Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"Do not worry about tomorrow... sufficient for the day is it's own trouble"

Well, the dreaded day is fast approaching. I start back to work on Monday, March 2, only a few days away. I have been trying in every way I know how to be optimistic and think positive thoughts and look at the bright side, but I am having trouble keeping my spirits up. I am quite depressed actually. My time at home has been so fun, except this past week, I think the dread has been so great, that I almost haven't enjoyed anything lately. I know that is horrible to waste my time at home dreading something that I can't change. But like I said, I just can't snap out of it.

The past few months I feel like God has wanted me to read Matthew 6 alot, and the more I read it, the more I see why He wants me there. Everyone should read that chapter every now and then just to remind you what's important. What I get from it is that it's a waste of time to worry about things I can't change, and if I trust God and seek Him, He will not only take care of my family's food & clothing, but also the other things we need too. Like optimism and endurance.

Okay, enough about that depressing topic. Today was a milestone for me... I went to Wal-Mart with all three kids! I have thought out how I would attempt this for some time, and I always find an excuse not to do it. So today, on a whim, and because we were all desperate to get out of the house, I just decided to go for it. I put Laney in my trusty Hotsling (which is such a lifesaver, I highly recommend it for any new moms), Tatum in the basket and Avery walked and helped me push. We checked everything off our list and got out of there without anyone crying at all! I was so excited and proud of my little brood when we left, we all got cookies for a treat!

Laney is 6 weeks old now, and she gave me the sweetest, cutest smile a few days ago. She's only truly smiled about 3 times that I have seen, but it is enough to make you cry it is so cute. She is still waking up once at night to eat, and she is eating every 3 hours during the day. I'm hoping we will get a full night's sleep soon, but if not, that's okay because I really do love that time with her in the middle of the night when it's just she & I.

Avery & Tatum are precious big sissies. This morning Laney was being very fussy in her bouncy seat and I wanted to get dressed so I just decided to let her fuss. So I went in my room to get dressed and all the sudden Laney's crying stopped. I was a little nervous, so I peeked out my door and sweet Avery had scooted up next to Laney and was quietly holding her paci in her mouth for her. It was so sweet. And Tatum loves to bring Laney a blankie and cover her up to keep her warm. It is such a joy to watch them love on each other. Of course, the very next second, Avery is taking a toy away from Tatum, and Tatum is shoving Avery against the wall, but I guess that's all part of the friendship.

We are missing Brian lately. He has hit the super-busy time of baseball tournaments, late practices, masters degree coursework, and of course, his regular teaching job. I am used to it since we've done it several years now, but it is always hard to adjust to not seeing him very much. Needless to say, we are all very eager for May to get here as soon as possible for so many reasons!!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Ways God has Blessed Us

I have been thinking in my mind of all the ways God has answered our prayers and blessed us through this time with our sweet Laney and me being home from work, and here's the list that's been in my mind:

1. Lots of diapers (see previous post for pictures)

2. Breastfeeding ~ formula is so expensive and I am so glad to not have to purchase any this time. It's so nice that God provided so that the main two expenses for a new baby - food & diapers - are free!

3. Meals ~ our Sunday school class is AMAZING! They have blessed us with a meal every other day for almost an entire month. Most meals have lasted us two days. This is not only a blessing b/c I don't have to cook dinner, but also b/c we don't have to pay for any groceries except milk, cereal, sandwich stuff, etc. I am so thankful to be a part of such a genuine, serving, loving group of people.

4. Family & friends ~ my mom, Brian's mom, our close friends... coming through and meeting our needs before we even knew they were needs. We are truly blessed.

5. Disability check ~ sorry to be so blunt, but we are so thankful that my disability insurance covered most of the cost of me being out of work for these 6 weeks.

6. Godly guidance ~ this time at home has give Brian & I more clarity in our future decisions and one of the biggest decisions that I am thrilled about is that I resigned from my job for next year, which means I get to be a semi- stay at home mom next year!!!! I will still go back to work in two weeks to finish up this school year and I will probably still need to find some part-time work after that, but no more "job" to go to every day!

7. Quality time with Avery & Tatum ~ it has been so good for me to be home every day with my "big girls" b/c it's given me a chance to be consistent and to teach them things that it's hard to do when I go to work every day b/c the consistency is not there. Not that all my goals have been accomplished, but I can see some progress in certain attitudes & behaviors that have been needing to be dealt with. We still have a long way to go, though!

8. Quality time with Brian ~ being up late at night waiting to feed Laney has given Brian & I some fun times watching movies together and just hanging out. Recently we've watched "The Bucket List", "Into the Wild", "27 Dresses" and "Fireproof." They were all really good, too! You can probably tell which ones I chose and which ones he chose, but the point is we got to watch them together with our newborn, which is a sweet memory I will cherish.

9. Sleep ~ Last night, for the first time, Laney slept from 10:00 pm - 5:00 am! Hallelujah! I could not be happier! It probably won't happen again tonight, but that's okay, at least I know she can do it now, so hopefully it will become "normal" soon.

