Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Happy Birthday Anna!

Our baby girl is 7 years old today. our BABY.

The baby of the family that I never thought that I would have, is 7 years old.

That is cRaZY.

My pregnancy with Anna was an emotional train wreck. At 6 months pregnant I woke up covered in blood. My placenta had abrupted.  I was placed on bed rest for 4weeks and she was eventually taken by emergency C-section.  She left the hospital at 4pounds. Even the preemie clothes swallowed her.

I was filled with emotions when I held her for the first time. For months, after having experienced a placenta abruption, I had been preparing myself to lose her, the doctors and nurses and chaplains had been preparing me to lose her, and there she was, alive and healthy. 

It was surreal.   

 Our sweet baby daughter, with that sweet new baby smell.

I should have known that the drama that she bought before she was born would continue on after she was born.  The child is full of spunk and determination.

From the stories that I hear from my parents, aunts and uncles, I am raising a little me.  And let me tell you, it is EXHAUSTING . . . and oh so fun. I look forward to seeing what walls she will knock down that are placed in front of her, literally and figuratively.

"Mommy, why do you still have to go to school? You can read REALLY well already."

For her 7th birthday she has requested a karaoke machine.  The child came out of my womb singing.

That sweet little voice gets me every time.

I pray that she never stops dancing and singing and smiling and laughing.

We love you sweet Anna. 

Happy Birthday darling girl!

w/ Naomi, her best friend since preschool

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Anna's Performance Day 2015

Both of the kids have chosen a sport to keep them active. While Paul chose soccer, Anna chose gymnastics. 

The child loves it! 

Today was her first performance day, to show off what she has learned, and to practice for future competitions. In other words, this was a mock competition for the beginners. 

 The following are video clips of her routines. Mainly for the grandparents and family members that were unable to attend, but I hope all will enjoy. 



Floor Routine

Bar Routine

Balance Beam Routine

 Congratulations Sweet Girl.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day: Why I have grown to hate it.

How has my mother's day been?   

Well, to be honest, since moving to Elizabethtown I have learned to HATE the day. 

To begin with May is already full of special days for me with my birthday, mine and roger's anniversary, the birth of our daughter. Mother's day just kind of seems like one of those cheesy hallmark days that wants everyone to feel quilted into calling the person that birthed them, or raised them, or birthed and raised them.  

What ever. 

But the reason why I have come to hate the day is the hurt that it brings to so many. So many people feel so much pain on this day and that hurts me. 

In the end, ts it worth it? 

Let's face it, some people had shit mothers. This day makes them feel like crap.

Some people have always wanted to be a mother, have YEARNED to be mothers, and for one reason or another have not been able to. This day makes them feel like crap.

And some mothers have had to experience the awful horror of having a child die and are left numb on this day that is suppose to be filled with celebration.  This days makes them feel like crap.

Honestly, the whole thing just sucks.

Every single day I celebrate mother's day. Every single day I wake up thankful for the time that I have with these 2 gifts, knowing that in the blink of an eye I could lose everything.I don't NEED a special day.

This morning Anna was insanely difficult to get ready for church and Paul threw a fit in the middle of church in which he threw his shoe and sock as me.  While this was going on the woman in the pew in front of me was receiving a text message from her brother in-law, a reminder to hug her children tightly. Her brother in-law and sister in-law had just recently lost both of their children in 2 separate tragic accidents and were experiencing their first mother's days with out their young children. 

You see, mother's day just kind of sucks for me. I am filled with grief for those hurting people within my community, and as a hospital chaplain that ache is multiplied. I can't stop thinking of that poor mother who lost her infant daughter, who I held while she cried out to God to save her baby. I was the one that placed that baby in the body bag. I held the mother as she cried at the grave side.  

As we drove the kids to the park today we passed a cemetary in which a young man was placing flowers on a grave. I can only imagine why he was there and what he was doing.

As I look at people's Facebook posts of Mothers Day I feel the urge to type my own little ode to my children and to post a sweet picture of us. But then again, I don't. As I mentioned above, everyday is a Mother's day celebration for me. And I encourage every day to be a mother's day celebration for you.


Monday, May 4, 2015

Life is only as dull as you allow it to be.

I tend to wonder into bizarre situations. My life is full of them. Like the time I was standing in line at the grocery store and the lady behind me, impressed at how organized the little Amish woman in front of me was, yells out to her, "WOW, you are so organized. Man, look at me, I am the definition of a cluster F***" 

Like all good stories start . . . . So there I was, sitting in the library, in a small study carrel, putting the final touches on an essay, when a face appeared on my screen. The face was a bit blurry but I could tell that someone was standing behind me. I kept typing. The face got closer and clearer. The person standing behind me was looking over my shoulder. She was looking at what I was typing. I slowly turned around. Her face was in my face. Startled, she apologized and then pointed to the folder beside my computer. 
At this point in the story I should describe this women. She is most likely in her 70's, is wearing a long flowing hippie type bright blue skirt and a brown tank top. Around her neck hangs a wooden cross on wooden beads and she has on a boat hat with several pins displayed on it and Kenya written in big letter across the top.
Okay, back to the story. The woman points to my folder, which is a Beatles folder and begins to tell me about the first time she saw The Beatles on the Television. While she is telling me this story she is grabbing her skirt and twirling around and acting like the teen version of herself. 
Now keep in my we are in the middle of the library during finals week. It is jam packed with students . . . trying to study.  
I smiled at the woman and laughed along with her. She was rather hilarious and I enjoy spunky people!  Then I went back to typing my essay and she went back to her study carrel, which was right beside mine.
When I finished up the essay I was typing and started packing up my things, my curiosity got the best of me. When the lady was telling me about seeing The Beatles on television for the first time she mentioned one of the oldest dorms on campus. I was curious about whether or not she was a graduate of Georgetown College. So I asked her! She said she was, which lead to my next question, "What are you doing here?" She was clearly working on something.   She then says something so strange that I just had to ask more. "I'm here to leave my legacy!"  
I know what you are thinking, "Jessica, stop, just stop and RUN."   But that is not in my nature, I lean into flamboyant people.  "So, what exactly is your legacy?" I ask her.  She then goes into this long speech about how she is a world traveler and how she is a missionary of John the Baptist and  the longer she talks the more convinced I am that she is a freakin' nut job.  
Now, keep in mind, we are IN THE LIBRARY.  Before I am able to sneak away she grabs me by the arm and offers a prayer over me, a prayer in which she LOUDLY declares God to send me visions.
Once again, keep in mind that we are IN THE LIBRARY during FINALS WEEK.      
The lady was sweet in a crazy way. And YES, I do feel a little bad calling her crazy. 
But I kinda think she is a little off her rocker. But maybe I am just bad at reading people. (i doubt it)
The moral of this story is this.  Embrace the bizarre situations that you find yourself in, don't wish them away, lean into them. They make for great stories later.  Life is only as dull as you allow it to be.