Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Moving up in grades

It's that time of year again! School is now in session and we've got one excited little girl and one (slightly) jealous little boy who now claims that "I go to High School". We are doing something different this year. Jeff is walking R to and from school. The only times that probably won't happen are the mornings that he's been at either the jail or the prison late (which is typically around 10). He can't just come home and then go straight to sleep. There's a lot of emotional turmoil that those guys need to get off their chest and I'm thankful that they feel safe enough to talk to Jeff about anything. Just don't like it when he has to give a death notice to an inmate. I'm thankful that Jeff is able to do what he loves to do and he's good at it. There is a price to pay in working with (and helping) others who have hit rock bottom. I think R is happy about being back at school. She already knows several of the other kids who are in her class (which is always helpful) and the great staff that are more than willing to help her get caught up with her classmates. For the last two days, she has talked almost non-stop in letting us know about her teacher, the rules, what she did in class, etc. We also got her testing results of where she stands academically. Let's just say that we've got A LOT of work to do this school year but, she's willing and eager to try her best and get down whatever it is that's placed in front of her and I couldn't be more tickled about that. Today, she saw the school counselor (which she started to do about the middle of the year last school year) and I think that has helped her work through some of the emotional stuff that she's still trying to figure out in her own mind. I think Jeff has been a big help in that area as well in that she's really opened up with him over the summer and that's given her confidence about our family and knowing that there's solid stability again. My hat goes off to those who are single and trying to raise their child(ren) on their own. It's very tough to do and especially difficult when you throw in the death of a spouse. So far, things have started off great and I look forward to new accomplishments with both children this school year. Thankfully, J will be in Carpenter's Kids which is run by College Church of Christ. He'll be able to be around other kids his age twice a week for half a day. This will definitely help me out once Baby Lex gets here. :) More to follow.....

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What a change a year makes

One year ago today, the children and I made a BIG move all the way to Searcy, AR. It was a rough trip emotionally, mentally, and physically but, I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with a man who helped make me feel complete and that would be a great Christian leader for me and my children. It isn't easy leaving everything that you know and love behind to start out on a new journey but, it's something that each one of us does on a continual basis throughout our lives. We may not recognize those changes until later. We all start leaving home when we start Kindergarten. We learn, we grow, make new friends and change as each year comes and goes until we finally hit college. Then we continue to learn, grow and change even more. Life is about change and we would quickly become very board if we didn't have challenges and changes in any given year. I was leaving friends and family who had meant soo much to me (and my children) during the darkest days of my life. Suddenly loosing your spouse is very difficult. Add pregnancy hormones and trying to make it full term is even more of a challenge and I have been soo blessed to be surrounded by family and friends who were there for me (even when I didn't see the need but they did). Jeff drove the 5 1/2 hours to Garland to help me load up a UHaul truck and help me move all of our stuff to Searcy. Neither one of us had pulled an all-nighter in a long time (at least since college) but, that night, we had to in order to get moved in and then get R started for school the next week (this was a weekend ordeal). Thankful for a great couple who worked the all-nighter with us and for K and G taking care of the kids during that time. We started on Friday and finished getting the last box in the truck at 0300 hours on Saturday morning. Took some time to eat and get showers at K and G's (kids didn't sleep hardly at all that night either) and then drive to AR. Jeff drove the UHaul (with trailer attached to get his car home) and I drove my car (with a loaded trunk and kids in tow). I finally had to get Jeff to stop so that I could get 30 min shut-eye in the cab of the Uhaul while Jeff entertained/took care of the kids. By the time we pulled into Searcy, I was ecstatic! I knew I was home! This was MY hometown. I had come full circle and it felt great! Jeff popped the big question a few weeks later and then we got married in Sept. Now, we find ourselves living in a home that is comfortable. Two children who adore their Daddy and are at peace within themselves and looking forward to the new school year (although there is the occasional "I don't like school!"), and the excitement of having a new addition to this family. Yes, times can be tough. Challenges can be scary and uncertain but, God is ALWAYS there and always has been. He has/does provide in ways that boggle the mind and I have been truly blessed in how things have worked out this past year. I can only pray that Jeff and I will be ready and able to handle whatever challenges/ changes come our way in the coming year. So far, so good! More to follow....

