Saturday, February 26, 2011

letting go

How do you know when you are ready? Is it when you feel God's stirring as you hold a newborn little one? Or when you carry your sleeping toddler up the stairs, remember that sweet bundle she used to be? Or looking at her adorable face and knowing that your family is not yet complete.
This weekend we cleaned up a lot around the house. Believe me when I tell you that it needed it badly. As I wiped down the outside of the fridge, I opened it up and stared at the bag. The bag of fertility meds that has been sitting in my fridge since June 2009 when we did Lila's IVF. I haven't allowed myself to move them. For some reason, they represent hope and God's promise that led us to Chicago for the IVF treatment. They represent hope that there might be more babies one day. Mind you, not with those meds since they have long expired. But yet I still have not been able to throw them out.

I felt God's nudge, "It's okay. You can do it." I reached in the fridge and pulled them out, walking towards the trash can. So many memories and so much pain still in my heart from those sad, painful two years. Those of us who have gone through infertility know that it is never gone, despite the overwhelming joy of healthy children. I will always wear it on my heart, a badge of sacrifice and confusion and hurt.
There is no easy conversation about when it is time again. For us it will never be a carefree decision. There will be many more shots to come. Many more tiring mornings of sitting on the paper covered table for a quick before work ultrasound. Many more tears. How do I know when we are ready as a family to enter that world again? Do I have what it takes to do it again?

I know in my heart I am not there yet. But I am starting to see God opening that door in our hearts, allowing us to see a sliver of his promise in the light. I am not sure how to handle the blog when that time comes. Part of me wants to share our journey, believing so firmly in the power of prayer from both friends and strangers. Part of me is unsure if I can bear the public exposure of my emotions, always so raw in those moments. For now, I will sit holding my miracle, knowing I was strong enough to let that bag go.

How far do I have to go to get to you
Many the miles, many the miles
How far do I have to go to get to you
Many the miles, but send me the miles
And I'll be happy to follow you
~"Many The Miles" by Sara Bareilles

Thursday, February 24, 2011

bathtime stories

Lila has a lot of stories. Never mind that she cannot actually talk yet, she lets everyone know what she has to say. The checkout lady at Target, our waiter at lunchtime, the sketchy old men who without fail stop us in the grocery store and want to touch her face. For some reason, bath time makes her extra chatty. Maybe its all the singing we do in the bath. Maybe its that fresh feeling we get with newly soaped skin. Maybe she just had some pressing thoughts to share after listening to the new Justin Bieber song.
video
Sometimes when I am talking, my words can't keep up with my thoughts.
I wonder why we think faster than we speak.
Probably so we can think twice.
~Bill Watterson

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

parking-a-lot

The air is warmer, the flip flops have been pulled out and the sun is shining on our faces once again. It has been the longest, coldest winter I can remember. And those babies are tricky things; they do not like hanging outside when its all cold and snowy. Finicky babies.

I am not gonna lie, Lila went to the park for the first time last week. Yes, I realize how I have deprived her of a childhood and I will have to subsequently pay for her therapy throughout her early adult years. But is has been such a horrible winter and she really has only been crawling for a couple weeks. Okay, two months but whatever. Let's just call it even and talk about what an awesome mom I am for taking Lila to the park 3 times last week.
Lila LOVED the swings. Shout out to Alysha of The Tarr Pit blog and The Sunshine Stich Etsy Shop for making Lila's adorable owl hat. We totally bought that hat for her birthday and then it was so stinking cute on her I have been letting her wear it all week. Birthday gift fail.
The sand was particularly fascinating. So much sand! And it is so easy to scoop into our shoes. And diaper. And our friend Daisy's hair. Daisy's mom Casey was nice enough to meet us for a playdate and enjoy the beautiful day.
We also explored some playgrounds closer to us over the weekend when Brian was off work. We busted out a picnic lunch complete with some delicious Puffs and some playground tunnel races. Lila won the race. Or maybe she was just the only who fit in the tunnel. What are your most excited about exploring this spring? Which playground equipment did you conquer this week?

A little bird, he told me so
He said come on, get on the go
Open your eyes the sky is full of butterflies
The blossoms on the trees stir up the honey bees
Spring makes my fever right
~"Spring Fever" by Elvis Presley

Sunday, February 20, 2011

my retirement

As far back as I can remember, one of the most influencing factors in my life has been church. We didn't just "go" to church on Sunday morning. We were the church. I grew up running up and down the hallways, passing out snack in nursery, singing (albeit poorly) on the youth worship team, folding bulletins, setting up and taking down folding chairs, standing around waiting for the building to empty out before it could finally be lunch time on Sunday, helping lead bible studies, run summer youth camp and everything in between. You see, I was a PK...a "pastor's kid." We never just go to church. We are the church.

