Tuesday, May 31, 2011

daddy's graduation

hi love=)

a few weekends ago we went back to richmond for daddy's graduation! it was such a fun time seeing old friends and celebrating all of daddy's hard work. daryl graduated too and he was by far your favorite person of the weekend. here are some pictures...

daryl spots us in the audience

can you find your daddy? he was making funny faces at us throughout the whole thing.

i think he was a little bored.

this is the second ceremony of the day. you wanted to sit with sara. and here you're trying so hard to get daddy's attention!

here's daddy's little cohort...daryl, ben, daddy and maggie.

you were so proud of these two boys!

i think these three pictures are funny. for whatever reason, it was pretty difficult to get us all looking normal...this one's as close as we got.

sara and daryl looking good. our little family doing who knows what. i love us. all five.

i have a look of defeat on my face. you are hilarious. i love how daddy can't quit watching you=)

grandypa so proud of his son=)

daryl was your chosen one of the weekend. but then again he's your chosen one most weekends. (catherine loves daryl)

veronica came to the graduation party to see you! we were so excited to see her. (lindsay and megan, two of your uva nurses, came too. but it was 3 hours past naptime when they got there so we didn't get any pictures...)

some of our bff's in richmond. tripper, cherilyn, jeff, jessica, sara, daryl, and us. and little ava kate in the middle. we miss them so much!

look how awesome ava kate is!!! such a big girl.

that's it love!!! we had lots of fun and wish we got to see these people more often. they make all our memories from virginia sweet ones=)

love you sweet baby.


ps-a few days ago i got a job in atlanta. it is AWESOME. and we're making an offer on a house tonight. it is awesome too=) and you have surgery friday. big week, huh??

Thursday, May 26, 2011

your morning with aunt nikki

hi love=)

aunt nikki is much more productive than me. i have no problem with that. it's fun to come home at lunch and talk to you two about all the fun stuff you've done that morning. she packs more activities into one morning than i usually do in one week. that might be a little bit of an exaggeration, but not much. this morning y'all went to the botanical gardens where she pushed you on a walk in your stroller and then you pushed your "baby" around in the stroller (the baby is nikki's bag/purse) and then you played on the train, and then you went to chick-fil-a to eat hashbrowns (that was your specific request...it's one of your favorite foods) and then you played on the playground and then you came home and got all cleaned up and you were in the tub when i got home at 12:15. that may or may not sound like a lot of things to do in one morning, but i usually have a hard time getting rolling. i love knowing you're with aunt nikki while i'm at work=) and here are some pictures from your morning...

love you sweet muffin.


Friday, May 13, 2011

spanglish counting

our time with dora dvd's has been well spent...and i should say that you normally are really awesome at counting to ten, and sometimes twenty now. we get a little confused mixing in the spanish numbers with the english numbers, but i kinda love that=) and my very favorite part of this is how you say "bu-lay-bay" for nueve. what a smart girl=)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mother's Day

hi love=)

you and me and daddy and aunt nikki had a great mother's day weekend!!! saturday i kept saying how it really was my perfect kind of saturday. some hanging out at home and cooking while you napped, then we went to this waterfall park in greenville and a huge playground at the greenville zoo. and sunday was lots of fun too. lunch at moe's with lance and rachel, as usual, and a walk around the lake and more playground fun. i got to hang out with my girl and celebrate being your mama=) here are some pictures!

love you angel-


the falls at reedy park was having some kind of duck race. we got there after the race was over, but you were pretty excited about this huge blow-up ducky=)

i love this picture of these two girls=)

i love the intense look of concentration on your face=)

you made a new friend=)

this begins the series of attempts to take a family picture on mother's day. this one makes me laugh because we couldn't keep our eyes open because of the sun...

i love your sweet smile in this one=)

daddy made me promise not to write a sarcastic caption for this picture, so here it is...all i can say without breaking my promise is that daddy was getting bored.

this is what you wanted to wear to go to church. it was 80 degrees. and those are your doctor kit glasses. i liked the outfit, but we managed to get the glasses and fleece jacket off of you before we left=)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

sister-in-law therapy

hi sweet love=)

this letter is kind of heavy. just figured i'd give you a heads up.

today marks one month till your surgery. the surgery that i've had almost 6 months to fester about and become totally terrified of and have to convince myself every day that you're not going to die.

a couple weeks ago dr gully was asking me some questions about the surgery and i guess she sensed the hysteria that was filling my mama heart, because a few hours later i walked in to my office and saw a prescription for lexapro sitting inconspicuously on my desk=) or maybe she left it there because i asked her how quick it would start working and was it worth starting then knowing surgery was only about 6 weeks away...either way, it was much appreciated=)

however, i'm not taking it. i obviously believe medicine absolutely has its place, but i sensed God trying to teach me something bigger about trusting Him. without lexapro, in this case. (i cannot emphasize enough how i am actually a huge supporter of anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medicine!!! it is a literal life-saver in so many cases!!! i feel a great need to get that point across...)

but nikki moved in and i love and respect and value her more than i can possibly describe, and a conversation we had last week was worth more than any medicine or any therapy session i could ever have...

