Monday, December 29, 2008

There will be a day

Christmas is past. Well, at least the 2008 version. Christmas was nice. We had good times with all the fam. A friend came in from Canada, others from New York and Dallas, one cousin almost passing out in pain from what we think might be a gallbladder thingy, a new cousin (Baylor Wayne Cobb, 6 lbs. 8 oz. 19 in.) and I got to scrub vomit out of my Aunts carpet. (not the best job for a pregnant lady with an over-active gag reflex!) So all in all a pretty well rounded holiday.

It is an interesting thing. When you are bracing yourself for a tough day, it is usually the ones that follow that are the hardest. Today was a good day, but I cried a lot. I spent some time with 2 of my best friends. I was able to go with one to Cadens grave. It is still so hard to go and see my baby girls name etched in stone followed by all the days she lived here on this earth. We hugged and cried. I am blessed beyond measure with the friends God has given Andy and I.
It is one thing when people say they are sorry, it is another when they cry and feel the pain with you. I know all of my tears the Lord keeps. (Psalm 56:8) Mine as well as yours. But one day there will be no more tears. I love the Jeremy Camp song There will be a Day. I cry when I hear it on the radio. Because I love it so much, I have posted the lyrics at the bottom. ( ok so I added it to my playlist too...)

Speaking of tears, Andy has informed me that if I continue to cry during worship at church (which I do not see stopping anytime soon) that I should sit in the back as to not make a scene. This was said with a smile and a bit of sarcasm, but I think he meant it too :) I did have a friend say she could no longer sit behind me because she couldn't make it through worship without crying. Maybe next week, I will take a seat in back for the sake of those around me :)

As this year draws to a close, I am forced to reflect on all the Lord has taught me these past 365 days. This year has contained more joy and more sadness than I can even comprehend. I became a mother this past year. I learned what it was to love without getting in return. I have felt pain beyond what I have experienced before. I have leaned on God more in the past 3 months than I have in my entire life. I have not found Him wanting. He is all He has ever claimed to be. My list could go on and on.

I try to hold on to this world with everything I have
But I feel the weight of what it brings, and the hurt that trys to grab
The many trials that seem to never end, His word declares this truth, that we will enter in this rest with wonders anew
But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering

There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more, we’ll see Jesus face to face
But until that day, we’ll hold on to you always

I know the journey seems so long You feel your walking on your own But there has never been a step
Where you’ve walked out all alone
Troubled soul don’t lose your heart
Cause joy and peace he brings
And the beauty that’s in store
Outweighs the hurt of life’s sting I can’t wait until that day where the very one I’ve lived for always will wipe away the sorrow that I’ve faced
To touch the scars that rescued me from a life of shame and misery this is why this is why I sing….

There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more, we’ll see Jesus face to face
There will be a day, He’ll wipe away the stains, He’ll wipe away the tears, He’ll wipe away the tears…..there will be a day.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Little of this...

Today I woke up and cried. For some reason I couldn't stop. I went in and sat in my baby girls empty room and wept. Some days, like today, the hurt is more than I can deal with. It is like a big awkward box I carry around that I have no place for. Too big for this place, too heavy to sit on that, so I continue to stand there, not knowing what to do with it. So I hold it. And cry.

The past few days have been really good ones, for no other reason then I have spent them with good friends and have had good conversations. I suppose when you have a long string of good days, a hard one tends to loom on the horizon. I do think the crying might be past me today...Andy informed me I simply could not apply my make-up properly if I continued crying.

He was right.

So, for the sake of all those poor souls who have to view my face later today, I stopped the tears and finished the job credibly, if I do say so myself.

This past Thursday I had a Dr.'s apt. I was able to hear the heartbeat of baby Chastain for the 1st time. It was wonderful. 171 beats per min. I have a recording of the beautiful sound. Andy was unable to come, so I took a tape recorder so he could hear it. If you see me and want to hear it, I carry it around in my purse...so you can hear it too!

2 Fridays ago, I spent the afternoon with 3 people I love. we spent the entire afternoon baking and decorating cookies. Stacey came down with her beautiful son, Mindy came over with hers, and Barb gave us her kitchen to destroy. I will leave you some pictures of the fun.


