Monday, December 10, 2012

Surprise...Finally Back!!!

Such a happy girl!

Her and daddy catching a nap

Her and daddy put this outfit together...even coordinated the bow!

One of my favorite pics :)

Napping after a long day

Baby and Daddy at the Pumpkin Patch
She had a choice of two pumpkins and this is the pumpkin she picked out. She was so proud of her pumpkin!

Thank you for sticking with this blog....we truly appreciate your support!! I'll be back soon with an have my word! :)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Picture Time...Finally!!!

She just finished sitting in her pool and was taking a break and playing with her fire truck. And, no she's not practicing posing for a calendar one day...oh it awful that I even had that thought about my own sweet baby?! :) 

Ok, I first want props for putting her in a tub, ha. Now I know that I have her in a "baby " tub sitting in a real tub but this is when we first started taking real baths...give me some credit! :) 

This was taken in her nursery room at church. She's doing good standing while Mama T gives her a little help. 
This was taken today. She's standing by herself, as long as she has something to hold or prop on...big girl! 

She is trying to put the bubble wand in the bottle all by herself...miss independent!!
One of my favorites...being silly!!

And, last but not least...she's really been watching how we feed her...getting her food in her syringe and then putting her  syringe to her tube and pushing it in. We talk about it and talk her through it. She's now "assisting" in putting the syringe to her tube and trying to push it in. She's even imitating stirring the syringe around in the food, trying to get it in it.  She won't need my help much longer ;)

Thanks for your continued love and support! Sorry for the delay in posting some pics but I hope it was worth the wait?! :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Little Clarification...

Well, don't be shocked that I'm back so, I know! :) I read my most recent post and felt the need to clarify just a little. It may or may not be needed but it's something I believe is necessary. Anyway, I did not intend to dismiss or overlook some of the caring and more than willing people in our lives...that are more than  happy to try to give us a helping hand. So, I thought I'd offer a little shout out...of gratitude. I've had a few friends that are fully capable and so willing to help with Selah. They have offered on more than one occasion to spend time with her so that I can get some errands done or get a haircut or go to a doctor's appointment. They've also offered to give Spencer and I a date while they watched miss prissy. It's been more on our end that it's not worked out. We're trying to balance and coordinate all that we have going on...mainly Spencer...with the fire hall, military, and then other odd jobs. One friend in particular has told me, much more than once, that she wants to help when she can but I've yet to work it out with her...Leslie. :) She has been so willing despite all that she is balancing herself...she's a hardworking wife, mama, and student. Leslie and some other sweet friends are here to try to serve us and it's because they love Selah and us I know. I didn't mean to seem to dismiss or overlook that at all! And many others offer support and love in various ways and it's all truly humbling and appreciated!
And I do not mean to fixate on this topic, but it's a challenge, if I'm being honest, to try to find consistent help...even if it's just occasional. Again, there are some I know will try to help if I give them the opportunity. It's something, as I mentioned in my other post, that I've struggled with being very frustrated and defeated over though. There are times where I do feel discouraged because I've got a doctor appointment, etc. and just haven't gotten care for Selah worked out yet. And, I will own up to it and admit that I'm not "letting go" too easily. Yes, like many mamas, I've got a ton of scenarios that go through my head and a ton of things I think of as to why I shouldn't leave Selah with anyone else. Some of them I feel fully justified in, ha! :) It's so hard for me...words cannot express! We were told in the NICU by the staff that cared for Selah and trained us in her care, about all the precautions that need to be taken, the scenarios to "prepare" for, and so forth; needless to say, it's not that easy for me to  just let go and not have concerns. I know that not only do I want to be comfortable with someone but I also want them to be more than comfortable in their ability to take care of Selah and the medical needs she has. This isn't easy and is yet to come about. And I hope it doesn't seem that I want a nanny or anything, ha. And,I truly hope it doesn't seem like I'm complaining...I guess I am though. I just mean it gets frustrating and discouraging at times because we do have to consider the care we need to have for her...even if it's just occasional...and it just involves a little more than the "typical" kiddo care. Yes, she is a typical on the verge of toddler-hood kiddo but she's also got some extra medical needs that require a little bit more knowledge than just changing that diaper and keeping her from sticking spoons in the sockets. :) I'm just praying about it and still asking God to bring forth who He knows is willing, capable, comfortable, and so in love with our sweet girl that it's evident they'll only take the best care of her. And He is teaching me to be aware and open to the different forms of care and rest that He brings forth...they are often not what I expect...but thankfully I'm learning much more than I can ask or imagine. And, He is also trying to teach me to embrace the loving hands that long to serve and love on us...if only we'll receive it...

Thanks for your prayers and support!! Pictures are soon to come! :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What's That Smell?!

I will explain this picture later in this post...stay tuned... 

