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.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Little Things

The little things in my life seem to be mounting to big ones.

I'm trying real hard not to let them get to me.

But they are.

Wanna know some of them?

Probably not, but I'm going to share with you anyway. You can stop reading here if you want.

I love Buddy and he's very cute, but it's going to cost us a lot of money to train him properly. The local trainer I've been emailing called me today, and we talked for over an hour. Sweet lady who really knows her stuff, but our issues might be bigger than anticipated. This is money that that we don't really have to put toward our dog and didn't anticipate spending. However, I hate to give up on him. She was encouraging and told me not to blame myself. He has potential to be a great dog. It's just not going to be easy.

Story of my life lately.

And I do blame myself.

Seems like everything I try lately fails...

Grady died. Inside of me. That's a terrible thing to live with day in and day out.

I can't keep up with the housework and daily chores that I need to get done.

Laundry keeps mounting no matter how frequently I wash.

I cook dinner and no one likes what I make. Mainly the girls, and this is fresh on my mind because I tried a new dish tonight, and the girls weren't crazy about it. You say, "What's the big deal about that? So what if they didn't like it?" Well, we hardly EVER go out for dinner. It saves SO much money to eat at home. I like to try new things, and they end up being a flop. I get tired of eating the same things over and over again.


I only work two mornings a week until 12 noon, but it seems that I don't have time to get anything done. Where does my time go? And I haven't been spending much time on the computer lately, and I certainly don't lounge on the sofa watching tv. I tend to wander aimlessly around the house trying to find little things to do.

I don't like to be home because I'm very lonely. When I'm home alone during the day, all I think about is Grady and how wonderful it would be to have him here to love on and keep me company. Therefore, I try to keep myself busy, but that comes back to bite me because my house and chores get neglected.

I have so many projects that I want to work on, but I don't have the money or motivation to get started.

I want to exercise so I will feel better about myself and feel better physically, but I have no motivation to get my butt moving.

The thought to pack up Grady's room crosses my mind daily, but I don't have the energy to set it in motion and actually do it.

Helping Jessica with her homework lately has been a very stressful and a trying time for me. I don't want it to be this way, but she is not very receptive to me helping and/or correcting her. This is why I truly admire all of you wonderful mothers who home school your children.

Sitting in the carpool line for an hour everyday is about to put me over the edge. Emma Grace doesn't want to ride the bus home. Maybe I should make her, but I'm not ready to take that step yet.

Forget about contemplating BIG decisions in life, like whether or not to try for another baby, because I can't even get a grip on the little things. Shoot, it seems that I can't even take care of what I already have on my plate!

Gib was very frustrated tonight when I told him about my talk with the dog trainer.

I broke down into tears.

There are many days that I feel like life would just be easier if I got a full-time job. I feel like the duties at home would then be split 50-50, and I would at least feel like I had accomplished something with my time. However, with the way things are right now, I'd probably fail at that, too.

I'm trying to raise money for my breast cancer walk in October, and it's not going as well as I would like. If you're reading this and have donated, THANK YOU! I'm absolutely terrible at asking people for money, especially these days with times as hard as they are for so many people.

My stepfather's health is not good at all. He is very strapped financially and is not very educated on how to eat properly. Nor does he have the money to buy really healthy foods. I'm praying that I will be able to help him plan some budget-friendly meals and get some of his health concerns turned around. I love him so much! He took great care of my mother and loved her with all his heart. My girls love their "Papa Roy". He may not be "blood" related, but he is that and more in my heart.

I'm stressing about the next two weeks with my PTO obligations. I have to be at Jessica's school at 6am to help get ready for Muffins with Mom and Donuts with Dad. Gib leaves home at 4:45am, so I will have to get the girls up to go with me. It's only for 6 days, but still...


Well, I guess that's enough for tonight. I know this is Satan trying to pull me down, but I'm having a real hard time fighting him!


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Quick Hello

I feel like I've been missing from blog-land and neglecting my blog. This isn't really true, though. It's just that I'm not sure where my time goes. I'm certainly busy and don't have much down time but not much time has been devoted to my blog lately. I'm amazed at how McMama finds time to blog so frequently with her MSC (many small children).

