we finally meet...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Too tired to be inspired...

Lately I have come to my blog, looked at it, typed a few words...and closed it.  I have lacked the inspiration, the energy and the desire to talk about my day, my heart and my passions.  I have said yes to too much, have packed my days so full of ways to help provide for our family that I have lost the ability to function when I am with my family!  There has to be a balance somewhere.  I know that God has given me so many opportunities but this weekend I just spent time with my family, my beautiful, lovely and full of life little princesses and so far I am loving it ( there is still Sunday!).  Today we got all dressed up to spend a night out with Aunt Loren and Danny who are in town rarely ( of course Uncle Adam, Aunt Jessica and the gang were there and a surprise visit from our good friends Nate and Kirby). They bought Mackenzie a bag full of princess and Tinkerbell Jewelry and she loved that of course.  She was so excited to see her Aunt Loren and talked about nothing else all morning as we prepared to spend the day with her.
She shopped till she dropped.  In Forever 21 she made a huge scene as she found hats, purses, sparkly necklaces and bracelets and covered her body with them!  Everyone looked at her and smiled with kind comments!  At first I thought I should stop her, thinking of all the work it would take to put it back up but then the thought came....why?  Why make her put it up.  She was embracing life, making beauty out of her Saturday evening and enjoying her reflection in every shiny mirror.  Let her live and live through her passion!
 Later she got cotton candy and was so kind to share with all of us in the car.  It was such a joy to watch her embracing her life full of laughter and smiles.  Where is my smile, my embrace and joy?  I have let myself become full of stress and when I actually get a free moment with just me and my girls I have to spend it trying to make my home livable again from the chaos!  I am so grateful for every oportunity but next week I choose life again!  I am a stay at home mom because I want to cherish these moments with my girls and not hand them over to someone else to live these moments with them.  Of course Life goes on and I must continue to help provide but when I am home with my girls I will cherish the time we get alone.  I will find more time to give to my girls and remember my number one passion in my life.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Celebration of Ember Noel

On Tuesday my baby girl turned one year old...ONE YEAR!  Where does the time go and why does it seem I have to ask that at least once a week!  Isn't that something your grandma has to ask as she pinches your cheek and tells you you have grown at least 5 inches since she saw you last?  No, now I am there where I ask myself as I watch my girls literally change daily in front of my eyes and I wonder,  how does it seem that I am sitting in this tornado of time and everything is swirling in front of me?  I grab out as I see memories I want to hold on to and pull it from the debris in front of me as the rest of "life" is caught in the majestic winds and thrown to a place I can never find them again. This week I have been so emotional as I remember that day, February 7, 2011.  It all started at 12:30 AM.  I hadn't fully fallen asleep yet and I knew what I was starting to feel was contractions...maybe it's just braxton hicks, I'm still three weeks out from my due date!  After about 20 minutes of keeping up with each one I leaned over to Derrick and said "this might be it".  He had been telling me all week that he felt our little girl would be born that week and I thought he was crazy! I still had too much to do and other than being extra cranky there was no need to think our nameless girl would be here that early.  I say nameless because we both had not decided yet on a name for our gymnast! Well maybe I should say I had not decided on a name! I loved the name Madison Brooke or Savannah Brook.  Derrick on the other hand had been set on Ember from the beginning.  "Ember?  They'll call her Amber all of the time and we will all be correcting people for the rest of her life." I said.   We told everyone that we were not releasing the name we chose until the day she was born, how clever, right?!?!  Truth is, we had no idea what her name was! After almost an hour of contractions less than 5 minutes apart Derrick insisted he take me to the hospital.  I was completely against it!  My sister was supposed to be induced that day...this had been planned for was here for her...this was her and Norah's day!  I remember sitting at the end of my bed in tears partly because of the pain, somewhat because of the reality of it all, but mostly because I hated the timing for my sister.  There was no stopping this though, it was happening!  Many things happened in between the next 12 hours that I wont bore you with but believe me, none of it was boring to us!  This was happening, and FAST!  To summarize it briefly....we went to the hospital and were put in the triage room, sent home since I lived so close because it was going slowly they thought and we all felt I would be comfortable in my own home, go back to the hospital about an hour and a half later because my water broke ( that was fun!), put in a room, conversations back and forth from my sisters hospital room she would deliver in about 20 minutes away from me, I get to an 8 and decide to take the nurse up on the stadol she offered, dreamed about pink cupcakes and toy story for about an hour....I'M FEELING IT!!  I wake up from my calming and tranquil stadol rush and I realize I'm feeling a lot of pressure.  I tell the nurse, she gets a team in to check me out and she is amazed..."Yup, it's time to push!"  It all went so fast but I am so thankful she gave me the courage to do this without an epidural.  It was quick, painful and beautiful!  Only a mother can understand this.  At 12:29 in the afternoon our "fiery one" as the nurse had called her was born!  The nurse had said she was fiery because of the way she was determined to come out!  During contractions it was almost as if she was jumping on a trampoline inside of me and I will never forget the strength she had almost the whole nine months I gave her room and board in my very disturbed uterus!  As soon as the nurse said that I knew what her name would be.  As they handed her to me they said " congratulations, what is her name?"  "Ember Noel" I said.  It was perfect, it was her and she was amazing!  She had a perfectly shaped head.  Odd to notice,  I know but that was one of the first things I saw.  I remember thinking how perfectly tiny her little head was...THANK YOU GOD!  She was 6 lb. 7oz and 19 in. Long.  Pretty good for being three weeks early!  Perfect toes, a strong cry, long skinny toes ( that would change!) and mommy's big mouth!  Another perfectly healthy, beautiful and fabulous miracle.  Many people came to see her while we were in the hospital which meant so much to us.  When our oldest was born only my sister and brother in law could make it mainly because family had all came down to see her when we called to announce I was in labor....48 + hours later she was born and everyone had either gone home or could not come down at that point! (3 years later I see how that was totally Mac's style!)  But, Ember was loved and felt it from that first hour.  Daddy was there through it all and was completely in love, G-bo was able to see her from her first minute also and then had to rush for the next grand baby! Many friends from church, family, everyone full of excitement to meet this little treasure that chose to join our lives early and 2 exact hours before her cousin I might add! Yes, Ember was ready...but I can't help to think that more than anything God was ready.  Now hear my out on this.  I know, of course God was ready or none of this would have happened in it's timing...but, I'm very visual and sometimes my imagination runs away with me.  As I hold my sweet daughter sometimes I like to think about how it may have gone before she came into my arms.  I think God knew how "fiery" she was and he told her that morning at 12:00 "ok my sweet child , it's time!  The world needs you now.  You are full of energy, spunk, power and I need your light to shine. I have huge plans for you and they just can't wait.  Your mommy has been praying for almost two years to stay home with your sister and you are an answer to that prayer.  There is no need to keep her waiting.  Lets do this...lets amaze this world with what I created! "  The other night I shared this with her...I know if she could understand me she may think I was nuts but I cant help but think of the amazing plans God has for her life!  I have never seen a child more alert, more aware, more ready!!  Smiling in pictures the 2nd day of life
Astonishing her teachers already before she was even a year old, walking at 11 months!  This girl's is going places and just like the day she was born no one is stopping her!  Ember is full of life, full of fire! Everyone who knows her has already been touched by her smile and joy in some way.  I am so blessed to be given this miracle to hold and love and train.  Some days I feel so inadequate, so lost, so unfit for this job.  It is in those times she welcomes me each morning with a HUGE smile and a strong gripping hug.  Her happiness is contagious and her energy fills our home with giggles and ear reaching smiles.  I am blessed to be given such an important job. Mom is the greatest name I will ever know!

