Saturday, January 28, 2012

AMEN AMEN AMEN and A Perfect Date!!!

Over 7 years ago, my sweet Aiden came into this world perfect!  Perfectly formed the way God created him.  For the first time ever, I experienced a piece of my heart, a VERY large one, walking around this world outside of me!  What a gift, what a challenge, and what a journey being Mama is.  Beautiful.  Irreplaceable.  Amazing.  A gift.  And absolutely life changing!

My sweet baby boy was born a little different than what the world's standards would call perfect.  His early arrival was accompanied by a surprise club foot.  I'll never forget what happened in my heart that day.  After being airlifted to Salt Lake City, 31 hours of labor, and a decision to allow me to give birth-Aiden entered this world.  As they rushed him out of the room for assessments and such, I remember noticing his foot was turned.  I wasn't alarmed, I wasn't scared, and I wasn't upset.  I had a breathing, crying, full of life baby boy!  I just noticed his foot, that's all.  My mind took note and filed the thought for later.


And then came the bearers of this news to my bedside.  These were not the Dr.'s, nurses, or anyone other than simple minded people.  They were so somber, a look of fear in their eyes, and sadness emanated from their hearts.  They didn't want to tell me, I could see it all over their faces.  As they gently broke the news that my baby boy had been born with a club foot, my heart soared and every part of me rejoiced.  I had been given the perfect child.  The words that escaped my mouth took absolutely no thought at all...."if that's all that's wrong with him, then THANK GOD!"  I couldn't make their feelings add up and I didn't try.  What was there to be upset about?  What about this situation was devastating?  And how could they think that this was something tragic?  So his foot was formed differently than ours.  SO WHAT!!!!  He was alive.  He was healthy.  And there was nothing about his little body that couldn't be fixed.  And how strange even that sounded to me.  You see, he WAS already a perfect child.  And he had been given to and entrusted to me!

After almost a week in the hospital, my sweet baby boy was released to go home.  He never even hit the NICU, just a level 2 nursery with full time observation, oxygen, Billi-lights, and IVs.  6 weeks early and he was tough even then....and big!  At 6lbs. 3oz. their first thought was that there was no way he was six weeks early.  Although resuscitated at birth, everything else pointed to a full term baby....until they completed their assessment on him.  And sure enough....he was 6 weeks early after all.  Just a big baby boy! 

With the first appointment at Shriners Childrens Hospital just a couple of days away, we stayed in Salt Lake City.  December roads in Wyoming and Utah are no joke, especially with a brand new baby!  Grandma, Aiden, and I enjoyed those days in a hotel and I was forever changed by the feelings that came up when it was time to head to Shriners for his foot.  I was so SAD!!!!  This was my baby boy, he WAS perfect, and I didn't want them to change anything about him, even his foot.  Now as Mama, I knew this wasn't reasonable, I knew he needed and deserved treatment to correct his foot so that he would run and play with other children as he grew.  But it pulled on my heart in ways I can never explain.  So Mom and I did what we had to do.  I loved on that little foot and thanked God for this perfect baby.  We took pictures so we could forever treasure this perfect part of him.  And then yes, we headed to Shriners. 

Aiden had 8 different casts on that foot in the first 11 weeks of his life.  That was many, many weekly trips to Salt Lake City and an awesome hospital!  Right before the last cast, they released (basically just poked) his tiny tendon so that it wouldn't remain tight and pull his foot back to where it had been at birth.  This release would allow the tendon to reattach and grow to accommodate the new position of his foot.  And then, it was special shoes for quite some time!  I called him my little Houdini because even this tiny.....the little stinker could always escape these shoes!!!

So here we are, 7 years later, with a little boy and his foot no one even knows is different unless they're told or inspect him up close!  And he's done great until about a year ago when we noticed it was turning in again and that he was falling alot if he wasn't wearing shoes!  Back to Shriners (we are now treated in Shreveport) for the news that thankfully it's not in his bone (that means no hardware) BUT that they will need to go in and lengthen that tendon to release his foot.  So back into a brace until surgery.  The brace isn't for correction, but for prevention of it worsening.  Basically, we're buying time until he gets some more growing done and they can do the surgery.

Oh he's been SO scared, so worried, and very upset any time this comes up.  Surgery is a scary thing, especially for a child, and even more so after he watched what I went through in major surgery and recovery last summer.  That's what he equates surgery with, although it's two completely different things and levels of severity.  So we've prayed, we've asked for prayer, and we've counted on God's promise that where two or more people join together in His name, He is amongst them.  There IS power in that!!!  And still, my prayer remained the same....that the Lord comfort Aiden and take his fear away. 

And then a dear Christian friend asked me a question the night before our recent appointment.  She asked me what it was I was wanting out of tomorrow.  That kind of stopped me in my tracks.  I knew the answer....I wanted comfort for our Aiden, for any and all fear to be taken away.  The reason I was taken back?!?  Because I realized I hadn't been praying for healing or that surgery not have to be done.  You see, I KNEW his foot needed help, it had to be fixed, that was just going to be a part of it.  And yet, at that moment I realized my lack of faith that God could fix this.  Still, my prayer remained the same and my friend told me she would pray for that, and that God's will be done in this.

How many times have I underestimated the God we serve?!?  How often we forget about the last time, the time before that, and even the first time that He showed us how much bigger He is than our small requests.  How much more He knows.  How much He wants to shower his love on us.  How many times He's turned sorrow into joy, heartache into glory, and unanswered prayers into answered prayers after all.  Yes, I have done it again.  He did more than answer our prayers yesterday.....

