" I am the Lord. I change not." Malachi 3:6

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Precious L, Carm, and Family

The past few days have been busy! Friday was my last full day working and I was bombarded all day by people who needed to check with me on "one last thing". And then I left my out of office audix on my phone and email and shut everything down. WOW!!! My co worker and I went to lunch and we both teared up because I felt like I was saying goodbye...even thought I know I will see her this week when I have Harper and am sure we will text and talk while I'm out.  In that moment it just felt like I was saying good bye to my career. I'm sure I sound crazy but oh well. :)  As I walked away from our lunch and headed home to finish my work day I couldn't stop smiling. Knowing that I had finally made it to this milestone and now I get to relax and enjoy all that is to come over the course of the next few days. 

That afternoon The Colonel (my dad) and his wife flew in from Florida and Chad picked them up at the airport and dropped them off at their hotel so they could get settled and take a nap.  Friday evening they came over along with three of my sisters for family dinner and we enjoyed many laughs and conversation. It's hard to believe that it's been nine years since The Colonel has been here and to add to that he's never been to our home or really anything that is part of our lives here. The boys were ecstatic to have him and showed them their room and play room and got their Nerf guns out. It was great! I made my spaghetti and homemade meatballs with a salad and garlic bread and everyone had a nice time getting acclimated to having them here.

Friday morning my dear friend Mich and her husband Craig welcomed their daughter L into the world.  And she is precious! I was stalking my phone all morning waiting for pictures and updates. I am so excited that she is here and looking forward to spending the next few months with Mich loving on our daughters.  The excitement of her birth turned to worry and concern as we received word Sat am that she was moved to the NICU due to low oxygen levels. By mid afternoon we received an update that they had moved her to the Children's hospital and there were problems with her heart.  Chad and I spent allot of time in prayer together and separately yesterday praying for the doctors, little L, Mich and Craig. Because Mich had a C-section she is still at the hospital that L was born at and is hoping to be discharged today so she can go be with L.  Craig continued to keep us updated as time allowed and he and Chad talked for an hour last night. As more details became available we are thankful that the doctors have identified the problem with her heart and are in prayer that they will know which of the three options will be needed for L to recover.  Because she is so small it will take time to determine next steps and right now the doctors are waiting to see how her body responds to the meds she is on.  My heart breaks for Mich and Craig as I can't imagine all of the feelings that are experiencing right now. Mich is heartbroken she can't be with L right this moment and I know she is trying to "keep it together" and be "strong" but I know it will hit her soon and it's so hard not being able to be right there for her.  We know that God has L's life in His hands and find comfort in that and wait as each hour goes by to see what will happen next.

Today Carm flies in to be here for Harper's birth and spend the next nine days with our family.  Carm is my "person". If you've ever watched the Grey's Anatomy episode where Christina and Meredith are talking and have the "your my person" conversation...it is the epitome of my relationship with Carm.  She is one of the only people who I've known for more than half of my life. She has been there with me through all of life's major events since I was 15 and is that person that I call almost every morning at 8:30 just to say hi for five minutes and chat.  As we've gotten older, married, and had children, our families have grown close and we spend time together every year.  Her husband and Chad get a long great and our children are starting to cultivate friendships which we are excited to watch as they get older.  Her children are my god babies and we've asked her and her husband Sean to be Harper's godparents. I can't imagine having anyone else here with Chad and I for her birth and can't wait to get her at the airport in a matter of hours! We plan on watching the movie pitch perfect tonight while enjoying some Lindt chocolate and hot chocolate. Chad is working tomorrow so Carm and I will enjoy coffee in the am followed by a Target run I'm sure, then we will meet up with The Colonel and Patty to pick the boys up at school and enjoy Kylan's basketball practice.  And the morning after that I have Harper!!! :) Yep it's happening in just a matter of days. And with that being said I will leave you with a picture my sister took of me on Friday, because she said I didn't have enough of my pregnant. I'm not a huge fan of it but it does mark the almost end of my pregnancy so I thought I'd share. :) You can tell that I haven't had much sleep..lol 

Well apparently there is something wrong with the link I use to upload pictures so I will have to come back and try again.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Reflecting on 2012

I sat in front of my laptop last night and attempted to write a post titled 2012 in review...and I started it a couple of times and kept deleting it.  So I decided to take a break and come back to it today.  As I sit on my favorite couch with my cup of coffee in hand I continue to reflect on 2012 and the year that it was.  2012 was a year full of many things; amazing memories, new friendships, redemption, tears, trials, joy, life, and stillness.  Our family started 2012 in Florida visiting my dad and his wife and taking the boys to their(and mine) first trip to Disney World.  We invited my dad and his wife to join us and it was an amazing time together as a family. A trip that two years ago I would have told you would never happen in a million years. During 2011 God worked in the both the heart of my dad and I and we were able to start healing and reestablishing our relationship. By extension my children learned that I had a dad and were able to meet him and his wife and spend a considerable amount of time with them throughout 2012.  Having him back in my life has been bittersweet on many levels but I face each day with joy knowing that he has an opportunity to create a meaningful relationship with his grandchildren and they get to know him.

