Sunday, May 22, 2011

Week 2 Survival: The Kindness of Friends

So today marks the end of Week 2: Babywatch 2011. Bed rest continues to be a mental, physical and spiritual challenge. To say I am bored doesn't even begin to cover it. To say my whole body aches from being so sedentary doesn't even begin to cover it. BUT. At the end of each day, I am eternally grateful for each second that passes by allowing the boys to grow and flourish and have the time they need to fully develop into the healthy, perfect miracles we know they are.

This week has been a huge reminder of just how important it is to have good friends. I am blessed to say that I have a lot of good friends. Great friends. Life wasn't always that way for me, and I've long battled my independence and love of solitude to make time for other people in my life. It amazes me how much love and kindness people are willing to give when they see someone in need. We have had meals brought, offers to clean the house, books brought, people stopping by just to keep me company, even my hairdresser (who has become a dear friend) has offered to come to my house to trim my hair since I can't make it to the salon. Not to mention, we have a nursery, ready and waiting, that is bursting with clothes, toys and helpful items, many of which were given to us by people we barely even know out of the goodness of their hearts.

The picture above is a beautiful woman, inside and out. She was supposed to be my last bride for the season before I planned to head into down time to await the boys arrival. Needless to say, that down time arrived sooner than anticipated and I found myself having to find back up and admit I just wasn't up for the task. This was a huge disappointment for me, and I'll be honest, I know it was a huge disappointment for her (not tooting my own horn, just acknowledging that yes, I added to her stress rather than relieving it). Yet, she didn't voice one ounce of complaint, fear or even a second of frustration at the situation. She instead, being a true woman of Christ, encouraged me through prayers and Scripture, told me she knew God was in control and she had full faith that everything would work out. And she even offered to stop by to keep me company.

Yesterday, she married the love of her life. And in the busyness of her day, I got this picture sent to my phone. And it touched me. The most important day of her life, when a million things were going all around her and it was a day that could truly be declared HER DAY when she is utterly allowed to be selfish and suck in every little moment for herself and her husband. And she took a minute to say hello. It meant a lot. As I was home praying for her day, beautiful weather, perfect pictures, everything we had talked about and imagined during her engagement and bridal sessions, coffee meetings and more, she took a moment to remember me. Thanks Laura! You were a stunning bride, and are a shining example of our Lord. I know the life ahead of you and Thomas will be blessed beyond measure and I am so happy to know you.

I must also take a moment to give props to one of my dearest friends, Miss Melody Gillikin. A fabulous character full of spunk, creative juices, and a heart for the Lord, Melody has been nothing short of a miracle to me. She is an incredibly talented photographer, and has most graciously and tirelessly worked to cover the gaps for me with my clients. I can honestly say that I was able to get through yesterday without one ounce of fear or worry because I knew Melody had everything under control (and I even let her borrow the Mama Blevo to use as a back up, and NOBODY takes the Mama Blevo from my camera bag except me. NOBODY.). Melody, I know the Lord blesses you in your willingness to help a friend and I know the hopes you have for your future in photography and I believe wholeheartedly that your spirit and faith are propelling you there faster than you think. I am forever indebted to you!

And to showcase Mel's amazing handiwork, here is a sneak peek! Shot and edited by Melody Gillikin Photography.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Comedic Interlude: Week 1 Survival

Given my obvious incapacity to provide new and interesting photos with this entry, I shall mesmerize you with a picture of the world's cutest dog, our Ivy. (I have to say I identify with this picture as I sit in bed, staring out from the walls of my "cage.") Now, add, oh say...40 pounds (seriously) to said cute frame and you can imagine Ivy in her present 7-month state. I think Jeff even has a picture somewhere that I will have to dig out. Ah ha! Found it! This was taken 8 weeks ago. Looking at it now, she looks insanely tiny in comparison to her present-day beastly form.

Needless to say, she's darn cute. And her fat butt can't make it up the stairs, so as I lay here most of the day, I worry she is forgetting I exist. Thankfully, Jeff carries her up to greet me now and again so she "doesn't forget her mama" and she snorts and wriggles and spews slime all over me for as long as Jeff can hold her (she, unlike every other dog on the planet, does not like to be handled...she is a true independent woman...I swear, it's like having a cat!).

