Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Due Date

December 30th... I was woken up this morning by a reminder I put in my phone 9 months ago. It said 40 weeks!! I can't believe all that has happened in the last 40 weeks of my life.

I went to a check-up appointment on Monday. I'm driving up to the hospital(where my ob/gyn office is) and I'm just thinking how different everything could have been. Monday was when my scheduled c-section was. At 8 am, I was supposed to be at the hospital getting ready to welcome my baby girl to the world...

If everything had been different, I would probably be coming home with her today...

I went to Ellijay on Monday after my appointment so I wouldn't be sitting at home all day thinking about the what-ifs. It is always a chaotic trip with the boys and my sis-n-law and her kids, but I accomplished what I wanted to. It definitely kept my mind off things.

But here I am again at home, thinking thinking thinking about what might have been.

I hate it because I know that there was no "plan B." Evie was meant to be here for exactly the amount of time she was here. There is nothing we could have done to change this situation.

So now I am trying to focus on the positive changes that this year and Evie have brought.

My little boys turned 4 and 1 this year. The twins are best friends and they make each other (and the rest of us) laugh everyday. They are so into their imaginations that I hardly ever know what is going on in their heads. Reese is my little ray of sunshine... he is mischievous and bratty sometimes, but a sweetheart none-the-less. He is almost 2 so everything he says is just the cutest thing in the world. I know I will miss that stage...







My husband and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary in July. 5 years of some of the biggest changes, gains and losses, highs and lows... but we have made it. We love and respect each other... we still make each other laugh. This year has brought us closer on a new level that I wish we didn't have to experience, but am still so thankful that we were there for each other through it all.



I have discovered a lot more about God, my husband and myself. I also learned a lot about other people after Evie passed. You expect some friends or family to shy away from these moments because they are difficult and there isn't really a right thing to say... but everyone was there for us. Everyone made us feel so loved and blessed.

After learning about Evie's chromosome disorder, my eyes were opened to people and situations that I didn't think of before, and it made me see others in a whole new light. It also made me think differently about what I want to do with my life... I changed my major from middle grades education to special education. I finished my associate's program at GPC... with a 3.93 GPA. I really can't believe I got through this semester, but I am done now (Yay!) until I start at UGA in the fall to finish my bachelors. I have also been in touch with some amazing ministry and outreach programs that I hope to work with in 2010.

I can't imagine what the next 5 years has in store, but I know I will be different, better than I was before 2009. Evie changed my heart, and I will always be thankful for that. Sometimes I might think of the what-ifs, but I will always praise God for my daughter and all that she did in the past 40 weeks.







Friday, December 18, 2009

Thank God for God


When I lost my granny almost 2 years ago, I suddenly knew what mourning was. She was such a huge part of my life and who I was... It was so heart-breaking and over-whelming; even though I knew she was heaven with the love of her life…. Grief was something I never understood before. But after that, I was suddenly able to really empathize with those who had lost someone.

Now I feel like I have joined this new club that I never wanted to be a part of. Suddenly, I get it.

I know what it feels like to come home from the hospital with empty arms. To look at pink dresses, pacifiers, and hair bows which are no longer needed. To constantly feel like there is someone missing.

To think about your child in past tense...

I went shopping yesterday by myself and I wasn’t really letting myself think about Evie as I walked by the aisles of baby things. Then, I saw this tiny pink rock star shirt that I know I would have bought for her. It made me feel weak and light-headed...

I don’t want to know how this feels. I don’t want to be part of this club. I want Evie. I want to hold her and kiss her and watch her sleep. I want to know if she had blue eyes or brown. I want to know her personality. I want to see that first smile and hear that first giggle. I want her to become daddy’s little girl and dance around the living room in her PJs. I want all the moments and memories that I will never experience with her...

Sometimes I don’t even feel like I have let her go. Sometimes my hand instinctively touches my stomach and it is like a punch in the face every time I realize that she is not there; that I am not pregnant anymore.

I know it is often a normal reaction to blame God... I have not really had those feelings. I don't know if I will later or not. I have always been very aware that life isn’t “fair.” I learned this at a (probably much too) young age. I believe the whole point of life is to grow in our faith and through our experiences and to learn compassion for others in Christ. God never promised us that life would be perfect or even easy.

But don’t get me wrong, I question a lot. I search for answers. I pray for understanding and strength. My days are just a roller coaster of crazy thoughts and emotions and I have to pray for God to pull me out of the darkness that is constantly threatening to overtake me. That is how I get by right now; how I get out of bed in the morning and function through my day.

I really don’t know how anyone could handle this without faith. Seriously…

Thank God for God.



