Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Preacher Pa

I must have been 5 years old when I went on my first "date."  I remember feeling like a princess.  Riding on the metro train and then being taken into the big city of Atlanta.  I remember sitting on a high bench at a bar in a restuarant and having a strawberry sundae.  And I remember feeling loved. 

I remember putting my toes on the edge of the diving board and being so scared to jump in.  Almost jumping, and then backing away.  I remember him catching me when I did finally jump and being so proud of me for having been so brave. 

I remember going to visit he and my grandmother in their home and wondering if he could see our car as we turned into Lake Junaluska assembly from the front porch of their home, where I knew he was sitting in his rocking chair waiting for me. 

I remember how he smelled like Old Spice and mouthwash, how he would wink at me as he crossed the room, how when he talked, the sides of his mouth never parted, and how he loved my grandmother. 

I called him Preacher Pa, but as a little girl, I would say "Pepa."  My Preacher Pa, Art O'Neil, Jr., was one of the greatest men I will ever know.  He had strong hands, kind eyes, and one of the sweetest voices I've ever heard.  As a child, I would visit him at Simpsonwood, and I felt as close to a princess as a girl can feel.  He had a picture of me on his desk (or was it a bookshelf?) and I knew that I was special.  I've always known that I was special to him, I've always known that he was proud of me, and I've always known that he loves me.  Always.  How does someone get so lucky to have that sort of influence on their life? 

On June 24, 2011, I gave birth to my sweet Sallie.  I knew it was coming because we had scheduled a c-section, so the morning of, I styled my hair, put on my makeup and jewelry, boxed up my homemade cupcakes (for the nurses) and headed to the hospital.  We were there at 6:00 in the morning, and by 9am, I was holding her in my arms.  I had given life to a person.  I had delivered a person into this world.  I had (my body had) created this tiny human being then after months of growing and nurturing and loving, she was born.  She had been created.  As I held her there in the hospital, I knew without a doubt that God had been in charge of this little life since before she was even conceived. 

Less than 2 months later, my sweet Preacher Pa, decided to stop his treatments for Kidney Disease.  I witnessed his body becoming more frail and when my big strong grandfather had to have help into and out of bed every day, I knew that it was time.  I watched as he prepared for the coming weeks.  I was there when he made his funeral arrangements and chose which hospice company would come and what he wanted to be done with his body.  Like me, preparing for my c-section, he was preparing for a birth also.   The hospital bed was brought in, candles were lit, his favorite hymns were being played, and  friends and family were coming by.  Within just a couple of days he began to whisp away.  He began to sleep longer and longer and on August 30, he fell into such a hard sleep that he couldn't be awaken.  I was there that evening.  I didn't want to leave my grandmother.  My dad had just left to take Nathan home and I was nursing Sallie.  I remember my grandmother sitting by his bedside and whispering in his ear.  Directly, she stood up and went to the door and when she came back to his bed, it was noticeably more quiet.  His snoring had softened and was becoming more shallow.  I'll never forget her saying, "Y'all come here, I think he's dying..."  and as we all stood around him - my grandmother; my cousin, Rachel; my uncle; my mom and I holding Sallie, his spirit left his body.  After all the years of growing and nurturing and loving - he was born!   He had been created into the spirit of God.   As I stood there at the hospital bed of one of my favorite people, I knew without a doubt that God had been in charge of his life and had been in charge of his death and that my Preacher Pa was in heaven. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Better late than never!

Tonight, after I kissed Nathan goodnight, I went into Sallie's room and turned on her sound machine.  When I came back into the living room, she was holding her "mongy", pointing at the rocking chair and swaying back and forth.  She's never done this before, but I knew that she wanted to rock.  So, I rocked my baby.  I rocked and rocked and rocked.  And I soaked in the smell of her and the feel of the warmth of her sweet little body and I drank in the blessing that she is to me.  As I was holding her, she was sucking on those sweet little fingers and with her eyes closed, leaned her forehead into my lips over and over again as if she were saying, "kiss me, mama."  I melt.  This is my motherhood.  I'm not a good blogger, but tonight I realized that I've GOT to get some of this stuff down before it slips away and I forget it all...

