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Friday, March 30, 2012

Updates!

First of all, our sincere and utmost gratitude for all of you continuing to follow us on this journey and lift us up with various scripture, texts, emails and cards of encouragement and special "surprises" that continue to show up. You all are dear dear friends, we are blessed again and again by you.

We are so excited to share that things have been going well at visits! We've been seeing our regular OB and our specialist every 2 weeks or so, between them both (1x mo) and everything has been going well! Praise the Lord!
But today, our greatest news yet....we are released from the specialist!!! We cried tears of joy. We have grown to love and appreciate them so so so very much throughout this time but we are thrilled to be released! We will continue to see Dr Bardwell, our OB, starting every 2 weeks now until delivery. I cannot believe we have come this far! We will be 30 weeks tomorrow and our sweet girl weighed in at 3lbs 2oz today-right on target! I am reassured and so very thankful by the amazing amounts of movement I feel with her. Jimmy has enjoyed feeling her a lot too. We have about 9 weeks left and it's amazing to think we'll get to see her in that short of time!

This time of year and this season has brought back so many memories of being pregnant with Reese and re-living so many of those hard hard days. It makes me ever so grateful for such a blessed, wonderful pregnancy now, but our hearts still ache so much for our loss of our sweet girl. I know many think it's easy to say "well you're pregnant now, that's the best, this is the present and what a blessing" so so true they are, what a blessing, but nothing, nothing ever can take away from our loss of sweet Reese. As I have said before, she is our firstborn and always will be. It was such a hard time this time last year with the unknown, the appointments that never seemed as hopeful as we wanted and then preparing for the surgery that was needed. I remember it all as if it was yesterday, even though touring Children's Healthcare of Atlanta for surgery was a year ago. It's all still a bit fresh. We have tears of joy in excitement and amazement of this gift God has bestowed on us now, with another sweet girl and wonderful appointments, and then the next minute, we may have tears of sorrow for what we have lost. But we are forever thanking him for the blessing of both our girls. We see so many positive things that came from Reese and her story. We of course wish we had her here with us so so badly, but seeing so much good from her precious life is refreshing to our thirsty souls that long for her.

As I said above,this time of season-early Spring brings me back to last year and memories of being pregnant, also being at 30 weeks tomorrow, the last few weeks were rough and a bit scary to me,becauase we lost Reese at 28weeks. We are reminded of the time we spent praying over our sweet little girl. Little did we know then that God had other plans for her than we had hoped for. But we know He is faithful and true. We still remind ourselves of that daily, to help us through each day, the good and the bad. Last year I was more than hesitant to register for gifts, despite everyone being hopeful and wanting us to, I was never comfortable with preparing a nursery, so we never got that far, I just really felt that wasn't for us at that time. Not in a negative sense but we had "bigger fish to fry." Sure, I was hopeful, and I prayed over and over for her, and we had so many prayer warriors praying too but something just didn't quite feel right with moving forward on those things (I attribute that to the holy spirit). I can tell you this time, my 'human' being of me wants to worry, and I've done my fair share of that. But I've also had a peace since early on about this pregnancy. I know things can change at any moment for anyone, but that's the key and something I've learned-for anyone, none of our days are guaranteed. We can't live in fear, a huge lesson for me I've heard and heard for 33 years but never "felt" like I do now. I do know that no matter what may come that God is faithful and true, He has been that way for us, every step of the way. I can't begin to tell you the peace that has filled our home since we first got the unthinkable diagnosis with Reese, the struggles during pregnancy, the grief of the loss, the mourning after, and the days to get through the next ones, the worry of another pregnancy, the fear for this sweet girl's health and every step, good or bad, He has sustained us. There is no other explanation. Our strength you see and talk about is HIS strength. We can't convey that enough. We are blessed and humbled by the peace that surpasses all understanding and the amazing love shown to us.
So with this peace and with the anticipation of seeing this sweet little face we so long to meet, we continue to pray without ceasing and trusting the Lord in all that He has planned for us and this sweet life. With this, we also begin to celebrate......the nursery is coming along, and the showers begin tomorrow. What a true honor and experience to celebrate in love, good health, and joyful, hopeful reports. Thank you sweet friends for your love you've shown to us during this pregnancy and your continued sweet remembrances of Reese as we come into the season we met her face to face.


Much Love, Hope & Faith,
Jennifer & Jimmy

-A new post below too on a fun night out :)~

Atlanta Heart Ball~2012

Atlanta Heart Ball-Ritz Carlton Buckhead, 2012

Jimmy & I were so excited when we received tickets from our dear friends at the Cobb AHA to attend this year's Atlanta heart ball. This is a wonderful black-tie event held each year to raise money for the AHA. Many surgeons and specialists attend as well as those of us touched by the AHA and its cause. We got all "gussied" up :) and headed to the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead where the event was held last Saturday night. Everything was amazing and absolutely stunning. The evening started with cocktail hour and silent auction bidding. There was an entire conference room full of amazing items. Over 18 TVs alone, not to mention the many FABULOUS trips being offered and much, much more, so much more you can't even begin to imagine. I've been to a good many fundraisers and I've never seen this many items and this many BIG items (Disney Trip, Colorado Ski Trip, Various Beach trips, Paris trip) not to mention the other items (Tiffany & Co necklace, jewelry galore, Big Green Egg, Masters and sports memorabilia galore...and a sweet Baby Benz.) It was just wonderful to see all these items donated. The greatest thing is every couple was given an ipod (yes an ipod) with BIDPAL and it monitored your bidding and showed you all the auction items that you had bid on or wanted to bid on, so once we sat down for dinner you could monitor and raise bids all night. Thanks to my husband, we left with a new HDTV for our bedroom. He didn't seem to like the one I had from college years (literally 15 yrs ago this fall!)
Dinner was served and it was scrumptious and guest speaker, Mike Smith, coach of the Falcons spoke and was terrific. After that the live auction began, I wish our pockets had been deep enough for some of those fabulous prizes, such as a week at training camp with the Falcons, box seats, limo service and golf with Coach Smith & Matt Ryan. It sold for a mere $9k. The other live auction items brought in $5k and more! All for a fabulous cause! The event raised ONE MILLION DOLLARS just that evening in auction items! We were all so touched by this. We were also touched by the guests of honor this year, a family of 4, who had a little boy 9 yrs ago born with a heart defect. They were given the option of hospice at the time of birth which they took and began to prepare. But low & behold by the grace of God and some fabulous Doctors, he started to eat and regain strength at just a few days old and was big enough to endure heart surgery and now is a healthy 9 yr old boy. They were an amazing, humbled and sweet family, it was so touching to watch their story. Hard for Jimmy & I to watch their video with a newborn and know what its like to select a grave site and make plans, but God had other plans for them and their little boy, who was also there and he was remarkable!
The evening carried on with dancing by a wonderful band until midnight. We were just touched and honored to be a part of such a wonderful, equisite evening for such a worthy worthy cause! We enjoy fundraising events we get to attend throughout the community, but this was an extra special evening, seeing so much raised for a cause so dear to us.