OK, so yet again I am way overdue on updating the blog with a post...and yet again I'm sorry! I've put it off for a long while now and honestly have avoided it. I've also had an ongoing "battle" with God about posting what I am going to and have disobeyed Him by delaying sharing what He has prompted me to. We have been busy this summer and I've not made the blog a priority. But more than that, I've had a lot of "battles" going on within me and where I am at in this season in life and I've not felt like sharing, not felt like opening up...not felt like being vulnerable. God has persistently, thankfully, been prompting me to share though. He reminds me again that it isn't me or how I perceive things or what I think is appropriate or not. He reminds me that it's for His glory and His purposes...I pray that through my words it's His truth and spirit that are evident. So, here it goes...I will try to tie in all in together where it makes some sort of sense...
So, as I mentioned we've had a busy summer. We had her fabulous therapists come for the majority of June. We traveled some in June and July and had family in for a lot of the month. We've been good and are blessed to have made the memories we did. Selah is doing so good and for that I am truly thankful!
There seems to be so much lurking underneath the surface of my emotions, mind, spirit...all of much there that I've not realized was there. What's there has been less than pleasant and so discontent. It comes bubbling up and surfaces, often without warning, and it stinks. It results in destructive and hurtful words, a negative attitude, intolerance and impatience, and just outright bitterness. This has been going on for a long while. I would like to blame it all on sleep deprivation because without good rest I am so miserable. But I recently had a conversation with a friend about the season of life she's in and we began to find similarities in where we both are right now.  It seems she, like myself, has found herself so discontent, bitter, frustrated, anxious, overwhelmed, and just consumed with a stench and a stink that comes bubbling and oozing out and it just creates a "smell" all around her and leaves her and others asking, "what is that smell?!" We both found that this is happening in our lives. She also shared that God had recently taught her that He doesn't want this stench to permeate her or her life but instead He wants her to be filled and overflowing with a sweet fragrance...a fragrance of peace, gentleness, kindness, grace, love, and matter what. God really used this conversation to bring some things to light...these words resonated with me and really got me thinking and praying.
I began to think and pray and God led me to think of and speak out what is it that I'm so discontent about...why am I so unhappy and bringing in such a stink to all the many blessings and gifts I have in my life?! He led me to just be honest with Him about the reasons I am frustrated and to share the disappointments I be honest because He already knows them anyway. I began to think about all that and began to list it out loud and it went like this...
"God, I am so tired, so physically exhausted and I just want to sleep. God, I don't understand why night after night Selah is up through the night and night after night we don't get good rest...despite my pleas for sleep and rest. God, how can I rest if her monitor isn't effectively working on her and how can I know she's safe without it. God, I am so angry that I am so irritable and so tired and I just want to feel better, I want to be the mom Selah needs. God, I feel so defeated in my relationship with Spencer and I don't like us being so far apart at times on how to handle what we have going on in our lives. God, I am so discouraged and so mad that Spencer and I don't get time alone and time to go on dates. God, I don't understand how we can maintain our relationship when we don't share time together, just us, and when we don't share common interests. God, why do I keep praying for you to open up doors and bring us a nurse or someone to help us care for Selah only to yet again have the prayers unanswered. God, why am I absolutely miserable..."
Well, needless to say this was less than pleasant as far as my feelings or emotions at the time. I began to speak these things though, as God brought them forth, and I began to feel a weight being lifted. It's like I began to own up to all that I was so upset about and really didn't even know the extent of how upset I was and how much it was just festering and bubbling inside of me...creating a nasty stench. God answered my cries and my prayer by bringing forth these concerns, these hurts, and these disappointments.  God gently began and is still speaking to me.
God began and is still helping me in guiding me through this season in life. He is teaching me, yet again, to be thankful and to praise Him in all of it...yes, all of it. He is also teaching me, yet again, how to do this. As I do thank Him and think about all the reasons I have to praise Him, His peace and joy gently start flowing in me and filling me up...washing away and cleansing all that stink and stench and replacing it with a fragrance, a sweetness...that is ONLY of my Heavenly Father. As I trust and thank Him in faith, He brings the "rest" and sustainment I need. It may not be the in the form that I would expect or work out but He provides...He brings forth His good works in His good timing and He makes His mighty presence known.
With all that said, I will refer back to the picture at the top of the page. This was taken a few days before Selah's first birthday. I was not only tired and exhausted, but also just frustrated and easily irritated. Spencer and I were not agreeing on what to do for her first have a party or not. Now, instead of acting like and adult and having a discussion about it, I began to get NASTY and then I proceeded to throw...not one but three...different handfuls of envelopes, birthday invitations, and a phone book. The papers and book flew up in the air and just landed in a scattered mess on the floor. I got up without saying a word and walked through my mess...leaving it there...and went to brush my teeth and get ready for bed. I need to say that Selah was in bed and did not see this activity!! I come out of our room to find that my mess had been cleaned up and put neatly into piles on the couch where I was previously sitting. Spencer nor I said a word. I sat down by the piles and looked at my phone to check the time. Instead of looking at my screen saver of Selah and Spencer, I now see a picture of my mess. I looked up at Spencer and said, "you did not?!" He began to laugh and explained that he may have cleaned up my mess...that I made during my tantrum...but that he wasn't going to let me forget it. He decided to take a picture of the mess before cleaning it up and to save it as my new screen saver on my phone. I'm ashamed to say I called him a not so nice name but then laughed. I decided to keep that picture as my screen saver and it's still there today. I saved it in hopes that as I look at it many times throughout the day, I'll remember that it's not worth it. The angry words, the frustrated and negative attitude, the discontentment, and the pure disobedience and disregard for the life and blessings God has bestowed on us is not worth's destructive, defeating, and not of God. I'd like to say that I always remember and apply this but that would be a fib. I struggle SO much with this SO often throughout each day. I often feel like there is so little progress I make...only steps backwards, away from the direction God is leading. Here recently God has gotten hold of me and is trying...thankfully without giving refine me and to grow me in to His image and His character. He reminds me to persevere with all I have and to hope and to just be thankful for all that He has allowed me to enjoy in my life and in this season of our lives.
Now, I also want to refer back to why I avoided this post. It's such a vulnerable feeling knowing that I'm putting out there what seems to be "private." I also feel like I am complaining and really just being whiny and that is not my intention at all! I know many parents are tired and I know there are some of my friends who would give anything to be up through the night with a baby...with their baby. I don't want to seem like I'm ungrateful by any means. I'm truly humbled and honored that God is allowing me to love Selah and to be her mom. I'm thankful that Spencer and I are partners in this together too. I am human though and there are times where all that I wish were different or all that isn't how I'd like it to be just gets to be too much. I get bogged down by it and it threatens and it often does steal the joy, the peace, the hope, and the love from me and all that surrounds me. I've been trying to pray against this and to claim God's armor over me and us. I pray also that it's not a stench or just negative and nasty stink that I bring but instead a fragrance of blessing and grace that is so evident that it can't help but be noticed that it's nothing of me but only of God...of His goodness, of His sweet presence...
God reminds me though that through our willingness He can work. So, I pray that you see Him in this and that maybe you can relate and takesomething positive from it. And, who am I kidding, since when have I ever been modest??? :)

Habakkuk 3: 18-19
"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my savior. The sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights."
This scripture has been used by God at several different times and different seasons in my life. Here recently He led me to it again and spoke through it. He taught me that although it isn't all ideal or how I'd like it, there are blessings to hope for...blessings He will bring forth...blessings beyond what I can ask or imagine. He also spoke to me a gentle reminder to be joyful in the midst of all that I have to praise Him for as well as all that I don't consider a praise. As I do this, my focus is shifted to Him and His goodness and my spirit is lightened...the "weight" of all that stuff that doesn't matter is lifted. He is sovereign and He reminds me He has "got this"... 

