Summer past: Memories Made

An end of summer wrap up of a few memories made….
(from top, left to right)

1. Hunter at Jekyll Island (our first alone getaway since Lee was born!)
2. Baseball is part of our lives now….spring and fall.
3. And t-ball….Levi’s first year of t-ball
4. Rhett’s first camping trip.  He fell off the platform in the first 10 minutes we were there and ended up with this memory.
5. Sunrise on Jekyll Island.  Gorgeous
6. Hunter and I on the dolphin tour.
7. Levi camping.  Tree climbers they are
8. We made these and they had quite the time.
9. Lee camping…also a climber


Choosing to Live in the Now: How a Dream has Broken Me Today

I woke myself up at 2:38 this morning sobbing. That deep gut-wrenching sobbing that is out of your control and you know it.

The anxiety had reared its ugly head again in the form of a nasty dream in which I probably not going to see my children grow up because of what I’m facing in the dream. They wouldn’t remember me. Or know who I was. Or care. (And I have to stop talking about it because I’m crying now. It’s that clear and vivid in my head still.)

You know that one, right? Every mom has those fears and worries buried somewhere deep.

So I got up and tracked down Hunter, who’d fallen asleep on the couch, and made him come to bed. And I cried and cried and cried and reached out repeatedly to touch him, just to assure myself that it was just a dream. While I laid there, all I could think of was what I’d do differently. If this were near the end of my life, what would I change? How would I treat my husband and kids differently? Would I use that harsh tone or yell about the clothes on the floor or tell them for the millionth time that, “I was not their maid.” Where would I want to take them? What would I want them to remember?

And then it smacked me between the eyes again..this could be it. The end “could” be near for me because it can happen in the next five minutes (you never know) and all they’ll have are memories of me. What would their memories be?

Lee and I walking yesterday and holding hands while we exercised together? Me being at their ball games and school activities telling them what a great job they’re doing and how I’m so proud of them? Me staying home with them when they’re sick? Making silly faces in the mirror? Me taking every flower they bring me and smelling it and smiling?
Or will they remember the yelling? The harsh words? The spankings (because yes, I have)? The throwing of clothes into baskets while ranting about a mess? The toys I threaten to throw away?

Honestly, I think it has to be a mix of the two really because if not, then I’m not parenting. It’s my job to teach them to be adults one day. Its my job to teach them, to provide them with experiences, to guide them, to love them beyond the shadow of a doubt and to demonstrate through my actions, what a loving, caring, Christian parent is. What a happy, healthy, satisfied life can be like.

But since 2:38 this morning, I’ve realized something. I have been living for “when things get better” or “when we have more money” or “when I don’t have to work as much” or “when they know how to behave.” Why? Those things might never happen. So what am I waiting for? What’s holding me back from those small moments? Those sweet slices of life, those “hinge moments as Jon Acuff puts it in Quitter (which I’m reading slowly), that change our lives forever.

Why am I waiting on later to make me happy? Because it won’t. I’ll find something else to get in the way, to slow me down, to redirect my attention elsewhere, to make me unhappy and dissatisfied with my life.

I don’t have an answer. But this dream…it has weighed on me. I know where it came from and why. I know my oldest shares these kinds of dreams with me, bless his precious tender heart. And even before the dream, I’d been repeating a phrase to myself a lot.

Be intentional.

Be intentional with my words, my actions, my thoughts, my life. Focus on what means the absolute most to me. My family. I love them with all I have and I could not live without them. I couldn’t make it without Hunter. He grounds me. He’s my rock. He infuriates me at times but our love is deep and strong. I love those boys…dirt, stained socks, ripped jeans, weird projects, strange thought patterns, sweet gifts, loving hearts, beautiful, beautiful boys. They ground me and make me crazy.

I’ve been more intentional with time. I’ve said no more than I used to. But I haven’t been intentional with my family. I’m still letting other things distract me. I’m still waiting on “better” and “more” to happen. And I have to stop. I have to be happy, content, and IN the moment we are living in right now because its the moment I’ve been given.

Some dream, right? Dreams always make me take stock because they usually come from somewhere. Sometimes its just a crazy something you had wander through your day. Sometimes though, its a “take stock” moment that happens at 2:38 in the morning when you’ve looked one of your biggest fears in the face through the veil of a dream.

