Friday, July 30, 2010

Twins, Friends, and Tea Parties

Yesterday the kids and I went to visit two very special people. We visited with my dear friends and former pastor from my growing up years. Years after they moved he came back and officiated our wedding, they have always been an important part of my life. Prince and Princess have only met them once and I want my children to know them. We had such a wonderful time, the highlight being a tea party. Princess was thrilled when Mrs. H said that they would be having a tea party.

Mrs. H has a wonderful way of making things special for people. Prince and Princess thought it was amazing that she would let them drink out of "real" teacups. (In other words, not plastic cups) It was great fun as we sat for tea and cookies and I was amazed at how my children turned on the manners, over-exaggerating the "please pass the cookies and tea." It was adorable to hear them as they a fake prim and proper accent. Mrs. H and the kids were reminding Mr. H about his manners, as he pretended not to know how to take tea. While sitting at the table, Sweet Princess said, "Mommy, are they our family?" We all smiled. Yes, I would say they are a part of our family.

The whole visit warmed my heart, my children getting to know these two people that have been such a part of my life. Prince crawled up in their laps to sit and enjoy. I also have to brag a little bit, my children were so well behaved! They did not fight or sass the entire day and they did exactly what was asked of them. We spent the entire day with them, and then it was time to leave for home. Prince and Princess did not want to leave, and I shared their feelings, but it was time. I wanted to be home before Hubby got home from work. I tried a different route home that Mrs. H told me about and I got a little lost, yes, even with the GPS. Then, as we were about half-way home my tire light came on, indicating that there might be a problem. This is why I don't like to travel without Hubby. The drive that was supposed to take an hour and a half took me two and a half hours by the time I missed a turn off and had to stop to look at my tires. All in all, it was a great day! One I hope to repeat soon.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summer's Last Hurrah

This has been a very busy summer. I thought I would have all of this time to think and write and reflect and it has not happened. School starts in two weeks and I don't feel ready. We had the twins' six-year-old pictures taken last week. Here are a few of them...

Isn't Prince so handsome? He looks a lot like Hubby did as a child. I love this little GQ look.

Little Miss Princess loves to get dressed up! She looks like a big kid in this picture, not like my sweet baby.
This picture is worth a thousand words. It shows the relationship between the two of them and the mischief they can get into and all of the fun they have together.

Last weekend we took the kiddos to Disney for one last hurrah before school starts.
This was taken right before they made me sick on the Teacups. (Insert vomit sound now) Not really, but they are finally to the age where they can make the cups spin by themselves and they think it is such great fun. I'm always the sucker that goes on with them because Hubby has great difficulty with anything that spins and would be sick for the rest of the day. So I take one for the team and let them spin me right round, baby.

It was a great time and surprisingly, there were not a lot of people there. We went to three of the four parks and did not wait in a line any longer than 10 minutes. That Friday night as we tucked the kids into bed, Prince went to sleep pretty quickly, but Princess was so excited to be in the hotel that she just couldn't sleep. She talked non-stop (which is nothing new really) and she just couldn't be still. Then she did the most precious thing...she climbed over her brother and got out of the bed, then she got on her knees and prayed over her brother. She thanked God for giving her Prince for a brother and then prayed for his that he would have a good night's sleep with good dreams and that he would have a great time at Disney. How is it that God gave me such precious children? Their hearts for God at such a young age amaze me and make my heart warm.

Yesterday I took the twins to buy their kindergarten school supplies. We have had a tough time deciding what to do about our childrens' schooling for this next year. We were trying to send them to a school other than the one we are zoned for, due to personal reasons. This has been a complicated process and we've been on hold with this since mid-May. I have called the private schools in our area and even considered homeschooling them. The thing is, we live in one of the top 50 school districts in the nation, so we felt it was a shame not to send them to public school. Monday evening we got the news that we had finally been approved to go to the school we requested. Thank goodness! I am excited about the kindergarten team at their new school, but I am already feeling emotional about all of this. I told Hubby to clear his calendar for the first day of school, because I'm gonna need his help to get through the day.

Today I read an uplifting blog post that most mommies need. Click here to read Ostriches Look Funny and Other Observations. I know I really needed to see that other moms have the same struggles as me.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

They Ate Mammoths?!

