Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Rachel's Field Trip - Dallas Arboretum

On Tuesday, October 23rd, I took off work and went with Rachel’s class to the Dallas Arboretum.  It was so much fun and I loved spending the day with my FIRST baby girl! She is growing up way too fast! 
Right now at the Arboretum they have pumpkins EVERYWHERE!  They have a pumpkin village where you can see all different types of pumpkins, they have houses made out of pumpkins and they even had Cinderella’s carriage with the Fairytale Pumpkins!  Rachel thought that was pretty cool (and so did her 4 BOY classmates)!  Rachel’s favorite pumpkin was the Turk’s Turbin Pumpkin!

Rachel was excited about the Arboretum because she wanted to smell the flowers, and smell the flowers she did…I think she smelled them all!  She loves flowers just like my mom! 


Another thing that they have out there right now is the Chihuly Exhibit. He is a glass sculptor and there were some really neat glass sculptures there. I think the adults thought that was cooler than the kids did. I tried to get pictures of the ones I thought were the neatest.


One of the MOST exciting things that happened in our day was that Rachel pulled her first tooth…while at the Arboretum!  I will post about the whole tooth fairy experience in another post, but here is a picture of the proud girl with the missing tooth!!

We had such a fun day but by the time we got back on the bus to go home, we were ready!!!  We were tired!!!!  I was glad to spend the day with this BIG little girl! :)  Made this Momma heart happy!!


Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hannah's First Birthday Party

Yes, I am behind!!!  EEK!!!! 

Here are a few pictures from Hannah's first birthday party on Saturday, October 20th!  Okay, so there are more than just a few pictures but you only turn 1 once, right?!!! 

The theme for her birthday was rubber duckies.  I figured it would be an easy theme and for the most part, I was right.  Around the time of her birthday, I was CRAZY busy and overcommitted myself with a dozen other things and TOTALLY procrastinated.  It was a VERY low-key party with not many guests at all but it was perfect, in my opinion.

We had some cupquacks (otherwise known as cupcakes) from Tom Thumb bakery and I just added some ducky picks that I ordered from

We had some duck food (or homemade chex mix that I could literally eat my weight in)!!!
A YUMMY fruit tray

The colors of the party were pink and yellow so we had pink and yellow lemonade
And this little creation I have to admit that I stole off Pinterest and I think it actually came from one of my new Twitter friends who is OH SO CRAFTY!!!  This cake was SO easy to make!!  And I got so many compliments on it.  We actually did not eat any of it. It was simply for decoration but I was so happy with how it turned out!

Here is Hannah's highchair!  It had pink and yellow polka dot balloons tied to it as well.

The next few pictures are in sequence.  She actually touched the flame of the candle while we were singing to her.  That is why in the 2nd picture her face is all red and splotchy - because she had been crying and I finally calmed her down!  :(



We had a great time and I was happy that she did not have a meltdown.  I remember when we had the other two girls' parties they both did not last through the entire thing.  I think that first birthday parties are so hard on little ones.  She did great though.  I did not get any good pictures of our guests!!  BOO!!!  She did have some friends there!! haha!!

Isn't this little sign the cutest??  All of the little paper products are from the Paper Kingdom on Etsy.  I would HIGHLY recommend her!  She was great to work with and the stuff she made was TOP NOTCH!!!

Also?  I know I didn't get a great picture of it, but Hannah's birthday dress (along with most of her personalized clothing - and my other girls' as well - come from my friend, Ashley's shop.  You can also check out her blog by clicking HERE.  She does great work!!  She just celebrated her little boy's first birthday and knocked it out of the park with his decorations!!

Here is a picture of my three little duckies!!!!

 Me and my baby girl!!!

I love you my Hannah Banana!!  Hope your party was fun!!!  

Monday, October 22, 2012

Social Media

Social media is certainly a new thing that many people do not understand.  Is it a good thing?  That is up for debate, I believe.  Some will adamantly tell you "no" and some will say, without a doubt, "You betcha!" Some say that it can be a generational difference and I can see that as well. I think that, like anything, it can be time consuming and too much of it can be a bad thing.  I often do much of my blogging and the bulk of my internet usage after the kids go to bed or in the wee hours of the morning before anyone gets up.  Having access to so much technology makes things so much easier and I find myself checking Facebook and Twitter quite a bit during the day as well.  It literally takes about a minute to update a Facebook status or answer a few people's questions on Twitter.  It is an easy way to communicate. 

