the girls

the girls

Sunday, September 28, 2014

She is just precious

My new sweet great niece is now 10 days old.  Say what???  I cannot believe that already.  Oh my goodness....my first grandson will be here in less than 9 weeks.  I cannot stand it!  Time is just too fast to keep up with here lately.  Though for my poor Erica I know she is more than ready to have this baby boy,  But on this past Saturday I got the privilege of taking Kyra's newborn photos.  She was such a little sweetie pie too!  I love newborns.  They are just so precious.  Such little miracles.


Kyra was awake for most of the day on Saturday.  She was wide awake for me too.  I told her to get ready...the paparazzi had arrived!



I tried to set up a fall display outside because the weather was just so nice.  She really seems to like it outside too.



The new little family....A baby really does change everything.



This was the same tutu that Piper and Savannah wore.  You can't tell but this little one does not care for tutus....I will have to re-educate her on this choice for sure.



But, but, but...I don't wike it!!!  Wahahahah!!!


I love how they are both shushing her and they didn't even know they were both doing it.  Parenting really does just kick in!



My sweet little angel-baby.  She is already so loved and doesn't even know it.  I pray she will always know how much she is loved.  Not just by us but by God in heaven who knit her together.  He loves her far more than any of us ever could.



What a sweet family.  They already love her so much.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

grieving

the art of grieving is a very personal thing.  i am in a book club at church that meets once a month in one of the readers' home.  on occasion we meet in our sunday school classroom.  this was the occasion this month.  events over the last month for our church family have been hard.  lots of loss going on.  our dear children's pastor, randy, went to be with the Lord and his sweet wife, kim, is grieving.  a very close friend of some of us lost her baby this week to a disease that developed in utero and she was 31 weeks along.  her baby boy died and she went through 30 hours of hard labor to deliver him.  she wept and smiled as she held her little boy.  then they took him to the morgue. she was such a testimony to the doctors and nurses because she told them she know her baby, Jeremiah, was in the arms of Jesus.  does she hurt???  yes.  does kim still ache from the loss of randy???   yes.  this will go on for a long, long time.  others shared losses that had happened to them and to others they knew in recent weeks.  a local orthodontist son passed away at college this week.  we have had many other things happen to families that are just hard too.  when we closed in prayer i got to lead out the prayer circle.  i prayed for kim and i prayed for the woman who lost her son.  i said that one day mayra would be reunited with her baby and she would see what color his eyes were and she would here his laugh.  this earthly life is a blip.  a vapor.  heaven is eternal.  the next day i got the sweetest text from one of the ladies who told me she had tucked away a miscarriage she had over 20 years ago.  during the prayer she said she just started sobbing.  she had never grieved that baby.  she thought that since she had three children already why should she even say anything.  so she tucked that pain away.  on tuesday night it erupted afresh.  searing her heart like a hot poker.  did she tell me this??  no.  i already know that pain.  i have two children in heaven that one day i will meet and hug and kiss and see.  i had two miscarriages before i had my two daughters.  each and every july and february i grieve those babies.  i know their ages.  after all these years i still grieve.  grieving is a long process that can involve lots of different things.  i have grieved over the loss of pets.  the loss of family members.  i grieved terribly over the death of my marriage.  i still miss being married.  while listening to kim talk about how the pain of losing randy was just so deep it made me just cry.  at one point she said that she had a very good marriage to her very best friend.  she knew so many women who had lousy marriages and could not help but wonder ..."why?"  why did hers end.  my marriage was not a good one for many years but the idea of marriage is something i grieve.  i grieve an intimacy that a wife shares with her husband.  not just the physical but the emotional bond and the nuances that married folk share.  i grieve the loss of that.  i ache for kim because she is just raw.  her heart has just been ground up but somehow it still continues to beat.  while we all grieve in our own ways the one security for the believer is that we never grieve alone.  Jesus catches each tear and i know that He intercedes for me.  for kim.  for mayra.  for you.