Proverbs 3: 5-8

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.
8 It will be healing to your body
And refreshment to your bones.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dear Evie


Yesterday, David and I took the boys to the cemetery and let them decorate with flowers. They don't really understand too much, but they know Evie is in heaven with Jesus and Great-Granny. Hopefully they will be able to remember being a part of everything.







~My Aunt Stephanie read this for me at Evie's burial~

My dear little Evie,


The past few days have been quite a whirlwind.


I finally got to meet you. You weighed 4 pounds, 12 ounces and you were 17 inches long. I got to kiss your little face and hold your little hands. Your big brothers thought that you would have brown hair and they were right. You looked a lot like Ty, but you were the beautiful little girl that I dreamed you would be.


I want you to know how you turned our world upside down. 16 weeks ago, we learned that you were special. We learned that we might not have long with you here on Earth. We were scared and unsure about your future, but God held us so close and gave us peace. He helped us to enjoy every day we had with you. You were so active and strong. I cherished every kick and roll, and every chance I got to see you moving around.


The hospital nurses were just amazed with how many people came to see you and your mommy and daddy in the hospital. They said they could feel all the love around us, and they knew we would be okay.


People think we are so strong, but the only reason we can smile and laugh and get through the day is because God is carrying us through, and He has given us hope for the future.


I don’t have to worry about you sweet baby. You never have to experience pain or sorrow. You get to spend all your days with Jesus, and He is holding you close. I know it won’t be easy to go on without you here. I wish I could watch you grow up and play with your big brothers and become spoiled by your grandparents. I wish I could see you as a moody teenager and watch your daddy walk you down the aisle.


But I know God had a greater purpose for you. Your life has changed us and all those around us. You brought us closer to one another. We prayed together, cried together, and all of our faith grew because of you. We learned how to be more patient, caring, and humble. We learned how to trust God in everything and to love each other unconditionally. I will thank God every day for choosing us to be your parents. We now have an even greater reason to look forward to heaven.


There are no words to express how much we love you and miss you. You were a blessing and a miracle, baby Evie, and we will never be the same.


Love you always,


Mama

Friday, December 4, 2009

~We love You Baby Evie~


I don’t even know how to write this because it still seems so unreal.
This past Thursday we said good-bye to our baby girl, Evelyn Naomi.

She was born into the arms of Jesus December 3rd at 6:47 pm.

I carried sweet Evie for 36 precious weeks.
She weighed 4 lbs 12 oz and was 17 inches long.
She had a full head of brown hair and looked a lot like her big brother Ty.

We were able to have a beautiful memorial service for her yesterday
and lay her to rest beside my
Granny who passed almost 2 years ago.

Baby Evie is healed now and is in a perfect place.
David and I have the most incredible families and friends that anyone could hope for.

Thank you for all your prayers and everything you have done.
We will never forget all your faith and love.



~This is the slide show that my Aunt Gina created for Evie's memorial~
The song we used in the slide show is "I Will Carry You" (Audrey's Song) by the group Selah




Please continue to pray for us as we rely on God to get us through.


Psalm 143

4 Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me; My heart is appalled within me.

5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your doings;
I muse on the work of Your hands.

6 I stretch out my hands to You; My soul longs for You, as a parched land. Selah.

7 Answer me quickly, O LORD, my spirit fails;
Do not hide Your face from me,
Or I will become like those who go down to the pit.

8 Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning;
For I trust in You;
Teach me the way in which I should walk;
For to You I lift up my soul.

9 Deliver me, O LORD, from my enemies;
I take refuge in You.

10 Teach me to do Your will,
For You are my God;
Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

11 For the sake of Your name, O LORD, revive me
In Your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble.




Wednesday, November 25, 2009

~ Women ~

Last night, my best friends and family threw me a surprise shower. I seriously had NO idea! I am shocked that they pulled this whole big thing together, especially the week of Thanksgiving.

I was just sitting at home (in my PJs of course) waiting on my BFF to arrive from out of town. Then, my sis-n-law and friends came in and told me to hurry and get dressed. (Well, seeing how I have about 2 outfits left that fit, it didn’t take me long to get ready).

We loaded up and they took me to a 3D ultrasound place where my aunt and hubby’s mom and sis met us as well. They all got to meet baby Evie! She looks like a little chunker already; I’m thinking she’s got my chubby cheeks for sure =)

Then, as if that wasn’t enough, we went to a restaurant where the rest of the amazing ladies in my life were waiting. The shower theme was “nesting” and my sis-n-law invited everyone to bring “meaningful” gifts. They definitely were!! I love every single thing I got! I really need to get a hope chest for Evie for some of the stuff.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving which, of course, reminds me of all the blessings in my life. While I am incredibly thankful for everything God has blessed me with, after last night I am focused today on how thankful I am for the ladies in my life.