We moved from Los Angeles to Cary, NC when I was ten years old, a place no one in southern California had every heard of. Starting a church with a handful of people, we were the staff, sound team, volunteer leaders, sunday school teachers as well as being the PK's. I cannot remember a Sunday of my childhood when I did not spend at least 4 hours at church. Every major holiday was in town, because we could not travel and miss Christmas or Easter service.

Some days it was hard. Some days I hated that random people from church would stop me at the mall and ask about my college plans and I had no idea who they were. Some days I wish my dad didn't have to be in town and we could just take off for weekend trips. Some days I wondered if my faith in God was built on my own decided beliefs or by the bible stories I had heard and read over and over throughout the years. Some days I wished I did not feel the need to jump and up and run over to the sound board every time a microphone had feedback on stage.

But I would not trade if for one single moment of the amazing example of Godly leadership I witnessed every day of my life growing up. I learned to pray by listening to the thousands of prayers I heard my dad pray. I learned to worship by sitting next to my dad as he practiced songs for Sunday morning on his guitar in our living room. I learned how to be a Proverbs 31 woman by watching my mother never waiver in my support of my dad, from our house to the pulpit. I watched my parents build leaders, take criticism and divisiveness with their heads held high and their honor always in place, and give of themselves till they had nothing left to give. I learned to trust God and always pray, even when healing seems unbelievable and saw His mercy over and over. I saw marriages built back together at counseling sessions at my dining room table and learned that God's plan might not always be our plan, but it always a plan for good.

Today my parents announced they will be transitioning out of the roll of senior pastors at our church. The retirement of your parents might not seem like a big deal to most people, but it has been heavy on my heart for months as they prayed and made their decision. Because most of the time, your parents retirement does not cause you to retire as well.

Today I retired as a PK. And I could not be more proud of my pastors and the run we had together.
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
~Corrie Ten Boom

Friday, February 18, 2011

letters from a nurse

I had a night at home by myself while Brian was working at his part time job tonight. So what did I do? Give Lila a bath and a bottle, rock her to sleep, do 2 cycles of laundry, load and run the dishwasher, go through all our 2010 files and start our taxes. And husbands wonder why we're so tired all the time!


In between adding up ridiculous medical expenses, I came across a letter I had stuffed away in my files. My pregnancy was long. Long and difficult and sometimes sad and often anxious. Throughout it all, my nurse at my OB office was one of the most steadfast cheerleaders. As a high risk pregnancy, I saw an attending OB at our local hospital almost every week. Jeanette was always there, holding my hand through long pauses in the ultrasound, popping me into an exam room for a doppler just to ease my worried heart and answering my pages, regardless of her busy day. The day I had Lila, she took time out of her clinic schedule to hurry over the hospital and meet the baby she had helped protect those long nine months. Shortly after I got home from the hospital with Lila, I received this letter from Jeanette that I had long forgotten about until I came across it today.

Dear Lindsay,
What a tumultous pregnancy! ... And what a wonderful outcome. Well worth all that endless waiting in the end. Hope that you and little Lila are well and that you're both sleeping more hours of the night.
Take care Lindsay, we will miss you on Tuesday afternoons.

I bet Jeanette has long forgotten about me and Lila. I bet she will never know how her hand clasped close to my face the day I was whisked up to L&D at 24 weeks pregnant in pre-term labor was one of the few things holding me together. But I will remember. Thanks Jeanette.

When I think about all the patients and their loved ones that I have worked with over the years,
I know most of them don't remember me nor I them. 
But I do know that I gave a little piece of myself to each of them and they to me.
~Donna Wilk Cardillo

Monday, February 14, 2011

my funny valentine

My little Valentine turned 11 months old last Thursday. She is speed crawling and pulling up on everything. She is growing up before my eyes every day. And she wanted to wish all of her friends a very happy valentines day filled with lots of Puffs, sippy cup drinks, soft fluffy blankets and wagon rides down the street.
The only thing we never get enough of is love
and the only thing we never give enough of is love.
~Henry Miller

