Monday, February 27, 2012
If you knew Jim, you knew he wasn't much for reading for his own pleasure. The teacher in me managed to convince him that it was important for Marley, even when she was a tiny thing. So he did it, a lot. Not as much as he watched cartoons with her, but plenty enough! He also wasn't much for wearing shirts...ever. Ha!
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
Going to a Notre Dame football game was something that Jim had always wanted to do. One beautiful day in 2008, he got his wish. My family gifted us with tickets to the game and some spending money. I remember showing Jim the tickets once I had gotten them. His eyes watered up and he said, "This is too much." We both felt so blessed and humbled that my family had given us this gift.
The morning of the game, we dropped Marley off with Meredith and Anson and headed off. It was the first time we'd left her for any length of time, and we were both a little worried. We need not have been- Meredith was great with her!
Neither of us had been to a place with that many people in it in recent memory. Even though they were very efficient in getting everyone parked in perfectly straight rows, I was certain we were never going to find the Jeep after the game. Good thing Jim had a memory for things like this. We boarded the shuttle bus, packed in amongst game-goers of all ages and levels of sobriety. We'd gotten there early, so we took some time to grab something to eat, visit the bookstore for some clothes, and just hang out and enjoy the festivities. That particular game was against Purdue, so it was extra exciting.
Yep, he's a little person. Would I have photographed him if my husband hadn't insisted? Nope! But he was everywhere we were. Love it!
While we were out and about, we were able to see the processional of the team entering the stadium. It was quite impressive. Jim told me afterwards that even if he hadn't been able to see the game, just seeing that part was worth the trip.
We finally got up to our seats-thank God it was on the shady side of the stadium!
Here comes the team...
My favorite part was the halftime show. Call me a dork, but I love marching bands. Especially good ones.
You gotta admit~ that's pretty cool!
He wanted his photo with the golden dome. He was just so happy that day- it was truly a dream come true... and Notre Dame won!
After spending what felt like half our life's savings in the bookstore for some hats, Tshirts, and a sweatshirt, we headed back to find our car. I have no idea how, but Jim walked me straight to it. I had no idea where we were! A quick bite to eat, and we were headed back to get Marley. Being the anxious new parents that we were, I'm sure I called Meredith once or twice that day to check on her. Or maybe it was more like four.
It was a great day, one that I'll always remember as a day of wonder and laughter, and good times.
Once we were home, he couldn't resist putting one of his stocking caps on Marley. Said she looked like the Pope.
What a great day!
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Best money we ever spent...
She loved this thing because she could spin around in circles as well as jump. She was so little when we first got it that even though it was on the lowest setting, her short little legs couldn't touch the ground. We had to put a photo album under it so that she could jump!
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Lest anyone think that I've somehow managed to keep it "all together",
here's a true story...
Last night I was really struggling with missing Jim, being an only parent, and all the joys (but mostly the TRIALS) that go with it. Marley and I were eating dinner, and she'd been quite a stinker since I picked her up from school. I don't remember exactly what she did or said, but whatever it was, it was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. I calmly stood up and told her, "Marley, Mama needs a Time Out. I'm going to go in my bedroom and shut the door, and I don't want you to open it, OK? I'll be back in just a minute."
As soon as the latch clicked, the child in me kicked in and I literally threw myself flat on my bed, spread-eagle, face in the pillow, and threw a great big fat tantrum at God. It went something like this...
"God, You are NOT NICE! I'm sick and tired of doing this by myself. Why did You have to let him die??? That was NOT NICE!!! What did I do to deserve this? Are you punishing me for something? Everything was just fine until You let him get sick and die. You could have stopped it, but You didn't.
I would never, never, never just sit by and watch something this horrible happen to my daughter! I would move heaven and earth and everything in between to fix it for her. I thought You loved me more than that. All I want is for him to come back and for things to be the way they were before You just let him die!!! That was NOT NICE!!! It's been over a year, and it still hurts just as much as it always has. This is bullshit [sorry, Dad and Mom, I said a bad word] and I think it's really mean for You to let me hurt this way. There are lots of parents who don't want their kids, but Jim and I really wanted that precious baby. And You let him die too. There are so many people in this world who choose to leave their spouses, but I wanted to keep mine. [Please...if you're divorced~ please, please, please don't take offense. Consider the context of that stupid, ignorant statement. Divorce is never so cut and dry. I left it in to show how human and flawed I sometimes am...] How am I supposed to be a good mom to Marley when I'm so mad all the time? How am I supposed to go through life like this?!? I DON'T LIKE IT and it was not nice of You not to fix it!!!! I've lost a baby, and all three of the men I've truly loved in my life are DEAD. How much more do You plan on throwing at me???? This is NOT NICE! I HATE IT!!!"
And guess what? He quietly spoke into my soul, as if to say, "Are you done? Anything else you want to scream about?
You know that I love you.
I show you all the time.
That little girl out there eating supper all by herself is living proof that I love you.
And you are not alone.
I'm right here.
