Thursday, September 24, 2009

everyone needs an erin...

I was getting ready tonight, I know, sometimes it takes all day to get to that, and I was having trouble getting my hair to look right. I asked Erin if she liked my hair better long and this is what she said:

e: I like you just the way you are

then she continued...

e: I like you without make up too, cause, you're covering up all your skin, honey, and you don't need to

me: love is blind, darling, love is blind :)

Day 2

of 40 :) Pause music at the bottom of the page...Selah's new song, I Will Carry You, is played to pictures of Audrey Caroline's life.

Here's a letter from Angie to Audrey...

Sweet Audrey,

There are no words I could say in this letter that would be able to express what you are to us, but I feel compelled to write them anyway.

Do you know you changed the world?

From the day we found out we were expecting you, we knew that God had chosen you for our family. When we started feeling you move around, we invented stories about who you would be. We took bets on whether you were a boy or a girl (daddy was wrong!). Abby and Ellie set aside toys that they wanted to give to you. Your daddy let me buy books at the bookstore about being pregnant, even though we already have a million. He knows I love the smell of books, and he just watched with a smile while I gathered them all together. We talked about you all the time. Our house was filled with love for you long before we ever knew who you would be to us. We let Kate help us set up a crib in her room while we told her that she was going to have a baby brother or sister sleeping next to her someday. We introduced her little toddler bed and taught her all about being a big sister. She loved her freedom...we found her in the pantry eating chocolate at 3 a.m. one night! And so for weeks, we planned. We talked about names, about paint, about schools, about everything but the one thing we didn't know.

God had something much bigger planned for your life than we could ever have imagined.

On January 7th, we heard the beginning of the story. You kicked while I listened to them tell me that I should let you go. You, unable to say a word, spoke volumes as we considered what had been laid before us. Audrey, there really was never a choice. You were ours from the moment God ordained it so. There were moments in the darkness during that time when I worried that maybe we should give you to God. We didn't want you to suffer, and we knew that as soon as you were with Him, you would be at peace. Were we selfish for trying to keep you here? We knew before we let ourselves travel into those thoughts that they were lies. That decision was not for us to make. We settled into the reality of "our new life," and the stacks of books on pregnancy gave way to scripture.

Did you know that while you were in my tummy, you went to the beach, to Disney World, to the ballet, to the zoo, to the symphony, to pick out our puppy, to the children's theatre, to listen to daddy sing, to church, to Poppy's house...and so many more places. I talked to you about how the laundry machine worked, told you about all our neighbors, and taught you how to choose a ripe pineapple at the grocery store. I never stopped talking to you. You were my daughter, and I loved you like I love your sisters. We prayed for you all the time. Our prayers changed with the days. We never, ever doubted that God could heal you. I know you know that. I know you felt that. But I still feel compelled to tell you that we believed, Audrey. And the fact that you are with Him as I type these words does not change that belief. There is not a single moment that passes when I question His will for your life.

I will never, never forget the day you were born. Nobody who was a part of it will, either. April 7th was one of the best days of my life. You made me brave, Audrey-girl. Your mommy used to be afraid of the hospital, afraid of the noises and the smell of medicine. My whole life, I have been afraid. I wasn't afraid that day. I was peaceful. I was calm. I was in the presence of the Lord Himself more than any other time in my life. I listened as they told me about what would be happening that day, and I nodded. I surrendered. I stopped worrying about me and I just fell into the arms of the Lord. He carried us all that day, didn't He?

At 4:31, I heard a nurse say, "She's out." Daddy said, "She's out?" and he peeked around to see them carrying you to a table nearby. I thought I heard you squeaking and I asked if you were alive. Daddy looked at me and he nodded. "She's alive." I couldn't believe it. The doctors looked you over and they listened to your heart. They cleaned you off a little bit and then daddy laid you right beside my head. You had one little eye opened and you were trying to take it all in. I was too. I put my hands on your head and just started crying because you were so beautiful. I fell completely, head-over-heels in love with you the instant I met you. That's who you are, Audrey.

