Saturday, April 28, 2012

Let's celebrate my man!

We spread Beach's birthday out a bit this year.  He seemed to have a good one.  Zoe enjoyed opening the cards with her daddy.  
We had an awesome dinner and desert at my mom's house.  Someone is ready to party!!!
She made an extra special chocolate coffee cake, which was AMAZING!  Beach loves both and, although he enjoys his daily share of coffee, rarely gets to have chocolate nowadays. 
We did something different for Beach's present this year.  Since Beach didn't have anything already picked out for himself (very unusual as he normally does weeks in advance), and I came along some Cirque du Soleil (Michael Jackson) tickets, I thought this would be something really fun for us to do together.  
The tickets I bought were really in the nose bleed section - but at half off their high price, it was the only thing I could really justify spending....and I just hoped that we could still see the show okay. BUT when we got there and got through a long line of people we were told that we needed to exchange our tickets.  Okay, no problem, I didn't think that they could get any worse.  Come to find out they were for a lottttt closer and another level down.  I think they just didn't sell as many tickets as expected so we scored seats that were at least 100 dollars I'm sure!
Couldn't really capture anything with my camera phone - but that's  someone holding another person on a rope by their teeth without a net!
 The show was AMAZING!  I left awed at what the human body and creative minds could do. It was also so nice being able to get out on a date and spend some really fun time together. Happy birthday to my man!

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Darkness Battle

And the darkness rolls in.
I thought I had escaped this time.
I thought it would be different, was different.
But it's here, and strangely under the surface yet now rearing it's ugly head.
I have many weapons against it now and I have to fight, for me, for my girls, for my family.
It's as if I'm on a close to falling and I didn't realize it until I gave up fighting one night after a long day of it.

Depression has had a hold on much of my early life, rearing it's ugly hands around my neck of life, almost chocking it out completely.  I've learned along the way how work on such, certain things trigger it more than others, and yet sometimes there are no reasons at all.  However, it has gotten better overall.  This postpartum depression, though....when you have depression your more likely to get it.  I knew that, I had even been to day long conferences on such.  But to be in the middle of it, to not be able to stop crying, even when you have out of town guests staying with you, to have thoughts that I don't even want repeated from my lips or written for for me always to remember, it feels never ending.  But end it did.

The second time around with Shiloh...even more chance of getting it as I have had it already (pretty high actually).  But I didn't, there was a lot more joy this time.  But I know better, that it can still come,  yet I didn't see it right away when it did.

The non stop crying is a big trigger, the screams that only can be stopped by the suckling of nursing, yet again.  She just ate, yet that doesn't seem to matter.  Other babies, still and quiet, enjoying the family life.  Then there is big sister, intensity flowing through her vains and out every pore onto me.  It used to be fine, hard many times, but fine.  Now, I feel I just can't do it.  Can't plead to convince her to eat, to not throw yourself down and cry on the  floor because I folded your sandwich the wrong way, when you repeatedly ask for things I can't do (like being able to see a school bus again), over and over again.  Over and over again. I try to distract, to comfort and love but it's so much harder now, so much harder.  The lies of the evil one strong.

I cry and close my eyes and crawl into bed.  I don't want to do it.  I want to sleep and not wake, but yet wait, the sleep means I will have to wake soon and do it all tomorrow. No, no, no....I will shut my eyes and not open....but there is the cliff and I begin to fall.  Unending sobs...what is wrong...oh, this, this, it is here again.  I spiral down, my man attempts to comfort.  I'm scared, I don't want to fight it.  It is so strong.

But getting up, he convinces me I must put on my pajamas.  And I'm up, eyes open, coming back to the world, seeing a little more clearer.  I can't let it win.  It is so strong but I can't let it win.  I'm scared of the battle, how if affects me and my girls.  How I'm not as loving or nearly as patient when it is here.  How the harsh voice and tears come so easily but I know I have to fight.
Walking outside to calm the crying one.  The beauty of a day fading as night rolls in.  I must fight through the tears.  Be present and thankful, as I'm learning how to combat.  See the beauty in the trees, the bunny that pauses in the grass, hoping to remain safe, the flowers that bloom so close, the freshness in the air... and the clouds so high.  My how I wish I could capture them, they roll quickly, moving through.  They are bright, but the underside is dark, so dark.  How I am among them....bright, yes life is bright, but on the bottom, the part that can burst forth rain, it is there and can take over quickly.  Wipe away tears, have to fight, let the bright shine, pray for thankfulness, seeing in the little things all the blessings I have, resting in His arms until the dark clouds roll away again.

