Friday, January 27, 2012

The time has come...

To share what's been going on in the Taylor household! Big things have been happening and I've been anxious to share but waiting for what I felt like was the appropriate time & I feel the time is appropriate!

Why waste another minute, right? If the most sophisticated test you'll ever pee on said it's must be so, right? Ha! That commercial cracks me up!
I know what your thinking, because I was thinking it too (that is after I stopped crying long enough to even process a thought!) It went a little something like this: can't.breathe....need air...or paper bag....whichever will come did this happen (wait I know that part) snort sniffle, blow, choke! oh my word oh my word OH.MY.WORD.Y'ALL!
And then I told my sweet "rock of a husband" who replied with this: "Lindsy - God's going to take care of us" (enter instance one (following the positive test) where the Lord showed himself in our circumstance) "Besides" Tim said: "what can we do now?" and that became my attitude. Right...what can we do now? This is happening so...I guess we need to embrace it, right?  
So...I smiled when I told my closest of friends in that most immediate time of knowing, but truthfully....I was still processing. We knew we wanted more kids, we just didn't intentionally plan to have them quite this close together, but God - he had other plans. Unfortunately his plans included me getting back into my pre-Avery jeans about a week before that blessed positive test...oh how short lived that little grace period was. Thank you Jesus....thank you so much for that. ;)
 It was, however, a HUGE blessing to discover early on that two of my closest friends were not only pregnant as well but due IN THE SAME WEEK (instance two - thank you Lord).
We shared with our pastor and his wife pretty early on too and their reaction was amazing - pure ecstatic joy (seriously!) followed by the most confident and re-assuring "What a blessing" and "God will provide" as if they were stating the sky was blue - LOVE THAT.
Instance three.
So I called my midwife who responded as I thought she would but was ever so kind and excited for us and she scheduled an ultrasound for 7 weeks and of all of my ultrasounds I do believe this is the tiniest little beginning of life I've ever seen. When we (Kennedy and I) went for the appointment I hadn't shared the news with her yet. Once you have a miscarriage you find yourself MUCH more reluctant to share pregnancy news before it's confirmed in some shape or form. So... once the picture was clear and heartbeat audible, the ultrasound tech said "well, there's your baby's heartbeat" to which of course I felt what all Mom's feel - "wow, Lord - you're amazing" huge sigh of relief. (Insert instance four)  Kennedy looked up at the ultrasound screen and said "where is that?" and the tech said "that's in your Mommy's belly honey" and her look....oh her look when she turned to me with her big blue eyes and said "Momma....we are going to have ANOTHER baby?". *I wish I had it on camera! I swallowed back my emotion and then laughed a little and said "yeah, honey - what do you think of that?" and she took a moment wide-eyed and then smiled a sweet smile and said "a baby for Avery" because she still calls Avery her baby. It's one of those moments... you know Mommy moments that I'll remember FOREVER.
The weekend we celebrated Christmas with the Taylors, Dad delivered one of those sermons that Sunday where you JUST KNOW that God is reaching into your soul saying ever so gently "I'm talking to you my child...hear me and listen...let me help you and carry you". I was so emotional the entire time because I just felt that Holy Spirit stirring and my "circumstance" changed in that very instant to my blessing from God in which I was to have no fear or worry. God was going to provide and be with us every.single.step.of.the.way. I don't remember all that was said but I do remember that he gave illustration after illustration where God was with people in the Bible and he was impressing upon the congregation that if he did it then he will do it now and he talked about how much parents love their children and how much more our Heavenly Father loves us. It was a turning point and I'm so very thankful for that turn. Instance five.

We decided to share the news with our families over Christmas because we'd be seeing all of them. When we told the Taylors (by way of a card with the ultrasound enclosed) their first response to our clear apprehension was "God's gonna provide...he'll help you and bless you". Instance six. My Mom wept tears of joy and my sisters gave me confidence and reassurance that it would be wonderful and although it would be crazy we would make it and it would be fun along the way. Instance seven.
Since Abby is one of those closest friends I mentioned earlier who is due the same week, we decided to share with our other close friends in town simultaneously on New Years Eve. Well, I guess I should say the "big sisters" shared. So fun!
It took them a minute to process what was happening but once they did there was joy and hugs abound. So much to be thankful for...
Not a very BIG Big Sister, but a Big Sister nonetheless.
This week marked our 12th week and the week we'd be sharing with my employers and everyone else (thankyouverymuchblogandFacebook). I was REALLY nervous about telling my employers just because, well..I just did this and all, you know?

