Sunday, May 31, 2009

We are home!

Back on good ol' Eglin AFB.

We left our hotel at 5am and arrived in Nashville around 10:30am. Back at our house by 6:30pm. It was a long day, however, God continued to grant us favor. We each got an entire row with one of the boys yet again! No delays. Nothing unexpected. Very smooth.

So much more to write but right now I must wash some bottles. We used our last one somewhere on the highway outside of Crestview.

Tomorrow morning me and the boys will pick up Scrubs from dog camp. We are excited to see him and excited to be back at home.

And yes ... I have some pictures from the wedding!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Quick hello

A quick hello from New York since I am paying by the minute to use the Internet and Isaac, who is sitting on my lap, is adding random letters at will.

We arrived yesterday right on time and were so blessed by the Lord during all of our travels. Neither one of our flights were full so JB got an entire row for him and Isaac and I got an entire row for me and Elijah. Got to take their car seats on and everything! It was glorious.

Then, to make things even better, we had complete success in putting the boys to bed last night. We put Isaac down in his crib, put on our little noisemaker from Target (thanks Jaime!) and then headed into the bathroom with Elijah. JB fed Elijah while Isaac fell asleep. We then laid Elijah down and he fell asleep peacefully with no crying. Both boys slept through the night with no crying as well! When Elijah started fussing at 5:30, I scooped him up before he could wake Isaac, fed him, and got him to fall back asleep on my chest so big brother could keep sleeping! It was PERFECT!!!

Last night was the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. We've never been to an Indian wedding before. It is going to be such a good time. Their culture is so amazing. The colors and people and food are just awesome. I look forward to sharing pictures (yes, I am taking some) with you all when we get back.

Much more to come . . .

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A post from a little farther north

We are here.

Okay, so in all fairness we have been here for quite some time. But as far as the blog is concerned, this is the first time I've gotten to post that, "We are here."

We left our house bright and early on Tuesday morning and were in Nashville, Tennessee by 3pm. We got to spend a wonderful evening with Josh and Sarah and their two cutie pies: Tyler and Jordan.

Today (Wednesday) was spent traversing throughout our old stomping grounds. On the way to Bowling Green we stopped in Franklin, Kentucky. This was the town I coached and taught in for five years. We also lived there (across the street from Josh and Sarah) for four of those years. What great memories. Not only did I stop at the school and see tons of familiar teachers and administrators, but we drove by our old house and around the quaint little town of 8,000 that so embraced us so many years ago. What wonderful memories!

After that we headed to good ol' Western Kentucky and Diddle Arena. Head Coach of the Lady 'Toppers Mary Cowles was an assistant coach when I was at WKU, and boy has a lot changed since then. Diddle has been completely renovated. It looks nothing like the gym which I called home. The locker room is amazing. One cool thing is that they have a mural on one wall in the locker room. As I looked it and JB looked at it, a blonde gal boxing out front and center jumped out at us. Surely that's not me! I looked closer and saw the familiar brace I had on my right hand during my senior season and recognized the drawing taken from a picture of me in the senior media guide. How cool was that?! I also got to sign Mary's wall of graduates and visit with other familiar faces like Paula, Fly, Dixie, Doc E., and more. Great memories from that place! I also got to make a quick stop and visit with Emily D.!

After visiting WKU we headed to my old teammate Shea's house out in the country of Bowling Green. What a beautiful home on forty acres! It was amazing. Justin and Shea treated us to a fantastic lunch and despite the rain that prohibited from successfully touring the land, we had a wonderful afternoon. Isaac got to take a great nap at Shea's too which really helped give him a second wind. Shea is one of those loyal friends who will always have a special place in my heart.

We concluded our day with a quick stop at the Wilsons -- our old pastor, Mike, and his wife, Deanna, along with their three kids: Sam, Grace, and Jessie who are now quite the teenagers! Wow does time fly. We wished we could have spent more time with them but Jessie had a sixth grade graduation. We wanted to go but by this point were absolutely spent. So we opted for an early return to Josh and Sarah's, an hour and fifteen minutes south, back in Nashville. But even though the visit was short and sweet, it was great nonetheless.

Later, I will give more details of our trip. I would tell you that I will post pictures, but truth be told, I didn't take a single one. With both boys, we were quite occupied the entire time and pictures just never availed themselves.

It was a FABULOUS day. We are absolutely exhausted but so blessed by all the wonderful people we got to spend time with along the way.

I'll dance down memory lane in more detail at a later date. We will spend tomorrow (Thursday) wish Josh, Sarah, and the boys, before flying out to New York very early on Friday morning. Your continued prayers for our safe travels are much appreciated!

Monday, May 25, 2009

What do people do . . .

. . . without a dog?

I mean here is Isaac, eating his dinner, scraps flying every which way. Like usual, he purposely drops some and accidentally drops others.

Normally this is of no concern to me. There is a black spotted four legged pal camped below the high chair, waiting patiently for any piece of heaven that comes his way. Yesterday a piece of chicken came his way. It landed right on the back of his neck. And it stayed there. I am sure eventually it fell off and Scrubs found it, but for many minutes, it remained perched on his neck. He could smell heaven. But where was it, doggone it?