I just want to say thank you to all of you who continue to hold us up to our heavenly Father in prayer. This Christmas is going to be very difficult for us. We know many of you are prayer warriors for our sake. I cannot express in words how grateful I am for you...I thank God every day for you.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Almost Famous

So last night was a blast.

I went with my friend Jen to see Selah in concert.

As most of you might know I have a healthy obsession with the singing group...I have a couple of their songs attached to this blog, as well as sing many more at the top of my lungs when they are played on the radio or throughout my house...I might do it at your house if I am ever there and you are playing them on the radio as well.

Anyhooo...it was AWESOME. They can sing people!!! Oh can they sing. I laughed, I cried, I worshiped...I wanted it to go on for ages and forever. But alas. It had to end.

So another fun thing....I got to meet 'em! Yup. shake hands and talk to them and everything. I really wanted to talk to Todd Smith because his wife writes the blog I stalk (this one) and I wanted to tell him how much of an encouragement she has been to me after Caden died. Well I got to talk to him and I told him how much I love his wife and about my sweet Caden. He was very nice. As I was talking I felt every part of the blubbering idiot I was, I just know I wanted to tell him all these things, because his family and his wife have meant so much to me. Only when I left did I remember that not one time did I mention how much I love his music!!! Can you believe I left that out!!!! I mean, HELLO. The man just spent the better part of two hours singing his heart out and all I say is " Hi, I lost my daughter too...I LOVE YOUR WIFE AND HER BLOG!!" ( or something to this effect) and didn't even mention that I am slightly obsessed with the wonderful group he sings in!!!!

IDIOT!

Anyway. I did get a pic with the group. You will kindly notice that I am behind the signing table WITH them, as if I am part of the group...that's right folks, just hanging with the band!

Enjoy the pic. (thanks, Mark, for having your camera phone ready!)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Giving Thanks

I LOVE Thanksgiving. It is true...it is my favorite holiday. Mostly because of the food...ahhh...the food. but I also love the family part. You know, the eating together, then hanging around the rest of the day and picking at the leftovers and playing games or watching the game on TV.

This year I know it is going to difficult for me and my family. I, and I think I am in the sever minority in my family, am still looking forward to the holiday. In fact I am blessed enough to have 3 in my near future...YEAH!

So let us be Thankful together to Him who has blessed us so abundantly.
Please leave a comment about why you thank God this year.

I will start.

I am thankful that God has opened my eyes to see the overflow of love, caring and prayer He has given us in the form of family and friends. I am in awe. I am thankful for my husband, who loves me beyond rational reason and sacrifices himself and his desires and wants for me more often than I deserve. I am thankful for new life. I am thankful I am a mommy, and had the immense pleasure of having a daughter. I am thankful that He is faithful, and carries me daily to places I have never been, nor would be without Him.

What are you thankful for?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

unfair

Isaiah 55:8-9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts."

This verse has been replaying itself in my mind over the past weeks. I try to put together the puzzle pieces my life has become, just to get frustrated or confused. I wonder if I will ever understand WHY. Then I answer myself...maybe, maybe not. Either way God is in control...He is good. One day I feel He is showing me wonderful new things, about myself, about why she is gone...other days, nothing is enough. I want her back.

That is all.

your ways are not My ways...

I want her back

My ways are higher than your ways

let me understand

As my days pass I long to see the full picture, to come to a full realization of why my baby, why me? Why my family, Lord? WHY? Knowing that I will not see it fully until I am on the other side of heaven...

I know then I will bow down and worship as I do not know how to on this earth.

I dream of heaven. Of seeing Christ. Of the splendor and majesty that I cannot fully comprehend. Of singing with the saints and angels "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty." Of seeing my Caden. Of pressing her baby soft cheek into mine. Of telling her how much her daddy and I love her, of her brother or sister...of how much I have missed her.

Life seems too long to wait for that day. Some moments contain too much time and pain for my weak body to handle...it seems unfair. And, yet, I know of nowhere in the scriptures where God has promised me fair...He has promised me comfort (2 Cor 1:3-4) he has promised to supply all my needs (Phil 4;19) He has promised me strength and support (1 Peter 5:10) but I do not know of anywhere in the bible where I have been promised fair.

