Saturday, February 28, 2009

Harper Anne Update!!

Many of you still check in to read about Harper Anne and the progress she's been making since her first surgery. Erin and Chad took Harper to the doctor in Birmingham this week for a check-up. She is doing really well. She's gained some more weight!! Praise the Lord. The doctor said that she looked good and that he was VERY PLEASED!! Jesselyn said that the doctor told Erin and Chad that they "are really whippin' this!!" Erin's hopeful that on their next visit in three weeks that they may talk about the next surgery date. Keep praying for our girl! We're so proud of her!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sweet Brooke

There are many people in my life that I have a very close relationship with. I tend to make friends quickly and really feel like I have a genuine connection with each one of them!! Take a look at my new friend in the middle of the picture. Meet Brooke!
Kristen, Brooke & Me

Here is our story: Over the past year, Brooke has worked with the Americorp team doing projects around the country. They have participated in disaster relief working with the floods in Iowa, environmental work and for the past 8 weeks, they have been in Meridian working with Habitat for Humanity.

I was leading a Disciple Now in January, and we spent our Saturday morning painting a Habitat house. I was working with 7th & 8th graders and we had to have a project leader. You guessed it! Brooke was our leader. We were all really busy so I was able to talk to her in small amounts of time. As we were packing up to leave, I asked her how long they would be in Meridian and told them that if they were looking for a church to come to, that we would love to have her at FBC.

Fonda (the Habitat for Humanity Director) made arrangements with FBC to feed Brooke's crew every Wedensday night at family night supper. When I entered the fellowship hall the Wednesday night after I led the D-Now, I saw Brooke and her crew and was THRILLED to see them. The rest of the story is history. Kristen, Brooke and I made an instant connection and have enjoyed every moment we've spent together!!

Back at the Habitat house, I could tell that Brooke was eager to learn more about the word of God, and I knew that God had placed her in my life so that I could invest in her. That's exactly what Kristen and I did. We have had many conversations about Christ and what he does in our lives each day. We wanted to share the love of Christ with Brooke, and I really feel like we did!

Kristen and I wanted to get Brooke something to take back to Iowa with her that would be beneficial to her. Most of the things that we've done with Brooke have been centered around church. We have been able to share God's word with her in bits and pieces, so we decided that it would be wonderful for her to have a new bible of her own. Most people would call our friendship with Brooke a "God thing" and I truly believe that it is! I feel so blessed to be able to call her friend and I know that Kristen does too. We didn't meet Brooke until she had been in Meridian for almost four weeks... so we kind of feel cheated on the amount of time we've been able to hang-out with her. I am forever grateful for God placing Brooke and Kristen in my life. I am so blessed with many friendships, and am so thankful to have been able to share God's love with Brooke.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Surprise of a Lifetime...

Oh my goodness! This past week has been one of the most special weeks of my life. I absolutely LOVE to celebrate birthdays... family birthdays, friend birthdays, kiddos at FBC birthdays and especially mine :) I usually tend to celebrate all week long!! That's just what I did last week! I spent Monday night in Jackson with a friend and we went to dinner and celebrated. Tuesday night after bible study, we went to El Norte and I got serenaded by the waiters... sombrero and all! Wednesday and Thursday I enjoyed lunch and/or dinner with friends and then Friday, one of the ladies at the office brought me a white chocolate cheesecake and the minister of music made me a black bottom southern pecan cheesecake pie!

On Saturday morning, a friend of mine called to say that she wanted to take me to get a pedicure in honor of birthday and then take me to lunch! I was really excited because I was definitely looking forward to girl time. We had to run by the church because Kristen's husband was supposedly playing basketball and her purse was in his truck. When we got to the church to get it, I opened the door to the gym and there were a ton of my kiddos from the preschool and children's ministry and all of their parents yelling "Surprise!!" My party was absolutely a complete surpise! I was thrilled.

Perhaps the BEST surprise of the whole day was that my BEST FRIEND in the whole world surprised me! She was in town and my mom had arranged for her to come and see me! Lauren and her fiance are the two pictured above! I cried when I saw her! Thanks you two for making my day even more special... and thanks so much Mom for helping make this day happen! You are definitely my biggest fan and I love you more than you'll ever know!

I always have my camera handy... and had I known that there would be a great photo op in the gym, I definitely would have taken my camera. I don't have all of the pictures from my party yet but I did manage to get a photo of my birthday cake!

There were so many people involved in making my party a complete surprise! There's no way that I can ever thank all of you individually, but please know that I count it a complete honor to work with such a loving church family! You all do so much for me and I really appreciate all of you!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Lovin' on Harper Anne!

