Monday, November 29, 2010

A Day of Remembering - November 29

9 years ago today, we found out that the little one we were expecting had gone to be with Jesus. This was absolutely the most devastating day of my life. It was a surprise pregnancy, but we were so excited!! A couple weeks later, I started bleeding, but it was very slight. We went to the doctor and he did an ultrasound and...a tiny flickering heartbeat. He said everything was fine, that spotting can be normal. I went home reassured. Another week goes by, and a little more bleeding. We went back to the doctor for another ultrasound. The baby was growing, and the heartbeat was strong. This happened twice more. Then, 11/29/2001 I started bleeding quite heavily. But I was convinced by now that everything was fine. After all, this baby had been developing on track, with a steady heartbeat. I even convinced Billy that he didn't need to go to the doctor with me this time, because everything was fine. The doctor started the ultrasound, and he didn't say a word for a few minutes...then he simply said, "I'm sorry." I remember hearing a heart wrenching scream, and wondering where it was coming from, before I realized that it was me. The nurse immediately took Natalie out of the room (I am grateful for that). The doctor kept looking, and said "I'm sorry. The heart is no longer beating." I just couldn't seem to comprehend this. I think I turned completely numb. The doctor started telling me my options....let the miscarriage happen naturally, or to go in and do a D&C. My brain, and my heart, could not deal with this right then. I remember having to leave the room with my 2 girls - Natalie was 4 and Emily was about 6 months) - and walk through that waiting room full of pregnant women. I felt so ashamed - like I had done something wrong. I went to pick up Billy from work, and when he asked me how the appointment went, I told him tearfully "the baby died!" I knew he was in shock...he kept saying over and over, "no, everything is fine. we'll go to another doctor." But, I knew. It was the hardest day of our lives.

This was our precious angel baby the day I found out she went to Heaven. I could see her precious head, her little hands up by her face, her little belly...but no flickering heartbeat.

I spent a long time asking God "why?? why me?? I wanted this baby SO much, how could He take her away from me?" I'll admit it, I was ANGRY at Him. But I turned to Scripture for answers. One that I came across was Ecclesiastes 11:5 "As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in the mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things." Slowly I came to realize that God doesn't WANT things like this to happen, but He can see all things throughout all time, and there must be some reason, this little baby was not meant for Earth. What brought me comfort was knowing that some day I WILL see her again in Heaven.

Does the pain ease over time? Yes, it does...but, it will never completely go away. And November 29th is always a difficult day for me.

For those who have experienced miscarriage or infant loss, I recommend the book I Will Carry You by Angie Smith. She is the cowriter of the song you hear on this page.

Listen to Remembering

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Friday, November 26, 2010

5 Question Friday - Black Friday edition!

1. What is your favorite part of a Thanksgiving meal?

Well, I just like eating surrounded by the people I care about. I know it sounds corny, but it's true - seeing all the people I love around the table (or living room) and everyone being in a good mood - I love it! I also look forward to all the leftovers I get sent home with, lol!

2. Are you a host or a guest for Thanksgiving this year?

So far, I have always been a guest. I do prepare dishes to bring, and I try to help out with cleaning up. But, at this point, we do not have the space to host a dinner!

3. When you think of one Thanksgiving tradition, what comes to mind?

Well, let's see. I always turn on the Macy's Parade for the kids to watch. Then there's all the stuffing of our faces at the families' houses. There's also the annual "exchanging of the Christmas lists" at my mom's, and going thru all the Black Friday ads, to make a list and strategize!

4. You have 2 pieces of pie in front of you, and you HAVE to eat one....which one? pumpkin or pecan?

That's easy - I love pumpkin pie, and I HATE pecan pie!!

5. Are you a Black Friday shopper?

Yep. I am not a hardcore one that goes store hopping the entire night though. I generally pick one store (usually Walmart) and that's it. The last few years I've gone with my sister-in-law, Tracy, and my mother-in-law, and this year with our friend, Stacy - and it was a lot of fun! They crack me up!

Friday, November 19, 2010

5 Question Friday - 11/19

1. What Christmas song do you loathe?

Oh, there are several! I HATE "Santa Baby" which they seem to play 15 times a day. I also can't stand "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" - I mean, really? I would be very sad if my grandma got run over by anything, not writing a song about it, lol!

2. Do you and your signigicant other cuddle at night or sleep on opposite sides of the bed?


3. Have you ever had surgery?

Just this past summer I had my first "real" surgery (I've had oral surgery before - wisdom teeth). I had my gallbladder removed because I had several olive sized stones that were causing me a lot of pain. It was done outpatient, and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

4. When do you typically have your Christmas shopping done?

Done? I'm not usually completely done until the last few days before Christmas. I try to start early, but I seem to always have little last minute stuff.

