Monday, October 21, 2013

Goodbye baby teeth

This guy lost his first tooth...
and then he lost another tooth! 
 Oh my goodness, another part of my "baby" is gone.
He lost the first tooth just before we started school.
It had been loose for some time and his adult tooth had actually started to grow in (very crookedly) behind the baby one.  OY!  We referred to them as his "shark teeth" being that he had two rows haha.
We were at Grammy and Papa's one day goofing around on the beds upstairs.  Madelyn fell off and when Collin leaned over to laugh his tooth got snagged on a pillow and pop, out it came! 
He was thrilled and couldn't wait to show everyone! 
The tooth fairy was very generous and left $10 since the first one is rather special.
Apparently teeth are worth a lot more these days then they were in days gone by.  :)
Thankfully once that baby tooth was gone the adult tooth had room to move forward and it really straightened out.  Whew!
The second tooth fell out not long after while our guy was eating lunch at school.
He literally lost it.
As in, we are pretty sure he swallowed it.
Our principal was SO sweet and took the time to write a handwritten card to the tooth fairy explaining what happened. 
While on the subject of teeth....
both kids had excellent reports at the dentist and have stayed cavity free!!

Collin was nervous and overall very serious.  Reminded me of myself at the dentist. 
Seriously, put another cotton ball in my mouth and ask me another question...

The dentist could tell he was feeling less than thrilled to be there and did an awesome job of calming his nerves and making him feel comfortable in the dreaded dental chair.

 And as for Miss Madelyn, well, she was just Madelyn.
Happy to be there and making friends with everyone!
Here's to hoping we stay cavity free for the next 6 months!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Back to School

We are back to school and in full swing!  Collin confidently started first grade without any tears and is really enjoying his class and his friends.  Week two brought a few hard mornings but we are getting into a routine and all is well with the world.  He is in the classroom right next door to me with one of my dearest friends, I know he will be well cared for and loved this year just as he was last year!
Here he is on his first day, handsome as can be...
Sweet Madsy girl, well she started pre-school! 
How in this world is she old enough?!
Be still my heart, I can hardly stand it.
She is in the same class that Collin was in with Ms. Pam and Ms. Cathy, so again, I know she will be well cared for and loved this year.
Sweet beauty, we couldn't love her more...

As summer came to a close I felt an unshakeable sadness in my heart.
I always have a heavy heart as we step into a new year.
This year felt especially hard with sending both kids off to school.
We have been beyond blessed by our children's teachers. 
I absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt, know that they are both right where they should be.
They enjoy school, they love their friends, and they are both happy!
It just makes my momma heart sad.
I just want to keep them close, nestled safely in my home.
This place where they are cherished with a rich love that runs deeper than they could ever understand.

But it's that time my dear loves.
Time to spread your wings just a little bit further.
Though it's hard for me to do I'll nudge you on.
Not because I want to see you go but simply because this is part of God's design.
My momma heart wants desperately to cling tight yet I am reminded of His goodness.
This is part of His design.
You are healthy, happy, well adjusted and off to make your mark in this world.

So we hug you tight, we kiss your sweet cheeks and we remind you...
Be kind to others little ones.
Love your friends well.
Listen to your teachers.
Show respect.
Let your light shine bright for Jesus.
All the while remembering just how very, very loved you are!!


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Around here...

This boy finished kindergarten!
I can hardly stand it.  
Time is going much to quickly.

He had a fantastic year.
His teacher did an outstanding job with him and I so appreciate all the work that she put in to every detail of this school year.

Our boy has grown so much since last summer!
I am so proud of his every accomplishment.
He ended the school year "proficient" in every area!

What astonishes me most is his natural ability to read.
I'm telling you, the boy can READ!
He's reading chapter books!
Chapter books!
We are so very proud of him and his love for learning!!

Here he is on his last day of kindergarten.
Be still my heart, the boy is so handsome...

Look out first grade, here he comes!!
But, in the meantime,
We sure are enjoying the lazy days of summer!

Collin most certainly is enjoying his swim class.
He goes twice a week and is making great progress as a more confident swimmer.

Madelyn's class starts in two weeks.
I'm sure there will be plenty of stories to tell.  :)

She was out front today playing with the neighbors and Ryan yelled "Hey Megan, come here quick!"

I come out front and this child is RIDING A TWO WHEELER!
Didn't tell a soul that she was practicing and in mere minutes had taught herself to ride.
At four years old.
She wasn't about to be the only one riding with training wheels this summer!  

So proud to be the momma of these two precious lives.
One of my most frequent and heart felt prayer requests is that I mother them well.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Tiny Dancer

Yesterday was Madelyn's very first dance recital.
To say she was excited would be an understatement.
She was made for the stage people.

Our morning started early with makeup by Selina.

