Thursday, August 27, 2015

It’s been a month…

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a month since we lost Leslie. I’ll never forget getting the call that morning. Zach had let me go back to sleep after feeding Grant and my phone rang while I was laying in bed. I saw that it was my mom and I just knew something wasn’t right because she usually didn’t call me quite THAT early in the morning.

I can say that this month without you, Leslie, has been the hardest one I think I’ve ever lived. Each day it seems like something new makes me miss you and the pain just doesn’t go away. I talk to Stephen and your beautiful girls on face time and my heart just aches looking at them. I know you know this, but Stephen is doing such a good job with them. I’m so glad he has them as I know that helps him through his pain.

Man, do I miss you. Something happened Tuesday and I just rolled my eyes and thought of how much I’d like to be able to text you. I can just imagine what your reaction would have been. I’ve had a thousand things I’ve wanted to tell you and share with you since you’ve been gone. I saw this yesterday and it made me think of you:

funny 

It wasn’t people necessarily that we loved to make fun of, but really anything and everything. I miss our chats about life and especially the things we made fun of together. I cannot even tell you how happy I am we got to do that one last time right before you left us. That will remain one of my most cherished memories forever.

Stephen sent me a birthday card and seeing his and the girls’ name without yours made me weep. The silliest little things are the ones that seem to hurt the most. I’ve read back through our text messages several times and I just miss your wit and humor and encouragement. Even in your pain and suffering, you always offered encouragement and support to me.

I know you’re happy, and you’re feeling good, and loving being in Heaven. You’ve had a month being with Jesus and walking the streets of paradise, and I know you are loving it.

But you sure are missed.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Thirty-two

Today is my 32nd birthday. I can honestly say that I never could have imagined all that transpired from last year’s birthday to this one.

2015 has been HARD for our family. Obviously, the most recent and probably hardest to date is losing Leslie. Back in February, we lost my 36 year old uncle suddenly. In the midst of his passing, my grandma (his mom) was struggling with heart issues and we watched her getting weaker and weaker and weaker. The weekend my uncle died was the weekend Leslie finally ended up in the hospital for the first time.

March 17th was probably one of the hardest and toughest days of my life. I was on the way to my doctor appointment for my three hour glucose test and my mom called me and told me that Leslie was not good and that she needed to be moved to Kansas City. She was very sick that day and we weren’t sure if she would get through it. I had some emotional texts with Leslie that day that included discussions about the future for the girls if something happened to her. Let me tell you, that’s not something you ever want to talk about.

In the mid-afternoon that day, we got confirmation from my dad that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. It truly felt like the world was crumbling around us. My mom was moving to NWA for however long to take care of Caroline and Ainsley and my dad was going to be going through this huge medical ordeal. Fortunately, his prognosis was good, and he is expected to be cured, but cancer isn’t ever something you want to face, especially as you have another family member fighting for their life.

After all that, I got confirmation that I’d failed my three hour glucose test. That was just icing on the cake (ha!) for the day. That was obviously minor in the scheme of things, but it still concerned me because more than anything, I wanted Grant to avoid a NICU stay as I never wanted to experience that again. I closed my office door around 4:00 and spent the last hour of the day in tears. It was one of the moments where I felt like my world was falling apart. In the midst of all this, my grandma also underwent very serious heart surgery and it took a LONG time for her to recover. She is still working on getting back to normal, but we are thankful to still have her here with us.

I share all this because as I face another year, I’m truly aware of the fact that LIFE IS SHORT. We are never promised tomorrow and our lives can take a complete turn in an instant. I wish I could rewind a year and change some things. No matter what you say, or what you did, it seems as though when someone leaves your life, there’s always something more you wish you’d said or done.

I’ve decided in the time since Leslie passed that the new motto for my life is to “live and live well!”! We only get ONE life to focus on the things that matter. To be present in the moment. To be the people Jesus calls us to be. TO LIVE!

These people?IMG_3291IMG_3848

They are my life. I’m not sad I’m turning another year older. I’m grateful to be here with them to see another day, and Lord willing, another year. I am right where I want to be and I’m going to live this next year fully and wholly and not take one day for granted!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Weekend wrap up

Friday afternoon I picked Reed up from school. His shoes were on the wrong feet and I told him that and he said “I wanted them that way”. ha! He also has this thing lately where he doesn’t want to smile when it’s sunny outside. It drives me crazy.IMG_3779

We had to turn in many different ways where the sun wasn’t shining and we finally got a smile! IMG_3784

I had a hard day Friday. Drop off was hard because Reed forgot his lunchbox and had a melt down. I was missing Leslie. And work was hard that day. I got home and Zach told me to sit down with this precious angel and he worked on getting the house picked up. I’m a lucky girl! IMG_3791

