Wednesday, June 22, 2011

june is. . .

Starbucks and Eat Pray Love with Mommy

Ballet Lessons {attempted twirl}

June is. . .learning to overcome fake shyness

June is Watermelon Pineapple Tropical Sno.
No, I didn't choose the flavors.
Yes, he loved his choice.
Yes, that is an awful lot of  red dye #40.

June is floating in the pool.
June is hundreds of dollars in pool chemicals.
June is said pool filter's bearing going out and pool motor threatening neighborhood peace.
June is $269 new filter on it's way. (shipping $12 just in case you wanted to know)
June is Daniel musing over the cost of ripping out said pool and buying a family pass to aquatic center.

June is Miss Kamie time.
{Not staged, both sound asleep}
Place: Mom and Dad's  -   Time: midnight

Also real time, unstaged, 12:00am, Cambria feeding lettuce to her pet bunny.
It lives at Mom and Dad's.  They threaten to send it home with us each time.
How can we deprive the child of this sweet pet?
Yes, we do feel guilty.
No, Daniel won't relent on his no-pets-until-acreage-policy.
Yes, it is pathetic to watch the pet-deprived child carry a snail around for an hour.

June is waking JD up by reading the Seuss-esque I am Not Going to Get Up Today
and then bringing the kids breakfast in bed.

Oh, the intrigue and grown up aura of eating in bed.
{Before you say what an unselfish mom I am, please note that this very easy
idea resulted in my kids staying happily in their rooms with books and strawberries
until 10 am. Signed,  unselfishmom   Selfish Mom}

 Father's Day idea inspired a month in advance by Clubhouse Jr.
(my kids love that magazine)
DAD pizza bagels.

So where are the photos of me?

Well the little people who take pictures of me snap shots like this:

and worse,


Since I must live in the kitchen, I stayed there for my own snap shot of. . . myself.

Happy June!

Monday, June 13, 2011

another little (BOY) at this house!

Oh so exciting today to find out that our little #4 is a healthy growing baby boy. . .

JD:  "He will be my next brother."

I tore my eyes away from that amazing technology to look at my six year old's earnest face. . .

Oh you are so right my son. . .


*long pause*


Both of of cracked up.

She was over her disappointment in about two minutes when she saw her newest brother trying to suck his thumb.

I am not blind to the miracle of this tiny life. . . ten perfect fingers, five of them grabbing at one little foot and five balled into a fist rubbing at his perfectly formed eyes. 

just a tiny dusting of hair. . .

perfect little beating heart

{not the way the sonographer and Daniel were describing it:  oh, the atrium.  yes, and there are the four chambers.  look at those ventricles.  very nice.  Me: It's okay, right??}

And contrary to Jacob and Cambria's suggestions, his name will not be Arthur Alexander, Alexander Arthur, plain Arthur or plain Alexander.

Sorry guys.

You can name your own children however you wish, but this one's ours.

I am humbled at the goodness of God, and the beautiful gifts He has given to us.

So thankful.

So blessed.

Not whole.

Not healed.

But thankful and blessed.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lookin' Fine : (healing is so complicated)

Have I reached the point where it would be more honoring to not mention Gabe?

I'm mulling this over as I remember a conversation this week. . .

Super relaxing atmosphere

long awaited spa stuff

a stranger

Is this your first pregnancy?

no, it is our fourth

Sarah Machlachlan sings about the arms of the angels and I close my eyes thinking about mine. . .

chatter about dogs and gardens and the South where she's from and Charleston weddings and big front porches and this awful heat and

What are the ages of your kids?

i wondered if you'd ask

I was so so tempted to lie.  "6, 4 and 18 months." 

It's not quite a lie.

I'll never see her again, and I'm okay right now and to say "we lost our third child, our son, our Gabe" and then go on doesn't do justice to his life and the loss and the hole  and I think that healing is a gift but it's such a complicated one.

