Friday, January 30, 2009

Sweet Tuesday is with Jesus

I posted about Tuesday in my prayer list on the sidebar just this week.  Today her mom let us know that her battle with cancer would most likely end this week.


Tonight, she went to be with Jesus....please pray for this family, and let
them know that you are praying for them by visiting their blog and leaving a comment!

A Tale of Two Sundays

Before you even begin reading this post, you must understand one very important thing. I love my husband more than just about anything else in the whole wide world. He is a wonderful father, partner, friend, spiritual leader, provider....you name it! He has taken to fatherhood in ways that I could have never imagined possible, and he can totally handle just about any situation that comes his way.....but, you have to hear this story.



Right after Lucy was born, we made the decision that I would work every weekend so that one of us would always be with the kids. There were pros and cons to this situation, and it worked pretty well for about 3 years. We were blessed to be in a church that offered a Friday Night worship service (so I didn't have to miss church), and the kids have always loved their Daddy time. The strain of very little "family time" and missing all sorts of fun weekend activities got old during those 3 years, and now I work every other weekend (and 1 day during the week). We still share the childcare responsibilities, but we have at least 2 weekends a month to spend as a family.



All that to say, Chris can handle the kids. In the beginning, I did lots of prep to get him ready for his time with them. I prepared meals, laid out clothes, made lists and notes and bottles. I called him at least hourly, and I basically drove him absolutely bonkers (now I only drive him a little bit bonkers). It took a few months....ok maybe a year.... for me to realize that I needed to let some of it go. We had a few little "Come to Jesus" talks and I promised to let him do it his way.


And you know what?! It was SO freeing. I gave up worrying about how the kids looked, how the house looked (well sorta), whether or not they ate anything green or not full of sugar....we were all better for it. Basically, I let Go and let Chris!


Now that I'm off every other weekend, I have to say....I do like for the kids to look cute on my Sunday mornings. Check out these pics from this past Sunday....a "Mommy" Sunday:







Notice the girls....matching monogrammed dresses, matching black shoes and white tights. Reeves wearing a shirt with a collar in a complimentary color scheme. We all sort of look like we tried to be a coordinated little family (not that it didn't come at a price....Reeves pitched an absolute hissy fit when I tried to get him to wear a dress shirt in the same green gingham pattern as the girl's dresses. We compromised with this navy sweater....choosing battles my friends, choosing battles)!


Wanna know what a Daddy Sunday might look like? Well first of all, this is what fuels a Daddy Sunday (probably washed down with Bug Juice)....





You know what? It doesn't bother me one bit, either. I try to never make a big deal about what Chris feeds them on the days I work, and it has actually resulted in something I never would have imagined possible. Chris has turned into a really good cook. He actually bakes most to the time (if you know Chris at all, you know that he loves sweets), but he always gets the kids in on it. He's way better at that than me. Patience is definitely one of his spiritual gifts!


Now, back to the donuts. In June, our church was blessed to have a new lead pastor. And you know what? She is the best thing that has happened at our church in years! We love Julie, and she is blessing us all in unbelievable ways! The thing I love about her is that she "gets" it! She's a mom herself (with a second baby on the way), and she just has to laugh about the "Chris" Sundays.


One Wednesday evening, we had a conversation that I have to share...


Julie had only been at the church for about a month. She said that one Sunday she noticed the kids come in with Chris and he seemed a bit frazzled. Donuts, diaper bags, untied shoes, dirty faces, bug juice, baby dolls, sippy cups, stuffed animals....the whole bit. As soon as he walked in the door, she noticed a lady "rescuing" him. Julie said that the lady bent down to re-button Lucy's dress, and she heard her say, "Your Mommy is working today isn't she?" Lucy simply gave an affirming nod and a grin.


Julie said she couldn't help but giggle, and I said, "Isn't that Awesome?!"


You see, I am soooo grateful. First of all, I am grateful for a wonderful husband who does it all and never complains. Second of all, I am thankful and blessed to have an AMAZING church family. A family who does not judge, does not question, does not ridicule, does not shame. They are open and real and accepting. Our church is a place where you can wear jeans, drink coffee and eat donuts during Worship....go barefoot if you like. Shoot, your kids can come in their PJs if they want. No One Cares!!! A church family who is seeking to know God more. To know God in the real world. That is what it's about!


It's exactly what I need. It's exactly what I want. And to be honest, I think it's what God wants!


My girls may have their dresses on backwards. Reeves may wear his jeans that have holes in the knees, and Lucy may not have her hair like I like it. But you know what? I have a church family who absolutely accepts them JUST as they are.... accepts all of us as we are. My friends will wipe their faces and re-button their dresses and comb their hair. They will help Chris check them in to the Nursery, and make sure Lucy goes to the bathroom.


I mean, if that isn't real enough for you, then maybe this will be! I can't wait to see what our new series has in store....



My kids are gonna meet God in the Real World....both at home and in their place of Worship. How amazing is THAT?!





Since this is sorta funny and since it is Friday....
Click on that cute button above to visit Amber over at
The Run A Muck
I love her!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

If you know me well enough....

to know my last name, this one's for you!


We had some portraits made just after Greer's
1st Birthday, and the proofs are UP!

Click on Proofing and Ordering
Scroll Down to MeganM
The password is our last name
in ALL CAPS

Make sense?  Good!

P.S.  If you don't know our last name, don't worry!
I'll be posting some of the pics here on the blog before long!

Well, that's just FABULOUS!!!