She was so proud of that makeup!
Part of her bedtime prayer included,
"thank you that Selina could do my makeup and thank you that I could dance on stage with all that beautiful makeup."

 This girl lit the stage right up.
Our smiles were just as bright as hers!

Madelyn and her girlfriends.

She was showered with flowers at the end of the show.

A quick pic with her bro who insisted on being silly.

A final bow.
At which point she slammed her knee into the floor and sobbed.
Black mascara tears ran down her face.
She wouldn't talk to any of her fans.
Such is life for our tiny dancer...

Friday, June 7, 2013

Down on the farm

I went on a field trip today with my favorite kindergartner.  
We had the best time at the Real Life Farm.
There was certainly no shortage of smiles.

We were there for all of five minutes and two pictures before my camera battery died.  Awesome.

So, iphone pictures will have to do...
 Bottle feeding a baby goat.
There was some hand feeding too!
 Milking the cow with farmer Dan.
 A little hayride fun...
 Fixin to ride the horse!
 Momma even got to lead!
Leading this horse around the trail almost made me want one of my own.  Almost.

Loved spending the day with my sweet boy!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Nice to meet you captain

This weekend our family had the great honor of meeting
 Captain Cory Baxter.

Cory will marry my sweet cousin Sara this fall.
The two now live in San Diego where Cory is a helicopter pilot in the United States Marine Corps.

We have heard so many wonderful things about him and simply could not wait to finally meet him!
Our family has been anxiously anticipating this weekend.  After hearing how smitten Sara is, we were all quite sure that he would give us grande reason to adore him.  He did not disappoint.

Cory greeted us with the warmest hugs and within minutes was handing gifts to my children.  Collin was given a true treasure.  Cory not only gave him a child size helicopter flight suit but also graciously gave him a handful of his very own patches, one of which has Baxter branded across the front.   He also humbly gave him a special coin that, from what I understand, is given out by a commanding officer.  And here it was being placed into the hands of my six year old.  Collin could not be more proud.  He may be only six years old but the boy is a collector of treasure, and he knows one when he sees it.  He loves to sort and keep.  This gift could not have been more perfect.   Many would imagine a gift such as this may be "wasted" on such a young boy who can't understand the magnitude of what it means.  Not our boy.
He beams every time we talk about it.
I actually immediately felt a lump form in my throat and realized I was about to cry.  I quickly decided that I should probably not embarrass myself within the first five minutes.
We don't want to scare anyone with the ugly cry, and we all know it goes from zero to ugly all to quickly.

But truly, that's all it took.
That gift.
It was every bit as special to me as it was to my six year old son.
Yes, his gigantic smile tells the story.

And here is where he keeps it.  Folded safely away in a box in his room to ensure it will not be touched by anyone.  This is how Collin stores all of his special keepsakes.  :)
Every person who has stepped foot into our house has been invited to his bedroom where he lays the suit out on the floor while strategically attaching all of the patches just so.  He is sure to explain that "these are real patches, and this name "Baxter" it's his real name".

When he saw me uploading this picture he was quite disturbed that I had been meddling without his supervision.
I was immediately interrogated...
"how did you get that picture, where is the box now, did you move it, did you touch it, is the metal coin still on top where I put it"
Suhweet mercy child, I opened the box, snapped a picture and placed it exactly where I found it!

Thank you Cory.  
Your gift is beyond words ~
Very much appreciated and held dear to our boy's young, impressionable heart. 

This girl was quite taken by these two guests of honor as well...

Look who else flew in for the fun.
The one and only...

 The day just kept getting better as we gathered at cousin Kara's house for a surprise wedding shower for Sara and Cory!
 Some may say I am biased but I'm quite certain that you won't find a better family to be apart of!  We couldn't be more excited to welcome Cory in!  Distance has never come between any of us, and though we live miles apart we will love you as though we see you every day!

We spent the rest of the night laughing and talking and enjoying the company of the people we hold dearest to our hearts while we celebrated the fact that our group is expanding with the addition of Cory!

Today we spent our Memorial Day  at mom's.
What better way to celebrate than to be in the presence of a real american hero?!

Cory and Sara spent the whole day loving all over my kids, playing game after game.  All the while making both kids feel as though there wasn't anywhere in world that they would rather be.

At one point this sweet girl threw her arms around Cory's neck and hugged him as though she has known him her whole life.
That made it official Cory, you're family.

Our sweet Sara,
Though miles have always separated us, we have always felt every bit as close and connected to you as we would if you lived minutes away.  We couldn't wait to wrap our arms around your neck and shower you with congrats!  I speak for our whole family when I say that we could not be more happy for you.  Your smile is brighter than ever and it is plain to see that you have found your forever with Cory.  We will love him every bit as much as we love you.  Our hearts pound with joy for the both of you.  You will no doubt be the most beautiful bride! 
This weekend ended all to quickly.
Although it would never feel like enough time.
But one thing is for sure, we only needed mere moments to realize just how very blessed we are to be able to call Cory our family
Congratulations and much love to you dear beauty!!

