September 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Gene!

I just want to say a quick Happy 60th to my father-in-law, Gene. He and Kathy came down to our house this past weekend for a fun-filled weekend to celebrate. The big surprise (which I just about spoiled) was going to Medieval Times. Kathy coordinated a great evening, that included a great show with some great friends here to surprise the birthday boy. I was even included on the birthday celebration--at Medieval Times they announce all the birthdays being celebrated, and "Lady Alyson" was announced as well as Gene's! How fun!

I've included some pictures of the evening...we were cheering for the Green Knight. He ended up being the bad guy, so I stopped cheering for him. But Justin kept on cheering! =) It was kind of funny though, to be yelling "Go Green!" We kind of felt like crazy environmentalists!

Front of castle--not the best view. I forgot to get my camera out when we took some great pictures of the group before going in, so I had to get a quick snap on our way out. So much for remembering to get pictures (with us in them) for my blog!
Here was our Green Knight...

Here we are in all our Medieval glory...aren't we cute?

I just had to snap a picture of everyone in the waiting area--never before have I seen so many adults looking pretty silly!

Justin was a little worried about his neck in this one!

Justin, me, Kathy, and our places ready to cheer! We were served a delicious meal--all that had to be eaten without utensils! Kind of fun! I remember when I went to Medieval Times when I was little, we were with my Great Aunt Louise (a very proper Southern lady), and she just couldn't handle not having utensils!
Here is our night, getting us to cheer for him.

So all in all, a very fun night. If you've never been to Medieval Times before, you have to try it. It is definitely a fun experience that everyone needs once in their lives!

I hope you really enjoyed your birthday, Gene! And I'm glad I didn't ruin the surprise for you! =)

September 21, 2008

Two months...

Today is the two month anniversary of the day we lost Jonathan. I can't believe it has been two whole months: in some ways, it feels like it was just yesterday, and in other ways, it feels like an eternity ago. Slowly, I find that it is beginning to seem that everything is not a constant reminder of him, but I still find myself thinking..."the last time I was here/did this/etc. I was pregnant." Still kind of hard. But we are moving on and having hope in our future. I can't wait for the day that I can announce that I'm pregnant again, and have all of you praying for our next baby to make it through nine months and be alive in my arms. I know that day is coming.

I thought I'd share a few pictures with you...I've debated long and hard whether I was going to post a picture of Jonathan. I feel so protective of him. I know sometimes babies that are stillborn, or born way too early can tend to make people uncomfortable. I guess my fear is that someone will look at his picture and say he looks awful. I think he is absolutely perfect, and cannot seem to get enough of looking at his picture. I have a small picture of him in my car, on the wallpaper of my computer, and in our room. I love to see him and all his little features that remind me of his daddy. When I look at him, I don't see him as my dead baby, but as my precious, tiny, perfectly created little boy that I didn't have enough time with in this life. He was so small, 1.68 pounds and only 12 inches long, but I will never forget my moments getting to hold my precious son in my arms. So I decided that I would share him with you too.

The picture really doesn't do him justice--he had blonde peach fuzz on his head, had cute little eyebrows, and light eyelashes as well. It makes him look redder than he actually did in real life, but I'm so thankful for all the pictures we have of our sweet boy.

This is our mantle right now. I love the picture that Justin drew with Jesus holding Jonathan in His arms. I look at it every day and it gives me such a peace knowing my little boy is there! His birth certificate with his tiny hand and footprints is also a treasure. I'm really looking forward to the next couple weeks. I'm finishing up my last day of teaching tomorrow, and am planning on making a scrapbook, maybe a shadow box for his little gown that he was wearing, and some other things to remember him. I jumped back into work so quickly after we lost him, which was a good thing for me, but now I'm ready to have some time to sit quietly and remember all the moments of Jonathan's life.

I just want to say a quick thanks to everyone who made my birthday yesterday so special. I was really worried that this was going to be a very hard birthday. But it really wasn't! It was a great day. I had so many cards, emails, phone calls, messages, presents, and nice things done for me. I appreciate so much all of the wonderful people in my life who are there and have continued to be there for me in my life!!!

September 15, 2008


Yesterday I came across a book that I had been given by one of my mom's friends soon after my third miscarriage. It is called "Wait", and is actually a poem, with illustrations on each page. It had been sitting on top of our high dresser in our room, a place I couldn't actually reach, and I'd forgot all about it. After finding Justin to get it down for me (our dresser is really tall!) I spent some time reading it, crying, and thanking God, again, for His plan in my life. I don't know why I always seem to keep forgetting that God does have a plan for my life, and it is a perfect plan. Right now, in my human Alyson-mind, I don't understand it at all. I wish it was different. I wish my plan was coming true. I wish I was celebrating being 30 weeks pregnant tomorrow. But I'm not, and that is so confusing to me.