I, my friends, have had a bloggy award bestowed upon me, and I must say....I'm fabulously flattered!!! Amber was kind enough to choose me (along with a few others) as a blog that she thinks is Fabulous! How cool is that?!

I think Amber (of Ambers Run A Muck) said it best: "I most certainly agree that Lisa from CrazyAdventuresinParenting has the utmost fabulosity, and were it not for her fabulousness, this little button wouldn’t mean so much to me. Lisa is one of those intentional sorts who knows how to LOVE Big." You see, Lisa is the creator and original bestower of this award, and she knows best!

The best part? I get to pick ten fabulous blogs, giving you links to a few that I think have earned my attention for being fabulous, and the fabulously chosen fabulous bloggers get to link back to me and then pick ten other fabulous blogs, linking to them (got it dear bloggy award winners?) Don't worry about it if it is sounding too complicated....I just wanted to let you know how much I love Ya. At the very least, they get a button, with which they can do anything they want. How fabulously fabulous is that? (and, since you know I hate to hurt peoples feelings....I hope you know that I love ALL of the blogs I follow....it was so hard to just pick 10)!


So here are the winners (in no particular order)....

Annie over at Annie Blogs is fabulous for a few reasons. She is fun, loves the South (and UGA, which runs a very close second to my Crimson Tide), is a potential friend to my lovely sister Erin (who just moved to Nashville to live with Annie's friend Marisa), and she simply NEVER disappoints! So happy I found you Annie, and what a small world we live in!

Jessica is fabulous for her strength. This amazing mother and woman of faith has been through so much this past year (with her miracle baby McKaylee), and her posts (which are few but fierce) will knock your socks off. WOW! This year, she has been anything BUT living out "My Life as a Stay at Home Mom"! Please keep praying for a Miracle for McKaylee!!

Debbi has become one of my biggest bloggy cheerleaders, and I can always count on her for a word of encouragement when I feel like I have written a post no one else finds interesting! Love her and her fabulous blog, Then I Am Strong.

And if that weren't good enough, she started a fabulous blog to honor our every prayer need.....Awesome! May we all bow down Before His Throne...

Adrienne is one fabulous mom on one amazing journey to bring home a sibling for her baby boy Owen ....I am rooting (and of course praying) for her every step of the way! Check her out at Our Journey of Love

Danielle....well, she is just about the greatest blog designer ever, and I wouldn't be where I am today without her! Seriously though, her layouts are just about the best there ever was, and you just have to check out her fabulous designs over at Blogs by Danielle. Be sure to tell her I sent you!

Did I mention that Danielle has a fabulous personal blog (Well, That's Just Fabulous) too! If that's not deserving of a fabulous award....well I don't know what is. Love your style, my friend!!!

Leah (aka t h a i t r a i t) over at j u s t l i k e c a m p i n g, is basically the cool that I wish I could be...and that makes her very simply fabulous!

I found one fabulous Nut over at Our Lives - in a Nutshell, and I am so happy I met her. I bet we would be best friends if she didn't live 5 million miles away in the frozen tundra of the great Mid West. Be well my fabulously pregnant friend!!!

I love when my blogging life and my real life collide. When I grow up....I want to be as fabulous as Janice (aka GranJan) over at Thank God for FRYdays! She is also one who is always there when I need to know that I'm not just typing all this stuff down to hear the clicking of my desperately needing to be manicured fingertips.... Love you, Janice!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Thankful


A 4 hour nap sure makes a girl thirsty!
Keep it comin' Charcey!!!



Dr. T got my ear good!  It's super bruised and fat!



Aunt Becca was here for the day, 
and I even learned how to say her name!
(or something close.....BayBay)



Is wasn't too bad....even though I sure do look rough!
Do you like the purple marker they used to outline my beauty mark?  
Dr. T even left her autograph....pretty cool!!!

Oh, and my eyes looked perfect!  No signs of glaucoma for now!!!
Huge Thanks and Praise for all the blessings of today!!!
Thanks for all your prayers, friends!


check out this video, but be sure to scroll
down and pause Mommy's music first


Monday, January 26, 2009

Tomorrow is Treatment Day.....#6!


Look at that sweet baby face!!!  My sweet Greer has her 6th laser treatment for her Port Wine Stain tomorrow morning (bright and early....I really need to go to bed), and they will also be checking the intraocular pressure in her eyes (basically evaluating her to see if she has glaucoma).  If you have a chance, please say a prayer for comfort, safety under the general anesthesia, peace for my spirit, and happy healing over the next couple of weeks.  We know what to expect, but we'll sure be glad when it's all over!  

Aren't you amazed at the fading she has had?  We sure are....and we Praise God for all He has done for our precious baby!  It's been quite a journey.

Not me!, Monday


A LUCY addition



It's one of my most favorite bloggy times of the week....and it is so much fun! "Not Me!" Monday is sponsored by one of my favorite bloggers, MckMama. It's a great way to get all those little things off your chest that you totally did NOT do this week. I love reading the others, too. It makes me feel better about some of the less than attractive funny things that happen in my little life. I'm all about being real, y'all! So, here goes....

I can NOT believe how hilarious Lucy can be sometimes, and I am NOT amazed by some of the questions that come out of her little mouth. These are NOT a couple of the questions she has come up with lately....

"Mommy, is E.T. a turtle?" and "Daddy, what animal does Coca-Cola come from?"
hmmmm.....

While I was washing dishes Saturday morning, I did NOT send Lucy up to check on Greer when I heard her fussing on the monitor. Lucy did NOT run back down and announce that....

