Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has had a great Thanksgiving! I know a few ladies who will be out and about shopping tomorrow so I just wanted to make sure everyone is aware of this deal over at Bed, Bath & Beyond. For all of your back hair shaving needs... the Mangroomer!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Fall Fun

After raking some leaves yesterday, I decided that the front yard with the few piles would make a cute spot for some pictures. So I put Charlotte in a cute dress and she humored me so I could get some cute shots of her.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Birthdays, Fires, and Gator Games

Charlotte seemed to really enjoy all of her birthday festivities. On her actual birthday, she ate her first cookie! I didn't get all of the crumbs cleaned out of her high chair, so the next day she had a great time finding all the little pieces left behind.

Last week there were record lows for this time of year, and we had the first fire in our fireplace to cozy things up a bit. Charlotte loved it and wanted to offer lots of help.

(Yes, that is paint on her butt. These were the jeans she was wearing when she was "helping" me paint the trim on the house. The paint is finally out from underneath her fingernails!)

On Saturday we went to the Gator game to watch them put a beating on The Citadel. We knew it wasn't going to be a nail biter, but it was the only game we could get affordable tickets for. It was fun to watch them score touchdown after touchdown after touchdown. We were four rows from the top so when they did the flyover we reached up and gave the pilots a high five :)

Chad, Abby, Megan, Gavin, me, Jared, and Dad

And then on Sunday afternoon, the real party festivities began! The first few birthday parties are more for the parents and grandparents rather than the kids themselves, so we didn't want it to be a big to-do, but just inviting the local family and close friends made it a party of 15 adults and 2 babies. Quite the crowd! Charlotte had a great time and ate up all the attention... and the cake! She racked up on sweet gifts as well - a few very cute outfits and several new toys that she's been having a ball playing with. Of course, after a while of going from one toy to another, I noticed that she was entertaining herself with a spoon. Go figure.

The beautiful cake that Amber made! It was delicious!!!

The cake that I made for her... I'm no Melissa, but I think it turned out pretty good for someone with no cake decorating experience.

She seemed to thoroughly enjoy her first cake!

And a cute shot of Charlotte playing with her Pop's hat

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Happy Birthday, Charlotte!

It is hard for me to believe, but Charlotte is one year old today! Everyone told me that the first year would fly by, and I believed them, I just did not expect it to fly by quite this fast. It seemed like I was pregnant with her forever. But then I blinked and she was smiling. Another blink and she was sitting up. Once more and somehow she's now walking around all over the place, showing all kinds of personality, and turning into a "little girl" rather than my "baby girl".

At this time last year, I was in the hospital bed in some serious pain, contemplating asking for some serious painkillers, but was able to push my way through the pain, literally and figuratively! I felt my first contractions while we were at the movies, but they were more uncomfortable than painful so I thought they were Braxton-Hicks and didn't think anything of them. When we got home we decided to finish getting her her room ready. We moved all the furniture around and ended up with it exactly as it had started, then we hung her pictures on the wall. When we finished, I patted my belly and told her, "Okay, we're ready for you. You can come any time you'd like!" My painful contractions started thirty minutes later.

After eleven and a half hours of painful contractions, the doctor considering sending me home because I hadn't dilated quite quickly enough, me refusing to go anywhere because of how uncomfortable and in pain I was, Jared developing carpal tunnel syndrome from rubbing my back for so long, and pushing for twenty minutes... Jared caught Charlotte Michelle Rollins as she entered this world at 10:50 a.m.

Our whole world has changed, but it has all been for the better. It has been such fun for us to get to know Charlotte and watch her grow and develop. She brings a joy to our lives and keeps a smile on our faces. She has a strong personality and I am so excited about the woman she will become. I know God can do great things with her strong personality and strong will and I'm excited for all the future holds for her.

And I might be going into picture overload here, but with a baby so cute, how could I not!

Charlotte and her Daddy, just a few minutes old

The first family photo

Getting ready to go home

Our gift from God

A little over one month old, Her first smiles on Christmas day

Two months, Sweet smiles to her Daddy, and an amazing photo by Pam Saxon

Three months

Four months

Five months, At the Grand Canyon Skywalk and San Diego Zoo

Six months

Seven months

Eight months

Nine months

Ten months

Eleven months

One Year, photo by Pam Saxon

Monday, November 17, 2008

"For Thy Pleasure"

I have had a growing sense of peace about the miscarriage over the past week. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, at which I am expecting to get a good report. Without going into too many details, I'll just say that everything the doctor said to expect to happen, happened last week. I never thought that I would be praising God for miscarrying, but I am grateful that it happened naturally and I do not need the DNC.

Several godly women who have been through this before have pointed me towards Scripture that helped them through their grief. Revelation 4:11 "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." God does the things that will please Him. I don't always understand it and have many moments of tantrums where, kicking and screaming, I believe that I know what is best. But who am I to question Him, the One who created me, created my husband, and through us, created our baby. Psalm 139:16 "your eyes saw my unformed body..." He wanted that precious baby with Him. He was gracious enough to share him or her with us for a few weeks, and in those weeks we had such joy knowing that we were parents to another gift from God. And as that baby was never really ours, we cannot be angry that He wanted him or her with Him. The loss still hurts and it feels like a piece of my heart is missing, but much like in the same way that Christ filled the void in my heart when I accepted Him as my Savior, my heart will be whole again when I get to Heaven. I will see my Savior face to face and will have the sweet surprise of a baby boy or girl to hold in my arms. As if eternity with the King is not enough to look forward to.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Final After

We've repainted that awful "'Fired Brick' that looks more like 'Auburn Orange'" trim to the 'Sealskin' black and are much happier with the outside colors of the house now. We're wanting to paint the living and dining rooms as well, and we're just accepting the fact that we'll go through two colors per room through the process.