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A little challenge...

About two weeks ago, I had a check-up with my OBGYN. I had told him at the beginning of my 3rd trimester that I had a lot of itching in my feet and lower legs. I was told that it was pregnancy hormone related. The only problem is that it was now keeping me up at night and seemed to be getting worse. He then had me get some blood work done to rule out if there was anything going on. I was supposed to find out the following Friday... Nothing. Was told that I would hear from them on Monday... Nothing. Finally, on Tuesday (of last week) I got a call from Dr. Citty's nurse and she said he wanted me to come in that afternoon if possible. Talk about feeling nervous! Thankfully, Jeff was able to stay at home and get the kids down for a nap and I could go ahead to the MD's office. They were busy but I eventually got in and given a shot in the left hip (a rather painful, stinging one at that) and strapped to a baby heart monitor. This also brought back memories of when I was about this far along in my pregnancy with James. The situation was different but the uncertainty was certainly there. Once again, I was going down a path that I wasn't prepared for and didn't know what to expect. At that time, I was just trying to breath and eat. This time, I was just trying to get some sort of relief and sleep. I didn't have to worry too much because I knew Jeff was there along with me. May not have been physically there because he was taking care of the kids but he was with me in spirit. That made a world of difference! When the MD came in, he told me that my bio salts in my liver were too high and that is what was causing the increased itching and it could cause complications for me and the baby as it got closer to due date. Not something that I got all nice, warm, fuzzy feelings about. All I knew was that I wanted to be healthy and have a healthy little one (whenever he gets here). Thankfully, in comes the internet (specifically FB) and being reacquainted with old friends that I knew as a teenager. One of my friends told me that the symptoms sounded alot like what her sister had to deal with in her pregnancy. Rachel then gave me a lot of good info and a website that explained a lot of the why's, how's etc, of this ( which gave me a much better understanding of what was going on and some things that I could do to help improve the situation for me and Baby Lex. I am so thankful for friendships that had been made over the years and how supportive everyone has been in dealing with a (somewhat) unknown. Life is full of challenges which can either make us stronger individuals or break us down completely (if we allow that to happen). The most important thing is to continue in God's faithfulness in that He will never forsake us when we think things are getting a bit much.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Visiting family and friends

This last weekend, our family went to meet/visit with some of Jeff's extended family near Montgomery, AL. The GPS said it was an 8 hour drive one way. The kids were excited about meeting lots of cousins and going to a lake. The drive initially started out pretty well. Unfortunately, we didn't have a working DVD player in the car because a certain 3 yr old jammed a DVD in and now it's stuck (and the poor DVD player is constantly trying to get the disk out. Thankfully, the kids had other things to keep them busy so that was ok. As we got into Montgomery, we got to a stand-still and the GPS advised us to turn around and go a different direction instead of not moving. That "other direction" ended up adding 2 hours to the trip and putting us in a constant circle. Needless to say, baby Lex was NOT happy with me which caused quite a bit of discomfort for me. Finally got to the house and were able to eat a late dinner with the family and the kids got to acquaint themselves with their "new" cousins. R was ecstatic because she was the oldest of all 8 kids. J (like most little one's) didn't sleep very well in a new place until the last night (go figure) but boy did they get a good work out while we were there! :) Lots of kids to play with, plenty of room to run around in, adults who treated our kids like they do their own, and plenty of time spent at (or in) the lake and playing in the sand and just being able to relax for a few days and get to know some awesome people. :) We decided to go back home a different direction and to split the trip up (much easier on me and the kids). Jeff had lived in Athens, AL for several years before moving to Searcy. He had also sung with a singing group. Jeff made a quick call to one of the guys who (as Bryant put it) was a "brother from another mother" and they let us spend the night (since one of their daughter's had recently gotten married and moved out). They also had singing practice that night so, Jeff got to see some ol' friends that he used to sing with and sing with two of the guys. J (of course) only wanted a microphone and to sing on his own so, both of my boys were totally in their element and having a blast! The rest of the drive back went pretty well and the kids are still kinda recouping on sleep :). Over all, it was a great trip and the start of some great memories. :)