Thursday, October 10, 2013

First Library Card

The first thing Peter told me yesterday after waking up (extra early compared to his normal wake up time!!) was that now that he's 6, he can have his own library card.  A few months ago, he had asked the library assistant how old you had to be to get your own card.  He was delighted when the answer was 6.  He had been counting down the days.  Then he kind of forgot about it, I think.  Until yesterday.  Then he remembered, and he just couldn't contain his excitement.  

Peter is now the owner of a brand new library card.  He can check out 15 items at a time without my help, and he made sure to tell me that I really don't have to help him now.  I think he's growing up. :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

I have 4 kids...

Lately my kids have been saying things like, "When we have another baby..." or "Mommy, we can save this for when you have another baby growing in your tummy" or "Mommy, when are we going to have another baby?"  I just tell them to talk to God and talk to Daddy.  Deep down, though, every time they say something like that, I think how there could have been 2 other babies.  I have been pregnant 4 times.  Two ended in live births.  The other two just ended - one early (maybe 5 or 6 weeks?) and the other at 17 weeks.

Hope Mommies has been a wonderful group that has provided so much support.  Although no one wants to be able to join this group, it's an amazing group of ladies that has walked through the very same thing.  They have a website and a blog , so I'm linking up to their latest blog post with this post about Garrett, the sweet little boy who took his first breath in the arms of Jesus.

In December 2009 I gave birth by c-section to a healthy baby girl named Danielle.  A week after delivering her, I was taken to the ER with shortness of breath.  That shortness of breath turned out to be severe pneumonia in both lungs.  I was admitted to the ICU, put on a ventilator, and given a diagnosis of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).  I had two young children at home (a 2-year-old and a newborn) and was given a 50/50 chance of surviving.  I spent two weeks fighting for my life on the ventilator.  God miraculously healed my body, and when Danielle was almost a month old, I was able to return home to continue building up the physical strength that ARDS had robbed my body of. 
When Danielle was 6 months old we found out that we were expecting another baby.  It was a very scary time for me and my family as my body was still healing.  After seeing a healthy baby and heartbeat at 9 weeks, I finally let myself get excited about the new little one growing inside of me.  I started planning and preparing for our family of 5.  At 16 weeks, I started bleeding.  My doctor and nurse assured me that all was probably ok and urged me to wait to come in until my next scheduled appointment at 17 weeks.  The bleeding subsided, so I felt better.
Everything seemed ok until I was at the doctor's office for the appointment.  The bleeding was back and heavier than before.  The doctor immediately did an ultrasound.  The first image made my worst nightmare come true.  The baby wasn't moving at all.  The doctor tried to find a heartbeat, but it was obvious that my sweet baby was already with Jesus.  I have never felt more heartbroken in my life. 
I went into labor 2 days later and delivered Garrett Roy Hazen on Saturday, September 25, 2010 at 17 weeks.  

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Big Party

One of the reasons we came to New Jersey was to celebrate Grandma Dot's 90th birthday!  She really doesn't turn 90 until Sunday, but we celebrated a week early.

The weather is so nice here, so we enjoyed a great party outside at Aunt Peggy and Uncle Gorden's house.

They have a beautiful home with a HUGE backyard as well as a swimming pool, so the kids had a great time running around and swimming.  Matthew and Peter had the best time playing together.  Many of Grandma's friends came, and everyone enjoyed good food and fellowship.  It started raining toward the end, but the storm quickly passed over.

We were also celebrating Alyssa graduating from Gordon College and Emily graduating from Hawthorne High School.  The cakes were DELICIOUS - one had a strawberry cream center and the other had a chocolate cream center.  We had a great day celebrating Grandma Dot, Emily, and Alyssa!!  Congratulations on reaching some big milestones!!

Saturday, June 29, 2013


We arrived at Grandma and Grandpa's house late afternoon, and the kids played outside for HOURS!!!  Peter got a New Jersey bike last summer, so this summer was Danielle's turn.  She has only recently learned how to pedal Peter's old Spider-Man bike, so she was so excited to have her own bike here in New Jersey. With Aunt Amy's help, she rode up and down the street over and over again.  Peter also enjoyed riding his bike, but he was going so fast that it was making me nervous!!

One of the foods we enjoy eating in New Jersey is pizza, and Peter has been asking for weeks if we were going to eat pizza on our first night here.  Thankfully everyone here was thinking the same thing.  Amy wrote the pizza order on the magnadoodle so Grandpa would know what to order - cheese for Danielle, pepperoni for Peter, and meatball on a whole wheat crust for Daddy.  It was sooooo yummy!!!

We also had lots of company throughout the evening as well.  Grandma Ruth came over for pizza, and Aunt Lois and Uncle Henry showed up to say hi as well.  After dinner, Grandma Dot, Aunt Kathy, Uncle Dave, Gwen (Andrew's cousin), and Matthew (Gwen's 7-year-old son) came over with ice cream for dessert.  Everyone was in town for Grandma Dot's 90th birthday party, so it was nice to see family we haven't seen in a long time.  Matthew, Peter, and Danielle had the best time playing together and catching lightening bugs.  .

The biggest excitement for the day, though, was Aunt Kim's news.  She spent most of the day with David, her boyfriend of about 3 years.  Just before dinnertime, she came home with a ring on her finger!!  Congratulations Aunt Kim and (soon to be) Uncle David!!!

