Friday, July 31, 2009

Sympathy and Will

It is hard to write this post because there really is no way that I can understand the feelings and emotions that the Ramer family of Opp is going through and I certainly don't want to belittle their story or make it into a freak show. If anything I just want to post my support of their feelings and to say honestly, I am praying for them.

Thursday, a friend of mine called me to ask for prayers. A child-hood friend of hers was at home, watching T.V. and went to check on her two year old twins, one boy and one girl. What she found changed her life forever. Both babies had managed to sneak out of the house and drown in the family swimming pool. This all happened Wednesday and today both babies are in Heaven. When Tara told me this news on Thursday... before it was on T.V. or in any newspapers my heart sunk. I haven't been able to shake this blues feeling for the mother and father that are missing their babies. And for the mother especially who must be blaming herself. God Bless you Ramer family.


I struggle a lot with the big question "why?" In my own life and certainly in tragedies like these. I never asked "why" until my own children were born prematurely last summer and I didn't know if they would live. It is a big big world and there is a lot of suffering that we don't want to imagine and can't explain. And people say, "It is God's will" but I don't believe that. I don't believe that God WILLS sick babies or fatal accidents or suicides. When we look at Genesis we see that God willed a perfect place for humans to live... no shame, no wants, no needs, except to live in harmony with Him and His creation. But, as the story goes on, Satan came in, tempted, convinced, and ruined that perfect will. We messed up and stepped outside that perfect will. And we have been living outside of it ever since. To me, I guess, that is why.

So then, "why didn't he change it or stop whatever from happening, why me?" Well... I tell myself... he didn't stop it from happening to His own son... why would He stop it from happening to me? I am not saying that everything is left to chance... I am saying I don't know how it happens... why some people are healed and some people aren't. Why some people are fed and some are starving? I don't know and I'll never know... it is WAY too big for my little brain to understand. I have to be careful not to let myself think that one day the "other shoe will drop." Nick says I am bad about that-cruising through life thinking, "this is all going too good... surely something bad is going to happen to me." But it has worked before... when I was pregnant I was cleaning my kitchen one day and thought, "two babies girls inside of me... this is too good to be true, Lord, I am scared." Didn't I know something was about to happen? When I had them at 27 weeks and looked at their 1 and 2 pound bodies in the incubator I thought to myself, "I knew it, I knew it Lord! It was too good to be true." All I could do was hang on and watch what was going to happen next. That is really what this earthly life is... watching each day unfold and doing the best we can to contribute to what is "good." It is not waiting for the other shoe to drop (how miserable to live a life so paranoid?) Jesus said, "I have told you these things so that in me you will have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

It comforts me to know that Jesus knew His purpose and His fate from the start of His life. He was not afraid or bitter or angry. If only I could have that faith, to touch the hem of His garment and live in that peace for a moment... for the rest of my life... to teach my children to live that way...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


My house us under reconstruction... but not the type you typically think of. It sounds typical... banging, hammering, vacuuming, whistles, and horns not by large equipment and not by the tearing down of walls but by babies on the move. As I sit outside enjoying my morning coffee and checking on blogs I can hear what sounds like nails being hammered down in my den because just ten feet away from me the babies have discovered cause and effect. If I hold two blocks and clap them together I get sound! If I push this button I hear horns! If I roll this cup I see movement. Also, if I try to stand up on slick wooden tiles wearing these long pj's I go boom and CRY! We have entered the realm of nonstop movement and exploration and while this is a wonderful time for them it means gone are the days of just propping them up and getting other stuff done for me! Reconstruction = babies with new abilities. The ability to move... themselves and things and I am the project overseer and it is a big job!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Picture Post of the Weekend

Working our way backwards and starting with...

-Sunday I helped host a baby shower at my house for MTS. We had an excellent turnout and to say that this was an easy and fun event is a huge understatement. Pictured below is mother to be and all of the hosts. Count'em! That's THREE babies you see and all are related! Little cousins: baby Campbell, baby Jake, and baby Houston hiding out in the back. Mommies MT, Racheal, and Kelly are all due within 8 weeks or so of each other!

-Paula Dean strawberry cupcakes I prepared! Google the recipe and try it yourself... REAL pureed strawberries mixed in with the white cake mix batter... so good and so easy. Usually I would have prepared from scratch the cream cheese icing but the last time I did this I used 6 boxes of confectioner's sugar and had ants in my kitchen for a month afterwards! This time I took the easiest route and bought whipped strawberry icing and garnished with fresh strawberries... still a hit with half the mess (and time!)

- Campbell's piggy bank, flowers and punch.

