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, January 25, 2010

A Quick Hello

I can't believe it has been almost two weeks since I last posted!

Here are just a few tidbits of our lives lately...

*The girls pooled some of their old gift cards together and bought Band Hero for the Wii. I'm not sure who has had more fun, Jessica the guitarist or Gib the drummer!

*My vacuum blew up a week or so before Christmas. Literally blew up, complete with smoke, terrible smell and a black pile of who knows what on the carpet. After much research, we took the plunge and bought an Oreck. It is my Valentine's, Mother's Day, birthday, and maybe even my Christmas present this year. But I love it, and I've really enjoyed vacuuming my house, which is something I NEVER thought I would say! Even Gib enjoys it, which is a definite perk!

*I've been busy trying to clean out closets and get a little more organized. I've tackled the closets in our room, Emma Grace's room and Jessica's room. Grady's closet is going to have to wait. His cards and such need to be packed away as they are on his changer, but I'm not so sure about the clothes, diapers and that Baby Einstein entertainment center that Gib put together and threw away the box that it came in (remember this post?). Maybe they will get used one day...

*Our small group added four more couples last night. That makes eight couples and about 14 children. Gone are the days of bringing our children with us. An every Sunday evening babysitter is in order for us!

*Jessica and I went to see "The Tooth Fairy" Saturday with one of her friends from school and her mom. It was a really cute movie, and it was nice to spend some one-on-one time with my sweet Jessi Bear.

*I really am struggling with how to organize my pictures. I can't keep all these pictures on my memory card (I keep buying new memory cards when they get full). I literally have over 1,000 pictures to develop from last year. Uggh. I've thought about using Snapfish or Shutterfly, and I don't want to take up so much space by having all of them on my computer. Any suggestions as to how you do it? It's really stressing me out!

*I'm SUPER EXCITED about tomorrow! Lord willing, my blog friend (now IRL friend), Sara, is coming for the night with her five children on her way back to Oklahoma . My other blog-friend-turned-real-life-friend, Ebe, is coming over, too. Whoopee! Should be LOTS of fun!

*I enjoyed a great visit with my Aunt Helen and Uncle Thomas last week. We had been trying to get together since Christmas, and it finally happened. Aunt Helen brought some stuff to show me how to crochet. I really want to learn to crochet baby blankets to donate to the hospital for angel babies like Grady. I treasure my blanket that Grady was photographed with and swaddled in. I would love to pay it forward. It will take some time, though. It seems a little harder than I thought! We love to hear Uncle Thomas play our piano, but it seems we have a dead note. The piano was silent this visit.

*It has become a huge challenge to bathe Buddy now that the weather is cold. We don't have a hand-held sprayer in either of our showers, so we plop him in the bathtub. It's really hard to get him good and clean, not to mention keep him in the tub. He's over 60 lbs, so Gib's help is a must! A bath is on the agenda for tonight, and I'm not so much looking forward to it.

*Yesterday, one year ago, was the day we had Grady's service. I want to post about the details that I have yet to blog about (there is a label on my left side-bar called "Grady's Service" if you are interested in reading what I've written so far). I'm not so sure they will be very interesting to you, but I want them documented for my family to remember.

That's all I have time for this morning. Hope all of you are doing well!


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I Saw Him and His Hands

I saw him again tonight.

And his hands.

They will always be precious to me.

Almost sacred.

His name is Mitch.

He works at the funeral home here in our small town. He was amazingly wonderful when my mom passed away but was even more so with Grady.

You see, he was the one Gib and I met with the Monday after I came home from the hospital. We had not yet decided whether to bury or cremate sweet Grady's earthly body. As we met and made our decision, through my tears, hot and flowing, I asked one thing of Mitch.

"Mitch, before you cremate him would you please tell him one more time that his Mommy and Daddy love him?"

With a reassuring nod, he said, "I sure will."

And I know he did. Because he told me so.

But you may be wondering, "What in the world does this have to do with his hands?"

A short time later, I went back to the funeral home to take care of some other business, and it struck me. Driving down the long funeral home drive, it hit me that he was the last one to have his hands on my baby boy. His big strong hands unwrapped the blanket that Grady was swaddled in. Undressed my baby from his blue gown with the lion on the front. Took his diaper off. Removed the hospital cap from his head. Told him that his Mommy and Daddy loved him. And gently placed his perfect little baby boy self into the crematory.