Summer Trip to New Jersey

Summer has arrived, so that means our summer trip to New Jersey is finally here!!  The kids absolutely love traveling to see all of our New Jersey family each summer, so they have been talking about this forever.  Our day started early - we left at 5am for the airport.  We parked the car and took a bus to the terminal.  Peter asked how much the bus cost.  Then he said that if we had lots of kids in our family, we would need to buy a bus.

When we arrived at our gate, we saw Aunt Mary and Uncle David at a nearby gate.  They were flying to Boston for a vacation with friends.  Peter was a bit confused why we were seeing people we knew at the airport.  We were only there for a few minutes before it was time to board.

The kids did GREAT on the plane!  They have been flying since they were little bity, so they are seasoned flyers.  Peter got the window seat, and Danielle was a little sad.  I told her that she could have the window seat on our way home to Texas.

Our first flight was a quick trip to Houston.  The flight itself was fine, but the problem was in the timing.  When we first booked the flight, we had a layover of almost an hour.  That would have been totally fine.  However, somewhere along the way, the airline changed the time of the first flight and pushed it back.  That took our layover down to about 30 minutes.  Well, that could have been doable as well, but leaving late from Austin put a kink in that plan.  We left about 10 minutes late from Austin.  We landed in Houston after boarding started for our next flight.  We were in the last row of the airplane, so we were the last ones off.  Andrew grabbed our two carry-on suitcases and took off running.  I grabbed 3 backpacks, 2 pillow pets, my purse, and 2 kids, and we took off as fast as we could.  I wasn't able to hold Peter's hand, so I had to keep looking to make sure he was next to me.  I had Danielle's hand, but she kept tripping because I was pulling her faster than her little legs wanted to run.  To make the situation worse, we had to go to a completely different terminal!!!

The kids loved the little train that took us from Terminal E to Terminal C.  Andrew called while were were getting off the train to tell us that they said that had to close the door to the plane.  I told him we were in the terminal and on the way.  We were about 5 or 6 gates away, so I scooped Danielle up, told Peter to run to Daddy, and started running as quickly as I could with everything I was carrying.  As we go to the gate, there were 4 people standing there ready to take our seats from the standby list.  It was CRAZY!!!  We were the absolute last ones on the plane.  As we sat down, the captain announced that they had closed the door.  Peter kept saying, "Phew - I'm so glad we made our flight."  Me too, buddy, me too.

The flight from Houston to Newark was uneventful.  The kids stayed entertained with their LeapPads and Pez.  I downloaded a couple of new games as well as some episodes of Daniel Tiger.  Peter asked how much the plane cost and who owned it.  They he said if we had 60 kids in our family we would need an airplane.  Yes, Peter, we would....

Danielle was a little upset at the beginning of the flight because the sun was in her eyes, but she was content to wear some new princess sunglasses until we were above the clouds.

She fell asleep fairly quickly after an episode of Daniel Tiger and slept until just before we landed.

3 hours later, we landed in New Jersey.  Yay for 2.5 weeks of vacation!!! :)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Preparation for New Jersey

Preparation has begun for our summer trip to New Jersey.  Homer is hanging out at the Pet Hotel, and our fish and frog are enjoying a little time away at Ms. Paula's house.  

The kids didn't have a difficult time dropping Homer off this time, but Danielle was a little sad after leaving her fish at Ms. Paula's house.  Peter reminded her that they were heading to New Jersey the next day, though, and she was just fine.  :)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Happy Birthday Mommy!!

Today was my birthday.  I turned 34.  I remember when I used to think 34 was old.  Um, not anymore.  :)  The past few birthdays have been extremely difficult for me emotionally.  I was not sure what today would hold, but the day turned out to be absolutely perfect.  It was spent with some of my kids, some of my friends, and some of my family.  Although my life may not currently look exactly like I had envisioned it would look at 34, God has blessed me with wonderful kids, a wonderful husband, wonderful friends, and a wonderful family who have walked with me through some really rough times.  Thank you to everyone who has been a part of my life.  Thank you for sticking with me and being my support system.  Thank you for believing in my and not giving up on me.  I am excited to begin a new year of my life and see what God has in store!!!

I woke up to hear Peter telling me to please not come in his room.  A few minutes later he emerged to let me know that he had cleaned his entire room all by himself.  That was his birthday present to me.  He was so proud of himself.  

We spent the morning at the splash park.  The weather was perfect and the kids had a blast.  We got there at 10:30 and stayed until 3!!!  It was pretty crowded when we arrived, but somewhere around 2pm, everyone had left and it was just us.  Peter and Danielle played so well together and just had the best time.  The after-school crowd started coming around 2:50, so we dried off and headed home.

A few of my favorite kiddos - Danielle, Peter, Alex, Sam, and Emily

I LOVE this picture!!

Andrew got off early today after going into work at 6:30am, so we were able to have an early dinner at Red Lobster.  Poppy came too, and the food was delicious!!  The kids did great, and it was just an overall relaxing meal.  That made this mommy happy! :)

Poppy brought over a cake and ice cream.  The kids were quite excited!!

Lots of phone calls, texts, Facebook messages and posts, birthday cards, and Dove chocolate really made me feel loved today.

On top of an absolutely wonderful day today, I was able to reconnect with some really special people to me this week that I hadn't spoken to in 3 years!!  I'm so excited to catch up soon and rebuild those relationships.

And maybe the most exciting thing?  I got several more Vacation Bible School registrations today as well as several more people volunteering to help!! Ok, that's not more exciting than the rest of my day, but as a VBS director of a VBS that's just over 4 weeks away, having people tell you they want to volunteer is a GREAT birthday gift.  :)