Last night, I was looking around and thinking... I have all these incredible women close to me. I know that there is no way I would be able to be smiling and laughing through all of this without them.

What is so amazing about these girls is the fact that although they are all incredibly different, they all have a very common trait:

They are genuine.

They are themselves and although not perfect, they are beautiful, funny and full of love. They have all been through difficult times and they are all so strong! Some have helped raise me and others I have only met over the past few years, but they are all incredibly important to me. Many of them have seen me at my absolute worst, yet they never gave up on me. 

I know that these women already love my daughter; they already accept her. They don’t have to give false words of comfort because they truly believe and hope for the best for her. They don’t shy away when things are difficult or uncomfortable. Their faith in God is so strong that I feel their prayers and I know that they truly believe it when they say Evie will be okay.

My mom is one of my best friends and that is one of the biggest reasons I started wanting a daughter. Not just for the frilly dresses and the barbie dolls, but for the bigger things; seeing her walk down the aisle with her daddy, helping her go through pregnancy and start a family of her own. My hope is that Evie will grow up and become a part of this special group. That she will get to know these amazing women and love them all as much as I do.

I am so thankful that during what might be the hardest time in my life, God has given me such a wonderful group of family and friends. I truly hope that I can be even half of the comfort and inspiration to them that they are to me.

Happy Thanksgiving!! =)

Baby Evie~ 35 Weeks

Monday, November 23, 2009

So NOT me Monday

 

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.


~My NOT me WEEK~

I did NOT almost cry when I looked through my old phone pictures and seen this pic of the twins as babies. They are NOT about to be 4 years old and this does NOT make me emotional.



We did NOT have the most talkative server EVER at IHOP where we ate at for lunch. She did NOT go into far too much detail about her methods of birth control, and my husband did NOT almost gag on his pancakes…

I did NOT completely ruin the one home-cooked meal I attempted this week. My zucchini was NOT mush, my lasagna did NOT have the consistency of soup, and I definitely did NOT totally char the brownies. I did NOT burn the fire out of my hand twice during this whole horrendous attempt, and my sweet, sweet husband did NOT have to choke it down and tell me how good it was...

I also did NOT go to a store to pick up a few items and as I checked out and gave the cashier my CVS card, she did NOT have to politely say, “ummm, sorry Mam’, but this is Walgreens.”

Pregnancy brain is NOT in full effect.

Happy MONDAY =)

Monday, November 16, 2009

NOT Me Monday


Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.


 ~My NOT Me Week~


I did NOT get aggravated at my OB appt. this morning when the doctor told me that my c-section wouldn’t be scheduled until the 28th of December. It also did NOT bother me that the doctor who will be performing the c-section isn't who I preferred, and the pediatric surgeon that we have met with will be out of town that whole week. Calm and Cool all the way =)


Then, I definitely did NOT burst into tears in the drive-thru of Chick-fil-a when an adorable little girl waved at me through the window. I was NOT listening to Selah’s “I Will Carry You” during this whole incident and the drive-thru worker definitely did NOT think I was a total freak-show.





My lovely son Nolan did NOT spend the entire weekend in the corner for being disobedient and he is NOT currently grounded from all video games for at least a week after sneaking into the bathroom to give his stuffed elephant a bath when he was supposed to be taking a nap. His Daddy did NOT almost completely lose it on him.


Of course, I would NEVER have to use an entire box of Magic Erasers to clean all the crayon and marker lines off our walls which definitely have NOT been there for about 6 months. Reese’s pieces would NEVER do anything like this.



I did NOT have to quarantine my boys this week so they would not infect the world with their germy germs. And of course, I did NOT wait at Wal-Mart for 2 hours to get FIVE prescriptions filled. This is NOT the twins on the floor after getting eye drop treatments for the pink eye that they both DIDN'T have. Nope, my kids are healthy as can be.




I am also NOT writing this blog post instead of taking my Astronomy quiz that is due by midnight. I will definitely NOT wait until 11 pm to start it =)

HAPPY MONDAY!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Baby Update: 6 Weeks to Go!

Evie is almost 3 and ½ pounds! They also measured her arms and legs and she is not very far behind in growth. The amniotic fluid is still high, so I will be going for ultrasounds once a week unless it goes back down. I love getting to see Evie every week; she looks HUGE on the ultrasound!

