten Gib a Georgia Bulldog cookie cake. After we had cake, he got up and cut the string of a blue balloon. He got a Sharpie and started writing a message to Baby Grady on it as tears literally streamed down his cheeks. The girls (and I) have rarely seen Gib cry. Jessica was worried and said, "Daddy, you're crying". I was quick to tell her it was okay...he just missed Baby Grady. They were certainly used to seeing me cry over him. I can't remember if we all wrote a little message to Grady or not, but we went outside into the dark and cold to release the balloon. Here are a couple of pictures from his birthday last year. I'm not looking so great, but oh well. I was very much still in the throes of grief.

Yesterday, Stephen and I took the balloons home for Gib. On our way out, I went into another office to say hello to a very sweet woman who my kids call "Granny". My mom's name for them was Granny, and this lady's grandchildren must call her that too. As I was talking to Granny Wanda, I mentioned that we might release one of the balloons, probably the blue one, for Grady that evening. She kissed her fingers and placed the kiss on top of the balloon. SWEET, SWEET, SWEET!!!

We did release the balloon, and I loved that it was a dark balloon...we tracked it for a very long time once it was in the air.

I made Gib's favorite dinner of fried chicken and cornbread. We added some mashed potatoes, gravy (compliments of Stephen), roasted carrots and steamed broccoli to the meal. We finished it off with another cookie cake, this time with just the letter "G" on it.

Stephen gave him a couple of books and a cd. The girls and I gave him a new pair of Aasics running shoes. Did you know Gib works out every morning and leaves home at 4:45 to do it? Sometimes they play basketball, lift weights or just run. I wish I had that kind of motivation! That's why he's thin and I'm not!!! (But they do take Friday mornings off and have breakfast at the Waffle House...go figure!)

Gib doesn't make a big deal of his birthday, but it's important to me. I think he had a nice night. He built us a fire and was able to watch a little of his all-time favorite holiday movie, "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation".

Emma Grace decided she'd put some lipstick on for her Daddy's birthday. She might be singing "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth" because they're both loose!

And Buddy was passin' out some love, too! (By the way, Gib still isn't so sure about him!)

We went to the Christmas Parade here in our small town this afternoon. The weather was supposed to be terrible today but it turned out to be sunny and cold. I had my camera with me but this is the only picture I fingers were numb, even with gloves. I'm NOT a cold weather person!

We went to Mexican for dinner and right now my girls are roasting marshmallows in the fire with Uncle Stephen.

Good times!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Letters and Numbers and Guests, Oh My!

104 fever





A quick update from our house. Emma Grace has the flu. Pretty sure it's the swine flu. Looks like we got the girls' vaccines a little too late. It takes two weeks to build up immunity, and tomorrow will be two weeks since they were vaccinated.

Jessica was sick over Thanksgiving break. Based on her symptoms and talking to the doctor yesterday, she probably had H1N1, too. She tends to fight things off pretty well. Emma Grace is a different story, although her immune system is MUCH stronger than it used to be.

Emma Grace came home from school Monday with a fever of 101. It quickly climbed to 102, then 103. Took her to the doctor yesterday where she was diagnosed. Her fever got up to 104.3 yesterday, and she was miserable! She got two doses of Tamiflu in her and one dose today. She's feeling better, but her fever is hanging between 101 - 102. I'm not giving her any medicine to bring it down unless it gets really high. The fever needs to help fight off this virus, so we'll just wait it out and treat as needed. She slept very well last night, and I know that helps.

Gib's best friend from Vermont, Stephen, is coming tonight and will be with us until Sunday. I hope he's brave enough to face this chaos! My house is a mess, and the germs are flying everywhere! We're excited to have him, but we're hoping he leaves as well as he comes.

That's all I have time for right now. I need to get some cleaning done and the rest of the Christmas decorations put up. I have a couple of deep posts I'm working on, so stay tuned.

Stay well and God bless!


Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Gift of a Friend's Heart

Today was a great day! I spent the afternoon with one of my best friends. We chatted-it-up over some yummy Mexican food, a diet coke for me, a coke for her.

Mary Beth and I have been friends for about six years. We were in the same small group at our old church in Lilburn, GA. Our friendship has continued to grow closer, even though she has moved to Orlando and now Indiana in the last two years. I miss her being close but we manage to keep in touch. Email is the best thing ever (in my opinion!)

