Nov 17, 2014

World Prematurity Day

I have friends that have preemies.
All of them successful stories.
On this day, world prematurity day, they are sharing their pictures.
And how they can't believe how big he or she has gotten.
They can't believe how far they have come since delivery.
How one week or one month felt like an eternity in the NICU.

 
 
My story is different.
 
 
 
I don't have a "look at him now" pic.
I can't tell you that he's doubled in size since his birth.
In fact, I can't tell you anything new about his life.
 

 
 
But what I can tell you, is how God used a tiny one lb creation and made a huge impact.
I could tell you about the Moms who tell me how they squeeze their babies tighter because of him.
How they appreciate their baby a little more because of our story.
I can tell you about two little girls who have learned more over the last year than I ever expected.
How he changed our family for the better.
 
I can tell you about how much he taught me about love.
And how I still miss him every day.

 
 
And most of all, I can tell you that I don't regret one single second of the last year.
Who would have thought some of my greatest memories would be in the hospital?
 
Good things really do come in small packages. <3

 
**the first time I held him**
 
 
PS Dear Harper, please hurry up and pick out a baby sister or brother and send them on down.
Your sisters are waiting.

 
 

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Nov 12, 2014

Catching Up

I'm gonna go ahead and admit that I am falling way behind on my blogging.
And to be honest, I probably wouldn't blog anymore at all if it weren't for my books.

I blog so that one day K&A can go back and read about growing up....
and my desire to do so has nothing to do with being the 3rd child with no baby book.
Nothing at all.

Everyone in my family loves looking back through the books I've written and remembering.
So I need to get back to blogging so we don't forget the year 2014 completely. :)

What's been going on in our neck of the woods?
One word describes our household perfectly right now.

BUSY.

Let's just make a list, that's easiest.

1. Volleyball. The girls both played volleyball on the 5th and 6th grade team this year. It's not very intense, only Saturday games. But they had lots of fun and got better. And I had a lot of fun socializing at the games.



2. Cross country. Alex decided to run cross country this year, which was great. We were all pretty
nervous about this because none of us knew anything about cross country...but we ended up loving it.
And Alex was super fast. She ran 2 miles at each meet and came in first for our (girls') team each time. Here is the breakout for her times:

First race: 18 minutes, 20 seconds
Second race: 18 minutes even
Third race: 16 minutes, 14 seconds
Fourth race: 15 minutes, 56 seconds
Fifth race: 16 minutes, 20 seconds

I was so proud of all her times! She ran her little heart out and loved every minute of it. And
hopefully she will stick with it next year.


 
See also: my phone decided it wanted to do a high dive into my glass of sweet tea. And I lost every
picture that I had taken since April of 2013....yes, that means all my Harper pics too. But most of them were saved on social media so I kinda still have them. But that's why you see my IG name and comment in the screen shot. And yes, I still finished drinking the tea after I removed the phone. :)

3. First middle school dance. When I say that the girls have been talking about this dance since they heard about it in the 5th grade, I'm not exaggerating. Not one bit. They had dreams of fancy prom-like dresses. And up-hairdos. They were a little dissappointed when they found out that it was a casual dance, but they were still excited. I was a little dissappointed when I found out that they would be getting ready while with their dad, so I missed out on it. Luckily for them, their dad's girlfried does hair so at least they got their hair looking fancy, and they got to get ready with a friend, so that's a bonus. They said it was fun, but they didn't dance with any boys.....if only they would make this a trend throughout high school.

 
Kate is never the serious one. 
 
4. Travel softball. Kate tried out for a travel softball team this year. She has been wanting to do it for awhile, but we weren't quite ready for it until now. She made the team! and we were so excited about it. She practiced in Covington two nights a week, and I made use of the time by jogging for the first hour and watching the second hour......and then the team slowly fell apart. It stinks because we really liked the coaches, but I guess once kids get to middle school, there's just a lot going on and it just stopped. I'm glad she got a lot of practice in....and now she will hopefully be ready to make the middle school team in the Spring. I'll be real honest and say that I don't miss the drives to Covington.
 
