Wednesday, October 26, 2011

This morning...

I woke up to this....yes, that's a snake. IN MY FRONT ENTRY WAY OF MY HOUSE. INSIDE PEOPLE. Talk about total freak out by me.

So...I did this.....

Yes, that is a plastic tupperware container. I quickly called the hubby, whose phone was off, because he was ON A PLANE TO NYC. (Yes, I realize I keep yelling in this post. I just wanted all of you to know the enormity of the situation.)

I then, put a book on top of the container to keep the snake in while I tried to figure out what to do from here. I texted a few of my husband's friends and my dad with an SOS on what the heck I should do. All the while Jackson was running through the house yelling, "Call the ambulance! Call the ambulance! Call the cops and have them bring their weapons!"

Since, no one texted me back right away because it was pretty early in the morning I decided to take matters into my own hands. I put on gardening gloves and a jacket over my pajamas, apparently, I felt like I needed to be protected. Oh, and I also grabbed the biggest knife I could find. I remembered a scene from Romancing the Stone with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner when they are in Brazil and Michael Douglas takes his knife and chopped the head off of a snake in the jungle. Apparently, I felt like this was the best option here.

I went back to where I had left the snake. And. IT. WAS. GONE!!!!!!!!!

That sucker had popped out of the plastic container and the book and was slithering away. Thank goodness I saw it. If I hadn't I probably would never have slept in my house again. Like, we would have left all of our stuff and moved away immediately.

I grabbed the knife and tried to cut the snake, but that darn thing kept coming at me!!! Full hissing and everything. I was screaming at this point and Jackson was yelling at me to "Be brave mom! You've got this!"

So, I grabbed the plastic container and slammed it on top of the snake again and slowly moved the container across the floor, opened the front door, and somehow SHOVED the snake out the door.


Then I realized how late it had gotten and had to hurry to get Jackson dressed for his Halloween Parade at this school. Here he own Justin Bieber!

Oh and before I go, take a look at this precious is from our ultrasound yesterday. I just love this little guy to pieces already!

I sure hope that tomorrow I wake up to nothing but roses and coffee and peace. AND NO SNAKES.

P.S. When my husband's friends and my dad did text me back...these were their answers. (1) Call the Fire Department and get a shovel (2) Call Animal Control (3) One friend just called me and laughed. I laughed with him, cause at that point this crap was funny!

-Lee Anne

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It's A...

Can you believe it???!! I seriously am in shock that we are going to be having our third precious little BOY!!!

We weren't supposed to find out until next week, but I was actually at the doctor yesterday and they wanted to check on some things (all is fine!), and they decided to do an ultrasound. I am quite proud of myself because I told the ultrasound tech not to let me look and to write down what the sex was because Renzi hadn't made it to my appointment yet. She then wrote it on a piece of paper (pic above) and put it in an envelope. She set it next to me and left the room. And let me tell you that it took every ounce of will power that I had not to peek. I actually threw the envelope across the room so I wouldn't look. (I was hooked up to some monitors at the time so I couldn't get up).
When Renzi arrived, we looked together and both started crying. ANOTHER BOY! What a joyous blessing!

That evening when we told Jackson there was a boy in mommy's tummy he pumped his fist in the air and shouted, "YES! I TOLD YOU SO!" Which in fact he has. From the get-go he has insisted that the baby in my belly is a boy, even saying in his prayers at night, "And God bless my brothers. Amen."

So...there you have it! BOY OH BOY! I am outnumbered in my house, yet again and I couldn't be more excited. :)

-Lee Anne

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Remembering Our Babies-October 15th

I came across this organization the other day "Remembering Our Babies: The official site of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day," and it really made me think about where we have been and how far we have come. After reading about this organization, it really made me think about our grief journey and I thought it was time to write this post.

Many people have asked me to write a post about how I grieved, how I moved on, how I survived after losing Isaiah. It has taken me a while to have the courage to sit down and actually write this post, but I feel that I am in a good place to be able to share this with all of you. I, in no way shape or form, feel like I have all of the answers, but I am honestly proud of how we handled our loss. And I am proud of who I am today because of our loss.

So. What is it like to live life after losing a child?

It certainly depends on the day.

The truth is, I embraced full heartedly that God was in control. Honestly, I don't think we knew how to survive without believing that God was in control. It comes down to a daily decision that I make to live my life gratefully.