Well, our church has been reading through Proverbs and on Monday morning I was reading through Chapter 23 and verse 7 really stuck out to me: "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he". In essence - we become what we think and I realized I had become so preoccupied with the reactions I knew were to come like: "was that planned", "were you not on birth control" "are you kidding me". etc. etc. that I had begun to expect the negative and it was making me BE negative rather than joyous. God wants our minds to be renewed according to his word and I automatically thought of a few verses that could renew my mind:
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6
As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it." Genesis 9:7
Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him. Psalm 127:3
The LORD says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8
That sweet quiet time - instance eight.

I had a lot of friends just praying for peace for me and for the right words to say and just over the whole situation. I also had some grace-filled mentors just speak truth into me and help to prepare me for all that lies ahead.
My 12 week ultrasound was scheduled for 10 AM Monday morning and Tim surprised me at the appointment and when we got to see our little peanut and how much it changed......oh....
Instance 9
Instance ten
all looked healthy, perfectly healthy - thank you Lord and look at our little baby! No more unrecognizable object - there are fingers, toes and a perfect little nose!

Bring on the sharing! Sharing with my employers was hard, but it's past me and the Lord was definitely with me during that meeting...I felt every single prayer. When I left work that Monday evening and all this week I've just been in awe - in awe of God's goodness. In awe of how he has woven himself in every little instance. I mean, as believers we know that to be true but I feel like there are times in life when we feel it and are more apt to recognize it and I am so incredibly thankful for those times of nearness, aren't you? Now is one of those times in our lives and I couldn't feel more abundantly blessed and happy to share that "Baby Taylor Tres" as I've begun to call him/her is on his/her way, due to arrive the first week in August.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sweet Old Friend

On Monday of last week our family said "goodbye" to my first baby - my first four-legged baby: Annie. I adopted Annie from my Veterinary Technician Program/School about 12 years ago and she and I lived in a little efficiency - just the two of us for quite a while so she really was like my child. She's been the BEST cat over the years - always friendly and social, great with my kids, healthy her whole life until as of late.

We found out prior to Christmas that she had cancer and it was very aggressively acting so we knew she wasn't going to have much longer with us after we received the diagnosis. We (including Kennedy) were just simply heartbroken. We shared a ton of tears after finding out initially and then again this past Monday. I'm not talking about freely flowing graceful tears either y'all - I'm talking like the sobbing, gut wrenching, shoulder shaking, snotty cry! We just ADORED her - our whole family and extended family! I don't know what hurt worse - saying "goodbye" to Annie myself or watching how gut wrenching it was for Kennedy to say "goodbye" to her - those two were thick as thieves. I will say, it opened up great conversation between our family about Jesus and Heaven and just processing through some things that we've never had to do with Kennedy before. We got to talk about how once we get to Heaven, Jesus restores us and we have no more pain, no more cancer (in Annie's sake), she would get a new/healthy body and be with Hampton and Felicity and Grandpa and all those we know who are there. We discussed how Jesus probably has the best cat beds EVER and how he would probably love petting her and snuggling her just like she herself did. Precious moments for sure. We got to talk about what a blessing Annie had been to us and how much joy she brought us over the years. She was such a sweet, social, loving and precious part of our family. She and Kennedy had a special bond and I just savored all of the pictures I found of the two of them when getting ready to post this blog. 
Every morning....EVERY.SINGLE.MORNING ~ within moments of Kennedy getting cozy to watch some cartoons while I made her breakfast - Annie sat with her. It was a predictable part of our routine. Kennedy often used the excuse of delaying getting ready because: "Mom, Annie and I are snuggling and she's comfy!" 

Even Avery's gotten some of her snuggling. 
Kennedy would cover her up like a baby...
Dress her up in silly bands....
"Decorate" her for holidays....

 & even involve her in quiet play.

She never once tried to scratch either of my girls no matter the roughness that the curiosity caused. 

The day we said our "goodbyes" she developed a nose bleed that would not cease and until Tim could get home from work we put her in the bathroom with a comfy set up and spent lots of time with her. Tim came home from work early and I had him take some pictures of Kennedy and I with her. 

