Monday, April 28, 2008

Catching Up

"The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures."

-Amazing Grace

So many things have happened in the last few weeks. So much that I guess I am just now starting to "catch up" so to speak. We've completed the testing on Emily that we've been waiting so many months to have done, she's had her surgery, we've been out of town, spent wonderful time with family, and are now home and settling back in our every day life. Maybe it's the fact that now things are slowing down and I have time to process all the thoughts, feelings and fears of the past month, or maybe it's that I cleaned out my diaper bag today and found the program to a dear man's funeral, a man that was a great source of encouragement to us during Emily's early days. I'm not sure why I am soaking in all these feelings today of all days but I have just once again been reminded of how amazing life is. How amazing and precious our days on this earth are. How fast they go by. How quickly our children grow. How we are always one doctor's appointment away from devastating news. Through one storm and bracing ourselves for the next. One day closer to the end. One day closer to our prize.

I guess I just don't want to be guilty of ever taking it for granted. I want to celebrate each day and thank God every chance I get for the blessings he continues to wrap us in. My refrigerator is still full of pictures of Emily in the NICU. Today at lunch Lila was looking at them and asked me if Emily was sick. I didn't know what she was talking about at first but Lila pointed to the pictures and my heart welled up with emotion at the remembrance of Emily supported by machines to breathe and eat. Machines to help her live. They've been there for a year now so I really don't give them a second glance anymore. They have just become part of the fridge. Lila caused me to stop and remember and be grateful and thankful for the miracle of Emily. The miracle of all life really, as my nieces' and nephew's pictures are on there as well.

But what really gets me is how I've forgotten. How could I have let things cloud my memory of that agonizing, beautiful, precious time? Week after week of desperate, helpless feelings? I felt them all so strongly when Emily was born. The intense desire to have her healthy and home. The way that each day felt like a week. The joy and celebration that came with each gram of weight gained and every little cc that was added and tolerated with Emily's feedings. The way my heart felt so heavy, yet so grateful. All the many feelings and emotions I had to experience in order for God to draw me closer to Him... to change me...get me through to this other side. To make me the new, more obedient, faithful and trusting me. We've just gone through a BIG year. There have been too many doctor's appointments to count. Too many appointments with bad news and SO many answered prayers for healing.

I'm glad that God worked through Lila to remind me today. I need to remember. He forever changed me with the experiences and journey we walked and I don't want to get so caught up with life that I slump back into that person again. The person I was before. For now I truly know, I've seen, I've felt and experienced God's faithfulness and I don't want to be the old me again. All afternoon the words from Amazing Grace have been going through my mind. If it weren't for His grace where would we be...

post signature

Well Traveled

Ten hours there, ten hours back... the girls are very well traveled and good travelers! Three hours into the way home both had "accidents" and were soaked through their diapers, shorts, and car seats. For the rest of the seven hours they had to sit on blankets in their car seats. Emily is just the most laid back baby ever and didn't seem to mind riding the long way home wet. Lila did good too... of course chocolate makes everything better...except maybe a pretty face for a picture! Check out Emily's first tooth... her souvenir from Mimi's house!

post signature

A trip to the Farm

Daddy, Uncle Buck and Grandaddy took the kids out to the Farm while the ladies shopped the antique stores downtown and had lunch. Lila was excited to get to ride one of Poppa's real tractors! She's been talking about it for quite some time now! Thanks Uncle Buck for giving them a ride! It was one of the highlights of Lila's trip for sure!

The Headquarters back in the distance...

Charlie's tractor!

Climb in for a ride...

And off you go...

Future Cotton Pickers in training?

I'm not sure about this one.. Kate the future welder???

post signature

Silly Girls...

Lila and Kate being silly together...

They made cookies... a "K" for Kate, "C" for Charlie and "L" for Lila. Emily didn't get her own big cookie but had fun eating off the others! They are showing off their cookies minus a few shirts because we had lasagna that night and it's just too hard to get out of clothes!

post signature

The Beach

Lila and Charlie LOVED the beach! From the moment Lila's feet hit the sand she had the biggest smile on her face! Being late April, the water was still cold but it didn't stop her and Charlie from splashing in the water and running from the waves. Emily spent most of her time sleeping on the beach, although she did take a little walk with Mimi to collect some shells. Kate didn't like the sand and the prospect of crabs that live in that sand and swim in the ocean paying her a visit, so she had Poppa hold her almost the whole time we were there!

We really had a great day at the beach. We went to the best 'hole in the wall' on the island for lunch and stopped at a shell store for souvenirs of the day. Lila loves her shells and holds them up to her ear to 'hear' the ocean over and over again. Next year we can watch both of our girls splash in the water and build sandcastles. It brings back so many memories from my own childhood. I love that my girls get to experience it as well!

post signature

Backyard Fun at Mimi and Poppa's

Lila and Emily LOVE any chance they get to play with their older cousins, Charlie and Kate. Lila and Charlie became best buds and played together from sun up to sun down. Kate played with them too but spent a lot of her time helping to take care of Little Emily.

Mimi's yard is one big playground with lots of things to do and lizards and frogs to capture! The kids had a lot of fun swinging, sliding, swimming, running, riding their bikes, picking flowers, riding the "tractor" (aka lawn mower) with Poppa, making stepping stones with Mimi, chasing butterflies and catching lizards and frogs. There were even firework shows at the end of the evenings! Charlie was a bit protective of the girls but they all loved the show Poppa put on! It's a great big world out there and Mimi's yard is the perfect place to explore it!

post signature