It's life after loss, and it's not going anywhere. I have learned to go easier on myself and back down off my expectations on what I should or shouldn't be feeling because if I don't I am setting myself up for failure.

I have learned that when I am sad, I need to take time to be sad. Pushing feelings and emotions to the back of my mind doesn't help me. It hurts me. Because they always seem to creep back up when you least expect it. I am a natural procrastinator and I have been known to just push things to the back of my mind if I don't want to deal with them right then. Dealing with things as they come has been part of my healing. And I think it has made me a more healthy person emotionally because of that.

I clung to certain scriptures during this time. Searching for answers.

"As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things."

-Ecclesiastes 11:5

We don't know why Isaiah was sick. We don't know why we were chosen to have to go through this. But like a lot of life's problems, I believe you have to "lean into" the problems instead of back away. We chose to lean into God, instead of back away from him. It's a choice.

But how do you even begin to heal after losing a child?

I began to realize that the pain was going to be a part of my new life. Its funny and humbling because the world has a way of going on all around you even when you are in the depths of sorrow. I accepted that this was my life. Acceptance has been key.

You also have to search for answers, KNOWING that you probably won't find the answers you are looking for.

"But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask."

-John 11:22

We prayed and prayed for God to heal Isaiah. We prayed for answers. He did just that. He took away every bit of pain our baby was in. Of course, we did not want him to leave us, but God answered our prayer to heal our child. This took lots of praying and introspect after Isaiah died before we come to this realization and I firmly believe in this scripture. He WILL answer your prayers, it may not be in the way you want it to be done, but your prayers will always be answered.

I had so many questions for God...among the ones I found most important were, Will you tell him all about me and what I would have been for him? Will you tell him how amazing his daddy is? How wonderfully awesome his big brother is? I had to trust that God is keeping Isaiah safe and is showing him love like no other. I know he is.

People ask me all of the time how is it that I am not angry at the Lord. My honest answer is that I have been angry, disappointed and crushed in spirit. What I have not been, and what I refuse to be is disbelieving. The Lord tells me that I will see my child again, and while He stands beside me, He weeps. He cries because I can't see what He can.

I didn't want to hear the big philosophical explanations. I didn't want to hear people try to tell me that it was for the best, because, quite frankly, I didn't feel that way. I know people want to help, but there is a safe place with the Lord where we don't have to have all of the answers. I don't believe that "God needed another angel," and I honestly grew weary of hearing people try to explain it all away because they couldn't stand to hear these three words. I Don't Know.

I know it is so hard to know what to say to someone who has experienced a loss. You want to say the right thing. People are uncomfortable swimming in someone else's grief. You want to fix the situation. It's human nature. It has meant so much to me when someone just says they are sorry and don't try to explain it all away. Sometimes, the right thing to say is to say nothing at all. It's just to be there, available, willing, authentic and silent.

As a Christian, I know that I am called to glorify the Lord no matter the circumstances, but that doesn't mean it is going to make sense. He gives and He takes away. Have I had moments of genuine questioning where I blamed myself and anyone else I could? YES. But when those moments come, and they will, we must make a choice about who we will be from this day forward.

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen; but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

-2 Corinthians 4: 16-18

I still have good days and bad days. My bad days aren't so bad anymore, and I am so thankful for that. One day I start to feel like myself again, and even that can make me feel guilty sometimes (don't you just love that momma guilt!). I feel like I don't have a right to be normal.

The truth is this. I will permanently bear the mark of a woman who has lost their child. Many of us are walking all around-in the grocery store, at the playground, in the carpool line, in the office next to yours. We walk without necessarily recognizing each other, side by side and a million miles apart. If you are one of these women, I want you to know that as I write these words, I am praying for you. I am mourning what you have lost in life. I am praying that God will fill you as only He can, and that in time, you (and I!) will be with our daughters and sons again.

I believe this scripture fits best in what is going on in our lives at this very moment.

"I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy."

-John 16:20

And what do you know....that is exactly what has happened to us. We are filled with joy to be expecting another baby. Our grief is still there, but in a different context. We get to have another baby. And what a privilege it is to know that God is giving us another baby. And I like to think that Isaiah is smiling down and excited to be a big brother as well.

So, to wrap this up I want to leave you all with this. I took it from my most favorite book, "I Will Carry You," By Angie Smith. No other book in my life has touched me like this one has.