Boy, this is hard to write. Here come the tears. Unexpectedly.

His hands will always hold high regard with me. They will always be special and sacred to me.

I know Grady is in God's hands now. And I know that Grady was in God's hands the day he was cremated. But Mitch was the last one to touch my baby boy. To touch the flesh that grew inside of me. The body that I held and loved and stroked and kissed. The body that I still remember and still miss and still love today.

I was reminded of that again tonight when I saw him and needed to share it with you.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Culture Shock & Birthday Wishes

Gib's dad celebrated his 70th birthday yesterday, January 10th.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD! (or Pops as my girls affectionately call him)

They had a party at their house Saturday night for some of their friends, and we tagged along. I wanted to get him a blow-up walker as a gag gift. So off to the mall we went.

To Spencer.

Have you been in a Spencer store lately?

Well, I had not been in one for at least 15 years. And let me tell you, I was in a bit of shock.

We walked in as a family of four, and Gib kindly escorted the girls back out the front door very soon after stepping inside.

I couldn't believe my eyes. Spencer used to just have gag gifts and fun items for parties.

Not anymore.

After searching the store, I couldn't find what I was looking for. I felt a bit like an idiot going up to the sales person asking for a blow-up walker since the store clearly markets for a younger, different clientele with very different interests/desires. To my surprise, tucked away in a corner, they had one along with a blow-up bedside commode. I got the walker, paid for it, and quickly walked out the door to meet up with my family.

To say that I experienced a bit of culture shock would be a definite understatement. I really wasn't prepared for the changes in that store...but now I know.

Jessica surprised us all by hobbling into the party with the walker saying, "I'm supposed to be here for a party", walking and sounding like an elderly woman. The room of 70-somethings erupted into laughter.

Ahhh, the little things that make us proud!

Let me clarify the Pops is not elderly by any means. He is very much the handy man and handles their large farm with many animals just fine. Well, maybe with a few aches and pains, but he manages very well. I am blessed to have had this man in my life as a father-figure for the past 20 years.



Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What To Blog About?

I'm sure you've noticed, but I haven't blogged much since before Christmas. Problem is, I feel like I've lost my blog voice. I think about blogging and then think, "What will I write about?" Don't worry, it probably won't take this girl who loves to talk long to get back in the swing of things. This is the first blogging slump I've faced, and I don't much like it. I really enjoy blogging. I love connecting with all of you. I love sharing my feelings. I love writing to create memories for my family.

I'm sure there are lots of things I could blog about. Like how I recently discovered that I was terribly misunderstood by many of my family members after Grady went to heaven. That has stirred up lots of feelings in me, and will be a very controversial post to come, for sure. But I don't feel like going into it today.

I could blog about how I HATE the cold weather. I stay cold in the winter, and it doesn't help that right now we're having a huge cold snap here in the south. It also doesn't make it any more pleasant that we don't have a fenced back yard for Buddy, so I have to take him out in what feels like sub-zero temps for him to do his business early in the morning. And of course, yesterday, the coldest morning of the year, he was more interested in trying to chase leaves and pull me down than pooping. He was NOT on my happy list!

Or I could tell you about the wonderful time the girls and I had with my Aunt Juanita and Uncle Lawrence on Monday. (We picked blueberries at their house, remember?) She made a feast for lunch and then we sat in front of the wood-burning stove listening to stories of long ago.

I'm sure you'd want to know that my dinner plans fell to pieces last night, starting with the fact that my chicken wouldn't fit in the crock pot Monday night. I was going to cook it all day yesterday and make some white chicken chili. But I had to buy a roasting pan after work yesterday. I put it in the oven and thought for sure it would be done. But after cooking for almost three hours, the juices were way too pink. Plan B...Salmon patties. Problem was, after Gib opened the cans (with NO bones I must add) and I went to make them, I had no eggs. My sweet friend next door, Nicole, came to the rescue. (Thank you!) But it just wasn't as good as the chicken chili I planned AND we didn't eat until almost 7:30. Uggh.

We're hoping for snow tomorrow afternoon, but typically when they forecast it, we don't get it. We'll see what happens, but I have two girls who are REALLY hoping for some!

