Sunday, February 27, 2011

Caroline's Due Date

"The light shines in the darkness and the darkness doesn't extinguish the light." ~ John 1:5

Well, here we are. One of the days that I have been dreading the most. Caroline's due date. All that I can say is that I'm so glad that it falls on a Sunday. We started out this morning by going to early church at 8 am. I really was at complete peace when we walked through the doors but when Bobby held up a prayer card to me and indicated that he was putting Caroline's name on it for our churches prayer time I almost lost it. I knew that it absolutely was something that had to be done but I can not even describe to you the anxiety I felt while waiting to get to that portion of the service. When our Pastor started to read out the prayers for the week hers was the first one that he called out. I cried almost immediately and after a few moments I realized that I had to get out of there. I'm sure all around us would have realized what was going on and not cared in the least but by then I was at that horrible choking/sobbing point and I never let my kids see me like that. Our church is extremely small and when you leave the sanctuary it just goes right outside. It was something from a Jane Austin novel as I darted out of the church and into the rain and the mist. The weather felt exactly as I did at that moment. Thankfully there is a ladies room in another building close by that I hid out in until I felt better to creep back into the service. I felt bad as I had wanted to talk to our Pastor after the service but I knew with my emotional state where that would lead and I was exhausted by that point.

Thankfully after church we had breakfast out and it was really good. Can you tell that I'm an emotional eater ? :) My hubby let me nap when we got home until my MIL came over with beautiful flowers for us. We promptly placed them on the mantle right next to our beautiful little girl.

Caroline is in the little silver box on the right. By the way, we used the same vase today that we used at her funeral. It's soo pretty!

After lunch I made my way out for some therapeutic shopping. I headed over to the Family Christian Store and I found the most beautiful cross to add to our cross wall (that we will soon start work on!) to forever commemorate Caroline.

I loved it the second that I saw it with its brightly colored beads and not that you can tell in this picture but mixed in are little silver dragonflies!

I also found a new devotional journal that I plan on starting tomorrow  called "Looking Up ~ Trusting God With Your Every Need" by Beth Moore. I'm really hoping that it will provide the encouragement that I'm needing right now!

Looking Up Devotional Journal: Trusting God with Your Every Need

I finished off the day but just being a little silly. I painted my toenails pink in honor of Caroline. So maybe not a little silly, maybe a lot. But, Oh well. From now on its really just the little things that I'll be able to do to honor her and show her how much I love her on a daily basis. I can talk about her to my friends and family, I can blog about her, I can continue to better myself  so I can be an even better Momma to her big brothers Graham and Grady. I can paint my toenails pink!

I love you sweet baby girl and I miss you soo much! XOXO!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lasagna Wheels!

Oh my gosh this dish is soo easy and yummy! It really is identical to making homemade lasagna but you just put it together differently. I like to make my sauce homemade (also super easy) but you can easily use the jarred stuff.

What you need for the sauce:

1 lb. hamburger meat (I like 80/20 for the extra flavor that it adds!)

2-3 10 oz. cans of tomato sauce (you can use more or less if you like yours tighter or wetter)

1/4 cup diced onions

2 tsp. Lawry's Seasoning Salt

2 tsp. Lawry's Garlic Salt

2 tsp. Dried Basil

2 tsp. Dried Oregano

5 tsp. Soy Sauce

5 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce

(The last two ingredients may sound totally odd-ball but those are the most important. They impart such a rich, amazing flavor to the sauce!) Brown meat and onion together then add all the rest of the ingredients. Simmer for 30-45 minutes on low stirring occasionally.

What you need for the filling :

32 oz. Ricotta Cheese

1 egg

3 tsp. Lawry's Garlic Salt

1/2 cup Shredded Mozzarella cheese

My family and I love Ricotta Cheese so I usually add a lot. You can totally change this to your preference! Sometimes I add a little extra sauce in or even drained spinach!

Boil lasagna noodles with several dashes of Olive Oil. (I boil the whole package but don't always use all the noodles - its just nice to have a backup when some tear!) Once noodles are done, dried, and cooled lay them flat and smear the filling along the whole length of the noodle. Start at one end and start rolling! Continue until you have filled a large Pyrex dish. Simple as that!

Cover Lasagna Wheels in the sauce and top with Mozzarella cheese.

Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

The best part of this dish is that everything can be pre- made separately much earlier in the day and right before dinner time just top the Lasagna Wheels with sauce and bake. I love that about this dish! I make this in the morning while the kids are playing and then have ZERO to stress about when its time to start dinner!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Our Days in Pictures

This week has seemed to have flown by (for which I am completely grateful for)! I have tried to keep myself as busy as  I can and in doing so have run my little guys ragged like they minded :).

The other day I heard some crazy-serious thumping going on and found this little stink! He had totally emptied out a bunch of toys from our entertainment center, crawled in, and went to town with his little fist and feet. You should have seen the living room by nap time... we could hardly walk across the floor for all the toys he had scattered. But, it was so much fun!

When Graham got home from school he joined in on the toy fiasco. Usually he getting "too old" to play with Grady's baby-ish toys but he couldn't help himself this time. I made a point to grab his picture here because I feel like I'm constantly taking pictures of only Grady because he's at home with me all day and Graham is at school!

We couldn't help ourselves but to pull out the trusty playdough when it started to drizzle today outside. All morning all I heard was "Wook! It's a snake! Ssssssss". Can you guess that its his favorite thing to make? :)

This is Graham tonight before he headed out to his Cub scout meeting with his Dad. Soo handsome!! I'm so proud of how well hes done so far. This is his 3rd year and he's learning so much. Bobby volunteered to be the assistant Den leader and its the greatest thing ever that they get to spend really good quality time together just the two of them!

Grady couldn't help himself but to jump in during picture time. Dontcha just loovvveee the no matching shorts he has on? They were a quick grab after an afternoon nap accident. Ah well....

Here Graham wanted me to take a picture of all the belt loops he has earned during his 3 years! He just beams with pride when he comes home with new ones. His Momma might just beam with a little pride too...

Well its almost the weekend and I'm sure that everyone is as eager as I am for it to be here. Nothing exciting yet is planned....for me at Bobby's honey-do list is another matter :)....

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Grady's New Favorite Song

So as all know, Grady has been attempting some potty training. Consequently, he has been eating a lot of bribes to entice to sit on said potty. Namely Smarties and Lolly pops.

When Grady walked up to me this morning and asked for a Lolly Pop I said that we needed to take pants off and go sit on the potty and then idly began singing the Lollipop song by The Cordettes. He liked the song tons but oh course I only knew the chorus. After a quick google I came up with this and he was in love! I can not tell you how long we sat at the computer together with him requesting to hear this song over and over. SO PRECIOUS! I can't wait to find out what other songs my little song bird falls in love with. In honor of Grady today I leave you with this to brighten your day too!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Caroline Elizabeth ~ Part 3

Jesus said: “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.

And here we are at the unfortunate end of our story. Caroline's true due date is only just a few days away. Because she would have been born by C-section I would have been able to pick out her due date for myself. Technically her due date would have been February 27th but my doctor does his scheduled C-sections up to a week before. There is no way that I would have been able to wait all the way until February 27th. I would probably have picked Monday or Tuesday of this coming week because I'm the type of Momma that by the end of my pregnancy I'm just done with it all. I'm already sick to my stomach that I should be walking  waddling around, taking it easy and nesting. I should be wondering who Caroline will be born looking like and not already knowing. I should be having Bobby load our bags into the car for "just in case something happens sooner". I should be making arrangements for who will watch our boys while we're at the hospital. I'm still soo damn angry that I don't have anything to do.

The Saturday afternoon that we left the hospital was one of the worst days of our lives. We were leaving the hospital empty-handed know we were leaving our daughter behind somewhere still inside because the funeral home needed to pick her up. Funeral Home. One of the many words that make vomit rise into my throat. Same thing goes for the words Death Certificate, Funeral Arrangements,and Urn. Sadly all of us will one day utter these words about our parents or grandparents but few (thankfully) will have to say these in regards to our children.

The days since October 15th seemed to have flown by supernaturally fast. The first 21 weeks of my pregnancy seemed to drag on but the last 19 since we had her have flown. Most of it has been a blur and maybe that's just one small gift that God has given us. The pain that started off soo acutely has now simmered to a dull constant ache somewhere around my heart and I wonder if I'll go until my dying day with that feeling.

