Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Sometimes it does help to just talk about it, because, as a mother, you never forget the baby you didn't get to bring home.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hope Springs Eternal

Have you ever watched a sunrise? It always catches me by surprise when that first peak of new light pops over the horizon.

After several months of dark days, emotional upheaval, and physical challenges it seems the light is finally dawning. I still have two more weeks of recovery left, but I think my heart is beginning to heal. Its hard to trade something happy and exciting (like a pregnancy) for something painful and scary (like a surgery). But I survived, and, though it's taken some time, I'm starting to feel like myself again.

I can't be depressed anymore- there are too many things to be thankful for:

1. A God who shows me infinite grace and mercy when I don't deserve it (its like he loves me or something).

2.A husband who loves me enough to help me out of bed in the middle of the night so I can go to the bathroom (I can get out of bed by myself now. Hallelujah!).

3. An adorable daughter who amazes me with her ever expanding vocabulary ("Read! Read! Car! Car! Car! Cow? Cow? Cow? Kitty! Kitty? Kitty!").

4.Friends and family who have brought us meals and sent us cards and offered a helping hand and a listening ear.

5.An excellent pathology report (no cancer here).

6. One ovary that still works.

My only regret is that my scar is located in an area where I can't show random people my battle wounds (except for my husband, my doctor, some nurses, and my mother, no one else has seen it). I guess I shall have to console myself with telling everyone I meet, "Did you know I have only one ovary?"

Don't you think that's a great conversation starter? No? Why not?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Valley Below

Its been a long two months. We found out I was pregnant near the end of July. We were very excited, since we had only just started trying. About a week after that I had some spotting and so we began to be concerned. During that time my mother-in-law had a heart attack and open heart surgery. We had our hands full so the pregnancy was not as much on our minds.

About a week ago we found out for sure that we had miscarried. Along with that they discovered a dermoid cyst on my left ovary that was about the size of an orange. I had a D and C on Wednesday of last week, but the surgery for the removal of the cyst won't be scheduled till after my follow-up visit with the OB/GYN. Because of the size of the cyst it will be a regular open surgery, not a laparascopy. And they may have to remove my ovary as well.

Its hard not to think of all the possibilities as I wait to have the surgery. I'm not looking forward to the recovery either. I haven't blogged in awhile because I didn't know what to write (not that I have many readers anyway). But those of you who do read can pray for me and my family. Right now thats all we really need.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Fourth - for Beth

We ate lots of pie with cool whip! We fended off the wandering hordes of bubbles.

We enjoyed a magnificent feast with a marvelous view.

We had our own private fireworks display on the patio. It doesn't get much better than this. Along with the bloodthirsty mosquitos, diving bats, and swarming gnats it was the epitome of a fun summer afternoon. Happy Belated Fourth of July, everyone!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tea for Two

Its naptime. The house is quiet except for the tap, tap of the keyboard. So far I've done a little of this and a little of that. I ate. Finally. I put away clothes and shoes. I organized the closet in the office a little. I even put on makeup and pulled my hair out of my face.

I did a little reading online and chatted with friends on facebook. Obviously, this list is getting mundane, so I'll tell you the real reason I'm writing this post.

CiCi and I had tea this morning. I sat down at her little table next to the window and we took turns sipping imaginary tea from her teensy purple cups. We made loud slurping noises and while I pretend nibbled on tea cakes, she threw the tray on the floor and stole my cup. It was one of those moments that make the whole day worth it.

We only get a short time with our children. For some its shorter than others. I want to enjoy each tiny moment I have with my daughter. I want to stare at her curls, her rosy cheeks, her toothy smile and remember them always. I want to hold her close and watch her sleep. And though I enjoy the quiet during naptime, I also dread it because it reminds me of what life would be like without her.

Much too quiet.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Day in the Life...

Of Screamy McWhinerton. I mean CiCi.

Sorry that first part was a slip of the keyboard. Really. We've had a lovely day together. We did a little of this, a little of that. Well, here. Let me show you.

We enjoyed carrying our stuffed toys up and down the hall.
We also enjoyed helping mommy around the house while clinging to her leg.

We only read this book a FEW times today.

Mommy even found a cocoon in the garden and we're going to document its transformation.

Purely for Mommy's enjoyment, because SOMEBODY doesn't give a flip, though the caterpillar on the patio today did incite some interest.

We decided to do a photo shoot. We all SMILED.

We went for a walk.
CiCi was very HAPPY.

DISCLAIMER: Those are NOT my real thighs. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. But I thought it was a neat picture anyway.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Importance of Being Mama

Its difficult to understand motherhood until you've experienced it. I've only been a mother for a little over a year, but I'm positive that my appreciation for my own mother has grown by leaps and bounds during that short time. I recognize the importance of being mama.

