Wednesday, October 14, 2009

remember us?

Hi Friends,
I hope this entry finds everyone doing well. Even though I am horrible at posting I think of all my blogger friends every day and continue to see wonderful things happening with everyone. Chloe Faith's sister was born 10/8 - sweet Sophia Carmen! Praising Jesus for this sweet baby and for the blessings of their two daughters.

We are having a great time with sweet AnnaGrace. She is pretty perfect!! Right now however, we are nursing the flu in our house. Pray that baby stays well as I am forced to be in her face since I still breast feed her. Kailey, Allison and myself have the flu and Chris is well on his way:( Yuck.

Anyway - here are a few pics of my precious girls. Have tons more but no patience with the posting thing. I am so not computer savvy. As you can see, AnnaGrace has paved her way by having the big Brown eyes. And I would also like to share a praise for our family when Allison was baptised in June this year. Kailey and Allison have both accepted Jesus as their savior and have followed with baptism and I am so thankful and proud.
Love you all!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Prayer request for a precious friend

Hi Friends,
I know I know I have been so bad!! I have got to post some new pictures of my precious AnnaGrace - she is starting to laugh and smile and is so much fun. It is so weird to look at my brown eyed girl. I have two blue eyed girls and it seemed that Mary Grace had blue eyes and little AnnaGrace is our brown eyed sweetie. She is definitely going to be her own person and will not be compared to her 3 big sisters:)

I will try my best to post what all is going on and some new pictures within the week. I really do feel so out of touch.

I come here tonight to request prayers from all my sweet prayer warriors. I have a precious precious friend who has recently had brain surgery to remove a tumor. They were only able to remove 10% and it was bigger than they had anticipated once they got in there. She has a caring page that gives the detail of what is going on and explains things much better than I can. She was and continues to be a great support for me. When I had to say goodbye to my precious girl she was there for me. I feel pretty helpless right now as she recovers from her surgery but then I realized I have a beautiful opportunity to intercede for her. I have an opportunity to do the thing that she needs the most, to pray to our Healer and the Great Physician and to petition my sweet "blogger friends" to do the same. Sometimes I honestly struggle with prayer, I struggle with "does it really change things?". But I am reminded that God tells us to come to Him ...... Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
So...I will do what He says and have Faith that He is working out everything for good for those who love Him!!
Please pray and I will be grateful. Here is Callie's information.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sisters in Love

Sorry the updates are so long in between. Can't seem to get it together. We are loving our AnnaGrace and the girls are having fun. Just a few pics and hopefully a better update soon.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

BOY oh BOY it's another GIRL!!

Hi Friends....We wanted to let you know that God has blessed us with another sweet girl. AnnaGrace Pearl Summons is a chunky 8 lbs and 19.5 inches long. She is perfect in every way. I will try to post some pictures tomorrow but wanted to let everyone know the great news. Thank you to everyone for all your thoughts and prayers. We are blessed beyond measure thanks to our unfailing God!!
Oh and Mommy is doing great too!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

A letter to Baby Summons

I am torn to post this letter on Mary Grace's blog page because it's to her new brother or sister. The whole fairness thing messes with me. But as I think about it, I realize this isn't MY blog page, this is Mary Grace's story and GOD's blog page. This is a testament of His blessings on this family through the gift of Mary Grace. This new baby is a part of her story, he/she is God's gift to me, to our family which includes sweet Mary Grace. I know some people have shut the blog page to their baby down and created a new one for the family because of how it feels, and that may be something I do sometime in the future because of how it feels, but for now....this is a part of Mary's story.....a part of our lives so we will deal with the other stuff as in comes.

