Wednesday, January 27, 2010
I am not an extremely emotional woman. Not many people have seen me cry. Even when we first found out about Evie, I wasn’t bawling every day even though it was definitely more than usual.
And now, even though I am thinking about my daughter most of the day, I am not constantly emotional about it. I write a lot about her and that helps. I don’t post most of what I write because it is usually just random, scattered thoughts (although I guess that’s all a blog is anyway)…
It is strange because when you think of how you might react to losing a baby, your actual grief process is not anything like you imagine it will be (or at least mine isn’t). I don't think there is any right or wrong way.
Most days I am okay. I pray and picture Evie with Jesus and He gives me a sweet peace… I am happy. I have so much to be thankful for- my family, my kids, and I feel blessed that I was able to have Evie with me for 36 weeks…
I might hug the boys a little too tight, but I can laugh and joke around and can still be myself most of the time.
But scattered in between are days that just pull at my heart and I walk around with this big lump in my throat, right on the brink of a meltdown.
I felt like that all day...
I was just filling out some paperwork; applications for the boys for Pre-K, patient forms for their first dentist appointment and an eye appt. for Ty. Then, I was working with Nolan, trying to teach him how to write his name.
I told him, “You need to learn how to write your name because when you start school you will be writing it a buzzillion times a day.”
Then, I looked at a picture of Evie’s name and just thought about how much I love it. I love writing it; Evelyn Naomi, Evie - it’s just so flowy and feminine.
And there it was.
I realized why I was feeling so low. All these forms and teaching my boys how to write their names…
I will never do that with my daughter.
I won’t be filling out forms for the pediatrician or Pre-k.
I won’t be teaching her how to write her name.
I won’t be signing her up for dance or piano lessons.
I won’t see her name scribbled all over notebooks when she a teenager… Evie loves So and So…
All those little things that you don’t really give much thought…
Some days they get to me... Today was one of those days.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
My Tip for Tuesday is to write these things down, get a journal, start a blog (like our friend Andy did here), whatever you want to do to immortalize these cute and quirky moments with your kids because you will not remember them and they are so fun to look back on later =)
My 4 year old twin boys, Nolan and Ty have imaginary friends. Four of them to be exact (Mackey, Sweedy, Lax, and Jason). They have had these friends for about a year and we have found out all sorts of interesting things about them…
This is what I learned today at lunch:
Ty (looks out the window and yells) : Sweedy, Don't go in the road!!
Nolan: Sweedy is a dog.
Ty: No she’s not. Dogs are boys.
Nolan: No they are not.
Ty: Yes, they are. Dogs are boys and Sweedy is a sweedy.
Mom: Is Sweedy your girlfriend?
Nolan: …and Macky is my girlfriend.
Ty: No, Macky is my girlfriend too. Lax is your girlfriend and she is BOOOOOR-ING!
So apparently Ty is not monogamous and Nolan's girlfriend is lame. I somehow see this same conversation playing out when they are about 16 years old, only with real girls…
NOT looking forward to that =)
Monday, January 25, 2010
through the woods…
in the POURING rain…
over fallen logs and under barb-wire…
I did NOT almost fall flat on my face... multiple times.
My husband did NOT put me to shame (yet again) in the kitchen with his homemade creamed spinach and lasagna concoction that was incredibly delicious... I am definitely NOT slightly annoyed that he is such a better cook than me and I am NOT about to just give up with the cooking thing altogether…
Nolan did NOT find chopsticks (somewhere??) and after my explanation of what they were, he definitely did NOT say he was going to use them instead of his fork.
He also did NOT call them “chapsticks” and did NOT quickly give up after trying to use them to eat these raisins.
In other dinner news, my lovely son Ty does NOT spill his milk all over the table almost every single night.
This definitely did NOT lead to me making my FOUR year old son drink out of a baby bottle.
Only ONE day after giving up and getting another remote from Comcast, this definitely did NOT happen::::
No, my kids would NEVER take the front off a speaker and turn it into a secret hiding place for all of their treasures…
On Saturday, my awesome Uncle Tim did NOT bring over this fabulous toy box that he made for the boys.
Within 15 minutes of having this lovely gift, my 1 year old did NOT take the lid off his cup and proceed to pour juice all down the back of this brand new (un-finished) toy box.
And it was NOT me who stated (at the top of my lungs),
“SERIOUSLY??? CAN WE NOT HAVE ANYTHING NICE?”
