Archive for December, 2011

Christmas 2011

I love it when Christmas falls on a Sunday.  It is such a wonderful way to re-focus our souls before any materialism and commercialism comes into play.  It was a little trying for my children to be patient to open presents, but overall, they did very well.  We enjoyed encouraging worship at my parents’ church (N.Fort Myers Presbyterian Church) and heard an excellent sermon from Pastor Dann.  Then we returned home to eat a delicious brunch.  And then, we finally opened presents.  Connor’s favorite gifts were his R/C monster truck and his Star Wars Lego ship (which he has to wait to build until our return to Gainesville).  Lucy’s favorite gifts were her Unicorn purse from Uncle Kevin and her new bicycle with a basket.  Tyler’s favorite gift was a top spinner (which  my dad found at the Dollar Tree) that he thinks is a Bey Blade.  It was a really good day, although I must confess, it was also quite exhausting.  Here are a few pics from the day.

My three beans (what to do about Lucy's cheesy grin)

Tim was behind me trying to elicit real smiles and Tyler copied his faces

Family picture (here's looking at you Katie Heise...sorry about the clashing pink and red)

Mini-man with his new pool toy

Connor opening a present from Grammy

Lucy found nail polish in her stocking!

Ty's new ride-on

Worley Cookout

Last night Rich and Miss had a cookout at their house that included our family, my parents, Miss’s parents, plus Miss’s brothers with their families.  We enjoyed cheeseburgers and hot dogs with salad, baked beans, and other goodies.  It was such a fun time for the adults to fellowship and the children to play.  Unfortunately, I was not on the ball enough to take lots of pictures, but I did catch a funny one of Rich and Tim and also of Ty with his new little friend Rye (Missy’s nephew who is the same age).  The bigger kids had a great time playing on the new Worley monster playset that Uncle Rich built.  Thanks, Miss and Rich, for having us over!

The first four pictures are of the awesome playset.  It is huge and the four pictures I took were with my phone.

The slide and rockwall

The ladder and fort (this thing is taller than their house) 🙂

The swings and trapeze/rings

The other side (tire swing, second rock wall, picnic area)

Rich (typical goofiness) and Tim (typical dry humor)

Ty and Rye (little cuties!)

Three Beans

For those of you who can actually capture all of your children looking at the camera at the same time or at the very least looking happy, I salute you.  The following pictures are my attempts this morning.  Each of my beans looks cute…in a different picture.  This is our life…at the breakfast table at my parents’ house.

Ty's cute one

Lu's cute one (and maybe mini-man)

Connor's cute one

Oh well 🙂

Grief but not despair

For those of you who read this blog, you will have already heard my sad news.  I am writing this, not really for you, but for me.  I guess it’s perhaps an outlet for my grief.  It pains me greatly to write this post on the heels of my last post…what a difference a few days can make.

Tuesday, after traveling back with Tim to Gainesville and leaving my three children with my parents in south FL, I had my first ultrasound followed by my OB appointment.  At my ultrasound, I saw my precious baby, but much to my overwhelming shock and crushing sorrow, my baby had no heartbeat.  He or she had died in my womb after only seven short weeks with me.  Even as I type these words, my eyes are filled with tears and my heart is filled with grief.  Nothing could have prepared me for the emptiness and heartache I felt in those moments when that truth was revealed to me.  It was made worse by the fact that I was there alone.  I had told Tim that he didn’t need to accompany me.  My anguish was also compounded by the fact that after my ultrasound I had to wait in my OB’s waiting room, surrounded by pregnant women.  I sat there trying not to sob, thinking of my lost baby.

My doctor was kind, as were all those I came into contact with that day.  But the truth of my situation was devastating.  After Tim arrived at the hospital following my heartbreaking phone call to him, we stood in the parking lot wrapped in each other’s arms and wept.  I don’t think either of us has ever cried that much in our lives.  I know I haven’t.