And I am happy for it.

If I were promised fair, I would spend eternity in hell. If I were promised fair my sins would have settled for me my future of pain and suffering. But because of the unfair, the merciful, the Giver of the undeserving I have LIFE. Sweet, unshakable, incomprehensible eternal life in Christ Jesus my Lord. Who, Himself, thought of me while on the cross, and died in my place.

Because of His sacrifice, I am free... saved... rescued... redeemed...

Because of Jesus, I will see her again.

Thank You , Lord, that I do not understand Your ways. That You would die for a sinner like me is unfathomable. I may not understand all You do, but I rest in who You are.

Come quickly

Friday, November 14, 2008

Remember with me.

I had a good thought for a new post. But as I sit here to write it....I am too tired.

I miss my baby girl. Today I cannot get my thoughts in order, Everytime I started to type, I thought of my beautiful Caden.

I love thinking of her, although I still cry almost everytime I do. Remembering her feels sad and happy all at the same time and is, in a way, all we have of her.

Remember my Caden with me.

(please go to the music on the righthand side and pause it to hear the video.)

video

Also if you have time, check out the newest on this blog. She is such a good writer and I feel like she is writing for me...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tag...I'm it.

My dear friend Katherine tagged me for a fun game of sevens. If you are interested in hers, you can see them here. It has taken me so long to develop my list... I had a hard time thinking of 7 weird or quirky things about myself, or just things in general that people didn't know about me.
Well, here goes...


1. I am a Harry Potter nerd. I love it! I own and have read all of the books. I read the whole series through about once a year...yes I really do. (I am not such a huge fan of the movies, I could go on a small tirade about how they are completely different than the books and hardly do the well written words and magnificent plot justice, but I will spare you.)

2. I am a huge reader. I read about 2 - 3 books a week if I have enough. Last week I read 3 books and started a fourth. They can be anything really. I love old classics as well as children's/pre-teen books, to science fiction to biography's. Anything as long as it is written well and can hold my attention. I have probably only not finished a book a handful of times in my life.

3. I simply refuse to leave the house without mascara. One day about a year and a half ago, I went to work, stopped in at the bathroom, realized I had forgotten my mascara and immediately left, went down the street to the CVS and bought some. I quickly applied it to my naked lashes before stepping foot back inside the building. It was a terrifying 15 min.

4. I LOVE school/office supplies and am freakishly annal about the organization of such items. I love the little drawer organizers. I would buy scads of things just to help organize the office here at home if I had the $$. I positively swoon when I enter a staples or office depot.

5. I am a napper. LOVE to nap. I am not talking a 30 min snoozer either. I am talking at least 2 hours. If you do not have a 2 hour window...you do not have enough time for a nap! I was a big napper before I ever got pregnant. When I was pregnant with Caden, I was a champ. Now with this new baby, I have excelled in all of my napping capabilities. Ahhh, I am getting sleepy just thinking about it.

6. I CANNOT wear black and brown together. I am well aware of both of these colors being neutral in all their shades and tones, as well as Stacy and Clinton telling myriads of people that they can certainly go together in an outfit because although they do not match, "they go". NO! I cannot! I have tried, I look in the mirror and have to immediately correct what is in my mind a HUGE mistake. Black with black and brown with brown...sorry Stacy and Clinton...

7. When I am having a hard time falling asleep at night, I make up stories in my head. Usually involving me and my husband or friends. Elaborate details and crazy plots...sometimes we are kings and queens. Other times we are pioneers headed west. Always in another place and another time. I always fall asleep before I can finish them. So I never really know how I would end a story...oh well

there you go folks. All my crazy out for all to see. Hoped you have enjoyed it. I am tagging Heather, Cristi , Stacey and Richard.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A look inside

The past week has been a strange mix of emotions. On one end of the spectrum you have joy, pure, unhindered, enthusiastic elation. On the other end, a sorrow that defies all definitions of grief and pain. And yet, they coincide. They live together, intertwining with one another and can somehow, inexplicably be felt at the same moment. Hope. Grief. Joy. Sadness. Laughter. Tears. All mixed together in one heap of emotion.