Much love to you!!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Okay, I don't know what else to say other than...guess, not some's me! I'm sorry for the's been a long time...too long! I don't know what to say...I can offer excuses and honestly say I've just not found the time or made the effort to log on and make posts. But here I am with an update and some pictures...yay!
We've been doing well. Spence has been gone for a few weeks for military training but he recently made it back safely. Selah and I had family come visit and enjoyed that. She is staying healthy and is growing so much. She has started standing/bearing weight on her feet a lot more...still with some assistance. She is also now not walking but running when you put her in her walker. As of yesterday, she declared it "baby proofing" time by not once but twice, trying to stick something in the outlet. She is teething at the moment so she's more irritable than usual but nothing Tylenol can't help :). She is also starting to really try to use some signs (sign language) we use routinely...not without a lot of praise to accompany her efforts ;). And, I'm sure I could go on but I'm tired and my mind is drawing a blank. On that note, she's not resting well at night or during the day...more often than not. This is something that has been going on for a long while now. I pray for rest for her and also for us and sometimes it comes and sometimes it doesn't. So, all that to say, I'm really winding down for the night and my mind is not very "fresh." Hoping the pictures will make up for that :)
Before I share the pics I want to say thank you so much more than you know for your continued prayers and support. I'm truly humbled and honored that I'm able to share in these moments with Selah...and with Spencer. I'm also thankful to have the opportunity to share with you! I will do my best to post sooner rather than later this time....
15 months old now!!
She's tolerating standing so much better now...even smiling while doing it :)
One of my favorites...she really likes riding in her wagon. We rode down to the water and half way back up
to the house Stud gave out so he got to ride the rest of the way back with Selah
This is Selah on the Fourth of July last! I came across this picture and it
took my breath...I'm humbled and in awe of how far God has brought this sweet baby girl...

We truly appreciate you...thank you!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Road Trips

Hi, hope all is well with you?! I know I'm delayed in giving you an update...sorry. Selah's procedure went so smoothly and we were in an out that morning. The doctor said it was so weird because he got no resistance when he put the bigger trach in. Spencer and I tried at home and at our visit with him and we all felt the resistance and the bigger trach not going in. So, when he said it went no problem we all just laughed and looked at each other. The doctor also said her airway and stoma looked relieved. I know it's an answered prayer and I'm so thankful! Thank you to all you faithful prayer warriors for lifting this need up...God answered...

On another note, we've been able to take two road trips so far this summer. We went for the day to New Orleans (NOLA) with some of my family and then we went all the way to Memphis for a wedding. Both trips were fun...a little tiring but enjoyable. I'm thankful to report that our trip to Memphis was uneventful...meaning this in a good way...and we enjoyed it and made it home safely. Our day trip to NOLA was fun and had a few little adventures that made it memorable.

These are some beautiful gals!!

They stood by the sign at the aquarium that says, "Closed on Monday." All but Meg have their "sad" faces on...well Spencer looks like he may be giving a little smirk :)

Had to post because such a good pic!
My family came into town from Alabama and we planned to go down to NOLA for a day and to see the city and most importantly to go to the aquarium...knew Selah would enjoy it. I assumed that they would be open and ready for our arrival. The Sunday night before we went I checked online to find out their hours, prices, etc. I found out though that they were closed on Mondays...say what??? My family partly planned their trip around going to NOLA and the aquarium. Only because I didn't check on it I told them I would...were our "dreams" squashed, lol. We were all disappointed but had to laugh about it. We came to the conclusion that NOLA is apparently shut down on Mondays...needs to recover from the weekend...only meant in a nice way. :) We all decided, that since my cousin hadn't ever been to NOLA and we promised we'd take her, that we'd still make the trip down. We went for the day and had a good time. The weather was pretty nice...not too hot. We enjoyed walking around and just taking it all in. We got to sample some good NOLA food and see some of the local wildlife...big rats, ha. We also played a guessing game as we walked throughout the uncle and I would step over puddles or streams of unidentified liquid and he'd say, "I wonder what that is?" I'd reply, "Not sure but we probably don't want to know!"  I must lastly say that I'm so ashamed to admit that I was the ONLY person pushing a baby stroller down Bourbon a very fast pace, might I add. Spencer was holding Selah and we'd approach a less than baby appropriate poster or business and both just quicken our step. We wanted my cousin to say she's been to Bourbon Street...even though it's much different in the middle of the afternoon than during the night hours. I had to laugh though as we were fastly walking with Selah and baby's a memory! We both agreed that it's not exactly "baby friendly." Anyway, I say all this not to knock the all...but if you've ever been you know that it's a "fun" city where lots of people come to have all different kinds of fun...probably different fun than when you're on a family trip or have a sweet baby on your hip...ha that rhymes!  :) We really did enjoy our day trip though and even more our sweet family coming to see us!!

Thanks again for your continued prayers and support!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

More Videos

This is Selah "brushing" her hair. We had just finished bath time and I was getting ready to brush her hair. I talk to her about when it's time to brush it and show her the brush. At first she'd cry when it was brushing time but she began to reach for the brush so I gave it to her and guided her hand to her head. She taps on her head more than using brush strokes but she's trying. I tell her to brush the other side and point and she'll switch hands and "brush" that hair. She, of course, enjoys the praise and knows she's doing something good. I realized that if I only show her things then it doesn't take long and she catches on. I'm bragging i know...can't help myself :) Again, overlook my annoying commentary or chatter...just comes along as part of the videos, lol!

This is just another video of her "talking" to me. Thankfully she has been tolerating her speaking valve pretty well. ;)

Thanks for your continued support and prayers! Love to you!!

