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Monday, November 30, 2009

It's that Time of Year Again!

You know that phrase, "child-like wonder?"

I saw it last night.

I was looking at Lily Baker when we turned on the lights on our Christmas tree.

I didn't get a picture because I was too busy soaking it up with my own two eyes.

She just stared at the tree with her mouth opened wide.

It was amazing.

We love decorating for Christmas. And we always try to do it the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

This year, Chris threw in a twist. He bought a second tree - just for the girls. He put it in our keeping room. AC and LB have their own little table in that room and they spend a lot of time there.

We didn't have to buy any new ornaments for that tree. We just took all of the ornaments that the girls have made or that have been given to them, and we put them on their tree. They love it!

Then we moved onto our big tree. LB was a lot of help!

My most favorite part is when we put our angel on the top of the tree. We let AC pick it out last year and we put it on our tree in memory of Melissa, because she is our angel in Heaven.

Before Chris put it on top of the tree, AC asked him if she could hold it. She took it, kissed it and said, "I love you, Melissa."

We all do.

I got a little sad last night because I thought of Melissa and how she should be there decorating the tree with us. But our angel on top of the tree gives me so much comfort. It will always be special to our family.

That picture of LB gives you an idea of her child-like wonder. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all had that at Christmas?!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Another Reason Why I LOVE the South

Reason Number #8317 why I love the South (and being Southern):

I was in the checkout line at the grocery store today and these two ladies in the checkout line next to me were having a conversation. From what I could hear, they hadn't seen each other in a while and were catching up. As the one woman started to leave she said,

"Hug your Momma for me!"

I couldn't help but smile.

Where else, but the South, would you hear something like that? Is that great or what? I mean, if you haven't seen someone in a while, you have to tell them to hug their momma for you, right?!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! I hope you all have your fill of food and blessings this year.

Oh yeah - and don't forget to hug your momma for me!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Very Cool!

Our babysitter gave LB bathtub paint for her birthday. ("Oh you SHOULDN'T have!" Chris told her sarcastically.)

The girls loved it! As they were in the bathtub the first night using it, AC said, "Lily, this is VERY cool!

"VERY, VERY cool!" LB answered.

Seriously, WHEN did they start talking like this?!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Yet Another Milestone

I have shared my thoughts with you all before about my childrens' milestones.

When AC hits a milestone, I am so excited. Part of it is because she's the oldest and each milestone is something new for us. Another part of it is that we came so close to losing her that each milestone is even more amazing to me.

But it's different with LB.

She's the baby. So while I cheer her on with each milestone, I secretly cry and want to hold her back just a little.

I know that moving forward is the natural progression of life. And I want my kids to move forward. But with LB it's just hard.

That's why this past Sunday made me a little sad.

LB moved up to the preschool class at church. You know what that means?

I don't have any children in the nursery anymore.

Most of my friends think I'm nuts for being sad about this. They tell me the best is yet to come.

And don't get me wrong. We're sleeping through the night now (for the most part) and lovin' it. I don't want to go that far back.

But it makes me a little sad to think I no longer have a child in the nursery. Because that means I don't have babies anymore.

I have big kids.

As we were getting ready for church Sunday morning, I was telling LB that she was moving into AC's class that morning. AC said, "And if you cry, Lily, that's okay because I'll be right there with you."

Awwww. That's AC. Always the big sister.

And that's exactly what she did. She told me she stayed with LB the entire time. And LB came out of class that morning all happy and smiling. She did great. Just as I knew she would.

But me? Not so much :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

LB's Birthday Extravaganza

I just wanted to post some pictures from LB's birthday weekend! We had a small party Friday of close friends and family. LB wanted a "Blue's Clues" party. Have any of you ever tried to find "Blue's Clues party supplies?! It's near impossible! I finally found plates and napkins on eBay of all things (you really can find anything there) and Peggy Ann Bakery came through for me - as they always do - and made an adorable "Blue's Clues" cake.

Luckily, we have plenty of Blue's Clues stuffed animals at our house so I brought them to complete the theme.

Here are some pix!

