Monday, December 31, 2007

here's to 2008...

well, it is new year's eve and i am back in the hospital...hopefully just for a few days, but i don't really want to talk about that, i am too weary...please just pray for our continued strength and faith in these trials...i just wanted to share some pictures from our WONDERFUL christmas and tell everyone how very much i am looking forward to a NEW year! with a God whose mercies are new EVERY MORNING, i can't even imagine what blessing a new YEAR will bring!

hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday season...we were with my family here in fort worth and then were with our whole extended family at the was great...a lot of laughter, great food, and of course so much fun watching jack really be old enough to enjoy everything. we had fun playing "where's waldo" with him in his little striped pajamas! we took a bunch of pictures of him hiding, like the one in all the presents...i wish i could post all of them, but there were too many! i also never had posted my decorations, so those are here was fun to have a banister to put our new cute stockings on!i love the pic at the end of them was a busy holiday! don't they look just alike even when they sleep?! and yes...i KNOW that my three year old has a pacifier in his mouth...don't get me started...he was actually rid of it about a year ago before i got sick, and then when i started being in the hospital so much, he reverted...i think he just needed some extra comfort while mommy was away, which is pretty, we are in the process of saying goodbye to the paci again! still potty training too...what a fun adventure it is to be three years old! he's growing so fast though, it is hard sometimes, but always exciting! i also still need to post samuel's 5 and 6 month pictures, but those will be in my next blog, i can't believe my baby is 6 months old!

so here's some pics of our christmas...i know it's alot, but trust me, it was hard to not put more!


Monday, December 10, 2007

Here I am...

back in the fun, but I guess at least it gives me a little chance to blog...I know that I am way behind...this post will mostly just be is almost Christmas, and I still haven't posted my pics from October...or even uploaded my pics on to the computer from November...I know, I have all just been sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for me to blog!

Anyway, I have been enjoying these last few "hospital-free" months at home with my boys...still trying to get settled into our has been so fun to get ready for Christmas in our first home that is really ours! It's the first time we have put up Christmas lights-well, I shouldn't say "we" brave husband climbed up on our very steep roof...I just didn't watch, the whole time afraid we might be bringing him to the hospital!

Jack is as funny as ever, as you will see in the pictures...he loved getting to dress up like Mickey Mouse, and then after Halloween was over my mom picked up the Buzz Lightyear costume for $4 and the boy didn't take the thing off for days! What easy cheap entertainment! He is very particular about what he likes to wear lately, or really I should say what he DOESN'T want to wear, which usually includes ANYTHING but a pull-up (or "big boy underwear" if it is a REALLY good day) and his new fuzzy crocs which my aunt donna sent..thanks auntie, he loves them and they are the cutest things ever! They are like crocs but are lined like those ugg boots, they look very cozy! I am telling you the truth, the kid would run around naked all day if he could, 30 degrees or not...but that isn't exactly the most attractive option, nor sanitary since the child still doesn't seem to be bothered enough to stop playing when he has to go to the bathroom! But the crocs...those stay on...fully clothed or not clothed at all...the boy sleeps in those things!

Sam is still the sweetest, happiest baby ever, since Jack of course. He has been battling RSV for over a month now, and we are being very cautious so it doesn't turn into pneumonia or anything else that his little underdeveloped preemie lungs can't handle. It's scary enough as it is, and I really hate it that I am not with him right now. He is getting breathing treatments around the clock...poor little guy...he has the nastiest sounding cough and wheeze, it scared me so bad the first time I heard it, it reminded me of how he sounded in the NICU. But like I said, he is just still a little angel, he's still sleeping fairly well, and likes to play with his little nasal cannula while he's getting a treatment. He's still just growing like crazy. His five month pictures with his monkey and bottle are among the ones I still need to upload.