A lot of my time lately has been devoted to Buddy. "Good 'ole Buddy boy" has been having some behavior problems. I emailed a local trainer who seems to think he's having some dominance issues, biting me at certain times, etc. It has not been pleasant, and if I'm honest, I've been very disheartened. The reason we chose this breed (Golden Retriever) is because of the many wonderful things we'd heard about them. I think our Buddy is an exception. He was one of the most calm puppies from the litter. I'm not sure what happened, but I do partly blame myself. I've never been aggressive with him, but I'm sure I've done something wrong the last few weeks. We have another appointment with the vet on Monday for a check-up. I'm very anxious to "pick" her brain about this.

I've got some books from the dog whisperer, Ceasar Milan, that I'm going to read. I'm also considering doggie daycare for him once in a while. I can't do it often because it's expensive, but it's a better deal than having the trainer come to my house. We'll see. I really love him already, but he can't behave this way. This is definitely NOT puppy biting, showing me his teeth and gums... Emma Grace won't come near him because he "nipped" the inside of her thigh one day, and Jessica is very apprehensive, too. Hopefully I can work on getting these behavior problems under control, otherwise the trainer said they can progress to be much worse later. She already referred to them as "severe in nature" as they are now.


I'm working on a post about my visit with Jenn last Wednesday. It was a wonderful time. In many ways I felt like I had gone "home". Hopefully I'll get it up in the next couple of days.

I thought tomorrow would be a semi-uneventful day, but it's turning into one of the busiest days of the week so far. It's all stuff that I have to do, too.

Jessica is enjoying softball. She impressed the coaches last night with her hand-eye coordination, but she also got hit for the first time. The ball whacked her in the knee. It has been sore, but she's okay.

I got a really good deal on some bedding this weekend. I can't wait to post about that and show some pictures. I do LOVE a good deal! I'll just tell you that I got a 20-piece bedding set, brown and blue, for $116 that normally retails for $389!


I could keep writing, but I really want to read some of these dog books before my eyes get too heavy to keep them open. I'm gonna do my best to post more frequently. Because I do LOVE to talk and I always have LOTS to say! I'm just thrilled that someone wants to hear read about it!


Friday, August 21, 2009


That's all I can say.

Last week at Abby's service, I introduced myself to the new pastor of the church. His name is Michael. I work there at the preschool, and I've heard GREAT things about him. During the service he talked about butterflies. Some live only 48 hours, some 9 days, some longer. But, I've seen a lot of butterflies lately. Every time I see one, I think of Grady.

I introduced myself to Michael and asked him again what he said about the butterflies. I told him briefly about Grady and the butterflies, etc. He immediately dove into the deep questions. Didn't gloss over anything. Didn't dismiss me and try to move on. Seemed genuinely interested.

It really touched my heart that he took the time to listen and ask questions about my experience. He wanted to know about my grief and healing thus far, what I was doing to help me through, and so forth. I explained that even though I wasn't an official member of his church, they had made me feel like I was. They took me in, brought me meals and loved on me and my family as if we attended church there every Sunday.

I walked away from that conversation with Michael feeling a sense of "Wow!" I had just met him but he had immediately connected with me at the heart level. I felt inclined to write him a note and tell him how much I enjoyed our conversation, how much I appreciated his time and what a gift he had to truly minister to others. I also included an announcement of Grady, just 'cuz I thought he might enjoy seeing our beautiful baby boy.

I never expected anything in return, but another "Wow!" came yesterday. While I was at work, he walked down to the preschool to see the children and gave me a note. I didn't read it until I got in the car, and I'm SO glad! Because (this will NOT surprise you!), I cried.

It touched me so much that I'm going to share with you what he said. I don't think he would mind.

"Thank you for sharing Grady with me. His card has been sitting on my desk. It's difficult for me to put it away.

Most mother's carry their children full term and give birth. Us men never know or understand the bond you establish with the life that moves and grows within you. We watch with amazement as your bodies carry the extra weight and then push new life into the world with great pain, sometimes swearing you'll never do it again, only to somehow forget the pain, and go through it again for the joy of another child.