You are al-most 15 months old.  You are so sweet and you have so much personality!  You can say, "Juice/Shoes (they sound the same!), Dada, Bigda, and basketball (biggle-biggle-ball).  You do a LOT of pointing and grunting, but it works for you!  You make sure we alllllll know what you want and in a way, I sort of like it.  It's honing our skills at being able to read each other's minds.  :)  You can run and you are beginning to climb, you know where your eyes, nose, mouth, hair and belly is.  You are the BEST sleeper!  You recently fell from the highchair at Memaw's (my first trip to the Emergency Room!).  You bit through your bottom lip and pushed your top left tooth into the gum, but it didn't fall out!  We are hoping that it will continue to straighten itself out as it slowly moves back into position.  I think this shows a) that you don't have quite as good of balance as your brother and b) that you are going to be a very active little girl!   You squeal at the top of your lungs with laughter when you see an animal - any kind!  It's so sweet.  And you loooooooove your daddy and your brother.  You give sweet hugs and kisses by leaning over and saying "uh-uh".  You don't like for Nathan to get into trouble and you try to do everything that he does!  It's such a sweet and precious relationship that y'all have!  You won't remember and I hope I'll never forget how in the morning when we first wake you up, he always says, "Good morning, sweet princess!"  :)  This is the greatest joy of my life, right now!  It reminds me of when he first saw you in the hospital.  When he first came in, I was holding you and he climbed into bed with us and touched you and looked sweetly at you.  But then, several minutes later, someone had placed you in the bassinet and you'd begun to cry.  Memaw was holding Nathan and was standing next to the bassinet and he said, "It's okay, Sallie!  Don't cry, I'm your brother and I'll protect you!"  And he will, he will love you and protect you all of your life.  I'm so thankful for the two of you!

You just turned FOUR!  I can NOT believe that it's already been 4 years since you were born!  You are so big and grown up and smart and sweet and strong.  I just sometimes wonder how in the world it's even possible for you to be mine!  I'm not (first of all, old enough ;) ) and second of all, smart enough to have risen such an amazing little person!  You are going to school at First Methodist 5 days a week with Miss Karen Moon and your friends are Luke Hice, Cade McKnight, Griffin Conoly, Kate Sears, Kathryn Ross Pass, Addy Welden, etc.  The teachers always have the nicest things to say about you and they all think you are so smart and well-mannered!  You have such a strong love for your family, for Preacher Pa (who passed away a year ago) and Meme, for our house ("We have a fun little house.  Don't we, Mama?"), for Sallie (you'll stop your bike when you're riding just to come give her a hug), for Mason (sometimes we won't have seen him for weeks and you'll say, "I'm glad I have a brother."), for sports (ALL sports), and for God ("What does God's mommy look like?")  You do test us and are not a very good sleeper and you do like to get your way and you are VERY active, but I wouldn't have it any other way.  I never knew what life with a boy would be like and I'm surprised at how much differently it was than I expected.  I love you so much, sweet boy.  You are my favorite little boy in the whole world and I'm so grateful that you are mine.  I hope you will always know how much you are loved and how wonderful I think you are. 

Love my sweet, sweet babies... 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Sweet Sallie

