Thursday, September 27, 2012


I’ve been hearing so many amazing stories of the kindness and generosity that have been extended to Heather, Matt, and Carter and I have to say that I am blown away.

A lot of times, especially during election years, we are bombarded with news reminding us of what’s wrong with people, our country, and the world. It’s hard sometimes not to get disheartened by all the headlines touting tragedy, misfortune, and heartache, but we have to remember that in this world, there also exists so much good!

Acts large and small, from organizations, church groups, family, friends, acquaintances, friends of friends, and total strangers, the impact is felt all the same. It is awe inspiring to see so many people rallying to offer acts of kindness, love, and support to someone in their hour of greatest need. People are good. God is good.
"The best things happen when we believe in good, when we give people the benefit of the doubt, when we understand that pain and tragedy are indeed part of this world, but that they are overshadowed by the potential of the great amount of good in human kind." – Kelle Hampton

A benefit event is in the works for Carter (just one of the many examples of amazing people rallying to offer support). The date is going to be November 3rd and I will pass along more details once I have them.


This weekend was good.

I could feel Fall around the corner, the weather was beautiful, and my time was jam-packed with friends and family.  Jon was away at a barbeque completion on Friday, so the girls spent the night with grandma, while I had some time away with my girlfriends.  The wine was excellent, the food was delicious, and the company was fabulous! Saturday, I spent the morning at home with the girls and then we headed out to our first tailgate of the season!  

I remember when all I had to worry about bringing was a cooler of beer! My, how the times have changed! What doesn't show in the photo below is me, loaded down like a pack-mule, with diaper bags, toys. and other necessities. Fun when you have to walk 20 plus minutes to get to your car! 

The girls did great. Sydney kept busy by gorging on food, while Lillian was passed from one set of arms to the next. At one point Sydney saw the Assembly Hall and shouted, "Whoa, look at dat big rain coat (ie. umbrella) momma!" Funny how kids see things!

On Sunday, Jon and I took the girls out to Lake of the Woods. We walked around and explored the park for a while, and then we decided to stop by the Museum of the Grand Prairie. Sydney loved this place and threw an epic fit when I tried to get her to leave the “toys” behind and see what was on the grounds outside. We ended up having to cut our trip short and take our screaming toddler home (She continued to scream all the way home and then some), but I’d still say the day was a win overall.

Super creepy Lincoln! LOL!

The best part? While on the wagon with Mr. Creepster, you got to stare at a horses rear end. What fun!

I promised Sydney we'd go back again soon. The museum would be a nice place to spend some time once the weather gets colder and we want to get out of the house for a while!

Ok, I'm off to go hang out with two of my favorite girls! Good night!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Hindsight and Other Happenings

It's a funny thing isn't it?

I distinctly remember when Sydney was a baby thinking, How was I ever busy before I had a kid? If I didn't have a baby I could get a million things done! I had it so easy and didn't even realize it! Now I have been blessed with two beautiful girls and the other night Sydney was out with Jon, leaving me home alone with Lillian. I knew I had to take advantage of this rare opportunity, so I scurried about being super productive and guess what I caught myself thinking? How was I ever busy before I had two kids? If I only had the baby I could get a million things done! I had it so easy and didn't even realize it! Hindsight, relativity, perspective. Ain't it a kick in the head?

Hammer and a Nail
Speaking of being productive...check out the girls' new play set! Jon (with the help of my sister, I think) slapped this bad boy together in a weekend! I thought for sure it would take at least a week or two. Sydney is totally in love with it!

On the move...well, almost!
Little Lilly Bug is five months old now and I swear she is on the brink of crawling! I know, too early you say, but this girl already scoots all over the place and gets up on her hands and knees and rocks back and forth. I swear she is going to break out into a crawl any day now. I can't say I'm in a big hurry for that to happen though. We'll see!

I guess it's never to soon to start practicing good CPR technique. (I don't think the final head banging step is recommended as standard procedure, or even very useful for that matter.)

Also, have you noticed? Little bug's been rockin' a mohawk lately.

What you sayin' about my hair punk?!
Almost Three!
I'm in party planning mode and I have the hot glue burns, paint stained fingers, and crafty messes to prove it!

I don't know how much longer our big birthday bashes will continue. I'm sure someday soon, Sydney will just want to do something with her friends like going to Skateland, or the movies, or who knows what. I suppose then Jon and I will have to find some other excuse to throw a big, fall get-together like, Hey the leaves are changing color, lets have a bonfire to celebrate! or Guess what? The grocery stores are selling pumpkins and mums, lets have a BBQ! For now though, Sydney is still cool with us getting together to celebrate her sweet little face, and we happily oblige.

She's actually very excited about her upcoming party. She talks about it almost every day. We've been going to a lot of other parties, and at the mention of the word she gets all worked up, "my party's here??!!" I've had to keep explaining to her that no, it's so-and-so's birthday, baby shower, BBQ, etc. It's all good as long as she gets cake.

