One Week

In one week from tomorrow, my sweet Lucy begins her school years! It was just 2 years ago that we began on the school journey with Landon ( you can replay that HERE ). I feel all the same emotions and feelings. I'm excited, anxious, happy, speechless, and every emotion I can think of. We've been through this before. I know what to expect. It's hard with your oldest -- your first baby-- but this is a hard one too. This sweet baby, that had to come meet us 10 weeks earlier than she should have, is growing up.

I am watching things happen before my eyes that I cried over for weeks in the NICU. I read and heard what could happen , what might not happen, and things that might happen later on. 

Not only were they cried over for the almost 8 weeks in the NICU, but those thoughts don't go away. 

 Something funny happens, and you're at the neurologist getting an EEG. You go to Vandy twice a year for a few years, just to make sure hearing is OK. You know, that is something that MIGHT show up later down the road. You mention 'hyper', and someone reminds you the percentages of preemies with ADHD or ADD.

I remember back to right after I had Lucy. It was about 4 days later, and I had just seen her for the first time. All these thoughts of chances and percentages and disabilities and  difficulties were running through my mind. The only things I could think of was the future when she went to school. I was hurting for what could happen, and I was torn to think she might be teased or bullied if any of these things came forth. And that my poor baby had no choice in being early, and her Momma's body just couldn't hold her, and someone might someday tease her for this. This hurt my heart so much.

But we also know how much of a fighter she is. Our little 2 pound baby turned into a 14 pound 1 year old.  She was a 1 year old who couldn't eat anything but stage 1 baby food. 

She passed through occupational therapy, speech therapy, and feeding therapy. She had finally sat up, crawled, stood, and walked! I pray she will continue to pass through all these milestones that she will come upon. She started a 2 day a week pre-school in January, and loved every minute ( except nap time) of those 5 months.
She loves her friends and she loves to help.
Lucy has turned into such a great little girl. She loves dresses, bows,  shoes, curlers in her hair, headbands, jewelry, and purses. She is so excited about starting school.  We've had school supplies for weeks, her uniforms are ready, her backpack arrived, and there is no talking her into pre-school again next year!

 I remember praying nightly for years over her eyes, and brain, and ears. I prayed over her heart that had 2 holes, and I prayed that she would be able to run with other kids. Here we are, and all of those prayers have been answered. While I'm trying to keep remembering how happy I am for where she is, I'm also letting her go. We are sending her off with someone else to watch over her all day.  I haven't left her with someone else to watch over her all day since the NICU. 

Thankfully we know the people she will be with! She knows names and teachers from Landon being in school,and she might even see him and his friends throughout the day!

I know what makes her nervous, I know how she gets shy,  & I know what hurts her feelings. Mommy won't be there every minute to help, like I have for the past 5.5 years. I can only pray that I truly have done the best to prepare this baby for her next step. I pray that she knows who to go to for help. I hope that she knows what to do when she gets nervous. I see myself in her when she gets shy and nervous, and I still have certain vivid memories of those times in my mind from when I was 4 & 5 & 6. I hate to think of her feeling scared for even a split second. I pray that those instructing her will notice if something pops up, and they will be patient and understanding with her. I know the world is big scary place, and sending your kid off all day isn't always comforting. So pray for this mommy's heart! I will need peace to know that she is cared for and protected and loved.
As we've leaned on through her journey in the past 5 years and 7.5 months, Luke 1:37 reminds us " For with God, nothing shall be impossible". And I am extra thankful I am still here to help her through this new experience. .


The Song of Victory

I heard about a mansion
He has built for me in glory.
And I heard about the streets of gold
Beyond the crystal sea;

I'm sure there are so many different things my Papaw is known for. Some you might not even know about, but I'm sure if you knew him a long time, you knew everything about him. 

Papaw lived to be 95 years old. The people that would have know him from WW II  are most likely not around any longer. I believe he served for over 5 years, and we have heard the stories of all the places he went. He and my great uncle could tell them together--he wasn't as good of a story teller as my great uncle ( his brother in-law), but he still had some good ones.

