Thursday, October 29, 2009

Let Me Hold You Longer

About this time two years ago Spencer and I found out that we were having a baby boy. We were so excited! At the time I was working for as a "domestic helper" for close friends of ours. One day while I was at work the doorbell rang and I answered it, I was very surprised to see my mother-in-law. I looked at her kinda confused and then my mom stepped around the corner. We hugged and cried and she gave me this book.


On the inside she wrote this message...


This book sits on Andrew's dresser and yesterday when he woke up from his nap he kept pointing at it saying "book, book."


So I sat him and Joshua in the crib and read to them.




A week ago yesterday I kissed my Mom goodbye for the last time. This book will always be special to me because it has my mom's handwriting in it and hopefully it will be a reminder to me not to overlook any of the "lasts" in life.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sweet Caroline

Happy First Birthday Sweet Caroline Grace! One year ago today you entered the world and made our family a little sweeter! I pray that you will have a very blessed year, I love you to pieces! xoxo Aunt Lindsay



Monday, October 26, 2009

Beautiful Fall

We are home safe and sound from three weeks in Indiana and Ohio. Our trip was very bittersweet. The end of our trip was busy with visitation and funeral services, but despite all that, we were blessed to have fun time with family and friends. I want to go back to the beginning of our trip and share about some of our fun times!
The first part of our trip was spent in Indiana visiting my sister-in-law(s), nieces, nephews and cousin-in-law. Let me just say that I am one fortunate mommy to have two happy little travelers.


Having family that lives a plane ride away, we travel quite a bit and both boys do very well. It can be a challenge to get Andrew to take a nap..but usually he is happy to open and close the window shade, buckle and unbuckle his seatbelt and munch on snacks....oh yeah, and drinking orange juice.


Andrew loves his cousins....can't you sense his enthusiasm? But really, he does, he hated to say goodbye!


Our trip was filled with playgrounds, pumpkin patches, petting farms, cool weather, real grass, pedicures and skipped naps. I loved seeing the fall colors. I grew up in Ohio and didn't appreciate how beautiful fall was until I didn't have it anymore. There is just something exciting about crisp air, wearing scarves, drinking hot chocolate and picking pumpkins!








We love our family and enjoy all the time we get to spend with them!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mark 16:15

Yesterday Em and I went and fixed Mom's hair and put on her makeup, it was very important to us that she looked like she did before she got sick. I have to be honest, we were a little uncomfortable at first. She was so still, so cold, so lifeless. But I had to remember that it was just her earthly body that we were looking at, that her soul was no longer there. But all I could think of was that it was the body I saw laying there that carried me for nine months, it was those hands that cared for me, that held me, that changed my diapers and those lips that kissed me good night. But Em and I were able to make light of the situation and joke with her while we dolled her up.

This morning the whole family arrived at the funeral home 45 minutes before the visitation was supposed to begin. They waited until everyone arrived and we all went in together. I didn't think I would be very emotional but I just cried as I looked at my mom, looking the way she was just laying there. It was one thing to think of losing the mom I knew in the last couple of months. The mom that lived in a hospital bed at my grandparents, who spent her days being spoon fed and changed and turned from one side to the other because she couldn't do those things for herself. I didn't mind saying good bye to that mom. But this, this was the mom that I recognized, the mom that raised me, the mom that I talked to on the phone everyday, the mom that came to visit me, I didn't want to say good bye to that mom.

One of the first things you noticed when you walked in the room was the flowers that were completely surrounding the casket. I was blown away. And for the first 2 hours of the visitation, the florists just kept bringing in more. They were on the side tables, in the entryway, on the floor. I think we estimated about 70 floral arrangements as well as six afghan's. From 12-4 we had a constant flow of visitors. Most of the time we could see the end of the line, but sometimes it stretched around the corner. We had a quick break from 4-5 where we all got about 20 minutes to eat and freshen up. Then we started again from 5-8. For the next 4 hours there was a line that stretched the length of the room, around the corner, out the room, down the hall, into the next room, wrapped around that room and back down the hall.

At the end of the night we did an estimated count of the guest book and there were around 825 people who came. Wow. Did I shake a lot of hands? You bet. Were my feet tired? Yep. Did I introduce myself over and over again? Sure did. Was I completely appreciative of every-single-person who took the time to come pay their respects to my mom and our family? Absolutely. I was so glad to meet every single person that knew my mom. I was so happy to see people that I already knew that were special to my mom. I was so proud to shake hands and say "Hi, I am Lindsay, Beth's daughter."

Mark 16:15 - He said to them, "Go out into all the world, and preach the good news to all creation."