5. If money were not an issue, (and you HAD to pick something) what would your ultimate luxury item be?

a personal chef! I would love to have healthy, delicious meals prepared for my family every night without me having to worry about it!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday - 11/18

Today I am thankful for the opportunity to go back to college - and for free! I seriously regret that I did not go to college BEFORE starting a family - except for the fact that I would not have the wonderful kids that I do now. So, God obviously had plans for me. I am thankful for all the support that I have during this crazy busy time. #1 - God - obviously I could not do ANY of this without the strength I receive through Him. When I am feeling overwhelmed (which is often), I repeat to myself "I can do ALL things through Christ which strengthens me." #2 - my husband - He has believed in me all along, and when I doubt myself, he gives me the encouragement I need to carry on. #3 - my kids - they are my inspiration in all this. I want to be an example for them. #4 - my parents - They have helped make this semester possible, watching the kids so that I can take an on campus class with Billy. Plus, they have cheered me on all the time. #5 - my extended family - my brothers and their families, my in laws, all have given me encouragement #6 - my friends - who listen to me gripe about assignments, tests, crazy professors, all that stuff, and lend an empathetic ear #7 - Pell Grants - lol, for allowing me to attend college without paying a dime!

It is very tough to be a mom in college, but I am very thankful for the opportunity, and excited for the future!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

5 Question Friday

1. What is the most physically painful thing that has ever happened to you?

Hmmm, that's a tough one. I've been through 3 childbirths...with 2 of them I had back labor, and epidurals that had worn off...I've received 3rd degree burns on the backs of my legs (I was only 3 when it happened, but I STILL remember how it hurt), I had a gallbladder attack followed by surgery this past summer...But, I would have to say THE most painful thing was a kidney infection. Yep. This past February I started having terrible pains in my lower right side, that got progressively worse until I was doubled over in pain, and terribly nauseated. I was absolutely certain it was my appendix. I thought it had already ruptured, and that I was dying - it hurt so bad. Even the ER doc was sure it was my appendix and they were preparing to do surgery. They did a CT scan to see if it had burst, and it showed that my appendix was actually just fine, but the scan along with lab tests showed that I had a pretty nasty kidney infection. They kept me over night on IV antibiotics (along with some anti nausea and morphine drips). Even that morphine was just taking the edge off the pain! Thankfully, they sent me home that day, and after a couple days of additional antibiotics and pain meds, I recovered. Not much fun at all!

2. How much sleep do you get at night?

Well, that can vary greatly. Most weeknights, I typically go to bed around midnight and wake up at 6. But, I am always exhausted so I don't think it's enough. I usually get to sleep in on the weekends. And I am so thankful that my kids are at an age where I am not getting up with them at night.

3. How long did you believe in Santa Claus? How did you find out that he did not exist?

What?? You mean he doesn't??? As far as my younger kids are concerned, he still does. I was about 9 or so, I think when I stopped believing. Most of my friends had stopped believing, and I know that I KNEW he did not exist, but I didn't want it to be true, so I kept telling myself that he did. But finally, I confronted my mom, and she told me the truth. I believe my 9 year old is in the same position. I'm pretty sure that she knows - she knows that logistically, it just can't be real, but she is also very creative and imaginative, and this is prolonging her belief in Santa. And that is fine with me. I want her to be able to hold onto that magic for as long as possible!

4. What was the last movie you saw in the theater?

Hmmm, I believe it was The Sorceror's Apprentice with my hubby and the kids.

5. What do you wear to bed?

Billy's old, worn out, way too big for me t-shirts and flannel pajama pants. Hot, huh?

Thankful Thursday

There are SO many things I am thankful for! I don't know where to start! I will have to start with the number one biggest blessings in my life - my husband and kids!

I am thankful to have a husband who is so dedicated to his family. He works hard to provide for us, and at the same time is going to school full time so that he can provide even better. It is extremely hard to work AND go to school - but he does it - AND excels at it! He is so incredibly smart. He is a wonderful husband and a fabulous daddy.

I am thankful for my 12 year old daughter who is such a joy to us. She is such a sweetheart, with a heart full of compassion, and kind to everyone. She continues to make us proud with her excellent grades and her talent for singing. She has such a bright personality with an infectious laugh!

I am thankful for my 9 year old daughter who is a little ray of sunshine. She make us proud when we hear about her compassion for her peers at school, and she continues to amaze us with her intelligence. She is also hilarious and has a very clever sense of humor that keeps us in stitches!

I am thankful for my 7 year old son who is so precious to us! He had a rough start to his life, and has had health issues requiring many invasive tests and procedures, yet he never complained, and amazes his doctors with his easy going nature. He is very smart, kind, funny, and affectionate. He still says that I am his very best friend, lol! Don't know how long that will last, but I am eating it up while I can!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Menu Planning Monday

Yeah, I know it's a day late. Oh well. I love reading other people's menus to get ideas for new dinners, so I thought I would share mine to maybe give other people ideas.

Monday - Chicken quesadillas, seasoned black beans, Spanish rice

Tuesday - Drip beef sandwiches, mac and cheese, fruit

Wednesday - Homestyle chicken and noodles, biscuits, broccoli

Thursday - eat out - it's Billy's and my school night.

Friday - World's best Salsbury steak, rice, green beans

Saturday - Swiss steak, noodles, some veggie

Sunday - Slow cooked baked potato soup in Panera bread bowls