Some know that he was 1 of 14 children. 

If you went to church with him, you might have heard him sing the words from the song above. You might know that he liked to sing at church. He was a member of Ashby Lane Alliance Church ( now Grace Crossing ), and was active in the church.

Some might have known him from calling 636-1309 at 11:30 PM on a cold winter night if your heat went out. 

Or you might have worked for him one summer , or several years, at Bill Clark & Son. He started his company in 1962. This business and building are currently gone. This photo was on South 2nd street, where there is now a bridge, baseball stadium, and football stadium in the background. 

You might have know him from playing softball for him or on the team he sponsored. I've heard they were pretty good. Many times, we heard. Luke and I were visiting back home one time, and decided to check out the new turf at UL baseball stadium with my dad. There just happened to be a man there. As he was asking us our names, and my dad was sharing with him,  the man realized he knew Papaw from softball years ago. He then took us on a tour of the whole facility.

You might have played golf with him. And he never EVER cheated =) He aways had a set of clubs with him. He ended up making part of the office at work into a little putting practice area. He had the putting machine that spit the ball back out at you. He also loved to be a part of the FCA scramble every year.

You might have know him because he traveled with you on your ball trips with UofL. He might have sat on your bed after games and shared a pizza with you. Or he might have bought you a fur coat, before those things (buying a gift for a player) were illegal. This might have been his thing that I was most jealous of. I REALLY wanted to go on a trip with him and the team. I kept trying until my senior year, but then I realized a 17 year old girl really can't go on a trip with the team and stay with 2 old men or college athletes.
Everyone that meets me always asks how I got to be a UofL fan instead of UK. Well, there was no choice. If you knew Papaw, you knew he was red through and through. He was friends with the coaches and trainers and teams. He always had something Louisville or red in sight. My grandma was all about the cardinal bird too.

He was very active with Louisville FCA. The FCA office was about his for as long as I can remember.  He also delivered Meal on Wheels; he would take food to the 'old people'.  Mind you, he was in his 80's when he still was doing this, and he was older than the 'old people' he took food to. After he delivered the food, he would go lift weights at Sun Valley .

When thinking about how I remember my papaw best, there are 3 scenarios. 
Growing up, we spent almost every weekend during the summer with my grandparents. We would drive down to Cave Spring Farm usually Friday after work, and usually stop at a little restaurant on the way. I remember 2 different places we'd stop, and they all knew us. We would sit in the living room and watch TGIF, and sometimes head down to get ice cream at the lake. Grammy would love to make rice crispy treats late at night too. He always woke up early on Saturday to get started on the garden, but sometimes he would take my sister and me to North Fork and Spoon for some biscuits and gravy. He sometimes brought them to the house for us. My sister and I played all day while the 4 adults worked in the flowers or the garden. We'd help check on the cows, walk along the creek, and pick peppermint. We'd fly kites on the hill, and then when we went to get gas, the lady would tell us how she knew we were in town from seeing our kites in the sky. There would be some time of sitting and drinking a cold diet drink, a little fishing, and maybe some swimming. We'd drive through Druthers on the way home ( later Dairy queen) for some onion rings, and then get ready to start the week over and do it all again.

Besides just on the weekends, during the week, we were around him just about every afternoon. My mom would pick us up from school, and we'd go spend an hour and a half at the office with my dad, grandpa, and all the guys at their shop. We'd sit at his desk, pretend to work, play 'games' on the other computers, ride our bikes and rollerblade through the parking lot and warehouse. We'd help clean the bathroom, sometimes walk to Moby Dick to eat lunch, go upstairs and bug the FCA guys, and load the glass bottles into the coke machine; how did we have so much time? We'd also pick cherries from the cherry tree out front, and do whatever else we could get into! 

