Friday, July 30, 2010

Thankful Friday

1. I'm thankful for last Sunday's encouraging message on Paul's prayer for the Ephesians.  It really helped to redirect my prayers for myself and for others this week.  I've been challenged to pray especially for inner strengthening to be able to fully comprehend God's love through Christ.

2.  I'm thankful for the awesome VBS our kids got to participate in last week.  I got to join Marcus in his class and was floored by how Teacher Jean was able to relay such wonderful truths to little 3 year-olds.  I was very blessed.  Audrey also came home talking about what she learned and it was obvious that it was a special time for her.

3. I'm thankful for the summer weather and being able to dip in the pool.

Audrey's been taking swim lessons with her bud Jacob.  She is by far the worst swimmer in the class, but she thinks she is HOT STUFF when she slightly dips her face in the water.

4. I'm thankful that Marcus started at his new school yesterday.  The teacher said that he had a great first 2 days and that he's acclimating well to the class.  Marcus is also doing well in his new walker and actually says "walk, walk" because he wants to strut his stuff to the classroom rather than being pushed in his stroller.

5. I'm thankful that Marcus has managed to use the potty a handful of times now.  This morning, after he flushed the toilet, he said "Bye-bye, pee-pee."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What I Didn't Know 8 Years Ago

Since it was our anniversary today, we watched our wedding DVD.  Don't worry, it's not like we were holding hands on the couch, feeding each other strawberries, and intermittently gazing into each other's eyes saying, "Remember that?"   It was more like Mike on the couch drinking tea to relieve his cold, and me on the floor trying to sit comfortably with a 50-pound damp girl on my lap while my belly was protruding between us.  On top of that, the 3-year-old was climbing my back while leaving streaks of snot on my shirt.  Romantic, no?

Nevertheless, I loved watching clips of our wedding day.  I tasted the giddiness I felt when my boyfriend became my husband.  What I realized, though, was that we were two totally different people back then.  There were so many things I didn't know when we exchanged our rings and danced the afternoon away.

1.  I didn't know that I would grow to respect Mike so much.  We were immature kids on our wedding day.  Now my husband is a man.  Wow.

2. I didn't know that our offspring would turn out like this:

and this:

3. I didn't know that marriage wasn't just about striving to be the perfect husband and wife.  Naively, I thought that we could will for our marriage to be blessed by just working really hard at it and fulfilling the ABC's of our roles.  But it was inevitable that we saw the nasty ugliness of each other shine brighter than our goodness.  Now, I'm beginning to learn that any blessing in our marriage comes from the goodness of the Lord, and that more than being a good husband and wife, it's about seeing each other the way the Lord sees us.  Looking past our sin, He considers us forgiven, accepted, loved, because we were bought by the precious blood of His Son.

4. I didn't know that Mike would come to know me so well.  I thought I could get away with a lot more, but I can't hide a thing from this guy because he can detect the minute when something is on my heart.  And even though he risks getting hurt and offended (and believe me, I've hurt him bad), he asks me to reveal whatever is on my mind.  I'm thankful for that.

5.  I didn't know that life would get so hard so fast.  Trials were inevitable, but I had no idea that there would be so many tears cried together, so many late-night-heartbreak talks, and so much weight on our hearts this early on in our marriage.  I also didn't know that I could come to a point where I could genuinely thank God for these hardships, because they've made our short 8 years of marriage so rich.

6. I didn't know that the divorce rate for couples with children with special needs was 80% or higher.  Had I known this, I would have been scared to death.  Yes, our marriage has been stretched in many ways, but my heart explodes with thankfulness for God's grace.  For some reason, He has allowed the difficulty to strengthen our love for one another, and to magnify His great love for us.

7.  I didn't know that true joy didn't come from being fulfilled in my marriage.  In the early years, I wanted so bad for my marriage to be perfect and if it wasn't, I was deeply disappointed.  As much as being married brings indescribable joy, I'm beginning to learn that it's bound to fall short, and that the relationship is so much better when we're both deeply fulfilled by Christ.

8.  I didn't know that I would feel as blessed as I do now, and that Mike and I would be so much more in love now than we were then...8 years ago and counting.

I leave you with my favorite picture of our wedding day.  Auj was inspired to draw it after watching the DVD.  Don't we look radiant?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Prayer Needs

There has been much on our hearts recently, and foremost there has been a pressing need to pray for our loved ones.  Here are our top 2 prayer requests as of late.

