Sunday, January 30, 2011

not alone - thank you

Thank you all for your comments on my last post, it feels so good to know that I'm not alone!! In so many ways I feel so "not normal".. what is normal anyways??? My husband and I have been put in circumstances that have been anything but normal the past few years. I go to bed so many nights with such a heavy heart, I wake up thinking.. this isn't my life!! Then I find myself feeling guilty.. why am I so heavy hearted?? I have a life and family that most long for!! I hope I never bring anyone down with my thoughts.. I know it could be so much worse, I am thankful for what we've achieved and what we have!!

Please continue to pray for Ben and I as we strive to find the answers we're looking for and live out Gods will for our lives.

(Some of you have asked and right now I am reading "Prayer - Does It Make Any Difference" by Philip Yancey. It's an easy read and I'm gaining some great insight)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

random tears

Have you ever had one of those days where everything makes you cry?? I'm actually on day two of this and have no root cause.. I had lunch with my mom today, like I do most Sundays and we were talking about something and I randomly lost it.. She of course, tried to comfort me and told me I have many reasons to feel this way. It's odd though, I'm not sad about any one specific thing.. not thinking of Weslee or this last baby we lost, friends with hardships, work, trying to get pregnant, ect.. I'm blaming it on hormones, I swear they haven't been right since I had surgery in November. I've also had a nagging headache (which I never get) the last two days.. again, I'm blaming hormones. I honestly don't have much stress in my life. I have a husband who goes to school full time, works on his days off, and loves me unconditionally!! My family is always a phone call away, I talk to them each at least once a day!! Friends who are willing to listen to me 24/7!! A job I honestly enjoy going to each day!! So what's my problem???? I am on new medicine since this last surgery but last month it gave me no problems?? I feel as though I'm trying to talk out my emotions, get to the root of the issue(s)?? I've mentioned before that I do a lot of reading, especially when I don't understand something.. here are some of my favorite passages from a couple of the books:

"A weathered old man once described to me his understanding of surrender. He said that he had a mean, grisly cat that wasn't afraid to use his claws and teeth. Every once in a while, the cat would get into some mischief outdoors and need a good bath. My friend would fill up the kitchen sink with warm, sudsy water, grab the cat, and dunk him in. The cat would hiss and claw and refuse to surrender to the bath. But the cat's reaction really didn't matter, because it would get a bath either way. I am inclined to believe that we are in a similar situation as we wait for a child: we can either hiss or claw or surrender, but the outcome will remain the same regardless."

"We can't understand why God would refuse to give us a child right away if He has a plan to make us parents. Perhaps the greatest challenge to our faith is accepting the mystery of God's ways and His timing. We know that He is able - praise the Lord! But while it's easy to celebrate His power, it can be hard to celebrate His timing. And yet His timing remains as critical to His plan as His power. We have to accept them both as evidence of His love for us."

"God works unexpected miracles in unanticipated ways. He assures you of a happy ending, of overflowing joy in your life no matter how He chooses to answer your requests."

"Most of my struggles in the Christian life circle around the same two themes: why God doesn't act the way we want God to, and why I don't act the way God wants me to. Prayer is the precise point where those themes converge."

As you can probably gather the two things I've been researching lately are prayer and longing to have children. In our situation I can see where your first thought would be, sure she's sad, she wants children, has lost two and is having trouble conceiving.. Although that is true I have a peace and patience about our future. I guess I've learned that over the past two years. In the past I would get so discouraged every time that test said negative. I don't find that to be the issue this time around.. Praise God and I hope this peace continues throughout our journey. Prayer is one of those things you're taught to do from a young age.. I've prayed my whole life and never questioned why we do it. It took me 26 years to finally break down and ask, why do we pray?? If God has a perfect plan for each of our lives then why do we pray, how do we know if our prayers changed the situation or if that's what God has planned the whole time?? I don't think I would of ever questioned this if we hadn't' been through the trials we have... When life is going well, things are smooth in your life, you tend to pray and praise God more often. I have had a lot of guilt over feeling this way or even questioning the power of prayer. I've talked with my dad about this and he's given me great literature to read.. I was hoping he would have a simple answer for me, like _______ is the reason you pray. It's not that simple though.. I'm reading and trying to learn all I can on this issue. Please don't think I don't believe in prayer because I do and I do it often!! I just feel there's more to it and I am searching for answers to make me that much closer to God!! I don't want to ever question His timing or His ways, I want to believe whole heartily!! I've not told many people about my questions related to prayer because I feel guilty for even questioning it.. Then I thought, what if others have these questions, I can't be alone!! I hope you don't judge me for my honesty, but pray that I will get the answers I'm searching for.
I used to pray for children, then I'd pray for one healthy child, now I pray for Gods will to be done in my life.
Obviously, I'm all over the place tonight with my thoughts.. welcome to my world!! If the devil doesn't make you bad, he'll make you busy!! Although I'm not physically busy doing something he's got my mind working all the time.
I find comfort is knowing that I'm not alone, no matter what situation I'm going through. If nothing else, I hope this post can comfort others to know that it's okay to ask questions and be real!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Brynn Bradley recently!!

