Friday, February 20, 2009

Sometimes the Small Things Just Aren't So Small

I remember when Wes & Jilly were trying to walk. We tutored, practiced, encouraged, practiced, picked them up, practiced some more, and finally CHEERED! Same scenario applied for waiting with baited breath those ever important first words (I'll sadly admit that both said "Dada" before "Mama"). It was hard to tell who was more excited at these moments, the kids, us, or my precious Mama who gets quite excitable at such events. Nevertheless, much merriment was had at the momentous milestone (how's that for alliteration!). Simply put, it was a BIG THING.

Now, it is not even noteworthy that my kiddos can walk and talk. They aren't exceptionally fast or graceful, but they certainly can talk your ears off. These are just normal activities that get us from point A to point B or express our needs and wants, no biggie. And who would ever marvel at the great skill it takes me to cross the livingroom to the kitchen before that first cup of coffee? But take a look at this photo:

The man in the black sweatpants is my father-in-law. He was in a horrible motorcycle accident on July 2, 2008. I'll spare you the gory details, because that it definitely was, but long story short, he should not be alive today. It is purely by the grace and goodness of God that he is still with us now. After several months of very little hope for any sort of life outside of a hospital bed (or even awake for that matter), my father-in-law began making drastic improvements due to his determination, the wonderful people at TIRR in the Medical Center, and our omnipotent Great Physician. At TIRR, he was able to regain much of his speech capabilities (he was quick to regain his wit) and became more active. He learned to patrol the hallways in his wheelchair and, by the end of his stay, was able to eat soft foods. Now he resides at a new facility geared to reacclimating him to daily life for when he returns home. Of course he still has a long way to go before he is back to his old self (if a full recovery is even possible) but we trust in God's healing power and my father-in-law's determination that this mountain can be moved.

But now, back to the photo...

My father-in-law is getting stronger everyday. His therapy is geared to help him regain his physical and mental strenghth, including doing day-to-day activities that we would typically consider small things. His therapy reminds me of Wes & Jilly and how they learned to walk and talk. It is bittersweet that the same cycle now applies to their Papa: tutor, practice, encourage, practice, get up, practice somemore, and finally CHEER! He is able to walk and talk more and more each day. He gets so much support from his wife, family, and friends. We all got together recently for his birthday. Here we were all able to witness the success of his therapy. This photograph captures a special moment for our family. It was quite a long, hilly walk from the duck pond to his house, but with the help of his son-in-law and close friend, he made it up that hill. Normally the trip up that hill would've been a small thing, just a nice leisurely walk; but that day it carried all of the success and emotion the follows someone who has completed their first marathon. It became a BIG THING. And just as it was with our kiddos, it was hard to tell who was most excited at this triumph.

Right now I am not sure to what extent my father-in-law realizes just how much he has overcome. In his mind, there is nothing wrong and he emphatically tells his visitors, "Come on! Let's go eat" (as was his habit prior to the accident). But I am hopeful that one day he will be able to look back at this and marvel at the miracle of his survival and recovery. Each little step taken, sentence uttered, picture taken, Uno game played, or holiday celebrated takes on a new meaning. All the things that used to seem small have now become BIG THINGS.

I challenge you to enjoy the small things in life and see them as BIG blessings from a loving Father.

Now, here are a couple of the cutest BIG THINGS in my life:

Okay, so maybe she wasn't viewing this moment as a BIG THING!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Valentines

Naturally when it comes to thinking about Valentine's Day, the first person that comes to mind is my husband Kevin, who also happens to be the Best Husband in the World (even though I have no hope for flowers today). Just thought I'd clarify that in case you were under the assumption that your husband claimed that title ;)

However, and I think I can safely speak for Kevin as well, our kids are the greatest gifts God could have ever bestowed on us. The love they shower on us daily reminds me of just how much God loves us and that He gives us so much more than we deserve. They bless our life in so many ways. Just when I think that they couldn't make me feel anymore happy/loved/blessed they go and do something else to make me want to exclaim "My cup runneth over!"

One of the things I love the most about my kiddos is the way they play so well together. That's one of the reasons why we had them closer together (they're 19 months apart). Of course they inevitably resort to fighting when one takes the other's beloved toy (aka the one they have at the moment), but overall they entertain each other in such as way as to secretly entertain their Mommy!

Here they are playing together at the window on a beautiful day that was too windy for us to be outside (who knew living in Baytown would be so windy).

