Wednesday, November 30, 2011

{thirty nine and a half}

39 and a half weeks and i have an induction date scheduled.
if i don't go in to labor between now and friday december 2nd that is the day pips will enter the world.
i'm scared.
there are so many steps between now and holding her safely in our arms.
i long to hold her safely in my arms.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

36 years ago today...

...this happy little guy was born.
it seems as if he came out with a love for christmas and holidays and good times.
matt turns 36 today. 36. what in the world? it's hard to believe we were only 22 when we met. i am proud of the man that i married. i am in love with the man that i married. and most of the time i even really like the man that i married. isn't that great?
i bought matt cologne for his birthday this year. i think the last time matt had a bottle of actual store bought cologne was the year after we got married. yes, as in 10 years ago. he always smells nice, but the other day he politely said, "i think i would like to smell good again. why don't you pick me out something that you like?" so i did just that. and i picked a good one! i wanted to sit and smell him all day. sigh, men who smell great are really something special, aren't they?
what else can i say about this man? he has been patient with me through many ups and downs, he is an amazing father to our 2 almost 3 children, he loves reading and never stops learning, and he does silly, adventurous and surprisingly meaningful things, like join the VFW. i love him. i really and truly thank God that we are together. there have been many times through out our marriage where if we would have split up i am sure the world would not have blamed us, but God helped us persevere and i am so thankful that we have.
happy 36th birthday my love!
it looks great on you. xo

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

her legacy

this is how i will always remember matt's grandma, lawna scott harrison. enjoying christmas and with a little point and shoot or disposable camera in her hands. she loved christmas which is probably how matt comes by it so honestly.

the night before halloween matt got a call from his dad that grandma had gone into the hospital to check out some pain. while she was there she had major bleeding, then her heart stopped and they had to do CPR, which broke a couple of ribs, which then triggered her lung filling with fluid and she just went downhill from there. she had a couple of hope full days where everyone thought she might pull through. then on veteran's day matt got another call that she may not make it through the night. matt and i talked about it and he got in the car and drove right to orlando to say goodbye. it was a hard weekend for him. full of memories. full of wishes of more time spent with this lovely lady who laughed a lot and was ALWAYS witnessing to someone. seriously, she had a supply of tracts in her purse. it worked for her though. people responded to her kindness and sincerity.

last night around 8, we got that call. the one that we had been expecting since they moved her to hospice the day before, but still it was hard to get. i knew from matt's tone while he was talking to his dad that it had happened. it takes awhile for things like this to really hit me and this morning it did. i lay awake in bed thinking about being married to matt for over 60 years and what it would be like to wake up that first morning after knowing that i wouldn't see him again on earth. i wouldn't smell him or touch him or walk past him. i wouldn't kiss him or cook for him, remind him to take his pills, or get mad at him for being a nasty old man. those are the thoughts i had this morning. i thought of grandpa, alone and what that must feel like. grandma was finally at peace, but grandpa...i don't think that man has ever been alone.

and then my mind turned to heaven. what must grandma have woken up to this morning? did she wake up to her mother, her father, the sister she never met who passed before her? did my grandpa saunter over to her and ask how we all were and to make the connection that they did indeed have a connection? did finn...did finn run to her? did he ask her how we were? did he grab her by the hand and say, "i can't wait to show you around! grandpa and i have this place figured out." did she laugh and skip and take deep breaths of clean and crisp air. did she breathe deeply and fill her lungs? lungs that had been so heavy for a month with liquid. did she sing? did she join the chorus?

i don't know what i think about heaven totally. i don't know if it is a place, or a state of "mind" or something that we tell ourselves we go to before Jesus comes back and creates a new heaven and a new earth. i am not a scholar of heaven. what i do know is that God promises no more tears after we die, and that to be absent from this body, this body that decays and breaks, is to be present with Him. i don't know the rest.

i do know that matt's grandma passed away 8 years almost to the day that my grandpa passed away. 8 years he has been gone. i can still hear his voice and feel his hug with his rough facial hair as he asks, "how's my girl?" it is great and powerful and awesome to think that someday i will hear that again. i will see grandma smile, maybe offer me something delicious or tell me about all the beauty there is to see. someday, i have to believe that we will be reunited. i have to believe this because the missing, well the missing is just too much to take without hope. hope that we will indeed see each other again.
goodbye for now grandma harrison. you have left a legacy that has traveled down to your sons and through them to your grandchildren and even unto your great grandchildren. you lived a life of joy and blessing others with your life. you served and loved your husband faithfully for 67 years. you reveled in your family, enjoying every picture that was sent to you and peppering your house with their images. you decorated for christmas and made cookies every year. you loved and were loved and we will miss your presence here.
we will miss.
rest in sweet sweet peace.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


