Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas and all that

Sheldon and I are pretty sure we want to have another baby after this one (in a few years, obviously) and I fully intend to take everything I learned from this pregnancy and make my next pregnant holiday season A LOT better.

This was the game plan: Christmas Eve night with my in laws, Christmas morning in newlywed alonetime bliss, Christmas afternoon/evening with my family, big Christmas with the kids on the 28th. The general timeline went, for the most part, as planned. But it was not smooth and it was frequently not merry. Lesson learned.

Christmas Eve, we caught a break (the only one of the season) and Sheldon was sent out on a job that let him out early. He got home around 4:30, so we were actually on time (a tremendous feat for us... seriously.) and TOGETHER to his aunt and uncle's house for dinner and festivities. The thing about being 5 months pregnant is that by 8 or 9pm, if I've been up since 6am and doing stuff the entire day, my body starts to crap out. I get sore and it takes me a good minute to stand from comfy chairs. Other than the achy body, it was nice. Delicious tamales, family sing-a-long, and an amazing new camera from the parents.

(this is Sheldon's youngest brother rocking the NERF dart tag we got him. It was way cooler than we ever anticipated.)

The thing about Christmas day is that this year was the only year Sheldon and I would have together without kids. No Santa pressure, no early morning, etc. Just the 2 of us, being together and enjoying each other. Not that I don't love being a mom, its just couple time is so important and this Christmas was a lot of firsts for me. We'd been getting fired up for it for like a month. I'd gone and purchased the ingredients to make a big awesome breakfast for us. No alarm clocks. BLISS. Well, then the phone rang at 5am and Sheldon got called out for a job. The guy who was 1st up and supposed to go ignored his phone (and then lied to Sheldon about it later.) That amazing Christmas morning shattered. Cue the preggo hormones and an hour and a half of crying. My brother picked me up at 1:30 to go have dinner at our aunt's house. There were a lot of not nice comments made (which I obviously added to my "I'm already in a bad mood and having a bad day" bank). Sheldon finally made it home around 8, we got to talk to the kids, and passed out, just happy to finally be together. Not my best Christmas day. (we had our big breakfast the next morning.)

(watching my beautiful nephew Isaac go off on a candy cane was a classic Christmas moment.)

Fast forward to Monday. My lunch did not sit well. It resulted in a violent rejection from my stomach. And pretty much everything else that I tried to eat. Until Tuesday morning, while I was still unable to keep things in my stomach. I called in sick, drank a crapton of water, and embraced my anti-nausea meds. I felt shaky but still made it to pick up the kids at noon. We had lunch at Zaxby's (and they were awesomely still playing Christmas music!), then headed home for the gift bonanza. They started with their gifts from us. Then they moved on to Santa. Basically, they got spoiled out of their little minds. My parents and my brother and his family came over for dinner and there was more gift giving. Even Eli got some presents! It was a big awesome day and fully lived up to the hype of Christmas.

Spoiled. Rotten.

Next year, Sheldon will be turning in his vacation request for Christmas Eve and day in October. He will be there for all 48 hours of Eli's 1st Christmas. The 5 of us will be spending the weekend together, as a family. It might be the best Christmas of my entire life. 2011 is set up to be full of awesome things for the Green family, and to end it like that will be the stuff that dreams are made of.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pink or Blue?!

Its not just that I'm a bad blogger lately. We moved on December 1st and still don't have internet at home. Our modem came yesterday, so any day now, really. In the mean time...

We are really excited that Baby Green has a name, and it is no longer Promise (which was our nickname - We believed from the time we got engaged that God would bless us with a child together, that He promised that to us.). Well, we're 90% sure about this name anyway...

Because I don't like taking off from my part time job for appointments, and because my doctor only sees patients at the Katy office until noon on Wednesdays (they have 2 other offices in the Houston area he divides his time with), I am very good at getting the 11:30 slot, which is his last one. That means he, knowing I love them and that he's in no hurry, pretty much always does an ultrasound. At 16 weeks, I got reaaaaally excited about getting that peek. It was right around my birthday, and I have not enjoyed the anticipation of not knowing the gender of my little bonus passenger. So my doctor obliged and we took a peek. This child was having none of it. Literally. Squeezed the legs together, rolled over, and gave us a thumbs up. I told my sister that obviously the baby is already in love with Aunt Katy and her aggie ways. She agrees. My doctor told us 18 weeks would be easier to check, and we'd do a more thorough ultrasound. I got PUMPED. We arrived for our 18 week check up like it was Christmas morning. Seriously. I was hardly able to sit still all morning. When the nurse came in with the doppler, she told us he hadn't order the big gender scan. I was NOT happy. We had our visit with the doctor, and he said, "Well, its still so early. We'll have the big gender scan in 2 more weeks. *notices my frown* But let's go take a look." So we head across the hall to the ultrasound room. We looked at a precious head and face. (btw - I was negative across the board on my triple screen. No risk for Downs Syndrome, Spina Bifida, and whatever the 3rd one is. Not that it would make us love our child less, but we did high 5 when he told us.) We looked at a sweet little belly and all I could think was how much I can't wait to tickle and kiss that belly. Then we moved to the legs. "The legs are always the hardest part." This child is still not a cooperator. There was this precious little foot that did not want to move! My doctor shook the wand on my belly (which doesn't feel that great, fyi. Especially since my placenta is apparently towards the front and made the doppler difficult. I was already sore from all that poking.) Foot still wouldn't move. So I rolled on my side and we went at it from a different angle. More wand jiggles (and grimaces from Mommy.) Nope. That foot was THERE. So that's why we only have a 90% sure on the gender. We go back on the 29th for that big gender scan (and have to go to the main office at the hospital) and we'll get a for sure confirmation on gender. I'm actually ridiculously excited about that ultrasound because Cherie and Owen will be with us for Christmas visitation then, and they'll be joining us at the appointment. I can't wait for them to see the baby, to watch those tiny arms move around and see that there is a real person in my belly. I feel like it's going to make it all so much more real for them, and it will also give them more of a sense of ownership of their new sibling. Baby will become something real that they've seen instead of just something we talk about and they pray for.

