Friday, December 28, 2007
Today I actually uttered one of those generational phrases that every new mother insists they will never use.
Me: Jadyn, get down from there.
Me (as an autonomic response): Because I said so.
Even though I immediately apologized to her and gave her a valid reason, it was too late. It was done. It was official.
I'm a mommy cliche.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
But, as with so many "ideals" that change once the reality of parenthood hits, I'm rethinking my position on this. Today my favorite blogger, DaMomma, posted about this very concept. I know that by this time next year, when Jadyn will be 3, we'll have to really have this figured out. But so far, we just let Jadyn recognize Santa as a character, much as she recognizes Dora or Barney.
Open to input, folks. Please comment.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
We found out today that you are no longer with us. We can't tell you how sad we are that we aren't going to get to experience you growing and coming into the world and becoming part of our family. We know that Jesus has other plans in mind for you, and that your brief time among us will somehow bring glory to God if we let it. We all love you so much and we look forward to one day seeing you when we all get to Heaven. Until that time, we know God will take good care of you.
Mommy, Daddy and Jadyn
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Here are a few pics. I kept wishing I'd had our "good" camera with me!
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Please pray for us during this time. For some reason I'm more scared this time than I was with Jadyn about possible problems. Maybe it's my age, I don't know. I'm nervous, but I also know that God is totally in control and planned all along for this pregnancy to happen. And I'm so thankful!
Monday, October 01, 2007
The event, called Captivating Women's Retreat, is put on by the Ransomed Heart ministry. It takes place on the side of a mountain that is 14,000 feet tall. I had to check with the doctor to see if going to a high elevation in my "condition" is ok. He said I could go, but no high ropes course or giant swing for me.
Friends who have gone on this retreat before say that all hell tends to break loose right before the event - so much so that it may seem a better idea to stay home when the time comes. And BOY has that ever been the case in our life! The day after I found out I'm pregnant, I wrecked our minivan. We're still trying to get a replacement vehicle before the clock runs out on our insurance-paid-for rental car. Then Paul got sick last night and is at the doctor right now. Stress, stress, stress. But we recognize it for what it is. It's a ploy to distract me and tempt me to stay home. So I say, "No way!"
I'm really looking forward to this event. Sure, it will be great to completely "unplug" for a while - no phones or internet for 4 days. But the prospect of a true "mountaintop" experience with God is just so appealing right now. And getting to share it with my dear friend Kim makes it even better.
I am still concerned about the high altitude. I was worried about that before we found out about the pregnancy. I'm not in the best shape as it is. I get winded far too easily here at sea level. How am I going to handle the difference in oxygen levels? And now I'm breathing for two. The doctor said to make sure I'm well hydrated because that helps prevent altitude sickness. So great - I'll be peeing even more than I already do. But if it keeps me and Teeny ok, I'll live in the bathroom. I hope the sessions are piped in on the loudspeaker.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
"So when are you having another one?"
Frankly I'm surprised I didn't see this coming sooner. I suppose that up until this point a mother is given that "baby" grace period. But Jadyn is officially no longer a baby or even a toddler. The 2nd birthday marked her in most circles as a "preschooler". Suddenly the goings-on of my reproductive system are once again considered an appropriate topic of conversation. Even Jadyn's doctor asked about it, saying, "Hey, I'm a pediatrician. For me, it's job security!"
The first time this baby question pops up is when you've been married a few years. You're past that "newlywed" phase and it's time to get on with the business of fruitfulness and multiplication. Because this took longer for us than for most, we had to bear up under the procreation pressure (only rarely unspoken) for quite a long time.
I suppose part of me is simply amused. Why wouldn't it be my turn to have another? And look how great Jadyn turned out; wouldn't I want to grace the world with more of that cuteness? But the other part - the bigger part - is scared. I'm scared that I face another long trek of infertility. After all, it took 4 1/2 years for Jadyn, and technically we've been "open" to the possibility of pregnancy for over a year now. Then there's the whole twisted guilt trip of already having a child. "At least you have Jadyn if you never have another." True, we have Jadyn and she is more amazing that we could have dreamed. So do we dare want another child? Is it wrong to want Jadyn to be a sister?
