Walking in Memphis

Today I’m so thankful that I got to go on a field trip with Charlotte’s class. This was something I was not able to do at all last year because I was working full time, so I was glad to have the chance this year. The students traveled to the Orpheum Theater in Memphis for a performance called “Red and Green” by a group of artists known as Rhythmic Circus. The show involved tap dancing and beatboxing and live music. The best part was that Charlotte wanted to sit by me. 🙂

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Grainy Orpheum pic

And I wouldn’t have been able to go at all were it not for my wonderful in-laws, who watched Ava for me. They moved to Jackson back in the spring, and it has been wonderful for all of us to have them in town! I’m so glad that Charlotte and Ava will be so close to both sets of grandparents as they grow up. We are blessed indeed.

I’m also thankful for the fact that thanks to one of the teachers at the school, I was prevented from driving to Memphis on a very low front tire. The teacher noticed the tire when I dropped off Charlotte, so I was able to go immediately to a gas station to put air in it. Then a friend of mine helped secure me a ride to Memphis with her and another mom, and my father-in-law came and took my van to a tire shop and got it fixed while I was in Memphis, so it was ready and waiting for me when we got back! God was definitely watching out for me today.

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There Were Never Such Devoted Sisters

Today I’m thankful for this sweet moment:

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I have worried about the age difference between the girls, that it would mean that they won’t be close. I don’t know if they will be close or not, but I know that right now, Charlotte is completely enamored of Ava. She will try and cheer her up if she’s fussing, she wants to help me with any task (with the exception of changing diapers), and she loves to play with her. I can only hope and pray that their bond grows stronger as they grow older.

There’s Something About November 12…

Two years ago today I had arthroscopic surgery on my right hip. I posted on Facebook after the surgery and said that I was looking forward to starting the journey toward being pain free. Two years, another hip surgery, weeks on crutches and even more weeks of physical therapy (and not mention a few thousand dollars) later, and it seems that I’m still on that journey toward being pain free.

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Sometimes I have questioned whether surgery was the right thing, but I know it’s foolish to question decisions I’ve already made, for I can’t change the past. And if I had to do it all over again, I probably still would have the surgeries because if I didn’t, I would always wonder if I did everything I could to find and treat the source of my pain. Even though my surgeries didn’t have the complete outcome I hoped they would, they did show me how blessed I am to have a strong support system. My husband was invaluable to me in the days and weeks after my surgery, helping me get out of bed and to the bathroom and in the shower and around the house and on and on and on. My parents helped care for Charlotte and also for me. My church family made sure we had meals to help us in the early weeks, and I don’t even know how many prayers were prayed for me. There is nothing like suffering to show you who your friends are.

Five years ago today, I came home from another visit to a hospital, this time after spending a week there and finding out I have ulcerative colitis. I remember feeling so incredibly grateful to be at home and being overwhelmed with the kindness of the Lord. I had a chronic illness but also a heightened sense of God’s love for me.

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I don’t have any desire to spend more time in a hospital, but I’m thankful for the way that the Lord has watched over me there and everywhere. I’m thankful for the way this day reminds me that the Lord’s mercies are new every day.

Five Months with Ava

Ava turned five months old today. The saying “the days are long but the years are short” really does ring true; it doesn’t seem possible that she’s been with us for five months already, but there have also been days that have seemed to drag on forever. We had struggles with breastfeeding early on that led to exclusively formula feeding, then tummy issues, then reflux problems and sleeping problems. There have been few nights of truly restful sleep (although hopefully that is changing, as the last two nights were wonderful), and some days were filled with so much fussing and crying that it brought me to tears as well. Despite this, it’s hard to remember what our family was like before Ava was in it, so completely has she captured all of our hearts. Seeing Charlotte interact with her has been such a beautiful blessing, and there’s really no one who can make Ava smile and laugh like Charlotte can. Ava has a smile for everyone, and she giggles with her whole body. Since she started rolling front to back and back to front two weeks ago, she’s been even more curious about everything around her. Her play gym doesn’t hold her interest for long anymore now that she can move around, and I know that once she’s crawling it will be even harder to keep her in one spot! It seems like her sweet brown eyes don’t miss a thing, and she’s fascinated with her hands and feet and our dog Bailey and everything that Charlotte does.

Being with Ava every day has allowed me to see how much a baby can change in a matter of days, and that means that even the hard days will turn into better days. I have delighted in being with her, even on days when she’s fussing or not napping because I know how very blessed I am to get to raise another girl. The Lord chose us for Ava, and Ava for us, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.