With that being said, our little miracle's name is Elijah Ross Green, or Eli. When my doctor said, (after "I'm 90% sure" of course,) "it's a boy!", Hubs was overcome. He's been saying boy the entire time, and his intuition was apparently correct. He's so happy there were some tears, which I find beyond adorable.

I'm not cray cray or anything, but there's something about being pregnant with a boy at Christmas. We spend a tremendous portion of the season remembering what it really is all about, why we have a holiday in the first place, and that is a baby boy who was born into NOTHING and gave us EVERYTHING. When I hear the story, or even just phrases like, "Mary's baby boy", I feel this surge of emotion. And I know my son is not Jesus. He is not the 2nd coming of the Savior of the World. He will just be my baby, and while God has big plans for his life, it's not the same. But I can't not touch my belly and feel slightly more in love with my child when I think of that baby boy born 2000 years ago.

I have other stuff I want to write about, but Isaac just woke up from his nap and I'm on Aunt Suzy duty. What a hard duty it is... hehehe

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

oh, hi

So, I'm 4 months pregnant, and that's fun. Actually being pregnant isn't the most fun thing I've ever done, but it's so worth it. My throwing up hasn't gone away, but its gotten soooooooooooo much better since we leveled up into the 2nd trimester. I now only throw up once or twice every day or 2, and I'm not nauseous 24/7 anymore. In its place, unfortunately, we have The Headache. It started peaking in at the tail end of my 1st trimester, but then came in with a bang during my 13th week. Like, exploded into a migraine so huge I spent Wednesday-Friday in the hospital, in the dark, with an IV and an assortment of pain meds. The neurologist had them do a CT scan because he could see the fluid/pressure build up behind my eyes. Thankfully, they didn't see anything, but I spent a week on steroids to be safe. Its been 3 weeks and I'm still getting lots of headaches (and 2 or 3 migraines.) Since I've been getting migraines since I was 18 and my neurologist in Dallas informed me that its due to hormone sensitivity, my doctor gently broke the bad news that this was going to be my reality for the duration of my pregnancy. At least he gave me 2 levels of pain meds to try and control it. I have my 16 week check up in the morning, and we're hoping my doctor is true to his word and does an ultrasound so I can know if its my son or my daughter making me feel so yucky!

Other exciting changes... after 8 months of marriage, I finally got around to changing my name on my driver's license. I took Cherie with me and she enjoyed the experience way more than anyone I know. Her good time made me enjoy it a lot, too. When we got there, I discovered that I have Homeland Security flags attached to my social security number. When I got married the first time, I went to the social security office to change my name, found out I didn't have all the required documents, and then never got around to going back. Sooo as far as they are concerned, my last name is still Hall. Whoopsie! It's on my to-do list next week. I'd do it this week, but I'm really wrapped up in the other exciting change we've got going on... we finally got our own place! My mom really doesn't need help anymore, so we've been working on finding a place of our own for months. There was A LOT of drama that went along with it, but finally, God blessed us with a fantastic place, and we're slowly but surely getting all of our stuff transferred over from my parents' house. (For the record, it sucks to move while you're pregnant. I feel really really useless.) We got our keys on my birthday (oh yea, I turned 29 in there) and it was the best birthday gift Hubs could have possibly given me.

Owen's still acting up a lot, and its heartbreaking. Today he got an N because he refused to follow instructions and threw rocks at other kids on the playground. he's about to get a lot more structure and routine during his time with us, thanks to the new place. I'm hoping that a combo of that and more time with Daddy will encourage a change. It frequently feels like spitting into the wind because every time we make progress, it gets destroyed when he goes back to her house. God has a plan with this, and someday, He'll share that. In the mean time... whew!

So yea, my belly's growing, we're settling into our first married home together, and in general, we feel exceptionally blessed.

Monday, October 18, 2010

the blog post I have always wanted to write

I've been pretty busy lately, and it's a task I'll be pretty busy with for a while longer. I'm helping to create something. Its a "project" we've been working on for almost 3 months now. Let me show you some pictures of this amazing work in progress...

That's right. We're expecting a little miracle in May. We had nooooo idea we'd get pregnant again so fast after losing the baby in July. I'm sad to say that I didn't feel the same overwhelming excitement this time around that we felt last time, but I know its because I was so scared to feel the disappointment I felt. But since the worry has left, I'm there now.

We've already been through some trials with this pregnancy, including my 3 day hospital stay at 6 weeks (Nothing serious: just getting some meds tweaked in a controlled environment.). My doctor is very aggressive and has been amazing in helping us do everything we can to give this baby the best possible chance. We were so blessed to have weekly ultrasounds for most of the first trimester - 5 total. It was incredibly bittersweet when my doctor told me we didn't need them anymore. Horns up: your baby is doing fantastic! Horns down: you don't get to see Baby grow and change every week. Watching how much things change in a week is nothing short of mind blowing! And you better believe that I cried the first time I watched that precious little heart beat!! My doctor isn't at all worried about another miscarriage and has shifted his focus to all the risks I'm facing down the road. There's no guarantee that I will have any of those complications, but we went into this knowing I was high risk, so better safe than sorry. The only guarantee he's given us is that I will delivery before 40 weeks, so that's cool. We'd love to have the baby on Earth Day... hahaha get it? the Green Baby born on Earth Day!

To answer some of the most common questions...

1. "How are you feeling?" Pretty terrible, actually. I've been throwing up since before I had a positive pregnancy test. (which means we went and bought a bunch of tests at the dollar store and my morning ritual became to test. I made the decision that I would keep testing until I either got a positive or stopped throwing up). This method does make the positive a little anticlimactic, fyi. But its better than just throwing up for no reason. Anyway, I've had like 5 positives (I wanted to be really sure at home, and then they also test at the OB's office), and I haven't stopped throwing up. I'm hoping that we're almost done with this part, but I have some friends who were sick until their third trimester or their entire pregnancy. I also have terrible heartburn and lots of the physical aches and pains. I've actually been losing weight (which my doctor is fine with this early, plus they don't want me to gain much anyway) As crappy as I feel, its totally worth it. I'm in love with this little sea monkey.