The downfall to this?  It should not replace face to face communication.  I am such a people person and I would much rather talk to someone than on the phone or by email.  We should be more relational than just via social media and I absolutely do not believe that social media should take the place of those interpersonal relationships that we have in person. 

Another thing that is important to remember is safety.  I believe that there are things that should be posted on the internet and things that should not.  I do not always use the best judgment when it comes to "airing my dirty laundry" so to speak.  In the past I have caused some serious hurt with relationships due to lack of discretion in what I have posted on my blog.  Not everyone wants their information posted in such a public way so it is important to check with those that you post about.  My husband does not use Facebook or Twitter but he is very much in support of my blog.  He reads it and is supportive of me sharing how God is working in my life.  I do not post about my marriage.  It is not something I feel is appropriate to post about. 

Is there bad going on in the cyber world?  Unfortunately, yes.  I am on Twitter quite a bit and have a great number of girlfriends on there and just like friends in real life, we bicker and argue about dumb things but, for the most part, I have been able to "weed out" the drama-causing people in my Twitter feed.  What I will tell you is this - the good has far outweighed the bad on Twitter in my life in the past two years!!!  I have a group of about 35-40 ladies that I know at the drop of a hat if I asked them would drop what they were doing and pray for me diligently if I needed them to.  When I was at my wits end in the middle of the night with Hannah not knowing what to do with my baby, these women were also up with the same struggles tweeting with me.  When I was struggling in my walk with God, these women were also there, praying and struggling with me.  I have seen, first hand, the power of God work through a phone and computer screen through social media.  I have seen moms get on and ask for advice about their sick babies, receive advice and minutes later be in surgery with their newborns because of the wise counsel of other moms who have been there!  One of the most incredible things that I have seen most recently is a group of women who rallied together for a sister who needed us in her time of need.  For a precious dear friend who lost her husband and her sweet baby girl who lost her father.  In a 24 hour time frame the Twitter/blogger community raised just shy of $2,000 for funeral flowers and then the rest went into a fund for Baby Girl.  In a week's time, people from all over the place came together as the Holy Spirit worked in the lives, and the handiwork of five generous people donated countless hours of time and love, a silent auction took place and over $12,000 was raised for the Turner Family!!!!    ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE!!!!   Now I want someone to respond and tell me that social media is not good stuff!

I love my friends that I have made both in the cyber world as well in real life due to the world of social media.  I understand that it is not for everyone but I hope that this gives others some insight as to why it is important for some people.  I do think that it can be used in access and should not be used in place of interpersonal relationships or when it causes one to neglect other responsibilities or families.  I do believe, also that above everything that social media should not be above making time with God.  If you are making time for Twitter, blogging, or Facebook and neglecting daily quiet time with God, your priorities are not straight. 

If you do not follow me, I am rikkihester on Twitter and you can also find me on Facebook!! :)  Leave me comment if you want me to follow you as well! :) 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Hannah ~ YOU ARE ONE!!!

All of my life I have wanted to be a Mommy!!  Even after a bad choice and after years of feeling like I don't deserve the JOY of loving just one "mini-me" I get THREE of them!!!  God is so good to me and He is SO faithful even when we are not! 

Hannah Grace!!!  How did you get to be so BIG!??!  You rock my world, Baby Girl!  Look at that smile!

 You came into this world when you wanted to.  I had it all planned out for you to be born on October 21st and you started making your entrance a little early and after Mommy started having some problems, the doctors decided you had to come!!!  So, at 4:30 in the morning on October 19th, you were ready!!!!  You wanted to get here so fast, Mommy's nurse had to hold your little head until the doctor could get there for your birth (you had a little indention in your head when you were born to prove it)! :) 

When you were born, your cheeks were so chubby, you didn't open your eyes for 3 days!!!  The pediatrician could not get you to open your eyes in the hospital and he finally just said to have Dr. Hull follow up later! Ha!  You were 8 pounds, 5 ounces of pure squishy-ness!!  You had lots of hair and your sisters...oh boy...they adored you!!!!  Lauren was so excited to finally be a big sister.  Rachel, of course said she knew exactly what she was doing....she was a pro!  You came home to many many people who already loved you. 