You carried Grady to full term and were then robbed of his life. I cannot imagine your grief, or that of Gibson, or your girls. It occurred to me that in many ways you will always carry Grady within you, within your heart and your dreams. While I believe that to be true, I hope your grief will not always be as deep and as biting as it is now. It hasn't even been a year.

I looked at the calendar. November 12 is a Thursday. That's a day you are scheduled to work. That will be a difficult day. Anticipate it. I can't tell you how to plan that day, but you will know.

Just as you will always carry Grady within you, never forgetting him, always holding him close in some way, trust that God has not and will not forget him either, or you. If a sparrow does not fall to the earth without His notice, how much more did He notice when Grady's life ceased. Continue to trust Him, even as you question Him."


He even took the time to look on the calendar to see what day November 12th was. He took the time to write me this beautiful note with these kind, encouraging words that I so badly needed. What a gift and blessing!

Maybe something he wrote to me will touch you today, too!


Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Oh, what a night! And afternoon! And evening!

Emma Grace has had one of those days. She was so tired she really should have gone to bed when she got home from school. And she does go to bed early. School just wears her out!

I was supposed to meet my friend Jenn, the one from high school who lives in Florida that I haven't seen in 10 years, tonight. But her schedule was so crazy trying to get from one place to another, we just decided it would be best for us to meet in the morning. God knew what He was doing when He orchestrated that this afternoon. I can't imagine how frazzled Gib would be right now.

Just to give you an idea...

It started at 4:30. Emma Grace wanted a tattoo on her arm. No problem. Go get a wet washcloth and we'll put it on. Only she didn't want to get the washcloth and threw the tattoo at me.

Uh-oh. Not a good choice!

Lost that privilege. I heard about it for the next two hours.


6:30...dinner is done and she's in the bath.

7:00...we're getting ready for her bedtime activity, which she chose to be her letter wheel from school. It's way too easy for her, but maybe that's why she likes it.

7:30...telling everyone goodnight and in the bed.

8:30...still awake.

8:45...crying for me to lay with her. (She and Jessica have been going to sleep by themselves since school has worked out great until now!)

After several checks on her, talks with her, sip of water, one more trip to the bathroom, kissing and telling everything from her toes to her head to "go to sleep"...yeah, I was trying to use a little distraction and humor. She was giggling and I thought I had it solved. I just knew she was off to sleep.


9:15...SCREAMING for me or Daddy (after several more tries to calm her). I'm sitting here on the computer, I see the flash of Gib going down the hall. I hear voices and see him come back.


9:32...Ahhhh, she's now sleeping!

I don't know what Gib said to her, but it worked!

Poor thing. She will be EXHAUSTED in the morning. We have "Muffins with Mom" that starts at 6:30am. We will NOT be there that early, but we will be there right at 7.

Emma Grace loves school so much, and I'm SO glad! Here's what she told me when she got in the car Friday...

"Mommy, school is so much fun that me and Caroline (her friend) want to move in to the gym and sleep there and stay at school all the time!"

A great thing indeed!


Jessica will officially start softball this week. She will have practice three nights a week, starting this Thursday. Her first game isn't until September 12th. She's excited but a bit apprehensive, too.

She seems to be having a great start to this school year. She has brought home some really great grades and seems to be having a good time. Well, as good and fun of a time as you can have in 5th grade! She misses her teachers from last year, but who wouldn't? I miss them, too!!! They had a great rapport with the children and made learning fun. They really were great...I know neither of us will ever forget them!

I just have to tell you what a great afternoon I had with Jessica today. It may not seem like much to you, but it was very special to my momma heart. Jessica is more affectionate with me than she is with Gib. She has always been a momma's girl. But lately, she doesn't snuggle as much. I still get good cuddling at bedtime when we're reading or talking, but today was different.

We finished her homework, and Emma Grace wanted to do some of her letter wheel. Emma Grace was on one side and Jessica the other. Jessica snuggled her shoulder under my arm, head on my chest/shoulder and just stayed there. And I soaked in every second of it. She's growing up so fast. I'm proud, but it makes me sad too.


