Thursday, December 31, 2009

God knew what He was doing.

Another year behind us...a new one starting before we can blink. It takes awhile to process a whole year. More time then I have these days.

I have enjoyed 2009. I have loathed 2009. I have laughed and cried through 2009 and I plan on looking back on this past year with slack-jawed amazment at what God has done.

As a Christmas gift for our parents I turned my blog into a book. I added only 4 extra writings. The one posted below is the first page of the book. It sums up how I feel about I do about my life,

God knew what He was doing.

It started out so great, this life we started together. Wonderful wedding, the purchase of a new house…a dog. Then one day the news of an impending birth. A little girl. Happy grandmas and grandpas to be…even happier parents to be. Into the world came a gorgeous, plump, dark haired little wonder. Whose child was this? So chubby, so dark …so perfect. It was a continuation of something started long ago…a happy, wonderful life.

Then on an ordinary day, a sunny, warm, perfectly normal day, she went to Heaven. We all thought it was a little early for her to go. We were supposed to go first. It is the natural progression of things, but God knew what He was doing.

Just 4 short weeks later, a promise of hope arrived in the form of a new little life to anticipate and rejoice in. This time a baby boy. A chance to revel in all things blue. It was time to wrap our minds around trucks, balls and sports…to carefully balance joy and grief. A hard thing to do. But God knew what He was doing.

Suddenly the world was shaking. Fast. Hard. Wait, not the world. Just a man. A man who was supposed to be OK, strong, healthy. He was shaken not only in body…but rocked to the very core at the words “large mass” and “brain surgery.” Really, God? Now? But God knew what He was doing.

Recovery seemed difficult and trying at the time. Looking back it is but a blip on the radar scale. Flying colors is a good cliché to use for those 3-4 weeks. He sailed through occupational and speech therapy. He was back to his “old self” in no time. Recovery over…chemo ahead, 6 months. God knew what He was doing.

Baby boy arrived. Huge and perfect. He grew even bigger…and bigger. All smiles, belly laughs and a lover of football…already. He is a perfect balm for wounds still open. A hope for the future, a joy for today. God knew what He was doing.

It started out so great, this life we started together. It has run a different course than we planned. A different road was taken …a path less traveled by. It started out so great, so wonderful … and it continued to be so, because God knows what He is doing.

And even though you know the story from beginning to, well, present day. Here it is, in book form. Read, again, from the beginning. Laugh, cry, run your hands over the glossy pages of our precious baby girl, but in the end, look to Heaven and praise God for all the wonderful things He has done. Because He knows what He is doing.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Breakdown 101

To successfully achieve this particular breakdown you will need the following: One exhausted mom, one sick babe, and a fairly recent crisis involving another sick baby.
Once all are accounted for you are on your way.

First the baby must be ill. Lots of nasty coughing resulting in poor attitude and general all-around unpleasantness. Add a low grade fever and some cough/gag induced vomiting and you are off to a good start. The uncomfortable ness of the cough and fever will cause said baby to wake multiple times in the middle of the night. This, in turn, will cause the mother to become very tired and “fed-up” with the situation in general. Add to this the constant worry about the child and his health because of past experiences and you are on your way.

Once all factors have come into play it is just a waiting game. A fussy baby who has just vomited on his mother who is dressed and ready to out to lunch with an out of town friend is sure to speed up the process. After calling to cancel and changing the baby for the 47th time the mother will most likely snap at her husband in a very unladylike and unchristian way. She should then proceed to storm about the house with angry/distraught tears streaming down her face.

When she gathers enough of herself together to try and feed the baby again she will begin the actual breakdown itself. Sobs and copious amounts of tears will present themselves as she sits on the floor of the nursery feeding the baby. Once baby is asleep she will slump out of the room with the energy and go-getting attitude of a sloth.

When eyes are red-rimmed and all the tears have been shed, you can consider the breakdown a success. Congratulations! You have just completed your first baby-is-sick-and-you-have-had-enough breakdown!

Once breakdown has occurred there are many things one could do as a follow up. The mother could sit and wallow in a self-induced pity party. She could become angry that this has happened and stomp about the area at hand slamming and throwing things. She could declare loudly that she needs some air and go out into the sub-degree weather for a walk. Or, if she is like our most recent subject, she could sniff her way into her bedroom, look sadly at her husband and cry some more saying she is tired and does not like it when her son is sick. If the mother follows this last option she will find loving arms and an encouraging pep talk. As well as a “get dressed and go meet your friend, it is not too late…I will take care of him.”

