There is no perfect

Now let’s be honest, ok? Truly honest right now. And no judging. Who has yelled at one or more of their children today? *raises hand* Who is at their wits end with the whining and the crying and the general hissy fits? *raises hand* Who would like nothing more than to sleep 8 hours uninterrupted?? *raises both hands*

I would never trade my children for anything. I would never wish to go back to the days before them. I wouldn’t trade the sleepless nights or the permanent eye twitch that has set in due to the incessant whining or the little tummy pouch that sits right above my double c-section scar. Because even though those things aren’t my favorite parts of being a mom, they are made worth it by the two little people who depend on me.

But just for #tbt sake (and that’s “Throw Back Thursday” for you not up with social media hashtag lingo) let’s look back upon a time before children. Let’s just reminisce what it was like before the whining and the crying. Just for a moment, shall we?

Before kids I could watch TV without rewinding it 47 times in a 10 minute span because no one was asking for their cup that is 3 feet from their small person. Before kids I could take a leisurely shower whenever I chose to instead of waiting for the 15-minute span when both kids are asleep. Before kids I could talk on the phone without sounding like I have some sort of personality disorder. I could try on clothes or go to the bathroom without someone opening the door. Before kids I didn’t have to repeat myself 15 times or worry about yelling at someone because I got too frustrated and hurting their delicate feelings. Then feeling like crap about it after. Before kids I didn’t worry everyday if I was doing it right. Or if I was messing them up. I didn’t feel time slipping by at a lightning speed rate. I also didn’t always seem to be covered in barf or baby poop.

But before kids I didn’t know such love. I didn’t get to see every day the wonder and excitement and genuine love in the eyes of someone I helped create. I didn’t know such gut-wrenching terror at the thought of losing them. Yes, I probably slept more, but I didn’t get to feel little hands on my face or have sweet hugs from little arms. Holidays are so much sweeter with children. My days are busier, my nights aren’t as filled with blissful sleep, but my heart is full. Children, for me, complete something in my life. I know this isn’t the case for everyone. Some people do not want to have children and that’s ok. Some desperately want them and can’t have them. My heart aches for them.

I sit here and feel so bad for yelling at Brother Bear earlier. I’m trying so hard to be patient but some days I just lose the ability to do so. Especially when he is trying my resolve at every turn. I need to respond with hugs instead of a raised voice. I need to remember he’s just a little boy who wants his mom’s attention and is still struggling with that attention being split. A little boy who might be tired or hungry or doesn’t understand why I’m asking him to stop talking or even really have the ability to do that. I hate the feeling I have after I have hurt his feelings by yelling. And I can’t take it back or even fix it. I can apologize and try not to yell the next time. I’m working on it but some days it’s hard. And I will fail again. I will yell again. And I will feel bad, again.

I suppose, like children, I am still a work in progress. As a mom I am still learning too. Just like my little ones I will have good days and bad days. I will struggle with my role just as they will. I will try my best to be patient and understanding and respond with grace. And sometimes, probably more often than I’d like, I will fail. But even with those struggles, even with the barf (and the poop) and the insane amount of laundry they create, I would never trade a day with my babies. I would love for more days. Longer days. Days I could have over again because they just went by too quickly. I will continue to try every day to be a better mother. To appreciate every second I have with them. To learn to apologize when I ‘m not sweet just as I expect Brother Bear to apologize when he’s not. And one day I hope to learn to forgive myself when I make mistakes just as I forgive my sweet ones when they make them.

I’m baaaack!

You probably think I have fallen off the face of the planet never to blog again. More likely you probably didn’t notice I hadn’t posted in… uhhh.. several months (that’s a conservative estimate). Truthfully I forgot I had a blog. Or ignored it.

Anyway. SO much has happened since I posted last. So much. I apparently started writing two posts in between but they are still there, sad and lonely and untitled, in saved draft land. But now, I’m back. At least for today. And I will catch you up on everything that has been going on. If I can remember what those things were.

The last I posted Baby G turned 1. We had a little home party with an adorable cake (made by yours truly), some cupcakes, and a perfect little party hat he absolutely refused to wear. He is a small photobomb of the evening.

Wrapping Paper Appetizer

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Monster Smash Cake It's a Monster Party!

Cake Smash!

The icing was the tastiest part. He just kept scooping the icing up and licking it off his fingers.