Friday, May 18, 2012


Hi! I've been meaning to post an update and have let too much time get by. We met with the craniofacial team at UMC to discuss the updated CT images and their recommendations, etc. for Selah's jaw surgery. Basically they told us that Selah's lower jaw is so severely recessed and so there's so little of it there that a jaw distraction isn't an option...unless it's an absolute last resort. They want to monitor her for the next several years and see if there's any lower jaw growth. We're not supposed to see them again until next year when they want another CT scan done. They also talked like a rib graft procedure is more appropriate for her...rather than a jaw distraction. So, we're not sure what's best or what to do with the information. We are definitely going to look into other opinions and consults at other locations but we're just not sure where that is yet. We are praying we know God's leading each step of the way.
We also saw her ENT and he said it's time to change her trach to a bigger size. She currently has a 3.0 trach and he wants her to move to a 3.5 size. We change the trach (3.0) each week at home(so it's a clean one each week)and it's something we're more comfortable with. This week we tried to put in the bigger size trach (3.5) and it did not go smoothly though. We tried it here at home and it wouldn't go in. We called our ENT's office and he worked us in on Thursday so he could change it for us. He tried and also couldn't get the bigger trach in. He was putting a lot of pressure on it as he was trying to put it in and it wouldn't go. He looked concerned and said that he's not ever encountered a trach not going in like this. He said, because her current trach size is still ok, it's not an immediate issue. As she keeps growing though it will become more of a concern because she will need bigger trachs as she grows. He's not sure what is going on in her airway, etc. that would be causing the resistance and not allowing the trach to go in. He is going to have her come to the operating room and do a Bronchoscopy...spelling??..procedure to look in her airway and see if he can figure out what's up. It should be an outpatient procedure and hopefully not much to it. It will depend on what he finds out though. She will have to be under sedation/anesthesia too. The procedure is scheduled for the end of the month. So, we're trying to be hopeful that it's not anything to be too concerned about, but it is still hard at moments to not worry. I just want my sweet girl to be okay...only God knows my deepest heart's desires...
We truly appreciate your continued prayers...thank you!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Selah In Action!!!

Hi! I am not going to lie and tell you I figured out how to get the videos from my phone to my computer...because I didn't. I do know how to get them from my camera to the computer though...can I get some applause..haha! Anyway, here's a short video of Selah using her sweet voice and just having a fun time while we were looking out her window. She's not as loud as she can be but if you listen closely you'll hear her "talking." And, I sound like a dork so please just overlook that...ha! Hope you enjoy it as much as I have. :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Good Report

Thank you for your prayers! Just wanted to let you know that my doctor's office called to let me know that the breast ultrasound didn't show a mass or mastitis. They said it showed that my ducts are dilated and there is inflammation going on. I'll keep taking the antibiotic and go back for a follow up visit in May. They said at this time there isn't anything to be too concerned about.
I was thankful and relieved to hear this report. I don't know why I think I should be immune to a sickness. This experience was a humility check and a reminder that no one is immune to tragedy, heartbreak, My mom always said while we were growing up, "Life isn't fair." I didn't really grasp the concept until I've gotten older and lived happens and it's not fair. And although it's not fair, I'm learning that as each day brings circumstances that are unexpected and that take us by surprise, things that turn our world upside down, things that we may never understand, it also brings blessings and reasons to be grateful for how blessed we are...reasons to smile and just soak in the moment. I'm also learning that the more I seek God and the more I try to trust Him and hope in Him, then the more I'm filled with His peace and joy. I am truly joyful for this good report. I only pray that with each day to come, no matter what it presents, that I will stay close to Him and be overflowing with joy...with thankfulness...
Thank you for continued love and support!! You're a blessing to us!!! :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Always and Forever

This post is gender sensitive...if you're a male and maybe some modest will probably want to pass on reading this post. If you proceed then it's at your own risk... :)

I have to start with a bittersweet goodbye to my favorite hobby...pumping that hooter milk! For the past year I've been able to pump milk...hooter milk is what Spencer calls it...and am so thankful I could do this for Selah. She is having to transition to other feeds now and so I must say goodbye. I have so many memories that have to do with pumping and if I could only tell you in person, you'd be smiling too. I've had Spencer on one hooter and my mom on the other, both kneading and trying to get the hooter milk to come out, after I had Selah and was engorged. I would hold the pump bottles while they each massaged...this happened for several days. And, I bet if you asked Spencer if he'd ever imagined that was something he and his mother-in-law would join forces in doing, he'd laugh and firmly say, "no." But, as we've learned...never say never. :) I've pumped in so many places...spreading the love, ha....Ross bathroom, dentist office bathroom, backseat of the car, front seat of the car...Lindsey :)...and the list could go on. I've pumped while Spencer has walked around singing the Black Eye Peas song...Pump it Louder. I've pumped night and day for the past twelve months, but now it has come time to say goodbye to my hobby. I say with excitement for the freedom from it but also with sadness in knowing I won't provide Selah with it any longer, goodbye dear friend...hooter milk...:)
OK, well now that all that is said I'll go on to say I've been trying to dry my milk up over this past week. I found a lump that has been there but was much more noticeable. I asked my doctor about it and she worked me in for an appointment to check it out. She examined everything and she agreed with me that it makes sense that it's mastitis...since I'm concluding pumping and trying to dry up the milk. She gave me an antibiotic too to treat any infection. She is thankfully very thorough and didn't want to dismiss it so she referred me for a breast ultrasound to make sure it's not anything to be concerned about. I had that done on Friday and I am waiting to hear back on the results. The ultrasound tech wouldn't give up any information but she did say it's usually a good sign when they let you go without a biopsy or mammogram...which I didn't have to have either one. So, I'm just waiting on the results.
I can't say it didn't take me by surprise. I heard that drying up the milk is not fun...painful, etc. I thought I probably had mastitis and that I'd need an antibiotic. When she examined me though and thought it was better to confirm it wasn't anything else I was not expecting that. Thoughts and emotions began whirling around in my mind. I mean how can that be...the possibility of me getting can't be...Selah needs me and I need to be strong and healthy for her and Spencer. I left the doctor that day and just felt...humbled. I looked at her sweet smile and her beautiful blue eyes and I just cried. I am so thankful and honored to be here with have this time. I talked to Spencer and heard his strong voice and felt such gratitude that I'm blessed with his love. I have kept going through all the reasons that this wouldn't make sense.
I went for my breast ultrasound the next day and Selah had to roll with me. She of course won all the nurses over...they don't have many babies come there. I saw older ladies, middle age ladies, young ladies...all ladies that were a mom, a daughter, a sister, a friend...a beloved child of God. I saw them and wondered what each of their stories were...what season of life they're currently in.
So, I had the ultrasound done and now I'm waiting to hear back. As I mentioned earlier, they let me go without further assessment so hopefully that's a good sign. I've tried to just not to dwell on it or what could be. I've tried to pray about it and to ask for prayer from the precious prayer warriors in my life. I've asked God to just take all that's not of Him and to fill me with only Him...His peace, His trust, His hope, His faith, His joy. As I've prayed and had quiet time with Him, He's been speaking to my heart and quieting all that threatens to start raging in me...worry, despair, helplessness, uncertainty. I was reading in my devotional this morning and it was further reassurance from God that He's working and orchestrating it all for His good...for His glory. A verse that has been consistently presented to me over the past several days is found in
Psalm 13:5 "I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation." I was reading this morning and again this verse presented itself. God spoke to me that He is my perfect...savior, friend, Heavenly Father...and that I am His beloved daughter...always and matter all things. I read this with the reassuring hope of His presence right this moment...whether it's as I plan on or the moments to come...always and forever...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Update and More Pictures :)