It makes you think.

Are you living “in the now” or have you been putting off things like I have? What does being intentional mean to you?

{this moment}

Inspired by Amanda…a Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Because I am missing them so, so much right now. Snapped on bath night on Tuesday with my Blackberry which explains the quality…but look at that sweet smile.


We are. 

Blessed.  Beyond anything we deserve.


We feel Loved.


We feel…Complete.


Jarret Michael (who will forever be JM from here on out) joined us at 7:49 a.m. on Thursday, March 3rd.  He weighed in at 7 pounds, 14 ounces and is 20 inches long with brown hair and beautiful blue eyes.  And a 15 inch head!

We’ve been getting to know one another, Jarret and I.  And we’re bonding. 

Vday 017

His brothers…they weren’t so sure at the hospital but once we were all tucked in at home, they wanted to hold him and love on him. 

Such a snuggler.  Who refuses to sleep in that bassinet.  Why should he when he knows his mama is right there after all?

Vday 066

Obviously, he was not a giant baby.  All those “big baby” predictions are being attributed to an extreme amount of amniotic fluid.  My first comment after they told me he was indeed a boy was “All this and he only weighs 7lbs and 14 ounces?  Seriously?”

As far as the story goes, I had a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday at 9:15, my last one before the induction.  They put me on the monitor to check out how the baby was doing and almost 2 hours later, they sent me to the hospital because he just really wasn’t moving or responding much.  It made us all nervous. 

I was only 1 cm dilated so they put me on monitors for the entire day and then started me on Cervadil to get things going so to speak.  Two hours later, I was having contractions every 3-4 minutes but I wasn’t dilating quickly enough.  At 9, the Cervadil fell out and the decision was made to wait until morning (my second-original induction date) to do anything else but I had to stay in the hospital.  I had contractions all night long.  Not a fun night. 

At 6 am, I was 4 cm when they started the Pitocin.  At 715, I begged for an epidural because the contractions were so horrible—I HATE Pitocin and I felt weak for asking for the epidural after making it through child birth twice but seriously, Pitocin is OF THE DEVIL.  The nurse checked me and I was 7cm so she turned off the Pitocin since I was progressing so fast.  She paged the doctor.  The guy got there to do the epidural at 730 and it wasn’t as horrible as I expected. Tara, our nurse, continued to page the doctor who was taking her sweet time. 

There’s just one thing. 

The epidural?  Yeah, it didn’t work.  I lost the feeling in my right hip, around my hip bone.  And continued to fight through the contractions and then leg cramps in between the cramps.  My left leg, never numbed and I felt everything.  What a waste of money that one was!

Finally, Tara told the Tech to open the door and she yelled to get the doctor down there NOW.  He was coming and I could feel it.  She kept telling me not to push but pffftt, YOU stop it.  The doctor came in and was talking about how fast I’d gone and Tara is telling her over and over to get her gloves on.  Basically, she was holding the baby in there.  I finally looked at her and yelled (as nicely as I could) to LET THE BABY OUT NOW!  She moved her hand and delivered our sweet boy while the doctor was still getting her gloves on! 

Vday 011 (This is our nurse Tara.  I told her to take the obligatory picture since she, and not the doctor delivered!)

That’s our exciting story!  Thank God I have fast labors because if I had to do that all day long, you might as well have SHOT ME.  Whew. 

My sweet, beautiful perfect little boy is here.  I’m a mom to 3 boys.  Its unreal.  I’ll be honest that I was a little scared that I’d be disappointed about not having a girl but I’m not.  I thought I’d feel left out and lonely as they get bigger and want to hang with their dad all the time.  But I don’t.  This feels right.  So right.  I’m meant to be a mom to boys.  I am. 

Everyone’s asking if we’ll try for a girl next.  The answer?  No.  Hunter and I feel that our family is complete.  Unless God has another surprise for us, we’re not planning to have any more children.  We have been truly blessed with three healthy and beautiful children. 

Thank you for your prayers and advice over the past few weeks!  I’m working on a routine that includes BLOGGING MORE but the olders will be home with me soon in the afternoons and we’ll be getting back to working on the other house.  I have tons of partial posts, none complete. 

  (My favorite picture I think)

Welcome to the world Jarret.  We’ve prayed for you and we’re so glad that you’ve came.