Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Crazy Lady

This is crazy. I'm warnin' ya. I am posting out of hope that someone, someWHERE has heard of this. If not, I'm loony tunes.
I woke up in the middle of the night Saturday and our bedroom was spinning and spinning around me. I could hardly move and when I did get up to see what was wrong I was bumping into furniture and walls and couldn't walk a straight line to save my life. I made it to the bathroom thinking I had had a stoke in the middle of the night. I smiled. Checked to make sure it was symmetrical and nearly fell over from lack of balance. Um.

I woke up twice more that night with the same shebang going on. Sweating. Dizzy. Room spinning. Needed to puke.

I'm talkin' that feeling of being completely WASTED. Only I haven't had anything remotely "grown up" to drink since before Coop was born. Unless you count sweet tea. I've had a lot of that.

It happened again last night. Only worse. And then my eye balls started darting back and forth. Sweating. Alice in Wonderland distorted wobbly room.

Am I losing my mind?
What on earth is this? I have an appointment with my doc but in the meantime I am cracking up. Crazy lady. Danielle, is this inner ear business?

Insanity. I hope it goes away like right now.

I've spent 23 out of the last 24 hours trying to get Coop to Poop. Operation Super Poop at our house. "I not poopin mama. My belly hurts. I not poopin. I not need poop mama. I ok. No poop." For the love of Pete. He has (proudly) pooped 3 times in the potty today. (Amazing what a trip to Target down the Mater and Liken A-Queen aisle will do to inspire some poopin' motivation). Woooo! Maybe the excitement was just too much for this mama?

Spin. Whirl. Spin. Whooze.

Ps. My sweet friend (and Coop's nanny), Emily, is hosting a fundraiser for Parker Baby this week. She does ahh-mazing monogramming work and all of the proceeds from the sale this week go to the Knolls.

I'm talkin' super duper cute stuff, y'all.  Check it out if you've got a sec. I'm addicted to ordering sweet things from her. If you've received precious monogrammed baby gifts this year from us, she's made them. So, so talented. Such a sweet, sweet spirit to do this for Parker's family.

Speaking of all things Parker, he is kickin' fannie this week! Go baby go! He is off ECMO now and heading toward his repair surgery next week. Prayin' and praising for this sweet baby and his family.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Our Not-Beach Vacay

Today has been filled with more good things than we can almost handle.

We were supposed to be at the beach this weekend. At the last minute we decided to postpone the trip to a less chaotic weekend later in the summer. I pouted for 3 days. Then I realized Chris had a surprise weekend planned chock full of my favorite things. Pouting subsided.

We started the morning at Natural Body Spa (holy goodness) getting a couples' massage. What? Us? It can't be true. Heaven on a heated table.

My stream of consciousness made me wonder. It went something like:

I hope this masseuse doesn't see my panties. I wonder if he is going to use an entire bottle of lotion on my alligator skin (squirt. rub. squirt. squirt.). We are so blessed in so many ways. How in the world did God know that we would deliver sweet Coop and then find out 3 weeks later than Chris had Kudzu? His timing is PERFECT. Will I ever feel normal shopping without a stroller when Coop grows up? Where do people put their go-cups when they don't have a stroller? This man must have arthritis. Why are his shoes squeaking so much? Chocolate truffles. Chocolate truffles. I should cook more. I should work out more. I should try some of those fabulous cleaning "pins" I've been hoarding on Pinterest. I wonder how many more minutes we have? Is it time for lunch? Is Chris snoring?

Am I the only one who's mind RACES during a massage? It's insane. I almost laughed out loud twice.

We skipped (literally) out of the spa and headed to the Chocolatier. I mean. Is it any coincidence that it is 2 doors down from them? I think not. It's not enough that I go once a week while I am at work. The sea salt caramel truffle is ridiculously heavenly.

We went to lunch and did a bit of shopping. I discovered the most amazing hand cream in all the world at a little gift shop called Smith's. Thankyouverymuchbestfriendjennifer!

It's called Cucina Fruits and Passion (We like the orange one) and it is sooooooooo scrumptious. I scooped up a bottle and most definitely think you should too.

Next up, Movie Tavern. Fried pickles and popcorn. See, more good things than we know what to do with.

Coop's down on the farm for the weekend, yee-haw! He has been riding his "new" spring horse. You know the ones. The ones we all had when we were little. Mimi reports that he has named it "W". Funny little booger.

THANK you Mimi and Poppy-Y'all are the best!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Parker Baby

I'm worried sick about Baby Parker. Pray. Pace. Pray. Pace.

God is going to move a mountain tonight, I just know it.

The Knoll Family needs yours prayers more now than ever.

Lifting him up higher and higher. Will you lift him up as well?

CDH's "color" is turquoise. Search your closets high and low and put on your best turquoise tomorrow as we cover Precious Parker in constant prayer.

