Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy and Hope-Filled

As I read my devotion those two phrases really struck me. Both words can describe our attitudes or our feelings. As we come to the close of another year, I reflected on this year and realized my attitude has not always been happy or hope-filled. At times it has been one of frustration, disappointment, and down right anger. However as I face a new year, I know I can ask God and hope that He will find it His will to help me be happy and hope-filled. I already know of many reasons why I look forward in anticipation to 2010. It is a year that has several mom will turn 80, my baby boy, Kyle, will turn 21, my oldest, Heather, will turn 30, my other son Owens is getting settled into his new home, and we look forward to our family growing. Good new stuff on the horizon :)

God has always been in the business of doing new things and I hope each of you enjoys a year of new things and God's blessings! Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


This past weekend Heather, Trav and MK came for a visit. It was her first time seeing our Christmas tree and boy was it fun! I remember being excited about putting up the tree when our children were young but I think I was so in the moment that I really didn't take the time to step back and take it all in. When MK was here I did step back, I watched her every move, watched her eyes literally sparkle at the lights and I listened as she tried to express her approval of what she saw. She immediately wanted to touch and feel the tree, the ornaments and oh boy, she even got into the gifts. Christmas with a small child is such an amazing thing.....I wish I had taken more time to appreciate the moments when our children were younger. As parents, I think we get so busy that we don't stop and enjoy the holidays like we should. I'm trying this year to do stop and observe and watch the joy of Christmas unfold in the eyes of a child. I can't wait to introduce her to the "traditions" set by our family. Some of our traditions include the annual candlelight service at our church followed by dinner at my mother in law's house for my husband's side of the family. On Christmas morning, we all go in at the same time to see what Santa has brought, then we enjoy a breakfast casserole and coffee ring, we open gifts, enjoy fellowship with one another and then close out Christmas Day with a supper for my side of the family. This year we will introduce having a birthday cake for Jesus so that Morgan Kate can blow out the candle and start her traditions. What are some of your family traditions....please share. Merry Christmas everyone! May we all remember the reason for the season.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Giving Thanks

I've been thinking alot lately about all the things I have to be thankful for. Each time I sit and think something new comes to other words, I feel like I am a truly blessed woman. Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of days when I have a good ole pity party for myself wondering why other's lives seem so perfect and mine seems to be full of struggles. But then I flash back to reality and I'm reminded of just how wonderful life is.

First of all, I have a husband who knows everything about me and still loves me. Alot to be thankful for. Last year this time, our first grandchild was fighting for her life in the NICU at Baptist and this year our grandchild will be celebrating Thanksgiving in our home! Alot to be thankful for. Our daughter has had the opportunity to stay home with her child another year ....alot to be thankful for. Our son in law is our third son and the awesome daddy to Morgan Kate. Alot to be thankful for. Our oldest son has just recently purchased his first home....alot to be thankful for. Our youngest son will be getting married in two weeks and has a new job.....alot to be thankful for. I already know 2010 will be bringing alot of big events to our family....alot to be thankful for.

I can't count my blessings without thanking God for the wonderful friends in my life. Some so special they are like sisters and brothers to me. Some so close that they can actually finish my sentences before I do and can pray for me when the words won't come. Is that awesome or what!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Think about what you are thankful for and if you will, share it with me. I'd love to hear from you.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Do you believe in miracles? I not only believe I have witnessed one first hand and continue to marvel at that precious miracle each time I am around her. November is Prematurity Awareness Month and Morgan Kate could be the poster child for a true sucess story. The facts are staggering and absolutely take my breath away each time I read them. Heather, my daughter, is stating facts each day during the month about Prematurity on her blog. As I read these facts each day, I reflect back to the time we were experiencing the circumstances when Morgan Kate was in the NICU. At the time I think I was too much in shock and too ignorant on prematurity to know just how fragile Morgan Kate's life really was.

Now adays I love being able to tell people who are meeting Morgan Kate for the first time a little about her journey. Everyone seems to be in awe of knowing that she weighed a mere 1 lb. 12 ozs at birth and today is growing in leaps and bounds. All grandmothers love showing off all of their grandchildren but each time I have the opportunity to introduce her to folks I honestly swell with tears of pride in knowing how hard she has fought this first year of her life.

In closing I want to share a funny story about MK! Her mom has purchased a few bows for her to wear in her hair because she has been known to be mistaken for a boy! Of course, I don't see how anyone could think that as pretty as she is (ahem) but oh well they have. Well guess what, she does not like them and takes them out immediately. Does she remind you of the same little girl I blogged about one time that would hide her bonnets in the seat to avoid having to wear them. I guess it's true....what goes around comes around and boy do I have fun laughin.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Until you walk in those shoes

Life is full of experiences...some good, some bad and some in between. I'd like to think in all my life experiences I have learned something through each event. One experience near and dear to my heart is prematurity. Until my granddaughter was born, I never thought about prematurity, never knew much about it, never knew the staggering statistics, never knew the harsh reality of what all is involved, and certainly never knew we would be walking in those shoes. First let me say, that I still wouldn't be as familiar as I am with prematurity except for the fact that my daughter and son in law allowed me to walk this journey with them very intimately. I was involved from the moment we got a positive on the pregnancy test. They have been wonderful about allowing us as grandparents to "partner" with them in the birth and life of Morgan Kate. Morgan Kate is our premature miracle baby, born 15 weeks early!

Since her birth, I have learned that 8-10% of all pregnancies in the US are premature births. A premature birth is one born before 37 weeks gestation. Extremely premature infants are defined as those born between 22 and 28 weeks of gestation. This is the category Morgan Kate falls in. Being born at 25 weeks, the survival rate according to some statistics is 50-80%! Think about low as 50%!!!! I have never been one to see the glass half empty, always half full so for me...statistics meant nothing. But in the world of betting 50-50 is not good odds.

