Pieces of Me

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Happy Christmas by Hannah

“Have a happy Christmas, family,” said Hannah, when she got to Grandma’s and Grandpa’s house.
Hannah said, “I was sooooooo surprised!”
And then, my brother said, “What did you get me?”
I said, “It is a surprise.”
My brother said, “What does surprise mean?”
“A surprise means I can’t tell you what it is yet,” I said.
My brother said, “Oh.”
And then it was Christmas the next morning.  My brother work up and said, “Hurray, hurray, it’s Christmas today!”  Then he said, “Can I open the presents yet?”
“No, not yet, because we didn’t get yet.”  I said.
And after we ate my Grandma told us the baby Jesus story and all of my cousins listened.  And then after that everyone gave out their presents.
And then when my brother opened my present he said, “A Handy Manny repair shop!”
For my Daddy’s Christmas present my brother and I gave him a big kiss.
And then I opened my Grandma’s present.  She gave me a Princess tea set.
And then Tyler and Blaine said, “Hannah what did you get for us?” I said, “Open your presents!” And they said, “Woah!! A Star Wars Build a Bear Workshop!”
And everybody said thank you for all the nice presents.  And Grandpa said, “What did you get me?”  I said, “A big kiss!”
And then I said, “Merry Christmas!”
And then the next day everyone came to my house and had chicken noodle soup!
The End.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Christmas at our House

We spent the Sunday after Thanksgiving decorating our home for Christmas.  Between travelling and photo shoots, I honest believed we weren’t going to get the tree up over our long weekend.  But thanks to Stephen, we got the tree up, strung with lights (yes, our pre-lit tree is no more – a new tree is in our near future), and trimmed by Sunday evening. 

It is Hannah’s year to top the tree.  Cayden decided to get naked for the trimming.  Those photos are not allowed to be shared online.  We did get a few of him in his pull up before putting on PJs

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McIntyre Christmas Corner

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A few special ornaments

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This ornament is from the year that Granny passed away.  It means even more this year, now that PapPap has passed on.  I really miss him.  I missed receiving his Christmas card right after Thanksgiving.  I just miss him in general.

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And not that we don’t love Cayden, but for some reason, I couldn’t find his ornament.  I know we made a handprint one the year he was born.  I feel like a bad mom!

This is one of my favorite ornaments, give to me by the Taylor Family (Zion, Walburg) in 2002.  Yes, our household believes in the magic of Santa.  Please do not try to convince us otherwise.  My kids know it’s “magical” (not pretend) and also know the true meaning of the season – Jesus’ birth.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Merry Christmas

I took the kids out for a Christmas Card photo shoot.  We had soo many pictures that it was too difficult to choose just one.  This is the card we came up with this year.  More to come
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

When it Rains, it Pours

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning" (Psalm 30:5)
Life in the McIntyre Household has been very eventful this past week.  Last Tuesday afternoon, Modesty and I treated our kiddos to a trip to a local Pumpkin Patch.  It was hot. . it was humid, but they had so much fun.  Okay, the BOYS had so much fun.  Hannah was a grouch.  And a complainer.  But she did pose for photos like a good little girl.  The kids each got to pick out a pumpkin and then we headed home.
Once we were home, Hannah came and placed her head in my lap only for me to realize she was burning up!  Of course, after a rough night and a trip to the doctor the next day, we learn that she has the FLU.  Influenza Type A1, which is apparently allowing the H1N1 strain to attach onto, meaning that she more than likely was infected with the glorious Swine Flu.
I must say that after 3 1/2 days of fever over 101 and a horrible cough, she's bounced back on Friday afternoon and has been fine ever since.  Of course, that wasn't before I completely lost my mind and thought about moving to a tropical paradise without my family.  Being cooped up with two children, one of which is NOT sick, and one who is acting like she's on her deathbed, can drive a mommy insane.
Thankfully, Stephen took over in the evenings (although Hannah only wanted mommy).  On Friday, he did take the kids away (I can't remember where they went) and I was able to get a run in (and the weather was AMAZING), making my time amazing.  I was also able to run on Saturday and again yesterday.  I cannot believe how close I am to actually RUNNING for 30 minutes straight.  At this point in time, I am not concentrating on distance or MPH but rather just building stamina.  And I am getting there.  I will run again on Thursday as I need to keep an eye on my knee for a few days.
Today was another story.  This morning started off on a good start.  I even got to work at 8:15 which is my ideal time for arriving to the Preschool.  I like to get everything ready before the day begins since I have to leave the class several times a day to teach music to the little ones.  Today, we got to school, I unbuckled Cayden like always, put him on the floorboard, told him to get out of the van, and headed to the back to get all our stuff.  And then it happened.  From the corner of my eye, I see my baby boy toppling head first out of the driver's seat.  He had decided to climb through the seats and come out my door.  Unfortunately, I hadn't closed it like I usually do so an accident was BOUND to happen. 
And seeing it - in what felt like S-L-O-W motion - was more devastating than anything I've had to endure in quite a while.
Dropping everything I had gathered in a pile on the ground, I scooped Cayden up and held him tight.  I was helpless.  There was no one in the parking lot, no one answering the phone in the building so I just held him and waiting, trying to remain calm.  Within minutes, several people arrived and helped us inside.  We checked out his head and decided to have a "wait and see" approach until I was able to talk to his pediatrician.
I asked his teachers to keep an eye on him and to let me know if anything seemed weird.  But 11:00 am, we had decided to make a call into the doctor's office again and see what to do.  It was decided that with all Cayden's symptoms, he needed to be seen in the ER so off to Children's Hospital we went.
My amazing mother was able to leave work to pick up Stephen and then get Hannah from school and meet us at the hospital.  And after several hours it was determined that he does have a concussion but seemed to be fairing well, so here we are at home, required to wake him up every 3 hours to make sure he's coherent. 
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The above photo is while we were waiting in the ER waiting room.  He was telling me all about his bracelets. . the one with his name on it, and the one that says "don't eat tomatoes" (He has a tomato allergy and they wanted to make sure we didn't get a hold of any).
It's going to be a long night, BUT well worth it to make sure that nothing is seriously wrong with my baby boy.
And this is what I know in regards to my hectic life.  I know I need to
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
My God is great and has not left me alone.
After reading a devotion I am reminded that in these moments it is time to "get on my knees and turn to my God. This is where my arrogance is broken: 'I can't do it'. This is where my pride is swallowed: 'I need you God'. This is where his Glory is revealed: 'I am weak'.This is where my path becomes straight, because its not me, but He who shines through me" (Words of Wisdom).

