Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Willow Grace @ 9 months

We went for our 9 month photo session last Saturday. At one point, she was supporting herself on a large block and decided to let go. She stood there for a couple seconds, turned towards Chris who was behind her, and took a step towards him! I was so surprised and excited.

Here's a small sampling of her shots. Enjoy!

I love the progression of these pics.

Sitting pretty!

Those eyes just melt my heart!

On her own and with Mommy and Daddy's help...

Such a happy baby!

Friday, April 25, 2008


I really thought that I had posted more recently. I guess that's due to the constant journaling/monologuing that goes on in my mind.

So what's new?
Well, in the last three weeks, my back has gone out twice. I finally went to the doctor and found out that I have a muscle spasm in my lower back, and now I'm on the good drugs, resting, and applying lots of heat. Of course, my house is still not in order, and I'm having to just let it go. It will get done, just not in the time frame I've had in mind. I have to be OK with that.

This Saturday (tomorrow) we're taking Willow Grace for her 9 month pictures. Can you believe that she's that old? I certainly can't. I will of course, post some of those pics here. I'm totally in love with my daughter. I just can't stop gazing at her lovely little face. She's so much fun to be around. She soaks in everything, staring intently at new people's faces and expressions and trying to figure out how things work. And there is just nothing better than making her laugh. What a blessing!

OK, back to work for me....

Friday, April 11, 2008

Jesus Talking

Every morning, I eat my bowl of cereal while I watch the weather. Of course, in the process, I end up catching up on the top headlines and learning about various other happenings. For some reason, this morning, I started to flip the channels after the weather update. I ended up on TBN, the Christian channel, which I don’t normally watch. However, this morning, I stopped.

A teenage girl sat in what looked like a café with an older man that I, at first, presumed to be her father, but he ended up to be a man portraying Jesus. They were talking about the happenings of her day and also discussing some questions she had. It was a very laid back conversation. I loved the way he was relating to her, talking to her on her level without being condescending or “dumbing down” his explanations. He didn’t have some ridiculous far off look in his eyes or appear to be somewhere between this world and the “beyond.” In short, he didn’t portray Jesus the same way that so many movies or TV shows do. He was approachable, communicative, and informative. I found myself deeply drawn to their conversation and desiring so intensely that I could have the same kind of experience.

After they left the café, they wandered around the town, paused by the rails overlooking the river, and walked back to her house talking all the while. Before she headed into her house, she said, “When I was scared as a little girl, I always imagined myself doing the same thing.” He responded, “Do you think you’re too old for that now.” She replied, “I’ll never be too old for you.” He smiled and stretched his arms out wide, and she ran into them embracing him fully.

I know that might sound cheesy to some, but I found myself in tears. I yearn for that type of relationship with Jesus. Sometimes it’s so hard because I’m not able to have that tangible connection with him. I can read the Bible, pray, and listen for his voice in my heart, but I miss being able to just sit and feel the ebb and flow of conversation. I miss being able to look into his eyes. In our world, so much of our communication occurs through emails, text messages, and blogs like this one. We lose the nuances of the message this way. Tone, inflection, facial expression, and body language all lend themselves to meaning. I want to be able to see his face while he talks. I want to sit in some relaxing atmosphere and just talk about everything.

I want to listen and also to be heard.

Truly, we don’t really listen to each other the way we should. I’ve found myself talking very fast lately in fear that I would not be able to finish my thought before I’m interrupted. It seems that as soon as I mention a fact that peaks another person’s interest (regardless of whether of not she’s in the conversation), she jumps in with her own opinion or related story before I’m able to finish my own. Do I do that in my relationship with Jesus? Yes. I have a long way to go in my communication with him, and I’m working on it.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I am blessed.