Time is ticking. I'm 36 and Paul is on the cusp of 40. Odds are already against us. I was already feeling the pressure in myself - now it's external too.
So my answer to all those who ask? "We're working on it."
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Now that my parents are here and have helped us with the unpacking, I'm beginning to feel like a ticking timebomb, with folks just waiting for me to go off. Every time I wince in pain, everyone jumps, even though it's from a sore hip or something non-uterus related. I keep getting phone calls along the lines of "You're not at the hospital?" to which I want to respond, "I'm talking to you, aren't I? You called me at home, didn't you?" I'm telling ya, I really hope this happens sooner rather than later now. You know what they say about a watched pot never boiling? I wonder if that's true of a pregnant woman too.
I was great with child, just finishing up moving, and watching the news about Katrina's aftermath. And I realize now that what "they" say is true. You're never really "ready".
Here we are are, 2 years later. This week has been consumed with the business of birthday party preparations. A local playground is the venue and Elmo is the chosen them. (Yes, I promise to post picture's on Jadyn's blog.)
I guess because of the anticipated celebration I have been nostalgic. Clicking through old blog postings, smiling at photos from the last 2 years, and realizing that while it hasn't always been easy, I really HAVE forgotten most of the hard parts in favor of the good times. And there have been good times aplenty. A hundred"firsts", a thousand pictures, a million smiles.
I'm a different person than I was then. In some ways more intense, in others far less so. More secure but more of a worrier than ever. Busier but too often less productive. More exhausted and more satisfied.
I love being Mommy.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
But tonight it occurred to me that all of this may become a lot more than simple cuteness. Tonight we told them about what Jadyn's name means - "God has heard, God has answered" - and our struggle to conceive and the subsequent blessing of Jadyn. The girl who understood me the best translated for her friends. In that moment I realized it was the first time we'd brought God into our conversations. Hopefully this is just the first of many times that Jadyn will help bring the Gospel to people of another culture.
She also likes the fried rice.
Monday, July 30, 2007
I came home after not seeing Jadyn for 3 1/2 days and I was SO ready to see her; I was greeted by laughter and squeals of delight. After hugs and kisses, I said, "I love you." To my glad surprise, she looked at me and for the first time in her life said, "I wuv yoo!" Through tears I picked her up and held her close.
What a welcome home.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
- Players start with 8 random facts about themselves.
- Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts.
- Players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged.
1. I can count to 10 in 6 languages, counting sign language.
2. I turned 21 years old in a farmer's field in Austria.
3. I almost never drink hot caffeinated beverages. Except maybe hot chocolate. Tea or coffee very rarely.
4. I am fairly particular about the order in which my groceries get put on the belt. Comes from having been a bagger in a grocery store when I was a teenager.
5. If I'm not at least 20 minutes early for a movie, I feel like I'm late.
6. I don't believe in whipped cream. Not enough flavor for the caloric impact, in my opinion.
7. I prefer sci-fi to chick flicks.
8. The combination of chocolate and peanut butter is like nectar of the gods.
Friday, June 29, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Relationship? married
3. Your hair? striped
4. Work? half
5. Your sister? non-existant
6. Your favorite thing? chocolate
7. Your dream last night? stressful
8. Your favorite drink? slushies
9. Your dream car? infiniti
10. The room you're in? den
11. Your shoes? off
12. Your fears? inadequacy
13. What do you want to be in 10 years? singer
14. Who did you hang out with this weekend? "guys"
15. What are you not good at? math
16. Muffin? carbs!
17. One of your wish list items? cruise
18. Where you grew up? Pennsylvania
19. Last thing you did? typed
20. What are you wearing? pjs
21. What aren't you wearing? unmentionables
22. Your pet? dog
23. Your computer? laptop
24. Your life? transition
25. Your mood? anxious
26. Missing? space
27. What are you thinking about right now? Jadyn
28. Your car? minivan
29. Your kitchen? clean!
30. Your summer? humid
31. Your favorite color? peach
32. Last time you laughed? yesterday
33. Last time you cried? May
34. School? maybe
35. Love? always
Saturday, June 16, 2007
A year ago today our dear friends Chris & Leah and their two children (Miller and Mallory) were killed in a horrible car accident. This week Paul and I went to hear Chris's (and Paul's) favorite band in concert - Rush. While we were there rockig out, I kept thinking, "I wonder what Chris would think..."
