Thursday, August 25, 2016

A fun week!

Sometimes the longer you wait for something, the better it seems. Levi finally waved! After an accidental drawer close on his hand, the light bulb triggered this newfound skill.
I think Levi might be naturally right-handed, which has ultimately delayed his left hand (strong hand) from catching on to in developmental milestones. Either way, I don't think I've ever been so excited! I think even Baby boy 3 was doing some clapping for his big brother in the womb!

Some other family fun this week when we don't have as many doc appointments...

Check me out on my brother's bike ladies!

Oh man..... this big bro won't ever leave me alone! He's ruining my cool.

Since our bath paint isn't exactly edible, Levi loved the yogurt/whipped cream bath!

And Silas did too of course!
~Coffee CubBuster

Monday, August 22, 2016

viral virus

I read a great quote from an author, speaker, mom whom I've come to appreciate. She recently said,

"Forget the numbers in your work. Focus on the net value of  your work. The internet age may try to sell you something different, but don’t ever forget that viral is closely associated with sickness — and focusing on numbers can make you nauseated" (Ann Voskamp, www.aholyexperiencecom).

Now my accountant, who also happens to be the father of my children, might think it's impossible to "forget the numbers" in his work. And I don't currently work with a lot of numbers in my job description, yet when you back away from the literal and view the deeper message, this quote is universally applicable. During a time when we can record and publicize everything, it's hard to believe that we shouldn't be constantly in the loop on whatever news has just gone "viral" creating in us a virus for constant connectivity.

The garden that we started in our backyard last spring flourished quickly reaping us a harvest of zucchini, tomatoes, a few strawberries, peppers, and a plethora of herbs. However, just as quickly as some plants bloomed along with my prideful green thumb, they begin to succumb to the perils of insects, rodents, fungi, and weather. I just learned from Ann Voscamp that many plants, like strawberries for instance,  should actually be pruned their first time around if you want to ensure a subsequent abundant crop. She maintains the life comparison explaining that we can't actually "have it all." When we say "yes" to one thing, we are actually saying "no" to something else.  "It takes courage to crop a life back — but it’s exactly the way to have the best crop of all." Looking at those vegetables and counting how many I plucked from the vine began a "viral sickness." Likewise, many of us choose to keep ourselves as busy as we can or as connected as we can to avoid any silence or possible seclusion.

We each have to make our own unique decisions about what is right for our lives, but I feel like I've come across a lot lately relating to "cutting back" or shutting down in an over-viewed and over-committed world. Even my iPhone and iPad have recently decided not to charge without me first completely shutting them off and restarting their internal systems. Don't we all need a shut down and restart on occasion? I think we all want to slow down, but we fear missing out on that first crop. While first may be best in every Olympic sport, I don't think it's always the best in life. But it's truly hard to cut away something we have worked hard to achieve if we can't imagine a future with something better. When did we stop using our imaginations?

I pray my children never stop imagining the impossible or letting themselves slide over to "power off mode" in order to gain a greater crop. May I also not be afraid to say "no" to things in their young lives that seem beneficial at the time but may hinder their future growth. What a balance beam we all teeter on as we grow in life.

I should have named this boy mango since he can consume an entire one every day if given the chance!

Silas has some thoughtful moments in his self-absorbed life. Like making sure I had an extra cup of his homemade coffee for preschool parent orientation. He didn't want me to miss a thing!

Annual "Touch a Truck" day in Alpharetta! YEAH!!!!

When summer storms keep you inside, make a tent!

Or simply take a walk in the rain! They loved the idea of getting soaked in their clothes. Free fun!

Levi is doing well with his double dose of formula before and after each meal via g-tube. He seems to be a little less volume sensitive, so hopefully he will have gained some weight when we head back to the nutritionist in a couple weeks.
I feel for him sometimes though. While he still wears size 9-12 months, it is obvious that he's mentally 17 months old. He understands everything! And because he has so many physical limitations, he gets very frustrated when therapists push him to do things he knows are hard. He's learned to adapt in many ways, but almost seems embarrassed when he can't do something he knows they want him to try and learn. He loves praise and success, so the trick is to give him tasks he can accomplish before jumping into the things a 17 month-old should be able to easily achieve.
I'm so grateful to see how much he's grown and how hard he works to keep learning even when it's tough. A life lesson many of our children don't have to learn until much later in life.
Love my boys, and thankful all three keep growing!

~Viral Buster

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Relational Absence

It is very true that absence makes the heart grow fonder. As I approach the one year "anniversary" of my best friend's death (and I use the term anniversary loosely because I don't think it's something to really celebrate), I cannot help but think deeply and fondly of Kyra. I cannot believe a year has already passed. That seems impossible. Yet, as time passes, people often forget about the negative things and focus all their memories on things they love. (Hence, woman having more than one child.)
Kyra's death seems a tad bit less surreal a year later, and more realistic. It makes more sense because she always belonged in Heaven, but that doesn't take away the aching I feel to hear her voice, see her face, or grasp her sweet, simple wisdom. Even though I believe she is living out what we all truly desire, unity with God, I selfishly want her to wait and experience that with me.
We were all designed to be relational. No matter your aversion to crowds, recluse-nature, or quiet demeanor, I believe every single human being was made to be in unified relationships. However, because of the first temptation, which broke our perfect unity with God back in Eden, the repercussions have extended to every relationship on Earth. The brokenness and hurt we feel in this world is a result of different beliefs, morals, goals, and priorities. It bothers us when others don't feel and act the way that we do, so we search for relationships that make us feel normal. This searching may be camouflaged in many ways, but it's universal. It is very rare when you find someone that simply "gets you." You don't have to explain your thoughts, rationalize your choices, or question their judgements. You simply align with one another on practically every level providing a unified comfort that is extremely rare. These relationships are typically defined by your best friend and/or spouse.
Kyra was one of those rare people in my life, and for that reason I miss her daily. If we are honest though, even the best of earthly relationships is not perfect. We are seeking people to provide us with our desired unity rather than our perfect Creator. I think we are all called to be unified, but it's a challenge only conquered with the God's help:

Christ said, "I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one--as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me."  - John 17:21

"until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, as we mature to the full measure of the stature of Christ." - Ephesians 4:3

"Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." - Ephesians 4:3

Unfortunately there are tons of churches down the street from one another in America because of broken unity. Changes to doctrine, changes in opinions, and changes to beliefs begin to break down oneness of peace. 

While this is obviously an imperfect world filled with imperfect people including Christian people, once we recognize that we all desire the same thing, we begin to find our perfect relationship with Christ because He is the only relationship in the world that will truly provide us with that perfect oneness we crave. Only then do we see more beauty in the cross and more hope in the lost. 

It's sort of strange sometimes how Silas remembers Kyra so well. After finding a picture of her on my phone, he recently said, "Mommy, it is going to be so much fun when we go to heaven one day and see Kyra again." What a beautiful reminder that I will see my sweet friend again in the not-so-distant future. Thanks buddy.

A beautiful gift from Kyra's mom and reminder of her life.
Boys are doing well, and I'm so happy to say that after ten days of doubling up on G-tube formula shots, Levi gained some weight back at his GI appointment yesterday. He's back in the 17 pound arena. The nurse forgot to take off his cloth diaper on the scale- praise God for that little added weight! Hopefully he's headed in a positive direction!

They both seemed to have grown up a bit this week too. Levi's driving now with both hands at ten and two! And Silas got to take his trike for a spin on the "real road," meaning not the driveway. I think that boy is ready for his first Christmas bicycle!

~Unified Buster