The month of November is Prematurity Awareness Month. If you are like I was rather oblivious to this, please take the time to read up on it and see what premature babies are up against. Not everyone has a survival story. We do however and it is with a grateful, overflowing heart that I thank God each and every day, several times a day for the miracle of Morgan Kate! She is not only a survivor, but a thriver. May I never take for granted a full term healthy baby again and may we all think of the families who are affected by premature births.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Personality Types

A coworker and I were talking and he told me that he had recently studied personality types. He indicated that he studied four types (sanguine, melancholy, choleric and phlegmatic) and he went on to say what he thought his type was as well as the personality type of his wife. He laughed and said that he knew my type...choleric. He elaborated a little on his reasoning and left my office. Later in the day, I decided to read up on this and see what websites had to say about the personality types. I first investigated choleric.....strong willed, decisive, independent, confident, able to motivate the family, and excel during emergencies. I was feeling pretty good about myself and thinking it did sound somewhat like me. BUT then it listed the weaknesses of this personality....impatient, demanding of others, too independent, hesitant to say you are sorry, often give answers too quickly and can be inflexible. The air in my bubble was deflated because none of the weaknesses were too flattering, But each time I read back over these weaknesses, I realized that these words can describe me just as much as the strengths. I went one step further and read up about phlegmatic which is the personality trait of my hubby. Words such as low key, easy going, relaxed, keeps emotions hidden and all purpose, were words used to describe this personality trait. Another trait that popped out at me and caused me to laugh out loud was "not in a hurry". Anyone who knows my significant other knows just how true that is! It stated in my findings that these two personality types are compatible and compliment each other. I do agree.

It helps sometimes to see in black and white what your weaknesses might be and I am working on some of mine. I know that will delight my family :) What is your personality type - check them out and let me know. I think I agree with most of what I read, but definately not all of it.....there I go showing my choleric personality. Have a good evening!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Full Cirle and Empty Nest

I haven't blogged in a while....not because I don't have things to talk about I just haven't taken the time to put my thoughts in writing. Two things that are really striking close to home these days are the terms "full circle" and "empty nest". Let me try and explain...I'll start with empty nest because that is easy - no children at home. I have read some interesting aspects of the term empty nest syndrome. It surprised me that it is considered a syndrome but I guess no two people handle things in the same way. I understand there is a healthy way and a not so healthy way of handling this. I'm trying to go with the healthy way. For the record, I did wait for our last child to get out of the driveway before I immediately started cleaning his room (he he). In total honesty, I didn't do it until the next day. Whew - what a mess but what a relief to get it clean again. However I did have to stop, sit on his bed, and reflect back on the years he spent in that room. See his departure came rather suddenly and I had no time to think about it. I'm sure God realized how emotional it might be and allowed it to happen that way. From my reading, there is one thing they urge parents not to do. They don't want you to wake up, find that last child leaving the house, and you and your spouse are strangers! I'll never forget when our youngest was leaving that day he turned around to me and said "Mom is this going to be like the commerical when the last child leaves home, the parents go to Disneyworld"! I just laughed....we haven't been to Disneyworld but we have certainly taken advantage of good quality time together.

The next term "full circle" might not be as easy to explain but here a parent, I hope and pray that I have done the things necessary to prepare my children for life. In particular I am seeing the full circle in my "child having a child". I watched this past weekend as Morgan Kate is developing her personality and at times seems "strong willed" and I smile. I vividly remember her mom being that same way at her age and I'm sure if you asked my mom, she would say I was strong willed too. Just one of many examples of how I feel life is coming full circle. I look at full circle like a throw it out and hope it comes back. I feel like I gave it my all when raising my children and it is amazing to watch it "coming back" now in the way my grand child is being raised. I'm sure I'll have many more full circle moments or I certainly hope so.

Two terms, different meanings, but all a part of life and what a great life it is.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What a difference a year makes!

Almost a year ago to the day, we were told that Heather needed to go to bed and stay off her feet followed by being put in the hospital for the duration of her pregnancy. What a scary time we faced and by the grace of God's love and many many answered prayers, Morgan Kate Callahan was born. The day Heather was put to bed was right before her birthday. We attempted to celebrate her birthday, which is August 16, and cheer her up the best we could. She tried to be a trooper and act like she was enjoying the day but her mind was on her unborn child and her well being. At times that seems like light years ago yet so much of that is etched in my memory as if it was yesterday. A lot has transpired in this last year....oh boy what a difference a year makes. However my mind is full of all the memories - the good, the bad, the difficult, the tears of joy and the agony of watching my first grandchild fight for her life. During that fight, Heather was a rock and I am so proud of her. My prayer this year as we celebrate Heather's birthday is that this day will be full of joy and laughter. I can't wait to watch Morgan Kate's expression as we sing to her sweet mommy and I tell her how lucky she is to have her for her mom. And speaking of lucky, I am the one who is honored to call her my daughter. Happy Birthday Heather! You are truly a blessing to our family.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

33 and still going strong!

It was the year 1971 and I had just celebrated my 15th birthday - perfect timing to meet someone since they won't have to buy you a birthday gift (he he). I met him in my neighbor's backyard and literally fell in love with him. I remember telling my sister a few week's later - I will marry that guy! I spent the next five years getting to know him and spending as much free time as I could with him. Along with the highs, there were lows, but the lows were what helped me realize just how blessed I was in having Loitton Hardison in my life. I had found one of the most patient men I know, one of the most complimentary men alive, and one of the most giving and devoted men ever born.

On September 19, 1975, he proposed to me and this Friday, July 10, we will celebrate 33 years of marriage. Wow that sounds like a long time but boy has it been alot of fun.

Now for a few fun facts. We got engaged on September 19 and were married on July 10. Four years ago, our daughter, Heather got married on July 9, and was engaged on September 18, 2004. So as you can see, our engagement dates are a day apart as well as our anniverary dates. We also had the same person perform our wedding vows, my uncle. He and his wife celebrate their anniversary on July 11. I can't really recall the number of years they have been married but it has to be close to 60 or more.

