Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Chemo a Day

The Captain starts his 1st round of chemo tomorrow. We still have no idea how it is going to look, for sickness, for work, for me....really any of it. So please pray (or continue to) that his body would tolerate the drug well and this week would not be one that he dreads in the future.

I forgot, in my last post, to mention about the Riggeroni, the Riggster, Big Rigg...whichever you prefer. I had a Dr. apt. just that morning. Everything is looking great. I also had an ultrasound the day before because, well...umm...I AM HUGE! seriously people, I am BIG. I am measuring almost 2 and 1/2 weeks big and I am already less than 1/2 and inch away from my total circumference on my due date with Caden...large and in charge...that is me. So we had the ultrasound to measure the little guy. He is about 6 and 1/2 pounds. Which means he will most likely be around 8 or higher when he arrives. Caden was a whopping 8.9 so we will see who is bigger...I think I win!
I asked my doc about inducing me. I would love to wait it out...but I think it wiser to have a plan. The captain still cannot drive and if I go into labor while he is at work we would both have to find a ride to the hospital. And since he is starting chemo, if I was overdue, this could run into his next round of treatments. She was all for the idea. So next Friday at my next apt she is going to give me a date for Rigg's arrival...I know you are all on pins and needles but you will just have to wait.

I would like to say a little something about me and the way I process/write on this blog. I plan nothing. By that I mean usually I know maybe some of what I would like to say, but most posts take on a world of their own once my fingers hit the keys. I write as I think. My last post I realize was a bit of a downer...but it was all true and how I was feeling right at that moment. I long for Heaven every day. It has just been magnified for me lately. Most days I am a happy smiley, giggly, ginormously large pregnant woman. But I do have my down times. This is simply to say, thank you for all of your prayers, but I really do not want you to worry. I am truthful and honest with you because I feel like I can be a better example of Christs power in my life when I point out that I cannot do it myself. Last Friday...I could not do it myself...thank you for all the prayer for me and my family. I am continuously overwhelmed that complete strangers care enough to pray for "little" old me. This is truly a picture of the body of Christ and what it is supposed to work like.

I will post in a day or so and keep you updated on the Captain and how he is reacting to the Chemo...and let y'all know that date for the birth of Rigg!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Longing for home

Blogger tells me this is my 100th post. I was thinking, what should I do for this post to make is extra-100th-y-special?....I came up with nothing. I figure since the only reason I have reached this number so soon is because of my husbands recent, shall we say, happening, it really is not the milestone that some 100th bloggy posts are.
I, and you too, might realize that I post much more often now than I had been before the dreaded tumor...I think this is for multiple reasons...the first is, there has been much to say as of late. The second is I have found it quite therapeutic to put my thoughts and feelings to....ummm...the Internet? Anyway, so this all being the case, I have no special, knock your socks off kinda post for you today....just my random thoughts and the recent happenings of us, the Chastain's, a not so normal, yet just regular folk like you, type of family.

The Captain starts chemo on Monday. It has the potential to make him sick and tired (no pun intended there...) and I ask that you continue to pray for his health as well as his reaction to this new drug. The hope is that if there are any tumor cells remaining, that this will, as they say, do them in. The plan is he will take 5 nights a month for 6 months. He gets another MRI in please be praying for that as well.

It hit me yesterday or the day before, I do not remember which, that my baby girl has been gone longer than when she was here. That is sad to type, but it was even more sad to realize. I cried...I am crying now.

I miss her so much. So much it hurts.

I have been sitting and looking through pictures of her and vacillating between laughter, smiles, pain and tears. It is all rolled up into one big lump of emotion. I have caught the Captain doing the same this week. I hate to see him cry. I want to fix it...but I know how it feels and it cannot be fixed. This is our life, this is our forever. The thought is too terrible to comprehend most days. I was thinking earlier this week, that most problems in life are short, and they pass. You have to "look back" on them, or try to remember exactly what happened...this is not like that.

This has no end.

I long to wake up and hear her cry in the other room. I wish it was all a bad dream and I awake to find her sweet face smiling up at me from her crib. Watch her bang one of her colorful pacifiers on the crib and talk to herself. Just to smell her sweet scent or kiss her soft cheek, or gaze at her beautiful face again...

I want her back.

I was thinking about how her brother will never know her. He will only hear stories or see pictures. Yet, they have both lived in the same room, had the same parents, been washed in the same tub. Just months apart, but still too late.

Because of all of these thoughts I have been, well, longing for heaven...more than just Heaven, I have been longing for God. I want this hurt, this pain to end. Usually when people talk about people who have suffered, I do not think about myself...I think of Job, or the martyrs in China, or people in the Sudan...but I do not usually think of me. This week I feel like I have been wounded. Maybe it is an old wound and the scab was just ripped off this week...either way. I hurt. I long for eternity with the One who can take the pain away. I think, too, why I have been wanting Heaven so much is because I know that is the only place where my babies will be together. I have these thoughts, these notions, of what it will be like when I am babies together, me watching and loving on them. But in all reality, we have no idea what heaven is going to be like. Most likely, I will be too awe struck and enamored with Christ my Savior that I will not have any eyes, or ears for other thoughts. He will be my focus....I am OK with that. Days will be full of happy worship and praise. No more tears, no more pain, no more missing my baby....

