Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Fabulous Four

The year that Benjamin was born, there were three other staff babies born in the same week. Two of those at the same hospital and checking out the morning we had Ben. (They both came by and visited before they left, it was pretty cool) Here is the order Oct 4- Max born to Leslie and Jason, Oct 5- Mary Grace born to Catherine and Matt, Oct 7- Ben, and Oct 10- Brantley born to Matt and Alicia. Since the babies were born, we have tried to get them together for a playdate. Yes, it took 17 months, but we finally hung out at Marbles a couple weeks ago. (oh and there were 2 big brothers who joined us as well- Mary Grace's brother Carson, and Zeke)
4 Oct babies

Studs! (my fave part is Max's arm on the seat)

MG and Ben didn't think Brantley's driving was so great

Z got in on the fun with the two B-boys!

Marbles opened a new exhibit, a Vet with animals and everything!
I had to include this bc Brantley and Zeke look like they should be related, don't they?

Monday, March 28, 2011

One Month Ago

My world was rocked. One month ago, we faced one of our greatest fears. I really do not have the emotions right now to be able to go into everything I am feeling right now. I will just say this weekend was rough and I am sure today will not be easy. I do not want to fall victim and let a date hold power over me. So, for today I am not going to write a lot. I will soon be totally transparent and try to get everything down here, but it won't be today. Instead I will leave you with Spence's thoughts a couple days ago http://spenceshelton.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/mourning-with-hope-pt-2/ I also encourage you to listen to our pastor's sermon from this past weekend. Just go to www.summitrdu.com and find the most recent sermon, it is from Luke 8:40-56.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fashion fail

Clearly my boys are in need of some help. Ben is wearing an oxford shirt and pj pants on his legs and yes on his head. Zeke is wearing a pj shirt, church pants, croc sandals, and yes pjs on his head. This was this past Sunday, and we had left the boys with our friend Lindsay so that we could go to Amber's party. This was how we found them. And yes, I did just throw her under the bus :)

Silly boys

Yup those are socks with his crocs

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ben's get a word in

Zeke was an early talker. He was so verbal that I have found myself wondering if Ben would ever talk. We now have proof that he can talk when he chooses. This video is actually a bit old and he talks even more. But he is so darn cute, I had to share.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Hide and Seek

Oddly enough, Ben seems to get the whole concept of hiding and waiting to be found while Zeke does not...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

17 month post (a lot late)

Profile of an 17-month-old Benjamin

It isn't a dr. appt month, so all I have is his weight and today it was 22 lbs (fully dressed)

  • Enjoys: throwing everything, reading, talking, tackling, being outside
  • Turn Offs: coming inside, being told no, any food besides crackers or fruit right now
  • Strengths: cuddly, shares well (at times), can entertain himself
  • Vices: throwing food, temper tantrums, still not a great sleeper

Favorites of an 17-month-old Ben:

  • Foods: fruit, fruit, fruit- he seriously will eat a meal of only fruit and be content
  • Songs: If You're Happy and You Know it, My God is so Big
  • Shows: still not interested really ( I love this about him!)
  • Books: Anything he can lift a flap on is a favorite, but no one book in particular right now
  • Toys: anything Zeke has
  • Activities: putting cards into a shoebox, tackling Daddy or Zeke

New Words:
Too many to list. He is basically repeating everything we say right now. He said his first prayer recently "God, blueberries, Amen". One of his favorite things to say is "My Zeke". He lays claim to everything and apparently that includes his brother.

How 17-month-old Benjamin is like his...
mommy - he's a bit temperamental and knows how to throw a mean tantrum
daddy - facial expressions, a morning person (UGH, I know)

Here is an example of a tantrum from Ben:

Moments I want to remember:

Ben's a lot of fun and is game for anything I want to try with him

I love, love, love his "cheese face"

I was sent this pic when our friend Lindsay was babysitting

2 things about this one: he is sweet and snuggly and he LOVES animals

He sometimes gets himself into situtaions that he can't get out of

Monday, March 14, 2011

I'm not capable, but He is

Here is another wordy, heavy post for ya.

As we have gone through the loss of our child people have been wonderful to us. We have been encouraged and loved on through our grieving in some of the most incredible ways. We have had Scripture prayed over us and quoted to us from friends, family, and even our doctor. This has been our greatest comfort. We know that our baby is in heaven that we will one day meet her. (we do not know the sex of the baby, but Spencer and I feel that it was a girl) We know that our best source of comfort must come from God. Some of the verses that I have drawn from are:
  • Psalm 34:18 "The Lord is near the broken hearted, He saves the crushed in spirit"
  • Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
  • Psalm 55:22 "Cast your burden on the Lord,and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved."
  • Exodus 14:14 "The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.."