2. "Boy or girl?" Obviously, we don't know yet. We'll find out in December. And oh yes, we are totally finding out. Its driving me nuts not knowing! I have no idea how people can stand not knowing! As for what I hope it is, I honestly don't care. I always thought I wanted a girl, but now that it's a reality, I don't care. I mean, I would really enjoy having my own little doll to put in tutus and precious little girl outfits, but boys are fun, too. Sheldon is convinced we're having a boy, but he assures me he'll be happy either way.

3. "How do the kids feel about it?" They're SUPER excited. Cherie loves being a big sister so much as it is, and having another sibling is heaven to her. Owen's excited, too, but he's 5 so it's a different excitement. I think he might still be a little confused about what happened to the last baby, because he's not as excited as last time. Last time, he would talk to my belly and always pray for the baby. And then again, maybe he's just not as excited because of his other underlying issues right now. But he is excited.

So yea, there it is. I'm thrilled and just know the next 20 something weeks will absolutely DRAG. I already feel like I've been pregnant forever and we're not quite 1/3 of the way through the process!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Worst. Blogger. Ever.

Its gonna be a mishmash post. That's just the way things are these days.

So, the kids have started school, and that's been going well for one of them. The other? Not so much. I don't know where my sweet little guy went but the mean kid who took his place is so not awesome. And to be perfectly honest, it's embarrassing. No one wants their kid to be the one who changes his color (almost) every day. And no one wants their kid to be a fighter. The first fight was in Sunday school with us a week and a half ago. Unfortunately for him, my classroom window looks out onto the playground. I watched him shove a little boy then stomp on his foot (Owen was in regular shoes, the other little boy was in flip flops.) I met him at the door as they were coming in, yanked him out of line and away from his classmates, gave him stern words and a swift pop on his bottom before sending him back to his classroom to apologize for what he did. Until this week, he was changing his color for talking almost every day in class. Its not like he doesn't get a warning. He just doesn't care. He does stuff like here, too. We tell him not to do something so he turns around and does it again. And again. And again. When I asked him why he was getting in trouble, he lied. And then lied again. And then just got good measure, lied again. He said Kindergarten is too much work (lie.). Then he said he was just tired of school (after 8 days? Lie. Especially since he loved school in pre-K.) And he rounded out the lie-spree with "I'm just tired of Kindergarten, and really ready for 1st grade." That's just ridiculous. He's also taken to yelling in my face when he doesn't get his way. He has yet to get an entire sentence out before that's keebashed. His behavior is getting progressively worse. He got a U in his folder today because he was talking in class, being disruptive, and fighting on the playground. We got an email from his teacher and then a phone call from ex-wife to talk about it. He's misbehaving increasingly at her house, too. She said he stomps around the house, yells, and is generally unpleasant for her, too. I don't know if its just an all of a sudden being upset that his parents are divorced, if he's acting out because his life feels fragmented and compartmentalized, or if its something else entirely. All I know is that something is seriously not right in my poor little guy's head. He has a lot of feelings that he doesn't understand and acts as a direct result. It gets really stressful, and makes it really hard to do fun family stuff. I mean, do we punish him and take away things (toys, outings, etc) or do we just carry on and hope he grows out of this?

He was a lot of fun when we all went to the Texas vs Rice game. It was their first football game, and we did it right, complete with tailgating. Yes I have pictures that will get posted later.

We're very excited about this weekend. Cherie has professed her faith is Jesus and is being baptized! She loves God, and He will use her in mighty ways throughout her life. Its very exciting to see and very humbling to be a part of teaching her to walk His path.

We have some other big changes coming up before the end of the year, and the one I'm currently most excited about is that we're finally getting a home of our own. Okay, we won't own it but I really couldn't care less. We hit a stumble in that path tonight. A house we thought was going to be The House turned out to be something of an abomination when we toured with the realtor tonight. If it was just one thing, maybe 2, I'd be fine. But it was 5 and the absolute deal breaker was the wall of windows in the master bath coupled with the glass surround in the shower. That doesn't sound bad, except that the fence is shorter than the windows and the slats have huge gaps. That means the neighbors can watch you shower. NOT COOL. I know the right house for us is there and we will find it in time to make our October move... Its gonna happen. I'm trusting God on this, and He ALWAYS delivers.

I'm gonna wrap this post up by professing my love for my husband. Lately, we've been squabbling more, but I know it has to do with me being annoyed by everything and him being stressed by a handful of things that have nothing to do with me. But through it all, he is so wonderful. He does everything he can to give me everything I've ever wanted. I love how I never have to suggest it, he always turns to prayer for everything. Having a marriage with God as the center makes all the difference, and I am super blessed to have him. K I'm done.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

joy and pain

So, July has been more of a roller coaster than I ever could have imagined. I have felt the happiest I've ever felt in my life and then turned around and felt absolutely destroyed. Everything can change in an instant.

On July 2nd, Clear Blue Easy changed our lives when the little plus sign appeared. I would love to say that I shared that with Sheldon in some adorable loving way. Nope. I ran into our room and started shaking him going, "SheldonI'mpregnant!" over and over, until he finally woke up. I wanted to scream and cry and shake all at the same time. Excited doesn't even begin to cover how we felt.

I was sick to my stomach our entire trip to the beach, and the actual puking started Sunday evening. I kept being reminded that being sick is a good thing when you're pregnant. I puked and tried to sleep every spare minute for a week. And was over the moon about the little person growing inside me.