In February I fell and broke my foot in four places and was home bound for nine long weeks.  The irony of it all was that I had literally just purchased a pair of flats to wear to my sister's 21st birthday dinner and while walking out the door slipped on our garage stair went flying, heard a snap and fell. Come to find out there was a sticker on the bottom of one of shoes unbeknownst to me that had caused me to slip on the stair.  In lieu of going to the hospital right away I had my husband grab my boot and crutches that were stored neatly downstairs from my previous break on the same foot less than a year prior...put them on, took some ibuprofen and headed to her birthday dinner.  The next day the podiatrist confirmed that I had indeed broken my foot in four places and I was put on mandatory bed rest for nine weeks...Talk about rough and emotional! I am not one to be still often ie I love to run a thousand miles a minute and have a busy calendar and do lots of things with friends and family. Being home laid up for nine weeks was not on my agenda...however God knew that in order to get my attention I needed to be still....LITERALLY. :)  It was during these nine weeks that he did great things in my life and that of my husband.  We had some amazing conversations during my time at home, not that we don't on a day to day basis, but being home day in and day out gave us the extra time to really talk at length about a lot.  It was during these talks that we prayed and made the decision that we wanted to expand our family.  You see up until this point we had spent the better part of three years going back and forth on if we wanted to try and have another baby....until that moment we weren't sure if our marriage could handle another loss, if Chad was ready to take the risk of me being pregnant and something happening...if I was ready to take that leap of faith and try again.  We were both afraid but at the core we both wanted another child.  And it was during my time at home with a broken foot that God poured peace over our hearts and with anticipation, joy, and I'll be honest some fear we made the decision to try and expand our family.  And it was in May before mother's day that we found out we were pregnant.  This pregnancy has been full of challenges and trials but also one of pure joy! Being able to see our precious daughter on a 3D/4D ultrasound was priceless, hearing her heartbeat, and feeling her kick daily have been blessings.  Now as we enter 2013 and anticipate her arrival I am excited for her to join our family and see what God has in store for us.

In addition to the many blessings that 2012 brought there were also many tears and trials.  Relationships were tested and addiction showed its ugly face yet again impacting extended family members to the point of near death.  It was trying at best and there were times when the tears did not stop for days.  There were many unknowns and the domino effect it had on our family and my siblings was profound.  It was during these trials that God reminded me how fragile relationships are even those that you thought were the strongest.  He reminded me of the importance in putting my complete trust and faith in Him alone.  It was a season of learning and heartache and entering 2013 those relationships are still strained but I know that God is using this challenge to stretch me and mold me.... I squirm at the discomfort, unfamiliarity, and walls that go flying up, but know that in my weakness HE is showing me His strength.  It is my prayer that in my vulnerability God will bring healing and peace.

During 2012 God moved mountains in my career.  Having spent the last three years commuting three hours a day, four times a week, God provided a way for my office to be moved back home and the need for me to be in Chicago changed.  This change blessed our family in so many ways.  The extra time at home in the evenings was profound and the stress that I often carried with rushing here and there and not being home enough went away. I was able to invest time in friendships that had changed over the past three years since my time home wasn't frequent. And the list of blessings continued. God brought two new friendships into my life that melt my heart for many reasons.  It's been exciting to see all that HE has done and provided for our family and looking back in hindsight He was just waiting for the right time to teach me another lesson on patience.

As I enter 2013 I have many goals and aspirations for 2013.  I'm not one to make new year's resolutions because I am one to reflect on what I would like to accomplish and set reasonable goals that are attainable.  This year I am excited to be home with my daughter for three months and during that time make memories with all of our children and just love on them. I'm excited to get my body back so to speak and embrace clean eating once again and make fitness a priority.  I also want to get plugged in to a Bible study this year and or a small group of women.  I didn't take the opportunity to do so in 2012 and have greatly missed the fellowship that comes with doing so.  Lastly, it is my prayer that I will continue to Choose Joy in all circumstances and that every day I will choose to share the joy of Christ and be encouraging and positive and not let the devil steal it.

While looking over my prayer journal from the year I scanned many of the verses that God used to speak to me and thought I would leave you with a few of them.. :

  • Whatever happens conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the gospel of Chris. Then whether I come and see you or only hear about in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel. Philippians 1:27
  • "In this world you will have trouble, but take heart. I have overcome the world" John 16:33
  • Find rest, O my soul, in God alone. My hope comes from Him. Psalm 62:5
  • If you have any encouragement from being united with Chris, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Philippians 2:1-2
  • O Lord you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise, you perceive my thoughts from afar. you discern my going out and my lying down. you are familiar with all my way.  Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely O Lord. Psalm 139: 1-4
It is my prayer that 2013 will be a year of great joy and that you will be still and let God work in your life! Blessings!