"For you created my innermost being. You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalm 139:13-14

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Babies, Babies, Babies!

Coop has this itty bitty "Liken A-Queen" matchbox car. He has slept with it for the past 6 nights. It goes in the car with us, to the dinner table with us, to the potty with us. EVERYWHERE.

Today Liken A-Queen helped us shower these pretty mamas with lots of love:
So so so much fun!
The cuteness level of the wee ones at the shower was off the charts.
See, I told you. Aiden, the cutest little fella I ever did see!
Baby Finn, snoozin' on his Daddy's lap.
Cutie Pie, Hayden!
Lorelei, Fashionista Extraordinaire!
Lucas, big brother to-be! Cute! Cute!
Sillyness. Possible mugshot? JK. Just everyday sheenanigans going on here.

There were about a gazillion other precious tots toddling around, but they are all waaay faster than me and my big old clunkin' 1992 Canon Rebel. Sigh. Next time.

Keep on praying for Baby Parker and eatin' donuts y'all--God is good!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Brought to you by the Letter "G"

I've been in denial. I have ignored the 1+ year old photo at the top of this blog for months.

It's only because I want to savor every minute of this sweet life.

But alas, Cooper is not 12 months old anymore. So I updated it tonight.

We spent the day down in Macon celebrating this LITTLE CUTIE PATOOTIE:
I'm sayin'! He had a Sesame Street Birthday Bash, brought to you by the letter "G" and the number "2"--Lil' George turns TWO!
Chris and Big George go way back. We just adore their sweet family so much! Wish there weren't quite so many miles between us.
Coop found a vacuum (in a room full of 200+ toys). He was happy as a lark.

My (little) cousin Michael got married tonight! I can hardly believe it. It seems like just yesterday I was pushing him around in my baby buggy asking my Aunt to "milk the baby". Married. Mmm, mm, m. Smh. I am super bummed that I am missing their big day but we are sending them great big hugs and lots of love all the way from GA!

Friday, May 18, 2012

We [Heart] Parker!

I could hardly focus on anything today. My brain kept chanting "Must-go-get-donut-for-Parker". Sweet Baby is fighting the good fight this very minute.

He is on ECMO but they have decreased it several times already. Abby is praying for her boys like crazy, talking to her sweet Mama (the best NICU nurse in all of heaven), reading trashy magazines, and (finally) drinking a Starbucks. Oh, how I love her. Mike is being the incredible Daddy he has been called to be.
The rest of us are praying something fierce, and well, eating donuts.
Parker Edward Knoll, you have already changed the world. You have left your tiny imprint on the hearts of many, and you've only been here a few short hours. God's plan for you is mighty.
Can you feel the warmth of His hand holding you? Are you blown away by your Mama's love and your Daddy's strength?

I sure am.


Prayers (and donuts) For Parker

Parker Baby is here!
He is just absolutely precious. Just absolutely perfect.

When Cooper was born, Abby wrote him the most amazing letter. It was overflowing with love for him. I still read it to him to this day. It was enclosed in a package with a little whale hoodie from Gymboree that she secretly bought waaaaaaay before we even had the Cooper Twinkle in our eyes.

I've tried to write my letter to Parker time and time again this week. I can't seem to find the words. But I will. Right now, at this very minute I am on my knees (in my scrubs at the hospital) praying for him. Praising God for him. I want him to know how absolutely magnificent his mama is. And his Daddy. And his adorable and hilarious big brother. I'm going to write that letter. Right after I get a Krispy Kreme in his honor.
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Coop ate a tube of chapstick tonight.
I can hardly blame him. It was strawberry-lemonade flavored and smells smelled DIVINE.

I told him to sit at the desk in our kitchen while I pulled supper out of the oven so he wouldn't get burnt. He busied himself by emptying my purse. Wallet. Keys. Goldfish crackers circa 2011. Old Braves game ticket stub. Chapstick.

His breath smells super good.

We are two weeks into potty training and he is a C-H-A-M-P! No accidents all week (except for pooping in the bathtub last night, err) and his little "Liken" McQueen tushy is just about the cutest thing I have ever laid eyes on.

He insisted on wearing McQueen undies out today while we ran errands. I tried to bribe him with a cupcake to just wear a diaper. Please? Pretty please? Nope. Big boy undies it was.

He did faboosh!

I finished Angie Smith's book last night. So. So. So good. Can't say enough good things about it. Really.

This reading thing is mighty fun. Ideas on what should I read next!?

Monday, May 14, 2012

I Swallowed a Golf Ball

I haven't read a book since August 2008.

I'm serious. Grad School. It ruined me. Read, read, read. Three years straight. So I came out, started working and have not read a book cover to cover since. I read two chapters of a Sophia Kinsella novel at the beach once in 2009. I read approximately 17 children's books per day between Coop and my kiddos at work, but an entire adult-oriented book? No way.