Lord, please hug them for me and let them know that I miss them.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
- What is it that I ALONE am called to do? (I'm still working this out, but I'm getting closer to it. More on this another time.)
- Oswald Chambers had a quote: "Never make a principle out of your experience. Let God be as original with others as he has been with you." (This really hit me, not just as it refers to making principles out of MY experiences, but I noticed that I tend to make principles out of OTHERS' experiences as well. I need to remember that God will also be original with ME.)
- He told the story of Dean Karnazes, who came home drunk after celebrating his 30th birthday and suddenly decided to run. (Cue Forrest Gump montage.) He finally stopped 30 miles away from home after having run ALL NIGHT LONG. He realized that maybe he had a gift. Now he is a very accomplished runner. The point is that he had no idea of the outcome when he decided to "just run". But that's exactly what he did. (Too often I get caught up in not doing things because I'm unsure of the outcome. I suspect this is true of many people.)
- He talked about an encounter he had with a Jehovah's Witness. This person asked him what he thought of the JWs and his response was that he didn't like them very much because instead of allowing people to truly discover God for themselves by searching His word, they are feeding people what they want them to hear. But then he realized that this may also be true for most Christians. (I definitely think most of what I "know" of God has been fed to me by others and not self-fed.)
- He asked a rather thought-provoking question. "If I ONLY ever had the Bible, what would I expect to see when I walked through the doors of a church for the first time?" (Hmm. Is that what we are presenting now?)
- He told about having been invited to speak at a Korean prayer meeting that met at 5 AM in Anaheim, CA. His first thought was that it would probably just be a few folks kneeling for a little while, no big deal. But what he encountered was drastically different. They were doing this prayer meeting for 14 days straight and there were THOUSANDS of folks there every day, including babies, preschoolers, kids and teens. It was amazing to see the video of the event. These people were seriously committed. He said that if someone in that church wanted to serve in ANY capacity, including just passing out bullitens, they had to complete a 3-year discipleship training that included 10-15 hours of Bible training per week. Over 3,000 of them have already finished the training. (I wonder if we've set the bar so low that we in the modern American church have removed the need for any real commitment on the part of our members.)
- What would it look like if we truly took the Bible literally? For instance, loving your neighbor AS YOURSELF. We all make sure we have enough food to eat, clothes to wear, housing to enjoy, etc. What if we made sure the same was true for the people around us? How would it change our family and church budgets? (Wow. Just....wow.)
- Remarking on Hebrews 11 and Rahab specifically, he said that if it's true that without faith it's impossible to please God, what if the reverse is true? Maybe with faith it's impossible to DISplease God. (To God, the result isn't nearly as important as my dependence on Him as I make a sincere effort. Failure does not negate faith!)
- Don't get paralyzed by the church. It's not an excuse to not try. No church leader will tell us NOT to follow Jesus with all we have. We may not be able to use the building for a prayer meeting at 5 AM, but we can certainly use our own home. (I'm glad I'm part of a church that is more likely than not to encourage doing whatever God is truly calling us to.)
Monday, May 07, 2007
- Sometimes we think what we're doing (to reach others) is working, but it's not. This could be because it works for US, but it doesn't work for others. This especially hit me as it applies to worship music. I've recently set a goal for myself to write a worship song that a brand new believer with no church background would write. So many worship songs have words like glorious or redeemed or exalt. While these are Biblical words, they are not something the average new believer would say with authenticity. I wonder how much of our worship music doesn't touch new Christians because it seems so "churchy".
- Offering a "blended" service to keep everyone "happy" may be completely ineffective because it's not really relevent to anyone. Trying to combine service elements from different styles of worship can be powerful, but often it's just a random combination that seems to have no forethought, and that's just annoying.