The mother will then swell with gratitude and love towards her husband. As she is gone having a wonderful lunch with said friend, the baby gets a well deserved, extra long nap and is in great spirits by the time the mother gets home. Extra prayers for the health of the baby and thanks to God for the provision of a loving husband and reprieve from worry and fear are a good way to end on an upswing.

Although worry and fear are a side effect of most child-is-sick induced breakdowns, it does not have to be. A good dose of trust in God’s character and scripture will keep them at bay.

Good luck!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A big hit

Ahh, another Christmas is past and this year it was wonderful.

You may be wondering about my mom and her new coat...

It was a big hit!

And so goes all my hard work, oh well, it was worth it!

Another big hit... my new slippers! ( I am super excited aout these because my old ones aided in my recent trip...down my basement stairs. New slippers! yeah!!!)

Presents were a big hit for the big Rigg...he was surprizingly into it. He enjoyed watching the wrapping paper being torn and seeing what was inside.

I have been working on our parents presents for months. I turned my blog into a book. I designed the cover and did every page took forever. I was so stoked when they came in I did a happy dance in my living room. Needless to say, the books...a big hit!

But the biggest hit of all this Christmas... was this little guy.

 We are so grateful to God for our family. Although Caden was missed greatly we rejoiced and thanked our Savoir for what we have. Our friends, our family and most importantly the promise of forever with Him. On that day the celebrating will far surpass any we have ever known.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I wonder if she will know...

Every year my dad asks me to shop for my mom. He gives me cash or card and sends me on my merry way to buy his presents for her. He is a great gift giver...but I think all the hustle and bustle this time of year keeps him from doing it himself. He is just not the type of guy to go to a crowded mall by himself and shop.

I look forward to it every year. My mom is fun to shop for, and because I have great taste, she is always very stylish after the holidays. :)

This year was no different. I got the cash and was ready to go, then I got an email from my mom. She asked me to tell dad that she would like a dress coat. OK, since I already had the $, and I was doing the shopping...dress coat noted.

The Captain was gracious enough to give up a date night and go to the mall and shop for my mom with me...he is a great guy!  I had in mind the kind of coat I wanted to get my mom...but right before I purchased it I thought "I better call her and make sure this is what she had in mind.".  So with all the stelth of a bull in a china shop I called and asked vauge questions about what she might want...I bought what I already had in my hand.

As I lay in bed that night a brilliant thought came to mind. If she already knows what dad is getting her...why not make if fun? So the next day I spent an hour and a half making my master piece. Just so you know...the coat is a beautiful winter white...but whan I was done it was a lovely shade of gold wrapping paper.


When I was finished the new wrapped coat sported wrapping paper pockets, wrapping paper buttons and a wrapping paper coller...oh and cuffs! It was excellent!

I wonder, when I bring it over on Christmas, if she will know what it is?

(Incidentally, I made my mom promise she wouldn't look at the blog until after Christmas...)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

I have been doing better...not worrying SO much. Thank you for all of your kind words of encouragement and means ALOT!

Rigg is doing well. He is so smily and happy. This evening he entertained the room at large with giggles galore.

And my joy overflowith.

I was putzing around the house this morning. Getting very little done, to be honest. I went in to check on Rigg during his nap and found a sweet surprize. He has recently been reaching out and grabbing at obejects that are within his reach. He must have been playing a bit before he fell asleep because when I went in to check on him he was hugging a toy doggy. It was so sweet, I ran out to get the camera. He had moved a little bit by the time I got back, but I snapped a photo anyway...the sound and flash made him jump a little in his sleep...I immediatly hit the ground so he wouldn't see me and duck-walked out of the room. I laughed at my nerdyness. But I got the pic!

The Captain just informed me that for my Christmas present he is taking me to a very fancy shmancy hotel and out to eat tomorrow night. SUPER EXCITED!!! This is the first time EVER we have left a child overnight. We never did it with Caden (never had a reason to) and have not yet left the big Rigg. I am torn between elation over sleeping in and nervousness about being away from the babe...I think the sleep will win out in the end!
And then it is Christmas...where has time gone?!?!?!?

