Monday, October 25, 2010


SOOC is an acronym we use in photography that stands for "straight out of camera." In other words, a picture that has not been photoshopped or changed. (And no, this isn't a post about photography...just read on).

I've been thinking a lot about the image and face I put on when I walk out the door versus the real me that you see behind closed doors. You see, when we walk out the door in the mornings and go to our mommy groups, preschools, or even a traditional job, we don't give people the SOOC version of ourselves. We put on our pretty faces of makeup and smile and talk about how fabulous our kids are. We don't talk about the fact that we screamed at our kids that morning, forgot to put on deodorant, and kicked the cat.

See the picture below? Yes, it's beautiful and bright and cheery.

But, what you don't realize is that before I brightened it up, it looked like this:

Dark. Dreary. Very Flawed. This is reality. We are very flawed, yet we continue to photoshop our lives to make it look like we have it all together.

Let me be the first to tell you that I do not have it all together. If you were to look at my life SOOC, you would see a woman who has many struggles. I am full of insecurities. Even when I am on a spiritual high and really seeking God, the enemy continues to feed me lies that I will never be good enough. God has to remind me daily that although I am a loser, that is why He extended us GRACE. Grace means I don't have to earn anything. Yet, I continue to look at other woman who I think are so amazing spiritually and think I can never be as good as them. It's a difficult life when you are always putting others on pedastals.

My SOOC personality is one hates what she looks like (may seem strange to you...but, I see the face behind the makeup). If you looked at my SOOC, you'd see someone who frequently loses her cool and yells at her child, who sometimes spanks out of anger, and someone who sometimes puts ludicrous things above spending time with my precious child.

You would see someone who at times undermines her husband, is NOT submissive to him, and forgets to lift him up with kind words. Instead of telling him all the many things he does right, I will lose my cool over the couple things that he doesn't. You would see someone who does a lot of taking, and not a lot of giving in her marriage.

You would see someone who listens to music she shouldn't, has words that come out of her mouth that shouldn't, and has been materialistic. You see, I use to think that since I worked really hard, I DESERVED things. This is the lie that the enemy feeds us...and the lie that society gives us as well.

You see, I have a face with acne and wrinkles and a heart with too much pride and snobbery.

But, I don't want to be her anymore. I want my SOOC self to be the photoshop version that you see. I want that girl to be the real me. I want to be patient with my child and always put her above those "other things". I want to stop feeling like I deserve anything...because actually, what I deserve is eternal hell and damnation, right?

Thank you God for grace. And thank you God for continuing to work on me and breaking me. I am a work in progress. I am flawed...and I need grace.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

To Him Belong

Your eyes are not fooling you. Don't refresh the page. When I first started this blog two years ago, it was simply a series of pictures and letters to my sweet Ella...hense why it was called "Dear Ella". Because our family has expanded, and I know I can't write three separate blogs, I decided that it was time to change the title of my blog.

I was in the car with Ella the other day and she was singing "Jesus loves me" at the top of her lungs. It is such a simple and old I have heard 5 million times growing up. But, something she sang struck a cord with me. In the song, there is a sentence that says "little ones to Him belong." For some reason, I found myself pondering this verse all day long. You see, our children whether they are biological or adopted ALL belong to Him. We are all foster parents. All children are given to us from God to raise up to know Him.

With this newest insight, I have changed the title of this blog to "To Him Belong"...because in reality, Ella, Jacob, and Audrey all belong to God. Andrew and I are simply God's chosen people to raise these beautiful children.

I am also changing directions a little with my blog. You will still here me ramble about the funny things Ella does and you will still watch these preemies grow and thrive...and hopefully soon listen to me ramble about being the mother of 3 precious, precious children. But, what I really feel called to do is talk more about my struggles and hardships of life and motherhood. I feel called to be open and honest.

Let's face it. We can all post pretty pictures of our kids and talk about how wonderful life is. Don't get me IS WONDERFUL. But, life behind the pretty pictures can also be hard, challenging, etc. I want to encourage others that the things they feel are normal. I want to tell you about my struggles with faith, my struggles with anxiety, and my struggles with being a GOOD mother.

I want you to see beyond the pretty pictures. Please continue to walk along side me and leave me some comments now and then.

Friday, October 22, 2010

I spoke too soon

As Murphy's Law would have it, because I said Audrey could be coming home soon, then of course she is not. I guess I spoke too soon.

There is nothing wrong with her per se. We are still just waiting for her to stop dropping her oxygen saturations with her feeds. The nurse today said that it is a neurological maturation thing...and it basically "clicks" overnight. So, I sat with Audrey this evening and gave her a pep talk. I told her she had to pull it together before brother did if she wanted any chance of some one on one attention with her mommy. You see, brother Jacob has developed the reputation as being rather needy. In other words, he cries a lot therefor he gets held a lot! Thank goodness Audrey is so easy and content because Jacob is going to need a lot more consoling.

