The Blaines

The Blaines
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Buggin' For a Cure

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

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Princess #3 has arrived

Our newest princess arrived yesterday, October 20th, 2014. She made her entrance at 8:13am weighing in at 7lbs 11oz and 20.5 inches long. She came out a hollering but quickly calmed down once she came to snuggling with me! We have no idea who she looks like, but she's beautiful! 

Her name is Lulah Marie. Many have asked where that came from, so I wanted to take a minute to share with you the sweet way her name came to be. Ellie had quite a few names, not legal ones, just ones we called her.  Along the way she aqurired a few names with Lou in it....Ellie Lou, LuLu, Lou and LullaBelle. When we were trying to find a name for this baby, I really wanted to some how tie Ellie into her name, but not shadow this baby in Ellie. We tossed around a few princess names, but nothing felt right. Once Richard said "I'm just gonna call her Lou" I knew what direction I wanted to head. This name is definetly not a "normal" name for us, and honestly part of me was pretty anxious and like typical Carly, worried what others would think. But the longer I sat with it, the more I liked it. And as Noah walked around calling my belly Lulu, I knew I had to set aside my worries.  I love that she will have a beautiful story to tell when asked about her name.

We are all doing well. Noah is once again in love with another sister. He has ohhhed and ahhhhed over her hair and tiny feet. SG isn't really all that concerned with her, and probably won't be until we bring her home, and she stays there! 

I'd love to thank you all for praying for us, these days have been pretty smooth and there hasn't been an overwhelming emotional melt down. Lulah loves to snuggle with her Daddy, and even her Mommy and that makes everything okay!



Ecclesiastes 11:5
Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things. 

Prayers, Praise and Pink,
Carly

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Plans

Last morning of sleeping in for a while. Tomorrow we get up at the crack of dawn to go have another baby. Wow, that just sounds crazy.  I love the look on people's faces when they ask me "is this your first?" And I politely say, no, my 4th. And then they always ask, how old are they? This is where I still stumble. I haven't found that answer I feel comfortable with.

 At the age of 33, I have to giggle, this wasn't the life I had envisioned in my plan for myself some 10 years ago. I only wanted two children, and I told Richard I wasn't having them until he was out of retail because it's too hard to raise children and work retail. I was also going to have them far enough apart that one would be in school before the next one so I wouldn't have to pay daycare for two.  Again, this was all my plan. I also didn't have a relationship with The Lord then, so I really felt like I had control over this all.  So as we approach baby #4, I'm pretty thankful it is God's plan and not my own. If we'd stopped at two, SG wouldn't be here, and as more and more of her personality shines through (although beyond onry at times) I couldn't imagine our world without her. If I had waited till Richard was out of retail, we still wouldn't have kids, we wouldn't have the amazing insurance we have and we wouldn't have had the support of such an a great company through out the past year.

 And as much as this all makes me happy, I'm still very anxious for tomorrow. We are once again facing a life event without us all here. Usually the day before one of these I get all crazy and snappy...at least I'm starting to recognize it now and I can try to better prepare myself for it. When SG was born, I was preparred to do this alone, with Richard and Ellie in Memphis, but then God made this beautiful plan and allowed Preacher to be visiting them and the doctors to let them come come for a few days. I was blessed with the midnight surprise of my life.  That's not going to happen this time, unless Jesus himself shows up. Nobody can drive up to heaven and pick her up, even if only for an hour. I love seeing my new baby's face for the first time, I love hearing that little scream.  But what I have loved just as much, these past two babies, is watching my other children meet their new sibling for the first time. The grin they get from ear to ear just makes my heart soar. I don't get to see that from all of them this time. You just don't realize how blessed your are in that moment. I'm sure I quickly took it for granted and got stressed out about something. Now as this baby arrives, I d give anything for the stress of having 3 children come to the hospital to meet their sister. Or the problem of trying to fit 4 children in our 3 bedroom house. Problems I never dreampt I would have. 
So I won't even try to pretend I know what the next few weeks has in store for us. Going into this with an open mind, but highly aware how emotional this child's entry to the world will be.  I pray that God will help us raise her with a love of The Lord and the knowledge of her older sister that she never met, but whom she will partially be named after....no we haven't shared her name yet. Totally unlike us (well unlike me) to be this last minute in everything, but this time is so different.
So as many times before, I'm asking our friends to cover us in prayer. That today we can be filled with peace, as anixety starts to grow. Prayers for our family who will indeed be hurting tomorrow. Prayers that we can see the miracle God has given us, and possibly feel some princess strength from our girl.  Thank you in advance for your love and prayers.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 

Prayers, Praise, and Pink
Carly

Friday, October 3, 2014

Back to St.Jude

On a plane, headed to Memphis, by way of Ohio...go figure. My anxiety has lowered, we got to the airport on time, they let me on the plane, and we are in the air! The flight attendant has already been super nice to Noah, and all is well. 

Trying not to put too much thought into what we are headed to do. I know this weekend won't be to easy, I'm aware of all the memories attached to what we are doing. In fact the gate at the airport, right across from ours was headed to Orlando and I saw little girls with Princess back packs boarding. 

Noah is just as excited this time and really wants to open up that tray table, he even brought work books with him since he's not at school today and he knew they were tables he could work on....I love him!

