Saturday, July 31, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday, Sweet Aubrey!

This is a few days late, but better late than never! On July 22, Aubrey Nicole turned TWO! I was there the day she was born.

Aubrey when she was still brand new:

Aubrey is my cousins daughter -- but her mama is more like a niece to me than a cousin. We're very close! We had a blast at her party. It was a pool party, so that is why neither Sara nor Aubrey are wearing clothes! They had just gotten in from the pool. This is the first birthday party Sara remembers and she was SO excited! I cannot believe Aubrey is 2. That means 3 is sneaking up awfully fast for MY baby girl!

Aubrey today:

I know I'm totally slacking in the blog department lately. It's not that I don't have things to say, it's that I don't have the time to say it in! Life with two is crazily busy, plus we have a thousand appointments for June each week. Stick with me!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Busy Days

My mama with Sara & June. I think June was getting mad at Sara because that girl cannot sit still to save her life, and it kept jiggling her around! I love this picture because it's one of the rare "real" smiles my mama gives in pictures.

We've had a pretty busy day today. Woke up this morning at 8:30 to the a/c repair guys knocking on the door -- they'd forgotten to get a few pieces of information for the warranty when they fixed our unit a few weeks ago. I must have looked rough, because he apologized profusely for waking me. ;) Dude. I have a 3 month old, who is really like a newborn. We have no schedule. It could have been 3 in the afternoon and chances are, I'd have been sleeping if I could have. So goes the life with a baby in the house!

I cleaned out the girls rooms this morning. BOY do they have a LOT of stuff! I mean...a LOT! I only have Sara's closet left to clean out (I have all my scrapbooking and sewing stuff in the bottom of it -- I've got to find a new home for it and I don't know WHERE I'm going to put it! In the garage, maybe? Hmm...I could turn a part of it into my own little craft room!) and then both rooms are ready to decorate. And by "decorate", I mean throw the stuff up on the wall that I've already gotten picked out. We still need to get a crib for June, but that doesn't have to happen rightthisverysecond because she's sleeping in the bed with us. And we need to get her a swing. We're both getting tired of the bouncer!

Now the only room left in the house to deep clean is the laundry room. I will get that this weekend.

Mike came home early (about 2:00), it was nice to have someone to chat with while I got some laundry folded and put away. Have I ever mentioned laundry is my nemesis??) Made taco soup for supper (sooo delicious, quick & SUPER easy!) then Sara and I went to pick up a birthday present for a party on Sunday. We had a nice little "date", just the two of us. On the way home a song came on that reminded me of how hard Hadlei and June fought at life, and I was getting teary...Sara said, "Mama, why are you sad? You miss Hadlei?" And my heart just about broke into a million pieces. Earlier today she told me she was going bye-bye to the hospital to play with the babies, because that's where they lived until they were ready to come home to their mommies and daddies and big sisters. So SWEET, but heartbreaking to me that at 2 years old, she already has known such turmoil in our lives.

On a lighter note -- I did the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred tonight. OH. MY. WORD. That's a great workout! Mike agreed to do it with me on the nights I don't get to the gym. Today I hit a weight loss goal I haven't seen in THREE YEARS! i'm going to try and do a weight loss post each Wednesday, but we'll see how it goes.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My very first blog award!!

I'm tickled pink to say that my friend, has awarded me with my first blog award! I met Lora here at Fort Benning; she was actually the very first mama I met when I joined our playgroup! Back then she was mama to just three, but now she is mama to four. Go check her out! Thank you, Lora! You're the best!

The Rules:
1: Share Seven Facts about yourself.
2: Give the award to 5 other Lovely Blogs.

1. Even though we went through the worst experience with June's birth, I still want more children. Like, five more. I need to pray about being content, that's FOR SURE.

2. I just enrolled in school to become a NICU nurse. Specifically, I want to do Level 3 (the sickest babies) or cardiac babies. Inspired by June and Hadlei? Yes. Very much so.

3. I was born and raised in the deep South, but military life took me to England, and I cannot WAIT to go back overseas. I'll be very sad to leave my family, but I love exploring -- especially now that we have little ones. They'll get to see and do so much! (Don't cry, mama. We will still visit all the time!)