Her friendship reminds me of a quote I saw on a picture frame at Cracker Barrel the other night. At the top it said "Friends". At the bottom it said, "Friends are just like stars. They're always there even though you don't always see them".

So true.

And a funny thing that we revealed to each other at lunch today...when we started in that small group neither of us thought that we could ever be close friends. That cracks me up because she's one of my very best-est, closest friends!

On Grady's first birthday she sent me an email. The title of it was "If I had a blog...". Once I opened it, it said "...this is what I would write about today. You may want to read this by yourself." My curiosity got the best of me. I wasn't completely alone as Jessica was finishing homework at the kitchen table. But I wanted, and needed, to read what she had written. I could hardly read through the tears. It was one of the most touching gifts anyone could have given me.

As we talked about it today, she said she had asked several people who had similar losses what she could do for me on Grady's first birthday. They told her, "Just remember". And remember she did. I asked her today if she would mind if I shared some of what she wrote... (this symbol [...] denotes where I've deleted some of her letter)

November 12, 2009

A year ago...

It was a hot, balmy afternoon in Orlando. It was Wednesday and I was getting ready to take dinner to the church. Wednesday nights were choir nights. They boys loved it! Dinner with their friends, hand bells, puppets and singing. The parents rotated preparing dinner each time. This was my time.

Let’s see, it was probably before 2 because I don’t think Austin was home from school yet, but I don’t quite remember the exact hour. The phone rang. I looked at the caller id. A smile crept onto my face as I realized who was calling. “HEY THERE”, I said in a chipper voice. But the voice on the other end was different. A solemn “hey” came back. Immediately I knew something was wrong. “What’s wrong….Tonya, what is it…. Is everything alright with Grady?” As she tried to talk over the tears, in a small, painful voice...her response was, “It’s the worst possible thing that could happen.” In one second, my mind went in a million directions. Was he sick; did he have a disease of some sort; did he come early and was in the NICU?


“WHAT” was the first word out of my mouth.

Disbelief was the first thought in my mind. “Are you sure? Couldn’t the doctors be mistaken? Couldn’t they just have not seen the heart beat? Technology isn’t always right... Maybe there was still a chance.

Pain was my next feeling.

You see, this wasn’t just any friend of mine. This was one of my closest friends.

This was Tonya.

Tonya...who God had brought into my life about 5 years prior through a small group at church.

Tonya...who sat on my bed and helped me pump my breast milk after I gave birth to Jack...was at the hospital when I gave birth to Holly...dropped everything and came speeding to my house when I had to call 911 b/c Austin fell off the changing table.

Tonya...who I could spend hours with, just talking…. Just being me.

Tonya...who I could trust to have my very best intentions at heart, who I could vent to and make mistakes around, but who would forever love me through it all.

Tonya, was a TRUE friend of mine and when she hurt, I felt it.

I remember hanging up the phone in devastation. Falling to my knees, I began to cry... And to do the only thing I knew how to. PRAY. Not only did I pray, but I begged the Lord to not let this be true. I begged him for a miracle. I prayed that the ultrasound was wrong, that Grady was still alive, and that in a few hours, Tonya would have a C-section and all the doctors would be amazed and shocked that Grady was perfectly fine. I begged... I pleaded... I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore. I know I didn’t feel half of what Tonya was feeling at that point, but I hurt. My heart broke right there in my living room and I had a painful feeling for my friend that I had never, ever felt before.

[...] I asked Nick if we could go to Atlanta ASAP so I could be with Tonya. “Of course, we will leave first thing in the morning,” he said.

I’m not sure how many buckets my tears could have filled. But for the rest of the night I thought of my dear friend and the pain she was going through. I could not imagine. And I started questioning God. I don’t believe God makes bad things happen to us. I don’t necessarily believe there is a reason to everything either. I do believe that sin entered our world through Adam and Eve and that things happen directly or indirectly as a result of sin. God, in his infinite Glory, will allow bad things to happen but will ultimately work good through all of it. But WHY? Why Tonya. Hadn’t she already experienced so much ‘bad’ in her life. [...] Why couldn’t God have saved Grady? Why did this have to happen to Tonya, of all people. Didn’t she deserve a break?

