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.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy 11th Birthday Jessica!

Today, my sweet firstborn turned eleven years old! It's so hard to believe that much time has passed since she first entered this world. I wish I could put some bricks on her head and make her stop growing so fast!

I think she has had a good birthday. At least it seems that she has. We haven't planned her actual party yet, but it will be in the next couple of weeks. She wants to have a slumber party which would be a first in our house. Not sure I'm ready for that...

The girls slept until about 9am, and Jessica jumped all over the idea of McDonald's for breakfast. She had her favorite Sausage McGriddle, which I might add she has only had twice before! We spent a couple of hours at the pool with our great friends and next door neighbors. Sidney, BFF from next door, came over a little after 3pm for a sleepover. Jessica chose Chick-fil-A for her birthday dinner, complete with a cookies and cream milkshake for dessert. But this was after we sang to her and had a tiny, tiny bite of cookie cake before leaving for dinner. After dinner, we headed to Krispy Kreme to get fresh donuts for breakfast in the morning.

Jessica got new bedding for her birthday, white with bright polka dots, and her bed is all made. She is so excited but not ready to crawl in and curl up yet. It's still too early! :)

I'll post pictures tomorrow, but I wanted to wish my sweet girl a Happy Birthday.

Dear Jessica,

You will never know the joy you have brought into my life the past 11 years. You are such a kind, beautiful, sweet-spirited girl. I hate that you're growing so fast, but it is an honor and privilege to be your Momma. I remember so clearly when you were born and the first time I held you in my arms. You are, and always will be, my "only one" and I'm so thankful for the blessing of you in my life.

I love so many things about you that I can't even count them. Just a few that jump into my mind are that you still let me sing you those silly songs every morning as we drive into the school parking lot. I made them up when you were in first grade...we'll see how much longer you'll let me sing to you! I love that you're not ashamed to let me hug and kiss you in front of your friends...I will savor that as long as I can! I love the nights when we have pillow talk before you go to sleep. I love how you open up to me and share things that are on your heart, just me and you. I love your emerging sense of humor. I love the rabbit move of your nose and mouth when we're talking and you're trying not to smile. I love how you often see beyond yourself and step in to help me when you know I need it, especially on crazy hectic mornings before school when I'm running behind. I love to hear you pray, even though you don't like to do it often. I love to watch you be kind and "motherly" at times with Emma Grace and to other little ones you encounter. I can't wait to see you interact with your baby're going to be a GREAT big sister to him, just like I know you would have been to Grady. I love that you picked my Mother's Day gift out ALL BY YOURSELF! It's beautiful, and I love wearing it every day.

I love you SO much sweet infinity and back! I hope you've had a great birthday! I've so enjoyed spending it with you!

Hugs and Kisses!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Just Think Positive

If I've heard those words once, I feel like I've heard them 1,000 times. And honestly, they drive me crazy. Grate my nerves. Get under my skin.

And I've grown to hate them.

I'm sure that everyone in my real life feels like they walk on egg shells around me, and I hate that, too. People try to say the right thing, and I appreciate their effort. I really do. I usually smile and say, "I'm trying".

"You just have to think positive!"

Those words encompass so much for me.

I've debated for a few days as to whether to delve into this post or not, but I'm going for it. These are simply my may agree or not and that's okay. Just as the same is true about everything else on this here blog of mine.

The majority of the time, when I project the slightest bit of doubt as to the outcome of this pregnancy, I get one of two responses:

1. "Don't say that."

2. "You have to think positive."

So begins my internal rebuttal...

Why not say that?

It has been my reality in the past. I'm saying what's on my mind. Just because I say it does not mean it will happen. If I don't say it, that also does not mean that it won't happen. Just because I express my thoughts doesn't mean they will come to fruition. And if I keep it inside, those thoughts and feelings don't just disappear. They're always there. The excitement mixed with fear and anxiety of what could be...

But we are waiting for the outcome, and that's all we can do. Living one day at a time. We cling to the hope that everything is going to be fine, and we will have a beautiful baby in our arms to bring home in August. We pray fervently for God's will but let our hearts' desires be known to Him. But only He knows. And we rest in that for now. It's hard, but it's all we've got.

On to the second point.

What does thinking positively have to do with the outcome of this pregnancy?

I believe with 100% of my being that one should not live life seeing the glass as always half empty. If we live in such a negative state all the time, it can certainly affect our health and our relationships with those around us. When this happens, that person cannot experience happiness, often has no hope, sees everything as why even try to engage in life?

I do engage and feel happiness and have hope.

But letting negative thoughts creep into my mind, or allowing them to dwell there for a while, is NOT going to determine if this baby lives or dies. I don't believe that one bit.

Dumplin's days are already numbered, just as yours and mine are. Only God knows.

Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV)says,

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in that secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

I clung to this verse right after Emma Grace was born so prematurely. This verse brought me comfort after Grady went to heaven. And this verse still rings true with me today.


Positive thoughts. Negative thoughts. Crazy, off-the-wall thoughts. They really don't matter. They don't determine this baby's life or death.

And there's one more reason that I so profoundly dislike this statement. To me, it implies that I didn't think positively with Grady.

Would positive thoughts have kept him alive?


