Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Prayer, Healing And Believing

We were having a conversation today about healing and prayer. It made me start thinking about some of the times that I KNOW that I was a witness or recipient of healing through prayer. Some of my family and close friends know of these times but, I feel the need to share them here with all of you.

One of the first times I was given the gift of healing through prayer was when I was about a year old. My Granny was cooking in the kitchen and had opened the oven and I walked forward and fell on the oven door, severely burning my hands. My Granny had my Mother take me to a lady in our community who could "talk" fire out of burns. When we got there, I had my hands clenched so tight that she told them there was nothing she could do. I was taken to the doctor instead. My hands were bandaged for a long time and I was left with these really bad purple scars. My Mother had me at church and was looking at my hands and began to pray. Within a few days, those purple scars were gone and all I was left with was  a couple of scars that unless I show them to you......you can not even see. 

When my middle son Ethan was born, his blood work kept coming back showing that he had a serious blood disorder. They tested his blood a couple of times and each time it came back showing the same results. The doctor told me to bring him back when he was a couple of weeks old and they would do the blood work again. If it came back the same, we would be sent to Birmingham to a specialist. The day I took Ethan to the doctor, his little arms were so tiny that they had to cut a rubber band to tie around his arm to even be able to draw the blood. When I got him home I laid him in his crib and as he slept, I laid my hands on his back and prayed that God heal him and take this away from him. Two days later, the results came back and he was perfectly normal. To be safe it was checked a few more times and each time it was normal! The doctor could not explain it but.........I could!

    This is a photo of Ethan sleeping just before I laid my hands on him and prayed!

As many of you may know, our baby, Hayden was really sick when she was born. Most of you probably don't know the whole story. When I was about eight months pregnant, I called the pediatrician to find out what their fee would be for her hospital check up. I was told that it was such and such amount and that I would have to pay that because it was considered well baby care. She then told me, now if the baby is sick or has anything wrong, the insurance will pay it all. Well, of course I laughed and told her "that's okay.....we will be glad to pay out of pocket!" After I hung up the phone, it was as if everything around me just went away and all I heard was this voice saying "there WILL be something wrong but, it will be alright.....you will get through this" I told two people about this, my Mother and Tim. Of course they acted like I was crazy and just laughed it off. Then, when my baby was born and she was so sick, no one could understand why I was so calm and able to deal with it the way I did. It was almost like they were mad at me. I explained to them what had happened and what I knew. Now, don't get me wrong, there were times that it all got the best of me, I cried and I was scared but, I ALWAYS had a peace about everything. You see, I had already been told it was going to be alright and I believe to this day that God spoke to me and gave me that reassurance and because I believed........Everything was okay.
                          Hayden in the NICU in Montgomery, AL when she was so sick!

Every day we witness miracles and answered prayers. Some things are really big and profound and other times it may be something small, but just as important. Some may not believe as I do but, I know the things that have happened in my life and I believe!

Isn't it a wonderful thing to know that through prayer, God can heal, soothe and bring us peace!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Born To Be Romantic Or Learned

I admit it.......I am a romantic at heart. My husband Tim is just not! He tries but, it just does not come easy to him. Tim does not understand that sometimes very simple things can be so romantic. I don't want him sending me flowera on Valentines day because that is one of those times he feels like he has to......that is not romantic. When he buys me a card instead, that means so much more for me. That meant that he had to physically walk in a store and choose the "right" card. So far he has nailed this one. He can handle special occasions but, it is the spontaneous unexpected moments that he needs to work on. Occasionally I will wake up and he has left me a little note stuck to my makeup case that simply says......" I Love You"! That gets me every time. Romance doesn't always have to be something big.

Where does a romantic person get it from. Do they learn it or is it something just ingrained in you some way. My boys can both be romantic. My oldest Zachary, took Erica to Disney World and booked the Cinderella's Castle dinner. That is where he proposed to her! I thought that was a very sweet and romantic thing to do!

When Taylor asked his now fiance Taylor our for their first date, he did the sweetest thing. He bought a rose and took it to school. He went to her first class and left the rose and a note asking her if she would do the honor of being his date for homecoming, and left it on her desk. How sweet and romantic was that?

Did they learn these kind of things from me or is it just in their makeup to be thoughtful and caring enough to know how to make things special? I hope I have taught them but, I also love the idea that they were just born to be kind, thoughtful men who have a romantic flair!