Then the ride sped up. On the 11th, we spent 4 hours at the er because I started to spot. The bleeding stopped, my hormone levels were fine, but the ultrasounds showed nothing. Literally. Nothing. That's not uncommon at 6 weeks, so they told me to follow up with my ob. We went to the ob the next day. My pelvic exam was normal, so they did some blood work to check my hormone levels. I started feeling better about the situation and let my excitement come flooding back. Tuesday the ride dropped again. My nurse left a voicemail saying my hormone levels were lower and for me to come have blood work done again. My excitement vanished. Wednesday morning, I called to get the details. She had nothing good to tell me. By lunchtime, I was full on bleeding and the physical pain had rolled in. We spent 7 hours in the hospital to leave with a prescription for vicodin and paperwork with the worst word ever as the diagnosis: miscarriage.

I've been very blessed with incredibly supportive friends and family. I don't understand why I seem to be so unable to stay pregnant. I don't understand why God took this pregnancy away from us. All I know is that He has a plan bigger than me, Sheldon, or a baby. We'll just have to try again and when the time is right, that pregnancy will make it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

bunch of stuff crammed into 1 entry without a clever title

I know. I know. I should be better about blogging. I have been slacking at uploading pictures, and the only other stuff I wanna blog about isn't really appropriate, so I basically just haven't been bothering to blog. I think I can improve. I know I can.

It's July so we have the kids for the entire month. It's such a blessing, even when they make me crazy. The longest I've gotten to be with them was the 10 days at Christmas, so this is fun. As much as I complain about our living arrangement, I've been pretty grateful for my mom when we both need to be at work. I can just let them sleep in and quietly sneak out at 7:45. That's right, Moms. My kids sleep well past 8am almost every day. The other morning, Sheldon woke them up at 9:30. Owen had been asleep for almost 13 hours at that point. Little dude was just worn out I guess!

We went down to Galveston for the weekend of the 4th with my brother's family. That's always a good time. The kids are pretty much obsessed with each other and shockingly don't fight. I'm sure they will eventually, but for now, we bask in the awesome of that. It rained pretty much the entire way down on Friday, but we woke up Saturday to beautiful sunny skies. We spent the morning at the beach, there was a short storm around lunch time, and then in the afternoon, the men set up the giant water slide pool thing for the kids to play on while they grilled some dinner. Sunday morning, we had another great morning at the beach with an afternoon of the kids on the water slide. It was a lot of fun, even if I did get burnt beyond recognition despite my liberal use and reapplication of sunblock. I'm still peeling and the blisters on my boobs make people cringe. They don't really hurt anymore. Its okay.

Sheldon was on nights this past week so I was single mommin' it in the evenings. Owen is extremely spirited and has some pretty rough days with the whole obeying, keeping his hands to himself, telling the truth, and making good decisions in general. I teetered on the edge. This past Sunday, we had a guest speaker at our church. Ben Glenn spoke a few years ago, and I really enjoyed it. When they announced he was coming back this year, I was really excited and started hyping it up to Sheldon and the kids. Little did I know that God was about to put a big ol' serving of truth in my heart. He told stories about his childhood and how his parents handled it. He told stories about his own kids. After the stressful week I'd had, it really ministered to me about patience and grace. Owen snuggled up next to me during the sermon and it just filled me how much I love the little guy, even when he pushes me to the brink. And then I started crying when he went to the prayer alter and just poured his little heart out to Jesus. It was pretty amazing.

And that's how we rock the suburbs.

Friday, May 7, 2010

What makes a mom?

I really really love all the commercials lately that recognize that in a person's life, they will have multiple mother figures. There will (and obviously can only) be one woman who actually gave birth to you, but who says you're only allowed one mother?

It's not weird. It's really not. Growing up, I honestly felt like I had a handful of moms because of the amount of time my friends and I spent with each others' families. There are several now-ladies that Lyss and I "adopted" in college. They gave us Mother's Day gifts and everything! Libby still calls me Mama and calls Sheldon her "new daddy". My brother in law calls his biological mother and my mother in law "Mom" because they both fill that role in his life. I hosted a bridal shower a few weeks ago for my sweet friend Ana and there were 2 women there that she considered her mother. How many women call their mother in law "Mom"? I can name at least 10 on that one. Sheldon and I have watched "The Blind Side" twice this week, and I really like how Leigh Anne tells Michael that Mrs. Oher will always be his mama, but she's there, too. It resonates with me.

"Its all about the mamas lovin' the babies no matter where they came from."

I did not give birth to my stepkids. I am (and obviously always will be) their stepmom. But there's a very key word in that title: MOM. Why would I not love them like they are my own kids? We are a family, and its very frustrating when people (almost always strangers or members of their biological mother's family) get their panties in a wad and tell me that I should be nothing more than a babysitter who happens to be married to their father. That's crap and unfair to the kids. They see me as a mother. They tell everyone that they have 2 moms, and they like it. They know the difference between biological and step, so it's stupid to insist that they use the different terms. Why should we tell them "no" when they say that they want to call me "Mama" instead of "Suzy"? We should not and we will not. I can see how she fears that they are being stolen from her, but how selfish and silly to believe that children have a finite amount of love to give! I know that the vast majority of divorced kids go through a phase where they want their mom and dad to get back together more than anything. The next best thing is to get awesome step-parents that they love like real parents and who love them back. I mean, who wouldn't want that for their kids?

I will be celebrating Mother's Day by celebrating how much I love these 2 beautiful little human beings that God so generously placed in my life and in my heart. Because there's more to motherhood than labor and delivery.

Happy Mother's Day to my mommy, stepmommy, grandmommy, and soon to be mommy friends out there! Special shout outs to my Baby Mama, congrats on your first mother's day, Amanda, and happy "baby's still incubating but I'm totally already a mama" mother's day Sweet Christina) There's more mommies I could link, but that would take a long time. You know who you are!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Neverending trials with my mom

Every single day, I am aware of how much I want to be living in my own home again. It is not a fun feeling to be 28 and living with your parents. God does not like this. God has put me here because my mom needs me, regardless of what else is in my life or how much it annoys me. He really couldn't care less about what I think about it. He's got plans and this is where He put me.