Because, believe me, if they could, he would be here today, alive and well. I prayed for him every single day. I daydreamed and thought of bringing him home. Nursing him, rocking him, loving him, bathing him, changing his diapers, spending long nights awake with just me and him, watching him sleep, and experiencing, in general, what a little boy would be like. I thought of all the new things we would get to do with a boy. I thought of how I wouldn't hold back all the many kisses that I love to give my children just because he was a boy and I didn't want to make him too feminine.

I thought plenty of positive thoughts during my pregnancy with Grady. They didn't change the outcome. His days were already numbered.

And I don't believe for one second that the feelings/fears that I openly express or the endless positive thoughts that I could think will change God's will for this baby's life, either.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tidbits from T

Lots of thoughts and ideas floating around in my brain, but this is all you get today...

~~~Summer is officially here for the girls and I! Their last day of school was Friday, and my last day of work was yesterday.

Jessica had an awards ceremony last Thursday. She got two awards for good grades and one for perfect attendance.

Friday was a day filled with end-of-the-year parties and bittersweet goodbyes.

Emma Grace with her teacher. (We were sad that her para pro wasn't at the party - she was with her own little kindergartner - so we didn't get a picture with her)

Emma Grace and her BFF from school, Caroline.

Jessica and her teachers.

Jessica had a sleep over next door that night, and Emma Grace wanted to do the "Cupid Shuffle". Here are she and her Daddy having fun.

I danced with them a little, but it was short lived. Emma Grace took this picture of me on the sofa afterward. I was petting Buddy who loves to lay next to me.

I couldn't help but take a picture of this, too. Emma Grace positioned her ties and said, "Look Mommy, I'm the cross with Jesus' cloth on me".

~~~I have only taken the girls to the pool once so far...the water is still very cold. The weather is heating up, but it's not scorching hot yet like it should be for the pool. I know I'll have to take them again sometime this week, and soon we will make daily trips, much to my dismay. It's great entertainment for them, but I just hate lugging everything to the pool, planning around meals and figuring out snacks, and of course, in my large state, I do not at all enjoy being in a bathing suit. Not to mention that I'm not allowed in the pool water, so it gets quite hot for me!

~~~Speaking of bathing suits, I found something that will work this summer. I don't love it, but it will work. I was able to find some skirted bottoms at Target, and a top at Motherhood. I'm so thankful they make separates because there is quite a bit of difference in the sizes I need to suit my oddly-shaped body, even when I'm not pregnant.

~~~We all watched the finale of "The Biggest Loser" last night. All of us except Emma Grace. She fell asleep on my tummy.

I won't spoil it for any of you who may have recorded it, but I was SO proud of the winner. It has to be one of my favorite shows. The contestants are SO inspiring, and it just proves that the right amount of exercise and good nutrition really are all you need to lose weight. I'm not at all saying losing weight is easy, but it's very do-able when you set your mind to it.

~~~Jessica is turning 11 this Friday. I can't believe it! It seems like just yesterday she was born. She hasn't planned her party yet. All we know so far is that her BFF, Sidney, is spending the night and her choice for dinner is Chick-fil-A. It's her absolute favorite.

She so badly wants a cell phone. It's driving me crazy! My brother gave her one for Christmas a few years ago that you can add minutes to. We've bought more minutes but can't get them on the phone. I'm extremely frustrated. I absolutely hate the pressure of this age group to have a cell phone. I absolutely do not believe that kids this age need one, but there are kids much younger than her who have them. She told me the other day that she is the only one of her friends at school who does not have one and she gets teased because of it. I really wanted to tell her that true friends wouldn't tease her about that, but at this age, I don't believe that to be a very accurate statement. They still have lots of growing up to do. This strikes close to my heart because I used to get teased about my clothes as a child. My mom made most of my clothes, and I didn't fit in. We're stuck and trying to decide what to do.

~~~I'm 26 weeks today. Overall, things have been better since my last post. I've had a couple of bad days, but thankfully most of them have been good. I try to get off of my feet every day, and the girls are good about letting me rest. It depends on the day, though, as to how long my rest time is.

~~~We decided not to head to the beach this weekend. I appreciate all of your emails with suggestions, but we decided it best to stay close to home, just to be safe. We also looked at our finances, and with the lap top, software and video camera that Gib has to buy for school, along with tuition, we really didn't have much extra for a vacation. Hopefully next summer!

We aren't doing anything extra special this weekend for Memorial Day. We will cook out with our small group and maybe take a trip to the mountains for the day if the weather is nice. I can't really hike, though, so I'm not 100% sure about that!

~~~I have more to say, but I'm out of time for now. I want to upload some pictures and that always takes me forever. Speaking of, here are a couple of recent ones of Buddy.

Hope you have a GREAT day!!!


Thursday, May 20, 2010

25 Weeks. Emotional Wreck.

I turned 25 weeks yesterday, and I'm so thankful I already had an appointment scheduled. I just didn't feel well yesterday. But on the way to the doctor I started having lots of pressure *down there*. I have frequent heaviness in my lower abdomen because of how low I'm carrying him, but it's way too early to be having pressure my friends.

But maybe not.

At least not for me.


My FFN test came back negative again, which was great. This is a test that has an 80% accuracy rate in predicting whether one will go into preterm labor or have a premature rupture of membranes (water breaking) within the next two weeks. I don't have total faith in the test, though, because unfortunately I know a sweet family who fell into the 20% group where it was wrong. The outcome of her pregnancy was not good. I will forever have that little bit of doubt in my mind about the FFN test...

