Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I saw my grandbaby today!!!


This isn't our baby, but this is pretty much exactly what we saw. This ultrasound was taken at 7 weeks 2 days also.


Today was such a GOOD DAY!!! Austin and I went with Sarah and Bennie to her first ultrasound. They were nervous wrecks! Although she has been very nauseated and tired, I don't think they were allowing themselves to believe there was really a baby there. I wasn't worried about that, she's got too many physical symptoms for there not to be a baby there! I was anxious to see how many there would be! She had two eggs when they did the insemination. I just knew there were going to be two.

When that screen came on and we could see that little bean in there and see it's little heart beating I was overcome with emotion. That's my baby's baby!!! There are just not words to describe that feeling. It was absolutely incredible. She measured at 7 weeks and two days and her due date is August 16th. The doctor and the nurse kept referring me to as Grandma! I've never been referred to as Grandma in my life and ya know what? I loooved it! We could see the heart beating and then we HEARD IT, 168 beats per minute ( I predict a girl)!! I remember hearing my own babies heartbeats for the first time and this was even better than that!!! Sweetest sound I've ever heard. And the looks on Bennie and Sarah's face was priceless. They are so happy.

The doctor and nurse were so happy. This is an infertility clinic so achieving a pregnancy isn't something that they take for granted there and that was very obvious. They understood the emotion we displayed and were very celebratory with us. When they were finished, the nurse took Sarah to another room to draw some blood for labs and Bennie, Austin and I were standing in the hallway looking at the boards of baby pictures representing their successes. I heard the Doctor call out to me "Grandma, come here, I have something for you.". It made me nervous wondering what in the world he could want with me and I nervously walked back to him. He handed me a diaper that had their office logo embroidered on it and said to me, "We've got to get her to 12 weeks, and we're very optimistic. When she hits 12 weeks, Grandma can give her this."
I thought that was so sweet!

She has another ultrasound in 2 weeks. They're keeping a close watch on her, but they don't expect any problems.

One miracle on the way!!!!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A picture of happiness


See these wonderful people? Every single one of them was around our tree this year. The rule on Christmas morning is that everyone has to come in their pajamas (or what they slept in!) So they're not made up and their hair isn't styled(Sarah says Bennie even sleeps in his hat!), but they are beautiful! Austin looks unhappy in this picture, don't know what was up with that face because believe you me, he was one happy kid! Sarah and Bennie are in the back standing on the hearth, Patrick and Amber are on the left and Emily and Wendell are on the right, with Austin, of course, in front.

At one point on Christmas morning I looked around the room and saw all my kids together, laughing and hugging each other and just having a good time together and it was one of those moments in time that you just want to freeze and savor. Nothing is promised to us. No one knows what tomorrow, or next week, or next year will bring our way. So, when it's good, (and this was soooo verrrry good) we need to soak up those times, remember the smell, the feel, the sounds of it all. I did that, over and over and over.

Emily is in good spirits and Wendell is being wonderful with her. This is the second time that he's been here to visit with us and I thank God for bringing him into her life. He is just a great guy and anyone watching them together can tell that they are very much in love. She so deserves him. They have a very frightening and trying time ahead of them. I have no doubt but that he'll be there taking care of her every step of the way.

We often wonder about God's timing, or at least I do. In the past several days I have been able to look at so many things and see God's perfect timing. It's no accident that Emily was able to get away from her unkind ex husband when she did. Very soon after she left him she met Wendell at the gym where she works out. Some have said that it was too fast for her to meet someone. I believe that God was the one orchestrating that particular meeting. He knew that she was going to need someone like Wendell in her life. I've never seen her so happy. He is so obviously devoted to her and after the way she was treated in her marriage it is like balm for my soul to see someone appreciate her and treat her with such love and kindness. How could I not love someone who does that for my daughter. He's also the Santa's helper that suggested that they come "home" to Kentucky for Christmas (He is from Illinois). I had an emotional moment on Christmas Eve when Emily was in another room and I hugged him and thanked him for bringing her home for Christmas. He said to me, "Please don't cry or you'll make me cry. It was my pleasure to bring her home for Christmas."

We have laughed and hugged and played games. They have gone to movies, museums, and met with friends. I've worked two shifts since they have been here and slept fast so we could spend more time together. We haven't done a lot of talking about the cancer. She will go home this weekend and we're working on getting a name of a specialist for her to see once she gets home. I've asked everyone I know to pray for her and I have every reason to believe that she will be cured. Anything less is just not acceptable. If the faith of a mustard seed can move a mountain, this is going to be a piece of cake, because I've got enough faith to fill an entire country.

I've said so many times that she is spunky, determined, smart, goal oriented and a go getter. Well, cancer has met it's match with my girl. When she sets her mind to do something, put it in the bank, it's gonna happen. She's finally found happiness and our family is whole again. Miracles happen....hold on.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

THANK YOU & MERRY CHRISTMAS

It's almost 3 am on Christmas morning and I slept three hours this afternoon after working all night on Tuesday night, and I have to be up in 3 hours to start the Christmas happenings around here. BUT...I simply could not go to bed without stopping by here for a minute to tell you all that YOU ARE THE ABSOLUTE BEST PEOPLE ON THE PLANET!!!! I am going to personally answer every comment and email that I've received as soon as I can. You wonderful people have no idea the impact you've made on my life in the past two days. You. Just. Don't. Know. I love each and every one of you and will never in my life forget the power of your words and prayers.

Emily and Wendell got in last night. We are enjoying family time and looking forward to wonderful things to come. I don't think I've ever in my life experienced a hug like the one she and I shared when I finally got her in my arms. My Christmas baby will be sitting in her place under our tree in the morning and that is such a miracle! God is so good.

I promise a longer post later. I have to work again Christmas night but as soon as I'm rested up a little and can find a few minute to sit down here, I will update you on what's going on.

In the meantime, I want each and every one of you to know how special you are and I want you to know how much I appreciate your words and prayers. They have literally held me up. We're gonna make it.

Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas to each and every one of you. I love you all.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Please, Please pray...

We found out this morning that Emily has Stage II cervical cancer. I can't believe that I've even just typed those words.

She had an irregular pap smear about a month ago...then a colposcopy 2 weeks ago and got the results this morning. She is devastated and is getting ready to get on a plane to come home right now. I have to be strong and positive when she gets here. I'm feeling neither of those things right now. I cannot lose this precious girl.

Please pray for her and for us to be strong for her. If you know of any prayer chains at your church or anywhere at all could you please put her name on it for me?

I believe in miracles. I so believe in miracles and we need one.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Little update on Sarah Kate



Sarah and Bennie on their wedding day ~ June 5, 2005

I love pictures, so since I'm updating you all on Sarah it's only fitting that I post some pictures of her right? Good! So glad you agree! lol



This is a picture of Sarah Kate with her "baby" Samson. I thought I'd give everyone an update on her since you all helped pray this little miracle into existence!!!



This is a picture of Sarah with Bennie (the only time I've ever seen him without a hat was on their wedding day!) He is a sweetheart and I love him like he's one of my own kids. Come to think of it, he is one of my kids! lol

So...here comes the update:
She is is soooo pregnant! Miserably sick and tired kind of pregnant! And soooo grateful for every wave of nausea and drop dead tired day!!