In the midst of the wonderful things people have said, there has been something that I feel I need to acknowledge. People have commented on how strong I am or how full of faith I am. While this is wonderful to hear, and how I do wish it was true. I feel that I need to let people know where I find my strength and reason for faith. I have to confess I have had many moments recently where I have not completely trusted God. I have not believed that He is good. I haven't thought that He knew what was best for me and my family. I am so weak and so selfish. This is my fleshly, sinful side coming out. But what I have realized through this is that my God is big and He can handle all the junk I throw at Him. He can and does equip me to be able to handle the death of our child. He can and does give me the strength to get out of the bed and take care of our two boys. He has promised He has a plan for me and that it is good. And I am choosing to believe this. Here are some verses that have helped me through these moments of doubt:

  • Psalm 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength,a very present help in trouble."
  • Jeremiah 29:11-13 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart."
  • Psalm 119:68 "You are good and you do good."
  • Nahum 1:7 "The Lord is good,a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him."
  • Psalm 61:3 " for you have been my refuge,a strong tower against the enemy."
  • Psalm 84:11-12 "For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withholdfrom those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!"

I know that we will continue to have good days and bad days. I know that it will continue to be hard at times, but I also know that our God is good and I can trust in Him.

I am going to leave you with a quote from this past weekend. In the sermon, our pastor J.D. Greear, said this and it has really rung true for me "You'll never know God is all you need until you realize He is all you have." My prayer is that everyone who reads this will discover that He is all we have and all we need. Please know that Spence and I would love to talk to you more if you have any questions.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Are you ready for the game?

While the boys may be sleeping, Spence and I will be watching round three of UNC vs Duke. But just because they are sleeping doesn't mean they aren't Tarheel born and bred...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Post from a long time ago that are just now being put up

I went out one night with the girls and left Spence and the boys. Before I left, Spence was asking for ideas on what to do while I was gone. I suggested a tent/fort on Z's bed. His bed is the perfect place. Here is some of the fun before I left and the mess that was made while I was gone:

Pretty cool fort, huh?

Zeke was so excited

Ben thought it was pretty cool too

3 Shelton boys, hanging out, being guys

When boys play, they are messy

really messy

But they sure have fun :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

In honor of Amber's soon-to-be arrival

There are a few things that are totally old school Summit "kidzone". Amber Lunn would be one of those, and yeah me too. Another one would be this song that Amber and I LOVED teaching to our kiddos. In order to prepare for her, Zeke had to be taught the song. I am going to have to do a new video though because Ben is trying to sing along now as well.

Amber, get ready for some serious cuteness when you get here :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Dealing with our Loss

This is going to be one of those word-vomit posts. You know, where I am basically uncensored and really just bare all. I am still pretty raw, so this post shows that. If you are here looking for cute pictures of the kids, I am sorry. Come back soon, I promise this blog will be filled with ridiculous cuteness again.

Here are just some of the things that I have been processing and working through:

I feel broken. My body didn’t do something it was made to do. I feel very similar to how I felt when Spence I dealt with infertility issues. I have been able to discard the lies that creep in. I think that going through struggling to get pregnant before Zeke has helped me with my thoughts.

I feel cheated. I don’t get to feel that sweet baby’s kicks. I don’t get to have the excitement of the “big” ultrasound appointment. I don’t get to fight with Spencer over names. I don’t get to go through labor. I don’t get to see this child grow up with two big brothers and see how the dynamics of our family changes and adapts.

I feel at a loss. I haven’t had any real closure from losing my baby. When someone dies there is typically a funeral or memorial, but when someone miscarries there isn’t anything like that. I haven’t ever thought about it before and to any of my friends or family who has experienced this, I am sorry for not recognizing your loss. Spence and I are working through how we feel that we can get some sort of closure.

I feel blessed. While I wouldn’t wish this on anyone and I am not enjoying going through this, I am learning so much about God. It hurts when God is shaping His children, but I have already been able to see things I can learn from my baby. I have been reminded of the fact that this world is temporary. I have been reminded that our God is good and He doesn’t make mistakes. We have been shown so much love from our friends and families through this experience. Thank you to everyone who continues to pray and shower us with love. I truly do not have words to express our gratitude.

I feel hope. Our comfort comes from the knowledge that those that are asleep (1 Thessalonians 4) are with Jesus in heaven. We do not feel hopeless. In the midst of our grief, one of our many prayers has been that we point others to Christ. We could not go through this without the knowledge of our Savior. We would love to talk to you more if you do not have the certainty that comes in Christ. We pray that you would contact us for more information.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sad News

Family & Friends. With great sadness we write to tell you this past Monday we lost our baby to a miscarriage. Courtney was 11 weeks along when it happened. Our doctor informed us it was a spontaneous incomplete miscarriage that was not triggered by anything Courtney had done. Basically, these things sometimes happen. We ended up at the hospital where Courtney underwent a procedure to help complete the miscarriage. We are at home now resting & courtney’s body is slowly but surely healing.

We are heartbroken & mourning the loss of our child. But as 1 Thessalonians 4:13 reminds us we are not mourning without hope. The gospel is not just a set of intellectual beliefs. It is a source of very real hope every day. This week, the gospel gives us the specific hope that Christ is the answer to the brokenness of this world. We are grateful for our friends and family who are helping us to remember that by how they are loving on us this week.

More to come on how we are processing this. But for now, we want you to know what happened and that we are grieving....with hope.

The Sheltons