This is just a letter I wrote while not being able to sleep. This is a letter that I some day want this baby to read and to understand, if that's even possible working on no sleep. I am sure there will be more letters as I struggle with my emotions of being elated for this new precious baby and being so sad that it's not Mary Grace who I get to bring home with me in a week. It's a burden that I hate to admit and "write" out loud but it's just truth. This baby isn't Mary Grace and that is not really what I want....because she was (is) perfect, her timing here was perfect, everything she brought to me and our family continues to prove to be perfect, God's plan is perfect...I know that and my faith helps me realize that when I doubt it. But, there is the struggle and I will continually seek God to help me through it. So sorry Satan, you will not have any of this...any of Mary Grace's life, you will not have any part of what she brought to us and continues to bring to us. My sadness is NOT your victory, my struggle is NOT your gain, it is something that me and my Heavenly Father will work on together and conquer some day for sure!! A sweet friend named Karen (mother to one of Mary Grace's heavenly buddies) helped me to realize that one night in an Atlanta hotel while she and I were weeping together. I will continue to fight you Satan on a regular basis, so back off!! You will not ever win! Jesus won this victory and battle for me! It's already done.
"Oh victory in Jesus my Savior forever...He sought me and bought me with His redeeming love. He loved me ere I knew Him and all my love is due Him, He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood."

To my sweet baby,

Dear Baby Summons,

Boy or girl, I am not sure what you are…but I know that you are my precious little 4th baby. I know that I love you with all my heart and can’t wait to have you in my arms. I feel like right now I will never put you down. I have been waking up and having trouble going back to sleep for a while now, but it’s getting worse. This morning it was 2:30 a.m. and I laid there until 4:30 when I couldn't mentally take it anymore.
I feel guilty that I have complained about how I feel this pregnancy. I feel bad that I am wishing it away, especially since you will be the last little miracle in my belly. Even with your big sister Mary Grace’s pregnancy, I didn’t wish it away – I wanted her to be in my belly forever due to the fear of knowing that when she wasn’t in there we would probably be giving her back to God shortly after she entered the world. But…I am older, I have been pregnant for two straight years and am entirely too overweight, thanks to my emotional eating! I have struggled and I don’t feel great and I am ready for the pregnancy to be over (which makes me sad) but I want you to know that I love you so much already and I have treasured every kick and nudge and hiccup that you have had while in my belly.

You see, your big sister Mary Grace is with Jesus now. And although I know she is the one in this family who is in the best place ever, I want her here with us. I want her to be waiting here in the house to see you when you come home. I want to see her face beside your other two sister’s faces smiling and laughing at you. That makes me sad to not be able to have that, it makes me sad to not even know what her face would look like right now actually. I try to imagine what her one-year picture would look like hanging on my wall and it can break my heart. It worries me that the thoughts that I have of her will affect me being the Mommy I should be for you. I have prayed so hard that God would just help me to be all that He intended me to be for you, Kailey, Allison and even Mary Grace really as I will always be her mommy no matter where she is. But…..the fear starts creeping in which is how Satan works. He tries to steal the joy, he tries to creep into Mommy’s heart and remind me of what I do not have so that I do not focus on everything that God has blessed me with. So Mommy struggles. But God has promised me that if I give it all to Him EVERY time I need to, He will sustain me. He will carry me when I feel I can’t walk. He will wipe my tears of sadness and replace them with tears of joy. And when I do walk…He will be there beside me just in case every step of the way. That's our God sweet baby, that's how wonderful our Savior is. God has given you to me and I could never praise Him enough.

I also want you to know that you are not here because your sister didn’t get to stay with us. I have also wondered if you would ever feel that way. God knew of your existence before he even spoke our world into existence and He knew that He would bless ME with you. He knew who your Mommy would be and He planned on you being in this family, oh how happy that makes me! I will just continue to pray He made the right decision for you:)

I hope by the time you are able to read this letter, you will understand the sadness that may seem to be a part of it. But I also hope you realize that as I sit here typing this letter, I feel you kicking and I feel my heart melt for you. I feel overwhelmed right now that you are mine and that I will within a week be able to hold you in my arms and whisper in your ear how very much I love you, how very much you mean to me and that I will do my best to give you everything that God plans for you. You are my precious little baby and I will love and cherish you forever.

Ps. 30:5b “Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning”

Friday, March 27, 2009

Finally an update........