Next Tuesday she has her first ultrasound. And guess who has been invited to come? I'm so excited! And you know that if this Grandmother gets a chance that there will be a picture to share! Ohh you all are going to be so tired of pictures of this kid over the next 18 yrs or so! lol

Which reminds me...I need a name for this little person to call me. Any ideas?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Addendum to previous post...

I knew there was something that I forgot to say in the last post and it's a very important part of this story.

For the nine years that we dealt with this situation and most especially the time between that horrible Christmas in 2004 and last year, I tried to "fix" things. I tried every way I knew to restore the peace, make things better, and heal hurts. Did you get that "I" tried. It wasn't until I realized that this was out of my hands and really learned to "let go and let God" that things began to change. (Things were changing without my knowledge almost immediately after I "let go".) Once I was able to do that I was then able to truly forgive this person. I read a lot about forgiveness and truly didn't think it was something that I was going to be able to do. But I kept remembering a quote that I had read that said, "To refuse to forgive someone that has done you wrong is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die". (I didn't want him to die, but I sure wanted him to change!) And, so, I decided that I was not going to allow him to affect my life like I'd been letting him affect it for all these years. I truly forgave him. I prayed for him. I prayed for my daughter and I left it in God's hands. I continued to send her loving emails and birthday presents and just accepted the situation for what it was. I knew that "someday" we would have her back. In short, I quit fighting the situation and just loved her where she was whether she loved me or not. Once I did that, I had a peace that I hadn't had in a very long time. And what I now know is that when I did that, things started changing on the other end.

I don't know how any of you feel about psychics, but I talked to one in June. She told me things about all my kids. She told me that Sarah would be pregnant with babies in late summer or Fall( she got pregnant in the Fall! we shall see if it's baby or babies!). She told me that Patrick was going to be getting engaged to a very sweet girl with dark hair (the next month he proposed to sweet dark headed Amber!), And then she told me that I had a dark haired daughter that lived out of city or state and that she was married to someone that was mentally cruel to her and that she was very unhappy and missed her family. She said that she would be leaving him and that we were going to be very happy about this news (this woman knew nothing about our situation). I asked her when this was likely to happen and she said it would be within the next 12 months. The VERY NEXT DAY, Emily emailed her sister and told her that she had moved out!!! I called her immediately and she was home for a visit within two weeks!

The point of this post is to prove the power of "letting go" and truly forgiving. I am convinced that if I had not done those things we would still be missing our girl.

I also want to say that as horrible as these years have been, Emily and I both have said that they were worth the pain and anguish to have what we have now. Some very important life lessons were learned by all of us, they were learned the hard way. I would go through it again to have the sweetness that we have now.

Miracles happen....hold on



Below I'm re posting an entry from my old AOL journal from Christmas 2005. I wasn't sure if I should do this or not, but I've decided that there may be someone somewhere that needs some hope. If someone had told me in 2005 that in 2008 this situation could be so different, I probably would not have believed them. In fact, I know I wouldn't have. Let me give you a little background:


Our middle daughter, Emily is one of the most independent, spunky, smart, determined, and goal-oriented people I've ever known in my life. (I think I just said that very thing in a recent post, but, hey, it's true!). She was seeing a boy while she was in high school that we were unaware of. Looking back on it later, we should have realized she was seeing someone on the sly because there was no boyfriend in the picture and she was a very happy teenage girl. Anyway, right before Austin was born we discovered she was seeing this boy/man. By then she was 17 years old and had been seeing him for two years. The reason she hid this from us was because he was five years older than her. So, when she was 17, he was 22. Granted, she was a very mature 17 year old, she was always older than her years, but her father just simply would not allow it. My opinion at the time was that it was too late to shut the barn door after the cows were already out. Her Dad, however, could not and would not have it. Sooo, he drew the line in the sand and forbid her to see him. I told him that she was going to sneak and see him anyway and reminded him that she would be 18 on her next birthday and we would end up losing her if he insisted on standing firm on this. He wouldn't budge and of course when she turned 18 she moved out and continued to see him. They moved to Florida. She finished college (she has her bachelor's degree in Accounting and is now studying for her CMA). Remember how I said she was goal oriented and determined? She did this entirely on her own, while working full time and supporting herself. I should interject here that it was not only the age difference that was the problem with the boyfriend. We had heard from several people who knew his family that he had some mental issues. He had been abused as a child and had problems getting along with people.


They lived in Florida for several years and got married in April two years ago. We were not invited.


Four years ago I was determined to do whatever was necessary to repair our relationship with her. I begged her to bring him and come home for Christmas. I sat everyone here down and told them that we were going to accept him and learn to love him. I went on and on about how it didn't matter what we thought or felt about him, that Emily had chosen him and that if we wanted to have her in our life then we were just going to have to accept him. I thought about the kind of childhood he'd had and was determined to make him feel loved and accepted. I went Christmas shopping for him with love in my heart. I was so excited when they came! He didn't want to come and it was obvious from the moment they walked in the door. I have to hand it to my gang though, even my husband, everyone welcomed him with hugs and smiles and as far as we were concerned the hatchet was buried (there were many things that happened in the previous years that didn't help his case around here). He walked in the door with a chip on his shoulder and it was obvious that he wasn't going to play nice. We were nice to him. In fact, we were very nice to him. Long story short, on Christmas night, with family all around, he jumped up and began calling us all very ugly names and informed Emily that they were "getting out of here". She had been a nervous wreck the entire 4 days that they'd been here and was not at all the same girl that had moved to Florida. They jumped up, grabbed their coats and their dog and out the door they went with him spewing vile names and filthy language the whole time. It was simply the absolute worst day of my entire life and it felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest. I didn't think I would ever be able to smile again. My daughter had just left my house with a crazy man and all of their Christmas presents were left in a heap mocking me. The next 3 1/2 years were horrible. There was a huge hole in our lives. The estrangement was so very painful and I could see no way that it could ever be healed. I wrote countless letters and tried to stay in contact but it felt like I was talking to a stranger. I prayed daily for a resolution and my heart was filled with hate for "him". You know what they say about hate....it will eat you up and I was one miserable person.


Here is my journal entry from three years ago this Christmas:



The tree is up and decorated. The ingredients for the annual cookie bake are bought . I've made a dent in the Christmas shopping. I have "Believe" signs all over the house. I've played my favorite Christmas music for a week. We've had the annual viewing of PRANCER (one of my all time favorite Christmas movies.) We've watched POLAR EXPRESS and read Christmas stories. I've worn Christmas sweaters and Christmas scrubs. I've opened several Christmas cards already. I'm trying. I'm really trying to get myself in the right frame of mind for Christmas. I'm not doing so well at it though.
I have always loved Christmas. I've loved everything about it, even down to the mind numbing stress of it all. But this year, I just wish we could skip the whole extravaganza.