10. Undeserved grace ~ I must admit I have not had my quiet time with the Lord or spent regular time with Him at all since Laney came. I mean I pray everyday about whatever is on my mind, but I haven't read my Bible or had a focused prayer time in weeks. I know God understands the life of a mother of 3, but I also know there have been times I have had the time to spend with Him and I have chosen to do other things. The great thing about it is that God gives me grace and rewards me for the littlest effort I do put forth to seek Him. He's not mad at me, He just keeps loving me. He is an amazing God.

Here's some pictures:

Laney - One month old

The three muskateers

Where's Tatum?

Since Brian had to be at baseball practice early on Valentine's morning, he left this on the table for the girls... what a sweet Daddy! He's quite the artist, too!
I walked in her room during naptime today, and Avery was "feeding" her baby!!! Ha!
What a good little momma!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Three weeks with Laney!

Laney turned 3 weeks old on Tuesday! She's already changed so much since she was born. Her face looks "older" and she is a lot more alert at certain times of the day and she seems to really like being here now.
A few of her favorite things: listening to her crazy sisters sing to her, taking a bath, lying on her playmat & listening to the Mozart music, napping with mama (that's my favorite thing, too!) and falling asleep in her vibrating bouncy seat!
She is still waking up every 3-4 hours at night, but at least she is sleeping when it's night-time... that is not something I take for granted. Avery & Tatum are such big helpers, they especially like watching me change Laney's diapers... don't know why that is so exciting, but when I announce that Laney's needs a clean diaper, they both race to the changing table and pull their little stool up so they can have the best view of what's in the diaper.

We had our first roadtrip with Laney last weekend... going to San Antonio for Nonie's memorial service. We definitely would never have planned a trip so soon, but it turned out to be a great weekend celebrating Nonie's life and also getting to see family & friends we probably wouldn't have seen for awhile if we hadn't have made the trip. It was fun introducing everyone to Laney. We took all three girls to the graveside service, and they did great. Somehow they knew it was time to be serious and quiet. It was a beautiful service and Nonie was buried right next to my grandpa, PaPa, who went to be with the Lord in 1996.

Thankfully my friend Rachel offered to come over and watch Avery & Tatum during the memorial service at church, which was such a huge blessing. We took Laney with us, and she slept for most of the service. Afterwards, there was a nice reception where we got to visit with family & friends. Nonie had been so special to so many people.

Laney meeting Uncle Matt
Laney meeting PawPaw & MeMe
Laney meeting Lane
The car trip home... Avery was "hiding" from us and fell asleep that way!
If it's possible, I think I love Avery & Tatum even more now that they have a new baby sis to share attention with... I just find myself staring at them in amazement at how beautiful they are, not that my kids are child models, but they are such amazing little gifts from God, I just can't get enough of them. Here's my little Tater-tot feeding herself her chocolate puddin' the other night.

Congratulations to my friend, Amanda, on her precious little princess, Annabeth Ellen, born on Tuesday! She was so eager to meet her mama & daddy, she came about a week early. Her pictures are beautiful and I can't wait to meet her in person!

Please keep little Cole Cattan in your prayers... he is the two week old son of our friends, Cy & Allison, who is fighting for his life every day. His twin sister, Kate, went to be with Jesus last week. Please pray specifically that God will heal the bleeding in his brain and that he will continue to grow and thrive.

Also, praise God that Beth's little boy, Cooper's, brain surgery on Tuesday was successful and little Cooper is recovering well. Please continue to pray that he will not get any infections and that the MRI will show that the surgeons removed everything they were supposed to.

My heart has been so heavy this past week for the above prayer requests. It's hard to think about anything else when friends are going through such desperate times of needing to see the Lord's hand in their lives. God is good all the time, even though His ways don't always make sense to me. Like the disciples said when Jesus asked if they would continue following Him, "Where else would we go? You alone have the words of eternal life!"

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Mary Ruble 1924-2009

Mary Ruble, my sweet Nonie, got to meet Jesus last Tuesday. It is nice to picture her in Heaven smiling again, energetic and funny, just like I always remember her. For the past year, she has been fighting various illnesses, including Alzheimer's, so she really hasn't been herself for awhile. The pictures below were take right after Tatum's birth, almost 2 years ago. She was so proud of her great-granddaughter that was named after her. That was the last time she came to see us in Houston. Several months later, she started getting sick, and never really recovered. Thankfully now she is completely healed, no more pain or tears. Only joy and awesome wonder.

We gave Tatum the middle name Mary because I always had a special relationship with Nonie. I have always loved my grandmother for her spunk, sense of humor, and her ability to rise above circumstances and see things from a different perspective. She was such a lady, which I am not, but she also knew how to have a lot of fun. Mainly I loved her because I always knew she was crazy about me. She loved me so much!

I miss all the fun we had together... she tried to teach me how to wink at boys to get their attention, we watched a ton of movies together and had me over to spend the night at her house countless times growing up. She always had yummy snacks and good conversations ready for me. She was so proud of me and always encouraged me because she believed in me. I can't believe she is gone, but it makes me even more eager to get to Heaven knowing she is already there ready to have a good laugh with me again.