Before Caden's death I would have told anyone, unabashedly, that I was not a cryer. "Have you met my mother? Now there is a cryer!" God changes us. I now cry with the best of them...although I still have a ways to go to catch up to mom...
I would also said I was not a worrier...I leave that to Andy, he is better at it than me, I find it wastes to much energy.

Lately, I worry. I hate it. It feels foreign and ugly. I fear all sorts of things that I know would never have entered my mind if Caden was still on this earth with me. Things that seem clearly rational to the human mind, people say "It's OK to think that, it's just natural after what you have been through."

I fear that I will never let this new child alone in their crib, what if something were to happen and I was not there?
Am I going to be a crazy, psycho mom who never lets her kids do things for fear of them getting hurt?
I seize up at any cramp or twinge I feel with this pregnancy. I wonder..."Is this normal? Did I go through this with Caden?"
Will I be as laid back and let other people enjoy my baby as I did before?
The list goes on like this....

But my soul cries out to take the fear and worry away. I know the fear, the worry, is a lack of trust in God. I long to rest in Him, without effort. But some days it takes all I have. A new decision to trust Him every hour. Over and Over again, I have to choose to trust. 1 Peter 4:7 says " Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." Every day, every hour, I have choose to cast my cares and fears and worries upon Him. If I hang on to them, they tear me apart slowly, silently, until I cannot move or think because of the fear.

Philippians 4: 6 tells us "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Then comes the best part...the part that I long for. vs 7 " And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

I have felt that peace before. The week my daughter died was the best week of my life. No, don't go back and read that again, you read it right. It was the best week of my life. I was surrounded by Gods love and peace. I cannot describe in words the comfort and support Andy and I felt those first few days. God is faithful to His promise.

He will continue to be so.

My God is the same.

My Jesus never changes.

As I fight this battle against fear and worry, I know my God is stronger than my enemy. I need only to trust in Him, in His plan for me. I would never have chosen for my precious Caden to die...but it is what God wanted for me. If I can say that and believe it and still trust Him, than I can surely trust Him with my new baby. As well as all the things that come along with him or her.

As for me being a crazy, psycho mom...we will just have to wait and see. :)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

He Gives

Last night was girl's night. About once a month I am fortunate enough to get together with some of my best friends just to hang out and keep up on one another's lives.

I was very much looking forward to this particular girl's night because I had some fun news I wanted to share with my friends.


I took their picture...it is, sadly, very blurry, but I still think it conveys their sincere emotions.

This picture was taken seconds after I stated that I am 6 weeks pregnant.

YES I AM! Although, it seems highly improbable, nothing is impossible with God. (We were,well, stunned to say the least!)

God has been good to Andy and I. It is an interesting mix of emotions. While still grieving, we celebrate new life. This new baby does not replace Caden, but it gives hope and joy for the future.

Please continue to pray for us and our families as we press on in our sorrow and our joy. Now you can add a healthy baby to your prayer list.

He gives and takes away...now, he has chosen to Give.

Praise Him with us...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thriller

Least y'all think I have changed my blog completely and only tell deep and meaningful things ( I laugh as I type that, because if you know me at all, you know the only way I can go deep is if someone else takes me down with them....I tend to skim along the top. Me a deep thinker...ha!) I would like to share what I did this evening.

I went to a class to learn the dance to Michael Jackson's Thriller.

You heard (saw?) me right. SO MUCH FUN! I went with my super fun friend Jen Gunnels. It was a great "get away" from everything and a fun time to laugh and sweat. So there it is folks...my crazy evening. I hope you all enjoy the mental picture of me with my zombie claws marching to the beat of the music! ( next time I see you if you ask for a move or 2 I will oblige)

Side note: a big thanks to all who are such wonderful prayer warriors for me and my family. I do not know how we could continue through life without brothers and sisters like you. There will be many crowns and treasures in Heaven for you "behind the scenes" people. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Andy and I love you. ( and only ask that you continue, as I know you will)

Monday, October 27, 2008

For such a time as this...