Speaking of God's small gifts reminds me that he has placed things or most importantly PEOPLE in our lives that have made all of this just a little bit easier of a burden to bare.
One of the first gifts that we noticed was while in the hospital and one of the sonographers that was checking my uterus out looked exactly and sounded exactly like one of our very dear friend's husbands Chris. It was such a strange comfort to feel so at ease with a stranger during such a terrible time. Of course we always thank God for the Doctors, Nurses, and Social Workers that took care of us in the hospital.
The next glaring example of a person sent by God was the funeral director that we worked closely with . I walked in that next Monday after I had had her expected to see an older man in a suit but low and behold it was a youngish woman! While we spoke I discovered that she was a Mom of 3 children close in age to my own, didn't live far away, shared my same OB/GYN, and shared her story of recent pain (she suffered and ectopic pregnancy). What a blessing this young woman was! She was soo easy to speak to and cry in front of. She bent over backwards for us to hurry our process along. She even made a trip on her way home one night to pick up the death certificate information from my doctor's office that my OB was dragging his feet on! She really strived to make an unbearable experience the least painful that she could.
We are thankful for our Pastor who ministered to us in the following weeks and shared his and his wife's story of loss at a similar gestation as ours. Many times while he spoke to us we could see the tears in his eyes as he thought back on his painful moments.

We were blessed to have many wonderful friends and family bring food, journals, cards, and letters to share our painful time.

We held her service of remembrance on October 31st at our family's church. Below is one of the prayers that our pastor delivered to comfort us.
"Almighty God, loving Parent of all your children, we come in sorrow that Caroline Elizabeth has been taken from us so soon. Sometimes the burdens of life almost overwhelm us. Yet we put our full trust in you, knowing that through your Son Jesus Christ you are with us always. We take comfort that your loving arms surround us in our time of grief.
Be with Bobby and Hillary in their disappointment and pain. May you walk with them in the painful days ahead as they renew their life and live in your promises of strength and perspective. Be with Graham and Grady and surround them with your loving arms.
Be with their families. Pour your gracious healing upon them as they also are heavy of heart.
In the name of Jesus Christ the Great Physician, we pray. Amen."

I know that Halloween is a strange day to do such a thing but it really ended up being yet another blessing in disguise. It allowed us to get out of the house that night for a little bit and trick or treat and take our minds off things for a little bit. Overall I know that we as a family will make it through this season of our lives and come out on the other side better and stronger. We pray daily that God may bless us with the continuation and completion of our family and complete faith that one day he will!!

If you want to read the rest of Caroline's story you can go here, here, and here.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

We May Never Make it to a Toddler Bed...

So this morning when Bobby went to get Grady up from his bed he noticed that our poor baby had a pretty bad scratch on his foot. He immediately went to check the mattress and sure enough, several springs were poking through! Now this may be alarming to some people to hear this story, but for our house this is oddly the norm. In fact today I had to go and buy Grady his THIRD crib mattress today. And let me tell you, the first two were not cheap. Both being around $100 each we figured that we would get all the use out of them that we could and maybe then some. Our oldest son Graham used his for years! First in his crib and then it went on to beautifully transition onto his toddler bed. He probably used ONE mattress for 4 years! Not so much for our little el-destructo Grady. I literally bought the cheapest one that I could find because if I have to get another in 3 more months I'll have a hissy-fit if I feel that it was just more wasted money!

Our silly monkey likes to take some time to settle down for naps and bed. He amuses himself by jumping (surprise surprise). We have tried countless times to lay him down later thinking that it would equal sleeping sooner but no dice. He still goes through the same "settle down" time irregardless. He also does this in the middle of the night. Kudos to him for not crying when he wakes up but rather finding other "entertainment" until he goes back to sleep. Can I just say how much I dread when its time to move him to a toddler bed with out any rails to keep him restrained?! Bobby and I may just never get another whole nights sleep ever again. Or he may still be sleeping in a crib when he goes off to Kindergarten....

This hole was the worst. I'm pretty sure this one was the culprit in the foot scratching too.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Three Guesses...

Ok now ladies, I know this is going to be pretty difficult but here we go!