Then we came home and opened gifts with Mimi and Poppy:

A Sesame Street playhouse!! (And AC wearing her new Fancy Nancy dress from Mimi and Poppy :)

Then on Saturday, we had a birthday celebration with Gammy and Gramps. I made strawberry cupcakes and let the girls help. They loved licking the batter!! I finally had to make AC stop (she has a sweet tooth just like her daddy!) because I thought she was going to get sick! :)

New suitcases from Gammy and Gramps!

Funny story: these were supposed to be Christmas presents but AC saw them in the trunk of Gramps' car and they quickly became birthday presents :)

And her own laptop from Mommy and Daddy so AC can finally have hers back!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

To My Rainbow

Lily Baker,
How in the world are you three already?!

It just doesn't seem possible.

I will never forget when we learned you were coming. Your daddy and I could not have been more surprised. For the next nine months, God took us on a journey of learning to trust Him. Yes, we were scared at times, and when you arrived breathing and healthy, we breathed a giant sigh of relief.

It was so crazy when we brought you home. Sissy, as you call her, was only 17-months-old and we had moved into our new home just three days earlier (don't ever do that, honey!). We couldn't tiptoe around you as we had when AC was born, or take naps when you did (as we did when AC was a baby) because we had to also take care of her. So we put your bassinet in the middle of the den, in the middle of all of the chaos.

And you slept.

The first night we came home from the hospital, I woke up in a fright! I had slept for five hours and you hadn't made a sound. I quickly looked at the bassinet next to us, put my hands on your tummy - and you were sleeping so soundly. It was vintage LB - just doing your own thing.

I will never forget your first Christmas. We were at Mimi's house and it was so loud it could have registered on the Richter Scale. Through it all, you just slept. For hours. You were the perfect baby.

As you grew, I began to realize what an amazing person you are. You are the funniest person I have ever known. You have such a wonderful personality. The other night at dinner you were singing some silly song and we were all laughing. AC was laughing especially hard and she said, "Lily, you just crack me up." You crack us all up.

As time went on, my eyes were truly opened to this beautiful gift God had given us. Lily Baker, God sent healing to us - through you. You healed our broken hearts. You gave us hope. You completed us.

That's why I call you my rainbow. Just as God sent the rainbow to Noah after such a horrible storm, God sent you to us after the worst storm of our lives. And just as the rainbow was God's promise to Noah, you were our promise from Him. A promise that after the nights and nights of heavy rain, the sun would finally come out.

And her name was Lily Baker.

You and I love to play this little game. I'll say, "Lily Baker, I need to tell you a secret!" and you'll come running, even though you know exactly what's coming.

Me: I love you, Lily Baker.
LB: I love you too, Mommy.
Me: You're my rainbow.
LB: You're my rainbow too, Mommy.

Oh, you have no idea.

At your party Friday, I was completely overwhelmed as God brought it home to me once again. We were singing "Happy Birthday" to you, and AC leaned over and hugged you. My eyes filled with tears.

She needed you so badly, LB. We all did. I can't imagine this life without you.

How fitting at church this morning that we sang, "How Great is our God." God is so great, LB. He knew what we needed. And he sent you to us. As long as I live, I can never thank Him enough for such an amazing gift.

Happy Birthday, my rainbow. May you shine forever.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cupcakes for LB

This was the sign on the door of Lily Baker's classroom when Chris and I arrived today.

Her actual birthday is a couple of days away, but we took cupcakes to her class today. Is there anything more fun that opening the door to your child's classroom and seeing the look in her eyes when she realizes that you are bringing cupcakes for her birthday?

First off, LB got to put on the birthday hat - which was pretty funny. Then she chose a present out of the birthday box and got to upwrap it while her friends looked on, shouting, "What is it, Lily Baker??!"

Then we passed out the cupcakes. Birthday girl was first!

Love the face!

Mommy and Daddy with the birthday girl!

LB had such a good time and felt so special. What a great day!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Her Beating Heart

I found the most amazing thing last week.

I don't even know how to start.

Our laptop was down so I had to work on our desktop computer, which I NEVER use. As I was using it, I had to save something in my Documents file.