I love the history that Loitton and I have established with each other. He jokes alot about how he knows me better than my mom because after all he has had me longer than her! In reality that is true and I love the fact that he knows me so well, loves me so deeply and cares about family so much! I know God had him in mind for me and I sure am grateful! He is the love of my life and my everything. So Loitton, Happy Anniversary, and I look forward to growing older with you.

PS - Happy Anniversary to Heather and Travis and my uncle and his wife. May God continue to bless each of our marriages!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Reflections and a Birthday

I guess between Father's day, the funeral of a good friend's dad, and the fact that it has been twenty years since my daddy died, I have thought about him alot lately. I've also thought about how much he would have loved getting to know Kyle, our youngest. Kyle turns 20 on Friday and at times he and I butt heads and really clash. There actually have been a few times when we have accused each other of not loving each other but if he only knew my heart, he would know just how wrong that thinking fact quite the contrary. My bond with him will always be very special because he got me through one of the toughest times in my life....the death of my daddy.

Kyle was born July 3, 1989. Instantly loved by not only us as his parents, but his sister and big brother as well. I certainly can't leave out how much his grandparents loved him too. My daddy would get upset if I would not stop by each and every day and let him swing Kyle in their outdoor swing. Along came September of that year and we experienced Hurricane Hugo. We had to warm bottles on the outside grill and try and keep a 2 month old happy without electricity! In November of that year, my daddy died very unexpectedly. I was totally devastated and at times completely lost for words. I walked around feeling numb.....however in my darkest hours, I had a new baby boy that was keeping my mind occupied and busy. Between him and his siblings, I was able to face each day with a little more strength than the day before. See God in his infinite wisdom knew that we would need Kyle and he would get me through some tough times. I hardly know where the 20 years have gone ....just doesn't seem that long ago that Kyle was a "baby" and now he is a man. Happy Birthday Kyle and just for the record - I love you!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Father's Day

It is his first....his first Father's Day that is. Since 1997, I believe it was, I have had a "third son" in my life. I barely remember BT time (before Travis). He and Heather started as high school sweethearts. I knew he was special in her eyes and in her heart but as a mother you don't want to get too close to the boyfriends/girlfriends until you know they might become a part of your future. Too hard if you get attached and then they move on. Travis became a part of our future and we love him like our own....we have always gotten along so well and he and Loitton are just as close. Another big plus is he really enjoys Heather's brothers and they spend alot of time together.

On August 24, 2008, he abruptly became a father. A father to a premature baby girl born way too early. I was fortunate to be there when all of this took place and therefore I experienced first hand just how well he can handle pressure, emergency situations, and show his love for Heather. From the moment his daughter was born he has been a hands on dad who believes that parenthood is a partnership and he wants to do as much for Morgan Kate as he can.

It warms my heart to see him love Heather so much, take care of Morgan Kate so tenderly, and I don't dare leave out his attention to Cash and Lola (their dogs). I actually nominated him for "Father of the Month" with our local newspaper. I had been noticing an ad in the newspaper about nominations and it was a toss up between my hubby and my son in law. I opted for my son in law (knowing my hubby would agree). Unfortunately they did not receive my nomination in time for the judging but in my opinion, he is Father of the Month! I say with alot of pride, Travis Callahan, you have been one amazing daddy in the first 9 months of Morgan Kate's life. My prayers continue that God will guide you and walk with you each step of the way as you raise your baby girl. May your life with her and future children (he he) be full of rewards, beautiful moments and lots of love and laughter. I hope you have a wonderful Father's Day.

I'd also like to say Happy Father's Day to my best friend and love of my life, Loitton ,as well as all father's. In closing, I think of the saying "any man can be a father but it takes someone special to be a daddy." Travis, you and Loitton are special daddys and I love you both!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Time is flying by

I looked at my blog tonight and realized it has been a month today since my last post. Not that any one has missed it, but I have. I have always been one that likes putting my thoughts on helps me sorts through things and see things clearer. I have been reading blogs for quite some time and several I follow religiously. One in particular that I have been following has recently turned out to be a hoax. I literally have cried and prayed over this blog and the folks associated with it. Then I find out it is a bunch of untruths, just post after post of fictious information. I was really disappointed! To make matters worse for me, I recently found out that there are folks who actually get paid for you visiting their blog. The more views, the more money. In this particular, case I probably earned this family more than pocket change. I was so interested and prayerful for this family that I would check on them several times a day, actually more. They were all about the money and leading people into feeling sorry for them! So I guess when I view my blog and realize that I have a whopping 13 followers, you can be assured I will not get rich off of my least not in the sense of monetary value. I am richly blessed by those of you who come here to check in on me and occasionally leave a comment.

Life is way too busy these days, lots going on....some good, some not so good. Thank goodness for the constant of God's love each and every day.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Almost Full House

Every one was home ....almost. These days it is harder and harder to get all or our family home at the same time. This past weekend was no exception. I thought it might happen but Owens had to work and with the economy like it is, I am not complaining.

My weekend started out with a little pampering with Heather. I treated her to a pedicure for her first Mother's Day. We had a blast talking and laughing at my new found salon. It was a lot of fun! We headed home to have dinner and get Morgan Kate in the bed. On Saturday, we had a leisure breakfast and then some good family time at the farm. We have got quite the set up at the farm that will shield Morgan Kate from too much sun and the breeze Saturday was great.

Sunday was the best day! My mother's day breakfast was compliments of McDonalds but that was ok because we were busy getting ready for church and double checking to make sure we had everything we needed for the dedication service. It was a beautiful service and a nice surprise was looking up and seeing Owens walk in the church. Our pastor made it very personal and touching. As he talked about Morgan Kate, Loitton and I couldn't do anything but hold hands and try and contain the emotions. He did however say that he was glad that MK did not look like her granddaddy of which I laughed but totally disagreed with. I happen to think her granddaddy is quite good looking. Heather and Travis not only had family in attendance, they had friends that traveled from out of town and a church full of people who have prayed diligently for MK since her birth. They were finally able to see this little miracle in person. At one point, MK began to cry so I offered (he he) to take her out. One of my best friends accused me of praying for that to happen so I could get one on one time with MK. I honestly didn't pray for it but I sure ceased the opportunity and boy what a moment! I carried MK into one of the Sunday school rooms to try and get her to go to sleep. As I was "dinking" her, I paused and thanked God for her life and for our church. In the background I could hear the church bells ringing at our neighboring Methodist church. I thought to myself....if God were to call me home today, I would have died a happy woman. It was truly a beautiful day!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mother's Day

Like everything good in life, children are a gift from God. We parents (and grandparents) are just caretakers of the children that God has blessed us with. This Sunday, mothers all over the world, will celebrate Mother's Day. I think for me being a mother is the ultimate priviledge. My children are my life and they bless me each and every day even when I could "pinch their heads off"....he he. I stand in awe when I think that God chose me to be their mother!

