Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Emory Tate Durkee

This post is long overdue, but I'm just now finding the courage to write it.
I'm still in shock, tears clouding my vision as I write this.
Remember this post I wrote 19 months ago? And this one rejoicing that he got to go home?
On July 4th, little Emory went to his forever home. He's with Jesus now and for that, we celebrate. But oh, how hard it is not to see him anymore, for his mom and grandparents to no longer be able to snuggle with him in their arms.
I am so very saddened for the loss and pain they're going through.
I am thankful that his family experienced joy through Emory. I'm glad they got even 19 months with that precious little boy. He has left such a void that only God can fill. But in his short little life, he transformed every person he met.

 
 
I think David's aunt Karen said it best in this facebook post she made just after Emory's death:
"This is a post to a dear friend that I have not seen in years that wanted to know if there had been an accident, then I thought how many people do not know what happened so I am going to tag all my families page. Emory was born 10 weeks premature with Esophageal Atresia & Te Fistula. He had a 15% survival rate. He was not suppose to be able to sit up or ever walk and he could have had brain damage they did not know. He had a perfect little brain. His two extra ribs & curved spine were to be operated on at around age 5. But his biggest problem at birth was his tiny lungs that never developed. He had a lot of breathing problems. My boy went through everything with a huge smile & devilish laugh. He passed away in his sleep at our place in the mountains where we had all gone to celebrate the 4th. He slept in our room up there in his port a crib. We put him to bed at 8 had the video monitor on him & as usual he never made a sound, such a heavy sleeper, always happy at bedtime he would grab his pooh shaker smile at you & put his thumb in his mouth & lay down. When we went to bed at 10:45 Mark went over to look at his boy rubbed his back & felt no movement then our lives fell apart. Ame did CPR until help arrived, the hospital worked on him for 1 1/2 hours then came out & told us he had been gone, before we even found him. He was the light of all of our lives and the 100's that have prayed for him since birth. At the hospital we had the prayer chains going and wanted another miracle. It is so hard for us and our questions why now God, but when Mark got up this morning he said we had the greatest miracle of all and that was 19 months ago. We had the most precious, special 19 months with our boy and our hearts are broken. We do not know why, but in his short time on this earth he made his Mom into a great woman that changed her life, brought her back to our Lord and made us proud of her as a single Mom who raised, supported him all by herself with her family, he was Everything to Ame and all of us. My precious Mother passed away 2-28-14 and Emory was her boy, so she was there to welcome him and show him all his relatives he had never met and one day we will see him again. We need continued prayers please!" 
 

I have a renewed sense of love and joy for my own children. Honestly, I haven't been able to rock my baby girl without crying. I kiss my son's head and breathe a prayer of thanksgiving that I've had this time with him. And I remember that my children belong to the Almighty. They always have. They're on loan and I will thank Him for each moment I have with them.


 
I hear this song now and immediately think of Ame.

Please keep the Durkee family in your prayers.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Vexillology

If you watch Big Bang Theory then you know just how awesomely ridiculous Sheldon Cooper is.  Here's an example of the hilarity that is Sheldon Cooper:



I share this because a) it's hilarious, and b) it reminds me so much of Xander, I just can't help but share!

My son has become obsessed. With flags, yes, but even more so with countries. He's been very interested in flags and countries for a few months now, but lately his enjoyment and excitement has increased.
David has been prepping him over the past few weeks for the World Cup. He got a sticker album for Xander which makes Xander's day every. single. day. He loves opening up those packs of stickers and finding where they go in his book. I mean, he will behave and keep it together all day because he knows if he does he gets a pack of stickers. Amazing.
Xander is really in love with countries and flags, not really as much in love with soccer...although I think he's coming around. He's watched quite a few games with his dad and me, and even convinced his babysitter to turn on the games. But I digress.

It all started a few months ago at school. As you know, Xander attended preschool at a church. Inside their main entrance was a very tall ceiling, probably 3 stories high, which was filled with flags. On one of the walls in this entrance is a huge map of the world. Xander used to marvel over the flags, and then one day he got interested in looking at the map. He would ask me about different countries and we'd talk about it. He loved that each country has a flag. We would come home from school and look up different countries and what their flags are. He now he has many map and flag apps on the iPad.

Let me tell you - this kid now knows his geography better than I do. There were countries I had never even heard of! And he not only knows them, but knows where they are. It baffles me how much of this knowledge he has retained. He remembers everything! He can match a country with its flag in a second. He can tell you where a country is and which continent it belongs in.

He freaks me out, he's so smart. He's teaching me so much! Man, I love him!

I guess I just have to surrender - to fun! ;)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Saturday breakfast

I know I alluded to our Saturday morning breakfasts in this post, but I thought I'd share about our new tradition. It wasn't really an intentional tradition, but I love it. It is honestly one of my favorite times of the week.

On Saturday mornings we eat breakfast together. It's as simple as that. David usually gets up and makes us breakfast - typically pancakes. It oftentimes involves bacon (because our daughter could eat her weight in bacon). But sometimes I make muffins or sausage balls or some other yummy breakfast-y goodness.

