Saturday, May 31, 2014

Time Hop

     I love the Time Hop app! I love seeing old pictures I posted and memories that I posted on social media. These pictures were on my time hop today. 

     One year ago today, we were in Arkansas visiting the Owen family. We had lunch at Chick-fil-a, and then went to Magic Springs. Heather, the boys, and I played in the water park while, Joshua and Joel rode roller coasters and some slides. 

     This was Lucas once we made it back to their house. 

     I'm so thankful for fun times with our precious friends! 

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Realization

     The end of school really has been bittersweet for me. I loved my classes and hated saying goodbye. Those little people along with my boys and Joshua were a huge reason why I was able to get out of bed a lot of mornings. Their precious smiles and sweet hugs were often times the physical manifestation of God's grace and comfort that pulled me through some very rough moments. Moments when the loss of my baby was so crushing I didn't think I could go on. 

     But I was ready for summer and less commitments. I could sit on the couch and cry if that was what I needed to do. Or I could just sit with my boys and soak them in. I would have time just to keep busy doing fun things. I thought with less stress grief would be easier. 

     Then 9:15 last Friday night came. School was done. I would've been focused on our baby's arrival. I could be sorting, washing, and folding tiny baby clothes. My shopping list would have included diapers.I should be doing fun little things with the boys that we may not be able to do with a new baby. 

      And the realization hit me that the empty bassinet in my bedroom was going to stay empty. So I cried. I read my heart verses Leah wrote out for me. I think I finally accepted the fact that the closer I get to my due date the harder it is. I'm still in the dark sorrow of night, but I know joy will return. I just have to keep praying and trusting and holding onto Jesus. He is faithful even when I am not. 

"For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning."
Psalms 30:5 (NLT)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Throw Back Thursday

     My cousin, Sarah found and posted these pictures on Facebook and Instagram yesterday. The first one is my siblings with our first cousins on my mom's side of the family. The baby of the cousins, Emma, wasn't even born yet.

     Top row: Me, Calli; Middle row: Heather, Kourtney; Bottom row: Josh, Stanton

     The second picture is my first grade Spring picture and Calli's kindergarten Spring picture. My mom made these dresses for us.

     After seeing these pictures, so many people said Logan really does look like me. Even my mother in law called after seeing the first picture wanting to know if it was me because it looks like a "girl Logan" on the back row.  Lucas thought my brother was Logan in the picture above.The only one the boys guessed correctly was Aunt Kourtney.

     And just for more fun, a picture of my boys with their cousins. I grabbed a picture of Heather's girls off of Facebook. We need to take a cousin picture with our kids soon.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

One of Those Days

     Today has been one of those days. I woke up late, and got ready for work with tears of grief streaming down my face for my sweet baby. Picked up Chick-fil-a for breakfast in the drive thru and made it to work. I did have a few moments of tears for my baby a couple of different times today. But my day was mostly okay.  Then I went to pay for a pair of shorts at Cato after church tonight. I couldn't find my debit card. I looked quickly through my wallet, paid with a credit card, and drove home. I immediately went in the house and dumped my purse out on the table, and took everything out of my wallet. No debit card. I called and cancelled it. The good news is I can go into a Chase branch close to us and be issued a new debit card on the spot tomorrow.

     Joshua then took me to the grocery store to buy some breakfast food for the boys. As we are leaving the store, he hands me his debit card to use until I get mine. As I'm unzipping my wallet, I see my debit card slid in between the pages of my checkbook. I could laugh or cry, and since I had done plenty of crying already today, I laughed at myself.

     At home, Joshua looked at his phone and asked if I bought Season 3 of Dallas twice on Vudu today. I told him that I did buy it, but I thought I only bought it once. He called and confirmed I had bought it twice. Thankfully they refunded one of the charges.

     It's so amazing that some relatively small things that were easily resolved could ruffle my feathers so much. I know my emotions played into me getting so upset about small things. I'm so thankful that when I have one of those days, God's grace is enough. He gives me the strength I need. And His mercies are new every morning.

"My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, 
but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever."
Pslam 73:26 (NLT)

"Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, 
for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him."
Lamentations 3:21-24 (NIV)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Celebrating Lucas's Graduation

     After the ceremony, they had a reception with cookies, cake, and lemonade for the graduates. Each class had their own cake with their class picture on it. Lucas loved it and thought it was the coolest thing.

     After we went to the reception, I had enough time for a quick celebratory lunch. Lucas chose Beto's. Logan kept suggesting Dairy Queen and Chuck-E-Cheese, but Lucas was set on Beto's. We got there right when they opened. They had us in and out in just over 30 minutes. And I was able to enjoy lunch with Lucas and get back in time for my afternoon classes.

     We are so thankful for Miss Cheryl, Miss MaryK, and TLC. It was an amazing year for Lucas!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Trip to Grandma & Papaw's

     We surprised Grandma and Papaw by driving out to spend the night with them last night. It rained most of the way there. When we arrived, Papaw was sitting in his new garage. He pulled out the new pellet guns he had bought, and let the boys practice shooting. Logan hit the target several times and Lucas was very close to hitting it a couple of times. I even tried and got close.

     Then the boys jumped on the trampoline in the rain. And we saw the most beautiful double rainbow.

      We all slept until about nine this morning. Which is unusual for everyone, but Joshua. Grandma cooked pancakes, bacon, and scrambled eggs for breakfast. Then the boys went out to play baseball with Justin. Justin hit the balls and the boys ran to collect them. Once they got tired of running across a couple of acres to get them, I drove them around in the golf cart.

