Thursday, July 30, 2015

Deep Sorrow

It’s 4:00 a.m. and I can’t sleep. Most of you know by now that my dear sister-in-law, Leslie, popular writer at A Blonde Ambition, passed away Monday morning. She was born with a congenital heart condition and after the birth of her second daughter, complications arose and it wasn’t meant for her to be healed on this earth.

We are deeply grieving the loss of Leslie and are heartbroken for my sweet brother and their precious daughters. While we cannot understand why she had to leave us so soon, we are so incredibly thankful that her suffering is over. She was so very sick and was in such great pain in her final days. She rarely complained and when she did, she always apologized for doing so. She was the epitome of grace up until the very end. We will miss her desperately.

Thank you to everyone who has reached out to us during this time. We’ve seen so many people be the hands and feet of Jesus and while I wish we didn’t have to be the recipients of such generosity, we have all truly been touched by the immense prayers and support. It was clear how greatly Leslie was loved and I am sorry for the pain any of you are feeling from her passing as well. Thank you for loving us during this time.

One thing her passing has done has inspired me to make the time for my blog again. Along with Leslie’s illness, our family has endured several other major life happenings since the beginning of 2015 and it has been a HARD year. This was the second death in our family in less than six months. That member of our family was also only in their 30s which is much too young. With all of these things as well as being pregnant and having a newborn, I haven’t had the energy or drive to blog. But Leslie’s death has reminded me in a harsh way that we are not promised tomorrow, and I want these memories of our life recorded. We had the chance to spend the day with Leslie, Stephen and the girls just two days before we lost her. She and I spent some sweet sister time catching up while Zach and Stephen took the older kids swimming. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that would be the last time I saw her alive and got to talk to her and hug her neck. My heart is beyond happy that we had that time together. God knew what He was doing when He made it possible for our visit to work out.

So, I am making it my mission to revive this dusty old blog space in honor of our dear Leslie. I’m going to share what I shared on instagram yesterday morning as my tribute to Leslie.IMG_2888

Sweet sister. My heart is aching right now. I am about to go see you for the last time and I'm not sure my heart can handle it. I was talking to Stephen last night, and while choking back tears, he said "she looks good. She looks good." I will carry that memory with me forever because Stephen loved that you loved to get all dolled up and it's only fitting that he make sure your physical body looked good for your last hurrah.


I cannot believe you are gone. Standing in your house yesterday just felt so odd and wrong. I just kept looking around and I could see you there. I cannot tell you how much I am going to miss you. I am sad that I will never again see your name pop up on a text message. I am sad that I will never get to sit around and talk to you about things that we think are dumb. I am sad there are no more shopping trips ahead for us. I am sad we are never going to get to take the sister trip we talked about. I am sad that there are so many times ahead where I know I will miss you so much hurts. I'm just unbelievably sad.


You had truly become another sister to me. The last few months it was so hard to watch you be so sick and in so much pain. I can't imagine the joy you are experiencing today with a healthy heart in the glory of eternal life. Your suffering has ended while ours is just beginning.


You were such a wonderful aunt to my children. I cannot tell you how happy my heart is that you got to meet Grant two days before you left this earth. I know it meant as much to you as well. Ava and Reed absolutely adored you and we will miss your presence in their lives so much. Thank you for all of the special things you have done for them over the years. I promise you that I will do the same for your girls. I will be there for them any time that they need me (and probably even when they don't). I will help Stephen with the things he may not think of, so that the girls don't miss out on anything. And I promise you that they will know how very much you loved them, and what an amazing person you are.


Thank you for being one of my best friends, my sister. You being gone will leave a huge void in my life. Until we meet again. I love you, sis.

#beblessedlovelies #rememberingleslie

 

A GoFundMe account has been set up for my darling nieces. The money will be used for their college funds and eventually their wedding funds. If you would like to do so, you can make a donation here:

https://www.gofundme.com/d53bgd5p8s/donate

Sunday, June 7, 2015

A lot has happened…

Well, a lot can happen in three months’ time.

Most importantly, our precious baby is here! 

Grant Thomas Edwards ~ May 20, 2015 ~ 10:56 a.m. ~ 8lbs 7oz ~ 20 3/4 inchesIMG_6107

I hope to maybe one day write down his birth story as it was a little crazy and fast. We are so thankful he is here an healthy.

Big sister and big brother love him! Ava loves to hold him and Reed is somewhat indifferent, though at times loves to talk to him and love on him.IMG_6109IMG_6111IMG_6113

Our first photo as a family of five!!IMG_6115IMG_6126IMG_6150

The big kids went home with my parents for a couple days so we had a few days at home with Grant on our own before they got home. Those days were sweet and nice to focus just on the baby for a couple of days. They were excited to get home to him, though.IMG_6211

And a few memories of his first couple of weeks.