Monday, April 9, 2012


Christ the Lord is risen!  Thank the Lord that Sunday has hope and reason for living, my Savior lives!
We had our normal Sunday lunch at my parents house....except this season it was more fancy and more healthy (but not less tasty by any means)!
I forgot to take a pic of the healthy deserts...I guess the sugar filled one is more pretty (they were mainly made for my dad who isn't on the health wagon). Zoe did get a bite of this - the only real sugar she had for the holiday, but seemed to prefer the healthy choices more...I definitely put away many chocolate truffles myself...thanks to mom for branching out and trying some new recipes!
Okay, everyone is well feed and managed to still be thanks to my brother-in-law, we got some pictures!
Towards the end of their pictures, Shiloh attempted to eat Adalyn's hair....glad she was clean :-)
Must have tasted good!
I love my sisters!
Zoe was having none of sitting still and smiling for a full cousin was WAY past her nap time.
But she does love her awesome aunt!
Finally a full family photo!
Being cute sure does wear you out!
So thankful for spring, new life, and what HE has done for me!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Washing Eggs

I've struggled with wondering how much "holiday" activities that I want my children to participate in.  I grew up with them all and enjoyed such.  However, what I don't want is for the true meaning of the seasons to get lost in such traditions, as presents, toys and gifts can often be the focus of children instead of the power of our mighty God.  
However, we did decide to decorate some eggs on a beautiful Saturday in South Carolina.  I thought Zoe would really be interested in coloring the eggs....not so much, but she was enthralled with putting them in the which she referred to as "washing eggs".  This made her very excited and we were glad my mom could join us for such an occasion.  By the mom made the cute little Easter dress for Zoe last year.  Needless to say it did not fit then, but this year worked out well!
Shiloh was nice enough to take a long nap during that time so we could all participate.  However, she woke up towards the end so we could take some bright pictures of her before she ate.
Well, we didn't have long to enjoy the beauty of the eggs as they were gone soon after in an egg salad Beach made (he even created home made mayo - as we discovered we didn't have any).  I think I ate most of it....nothing like 8 eggs or so for dinner.   

Happy Egg washing to you and yours!

Saturday, April 7, 2012


So I wish I could bottle up so many things Zoe does at this stage to be able to watch them over and over again in later life (I need to do better capturing them with the video recorder). I'm lucky if I can even remember them though. So I thought that I could write some things down along the way to help jog my mind in later years. 

* One of her first words was "coffee" (perhaps she will be a daddy's girl after all). She always wants to look at ours and talks about our cups. Beach gave her some mini ones, which she loves.
* The word Zoe uses the most often has to be "please". It can be very nice (much better than other words like MINNNEEE). However, she will often repeat it it over and over again and get to the level of screaming, "PLLLLLEEEEAAAASSSEE," when she just cannot have what she wants.

* So I have been doing secret shops at Five Guys for several months now (the guilt level of eating such was eased out by my pregnancy). Zoe could care less for some time about it and the glorious fries that come with such.  However, now she has decided that it taste pretty good and announces Five Guys several times a cute!
* Zoe is so funny, my little mirror.  I love the way that she yells, "Baily," when we are leaving in order to put her into her crate.  

*Nowadays, Zoe seems to say, "Baby," all the time.  It's like she puts it in a phrase without it really having much odd  :-)
* One of her favorite songs is "Twinkle Twinkle."  It is so funny to hear her declare sing, "Up above the world so high..." 

* Zoe refers to my mother as "Bakak"....yeah that's right spell check, it's not really a word.  I have no idea where she came up with it and she was saying it a month before we realized the connection with my mom.  She now will also say Grammy, but I wonder if she will always be "Bakuk" to her even when she gets older.  
* Zoe picked up the phrase, "See you soon," in which, for some reason really helps her in being able to say good bye without so much issue with people (including me and her Grammy). She will correct me if I say, "See you later," as that is just not quite right.

*When Zoe realized when she was the one adding that lovely odor in the room, she would call it "gassing."  A huge smile would come across her face with an announcement of what she had just done (as if we didn't know)!  Trying to now get her to say excuse me now instead (hasn't stuck yet).
* Zoe's favorite number is two (I have no idea why), which she will excitedly squeal all the time. She seems to always want two of things. Now to her anything more than one is "two".

