Thursday, August 15, 2013

update - new blog

I just realized that my last post was about orphans..... hmmmm.... maybe anyone coming here for the next few months just needs to go look at this site.... my last blog here on adventuresofjulia was actually the beginning to a big story in our lives.... HA!


Monday, December 31, 2012

The Lord shows mercy to the orphans....

There are moments I look at throughout my life as moments that change who I am. Moments that alter how I see myself and the world around me. I would love to say that I am openminded enough that this happens often, but that is not true. I have been blessed to have had many opportunities in my life to see the world..... But only a few change my core.... My dreams..... My worldview.

This weekend r, j, baby girl and I all stayed with 10 of the most loving, beautiful children you will ever meet in your life. They are aged from 8-15 and act the same as any child you know in those ages. There were 6 boys and 4 girls.

Everything was as you would expect. The boys don't like to take showers, the teenage girls are concerned about how their hair and makeup looks. They love to hug and kiss..... And chase and be chased.... They are great at video games and we watched movies together. Some like sausage and eggs... Some prefer cereal. Guitars and pianos are fascinating. Footballs and soccer balls are constant. Nap time is reluctant. But meals are just plain fun.

They are typical kids.

Except for two things:
1. They aren't from around here :) they are Ukrainian. So, if you add all the fun of that many kids in a house together with the idea that you only understand a small portion of the English  they have learned in the last week or so that they have been here.... You can imagine the chaos....

2. These kids are orphans. They don't have families. They came from 4 different orphanages in the Ukraine. I have heard it said that an orphans is just an orphan until they have a face.... This is painfully true to me right now. While to many, these kids are nameless, faceless poor children who need someone else to care; these kids, with their personalities so distinct, their stories so scarred and varied, but their love still so available, have attached to my heart in a way I never thought possible. Not just one or two... But all 10, in their own little way.

Adoption is a dream for each one, but not a promise they have been given. Every moment in the US is part of a performance of sorts. Not to be manipulative, but to give it all they have, with everyone they meet, in the hopes of accomplishing their dream. They are sometimes tired... Exhausted even, and yet, when they get a chance, they smile, try their English with yet another stranger, and pray that someone will love them.

I am amazed at the strength. I am overwhelmed at the ability to love. I am humbled by the courage. I am grateful for what I have been entrusted with, my children, husband, family, friends, material possessions, etc. I am less attached to my "things" and oh so much more attached to people than I ever have been before. These kids, when meeting people, aren't sizing up how nice the cars are, or how big the houses are. They are looking for love. Don't get me wrong, they know about cars..... They understand what it is to have nice things, they just seem to have the priorities so lined up that they know that things are cool..... But the love of a family is worth so much more.

I do not know right now what the long term impact will be from this worldview change. I only know that I am glad I am changed and I pray that I never forget these amazing kids that attached to my heart so quickly.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

because 140 characters won't work

No way this could fit on FB or twitter.

There are days that I think - "wow... my life could have been a movie!" Or, "this story is great!"

And then there is today.

I'm gonna back up quickly - the last 11 years have been quite a trip.

From jungles in Belize, villages in Ecuador, the inner city in Maracaibo,Venezuela, and Kingston Jamaica, the beach in Phuket and the mountains in Chang Mai, Thaland....

From a year in Europe including trips to Paris, Berlin, and London... and a vacation that was made up of a night hiking waterfalls in Austria, several days on the beach in Italy and driving through the Swiss Alps.

From 7 months living on a bus - traveling the US. It had ups and downs - but still one of those things. Florida to NY - Georgia to California - Texas to Michigan... and a week in the Dominican Republic.

From meeting the man of my dreams - getting engaged the second time we saw each other and being married less than 5 months from when we first met.

From working with Congressmen, Statesmen, meeting Governors and Presidential candidates and serving on the First Lady of Virginia's "Flite Team" - and even having dinner in the Governor's personal home - and a few weeks later lunch in the Governor's mansion.

From dear friends all over the US that are some of the largest blessings in my life.

From two beautiful children that are - in my humble opinion - the smartest, fastest, most amazing children God ever created..... most of the time ;)

... To today.

Today - this movie is a comedy I am sure.

Today has included not one but two emergency baths due to poop. Yep. I said it. Poop. One had it down the legs to somehow getting in the toes.... the other had poop in the hair. Not sure how that happened exactly.

Today I have put clean dishes in the fridge instead of the cabinet, I have cleaned scrambled eggs out of my hair, and found a lost paci in my own shirt,

Today I have put a load of dirty (poopy) laundry into the bathtub that was waiting for a kid to get in - instead of the washing machine.

Today I have found 6 different cups full of water, where I fixed it for myself, set it down, forgot about it and apparently went to get another cup of water.

Today I diffused a complete 2 year old meltdown with a cup of juice and a banana.

Today, my major celebration came when I realized that two kids were sleeping at the same time and I could take a shower. I refuse to admit how long it has been since I was clean.

Yet - - today I got to sit and draw cars, cheeseburgers, stars and circles on a magna doodle and laugh with an energetic 2 year old.

And - Today I was smiled at by a beautiful girl right after she finished eating.

Today has been a day for the books. A day that I literally could NOT wait for naptime....

Monday, May 21, 2012

Baby L

In July 2010, our little world was rocked by the entrance of our son, J.... I told the story on the blog then as best I could remember in those few days following. Our little world was changed again this last weekend when Baby L made her grand entrance into our family. So, again, as best as I can remember it.... here is the story of her arrival.

On Thursday, I was 40 weeks and 5 days... so, 5 days past due date when I had an ultrasound and non-stress test. The ultrasound looked great, the non-stress test looked fine... but when they took my blood pressure, it was high. Now, I never have high blood pressure. Ever. So, when it is touching the borderline areas - it is shocking! Doc mentioned induction since I was already also at 3.5 cm.

In both pregnancies, I have really wanted to go into labor naturally. I thought I would always want drugs to fix pain once it got started, but I wanted the experience of starting labor on my own.

So far, I am 0 for 2 on that one. The babies just don't seem to want to get out! :)

So, on Friday morning, R and I got to the hospital at 5:30am and get the party started. I had been having more contractions through the night and even on the way to the hospital, but I knew that they weren't really strong enough to be doing anything...

It took a little while to get everything started - the pitocin started around 7am and the doc came to check and I was already at 4cm at this point.

I have to be honest and say that the timeline gets a little fuzzy for me at this point. See, with J, I was in labor for around 17 hours. I thought I was settling in for a long trip. Even if it was half of his, I still would have 8ish hours!

My family started arriving around 8am, and by then I had already had to put my phone down and quit playing on FB and such because the contractions were already so strong and so close together. L's heartrate was staying strong through each contraction and everything was progressing. They checked around 8:30 and we were already to 6cm.