"Mommy, Greer has something red all over her head and she
smells really bad!!!"

I did NOT go up to Greer's room to find dried vomit mixed with tiny bits of catfood and raisins all over her head, pjs, and entire crib. It did NOT make Lucy gag and almost vomit up the carrots she had eaten for breakfast.

And NO, I had NOT given Lucy free reign of the fridge so that she would give me just 10 more minutes of sleep, and she did NOT choose baby carrots and peanut butter. She also did NOT spill an entire bag of shredded cheese all over the kitchen floor trying to prepare breakfast for herself.

I have NOT spent the better part of the past week working with Lucy on her interpretive dance moves (thanks so much Charcey)!. We have NOT come up with some fabulous motions for "Awesome God" and "Life's What You Make It" (by none other than Hannah Montana) as well as tweaking our "Testify to Love" routine. We may sell tickets when we get it all just perfect!

Lucy has NOT discovered makeup this week (well, she has always been curious, but this is taking it to a whole new level)! She does NOT also have some sort of "hording" issue when it comes to stuffing various bags and purses with treasures from around the house. I was NOT just a little bit irritated when I discovered that she had swiped 2 of my brand new makeup brushes and stuffed them in a purse that she later left at our friend Christine's house. A few minutes later, I discovered that my favorite eyebrow brush was NOT also missing, and when I asked her about that one, she did NOT say....

"Oh, don't worry Mommy. That one is out in the yard...I'll be right back." pause "Here you go..."
She did NOT return to hand me a sopping wet eyebrow brush straight from the front yard!

I do NOT love my girl with all my heart, soul, and mind, and I do NOT look forward to kissing her perfect little face each and every morning.

Need some free therapy? Head over to MckMama's Blog and see
what everyone else has been up to this week!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Up, Up and Away!!!

Wow, did we ever have a great Sunday!  I love when a day turns out to be unexpectedly, wonderfully good.  Today was just that.

After an awesome service at church, we headed home for a quick bite and weren't sure what more the day would hold.  My friend Jennifer had tentatively invited us out to the airport for some playtime this afternoon, and it turned out to be a go (Alan has good days and bad days, and I wasn't really sure what his day would be like).  We drove the short distance to the airport where we unloaded a menagerie of bikes, scooters, snacks and children and settled in for some wear 'em out so they'll sleep really hard tonight playtime.  (Greer stayed home to nap with Honey while Chris got a little work done).  



We got to watch Alan supervising some aircraft maintenance (which I know KILLS him....he is just about the best pilot out there) and he had some time to visit with all his buddies.  Please continue to pray for Alan (and his precious Jennifer).  Pray for him to be healed and restored in whatever way our wonderful Father has planned.  I know that God has amazing things in store for this family, but I just wish He would speed things up a bit......


Check out Mr. Steve's cool plane!
You'll never believe what happened a little while after we arrived....



Mr. Casey loaded us all into that little plane, and took us for the most wonderful flight.  To say that Reeves and Lucy were excited would be an immense understatement.  You'll have to pardon my terrible photography.  I was in the passenger seat, holding precious little Brandon, trying to take pictures of the crazy Zoo crew in the back seat.  It was all giggles and wiggles let me tell you!!!

We flew all over our little town, pointing out various landmarks along the way.  We even flew over our neighborhood where Chris and Mr. Andy took a break from their work to come out and wave to us.  I can't tell you how excited the kids were about that one (and how happy I am that Mr. Andy didn't moon us all...as he had promised!!!)


The highlight for Reeves had to be flying over his school.....



How cool is that!


After an exciting flight, all the kids had a big race back to the restaurant owned by some of Jen and Alan's friends.  We had been disappointed to see that "The Hanger" restaurant was closed when we were driving in.  Well, it pays to have friends in high places because we turned the afternoon into a big private party at the restaurant.  Rick and Mylenda decided to open up the place and to fire up the grills and fryers.  We noshed on the best burgers and onion rings you've ever tasted while the kiddos played and played.  Chris and Greer joined us just as dinner was being served, and we just laughed and visited and enjoyed a great evening together.  I can't remember anything better in a really long time!  I really think Alan enjoyed himself, too.

Everyone here has crashed (even Chris is snoring), and I am sure that Jen and Alan are exhausted from the busy day.  The Henley's have many challenges before them, and they aren't sure what triumphs or tragedies each day may hold.  What I pray is for more days like this for them, and I am soooo very thankful for the love and hope and joy they have brought to our life.  
God is Good....


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Progress....

Remember this?


I am proud to announce that as of today....

A.  We have been diligent about bladder emptying before bedtime, and Reeves has been dry since the bed wetting incidents.  AND, I am also proud to announce that hydrogen pyroxide is a miracle when it comes to removing tee-tee stinks and stains!!! Just douse that mattress with a whole bottle of the stuff and it will be good as new in a couple of days....dry and stain-free!!!

B.  I purchased Thank You note cards today for Greer (well for me to write from Greer...if you were confused by that one).

C.  My car is clean as a whistle thanks to one sweet husband, and the carseat has been thoroughly disinfected and re-installed in the forward facing position (since she is topping out these days at a feather lite weight of 25 pounds).  Can't wait to see what G thinks of her new ride!!!

D.  I've stuck to WW these past couple of weeks, and I've lost almost 5 pounds!  Not far till I reach my goal....and I'm planning to do better with the exercising, too.  Small steps, small steps!

