Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

It's 2:30 on Christmas Day.  My entire house is napping.  We are all worn out from all of our festivities.  We have one more to go this evening and we promised the girls that we couldn't go see their cousins without a good long nap this afternoon.

The house is quiet and although I should close my eyes for a few seconds...while I can, my heart needs a few seconds to process the joy of this day.

2011 has been the hardest year in my short 32 year old life.  Last Christmas, I was newly pregnant with our 4th child, and completely unaware (thank the Lord) of the year we were walking into.  I had no clue that within the year I would have two surgeries, lots of bed rest, a month in the hospital, that Kev would have a terrible car wreck, lose his job, and we would have a BOY!!! 

If you look at our pictures that we took this morning, they look very similar to the ones we took last year...with the addition of a handsome little boy.  Same poses in front of the same tree, which is decorated in the same way as the year before.  Many things look the same, but I assure you that the family in front of the tree is not. 

This year has challenged me physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.  It brought me to yet another....and another...crisis of faith.  Did I really believe that  Jesus was enough?  Did he really care?  Is he really good?  Did he really love me?  Could he really sustain our marriage?  Is he enough for the really hard times in life?

I guess a crisis of faith really only leaves you with two Him or turn from Him.   My faith having been tested many times before spurred me on to trust.  I knew from our loss of our baby Samuel in 2006 that God was good.  He did have a plan when we didn't understand.   He would be near to me through the trials, and etc.  I knew...but would it be enough for this year?

I am so thankful to be sitting at the end of this year very changed from the girl I was last year.  I am so thankful that My God is so faithful.  I am so thankful that I KNOW once again, that he is good.  I have tasted and have seen.  I have walked on the hard path this year, yet I have seen his hand over and over.  My prayer life has been one of pleading and praise.  My heart so thankful at times and so broken at others.  Jesus is enough!! 

Merry Christmas from our home to yours.  Thank you so much for your prayers for our family this year.     

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Everyday my girls make me laugh.  I always think....I better write that one down so I don't forget it.  Well, this is me stopping and recording some memories.

1) The other morning Ella came running into our bedroom with a piece of paper in her hand.  She said, "Lize I made it for you."  Eliza took one look at it and proudly exclaimed, "Elmo."  I've never seen a cuter Elmo... made from a red stick body and a round orange nose.  Such a sweet big sis who knows just what her little sis loves.
Eliza not only loves Elmo and her pink blankie square.  She is also obsessed with the color blue!  So strange as most little girls as girlie as she, would love pink or purple.  Any clue as to what she asks to wear everyday...matched with her "parkle" sparkly red shoes of course (thanks mom)! Love it and love this girl!

Every time we leave the house she stuffs her Elmo and her blankie in my purse!

At two and four my girls are becoming great playmates!  They spend tons of time each day mess making playing.  They really are good mess makers at using their imaginations!!
This is actually pretty comparison to the norm.  We do straighten it back once a week
and it stays clean for about 10 secs.  I love to listen to their conversations while they play.  It is hilarious and usually has to do with Ella either babying Eliza or bossing Eliza.

This one of the things they like to do.  They are playing "school" here.  Each stuffed animal gets lined up and sits on a book.  They have recently started added a second small book with each animal.  Such funny girls.   One day I am sure I am gonna miss every stuffed animal being lined up in the hall!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

5 months

Adjusted age 3 1/2 months
Yesterday our sweet little Eli turned 5 months.  I am so thankful to be at the point we are at right now.   Gone is the shock.  Gone are the long days of bed rest.  Gone are those fearful and overwhelming postpartum days.  Gone are my feelings of can I do this.  At five months, we are in a good routine and we continue to grow more and more in love with our precious little boy. 


Eli's baby dedication at church

Hey I thought this was my photo shoot!

I have said each month that Eli is the best little baby and he continues to amaze us with his sweetness.  His gummy smiles and shy little glances melt his mommy's heart.  His physical therapist tells me each time what a hard worker he is.  He is currently working on rolling and sitting up.  He has rolled a few times from his tummy to his back.  She is encouraged that so far he is hitting his milestones as he should.  He really doesn't enjoy tummy time but we continue to work hard on it.  We are also working on weight bearing on his legs using a peanut shaped ball.  We are so proud of each and every little accomplishment.

weight bearing exercises to build leg strength

He continues to be a good sleeper and sleeps from 8:30ish until 6:30-7ish.  He still sleeps wearing his "boots and bars" to keep his feet in the correct position.  Looking at his little feet you would never know they were clubbed at birth.   He has recently noticed that he has feet and is bringing his legs more into his chest.  He still likes his paci but also likes to suck his fingers.  He is just easy and if he doesn't have a paci he will find his hand.  He has been our easiest baby as far as eating and sleeping goes. 