Brynn has been such a fun and easy baby!! Even when she wakes up during the night Amber says she just coos and smiles!! Laci, Megan, & Brynn continue to fill my heart with more love every time I see them!!

this baby girl has been stylin since she was born, Amber always has her dressed so cute!!

Brad, her daddy found this outfit @ the Baptist gift shop, she has camo boots to go with it!!

I kept Brynn while Amber took the two big girls to gymnastics.. apparently I was babysitting Charlie too!!

so comfy in her auntie's arms!!


We're still trying to figure out who she looks like.. any ideas?? We've gotten Wes recently and many people say me.. I think that's because of her dark features. Like her sisters, mommy, & nonny, I think she's going to have those baby blues!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

power of prayer

Thank you to those of you who have prayed for my friend, her baby, and her family. I realize I haven't updated on what's happened since her appointment with the high risk doctor.. I feel like I'm re-writing/living my story as I go through this journey with her. At her specialists appointment they were too told that their baby "girl" would never live on this earth. Basically, like me, she was just an incubator to a baby that couldn't live outside of her. Although our baby's diagnosis were different the outcome was the same. My friend has since delivered her baby and HE is in Heaven with Weslee!! That's right I said he.. they had been told that they were having a girl and were surprised and amazed when a little boy entered this world. Although his spirit was already in Heaven his family was able to cherish some quality time with him. I believe in the power or prayer, even though I've had to do much soul searching on this subject the past few years.. our prayers aren't always answered the way we think they should but we believe in a God that is beyond our imagination and know that he has a perfect plan and will for our lives. My friend and I are a part of a sorority of mommy's who have lost babies far too soon. We will always question what went wrong, was it something we did, why us, what next... that's our earthly nature. Please continue to pray for my friend and her family as they try to get back to a "normal" routine..

Saturday, January 8, 2011

why God...

Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5

I am once again writing with a heavy heart.. not for myself tonight but for a close friend. This friend who I will keep anonymous for now has just been given some sad news regarding her unborn child. Like our situation, they went in with such excitement and anticipation to find out the sex of their baby. They too found out they were expecting a baby girl!! Their joy soon turned to question as the technician found some alarming characteristics their baby has. After waiting hours to talk to their doctor they were not given much more hope or reassurance. They are to meet with a specialist hopefully this week. Their doctor told them what she thought the baby had but didn't give them 100% news of the outcome. What's so crazy is that the day I found out about our last baby, she (my friend) had texted me that morning just to check on me and say she loved me.. I had no idea I was going to the doctor that day, they just worked me in. I too texted her Friday morning to let her know I loved her and that I was praying for her appointment.. It's a God thing that we have each other!! I've found myself wanting to call or text her every five minutes just to let her know I'm thinking about her.. I woke up this morning thinking, did that really happen?? Surely they're not really dealing with this, I must've had a bad dream?? I know you're reading this and I want you to know that you are not alone!! You are one of the strongest, strong willed yet loving people that I know. I can handle when bad things happen to me but when they happen to those I love it goes to a whole new level. I want to take your pain away.. You are so fortunate to be surrounded by a family that most long for!! I pray you never once question if this bad news was a result of something you did.. I beat myself up for months after losing Weslee until I finally had a peace that there is no known cause for these disorders. Like my dad says, they call it practicing medicine for a reason!! You will always question/wonder what went wrong.. that question gets less and less over time.. I know first hand nothing anyone can say makes the situation any easier.. but it did help to know that I was being prayed for and thought about by so many. The news of your baby has not yet gone public and we do not have a definitive diagnosis. My prayer is that you guys have peace and an understanding after meeting with the specialist. I pray that the doctor has a tender heart and answers your many questions thoroughly. I am here for you through the good and the bad, like I told you last night we can handle anything thrown our way!! The unknown of what's next is enough to drive you crazy... you (and your honey) will get through this and be stronger people because of it!! We are here for you every step of the way.. I hope you know I am one phone call away and am literally willing to hold your hand through each appointment and decision you will have to make. If I've learned anything over the past few years it's that God works in mysterious ways.. good or bad news you have a princess in your belly that was conceived in love and is your daughter!! You are a mommy and will be a dang good one :) I love you, your baby, your other half, and your family like my own!! This journey may be bumpy but we're on it together and will get through it with faith, frustration, tears, laughter, & love!!