Ester 4:14 says "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"

This verse was said Sunday during the worship service, about a situation totally different than mine, but the man speaking was using it to ask people about their future. What does God have in store for you?

I thought about this verse. Ester was in a position to be able to save her people, but it could possibly cost her her life...it is a great story. Her uncles comment to her (vs 14) clearly says, how do you not know if God has only given you this position of royalty so you can do a great work for Him?

I was struck by this comment...How do I not know that God has not taken my precious Caden so that I might do a great work for Him.

Not long ago I met once a week with a wonderful older woman and chatted about life. She had much to say and great wisdom to pass along. One thing she repeated to me often was this: Always ask, in every situation, what is God trying to teach me? I have thought about this allot lately. I wonder, what is God trying to teach me?

I have come up with a few things.

  1. I am not as 'in control" as I thought
  2. It is OK to grab at the 1st black purse one sees in Target as you are running for the check-out lane trying not to break down
  3. It is also perfectly OK to cry like a crazy woman in the Target check-out lane
  4. Always carry tissues. LOTS of tissues
  5. He will carry me when I cannot walk
  6. I can trust Him with...everything, even the death of my baby girl

If God can use me, (the crazy crying woman in the Target check-out lane grasping a, thankfully on sale, black purse) than I will let Him. This has been the hardest season of my life. I do not know what tomorrow looks like, let alone next month. One day I am fine, I laugh all day, the next it is hard to get out of bed and tears stain my face for all to see.

BUT GOD

DO you see the wonder in that small statement. I cannot. But God... He can do all, I need not do anything but trust Him. But God has brought me to this place. He wants me here, in this dry and weary desert place. He has taken my hand and is leading me through it. I cannot see the end, I do not know how long we will be here, but I am with Him. I am OK.

He has brought me here, in the sight of all, for such a time as this.

I do not know what God has in store for me in such a time as this, I, like Moses, only ask one thing of Him; Show me Your glory.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Real

Today it has been one month since Caden died.
I am sad. My heart hurts.

The past few days have been hard. The grief, if that is what this is, is like a throbbing pain that starts by squeezing my heart and works it's way out through my fingertips. I can feel the hurt. I have cried. I have sobbed. I have sat and stared at the dust particles dance in and out of the sunlight. I have read my bible and thanked God. I have prayed for comfort, for release from some of the pain. I have prayed for you, who are praying for me.

I went to Caden's grave today. I sat and cried for my little girl. Stupid thoughts went through my head, like "it's so cold today, my poor, sweet baby is in the cold." I know she is not there. I just cannot stop being a mommy I guess. I long to touch her soft cheek, to show her the beautiful falling leaves. To put on the pink sweater I bought her a month ago that she never got to wear. I want to hold her, and kiss her. I want her. My arms ache with the loss of her.

I was reading another blog yesterday and the lady who wrote it had lost a daughter. Suddenly, mid sentence, I could take no more. I was completely overwhelmed by the thought that this, my life without my baby girl, is forever. There was too much time, too much pain and too much of my weakness in that one moment. I sprinted from the computer and locked myself in the bathroom. The air was too thick to breathe, the motion of the earth was shoving me to my knees. I was lost, for a brief moment in time, in the grief. I slowly regained my composure and righted myself. 5 min. later I walked out of the bathroom back to normalcy...well maybe not normalcy, but not crazy, hysterical crying woman anyway. I dodged the computer and decided, no more tonight...clearly I was not ready for this woman's amazing words...maybe tomorrow. (or next year whenever I become brave again :))

So many of you have commented to me how amazing and strong I am. It is not me...it is Christ in me. I am the woman in the sentences above. The crier, the doubter, the one who crumbles under the weight of it all...I am weak. I want to be real with you, so you may see the power Christ has in my life. I cry, I collapse in sobbing spasms and just try to hold myself upright. I cry out to God to take it away. I want out...

I am weak, but He is strong.

You see Him.

I praise Him for that.