I turned on my baby arrival playlist then and began to go to my own little world with each contraction. They felt like they never would quit. I thought they were coming SO close together, but the nurse was promising it was about 2.5 mins between each one.

At 9:30 I sent my family out, she checked again and I was at 8cm. I still had not asked for my epidural. I had a few questions for the nurse. 1. How long will it take for the epidural to be administered? She said it usually is 20-25 minutes to get it all in place. 2. How long, once given, would it take to start working? She said that would also be 20ish minutes. 3. I knew she couldn't make any promises, but realistically, if everything stayed the same, how long until I was ready to have the baby? She said she thought it would be about an hour.

I looked at the clock, did the math in my head - I was really looking at about 15 minutes of possible pain free time if all went well. But I remembered that the epidural made me really sick with J's birth... shakes, puking, etc. I knew that if I got it that late, it would make it harder for me to be able to hold L when she did arrive.

So, I said, no epidural - let's do this.

Now, I had read tons of stories of moms who do natural labor and have these beautiful stories. I had said that I wanted one of these stories - but was always afraid to plan it. I have to say, this was not quite what I had read about. I did not get to a beautiful planet experience. It hurt.

It hurt bad! Each contraction was a new, more powerful experience. Ronnie was my rock. My playlist was playing, Ronnie was reading scripture through the down times in the contractions, and holding my hand and rubbing my back/shoulders through each contraction. I am sure that without him by my side, I would never have made it through this labor without the epidural. I was telling him at times I couldn't do it - he just looked back and smiled... sometimes seriously telling me I could. Sometimes telling me that I would get an iPad if I saved money on the anesthesiologist... Sometimes just telling me I didn't have a choice:) I sure love that guy.

She checked again and I was at 9+cm. She sent to tell the doc I was close. I told her I felt like I could push. She said I wasn't quite ready, but that I could go ahead and do a practice push if I wanted to.

I did.

Something changed.

I told her something changed - she looked. She started pushing buttons, calling people, etc. She said "she's crowning." At that point, Ronnie and the nurse and the OB tech were the only ones in the room. She and Ronnie start telling me "don't push!" I was telling my self "don't push!" "breathe!" etc. There was nothing I could say that would convince my body to quit pushing. I pushed 3 more times while trying not to - and on the 4th push the nurse was pulling her gloves on as she caught little L's head. One more push and L was born, at 10:38am. Ronnie and the nurse pretty much delivered her!

The Doctor walked in as Ronnie was cutting the cord.

At this point I got the beautiful story I wanted. They laid her on my chest for a few minutes of skin to skin contact, and she nursed for the first time. Her initial vitals were done while on me - and then Ronnie got to hold her. I have to say, the first moments of L's life were completely different from the first moments of J's life two years earlier. While his had been scary and stressful because of stress on his little body - hers was intense for me, yet once she was out - it was beautiful. My first moments holding her were absolutely amazing. It was perfect.

She is tiny - 6lbs 13 oz - 19 inches long. She is beautiful. She looks like her brother. I love her more than I could ever imagine.

Baby L, you are amazing already. Your little life has changed our world and we love you so much. J is in love with you and walks up to you for a kiss multiple times a day. He wants to share with you so bad! We are enjoying every moment of your little life.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

wow - march.

jan 1-march 7 has been quite a trip.

But for now, I am going to try to just put words around the last week.

R and I bought a house last Wednesday, and thanks to TONS of help Friday and Saturday - we are moved in! Pretty amazing to be in my own home! We loved our last home in VA, but it was always a rental... ya know? So crazy for this to really be ours.

The one phrase I am sure I heard 1 million times was "you aren't doing too much are you?" Ummm... well... sure, of course I am. Since finding out I was pregnant back in September, we have had a job change, moved 5 states away, spend 10 weeks living with my parents, moved into our own home, gone through several weeks of R's training during day shift - - - -- - and now are testing out night shift (ew) - - -

Sunday we were still unpacking. R was on his first night shift - I was feeding Josiah his cucumbers and microwaving my left-over pizza and my phone rang. (yeah, his food is more healthy than mine sometimes :)) It was my sister with horrible information.

My dad was on his way home from church on his motorcycle and was hit by a driver in a truck. The driver drove off. A man from our church saw it happen, but didn't realize it was dad. A long string of events came afterwards - - - but that isn't what I am writing about.

I am so amazed at the way the people have been there for my mom and dad. Jon and Brantley, Jen and Andy, Ronnie and I were all as fast as possible doling out kids and heading to the hospital that night - and we were actually not the first ones to get there to be with mom.... by the time we came out of the little consult room - around 50 people from the church had driven the 40ish miles to come support mom... and dad.

The moment of the evening was when one of the men wanted to have people to pray - and there, in the ER waiting room - - having many other people around us - they all stood, held hands, and prayed for my dad's healing. Pretty crazy. Pretty overwhelming. Absolutely amazing.

Watching people pray, having them help with kids, seeing the food being organized, knowing people are doing all they can to help - just absolutely amazing.

It is hard to comprehend the callousness of the driver of the truck - the basic lack of respect for humanity is hard to imagine. But in the grand scheme of things - this one heartless jerk's actions of hitting my dad and then leaving him on the roadside to die has been so overshadowed by the love and care of those that love my parents.

He is home healing now. There is a long physical and emotional recovery coming up - but we are all so thankful that he is going to be ok - - and is recovering as well as possible.

So, there ya go - the last 7 days. A rollercoaster of large proportion. Yeah, I'm doing too much - - but the little princess is still kicking regularly... I feel great... her room is NO WHERE NEAR READY! but God is good and we are moving on.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

quick glance back - and keep one foot in front of the other.

Well - I could/should go back to review the monthly adventures of 2011.... but I think I am just going to hit some highlights and move on.

Early in the year I had a blast running and racing - I ran three races in 2011 and got three trophies. Pretty cool stuff. Also had fun running with a good friend during the week - it provided such fun times just figuring out how to set our schedules to manage the kids etc. etc.

In the spring we found out that I was pregnant. This slowed down my running for a few months, but unfortunately in June, we realized that we were having another miscarriage. June has been a tough month for my pregnancies for sure!

In July we had a blast celebrating baby J's first bday party. He had a party in Alabama and also in Virginia - with good friends and family around us. He learned to walk just a few days later and is now learning to communicate with his word count being around 40 active understandable words! and a lot of sentences that we don't understand AT ALL! but he is just so cute when he starts jabbering. He walks and talks from the minute he wakes up to the minute he goes to bed right now.

In August, we got yet another positive pregnancy test.... and I will talk more about that shortly. All seems to be going well still with the little princess.

In November, R took a job in Alabama.... soo, the week before Christmas we loaded up the truck (thanks to good friends in VA) and moved our stuff down south. We unloaded into a storage building and are temporarily living with my family.

