Friday, September 30, 2011

I'm a Mom now

Well, I have been for a few years, but this past weekend I really felt like one. So much so, that I decided to take a few days off from being one, so that I could learn how to be a better one.  I headed to Birmingham with a dear, dear friend of mine to attend the .MOM event. What an amazing experience it was! Anna Claire kept asking me where I was going and I would tell her that I was going to learn how to become a better Mommy. :)

Between the main speakers (Angela Thomas, Angie Smith, Vicki Courtney and Priscilla Shirer), the worship (Michelle Green) and all of the breakout sessions (which were worth the price of admission themselves), I came away with so many different things: insight into a young girl's mind, encouragement from other mothers in the same stage of life as me, areas that I need to work on, both for myself and for my family and tons of ideas on how to be the best mom I can be to my girls. They already have the event scheduled for next year so if you want to join in on the fun, I promise it is well worth it! I told Mike that even if they had charged double what they did, I would have paid it because you get your money's worth.

On a side note, I can't speak highly enough of David Thomas, Sissy Goff and Melissa Trevathan from Daystar Ministries here in Nashville. I know David and Sissy from meetings at my previous job before becoming a mommy and let me tell you, they are the real deal; helping children and parents in all areas of life. If you have youngins', kiddos, teenagers...all of the above, I highly recommend their books for parents of boys and girls. I sat in on the Raising Girls session at the conference and couldn't write fast enough. Oh, and the exciting thing is that they are going to be some of the main speakers next year at the conference! 

After a full weekend I was ready to come home to these sweet faces!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Counting #211-212

I have my list of things I have been counting this week, and even though each one is significant in and of itself, there are really just two things that I would like to list this week...

211. complete protection from a car accident I was in
212. that this little girl's car seat did it's job and kept her safe when the accident happened

Despite the damage to the car and it needing to be towed and my nerves being shaken, all is well. I've gone over in my mind how if I would have stopped at Hobby Lobby like I had planned then the accident wouldn't have happened. Or, what if I would have taken longer in the grocery store, would it have happened then? I don't know. But I know God is in control and when you experience something like this, it puts it all into perspective how things can change in a split second. So thankful for His protection on us.

I'm linking up to count....

Monday, September 12, 2011

Counting #196-210

196. cooler temperatures
197. a husband who works very hard to provide for his family and makes wise decisions
198. several parties to celebrate birthdays and new babies
199. sleeping with the windows open
200. having joy on September 4th as we celebrated our daughters.

201. family and friends remembering Allison and Emily's birthday.
202. Molly's first giggle
203. an opportunity to get away for a girls weekend with a dear friend
204. another friend coming to visit for the day and watching Anna Claire so I could get some errands done
205. getting back to a normal schedule now that Molly is sleeping through the night

206. piles of books waiting to be read
207. piles of books waiting to be taken to McKay's
208. encouragement from Mike in my weight loss
209. for the many men and women who sacrifice so much so that we can be free
210. beautiful pictures of remembrance of families from 9/11

I am linking up to A Holy Experience to continue counting gifts....

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

We have a star in our midst

Like the ensemble? Whenever she sings, she has the shoes on...

 the tiara too...she prefers to have a nightgown on because it is like a dress

And the princess baseball bat that she refers to as her microphone.

Among her favorites are "The Wheels on the Bus," "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," "Father Abraham," and the "Hokey Pokey."

Along with the many songs she and her father make up on their own.

Feel free to contact us if you would like to book her for your next party. She is available most nights and weekends with the exception of Wednesday because that is gymnastics night. All parties must conclude by 7:30pm to allow time for a bath, stories and bedtime prayers.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A special day

Happy Birthday Allison and Emily!

We love and miss you more than you will ever know.

Our hope is in that we will all be together one day--oh, how we wait for that day.

Today is about you and your sweet lives that changed us forever.

Happy Birthday sweet girls!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The number 6

You know how there are times when the Lord causes you to be still, outside of your own will? It doesn't happen that often with me because I can't seem to be still for that long of a time, but night before last it happened.

Molly has been (thankfully!) sleeping through the night for about 3 weeks now. However, Thursday night, she woke up at 2:00am wide eyed and wanting to smile. This in turn causes me to smile back at her, then giggle, which causes her to giggle and then it is just downhill from there and there is no hope in going back to sleep anytime soon. I fixed her a bottle and then snuggled down with her in hopes that she would drift off.

I have learned that in these moments, especially with Molly, that they are few. I don't know if we will have any more children so these restless nights might be the last I will ever get to enjoy. I sat in the rocking chair that has been passed down through generations, listening to the squeak in the rock that has been there for as long as I can remember and just sat with my baby girl. I was still.

Then I began remembering.

Remembering these days leading up to September 4th, 4 years ago.

Then I began thinking about my life and what has happened in those 4 years.

Another year has come and gone. Another year without Allison and Emily. Another year thinking about what our house would sound like with rambunctious, funny, beautiful 4 year old girls running through it. Another year without them.

It's been different this year. I don't know if the new "normal" that we waited for for so long for has settled in to the point that it isn't a "new" normal, but rather just living our lives with the story of who we are and how we have 2 daughters in heaven. The hole in my heart where the memory of their lives seemed to take up residence doesn't have jagged edges around it anymore. The hole is still there, the edges are just a bit more smooth.

Maybe it is because Molly is here now and she completes a picture we had in our mind of having 2 children. Of course Anna Claire and Molly could never, or would never, replace their older sisters, but when you get married and dream about what your family looks like, we are there.

But we have so much more than that.

I have a house number that I bought, that sits in a place that I see everyday. I originally bought a "5" when Anna Claire was born. It was a way to acknowledge there were 5 people that made up our family; Mike, me, Allison, Emily and Anna Claire. When I found out I was pregnant last year, one of the first things I did was go and buy a "6." There is a part of me that wants so badly when people come over to ask what the "6" is for, so I can tell them about our family. Not just tell them about Molly and Anna Claire, but to speak the names of my firstborn daughters. To tell their story once again, so they will not be forgotten.

More importantly, so that their lives can continue to be a testimony to the goodness of God, the grace he gives us, the mercy he shows us and a Love that is overflowing and redemptive.