I am definitely learning a new level of organization and so far have not mixed up any doctors appointments. We are going to Egleston on Thursday morning for another fetal echo of her heart and to meet the surgeon who would perform her heart surgery (if she needs it). Then, Thursday afternoon we have an appointment with a different pediatric surgeon who will fix the omphalecele.

Dr. Yeagley thinks we will probably try and wait until the 39th week to schedule the c-section. I’m pretty sure that is the week of Christmas. So we might be having flashbacks of December 2005 with the twins!

Meeting your new baby is the best Christmas present you can get =)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

How to Pray

This has been on my mind for weeks. Since all of this happened with Evie, I have been searching for answers about prayer.

How should I pray? Should I be praying for acceptance and guidance, regardless of the situation? Should I be praying constantly for healing? Should I be praying for discernment?  All of the above?

I started asking God for guidance in my prayer life, and He has shown me so much.

The first verse that came to me is:

Romans 8:26-27: 
26In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 

I don’t have to worry so much about saying the “right” words. The Holy Spirit intercedes if we don’t have the exact words. God already knows the desires of our hearts.

Next, He has drawn me to the Garden of Gethsemene, where Jesus prays the night before his cruxifiction.

36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, "Sit here while I go over there and pray."  37And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. 38Then He said to them, "My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me." 39And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will." Matthew 26:36-40 (NASB)

Jesus was distressed and He asked His Father to change his circumstances, but then He said, not as I will, but as You will. Jesus never gave up trusting the will of His Father. It is important not to become arrogant in prayer, believing we know better than God. His will is perfect.

Third, I have focused on praying for others. When I stop looking at myself and my problems, it is easy to see a bigger picture, and to realize everyone is going through or has went through a difficult situation. In all my worrying and wondering about what is going to happen and what I should be doing, I have forgotten that it is not all about me! Life does not revolve around me and my circumstances. God is so much bigger than that. His plan is so much more than I can comprehend.

Lastly and most importantly, I have learned to just stop and listen; to spend time with God without requests or expectation.

Thanking Him for His love and forgiveness.


“In reality, there is only one true prayer, only one substantial prayer: Christ Himself. There is only one voice that rises above the face of the earth: the voice of Christ. Perfect prayer does not consist of many words, but in the fervor of the desire which raises the heart to Jesus.
Mother Teresa: No Greater Love

Monday, November 2, 2009

~Not Me Monday~

I always like reading these posts, so I thought I would try one out for myself...


Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

My NOT ME Monday

I sooo did NOT let my boys dress up like video game characters and I did NOT make their totally awesome hats all by myself.



Of course, I do NOT have the worst sweet tooth ever, and I definitely have NOT eaten far more of my boy's candy than they have. 

Reese is definitely NOT the cheesiest little picture taker ever...



 …and he definitely does NOT get that from me.



I definitely do NOT have 3 totally different doctors appointments this week, and three more next week, and I am totally NOT tired of doctors appointments... all these extra appointments did NOT cause me to forget about my astronomy quiz and of course, I did NOT receive a big fat zero on it. (thankfully, my professor is dropping the lowest quiz grade)

I would NEVER take advantage of the fact that the boys were at Grandma and Grandpas and celebrate by taking a 2 hour nap in the middle of the day. It was NOT the best nap ever.

Oh, I definitely have NOT gained more weight than I am supposed too during this pregnancy, and no, I do NOT totally feel and look every bit of it! =)

HAPPY MONDAY!!



Friday, October 23, 2009

~8 Weeks Left~

I went to my OB appointment on Monday. I met one of the new doctors, Dr. Smith, who was great. I think I only want to see women doctors this time. Our doctor for the twins and Reese was great, but he acts like House, and I kind of feel like I need someone a little more positive this go around. There is a level of pregnancy that only women can really understand, and we have some really great female docs in our group.

Everything was good at the appt- blood pressure, heartbeat, all that. I have to go back in a week and take the gross thick kool-aid diabetes test (I believe that is the official name). I am really hoping to pass the one hour test this time and not have to do the three hour one.

The doctor said that they will probably schedule the c-section for around the 38th week because they do not want me going into labor naturally. They want it to be very controlled so it will put the least amount of strain on Evie, and so they can have all the pediatric specialists available when she is born. They say she will have to be transferred to Egleston soon after she is born for surgery on the omphalecele, which kind of stinks, but they have amazing doctors there so I know she will be getting great care.

That would have me delivering around the 2nd week of December. That seems like very soon. This time of year flies by because we always have so much going on: flag football, Halloween, Thanksgiving, the twin’s birthday, and all the Christmas festivities. December will be here before we know it!

