Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Her Love

Last night after her bath, I was painting Abigail's fingernails and toenails. She sat naked on the couch and got a real mani/pedi, which is just about her favorite girl time in the whole world.

I was a stuffy mess. I was in my yoga pants and a t-shirt, and looked like nothing that resembled a pretty mommy.

And then she looked at me and said, "I'm so glad God made you my mommy. I love this mommy's hair. I love this mommy's voice."

I think it was the best medicine I've had in four days.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

From a Sick Chick

Influenza A/Swine Flu has breached our borders of our town. I know that this sickness is much more hyped than the usual seasonal flu, and I'm falling all over it. We've had friends at church who have had it, there have been kids beyond number sent home from school this week. The school nurse goes to our church, so I feel like I have some very cool "inside" on what's going on. I know I don't really, but a girl can feel important, can't she?

I spent most of the last week going crazy over sanitizing the house. By golly, I was going on the defensive for my family. Probably me being pregnant, and in the "high risk" category of contracting the flu makes me a little crazier than the usual year. In fact, the only flu shot I have ever had in my life was when I was pregnant with Abigail. Paul never gets them. Abigail has gotten them every year. I don't claim to have scientific, biological understanding of any of these things, but it seems like the right thing to do to get them for her, and me when I'm pregnant.

De-germed as this house has been, who do you think got sick? Mama, that's who. Not with the flu, thank goodness. But the last few days, I have had a yucky cough that burns in my chest, and last night it moved upwards toward my sinuses. One of the hardest things about being pregnant is not being able to just go to the medicine cabinet and take my pick of the many OTC's that would help my symptoms. My doctor only advises me to take Benadryl and Tylenol. That's it. No cough syrup. No expectorant. Bah. Humbug.

So, I'm sitting at home on a Sunday morning, skipping church. Avoiding people, for their sake and for mine. At least my cat still snuggles up next to me. She's a little TLC medicine at the right moments.

Maybe my body had acquired immunity to the germs in my house, and I made a mistake by going on a sanitizing kick? I hope not.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Gift of Remembrance

When I got home from a trip to Branson with my family on Saturday, I had a surprise package in the mail for me. It was from my sweet friend, Megan, and it was this:
I CARRY YOUR HEART tiny text bowl and heart token set by Paloma's Nest

She said that she knows I carry the hearts of the babies we lost, as well as Abigail and Sadie's hearts. It is from the ee cummings poem:

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it

I love that Megan thought to send this to me. First of all, she didn't even know that Paloma's Nest (the maker of the little dish) is one of my favorite seller's on etsy. I told her that I don't really expect people to remember all of the dates that are now stored in my memory. But when someone reads my blogs and thinks to do something special....it touches my heart so much. The dish arrived in the sweetest little straw nest. Nests and eggs have had a very special place in my heart ever since Sissy and her eggs were a part of our lives back in the spring.

Thank you, Meg. Thank you to all who remember with us.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Worth It

Yesterday, I was in St. Louis for a weekend conference. Yesterday, October 10th. It was my sweet daddy's 64th birthday. It was also a year from the day of my miscarriage. I was in business meetings all day long, so it didn't give me lots of time to spend mental energy on the remembering.

I'm so glad that the timing of my pregnancy has worked out as it has. When I wrote out the weeks on my calendar and realized I would be right around the 19-20 week mark this week, I was relieved. I knew I would either be able to get my ultrasound the week before or the week after the miscarriage anniversary. I wanted that....to have something good to remember at this time. I want to look at that day on the calendar and remember it as a day to celebrate my dad's birthday. Or to know that we were just starting to identify with the baby girl inside of me. I want that day to have something sweet again.

Yet, I do want to remember. I want to remember the events surrounding that day....that we were planning to go to a fall break cookout at a friends house. That I had marinated deer meat the night before to be grilled. That I had made persimmon pudding to take to my dad for his birthday. That the air was crisp, and it was sunny, and the leaves were beginning to change color. That three days earlier, we heard a fast, little heartbeat. And that over the next three days, my body would let that baby go.