Such moments are very common in our household. Of course I would be remiss if I failed to mention that we have a multitude of meltdowns as well. There are days that we are tested beyond belief and I ask aloud "What next?!" But even in the meltdowns, we are reminded of the incredible love God has for us. It blows my mind to try to even comprehend the extent of God's love for His children. In the midst of the chaos of life, God never ceases to leave us reminders, like little valentines, of his infinite love: beautiful sunrises, randoms act of kindness, sweet kisses from little lips, blooming flowers despite cold weather, laughs around the dinner table at goofy faces made by a silly little girl, the miraculous recovery of an injured loved one, the sacrifice of an only Son for the redemption of the world. This is what love is.
I know that I am loved by my Heavenly Father and that makes this Valentine's Day so much more special.

My Little Mr. Monk

We have a little joke in our household about how obsessive compulsive Wes seems to be about some things. Don't even think about putting on his shirt before his pants, because "pants go first!" If you happen to do the unthinkable and but his shirt on first, look out. Fortunately for us, he is able to dress himself. He repeats his little "pants go first" mantra as he gets dressed though! This is not the only OCD behavior our little neat freak displays. Water on clothes, dirt on hands, and any other filthy combo like that also results in a meltdown. It is because of this I have labeled him my "Little Mr. Monk." You know, that OCD detective on TV portrayed by Tony Shaloub. You know how Monk touches every parking meter he comes across? This is total Wes behavior! Unfortunately the OCD characteristic is no where to be found when it comes to cleaning up the play room. A mom can dream can't she?!

So Kevin was helping the kids get ready for bed the other night and was having difficulty closing Wes' window blinds. Upon further investigation, he discovered...

Yes, they are all perfectly aligned and catorgized in some way that Wes tried to explain to me (it was obviously too logical for my simple mind to comprehend). Cars are at the beginning and all the way at the end is Thomas and Friends. Kevin insisted on my capturing Wes' antics for posterity (or just to embarrass him when he is a teen).

Here's the full shot...

Monday, February 9, 2009

It's that time of the week again!

Short list this week! Here goes:

  • Despite a list of potential blog topics, I would never go a whole week without posting a single blog save the "Not Me!" Monday post. You obviously have me confused with someone else!

  • While filling out paperwork at the hospital for a CT Scan, "someone" asked their Mom, "Mom, what is lodine and what kind of procedure would use it?" The wonderful mom replies, "That doesn't say 'lodine' dear, it says 'Iodine'!" I obviously overheard the previous conversation at the hospital, because my superior intellect would never stoop to such a low level! Even if that poor fool were me--BUT OF COURSE IT WASN'T--I was unaware that iodine was a proper noun!

Sorry, that is all for this Monday! Reoccurring sinus headaches have kept me virtually computer free, but I will strive to do better!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Check out this highly humorous blog by one of my favorite bloggers, MckMama, and consider joining in on the fun:

As for me, here are a few things I absolutely did not do this past week:
  • No way did I use my reoccurring sinus headaches as an excuse to have some extra quiet time this weekend!
  • When Wesley started acting up in the waiting room at my ENT's office, I simply did not bribe him with promises of a trip to the toy department at Target NOT ME! And I most certainly would never dream of buying him a train which he most certainly did not "just have to have", only requiring him to spend 3 tickets from his allownace instead of the 6 it acutally cost!
  • Being the die hard football fan that I am, I would NEVER skip the entire SuperBowl save for the last 5 minutes of the game. And I sure wouldn't be biased as to the outcome based on poor sportsmanship.
  • When my wonderful Mama told be she'd go with me for my CT scan on Wednesday, I was not totally relieved, not me, because I am a grown woman completely capable of taking care of myself, thank you.
  • One of my former students is taking college classes this semester in London. As a totally supportive mentor, I would never show any hint of jealousy over her getting to vist The Globe, but rather the utmost pride and support for her during this once in a lifetime experience! Furthermore, I would never for a brief moment dream of packing a bag and going with her, leaving a sink full of dishes and a mountain of dirty laundry. Nope, not me!
  • Never in a million years would I tell Wesley to "stop crying like a girl" because his Pez dispenser broke. In our house we are totally PC and phrases like this are just NOT in our vocabulary!

How about you? Come on, be brutally honest and admit it! I'm sure there is something to which you can proudly (or maybe not so proudly) say "Nope, NOT ME!"