Revelation 21:4 says "and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away."

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 says "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
18Therefore comfort one another with these words
. "

I love these verses, they give me hope and strengthen my faith. I know I will be in Heaven one day, and I know He will wipe my hurt and tears away. I will be there with Caden, and others that I love. These are happy thoughts indeed. I have been reading and rereading these 2 verses over and over this week. God knew what I needed, He had written it long ago knowing I would need it this week. He has refreshed my soul and given me comfort this week, and I know He will continue to do so as long as I walk this earth.

There are a few cliche phrases that people say that will forever hold new meaning for me. The first being "worse things have happened." This is a true statement for me and my family, when I say it, I mean it.
The second is "It's not brain surgery." I love using this one now...I usually get a chuckle ( or nervous glances from people who are unsure whether or not they should laugh)
The third is "Heaven can wait." I will never utter these words. I long for the day when He comes to get me and take me home. I think it has waited long enough. I am ready...are you?

Lord, come quickly.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesdays of Praise

Hi all,

I must confess, I am tired today...and do not feel so hot. I think I am just ginormously pregnant. But, alas, I still have a month to go...exactly!

I have no deep words of incite today, no new and wondrous thoughts. I am just content to be.

And for that I praise God! I mean, seriously, if I can truly sit in my messy home, with all kinds of work to do, see pictures of my baby girl all over the place, trust that the Captain is OK at work and be incredibly uncomfortable in every position I place my over extended body, it is more than a small miracle.

God is to be praised for answering prayer and giving me comfort and peace.

Like I said nothing "life changing" today...just sweet, quiet, thankful praise to the One who can calm my soul and give me peace.

What do you Praise God for today?

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Can I just tell ya'll how much I LOVE going to church. I told the Captain this exact same thing as we were crawling into bed last night..."Tomorrow is church! I love going to church!"
The reasons for this statement of fact is many-fold...most reasons I know, but I am sure there are some reasons that even I overlook and take for granted most of the time.

Andy and his family have been going to our church since he was a little boy. I started attending when I was in middle school (the age everybody looks back on with fond memories!) He is slightly older than he was in the super-cool high school class and therefore we did not meet or really know each other until much later.

I met some of my best friends in this church...friends who are still my best friends and I still talk to once or twice a week...if not more. I know I am in a minority to have made friends when I was just a child who are still my closest friends... God knew what I needed. He knew when my life would get, ummm, difficult, I would find comfort with people who have known me since tight-rolled pants...(Hey! don't judge, I am sure you did it too!)

I became a born-again believer in this church, was baptised in this church...and then later re-dedicated my life to Christ in this church. My family has grown and become stronger, more knowledgeable Christians in this church.

I really started to study the bible and who God and Jesus really were/are/will forever be in this church. I have struggled with who I am compared to who He is. I have learned that I will always come up short. I have learned that He is always there to pull me through with His strength when I am ready to give up. I have been challenged, molded, lead and accepted in this church.

I started dating the Captain while attending this is something interesting when you date a man and spend Sunday mornings with him, your parents, his parents and everyone else you know...all staring at you wondering....are they going to make it?

I was married in this church. A great day, magical really. Not because it was the most wonderful ceremony in the history of mankind...but because it was mine. It was also the only wedding I have ever attended where EVERYONE knew one another...I mean all of our friends were mutual and our families all knew each other for years...great stuff.

I was able to go into this church and flutter around one Sunday and tell everyone I was going to have a baby. She was loved and highly anticipated long before she graced us with her presence. I was showered with gifts and hugs, belly rubs and love by all my "mom's" and Caden's "grandma's".

This church is the first place Andy and I went the day after sweet Caden died. I went in and collapsed in front of the cross (that my daddy built years before) and cried out to God in the empty sanctuary.

We held Caden's memorial service in this church. They held us in safe, soft, loving hands as we said goodbye to our baby girl. We went the very next day to Sunday service in this church...and it felt right, even thought mere hours ago we forever gave up our baby to God in the very same room.

We were able to share of God's provision and blessing in the news of our second child in this church. We were met with hugs, high-fives and tears. There was much rejoicing and praise to the One who deserves it all.

When the captain had his seizure and was in the ER. It was our church that filled the ER waiting room. (about 20 or so of them!) And it was our church who visited after we received the news of the tumor later that day.

It was in this church that the night before Andy's surgery we met for prayer...about 70-80 people, all praying for the Captain and his upcoming surgery.

It was this church that came and sat, and waited and stayed while the surgery was was this church that visited and brought food and encouragement and more prayer to us after the surgery was over.

