Sunday, April 26, 2015

Emory's Open Heart Surgery

I remember the day Kris was telling me everything they would do to Emory. It would be a team of surgeons and specialist. They would crack open her chest. As she continued telling me what would take place during Emory's open heart surgery my heart couldn't take it. 

I stopped her. "I don't want to know." Through tears she told me, "It makes me feel better to know." I assured her, "That's because you're here Mama. But I'm her Aunt and I don't want to know." We laughed.

I made arrangements with my CC class so I could be there the night before her surgery, during her surgery, and as long as my baby sister needed me. However, I really wanted to serve Kris, so I called her one day. "You won't hurt my feelings. When would it be best for you for me to come?" 

She was relieved. "Can you come the day after her surgery? Everyone will be gone then. That's when I could use you most."

The day of Emory's surgery I was kept up-to-date with texts. I remember getting the text about her being on the bypass. I had to keep myself from falling apart emotionally in front of my Stockbridge CC class. 

That afternoon before we went home the girlies and I had to get our oil changed. We shopped while the car was getting her oil changed. It still wasn't ready so we hung out.

And after moments of boredom decided to get silly with taking pictures. 

The next day we headed to Augusta. Mom made sure we got to the hospital okay. No need for a GPS. We had an NPS (Nanna Positioning System). I think the NPS is more powerful than the GPS. We got to see Kris then Mama, James, Emmett, and the girls and I all had lunch together. Mama and James left to go back home and left little Emmett with us.

We were amazed that the next day Emory was coming home. We were in shock and awe and we had a welcome home party to plan.

This was the party planning crew.
That precious girl, when she got home, the first thing she said was, "Ashley, you can't tickle me."
And her Aunt 'Chele loves her all the way to the moon and back.

While everyone rested Kristen insisted I go to Costco. She's a tad bit obsessed so she wanted to share her obsession with me. We walked in and I told the girls, "We probably won't buy anything." One hour, $109, and 20 samples later. . . this is what we came out with.
Kris wanted us to go to a yoga class that afternoon. It was so much fun. What's the most embarrassing thing that could happen to a person in a quiet, relaxing, quiet yoga class as she stretches her tight self? If you guessed pass gas. . .you're right. It was so loud!! I was mortified. I told Kris, "I kept trying to hold it in and then it just slipped."

There were a couple of times I almost cracked up laughing just by the poses we were doing. Everyone was so into it, though, I didn't want to be rude.

P.S. This was at a church. No meditation yoga stuff, just stretching and praise music going on. We even had a devotion and prayer before we started.

This was day number 2 of being home. I'll never forget when Emmett saw Emory's scar. Kris was giving her a sponge bath. I saw little Emmett's face drop when he saw this big red scar on his sister's chest. He told her, "Emory, can I give you a gentle hug like this?" He hugged Kristen. Pause. Emmett full of compassion, "Emory, I really want to give you a gentle hug." She looks at him, pokes her arm out and says,  "You can hug my arm." I busted out laughing.


When the girls and I left we saw the hot sign on.
So we stopped and treated ourselves to a dozen.


 

Rather than clicking my heels (well flats) three times and repeating over and over, "There's no place like home. There's no place like home. There's no place like home.", I punched our address into the GPS and we were off!!! Home.sweet.home. My most happiest of happy places!!!!!!


My Little Buddy and Her Bucket List

As Alec and Ash are growing up and becoming more independent my Hanna Boo has become my little buddy. When neither of them can keep her, she's pretty much right with me. She loves the kitchen so every time I'm in there she's with me. We have the sweetest conversations  preparing together and serving our family together. 

One day I was taking Ash to McDonough square to meet a friend. I told Hanna Boo she and I would hang out and eat ice cream together.  Just the week before that I was having coffee with one of my 4th children and she came there with me too.

When she saw this. . . 


she exclaimed, "This is on my bucket list. I've always wanted to put money in a parking meter."

Another thing about my little buddy is she is constantly stealing my phone and blowing it up with selfies. 





See what I mean!!

Pulling for One Another

It absolutely delights my mother's heart when I hear my kids encouraging one another.

A few months back Ash played this ruthless soccer team. Alec was into the game, giving her pep talks, cheering her on. And, he even had to bring calm to a bunch of feisty parents, "This is 14-year-old girl soccer." The game was so tense. Hanna abandoned her ipod and was into the game with us. She even said, "I don't even like soccer. I don't know why I'm watching this." ('Cause you love your sister, baby girl. Whether you realize it or not, you love her).

I love when Alec takes the girls to lunch when I'm gone and it's his treat. I'll try and pay him back and he says no.

Or, when he brings them home a fun Sonic drink. . . just because.

How Hanna will fix Ash's breakfast many, many mornings. She will even fix her plate and bring it to her.

