Friday, May 24, 2013


I have been writing this post for 2 days.  I can’t seem to find the right words.  We have been in “survival mode” around here for a couple of weeks.  Mainly due to birthday/end of school/church/dance/t-ball/other activities, compounded by the fact that we are still not 100% settled in to the new digs, and just the day to day life of being a large family.  I really want to come out of survival mode.  I want the last few boxes unpacked (we're at the point where daily we don't miss the stuff that's not unpacked, but when you go to look for something specific - like envelopes - they're still packed).  I want the kids immersed in their summer.  I want Finn to go to bed on his own and sleep all night (another post all in itself), and I want the DVR at less than 60%.  But after this horrific week in Oklahoma, none of that matters.  At all.  We are so blessed – BEYOND MEASURE – by the fact that we have a home, warm beds, and all our comforts around us.  So many don’t.

The loss is unimaginable.  Not only of homes, businesses, cars, and physical “stuff,” but of lives, memories, dreams and plans.  Their entire lives turned upside down in a matter of moments.  Torn, literally, to shreds.  As I watched the news and weather coverage on Monday afternoon via the internet from my office 70 miles to the north, I knew this was a bad one.  One like we hadn’t seen in a long time.  We were pretty sure it wouldn’t come this far north, but soon after The Big One “roped out” after destroying Moore, I had Nana the Wonder Sitter go check the Big Dream Weaver kids out of school.  To get them home to our house where we have a basement.  Since apparently, underground was the one way to survive this atrocity.  Luckily, it never got much beyond rain here where we are.  

I was glued to the TV/internet for the next 24 hours.  I literally woke up the next morning in my bed with tears in my eyes.  Those poor families.  Entire neighborhoods.  Communities.  SCHOOLS! Wiped away as if they were tinker toys in a child’s playroom.  And it’s not just Moore on Monday.  But Carney, Shawnee and others on Sunday.  There are smaller communities on the front end of this monster from Monday like Newcastle.  SO MUCH DESTRUCTION for this crazy spring weather.  I know we are PROUD to be Oklahomans and we are STRONG and we rise together when times are tough.  We will pull up by our boot straps and REBUILD.  And I know, “This ain’t our first rodeo.”  But it still hurts.  Shakes us to the core.  Overwhelms the senses.

The out pouring of love and support on EVERY level has been outstanding.  There are so many relief items being donated that they are trying to find places to house it all.  They ask for 1,000 volunteers in a particular location to make something happen, and 2,000 show up.  The list of celebrity and large corporation donations grows hourly.  Local businesses are providing services such as funerals, food, reduced price or free rentals for housing.  EVERYONE is offering money, food, water, Gatorade, plastic bins, gloves, shovels, man power to get to the victims who need it most.  THIS is what it is to be Oklahoman.  This huge outpouring of love and comfort is why I am proud to be born and raised here.  In the homeland.  Where, even if your home is blown away by an EF5 tornado, you still call the land we belong to GRAND!

Here are a couple of things that have really touched me over the last few days that I wanted to share.  A video or two, a photo comparison, and some essays.  And a link to some free images you can use for your facebook/twitter/instagram/whatever to show your support and love for our great state.

Rally Moore Oklahoma- answers WHY we live here
(even if it is “Tornado Alley”)

Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert "Over You" - The Voice

Moore tornado: A personal note from Damon Lane
What was I thinking?

It takes more than wind to break our stride…

Found on Facebook

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thursday Thoughts: Life After NICU

Today is the last day for WEEKS with nothing listed on my cozi calendar outside of work commitments.  This next couple of weeks are CrAzY ones! T-ball games, an appearance at an OSU baseball game, dance company auditions, recital, 5th grade graduation, talent show, the girls' birthday party they turned 11 on Tuesday!  Such amazing young ladies!), and more I am sure I am forgetting!  I love all the fun and festive activities, but the pace makes me a Mombie (Zombie Mom)!  Oh, and did I mention we are still trying to get those last pesky boxes out of the garage?  We're at the point with unpacking where we don't miss what's still missing.  We know its out there, but getting to it is hard..  I'm hoping for a burst of unpacking energy on Saturday morning...

In the meantime, it's been a time of reflecting on our journey with Finn.  We know of a young mother who's first baby is just a few weeks old and still in the NICU and she is frustrated with her predicament.  She feels it is so unfair.  We totally understand and sympathize.  We learned of a 9 month old preemie baby who died this week.  He was a triplet, with one baby dying in the womb before birth, and now he has joined his brother in heaven.  The surviving brother is doing really well, but we cannot imagine the immeasurable pain this family is suffering from.  It reminds us how blessed and lucky we really are.  We have been focused on Finn's lack of language,but compared to what a lot of our preemie parent friends go through, this is so incredibly minor!  Plus, we are hearing a lot of parroting this week, and he tells us no all the time, so he is getting there!

On this day, we are lucky enough to have our birth story featured on the Life After NICU page. We hope our story can help someone else cope with the roller-coaster ride that is life in the NICU.  We want to provide hope and peace.  We pray daily for other families on this journey.  We are privileged to be preemie parents, and blessed to know so many others on this emotional path.

