Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Teach Me To Sing "Hallelujah"

One of my dear college roommates and I had our baby boys 11 days apart. It was such a blessing to be pregnant during the same time and then have babies at the same time AND live in the same city to walk alongside each other through the good days and the hard days. There is a song by Bethany Dillon called "Hallelujah" and some of the words say..."Whatever's in front of me, help me to sing hallelujah". We have quoted that verse in the song on more occasions than I can count...and I thought that lyric would be an appropriate title for today's post! 

Baby Nelson helping his buddy Baby Crawford move!
We've been a bit MIA on the blog front for the past two weeks as we have had a lot going on are trying to LIVE IN THE MOMENT! Since we last wrote... our little snowboarder went back into his casts, we celebrated our first Thanksgiving with our precious son, we traveled to "LA" (Lower Alabama) to visit Brandon's family for the holiday, we put up our Christmas tree, sent out the Christmas cards, B & I have had the round of the sinus/allergy crud, Nelson is "talking" more than ever (making cute sounds that seem like he's trying to talk!), helped our dear friends move (the one mentioned in the top paragraph & photo above), annnnnnd as of today...Nels has his snowboard back on! Whoo!! Never a dull moment! Here is the update on that front: (a few photos to show before we get to the update)

Happy boy in front of the Christmas tree!

He is too good to be true!
Today at Nelson's appointment, his casts came off and the doctor was pleased at the progress. When she went to put his shoes back on, she said they fit MUCH better this time around! Praise the Lord!! [Note: He went back into casts for the past two weeks because he kept wiggling out of his shoes during the first go round and it was because his heel wasn't stretched enough and they were not fitting properly] He will be wearing these shoes for 22 hours a day (yay for bath time now at night!!) and will be wearing these for 3 months (December, January and February) ... She showed me how to be stretching his feet before each time we put the shoes back on. If they ever get tight again or to the place where he is sliding out of his shoes like last time - she recommended we bring him back in and he may have to be casted again - we will play all that by ear. The prayer is that his feet will continue to fit in the shoes and that he will get in a groove with his snowboard like he did with his casts. I am convinced that this whole process is harder on the mama than it is on the baby ... so continued prayers for me would be greatly appreciated when the Lord brings us to mind! I feel a peace and know that this is the "missions trip" the Lord has me on and there is no where else I'd rather be. For those of you that have known me, I have had a heart for missions since I can remember. I went on my first trip out of the country in 7th grade and my eyes were opened in a whole new way. Where the Lord has me now is my "Uganda"...I love it! What an answer to prayer!! 

Legs lifted high in celebration!
The casts are OFF!
He hasn't skipped a beat. Legs lifted high in the jungle!!
There are so many times throughout the day that an analogy of the snowboard pops up and parallels to our walk with the Lord, but we will share that another time. In the meantime, just know that your prayers mean so much as we literally walk this step at a time! Pray that God will continue to draw Brandon and I closer to HIM and to each other ... as even becoming parents is a huge adjustment to our marriage, let alone everything else with the snowboard and such! As we have taken care of each other these past couple of weeks "in sickness and in health"...we have had many times where Brandon will say, "Thanks for saying 'Yes' " and I will say "Thanks for asking me!" ... There's no one else we'd rather be on this journey with! To God be the glory!! "Whatever's in front of me...I choose to sing hallelujah!" We will close with this verse from 1 John 4:9-10, "God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love -- not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins." May this promise resonate deep in our hearts this day...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Snowboarder In Training

Without further ado, we want to give you an update on our little "snowboarder in training"!!! On Wednesday, November 7 (Nelson's 3 month old birthday), he got to get his casts off! He had that set on for three weeks (since the tenotomy procedure) and did great. The doctor said that his feet look really good and that it's time to move into the shoes and bar (aka: snowboard)...

