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Sunday, October 31, 2010
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Saturday, October 30, 2010
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Friday, October 29, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Chris & Lori Coble
I never really watched many Oprah's, but with this being her Farwell season, she has some of the most amazing miraculous stories that are being told. I try to record them when I can and watch them when Zoee is napping. I recorded today's Oprah Show and watched awkstruck at the story that was being told of such horrific heartbreak and one HUGE miraculous miracle that came from such tragedy. This is their story, I thought I would share because it's amazing. (You are going to need tissues..lots)
On the day after her son Kyle's 5th birthday, Lori Coble loaded up her minivan with her small children—Kyle, 4-year-old Emma and 2-year-old Katie—and her mom, Cindy. The family went to a mall that had a Ferris wheel, which Kyle was excited to ride, and a pet store. As nap time neared, the Cobles got back in the minivan and headed home. Lori hit a line of backed-up traffic as she tried to exit the highway. While stopped, she turned around and caught Katie starting to fall asleep and tickled her toes.Just then, a big rig loaded with 40,000 pounds of cargo going 55 miles per hour slammed into the back of Lori's minivan and demolished it. Lori was knocked unconscious, and the children were severely injured. The trauma was so bad, emergency medical officials had to split the family up. They sent Cindy and Lori to one hospital, Kyle and Katie to another, and Emma to a third. Chris, Lori's husband and the father of the children, was at work when authorities notified him of the accident. He rushed to the hospital where Lori and Cindy had been taken. When he arrived, he was brought to a small room near the ER. "The doctor told me, 'I'm sorry, but Katie has expired.' A few more minutes went by, and they told me there was a call from the doctor from Saddleback Hospital. I got on the phone, and the first thing I said was, 'Please tell me Emma's alive.' And he said, 'I'm sorry, but Emma has expired,'" Chris says. "I just dropped the phone. I just couldn't believe that it was happening."Chris told Lori that the girls had both died, and then rushed to the hospital where Kyle had been admitted. Though Kyle's opened eyes gave Chris hope, doctors told him the truth. Kyle's brain had not been receiving any oxygen. They recommended taking Kyle off life support.Lori was transported to Kyle's hospital so she and Chris could say goodbye to Kyle together. "She's climbing out of the wheelchair the best she can to hug Kyle and saying: 'He's got to go be with his sisters now. His sisters are waiting for him,'" Chris says. "We stopped life support, and the machines went dark and the room went dark. I held my hand on his chest until his heart stopped beating. And he was gone."
Lori and Chris say the tragedy became real for them when they had to plan Kyle, Emma and Katie's funeral and burial. "The day before the funeral, we did a viewing. We got to go see the kids one last time," Lori says. "They opened the doors, and in the back of the room [there were] just three little caskets in a semicircle."At the funeral service, Lori and Chris gathered enough strength to speak about their children's lives. "It was important to me and Lori to do that," Chris says. "One of the underlying theories of grief is facing the hard things. In this situation, you just can't sit back and let it consume you. You have to look in the face of the guilt and walk through the pain."
Lori and Chris say their grief progressed at different schedules. "She was about two weeks ahead of me," Chris says. "I almost used her as a barometer to know where I would be in two weeks in the grief process."While the stages of grief don't necessarily follow in strict order—denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance—Chris says his did mirror Lori's. "I moved out of denial into anger and grief one morning, and it was so obvious to me that I was there," he says. "Lori had already been there for a couple weeks and I was seeing what she was going through, and suddenly I'm feeling that way." As they worked through their grief, Lori and Chris made a pact with each other to not commit suicide—to stay alive for each other. "To some degree, you want to be with [the children] and end this constant feeling of grief. You could easily consider taking your own life because maybe it will be better in the sense that you'll see them again," Chris says. "But at the same time, you're leaving the other person." "We promised not to leave each other alone," Lori says. Where they once had a boisterous, happy home, Chris and Lori now found deafening silence and loneliness. "We have tons of kids on our street, and kids are always playing in the street," Lori says. "We'd close our windows. We'd go in the back of the house so we didn't have to hear the laughter. We went away on Halloween just so we didn't have to hear the kids coming and knocking at the door." Lori's mother, Cindy, says she was extremely worried about her daughter and son-in-law in the wake of their children's death. "One day I went over to their house because she wasn't answering the phone and I started to think, 'Maybe they're going to hurt themselves,' because I knew how much pain I was in losing my grandchildren," Cindy says. Chris and Lori weren't home when Cindy stopped by, and their car was gone. "Of course, then my mind goes to somewhere else. 'What could they be doing in the car?' And then Lori called." She and Chris had been out together, but Cindy says she was already hysterical by the time she talked to her daughter, who had to calm her down. "I was supposed to be comforting her, and now they were comforting me. But I was so afraid for them." Cindy has two sons, both older than Lori, and she says she voiced to them her fears about what Chris and Lori might do. "[My sons] were also in contact all the time, and [we all] tried to support them as best we could," she says.