The icing was the tastiest part. He just kept scooping the icing up and licking it off his fingers.

This was seconds before he pushed it over the side of the tray. Hubby dove to catch it in his hand.

This was seconds before he pushed it over the side of the tray. Hubby dove to catch it in his hand.

This is the cake right after hubby caught it before it's untimely demise on the floor and gave it back to G.

This is the cake right after hubby caught it before it’s untimely demise on the floor and gave it back to G.

We're not totally sure what this was about... I think the sugar was starting to get to him...

We’re not totally sure what this was about… I think the sugar was starting to get to him…

I know. Cutest baby ever. I know you’re thinking it. Here are his one-year old pictures and what I made from them.

Are you dying yet?

Ok, so February was full of birthday parties (not Baby G’s – that comes later) and crawling (he started right about his one year mark) and general life and hilarity that comes from having a little one. In March we kicked up the birthday party planning and had our first Easter egg hunt (which resulted in much grass eating) and Easter. Plus G got to go see the Easter bunny, which, by the following picture, you will see he was totally and completely unimpressed with.

Now some of the egg hunt…

                                               

And his Easter pics.

     

I promise no more pictures… Ok, I can’t promise that. But I’ll save his party pics for another post.

April brought Grandpa and Grandmom for the party and we had a blast. It was so good to see my parents and they enjoyed Baby G so much. My mom got to stay for a few weeks and I took a few extra days off to spend with her (and my dad while he was here). G even took his first few tentative steps during April.

June didn’t bring much except for the dread of Sister-Nanny-Auntie leaving. Hubby, G, and I were flying up to Michigan to spend 4th of July week with Hubby’s family and friends and Sister was leaving the Friday before. We had lined up NC-SIL to watch G on Tuesdays and since Hubby didn’t work Fridays at that point he would be watching G those days while I… went part-time!! YAY!! So Sister leaving was bittersweet. It was super exciting for me to get to go part-time and be home with G more but we knew we’d miss Sister-Nanny-Auntie so much. And we have. Sister! Come visit! By the end of June G was toddling around and having a blast pushing his go-go up and down the hall.

In July we went on vacation (where Baby G didn’t sleep remotely through the night once in 10 days) and while there my new nephew showed up a few weeks early during a (planned) wonderful home birth. I’m still trying to figure out when I will get to go meet him and see my other nephew, brother, and FL-SIL. When we got back I started working part-time and staying home more with G.

August brought some overtime work for Hubby so we were lucky to land a part-time daycare slot that we put G’s name in for a few months ago. Yesterday was actually his first day and he seemed to have done pretty well. We had a few snags but I’m sure we will work through those in the next few weeks. He really loves other kids and they have cool toys we don’t have so I know he will have fun. It’s probably harder on me than him.

So now we are coming upon September and Fall (yippee!!) and we have to start planning G’s Halloween costume and our Thanksgiving and Christmas plans. I know, I know. This post started in February and ended in December. Did you feel your life flashing before your eyes?

Happy (Crappy) New Year

Happy New Year! Did you have a great New Year’s Eve? Did you get dressed up and sparkly and spend the night on the town drinking champagne ? Me too! Except I spent the day in my pajamas, didn’t put on any makeup, stayed home, and drank sparkling grape juice. But close, right? I did stay up to watch the ball drop, but as Baby G and I had spent several hours early that morning not sleeping (plus I had to get up for work – waaah!) I was in bed soon after. But I spent a lovely day snuggling a grouchy and clingy Baby G and doing very little else. It was the perfect end to my vacation.

Which means… I started my New Year’s off working! Hooray for… well, not me. After 10 days off spent with my family and getting that much time with Baby G, going back to work wasn’t top on my “Things I’m looking forward to” list. Also not on that list are: getting a pelvic exam, having teeth pulled, and anything having to do with spiders.

The day wasn’t necessarily good or bad until about 2 hours before it was time for me to go and I got my review. My wicked step-mother gave it to me and, needless to say, it wasn’t very nice. So now her opinion of me as a screw-up is on paper. Husband asked if I was going to go talk to anyone about it but there’s really no one to talk to. The store manager really doesn’t get involved in much of anything and prefers to let his minions run the show. And since she has higher-ups in her pockets there aren’t many places to go. So once again I’m left feeling like I can’t do anything right, that I’m being watched, and I need to find some place else to work.

