Wednesday, May 18, 2011

project 365 - day 138

today i am thankful for my best friend joni.

happy birthday beautiful lady!!

(i stole this recent picture of her and her boys from her facebook.)

joni has been such a faithful and loyal friend to me. we met in college and really got close at the end. she once saved my life while backpacking the grand canyon (another story, another time), and i believe she saved it once again when we lost matthew. she has a heart for God, her family, friends, her patients, and most everyone she meets. literally, this girl will give you the shirt off her back. she is generous, kind, fun, and the kind of girl you love to call your friend. we've been through amazing wonderful moments, and heartbreaking sad ones. through it all, she has been there for me every step of the way. and the icing on the cake is that her husband is best friends with mine so i know we're friends for life. even when we're in our 80s with grey hair, no teeth, and fading memories. ;-)

sweet friend, i hope you have a beautiful day with your amazing family. i love you!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

project 365 - day 134

march for babies walk
the purple beads

this morning we walked with 4 other families in our 2nd march for babies walk in memory of our precious son, matthew phillip. we were so humbled to have our team of 19 strong honor our son in this special way.

i went over to the family tent to change kennedy's diaper before the race and a volunteer recognized me from last year because we hung out the whole walk, since my doctor wouldn't let me participate 3 weeks post c-section. she introduced me to another volunteer and told him how she met me last year when kennedy was just 3 weeks old. he presumed we were walking because of her and went to go get some purple beads, which signifies a nicu baby born too soon, but one who had survived. when he was bringing them back to me, ann said, "oh no, cortney needs the white ones for her team. they're walking in memory of their son matthew phillip and pointed to my t-shirt bearing the words, 'team matthew phillip'." she asked me how many i needed and i said 19. tears were on the brink of filling up my eyes and i didn't want the guy to feel bad because he got the purple beads. i told them i had to run meet my team so he wouldn't see me cry and quickly said my goodbyes.

i started walking back and i just let the tears fall. i told God i wasn't happy about wearing the white beads.

i just want the purple ones. i want him back.

i pulled it together enough to rejoin the group, but more tears fell while a family got up on stage and introduced their daughter who had spent 3 months in the nicu.

i don't want to be here walking...i just want one more day with him.

i was so honored to have our friends come out on a rainy day and walk for matthew. i just wished we were all getting together for breakfast or something...not doing this.

my doctor wasn't a big fan of me walking the whole 4 miles so i bid them farewell at the start of the walk and met up with them for the last mile. by the end of the walk, i felt peace, and healing took over where my anger and sadness once were.

God's in the business of peace, healing, and restoration...we just have to be honest with where we are and ask Him to meet us right there.

a huge thank you to the lindoerfer's, peace's, donaghey's and wainwright's for getting up early, battling the rain, and walking with us today. we love you all and were so honored to have you join us! also, a big thanks to everyone who donated to our team ~ we surpassed our goal and raised $2,110. i was especially grateful for emily and brady getting $5 each from their piggy banks and giving it to me this morning.
it melted my heart.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

project 365 - day 132

colossians 1:10-11
live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience.

i am thankful for the people in my life who encourage me in the above verse. have you ever thought about how exactly you live a worthy life and how you please God? the answer is fairly simple, but i think it's quite difficult to execute. Jesus asks us to love Him and love others above all else. we love Him by growing in our knowledge of Him. what better tool do we have than the bible?

we love others by serving others. i believe this is how we bear fruit in our works. it's not the works that get us to heaven, for it is by grace we have been saved (ephesians 2:8). however the work God calls us to do is to love others and when we do this, we bear fruit.

sometimes i am having such a "me" day, i have to stop, reflect and start over. sometimes the only evidence of me bearing fruit is a lone berry...but i have to start somewhere and ask God for His guidance and power, knowing He is capable, not me, of making my plant bear a full harvest.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

project 365 - day 131

happy birthday 'lil bro!!

today i am thankful for my baby brother on his ___th birthday. let's just say he'll be enjoying his last year of his 20s this coming year! ;-) this is a picture of douglas, with his wife candice and they are expecting baby demi pagie in july! wooo-hooo!! doug, i love you very much!!
happy birthday!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

project 365 - day 130

sunday was mother's day and we had a beautiful day together. i slept in and kennedy and ken made pancakes and woke me up when they were ready. then we went to church and had a nice lunch downtown. both kennedy and i needed a nap afterwards but when we woke we headed to the park for some swingin' and slidin'. it was a fantastic day! i didn't have to change one single diaper or cook anything. i also got a half day at a spa to include a pregnancy massage, facial and pedi from ken. score!

i don't want to pretend that mother's day isn't a hard day for me because it is. but this year, i had it all out 2 days before. friday night i was really emotional and couldn't really pinpoint the reason. then i realized it was mother's day weekend and i had to face another holiday where i would be reminded that i am a mother of 2 with one on the way, but the only child i have living here on earth is kennedy. for any mother who has lost a child, it is a bittersweet day. your heart longs for a completed family but you know that isn't possible until you get to heaven.

on friday i realized i was taking it out on ken when i told him he was working too much on the boat and not spending enough time with us. i even went as far as telling him i hated the boat and asked him how much insurance money we'd get if i blew it up. i was only half joking. while crying i also told him about something that really hurt my feelings involving matthew. as i started talking, i just lost it. my husband was patient and caring enough to know i was just having a moment, that he needed to just listen and not fix it, and that i wasn't really going to go blow up the boat!

sometimes i just miss my son. nothing will change that and nothing will make it better. i just have to take a moment, and i can assure you, no matter how emotional or irrational i might get, i won't be blowing up any boats. by sunday i was ready to have a good day...i didn't want it to be sad at all. then we got to church and they read a pslams that had been very difficult for me after losing matthew. it was psalms 13 where david cries out, "Lord, how long will you forget me? he pleads, "give light to my eyes or i will sleep in death." tears just filled my eyes and i let them spill over. i said something to God along the lines of "are you kidding me...i want to have a good day, not a sad one!" i whispered to ken about why i was crying and he grabbed my hand. by the end of the service i was determined to have a beautiful day...and i did.

i think what i learned is that no matter what i plan, there may be a moment or two i can't control things. what i feel i have to feel. and that's ok with me. God has created me to be the person i am and it's someone who can't really suppress feelings and fake it. i'm good with that.

here are a few pictures of my beautiful kids...

matthew phillip

kennedy grace

lil' bean

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

project 365 - day 123

two nights ago ken came and got me out of bed (although i wasn't quite asleep) and he said, "bin laden is dead!" i quickly got out of bed and joined ken on the couch glued to the t.v. watching the news. after almost 10 years of hunting the top terrorist of the world, they got him.

today i am thankful for all of our military personnel, especially the special operations personnel like seal team 6 who put their lives on the line every single day they serve. thank you for being willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for my freedom. i want to extend heartfelt gratitude to those who have served, past and present, and especially those who have given their lives so that we can live the lives we are accustomed to day in and day out. to the wives and families of these men, thank you for your service and support of your husbands so that they can go out and execute these difficult missions. your sacrifice is much greater than one i will ever know.

my prayers and thoughts continue to be with all of our military men and women as they honorably serve our country fighting this war on terrorism. may God bless you and protect you. thank you for every day you serve and every sacrifice you make. your work does not go unnoticed by this grateful nation.