Dr. Joe took a look at my cervix as he always does, and we could see Dumplin's hiney. Maybe my uterus just didn't like his hiney being there yesterday...sort of like it didn't like his head being there Friday. He thinks the pressure is just coming from the fact that it's my fourth may just be something I have to deal with. The good news is that it my cervix was long and thick which is just the way we want it to stay.

I've also been having terrible headaches. I don't have one as of yet today, but they've been bad. My blood pressure was normal to low. He attributed the headaches to my blood pressure and hormones. I think they're also from the fact that I don't get much sleep. The pain in my right leg often wakes me up and keeps me up.

Who knows!?!

But I know this...I was an emotional wreck yesterday.

Literally. Seriously. A wreck.

When everything checked out with my exam, I told Dr. Joe that I was having a hard time with symptoms and when to worry about them. He said a little bit of worry all the time was good, so that I didn't dismiss anything. But he went on to say he thought I was worrying a little too much right now.

It's hard.

Very hard.

And he could see that on my face. When he stood to leave, he walked over to give me a hug and told me to hang in there. The tears really started to flow...

You know how when you're having a bad day and someone does or says something kind, that's when you lose it. That was that moment for me yesterday.

I cried off and on all day yesterday. This is such an emotional time in pregnancy for me because Emma Grace was born tomorrow at 25 weeks and 2 days. I don't think the same is going to happen with Dumplin' but it does bring about a slew of emotions. I had a hard time at this point in my pregnancy with Grady, too.

But, I feel like I hit a wall yesterday. Pregnancy thus far has been hard emotionally. Just being pregnant again in general. Thinking so much about Grady and my pregnancy with him. Knowing that if he had lived I would not be pregnant with Dumplin' because he was definitely going to be our last.

But as far as emotions go, I don't think it's going to get better. In fact, I think it's going to get worse the further along I get. It's very hard to put what I'm feeling into words.

I want SO badly for Dumplin' to live. I have 11 weeks to go still. I know first-hand how much can happen during that time, both personally and through friends. It may sound like I'm only focusing on the negative aspects of pregnancy. If it does, then it does. Because I'm not. The risks and negative twists have been reality for me before. Just because certain things happened before does not mean they will happen again. But it also doesn't mean that they won't...

People can encourage me till they're blue in the face. And I need that to an extent. But honestly, too much cheerfulness and optimism makes me crazy. And mad. Because I also need for people to realize and try to understand what it's like to be in my shoes. Having lived through the worst. Having almost lived through the worst twice.

We made this decision to try again. We don't regret it for one second. We already love Dumplin' and my family is SO VERY HOPEFUL that he will join us as a living, breathing member of our family.

I am NOT having a pity party for myself. I just need to vent what I'm feeling. And it's not all good. At least not all the time. There ARE happy times. But in some ways I'm dealing with certain aspects of grief all over again, along with fear and anxiety and worry.

Dr. Joe told me as he was leaving to "Just Pray." I told him "I do." He said, "A Lot!" I told him "I do." And I know LOTS of you out there are praying for me, too. And that just means the world to me. In my opinion, it truly is the greatest gift you can give someone.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart!


I tried to take a few pictures of myself yesterday but they didn't turn out too good. So I'm not going to post them. But I'm still big. Measuring 31cm at 25 weeks. Yes, I went from being 30cm on Friday to 31cm on Wednesday. And I gained TWO MORE POUNDS! Uggh. I had my one hour glucose test yesterday, and I'm really hoping I passed it. I had to do the three hour with Jessica and it was awful! Don't want to go down that road again...

I'll keep you posted.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Goofy Picture

If you read my post from yesterday...YES, I got my ICEE after my hair appointment. A cherry one. (If you didn't read that post, just scroll down one post and there it is)

And it was DELICIOUS!

Have a great day!


Monday, May 17, 2010


Click on the button above to visit MckMama's blog and learn more about NOT ME Monday!

*I did NOT just finish off a second (rather large) bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal for breakfast. I make much better choices for breakfast. And I do NOT feel overly-stuffed and miserable as I type this morning...

*I did NOT get extremely angry last night in the deli department at the grocery store. And I most certainly did NOT ask to see the manager at customer service because I was so mad. I'm much more docile than that and just let things roll off my back...

*I did NOT get extremely anxious at Target yesterday when Gib and Jessica started looking at strollers and car seats for Dumplin'. I did NOT want to turn and run the other way. And I did NOT firmly proclaim that if we buy one before he is born, we will absolutely keep it in the box and save the receipt until after he is here...

*I did NOT break down and buy a maternity support belt this past week. I did NOT dread going into the maternity store, and once I was there, I definitely did NOT want to turn right around and leave. I did NOT get disgusted at myself trying on maternity swimsuits and it did NOT put me in a foul mood the rest of the day. I also did NOT snap at the cashier when I told her why I didn't want to be on the mailing lists. I did NOT feel terribly guilty and did NOT then start asking her about her current pregnancy.

*I did NOT make time the last two weeks (when the girls were not around) to catch up on the eight episodes of Grey's Anatomy that I had DVR'd. I do NOT watch that type of smut on television. And I definitely did NOT cry at something in every. single. episode. NOT ME!