Lastly, he  was just an avid sports fan. We spent many hours at games with him. He spent many hours at our games, and he knew everything about my teammates on the volleyball and basketball teams. He wasn't ever one to not speak his mind, so I heard all his thoughts on all of their talent( or lack of). He bought my team new uniforms my junior year, & my grandparents kept the plaque hanging on their wall that my coach Camille gave them. 

Not only did he come to almost all of my games in high school, he told EVERYONE about them. I'd walk into a Louisville basketball game, and everyone that sat in the box behind me would say ," I saw where you had ____ points".  He'd talked so much about my teams that everyone around him told me that they always looked for me first in the box scores.  He was proud. My grandma did similar in the beauty shop ;)  I have an envelope from their house where my grandma had cut EVERY box score out of the newspaper since I played in high school. They cared and they loved.
Did I mention how much he loved his lazy boy?

It's been almost a year since my grandma passed away. We have many memories of them both; These are just a few that scratch the surface. Life will go on, and that makes me sad. We will miss him so much. I know my kids' kids will never know them. We will only have memories & photos to share.  I have many more photos from me as a baby up to a few days before he took his last breath. It's hard to remember how they lived the end of their life-- in pain and suffering. We know they are in a better place, together again, singing, golfing, shopping, rejoicing and living pain free. 
I'd love to hear your story of how you remember William Russell Clark!

About the angels singing,
And the old redemption story,
And some sweet day I'll sing up there
The song of victory.

Online Obituary link : William Russell Clark
Owen Funeral Home
5317 Dixie Highway
Louisville, KY 40216
(502) 447-2600
Visitation Thursday June 9 4-8 pm
Funeral Friday, June 10 at 11am
Burial will take place at Cave Spring United Methodist Church in Breckinridge County, KY following the funeral.
Donations can be made to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at
400 Blankenbaker Parkway suite 301
Louisville 40243
Donations will be added to the Bill Clark/FCA summer camp scholarship endowment.


Lucy is almost five!

{ I'm trying to type this on my phone, I'm not a fan of that at all! If my photos don't show up , I'll fix them later .}

It was 70 degrees in Nashville today! Five years ago today Luke, Landon,& I sat at Olive Garden after church ( 29 weeks and 4 days pregnant), and we watched the snow fall. It was gorgeous!

But my legs were numb.

I sent a picture to my friend Leslie and my sister of my feet. They knew something was up, but all I was worried about was my baby getting to enjoy the snow! Our Sunday school progressive Dinner had been canceled, so we went out for a few minutes and took a few photos .

I woke once during the night with a terrible right side pain. I took a bath that relieved it. The next morning was a fast blur of my face swelling, a headache , taking my ( very high) blood pressure, calling the nurse a few times ,& rushing into L&D with severe pain and not being able to even think (and the widows down on the way). We all know what happened next, I could  retell the details forever . I was ultimately rushed into the OR, ignoring the NICU that said to wait on the twins being born , because I said ( or said VERY LOUDLY) to Luke that we needed to go back now because I was dying . I had an amazing nurse that I'm sure heard my cry,& am so glad my OB was on call. My doctor's face during the whole thing isn't one I'll forget either . He was worried . Then after delivery there were other complications with bruising or something on my uterus , so I laid open for a good long while until another specialist could come from across the street and check me out. We had a good talk about what could have been -- but nothing in detail, just that he was glad I hadn't come an hour later. He kept saying something to me about not dancing without the music, but I didn't really put that together with a seizure.
Now this whole time , Luke is gone . I'm only with my OB, some nurses ,& the anesthesiologist. I was certain my 2 pound baby was not with us . No one mentioned her . They only kept asking how I was , so I was trying to ignore it and make conversation with my doctor. I think I must have been absolutely delirious once I got into the OR. I had been in so much pain , basically my liver was large. It had no way of getting any bigger . I just kept crying that I just needed the pain gone. The nurses kept saying that only taking the baby could do that. I kept asking my doctor to do the spinal,& he looked at me and said he was sorry that there was no way the spinal would take away that pain . My pain was all the way up into my shoulder , but miraculously as soon as I laid down on the table , it was all gone.
After surgery I don't even think I went  to recovery,but I actually don't remember any of that. I remember the first time I saw Luke I had  tried to hint at 'What's going on?', since no one had mentioned Lucy yet. They were all concerned with working on me. He was smiling and happy and brought me pictures from the nurses of baby Lucy. I think my family had made it from KY and my friend Leslie was there. It was a long night  across the hall from the nurses desk in L&D. I remember trying to text someone and that dang magnesium had me so messed up, it took me an hour to turn my phone on. My blood pressure was still in the 170s/120s , they needed her full name to start social security and SSI and get her on TennCare, some friends came to visit because they didn't know what had happened ,I had to start pumping milk sometime in the next few days( I was NOT going to pump this time .ugh) ,& my 2 year old wanted to see me. I just wanted to sleep, but my mind wouldn't stop.
The 14th of December would be even more of an adventure !
Now, it's time to make a birthday cake for my FIVE year old's birthday tomorrow!