It was in this church that I sat this morning and raised my voice in Prayer and Praise to God. This morning was a typical morning, I laughed, I cried (there is this cute baby girl who, for some reason reminds me of mine..she does not even look like Caden, but there is something in her face...anyway I started crying when I saw her, so Cristi, naturally hugged me and told me she thought the little girl looked like a hugabunch...remember those from our childhood? So then I laughed and talked about my hugabunch and the hugabunch movie which you can find...NOWHERE!...anyhoo, I digress)

It was in this church, that just this morning, I felt like I was home. Because in all reality...this church, exuding everything I have said above as well as with all of its shortcomings, and flawed my family.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Coming up Roses

When I look down I see this...

If I bend over...mostly to a 45 degree angle, I see this.
Now who is proud of me because I painted my own tootsies! It was not easy people!

Because I now look like this!

Because of all of these...

My friend Mindy was over yesterday and mentioned to me that I have a lot of fruit and I should point that out to ya'll, least ya'll believe that I only eat junk, so here, for Mindy....

Who incidentally is married to one of the wonderful guys who came over to help us paint the nursery. (in case you were wondering he is the one standing in the background pointing to a spot Nate missed...Mark is a perfectionist.) Thanks Nate and Mark for helping in a small way on something that was so hard for us.

And the title is because of roses are coming in, or up...ain't they beeUtiful?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

wouldn't ya like to know

Thanks to all who love the nursery...I do too, but it is so much fun to get positive feedback...especially since it is so -unbabyish-

For all those who asked I bought the wall decal off of It is a vinyl wall decal. I painted the white square behind it, so it is just the orange and brown colors. It might be my favorite thing about Rigg's room.
The idea spurred from the stop sign. I knew my dad had it, and I wanted to use how do you put an old faded stop sign in a baby's room...well get a bunch of other old signage and throw it all together...a "car and truck" flavored theme without actually being a theme. You see, I am anti-theme for a is just not me.

In other news. The captain and I went to see his oncologist on Monday. The type of tumor Andy has responds well to chemo, so the Dr. recommends Andy take 6 months of it. More of a preemptive strike or an error on the side of caution deal...if there are any tumor cells remaining, this should do them in. At least that is the goal. So I think the captain is leaning toward taking it. We talked about all of the risks and side effects with the Dr. and we feel comfortable we can make a wise decision. Andy wants to think and pray about it til the weekend...but I think he is leaning toward taking the chemo.

So if that is the case, we will have a baby while Andy is undergoing chemo treatments. This is not the kind of intravenous, aggressive chemo most people think of. It is a pill taken at bedtime for 5 days in a row, once a month. He should be able to go to work and do most things he normally would do. He will feel nauseous and tired for a week, then back to normal until his next round. So please pray we make the wise decision.

We see Andy's neurosurgeon this Thursday morning...I guess that would be tomorrow...where are the days going? It is just a check up...we should not be getting any new news in this area. However, I do love the captain's surgeon...So we are excited just to go and see his face again...and so I can thank him for the 7 billionth time in a row for being so wonderful as to not damage or destroy my husbands brain...ahh, blessed man!

Incidentally....have ya'll paid attention to the number of days I have left until Rigg is here? 37!!! 37!!! I silently freaked out yesterday when I noticed the number...then I quickly became depressed for how much smaller that number is than my be skinny again, or at least to not cringe when I know I will have to bend over and pick something up...or stand up, or sit down, or have to pee again...really, you name it, it hurts when I do it. To be pain day, one day.

So there you are for the "all you really ever wanted to know but really didn't" about the Chastain's...however, since I did get an, how shall I put it, reprimand, from a friend about not posting news so she would know. I thought it best to keep ya'll updated.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesdays of Praise

I was thinking about who Rigg will be. Or, I guess a better way to put it is what he will be like. His personality...his likes and dislikes, his mannerisms...who will he be like...who has God made him to be. What will he grow up to do...this sort of thing.

As I was considering all of the possibilities, from drag racer to opera singer and many in between (like a basketball star that his daddy could be proud of or a great chef so he could cook his mama great food and she could grow old, fat and happy!). I concluded that no matter what he is,or will be. I pray he will be a man of God. He is one lucky little guy...he has a great example in his papa.

I was pondering all of these fun and amusing things when I thought...God already knows...SO COOL. I will not find out for years...and God already knows every word Rigg will say, every thought, every ambition, dream and goal...He knows Rigg more than I ever will. I just love that! God knows me that well too...better than I know myself. (Which is not a far stretch...I keep learning new things about would think, seeing as I live with me and am with me all day...I would know myself better.)

Today I praise God for being all knowing and loving me anyway. I praise Him for the depths of His understanding and how wondrous He is. He continues to show me how much bigger, how much more powerful, how much MORE He is.

Thank you Father, for my son. May he be a man after your heart...a man striving to become more like you everyday. Show him who you are.

Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
5 You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, [a] you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,"
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to [b] me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.When I awake,I am still with you.
19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD, and abhor those who rise up against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

a small glimpse

So We have been hard at work on Rigg's room. It is NOT DONE. So the pictures in this post are only a small glimpse of the final project. There is still TONS of trash, odds and ends, and other miscellaneous objects floating around in there. So please...keep that in mind as you see what we have been up to.