Like I said, I'm back in the hospital...we came in on Saturday night to the ER, went home and then ended up back on Sunday when they admitted me. I'm just having a flare up of the same old stuff...yes it is very frustrating, but hopefully this will be a short stay(relative of course for me!). I read a quote on Friday, and I think that God wanted to me to have it fresh on my heart this week...
"You have a God who hears you, the power of love behind you, the Holy Spirit within you, and all of Heaven ahead of you." ~Max Lucado
I am so blessed...I can add to that quote a husband who I am madly in love with, who has stood by me through pure joy and very real anguish...and two little shadows of him who bring me more joy than I could explain.

I love Christmas, and am looking forward to spending here with my parents and sister and brother. They have gotten so grown up and as fun as it was growing up together, it is so fun to know my siblings and to be friends with them as adults. My sister is a social worker and is so driven, professional, compassionate and so good at what she does. She challenges me in many ways and has a tender heart that is there for you in a moment's notice. My brother is coaching at Denton Liberty Christian School and they just won the State Championship this last weekend. I am so proud of him and enjoy watching him enjoy what he is doing so much.I love watching him with my boys-they adore their "Uncle Bwad", and I love that he and Matt get along so well. We got to surprise my mom for her 50th birthday last week, and it was so much fun. She spends so much time and energy giving of herself to others and really was a joy to get to do something for her, and to pull it off without her knowing! My sister and I were so proud of ourselves...but I don't know why we doubted ourselves...the only reason we could get it together is because we have watched our sweet mother give like that to others her whole life. My dad came over to watch the boys the other night while Matt and I went to a wedding, and I just love watching him with my boys...what a special relationship-they sure do love their pappy. I also love it when my daddy comes and visits me when I am in the hospital, for some this may seem weird-but for me as a person who has spent ALOT of my life in the hospital it means alot...we can sit and not even say anything but I know he is there with me and it makes me feel safer. It is so hard to even describe how amazed I am more and more when I recount how many sacrifices my father and mother have made to do so much for us...what an incredible model to strive to follow. We will be here for the holidays getting to relax and be together...those are the kind of holidays I like best...the hustle and bustle is fun, but my family will tell anyone that my favorite is always cuddling up on the couch with a full tummy for a NAP with football games in the background...or of course the old family movies my sister and I insist on getting out EVERY year!

I hope everyone is having a blessed holiday season...I sure do have lots of Christmas shopping to do and traditions I am trying to start with the boys, but mostly I am just so thankful that I am going to spend Christmas with my three boys...As blessed as we are, I must say I am kind of ready to say goodbye to 2007...But we have certainly learned this past year about resurrection in a whole new here's to new beginnings! Praise God that His mercies are new EVERY MORNING! much for this blog being mostly pictures! You can talk a lot longer when you are alone in a hospital room with nothing on TV!(Strike that, flipping through the channels and found "Holiday Inn" of my favs, which my mom and sis was here to watch it with me).

Now for the pics...

My cute little punkin and the leader of the club himself, Mickey Mouse-I have to say that I was pretty proud of myself for the homemade costume...I like to rejoice in those small victories on days when I feel like I really have no idea what I am doing as a mother-which is most days by the way! And then of course the Buzz Lightyear costume that I couldn't even get him out of to go to Target! He and cousin Mary Kate looked so cute as Mickey and Minnie...those two are like peas in a pod, I am so glad they have each other to be good buddies with.

Sam LOVES to stretch, and I finally caught a picture of him doing it...I think he just fell asleep in mid-stretch...why is it that something like stretching can be so darn cute when it's a baby doing it?!
I also think it's cute when he sucks those two little fingers...don't know why, but it is!

Then there's a few of my boys...MATCHING! This a rare occasion that Matt lets me get away with it, I have to take advantage of it before they get too old and I can't anymore! I think the window of opportunity is smaller with boys...anyway, the first one is cheering on Uncle Brad's team, and the rest on our front porch pumpkin patch...the second one cracks me up because it looks like Jack is about to peg Sam with a pumpkin! Don't one was injured!


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

random updates...