This Wed. night is OC night (our church) at the Corn Dawgs maze in Loganville. We have been wanting to take the boys for awhile. They have a huge maze and other fun fall activities. I know the boys will have a blast. Hopefully, I will get some good pics to post~

Lily

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Beach Pics







cheesy smiles =)

 
                                                        

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Imperfections

Every year at the beach, I usually pick out two shells to take home. It might seem silly but I have a specific “criteria” for the shells I pick out. I started this when Dave and I got together and I usually get one for me and one for him.

As I was walking down the beach today, looking out for my “perfect” shells, I started wondering, “Why was I looking for only “perfect” shells? Why not find a shell with imperfections? Is a perfect shell in someway better than a shell that has a hole in it, or is cracked?” Not really… but that is how we are programmed, we look for perfection, we strive for it.

Especially women, we want to have a perfect house, perfect job, be perfect wives, have a perfect body, perfect kids… we are constantly judging ourselves and those around us. Not anymore, I say. I am not perfect. I don’t know anyone on this Earth who is. Why are we obsessed with the impossible?

My little Evie has already been labeled “abnormal” and “imperfect” She has already had more tests and diagnosis then many people see in a lifetime, and she hasn’t even been born yet. Everyone has been telling me, “She is going to be fine” That is wonderful to hear, but even if she doesn’t come out “perfect” she is wanted, loved, and cherished.

And she has already changed our lives in a way that is completely different than our other kids. Her imperfections have made us better people. We already have more faith, more love, more sympathy and more strength than we ever knew we were capable of.

She is not even born yet, but she is a part of our family. Every day I feel her and I grow closer to her. I thank God for her every chance I get. The truth is: she is already a miracle. Every day she is alive, she is beating the odds.

God has given her to us for a reason and I am inspired by that fact. I would love to know more about His will for her life, but that can only come in time. Right now, I must give her to Him, and allow Him to protect and watch over her until she is ready to meet the world.

So as I was walking on the beach I found a beautiful little shell with a small piece missing on the side. I picked it up and kept it. It’s my Evie shell.

It is hard for me to change my “perfectionist” attitude, but I am, slowly and surely. I am learning to desire whatever God wants for me and my family:

His will, His truth, His plan.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Rainy Days

I decided Monday is my "school-free" day. I spend Sunday nights getting everything done that I procrastinated on throughout the week, and I do not even want to think about anything school related by Monday. Especially after I spend 6 hours Sunday trying to make a group project something even remotely acceptable to turn in.

Anywaaaaaaaaay,
We have another ultrasound appointment on Thurs. It will be nice to see how baby Evie is doing; maybe I can ask the Doc to do the 3D ultrasound again. She is definitely active, kicking and spinning like crazy!

We found out that Dave and I are not carriers of any chromosome abnormalities, so this is a "de novo" thing, which means it is "new" to her. I was not surprised and I am relieved that we are not carriers; I really didn't want to think about the boys possibly being carriers and having to worry about how this would affect them when they are ready to have kids.

Anyway, we are headed to St. George on Friday. I can't even begin to explain how much I am looking forward to this vacation. We could all use a serious break, and Lori and Jim's beach house could quite possibly be the most relaxing place on Earth.

Please continue praying for us and baby Evie =)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

We seen the cardio fetal specialist today, and he confirmed the VSD in baby Evie's heart. He told us that it is a very common heart problem and is very treatable. If it does not close on its own, then she will probably have surgery when she is 3-6 months old... I can't even imagine that, but he did say it is a common surgery with great results.

Thankfully, that is the only issue with her heart! We are praying for God to heal her VSD so she won't have to go through surgery so young, but I know he will watch over her regardless! She kept kicking the Dr. today when he was doing the ultrasound. It made him laugh. She is really strong, and I think she was fed up with getting poked. =)

Hopefully, we will get our blood results tomorrow... then, I am taking a break from Dr.s appointments. I mean, there is only so much they can tell us until she is born.

In other news, I got accepted to UGA! Now I have to work on my application and essay for the teaching program, which is due by January. Hopefully, I can get through this last semester at GPC. I am taking 6 classes again (what was I thinking?) but then I will be done at perimeter... I won't start at UGA until next August so at least I will have spring semester off.

Busy, busy, busy, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Evelyn Naomi

We gave our daughter a name. This is the first time a name came to us and I instantly knew it was the name we were going to use. I liked Evelyn because it is the name of my great-grandmother, and I really wanted to use a family name. We couldn't figure out a middle name that we liked.