But tonight I wondered what it would be like to have to get out the vacuum cleaner after every meal. Egads!

The reason for my wonder was that our four legged pal was at dog camp today.

We leave for our trip first thing Tuesday morning. Dog camp is in the opposite direction from our intended destination. Therefore it was determined Scrubs would go to dog camp a day early. Since we were paying for the entire day we figured we'd make the most of it. JB and Isaac ventured out early this morning to drop Scrubs off with Pat at Paw paws.

Scrubs loves it there. He can be outside all day and play and then at night go into her house with her to sleep. She feeds him, bathes him, everything ... it's fantastic!

JB and I had to admit that in some strange way, we actually missed Scrubs today. It was eerily quiet, no one (besides Isaac) was underfoot, and the sliding glass door didn't get opened one time. It was as if something was just missing from our life. Of course, JB said his level of missing was somewhere around one percent, but still, that qualifies as missing, doesn't it?

So anyways, I am headed to bed to prepare for an early day tomorrow! We will drive to Nashville, spend the night with Josh and Sarah, spend Wednesday touring Bowling Green visiting old friends, regroup on Thursday with Josh and Sarah, and then fly out for New York on Friday morning. Saturday is the wedding, and on Sunday we will return to Nashville, jump in our van, and make the seven hour drive back here to Eglin.

Whew! I'm tired just thinking about it. Wish us luck. And if you think of it, say an extra prayer for our family. For safe travels and for me to be able to successfully navigate my first trip with both kids.

Until we return . . . bye all!

Memorial Day

May we all think and pray for those people who have given their lives so that we may be free today. I know it feels like "just another holiday" but to the families of those who have paid the ultimate price, it is so much more. Even living on an Air Force Base, it is easy for us to forget what it is people who join the military agree to do. They agree to give everything. Happy Memorial Day everyone!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


JB giving my Dad a haircut. This is the first time JB has cut anyone else's hair outside of his own and Isaac's.

My Mom and Isaac reading a book after his bath.

Isaac looovvveeesss my Dad. Here he is getting a bottle. I am sparing you the gruesome lip shot. Take a look at my photoshopped little black box! Ha!

Grama Di gave Isaac this shirt. If you can't read it, it says, "That's It! I'm Off to Grandma's." Way cute!

My parents are taking off tomorrow morning bright and early. JB and I have decided not to take part in the walk (me) and run (JB) we had signed up and registered for. One because we forgot to pick up our registration packets yesterday. And two because we just have so much to do before our trip and the idea of being at a race for half the day was leaving us (well mostly me) a bit stressed.

We have hung out at the house throughout the long weekend, venturing out only for some walks and runs (whenever it wasn't raining, which wasn't very often) and a trip to Sonic for my Dad. My Dad has gotten to get lots of rest and his lip looks a TON better than when he first got here on Thursday evening.

We leave bright and early on Tuesday morning. My posts will probably be a bit scant over the next few days ... I may be able to shoot a blog out at Josh and Sarah's, but I know we won't have computer access from New York. So ... unless I surprise you all with a post, I'll see you all when we get back on Sunday!

27 Dresses

Every so now and then, I get to reconnect with one of the students that I coached or taught. Recently, I've reconnected with Emily D. Emily was one of my favorite students and athletes. She was on my basketball team and in my English class. I am so excited to see how well she is doing in college, in love, in work, and also in what she is giving back to the Franklin community she calls home. Here is a link to her blog: Breakfast at Emily's.

One funny thing about visiting Emily's blog is that she has a link back to mine entitled "Coach K." This was what everyone called me when I coached and taught -- a nickname that the coach who recruited me to come work at Franklin-Simpson, David Clark, gave me. I haven't been called that in about five years! It really makes me miss my old profession. But that's a whole 'nother topic. Someday I'll flashback to my life as a coach and teacher. But this blog is about Emily.

Emily has started a little "organization" that she has called 27 Dresses. To summarize it, young girls can come to her closet and check out donated prom dresses for free. How awesome is this? I wanted to make sure that I gave a little bit of a plug for Emily's non-profit organization. I am sure there are women reading this blog who have old prom, homecoming, or bridesmaid dresses that they are never going to wear again. Why not donate them to Emily in Franklin, Kentucky?

You can contact her by visiting her blog or emailing her at:

Emily, I am so proud of your love for the Lord and those around you. Keep up the good work!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Mayo Clinic music

I think it was on Kristen's blog that I first saw this little clip that has been making its way round youtube. A bunch of you have since emailed me and asked me if I have seen it. I have! It's fantastic! This video was taken in Gonda at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. I have walked through this room hundreds, if not thousands of times. It has a beautiful piano that people who profess talent can sit down and play. There's usually someone making beautiful music in the atrium.

Seeing this room brings back amazing memories. This was the room that the medical school balls were held in. This is also the room that I would have to walk through everytime I went to an infertility appointment.

Here's a fun moment in the Gonda!

