Thursday, February 21, 2013

Doppleganger

Life has not been exciting lately so that's why my posts have been scarce. We've been busy with our schedules of school, therapies, gym, church, and friends that we haven't done anything very interesting to blog about.

But there is something I haven't shared on here yet.

When William has therapy, Alanna always tags along. Sometimes I feel like we live there.

Anyway, there's a therapist who makes a comment to me all the time that I was unaware of: Alanna looks like a young Drew Barrymore. Like, from the movie E.T.

I saw that movie a LONG time ago and honestly don't remember much of it. So I went online and found a picture of Ms. Barrymore:

source
Let's compare to my little girl:


Yes, I guess I can see a resemblance. Do you?


Friday, February 15, 2013

Look for the good

Despite the horrible start to my week I feel I must note some highlights. All in all it wasn't a bad week... just emotionally difficult.

So yes, good things that happened this week:
  • My brother returned from Afghanistan! Whoot! Best part of my week hands down! He is back in Colorado safe and sound. Because of delays my dad wasn't able to stay for the homecoming but my mom was there.
  • The weather was nice enough to allow the kids to play outside and it was fun to chase them all around the playground.
  • I went to the gym and got my workouts in. I reluctantly went. I mostly hated what I had to do. It sucked. I ended up sweating a lot. I am glad that I am improving.
  • I was able to attend Will's Valentine's Day party at school. It was endearing to see how he interacts with some of his peers. Good to talk with a couple other parents and his teachers to learn more about how he is in class. Turns out all the adults love him, call him the 'sweetest boy' and apparently everybody wants to take him home. His classmates are all encouraging and including. He is well-liked.
  • I got a new book... and another one is on the way.
  • Valentine's Day candy. Who needs to say more?
  • Girl Scout cookies arrived. Also enough said.
  • Ryan gave me a dozen red roses and he got Lana 1/2 dozen pink roses. It was so cute. She LOVES them and tells me about how daddy got them just for her and they are her flowers and they are pretty and they smell nice... and all the other adorable prattleing a girl her age goes on about.
  • Although my play date attendance was hampered by sick children, I had a lovely time with my friend Christy and her boys for the afternoon.
  • I received news that two of my friends from New Mexico and their children are planning to visit with me during the summer! I am so thrilled. Not sure how we're going to work everything out but I am smiling just thinking about spending time with these amazing women.
Yes, it was a good week overall. I am thankful I have supportive friends and family who I can talk to and vent with. They can grieve with me, provide encouragement, offer prayer, and lift my spirits. Life keeps going. I may still be sad and heartbroken for my friend, but I continue to carry on and find the joy in the things around me.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Heavy Heart

I have been crying off and on for most of the afternoon and decided maybe I should share my heart on here. Maybe it will help gather my thoughts. Perhaps it can help somebody in these type of situations or maybe somebody has advice for me.

This afternoon I received a phone call from Tegan in New Mexico asking if I got a text from a friend of ours. When I said no she informed me about what happened and thankfully I was driving in a parking lot because I immediately needed to pull over.

Our friend dealt with infertility for quite some time. I was beyond thrilled for her when she let us know she was actually pregnant! I was bummed that I wasn't going to be there for her pregnancy but couldn't wait until spring/summer because her husband had orders to join us at AFIT! I would be able to reconnect with her and spend time with her little baby girl.

Unfortunately that will not come to be. Today my friend went in to be induced at a solid full term. I do not know all the details or why... but her daughter passed away.

I am heartbroken. I just cannot imagine that kind of pain. We can find comfort that this precious little one is in heaven with the Lord, but I just pray for peace and comfort for my friend and the extended family who must mourn the life they would have enjoyed with this child.

They are surrounded by love from family and friends, a faith in God, and prayers from all over.
this image has been popping up all over my facebook from those offering comfort to our friends
I just feel so helpless. Why did this happen? Why to them? They are good people! They actually WANTED this child! They had tried so hard for so long... and then they are at the end only to have their dream yanked from their hands. I can't imagine the pain. To return to a home so full of hope - nursery set up, gifts probably all over the place... and no beautiful baby girl to enjoy them. There just aren't any answers.

It literally hurts my heart for them. I wish I was there, if nothing else but to sit with my friend, give her a hug and cry with her. What more is there to do? What can be said? Any of those cliché lines people spout off when something like this happens just don't fit. "I'm so sorry for your loss" doesn't seem like enough... their pain has to be so deep, my sympathies cannot give them much comfort (I still offer them though).

I am praying for them. I think that's all I can do. I wish I could do more.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Somebody liked my idea

I have become involved with the Just Moved Ministry and have a blog post in the works about the details on that.

Anyway! When I met Susan Miller (Founder/President of Just Moved Ministries) and was talking with her about things that I personally do when I move she loved my idea about my bucket list sites. She asked me to please describe what it is and how I figure everything out and e-mail it to them. Supposedly she wanted to share it with her staff or something, let people know of another good tip to ease transitions.
 