So.... those are the highlights.
Now, for what we believe is coming in the next few months!

We are looking at houses. We have already gone looking with the realtor in the last week and met with the lender as well. We are trying hard to buy our first house!! WOW.... growing up is kinda crazy. We have a few options and hope to be making offers soon... overwhelmed doesn't being to describe it.

We also are trying to prepare for the arrival of the little princess. At this point with J's pregnancy I was already moving towards being prepared.... furniture, registering, etc. etc. This time I haven't even started!!! If it weren't for a good friend in VA giving me a box of girl clothes back in July, I don't know if I would even have clothes for her yet....

A stranger asked me fore the first time the other night when I was due (I was checking out with two maternity shirts and a baby sleeper.... guess she felt safe asking the question)... then she asked if I already knew if it was a boy or girl... and then asked if I had my nursery ready.. Umm no. I don't even have a house in which I can put a nursery yet!! :)

R starts his new job next week. I am so excited for him to get to live his dream. I can see the excitement building in him daily. The only other times I have seen him have this kinda of anticipation was in the weeks leading to our wedding.... and in the days prior to J's birth. It is so reassuring to see him so excited about this endeavor.

So - 2011 was a roller coaster - the good was great.... the bad was really tough - I have expectation that 2012 will probably be a roller coaster as well - just in different areas. Here we go.

Friday, December 16, 2011

moving on

Well.... august - that's the last you heard info??


No big half-marathon for me this year.... we found out soon after the last entry on the ol' blog that I am pregnant.... again... 4 times in just over 2 years~ of course two of these pregnancies have sent little precious ones to heaven long before I got to meet them... one is now 17 months old.... and the other is growing strong!!

So, now, I am just shy of 19 week along - and we found out this past monday that she is a girl!! what a new world I am about to enter!

Also, we are moving - from the southern area of VA back to my home state.

that happens next week!

So, pregnant, with a 17 month toddler, moving, at Christmas..... when the Mayhew's do something - we do it FULLY!

ok - that's all for the update.... back to packing.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Ugh. I am so inconsistent already. Not a good sign one week in to real training. less than 11 weeks till race day though - so, still doable, I just have to pick it up some. Maybe my run schedule is just not working for me - anyone have experience in adjusting it - with kids in the house - to make it work for you?

In other news, my newest niece was born yesterday - so exciting - and so tough to be so far away! Congrats jon-jon and brantley!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


day 1 of half-marathon training went pretty well. Not too hard of a run, and really was more intervals than a full out run. Gonna run my 4 miles hopefully today.... that will be the longest run since May - not sure how that will turn out.

Am also considering signing up for a 5k in October so that I can have a short term goal to reach between now and November.

Other moms, where do you run? When do you run? How do you run with kids in tow? I have a jogging stroller, but there is NO WAY J is going to be ok with anything longer than 30-40 minutes in the stroller... so, anything longer than 4 miles is going to be hard on him.

Off we go!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

new blog? nah

I have gone back and forth on this issue. Am I finished blogging? Do I want to keep blogging sometimes with a new theme? Should I shut this down and start a new one? Who am I even talking to? Myself?

If I blog more, I want to have a point - not just a history of my life... although I guess it will also be an outlet for that as well. But what point?

Anyway, I think for now I will stay here - and see how this goes. For now, this is going to be my journal for the next three months. After that, I will re-evaluate and decide what to do.

Since we last spoke, a LOT of life has happened. I ran three 5k races - twice I was second in my agegroup, and once I was first in my age group. I found out I was pregnant. 9 weeks later I found out that the baby was not living.. a repeat of 2009... and one week after that I had a miscarriage. It seems that June and early pregnancy do not go well for me. I am still dealing with all that. I have seen more doctors, had more tests - everything says I am "normal." People that know me KNOW that isn't true. We move on.

I am now on the verge - as in, starting Monday - of training for a half-marathon. I have NO idea how I am going to actually get this done, since until this past Monday I had not run in over 2 months. This last week I ran 2 miles, twice. That's a long way from 13.1. But I have 12 weeks to get prepared.

The easy part is the running, honestly. The hard part is finding the time to do it. Most of the training will probably be done with a jogging stroller in front of me I guess. Pushing an extra 40 pounds of baby+stroller shouldn't be too complicated right?

So, off I go. I will try to keep posted as to how the training is going. This is the final test to see if this blog will stay active or not.

Who wants to train with me? Anyone???

cricket cricket.

Yeah - sounds good.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 - revisited

This year has been oh SO FAST! I know they say that it just gets faster as you get older.... not real excited about that - but seriously, does it not feel like yesterday that we all celebrated 2010?

So, the highlights. I really thought about not doing this, but even though I don't have all the blogs to tell the story, I feel like I need to mark the big stories - good and bad - of 2010.

My baby showers in waiting for Josiah in April and May - how wonderfully humbling it is to have so many people that loved my baby before he even arrived!

Jon-Jon came home in May... as hard it is has always been to say goodbye to him - - the joy of celebrating his return is OH SO MUCH GREATER!

The end of the Congressional primary in June... it is always fun to be on the winning team!

Of course, the highlight of the year happened July 10 - when my precious son arrived on the scene. He has changed our lives in SO many ways! Our family went from 2 to 3 but that little addition has multiplied our love so much! I love Ronnie even more than before when I watch the way he loves his son! We are so blessed.

The most difficult part of my year came about 18 days later, when my friend, Brianna passed away while giving birth to her daughter. My heart hurt for Brianna's family, and even more for her daughter... such a beautiful little girl whose mom loved her so much! Even last week, when taking pictures of that little baby, so many times I just wanted to ask Brianna what kind of pictures she wanted me to take! It is hard to say goodbye to someone like that.

August, September, and October are a bit blurry. There were trips to Alabama - holidays, MANY firsts - and LOTS of pictures.... but the awe of being a mother was still a little overwhelming to me... and then November brought Josiah's first flights - just he and I, while Ronnie went to Thailand for 10 days. I have rarely been more proud of my husband than when watching him do what is right in the sight of God.

And, December, well - J's first Christmas has been amazing. and busy. But we celebrated Christmas in Gatlinburg first - and had a blast.... and then at home... and that was awesome with the three of us celebrating together, and cooking together, and eating together... I LOVED it! and then in Alabama... the first time since 2006 that EVERYONE has been together. my brother was not at war - I was not in VA.... we were together... mawmaw, pawpaw, mamaw, dena, danny, kelsie, paul, suzy, matthew, jon-jon, brantley (and their new one on the way!), jen, andy, aubrey, barrett, ronnie, josiah and me :)

crazy? yes. but, fun? yes.

it has been a year. a full year. a wonderful year. a tragic year. what does 2011 hold? I can hardly wait!

