Friday, September 28, 2012

I am a writer

And I really do like to write.  About the things I am passionate about.  My Savior, my family, my friends, babies...  But this week has been especially hard.  And I am at a loss for words to put all my thoughts in one place, coherently and concisely.  But, some time has passed, and I think I am ready.  So, here's what I have...

Our town suffered a great tragedy on Wednesday morning when a young 8th grade boy took his own life by shooting himself in the busy hall ways of our Junior High School just before classes began.  The same Junior High I attended so many years ago.  So much changed in that one instant.  A mother and father lost a son.  Friends lost a loved one.  An entire school lost a feeling of safety - even if for only a short while.  A community of young people lost their innocence.  Our entire town lost the sense of the protective bubble we have always had here in Stillwater.  But one thing we did not lose, and must cling to with all our hearts, is our Faith in God and the goodness of people.  We absorbed the intense shock together, wept together, we will heal -- together.

One of the assistant principals posted this message last night on Facebook, after the kids had been back in school yesterday and had more time to process the horrific events of the last 48 hours:

Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me, my family, our school and our community. We truly appreciate it. I have been lifted up by the messages, texts, phone calls, prayers and support. Stillwater is an incredible place. If you are from here, or have made this your home, you should be very proud. I won't lie to you, this has been the worst week of my professional career, and undoubtedly for everyone else too. I hate seeing pain in the eyes of the kids, parents and the people I work with. We know what's on their minds because it's on our minds too. We are moving forward day by day. We are doing okay, we want you to know that. I have been quiet because we have been asked not to post about anything that might interfere with the investigation, no details... I just want you all to know that the people who are taking care of your children are incredible. The kids are awesome, you should be so proud of them. I am so proud of them, I am so dang proud of them. They will persevere...
I am proud, too.  Proud to call Stillwater my home and to raise my family here.  Proud of how everyone has come together to support this family and the school.  Proud of the way my children have handled it and the opportunities for conversation that have come out of it.  But alongside the pride, comes so much hurt, anger and sadness.  If you are my facebook friend, you may have seen some of the conversation that took place after I used the word "selfish" to describe this act.  I just want it to be clear that I was describing the ACT, not the person.  There is a HUGE difference.

In about 6th or 7th grade, I was told 2 things about suicide form the Youth Intern at my church that have stuck with me the last 25 (Yikes!  I'm old) years.  The first thing she said was that suicide is a permanent answer to a temporary question.  That really rang true with me.  Even in our darkest moments, we have to believe there are brighter days to come.  The other was that suicide is the most selfish thing a person can do.  This may sound harsh (as was the argument on my wall), but here was the explanation I was given for that description.  The victim's pain ends.  His or her life on this earth is over.  Whatever you believe about what happens to you when you die, the fact is Earthy pain, for that person, is over.  But for the parents, siblings, friends, community and BEYOND, the pain, confusion, hurt, frustration, dark moments, hard conversation, and emotional turmoil have just begun.  I have thought about that fact many times over the course of my life, and am thankful that someone said that to me all those years ago.

I have a dear sweet mentor, friend, and sister who is also a writer.  She has been in my life for over a decade, and I don't think she can fully understand the impact she has had on me and my family.  Her daughter was a friend of the young man who took his own life.  This is her post from that night.  Read it to help your own healing begin.

Cade, you are missed.  We pray for your parents, your siblings, and your friends.  Rest in Peace.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

You Can't WIN...

... if you don't enter!

So, I entered Finn in a fun Facebook contest to try to win some photos of him.  This contest requires friends to help by liking 2 pages on Facebook and liking the photo of Finn that I entered in the contest.  Three short clicks is all it takes to cast your vote, and I made it super easy by putting all the direct links to the things you have to "Like"  in the rules I've posted here:

1. Go "like" Shutterfly PropShop

3. Find the Ultimate Dream-Baby Contest album and "like" this picture of Finn (&tiny Finn) :) 
My "story" is in the caption of this photo as well.  As of Sunday afternoon, we are about in the middle as far as votes on the picture go, but I have no way of knowing if those voters followed all 3 steps!  Finn needs more votes!  (Voting closes September 30th at 10:00pm.)  We truly appreciate your help with this!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Big Wheel Turning

Whew!  What a week!

Here are the family member highlights:

Emma – started Volleyball practice; found a club she wants to join that is FULL of creativity; started math tutoring

Lara – tried out for a role in the Nutcracker Dream, and got a demi-solo!!!  Plus another group dance in the production; started math tutoring

Jake – survived being in the parent pick up line - he was convinced he would get left at school!

Finn – weighed in at 16 pounds 11 ounces, and entered a contest (more on that soon…)

Me – worked 14 hours one day and 9 hours the next setting up for (and then SHOPPING) the Adorable Affordables consignment sale!  (The sale is still going on!  Go check it out today and tomorrow!)

Hubby – held it all together while I was off doing my thing, and worked a 9 hour day at the sale as well!

Family – participated in the Chick-fil-a Stillwater fundraiser for our March of Dimes March for Babies walk!