A bit of my Dad

So since everyone has voted and we shouldn't take a picture of the front of my Dad . . . I did take the opportunity to snag a few photos of the back of my Dad. I have to agree. His lip looks pretty bad. However, it is improving quickly. In just the twenty-four hours he has been here, it has gotten significantly better. But there is no point in documenting a big swollen lip so the back of the head it is!

My Dad hammering Isaac's toe.

Is this what happens when Grampa is left in charge!? No walking on the couch Master Isaac!

Elijah playing with Grampa Coach.

Friday, May 22, 2009


My Dad and Mom arrived last night. I've already been told that there won't be any photos of my Dad included on the blog as he has a pretty nasty wound on his lip from the surgery he had done last week. Isn't it wonderful though that Isaac could care less? He's just so happy to play with his Grandpa. Kids are so innocent in that way. Grandpa seems exactly the same as he remembers him!

Thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes. I am usually very low-key about birthdays but apparently, through the miracle of Facebook, everybody and their mother gets a reminder that it's my birthday. So now, everybody in the world knows that I am 32. I actually completely forgot it was my birthday until JB kissed me as I pulled the covers up over my head this morning and told me that my cards were on the kitchen counter. And then off to work he went.

He is doing a rotation in Fort Walton Beach -- the hospital in the town that borders the Base. It is nice to see him leave the house in real people's clothes every morning (in contrast to the military uniform he usually puts on), but he is, overall, incredibly ready to be done with this rotation. Monday starts vacation so this is his last day of insanity for a little while.

I also meant to post that our little chunker, Elijah, had his four month appointment on Wednesday and is doing fantastic. He now weighs over 16 pounds. He went from the 15th percentile for weight to the 85th in just a matter of a month! Woah! His height is still a little down from what Dr. G. thought it would be, but she said that delay is due to the growth restriction he was facing his first few months.

Looking back at pictures of Elijah, I feel so horrible that he spent the first few months of his life so hungry and we had no idea. I also feel terrible that my Dad had to have his lip cut open. Or there is me with a scar across my lower abdoment from my c-section. All of these things are reminders of difficulties in our lives but also reminders to be so thankful that our Lord gave doctors the knowledge to help us heal. They are also reminders that even though we all feel a bit frustrated by our sagging economy and the difficulties facing our country, we still do live in the best country in the world.

When my Father asked his dermatologist what would have happened to him 100 years ago with this skin cancer on his mouth, he was quickly informed that his lips would have fallen off and he would then have starved to death.

I asked my surgeon, Dr. S. what would have happened had we not been in a developed country when I went into labor with Elijah. He explained that I probably would be dead and Elijah probably would have been dead. If I would have survived labor, Elijah probably would not have. And there is no telling whether I would have survived the multiple infections that hit me after my surgery.

When I was in Nigeria on our mission trip in 2007, I sat down during morning devotional next to a mother and her eight year old son. His abdomen was incredibly extended and his eyes were yellowed. She started asking our friend Ajit questions about her little boy and after she walked away, I asked Ajit what was wrong with him. He informed me that the little boy was dying of liver failure. "What will they do?" I asked. He just put his head down and told me that in America, he'd have a liver transplant but there, in Nigeria, he would soon die.

When Dr. Chris, who ran Faith Alive in Nigeria made his first trip to America, he remembers thinking, "God . . . you are so unfair." He couldn't believe that we sold ice cream by the gallon or that people could drink water in a fountain off of a wall or leave food on their plates at the end of a meal. How was it that people born into one family could be so much more blessed than in another? He soon came to realize though that Americans could help him care for his country. Faith Alive (Hope for West Africa Foundation) is nearly entirely supported by people from our country giving away their excess.

I pray today that we all remember how blessed we are. We may get frustrated that our 401K isn't doing so well or our mortgage payment is late or that the price of gas has busted $2.00 again. However, we do live in the greatest country in the world. And our medical system is one of the best in the world.

Today I am thirty-two. Without this country and our medical system, I probably wouldn't be here, and I definitely wouldn't be here with Elijah. I choose to put aside my other frustrations and truly count my blessings.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A few things to share