Hi! I know that many of you are praying for us and we cannot tell you how much you are blessing us...thank you! I also know it's been a little bit since I filled you in on what's up with us so I thought I'd do that. :)
Selah had her CT scan done in March. God worked it out and it went so smoothly...thanks to our faithful prayer warriors too! We will go to UMC to meet the Craniofacial team and doctors to discuss the jaw surgery and their recommendations, timeline, etc...based on the updated CT scan images they have. Our appointment with them is the first week in May. If we aren't on the same page with them then we will probably look into a consult with the team at Arkansas and possibly another location. We aren't really ready to start the jaw surgery process but we are also unsure about what's best for Selah. She is doing so good and staying healthy and it's such a blessing to have this time with her. We dread the surgeries, hospital stays, pain for her, etc. But, we also want her to be able to open her mouth though and to maybe be able to have her trach removed eventually...hopefully. She's getting teeth in now...two currently...and we can't get into her mouth to check them out...unless you pry her mouth open and really upset her and are possibly hurting her. She does have an aversion to touching her mouth or putting food to it, especially here lately, but then at times she can be so interested in food too. We want her to be able to taste it and try eating one day.  I just don't know if these outweigh all that is involved with surgery. It really weighs heavy on my heart. I want her to not have any pain, to be able to just be a kiddo, to know that we don't want to have to cause her any know we love her just as she is. I know it can be so much worse and I try to be thankful for how blessed we are. I just have moments of wanting it to be all "ok" and just as I'd prefer...just as I'm comfortable with. God reminds me though, that He continues to have His hand on Selah and us and that in all of it He is working and He is enough.
On a lighter note, Selah is now clapping and has learned to shake her head "no." We are working on standing. She requires some assistance but she is doing much better with bearing weight on her feet. She has some neon blue "hot pants" that are super tight and they keep her hips close she doesn't stand with her legs so far apart. She does not love tummy time but is rolling from her tummy to her side...with some prompting. We saw her arm/hand doctor recently and he said that because of varying factors that she won't crawl but will sit and scoot and eventually stand and then walk. This made me feel relieved because she doesn't tolerate her tummy time or doesn't show any interest in crawling. It makes sense though that she won't because it is physically not possible...basically. She has learned she can stand though and she is getting more confident in it. She does not mind the praise that comes along with her accomplishments. She is also hearing and listening better, especially with her aid. We still have a loaner aid and are in the process of seeing if insurance will help cover it. Selah pays a lot of attention to the sign language we use. She doesn't do the signs yet but she is very attentive to them and responds so well. She is also very indpendent and knows what she likes...she gets this honest! Each morning we give her a choice between two outfits and she'll usually smile and reach for the one she wants. One morning though I was standing and holding her in her closet while I picked out two outfit choices. I stood there and showed them to her and she shook her head "no" and looked up over them to her other clothes hanging up...with a look like, "I'm not impressed with either of these choices." She eyed a particular dress and when I gave it to her she was very excited...she knew which she wanted to priss around in that day!
Selah is also working on tolerating her speaking valve. It's the little purple piece you'll see on the end of her some of the pictures. Normally she breathes in and out of her trach. When we put the speaking valve on though it changes it up for her. The air comes in the valve but then forces it up through her vocal folds and into her mouth and nose. The air can only come in the valve and only out this other way so it's different than when she doesn't have it on and she doesn't always tolerate it. Sometimes I put the valve on and she immediately begings crying and gags and coughs it off. Sometimes I'll put it on and she's fine and she makes vocalizations. The valve amplifies the vocalizations and its so sweet to hear her's just little squeals and groans she makes. It's like she's talking though and she'll get loud and quiet and raise her eyebrows while she makes different facial expressions. I'll try to encourage her to make the sounds by saying, "oh really, I hear you, oh wow" or so on. She responds and will continue to vocalize. Yes, I'd love for her to be able to open her mouth and say words...for her to say "mommy"...but that's not where we're at right now and I'm so thankful to be able to hear those sweet squeals! I took a video of it on my phone but can't figure how to get it on the computer...I'll work on it. ;)
She has her speaking valve on and her hearing aid...tolerating them both!

We were blowing bubbles and she somehow ended up with the bubble wand. When I tried
 to take it to blow more bubbles she would let me know she wasn't happy :)

She's standing on her own...just got her hands resting on me for stability. She's wearing her "hot pants" too.

In her car seat and I just got a sweet pic. The doll she has is one of her favorites. She just looks at it and "talks" to it.

I really like this picture if I may say so! :) Still in her car seat...striking poses!
I'm am humbled and thankful for this sweet time with her. A dear friend of mine shared with me something that I'm trying to all of it...the good, the hard, the tiredness, the uncertainty, and the time and blessings with Selah and each other...soak it all in, soak it up!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

In Memory Of...