Last year was the worst Christmas I've ever spent in my entire life. A Grinch was in my house last year and I do mean a real live Grinch. He managed to ruin my most favorite day of the year, and many hours of every day since then. His behavior was so horrid that it overshadowed every sweet and good thing that the day has always represented to me. He left our home , taking with him one of the people I treasure most in this world, my daughter. It doesn't seem possible to me that a whole year has passed. It feels like it was yesterday. The feelings are just as raw and exposed today as they were then. I've done everything I know to do to undo the damage he has done to my family. It has all been for naught. He ended up getting exactly what he wanted., and is perfectly happy with the carnage he has left in his wake. I harbor feelings for this person that no one should have towards anyone. It has poisoned me. It has done something to my heart that I can't find a way to repair. And it hangs over my Christmas like an anvil.


Children grow up. It's a wonderful thing. I've often commented to people how cool it is to have adult children. I enjoy my adult children so much. We never stop being parents, but it's so nice when you realize that you've raised these neat people and they finally become your friends. I enjoy my daughter, Sarah Kate and son, Patrick. They make me smile all the time. I love them fiercely and know that they love me. They try so hard to make up for the heartache of last Christmas, a heartache that they've suffered as well and had no part in causing. One child cannot replace another. I don't know how to enjoy Christmas when one of my children is so obviously absent from us. She was my Christmas baby. She is my Christmas baby. My heart needs her. Not just at Christmas, but every day of the year.


This is probably Austin's last year to be a complete believer in the magic that surrounds Christmas. His friends (darn them) are intent upon ridding him of his innocence. I want this Christmas to be a very memorable one for him. I want this to be a very good and memorable Christmas for us all. But when we all wake up on Christmas morning this year and gather around the tree and begin the multiple little traditions we have been performing for years around here on Christmas mornings, there will be an empty place. That empty place looms large in front of me. I don't want to see it. I don't want to feel the feelings that go with it. I want my Christmas baby back. I want that precious girl to see what love really is and I want her out of the clutches of the Grinch. Santa, bring my baby back to me.


Well, what a difference time can make. This past summer, Emily left this man. They are now divorced and she is once again the happy, funny girl that we remember. She came home and visited twice since June and our relationship is not only restored, but better than it's ever been. She has been miserable for a very long time and finally was able to break free and get her life back. I wish you could hear the joy in her voice when I talk to her almost every day on the phone. She has a new boyfriend and we have met him. He is such a nice guy and is so good to her. He is the answer to my prayers! They are very serious already and we are very happy for her. They are coming home for Christmas on Tuesday night and I cannot wait to get my arms around her. Santa is bringing my baby back to me!!!!!!


I tell this story for a reason. Sometimes we think that our situation, whatever it is, will never change. We think that things can't get better, that miracles can't happen and that relationships are ruined. I am here to tell you that miracles do happen. If you knew how seemingly hopeless this situation was and how totally restored it is now you would understand. So, if you are living through something now that makes you feel like giving up....hold on. If your heart is broken....hold on. If you feel lost....hold on. Love can conquer anything. I have proof and that proof will walk in my door on Tuesday night.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A trip down memory lane...

I was looking through a disc of scanned old pictures today and was transported back to when my grown kids were little. The quality of these pictures is not up to today's standards but the memories are no less precious. These won't mean much of anything to anyone else, but they are among my most treasured possessions. Feel free to skip over this post if it bores you, but I want to incorporate these pictures here for myself.

This is actually from a disc that Emily made, so a few of them are of her alone. Just so you know I'm not being partial here! (I have no favorites!)


This is Sarah Kate, She was either in 3rd or 4th grade, and she and her little friend were in the Star Search Talent Contest at their school. I made their skirts out of felt. They sang HE'S A REBEL. Soo darn cute.


This is me holding Patrick on New Year's Eve 1981. Would you look at all that natural collagen in my face!! I want it back. Now!
These pictures didn't load in the order that I wanted them to and I can't figure out how to move them around (if anyone knows how to do that could you please tutor me?!) This is Patrick, Emily and Sarah dressed up for Halloween. I think this was about 1990. Emily (glasses) did this character she called "Aunt Emma", it was a hoot. I would give anything to have that on video. Aunt Emma made many appearances over the years.


Here they are on the first day of school 1988. Patrick - 3rd grade, Emily - 1st grade, and Sarah - Kindergarten.


This one was a year earlier, when Patrick was in second grade and Emily was in Kindergarten.

This was their Christmas picture one year. They were about 5, 3, and 2.

This was their summer picture in 1984



This was taken the summer before in 1983



Here are Patrick and Emily - Christmas 1982. We were awaiting the arrival of Sarah Kate.

Patrick and Emily, Summer 1983. Love the hat!!



This is Emily at Kiawah Island, South Carolina. We used to vacation there almost every summer. This has always been one of my very favorite pictures of her.(I think the reason is obvious!

This one I love because when Emily came home from the first day of Kindergarten and I asked her how she liked school she put her little hands on her hips and said, "I don't like it. They DIDN'T teach me to read today!" And let me tell you, she meant it. Soo, she taught herself to read over the next several days. I kid you not. And that is Emily in a nutshell. When she makes up her mind to do something, you can put it in the bank. It's gonna happen. The most goal-oriented person I've ever known in my life. (When I grow up, I wanna be just like her!!)




Here are Emily and Sarah on Christmas morning 1985


This is to prove that I have no vanity, apparently!!!! What in the world was up with my hair? I think it had something to do with having three kids under the age of 5!! Get a load of those pinstriped jeans!




















Sunday, December 14, 2008

Three Babies!!!!!

Noooooo! Not THOSE babies! Gotcha, didn't I? But, who knows? Maybe!

Nope, the three babies that I'm talking about are of the feline persuasion. We rescued three kittens in June. I put them up for adoption on Craig's List and found a home for one of them. The little Tom of the three ran away in August and I fell in love with the frisky one of the group (who we THOUGHT was a male) and so we named HIM Charlie. Well, it turns out that Charlie is a little girl kitty and not only that, but is apparently a little hussy as well. We actually figured out that Charlie was a girl and I was planning on getting her spayed. I thought I had at least another month or so. NOT! She is an outside cat (husband doesn't like cats) but she mostly lives in the garage. Several weeks ago I noticed two huge puncture wounds on her neck. I was doctoring them with peroxide and antibiotic ointment. Things weren't getting any better so we started her on some Clindamycin antb. drops and I continued daily BID antibiotic ointment treatments. Her neck is waaaay better. I noticed, though, that as her neck was improving her girth was expanding. Could it be? Yes! It was! She was pregnant. Then I figured out that her neck was injured during the mating process. After some reading on the Internet I discovered that the male cat often holds the female down by biting her neck. (Aren't ya glad you're not a cat?!!!) Dang Tom Cat!!!

When I was feeding her yesterday and cleaning out her litter box I suspected that the babies were going to make their appearance in the next day or two. Well, today was the day. They weren't there this morning late, but around 3:00 there they were! I'm so sorry I missed the birth. I would have loved for Austin to have been able to witness it.

They are so cute and she is such a good Mama. I'm finding it really hard to leave her alone with them. And darn it, I know what is going to happen. I'm going to get so attached in the next few weeks and it's going to be very hard for me to part with them. But, part with them I must. And as soon as is possible, Charlie is going to be having a little surgery.

