But where? Where do I go? A cabinet shop? A design studio? Change is scary. Especially when you’ve been somewhere 10 years. 10 years! I’ve spent the bulk of my adult life working for a company that doesn’t care a thing about me and I have very little to show for it except 3 weeks vacation. Sad, right? Know what I’d like to do? I’d like to take pictures. Or plan parties. Or take pictures of the parties I plan. But I don’t know where to start. Or how to. I’m not a professional photographer by any means. I have a LOT of learning to do. But I enjoy it. And the party planning thing I think I’d be pretty good at. I’m creative and enjoy that kind of thing.

But those things aren’t things that will pay the bills right off the bat. It could take quite awhile to get that sort of thing going, if it even makes it off the ground. And I’m not a great risk taker. I might despise my place of work but at least it’s a steady paycheck (until they decide to fire me for not selling enough counter tops or something) and I do have 10 years of my life and time there. So I’m stuck in a rut. Of a circular pattern. It’s a rut that goes around in circles. And gets deeper and harder to get out of. I know I should pray, but I don’t know what to pray for anymore. The last time I prayed about a change at work the change was worse as far as I’m concerned. It definitely wasn’t for the better. So I don’t know what to ask for. My ultimate goal would be to stay home with Baby G. But be financially stable in doing so. And shy of winning the lottery or something drastic happening, I don’t know how that would be accomplished. And I’m not really interested in anything drastic (unless it’s loads of money being left to me by a generous benefactor that doesn’t require anything bad happening. Like death. Or an accident) and we don’t often play the lottery (because we most certainly do not have the type of luck to win it).

So I’m back to where I’ve been so many other times. I’d love to like my job. And my actual physical job, when I get to do it, is fun. These days, though, it all feels like a chore. I’m not even asking to be excited about showing up. I’d just like to not dread it like the bubonic plague.

Oh! I did find an interesting job on Craigslist for anyone who is looking for this sort of thing:

“Hiring white girls of all ages/shapes/sizes to sexy cleaners or sexy massage girls.
Looking for girls who would be comfortable cleaning or massaging in lingerie or less. 
Flirty and outgoing girls are best for this job.
Paying 17-63hr based on level of clothing and job. Part time, day and evening hours.
We are NOT an escort service and we do NOT offer anything sexual to our clients.

Send name ,age ,height ,weight ,cup, what you would be ok wearing, face pic, front body pic, back body pic.”

And no, I could not make this stuff up if I wanted to.

A day in the life

5:45am: Sister brings a wiggly fussy Baby G to my room. It’s the second time he’s woken up and has (once again) bumped his head on the rails of the crib after he’s flipped himself over. Notice I didn’t say rolled. He doesn’t roll. He flings.

5:45am – 7am: Baby G sleep nurses, wakes up realizing he only got half his milks and wants the other side. I doze off and on as he’s nursing. {The morning sleep nursing cuddles are sweet and wonderful and some of my favorite times with him but they kill my back. His little hands dance as he nurses, touching my chest, neck or face, or playing with the covers. His movements are soft and fluttery and precious.}

7am: Transfer Baby G to his pack n play and go back to sleep. Hope Baby G sleeps in pack n play.

8:45am: Drag self out of bed and shower. Get dressed and wake up Baby G. {I love waking him up. It takes him a minute to come around but then he’ll just smile and look at me like I’m the best thing he’s ever seen. It doesn’t matter how tired you are, that face is worth everything.}

9:00am: Take Baby G upstairs to get ready. Clean up the barf he just puked on the floor on the way up. Turn on the hot water, lay him in his crib, and wait approximately 37 years for the hot water to come from China. Wet washcloth and lay Baby G on changing pad. Wipe down his sweet happy little face and pull off his PJs. Change an incredibly boodgy diaper and sing “Good Morning to You” and “The Good Morning Song” as he gets dressed. Give him a million kisses because he’s so dang cute you can’t help yourself. {I also love this part of the day. He loves it when we sing and he gets so happy and his little legs and arms just have to jump all around because he’s so excited. This morning he was “talking” to me which is soooo sweet and just melts my heart.}

9:20am: Nurse Baby G while putting on makeup. Try not to poke self in eye while he does his best to dislodge the makeup tray from my hand. Relatch him 14 times because he’s being too nosy to nurse. Remove my shirt from his mouth as he has decided since he managed to get a handful of it he must eat it. Switch him to the left side where he nurses without interruption. {Apparently the right side is more of an appetizer of sorts because he nurses much better on the left side. Which is funny because generally the right side produces more. }

9:45am: Give Baby G one last kiss before he is whisked off to church, leaving me alone in the house to finish getting ready.