Ash absolutely LOVES playing Texas Hold 'Em with Alec. When the other plays a hand well, they acknowledge it to the other.

I remember when they were little and Alec and Ash fought ALL THE STINKIN' TIME. I just knew they would grow up not able to tolerate one another. Jesus has been so sweet and I believe He has made them friends.

And I love how the girls will remind me to get something Alec likes from the grocery store.

We were heading to Mock Trial just the other day and Alec had his music playing loud. It was hyped-up 80s music. He said it was to get her pumped to take the other team down.

As I have delighted in my children and how well they get along these days it makes me think about Jesus, His body, His children. . . the church. This must be how He feels when we're pulling for one another, spurring one another on, cheering for each other, pumping one another up. . . not judging or criticizing or elevating ourselves.

Lunch Date

So I've got this handsome man who called me one day out of the blue and asked me if I wanted to meet him up in Atlanta and go on a lunch date with him to this pizza  place he wanted to try.

I was busy that day. So we planned another day. He was under a tight deadline with a project at work so he had to cancel on me. We tried and tried to plan another day but it would have to wait a couple of weeks. When he had to cancel on me, that sweet man told me, "I'll just take the rest of the day off and I'll take you to IKEA." 

Sold. 

Real.authentic.Italian this place is. It's downtown  Hot 'Lanta. It's called Anticos. And you order for yourself then seat yourself at a table with other people. They cook your food right in front of you. 

And they bring out this yummy goodness.
And we finished almost all that yummy goodness. . . 'cause that's what we like to do. . . eat.
And this just happens to be my good-lookin' husband who stole my heart almost two decades ago and still has it.

Learning From Alec and Ashley

Hanna informs me, "Mom, I learn so much just from watching Alec and Ashley."

Me: "Like what, hon?"

Hanna: "Well, when you get mad I know what to do."

Silence.

Hanna: "I actually have this analogy for you. Don't get mad. Okay. Don't get mad, and I'll tell you."

Me: I laugh. "I won't get mad."

She and I are in the kitchen.

Hanna: "Okay. When you get mad, you're like this pan right here. . . . real hot. I know if I touch this pan, I'm going to get burned. I know when you're mad I just need to leave you alone until you simmer down. Then I won't get hurt."

Out of the mouth of babes.


Friday, April 17, 2015

The Way We Mourn

Jon and I have some good friends who have gone through a bunch of ups and downs lately. Last weekend we spent time helping them paint their new home. We play games, eat Mexican, and laugh together. We even tried to schedule a race together, the old ones versus the young ones.

It was a day in court yesterday. Jon was working, but I showed up to be supportive. Unfortunately, our friends lost and lost greater than they had anticipated. Jon was mad. I was sad. I was at gymnastics and Jon was at home. When we would get updates we would call and let one another know what we heard.

I pulled in the driveway. Jon, Alec, and Ash met Hanna and I outside. Ash said, "Dad said we're going to get ice cream."

I knew this trip was more than just about ice cream.

Jon drives and we have no idea where he's going. He pulls into the Kroger parking lot. Yep, I knew. Private Selection . . . here we come.

We start at the front of the store. I've been trying to lose weight. I knew Jon was going to eat because he was mad and I knew I was going to eat because I was sad. I went to the guacamole and hummus. If I'm going to do this, I'm going to do it healthy so I can keep some of this weight off I've managed to lose.

Hanna and I divert to the coffee aisle. I needed some more lead. Jon, Alec, and Ash keep walking. I knew where they were going. They chose chocolate chip cookie dough.

We meet up, check out, and head home. I open the guac as soon as we get in the car. We all immerse into the ice cream as soon as we enter the Bungalove kitchen.

Jon and I are heartbroken for our friends. Sometimes things just don't seem fair. I awoke several times last night with my precious friend on my heart, just mourning for her.

We love through food. We mourn through food. It's the way we roll.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Just a Bunch of Random

When I was in Augusta the girls and I had to check out and see what Aunt Kiki's obsession with Costco was. We walked in, and I said, "Girls, we probably won't buy anything here."

Well, after tasting 20 samples, and a little over 100 bucks later we left. One of the things I sampled and loved was Muffalata. I didn't think it would be a big hit with anyone. I can have some weird tastebuds.

I brought it home and Jon became obsessed.. .  . like majorly obsessed. . . so much so he wouldn't even change out of his work clothes until  he had him a bite or two of this yummy goodness. It's all gone now and I think his sodium level thanks him. 

Me and my boys. There was a guy speaking who was on the ground during Black Hawk Down. He was sharing his testimony one night at Jon's mom's church. The girls stayed with Gdaddy and Gigi and my boys and I went. Love my guys!!!
Before going to Augusta to be with Emory after her heart surgery I knew she and Emmett would love these bunny lips. I bought a sack full of them. One night Alec got a sugar attack. He begged me for one. I told him only if he would get a picture with me.