Who knows where it comes from but, as Mothers, we need to try to teach our children about being thoughtful and kind. I think when these things are ingrained in them, the romance just comes along with that!

While Tim is not the most romantic person in the world he has had his very special moments. When our oldest was born, he came in the room carrying a bouquet of my favorite flowers.....yellow roses! I still have them! I have all kind of little notes on scraps of papers that just have sweet little message on them. He also has his moment when I think hmmmmmmm. After having my back surgery, I had to wear my hear piled in a pony tail with no makeup for weeks on end. Finally one day, I was able to take a good shower and I put on makeup and washed and rolled my hair and put on real clothes. This is the comment I got......"Mama.....you sure do look pretty tonight......you know you have been looking pretty old and haggy looking the last few weeks but, you look alright tonight!" LOL......how in the heck do you take that? He DID tell me I looked good but, I am not sure I needed to know how bad I had been looking! Bless his heart.....he meant well.

Of course, my comment back to him didn't sit real well with him.....I told him "well, you see, I have been trying to dress down so the old man I live with wouldn't feel so bad about how he looks!" Thank goodness we are secure in the love we have for each other! LOL

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Kids, Sacrifice and Appreciation

As a parent, I often ask myself....."do my kids appreciate everything I have done for them?" I know all parents have to ask themselves this at times. You wonder if they appreciate the sacrifice or even realize a sacrifice was even made. Did they see how hard you worked to make sure they had all that they needed or wanted? Do they realize how full of love your heart is for them? Do they realize that when they hurt you hurt even worse? Did they notice, feel, see or hear everything you did and said?

Recently, I have realized that without even saying a word, my kids have shown me that they indeed did notice! I watch my children as young adults and see them living their lives in the way that I taught them. Their Daddy and I did not always teach them by words but, maybe more by actions and deeds.

I watch as Hayden, a Junior in high school works so hard on her homework. I have watched her overcome a learning disability to not only make A's & B's but to also pass her exit exam in the first try. She is taking geometry and chemistry this semester. At one point we discussed her dropping chemistry because it is such a hard course but, she would have none of it. She is determined to take it and pass it! She could have said "what the heck, I don't have to take this, I will just quit" but, she didn't. She has learned to work hard to reach her goal and she even sacrifices her play time to study instead. I watched as my baby girl took care of me after my back surgery. She cooked, fetched carried and cleaned for me and not one time did she complain or act resentful. She would lay in bed and giggle at youtube video's with me and was constantly coming to see if I needed anything. She spent her summer taking care of me......how many seventeen year old girls would do that with such a good attitude?

I have watched as my oldest Zachary has gone from an eighteen year old kid who had no idea what he wanted to do with his life,to go on to become a fireman/paramedic. Zachary did not always have an easy time in school and he did not always "fit" with some of the kids he went to school with. He was often harassed and excluded but, he never once let that get to him. He knew how much we loved him and we taught him that he could be anything he wanted to be and what others thought of him did not matter. To say that Zachary is a fireman/paramedic really does not explain what this child has accomplished. He has a true fear of heights and as you may know a fireman has to go up really tall buildings and ladders yet, this has never stopped him. He has passed every test and registry he has taken. He now works three jobs and volunteers! Yes, I said three! He works as a full time fireman in Dothan, and he works as an paramedic fireman in Headland and Abbeville. He is also now working as an auxiliary policeman in Headland. He is a busy young man to say the least! Oh, and all those kids that were not so nice to him in school......he would stop to help them in a heart beat and not think twice about it.

For my Ethan, the last few months have shown us and him that life can throw you a curve or as I like to call it.......a detour! In just a few short months, Ethan will become a Daddy. Of course as a parent, you want your children to grow up and become parents but, this was a little sooner than we had planned. Ethan has taken the responsibility of becoming a young parent by the horns. He is working hard at his job at the hospital and on his days off, he works to completely remodel a home for his little family! He goes to the doctors appointments with Taylor. He worries about Taylor and tries to make sure that she is comfortable and has everything she needs. He does all of this with a smile on his face, at times  it is a very tired smile but, a smile just the same. He has already learned about the sacrifices you make for your children. There were some things he would have "liked" to have done to fix his truck up but, he just smiled and said "I guess that will just have to wait!"