And I found myself asking, “Why not me?” I gave birth to a perfectly healthy baby almost exactly 3 months prior. Why did I have a healthy baby? I hadn’t been through a fourth of what Tonya had been through. Why not me?

I had hope that the phone would ring and the miracle would have come true. Tonya or Gib would be calling to tell me that everything was fine. Ultrasound was wrong. Grady was here, alive and well. But as the hours ticked on, the phone never rang and I knew the worse had indeed happened.

The next morning Nick, the kids and I piled in the car and headed for Atlanta. [...] I arrived at the hospital and went to her room. There was a cloud with some rain on her door. I later learned that they put those stickers on the doors of the rooms where parents had lost their babies. The nurse stopped me before I knocked. “Are you Mary Beth?” “Yes,” I said. Well, do you mind waiting in the waiting room for a little bit. The doctor is in with her right now. [...]

I sat in the waiting room by myself for a while. [...] Finally the nurse came in and took me to her room. [...] I sat with Tonya until really late that night. We cried, we laughed (a little), she asked “Why” and I said, “I don’t know”. I don’t remember many of the details of that night, but just remember being there. I remember Tonya holding Grady and wanting me to see all his perfectly made parts. His little feet, his tiny hands, his ears. I remember he looked like Emma Grace to me. I was honored that Tonya allowed and desired for me to see her precious little angel.

I remember the nurse came in and gave her a pill to help her sleep. After she took it, I left. I talked with God the entire way home. Still asking why, but praying for my friend. Praying that she would have comfort and peace. Praying that God would be very real to her in this time. Praying that he would reveal himself to her in ways she has never known. And as I went inside my mom and dad’s house, I went straight into my room and crawled in bed with my husband. He was already somewhat asleep, but I remember him putting his arm around me as I cried myself to sleep.

Dear Tonya,
I’m writing this because I want you to know I will never forget that time. I will never forget Grady. I will never forget where I was when I heard the news. I will never forget the pain I felt for you. I didn’t have any answers or words to make the pain go away then, and I don’t have any now. But I do know that our God is bigger than all of this. And I will not let you forget that. Our questions may never be answered here on earth, but we have hope that one day we will be reunited with our loved ones... and most importantly... we will meet our Heavenly Father face to face.

May God be real to you today. May He wrap His arms around you and hold you. May He restore joy to your heart. May He give you strength to go on each day. May He continue to work through this horrible tragedy and shine light in those dark places. May He give you wisdom to plan your next step in life. May He give you a peaceful heart. May He take away your fears. And may He continue to give us all HOPE.

I love you friend.
Mary Beth

Dear Mary Beth,
Thank you so much for sharing your heart with me on Grady's first birthday. It is a true gift. One that I cherish and don't take for granted. We've shared our hearts with each other before, but these words touched me to the core. Thank you for not listening to my request for 'no visitors'. Thank you for packing up your family and coming anyway. I needed you there. Thank you for taking the time out of your super busy day with your four little ones to write this to me. Thank you for walking with me this last year and always. Thank you for your prayers, support and listening ears. Your friendship is a gift and blessing beyond words in my life. I wish we lived closer, but I love the fact that we pick up right where we left off. It was wonderful to finally get to meet Trey today and see all of your beautiful family again. I love, love, love you sweet friend!!!


Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday and Cracker Barrel

I survived Black Friday! This year was the first time I've ever gotten up in the middle of the night to shop the day after Thanksgiving. I got up at 3am and left home, coffee in hand, by 3:30.

My first stop was the mall. Sears had down comforters, any size, for $19.99. I couldn't find them, and when I asked, I was told that only the 'bigger' stores got those in their shipment. Bummer.

So off to Kohl's I went. I found exactly what I was looking for, and even a little extra, but then stood in line for one hour. It was one of the longest hours of my life. I was sandwiched between two former coworkers(not mine, each other). The one behind me was pregnant with her first baby, due in June. The one in front of me, with good reason, was ecstatic for her. get the idea.

That was all I heard about. That and the fact that the woman in front of me had daughters, granddaughters, 13 nieces and not one nephew. She had no idea how she would shop for a boy because she had never had to. neither.