Monday, October 12, 2009

Kids Walk to Cure Diabetes

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The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation visited Hannah's school last week and taught the children about type 1 and type 2 diabetes, as well as nutritional eating habits and exercise.  Hannah was challenged to help by fundraising with the Kids Walk to Cure Diabetes.
Hannah now has the opportunity to participate in the fun by selling paper sneakers to friends, family, and YOU for a donation of $1 or more.  not only will Hannah be helping to find a cure for diabetes, but JDRF will give Hannah's school an appreciation gift equal to 10% of the money raised.  Hannah can win prizes as she fundraises to reach different prize levels and Hannah's school can receive a banner celebrating their success.
If you are interested in donated, you can send checks payable to JDRF to our address or give via my Pay Pal Account (rosemc99@gmail.com [www.paypal.com]) with JDRF in the notes/comments section so I know what it is for. 
On collection day, Hannah will participate in the Walk to Cure Diabetes at her school.  You can bet that I'll be there with her as she walks.
Diabetes is a disease that affects millions of American, including my nephew, Tyler, and our family friend, William.  Each day more than 40 children are stricken with type 1 diabetes for which there is no cure.  Thank you for your support of Hannah's fundraising effort to benefit both the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation as well as Hannah's school.  For more information, please contact your local JDRF Chapter at 1-888-533-WALK, for visit www.jdrf.org/kidswalk  
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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Running a Marathon