Also, can someone tell me how this girl is looking so grown up? She lost a tooth Saturday night while she was sleeping. She came in Sunday morning and said it fell out in her sleep. She thought she swallowed it but felt something stuck to her leg and it was her tooth! :)IMG_3790    

We went to a first birthday party for my little cousin Friday night and all three kids fell asleep on the way there!IMG_3811

Reed didn’t want to stop long enough to take a picture! ha!IMG_3813

I got some cute pictures Sunday morning before church. It was windy out a big thunderstorm was about to roll in but thankfully the kids were happy to cooperate!IMG_3846

I got Ava this dress earlier in the spring and it matched one I got last year but I never wore it while I was pregnant. She’s been begging me to match her so we did that today!IMG_3847

We had some family birthday parties this afternoon and my mom and dad were in town on their way home from being with Stephen and the girls. My dad wasn’t able to hold Grant for the first couple months of his life due to his cancer treatment so it’s nice to be able to take a photo of him holding Grant! IMG_3854

At the birthday party, Grant obviously got a lot of love from many others. Right before we left, he was sitting in my lap cooing to my grandma. She held him for just a minute and it was so sweet. It wasn’t too many weeks ago when she was so weak she didn’t even have the energy to hold him when he was teeny. We’re so thankful she’s feeling so much better. IMG_3858

It was a good weekend. We have a fairly busy week ahead including a busy next weekend. That’s life when school starts back up! :)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Three months old

Grant, you are three months old today! Time is just flying by and you are getting so big! I can’t believe we’ve had you for three months. It feels like just yesterday we were waiting on you to arrive, yet it feels like you’ve been in our family forever.

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Let’s see what life is like for you at three months old:

  • I have put you in some 6 month clothes and you are almost too long for them! You have limited time in your three month clothes.
  • You’ve grown a lot this past month, but I have no idea how much you weigh.
  • You still wear size 1 diapers but will probably be in size 2 very soon.
  • You rolled from your tummy to your back this month. Ava and I got to see you do it and we recorded it and cheered you on and then sent the video to Daddy.
  • You nurse in the morning when you wake up and have three 3-4 oz bottles while you are at school and then nurse again at bedtime.
  • You like to go to sleep around 8:00 and then you wake up around 6:00. To go to sleep, you like to just lay down in your bed and go to sleep some nights, but you also let mommy or daddy rock you some nights.
  • You follow things with your eyes very well and love to look all around.
  • You have become obsessed with sucking on your hands. As soon as I unswaddle you in the morning, you immediately put your hands in your mouth. Sometimes when you are laying somewhere and we are doing things around the house, we hear a LOUD sucking sound and it is you eating those hands!
  • You are talking and cooing.
  • You LOVE your sister! She loves you too! (And so does Reed, but he doesn’t show it as much). They both have to kiss you goodbye every morning before you leave!IMG_3546
  • You obviously started daycare this month. You seem to like it there and hopefully will get fully adjusted soon.
  • You scream in the car when we are sitting still waiting to turn or at a stoplight.
  • You are a smiley boy!
  • You have a spot on your forehead that seems to be ticklish and you smile when daddy touches it.
  • You are the sweetest, cuddliest little boy.
  • You are still such a good baby. People ask me all the time if you ever cry. (The answer is yes)

Grant, you are such an absolute dream baby. You are the most precious little boy and I seriously cannot imagine life without you. You just fit in our family so perfectly and I’m so proud to be your momma. My heart bursts with pride over you and I am so thankful for you. I cannot wait to watch you continue to grow and look forward to what the next month brings us. I hope you always know how much I love you, my sweet little guy.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

First day of school 2015

Monday was the first day of school for Zach, Ava, and Reed! It was a big day for each of them! We worked hard to get everything set the night before so that we’d have a smooth morning and thankfully it worked out. Everyone got ready easily and on time and everyone took great photos! That’s RARE so not taken for granted! :)

We got the kids into bed and asleep relatively early, considering we’d been pretty lax with bedtimes over the summer. IMG_3585 IMG_3589

Ava woke up earlier than she had to and came running into our room and said loudly “IT’S THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!” She was very excited. Reed was pretty excited, too. Reed is going through this phase where he says he can’t smile if the sun is out at all because it’s too bright, regardless of if he is in the shade or in the sun. I told him we had to hurry up and get outside for our pictures before the sun came up! Thank goodness it worked! :)IMG_3593 IMG_3601IMG_3609 

I make Zach take a first day photo every year. I know he probably hates it, but oh well. He obliges. And of course we had to document his first day in his new position. IMG_3631 IMG_3634

Since Zach had to be at school early, I had to drop off all three kids. Thankfully Grant got into a daycare that’s close to everything – Zach’s school, the kids’ school, and my work. I dropped Grant off and then took the big kids. They were pretty excited! We didn’t have any tears and if you know Reed at all, you know this is HUGE!IMG_3648 IMG_3655 IMG_3660 IMG_3661

I saw this picture on the school facebook page yesterday. I’m so thankful for a school where they keep us updated on the kids’ progress through the day! IMG_3667

Reed’s sweet teacher sent me this photo of him sleeping that day. That was probably his first nap in months! ha! Too bad it made him stay up until almost 10:00 Monday night! :)IMG_3668

Everyone had a great first day. The kids came home all bubbly and talking happily about their days. They were ready to head back for a second day!