2 Corinthians 12:9 the Lord says "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.


Andy and I long to know how the life and death our of precious daughter has changed lives. I am not a scrapbooker ( I know many of you are shocked, but it is far too expensive for me and it is an on-going project...the thought of an unfinished anything undoes me.) and I love the thought of keeping a journal but I have never been one to write. This blog is slowly becoming my journal, my scrapbook, my memory of my life, of Caden's life. So I ask a favor.

If my daughter's life or death has changed your life, or someone else's life around you, please, please, leave a comment sharing these stories with Andy and I.

We know God is using this in people's lives, and He has been gracious enough to show us little glimpses of that, but I long to see more. Help me remember the work God has done and continues to do, by leaving a comment about how Caden's life and death has affected you, this way not only I can have the privilege of seeing God's work but others can too. Please. (as you can see I am not above begging! :))

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Almighty

This morning I was preparing to "get into" my quiet time and bible study. I am in Bible Study Fellowship (I love it) and we are going through the life of Moses. I prayed before I opened my bible that God would show me part of Himself. Well I finished today's lesson, and it was pretty straightforward...

Ahem....Lord, my prayer?

I kept reading, going beyond the lessons I had at hand.(to chapter 14) I came to the part where Moses had lead the Israelites out of Egypt and the were resting by the sea. Pharaoh and his advisers were angry they had let the Hebrews go, so they were on the hunt. When the Israelites see Pharaoh and his army approaching they get all hot and bothered and ask Moses "was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?"(vs.11) I love the sarcasm and anger you hear in that comment. I have been there with God before..the why, the anger, and of course with me....the sarcasm :). They tell Moses they would rather have gone back to the horrendous back-breaking life as Egypt's slaves than be killed free men. "It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert."(vs.12)

This last comment from the angry, scared Hebrews made me pause. I stared at it...then a question came to mind.

Who would I rather serve than go through the desert with my God?

No One.

Then Comes the really cool part.
vs. 13 says Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. vs.14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."

Psalm 46:10-11 says
Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress."

in Mathew 11: 28 Jesus says
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

Moses knew God would deliver them because He said He would. The Israelites could not see God because they were staring their circumstance straight in the face.
Of course the story ends with Moses parting the Red Sea (yes the whole sea!) and the Israelites walk across on DRY! land. When the Egyptians try to follow the sea collapses back on itself and swallows them up. And there the Hebrews are...Saved. Safe.

I have been looking at my circumstance the past few days...right in it's face. I have cried more the last 2 days then I did the first 2 days...sadness and grief are heavy on my heart.

Today, if I cry, that is OK, but I know Who my God is. He is able to fight my enemies for me. My enemies of doubt, of guilt, of the what ifs...My Lord is stronger than all my enemies combined. The Almighty is my fortress, If I run to Him, He will give me rest...and I only need to be still....

Who are you trusting in today? Would you rather be a slave to sin than be free in the uncertain terrain God has planned?

Not me...

Lord, show me...I will follow.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Warning!

Since being home from the trip Andy and I have had some great moments, and some pretty downright awful moments. We have discovered that this is what life is going to look like from here on out...sometimes, not a pretty picture, but God is faithful and He will comfort and heal us, of this I am sure. 1 Peter 5:10 says And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while will Himself restore you, and make you strong, firm and steadfast. I love this verse, and it is a promise I am praying for myself and Andy.

We were brave enough on Monday to call the coroners office to see what the preliminary autopsy said. By this, I mean Andy was brave enough to call, I was just brave enough to ask what they said when the conversation was over. The lady he talked to said that NOTHING showed up on the preliminary, and that it was highly unusual. She looked like a very healthy baby...nobody knows what happened. So we have to call back every week until the final autopsy report is in...which could be months. In the big picture, it doesn't really matter what Caden died from, we know it was God her chose to take her home, and he has graciously allowed us to glimpse reasons why these past weeks. My prayer is that whatever they find would absolve anyone(especially her Dr.'s) from any guilt of being able to save her.

