/> Raising Angels: April 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Max Update

Thanks for all of your prayers. Max's surgery went smoothly and was over quickly. Unfortunately, coming out of the anesthesia was not as pleasant. The nurse kept asking me, "How do you console him?" I tried to tell her I don't have to do that at all really. He is so content. Today, however, he was MAD and inconsolable for a good 30 minutes.

Fortunately, the rest of the day was good. He was a little more clingy than usual and tugging at his little ears quite a bit. The doctor said that they removed so much fluid and that it was so thick that they had to change instruments because the first one got clogged. I'm hopeful that if it was that bad, that this surgery will make a world of difference for him.

Now if we can just get him moving!

Monday, April 27, 2009

I've Got the Power

My baby is having surgery tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. to have tubes put in his ears. They say it is routine. Other parents tell me it's no big deal. There's a rational part of me somewhere in here that knows they are right. I know it's what's best for Max. I'm hopeful that the constant ear infections and pain that he's experienced for a large part of his little life will finally be over.

Then there's that darn emotional part of me that envisions someone taking him out of my arms to put him to sleep on a cold table and operate on him without me anywhere near him. That's the part I do not like.

As a parent I have already had plenty of opportunities to realize that there are times in my children's lives when I am totally helpless. There will be pain they experience that I cannot save them from. There will be mistakes they make that will bring on consequences I cannot stop. There will be all too many times when my hugs and kisses won't heal the hurts.

It's a horrible feeling that helplessness. As parents we tend to want to be superheroes where our kids are concerned. But even as I dwell on these feelings I realize that I am not really helpless at all. I have a power that will heal the pain, forgive mistakes and save them from oh so many things. I have Jesus.

And so tonight, as I toss and turn I will offer up some prayers. Tomorrow as the tears come, as I know they will, I will pray. I will not be helpless. I will fall on my knees and ask Jesus to be with my baby when I can't. I will ask him to give precision to the surgeon. I will ask him to heal my son.

I don’t know how people get through this life without Jesus. I’m awfully glad I don’t have to!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Glory(ous) Day

The Glory Run not only raises money for our school, but it's also a fun family event.
Dawson ran his heart out in the Tot Trot.
Aiden ran his first mile in ten minutes which I didn't think was possible. He did not enjoy training at all, but he did great today.
Aiden was very proud of himself too. Although he was disappointed he didn't win a medal. He couldn't figure out why Nelson, who ran with him, won one and he didn't.
Mackenzie completed her first 5K and was amazing. We trained so hard but never did more than 4K and it took us forever. I tried to talk her into doing the mile but she was determined.
Today she was amazing and completed the 5K ten minutes faster than any of our training sessions.

She won first place in her age division and I was so proud. I think she actually had fun. I also think she may be a bit sore tomorrow.

It was a very fun day. It was such an honor to run that race with my daughter. It was so fun watching my husband and sons race. I've come a long way!

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Change of Mind

Tomorrow is Glory Run day again and, instead of dreading it, I'm actually looking forward to it. Who would've ever thought?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Today was one of those days. A doctor's appointment for me, physical therapy and a trip to the ENT for Max, a few carpools, dinner for two other families and Nelson out of town.

There is a surgery in Max's future and possibly in mine (both minor, but surgeries nonetheless). I watched my son struggle to do things that other babies do naturally and then fall down in exhaustion after an hour of hard work. I had a pretty awful experience picking up "easy" chicken for dinner. It was just a busy, busy day.

And then my mom called and asked me to pray for her supervisor's 24 year old daughter and mother of two, who was found dead in her home today. I was shocked and sad even though I didn't know her.

After I prayed for her I suddenly found myself exceptionally grateful for my tiny little struggles. At least I'm here I thought. So one of my babies needs some help, I can hold him through it. So I waited for an hour for chicken - in the grand scheme of things it's just not a big deal.

We can never know when God will choose to call us home. Quite frankly, why He calls mothers of young children is beyond my comprehension. What I do know is that the time we have here on earth is brief. The chances we have to spend with family and friends are precious.

The life we've been given is a gift. And I thank God today for every rotten, stinking, horrible, wonderful, amazing, spectacular minute!

Monday, April 20, 2009

My New Favorite Game

As Dawson headed up the stairs tonight I called out to him. "I love you buddy!"

"I love you more than you love me," he said triumphantly.

"That's impossible," I said quite truthfully. "I definitely love you more."

"No. I love you more," he said.

"No way, José.”

And on it went until he was out of ear shot.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Playing Catch

We still have a baby who doesn't crawl. We start therapy Wednesday. In the mean time we've found other ways to entertain him.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

God is Watching Us

As we sat at the dinner table tonight, Aiden looked up and said, "Look Mama, Jesus! Look right there where the sun is shining on the cross on the door."

I turned and looked and sure enough the sunlight was hitting the door to the apartment so that the cross shape at the top was highlighted in iridescent colors. "You're right Aiden. I do see the cross," I said, amazed at how this little guy seems to spot Jesus in the most common places.

"That means that God is here," he assured me.

I have no doubt he was right.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Activities

We colored some eggs.
Made our traditional Easter Bunny cake.
Got all dressed up for church on Sunday.
Cried when I saw my goddaughter wearing the same dress Mackenzie wore for Easter at her age.
And, got really excited about some discovered eggs in the yard.

Best of all, somewhere along the way, I found peace and managed to keep it and enjoy it all week long. I'm working on holding on tight to it for as long as possible.

I hope your Easter was joyful and peaceful. If not, I hope you find some during this Easter season!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Not Sure I Like Where this is Going

This evening at the dinner table Dawson looked up between bites and asked, "What's that number that comes before 100?"

"99," I answered.