I saw a video labled "A's Heartbeat."

My own heart stood still for a moment.

I clicked on it and the video began.

There I was lying in a hospital bed, incredibly pregnant with twins four and a half years ago. I was wearing my gown with pink hearts on it - the same one I was wearing the morning my daughters were born. The nurse had the doppler on my belly. Chris was filming and you can hear the heartbeat loud and clear.

Melissa's heartbeat.

At the time, we hadn't named our girls. Melissa was baby "A" and Ann Catherine was baby "B." That's why the video was labeled "A's Heartbeat."

Do you know what this means?

I have her heartbeat on video.

I can hear her heart beating.

It's loud and clear on this video. It's so strong.

Just like she was.

Four years later, what a gift - an absolute gift - that God just allowed me to find. I cannot put into words what this means to me.

I can lay down next to Ann Catherine and Lily Baker anytime I want and hear their heart beat.

For four years, I couldn't hear Melissa's.

Until now.

On the video, I am grinning from ear to ear. Melissa kicks and the nurse says, "Do you feel that?" and I excitedly answer, "Yes!"

I can not get over the goodness of God. I didn't know this video existed. I don't even remember Chris taking it.

But I will cherish it for as long as I live. One day I can let AC and LB watch it so they can hear their big sister.

She was alive. She was a living, breathing, kicking soul.

With the most beautiful heartbeat in the world.

Thank you God. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for letting me find this. Thank you that for whatever reason I haven't seen it until now.

Thank you for giving me such a beautiful gift. Thank you for allowing me to carry Melissa for the time that I did. Thank you that Chris taped that heartbeat for whatever reason on that day. Thank you for letting me find it now.

Thank you for that beautiful, beating heart. Now that I have found this video, my heart will never be the same.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Kensley Speaks

I just watched the most amazing video and wanted you all to see it!

I have posted about Kensley Kelly, the little girl from our area who was seriously injured in a car accident over fall break. I do not know this family personally but I was so touched by what they were going through and have been praying for them. Tonight I checked the blog that family and friends set up to update people about Kensley and they posted a video of her talking!! It is so precious and brought tears to my eyes. She has come so far since the wreck. To see it, click here. You will be touched. And keep praying for Kensley!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Moses and Monsters

This was AC's prayer at naptime today:

"Dear God, thank you for giving me such a good day.
Thank you for Melissa, Moses and that story we learned today.
Thank you for monsters, animals and little girls.
In your name we pray, Amen."

Moses? It was their Bible story at school today. (You know, the one about baby Moses in the basket.)

Monsters? We read a Sesame Street story before nap. After all, Cookie Monster and Elmo ARE monsters - just nice ones. :)

I love children's prayers, don't you? So simple. They just pray what's on their minds. Sometimes we as adults overthink it. I just can't help but believe Jesus gets a big ole grin on his face when he hears them praying.

As I was leaving her room, she said, "Mommy, no one has a mommy like you."

My heart melted into a million pieces.

I am blessed beyond comprehension.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Ann Catherine came home yesterday with a note that said her class would be performing in a Christmas play next month. Wanting to know more about it, I asked her this afternoon, "What did Ms. Sharon tell the class today about your Christmas play?"

"Don't cry," she answered.


And wise advice for a class of four-year-olds who will be on stage with an audience full of parents, grandparents and video cameras staring at them!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Treats Galore!

Remember this post where I said I just wanted to get one picture on Halloween of my girls smiling and looking at the camera? Well, I didn't get the "posed" picture I was going for, but I got these and I think they are even cuter!

I hope you all had a Happy Halloween! We certainly did. We went to our friends' house for a fun Halloween party. The girls played and made yummy cookies!

Then we hit the streets to trick or treat! LB was hilarious. I think it's the first time she "understood" trick-or-treating. After the first house, she said excitedly, "Mommy, let's go to annuder one!!" This knocking on doors and getting free candy was right up her alley!

The bumblebee and fairy had a good time. And doesn't Chris look cute here with his wand! :)

When we got home we got in our jammies and made hot chocolate (it was cold last night!).

Hope you all had a terrific Halloween!