Anyways, here are my thoughts for surviving week 1:

1. Day time TV sucks. I mean, seriously. There is obviously a good reason why most of the world is at work from 9-5. There is NOTHING to watch on TV. NOTHING. I will not admit to the shameless shows I have watched in the last week. Although I will say, sadly, although I thought the day would never come, I am sick of Law & Order.

2. Drinking enough water so that you have to pee, quite literally, every 10 minutes, gets old. FAST. Thank God my bathroom is a mere 10 feet from the bed. Otherwise, I'm not entirely sure how any sort of bed resting would be accomplished as I spend most of my time shuffling to and from the potty. To be honest, I kinda have to go right now, and am determined to finish this post first.

3. When on bed rest, it is imperative to forget the rest of the world (i.e. my house) exists outside of my cave. I made the mistake of venturing downstairs yesterday, only to run back up and wish I could block the horrific images of my home from my memory. Yeah, yeah, I am sure it is not that bad, you say. But to someone with OCD, relinquishing all control to two unruly dogs, my husband and a 10 year's like bachelor heaven has come to reign. (I say that ONLY as related to cleanliness. Both Jeff and Emily have been absolute troopers thus far. Jeff works long hours all day and then comes home to cook dinner and try and keep up as best he can. Emily has become my personal nursemaid, filling water bottles, bringing snacks, and has also become the sole caretaker of the pups. They both rock. But...they're both dirty punks when it comes to cleanliness!)

Ok, said reference in #2 of this post has refused to be patient, so I will wrap it up for now. A huge thanks to all those generous friends who have signed up on the Meal Baby registry to bring us dinners, donated books, a fridge, cleaning help, company and countless other helpful offerings as we get by. And three cheers for one more week the boys got to take their time growing and developing as they should! Keep those prayers coming!!!!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Baby Watch 2011: Welcome Bed Rest!

Duh, duh, duh (fierce, foreboding music of dread)...

I have heard the magic words "You are now on bed rest."

I haven't blogged in FOREVER, mainly because I have been doing two things the past several months as the boys have grown: working and sleeping. Not a lot of time for creative writing, much less creative cleaning, laundry, photography, etc. etc. My bed and I have already become fast friends, although it appears we are just now embarking on what will surely be a BFF love/hate relationship over the course of the next two months.

Yesterday just didn't feel right. I wasn't in pain, but I was awkward. In that strange, gut feeling that something wasn't quite right. I finally called the doctor, who of course sent me straight in for monitoring. Low and behold, the boys were trying to make an early appearance. Turns out my petite structure, while mentally and emotionally encouraging, also holds additional challenges for two growing boys who were in the 97th percentile at my last appointment two weeks ago.

So, here I am. In bed. Laying on my side (which makes for really awkward typing!), downing water like it's nobody's business, and henceforth visiting my second favorite bed rest hot spot, the bathroom. I have my laptop, a good book, my baby registry, Netflix, the Wii, Law & Order and a DVD player calling my name. Somehow I think I will still be bored out of my mind. And somehow I'm pretty sure the laundry downstairs, my poor kenneled puppies, and the knowledge that my husband and daughter have taken over the house and I must table my OCD indefinitely, will be calling louder. I should have known that God would challenge me through this pregnancy in a big way. He has given us an incredible blessing, and I know wholeheartedly that it comes with a purpose and a lesson. And here I stand (well, lay) acknowledging that He is in control, not me.

I'm not going to lie. I need help. The emotional, physical and mental challenges of being confined to the bed for weeks on end are huge. And if I've learned anything from this pregnancy and everything we've gone through in the past two years, it is that asking for help is necessary. You can't do everything. So...anyone who wants to visit with a chat and a smile, anyone who wants to stop by with food, books, movies, etc., anyone who loves cleaning or just coming to play with puppies. ANYONE. ANYWHERE. With a kind and willing helpful heart. You are welcome.

So begins Baby Watch 2011: Day One. With everyone's prayers and support, I am working hard to keep these boys in and growing. On this Mother's Day, it is only fitting that I am seeing my greatest purpose in life, to do what I can for my boys. Which right now, means stopping everything and just being here, still, for them.

PS. A big thanks to Melody Gillikin for the quickie snap shot of my belly! My head is cut off because my hair was WICKED that day. HA!
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