Thursday, October 28, 2010

these are the days...

my life has been crazy lately. really crazy. trip to ethiopia, two deaths in our family, rich traveling to england, me taking two trips myself (one being our first cross-country trip with jade), ear tubes for Jade, tricia's wedding, joey and court leaving, pregnant...and sick. i have felt "out of sorts" to say the least...and there have been several days that i have felt too busy (or too sick! :)), too torn in too many directions, to just sit and look at my baby girl all day long like i want to. just last week i told my mom that i thought this week things would finally be back to "normal" (whatever that is...) and I was looking forward to just sitting in the floor and playing. my sweet shaelyn jade isn't the tiny baby that i held just months ago anymore. she is walking running all over the place, exploring, trying to repeat everything i say, soaking in every single cloud, insect, breeze, ray of sun, new person...she is at the BEST age yet, and i have been too busy to take her in enough. not this week, though. this week we have been home pretty much all day every day, just me and my girl, reading books (over and over and over again), taking baths, playing baby dolls, singing songs and dancing (did I mention this girl doesn't stand a chance at having any rhythm???)...and laughing---lots...long and hard. i can tell she's loved it as much as i have. today we went grocery shopping and she could point out so many things she "knows" now...and when we got home, she went straight back to her room to "play" was very quiet, which was much needed as i tried to pull my house together for the jewelry party i was hosting in just hours...too quiet. when i finally went back to check on her...

ever thought pulling EVERY SINGLE WET WIPE out of the container could be so fun? it was for this girl. and when i called her back and asked her what happened she just grinned from ear to ear, so proud of her accomplishment!

when she got tired of playing alone, she came into the kitchen where i'd started making brownies and said "UP!" i pulled her a chair over to the counter like i always do when i cook, so she could watch. then i remembered a birthday gift she had gotten that i cleverly put away for a day like today...and i ran back to the top of her closet and pulled down a "new" toy!!! her very own cooking set- complete with apron and chef hat and all of the essential kitchen "tools"...

have you ever seen a sweeter chef? and no i am NOT one of those terrible mom's who let's their children eat raw eggs from the chocolate way, i would never do that (among other things, like let my child run around in just a diaper for most of the day today...eek, caught twice in one pic!!!)

as i snapped this picture i realized, in a weighty moment, that these are the days i have waited for all my life. me, a mommy, to the sweetest little chef on earth. me, home with her all day long- and tired as it makes me some days, it is a dream come true for me...these are the days i pray i never forget.

oh Lord, please help me to slow down and soak up these days- for i know they will not last long. thank you for the precious gift of children... for my shaelyn jade, and for this small, sweet heartbeat in my belly. thank you for your child, Jesus Christ, and the hope that He gives me each day. please help me to let His light shine daily, through me, and into the hearts of my own children. thank you for making me a mommy.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

And they're off!

I must say that the actual "goodbye" was even harder than I'd even anticipated...I had dreaded Friday for a long time and awoke that morning with a big knot in my tummy, knowing I'd see some of my favorite faces for the last time for a long while... But God is GOOD ALL THE TIME, and allowed the day to be perfectly hectic so that there really wasn't that much time to stand around and cry our heads off (though we tried) it was rather short and sweet painful :) Anyways, they are off on the first leg of their long journey where they have stayed several days in London (Rich's homeland :)) and are L-O-V-I-N-G it! Make sure you stay in touch with them HERE...Court will be keeping us all updated on their adventures from here on out. Oh how we all miss them already, but feel so peaceful that God has called them to His greater plans...and here are a few pics I stole from her blog of some of mine and Rich's favorite spots in London...

Big cool up close!

Trafalgar Square...Rich and I had fun taking crazy pics there, too!

Ah the REAL English pubs where you can get REAL Fish-n-chips...wrapped in newspaper! Yum Yum...

