Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Singing over my daughter

I just got Abby down for a late afternoon nap, finally! She woke up about an hour ago screaming, because of some gas she had trapped in her little stomach. Andy helped her "fart" it out and she felt a lot better, and I just finished rocking her back to sleep- she was exhausted!!
Some of my favorite moments with Abby are right after I feed her, or right before a nap, when I rock her and sing to her. Sometimes I sing silly children's songs to her, sometimes lullabyes, sometimes hymns, and sometimes I just make up songs about how much I love her and how cute she is! Today I sang a song we used to sing at Cov Pres in Harrisonburg a lot, "He will Rejoice Over You." As I sung the words to her, my heart was filled (as it very often is lately!) with such an incredible love for this little miracle that I have been so blessed with. The words became a prayer, that she would hear the voice of her heavenly Father, that she would know how deep and wide is his love for her, that she would know how much he DELIGHTS in her! And then it struck me, as I was "singing over" my child, rejoicing over her, delighting in her, and singing about how the Lord rejoices over her, that he rejoices over me just the same!
You see, it is easy to believe that God rejoices over and delights in my daughter, but it is harder yet to believe that he does the same with me. And as I sang to my sweet Abby, I realized that as much as I love her, the Lord loves her infinately more than I ever will or could, and he loves me with this same love! I have known that the Lord loves me this much, but now that I am a mother with a child of my own, and I know what it is like to love your child with a deep, unquenchable love, I feel that I am beginning to understand just a little bit more how deep the Father's love is for me.
I pray that I will be reminded of my Father's great love for me every time I rejoice over my sweet girl with singing, whether its a hymn that speaks of the riches of the gospel, or just one of those silly songs!

The Lord our God is with you, He is mighty to save.
The Lord will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love.

He will rejoice over you, He will rejoice over you.
If you could only hear His voice, you would hear the Lord rejoice,
Rejoicing over you with singing.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


As I was looking through our pictures of Abby in iphoto, I noticed that at the bottom it said that we have 630 pictures in our "Abigail Shea" folder. I did the math, and this means that in the 70 days that Abby has been alive, we have averaged 9 pictures a day. What in the world did we DO before digital cameras??

Christmas 1

We spent the first week after Andy's surgery and Christmas at his parents house in Virginia Beach. It was SUCH a great week, so relaxing and peaceful, especially after being cooped up in a hospital for a week! We didnt take a lot of pictures because Andy was just starting to get better, but here are a few from the week.

Abby loves being held and cuddled by her grandma!

Abby and her Great Grandpa Wise

In her Christmas PJ's and bunny hat... so cute!

Highlights from the week:
-Trisha's yummy cooking- nothing beats a good home-cooked meal!
-Bruiser got walked at LEAST 5 times a day by Bruce. Needless to say, by the end of the week he had lost a few pounds and was the most well behaved dog we have ever seen. Hmmm maybe we should try walking him more often at home??
-Seeing how big Andy's cousins sweet kids have gotten in the past year. Especially sweet Anna, who will be a fun playmate for Abby in the future.
-Andy went from taking one short (and by short, I mean 5 minutes, TOPS) walk a day to taking several long walks each day
-Christmas cookies and lemon bars!
-Making our family's recipe for Peanut Brittle for the first time all by myself!
-Waking up on Christmas morning next to my husband, five days after his tumor was successfully removed, and realizing the best gift I got this year was him, alive and well, to wake up next to me for many Christmas mornings to come

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Birthday Buddies

We are so blessed to have a sweet buddy for Abby already, Jaden Coller. He was born on the same day as Abby, in the room right next door! His mommy, Patricia, and I have gotten to be good friends over the past semester as we have bonded over our pregnancies and now, our new babies! It is SUCH a blessing to have a sister in Christ in Blacksbburg who is going through all the same things as me at the same time! She has become a good friend and I hope that Abby and Jaden will enjoy each other, too. THese are the first pictures we have taken of them together- I don't know why it has taken us so long to get some, but Im sure there will be many more to come!

Not sure what to think...

I love my buddy Jaden!

Fascinated by the hokie bird mobile

Thank You, baby weymouth!

