Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dear Diary: Book Talk

Sometimes I just need to get my thoughts out. This is one of those post that is more like a diary entry than a blog post. Please don't feel obligated to read it. I really am only sharing because I hope that it can help someone else the way Todd Burpo helped me through his sharing.

Several weeks ago a friend at school was talking about the book Heaven is for Real. Since then I have had several people mention it to me. I finally read it on the way to Little Rock. I am not going to ruin it for anyone that might be interested in reading it but bottom line- a little boy gets very sick and after his recovery begins telling his family that he visited heaven. He describes to his parents what he saw and what he experienced while he was there.

I will be honest, for the most part I thought the book was just ok. I know it isn't suppose to be about this, but I had a hard time staying interested because of the style of writing the author used. The message, however, is very interesting and very much got me thinking about what heaven must be like.

There was one chapter in the book that will be forever burned into my brain. If you or anyone you know has had a miscarriage you need to read this chapter. It was comforting on many levels. First, because it truly is nice to hear that someone else feels what you feel. I know we all experience our own struggles in life. It is always nice to not feel alone. I am going to take a direct quote out of the book because I can't possibly put it better than she did "You do all the right things, eat all the right things,and you pray for the baby's health, but still this tiny baby dies inside you." "I feel guilty. I know in my mind that it wasn't my fault, but there's still this guilt." ( Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo).

When I read those words I felt like I was saying them. Her case was very similar to mine. She expressed a lot of the same feelings that I feel. The reason this chapter is in the book is that Colton, the little boy that visited heaven, ask his mom about his sister in heaven even though the miscarriage happened before Colton's birth and had never been mentioned to him. Again, I am not going to ruin it for anyone that wants to read it, but Colton meets his sister. She tells him that God adopted her when she was still in their mommy's belly.

Reading this meant so much to me. I have never doubted for one minute that my Taylor was in heaven. Some people may think I am crazy (and sometimes I am) but I truly felt like I handed my sweet baby over to my Grandma Minyard to take back to heaven with her. Reading that Colton's sister came running up to him and hugged him is truly amazing to me. I am so excited that one day this emptiness that I have never been able to shake will finally be filled. Don't get me wrong, I love my babies here on Earth and am not ready to leave them ;but I look forward to the day when Taylor comes running up to me and hugs me. I believe that heaven is for real and I am so thankful to get a small glimpse of what is waiting for me there.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Kindergarten Celebration

Last night Ashlynn had her Kindergarten Celebration. Kind of like a graduation only Dr. Compton won't let us call it that. This year has been my fastest year of teaching kindergarten ever. Last night was very strange for me. I kept thinking I would be really sad and have a hard time with it, however I got so caught up in being a "teacher" that sad to say I had a very hard time being a "mom". I would be doing my thing and remember every few minutes that my baby was on that stage too. I caught a lot of sweet glances at her and now I just can't wait to get the dvd of the performance so I can actually just sit back and focus on watching her. Here are a few pictures from that night.

Telling GeGe secerts. Mrs. Phillips, Ashlynn's awesome Kindergarten teacher.
And this is pretty much all Jaxton was interested in doing all night.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Our Little Star

Friday night Ashlynn had her first dance rectal. She started taking dance when she was four but after about two months she started crying every time we took her. We waited a year and enrolled her in a different studio and now she loves it.

I have to admit I really wanted Ashlynn to take dance. I would never force her to do something she doesn't like but I love all things girly. Although, I am not sure I want her to love dance too much. I am telling you what some of those competition moms can get vicious. Rollers flying, fogs of hair spray, clouds of makeup. Backstage can get pretty scary.

Anyway we had a fabulous time watching Ashlynn perform. She did a great job and look absolutely adorable tapping away to My Girl (which by the way is one of my favorite songs to sing to Ashlynn at bedtime-HA!). Doesn't get any more girly then this!All the beautiful pink princesses waiting to perform.

My favorite part of the night: Ashlynn says wow mom I must have done really good look at all this stuff I got!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

I love Mother's Day. It is a day every year that I feel so blessed to celebrate. I have an amazing Mother. She is not only my Mother but one of my very best friends. Not a day goes by that I don't talk to her. She has set an amazing example for what a mother should be and I only hope that I grow to be half the mother she is. Thank you mom for loving me.