i love this time of year. not only has the weather finally cooled to a manageable temperature, but it is also full of holidays. and holidays mean wonderful food!
just a couple of weeks ago i said to micah, "i can't wait for it to be clementine season" to which he replied with a "mmmmm, me either mommy!"
yesterday i was at the grocery store and there they were.
in their happy wooden boxes.
i snatched one up and as soon as i got home i said, "micah i got us a surprise!"
i pulled the container out of the bag...
and we peeled 4 of them right than and there.
clementine would make a beautiful name for a baby born this time of year.
wink wink

thanksgiving feast and the shadow

i don't know how long this phase of life is going to last, but it sure has been a fun one. i will be sad when its time is over. what phase? the shadow phase. the phase where beatrix likes everything and i mean everything about her big brother.
friday micah's class had a thanksgiving feast. it was supposed to be outside but due to rain we set up blankets in one of the first grade classrooms on the floor.
(yeah that was fun getting up and down :)
at the beginning the teachers had each one of the kids stand up and tell 4 things that they were thankful for. mister and his shadow waited patiently.
and as you can see when it was his turn she stood up with him. it was so precious i just sat there grinning and praying. i was praying that though this phase may not last for much longer that it will come again. i prayed that they will be close like this for their whole lives.
micah and his class gave us all a preview of the christmas concert. they sang one of the songs complete with marching and hand motions. [the performance is scheduled for 2 days after my due date. will i be huge or will we have a little one by then? hmmmm] and though beebs had never even heard the song before she jumped right up with him, stood there for a minute...
and then danced right a long with him.

Monday, November 21, 2011

for pips with love

my dearest pip squeak,
saturday we took pictures of you. your brother and sister were not excited at all, but i thought it was important. i wanted you to see what mommy looked like when i was carrying you around. micah and beatrix eventually warmed up to it, but it took them awhile. i do not feel the most beautiful in these pictures, but you know what? 60 year old lydia would tell me to get over it! and that is what i tried to do.

we are excited to meet you and have you join this craziness. we all wonder what your personality will be like, who you will resemble, and how you will change our family dynamic.

you will be loved that is for certain.
we are excited to meet you soon.
very very soon.
love to you,
and please...come out easy!
[these pictures were taken by my friend kate, she did a beautiful job! thank you kate]

Thursday, November 17, 2011

future tense

there are 18 days until my official due date of december 5th.
18 days.
one. eight.
that is nothing!
when i get down to these last few days, and this pregnancy is no exception, i find that i have to force myself to think in future tense. i force myself into getting baby clothes washed and ready. i force myself to wash sheets and set up the bed and buy diapers and wipes. i force myself to speak in future terms such as "when the baby and i come home from the hospital, or when the baby cries mommy will have to feed her to make her happy again." i force myself to buy an outfit for her to come home in.
but if i'm really being honest, what i want to do is wait. i would wait until we are home before i did any of it.
i went through beatrix's old clothes today to wash and sort for the new baby. i came across some of her special clothes and blankets that i set aside just for her to have someday. this purple blanket is one that my sister in law made for beatrix right after she was born. she made one for finn, for micah and for beatrix and i am sure that she will make one for pip....
when she is here.

i force myself to do future tense things.
like wash the clothes she will need for the first 3 months.
like make a sling that i will carry her in.
i force myself to think future tense thoughts...
like i WILL carry her in this sling.
i will open this package of clothes.
i will not save it to take back in case something happens.
i hate this!
i hate that this is the lot i have been dealt. i hate that i can't think future tense thoughts without having it somewhere in the back of my head that all of this preparation may be a waste of time. i hate that i don't expect it to go anything other then perfectly. i really resent that i have to think like this. it makes me so mad sometimes.
i just want to scream.
but i don't.
i don't scream.
i cry sometimes. especially in the dark.
i give God an ear full about it sometimes, especially in the dark.
and i take a deep breath and i rip right through the packaging.
i force myself to think in future tense.