When we got back to the room, your Uncle Tom was already taking pictures. Do you know that he took about 1600 that day? We rejoiced in telling everyone that you were alive. Your heart was moving slowly, and we knew that it was a matter of time before we would have to release you, but no one would have known that. For the rest of the day, people held you, touched you, talked to you, and prayed for you. And everybody smiled when they saw you. There weren't many tears, because in a way, we weren't sad. We were just too busy praising God for you to be sad.

Your daddy gave you a bath while I watched. He got all of your little tootsies clean, and I watched the water run down the back of your neck as he held you up. Her first bath...

One of my favorite moments was when they put you on the scale. You were much bigger than they thought you were ever going to be, and it felt like victory. "3 pounds, 2 ounces!" As soon as the announcement was made, the room broke out into cheers. Did you know that your daddy's birthday is 3/2? Those are beautiful numbers to us, sweet girl, because they tell us that you were here. You had weight in this life.

Your sisters were a little nervous when they came, but as they looked you over, God showed them who you were. The peace that had filled the room for the entire day rested on them, and they began to laugh and to talk to you as they would any other new baby. They each held you carefully, and kissed your sweet, clean skin. While they were all gathered around me on the bed, your nurse Candace came to listen to your heart. I asked her to be sensitive because of the girls, and after listening for a few minutes, she told me quietly that you were gone. The girls never knew that they had been present for that moment, and I thank God that He took you that way. There was never anything but peace. We sang over you as God welcomed you into heaven.

I cry for you often. I miss the smell of your skin and your perfect little nose. My arms ache from emptiness. I tell your daddy all the time that I just want to hold you again. I cannot see to write these words because my eyes overflow with the tears of a mother who has been asked to give her daughter away. I knew I would love you when I met you. I knew you would become a part of me. What I didn't know was that instead of feeling like it was a brief encounter, I feel like the world stood still. He somehow gave us an entire lifetime of memories in such a short time. I didn't feel like I lost a baby, I felt like I said goodbye to someone I had always known, who had been my daughter for years and years. Even now, as I write, it seems impossible that you were only with us for 2 1/2 hours. Thank you Lord, for giving us all the time we could have asked for with her. The clock was insignificant... we knew her deeply, a lifetime's worth.

Audrey, you have no idea how you have impacted those around you. Did you see all of the nurses who cried when they came to see me? Did you hear the nurse manager tell me that since you had been born, the name of the Lord had been spoken repeatedly at their station in a way it never had? That you, my love, had brought them together? Did you know that the people who came to your birth who knew nothing of your story talked about the "amazing peace" that filled the room inexplicably? Do you know that there were radio stations all over the country announcing that your mommy was going into surgery while people drove home to their familes? Do you know they asked for prayer as you entered the world; that strangers dropped to their knees on your behalf? Do you know how many people have met Jesus because of you? There is more than I can fit here, Audrey. More than I can fit anywhere. You are the greatest miracle that I have ever been a part of, and I want you to know how incredibly proud I am to have been chosen to be your mommy. I promise you that I will never stop being your voice here on earth. I will tell everyone about the little girl who came in a 3 pound body to change hearts. I will always miss you, Audrey; there will never be a day where you are not a part of us. I want you to know that you changed me, honey. You made mommy so brave because of how much I loved you. I am so proud to have a scar to remember where you once were.

Thank you, my sweet, sweet girl.

Today we are going to sit as a family and we are going to take the band-aids off the bunny that we have carried for months. We are going to tell your sisters about the way that Jesus has healed you...that you don't need those anymore because you are well. You are perfect. Thank you Lord.

As I have been writing, the rain is pounding on my window. It is what many would call a very dark and ugly day, with no sign of sunshine. Because of you, Audrey, it is not that way to me any more.

It is an answer to prayer.

