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.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Thankful Reflection

I can't believe that one year ago today we brought our sweet boy home from the hospital! I remember the chaos of that day...trying to get things ready at home, both girls had open house at school, and crazy me took the time to write this post.

The next day, I shared some pictures of his homecoming in this blog post.

Words truly cannot express the thankfulness I have in my heart today.

For Matthew.

For Emma Grace.

For Jessica.

For Grady in heaven.

For Gib.

And for my heavenly father, without whom I would have none of these blessings in my life.

Thank you Lord for my beautiful children, both in heaven and here on earth. Thank you for my wonderful husband who loves me when I'm hard to love. Thank you for our extended family and the friends you've brought into my life. Thank you for your love, your Son and the gift of His life. Thank you for the promise and hope of heaven.

Pictures like these warm my heart beyond words.

Have a great weekend!


Monday, July 25, 2011

Matthew's First Birthday Celebration (Part 1)

Our sweet boy turned one while we were in the Bahamas on summer vacation. I wish I could say that I woke up in a joyful mood that morning, but that's not the case. I was ever so thankful for him and the gift and blessing of his life, but I've never felt more like I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Seriously.

I'm not sure what was wrong with me, except that I had a ton of emotions pouring into that day.

I remembered back to that day one year prior. We tried everything to keep him in longer, and I wasn't ready for him to be born but was so thankful that he was born alive and healthy. I was exhausted because I didn't sleep well at all on vacation, even though the bed was more comfortable than mine at home. I had only been in my swimsuit twice and hadn't gotten out as much as I'd hoped. I was having a good time, but I was kind of ready to be home (the older I get, the more of a home-body I'm becoming). I was giving up hope that I would be able to have a much-needed heart-to-heart talk with my brother-in-law since it was our last day there. Suffice it to say, I was in a foul, foul mood.

Gib talked me into going to breakfast that morning since it was our last day there. I still wasn't dressed when they left, so I went later to catch up with them. They were seated just before I arrived, but somehow chairs were miscounted and there was nowhere for me to sit. That was the final straw for me. I left breakfast and went back to the room to do some laundry, shedding some tears in the process. I can't leave out the fact that Grady was on my mind that day, too.

Little did I know, they sang "Happy Birthday" to Matthew at breakfast. And I missed it. Then I was even more sad and mad at myself for my attitude. At least Gib took some pictures of him.

When Matthew went down for his nap, I took a nap, too. And I'm thankful to report that I woke up in a much better mood! I finished the laundry, apologized to everyone for my attitude, got my swimsuit on and joined my sweet family in the ocean. It was Matthew's first time in the ocean, and he LOVED it! He kept sticking his fingers in the water and sucking on them. The water in the Bahamas is VERY salty!

The girls got to enjoy the ocean a bit more than their mom, dad and brother, thanks to Aunt Kerrin and Uncle Bob (which really aren't their aunt and uncle at all, but they're family and were wonderful with the girls on vacation!!!). I did manage to get some pictures of the kids together in the water, and Aunt Kerrin took a family photo, too.

By the time Gib, Matthew and I got out, we didn't have much time in the ocean because we had to get dressed for Matthew's birthday dinner celebration. Uncle Arthur (Gib's brother) chose a great place called Bimini Road in Marina Village on the Atlantis property.

We sat outside which seemed like a great idea at first but after a few minutes proved to be a mistake. It was SO hot! Matthew was sweating, so I took his birthday shirt off and let him just wear his birthday bib. Aunt Kerrin arranged for a fan to be brought out which helped a little.

Daddy tied a straw in a knot for entertainment.

Sisters were being their usual silly selves, sipping their lemonade and making silly faces.

And this sweet, stray kitty found its way onto the balcony to celebrate with us, too.

My sweet niece, Kylie (with my sister-in-law, Aunt Shannon), almost missed the party, but she perked up soon after this was taken.

Here are the girls with Aunt Kerrin, of whom we are all very fond. (Aunt Kerrin is Aunt Shannon's mother for those of you who might be interested)

Matthew saying, "Another picture? Really?!"

All of a sudden, there were fireworks going off not too far from us. We said they were for Matthew's first birthday. Truth be told, though, they were for the Miss Teen USA pageant that was being held at the Atlantis Resort. We had a perfect view!

Matthew opened his gifts from Uncle Arthur and Aunt Shannon, Kylie and Collin. He got a precious smocked outfit and a stuffed shark.

Our waitress (with a little help from Uncle Arthur I do believe) had the outside band sing "Happy Birthday" to Matthew, while a crew of the servers sang to him, too. Matthew didn't quite know what to think of it, as evidenced by his stares at them. Cousin Collin was pretty curious, too.

I didn't let him have cake because when I let him try some of Jessica's white birthday icing, he broke out around his mouth. I didn't want to take any chances out of the country, so he celebrated with a YoBaby yogurt and a number one candle. The candle wouldn't stay lit, though, because of the huge fan we had blowing on us.

A festival came through the village, with loud drums, singing and costumes. The kids seemed to enjoy it, as did lots of adults.

Daddy and his birthday boy. Someone was super hot and sleepy...

Our server with the birthday boy before we left.

A picture of Pops (Gib's dad) with his grandchildren, minus Matthew because he was strapped to me!

I forgot Aunt Kerrin took a picture of me with them, too. I'm not sure what I'm doing here other than cracking up and trying not to fall over...maybe the question should be, "Where is Matthew trying to go?"

I hate that this picture turned out blurry, but I love it still.

These two girls were two peas in a pod the whole trip. Cousins and fast friends forever!

And take a good look at this next picture. I cannot tell you how it warms my heart. Long story, but good. So, so good!!!

It really was a GREAT way to spend Matthew's first birthday! I was honestly a bit bummed not to be at home to have a party for him on his actual birthday, but we did that after we got back. We had such a great time with the family we were with, I wouldn't have had it any other way!

Many thanks to Uncle Arthur for giving Matthew a first birthday that's going to be VERY hard to top!