I worked this morning, then had a great (but short) visit from Aunt Barbara and her husband Jim. They were coming to Jefferson and came by to see Buddy (and me, too). They LOVE dogs and had to bring him a treat. Not just one, but half of a bag! They brought some pig ears they found at Costco. Let me just tell you, Buddy was all over it! He thought he was in puppy heaven!

Aunt Barbara got to see Grady's room. It was a special treat to be able to share it with her. She's the one who made the beautiful bear for him, which still sits in his crib.


That's about all I have for tonight. I have so much to write about. Don't I always? It'll come...

Hopefully I'll have some pictures of my visit with Jenn to post tomorrow. I am SO excited to see her again and get a big hug from her.

Oh, I forgot to add how much of a nightmare traffic was this morning because we left three minutes later than normal because Buddy was biting me as I was trying to get him in his crate. And how as I was waiting in the long line to cross the street to Emma Grace's school, I looked down in my van to find that I still had my flip-flops on which completely did NOT match what I was wearing to work. Because believe me, if they had even remotely gone with my outfit I would not have come back home to change shoes. Which would have kept me away from the absolute grid-lock in the library parking lot trying to avoid the horribly long car pool line so Emma Grace wouldn't be late for school and me late for work. And how a sweet friend of mine got Emma Grace out of the car (because there were no parking places for me), got the kids across the street, and her second-grader walked Emma Grace into school. But you really didn't need to know all of that, did you?

Ahhh, it's finally bedtime for me, too! Have a great night!


Sunday, August 16, 2009


That's what I'm ready for. Some sunshine in my life.

I have two beautiful girls and a wonderful husband, all of whom light up my life every day. But lately, I've felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. I'm ready to feel light, carefree, and truly happy again.

I always have been, and still am, a firm believer that life is about choices. You can choose to sulk and dwell on things, or you can pick yourself up and find the best in what's thrown at you. I've been stuck somewhere in between...

These past two weeks have been particularly tough for me. If you've read my last three posts, then you know all about that. (Just scroll down from here if you're interested).

I attended a memorial service Thursday evening for a little girl who would turn two years old today. 9 months ago, she was diagnosed with AML, a type of leukemia. She fought a hard fight, but the cancer won. She has an older sister who is three, and my heart breaks for all of them.

I don't know the road they've traveled. But I do know how hard my journey of grief has been, and still is, with Grady. Losing a child is horrible, and I'm not sure it's fair to "compare" losses. But, I can only imagine how hard it is for them, having that sweet little girl in their arms for two years. Watching her go through more pain than many adults will ever experience. If they come to your mind, would you please pray for them?

Our new church times start today, and we're going to try to make the 9:15 service. Jessica's small group leader is going to be at that one, and she really likes her. It's going to be a challenge getting everyone up, ready and out the door that early!

Jessica had softball evaluations yesterday. I wasn't feeling well, so Gib took her. She hit 4 out of 6 balls, which I thought was great considering she's never played before. We find out which team she is on and when her practices will be tomorrow night.

Emma Grace learned how to ride her bike yesterday without training wheels! YAY! Friday night she asked Gib to take them off. He did. After a few tries, she was ready for them to go back on. Well, it was time for dinner, bath and bed. She literally cried for about 30 minutes Friday night to have them put on again.

Yesterday, she was outside with Jessica and Sidney. They helped her a little more and she got the hang of it. This was her showing off for me in the backyard last night...

I'll leave you with a few pictures of Buddy. He is growing fast! He is sweet but definitely ALL puppy!

He loves to be outside in the wet grass early in the morning. So, Friday morning, I thought he would enjoy being outside with a big ole stick. So, I fetched him one and put him safely outside in this contraption my in-laws brought us to use. The only problem was that instead of gnawing on his stick, he decided it would be much more fun to dig a hole in the backyard. You can't tell from this picture, but he was FILTHY!!!

That afternoon, I was rinsing a few things to put in the recycling bin. I thought Buddy might have some *supervised* fun with this yogurt container. And fun he did have! So much so, that he flattened it and didn't want to give it up. He growled at me when I tried to take it, and we had to trick him with a treat for him to give it up. The girls and I had some great laughs watching him.