{thirty seven}

Thursday, November 10, 2011

my husband, the old man

are you a veteran? did you fight in a forward area in a foreign country? are you 65? if you answered yes to all of these questions then you too could join the VFW! well, except for the 65 year old criteria. that is up for discussion as my 35 year old husband did just that last night. we got a babysitter and everything. it was a special occasion.

in all seriousness though, matt was very excited about joining the VFW. it is something that i will probably never really understand. a lady with long blond hair and a weathered face and slightly dazed expression hugged me when i entered the post and said, "welcome home!" i looked at matt confused and told myself, "lydia, just go with it." so i looked at her and smiled sweetly, hiding the laugh that was threatening to escape, and simply said, "thank you". matt just grinned and i felt like i had gone back in time about 30 years.

the meeting where matt was invited to become a member was very top secret and it took some discussing whether or not i should be permitted to snap a couple of pictures. i thought they were joking, but they really weren't. matt was the youngest member in that room by about 25 years and while they were doing the ceremony one of the men tripped over his speech and said, "we haven't done this in years". i thought about that comment a long time last night.

the VFW is literally dying out, the current members are dying and the younger vets aren't replacing them. and as i looked around that dirty, old nicotine stained room i kind of understood why. they have no money to adapt to the fact that on the outside of those walls time is marching on. time hadn't affected that room at all. i am not the most patriotic person around, but right there in that dirty VFW with those few men and women who had fought in a forward area and had been in harms way, i softened a little. this was their safe place. this was where they felt the most relaxed, the most like being home. it made me sad, just a little bit. and though matt wouldn't go so far as to say it felt like home, there was an unspoken understanding between he and those ex-soldiers.

immediately following the meeting the members boned up on their recruitment skills asking matt to lead this and charter that and spear head this committee. i got a bit panicky until i heard matt say, "there will be plenty of time for all of that, but right now we are a little busy with a new baby coming. don't worry, i'm not going anywhere." hmmm...don't worry, i'm not going anywhere....i bet that was music to those old veterans' ears. veterans who hadn't "done this in years."

riding a bike

the training wheels came off...
and daddy ran beside...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

food and clean water

yesterday the principal at trinity was going around to classrooms talking to all the kids about Operation Christmas Child. if you have been living under a rock and don't know what this program is all about i will break it down for you a bit. community groups put together shoe boxes full of suggested items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, underwear, combs, hair bands, and a few candies or small toys. you can either make a box for a boy or a girl.

well, mrs. ansell, the principal was telling matt yesterday during his break that she was in micah's classroom and she asked the class, "what are some things that we can put in our boxes?" several of the kids raised their hands to answer her question. she noticed micah's hand was raised and she called on him,
"yes, micah. what do you think we could put in their boxes?"
micah responded, "i don't think they need any of those things. what they really need is food and clean water!"
mrs. ansell told matt that she had a very difficult time not laughing because he was just saying it like it was. let's cut to the chase, mrs. ansell what they need is those things! ha! i love it! she replied to him, "you are right they do really need those things and the people who bring the children the boxes do bring food and clean water to the communities as well." micah seemed relieved.

when matt was telling me the story last night before we fell asleep we were both laughing and then i said, "he must be getting a few of the things he hears us talking about." i fell asleep thinking, yes indeed, what they really need is food and clean water.

Monday, November 7, 2011

fathers and sons

i'm sure i have said it on here before, but i love watching micah and matt together. it is one of my greatest joys.

micah had another t-ball game on saturday and this one was different for two reasons. number one it was at 9 in the morning which meant it was cooler temperature wise and for an 8 month pregnant woman that is something to be celebrated for sure. number two reason was that matt got to coach micah's team. the coach called him last week and told matt that he wouldn't be able to make it and would matt be interested in covering for him? and just so you know, matt was so "willing" to coach micah's team that he could hardly sleep friday night from sheer excitement.

this little one was pretty pumped to have daddy coach too. he ran right out to the field and started playing catch with matt and the other kids who had shown up early.

my lady and i watched the excitement from this side of the fence.

matt wasn't sure how many parents would show up so he asked a few of the guys from the high school baseball team to come and help out with coaching on the bases and in the out field. and what a help they were. the little kids thought it was pretty great that the big boys showed up to help them. and from what the "big boys" told me they were happy to be there too. in fact they told matt they wanted to come next week and help out again.
100% into Thomas!

phil, the boy with the glasses, was in the dug out and there was also a father in there with his son. phil said that he was listening to the father give this little boy a hard time about something. when the little boy came up to bat again, phil was coaching home plate and he put his arm around the kid and whispered, "my dad was hard on me too, it will be alright". what phil witnessed really struck a nerve with him and because he was there he was able to reach out to that little boy. who knows if the kid will remember their interaction, but i know phil will.

father and son relationships are so important. vital in my opinion! there is nothing that can replace the desire of a son's heart to please his father. i witnessed it with phil and i witnessed it with micah and matt. matt's role in our son's life (beatrix's too) is ridiculously important! micah will learn to be a man from him. he will learn what kindness and patience and persistence look like and what it looks like to love his wife and family, from matt...

i am so thankful for the role that matt plays in our children's lives. the lives of his students that he loves like his own... the life of this little man that we are raising together.
father and son.
i love watching their relationship.