Tag Archives: Personal

30 Days of a Thankful Heart {Day 1} To Good Health and Happiness

1 Nov Micah on his tree at three

November has long be regarded as the month in which we reflect on thankfulness.  Family, friends, and lots of delicious food.  What isn’t to be thankful about those things?

During this month, I will post everyday on at least one thing or person that I am thankful for.  The posts may be short or long, but they will all be straight from my heart.

Here we go….

Day 1~~Health and Happiness

We recently took a day trip in to Broken Arrow to surprise my mom for her birthday.  I made sure to pack the camera and come cute clothes for the boys because we were also going to try to swing by a pumpkin patch and capture some perfect pictures.  Right.  Do things ever go according to plan with children in tow? Continue reading

Micah Man is 3!!!

5 Oct

My sweet Micah, you are 3 today!

All your Cheesy Smile Glory

Time has flown by as it seems like only moments ago your daddy and I were cuddling you as a newborn.

Newborn Micah

You are not the baby anymore and you have embraced your role as Big Brother with all the grace and gusto one would expect of you.  You love your brother, Kasen, fiercely, sweetly, and with wonder.  Your favorite question since we brought Kasen home has been, “Is Kasen okay?”  Yes, my sweet boy.  He is, despite your best efforts to “love” him to pieces.

The “touching” side of your love for Kasen

You, Micah Man, have taught me so much, not only as a mom, but as a child of God.

1) Be Joyful: You have an incredible smile that will no doubt melt more than your mommy’s heart one day.  Your laughter remains one of my favorite sounds in the world and your daddy and I take great pleasure in tickling you just to illicit this joyful noise.  You find great delight in small things and you love to share it with anyone who will look.  You truly have never met a stranger and will go out of your way to say hello to everyone.  You have recently started saying everyone is your best friend.  I hope, my love, that you will always take the time to say hello and to befriend even the random person you meet in the grocery store parking lot.  Your joyful heart is truly a gift.

2) Patience: Your Grams thought she had a tough time raising me.  Then she met you and she says I have met my match.  You are incredibly headstrong and determined to do things on your own, in your own time, and your own way.  This will hopefully serve you well in the future, but it sure does put you and I at odds quite often.  You allow me to practice the art of patience everyday and you are learning it right along with me.  The first time you got so mad and hurt when mommy and daddy told you something you didn’t like, you pouted, said you were going to your room, and you ran to your rocking chair.  And you just sat there.  You blew us away as you demonstrated an amazing ability to reign in your emotions and come back out once you felt better.  You still have your meltdowns (and they are doozies), but you still prefer to go be by yourself until you cool off.  We can all learn a thing or two from you on this! I pray that we can channel this determined and strong spirit into a mighty heart that is sure of himself and his gifts. Continue reading

From Storms to Smooth Sailing

7 Aug

Hello sweets!  I know that it has been an extended absence on my end, and while I apologize for no new posts, I desperately need some grace.  I’m struggling to find my place, rhythm, and routine since Kasen’s joyous arrival into our lives, and this blog has been a casualty of that wandering war.  When I have found moments where I might put my “pen to paper,” I find myself utterly lacking in inspiration, leaving my blog stagnant but my draft box burgeoning.

Even in the midst of the struggle there are great rays of light and I give thanks.  I am learning to embrace the content life, but in this I am not my usual fast learning self.  I have found a friend!  Yay!  I will fill in those details later.  She has been a true blessing and I am enjoying the moments of growing together.  We walk early in the morning 4-5 x’s a week and it is not only good for my body, it is water for a parched soul, just getting to spend that hour communing.

But there is still longing; still fixing, healing, restoring that needs to happen.  There is the discontent that I am trying to stare down.

Facing the storms of life head on

As I was making my way through my incredibly long list of blogs I read, I stopped by the ever-gifted Leanne Penny at leannepenny.com and was once again blown away at her words and the way she always seems to reach right in to my heart and pour in hope and grace.  She was writing today about connection of the husband and wife variety; the very kind I have been missing so much.  She threw down a connecting gauntlet and idea sharing challenge.  Read about that here and contribute your own connecting tips and insights.

This was my response…. Continue reading

Hello World

5 Jun

Kasen Cross Tiger arrived Friday morning, June 1, at 9:27 am.  He is already an incredible blessing for our family and we are loving every minute with him.

Kasen Cross Tiger says hello

Kasen was delivered via C-Section and was 7 lbs. 4 oz and 19 1/2 inches.  He is incredible and on his way to being as big a charmer as his big brother Micah.  I adore watching my boys begin to interact and love each other.  Holding them both in my arms was an amazing feeling.  I look forward to playing with them both and watching them develop into the incredible souls God has created them to be.