A couple of things to note about your early have funny toes.  Mommy noticed them in the hospital.  They are still that way. The doctor says that it is more common than not but none of the rest of your family has them.  Mommy doesn't care...I kind of like your funny toes. ;)  You were not a good sleeper....still aren't some nights. This was due, I believe to some of your medical issues, but I wouldn't trade those "middle-of-the-night" snuggles now that they are obsolete!  You always sound like a seal when you cough or sneeze.  All of the older people when they are around you always like to inform Mommy that I need to take you to the doctor because you have croup.  Mommy knows that you don't.  Mommy does really know you best.  That is your medical condition called tracholaryngomalacia.  Your pulmonologist says you will outgrow it.  I believe him...for now, you are the cutest little "barking" baby I know!!  :)  You had colic from about 6 weeks until about 3-4 months every night from about 5-7:30 or whenever you went to sleep.  It was rough.  We would do whatever we could to make you happy which included bouncing, walking, rubbing your tummy, bathing, singing, swinging, rocking, most of the time all of them. 

You were a challenge, for sure.  BUT, my sweet sweet baby.  You are a delight.  You have THE SWEETEST disposition.  You smile CONSTANTLY.  You hardly ever fuss, unless you are sleepy, dirty, or hungry.  You jabber all of the time, and you are so inquisitive.  You are always wanting to learn and one of my favorite things to watch you do is love on your babies and stuffed animals.  You just coo and laugh and love them.  You are absolutely the delight of my heart and I love you with every inch of my being.  It is so hard as a mom to imagine loving anyone like your first baby, then the second baby comes along and you realize it is possible.  Then the third baby comes along and your heart just grows bigger and bigger.

Hannah Grace, my prayer is that you continue to grow and love the Lord.  I pray that I am always the Mommy that you need and that you know that I love you above everything else.  This is just the first year, Doll Baby.  We have so many more to come. 

Happy 1st Birthday!!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

October is awareness month for so many causes.  The most common is probably Breast Cancer Awareness Month but near and dear to my heart is

National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

It was is a month set aside to remember those babies that have been lost due to miscarriage, stillbirth, illnesses, accidents, etc during pregnancy and after birth under the age of one year old.  In 1988 Ronald Reagan actually dedicated a day in the month to celebrate and remember these babies.  The day that was chosen was October 15th mainly because it fell in the very middle of the month. 

October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.   All across the globe at 7:00 PM there are candles lit in memory and honor of those babies who are gone but not forgotten.  At the hospital where I work, I am the co-chair of the Bereavement Committee and three years ago we started our annual ceremony for this occasion.  We have a speaker, do a responsive reading, and light candles.  We planted a tree the first year and this year we added a plaque.  We place ribbons and hearts on the tree as well.  It is such a special time of remembrance.

Tonight the speaker said something that hit this mommy's heart pretty hard.  She said, "When I lost my first baby to miscarriage and my 2nd baby at around 20 weeks, it was hard because as a mom I was supposed to protect them and I didn't."  As a mom, I can so relate to that.  We are their protectors.  We are supposed to keep them from harm and when we don't or can't, we carry so much guilt with that.  When God entrusts our children to us, He does so with a very specific goal, purpose, and time frame in mind.  Sometimes the time frame is shorter than others but we have to trust in Him that He has the baby's as well as our best interest at heart.  God is faithful when we are not.  He is sovereign and even though we may not understand His ways, I trust that He certainly knows what He is doing. 

If you have lost a little one in your life, I pray that you find God's peace beyond what you can understand today.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Worship Collection - Silent Auction for the Turners

As you may have read previously on my blog, a Blogger/Twitter friend of mine, Julee, lost her husband in a tragic car accident last weekend.  Many of you have asked how you can personally help this sweet young lady and her precious baby daughter, Preslee.  Starting tomorrow, October 15th through Friday, October 19th you there are several in "BlogLand" who will be doing a Silent Auction with the proceeds going towards the fund for the Turners. 



Two journals -
1. Teal and lime green that has Nehemiah 8:10 verse on the front.
2. My Bible Reader's Journal: Read the Bible Through in One Year Journal

Three CDs
1. Kari Jobe Where I Find You featuring We Are and Find You On My Knees
2. Mercy Me The Hurt and the Healer featuring The Hurt and the Healer, You Are I am, and The First Time
3. Matt Redman 10,000 Reasons featuring 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)

Two Devotional Books
1. Breaking Free Day By Day by Beth Moore
2. Jesus Calling Leather Bound Deluxe Edition by Sarah Young

A magnetic notepad and a cutesy bookmark.