Watching my kids as they have become young adults, I have realized that they DID appreciate and see the things that we did for them! I know this because they are living their lives in the way we lived ours. They are making sacrifices, they are working hard to provide for their families and reach their goals. Even though they may not say it all the time, I know that my kids do appreciate all that we did for them. They don't have to tell me. Watching them become the kind, hard working and forgiving young people that they have is thanks enough.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Just Not Myself

Tomorrow will be two weeks since my back surgery and.......well......I  am just not myself......still. I am the type person that meets every obstacle head on. I don't let it get me down and I work hard to get back to where I want to be. THIS has gotten the best of me.

 I don't know why this is so different. Maybe part of it is because this is just not what I wanted. I think that even though I had two months to adjust to the fact that I HAD to have this surgery, I just could not mentally prepare myself for what was to come.

I fought this for as long as I could and when it came down to it, nothing I did mattered. I still had to have this surgery. I feel like I let myself down. Maybe I did not work hard enough or something......I just don't know.

I have always been a fighter.....always. I have always powered through regardless of the obstacle. I had three babies without any pain medication at all, I have suffered through injuries from an accident that included a dislocated shoulder, fractured back and my pelvic bone was fractured in three places and I fought my way to the other side. I just don't understand why this is so hard.

Granted, this is the worst pain I have ever been in and I also have the underlying fear that this may not fix it. I am just so tired. I also am having to do something that I hate more than anything and that is depend on others for just about everything. I despise that. Everyone keeps saying oh sit back and enjoy it......let them take care of you for a while........they just don't understand.......I don't enjoy it......at all. I am happiest when I am taking care of others and I am at my most miserable when I have to let others take care of me.

I have always been the caretaker......always. Even though my brother was only three years younger than me, I still watched over him and stepped in when I needed to. I was okay with that I love him so much and taking care of him makes me happy.

Then there is my sister. She was born when I was twelve and from the moment she was born, she was mine. I raised her. I took care of her and I was never more happy than when I was taking care of her. I have never resented it......ever. I loved it.....she was and still is my world.

Then you have my kids. I have always taken care of them. I wanted them to have a childhood full of fun. I have taught them to be responsible but, I have never dumped the weight of the world off on them. My happiest times are when I am doing things for my kids. My most miserable times is when I have to ask them to take care of me........I hate that.

Then there is Tim. He is being so good. He is washing clothes, shopping and taking care of me and I hate it. He is working twelve to fourteen hour days in the heat and them coming home to take care of me. It makes me miserable.

Today has not been a good day. I am tired of lying around. I can only sit in a hard chair straight up for thirty minutes at the time while wearing a brace. It is not a pleasure at all. I can't even sit or lie on the couch because it is too soft. I am stuck in the bedroom by myself with nothing to do. I have already read eight books and I am tired of reading. I want to be productive. I want to be a part of life again. I am just not myself right now.

I know that it will get better and I will look back at this post later and call myself a wienie and a whiner but, for now.......today.......this is the way I feel and frankly...........I AM JUST NOT MYSELF!!!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fathers Day

What better day than Father's day to tell you about some of my special Daddy's! First the number one Daddy in my life......T!

While T can come off as being a hard gruff person, he truly is not. Especially when it comes to our kids. He is one of the most proud loving Daddys I know. He is not always quick with his praise for his kids but, it is not because he is not proud of them, it is just that he doesn't always know how to put into words, how he feels.

The joy on his face each time we found out we had another baby on the way is a picture I can see in my mind even today! The tender way he looked at each of them when they were born just took my breath away. It made me fall even more in love with him. I knew that I had not only picked the right person for me.......I had chosen the best Daddy for my kids.

When T gets a chance to spend some one on one time with the kids, it just brightens his day. Something as simple as going to get gun permits with Zachary or spending a long weekend at the beach with all of them, can just light up his world. When one of them comes to him just to talk he becomes a different person, he lights up and he is so thrilled that they needed him!

Tim is basically quiet and has a hard time expressing himself but, through his actions, his kids know just how much they are loved. He may huff and puff sometimes but, when it is all said and done......he loves those three kids more than they will ever know.

The other Daddy is my Daddy. After many years of not being a part of my life, my Daddy is once again a BIG part of my life. We almost lost my Daddy and I thank the Lord we didn't. Me, my brother and my sister were able to go visit him when he was sick and reconnect and establish a new relationship with him.