Within a week of finding out all this stuff about the baby, my sister, myself, and my pastor at church all came upon the same verses:

Acts 3

2And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
____________________
6Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. 7And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.

9And all the people saw him walking and praising God: 10And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.


Then, that same week I had to read a poem for my creative writing class. The poem was:

Kindness
By: Naomi Shihab Nye
http://elise.com/quotes/poetry/naomi.htm

When I saw the name of the author I thought, hmmm Naomi, that's a pretty name.

Then, I looked it up and in Hebrew, Naomi means Beautiful/Pleasant... Evelyn means Life...

So that was it...

I am sure we will call her Evie for short, Ty likes that name the best =)

Focus on the Good

I realize that it is human nature to look at the worst possible scenarios, to assess the risks and the possibilities. It is difficult to not think of "what if" when it comes to this pregnancy. I feel rather helpless sometimes because we just don't know what the future holds. We don't know what God has in store for our daughter. I know He has a great purpose and plan for her; we just don't know what that is yet.

It is also kind of a lonely feeling. The thoughts and emotions you feel can't really be expressed to someone who isn't in this situation. We both have amazing support around us from everyone we know, but we don't know anyone who has been through this. I don't know any kids personally that are not totally healthy, which in itself is wonderful and praiseworthy. I have found some interesting groups on the internet though. It helps to read stories from people who have went through all the uncertainty and waiting for a diagnosis that really doesn't tell you anything. Much better than looking at medical websites which are horrible and overwhelming.

So I have been making myself focus on positive things. It is really hard to be depressed or stressed when you focus on how blessed you are. These are some of the things I focus on when I start getting disheartened:

1. I know Jesus. There are millions of people out there who do not have Hope. I know that the only reason I am alive is because of Him. I could not imagine going through life, especially the difficult times, without His guidance and grace.

2. My marriage- I get to spend everyday with my best friend. Even on the worst days, we can make each other laugh. He is the most amazing dad, and he works his butt off so that I can stay home with the boys and finish my education. I really try not to take him for granted.

3. My kids- I have good kids. They are hilarious and imaginative and smart. They can drive me crazy, but they can pull me out of a bad mood in a second. I am glad to have the opportunity to be a mother.

There are so many more, but just these three are enough to satisfy me~

To be continued...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Goosers!

Dave is 29 years OLD today. One more year to the big 3-0... We will probably head up to Provinos for dinner tonight with the fam, and maybe a get-together with friends this weekend.

If you have been around Nolan and Ty lately, you would know that they pretend to be different people or characters practically every day. And it last all day long. They will not answer me unless I call them the right name. Today's characters are Marina and Shout from the Fresh Beat Band(nick jr)... Ty is Marina; he always chooses to be the girl... hmmmm.

Reese believes he is an only child, and Ty and Nolan are just visiting... He is just the sweetest baby in the world, but he gets mad if the other 2 are taking up our attention... and he is the biggest daddy's boy. He cried his little eyes out when Dave left this morning.

I love my boys! =)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Evie's Story: The Beginning

My husband, David, and I became parents to our first children, fraternal twin boys in Dec. 2005. Twins do not run in our families and we were not using fertility treatments so it was quite a shock to us to learn I was carrying two little lives. The boys were born at 36 weeks, vibrant and healthy. We left the hospital on Christmas Eve and got to spend Christmas day at home, basking in the glow of our new additions. Two years later, I became pregnant with another little boy. The pregnancy was uneventful, and we welcomed our sweet baby in March 2008.

Now, pregnant for the third time, we went to our 20 week appointment in August. The ultrasound technician confirmed we were expecting a little girl due December 30th. I still wasn’t convinced it was a girl; something just did not feel right. I did not realize that my maternal intuition ringing had little to do with the baby’s gender.

Then, as David and I sat in a stark, cold room, the doctor dropped a bomb on us. He told us that our baby was showing multiple abnormalities: a ventrical septal defect (heart), omphalacele (abdomen), and a club foot.

I was in absolute shock.  A nightmare had just turned into reality. I felt like I was watching a scene out of a movie. This was not happening; this was someone else’s life. I thought, “I have three healthy boys at home, and no one in my family has ever had these problems. How could this happen?” I just prayed over and over in my head, “Jesus, help me.” The doctor said that because there was more than one issue, he would send us to an ultrasound specialist and we could figure out if this was part of a syndrome or a chromosomal disorder. 

So with tears streaming down my face, I walked out of the doctor’s office. I couldn’t think. David hugged me and said, “It is going to be okay. Whatever it is, we will get through it.”  At first, my family was devastated but we quickly began to pray and feel the Lord’s presence in this situation. We decided to name her Evelyn Naomi; Evie for short.