1. Samuel is 4 months old! He is doing so well...he's such a little chub now, weighing almost 12 pounds! He's still in the 3rd percentile for weight, but I figure with all that childhood obesity, it's okay to start out a little on the small side! He is tall though...24 inches long! He does have bad reflux, but if anyone knows how to deal with throw up...that would be me! We've have a few nights here and there where he sleeps from around 11 to, those are great and will be even greater when they become a normal thing! He's smiling all the time and finding his little voice and even throws a little giggle in sometimes! We absolutely adore him.

2. Jack is doing a great job as big brother...he helps me out alot and hasn't asked us to take him back to the hospital or anything! I figure he doesn't want anyone going to any hospital EVER again! He is also just cracking us all up constantly. The other night he looked at me and said, "Mommy what happened to your hair? It doesn't look right"...which is strange, since it was in the messy ponytail that is always in! Maybe that's the point?! He loves to sing and conduct, thanks Little Einsteins...and he will do it just about the top of his lungs...i LOVE it! He shares his mommy's love of Target, which is great and also bad because now I go there even MORE! He's just a little joy...I love watching him soak up the world around him and I also pray for the strength and guidance in the great responsibility that I have to capture every moment for Christ as I raise him to be a man that knows the LORD intimately.

3. Speaking of hospitals...I am still not feeling so hot. Good days and bad days. I have another procedure today. They do them in a series of three and this will one will be my second. We are praying that this will at least bring a little bit of relief. Of course, we are always still praying for total healing.

4. I have lately been puzzled by a phrase that I have heard and probably said millions of times...maybe it is because of the events of this past year. We often say that God is great, but life isn't. Maybe I am just quibbling at a technicality, but how can that really be true? Honestly, this last year has been horrible...our circumstances have been so challenging and at times very very frustrating. But one thing that I have to be so thankful LIFE. For every breath, for every sunrise that wakes me up, for every night rocking my babies to sleep...we don't deserve it, we take advantage of the thought that it will always be I would say, whatever our circumstance...LIFE is always good. And I am glad that God is great so we can wade through those yucky circumstances during the gift of each new day, as we long for our eternal home and new life free from any burden.

5. And speaking of longing for Heaven...I have had such a horrible ache in my heart lately, thinking about those close to us and those we don't even know who have lost their precious babies. I cannot imagine that ultimate tragedy, and the new reality that Heaven takes on for those who long to hold their sweet little ones again. I have watched this video so many times and just wept. We went to school with the mother's sister at ACU and I have been reading their blog for sometime. Their friend in Nashville wrote this song for the video when sweet Copeland went to be with Jesus. It makes me think of other dear friends and family who have gone through this unimaginable tragedy, and who truly do know the value of each breath. Our hearts are so heavy with grief, but thank the LORD that we do not grieve like those who have no hope.

6. And this has become our new favorite show, running a close race with Little Einsteins and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Since we don't have cable, videos and PBS kids are the only choices. I like that I can somewhat limit how much TV that Jack watches better. "Super Why" has become a morning favorite for the Jack Man. And call me a dork, but I really love this program too! It really does teach some great fundamentals for reading which is something we are really starting to work on, so I love it. It comes on every morning and 10 and then the website has some really great games and activities, along with resources for both parents and teachers. It is funny because now Jack loves to run around the house calling himself Super Jack, with the power to help! Sometimes I even get to be "Super Mommy"! That is REALLY great, since I sure don't feel much like Supermom these days.

7. I have to sing "Praise you in this Storm" Saturday and Sunday at church...I hope I make it through it without crying. The song really illustrates alot of the feelings that I have and still am going through. It has definitely been raining...I sure hope that I have have brought HIM glory through it all.