Here is the Captain helping paint the first stripe.
Here is me...doing just about the same thing.
Here is my dad...showing off the wonderful job he did of hanging the signs above Rigg's crib.
The crib in place with all the UNWASHED bedding...I just had to see what it would look like!

A super fun rug we found for the room.

A fabulous wall decal with our sons name displayed.

Now here is the decal with the license plates surrounding it.

More signage above the changing table.

The sign in the corner used to be on a power plant wall about a million years ago.
Dad took it for himself because he thought it was so funny...I love it too.

Well, that is what we have done for now...hope you liked it. I will post more pictures later when other things are accomplished. We have a small table going under the window and other fun objects going into the room...but we will have to be patient...very large pregnant women can only do so much at one time.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

And then I peed a little

So Friday night the Captain and I were lounging on the sofa. We had just been out dodging the raindrops to run a few errands (I bought some super fun fabric to stitch neckties onto some of Riggs onsies..FUN!) bought some dairy queen and we were, as I said, lounging, just finishing the wonderful creamy deliciousness off. We were trying to decide what late Friday night show was worthy of our attentions when the Captain spoke up and said "Do you want to take a walk tonight?".

I distinctly remember thinking. The man's gone mad! He can not be serious. We were just out. It is POURING down rain. Not to mention it is pitch black and almost 10 pm...a walk?!?! Perhaps the new medication is messing with his we need to call the Dr.? Mad, mad, I tell you!

So I replied as casually as I could "Captain, I do not think a walk is such a good idea tonight."

To which he replies (sitting up, turning around and staring me straight in the face with that look that tells me he is trying very hard to keep a straight face) " I said, 'Do you want to tape the walls tonight?'"

You see, we are still finishing off the stripes in Rigg's room, so we need to tape them off...ahh it is all coming together. I must have temporarily turned into my mother (she is all the time having issues like this, hearing one thing...people stating another. It is rather amusing to watch...)

I laughed. Man, did I laugh. I laughed so hard my belly hurt. I laughed harder then I had in a long, long time. So hard in fact I realized...

I peed a little.

Friday, May 15, 2009

I hate the crinkle paper table

I had a Dr. apt. this morning. I was to see a partner of my "normal" doc. They are all nice ladies so I had no anxiousness...not that I usually do, you see I am a pretty calm and rational person most of the time.(my friend Julie has said before that I am too rational to be a woman...whatever that means...) This is why I state that I have turned into a crazy lady at times, because it is SO very much against my nature to worry or be is all a new feeling for me, and, incidentally...I HATE IT!!!

So I was sitting in the lovely room on the obnoxiously loud crinkle paper table, wondering what the 2 chocolate chip muffins I crammed into my mouth at 6 am would do to my blood sugar, when the song came on. I mean a local soft rock radio station should not induce fear or worry in most sane persons...but as we have already established...I am no longer one of those persons... I am OTHER.

So the song came on...when it started I thought...OK Cari, you can do not listen to the words. Think of something else...a Dr. you do not know is coming in anytime...She will see the will have to explain, only making it harder to stop the crying...

But, alas, it was not to be. The tears started anyway. Blast that Martina McBride and her beautiful song...Blast that some of the words used to mean tears for another reason...Blast! Blast! Blast! So there I am crying, snotting, red blotchy faced thinking, at least I am not in the "big" waiting room making a scene. Then In my Daughters Eyes ended. I dried my eyes while Stevie Wonder sang to me that he just called to say he loves me... (how nice) just long enough for me to compose myself before Doc comes in. I must have done a bang up job because she said nothing...didn't even do a double take. Good Job, did it! We chat, talk about how I am feeling.

Then she says it...I may have stopped crying, but I cannot avoid awkwardness this visit...I should have seen it coming. "So this is your first baby?" No, it is my second. "oh, really?" Long pause to check file..."OH! I know who you are." Sad, very apologetic eyes turn my way. "I am SO sorry." It is OK.

But really it isn't. I do not think it will ever be OK...but she needn't know that. Well, she probably already knows it, but she needn't hear it. I hate the crinkle paper brings nothing but noise, and uncomfortableness, physical... and today...emotional.

So then both of us, searching for a way to sidestep the big pile of awkward we had made, started talking about Rigg...a great subject if I do say so myself. I said he feels a lot bigger than the last time I was in...I feel HUGE! She measured, I am measuring 2 weeks ahead. So because I am measuring big, and I am feeling him SO much more than just a few short weeks ago...I GET ANOTHER ULTRASOUND!!! YEAH! We get to see little bit again! I am stoked. So in a couple weeks we get to view him again as well as see how big he is. I can't wait. But it looks like I will have to.

