Monday, March 30, 2009


I love quilts. There is something so special about wrapping up in something that is handmade, something that gives you a glimpse into the past but also provides warmth for the present. Quilts provide a heritage; something that can be passed down to future generations to tell a story. I just love them.

My mom took up quilting several years ago so we (the members of her family) have been fortunate enough to be the recipients of her handiwork. The first quilts she made for us were pieces of various fabrics that represented something in our lives, things that we loved. There were swatches of decorative fabric but also prints that included dogs, houses, even ice cream!

She has made quilts that represent a turning point in her loved ones lives--like when my dad went down to New Orleans after Katrina for 6 weeks to help rebuild the telephone lines for work. She made him a quilt that Christmas that had the "New Orleans" star in it. Or when I moved into my first house, she made me a quilt that had swatches put together that looked like little houses. She has also made quilts for my niece and nephews that have pieces of fabric that represent things they love. She made Mike a quilt for his birthday that represents his love for the outdoors and camping. She made my sister a quilt this past Christmas that has their family sewn into it (Christy, you need to post a picture!)

She has also made quilts out of remembrance for something special--like the wedding quilt she made for us (second from the top in the picture above). A year later, she used leftover fabric from that to make a baby's quilt in remembrance of Allison and Emily. As you can see in the picture below, there are 2 pink hearts.

Then, when we found out we were pregnant with Anna Claire, she went through her fabrics and found more leftover fabric from our wedding quilt and made one for our sweet girl. This is so special because now all three quilts have the same fabric.

As part of the bedding she made for Anna Claire, she made her a quilt that included some of the fabric used in her room. She brought it with her this past week when she visited.

One thing (among many) that is special about this quilt is that it incorporates some fabric that was used in my niece, Jessica's, 16th birthday quilt. This is something special that the two girls share.

She also made this "taggie" quilt for Anna Claire to play on. I love the vintage looking fabric and the bright colors!

It takes time and money to make something so beautiful but I think there is more LOVE that is invested in than anything.


This past week, my mom, aka "Didi" came for a visit. I'm not sure she could get enough of Anna Claire. And vice versa.

Anna Claire found a new spot! We found that this position soothes her instantly. Although, I have to say, that she rarely cries and when she does it is because she is hungry or has something going on in her pants. She is a very content baby!

Tomorrow is her original (full term) due date. It's amazing to think that she might still be inside of me had I not gone early!

Anna Claire's BFF was born last week! We can't wait to get the two little girls together.
Welcome Abigail Mae and congratulations Brad and Nicole--we love you!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Few Things

Earlier this week I had my 6 week check up with my OB/GYN. From what I understand, a lot of women have a love/hate relationship with their "lady doctor." With Dr. Morgan, it is straight love. She is amazing and has been nothing short of a blessing to us the past couple of years. She delivered the twins and when they were born, she had her church praying for us. When I showed up with Anna Claire this week, she was so excited!

Look who looks "pretty in pink!" Anna Claire got a new swing yesterday, she is so tiny it swallows her up, but boy oh boy, does she love it!

Davene at Life on Sylan Drive gave me the Love Ya Blog award this week! This award is about friendships, being a friend and finding new ones! Thank you!

On another note, I am sure many of you have been following Stellan's story at Please pray for this family. I can't get this little guy out of my mind or heart. In the quiet moments of the night and early morning, when I am feeding Anna Claire, the Lord continues to bring him to mind. I'm sure when you read his story, you will be touched and urged to pray as well.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Back to School

Mike headed back to school this morning and boy was it hard for him to say goodbye to his girl! Having him home the past week has been wonderful for ALL of us. Now the countdown has begun to summer vacation.

I bought this lullaby CD this past week for Anna Claire. 2 of my favorite artists sing on it--Christy Knockels and Nicole Nordeman. It is so beautiful that I think I would listen to it even if I didn't have a baby! It would make a great gift to a new mother and you can get deal if you order a like new/used one from

Tomorrow Anna Claire will be 6 weeks old! I am reading Prayers for New Mothers by Angela Thomas Guffey. It has been a great book to pick up and read a few pages based on what is going on with Anna Claire, my emotions, parenting, etc. She wrote something that struck me..."The child you hold in your arms proves again His great love for you." I know our daughter is a gift from God, but to hold her and contemplate parenting from God's point of view is amazing and I don't know that I comprehended this before she was here with us. It is the love and sacrifice that God showed us through Christ dying on the cross and in those moments, when he stepped back, and allowed the crucifixion to happen that really puts into perspective, for me at least, what deep, deep love He has for us, as his children. Being a parent has given me a glimpse of "His great love" for me that Angela talks about.
This "love" is the gift of mothering/fathering our little girl and also the amazing gift of being loved by a Father in heaven.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

An Introduction

How do you introduce a 5 week old baby to her older twin sisters, who unfortunately, are no longer on this earth?

I don't know either, but we did.

Since the weather was so nice today, we decided to make the trip to the memorial gardens where Allison Elizabeth and Emily Ann are buried (you can read their story here and here). It was a strange sensation, pulling into the gardens with Anna Claire in the backseat, knowing that we were going to be sitting at the graveside of our other two daughters in just minutes. I wasn't sure what I was expecting to feel. Would I be sad? Would there be some happiness in knowing that we had Anna Claire with us there this time? Would there be guilt because I felt that happiness? What would Mike feel? Would there be tears? Of course, there always are.