Monday, August 16, 2010


I guess it's official. I am a rookie. rookie mom.....

I have a to-do list that will most likely not get done
I have a did-do list that most people would not be very proud of
I am more aware of insanity than ever before.
I sometimes talk in baby voice
I no longer feel bad about myself when I say "I stay at home." I am kinda proud of it now
I find myself rocking even when not holding a child.
I just got a text asking me to do something - it included the phrase "childcare is provided" and it applied to me!
I have had conversations in public about poop and spit-up
I find myself reading about controversial topics that use to not even matter to me! (vaccines, CIO, attachment parenting, co-sleeping, etc. etc.) (no - I will not discuss them on my blog....)

It's definitely different than ever before... But, its so stinkin rewarding and he is so stinkin' cute....

I am still the same person. I have not lost my identity. I have not lost my passion for life, music, or people. I have not forgotten that friends are valuable and I need to take time for them. (for my own sanity.) I have not lost my desire to be involved in the world around me-to make it a better place. As a matter of fact, I now desire even MORE to be involved - to make a difference - for every difference I make for the good will have a direct impact on the little one I love so dearly! I have not lost who I am..... I have grown! As when I got married, and everything changed around me.... I have become much more - not less. I have not gone backwards and become "just a mom."

So, for those that know me personally - please realize, that while my "did-do" list may look different than yours, it will still include time with you if you allow it!

I did not intend on this being some vent.... and it is definately NOT intended to be directed at anyone.... simply a statement as to what I have learned in the last 5ish weeks....

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

and heaven is richer for her life here

Wednesday I lost a dear friend. I have waited to put this in writing for fear that I could not represent her life well in words... and so, here goes.

She loved all. She was patient with people. She taught at the detention school here in our town and loved those children dearly. She made it clear that she knew she could have an impact on lives that were not always easy to love.

She taught children. At church she was a consistent children's/AWANA worker. She loved children. She wanted more than anything else to be a mother. She went to children's camp. I was always impressed by her desire to see children know her Savior the way she did.

She was persistent. There were times when we would go weeks without talking. She always reached out to be sure we got back together. She was there for me last year in my miscarriage. She made sure I left the house to go get ice cream... at Bubba's. We sat for hours that day and talked about life. She let me cry, let me vent. Smiled and prayed with me.

She included everyone. I honestly can't remember her ever having issues with anyone! She loved dearly.

She was already such a great mother, to the little one growing inside her. She wanted to be a mother to her own daughter so badly. I remember the day she told me, with tears in her eyes... merely weeks after I had made my announcement about being pregnant with Josiah. We were so happy to be going through this together. She had battled infertility and won... I had battle the loss of a child and won. We walked the last 9 months together. Our due dates - 19 days apart.

She was a co-host of one of my baby showers... we went together with Heather to Buy Buy Baby after work - in Raleigh - to just look at baby stuff. We spent time at Starbucks together - usually not drinking coffee because it would keep us up too late. We laughed at our husbands running out of room in the bed. Ruby Tuesday, our last meal together, the week before Josiah was born, we laughed. Traded some gifts. Compared the difference in preparing for boys and girls. We discussed going late - past 40 weeks. We knew the risks.

We both had doctor appointments at 40 weeks and 6 days.... both to start inductions on that day. I was simply 19 days ahead of her. It is in this process that our pregnancy story would go different directions. Mine... through scary moments, came out with a healthy delivery... She came to see us in the hospital. She held Josiah. We discussed that I would be doing the same thing a couple of weeks later. It was not supposed to be this way. Her induction... well... That induction would cost her life. Her last gift to this world is a beautiful baby girl. As I held her in my arms last Saturday, the tears poured knowing how much this baby girl was loved by her mother. It was not supposed to be like this. How she had smiled with big tears in her eyes that day... the day she couldn't hold it back anymore.... how she glowed when she talked about her daughter. The concern she had when the risky days came within the pregnancy. The faith she had that everything would be ok. It was supposed to be different.

This is what I will always remember about my dear friend. So few people on earth are as loving and open as she was. Our lives are changed because she was a part of them. We will do out part to be sure her daughter always knows that her mother loved her dearly - and loved others unconditionally.

Friday, July 16, 2010

J has arrived

Weighing in at 7lbs 13 oz, 22 inches long... J arrived on July 10 at 5:03am.

The birth story

I am afraid if I wait, I might never write this down, and one day, I will forget details - so here ya go little J.... the story of the day you were born.

Friday morning, July 9. We had a Doctor's appointment. At that time I was 40 weeks and 6 days. I didn't want to be induced, but since we were already 6 days late, I knew that we were about to have a conversation with the doc about when induction needed to be scheduled. I expected her to tell us to come back Tuesday or Wednesday of the next week. As we were driving up to the doctor's office, I asked Ronnie, what if she says we should go today? (of course, since we live about an hour away from the hospital, I already had the car packed just in case!) We both kinda nervously laughed it off.... knowing that was impossible!

We went in, went through the motions, weight, blood pressure, heartbeat, etc. etc. and then Dr. Fogleman walked in. She listened, measured, checked to see if I had progressed... I had not done much... She sat back and discussed the risks of inducing, not inducing etc. with us... and I asked the question "if it were you, in our shoes, what would you do?" She has had kids before and had been very honest with us up to this point... so, I trusted her.

Her response:

"I would go today."

In my mind, this is what happened:


What I said...

"today? really?"

She said yes, she was on call that weekend, so we could know for sure she would be delivering, and it would outweigh many other risks.

We left the office, a bit stunned.

Ronnie texted my parents in Alabama while we were walking down the hall of the Doctor's office. I think I was a bit shocked to even text! He just said "start driving."

We were checked in after a few phone calls to tell people what was going on, and I was plugged in to the Pitocin at 11:45.

At 4:30pm, I was still not progressing much - so my water was broken.

WOW did that change things. Doctor Fogleman had said right before breaking my water that they needed to speed stuff up, I was still texting through contractions. It wasn't going fast enough yet.

It still took a while to gt from 4-5cm. At that point, it was 1:30am, and J's heartbeat was slowing down into the 70's with each contraction. They were getting concerned that I might have to have a C-section. I am so thankful for a team of Doctors and nurses that are willing to try every other option first.

They started with changing my position. I already had my epidural. I got it at 4cm... I had been having contractions every 2 minutes for the last 8 hours and couldn't take it anymore. I wanted to be at 6 cm.... but I just wasn't tough enough for that.

I laid on my left side, then my right side... nothing was fixing it. They even had me get as close to laying on my belly as possible to try to move J around just in case he was laying on his cord or holding onto it with the contractions. At 2:30, the heartrate was still dropping with about every other contraction. They started an amnioinfusion.