Just thought I'd let you know that I am NOT being a slacker on this fine Saturday!  Hope you have a good one, too!!!

Wow....that was boring.  Sorry.

An Apple (or 2) a Day.....

may keep the doctor away, but
making sure the medicine goes down is another
sure fire way to keep your kiddos healthy and happy!

I meant to get this post up yesterday, but I had to work (if you didn't know, I'm an L&D nurse and I work 2 days a week).  So anyway, here it is!  We've all been pretty puny lately, and Greer seems to get every little cold that is within a 2 mile radius.  The doctor actually decided to put her on Zyrtec back before Christmas because she just seemed to be "runny and red" all the time.  It has worked wonders! (Oh, and so have these little goodies....I love them)!

After several nights in a row of fighting and cleaning those little syringes that come with the medicines, I had a revelation.  What if I just poured her medicine into the tip of a bottle nipple and let her suck it out?

Well, if I do say so myself, that was about the greatest little find I have made as a mother....I'm just sad that I've just now discovered it!  I sort of doubt Reeves will be too keen on the trick.  The coolest part is that you can combine all your meds (the basics like tylenol, motrin, benadryl, or whatever) all into a little measuring cup, and then just pour it in the nipple (just make sure you put your finger over the hole).  To give it to her, I just lay her down on her changing pad and put it in her mouth.  The sucking reflex kicks in, and it's gone!  Best part!?

No Mess!!!


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Quite a Thursday!

It started out really good....I mean really, really wonderfully good! Lucy and I cuddled up in my bed while Reeves and Chris got ready for school and work. After a lot of thought and prayer, I have decided to take Lucy out of school on Thursdays. Up until now, she has been in 4 year old preschool 5 days a week. Basically, I miss my girl, and I need her to be home with me!


Next year, she will go to "big school".... kindergarten. She will be in school from 8am-3pm five days a week. This is our last year to really play, and I am really feeling the need to savor this time with her. So, this morning, we were really lazy. We laid in bed and had our coffee and carrots (Lucy's breakfast of choice....don't ask me why) and watched Blue's Clues. It was awesome. If I haven't mentioned it before, Lucy is our comic relief. She is full of fun and energy and just goes with the flow. I love this girl!!!


So why Thursdays?? Thursday's are really fun days for us. 3 of my dearest friends have kids that are the same ages as mine, and every Thursday, we get together for play and fellowhip and most importantly...we eat.


We eat really good!!! (I know that I should say WELL, but it just doesn't sound right). Today was my day to host and feed the masses (4 moms, 8 kiddos). Lucy and I managed to put together the entire meal before Greer woke up...and it was soooo much fun. I love having a little chef by my side, and I'm teaching her all my tricks (today she learned to tell when water has come to a "rolling boil"). We mananged all that before 8:30, and had the kitchen all cleaned up to boot....



Then....Greer woke up, and well, it wasn't quite as laid back. Sweet G has hit a whole new level, my friends. Whenever things get silent (for even a few seconds), you may find something like this......






Yes, that is catfood.....I did mention that Greer will eat anything didn't I??????






Still, we had fun in our PJs getting ready for our friends to come over to play! It was a grand time as usual, and next week I promise to get pictures of the whole brood....it's so much fun!!!


What I didn't expect on this Thursday was the call I received from Reeves' teacher at about 1:15. Thankfully, Chris was home and he was the one who answered the phone (because when he told me, well, I just burst into tears). Reeves has been dealing with a bit of a bully since right after Christmas break, and up until now it has been a completely verbal sort of bullying. Today, it turned a bit more physical.


We got the call from his teacher (swiftly followed by a call from the Vice Principal) that Reeves had been "beat up" by this little boy on the play ground. First of all, let me say that Reeves is OK. In fact, he handled himself awesomely! We couldn't be more proud of him. But, we had to have lots of uncomfortable, extremely challenging conversations this afternoon. With each other, with our boy, with the parents of the other child, and with the school officials.



I'm not sure I'm ready for all of this.....

But for today, we all handled it well, and we said a LOT of prayers. Thank you God for my precious children!!! For the time I have with them, for their innocence, for their curiosity, for their love, for their spirit, for their fight, for their passion, for their friends, for their opportunities to learn and grow .....

Thank You!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

So, it turns out I have Asthma

First of all, I am happy to report that I am feeling MUCH better!  I haven't had a fever since yesterday, and I was sort of feeling silly sitting in my doctor's office this morning waiting for what seemed like forever  as my precious Mother's Day Out minutes ticked away.  I felt like I was just wasting time getting ready to hear "Hey, you're fine...go home."  On a positive note, I did manage to get a good chunk of the second Twilight book read, but I digress.

So after the long wait, I got called back.  Dr. B (who is just about the greatest doctor ever, and if you live in my general area, I'd be happy to recommend him with all my heart) and I chatted for a bit (we have some mutual friends, and he knows I'm a nurse).  After some catchin' up, he asked me what's been going on.  I told him, well, "I've had this cough for like a month and then on Sunday I started having fever and chills and aches (and generally feeling like crap  yucky) and well today, I feel a lot better.  I'm only here now to appease my mother and my husband, and I guess I still do have the cough."  

He proceeded to ask me a bunch of questions about my general "respiratory health".  Turns out, I have a LOT of key markers for ASTHMA....   Seriously, I was shocked.  It hadn't even CROSSED my mind.  So I am now taking an oral med for asthma, have an inhaler in my pocket, and I'll be using a peak flow meter everyday for a while to figure out where I stand.  I'm not that worried about it, but it just sorta surprised me.  I left there with a bunch of samples, a good dent in my book, and a big ole pain in my booootay!

