Thursday, September 13, 2012

Lydia's Journey

For awhile now I've been thinking about how I want to process all that Lydia went through in her first six months. Despite our early fears, Lydia is happy and healthy. I started a scrapbook but I am ready for closure  and it isn't coming along fast enough for my taste. So I'm going on a photo journey and you are invited to come along. 
This is the baby that stole my heart in only a moment's time.
This is the baby that my heart wept for when for a moment our journey changed course.
This is the baby that at 4 weeks of age the pediatrician said "I'm so sorry Mrs. Hale" and my heart broke as I held her close and wondered and waited.

This is the baby that friends and family and strangers interceded for.  Across states and countries  a cry went out for her health.  And God heard us.
This is the baby that endured blood draws week after week.  This is the baby that left that one month appointment with four referrals which generated more referrals and more blood draws. This is the baby that worked for every next milestone and grinned and giggled the whole way through.

This is my precious daughter. 

You are treasured... are sacred... are His..

...You're beautiful.
I'm honored to have been blessed with two beautiful girls who amaze me day by day with their ingenuity, intelligence, and joy. There will be more trials but I know now more than ever that as a family and with our God we will make it through together.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


This post has been a long time in coming but we had such a good time in Marco Island that I wanted to go ahead and post. We went the beginning of August, I was more than a little worried about flying with two young children but overall the flight was ok. Lydia found a comfortable place for a nap.

Throughout the week I kept thinking how very blessed we were to be able to take a whole week to spend as a family in a beachfront condo. I loved spending all day, every day with my husband and children. The girls don't like the pool much at home but they took right to the water here. They couldn't get enough of it. Lydia would run right into the waves. Renee had a lot of fun in the sand but by the end of the week she was making real progress toward swimming.

The tidepools were a great place for Lydia to sit and play.

Renee doesn't hold still long for a picture but I got here below.

She also enjoyed visiting the gift store. Every time we went she would try on all of the hats and shoes. This one was too cute to put back.

This little face is irresistible!

We visited the Everglades Wonder Gardens (a zoo of native animals). Renee found those glasses in the gift store as well. She has style!

This is the view from the condo. We spent most of the week going back and forth between the beach, pool, and our room. 

Uncle Jason and Aunt Nancy were wonderful to have along. They made it possible for Jeff and I to have some time alone together and the girls adored them.

It was a week of wonderful memories. I'm ready to go back.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Happy Birthday, Lydia!

Happy 1st Birthday, Lydia! Her easy smile and constant giggles are a joy. It is hard to believe that a year has passed already. Lydia, you are loved!                          
Lydia saw this puppy in the airport yesterday. It has a motion sensor and laughs and rolls around on the  floor. Lydia grabbed it and carried it around the store before bolting out the door with it tucked under her arm. I had to buy it as an early birthday present. Jeff gave her his vanilla bean frappacino and she quickly learned how to drink out of a straw. She downed about half of it in record time.

Today we will celebrate as a family and next weekend we will have a party. With her love of sweets I expect there will be some good cake pictures coming!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Cousin Slumber Party!

It's a slumber party! Aliza, Josiah, and Anna spent the night with us while Carla and Jeremy were out of town. Five little children in my two bedroom house! I kept reminding myself, Mom had five, she had five children, this is what five feels like!!! Really we had lots of fun. They were all excited about it, Aliza had detailed plans for how the two days were to go, I hope a few of her plans came true. She brought her doll, Chocolate, and its playpen. Renee and Anna hijacked Chocolate's bed, I would never have guessed they could both fit but these little girls were not to be stopped.
We needed to get them out of the house, the adults needed a change of scenery so we went to the park and river. Jeff took the children for kayak rides one at a time. I stayed with the remaining children at the edge of the water and supervised while they waded and played in the water. It was such a hot day that wading turned into swimming and even though they were fully clothed I didn't have the heart to tell them no.

Lydia babysitting Chocolate.

By the time Carla and Jeremy came to pick up their kids we were all happy to see them. Aliza and Josiah weren't ready to leave, I'm glad they had a good time. It was special to spend the time making memories with my nieces and nephews. I managed to feed them, get my work done (it was end of the quarter report time!), and have some fun. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Posts That Weren't

With Jeff off for the summer June gave us plenty of opportunities for family time and we have been enjoying it. Somehow the days are still busy but here are some pictures to show you the fun we are having.
We have been having frequent picnics, when it isn't too hot. Both of the girls love being outside. We've added a swing and a sandbox to our backyard and they are being well used. Lydia is enjoying an egg roll...she will eat anything within reach!

Renee has been asking to go to work with me for awhile now. One Friday Jeff brought both of the girls to have lunch with me. My office is quiet on Fridays and this one was particularly quiet so I let Renee stay for the afternoon. I remember how special it was when I got to go to work with Dad in the mower shop and I hope it created a good memory for Renee as well. She sat across the desk from me and colored for a long time and then we found some toys. She was a good worker!