My husband and I have always thought it was our responsibility to dedicate our children back to their Creator as well as dedicate ourselves to helping them know Him. So each one of them was dedicated in our church. I fondly remember each dedication and each service provided its own special memories. I remember Heather's service, our first born and our first dedication service. I was nervous about the participation and prayed and hoped she wouldn't cry during the service. She did great and didn't cry, in fact smiled and chattered, thoroughly entertaining the congregation. Owens' dedication was no different. He was actually due to be born on Mother's Day but came the day after so his dedication service came a full year later on Mother's day. He was a little older and therefore he was full of character and wanted to "talk" out loud. Kyle's dedication was just as unique. It was the first time our church performed a dedication service other than at Mother's Day. We had an abundance of newborns that year and therefore we had a dedication service in October of 1989. Kyle was only 3 months old and we had just rebounded from Hurricane Hugo. Little did I know at that time, that although my daddy complained of having to come back early from a Clemson weekend for a dedication service, that God's timing was perfect! We dedicated Kyle in October and my dad passed away in November. Kyle made his prescence known that day - he cried the whole service.

Twenty years later, we will be present for another dedication service. This service will be the dedication of our first grandchild, Morgan Kate. Her birth, in itself, is a miracle and to be able to dedicate her back to her Creator will be an awesome experience. As I write this, just the thought of her dedication brings me to tears. To share in Heather and Travis making the commitment to oversee Morgan Kate's Christian development is very special. But not only will Morgan Kate's parents be making the commitment, her grandparents will too. Dedication to me means not only by words but also by example. I pray that God will work in me to help me be a good example for Morgan Kate and I dedicate myself to that purpose.

Happy Mother's Day to all and a very special Happy Mother's Day to Heather as she celebrates her first of many special days!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

An important walk

Walk - to go on foot for pleasure or exercise. For years, I have loved to walk...never became a runner. However there are those who have picked at me saying that my walking is equivalent to someone running. Some days I walk for the exercise, some days I walk to just enjoy the fresh air, some days it helps release stress while other days I walk to commune with God and pour my soul out to Him. On Saturday, I will take walking to a whole different level. I will be walking for a purpose and for a very special person. I, along with other family members, will walk in the March of Dimes Walk in honor of our precious Morgan Kate and in recognition of an organization that cares about premature births and healthy pregnancies. Their program stresses that one day all babies will be born healthy but we have to walk to get there! Not only do we have to walk we have to contribute and contributions are still being accepted. So Saturday I will not only be walking for the exercise, but for the pleasure of doing something to honor Morgan Kate!

Friday, April 17, 2009

I could really get use to this!

Thursday evening my hubby and I were sitting here talking about what we might do for the weekend. We like to have a plan. The phone rang. It was Heather and we chatted for a few minutes and then she said "we are coming home tomorrow, if that is OK". I actually thought I had misunderstood. I couldn't imagine that I would be lucky enough to have them home two weekends in a row! I guess Loitton could hear the excitement in my voice because when I hung up, he just laughed and said I guess we know what we are doing this weekend. Yep, seeing, loving, and looking at our beautiful Morgan Kate! I try and catch myself when I make comments like that because I wouldn't dare want Heather and Travis to think we don't get excited about them being here.

We try to make things special when they come home....I want them to be able to relax and enjoy family time, enjoy meals they don't have to prepare, and enjoy being able to do things knowing someone else can take care of Morgan Kate (they really have to twist my arm for me to do that - he he).

The weekend was a blast! We got to spend some good quality time together doing things our family likes to do....Saturday was spent at the farm, hanging out, eating, fellowshipping and riding the 4wheelers - life doesn't get much better. One thing was missing though - Owens had to work and Trenholm was away for the weekend so they weren't able to come. Maybe next time!

As Heather, Travis and Morgan Kate drove out of the driveway to go home today....I could already feel the quietness of our house but I had to smile having had such an awesome weekend. Hope each of you had a fun weekend!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Ready and waiting!

I probably feel like a small child at Christmas.....the excitement is building. I think I have everything in place and ready for the arrival of Morgan Kate.

I hope that each of you have a wonderful Easter Day! May we all remember the reason we have this day - thank you God !

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Big weekend for so many reasons

Tomorrow is Good Friday...I think I have thought more this year than I have in a while of the importance of tomorrow and what it means to me as a Christian. When I stop and think about Jesus being crucified on the cross and the pain he endured all because he loves us so very much that he was willing to sacrifice his life. Wow - an unbelievable thought! Amazing to think his love is that great! I'm so grateful that He loves me even on my most "unlovable" days.