It has been a crazy hectic week – but they all seem to be lately!  I am so proud of my girls!  They are truly shocking me with their talent, level of determination, and willingness to branch out on their own and try new things!  Lara literally made me leave her audition – she wanted to do it all on her own!  And Emma has made great strides in volleyball, and is planning on playing at the college level!  They are growing up TOO FAST!

My latest endeavor is to win Finn some “1 year” pictures.  But not in October when he will celebrate his first chronological birthday, but in January when he SHOULD be one!  So, I got wind of a fun Facebook contest, and decided I wanted to try our hand at it.  Touch of Wonder does AMAZING work, and I love the props over at Shutterfly, so helping them get some likes and showing off one of my favorite Finn Pics is all I have to do to win.  But, I need help.  That’s where you, Finn’s Fans and my readers, come in to play!  This is a 3-click process, and here’s how it goes (all the links are hot links so you can click directly from this post!)

1. Go "like" Shutterfly PropShop

3. Find the Ultimate Dream-Baby Contest album and "like" this picture of Finn (&tiny Finn) :) 

This weekend we are still chasing the wind with kids activities!  If you need a car wash, come to Richmond Elementary tomorrow morning between 9 and 11 and the Rocketeers will fix you up!  It is a fundraiser for the 4th & 5th grade choir.  Emma has first 2 volleyball games of this fall season, Lara has Nutcracker rehearsal, and I have sorority obligations!  This big wheel just keeps on turning!  And we love it that way!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Spare a Dime?

Every day, thousands of babies are born too soon, too small and often very sick.   Our youngest son, Finn was born 14 weeks too soon. He was born last October at 26 weeks gestation weighing in at a fragile 1 pound 14 ounces, and 13 inches long. If you want to read more, click here to read Finn's Story.

The mission of March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.  Our family believes passionately in this mission, and we have formed  a walking team named “Finn’s Fans”  that will participate in the Stillwater March for Babies. There is a small purple bucket in my office (325E WLLD) where you can drop your dimes (or other spare change) to help Finn’s Fans meet our fundraising goals – and see pictures of Finn throughout the last year.  For more information about the walk (which is taking place on October 6, 2012, one year and one day after our son was born), visit our March for Babies Team Page.

Thank you for helping us give all babies a healthy start!

Funds raised in March for Babies support research and programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies and babies begin healthy lives. And they will be used to bring comfort and information to families with a baby in newborn intensive care.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday Musings

My to do list is a bit more manageable this morning.  I got some things done this weekend (one of my deadlines passed), and Britt and I worked together on some of Finn's 1st Birthday party details.  I feel better about our progress for all of our events, but we still have a LONG way to go!

I have a bout 1/3 of my items tagged for the Adorable Affordables sale - but I have all the tags printed!  Until, of course, I find those 5 last minute items I stowed away somewhere and forgot about... I have to get cracking on hanging the clothes and pinning the tags on.

I just made my first "mock-up" for the party favors for Finn's party.  Things I learned...
  • While paper is easier to fold than card stock, these will work much better with card stock
  • cut precisely!
  • I need a scoring tool!
  • there is a fold missing on the template.  It won't work with out it.
Here is your sneak peak:

And you may have seem my Instagram (BetsWeave) earlier last week with this sneak peek that Finn will be revealing that day:

And, the March for Babies shirts are ordered!  I simply CANNOT wait to see them in person!  I think It's a Preemie Thing is printing them this week!  EEP!

And one last thing, Mr. Finn is in the running for the Gerber Generation Photo Serch 2012 in the "sitter" category!  Click on his badge to log into facebook, "Like" the Gerber page, and vote for him to win!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Your Baby is 11 Months Old

What a great way to start my day!  We got the little mister up, fed, and dressed, then took the obligatory 11 month pictures.  He is so energetic and eager, it is hard to get good ones, but we did get to capture many of his crazy faces and wonderful smiles.  He is such a joy in the mornings - makes leaving for work so much harder!  Here is a list (probably incomplete) of the things he is doing and accomplishing these days:

  • Has his 2 bottom teeth fully in
  • Cutting his top 4 teeth all at the same time – 2 on the left have broken through, 2 on the right soon to follow
  • Chews on EVERYTHING!
  • Crawling several feet at a time
  • Can hold his own bottle but would prefer us to do it
  • Likes to sit and turn in a circle
  • Can pick up small pieces of food and eat them (hates baby food!)
  • Has a few favorite toys
  • LOVES to babble and make noise
  • Light up when he sees family members
  • Sits himself up in his crib when he wakes up
  • Has pulled to standing once or twice
  • Only cries when there is really something wrong
  • Has starting sitting in shopping carts and high chairs when out and about
  • He is the happiest baby!

Here are some pictures from this morning:

Don't you just love all the different faces?  He is also a contestant in the Gerber Baby contest!  You can Vote for Finn by clicking here!  We are so proud of how far he has come.  Hard to believe his birthday will be here in one short month.  WOW!