Dear Baby Weymouth,
Thank you so much for the flower robe that you sent to me. It is so soft and the colors are so pretty! As you can see I really like wearing it, it makes me smile and laugh. My mommy likes to put me in it before I take a bath. She says that I am irresistably cute in it. I can't wait to meet you, hurry up and come so that we can play together!
Your BFF Abby

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

We're baaaaaaack!

One month ago today.....

Andy had just been moved from the ICU into a regular hospital bed, was still in a lot of pain, unable to get out of bed yet, eat solid foods, close his left eye, or focus on anything for very long.
Abby was just a month old and waking up every 2-3 hours to eat at night. She was sleeping most of the time during the day, and weighed about 8 1/2 pounds.


Andy is almost back to normal!!! He can do almost everything he used to, except drive or ride his bike (this means he is no longer exempt from dishes duty or holding Abby during one of her cry-fests!!). He has started putting a few hours a day into work again, and is signed up to take 3 classes this semester. And the best news- we have started to notice the left side of his face moving again! Just a little bit in the corner of his mouth and above his eye, but a little bit is very encouraging to us, and a sign that it will only get better from here. He continues to get better every day.

Abby just had her two month check-up. She weighed exactly 10 pounds and had grown 3 inches- she is in the 55th percentile for her age. She had to get four shots at her appointment, which she was NOT happy about. She screamed in the doctors office, slept all the way home and for the next few hours until she ate again, and then screamed the rest of the afternoon. It almost broke my heart to see her so sad and not be able to comfort her. Our good friend Patricia brought us some Infant's Tylenol which eventually did the trick- I'm so glad we have two more months before I have to do it again! I just kept reminding myself that the shots are for her good.
Anyways, besides getting her shots and gaining 3 1/2 pounds, Abby is getting cuter and cuter by the day, and continues to be the most pleasant and sweet baby girl. She stays awake for longer periods of time during the day now, and some nights sleeps for as long as 5 or 6 hours! She has started to smile every once in a while, especially in the mornings, when I sing to her, or if I put her in her crib under her hokie bird mobile. She seems to really love music, every time I put on her "Bach for Babies" CD (thanks Aunt Katie!!), she gets a big smile and kicks her legs and waves her arms around, like she's dancing. SHe is getting more and more fun every day!

Isn't it amazing to see how much life can change in just one short month? Our lives are truly a testimony of how GOOD our God is. The first couple of weeks after Andy's surgery were really hard. REALLY hard. Nothing really prepared us for how hard the recovery from his surgery would be. It was difficult for Andy, physically and emotionally, to go from being a normal 26-year-old guy one minute to having no control over his own body the next. It was tiring for me having to care for Abby's needs and needing to be there for Andy at the same time. But the Lord sustained us, healed Andy, and kept His promise to never leave us or forsake us. One particularly hard day, Andy and I turned to the Word for encouragement and read through some passages in Isaiah. When we were dating, for Christmas Andy had printed out Isaiah 43:1-5 and framed it for me, to remind me always that no matter how much he loved me, the Lord would always love me more than he ever could. This passage sort of became "our" passage, and has been a reminder of the Lords great love for me many, many times. We read through it again together and it's truth rang so much clearer to us than ever before-

But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob,
And he who formed you, O Israel,
"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are mine!
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you."
"For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Saviour;
I have given Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in your place.
Since you are precious in My sight,
Since you are honored and I love you,
I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life.
Do not fear, for I am with you..."
Isaiah 43:1-5

In many ways we feel like we really have "walked through the fire." And the Lord kept his promises to us that we would not be burned, or swept away, and that he would be with us. We have no reason to fear because he has already accomplished the hardest task imaginable- redeeming us from our lives of sin and giving us a New identity and a NEW name. And honestly, what on earth is there to fear when the Creator of the Universe calls you "precious in my sight," "honored," "mine?" God has shown us his love for us in so many real ways in the past few weeks- through our wonderful surgeon who removed the ENTIRE tumor, through the report that the tumor was benign and NOT neuro-fibromitosis, through the steady progression of Andy's healing, through the prayers of our friends and family, through providing for our financial needs in so many different ways, through the beauty of our baby girl. From the first day we found out about the tumor to now, one thing has remained true- God is GOOD, and He deserves ALL the glory!

Stay tuned, many, MANY pictures to come!!!