Boy, did I feel special last night getting to hold Harper Anne for almost 2 hours! She's so precious! My mom and grandmother cooked dinner for Erin & Chad and we took it out there and we were able to love on our Harper girl while they enjoyed a nice homecooked meal. Last night was the first time I've gotten to hold her since the day after she was born and I loved EVERY minute of it.

Couldn't resist!! Look how little she is!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Little Surprise!

My 5th & 6th grade kiddos were up to a little something in Sunday School yesterday...

Thank you so much kiddos! It truly was a nice birthday surprise!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Note from Erin and Chad...

I would just like to take a moment to thank everyone who kept up with Harper and this journey our family has been on through Abby's blog. The support of each of you and your prayers and of course God is what kept this mother sane during a very trying time. Words cannot express the heartfelt gratitude I feel toward each and everyone of you. Without the power of prayer I really don't know what Harper would be facing today. Thank you each again and please continue to remember us in your prayers as we await our open heart surgery in the next couple of months. Thank you Abby for being such a great friend and cousin. I don't know what our family would do without you. Every family needs an Abby!!!! Your love, support, and encouragement have meant so much to me. I am so glad you have been there for Harper this whole time (including the delivery room). We love you!!!Chad, Erin, and Harper

Thursday, February 5, 2009

There's No Place Like Home

It's official! Harper has been discharged from UAB and she and her parents are back in Meridian. On of our many relatives went to be with Jesus this past week and we celebrated her life today. As 4o of us were eating lunch after the servies, Jesselyn (Harper's Nana) stood up to make the grand announement that our girl was on her way home! We were all THRILLED!! Thanks so much for all of your prayers! Keep them coming!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Keep on Keepin' on!

Hey friends! I finally got in touch with Erin a few minutes ago and she said that Harper is doing GREAT!! She's eating about 2 ounces every 2 hours. They told her that they wanted to wait until Friday to send her back to Meridian, but that everything depended on Harper's weight gain.
Since the first surgery is over and Harper is on the road to recovery, there isn't as much to post about. However, I will continue to stay in touch with Erin and Chad and let you know how she is progressing... just not each day like I've been doing.
I try to update every day because if I don't, some of you faithful readers start sending texts wondering if something is wrong. Believe me, our girl is recovering beautifully and I WILL let you know if there is anything extra that you need to add to your prayer list. Thanks for following and keeping up with my family over the past few weeks. We can't say enough about how caring each of you have been and how attentive you've been to our needs. We love ya'll!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Going Home...

Erin touched base with me this morning with some EXCELLENT news! They have moved Harper Anne to a room on the floor with the hopes that they'll be able to come home in 2-3 days. Her echo showed that everything looked really good. Her oxygen levels did come down, so there won't be any need to readjust the pulmonary band. Our God is so good!!
On my way to Jackson yesterday, a song came on my iPod and it made me think of the past week with Harper Anne, Erin and Chad, our family and all of the struggles that came along with it. It was "Wonderful, Merciful Savior" by one of my favorite groups, Selah!
"Wonderful, Merciful Savior,
Precious Redeemer and Friend
Who would've thought that a lamb could,
Rescue the souls of man,
oh, you rescue the souls of man.
Counselor, Comforter, Keeper
Spirit we long to embrace
you offer hope when our hearts have,
hopelessly lost our way.
oh, we've hopelessly lost our way.
You are the one that we praise,
you are the one we adore,
you give the healing and grace,
our hearts always hunger for.
Almighty, infinite father,
faithfully loving your own.
Here in our weakness you find us,
Falling before your throne,
Oh, we're falling before your thone."
We pray daily that God will reveal Himself to us through the people and the situations in our lives. Harper's illness definitely brought people to their knees in prayer and God knew that we were hungry and wanted Harper to be healed. Our God is AMAZING and He is the reason that Harper is better today. He absolutely deserves all of the praise for what He has done.
We all know how hospitals are, so we're not sure when Harper will be discharged, exactly. However, we're optimistic that it will be soon!! Keep us in your prayers!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Another Prayer for Harper Anne...

Harper Anne is doing really well today. She was taken off the ventilator this morning and was able to eat an ounce and she did well with it. However, her oxygen level is kind of high and we need to get that down to the upper 80's or lower 90's. If her oxygen levels don't come down, then the surgeon may have to go back in and try to loosen or tighten the pulmonary band that was put around her pulmonary artery. That sweet girl is alert today and Erin was able to hold her for a little while. Everyone is in much better spirits! I'll keep updating as I hear from her.
Also, several of you have asked about Roger & Jesselyn and James Harold & Anne. All of the grandparents are definitely hanging in there. They have been by Erin and Chad the whole week and I know that they are so thankful to have such great parents.
Until I hear something else...


Erin just sent me a text saying that Harper is breathing on her own and that she should be able to try and eat later on today! She is doing great! Keep on Praying!!