No way, I am always calm, cool, and collected…
Happy Monday!! =)
Sunday, January 24, 2010
I have spent a ridiculous amount of my 25 years thinking (obsessing) about what my “purpose” is.
“What am I doing with my life?” is a question I would ask myself almost every day.
The past few years in college, I have constantly wondered what career path I should take ( changing my major three times!) …And I still think, “What if I make the wrong choice?”
My biggest concern was not wanting to waste my time doing something un-fulfilling… I wanted to do something that helps others, that changes lives, that makes the world a better place.
That is what I have obsessed about…
and I am finally starting to realize... I already am doing that.
I am a mother. I am raising three little boys.
I am laying the foundation for their lives; the building blocks that they will take with them into adulthood; the values that they will use when they get older to make good decisions and to get through the tough stuff.
I am introducing them to Jesus, teaching them how to pray and be thankful in all circumstances; to be kind and giving and to love the unlovable.
Through our interactions, my husband and I are showing them what marriage is so that they will have an example to use in their own relationships.
Every single day I am directly impacting them and the men they are going to be.
The Bible talks about the seasons of life…
My season right now is to be a mom. I fight the concept sometimes, but that is my most important job.
While I still desire to move mountains and change the world, if I don’t become Mother Teresa tomorrow, my day will still be worthwhile because I loved my kids.
I held them, played with them, and read to them. I want them to remember all the moments that I stopped what I was doing, put the laundry basket down, or pulled myself away from the computer, and spent quality time with them. I don't ever want to feel like I took them for granted.
So that is why I let them pull up a chair and help me make dinner every night even if is a complete disaster and takes twice as long… because in the end what matters more, a clean kitchen or 3 little guys who love to cook?
Life is sooo fleeting... I only have a few precious years to make these memories. I don’t want to waste time worrying about my future when I have so much to enjoy right now, in this very moment.
I will, of course, continue to dream and have other goals, but most of that stuff can wait.
My purpose for now, is to be the best person I can be for my boys…
and I am happy with that.
1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
Friday, January 22, 2010
I did not know that bloggers give out “awards,” but I received two in the past week, and I am very excited =)
One came from Aimee at the Women’s marriage ministry blog… This is an awesome ministry that you should definitely check out.
She gave me the Lemonade Stand Award! This award is given to people that you feel have a great attitude or gratitude through their blogs.
* Put the Lemonade Logo on your blog or in your blog post
* Nominate at least 10 blogs with a great attitude or gratitude
* Link Nominees to your post
* Let your nominees know about their award by leaving them a comment on their blog
* Share the Love & link to the person from whom you received the award
But I narrowed it down and would like to pass on the Lemonade Stand Award to these women...
All of them have an awesome attitude; many through incredible circumstances =)
Handprints from Heaven
Footprints on our Hearts
Loves of Life
A Little Slice of Heaven
Finding My Feet
Mommy of an Angel
Growing in Rejoicing
I also received an award from Katie at http://katieslifejourney.blogspot.com/ She is an inspiring, beautiful woman and I just love her blog!
Another blog friend, Franchesca made me this beautiful collage for Evie... So sweet, it really means so much to me =)
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
I enjoy a compliment, but hey, it is not easy...
With all three of my pregnancies, I gained 40-50 lbs (yes, I realize that is way more weight than anyone should gain during pregnancy, especially when you’re 5’1”)
But regardless, I get the weight off…
How you may ask?
A lot of hard work and a lot of self-control (I am a serious sugarholic)…
I now have 20 lbs left to lose so I'm going to give a few tips as I go along~ I am not a nutritionist or fitness expert by any means, but I do know how to get myself in shape, and these are simply things that work for me =)
My Tip for this Tuesday is:
Find some MOTIVATION!
It is a lot easier to put in the time and effort to exercise if you have a motivator. I am not talking about “I just want to lose a few pounds so I can look better and feel better.”
Yes, that is a good reason, but it doesn’t really give you the motivation to get on the treadmill right now…
After I had Reese, I signed up for the Peachtree Road Race, which is a 5k race in Atlanta… I had 4 months to get ready for the race. It was an awesome motivator. I started out very slow after my doctor gave the go ahead to work out… just walking on the treadmill and eventually running.
I also had a bet going on with some of my family~ who could lose 30 lbs first... I won 80 bucks!
So what is my motivation for this year?
Are you a Warrior?
