Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Growing up is so hard

Lately, I daily find myself brought to tears by the pain of others. Some of them are perfect strangers. I have heard their stories through friends. They are in despair - feeling lost and completely deserted by God.

This one buried her seven year old son after he battled cancer.

This one is watching her six month old recover from her 2nd open heart surgery. The babe is crying through the night because the recovery is so painful.

This one has been battling infertility for years and years and years and nothing, nothing works.

This one lost his job months and months ago, is struggling to to make ends meet and is losing hope.

This one has beaten cancer twice already, but this time her body seems to be immune to everything the doctor's try. She was accepted as a test patient for a trial program - her last hope. On the 5th out of 6th treatment her body reacted badly and they kicked her out of the program - her last chance. Now she just waits for a miracle or for death.

This one is only 20 weeks along with 2 little ones and her body is trying to deliver them far too early. She needs at least 4 more weeks for the babies to survive, but that seems like an eternity to her body.

Complete despair, complete loneliness, wondering if God even sees you or your pain. I can count the number of times I have felt that way on one hand. And being on the other side of it, I can say that God is there and God will hold you.

I heard this song today on the radio. I've heard it a million times, but it just touched me especially today and I prayed...that all of these people would know that God will hold your heart. There are many more people I know who are in pain. And if you're in pain, God will hold your heart too. He is there. He does see you.

One tear in the driving rain,
One voice in a sea of pain
Could the maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breaking heart?
One life, that's all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You're everything You say You are
Would You come close and hold my heart

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Our Trip - Part Seven = In Summary

In Summary, our trip was amazing and I have the best husband in the whole wide world =) Yosemite is beautiful. Adam and I really want to tackle more national parks. I love you Babe. Happy 5 year anniversary!

Our Trip - Part Six = Chilnualna Falls

Can you say the name of the trail - cause I definitely can't! On Day four, Adam and I hiked the local favorite trail - C Falls. It was so nice because we had the trail almost all to ourselves. It had snowed pretty heavily the night before high in the mountains. We didn't think we would encounter any, but we were wrong. Towards the top of the hike, we were hiking through 8-9 inches of snow!










Saturday, June 19, 2010

Our Trip - Part Five = The Mist Trail

On Day three we were ready for the next big challenge and that would be the Mist Trail. The Mist Trail is actually 2 trails combined - most people just do the first, but you know Adam and I =)

It's called the Mist Trail because you can get soaked from the mist from the 2 waterfalls. Adam and I were prepared with our ponchos and we were so glad! It even started snowing on us when we were almost at the top of the second trail. It was so cool!

Trail to Vernall Falls



Trail to Nevada Falls







Friday, June 18, 2010

Our Trip - Part Four = Mirror Lake

After touring Mariposa Grove on Day two, it was still early afternoon so Adam and I decided to do another short trail. We decided on the Mirror Lake trail. Throughout the trip we were amazed and astonished at how different every trail we went on was and yet still breathtaking. Were we still in the same park - the same country?

The Mirror Lake trail was covered in big rock piles which had fallen and collected over the years. After a little more than a mile the trees opened to a gorgeous meadow with a lake. And it really was like a mirror! You could see the mountain range in it. The only downside to this trail was that it had been trodden by many horses before us - the smell was almost unbearable in places =) Speaking of "bear"s - we saw a bear at the front of the trail. He didn't seem to care that a bunch of humans were taking pictures of him. He just went about his business. You can "bear"ly see him in our video.




Our Trip - Part Three = Mariposa Grove

On Day 2 of Yosemite, it was raining and we were pretty sore from our "Very Strenuous" hike the day before. So we decided to do something less stressful. We decided to tour Mariposa Grove - a grove full of Giant Sequoia trees. And they were giant! The fact that it was rainy and foggy made the forest very surreal. We honestly think we picked the best hike to do that day.




Adam and I have never seen snow this deep!

Frolicking in the forest =)

13 months

 “Baby” is one of Caroline’s new words this month because we call her “baby” all the time and even though she is technically a toddler I don’t see that stopping anytime soon! My little girl has once again surprised me with how easy going she is. Everyone always tells you how quickly kids adjust and it is true. Big changes that we agonize over as parents seem to not even phase our kids when the time comes. This was so true for us.

Before our trip to Yosemite, the longest I had ever left Caroline was a workday. So I agonized over leaving her. Not only were Adam and I going to be gone, but she was going to be staying and sleeping in a different house – Nana and Papa’s house. But she did great. She had a blast with Nana and Papa. I couldn’t wait to see her reaction when she woke up the morning we were back (we got in very late at night). I rushed to be by her crib side when I heard the first murmur. She just looked at me like “Oh you're back…I’m ready for breakfast.”

Caroline has gotten to spend so much quality with our families this last month- Nana and Papa while we were in Yosemite, Grandma took care of her for a week while my aunt was on vacation, and Uncle Adam is working in Cola this summer so he is staying with us. Caroline has been working hard on several of their names, but some of them seem to baffle her and she will just stare at you while you say it. “Nana” is confusing because it sounds like “banana" which is her favorite food. And “Adam” and “Grandma” get a funny stare too. But she works hard on “Bahpah” (Papa), “Alli” (Aunt Alli), “Abee” (Aunt Amber), and “Kay” (for the Aunt Katie/Kaytes). I love that she has gotten this time with our families. She remembers them and reaches for them when we make trips to the upstate now.

 Aunt Alli

Aunt Amber
Playing at Nana's

Caroline went to visit her Great-Great Aunt Beth this month and got to swing on a swing that her daddy used to swing on when he was a little boy. Aunt Beth passed away yesterday so it was a special visit.