10:30am: Arrive at the job.

10:30am – 12:30pm: Twiddle thumbs. Look busy. Check phone for texts. Help customer find something they are either already looking at or are on the opposite side of the store from. Miss Baby G.

12:30pm: Pump. Bleah.

12:30-3:00pm: Pretty much a repeat of 10:30-12:30. Throw in someone’s bratty kid who keeps messing with the stuff on my desk. Help customers in every department but mine.

3:00pm: Eat lunch and pump. Go to Michaels and buy stuff.

5:30pm: Pump again.

5:30pm – 7:30pm: Twiddle thumbs. Look busy. Check phone every 10 minutes to see if it’s 7:30 yet.

7:28pm: Clock out and go home. {Yay!} Try not to speed.

7:45pm: Run inside, change into comfy pants and shirt, settle into couch corner and feed Baby G. Relatch him 32 times because he keeps pulling off to smile at me. Can’t get frustrated with him because he’s too dang cute and he is so happy to see me {heart sings with joy}. Burp him and get barfed on at least once because he always turns his head away from the burp cloth at the last minute.

8:00pm: Eat dinner while holding Baby G because he is allergic to the floor and cannot be put down. Stop eating and stand up because the couch is still apparently too close to the floor (which is lava) and try to sneak sitting down because I’m starving and my food is getting cold. Finally get to eat properly once Auntie Nanny (also known as Sister) is done eating and gets up to walk with him.

9:00: Bath time! Take Baby G upstairs, turn on water, and go to changing pad to get undressed. Pick out jammies and get diaper ready for when he gets out. Auntie Nanny fills tub for us once the hot water has arrived from Timbuktu. Quickly take naked baby from room to tub so we don’t get peed (or pooped) on. Bathtime commences with lots of splashing and flailing of arms and legs. {Bathtime is a magical wonderful time and supercedes all other ailments. Hungry? Doesn’t matter, it’s bathtime! Tired? Doesn’t matter, it’s bathtime! Got an upset tummy? Doesn’t matter, just poop in the tub!} Let cutest naked baby on the planet play for a bit then wash him up, avoiding letting him eat the soapy washcloth or flail himself under the water. Lastly wash and rinse his fuzzy bird hair and load him into one of several adorable towels. Run to bedroom to dry off and get dressed in jammies. Reposition diaper 12 times as he is doing he best impression of an octopus and then fight to get his arms in his sleeves as he is intent on eating them. Zip/snap him up and it’s milky time! {Side note: Bathtime is always followed by milky time. If he had milk immediately prior to bathtime, milky time still immediately follows. This is the event succession people and it cannot be messed with. He knows. So we try to do bathtime as close to the next milky time so that he doesn’t nurse for two minutes then pass out without getting a full feeding. Because then he’ll just wake up 45 minutes later and want to eat.}

9:30pm: Milky time!! Nurse Baby G and then attempt to burp him. Read him a bedtime story (this is a new thing) and then get bedtime kisses and head up to bed. Turn on music thing (it belongs to his pack n play and does not make beautiful music but he likes it) and lay him in bed. Pat his bottom until he settles.

10:30pm: Baby G wakes up crying (screaming). Wait 3 minutes to see if he will settle. If not, go upstairs and pat his bottom (and turn music back on if it’s shut off) until he settles. Hope he stays asleep this time.

1:00am: Head to bed, overtired, because I stayed up playing on the computer and watching Netflix too long.

2:40am: Wake up to Baby G crying through the monitor. Husband gets up to go pat him back to sleep.

4:30a: Wake up to Baby G crying through the monitor. Stagger upstairs and attempt to pat him back to sleep. Stifle laughter as his little legs kick the mattress as if he’s throwing a temper tantrum. Pick him up and bounce him, sing to him, pat him. Nothing. Sit down on floor and nurse him as last resort. {Requires no energy, thought process, or coordination.} Put him back in bed and turn on white noise.

5:00am: Stagger back into bed.

8:30am: Husband brings a wiggly fussy Baby G to me to nurse.