The Warrior Dash is a 3.2 mile race course complete with wall climb, tire run, dirt crawl, fire jump and a whole bunch of other obstacles along the way… And it looks AWESOME!!!! (okay, I am a little too excited about this race~ there are about 10 relatives I am doing this with and we already have side bets going on... I have a slightly competitive family).
Anyway, if you want to get serious, find a motivator… it could be a race, anniversary, birthday, or a vacation; anything with a set date that you are working towards. A day that you want to look or feel your very best!
Once you have that, the real work begins ;)
Monday, January 18, 2010
This is NOT currently the most coveted possession in my house…
It is definitely NOT a cabinet door knob (from who knows where??) that we now call the “crystal stone”. My son, Indiana Jones, does NOT make me run around the house every night as the “bad girl” who has to hide the stone for him to find. This is NOT the most exhausting(but hilarious) game ever, and David and I do NOT roll on the floor laughing when all 3 of our sons find hats and sing the I.J. theme song at the top of their lungs….
Every. Single. Night.
My son did NOT wake up at 3:45 AM screaming and crying because he had lost the “crystal stone.” David was NOT slightly annoyed and definitely did NOT tell Nolan that he was ridiculous and to go back to sleep…
I did NOT fail miserably trying to make a fabulous dinner on Tuesday night. Also,being the super careful person that I am, I did NOT turn on a burner and 2 seconds later forget that I had turned it on… This did NOT result in me screaming with a coil-shaped burn across my palm…
I do NOT go grocery shopping by myself each week with 3 little boys in tow…(or take pictures to prove it
This NEVER results in a few extra items in the shopping bags that we did not intend to buy… (this week's item- chocolate chip muffin mix... thanks Reese.)
(I was also super psyched that my little boy got to stare at this picture during the entire shopping experience… lovely.)
Of course, the highlight of the week was NOT my impromptu photo-shoot with the boys on Friday.
Right after taking this adorable photo at the park, Nolan did NOT congratulate himself by dropping his pants 20 feet from a crowded 4-way stop and peeing for about a minute straight. I did NOT frantically try to hide him and then turn around and find Ty doing the exact same thing...
The people driving by and those hanging at the park did NOT notice and definitely did NOT point and laugh...
having twins rocks.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
A leader of our church emailed me a few days ago and asked me if David and I would be interested (when we are ready) in sharing our experience about Evie with the church. He said that he felt that our faith would be inspiring to a lot of people who are going through hard times right now. Of course, I would love to be able to share our story with others who are hurting, especially parents who have went through a similar situation.
But, I started thinking about what I would say to a large group (our church is pretty big).
There is so much that I have learned through this experience and my faith has certainly grown, but I would never want to put on the facade of “our faith was so strong that we just breezed through everything…”
Because the truth is… we didn’t.
In all honesty, I went through a crisis of faith when I found out the news that Evie had a chromosomal disorder; that she most likely wouldn't live long and if she did she would be extremely disabled. I mean, how do you deal when you have been slapped in the face with something that will pull out the very essence of your soul? One moment, you are just working on a nursery and thinking about names, and the next, your heart is broken. Your faith is moved from a pretty, comforting ritual on a shelf to a hard-core “believe or not believe” here is the rest of your life, all-consuming question.
Is God really there? Is He listening to our prayers? Why is this happening?
It wasn’t really that I felt God wasn’t there, I just didn’t know how to feel. Sometimes I thought maybe we were being punished for something, maybe if we had been more faithful this would not be happening. Maybe if I had prayed more, maybe if I wasn’t so impatient and careless, maybe if I had listened to God’s plan instead of my own desires…
It was easy for me to say, “No, not interested” when the doctors asked us if we wanted to “terminate” the pregnancy (multiple times). That was never an issue for me. This was my child, no matter what. I could already feel her kicking and moving all over the place and I already loved her.
But I was scared. I didn’t know how I would be able to handle all the surgeries, all the “unknown” elements of chromosome disorders. Evie’s duplication was large, which meant that her diagnosis was very severe. I didn’t know how I would handle losing her or caring for a child with special needs along with my 3 boys.
I had a lot of very dark moments where I cried and cried, just thinking, "God, I don't think I can handle this…"
...but then I started feeling Him - literally feeling the presence of God, telling me,
“You will get through this.”
I began to look at the situation through eyes of faith instead of fear.
I prepared for the surgeries, for the therapies and other things we would be investing in. I talked to moms of children with special needs and changed my major to special education so I would be able to do the very best for Evie. I prayed for a miraculous healing, but I was also embracing the fact that God made her different. That we would love her and care for her no matter what issues she had.