4. I love to cook, and I very rarely used any boxed foods. I even have an apron that I wear! You can just call me Betty Crocker. Or....Paula Dean. ;)

5. I can play the piano. I started taking lessons when I was 4. I love to play for our church choir, and I hope it's something I can pass down to my girls.

6. I really, really, really want to homeschool. I doubt it will happen, but I would love to do the Abekah or ACE curriculum (which is what I did).

7. I always, always, always, leave the car on E, much to my husbands dismay. I know I have 50 miles left when the gas light comes on, so I punch the timer thing and won't get it until I hit 45. Yes, I know this is bad for my vehicle.

Now I have to tag 5 other bloggers with this award. Hmmm....let's see. I'm going to tag:

1. Jasmine over at I met Jasmine about a year or so ago at church. She's a WONDERFUL, wise soul deeply anchored in Christ. She's been such a great friend to me. Her blog is new, so ya'll go give it some traffic!

2. Kara, at I've known Kara since she was in diapers! Her grandparents pastored our church, and her grandmother taught me kindergarden and first grade. She's married now (gag...I feel OLD!) with her new blog!

3. I just realized I don't even know your name! This is a blog I've been reading for a while, pretty much since I very first started blogging, I think. Such a sweet woman and new mama!

4. Paula, at She's a fellow military wife, and I read her blog for a while before I realized we were at the same assignmetn! Small (blog) world!

5. Deanna, at I went to church with her when I was little, then we lost touch as I entered my high school years. We found each other a few years ago and have been FB friends and blog buddies ever since!

So, there ya go. I finished just in time, because I hear a certain 3 month old baby girl waking up from her nap saying she's hungry! See ya'll later!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

3 months

Happy 3 months, June Claire! Today you had a doctors appointment and we found out you're 6 pounds, 4 ounces, and last week you were about 20 inches long! You're getting so big!

I can't believe you are 3 months old already. You have adjusted to your new life in our home so well. You are a GREAT sleeper (knock on wood) for which I am very thankful, because your big sister is a terrible sleeper! You sleep for 4-5 hour stretches at night, going down around 10 and waking around 8:30. I love it!

You can roll front to side now, and just this past week we've noticed you're trying to start raising your head on your own. I get so tickled when I'm holding you and you start lifting your head and looking around!

We received a great blessing this week when we took you to the doctor yesterday and he declared your RoP is HEALED! Gone forevermore! You'll probably need glasses about 3 or 4 years old, but I think that's cute anyway. :)

I still cannot believe I have you at home with me. Life is so wonderful with you here, and we love you so very much. I am so happy God chose me to be your mama!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Just be

I'm up early this morning. I'm running about two hours of sleep...trying to get things done late last night, then June having an "awake" night, and having to get up early this morning just do not mix. But I'm not complaining...because that means I have places to go, babies to care for, and a house that needs housework constantly.

So anyway, I had to run out to the car this morning to grab something (about 5 am) and I was struck by how beautiful the sky was. I just stood there in my driveway, staring at it. It was so calm and peaceful. I can not get over how beautiful it was. I haven't saw the night sky like that in quite some time. I used to walk from the Ronald McDonald House to the hospital in Florida in the wee hours of the morning, but Orlando sky isn't small-town Alabama sky. :) I long for those night time walks again. Isn't that crazy? That I long for something from such a painful time in my life? I do, though. I long for it because I had the best talks with God then. It was like He was walking right next to me, in human form. I'd ask Him why He did this, why He made this happen, why couldn't it have been different...and time after time after time, He would answer: "Because this is your testimony. This is going to bring great things to you and yours."

Come on, God...THIS? This is going to bring great things? Okay, so this is my testimony. I'm proud of that. But great things? How can such SUFFERING bring great things?

And then He showed me...over and over...the great things. They happen one by one. My marriage is stronger. I have more patience with my girls. I'm more thankful for the little things in life. My anxiety? Gone. Healed. Judgmental ways? They are just a memory.