I love Mother's Day because I now get to celebrate being a mom myself. I make a lot of mistakes as a mom; it is so much harder than I ever imagined. Being a mom has taught me the true meaning of unconditional love. Being a mom is indescribably wonderful. My heart couldn't be fuller. Thank you God for allowing me to be Ashlynn and Jaxton's mom.

I love Mother's Day because I know there are moms that are already in heaven. I know that they are missed here on earth. Yet, I take great comfort in knowing that they are there to take care of my sweet baby Taylor. I can't thank them enough.

Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Help Wanted

Here's the deal. Marshal is working all the time! He loves his new job and I am very happy for him, but I am not in love with the meetings every night. So......

I need a man. That's right, I am putting out a Help Wanted ad for a man.

Hours: 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Job description: Come in and ask me how my day was. Listen to how my day was. Feel sorry for me when I need you to. Laugh with me when I need that. Give advice only if specifically asked. Play with my children while I cook dinner. Eat dinner with my family. Carry on conversation. Clean up the kitchen while I get the kids ready for bed. Help pack lunches. Help fold laundry. Snuggle with me until I am ready to go to sleep. Any other manly chores needed (mow the lawn, change the oil, take out the trash, etc.) Advanced applicants would also pour me a glass of wine, tell me to relax and give me a back massage, oh and be super hot. But really I am trying not to be too picky here.

No experience required. I prefer to train to meet my standards.

Pay: I will feed you every night and you get to enjoy my fabulous company. I mean really who wouldn't love that?

So know any one that might be interested? I am hoping to fill the position a.s.a.p.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

My 32 minutes

I know running in a 5K is no sweat for some of you. In fact some of you are probably laughing at me for even making a goal to do so. I however am no runner. In fact I have absolutely hated running for most of my life. The only time in my life I have ever ran is in P.E. when my teachers made me. Let me tell you I hated them for it.

Recently, I have started running as part of my cardio. I don't hate it anymore, but I certainly don't love it either. I made a goal to run in a 5k. I asked my Dad to be my running partner. He has been running for as long as I can remember. I thought it would be a great father/daughter thing. I don't get many father/daughter moments anymore since the babies have come along. I loved having that time with him.

Saturday, we ran in the Race for the Cure. It was an amazing experience. I will admit every year I pay my money, but I have never actually shown up on race day.I now know why so many people attend every year. The atmosphere was so uplifting. Everywhere you looked people were wearing shirts, carrying banners, or wearing signs to remember or honor a loved one who fought the fight of breast cancer. They even released doves right before the start of the race. Simply beautiful.

I was very nervous about the race. I really didn't know if I could run the whole thing or not. Unfortunately, the weather has not cooperated lately and I was unable to get any actual outdoor running practice in before the race. I knew the outdoor conditions would be much different than my practice on the treadmill. I have been including incline into my workout, but again had been warned that the hills along the course would be a challenge.

When we took off I figured out pretty quickly that my Dad planned to run much faster than I did. I made it through the first mile fairly easily, but began to panic when I realized my Dad wasn't planning to slow down. I kept going. I could see the two mile mark. I kept telling myself I could do it. I wanted to do it. And then I just couldn't. We passed the two mile mark. I was worn out. I was sweating like crazy. I couldn't breathe. My legs hurt.I was so thirsty. I wanted nothing more than to stop running and just walk. My Dad was such an awesome cheerleader. He kept encouraging me. He sang army songs to me. He kept telling me how old he was and that I couldn't let him beat me. He wasn't going to give up on me. He wasn't going to let me quit.

As awesome as my Dad was there was one thing that kept my legs moving. Or should I say one person. Jean Pharr. My beyond amazing Sunday School teacher. In the back of my mind I kept thinking of her and the amazing strength she has shown in her fight against cancer. She is the bravest, strongest, most courageous woman I know. She is fighting for her life and she is doing it with grace and strength. I kept thinking in my mind, if Jean can fight each day for her life than I can fight to finish this race. I never stopped running because of Jean. I give her complete and total credit for helping me achieve my goal. Without her strength I never would have ran across that finish line. Thank you Jean. I feel truly blessed that you are sharing your life with me. I know I speak for every member of our Sunday school class when I say we love you!

As for me and my running career... I am not finished. Now that I know I can do it, I plan to do it again. Who knows Amy might just talk me into another 5k real soon.