I have also reflected this week on the fact that God is still in the business of miracles and our "little miracle" is coming for a visit this weekend. I can't wait and I'll be sure to let you know how our visit goes. Until then, Happy Easter and may we all concentrate on the true meaning of Easter.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Last week this time I was riding 4wheelers with the men in my life....this week they are riding without me. I opted to stay home tonight to get a few things done that I hadn't managed to do all week. Hopefully they will be careful...I'm sure they probably need more adult supervision :)

This week I have been reading blogs about children that are suffering from all sorts of illnesses some of which are very critical situations. My heart absolutely breaks for these families. I recall the roller coaster ride we were on when Morgan Kate with in the NICU. You would just hold your breath and pray that you could handle the situations as they came at you. Two families come to mind tonight and I hope you will pray for them. Jack Huffman is fighting a fierce battle with cancer. He was scheduled for surgery today but they were not able to successfully perform the surgery. Then there is a little boy, Stellan,, who I have read about since he was born. While he was in the womb, the doctor's told his mom he would never live because of a heart condition. Miraculously he was born without any heart problems. However, they are surfacing now and he is battling his heart racing away at a scary rate. One thing that strikes me about these two families is their display of amazing grace and faith. As I have thought about these families this week, I have thanked God numerous times for the progress that Morgan Kate has made and for the miracle that she is. She was 7 months old on Tuesday and I'm so grateful that I am her grandmother and that she is doing well!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sometimes it just doesn't pay to have a plan. A few weeks back, my niece, Kelly, contacted me and suggested all of our family get together for my mom's birthday. I was all for it and started putting my wheels in motion to plan things. I planned the menu, ordered a birthday cake, contacted my sibilings and for the first time in forever everyone was going to be able to come for the birthday! The plan was to be in church to see my mom's choir sing, watch her expression when she noticed the flowers in the church were in honor of her, gather at our house for lunch and enjoy fellowship with each other. All week long I had been looking forward to this day because I knew my mom would be so excited to have all her "children" together. Well, well....Friday things started slowing falling apart. I went to pick up my mom's birthday cake and her name was biggie, I 'll just get the cake lady to redo her name. Well the cake lady is no where to be found so I decided not to sweat it. Saturday morning, my mom calls and is sick and needs to see a doctor...we manage to get that accomplished and got her on some meds. I also talk to my brother whose son is not feeling well so only half of his family can make the trip from Georgia. Then when I talk to my sister, she is sick, and she won't be here as well as one of her children who is sick. I take a deep sigh and and realize as much as I wanted ALL of us to be together, I am excited about those who can come. This morning I called to wish my mom a Happy Birthday and she was still not feeling real well and therefore was not going to make it to this point, I share the news about the flowers and assure her we will take pictures of them for her to see. Everyone brought some good food for the lunch and by the end of the day, "a large time" had been had by all. I hope my mom enjoyed her day, I know I sure did. As I write this post, the quietness of my house is almost deafening...I honestly believe I could live like the folks did on the tv show "Dallas'...where everyone lived in one big house! (I probably just dated myself by writing that) Anyway, I close by saying Happy Birthday Mama Jean and I hope that everyone made it home safely!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Yesterday was a day of highs and lows 0r should I say a low! I'll start with the highs and they involve all of my children. First up....I get a phone call from Heather saying that she has received the best news in all the world. I immediately laugh and ask if she is pregnant. She doesn't find the humor in that statement because she is so excited with her news. Morgan Kate went to the pulmonary doctor and got an excellent report!! He said he wouldn't even consider her as having chronic lung disease. Oh my gosh - I was so overwhelmed with joy that I couldn't even talk to her I just passed the phone along to her daddy. Little did I know that they were going to talk for about 30 minutes so I am standing there wondering about everything that the doctor said. I knew by the expression on Loitton's face that everything was good - he was one beaming granddaddy! Next up, I get a phone call from Owens. He and I email alot but there are days where we just have to pick up the phone and call because there is nothing like hearing his voice and actually talking to him. He asked if his dad and I would be around this weekend because he was coming home! Boy was that music to my ears. Since Morgan Kate has been born, most of our family time has been spent in Columbia so he has not been home in quite some time. Immediately my wheels start turning on what meals to prepare, what we can do this weekend, etc. Then baby boy (ha ha) calls! He, too, is excited - I mean fast talking excitement. Kyle had gone turkey hunting for the first time and killed a turkey! Now I am new to this type of hunting so I may not fully convey the right terminology....but boy he was a plump turkey and that "thing" that hangs down ...can't think of the name was long (I want to say they call it a beard)! Kyle explained it to me it was in comparison to the antlers on a determines how good the kill was (I think). Anywho...excitement was in the air at our house!

Then along came the low which took some of the wind out of my's a lengthy story but the gest of it was an adult man thought he could come in our yard and fuss at my son! Need I say mother instinct and claws were at full force. It's a situation like this that reminds me why God placed a very calm, levelheaded man in my life. He convinced me to let it go! I bet most of you moms out there are thinking "oh heck no" but I know the best thing to do is to leave it alone and I did. In the big scheme of my day, this was really trivial and in no way could damper all the good news and excitement. Needless to say, I am looking forward to the weekend. Hope your day has been full of highs!

Monday, March 16, 2009

For those of you who know me, you know how much my maltese Gracie means to me - she is like another child. I am rather particular about her and therefore I am really picky about who will groom her. We have been through several groomers...some good some not so good. In fact most are not so good until we finally found one that we really liked, Gracie seemed to like her (or liked her as much as she willl like anyone who is going to scrub, cut and blow dry her) Well on Friday we found out that our new found groomer would be leaving town. Now what are we going to do! Any suggestions???

On a totally different note, we helped celebrate the Eagle Scout ceremony of a dear friend. As part of this service, the scout master asked that all Eagle scouts in attendance come stand with the current Eagle candidate. The pin that was being presented passed through the hands of all Eagle scouts before being presented....each Eagle told their troop number and the year they received their award. There were 21 Eagle scouts present in that room! My hubby was one of them....he had knocked off the dust and even found his pin that he received 37 years ago and wore it to the ceremony! It was a very special moment and what made it even more special was the fact that I was in attendance 37 years ago when he received his and it was such a good feeling to reflect back on that time and realize how many, many special years we have shared together. He has aged quite nicely, I might add :)

As I sign off tonight, I ask that you please pray for Morgan Kate's trip to the pulmonary doctor tomorrow. Maybe, just maybe, "house arrest" will be over.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Whew - this is the first time I have sat down since I got home today. As soon as I got off work, my hubby had the 4wheeler loaded up and we headed to the farm to enjoy this nice weather. Actually it was not as warm as I thought it was so the ride was a little chilly but it didn't matter because it was so nice to spend good guality time together. After our afternoon of riding, we ordered some pick up food on the way home .....yummy! We ordered from Chestnut Grill - my children accuse me of not wanting to eat any other place in Orangeburg but hey, if you know a good thing why go somewhere else.