Today we celebrated Ember and Norah's (Ember's cousin) birthday!  It was so much fun and she enjoyed every bit of it, especially showing off her new walking skills!
She was given so many great gifts and even though she had other places to go and things to see, which is so typical for Ember, she stuck around to see what she got!
Cake time was fun, as at any 1st birthday party, but I truly enjoyed seeing the strategy she chose in consuming such a sugary substance!  
She began with her hands in the full cake but as she realized there were fruit loops around it I saw her clever wheels turning and she chose to eat each one individually!
Cousin Norah also was interested in her fruit loops ...
And once again, something that so much love, time and manual labor went into to make a beautiful creation ....was destroyed in minutes...
And so worth it!!  I could not have asked for a better first birthday party for my angel.  She is tremendously loved and today I enjoyed watching that love all around her.  
I knew the party was a success by her reaction on our way home!

To our growling, fiery animal, Ember Noel, thank you for the best year of your mommy's life.  Being home with you and your sister this year has been a dream come true.  Watching you learn so many things has been a treat! Holding you while you sleep (cause you can't sit still any other time!) and watching every feature of your sweet face makes me cry each time and thank God for making you and choosing me to give you a special life here on earth.  Your eyes will always fill my heart with wonder and your smile will always fill my days with sunshine.  You are a firework....Don't ever stop filling peoples life with your joy and light!  I love you!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Love for two...