1. I mentioned a few posts back that our father was suffering from mysterious swelling.  Once he and our mother arrived back to the states, his conditioned worsened.  After many appointments, the doctors suspected cancer.  But we are thankful that this week, the doctors diagnosed his cancer to be Lymphoma and not Lung Cancer and thus, a better prognosis.  They also extracted more than half a gallon of fluid from his lungs and now, he is able to breathe on his own and feel much more comfortable overall.  However, along with the cancer, they found a very rare inflammation/infection in his lungs.  This makes treatment for the cancer tricky, since the chemotherapy may exacerbate this issue.  So we are praying for the doctors, that God would grant them wisdom in coming up with the best way to treat his condition.  The hard part for us is just being so far away from them (they live in Maryland) and not being able to take care of them.  But we are so thankful for Mike and Miriam's parents and their unwavering faith and trust in the Lord during this time.

2. I met my friend, Keri, at Marcus' Blind Children's school.  Her second daughter, Olivia, was treated by the same OT as Marcus, and so many of their sessions overlapped and we got to know each other.  Olivia, who will be 3 soon, was a premature baby born at 24 weeks gestation.  Although she has low vision and some other delays not uncommon to prematurity, she is a walking miracle.  Her first few months of life were spent in the NICU and every week was a rollercoaster where her survival at stake.  But today, she is making great strides and a precious gift to her family and to all who know her!

Keri and I found out that each of us was pregnant with our 3rd and were surprised to know that we were due within a week of each other.  However, a few weeks ago, she was having signs of preterm labor and was admitted to the hospital for steroid injections for the baby's lungs in case she was born early.  While she was there, her water broke and Jaquelynn was born at 25 weeks gestation.  Needless to say, it's been a heartbreaking time for Keri and her family.  But we are thankful that Baby Jaquelynn is doing well and that she even avoided a heart surgery this week that the doctors thought they would have to perform.  If you could remember her in your prayers, please also pray for Olivia, who will find out tomorrow if she will need yet another eye surgery of her own.  The family is holding up despite the tumultuous ups and downs of caring for the baby and the other two girls, but they appreciate anyone and everyone's prayers!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Prenatal Paparazzi

I'm 25 weeks along now in my pregnancy.  We got to see the baby at our monthly perinatology appointment and while we were excited to see him again, he had different feelings.

"Oh my, here they go again, taking naked pictures of me."

"Will you please stop the paparazzi?  This is the only alone-time I'll have for the rest of of my life.  Please allow me to enjoy my privacy."

Well, my son.  You better get used to it because Mama gonna be taking a gazillion pictures of you once you are born into this world!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Father-Daughter Birthdays and More

I know it was our nation's birthday this past weekend, but we were so busy celebrating Audrey's and Mike's birthdays (on the 4th & 5th respectively) that we didn't have enough energy to do anything patriotic.  Instead, we started the weekend with Audrey's first sleepover in celebration of turning 5.  Audrey was SO excited, I think it was an out-of-body experience for her.  Mike and I also had a blast, especially because during dinner, we found out things about the girls' parents that we otherwise would never have known.  :-)

Here's the list of our activities:

- Pho lunch
- Browse the Disney Store & Sweet Factory at the mall
- Toy Story 3 (again)
- Dinner at home
- Decorate cupcakes
- Paint nails
- Watch "Aristocats" on video

(Note:  While I took the girls to the mall to watch the movie, Mike & Marcus did manly things on their own.  They hunted wild boar, got tattoos, and drank blood.)

On Monday, we had a little BBQ feast to celebrate Mike's 36th.  I can't believe the young 19 year-old I met years ago is now 4 years shy of turning 40.  My husband is old!

Besides almost sharing the same birthday, Mike & Audrey share many other things.  Here are a few:

1. They share the same anatomy.  Not only the soccer calves, but almost every feature of their faces are the same.  The shape of their faces, their eyebrows, their small asian eyes, their cheeks, their noses, and their hair texture is the same.  Even their gummy smiles are exactly alike.  When they are both smiling in full-joy mode, the gum to teeth ratio is about 70/30 in both of them.  It's amazing!

2. They share the same over-productive sweat glands.  When Audrey was first born, Mike's mom would tell me stories of how as a young kid, Mike's bowl cut was perpetually wet due to running around and sweating all the time.  I laughed at those stories while inwardly imagining my daughter always sitting still, demurely sipping tea and quietly playing with her dolls.  Little did I know that I would have my own wet child.