I love Christmas. It evokes warm, cuddly memories in me. I absolutly soak up the day itself. All the time sitting and laughing with family...and all the food...ahh, heaven on earth....
I am so thankful to have a Christian family, both mine and Andy's. It is wonderful to get together and share the same thoughts and feelings about the Holiday. To read the Christmas pray and worship together on a day set aside to remember the baby, the baby who came to save us all. A baby who grew into a man who died on a cross for my sin. He took the penalty for my sin, my shame and because of His work I can live forever in Heaven. I am greatful for the baby. I am in awe of the way God chose to save the world. At Christmas I rejoice in the begining of the story that is still being written in the hearts of believers until His return.

And as I have said before...what a glorious day that will be.

I love Christmas, because it is not about me, it is all about Jesus and what He has done.

Merry Christmas and much love and peace to you this year.

Monday, December 21, 2009


I will not lie, it has been hard. Rigg being sick, that is. He is getting better. In fact, he is 200 times better then he was before I took him to the Dr. just a week ago. Although we have been out and about, doing the things we usually would do, in my mind I have been a hot mess. I have fought a losing battle of worry and fear. Every time I pray and ask God to give me peace, I worry about him directly afterward…I know this is a battle Christ can/has won…but I am not embracing the victory.

Rigg started solids, got a cold, and ear infection all at the same time. So his eating habits have changed dramatically. I have vacillating between “do you think he is eating enough?” and “let it go Cari, just relax…he knows when he is hungry and when you are trying to feed him too much.” I make up my mind not to worry about it any more, trust God to take care of my baby and give me the wisdom I need to care for him, and no sooner do I finish thinking of my newfound freedom of worriless ness then I am wondering if he has eaten enough today… I have, consequently, asked every mom I know of a small babe how much their child eats…and then tried to weigh the information accordingly.

I just want to make sure I am giving him enough….however it does not matter how much I offer if he refuses to take it. Each day this past week has looked slightly different as far as feedings go. He is getting better, I think…He is acting fine, smiling and laughing like normal, and having plenty of wet diapers. So why am I worried? I DO NOT KNOW! He is just eating differently and slightly less then he once was.

And the fear has gripped my heart and will not let go.

I know in my head the way I chose to raise and feed Caden had nothing to do with her death…but by clinging to some small area of control over my son, I feel I can keep him safe, healthy…here.
I have had it up to my eyeballs with worrying about his food intake. I know some of you probably think this is silly…I am right there with ya, folks! I am being ridiculous. I cannot make him eat…I cannot control his health…and when I think about it logically he is within all healthy parameters for a child his age and size…

So my worry and fear over his food intake and health is CRAZY and a totally lack faith in God to take care of me and my family. I am trying to do it myself.

and it. is.exhausting.

I feel like with everything I have been through this past year and a half I should know I can trust God, I should be able to willingly and easily hand over the reigns of my life to Him…and each and everyday I find it hard…I find it a challenge. I want to. Oh, the freedom that comes with trusting and leaning on our Savoir…the simple bliss of knowing He is taking care…and I do not have to.

Let it go, Cari…

And all I can say for today…this moment, is, I am trying…

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Half a year

6 Months!!!

That's how old the Big Rigg is today.

I cannot believe it. Well, I can, he is HUGE and stuff. And of the cutest little tykes EVER...just sayin'...

Not sure of the actual statistics yet...but last Monday when we went to the Dr. he was 20 lbs with clothes on...still livin' up to the name!

Rigg is such a blessing and joy. I love him so much. (understatement of the year)

We were so unsure of what having a boy was going to be like...God really knows what He is doing!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Are you ready for some

To answer your question Jen...we are HUGE fans. Tonight the Colts play in Thursday night football...
GO Horse!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Longest picture post ever.

Rigg is doing be perfectly honest...he was never terrible. He is acting more like himself, I think the medicine is doing it's job.
Thank you for all the prayers and verses you sent my way. I cannot tell you how much it means to have the prayers of friends.
I will keep you posted on Rigg's progress...but we seem to be on a definite upswing. the post...

This past Saturday, we went to see Santa, and then had our first Family Christmas. It was with my Dad's extended family gathering. We do not usually do it so early...but this is what worked best for everyones schedules. So we gathered and ate, and ate and ate...
Oh and we let the kids open presents...

I do love my family.(this is the biggest understatement...I look forward to family gatherings so much I am bouncy and giggly days before they are to occur...) It is nice to look forward to family gatherings and know that you are going to enjoy yourself. I am so thankful that God has blessed me with such a wonderful family.