I have also decided that somebody needs to come up with a line of warning labels for people in awkward circumstances. For example, say someones dog just ran away, but her best friend just bought a new puppy and wanted to send her pictures. The warning label should read. WARNING: contents may contain material that will make you cry, or bitter toward your friend. (because of the loss of your beloved pet) Or something like this. Anyway I decided this after a terrible, wonderful, beautiful present that I just found in my house...yes, just found...Sara, next time, warn a girl, would ya? There is a wonderful lady who works at the hospital where Caden passed away, who having lost a child herself, likes to make molds of the baby's hands and feet for the parents. We had given this blessed woman our permission do do so shortly after Cadens death. Well, I forgot...we go home from the trip and I was looking in Cadens room ( It had been cleaned out by family while we were gone, and found a basket full of beautiful presents in her crib..."OOOH Presents! NO, NO, NO Cari....these are not the good kind of presents...but no one was there to warn me...(hence the NEED for the warning labels) I open up the lovely wrapping to find the most awful, beautiful 3D mold of Cadens hand, with a little bracelet on her wrist that says her name. Under the mold of her hand was imprints of her feet and ink stamps of both her hands and feet. I am glad I have these things...but I am even more glad I can put them away...too sad, too soon. Needless to say I was a hysterical mess for a few minutes until I could wrap it back up and get it as far away from my person as possible.

Anyway, please continue to pray for us. It means so much.
Cari

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A change



OK, so you might realize I switched things up. I decided since this my life is changing, and what I post on this blog is changing, than I would just change the blog layout...It was good for me. Hope you like it.

Anyway, I promised I would post pics from our trip. So without further ado...




















Monday, October 13, 2008

2 things

Well we are back. Most of you probably know that Andy and I took a "getaway" to the Caribbean. Not your run of the mill getaway I'll admit, but a good one, should you wish to follow our lead. We took a 7 day southern Caribbean cruise. We went to Aruba, Curacao, St. Marten, St. Thomas, and Puerto Rico. It was lovely, and because the food was so spectacular, I am fatter now then when we left....ick! I took pics,( of the trip not, necessarily of my fatness) and will display them when I can remember to get the camera and the magic cord together in the same place as the computer and myself...until that day comes, you will have to wait.

As I was floating along the Caribbean sea, I realized 2 things...1, I still consider my life a good one, and I have a totally different outlook on my "good life"
Let me elaborate. A month ago, if someone off the street were to ask me if I had a good life, or was it very hard. I would have very honestly said, no, it has not been hard, it has been wonderful. I have blessing upon blessing God has granted me. A nice home, great friends, a better husband, and on top of that a beautiful baby girl. I was living in, as a friend put it, "in Disney world" everything was great, nothing to complain about. On my trip I realized I still feel the same way. I have all of those blessing still, albeit Caden is waiting on me in heaven as opposed to in the other room. Now these blessings have weight, they hold substance. I knew I had good friends, but God has blessed me with people who go ABCD (above and beyond the call of duty) to show how much they love me and my family, all in the name of Christ. I knew I had a good man, but have you seen the man I have? Oh how Great is our God to provide Andy for me. I could not get through this without him. And my baby girl...oh what a blessing she is. God is so good to us. He intrusted us with her life, and through her life and her death she has touched many, and our prayer is that her brief life would impact others for our Savior. There are so many things God has been merciful enough to let me see these past weeks that show why her.
even though we hurt, even though this is no longer "Disney world" God has given me a great life, and with His help I can use it for His glory.

Second my perspective has changed. (How could it not?;) We all know that when you become a believer in Christ that you are supposed to have a heavenly perspective. I always thought "OK, yeah, I want to go to heaven. It sounds like a great place, but not until I get to do....." you can fill in the blank. I did, many a time. At first it was not until I get married, then not until after I have a baby...when would it have ever been enough. It is now. Matthew 6:21 says For where your treasure is there your heart will be also.
Caden was my treasure, and She is in Heaven. If she is there, where else could my heart be? My heart is in Heaven, and now my soul cries out to be there as well. I do not think any other thing could have given me this same longing for my eternal home, as the death of my daughter. God is so good to provide for me in such a way. I will always miss Caden, always, but I know I will see her again. I truly cannot wait for that day.
Even so, Lord, come quickly.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

FYI

Hello all,

Before I begin, just another HEARTFELT thanks for all of your prayers. The phrase "power of prayer" has a whole new meaning for Andy and I.
We have been doing well, upheld by your prayers for us and our family, as well as for our day to day needs. Many of you have sent flowers, cards and meals, all of which are gratefully received. God has been so good to us. looking back over the past few days we can see His provision for us, which started years ago, and is so overwhelming. Please continue to pray for us and our families.
I want to let you all have the opportunity to read a sermon which touched my heart just days after the loss of Caden. J. Vernon McGee wrote this sermon after losing a baby daughter. Please take the time to read it.