They were very nice, but I was ready to check out and move on.

I had mentioned (to the woman behind me, the pregnant one) that I really wanted to get there early to get gifts for my girls' teachers. Later in our conversation she asked me how old my girls were. Luckily she didn't ask me how many children I had, boys or girls, etc. Because I would have been really stuck with my answer. I wouldn't have wanted to deny Grady and not acknowledge him, but I also didn't want to have to tell her what happened to him out of respect for her, being pregnant and all.

Thank you Lord for that blessing today.

From Kohl's I headed to Target. I didn't spend as much time there, but I did see a man almost come out of the passenger window because another car wouldn't let his car in front of him. And this was leaving the parking lot, not coming in!

From there I struck out at Academy Sports and Old Navy. But I did buy myself some new comfy purple house slippers. Jessica is trying to steal them, but I'm not gonna let her. But I will share, you know.

I'm glad I ventured out because I do feel like I saved a good bit of money. Even though I'm not a shopper, it was kind of fun. I'm even considering doing it again next year!

I came home by 9am and was ready for a rest. I tried to nap and dozed off and on. I got up around 11am to find Jessica a bit puny and very glassy-eyed. She had a fever of 102. That was a bummer because we had tickets to the Nutcracker for a 2pm show. Needless to say we stayed home. She did take a short nap, but she still hasn't felt well all day.


Gib and Jessica decided to throw the football yesterday afternoon before going to dinner. It was cold! (at least to us southerners!)

We had a great time last night. The food was great, sweet tea was perfect and our waitress even let me substitute my pumpkin pie for pecan pie and the girls got chocolate pecan pie. Yummy!

We looked around the gift shop after dinner. These three decided they wanted to start their own band right there in the middle of the store. Too funny! Be sure not to miss the tambourine in Gib's hand...

We came home and enjoyed The Polar Express in our pj's in front of a fire. It was sooooo nice and relaxing! We took these pictures before getting in our pj's - I know you're glad!

I was trying to get a cute picture of me and the girls with Buddy, but he wanted to attack me instead. (If you look hard enough, you can see the top of his head between my legs. I was holding him down for the picture)


I'm looking forward to tomorrow. I'm having lunch with my friend, Mary Beth, who is in town from Indiana. I've been looking forward to seeing her for a long time. I haven't seen her in quite a while, and it's always great to spend time with her. Our visit this year will be much different from last year's Thanksgiving visit.

Instead of her visiting me with her new baby and meeting Grady, she came alone, brought a meal for my family and sat and cried with me. As I recall she also stopped by McDonald's and brought me a diet coke and some french fries. They sounded good that particular day. She knew I wasn't eating and brought me what she thought I would eat. This year (tomorrow) we're planning to have our usual, Mexican. Can't wait!

That's all for tonight!


Thursday, November 26, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you're having a great day, however and with whomever you're spending it. Our day started by Gib bringing the Christmas tree and decorations down from the attic. Early...around 9am. I wasn't even done with my coffee. So we dove in, head first, to get the tree up and decorated.

I have to brag on my hubby for a minute. I'm the light 'putter-upper' and I'm not very fond of this job. However, Gib would simply put one strand around each branch and be done. Hence, the reason I've always had this responsibility. So, this year as Gib was putting each layer of branches on, he said, "Do you want to go ahead and put the lights on as we go?"

Well, some of you might say "DUH", and if so, go ahead. But this idea has NEVER crossed our minds before. We always put the whole tree up, then I tackle the lights. This was a great idea and was much easier, but it allowed me to place them more carefully, and I ran out of lights. So, two trips to the store later for more lights, the tree is complete. Decorations and all. Now we have to get the rest of the decorations in place. Feels good to have such an early start!

Your jaw might drop when you read this, but Thanksgiving has never been that big of a deal to me. I don't have really great memories that stand out on this family holiday. That holiday is Christmas for me. There was one Thanksgiving that I drove to Cleveland, TN to spend it with some friends. (As I recall that was the first Thanksgiving that my mom and step dad were married). And until recently, Gib and I have always spent Thanksgiving with his family and Christmas with mine. Somehow over the last few years, all of that has changed and we've spent the past couple of years with my brother and his family.

