Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Years! May 2009 bring health, security and peace to all! We are enjoying a wonderfully low-key evening and I can't imagine a better way to spend this New Year's. May yours be equally as blessed.

Source: Photo taken by Kabir Bakie at Blue Ash Community Fireworks July 2005

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Matter Of Perspective

To be grateful, sometimes it helps to change our focus in situations. I don't do this perfectly so this is what I am striving for in my life.

Instead of being frustrated because my husband arrives home late from work, I am grateful he has a job that supports us.

Instead of being frustrated with all the medical care my son needs, I am grateful we have the insurance that covers a majority of the care he needs.

Instead of focusing on how far away from home we are, I am grateful we have found such strong faith communities and many families that now feel like part of our family.

Instead of getting frustrated with the loads of laundry that need to be washed, I am grateful we have the clothes we need.

Instead of getting frustrated with the messiness that inevitably penetrates this house, I am grateful we live in a good, safe neighborhood and all our needs are met.

Instead of getting frustrated when I cannot find a good spot at mass, I am grateful so many people have decided also to attend that mass.

Instead of being sad because we cannot be close to our extended family over the holidays, I am grateful I have the Internet, phone and digital pictures to keep in touch as well as two beautiful boys and a great husband to celebrate with on Christmas.

It's all a matter of perspective ...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Angels Always Watching

There is a very cool story about angels my sister-in-law sent out to our family the other day. I believe very strongly in angels and that they are present in all we do.

The story was linked from a series of links beginning at my SIL's blog, Obsessed With Life. It gave me goosebumps ...


So many of you have heard me tell the story, but I wanted to pass it along anyway to those who didn't hear it and for those who wanted it in email.

A couple of Wednesdays ago, I got an evening phone call from the pediatric ICU at Presbyterian Hospital, where I work as a child life specialist. Usually when they call at night, it means something bad has happened. This, however, was different. My coworker told me that the most amazing thing had just happened and she just had to call to tell me.

We had a patient who has really grown up in and out of the hospital. All the staff knows her and her family. She had been in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) for about a month, and had been intubated - on life support. She was not doing well. The doctors had approached mom about taking her off life support the Saturday before. Mom was okay with it, and said that she'd been through so much and if was her time to go she wanted to honor that. So they had taken her off.

It was Wednesday and she was still alive. Amazing. The doctors approached mom about taking off her oxygen mask. Mom was supportive, and began praying over her daughter. The mother of another young patient who was in the bed next to her began praying with her.

The nurse practitioner went to the nurses station to chart that she had taken off the oxygen mask. While doing so, she looked up at the security monitor that videotapes the double doors leading into the PICU. It records anyone who may be waiting outside the doors to get in since it is a secure unit. She saw a man standing there, and it looked a little funny to her, so she decided to walk down the hall to open the double doors personally. When she opened them, no one was standing there.

She walked back down to the nurses station to finish charting, assuming he had walked away, but saw him still standing there on the monitor. So she opened the doors with a button near the nurses station and leaned over to see him walk in, but no one was standing there.

She pulled over another nurse and both stood staring at this man on the monitor and opening the doors to find no one there. The nurse practitioner leaned in closely to look at the man on the monitor and said, 'Oh my gosh. That's an angel. You can see his wings!'

They said that the sun starting shining so brightly and the whole PICU was strangely filled with light. They said he was a tall man and you could see wings behind him.

They pulled over all the staff of the PICU and the two praying mothers and everyone was staring at this man on the monitor and opening the doors to find no one there. Crying, everyone pulled out their camera phones to take pictures, but no one could get it to show up on their camera. The mother of the girl pulled out her camera phone and finally got a picture of the angel who was guarding the doors to the PICU. He turned out as a man of light. I have attached the picture from her phone.

The girl was later discharged from the hospital to go home.
A Miracle.

This story makes me so grateful for the way that God reveals himself to us, and the how Great He is really is. We have much to be thankful for this holiday. :)

Katy L. Field, CCLS
Certified Child Life Specialist
Presbyterian Blume Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Clinic
Charlotte, NC

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Advent Virus

I thought this was really cool. I especially like it because we have spent so much time looking at different conditions my son may have and it is worded just like so many ... lol. It was in our church bulletin this past weekend. It didn't have an attribution, so I'm not sure where it came from.

The Advent Virus

The hearts of a great many have already been exposed to this virus and it is possible that people everywhere could come down with it in epidemic proportions, posing a serious threat to what has, up to now, been a fairly stable condition of conflict in the world. Some signs and symptoms:

—A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences

—An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment

—A loss of interest in judging others

—A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others

—A loss of interest in conflict

—A loss of the ability to worry (This is a very serious symptom.)

—Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation

—Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature

—Frequent attacks of smiling

—An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen

—An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it

Sunday, December 14, 2008

New Nephew

We have a new nephew:). He was a big baby, but mom and baby are doing well! We are so excited to welcome him into our family!

Emmanuel(Manny) Joseph

8 lbs 12 ozs
21 Inches Long
5:46 AM December 14th, 2008

Congratulations to my bro and sister-in-law. She was a rockstar in what seemed like the never-ending labor (and it wasn't even mine:). We sure can't wait to meet him!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Props To My Brother

I just wanted to send a shout out to my second youngest brother who just completed basic training in the Marine Corps just before Thanksgiving. It is a difficult feat and one he worked very hard to complete. Congratulations little bro (he's the last one in the row on the right). We may raz you, but we're pretty proud of you!

Broken & Blessed

I have been pretty quiet on this blog lately because I have been exhausted. Our baby is still quite sick and after his week-long hospital stay and between sicknesses and around-the-clock meds and daily doctors appointments, we have had little time for much else.

I don't believe God only gives us what we can handle, because then we would never need to reach out to Him for help. This is important for me because I can be quite stubborn and know I need God, but don't always follow through in my life. The more challenging life gets, the more of a reminder I have of all the ways I can still put more of God in my life.

I do believe He gives us the resources and comes to us in people around us though to help us through when we just can't do it on our own.

While we have been overwhelmed with the realm of reality we are dealing with, we have also been overwhelmed (in a good way) with the graciousness of our family, friends and church community.

A ministry at our church I had just begun to get involved with has flooded us with offers to help in all sorts of ways. Many of the families we have never met or are just meeting now.

We have good friends who have been a good listening ear and who do the simple things that don't seem to get done. Thank you doesn't seem to be enough, but I don't think any words really can be.

We also have such a wonderful extended network of friends from the many places we have lived who are praying across the country and world right now, and that brings us the strength to do what we need to do as parents.

I never could have imagined what this year has brought. It has been challenging and a struggle, but we have been so blessed with the kind of community we have longed for and the type we grew up with, it is impossible not to be grateful.

It is humbling to accept help, but when you really need it you have little choice and it is important in our world of always building ourselves up, to be humbled.

One of my favorite praise songs, "Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord," runs through my head. Because without us humbling ourselves, we cannot get closer to God. And if we are not growing closer to God, we are growing further away, which is not the direction I want to be headed.

I read somewhere once when it is too hard to just handle the week, handle the day. When it is too difficult to deal with the day, just deal with the hour. When it is too much to deal with the hour, deal with the minute and if that is too much, deal with the second. It sounds a bit silly, but thinking about that tends to make me smile because even when life is overwhelming, you can at least handle the day, hour, minute or at least second and the rest gets taken care of as it is needed to be addressed.

The greatest graces and gifts tend to come out of the most challenging situations in life - at least this has been my experience in my life - and I pray God will shape me more into the woman, wife and mother He wants me to be.

I am so glad I am a work in progress, because I still need a lot of refining:).

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I am finally getting a chance to post my Thanksgiving thoughts. I was pretty sick on Thanksgiving, the preceding and following days and couldn't muster the energy to sit down and type what I didn't need that day. But we are so grateful this Thanksgiving for our many blessings and it's so important we acknowledge all the good in our lives.

  • For my hubby's job and the good insurance that comes with the job - not everyone is so fortunate

  • For my two beautiful boys and my loving husband who make this journey so worth traveling

  • For my baby coming home from the hospital just in time for Thanksgiving

  • For our gracious friends who have helped us deal with all the medical chaos and help us take care of our older son we run out of possibilities

  • For the wonderful care at the children's hospital and all the nurses and doctors that take care of our son

  • For our friends who planned a Thanksgiving meal for us and brought it over as well as for our friends who invited us to join them in their celebrations

  • For such a loving and caring church community

  • For wonderful parents who do what they can to help us out, even across the miles

  • For all those who pray for us on a daily basis

  • For God taking care of our needs

  • For such loving families who stay in touch even though we are so far away

  • For the invention of wireless Internet (yes I am serious about this - I can still take on jobs even when my baby is in the hospital)

  • For all the beautiful children in our lives, including our children, godchildren and nieces and nephews - life wouldn't be as fun without them

  • For the little things that make a world of difference

  • For all that we have been blessed with

There is so much more, but those are the most important things right now. We are so blessed and we are so grateful we have been giving the abilities and opportunities we have in our lives.

About Me

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I'm a mommy, wife and educated woman with an inquisitive mind. I am always looking in ways to challenge and grow in my faith. Many wise people I have known have reminded me if I am not growing, I am going in the wrong direction.