Wednesday, September 27, 2006
As much fun as we have with Alathea's baby pool on the front porch, we are really excited about heading to Florida this friday morning! My dad was extremely generous and blessed Joe & I with a belated "anniversary" trip after this long & hard season of Mom's illness & death. We found this amazing resort outside Orlando, Florida and have it booked from Sept 29-Oct 6. We can't wait to have an entire week together as a family!! We are even more excited because Joe's grandmother, Mere, and his Aunt Mimi are driving up from Ft. Lauderdale to spend the weekend with us (Mimi has never seen the baby!).
It gets even better...once we get home, the next morning (Sat., Oct 7), we get to pick up "Pop-Pop", Uncle Rocky & Aunt Julie from the airport!! They are spending Columbus Day weekend with us! We can't wait! I miss my family SO MUCH (Alathea does too :). I'm sure LOT'S of pictures will soon come :).
God has been SO KIND to bless us with this special family time following a season of lots of time apart from each other. Thank you, Daddy, for your amazing generosity & Thank you Lord for blessing us so richly!
Every Monday, which is Joe's "new" day off, we spend the entire day as a family. We like to call it our "all day family fun day". We usually eat a yummy breakfast and play together at home in the morning and then venture off for a day of fun once Alathea wakes up from her morning nap. The past few family fun day spots have been the pool, the park, feeding the ducks at the lake and our new all-time favorite...playing in the fountains at Birkdale! We look forward to this day ALL week! (Sorry for the sideways pictures...I can't figure out how to flip them :)
Friday, September 22, 2006
Yesterday marked the one month anniversary of my mom's death. I still miss her more with each passing day. She was the most remarkable woman! I am SO grateful for every day & every memory I had with her. The only thing that is harder than the thought of me missing her, is the thought of Alathea missing her beloved "Nana". Literally until her dying breath my mom LOVED & CHERISHED my little girl. She called Alathea her "Happy Pill"..."She's better than any pain medication", mom would say (and I was a witness, it was true!). Mom flew down to Charlotte to be here for the first two weeks of Alathea's life. She did that despite the fact that she had a kidney bag and had been in and out of the hospital at least once a month for the past five months. She served me so much that week! Alathea & I made nine trips to MD with in the six months of Alathea's birth to Mom's death (Thanks to Joe being so selfless!). Mom enjoyed every aspect of being a grandmother...she'd rock her to sleep when she was strong enough, gave Alathea her first bath, her first baby food, taught her to roll-over and even went to her first doctors appointment. Mom's favorite part of the day was "Alathea-Nana" time which was as soon as they both woke up in the morning. She'd read her books, and "talk" & play with her. Mom enjoyed this all the way until her last few days of life. Mom out-lived all life expectancies placed on her...there's not a doubt in my mind my little baby played a part in that. Even when mom was unresponsive the last three days of her life, when Alathea would giggle and play next to her in bed, mom would crack a smile. She was enjoying her precious grandbaby until her dying breath. Memories of Nana will live on through stories, video's, pictures, letters and the legacy of faith she's imparted into all who knew her. I pray daily for my baby girl's Salvation because I cannot wait until the day I get to see Nana & Alathea meeting again in Heaven.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
During dinner time we've had to start stripping little bits down to her diaper! She definately "enjoys" the food...although most of it doesn't make it into her mouth! Her favorite dinner time activities include smushing her food between her fingers, watching her sippy cup fall from her high chair to the ground and laughing as mom & dad pick it up over & over again and seeing what new body parts she can cover with carrots each meal. We definately laugh lots each evening! With all that being said, she's liked just about everything we've fed her (except pea's!)...including fresh lemon & tarter sauce (joe did it).
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
It's been almost four weeks since my dear mother passed away and entered the Lord's presence in Heaven. It feels like a lot longer than that. Death of a close loved on has a way of forcing you to stop and reflect upon what really matters in life. I've found that I have been doing a lot of "deep" thinking lately...which I pray will bear good fruit. Mostly I have been reflecting upon the lesson's I've learned watching my mom during the past eight years as she battled cancer. She taught me so much. The lesson that she first and foremost taught me, (not just by what she said, but by how she lived), is that the most precious thing of all is Salvation. That was her song from the day she got saved at 16 years old, until literally her dying breath. That is why she didn't skip a beat eight years ago when she was told she had terminal cancer, that is why she was completely at peace through out the entire process, that is why she never complained ("I deserve God's wrath and He's given me His mercy and eternal life with Him...How can I ever complain? I've been given so much more than I deserve"...these were her words just 5 days before her death!), and that is why she was singing praises to God every day of her life (even the many days when she was in unthinkable pain). The Gospel...so simple, yet so amazingly profound! How I want to live focused on the Gospel every day of my life. Just like Mom. I miss her so much that words cannot even begin to describe. I miss her more each day. But my heart & soul are at peace (thank you, Lord!). And I think every day about the lessons I've learned from her. She's invested so deeply into me, that I feel like the lessons I've learned from her will last a lifetime.
I wrote a tribute to her back on Mothers Day. The Mahaney girls posted it on their blog "Girl Talk". They also wrote a tribute to her the week she died. You can read them at www.girltalk.blogs.com (click on archives: August 2006 and look for "In Memory of Kathy Bowers").
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Wanted to let you all know that Joe just started a wonderful blog entitled "On The Burner" (www.ontheburner.blogspot.com). He writes mainly to M28, the college ministry he leads at our church (www.mission28.com), but I think it's plenty applicable for all. The most recent post he did was entitled "God and Cancer", where he shares a bit about my mom and includes an amazing article on glorifying the Lord when you have cancer. "Cancer" may not be in your life or anyone who you know right now, but one day it may, so why not get God's perspective on it now? Check it out! (I know he won't be happy I posted his picture...but I thought he looked cute :)
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Just a few pictures of our family at a park in Maryland. Alathea LOVES being outside & around people...which makes the park a perfect place to go. She mostly just hangs with mom & dad, but does enjoy the baby swing as well :) (she really likes to swing high! she has absolutely no sense of fear). The park also has a special place in our heart because we'd push mom in her wheel chair each day, along with my dad, brother & sister, during our many special visits to Maryland this summer. Sweet Memories I'll cherish always! Now I carry on the tradition every Friday afternoon with "Baby Bubbles" (as my dad calls her :)...we go on a "Mommy-Alathea" date to the park together! Trying to carry on my wonderful mothers tradition of time with the girls each Friday!
Hello Family & Friends!
I finally caved in and started a blog. As computer-phobic as I am, this is truly amazing. I will use it mostly to keep you all up to date with our family, and of course, our little princess Alathea! She is 6 months old, crawling, pulling-up on things to stand and way too cute! We are having so much fun with her. This weekend she started saying "Da-da-da"...we like to think she knows what she is saying!
It may take me a while to figure out what I am doing here, so bear with me! Lots more to come soon. This is a recent family picture for those who haven't seen us in a while. Love to all!