Have a great Sunday!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

9 Months Ago

Well, I wasn't going to blog tonight. It's a bit stormy here. The power flashed earlier which automatically turned off the computer (just as I was about to show Jessica some pictures of a bear near our friend's house in Dahlonega, GA!) The computer was off. Everyone was in bed (but me, of course!). I was reading "The Good Grief Club" for the second time, and the urge to blog hit me.

So, here I am.

It's 9:49pm according to my microwave and computer. About 45 minutes and 9 months ago, I started to be somewhat concerned about Grady. I was helping Jessica study for a test, getting her in bed and Grady hadn't moved since before dinner. I was concerned, but not enough to call the doctor. I thought he was sleeping. Jessica pushed on my tummy and talked to him, but nothing followed.

I can't help but wonder if things would be different if I had called Dr. Joe then? My gut tells me no. I truly believe he was already gone. But, my mind wanders and plays all kinds of evil tricks on me.

I simply can't believe tomorrow will be 9 months since I learned he died. 9 months since he entered this world. 9 months since I touched his soft skin. 9 months since I first held him in my arms.

I can't help but wonder what he would be doing now. 9 months is such a monumental age to me. Some start crawling, pulling up, walking, eating more foods. The list could go on.

To make matters worse, the dates and days of the week align just as they did in November. Today is Tuesday the 11th...he died on Tuesday, November 11th. Tomorrow is Wednesday the 12th, the day it was confirmed he died and was born into this world, 9months ago on Wednesday, November 12th, beautiful and still. See what I mean?

You may think it silly, but us grieving mommies think of and pay attention to these details. It has a huge impact on me. I can't dismiss it. I can't ignore it. It doesn't just go away if I don't think about it. Because the truth is, I think about it all the time. I can't help it.

As much as I blog about how I'm having a hard time with losing Grady (because I am!), I want to make myself clear to everyone who reads my blog...

I absolutely HATE how our story turned out!

I SO wish it had turned out differently...with a happy ending!

...with a beautiful Baby Grady in my arms as part of my daily life to hold, kiss, nurse, play with, comfort, feed, bathe, diaper, and love on as much as I could!

BUT, please don't be mistaken.

I trust in God's sovereign plan for our lives.

I know that as hard as it is for me..."He works all things together for our good".

There IS good in all of this.

It's very hard, but I've seen some of it already.

I'm sure there's more to come.

I miss Grady with every ounce of my being.

But, I would do it all over again. Even if it meant he would die. Because I got to know him. And love him.

And, I WILL see him again in heaven thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for our salvation and the eternal life we have in Him. (John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life".)

I rest in that.

It is the only thing that brings peace to my my broken, grieving heart.

I rest in the HOPE of heaven...and eternity with my son.

Grady never sinned. Because of God's love for us and the sacrifice of his son's life, Grady had a direct entrance into heaven.

It brings me great comfort that Grady went straight from the warmth and love of my womb...straight into the warm, loving arms of Jesus.

As much as I would love to have him in my arms, I know he's in the best place he could be.

And the best part...

I'll be there one day too!


Sunday, August 9, 2009


This post doesn't have an official title. I simply don't know what to call it. I'm happy. I'm sad. My emotions are all over the place tonight. I've waited too late to post. I'm tired and really just want to go to sleep. But, at the same time, I really need to blog. This is such a great outlet for me and my feelings...all of them. The good, the bad and the ugly!

Why am I all over the place emotionally tonight?

Well, first of all, for all of my female readers (which I think are all of you except for my hubby) I'm VERY "PMS-ish". That isn't a real word, but I just made it one.

We had a great day at church, eating lunch at the Varsity and running errands afterwards. However, we didn't get home until 3pm. My brother was already here to watch the girls for us to go back to church for our Dave Ramsey class. I SO didn't want to go. I was tired and really wanted to just change clothes and veg-out at home. But I went. And I'm glad I did. We were home only about 15 minutes before we left again.

So...I'm tired, grumpy, head-achy, worn out, thinking about Grady more than normal today, really just wishing for a reprieve from this VERY blessed, yet difficult, life I'm living right now.