Hi! In a previous post I asked that you would come alongside a sweet friend of mine, Crystal Keller and her husband Dennis. At the time they were expecting what they thought was a sweet baby girl. There was also a lot of uncertainty that was accompanying her pregnancy and the baby's survival. Crystal went into labor early though and a month ago today, on March 14, 2012, Kelsey Nolan Keller made his early arrival and surprised them by not only being early but by being a sweet baby boy! Kelsey was only with Crystal and Dennis for a few precious minutes before he passed away. These minutes though are probably some of the most cherished and sweet moments that Crystal and Dennis will ever experience.
I debated on whether or not to post an update earlier but I decided to wait for various reasons...I also didn't want to take away from Crystal's story and heartfelt words...her blog is check it out to hear from her heart and to see pictures...
I want to say that anything shared in this post is from my heart and are my words and not anything Crystal has said.
I have had on my heart though to share this post as a reminder of Kelsey's life and in memory of him. I think that although it is not intentional, it is so easy for others to forget or to move past something like this...yet mama feels broken, stuck in the heartache and longing for her sweet baby's life. I just want to lift up the Keller family and to remind myself, others, and them that this sweet life is not forgotten and it is to be celebrated. It's a celebration of life that a month ago he blessed this world and the Kellers with his sweet presence. It doesn't need to be forgotten that Crystal carried this sweet life in her womb as he grew. It also doesn't need to be forgotten that it was a month ago that the Kellers got to cherish and yet grieve as this sweet baby made his arrival and then his precious life faded away.
I can only imagine the joy in seeing Kelsey and holding him, kissing him, smelling him, watching him breathing, hearing his heartbeat, and sharing all that love with him and yet having to let him go. I watched as Crystal and Dennis honored Kelsey's life with a sweet memorial graveside service...on a beautiful and sunny a peaceful and quiet country cemetery. I have also seen Crystal trying by faith, by trust, by hope to believe in God's promises and God's truth even though she is broken and her heart aches and longs to hold, to love, to see sweet Kelsey again...a month from delivery, on her due date, on Mother's day, on every day in between she longs, she aches for sweet Kelsey.
And although so many questions and so many...what seem to be unanswered prayers...surround the Kellers and surround this situation, it doesn't need to overshadow the fact that sweet Kelsey was here and his life is to be remembered. It is in memory of Kelsey that I say that he was so precious...chubby cheeks, head full of hair, and just had an angelic face. I know that he has no more weakness, no more hurt, no more sadness now. Although this makes no sense to us, he is with the angels and he is being held by God's loving hands...they sing over him, they hold him, they love him...until he meets him mama and daddy again...
Kelsey...just as I prayed this over Selah while she grew in my womb and just as we read it daily now, I pray this over you sweet boy and over your precious life. You were "knit" together just as God designed you to be and your sweet life, although to short, was ordained by God...who is holding you now...
Psalm 139:13-16
"For thou has possessed my reins, thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are thy works and my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee when I was made in secret and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance and yet being unperfect and in thy book, all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there were none of them..."

I ask that you continue to lift up the Keller family. I cannot thank you for your support and prayers...they mean so much more than you'll ever know!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Fun Times!!

We've been blessed to celebrate Selah's first birthday! We are also celebrating Easter while remembering that on Easter last year she was still in the NICU at UMC. It's much different this year! We went to her first egg hunt this morning at a local park. Daddy is working so he couldn't go :( but we went with some sweet friends...Z, "Shell," and Garrett. Selah really enjoyed looking at the eggs and watching all the activity. She always enjoys being outside. As soon as we picked and egg up, she'd put it to her mouth and I'd quickly confiscate it because I know they've not been "sanitized" ;). She had lots of fun though!
On her actual birthday...just the girls because daddy was working...she wore her bday outfit again and posed with her "one" cookies while I sang happy birthday to her

Amazing cookies a local friend made...she's talented! We really enjoyed these!

Selah and I at her first Easter egg hunt...couldn't get the pic any "clearer"

"Shell" as she held the basket and put eggs in...Selah and I followed and helped

Oh, had to post this one...the first time she sat in a high chair when we were
eating out...she's "tasting" a chip...what a big girl! :)  

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Picture Time :)

I've tried to pour my "hooter milk" or "liquid gold" while holding her and learned the hard way that it doesn't work. She karate chops or kicks and knocks it out of my hands. So, she was put in a new "seat" for the moment.

She's happy too...mommy spilled milk!
Birthday her little birthday celebration this past weekend. She'll be one on April 4th!

Fabulous if I may say so :)

Truly humbled and thankful for this sweet celebration!

Again a sweet moment...and a rare occurence...we all have our eyes open at the same time!
Her first birthday cake

She's holding a piece of a chicken nugget. We were eating them..gourmet, I know...and she's so interested in touching and putting food to her mouth...even though she can't eat it. She's digging this nugget though!

Much love from us!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Down Memory Lane

