the girls

the girls

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.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Last Week-end roundup

This was the last week-end before school starts up early tomorrow morning.  We had a very relaxing one with lots of swimming. a sleepover and ended with a birthday dinner for my daddy.  Summer is not officially over but when school starts it is just a few weeks away.  I am looking forward to some Fall things though.  I love pumpkin patches, leaves turning, football, chicken stews, Autumn festivals and the like.  Since this was my official last weekend of freedom I took a zillion pictures....I will only share a few!!!




Early mornings on the swing set after a sleepover at Mimi's house



Savannah wants just one more slide, please



Swimming is one of their favorite pastimes...I am so glad!!



Piper learned to swim with no swimmies and is learning to use a mask and snorkel!


Make-shift tents with old quilts on the driveway.  Playing is one of the best ways to spend your time!


Eating oreos...one after the other...only to find just plain cookies with no cream in the middle inside the tent on the driveway....Savannah???



These two sweet ladies....I truly love my daughters as adults and have a lot of respect for these two girls too!



Piper sitting on her daddy's shoulders at Grammy's pool...deep end here we come!



These two are just waiting on Kyra to make her appearance.  So ready to be parents!


My daddy and all his girls...except the little ones.  they were still swimming!  Poor daddy is hidden amongst the females!  Happy Birthday Daddy!



Monday, August 18, 2014

I feel like crying a little bit...

This is the last week before school officially starts next Monday.  I had a staff meeting all day today and I go back Thursday for good.  This summer has just went way too fast and it makes me kind of sad.  The older I get the faster time goes.  When I was a young girl the summers seemed to last forever.  When the end of August rolled around I was nervous and excited about school starting and sort of ready to start a new year.  Make new friends.  Catch up with old friends.  Learn new subjects.  Get new textbooks.  New teachers.  the whole thing with school was exciting.  I do sort of dread school starting back this year because I truly love being home.  I am never bored and I always have stuff to do.  I love spending the days with my grand babies and my daughters.  I enjoy spending time with my parents and friends.  But....duty and bills are calling my name and shouting, "You need to go to work!!!"  Why can't I be independently wealthy is what I want to shout back.  Come Monday morning I will see all those sweet little faces.  Eager to start the new year just like I was many years ago.  I will get to see all the teachers and catch up on their lives.  Once again I will make my tear off book of days starting with 180 and rip on off the stack each day.  Before i know it autumn will be here and then before I know it my first and new little grandson will be here.  then it will be Thanksgiving and then Christmas and then the long, dark days of January and February.  Spring will creep in so slowly like it always does in the south.  Then will come the warmer days and the longer days and then before I know it school will be out again.  Summer will be back in a blink of an eye and all next summer we will be getting Piper ready for school.  What????  School?  How can that be?  She was just born.  Now I feel like crying.... a lot.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Shower time!

On Saturday we gave Brittany her baby shower.  We had tons of food and tons of guests too!  This all made for a very fun shower.  We had it at my mother's home which did make for some crowded times but it was a great day.  Brittany had several friends from high school come and we got some good group pictures.  We also had several members of our family present and got to take a pretty good four generation picture.  A couple of aunts were not here and several cousins but we got a good portion of them.  Brittany is getting so excited about her baby and her nursery is going to be so pretty.


We set up a yogurt bar with vanilla Greek yogurt and fresh fruits, nuts, chocolate chips, coconut and granola for toppings.  We had vanilla mini cupcakes and pink lemonade instead of punch.  Everything was really yummy!



Here are the little mommies to be!  Erica is 26 weeks and Brittany is 36 weeks.  They are both coming right along!


Brittany and one of her childhood best friend Taryn.  she is due three days after Brittany with her second little boy.  They both are just glowing.  I just love mommies!!!




Her high school friends.  Jennifer, Megan, Brittany, Taryn, Melissa and Amanda.  I still talk with my best friend in high school to this day.  Friendships are bonds for life!


Piper and Savannah were Brittany's big helpers for the day.  They had so much fun!!



She really had a very nice shower and got so many wonderful gifts.


Part of my family.  I told you we were big on girls!  Erica is having one of the few boys ever born in my extended family and the first one in my immediate family in 74 years!




The sweet parents to be.....they are both just so excited to meet little Kyra.  Me too!!