Before I go, a couple of pictures just for fun.

Gib was trying to relax in front of the fire. Buddy wanted to snuggle, too. But if you look closely, Gib has the vinegar-water bottle, hand-on-trigger, in his left hand. Thankfully, he didn't have to squirt Buddy...he behaved himself very nicely.

And look at what my girls did.

They were supposed to be "playing" in the playroom. Instead, they took ALL of their stuffed animals and covered ALL of the stairs with them. I had to help with that clean-up. It would have taken them all night!

Guess I found something to blog about today. Nothing of true significance, but something nonetheless.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

How did you spend New Year's Eve?

For the past three years, we've spent it with our friends and neighbors, but the party went on without us last night. Nicole has started a blog so hop over here to say hi.

We took Jessica to an overnight party that she really wanted to go to. She has made some amazing new friends this year, and I didn't want to deny her the opportunity to have fun with them outside of school. I missed having her with us, but believe me, I heard from her A LOT! She had a blast and didn't go to bed until about 5:30 this morning. She took a nap today, and I joined her.


Here she is before going. She is beautiful, isn't she?

Gib, Emma Grace and I went to dinner and stayed home. I wanted Johnny's pizza; Emma Grace wanted mexican. Who do you think won? Yep...Emma Grace! We came home, I painted her fingernails and we snuggled up on my bed to watch "Tinkerbell and The Lost Treasure". Gib watched football (can we say enough already?!) and we were all happy. This may not be your idea of a fun New Year's Eve, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Emma Grace kicked Daddy out of his own bed and continued the sleepover with me.

Gib never takes pictures but showed up with the camera. My apologies in my pj's, glasses and no makeup! (and of course, my Baby Grady blanket!)

I couldn't help but reflect on our New Year's Eve from last year, 2008. I knew Christmas was going to be hard without Grady, and I had prepared myself as much as I could emotionally. I did not, however, expect New Year's to be so hard. We went next door and just going was a challenge. I got there and told Nicole that I might not be able to stay. In my mind, I should have been home with my six week old baby, not at a party. I made it, but at midnight, I was overcome with emotion. I hugged and kissed my husband and two girls, told them Happy New Year and fled to the bathroom. Bawling my eyes out. I felt like I was saying goodbye all over again to Grady. 2008 had been a year all about him. Finding out in March I was pregnant with him. Delivering him in November. It was Grady's year, and it didn't turn out the way we hoped.

I didn't want it to be a new year. I wanted to start that year over again. Redo it and have a different outcome.

Seeing as how that just wasn't an option, I plunged into 2009 and did the best that I could. It held many "firsts" which I'm thankful to be past. At the same time, it makes me sad because that simply means more time has passed since I held my baby boy. I know people think I could have done better. But those are the ones who haven't experienced the unspeakable loss of a baby or child. Who have not been in my shoes. Some did a great job of meeting me where I was. Some tried to speed me along. Some have simply disappeared which makes me very sad. But the Lord has used my blog to bring some amazing people into my life in 2009 who, unfortunately, do understand my loss and grief that continues even today.

We were very blessed in 2009 with our love for one another, good health and plenty of happiness mixed in with the sad. But I'm hopeful and prayerful that 2010 is going to be even better. A great year for our family. A year of new beginnings. A time of change that, hopefully, will be good. A time of reflection and meeting the challenge to deepen my relationship with the Lord, trusting Him and seeking His will. Striving to be a better mom each day. Using my time more wisely. Spending more time with those who really mean the most to me.

I'm trying not to make any resolutions this year because I always let myself down by not keeping them. In addition to the above, I do want to get my house better organized and keep it that way. I don't have a cleaning schedule and desperately need to create one. The problem is that I've created them before, but then I don't stick with it. My social life, including my blog, tends to get in the way of housework, so I think some priorities need a little shift this year.

And before I go, Emma Grace lost her second front tooth today. It was a bit crooked and needed to come out, don't you think? This was earlier today.

Just before her shower, Daddy yanked it out.

I have to say that I'm very impressed with Daddy as he is very squeamish when it comes to loose teeth and this is the second one he has pulled during this break. Maybe he needs some new excitement in his life, huh?

Happy New Year to you, my faithful and wonderful readers!!!