Upon leaving the hospital, we decided to share a quiet dinner out at a nice restaurant.  Both our faces were puffy from crying–tear-stained cheeks and swollen, red-rimmed eyes too.  Our poor waiter James seemed at a loss as to how to approach us…poor man.  We spent the evening, enjoying good food, and vacillating between laughing and enjoying time alone together to choking back more tears, which were never far beneath the surface.

Yesterday, Tim took me to the hospital, where I underwent a D & C procedure.  I woke up from anesthesia, free from both pain and nausea, and I thanked God for it.  My recovery nurse was a sweet Cuban woman named Maggie who was not only a tender caregiver but also sister in Christ.  Even as she tended to my physical needs, she also ministered to my soul with the gentle truth of God’s sovereignty and His good plan. I will be forever grateful that the Lord sent her to me in that difficult hour of my life.  I am also deeply thankful for my husband.  I feel blessed to be married to a man who feels things as deeply as I do and can weep with me, but who also knows when to try to make me laugh.  Thank you, my darling husband, for being there when I needed you and for all your gracious love and support and excellent care-giving.

God is incredibly good.  I can say that, even though I am hurting.  I do not feel stoic at all about this loss–I am overcome with grief.  But I feel a thrilling peace knowing that my God is control and is even now working all things to my good, as one who loves Him and is called according to His purpose.  I am confident that this is His will and His will is right and holy.  He is not surprised or panicked by this circumstance.  It is a part of his marvelous plan for my further sanctification and eventual reunion with Him in heaven, and I rejoice in that.  I am even thankful for this loss in a way, because I know that realistically it was probably a mercy to my beloved child.  And while I would never have knowingly chosen for God to take my child, I am thankful that he or she did not have to be born and perhaps suffer greatly as result of a defect or chromosomal abnormality.  I just realized that I’ve been saying “my” child, but the truth is all we have belongs to God and that includes our children.  Part of developing spiritual maturity and growing in Christ is learning to loosen our grip on earthly things, even loved ones, so that we can more tightly cling to Christ.  This lesson is not easily learned.

I just read through what is written above and realize that it conveys perhaps a tenth of what I’m feeling, but I am glad to have something written down about this experience.  Thank you to all of you who have been faithfully praying for my family.  God has answered your prayers in mighty ways already.  I am looking forward to celebrating the birth of our wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ, in a few days, with my husband, my three children, and my parents.  Merry Christmas to you all!

Job 13:15 “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”

Job 1:21 “And he said: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb,  And naked shall I return there.  The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away;  Blessed be the name of the LORD.’”

Romans 8:32 “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”

I Peter 2:21-24 “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”

Yes+

A few months ago, I had a post with the title of an A.A. Milne poem about turning six years old (And Now We Are Six), and I quoted it in honor of Connor’s sixth birthday. A couple of readers mistakenly thought that it was a pregnancy announcement.  Well, this is that announcement.  Our family is now six members, the littlest one due at the end of July 2012.  Hooray! (I have a funny story to share about this in another post.)  I wanted to post this exciting news before now, but I have been too sick to do anything but lie on the couch.  I am still struggling through “morning” sickness, and probably will be for several more weeks, but I wanted to get this out there at least.  I am way behind in posting, especially with my pictures, but I’ll be back once the nausea abates.

It has been a difficult month because of my inability to do the things I am used to doing, but I am so thankful to my husband who has really stepped up to the plate at our house.  He has done everything for me and the children (breakfast, laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, outings for my absurd cravings), and he has done it with an amazingly kind and loving and patient spirit.  Oh yeah, and he has managed to work his day job too.  Thank you, honey!  I am also thankful to my parents who have allowed my children and me to invade their home for almost the entire month of December, so that we can have home-cooked meals and overall help.  And thank you to all who have been praying for me.  I know the Lord is answering your prayers, because despite the way my body feels, I have felt encouraged overall.  Our family is so thankful to the Lord who has given us the blessing of another child.  We can’t wait to meet him or her.

Sorry there are no pictures to go with this post…posts without pics are always less interesting…but hopefully the next post (whenever that is) will contain pictures.  My goal is to make my Thanksgiving post before Valentine’s Day 🙂