The Blaines

The Blaines
For more information about current fundraisers and walks, please click on the picture!

Buggin' For a Cure

Buggin' For a Cure
Learn more about Noah's fundraising goals for 2017

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Happy Birthday SG!

With each new "special day" that occurs in our family, with out Ellie, is hard. Our anniversary, which you don't normally consider your children a part of, was rough, (possibly because I attempted to bake a lasagna in the oven and the whole pan exploded, which left us going out to dinner with two children at 7:00).  We survived that evening okay, and I think ended up having some great conversations...all because of an exploded lasagna (God works in the best, and in our case, messiest ways!)

So today brought about another "special day" that Ellie is not physically here for. However, today went better than previous "special days".  Today my sweet SG turned 1.  I'm pretty sure this was the fastest year of our lives ever. 

A year ago God started showing his hand in orchestrating her story.  Preacher had gone to visit Richard and Ellie. Ellie was undergoing her first inpatient chemo, she "just happened" to be released from the hospital the same day Preacher planned on driving back home to VA.  The doctors' just happened to decided that if they pushed Ellie's schedule by one day, she could come home for her sister's birth. My sister and I giggle when we hear about coincidences, I just don't believe in them anymore, it's just a God thing.

God allowed them to be there for this day, and I'm so grateful.

So now, 1 year later, this little girl who came into the world amongst chaos, is turning 1.
This munchkin for the first 9 months of her life was pretty quiet.  Pretty laid back, never made a fuss.  She just went along with whatever was going on or whomever was loving her. We have a joke around our house, that Ellie and SG had secret conversations before Ellie left us.  I believe Ellie shared all the tricks of the trade of being a little sister. Within days of Ellie's passing SG came out of her quiet baby shell.  She received her sister's spunk, and took over right where Ellie left off.  Not a coincidence at all, just God's handy work.

I thank God for this sweet girl.  When we found out we were pregnant with SG, I spent days trying to figure it all out, where kids were going to sleep, how I was going to get Noah to school when I was on maternity leave....doing all the typical Carly panicking/planning, I do so well.  We made it pretty smoothly through 7 months of pregnancy before Ellie got sick.  They I started trying to figure out how in the world we were going to make our new lives work. How was I going to have a child by myself, how was I going to be able to handle not seeing Ellie while she was in the hospital, how were we going to survive without working.  What have all these "panics" taught me?  The Lord will provide...for every single one of these.  I didn't have to worry about getting Noah all the way to another county for school while I was on maternity leave, a placement in a local preschool had opened up, and the teachers went to our church. I didn't have to have a child by myself, God brought them home.  People were touched by our story and provided iPads so we could see each other daily. Amazing coworkers provided sick days, so that I had a paycheck while I wasn't working. And when we had to pull Noah out of Kindergarten this past year, his old preschool teacher (who goes to our church) was now teaching Kindergarten at his new school.  I'm not sure how you can't look back on this whole ordeal and not see God in the midst of it all

God provided His grace in the form of a chubby little girl, with the same name. She daily reminds me of her sister. She has fallen in love with pink monkey, and often points to pictures of her sisters and smiles or giggles.  She drives Noah crazy, by always trying to get to his toys, and I'm counting down to the day where she starts hitting him, just like Ellie used to. And then I will once again hear "Mommmmmmmyyyyy, she's hitting me!" And the noise will come back to my house. It won't be the same noise, but it will be nice to hear again (please remind me I said that, when I'm ready to lock them up in their rooms)