Well heart burn and e-mails from sweet friends have beckoned me at 4:00 a.m. this morning to finally sit down and write an update. I am sorry I have been so bad about this. I know that I get so anxious when I haven't heard from someone or seen an update in a while but when it comes to me I don't think about it. I was forced to find a better balance between my "blog" time and actually getting some stuff done for my family, but it's also come at the price of not letting my prayer warriors know what is going on with me and also not being able to reach out to new people who may be struggling and keeping in touch with those who have traveled the road with me. Know that there is not a day that goes by that I do not pray over all of Mary Grace's sweet friends and their families and what is going on with them now. Also know that if you have reached out to me and I haven't returned the touch, that you are in my heart and in my prayers.

It is so incredibly heart breaking when I hear of a new person who has or will have to let go of their precious baby. And I can not imagine not having this engine to connect and heal with people who truly understand what you are going through, even if grieving it differently. And even having those dedicated prayer warriors that have simply been led to you by God with no common connection is a wonderful reminder of how God provides us with what we need to get through the days (thank you Laurie!!). scheduled date to have Baby Summons is 4/9/09!! So two weeks and I will have baby #4 in my arms. I have changed the office to a baby room, a storage room to an office and have painted the walls a nice neutral yellow. Other than that the room is still pretty bare. I haven't really been able to get myself to buy anything in preparation which makes my mind go crazy at times wondering why? Is there something really wrong? Is something preparing me for heart ache? Everything has been going really well at my doctor's signs of anything "markers" - yikes I still hate that word. The baby is moving around wonderfully and I enjoy every kick and roll. I day dream about coming home Easter morning with this new precious baby and it brings pure joy to my heart. But...there is always the thought of not having sweet Mary Grace to be waiting behind the doors to welcome her brother or sister home along with Kailey and Allison. She is always with me but the void is always there in every thought, every action, every preparation.....but without that void, there wouldn't have been her. So...I will take it with thanksgiving in my heart!!

99 out of 100 people have said this baby is a we will soon see. It's funny my one friend said "you are all belly this time your hips haven't spread - it's for sure a boy" and I say, "well I would hope they wouldn't spread anymore...they never went back to normal after Mary Grace". I went to a movie the other night and I thought I will soon have to buy two seats if this baby doesn't come soon:) People ask do you feel different? Well considering I was 35 lbs heavier getting pregnant this time, older and have been pregnant for 2 years.....You betcha I feel different.....ha ha - so does that mean a boy? We will see. I covet your prayers for a safe healthy entrance for this precious baby. I ask that you continue to pray for me to have the peace I need to fully enjoy all that this baby brings to me and my family. I already feel your prayers covering me as I have gotten several e-mails asking for an update. Thank you for continuing to pray and to check on me. I promise to give an update as soon as sweet baby Summons enters this world. ask am I ready? I have a car seat, bassinet and the hospital will surely have yes, I am so ready!!:)

God's Blessing to all my sweet bloggers!!

Please also say a prayer for Kristy Bolte and the sweet baby girl in her tummy today.

P.S. For those of you who watched the Extreme Home Makeover...thank you for your sweet comments. I was so proud of my Mary Grace....yet another reminder of what my sweet girl accomplished!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

"IF it gets to stay Mommy"

Here is the dialog that I have been having mostly with my little Allison.

Me "Girls can you believe in 10 weeks (at the time) we are going to have a little baby in this house!!??"

Allison "only maybe"

Me "What do you mean sweet girl?"

Allison "If they baby gets to stay"

Going shopping for a car seat

Allison "why are we here?"

Me "cause we have to have a car seat to bring the baby home from the hospital"

Allison "only if it doesn't die Mommy"

another time

Me "Allison are you going to help Mommy with the baby when we bring it home?"

Allison "Mommy only if it gets to stay"

Me "Allison, the Dr. said that the baby looks really good and healthy, there is always a possibility I know, but I really feel this baby will get to come home with us"

Allison "that would be great Mommy"

Allison's prayer every night

"Lord, please let the baby's tests come back good (I have told her a thousand times they have), please let the baby be healthy, please let the baby breathe good, please let the baby come home so we can gather around it and love on the baby, It doesn't matter if it's a boy or girl, just please let it stay with us".

