Sunday, January 31, 2010

For A Little While

For months this crib has sat empty...

Some nights I go in Noah's room and just stare at his crib. I walk over and place my hand on the sheet and just dream of what it would be like to have him here.

While my best friend and her husband are on a cruise with their 2 older kids, I'm watching their 8 month old, Sarah.

And for a little doesn't feel so empty.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Prayers Needed for my Mom

With permission from my mother, I would like to ask for prayer for her. My mother has struggled for years with her weight. She has tried to lose weight and has lost some, but then gains it right back. She has a lot of health problems working against her. Her struggles began after I was born (sorry, Mom!). Our family has worried a lot about her health....especially since she's had Type 2 Diabetes for the last few years. It's to the point now where we feel like drastic measures need to be taken. I need my Mom. I love her so much and I can't imagine not having her around. And Ethan LOVES his Mamaw! I want her to be here on his wedding day!

Over the last year my parents have made preparations for Mom to have gastric bypass surgery. None of us are big fans of these type of surgeries, but at this point, we feel it is necessary. Mom is getting older and we don't want to wait too late. They've gone through a lot to get to this point. Last weekend my mom got the final approval from the insurance company and her surgery is scheduled for February 10th. Please keep her in your prayers as she has a lot of anxiety over having the surgery, but some excitement as well. We are praying that her Diabetes will be completely gone by next year.

Thank you for praying!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Temporary Home

I just love this new song by Carrie Underwood...I had to share it. Of course I think about Noah and how this was just a stop on his way to where he was spend eternity with his creator.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Prayers Needed For A Friend

Please say a prayer for a friend of mine today. She's actually my childhood friend's sister, but I know her well enough to also call her my friend. In the last year she has had 3 miscarriages (while pretty far along in the pregnancy...15-20 weeks if I'm not mistaken). She was finally diagnosed with the same blood disorder I have (Factor V Leiden). A few months ago my friend told me that she was pregnant again. She was taking injections and was very hopeful. On Monday she miscarried again for the 4th time at 15 weeks pregnant. Please pray for her as she has a D & C today. This may have been their last attempt at conceiving and I can't imagine the emotions they are going through today. Please pray for them and their whole family. Thankfully, she does have 2 healthy daughters and I know she understands what miracles they are.

Thank you for praying!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Losing weight, feeling great

Many of you (and by "you" I mean my blog readers and facebook friends) have shown interest in how my weight loss is going. Since January 1st I have lost 10 pounds! WOOHOO!!! this is very exciting and is just the boost I need to keep going. I know the weight loss is starting to slow down, but it's still going down...and that's what matters!

I'm really enjoying the gym. Did I just say that??? Yep! I'm loving it! I actually sit at work and think about going to the gym and I look forward to it. It's weird now that I'm going regularly. I don't know what has stopped me from going before. It's definitely going to be a regular part of my life now.

I went to the "Body Works Plus Abs" class last night. I'm really feeling it today! WOW! It is tough. It's an hour of non-stop moving and sweating and lifting and squatting. I really liked it and I plan on going every Monday and Friday. I'll do cardio (bike, treadmill, elliptical) Tuesday-Thursday.

I've also made some big changes in what I'm eating. Lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains (no white bread), lean meats like chicken, fish, and turkey, and drinking water, water, water. If you know me, you know I LOVE milk! I drink a LOT of milk at home. I always buy 1%, but even too much of that isn't great for you (and don't tell me to switch to skim because I DESPISE it). After all, 1 cup of 1% has 110 calories...and I drink a lot more than 1 cup! But no more! I've been limiting myself to 1 cup of milk in the morning with my oatmeal and then I let myself have 2 cups just 1 or 2 days a week depending on how many calories I've had that day. While many people drink diet sodas, I've heard that....

"Switching from regular soda to diet soda may save you calories, but some studies suggest that drinking more than one soda a day — regular or diet — increases your risk of obesity and related health problems such as type 2 diabetes."

.....and so I stay away from soda altogether.

Anyway, things are going well and I plan on maintaining this lifestyle!

Thanks for all of your encouragement as I'm on this journey!

Monday, January 18, 2010


I have had several great weeks and have felt God's grace washing over me throughout these days. Work has been going great, I've lost 10 pounds so far on my journey to a healthier lifestyle, I'm exercising and spending more quality time with my family. We've also had some amazing things happening at our church that we are praising God for! The darker days seem to be behind me.