I was kinda nervous about this, as I had never heard of it before.

They just pumped fluid back into my uterus in one last effort to keep his heartrate up during the contractions. They were getting concerned that he might not make it through birth if his heart rate was slowing so much.

This worked....

By 3:30, the nurse checked, and asked if I was ready to have a baby! yep... She started prepping me for delivery!

There was a short delay, and we started the pushing phase around 4:15 or so. I pushed a few times and then heard the nurse make the call "please tell Dr. Fogleman that we are ready for delivery."

Ronnie and I made eye contact... Of course we have known this moment would come... but it has felt like FOREVER to get here!

The excitement, love, impatience, expectation, and fear, all merged into one in my body.

Here we go.

It was much harder than I thought - I could feel the tightness of contractions. I had heard that epidurals made you rely on the machine to tell you when you were having the contraction. That was not true in my case. Honestly, the machines were failing. I had been looking forward to only knowing the contraction was happening except for the little screen beside me. This was not the case. My monitor would not stay in place. I couldn't see the screen and if I could, it wasn't registering the contractions accurately. I had to feel for the contractions myself! I had to tell them when it was time. At this point, the fear of "what if I don't know how to do this?" was overwhelming. I didn't want this responsibility.

I pulled it back together in my mind as best I could. Looking at Ronnie between each contraction watching his face for signs of concern, fear, anything. There was none - just absolute love and devotion for what he was watching take place.

At 5:03, the final pushes delivered a precious little boy. I had wanted him placed on my chest for nursing immediately afterwards. So, I knew immediately that there was a problem when the doctor cut the cord and stood up quickly.

Ronnie just kept telling me "pray" I kept asking... "why isn't he crying?" "why isn't he breathing?" "why isn't he crying?" Ronnie's steady answer... "pray Julia, just pray."

His cord had been wrapped tightly around his neck, which was what had been causing the lower heartrate during contractions earlier in the night.

The nurse made a call, the Doctor was doing the suction thing, it felt like forever.

Dr. Fogleman said "he is in shock."

She passed him off to a team of people that had rushed into the room - I don't remember how many. Ronnie looked at me again and said "pray." I sent Ronnie over to stand with J.

Before Ronnie got over there, we heard it - that amazing sound.... one loud cry! My heart jumped. Ronnie looked back at me and smiled. I then wanted to hold him so badly! I had to wait for the doctors to get finished with the initial check out.

Finally they brought him to me. He was amazing. Perfect. Breathing. Life.

So much that day could have gone wrong. I am so thankful for a team of doctors that responded so quickly to save my son's life.

Little J - your first day was stressful - but your life is already precious and we are so thankful for you. Your dad is amazing and stayed so focused on the important throughout the whole process. Without him I would have panicked... He already takes such good care of you.

We love you so much!

Monday, June 28, 2010

he's coming

little baby Mayhew is on the way - due date is Saturday.... we are (not so) patiently waiting. For now, we are waiting for God and the baby to choose his birthday!

I haven't blogged in a while...

Here is what is in my thought process for the arrival of this child:
- I am nervous about the birth. So many unknowns
- I am also excited about seeing his little face
- I am nervous about being responsible for his life
- Ronnie and I sometimes walk by his room and wonder why we have it all decorated
- We sometimes feel overwhelmed already!
- The miracle of the tiny feet that kick my ribs, jar my spine, and punch my kidneys regularly is already amazing to me.
- Can this really be my child?

And here is what I want Little J to know:

Precious son of mine,

You are a treasure. The day your dad and I found out you were on the way was a surprise. You see, you already have a sibling in heaven. We knew we wanted you, but we weren't sure if it was time yet. We had been praying that we would be able to meet you one day - but we were also praying that you would not come until it was the right time.

I didn't even tell dad I was going to take the test that Sunday morning. So, he was surprised when I woke him up with "Ummm... I think there are two lines....." He responded with "huh?" I said "I think I am pregnant - come look!"

We both stared and stared at that little test waiting for more confirmation - but it was still fuzzy.

We went to church. I remember singing a song that morning that had been sung the Sunday after we found out our last child was not going to live. The line that rung in my head was "You give and Take away, you give and take away, my heart will choose to say, Lord blessed be your name." I knew immediately, even though the line was fuzzy at home on the test, that you were the gift. I also know that we would consistently say blessed be your name.

We told all of your grandparents that week, I called and told Jenifer and Brantley, and then, I had to wait to talk to JonJon. He was in Afghanistan.

We were so excited, we could barely wait to tell the world!

We saw you first on an ultrasound in November. You were jumping around. I really think you were excited to be seen... Your dad and I both cried to see you moving so much!

It was February that we found out you were a boy. I really think I knew the whole time. We had not even chosen a girl name. We were so excited to hear the ultrasound tech say "It's a boy!" We saw your face for the first time that day. You have already changed a lot - but I loved you immediately.

Your last two ultrasounds have been fun for us as we could see portions of your face. You keep part of it a secret with your arms. The priceless part to me, is that you are already making motions with your hands that are like pictures of your dad when he was a baby. You prop your right hand just above your eye, as if you are thinking.

The nurses and doctors tell us each time that you will be slowing down your movements as you get ready to be born... So far, you haven't slowed down one bit!

Here we are, about 5 days from your due date. I don't know what date you will choose to be your birthday. Many people are pulling for July 4. I think that would be nice, but I am really not going to be picky about this decision. I want you to be as healthy as possible. I know that there will even be days when I miss your little kicks to my ribs. I do look forward to seeing your face. and watching your motions. You consistently have one leg that is sticking out to my right side. It looks funny to me. I am sure you will be propping that leg up on everything you can see when you get out.

Dad and I are so ready to meet you. We are so excited to have you as the next part of our family. We are a little nervous about being parents - so be patient with us. We haven't done this before. We know that you are our gift, our treasure, and we promise to do everything we can to be sure you know that you are loved deeply, by us and by your Creator. We want you to know that God loves you even more than you will ever understand. He gave you to us to take care of for a while. We promise to do our best.


Monday, January 11, 2010

jon-jon is home - and predictions

well - my little brother made it back safely for his two weeks "break" from the sandbox... Mom has a post and pics from meeting him in the airport.

We will hopefully get some time to visit with him before he heads back over for the final months of this deployment.

In other places - I am now 15 weeks pregnant. Last trip to the Dr. had a heartbeat of 150. The heartbeat wives tale says its a girl - the chinese calendar says its a girl - all those silly quizzes I have taken online say its a girl...

However, Ronnie is of course a first (and only) born son.... his dad is a first born son.... his grandad was one of a couple of sons.... I am not sure who the oldest in that clan is - but I know the first born was a son... and all of those "sons" (his grandfather's brothers) have had first born sons. So.... if genetics tell us more than the chinese calendar - and heartbeats - then it should be a boy.