PAY IT FORWARD




I recently found a very cool journal. http://cw2smom-wearinmyheartonmysleeve.blogspot.com/ Wearin' My Heart On My Sleeve. You must go check Lisa out. Leave her some love! Anyway, while I was there I found this little Pay It Forward Giveaway. I was lucky enough to be in the first three to say YES!


The giveaway part actually comes from you, and you, and you.


The rules, such as they are, are really quite simple:


1. Be one of the first three bloggers to leave a comment on this post, where the first word in the comment is YES! By saying yes, you signify you want to participate in this giveaway. Being one of the first three to say yes will then entitle you to a Homemade/Creative gift from ME!


2. You must post this challenge on your blog, meaning that you then must pay it forward, creating a handmade gift for the first three bloggers (actually the first three who say YES!) who leave a comment on YOUR post about this giveaway!


3. The gift that you make and send to your three friends can be in any price range and you'll have 365 days to make/ship your item. This means you should be willing to maintain your blog at least until you receive your gift and have shipped your gifts, and, remember: it’s the spirit and the thought that counts!


4. When you receive your gift, please feel free to blog about it, sharing the appropriate Linky Love!If you are not one of the top three commenter's on today’s post, you’re still a winner in this time of grace and giving. Please take this symbol of the seasonal spirit and post it on your blog; start your own pay it forward chain, and encourage your bloggy friends to do the same!


Who wants to be the recipient of something absolutely special from me? I will begin working on the gifts after the first of the year.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My Christmas Angel




I was telling someone this week about a visit I had several years ago from a Christmas Angel. When I tell this story to people I can often tell that they think I am crazy, on crack, or am suffering from any number of delusional illnesses. I assure you that none of those are true. If you are not a believer, I hope that you have an opportunity to have a visit such as I had. He didn't have "Christmas Angel" written all over him. It was a "knowing" and until you have it yourself you can never understand it. When and if you get such a visit, you'll just "know". I wish such a visit for each and every one of you. Be open....miracles are everywhere and in these trying times I have to believe they will be in abundance.
In telling this story this week, I was reminded that many of my new friends here have not heard it. So, I'm reposting it from my old AOL Journal. If it's old news to you, I apologize, but it's one of my favorites and I love to share it, so here is my story:


And now here we are with another Christmas almost upon us. Unbelievable! Unbelievable? Not on your life. When it comes to believing, I'm the biggest kid there is. I truly do believe in Santa, and angels, and miracles, not necessarily in that order, but come to think of it, I believe in them all equally so it doesn't matter which order I put them in.
Several years ago I had a Christmas Angel come to my rescue in the form of a burly man with a lock jimmy in a cold, rainy parking lot on Christmas Eve when I was absolutely worn out and had locked my keys in my car. I had been shopping all day and was making my last stop at the grocery store on my way home. I was short on nerves, energy, patience, joy and money by the time I pulled into the parking spot on that very cold rainy day. I jumped out of the car and shut the door and instantly realized that I had locked the keys inside. I literally buried my face in my hands and made a 360 degree turn standing by my car as I cried out "Oh NOOOO!" In the space of the 3 to 4 seconds that it took me to make that turn my angel appeared. He was standing on the other side of my car by the passenger door and he had a lock jimmy in his hand. He said to me, "Don't worry ma'am, I've got ya". And just that quick he had my door open. This happened so quickly I cannot even tell you how quickly it happened. There was no way that anyone had time to call anyone. He was just there...with the tool needed and he opened my door. I thanked him with tears running down my face and was reaching for my purse to pay him but he wouldn't let me. He simply said, "Merry Christmas, ma'am." and as quickly as he had appeared, he was gone.
Yes, I believe in angels.

I've been doing a lot of reading about angels lately and I've learned to call on them daily. I ask the angels to surround each of my children and keep them safe every day. I imagine the bright light of angels surrounding them. I know that the angels are there. I ask the angels to surround our family and all those we love and care about.

As I'm putting my purse in my locker at work I ask the angels to surround me as I go about my shift and to give me knowledge and a sharp mind that I won't miss something as I assess my patients. I ask the angels to surround each of my patients and to give them comfort and healing. I can tell you, honestly, that my shifts go better when I do this.
I've mentioned before here that I have been at the bedside of many dying patients and that the presence of angels is a palpable thing at those times. I know it as surely as I know my own name.

We are all in need of angels and I believe we all have them. I also believe that we don't call on them nearly as often as we could and should. God gave them to us and they love to be called upon.

Tonight we put up our tree and decorated it while listening to the Alabama Christmas CD that has been a tradition at our house since the 1980's (it was so long ago that we used to do it to the album). I truly believe that every year I get more choked up than the last because the memories of my now grown children hanging these same ornaments that we hung tonight grow dearer and dearer in my heart. Tonight I watched Austin hang the ornaments with the same excitement that I used to see on their little faces and it made me so homesick for those little faces. And just as I was feeling sad that they were all grown up and weren't here with me participating in the decorating of the tree, I realized that God is so good. I could be decorating this tree by myself just remembering what it was like to decorate a tree with my precious excited children. But I wasn't alone. There was my little Austin, singing along with me and talking about each of the ornaments just as Patrick, Emily and Sarah had done. How dare I be sad? I was about to miss out on enjoying what I did have by worrying about what I didn't have. And just as that thought popped into my head I realized that angels abound in my life. And I asked them once again to surround my children with the white light of their protection and love.

If you're reading this, I pray that angels surround you and those that you love.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

TODAYS HCG COUNT!!!!!

Sarah just called with her latest numbers.....1999!!!!!!!!! Ultrasound next Wednesday. I am so hoping for two! The number is supposed to double every other day, hers have more than doubled!

To hear the joy in her voice is such a gift. She is going to be the best Mommy!

To say that I appreciate your prayers and thoughts would be such an understatement. This baby (babies!) is going to belong to everyone!

The nurse as her own patient

I worked my 16.5 hr shift on Tuesday night. I started dragging much sooner than usual and I was chalking it up to not sleeping enough on Monday. I don't think my bed has ever felt so good to me as mine did when I crawled into it yesterday morning at 8:15. At 10:30 I woke up with that horrible feeling that my stomach was not going to hold on to anything I'd put in it in the past 24 hours. You know that way that your mouth starts watering and you just know that your soon going to be on your knees in front of the porcelain pedestal, yeah that one! I don't think there is another person on the planet that hates to throw up more than I do. I mean some people will run their finger down their throat to get it over with already. I am the complete opposite of that. I will bargain with God, sell my children or anything else that comes to mind at such a time to avoid that disgusting exercise. So, I did deep breathing exercises, prayed, bargained, cried (yes, I cried!), and then remembered I had some Phenergan suppositories left over from a surgery 5 yrs ago in the refrigerator. So I did the suppository thing (sorry, just keeping it real here!) in a few minutes my mouth stopped that awful watering and then the cold chills hit. So I did my very favorite thing by climbing into a very deep and hot bathtub. This was my undoing!!! I managed to fall asleep in that hot bath for about 1/2 hour. All of a sudden the feeling came back with a vengeance! Why, because I got HOT. Oh Lord, I couldn't get out of that bathtub quick enough! I tried to get myself dried off and throw my nightgown over my head on my way to the porcelain pedestal. Suffice it to say that I wasn't able to do so many things at once. So there I was half dressed, still wet from my bath and assuming the position with absolutely no dignity. It wasn't pretty people, it wasn't pretty at alllll.