I hear this sentence often as if it’s being whispered through the wind or even glowing in neon in my mind’s eye. I have all that I need right now and most of what I want. This is not to say that I am free from struggle or pain; that is certainly not the case. But when I read my friend’s blog (http://thewheelerjourney.blogspot.com/) and think of how painful it must be to miss your child so much, to not be able to hold her in your arms every day, I am reminded of my own blessings. I miss Willow Grace every hour that I am not with her, and yet I get to return to her at the end of each and every workday. I really want to adopt some day, and if that is the road that God wants to lead me down then He will prepare me for the journey and equip me with the strength and patience that I will need for such a trial. My prayers are with Lindsey and Chris Wheeler, and I hope to find ways than that to help them.

Last night I watched American Idol Gives Back. (Yes, this year I have actually become hooked on that show. It’s the first time that I’ve seriously followed it. For the two weeks after we moved, we didn’t have cable, and I had anxiety over the fact that I was missing it!) Anyway, my point is that even though I endured very difficult circumstances when I was a little girl, I never dealt with the types of loss that some of those children have suffered. As I rocked my little sweetheart to sleep last night, I thanked God that she has both of her parents, a safe place to live, and enough to eat. I’m not worried about a mosquito giving her malaria while she sleeps or if I will be able to feed her tomorrow. My daughter, like me, is blessed.

And I don’t take my blessings for granted.

I know where I could have ended up. Some of the girls I grew up with are there now or are fighting like mad to get out. I see their lives, and I am amazed at how different things turned out for us. I made some choices growing up. I choose to stay in school and study hard. I chose to go to college and to get a degree. I chose to have a career before marriage. While those are all good things, it’s not just because of me that I am where I am. I know that.

My parents were wonderful parents. They taught me to love God and to be honest, hard working, and respectful. They loved me and still love me well. And yet, even with all that they have invested in my life and as eternally grateful as I am to them, the main credit for how blessed I am cannot go to them. I have an amazing husband who loves me like I never dreamed could be possible. Because of him, I feel blessed, but even he cannot be credited for the state of my current life.

I could list of a host of people who have invested in my life. They have taught me, prayed for me, and love me. They have supported me emotionally, intellectually, and even financially. I have been blessed through them, but those blessings did not start with them.

I am blessed because God loves me. I am blessed because I have a relationship with Him. All that I am and all that I have is because of Him. I thank God that I am blessed, and I hope to spread that blessing on to others.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Between the Innkeeper and the Cop

Well, I hit a wall this weekend. I had planned to get as close at possible to getting our home in order. I really want to get to a point where I can post a few pics of the place. However, just after lunch on Saturday, as I was moving a few picture albums to the lowest shelf in one of our bookcases, my back went out. Major pain... in more ways than one. First, it just really hurt and kept me from being able to do anything else that day, even picking up the baby. At first, I couldn't even stand up, and we toyed with the thought of taking me to the walk-in clinic. However, I just couldn't see any sense in paying someone $25 to tell me to rest and take Advil. Second, it was a pain because I really hate just sitting around where there's work to be done, and there's quite a lot of work to be done. Finally, yesterday the pain started to go down a bit. It's still painful moving to sit, stand, or recline; it's just not as bad as it was.

I started to feel a bit old with an injury like that until I remembered that Lorelai on the Gilmore Girls had done the same thing. She was young and healthy and beautiful, so it must be OK, right? The only other point of reference I could think was Carl Winslow from Family Matters whose back went out on the dance floor. That just made me feel old, but if lovely Lorelai had the same problem, well, I must be normal. How strange (amusing, terrible, etc.) that I relate so much to what I've seen on TV. Anyway, the school nurse told me that lots of young moms end up with injuries like that after lifting and carrying car seats and other stuff everywhere. So, there you have it; I feel even less strange.(Just in case you're wondering about the post's title: Lorelai was an innkeeper, and Carl was a cop.)

I really hope that I'll be able to accomplish quite a bit this weekend, and maybe we'll finally be able to show you what our new home looks like. Before I get the usual warnings... yes, I will take it easy, will pace myself, and won't overdo anything.