Dear Sweet Sallie,
I want you to know how much we love you. I haven't been able to blog as much with this pregnancy, but you are loved and thought of so much! Currently, I am 37 weeks pregnant and couldn't be more excited to finally get to meet my baby girl. This pregnancy has been fairly uneventful. Feeling you moving and squirming inside of me is the most wonderful part. I love you so much, sweet girl, and can't wait to hold you in my arms.
I have always known that one day I would have a daughter. I have dreamed of bows, lace, tea parties, dresses, sparkles, pink and pedicures. I know what you will look like because I have seen you in my dreams and in my wishes. I love how close I am to my own mother, grandmother and sisters and I am excited to introduce you to this circle of women who mean so much to me. I am so excited to get to experience you taking dance, wearing your first mascara, and having your first boyfriend. I can't wait to meet you, my little princess.
Your daddy can't wait either! He doesn't have any idea how tightly wrapped around your little finger he is going to be. The other day, I came home from work and had a vision of him with his toenails painted and his hair in little rubberbands. He needs a little girl to soften him up. He will take you on dates and show you how a lady is supposed to be treated. I can't wait to see him watching you at your recitals and fixing your hair. He is going to be such a great daddy to you.
Your brothers are excited, too! Nathan talks about you all the time! He tells me almost everyday that he thinks it's time for me to go to the hospital. :) I think he is going to be an excellent big brother. You are only going to be 3 years apart which means that I will have to watch his friends and make sure they aren't hitting on you (and also watch your friends to make sure they aren't liking Nathan!). He is going to be such a big helper! I think you are going to be best friends and I am thankful that you will always have someone to protect you. Mason likes to watch you moving in my stomach and asks lots of questions about how you are able to eat and how you are going to come out. I think he, too, will be a good big brother to you and will enjoy having a little sister.
You are loved by so many already. We can't wait to kiss you on your sweet little cheeks and to give you lots of hugs. I can't wait to watch you grow and learn. You are so special to our family and your being here completes us. My babies are all here and your dad and I can relish in knowing that our family is finally whole.
Our plan (and I'm interested to see the twists and turns that this 'plan' takes) is that your dad will come home on Wed, June 22, which is also my last day of work. On Thursday night, your Memaw and Big Daddy will keep your brother and early Friday morning, June 24, we will go to the hospital to have you via c-section. I am hopeful that by 9:30 you will be in our arms and we can begin getting to know you in the outside world. We are so excited that we could burst. We love you so much and are so ready for your arrival! Love everything about you, my sweet.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

As of late

Oh my, it's been so long since I've blogged! I am finding that life with a 2 year old is very busy! Trying to work, keep house and take care of my favorite little person is keeping me on my toes! And to top it all off, we found out recently that Nathan's going to be a...

Yay! We are SO excited! We went to a 3d ultrasound place (the same one we used with Nathan) on January 12 to find out what we are having. I just knew it was going to be another boy. I long ago gave up the dream of having a girl since we had 2 boys, I felt like that's probably what was destined for us. I know lots of people who have 3 or more boys and I assumed that my life would be like theirs.

However..... they told us that we are having a GIRL!!! We are elated, to say the least. I can finally start buying pink and purple! The other day I sat down in my chair and realized that I was sitting on an army man, then I looked over and saw the pirate ship on the table and the tonka truck on the floor. Though I love these toys, I can't wait to start buying barbies and baby dolls and a little toy kitchen!

Nathan is going to be such a great big brother. He already talks about "baby sister" all the time. When he first found out that I have a baby in my belly, he went to Miss Ana's house and told her that he was sick. She asked him what hurt and he said his tummy and so when she asked him why his tummy hurt, he said, "Because there's a baby in there!" lol. He often will walk into a room with his hands cupped together and when we ask him what he's doing he says that he's carrying around his baby sister. It's so precious! He doesn't like to talk about me being her mommy, too, but I'm sure that's an adjustment that will come with time. My hope is that if we talk about her enough, that once she gets here it will just be putting a face with the name.

I am feeling fabulous at almost 20 weeks. This pregnancy is so much different from my last. I was pretty sick the first trimester this time around, and wasn't at all with Nathan. Not physically sick, necessarily, but lots of dry heaving and food aversions. Also, I think I was already pretty swollen at this point and so far, I'm doing really well in that regard. In fact, my doctors have told me that I'm not gaining very much weight this time and that so far I am an example of a "perfect pregnancy". lol. Now that I'm well into the 2nd trimester, I'm feeling great! Sometimes I even forget that I'm pregnant. Just in the last week or two I've started feeling little kicks and pushes. She's an active little one! I can't wait to be able to feel her from the outside, too, and to push on her little heels, like I did with Nathan.