*I did NOT rest on Friday afternoon and did NOT fall asleep! (I never usually sleep during the day) I did NOT tell both girls to play or read quietly in their rooms. When I woke up, Jessica did NOT come in to my room and tell me that I needed to come see what they (she and Emma Grace) had done. To my very surprised eyes, I did NOT sleep through them rearranging Jessica's room...the two of them did NOT move Jessica's full-size, solid wood, sleigh bed from one wall to another...and her reading chair...and her nightstand...and her lamp. My children would never disobey me like that. Under those circumstances, I was NOT proud of them and NOT thankful that they didn't hurt themselves!

*I do NOT plan to get an ICEE after I get my hair done later this morning! I have NOT been craving them, and I did NOT stop someone with an ICEE cup the other day to ask them where in the world they got one around here. I do NOT have fond memories of getting one every time I would go to Kmart with my parents as a child. My taste buds are NOT in overdrive just thinking about it!

*I did NOT just about knock over a woman walking up the aisle leaving church yesterday. My balance is great, and I would NEVER bump into someone so hard that it would make them lose their balance. Fortunately there were chairs for her to catch herself on...I was NOT embarrassed at all!!!

*Speaking of church, I did NOT question if we were really in church yesterday. After our praise and worship band rocked out (literally), we did NOT have a spunky young woman sing Jordin Sparks' song called Battlefield. Her performance did NOT bring down the house when she was finished, and it did NOT set the mood for our sermon on marriage yesterday. Our church is NOT cool that way!

*I was NOT proud of my girls while shopping yesterday. Jessica desperately needed some shorts and shirts that fit her, and of course I had to buy Emma Grace at least one outfit. They started looking at bathing suits but we already had enough items to take all of our clothes budget for this month. They did NOT surprise me and happily oblige when I told them we had to wait for swimsuits until after Daddy gets paid the end of this month and our clothes budget gets more money. My heart did NOT beam with delight that they are learning the importance of spending only what we have and being content with that.


Thanks for reading all of my NOT ME's. Hope you have a wonderful day!


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Tidbits from T

I'm not sure if you enjoy them, but I enjoy writing my tidbits. They allow me to share what's been going on without having to write a bunch of different posts...

~~~I realized this morning how very far behind on my blog I am. I'm trying to document special times for our family so that when I have my blog turned into a book, those moments will be included. I still have not posted pictures or told about Emma Grace's 7th birthday, nor have I shared about our spring break or Mother's Day this year. I will get it done...better late than never, I guess!

~~~I had a little scare with Dumplin' yesterday and made an impromptu visit to Dr. Joe. I had cramping and contractions yesterday morning. Not braxton-hicks. Real contractions. Fortunately my cervix looked fine, the contractions stopped and I haven't had more since. He did another FFN test, and I'm going back for my regular appointment Wednesday. At least Dumplin' has been active, so I haven't had that to worry about on top of the contractions. The other good news is that I only measured 30cm again, and I'm 24 weeks. Hopefully this huge gap is going to start closing so I can look a little more normal for where I'm at in my pregnancy.

Needless to say my anxiety level has been out the roof, and my mind has been wandering like crazy. I'm trying to cling to Isaiah 26:3, "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you." (Except I change it to 'me' and 'I' to make it more personal.) And another verse, Philippians 4:7, "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

It is hard for me to grasp the thought of holding a healthy, living baby boy in my arms after all that has happened. Praying he stays put and grows well. Is healthy. And born alive.

12 more weeks...

~~~My calendar is doing me absolutely NO GOOD in helping me remember birthdays. Forget the fact that they are highlighted and everything...I've missed every birthday on my calendar the last few months. I feel terrible! This past week I missed a very special someone who is like a mom to me. And last month I missed my aunt and uncle's birthday along with one of my BFF's, Mary Beth.


~~~We don't have much planned this weekend other than church and small group on Sunday. Gib is working today, AGAIN. Poor guy left every morning this week between 4:30-5am and didn't get home before 8-9pm every night (except for Monday...he did make it home for Jessica's last game). This afternoon I'm looking forward to going to Dairy Queen with my friend Amy Ellen. We haven't been able to really hang out and chat since her baby was born in December. And to make the time sweeter, a blizzard is calling my name! I think I'll try Butterfinger this time instead of Reese's.

~~~I made a little progress in cleaning this week. I got half of my bedroom done. I want to get a basket to put books in that Gib and I are waiting to read. Our nightstands and dressers are cluttered with them and the bookshelves in our family room have no extra space. But I have managed to keep my island cleaned off which is no small feat. It is the catch-all for everything! I'm hoping to get my room finished today, but I have four containers of maternity clothes to put away and/or return. I'm so thankful for the loaned items because I made a trip to Motherhood this past week which was a disaster. It deserves its own post...