I heard story, after story, after story of the lives that my mom has touched. I heard people tell me things about my mom that I never knew. How she prayed for them when they were in need, how she tucked encouraging scripture in their mailbox at work, how she told them about her Savior. My mom lived out this scripture. She went into her world, to her co-workers, her peers, her classmates, her professors, and she preached the good news through her words and her actions. My mom has inspired me to be a better Christian. She has inspired me to speak more boldly about the One who died for me. She only lived for 49 years on this earth, but they were 49 full years.

Many people have said "there are always a lot of people at a young persons funeral." But people were not just there because my mom was young. They were there because she had shown them a love like Jesus. They were there because she lived a life worth honoring...a life like Jesus has called us all to live.

My mom lived a great life and was a wonderful example for me. And I am so proud to be her daughter.

Friday, October 16, 2009

In the Presence of the King

My Mom went to be with Jesus this afternoon. We knew this morning that her time to go was very close. She was surrounded by family and friends. I am going to miss her more than I can express...but I find peace knowing that she is completely healed, she is walking the streets of gold and I will see her again someday! I am so thankful for the gift of eternal life and for the 23 years that I had with her. I love you Mom!


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Main Man

Tomorrow I am going to pick up my favorite person from the husband! He will be joining the family in Ohio for what we expect to be a very bittersweet time. Let me just say that the Lord blessed me far more than I deserve when he gave me Spencer. When we first started dating and my mom knew nothing of this guy I met while on vacation in Florida, his pastor described him as being "the salt of the earth." In the last 4 years I have found that to be so true. Spencer is everything I could have asked for in a husband and father to my children. I am so in love with him and we all can't wait to see him tomorrow!








Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What we've been up to

We've been gone from home for a week and a half now. We are definitely missing daddy, but we are keeping busy! Here's a little taste of what we've been up to!

We've watched Uncle Matthew perform with the Men's Chorus at Ohio Northern University


We've been playing with our cousins


We've been loving on our nephews



We've been planning a halloween costume for my beautiful niece


We've enjoyed the beautiful fall weather


We've been helping PawPaw in the garden


We love the time we get to spend with our Ohio family and friends!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Girly Girl

This is my sweetie of a niece, Caroline Grace


She is going to be one year old in a couple of weeks, but my sister was sweet enough to have her birthday party this weekend so I could be there. I ordered this little hat for her today. I bought it here.

PRE SALE - Hazel - Brown Crochet Hat with a Red Rose
I love love love girly little things and I can't wait to see my little sweetie wearing her new hat this winter!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

My Mom

One year ago next week I was in Ohio for my Grandpa's funeral. We were not that close but I came for my dad. While I was here that week my mom was having severe headaches and would wake me up in the night to ask me to get her Advil. A week and a half later the headaches had gotten so bad that my Grandma took her to the ER where they told her that she had high-blood pressure and that was the cause of the headaches.

After 24 hours of taking blood pressure medication she was still having headaches. They made another trip to the ER where she had an MRI and they found that she had a grape-fruit size tumor in her brian. After emergency surgery to have it removed we found out that it was indeed cancer and she started chemo and radiation immediately. After radiation was over she continued with chemo but her body just could not take it. She had a follow up MRI in February that showed the tumor was back.

We then decided in February that Hospice was the best option for Mom. During the spring she was able to accomplish some things that were very important to her which included going to NYC to see my brothers perform in a national show choir competition and coming to Florida to see me after Joshua was born. When she returned home from Florida in May she started getting very weak and was placed in a hospital bed at my grandparents house to be taken care of full time. Since then she has continually lost function in her arms and legs, decreased vision and as of recently has stopped talking except on very rare occasion.

This week since I have been here she has stopped eating and drinking and is not taking any medication. This morning around 6 am my grandparents woke up and found her having a seizure which is caused by extreme swelling in her brain caused by the tumor.

When I was in Ohio in August I had a chance to talk to her and tell her how much I loved her. I told her what an amazing mother she has been and what a Godly example she had set for me and my brothers and sister. I told her that I will miss her terribly but that if she is ready to be with Jesus then that is what I want for her. That was the hardest conversation I have ever had in my life. Yesterday afternoon my brothers came over and I had to tell them what was going on. That was the second hardest conversation I have ever had, telling my little brothers that our mom only has a little while left to live and watching them cry.

Last night around 1am I was wide awake and I just felt like I needed to cry out to the Lord. I thought of the verse in Isaiah -

Isaiah 40:28-31 "Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; those who hope in the LORD 
will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

I realized just how weary I felt. This past year has been full of emotions, good and bad. It has been a year of great blessing with the gift of our second baby boy, but has also been so full of heart-ache thinking about life without my mom. She has been my best friend, the first person I go to for advice, the person I call when something exciting or funny happens. She has been my role-model and my teacher, she showed me how to be a wife and a mother. She taught me how to cook, how to sew, she encouraged me and she showed me how to love the Lord, how to trust Him and how to cling to Him.