I have a few things to share.
  • First of all, I just looovvveee this pic that I stole from Joia. She took it at our windy wifia lunch at the park yesterday. Honestly, I have no idea how Joia finds the means or the energy to take the pictures she does, but she always does, and I'm really glad because at the time I think to myself: It'd be nice to have a picture but I don't have the means or the energy so I say forget it, but Joia says Go for it and then a few hours later when I am back at my computer I end up with some photos. It's a great partnership she and I have. I'm not exactly sure what my role is in that partnership, but it's great nonetheless.
  • Anyways, as you can tell from the photo above, Isaac is really starting to play now. I'm not sure if this is good or bad. It's good because I want him to grow up to be a successful adult and if he was glued to my shoulder for the rest of his life, he wouldn't be entirely successful or even semi-succesful. However, it is bad because now I have to actually try to watch him and Elijah at the same time. Not so easy.
  • Yesterday I actually fed Elijah a bottle while giving Isaac his lunch at the park at the same time. Propped E. in his car seat and used my left hand to feed him and kept I. strapped into stroller and put food on the little tray in front of him. It worked great! I'm figuring out ways to multi-task all the time!
  • Isaac is signing "please" like a madman now. Only thing is, he doesn't understand that the other kids have no idea what he is saying and nor do they care even if they did. Yesterday someone took the little truck he was playing with at the park, and he walked behind that big kid for about thirty steps making the sign over and over again for please. It was so cute, but I felt so badly for him. Don't they know I am saying please?
  • My parents are on their way to Eglin as we speak!! I am so excited to see them and for them to see the boys. I am hoping they decide to drive all the way in tonight instead of stopping midway.
  • Scrubby and Deuce played at the bay for the last time today, and I made it through the visit without crying ... barely. Oh, I said I wasn't going to write anything more about that so I won't say much more. The good news is, however, that their family isn't leaving town for a few more weeks. They'll be in TLF (Temporary Lodging Facilities -- the military is full of acronyms) until early June.
  • We are getting ready for a big week in our lives. On Monday, JB and I are participating in the gate-to-gate walk and run. (I'm walking and he is running.) It is 4.4 miles. After that, we'll drop Scrubby off at the kennels and get ready to head out of town. Tuesday we leave for Nashville. We are staying with my cousin Josh and his wife Sarah and also plan to see the Wilsons, my friend Shea, the old high school I taught at, and my former coach at WKU. We'll spend a few days there before flying to New York for Ajit's wedding where we'll get to see Tara, Dave, and Lesley as well. Yipeee!
  • Anyone want to do a "guest blog post" while we are out of town? If you are interested, leave a comment! I'm sure everyone would love to hear from someone else for awhile.

Quick Bri update

I get asked all the time how Bri (Isaac's birth mom) is doing. I recently snagged a photo of Bri with her parents Roy and Joan and thought I would share it on the blog. Bri is doing great. She is nineteen now and taking college classes and working. She has said that maybe someday she will write a blog to fill you all in on her life, but I know right now she is pretty busy. Bri and Chris (Isaac's birth father) are still together. I don't write much about Chris on the blog mainly just because I don't know Chris like I know Bri. Our family is tied more to Bri's family -- thus the reports on Bri. Anyways, nineteen years old and doing great. We love you Bri!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Best buds

Scrubs has been driving me a wee bit bonkers the last few days. I can't explain what it is exactly. He isn't actually doing anything specifically wrong. He's just being a little more needy and hyper than even the usual for him.

I think it may have to do with the fact that now I not only have a dog following me everywhere I go during the day, but I have a little boy as well. So I go into the laundry room, I have Scrubs with his nose in the dryer and Isaac beating on the side of it. If I am holding Elijah and try to keep Scrubs in the kitchen and let Isaac out, we have to do it about five times before I get the right combo of boy on the outside, dog on the inside. "No, Scrubs, Kitchen. Isaac out. No, Scrubs. Kitchen. Isaac. With me." That sorta thing. In addition, the neighbors dog has been living outside so Scrubs is requesting to go out and back in a gazillion times a day to visit his new friend Romeo. I've just been a little "Scrubbed out".

However, all that aside, if there is one thing I can usually count on, it is the relationship between Scrubs and his boy. Gosh I love that they have each other.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Today I am happy because . . .

  • Elijah's physical therapy session this morning went really well! Not only did she note some marked improvements from the exercises we'd been doing at home, but I was able to time things pretty well (feedings and naps) so that he was in great spirits for the whole thirty minute session.
  • Brittney watched Isaac for me during the appointment. This allowed me to lower my stress level considerably knowing Isaac was happy and I could focus on Elijah.
  • I got a two hour nap. Read it and weep folks. TWO hours. This NEVER happens. I timed things perfectly. Isaac went down. Elijah went down. No peeps on either monitor. Put Scrubby in his kennel. Headed to my bedroom. Two hours later Isaac was the first to wake. Two hours. Praise the Lord. I needed it sooooo badly.
  • My Dad is doing better. He had some surgery on his lip this past week and was in pretty rough shape for a few days. We'd been communicating via instant messenger because he couldn't speak but today I even talked to him on the phone. I'm crossing my fingers that he is well enough to come up and visit this weekend with my Mom.
  • JB wants to go for a family run this evening. I love to run with him, but he had warned me he'll be working late this week on the residency lecture schedule. The fact that he'll get home in time for us all to go out together is awesome.
  • I got to talk to my friend Michelle yesterday.
  • I got to go to the Bay today.
  • The weather is beeee-u-tiful outside. Crisp and cool with a slight breeze. It's awesome.
  • Our renters in Minnesota are going to stay another year. (If you didn't know, we still own our condo in the Polar North.) That makes three years in a row with the same renters folks! Yipeeeee!

Tomorrow, I'll try to think of a few more things to be happy for but I think this is enough for today.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Scrubs!

Hard to believe, but our "little" (seventy pound) Scrubinator is two years old today. Here is a look back at birthday number one just a week or so after we had brought little Isaac home.