HOW DO YOU BIDIn the comments, please be sure to leave your name, email address, and bid. All bids must be made in $1 increments. If the last bid is $9, then your bid must be at least $10.  STARTING BID FOR THESE ITEMS ARE $30.

Don't forget to check out the following links below for a complete list of Silent Auction items to bid on.  There are so many things to choose from!!!  HAPPY SHOPPING!!!!!  And please, continue to keep Julee and Preslee Turner in your prayers in the days, weeks, and months ahead.

Life In The Green House
Life Sweet Life
Knee Deep In Munchkin Land
Jenn Getts

Also, you can check out the following blog for other ways to help out the Turners as well.  Jenna's Journey

Monday, October 8, 2012

Love Her Like Jesus

How do deal with a tragedy?  How do you look into the face of someone who has just lost the love of her life and say anything that will help?  I honestly do not know how to answer that question.  I don't. 

I am a social worker.  I went to school for six LONG years to learn how to speak to people in their time of grief.  It is what I do every single day of my life and when it hits those you love personally it is different.  There are no words.  There are many things that I do know but what is so hard is how to wrap my mind and heart around something so devastating.

I have posted before about death and tragedy and my thoughts and feelings about that.  This has not changed and will not change, even when, just yesterday I learned of a young man losing his life way too soon....even though a beautifully sweet young woman will have to try to explain to her precious 10 month old baby girl how very much her daddy adored her.  How do you do that?!  I cannot imagine! I just can't and my heart aches trying to think about it.  I can't think about it. 

I have read Julee's blog for years and have talked with her on Twitter for awhile now.  Most recently we have kind of shared the joys and struggles of parenting an infant.  Preslee is a month younger than Hannah.  We have talked about sleepless nights and colicky babies together and the pure joy of being mommies.  I have even had the privilege of passing down Hannah's sleepers to Preslee has Hannah has outgrown them! :)  There is such a strong connection and I will forever be grateful for those friendships that I have made in that way. 

Saturday evening, Julee's husband and Preslee's Daddy, Matt, who was a newsman for KTHV in Little Rock was in a tragic car accident and went to be with Jesus.  When I found out, my heart was instantly hurt.  I am still just so sad for that family.  I have tried to figure out within myself, in conversations with my husband, and with another friend of mine why this has hit me so hard.  I just am having such a hard time shaking the feelings of overwhelming sadness I have for this family.  Is it because of Preslee?  Is it because he was born the same year I was?  It is because it was so tragic?  I can't put my finger on it?  Maybe it was because the Turner Family is a beautiful family portrait and it is such an example that tragedy can strike anywhere, anyone at any moment and it shook me to the core.  All I do know is that I want to jump in my car and drive to Little Rock, wrap my arms around Julee and hold her and cry with her.  I want to love on her and her family and closest friends.  I want to love on and play with Preslee until my heart physically bleeds. 

This morning the song that kept coming to my mind was Casting Crowns "Love Them Like Jesus."  I couldn't even really recall the exact words until I listened to it and the first verse was just perfect.  I listened and, of course, bawled like a BABY!  If you do not know the song, you should look it up on YouTube but here is the first verse and the chorus: 

The love of her life is drifting away
They're losing the fight for another day
The life that she's known is falling apart
A fatherless home, a child's broken heart

You're holding her hand, you're straining for words
You trying to make - sense of it all
She's desperate for hope, darkness clouding her view
She's looking to you

Just love her like Jesus, carry her to Him
His yoke is easy, His burden is light
You don't need the answers to all of life's questions
Just know that He loves her and stay by her side
Love her like Jesus
Love her like Jesus

In our Bible study this past week, Beth Moore spoke a great deal about anguish and grief and joy and how they can co-exist and then spoke about anguish being replaced with joy.  That is my prayer.  I know that right now that seems so far out of reach for this precious family but my prayer is that Jesus be near and that eventually they feel joy that only God can provide.  God be near.  Be near. 

"The Spirit of the Lord God is on Me, because the Lord has anointed provide for those who mourn in Zion; to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes"
~ Isaiah 61: 1-3

Reason to Rejoice
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