Resources Page

I have updated the Resources page on my blog.  Look up above and click on "Resources" to find some helpful information for families experiencing the loss of a child to SIDS.  I've also included some of the books that were immensely helpful to me in the early stages of our loss and grief.  If you know someone who could use this information, please direct them to it.  Losing a child to SIDS is a very isolating loss.  It can make you feel so alone because it is rare and so much is unknown about SIDS.  I remember grasping for any information...any answer I could get.  I didn't get many answers, but I found a lot of hope.  I hope this helps you.

Mid-Week Randoms

I tend to post a lot of the randomness that is going on in our neck of the woods, so why not do it on Wednesday when most of the other bloggers are sharing their random info?

Here goes the randomness...

Tomorrow is my last day of work for a little while.  I am a 9 month employee with a 10 month option, and we did get a 10th month this year (thank the LORD!).  That means I have to work 20 days during the summer months.  I have already worked 9 of those days as of tomorrow, so I have 11 left.  I will work a few days here and there over the summer and then go back to work full time on August 4th.  So, it's almost like getting my summer off like when I was teaching, and it's wonderful for our babysitter as well because it keeps it consistent for her and the schedule we were all on when I was teaching.  Works for everyone, which is wonderful!

We have a big weekend ahead of us because we are taking Collen to see.....

He doesn't know he is going to see Thomas this weekend.  I'm trying my best to keep it a secret, but I almost let it slip this morning!  I'm so excited for him!  He asked me this morning about riding a train, and I told him that maybe he would get to ride one very soon. :)  Going to be a blast!  We went to Tweetsie last summer while Miss Charlotte was still in my this will be her first trip on the outside.  She's such an easy baby; I have no worries about how she will do.

I've been listening to Dr. David Jeremiah's sermons on the Antichrist.  If you are interested, you can go here to listen. It has been enlightening and informative....and it just has me ready to meet Jesus in the air...soon!  This world is a scary, dark, ugly place.  The news gets worse every single day.  Some of the things the news reports now is just mind-boggling and terrifying.  I try my best not to live with a spirit of fear and to trust that God is in control, but it is clear that Satan has a stronghold on this world.  I'm ready to go.  I came across this poem in one of Dr. Jeremiah's books, and I loved it...posted it on Instagram. It is so hopeful...and I'm all about hope!

Charlotte is very close to crawling these days.  She has the "swivel" down to a science.  We can put her down and in minutes, she's across the room, just by swiveling her little bottom, using her hands and legs, but never getting on her knees.  She likes to put her hands down, lift that little bottom in the air and stand on her tip toes....almost like she's about to do a somersault!  Sometimes, I think she's going to just stand up, but she's not quite there yet.

 I love mornings with this sweet face.  What did I do to deserve this little beauty?  She steals my heart with every glance, and I look at her and think, "Please baby girl....don't break this momma's heart.  But if you do...this momma won't ever stop loving you."

Collen...Collen...Collen.  He is almost 3.  How did that happen?  He is so smart and just the sweetest, most affectionate little boy.  He is in a phase where he loves to give hugs and kisses.  I gladly take every single one he wants to give out.  He went to a Mudcats (local minor league team) baseball game with Jeremy and Jeremy's parents last weekend.  He had a ball, and of course Nana spoiled him.  He came home with a hat, shirt, bat and ball....thank God for Nanas and Grandmas!!

Since starting my new job...and having a toddler and an infant....I haven't been able to decorate my house at all.  When I started my new job, I took a pay cut since I started mid-year.  It has been rough....but we're making it.  This purchase seemed unnecessary, and it probably was, but they were marked down, and I knew they would be gone if I went back.  So, I splurged a little bit and got this cute shelf and bunny to sit atop it.  My home decoration style is shabby-chic with a flare of color and patterns (polka dots and checks).  It's not at all the way I want it - I have go piece by little piece, but one day it'll all be the way I want it. :)  Right now, I'm focusing on the people and the happy memories that happen inside out little home.  The decorating can wait.

My sister recently moved. :(  Her husband took a job with his family's business.  I might as well advertise for him - if you're ever in Eastern NC and would like to sample some wine, eat some good food, or just tour the vineyards go on over to Duplin Winery !  DJ and Megan travel around to area festivals promoting Duplin wine; they even got married in the vineyards!  Collen has been missing his MiMi and Uncle J, so we got together via FaceTime and Collen had a blast.  He told them all about his day/weekend.  Luckily, they are only a little over an hour away.  We will just have to plan visits now instead of just dropping in. ;)

Collen loves his baby sister.  He was so proud of her yesterday when she closed all the little doors on this toy.  He had to show her how to open all of them so she could close them again.  It was so sweet to hear him say, "Good job, Charlotte!! You closed all the doors! Now let me show you how to open them!"  Just melts my heart...
And I'll leave you with an adorable picture of Scout.  We are boarding her in a local kennel/doggy day care facility this weekend.  She is going to have a blast!  I'm praying nothing bad happens, but I've heard nothing but wonderful things about this place.  She's going to romp and play and enjoy her time socializing.  We are still getting used to Scout.  We had Tucker for 6 years, and we had learned all his cues.  We're still figuring her out, but she is doing a great job.  She is very receptive to commands and listens pretty well (most of the time).  She is a chaser, so we always put her on a leash.  If she catches sight of a bird...she's takes off after it.  She is so sweet and friendly and loving.  I'm looking forward to many years with Miss Jean Louise (her full name...haha)
I'm looking forward to the summer at home with my sweet little ones.  I'm so fortunate to be able to get this time with them.  We have one big trip planned for now - going to Pigeon Forge, TN in a couple of weeks with Jeremy's parents and family.  Aside from that, we have some Kindermusik classes to go to and both kids will be in swim lessons in July. 