- Also at the shower, a great picture of my sister Meredith who lives in Memphis and my beautiful mommy and me.

- Saturday, after my brother's wedding, time for a breather...this is me reading to the babies one of their favorite books "The Very Quiet Cricket." A week ago the babies developed nonstop runny noses that I hoped would cure itself but alas... more ear infections. This time, Lily's is so bad her ear drum in bulging with fluid which means we have had a couple of sleep interrupted nights. All is well though. Benedryl works miracles to stop runny noses and induce deep sleep plus we are also on a 10 day round of antibiotics.

-Friday night Nick and I attended a wedding rehearsal dinner for my brother Will and his beautiful bride Colleen. This is me and my handsome date before dinner.

-A snap of the bride and groom: Will and Colleen. Beautiful aren't they? I chuckle to myself at how gorgeous their babies will be after a war between our light hair light eyes/her dark hair dark eyes genetics. Amazing how all of that works.

So there you have it. The thing about being anyone with a lot going on is that somehow you muster the energy and attitude to pull it all off. It was jam packed from Thursday to Sunday but nothing is really on the radar for the upcoming week except hopefully getting back into the swing of early to bed early to rise since this is the last week before I go back to work! I am excited about it... those of you who know me well know that I am a creature of habit and routince. I perform best when there are few suprises and time for meditation and preparation.

I have been working on creating a personal and family mission statement that will spill over into work as well. I'll write more on this later as it will surely deserve it's own post. Today, the babies are napping off their colds and their is laundry to be done. Also, I am trying to finish "American Wife" a fantastic novel that I have taken way too long to get through. Any suggestions for my next read?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Weekend Things...

You know it is a busy weekend ahead when you start making plans for little things on the previous Monday. All week I have making little check marks and swipe throughs on my long detailed list of "to do's." It is Thursday now and I am about to dive head first into a non stop celebration on several fronts!

Today, I need to pick up the house and put everything in it's place. I need to go out and about for a little bit to find a top to wear with a fabulous little black pencil skirt I found yesterday at New York and Company - which I never shop at but for what it is and the price it was it is perfect. Also, at Kohl's, I found two precious pairs of "every girl should have" black shoes. One pair of black patent leather peep toe heels and one pair of black strappy sandal heels. The best part of the shoe purchase was that each pair was originally close to $66 and I bought them for a combined total of $42. WIN! Finally, taking first place, I found a fabulous "little black dress" at Ann Taylor Loft originally $78 on sale for $39.

Friday, the girls will be at their sitter's house while Nick and I clean the house. Friday evening Nick and I will attend my oldest brother Will's wedding rehearsal dinner. The dinner will be at a local restaurant... the same little place that Nick and I had our dinner. I am excited to go for a few reasons. One, I'll get to meet the bride's family and hopefully see some extended family of mine that I haven't seen in quite a while. Will's dating and engagement to this gal has been pretty consistent to how my family does weddings which is quickly and simply. I am excited for him to be taking this step in his life because quite frankly I don't think I have ever heard of him being this happy. Since he joined the Marine Corps almost two years ago he has struggled with the question of did he make the right choice? Will has never been too far from home for all of his life... went to a small private school here in Montgomery, then moved to Auburn and attended Southern Union, and now is serving as a Marine in South Carolina. He was the "big fish in a small pond" for most of his life until college and now certainly as a Marine which brought on a storm of emotions that he has dealt o.k. with. He misses home but knows that he is committed to military duty for at least the next 2-3 years. Marrying Colleen will give him peace and stability that he so desperately wants and needs being so far from home by providing a "home" away from home with someone he loves very much. For that I am thankful. I sincerely wish them all of the best from the bottom of my heart.

So the wedding is Saturday. We will be dressing our little ladies up and eager to show them off... sorry bride... you might have wanted to specify on the invitation for guests to keep their "oohs and ahhs" on you but you didn't but then again you may appreciate sharing the attention because being a bride can be a bit overwhelming... at least it was for me anyway. But seriously, my stepmother and most of my aunts and uncles have never met my children so to be able to bring them to this event and visit with them all is exciting.

Saturday evening is still on the "let's touch base" status. Ideally the babies would come home after the wedding and snooze a bit so that we could get back out and about and head to my mother's house to see my sister Mere who is in town this weekend also.... (not my mother and sister on my dad and brother's side). We may be able to swing over and have some late afternoon pool time, appetizers, and drinks with Auntie, Moompsy, and Popsickle (my sis and parents) if the babies aren't completely worn out and are willing. Then LATE Saturday evening I will need to be in the kitchen baking in preparation for Sunday's events...