* The other night she had hummus for dinner, in which she wiped all in her hair.  She liked that we called it "crazy hair" and wanted to look in the mirror at it several times.  Then when we were at a store a few days later she saw a cute little girl a little older than herself with an alfro.  She pointed and announced, "Crazy hair," several times.  Oh my...a glimpse into the future when she will say other fun things to embarrass her mother  :-) 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Party Time

I can't believe I have a two year old!  We made it through her birthday!  I can't tell you how much birthdays bring me anxiety (and how much I hate that they do).  I have had issues with my own birthday for years (goes back to not having many friends show up to a roller skating party once when I was younger.  I mean since roller skating was the coolest thing in the world, my mind says that if you didn't come, than you must not like me - couldn't possibly be other reasons - oh the stories we tell ourselves even at a young age).  Though I know the reasons are silly, years later birthdays cut down to the deep core of my ego's self-esteem, screaming that I'm not good enough (a lie from Satan).

That being said, the last thing I want to do is pass on such issues to my daughter.  Not passing down our own "junk" can be really tricky hard work, but needed.  So here we go, birthday party number two.  In that I, also, having a nursing 4 week old, this does not allow for much doing for momma.  So I decided that a small get together, with family and just a couple of friend's that Zoe enjoys playing with would work.  Zoe has also been getting a little overwhelmed with new people/situations/crowds and I really wanted this to be a good time for her, so wanted her to be as comfortable as possible.

Zoe had been asking pleading for her birthday for days.  I'm not sure what she even thinks a birthday is, but I have been begged for days for such to come. 

Nursing a young one allows for much computer time, and Pininterest is always a fun way to get ideas.  I did covet much of the things that I saw for creating a great jungle/safari theme, but money and time did not allow for such.  How fun it would be to do a party if this was not an issue!!!  I settled on ordering some party supplies online, just to be disappointed that the date that it was to arrive was the day after the party.  I had hoped that it would come early, but not so, which led to a quick trip to Party City the night before.  When looking at the animal theme supplies, a staff member asked me how old my boy was going to be...arent' girls allowed to like animals too?  
Thanks to many helpers we were able to get some fun decorations up (but wasn't able to get a good pic of such).  My in-laws were, also, staying with us and lended many helping hands.  I can't say enough about how amazing my mom is.  She helped me the whole day before, with the kids and preparing for the party, so Beach and I could clean (well mostly Beach and I did much feeding, thus, is my life right now).  Then Mom cooked and ran errands for me the day of the party too!  She is such an awesome women that gives sooo much of herself, a true servant of the Lord and so touching for my life.  It brings tears to my eyes even now thinking of what it would be like not to have her.
Shiloh was good that day, which was a huge help to her momma, so that I could get some things done!  Zoe didn't end up getting up from her nap until time!  All the animal decor was up and I couldn't wait to see her face once she saw it.  Our family was late (nothing new there) and Zoe had some of her friends come, which she seemed to greatly enjoy!   I often worry about others feeling comfortable at events that I host (and many times that is what prohibits me from even doing them) and things going just right.  However, by God's grace I was not worried about such this time around.
Zoe seemed joyful in sneaking animal crackers from the table (something she hasn't had before). 
 A simple art activity with animal stickers kept Mac and her busy for a bit.
I think she liked the cake, as she got to keep the animals that we put on top (not impressed with Publix's decorating skills this time, though).

The mound of presents wore Zoe down a bit and she was slow to open them.  She did not quite understand the process, as she really wanted to play with everything after she opened something.
Zoe and the two purses that she got and loved...not sure what this face was for....but I think it looks like she is saying, "Huhhh....grandma got me again with her lip stick!"
I was blessed to have many helpers clean up, which was such a blessing, as I had to do much feeding with Shiloh.  Hated to leave for a bit but the timing seemed to work out okay.
The song that kept running through my mind all day was from church that morning, "Glory, glory, glory to one who saved my soul."  I think it kept me calm and thinking about what really matters.

Beautiful ladies!
I keep forgetting to get a cousin picture of they were going out and Shiloh was crying was the best that we could do this time. 
When we crawled into bed that night, Beach began tearing up.  He said it was because it was one of his best days ever, as he to got to see Zoe so happy.  Gotta lover her and my man for caring so much for his family!