My mom's health has been declining since I got here over 2 years ago. The past year or so have been just one thing after another. She's had so many knee surgeries. She had the GI surgery. She's had potassium issues that landed her in the hospital. She's currently confined to either her bed or a wheelchair because she can't walk. That being said, things have taken a sharp turn for the worse.

Yesterday, the falling started. I was putting on my shirt, about to leave for work (and the only person awake in the house) when I heard a scream and a thud. My mom had fallen out of bed. She said she was reaching for her glasses on her bedside table and just tumbled. The story has changed a bit in her retellings, which is not surprising. I had to wake Sheldon up to help me get her back in bed. She was sore but otherwise okay the rest of the day. This morning, the okay left the building. Around 5, I heard someone calling my name and saying help me. I thought one of the kids was in the bathroom and sick or something. I woke Sheldon up and sent him to take care of it. When he got to the hallway, I realized it was my mom, so I got up and darted in her room. She had managed to roll out of bed (literally) in her sleep and was laying face down on the floor next to the bed. She said she'd been laying there maybe 5 minutes before I woke up. When she was sitting on the floor, she started kind of babytalking (which I cannot stand - ask my kids.) and telling me how she can't put weight on her leg because she has no knee. I told her that wasn't news. We got her in bed, which was horribly unpleasant since Sheldon has an umbilical hernia and is now hurting pretty bad. If it was just the falling, the okay might still be here. Its so much worse than that. At 7:55, my sweet sister in law called and asked if we got a dog. I said, "Um, no?" She said, "Your mom just called me and told me there's a cockapoo puppy in her room and she has no idea how it got in there, but it keeps licking its jowls and moving its head. She said she was gonna have Cherie check into it." Yea, let's go check that. Go into Mom's room with Cherie, and sure enough, she thinks there's a dog in there. She goes, "Look at the cockapoo!" "Where, Mom?" "Right there! You're about to step on it!" I back up REAL fast because I think she's talking about a cockroach and that's a no-go for me. I ask her where the dog is again and she says, "Right next to the door! He's black, don't you see him?" "Mom! That's a PILE OF SOCKS." "No, it's a cockapoo! Socks don't move or have eyes." HOLY CRAP. She looked at her clock and said, "What time is it, 11?" I said, "No, Mom. It's 4 minutes to 8." She said, "Oh, I hate that clock. It's all cattywompus." "No, Mom. The clock is straight up and down." Over the course of the next 2 or so hours, she tells my dad, Sheldon, Cherie, and me that we're all nuts to think that dog is just socks. I had to put the pile of socks, one sock at a time, on her to prove that it was not a dog. She also told my dad that I asked her to call Lizzie (my cousin). I went in and said, "Mom, why would I need you to call Lizzie for me?" She said, "You told me to call her and tell her you're running late, that it's only polite!" "Mom, what would I be running late for with Lizzie today?" "She's throwing you a shower today, isn't she?" "Um, Mom today is my RECEPTION, and no one throws that for you." "Oh, that makes sense." By the time my brother got here at 12:45, she had regressed further. She said she needed to get changed because Sheldon was taking her to the doctor and asked him to pull her privacy curtain. He said, "Mom, there's no privacy curtain. This is your bedroom." She slurred, "This can't be my bedroom. My bedroom would never be this ugly brown color." My mom's room is white with cream curtains and she has maroon and grey striped sheets. No brown. By 1:15, she was talking (frequently in slurs) to the man sitting on her bed with her, and he was very nice. By 2:30, an ambulance was at the house taking her to the hospital, and she was no longer using complete sentences. By 4, she was completely incoherent and flailing her arms.

She's had a CT scan and is heavily sedated. Her primary care doctor has been contacted and she's being admitted into ICU. Her orthopedist and a neurologist are also involved. My dad said that based on what they'd told him, its most likely one of three things: she OD'd on her meds or 2 of them interacted, she's just gone crazy, or she had a stroke. That's completely his speculation, though. We really don't know anything.

Regardless of the cause, this is bad. This is very bad. Please pray for the doctors to find what's really going on here, for her health and healing, and for our patience and sanity while we go through this with her.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Beautiful Green Spot

The week before the wedding was anything but awesome. I can't imagine how people who don't know Jesus get through stormy seasons of life. I am overwhelmed 99% of the time - either by the storms themselves or by the magnitude of His love for me, and well, us. Our wedding was this perfect moment in the midst of a storm, and it was exactly the reassurance I needed to know without any doubts, hesitations, or glances backward that I have made a step into my future with my feet placed exactly where God wants them.

Now about that storm...

Have you ever sat down and looked at your life and felt like every single aspect of it was at least slightly (if not completely) a mess? Yea, I'm in that boat. Our finances are atrocious (thanks to a sweet combo of our mistakes in the past, previous marriages, and my job kind of sucking) so we're stuck in our ever-pleasant living situation with no end in sight. We're down to 1 car and then that car died the day before the wedding (at least my parents have extra vehicles that we're borrowing - but not without drama). We have ongoing strife with the kids biological mother. Aside from the things she does or permits to be done to the kids that are physically damaging, she decided to move from Katy to Tomball (which is almost an hour and a half drive - yay Houston is enormous) so we're using even more money every time we have the kids in gas and being forced to eat out every Thursday night. Plus it cuts into our time dramatically. Almost 3 hours of our precious time with them is spent in transit. She's only partially in contempt of court with the move - she stayed in the geographic area set by the papers but she only provided 13 days notice instead of the required 30. She hates the relationship the kids have with me and desperately tries to exclude me at every opportunity. I'm blessed beyond belief that she has been unsuccessful and the kids and I still have a ridiculously awesome relationship (my heart soars and breaks simultaneously when we're dropping them back off and Cherie turns and yells from the porch, "Bye Mama! Bye Daddy! I love you!") It sucks that I can't have lunch with them at school now and that we're not as able to be at their programs and activities during the day because its so far. I try really really really hard to pray for their mom, because the Bible commands us to pray for those who persecute us, but when my heart is so clouded with contempt, it gets hard. When things get really really ugly, and I'm mad/hurt/disgusted, the comfort I have come to rely on is knowing that God is working here. He has plans for us so much bigger than this mess we're sitting in. He will make beauty from the ashes. He will bring us strength and peace. And all of these things will work together for His glory. Does that stop me from looking around for a slingshot and a smooth stone? Obviously not. In the years to come, this will just be the time that we started our beautiful Green life on a stone foundation during a storm. Mike Holmes makes it right, but his work looks shoddy compared to the work Jesus Christ is doing. He makes it right, because He loves us too much to leave us in pits of sorrow and strife.