A BABY SHOWER being hosted at my house! I have never hosted a shower so I am really looking forward to this event. I remember how special I felt at my babies' shower and I hope that I will be able to pull this one off. I have some great help among the other 8 hostesses and have learned by watching other's. The most important part in planning a party I think is keeping your "cool" and knowing that what needs to get done will and what doesn't does not matter.

So that is my weekend forecast for you. Pictures and reviews to follow! Have a great weekend everybody!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What A Year It Has Been

Well this video has been a long time coming. For one, I just took the time to figure out how to work iMovie using Nick's Macbook. Two, I had to do some sifting through photos and video. And Third, after I decided on all of my favorite pictures to use I had to go and cut some because there were just so many and I didn't want to make my first video longer than 5 minutes so that people would actually watch it. So here it is. Enjoy!

P.S. I had a lot of fun!

Music by Andrew Peterson and The Beatles

more about "What A Year It Has Been... on Vimeo", posted with vodpod

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Sleepless While You are in Seattle

(Title is a shout out for Mr. and Mrs. Lucas as they vacation way way up and to the left of our state in a place called Washington)

It has been a busy past couple of weeks. July is very different than June. June was the first 4 weeks of my summer vacation and it was very very nice and routine - there's that word again. I went to bed at reasonable hours and woke up 7ish, coffee and journaled while babies played and the laundry spun... remember that really motivated post I made about being the best "tourguide mommy ever?" Well then the HEAT set in and it became easier to just fill the kiddie pool in the back yard than load everyone up in the car and find somewhere to go walk around. July has felt... off balance. I can't seem to committ to a routine. I go to bed late. I wake up at different times every day. I eat whatever is in the fridge because it is easier to just make something rather than plan a meal and go to the grocery store to stock up. Also, Nick has been at a work conference all day and nights till midnight since Monday and won't be home until sometime Friday. I am a creature of habit and routine and don't like many surprises (unless they are wrapped in little boxes with big gold bows). The biggest thing that makes a difference in my mental health is SLEEP. My husband is a night owl and I am just the opposite. I would rather go to bed at 8 and be up at 5 than stay up till stupid ours and "sleep in." My 17 year old sister has spent of couple of night with me this summer and slept until 1pm!!! I let her do it because I want her to feel safe and rested when she stays with me but in the back of my mind I was thinking, "Good gravy what is wrong with this child!?! Exhaustion, alchoholism, depression!?" No- just teenaged. Recently we had friends spend the night on their way from Boston to Atlanta. I had a "you know you are out of practice when..." moment when we all stayed up till(only) 1 a.m. and I (only) had 3 glasses of wine and felt like "you know what" all the next day. When we first moved into our house 2 1/2 years ago and would have friends over we would easily stay up till 2a.m. sometimes later with no problem - sometimes on weeknights with work the next day (gasp). There is something about having kids and HAVING to get up every three hours for 2-3 months straight that just takes it out of you. And I am NOT complaining about this - I do however feel sorry for those people that are putting off kids or may not even want kids because they feel like having kids is the end of your life... that really isn't the case. Yes your life changes... but no it is not the end. I actually saw an episode of TLC Baby Story (which I used to love and now LOATHE) and a mother in labor was crying her face off saying, "my life is about to be over! Promise me when this kid is 5 you will take me to Disney World just the two of us! SOB" How sad is that!?!? Did she grow up AT ALL before she decided to get pregnant!?!? Anywho... so yea. If there is every a time when I wonder when did these bags and circles show up under my eyes I can probably say with certainty May 15, 2008... bags of joy is what I'll call them to make myself feel better... that and Boot's Under Eye Cream from Target.

On a lighter note...

Doesn't every new parent wonder why books are made with "newborn" printed on the label and think to themselves "What newborn is going to read? Does it really make a difference to read to your infant?" The answer is YES it does make a difference. We have several little picture books that we have read to the twins since they were teeny and Harper especially loves for you to lie on the floor with her and read to her. Now, I can walk away and do a few chores, come back in the room, and she has found it all by herself and is flipping through it. Lily, on the other hand, eats the book. Lately I have been telling people how different the two are... H likes personal space and L is my cuddlebug. L likes for you to build block towers so she can knock them down and grin at you waiting on you to clap and cheer her on. We have affectionately named her "demolition Lily." Harper studies the block towers and will poke at them as if she is "testing" how many times and with how much force she can tap each block before the tower crumbles.

It is fun watching their little personalities take their own unique shapes.

So that is about all I have to say at the moment. For those of you that like to leave comments, what are some of your daily routines that make or break your sanity if not kept?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Premenstrual Haiku

Under my blanket
Hormonal hibernation
Please do not disturb.