Bring Bennet Home

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Three Months

Three whole months have passed since that beautiful night we met you. Three months seems like such a short time, but I'm having trouble remembering what any part of my life was like before you made your grand entrance into our family. I can't put into words how full you make my heart. You are developing quite the personality and doing lots of tricks. You are very strong and a pretty big guy. We can't go anywhere without strangers complimenting you, usually on your hair, and some even try to touch (which makes me very anxious!) but they all mean well and ask lots of questions. You are a miracle to us and your story has touched many lives.
You are a regular celebrity at church. Our students adore you, grandmothers flock around you and most of the men are pretty enamored with you too. The last three months have been pretty busy. (I know I'm behind on these letters) I had a kidney stone stuck from the Sunday before you were born until you were six weeks old. So during that time we didn't spend much time alone because I was afraid of having an attack and not being able to care for you. We spent a lot of time at Granna's with the whole family. The week after I got my stone removed your Daddy started his camp schedule for the summer. He was gone to kids camp first and we spent our first night just the two of us. Your Daddy was worried but everything went fine. The next day, when I was trying to pack for both of us by myself didn't go quite as smooth. That was a stressful day!
Then came Super Summer and we spent the week at Granna's. We made two trips to Shawnee to visit. I must confess, this was a tough week for me. I love Super Summer and look forward to it every year so I was a little sad not to be there this year, but I had the best reason for missing it! We did love getting to show you off to some of our youth minister friends and even found a distant blood relative of yours. He's Kiowa too and his family is related to your birth mom's family. What a blessing to know you have a faith heritage.
Last week we all three, plus Granna, headed to Falls Creek for your first camp experience. You did great! It rained a lot which kept us inside and the weather cooler. You loved the worship services and fell asleep every night. (You did that at Super Summer too) You did pretty good during the preaching and made it almost all the way thru the services every night. You were tossed around a lot but you don't seem to mind. You love to flirt with the girls and you smile so sweetly for everyone. I think you liked Falls Creek just fine! It's a blessing to get to take you to do ministry and it's one of our goals to show our students that our family is always first. It is also important to us that we do ministry as a family, even from this point in your life. We want you to grow up loving the Lord and seeing Him work in the lives of those around you. It was different, but a good week for all of us.
Some of the things you're doing...
Pushing your butt in the air when you're on your stomach and scooting along the bed using your strong legs
Talking and smiling up a storm. This has been one of our favorite parts! You get so excited to tell us all of your stories.
You're very close to laughing out loud and sitting up. You can't quite balance your head and torso together but you're getting closer every day. And the laughing has got to be around the corner!
You found your hands last week and will not keep them out of your mouth! You LOVE them!
You love to lay on your back and kick and wiggle. You are a busy man with those arms and legs.
You definitely recognize people easily by voices and by how they hold you. You have always been a bit of a Momma's boy and you still are. Which I relish knowing how much you love me.
You have started slobbering a lot! I'm not sure why but unless you're laying down you are soaked with spit!
You follow us and other objects with your eyes and head.
You still don't act like you know Thatcher is alive but that's ok. You don't even react to his barking.
You hate sleeping on your back.
You HATE riding alone in the backseat. You aren't a fan of your car seat. I don't know if it's because it's hot or uncomfortable or what but you feel strongly about it.
You just moved into 3-6 months clothes, which is right on time. And we used your last size one diaper yesterday. You have very chunky thighs and those things just weren't cutting it.
You and I sing a lot and you get more chatty when I'm singing our fun songs and you instantly relax when we sing sleepy songs. I love that!
And my favorite new trick of yours is giving kisses. When I kiss your cheek or lean down for a kiss from above you you open your mouth and turn your head to give your Momma a kiss. It's the sweetest thing! Even if I do come away all slobbery.
You are still very laid back and sweet. I think God knew how crazy our life is and gave us a baby who'd fit right in. Someone told me last week that if God gives us what we can handle God knew he couldn't handle crazy kids and I think that might be true of us too. You are exactly what we needed!
I still look at you everyday and can barely wrap my mind around the idea that you are mine forever. You are so perfect and beautiful and you have changed my life in the very best way possible. I'm so proud to be your Momma and I love that I get to fill my days hanging out with you. You are more precious to me then any other thing in my life. I really can't put into words how your eyes melt my heart, your cries make my blood pressure shoot through the roof, how your smiles light up my world, or how your very existence intoxicates me. I love you so very much and I'm blessed by you every day. You are exactly the child God knew I needed. You are our perfect gift sweet boy!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