God was good to me today. I had a small breakdown, an awkward moment, then was given the gift of seeing my son, albeit, in the future, but still, I get to see him. I left the office happy and content. I thanked Jesus for protecting me from the tear streaked confession I had envisioned giving the Doc as I was crying, and praised Him for the extra-long wait today, as it gave me time to compose myself.

As I drove away from the Dr.s office, I thought of Caden, of how much I love her, and how much I miss her...but I didn't cry. Jeremy Camps' There Will be a Day was on the radio, so I thought of my daughters eyes and how I will see them again.

Thank you, Father, for Hope. It got me through this morning.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I shall prevail

So the last two nights I have had weird dreams...really weird dreams. I think it might be the sugar I am ingesting while watching shows RIGHT BEFORE to counter this effect I will eat no more oatmeal cream pies (before bed) forever. Or at least tonight.

And since I have no will power whatsoever. I have been working at finishing off the box all day worries, I am a woman of integrity, I will accomplish what I set out to do. Those cream pies do not stand a chance.

And I wonder, as I look at photographs of my very pregnant self, why I have no chin...or I guess why I have 2 or 3 chins, just no jawline to save my life.

Ahh well...cream pies here I come.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesdays of Praise

1. the act of expressing approval or admiration; commendation; laudation.
2. the offering of grateful homage in words or song, as an act of worship: a hymn of praise to God.
3. the state of being approved or admired: The king lived in praise for many years.

These past few days I find the tears are just below the surface. One second I am fine, completely unaware that I even have the urge to burst into hot,crazy, uber-emotional hysterics...and just one thought, one word from someone, one memory, one nothing...can send me in a fast "sinking to earth".

Have these past few days been bad ones...nope. Just normal, if not fairly good days...with a side of sorrow and grief. But I think this is a garnish I have on my plate for sometime to come. It may not be the main course, or even a side..but it is there all the same.

I have to check myself sometimes, lest I fall into a downward spiral and my day becomes one of selfishness and a woe-is-me attitude...I do not mind feeling sad at times, or even to sit and just remember my baby girl...but there is a huge difference between remembering, feeling grief, emoting and feeling sorry for myself and my family. When I start down that dangerous road I give myself a mental slap and re-direct. Sometime I have to physically go do something else, go somewhere else, change the radio station or even call a friend just to talk about their lives...not mine.

I was thinking of this phenomenon this morning while I was crying over a comment some sweet lady left for me...and I decided this is what Tuesdays of Praise is all about for me.

God has given me this life...and I can choose to praise Him in my grief and sorrow...or choose to wallow in self pity. I can let Him hold me aloft in times of hardship...or I can sink into the muck of bitterness and anger. I can allow Him to listen to my hurt and know He understands or I can isolate myself from God and others with the thoughts that no one understands.

I praise God today for the provision He has given me in friends, family and Himself to help me through these some 346 times a day where tears are just around the bend. I Praise Him for His ability to understand and comfort me in His way and timing. I praise Him for always reminding me of the right perspective.

Mostly I praise Him today because I know, this pain and sorrow will end. I will someday see my baby girl again, and when that day arrives I will cry no more tears, I will slam no more doors, I will run to no more bathrooms to escape...I will fall on my face in praise and honor of the One who deserves all I can give.

And that day, my friends, will be the sweetest day indeed.

Lord, come quickly.

Monday, May 11, 2009


I am feeling slightly overwhelmed. This is such a broad statement, I bet many of you are what areas is this charming young lady feeling such discontent? Well, since you asked, I will share.

My house is running away from me with mess all over it! Kitchen needs cleaned(bleached is more like) and the whole house needs a good "pick -up and put away" session. My bedroom has become a dumping ground for all that is to be hidden from the world...because we know how much the world comes to call at my door. I am still stuck with the scads of baby Rigg paraphernalia in the what room is in order? you ask...none of them. This could be the reason for the overwhelmed feeling mentioned above.

I still have a fair amount to do on my list (of things to do before baby comes). The armoir has been moved (thank you Nate and Mark) and Riggs room painted, (again, thanks to Nate and Mark) I have put a new clothes bar in my closet...and closets have been moved, well the clothes have been moved around...(Thanks Cristi!) Andy and I have started the stripes in Riggs room, but are not yet finished. I have a dear friend who has offered (and I accepted) to sew up the fun floor pillows for Riggs room.(thanks Joyce)
I have laundry to do.
I have a bible study to finish.
I have groceries to put away.
I have lunch and dinner to make.
I have to sit and prop my feet up, because, lets face it...I am tired already and all I have done is list the things that need to be done.

My to do list is overwhelming today.

Let us take a min, and thank the Lord that I married a man that understands, and lets things slide. Some of this will be done when he gets home...but most of it will not. And he will not complain, or even mention it..I love him!