Jesus, you have brought us the rain and we praise You for it. We lift up the God that made us strong enough to love our little girl the way she deserved to be loved. And we trust that You will continue to use her as a vessel of your goodness, of your faithfulness. Lord, you have shown me that when this life is empty, you will fill. You have walked with us in a way we could never have imagined. What seemed like a cross to bear has now taken the shape of a great blessing which we are honored to have been a part of. Thank you, Lord. You are the light of our lives, now and forever.

Audrey, there is much more to say. I rest in knowing that you already know it before it has left our lips. We love you.

Sweetest baby girl.

Do you know you changed the world?


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wise words on Wednesdays...

Jesus gives abundant life here and eternal life after death.

John speaks of the two extremes of life with/without Christ: life/death, love/hate, and light/darkness.

Jesus is the Master and Savior who transforms lives. Question. What consumes your time, your thinking, your energy, your conversations? What or who you answered is your master.

Jesus brings satisfaction to life, peace to life, direction/meaning to life, and He gives life here and after.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

City on our Knees

Tonight is the kick off rally for 40 Days for Life! It's at the Living Word Lutheran Church on Lake Woodlands and N. Panther Creek at 6:00 p.m. Tomorrow we start praying for 40 days...for life :)

Most of you know, but for those who don't, Houston will be home to the largest abortion clinic in the world beginning December 09'. It is six stories tall, 78,000 sq. feet, and will practice late term abortions.

tobyMac has a new song, playing on KSBJ, and it is so perfect for the next 40 days! Pause the music at the bottom of my page and take a listen to this song :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

wise words on wednesdays...

maybe later we'll call it BW3s...just for fun. I'm starting my own little blog carnival, or whatever you want to call it :) You know I do BSF, Bible Study Fellowship, and you know I love it! So, because I share with you what I love here, I thought, why not share BSF with you too?! It'll always be short, just two or three principles that we get from our Teaching Lecturer, which she pulls out from her homiletics, an analyzation of verses, from the Bible :) By the way, we're studying John, who refers to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved, not out of arrogance but from humility...always pointing towards Jesus :) Here's the first two principles Ms. K gave us this week...

The Bible is the way to know Jesus and have a relationship with Him.

Intimacy with Jesus is a direct result of spending time with Jesus.

best sitter in town!

Cha Cha!! The girls have so much fun with you!! and when they saw me uploading these pictures they said, "When are you leaving? We want Cha Cha to come watch us again!"


taken by


Sunday, September 13, 2009

per your request :)

It feels SO different...kinda feel like my underwear is showing. Taking a shower was really strange, a lot less shampoo, and no hair to run my fingers through. I nearly got whip lash from flipping it back over my shoulders after towel drying...I was used to a lot more weight to sling back :)

I thought it would be quicker to style...nope, each little piece has to be pulled through the chi...or it's a chia pet on my head :) It still goes back into a very short stub of a pony tail which I'm happy about since, 99% of the time, it's back anyway.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

10 inches gone...

and off to someone who needs it more than I do :)

Friday, September 11, 2009


2001. I was a newlywed, living in Downtown Houston, watching the Today Show, and getting ready for work. I was in the middle of drying my hair when they had breaking news that a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Centers. I ran into the bedroom to wake Kyle as they were interviewing a restaurant employee who thought, at first, it was a small commuter plane, but the commenters were all confused, wondering why it would have been flying that low and why into a building since it was such a beautifully clear sunny day. Minutes later, the second plane hit the second Tower, and the anchor declared, 'America is under attack'.

I watched smoke bellow from the top of the Twin Towers, papers slowly drifting down to the ground, white t-shirts flagging the news helicopters, and eventually living people jump from their office windows of almost a 100 stories high and plummet to their deaths.

I went into work, my co-worker brought a TV from home so we could watch it in her office. That's when I heard news of a plane crashing into the Pentagon and another going down in Pennsylvania. My parents were visiting my sister in Pennsylvania and I couldn't get them on the cell phone and the news wasn't anymore specific other than 'rural Pennsylvania' sister lives on a farm. I was scared.