Then, on the Thursday that Evie passed, I felt it. I knew she was gone. Just like that, instead of planning surgeries we were planning a memorial service.
And again, I was in shock. I moved through the next 2 weeks like a dream…
But I remember God holding us. He was there in the hospital room; He was there as we took pictures and held our baby girl. He never left us…
And now, if shadows come over me, or pain and unbelief overwhelms me, He is here.
I guess if I wanted to tell our story the right way, I would say that this experience showed me even more that my faith matters.
It isn’t just “church on Sundays” and “a quick prayer before bedtime”
It is a real voice and a light at the end of the tunnel. Having faith doesn’t make you immune… You will hurt and experience tragedies along with everyone else.
But as you are drowning in the storm, there is always someone waiting to pull you out of the water.
Not only to comfort us through tough times, but to guide us through confusing times, and to bless us and help us enjoy the good times.
He is Love.
And He will always answer when you call.
Isaiah 30:18 (NASB) 18Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Normally, I have errands or appointments that break up the monotony, but due to the boys being sick, we were coped up in the house ALLLLL week long. Pair that with David working late every night (and band practice), the kids and I had some major cabin fever going on by Thursday…
Dress up… seriously, take a shower, do your hair and put on some normal clothes (aka:not pjs) and make-up. (this does wonders for the self-esteem, at least for me)
Dress the kids, wipe the days worth or ketchup and applesauce off their faces, and fix their hair.
Make sure you have an extra battery for your camera; grab some juice boxes and granola bars (yes, I have to bribe my boys for them to actually let me take pictures), and load ‘em up!
Start driving… you will figure out where to go… I drove through town and ended up at the little toddler park.
Toddler park = cute photos, kids have fun (and work off all that extra energy), and mama gets some much needed adult conversation (thanks to that kind, older gentlemen and his wife).
Here is a preview:
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
So I am trying to come up with a blog name… I know, I know, I spend way too much time thinking about things that really don’t matter (what else is new).
“THE BILSLANDS” is just too BOR-ING but every time I come up with an idea, I google it and it is taken. There are like 15 Gazillion blogs out there in case you didn't know.
I thought maybe something with Mama Goose and Papa Goose… David’s nickname is Goose… clever right?
Yeah, so there are like 15 mama gooses…
not so clever.
Any suggestions? How do you come up with a good blog name?
Also, on a totally unrelated note, our remote is still missing…we are going on a week here.
Could this be God telling us that maybe we should spend less time watching T.V.? or maybe that some winter cleaning is due?
And one more thing…
When are kids too old for feety-pajamas?
I think the twins might try to wear them until they're 18... (seriously, they love the feety pjs).
Monday, January 11, 2010
Which brings us to this edition of...
My little Reese is NOT sick… No way… He did NOT eat his dinner on Friday night then, while lying quietly in David’s lap, he did NOT proceed to puke EVERYWHERE (I mean, everywhere). I did NOT feel so bad for David while trying not to puke myself as I grabbed Reese and while making my way to the bathtub, he did NOT proceed to throw up again… on me. I am NOT getting nauseous just thinking about it.
(Sweet little Reese must be feeling a little better though because he found the time to catch up with his emails.)
My boys do NOT love to sneak onto my computer every chance they get… This does NOT result in my computer being covered with peanut-butter fingerprints and has NOT resulted in my F1 key being lost and gone forever…
Speaking of lost things, our Comcast remote has definitely NOT been MIA in this Black Hole we call a house for the past 4 days. We have NOT spent far more time than anyone should possibly spend looking for a remote.
The lack of remote on Friday night did NOT result in our boys getting their first taste of wrestling. I mean ridiculous, fake Hulk Hogan type of wrestling. Nolan was so impressed that he did NOT spend the rest of the night putting Ty and Reese in head-locks.
Saturday, Mr. Helpy Helperton did NOT make me really proud when he rescued Ty from having a shoe malfunction meltdown.
I did NOT totally fall in love with Rue 21 on Saturday after buying 2 pairs of shoes and 2 pairs of sunglasses on clearance for $3.00 each. I was NOT just a little too happy to go shopping by myself and actually buy something(frivolous) for me.