All you have to do is look at Me.
You know this wasn't my plan for Jim, or your baby boy, or you, or Marley.
Now, if you're done, dry your tears, get up, and go finish your dinner."
So I did.
I'm so glad I serve a faithful, forgiving, gracious God.
Even when my inner child comes out and gets the best of me.
Monday, February 6, 2012
The things that Marley says sometimes blow my mind. Sometimes they crack me up. Sometimes they make me want to hide in my closet and cry.
But I never want to forget.
So here's a collection of some the little pearls that have come out of my daughter's mouth last year...
Marley: Mama, I miss Daddy.
Me: Yes, I miss Daddy too, honey.
Marley: I just want to talk to him, Mama.
Me: You can talk to him, baby. He can hear you.
Marley, sobbing: But he won't answer me, Mama.
I want to talk to him, but he won't answer me.
Mama! Come here! My poop looks like a bean!
You're my favorite mama.
Mama, it's morning time. There's bricks and leaves falling down outside.
Mom was shaving her dogs in preparation for our vacation in Florida.
Marley: My mommy used to do that to my Daddy.
One night Marley couldn't sleep, so I let her have her DVD player so maybe I could have some peace and quiet.
An hour later she comes into my room and says,
"Mama, I have a problem. The movie's goin' UH-UH-UH."
It had a skip in it. Even though I was irritated, I had to laugh.
Marley, to the flowers she's picking:
Do you want to go with the other flowers? No?? Well, I picked ya.
Well, the answer is no. You are going with the others.
Now, let's talk about this. You're not supposed to throw a fit!
Marley: Mama! You have stinky bwef (breath). You need to wash you bwef.
Me: I did.
Marley: Well, you need to wash it again. But I still love you.
You need to shave you awmpits!
I was waxing my lip and eyebrows one afternoon. Marley walked in and said,
Yesterday I asked Marley if she wanted me to pull out the couch into a bed so we could watch cartoons and take a rest. Her response was, "Oh, you're such a little sweetheart!", followed by a kiss on the cheek.
Love that kid!
Sunday, February 5, 2012
A dear friend sent me a perpetual calendar right around the year anniversary of Jim's passing. It seems that this gift must have been heaven-inspired. I'd been taking a long, hard look at the past year, wondering if I'd made the right choices for Marley and me, wondering if God would be happy with what He's seeing. The messages on this little calendar seem like they were written right for me, right at this time...
God loves us so much that He allows us to get into difficult places in our lives so we will realize how dependent we must be on Him.
If you have been walking with God for some time and you suddenly feel like your life has come to a halt, don't be alarmed. Most likely, God is adjusting your way. Having God correct your course doesn't necessarily mean the one you were on was incorrect. But it does mean that something needs to change to get you headed in the direction God wants to take you.
It doesn't matter how young or old you are. As long as you are breathing, God will have new paths for you to take and exciting things for you to do.
It's best to trust His leading and get on with it.
This is what a walk of faith is all about.
Abraham was walking by faith when God led him out of all that was familiar to him to a place he had never been. He knew God had called him from where he was, but he didn't know where God was leading. And Abraham's is one of the greatest stories in the Bible in regard to walking in faith: "...he went out, not knowing where he was going" (Hebrews 11:8). How often have we felt like that? We go out because God is leading us, but we don't really know where we're headed.
It's a more certain proposition to follow the Lord, not knowing where you're going, than to think you know where you're going and you're not following the Lord.
Don't worry, we've all had [those days when you wonder if you're actually going anywhere]. Abraham had them. Moses had them. Noah had them. All great godly people in history have had them. God doesn't often reveal the details of where He's taking you because He wants you to trust Him for every step. He wants you to pray and listen to Him directing your path for this day, this week, this season, this year, and this time.
When you hear God telling you to move in a certain direction, let me give you two words of advice: Do it! Refusing to walk according to God's leading will get you nowhere. Oh, you will arrive someplace, all right, but if it is not where God wants to bless you, it will still be nowhere.
It doesn't matter what your situation at this moment. Wherever you are, God has a path for you that is filled with good things. Draw close to Him and you'll find it. Say, "Show me the way in which I should walk and the thing I should do" (Jeremiah 42:3). He will do that and, if you carefully follow as He guides you, He will not let you get off the path. With each step He will reveal more of Himself. "Your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, 'This is the way, walk in it" (Isaiah 30:12). So reach up right now and take God's hand.
He promises He won't let you fall.
Thank You that even if I become weak and stumble, You will help me to rise again and continue on. And though I can't see exactly where I am going, I'm certain that You can and will enable me to get to where I need to be. Thank You, Lord, that You are teaching me how to walk in total dependence upon You, for I know therein lies my greatest blessing.
Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob,
He will teach us His ways,
And we shall walk in His paths.
Let me tell ya, that was ten solid days of the Lord speaking directly to my heart. I needed that! Thanks, Jen, for letting the Lord use your simple gift to change and redirect my heart towards Him!