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


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.


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


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.