I have missed my Daddy through out the years but, now I have him again and I will not let him go. When my phone rings and the caller ID say Daddy......it just gives my heart a lift! I recently got the chance to go out to eat with him and my brother.(another special Daddy!) It was one of the best nights I have ever had. To be able to have two of the most important men in my life together with me, was more special than I can even begin to explain.

On this Fathers day, I have a sense of peace and contentment that I have not had in a very long time. I think it is because of the special Daddy's I have in my life. T, my brother and my Daddy. What more could I ask for?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Thoughts From The Twilight Zone

As I am preparing to go into surgery and enter the Twilight Zone, my thoughts are of my family and friends. I know that this is pretty much a routine surgery but, you know as well as I do that things can happen that we are not expecting.

So, to my family, I want you to know how much you mean to me. I tell you I love you all the time but, do you really know just how much. It is hard to explain the overwhelming feeling of love I have for you. If you ever wonder, just go back and read some of my blog post. I am so proud of my three kids. You have made my world so much brighter than I could have ever imagined. T, you are the love of my life, my best friend and my soul mate. To my daughter in law and my future daughter in law. I love you two more than you will ever know. You have made my two boys so happy and for that I will forever be thankful. To my unborn grand baby, I already love you and I don't even know if you are a girl or boy. It doesn't matter! You are already living in my heart.

To my brother and sister. You are my world. My life would not be complete without you. I am thankful every day for the closeness we have. To my Mama, I love you and I thank you for all they things that you have taught me. Thank you for keeping me in church for all those years. You knew where I needed to be. To my Daddy. I am so thankful and happy that you are back in my life. I am also thankful that you have brought Emily into my life. She is a gem and I am so glad you have each other. I love you Daddy.

To all my nieces and nephews.....I love you more than words can say. You have brought joy to my life and should always know that I am so proud of each and every one of you!

To my Mother in law Martha, thank you so much for being so much more than a mother in law. You have been a friend. You have supported us and loved us and you are special to me. To my father in law Jerry. Thank you for being who you are. You are always there when we need you and I know how much you love us.
To my many Aunts, Uncles and cousins. I love each and every one of you and I am so thankful that I am a part of such a big loving family!

To my many friends. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement and your support. You have picked me up on days that I just knew I would never be able to get up again. I love each and every one of you!

If words are not enough, just look at the photos I have taken of you over the years. When I look through my camera lens, all I see is love. So, go back and look at those photos closely.......do you see what I saw? I hope so.

Now, I know that this seems kind of morbid and strange but, you just never know. I just don't want to leave this world without all of you knowing how much you mean to me. When I wake up from surgery and I am still here then, no problem. You know how I feel and you don't have to wait until I die to find out!

I will see you guys on the flip side......whether that is in Heaven or still walking this earth....it does not matter to me.....I am ready for either one!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The List

Everyone talks about having a Bucket List, especially since the Movie "The Bucket List" came out. After watching the movie, I don't like to call it a Bucket List. In the movie those guys called it that and they were dying. I will be honest.....I am not planning on dying just yet so, I am going to call mine. "The List of things I want to do after my surgery that I have not been able to do because I hurt too bad to do it!"  Too long isn't it? Hmmmmm.....I will just call it my "Dream List"!

My list has things on it that I used to be able to do but, because of my back problems I have not been able to do. It also has things on it that I have always wanted to do and couldn't because of my back or even my weight. All this is going to change once I heal and recover. Some of you may find my list boring or you will probably read it and say...."you have never done that?"  So, to answer your question ahead of time......no I have never done that obviously or it would not be on my list! Pay attention......this is things I have NEVER done or not been able to do in a while.

My Dream List

 1.  Go Canoeing
 2.  Ride a Hot Air Balloon
 3.  Go to Ship Wreck Island
 4.  Play Tennis (again)
 5.  Get a Motorcycle
 6.  Go Mudding (again)
 7.  Ride a 4 wheeler through the Woods
 8.  Go Fishing
 9.  Walk really fast for a long time (again)
10. Lay on the ground to take pictures
11. Paint pictures (again)
12. Take Dancing (again)
13. Dance at My Children's Weddings
14. Wear high heels (again)
15. climb stairs with ease (again)
14. Go Zip Lining
15. Climb a Rock Wall
16. Run (again)
17. Be able to play with my new Grand baby
18. Just simply wake up every day without pain.

