Wednesday, May 26, 2010

i haven't posted anything since gracie passed away. things around this house have been a little more than crazy, hectic, out of control, life altering, life changing, big decision making, or out of my hands kind of crazy. we are busy... really busy... way too busy!

there are things going on in our lives that have made us question things, analyze things, and prepare for things.

losing gracie was honestly, the most difficult thing that chris and i have had to do together since we have been married. she was such a gigantic part of our journey as a couple. we learned and grew so much from having her in our lives. we are forever grateful for her, loving her, and having her teach us how to love and live.

mourning gracie has been much more difficult than we ever could have realized. with ella and fisher's questions about where she is, how she is, what is left of her, what it means to "go to heaven", or what star in the sky she is-- talking about her daily, thanking God for her every morning, lunch, and dinner-- and in evening prayers is a constant reminder of her absence in our home. on the deck the other night, we were lotioning up, and putting on pj's -- enjoying the cool air- and fisher starts to yell at the stars-- "come back gracie! i love you! i miss you! come back!!!" oh, the tears that i fought back were like a flood breaking through a dam. horrible- to know that i cannot ease the missing, and longing for our sweet dog back- just tears me up to no end.

chris and i have our own ways of dealing with loss, change, and grief. i am from a long line of "carpet sweepers" where we just keep moving on- moving forward. chris is from "shut--downers" unable to live life "normally" until the pain/hurt/loss is gone. our two styles don't exactly mix well... or for that matter co-exist. we have made huge progress since she's been gone- but the first couple of weeks were really difficult.

we put gracie down on a wednesday. chris and i had a huge discussion about what life is like without gracie. as well as the thought of bringing in a new dog to the family. my thought was that we gave gracie an amazing life... as she did for us. when people pass away-- the thought of doing what "they would have wanted" kept crossing my mind. what would gracie want us to do?? and seeing as she was a found/pound/mut/mix of a dog... in my mind the best way to honor her is to adopt a new member into our family. chris and i promised to look at the shelters the next morning. it would be a suprise for the kids, and for us-- so saturday morning we took off to the shelters and found this sweet little angel...

introducing... lucy grace battel

she is a hound/rotti mix. at the time of adoption, she was 12 weeks old. the kids were thrilled! chris fell in love, and i felt like i had started to mend the hole that was left by gracie. bubba and the kids are adjusting to her well. she has already grown so much since we've had her. she was about 15lbs when we adopted her, and in less than a month she has grown to 22 lbs! we are going to have quite a big girl on our hands.

as well as gaining a new member into our family- our friends have been going through some struggles as well. our neighbors son (payton) spent 9 days in the hospital due to a septic hip- we gained molly (his sister/ella's bff) for several days and night throughout the process. he had a very traumatic experience and it was extremely rare- however, he is almost at full recovery and doing so much better!

as i have posted before about some of my struggles with staying home, or returning to work... we got the call that chris's company will be laying off half of the sales force on june 7th. we have been through two rounds of lay-offs before this... and we survived. for some reason-- i keep thinking that third time's a charm?!? we will be fine no matter what happens. chris hasn't been happy working for them for quite some time. change is hard for chris. to leave a great paying job with excellent benefits is a risk/change that he will have to be "forced" out of-

so in the meantime i started looking around for jobs for me. i don't have plans to return to teaching anytime soon. and, well, june isn't when schools are hiring. so, i looked at the hospitals around here-- thinking something part time/ clerical. something to ease the financial pressure off of chris some. we have been so lucky and fortunate that i have been able to stay at home for the past 4 1/2 years with me doing some contract auditing of pharma companies/reps. i got a call from a sister of a friend of mine- who works in HR and wanted to let me know of a better job that was full time at our new "green" hospital. i applied, took several HR tests, prayed, cried, paniced, stress, and didn't hear anything for a few weeks. last tuesday i got the call that they wanted to hire me. start date-- june 7th. the day that chris will find out what his fate will be, i will start my very own new job.

i have mixed emotions about the entire process. we have so many things to consider with the kids, dogs, schedules, house, housework, etc... it will be an entire new world for our family to have me working.

option A- chris keeps his job
option B- chris loses his job
option C- chris keeps his job and i start working and kids to day care
option D- chris loses his job and i start working and kids stay home with chris until he finds something else

and off of all these options we have all these details to consider as well. it's crazy stress! but realizing that none of this is in our hands... has been the biggest comfort in it all.

we have also had to lend a hand with our other neighbor who after several weeks of not feeling well after giving birth to her daughter-- had a complication during a DNC which ended up with her needing a blood transfusion and a night in the hospital. we assumed responsibility for her 2 year old and 7 week old for 8 hours. 8 hours doesn't sound like much... but we had a 4 year old, 2 1/2 year old, 2 year old, 7 week old, bubba the grumpy old dog, lucy the puppy, lunch time, nap time, snack time, play time, bottle time, dinner time, bath time, bottle time, and exhaustion time.

mother's day was wonderful and simple and amazing. we skipped church and headed with the dogs to steel's creek park in bristol. it wasn't busy and the weather was perfect. little on the cool side which make park walking all the better. we walked about 4 miles with the dogs and kids... no stroller -- and took our time. forgot about schedules, naps, lunch, and just enjoyed the excitement of the kids and dogs. no phones, computers, or technology. just the 6 of us.

the pictures thoughout the post are from that day. i adore my husband and the many gifts that he doesn't even know he gives me. our children are perfect. healthy, curious, and energized. i love every square inch of our family.

i couldn't be luckier than i am to have chris as my husband. there isn't a day that goes by where i don't thank God for him. through the trials, life altering moments, we are here together.

we don't plan on having more children. our two are just what i've always wanted. ella is so unique and smart, loving, girly, and just like chris. fisher is outgoing, social, a little wreckless, and all boy. he loves his momma- i worry about him when i do return to work. he doesn't adjust well to change-- (that's chris' issue- not mine;)

we have dealt with change in the past, rough times, fights, illness, and loss- all of these things are life- and that is fine. we are learning to communicate better though all of this. expectations, demands, friends, family, all of it-- we are learning and growing.

our kids have finished their first year of preschool- i have NO pictures from their program-- but it was about as sweet as it could be. my parents made in to town for the night and attended the program, i fought back tears-- mom let them run free :)

this weekend is another hectic crazy one-- my middle brother jaime is getting married. ella and my niece taylor are in the wedding. we will be heading into roanoke on friday morning and the wedding is sunday. pictures and family drama to follow.