In NYC, fire fighters were going into the Towers, people were rushing out running for their lives, there were fighter jets flying over the Potomac, and men and women, calling home from the tops of the Towers, telling their families to be brave and that they loved them. I remember the heros in America who responded to their love of country and their love for fellow man.

Today I'm grateful for our Troops and praying for God's speed back home.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Truth Project

Our church is doing the Truth Project this Fall. Scroll all the way down, pause my music, and watch this trailer.

The haunting question: Do you really believe that what you believe is really real?

It's on Sunday nights, just a one hour video, once a week...Kyle and I and BJ and Rachel are leading a discussion table. Join us!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

dear daddy,

we got up early today for school, around 2 o'clock, because we're really excited...and the more excited I, this is Erin speaking, become, the more excited Brooke becomes. mom gave us a pretty intense pep talk in the car...she had us chanting back to her...listen, obey, and do your best. I think we can remember that...oh yes, the most important part, we put on the full armor of God this morning so that we would be protected :)

I looovvvve school...I WILL be a scholar when I grow up, as long as I, or you, can afford to to keep me in just feels so good to be learning. Brooke loves school too, but for different reasons. she loves to socialize with all her friends and she makes sure the teachers are earning their money :) Kameron stayed home today with mom cause she's still a said she didn't know what to do with herself, so much free time with just one of us at home.

mom woke Kameron up from her nap to pick us up from school today and when she got there, both our teachers gave her good reports on us. mom was happy. more good days to come :)

we miss you!



this was emailed today by (in)courage. It's so good...they email everyday, with encouraging words just like these:

We Live in Wait

Earth's cold under finger nails.

I dig holes with a wedge of steel and around fringes of the dome, clouds scud gray. Dad had called first thing in the morning: if I had anything to do outside, today looked like the last day. Might be the last warm day to dig in bulbs, before autumn begins her blustery, muddy wrestle.

I'd nodded. Yes, Dad. Bulbs, today, will do. And last clean up of the flowerbeds. Thank you for calling, thinking of me, Dad.

I'd hardly hung up the receiver before it rang again, a friend, whose first words spoke of weather too: brooding storm bearing down.

What do I do when I just don’t know how to go on?” Her voice cracks, flash of pain forking across skies. I listen to expectations struck, her hopes snapped off in gale.

“Just a day to be sad, I guess," she finishes, beaten. "Today, I’m not up to trying to fix or solve any of it. Just grieving today.” And then the quiet rain of tears. Together, we let the lament come.

Then I gather bulbs. Pull out the spade, and go dig holes, because I’m just dirt with no answers, only prayers.

“Why do we have to dig so deep?” Son's face reddens in the excavating. Little One digs her own hole alongside mine. Well, Child, some things are meant to really be laid down.

“I’m going to drop mine in now.” Son's holding his bulb poised, looking my way for assurance.

“No!” Little One wails. “Don’t put the flower so far down in the dark!” She tries to wrest the bulb from his hand. I scoop her angst all up close.

“But it has to go down in,” I brush the hair out of her eyes, kiss tip of that pug nose. And sometimes, Child, hope's waiting is dark.

She turns her face up towards mine and our cheeks brush. “Will we have to dig them up to get the flowers after the snow?” I squeeze her tight.

“No, Little One. When He's ready, they will come up through the black earth as if by themselves.” We kneel down, drop a bulb into opening earth, then wait “for the forces above and below and beyond our control to work upon” all these things. Son pats the earth down and over and Little One watches.

We bury hope in a tomb of its own.