"Yeah, that's right! It's 99." He finished swallowing and continued, "And, how old are you again?"

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Golf Terms

On the way to church tonight Mackenzie was filling us in on her day at the Masters with her Papa.

"Did he teach you about the game of golf?" I wanted to know.

"Yes. I really learned all about it," she let us know.

"What did you learn?" the boys asked.

"Well I learned what Birdies and Hawks are."

Looks like we might need a round two next year Papa:)!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Grateful - Day 43

I'm grateful today that it's Spring Break and I made banana pancakes in my PJs. At no point today did I feel rushed to do anything. I got things done, but I just didn't have to hurry and it felt really, really nice.

We sat on the family room floor and did the Resurrection Eggs today. The three big kids got their Easter haircuts. Then they played and played and played outside.

Overall it was a peaceful day and that's something I'm always grateful for!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Grateful - Day 42

Today I'm grateful that I live in the city that hosts the greatest golf tournament in the world. It's not that I'm so fond of golf, just what it brings.

It brings a week off of school for all three kids. It brings my aunt, uncle and a cousin for a visit. It brings my brother the priest. It brings my other brother (proud loser of 35 lbs. and my running partner for the night). It brings an invitation to a family dinner I didn't have to cook. It brings a chance for my daughter to see the tournament for the first time.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Grateful - Day 41

Dear Fr. Tim,

It was such a blessing to be able to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation today. I know that this week is one of the busiest weeks of the year for priests and yet there you were, hearing daily confessions as you always do.

When it came time for Mackenzie to enter, I turned to watch her walk in. She was the epitome of innocence. She had prepared for her confession and was ready. There was no fear - okay, perhaps a little nervousness. She was happy to have the opportunity to flex her fairly new-found sacramental rights. She walked into the Confessional and sat down right in front of you. I was so proud. She was beautiful. She was all those things but that is not what moved me.

What I saw when she walked into that Confessional was the warm smile on your face as you greeted her. In that moment I saw Jesus sitting there welcoming my daughter with open arms. It was in that moment I was reminded of the beauty of this sacrament - the gift that it is - the wonder of our faith. Jesus doesn't shy away from sinners and He doesn't shun them. In fact, He welcomes sinners with open arms and a warm smile just like you did today.

When we were walking back to the car I said to her, "We were so blessed to be able to go to Confession today. Don't you feel better now?"

"You know before I came here I just felt kind of all, well all full, you know from sins I guess. But now I feel so light and happy," she related. And so did I.

Today you were God's instrument. Today I saw Jesus in you in a clear and powerful way. Today I hope you are encouraged in your vocation.

With love, prayers and gratitude,

Amy Parris

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Grateful - Day 37

Today I am grateful for the little ways God shows us He loves us. I'm talking about the things He does for us that we don't ask for, that aren't necessary, but are oh so much fun.

To say that things have been tight around here financially is really an understatement. Needless to say, disposable income is nonexistent. I have to admit that I've probably had the hardest time with this since I often rewarded myself for making it through Nelson's late nights by picking up take out. I also get in a lot of my adult conversation with friends over chicken nuggets at a playground.

Forgoing eating out is not the only sacrifice involved and by no means the biggest...just one that I really miss every once in awhile. But in the last few weeks God has handed me a few surprises and they have blown me away.

A few weeks ago our local Brewster's offered a free waffle cone to anyone who came to the store in their pajamas. Now I'm not one for going public places in your PJs but this occasion involved ice cream. I loaded up the kids and met some friends and boy did we have fun. Dawson, who usually gets the kid sized cone, was the first to get his. The size of his eyes when he saw his gigantic cone was worth the whole night. We sat around and talked, the kids raced around, we all ate really delicious ice cream and it didn't cost me a dime. What a great memory!

Today I discovered that Chick-fil-A was giving away breakfast. I was in the neighborhood so I popped in to check it out. It was true and they gave me, Dawson and Max chicken biscuits...for FREE. We sat down near the play area and discovered that on Thursdays they offer free crafts for the kids. Breakfast, an Easter magnet, time on the playground and time with two of my favorite boys - PRICELESS.

God certainly did not have to do that for me. I am a big enough girl to live without a few conveniences here and there. God knows that. He did it for me anyway. Do you see His love? I didn't need it. I don't deserve it. I wasn't looking for it. I didn't even ask for it. He did it because He's God, He loves me and that’s the way He rolls.

Thinking about this tonight actually brought a tear to my eye, not because I love Chick-fil-A but because I really felt His infinite love for me. I figure, if He loves me enough to do a little thing unnecessary thing like this, how much more will He provide for me where I really need it.

Sometimes, the best things in life really are free!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Grateful - Day 36

Today I am grateful just to make it through another day. Sometimes I take that for granted or say it tongue in cheek but today I thought a lot about this and I mean it.

It was one of those days that my first thought upon waking was, "When can I get some rest?" I then ran through the next several days and I couldn't think of one down moment. It made it hard to get out of bed.

Today involved Nelson leaving town and me getting kids up, dressed, fed and all of us to school by 8:30 in the pouring down rain. Teach ballroom dance to the entire high school by myself. Run Dawson to school. Prep dinner for three families. Run back to school for Dawson's Easter party. Get after school snacks and homework done. Run back and forth to piano lessons. Cook dinner and deliver. Pick kids up from Catechesis. Feed my kids and get them to bed. Clean up gigantic kitchen mess and fold two loads of laundry.

I know all mothers are busy and I'm not suggesting that I'm any busier. I do this every so often so that when I look back on these days I will remember the good and the bad. I will remember all the hours I put in to building the character of my children and tightening the bonds of my family. And, hopefully, one day down the road I'll be able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labor.