Friday, October 16, 2009

My, my how time flies! Life is now a whirlwind. Each day seems to pass more quickly than the day before. Aleah and I are getting out in the big wide world on a daily basis. We have been shopping with Meme, to The Growing Place to be a mystery reader in Alivia's class, on a field trip to the corn maze and pumpkin patch with Alivia and Avery, to visit Daddy's co-workers, Mommy's co-workers, our friends at MIX 101.5, and general errands to the doctor's office, grocery store, dance studio and yes, more shopping! The list could go on and on... It seems there is always something to be done. Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, for Aleah, Avery and Alivia that will not soon change. There is little chance to get bored around here. The Johnson household is always full speed ahead and busy, busy, busy!

Sunday was a very special day for us. Aleah Kathryn was dedicated to the Lord. What a blessing to be the Mommy and Daddy of a miracle, and thankfully, now a very healthy little girl! She slept through the service, and millions of kisses from her big sisters. It was a glorious day -- and one for which we are eternally grateful. For not by the grace of God it could have easily not ever come to fruition. Meme, Papa, Christa, Granddaddy, Cari and David all joined us for the service. Grandma, unfortunately, was home sick.

Afterward we rushed to Grandma Polly's church for Homecoming at Shiloh. This is the church where my great-grandparents and my grandparents raised their families, my parents were married and where my Granddaddy Earl is buried. We only visit Grandma Polly's church once a year and thus it is a very special time. I visited my Granddaddy's grave and was overcome with the emotion of the day. Granddaddy Earl was a very special man. As we were leaving I was telling the girls about Homecomings long ago. Every time I visited Shiloh as a little girl my Granddaddy was at the door to welcome me. He also was always at the door to welcome us into their home each Sunday when we arrived for lunch. I suddenly remembered how much I miss him...his hugs, his smile and big blue eyes, the prayer he said to bless our food every Sunday and sitting in his lap as he read the Sunday comics to the the three granddaughters and later to the great-grand daugthers. Aleah is the first grandchild who will never know Granddaddy Earl. I do feel a special connection. We found out Aleah was on her way on Granddaddy's birthday, January 10 -- the first one since his death. As I reflected all of these thoughts and the events of the last month, the tears were unstoppable.

We are reminded how much we are blessed to have family. Every day is a gift.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ben and Christy Baxley and the Johnson's

Lori and the Johnson Girls

A Not So Normal Life

We are still searching for normal! People keep asking us how we are transitioning into life with three little ones. The answer is quite simply that we haven't had a "normal" day yet! And here's why...

We enjoyed a wonderful trip to Asheville. I know, it sounds crazy to most--traveling 4+ hours in a car with a newborn, a 4 year old and a 2 year old--but Mark and I did not want to miss the chance to witness our friends Ben and Christy as they started their married life together. Our trip to Asheville was surreal. We did not stop even once! We had thought it would take us most of the day just to drive due to frequent stops for potty breaks, eating and diaper changing. All three of the girls got naps during the trip and otherwise just enjoyed being together in the car. We played "eye spy," watched movies and enjoyed looking for mountains. It was truly a great trip, and we were thankful! Mark and I actually had a chance to catch up and really talk without interruption. We were thrilled. Aleah had passed the Johnson travel test with flying colors!

We arrived at Ridgecrest, just outside of Asheville, in time to see the happy couple before the rehearsal and dinner. We then unloaded the Suburban, got changed and were off for our first family evening out on the town! We had dinner at the cutest bed and breakfast we have ever visited...the Red Rocker Inn at Black Mountain. The girls did great and enjoyed rocking in the red rockers on the front porch. The food was terrific and we all had a great time.

Saturday morning the rain and fog came pouring in and the wedding had to be moved inside. It was perfect, even so. Ben and Christy, we were honored to be a part of your special weekend.

Saturday night we went into Asheville to have dinner with our friends Lori and Trent. It was so much fun to catch up and spend time with them. It had been way too long! The girls were a little restless and tired after such a long day, but we all managed to enjoy our time.

Sunday we headed home to start what we thought would be a normal week. The drive home was a little more of what we had expected. I think the grand total was five stops. I guess it could have been worse!

After all the sleep in the car, Aleah decided she wanted to stay up all night. And thus, Mommy did too. The lack of sleep got the best of me! By Monday night I was in the bed with chills, body aches and a fever of almost 103! Alivia was next, followed a few days later by Avery and Mark. I had a fever until Sunday and Alivia and Avery were out of preschool for a full week. Luckily, Mark's hit on Friday night and only lasted through the weekend. Need less to say, Mark's first week back at work was trying for us all. He felt guilty leaving me at home sick with a newborn and then later in the week, even guiltier, when we added two sick toddlers in the mix. It was a recipe for a very long week for us all. It was certainly not for the faint of heart, but by the grace of God we made it! Looking back, September was a very rough month for us.

This past week was better. We still were getting over all the sickness, but it was manageable. On Thursday the girls returned to preschool and we slowly began settling into a more "normal" routine.