Like the faith diggers do every day. We bury our swollen prayers in Him who’s raised from the tomb. We lay our hope, full and tender, into the depths of Him and wait in hope for God to resurrect something good. Good always necessitate long waiting. Every tulip only blossoms after cold months of winter wait. Every human ever unfurled into existence through nine long months of the womb waiting. And the only kingdom that will last for eternity still waits, this millennia-long, unwavering-hope for return of its King. Instead of chafing, we accept that waiting is a strand in the DNA of the Body of Christ. That this waiting on God is the very real work of the people of God.

Son digs again and I drop a bulb, life warm, into depths as dark as my friend's sadness today.

Every person needs hope planted at the bottom of their hole.

Couldn't I .....?

I read her confusion when she opens her front door,finds me standing there.

“Gotta little spade I can borrow?” I grin, hold out a hand full of bulbs.

“I just wanted to tuck some hope into that hole today. He’ll resurrect good things out of this too-- hold on…. ‘Blessed are all who wait.’”

Her chin trembles and she nods.

"They'll be pink. Tall." I show her hope with my hands.

“In the corner of the front flower bed? So I can see them from the window.” She manages a smile.

I grab her hand, squeeze tight.

We live in wait.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Take One...

Rachel took a family picture last week for's nearly impossible to get three happy children smiling at the same time in 90 degree weather with 100% humidity with the youngest, Kameron, under the weather. Sweat was dripping down my cheek in this picture and Kameron was pausing, just for second, between screams. Brooke cannot sit still for longer than half a minute and Erin, Kyle, and my patience had dwindled down to nothing. Picture taking is hard work at this juncture in our lives :) We're going to try again in a couple of weeks when the weather cools off!

Monday, September 7, 2009

dancing, ice creaming, celebrating, and fort building...

woohoo! We had a fun, long weekend. Erin and Brooke are taking dance this year at a new studio. I'm really, really, really excited about their new dance school. They're in class together and their instructors are fun, but well trained. The School's competitive dancers go on mission trips all over the world...Greece, Portugal, Russia, and Spain...dancing lyrical, contemporary, and hip hop routines. Brooke and Erin get so excited about the last 15 minutes of class because they get to wear tap shoes and tap as loud as they can :)

little snoop on her toes with her arms out...girl's got natural rhythm...when she was 18 months old she was keeping the beat with her chest. Any sound can make her dance...we were taking pictures last week and she shouted that the waterfall was making her dance.

Erin loves dancing...she thinks she's a real ballerina.

this is the first ice cream truck that has made it to our neighborhood and the girls loved their Dora ice did I :)

we celebrated Cha Cha and Kelley's birthdays last was a great dinner and good family time...thanks Cha Cha!!

this is 'the fort'...

being decorated...

and played in by all :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

shots cont'd...

So, I'll rank this experience for you, 1 being easy and 10 being most difficult. Minus the waiting, it was a...3, with the waiting, a 9...we waited almost a full hour after we saw the doctor for Kameron's well check. He forgot to put the flag outside the door down and they, the nurses, didn't know we'd already been seen by him and ready for our shots. Take a look at the pictures...they tell the story better...



still waiting...yes, she's skinny, she fell off her curve, but Dr. B is unconcerned :)

stats at 1 year:
weight: 16 lbs and 15 oz (-3%)
length: 30 inches (75%)
Head: 18 1/8 (50%)

Brooke is first in line...the nurse has entered the room (picture taken by Erin)

injection...again, Erin photographed, needless to say, Erin, whose next in line for shots, lost her brave spirit after seeing the needle :(

oh goodness, all three girls will be...

getting shots this morning...multiple shots this morning. I have the recipient order in my head in hopes of minimizing the before and after drama....thinking now I should have not mentioned to the girls that they would be getting shots at the doctor's office. I will have a follow up blog this of now, their responses:

me: girls, you're getting shots today at the doctor's office...just two shots each
brooke: NO!!! I DON'T WANT A SHOT (repeated this the rest of the morning)
erin: ready to get my shots, I love shots, I just want to be your bravest

promises have been made, warnings have been given (just the warning of the impending shots), and prayers are being said, right now.