Taking a nap and sleeping peacefully with his new snowboard

On Wednesday at the appointment, it was one of the sweetest moments when Nelson was getting his casts off and looked at me with big eyes and squeezed my hand so tight. He was a champ getting those off and it was SO good to hold him without the casts on! He's weighing in at a little over 15 with the added weight of the casts...he's been our little sumo wrestler. Now that his casts are off, he feels like a little baby again. So sweet. Once the doctor came in and put the shoes with the bar on, Nelson cried really hard (no one likes to be held down or to have your feet squeezed) and that was super hard on the mama. Everything seemed a bit overwhelming at first...feeding him, changing his diaper, putting on a clean outfit, getting him in his carseat...

Once Nelson and I left the appointment, I was on the phone with my Mom and I got a little teary. She mentioned that if I needed to hang up and have a good cry - that is OK! So that's what I did. I hung up and just had a good cry. A combination of processing how hard this seemed at the time and a combination of not wanting my precious son to hurt. I called Mom back and she was encouraging and even reminded me..."Sis, let your expectation be that whenever you get in a groove or routine, there will be a change up...and that's how it will be for the rest of your life"...She didn't say that to discourage me BUT to encourage me...and it is so true! We have been in such a good groove with Nelson's eating and sleeping and then to get the snowboard on and see him sad...was making me sad. But we got home from the appointment and Nelson continued to nap and then eat and did that for the rest of the afternoon. He had a few moments where he would pout his little lip and act more fussy than usual...but nothing that lasted longer than that afternoon. By that evening, he was sleeping like a champ like usual and the snowboard was not phasing him at all. He was back on his "rainforest activity playmat" (we call it the "jungle") and lifting his legs high! That boy is going to have some strong abs!! 

We are overjoyed with love for this precious angel!
 It never gets old to squeeze on him with nothing between us!!!

I share all that to say that Nelson is doing great and has transitioned into his snowboard very well. Also, trying to be real with you that these milestones (the first clubfoot appointment, the first casting, the day we got the snowboard) have not been easy...but once I have a good cry and process what all is happening...I am able to move forward with joy in knowing that we are one step closer to our baby boy being able to walk and live a happy, healthy life while running, jumping, and playing! It's been such a reminder to Brandon and I that we are not in control. As soon as we feel like we have things under control, something changes and we are reminded that GOD is the one in control. 

You may be wondering...
Nelson wears his snowboard now for 22 hours a day for the next three months. This means that we get about 2 hours a day with nothing in between us and our precious son and we are taking full advantage of loving on his feet and legs...including baths!! After the three months, Nelson will more than likely just have to wear the snowboard at night when he sleeps. That will all depend on how his feet are doing at that point.

Something you can be praying about...
Nelson got his snowboard on Wednesday and by Friday we noticed that we would look over at certain points (while he was in the jungle or while he was sleeping) and he had wiggled out of his left shoe. That is the foot that needs the most correction and we need for his foot to stay in the shoe. Please pray that these shoes will stay on. 

Everything we hear is that this shoe and bar phase is the most critical because it is the time in the process that the feet stay in the corrected position. If the shoes are not on...his feet are going to move. Please pray for diligence, patience, wisdom and so forth for Brandon and I as we love our son in caring for him well. We are so thankful God has chosen us to be Nelson's parents and we pray to be His hands and feet to Nelson each step of the way...

This is how we found him in the jungle yesterday...without his left shoe on!!!
Thank you again for all your encouragement. This is obviously not easy, but we have been amazed at how adaptable and resilient Nelson is...what a praise! We are learning so much (as a family) about how our lives are much like the little left foot that wiggles out of the shoe. God sends us through different times of training (like the snowboard) and it is for our good (so he can walk) but doesn't always feel good as we go through it (like the left foot that gets uncomfortable)...but our prayer is to stay the course, stay in God's presence, and keep walking by faith each step of the our marriage, as parents, and in every aspect of our lives. 2 Chronicles 20:12 says, "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you." There are times when we really don't know what to do, but we know one thing is for certain...we want our eyes to be upon the LORD.