This may not seem like much but, to me all of these things are big. I guess when you can't do these things they become really important again. I know that as I heal and get better, I will be adding to my list. Right now this is enough. I just want to live a real life once again.....one without hesitation, pain or fear. THAT is my dream!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

My Pain Explained

As most of you probably already know, I am going on Wednesday to have back surgery. There have been a lot of questions and comments since the decision to have surgery was made. I am going to try to answer and explain what has lead me to this.

My problems with my back started when I was around seventeen years old. After many years of cheerleading, playing tennis and being an avid runner, my back started to suffer.And, yes, I used to be skinny enough to do all those things.....hard to believe, I know! Any way, I had problems off and on for years but, it was not until I was in my early twenties, that I was diagnosed with a degenerative bone disease. I was told then that I would eventually have to have surgery.

Over the years I would just have flair ups that were handled with anti-inflammatory medication and occasionally pain medication. The occasional episodes became more frequent but, were still manageable.  All of that changed three and half years ago when I was in a car accident and fractured my back in the same area that I already had problems with. This caused my spine to shift forward. I now have two vertebrae that are sitting on top of each other with no cushioning between them and my sciatic nerve is being crushed between them.

Now, I told you all of that so that you would understand the technical details. The physical and emotional details of living with this is just not so easy to explain.

For the last three and half years I have suffered with constant excruciating pain. Until the last few months, I have not talked about it, mentioned it or advertised it. Only my family and closest friends knew what I was going through and even then, I don't think they realized just how bad it was. That is just not my way. I keep things like this to myself and deal with it the best way I can.

I don't take pain medication because I don't want to go through life in a fog. I live with the pain by going to another place. Does that make sense? I learned years ago in Lamaze class, to concentrate on something else and not focus on the pain. This is what I do.

I had someone to accuse me of trying to be a Martyr! Really? That is how you see it? I don't see it that way. After growing up with a Mother who has Lupus, rheumatoid and various other illnesses, I have seen what something like this does to everyone in the household. This is not something I wanted for my kids. I wanted them to enjoy their childhood and I wanted to be right there with them, not laying in a bed while they were out living their lives.

Before anyone decides to run to my Mother and make something of the above statement that was not intended, I had a great childhood and I do not resent my Mother for being sick. It is what it is. While I was able to enjoy growing up, there has always been an underlying since of worry about my Mom. This worry has always hung over me like a dark cloud. I did not want that for my kids!

I have always lived my life running full speed ahead. I love to go and do and get there as fast as I can. The last few years, I have not been able to do that. 

I am not a whiner or complainer. The last few months, I feel like that is all I do and I hate it! I despise being weak and I hate the pain even more. There are so many things I want to do and can't. I hate that too.

This surgery is my lifeline. This is my hope for the future. I did not go into this lightly, I fought it as long as I could and still held out hope that there was something else that could be done. I cried and cried the day I was told that this surgery was my only option. Since then, I have researched and talked to others who have had this same surgery. I am confident in my doctor and I am at peace. I have turned this over to God and he will handle it all for me.

In three days I will have back surgery. I am going into it with hope, fear, excitement and peace. I will recover. I will be pain free. I will be able to once again take back my life. Not only will I take it back......I am going to run with it just as fast as I possibly can..........Who wants to run with me? Come on......I know you do......SO........Get Ready! I have places to go and lots of things to do and I am not waiting around for any slow pokes!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Look What We Did!

Look what Me and T did!

We made them! With God's help of course! We did it.....we molded them and raised them and most definitely put our mark on them! They are like taking T in one hand and me in the other and just squishing it all together!

And guess what? From them we got these!

Yep, we have the Fireman's wife and Big E's fiance and even though you can't see it yet......underneath that teeny tiny white dress........our first Grand Baby is growing! How exciting for us! Our family is growing by leaps and bounds!

It is just amazing to me that our lives have been so blessed. I am so excited about our future and all that it holds! But, right now, I am just enjoying the here and now which is...........


The Fireman, Sweetie Pie, The Princess, Squirrel, Big E and our growing little Nugget!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

My Best Friend

It is hard to believe that 29 years ago, On May 1, 1982........I married my best friend! It really does not feel like it has been that long. We have known each other since we were six years old and starting first grade. Oh, my! That was forty three years ago! Yes, we have literally spent a life time together!

I am not going to sit here and pretend that it has always been easy because, it has not! We have been through so much in our twenty-nine years of marriage. That first year......wow......I did not know if we were going to survive! Then we made a hard decision and moved six hours away from everyone and everything we had ever known! I had our first son in South Carolina and it was just the two of us at that hospital. We had no family there. We moved back when our oldest was a year old.