I thought I would celebrate Scrubs' birthday with some photos. Scrubs thought he would celebrate by being a major pain in my patookee today. Scrubs can have many days in a row where he is marvelously angelic. He can lie around and act like a regular dog for long stretches now that he is two. But then he can have a day like today. After trying to eat a Halls wrapper, getting a bit too physical with his Isaac-licking, trying to dig a hole in the backyard, and trying to prohibit me from taking a nap by continually running up and licking me, he has spent more of the day in his kennel then out.

But he is still our Scrubby. Even though he absolutely drives me crazy and definitely complicates our life considerably, he is a member of our family. As I have said many times before, Scrubs was integral to me being as mentally, physically, and emotionally healthy as I was during my first year here at Eglin. After five years of infertility, he kept me busy and focused when everyone I knew was a parent except for me (or so it seemed). He went on walks and jogs with me and helped me to meet people around the neighborhood. I really do love this doggie!

Okay so here are the celebration photos.

Scrubs with his Dad in Delaware before he joined our family.
Very first day home. Getting a bath.

With JB. Look at that heart nose!

A photo Joia took just a few days after we had gotten him.

My infertility diversion.
Being a good sport with Jocelyn.

Posing with Elijah.

His best human buddy, Isaac.

Hanging out at the bay with Deuce.



"The people who influence us the most are not those who detain us with their continual talk but those who live their lives like the stars in the sky and lilies of the field -- simply and unaffectedly. Those are the lives that mold and shape us. If you want to be of use to God, maintain the proper relationship with Jesus Christ by staying focused on Him, and He will make use of you every minute you live -- yet you will be unaware on the conscious level of your life, that you are being used of Him." -- Oswald Chambers.

More good byes

Well before I get to the post at hand, let me give a big thank you Uncle Ray & Aunt Gabbi who sent these adorable outfits for the boys when Elijah was born. If you can't read them they say: 2x The Diapers; 2x the Feedings; 2x the Love. Ain't that the truth. We took this photo below before we headed to church:

All right, so now for the real post. More good byes. Or, as I like to call them, "see-ya-laters". They don't seem to hurt quite as badly. Our Care Group got together yesterday evening at Turkey Creek to say good bye to Caleb, The Rabens, and the Itiburus. I can't believe we are losing so many people at one time. Here are some snaps from the evening:

Isaac with our Care Group Leader, Bernard.

Elijah with his surrogate Grama here in Eglin -- Roxanne. Desmond, is moving in just a few days! :(

Isaac eating some banana with his buddy Monica (Bernard & Lisa's daughter)

One of the fun things that we were able to watch last night was Isaac actually playing with other kids. He was the littlest one and definitely way behind all the time, but he was actually trying to join in. He's a big observer and up until last night, he usually just sits back and watches. Last night was a different story. It was actually a bit emotional for JB and me to watch. Our little baby is growing up into a little boy. I can't believe that the baby we waited for for so many years is one and getting bigger everyday. Here's a few pictures of him trying to keep up with the big kids:

We are so amazingly blessed by our Care Group. They truly are our spiritual family here at Eglin! Last night just reminded us what a blessing they are to us.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Friends & food

Last night we had Jeff, Bobbie, and their four kids over for a delicious Indian dinner courtesy of JB. Their moving truck is coming on Tuesday so we were blessed to be able to find a night that worked for both of us before they head out. I've decided that after this post, I really can't talk anymore about this wonderful family on my blog. It's just a bit too emotional for me.

I am so very happy for the new opportunities that await them in Seattle. They are going to get to be there for three years -- one of the longest stays they have had anywhere! But their departure is bitter-sweet. I will miss my daily therapy sessions at the bay, where while the dogs play, Bobbie and I talk about life and caring for two babies. Her daughters were born one year apart so she has been able to offer me tons of advice and encouragement for parenting my two little boys. I'll also miss her girls calling and stopping over to play with a baby or take Scrubs for a walk. Isaac has been very clingy lately but he is always eager to jump into the arms of Paige and Brooke. I'll miss Matthew and Robert thinking that Scrubs can play gently like their docile lab Deuce. Scrubs quickly reminds him that he only shows love with great gusto! I'll miss watching all four of their kids love on my boys. What a beautiful gift it is to have people love your children as you do.

God has an amazing way of bringing people into our lives at just the moment we need them. It's hard living so far away from family but the relationships we make outside of those families are what allow us to get through this life. A huge thank you to this family for taking me under their wing during an exceptionally hectic and overwhelming and wonderful time in my life.

Anyways, enough sap . . . here's a few snaps from the evening we shared last night.

Jeff with the boys (in the twin outfits Bobbie gave them from Seattle)
Matthew and Isaac feeding Scrubs his dinner

Brookie with Elijah

Lullaby follow-up

Thank you to everyone for the great comments and discussion regarding yesterday's post on lullabies being played at the hospital. I especially thank those of you who shared some very personal recollections of their own losses.

A few follow-up comments.