He loves is big sisters and they love him something fierce.  Recently they have started fighting over him.  One will say, "He's my baby!"  Then the other will argue back saying, "No he is my baby!"  This usually goes on until I assure them that he belongs to them both. The other night we were driving home and he was hungry and screaming.  He doesn't cry often unless mommy is a little too slow in feeding him.   I was the driver and to try to make it home without losing our sanity, I started singing Eli's little song.  (I have a little made up song for each child...not sure how these came about...nothing special...they rhyme and are to a familiar tune).  The girls joined in and he immediately calmed down.  The girls were amazed and now anytime he cries they think all we need to do is sing his song.  I just know they will be his biggest encouragers and cheerleaders!!

I hate to even write it in fear that we may jinx it, but we won't see any more specialists until January.  It is like a sweet relief to have some weeks without appointments and get to enjoy this special season.

Eli Matthew, I am so thankful for you.  I would do it all over just to see your sweet little smile.  I know God has great plans for your life and we are excited to have a front seat for the ride.  Happy 5 months sweet boy!! 


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

New Design

I have spent my kids entire naptime today trying to freshen up my blog!  I am loving our new family picture taken by the very sweet and talented, Carissa, from lowercase letters.  If you don't read her should.   It is one of my favorites.   She so kindly agreed to snap some pictures for us in hopes of getting one good shot for the ole' Christmas card.  I am loving them all!  Now to decide which one to use and get those cards ordered!!  That'll have to wait until tomorrow...everyone is awake!!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Happy 60th Dad!

I have been blessed with the sweetest dad's around.  I do not take that blessing for granted.  I love my dad for many reasons.  My dad is a very generous and patient man even though he says often that patience is not his best quality.  My dad is so humble.  He is a very smart man and earned his doctorate in ministry while my two sisters and I were young.  Now that I have a husband in seminary, I realize what an accomplishment that was.  My dad has been such an anchor of faith for me throughout the years.  When life has been hard for us he has prayed for us and encouraged us that God had a plan, even when none of us understood.  My dad would do anything for his girls.  Last Tuesday when Eli had to have a sudden MRI, I called my dad to let him know.  I knew he was already praying for us that day.  Kev and I were sitting in the food court, anxiously trying to pass time until the MRI and in walked my dad.  He is just that kind of dad!  He sat with us the entire day.  While we were in the MRI waiting area he made friends with another man who was also waiting.  He shared with the man about the Lord in such a gentle and easy way as we waited.  He is not perfect, but he is pretty close in my opinion.  We love you so much and we pray that the Lord will give you many, many, many more Happy Birthdays!  And really, 60 is not that old anymore!

Ella says:  I love Papa because today is his birthday.  I love him because he is so sweet to me.  He obeys and I obeys and he is my friend.  I like to have candy with him because he gives me candy worms.  I like to play on his computer. 

Papa and all his more arrives in March!  Can you tell why holidays are so CRAZY, fun!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Update Continued

Just a quick update.  We met with the neurosurgeon today to go over Eli's MRI in more detail.  The meeting went great.  I am so thankful.  Basically he said his ventricles were a little larger than normal, but nothing to be worried about at this point.  They were also a little enlarged throughout my pregnancy so this isn't surprising.  They seem to be stable.  Eli does have some extra external axial fluid which is fluid outside of the brain, if I am understanding it correctly.  This is not dangerous and the hope is that he will grow out of it (or grow into his head) as he gets older.  His head really isn't that large right now but the doctor said that it may continue to get larger in the months to come.  I am so glad to know what is going on inside that noggin.  They will continue to monitor it and we will see neuro again in 3 months.  I am thankful to have a break from the every two week head checks. 

The other good news that we learned today is that Eli does not have Chiari II Malformation.  He did early on in my pregnancy prior to fetal surgery and we saw it start to resolve in the weeks following the surgery.  Today, his little cerebellum is completely right where it should be.  Thank YOU fetal surgery!!!!!  I must say it made for a really terrible, horrible, no good, very bad pregnancy, but when I get good news for Eli, I am so thankful we did it.  I am also so thankful for answered prayers.