We went through several years of disappointment as we tried to have a second child and instead faced numerous miscarriages. After six and a half years of trying, we finally had our second son!

We went from joy to fear as we had our third child.....our only girl. She was so sick and we did not know if she would survive! Through this, we became closer instead of allowing it to break us apart!

We have had our ups and downs financially and emotionally, we have gone through the uncertainty of sickness and we have made it through the physical and emotional toll of a horrific car accident.

Through all of these ups and downs, the fear and sorrow, the one thing that has remained constant, is the love and respect we have for each other. Each trial that we have been through has just made us closer.

Even though we have had some really rough days, we have had way more wonderful days. We have brought three beautiful children into this world. We have watched with pride and joy as they have grown into the wonderful adults they have become.

Most of all, we have enjoyed each other. We know each other like we know ourselves. We can laugh at and with each other and we can just look at each other and know what the other one is thinking!

I still get feel a thrill when my phone rings and I know it is him. I love to see him smile and laugh and will do silly things just to get him to do both! I love his hands. I know those hands like I know my own. They are strong hands. They are the hands that dried my tears and tickled me until I laughed so much I could not breathe but most of all they are the hands that have held mine for twenty-nine years.

I don't know what makes a great marriage but, I do know what makes ours work. Respect, Trust, Laughter, Communication and Love......lots and lots of Love!

So......today.....I want to say to my "T".......I love you even more today than I did Twenty-nine years ago! Happy Anniversary! I am looking forward to all the years ahead of us! I Love You!

Monday, April 18, 2011

She Said Yes!

My middle son Big E bought his girlfriend a ring! He wanted to surprise her and wanted to propose in a special way. The plan was hatched to tell her we were going to the Botanical Gardens to take some couple photos. Me and Big E got there early and found the perfect spot for him to propose. We found a place that Me and Squirrel's Mom could stand and take pictures without being right on top of them.........we wanted to witness the proposal  but, not intrude on the special moment.

The pictures I got were so special.....

.......and of course........she said YES!

This is just one of many special moments for these two as they embark on the next chapter of their lives. They will face many changes and challenges over the next year. They are preparing to become parents and well as becoming life mates.

I could not be more proud of the two of them. They are making mature, wise decisions as they move forward. It won't always be an easy road but, it will be a road filled with laughter, joy and most of all LOVE!

Thank you to my Big E, for allowing us Mama's to be witness to this special moment in their lives. I love you both and wish you all the the happiness and joy that life can bring you!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Wedding

I have been neglectful in my blogging duties in the last year and I really need to rectify this. I am going to start with the biggest event of our lives last year and that was my oldest son, The Fireman's wedding!

My three babies were beautiful as always...........

The Fireman's Bride was gorgeous!

T and the Fireman were so handsome in their tux..

Me......well.....I was happy, sad, proud and near tears.......all night.....

The whole day was filled with special moments. The Fireman had two grooms cakes, one was an Auburn football helmet and the other was a exact replica of his firemans helmet!

Most couples leave for the honeymoon on a car or sometimes a horse drawn carriage.....not my son and his sweet bride.......they left on..........can you guess?

Yep........a firetruck! How cool is that!

As everyone knows, planning a wedding is stressful and this one was no exception. We also know that once that wonderful day gets here......all the stress is gone and instead we become a witness to the next stage in a young couples life. My wish for them is that they always look at each other with those stars in their eyes and that they always remember the overwhelming love they felt for each other, at that exact moment when they said I DO!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Never Giving Up

When the Princess was younger she had a hard time in school. We worked and studied and worked some more but, it just seemed like something was just not clicking. After having her tested, we discovered that she had a learning disability. Through our school we were able to get her the extra help she needed. It could be so frustrating because she was very intelligent. She was also very artistic and could do anything on a computer. Yet, her reading  and spelling were way below level.

I was told that she would probably never read above a 6th grade level. I was told by some (not teachers) that she would most likely drop out of school. Mostly out of frustration. All of this was told to the wrong Mama!

I made sure that I made all of her IEP meetings, I met with teachers and stayed in contact with them. I helped her with homework, sat and listened to her read and I read book after book trying to find different techniques to help her learn and study.