So the rest of the day yesterday I slept the sleep of the dead. When I woke up around 4:00 I had a fever, and felt muscles aching that I had forgotten that I even had. What a great way to spend my day off in between 16.5 hr shifts. I took some Advil and went back to sleep and slept fitfully from 5:00 pm till 11:00 this morning. My stomach feels much better and my fever is gone but I sure don't feel like working 16.5 hours tonight. But, nurses aren't' allowed to be sick so I'm getting ready to get my shower and hit it again.

I just talked to Sarah Kate and she had her blood drawn at 10:00 this morning and should have results around 2:30. I will let you know what her numbers were. She is still feeling nauseated and very tired so we're still very optimistic. I can't wait to hear from her. I will post an update from work later so you all won't have to wait till tomorrow to hear.

UPDATE: The census went down at the hospital! Staffing office just called and put me on call for the first 8 hours of my shift tonight. Thank you, God! I have until 11:00 to get back on top of my game!






Sunday, December 7, 2008

My Christmas Present Came Early!!!!!!

Okay, so here's the scoop! As I've mentioned before we are big Bengal fans around here. You can stop laughing now! This has been THE most dismal season in memory and believe me when you're a Bengal fan that's sayin' something! So anyway, we usually go over to Bennie and Sarah's to watch the games. We haven't done that in several weeks because, well, see above comment about dismal season! I just had to go over there today so we loaded up and went. As soon as I laid eyes on her I knew my hunch was correct. But I didn't say a word! After we were there an hour or so Bennie, bless his heart, came over and sat down beside me and showed me a little stick with 2 pink lines on it. (Much brighter pink lines ,by the way, than the last time). I wish you could have seen the smile on his face! So, I jumped up and said, "I KNEW IT, I KNEW IT!". He wasn't supposed to tell me, but he couldn't hold it in! (I love that guy!) So, the news is this. She is 4 weeks pregnant and she had her first check of hcg levels on Friday. Remember last time when they wanted it to be 100 and it was only 2. This time, they wanted it to be 100 and it was 175!! Not only that, but she's having all the physical symptoms which she's never had before. When she complained of being nauseous I said that was "music to my ears"!!! She even looks different! She will have an ultrasound in about 2 weeks. Oh, and there were 2 eggs!!!! Could be a double blessing or even more, who knows. We are not telling anyone else in the family until Christmas, but I could not possibly keep this news from you guys. All of our (and your) prayers have worked and we can't stop praying now. I wish I could hug each and every one of you. I couldn't wait to get on this computer and let you all know. You're the best!

I don't even know what day it is anymore!!





The hospital where I work is merging with another hospital and it has played havoc with my life! Our pay periods are in two week increments and I used to work 16 hours one week and 24 hours the next. I was working evening shift 3pm to 11 pm. That qualified me for insurance. Well, with the merger my cost for insurance was going to be about $75.00 more per pay period unless I increased my hours to 60 per pay period. Soooo, with the economy being what it is and my husband's business taking major hits I decided that it was time to bite the bullet and just go whole hog and jump up to 40 hours per week. The problem was though that if I worked 5 evenings a week I would never see Austin. And if I went to day shift (have I told you all how I'm soooooooo not a morning person!?!?) I would lose the $4.00/hr shift differential. So I put on my thinking cap and came up with what sounded like a brilliant idea (emphasis on sounded like). I proposed to my manager that I work two double shifts a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays and just stay on eight hour shifts on my weekends (every other weekend). She agreed to my proposal and the insanity started this past Tuesday. I go in at 3pm and don't get off until 7:30 am the next day. What in the world was I thinking? I did, however, survive my first week and thanks be to all that is holy this happened to be my weekend off and I'm trying to recover! I've decided that this is just going to be one of those mind over matter things and I am determined to make it work. When I got off work yesterday morning it was pretty nice to realize that I'd only gone to work twice and had 4 days worth of hours already. Sooo, if you read something I've written here some day and you think that maybe it sounds a little wacky....chalk it up to sleep deprivation! In the meantime....please pray for my sanity! lol




I also want to tell you all about something that I'm pretty sure is in the works around here. My daughter, Emily, kind of let it slip to me last week that Sarah and Bennie made another attempt at artificial insemination a few weeks ago. I haven't asked Sarah about it. I knew after the last miscarriage that she would not tell anyone the next time she was pregnant until she was far enough along that she felt safe. I completely understand that and for that reason have not asked any questions. However, my Mom radar has been on high alert! lol


I was talking to Sarah on the phone yesterday and I swear I could hear it in her voice! So, later, being the super-sleuth mother that I am I checked out her My Space page. And guess what she had written there? "Sarah is a very happy girl", and she listed her mood as "grateful". Then, sneaky thing that I am, I meandered over to her Facebook page and sure enough the message there said, "Sarah is very happy". I know my girl and I know that only good lab numbers and ultrasound results would warrant those comments. I think I know what we're getting for Christmas! So, I'm praying that this little miracle has a good tight hold in there and that by Christmas Sarah and Bennie will be breathing easier and are able to finally celebrate. I will keep you all posted and I thank you for all the prayers that have been said for them. Please don't stop.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Every journey starts with a single step...

I have been doing a lot of reading and thinking and therapy and working on myself lately. One of the things that I've found out the hard way is that things that we refuse to deal with, process and work out have a way of making you deal with them. One day we just come face to face with what isn't working and we either find a way to cope with them (deny and ignore) or find a way to work through them. I've chosen to work through them and that decision is making all the difference. As time goes on I will share those pieces of that that I can and I will try to share what I learn along the way. In the meantime, I want to share some books that I've been reading that have helped me tremendously and they are books that anyone can find inspiration from. You don't have to be depressed, in a crisis, or having anything "wrong" in your life to benefit from these books. In fact, I wish I'd read these books a long time ago.

THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED M. Scott Peck
FURTHER ALONG THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED M. Scott Peck
WELCOME TO YOUR CRISIS Laura Day
REPOSITION YOURSELF T.D. Jakes

There are other books, but I will share those later. I am also seeing a therapist and it's one of the greatest tools I've found. It is important to find a therapist that you can feel comfortable with and that you feel safe to share your deepest unspoken thoughts with. Something happens in the therapist's office that is unexplainable. When we speak our truth we often hear it for the first time ourselves. I'm leaning about tools to heal the hurt parts deep inside of me that I've never verbalized before. It's one of the greatest gifts I've ever given myself. My therapist's name is Chuck and I have come to think of Tuesdays as "Tuesdays with Chuck". I look forward to going and every time I've been amazed by at least three things that I hear coming out of my mouth that I hadn't even realized I had hidden deep inside of me. Here I am fifty years old and I feel like for the first time in my life I'm finding out who I am and how to take care of myself.

