Friday, July 30, 2010

Have been gone to the beach. Great time had by all (except maybe Lilah, who hates the sun and the heat). Will post pics and details as soon as I dig myself out of this pile of sandy stuff.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

So I had my haircut yesterday. (I lead a life of adventure and excitement). I was flipping through magazines and I came across some article about Christie Brinkley, and even though I usually just look at the pictures, a quote caught my eye. I don't really like to start conversation because I enjoy 45 minutes of silence every 3 months, but I couldn't help myself this time. Christie Brinkley, the wise sage, said "I'd rather have a broken arm than a broken heart." Really??!! This is total genius, I think to myself sarcastically. Because, this is so elementary it irritates me, I read the quote out loud to my senior hair professional, who doesn't miss a beat, and replies, "Oh, like you'd know. You've got a great man!"

I will admit, I hadn't suffered many heart breaks until I learned that my daughter's heart was literally broken (along with all her DNA), unless you count the time I didn't make cheerleading in 6th grade. But one of the things that I am learning on this journey is that everyone suffers heartbreak of some form or another, even though most people think they've cornered the market--that their pain is the worst. Like my stylist (who is a good person, btw)...she really thought that since I had a "man" who doesn't lie, steal, or cheat, that I didn't know suffering. I, on the other hand, am pretty convinced that losing a child is the trump card.

A couple of weeks ago, our sermon was about how God uses only the things we care about to change us. That He messes with our family, our money, and our self better our hearts and make us dependent on Him. I have said it before, but we are thankful for the brokeness....not that Lilah suffers or that we face losing her, but the change that has come with having our world rocked. There is blessing in brokeness. A revelation of truth and importance. A heart bound to it's Maker. A heart that knows loss and hurt well, but knows love and mercy even better.

So here's to broken hearts...and a good man.:)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Everyone loves a good story. Most all of our entertainment surrounds them. People love to gather around and hear a good story....a tale of humor, or suspense, or romance, or joy. But, not many of us can say that our lives are a great story.
This girl's life is a great story. Lilah's tale has it all, twists and turns, joys and sorrows, triumph and loss. If you are new to the story, you can start here.
Today was just another chapter in the great story of Lilah's life: Her 2nd Birthday!!
Last year's big day was so emotional for me that I almost didn't make it through it. So, we scaled back this year....a quiet, simple celebration with family. We are so thankful for this girl and the gift of her life. The precious present of having her here with us, in our family, just where she belongs. We are praising the Lord for the gift of this last year....a year of triumph for Lilah. She's gotten healthier in almost every area. She is getting stronger and definitely more more opinionated. We are growing in our confidence in caring for her and adjusting a bit to what life looks like for our family.
God is using this girl, with her sweet little spirit and joyful heart, to change the lives of others. And while this definitely is not the story I would have written for my little girl, His stories are the best. I am privileged to be Lilah's mother and look forward to the rest of the story--because I know it's gonna be great.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Yesterday morning brought the death of 2 dreams: 1) the dream of living to a ripe old age 80 and 2) the dream of not really cleaning my floors for the 6 months we are renting this house. It all started as a normal peaceful night...L crying because of teething woes, G screaming out that he'd lost his paci, Paul's long legs disrupting the tightness of my covers. At 6 am, we hear an ear-piercing noise that could have, in my foggy state, a multitude of scary scenarios. We jump out of bed faster than we've moved in years, flipping on the lights, running into childrens' rooms, checking all the entrances. It scared the crap out of us....the equivalent of being shot from a cannon dead asleep.

Turns out a dead tree limb had fallen into a 5 foot glass door in our kitchen. At 6 am, I am relieved, because at least that does not require an ambulance ride (which is kind of where my gauge reads. ambulance/ER visit=critical. all other things=not critical). We head back to bed and proceed to have another 'adult discussion' about having a gun in the home. I have no idea what natural disasters have to do with fire arms, but at that hour, it made perfect sense to P (he probably knows I'm in a weakened state until I've had my coffee). And I couldn't go back to sleep because I was so excited that we wouldn't be paying for repairs associated with this natural disaster.

The Glass Doctor came at 10:30 because that's the only time I told him not to come, and we were at swim lessons. The sight of me, lugging Lilah, with Garrett close behind, seems to make all repairmen nervous...I have no idea why?! The Dr. told us, of course, that "it was a rare size and would have to be special ordered. It would take 5 days, and did I want him to board it
up?". Ugh, no I think it's great to have a human-size walkway into my house. The Dr. chuckled and said "you'll be finding glass from this mess 2 years from now."--which is exactly what the mother of a child who hasn't worn shoes since May wants to hear.

I think he's right because the only mess I've seen worse than this was the time, in 7th grade, when a friend and I decided to make Orange Julias drinks and we (being "me") turned and lifted the pitcher, with the blade still turning. It splattered sugared orange mess across the state line and my mom is still griping about it.:)

Monday, July 12, 2010

I have 3, totally unrelated comments to make this evening:
1. my baby turns 2 years old this friday. it is a little bitter, but mostly super sweet. i have alerted the local suppliers of Puffs Plus (seriously, why did we not think to put lotion on
tissues?). be aware--i'm feeling super reflective.

2. i went to the mall today and, for all of the big retail buyers that read my blog, please quit buying empire waist everything for women. thank you very much. also, i am not digging the 'skull and cross bones' trend for my children. if i start dressing G like that now, what will he have to turn to during his "grunge" years?