 

Obviously this is just a guideline of some of our days. A lot depends on what shift I work and how fussy G is through the night. Some things don’t change though. I always nurse him in bed in the mornings. I always pump three times a day at work. I always clock out 2 minutes or so before my shift ends because I’m chomping at the bit to get home. I almost always go to Michaels on lunch. Sometimes Target. Bathtime is always followed by milky time. At some point in every day G realizes he is going to get eaten by the floor and screams until you stand up with him. It’s really just the times that change.

I feel a little sick

So tomorrow is my first full day away from Baby G. Today I was away for 5 hours.

I didn’t die.

I didn’t cry.

Hey, that rhymes!

I went in yesterday at 8am to talk about the “options.” I use that term loosely because it turned out there weren’t options, just a decision. Please keep in mind that is probably the earliest I’ve gotten up (without going back to bed) in months. MONTHS. Almost 6 of them. I didn’t sleep well the night before because I was so nervous. And nauseous. Long story short is they were trying to bring me back in as a supervisor. Which I didn’t want. And the department(s) they wanted to give me were a hellacious mess 6 months ago before I left. I have it on good authority they aren’t much better. So again. Don’t. Want.

I hadn’t wanted to be a supervisor for awhile. But it got especially bad after I got moved last November. You remember. It was the catalyst that started my trek down the deep dark hole I fell into and couldn’t get out of. So I had already been toying with the decision to step down. So now it’s sink or swim. I explained that I wasn’t interested in that life anymore. Earlier mornings and later nights. A lot more responsibility and a lot more headache.

Tomorrow I go in again at 8. I will work until 5. I’m not looking forward to the day or the 8am meeting to discuss my fate. And my pay cut. I don’t like surprises and I hate confrontations. I’m emotional and I don’t want to be put on the spot.

A friend of mine today said she doesn’t think she could be a stay at home mom. That she’d need a few days a week to be around adults. I thought about this a lot today. And I’ve decided I could do it. I’ve been home for very close to six months. I haven’t missed working one bit. I’ve missed my friends but I don’t miss being away from the house. Away from my son. Some people need adult time. Outside-the-home productive time. I don’t think I do. I’d be content being a home-maker. Maybe I’d change my mind down the road but right now I’d be happy to stay home.

So tomorrow I find out what my new job will be. I’m praying God will help it be whats best for my family. And maybe one day I will be able to go part-time. Or maybe we’ll win the lottery. Yeah… I like that idea best.

The road to success is paved with rocks, potholes, and shards of glass. And you’re barefoot.

I hate my job. I really really really hate my job. And I haven’t even been there in almost 6 months. And technically, I don’t even know what my job IS anymore since my last position has been filled. And apparently, no one wants to talk to me about it.

For the last week I have been trying to get someone there to talk to me about my return to work. This obviously hasn’t worked out so well for me as tomorrow was supposed to be my first day back and I won’t be working. I won’t say I’m terribly disappointed to not be going back to work tomorrow. I’ve gotten a “free” week with Baby G and I’m excited about it. What I’m not excited about is the prospect of calling up once again to try to get someone to tell me what the heck is going on.

Let’s back up. Once Baby G came early I knew that 12 weeks off work wasn’t going to be enough with a baby in the NICU. He came home after 6 weeks but that only left 6 weeks of my maternity leave. Six weeks wasn’t enough with my brand new baby. It wasn’t enough and it wasn’t fair. Plus, my sister (the Nanny-Auntie) wasn’t coming until mid-July. So there was the question of what to do with Baby G in the meantime. I wasn’t keen on putting him in daycare (and his Ped didn’t recommend it) or letting someone else watch him in the meantime so I took an extended leave to stay home with him until she could get here. Then there was the question of my job. FMLA only protects your job for 12 weeks. Since I was going to be out quite a bit longer than that I went to talk to my Store Manager. She said my job would be there when I got back and I should be able to keep my same position. I never wanted that stupid position to begin with but whatever. So fast forward a few weeks. I had been praying for a better situation at work. No one is happy there and we needed a change. So I prayed for a change. Soon after I talked to the SM, the entire management staff got removed. Enter brand-new-no-idea-who-I-am management. Not sure if this is the right change or not, but I don’t remember if I specified a good change or not. **Note to self: Be a little more specific in prayers.**

Here’s the problem. Because they could (the newbies hadn’t, after all, been the ones to promise my job to stay), they released my position and filled it. Then, when I came in to talk to them about returning and tried to figure out what I was going to do when I got back they pretty much told me they couldn’t talk to me and things would be decided when I returned. Really? I’m not stupid. You’re not going to give me a random schedule and then decide what my job will be AFTER I get back. You will have decided my fate without giving me any say in the matter and I’ll just get to hear about it when I get back. Thanks.