Gently I acknowledge my Jacob Daniel and my Cambria and my Gabe and then I say that he isn't here anymore and that I miss him so much. . .  and I cringe that my pregnancy and our happy kicking unborn  #4 can easily look like a replacement and how do I explain that we are going to love our little #4 for all of it's number fourness and not because this new little person is filling that Gabe-shaped hole?

The expected words.

I'm so sorry.

That would be awful.

But I don't look awful and my eyes aren't red rimmed and I am healthy and tanned and able to carry on a conversation and my sanity doesn't tell the whole story and there isn't time.

And it isn't the place.

And I wonder if that was betrayal and I wonder if my Gabe would have been more honored if I would have kept my mouth shut.

Should I hold up a sign that says I put makeup on but that doesn't mean my life is okay!

I'm pregnant but I'm not replacing my son!

Gabe died and I can say that without screaming but that doesn't mean it's okay!

I think of the odd experience of stumbling across our story being discussed in a forum on The Bump. . . 
then a link to our blog. . .

then all the comments:

so awful

couldn't imagine

i'm crying

our baby girl is exactly his age

my husband is a firefighter too, oh my


and then

i read her current posts, she is pregnant and they look like they are doing fine.

Everything looks fine.

Isn't that what everyone wants for us? For anyone who suffers?  For the answer to pain?

Oh please, just look fine.

Would your cancer please go into remission and could you please just wear a super cute wig so I can focus on how well you are coping?

Could you please at least pretend you have a job or some leads or a promising interview and can we all just pretend that you are able to make all of those house payments because it's so scary to think that you are unemployed. . .

Can we talk about how great of a guy you are going to find someday even though your dates to black tie weddings are girlfriends or brothers or guy friends who had mercy on you and your nights are lonely and your career  isn't as fulfilling as it looks on the outside?

Your son is in jail? Let me pause while I try and swallow all of my shock! Oh, well, I'm sure you're finding great attorneys and I'm sure your son will never do that again and besides he was always a great kid and I don't want to even think about how ashamed and humiliated and hurt you are so can we please talk about something happier?

Can you please look fine?

For a while you can't and the pain is just too raw and too deep and everyone knows it's not fine and you're not fine.

Your mail carrier is busy and you wear your darkest sunglasses and you see the hushed whispers and your soul needs the hard squeezing hugs.

But at some point. . . you begin to look fine.

So then what?

Sorry, I don't know.

I'm learning.

Begging God for grace.

Reluctant to spill out the story of my son's short little life if the treasure part can't be communicated.

Cringing at the many times in my life when I've been the one with the answers and the God is sovereign spiel and the trite responses and it might have been being the salt of the earth  and a light to the world but a clump of salt tastes pretty bad and no one wants a million candlepower flashlight shining in their eyes when all they can see is darkness.

Knowing I'm not the only one thinking this stuff.

A little afraid of lookin' fine over here.

May 19, 2011

{Jacob Daniel looking at photos of his little brother Gabe on our front porch}

Sunday, June 5, 2011

because i love weddings. . .

It's not every day that you attend a wedding where the congregation sings worship songs

Your Grace is Enough

Holy is the Lord God Almighty

Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)

and then the bride and groom exit to Reliant K's This is the Best Thing.

Daniel leaned over to me during the ceremony and said this is the most eclectic combination of guests I've ever seen at a wedding.

True that.

So obvious that the bride and groom love people and Jesus and are not locked into associating with any one personality or background or race or denomination.  It was kind of a calico meets Gucci meets dreadlocks meets headcoverings meets tattoos kind of ensemble.

Maybe a little bit what Heaven is going to look like. . .?

I took some snapshots of little things I loved about the reception:
Chalkboard painted directional sign!
I wonder how many gallons of lemonade they made? They were carrying it out in five gallon buckets!

I loved the turquoise table and all of the yellow sugar cookies.

How nice to have a quiet area to suck your thumb!

Entry to the backyard reception held at the home of the wedding photographers. . .

I wonder if this works??

The white lights were strung from cables stretched tight in the trees.  I know because I sat and rubbernecked studied how they set it up.  Can you see all of the chandeliers?  Gorgeous.