I have to give a shout out to my blog designer...the one and only Heather! Hope you like my new look ....she worked hard on getting it to suit me. There was way too many choices and decisions to make about the layout. Hopefully one weekend soon, she will conduct a "Blog 101" class and she can show me all her tricks and how to add pics. Until then, I will continue to learn on my own.

Off to do some laundry.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Yesterday my mom had to have her pacemaker replaced and for most people that is usually a fairly simple procedure but for her she makes the surgeon work for his money. She is totally dependent on hers so it's a little tricky (a test to the doctor's dexterity)....he has to get one out and the other pacemaker in place in a very timely fashion. Yesterday was a success! After the procedure, she came to our house to spend the night. Having not had anything to eat all day, she was starved and we probably could have fed her a peanut butter sandwich and she would have been thrilled but we did a little better than that.

I am a person who is all about routine and a schedule...sometimes I'm a little too obsessive about a schedule. So when it came time to go to bed, I wanted my mom to sleep downstairs to avoid the stairs and I slept up stairs. Because of our schedule, right off the bat, Gracie - my sweet little maltese, knew something was not right....she pranced around for quite some time before she agreed that it was OK for us to sleep upstairs. We crawled into bed, said our prayers and as I turned off the lights I noticed these bright spots on the ceiling. I rubbed my eyes thinking I must be seeing things but then it dawned on me....Heather in one of her many decorating attempts had put these stick on stars on the ceiling that glow in the dark when the lights are off. I honestly laughed out loud. My mind started to wonder and I reflected on all the many times she had decorated her room - put zig zag lines on the wall - painted it every color in the rainbow - to the point that the paint is so thick on the walls that it has a crackling effect look. I thought about all the laughing and crying that had taken place in that room.. I truly reflected on her entire childhood. Those stars turned out to be better than counting sheep because apparently I drifted off to sleep. I can't wait to see all the attemps MK will make in decorating her room :)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Silent Saturday

Heather's blog simply stated "Silent Saturday"....although she uses that term to describe a post with no words, I use it to describe the ride home after leaving Morgan Kate. Not only was I silent while reflecting in my mind how nice the weekend was but I was silent so that I could savor each moment. I just wanted to think back on her precious smile, her laugh, her little noises and how comforting it is to just simply sit and hold her. So tonight, I will continue to be silent and think about how rewarding spending time in Columbia is! Thank you God for my children and granddaughter!

Just for the record, it's not only Morgan Kate that we get excited to see, but we love spending time with Heather and Travis and an added bonus was having Owens and Trenholm there! Family means the world to me, if you can not already tell. Sorry Kyle that you had to work, maybe next time.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Just a few that could use your prayers

I'm glad to report that I am feeling much better - I hate to report that I think I passed it along to Kyle. He too went to the doctor yesterday and got some meds. He is one of many that I would ask you to pray for. Another request I have is for a special little friend, Luke. He, his mommy and daddy (Mark and Laura) have been family friends for years. Luke just celebrated his first birthday. In his short life so far he has already had to have open heart surgery actually not long after his birth. Well tomorrow morning he has to have a little procedure done and will have to be put to sleep for it. Of course, his parents are anxious about him having to be put to sleep with his heart situation so I know they would appreciate the thoughts and prayers. A special lady I know found out last week that she has cancer. I do not want to mention her name because she wants to keep things low key and I respect that but God will know her by name when you pray for her. I have been reading a blog that I came across and the mom on this blog, Devon, has really touched my heart. She lost twin boys last year this time - in fact March 7 and 8 of 2008. I ask you to please pray for her as she reflects back on this past year and remember her sweet boys. I certainly can not fathom her loss but you can just feel the emptiness and pain in her words. Lastly, please pray for my nephew, Chad and his wife, Corrisa - they lost their sweet Isabel (their poodle).

I would like to sign off with a praise - Morgan Kate weighed in at the doctor today at 11 lbs. 1 oz. and continues to make great progress! I stand in awe of her and the true miracle that she is and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I will see her this weekend!

Monday, March 2, 2009

No one seems to understand my urgency

After laying around most of the weekend and trying to rest and fully recuperate from this grud, I decided to call the dr. back today. Most people could not believe I was going back to the dr. after my long wait last week but I have got to get well! When I called, I was greeted with sure, come on in around 11:45. In my mind I am thinking - perfect time! They will want to get everyone in and out in order to go to lunch - NOT! After about 45 minutes or so, we were told that the dr. was in but had not seen a patient yet. OK, I am trying to digest that comment and before I have an opportunity to question the nurse, another lady speaks up and inquires exactly what that here it is 12:30 and the first patient of the day has not been seen. We are hoping we have misunderstood but that was not the case. Since I work right down the street from this office, I ask if I can return to work and come back at a later time....I go back to work and return to the drs. office later in the day. This time, while sitting in the waiting room, I engage in a conversation with a sweet little old lady. She turned to me and said honey, I'm hungry...I've been here a long time. Of all the days to not have a snack in my pocketbook! I sure wanted to help her out. As we were talking, I explained to her my urgency to get well. She just smiled and said, grandchildren make a world of difference, don't they! Unfortunately no one else understood because I was told to take some more medicine and rest and it will take time for it to run its course! I was hoping for a quick fix like maybe a shot in each hip - something that would work overnight! Well I will press on with the rest and meds because I am determined to be A-okay by this weekend. The good thing is I am much better and almost there! If you have any home remedies for a lingering cough, holler at me and let know.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Don't be bashful and say a prayer for me

Thanks to Heather, I actually have developed some "followers" but I think most of them must be shy. I only get one or two comments and they are usually from Heather. I could almost get my feelings hurt - ha ha because either what I have to say isn't noteworthy to leave a comment or maybe people don't feel comfortable sharing their comments. Oh well hopefully some of you will decide to leave me a comment or two and let me know you are out there.

