Monday, January 31, 2011

Sickly Days

   For the past week (well, it will be a week tomorrow) we have been couped up in this house with sickness. These days are not so fun. They can be trying on a momma (and a daddy). And sometimes they can be downright scary - like when you're dealing with a new sickness you haven't encountered before and both of your small children have it. That is what last week brought us and it is spelled RSV.
   It hit Anna Beth like a ton of bricks. Lynnsie got it the next day. Why can't they share their toys so easily as they do sick germs? I bet I'd be rich if I could find a way to reverse that!
   Anyway, sickly days can also bring some of the most precious times, too.  Like, when your very busy toddler only wants to cuddle in your lap. Or, in an effort to get them to rest, you catch them in their daddy's lap watching hunting shows (which they enjoy, by the way!) These are just a couple of them.
   I started off the sickly week in a somewhat "woe is my family" way.  Don't get me wrong, it's totally okay to not like it when your kids are sick or feel bad for how bad they feel. But God reminded me last week, that my babies are healthy. Praise Him that they are so healthy, that RSV is the worse sickness they've ever had - and it goes away with treatment! They aren't suffering with a chronic or terminal illness. They still get to be kids. And Praise God that I can come to Him, when I'm scared for them and their sickness and I can let Him be their Healer. And Praise God that we have a home, in which we can stayed "couped up" in comfortably. And Praise God for family and friends who call or text daily to check on them. And Praise God for a husband and daddy who is amazing beyond words and I was not alone during these sickly days. And Praise God for showing me all of these things.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sisterly Love

I took the girls to storytime at our public library last week. We really enjoy storytime, but don't really make it up there as much as I'd like.  It started off with me in a chair, Anna Beth in my lap, and Lynnsie in the stroller beside us.  This last for about half of the first story (they usually read 3 or 4). Lynnsie was not happy sitting in the stroller and wanted to sit in my lap with Anna Beth.  She is really getting to where she wants to do and have everything just like Anna Beth.
So, I pull Lynnsie into my lap and just as she gets settled, the first story is over. We sang a song and then it was time for the next story. Here they were, both in my lap, and the children's librarian is reading a new book to them.  While she's reading, I am pointing and whispering in their ear - 'Do you see the little boy?'; 'Look at the pretty picture!' and so on.  I stop momentarily and sit back up.  Then, the Most. Precious. Thing...
Lynnsie leans over (thumb in her mouth) and lays her head on Anna Beth's shoulder.  Anna Beth puts her arm around Lynnsie. Then, she starts pointing to the book and saying "Look, Lynnsie, you see the book? You see the boy?". Lynnsie just looks up at Anna Beth and smiles the sweetest little smile.
I sat there - totally in awe of what God has just allowed to play out in front me. It was definitely the best blessing of the day. I was in tears I was so happy.  I love seeing them act like sisters. I love seeing the protectiveness that Anna Beth has for Lynnsie and how she wants to take care of her - although sometimes she "takes care" of her a little too much or rough!
Sisters are special.  I know. I have two little ones. I remember praying and praying for them. I remember holding both of them for the very first time.  A lot of times I feel like I wasn't the best big sister to them - there were many years where I was mostly annoyed with them and they got on my nerves. I try to make up for that now.  We've become so close in the past several years. I am watching them grow into beautiful young women.  In so many ways, they're still little kids to me - I guess I don't really want them to grow up - but the fact is, they are grown up!
I hope Anna Beth and Lynnsie and any other children we have, will always treasure the special relationship that sisters have with each other. I look forward to the countless special sister moments that lay ahead for them.  I pray that they will always hold each other accountable and set an example for each other.  I pray they will always be best friends. And, most of all, I pray they are more than earthly sisters, but one day, very soon, they become sisters in Christ.

Monday, January 24, 2011

"I wanna Baf-fee!"

That's "Lynnsie" for 'I want the coffee.' She asks for a drink of my coffee every morning. Do I give her some? Um...absolutely not! She loves the touch the mug I'm holding, she likes to look inside the mug at the coffee, and she really likes for me to put the warm mug up against her cheek.  She gives me so many smiles during this part of our morning.
But when she asked for my "baf-fee" the other morning, I thought, 'One day, Lynns. One day we'll have some baf-fee together.' I totally look forward to those times in my daughters lives....when we share a cup of "baf-fee" together at home while we talk about life and what's going on. Or maybe it will be while we're out shopping for school clothes or shopping "just because" and we stop to get a Starbucks for the ride home.
See, I've done these things with my own my own mom a thousand times before.  One of my favorite "baf-fee" times with my mom, was after we'd just spent the morning with me trying on wedding dresses and found the perfect one. We went across the street and met up with a couple of my bridesmaids to look at a particular wedding photographer that I wanted to use ( - She. Is. Awesome!) Anyway, it was a great and special time with my mom.  And mom and I have had some great conversations and I've learned a lot of things about life over a cup of "baf-fee" with her - I hope she knows that.
But for now, my "baf-fee" time with my little girls will just be letting them look into the mug and feel the warmth of it on their little fingers and cheeks.  And, while I do look forward to really having baf-fee with my girls, I wouldn't rush these special times for anything.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I Will Hold You in Heaven