- Are we making it easier or harder for people to come to God? This question also came up at the DRIVE conference at Northpoint Church last fall. I'm glad it came up again because I think I'm ready to ponder it in a new and different light. I may touch more on this in a subsequent post.
- Ministering to the family unit as a whole is not only possible, but it is powerful. It shows all the members not only the stories of our faith, but it also shows each member that they have something to contribute to the whole. The Bible story used as an example of this was the story of Nehemiah. When he was gathering people to help rebuild the wall around the city, he called families to come together for this common purpose. Imagine how the kids of the day felt when they saw that wall come up and realized that they had a part in it! How empowering for them!
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
...only to realize that normal doesn't exist?
Have you ever thought you finally had something figured out...
...only to realize you have no idea what's going on?
Have you ever hoped for something good...
...only to realize that what you have already is better?
Have you ever felt that your days stretched endlessly before you...
...only to realize that mortality is always a breath away?
Have you ever been experienced captivity...
...only to realize that the door was open all along?
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Jadyn decided to explore a bit, and when I looked up, I saw her following one of these trails rather than blazing her own. It seemed almost instinctive, like going along the predetermined path was not a choice but a necessity. I saw her try to go off the path once, only to return to it within a few steps.
I wondered to myself, "What exactly does this mean? Is she already a conformist? Is she more likely a follower than a leader? Will it be harder for her to think 'outside the box'?"
And then I chilled out and realized that she probably is just brilliant enough to realize that she was able to walk more steadily on the path than on the uneven grass.
Sheesh, sometimes I'm such a freak.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Most conversations with Jadyn (especially in the car) go like this:
"I wano schee nmoewn wnoew sye."
"I wano scheen mynwo ee-yo."
And so it goes. I have just begun to interpret some of this. She is often asking for me to sing to her, I think, and one of her favorites is Old MacDonald. After a rousing round of animal sounds (here, there and everywhere), I often hear this coming from her carseat:
"Kua la da, Kua la da, ee aye oooh!"
I can't stand the cuteness!!!
Thursday, March 29, 2007
But there are times when living the life of an 18 month old seems like heaven. No work, no responsibility, just snacks, play and a regular afternoon nap. Those really were the good old days.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
WARNING: It's a tad long.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
I want to tell you how the message behind this verse has impacted me as I have lived out my story thus far. But first, some background.
It’s never been an easy thing for me to trust God’s perfect plan for my life – to have faith in his unfailing love for me. But He has given me some opportunities along the way to grow more and depend on him. I want to share a few of those with you.
When I was in my early 20s I was working at a Christian retreat center in the mountains of PA. It was during a time when all my friends were marrying off, and I was beginning to wonder and worry if I’d ever meet the ONE. This was the topic of most of my prayers. One day I was in the chapel when I noticed a poster with those verses on it. I was drawn to that last part in particular. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” I remember praying, “God, I AM seeking you.” And I felt him whisper gently to my heart. “You’re not seeking me. You’re not seeking my face. You’re seeking my hand – what I can do for you, but you’re not seeking ME.” Oh.
And thus began a running theme in my life.
I met Paul online 10 years ago – long before the days of eHarmony or Match.com. God showed us clearly even before we met in person that we were meant to be together. It made no logical sense, as my mother and many friends continuously pointed out, but it was so obviously God’ will that it was impossible to deny. Paul moved to
6 weeks before our wedding Paul’s mother passed away. She lived in
Shortly after we arrived in
During this time we began trying to have a baby. I knew because my system was anything but “clockwork” that we would probably encounter some trouble. I figured it would take maybe 6 or 8 months, a year at most. In those first few months, I met people who had faced infertility for years and I just couldn’t imagine having to face that struggle myself.
We’d been trying for almost a year when I was diagnosed with PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS. Basically, my hormones were out of whack so I rarely ovulated. It was a frustrating time, seeing friends become pregnant so easily while I waited. Then, at the end a year of trying, I found out I was pregnant. It was finally my turn. When I got the result of my blood test, I heard the nurse say, “Yes, you’re pregnant, BUT…” My heart sank. My levels were low. It didn’t look good. I went in for another test, which confirmed our fears. A few days later, it was all over.