The kids were very impressed that I had a shot today (of steroids) and that I didn't get a treat.  I tried to convince them that eating Chick fil A alone in my car listening to my own choice of music was a treat, but they were NOT impressed by that!

All in all, it was an enlightening day, and I am happy to know what might be is wrong with me!  

I'll keep you posted on the progress (and speaking of progress...I lost 3 pounds this week.  WOOOHOOOO!)

Night friends!

P.S.  Steroids can help you accomplish AMAZING things!!!  I might need to schedule one of these every month or so....

P.P.S.  I had planned to add on a REALLY cool mommy tip to this post (it has to do with medicating/sick kids), but I'll save it for tomorrow.  It's so good, it deserves a whole entire post!

Night friends!  I'm off to do another load of laundry!!!

  

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Child(like) Faith....We could ALL use a little of THIS!!!


Ok friends, pull out the tissues for this one!
(and don't forget to scroll down and pause 
MY music before hitting play)

This MUST make a Mama Proud, Y'all!!!



video



Monday, January 19, 2009

One Year Ago Today...Remembering Bronner


Tears are streaming down my face as I type this post.  I remember this day...actually this night (one year ago) like it was yesterday.  I was only 9 days postpartum and sleeping as soundly as any new mother does, when I learned that little Bronner (aka Cornbread) had gone to be with Jesus.  

Chris (my sweet husband who is also known as Christopher Columbus on the "Rick and Bubba" radio show) woke me out of a dead sleep (it was probably close to midnight) to tell me that Speedy had just called to tell him that Rick and Sherri had lost their precious baby boy, Bronner.  

At first I thought I was having a nightmare....a horrible nightmare!  I sat straight up and had him tell me again.  Suddenly I realized that it wasn't a nightmare and that what he was telling me was the worst news any parent can hear!!!

I didn't sleep a wink that night, and I felt nauseated as I lay there thinking of the pain they must be feeling.  It was like my heart was beating outside my chest and my tears would not stop flowing.  

The days that followed are a blur.  Phone calls, visitation, hugging our friends who had lost their precious baby boy, not having the words to say.  Praying, praying, praying!!! 

I will never forget what happened at the visitation.  It is beyond imagination, really.  We stood in line for what felt like hours.  I can't even begin to tell you how many came out to mourn with this amazing family in this tragic time.  When we came to the time where we would be able to share our deep condolences....do you know what happened?  Rick hugged me deeply, and he said "I am SO sorry for what you have been through with your little baby this week!"  Can you believe that?  I was so in awe of his faith and courage and compassion.  Here was a man, a man who had just LOST his baby, and he was comforting ME!  He went on to challenge my sweet husband.  He challenged him in some very personal ways that I won't share here, but needless to say, we left there Changed!

We had been there when Sherri shared the news with Rick for the first time that he would soon be a father of 5!  It was a priceless moment as all of his closest friends and family gathered together to celebrate his birthday.  To say he was shocked is an understatement, but once Cornbread came into the world, there was nothing but immense, unconditional love for that sweet baby boy!  Rick and Sherri loved Bronner with all their heart, soul, and mind!

I am praying for our friends today.  They are in Isreal as I type this....they are remembering sweet Bronner today.  I ask that you lift up prayers for them and pray that they return home safely.

If you don't know who the heck I am talking about, I encourage you to visit the Rick and Bubba website.  Mostly, I encourage you to take time to listen to the message that Rick shared at Bronner's Memorial Service (you will have to click on the Bronner Memorial Page and look for "A Father's Heart").  

Amazing, incredible, heart breaking, uplifting, devastating, and unbelievable are a few words that come to mind when I think of that day (and to add to the experience, Casting Crowns even came down to be a part).  The same goes for the message that Sherri shared with a Moms group at one of our local churches this fall.  These are SOLID people, who have AMAZING faith and who have been through an unimaginable tragedy.  But, do you know what?  Their faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is STRONGER than it has ever been!

Please pray for them today!!!  

Not me!, Monday



It's one of my most favorite bloggy times of the week....and it is so much fun! "Not Me!" Monday is sponsored by one of my favorite bloggers, MckMama. It's a great way to get all those little things off your chest that you totally did NOT do this week. I love reading the others, too. It makes me feel better about some of the less than attractive funny things that happen in my little life. I'm all about being real, y'all! So, here goes....

I am NOT getting sick, I am NOT getting sick, I am NOT getting sick!!!  I am not having chills and body aches and I did NOT wake up a couple of times in the night in a cold sweat.  I do NOT have to take care of 3 children all day long because there is no school today.  

Right now...Greer is not taking her morning nap.  I am NOT letting Reeves watch as much TV as his little heart desires, and I did NOT just put Lucy into a warm bath to play so that I could lay here on my bed (don't worry, I can NOT see her) and rest for a little bit!  

My sweet mom did NOT offer to come down and help me out and I was NOT crazy enough to turn her down!!!  I am NOT holding out hope that I will feel better in a little bit, and that I will NOT just lay around today in my pjs letting the kids do whatever hits their fancy (which will probably NOT include staying in their pjs all day too)!

And now, here are the things that I had NOT planned to share with 
you about my life as a wife, mother, and housekeeper extraordinaire!