After several more appointments and tests, we learned that our daughter has a rare chromosomal abnormality. In short, a large part of her third chromosome is duplicated. This is such a rare diagnosis; it has been very difficult finding information about it. There have only been a handful of cases ever recorded, and none with her exact duplication. Man's prognosis for our daughter is bleak and disheartening. We, of course, do not believe men have the final say in her life. 

The doctors call her a “fluke” but to us she is already a miracle. Most babies with these issues are miscarried in the first trimester. They asked us twice if we wanted to terminate the pregnancy. The thought of ending my baby girl’s life just because she isn’t perfect breaks my heart. She has made it this far; obviously God has a purpose and plan for her.

I have went through a roller coaster of thoughts about my faith and God. At first, I wondered if this was a form of discipline God was using to wake us up and transform us into better, stronger people. After reading endless blogs and stories of families who went through losing a newborn with a fatal diagnosis, and those living with a child with severe special needs, I wonder if God is giving us this child as a testimony for His unbiased love. I often wonder if this is a test of our faith, that if we just believe, He will heal her.

The point is: I don’t know God’s perfect will, but I trust Him. I don’t know what He has in store for my daughter just like I don’t know what He has in store for my other children. Does that mean I love her any less? That my hope for her is any less? I trust Him with my whole life. I have to trust Him now as He is weaving her together moment by moment. Only He knows the days ordained for each of us. He knows what we can and can not handle.

There is one thing I am positive of; God has chosen us to be her parents. She was formed for this moment in time, and she will be a testimony of His great love and mercy. We thank God for our miracle every day. I savor every roll and kick, and I can’t wait to hold this special life in my arms.

Thank you for your prayers and love! 

Psalm 139:13-16:

13For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother's womb.
14I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
15My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
16Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Prologue

The Backstory... Under Construction

Sailor Studio



Sailor Studio is an enamel on copper and stained glass art studio formed by my mom, Debbie Sailor, me, and my sis-in-law, Britni.  


My mom worked under renowned enamelist, Margaret Ratcliff (Peggy to us) for over 30 years. 
 
Last year, she was given an amazing opportunity to open a studio in the Village of Stone Mountain. 


My SIL and I joined her team, learning the enamel on copper art form and starting a new 'wearable art' line. I also got a crash course in the business end of things (my mama can barely turn on a computer ;)


We have a gallery that we share with another artist, Tracie Hawkins, and our workshop and store is located in Stone Mountain, Georgia.



We make custom jewelry and decorative art- email us with any questions/comments =)





God has blessed us so much through this opportunity. It truly is a dream come true!


Like us on Facebook for updates and giveaways:


Check out our Blog here: Sailor Studio Blog








The Theme

I used to define myself as a realist; a cynic… It is easy to become that way when life hits you hard as a kid.


You are constantly preparing for the worst.



Your heart hardens...



You hide behind sarcasm and humor and a “live for the moment” lifestyle.



You blame your parents for all your problems.



You move around. You don't let yourself get attached. You never get too involved.



You have always known God was there, but you put Him on a shelf...



You are envious of the love others have for Him, their faith no matter the situation.



You witness miracles as addictions are broken, self-esteem is restored, and Hope repairs shattered lives.




You want to know Him more but are in constant battle with the world.




You finally realize that life can be so much more than a temporary fix.




You know that you need Him.






You wonder if He cares.








You ask.








He answers.







He forgives.







You forgive yourself.






Your heart is opened.



You feel more, laugh more, enjoy more.



You begin to see life as a day to day opportunity to love...





and be loved.






Knowing Him is a choice.





It becomes






A desire.





A need.







He is...






now.






He was...






then.







He will be...







forever







the best








decision






I ever made.







Luke 7:47-50:

47 "For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little."

48 Then He said to her, "Your sins have been forgiven."

49 Those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say to themselves, "Who is this man who even forgives sins?"

50 And He said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

Friday, August 28, 2009

WHO ARE THE BILSLANDs?

David(Goose) and I have been married for 5 years. We met when we were both working as servers at a restaurant, and we both had ZERO responsibilities!
How times have changed!!


Met: November 2002 (red hair??!!)



Married: July 2004




Surprise! You are having twins!! December 2005












Baby Reese joins the mix March 2008


Lily ~ Blog Author (25)





I am currently a full-time house-wife, baby-mama, and student. I am working on a degree in Special Education and am a completely neurotic about my grades in college. I hope to work with kids/teens and their families who have emotional or disciplinary issues.