I wish I could tell you that I didn’t get angry, that I didn’t ask God WHY a hundred times a day, that I didn’t completely ignore God for a while. I felt like He had been teasing me, causing me pain needless pain. That first Sunday in church, the last thing I felt like doing was praising God. But the verse that kept running through my head was from Job: “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.” I can’t say that choosing to praise Him made me feel instantly better. But I clung to the idea that His plans for me and for that baby were for my ultimate good. Even when I thought I would collapse from the pain. Even when friends were saying, “Oops, we’re pregnant – AGAIN!” God is sovereign, God is good.
Several months after the miscarriage, Paul and I were offered the opportunity to adopt a yet unborn baby from a crisis pregnancy. The baby’s mother was being told to abort, but didn’t want to, and it was felt that if she knew the baby was going to a good home, she could go through the pregnancy. After some prayer, we felt like this was what God wanted for us. So we agreed and started the wheels in motion. Two weeks later we got a call. The mother was, for some unknown reason, no longer pregnant. It was over.
Again I was angry, frustrated and broken-hearted. It felt like God was playing with me again and I must admit that I didn’t speak to him very much for a while. I can’t say even now that I understand it, but eventually I accepted that it being God’s perfect will was not dependent upon me understanding it.
So it was back to the proverbial drawing board. I read all the books, checked all the websites. For a while I tried temperature charting and several different drugs, but eventually I just let it go. I was tired of feeling like infertility had become my identity, like I was walking around with a big scarlet “I” on my chest. The obsession over my ovaries was overwhelming and I’d had enough. I took a break from the drugs, the books, the charting, all of it.
After 6 years and 14 construction-sized dumpsters full of garbage, we were finally finished the clean up process in
In June of 2004 we moved to
On January 2 of 2005, I told the folks at my church about how God had been showing me through this process of infertility to continually seek His face, regardless of what came through His hand. The next day I got quite a shock. There were 2 lines. I couldn’t believe it. After 4 ½ years, maybe this was finally it. We were so scared because of our previous miscarriage. The first 3 months were a little tense, but not because I had a hard time. Frankly, I sailed through pregnancy. But we still had to choose every day that God could be trusted, no matter HOW this pregnancy turned out.
I was 8 ½ months pregnant when Paul came home and told me that his boss said we had to move to
So along came Jadyn. I can say now, on this side of it, that because SHE was the one we were waiting for, the wait, the pain, the frustration, even the loss - it was all worth it.
And because we moved to
Now, I’m not saying that we always get to know why things happen. We’re not promised that. But we are promised that God is in control, and that He is a loving God who can be trusted with everything in our lives.
So now, here I am. Hoping for another child – hoping that I’ll be satisfied if Jadyn is all we get. Praying for another healthy baby, praying I have the strength to go through another round of infertility if that’s what God wants for me. It’s easy to say that what I want the most is God’s will. It’s much harder to feel it day in, day out. So for now, I’m still going to seek God’s face, regardless of what His hand has for me. Because no matter what, He is sovereign, and He is good.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
I still wouldn't trade it for the world. She's worth every bit of it.
I just hate to see her not being herself. My mom used to say, "When you're a mom, you'd rather be sick than your child." I never really understood that until I had a child of my own. Now I'd be sick for weeks rather than her sick for a day.
I can't imagine how mom's of chronically sick kids do it. Most would probably say, "You just do." Kudos to them all.
Friday, March 02, 2007
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
So earlier this week, I was reading the "Love" passage - 1 Cor. 13 - and I was expecting God to show me all the ways I have not been very loving lately. I haven't been patient with my child, kind to my spouse, etc, etc, etc. But that's not what I came away with. What I saw instead was that all those things about love are also about God Himself, since God is love, according to 1 John 4. And then something else occurred to me. All these things are characteristic of the relationship He wants to have with me - this is how He treats me!