In this day and age success is measured by education and careers. It seems that motherhood in and of itself is not enough to gain the respect or acknowledgement of the outside world. We even look down on those who choose motherhood over career. We consider an education to be a waste of time for those people. Why did they even go to college if all they're going to do is stay home and raise children?

My own mother never went to college. She has a GED in place of a regular high school diploma. The closest thing she ever had to a career was a job as a bank teller. When my brother and I graduated from high school (we were home schooled through all four years) people used to act as though she hadn't had a life until that point. Motherhood was apparently not a significant enough job.

My mom teaches piano now. She's always been a talented pianist, playing for churches and weddings for years. I have no doubt she could have been a concert pianist if she had wanted that. She, in her modest fashion, can't acknowledge her own talent, but she raised two incredibly intelligent kids (brag,brag). I'm sure she could have been anything she wanted.

What she wanted was to be my mother.

It doesn't matter how the world measures her success, or what she does with her life from now on. She chose to give a significant portion of her time, her heart, and her life to someone who was not always grateful or understanding. I know how tiring and stressful it is to stay home day in and day out with a little one. There aren't any "thank yous." Its just plain hard work. But its the most important work any woman can do. I'm following in the footsteps of a special lady. I just hope I can succeed as well as she has.

Thank you, Mom. Thank you for being there. Thank you for all the times I didn't say thank you.

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The List

Our plans this summer include:
Maintaining The Lawn




Duck Throwing

Bird Watching

And last but not least-
Being Adorable

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spring Swing

We've gone from this:
A lovely spring day this past Saturday
To This-

A cold, windy Tuesday filled with snowflakes and even some accumulation. Oh, the fickle joys of mountain living. Though when its spring I prefer it to stay spring. Thank you very much.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Moved (Sort Of)

We're finally in our house. FINALLY! It's been a long journey, but its nice to be home. We still have a lot of work ahead of us. The kitchen cabinets, though painted, still require another coat, hardware, and trim to complete them. I'm in the midst of sewing curtains for CiCi's room, and searching for a bookshelf that I can paint to match her adorable dresser/changing table. I make a little progress everyday, and I promise there will be pictures one of these days.

I guess the one thing that made this house officially home was the return of the cats. They stayed at my parents for the first week we were here because of the chaos of the move. Now that they're here they're wreaking their own brand of chaos. They broke a special figurine of mine the other day(No guesses who that was, WAFFLE), managed to wriggle their way into the bathroom cabinets to sleep on the clean towels (Brissay, I'm lookin' at you), and they woke CiCi from her blessed nap time a half hour early because SOMEBODY HAD TO SLEEP under her crib (I hate you with a passion, Gizzy). Other than that its been an absolute joy to have them here (please ignore hint of sarcasm).

We have enjoyed our new neighborhood also. The yard is thrilling. I mean we can walk outside and THERE IS A YARD OUT THERE, not just a steep driveway and bushes filled with bloodthirsty insects. We can also walk down to Dillsboro via a little pathway and enjoy the quaint village filled with ducks and little shops. Our only bad experience occurred early yesterday morning when we were awakened by a loud pounding on the door- or rather my husband was. Somehow I missed it. When he finally realized he wasn't dreaming and heard CiCi crying in her room, he got up and went to the door. A sheriff's officer was there to check out a call made by an intoxicated man claiming to be the last owner's husband, saying she had fallen in the river. He needed to confirm that we were the current residents and not her. Now, of course, I'm a tiny bit paranoid about a drunken man showing up at our door. But I shouldn't worry. We can just sic the cats on him. He'd be gone after two seconds with them.

Friday, March 13, 2009


As of Wednesday, we are the official owners of a house- a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home, no less. I was surprised to find a home that size in our price range. The mountains are fraught with large homes, all excessively expensive. Of course, our journey with this home has been a difficult one at best.

First, we were elated that our offer on the home, considerably less than what the buyer was asking for, was accepted. Then we were dismayed that the house had apparent structural problems that the buyer would not fix. Next we were happy to learn the buyer was willing to make repairs. After that we were glad to discover that the house was in sound condition after said repairs.

Then we were annoyed that the closing date was moved due to some technicalities concerning the termite report. After which we were happy to again have a solid closing date until our lawyer had to go out of town for a trial, and the closing date was moved again. It was, we hoped, for the last time, till we found out that the paralegal had waited till the last minute to file certain paperwork. But we made it to the lawyer's office to sign the paperwork anyway.