But then this weekend I had several moments where I was completely blindsided by my grief. Seeing a newborn baby boy up close this weekend took me to a place for just a few moments where I thought "I'm falling so far down in this pit again, there's not going to be a way out." It literally only lasted a few moments and then I was FINE. But in those moments I felt my heart shatter and I felt like I couldn't breathe. Grieving is such a strange thing sometimes.

At church we sang "It is well" (Todd Fields version).... As my husband sang out these words, "It is well, it is well with my soul" there was a video on the screen. The last few moments of the video was a silhouette of a man swinging a little boy around in his arms.


I miss my son so much I ache.

I told my friend, Angela this weekend that in those moments I feel like I am so overwhelmed I just feel like my life is over. It's like getting a bullet to the chest. But then I recover...and these days I recover so much faster than I was in the beginning.

Ethan has started asking more questions lately. The other night when I was putting him to bed, he asked me if I had another baby in my tummy. I told him "no" and that maybe one day Mommy would have a baby in her tummy again. He said, "well, I don't want a brother, I want a sister". I asked him why and he didn't answer me. A while later he asked me if my friend's baby boy (who is unborn) would be going to Heaven too.

My heart sank.

Now, I could be totally reading into it....I don't want to overestimate my child's understanding of the situation, but I don't want to underestimate him either. I think that Ethan might just believe that baby sisters get to come home, but baby brothers go to Heaven. At the end of our discussion Ethan said, "I want Noah to come and play with my toys".


I would give anything to see my boys playing with their toys together.

If you didn't read my last post (it's actually MckMama's post), please read it. I've been cherishing moments with Ethan that I think I had taken for granted before. Ethan's favorite thing to say is "just 5 more minutes, Mommy" or "just 2 more games, Mommy" or "just 1 more story, Mommy". You would be shocked at how late I've let my child stay up this weekend simply because I don't want to miss out on such special moments with him. Last night he even asked me to rock him to sleep...something I haven't done in a long time (after all, he is 3). We went into Noah's room, I wrapped Ethan up in a blanket, rocked him and sang to him. He looked up at me and smiled and my heart melted. It seems like yesterday that I would rock him and nurse him and cuddle him until he fell asleep when he was a baby. That same little grin always melted my heart.

We are so thankful for this sweet little boy that God has blessed us with. He brings such joy to our lives and we are so grateful God chose us to be his parents.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Great Blog Post

MckMama's blog post yesterday had me in a puddle of tears. Be prepared to be emotional if you read it. It was so very well written and such a great reminder to hold on to the children we have and to cherish every moment. One of MckMama's blog readers commented that she just lost her 2 year old daughter the day after Christmas. She passed away in her sleep with no known cause the morning after enjoying a wonderful Christmas day with family. Please pray for the Lang Family.

Here is the link to MckMama's post. I've also added the post below....

I'm gonna miss this
"How do you do it? How do you stay so calm with four young children?"

Part of it is just how God made me, I think. I am pretty calm with my children. And, honestly, often I stay calm even in the midst of chaos because, frankly, it's better than the alternative. A shrieking, freaking out mama is not going to make an already stressful situation any better. So, for the most part, I stay calm and try to be in the moment with my children.

But how do I do it?

There is one little bit of inspiration that literally descended upon me almost two years ago, while I was holding Nuggey in the bathroom, that has completely revolutionized my parenting. When I keep this truth in mind, I find it as easy as apple pie to stay calm in the midst of toddler chaos.

I remember that I'm gonna miss this.

It was dark, during the end of bathtime, and Prince Charming was gone. I was doing dinner, baths and bedtime myself those days, as my husband worked late. It had been, undoubtedly, a long day with the kids. Big Mac was three, Nuggey was one and a half and Small Fry was a baby. It is as clear as day still, this memory.

I was sitting on the toilet, drying MckNugget off after his bath. Small Fry, unable to roll, was sprawled on the floor of the bathroom on some towels, wearing nothing but a diaper and a grimace. Big Mac was still in the tub. He was squawking to get out and Small Fry was bellyaching for attention. But I slowly wrapped Nuggey up in his towel, determined to stay calm, and cuddled him in terrycloth. I slowly rocked him back and forth in my arms and sang Rock-a-bye Baby to my second born.