I am recovering slowly from my C-Section and hope to be up and about without much pain soon.  So far it has been a better experience than my last C-Section recovery, apart from a couple bumps.  I am excited to take, edit, and share more pictures soon, but need to focus on our little family and my recovery right now (as my loving, doting husband reminds me!)

Hope you are all doing well.  Enjoy the few pics for now.

Big Brother enjoying the local splash pad

Getting to hold Kasen for the first time.

My sweet Kasen

Our little foursome

Micah is being such a good big brother. He loves giving gently kisses on Kasen’s forehead

 

Gracefully~~Heather

What to Wear Home

2 Jun

When I found out I was pregnant with Micah one of the first things I purchased for him was his going home outfit.  It was a sweet little one-piece sleeper with vintage Tigger and Pooh on it.  I loved it instantly.

Apparently it was asking too much for that to happen again!  I searched and I searched, yet nothing caught my eye and I was not falling in love with any outfits for Kasen.  It’s not that we didn’t receive tons of adorable and love-worthy outfits as gifts.  We did.  I love them and am STILL working on all my thank you notes.  I just wanted the going home outfit to be something I or we (Aaron and I) picked out lovingly, hand-selected.

Finally, inspiration struck when we did DIY onesies at my Baseball Baby Shower (pics still pending!)  I knew I wanted to ‘hand-make’ Kasen a onesie he could wear home saying, “No Place Like Home.”  I didn’t get a chance to make anything at the shower, but I received a really cute onesie with a monkey holding a baseball bat, and I thought, what a fun play on words and I could have the cute image to boot!

Big problem; the iron-on letters would not fit around the design.  I was so sad, and so quickly running out of time.  I looked and looked for another onesie, preferably with color to put the letters on.  It was not happening!

So, what to do the night before we leave for the hospital?  Pull out the plain, white Gerber onesie and hope there was still a cute decal in the booklet we used at the shower!

Here is what I came up with for Kasen’s going home outfit (and with help from my mom who ironed for me!)

I really like how it turned out.  I decided to add the initials at the last minute to the bottom; Kasen Cross Tiger.  Obviously, with an actual cross representing the C.  I plan on pairing the onesie with some simple gray pants.

I think he will look pretty darn cute!

What are your thoughts?  Experiences with your own going home outfits?

Gracefully~~Heather

Interview with Big Brother

1 Jun

The big day is here!  It is Kasen’s birth day!  He should arrive by C-Section around 9-10am (CST).  We are all so excited to finally meet our new little man and start our journey as a family of four (with me totally outnumbered by males!)  Since I will be a bit preoccupied over the next few days weeks years, I figured I would schedule this fun little interview with the new Big Brother, Micah.  I was trying to keep him entertained the other evening as Aaron prepared dinner.  Why not interview him?! He put up with me long enough for the following:

1-     Are you excited about being a big brother?  YES Mommy! (Said in a very high-pitched squeal.)

2-      Do you know what a big brother is? No. (Blank stare)

3-      What’s a big brother? I don’t know.  Kasen? (He asked me!)

4-      Is Kasen going to be your little brother? Hmm MM (He began losing interest quickly)

Apparently, he was multi-tasking during his interview!

5-      Where is Kasen? (Points at my tummy in between bites of Cap’n Crunch cereal which he calls Mima trix* and ‘reading’ a DVD ad) In Mommy’s tummy!*My Mima gave him the cereal at her house one day and he has since asked for and referred to it as “Mima Trix.” Go figure!

6-      Are you going to help Kasen?  Yes, go to the park. (Um, ok?) Continue reading

The Final Countdown

31 May

It really is the final countdown.  The last day.  Things will never be the same after tomorrow.  Any way I choose to see or say it, life changes tomorrow.

Kasen Cross Tiger will arrive via C-Section sometime between 9 & 10am Friday, June 1, 2012.  My heart is all aflutter as my arms eagerly await the new bundle of joy to love on.

Kasen Cross at 38 wks. He is sucking on his hand, and is all scrunched up.

Still, I know today will either fly by or creep along.  I will feel like I didn’t get everything done, and I’m pretty certain that not much rest will be had tonight.  So imagine my delight when I read my devotion earlier:

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”

Psalm 62:5-8

Even though my C-Section is scheduled, I believe it is the best option for my and Kasen’s safety, and I have full confidence in my doctor’s ability to deliver Kasen successfully, there is still anxiety clinging to my thoughts.  The what if’s and uncertainties are not easy to shake off.  How glad I am that when I am weak, He is strong.  I will need that strength not only tomorrow, but most surely in the days, weeks, and months ahead as I adjust to life as a mother of two darling boys.

