Good Friday and Easter Sunday are perhaps the most significant days of the church calendar, and yet, in a real sense, we live our lives on Saturday, the day in between. Philip Yancey

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Wee Update Including Amelia

Remember when Jason texted me a play by play when Esther was getting cleaned up and weighed in the newborn nursery? We're in that mode again today, kinda. It's daddy/daughter bonding time in the radiology department of the Atlanta Children's Hospital for some urinary testing. With Lydia, I could muscle her into compliance with such. Amelia is way too strong and emotionally involved for my brute force. It was at her first GI appointment a year or so ago when I literally couldn't coerce the rectal exam into happening, enter Jason, less invasive options if at all possible and Versed. Prayers of many and begging various medical personnel unlocked the chill pill that was initially deemed unavailable for an awake procedure. I wanted the tests to be successful but even more to buffer the fear. That's what mamas are supposed to do. I would be there too if it made sense but know she's in great big (texting) hands.

Amelia asked me last night if I was going to be alright getting the kids off to school without her. I laughed but it was a valid question. That child can push my buttons better than almost anyone, like the week after Lydia's birthday.

I am used to the anticipation of grief dates or the actual days being rough but this year trouble came when I let down the day after, just as babymoon morphed into full-swing life. There came dentist and doctor's appointments in mass with nb in tow (Amelia grew 5" in the last 18mo!), the first of a series of tummy bugs this season (which have only effected our males strangely), behind on all the housework, neighborhood dogs getting into our fence for the great chicken massacre (10 fowl casualties!)...and ultimately my fractured focus and depleted energy which led to miserable homeschooling. So unnaturally we took advantage of teacher/homeschool appreciation day at Rock Ranch and totally wore ourselves out. It was fun though, cutting bait and breathing a bit.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Double Digit Sophie

I'm way behind on documenting noteworthy life around here. Oh where to start? How to organize it? 
I suppose I'll start with the oldest kid.
Sophie turned 10!

She's officially passed Lydia's lifespan, mind blowing.
Sophie loves celebrations and the limelight. This girl plans her birthday for many months. One important detail this year was Esther coming for lunch. Most of my pregnancy was narrated with "And on my birthday the new baby can come to my school!"

Monday, September 17, 2012

12 Years Ago...

Twelve years ago today these young'uns became parents.

It was thrilling each time we got to take you home, over and over again.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Esther Juliette's Birth Story

Baby Esther was born in the early hours on Friday August 24th. It's her one week birthday already! 

I am just drinking her in around the clock. This is the mama who not too many months ago thought her nurturing ability was irreparably broken by grief. We've had babies that demanded more time in arms than others. Esther hasn't had a chance to express an opinion on being put down, thus the delay in celebrating her birth with a post. Granted, I haven't felt too much pressure since Jason does a pretty thorough job updating through FB. He's shared pics and one liners and now I'm here fill in some details of Esther's whirlwind birth story.

As Lydia's gestation and birth month approached I started to get uncomfortable with the idea of a Lydia part 2 delivery. I even started packing extra birthing aides and calling in reinforcements, in case my labor length was resetting (longer) like my gestation. I need not have been concerned. God gave us, gave Esther, a very different birth story adventure than all the others.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Waiting on Go (Ten Things Off the Top)

1. God's unwavering control and goodness became the foundations of my faith as Lydia's mom and beyond. Still lately I keep grappling with my unmet timing expectations instead of resting in His character. I'm geared down now but was mocked by my locket inscription most of the month:

Jeremiah 10:23
Lord, I know that peoples lives are not their own;
    it is not for them to direct their steps.

Just after the gender u/s my first girl name suggestion was 'Providence'. Jason laughed and said that sounded like Puritan for "oops baby", so we moved on. I did think it was pretty.

2. I was just asked several times IF I am pregnant. Ya think? This isn't even an action shot. You should see me walk, or not. What comes after the waddle stage? I'm there.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Summer to School to Baby (Ten Things Off the Top)

1-There will be 4 kids under our roof tonight for the first time in 4 weeks after going 2 by 2 to my parents in FL. Treasured pictures were taken by a talented family friend while down there:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Cookbook and Fireworks-Grief Anniversary Triggers

To most it looks like a mere festive Christmas cookie recipe book. I had big, specific, colorful dreams when I headed to the cashier hugging what I considered a bound album of memories to make with the firstborn in my belly. I strangely treasure that book, a link to an unswayable, idealist, young version of myself. It isn't of much use for it's intended purpose though since I have never been able to bring myself to actually cook from it, even with our subsequent able-bodied children. When I stumbled on the book a couple of weeks ago it was the surprise tripwire making me acknowledge the source of my recent edginess, July 5th inching closer, the 2 year anniversary of Lydia's death. My emotions were closer to the surface than I realized.

Independence Day is much like that cookbook. To most it's a celebration, beach time, fireworks, cookouts by pools, pinterest explosion of patriotic colored desserts. It's even bigger than that as a tribute to our freedom. No one need apologize to me for their festivities by any stretch, maybe some day I'll be able to join you. Right now at my address there are no festivities, it's still overshadowed as primarily the date these pictures were taken.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Glimpses of Life and the Kids

Without even factoring in the feel of the humidity, it's registering 108F outside, a record tie in local history. Jason just installed a friend's extra window unit since it's 85F inside. I am melting! I was actually told that I looked small for 7mo pregnant. Still feels like I'm wearing a down vest with a (heavy) heater tucked under it. With each new baby I've taken up a new hobby or research topic while awake at odd quite hours: breastfeeding, adoptive breastfeeding, smocking, cloth diapering, healthy food, and now babywearing (venturing into the world of woven wrap, mei tai and non-padded ring sling). As steamy as it is right now, I wouldn't be voluntarily wearing anyone even though I really want to fully enjoy the experience with this baby. Thus I'm glad to wait a few more weeks. To be exact, I will be 31 weeks tomorrow and my babies have been evenly spaced from 36 to 39 weeks.