As I wrapped up the song, I prepared to sit Nuggey up and attend to the chaos that was the other children. After all, there were baths to finish, teeth to brush, diapers to put on, jammies to find and beds to tuck children into. But as he sensed me about to right him, Nuggey tossed his wet head back in my arms and looked up at me. "Uh-gain!"

So I sang Rock-a-bye Baby one more time, but I told him it would be the last. Yet when I finished, he begged again for more.

I didn't want to do more. I didn't want to sing to him one more time. I was tired. Tired of children, tired of singing, tired of the day. I just wanted it to be over. But then suddenly, as if fairy dust was sprinkled from the heavens right onto my tired head, the entire reality of my future set in.

I'm gonna miss this.

I looked down at little Nuggey, his damp eyelashes long and dark batting at me, his tiny bottom cradled in my hand, his soft, chubby legs thrown over my arm, his body entirely dependent on mine as I held him in my lap, and I could see the future. Nuggey, a grown boy, sporting a football jersey and facial hair, walked out of the bathroom. It was going to happen, and soon. And while I knew there would be joys with that time in my life, when our young children are teenagers and beyond, it struck me like a ton of bricks.

When that time comes, I'm gonna miss this.When Nuggey comes home from college, barely speaks a word to me and hibernates in his bedroom all summer, I'm gonna miss this. As my mind fast forwarded to the future, I knew that at that moment, I would give anything for 20 year old Nuggey to be a toddler again, just for one more hour, so I could rock him and sing while I stroked his wet head.

And here, years earlier, I was being given my wish. I was able to rock Nuggey, a nearly helpless babe in arms, one more time.

Given a new perspective from which to see, I sang Rock-a-bye Baby as many times as Nuggey would let me that night. Eventually Small Fry found her hands and started admiring them, and Big Mac grabbed a new tub toy. And I relished that time with my son in my arms, knowing that soon enough he would be all grown, and my arms would ache to hold him like a baby again.

I'm gonna miss this.

My mind cannot help but wander to those parents who have lost children. What on earth would they not give to hold their children again, even for a moment. I bet they would not complain about having to sing Rock-a-bye Baby one more time. Rather, they would probably give their right arm to sing it ten million times until their voice was hoarse and their eyelids closed in slumber.

And women with empty wombs who long and pray and ache for children? What honor am I doing them if I take for granted the fact that I have children, young children who are begging me to cuddle them, sing to them. I will love those women who long for a baby by loving my babies and not taking them for granted.

So, I determined right there and then in the bathroom to try to be ever thankful for the moments I do have with my children. I will not wish away their young years, always hoping to get more laundry done or other children dried off. I will relish each kiss, hug and song. I will leave their childhood behind with no regrets, no "I love you" unsaid, no cheek unkissed, no request to "Cuddle wif' me!" turned down. Even as the macaroni flies and the Sharpie stains my table, even when there are midnight wailers and globs of Desitin under my fingernails, I know......

I know I'm gonna miss this.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Better Days

I've been feeling so much better lately. I feel like I'm finally starting to crawl out of this pit of grief. I'm not going to get ahead of myself....I know how this works....tomorrow it could change like the flip of a switch, but I feel good. This new focus on getting myself healthy has really helped. Doing something that challenges me and having a goal to look forward to has helped me focus on other things besides losing Noah. Do I still think about Noah? Of course...every single day. Am I still heartbroken? Yes. But I have learned so much about trusting God over these past 6 months than I have in my entire life. I don't cry as much and the ache seems to have lessened a bit. I seem to be able to talk to my pregnant friends with a lot more enthusiasm and any feelings of envy that I had before seem to be gone. But it's a daily struggle...something I have to hand over to God daily...hourly.

I have some things coming up soon that I'm really looking forward to! At the end of this month my friends (my pastor, his wife, and 2 of their kids) are going on a cruise for a week. They are leaving their 8 month old, Sarah, with me while they are gone. Can I just tell you....I LOVE SARAH!!!

And Sarah LOVES David too....

She's probably one of the happiest babies I've ever known. And though her mommy told me she's been waking up a lot in the middle of the night, I am SO excited to keep her for a while! After all, I was supposed to be having sleepless nights over these last 6 months anyway!!! My mom is going to watch her while I'm at work from 8-2. We are both very excited about it!