~~~The girls are entering their last week of school. And a busy one it will be! On top of normal life and getting ready for end-of-the-year parties and gifts for teachers, I have a hair appointment (PTL!), a doctor's appointment, a PTO meeting, an awards ceremony for Jessica and two days of work. Makes me tired to think about it all!

~~~And I can't forget to mention that I won a copy of Angie Smith's book, "I Will Carry You" from Kelly at Sufficient Grace!!! You don't know how excited I was when I found out! Angie's blog and her faith through Audrey Caroline's death completely changed my perspective on Grady's stillbirth. One of the few things that I learned from her...she helped me see that it was a priviledge to be chosen by God to carry him and fulfull his purpose on this earth even if for a short time. I can't wait to read her book. Thanks so much Kelly!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

18 months

18 months.

A year and a half.

18 months since the words, "I don't see a heartbeat either" changed my life forever.

18 months since I held this precious boy for the first time.

It's hard for me to believe that 18 months have passed. Time is a weird thing. On one hand, it seems like only yesterday...on the other, it seems like an eternity.

What does grief look like for me 18 months later?

Let me assure you it is still ever-present in my life.


It has gotten better. Time has definitely healed my heart to a certain degree. But there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about and miss Grady. There will always be a hole in my heart...the piece of my heart that belongs only to him. That longs for my baby boy who isn't here with me and will never be this side of heaven.

I have found lately that grief strikes when I least expect it, even 18 months later. I might be in church, the grocery store, at doesn't matter. Something can be said or I can see something that takes me right back to that deep, dark lonely place of grief that I experienced for so long.

But it is better. And for that I'm thankful.

I don't cry for Grady everyday like I used to. I wish he was here everyday. And I will get teary-eyed at times. But the tears haven't flowed uncontrollably in a while.

My heart still feels heavy at times, but it isn't the crushing, suffocating feeling that used to be there on a continuous, daily basis.

There are days when I can hardly think of anything but him. Days where I relive the events of November 12, 2008 vividly in my mind. Those are bad days for me. I feel scattered and overwhelmed. Those are the days where I wish I could just sleep the day away, knowing Jessica and Emma Grace are cared for and safe. These days are not as frequent as they were in the beginning. And that's a blessing for sure!

I still have a hard time seeing newborn baby boys. And I still have a hard time hearing a newborn cry. That might be putting it mildly if you read this post.

And I still have a very hard time seeing little boys who are the age that Grady would be. Seeing them and how they are developing, hearing them talk, etc. automatically takes me to thoughts of Grady...wondering if he would be about the same or different.

I don't journal as often as I did in my Grady journal. I feel a bit guilty about that, but I think it shows progress and healing. I think it's a positive thing for sure.

I still have his beautiful blue blanket on my bed with me every night (the one he is swaddled in in the picture above). However, I don't clutch it tightly to my chest all the time. It mostly stays on my pillow above my head when I'm sleeping, and it lives under the pillows when the bed is made. But the past couple of weeks, I've found myself needing to hold it tight again. It still helps me feel close to him since that is what he was swaddled in and the blanket I used when I kangaroo-ed him in the hospital.

His room is still just as it was. I never had the heart to take it down and put his things away. His clothes are still neatly folded in his drawers and hung in his closet. The diaper bag is hanging on the closet door.

I still find myself dealing with insensitive people who think I should be "over it". I expect this to be an on-going battle. It is still a challenge 18 months later to be polite and explain that when your child dies, you don't just "get over it". It's frustrating, but unfortunately, I've come to expect it.

I still struggle with regrets, but don't dwell on them. I would still give anything to have pictures of me and our family with Grady and not just pictures of him alone. I wish I had given my girls the opportunity and choice to see their baby brother in person, not just in pictures. I wish I had a mold of his hand and foot. I think about these things and more. My heart pangs and hurts. But I have to move on. What else can I do? I have to remember I was in shock and did the best I could under the circumstances with the direction I was given. The past can't be changed. But I can help change the future for someone else going through the same thing...I haven't given up on that mission to be at the bedside of grieving mothers. I believe with every ounce of my being that it is my calling in life. I just have to be patient and wait on God's timing and His opening of the right doors.

We still talk about Grady on a regular basis in our home. At least once a day, either myself or the girls will bring him up. Occasionally Gib does, too. I love it because it keeps his spirit alive outwardly, just as it is alive in our hearts. It makes me sad at times, but mostly it warms my heart.

I love you sweet boy! Sending you love, hugs and kisses to heaven! You will forever be alive in my heart! Until we meet one day... Mommy

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tidbits from T

~~This is the third post that I've started typing in the last three minutes. I can't decide what I really feel like writing about. The first one was titled Frustrated & Defeated, the second was Mother's Day 2010. I want to share about both but honestly it might take more emotional thought and energy than I have to give today. Some "Tidbits" are suitable I do believe.

~~My fingernails are too long to type well and it's driving me CRAZY! I need to go clip them but I'm too lazy to get up and walk to the bathroom where the clippers live. So, I'll just keep repeatedly hitting backspace until I get it right, probably more than a million times before this post is done.

~~I took the morning off from work to go on a field trip with Emma Grace. There is a local farm where old buildings have been restored and preserved to replicate how things were done in the olden days. The kids learned how to make biscuits, wash clothes on a washboard, saw a blacksmith in action and got to sit in an old schoolhouse much different from what they are used to. It was a fun trip until I had to use the restroom and was pointed to a port-a-potty. Nice when you're hugely pregnant...but better than nothing I must admit.

I had planned to take Emma Grace to lunch when we left but it was a bit too early. We came home to take Buddy out and have a little snack, but she decided she wanted left-over pizza for lunch instead, even though we are having it for dinner tonight at Jessica's softball party. We played a game of Hi Ho Cherry-O, read a book and each got comfy on a sofa. She was fast asleep in no time. I rested, but for some reason I CANNOT sleep during the day. It was nice to rest though, especially after a morning of lots of walking.

~~Jessica's current softball season has ended. We sat through a miserably wet and cold game last night. She pitched again and really enjoys this game. I have a feeling we will be investing some money in pitching lessons and camps this summer. They are having a pizza and pool party tonight, and I'm afraid they are going to freeze their hineys off. We've had a bit of a cool spell here in GA and the weather has definitely NOT been warm enough for swimming.

~~Gib is testing again this week and has been the most stressed that I've seen him in a LONG time. I hate it for him. He's such a hard-worker and a perfectionist when it comes to his job. I've tried to encourage him as much as I can, but I feel like I'm running out of encouraging things to do or say. School can't get out soon enough, that's for sure!!!

~~We've started a new sermon series at church called Staying in Love. This past week was the introduction and it was great. It is easy to fall in love...shoot, I was in love with Shawn Cassidy when I was younger, seriously with a full life-sized poster on my closet door. AHEM. I'll get back to the point here... It's easy to fall in love, but it's not so easy to stay in love. We often think of love as a noun, but the main point of the sermon was making love a verb. It was great, and I'm very much looking forward to the next few weeks. We are talking about it in our small group, too. If you'd like to watch the sermon for yourself, click here. Because I think this will be so good and because marriage can be difficult even in the happiest relationships, I might just post a link to each sermon as we hear them. You can choose whether to listen or not.

~~I still have high hopes to clean out and get organized. I just feel very frustrated and defeated before I even start. I'm still frustrated over my lack of organization with pictures. It's overwhelming to me.