Gib got a call this evening from his brother that they had their baby boy today.

First of all, let me say a BIG, GENUINE CONGRATULATIONS to them. They have a little girl who is two and now a baby boy. I'm so happy that the baby is healthy and mom is too. From what I heard from Gib, and (no offense honey) you know how men are with details, she had some bleeding this morning and 911 had to be called. They delivered the baby today one week before scheduled, and as far as I know, mom and baby are doing well.

This might not make any sense to some of you, and you might never read my blog again because you think I'm such a terrible person. This might make perfect sense to others. But, as happy as I am for them, I'm human. I can't help it. It's very hard for me to admit. But...

I'm jealous.

Ugghhh. I said it. It's something that I feel very often. But it's so hard to admit, confess and own up to. I hate it. I hate this feeling. But, it's the honest-to-goodness truth.

I'm jealous.

Whether I like it. Whether I hate it. Whether you think I'm terrible or accept me as human with faults just like anyone else. I can't help it. I'm working on it. I'm praying about it. I'm trying to climb over this mountain of despair, loneliness and jealousy that I encounter in situations like these. But, let me tell you how high a mountain it is to climb. It's not easy friends. You cannot imagine what it's like unless you've been there...

I imagine their excitement. I imagine how wonderful it is to hold their baby boy in their arms. I imagine the already deep, deep love they feel for this little one. I imagine how many congratulations and well wishes they will receive and well deserve.

But, at the same time, I can't help but think how differently it turned out for me.

Instead of excitement, I felt (and still feel at times) like the biggest failure of a person that ever lived. The one thing I was supposed to do was keep my baby healthy, alive and well inside of me, and I couldn't do it. He died. Instead of bringing life into this world, I brought death. An unimaginable feeling...

Instead of holding a live, squirming, crying baby, I held a still baby boy who I willed to wake up. Move. Make a sound. And nothing came.

I had the same deep, deep love for Grady, and I still do. But, I have to love him in my heart only. Not in my arms, with cuddles and kisses. And from a very far distance.

Instead of getting sweet cards of congratulations, I got cards of sympathy. Each one sent was special to me. But to be honest, one day, the thought crossed my mind to throw all of them in the trash because it just wasn't fair. It wasn't right. That a time in my life that should have been so happy had turned into one of the longest, darkest tunnels I've ever traveled. I just wanted things to be different. Fortunately, I didn't act on my immature impulse, and I still have them all.

For the record, this is not the first time I've felt this way. I feel this way every time a new baby is born. And the truth is...

I just wish our story had the same happy ending.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Oh Me

Good Saturday morning! Or good *whatever day you read this* morning, afternoon, or night.

Do you ever say something like "Oh Me" with a big sigh after a long day? Like when you recline in your favorite chair or stretch out on your sofa or bed?

Well, that's what I'm saying about this past week. It was long and filled with lots of emotions, adjustments, changes, struggles, etc.

Oh Me.

I tried to keep myself busy with both girls being in school all day. I worked Tuesday and Thursday mornings and kept the other days as full as possible, while also being fair to Buddy and his need to eliminate, you know.

I had a difficult, but much needed, conversation with the mom of the baby who is the exact age Grady would be. I will spare you all of the details leading up to the conversation, but let's just say that I was already choking back tears Tuesday morning at work. She was trying to get bags of school supplies out of her van, while holding the baby, too. She had already made two trips into the school and I felt so bad. After all, I am the *helper* at the preschool, so I decided that I needed to get over myself and help her.

I walked outside and said, "Here, let me help you". She had the baby on her hip, facing outward, reaching into the van. She said, "Would it be too insensitive or do you want to hold him?"

I broke into tears and told her that I couldn't.

It broke my heart.

He is such a beautiful baby boy, and part of me did really want to scoop him up.

But I couldn't.

Oh me.

We moved inside the preschool and continued to talk. I found out that her due date with him was November 28th, not December 5th like me. I also mustered up the courage to ask her exactly when he was born...

Because I just needed to know. You know?

He was born November 21st. Grady was born November 12th. (But he was scheduled to be born November 14th via c-section)

Oh me. Oh, my breaking heart.