Cinnamon Butter
Fresh Cucumber Salad
Roasted Potatoes
Green Beans
Herbed Lemon Chicken
And yes, this is in black and white so that my lobster skin doesn't show.  One day without sunscreen. . .
The typewriter?  It worked.  Messages to the bride and groom from the guests.  So fun.

Father Daughter dance. . . so Cinderella-esque. . . until suddenly. . .
I like to move it move it - I like to move it move it
(you know, the penguins in Madagascar? )

Most hilarious father daughter dance ever.

Another moment I loved:  Adam and Nicole asked for their best man and maid of honor to stand with them while they cut the cake.
because they were so special
That and so they would be really close so that the bride and groom could
turn sharply and smash cake in their unsuspecting faces.
Special Schmecial.
Cambria trying to cozy up to the flower girls.  Check out Miss Tulle.  Cutest flower girl dresses EVER.  They were long versions of the super popular tutus, secured with neck ribbons. You can sort of see a tiny peek of a huge flower in the front center of the dress. Oh. my. word. cuteness.

I loved part of Nicole's vows. . .I want to suffer with you too. . .
It is a joy to see lives united that realize that life is joy and pain all mixed together.
Happy ever-after, Nicole & Adam. . .

Saturday, June 4, 2011

books = bowling

I seriously underestimated the space needed to write 100 book titles.  I may need to improvise. . .

I love our small town summers;

the summer reading program at our library just expanded to adults (free gourmet coffee!!)

last night we took the kids to a first Friday event . . .an outdoor movie {Happy Feet} downtown. . .

the fountain down by the river (where I can sit and read while the kids run and splash.)

Today we are headed off to a wedding of a longtime friend marrying her "Captain Awesome" (That's what she calls him. It cracks me up.)  They met while she was working at an orphanage in China and he was a pilot for the mission she was with. (I think.)  At any rate, this will be a really fun wedding and I just can't wait. Plus, since the bride is actually my younger sisters friend (I think I just got a sympathy invite) that means we get a whole bunch of Aunt E and Miss Kamie time today.  Oh, and Bronz too. 

Daniel (for a change) knows no one at this wedding.

His text to Bronz:  Hey wanna go to a wedding tomorrow where we don't know a single person??

You sense the sarcasm, I'm sure.

My Starbucks is calling loudly. . .

Happy Weekend!


JD-isms for the week:

Examining his owies:  Mom, hurt is surrounding me.  I feel like hurt *rushes* to me.

Discussing the Model T:  Mom, do you *know* Henry Ford?

On his sore back:  No, Mom, it's not bruised.  I think one of the bones in my spine is out of stock.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Metal Folding Chair Re-Make

Is it just me or are these really cute?

I love them.

I now need a lime green, an aqua, sunshine yellow, strawberry red. . . summer!!!

And they're indestructible!

I only used one can of Krylon spray paint per chair, except for the orange one. . . but I think I had a defective can of paint on coat #1.

Back to Craigslist to search for more chairs. . . . .

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Thanks Dave!

I always call my van our Dave Ramsey van. . . and every time Daniel hears me say that he says, "No, when I pay cash for my 2500 HD Chevy Crew Cab, that will be my Dave Ramsey vehicle."

Well, his Dave Ramsey truck is sitting in our driveway and there are two pretty happy boys at this house.

{And if Jacob looks a little groggy, it's because he is. . . he woke up to see his daddy's new ride.}

My new friend Jess and I had a spray painting day yesterday. . . my projects were the ugly metal folding chairs.  I haven't taken a picture yet of what I did with them but I think they are super cute and I need about seven more.  Ugly folding chairs anyone???
On a cold and rainy Saturday my kids and Loren's do a double take as they pass a {real} umm. . . REAL??? Ronald McDonald?  I love their body language in this photo.  They are so shocked.

However, they warmed up quickly and soon became quite chatty, even informing Ronald that they were homeschooled. . . (love how they can work that into any conversation at the most random times).

Coming tomorrow: 

Metal folding chair reveal.