     They jumped on the trampoline with the sprinkler going.

     They laid in Papaw's hammock. Logan and Justin jumped off the hammock, and poor lil Lucas was flipped right out of it! He just jumped up and took off running after his brothers.

     Papaw taught Logan how to drive the golf cart today, and let him drive it all over their property. He also drove me, Daddy, and Grandma around along with his brothers. Logan was so excited and proud! Lucas was disappointed that he's not big enough yet, but he was excited for his brother.

     Papaw grilled hamburgers for lunch. The boys love Papaw's grilling! Of course, it's not dinner time with boys without some silly antics.

     One of the neighbors invited the boys to go swimming. They had fun splashing and playing with the girls. When we got back to the house, Grandma let the boys eat cookies on the back of the golf cart.

     Our trip ended with me driving home, singing Taylor Swift, and listening to the boys snoring. I was reminded tonight that life is still beautiful even in the midst of grief. You just have to be willing to see the beauty.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Double Rainbow

     Tonight in Weatherford, we saw a beautiful double rainbow! I don't think my boys have ever seen a rainbow that big and that close. It was all they could talk about. The rainbow is a beautiful reminder of God's faithfulness. He keeps His Word. I've really been struggling with the loss of our sweet baby the last couple of days, and that double rainbow was just the reminder I needed to refocus myself on how faithful God has been to Joshua and I since we lost our baby. 

When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will appear in the clouds, and I will remember my covenant with you and with all living creatures. Never again will the floodwaters destroy all life. 
(Genesis 9:14, 15 NLT)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Daddy's Lil Helpers

     Logan and Lucas helped Daddy and our yard guy break up a concrete slab in our backyard. Logan was even slinging a sledge hammer. (Glad I didn't see that!) 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Last Days of School

     Yesterday Lucas and I had our last day of school. Lucas had a splash day and picnic. I was giving finals and unable to go, but Grammie went and enjoyed the fun. Mom took the boys to McDonald's to celebrate Luc's last day. Then I bought them Sonic corn dogs after they picked me up. Lucas cried last night because he already missed his teachers and friends. Lucas had Logan's PreK teachers. They have loved both of our boys. They have loved and prayed for us. We are so blessed to have them be our boys' first teachers. I could not have picked two better ladies.

     Yesterday was bittersweet for me. I was excited for summer, but always hate saying good bye to my students. I sat in my classroom and cried while I ate my lunch. Then I cried again at home. This year has been crazy and difficult for me in my personal life, but thankfully I had amazing classes and parents and coworkers. I finished my end of year checklist today, so I don't have to go back to take care of that next week. 

     Today was Logan's last day. We took pictures with almost all of his teachers. His teachers have been amazing this year. They've taught him content, challenged him, loved him, and graciously worked with us while we tried to figure out his tummy troubles. They were so compassionate to him and I when we lost our baby. They loved us and prayed for us during these difficult times. We are very blessed to have them walk this difficult journey with us. They weren't just praying for us; many of them had their families praying for us too. Logan and I could never repay the kindness and compassion they have shown us this year. 

Ms. Cook~History, Writing, & Science

Coach Ignatz~PE 

Coach Davidson~PE 

Mrs. Standard~Technology 

Mrs. Barget~Math

Mrs. Eddlemon~Reading 

     We celebrated the end of the year at Dairy Queen with smoothies and blizzards and thankful hearts. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Lucas's Graduation Performance

     We were so proud to see all the sign language Lucas learned this year.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Logan's Spring Concert

     Logan had his spring concert a couple of weeks ago. They played instruments and sang I Like to Move It Move It from Madagascar 2. Then they sang Love is an Open Door from Frozen. They did a great job, and Logan seemed to really enjoy himself during the performance.

     Joshua wasn't able to make it to the concert, so I videoed it while Lucas ran circles around me. It's really hard to hold the phone straight while videoing and trying to quietly tell a four year old to quit running around. In the midst of the first verse of Love is an Open Door, I had accidentally hit stop recording while trying to corral Lucas. So I missed part of the song. Moments like those remind me how blessed I am not to be a single parent. I couldn't imagine trying to tame and teach these boys all on my own. I'm very blessed that Joshua willingly plays a major role in helping me raise the boys, especially the taming part. And I have much respect for those single moms and dads raising kids on their own.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Lucas's Preschool Graduation

     This morning, Lucas graduated from TLC. I am so very thankful I was able to have off this morning to go. Joshua was unable to go, but he took Lucas for a special treat tonight to celebrate. They opened the ceremony with prayer. Then they brought the graduates in, and Miss Jackie talked to them about how when they go to a different school next year, they will take Jesus with them. They can talk to Jesus and tell Him exactly how they feel because He already knows, and He wants them to tell Him.

     Then they brought them up on stage. They said the pledge and sang Grand Old Flag. Then they signed the alphabet and several words for each letter. They also signed The Lord's Prayer. They sang and signed Jesus Loves the Little Children. They ended their performance by signing Thank you for coming to our graduation. We love you. I have several videos that I'll share on here over the next couple of days.

     Then they handed out their awards. Lucas's teachers told my mom she would be surprised by Lucas's award. And she definitely was. They gave him the Mr. Easygoing award. They said his feathers never get ruffled. He always goes with flow and does whatever they ask him to.

     Lucas had Miss MaryK and Miss Cheryl as his teachers. They were Logan's teachers as well. We love, love, love them both so much!!! They have been such a blessing to our family.

     Lucas has loved school, and has grown so much this year. We are very, very proud of him!

     Lucas is signing I love you!