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Baby Story

Sorry for the absence this week....my niece, Brittany finally had her baby.  On Monday she went to the doctor.  He gave her discouraging news.  Her baby was due on Sunday so she was one day over.  The doctor said if anything she was farther up.  Not descended at all.  So poor Brittany was about to cry.  She was only dilated to a 1.5.  So they scheduled an induction for Wednesday afternoon.  My heart sank.  Because of course...it's all about me!!  But on Wednesday I had my yearly physical with the lady doctor.  This appointment I gladly will postpone. That night though was the first night of our fall Bible study at church.  I lead that so I felt like I should be there. But all day on Monday Brittany had contractions.  No real rhythm but they were there.  On Tuesday morning I got a text from Erica at 7:30 telling me that she thought I would be leaving work soon.  Brittany had asked me to take photos of her baby's birth.  this is my passion so I would never say no.  Plus she is like one of my own daughters so of course I jumped on it.  I absolutely adore childbirth.  It is the biggest miracle there is.  So I waited for a call.  It didn't come.  So the texting begun.  Brittany called her doctor and they wanted to see her.  She went in and they said they felt like her labor had begun.  She was only dilated to a 2 but she went back home to see how things went.  By 1:00 that afternoon she and Aaron were at the hospital.  She wanted us all to wait until she had been admitted to come.  The wait begins.  the phone calls started...."have you heard anything???" was asked by my girls, my mother and my sister about 200 times.  Finally we heard...they sent her home at 6:00 that night.  She was in labor but they were so full that they were taking women who were further along before her.  There were so many births they even took some women to a different floor to be delivered.  So her doctor told her she could go home and come back when the contractions were 1 - 2 minutes apart or if her water broke or when the pain got too bad to stand.  Sidebar here, Brittanys' pain tolerance on a scale of one to ten is...a minus four.  She does not do pain.  Her words.  That poor girl went home at six and suffered until six the next morning.  She said she screamed from one in the morning until they left the house.  Aaron just nodded in agreement.  He said she even punched the passenger door at one point on the way back to the hospital.  I got the cal at 10:30 Wednesday at work that she was at the hospital and they were keeping her.  So off I went.  when we got there she was all smiles.  She had her epidural and said whoever invented that was a genius.  She said natural childbirth was for crazy people.  So we all sat around and I went over our guesses.  We all missed the date so now we were guessing the time of her birth.  I said 3:21, daddy said 4:10 and Brittany said 8:00 that night.  I told her no way.  She was now dilated to a four and was resting well.  Several hours passed and at 5:00 she was a 10!!!  Push time had arrived.  Daddy and me were both wrong on the time too.  So at around 5:15 Brittany started pushing.  And pushing and pushing.  At 6:45 she quit.  And I mean it.  she looked up all teary eyed and said, "I can't do this.  I have to take a break."  The inner me said....sure sugar, now that's funny...  you don't get a break in the middle of hard labor.  But Brittany did.  She put her legs down crossed her arms and she rested for about 45 minutes.  She just laid there breathing deeply.  The nurses said as long as the baby's heart rate stayed good she could rest as long as she could but this was just lengthening her labor time.  So around 7:30 the Dr. Thompson came in.  He is just the sweetest man.  He delivered Piper and Erica just loved him.  He is Brittany's favorite too.  He told her she was going to push that baby out in no time.  And after about thirty minutes....she did.  At 8:00 p.m. just like Brittany said.  After 35 1/2 long hard hours of labor sweet little Kyra Rose Day entered the world.  All 8lbs 5.3oz and 21 inches of her.  With a head full of black hair and the sweetest cry.  And just like that.... Brittany was all smiles.  Pain forgotten.  Just joy.  I was so proud of Erica when she delivered her girls and I was proud of Brittany too.  she had a hard labor.  With back labor and vomiting and just pure exhaustion...she did a great job.  Take a look at a real miracle.

Aaron gives his sweet wife a little kiss.


So the pushing begins.....



At first, she was all smiles.....




But as the time went by...pushing ain't easy


This photo brings tears to my eyes.  She was so tired.  Labor is not for sissies.  Brittany was no sissy either.



This one makes me tear up too.  Aaron just loving on his exhausted wife.




Here she comes....just a couple more pushes....