These past two weeks have been rough - I'm probably like a lot of you and have been fighting "the crud". I am known to be hard headed so I attempted to battle this on my own. Well it didn't take me but a day or two to realize this was a little more than sinus or a head cold. I broke down and made a doctor's appointment. I would probably go to the doctor more often but at this particular office, you are known to have to wait a long time before seeing the doctor. The day I went was no exception.....I got there, signed in and was immediately told that the doctor had not arrived for the day. I wanted to walk out at that point but I felt too bad so I endured! Two and half hours later, I was leaving, bill in one hand and prescription in the other. I have been on meds for two weeks now for bronchitis, sinus infection and ear infection! I still can't seem to get rid of the horrible cough. Normally I would try and be patient however these days my main objective is to stay healthy. At this point you are probably saying, isn't that everyone's objective to stay healthy. Well for me, staying healthy takes on a whole new meaning...if I ain't healthy, I don't get to see Morgan Kate! I was suppose to go this weekend and keep her while her daddy and mommy went to an appointment. Unfortunately, Heather and I talked and we both agreed - no way could I risk being around any of them. So this weekend I will stay at home, try and rest and hopefully get better! On Monday, if I am still struggling, I will be back at the doctor's office. That right there should tell you how much it means to me to see Morgan Kate because no one wants to have to sit that long to see a doctor EXCEPT this grandmother who does not want to go another weekend without seeing that precious face! Wish me luck and pray that I get well.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My favorite numbers

My goodness - it is the 24th day of February. This month is flying by. Today is special for several, it's my nephew's birthday - Happy Birthday Luke! Another person I know is celebrating his birthday - Charlie Sutcliffe (I work with his mom) and yet another special person is celebrating this day too - Morgan Kate is 6 months old today. The number 24 has always been my favorite was my jersey number when I played sports in high school, I had my first date with Loitton on September 24, and my dad passed away on November 24. I know that sounds a little crazy to say it is your favorite number if your dad passed away on that date, but I learned to look at it as a celebration day of when he went to heaven. I didn't always look at it in that particular light - it took me a while because it was such an unexpected and untimely death. I was only 33 and boy did I want him around much much longer! I guess for years after his death, November 24th, was a hard day for me. I watched my mom become overwhelmed with that date and therefore, when Heather got pregnant and we thought her baby would be due the end of November, I prayed that she would be born on the 24th! I thought if something as awesome as the birth of a child occurred on that date, my mom would no longer dread that day so much. Well, my prayers were not answered quite like I had in mind however Morgan Kate was born on the 24th! She was also born in the 8th month which brings me to my second favorite number - 8! In the Bible, the number 8 is significant because it signifies a new beginning, a regeneration, a new first. Morgan Kate is our new first - our new first grandchild. I find myself sometimes stopping when I say still seems odd for me to say think I am someone's grandmother. I'm sure down the road, I will have plenty of favorite numbers - like when my second grandchild is born, or my third or fourth, or even fifth. I have plenty of room in my heart for "new favorite numbers". Happy 6th month MK!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Honesty - always the best policy!

Tonight Heather did a posting on being honest and how she wished that more moms were honest about the trials and tribulations of raising a child. She and I have had conversations about this topic before but she really made me think tonight about a few things. As honest as we are with each other, I felt like even I had cheated her of the truth. I think, as women, we don't bring ourselves to total honesty because we think things reflect poorly on us. I mean, come on, who really wants to admit that having and raising a child "doesn't come natural". It's sort of like you see commerials on tv when a couple wakes up in the morning and they immediately kiss - get real!!! The last thing I want to do first thing in the morning is kiss someone on the mouth - stink breath! The world has a tendency to portray things differently than they really are....we try to glamorize our lives because we wouldn't dare want anyone to think we are not in total control and that we can't handle anything! I wonder if I should have told Heather more about the sleepness nights, the worrying she will do when her child is sick, the sinking in her heart the first day of kindergarten, the apprehension she will feel the first time she leaves Morgan Kate with a sitter, the many, many times she will stop and pray over Morgan Kate as she leaves the house on her first date, for her first overnight with a friend (you wish you knew the family better), and how to prepare herself for the day she will tell Morgan Kate "about the birds and bees" and Morgan Kate will look at her like she can't even believe her mom is having that conversation. The list could go on and on. I do believe I could have better prepared her for some aspects of motherhood however I have never had a premature baby so I am the one learning. So if I want to be totally honest tonight, I have to admit, Heather has taught me about motherhood. In her short time as a mother, I have observed her display an incredible amount of patience, determination, and I have watched her faith grow in leaps and doesn't get much better than that! One of my fondest memories of our 107 days in the NICU were watching my daughter take the hand of her daughter and pray with her each night before she left......having a completely honest conversation with God and trusting in him. So as she finds her way in being a mom and what works with her little household, may God continue to guide her - after all He is the best example!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Full Circle

I typed a post last night and was going to preview it before posting it and guess what....I wiped it out completely! Being new to this blogging, I still haven't quite got everything down pat but I'm trying. I don't know about others, but I vividly recall saying "I will never do that when I have children" or "I will never say that"....well I think if we wait long enough, we might all sound like our mothers. After all, they are the women who raised us and had an impact on our lives. The reason this came to my mind is my daughter, Heather, posted on her blog that her daughter, Morgan Kate, didn't like to have clothes put on over her head and that she would fuss if she did put things over her head. I chuckled when I read this because it brought back memories of when Heather did not want to wear a bonnet on her head. My mother in law would make these beautiful smocked dresses with a matching bonnet and on Sunday morning, I would get Heather all dressed up in her Sunday best and attempt to put the bonnet on her head. She would fight, she would pout, she was determined she was not going to wear it. I was just as determined that she was so she at least left the house with the bonnet on her head. Heather, thinking she was so smart, would take it off on the ride to church and stuff it in the seat. We would get to church and she would look at me so innocently and say, I don't know what happened to my bonnet. All that to say, I support Morgan Kate in her fight against having things put on over her head! I guess I won't be able to share that secret with Morgan Kate until she gets a little older but I can't wait to share that with her and sit back and laugh....realizing that I have come full circle.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My FIrst Valentine Day as a grandmother

Yesterday I called Heather to tell her that I thought the clock at my office had just did not seem to move all morning. Looong morning! The anticipation and excitement about seeing Morgan Kate, Heather and Travis was catching up with me. I thought about all the things I wanted to do while keeping MK for Heather and Travis to go to dinner (their Valentine date). I wanted to make sure we rocked, we read (a new book that Shelly - my coworker had sent). Thanks so much Shelly! I wanted to play with her with her toys, definately stroll her but most importantly I just wanted to sit and look at her....take in her beautiful face, those long eyelashes, those petite features and just marvel at the true miracle that she is. I paused and thanked God for this absolutely perfect little child.