  In May 2007, the night before Mother's Day, Jacob and I discovered we were pregnant. YAY!  Whoa, what are we gonna do?!! goodness.  These were just a few of the thoughts that went through our minds at our surprising discovery.  We wanted to have children and were, in fact, discussing when to "try" to get pregnant, but we just weren't expecting it so soon!  But here we were, overjoyed, overwhelmed, and completely in love with the baby growing in my belly.
   Towards the end of the next day, Sunday - May 13, I knew something was wrong.  I had never been pregnant before, but I knew that some of the things going on with my body were not supposed to be happening. We couldn't get in to see a doctor until Wednesday and by Friday tests results came back...showing we had been pregnant, but had lost our baby.  I had lost the baby on Sunday evening...the time when I knew something was wrong.
   24 hours.  That is as long as I knew about my baby before she died. 24 very short hours. But in those 24 hours, I dreamed. And I planned. And I wished. And I hoped. I dreamed about what she would look like and what it would be like to hold her for the very first time.  I planned what her room would look like. I wished for her smiling face. And I hoped that she would love Jesus from a very early age.
   This loss was the biggest blow to my life.  But we valued her life from the beginning...from the very second the word "Pregnant" appeared before my eyes. We still value her life, because she was a life lived, if only for a short time. I gave her a name, Mary Grace.  I don't know 100% she was a girl, but through prayer this is what was impressed on my heart.  Mary (from the story of Mary and Martha in the Bible) - because I knew she was sitting at the feet of Jesus, listening to him. And Grace, because I know that because of God's grace, I will see and hold my precious child who lived such a short time.  I wrote her a letter, telling her my dreams and wishes and hopes for her and all that went through my heart and mind in those short 24 hours.  We have a piece of paper with her name framed on our bookshelf because I don't have a picture, not even an ultrasound, of my child.
   We will tell our chlidren about Mary Grace and they will see her framed name in our household.  Why? Because we want them to know that her life is valued. We want them to grow up understanding the value of every matter how long or how short that life is.  God had numbered Mary Grace's days to only a few...but her life mattered and she was - and IS - loved.
  And, I know, that I will hold her heaven.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Entering: Blog World

Jacob, my husband, just looked over my shoulder and says, 'You started a blog?'. I said, 'Yes.' For some reason, I think he was a little surprised. Anyway, I've now entered the blog world. I've enjoyed reading others blogs at times.  My two favorites are my sister-in-laws blog about some of the very crafty things she does ("Good Enough" in my blog list) and my friend Erica Ho's blog about her family's adoption of a beautiful boy from Ethiopia ("A Road Home" in my blog list).  These are the two I follow the most. But I was inspired by two others that I came upon this past week. I stumbled upon both of the of them, so I have no idea of the names, but in one - the blogger (is that the right word?) wrote of a joyous moment every single day...seriously she was almost on day 400! How awesome is that!! And another one who blogs about the sweet memories she is making with her children because she doesn't want to forget them. 
I've often found myself "writing out" what I'm seeing my girls do in a "journaling" finally I decided a blog would be a fun and unique way to preserve some of these memories, too, and to update our family and friends on our lives. So, here it is. Welcome to "Little Things"!


So, I thought I would start this blog with one of my favorite "little things" that I get to encounter every single day. Seriously...Every. Single. Day.  It's called snuggle time in our house and I get to do it with both Anna Beth and Lynnsie.  There is nothing better to my day than snuggle time.  It absolutely melts my heart and brightens my day no matter what has happened.
Snuggle time goes a little something like this: I get up (or try to) about an hour before my girls usually wake up...just to have time to get a shower (in peace) and drink my coffee while doing some Bible reading and spending time with God.  I do this anywhere from 5 to 45 minutes...depending on what time I make it out of bed and how late the girls sleep in :) Anna Beth usually gets up first. She comes into the living room with that precious "I just woke up" look on her face, still with the lines from the pillow on her cheek and some awesome bed hair.  Then, the best part...she climbs into my lap and just sits there, snuggled up, for a few minutes.  She's very quiet and usually leans up to take a peek into my coffee cup. We sit that way almost every morning and it is a great way to start the day.  We end the day in a similar manner.  When I go to tuck her in at night, she wants me to lay down and snuggle again with her.  I tell myself that the bedtime snuggle is NOT her way of prolonging her day :)
Snuggle time with Lynnsie, the youngest, is different and just as precious. Hers are kind of random during the day.  We often joke and call it her "recharge"!  She crawls up and grabs onto the bottom of your pants or your foot or whatever she can take a hold of, lays her cheek on you, and sucks her thumb. Or she climbs into your lap, lays her cheek on your cheek, and sucks her thumb. Or she grabs your hand and lays her cheek on it and, guessed her thumb.  It only lasts a few seconds, but it is priceless!
I love snuggling with my babies. I savor every second of it and I pray they NEVER grow out of it!! This is, perhaps, my favorite "little thing".