Hi, hope all is well with you. As we are getting closer to celebrating Selah's first's gotten me thinking about this time last year...a stroll down memory lane...join me please...
I was thinking about how thankful we are to have her home and it just got me thinking about our journey from the beginning of the pregnancy to now. I remember being so excited and yet so terrified when I found out I was pregnant. I was shaking with excitement and yet begging God to please let us have this baby...I was so scared that we may miscarry again. I remember going to the doctor and hearing the heartbreaking news that "things didn't look good" for this pregnancy either. And I remember going back and hearing and seeing in the doctor's face that things were improving...and we both knew only by God's grace. I remember each week I would cling to the hope that I was still going to hear a heartbeat...still going to have this life growing inside me....yet waves of "what if" would battle for my hope. I also remember the day that we found out we were having a sweet girl was the day that we found out about the "possible abnormalities." After that doc visit is when we began going between here and Jackson to monitor how things were progressing or not. I remember one visit where the doctor saw how severe Selah's lower jaw was...underdeveloped...non existent basically...and the doctor presented the "facts" and that survival without the jaw or the possibility of being able to establish an airway was very questionable. I remember hearing this and feeling paralyzed with fear...sick to my stomach...helpless with imagining this sweet baby struggle for air and for life. I also remember clinging to God with all that I had...not much at times...and just with all that I could do trying to trust....trying to hope.
During this pregnancy I wanted desperately to celebrate and to enjoy the experience. I was apparently pregnant to the tummy and waddle making that known...and people would congratulate me and ask when I was due...all with good intentions...and yet not know how much it hurt. I wanted to reply with such excitement and hope and yet it hurt so much to think about or to be reminded that this sweet baby's life and survival was uncertain. I wanted to prepare and have everything ready and yet I was so scared that if I did that when I didn't bring Selah home I would only have reminders...of the baby I didn't have. I had precious, supportive friends offer me baby showers. At first I couldn't imagine having a shower. I prayed about it though and asked God's leading and strength in it. He spoke to me that by trying to be hopeful and by trying to faith, in trust...that it is a testimony to Him...that by being vulnerable and "risking" the hurt, the heartache, the brokenness...there is joy, there is peace, there is healing...there is faith. So, it was this time last year, on this past weekend that I had one of my baby showers. It was a precious and tender experience. I remember being so thankful that I was getting to have a baby celebrate. All the baby shower invites I'd opened...with tears streaming down my face...longing for it to be mine...and now it was mine...what a blessing. And yet, the uncertainty and unknown would come in waves. I would look at a sweet gift as I opened and silently ask myself and God if I would get to see precious Selah enjoy this. I remember organizing all the precious gifts into piles in the closet because I couldn't bring myself to set up a nursery. I wanted to have it all ready for Selah...for her to come home to her room...just for her. The hurt of not knowing for sure that this would be the case was too much though. So, her beautiful gifts and things we would need for her arrival stayed ready...just not out for a visual reminder...of the hope yet consuming uncertainty.
I look back at getting ready to deliver her and her delivery and our NICU stay. I look back over our arrival home and these past months...that have flown by. I look back over all of it and I'm...speechless...doesn't happen I can say in all of it that I am in awe...humbled...thankful. God is faithful and God is sovereign. I continue to realize that no matter what, no matter how hard, no matter the circumstances, He is working and He is able to do "immeasurably" more than I can think up or try to make happen or make sense of (Ephesians 3:21).
Now this stroll down memory lane was also brought on by two songs I hear on KLOVE quite often. One song I've heard since getting home with Selah and it just brought me back to that place...of not knowing if she'd survive, if we would be blessed with this precious life, and if we were then for how is by Matt Hammond...."Afraid to love something that could break, could I move on if you were torn away? I'm so close to what I can't control, I can't give you half my heart and pray it makes you whole...Won't let sadness steal you from my arms, won't let pain keep you from my heart...I'll trade the fear of all that I could lose for every moment I'll have with you...You're gonna have all of're worth every fallen tear, you're worth facing any fear..."
There is another song that Spencer and I would hear a lot on KLOVE during my pregnancy with Selah. We both knew it was from God and it was "our song" for that Josh Wilson..."Would you dare to believe that you still got a reason to sing because the pain that you've been feeling can't compare to the joy that's coming...the pain you've been feeling is just the dark before the morning..."
Now this song has been playing a lot lately when I've been listening to the radio. I know that it's much more than a coincidence. God has been reminding me here recently...despite this tiredness that I feel or the overwhelmed feelings in some of the decisions we're making in this season or will have to make...despite whatever today holds...that just as in the past, He is working....He calls us to celebrate, to soak in, to cherish this "morning"... it is here in Selah's beautiful blue eyes and in her sweet smile...our "morning" is always going to be orchestrated by His almighty, faithful, loving hands....where there is joy, peace, and healing....

Psalm 30:5 "...weeping may remain for a night but rejoicing comes in the morning."

Your prayers and support have and do carry us through so much more than you I look back, your faithful prayers and love are such a big part of our story...thank you...we appreciate you!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Come Alongside...

Hope this finds you doing well. We are good. I thought I'd start by updating you on what has happened recently. We had the CT scan scheduled a week or so ago. We've rescheduled it twice though because Selah has had a cold and the CT nurse said it isn't safe to sedate her with the cold and extra secretions and mucus. So, we moved it to March in hopes that she'll be all "clear" from the cold. She is feeling better, thankfully! We are truly thankful that she has been so healthy...such a blessing! We will take the cold over what could be...just have to remember that on those nights of up all night suctioning with no sleep, ha. After the CT scan we will meet with the doctor and team to discuss their recommendations, timeline, etc, for the jaw surgery. It's just been delayed a little bit. Honestly, I can say that I don't mind. I'm so thankful for this time at home with her and just was relieved to not have to have her go have sedation, a short hospital stay, etc. I know it is something we have to do but I believe God knows the desires of my heart and is working it all out....I'm thanking Him. :)
Now on another note...
I've been thinking lately about the support and prayers we are honored to have in our lives...thank you! I've also been seeing a consistent message in my devotional, messages at church, and in other sources. I'm humbled by God's persistence and willingness to pursue, to teach, to grow me...if only I let Him. God has been reminding me of the power of prayer and the power of not only embracing the support but also giving it...caring other's burdens. I remember shortly after my second miscarriage I was given a book that was such a blessing...healing. I remember reading in it about different seasons in life and how God brings people along during the different seasons....I'll try to explain. It mentioned that sometimes He brings others along to hold our hand and walk beside us, or sometimes to lead us in their experience and their faith, or sometimes to go behind us...supporting and reminding us that we can keep going. It mentioned that sometimes these individuals will be there through many seasons in our life and sometimes they may be there but then fade as we go from one season to the next. I've learned that this is least in my life.
I know there are some friends that I can identify with and connect with no matter what, no matter how long. There are some sweet friends who at one time I've been so close to but then as seasons come and go have realized that the connection is not as strong as it once was. There have been some amazing friends who have offered comfort, support, love, and hope...only through what they've experienced. There have also been friends and others who have prayed in faith on my behalf...when I've not had the faith to pray. And then there are some precious friendships that I'm ashamed to say I've let fade only because I didn't maintain or invest in the friendship...didn't let them know how much they meant to me. God has also taught me though that at some seasons in life it is ok to "let go" of some relationships/friendships and to cherish the blessings from them.
Now, all this is to say that I'm learning and am humbled by the friends and relationships that God has brought and brings into my life. He is teaching me to embrace them and to honor them but to also know that He orchestrates it all...He knows the timing and the ways...He knows who and what He we need to come alongside us...
I share this because there is a sweet friend that has been such a blessing to me. She reminds me so often of the prayers she is lifting up for us. She has shown so much love and support and I'm truly honored to call her friend. There is a connection between us...unspoken but understood...that only God has allowed to be His divine grace and power and ways. I haven't asked her if I can share...God has been laying it on my hopefully she'll be ok with it.  :)
This precious friend is Crystal Keller. Crystal is currently pregnant with a sweet baby girl...Kelsie. It hurts my heart to say that things haven't been the way that Crystal would imagine this experience would go. I don't want to take away from her sweet she shares her heart and story. I do want to say though that the "facts" do not look good for her sweet baby. Crystal is daily faced with the uncertainty, the unknown, the "battle" to not be consumed by the "what if" or the heartache of thinking of her sweet baby's life fading away. Crystal also faces daily the longing to have and love this sweet baby and the desire to be Kelsie's mom. So, I ask that you would please check out her blog and just let her fill you 
I share this with you in hopes that you will come alongside Crystal and offer your prayers...on her faith. We are so blessed to have the honor of coming before a Heavenly Father who hears our prayers...spoken and those of our heart...our God who know our brokeness, our desires, our hopes...our God who hears when we pray in faith on behalf of others...when they may not have the strength or faith to pray. Although it hurts me to know that she is currently going through one of the hardest times in her life, I can also say that in the name of our God...who is mighty to save, healer, sovereign, faithful...that His hand is holding her...He is working. I ask you to check out her story and to come alongside me, to come alongside her and to pray....