Friends, I love that her heart is so pure but it can be so difficult not to say to her, "Allison, the baby IS healthy, the baby WILL get to come home, the baby WILL get to stay with us" cause we all know that's a promise that I can't give her. It's heart breaking. I can not bring myself to tell her something so that she can begin to enjoy this experience fully, when I know there is the possibility that we may not get to keep this baby. The fear is so real at times, the peace is so real at times, the fear of not getting to keep any of my girls at times can be so overwhelming, that reality that has been made known to our family is so tough. But I have to tell myself almost daily that the devil wants us to live in fear, he is here to kill, steal and destroy. The devil does not want us to experice, joy, peace, pure love, hope.... all the things that comfort our hearts that comes from our Almighty, Powerful God. The reliance on Him for it all is essential with every aspect of our lives. With our kids, our marraiges, our finances, our jobs...God has us in the palm of his Almighty hand, he will never leave or forsake us. He wants us to have the pure joy that can only come from Him, not from anything of this world. It's there, it's free we just gotta keep on keepin' on, that's the challenge. He will work it all out, bring together the good for those us of that will let him.
Those are His promises and I believe them.

I pray that if you are struggling with anything in this trying time in America... health, jobs, money, children, depression, marraige stress, insurance, faith, lack of hope, not enough food, whatever it may be.... that you (we) will all just come back to the safety of His arms. Come back to the One who loves us so much that He gave His only begotton Son for us to experience the peace that surpasses ALL understanding!! It's real, I have and do feel it and when I don't, all I have to do is ask my Father.

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream
Jeremiah 17:7,8

For those of you who are interested...the Extrememe Makeover Home Edition that we got to be a part of because of sweet Mary Grace airs Sunday March's the Fort Worth Cowtown family. She was the photographer who took the amazing pictures of Mary Grace. Pray that God's part in it was unable to be edited out!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Happy One Year Birtdhay Mary Grace

The same yesterday, today and forever. That's my God and that's my girl!! Mary Grace Summons blessed us with the most precious day in our lives. There is no denying the hurt, the emptiness, the sadness, the literal heart ache, the anguish that losing her has brought to us.....but more importantly there is no denying the Joy, the miracles, the happiness, the laughter, the praise, the pure love that she has brought into our lives. That is what we mostly focus on and when the negative comes creepin' in, God penetrates my heart in a way I can't explain and reminds me that everything that Mary Grace brought to us, is worth it all.

Yesterday I have to admit was weird. How do you do this? How do you celebrate a birthday of someone you love so deeply, one of your children that is no longer physically in your presence? It hurts, I wanted Mary Grace here and the whole "it's just not fair" was definitely there! And I had so many friends say "is there anything you need" but when it came right down to it.....God did provide everything I/we needed to enjoy the day. The day started off by me waking up to 2 little girls jumping in my bed saying "Mommy, they came again!!" Yes, my neighbors and friends had done the wishes and prayers tied to balloons again out in front of our home. Kailey and Allison was already excited for their little sisters birthday and honestly if it weren't for them, I would have just stayed in bed all day and felt sorry for myself. But it was as if Mary Grace was here and her birthday would be no different than anyone elses, well in fact a lot more special! So...we put on our warm clothes and headed outside and had a beautiful time of letting the balloons go up to Heaven. My sweet friend Melissa also had a breakfast platter out front with pink flowers, muffins, bagels, and fruit ready to eat. So...we read over all the cards and wishes as we ate our breakfast together. We cried and laughed and were overjoyed yet again with how God has blessed us with such wonderful friends around us. The thing that touched my heart the most is that Mary Grace is very much still there for everyone. Sometimes it feels like grief is all yours, it's so lonely and it hurts when you think...."hey stop....does anyone remember Mary can't just GO ON!!". So yesterday's balloons and all the comments and e-mails I received was a reminder that, yes life does go on....but everyone is different because of my sweet 3rd daughter Mary Grace Summons. Oh God is so good to remind me of that!!