Free Printable from Life After NICU

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

This is a day to honor mothers.  ALL mothers!  We come in so many shapes and sizes. Mother's of babies, toddlers, tweens, teens and adults.  Mothers of fur babies.  Mothers who are moms in their hearts but have empty arms - due to infertility, loss (at any age or stage), or a family situation beyond their control.  There was a time in my life where I never wanted kids.  A dark time where I couldn't have kids.  A time when the 2 I was blessed with at once would be the only ones I ever held.  And now, a time when I know babies will no longer be a part of my future - until I get to be a Nana in a long, LONG time from now.  This is the hardest job I have ever loved.  Happy Mother's day to ALL the moms out there.  The world turns because of YOU!

This video is so powerful.  I am so grateful for all the mothers and motherly infliuences in my life, and in my families' lives.  Blessed beyond measure.  And thankful that these crazy munchkins call me Mom and bring me breakfast in bed once a year!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Pint Sized Hero

Finn & Family - Team Mercy Miracles OKC MOD March for Babies 2013
One of the preemie/NICU related pages I follow on Facebook posted this poem the other day, and it really spoke to me.

Pint Sized Hero
With every breath you take, you take my breath away.
With every beat of your heart, my heart skips a beat
With every hour you fight, you teach me winning takes patience.
With every tear you shed, I shed a thousand more.
With every gaze you give me, I see a clearer picture.
With every ounce you gain, I gain an ounce of hope.
With every step forward you take, I stand up taller with pride.
With every gentle grasp of my finger, you show me the true meaning of strength
With every bit of your courage, you teach me how to be brave,
You are my pint sized hero... super mighty and supremely loved.
Thinking about all the HEROS and the babies too beautiful to be here on this earth as we drove to Oklahoma City for the March for Babies had me tearing up more than once.  While Britt and I were super excited to be taking part with Team Mercy Miracles and to see what a walk in a big(ger) city was like, the emotion of WHY we were marching shook me to the core.  All babies deserve a healthy start.  All Mommas deserve to hold their baby moments after birth.  All Daddies deserve to see their whole family together, instead of in different room, hospitals or even towns.  There has to be a way to keep these babies from being born too soon and too sick.  THANK YOU March of Dimes for working to find help and cures!

We had to get ALL of the Six Dream Weavers up early EARLY to get to OKC in time for the March for Babies.  So, with donuts in hand and sleepy kids, we hit the road on a very cold morning in May.  Mother nature is off her meds and can't decide if it is still winter or if spring has sprung.  It was cold, and the wind chill made it VERY cold.  The wind was downright BLUSTERY at times! Especially while walking between the tall buildings in downtown OKC.  The wind would spin and catch us off guard and completely take our breath away!  Finn did NOT like the wind, plus he was tired, so I carried him for a lot of the walk.  Dspite the miserable condisitons, he did really well.  We even let him down to cross the finish line at the end!

Finn Finish

We met (and exceeded!) our fundraising goal, made it on time to the walk, and Marched the entire way as a family and a Team for Mercy Miracles.  It was a day we will never forget!  So proud of how far our tiny, Pint Sized Hero has come!

Six Dream Weavers - Team Mercy Miracles! And our banner on Baby Boulevard!

It might have looked beautiful, but it was so cold...

Of course, there are TONS more pictures from the day!  I have posted all of them in an album on "The Early Adventures of Finn" Facebook page!  be sure to click the link to see all the day's fun and festivities!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday – in tweets!

It’s been one of THOSE weeks.  So busy, so crazy, so tiring.  I am going to recap our progress, successes, failures, and regressions in 140 characters or less in each statement.  Twitter style.  I hope you like it!

*Went on a field trip to the Oklahoma Aquarium with Jake's kindergarten class.  Wild & crazy as expected! Jake was afraid of the shark tube.

*Lara's 4th & 5th grade choir gave a spring concert. It was in preparation for TriState. The choir sang 3 songs and each solo/duet/trio sang.

*Lara finished up her leaps and turns dance class in preparation for try outs!

*Emma's Greyhound volleyball team is 10-2 for the season.  Tournament play starts this weekend, but she will miss it and is mad.

*My nephew Peter got married to the most AMAZING girl, Nicole.  It was a beautiful outdoor wedding & we were so glad we got to be there!

*We moved. Into a different house. Across town. 6 people. 5 beds. 2 couches, 2 futons, 4 recliners & a ton of CRAP. WE'RE NEVER MOVING AGAIN!

* Jake's Greyhound T-ball team had their season opener. "They" don't keep score.  "We" do.  They did great! Jake is an excellent first baseman

* Finn's crib converted to a toddler bed in the new house. 4 nights ago. He's doing great - only got lost and ended up in Jake's room once.

* Lara's school choir competed at TriState Music Festival in Enid. Her choir got a "II."  HER TRIO GOT A "I" and were THRILLED!  So proud.

* Emma's double dutch (jump rope) squad is touring the local schools today.  She is SO GOOD! Catches a basketball and dribbles while jumping!

* Team Mercy Miracles Marches for Babies in OKC tomorrow.  As of this writing, Finn is $24 short of his goal. Click the banner to donate.

* Finn and his siblings are super excited for the March for Babies tomorrow!  We have our banner ready!

* 8:00 in the morning we will gather at the Myriad Gardens in OKC with Mercy Miracles and the March of Dimes to MARCH FOR BABIES! Come see us!

* Who doesn't love babies?  Help make happy endings for Moms & Babies by donating to March of Dimes - $24 to go!

* So thankful that @FinnWeaverSays is a Mercy Miracle!  We're marching with them tomorrow in OKC! @marchofdimes @MarchForBabies 

*$24 to go for Finn's goal with Team Mercy Miracles. That's 6 people with $4 each! Donate here: & march w/us tomorrow!