Ella Ruth is 3!

 3 years ago! My baby is growing up.


A lot of people say they have no clue what they would be doing without their children. I, quite actually, know if Ella Ruth was not here that we would be doing a LOT less cleaning. We wouldn't be vacuuming and mopping the dining area multiple times a day, we wouldn't be watching a TV with smudgy fingerprints ( and sometimes crayon) on it, we wouldn't be cleaning up bits of paper from the suburban ( everyday), we wouldn't be taking socks and shoes in after every drive, and we wouldn't be waking multiple times a night by her crying or climbing into our bed.
BUT we also wouldn't be laughing so much. This little girl is so funny. She says the craziest things, and she knows she is funny. She constantly laughs, even when she is in trouble. And she says things when it is absolutely inappropriate. And we absolutely laugh when we shouldn't. She is a very sneaky little girl, and she keeps us on our toes. She is what they call everything I never knew I wanted.
She turned 3 the day before Thanksgiving, and we celebrated on Saturday night with Landon ( he will be 7 THREE days, and if you see him, he will ask you if you know what happens then).
This is from her 1st birthday =)

Big girl turning 2!
Happy 3rd!


5 months?!!

5 months. That's how long it's been since I've written! We've been busy, and we don't have internet (or cable) right now . Blogging on my phone has never been a favorite for me. We have finished basketball, baseball, our first Foster placement with Jonah's Journey, kindergarten, a few more background spots ( Nashville, Music Videos, The Ryman, and a Netflix episode), and half of summer! I also flew down for a few days twice ( thanks southwest points) to Orlando in March & April to have a baby shower for my sister & see my nephew be born. I will try to add some photos at the end ;)

What made me think to blog today? Lucy. The main time when I blogged was during her NICU time. This is how friends & family kept up with her , knew how to pray ,& gave us encouragement . 4 1/2 years later I thought I was pretty well past any emotions. I haven't cried nor felt guilty in a long time. I still have a little voice in the back of my head sometimes that wants to worry about when she starts school , or that wonders about her when she plays by herself. But one of my biggest worries during those 8 weeks in the NICU was kids making fun of her . If we came out on the other side with disabilities or deformities or weaknesses, I knew that kids would be mean. I felt guilt then-- even before I had seen her-- that none of it was her fault. It was my body that failed. The thought of her getting hurt because of me , killed my heart.

But she's perfect! No more delays. She's on the charts. But she, as a cute 4 year old , made a comment Saturday morning. And I cried. And I've cried again because of it .
She couldn't get her shirt over her head. You wouldn't recognize it, mainly because her sister has a MELON, but her head is very long and from front to back is long also.
She came to me with her shirt stuck on her head and yelled ," My shirt is stuck! MY HEAD IS AS BIG AS A PUMPKIN! It's LIKE AN OVAL!!" I should have just laughed . But I cried and got upset,& all the emotions of kids making fun of her because of something she had no choice or control over came back. I know I'll be fine. And I know she will be fine . But I had a minute of NICU reminders . I'm so glad that we are 4.5 years past all that. I'm so glad that we can still help others in the NICU with hope and love. Lucy is still amazing, and we are so thankful for that!