After we signed a gazillion documents, some stating that we would sign more documents if necessary, and others joyfully proclaiming that we would go to prison if we lied on said documents, we were told that we would be homeowners as soon as the wire transfer came through from the bank. Fast forward to the next day when we received a call from our lawyer saying, "I don't know how to tell you this, but..."

The bank had not sent the wire, claiming that the lending service we were using had reached its lending limit. Huh? After 24 hours of sweating and praying, we learned that the wire had finally come through. The bank had made a mistake. Ya think? We now have the keys to our home, and we can begin to make it our own. It may not be the prettiest house on the block, or the newest, but it's ours, and that's all that matters.

I can't wait to post some before and after pictures for you (there will be lots). Maybe by next week I'll have some. We plan on painting the kitchen cabinets, and installing new hardware. We'll also be painting CiCi's room before we move in. Other projects we have planned for later (some of which will cost more money than we have right now)- removing the outside doors in the master bedroom (yeah, I know...WHY?), redoing master bedroom closet and bathroom, replacing fixtures in hall bathroom, replacing kitchen appliances, removing partitioning walls in living room/kitchen, replacing flooring in main living space, carpeting master bedroom, and improving curb appeal (covers more than I think I can list).

At least we passed the biggest hurdle- making this house ours.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

To Da Zoo!

This past Saturday we embarked on the excursion of a lifetime- CiCi's first trip to the zoo! It was warm and sunny at the Greenville Zoo when we arrived, but we weren't fooled by appearances. This was a journey fraught with danger. Hundreds of tiny human beings bounding through the crowds threatened to send us careening off the safely pathed paths into the sharp, twisted limbs of holly bushes.

We fought desperately to reach the animal enclosures to view UP CLOSE the branches of trees hanging nearby. We were stunned at the sight of mammals whose necks closely resemble the bed posts we see everyday. We nearly suffocated in the heat of the reptile building while viewing other children. Somehow, despite the odds, we made out alive.

This is the evidence of our great adventure-

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Whine and Cheese

True talent exists even in 12 month-olds. Like the ability to whine at just the right pitch. You see if you hit the right tone it makes one's head reverberate. I'm positive it's the exact sensation you might feel before your head exploded. Apparently, a 1 year old must whine about everything. I can't wait for actual words to be apart of CiCi's vocabulary, though I'm sure that comes with some, um, quid pro quos.

Speaking of whine, can we please stop cutting the cheese at inconvenient moments? Church, for instance, is not a good place to let one loose. And saying uh oh does not make it better. It just makes everyone laugh. During prayer time. Burps should also be off limits. Especially when they're pointed directly at my face. How does a baby always manage that. I tell you it's got to be talent.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

To CiCi At One Year

The day you were born my world changed forever. I had never known a love for another person like the love I felt for you. I couldn’t imagine that love growing deeper and yet it has. This past year has brought me more joy than I ever thought possible. I’ve watched your personality begin to blossom. I’ve seen you learn and grow day by day. Everything is brand new and exciting in your eyes. And though I feel sad sometime that you’re not the tiny baby you were when I first held you in my arms, I am excited to see you grow and change in the years to come.

I want to be there for you every step of the journey. You have a sweet spirit, and you’re smart as a whip (just like your daddy, but don’t tell him). You’re as mischievous as your mother (don’t worry she already knows) and you’re as stubborn as both your parents put together (this could make things interesting). You make me stop and enjoy each moment of our time together. You make me smile when I feel like frowning, you make me laugh when I feel like crying, and you make each day more exciting than the next.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I can’t wait to find out. You have made your daddy and I better people- more responsible, more patient, more childlike. We see the world through your eyes and delight in the innocence you lend to everyday moments. You try our patience at times (a little less whining would be nice, and no more spitting food at me when I’m not looking), you test our attention span (I think a few bumps and bruises aren’t bad, you haven’t fallen off the bed or dived out of your high chair), and you bring out the silly in us (all those weird noises you’ve picked up over the past year, we’ll blame those on your dad).

No matter how many time I’ve gotten food in my eye or spit up on my clothes I’ll cherish this past year for the rest of my life. You’ll grow up, but in my heart you’ll always be my baby girl. I’ll see you crawling down the hall laughing while your MeMaw chases after you, I’ll see you digging fistfuls of icing from your birthday cake, I’ll see you sleeping on my chest with the cat curled up beside you, and I’ll see you smiling with a flower tucked behind your ear.