Sunday, February 13, 2011

ronald's house

Whew, deep breath in and out. This is what I have been working so hard on for the last six months. This one night raised over $200,000 for the families of critically ill children. I have never told ya'll but I work for the Ronald McDonald House. We provide a home away from home for kids that are being treated at Duke Hospital. Every day I get to go to work and see faces of sweet little children who have some of the most serious childhood illnesses, some of which who will not make it but many of whom will have a happy ending. I love that my job is to raise money to help take care of these families.
Steve Daniels, Anchor on ABC11 and Coach Cutcliffe of Duke Football
Our gala and auction on Friday night was huge. 400 people, over 100 auction packages with a total value of over $70,000, a silent and live auction and seated dinner. Every night the past 2 week, when I came in the door after Lila had already been asleep for hours, having only seen her for a handful of moments that morning, I reminded myself it was for other children who did not get to sleep quite so peacefully that night.
My adorable sister and hubby dressed in full Roaring 20's costume for our themed event
My parents and their best friends Mike & Alice
Ronald and I
I have slept more in the past 2 nights than in the past week combined. Thank God for my in-laws who drove up to watch Lila from the moment she woke up on Friday till after she went to bed while Brian and I worked all day on the event. Thank God for my mom and sister, who were my go-to girls all day helping me set up. And thank God for my sweet hubby who was the amazing single parent these past few weeks. And tomorrow, I will get to spend the entire day with my girl, playing at the park, having a special lunch date with our favorite Valentine and just being silly.

Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more.
If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.
~Oprah Winfrey

Monday, February 7, 2011

keep holding on

I am alive but barely. These past two weeks have been overwhelming and overbearing. As an event planner, it is always a stretch to make it through the couple of weeks leading up to a big annual event. Try throwing in an 11 month old with separation anxiety and 2 teeth being cut and it spells D.I.S.A.S.T.E.R.

My biggest fundraiser of the year, a 400 person black tie gala and auction is this Friday. In this one evening, I make over half of my annual fundraising total. I am just trying to make sure I consume some liquids other than coffee and diet coke each day. And making sure I go to bed before 4am (epic fail last night) because every working mom knows the only time you can really get work done is after the husband and baby goes to bed. And trying to fit in time to run to Target to buy more undereye concealer to hide the bags of sleep deprivation. And trying not to lose it every time Lila lifts her arms up to me and cries for me to cuddle her as I race about the house.

It will get better. Saturday will be here soon. Sleep will eventually become a normal part of my life again. And Lila will still love me even though I have no time for puzzles and story time this week. And Brian will get a serious Hubby Award for carrying the load this month (love ya babe). A case of Diet Coke, a dark pair of sunglasses and lots of prayers are appreciated. See ya next week.

Rest when you're weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit.
Then get back to work.
~Ralph Marston

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

fancy festivities

Lila is now ten months and 21 days old. Basically a grown up. I guess my friend Lauren puts it best:
Agreed Lauren. She asked if I could take a picture of her applesauce during dinner and post it for her baby friends on Facebook. If you have noticed, 10 months 21 days is dangerously close to 12 months. The big ONE. When all mommies cry, all babies smash cupcakes and everyone repeats to each other that it seemed like just yesterday you were waddling around wearing your husband's t-shirts and no wedding rings because your hands were so swollen. Ahhh, those were the days.

Planning a first birthday party is no joke. This will be the party with one million pictures. All your other baby friends will be comparing it to their own recent or upcoming soirees. There will be multiple blog posts with approximately 127 pictures for family and friends across the country. So much pressure.
After much thinking, lots of conversation with Lila (she is very opinionated about her parties), we decided to go with a Fancy Nancy theme. Because this girl is all about the fancy. As apparent by her 30 bows to choose from every day. Many thanks to my friend Casey and her amazing photography skills (Casey Martinez Photography) for Lila's fancy shots. She also took some amazing family photos that I will try to show this week.

And thanks to the worst Santa visit ever, we had a $20 Shutterfly credit I used to order her adorable birthday invitations. Now comes the hard part...what does one actually do at a first birthday party? It's not like the kids care about whether or not I go with "fancy lunch foods" (flower cookie cutter PB&Js, croissant au hot dog, fruit kabobs)...but isn't that kind of over-achiever mommy moment what makes us great?

What did you do at your child's first birthday party? Do you have any great ideas to share? Thanks in advance. Or as Fancy Nancy would say, Merci Beaucoup!

So I put my hands up, they're playing my song
And the butterflys fly away
Nodding my head like yeah, moving my hips like yeah
And I got my hands up, they're playing my song
I know I'm gonna be ok
Yeah, it's a party in the USA
~"Party In the USA" by Miley Cyrus