Dear Cory,
What a pleasure to finally meet you!  Within minutes I could tell that you were going to so easily fit into our family.  You have a heart the size of Texas.  Our Sara is happier than ever all because of you!  We will love you and support you as though you have always been here.  My children adore you and I'm quite sure they were hopeful that you would be moving in with us!  Should you ever need a place to stay, well you have the hook up here in Michigan.  :)
We hope you felt at home with us this weekend and look forward to spending more time with you soon!

And just like that, the weekend is over.
Though I'm pretty sure we will all be going to bed with full hearts tonight!

Monday, April 22, 2013

The not so happy birthday ends happy

Finally, finally they call her name.
Could there be an end to this crazy night?
Thankfully we were put in our own room, with a door, that could shut!
That's always a plus in the midst of pure nasty.
Sweet girl was still just miserable and wanted to sleep (at this point it was after 11) but every time she would finally fall into slumber someone would come in, push on her belly, ask a million questions and on and on.
Now don't get me wrong, I appreciate ALL of those people, and those interuptions because I know ultimately they were helping her, but when you and your baby are exhausted from days of sickness interrupted slumber is a bit bitter sweet.
Grammy and
Papa stayed awhile longer with us, which of course helped to soothe the mood.
Doesn't really matter how old you are, there is just something soothing about having your mom and dad.
Mom offered to stay the night with us but I wanted her to go home and get some good rest.  Sitting upright in an uncomfy chair could be left for mom and dad! 
We would have stood all night if need be, we just wanted Madelyn to feel better.
Papa prayed over Madelyn before they left which was much appreciated.
They opened the door to leave and waved goodbye.
When the door reopened soon after I imagined they must have forgotten something.
Imagine my surprise when my dear friend Gena walked in.
My friend that lives HOURS away.
I gasped.
Gasped and threw my hands over my mouth and just sobbed.
There were no words spoken.
Just momma sobs.
She knelt down next to me and just hugged me as my body shook.
Moments passed and I finally gathered myself enough to ask how in the world she had made it here?!
She had actually been visiting her sister in our neck of the woods and after they got all of their kiddos in bed they both came together.
It was now probably almost midnight.
And as if time didn't matter, they came anyway.
I hope she felt appreciated that dark night.
I'm also quite sure she can't possibly know what medicine she was to my sad soul.
God was also holding me through constant texts from my brother and my sweet friend Tracy.
I know they were in constant prayer.
It was most certainly the tie that was keeping this momma together.
We were covered in it.
I'll admit that there were several moments when Madelyn seemed to be in such pain and relief felt anywhere but near.  I would cry out to God in despiration "where are you?!".
He was there.
He was sending those who love us.
He was allowing them to take some of the burden.
He was giving them tears to cry for our Madelyn.
He was not only hearing their prayers for us, but was also answering them.
Oh yes, He was there.
We finally admitted for the night and taken to our own private room, praise you Jesus for another private room!  It was now 4:30 AM.  Madelyn had finally fallen into a somewhat peaceful sleep and Ryan and I caught a few moments of shut eye ourselves.
Wasn't long before morning came.
Madelyn wasn't showing any signs of improvement.
We weren't up long before my brother caming strolling through the door with a bag full of breakfast.
Of course I cried.
Just seeing your people, being able to put your arms around their neck, something about it brings comfort. 

The morning started out bad, as in really bad.
The handful of friends that knew what was going on were still texting me for updates.
When I shared with my friend Selina that things weren't looking up just yet she text back
"the girls and I just knelt on the kitchen floor and prayed".
Knelt on the kitchen floor.
She didn't say they sat on the couch to pray but rather knelt on the kitchen floor.
Which means they just stopped immediately and lifted us to the One who is all knowing.
I just kept picturing them in my head, it makes me cry even now.

Prayers were heard and as the day progressed she  started to turn a corner and while she wasn't fully recovered she did make enouch progress to be sent home!  BEST news!

We came home to a clean house thanks to Jeanette, who spent the day there making sure it was cleaned up so I wouldn't have to worry about it.  Blessing!
Of course Papa Don and Collin were also there ready to greet us with happy smiles!
A sweet picture from one of the neighbor girls was sitting on the mantle...
"Dear God, please help Madelyn get better" 
The prayers of the little ones were so touching to me.

It took 7 days, but Madelyn fully recovered.
By God's grace the rest stayed well.
Collin seemed to have a touch of it but nothing at all like Madelyn had.

God's grace is always greater than any trial we may face.
He stays near to the brokenhearted.
Gives strength to the weak.
Loves us well using our people.
He is the great physician.
We give Him all glory.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

The not so happy birthday part 2

During the last few minutes of Collin's party Papa Don sent a text to both Ryan and I that said Madelyn seemed to be getting worse and that she was just crying for her momma.  