So, to the pictures... The reason you do not see the Captain is because he was behind the lens.

I am pleased as punch to say I still have all four of my grandparents. Here are my dads parents. His mom, my Nana, on Santa's lap...and me with my Paw.

Incidentally, Andy picked out the kids toys...even Cassi's hat...his choice of a nurf shot gun was a huge hit, favorite toy of the day!

Rigg's first time opening gifts...he was very into it, I was surprized because he is so little...what fun!

Santa with night vision goggles!

Not sure what Bo is up to, but whatever...


I had this great idea to just start chucking the trash down the basement worked great...

until Casin thought everything needed to be thrown over the railing...

The mess was HUGE!

But still worked out great because I didn't have to clean it up!!!

She will always be a part of family gatherings...

Monday, December 14, 2009

that surpasses all understanding

I am scared. Not the pull out your hair, scream bloody murder kind of scared, but scared just the same. I have a nagging fear...a constant tug of worry...
One of my all time favorite movies is Disney's The Emperor's New Groove. It is totally my kind of humor. I have large quantities of the script set to memory.
In this movie there is a wonderful character named one point in the movie he is trying to decide what to do and his shoulder angel pops up...and so does his shoulder angel's counterpart...his shoulder devil.

All this to say...I feel like I have a new shoulder devil. A little guy whispering lies in my ear.

Rigg is sick...poor little man. He has a pretty bad ear infection and a viral thingy. He is grumpy and irritable. He is tired and has been throwing up a little bit. I took him to the Dr. this morning and he was prescribed an antibiotic. Hopefully and prayerfully he will feel better soon.

His pitiful state reminds me of Caden just before she passed. Andy and I have been calming ourselves and trying to be as level headed as possible. We do not want to be paranoid or scared at every little thing...but it brings up so many memories...and last time the outcome hurt...

So all day I have been trying to ignore my shoulder devil...I have been failing. I have been scared, I have been worried...I have been checking on Rigg repeatedly while he sleeps...I have been fearful.

A fear that has been in the back of my mind for ages has crept up this week. I have never voiced it...kinda like how you are never supposed to tell your wish when you blow out the candles or it doesn't come true...if I do not say it out one will know, and I can pretend I do not feel it.
I fear I will forever take care of babies and never raise children.
Stupid makes us see the worst.
Rigg being sick has magnified my fear and worry so much...I can see it, I can feel it...and it is hard not to crumple under the weight of it.

I prayed on the way to bible study this evening...I prayed for Rigg. For his health. I prayed for the Captain and me, that we would be wise in our actions and decisions regarding Rigg's health. For our sanity and peace...and that my child would live longer then me. I just had to voice it out loud to God. I told Him point blank...I do not want to burry another baby. I do not want to go through that pain again.
Please take the fear away...

Immediately I thought of 2 verses...

Philippians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Isaiah 26:3
You will keep in perfect peace
him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in you.

And then I thought about how Awesome God is. His comfort and peace has held me up this past year...and He is doing so even now, even while I stumble under the weight of Satan’s lies He brings scripture to mind...scripture that will help to sustain me in my time of need. He is there...

So I have been repeating these verses in my head, claiming the promise He has said He would give.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

All in the family...

So yesterday morning we packed up Rigg and went to see someone very special. 

The wait was not long...just about 20 minutes or so.

It wasn't long before Mrs. Claus came to say hi.

Rigg was a little see, Mrs. Claus looks just like his Mam. (my mom)

Soon the way to Santa was clear...and although I am sure Rigg saw a Santa suit, I think who he saw was not Santa...but his Pop...

That's right folks...every year about October my dad grows out his beard and hair so he can dress up like the "big guy". He does make an impressive figure, if I do say so myself...

He is a delight to so many kids...he does it for 4 or 5 hours at a time. He is so good with all the kids...they love him! Or they scream and cower, depends on the kids...But Dad is always a good sport and poses for pictures with smiling or screaming kids...I think he was peed on last year...good times!

So because it was our first time visiting Santa...we took all sorts of pics.

I mean, because how many people can say Santa is their dad?

Here is the first time I really took one of my children to see was the Christmas of '07 and I was VERY pregnant with Caden.

Although she never got the chance to sit on Santa's lap, She did get to sit on Dad's...and that is infinitly better, don't you think?