I read verses that say, "And we can be confident that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will. And if we know he is listening when we make our requests, we can be sure that he will give us what we ask for." (I John 5: 14-15) Or "Dear friends, if our conscience is clear, we can come to God with bold confidence. And we will receive whatever we request because we obey him and do the things that please him." (I John 3:21-22) These, along with so many other verse that say the same sort of thing, have me even more confused. I'm not saying that I am a perfect Christian, BY ANY MEANS, but I feel like I do my best to live for Him, to make choices that would honor Him, to obey Him--the things in those verses. So why am I still not receiving what I'm asking, begging Him for?? His answer came to me in this book that I hadn't read since last December.....Not yet. Wait.

Wait, by Russell Kelfer

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate...
and the Master so gently said,
"Wait? you say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!"
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word.
My future and all to which I relate hangs in the balance
and you tell me to Wait?
I'm needing a 'yes,' a go-ahead sign.
Or even a 'no,' to which I'll resign.
You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply.
Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
as my Master replied again, "Wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
and grumbled to God,
"So, I'm waiting...for what?"
He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine...
and He tenderly said "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.
I could give you all you seek and pleased you would be.
You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of My love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.
You'd not learn to see through the clouds of despair;
you'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
when darkness and silence are all you can see.
You'd never experience the fullness of love
when the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.
The glow of My comfort late into the night,
the faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask
From and infinite God who makes what you have last.
You'd never know should your pain quickly flee,
what it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
but, oh, the loss, if you missed what I'm doing in you.
So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
that the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still...

So that is what I have to do...I have to wait...for His perfect timing for the child, the children I so desperately want. I'm His child, and right now, He is drawing me close to His heart. I never want to lose sight of my ultimate purpose here on Earth--to truly know Him, to bring Him pleasure, not just to get pleasure from raising my own children. Number one in my life must be Him, and in His time, my blessings will come.

September 13, 2008

Jonathan's headstone...

We got a call on Thursday that Jonathan's headstone had been set. We have been waiting for this call, and were suprised that it came this soon. We were really anticipating it coming more towards the end of September, so we were excited to see how it looked. Thursday night was already full (more about the support group we went to in a bit), so Friday after work, we headed to Frisco to see it. I'm glad we got these pictures--as you can tell from the sky, the clouds of Hurricane Ike were already making the sky a bit darker.
The headstone is beautiful--exactly how we hoped it would look. It kind of took my breath away when we walked up and saw it for the first time. I'm so glad that others will know his name when they come to the cemetery, but it was very strange to have it so real--our son is gone, he is buried there, and he will never be in our arms again. The headstone makes all that final. But--I'm happy to have it there. Now everyone will know he was our 'small gift from God' and that we are thankful that God is taking care of him. His angel (from my mom) is still there also--hopefully it won't be a problem when they mow. I look forward to keeping his grave looking nice. I know some people don't believe in visiting graves, or might think it's morbid, but I want to do it. It almost feels like the only thing left, as Jonathan's mom, I can do for him.
The verse reference is our verse from the top of the blog, and the emblem on the right side has two hands together (like praying) with a cross, and words that say "in God's care". Isn't it beautiful?

Now for a bit more about the support group we went to Thursday night...The group is called MEND (Mommies Enduring Neonatal Death) and they have a support group the 2nd Thursday of every month. I had been wanting to try it out and see if it would be a helpful group to be a part of. We went with another couple, our friends Yana and Jonathan, who had a miscarriage at 13 weeks back in June. It was an interesting night. There were about 10 or so couples, along with some moms with teenage daughters, and a couple women by themselves. We went around and shared our loss story at the beginning--some had lost babies after birth due to sickness, disease, or SIDS, some miscarriages, and some as a result of incompetent cervix, like me. I really could identify with some of them. The leader asked a question to start of the discussion, and then it was opened up to whoever felt comfortable talking. We didn't really share that much, but only because a few people kind of hogged much of the discussion. Some of the things that some people said, for me, gave me peace that other people had the same feelings, but some of the people just seemed kind of bitter. A completely understandable emotion, given the situation, but some of these people had lost their baby over 6 years ago, and still were really bitter. I don't want to be that way! I also got the idea that some of them continually brought up their child, intentionally, to friends/family members who were uncomfortable talking to them--almost in a spiteful way. As much as I want to remember Jonathan, talk about him with my friends and family, and not just move on and forget him, I want to be sensitive to my family or friends that it might be uncomfortable for. I know that we'll never forget him, that he will always be a part of my thoughts each day, but I understand completely that others move on with their lives and don't think about him as much as I do!
So all that to say that I don't think that this is the group for us. It does great things, and I'm sure is helpful to some people, but just not for us! Plus, the fact that it is south of the airport, about an hour from our house, makes me want to look for one a bit closer to home! I already feel like I have my own little support group already with my friends here that have gone through loss. I'm thankful for them and the help they've already been. We went out to dinner with Andy and Elisabeth on Wednesday night. We all really hit it off and spent about 2 hours talking. Elisabeth and I talked about each of our babies, and what happened to us over the last weeks. I know that she and I will be a support to each other--it is nice to talk to someone who really gets you. So many of our emotions, reactions, and experiences are the same. We both miss our babies more than anything, wish they were back with us, don't really understand God's plan, but we both trust Him. We know He is carrying us through--even through the hardest days.