My aunt says its a boy - others that have guessed have said its a boy...

I always thought that it would have been awesome to have a big brother - so, I figured I should have a boy first - - which is probably the influence in my head that it is probably a boy.

My sister says its a girl.... I think she was just arguing with my aunt. :)

The fun part is that all the guessing will (hopefully) be over on Feb. 8!! We are hoping baby mayhew participates and allows us the opportunity to know the answer to that question... boy or girl?

Anyone out there got a fool-proof way to guess boy or girl?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

tomorrow would have been the day

Dec. 30...... Now, I know that only 5% of babies show up on their due date... but regardless, the date that will always echo in my heart will be Dec. 30.

I still believe all that I said I believed here and here and here and here.... even more so...

I also believe that this hole in my heart is healing... not because there is a new life growing inside of me right now... but because my God is in the healing business! My heart would be healing regardless of whether or not I was pregnant.

My precious husband gave me a necklace for Christmas with a teardrop shaped Blue Topaz and a small diamond.... the diamond is my birthstone (convenient?? yes.) ... the blue topaz, the birthstone for the month of December. I will not forget my precious first child. We haven't met yet little one - but we will one day....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

whoa - 2 days in a row! dont worry - just a christmas meme

ok - 10 for Christmas

1. Best childhood gift from Santa...

Gotta be the pink and purple 10 speed bicycle! I remember walking around the corner to see it and being actually disappointed at first because I thought that BIG PINK WHEEL was just a hula hoop!!! then I saw that it was attached to a full bike!!!

2. Best Childhood Christmas memory...

Jon, Jen and I all trying to sleep in the same room. I say its a childhood memory - - until the Christmas after Jen got married - this was still happening! Of course sleep didn't come early.... and Jon was always convinced we HAD to get up at like 4:00 to preserve the traditions set at the age of 6.... Jen and I would usually sleep in my queen sized bed and Jon would be on the floor - - unless we were in the basement - when jen and I would sleep on Jon's bunk beds and he would sleep on his water bed.... It just built the excitement!

3. Favorite Christmas Cookies...

Anything with chocolate qualifies here.

4. Icky Christmas memory...

I really dont think I have any!!

5. It's not Christmas without...

Family.... there have been two Christmases in my life when I was not with my family ON Christmas day. The first was when I was doing mission work in Germany... the second was last year. My family is ALL together ALL day long on that day,.. its just right to be together. Having said that - Jon and I haven't been together on Christmas since 2006 and won't be again this year as he is military and deployed... 2007 - he was deployed... 2008 I was in VA... and now 2009 he is deployed again....

6. Our church service...

I have only been to Christmas Eve services at my parent's church... its a 30 minute Communion service... a great experience to remember the night before Christmas!

7. Christmas Pet Peeve...

the "busy-ness"

8. Favorite Christmas CD....

This is a tough one - but I guess I have to go with anything Trans-Siberian Orchestra... the two times I have heard them live have made the cd's even better... some of the best performances I have ever seen!

9. Real or Fake?

Fake for us.... Fake AND pre-lit with white lights... we just get all crazy and add colored lights to have the variety - a trick I learned from my mom... plug them in separately, and on some nights it can be all white, some nights all colored, and sometimes - (most of the time) - it can be FULL with white AND colored lights on at the same time!

10. I spend Christmas Eve...

Prior to being married - Jon always delayed buying his Christmas presents until Christmas Eve... when I would go with him to figure out what we would buy for EVERYONE!!!

My favorite was the day that he called tha tmorning and just said "dress warm and bring a backpack"..... he wanted to drive his motorcycle to buy Christmas presents!! Luckily I talked him out of that one - but those were such fun days! Such a mass chaos of people trying to get so much done!! We just turned the music up and had a blast! It was one day we could always count on mom and dad breaking the rules.... they would both stay under budget - but before we left the house we would get a credit card, or extra cash handed to us privately with instructions to get just one more present for mom from dad... and for dad from mom... its just what we did!!

There ya go.... Christmas in a nutshell :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Uncontrolled emotions from an "11 week" pregnant woman

11 weeks and 4 days to be exact.

We are amazingly excited about the current pregnancy. Last Monday - Dec 7, we went to the Doc and were able to see a moving dancing little baby in there and hear a strong heartbeat of 164! It was absolutely amazing and one of THOSE moments of life. I have had so many of them but this one trumps just about all of them. You know, that moment when everything seems to stand still and fly by at the same time... This moment ranked up there with the day Ronnie proposed to me, that moment when I realized what was happening and saw the ring for the first time.... Also, that awkward but amazing wedding moment, while standing in front of the unity candle and grinning at my man knowing that our lives would never be the same, but they would be better because we were now a family.

This moment ranked right there with those two!!!

The excitement of seeing my child - our child moving around finally released some of the emotions that I believe I had been holding for fear of a repeat of last time. For, you see, last time, around 10 weeks - we found out for sure that our little one was not alive. Last time in that room with the ultrasound tech, we realized that the darkest tragedy of our lives, the loss of a child, was a reality for us. It had been week 8 that we found that there might be a reason to ask more questions... week 9 came the "you need to be prepared that there could be a problem" and week 10 carried the weight of "there is no blood flowing to the baby."

Which is where I come to today....

The emotions that are running in my head today are almost overwhelming... June 16 is a day that will echo in my head forever - It is the day the miscarriage happened. Approximately 11 weeks and 4 days into the pregnancy - The excruciating emotional pain accompanied with the unbelievable physical pain - that even Vicodin couldn't hide - (aside from the fact that Ronnie had kidney stones on the same day and we spent a good part of the day in the waiting room of the ER) It hurt.... more than anything I have ever felt. In more ways that I ever thought I could feel pain. My heart hurt.

Today is the 6 month mark of that horrible day. December 16th. Today is also 14 days, two weeks, away from the due date of our precious first child. For that my heart kinda aches too. What would he or she have looked like? What would his/her personality have been like? Would he or she be more of an musical artist like mom? or a thinking lawyer like dad? or neither?

Today is also a day of hope - for now, around July 3 - we WILL have a precious addition to our small family. Today, on this day of week 11 day 4 - I look at the tiny images of the alien looking ultrasound that I carry on my blackberry and tear up with the hope of July 3.... (I do realize that is an estimated date.... I know... I get it)

So, this emotional, hormonal, nauseaus, sometimes puking, always sleepy, mom is just kinda holding it all together today remembering that first positive test.... the excitement of the first announcements... the first pregnancy that will always be my first child.... the apprehension of this "first positive" test... the announcements that happened via phone this time... the hesitation of having the ultrasounds done... and the fears every time I go 15 minutes without SOME symptom... They say (whoever they are) that once you see a heartbeat after 8 weeks, they chances of miscarriage drop to below 1% - - I am not sure about all that... but I sure am hopeful that "they" are right.