Slowly but surely, we started to see improvement. She worked so hard and by the end of the eighth grade her reading level was on a twelfth grade level. As she started high school, I was so worried about her passing the exit exam. For those of you not in Alabama. This is the test that each child must pass in order to graduate from high school. There are several parts and each one has to be passed.

I watched this child who had struggled so in school go from mostly C's and occasional B's to A's & B's! Recently she took the exit exam. My anxiety has been high, just waiting on the results. Today......we got them. She passed every single section of that exam and did it on the first try! I laughed, cried and smiled until I thought I was going to be sick!

Our schools have some of the best teachers around. They helped us and worked hard to get her where she is! I don't care what anyone says......if you want to make sure a child with a learning disability succeeds, it takes hard work on the part of the child, a parents interest and involvement and the diligence of some truly wonderful teachers.

During all these years we never once gave up. She never gave up on herself and I never gave up on her. Today I felt like we made it! I know she still has two more years of school but, she did it......she really did it.

The best part of all is the confidence she has gained in herself. I came in from work and started telling her how proud and excited I was for her. She just looked at me and nodded. I said "aren't you excited?" She gave me that look like "whatever"! This told me all I needed to know. She knows what she is capable of and the things that used to be a struggle for her has now become routine and second nature. My little Princess has turned into a mature confident young woman. She knows what she can do and she doesn't need a test to tell her!

It is all about never giving up......never give up on yourself as a parent and most importantly......Never.....Ever.....give up on your child!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Detour

You know how it is when you head to a particular destination and you have your route all mapped out and suddenly you come to a detour? Your first thought is great! I'll never get to where I am headed! Then you start following the little detour signs.....you turn here and you turn there and suddenly there you are......right where you were planning on going in the first place.

Have you ever noticed how our lives are just like this? This has really come home to me in the last couple of days. As parents, we start making plans for our children from the time they are born. Along the way we have to make these little detours and sometimes we even change our plans for them but, they always arrive at the exact place they were meant to be.

Today, I want to tell you about our plans for our middle son Big E. The last couple of years he has been in college with plans to get his nursing degree. He has worked at our local grocery store, while going to school. He is a hard worker and a good student. We had a path planned out and his path was set until........we ran into one of those detours!

Our son and his girlfriend's lives have suddenly come upon a detour called a baby! Yep, I am going to be a Grandma (um yea....gonna have to come up with a better name than that!). Any way, my first thoughts were...."What about school will they finish....can they finish?" My answer is yes!

Even though he had a straight route planned toward finishing school and now he has run into a detour, he can still do it. The path now has a few twist and turns that we did not expect but, in the end he can still reach his destination.

A baby is a blessing regardless of the circumstances or the timing. Even though this little one was not in our plans, it WAS in God's plans. We are going to take this little detour as the gift God meant for it to be. My son and his sweet girlfriend will reach the destination they are meant to and they will do it with the love of their families behind them.

Today, I am thanking the Lord for his many blessings both big and small but, I am especially thanking him for life's little detours!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Thirty-Something Years Ago

Thirty-Something years ago today was one of the most special days of my life! It was the day my baby sister was born! If you have read one of my earlier post, you will know that she is the baby sister that I prayed so hard for and God answered a little girls prayers.

I am not going to tell you how old she is because then you will know just how old I have become. I will tell you that I was twelve years old when she was born. I can't even imagine what my life would be without her!

My baby sister went every where with me. I took her to dances, ballgames and every thing in between.I dressed her and carried her around just like she was a live baby doll!

When I was a teenager, we shared a room. Now most teenagers would hate having to share a room with a sister that much younger than them, but not me! It never ever bothered me. I loved it. My favorite times were when I would come in for a date and she was awake in bed, waiting up for me. I would go open a can of chicken noodle soup and we would eat it together straight out of the can, right there in our bed!

Since the day she was born, I have never once been angry with her. We have NEVER, in all these years had an argument! I guess it was just a perfect situation. It is hard to define our relationship. With the age difference, she was almost like my own child. Yet, she was still my baby sister. It is so hard to put into words, the overwhelming feeling of love I have for her.

I am so proud of the woman she has become. She is a perfect Mom to her precious little boy. She is a wonderful wife to her soul mate!

As I said before, I can't even begin to explain the bond that we have. All I do know is she is my pride and joy......she has always been a bright light in my world.......she is everything I could have wished for and most of all.......she was an answer to a little girls prayer!

