Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Back in the Swing.....

Life can only be on hold for a short time with our busy lives and so it's been time to bounce back from our difficult September. October really doesn't allow me to sit idle or rest for any amount of time. So, whether I've been ready to get back into some kind of normal routine or not is really not my decision to make. My obligations to my family haven't stopped, and so, neither have I.

Personally, I've had more doctor appointments and visits to the lab for blood work in one month than probably the past 10 years! I'm still not finished, as I have two more doc appointments next week to start off November. So far, my blood pressure is under control thanks to a cardiologist and two new medications. I'm still being tested for all kinds of weird disorders. Thank goodness I have what every lab technician has called "good veins".
Here's what's new:
Mike took a week long business trip to Canada and was glad he kept his winter coat when we moved. He joined our new parish's adult choir and started singing at Mass again this past Sunday.
Kaitlyn turned 5 early in the month. She was so excited to get an American Girl doll! She still teeters between being a "big girl" and wanted to be "the baby". I don't mind if she grows up slowly! She sure had fun on her b-day.

Gymnastics has kept Michelle full of excitement and anxiety this month. She competed in the local District Championship earlier this month. From there she qualified for the Texas South State Championship meet. This past weekend she was able to squeeze out another qualification onto the (entire) Texas State Championship meet. That is the most competitive meet she can qualify for at this level. It will be held in Dallas in the middle of November. She's hoping to get her personal highest scores on each event.

Kyle's swim season for both high school and his club have started their competitive seasons. So far he's been pleased with his performances. Nice to see his hard work paying off!
Reid's active with JROTC and has finally started his Confirmation classes in order to be confirmed this spring. He's been waiting a long time and is in a very dynamic and orthodox program. I'm excited that he's getting a chance to be catechized so well!

Brian's doing fine up in school and joined us this past weekend for some R&R before heading back to finish up the semester.

We had another family b-day with Andrew turning 7 a few days ago. He's been so excited all month counting down the days. He invited a few friends to a bowling party and I was really happy that all our family was there. Everyone had fun--the big brothers & sister bowling together and all the party kids in the lanes next to them. The little boys got to the point of pushing 3 balls down one lane at the same time and laughing the whole time! As we walked to the car, I asked Andrew how his party was. I loved his reply, " It was perfect! Better than I thought it would be." Cha-Ching--score one for a happy birthday boy!!!

Every time Andrew rolled the ball, he ended up on the floor!

Taking a break to eat.

Making a wish!

We couldn't leave Brutus out this month. His news is that he's become a Big Brother! Yep, just to add to the craziness, we added a puppy to our family! He's a 7 week old Beagle that will most likely be named Rocky.

Coming home:

Furry brothers :

Taking a ride thru the neighborhood:

As you can see, life is busy and full. I'm happy to be so Blessed to have some good stuff to post!
Thank you all for your prayers and support these past few weeks!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Our Little Saint

All summer long I've was planning on how I would post the news that, at my ripe old age, I was pregnant. I wanted to convey that although not necessarily how we had planned our family to grow, we embraced the joys a new baby would bring and, along with our kids, the excitement grew.

So, where was my pregnancy post? I kept waiting for the haunting feeling of "something doesn't feel right" to go away. I had ultrasounds, blood work, and weekly visits with my doctor where I heard the baby's heartbeat again & again. However, my blood pressure rose dangerously high. Was it my anxiety? It doesn't matter now because two weeks ago, at over 18 weeks gestation, the baby's heartbeat was absent. I had the feeling since the very beginning that we would not be bringing a baby home this pregnancy. Unfortunately, it's not the first time I've had these feelings, but it is the furthest I've ever progressed in a pregnancy only to lose the baby.

After the emergency situation with the hurricane was resolved and the hospital regained power, I was admitted. Baby Clare Helena was born at 5:30 a.m. on September 19. Mike and I got the chance to hold her and anoint her with Holy Water and Oil from Medjugorje that was Blessed by Pope John Paul II. Michelle knit her a little baby blanket that she was buried with and we also had our priest Bless a rosary to keep with her as well. I grieve with deep sadness the joys our family will miss out on by never bringing this precious girl home with us. We had all been looking forward to baby smiles and swaddles and the love we know grows everytime a new family member is added. But our little Clare had another path given to her by the Almighty. Our baby, although born into this world, will never be OF this world. She is a little Saint in Heaven looking down on our family and the world ready to intercede on our behalf.

A wonderful priest once comforted me after a similar loss by saying that until I see the Beatific Vision, I will never know how powerful my "Yes" to God is by allowing Him to create another soul into eternal life. He said then I will understand why God allows these souls to be conceived, but not brought forth to live here with us. Their work is in Heaven, helping us on our earthly journeys. Please don't forget to ask them to pray for you.

I believe that often we are given signs from God to comfort us when needed. I've received many of these signal graces in the past and prayed for one now. My favorite tropical flower is the Hibiscus. In May, I bought a beautiful Hibiscus shrub and planted it near our pool. when I bought it, it had many large red blooms. They soon fell off and by mid-summer I realized that this plant hadn't produced any other flowers. I started checking it weekly and noticed it was full of buds, but they never seemed to mature and open. I started to get frustrated and complained to Mike " Why are there so many buds and never any blooms??!!" I couldn't understand why this plant was refusing to show it's beauty. The night after praying for a sign that Clare Helena was safely tucked in the arms of the angels in Heaven, we woke and did the usual drill to get ready for Sunday Mass. As I opened the shades and glanced outside, I was struck by the sight of a bright red flower fully in bloom on my Hibiscus plant! I realized immediately that this plant did not flower all summer because it was not meant to bloom until the baby "budding" in my womb was fully alive and thriving in Heaven. The flower only lasted one day before closing and falling off. However, three days later, the day we buried our daughter, the Hibiscus opened two new blooms. Another confirmation to me that all is right and she is where God intended her to be from the start. Again, the blooms only lasted the day of her funeral and as of today, the plant has not bloomed again.

Although I am sad that my hopes were not meant to be, I try to remember that God only creates what is good and so His plan is the one that is best for us all.

St. Clare Helena, pray for us!!!