Monday, April 23, 2012

It's a ...

Even when video quality suffers the tone is captured.

Final Poll:

And the Emotional Reveal:
(Listen for Poor Caleb)

Josiah is calmly and firmly convinced it's still a boy who will share his name.

(If you aren't able to see the videos, my apologies. I have to go to my desktop. A follow-up post with more typed words and a few still pics in process.)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Wrapping It Up to Easter, Sunday's Coming

Having been encouraged to complete the picture, I went back and added the image of Lydia's post-surgical abdomen to the second post in this series. It indeed speaks volumes. View only if you wish. And now...

Welcome to part 4 of 4 for the family update. Here are links to onetwo and three

Far more of you have experienced expecting a baby rather than grieving a child. You know how it's never far from your mind, whether you are engaged in something totally unrelated or assembling the crib? While I now consider the two mental presences similar, I would not have said so regarding Amelia's twin. I didn't know the second baby in my womb even existed before its heart stopped beating. He/she was never part of my life or my anticipation and most of the time, I forget. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What Else on the Medical Front?

As a continuation of this post let's finish up the Amelia's update first. 

Through her medical stuff, I've been sweetly surprised at the gift of mother-daughter bonding. She loved her healthy treats of coconut water, chicken broth and homemade popsicles while on clears (Amelia shares my ideology of a whole foods diet). She leaned on me with her tears when hunger got the best of her and I was actually emotionally available. Through circumstances I would never choose came another piece I've been seeking. She's also been my white knight through the gaggy months, offering to change Josiah's stinky accidents and starting the diaper laundry! Just this week Josiah seems to have figured out that last step of potty training, wonderful!

Monday, April 2, 2012

How Amelia Met Her Deductible

Amelia's new GI has ordered a series of tests on her colon (lower GI, rectal biopsies and colonoscopy). The later revealed that the child has the uncanny ability to remain "constipated on watery poop", a discovery after a bowel prep including four day of clear diet and loads of laxatives. It hardly fazed me that Amelia had gone on to the movies and church during this process. That's how colon cleanses go on the only two gals I've worked with. Amelia's mention of the "clear" blue slushy while watching the Lorax prompted the doctor's first pause that day. He looked at me and said basically Houston we have a problem here.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Baby Bump and Telling the Kids

Being quiet the past 8 weeks wasn't due to lack of ups and downs to write about but more the energy and coherency to convey them. I finally completed a catch-up entry, five pages long, single spaced, before pics. Don't worry, I'll break it up into several posts to make it easier on your senses. No build up to a grand reveal this time, just recording our living.

The baby bump has already grown big and clumsy but I felt more like myself yesterday than I have in months. The two belly shots so far have been taken by iPad and Amelia, neither capturing my head or chins.

10 weeks:

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Beautiful New Thing

While on the beach trip God revealed another layer of His plan for our family, one that added a deadline for this chapter and a fresh hope for the next.

Isaiah 43:19
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
   Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
   and streams in the wasteland.

Meet Baby # 5 (if you count present noses), 6 (if you count Lydia) or 7 (if you count Amelia's twin)
I simplify by answering 5th pregnancy!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Merry Christmas and a Beachy New Year

The longing for a festive big family gathering had already been met, so it wasn't at all a let down this year for Christmas to be simple. While we didn't quite get through all of our advent stories, I did borrow an inspiration and pulled together 25 candles for the dining room table. (Remember the visitors we almost had in October? They were the push I needed to unearth the living/dining room from the lingering visitation paraphernalia.) We ate the evening meals in there for the bulk of December. The kids loved the change of location and lighting the number of candles to correlate with the date...leading up to the anticipation of the 25th. The center candle holder was purchased from an art shop on our honeymoon, projecting to the cross.

It was a day of worshipful focus, yummy food, family and excited kids with a few gifts.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

December: Hide and Seek with Joy

As if November didn't look like plenty of play distractions, December held even more. It worked and it didn't but was a valiant attempt.

First up: Disney on Ice

This was magical, even though most of the pics ended up as blurry as Sophie below. Oops.

I made it through Thanksgiving just fine but this tore me up. Of all things it was the sea of light-up-spinning-toys surrounding us launched the emotional ambush.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Next up in November, Caleb received a character award at school.

One of these things is not like the other. First day of school Caleb loved reporting that there was a brown Josiah and a brown Caleb in his class.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Moving On to Rock Ranch

I looked back through my pics and quickly added up where the past two months have gone. We've been busy with daily stuff and lots of highlights too. The blogging actually stopped because I got hung up on an entry. Maybe I'll still figure it out and post-date later. This site is taking place of printed pics and scrapbooks though, not just my journal, so let's move on. I'll stick to several post of pics to bridge the silent span and fill in the heart workings at another time. Enjoy, we did!

I left off at Sophie's Birthday. That was followed by a trip to Rock Ranch for the celebration, where everything except food is included in the price of admission, lovely! We even saw the owner, Truett Cathy and his wife riding around on a golf cart checking out the festivities. Then his daughter was the speaker at our Women's Christmas dinner. If you catch me enjoying fast food, it'll most likely be Chick-fil-a.

It started out COLD but sunny.