And this little guy…. he’s having some trouble sleeping and taking good naps at daycare! It’s been hard because he comes home and goes to sleep and we don’t get to see him awake. IMG_3674

Thankfully, he slept much better yesterday. He had about three hours worth of naps instead of just one. He was a happy boy and I was so happy to see him awake for a while! IMG_3692  IMG_3697 

I mean, really. Is he not just the cutest little thing??!!!!IMG_3699IMG_3700

I’m hoping that the kids’ and Zach’s years are wonderful and fruitful. I’m also hopeful Grant continues sleeping at daycare and thrives there!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Grant’s first day of daycare

August 12, 2015 was the day I had to start back to work after my maternity leave. I looooooved my time at home with Grant and I was really sad to have to leave him. We had such great days together. But, life goes on and time passes and it was time for me to get back to the grind.

I had high hopes for our last day together to be laid back and just a good day, and boy was I in for a surprise. Grant was uspet and fussy all day long. I couldn’t get him to sleep easily and every single time I did, one of the bigger kids would wake him up. Zach had to work that day from about 7:30 – 8:30 and it was a doozy of a day!IMG_3439 IMG_3457

Thankfully after a good night of sleep, Grant woke up a much happier baby. We got up and got ready and took some first day photos! He looks so unimpressed!IMG_3461 IMG_3463 IMG_3476

We were somehow early this first day and had to sit and wait a few minutes! Zach hadn’t seen his classroom and would be the one picking him up that day, so he headed there with me to drop Grant off. The kids were waiting in the truck to next to me.IMG_3478

Grant had a great first three days of daycare! He is adapting well, but he is SO tired! He is used to taking 2-3 hours naps 2 or 3 times a day and there he is just taking little cat naps. His little naps combined were less than one of this long naps at home, so that is going to be a big adjustment. He was pooped when he got home that first day. I could barely feed him that night because he kept going to sleep. IMG_3486IMG_3517

I swaddled him up after I finished feeding him and laid him on the could for a second and he was gone! Sweet baby.IMG_3518

My first days back to work went well. It was a little scary going back just because I was gone so long and because I didn’t know what I was going back to. However, it was a good three days and I’m thankful that since I have to work, that I work somewhere where the people genuinely missed me and were so happy to have me back!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Changes

Today is the first day of school for both Zach and the kids, and for Zach, today is the start of a new adventure for him. Something very exciting happened for our family while my blog was on the back burner. In March, after two years of hard work, Zach graduated with his Masters degree in Leadership & Educational Administration! Not only, that he graduated with a perfect 4.0! The time and effort he put into this took a lot of sacrifice, on both his part and mine. There were many things that he had to miss or sit out on so he could get all of his work done. I had to pick up more of the household duties and go to things with the kids by myself so he could get his work done. We were both SO excited for March to arrive and have this journey behind us!

But that’s not all! Most of my long time readers know that Zach has been a band director at a private junior high for the last six years. He took on a very small, struggling program and put blood, sweat and tears into it to try and revive it. His first couple of years were ROUGH. ROUGH. But, each year he got more and more students enrolled in the program and the talent kept growing and growing!

This past school year, his band received their 2nd set of straight 1s at marching contest. They accomplished this the year prior, also, but fell short in accomplishing 1s in their concert contest. In March, he took his kids to concert contest, and for the first time, they got superior ratings (all 1s), and for the first time in school history, they earned the sweepstakes award, which means they got superior ratings in marching assessment, concert assessment, and sightreading. This was one of the last goals he had set when he first started that he had not accomplished by this point. I was so proud of him and so happy for him that he got to achieve this!

IMG_5347 

It seems only fitting that this happened this past year, kind of the climax of his career as a band director, because shortly after this performance, we found out that Zach would be starting a new job for this school year! He’s hanging up his director baton and is now going to be working in administration. His school has undergone a complete leadership overhaul and his new job is going to be the Dean of Academics and Admissions. He will be assistant to the principal and has completely changed his line of work. We are SO excited for his new role and can see how this has been where God has been leading him the last several years. He has assumed many roles the past few years helping with administrating all while continuing his band role. He will no longer be doing any band work and while I know he will miss it some, he sure is excited for being key in helping to revamp the school. This is a blurb that was sent out to the school community when his new position was announced:IMG_5784

I am so very proud of Zach and the hard work he’s done over the past several years. His new school year starts today and it will be a different year for us with the changes he’s made, but we are all very excited!

The Edwards Family

The Edwards Family

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