I did NOT pour an entire bottle of hydrogen peroxide on my son's bed after he wet it on not 1 but 2 occasions this week.  I was NOT freaked out by the act of pouring 24 ounces of liquid into his MATTRESS.  I was NOT shocked that it actually worked and now he does NOT have a stai-free and stinky-free place to lay his sweet little head!  

I did NOT decide to run my van through the gas station carwash after picking the girls up from preschool and Mother's Day Out, and I did NOT end up regretting that tiny little decision.  Greer did NOT completely LOSE it and scream her little 1 year old head off the ENTIRE time.  I did NOT feel like the worst mother in the world when I remembered that Lucy did NOT do the exact same thing at that age.  I'm a winner!!!

What did you NOT do this week?!
Head over to My Charming Kids and join in the fun!



Saturday, January 17, 2009

Random Photo Challenge


This one is hosted by.....Four Little Men and Girly Twins

Pick Picture #8 from your January Folder
and describe it.... 

This is our Labradoodle (yes, that is a type of dog, and please, don't make fun of her!)
and her baby.  She got this little purple toy for Christmas, and well, she doesn't ever 
let it leave her side!  We love you Nana!

A Baby Needs Your Prayers!



Please click the picture above to read their story and to pray for them!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

It's so cold....


Even Nana needed her sweater today!


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Checking in, Checking UP and an Aldara update

Well, here she is with Pediatrician #2 (aka Papa...which is job #1).  He would rather not take on the doctor role when it comes to his grandchildren (or children) for that matter!  He just can't handle it.....he turns into a bowl full of mush and emotion...Love you Daddy!


I've promised him that I will try not to ask him to do any doctoring for a while (stitching up Reeves twice is quite enough for him!).  He just gets to spoil them and love them, and his old buddy from residency, Dr. Israel, gets to do all the dirty work.

So today, we popped over to her office for the 1 year check-up, and it was as ordinary as any other check-up, I suppose.  She did show off all her cool tricks though, and that made a Mama proud!  She is just about the most precious baby girl on the planet if I haven't mentioned it before!  Ahem.

So, after a good round of questioning (Is she saying a few words?  Yes, Is she pooping at least once a day?  Yes, Is she off the bottle?  Amazingly...almost/basically yes, Does she eat well?  Are you KIDDING me...she is eating us out of house and home!, How much does she sleep?  Absurdly too much...is that NORMAL?  Well, she said, it's not USUAL, but I wouldn't be complaining!....Oh, don't worry, I'm NOT!)

And now....here are the vital stats:

25 pounds (93%) and 32.5 inches (still, off the charts)

I am raising a beast....a sleeping, eating, laughing BEAST!

Man, do I ever LOVE her!!!

Of interest to my Port Wine Stain buddies, I did ask Dr. Israel if she had ever heard of Aldara.  She said that the pediatric dermatologists use it all the time for treating common kid issues (like moluscums).  She said it didn't work very well for them, but she said it is a drug that is already being used on children without hesitation.  She did not know anything about the use following PWS laser treatments, however.  She didn't think it would be a big deal at all to use it.  I plan on mentioning it to Dr. Theos next time we have a treatment (a week from Tuesday).  I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

In an attempt to get REAL with you people....

Just so you know....we let our children fall asleep on the couch more than we should!  Sometimes, they have NOT brushed their teeth AND they have dirty faces.

And while I'm in the confessing mood Reeves went to bed last night with a cup of juice.  And well, he ended up wetting the bed.  He is currently sleeping on the top bunk because the bottom bunk (the one he wet) is stripped and has baking soda sprinkled all over the stained spot.  To make things even better, the stinky linens are piled up in his room because I had to work today and I didn't have time to get them in the wash!  

Lucy stayed up till 9 o'clock eating Pringles and watching Max and Ruby.  She wanted to wait up for me (and she got a nap today which is always a sure fire way to keep her up till 9:30 at least), and I let her go to bed with her Storybook Reader....and Reeves has his DS in his bed!

I still haven't written the thank you notes for some Christmas gifts we got, I have a wedding gift that needs to be shipped out to a friend who got married in November, and I have yet to deliver some of our relatives Christmas gifts.

I am WAY behind on my Bible Study, and I am the LEADER....for Heaven's sake!

I cussed at my laundry the other day when I washed and dried a tube of RED lipstick with the ONLY 2 pairs of jeans that fit me, 2 of Greer's new outfits, and one of the few pairs of jeans that Reeves owns without holes in the knees.  P.S.  I worked really hard on it (after considering throwing it all out and using it as a good excuse to buy a bunch of new clothes)....and I got MOST of it out!  

I started back on Weight Watchers Monday (yeah, RIGHT), only to eat Panera for lunch and go out to dinner with my girlfriends.  I ate a big plate of pasta full of LOTS of bad stuff, AND I drank a big 'ole (highly caloric) Pomegranate Margarita.  But, oh my, it was all SOOO delicious!

I am choosing ME and I am getting back in the gym.  My floors will have dust bunnies, my laundry will pile up, my bed won't get made (THAT'S a lie...I make my bed every day.  It's one of my "things"), the dishes may not get loaded, there will be toys all over the den...but I will have at LEAST one uninterrupted hour at the gym with my children safely in the childcare area (or at school).  It will do WONDERS for my mental health....not to mention my body (here's to hoping)!  

My car is so filthy that it looks like I have driven through the desert and allowed my children to eat every meal while finger-painting on the ceiling.  It is seriously in need of some attention!  Greer's carseat cover has a milk stain on it that has been there since before Halloween, and there are probably french fries growing fungus under her seat (not that I would EVER give her a french fry!!)