Life is a journey. We all take meandering paths down very different roads at different times in our lives on the way to becoming our authentic selves. Some of us take longer than others to start the journey. But what I've learned is that a crisis, or a depression can be the best thing that can happen to us. When we are faced with our inability to cope with something and we feel broken and lost in the middle of the road there is nothing left to do except reach out for help and try to find a map to get us back on the road in our journey. That's where I've been the past several weeks. I will attempt, at times, to share some of what I'm learning here in the hope that my struggles, my journey and the things that I discover along the way can help someone else realize that the journey and the pain are worth it.

I promise not to turn this journal into doom and gloom, I"m most definitely not a doom and gloom kind of gal. There will be happy things to report and hopefully some funny stories to share, but I'm trying to learn to speak my truth (in as much as I can in a public forum), to stand up for myself and to demand better of myself. This will not be easy for me but I know it to be necessary. I know that the journey will never be complete, that it will be an ongoing trek for as long as I breathe, but I also know that every mile that I complete will bring me closer to the person that God intended for me to be and that along the way many gifts await.

In keeping with the new journey....I'm changing the look around here. There may be many changes until I find the look that feels like me. The theme here is all about accepting change...here we go!!!





Friday, November 28, 2008

Sharin' the love...





Just when I'm trying to get over the shock of receiving the Superior Scribblers Award I discover that some of you dear people have nominated me for the Marie Antoinette Award! My goodness! Things like this just don't happen to ME!


I want to thank


Cindi from WISHING FOR MY TURN http://wishingformyturn.blogspot.com/2008/11/marie-antoinette-award.html


Karen from KBears Heart 2 http://kbearsheart2.blogspot.com/


and


Wes From Life is What it is Sometimes http://lifeiswhatitissometimes.blogspot.com/2008/11/marie-antoinette-real-person-real-award.html


for nominating me. Their faith in me astounds me!!


So, now it's my turn to nominate 7 people for the Marie Antoinette Award. I love this because I had to leave out some of my favorite journals earlier and I get to tell you about 7 more of my favorites. I wish I could nominate at least 10 more, but the rules are the rules. Please stop by these journals and leave them some love. I know that they will become some of your favorites too.



Marc from Grains of Sand http://grainsofsand-poetic-marc.blogspot.com/ I've been reading Marc for several years and he never ceases to amaze me with the masterpieces he paints with words. He is such a gentle soul and has such a way with words. You don't just read Marc's journal, you go along on the trip with him.

Paul from Brininess and Volubility http://waterboywriting.blogspot.com/ I'm not sure how I found this journal but I love it and am always excited when I see a new post up. Paul is a retired English teacher who has fine taste in music, goes on some really neat trips which he thankfully shares in his journal and has some wonderful stories about his character of a mother, lovingly referred to as Grammy. (I love the Grammy stories!)


Leslie from 2807 Sunflower Lane http://2807sunflowerlane.blogspot.com/ Leslie is the Queen of Celebrations! This gal takes decorating to a brand new level. Make sure you go back and see all of her Halloween preparations. I think the White House should hire her immediately and put her in charge of all things celebratory! Plus, she has great taste in dogs!!


Janie from There is only 1 today http://thereisonly1today.blogspot.com/ Janie is one of those people who just makes you smile. I love reading about her adventures with her animals and just soaking up the sunshine that reading her gives me. Her place will just make you feel good. What more could you ask for.


De from Where Do I Go From Here http://desthoughts.blogspot.com/ De is a fellow nurse and just an all round good person so deserving of this award. You will read about her friends and her life with her son and you'll smile, a lot. And you'll cheer for her! Please cheer for her!!!


Ada from One Way Trip http://onewaytrip18.blogspot.com/ Ada writes with such candor and honesty and I always look forward to new posts from her. I love her spirit and you will too.


Jeanie from Adventures of an Eclectic Mind http://adventuresofaneclecticmind.blogspot.com/ You'll learn some pretty neat stuff on Jeanie's journal. And if you like horses (and who among us doesn't) you'll enjoy reading about her horse.



The Rules:1. Please put the logo in your blog2. Place a link from the person, from whom you received the award3. Nominate at least 7 or more4. Put the links of those on your blog5. Leave a message on their blog to let them know



Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Oh my gosh, Thank you, Debbie!

Note to self: The next time you spend a very long time on an entry....make sure you don't forget you're on battery power and then walk away for a second only to see the screen fading to hibernate as you watch all your work go down the tubes. Grrrrr!

I cannot tell you how surprised I was to get a message from Debbie over at http://boondocksflapdoodleandbeyond.blogspot.com/ Boondocks, Flapdoodle and Beyond telling me that she'd nominated me for the Superior Scribbler's Award! I've been not so good lately at keeping up with things here and I truly don't deserve this award but I sure was touched by her faith in me! Thank you Debbie...I'll try to earn it.

So here is how this works:

1. - Post the award on your journal.
2. - Link back to the one who nominated you.
3. - Link back to the originating post for a list of rules
4. -Give this award to 5 other people that you feel fit the criteria of this award.

I present this Superior Scribbler Award to:

Judi http://emmapeeldallas.blogspot.com/ Talking to Myself

Judi is my "separated at birth twin sister", I've been following Judi's journal for several years and I just love her! She and I think so much a like and have so many interest in common. I love the way she tells a story (and she's got some good ones!) I love reading about her life and the food she cooks and the monumental DIY home projects she takes on...you just won't believe what this woman can do!!! You've got to see her journal if for no other reason than to see her beautiful grandson, Zander! If I could have one magic carpet ride I'd go to Judi's and eat dinner with her in her beautiful home and just enjoy her company. Do yourself a favor and go visit Judi. Thanks, Judi, for being such a great friend to me.

Indigo http://deafscreams.blogspot.com/ Scream Quietly

Indigo will inspire you and make you think. I love reading her journal. She is so honest and warm. You'll love her. And let me tell you there is nothing like getting a note from Indgo telling you that she is praying for you on the smoke. I am so grateful for those prayers. She's special, and you owe it to yourself to read her. Thank you, Indigo for being the special woman that you are and for taking me into your circle.

Linda http://lindapoohsthotfulspot.blogspot.com/ My Thotful Spot

Linda is one of those people that just warms your heart from the start. She is such a neat lady and I'm so grateful that I found her journal. I love reading about Marv and Mandy and her fur baby, Abby, and her grand fur baby, Maddie. Oh, and prepare to rediscover your love for Winnie the Pooh! It's a fun place! Thank you Linda for the warm friendship you've offered and for being the sweet, sweet spirit that you are.

Cindi http://wishingformyturn.blogspot.com/ Wishing for My Turn

Cindi is such a sweet person and she gives you wonderful "Sunday Sayings". (I'm a quote junkie!) She is always to be counted on for something positive to say and it's a good place to stop by for a "cheer up". Oh, and she just moved into a new house and it's fun to hear how she's putting it all together. Thanks, Cindi for your cheerful disposition and those wonderful quotes and cute country graphics.