When I was at the store this morning I kept has been a long time since I was at the grocery during the day...a really LONG TIME!
I passed the cashier I used to go to every Tuesday morning with Caden. She would always smile and talk to me and Caden...I rushed past and tried not to cry. Then I went to the baby section to view the pacifier section. (I have this slightly insane habit of matching the babies pacifiers to their outfit...Caden had something like 12 pacifiers in all different colors and she would use the one most suited to the outfit we had picked out that morning...I mean come is their only should match!) I am looking for a red one for Rigg...I already have blue (navy,dark and light) white, orange, green and even some with His name on them...I would like a red one, but the only ones I find ( I like the MAM brand) are girly ones. Anyhoo...long tangent later....I passed the diapers and baby food and remembered coming to the store and chatting with Caden about what kinda food she would want...I ran out of this section of the store trying not to the overwhelmed feeling followed me there too. Hard questions are always answered at the checkout counter when they ever so kindly ask if this (gesturing to my 45" waist) is my first old is your other?...she was 8 mo.s...was?...

you get the picture.

Some days the store overwhelms me.

Some days I go back and read my old posts...just so I can remember what I said. I re-read the comments, and when I want to lose myself in the ever-expanding world wide web, I check out all of your blogs. I am continually blown away with how many of you not only leave me a wonderful comment about praying for me, but post about my family on your blog asking others for prayer...I My family?...really? Incredible. Thank you does not seem enough.

Some days the body of Christ overwhelms me.

Incidentally if I could ever return the favor...please let me. I would love to pray for you and your family. Leave a prayer request in comment form, or send me an email. I would be honored.

P.S. Leah...I LOVED seeing you in the store are not one of the people I dread seeing. You are always a joy!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Always my Mama

In Honor of the special day that awaits all mothers and mothers to be...a little about my mom.

She is always in Heels. I suppose she feels the need because she is only just five feet tall…on a good day. Her red hair has always made her stand out from a crowd (which, I am certain she is ever so pleased about!) as well as her outgoing, effervescent personality. She is always on the move. If the pace is not 120 miles an hour, than we are moving a bit too slowly. Even with an inseam of 23” I have to semi-run to keep up with the clickity-clack of the heels when walking beside her. And let me tell you…my legs are a lot longer than hers. Loquacious is a good word to use for her, well, love of the spoken word. If there is a silence, and she is around, it will not stand a chance. She will beat the silence to death until someone restrains her…but this is a trait I would not ever change…possibly because I too love to talk. High-strung would be a word often used to describe her…but in the best possible way you can use that word. She LOVES her children…She needed about 10 more. So she adopted them from her daughters friends and made them hers. When said adopted children get married, have kids of their own, or go through a hard time…she cries like it is her own baby. Speaking of crying…she does this a lot. Sometimes it is because she is sad. But she also cries when she is mad, hurt, frustrated, touched, confused, happy, at commercials…songs…worship in Church…a hug from a friend. The woman has more liquid contained in her small body than one would think…maybe an overactive tear duct or two as well. Her emotions are a defining characteristic of her life…a reason people love her so much…as well as stare at her like she is a “crazy lady”. A trait that has recently been discovered to be contagious. She is creative, always looking for a way to use something in a new way…because heaven forbid we throw it away. She is resourceful. Always there when she is needed, even if she has to seriously rearrange her schedule. A tender heart that is easily moved, as said before, to tears by someone’s story…a comfort and encourager if I ever saw one. She has recently developed a new characteristic of being a tiny rock under pressure…a characteristic I see becoming stronger and stronger. She inspires many, loves more and desires to excel in all areas, even at the cost of sleep…who needs sleep at 3 am when QVC is selling beautiful jewelry and the sofa would surely look better on the opposite side of the room?
Always moving.
Always helping.
Always loving.
Always my Mama.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ramblings and whatnot

So, I must try to keep you all updates on things I say I will. You know, I do try to be a woman of my word. As it turns out I DO NOT have high blood sugar...HEY!!!! HElllllooooooo golden Oreos!

I am getting ever so much bigger with the impending arrival of my son. My waistband ever widening, my stomach ever protruding, the comments never ceasing...

You might notice the new text I have over to the side that says, For Nate: followed by a date and a number...the number is the inches around I have now accumulated. 43! 43!, you say...well do not get too overheated, I was 48 inches in circumference with my daughter Caden...on my due date. And I was a tish bit overdue by the time she graced us with her presence. So, I have 7 weeks left after tomorrow and 5 inches...will I make it? Will I get bigger? Stay smaller? Who knows, all I know is I am still big enough right now to get some hysterical looks when I tell people I still have 7 weeks left....that is right folks, it just gets bigger and more ridiculous from here.

Andy is doing well in his first week back full time at work. He is EXHAUSTED when he gets home...but making it through all the same. I am so proud of him. I know it would be easier to take some half days and sleep in the afternoons...but he really wants to get his energy level back up...and I dare say it is working. He was in the greatest mood yesterday. Laughing and joking, and poking fun of my "crazy" just like old times. (we were laying in bed and I said, would yo listen to is after 10 pm and there are birds chirping...he mutes the TV and says, I do not hear birds...TV back you do not hear those birds?...muted TV...him: nope (slight smile) TV back there they are, there are birds chirping Andy!...him: sideways glance: Cari...they are on the TV!, oh.)