Sunday afternoon, as is our custom, Hubby and I were talking to the twins about what they learned about in Sunday School. Princess said, "There were these people from the Bible and they ate mammoths!" While she was talking, I was searching my brain for a story about mammoths in the Bible and couldn't figure out what in the world she was talking about.

Me: Mammoths? You mean wooly mammoths like in the Ice Age movie?

Princess: Yes, they ate mammoths and then tried to save them but God didn't like it.

Me: Tell me more about the story.

Princess: The mammoths were falling from the sky and the people were eating it and they tried to save the leftovers but God said no.

Me: Oh! You mean MANNA!

Princess: Yeah, I guess it was manna. They ate it and God told them not to save the leftovers but to wait for him to give them food for each day. Then people tried to save it and eat the leftovers but they turned rotten so they couldn't eat it.

Well, at least she got most of the story right. Mammoth, her mind it was all the same.

A few minutes later, the phone rang and it was one of the Sunday School teachers. She wanted to talk to me about something Prince said in Sunday School that day. She continues to tell me that during the singing time he says to her, "How do I give my heart to Jesus? I can't take it out and give it to him." As he's asking this, he's pointing to his chest. His sweet teacher said that she tried to explain to him that it doesn't mean his heart in his body, but that Jesus loves him so much and that He wants us love Him with all that we are. She was calling to tell me because at the the time Prince was asking, there was a lot going on and she felt she couldn't explain it in as much detail as she would like, so she wanted for me to know so I could talk to him about it more. I am so glad my kids are paying in attention in Sunday School. I must say that these dear sweeties are keeping me on my toes.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The NICU Experience Part 2

I. am. exhausted! Words just can't describe, but after all of the birthday celebrations and parties, I feel like I've been hit by a truck. This is why I haven't been on here for a few days. I haven't been able to hold a cohesive thought. I still have my doubts, but as promised, I want to tell you about the tiny miracles God gave us and their start in this world.

These are two of the babies' nurses in the NICU.

I first held our babies when they were 8 days old. It was quite an overwhelming experience, as you can imagine, but no one can prepare you for what to expect in the NICU. There are all of these tiny babies in isolettes with tubes and wires coming from them and it is quite loud. There is a lot of beeping and machinery making noise. I was still in a wheelchair, not strong enough yet to walk on my own, so Hubby wheeled me up to the neo-natal floor and showed me the procedures he had been following the past week...signing in, washing up to our elbows, being buzzed through the doors...and then once we were in, I got such a warm welcome. The nurses all asked how I was feeling and said they had heard so much about me. On this day, the twins had different nurses. The first baby I met was Prince. His nurse was a man named Robert, who had a very strong Alabama accent. He handed me my baby and said, "Mama's here." He then proceeded to tell me about the nickname he had given my sweet prince in this deep twang and said, "Mama, he likes it when you rub his head like this. He's got all this loose skin like an old hound dog. See? He looks like an ol' hound dog and he likes it." After holding Prince for a few minutes and being totally overwhelmed by all of the tubes and how tiny he was, I was taken to the next bed to meet Princess. Princess' nurse handed me this tiny sweet girl and said, "We weren't sure if you were just going to call her by her first name or use her first and middle together, but I just have to tell you that we nurses have decided that her name is too pretty not to use the whole thing. So you have to use both names, we decided it for you." It is quite common in the south to use first and middle names for little girls, I had not decided yet what we'd call her. She was named after her great-great granny, who only used her middle name. Well, that settled it and she has been using both names ever since.

The NICU was a roller coaster ride. Things would seem to go great and we felt we could see progress and then Prince would have a set back and have to go back on oxygen. There was no manual to tell us how the NICU was supposed to work or how to talk to the docs when we had a question, it was just kind of a figure it out as you go. Before I had even arrived, Prince had an IV infiltration that burned his hand pretty badly. He had to have wound care in addition to being on oxygen and both of them were born without the sucking reflex and had feeding tubes. I had never been around any of this before.

That first day, I remember Hubby and I talking about how out of control we felt. How could two such in control people be so out of control? That was the question rolling around in my mind over and over.