Our conversation two nights ago when I was working on something for her birthday:

Sydney: Momma, dis for my burtday?

Me: Yes.

Sydney: Oooooh! I like dis! Dis for my burtday! WOW, it pretty momma! Yeah. Dis for my burtday! My burtday in a little bit. Not today! In a little bit. I get buuuuurrtday cake at my burtday potty!

It all comes back to cake. Always. I think she want's cake for her birthday. Just a guess.

Leaving you with a random photo that makes me smile. Happy Wednesday!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Welcoming Carter.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on my blog. Some of that can be attributed to just not having the time, but mostly I just haven’t known what to say or how to say it. Most of you who read this are friends and family who already know what’s been going on the past few weeks, so I thought about not posting anything about my nephew’s birth at all, but that just doesn’t feel right to me. For one thing, he’s family and if everything had gone as planned I wouldn’t even think twice about sharing the news, and for another, since this is such a personal space, it would feel completely disingenuous for me to carry on with my normal posts without talking about everything that's been going on first.

My nephew was born almost three weeks ago. 

All any of us ever want, when welcoming our children into the world is for them to be healthy and happy. For months we anticipate the arrival of our little one. We dream, we plan, we worry, we wait, and then eventually, they arrive. 

With that last push the world brightens and your life is forever changed. The fog of all those months of worry and waiting is lifted and for a brief moment, pure happiness settles in. The relief is short lived though as new worries and fears begin to wash over us. We look around the room and ask everyone if the baby is ok; Count her fingers and toes. Did he cry? What’s her APGAR score? How’s his color? I won’t say that’s where it ends, because as any parent will tell you, worrying about your children is part of the package.  It’s the flip side to loving them so deeply.  But, for most of us, once these questions are answered and all fingers and toes are accounted for, that worry is placed on the back burner and we bask in all the joy that is a healthy newborn.

We were there just a few months ago with Lillian, and before that with Sydney. It’s what we hoped for and fully expected for my sister and her husband. We waited all day and when we got the news of their son’s arrival we returned excited “congratulations” and “can’t wait to meet him”s. 

Over the next few hours and days though, everything started collapsing back in on us as we got what felt like more bad news, after more bad news; He’s vomiting. They think he has an intestinal blockage. He’s being taken to another hospital for emergency surgery. Surgery didn’t go as expected. They had to remove 50% of his small intestine. 

I worried, I waited, I prayed, I visited, and I struggled with emotions. I felt sad as I watched other moms leave the hospital with their babies, I felt angry as I thought about how unfair all of this was, and I felt guilty as I thought of my two healthy kids and every time I had foolishly felt sorry for myself for having to get up in the middle of the night and rock or nurse my 100% healthy baby back to sleep. 

I can’t speak for everyone, but as time wore on, I was finally starting to feel better about everything. Carter is in a great hospital; things were good, stable, improving even. It wasn’t what we hoped for or expected, but I was sure it was just a matter of time before they would be able to take him home and things would return to normal and all of this would be a memory, a story we would tell Carter when he was older. That’s how I was feeling, as I sat on my living room floor, surrounded by my girls’ clothes, sorting and preparing for a new season, when the sucker punch came in from behind.  Unexpected and blinding, my mom called with the news of a diagnosis. Cystic Fibrosis.  Wham.

I cried hard, ugly tears, as I sat there on my floor, surrounded by baby clothes, trying to process the news. I grieved not just for what this meant for Carter and his life, but also for the unimaginable pain and heartache I knew Heather and Matt were experiencing. They needed some time, so I didn’t call that night. Instead I scoured the internet and pressed Jon (he used to be a respiratory therapist) for information.  

Every day is a gift; I know that, and though I’m usually the first to shout it from the rooftop, to wave my “live in the moment, enjoy the small things” flag, I needed to be reminded that night. As we read and talked I started to get swallowed up by the big, bad, and ugly of CF, but Jon stopped me early on and said “Sarah. You can’t focus on that.” He’s right.  We can’t.  It’s there, and we can’t change it, but there is still so much to celebrate.

I don’t know what the future holds, but none of us do really. Even without diagnoses and life expectancies hanging over our heads, no one’s tomorrow is ever a guarantee. We HAVE been given today and today there is a beautiful new baby boy to love on and he is already such a blessing! 

These last few weeks have been hard, and emotions are still running high, just below the surface, but for the most part I believe that my family and I  have had time to process the diagnosis, to grieve, to accept, and now to move on to a place of peace and hope. Heather and Matt are forging the way by example. They have been amazingly strong and positive throughout all of this, and that is just what Carter needs!  

I went up to visit Heather and Carter again yesterday and I was able to hold him for the first time! I love the sleepy, snugly, newborn phase!

Thank you to everyone who has been keeping Carter, Heather, and Matt in their thoughts and prayers! Please continue to do so. We are hoping Carter will be able to go home soon and there are still a lot of questions to get answered, decisions to be made, and learning to be done.