Sometimes I wish I could pause time. These moments keep whizzing by and I know soon you’ll be heading off to college or starting a family of your own with someone special. I pray that no matter what you do or where you go you will trust God in everything. I pray you’ll know his grace. I pray your beautiful smile will be lit with his love. You’re more special to me and your daddy than you’ll ever know little one, and you always will be. Happy Birthday!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Counting Down

Despite all the hoopla involving our possible purchase of a home in Dillsboro (another post entirely), I have had one thing on my mind lately- CiCi's impending birthday. It's hard to wrap my head around the fact that it's been almost a year since she was born. It seems like yesterday I was in the hospital holding my tiny bundle and wondering if I had lost my mind nine months before. I was in awe of this little person and the huge, nay, ginormous burden of raising her to be a godly young woman. I am still in awe of her- how much she's grown, how much her personality has developed, how mobile she is (Lord help us).

It's difficult to imagine myself as a mom, especially the mom of an impending toddler, but when someone mentions mama and CiCi points at me accusingly, I am reminded that I am no longer just Susanna. She frustrates me sometimes (she tried to delete my entire post moments ago), but delights me most of the time. I can only imagine the joys the coming year will provide. I plan on writing her a letter on her birthday. Perhaps I will post it here so you can all cry and reminisce with me. I also plan on creating a 1 year slideshow which I will definitely post here. Stay tuned- it'll be a sappyfest of epic proportions.
I leave you with this:

She scores a 100 on the cuteness-O-meter.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I Think Someone Wrote A Song About It

I'm sure a song exists for every emotion known to man. Disappointment is a human emotion and I'm sure some country crooner crooned about the loss of a house because of rotting floor joists. Probably after his wife left him, his dog died and his truck got repossessed. Such is the world of home buying. You win some, you lose a lot, and you keep moving forward.
You may have guessed by now that we probably won't be getting our almost home. The inspector found a lot of problems. Not least of which is the floor joists with severe water damage. That would cost big bucks to fix. Money we don't have. And the sellers opted out of doing any repairs in the contract.
Now its moving on time I suppose. Time to stop decorating the living room in my head, or gazing at paint chips longingly. Our time will come I know. God keeps turning us in new directions. His plans are always better than our own, and disappointment will create new opportunities. And as soon as I get my face out of this pint of ice cream I'll be able to see those opportunities with a little more clarity.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Why I Love Our New (Almost) Home

A List by Susanna Hearn

1. We'll have plenty of before and after pictures. Take for instance the "front" of the house. Kind of boring and mismatched now, but with new shutters, an arbor, a well-placed window box, a cute front door that doesn't open into the laundry room (don't know, so don't ask) and new vinyl siding it could be like a picture from a magazine (or not, but one can dream).

2. We have a great view of the river and a yoga studio from the front yard, so I'll have a constant reminder that I need to exercise. I don't think I'll take classes there. I wouldn't have any excuse not to go.

3. We have a lovely view of Dillsboro from the FENCED-IN BACKYARD! Need I say more?

4. We have a rotting, decrepit garage/workshop filled with graffiti, empty cans, and a rusty telescope (perhaps for better viewing of the yoga studio), which we can disassemble with sledge hammers and other manly tools.

5. Once again: WE HAVE A FENCED-IN BACKYARD! And also a patio, whose stairs serve as a human death trap, or a convenient place to break a leg. Look alive, people!

The End

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Can I Trade You Three Cats for a Dog?

I know I've been a slacker on the posting front of late. I won't waste time with excuses, but maybe I can make up for it with a brief summary of the past few months. Here goes- we moved out of our one bedroom cabin and into my parents home in early December. Most of our things are in storage, including our Christmas decorations which I had to remove after having them up only a week *weeping.*
We were looking at houses in Franklin at the time, made an offer on a house that was countered and decided not to counter in return. We then began looking at homes in Sylva, made an offer on a 3 bedroom ranch in Dillsboro which was accepted without counter. The exciting part is our offer was $24,000 less than the asking price, and well within our affordability range. Hopefully, we'll be closing on the house by January 30th. God be praised! (because it's not easy moving back home with a husband, a baby, and five cats).
Speaking of cats I saw a REALLY CUTE puppy dog over the weekend and I was wondering if anybody was in need of three adorable cats, so I can have a doggy. I mean they're no trouble at all, just hairy, pukey, rambunctious, violent, and annoying. I'm sure someone could put them to good use as dog food or fur coats (I jest, of course). I do want a cute doggie, though. We're going to have a lovely, FLAT, fenced in backyard, and wouldn't a sweet, non-feline pup just complete our idyllic family picture. I think my husband would let me, except I can't picture taking care of five cats and a dog. Oh well, maybe some of the cats will get lost in the move. I can accidentally pack them in the box we're shipping to Timbuktu. The box with no return address, and a few air holes poked in it. I guess the yowling at the post office would probably give me away. I'll post pictures of the house soon, so keep on checking back.