I am already wishing I were with them, too.... :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Sunshine

You are my sunshine
My only sunshine
You make me happy
When skies are grey...
You'll never know, dear
How much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

I remember when Joey and Court told us they were pregnant for the first time and the excitement I felt to be an AUNT! I remember hoping that I would be a "good Aunt", that this baby would like me...Well, Bri came along and stole my heart. She set the stage (as she usually does!) for my role as "Aunt Dane Dane" and we were instant soulmates...and I have always told her that she's my "sunshine". I remember when I moved away to Charleston, SC for a year how much I missed her, a baby at the time---I had pictures of she and I framed in my room and I remember showing them to people all the time and telling them all about her. I was so proud of her! I remember when I moved home I'd get her to spend the night with me at my Mom's house and we'd jump on the beds and giggle, giggle, giggle...and it always ended with a sleepy-eyed Bri saying, "Tickle me, Dane Dane"... You see, I was the original "tickle princess". For my whole life I have asked everyone who knows me, at some point, to "tickle my arm"...and my sweet little sunshine inherited that from me...her mama has always said she could have been mine...and in my heart, I kinda love her like she is. :) There are so many other ways that she and I are so much how she loves silly little things, like I do...little creatures or funny little stories...and art, she's a true little artist! There have been so many times that I get a random phone call from Court telling me Briley just had to call her Aunt Dane Dane and tell her..."I WON AN ART CONTEST!!!" or "MY TOOTH'S COMING BACK IN!!!" or "I GOT NEW CHICKENS!!!"...and no one will ever know how much it warms my heart that she wanted to call me...she's just my sunshine. When I was pregnant with Jade, she made me promise I'd have her a girl and I remember worrying that if "it" was a girl (what can I say, a promise is a promise, people!)---how was I gonna really handle it with Briley? I'd never want her to feel "second" in my eyes! :) Well don't you worry---Bri made sure she was in every picture on the day of the birth, right on the bed with me through just about all of it (she even secretly stayed right outside the door through my labor so she could be the first to know boy or girl!!!)...and she was the happiest of all to have a girl! And oh if you could only understand how much Jade ADORES Briley, too! It is amazing to me that even at such a young age, she loves her so much, and her eyes light up at the very mention of "Bri Bri"...she stole her her, too, from the beginning...

So, needless to say, I'm really gonna miss Briley Elizabeth. She insisted that she have one last "spend the night" at my house last night where we rented movies and popped popcorn and all snuggled in on a pallet together...

...And as her little eyes got sleepy she stretched out her arm and said, "Will you tickle me, Dane Dane?" For one second I started to say, "Not now, Bri...I don't feel like tickling right now"...but in a second I realized this might be the last time, for a good while, that my sweet Bri asked me that question, one of my favorite requests...and so with big tears rolling down my cheeks (which she never even saw) I tickled that little lady's arm for the rest of the movie. Gladly. Thankfully. So thankful for the deep, deep love we share for each other.

It's funny how in life there are some people with whom age simply does not matter...for no matter how young they are or how old you get---you just kinda "get" each other. It's like that with she and I---she'd tell you that, too, if you asked her. So, even though my "sunshine" is going away for a little while, I know when she returns, it will be like it never changed. We've made promises to write lots send each other our "creations" by mail...and think of each other lots. I know God has big plans for Briley Beth and I am so excited for the ADVENTURE she's about to take! Africa will NEVER be the same, for sure, once this ray of sunshine hits the ground there!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


P.S.... I realized after my sweet mother-in-law called me yesterday to tell me all she saw in that picture was a "beautiful, beaming, pregnant young lady" and not to "worry about growing too fast" that I didn't make it clear that that picture was taken at the END of my 1st pregnancy...not this one! People, I'm not bulging THAT MUCH yet!!!! :) Just sayin'.... :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Battle of the bulge

...did I mention that this pregancy isn't ANYTHING like my first one? Rich says that means, hands down, it's a boy. I'm not so certain about that...but I AM certain that my belly didn't change at all until I was almost 20 weeks with Shaelyn Jade. And I am pretty sure that none of my jeans are fitting, ALREADY, and I am pretty sure I am not quite E-L-E-V-E-N weeks yet!!!! Aaaaahhhh! I just don't know that I am ready for this part, yet! I am so happy, so excited, so ready for another baby...but not so ready for another belly. :) Ready or not, I guess... it comes!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