As far as the hospital's motivation, JB had a talk with the colonel in charge of instituting the new policy back when he first heard about this in '07. I can assure you that her intentions were very pure. She thought it would make the hospital happier, more upbeat, focus on the good things that were occurring there -- that sort of thing. I have no doubt that her intentions were good ones. She respected JB's opinion to the contrary but definitely believed that the lullabies would serve the greater good. My post does not second guess her intentions whatsoever. I don't think anyone is intending to hurt anyone here.

Secondly, as I read all the comments, I think I realized what this issue is really all about. It's about location. The issue really boils down to where you celebrate. It would be completely inappropriate to celebrate a wedding at a funeral. It would be considered poor sportsmanship for a winning team to go and celebrate at the losing team's school.

It isn't that those who have a baby should feel guilty or fail to celebrate. By all means, celebrate like crazy! However, it would not be appropriate to celebrate the birth of a baby at an infertility meeting. It would not be appropriate to celebrate the birth of a baby at the funeral of one who had just passed away. I think that is what this all really boils down to. Location and appropriateness of the celebration. A hospital is a place where there is a lot of sadness. Some may argue (and most likely this is what hospital staff were thinking) that the lullabies would lighten the mood in the hospital. Opponents would argue that they hurt those that are already hurting.

Life is beautiful. I do not think you will talk to one gal struggling with infertility who would say that baby showers should be eliminated. They think baby showers and birthday parties and baby dedications are amazing events. Their sadness is that they don't get to participate in those events themselves, not that those events should not occur. I think that is a very important point to understand. People who are celebrating should in NO WAY not feel that they can celebrate. They should not feel guilty for celebrating. They should celebrate the amazing gift of life. But doing so in the correct venue is very important.

I liked my friend Ebby's post last year regarding the lullabies. She didn't like them when she was in the hospital because they woke her up! That's reason enough to get rid of them.

Thank you for the polite and insightful comments regarding this topic. I do not fault anyone who disagrees with me on this topic. It's a touchy one. But since it is my blog, I do get the last word! Ha! Maybe I need to communicate with my husband via blog.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Lullaby update

It was back in September of 2007, nearly two years ago, that I wrote a post about lullabies played in the hospital. JB had gotten wind that Eglin was thinking of implementing the "lullaby after baby is born" policy in their hospital. He was adamantly against its inclusion in his place of employment.

Back then, things were different for us. We had just faced IVF negative #4. We had gotten on China's adoption list. We had accepted the fact that biological children were probably something we would never have.

Fast forward to today. May 2009. A lot has changed. We have two boys. One from my body. One from Bri's.

And yet I am still, adamantly, against those darned lullabies.

Yesterday we went up to the hospital for Isaac to get his 12-month shots. As Daryl Hannah (... okay, so she's not really Daryl Hannah, but I think she looks like Daryl, so we call her that every time we go in ... not to her face of course ... although I don't think being called Daryl Hannah is offensive, is it?) ... Anyways ... as Daryl Hannah was putting my information in the computer, I heard it.

A lullaby.

Let me preface this post by saying that I totally respect those of you who don't agree with me. We had a great "comment discussion" about this back in September. I respect those of you who think the lullaby is a nice inclusion in a hospital.

I, however, am not one of them.

So back to my story. Daryl typing. Lullaby plays. I scrunch my nose. Daryl looks up from computer and smiles.

"What was that?" I asked even though I already knew.

"A lullaby," she said. "It means a baby has been born in the hospital."

"Are they playing those now?" I asked. "Every time a baby is born?"

"Yep. Isn't it great?"

I thought about nodding and smiling, but I just couldn't do it. I had to be honest.

"I don't really think so," I said.

Daryl looked visibly shocked.

"I don't know," I began. "I mean, it's wonderful that a baby has been born, but at the same time their room is celebrating, there are other women in the hospital who just got difficult news."

I listed all the possibilities. Finding out you had a miscarriage. Having a doctor tell you that your full-term baby has passed away (something JB had to do recently). Being told that you'll never have children. Getting a negative pregnancy test -- again. Being told your own child has passed away or has a terminal illness and might die.

"What about all those women?" I asked Daryl. "How would they feel?"

Daryl nodded and said she understood my point. "But if I couldn't have kids," she started, "I would just adopt."

I knew enough from past conversations with Daryl that this wasn't the case. She had told me tons about her own children and even made the comment that sneezing made her pregnant. And she had pictures on the wall behind her to prove how true that was.

I again contemplated keeping my mouth shut. But I went on. "He's adopted," I said, rubbing the top of Isaac's head. "I love him like crazy. And Elijah," I said, nodding my head toward the waiting room where he and JB were waiting, "Is an incredible blessing. But I spent five years trying to have kids. I can't imagine how painful it would have been for me to listen to a lullaby play 2, 3, 4 times a day."

Daryl was kind even though I could tell she thought I had jumped way overboard on the topic. I didn't care. I was hurting so badly inside. I was thinking of all my friends who are still waiting on children. I was thinking of people JB works with who come to that hospital every single day. And every single day they would be reminded that someone else just got what they dream of having. I was thinking of our friends who just moved and how glad I was that they moved before they had to hear this.