So, here we go - continually praying for our little "roo" and the remaining 29ish weeks until we meet face to face!! - Thanks for the name Samantha :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Moments before I sleep - again

Well, the election is over - and what a trip it was this year. I think I say that every year.

Last night was a night to remember though - you know "those" nights. I speak of them often I guess.... Sometimes I feel like I live in a movie, or at least in someone else's life - because sometimes it feels like things like this shouldn't happen to normal people. You know, people like me.

Anyway, the short version of the story is that the Governor-elect of Virginia invited his staff to his personal home (he hasn't moved to the mansion yet...) for a victory celebration. So, last night, Ronnie and I spent about 3 hours in their HOME! The whole thing was pretty surreal, I have to admit. And in some ways never quite felt like it was actually happening. At the same time, it was nice to be able to kinda relax with the people that were always on those annoying 9:30pm conference calls and not have to be reporting numbers and such. We could laugh about those silly voters on the other end of the phone calls, and brag on our own amazing volunteers! What a year it was to be involved in Virginia politics.

The other thing that I loved about last night was this: I now honestly know that we did the right thing in electing the man that we worked so hard to elect. He is truly a family man. There were stories from those close to him of how it didn't matter what he was doing, if his family called his cell phone - everything stopped. There were Bible verses hanging on the walls of the house - in prominent positions - not hidden away. The family laughed with each other, and with us. They are genuine, and real. We have elected a good family. Now, I will continue to pray for him as he begins to govern this state.

Ok, on to the non-political - and somewhat more exciting part of the reason I need to sleep right now. For those that are not on Facebook, and I haven't talked to in person lately - you remember that about 4 months ago we went through the agony of a miscarriage.

I am excited to inform you that we are expecting again. I am just past the 6 week mark - and right at the point at which my baby quit growing last time. This week, while amazing and full of excitement in our lives, has an underlying sensitivity in my mind. What I mean is, every twitch, pain, cramp - - makes my mind race with the "what-ifs." I try to keep trusting, and keep moving forward....

Basically we are kinda trapped in this mode - we are so unbelievable excited about the new life growing inside of me.... and we are so unfortunately nervous about "last time" moments. I want to be nothing but excited... but I hesitate to register for the "free diaper samples" because I just feel the need to wait.

We discussed keeping everything a secret longer this time... but our excitement wouldn't let us. I really struggle with keeping that kind of joy quiet! We also realized that it was only through Christ, and the prayers of our friends that we made it through last time... and if, just if, something happened again - we would need that support even more.

I don't want to dwell on the fears though. We are already racing with the exciting moments. The planning, the waiting, the hoping... I am queasy - and really have to sleep a TON! Which is great... grow little child of mine - - just grow....

- speaking of that - I do believe it is nap time :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Election time again

Well, I haven't written in a while - am in another election cycle... and well... you know how that goes... It's another beautiful fall in southside VA...

anyway - today was a big event in which all three of our statewide candidates came through our city - it was my job to get the event to happen...

I don't consider myself to be very good at "events" I never could throw a party and have people actually show up...

Regardless, we got about 150 people here, and the candidates came, spoke, everyone cheered... and they left... it was great! and great to have it done - - - and done successfully.

Kinda surreal again.... but I won't spend much time there. It's just always fun to get to actually meet these guys. I am not one to be really starstruck or whatever - - but nice to get the handshake, smile, and to help my friends get their pictures.

Life is rolling along well right now.... keep watching the blog for updates - i promise to update more often....

i promise!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

please be prayin

please be praying for my little brother. it's gotta be tough sometimes!

Monday, August 31, 2009

'Twas a fun day

campaign life can get messy - but sometimes, randomly in the midst of the mess.... a fun day shines through.

It's that type of day that will stand out when it's all over.

Today was one of those.

The incumbent Lt. Gov. came through Danville. - - -First Ronnie and I were included in a round-table discussion about the job/economic situation in the area. Talk about feeling "outta my league" - but it was kinda nice to be there - - another one of "those" moments for me...

Then after an afternoon of phone calling, (possibly my least favorite thing to do EVER!!) Ronnie and I went to a beautiful home for a fund raiser.

Nothing like Fried fish to end a night well. And as we were enjoying the fried fish - - we got to have some good conversation with the man I worked for last year and his wife. (Even talked a little Alabama football:))

Sometimes. this life just feels a bit surreal to me.

I kinda like it.

In other news - - - my next online class started today as well. Kinda nice to just come home and check to get the homework assignment and not actually have to go teach for 4 hours! I think I like online teaching!!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Is it really only 2 days away from September? Really?

In a short update on the garden. I think I had a seriously late blooming garden... No really, other than the tomatoes - I have only had one cucumber to make it to the ripe stage - but I think we have left it sitting in the window too long now, and it is getting kinda squishy.

I have three squashes... um... squashi... um... squash... I really can't find a plural that sounds right, that are growing now - they are all only about 3 inches long right now though!!!

Also, I have a watermelon on the vine. There are really two - watermelons - but one is the size of a grape... the other though, is about the size of a large plum!!!! I am kinda proud that all of my plants have produced some sort of fruit this year. Being my first year and all, I was kinda afraid I wouldn't get much "fruit for my labor." Hahaha...

I have been thinking about why I don't post during campaign season very often. I think its because the campaign really kinda takes over my whole life! I have a hard time coming up with ANYTHING else to talk about. And I simply refuse - for many reasons - to let this turn into some sory of political diatribe (like that word??). We have enough about that.

I have also started running again. I meet three ladies to run three days a week right now - several of us are actually preparing for an 8k to run in November! It will be my first real race..... I have already paid for it - that way it is harder for me to back out... and it gives me something to look forward to after the election is over.

Well, there ya go little bro - I blogged... mostly useless rambling - but it's your turn now :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

gardening thoughts

A few weeks ago Ronnie and I decided on a Sunday afternoon that we really wanted to put some plants in a small garden'ish' area in front of our house. We worked really hard - - dug through almost IMPOSSIBLE dirt - - planted, rolled out weed blocker, went to Lowe's the second time to get more mulch for the top layer.... and some bricks to outline it (didn't measure the bricks... I just guessed while standing at Lowe's that we needed 42 bricks)... (turns out we needed 43.... i was kinda proud of being "one brick shy..." haha)

That next week I found an afternoon in which I could sit in my veggie garden and do some weeding. I pulled, dug, pried... and actually got most of the weeds out. It had been several weeks since I had done that and really think that the weeds were beginning to choke my cucumbers (of which there are about 9 that will be ready to eat in the next week or two!!! I am so proud!)