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I lost count of how many ultrasounds I had (at least 3-4), but in every one, Grant had his little hand up by his cheek just like this. He also folds his legs like this often and I’m certain he probably laid that way inside me. He’s starting to slowly uncurl and I’ll be sad when he doesn’t sleep like this anymore!IMG_6270

He also has the two most adorable dimples!IMG_6339

Big sister sure loves him and LOVES to hold him. I think they will be very close!IMG_6362IMG_1009

I am so thankful for the time off from work that I am getting to spend with not just Grant, but my whole family since everyone is on summer break. This little boy arrived at a perfect time! :) Because i know how fast these days go, I told Zach before I had Grant that I wanted to spend most of my summer holding him. While I AM doing some other things, there is A LOT of this going on, and he and I both love it!!!!IMG_1019

Sweet baby Grant on his due date ~ 06-06-2015IMG_1051

I can’t believe I have three kids!  IMG_1044 

We’ve been so blessed the last two and half weeks with family and friends helping us out with so many things like cleaning the house, watching the kids while we have had doctor appointments, taking the kids to do stuff so they can get out of the house and bringing us meals. They say raising kids takes a village and that is SO true!

As I mentioned, a lot has gone on in our family over the past three months. Part of me would love to catch up on some of the stuff that was missed over that time, in regards to the older kids and the end of my pregnancy, but I’m just not sure if I’ll get around to it. I’m also not sure if I’ll be able to keep this up, which makes me sad b/c I want to have so many of these memories recorded, but time is really at a premium these days. We’ll have to see what happens!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

A rite of passage… of sorts

Monday morning when I took the kids to school, I was saying goodbye to Ava and her teacher asked her if she had gotten a hair cut. I said no and didn’t think much of it.

Until later that night.

We were facetiming with my sister and she asked Ava the same thing. So, I looked at her and realized that there were some new layers in here. Oof. The more closely I looked, I realized she had cut some on both sides, but cut one side more drastically than the other. IMG_5336 IMG_5337 IMG_5338

I like how she has such a sullen face – because she thought she was in trouble! I’m truthfully not surprised, though I had hoped we had maybe missed this little rite of passage with her. I  thought we would have to deal with this with Reed.

I didn’t take her anywhere to get it fixed yet. She has an appointment schedule in 2.5 weeks and if I comb it right you can’t completely tell. IMG_5335

But I think the best part of the story is…. I didn’t even notice for two days! We discovered it on Monday night. She told us she did it on Saturday!!!! How’s that for pregnancy brain for ya?! Haha!

It was really quite comical and I can laugh because while it’s not great, it could have been SO much worse!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Sibling love

Some days, they are best friends, some days they are worst enemies. I’m so thankful for these two and can’t wait until littlest brother is squished in these pictures!

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I hope these two (and baby brother) are always close!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The days of Reed

Reed is full of energy these days. He’s growing, changing, and still being Reed.

He is such a crazy child. You never know what you are going to get with him. Sometimes he is hot, sometimes he cold. We still love him though! IMG_4886

His favorite food is still pizza, all day, every day. ha! That boy would keep a pizzeria in business solely. We do occasionally get him to eat other food – especially if we liken it to pizza. One night he said lasagna was yucky and we told him it was just like pizza and he ate it all up and leftovers the next day! IMG_4923

He has adjusted to his new teacher at school pretty well. She’s quickly become attached to him and his classmates and she really seems to make learning fun for them. I’m thankful to have someone who just loves them and cares for them. It has helped with the transition for sure! IMG_4926 

Reed’s best friend at school is Maggie. Those two love each other greatly. They play and talk and come up with all kinds of stuff between the two of them. One of the teachers sent me this photo one day after lunch. IMG_5014

This past week, Maggie also very generously gave Reed her Skye puppy (from Paw Patrol). He came home one day saying Maggie had let him bring her home because he only had boy puppies and not girl puppies. The next morning, we made sure Skye had a good breakfast of “dog food” before going back to Maggie.

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When he took her back, Maggie was insistent that Reed keep Skye. Such a sweet girl. Reed has loved having Skye live with us. She went to church this past weekend. He is funny with his slew of pups. He makes them bite or lick people by saying “bite” or “lick”. We’ve also had some puppy potty accidents on the floor. ;) Love his imagination!

One evening I was sitting in the kitchen helping Ava with her homework and Red came to see me with his Mickey phone. He told me the phone let him see the baby. IMG_5027

He still talks about his fire station and his fire stationers. It’ll be a sad day when his fire stationers go away.  IMG_5053

Reed wasn’t so sure about having his class Valentine’s party. He was in his “off” mood when I dropped him off. IMG_5057

But when I got to school to pick him up he ran up to his teacher and yelled “WHERE’S MY BAG?!” and then was so excited he could hardly get his words out to tell me he got bubbles! :) IMG_5062 

He brought me a basket of laundry the other night after I asked him to and instead of pushing it over to me, he picked it up and carried it over to me. Zach said to him, “Wow, Reed. You are strong! Where did you get those muscles?” He replied “From Jesus!!!!” IMG_5161

Reed is picking up lots of new stuff these days, too. He’s also being a typical little brother in so many ways – loves tattling, loves “helping” when Ava’s getting disciplined, antagonizing Ava! I’ll be curious to see how he transitions to his role of BIG brother in about three months!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ava lately

I thought since it’s been a while since I have regularly blogged, I would dedicate a post to each child to come up to date on what’s been going on with them.