So back to my current predicament. For the last week I’ve been trying to get some answers. ANY answers. All I’m getting is ignored. I have no idea what my job will be or what schedule I’ll be working. How do I prepare for going back to work without knowing what I will be doing or when I will be working? How do you, as a management staff, not understand that at this point, without ever working with you, I already have a bad taste in my mouth regarding you. How do you, in good conscience, string someone along about coming back to work?

So now I’m sitting here, dreading tomorrow, and feeling slightly ill. I hate this game. It’s already hard enough on me that I have to go back to work. Why does it have to be made harder? I don’t want extra responsibility. I don’t want notoriety. I just want to get a paycheck and then come home to my family. I have no intentions of moving up within the company. EVER. For the first time in my life I just want to be mediocre. I don’t want to stand out. I don’t want to shine.

I just want to go to work, give them my 8 hours, and then come home. Nothing more. Oh yeah, and I want my darn schedule.

Blessings

Several things happened today to remind me just how blessed I am. And how extremely lost I would be without my God to rely on. It started out as I was playing around on the internet and stumbled across someone’s blog sharing their own preemie story. Their baby was born 14 weeks early and from the few things I read experienced so much more trauma than my own sweet one did. Surgeries and scares and many more problems than Baby G. I know in the world of preemies, 31 weeks isn’t anything compared to a 24-26 weeker. The odds for those babies are so drastically different from where we were. As bad as our experience was, so many families have it so much worse.

While reading that blog I saw that they mentioned another little girl and then saw a link on their page to another blog. I started reading that blog and ran into a scenario I can’t imagine. I know that I would be devastated, but there is no way to imagine just how terrible it would be to hear that your 4 year old child has several brain tumors and then spend the next year waiting to know if she will make it or not. I won’t lie. I sat there with my sweet baby cuddled up on my chest and I cried for this family. And for the sweet little girl who is living that nightmare.

Then, when Husband came home today he reluctantly told me that one of the younger men that works with him called him tonight to tell him that his wife went into labor. She was only 6 months along. The baby didn’t make it. The little boy was their first child. I looked down at my own little boy and told my husband it reinforces just how blessed we are. That could have been us very easily. Only a few small changes in our day and I would have felt that pain. My heart breaks for them. I have cried for them. It has been on my heart and mind all day.

As I read one of the posts about the little girl, the mom mentioned that someone commented on the blog saying that the family should “have had more faith in doctors than God.” That the doctors are the only ones with saving powers. I feel a profound sorrow for that person. I feel more sorrow for that person than I do for any of the others I read and heard about today. Let me explain. For while there is sorrow and pain in losing a child or dealing with a child that might leave you before you are ready, how much more sorrow is there for someone who has no light in their life? No hope? For there to be no purpose or no relief? To believe that the doctors are the only ones that can help? To not know that your precious child is safe and whole again with their Creator? How do you handle death? How do you look at your loved one who is fading away and not know that they will soon be happy and whole again? Or know that there is always another answer if the doctors, like in the case of this little girl, had all but given up?

I am blessed. In so many ways. I am blessed that God has gifted me with this precious little boy to raise and protect. I am blessed he chose to guide us and the doctors who attended us that day. I am blessed that my parents raised me to believe and trust in the power of our Heavenly Father. I am blessed that God has given me a heart that overflows with love for people I don’t know. I should remember more often that this love needs to be felt for everyone – not just those in pain. I am blessed with an amazing family of people whose fates I already know. I am surrounded by love and warmth, forgiveness and acceptance. I have a God who listens and answers.

I believe in prayer. I have seen God answer my prayers. And not just in the case of Baby G. He is actively working in my life. So I will pray. I will pray for the little girl, Lucy. I will pray for the couple who lost their son. I will pray for the girl whose story I ran across on Facebook a few weeks ago who has the same name as my own little sister. I will pray for my sweet Grandfather. I can’t change what has already happened, but I can pray for peace, for health, for healing, and for understanding. I can pray for others as so many prayed for us.

I am so blessed. And I hope that you will take a few moments to count your blessing too. And to say a prayer.