I hope you all have a great summer ahead of you! Make the most of every moment and make some lasting memories! :)

8 months ago (on Saturday) {the unofficial post}


This little breath of fresh air came into our lives.

We had no idea how much we needed her in our lives.  That doesn't sound quite right because it almost makes it sound like we were feeling a void of sorts.  No...Collen was quite a fulfillment in our daily lives.  We had no intentions of adding to our family anytime soon.  But God had different plans.  And boy was His timing perfect!

Charlotte Brooke,

How are you already 8 months old?  My how time flies, indeed.  You are such a gift to our family.  A gift I never expected - a surprise I am so glad God blessed us with!  I wasn't so sure about having a little girl.  After two boys, I was afraid I would get it all wrong.  I was afraid I wouldn't be able to give you what you I expected you to require some different kind of care or nurturing.  Yeah, I didn't know what I was talking about.  All worked up over nothing.  Why?  Because nurturing you...loving you...understanding you....has been like breathing for me.  You are a much different baby than Collen was.  You are an individual just as he is.  Learning your personality has been so much fun.  The interactions between parent and child....with two different children...has been fascinating to me.  It keeps me in check and shows me that although you are different than your brothers....I don't have to love you differently.  You respond just the same. :)  To other moms, that might be a "duh" statement.  Of course siblings are different....of course you love them both equally.  Yes, this is true.  I get it.  But actually SEEING's amazing.

We have not quite figured out which of us you are more like.  Some days, you are stoic, quiet, and serious....much like your dad was as a baby.  Other days, you are silly, funny, talkative and a bit your momma. Right now, you seem to prefer me over anyone else.  Normal for an 8 month old, for sure.  I don't argue about it at all because I think I cling to you just as much as you cling to me.  The connection you and I share is beyond anything I ever imagined.  I can't put it into words.  You complete me in a way I never knew I even needed to be completed.  

You are doing all sorts of fun things these days!  You are sitting up like a champ.  You love to sit on the floor and scoot yourself around on your bottom.  You uses your legs and arms while sitting and maneuver yourself around in a sort of circle.  You get to whatever you want to get matter how you have to do it.  Sometimes it's rolling, but most of the time, it's the slow, subtle scoot.

You LOVE to eat.  You're an even better eater than Collen was at your age.  I could never get him to eat meat (baby food meat), but you seem to love it!  You do NOT like peas.  That's the only thing you're picky about.  Anything else goes. :)  You're also doing well with bottles.  You've been on formula since about 5 months old, and you're doing just fine with it.  

You've recently learned to clap.  When we say "Yaaayy!!" you clap those little hands together as an automatic response!  You are saying "dada" and "baba."  Sometimes, we think you're saying "baba" (brother) when you see Collen.  But, now...we are trying to teach you "bye bye" and you will repeat the "baba" for that as well.  ;)  Yesterday, you opened and closed your little hand to mimic "bye bye."  So awesome to watch you learn and mimic us!  You also like to give kisses.  Sometimes you catch me by surprise and will plant a big, wet kiss right on my mouth!

You laugh at the strangest things!  None of our babies have been easy laughers.  It usually takes a lot...and often it's something off-the-wall.  But when you laugh, it is definitely one of the cutest things I've ever seen/heard.  You have a raspy, throaty laugh.  Not at all what you would expect from a sweet, baby girl.  You have such a delicate, light's surprising to hear that deep, raspy laugh!

You love your brother and our doggies.  Whenever Collen is around, you want to see and know everything he is up to.  He is such a good big brother.  He plays with you and even shares his toys with you (most of the time)!  He gives you a hug and a kiss every night before you go to bed and tells you, "I wuv you Charwotte"  And he means it.  He loves you so much.  He is going to be a good protector for you someday, and I pray that he will be an example for of how a man should treat a lady...and one that all other boys will have to measure up to.  You deserve that.  And those doggies.  You light up and get so breathlessly excited whenever you see them!  Scout...not as much.  Gracie is the one you adore!  You don't get to be around Gracie much since she is outside and is so big, but it's evident that she has won you over.  I pray that she sticks around long enough you both to be pals. 

You have a such a great personality.  You're quiet, yet playful.  You're serious, yet silly.  You have such a gentle, sweet spirit about you that brightens every room you enter.  People comment most frequently about your big, beautiful eyes (which right now seem to be mostly blue still, but there are hints of brown peeking through).  You are a bright light in our lives, and we love you more than you will ever know!

God certainly knew what He was doing when He sent you to us.  I'm just so, so glad He did because I can't imagine having a more perfect baby girl. :)