Caroline has also been introduced to animals this past month. Before she only knew “Quack quack” – the little rubber ducky in the bathtub. And for the first 2 days of her stay with Nana and Papa that is what she called their dog =) However, now all animals are “dog” including our friends’ cat Mona. Caroline really seems to like animals and she isn’t scared of them. She doesn’t really touch the animals. She just walks right up to them and talks to them =)

Caroline has also been to a big pool twice so far this summer. Once was with Nana and Papa. The second time was last weekend with Adam and I. She LOVES the pool! When Adam and I took her she kept putting her head underwater face first! I couldn’t believe she was doing it. My heart about stopped each time. She also loved getting out and walking along beside the pool just checking out what everyone was doing. She’s also tested out the baby pool (thank you Grandma!) in the backyard and at my aunt’s house. She is a big fan!



Dipping her head in the water.



My little girl is very affectionate and tender. When tired she curls up in my lap, lays her head on my chest, sucks her thumb and says “Awww.”  She loves to give her stuffed animals spontaneous kisses and hugs.

Something new is that if she is not tired, she wants to be walking around and playing with toys and NOT be in Mommy’s arms. Before this past month, she would contentedly let you hold her, but she wants to be more apart of the action.

We seem to have finally overcome throwing food in the floor – YAY! However, Caroline has thrown a couple of tantrums as of late. Thankfully, she stops pretty quickly when she sees we are not paying attention to her. Hopefully, that will continue to work.

Caroline is moving around so good. She is getting close to a jog. And getting up to standing is so easy for her now. She is really starting to love her play yard that we got her for her birthday. She can’t quite climb it yet, but she’s getting there.
 

Other notable things this month include:
·      2 new teeth on bottom totaling to 4 on bottom matching the 4 on top
·      First pony tail (it was a half pony tail on the side)

·      Climbing steps! (I was not expecting this one since we don’t have any in our home and she never crawled. It was only 3 steps, but still!)

We also stopped by to visit Mama a couple of weeks ago (Caroline's Great-great-grandmother). Caroline loved on her.

It has been an action packed month and I don't see this summer slowing down. I'm trying to soak in all of this time with Caroline. I just know any minute I'm going to turn around and she's going to be all grown up.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Our Trip - Part Two = Yosemite Point

Adam and I love to hike. We've done it many times. So we were ready to get going when we arrived. The first day we hiked the "Very Strenuous" trail to Yosemite Point. It was a little more than 8 miles round trip. I don't know if it was harder going up or coming down. It was very steep so you had to be very careful coming down. My favorite part that day was the waterfall. It was tremendous!

One thing that really struck us the first day was how drastic the temperature changes were. Within 2 hours I would say "I really wish I had worn my long johns" and "I wish I had worn shorts!" Up at the top of the trail, there was a good bit of snow. If you watched the video, this is the hike where Adam slipped down the snow.






Wednesday, June 16, 2010

ERFing a break from Yosemite =)

If you are a SAHM you may understand this post better than others. I aspire to be a SAHM so I do my best to keep up with the latest on all of the message boards and such on places like babycenter.com, kellymom.com, ivillage.com, etc. But after a little while...it becomes a little ridiculous. I hope you enjoy my rendition while I tell this true story:

I recently learned that I am ERFing or maybe I should say DD is ERFing. You see we were all ready to FF DD and we did so on her first BDAY. The very next day was her 12 month doctor visit. And the first question our doc asked was "Is she still RFing?" I proudly told her that we had just turned DD around the day before. Our doctor looked disappointed and sited numerous studies that showed that ERFing is much safer. DH completely agreed telling the doc that it was my idea. Thanks DH!

I was a little disappointed because I love seeing my LO's face in the mirror and I felt like she would enjoy FFing. However, I also know that she doesn't mind RFing. So we turned her back around that day.


I was looking for more information about car seats because I had some questions about the installation of DD's ETA. It is more reclined than her MAR (which is in Adam's truck) and her MR (which is in my Aunt's car). Very quickly I discovered that there is a whole movement for ERFing. Mom's proudly declare that they are ERFers and are appalled at mothers who don't ERF. It is just like EBF. It is almost their religion.

And the acronym's are CRAZY!!!!

Sincerely,

Ashley

DD1 Caroline 13 MO ERF in ETA BF+P

Monday, June 14, 2010

Our Trip - Part One = Los Angeles

Adam and I decided to do a somewhat extravagant 5 year anniversary trip. One of the things I love about our wedding date is that it always falls by a holiday - Memorial Day so we get an extra day off. When we first got married we decided we would try to go on a trip just the two of us every anniversary. So this year we decided to use our sky miles and go to Yosemite, CA.

Since we were going to that side of the country, we had to visit our good friends in Los Angeles. They were so generous to show us the town and to let us drive their car to Yosemite!

In our 2.5 days in Los Angeles, we accomplished a lot!

We caught a Dodger's game:

We went to the Walk of Fame (all of the stars on the street) and the Chinese Theater (all of the hand prints on the street). Most important was finding Reba McEntire's star. She is awesome!


We went and saw the Hollywood sign at Griffith Park. (You can barely see it through our heads. We could see it clearly, but the sunlight was not allowing for a good picture.)

Becky, Justin and Adam hanging out in front of Griffith museum.

We went to the Santa Monica pier. I thought about Private Practice the whole time.


And of course we tasted excellent cuisines. We had Mediterranean, Mexican - notably Fish tacos, Pink Berry frozen yogurt with real fruit mix-ins, and on the last night we feasted on seafood.

Visiting all the sites in LA was great, but spending time and talking with sweet friends like not a day has passed is priceless =)