And they definitely would NOT be so vain as to check themselves out in the mirror.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
For the first time in a looooooong time, I was the first one to wake up this morning. In case you didn’t know, my hubby and I are not what you call “morning people”. We are night-people through and through. This is helped by the fact that our boys apparently inherited our nocturnal behavior and all 3 usually wake up around 8:30 or 9 am at the earliest. I know this will quickly come to an end when the twins start school (and we will be getting up at 6...ugh), so I am kind of taking advantage of it while it lasts.
Annnnnyways, the sun was just coming up when I got up this morning. It was so quiet and peaceful in the house (I almost forgot where I was).
So I didn’t turn on the t.v. or music (shocking I know) and just sat on the couch with my notebook and Bible and had a little “me and God” time… It was awesome to have this time without kids yelling in the background or the TV blaring Dora the Explorer…
Aaaand we made it to church this morning for a great message.I have discovered if we don’t make it to church on Sunday, I feel very out of sorts for the rest of the day. I love our church. I do!! I love the music and the people and our pastor is very "real"... I struggle with so much junk during the week, I neeeeeds my churchin, ya know what I’m sayin?
Sooo anyway, here are 2 new goals I am starting for 2010.
1. Get up early on Sunday to have some “me and God” time. (this will also make it easier not to sleep in and miss church)
2. Memorize a verse each week. I know this is like a “3rd-grader” type of goal, but I am TERRIBLE at memorization. I have read some verses too many times to count and I can still not recall them when I need to.
So that’s the plan man.
I think blogging about my Sunday morning devotions will help me to stick with this goal.
This week I am starting out with a easy one:
Psalm 34:18 (NASB)
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Simple, but so true… He is always there, and He has given me hope and comfort even on my darkest days. =)
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
“Wow, dude, that’s heavy.”
I feel like my life has become heavy lately. My heart, from missing Evie, but my mind is getting weighed-down too.
I am just the worst type of unorganized. And I am not the “all I need are some file folders and a date-book” type of unorganized. I am the type where I could (and do) spend hours and hours organizing and making to-do lists and then the next day have no idea what I am doing.
I am internally messy… my brain is scattered so that I can never just focus and stick with it. I have goals and opportunities but they are tossed and tangled around my life in a whirlwind that I can never catch up to. I pressure myself to do so much that I often end up accomplishing nothing. Wasting time… then feeling guilty about it.
For those of you who know my mother, you know exactly where I get this “disorganization” from =) But the difference is, it works for her. It does NOT work for me because it drives me crazy! I constantly think of all these BIG ideas that could become reality if I could just get it together.
I need to stop and breathe. Why is that so hard? I can’t relax without feeling guilty about it…
I know a lot of the guilt stems from losing Evie. After we found out about her chromosome disorder, for 16 weeks I thought of nothing else. I stressed and worried and cried and prayed constantly because we just had no idea what was going to happen. We had all these doctor appointments and scheduled surgeries. We toured the NICU and it was all about Evie. Now it’s like, just done. We had a beautiful memorial service, packed up her stuff, and now it’s just over?
Am I really just supposed to go on and live life like normal?
Obviously I have to, I have a husband and 3 amazing little boys that I need to be there for, but I miss her so much and I feel guilty just going on without her. Every time I laugh or talk about future plans there is this twinge of guilt attached to it...
Apparently my subconscious thinks that if I have a busting schedule, it will somehow negate the fact that there is something missing... so I put all this pressure on myself to change: to do more, be a better mom/wife/friend, be more loving, give more, learn more, more more more…
and now that pressure has intensified…
And it makes me feel heavy…
I know I need to slow down… I need to just “calm it” as David tells me.
So I ask for prayer as I wade through all these thoughts and emotions. As I try to relax and enjoy the life God has given me while finding patience and direction to move towards the other goals He wants me to accomplish.
P.S. Writing has always been a source of therapy for me so I will probably be posting more now that I have a semester off of school. It makes me feel better, and hopefully one day will help someone else going through a valley.
Moreover, writing about Evie makes me feel connected to her in a way that keeps me sane.
So thank you to everyone who prays for and keeps up with our family here, even if it sometimes gets…
Psalm 34:17-19 (NASB)
17 The righteous cry, and the LORD hears
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the LORD delivers him out of them all.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
I would say this happens at least 5 times a day at my house between Nolan and Ty and my extensive "tuning out" abilities...
I am really, really trying to cut out the yelling in our house, but after 3 hours of "Mom, Ma, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!" anyone is bound to lose it...
Sooo, thank the Lord for nap time =)
This is what we ended up with...