"I believe that all babies who pass away (including those who do not survive outside the womb) are in heaven with our Lord. I do not believe they vanish into the ground, or that they ever endure any suffering or pain when they leave us. I cling to the fact that Audrey is in her eternal home, enjoying the favor of her Savior, completely at peace with Him as her Father. I believe it, but I can't honestly say that it always comforts me the way I wish it would. I want her to be here with me and on many nights that truth has failed to fill the void. We aren't going to feel whole in this life, and we will long for something we don't have. To love Him in spite of our pain is a gift He freely gives to those who will accept it."

Isn't that amazing? I have found such solace in reading Angie's words about the loss of her daughter. It is true though. Isaiah is in the best place. He is in Heaven!

Is it hard to believe that my baby is in heaven? Yes. I can't see it, so I am trusting that my faith is real. I do believe it, but no I don't think its easy when you have empty arms and your baby in an unreachable place. That's why they call it faith, I guess.

So...on October 15th at 7 p.m. my household will be lighting a candle in remembrance of our sweet Isaiah. And together, as a family, we will remember the good times and embrace what is to come.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Why are there so many questions?

While driving the other day, Jackson was asking question after question after question. I would answer each question and it would be immediately followed by another question packed with whining. I don't do well with whining and usually put the kabosh on it right away, but it wasn't working on this particular day.

I really wanted to show Jackson how whiny he was being so I turned my phone around and videoed him.

We got the giggles towards the end and this is now Jackson's favorite video to watch on my phone. He says, "Man, I was being super annoying that day."

Touché my love. :)

-Lee Anne

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fun treats!

I'm a late bloomer on Pinterest and am totally obsessed! I foun this recipe on pinterest and Jackson and I decided to make these fun treats for our friends at the lake this weekend. I'm not totally sure what these are called, but you should make them immediately! And it was fun because Jackson was a big help too.

What you need:
Twist pretzels
Hershey kisses

Place pretzels on a cookie sheet, unwrap hershey kisses and place on top of pretzels. Preheat oven to 275 degrees and put in the oven for three minutes. Remove and place an M&M on top of the slightly melted kiss. Put in fridge to set the chocolate.

And....ta da!!!!

So great.

Oh and have you ever heard of fluffer nutter sandwiches?? It's my new obsession, which deserves a post all on it's own...stay tuned!

-Lee Anne

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Our weekend

Just thought I would share some pics from my phone from the last week....

First of all...check out this guy.

I just want to squeal, he is so cute! It's my nephew, Miller, and his mom finally got a smile on camera for all to see. Preciousness! (I may, or may not have just made up a new word).

Now, take a look at this other precious's my other nephew Jake....I mean, could you just die from all of this cuteness?????

Today, after church we went to lunch with Uncle Tim, Aunt Nat and CJ. We looked up and Jackson was standing on this stool and he said, "Look Mom! I'm a statue!" This was also after he announced that he will be going as Justin Bieber for Halloween and he would like for his dad to be Usher and for me to be Justin Bieber's mom.

We stopped by a little flower market yesterday and picked up some mums for our front porch. Jackson picked out this pumpkin and has been holding it and talking to it like it's his little baby. He checks on it daily to make sure it is ok and I even caught him watering it with a cup of water this afternoon. He said he thought the pumpkin was thirsty.

And that leads us to this next picture....Jackson's Nana (Renzi's mom) got him these gel stickers for the window to decorate for Halloween. Clearly, Jackson thought that sticking them to his body was a better idea.

And look at this precious pic. We were reading him a bedtime story and we looked over and my sweet babe snoozing his pajamas that are too small. Sigh. These were too big for him just a few months ago. He is growing so much and so fast lately.

These next few pics are from Jackson's first soccer game a few weekends ago. He loves it so much and his sweet buddies have all improved so much from last year. Look at Jax with his thumbs up. He does this constantly throughout the game. Love his team spirit!

Jax and a few of his teammates....they look so big!

GOAL! Actually, I can't remember what happened in this pic, but it sounded good!

And here is the team minus one player. Love that these boys are such good friends!

We have had a pretty awesome weekend this weekend. Engagement Dinner Party for a dear friend Friday night. Soccer game, breakfast at Jimmy's Egg and relaxing all Saturday, we made Tacos and played Junior Monopoly as a family Saturday night and all went to bed early. Church and lunch with friends today, followed by planting our mums and flowers and a big nap for Jackson and me! I love all of this family time.

Here's to a great week for you and yours!

-Lee Anne