My little fashionista! She has good taste.

She tried to make an exchange - put her shoes on the rack and took off in the heels.

Lydia got her first ride in the bike trailer. It was the first time we had two in there and they did well. Renee is giving Lydia a kiss. I wish I had a picture of them from during the ride. They both quickly fell asleep with Renee leaning against the side and Lydia leaning on Renee.

Another picnic with Renee's best friend. These two love to play together. 

No hands! This is now old news, not only is Lydia standing without holding on but she is walking all over the place. She only resorts to crawling when she needs to move fast! My "delayed" baby walked at 9.5 months!!! So much to be thankful for. She was discharged from physical therapy this week. I readily agreed that she is doing just fine...more than just fine she is amazing.

Enjoying a popsicle...I love that smiling face.

We've been taking the girls to this mini beach. They aren't interested in going much further into the water than this but they do enjoy playing in the sand. Renee likes to hunt for pebbles and shells and throw them into the water. The bigger the splash the better.

Do they look like father and daughter to anyone else? Renee was very focused and turned the wheel carefully. She catches on to things so quickly. She watches and imitates everything she sees. I'm blessed to have such beautiful daughters and a wonderful husband. They make each day special.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A most lovely Monday

Monday was truly a lovely day. As my sister said when I told her about my day, I nurtured my inner introvert. I had to go out of town for a meeting and since I also had an out of town conference the next day work provided me with a hotel room. My meeting on Monday ended early and I had an entire afternoon and evening to do as I pleased. I first went to the mall and was quickly reminded why I shop at Marshalls...$78 for a t-shirt!!! You have got to be kidding, I looked it over very carefully but nope...nothing special about it, just a t-shirt as far as I could tell. It's been awhile since I've been to a classy department store as you might guess. I did find a few sales but quickly tired of the crowds and decided on a pedicure. I pulled out my kindle and engrossed myself in a novel in hopes that the technician wouldn't talk. She didn't and I tipped her well for her silence. I headed to the hotel, took a 2 hour nap and then decided to venture out to find dinner and maybe give shopping another try. I got as far as the lobby, glanced at the deserted hotel restaurant and decided that was the perfect place for dinner. It was. I ate in peace and neither I nor anyone else spilled food on me or wiped their hands or mouths on my clothes. The evening consisted of reading, sleeping, and watching tv without interruptions. I even got to say more than a "hello, i need some help here" to God. It was a most lovely day. The conference the next day was good and when I got home my girls were very happy to see me but I think I was more happy to see them. A day away was awfully nice but so was coming home.

Being away means catching up on laundry and cleaning upon returning. Tonight Renee brought me the broom and said, "help me." When your 2 year old notices the house needs to be cleaned, its time to clean! So tomorrow between working at home and taking care of the children I'll be trying to catch up on laundry and make sense of the chaos that is home. Home is a nice place to be.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Hale Happenings

I've been tucking away little tidbits to write about. A day at the beach with friends I haven't seen in much too long - Renee enjoyed sitting in a beach chair just her size and Lydia loved the oreo cookies...Renee's exploration into art - using her face as the canvas and white out as her medium...Lydia pushing her walking toy across the living room like its no big deal...Renee's adenoid removal and ear tube insertion - she's a brave girl and made her mommy and daddy proud but then again we are always proud of our girls.

I really don't need to go back into the archives of my memory to be entertained by my children. Tonight provided enough interest all by itself. Jeff made supper, such a treat, when he cooks the food just tastes better! I asked Renee if Daddy should cook every night, she said "yes!" Jeff asked her if mommy should do the dishes, she said "no!" That's my girl! I went to the kitchen to check the damage - Jeff is a good cook but the collateral damage is extensive. Renee volunteered to help, dragging a chair behind her. I got her situated with some running water and went to check on Lydia. Then I made the mistake of sitting down. When I made it back to the kitchen Renee had worked her way through half a bottle of dish soap and scrubbed a bell pepper clean. The jalapeno that had been on the counter was missing.  By the way, both peppers were grocery cart additions that Jeff and I both assumed the other had picked up...Renee must have thought we needed them. So I cleaned up Renee, did dishes, recovered the jalapeno and was quite happy to discover there weren't any tooth marks in it - although I think we all would have heard about it if Renee had taken a bite! While I washed she came back to help again and climbed up on the counter to help herself to a banana. She picked it up saying, "I got you banana, I got you." I couldn't tell if it was a proclamation of victory or an attempt to reassure the banana. She continued to tell the banana "I got you" as she peeled it and discarded it. She ended the night by climbing out of bed saying "potty". That's one request I'm not inclined to deny. She hasn't had a success yet and we haven't yet officially started potty training but she has been initiating and wants to sit on the big potty and then the little potty. I'm sure there will be more to come on potty training!

And now a few pictures...