There are moments in life that you know, even while they're happening, that afterwards you'll never be the same. Whether they are good or bad. You just know. From now on - I'm changed. Some are monumental events others are more happenstance. Your wedding day, birth of a child, Salvation... those are some big milestones. These moments affect your life, maybe in ways you never expected.
One of those moments in my life came in October of my senior year of high school. It was a Friday morning. I think it was rainy that day. I was rushing into school, as usual, when a classmate grabbed me and told me one of our friends had committed suicide. I heard her but went on with my routine. About a hour later, at a school assembly called to discuss the tragedy, it hit me. Brandon was one of my good friends. He had changed schools the previous year and I hadn't seen him in a while, but we talked often and he knew he could count on me and vice versa. I feel to pieces as teachers and school staff discussed the situation. They told us we shouldn't go to the hospital and wouldn't let me leave after the meeting. I distinctly remember trying hysterically to get around several teachers because I wanted to see him. I never went. I regret that. They put Brandon on life support that Friday and he "lived" until Sunday when they unplugged his machine. My friends spent a lot of time together that weekend praying and crying together. The following Monday a bunch of us went to his house to see his mom. I'll never forget walking into that familiar living room and seeing his letter jacket hanging on the coat rack and how his mother clung to me as we cried. The next day I went to the funeral home to see his body. My mom thought it'd be a good idea to be prepared. That was awful! His casket was filled with mementos and trinkets from friends. I added one of my own and continued to mourn. His service was packed and the only two things I really remember about that is they played Creed's With Arms Wide Open and when I hugged his mom she told me that Brandon had told her I was his "back-up wife" and that he loved me a lot. As we exited the funeral home, experiencing the loss of someone my age for the first time, several of us piled into a friends Mustang. We put the top down and sang all the way to the cemetery, remembering our friend. Knowing he'd have been the life of the party even that day. We had an empty chair for him at graduation and gave his mom a flower. He would've turned 28 today. His last birthday was 10 years ago. How is that possible? I remember his birthday and death day every year. It just always comes to my mind. I don't do it on purpose.
I loved Brandon. He was a good friend. His life and death have profoundly affected my life and continue to do so. He is one of my moments.

Long Days of Summer

It's been a long week. We've had a lot going on getting ready for Falls Creek next week and we had VBS at our church so that always makes things hectic. I think it's felt so long for several reasons.
#1. I've had a MAJOR sinus issue for the last week and have felt like poo most of the time. I have literally used 2 1/2 boxes of kleenex in the last week! I have just felt worthless! And I still have a baby to take care of even though I'm sick. (side note: that is a not so fun side of motherhood.)
#2. The week before camp is always worse then the actual week of camp. There feels like so much that needs to be done and planned for and packed. Add a two month old baby into that mix and that's enough to make anyone feel a little stressed.
#3. Because I have Tucker, Chris is having to do a lot more without me. Which he is doing a great job and is more than capable, but still it's different.
#4. We've had a bit of drama going on around our student ministry (not because of students) and this has been heavy on both our hearts. Very heavy.
Several things I've been wrestling with personally: Why as staff members of a church are we expected to take all people dish out without looking out for ourselves/families? Someone once told Chris that he was the only hired hand some people would ever have. I think that's awful, but what's worse is the truth of that statement. The church is a hard place to work sometimes. Being a wife of a minister isn't easy sometimes because you have to hear people be mean about/to your husband. Sometimes it's hard because people are mean to you! I think God gave us discerning minds and spirits just like everyone else and I'm not going to be guilty of not using them when I feel His leading!
Another thought: As a partner in my husband's ministry I've been having to remind myself that I am not a church employee. I don't have to be in the fat middle of every little thing at church like I have been for the past four years. It's been a hard lesson for me to learn. I'm still working on it. Tucker is without question my priority, but I still feel like I need to be doing all I've always done. A parent told me today that I didn't need to feel obligated to do all that and I really needed to hear that. Today God has sent me three separate encouragement's because He knew I needed them. It's been one of those weeks that I've felt attacked all week. I have been snappy at my husband for silly things because I can't express my feelings to anyone else. Poor guy! He's been a real trooper through my mood swings, sickness and stress this week!
But Falls Creek is almost here! I'm so excited to see what the Father is going to do in the lives of our students and in my own life next week. I'm excited to take Tucker to camp for the first time. Next week has to be good because of the things that have been put before us this week. His mercies are new every morning and this week I've needed a whole new batch everyday!