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."
Hannah and I are running a marathon this year.  Not all at one time, but together, we are participating in the RunTex Marathon Kids Program.  We each have a Runners log to keep track of the distance we are running.  Of course, we aren't out there running together.  Hannah is unable to keep up with my pace.  There are time when we do go and run together, but for the most part, Hannah is running at school and I am running in the evenings.  So far I have run a total of 14 miles since September.  Hannah is on what I believe is mile 4.  Pretty tough stuff if you want my opinion. 
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Yesterday we did run together at the Marathon Kids kick off.  She was very hesitant about running with me on a track surrounded by lots of other people. In fact, part of the way through our run, I looked down and she had completely lost it.  From the start line, we had been holding hands and running.  I told her I'd hold her hand the entire time if she wanted me to.  Looking down into her face and seeing it covered with tears as she said to me, "Mommy, I don't think I can do this."  She was crying and running and trying to breathe all at the same time.  We slowed down just a bit as I told her to look ahead towards the goal.  We were nearly 1/2 way done with the lap.  I reminded her that we would go at her speed, not Mommy's and finish this lap together.  Towards the end of the lap, we were greeted by UT Athletes who were cheering the children on.  This was the moment when Hannah dropped my hand and ran to the finish line.  It was very hard for me to hold back the tears as my little girl gained the confidence and independence to finish the lap on her own.
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This lap together has made me think back on all my training for the 5K.  In July, I could barely run 60 seconds without getting winded and wanting to stop.  And now, although I know it's been more than 9 week like the program should take, I am running at 6-7 minute intervals.  RUNNING.  I have gained more endurance and strength through my training. 
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I didn't get serious about training for the 5K until after our trip to Key Largo.  So in 4 short weeks, I really have come from running 90 seconds to running 6 minutes.  And it's not easy.  There are days when I want to quit, but I don't because I know that what I am doing is making a huge impact, not just on my life, but on my children's.  Hannah wants to go running because I MAKE myself get out there.  She wants to do more active things because I am setting an example. 
Of course, I couldn't do this alone.  If it weren't for Stephen there for me in the evenings, willing to keep the children for 30-45 minutes while I take the dog and hit the road, this 5K would be near impossible.  He has been so supportive of my training and that means a lot to me.
And of course, my dear friend and phone buddy/training buddy, Traci.  She encourages me every day to continue in my training and in fact has challenged me to do a 5K or Half Marathon in February (whichever I'm ready for) just to keep me active.  Although I'm not sure I would quit running after my run in November, it sure is nice to have something to keep  my mind on to help me continue to train. 
All this physical training reminds me of the spiritual training I went through growing up.  Church and Sunday School were a part of my life.  It was not a choice for me to NOT go to church with my family.  We went to church, we went to Sunday School.  We participated in youth activities, and belonged to OAFC (Ongoing Ambassadors for Christ).  And through all of this, I really got the "training" I need for my life as an adult and as a parent.  I use what I've learned to teach my children about Christ's Love.  I use it daily to remind myself to be forgiving to not just others but myself. 
It's a part of me.  A part of my life and a part of my family.  It is my prayer that the Lord uses me to teach my children to trust in Him as I do. 
Both physical and spiritual exercise make me feel better. But no matter how much I exercise, there are going to be some days I just don't feel like doing it. What should I do when that happens? Do it anyway!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My Body is a Temple

Reflections from 5 years ago:

I am God's creation.  I am His child. 

I want to glorify Him in all I do.  That's why I am determined to use my weight loss to inspire others.  My body is a temple from the Lord.  I did not lose the weight the first time because of how others saw me.  I was very unhappy with myself.  And my being unhappy with myself caused my relationship with Him to suffer.  So I turned to the Lord and asked for His guidance,  and then I joined Weight Watchers.

I am blessed to be His child.  And I am thankful for the success He has given and will give me.

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

For those of you who don't know, I've been training all summer for the Susan G. Komen Austin Race for the Cure.  If you're inspired by my story, please click here to support me and help raise money to find a cure for Breast Cancer.  Two women in my family have had breast cancer.  One lost her battle - my great Aunt Mary.  My Aunt Joanne is a survivor.  Several women in Stephen's family have had breast cancer.  His Grandma Reba lost her life.  Aunt Debbie and Aunt Janet are both survivors.  I'm sure there are more in the family as well as many around me - Molly, my dear friend, is a survivor.  I am running in honor of them.  I am running for my health.  I am running for Him.

Just today I was thinking about how "unfun" it is to run alone.  I doubt it would be "fun" at all to run with anyone, but if I had someone to pant to throughout the run, it might be easier???

And then I got to thinking, I'm NOT running alone.  I'm running with Him.  My heavenly father is with me the entire time.  And I like to think that He's cheering me on.  When I think about it, I recall several moments when I'm running and I hear that voice in my head, "You can do it. . . don't quit," and I have decided that it's not me talking. . it's Him.  And that makes me want to do this even more.

He gave me this life.  He did not make me overweight.  And even with all the excuses I can give for who I have become physically, I realize this has also been a spiritual battle.  And one that I'm not going to "win" on my own.  I have to rely on Him. 

And that's what I'm going to do.

So. . . I'm about to run the race. . . . but I will not run it alone.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New School Year

Summer is officially over around here.  Hannah headed back to school on August 24 with Cayden and me following on September 8.  Unlike me, I didn't think to take pictures of Hannah on her first day.  I got the traditional "photo with the teacher" at Meet the Teacher so I just left my camera at home. 

Then everyone started posting photos of their kiddos on their first day.  Crazy, I thought.  Do people really take photos of their kids EVERY year?  Apparently, everyone does.  I didn't get any photos of Hannah on her first day, but how many people out there got THIRD day photos?  And isn't she darling??   LOL

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Now Cayden, I remembered to take the camera and take his picture.  Of course I now look like I favor the boy, but that's okay, some days, I do.  Cayden's first day of school this year was completely different than last year.  Although I got an adorable photo of him proudly standing with his lunchbox and one of him happily standing with his teacher, getting away from him last year was torture.  They had to peel him away from me as he kicked and screamed.  And then I just had to walk away from it all because I had my own class to tend to. 