Please keep your prayers coming--for us and for the Solomons. I know the prayers for us have helped us so much. I'm really having more good days than bad days as of late. Weekends seem to be harder than weekdays, since I'm not quite as busy, but so far, I'm doing okay this weekend. There are always things that will spark a bit of sadness though--I was driving down to the grocery store this morning, before the hurricane effects get too close to us, and I saw something that made me have a "I wish..." moment. A big tall guy was walking down the street with his little boy, probably about 1 1/2 years old, on his shoulders. The dad reminded me of Justin, and instantly thought, I wish Justin had gotten to walk with Jonathan on his shoulders like that. So things like that, reminders of what will never happen, are the hard things right now. But I know that Justin WILL get to walk with his children on his shoulders!! We will have more children! I'm praying that God would bless us soon with a baby! I know that we are to be parents to children here on earth!

I have just two more weeks of subbing, which I'm glad about. I've really enjoyed being there, working with some great kids, but I'm ready to spend a bit of time doing some remembrance things with Jonathan's things and pictures. I'm planning on making a scrapbook, a shadow box to hang on the wall, and some other things. I'm ready to do that now, and am really looking forward to it. Plus, my brother's wedding is just 3 weeks away!! I'm SOOO looking forward to being there!

I just realized how long this blog is, so I'd better finish up! So far, Ike is just bringing us some heavy winds and some light rain. I don't think it should be too bad, so I think I'll use the weather outside to keep me inside so I can get my house cleaned!! Have a great weekend!

September 3, 2008

I've been tagged...Huh?

So I've been blogging for awhile now, but I have to admit I wasn't quite sure what being "tagged" actually meant. So I asked my husband, frequent blogger, and he didn't know either! Usually, with any blog-related question I immediately call my friend Amy, professional blogger, but of course, this week she is in Germany!! So I'm assuming, after looking at my "tagger" friends blogs, that I just fill in the info they did on their blogs about myself. I've never been one to forward on many emails, do chain letters, or anything like that, but after quite a few weeks of some pretty heavy blogs, I thought completing the "tags" might be fun! So, here goes---

Tag request #1 (Thanks Amy!)
My 6 Most Interesting quirks

1. I love making lists: grocery lists, to do lists, any kind of list! What is more quirky (or maybe slightly OCD!) even if I have already done something that wasn't on my list, I like to add it so I can cross it off! I know, I know...

2. I love doing crafty projects, but am not the best at finishing them! I have finished some, but right now upstairs I have about 3 unfinished crocheted quilts, many beaded bracelets that aren't finished, half done photo albums, and lots of fabric just waiting to be made into something! I just know I'll have some time soon to get some projects actually done! =)

3. I can't stand it when drawers are left open. I always have to push in whatever is sticking out and close them. My mom has told me that even when I was little, I would do the same thing!

4. I really don't like clothes/shoes shopping. I'll do it if I have to, but I'd much rather go shop for office/organizing supplies!

5. I love the People Magazine crossword puzzles!! I have to do it each week once the magazine comes in the mail. It is so exciting when I actaully can do the whole thing--I guess that means I spend too much time finding out about celebrities! My husband thinks People magazine is junk, but I just can't help it--I love it!

6. I love news talk radio. Here in Dallas, I especially love KSKY 660. I admit, the last month, I've been out of the loop, but now with election news heating up, and Sarah Palin in the race, I'm back to listening!

Phew--those were kind of tough to come up with!!

Tag request #2 (Thanks Joy!)
Me, Me, A to Z

A: Attached or Single? Very happily attached! Justin and I are working on our 6th year of marriage, and have been together for almost 8 years. I love being married to Justin!!