What struck us both is that it will have been 2 years in September since they were born. It seems like so long ago that they were born. So long ago that we sat at the same spot and said goodbye. So long ago that we weren't sure if we would be able to catch our breath from the devastation that had entered our lives. But oh, the hope I grabbed onto in those days, these days too. Yes, I am sad. Yes, I miss them. Terribly. Some days it hurts, some days it doesn't. My arms still ache for them. Every day though, I think of them.

There will come a day and time when Anna Claire is old enough to know and understand the story of her sisters. Until then, it might only be from their framed footprints and the trips to the memorial gardens that she is aware of who they were. I know there will never be stories that start with, "before you were born, your sisters...."But I want her to know how they changed us and how their lives touched so many others. How their lives made her parents not take anything for granted. And how hopefully, from loving and losing them, we are better parents.

I overheard Mike talking to Anna Claire the other day about her sisters. He was telling her they aren't here but that one day she would get to meet them because they were in heaven. I thought to myself when I heard him, that it seemed so far away when we would be reunited, when we would finally all be together. That day when I would be able to hold all of my babies in my arms at one time.

For today though, for a short time, our family was together. ALL of us. Our WHOLE family. A man, his wife and their three daughters. Some of us were there in body, some in spirit. But we were all there, for the first time. It felt good. It felt right. It felt holy.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring Break

One of the reasons I am thankful my husband is a teacher is because he gets spring break! We have the whole week to spend together and to enjoy Anna Claire. Because it is softball season (he coaches), Mike puts in 14 hour days during the week between teaching, practice and games. With this welcome break, we are able to enjoy the WHOLE week together with our little girl.

The sun is out today and it is supposed to be warm, so we are going to attempt another walk this afternoon.

She couldn't be any cuter!!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


My friend Addie made these adorable booties for Anna Claire--what a treasure!

It's been hard to find clothes that actually fit Anna Claire, so when we saw this onsie at Wal-Mart in the preemie size, we had to get it!

Never mind that the pacifier makes her head look small!

She weighed in at a whopping 5 lbs. 6 oz. on Tuesday--that's 7 oz. in 7 days! And she grew 1/4 of an inch too!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

One Month (yesterday)

Yesterday was Anna Claire's one month birthday! People told me when I was pregnant that the time will fly once she was born and boy were they right! To celebrate, we attempted to take a walk yesterday (it was 80 degrees!). It was so windy outside and it was whipping in and out of the stroller. Anna Claire didn't like it too much and we only made it half way through our neighborhood before she lost it and we turned around. Look how small she looks in her car seat!

The weather is supposed to take a turn for the cold today, so it might be a couple of weeks before we can get outside again. Next week is spring break for Mike, so we are hoping for a couple of nice days to enjoy the sunshine.

We are continuing to be blessed by so many of you, friends and family who have been praying for us, sending us emails and providing meals (thank you CBC!!!). You have all been a tangible example of the body of Christ at work!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Anna Claire had her first bath the other night. Clearly, it didn't go as well as we had hoped. She loves the warm water, but I think when the cold air hit her, it took her breath away and she didn't like it so much anymore.

Mike has been fooling around with his camera to see if we can get some shots of Anna Claire that are similar to those that you would get with a professional photographer. This is the first try. All we did was buy a black sheet and drape it over the sofa. He is going to adjust the lighting, centering, etc. She started to have a meltdown shortly after this was taken so we called it a night.

One of Mike's best friends, Bob (who also happens to be his assistant coach for softball) and his wife, Jayne stopped by to meet Anna Claire. They were her first official visitors. Because of the precautions the doctor has said we need to take with it being RSV season and her being still so small, we hosed Bob and Jayne down outside with warm, soapy water and then once inside we lathered them up, head to toe, with antibacterial hand sanitizer! :)

We go back to the doctor today for a weight check--hopefully she will have surpassed the 5 lb. mark!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Thursday, March 5, 2009

She's Growing!

Anna Claire is well on her way to actually be included in the growth charts. She still is so small she doesn't register on them, in fact, when we went to the pediatrician on Monday, she has been given a "less than" percentile, but only by 3%.

She weighed in at a whopping 4 lbs. 15 ounces and has grown 1/2 inch since she was born!

We love the Boppy pillow we were given by our friends Jon and Kim. She looks like a little bird in a nest when she is sitting in it.

We are all doing well and are looking forward to a somewhat warm weekend when we can get outside for a few minutes of some fresh air!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Anna Claire's Room

Here are some long overdue pictures of Anna Claire's room. The carpet was laid the afternoon I went into labor (I'll share the full story later about my day of labor) and while she was in the NICU we were able to take some time to put the rest of her room together.

My sister made this garland for her

My mom made all of the bedding, rocking chair cushions and curtains for the room, plus these adorable fabric blocks.

Everything on this shelf is special. The Humpty Dumpty plate is one that we used growing up, the books were gifts from my mom and her best friend, Anna Claire's first piggy bank (she already has $1). The cross stitch is something my mom made for me when I was in elementary school that hung in my childhood room and the far right is a picture that captures the moment Christy met me for the first time when I was brought home from the hospital. The shoes are the crib shoes Christy and I both wore.

This bookshelf was used in my niece's and nephew's room when they were growing up. Mike stripped it and painted it to look brand new!

We have our first doctor's appointment today with the pediatrician--her first outing!