The evening went great and an added plus was getting to spend time with Owens - our middle child. He and his dad ran out and picked up dinner for us (I owed him a meal for picking the wrong team to win the Super Bowl). He reminded me of the bet :) While eating our dinner, MK sat in her boppy seat and just wached us and once or twice smiled....I think she finds her Uncle O to be a funny guy. I look forward to the day when MK will realize just how much he loves her! In fact both of my boys adore her - she may not be able to date until she is in her 50's.

As our evening came to an end (her mommy and daddy came home) MK treated Gdaddy and I to a framed picture of her in a beautiful white hat - let me tell you, she is a hat girl but heck I think everything looks good on her. By the time we were leaving the house, MK was alseep but Gdaddy and I just had to slip in her room and watch her one final moment, blow her a kiss and pray that God will continue to watch over her each and every day.

Happy Valentine!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Half way to the weekend

Yesterday started with me oversleeping - something I have never done but apparently I either cut my alarm clock off or just slept right throught it. This morning I was up at my regular time which allows me time to have my breakfast and devotion time. It's amazing how much better my day goes when I start if off that way. Oddly enough (or not so oddly) alot of the time my devotion turns out to be just the message that God intended for me that day. Today's devotion was about One of a suggested we type in the phrase "none like him" on an search engine and see all the hits you will get. Some are Christian websites, some pertain to athletes, etc. God's defintion of "none like him" or being one of a kind differs from what you will find on the internet. I think God means for me to trust him no matter what others may do. I have learned to trust God more in the last few months because I know ultimately He is in control and if I just turn things over to him and try not to "handle" things myself the outcome is so much better. I trusted God and hoped that He would find it in his will to help Morgan Kate's lungs get better and He did. Yesterday the doctor told Heather and Travis that they could take her off of her oxygen. Woohoo! So tonight when she goes to bed, she will be oxygen free for the first time since she was born on August 24, 2008! What a milestone - way to go Morgan Kate. You are quite the fighter.

The reason I am so excited about being half way through the week is because I am going to see Morgan Kate on Friday and stay with her while her parents go out to eat. They think it is a treat for them when really the treat is for me!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Blessings are flowing

I started this blog and then thought why in the world did I create one will ever read it, follow it or comment on it. Then I decided that it's really for me. A place where I can put in writing my thoughts on becoming a grandmother and the absolute joys of watching my child mother her child. That gets a little tricky too....I know how I raised my children but I never want to impose "my ways" on my daughter. She will find her own method to the madness and some days it is just that - madness!

I am happy to report that Morgan Kate is making wonderful progress. As I look at pictures of her now, it is hard to believe that she came into this world weighing 1 lb. 12 ozs. She is truly a miracle and God has so richly blessed the lives of our family with her birth. What is really neat is the way she has touched the lives of others....I feel such a tremendous connection to so many simply because I know they have been "on their knees" prayer warriors for her. Some folks will matter of factly tell you that they are praying for you and you thank them but wonder if they really meant it. But then there are others who say they are praying and you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are and your feel their prayers and support. For this I am forever grateful!

As I close my post for today, I solicit your prayers for Morgan Kate and her doctor appointment with the pulmonologist. It would be so awesome if they were to take her off of her oxygen completely especially with spring right around the corner. We have alot of strolling days ahead and I want her to be able to smell all the new scents in the air (without her oxygen).

Until next time - God's blessings to you.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I am someone's grandmother!

In August, 2008, a grandmother was born....prematurely because my granddaughter came into this world 15 weeks early. I don't know about you other grandmothers, but when your child tells you they are going to have a baby your mind starts to race. Getting pregnant did not come easy nor was it easy during the pregnancy. As time progressed, I tried to envision the day that my grandchild would be born. I wondered when the time came if I would be at work, if it would take place in the middle of the night, or whether it would be a planned birth. As it turned out, it was an emergency section that took place on August 24, 2008. My granddaughter, Morgan Katherine, was born weighing 1 lb. 12 ozs. Since that time I have become oh too familiar with terms like NICU, OG feeding, CPAP, nasal canula, oxygen levels, monitors, brain bleeds, adjusted age, apnea, brovaic catheter....just to name a few. I have three children of my own but this precious child has been quite the learning experience. When I met Morgan Kate, I fell madly, desperately, hopelessly in love. Nestled in her incubator was this child of my child, a perfect miniature. I wept and laughed and thanked God for allowing me this moment, this gift, this day.

Since that time my daughter, Heather, has introduced me to the "blogging" world and I have read so many amazing stories about premature babies, their families and about their incredible faith journeys. Most of what I have read has been "mommys talking to mommys" but I think there should be a place where we grandmothers can chat and compare stories and find ways that we can help our "children" as they start their parenting skills. I don't know about the rest of you but my children (Heather and Travis) have been thrown into parenthood in a big way. So many things are taken for granted when we give birth to "full term" babies. May we never take for granted a full term baby again and may I as a grandmother be willing to give total support to the rearing of this precious granddaughter of mine.

As I walked out of Morgan Kate's room the day she was born, I was a dazed, overwhelmed new grandmother who tiptoed out of a room where a miracle had happened, wondering how I ever got to be so lucky.