I am naturally a very messy and unorganized person, which usually results in me making a mad-dash at 6 pm to get the house looking presentable before my much-less-messy husband gets home from work. I am quickly becoming a Blogaholic and I spend a ridiculous amount of time online reading =) I am and have always been a night owl, and even when I am pregnant I can not go to bed before 1 am. I am NOT a great cook, painter, writer, singer, decorator or photographer but I love to try it all!

I have way too many goals and ideas and I have a hard time letting others help me. I'm a little bit of a control-freak, but I am trying every day to let God take over and guide my steps!

Dave/Goose ~ Man of the House (29)




David is the lead Intel engineer at a great company. He is a computer geek and he loves his job! He is also working on his Masters and plays the drums in band called the Last Chucks. He is an awesome husband and dad =)

We love our new church, and we love playing flag football and volleyball on rec. teams. David and I both have very close families and get together with them as much as possible. We also both have a core group of friends that we don’t see as often as we’d like but are so thankful for!


TY ~ Twin A (4)




The oldest by two minutes, Tybo is what we call a little “quirky.” He is his own person. He does NOT care about video games, sports, or cars. He LOVES every type of music and memorizes every song he hears. He is patient and never in a hurry! He takes 2 hours to finish a meal and would rather play by himself in Tyland with his imaginary friends (Sweedy and Macky) and his air-drums.

He told me he keeps Jesus in his pocket =)

Nolan~ Twin B (4)




Nolan is an All-American boy’s boy. He loves sports, video games, Hotwheels, Legos, and wrestling with his daddy and brothers. He loves all food, even vegetables, and likes to work out with Mommy and drink lots of water so he can be big and strong!

He thinks he is 16 and already says phrases like, “That’s not fair.”


Baby Reese (1 1/2)



Not really a baby anymore, Reese’s pieces was the sweetest little guy in the world. He was soooo easy as a baby, just as quiet and smiley as can be. He has quickly changed to toddler mode and is becoming Mr. Dramatic! He loves being the center of attention and loves getting into trouble! He thinks the word NO is hilarious and making messes is the goal of his life. He loves to make his brothers mad and annoys them as much as possible!

He is a total daddy’s boy; David getting home is the best part of his day!

~ Evelyn Naomi ~
Born into Heaven ~ December 3, 2009




Evie was diagnosed with a partial duplication of her 3rd chromosome at 20 weeks. We spent 36 weeks with her before Jesus took her home. We are so thankful for our time with her and how she has changed our lives. We will always miss her and can't wait to see her again one day.

God has blessed our lives so much and we are trying to live each day to bring Him glory and love others the same way He loves us!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Author

Hi, I'm Lily Dawn... 

I know, I know, kind of a hippie name. I was raised by a pretty free-spirited single mama. My child-hood wasn’t picture perfect, but my family loved God and that faith and many prayers made me who I am today.


 ~I fell in love with a boy named Goose (David) when I was 18. We had a rock-n-roll wedding in July of 2004. 

 

Goose is a computer engineer and a wildly talented drummer. I've always had a thing for nerds and musicians- I ended up with a little of both :)


  

He is a beautiful daddy and has made me happier than I ever deserved to be. (can't ya tell?) 


~I wear many hats. Literally and figuratively… I am an on and off again student, artist, a wife, and “Mama” to three insanely adorable, witty, and destructive boys who have taught me more than I could ever teach them. 






   (Brotherly love)


The twins are 6 now and Reese is almost 4. I still can hardly believe I am a mother. It's such a fantastic and wildly complicated responsibility.


~We lost our our baby daughter Evie at the end of my pregnancy in 2009. I only hope to inspire as much prayer and love through my life as she did with 9 months in her mama’s tummy. (you can read more about Evie’s story here)


~For years I ran from my artistic roots and thought I should have a  “professional” job in some kind of business field. After trying several of the wrong paths, I finally found my place in the creative world, opening an art studio specializing in enamel on copper art and jewelry (Sailor Studio). I’m learning everything I can from my mom, and I cherish the moments I have working alongside her.
  





~If I could do anything I wanted, I would be a poet. I write lyrics and limericks in my head every day, but hardly ever write them down, because well, I have a wretched short-term memory… and poets aren’t really in high-demand these days. ;) 


 



~Words and books have been a constant in my life… when I was a kid I used books to escape a sometimes rocky landscape. I used journals as outlets for the never-ending river of thoughts and ideas swishing through my head. 

This is my journal now, my outlet, my story... 



 



Thanks for visiting my little plot of webland- drop me a line and I'll be sure to visit you too! :) 



LOVE!!

Lily