It is such a pleasure to experience God in new ways through this journey he has placed the Captain and me in. When I was in high school planning my future, you know, big beautiful house, healthy kids...some sort of fame and money...very shallow, material, dreams. I NEVER would have pictured my life as it is now. Cute, modest home, a baby girl who awaits me in heaven, a husband that has been through brain surgery, pregnant and babysitting a 5 month old...this was not my plan. But it was Gods. Why? you ask? I do not know...nor do I care why. I am daily learning to be content with what I have been given, as well as what God has planned for me. Trying to learn from the little well as the big. I have seen God work in ways I never could have imagined.

When I was sitting in the hospital talking to a friend on the phone, informing her of Andy's surgery updates and things...thinking secretly to myself...can this really be happening? She told me she told a friend of our situation, who told a friend...who was able to share the gospel with another friend because of "our story"!!! It was just what I needed to hear. God using seemingly impossible situations for HIS GLORY! This is what I cling to on days when life seems cloudy, when my way seems undetermined...God is using this. My life is for His use...not mine. My "story" was written by Him....not me. He has the right to begin,edit, rewrite, twist, and end any chapter of my life He chooses... He is the author of life.

I just have to let Him...hmmm, easier said than done at times.

I know I have failed, but I also know God is bigger than my failures. He can use even those to reach other people. My prayer is that He is able to use me in obedience more than He will use my failures.

I was thinking yesterday how thankful I am that this life is so temporary. I pray everyday for His return. I cannot wait to live forever in a place where I am in the presence of God and have no more pain, tears, or fears. No matter if it is tomorrow, or in 60 + years...I will be with Caden again.

Lord may it be sooner than later, Come quickly.

Until then, the captain and I will try to glorify Christ with our life, teach our son to know and follow him...and enjoy as many golden Oreos as I can manage!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tuesdays of Praise

5 years ago this July 10th, the Captain and I said " I do" (or it might have been an "I will") in front of 200 + guests at our home church. It was a lovely day...except for the torrential downpour.
The day started out sunshiny and dazzling. However, when my dad and I were waiting outside the doors (you know the ones, the ones where they open them with a flourish and everyone gasps in awe and amazement at the blushing bride...or something to that effect) anyhoo...we were waiting outside said doors and I looked out the front windows of the church. Black as black could be, my friends. Then came the ground shaking thunder...this was only a problem because OUR RECEPTION WAS SUPPOSED TO BE OUTSIDE!!!!

I distinctly remember waiting for the "enter music" with dad and thinking...oh well, at the end of today I am going to be married...rain or shine. (as well as we are all going to stay in this building and do nothing but stare at each other while my beautiful wedding cake gets soggy and drips to the pavement not 10 minutes away! ...but this is not the thought we will focus on.) Then the song Blessed Be Your Name started to play itself out in my head. I sang that song to myself while I waited to be given away to the Captain...little did I know at that time how much more the song would come into play in my life.

I had always loved that song...the words always touched something deep in me that other songs failed to do. I always wanted to mean the live them out.

This is why it is the very first song I thought of when Andy and I were picking music for our precious baby girls memorial service (funeral sounded way to harsh there...)

So on September 27th 2008 our church filled up with friends, family and loved ones to honor the life of my Caden. And together we sang the song that I sang on another Saturday in that exact same church some 4 and a half years earlier for a much happier reason. Yet, it still fit perfectly for both occasions, and it still remains one of my very favorite songs. I have nothing but good memories attached to it...even if some of them are "saying goodbye" memories, they are still sweet.
So today, I praise God for all that He has given, and all that He Has taken away.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.

(I tried to get the song on my playlist so you could hear it...blasted iTunes kept shutting read the words, and if you want to look it up yourself, it is by Matt Redman.)

Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be
'Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

What are you praising God for today?