And we all sit together at the table. I make the kids wait on us before digging in because I'm a mean mom. We all sit down, say our blessing as a family and eat. All while laughing, talking over each other and enjoying the togetherness of it all.

I think I cherish this time so much because it's rare that the four of us are ever at the table together. Our schedule makes it tricky when the tinies are hungry at 5:30 and David doesn't get off work until 6 meaning he doesn't really get home until closer to 7. The kiddos are typically in bed no later than 8, so waiting to eat until he gets home is really not an option.

I used to long for dinners together as a family. Now I realize there's no use in wishing after something that doesn't work for us. We just make our own family time. If Saturday mornings are what we get then that's what I'll take. We do try to have "family movie night", we enjoy church together and we do our bedtime routine most nights as a family. I'm so thankful we have each other.

Maybe one day we'll reevaluate and see if those dinners will work. Until then I'll eat my pancakes with my family, smile and laugh and give thanks for the time we do have together.

Wonderful weekend

What a packed weekend we had! David's birthday was Friday, his Dad's 60th birthday was Saturday and then Father's Day on Sunday + a celebration for David's sister, Becky, whose birthday is today! Whew!

I worked on Friday, but was able to meet up with David for a birthday lunch date. I really love doing that! It's so nice to steal away for an hour in the middle of the day, during the week, with my man. We ate at Tupelo Honey CafĂ©. If you're ever in North Carolina, Greenville, SC or Eastern Tennessee, you have GOT to check this out. It was delicious! We'll definitely be going back there.

The kids and I worked hard to make David's evening fun. We got his favorite Mexican food, wrapped presents, made cards and had so much fun being together. We had planned to celebrate him on Saturday morning, but the kids were too excited to wait. Xander couldn't wait for David to open the soccer jersey we got for him...in fact, he whispered it REALLY loud so that David already knew what he was getting before he opened it. Too funny! Both kids are so excited about birthdays right now.

We got up Saturday morning to have breakfast together (have I mentioned that this has become one of my favorite times of the week?), this time a breakfast of sausage balls - David's favorite - before we packed up and headed to the lake. We celebrated David's dad's birthday by boating, jet skiing, swimming and playing in the lake. It was so fun! The first trip we've made to the lake this year, and hopefully not our last (though our summer is quickly filling up!) We grilled out, sang Harry a special 60th birthday song, and enjoyed hanging out together.

On Sunday we went over to my mom's to celebrate David and Becky (and Harry again). It was a nice lunch with the fam. I hated that not everyone could be there, but it was a fun and relaxing day, playing outside and visiting.

I'm very thankful for my family. I'm thankful for the dads in my life and the sweet memories we're continuing to make.

We're gearing up for another exciting trip - the Littles' are headed to the beach on Friday for two whole weeks! And the summer whirlwind continues...

(And I'm loving every minute!) :)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Summer bucket list

What are you doing this summer?
Here are a few things I'd like to do.

Make something holiday-themed. I'm thinking about this.

Hang pictures on my walls.

Try a new recipe.

Organize my closet.

Hang out with my mama.

Go to a group exercise class.

Catch fireflies with my kids.

Build a for-real sand castle.

Make ice cream floats.

See my bestie.

Read. Read. And read.

Take a walk on the beach with my husband, hand in hand.

Choose Joy

Sometimes I have to be reminded. That's why I bought a reminder that I keep in my kitchen.

And I especially want to choose joy because the days are long, but the years are short.

Good energy is contagious, so if you need a reminder every time you pick up your phone, check this out.

And of course you could always watch the video to the ever popular song that can't help but make you happy. :) My kids could dance to this for hours.

A few songs on my summertime "Happy" playlist?
That's My Jam by Relient K
A moving version of Hallelujah
Oceans by Hillsong United
One Thing Remains by Jesus Culture
Happy by Sister Hazel
Wouldn't it Be Nice? by The Beach Boys (and many other Beach Boy songs that MUST be listened to in the summer)
Under the Boardwalk by The Drifters
And so many songs from Dirty Dancing, Stand By Me, and the 50's and 60's :) What is it about those songs that make me want to go to the beach?!

The song "How He Loves Us" always moves me. I ran across the origin of that song recently. Powerful and inspiring.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Funnies from the littlest Littles

A weekday while David was at work:
Me: I miss daddy. I'm ready for him to come home and see us.
X: I miss daddy, too. (sighing) I forget what he looks like.

X and I were having a conversation about Papa being sick:
X: I've been sick, too.
Me: You have?
X: Yeah, the other day I couldn't talk.
Me: Really?
X: Yeah…because my mouth was closed and I just couldn't talk!

We were driving in the car…
AJ: It stinks in here because there's a skunk.
Me: Oh, shooey.
AJ: Don't say shooey.
Me: But don't you think skunks stink?
AJ: (puzzled) They do?
(Nodding with an understanding look) Because they have poop in them.
Me: Well…I guess that's true, but it's mainly because they have a stinky smell they spray out. It's like a perfume but it's really stinky.
AJ: And they have poop.
(I can tell that explanation went over well.)

AJ: She told me "yes."
X: Are you talking about Ms. Erin?
AJ: No, I'm talking about Ms. Mommy.