Ava seems to just be growing up before our eyes. She’s halfway from six to seven and I’m just amazed at all she’s accomplishing these days.

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The thing most noted about Ava right now is that we s-t-r-u-g-g-l-e daily with homework with her. She’s just lazy and doesn’t want to mess with it. Learning sight words has been downright frustrating. It really wears my patience thin because she doesn’t try, she cries and it’s just all out drama. I was starting to get concerned with her abilities and what I thought she should be doing at this age.

Then came her parent/teacher conference this week. She is expected to read at a DAR level 4 when she leaves kindergarten. She is currently about to be at a level 6. Say what? I didn’t even know she could read because when we would try it would just be a fight. Gig’s up sister! She is also doing math, writing sentences and everything she should be doing and more. We just have to figure out how to motivate her to do work at home!

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She has also been having some friend issues at school, which makes me sad. I know that’s part of it and I know that it’s inevitable, I just wish it hadn’t started so early. What’s worse is that she is upset and embarrassed and doesn’t want to talk about it with us. Through a series of other happenings and events, we finally figured it out. We’re keeping a closer eye on it and encouraging her to play with new people. Hopefully she can work this out and we don’t have much more drama related to it.IMG_4890

She has started getting used to the idea of having another brother. At my appointment last week, my doctor referred to the baby as a girl, and the heart rate had increased from the time before. I joked with Zach that maybe they got it wrong. Knowing we have another ultrasound in three weeks, I wasn’t too worried because I know we can get a confirmation peek. Ava heard us talking and I asked her what she would think if we found out they were wrong and she said she didn’t want the sister anymore, she just wanted our boy. I’m thankful she has come around! :)

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She has recently decided she wants the new American Girl doll of the year. I told her she could ask for it for her birthday, or for Christmas. She cried about that being too long. I told her that we have to work hard for things we want and that we don’t just get them because we want them. She asked if she could earn the money. We talked about it and agreed that she doesn’t need an allowance for normal things we expect of her (cleaning her room, picking up toys, picking up her laundry, etc) but for things above and beyond her normal duties, she could work on earning money. I’ve had her cleaning baseboards and other bigger jobs. She also had a prepaid gift card to anywhere from a birthday, got a little Valentine’s day money and has earned $32 (most of which is the birthday gift card). She has quite a ways to go. She’s sly, though. This past weekend she told me we should go visit her cousin, Luke. Then she casually threw in that they have an AG store close to where Luke lives so we could probably stop and buy her doll. I’ll be curious to see if she continues to want to work for it b/c if so I have plenty of things I need to get done before the baby gets here! ;)

So that’s what’s been going on with lady. She is growing up before our eyes and I’m thankful we get to raise this little girl!

Monday, February 23, 2015

25 weeks

Oh, hey there! Remember me? I haven’t graced the halls of this blog in quite a while. I just haven’t gotten in a groove with blogging. Either I don’t have the time or energy or I just don’t have anything to blog about. Maybe one of these days I’ll get back into a groove!

Anyway, Saturday marked 25 weeks pregnant! I feel like this is flying by. We have 15 weeks to go and I just know it will pass so quickly, especially since this time of year is so busy with the end of school and various other things.

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As you can see, baby boy and I are both growing. There’s not a whole lot to report. I don’t have many symptoms and the ones I do have are the same as they have been. I am still just flat worn out. Even being in my second trimester, my energy has really never returned. I get home from work each night and am exhausted. It’s rare that I see past 9:00. But then again, I have several nights where I wake up and am awake for 2-3 hours so I have a feeling that is what makes me so tired at the end of the day.

Sweet boy is moving like crazy right now. I feel jabs and kicks all over the place. They have definitely gotten stronger, too, as Zach and I have both felt them from the outside. The kids like to try and feel but they get impatient waiting. I’m sure it won’t be long until they can feel him.

We are no further along on a name for this guy. We discuss it but nothing is just jumping out as his name. The ones I like Zach doesn’t and vice versa. We have a few that we agree are okay names but nothing we want to commit to yet. Saturday night Reed suggested we name him Groundhog. :) His other choices have been Marshall and Chase (the pups from Paw Patrol).

At my next appointment I have to have another ultrasound. At my last one, they weren’t able to see his spine and something else just because of how he was laying. They’d like to get a second look so we’ll do that in about three weeks.

Other things of note: I’m craving pasta in the worst way. I usually am not a huge pasta eater but it all sounds so good! I’m also craving smoothies. I have found a freezer smoothie with strawberries and yogurt and I just have to shake it up. That’s my breakfast most mornings!

We haven’t made any progress in getting Reed’s room ready to be the boys’ room. We need to get rid of a couple things, buy Reed a new bed and put the crib back together. I’m hoping if we can get Zach through the next four weeks of his Master’s program, then we can focus on all things baby!

So that’s what I’ve got today. Little man is healthy and growing well. I’m getting so excited about meeting him in the next few months!

The Edwards Family

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