As we were talking, both with tears in our eyes, I learned that she had avoided me with the baby at the preschool last year. She was doing her best to spare my feelings. I so appreciated that. (And I had avoided her, too. To spare my own feelings) She wanted to talk to me at the end of the school year last year, but the time was never right, as I was always with or talking to someone else. She had written me a card but never gave it to me, not knowing if that would make it better or worse.

I explained how hard it was for me to see her baby because he is as close as I think I'll get to seeing what I'm missing in my arms and daily life. I told her about my blog and that I've written about her family and how I'm hoping that seeing him regularly will help my healing. She offered to do whatever she could to help.

The whole time we were talking, the baby was grabbing for her earring, smiling at me, laying his head on her shoulder and she was stroking his precious head.

Oh me.

We hugged twice, and I put my arm around his back and my hand on his little shoulder. He felt so sweet and loveable, even with that small touch...

There is also a sweet, beautiful boy named Grady at the preschool. He is precious (and so is his family) and from what I hear, he loves for me to get him out of the car in the mornings. Well, I'm the one in the car pool line on Tuesday and Thursday. Tuesday morning, he drove up. I don't know why, but it tore my heart out to open the door, and with a big *genuine* smile, say "Good morning Grady. How are you today?" His blonde hair and beautiful smile flashing back at me.

Hard. Another dose of reality. Knowing I will never hear someone say that to my Grady in the car pool line. Knowing that I will never say it to him myself.

But the funny thing is...I want to get him out of the car.

That was just a hard day, and Thursday was hard, too. The reality of my life was very clear.

Back at work. Alone in the office. No baby kicking me like when I was there last year. No baby at home to take care of.

Our sermon last Sunday about forgiveness and reconciliation has also weighed me down. More to come on that.

I have a family get-together today. My Aunt Juanita (with whom I picked blueberries) is turning 70 on Monday, and we have a surprise birthday party for her this afternoon. I am so happy to celebrate with her, but I'm also very anxious for various reasons. Seems like nothing can be easy...

But, I want to leave you on a happy note. The girls had a GREAT first week of school. Jessica did very well and seems to like her classmates and teacher. Emma Grace had SO much fun. So much, in fact, that she told me going to school was more fun than being at home. Well, I'm glad she feels that way since she will spend so much time there.

I'm also very excited because this evening we are going back to the first church we joined after we were married. They are having their 50th anniversary celebration and we're going to celebrate with them. I'm looking forward to seeing some of our friends from our *newly married* Sunday school class. We have great memories of them and that church. Should be great fun!

I hope that all of you have a great weekend with your family and friends!


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

First Day of School 2009

Well, I survived the first day of school (and so did the girls)! I know it was two days ago, but I've been so busy that I haven't had a chance to blog about it until now. It was hard, fun, emotional, exciting and probably lots of other emotions that I can't put into words. Fortunately, Gib was home with me all day. We had a nice breakfast at Cracker Barrel after we delivered the girls to their appropriate destinations.

We walked both girls to their classrooms. Jessica's school starts before Emma Grace's so we went to her room first. Because traffic is so bad around the schools, we walked from Jessica's school to Emma Grace's. That was my favorite part of the morning. I loved holding her little hand in mine while she talked our ears off. She was so excited, but very apprehensive once we got to her classroom. She went in and ended up having a GREAT day!

I made them cinnamon rolls for their first day as a special treat.

Of course, we had to have a photo shoot before we ever left home.

Both girls on our way to Jessica's class.

Jessica in her classroom.

Walking to Emma Grace's school.

Emma Grace and Daddy walking to her class.

Emma Grace and her sweet, sweet teacher.

I have a lot on my heart and a lot to blog about, but that's all I have time for now. I would love for you to pray for me and my work.....


Sunday, August 2, 2009


I have a post that I want to write about soon. It is heavy on my heart tonight, but I'm just not up to putting it all into words.

So, instead, I'll tell you, AGAIN, how much I LOVE our church!!! It took us three years after we moved here before we found a good fit for our family. We knew about this church, but it was a little farther than we wanted to drive. It's only about 25 minutes, which isn't very far, but we really wanted something closer.