And that beautiful Green spot? Let's end this with some wedding, shall we?

We have known from the very beginning of our relationship that we wanted to be a couple who glorified the Lord with our love for each other. We chose a wedding date and location that honored Him. We laid a foundation with our relationship that honored Him. We felt such a peace about being with each other, and then everything came together so easily - wedding related anyway - that we could not deny the favor our Father was showing our union. I mean, literally, every little aspect was touched by His hands. The weather forecast started to look ugly for our chosen date, time, and location. I started getting messages from concerned loved ones asking what our back up plan was. I confidently replied that we didn't have one because we didn't need one. The weather would be beautiful. Friday morning, it was black and threatening in Austin. I can honestly say I was never worried. I didn't care if the ground was wet. It would not be raining. At 4:30, the clouds went away. At 7ish when we stood atop a mountain, literally surrounded by friends and family, and promised each other and God that we would love each other for the rest of our lives, no matter what, it was 75 with the beginnings of an exceptional sunset behind us. See? I told you the weather would be beautiful! The Lord blessed us for honoring Him. We got started about 30 minutes late (no one is surprised. I mean, seriously.) and Owen was running around and climbing on rocks instead of standing next to Sheldon like the best man is supposed to (and like I told him to do 4 times) but he's 4 and adorable so who cares? Ross officiated an extremely personal and charming ceremony. I got the ring finger correct on the first try. And no one fell down. Wait, no. Several people ate it on the stairs, but no one fell during the ceremony. It was simple, comfortable, and sincerely about how much we love each other. It was exactly how we imagined it, except with more awesome. I mean, you can't really fathom that much awesome when you're imagining things, really. My girls rallied around me (B - thanks for putting us up and taking the kiddos for ice cream! Mango - thank you for coming all the way from ENGLAND and for taking care of my flowers. Jen - thanks for driving, being so ridiculously hot, and for exuding calm. I love y'all!) and got me up that hill! We had a casual fun dinner at El Arroyo afterwards, and it really just felt so right. Thank you so much to everyone who was there and for all the love and support you've given us!

The Great Kate took our pictures and great is an understatement.

gorgeous sunset and skyline

Group shot! Most of the guests actually made it into this pic!

My amazing girls

my handsome Green men

You can view the entire album of Kate's shots here. She did such a great job and the pictures are better than I could have hoped for!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Oh, I forgot to blog about something

So, I'm pretty surprised that I forgot to blog about how I'm getting married next week. I'm usually pretty quick about blogging about ginormous life changes, but I just got a little busy or in love with my blackberry or something to actually blog about it.

Sheldon and I had been planning to do some full on wedding in June or July. We were contemplating a quasi elopement in April with just us and the kids for a few financial and logistical reasons, but still have a real wedding this summer. The more I tried to plan it, the less I cared. I wasn't excited about dress shopping. I wasn't jazzed to go find a venue. I didn't have any joy at thinking about bridesmaid dresses (only the ladies who would be wearing them). So we said, "Forget it! Let's take the money we'd be spending on that wedding (ie his tax return) and use it to get moved into our own place!" So we're making our quasi elopement a super casual public thing. We're getting married on Good Friday on Mt. Bonnell in Austin (LOVE!!) and having dinner at El Arroyo afterwards. We're also having a reception in Houston on April 17th because the vast majority of my family and several of our friends can't be there on April 2nd.

We chose Good Friday because it felt so romantic. Good Friday is a celebration of the day Christ gave His life for us, which is the greatest act of love EVER: past, present, or future. To celebrate our love on a day that honors the greatest love possible just seemed like such a perfect fit.

Everything has fallen together beautifully. The dress I got was the 3rd dress at the 1st store. Sheldon and Owen's attire was found on sale on a whim stop at a department store. Every date that we've wanted for things has been available. My beloved Mango is going to be able to make it over from England (and it turned out this was even better for her than this summer!). The ease of it all has been comforting and tells us that our marriage has favor with God. What could be better than that?!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

school picture time!

Sheldon picked up the kids' school pictures today when he went to have lunch with Cherie. It makes me crazy that Owen has started doing this closed mouth smile thing when he's posing for pictures. When he's smiling naturally, its this big open mouth grin that is utterly infectious. I also wish Cherie's top was a little less saggy in the chest, but overall, I'm just in awe of how beautiful these kids are. Yea, I'm biased. But I can't help it. Also, I love that they gave us photo key chain cards (just like your shopper card at the grocery store or Spec's) so I can have their sweet faces with me all the time. Much easier than pulling out a phone or wallet to brag on them!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Honesty Scraps

Sometimes Life Has Other Ideas tagged me to do Honesty Scraps like a week and a half ago, and since I was waaaaaaay behind on my blog reading, I didn't see it until today. Better late than never! Here goes:

1. I am addicted to Diet Coke. When I read about the signs of addiction, I knew I had a problem with Diet Coke. Okay, it's way better than being addicted to crack or something. And hey, I'm on step 2!

2. There are days when it's a close race between my cats and my stepkids as to who I love more. I love my stepkids as though they were my own kids (I totally understand how parents who adopt feel!!) so that just means I REALLY love my cats.

3. Someday, I really will finish my BA and become a teacher. I love my little ones on Sundays, but I want to spend my work week with high school kids. Hooray, Social Studies!!