3. They LOVE NEED to run.  If too much time passes before either of them expend some energy, their bodies, souls, and minds don't function properly.  Once Audrey learned to walk, she would run laps around the dining room table.  I'm still trying to engineer a contraption that can turn her running into usable energy.

4. They both consume a large quantity of fluids (probably due to #2).  Mike is never without either a coffee cup, a Nalgene full of water, or some other cold beverage on hand.  As soon as I introduced Audrey to a sippy cup, she could down 8 to 12 ounces of milk or water in one large gulp.  And to this day, I have to keep up with keeping her cup full of something to keep her hydrated.

5. They both have a bio-psychological reaction to tight clothing, especially pants, shorts, etc.  We purposely stretch out both of their clothes so that they can endure the day comfortably.

6. They both love to be with people.  Although Mike really enjoys his alone/family time now, as a kid, he was exactly like Audrey.  His parents used to host many different people in their home and even if they were strangers who only stayed for a few days, Mike would cry once they left.  Audrey loves when we have people over, when people come to babysit her, and especially when people spend the night.  Once they leave, it's "I miss them" on repeat.

I look into both of their eyes and I feel like they share the same soul.  In many ways, even though I'm Audrey's mom, Mike has a keen understanding of Audrey that I don't have because they are essentially the same person.  To me, they are my loves.  Why do I love birthdays so much?  Maybe because it gives me an excuse to unabashedly stare at my loved ones and thank God for all the ways my life is so richly blessed by calling them my family.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Thankful Friday

1. I'm thankful for a slower-paced week.  Really loving the relaxed summer schedule that gives us the chance to spend more unhurried time at home.  Marcus still has about 7 sessions of therapy per week, but it feels nice to have room in the schedule to read, do crafts, play outside, and hang out with the neighborhood kids.

2. I'm thankful that Mike's parents have arrived safely back to Maryland after a few months doing missionary work in Peru.  My father-in-law has been suffering from a mysterious illness and we are praying that the doctors here in the states can find a solution to his current health issues.  We would appreciate your prayers for him.

3. It's been a privilege to pray for others, especially for those who are facing hardships.  It is so good for me to go to the Father with not only my own requests, but those of others around me.  It's also good to see how much I lack in prayer.  I want to grow more in this area.

4. Not that I'm thankful that Marcus was misbehaving this week, but I'm glad I caught this moment in photos.  He was messing with his sister over some toys and then got angry, so he was sequestered to the couch with hands folded for a short while.  He's got a huge alligator tear on his face, and the cutest little "I got in trouble" look in his eyes.  Haha.

"Man, I shouldn't have done that."

"I did bad."

"But you still think I'm cute, right?"

"I'm soooo sorry.  Do I look sorry enough?"

5.  I'm thankful for Strawberry Shortcake and Chocolate Eclair ice cream bars.  Also thankful for the Breyer's Snickers ice cream Mike just bought from the store tonight.  I've consumed a lot of dessert this week.

6. I'm thankful that every week I take Marcus to his speech pathologist, I have something new to report.  He is really vocalizing and trying to talk more, and although it sometimes sounds like he's just moaning or babbling, I think he's mostly trying to say real words.  He still has trouble incorporating his consonants, but he can say about 75% of his letter sounds and is saying new things all the time.  Now, if we ask him "Who created (blank)?", he answers, "Gaw" with a huge grin on his face.  He can count to 10 and although it's mostly just the vowels, this week, he said "nigh" for the number 9.  I brought his lunch to the table today and although at first I thought he was just babbling, I realized he was saying "eee-za" for "pizza".  All this seems so basic, but is huge for him because coordinating his mouth and voice together is SO hard for him to do.  You should see him while he's talking.  He has to concentrate extremely hard to say anything.  It's like if you and I had to do the quadratic equation in our heads every time we wanted to say something.  We are so proud of our little talker, and thankful to the Lord for these small steps of progress.

7.  Despite the progress, I still get real sad.  It's hard to see boys his age running around at the park, imagining they're superheros, and really enjoying playing together as boys should.  I wonder, "Will Marcus ever be able to play with other boys like that?  Will others understand him?  Will he be happy like those other boys?"  But I'm thankful for Psalm 23 and the reminder that the Lord is my Good Shepherd.  Although tomorrow is a huge question mark, I know that today, there is no want in Him.  There is no need to fear what darkness may come, because He will be with me and go before me.

8.  I'm thankful to celebrate Audrey's and Mike's birthdays this weekend.  The other day after I woke up from a nap, I found this announcement on our front door:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...