...these last days with some of our very closest peeps on this planet...
Yeah, we've known for over a year that these days were coming, but honestly, it's been easier just not to think about it. Well we can't do that anymore, and so it's getting hard. Real hard. I find myself wondering what it's gonna be like at our big family gatherings without these 6 members. Not as BIG. And not as fun. Oh how I will miss Briley coming up to me every chance she gets and asking if she can spend the night at my house...and Brax overhearing and insisiting he come to...and then the popcorn, palette, arm tickles, and giggles that are sure to follow. Oh how fun Barron is...his big, wild spirit...and how he's started helping Jade find her way in the world here lately...I want her to grow up with him and be close to him always. I am going to miss watching Bristol grow up like I have these other 3 kiddos, almost daily. I worry I won't KNOW her as well...will she love her Aunt Dane Dane like they do? And Joey will be so far away...he, who has been so close every day of my "biggest" brother... There's always been "3" of us hangin' it's gonna be just me and Na for a while.It makes me sad to think he and Rich won't just get to sit and talk for hours like they so enjoy doing...they really love each other and value each other's thoughts. But the thought that I just still can't deal with----??? Sweet, sweet Court. Oh how dear you are to my heart...a real sister, it feels. You have been such a treasure in my life- so constant, so strong, so sweet to me. You kinda HOLD this group together, somehow. We talk every single day- sometimes about absolutely nothing...sometimes because I have a mommy questions or a marriage questions or a friend question...but it's YOU that I have found I go to (as do SO many others) when I just need help. You're honesty keeps me in check, but your gentleness always provides a soft place to fall. You have become, unknowingly, my standard for raising my own have set the bar so high, and you make it looks so easy...and fun! What will I do without you close?...just MISS you, I guess!!!! :)

Oh these are the thoughts I am finally letting in...and as I do, tears flow out. These thoughts are so selfish I know, but they are true and real. I just love, love, love, love, love, love these 6 sweet faces so dearly. And I KNOW that God sees how special this family is, even more than I can...and that's why he picked THEM to love, love, love, love, love, love on people so far away. Because they WILL. Because they FOLLOWED Him, even to the "ends of the earth"...away from all the comforts they have come to love, too. I am inspired by them. I feel so lucky that I am so close to such great people, who God is going to USE. I pray that I can be MORE LIKE THEM, more obedient, more courageous, more LOVE-ing.

So as the days are flying by and we are down to just one more week, I am TREASURING my time with Joe and Court and Bri and Brax and Bear and Bristol...and I am thankful, in advance, for these lasting memories we will STILL make together!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Two Pink Lines...

The reason I haven't been keeping up with my blog for about a month?...

Two pink lines.

Oh the joy in our hearts, but oh the sick in my tummy! I wasn't sick at all with Shaelyn Jade, so I just assumed that I was a "pro-baby-carrier" and would never have to worry with any morning sickness...or afternoon sickness...or evening sickness... :) But alas, I am NOT a "pro-baby-carrier" apparently, and I have had all three. For FOUR weeks. I am JUST starting to feel a itsy-bitsy bit better this week (knock on wood) and my house is starting to fall in on itself. I am usually a pretty good housekeeper, if I do say so myself...not so here lately. When Rich leaves in the mornings I am usually laying on the couch feeding Jade breakfast...when he returns in the evening, I am usually laying on the couch waiting for him to cook dinner. Ha Ha. Not joking though...

But REGARDLESS of the toll this pregnancy has taken on me thus far, we are even more excited this go 'round because WE KNOW how much we are going to love this little growing heartbeat inside me...and what a sweet "big sis" Jadybug will be!

Here's Baby Andrews #2's first picture...

...Isn't he/she PERFECT? :) We won't be finding out boy/girl on this one either- so we've all got a long wait...but oh the fun it will be! Our due date is the EXACT SAME as it was for Shaelyn Jade, May 14 (so much for planning!) we'll have two close May birthdays. And right now I am almost 10 weeks along, so this sweet little peanut is about 1 inch long. Amazing.

We are so happy. Thank you for your prayers.