Hubby and I lived at the Ronald McDonald House across the street from the hospital so we could come and go easily. As we entered the hospital each morning the receptionist downstairs would ask how I was doing and tell me she had been praying for our little family. As we left each night, she would ask how the babies were doing. We spent hours sitting with our babies, telling them stories, praying over them, I sang to them. To make the time go by, I would start with the letter A and go through the alphabet singing a hymn or praise song for every letter of the alphabet. Sometimes I'd have to get creative with it, but I did it. Prince's favorite song was "His Eye Is On The Sparrow." Princess liked "Jesus Wants Me for A Sunbeam." I called each night after the 3 a.m. feeding to see how they were doing. I remember once being put on hold and the hold music was "Only the Good Die Young." I was so exhausted and jumpy that I started laughing out loud...that was all I could do. I think the hardest thing was the not being in control. They were our children, but we had no control over anything in their little lives. The nurses told us if and when we could hold them, when to change their diapers, when we couldn't hold them to just let them was so hard. Then there was the bigger picture of not being in control. We didn't know what was going to happen, when we would be able to go home, what would life be like? Would our babies have any long-lasting effects? Would they even make it home? We were able to take the twins home on their one-month birthday. That month seemed like an eternity.

This is Hubby holding our babies on their first day home from the NICU.

Through all of this, God was there. My strength came because of the prayers other people were lifting on my behalf. I knew that God hadn't brought us through that far, not to bring us the rest of the way to bring our family home. Those days were the hardest of my life and I don't know why things happened the way they did. Each year as their birthday comes around, all of these feelings come back and it is difficult, but Hubby and I hold them a little tighter and think of how truly blessed we are.

In the last few weeks I have heard several pastors preach about how God allows things to happen in our lives and we don't always know why they happen. We go through those pits and come out of them just knowing that God uses it all for His purpose. I am so thankful that God gave us these miracle babies. I know that He was truly in charge and that He never left us while we went through this time. God truly does perform miracles in ordinary people still today.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Miracle Babies ~ Part 1

Today my miracle babies turned 6. Happy birthday to my dear Prince and Princess. It is amazing to think of how far they have far we all have come. I will admit that their birthday is not necessarily a happy time for me. I try so hard to make their day special and as long as I am busy and not thinking about the tough time we had when they were born, I do well. It usually hits me at the end of the day after they have gone to bed and all is quiet. Don't get me wrong, I am so thankful for the blessings God has given me and I know that it all ends happily, it's just that I have a lot of scars that haven't yet healed.

We all deal differently. Hubby and I hug our children a little tighter and tear up easier as we remember the struggles and thank God for our little family. My mom has a tradition she started when the twins were 2. She has always made it a point to spend time with them on their actual birthday, even though their party is usually not on the real day. This afternoon was no different. She came over with a small gift and a cupcake for each of them. She also brought her little Grandma's Brag Books from when they were born. Every year on their birthday, she sits with my children individually and tells them all about the day they were born and how she first met them. She shows them pictures from their first days and of her and my dad holding them that first day they were able in the NICU. It is so precious to see this interaction between my mom and my children.