While I was out there this morning, my mind went to Hadlei, as it often does these days. I never got to meet Hadlei on this Earth -- but I cannot WAIT to meet her in Heaven. I can't wait to hear her sweet little voice (that was one thing I always longed for with my girls -- I wanted to hear what they sounded like) cry for her mama. I just stared up into Heaven and thought, "Hadlei is THERE. She's where I want to go." She's there where it's forever peaceful. She knows no loved ones going to war, and not returning. She knows no emotional pain of family members being less than stellar. She knows no limitations, she can run, she can play, her heart is WHOLE! She has a spleen. There's no worry of infection. Her intestines are not twisted. She's PERFECT. But she always was. Perfectly made in the image of God, and put on this Earth to bring her mama back to Christ and to draw our family closer together. "Blessed be the tie that binds" -- and Hadlei was definitely blessed. Please remember her mama & our family as she/we are still grieving.

I'm really nervous this morning. June Claire has an eye appointment to check on her RoP. Every time she's had it before, she's dropped her heart rate very low and/or stopped breathing several times. When I finally did sleep last night, I had nightmares the whole time. I know Jesus is in control, but our human nature is to be concerned. Please remember her in prayer today.

I encourage you to take moments in your day where you're soley in the moment, whatever it may be. Society has us forever looking forward to that next big thing...but try to just stop and enjoy your husbands hand in yours as you cross the street, or your babies cry because they're hungry, or the squeal of laughter as your children play hide-and-seek in the house. Don't get irritated that your dog has tracked in thankful for the rain that caused the mud. You get what I'm saying. Take a moment to just be. :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

8 Things

8 things I'm looking forward to...
1. The steaks that are currently cooking on the grill!
2. Meeting Hadlei Grace for the first time in Heaven
3. Going to church in TWO WEEKS (Lord willing!) for the first time since April
4. Seeing Grandma & Grandpa this coming weekend
5. Being CC debt free (was almost there....and then Florida happened)
6. Decorating all three bedrooms
7. Getting some new flowers and a new wreath outside my house
8. Getting June Claire's eye exam over and done with on Tuesday (me? nervous? noo!)

8 things I did Yesterday
1. did laundry
2. cleaned house
3. wrote a blog post
4. cooked supper (and a good one, at that!)
5. went for a walk in the evening
6. fed June Claire
7. changed a LOT of diapers
8. showered
(my life is so boring!)

8 things I wish I could do
1. sew better....but practice makes perfect!
2. find the time to scrapbook more
3. take a mission trip
4. adopt a child
5. become a NICU nurse
6. have 10+ kids (do ya'll hear Michael choking in the background, or is that just me? haha)
7. have a big, big garden
8. never lose my patience

8 shows I enjoy
ALL of them...95% of my day is spent pumping or nursing, so I watch a LOT of TV!

Silliness & steaks

June's first bath at home was on July 11, 2010. She whined a little at first, but as soon as she realized the water was warm and not cold, she settled right on in and loved every second of it! I can't wait until she's old enough to go in the bath with Sara. I just know they'll have a blast in there together!

The other day I had June laid on the bed, sleeping, while I was putting some clothes away in our room. I turned around and this is what I found:

Miss Sara wasn't really sleeping -- she hopped up on the bed and snuggled up to June, saying "Mama -- take my picture! Say cheeeeeese!" She's such a ham!

I have a lot to do today -- I've already got clothes washing, and I HAVE to get our bedroom & bathroom clean today. It's killing me. We've also got some yard work to do. My mama is coming to visit and is bringing steaks with her for the grill....yum-o! What this really means is we can actually get outside and I can actually get some work done in the yard because she can entertain Sara. June is good to go in her bouncy seat or the sling.

Hope ya'll have a wonderful Sunday!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A little update

I haven't been around much lately, because, well...I've felt I can't just jump back into chronicling our daily lives when something so massive and so tragic has happened in our family. I don't know that I will EVER get over Hadlei's death. And if I feel that way, how on earth must her mama feel? At first, I was so angry. I was so bitter. I asked God WHY He chose to take her. That was not how we wanted it to go. We had made plans for great big cookout to introduce the girls to our family, since we were to be coming home about the same time. I never got to meet Hadlei while she was still on this earth. I cannot tell you how guilty I feel about that. There wasn't anything I could do -- we were still in Orlando at Childrens. We came home on Wednesday & Hadlei passed on Saturday. I feel so guilty that I brought June home and Britni didn't get to bring Hadlei home. I FEEL SO GUILTY. I feel almost ashamed. I KNOW that's not of God. He would not put those feelings in me. I know it will take time for our family to heal. Time is not something I am fond of. I want to control it all by myself. Well...guess the sooner I learn to not want control, the easier my life will be.