***Disclaimer*** As you may have figured out...if you're a friend, aquaintenance, the Walgreens gal, you're never never know when you'll be a part of a post...:) Just kidding..not really!! :)

Much love to you!!!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Just For You....Babb :)

 Her favorite pose...leg up in the air kicking :)

Much love to you all!!!!

And PS...I started out with the big pics, as you can tell, but as I added more pics, I couldn't figure out how to enlarge them hope they show up ok...ha ha..sorry :)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Happy New Year...Belated

I know I am way behind in wishing you a Happy New's still January though so...what the heck...hope your 2012 year is off to a blessed start. I can't believe it's the end of January and even more so, that it's 2012. I can remember when the year 2000 seemed so far in the future. I've always heard, and the older I get, the more I realize that time really does fly and life really is short. I
I hear each week it seems of someone that has recently found out they have a terminal illness, or someone doesn't survive an illness they've been battling, or someone young loses their life in a tragedy...and I could go on. I don't intend to dwell on negative. I only mean that these situations are ones I've seen within the past week and they just remind me of what I mentioned is so short and not guaranteed. Our pastor spoke a message at the first of January about, time, cherishing each moment and to live like this is our last day, our last year. He mentioned living intentionally and with a purpose.
I don't know if you're like me but I struggle with this. I get caught up it the immediate circumstance, feelings, exhaustion, etc, and I lose focus and intention SO easily. I recently read about having a main goal or focus for each day to try to prevent getting weighed down by all the other minor things during the day...I'll try to explain...each morning I try to pray and ask God what my goal or focus needs to be for that day. He often speaks or leads me, here recently, in "living kindly, or speaking wisely, or living compassionately" for that day. So, I try to keep that in mind throughout the day and to pray throughout the day that I can live this, respond in this manner, and embrace that goal and focus intentionally. I fully intend to embrace that focus or goal that day and you better believe opportunities arise for me to "practice" and obey. I still find myself failing at it and being less than successful...multiple times a day. It also seems as the day goes on that I get more distracted by other stuff and lose focus. I am so thankful for God's grace though and that He does continue to teach...if only I listen and obey.
On another note...update on us and Selah...
She is almost 10 months! We are so thankful she is staying healthy. She has been fighting off a cold this week but thankfully isn't feeling too bad. She is sitting up by herself now and is more independent each day...she gets that honest. She is tolerating tummy time a little better but doesn't love it. We are working on rolling over but she still has to have assistance with it. She really enjoys books and is turning the pages by herself...for the most part. She is a happy girl...unless she is tired. I am so honored to be home with her and to watch her grow. I am in awe of those sweet eyes that look at me and her sweet smile...truly treasure this! She has a head CT scan scheduled at UMC in early February. We met with the new the team that would perform the jaw UMC and he ordered the CT so he can get some updated and detailed images of her jaw, etc. She will have to be sedated for the scan so I'm not too excited about that. After he gets the images we will meet with him again and discuss his recommendations, a timeline, etc. We will decide after that if UMC is where we will pursue the surgery or not.
We've been so blessed to be home with her and to have her enjoy being here. The thought of her having to be in the hospital, even for just the scan, makes me tear up. I have emotions of heartache, helplessness, and longing that just surface. I guess just from being so thankful to be home and not wanting to have to go back to the hospital. I'm reminded I guess of the surgeries that will lie ahead for her...I think I just put them out of my mind. I have easily thought I've regained "control" over everything and have gotten back in a comfort zone. I mean...we're home, she's healthy, we're enjoying these sweet moments...we've got this...let's not mess with what goes through my head. I find myself not wanting anything to change and certainly not having to consider surgeries, hospital stays, pain for her. This is where I go to playing tug of war with God...struggling with what I think I have control over. He reminds me again though that I don't...probably for the best, but it's SO hard. Time and again I seem to think I can figure it out better or if we did it a way that fits according to my understanding and my plan than it would just go "better."
God is reminding me though that I need to "cease striving" (Psalm 46:10) and to just give it to Him...loosen the grip...or illusion of control I think I have. He reminds me to look back at this time last year...the uncertainty (at least to me) and the circumstances...and how He has worked, how He has provided, how He has He brought a miracle beyond anything I can ask or imagine.  He reminds me to take today and to let Him purge me of all the worry, sense of control, frustration, fear, etc and to just trust, to hope, to cherish today. I do know He is faithful and I just try to rest in that. I hope and pray that in whatever you have going on, you can find God's peace and the truth that He is there.
 I do also appreciate your continued support and prayers for us. I've not done well in updating the blog. I've let distractions keep me from it and I am going to try to make it more of a priority. I am honored that I can share our story and about the Heavenly Father I know and what a priveledge it is to live in His grace. I had a sweet friend remind me this week that she checks the blog...a reminder that I need to update this one was for you Jenna :).
Thank you for sharing in this journey with us...much love to you all!