It didn't take us long to decide on a name. We are going to name her Sara Alice (after me, but more importantly, after my Aunt "Me" and of Jason's grandmother Alice. We are most likely going to call her by her double name, but also will call her "Sallie" for short. Sallie is short for Sara and is what the original Sara in our family (my great-great grandmother) went by.

Today I'm off so Nathan and I are fixing to brave the snow and try to make it to the grocery store. We are out of everything or I wouldn't try to get out today. Anyway, he's getting restless so I probably need to start getting him ready. I will try to update more often from now on!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Our life with you at 21 months

Dear Nathan,
You have just turned 21 months old and you think you are 3. You are already so wise and mature. We love you so much! It's hard to imagine what our life was like before you became apart of it. You fit into our family perfectly and we are so glad that you're here!
You have already started turning flips on the floor. You climb on everything. Ev.ry.thing! You love to jump, but you count backwards. "Two...One...." :) You love to read books and we do so alot. Especially at night before we go to bed. One of your favorites is "Where the Wild Things Are." You say, "Max, max" as we turn the pages. You also love to read "Good Night Moon." This is my favorite book to read with you because you are precious as we read it. You say, "moon.... cow...." and when the quiet old lady whispers hush, you put your finger beside your nose and make a noise in the back of your throat like you're saying hush with a stopped up nose. Then, when we get to the page where the kittens are by themselves, you pull the book from me and give them kisses and you always feed me mush like you are pretending that we can really eat it off the page. I think this means that you have an imagination and that makes me excited that as you get bigger we'll be able to play pretend more and more.
You enjoy school and are always willing to get out of the car with the teachers that come to get you. Almost every day as they are unbuckling your carseat, you point at me and say to them, "mommy..." As if you are letting them know that I'm your Mommy. And I am indeed that. My most favorite job in the world.
You love to "guys" which means go outside. And we spend alot of time on the playground that your Papa built. You love to walk up his ramp and down his stairs over and over again. When we let Sadie out of her pen, you blow air out of your lips as if you are trying to whistle. It's adorable. You are a big helper and are willing to help me do ANYTHING. You love to water flowers and sweep and wash dishes. Oh boy, do you love to wash dishes. One of your favorite things to do at Memaw and Big Daddy's is to push a chair up to the sink and play in the water. Today, in fact, we came into the kitchen to find you actually in the sink!
You love your daddy and try to emmulate him all the time. When he spits on the ground, you lean over and make a kissing noise just like him. You are his little buddy and I hope that you will be just like him.
You do like to have your way, though, and sometimes you pitch little temper tantrums to try to get what you want. We don't like to spank, but time out doesn't work at all. Maybe this just shows that you are going to be tough and be a leader. You couldn't be more perfect to us. We are so proud of you and we love you so much. We can't wait to watch you become the Nathan James Dewberry that you are meant to be.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

This may take awhile...

Wow, I didn't realize how long it's been since I last wrote. I don't know how I ever expected to be able to keep up with a toddler and a blog at the same time. So much has happened since September, I don't know where to start! :)

Let me see if I can try to back it up a few months...

We didn't do much for Halloween. Our downtown Newnan does a great trick-or-treat for the children on Halloween, but this year it rained. Nathan was so cute in his little monkey outfit that Aunt Kiki had bought him. I thought that if we drove through, we might get out and stand in the rain, but after I saw the lines of people wrapped around the buildings, I decided against it. He didn't seem to know the difference so that's good. But, I've arleady started trying to think of cute outfits for him for this year.