4. I met my fiance' online. (I actually just typed husband and had to go back and edit it. We're so married, just not legally. Soon, though. SO STINKING SOON.) I don't know what his reasons for online dating were but mine was straight up lazy. The ministries I'm involved with at church aren't conducive to meeting single guys, and I totally wasn't about to start looking for a guy in a bar, so I thought I'd give it a shot. We emailed, we spent 7 hours on the phone having our first phone conversation, and he told me last week that when he kissed me goodnight on our first date, he knew I was the last girl he'd ever kiss. The feeling wasn't mutual, but I came around. There was just something about him that I really liked.

5. My 2 favorite sports are college football and curling. Yea, I said CURLING. I know its the mocked sport of the winter Olympics, but I freaking love it! There's a lot more skill and strategy than people think. And flexibility! I bet most of the mockers out there can't get in that position down on the ice to slide a rock.

6. I got a Blackberry last month. My entrance to the 21st century also marked several other firsts for me, including but not limited to first camera phone and first downloaded ringtone.

7. I don't like ham. I love bacon, though. Just something about ham that I don't find all that appetizing.

8. I would rather text than talk on the phone probably 90% of the time. Baby Mama and I keep our love alive and strong because she would rather text than talk 98% of the time. Subsequently, we chatter back and forth all day.

9. I have never watched a full episode of any of the following shows: Lost, Grey's Anatomy, American Idol, or The Sopranos. The odds of me dying and that statement still being true are incredibly good. I don't care if you tell me I don't know what I'm missing. I said I've never watched a full episode. What does that tell you?

10. I fully intend to never buy a 2-story house. I just don't like them. I'm incredibly fortunate that Sheldon doesn't like them, either. If we had millions of dollars and could build whatever kind of house we want, it would be a huge, sprawling 1 story. With bedrooms for 5 or 6 kiddos. :-)

Annnnnd now I'm tagging!


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Faith like a child

I love serving in the children's ministry at my church. Obviously, I like kids, but there are so many things that I get out of it. I'm not saying every Sunday I have this amazing face to face with God through a giggly 1st grader. I probably wouldn't appreciate it if I did. Instead, God sprinkles those mind-blowing moments throughout the year, when I'm not really expecting them. He just pours Himself all over my face and into my heart through the kids. Today was, as you may have guessed, one of those days where He decided to fill me up.

The children's ministry at GFUMC is based on Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it." That means we don't just sit around and sing, "Jesus loves me" and color a picture of Him holding a lamb every week. We actually teach them scripture and about who God is and how He is relevant in their lives.

The unit we're in right now is on worship. We've taught them that worship isn't just about singing a song about God. Every single thing you do in your life can be (and really SHOULD be) an act of worship. We've colored pictures for God. We've written Him love notes. We've danced and, of course, sang. We talked about how God made each of us different, and made us good at different things so that we could use our talents to worship and praise Him. It's been pretty cool. Today during large group, instead of the usual format which is we sing 3 or 4 songs then break into 2 groups (1st and 2nd grade and 3rd-5th grade) to have the main lesson, we had Worship Day. We sang, we danced, we clapped, we prayed, we read scripture, and we raised our arms up to our Father to ask Him for more of Him and more of His love. Frequently during praise & worship, my kiddos get distracted. They're in a room with a bunch of kids (mostly older than them), with friends they don't (usually) see the other 6 days of the week, with music playing. Put those factors in with a 6 year old attention span and, well, you get the picture. Because of that, I was a little skeptical about how well my class would do with the intense worship day. The majority of them waned at different points, but towards the end, when the singing turned to clapping and dancing, God was like a hurricane force wind moving in that room. I'm sure there are people tempted to say, "Oh, kids are just followers; they epitomize the mob mentality and were simply succumbing to peer pressure," but friend, I FELT HIM THERE. My eyes literally welled up with tears as I heard their little voices raising up to proclaim their love for Jesus, when I saw the smiles on their faces with their eyes closed just being with the King. I have prayed more than once for the adults in the church to get it the way the kids do. It is impossible to not feel overwhelmingly blessed to be a part of something like that, to witness faith in the purest form that way. It will change your faith in amazing ways.

God uses kids. He loves them, and they love Him back. They aren't like us in their need to know all the details. They just believe because they love. I mean, I know how annoying the "why" phase is for kids, but most of them don't have that with God. They don't ask why their parents love them, and they don't ask why God loves them, either. They just know and accept that He does. I have one little guy in my class that I absolutely ADORE. His mom told us today that he made God a valentine, and wrote in it that he loves God more than he loves his parents. When his teacher asked how they could make the world better (trying to get them to say "recycle" or "use less water") he said, "We can tell more people about Jesus Christ." He is completely right! At 6 years old, he embraces a love and truth that most adults just don't get. God wants ALL of us to love Him the way Little Man does. He doesn't change. WE DO. We get wrapped up in all the details of life and forget the most basic truth in our lives: God loves us and knowing Him makes our world better. FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD... I want a faith like that, don't you?

Pray for our kids. Pray that they don't lose this excited love and adoration for Jesus. Pray that as they change, that part of them stays the same. Pray that they will never be embarrassed to jump and shout how much they love Him. They're going to change the world. God is moving in them, and I'm excited for it. Children between the ages of 4 and 14 are the largest population group in the WORLD. A population that large with a fire for God can't help but change it!

*sigh* God, You're so cool. And I love You!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

happy valentine's day!

Sheldon and I are both working this weekend, so a romantic outing (or much time together period) is out of the question. This afternoon, before he was heading out to work for the night, he said, "Baby, can I just give you your gifts now, since tomorrow we're not really gonna see each other?"

Yea, he's good.

Then he went and got me Taco Bell! All those guys who went to Jared got nuthin' on my boo!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Short month, Short entry

Sooo..... hi. How are you? Nice.

My mom's been in the hospital since January 18th. She had surgery (again) on her knee to remove the original knee replacement and put in an antibiotic infused cement spacer. She's at a rehabilitation facility called Cane Island right now, and her doctor is worthless. Minimal progress on that front, but hey, the kids are getting good at steering a wheelchair.