3. if you have been hearing sounds of woe from this corner of the earth, it's because one of our babysitters has moved to Egypt and the other has been gone for half the summer (and has a boyfriend). sigh. i don't really need them nearly as much as i did when Lilah was on oxygen, but freedom is...well, freeing. it makes me really thankful for God's provision, because a college girl handling the responsibility that comes with caring for L is huge!

I would bore you with other random thoughts but I have to go watch the Bachelorette, even though it's a terrible season and I feel no connection to any of the players. But I continue to watch. It's about loyalty.

The stork has been circling and she has finally landed--just near enough to my house as to not keep me up at night. My sister-in-law, Liz and her husband, Seth welcomed their first child into the world on July 8th. She is beautiful and exotic (to me anyway, because she's the total opposite of my fair-haired babes) and perfect.
We love her and are obsessed with her sweetness! She makes the 8th (with #9 on the way) grandchild on Paul's side, with no end in sight.:). I am so excited to see her grow.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Motherhood is a dangerous sport. Loving those little ones leaves you vulnerable, right? I am definately a victim....having experienced broken sleep, broken furniture, broken engagements (it goes without saying, I mean 'plans' here), broken hearts, etc. And now....a broken nose.

It was traumatic and, because I enjoy some sympathy, I have to tell the story. It was all fun and games, on the floor, with my two children. And a 3rd party, who shall remain nameless, because she's very sensitive, and blames herself, and I cannot say "it wasn't your fault" one more time.:) So 3rd party hoists Lilah up into the air, to give her to me.....and in a simultaneous, catastrophic event...Garrett jumps onto my back/neck/head. And my nose went crashing into Lilah's oncoming head.

It was the crack heard 'round the world. Seriously, you all know I would not exaggerate! It was an ear-piercing crack of bone and I was pretty sure my nose was jammed up into my head. The room spun around as tiny little birds circled. I waited for the ringing in my ears to stop and yelled at Garrett something like, "it's all your fault", because I'm Mother of the Year, like that. He was obviously very traumatized because his response was,
"can we still go swimming?".

The end of the story is that, a week later, makeup is coving my black eyes, my nose is still too sore for sunglasses and the 3rd party was my SIL, Katherine. In the study. With the revolver.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Happy belated 4th of July!! I, like everyone else, can't believe we are in July. We celebrated with lots of friends and neighborhood festivities, the biggest of which happened on the evening of the 4th. We were wishy-washy about going because 1) our babysitters have abandoned us for the summer, 2) it was hot as heck and Lilah is a delicate flower, and 3) my sister-in-law is about to have a baby yesterday. All of these things meant we were not quite sure how it would go (i.e., is it worth the trouble), considering L might pass out and the likelihood of Garrett screaming "my feet are fweaty" and refusing to participate were high.

It took us four times longer than it should have to get out the door, and I was flustered and hot before we even got there. Combine sweat running down my back, not enough sets of hands for cameras, drinks, shoes, and bikes (which G decided would be better if I carried) and I was having a bad attitude before the big children's parade even started. Lilah and Garrett were both looking like little tomatoes, about to burst in the sun.

But then, they got started and I was running ahead, trying to capture the moment (you know it's all about the pictures:), and I look over and saw my little know, the 'holes in her heart', 'crooked spine', 'feeding tube', 'severely delayed' child?--and she was livin it up! This is when it would have come in handy to turn on the video camera that I insisted we get before our first was born.... there are no words to describe the joy that girl was feeling. Clearly no one has told her that she's sick or different or that all of those people, balloons, and confetti weren't just for her, because, Oh The Joy!! Lilah was quivering with excitement. Squealing. Clapping her hands in this super-fast way she does when 'it's the best'. Throwing her arms up in the air.

And I had a moment. I thought about how we almost didn't bring her, but she was the one, of all the children, who loved it the most. I thought about how pure, and sweet her spirit is, to be moved so greatly by such simplicity. I thought about how, even though she's more work, she's more joy. About what a blessing she is for others. About how every gathering of friends and family feels like a celebration to me. A celebration of her life...a life that is rich and full in a unique way...a life that enriches others.

I'm telling ya' was a moment. My lip started quivering and the tears were just welling up. I was just a moment away from a full-out, pig-snort cry, when Garrett mowed me down with his bike. And the desire to keep the blood that was squirting from my heel off the parade path brought me back to reality. A reality that included cold bbq, warm potato salad, stinky horses, and enough snow cones to sink a ship.:)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I've gotta say...I'm having some 'freak-outs' about how in the world I'm going to survive when Lilah gets bigger. I can barely carry her now. She hates to be put down. How will I manage to get her in and out of places (bathtub, stroller, car, etc) safely? My mind spirals out of control until it lands at an obese, total invalid, with no self-care skills. (Because I like to 'go to' worse case scenario, so I can "plan" and "prepare" and then be surprise when it's not so bad).
Anyway, this fear is forefront on my mind these days because Lilah is right on the verse of being to heavy to carry around much. Which means, now starts the days of confinement to a stroller/wheelchair while every other child is running and playing. It breaks my heart for her, I know she would love to do more if she could. But I have been reminded and am reflecting on a few things lately:
1. each day at a time. no point in worrying about what's not here yet. (right now, I should be thankful for this time that I can still carry her a bit)
2. His grace is always sufficient (He will provide for her/our needs)
3. His mercies are new every morning (every morning I have new strength from Him, for her)

Tonight, I am thankful for the Lord. For His immeasurable love for his children. For His promises to grow and prosper Lilah. I am resting as His child, trusting His plan.