Just so you know, Andy and I are going to the Caribbean. I will post pictures when we return. We think a change of scenery will be good for us, as well as making some good memories for this time of year.
Talk at you soon!
Cari

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Thank you

Thank you to all who have been praying for us and our family over the loss of our Most Precious Gift, Caden Joelle. We could not get through this terrible time without your prayers and support. PLEASE, leave comments, prayers or thoughts here on this blog. We thank God for our many blessings and for the every second God gave us with Caden. Please celebrate her life with us.
We love you, and thank God for you.
Cari & Andy

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Stuck

Caden is not yet crawling, but she is very much inclined to move herself about the space at hand. Stuck is the title, for that is what she is doing to herself...getting stuck. For example... P.S. this has nothing to do with this post, but to whom it may concern thank you for cleaning up after dinner - by not using your name you will not lose your crown!)


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

And the Award goes to...

Ok, so I cannot believe I am admitting this online where everyone who knows me can see it...but because of 4 or 5 or 274 excuses I could name I neglected to clean my kitchen for the past 2 (or 3) days. Now some of you may be saying, oh Cari, that is ok. To which my response will clearly be "Honey, Have you seen my home? I do not have, a dishwasher...strike that, I am my dishwasher. I have a teeny, tiny, ity,bitty little kichen with an even smaller amount of counter space. You skip the dish detail for a day and see what kind of mayhem rears its ugly head." ANYWHOO...the mess OVERWHELMED my teeny, tiny,ity,bitty little kitchen and me...I was dreading cleaning it. I was gone with little bit all day and my mind kept traveling back to the mess. I get home with bags, baby and dinner in tow to find MY MOST WONDERFUL HUSBAND CLEANED THE KITCHEN.
<APPLAUSE PLEASE>

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Way down in Kokomo...

Today I went UP to Kokomo to visit Stacey. Caden and I had a bang-up good time. We went for a walk in the park and had a fantastic lunch, and Caden played with Aiden's toys. It was great to see Stace, who is having a baby girl in January. :) She moved away from me this past February and I miss her (as Genie in Aladdin puts it) muy much! I have decided that Aiden is going to be a stellar big brother because of all the lovin' he did on Caden. He gave her a kiss,
helped feed her her bottle, gave her her pacifier and shared her puffs...he also sat on her one time...but that is not the point! Caden thought he was the coolest thing since well, since puffs which up until today were her favorite thing. Now I think it is a little boy from Kokomo named Aiden. Thanks for the great day Salsberys! We will do it again soon.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Caden's Best Friend's Birthday

Last Saturday Caden's best friend, Lily, turned 1! Lily had a spectacular party. The birthday girl was dressed to impress with the cutest outfit I have seen to date. Caden told me when we got home that she was jealous!
Heather (Lily's mom) did a beautiful job with the planning and they had a wonderful spread and the most delicious looking birthday cupcakes.

Heather and I grew up together and have been friends since we were 7, I think. It is such a blessing to watch her be a mom and be a part of her life post marriage/baby. Caden and I are excited for all the years to come, hopefully filled with play dates and fun!
Happy Birthday Lily!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Nightly Rituals

Family time has a new face in the Chastain household. Our good friend Richard has taken up residence of the studio apt. as well as the #2 controller of the Wii. What does this mean? Just a nightly game ( or 16) of MarioKart and some friendly smack talk. ( we do have little ears in the room :) Uncle Richard is a great fit to the Chastain family, we are very happy to have him around. Caden loves him even more now that he feeds her Puffs. The pics that follow are a typical night at our place give or take some clothes on the baby.