Happy Birthday Baby Sister..........I Love You!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Princess Turns Seventeen

It is hard to believe but, tomorrow my beautiful baby, The Princess will be seventeen! It seems like yesterday that she came into this world and changed our lives in a way that we could never have imagined.

We had two little boys when we found out that we were getting a very unexpected bonus baby. We had thought we were through having children but, God had a surprise for us.

We chose not to find out what we were having and it was a wonderful surprise to find out that we now had a little girl to go along with our precious boys. Our joy soon turned to fear when we realized that all was not well with our baby girl. She was struggling to breathe and was immediately put on oxygen and antibiotics. As the next two days wore on our little one just kept getting sicker and sicker.

Our baby, it turns out had pneumonia. The fluids quickly filled her lungs and the doctors made the decision to send her to the hospital in Montgomery. The ride to Montgomery was the longest of my life. We did not know if she would still be alive when we got there. Thank the good Lord she was.

We put our trust in God and he took care of our sweet baby. Each day I watched her tiny little chest as she struggled to breathe. The only part of her that I could touch was her little hands. When I went into the PICU to see her, I would sit there and rub the palms of her hands. This ritual became a part of our nightly routine. We would rub the palms of her hands until she went to sleep.

Every day that I headed into the PICU I was afraid of what I would find. I remember telling her Daddy that I knew that God was not going to give us this special gift just to turn around and take her away.  Finally the day came that our little one was able to breathe on her on. We were finally able to bring her home ten days after she was born.

I remember during those horrible days of uncertainty thinking to myself that soon if would be sixteen or seventeen years from now and all of this would just be a distant memory. Now, here I am seventeen years later and it IS a distant memory.
Our Princess has grown from being that tiny sick little baby to a beautiful young lady! She is our miracle baby! So, on her seventeenth birthday I want her to know how proud I am of her. You have overcome so many obstacles in your life and you have done it with grace, class and dignity. I am so proud of you my precious girl and I can not wait to see what the future holds for you! I love You Haddie Bug! Happy Birthday!

Sunday, January 2, 2011


I don't believe in New Years resolutions but, I do believe in making promises to yourself. So, that is just what I did!

Last year I promised myself that, 1. I would chisel away at our debt. 2. I would lose weight and get healthier 3.I would spend more FUN time with my family. 4. I would work on being a better person. I am happy to say that I have worked really hard on all of these things.

I have paid off two of our credit cards and about to pay off the third and last one. This will leave us with three bills, not including utilities and such.

I have joined Metabolic Research Center and I have lost almost 30lbs. While I still have a lot more to lose, I can honestly say that I feel better than I have in years and I am excited about losing even more!

I have always spent a lot of time with my husband and kids but, that time has not always been fun and relaxed. This past year we went to the beach twice with the whole family, I went with the kids mudding and I have spent a lot of one on one time with them. I have enjoyed real conversations with them as well. My oldest got married and even though there were moments of stress (it's a wedding!) I still enjoyed the special moments that wedding brought to us.

I have worked this past year to be a better person. I know that is a very vague statement but, I knew in my mind what I wanted to be. I wanted to be a kinder, more thoughtful, happier and less stressed person. I have tried to focus more on others and their needs rather than my own issues. I have tried to remember birthdays, special occasions and important things going on in the lives of others. I have worked hard not to let the stress get to me and even when it did, I tried not to let it spill onto others. I have gone out of my way to make sure I let some people know how much I appreciated the things that they do. Some people I just gave a hug to. You would be amazed at how a simple gesture like that makes not only you, but the person getting the hug feel. I have said the words "I love you" more and meant them. We so often assume that people know we love them but, just to be on the safe side tell them any way! I have also tried to give an encouraging word when I knew someone was not having the best of times. Sometimes people just need to know that someone does care!

In the last year my life has been so much better. You will never convince me that it is not because of the things that I promised myself last year. I hope to chisel away at those last three big bills and put more money in savings. I AM going to continue to lose weight. Losing weight has allowed me to enjoy more of the fun time with my kids and there are so many things I want to do with them and I know losing weight will allow me to do that. I am not the person I want to be yet but, I like the me that I am now way better than the person I was before. I am still a work in progress.

Now, I have worked really hard on all of these things but, I am no where near finished so, I am going to promise myself those same things again this year. While I have many challenges ahead of me in this new year, I know that with the right attitude and the support of my family and friends I will get through it.

Happy New Year to all of you and if you see me out and about remember............I am a work in progress!