David, Ethan and I have big plans for a road trip in March!!! I'm SO excited! First we are going to spend a few days in Nags Head, North Carolina. We hope to visit Nags Head Church the Sunday we are there and to meet Nate, Tricia, & Gwyneth...and I can't wait to meet Tricia's sweet mother, Agnes who has been such a great encouragement to me since we lost Noah. Then we are headed to Washington D.C. and if we are feeling up to it...we may go on up to New York! With David's great discounts on hotels since he works at the Hampton Inn, it makes it a lot easier for us to afford to travel. We haven't been on a family vacation in a long time (other than traveling to see family), so I am very excited about this!

The days are definitely getting easier. I'm still loving my new job (I've been there 2 months now) and I'm loving getting off of work at 2:00 every day. It really gives me time to get things done and spend more time with David and Ethan.

Time to watch "Biggest Loser" and to be inspired...

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Can I just say that I am SO motivated right now??? "Motivated to do what?" you may be wondering. We all make our New Year's Resolutions and usually a month or two into them, we lose focus. I feel more motivated right now than I have ever felt in my life...and while I can't say I will not fail...I will say that I most likely will succeed in reaching my goals! And what are my goals?

To lose weight
To pay off debt

These 2 things sometimes go hand in hand. David and I eat out...a LOT. It's our social time. We eat out with friends during the week, we eat out as a family, we eat out by ourselves for lunch during the work week, we eat out every single Sunday after many Americans, we eat out way too much. Funny thing is, we say we don't have time to exercise, but we always find time to eat out! And we spend a LOT of money eating out.

Part of the problem has been poor planning. We go to bed late and then wake up too late to sit down for a nice healthy breakfast or to pack a lunch. And then I don't always plan dinner, so we just rush out to eat. So the first thing I did was bought a grocery list/meal planner that goes on the refrigerator (for $1.00). I've gone through my biggest loser cookbook and through several healthy recipe websites online and I've made my list. I went through our pantry and got rid of all the junk food....ALL OF IT! I'm ready. I'm SO ready. I've been eating really healthy since the holidays have ended and I already feel so much better.

Let's talk numbers.

It's almost unheard of for a woman to tell you her weight. It's embarrassing (if you are overweight) and it's hard to be honest about it. But because I need accountability and there's really no hiding what you can see with your own eyes (those of you who know me anyway) it goes....

On January 1st I weighed in at 174 pounds (and just so you know, I'm 5'7"). Yep...174. That is the most I have ever weighed (besides at the end of pregnancies). Through the years my weight has been all over the map. When I was in highschool: 145. In college with a severe eating disorder: 98. When I got engaged: 125. When I got married: 130. When I got pregnant with Ethan: 161. When I had Ethan 196. When I lost weight after Ethan: 138. When I got pregnant with Noah: 155. When I had Noah: 186. And now here I am (with no child to breastfeed to help really kick off the weight loss).

This morning I weighed 167. So I'm down 7 pounds. But you know that in the beginning you'll lose a lot, then it will slow down. My ultimate goal is to maintain between 130-135. My first goal before we try to get pregnant again is 145. Which really brings me to the reason I titled this blog "Motivation". Getting pregnant again and having a healthy baby born from a healthy mommy is my motivation. I also want to be a healthy mom to Ethan and wife to David. And I want them to be healthy too....which is why David is on board with me in this whole process. We just got memberships to the gym and we are very excited about NOT dieting...but having a real life change. I'm trying some new different fruits and veggies with Ethan which has been great! Some of you know that Ethan is a really picky eater and it's amazing the child is at a normal weight because he just doesn't eat. But lately he's been doing SO much better and is even eating his veggies!

David and I are taking photos of ourselves throughout this process so we can really see the results as we go along. And as far as our debt goes...I'm making a huge chart to hang on our closet door. We will be doing the debt snowball (thanks Dave Ramsey!) and once Ethan goes to Pre-K in September and we won't have nearly the cost that we do with daycare, we will really be able to chip away at the debt.

Please pray for me to stay motivated, to keep planning, and to be disciplined. And also pray that I won't become obsessed. I tend to do that! :o)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

6 Months Ago....

....and still so hard to believe.