it was one of my worst days in terms of worrying about the surgery. i was explaining to her how i really am just afraid that you won't live. i also explained how yes, it's a big complex surgery, but really i have no reason to think that you would die. she asked if there's any reason to be extra-concerned with this surgery as compared with the others, and there's not. your surgeon has said that it's definitely a big surgery, but he's given no indication that we should be more concerned this time. and then nikki gently reminded me (she knows me well and she knew i could handle a comment like this) that there's just as much of a chance of you dying in a car accident today as there would be as a result of the surgery next month. that sounds harsh i guess (and she kinda hesitated and said "i hope this doesn't make your anxiety worse" before she said it) but it absolutely made me feel better. it made me feel like the surgery is just another day. which of course, it's not. and i don't know if i can explain it quite right, but it really did make me feel so much better. like there's no point in me getting all hyped up about this one particular thing. there are all kinds of uncontrollable factors that we face every day. the ultimate truth is that God loves us and that we are on this earth for Him. He knows everything that will take place. He is for our good, through His glory, and He is trustworthy. every day. whether that day be filled with a walk to the park or a scary invasive surgery...

so part of my preparation for surgery and dealing with my fear of you dying is to remind myself that heaven is the best. and Jesus is taking good care of you. i don't honestly think you'll die. but i'm so afraid of it. it seemed like from the time we found out you were sick when i was 17 weeks pregnant, until we finally believed that you were gonna be ok however many months after you were born, all i did was remind myself that God loves you more than i ever could and that He will take the best care of you and that you would never be happier than you would be in heaven...

i never really thought "what did i do to deserve" what was happening when we found out you were sick. i knew in my heart like i know He is real that God was doing something big. much bigger than I could ever dream up myself. that didn't necessarily mean i knew that you would live, because i didn't know that. but i knew that He chose you and He chose us to bring Himself glory. it made me feel overwhelmingly humbled. so once it looked like you were going to be ok, that's when i started thinking "what did i do to deserve" to keep you. like you were the greatest gift and who am i to get to be your mother and to have you to share life with here on earth? but the blood of Jesus stood for us and therefore God sometimes gives us good things. i am rambling a little. and i can't keep up with what my mind is trying to say. but basically i am so thankful and i want to learn what God is trying to teach me and i want you to feel so loved and cherished and safe and i want to trust Him. and rest in the fact that He is good. our little journey with you has been beyond difficult, and it has taught me more than i ever imagined i could learn in 3 years, and i wouldn't trade it for the entire world. and again, if God does have in His plan to bring you to heaven sooner rather than later, my heart will be broken in ways i can't imagine ever healing. but i know He can do that too. but i sure do pray that my mind is going WAY overboard trying to prepare for the absolute worst and we have lots and lots and lots of years ahead of us and when i'm old in my bed and not doing so hot myself, you will be there to take care of me. and i am very aware that i was and am able to think this way and resist stamping my feet and screaming at heaven only by God's miraculous workings in my heart and in my head. the human in me wanted to kick and scream when i was pregnant with a sick sick baby. and i still do, sometimes. like last night, for instance, when i got an hour and a half of sleep because you couldn't stop coughing. but i've always felt Him holding me and you and daddy very close, and that's all i wanted really. it's all i want now.

"...from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. to Him be the glory forever..."

~Romans 11:36

i think i keep waiting for things to settle with you and for life to get easier and a little more relaxed. to where i'm not worried about the next thing with you. we had that for a bit, and then your diaphragm re-herniated in december. and i think God is trying to teach me that it's ok if that never happens. i don't think that's life, much less the life of a follower of Jesus. again, i just need to trust Him.

i know that all of this dying talk sounds CRAZY and it makes me want to vomit just typing it and i was on the verge of tears the whole time i was talking to aunt nikki about it, but it feels healthy to say it out loud. like it's all pent up inside of me and i might explode if it keeps festering with no outlet. so thanks nikki=) i love you so much. you are one of my greatest heroes=)

sweet baby. i'm not sure how many times i'll read this over again. i definitely won't read it on my bad days. the talk of you and dying in the same sentence makes me feel like my world is falling apart, but i wanted to tell you these things. partly so you'll know me. and partly so you might know God a little better.

i love you. you fill me with the greatest joy.


Monday, May 2, 2011


hi love=)

last saturday was the jennifer lauren farrell memorial golf tournament. the 8th annual one we've had. and it was kind of a perfect day.

beautiful weather, sweet friends and family, and a great chance to remember our friend who went to live with Jesus almost 10 years ago.

it's still so surreal to think about the fact that she's not here. i know where she is and i love her too much to wish that she could come back, but i sure do miss her. i can't believe she doesn't know you, my sweet girl, and i can't believe she wasn't there when i married your daddy. and it made no sense that she wasn't there last year when her brother married precious little emily who jennifer would just have adored. but again, we know where she is. singing and dancing with that great big contagious smile. before Jesus. now that she's there, i am confident there's no other place she'd rather be.

so here are some pictures from last saturday. you had so much fun and we can't wait to do it again next year...

you and sweet warner baby. warner's mama is kristy. kristy, jennifer and i lived on the same floor of the dorms our freshman year at clemson. we were bff.

and in other SUPER exciting news, look who moved in with us this weekend!!!!!!!!!

AUNT NIKKI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

we're so excited!!!! sweet aunt nikki (or aunt b. we're trying to make "aunt b" stick so she can draw little bees on her cards to you and hazel and the other little munchkins who get to call her their aunt...) moved in last weekend and is going to live with us until the middle of july. then she'll move off to birmingham and improve the lives of little kiddos by being their teacher. lucky little kids. needless to say, you two are having a LOT of fun together. and i am loving having my sweet sister friend with us all the time. and your daddy loves being able to share daily life with his sister for the first time in about 6 years. all good things=)

love you angel. you are home with your aunt having tons of fun and that makes my heart rest easy=)