We were out the door within minutes and on our way home.
She was, in fact, seemingly worse and was just crying and complaining of a sore belly.  She wouldn't sit up, didn't want to be held, didn't want to open gifts, nothing.  
Nothing would console her sad heart or her sick tummy.

We decided we better take her to the ER for fear she may be dehydrated from the day before.

We scooped her up and left in a hurry without even really saying goodbye to Collin who was going to stay at home with Papa Don, who by the way, was so very helpful throughout the whole stinking ordeal beginning on Friday when he was here with her cleaning up vomit.  

We get to the ER and they wanted to start an IV for dehydration.
Necessary, but so sad.

We were pretty sure this would do the trick.
They ran every test known to man, well at least it felt that way anyway.
Poor girl was poked in every place possible from her head to her feet.

 Look how sweet this girl's daddy is.
She rested very little, but when she did we were so thankful.
 Her daddy, her hero.

After 6 hours and three IV bags the Dr decided she needed to be sent to Children's hospital.
Not what we wanted to hear.
Unfortunately she was still dehydrated, which was determined by a urine sample taken by catheter, horrible experience.
Dr also felt he was unable to rule out appendicitis.
Oh mercy.

I wanted to sit with my head between my knees and just sob.
Watching your child in misery is like a slow death.
Nothing short of awful.

Can you imagine Mary watching Jesus on the cross?
No, unimaginable.
I'm sure every ounce of her wanted to go lift him off herself.
Quite sure she would have hung there in his place had it been up to her.

For 6 hours I just begged God to heal her.
Take the pain.
Give it to me.

I felt loved by all who were lifting me in prayer and yet I felt so isolated and lonely in this place of despair.  

Where are you God?

I had been texting mom the entire time we were there.
Part of it was because I knew they wanted to know what was going on but a bigger part of it was for me.
I felt better just knowing that her and dad knew.
I can't explain it but I just needed them to know.
I let her know we were being sent to Children's and she asked if I wanted them to come.
Every bit of me wanted to say YES.
But I've been through this before and I knew it was going to be a long night so I told her we would be fine and promised to keep her posted.

Our ambulance was ready and they got our girl situated.
We took pictures and made a big deal of her just so she wouldn't be scared.  She even smiled a bit when we told her we would send the pictures to Collin.  
Taking pictures at a time like this seems ridiculous but it seemed to help her feel this ride was "exciting" rather than scary.

We have taken this ride with Collin before so I knew the drill.
One parent allowed along in the front.
I told Ryan I'd go and he could run home and grab some clothes and things we may need.

I hate those rides.
No one wants to be in an ambulance.
But no one ever wants to be in the front while their child rides strapped in the back.

We got to Children's and it was PACKED.
As in wall to wall sick children.
I was given the unfortunate news that we would be waiting for our turn.  
Um excuse me?
We have already waited 6 hours and were just transferred by ambulance.
"Sorry ma'am take a seat and we will call you when it's your turn."

I literally looked at the young EMT and told him I was going to have an anxiety attack.
I'm sure he wondered if it was a good idea for him to leave this poor sick child alone with her crazy mother.

It was in that moment that I realized "you're all she has, suck it up momma, you're all she has".

So I swooped up my sick girl and gently placed her in the enormous wheelchair they brought us.
Of course she cried.
Which made me want to cry.
"you're all she has"...

I wheeled her to farthest part of the waiting room and tried to drown out the sound of vomit and horrendous coughing while putting all of my focus on this sweet girl.

I frantically tried to text/call Ryan.
The ER is in the basement of the hospital.
Dead zone.
You HAVE to be kidding.

I was able to get ahold of him long enough to let him know I was about to freak out and I'm sure that in that moment he wondered why in the world he didn't ride in the ambulance.

I then did what any daughter would do after she called her husband.
I called my mom.
And it connected.
"Mom it's awful here, we are in the waiting room full of sick kids and I'm alone."

This next sentence makes me cry even now...
"We are already on our way there, we will be there soon"

I told her they didn't have to come.
But she knew.
And without having to ask they just jumped in the car at 11 at night and were on their way.
I can't tell you what relief that brought.

I was alone for about an hour before they arrived.  They rounded the corner and for the first time I was able to cry.  I just buried my head in her shoulder and I cried.  
And she knew.
She didn't fall apart.
Sometimes momma's just have to hold it together for their girls.
I couldn't make eye contact with my dad.
I may have needed my own ambulance ride if I let it go with him. 

Pull it together sister.
And I did.

Ryan arrived and it wasn't long before her name was called.
One would never think that relief would come by hearing their child's name called by an ER nurse.  But when your baby is sick there is the sweetest relief when it's finally her turn...