Otherwise, Audrey is great: no feeding tube for a week, no oxygen for a week, and she is gaining weight.

Now Jacob...the poor fellow has reflux, HORRIBLE gas, and just miserable. He is still on a tiny bit of oxygen simply because the constant choking/reflux makes him drop his oxygen saturation. He still has a feeding tube although he is taking a good bit of his feeds by mouth. He actually breastfeeds way better than bottle feeding. They said it is a much slower flow so it's probably easier for him to manage with his reflux. Anyway, he's not too far behind his sister.

So, here are the current weights:
Jacob Pierce: 5 lbs. 12 ounces (Can you believe that??!!!)
Audrey Helene: 4 lbs. 13 ounces

This week, the babies turned 7 weeks old and 36 weeks gestation. It really is amazing looking back on how far we have come. I'll post some new pictures of everyone this weekend. Ella can't wait to meet her little sister and brother!

Monday, October 18, 2010

In the News...

There are some very exciting things going on in the NICU these days...

There is a most perfect, beautiful little girl who is NO LONGER on oxygen! This same girl has been taking all her feedings by mouth for 24 hours. This, my friends, is a very, very, very good sign that she could be coming home soon.

By soon, I mean maybe this week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh. my. goodness!!!

And my sweet little Jacob man...well, he wants to catch up with his sister, but he has a bad case of reflux. He needs oxygen when eating, but otherwise is doing really well. I bet he will catch up with Audrey in a few days.

Miss Ella started preschool at a little church about a mile from home. She went right to her class without crying. We are hoping this will provide us with the balance we need with two babies at home. She sang "Jesus loves me" over and over again on the car ride home. I'd say that is a good sign.

Otherwise, we are trying to pull together last minute details before the babes come finding a car that actually holds everyone. This brings me to my next statement...

Never say you'll never buy a minivan. When you have three car seats (two which you have to continually get in and out entirely), you basically have one option. Yes, my friends, this mommy will soon be the proud owner of a swagger wagon. Andrew keeps reminding me that this is a good problem to have because it means we are going to have three kids!

But, don't worry...I'll class it up with some high heels and red lipstick now and then. I'm going to make a minivan look so cool you are all going to wish you had one too!

I hope my next post is telling of a certain babes homecoming!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Future Engineer

My parents like to joke that my goal for Ella is turn her into a prima ballerina. Well, I guess my goal for this little man is to turn him into a sweet nerd. Here is my future Georgia Tech Engineer in the making.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fall Fun

Sometimes, when life is really stressful, you just have to say "enough" and enjoy the blessings right in front of you. With of our two babies in the NICU for about 6 weeks now, it has been hard to remember that there is still another little life who needs me just as much. It has been hard to shuffle her around so much so that I can be at the hospital. So, this weekend, Andrew and I decided to have some family time with our sweet little Ella. In Southern tradition, we went to fall festival that included a corn maze, petting zoo, pumpkin farm, zip line, john deer tractor rides, hay rides...well, you name it and it was there!
Instead of a sand box, they had a corn box. It sounds weird, but it was really awesome! I know...only in the South!

The highlight of the morning was going down the huge slide.

Our jeans were stained with clay after this!

Dear Ella,
Although my time will forever be torn between three children who I love equally, I hope you know that I will always make time for you. And although you may not understand right now, how blessed your life will be to have both a sister and brother to grow up with.
I love you pumpkin...a thousand times!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

No Words

How do you describe your love for your children? There are no words to describe the love I feel for these newest additions to our family. (Stay tuned this weekend for some beautiful pictures of big sister!) So for now, there is no post...just some pictures. They describe our love more than any words ever could...

Audrey-5 weeks

Jacob-5 weeks and so insanely handsome

Audrey Helene




Isn't she beautiful?

Our little Audrey

"...Fearfully and Wonderfully Made." Psalm 139:14

Friday, October 1, 2010

While you were sleeping...

While you were sleeping...

I counted your tiny 20 fingers and 20 toes...

I stared at my handsome mans little face...

And kissed on those 4 lbs. 4 oz. of sweetness...

And loved on sisters 3 lb. 14 oz. sweet self...

And gave eskimo kisses to both my sweet, little babies.

And while you sleep, I find myself growing more and more in love. Before you were born, I always wondered if I'd love you the same as your sweet sister Ella...and I do! God just makes your heart grow bigger and fill with more love. You are all three special in your own way: Ella-because you will always be my first; Jacob-because you are my first son; Audrey-because you are the baby! Loving all three of you is easy!

Happy one month birthday Jacob and Audrey! Please come home soon!