So I typed it out quickly, believing it was just an inter-office thing or something, and sent it off a couple months ago.
 
SURPRISE! It was featured on their website for February on Tips for Moving On. That was a bit of a shock. I might have worked more on my wording if I knew this was going to be seen by so many people!

You can see the link here: Tips For Moving On

Do you do anything like this when you have to move?

For more information on Just Moved Ministry check out their site.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Book Review: Unexpected Love by Julie Zine Coleman


Unexpected Love: God's Heart Revealed in Jesus' Conversations with Women by Julie Zine Coleman

I recently had the pleasure of reading a new book, Unexpected Love: God's Heart Revealed in Jesus' Conversations with Women by Julie Zine Coleman. When I leared what it was about I couldn't wait to get my hands on it.

Coleman delves into nine poignant stories found in the gospels in which Jesus has conversations with women. She begins each chapter setting the scene of what was likely going on, a probable back story on the women, and then what happens. In brief descriptions the reader is transplanted into those childhood Bible stories which now come to life. It was fascinating.

Next, each piece of Jesus' spoken words are broken down, scruntinized, and explained. Much of the language we read in the Bible when it comes to these conversations makes our view of Jesus skewed. By taking the actual Greek words used, Coleman walks us through the definition by today's language and gives us the cultural context of how it was used.  Understanding Jesus' actual meaning gives so much insight into who God is and how much women are loved equally.

Coleman makes her readers think, and I as a reader love that. She asks questions. 'Why do you think this happened?' She is engaging. Her writing style is easy to follow. I also enjoyed the questions she leaves at the end of each chapter which are great for devotional time, a study, or for group discussion.

Reading this book has given me a better knowledge and understanding of Christ and who God is. This helped me grasp a fuller view of who Jesus was as a person, something that has always been of interest to me. His tenderness, kindness, forgiveness, and love came through these pages and I don't see how somebody could not love him back. He cares so much for us!

This is such a great book for women! It is encouraging and uplifting! Want to know how God feels about women? Read this book.


 Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Keeping Him Back

I may have mentioned this before but I can't remember and more has happened so I figured it was time to refresh and expand on the information.

Even though William is turning 5 in about a month, he will not be starting Kindergarten in the fall. Through discussions with the school physchologist, Will's teacher, the therapists who see him at school and privately, Ryan and I decided this was the best decision for Will's future success.

This decision did not come easily. There was some private tears shed on my part. Second guessing of myself. Talks with family and friends and professionals. But now, after seeing some things I know fully in my heart that this is right.

Why hold him back? Well, it's preschool. He hasn't completely grasped some of the concepts and skills that will be neccessary in Kindergarten and because of his delays he may not be able to voice his struggles to his teacher (who will be busy with a classful of other students). This, in turn, could become a snowball effect which will cause educational struggles for the rest of his life. By adding another year at a good preschool, this should bolster up his skills, provide additional assistance where he is weak, and give him the confidence to move ahead.

It is better for him to be held back now and start later while he is so young. He won't be as attached to his friends as if he were in 4th grade or so. There's no strange stigma at this age -- many boys start kindergarten late, usually because of maturity issues.

What makes me a bit more okay about all this is William is approximately a year behind in his physical development. After our last talk with the endocrinologist, it appears that Will's body is the age of a 3 1/5 year old, not a 4 1/2 year old. The doctor stated that William is just a late bloomer and will likely even hit puberty about a year or two behind his peers. By holding him back a year he will be age appropriate to those in his class. He won't be that cute, tiny baby faced little kid surrounded by hairy, smelly, pre-teen boys.

A cool thought is that Will probably will be the first in his class to get a driver's license. Nice.

Yes, he will be 19 when he graduates high school, but at this point I'm okay with that.

And who is to say? He could make amazing progress and skip a grade or even graduate early? I know I was a candidate to graduate a year early because of my credits, but decided against it since I loved high school so much.

I talked with Will's teacher this past week on the phone about how he was doing in school. He is making progress, but his speech is definitely an obstacle. We were in agreement that the school therapists should be in contact with his private therapists to be sure they are working together and seeing the same issues.

William has friends! This was a big relief for me. I ask him about friends at school but he doesn't have the language to tell me about them. His teacher filled me in: There's another boy in his class that has more severe delays and apparently Will has sort of taken him under his wing. They do speech together at school and he models the sounds first. He gives the little boy pats on the back and includes him. This makes my mommy heart swell. And I was told there's a girl who is like the 'mother hen' of the class. Will likes to follow her around, she likes to have him nearby and looks out for him and in return Will helps take care of her to be sure she has what she needs. I was told he has other friends as well that he likes to play with.

His social skills are improving. His verbal skills are improving. So much of my little boy is making progress and even if it's not a fast as I would wish -- it is improvement and it is steady.

We are blessed to be in such a great school district with good early childhood education programs. We have been given good insurance that pays for Will's private therapies. We have wonderful therapists who work well with Will. There are a lot of benefits to being in Ohio and even if I'm not a fan of this place I am willing to stay for the betterment of my children.