It's been a year, for sure. Sometimes I feel like I may still never learn what God wanted to teach me through that experience. I feel stuck in the not knowing. Sometimes I feel like I have really started to grasp it....knowing the comfort of God and friends, standing on my Rock, hoping for the future. I am thankful that I have friends who are still willing to listen to me process out loud. I have those insecurities that people must surely be thinking, are we still talking about this? But, this is me. It is how I process. I write. I talk. I'm really not good at holding it all in.

I'm so glad to have reason to celebrate this time of year, this date again. I am happy.....excited...hopeful....falling in love with a new face. Yet, I know that I am forever changed by the two that I did not meet. I know there are many women in my life who have been changed by the ones that they never got to meet. That our hearts are connected in that way now....makes the remembering worth it.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Seminary Days

I had a couple of fun little reminders tonight. Sweet reminders, maybe, of a time I don't often look back on fondly enough. The first year that Paul and I were married, we lived in Louisville, Kentucky while he was attending Southern Seminary.

Every year of his seminary career pretty much looked different. He was there for one year "alone" when we were engaged. Then we lived there for a year. Then we moved to Muncie to work with Baptist Collegiate Ministry and he commuted the rest of his days. Poor guy.

The year that we lived in Louisville, I was working as a secretary in one of the seminary offices while he attended classes. To put it lightly, we pretty much did not have two nickels to rub together. I know everyone looks back at their early married days and recalls how poor they were. And I believe them. Because we were.....very.....lacking. Everything we owned was either a wedding gift or a hand-me-down. When we wrote out our budget on paper (not smartly AFTER we had already taken our jobs), we realized that our income was not enough to cover our outgo. Yet somehow, we always made it. Literally, our bills added up to more than our combined income. I'm still astounded when I think about it.

To be honest, it was a tough year. I'm sad to say that I probably missed out on really enjoying all that there was to enjoy, and probably on some really sweet moments in marriage, because I was so focused on "our poverty."

Tonight, I was kind of on a cooking and baking kick. I had a real craving for baked custard, which was something my mom would often make when I was growing up. It is a real comfort food, and tasted especially good when we were sick. And tonight, I just wanted some. Then I remembered something from seminary....

I had gone to some special ladies night thing at the school that was a "welcome wagon" night of sorts. They had a ton of door prizes. And the prize I won was such a great one, and again, I probably missed the blessing. When many others won gift certificates to restaurants, which I wanted SO BADLY because we could not even think about eating out, I won the opportunity to go to the home of seminary president, Dr. Mohler, and his wife, Mrs. Mohler, with ten other ladies, to have a pie-making class taught to us by Mrs. Mohler herself. I thought, All I want is the chance to eat out with my husband, and now I have to go and make pies at a mansion with a bunch of people I don't know. Bad attitude, I know.

So, I went to Mrs. Mohler's beautiful home. And she taught us her own grandmother's pie crust recipe. We made the crust at her house, and then she gave us several recipes for fillings to take home and finish our pies. I looked over the recipes, and realized the only one I thought I could make was custard. For one, I knew that I loved custard pie. But I also knew that it was the only pie that would not require a trip to the grocery store to buy ingredients. There were no "quick trips" to the store in those days. Custard requires eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla. I knew those were all staples that I would have in our little apartment kitchen.

I went home and made that custard pie. It was delicious. I took it home to share with my dad for his birthday (I think). It felt so good to have my parents rave about something I had made. I was proud of it, even if it did only take four ingredients out of my kitchen.

For some reason, tonight as I made that custard in my parsonage kitchen, I thought about that pie-making class and my first custard pie. I realized how I almost missed something special back then, for being so focused on what we didn't have. I could have made a pecan pie or a Derby pie (be still my heart). I made the decision, however, to make do with what I had, and it was wonderful. God had us make do with a lot back then that I take for granted now. Somehow, though, He always provided enough for us to have sweet memories.

Monday, October 5, 2009


My heart is about 9 ounces larger today.