Monday, May 4, 2009

The crazy lady

Have you met her...I know for a fact some of you have....others have only heard about her. She is sly and sneaky, that crazy lady. She looks completely normal most of the time, even, dare I say it, fashionable. She speaks well and organizes her thoughts properly in front of "the public" so she is hard to spot...but you would recognize her when and if you ever saw her.
You see, the crazy lady looks harmless enough, but when she emerges, all you can do is stare at her with wide eyes and an expression that says..."who are you?"
I have witnessed firsthand her insane acts and crazy ways. You would think she would at least try to hide or cover-up her kookiness...but alas, she slips up and it all comes boiling over the top at times. These are the times when the stare comes into play, as well as the distinct thought...I wish I had not just witnessed that!
She is relatively new to me...such a different sort of woman from the one I used to know. This crazy lady is fine and dandy one minute and the next is sobbing like a baby at a song on the radio. Sometimes it takes her hours to regain all of her former composure. During those hours...she even continues to go out in public...before she went crazy, this never would have happened. I mean, have you seen a blond without mascara? The crazy lady used to value good make-up application as well as a hairdo that is wind resistant. She never used to stand in the rain and stare at the sky or gaze blankly at pictures without realizing what she was doing. Now, once the crazy hits, she cares not...who is this woman who throws caution to the wind with her face looking red and splotchy in, dare I say it...a room FULL of people? Nay, not just people...STRANGERS!
She has become increasingly forgetful. Packing bags which are needed for the day and then rushing out the door without said bag she spent the last 10 minutes getting ready. Leaving empty 2 liter bottles in the fridge. Forgetting clean laundry in the washer for days at a time...having to rewash (I mean have you ever smelled that?) Telling her friends she would call...totally forgetting they ever had a conversation in the first place...I tell ya people...she is nuts.
Her antics may be few and far between, but random as they are, they can be pretty frustrating for those around her. You have not even seen the crazy she puts her poor husband through. All the man wants is a good nights sleep and she cannot even settle down enough to leave him alone. She has improved slightly, at least she no longer wakes him up just to see if he is all she does is sit up and stare at him to make sure his breathing is nice and even. Or on nights when she is really tired, she places her hand on his back or chest to feel the steady rise and fall.
Poor Andy. He has recently come to realize he lives with and, gulp, sleeps next to, the crazy lady.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Medical jargon made simple

So I have been lax these last few days in getting all the info out from our various Dr.'s appointments. I am sorry, Internet...please forgive.

Andy had an appointment with an oncologist a few days ago. It was informative as well as not so much...let me explain. He was very nice, as well as very technical (to some this is me, it goes right over my head....I need layman's terms. I want them to pretend they are talking to a kindergartner...then I might get it.) We did find out the name of the Captains tumor...other than "The Tumor" which we have lovingly referred to it is an Oligodendroglioma. Yes, folks, that is really a word...I do not know the country of origin, nor will I repeat it or use it in a sentence. These are the types of tumors that can be dealt with one of 2 ways...we do not have the results of the pathology yet (the one that would tell us if the tumor would react well to chemo or not). However, the Doc said even if it came back as that type of tumor...he would not put the Captain on chemo right away. He would wait until an MRI came back abnormal...if it ever did. This is the outcome we are praying for...that it never returns...scratch that...we are praying Jesus comes the case where He does not come back in our lifetime, and we are made to live out our days here on this earth...we pray it never comes back. So the PLAN is to watch it...Andy will have MRI's every 4-6 months for the next 5 years....then maybe longer in between if everything looks fine.
It is kinda like having a little black raincloud hanging over your head threatening rain...we will learn to live with the shadiness as well as always have our umbrella handy. It is always good to be prepared when the rain comes...if it comes, let us all continue to pray for sunny skies.

On this past Thursday we went to IU/Riley to speak with a specialist regarding Caden's death...or really Riggs life...again, let em explain. They have found nothing, and will not find anything conclusive about Cadens death. This Doc has a theory...but that is all it can come to because what they have of her tissue samples to study, tells them nothing, but does hint at clues of what MIGHT have been. She could have had a metabolic disease...but she just as easily could not have had one...I know, really helpful. What they can do is test Rigg after he is born for some of theses diseases to make sure he is not a carrier. If he is...then it will depend on what they find, if anything, to see what we would do. Some of these diseases are controlled with diet, others with enzyme shots, and still others there is no cure...but these (all of them, mind you) are extremely rare. The doc we saw is a specialist...the only one in the state. And he thinks if Caden had a metabolic disease (and they cannot prove she did) then being sick, eating not so normally, and sleeping longer periods (thereby fasting) could have caused her to go into a seizure because of low blood sugar...he said it was really kind of like setting up the perfect storm...but this is all a theory. SO, what we do with this info, is like I have stated previously. We look ahead to Rigg...and test him. With prayers that everything comes back negative and he is healthy as a horse...or just a healthy baby boy...either is fine by, boy...I will take it! All metabolic diseases are kinda rare, and the doc assured us more than once, we did all we could have for Caden, and we, nor any Dr. was to blame...nice to hear, but we have already made our peace with that.
Thursday was a very hard day for Andy and I...we had to recount EVERYTHING about my pregnancy, birth, care and death of Caden. It as extremely emotional and just an all around heavy day.
At one point I addressed the counselors we were talking to, saying Andy was very tired and I would be doing most of the talking, not mentioning his recent, ahem...medical ailment. However, we had to complete what is called a pedigree (a chart detailing our family tree and their health issues) I completed their questions about my side, then they proceeded to the Captain...the first question...How is your overall health. We just looked at each other and laughed...the truth came out. He had brain surgery 3 weeks ago. Their mouths flew open and disbelief clouded their expressions...priceless.

I had a Dr. appointment on Thursday looks as if my blood sugar might be high...I have to go back in on Monday morning and take a 2 hour fasting blood sugar test...pray that it was a fluke ( I passed my glucose test just 2 weeks ago) If it is not, and I have high blood sugar, I will have to say farewell to my newest love...the Golden Oreo. And yet, if that is to be the case...I can say with much certainty, and absolutely no sarcasm...worse things have happened.