And, oh my my, there are MANY more....

Stay tuned for more of MY REAL LIFE!!!

Wordful Wednesday

"What? You want me to smile? Dude, I'm eatin' me some cake!"

I swear this is the last birthday post! I just had to share this one....she was serious about her cake!!! Have a great Wednesday, and check out the SevEn cLoWn CirCus!

Happy Wordful Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Port Wine Stain Followers...


Check this out!  This is the Drug (it's a chemotherapy agent) that is on the horizon for application following laser treatments.  Although it is mainly targeted at skin cancers and genital warts, it has shown promise in keeping the small blood vessels of the PWS from regenerating and returning the birthmark to it's prior state.   In FACT...Dr. Geronemus and Dr. Nelson are already using it!!!  

Tasty Tuesday

Our Lives In a Nutshell

So I've been banking up a few good recipes over the past few weeks, and I thought this blog carnival hosted by my very sick, newly pregnant friend Lindsay would be the perfect way to highlight a few of them.  

Cooking is one of my passions, and I like to think that I'm getting better and better as the years go by (well, that's what I'm telling myself anyway!).  I've combined "fundamentally classic and sure to please" skills from my mom with "creative, throw whatever happens to be in the fridge" skills from my dad.  I think it's given me a pretty good balance in the culinary department (if I do say so myself)....

Here is ONE of the delights that I have come up with this month (thanks for the basic idea, Mom!).  It's one of those "trust me" recipes.  Let me know what you think!!!

Easy Shrimp and Grits

1 cup quick grits (the 5 minute variety)
4 cups of water
salt to taste
8 ounces of Velveeta Cheese
1 can of Rotel (juice and all)
1 pound sausage
1 pound peeled, de-veined large Gulf Shrimp
1 TBS. minced garlic
4 TBS olive oil or 1/2 stick of butter

In a large skillet, brown the sausage.  Set aside.  Melt the Velveeta in a large saucepan (I cut it into cubes to make it melt quicker) and add the can of Rotel.  Heat till the Velveeta is completely melted.  Add in the sausage.  Combine grits, water, and salt in another large saucepan.  Cook on High heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Set aside.  In large skillet, combine butter or oil and garlic till hot and sizzlin'.  Saute shrimp in the butter till cooked through (just a few minutes).  Combine grits and Velveeta Mixture.  Spoon onto individual bowls, top with shrimp, and serve.  

(Do you think I should call it Redneck Shrimp and Grits?)

I swear...it is to. die. for.
Trust me


Monday, January 12, 2009

Not me!, Monday




Good morning friends!  It's that time again.....Not Me Monday time that is!  Gives all us perfect mothers a chance to poke a little fun at all our winning parenting moments!  Check out MckMama's blog for more fun moments.  You'll be amazed how much we all have in common!


My baby girl, Greer, did NOT turn ONE on Saturday!  I am not sad about it and I do NOT wish I could just re-live every single moment again.  She is NOT the most perfect, lovely, delicious, hilarious baby there ever was!!!  And she does NOT eat anything we put in front of her OR sleep for 18 hours a day.  Nope, I could never be that lucky!!!

That same baby did NOT eat an whole birthday cake...2 days in a row!!!  I did not let her devour an entire cake at her birthday party on Saturday and then a second one for a family photo shoot on Sunday.  She did NOT handle it in true "Daddy" fashion and show us that she, too, has a massive sweet tooth.  Seriously, y'all, she can NOT hold her cake!!!

She did NOT literally DANCE while she ate that cake at the photographer's house, and we were NOT all rolling with laughter at how hilarious she was.  I was NOT sad that I didn't catch it all on video!!!  The pictures are NOT gonna be priceless though, and you know that I'm NOT gonna be posting them here as soon as they are ready!!!

It was NOT a big fat mess to clean up and I feel like I am never going to get all that icing out of her hair and clothes!!!

I did NOT stay up WAY too late last night posting about the anniversary of the day after Greer was born.  It did NOT make me cry and praise our Heavenly Father for the gift of my third little angel.  My cup does NOT runneth over, my friends!!!

Guess it's a Birthday Edition of Not Me Monday here.  Back to the REAL winning Not Me moments next week....I'm bound to have more than a few!!!
What about you!?


Sunday, January 11, 2009

One Year Ago Today...



Greer Elizabeth
January 11, 2008
The Day our Birthmark Journey Began

Notice the date.  This picture was taken the day after Greer was born.  The day that we found out that the mark on her face (the one we thought was a bruise) was actually a Port Wine Stain (if you look closely, you can see it on the right side of her face...this is the only picture I took in the hospital that shows it).  Her delivery day was nothing but bliss and joy (pretty much!), and the day after, well it was flat out SCARY (and overwhelming and emotional and life-changing).  If I'm being totally honest here...it was HORRIBLE!  Well, it didn't start out horrible, but it went down pretty quickly...

Since I've never really given the details of that day, I'll try to take you back.  Her actual birthday had a few surprises of it's own.  Chris spent the night before delivery day in agony because of some bad pork...food poisoning to be precise.  After some massive praying (by me) and a good 'ole Phenergan suppository, sleep, and a hot shower (for him), he rallied!  Off to the hospital we went.  It turned out to be a crazy weather day (tornado warnings would send us to a room without skylights just moments before I was ready to start pushing), and I was grateful that the other kids were safe at home with my mom.  The delivery was perfect.  I think of my kids as the "Three Little Bears" when it comes to their actual labor and birth experiences.