My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19

Prayers, Praise and Pink

Monday, March 17, 2014

Praise Him

Psalm 148

Praise the Lord.[a]
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
    praise him in the heights above.
Praise him, all his angels;
    praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
Praise him, sun and moon;
    praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, you highest heavens
    and you waters above the skies.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
    for at his command they were created,
and he established them for ever and ever—
    he issued a decree that will never pass away.
Praise the Lord from the earth,
    you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
    stormy winds that do his bidding,
you mountains and all hills,
    fruit trees and all cedars,
10 wild animals and all cattle,
    small creatures and flying birds,
11 kings of the earth and all nations,
    you princes and all rulers on earth,
12 young men and women,
    old men and children.
13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
    for his name alone is exalted;
    his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
14 And he has raised up for his people a horn,[b]
    the praise of all his faithful servants,
    of Israel, the people close to his heart
Yesterday's message at church was to "Praise Him". I believe this is a pretty simple, yet extremely important message. I know its not always easy, especially maybe on a day like today where you are snowed in with crazy kids, or had to try to get to work in the snow, but from personal experience I know that taking those few minutes to praise Him or thank Him will help change your attitude.  Right after Ellie took her last breaths, I went to my knees and I thanked the Lord. I thanked Him for her life, for allowing me to be her mother, for the lives she touched and for ending her suffering.  It sounds weird, but this was one of the most peaceful moments I had had in a long time.  Holy Spirit was all over me and as much as it hurt, a smile came to my face.
I have to remind myself of this often, its so easy to get caught up in the grumps and frustrations of the day.  Its easy to talk about everything that has gone wrong or what others have done that made you mad, but that's not what the Lord made you to do, he made you to praise Him.   "All you have made will praise you, O Lord" Psalm 145:10
Today I praise Him for the snow, for a day at home with my children, for a break from work, for a truck with 4wheel drive that brought my husband safely to work.
For Noah's sweet feeling of his sister right beside Him that brought the biggest smile to his face last night.
For co-wor4kers whose smiles say it all. They understand and they just love me.
For a job to go back to.
For little SG and her almost 1 year old self.
For a personal relationship with the Lord, and just when I feel so lost, He reassures me I'm on the right path.
For friends who always check on me, don't get discouraged when I don't respond, and just love me.
For allowing me 8 years of marriage to my best friend. Who pushes me because he knows I can do more, tries to understand my crazy thoughts, and tells me "no" when I need to hear it. 
So today, make your list. Every time you feel frustrated or angry, Praise Him, even if its just for the fact that you are here today. 
Oh wait....another HUGE praise! We started a new t-shirt fundraiser for our upcoming walks, in only 2 days, we have raised $1,480! Thank you all so much who have supported and donated!  The shirts will be on sale until April 1st.  If you'd like to purchase a new Princess Strong shirt, here's the info
Prayers, PRAISE, and Pink
New favorite song! Enjoy! 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I can shovel!

But don't tell Richard! We have had yet another snow storm here in good old VA! The only difference in this one is that Richard is in Florida. Normally when a snow storm is headed our way, Richard parks the cars in the right spots, remembers to put the wipers up and gets the rock salt all ready...well guess whose wipers were stuck to the windshield...opps! It started snowing Monday, and snowed hard all day, till about 3 and then the most beautiful pink sunset occurred. 

As pink sky pictures popped up all over Facebook, I couldn't help but smile. I guess as a parent whose lost a child, you are afraid that your child will be forgotten, she wasn't forgotten that day.

As the snow let up, I figured it was time to suck it up and start shoveling, at least the sidewalk. I have to be looked rough! I'm spoiled by my hubby who will go out and shovel no matter the conditions, and he always clears the sidewalk perfectly, apparently I don't have that same ability. I went on a hunt for rock salt to melt all the slick spots. I found some...up high on a shelf. Again I would normally ask for help, but I had to go find my own stool to stand on (man do I sound spoiled?) 

Today as I headed out again to take advantage of the sun and the warmth, I grabbed my shovel. And I not sure if I was just delerious from the kids at home by myself all week, or The Lord was truly speaking to me...but I heard "see what you are capable of?" And as the snow melted away, thanks to my shoveling and salt spreading, I had a sense of satisfaction. Not that I want to shovel in the next snow storm (and the way it's been a round here lately that may be next week!) but when I have to do something, when I have no other option, I can do it. I thought back to Ellie, like I always do. I thought back to all the times I heard "I don't know how you do it."  There were no other choices, we just had to. And just like shoveling is no fun, neither is watching your child near the end of her life...but what else are you gonna do?

Why does God put us in these uncomfortable situations? Why does he give us these tasks that seem impossible? The only answer I can give is so that you can see just what you are capable of. So that you can find your strength, and even if it's just from snow shoveling, you can feel happy of the thing you accomplished. I am not happy that Ellie is gone, but I'm super proud of the way Richard and I dealt with it all. I am happy that we continually prayed for guidance and strength to help us accomplish those gigantic tasks. We faced the unthinkable, and I remember often thinking, "how in the world are we going to do this?" But the awesome thing about God, he will lead you down the path that works best. It might not seem like the best path at the time, but I promise you, there's a reason for all the detours, wrong turns, u-turns and traffic delays...he's got it all worked out!

I face my next mountain tomorrow, I go back to work after not being there for almost 6 months. I told Noah I was nervous, of course he asked why. I told him I was worried I might cry...his response "remember what you told me at the cemetary mom? It's okay to cry" I hate when my words comeback to bite me, but he's right. The only person who has a problem with me crying is me. So I will head into work tomorrow (2 hours late...thank you Culpeper!) I know I will be surrounded by love...that's the best part of working with kids! I know that God has given me this challenge to help me see my strength and His. And I will keep reminding myself to be Princess Strong!

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. (Psalm 28:7 NIV)

I sure will miss these two tomorrow! And my snow shoveling super hubby comes home tomorrow!
Prayers, Praise and Pink,