 
5. Just hanging out as a family. We try to have family time as much as we can cram it in, but we usually don't have much extra time. We did enjoy a concert and then a Tigers' football game recently. It was rainy, and Alex was a little upset when she realized how long the game was. Her exact words were:    "You mean there's FOUR innings??"   Our TV is constantly on a football game, yet she still
thought there were innings? this was an FH fail. We'll just let her stick to playing in games, not watching them.
 
 
6. 5Ks. My sister and I have been running a lot of races this year. She's normally faster than me, but I've now beat her twice....not that I'm counting or anything. We like to do the really small races so that we have a chance of winning a medal. I mean, a free tshirt is great, but I like a medal! Even if I'm just racing some old grandmas.....
 
 
I'm pretty sure that I have decided to retire from running. It literally takes me
about 2 weeks to recover from a 5K because my knees are so bad....so I realize that I
should just stop running.....and then I remember that I signed up for a half marathon that
is coming up in like 3 weeks. And I haven't trained. So this will be my retirement run/walk.
And I might be on bedrest for a month or two afterwards, but what can you do?
 
7. Basketball. Alex made the basketball team this year and it is intense. Those girls are really good and I love cheering for them. And yes, I'm a really, really loud mom in the stands. But at least I know basketball, I'm not just yelling and having no clue. That makes it better, right? They practice for 2 hours 3 nights a week.....and Alex doesn't get home from school until 8:30 on these nights. Sometimes she is literally a walking zombie....
 
 
 
8. The play. The girls both scored roles in the middle school play this year...and let me tell you, it's been a balancing act. They practice a lot. Kate doesn't have to learn any lines, but Alex does, in additional to basketball practice. So our weekdays are pretty packed! I am so excited to watch them in the play!
 
9. Exams. Please shoot me now. This was our first year to have exams and it has not been fun. Honestly, I would rather take them myself than help two 11 year old girls study for exams. We survived though.
Barely. Even though one night we spent 3 straight hours studying and another night we had to study notecards during a basketball game (not successfully, I might add).
 
One morning, after the 3 hour study session the night before, I woke up to find a note in my bathroom drawer. It was from Alex and it said "Dear Mom, I'm sorry it's so hard to study for exams with twins. Love, Alex"
 
At least they noticed. :)
 
10. I feel like I need a 10th item but I guess I don't really have one.....oh, I know. We are working on re-doing our kitchen. We just re-did the countertops in the kitchen and I LOVE them!! Slowly but surely we are making this house our home.
 
And just for your viewing pleasurse....when did my little toddlers turn into preteens?!
 


 
PS and halloween happened too. forgot about that. But I'm not making this #11, beacuse that would be an odd number.

They were twinions. The first time they ever used their twin status to make people laugh.
 
I'll see you back here in about 3 to 4 months with another update.
 
Maybe I should go ahead and say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year now just in case......
 


 

 
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Sep 22, 2014

Happy Birthday Little Dude!

I knew this time would come.
And I wasn't sure how I would feel about it.
It's Harper's 1st birthday.
 
There won't be a lot of celebrating.
I won't have pictures of him with a smash cake.
Which would have had little monsters on it, in case you were wondering.
Our house won't be decorated up and no friends will come over.
 
But I'm celebrating his life.
Not a life of 365 days on this earth.
But a life that affected more than most people do in years.
A life that taught me all about living.
And how to be a better mom.
 
A life that showed me how brave his sisters are.
They make me proud to call myself their Mom.
 
The hardest question I ever get asked is:
"How many kids do you have?"
 
Honestly, it's awkward when you tell someone that you have a child in heaven.
I guess they expect me to bust out in tears immediately.
I feel like I'm lying if I say 2, but if I say 3 and they ask where the other one is,
it gets awkward.
 