Six years ago today, we were quite surprised when our twins decided to make their appearance into this world 7 weeks early. Nothing about their arrival was how we'd planned and it all went really quickly. Princess was born after about 30 minutes of labor. Prince, however, was not especially cooperative. He was transverse and the doctors couldn't turn him. His heart rate began to drop so I had an emergency c-section with him. Yes, I gave birth both ways with them. I don't do anything the easy way. The twins were sent to a Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) just over an hour away. Due to the circumstances of their birth, I was not able to hold the babies before they were transported. The transport team brought the babies in their isolettes into my room, and I was able to touch them but I was in such a fog from the drugs that I don't remember much of it.
The days that followed were pure hell. Hubby, my parents, and his parents were travelling back and forth from my hospital to the twins in the NICU. My parents and sister were the first family members able to hold my babies and they took pictures to bring to me. The day after the twins were born, my body began to shut down. I had HELLP syndrome and my liver and kidneys were losing function. I was diagnosed with acute renal failure and was told that I would be moved to ICU. Let me stop and say at this point that I had always been a very fearful person. I struggled for many years with anxiety and unfounded fears. I tell you this because it is an important part of my testimony. I was dying, my organs were shutting down. I was aware of this, but I am not sure if I knew really how serious it was, I think I was too sick to be fully aware. However, I knew I might die. The thing was, I wasn't afraid. I suddenly realized that all of those years of fear were unnecessary. All of those years the root of my fear was that I might die and now here I was so close to death and I wasn't afraid. I knew where I would go, and I was at peace with it. I was sad that I might not see my children grow up, sad that I wouldn't experience all of those firsts, but I wasn't afraid. This was a turning point for me. I realized that I have nothing to be afraid of. Those days I was in ICU and we were waiting for my kidney levels to come down and normalize, I felt the prayers people were sending up. I could feel the love of all of those who were praying for me and I felt lifted up. It's really hard to explain if you have never experienced this, but I was aware that there were people praying for me that I didn't even know. As Hubby would enter and leave the hospital, both where I was and where the twins were, hospital staff would say, "Aren't you the dad of the new twins? We are praying for your new family. We are praying for your wife." God used the encouragement of these people we didn't even know to give us hope. After 8 days in the hospital, I was finally discharged. I was going to meet my babies and get to hold them.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this story, The NICU Experience.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Psalm 139:13-16 "For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them."

God has a plan for all of us. His plan for us began before creation. What an amazing thought! This week is always a difficult one for me, met with mixed emotions. My precious twins will turn 6 tomorrow. Six years ago we weren't sure what God's plan for these miracle babies were. I will share their birth story tomorrow, but let me give you a little bit of background today.

Hubby and I were not "trying" to have a baby. You see, we are big planners and we like to have all of the details and bugs worked out of things before we commit to doing anything. Yes, we are control freaks, and for every Plan A, there is also a B,C,D...just in case. So we decided we would pray about having a baby and "be open to the possibility" of having a baby. This essentially meant that I would go off of the pill and it would all happen in God's time. We thought God's time might be within a year or so. God laughed. In my mind I see it not as one of those little chuckles, like when your kids do something cute, but I think it was one of those big ol' belly laughs. I can imagine that He probably said something like, "I'll show them what happens when they try to plan it all out on their own and then leave it up to Me." Two months later we were at my parents' house for Christmas and I went to visit my dear prayer partner, Jody. She asked if I was pregnant and I told her I was certain that I wasn't. I couldn't be yet! She was certain I was and told me to call her when I found out. The next morning was Hubby's birthday and I took not one, but two pregnancy tests that turned positive immediately. About 3 weeks later at our first ultrasound, we were shocked to find out there were two babies on the way! I went so far as to tell Hubby not to believe a word our jokester doctor was saying. The doctor finally got my attention and showed me both of those little heartbeats. We spent my entire pregnancy saying, "what are we going to do with 2 babies?!" One of the most exciting things throughout was that I got weekly sonograms and I couldn't wait to see my little jellybeans every week as they would grow and change. Hubby and I couldn't wait for our Tuesday appointments to see the babies.

Things were going along quite well for us and at 33 weeks we thought I would still have several more weeks before our babies made their appearance.

This picture was taken when I was about 23 weeks month before the twins were born.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Beautiful Seashells

While my sister, Princess and I were collecting shells on the beach, I couldn't help looking at all of these beautiful shells and thinking about how they are empty vessels, waiting for something to come live inside of them. This theme continued to play again and again in my mind and I began to think about how this relates to people. Then, my sister made an interesting comment to Princess. She said, "Princess, have you noticed that the most beautiful shells have something living in them? It reminds me that the most beautiful people have Jesus living in their hearts."

At that moment, it all clicked. We are all like shells...those empty vessels, waiting for something or in this case Someone to come and dwell within us. Some people recognize that they need Jesus in their hearts and ask Him in and they are so beautiful because He comes and fills them up, fills them with life, love, His Holy Spirit. Then there are others who know they long for something, but they don't know what it is. They search many different places, looking for something, anything that will fill them up and make them happy, but they don't know what it is. Everytime they think "this is it!" but it leaves them feeling empty once again. Today I pray for all of those who are lost and searching, that they will find Jesus and He will come to dwell within their hearts. I pray that God will use me in whatever ways He sees fit, to show His love and beauty to the world.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Back to Reality

This is my happy place.