We had a very busy Thanskgiving. It's almost overwhelming because we have to see my family, Jason's mom, Jason's dad, our grandparents, etc.... I told him that maybe next year we could go to the beach with just our family and do it there so we didn't have to run around all week. But, then I think I would miss it, you know? And I'm sure that no one will be able to let us take the kids with us! :)

Christmas was about the same. Although, this year was fun because everyone in my immediate family swapped names at Thanksgiving and then we set a $100 limit. I drew Meme's name and Jason drew my mom's. It was so much fun! I really liked doing it this way, so that you only had to focus on one person instead of everybody. And, then we were "surprised" to find out who had our names! It was fun, too, to be able to see what people thought you wanted. Rebecca had drawn my name so she came in on Christmas day with a a huge bag and made it look like it was heavy. Silly girl, she had packed it full of little things that were holding various gift cards. SO cute! I love gift cards, so i was super duper excited! Chris drew Jason's name and he got him a gift card to Dick's and a ton of dvd's of some of Jason's favorite shows. He's realy appreciated those on his trips! And of course, everyone bought for Nathan. He really racked up this year!

It was so cute, because of course he didn't have any idea what was going on. I mean, he did look at us like we were lunatics when we were bringing the tree inside and every strand of lights he saw, he would point at and talk about. Then, on Christmas Eve night, we told him that "Santa Clause was coming tonight..." and even though, he didn't know really what that meant, he still didn't sleep good! Can you believe that? His favorite gift that Santa brought him was his cozy coupe. When I carried him into the living room that morning and he saw that car sitting there, his little heart started beating and he started kicking his legs..... I don't think he's come out of it since! He l-o-v-e-s it. Maybe this spring we will take it outside to play with, but right now it's bringing us lots of entertainment inside. Christmas with him was so much fun! It's only going to get better and better!
This picture is of Nathan with his friends Tuff Hudson, Karson Coley, and Benjamin Edge. He stays with them at Ana Edge's house when he's not at the First Methodist Church preschool. We love her and are so happy with how this is working out. These boys are all so sweet and I'm glad that he has such nice friends!

But, then we had a couple of sad weeks...

We were supposed to get Mason on the day after Christmas and keep him for a week until after New Year's, but that afternoon as Jason was getting ready to go meet Mason's mom, she called him and told him that Mason was pitching a fit and did NOT want to come to Newnan. :( We were so disappointed. We had planned to have a special dinner for him when he got here and to give him all the cool gifts that we had gotten him. It really put a damper on our Christmas. Jason and I struggled with what we should do, but we finally decided that he needed to be with us during the Holidays. I've tried so hard to help him feel apart of this family and we wanted him to know that we really wanted him to be here, so Jason set it up for us to pick him up on New Year's eve and keep him for a long weekend.

That morning, though, as I was getting ready to pick up Mom so we could go get Mason, I learned that my sweet Papa had suffered a major heart attack the night before and was in a medically-induced coma at Piedmont in Atlanta. Mom and I decided that we would go ahead with our plans to get Mason and I'm so thankful that we did. He had so much fun shooting fire crackers and being with everybody. We let him stay up to watch the ball drop and he did! I was surprised that he made it!! We love him so much and are hopeful that this was just a phase and that he will want to come see us in the future.

Papa was on a ventilator and had a balloon in his heart for several days. This was a blessing to us, because every one of his children and grand-children had the opportunity to see him in the hospital. Even if he didn't know we were there. It was interesting because as we would talk to him, his heart rate would rise and the nurse said that his sub-concious knew that it recognized the voices. They eventually began taking him off the machines one by one, hopeful that his body would be able to pick up where the machines left off. On Wednesday, they stopped his sedation medication, but Papa never woke up. Sadly, my daddy and his brothers and sisters had to make the hard decision of letting Papa go. He died on Friday morning and we had the funeral on Sunday. We all feel so blessed that we were with him for Thanksgiving and then again at Christmas. He wouldn't have wanted to suffer. He was just ready to be in Heaven with Jesus and Memaw and all of his friends and family.

Just before Thanksgiving, Papa had come in for a haircut and he only had a $20 bill. He always gave me $10 for his haircuts even though I never charged him. I didn't have change for him that day, so he said that I could just give him a free haircut next time. Well, Papa wasn't one to not get every penny's worth of what he spent. I had the opportunity to give Papa that last haircut at the funeral home just after he'd died. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, but I am so thankful that I was able to do it. I asked Susan to come with me since I knew that she has done it before, and I knew I would need someone with me. She was awesome. It really helped us bond, I think, to do this together.