But I know that my Mom is going to see Jesus soon. She will spend her days worshipping Him and singing His praises. She will be made whole again and she will have no more pain or heart-ache. She will never be lonely or tired. And someday, I will see her again.


Friday, October 9, 2009

Go Gators!

We live in Florida, so of course we love the Florida Gators! This is when we were dating, we went to Gainesville and met up with Spencer's brother to go to a game.




We don't get to many games but we always watch from home. We have also started teaching our boys the Gator Chomp! Andrew does it really well, but Joshua still needs some practice!


I must also share that I was born and raised a Buckeye. I am also a very proud aunt to the two cutest Buckeyes around.


I will cheer the Bucks on when they are playing... unless they're playing against Florida, then they're Gator Bait!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


This morning I packed up my two little pumpkins and all of our stuff



we loaded up in the car


and headed to Ohio! We made it safely and had a big welcome dinner with all the aunts, uncles and cousins! It took 3 days for my boys to get adjusted to my sister-in-law's house, so I am expecting about the same now that we have moved again. When the boys are babies they do fine, but now that Andrew is a little bit older, he takes a little bit of time to adjust. Let's hope it doesn't take too long!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hoping and Praying


These are my sweet baby boys. I love them so very very much. They are adorable, well-behaved and usually very good sleepers (go to bed at 8pm and don't make a peep until 7:30am). We are in Indiana visiting my sister-in-laws and last night they woke up 3 times and then decided that 6:30 am would be a good time to start the day. Hoping and praying for a better night tonight! :-)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Show Us Your Life - Baby Gear

It's time for Show Us Your Life over at Kelly's Korner! This week is all about baby gear. Let me just say that I am all about function, affordability and stuff that fits in a small house! When we registered for baby stuff I went with all around neutral because I knew that it would need to last us through multiple babies!
This is my single stroller. It is the Graco Metrolite. I L-O-V-E this stroller. It is almost 10 pounds lighter than the average full-size single stroller and still has great cup-holders and a great basket. We still use this when we go on walks and put Andrew in the wagon. We got the travel system and the car seat is the same colors. If I had to get a single stroller again I would definitely get the same one!
Graco MetroLite Stroller in Metropolitan 6121MTR
Little did we know that we would need a double stroller so soon after having our first baby! When Joshua came along 12 months after Andrew was born we got this double stroller.
It is the Graco Duoglider LX. I love this stroller as much as anyone can love a double stroller. I am very happy with the way it steers, the cup holders and the basket. I also love the color, it's called "Zarafa." The only problem I have is that this sucker weighs 40 pounds! I went from lifting a 19 pound stroller to lifting a 40 pound stroller and let's just say that in the middle of summer in Florida I am way past sweaty by the time I get this thing plus the boys in and out of the car!

When it came to getting a bouncy seat and swing I knew I wanted one or the other. We don't have a large house and I didn't want too much baby gear cluttering it up! We picked this swing.
Plush fabrics and soothing swinging comfort for baby.
It is the Fisher-Price Open Top Take-Along swing. It is actually a travel swing so it is much smaller than a full-size one. The only thing I would change about this is that it does not have any toys attached and when the babies get a little older they tend to get bored with it. If I had it to do over I would get one like this.
When I had Joshua my sister-in-law asked me if there was anything I didn't get with Andrew that I wanted, I asked for this.

The Bebe au Lait nursing cover in Chocolat. I LOVE this. With Andrew I just used blankets to cover up, but I kept having visions in my head of nursing Joshua in public and having Andrew pull the blanket off my shoulder leaving me completely exposed and slightly embarrassed! So needless to say, this has been wonderful and I get so much use out of it!

I can't find a picture of the exersaucer we purchased, but it was an Evenflo. I have a definite opinion about this though! I bought the cheapest one I could find. If I had it to do over I would buy this one.
Graco Baby Einstein Discover & Play Activity Center
The Baby Einstein Exersaucer. The toys are so much more interesting and it really is worth it to spend some money on a good exersaucer! I put our boys in it all the time, while I am in the shower, while I am fixing dinner, when I just need them to be confined and so it needs to be one that they won't get bored with too quickly!

Lastly, this is our wagon. Andrew got this for his first birthday and it was a wonderful gift! It is perfect for taking to the beach because the wheels work in the sand. It is fairly lightweight and as you can see from the bottom picture, you can load it up with tons of stuff!

Radio Flyer #2800 Voyager Canopy Wagon + Free Shipping - click to enlarge

Happy Friday!