I walked out of the shot room with a screaming Isaac, and as JB scooped him into his arms he looked at me and said, "Did you hear the lullaby?"

The look on my face told him I had.

"I'm writing a letter," he said. "To someone." It wouldn't do any good I told him, but he didn't care.

We talked all the way out to the van. All the way back to our house. We both acknowledged that it wasn't just those people still waiting that we hurt for. The lullaby reminded us, somehow, of those years of pain. Those years that that song would have been a painful reminder. JB said it would have been so hard for him to hear that at work everyday, even as the guy, while I waited at home, with empty arms.

To those of you still waiting, I am sorry for any pain reminders bring you. To those of you who disagree with me, I totally respect that.

However, I just had to write this. I just had to say something about it to someone.

Thanks for listening.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

True facts

JB is home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So do my exclamation points adequately confirm how excited everyone is in our house to see him return? Mommy, Isaac, Elijah, Scrubby . . .

Okay so, yes, it's true. The fish were not that excited. I discovered yesterday that only one of them survived his departure. Since you have to be alive to participate in excitement, celebration is out for the dead fish.

JB asked if I had cleaned the tank with anything while he was gone that might have killed them? What? Why the heck would I do that? In one quick second, my eyes said everything he needed to know.

Yes JB. In my free time I decided that I had nothing better to do and I would scrub YOUR tank. I could list about one hundred things I would have done before cleaning out a fish tank. Cleaning the toilets would be one of them, and trust me when I say that hasn't been done in quite some time.

Cleaning up "upsetness" would not be one of them, but I did do that a number of times while JB was gone just for fun.

I think JB quickly realized how silly that question was as well. Clean his tank. Yeah right.

But fish aside, JB is home and he is excited to be home. We "surprised" him by showing up at the airport instead of waiting for one of travel companions to drop him off at the house. I put "surprised" in quotation marks because I think he figured it out when he tried to call us upon landing and didn't get an answer at home.

Note to self: make up a reason you won't be at home when his plane lands next time you want to surprise him.

Another note to self: don't scare your oldest son right before he gets to sees his Daddy. I made the mistake of setting Isaac down to go to walk to JB. Isaac, however, didn't see Daddy right away amidst the crowd and got quite scared and confused as to why his Mommy was setting him down all of a sudden, alone, in a big airport.

When he finally saw JB, it all made sense, but there was quite a moment of panic that preceded that.

Add that to the list of things I have learned since being a Mom. Second to the fact that it really is true that you canNOT have too many burp cloths.

New topic.

Fatigue and education.

JB is pretty stinkin' tired. Not only does he have some sort of head cold, but he got very little sleep while he was gone.

Let me ask all my readers something.

When you were in school and you had a big test to take, what did your parents and teachers encourage you to do? Like before the SATs or ACTs for example. You were told to get a good night sleep, eat a good breakfast, things like that, right?

JB had an all right time at his week long training. Don't get me wrong. However, what makes absolutely no sense to me is why you would try to educate physicians about life-saving techniques in the field, how to save lives and limbs in battle, things like that, while you were exhausting them.

I understand that military docs need to be schooled in how to live without air conditioning and sleep on little cots, wake up at the crack of dawn, and eat MREs and stuff like that. But why would you combine learning to live in the field with education? This is just my personal opinion, but I think you should take them out for separate weeks. Take them out and teach them to live in deplorable conditions for one week. Then take them somewhere the next week, feed them good food and give them good rest and educate their minds.

Errrr . . . wait a minute. That would mean he'd be gone for two weeks.

Scratch that idea. Forget I even brought it up.

New topic.

Three day weekend. JB has one. How wonderful to get him to ourselves for three whole days! We are going to have Jeff and Bobbie over for the kids tomorrow night. Then on Sunday we'll have church and a get together with our Care Group to say good bye to some of our fellow Care Groupers.

More good byes.

Have I mentioned recently how much I hate saying good bye?

And another interesting topic while I am at it. Naps. Isaac won't let JB out of his sight since he got home. That means he all of a sudden thinks his nap is an incredibly bad idea. He always goes down for his naps talking and giggling.

As I write this he is doing anything but giggling in his crib. You can hear it in his voice. Why am I in the crib? Why aren't I with my Daddy?

I wish he could understand that Daddy is taking a nap right now as well. He's one tired guy. And unlike Isaac, Daddy thinks naps are AWESOME!

Instead of jumping topics again, let me jump to the end so I can go and get my overly tired crying eldest son.

Did I mention we are so glad to have our JB home?

Last morning here

Isaac had a wonderful day yesterday after his rough Tuesday. He seems to be feeling completely himself. Mom on the other hand was feeling the effects of the difficult Tuesday. I woke up on Wednesday feeling a bit overwhelmed about being a solo Mom for two more days. I was going on a small amount of sleep and really felt the need for a break.