Reeves' delivery went WAY too SLOW.  

Lucy's delivery day went WAY too FAST.  

Greer's delivery day was JUuuuuST RIGHT!!!  

I remember the bath nurse bringing her over to point out a "bruise" on her face.  I am being honest here when I say that it didn't worry me one. little. bit.  I'm a labor and delivery nurse.  I know that kids are pretty ugly right when they are born (you know they are....with scratches and bruises and funny lookin' swollen faces and heads).  It just didn't really register as something I should worry about.  To me, she was perfect (and she still is)!

We made it to our post-partum room eventually (after a bit of a postpartum hemorrhage that wasn't fun for any of us), and that's when Chris took a turn for the worse.  I pretty much kicked him out at that point.  I just couldn't handle a newborn and a moaning husband (and I didn't want to fight with him for time in the bathroom)!!!  I called his mom to come and pick him up, got my dad to call him in more phenergan, and off he went.  I ended up having a peaceful night and looked forward to getting to know baby Greer more the next morning....we both needed a good night's sleep.

I remember calling the nursery to come and get her around 4 am so I could have a few hours of uninterrupted sleep (plus I was friends with the nurses working in the Nursery that night and I knew they were dying to have some time with my baby girl...what could be better!).  I slept solid as a rock till 7 when my OB/Gyn (and very dear friend) came by to check on me.  She said the pediatricians had just come around and that they should be bringing Greer in to me soon.  I decided to take a quick shower and was looking forward to breakfast....I hadn't eaten a bite in 24 hours!

Just as I was about to take my first sip of coffee, Dr. B (Dr. I's partner) came in.  I could tell by the look on her face that something wasn't right.  

She went on to explain that she thought the "bruise" was actually a Port Wine Stain.  I don't really know if I heard much else after that... 

Humphh....

I was silent.  I didn't really know what to think.  I knew that I had heard of Port Wine Stain somewhere along the way, but I had NO CLUE what to expect from this sort of diagnosis.  To be honest....I just thought about the cosmetics at first.

Will kids on the playground tease her?

Will she feel different from her brother and sister?

Will she cry to me on Prom night because of this purple mark on her face???

And that's when I learned that she was being prepped for a CT scan, and that they had consulted opthamology....that there was a possibility of mental deficits and seizures and glaucoma and spots on her brain.  At the time, no one ever MENTIONED  Sturge-Weber syndrome.  It wouldn't be until I was home that I put all of that together.  I had a computer and internet access while I was in the hospital, but I just WOULD NOT allow myself to go there....if you know what I mean (and it's spelled G-O-O-G-L-E!)!  Nope, while in the hospital, I stuck to uploading pictures.  In hindsight....that was an amazing blessing.  I don't think I could have handled it in my fragile state.  Divine Intervention, my friends, Divine Intervention!

WHAT??? What was she telling me???  I'm a NURSE for heavens sakes...I should KNOW what the HELL she is talking about!!!

I was just numb.  And I felt REALLY, INCREDIBLY betrayed.  And untrusting, and forsaken, and lost.  And my husband wasn't even with me for HEAVENS sake (he was barfing his guts up, remember)!!!

I TOTALLY didn't go where I should have.  I went to a REALLY bad place in my mind.  I didn't even CONSIDER trusting Him in that moment.

For the first time in my life.....

I felt TOTALLY, absolutely, COMPLETELY 

a l o n e

and it was NOT pretty!!!  And that my friends...that was EVIL (aka Satan) incarnate.  Of THAT I am sure!  And, one year later....one year from that HORRIBLE day, you know what?

That ONE day in my little life taught me to trust in God like I have
never, ever trusted in HIM...

That day changed me forever.
Bet THAT'S not what SATAN was banking on!

I cried a lot that day.  I had visitors and friends by my side, but it didn't really matter.  I felt alone and didn't know what was ahead of me.  I didn't even think to pray until night fell on the 11th.  And, well, once I started to pray.  I COULDN'T stop!!!

I didn't really sleep at all that night.  I cried more than I EVER remember crying.  But when morning came....it was a new day.  A peace (the kinda peace that passes all understanding) washed over me.  I truly felt like I was IN HIS arms!  It was the most surreal feeling I have ever felt.  Plain and simple....it was God.

I literally spent that ENTIRE day alone with Greer.  No visitors, no family, barely any visits from hospital staff (my mom had my other kids, Chris was still VERY ill, and my friend Jill had asked all my friends to stay away....gotta love her!).  It's like everyone knew that I needed to be alone with my precious baby girl.  Greer had spent much of the day before away from me, and when she was there....well, I was just so numb I couldn't even focus on her (can you IMAGINE) 

That next day, we talked, and I sang to her.  I prayed over her and asked God to use us.  To use this opportunity for HIS glory.  We slept together, and I fed her, and I thanked my Heavenly Father for such a glorious baby.  MY sweet baby G!!!

And here I sit....on the anniversary of THAT day.  The day I found out that my baby girl would travel a journey that few have to travel.  During this year, I have been blessed by a community of fellow birthmark buddies (and their families) and THEY have been a Godsend.  We have made friends who will be there for a lifetime and for that I am eternally grateful.  

To read more about Greer's Birthmark Journey, please check out this link to our PWS label.  You can read all about it, and we would love your prayers.  My, my how far we have come.

GOD is GOOD!!!

Amen