And he looked so handsome! The funeral was exactly what he would have wanted and I could feel his presence so strong that day. My papa wasn't a perfect man, but I am so thankful for the influence he had on my life and for loving me with such a sweet heart as I became an adult. He loved Jason special and I am grateful for the opportunity they had to get to know one another.

Since then, though, we have hit the ground running. I have had the busiest January and February that I've ever seen and have even hired an "assistant." I am so proud to be at a point in my career where I am able to do this. I am considering going up on my prices and am hopeful that this won't affect things negatively for me. I am thankful everyday, especially these days, for my job and for having one that I love.

Now, onto my favorite subject in the whole world.... little baby Nathan. Except, he's not a baby anymore! He is a full-on toddler! I can't believe how big he is and how fast he's grown. We are walking, running, climbing, jumping, and spinning in circles. He talks all.the.time. and is saying probably 100+ words that we can understand. His first sentance was "I get it!" He knows all of his body parts and can tell you the animal sounds of a dog, cat, bird and snake. He loves the moon and airplanes. He's clearly his father's son, because he's into trucks of all kinds. He eats all day long and is very healthy. He loves to be tickled and to give kisses. He waves (and says) bye-bye when we are leaving something (even the bathtub) and blows kisses on command. His Papa built him a swing set in our back yard that we play on all the time, but his favorite thing is playing with stuff in Papa's barn. Even just walking the ramp gives him such joy! We do time-out when we have to, and every once in a while, he gets a pop to help him snap out of it. He is a toddler, after all, and with that comes temper tantrums. Although, for the most part, that's only when he's tired or not feeling well. We are working on Please and Thank you. I am hopeful that he will be a respectful child with good manners. He doesn't like his stroller - he wants to be "down, down." And he came name everyone in our family. Just recently, he said "Big-da" to my Daddy and I could tell how proud that made my dad. It's so sweet to hear him say your name, although sometimes when he says it over and over and over - I have to remind myself that one day I will miss that sweet little voice calling my name, instead of being annoyed by it. He will be 18 months old on the 5th and this just blows my mind.

We are hoping that in the next few months we will be able to start adding onto our house. Things may finally be falling into place for us. We are hoping to add 3 bedrooms and another bath so that we will offically have a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house. We will make our current bedroom a living room. It will be so nice to be able to spread out and to finally have some privacy from each other. I'm hoping that this will be a good time to move Nathan from his crib into a big boy bed. We are planning to have two single beds in his room for he and Mason and then to reserve the 3rd bedroom for our next. :) Maybe we'll work on that this summer as well.

I am so happy with the way my life is turning out. I am madly in love with my husband and am more thankful, every day, for our children. I love my job and our home and I can't wait to see what else my Jesus has in store for me. I can't imagine that it could get much better than this...

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Well, after finishing my post the other day, Nathan has finally spoken his first "real" word. He has been saying, "mama, dada, papa" but not always directly to the right person. Often, he will walk around saying, "mamamamama" but, not to me or about me. This time, he walked right over to his little shoe, brought it over to me and said, "Shoe?" I could not belive it! Then, he preceded to try to put it on his little foot. Of course, it didn't sound exactly like shoe, more like, "bew?" But, I knew what he meant and it was the first time that I've noticed him associating what he's saying with the actual object. So, since then, because I praised him so much for it, he's been saying it a LOT. In fact, he might be starting to have a little infatuation with shoes. He likes to wear them all the time, or wear our shoes or help us put our's on. It's the cutest thing in the world! The other day, he brought me a sock and said, "shoe?" and I said "no, sock." But, he was trying to put it on his foot, so I went ahead and helped him with it. Not very long after that, he began to get fussy, so I laid him down for a nap and we he woke up he still had that little sock on his one foot. It was so adorable. I can't wait for him to start saying more so I can see what's going on in that little head of his...