The funeral was beautiful. Our cousin, Brandon, is a fairly new preacher and he preached the service. He did a wonderful job. He kept the message clear of how one gets to Heaven while honoring Hadlei's life. Two of the saddest points of the service: they played "Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star" as the family was being seated, and Britni sang "Lean on Me" (the song she had always sang to Hadlei in the hospital) at the end of the graveside ceremony. I will never forget those moments. Please, please continue to remember Britni in your prayers, and the rest of our family. We'll never be the same again, that's for sure -- and I mean that we'll be BETTER because of Hadlei. She healed many hurts in our family and she showed us strength that will be carried down for generations. We have said over and over again that we are put here on this earth for a reason. When that reason is completed, we are taken home to be with Jesus. Hadlei competed her reason time and time again in her 6 weeks of life. Some people spend their WHOLE LIVES struggling to do that. What a wonderful little girl.

On a slightly happier note, today was my due date. Instead of having a newborn, I have a little girl who is 4 days shy of her 3 month birthday! She is happy, healthy, and thriving and we could not be more thankful. God is good all the time, and all the time God is good!

I'm still working on getting our house back in order. The list of "to-do" just keeps growing and growing. There's grass to be cut (again), a yard to be weedeated, flowerbeds to be cleaned out, shrubs to be trimmed, a garage to be cleaned out, a car to be washed and detailed, two little girls rooms to be decorated, carpet to be shampooed, walls to be painted, and bills to be paid. ONE DAY it will all be done, right?!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My heart is breaking

You may remember me asking for prayer for my sweet cousin and her precious little one, Hadlei.

Hadlei was a miracle baby, born with Heterotaxy Syndrome and Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.

Hadlei Grace Segrest went home to be with Jesus this afternoon. This was a sudden, unexpected thing, as they were hopeful she would be home within a week.

I COVET your prayers for Britni and our family. I cannot express to you how many needs to be met -- financial (hospital bills & funeral cost) and emotional both.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


It all started with a phone call we'd been waiting for two and a half months to get.

I couldn't contain my excitement. I walked into the hospital, grinning wildly at any stranger who dared to look at me. I chattered non-stop to Michael and Sara about nonsense, really.

I stepped off the elevator onto the Level Two NICU on the second floor at Florida Childrens Hospital, and the unit secretary greeted us with a happy, "It's Homecoming Day!"

I promptly burst into tears.

This is the place we've called home for the past almost three months. It may have been a temporary home, but it's been HOME to us. We have ate here, slept here, cried here, laughed here, and made friends that have turned into family.

I washed my hands and thought, "This is the very last time I will scrub in."

I greeted the nurse, walked in, and saw all of June's things packed up on the counter. And teared up again.

The nurse said, "Let's get her diaper changed and you can nurse her while I go over the paperwork." She unhooked all of the remaining cords and I picked up my baby, CORD FREE, for the FIRST TIME EVER.

I was sure snot bubbling then!

We said our goodbyes. This one was especially hard:

If you remember Carrie, she made me a wonderful Mother's Day gift and has sent thoughtful gift after thoughtful gift to Sara during our stay here. She is truly a blessing and we will NEVER forget her. Today she left us with a blanket with a monky on it that Sara ADORES (how she knew that Sara likes monkeys I'll never know!) and she gave us a sweet plaque that said something about our journey just beginning.

I cried again.

Do you see a pattern here?

Anyway, we are all settled in for our last night (did I really just say that?) at the RMH. I can't even think about saying goodbye to our friends here (the other "lifers") in the morning. I am going to be a mess. I need to finish packing up our stuff, so I'm going to go for now, but I'll leave you with this sweet glimpse of what our life is like right now:

Good night, ya'll. :)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!


I hope ya'll are having a great & wonderful holiday! Thank you to all of our military for their sacrifices and dedication to our amazing country -- and thank you to all of our military families that make their own sacrifices and support their loved ones. And I am so thankful Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cross so that we could be spiritually free, as well!

I have very wonderful news! They took June Claire's feeding tube out yesterday and she should be released from her temporary home sometime next week! I am so thankful, but at the same time I am SO sad to leave behind all the friends that we have made here. We love them so much. It especially hurts to leave behind those whose babies are still in critical condition.

I will be back tomorrow with LOTS of pictures!