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." 1 Cor 13:4-7
When I looked at the passage from a new perspective, I found that I was able to find encouragement along with reproof, love along with discipline. It shouldn't surprise me. Now that I am a parent, I find myself correcting my toddler not just so I can so "NO" 1835 times a day (and believe me, it feels like that sometimes). I do it because I love her and I want her to grow into the woman God intends her to be. Doing so means disciplining her even now. It means keeping her safe, adjusting her already independent attitude, and instructing her on proper behavior. How much more can I expect God to parent me in such a manner?
I love it when God screws my head on straight.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
I'm trying to figure out if God is trying to bring things to my attention or if the enemy is trying to distract me or both. I want to change, to improve, to let God deal with me. I want to be obedient to His will and yield to His discipline. I recognize that everything God allows is for my ultimate good and His ultimate glory. I just want to discern what of this is a trial - a difficult situation not brought on by my disobedience - and what of this is, as my mentor calls it, is a "spanking".
Ultimately, I just want to know from God the truth of who I am and WHERE I am and where I need to be. And I want to be understood and accepted during the process.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
So now I'm conflicted. We're told that emotions are from God. We should be in touch with them without letting them rule us. I wanted to take my moment and deal with my anger, and THEN see it from a better perspective. But is that right? Is that even remotely Biblical? Should I feel guilty for being angry?
In Ephesians 4:6 we are told, "In your anger do not sin." This seems to indicate that the anger itself is NOT sin. So how long am I allowed to be angry? Probably not long enough for it to turn to bitterness. I guess the bottomline is that after I've acknowledged my anger, I must choose to hand it to God and let Him deal with it. By completely avoiding the emotion and just stuffing it, it may likely come up in some inappropriate way further down the line.
So I choose to recognize my feelings and surrender them (and the situation) to the Lord. Now the whole thing is His problem.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
My child is throwing up.
I'm handling it much better than I thought I would. I thought that when faced with this I would just add to the mess but so far, I've kept relatively calm and kept my lunch.
Wow, motherhood is fun.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Last week I got the call I had forgotten I was expecting. Many months ago I contacted a local Mother's Day Out program, otherwise known as "Mother's Day of Sanity". Jadyn was put on a waiting list, a fact I eventually stored where I keep most information not necessary for getting through life as a working stay at home mother.
I was in Wal-Mart when I got the call. There was an opening for Jadyn. Did I want it?
I was torn. The idea of going to staff meeting and not chasing her around the room, preventing her from tipping over coffee cups or sticking her fingers in power sockets - well, that sounded wonderful. But handing her over for a full day to be cared for by others - well, that sounded a little scary. Socially, she would love it. Financially, could we handle it?
All the input from friends has been an emphatic, "DO IT!" They agree that once you do it, you will FIND the money to make it happen. So Paul and I talked about it and decided to swallow hard and make the jump.
Today we went to check out the room, meet the teachers and register. She walked into the room, picked up a ball and was immediately at home. I, on the other hand, proceded with trepidation, asking all sorts of questions about food, naps, play time, etc. Eventually I signed on the proverbial dotted line.
She starts on February 1st. I'm either so excited I'm scared or so scared I'm excited. I'm not sure which.
Tell me, fellow bloggers, whether or not you've entered the world of daycare, and how you've fared thus far!
Monday, January 15, 2007
This post brought me to tears. My last grandparent, PopPop, just passed in December. Jadyn was his only great-grandchild, and though they met only once, I cherish the photo that captured this moment.
Before Jadyn came along, I never realized how much there was to fear in life. I too worry about the myriad of things over which I have no control, and I find myself especially concerned that she may make some of my most costly and painful mistakes, in spite of my trying to lead her away from them.
But I also never realized how much joy I was missing before she arrived. Every day brings something new to smile about. The sweet way she says “Bye-bye”, how she throws her hands up in cheer when I say “Roll Tide” (the Univ. of AL battle cry), how she says “Mama” when she sees a picture of me, the way she happily greets everyone with such innocent enthusiasm.
Thank you, Liz. Your writing inspires me to express my own heart.