What does this



Yup. It's that time.Grady and I are both excited about this. Can you tell?? (I seriously never know anymore what I'm going to get when I tell Grady to smile and say "CHEESE.") So hopefully in the coming months Grady will start to use his Elmo potty with some regularity. I know he's not completely ready for it yet. He will almost always willingly sit on Elmo but nothing has ever come out yet. We are still working on the concept that stuff comes out and it needs to go in Elmo and not his diaper.

Grady does have a friend, Jaxon, who is just a couple months younger than him that always uses the Elmo potty when he comes over. I was beyond excited when I learned this and would eagerly call Grady into the bathroom to come and take a look (beyond gross, I know...). Grady would ruuunnnn into the bathroom to check out all the excitement, take one look, stare blankly at me, and wander away. ::sigh::  I'm going to keep trying though. Nothing high pressure mind you. I'm of the thinking that too much pressure = longer to potty train. My plan thusly has been to ask him 3-4 times a day if he would like to come sit on Elmo and watch a movie we got him ("Elmo's Potty Time") and have a little leftover Halloween/Christmas/New Years/Valentines Day candy.

So far so good though. While no "deposits" have been made yet I'm confident that at least he's becoming familiar and comfortable with his his new throne!

If any of you ladies have any other tips, tricks, or leftover candy we can have :) please let me know!!

Happy Friday Everyone!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Jumpy Place

Yesterday Grady and I were able to escape the confines of our house for a couple hours and had the best time together! I know that I've posted about The Jumpy Place before but we just love it soo much there. There are tons of comfy red couches for the Mommas to lounge on while their kids run around, free coffee (YIPPEE!), a flat screen tv (not quite up and running yet but they've promised that it will be mom shows only), and an awesome owner there that will let you start a tab at the concession stand and all you have to do is wave at her and she'll let your kid pick out what he wants! She has a changing table there for the little ones and a diaper genie to go with it.

Being the Helicopter type mother that I am (forever circling my children to make sure they are ok), I am totally at ease at this place. There is no fear when I can't see them at all times! Grady loves it too because it allows him independence that I don't usually let him have. Seriously... its great training for both of us.

Grady Loved these little carpet circles on the floor by the slide. He jumped more on these than on the inflatables I think!

My sweet nephew Carter. Love you little man!

The big shark was the biggest hit for Grady that day!
I adore these lazy fun days with Grady. We already can't wait to go back! 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday (Alternatly Titled "I'm Brave")

Can you see what Grady is "cooking" here? He is making God knows what with a tiny spatula, a piece of his grapefruit, and a little water that I begrudgingly handed him in a measuring cup! All on my living room coffee table.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What I'm Needing Today

Today I need 3 things. Faith, Hope, and Love.

Typically, I'm the first one to scoff at this phrase. Like it's soo last year. It covers every sign, every candle, every vinyl wall kling... pretty much anything and everything that stands still at either Kirklands or Hobby Lobby has this lable on it. Don't get me wrong. I love both of those stores almost as much as my kids but I do generally try to avoid the phrase while I'm purchasing decor for my home. I find that it's just a tad overdone and that kinda bugs me a little bit.

However lately I have found myself stuggling a lot. Spiritually, emotionally and physically. I've been making myself sick lately with worry and self doubt. As Caroline's true due date rapidly approaches later this week I'm not sure how I'll make it through. I feel guilt and blame that it was my fault that our baby didn't make it. Plenty of doctors have told me "its not your fault" and I just don't know if I can belive them. In truth it was my fault, my body's fault. I'm now scared senseless of the "what if it happens again". The failure to be able to give my husband the daughter that I know he longs for or my boys the sister that they would have loved and protected to the ends of the earth is killing me.

I'm struggling to understand why God wanted our baby back in Heaven with him. I know that God is in control of everything and that he has a purpose for everything. But, I'm having a time of it this week to stay firm in my faith and take comfort in the fact that God knows what He's doing. My faith has been so shaken that I'm having a hard time letting God take over again. I've spent wasted time trying to control every little situation myself lately that I'm making myself and my wonderful husband crazy lately.

So, I'm determined to try and get in a better frame of mind. I realize that none of our futures are certain and that God is the one in the driver's seat! Ultimately everything is in God's hands and I have to trust in Him that he brings me and my husbands fondest wish of completing our family in the near future!

I'm choosing FAITH in God, HOPE for our future, and the LOVE of my family!