But I'm proud to be a mom of 3.
I'm proud that y'all just think you have an angel for a child,
but I really do.
 
I'm proud that God gave me 5 months with that sweet boy,
when I never even expected 72 hours.
 
I'm proud that God made me smart enough to cherish every single second I had with him.
And I really did.
 
FH has been out of town since Friday.
(It's Monday.)
This is the longest I have been away from him since I married him.
And the girls were with their Dad.
I missed them.
All 3 of them.
But it was even worse because of the timing.
 
All I could think about was that in a perfect world, Harper and I
would have been home alone.
A Mommy/Son weekend would have been a dream.
 
I miss Harper.
I really, really miss him.
But as much as I want to be angry, I can't be.
 
I watched videos of him.
And cried. A lot.
It was the first time I had seen him move or heard him since he died.
How great are iPhone videos?
Yes, they made me sad.
But they also helped me remember.
 
I had a friend tell me that they would never get over it if they lost their child.
And you know what I thought?
 
How could I hate God for taking away Harper when he let me keep FH and K&A?
There are so many blessings in my life, that I can't even begin to count them.
So I can't focus on what I am missing.
 
Besides, Harper was pretty dang cute.
I can see where God wanted him close in heaven. :)
 
The two scariest moments in my entire life were the day when Harper was born,
and I thought he would die,
and the day that he actually did die.
 
What a blessing it is that those were two seperate days.
That we loved on him and kissed on him during the time he was here.
 
I wouldn't trade that for the world.
 
I can't wait to see what God has in store for all little family of five.
I know there are big plans ahead.
 
Thanks for all the birthday wishes.
And thanks to my friends for checking on me all weekend.
The only thing I did that I regret is eat my weight in pizza.
We'll blame that on the birthday.
And the fact that there were no witnesses.
 
Happy Monday.

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Aug 26, 2014

That Busy Life

You could say that middle school is crazy...
but I do appreciate the fact that the principal told us that this is the
year that they need to "fall on their face", that we as parents need to let
THEM learn the consequences of forgetting a book at school or what happens
when the dog eats their homework.
Because they need to learn now, so that they don't screw up when they get
into high school, where everything counts towards college.

Is college seriously something I can mention already?
I remember when I thought it was too early to sign them up for preschool....

When people say "don't blink", they really aren't exaggerating.

So, gone are the days of micromanaging their schoolwork.....
or at least, kinda gone. A mom can't stop cold turkey.

Thank goodness in middle school there isn't as much busy homework.
Cause we really don't have time for that.

Kate has softball practice one night a week for two hours...this will soon
be two nights a week for two hours. Do you know how long two hours is
when you are just sitting and watching? #longtime Not to mention, she is
the new kid, which makes me the new mom, which means I know no one.
And we live about 15 minutes away from the ball field so I don't really
want to just drop her off.....annnnnndddd I kinda like to watch. So there's that.

I decided last night that two hours is way too long for me to be just sitting.
So I took off and ran for the first hour. (ran usually means walk/jog/crawl for me)
I'm sure the other parents thought I was nuts because it was at least 400 degrees outside.
But I gotta fit it in when I can.
And I was able to run around the fields so at certain points, I could still watch.

I'd say I got a pretty good burn in. So I'll be trying to do this every time, hopefully.



And let me tell you how amazing I looked during the second part of softball practice....

Alex splits her time between volleyball and cross country.
She just plays on the 5th and 6th grade volleyball team so it's not very intense.
So she has volleyball practice on Mondays, Cross country Tuesday-Friday,
And volleyball games will be on Saturdays.

Whew. These two girls are taking me in three different directions this year.
And to say I love it would be a huge understatement.
I love watching them play whatever sport they are playing.
I love sitting in the car waiting for practice to end, like my Mom always did for me.

But I do miss my husband.

If there were just a few more hours in the day, I'd have it all....

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Aug 25, 2014

Middle School

So yeah, it's been about a month and a half, but we've been busy!!