Oh how we miss her already, but oh how thankful I am to have had her all this time. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Better late than never

Like I was saying in my previous posts, (yes, this is the 3rd Christmas posting!) we alternate families for holidays and it was the year to have Christmas with my sisters. My oldest sister graciously agreed to host at their home outside of DC. When I started thinking about the logistics of that trip (though I was super excited to go and see their new home) I really began to stress. That is a crazy long car ride and with the unpredictability of weather and traffic it could be an even longer ride...yikes. I had this horrific vision of a 13 hour trip with lots of crying and drama, so we looked into flights immediately. Almost as quickly as we looked, flying was vetoed because we couldn't spend that kind of $$ for this trip. On a whim I decided to check Amtrak. I've never traveled by train before but I knew my sister and her husband did it often so I figured it was worth a look see. Upon first search I figured I had to be doing something wrong because it looked SUPER affordable and sadly I just knew there was an error somewhere. I called my sister and asked for her assistance since it wasn't her first rodeo and all you know? Well, she basically responded something like this: "It's crazy but it's accurate - BOOK IT NOW SISTER" and so we did...that very same day. I was really excited and OH.MY.WORD. so was Kennedy. We left out of Charleston, WV and arrived in Alexandria, VA. It was a gorgeous ride and the girls did EXCELLENT. We were able to walk around and eat in the cafe car and the seat area was not only comfortable but really spacious. Each passenger was allowed 3 checked bags 50 lbs or less and 2 carry ons so we had more than enough allowance there. I really have no complaints except that maybe the restrooms could've been a bit better maintained.

Here we are pre-departure:
When she wasn't reading or watching DVD's - this is how Kennedy spent her train time:
Dinner in the cafe car:
Avery just enjoyed some squash:
I really wasn't sure how nap time was going to work on the train because this child WILL NOT sleep anywhere but in her crib. She does ok in the car when we take trips so all I knew to do was load the car seat on the train and hope she'd nap on the train like she does in the car. It was a 10 hour train ride - naps HAD to happen.The kids always do better than what I think ~ the car seat idea worked like a charm:
Sweet little sleeper:
We were the first guests to arrive after my Mom and Jim but Melissa, Steve and Declan (aka super cool Baby Santa followed shortly after):
I'm so thankful that in this "girls world" that is our family - the brothers manage to work in their "man time":
Uncle Steve reading "The Night Before Christmas" to the kiddos on Christmas Eve:
Um...not real sure what to say here except seriously!?!?!? We kept saying it reminded us of the outfits the elfs wear in the JibJab Elf Yourself videos that come out during the holidays.
Too funny!:

Let the Christmas fun begin: stockings!
Avery even got into it:
The one thing that Kennedy kept repeatedly asking for was a bed for Kitters. Well, Aunt Catina and family delivered because check out Kitters' stellar bed:
She got some super sweet slippers too. She's been wearing these like every day and talking about how fancy they are and how she can only wear sparkly things with them because they are so beautiful. Such a girlie girl.
Sweet cousin Maggie made Avery a present and I just love it. I'm a sucker for thoughtful home made items of any kind and I just think this is precious. It's currently propped up in her bedroom but I really want to frame it somehow because it's the sweetest thing ever!
Catherine and Maggie got a Wii, which the adults promptly set up and proceeded to hog for the remainder of our vacay. ;)
Big Jim and Honey with Kennedy. She loves her Honey!
I had a big Christmas this year because two of my most desired items were a camera (check check thanks to Tim's parents) and a stand mixer which I had just discovered I was getting when my dear husband snapped this fantastic photo:
Wait, wait - it gets better: Don't you love how my big sister there (who also had just discovered she was getting the same) is all calm, cool and collected while I epitomize the "I'm the baby of the family" behavior. Nice! Thanks Mom - I'm LOVING it already.
The boys all got scarves and they couldn't resist the urge to ham it up for a photo op:
The babies. Yes, he is like 6 months younger than Avery. Tim and I produce growth stunted offspring. =)
The Christmas dinner table was beautiful and the food was amazing. My big sister Angel - she goes ALL OUT and is just an incredible hostess - period! Her husband Carl fried us up a turkey that was deeelicious and Tim kind of got a bit crazy on the picture taking of said turkey (not sure why - he's a man?)

When we were younger and had big holiday gatherings there was always a "kiddie table" and now our kiddos are carrying on that tradition with a kiddie table of their own.
My Mom likes to purchase my sisters and I matching PJ's on our Christmas's together. She found these super cute and super comfy Lily PJ's at TJ Maxx

No exaggeration - there were probably like 20 pictures taken and this is the best of what we've got:
I love this one - this is us  - everything about it is us and I LOVE it!
Christmas wouldn't be complete without some sugar cookie makin':

It was really hard to go - it always is, but getting back to reality always sobers me up a bit and just makes me kind of mind over matter before my emotions get the best of me. The train ride back was a nice distraction - lots to look at and Avery was more interested and MUCH more needy on the ride home so there wasn't really time for lots of tears:
We all napped a little on the way home - even my non-napping "big girl":
There's nothing sweeter than a sleeping child!