"Will Mackenzie feel unloved, unimportant, and like she got the raw end of the deal?"  That is what I asked myself over a year ago when I found out I was pregnant with our Ember.  Mackenzie was only 14 months old when I found out I was 4 weeks along.  I knew I wanted more children so I am not quite sure why it hit me so hard.  With the news of Mackenzie, our first pregnancy, I was ecstatic!!  I called everyone, praised God, literally jumped (and then freaked out because it may hurt the baby..).  My husband and I could not contain the joy.  Sadly, I can not say the same for myself with the news of my second pregnancy, Ember.  I would later beat myself up for my reaction to the pregnancy test but on Fathers Day; June 20, 2010 at around 6:30 am, my world came crashing in around me.  I took the test on a whim.  I had taken one about a month before, after my sister found out she was pregnant with her second.  I had some symptoms but, as I thought would be the case, it tested negative.  I was relieved.  I worked full time, I had a darling little girl who had just barely turned a year and we were just starting to get our life in order.  Our marriage was healing, we were doing better with our money, or at least we had the desire to start the changes necessary,  life was good (other than the working full time and leaving my daughter so long each day which broke my heart EVERY morning).  About a month after the negative test I still had many symptoms so my sister suggested I take another one.  I tend to worry a lot and had taken many in the past, randomly, so I thought this would be negative also.  "Just in case it's not though, I think I will take it on Fathers day morning" I thought.  "That way we will never forget the special gift and memory that day unveiled!"  I honestly did not believe it would be positive.  "OH MY GOD!!!! I'm pregnant....Derrick, I'm pregnant! What are we going to do?  Look, it says its positive...we can't do this...there is no way!"  I was freaking out....No,more than that... I was out of control!  Derrick was on his way out the door to help set up for our Father's Day service at church when he heard the turmoil in my screams.  I'll never forget his face that morning.  I was laying in bed ( I seriously went back and laid down after taking the test.  That is how much I believed it would be negative), he stood in the door pain with one hand leaning against it.  His blue eyes gleamed with joy.  His reaction was what I had hoped mine would be. What it should have been.  This was a blessing, a gift from God and he was ready to take this gift in with every fiber of his being.  I was ashamed of my reaction even more when he told me "we will be just fine!  This is a blessing, God will take care of it!"  I begged him to stay and hold me as I wallowed in complete fear and worry but he stayed as long as he could and he had to leave.  So much went through my mind in the short time I had before my sister came to get me that morning. "How will we afford it? Where will we put another baby?  I can't work full time and leave two babies all day, my heart couldn't handle it." Then the real tear jerking reality hit me...."What will this do to Mackenzie?"  Mackenzie was our life.  She had every bit of our attention as soon as we both got home from work.  I thought of her every second of every day.  She was everything to me!  "She will think I don't love her!!"  Every other fear I had seemed so small once this numbing fear broke through.  For months this would bother me.  I would hold her at night as I rocked her to sleep singing " you are my ONLY sunshine". As the words came out I would cry.  I would explain to her that mommy and daddy were going to bring her a sister but that she would always be my first princess and would always have an extra special place in my heart that was unexplainable and irreplaceable!  My heart broke for her.  Would she understand ?  I did not have enough time with her...just me and her.  I worked to much, I should have said no to the overtime, I should have let her stay up later just me and her...I should have, I could have, will she, why???  So many fears, worries, honestly ...guilt.  I actually felt guilty for doing this to her.   I had gone to many other mothers I knew that also had two daughters and they all said they felt this way.  They said that when that second child comes your heart opens and creates a whole other supply of love, a completely separate love for this other child.  I would not understand this for many more months.
Their words were so helpful but this was something I was still going to have to trust God with.
Skipping forward to the future, tonight I think I finally got it.  Yes, on the day Ember Noel Stone was born I did have that spot in my heart that God created just for her.  She was and is everything I needed.  It still hurts me to think that my first reaction and my feelings for the first few months were so negative. I wish I could take it back.  Yes, Mackenzie welcomed Ember that first day in the hospital with joy and happiness to hold something so tiny.  I'll never forget how she took her gum out (something so special to Miss Mac attack) and tried to put it in hour old Embers mouth! Yes, they have had their up and downs together with each new milestone each girl reaches that brings tears and screaming and sometimes slapping!  But, today was when I cried again....this time very happy tears!  Tonight as I was cleaning the living room around my little artist Mackenzie, coloring her princesses and my very inquisitive Ember determined to walk in her flannel footy pjs,  I saw something that I want to never forget and that God allowed me to experience, I feel, as a reminder that He is the creator and finisher of all things!  As Ember was persevering through each step (footy pjs on Hardwood floors make for some difficulty on a new walker!) Mackenzie looked at her with a smile, walked over to her little sister and put her arm around her with the most proud look in her big brown eyes! It was at that time my strong, independent Ember looked up at Mackenzie with her perfectly round face and midnight blue eyes and wrapped both hands around her big sister as if to say "thank you and I love you too"!  This whole time my girls did not know I was watching ( that was of course until I broke out in tears and hugged them both!).
  Mackenzie feels loved!  Mackenzie is loved now by not only 2 people but 3!  Mackenzie feels important.  She is a big sister and the older Ember gets the more I see my Big sister see her importance in the life of her little sister!  Most of all Mackenzie did not get the raw end of the deal!  She has a friend that will walk with her through hard times.  A companion that will laugh with her through late hours of the night.  A girlfriend she can share stories with about boys and school and girls that make her furious.  She has a SISTER and in less than two days I will celebrate the day that God let me watch this adventure begin!