So I'm 263 pages into a book that I just started less than 24 hours ago. I can't put it down. Funny thing is, I downloaded it on my iPad. I'm so far behind literary times, I didn't even know you could do this. Shame. I know it.

It's by Angie Smith. I've read her blog for several years now. She is ah-mazing. Truly. Her book "I Will Carry You" has me singing praises, crying buckets, and nodding over and over again, "yes. yes". She is profound. Her faith is remarkable. Her journey awe-inspiring. Her love for God takes my breath away "page" after "page" (swipe finger, turn page. so strange).

I almost didn't purchase the book. But I'm so glad I did. It's stirred me. Moved me. Touched me.

I swallowed a golf ball tonight at Chick-fil-a. Swallowed it and it got lodged right there in my throat for a good two hours.

Disclaimer, I know us losing our baby must seem so insignificant to the world. I know it does. I feel so silly for being so shaken about it. They say that people who lose babies often grieve in silence. The world presses in on this, and it makes me feel like I am suffocating. So I blog. I just pour out my heart to a forgiving keyboard and dimly let screen as the rest of the world sleeps.  And it's glorious. I write so that God can speak to me. And He does. With every stroke of the keys I hear Him. So I can't stop.

The golfball. I was ordering supper for me and Coop, standing at the counter, admiring the new dessert menu Chick recently rolled out when I almost lost my breath. Out of NOWHERE. I've been doing SO GOOD. Peace like a river. Running through me. And then it hit me. A piano on my chest. Sweaty palms. Shallow breaths.

I was at a playdate with some of my besties and their little ones. The kids were playing in the playground and the four of us were planning a baby shower for four of our sweet friends. A baby in a carrier slept through dinner while her mama and daddy chatted about the day over in the corner.

Ella Grace will never get to go to Chick-fil-a on a playdate. I won't ever get to order her a 1 count kids meal with applesauce and chocolate milk. She won't play on the playground. I won't crawl way up to the top to rescue her when she gets stuck. She'll never leave Chick-fil-a on my hip, screaming about how she wants more sweet tea or one more slide.

And I know it's all just as it is for a distinct purpose.

So many times, as Christians, I feel like we are expected to put on our Sunday smile and remind everyone that "God's ways are perfect".

In her book, Angie reminds us that "if you need to scream a little, know that you have a God who can take that, as long as your face is tilted (ever slightly) toward Him". She goes on to say that "He is glorified in the shattering".

See, profound. I told ya.

My sweet sweet Gidge is due to deliver Baby Parker Friday. I am swept away with this unwavering hope for her. My heart swells with it. I can see the fear in her eyes. But ironically, it's right next to her unending strength. They are intermingled and I wish I could make it all better for her.

God's grace has been made evident in her time and time again over the past several years. I can't help but be overcome with admiration and fearless HOPE for her. Her praises defy her circumstances. But she's a Mama. And Mama's can't help but worry about their babies. I have prayed over her time and time again and the resounding voice I hear from God is to be HOPEFUL. To be filled with HOPE and LOVE and unending PRAISES for her precious Parker.

Do me a humongo favor. Set your alarm on your phones for a distinct time this week and in the weeks to follow and whisper a prayer for Abby and her family. God hears each and every prayer and will be listening to them as he carries her sweet family in these days.

"Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul--
And sings the tune without words
And never stops--at all."
-Emily Dickenson

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day 2012-Hope

Today is Mother's Day. And what an absolutely perfect day it has been.
(Yes. He has his pappy. Yes it is in broad daylight. In public. He was nap-deprived and we were crammed into a booth at Texas Roadhouse and I couldn't eat my Rattlesnake Bites because he was a cranky tank. Pleaseexcuseme.)

I can't decide if it has something to do with the new matching wedges-with-giant-flowers-on-the-toes my mom and I got yesterday on our marathon shopping day, or the hydrangeas that sit on my nightstand whispering "I love you Mommy", or the handmade card containing this picture:
with a crayon scribbled quote that says "This is my most favorite place to be Mommy", or the heavenly cinnamon rolls Hubs brought to me in bed this morning, or the perfectly chosen worship songs I got to sing with my Starbucks Cake Pop in church this morning (12 Stone, you have blessed us once again).

Big Love and Little Love made today just as sweet as it ever could be. Hugs and kisses and "I love yous" and "thank yous".
(Mother's Day-ish 2011)

In the midst of it all, I have whispered prayers of thankfulness and gratitude a million times over.

The same God who has carried us the past few weeks, also made it possible for me to become a Mama just two short years ago. The same God who served as our rock and foundation while Chris lost all of his hair and became weaker than we knew he was capable of, moved mountains 11 years ago and made us blind-checking neighbors, college kids who fell madly in love.