Well, it's back to reality. We returned home from a wonderful vacation and I am exhausted. It is always bittersweet to come home from this week. As my mom and I took one last walk on the beach this morning to soak it all in one last time until next year, I felt a sadness. There is a part of me that would love to stay there forever. However, there is something comforting about returning to my own house and my own bed. I also realize that if we did live at the beach, it wouldn't seem so magical and special, although I still think I'd like it a lot. For an entire week, all of my attention was on my family and the beauty of this life God has given me. Walks on the beach to collect seashells, playing in the water with Prince and Princess, feeling the baby powder sand between my toes, it was quite a grand time. I spent much of the week in dialogue with God as I renewed my spirit and rested my mind.
Last night, for our last night of vacation, Prince and Princess were allowed to stay up way past their bedtime and swim in the pool until it closed. After their late night swim, Hubby and I took them out to the beach. It was pitch black out on the beach and they have never seen the beach so still, quiet, and dark. There is something truly magical about seeing the stars twinkle on the dark beach when there is no competing light. Prince and Princess were amazed at how you can see them twinkle. I was reminded of times spent looking at the stars with my Grandaddy years ago. We usually just sat outside of our condos instead of walking on the beach, but those were good times. As we walked last night, I could almost smell his cigar and those old feelings came rushing back. As a teenager, I wished on those same stars that Hubby and I would some day marry and bring our family there. I love that I can share a part of my childhood with my children and hope that they are making memories that they may one day share with their own children. Until next year, I have pictures, seashells, and many memories to tide me over.

My happy place is happier with these two and Hubby!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Proverbs 3

It's 8 a.m. and guess what? I'm the only one up. That's right, after our children woke up early and crawled into the queen sized bed thereby crowding me out, they fell back asleep. I opened my Bible to read today's chapter in Proverbs, but I wanted to go back and reflect a little bit on what I have read so far, especially in chapters 3 and 4.

Proverbs 3 begins "My son, do not forget my teaching but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity." God tells me that if I listen to His teachings and keep them in my heart, a very personal and special part of me, I will live longer. My study notes tell me fear of the Lord brings health to your body.
Verse 3 "Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart." This made me think of making them into a beautiful necklace, perhaps a locket that you wear around your neck to remember something or Someone important and beautiful.
Verses 5 & 6 are among old favorites of mine, quoted often, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." If I serve God willingly, with a faithful heart, He will remove the obtacles from my paths and clear the way for me to continue serving Him. When things seem impossible, He will be there to make them possible. I think that sometimes, God makes things seem hopeless and we feel frustrated and defeated because He wants us to remember that we can't do it by our own power and might, but only through Him and His grace. That is where the trust comes in. Trusting God with all my heart is sometimes difficult when all seems lost, but God and I have a pretty good track record if I will wait and allow Him to work things out for His good.
7-10 "Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Honor the Lord with the firstfruits of all our crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine." We are called to give the Lord what is His, through tithes and offerings, the firstfruits ~ we give to Him right off the top, from the best of what we have. When we do that, God will bless us beyond measure and our cups will overflow.
11-12 "My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves as a father the son he delights in." This became easier to understand once I had my own children. God disciplines us for our own good. There are times that we have to discipline our children because face it, I don't want my chidren to grow up to be brats or worse, bad people. Sometimes my own behavior must seem pretty bratty to God as I clench my fists and cry out for my own way. I have thrown my share of hissy fits in my time and I'm not proud of them. I also don't like the discipline that can come with them. It's painful, but God is my Abba, my Daddy God and He loves me enough to discipline me and make me straighten up my attitude ~ a little attitude adjustment, if you will.
There is so much good in this chapter, he talks about the importance of having wisdom and understanding. He says "Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her (v. 13-15).
I am going to skip down to v 21-26 "My son, preserve sound judgement and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared." When we keep God's wisdom in our heart we gain understanding and are able to exercise good judgement and discernment in our lives. These are all gifts from the Lord if we will keep our hearts in tune with Him and His will for our lives.
How do we do that? By continuing to do all of the things that bring us closer to God's heart...reading the scriptures, praying, asking God to help bring our lives in line with His plan for us.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Weather Woes