So I will pour out my heart, I will pour out my soul, trusting in God’s grace and provision.  I will seek rest in Him instead of relying on my comfy fort of pillows that have been my bed fellows for the past 9 months.  I will rejoice in the great gift God has given when we hold our sweet new baby boy and know that God will continue to guide our journey, one step at a time.

Gracefully~~Heather

 

Ready or Not…Here He Comes?

22 May

Today just might be the day.  Kasen’s birth day that is!

I know.  What happened to June?  Well, when we went in to my OB for my check-up and ultrasound Friday we were told by my wonderful doctor that my amniotic fluid levels were low.  Huh?  Apparently this can happen later in the third trimester and it can send the baby into distress if not monitored closely.  The fluid levels are supposed to be between 5-20, with 5 being the danger zone.  Mine were at a 7.7.  My doctor said we were in the cautious zone, to go home and hydrate and rest, then come back in Tuesday for another ultrasound.  He said if my levels dropped or even stayed the same, he would likely deliver Kasen right away.

I hydrated really well and rested some.  Resting wasn’t easy to do in the midst of our huge 10th anniversary celebration all weekend for the church, including the open house here at the parsonage.  Good news: My house is cleaner than it’s been in 2 years and I survived!  We had over 100 kids join the celebration at the church carnival, almost 200 for worship Sunday, and raised almost $49,000 for our Miracle Sunday offering, cutting our church payoff in half! Micah also suffered an injury at the carnival; a black eye courtesy of a stray foot on the inflatable slide.  He is quite proud of his “blue eye!”  My Mima also ended up in the hospital with some irregularities in her heart, so I was so torn not being able to be with her.  (She is doing a bit better and might be released tomorrow!)

Monday then rolled around and it was all about Micah day. Continue reading

Good to Grow

16 May

This was my Mother’s Day present.  My pretty little purple teacup orchid.  I love orchids and it may be one of the few plants I can actually keep alive and help flourish.  My husband had gotten me another purple orchid plant about four years ago, and it was a glorious beauty. When we moved home to Oklahoma from Kentucky I left my plant in the care of my good friend, Heather, as a sign that our friendship would continue to flourish after we left.  It has.

It was a Just Add Ice Orchid, meaning I literally only had to add 3 pieces of ice, one time a week and keep it in indirect sunlight, and it grew and grew.  While this new one is not the same “brand”, I am hoping that adding 2ish pieces of ice a week to hydrate my little lovely will produce similar results.

As I sat gazing at my pretty present that was meant to celebrate me as a mother, I started thinking of how my plant was not the only tender thing that I was responsible for nourishing and growing with care.

I sat, almost 37 wks pregnant with my second son, looking at a portrait of our oldest son as it hung behind the orchid, and the enormous responsibility and gift of these little lives struck me with such intensity that I lost my breath for a moment.

Am I a good enough mother?  Do I know enough?  What if I make mistakes?  What about my flaws?  Can I give them what they need?  Is my love enough?

Am I enough?

My gaze didn’t have to travel far from the flower to linger upon the cross nearby.  And I had my answer.

No.  I am not enough.  But God is.

His love and grace, poured out through me is enough.

When I am weak, He will be there.  When I fail, His plans will succeed.  When I stumble, He will pick me up.

He will be the guide for my journey as a mother, and a light for my boys to seek and follow.

His love will be enough to nourish and grow them even when mine may fall short.

I can tenderly care for my plant by keeping it watered just right and providing the right amount of sunlight for growth.  If I neglect it or accidentally leave it in the shadows it may wither.

By trusting my boys to God’s tender care, I can trust that I will know the right amount of love they need for their souls to be nourished, and the perfect place of the Son in their lives for ultimate growth.

Why?

Because God is enough.

 

(This will be my only post for a little while as I finish preparing for the parsonage open house during our church’s 10 yr celebration, and Kasen’s very soon impending arrival.  Have a great week!)

Gracefully~~Heather

To C-Section or not to C-Section, Is that the Only Question?

4 May

Yesterday, I reached my 35th week of my pregnancy, and I was expected to have a decision ready for my doctor.  We were supposed to decide if we would schedule a repeat C-Section for Kasen’s birth, or if I will attempt a VBAC (Vaginal Birth after Caesarean) through a trial of labor.  Despite already knowing most of the information concerning either route, in the two weeks I had between appointments, I devoured all the resources available from my “What to Expect” book, the web, and friends and family.  As my appointment drew nearer I wavered back and forth.  I just didn’t feel settled.  No sense of peace could be found about a decision.

During my first OB appointment this was one of the topics we discussed, and my doctor’s answer at the time was that we had time to make a final decision, but he was willing to let me try a VBAC.  Since that first appointment, way back in October 2011, I have been pretty set on going the VBAC route for a number of reasons. Continue reading