~~I'm so tired of explaining to others about being so big already in this pregnancy. I really want to hide away and not talk to anyone about being pregnant. I literally got laughed at by someone at the grocery store the other night...she didn't mean to hurt my feelings but did a little bit...I probably did look pretty funny, considering I was hobbling terribly and in severe pain from my leg and tailbone, leaning onto the grocery cart for support. It didn't help that this happened not long after the manager of the store literally said to me, "You're huge!"



I will be 24 weeks tomorrow. My first group b strep and fetal fibernectin tests came back negative which puts my mind at ease. A little. Dr. Joe tested me early for these with Grady since I was positive for group b strep upon admission with Emma Grace after my water broke. He will test me every two weeks, just to be sure.

~~I've had the chance to talk about Grady a lot the last couple of weeks, which has been nice. I haven't brought him up...he has just sort of "come up" in conversation, usually after being questioned about this pregnancy. I try not to go into a lot of detail, but when people probe me, I'm gonna talk about my Baby Grady! I am committed to not denying him.

~~Mother's Day was nice this year. As nice as it can be for me without my mom and Grady here. I have two beautiful girls that I celebrated with, and I'm so thankful for them and love them SOOOO much! I'll post about it soon.

~~I have nothing on my calendar for tomorrow. If I'm not able to go see my sweet friend Ebe who just had a baby, I'm gonna try to get some things done around my house. I always start off with good intentions that seem to go awry. I have several phone calls to return and emails to catch up on. I'm forever behind...

~~And one last thing...have any of you turned your blog into a book? I'm interested in doing this each year. I'm anxious to get it done for 2009, but I have no idea what to expect or how expensive it will be. Any thoughts or insight you can share??? And what about backing up your blog? Do you do this regularly and if so, how???

I can't think of too much more to bore you with today...


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Hearbreaking & Heartwarming

Even though it's only 5am, I don't have much time to post. I have some things for the girls' schools to take care of before I shower and officially start the day. But I wanted to share something from yesterday that was both heartbreaking and heartwarming to me.

We met my friend Leah and her two boys at Chick-fil-A for dinner. Her boys are three and one. After we ate, the kids went into the playground area to play for a bit. For a few minutes, Jessica was entertaining and looking after Leah's youngest, whom we will call L. I couldn't help but watch her and be proud. She made sure he didn't climb up the slide; helped him into the circle tunnel and made sure he didn't get hurt. But at one point when I looked, she was under the play area on her back with L. on her chest. They were both laughing and having a great time.

It warmed my heart and broke it all at the same time...

I couldn't help but think of Grady in that moment.

I longed for him to be here, playing with his big sisters.

I told Jessica on the way to Walmart afterwards how proud I was of her for being so gentle and attentive to L. She smiled. And when I told her how much seeing her with L. made me miss Grady, she said, "Don't worry Mommy, I'll do it with [Dumplin'] too".

*I used these [ ] because she actually used the baby's real name instead of Dumplin', but I think I'm going to wait until he's born to announce his name here. I think!*

She has a moody side, my Jessica does (just like her momma I'm afraid), but deep down she has a sweet, kind, gentle spirit. It shined brightly yesterday. And that most definitely warmed my heart.

All of that thinking about Grady last night spilled over into my dreams. I don't often dream of him, but I did last night. I was crying in my sleep and woke up shaking. Gib was in the shower, and I'm glad, or I might have woken him up.

There's not much else to say.

My heart literally broke for my sweet boy in heaven yesterday.

But my heart was warmed by this sweet angel I've been blessed with on this earth.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

23 weeks. Anxiety. My New Line.

Today I am entering the 23rd week of my pregnancy. Although I feel like I'm 30 weeks...and look like I'm 30 weeks...and measure 30 weeks, I am only 23. (I tried to take a picture of myself in the mirror again, but it just didn't work!) Dr. Joe checked my fluid levels Monday and took a quick look at Dumplin' and all is well. He simply described my uterus as a muscle on steroids that is super sensitive to the progesterone that I'm producing right now. He has no reason for concern which puts my mind at ease. Seriously, though, I need to plateau with my measurements soon! I was in my 30's before that happened with Grady, but I wasn't this big this early with him either!

This is the week of my pregnancy with Emma Grace that my water broke. 23 weeks, 4 days. These next few weeks were a stressful time in my pregnancy with Grady, and I'm afraid they are going to be stressful this time, too. I know that I have absolutely NO control over whether my water breaks or not. Worrying won't change a thing. But I won't lie. I'm anxious. I'm not dwelling on it, but the thought is there. The fear is there. I brush it aside, but it always surfaces again, stronger at times than others.

But there again, I think about it ALL. Because, honestly, I've lived it. And when you've been there and experienced it, you can't help but think about it. I think about this baby living; I think about this baby dying. I think about carrying him to full-term; I think about delivering him prematurely. These have all been my reality in the past. I want to believe and hope for a healthy baby to bring home at the end of all of this. I want to trust in God's sovereign plan for our lives and Dumplin's. But there are no guarantees. No one knows that better than me. But one thing I am guaranteed, and know for sure, is that there is a higher power in control, and his name is God. And I trust Him. And I believe in Him. And I know that whatever the outcome of this pregnancy, He is good and faithful and loves me.

Dr. Joe is monitoring me closely and performing tests that typically aren't done this early, just to be sure. I know that I'm in good hands all around. But I sure could use some prayers for this anxiety-ridden time which I'm afraid won't pass too quickly.

And speaking of Dr. Joe, I told him on Monday that if one more person asks me if I'm having twins I might tear their head off. He laughed and said, "Well, what you should say, as a matter of fact I'm having triplets".

That's my new line. I love it! And I'm seriously going to use it. Of course, I will go on to tell people the truth. But I don't even answer the question of when my due date is straight-up. Nope. 'Cuz if I told people my due date is September 1st, their mouths would seriously drop open, more than they already do. So my standard answer to that question is that I will have a c-section on August 4th. Which is absolutely the truth...if things go according to plan...

On a different note, I was so excited to get a pedicure this morning! I got a fungus when I was pregnant with Grady and swore I would never get one professionally again. Well, considering that I have a hard time tying my shoes, my toes were in desperate need of attention! I went to the salon where I have my hair done. There is one lady and one basin who works out of it which is exactly what I wanted. My feet feel soft and look much's the little things that make a difference for us women, huh?

And one more thing, Jessica pitched three innings in her softball game last night. And I must say, she did great! They still lost, but she had her "game-on" and made some great catches and good plays. We were proud of her, but the more important thing is that she was proud of herself (in a humble way).

I hope you're having a great day from wherever you're reading! The weather is beautiful here, although it's going to be hot! I won't be spending too much time outside today.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

She Works Hard For Her "Muddy"

So, I've told you how my girls love to play outside. But, they don't just play outside. They play hard and get dirty! Especially Emma Grace!

They love to do your typical fun things like ride bikes and scooters, draw with sidewalk chalk, play with bubbles, etc. Jessica loves to roller blade, and Emma Grace wishes she had some too. Heaven help us all when she does get some!

But I'm afraid gone are the days of my "girlie-girls". They both used to love to wear dresses and bows. Emma Grace will still occasionally wear a bow, but Jessica wouldn't touch one with a ten-foot pole. And I honestly can't blame her at ten, almost eleven, years old.

However, this is not what I ever envisioned from my youngest little girl. Literally covered in mud, with the request, "Mommy, I need to come in and wash my hands". Um, no honey, you have to take a shower!


And her!

And I love her older sister whom I didn't take pictures of on this particular beautiful March day because she didn't have visible mud everywhere...

These were her pants after another such day of hard play...

(Sorry, Buddy was feeling photogenic and wouldn't move!)

And today, she's not quite as dirty...

But...she works hard for her "muddy"!

*And as a side note, even after her shower, one of her hands was still orange from all the mud!*

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Tidbits from T