Monica http://monicasmindlessmutterings.blogspot.com/ Monica Monica's Mindless Mumblings

Monica is a photographer and I absolutely love to see her photographs. She also writes very well and sends the most heartfelt messages just when you really need one! You'll enjoy reading Monica and just wait till you see her fur baby, Toby!!! Monica is just a great gal, so wander on over there and say hello. You'll be glad that you did. Thanks Monica for being so very nice and when I grow up, I want to take pictures like you!

Darn, that's my five and I have others I want to nominate! Just look in the right sidebar and check out all of my friends. They are the best.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I am blessed to know such wonderful people

It's been a while since I've made an entry here. I have received some of the kindest comments and emails from you, my friends and I cannot tell you how much I appreciate them.

First of all Sarah and Bennie are doing well. Looking forward to the baby that they will eventually hold in their arms. It will happen, we all know that. They will make wonderful loving parents. Thank you so much for your prayers and thoughts for them. It warms my heart.

I am not so good at sharing unhappy things in my life. I guess I heard that old adage, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything." too many times. I am going through a rough patch and I find that I just can't write about it publicly. I have gone through a depression before and managed to fight my way out of it over time and I'm sure that I will do it again. These are hard times for a lot of people. Sometimes it just feels like everything hits at one time and it takes us a while to get our footing and turn our thoughts around. I'm working on doing that, and some day soon I will get back to my normal cheerful self. In the meantime, if I can't come here and say something uplifting and positive I will not post anything. This will perhaps make me search for the good things.

One of the good things that I've found recently is a book that I just finished. I recommend it to everyone. The book is "The Road Less Travelled". Do yourself a favor and read this book. Read it slowly and digest it. It's helping me. I hope it helps you too.

Thank you all for your kind comments and emails. They have warmed my heart and brightened my days. What a wonderful community
.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Update on Sarah

First of all I want to thank each and every one of you who left comments and offered prayers for Sarah Kate and Bennie. It was so heartwarming to see the warmth and concern that exists here in this community. I can never ever tell you all how much it has meant to me. You guys are the greatest.

She had her blood work today and the hcg level was less than 2. So, of course we're resigned to the fact that there will be no baby this time. I remain convinced that they will eventually be successul and when that little miracle baby is finally in their (and mine!) arms God will get all the glory. And this Grandma will drive you all crazy with pictures galore!

Blessings to all of you....from the bottom of my heart.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

This is an entry I didn't want to do

I have avoided making this entry. Wasn't sure that I would. Still don't know if I should do it just now but something just doesn't feel right about not doing it now. Maybe some extra prayers and good energy sent her way will help out. Lord only knows I've been praying for them.

You all already know about Sarah and Bennie's struggle with infertility and her miscarriage in April. The thing is that when you're going through infertility treatment it's all about science. Well, that's not entirely true, I believe that God's hand is very much involved. Anyway, what I mean is that there are constant blood tests, ultrasounds to check on the size of eggs, embarrassing trips to little rooms for Bennie to do "his part", medications to take, sterile clinical settings to endure, and countless hours spent in the grip of worry and anxiety. What should be a wonderful time in a couple's life becomes a very stressful and expensive exercise in seeming futility.

The reason that their news was supposed to be secret for now is because they find out they're pregnant so very soon. They know because the infertility doctor's are so on top of what is going on almost every day after the insemination. It has only been two weeks since the insemination. She felt so bad last time that she had told people and then she felt bad that so many people had to feel so bad for them when she miscarried. She wanted to spare other people the sadness this time if it didn't work out. I haven't told any other family or friends (just you guys).

In April she told me everything that was going on daily and I anxiously awaited the pregnancy test with her. This time, because she wanted to spare me the anxiety of those days, I didn't know that they had made another attempt. She wasn't going to tell me until she was at least 8 weeks along. But bless her heart, she was so excited she couldn't keep the news to herself. And I'm glad that she didn't. When she told me Sunday that she was pregnant she told me that she was having more blood work drawn on Tuesday to check her hcg level. They wanted that number to be at least 100. It was only 7. Her doctor told her to come back on Thursday and they would redraw it. They are absolutely heartbroken. I, being the eternal optimist that I am, said that maybe the little swimmers had swam an extra day or two and maybe, just maybe her hcg level hadn't had time yet to climb. She wasn't buying it. She sounds resigned to the fact that she's lost another pregnancy. She has terrible endometriosis, cysts on her ovary and a scarred tube on the other side. It seems they are easily able to get her pregnant with the insemination but she can't seem to sustain the pregnancy.

Tomorrow, she will go for the blood work. I will look forward to and at the same time dread the phone call that I will receive at some point tomorrow. We need a miracle here.

I am not above asking for prayers and miracles.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Tom Hanks was wrong


I'm going to re post something from my old AOL journal. This is a piece that is special to me and I want to make sure it's incorporated here in my new journal. This was written in 2002 but the emotion of the day is never far from my heart. It was one of those landmark days in our life. It will also give you a better introduction to my son, Patrick. I wish that everyone in the world could have a Patrick in their life. His heart is pure solid gold.
Well, the Chicago White Sox won the wold series! I love it when underdogs win things. Of course, if the Astro's had won it would have been cool too. I would be more excited if the Cubbies had been the Chicago team to win, but oh well. Anyway, with so much baseball news in my ears lately I've been reliving my baseball memories of my son, Patrick. He was an absolutely great player. People who watched him play for years still cannot believe that he wasn't drafted by the pros. The dream of his life was to play professional baseball. He would have done it for free even. But, it wasn't meant to be for whatever reason. I went back and dug up a piece that I wrote right after his last college game three years ago. By reading it below, I hope you get a feel for him and what a neat guy he is, but mostly I think that this puts into words how very much I love him.