8. I absolutely love Autumn...and I hate it that we get cheated of's the time of year when I really wish we lived in Nashville; or somewhere where it gets cool...the leaves can smell the fireplaces burning or bundle up under a blanket at a football game. I have a mini pumpkin patch on my front porch. We haven't made it out to the Flower Mound pumpkin patch yet, but Jack is dying to go, so Mimi and I took him to the fruit stand the other day. He jumped in the bounce house, and I picked out pumpkins...I LOVE them! I love going to the fruit stand...we also got some amazing apples. I also got a really great deal on all the pumpkins...there is no way I would been able to get that many at the Pumpkin patch. I really love my pumpkins, and I still think I want to get some more. I am really just thankful that they haven't been smashed or stolen yet!

9. I LOVE our house. Matt did such a a good job picking it out for us, and all the work he did to make it just like I wanted is so amazing. I am trying really hard to get everything settled's so hard to not have the energy to get the things done that I want to do. I'm still just trying to go one box at a time and not get too overwhelmed. It really is a great house though. We are talking about what we need to do to get the yard ready for Spring. It has some amazing landscaping potential, so here goes nothing with me trying out my green thumb! Grandma-I NEED YOU!

10. And now...what you really!

Samuel and his monkey at almost 1 month.

3 months...mommy forgot 2 months!

4 months...look at him cheering for his chubbiness!

Look at that boy sitting up! His neck is so strong! He looks a little depressed though! Maybe because he has two chins!

And remember the bottle...

Now he can eat almost half of that big ol thing!

My sweet boys...

Silly's funny how those baby toys all of a sudden get interesting again when mommy mentions that they now belong to a certain baby brother!

Headed to Young Children's World with the backpack as big as he is!

I just love this pic of Jack and his Cousin Riley...I love the way she is looking at him and how he has a little Zoolander face on...these two are such good buddies and are going to cause lots of trouble with all the other cousins in Smithville!

And my punkin patch...isn't it pretty? :)

Monday, August 27, 2007

where i would rather be right now...

rather than being back in the hospital...rather than now having a blood clot in both arms now, forcing them to put in a central line to my heart...rather than being in unbearable pain again...rather than being scheduled for yet another surgery in Dallas on Wednesday afternoon...rather than being on a liquid diet...rather than having my children being taken care of by someone else (although they are getting lots of love from their mimi and giggi)...rather than having my sweet husband so exhausted from having to be everything for everyone...rather than even being on a beach somewhere...yes, this place where i was just days ago when daddy came home from work and took this picture of mommy and her sweet boys...THIS is where i would rather be:

Thursday, August 23, 2007

the last word...

well, since Sunday, we have been back in the ER three times...including last night when we found out that i am now having internal bleeding from the blood thinners, but they do not know where it is coming from and i have to stay on the blood thinners for at least two months or until this clot is it will be a balancing act of breaking up the clot but making sure the bleeding doesn't get too bad, and maybe figuring out where it is coming from?! my liver numbers are also elevated again, so please just pray that doesn't also flare up again...internal bleeding is never a fun thing to hear...but at least we have been through it before and have very good and thorough doctors...

so...still tired and weary...sorry to be debbie downer, but i must say i did have a LOVELY baby shower on Sunday...and i have had lot of cuddle times with my boys while not in the ER over this past week thanks to my wonderful mother and i really can't complain, because those hugs from my boys are really what i have been longing for the most over these last many months...

it has now been almost a full year since i can remember feeling well...there are days when i feel much older than i really am; days when i feel like i have been completely broken and can break no more...but i know this is not true, and i know that the Lord can and will put me back together while we continue to pray; search for new doctors, procedures, answers; while we cry out of frustration, sadness, fear, and sometimes anger; while we wait...the answer is ultimately still the same-to cling to Him, to the only one who really has the answers and who really sees what lies on the other side of this mountain that we are now in the trenches of-to the one who gets the last word and ALL of the glory...

matt, otherwise known as my rock,pointed me to this verse last night while i was lying on another stretcher...and it is absolutely the prayer that we are falling on our knees believing right now; i love how it is worded in The Message:

"So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won't last forever. It won't be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ-eternal and glorious plans they are!-will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, He does."
~1 Peter 5:9-11

Saturday, August 18, 2007


some of you may know that i have spent the last week and a half back in and out of the hospital...again...we all got food poisoning last wednesday (8/9) and as bad as it was for Matt and Jack, they were over it in a day and me it sent into a tailspin and i ended up back in the hospital until this thursday (8/17). well, yesterday morning i woke up with a not fun but familiar feeling in my left arm where they had taken out my PICC line...yep, another blood the same arm that i had it in last fall also from a PICC line! anyway, so we spent all last night in the hospital again, and i talked my doctor into letting me come home today so that i could be at my baby shower tomorrow! i have looked forward to this for too long, i am not going to miss my own baby shower! my doctor was kind of reluctant, but agreed to let me give myself the shots of blood thinners at home since i have done it before...

i am trying to write this post lightheartedly...but really, i am weary...i am really ready to get home from the hospital and stay there, i am tired of having days where i can't nurse my baby after working so hard to get him nursing so well. and i miss my husband and my other baby boy who has had to spend too much of this last year without his mommy. i am so thankful for my sweet mommy who has been taking care of my house and my family this whole week, while also going to work herself...i don't know what i would do without her.

i will be on blood thinners for two months, and the doctor will monitor me carefully to make sure that i don't end up with internal bleeding like i did last please pray that this will just clear up soon and that we will truly be through this season of our lives. i guess this is another one of those times for us to cling to the Lord, like i wrote about in my last post...we would never have made it this far without Him...

Thursday, August 16, 2007


This was my daily meditation from Henri Nouwen Society, in my inbox this morning...

When we enter into solitude to be with God alone, we quickly discover how dependent we are. Without the many distractions of our daily lives, we feel anxious and tense. When nobody speaks to us, calls on us, or needs our help, we start feeling like nobodies. Then we begin wondering whether we are useful, valuable, and significant. Our tendency is to leave this fearful solitude quickly and get busy again to reassure ourselves that we are "somebodies." But that is a temptation, because what makes us somebodies is not other people's responses to us but God's eternal love for us.

To claim the truth of ourselves we have to cling to our God in solitude as to the One who makes us who we are.

Hmmm...I sure have had alot of solitude in the last many months, and maybe God is trying to tell my something? Maybe he is saying "Look at me...Listen to me...Cling to me".

I like being alone, but I must admit that I am not always productive in my so-called "quiet time" with the Lord. I find so many other things to distract me, or like the devotional said, I feel that when I am not distracted, that I am worthless. But I forget that my worth does not come from what I do, or even from who I am...but from the way I reflect the one who created me and loved me and delivered me. Solitude can be a scary place...the quiet can be deafening...and so I talk, I run around in all directions in a hurry, I BLOG, I worry, and I forget that the Lord just wants me to sit at his feet. He wants ME to cling to HIM...what a precious thought.

The word "cling" means, "to come or be in close contact with; stick or hold together and resist separation". To resist separation. When I think of "clinging", I think of my children, particularly Sam right now. I love when I am feeding him and he gets his little fingers wrapped around mine and "resists separation" or when he holds on to my shirt; or when Jack doesn't want me to leave him at bedtime. It is like they are desperate for my presence and they will do anything to hold me there; right there with them. And this is what The LORD, the maker of Heaven and Earth, wants from me...He wants me to CLING to be DESPERATE for His presence. And the amazing thing to me is that even when I deny Him that, His presence NEVER LEAVES me.

I read this verse the other day that I have read many times and for the first time, I really heard the Lord saying it...

"For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be His treasured possession." ~Deuteronomy 14:2

His treasured possession...I am HIS TREASURED POSSESSION...YOU are HIS TREASURED POSSESSION...WE are HIS TREASURED POSSESSION...what a precious thought...solitude...what a precious gift...May I forever be changed in the way I spend that gift...may I cling to the one who calls me HIS TREASURED POSSESSION...for HE is the GREATEST TREASURE.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

"I'm Free!!!"