No more tears of pain....just joy


Pure joy.... what a little love



A new family of three




Meet Kyra Rose ...8lbs 5.3 oz 21 inches.  Big Girl!!



First car ride home.  She did so good they said.  Not one peep!




Why, hello Grand Aunt Cindy!  I understand you are the paparazzi.
  That's right Kyra...get used to it!


My sweet Daddy....he loves his girls!



Grammy loves her girls too.  Kyra is listening to every single word too.





What a little beauty.  All that dark hair!  I hope it stays.



I just thank the Lord for all the babies in my life.  What miracles they are.  Loaned to us to care for by God above.  He treasures them so we need to care for them as precious cargo.  I am already praying for this little one.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Anxious

I have had a few things crowding my mind as of late.  The change of the seasons brings about a hustle of new things to mark on the calendar.  Events, get-togethers, appointments...the like.  School is in full bloom.  Kids are getting used to the hum drum of the day to day.  But a couple of things have been lying right under the edge.  Erica failed her glucose screening and had to go back in a week for more extensive testing to find out if she was going to struggle with gestational diabetes.  I thought, "Well, great!  that is the last thing she needs with this pregnancy."  I did pray about this but it still just kind of laid there.  And I just stuck it under a blanket of anxiousness.  Where it got all warm and cozy.  So today she got her results and they were negative.  Yay!!  Praise the Lord.  I got to throw that little hidden nugget of stuff away.  But the other thing was bigger.  If this test for Erica was hidden under a blanket in the corner of my mind it occupied a twin bed.  The other thing....a California king.  I failed my mammogram.  When they called me back from the original test I just kind of stared at the phone and thought "What?"  We didn't get a good resolution honey....we need you to come back.  I made the appointment for a week later.  Third floor this time.  I didn't say anything to anyone for several days.  I just tucked it into its' big bed and covered it with a homemade patchwork quilt of anxiety, worry and (gulp) fear.  That pattern by the way is straight out of the pit, baby.  It's ugly too.  I did tell my mama.  She wanted to go with me and I told her no.  I did tell my friend Kelley the day before I went for the tests.  She wanted to go with me and again I said no.  So yesterday I went.  I go in the building and take the elevator up to the third floor.  This is called The Breast Center.  All breasts all the time.  Nothing else is seen here.  I sign in and go the waiting area on the right.  It is empty except one lone girl of about 30.  The area to the left is full.  All ladies older than 65.  Most had someone with them.  I was alone.  So I watched.  All these faces.  Some were set as flint.  Some were scared.  Most were weary.  Waiting.  They call my name.  Insurance....of course.  They call my name again.  A nice lady about my age walks me into a little room.  Hands me a bag and tells me to put my blouse and bra in the bag and come with her.  The next room was where they do the mammogram that is more in depth.  She tells me not to be nervous.  This will be tight.  A lot of pressure here sweetie.  Don't breathe.  Don't move.  In the background though her radio was on and it was on a Christian radio station I listen too.  I was in there for about 15 minutes and every single song I heard was about grace.  I told her I liked her music choice.  she smiled and said "Me too.  Keeps me grounded."  I needed those words.  Grounded.  Grace.  By the way did you know that breasts can turn??  Me neither.  I do now.  Escorted to the next waiting room where me and three other ladies all sit in our little pink capes that tie in the front.  The looks on these faces?  Fear.  We all smiled at one another but there it was....fear.  I flipped through three People magazines.  Prince George is so cute.  George Clooney is so handsome.  Blah, blah, blah.  She calls my name.  Different lady.  this one tells me that the radiologist sees something honey so we need to do a sonogram.  She tells me not to worry.  This is common and it is probably nothing.  In this exam room you get to lie down.  Warm jelly on your breast.  Then the familiar sonogram wand.  Only this time they are not seeking a baby.  I lay there thinking....can she see it??  Will she tell me??  I can just hear her, "Why this is the biggest lump ever!  Let me call everyone in to see this!!"  In my mind I have my funeral planned.  I got the music planned...on and on.  In reality I look out the window at nothing.  I see clouds and sky but I "see" nothing.  My heart is beating fast and hard.  I am sure she can see it on the screen because I am also sure my breast is moving to the rhythm of my heart.  I am ... anxious.  I have uncovered the beast on the big bed in my mind.  It is a monster.  Back to the waiting room.  I am alone.  A bit later the sonographer comes out and says, "Just you and me out here??"  She sits down and gives me the news.  The Dr. says you are all clear honey.  Clear.  She said a lot of her stuff too.  Menopause changes tissue.  Something about something.  But I really just heard...Clear.  I go back in a year to the old regular mammogram machine.  Because I am clear.  Grace trumps anxious....every single time.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Not really goodbye...