~~~Jessica pitched for the very first time in her softball game Tuesday night. Considering she has just pitched with her dad in the back yard and has had no formal training/lessons, she did pretty well. She was VERY excited that her coach gave her the chance...I was proud of her but nervous for her...Gib won't admit it, but he was nervous for her, too.

They put her in the game last night, and she struggled at the mound. They didn't leave her in long. I'm proud of her for trying! She played catcher, pitcher and 2nd base. She really loves the game of softball. I'm hoping we can find some camps for her to attend this summer.

~~~Emma Grace has been having terrible nose bleeds! She has them at random times but every night in the shower this week her nose has bled, sometimes out of both nostrils. I'm doing everything I know to stop/prevent them without taking her to the doctor. Jessica has had them in the past, so I'm not too worried. I just hate it for her, especially when one hits at school.

~~~We are winding down the school year. We only have 14 days left, and I'm SO glad! Gib will be in school/work a bit longer than the girls. We aren't sure if we will be able to take a vacation yet or not. Dr. Joe has cleared me for one in late May/early June, contingent upon a cervix that is long and closed, that is. However, timing is the issue.

We had a wonderful opportunity to go with Gib's brother and his family to the Keys. He has rented a beautiful house on the beach for a month. His wife, kids and her parents will be there the whole month, but his brother will only be there for 10 days. We really wanted to go when his brother would be there, but Gib got accepted to the University of Georgia for graduate to obtain his specialist degree. WAY TO GO GIB!!! (I swear my husband would spend his life in school if he could - he loves to learn!) He starts classes on June 4th, with an orientation on June 2nd. His brother will arrive in the Keys on June 3rd. Bummer!