Those were the words that you greeted me with at the top of the stairs this morning...translation: "I'm Three!"

Oh my sweet Baby Jack,
I cannot believe it has been three years since I first laid eyes on you. From the moment that your daddy placed you in my arms, I was in love. I can remember the flood of emotions that hit me in those next weeks and months-and I continue to be amazed at just how much love I have for you. The overwhelming responsibility that comes with guiding and guarding your precious soul...of leading you to Jesus, and yet knowing that you must also find Him for yourself. I want to protect you so badly from anything that could harm you, and yet I know that you are only mine for awhile. I am so thankful that God has entrusted you to your daddy and me. What a joy you are to us! I love the way that I already see in you the same sense of humor, the same resilience and strength, and the same gentleness that I love so much in your daddy. In your three years, you have already had to be so strong and flexible. You were the sunshine that got me through the last several months of storm, and you are the greatest big brother to little Sam-I can't wait to watch you two together.
I hope that you will always know how very much you are loved. Everyone that is around you is instantly endeared to your funny little personality, your sweet spirit and of course, those eyes and that HAIR! I love to watch you at this age, as you soak up everything around you. You love to learn and to discover new things. I love that you already speak in movie quotes, also just like your daddy! I love that your imagination is limitless-I wish that I had a tape recorder with me at all times to pick up those sweet conversations I hear you having up in your playroom. You are so treasured and adored by your family. Your grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, great grandparents, etc...they all love their Jack Jack!

I don't know why this birthday has been harder on your little mommy; why three seems so much older than two. Maybe it is because you have changed so much over this year-you are talking so well and just seem like such a little boy! Maybe it is because of all that our little family has gone through in the past year, and the way that you have just gone with the flow and been such a big boy about it all. (Not that it was all bad-I mean you were getting seriously spoiled by Mimi and Giggi!) Maybe it is because you are now not only my baby, but also a big brother. You have been so helpful with baby Sam-getting mommy diapers and helping give him his bath and his pacifier, singing him songs in the back seat of the car when he is crying, or helping me pat him on the back to get those burps out! It is going to be so much fun to watch you two grow up together. I can't wait to see the adventures you will have, the wrestling and giggling that I will hear upstairs, and hopefully the deep bond of friendship that you will develop as you get older.

It was hard for me to only choose a few pictures to put on my blog, and it's always harder for me to find pictures of you and me since I prefer to be BEHIND the camera-but I think the ones I chose are just a glimpse into why you are loved by so many-just look at that smile-it's infectious...and I really love the one of you in the pool-all you need is some flippers and a line of sunscreen down your nose to look like a little old man on the beach! You continue to make us laugh, even when we are trying to discipline you, which can make it a little challenging for your daddy and me to do so. Speaking of challenging, yes, that word might describe you at times at this age...but I wouldn't trade it for a moment, because I know that years from now I will so desperately want each of those moments back.

You will always be my baby, the one who made me a mother. I can't believe you are three years old and yet I can't believe that you haven't always been with me. I am so thankful for what my life is because you are in it. And I can't wait to see what your life becomes. I pray that you will always know my love for you, and yet I hope more than that, you will know the love of your Heavenly Father, the one who gave you to me and the one who gave his own Son for you. I pray that your life will bring honor and fame to the name of the Lord. That seems like an easy prayer, but it is not, because those people who make the Lord famous often have great trials. Looking at you sleeping in your bed at the age of three, it is hard to imagine any harm ever coming to you. I want so badly to keep you safe, but so much more than that I want to see you serve the Lord and to lead others to Him.

This verse was on your birth announcement, and it is so true.
"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of warriors are sons born in one's youth." ~Psalms 127:3-4

Thank you for the strength that you bring to your daddy and me through your gentleness. You are a precious gift and I love you so much sugar bear, booger, bubby, little man, Jack baby Big Boy.