Saturday I sat bundled in layers of clothes and blankets along the fence behind third base. It was biting cold and spitting sleet and rain. I wouldn't have left my place for the warmth of the car for a million dollars. It was, what turned out to be my beloved son's last baseball game. It was the championship game of the NCAA North Central Region Tournament- Division ll (Baseball), the winner would advance to the Division ll World Series in Alabama. Our boys had lost the first game on Thursday and had fought their way back up through the losers bracket on Friday to be here. We were #2 seed, Ashland University was #1. It was a double elimination tournament, we'd lost one already, they hadn't lost any. We would have to beat them twice that day. Without going into a boring play by play of the game, I will simply say our boys lost. They've come from behind many times to win a crucial game, I wasn't really worried. Somewhere in the eighth inning it began to dawn on me that we probably weren't going to win this time. With that realization came the gut-wrenching epiphany that I was watching my son's last game. I couldn't even breathe for a second. I watched him play third base trying to burn that picture into my mind. I wanted to catch every detail, every movement, every mannerism that makes him unique. I was trance-like, blinking away tears and praying, yes praying that he could have just one more game.This might seem silly to a lot of people. Some might argue that it's just a stupid game. They don't know my son. They don't know that his first word ever was "ball". They don't know that this child of my heart has lived, breathed, slept, and eaten baseball since he was old enough to know what a baseball was. The don't know the sacrifices he's made to play America's game. They don't know that baseball has been his life, his dream, his love. But I knew. I knew how badly he wanted to win that game. I knew how much he dreaded the last out to come in the ninth inning. I knew, and my heart was breaking for him. It wasn't to be. We lost 6-2. After the game coach took the team a little behind third base for their usual post-game huddle. We, the parents of the eight seniors on the team stood huddled, watching, tears streaming down all our faces, unified in our unspoken understanding of what this meant to these boys; to ourselves. This was it. The end of a 16 year era in our lives. The end of little boys' dreams. Coach talked to them for about 5 minutes. As he and the coaching staff turned to walk back to the dug-out they were wiping tears. The underclassmen followed close behind, dry eyed. The image of what was left of that huddle behind third base will never leave me. Eight tough-guy athletes, arms around each other, crying. Not because they'd lost a game, but because it was their last.It seemed an eternity that they huddled there, holding on to one another, as we their parents stood helplessly watching their hearts break. Finally, they headed back to the dug-out, wiping their eyes, gathering their gear, hugging coaches. One by one the seniors headed out to where we were. I thought my heart would break as I watched sons and Dads and Moms grabbing each other and just holding on wordlessly because words weren't necessary. My Patrick was the last one out. His Dad walked up to meet him halfway, they grabbed each other, they cried, I knew my heart was breaking. I couldn't move, I could only stand there, tears silently streaming down my face, watching my son walk away for the last time from his favorite place on earth, a baseball field. He walked towards me, arms reaching and tears streaming. I couldn't find the words I wanted to say. Couldn't come up with a Mom ism to give him comfort. I could only squeeze him and say "I love you". I wanted to tell him how proud I was of him, what a good and loving kid he was, how much fun we'd had over the years through all of our baseball travels, what good memories he'd given us, what a good sport he'd always been, and how very lucky I was to be his Mom, but I couldn't talk. He held on to me for a long time, squeezing hard and just before he let go he said, "Thanks Mom, for everything". Tom Hanks was wrong. There is crying in baseball.


Thanks for keeping my secret!

What a great bunch you guys are! I loved your comments about that which must not be said. I promise that as soon as I'm allowed I will tell more. Not that I've TOLD anything yet at ALL! I don't think my feet have touched the ground all day just thinking about my little secret that I'm not allowed to tell yet.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I'm not telling any secrets.....

I can keep a secret. I want you all to know that. Let me repeat that, this girl can keep a secret! I'm not telling what I know! No way, you're not getting it out of me!

We ususally go to my daughter Sarah Kate's to watch the Bengal's games. We are big Bengal fans but my daughter and son in law, Bennie, are over the top Bengal fans. So their house is Bengal Central on game days. I took a roast and some green beans over and she had some things to add to a meal so we made it a dinner-game-party. My son Patrick and his soon to be bride, Amber were there as well. We watched the game and cheered, and groaned, and hoped, and got our hopes up, and had our hopes dashed and well, that's just how it is when you're a Bengals fan, what can I say? We had fun though.

Back in April, Sarah had a miscarriage. They have infertility problems and had finally managed to get pregnant with artificial insemination . We were absolutely thrilled and looking forward to a baby this winter. To say that the miscarriage was a very sad thing for them would be an understatement. Our hearts broke for them. Just in the recent past three of her cousins have had babies and two of them just announced that they were pregnant again. Sarah is also a nurse and works in a pediatric practice so she is around babies all day long. Her co-workers have had a bumper crop of babies lately too. But what a trooper she is. She is happy for everyone, truly. I'm sure that she has shed many tears when no one could see, but to the world she shows a smile and sincere joy for those with babies. My Sarah Kate is so precious.

Sarah called me this morning but I'm not allowed to tell anyone what she told me. Remember, I said this girl could keep a secret. Well, I am NOT telling you what she told me. Nope, not me. Forget it, it won't work, I'm not sayin'.

You know, watching football and cheering for a losing team is very thirsty work. One tends to drink a lot of Diet Coke while cheering and hoping. One sometimes drinks so much Diet Coke that they find that they have to use the bathroom. Did you know that? Well, it's true. Sarah has a really pretty bathroom. I like to look around at the things she has on display in there when I have occasion to go in there. And wouldn't you know...today I saw something new that wasn't there the last time I visited her bathroom. I was just wondering what this strange thing could be and I had this amazing thought! I thought, "I know, I'll ask my friends on the Internet if THEY know what this strange new piece of decor could be. Soooo....I'm asking!


Remember.....I DIDN'T say a word!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Introductions



While backing up some of my FTP files on AOL I came across some pictures that I had posted in my old journal. Seeing some of them reminded me that while those that followed my AOL journal knew me and my family, many of my new friends here don't. So, if you're interested I'll post some of those pictures and some others here to introduce you to my family. The picture above is one of my absolute favorites. It was taken about 6 years ago at my niece's wedding.

First a little background: We live in Northern Kentucky, about 10 miles south of Cincinnati, Ohio. I just turned 50 years old this summer (gosh that hurts to admit!) and in June my husband Jimmy and I had our 30th wedding anniversary. We had three children in pretty quick succession starting in 1980 and finished up in 1983. Well, actually that's not accurate! We THOUGHT we finished up in 1983. We learned that the old adage "We plan - God laughs" is verrry true! In 1998 at the ripe old age of 40 with our son Patrick in his senior year of high school, our daughter Emily a sophomore and our "baby" Sarah Kate a freshman, the rabbit died!! My whole identity to this point in my life had been being a mother. I know without a doubt that is what I was put on this earth to be and do. My children were absolutely my life and heart. But friends at this point in my life I was absolutely and completely worn out! So, when I did my little thing on that stick and it turned pink in 2 seconds instead of the 3 minutes it was supposed to take I absolutely fell apart. I literally saw my life pass before my very eyes! I did what any self respecting 40 year old mother of three teenagers would do at such a time. I bawled my eyes out! My husband and children were downstairs patiently awaiting the results of one of the biggest tests of my life. When I came downstairs crying they knew what the results were and they were thrilled beyond belief. I thought and said, "You're all crazy, I can't do this"! By saying that I don't mean to imply that I ever considered an abortion. I didn't. I just could not imagine how in the world I could manage a baby at this stage of my life. I had been imagining the park bench that I was going to be parking my behind on in a few years when I finally had these three kids raised and it was soooo within view. It instantly moved on down the road about 1,000 miles and I was none to happy about that! I cried for 4 months.

Finally, one day I realized that I would have a little believer again at Christmas. Then I began to remember how many times I'd wished that I could take each of my children back to their baby stage and savor every minute of that time instead of letting it go by in a blur (moral here is: be careful what you wish for!). Anyway, long story short, in October of 1998, with Patrick away at college in Florida and Emily and Sarah well into their sophomore and junior years of high school, the absolute gift of all our lives, Austin Barret was born. And to say the least, none of our lives have ever been the same since. That little guy is getting ready to celebrate his 10th birthday and the "first litter" as I call them are all grown up. You will be hearing about all of them as I keep up this journal because they all remain "my heart".

Patrick and Austin with our Golden Retriever Tucker


Patrick and Austin on Bengal game day (Big Bengal fans here...pray for us!)

All my kiddo's taken this summer when Emily was home from Florida.

Emily and Austin playing around this summer.

My husband, Jimmy walking Sarah Kate down the aisle in June 2005
Sarah Kate with Austin.