B: Best Friend? Justin, of course! He is my best friend and I absolutely love every minute that we spend together. Honestly, I would choose to be sitting here in our living room together over almost anything else! I have so many best girl-friends too, and I would consider my mom one of my best friends!

C: Cake or Pie? Cake, but not chocolate. I'm actually a bit quirky about my cake...If possible, I like to have my piece of cake in a bowl, with milk, and slightly mushed up. =) My mom is actually a wonderful pie maker, but I'm just not much for pie crust...sorry Mom!

D: Day of Choice? Saturday--I love the fact that the week is over, getting to sleep in, spending the day with Justin, and going to church and lifegroup, and knowing that I still have another day off on Sunday before going back to work!

E: Essential Item? I'm going to have to say my cell phone. I honestly don't know what I'd do if I lost it! I used to always memorize everyone's phone numbers, but since the advent of the address book on cell phones, I don't even see the numbers! I guess I better go right now and write down all those numbers, just in case something happens to my phone! (I have killed a cell phone before--I sent it for a swim in my bathtub. Oops!)

F: Favorite Color? Purple

G: Gummy Bears or Gummy Worms? Gummy worms, even though I haven't had them in years! I just had gummy bears about a month ago, and I had forgotten how hard they are to chew. From what I remember, since the worms are longer, they are much easier to eat!

H: Hometown? Born and raised in Fresno, California. I guess I'm feeling pretty at home here now, after 5 years, so I guess I could say McKinney, Texas as well!

I: Favorite Indulgence? A warm bath with a great book!

J: January or July? January--I like the cold better since you can bundle up, have fires in the fireplace, and occasionally play in the snow! July is just too darn hot and humid here in Texas!

K: Kids? 4 babies, in heaven. Before having Jonathan at the end of July, I had three miscarriages. I miss them so much, and truly wish I could have them all here in my arms, but I know they are much happier in Jesus' arms! It will be a great day when I finally get to hold them all and spend eternity with them! I'm praying that God will bless us with children here on Earth soon.

L: Life isn't complete without? Betsy!! I love my puppy!!

M: Marriage Date? Friday, December 27, 2002 at 1 pm. What a perfect day that was...up in the mountains in California...a crisp, sunny day, with puffy clouds in the sky and beautiful snow on the ground! I'll never forget it!

N: Number of brothers and sisters? 1 older brother, Aaron. We grew up not getting along too well, but now I consider him one of my very best friends! He is an amazing, smart, entreprenurial, and considerate person! I have one sister in law, Joy, and will have another one, Kristen, in just 31 days!!!

O: Oranges or apples? Oranges. Growing up, we had an orange tree in our backyard. I loved going out there, picking them, and eating them! Haven't really found any oranges in Texas yet that have tasted as good, but they are still my favorite!

P: Phobias? Snakes. Don't like them. In a cage they are okay, even thought I don't understand why anyone would ever have one as a pet. Just don't want to come across any in my yard.

Q: Quotes? "Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, faith looks up." ~Author Unknown
This one has helped me a lot in the last month!

R: Reasons to smile? Knowing Jesus has a perfect plan for my life. Sometimes, I don't quite understand it, but it makes me smile know He does!!

S: Season of choice? Fall...I love when it starts to get that crisp feeling outside, getting to start layering on the clothes, and watching the leaves change color. I can't wait--it is almost here! =)

T: Tag 5 people? Here goes--Jolene, Amy B, Amy W, Cristina, and Ronni

U: Unknown fact? Once, when I was 11, I spent a week in Huntsville, Alabama at Space Camp. It was so much fun, but I actually had my most embarrassing moment there--I accidentally set off the fire alarm. All 600 kids there who were waiting to go into the Imax theater for an astronaut training session had to evacuate the building!! I wanted to sink into the floor!!

V: Vegetable? Jicama. You might not have even heard of it, but find it and try it! Yummy and refreshing!

W: Worst Habit? Talking too fast. I feel like I have so much great stuff to say =), but when my students mention it, I know it is something I have to work on.

X: X-Ray or Ultrasound? Ultrasound...I loved the ultrasounds that I had when I was pregnant with Jonathan. Can't wait to have more with future pregnancies! It is just amazing to be able to peek in at the life growing inside of you!!!

Y: Your favorite food? Depends on my mood...chocolate chip cookies with milk, chex mix, or sour cream chicken enchiladas.

Z: Zodiac sign? Libra. Actually had to look this up, just to make sure I was right. As you can tell, I don't put much belief in this.

Well that was actually a lot of fun! I bet those of you who read all the way to the bottom need to rest your eyes!! Hope you are having a great week!