We've been looking into a vacation over Memorial Day to Hilton Head, but I'm having a hard time finding a place to stay. I don't know much about Hilton Head so that makes things a bit more complicated. I've been thinking about Myrtle Beach, too. If you have any suggestions, please leave me a comment or send me an email. We prefer a place with a kitchen so all of our meals don't have to be eaten out.

~~~I'm 22 weeks, 3 days pregnant. But, I feel every bit of 30+ weeks. And I look it, too. I'm not complaining. I want to carry Dumplin' all the way to his c-section date. I'm thankful to even be pregnant again. I'm thankful that he's alive and kickin'. But it is definitely already taking a physical toll on my body. And I'm definitely waddling.

And limping. All because of the pain in my right leg and weak-feeling tailbone. The pain comes and goes and does so in varying degrees. And now I have a hurt toe to boot!

The clumsiness of pregnancy has definitely found me! I jammed my little toe into the grocery cart Wednesday at the store. (What's with me and hurt toes when I'm pregnant?! I actually broke this same toe right before we went to Disney when I was pregnant with Grady.)

~~~I had planned to spend the day Wednesday at home. I was going to rent the movie, Julie and Julia, and spend the day on the sofa. Yes, just being lazy. But a much better opportunity presented itself.

My sweet and dear blog-turned-real-life-friend, Ebe, had her baby girl, Hannah Mae. She was born at 35 weeks, 3 days and is doing amazingly well. I was planning to go to her shower this morning at 10am, but instead she is home with her baby girl. Ebe's first-born, Owen, was stillborn almost exactly one year before Grady. She then had two other early losses and now is holding a beautiful, alive, healthy baby girl in her arms. It warms my heart.

I went to visit them Wednesday morning. I held her for a while, and it was honestly wonderful. She's tiny, cuddly and beautiful. I'm SO incredibly happy for them! Here's a peak...

~~~We were going to have Subway for dinner after the game last night...I really wanted a veggie sub. (Actually, I really wanted Johnny's Pizza but my kids didn't so we settled for Subway) I sent Gib and Jessica on in while I window shopped next door. The next thing I knew they were back outside. Gib said, "Their rating is only 84, do you still want to eat here?" No. I didn't. The sad thing is this is our only Subway, and I've eaten there plenty of times. I'm not sure how I missed the rating. I am pretty picky when it comes to restaurants and their ratings. I obviously prefer a 100, but somewhere in the 90's is at least acceptable. Are you picky like that, too? We settled on Zaxby's, and I'm proud to say that we all had salad. I was impressed with my girls' choices.

~~~Jessica pitched a fit to cut grass last Sunday. It was her first "taste" of yard work. It was harder than she thought it would be...

She decided one morning this week that instead of brushing her teeth and hair for school, she would rather cuddle with Buddy.

~~~Oh, Buddy. He found another treasure this week. A toilet paper roll this time. What are we going to do with him!?!

The girls were watching tv last Saturday, and Buddy decided he needed to be between them. He actually had his head resting on Emma Grace's leg, but he lifted it when I came with the camera.

~~~This flower literally appeared from nowhere among the weeds in our backyard one day last week.

I opened the back curtains one morning and there it was, sprouted and tall and full of color. I immediately thought of Grady and the new life inside of me. I don't think I can put into words what I felt. But Gib came home from work that afternoon and saw it, too. I asked him if he remembered the flower being there the day before and he said no. His words were, "It's a Grady flower". I'm so glad he thought the same thing. Except I thought of Dumplin', too.

We still miss Grady and think about him every day.

I was talking to a sweet friend this week about how it is still hard for me to see a certain little boy who is only one week apart in age from Grady (his big sister goes to school there - I've blogged about him a couple of times in the past - they also live in our subdivision). She didn't mean anything negative or hurtful by what she said (in fact she has been very sensitive and a huge support and encourager to me - you know who you are - I love you!). I don't remember her exact words, but her response was something like, "Still? When do you think it will get better or do you think it ever will?" The answer is I'm not sure. I've come a long way in this journey. But I think anyone who has lost a baby or child struggles to see another child the same age as theirs would have been. The longing and wondering are just there, whether we want it to be or not. And I don't single this little boy's any boy, anywhere I go, who looks about the age Grady would be. This little boy is easy, though, because I know his story.

~~~Since we don't have anything on our calendar today, it's a big cleaning day here. No one is really excited about it, but my house is a bit out of control, and it's driving me crazy. Gib agreed to help me get it in tip-top shape. I'm determined we will all pitch in and keep it clean. I just can't physically do it all. Not that I don't want to, but it truly hurts me to do certain things. I'm so thankful he's willing to help me.

I do not have the gift of organizing, but my friend Leah does. She is going to come help me get things working in a more functional way in my house...that's motivation to get cleaning up and cleaning out! Gib is already clearing chairs out of the kitchen to mop, so I better go do what I can to help!

And I can't believe I'm posting this, but I think it's funny. Emma Grace literally just took this picture of me blogging upside down. She made me smile, I am in my gown, haven't brushed my hair and am slouching terribly! I need to work on that!

Have a great weekend!!!