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!