The tomatoes are just about finished... there are about 5 more that are still ripening and then I think they will be done -

The squash plants have some of the most beautiful flowers every morning - - and I have YET to see the first actual veggie come from it.

The watermelon vines are running everywhere - - but no watermelons yet either... oh well.

All this to say that I have learned a few things while gardening this year.

- I have learned that too much water will rot the tomatoes - too little will dry them up - there must be a perfect amount of water in order for healthy fruit to grow.

- Just because a plant looks really pretty, does not mean fruit will come from it

- Weeds really do choke pther plants.

- the point of the garden is to get more fruit - - if no food comes, then it was not really that successful

- the right fertilizer is VITAL! to new growth.... the right soil is even MORE vital... and the right about of sunshine every day is just as important as everything else.

Having realized all of these things. I now see why Christ used gardening in his parables and illustrations all the time!!! I mean seriously! Read back over the list... see what all applies.

Anyway, don't want to get too heavy. That's really what struck me as I dug my little fingers into that hard dirt, and pulled back the weeds.... or as we worked to plant the new flowers.

I really was thinking about all those scripture references to good soil, rocky soil, weeds, planter, workers, harvest, growths.... I mean they are EVERYWHERE! and now, having had my little garden - and having been able to eat some of the fruit of my little garden, I realize a small bit more of what it is that He was talking about....


Thursday, July 30, 2009

because my brother asked

An open letter to my brother: yes, it should have been sent in an email, but he wanted to read a blog.....


I am blogging today ONLY because you asked me to. I am in the middle if budgeting, and projecting, etc. etc. for my job... fun stuff.

Ronnie got to go to Carowinds today with the youth from church. I am working... so, well, he is riding roller coasters... and I wish I were:)

This weekend I am going to be able to go to a conference with some ladies from my church, and then I think mom is going to come to watch our presentation on Sunday night - - the presentation is for our church to see the fun stuff that we did in Ecuador a few weeks ago. I am hoping to post some of those stories soon... just havent had a chance yet... the pictures are on facebook though if you want to see them...

Well, I think that's all I can post for the world to read - - anything else would have to be private emails:)

I hope you are staying out of trouble.... you better be...

love ya,

Saturday, July 4, 2009


I have heard it said that "the only different between a patriot and a traitor is a matter of time."

I am thankful for the crowd of "patriots" in 1776 that cared enough to be called traitors for a short time, so that today long after they have been gone, they might be called Patriots.

I am also so very thankful for the Patriots of today.... who wear the camouflage, who sweat in thick armor, who keep M-16s on their body 24 hours a day, who sleep short hours, and fight so that the battle remains somewhere else.... away from our streets, our yards, our homes, our playgrounds...

I am personally proud to be a family member of one of those Uniform wearing soldiers... I sometimes wish I had a sticker that I could wear... to say "you know those guys that we honor?? well, one of those is my little brother." I grew up shooting BB guns with him - learning to ride a bike with him, played in a treehouse, pretended to be GIJoe, Transformers, and army guys (and girls) with him. We had trampoline fights, got in trouble for sliding down red mud hills in our good clothes, and learned to beat Super Mario brothers (the orginal Nintendo game) together. This little boy that woke up at 5 in the morning with me to prepare breakfast for the rest of the family sometimes.... is now waking up at 5 in the morning to keep us safe. Thank you Jon-Jon.

I am so thankful that today we, as a family, we were able to be online for a while chatting together. Mom and dad on separate computers at their house, Jen online at her house, me online in VA, and Jon in the "sandbox." How wonderful is our technology!!!

In honor of this day, the day we thank soldiers and patriots for our freedoms as a country.... I leave you a few quotes from popular patriotic songs.

God bless America, land that I love, Stand beside her and guide her through the night with a light from above. Oh beautiful for spacious skies - for amber waves of grain... Oh beautiful for patriot dream, that sees beyond the years, Thine alabaster cities gleam, undimmed by human tears. God bless the USA!

and finally, those words that echo longer than the writer ever imagined... Oh, say does that Star Spangled banner yet wave, o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave...

Friday, July 3, 2009

Heart wrenching morning!

Conversation I heard while I was on the phone with mom this morning.

Aubrey: Is that JuJu?
Mom: Yes
Aubrey: Is JuJu coming to my house?
Mom: No, JuJu has to work
Aubrey: (shouting at this point so I can understand every word) But she SAID she was coming to MY house!

Mom: Do you want to talk to JuJu?
Aubrey: yes

Aubrey: JuJu?
Me: Hey Aubrey, I love you
Aubrey: Are you coming to my house?
Me: (choking at this point) No sweetie, I have to work today
Aubrey: (handing the phone back to mom) I'm "pinished" (finished)

My tears flowed......

two hours later.

Phone rings - some random number.

Me: Hello?
Jon-Jon: Hey JuJu!
Me: (running outside of my office to be sure I have good phone reception) Hey!!

The conversation continued.... I won't type all that out.

Needless to say, it has been an emotional day. I feel as if tears are just seconds away from bursting out of my eyes.... Tears of missing my family, and tears of praying for my brother, and tears of thankfulness that he was able to call me....

Kinda hard to focus on work today...

Monday, June 29, 2009

I really can't think of a good title.

I have started yet another political job. But we won't discuss that here. There are plenty of political blogs that do much more than I would even want to.

I am going today to have blood taken to make sure all my HCG (pregnancy hormone) numbers are dropping appropriately.

I honestly thought, somehow, that when the actual process happened, and the physical pain was becoming less and less, that the emotional healing would be a steady upward process.

I was wrong.

For a couple of days, I felt really good, physically, emotionally, everything.

This weekend has been hard! And today I feel on the edge of tears constantly, and I really don't know why.

During the time since I found out my baby was no longer alive (approximately 4 weeks now.... ) five friends have had their babies, and the pictures didn't really hurt... 4 others have announced that they were pregnant, and the news really made me excited for them. I count myself lucky to not be jealous of others' excitement.

This weekend, however, I think the thing that set it off was a late delivery from the mailman. About 8 weeks ago, I went to the huggies website and signed up for some random diaper sample. It just seemed like a smart thing to do, get 3 free diapers... right?? Well, they were delivered Saturday afternoon. I just wasn't expecting it. There, in the middle of my living room, I was holding the diapers that were meant for my baby... and my heart broke. Again.

Please continue to pray for me as my emotions are still just ugly. I want to be healed, to feel better, to allow the hole that will always be in my heart, to begin to heal... although the hole will remain, at least it will one day be a reminder of the hope that is to come.... today, it just still hurts.

In addition to this, please keep my little brother in your prayers - - he has arrived at his sandbox destination... and the battle continues.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

If it's not one thing...

My mom says it so well...

Thank you Jon-Jon for fighting for our freedom -