I got a Hobby Lobby gift card for my birthday, maybe the boys and I should take a little trip the afternoon and pick out some new decor for our home... :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

Hello all! This is Bobby, I have given Hill the night off for rest and relaxation. She is currently laying in bed watching TV while I sit here with steam coming out of my ears trying figure out what to write. I have always had a hard time putting my thoughts to paper while Hill makes it look so easy when she writes. I really admire the time and effort she puts into this blog so we can look back at all the memories we are creating every day.

This past week was our wedding anniversary. I still can not believe it has been 10 years! Time really flies when you are with someone you really love and enjoy being with. The boys have really added so much joy in our lives. They amaze me everyday with their unconditional love and silly energy.

I feel so blessed to share my life with these 3 amazing people and hope I bring as much joy into their lives. I hope all of you are able to spend your Valentines day with the ones you love most.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Birthday Weekend Re-Cap!

I have just had the best birthday weekend ever! It was a wonderful couple of days spent with loving family and friends and I am just feeling so loved and blessed right now... just what I was needing! While Graham was at school on Thursday, Grady and I went up to Bobby's work and took him to lunch. We went and ate lunch at Luby's which I have been down-right craving lately!!

Grady is just at that super-silly age where this is all you get when you beg him to smile for a picture!

My handsome hubby!

Grady and I went straight home for some big-time, big-belly naps after all that good comfort food! When I woke up I found flowers that had been delivered to our door step from Bobby.

The card read "I can not believe it has been 10 years. It does not seem that time has passed, I guess when you enjoy who you are with it makes time fly. I love you more and more every day. ~ with all my soul, all my heart, all my beans"

Bobby's card to me totally made me cry. I love to see that we said almost the same thing to each other in our cards! Bobby was able to leave work early that day and so we were able to head into New Braunfels and eat some dinner out! Yeah no cooking for me! We met Bobby's parents at the Longhorn Steak House. Also super yummy!

Of course we tried to get pictures of the family while we were there and all that I can say is that pretty much I give up on ever getting a perfect one! From now on I'll just be content that we are all looking in the same direction!

Exhibit: A

Exhibit: B

Exhibit: C

Exhibit: D Bobby's Parents (Omi and Opi to our kids!)

Ahh...Finally a picture where we are both looking straight ahead!
Omi and Opi were sweet and brought me fun gift cards and cute flowers and balloons!

This is the super funny balloon my MIL brought me. Oh to be one again... :)

This is the other balloon my MIL brought. My hubby thinks that it looks like the blown-up frog from the first SHREK movie!

Friday, one of my best friends drove down from Dallas to come and see me! Love you soo much Amy for taking the time to hang out with me! She was headed in my general direction but she totally made a several hour detour for me. We were able to see a movie on Friday. We picked " The Roommate". Yeah, it was completely predictable but still good fun! We took pictures together. Remember what I said earlier about trying to get good ones? I guess I need to give up all the way around...

You can not even begin to imagine the number of "more chins than the Chinese phone book" jokes were made here...

Still can't stop laughing...
Amy was awesome and brought her two little daschunds with her for our dog Crash to play with. They TORE it up here having such a good time together. Sometimes I worry that Crash doesn't get exposed to enough dogs and this is always such a good experience for him.

Saturday we had a great day at Graham's Cub Scout Pinewood Derby. I love love love that Graham can be part of such a great organization. He has learned so many new leadership skills in the 3 years that he's been involved! Bobby and Graham started working on his car a couple of weeks ago and their time really paid off! He came home with one 3rd place trophy (where he was separated from first and second place by only .100 and .200 of a second) for his den and 7th overall! Good Job Graham. We are soo proud of you!

Graham and his friend Michael.

Bobby working soo hard with the other men!

Graham and his Bear Den.

This is pretty much how Grady spent his time...eating and drinking!

Saturday night we went out to eat again! Guess how much weight I have gained in 4 days. Its horrible! We ate at one of our favorite seafood place, Sea Island. We met Bobby's parents again, Bobby's brother Cody and his wife Melanie, and Bobby's sister Stacy and her boyfriend Jason. Good thing that I forgot to take pictures while we were there. I don't think that this post could handle any more! I still have more stuff from Sunday to post on but for everyone's sanity (including my own :) I'll wait until tomorrow !

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

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