Thoughts going into this weekend....seeing St. Jude for the first time without her by my side. Will they remember us? Will it look the same? Will the same Starbucks girl still work there?  Will I cry? If I do, will I be able to control it? Will the bald heads everywhere tug at my heart? How will Noah do? I bet it will be hot, it's always hot there! Did I bring enough tissues? 

The past few weeks have been filled with many ups and downs. Many days of just missing her immensely but joy from others who share just what she means to them. 

One flight down, nice to meet you Ohio. Now to Memphis. I know that airport too well, I can feel anxiety building now, and it's not just the wiggle worm baby hanging out in my belly.  Noah is still chatting about clouds and when the lady is going to bring the snacks around, even though he has been eating the same breakfast sand which for the past 30 minutes. I'm trying to concentrate on him, I'm failing. 

When we left St. Jude almost a year ago, it didn't feel right. Not because we were now taking a terminally ill child home, but our time there just didn't feel complete, there was something left undone, call it closure if you want, I'm not sure. When a place becomes your life it's hard to just walk away. They didn't make us go, it was voluntary, but it still felt undone. We said good bye to those closest to us...a big part of my heart stayed at that hospital, in fact Ellie's name is on those walls. I knew I had to go back. Many people have thought I was crazy for trying to make this trip being pregnant, but I knew that if God didn't want me to take this trip, doors would have closed, things wouldn't have worked out.  I really need to remember this now. God wouldn't have let this work out if he wasn't going to be by me the entire time. Instead of worrying about my reactions, I need to trust that he's only going to allow what he deems good to happen.

Day 1 is done, we are whopped, but my mind is still going fast! 

Coming into Memphis brought tears. Memphis airport, more tears. Driving up to the hospital, felt like I couldn't breathe. Circled the parking lot 10 times trying to find a spot, helped break the string of sad thoughts! We park, we get out, we cry in the middle of the parking lot, Noah included. Oh wow, this is going to be tough. We pray. I later learned that others were praying for us all day, and I truly believe you interceded for us. We made it through the rest of the day with smiles and memories. One of my favorite moments today was sitting outside amongst the flowers. Ellie always ticked the flowers here, and she loved this one little maze like area with flowers and these big balls she could climb on. We went to take a "break" today (Noah was a hot mess for an hour or so, but he had totally earned the right to be one!) Before I could even realize what was going one, Noah was running around in that make like flower place, with butterflies just flying all around him. He started chasing them trying to catch one, and every time he'd turn around more flew. It was beautiful. I sat to put my feet up and enjoy this moment, and one little but fly landed near me, hung out for a few, then off it went. 
 


We then braved the inside of the hospital. Where we spent more than half the last year of our lives. Not sure I truely soaked it in, I think I was trying really hard not to look at anything too long, because almost every corner of that hospital holds some type of memory, from the reception desk to the waiting room outside of MRI.  We found her brick quickly, thanks to some tips from a friend! There her name is forever etched in the walls of St. Jude, pretty awesome feeling!

I have wonderful memories of that Starbucks too...after long nights of no sleep! So of course I visited, and yes the same girl works there.

Once we got back to our area, Noah quickly realized there was a table of goodies to color and make things, and friends there to play with, I saw him crawled up in a lap and he was happy, probably a much needed break from mommy and daddy! As nurses and doctors and receptionists started to file in, I wondered would they remember her, we weren't around for that long. But they did, they hugged and shared stories of stickers and pink monkey. Some even still have their Ellie stickers!  
It was a sad reason to see one another again, but I'm so glad we did this, and we saw them again. That felt better, like the way it should be. 

To the hotel, feet up for an hour, then off to see our Habitat for Hope friends and go find out how much these high schools raised this time! I had heard just how much Ellie touched these high school students lives. I had heard they were raising this money in her memory, but it didn't hit me until tonight when we got there and saw kids in tiaras. The pink pom poms took me a second to get over, since last year Ellie tried to steal a pair of those, and I forever have that image of her loving the cheer leaders! They announced the total at half time, and these high schoolers raised over $13,000 for Habitat for Hope, in memory of Ellie, oh if you could have seen Noah's face light up when the aid her name....he quickly went back to telling me how cold he was (oh yeah, it's not hot in Memphis this weekend, I was wrong!).  Ellie touched their lives too, students she never met, or only briefly met last year, have learned what is most important in life, living for today and helping others. The pure joy in their faces when they heard how much they raised was awesome!

Today I end the day proud. Proud of us for deciding to be brave and make this trip.  Proud that we've let tears flow freely. Proud that people recognize my daughters smile and remember her monkey. Proud that we have raised a son who loves to talk about his sister. Proud to belong to the St. Jude and the Habitat for Hope family. Proud that I have honestly shared this journey with so many, and because of that, lives are touched. Proud of my Blaine boys for being so strong today (and for how quickly they fell asleep!) 

Thank you all who have prayed for us this weekend. God used you to give us strength today. Keep praying for tomorrow!



St. Jude without you Ellie Lou, is definetly not the same, you my dear were such a light! But thanks to God sending his son, we have the promise of eternal life, we have Hope!

Prayers, Praise and Pink (and oh there was a crazy pink sky here tonight!)
Carly....and my sleepy boys!