After Grady died, and I was so mad at God, I told Gib that I really needed to be back in church. We decided the first Sunday of 2009 that we would make the drive and try it. We didn't miss a Sunday until last month. Jessica and Emma Grace absolutely LOVE going.

We always get so much out of the message. It's fun, upbeat and casual. We meet in the theatre of a conference center, so it's not your typical church/sanctuary environment, which is A-okay with me. It isn't about what you wear or where you worship, it's about your heart and your love for the Lord that's important!

I'm not sure what your views are on church, as they are many and different. I have never really cared about the denomination of the church that I attend. It is important to me that it is a Bible-based church where the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is proclaimed and shared. It needs to be a church committed to "leading people in a growing relationship with Jesus Christ" which is exactly the mission statement of our church.

I want to share how the service opened today.

We have a band that truly "rocks out". This morning, the music started with the Bryan Adams song, "Summer of '69". Strange? Maybe. But, the title of the sermon was "My Summer Vacation". Not long after the band started singing, a few people walked out on stage and started throwing out blown-up beach balls. We were all punching these beach balls trying to keep them in the air. Everyone was having a blast! Gib and I couldn't help but laugh out loud when a beach ball hit an unknowing young woman in the back of the head near the front. I know some of you will read this and say, "Whoa, that's going a little too far in church, isn't it?" I think not. What a fun way to get people fired up, awake and excited about worship! What a way to make "un-churched" people feel a little more relaxed and welcome! After that song, we all stood, greeted one another and began our praise and worship songs.

I love the relaxed, up-beat atmosphere of our church. But, what I love more is that every Sunday I walk away with a new perspective or new insight into God's word. A new and different look into the way He wants, and even expects, me to live my life as a Christian. The messages aren't "in your face", but rather, how to better apply God's word and live it out in my daily life.

The message today has stirred some things deep within me. Things that I try to shove aside, but they keep coming up again. Is the Lord trying to tell me something? I think so! To sum it up, Andy Stanley spoke about his trip to Africa. Doesn't seem like much, but it was great. He taught about forgiveness and reconciliation and read II Corinthians 5:17-19..."Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation." God expects us to reconcile with others, even if we aren't in the wrong. WHOA. That's hard for me. That's what I really wanted to post about tonight and will soon...

I was going to put the link to the sermon in this post, but I just checked and it's not available yet to be watched. I'll post it when it's up.

Off to bed. School starts tomorrow, so it's an early start for us after a long, very wonderfully, lazy summer.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Southern Favorite

I was eating breakfast this morning, and thought I'd like to share a southern favorite of mine with all of you. I was born and raised in GA and probably eat some very weird combinations of foods that you would never think of. For instance, a Christmas morning favorite of mine is biscuits with homemade chocolate syrup. YUM! YUM!

One of my favorite bloggers, Kelly, was shocked that everyone didn't know what okra was. To be honest, I was, too! I grew up eating fried okra with fried chicken, fried corn, stewed squash and homemade cornbread. Anything fried was a regular on our table for dinner. I did not adopt these cooking habits for my family, but I do admit that about 2-3 times a year, I splurge and fry some chicken. That's one thing I DID learn to make from my mom. That and her cornbread.

Unfortunately, I did not master her homemade biscuits. I tried a couple of times, but just couldn't get the right combination of flour, buttermilk and lard. Yes, lard. Unhealthy, but SUPER YUMMO! One of my favorite breakfasts to have in the summer is a hot biscuit with a tomato slice. This morning was the first time that we've had it this year. It was SO GOOD!

Since I don't know how to make homemade biscuits like my mom, I now rely on Mary B's Buttermilk Biscuits in the frozen food section. They're not exactly like my mom's, but they're the closest I've found.

Bake them.

Slice up some HOMEGROWN tomatoes. They MUST be homegrown because the flavor of a homegrown tomato is MUCH better and very different from a store bought one. Don't forget a little salt and pepper!

Put together and ENJOY!

This may not look like a great combination to you, but my mom used to say, "Don't knock it 'till you try it!"