Lately, I have been aching for time to just sit...relax...not have to think about all the stuff that needs to be done...and how little time I have for it all.

I hate getting so lost in the "now" and only being able to focus on a few things at a time. Being a mom who has lost a child, it makes me feel like I'm cheating Ayden every second that he isn't at the front of my mind. I get so wrapped up in Collen. And although Collen is our only living child at the moment, he is still our 2nd child, and Ayden will always be our first...always be included in our line-up of kids. He is never forgotten. Although he isn't here physically, he still fights for attention with his brother. I hope that makes sense to say it like that, but in my mind, I battle with giving each of them equal time in my heart and in my mind. And now, with a third on the way, whew...I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

I think of Ayden every single day. Multiple times a day. There isn't a day that goes by that my heart doesn't ache for him. And almost 3 years later, I'm realizing that isn't going to change, and I'm glad. He deserves a place in our family just as Collen and this new baby do. Collen loves to look at Ayden's pictures on the wall (we haven't pulled out photo albums, yet. Can't bring myself to let him get his hands on those just yet), and he will point out "Ain" (how he says Ayden) and say, "baby." It's still hard for me. Jeremy talks to him more about Ayden. I can't get the words out without choking up. I just miss him so, so much. And I feel guilty when our lives get so busy that he isn't included in the hustle and bustle of things. I realize that's the reality of having a child who has passed away. Life moves forward....we get busy....new children are born...new connections formed. But...there is always that constant battle of the heart...being pulled in two directions....being pulled between here, with the people of our present lives, and "there" - with those who have gone on before us. With my other child, my first born, who will always be the "baby" to his siblings, but cherished as so much more in my heart. The hustle and bustle feels even more dizzying and chaotic when you throw in the rest. I guess because you never feel balanced. Even when you do find that moment of rest....the balance is never fully there.

I have to remind myself to slow down...let some things go undone. Look at how blessed I am and have been. And look to the future I will have....the balance that will come...when we're all together again.

I told Jeremy the other morning that when I was on my way to drop Collen off before heading to work, I was certain I was about to witness the rapture. Hey, He said to ask for the desires of our hearts. My greatest desire is for that glorious reunion, and I ask for it all the time!! As I was driving, the sky all of a sudden (within a matter of a second...not kidding) when from dark and gray to bright and unusally light for that time of morning. It just so happened that I was sitting at the stop light across from the memorial park where Ayden's spot is. I thought, "Oh, this is it!! I'm going to get to see it!! "The dead in Christ shall rise." I'm going to witness Ayden going before us!!" I sat and watched, traffic moved and I drove, but I kept my eyes on his spot and the sky." Well, obviously....it didn't happen. The hope of that moment and the reminder of our future in Christ was reassuring (but I can't lie....a little disappointing, too, because I was so ready!!)

I'm determined to slow things down, spend more time giving thanks for my blessings, and continue to remember this sweet little boy and the light and joy he continues to bring to our lives even now:

Expect the unexpected...

I think I will live my life by this motto from now on.

Introducing, "unexpected."

But what a cute little "unexpected" he/she is! I told you guys there was happy news to share. I just had to be sure everything was okay with this little butterbean before I let the news go public.

It all started when....

I was out of work with an unagreeable stomach. I began feeling nauseated but figured it was just because of my stomach issues. I had kept a pregnancy test around just in case, so I thought..."why not just rule it out?" Well, turns out....there was no ruling this little one out. Shocked doesn't begin to describe how I felt. In the moment I saw those 2 pink lines...my entire world shifted. Just 2 weeks before, I had been coming to terms with the fact that I was actually okay if we didn't have any more children. I was content with leaving it at Collen. We have so much fun with him, and with his big (I mean...HUGE) personality, he keeps us super busy...and I had been worrying about how I would balance my time with him between him and another little one. So, I was okay with waiting a while longer (while = years) before thinking about another child -or- leaving it with Collen altogether.

We knew it was a possibility, but we had not been planning on this at all. I should have known....God has made it crystal clear to me that my plans are not his. Example given: the past 2.5 years of my life. So, when I saw those 2 little pinks lines. I was shocked yet not surprised. I took a deep breath and said, "Okay. Here we go."

So, in September of 2012, a third little Jones is set to enter this world. Lord help us - right in the middle of football season when Jeremy will be working long days (into the night), and I will be alone with a 2 year old (and boy is he acting it already) and a newborn. God must think highly of my strength....I'm terrified.

So far, with this pregnancy, it hasn't been much different than my pregnancies with Ayden and Collen. I haven't as nauseated with this one - more in the mornings then it goes away as long as I keep my stomach full. More than anything, I have just felt exhausted. I get home, and the moment I sit down....that's it....there's no getting up again. Thank goodness Collen is more independent these days and Jeremy is home earlier. I don't know how I'd keep myself moving.

I am 10 weeks along. We had the above ultrasound at 9 weeks. The baby's heart was fluttering away in the 160s. All was measuring exactly at it should be, and I am already at risk for gestational diabetes. grrr.... I had to take an impromptu test because of family history, so I had not had the opportunity to fast before drinking the gross orange stuff. I have to go back for a 3 hour test next week after fasting. I'm usually borderline, but I'm hoping with some preparation, my body will cooperate better this time around. Luckily, I don't gain a lot of weight when I'm pregnant...30 pounds at the most...so I'm hoping to keep that trend this time around as well.

So, there you have it. Baby #3 is on the way! We get more excited every day. The idea of another mouth to feed scares us a little, but we know God will provide. Please continue to keep us and this new little one in prayer. I know God has a special purpose for this child!

I had one of those dreams last night that you wish to never wake from. My night had been filled with random dreams....random people and situations....and then I heard a familiar voice coming from "the next room.". It took me .5 seconds to realize who it was. No one else in the world has that voice...it was my daddy. In my dream, I ran down a flight of stairs to find my dad smiling at me and saying, "Hey, sweetie." I jumped into his arms and held on for dear life...sobbing the entire time. Of course, the dream faded away, and I woke up, but the last image I had was of me, being held by my daddy. I knew exactly where this dream had come from. Since October 21, the little girl in me (the little girl in most all women) has longed to be back in daddy's arms again. Because daddy just makes it all better. It's hard to find the comfort that only dad can bring when he isn't here to give it.

Sigh....I haven't been myself all day.

I promise all of my posts won't be so sad and depressing. This moment...although not "real" was too precious not to write down. This is a season of life that I am working through, and as sad as it is...and I am...there a many moments of joy. I promise to write about those soon. Thank God for continuing to bring light and happiness into our lives when we feel surrounded by stress, sadness, and loss.

What I miss...

I am currently in that 2nd phase of grief over the loss of my Dad.
I think it is because the holidays are past and the craziness of all that has slowed down. Life is now back to "normal" but definitely not normal. The moments in my day when I miss him most are the afternoons....when I would either call him or get a call from him....and the evenings when I would likely call again to ask my mom something and hear him say, "Rita....it's your eldest...". I miss his contagious laugh and smile. I miss the comfort of his hugs and the reassurance of his voice. Most of all, I miss having my DAD....I miss that connection. I miss being Daddy's girl and knowing that even when I didn't understand myself, he did. I am still taking it day by day, and if I am honest with myself....I am really struggling. To say I miss him doesn't do the pain justice. It's just hard. The one thing that brings me joy is that he and Ayden are together....making up for lost time. What a beautiful image...