The first two days of our vacation were rainy, yucky days. The rain did break so that we could have a cook-out and see some amazing fireworks on the beach and for that I am truly thankful. We also got some great July 4th pics of the kids, which I will post. After watching it pour down rain all day yesterday, we all were a bit frustrated and ready to build an ark. At bedtime last night Princess said a special prayer that Jesus would let us have a sunny day at the beach today. Almost immediately after the amen, Princess said, "Mommy, I'm sad about something."
Me:"What is it, Princess?"
Princess: "Well Mommy, I don't know if Jesus heard my prayers. What if he isn't listening or what if he makes it rain tomorrow anyway and we have another day that we can't go outside to the beach? I really want to go to the beach tomorrow."
Me: "I don't think you have to worry about Jesus not hearing your prayers. He always hears our prayers. The thing is, it's never a guarantee that Jesus is going to do what we want him to do. Sometimes, he has to do something else and it isn't what we want because it is what's best for us or for everyone else."
That's a hard lesson to learn. I've been struggling with that one for a long time and I don't always understand the whys. I know it's hard for an almost 6 year old to understand.
Guess what...when we woke up this morning the sun was shining so brightly through the blinds! Princess' first words as she woke up were, "Jesus answered my prayer. We can go to the beach!"
And it has been a beautiful day at the beach at that. More pictures to come...Hubby has made a video from them that I'll try to post later.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day, everyone! This is Hubby's favorite holiday. I think it stems from, one, he loves American History. In college he double majored in journalism and political science. The other reason he likes it so much is that the Fourth of July does not present all of the stress and pressure that Christmas and Thanksgiving have. It's a day to relax, spend time with family, and thank God for the blessings and privileges that come with being an American. While this isn't my ultimate favorite holiday, I have come to love and appreciate it with enthusiam, as we always have a great time, while thinking of the brave Americans who have fought for the freedoms we enjoy and tend to take for granted.

This morning we woke up to the sound of thunder and heavy rain hitting the condo roof. Not a sound you want to hear on the first full day of your beach vacation. The children were oh so disappointed, inconsolable, really. That is until... Grandaddy saved the day! Grandaddy came down to our unit with umbrella in hand, asking to take them to their condo since he just got back from the store where he bought donuts and chocolate milk. Aren't Grandaddies great like that? Holla, Grandaddy!

Grandaddy looks like he is being all patriotic in this picture. He is truly a patriotic person and is in fact, my very favorite veteran. However, he is really covering his work badge. Their badges are not supposed to be photographed and he remembered having it on at the last second.

In other news, I am really enjoying my Proverbs study and have some wonderful things I plan to blog about soon. Chapters 3 and 4 have especially given me some great insights. For now, though, I shall go enjoy the quiet condo with Hubby and cheer him on as he is blowing up Star Trek ships on the wii.

God Bless America, over and out!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Let Vacation Begin!

Let the vacation begin! I have been looking forward to this family vacation all year. Tomorrow morning we will leave for the beach for a week. The beach is baby powder soft and white. We have been coming to this same spot for many years. In fact, my mother came to this same place when she was a girl. When we go, it is my Mema, aunt, uncle, and cousins, my sister and her family, my parents and the four of us. There have been years when we have missed going, but mostly we try to go and it is such a great week.

This is the Prince and Princess playing on the beach last year.
A few of the things I am looking forward to doing at the beach:
~digging my toes in the sand
~relaxing on the beach, watching my kids play in the sand
~quiet time alone with God in the mornings
~date night with Hubby!
~spending uninterrupted time with my extended family
~seeing my cousins that I don't often get to see
~laughing and playing with my kids without the distractions of every day life
~watching the perfect sunset night after night

I took these pictures of the Prince and Princess last year while we were down waiting for the sun to set. They are among my favorite of all times. I think it looks like God is just shining down His love on them. I also think that it looks like my children are worshipping and enjoying the beautiful world God created for them, for all of us.

Octo Meme

Okay, several of the blogs I read are doing this and now I've been tagged.

So here goes...