I used to be fearful. Fearful of not being able to fill our house with little voices and tiny footsteps. I have been consumed with fear over the last year as we tried to get pregnant again. The odds were stacked against us. Our hearts cried out for a baby and our faith backed us every step of the way. But I was scared.

Ella Grace came along and gave me HOPE. Hope as a Mama. There she was. Within two seconds of tee-teeing on a stick and seeing those double pink lines, my hope was renewed. God's promise was there all along but I finally believed it with every inch of my being.

12 sweet weeks. Regardless of what our outcome was, Ella Grace was given to us for a purpose. A mighty purpose.

So today I am not fearful. Nope. Ella Grace fixed that. My heart is crying out that we might be blessed once more and that we might be able to hear just a few more pitter patters of footsteps, but I'm not scared.

Being a mom is the most incredible of gifts I have ever been given. I can't imagine what my life would be like without this longing fulfilled. So this Mother's Day, 2012, I stand with hope. I am thanking God for giving us Cooper and for allowing me the honor of being his Mama. I will thrive to take the moments we are given, and make them great. I will build his character, instill his dreams, and most importantly, stir his appetite for our mighty God.

Happy Mother's Day sweet friends!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Master Vac

Cooper loves to vacuum. Loves it. He learned to walk behind the Dyson, remember? For his birthday, his Lori gave him his very own Dirt Devil. Bliss! Glee!
Our floors are mighty tighty clean around here. Oh except we started potty training this week. But, one week in and only 2 accidents. Go Coop! Go!
He looks so grown up. For Mother's Day, I have only one request. Freeze frame on the crazy speed with which pistol britches is growing up. Freeze. Frame.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Changes Comin' Round

I did something this week.
Total leap of faith. I've been thinking and praying and hoping and wishing for a while now. I finally got the courage to go for it.

I went part time.

I know. It was time. Chris started a new job recently, his dream job. I couldn't be more proud of him. The very best part? He will only travel a few times a year. We don't even know what to do with ourselves. What will that even look like? He's been on "the road" for the past 8 years. Coop won't be talking about airplanes and suitcases every other day and we will have more time to love on each other and soak up these sweet years. Leader, Chris' previous company, was an incredible blessing to our family. I know it was a hard move for him to make, but I am just tickled for him.
The other very best part? We got to sign up for health insurance through Glock. AMAZING insurance. This is huge for us. I have always worked at CHOA to carry our benefits. The deal was sealed when Chris was diagnosed. I wanted to branch off and put more energy into my private practice, but I just couldn't. It was fine, it really was. But then we lost the baby and Cooper turned two and I got all sweaty thinking of him hopping on a big yellow bus heading off to Kindy. There'll be plenty of time for me to bump back up at CHOA down the road. I LOVE that place and I LOVE what I do. It's just time for me to work smarter, not harder and holy batballs, my dream has come true. By dropping our insurance at CHOA and dropping to part time, I will still make the same salary as when I have been full time. See, God moves mountains.

I am so excited to finally focus on my "Chatterbox" business. I have been so blessed by the kiddos I have already treated and pray that God will use me to touch the lives of more itty bitty ones in the coming days.
PS. We might have bought a bouncy house today. Shame. Coop had his two year old check up this afternoon and listen, it could have been worse. We promised him a pony if he did good with his shots. The bouncy house (compliments of the Knolls) was such a hit at the Stache Bash that we couldn't fight the urge. We scratched the pony and whipped it right into Toys R Us. Coop used his birthday money and next thing we knew, it was riding home with us in our backseat. Confession: I had more fun that Coop in the bounce house this weekend. I really did.

Regardless, Bounce Party at our house, y'all come on over!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Coop's Mustache Bash!

Oh my word. We've had more fun than you can shake a stache at today.
Ridiculous amounts of fun.
My absolute most favorite little man in all the world-
It's too bad he has nothing to play with. Nothing.

I only took a few 356 pictures. I'm serious. I can't help it. And looking back through them, I'm mighty glad I did. I can't help but giggle. Those dern glasses. They made everyone laugh. There's just something about being able to be silly. I mean it. We tend to take life too seriously. Not today.
We bounced. We face painted. We dug in the sand. We played in the water. We ate cupcakes. We drove tractors. We gave hugs. We thanked God for our many blessings.
It sure felt good to be surrounded by people we love, all acting silly. And I do love a good theme. This one has got to be one of my all time faves. Smiles all around and just good, plain fun.
Eh, Pinterest had nothing to do with this. Nothing.
Chris asked me if I went a little too far with the mustache theme. Um, no? Pigs wear coke bottle glasses and hold balloons every day, silly. Shesh.
I would post a million and one more pictures, but it's late so I mustache. I'm sorry. I had to.

Anyway, I need to go wet my whiskers, have one last bounce, and say my prayers under the light of the super moon.
Great big hugs and lots of love to all who helped to make Super Coop's day so very very special!