The funeral for Pastor Randy was today.  As far as funerals go it was a really nice one.  I, myself, am not a fan of funerals or for funeral homes.  My friend Kelley and I have a pact and I know she will do her part and I will do mine.  The family broke my heart.  Especially Kim, his wife.  She just lingered by the casket and then kind of just melted on the pew.  The pastors spoke some.  Then there was some singing.  And during the singing rose this small, fragile hand.  Praising her God.  Kim was praising God during this storm.  That was not the song being sung but I watched a wife praising her God while her husbands body lay enclosed before her.  My mind wandered to random thoughts.  No more on this earth will she call him to supper.  No more will she reach for him in the night just to make sure he is there.  No more will she fuss about socks that do not make it to the hamper.  No more will she exchange those secret looks that long timed married folks pass between each other in various situations.  You know...family get-togethers with "those" members etc...  No more will she tell her kids to go ask your father.  Just a lot of different scenarios went through my head.  Just the day to day stuff that we all take for granted with everyone in our lives.  But still she raised her hand to praise her God.  My God.  And I hope your God too.  Do I understand any of this??  No.  Is He still God??  Yes.  And He is good.  I watched Randy's children.  Grieve.  Cry.  And later....laugh.  Friends came by.  Hugged them all.  Loved on them.  My church really steps up in a crisis time.  We fed them and helped them.  We prayed with them.  We cried with them.  We laughed with them.  Life, after all, goes on.  Does the world stop for our hurts?  We would like to think so but it does not.  Tomorrow will come and the next day and so on.  The kids will go back to school.  Kim will go back to work.  The hole in their lives will remain.  Things will be different.  I have a friend who says she does not like"the new normal" that has invaded her life since she lost her own father.  I have gotten used to a new normal in  my own life.  Most of my friends over the last few years have had to make some major adjustments to a "new normal".  Today at this funeral for a dear, kind man my Pastor said that for the believer...we will see Randy again.  Kim will.  Her children will see their daddy again.  It's not really goodbye but see you...soon.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

What's Important

Last Sunday my Pastor asked a question at the beginning of his sermon.  "Who wants to go to heaven?"  Well you can bet you sweet Aunt Betsy that every hand flew up.  Then he asked, "Who wants to go right now?"  A nervous twitter of laughter but not so many hands.  Then suddenly yesterday, our children's Pastor, Randy went to be with the Lord.  Just like that.  He had a massive heart attack and was ushered straight into the arms of Jesus.  Forty-two years old.  Sweet, precious wife.  Three wonderful children.  He taught VBS, Awanas, after school Bible programs.  The children at my church loved this man and so did the mommies and daddies and grandparents.  Randy loved his family.  Loved his church family.  He loved his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  That is what is important.  Life offers up a constant stream of irritants.  Things that we cannot control.  Things that essentially do not matter.  Do Not.  What matters is that I love God and choose Jesus.  Things I cannot control???  Well, God controls it all so things out of control by my definition are distractions from Satan.  He is the counterfeit of God and offers only chaos.  When a sudden death strikes your home base of people it hits extra hard.  Causes time for reflections and taking steps back and refocusing on the areas in our lives that distract.  We really never know when Jesus will call us from this earth.  But until He does I choose to let the stupid stuff pass.  To love my family.  To love my dear, sweet sisters in Christ.  To love all these more and better.  Daily irritants are just that....daily....every single day.  In one form or another they come.  Like fiery darts.  I am asking and seeking God to extinguish them so I don't gaze at that fire.  Make them smouldering piles of nothing, Lord.  Nothing.  What's important?  Loving and serving....in the name of Jesus.