I've been working a ton at the store, which isn't bad because I get to work at 8am Monday thru Friday most weeks and am almost always home by 3, unless I have a random late day of covering for someone who called out. I'm happy there. It's all good.

We have actually begun to make wedding plans. Real, actual wedding plans, as opposed to just, "Hmmmm... Maybe _____ would be fun!" The nice thing about having an extremely small scale wedding is that there isn't nearly as much to plan. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.

We've had 2 classes (out of 9) for our Marriage Matters class and we loooooooooooove it. It's so simple and yet it's something that no one really thinks about. We get so into our emotions and what we want and expect that we totally forget that we're dealing with another person and not some perfect creation in a movie. So far so great!

Now for pictures of my heart:

and the funniest video EVER:

Saturday, January 23, 2010

It's official!!

The judge approved our divorce papers on Wednesday, and our final hearing was Friday morning at 8:30. Poor Sheldon. Denver called the house to get some information for the paperwork at the hearing and since I was at work, Sheldon had to talk to him and get the info. Not that D was rude or anything, but that's so uncomfortable and awkward, to say the least. But Sheldon's a trooper and was polite about it, despite the fact that he said he was fighting the urge to tell D off. I'm glad he refrained. Deep down, he knows what he did to me, what he put me through, that he is a liar and all the other things that make him an awful person. He changed so much, and I'm afraid that everything in him that was good and wonderful is gone, all the things that made me love him have been discarded. What a loss.

I am incredibly blessed to be with Sheldon. He is crazy and ridiculous and grumpy and stinky and generally fantastic. It is the best feeling to know that I fully belong to him now, that there's not still D lingering with the courts to prevent me from being 100% his. Now that I'm divorced, I actually feel that giddy, engaged feeling. I'm ready to be committed to him in every sense of the word. I'm ready to make the commitment to him legally and, more importantly, with God. He and I really will spend the rest of our lives together. He will stand by me in the good times and the bad. He is ready to face good years and not so good years with me. We do not go to bed angry. Every day we work to make us work, and we make sure that we include God. Its how marriage was supposed to be. I'm so lucky!

Here's to going Green!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

I'm not making any specific resolutions this year because, well, I failed last year. Instead, I'm just resolving to be BETTER. I'm already leaps and bounds ahead of who I was a year ago, and I trust that I will be even further ahead in a year.

I was so sad when I started 2009 and I was so happy when it ended. Not happy because it was ending, but happy because of all the new, better, amazing things in my life. I started the year feeling pretty isolated, with none of my best friends in the same city, and most not even in the same country, as me. I was still praying for my marriage to be healed. I was kind of desperate. I was desperate for change. And 2009 sure did bring the change!

Towards the end of the year, I was more disappointed that my divorce wasn't finalized on time than I ever in a million years would have guessed I'd be! The times with him and the times missing him feel like distant memories these days. In their place, I am building new, wonderful memories with the family God has blessed me with. I don't feel like I'm intruding or forcing myself into this new family. Instead, it feels like these 3 people were placed into my life by God, hand picked to fill my heart in places I didn't realize were empty! I mean, sure I had thought my heart wasn't intact anymore, but I have been proved so very wrong. God knew they were waiting for me, and He was shaping me for them, for me to fill a void they had in their family. In 2010, we (all 4 of us!) are eager to make our family of 4 a family of 5. What gender the 5th member should be depends on who you ask, but no matter what, he or she is waited for and already loved. He/she is already being prayed for by his/her parents and big sister. We call him/her "Promise" because we believe that God has promised us a 5th member of our family.

I went through a lot with my parents, mostly my mom, this year. My mom had 7 or 8 (I stopped counting) surgeries this year, most of them on her left knee. She is not a good patient. It wore on me so much to be taking care of her seemingly non-stop. Sheldon and I had only been dating for a few weeks when she was rushed in for emergency surgery. For the first time in the whole ordeal, I had someone to take care of me. I had someone to let me just unload all the feelings I had. I had someone who would help me take care of her (although he missed the really fun weeks when I was setting up her iv for her at least once, sometimes twice a day), someone who would spend time at the hospital so I could have time to do things that I needed to do. It showed me so much about who he is, deep inside. It taught me about his character, and I knew even more certainly that I had found someone so incredibly special. We were at the hospital spending time with my mom the first time I told him I loved him, in fact! Having a partner, a true partner, to walk beside me and hold me up through all of this stuff has been HUGE. God knew how much I needed it, and in His (always) perfect timing, He gave Sheldon to me.

I finally started working again this year. I don't make a million dollars, and I only work 30 hours a week, but I like where I am, I've already advanced in the company, and for now, it's perfect for me. It helps me to spend more time with my family (the ones I had before and my new one) and doesn't feel beneath me, which I was afraid would happen when I was having so much trouble finding a job. Just like with Sheldon, God put this job here for me at the exact right time.

I am so grateful for the blessings I have. If it wasn't for Jesus, I know that I would not have made it through the months upon months of heartache and agony I went through. I would not have made it through the months of nursing and being pretty much a servant for my mom. He sustained me, and His promises kept me. He is so faithful, and He loves me so! He has changed so much of what was bringing me down, and I'm glad that I went through the awful parts because it taught me to trust in Him and seek Him first all the time. It changed a lot of who I am, and how I see things. I'm grateful for that.

So for 2010...

Sheldon and I start the Marriage Matters course at our church on January 25th. Its a 9 week course that we know will set us up for success with our marriage. We've both seen the ugliest parts of marriage, and we know that no matter what, this time around will be different and better. We strive to put the Lord first in our lives and our relationship, and this class will give us tools to really do that. It also will help us with communication and other things, all from a scripture perspective. We're STOKED! With God, we cannot fail. The class will be finished in March, and we'll be getting married probably in June.

The year is just full of so much hope and promise. I'm blown away by all that God has already done, and I can't wait to see what He has in store for the next year!