NO SURGERY!!!!  NOT NOW and probably NEVER in the future.  Aiden's foot looks great and even if it were to worsen, we have SO many options other than surgery.  Surgery isn't even on the list.  AMEN!  PRAISE GOD!  And THANK YOU Lord for reminding me once again just how little my faith has been.  And even more, that HE LOVES us anyway.  The joy in Aiden's heart yesterday was priceless.  And it was more than just a relief that there will be no surgery.  You see, it was a real, living, and perfect example of God's work being bigger than us.  Of Him going above and beyond what we desire.  We bowed our heads in that exam room and we thanked Him for doing this for my little boy.  WHAT A MIGHTY GOD WE SERVE!

To make this day more bearable, to calm his fears, and to be able to focus just on Aiden, we had left the babies back home and I had a day full of surprises planned for Aiden.  Instead of a 'consolation trip of fun', yesterday's Aiden and Mommy date became one of celebration!  We had SO much fun together and made memories to last a life time!  On the books.......


NEW BOOTS FOR AIDEN (it's still tennis shoes with a brace or boots to hold his foot straight and keep it stretched!) 




And at the end of our very special day together, our little boy sat across the table from me as we talked about our favorite parts and how much fun we had.  A perfect day together and then, the most awesome words from this little man....."I really miss the babies."  It was time to go home so we could all celebrate together! 

Thank You Aiden James for an awesome day!  We love you so very much and you are ALWAYS perfect!  God has big plans for your life and we love watching you grow and watching those unfold! 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Our Daily Joy

Oh poor, dear blog, how I’ve missed your posts!  I love looking over the words that are so dear to my heart, the pictures that have captured forever moments for our family, and the sense of accomplishment behind knowing that I’ve recorded a moment of our history!  If only I had you back in my schedule…..

Oh yes, that would be my own fault now wouldn’t it?  Life is busy, the children are growing, the land and house call for more attention than I have to give, and the days have flown by without sitting down to capture the memories!  So, once again, I’m back to my blog and excited to be here! 
So many moments to share and so little blog space for the night.  So, I’m going to touch on the highlights of the last couple of months!  And of course, a picture is worth a thousand words! 

Alaina, Cass, and Cousin Tucker
Aiden has finished his first half of first grade with flying colors!  And we’re off to a great start for the remainder of the year!  I enjoy so much being able to be near him throughout the school days, it’s something that’s very near and dear to both of our hearts!  And that update will be later in the post!

Gracie LOVES dance and did so good at her first recital!  I love to see my baby girl growing up and the beautiful, sweet, perfect daughter that I’ve been given!  I can’t believe she’ll be starting school next year but I know she’s ready and will do great!

Little man Cass, just as busy as ever and always bringing smiles to our faces and laughter from our hearts!  Hard to believe the little guy is fast and full speed ahead into his 2 year old days!  He absolutely loves the movie tangled (yes, there’s manly parts in there) and his Choo Choo’s!  My little wild thing had his first trip to the dentist after falling on his mouth (nothing new) and getting a gray tooth (now that....broke my heart).  Good news is that the nerve is still alive, sad news is that it's permanently bruised, and sweet news is that big sister held his hand and comforted him the whole time!

Alaina Jade, growing so fast and gracefully, such a special part of our family!  We love our time with each other and it’s become quite the tradition that she (and Gracie too) offer to help me cook!  They’re good at it too and we’ve put together some great meals!  As of Christmas, we all three have our own aprons on the hook in the kitchen and a whole lot of new supplies to make the magic happen!

An then my husband!  Have I ever mentioned how much I love that man?  I love him more today than I did even yesterday and even more....I'm still very much IN love with him!  A good, strong, loving man, he works so hard to take care of us.  We miss him while he's away and hope that in the not so far off years to come he'll be able to come home to work.  Until then, we're going to make the best of what we've got!  Coon dogs....everywhere!  Some really great ones too.  I will be sure to post pictures and get that blog up and rolling soon too!  On a not so canine note....look at the wonderful surprise I got at work the other day!  And, the kids ready for a fun family night of coon hunting.  We had a blast! :)


Life goes on with laughter, challenges, and days of craziness in a house with Tommy, myself, and all
of our little people!  The days are good, the memories are made, and even the hard times bring about a part of our memories together!  God is good to us, we are blessed, and it’s always my goal to keep that at the front of our busy, hectic, and at times discouraging days!  Simple.  I strive for simple.  In the meantime….life happens and the Lord blesses the work of my hands.  THANK GOD for that because on my own, well, we won’t even think about that possibility!
On another note, I’ve had some big changes happen in the past few months.  Our daily life has taken on a different tune and I promise you that the music is upbeat, fast, unpredictable, and joyous!  I went back to work at the end of October.  Not just a job, but an amazing job.  A job that daily reminds me of God’s will and fits perfect with our family!  I started working at Aiden’s school, a Christian Academy, as an aide working with the 3 year old PreSchool program.  So not only do I get to work with little ones in a Christ centered environment, but I get to do it while watching an amazing school grow right alongside my own children!  It was bittersweet to leave my weekly role at the ProLife pregnancy center I volunteered at, but a very special lesson that sometimes God calls us in other directions….even when we’re already on a great path!  And LifeChoices, I love everything about all of you, my memories are so dear, and you will always have a very special place in my heart.  I thank God for leading me to you, and I look forward to always being a part of your ministry and the wonderful family I made there!
To have a peek into our PreSchool blog, go here
Life is never perfect, I am everything but that, and hard times always find their way into the best of our days.  But with my eyes on Jesus, I know where I am, and that’s right where He wants me to be.  While our days are filled with the craziness of life with 4 kids, a full time job, a husband who works away from home, and a world around us that’s so broken….I have a peace and a joy that can’t be duplicated by anything this world has to offer.  And I hope that today, you have that peace too! 
God Bless!