This year was completely different, my sweet boy would not let me take his photo outside the school.  In fact, he walked away from me, nap mat in hand, and headed to the school building.  Once inside, he proceeded to find the trains and play on his own, barely stopping for the traditional "photo with the teacher."  And in fact, we only got a photo with the Assistant Teacher.  A photo with his lead teacher had to wait until the 2nd day of school, and even THAT took an act from above.  But I got it.  Along with a few photos of him with his little friends, although not his GIRLFRIEND.  Sadly, she has moved to a different school.  But Cayden has not forgotten her, nor will he "replace" her.  I've asked him to give both these little girls kisses and he says, "But I can't. . . R is my girlfriend."  Sigh

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So the school year has begun.  And it's off to a great start.  A bit more homework.  Two children who are exhausted at the end of the day.  Perhaps an earlier bedtime coming soon.  Regardless, a great start!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Just a Little Moody

The weekend after I returned from Pennsylvania, we decided to take a whirlwind trip to Galveston.  The kids really wanted to go to the beach, I really wanted to spend some time with them away from home, and one of my best friends needed a vacation, so we loaded up in the van and headed to Moody Gardens for 2 nights and 1 1/2 days the weekend before school started.  I don't know what we were thinking.  I do know that we just wanted to have some last minute summer fun before settling in to a new routine involving waking up super early and sending our children off to school.  It was worth it!

Trip in photos:

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Trip to PA

On August 7, 2009, one of the most influential men in my life passed away.  I remember spending summers with him and all the love he shared with my sister and me.  He called me Rosie and loved me very much.  And now he's with Jesus.  And I'm okay with that, although even thinking about it brings tears to my eyes.  He was my grandma's life partner, married 57 years and possible the sweetest man alive (although he did have his moments).  I miss him terribly and am blessed to have had him as my PapPap for 31 years of my life. 

His death called for an impromptu trip to PA.  I traveled alone and joined my mom and her family.  In spite of the reason for gathering together, the visit was one of sharing memories and making new ones.  During this visit, I was able to meet my Aunt Teresa (Uncle Paul's wife), spend time with my aunt, uncles, and cousins, and visit with relatives I haven't seen (or remembered) in 21 years.

I also got to play with my new camera and capture some of these moments on film.  There was laughter and tears and even moments of rage, all part of the grieving process, which we will be going through for several months.

The service was beautiful.  Heather and I sang Great is Thy Faithfulness in beautiful harmony.  The congregation sang Amazing Grace and shared stories of PapPap from his servant heart to his crazy driving to the summers Heather and I spent in PA learning to roller skate to organ music. Eddie sang I Can Only Imagine and the service ended with Because He Lives.  I completely lost it during Amazing Grace and Because He Lives.  I've lost it several other times and will continue to do so as I mourn the loss of this special man. 

He was laid to rest at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies in Bridgeville, PA on Thursday at a small service I was unable to attend.  He received a military burial and the flag given to Grandma was placed in a beautiful frame along with the medals he received while serving.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

The End of Summer

We are in our last 1 1/2 weeks of Summer Vacation.  As slowly as it seemed to move on some days, it really went by quickly.  And in the end, my Pap went to be with Jesus, my daughter lost 3 teeth and turned 6, and my son learned to swim.  It's been quite a ride, with plenty of laughter as well as tears.  God is good.

Stephen and I are planning a trip to the Florida Keys for our 10 year anniversary.  Our good friend, Darin, is going to finish both the wall and floor in the living room and build us a new fence (for a fee, of course).  Hannah is going to 1st grade and Cayden will head to the 3's class.  We're ready as we can be.  I cannot wait to see what blessings the Lord shares with us this coming school year.

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Our swimming friends - the girls who convinced me to enroll Cayden

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One month ago, Cayden could not swim without his life vest.  In fact, he was afraid to go in the water without it on unless he could touch the bottom of the pool.  We still had tons of fun at the pool, but my concern was that he'd never had formal swimming lessons.  Hannah took a couple years of lessons at the YMCA, not that she can swim, but still, Cayden had nothing.  I got word of a lady who gives swim lessons out of her home - www.mscathyswimaustin.com - and after seeing several friends of Cayden's swimming, we decided to give it a shot.  The first few days were rocky, but after that, Cayden is a little fish - a fearless fish, which is a little nerve racking, but a fish nonetheless.  We will return to Ms. Cathy for a refresher course next year and will recommend her for anyone who has children (especially young children - even under 1 year old). 

After 4 days of lessons

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Ms. Cathy

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After 7 lessons

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