But last year, we changed it up again. We decided to do our own thing. Grady had just gone to heaven. I didn't want to be around anyone. I didn't want anyone walking on eggshells around me, not knowing what to say. I wanted to avoid the HUGE ELEPHANT in the room. Because, believe me, it was ever-present everywhere I went. So, Gib, the girls, and myself went to Cracker Barrel for dinner (GREAT deal!) and then went to Lake Lanier for their Nights of Lights. In light of how broken I was, we had an extremely good time. We played at the carnival after driving through the lights. We all rode on our first ferris wheel together and the girls had a grand time on some of the 'rides'.

As I was watching the world moving on, even though mine had stopped two weeks before, enjoying myself as much as I could, I wanted to stop everyone and tell them about Grady. I wanted to scream, "Don't you want to know about what just happened to my baby?!" I did not do either, but after all, it had only been two weeks...

Here are a few pictures of Thanksgiving last year...

Thanksgiving is not unfolding as I planned this year. We were going to go to Cracker Barrel for lunch and then head to Stone Mountain, GA for A Stone Mountain Christmas. Good thing I double-checked because they're not open today! For some reason I was thinking today was Nov. 27th. Oops!

We thought about doing the same thing we did last year, but then decided we'd rather save our money and still do A Stone Mountain Christmas soon. So, we're going to Cracker Barrel in a bit for dinner, then coming home to build a fire, make some hot chocolate, put on our pj's and watch The Polar Express. Sounds GREEEAAAT to me! And the girls think so, too!

Plus, I need to get in bed early because I'm braving Black Friday for the very first time ever! I'm planning on getting up early and hitting the stores. Gib says I should practice my boxing skills. I would if I had any! Instead I'll just go with the flow...

So, even though this particular holiday has never been *tops* on my list, I do love to take time and reflect on the many things for which I'm thankful. Here are just a few...

I'm very thankful and praise God for my beautiful children. Jessica and Emma Grace are the lights of my life. They bring joy and happiness beyond words. They make me laugh, each with their unique sense of humor. I love to hug, squeeze, kiss and cuddle them. I'm thankful that they both still let me do that. This, of course, includes my beautiful Grady, too. I'm thankful that I carried him for 9 months and felt him grow inside of me. I'm thankful that I had him with me for that time and for two days after he was born. Even though his life was much shorter than I hoped, he brought me much happiness. Thoughts of him and dreams we had for him aren't going to come true, but they still bring me happiness. I'm thankful for my "wondering thoughts". God has used Grady's life, both here and in heaven, to teach me so many things.

I'm thankful for my husband. He drives me crazy sometimes, but isn't that what spouses do? I'm thankful that he's a hard worker and good provider for our family. I'm thankful for his patience with me and his understanding of my quirkiness. I'm thankful that he's forgiving of my faults and loves me when I'm not so lovable. I'd be lost without him.

I'm thankful for time. Time has been such a gift to me, especially this last year. There is a saying that "time is the best healer". I am by no means completely healed from the loss of Grady. But I've made tremendous progress throughout this past year, and my prayer is that God will continue to heal my heart as time goes on.

I'm thankful for decisions that have been made, big and small.

I'm thankful for my friends, both old and new. They have truly been my rock and support. I'd be lost without them!

I'm thankful for our health. And I'm thankful that we can afford great supplements to help keep us healthy.

I'm thankful for our home, food, clothes, van and car.

I'm thankful for Buddy. He has brought lots of laughs and love into our home in the short time that we've had him.

I'm thankful for the conveniences in our lives that we, all too often, take for granted. Things like hot water, dishwashers, stove, washer and dryer, high-speed internet, telephones, cell phones, television, hair dryer, flat iron, etc.

But most of all, I'm thankful for Jesus. I'm thankful that God sent his son in human form to live on earth. I'm thankful for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and what each of those represent. That he paid the debt of our sin on that cross so that we are forgiven and have eternal life. All we have to do is believe in Him.

And last but not least, I'm thankful for HOPE. The HOPE we have in Jesus and eternal life through Him in heaven. I've leaned on HIM and that HOPE super hard this last year. And I'm so thankful for it. Because without it, I'd have nothing.

Yes, I'm thankful this Thanksgiving. What are you thankful for?