Saturday, December 31, 2011

God is Good

Her name is Maddie.

She is four years old with a rare form of cancer.

They were dear friends of ours when we lived in California.

Her diagnosis came about a month after we found out about Tessa. Her mom just had a baby, and their family all lived in the mid-west. The shuffling they had to do between appointments and hospital stays, the unknowns of how chemo was going to affect Maddie- my heart immediately went out to them.

I wouldn't say misery loves company, because I would never want anyone to go through the year either of us had.

Misery loves understanding, and there is something about someone knowing where you have been that is so comforting.

Around 22 weeks, I got a note in the mail from Maddie's mom.

Scrawled across a plain white sheet of notebook paper were the words "God is Good".

I will be honest.

At that point, I didn't feel like God was all that Good to me.

I felt abandoned.


Forgot about.

But that little message, from someone who was in the "pit of despair" with me, spoke volumes.

As time marched on, I felt God revealing his plan.

Bringing peace while I was waiting.

Giving hope.

Her miraculous birth.

Watching her grow.

Family and friends who were the feet of Christ.

I can say with absolute certainty.

God is good.

Psalm 40:2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

As I reflect back on the roller coaster year of 2011, I praise God for keeping me safe in His grasp, even when it felt otherwise.

Wishing you a wonderful 2012!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tessa Update

It's been a while since I have updated on Tessa.

No news is good news, right?

Overall, this girl is a delight to my soul. It's no secret I love this baby stage. I am reveling in her little grunts and baby noises, bath time and burping. So often, I find myself starting to pray for someone else, and ending up praising God again for her life.

She smiles and coos easily- the boys are finally seeing that it can be fun to have a baby around.

Tessa girl is weighing in at a whopping 11 pounds, 4 ounces. She got her second RSV shot this past Sunday. She absolutely hates it (I have heard it is thick because it is antibodies as opposed to a vaccination), but Walgreens makes it very convenient by coming to our house. Her home healthcare nurse is very nice.

Caffeine was discontinued two weeks ago. If she can make it the next week or so without an alarm, we will be wireless. I am not sure how I feel about that. I have come to rely on the monitor. I have watched her stop breathing enough times that it still scares me, even though it hasn't happened in a long time. Dressing her will probably get easier, though.

She had her first cold the week before Christmas, and managed to make it through without a hospital visit (praise the Lord!)

Sleeping is much better. She now sleeps about 6 hours straight, wakes up to eat, and then goes back down for two more hours. Amazing what a little sleep will do for a person! :-)

We have four doctors visits in the next two weeks. The biggest and lengthiest one is her developmental progress check on the 9th. She meets with six or seven different people to make sure she is on track for her adjusted age.

Please keep Tessa in your prayers, that she is developing normally. As always, that she remains illness free.

I hope you had a joyous holiday. Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow!

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Tomorrow morning, if you wake up
and the future is unclear....I will be here

Words sung 12 years ago to the day, never more clear to me than during this past year.

A few random thoughts while looking through photos tonight...

~our wedding was the first and last day that Josh wore his ring
~child bearing takes quite the toll on one's body
~I really liked gold apparently
~15 pictures (out of 150) were of our marriage certificate. Wish there were digital cameras back then!
~the bouquet looks awfully heavy. Right, mom?

Happy Anniversary to my husband, my partner, my best friend, my shoulder to cry on.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Nobody's Fool

I have promised to dig this out for a while.

Okay, three years to be exact.

Don't get too excited.

I am a glorified extra.

From Wiki:
The Parkers is an American sitcom . A spin-off of UPN's Moesha, The Parkers featured the mother-daughter team of Nikki (played by Mo'Nique) and Kim Parker (played by Countess Vaughn). The Parkers' signature "Heeyyy" greeting made its way into popular vernacular in the early 2000s (decade).

This episodes premise: Nikki has been selling Lady Egyptian cosmetics and finds out that Lady Egyptian is a complete fraud. She sets out to expose her at a taping for her cosmetic line.

Warning: the foul language is beeped out, but you can still tell what they are saying.

Fast forward to 7:37 to see the segment...

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Two Slices of Bread

Lunch is kind of a non-event around the Bird house.

Most often, I serve Bryce chicken fingers or leftovers.

Sometimes I get creative and boil up mac and cheese.

Every once in a while, it involves a toy in a box.

You get the idea- no fuss.


Easy to do with a baby sleeping in my arms and two dogs under foot.

Lately, Bryce has taken a liking to bread.

Plain bread.

No cheese.

No meat.

No PB or J.

Just bread.

He probably would like honey drizzled on top, but Josh and I keep forgetting to purchase it on grocery day.

And you know I am NOT going all the way back to Meijers for a bottle of honey.

I digress.

A few days ago, Bryce yet again went into the fridge for his two slice main course.

As he was walking to the living room to sit down and have a "carpet picnic"- which is my term for him eating on the living room floor so I can relax on the couch while he eats because it takes him forever to gobble up two plain pieces of bread- I had the idea to surprise him with one of his favorites, an individually wrapped package of goldfish.

Due to expense, they are normally saved for Kayden's lunch. Bryce had been such a great kid, and so helpful, that I really wanted to reward him.

Plus, I feel guilty he eats like our ducklings.

My stubborn child did not want to see what I had for him.

He wanted what he wanted, and that was all there was to it.

He clutched one piece in each hand and, almost to the point of crumbling both of them, held on tight.

No amount of coercion would get him to see that something better might be in my hand than the bread in his.

I know I have done a lot of reflecting around here lately, so I hope I have not tired you with my anecdotes.

Of all my blessings from God, I would have to say my family tops the list.

I don't think that is a bad thing.

On January 17, I admitted that I had finally surrendered trying to control my family to God, after a long struggle with clutching them ever so tightly.

With both hands finally wide open, God gave me more than I even asked for bringing Tessa to our family.

Don't get me wrong. Looking at this from the top of the mountain is so much easier than from mid-climb. Many days, I questioned if I would ever get here. No doubt about it, I would have chosen an easier path in lieu of the extra blessings we received along the long and arduous journey.

See this beautiful dress Tessa is wearing?

My good friend Chelle reminded me of the significance this tulle and satin represents.

Two days after Tessa was born, Heidi and Kristi brought me a bag full of girly goodies, including this outfit.

Visions of her much, much larger and able to wear this were simultaneously uneasy and yet incredibly wonderful. Her future had been uncertain for so long that it was strange to immediately flip that switch and believe she was alive and thriving. For the first four days, I asked every medical person that I could find about Tessa's lungs. I needed constant reassurance that they wouldn't all the sudden become hypoplastic.

As I put her in this dress, my heart sings with a gratitude and joy that last Christmas I never thought I would experience. I am reminded that sometimes I need to stop clutching and open my hands wide for all the blessings God wants to bestow.

Psalm 31:19 How great is your favor, which you store up for your loyal followers! In plain sight of everyone you bestow it on those who take shelter in you.

Friday, December 02, 2011


When I took this picture of Tessa yesterday, I could have swore I had seen it before.

They certainly have the double chins in common:-)