The Before

The First After

The Final After! Much better, no?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Go Gators!

This morning we headed over to Melrose to see Dusty, Arin, Anson & Ella while they were passing through on their way back to Atlanta. I love seeing the kids play together, especially since they don't get to very often because of the distance. The girls were so cute and were both immediately drawn to the tiny bench at Toto & Pop's. We were able to visit with Pawpaw, Jared's grandfather, and the boys played soccer while the ladies stayed in and played with the kiddos and fought them all to take a nap.

From there we went to Charlie and Stephanie's house to watch the game. We were kind enough to give them at least a ten minute warning that almost the whole Rollins gang would be coming over, even though they wouldn't be there. They were very gracious and made us feel very welcome. Stephanie, I hope we didn't leave a mess! If you and Charlie weren't such sweet and warm people, you wouldn't have to worry about last-minute visits:)

Charlotte had fun playing with Luke and Wyatt's toys during the game. Here she is modeling her armor of God

And a couple cute pictures from the past few days...

Charlotte was playing in the living room while I was in the office yesterday. It got quiet for a few minutes, which always worries me, and when I went to inspect the situation, I saw her smiling at me from the recliner. I'm not sure how she managed to get up there, but she was as content as could be just sitting there.

I usually go in to check on Charlotte and make sure she's covered up right before Jared and I go to bed. Last night she was snuggled with her legs tucked underneath her and her hiney in the air.

And for those who didn't catch the game, we blew out South Carolina and are well on our way to the national championship game! Two times in four years... not too shabby, Urban. It's always exciting to watch Tebow play because he is going to be our son-in-law one day. He may not know it yet, but he and Charlotte will be getting married!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Election Results

I have had a hard time swallowing the fact that Obama is our President-Elect. It turns my stomach to think of a man like him holding that kind of power. The timing of the election with the miscarriage is making it extra difficult for me, and it's been a struggle to not take it personally. Knowing that so many people bought into the "change" he promises, all the while completely ignoring or, even worse, supporting his views on the sanctity of life... it just breaks my heart. There are people close to me, even in my family, who I know voted for him. And I consider a vote for Obama to mean that they don't value or respect the life that Jared and I lost. As much as we are grieving over not being able to see our baby be born and grow up, the Obama supporters turn their noses in the air and say, "Your baby just isn't that important. What concerns me most is how much I will have in my bank account next year."

On Sunday our pastor gave a wonderful much-needed sermon on the "Right Responses to Questionable Leaders". I really needed to hear it and am trying to apply the principles on which he spoke to my life. I'm struggling to get past the anger and bitterness. If anyone is interested in listening, the audio version is here. It is the 11/09/2008 sermon and you can either play it from there or download it onto your computer. I know God is sovereign and works all things out for good, but I am struggling with the fear of what will be done over the next four years under Obama's hands.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Mr. and Mrs. Thaddeus Warren Tisdale!

On Saturday my best friend, Shannon, married Thad, her boyfriend of three and a half years! I was honored to be the matron of honor and stand beside her as she said her vows to become Thad's wife. She was absolutely gorgeous and planned a beautiful wedding. Unfortunately, I only took two pictures the entire day: one of us eating before we got ready and one of her and her dad before the ceremony. I figure no one cares about seeing us stuff our faces, so here is the sweet picture of Shannon and Mr. Gary :)

It was such a fun afternoon and evening as we helped her get ready and celebrated with all of their friends and family. It was great to see so many of the "Keystone folks" and I really enjoyed getting to know some of Thad's family that I have heard so much about these past three years. I shared this in my toast, but right before Shannon walked down the aisle at my wedding, she looked at me and told me she felt like she was losing her best friend. Now I understand what she meant by that, but I am so happy that she has Thad forever and always. They are just perfect for each other and I'm excited to see what God has in store for them.

To see a few amazing pictures from the day, head over to Pam's blog.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

One Day At A Time

I just wanted to say a quick "Thank You!" to everyone for all of the prayers and kind words. It is such a blessing for us to have so many family and friends who care as much as all of you. It has been a very tough week, but each day gets a little bit easier. The nights are the worst, when all the distractions have quieted down, but even those are getting easier to get through. God is keeping us strong and we are trusting Him for the plan He has for us. It still hurts to know that we won't be able to hold our sweet baby in our arms in May, but we are rejoicing that we will have a baby to hold in Heaven.

In unrelated news, we had our house painted earlier this week. Jared's brother, Dusty, runs a painting business so when his guys had a break between their regular commercial jobs he sent them down our way. As you can see from the picture below, our house was in desperate need of a little face lift and it looks soo much better now! We're notoriously bad at picking out paint colors, and the trim isn't quite the right shade of red we were hoping for. So now we're thinking we'll just paint all the trim black and then paint the door red or maybe green. We're still not sure. :) But even like it is, it's much better than it was!