from one mommy to another, I love you friend!!

**please take a minute to pray for my friend, their baby girl, family, and the decisions they will have to face...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Branson 2010 cont'd...

My MIL emailed me the pictures they took while we were in Branson at the beginning of December. I know I posted about our trip but I thought I'd add a few more pictures...

The past few years that we've gone have been bitter cold!! Thankfully, this year there was no rain and some sunshine!!

Dinner on Saturday night, it was a fish place on the Promenade - so good!!

Mary Ann & Phil (Ben's parents who are always so photogenic)

Kat & Trent (bless her heart, she was not feeling well)

Ben and I with his mom

Love our weekend get aways, we cherish the times we're able to do this!!

Mizell Christmas 2010

The Mizell & Crow crew

Phil & one of his grand dogs & our #1 girl, Avery

me & my baby... & Ben :)

Mary Ann & Phil's beautiful tree, presents, & stockings

Avery had enough pictures.. can you tell we need a kid?? poor girl, I mean dog

Mary Ann & Avery

Trent & Katherine (they are huge Cowboys fans)

my sweet sister-in-law and I, Katherine

brother & sister

Ben, me, Kat, & Trent

our pride & joy!!

Once again, year after year we were spoiled like crazy!! Thank you Mary Ann & Phil for another memorable year!! Thank you too for letting us bring our horse of a dog with us, it means the world to all 3 of us!!

The (Sonny) Grant Farm - Christmas 2010

Every year for the Grant side of the family we go out to the "Grant" farm. This year we celebrated on Christmas eve with a huge breakfast. Since the family is growing we decided a few years ago to play dirty Santa. Basically, you bring a present for each member of your family. We draw numbers to see what order we go in.. you always want the numbers later in the line so you can steal the best presents!! There are presents that are wanted by all, some that are hilarious, embarrassing, but that's what makes it memorable!! Here is a glimpse into our dirty Santa 2010:

mam maw Grant playing dirty and taking Marc's present!!

Marc's gift he ended up with will be a returning dirty Santa present I'm guessing.. two night lights with Brad's picture on them!!

poor Hannah... her first experience with dirty Santa with the Grant family and she picks edible candy undies HAHAHA I'm pretty sure Jace & Katie ended up with those (the newly weds) {don't judge us, all the gifts are in good fun}

Jace & Katie.... and the candies :)

mam maw Grant with her great granddaughter Brynn

Hannah & another present, a car detailing set.. no worries Brad ended up with it!!

Brad teaching Laci the ropes, to take the good stuff!! $25 Starbucks gift card (for her mom of course)

Katie & Megan

some of the family

dad making sure we all were on the same page with the dirty Santa rules.. the Grant family is known to be competitive!!

Ben opening up his first pick, a cup cake holder.. which Katie snatched!!

mom with her camo gloves she picked, soon to be swiped by Adam

Brad picked a gift that has been in the pile the last couple of years... it's a guy sitting on a commode that sings, thankfully there was a gift card attached!!

Katie & Jace Holmes

Grant, Amber (Brynn), Adam, aunt Connie

uncle Benny with Laci playing possum

It was a bittersweet Christmas without our beloved papaw Grant.. he would of been so proud of some of the "dirty" gifts!! I love the times at the farm we have together as a family. We are all so real, honest, happy, hard working, and proud of each other!! Thank you for the memories, already planning next years dirty gifts!!