K&A started middle school.
How is that possible?










4th grade vs 6th grade.


You can't read it well above, but Kate wants to be a nurse at LeBonheur and Alex wants to be a Pediatric Cardiologist.

Thank you little brother Harper. :)

The girls moved up to the middle school section at church and they are loving it, including Wednesday night youth group.





Alex joined the cross country team and has been doing several 5Ks lately with me.











Alex is also on the 5th and 6th grade volleyball team. So she's staying pretty busy right now!

Kate just started playing travel softball so our entire lives are changing. It's very involved, but she loves softball so I finally gave in and found her a team. I pray that we can balance this....

#goodbyefreeweekends





I'm beyond excited about everything going on in our lives right now. We are staying busy and enjoying the great memories we are making.

I'm gonna try to update more often again but sometimes life gets in the way of blogging. :)

Until next time....
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Jul 10, 2014

The Lake Life

Memorial Day weekend.
Yep, I'm posting this a little bit late.
That's what happens when you take pictures with your "real camera" and then
have to transfer them to your computer.
That takes too much time.

We had a blast...I'll let the pictures tell the story.



















Take me back!!!
It must be noted that my favorite memory of the whole trip was when Alex climbed up
on the cliff to jump.
At first, my nephew, D, was like "Heck no, I'm not going up there!"
Then Alex showed him up....and he couldn't be shown up by a girl.
So you had to climb up out of the water holding onto a tree branch.
It took him a few minutes to get up there....and right when he did,
he looked over and screamed "Oh poop! there's a snake!" And dove in the water.

Personally, I would have passed out.
He said it was head up, hissing at him like it was going to strike.
But I won't forget how quickly he moved after seeing it. :)

Things are always better at the lake.
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Jul 7, 2014

Stars and Stripes

5Ks.
I'm not much of a runner.
Although I really, really try to be.
And I really want to be.
But I have old lady legs that ache when I run.
Something is always hurting.
And, let's be honest, my legs have a lot of weight to carry.

But I LOVE to run 5Ks.
Maybe it's because I love to race.
Maybe it's because I like to waste money.
Who knows.

This year has been super awesome because lots of my friends are running them too.
Normally we just talk about doing them, but never sign up.
Also, my sister has discovered a love for running.
And we won't even talk about how she beats me every time.
And Alex has decided she likes to run them too.
Which I LOVE, but dang, why aren't kids cheaper to sign up??

This past weekend, we did the Stars and Stripes 5K.

When we originally signed up, I thought we were going to die.
Memphis in July is no joke.
But it ended up being not that hot.

Kate and FH weren't running so Kate made us some signs.






Alex was so nervous!
This was her first "real" 5K.
Her previous 5K had basically nobody running and
this 5K had about 1,200 people running....
so yeah, it was a bit different.

We ran together the whole time.
At first, I was worried about my time.
I wanted to have a good time.
And then, I realized that we weren't in the greatest part of town.
And that running with her was worth much more than a good time.

She did great.
We had to walk several times.
And a few times, I honestly thought she might quit.
Her legs hurt, her stomach hurt. She couldn't breathe.
But I cheered for her the whole way.
And tried my hand at motivational speaking.

And just when she said she couldn't go any longer,
I looked over and there was a guy running with one leg.
And I told her if he could do it, she could.

When we could finally see the finish line, I told her we had to finish strong.
So we ran, or really jogged.
We even ran holding hands at one point.
Right at the end, she looked over at me, grinned a real big sneaky grin,
and took off sprinting.
Of course, I was trapped behind 2 old ladies and had to dodge them.
She beat me by 4 seconds...that little stinker, I couldn't believe it.
But I also couldn't have been more proud.

My time wasn't great.
I hated not going as hard as I could.
But I got to hang out with my daughter.
And bond over a love for racing.
I wouldn't have had it any other way.

But next time, I'm leaving her before she can beat me. :)




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