But God is faithful. He brought Bobbie to my door around lunchtime. She came just to talk and hang out with me. When I warned her that Isaac hadn't been feeling well and that we had a long night she told me she had read the blog and that's why she was there. What an encouragement and blessing! She sat and held a baby, fed a baby, played with a baby, and talked to me. When her girls got off the bus at 2pm, they joined us for some playtime, and then we all walked over to the bay to let the dogs to play. After I brought the boys back home for a nap, I returned to their house for a delicious dinner as Bobbie's husband Jeff is out of town for the rest of the week as well. Spending time with Bobbie and her family made my last full day without JB go sooooo much faster. I was so blessed to be included in their family life for awhile.

Did I tell you their moving truck comes on Tuesday? That information would change the tone of the blog so I'll leave it at that.

Now it is Thursday and JB comes home tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We cannot wait to see him.

I thought I would close this post with a few pictures from Joanie's last morning here. I'll let the pictures tell the story.

It was early in the morning, but I decided to allow Joan to take a picture of me and the boys as we are every morning.
Joan and I decided to give Elijah a bath before she left. You can see Isaac making the sign for "please bath" in this picture. He saw me drawing the bath and definitely did not want to be left out even though he had had a bath the evening before.

It was Joan's idea to let them both take a bath at the same time. This little arrangement seemed to work well. Not sure I could do it by myself without having to leave one boy unattended at one point. But with a partner, it worked great. Isaac was very excited to get to take a surprise morning-time bath. If you look closely, you can see Elijah laughing at Isaac in this picture. He has started giggling everytime he looks at Isaac lately. It is way cute.
Isaac explains to us how happy he was that we let him take a bath ...

Bathed and changed, the boys take a moment to pose with Joanie before she leaves. Thanks for blessing our socks off Joan! I don't know what we would have done without you.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Visitors to Eglin so far (updated as of 7-1-09)

We've had some new visitors. Time to make an update.


Oom (Uncle) Ed & Tante (Aunt) Jan K. June 2007

Friend and surrogate sister (and Isaac's future birthmom -- although she wasn't pregnant yet in this picture) Brianna V. June 2007.

My cousin Justin July 2007

Mom and Dad H. Labor Day weekend 2007

My "little sister", Kelsey, October 2007

Hans & Rachel November 2007

Mom, Dad, Brother Keith, and wife AD November 2007

The Wilson family. From left: Jessie, Sam, Mike, Deanna, and Grace. December 2007


Our friend Tara (JB's classmate at Mayo and fellow Africa traveler) February 2008

Our great buds (and cousins) Josh, Sarah, and boys Tyler (left) and Jordan. February 2008.

My mom with her new (and first) grandson May 2008

Our great friend, Ebby, May 2008

Mom K. with her third grandchild. May 2008

Scott R. with kids: Ellie, Anna, Ben (and Elijah not pictured). May 2008.

My Dad (Pa Pa) June 2008.

Keith (my brother) and AD (his wife), July 4th weekend 2008.

Bri (Isaac's birthmom) with her Mom Joan, July 2008.

JB's brother Ray and his family: Gabbi, Grace, and Nate, August 2008.

JB's Dad and Mom, August 2008.

JB's brother, Rob, and his girlfriend, Sherrie, August 2008

Friend from Mayo, Erica, August 2008.

Sister-in-law, Gabbi, (my driving partner), September 2008.

Friend and teammate from college, Shea, October 2008.

Friend we met in Minnesota (but from Syria), Bara, November 2008.

My parents, Thanksgiving and again on Christmas 2008.


My Mom drives up to greet Elijah, January 2009.

Dad and Mom K meet grandchildren #3 and #4, January & February 2009.

Joan (Bri's mom) comes to help me with both babes, February 2009.

Great friends from Mayo Dave and Lesley, February 2009.

Tara & Shomir, March 2009.

Grama Di helps me tackle JB's night rotation, March 2009.

My Aunt Allyson and her daughter Katie vacation in Destin, April 2009.

Tristan (friend from Eglin who now lives in Turkey), April 2009.

Gabbi, Nate & Grace (along with Mom K who is not pictured) visit for Isaac's birthday, May 2009.

Joan comes into town to help me while JB is at C4 in Texas, May 2009.

My Mom and Dad visit for Memorial Day Weekend, May 2009.

Dad comes by himself on a hiatus from school teaching, June 2009.

Joan and Bri come for a long weekend, June 2009.

My brother Keith, wife AD, and new daughter Charleigh visit. July 4th weekend 2009.

Kit #5, Matt and his wife Danielle. July 2009.

Cousin Grace (comes with her parents and brother Nate). August 2009.

JB's family (Ray, Gabbi, kids; Grant & Elizabeth, Mom and Dad K.) join us for Thanksgiving! November 2009.

My Mom's parents (my grandparents and the boys great-grandparents) join us for Christmas along with my Dad and Mom. December 2009.


Joni comes in for two visits and helps me tackle a difficult week for JB at work and then his trip to Utah. January & February 2010.

My brother Keith, Adie, and their daughter Charleigh come in for a visit. Keith and Charleigh stay longer to help me get through a tough JB rotation. March 2010,

My old friend from college, Jaime (on right) comes to visit. We head to Gulf Breeze to visit with our grad assistant when we played ball, Debbie. March 2010.