8 Things I'm Looking Forward to...

1. Going to Siesta Key for a week beginning TOMORROW!
2. My next trip to Disney with the's my most favorite place in the whole world.
3. Someday writing my book "Confessions of a Control Freak."
4. Watching my children grow up.
5. Growing old with my Hubby.
6. A hot bubble bath
7. Cooler weather
8. Traveling around the world

8 Things I Did Yesterday...

1. Celebrated the 9 year anniversary of when Hubby proposed.
2. Went to work
3. Got haircuts for me and the Prince
4. Went to Target and didn't spend a penny. Aren't you proud? I even made a return so I got some money back!
5. Began packing suitcases for our upcoming beach trip ~ yahoo!
6. Weeded the flower beds
7. Cleaned out the mini-van. This was quite an accomplishment!
8. Began a Bible study on Proverbs...31 Chapters in 31 Days.

8 Things I Wish I Could Do...

1. Get caught up on housework and keep all of the rooms clean at the same time.
2. Sew ~ I can maybe sew a button but sometimes they still even fall off. I do try, but I never had home ec. since I was always taking band and choir classes.
3. Speed read ~ I took at speed reading class in school and practiced on that controlled reader machine, but I am just a slow reader. I like to take in all of the details.
4. Lose weight yet still eat any and everything I want.
5. Cook a gourmet meal
6. Be a professional shopper. That is my dream job!
7. Snuggle and hug on my children all day
8. Spend one more day with my Grandaddy.

8 Shows I Enjoy...
1. Big Bang
2. Top Chef
3. Next Food Network Star
4. Real Housewives (I know, trashy, right?)
5. 7th Heaven (not on anymore but I still love that show!)
6. West Wing (again, not on but I love it)
7. Parenthood
8. Paula Deen

How about you? If you are reading this, I tag you too!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Engagement

Today is the anniversary of the day dear Hubby proposed to me 9 years ago. Every July 1st we talk about how this very special day came to be. Hubby and I had been dating on and off throughout high school and college and had remained good friends, even when we weren't dating. This time, though, I knew it was for real. I had been waiting for several months for a ring and was sure that it was never going to happen. To further complicate things, we were living 4 hours away from each other and traveling every weekend or so to see each other.

On June 30th, Hubby came to visit and we had a wonderful half-birthday celebration out with my family. We left the following morning to go back to his place in Georgia, as we were then going to drive up to Altanta to do the Peachtree Road Race on July 4th. On the way back to his townhouse, we stopped in Savannah, as we had done many times before. Hubby said that he wanted to show me something. He said that they had been doing work in Reynold's Square and he wanted to show me what they had done to the John Wesley statue. Reynold's Square is my most favorite place in Savannah. It's a beautiful park and I just love this place. I couldn't imagine what they could have done to the statue and started asking questions about it. He said that they had polished the statue and it was shiny. Well, as we approached the square I could see that the statue wasn't shiny and he walked me around to the front of the statue and I said, "It's not shiny." With his cool little half-smile Hubby said, "It isn't? Well maybe this is what's shiny." He then got down on one knee and pulled out a ring. My dear Hubby has always been a fabulous speaker, never at a loss for words or showing nervousness. He was a television reporter...he never shows he's nervous. He was so nervous on this day that as he recited the proposal he had written and memorized, he was fumbling his words. It was the sweetest thing! I have to tell you that I did make him sweat it out for a few seconds. My answer was, "let me think about it...yes." In that split second though, all the blood drained out of his face. I couldn't let him suffer too long although after all the talking I did about this ring, I couldn't let him off the hook that easily. After the yes, he stood up and we kissed. There were several people in the park that clapped and one couple who had been married for over 40 years that came up to us to congratulate us and wish us the best of luck. When I asked Hubby why he decided to propose to me there, he said that he couldn't imagine proposing to a good little Methodist girl like me anywhere else and that he figured it needed John Wesley's blessing.

After a few minutes in the park we went to get something to eat and I called my family on the way there. As we sat at our table and waited for the food to come, we prayed that God would bless our life together. It was truly a wonderful day that will stay with me as long as I live.

These pictures were taken a couple of months later when we returned to Reynold's Square.