I had breakfast with Mary's photographer, lunch with friends and dinner with just us. We came home and watched the slide show and after the girls went to bed Chris and I watched the video of that day. And you know....we were reminded of the pure Joy of that day, not of the sadness. Yes...sadness for sure came the next day, but on January 14th, there was nothing but Joy, celebration, laughter.....and the video made that apparent. So...yesterday was weird but it was good, as good as it can be without her actually being here....what more could I have asked for.

I didn't really know how yesterday would play out and there are some little friends of Mary Grace's who love talking about her and including her in pretty much everything they can. I also knew that Kailey and Allison wanted a party for Mary Grace so this past Saturday we had Mary's birthday party. We made stepping stones for her garden that is a work in progress....we sent off balloon's, had cupcakes and sang Happy Birthday to Mary Grace. It was fun and the girls (and one boy!) loved it! Here are some pictures.....

I also know that several of you prayed for us during Christmas. It again had the things that make you sad like seeing all the "baby's first Christmas" stuff and knowing that there is a stocking on the mantel that will not be opened by Mary's little hands. But over all this Christmas was good. We included Mary Grace in everything and my husband out did himself on two gifts that were all about Mary Grace which was thrilling to me. One of the best gifts I have ever received in my life he gave me this year, it was a personalized photo album of Mary Grace, he had taken the time to do the pictures and write comments with each one. It is beautiful.

Please let me also share another miracle that happened because of Mary Grace's sweet life. You will see that the timing of it being December was such a God thing. From the beginning....The photographer that took Mary Grace's pictures the day she was born (over 1,100 of them) as well as the prenatal pictures has become a very good friend of mine. What she provided us, memories of every detail of Mary Grace, means the world to our family and is priceless. About 1 1/2 years before Mary Grace was born Amber lost her home in a flood. She had since been displaced from her home and her family was living in a town home while they were waiting for things to be settled with the state and insurance - it was taking forever. We had an opportunity this past July to be included in the nomination process for Extreme Makeover Home Edition for their family. We submitted a letter to try to convey what Amber meant to us and what she provided us with - a hard letter to write!! This year's theme for the show is "Hometown Heroes" and Amber is definitely ours! Well, after finding out that over 10,000 Texas families had applied I thought that would be where it ended. Then in October the applicants had been narrowed down to the top 20 and her family was in that number. The show contacted us and me, Kailey and Allison were interviewed by a producer who was going to pitch it to the show. Well....November she was in the top 5 and at this point I thought hey this could really happen for them (why I doubted my amazing God I will never know!!). Well here came December, I was in a down right negative state of mind. I didn't want to deal with December and Christmas without Mary Grace was doing everything I could to to put on my game face for my girls. I didn't want to send out Christmas cards that didn't include her so I decided it wouldn't happen this year! Well God showed me!! On December 5th Amber and her family got the famous "knock on the door" by none other than Ty from Extreme Makeover Home Edition ABC!!!! They flew her to an incredible vacation spot and built her a dream home in 5 days!! God not only provided them a home but he provided us excitement and joy that was all about Mary Grace for us. We got to be a part of the whole process and unless they edit us out will be on the show in some form or another. I can't give away show stuff but it will air March 1st, so tune in to see yet another thing that Mary Grace helped accomplish in her sweet, short and amazing 7 hours of existence!! One of the hard things about not having Mary Grace here is not being able to do things for her. We can go to Kailey's school and Allison's dance recitals but that is void in our lives for our Mary Grace. It was THRILLING to be able to be a part of this process that was all about and all because of our sweet girl!! Here is our Christmas picture that God and Mary Grace made happen for us....

Thank you for your continued prayers for our family. We feel them and appreciate them so much. I pray that you all have a blessed 2009!

In my Christmas letter I ended with this:

One thing I have learned, let us never put God in a box! If you need a home He will provide. If you need some joy in your heart, He will put it there. If you need something as simple as sharing your family at Christmas time to include your angel in Heaven, He will make a way!! We pray God will bless and keep each of you this coming year.

Ephesians 3:19-20 “May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”