Sling Sharin'

While I was pregnant with #3 ( that was her name for a long while), I knew I would have to baby wear if I was going to be able to get anything done. I didn't baby wear with Landon, although I did try one type of pouch sling. But I knew right off the bat, it wasn't right. Then with Lucy, I would have done anything to be able to hold her and snuggle her for more than a few minutes a day those first 2 months, but of course it wasn't possible for her in the NICU. She came home on the apnea monitor, and I was terrified of her even falling asleep on me, the monitor picking up my heartbeat, and something happening to her and us not knowing. We continued the cluster care for awhile of feeding, changing, and holding every 3 hours, and let her be to sleep the rest of the time. I, unfortunately, had many other things on my mind with a preemie (developmental delays, moving, trying to transition to only nursing, and staying healthy ) that I didn't think about buying a wrap or sling. Once Ella came around, Luke got me a wrap and I loved to snuggle as much as possible with her! We now also have a double layer Sakura Bloom linen sling.

I've worn her Easter egg hunting, to the park, to the flea market, to baseball games, walking around downtown, at a pumpkin patch field trip,basketball games, to the doctor,trick or treating, and making dinner! She loves to be held, and I'm not ready to put her down quite yet!

We joined up in a Sling Share by Vienna Springs ring slings a few months ago. You could say the sling share is similar to Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Each momma that is participating wears the sling, writes a little about it, takes some photos, and passes it on to the next. At the end the sling will be donated to a charity. The maker of Vienna Springs is Laura, & Mary is blogging about everyone's experience at light sleeper heavy dreamer . I know Ella is getting older, and even though she screams HOLD YOU when she sees the sling, I can't carry her for much longer. I was happy to get the sling towards the end, because I hadn't been able to hold her much at all really since I had my surgery. The sling had been broken in very well since I was towards the bottom of the list. I really think it is easier to adjust than our double layer linen that we own. I loved the idea of getting to try out a silk as well!  I loved the way that the silk felt as soon as I got it. I didn't really know what to expect, but I knew most everyone loves them. Ella wanted me to put it on as soon as she saw it.
 I have been using my sling on Saturday mornings during Landon & Lucy's basketball games. I go in wearing Ella, and then eventually let her down to play. We have 2 or 3 games, and it wears me out to try to watch and keep up with her, so it works out perfectly.
Of course when I got the sling, there was 1 or 2 regular days before Nashville got about 3" of ice, followed by snow, freezing temperatures, then more snow & ice & sleet to finish out the week! Every county around here was shut down for the whole week basically. Ice is tricky to drive on , for sure! I had a freak out moment one day with the suburban. Luckily I did not hit the truck and car parked in the street or any mailboxes. There were some neighbors out who were shoveling ice; they dug out around my back tires so I could back up, slide down through the yard, and scoot into my driveway.
We did happen get a few pictures 2 days before the ice came.
Lucy had donuts on her fingers, so she posed like this for a picture before her game.
When you baby wear, they should be close enough to kiss. Ella seems to think she should be close enough for coffee!
" Momma toffee!"

I had meant to send the sling on off to the next momma on Saturday, but I had a LuLaRoe party Saturday evening, and then the Post Office was closed by the time it was over. So after lunch on Sunday { PARTY FOWL NASHVILLE- BEST BRUNCH!!!}, we took a few shots by the painted wall on 12thS. Yes, I have on the same outfit--different week--same comfy clothes.
Our camera is not doing the best right now, so my low quality phone pics will have to do.
While Ella might be at the end of baby wearing in a sling, we could be having a newborn at any time now with Jonah's Journey.  I very well just might be purchasing one in the near future for foster babies. Now to just decide on a color.......
Thanks to Laura & Mary for including us! We loved using the Huckleberry sling.I definitely recommend Vienna Springs to all you new Mommas, or anyone looking for a more affordable {& pretty} carrier!