Three months after the accident, Chris and Lori decided to try to have more children. "We always described ourselves at that point as 'parents without children,'" Chris says. "I mean, when you have three children that young, your whole lives are dedicated to them and you love it." For medical reasons, the Cobles tried in vitro fertilization. On their first try, they started with 10 eggs. Three were successfully fertilized—two girls and a boy. "We were only going to put two back in, but once we found out that it was two girls and a boy, we took that as a sign from above," Lori says. Almost exactly a year after Kyle, Emma and Katie died, Lori gave birth to triplets—Ashley, Ellie and Jake! While Ashley, Ellie and Jake's birth is a miracle, Lori and Chris still grieve their lost children. "They'll never replace Kyle, Emma and Katie," Lori says. "But the joy is back in the house. It's back in our hearts. They fill our lives again with love and happiness and laughter." The triplets already know about their siblings because there are still pictures on the walls and Lori and Chris often talk about them. "They know that they have two sisters and a brother in heaven," Lori says. "And we go to the cemetery and we have picnics."
Jorge Romero, the man driving the truck that slammed into Lori???s minivan, was convicted on three counts of vehicular manslaughter and was sentenced to a year in jail. He is a father of three who told the judge that he was suicidal. Lori and Chris met Romero at the trial and say they gave him their forgiveness. "Mr. Romero was actually a very kind-hearted, gentle person," Chris says. "Just by telling this story you might jump to vilify somebody right away, but there is someone behind the wheel, and while they shared some of the blame in this tragedy, he just felt absolutely horrible." Lori says it could have been anyone behind the wheel of that car, and that the accident was caused primarily by her car???s location in a bad traffic jam. "I was stuck in traffic on a freeway waiting to exit and I was about half a mile back on the freeway, basically in a parking lot. There's a blind curve coming up to that exit, and I was so far back in that blind curve that he didn't see me. By the time he saw traffic, it was too late."Chris says the roadway where the accident took place has been a problem area for about a decade. The Cobles sued the California Department of Transportation for wrongful death, claiming that it was a dangerous highway exit. They lost that case and then were ordered to pay $291,000 in legal fees, but say they want to appeal. "As soon as most people hear the word 'lawsuit' they thing we???re out to somehow get money from this experience," Chris says. "We want [the California Department of Transportation] to change their procedures, for how they keep our roads safe."
Chris urges people going through the worst days of their lives to not give up the fight to go on, even when things seem unbearable. "For me, [grief] was like a bucket was filling up, and every once in a while the bucket had to dump," he says. "The bucket dumping is you falling apart and being a complete mess for some period of time. And then trying to pick yourself back up."For Lori, finding support from loved ones is the only way to live through grief. "Hold onto your loved ones," she says. "Hold on tight, because you're really going to need them."
Please keep the Coble Family in your prayers ( I know I will) as we remember Kyle, Emma, & Katie..these precious lil' children that are now angels in heaven!
Grammy this is the only pic I could get of her still enough in her new outfit you bought her for church today. She was adorable in it but pouting. Looks like this is the face she is going to be making when she wants her way..Pitiful, huh?
This pic is priceless with her funky hair. Every time I take her hair down out of pigtails or ponytails..this is what happens to it. And I ususally take them out so she can nap..and when she gets up..she has some WILD hair! HA HA
Dressing up in Mama's shoes
Okay..not so great pic of me..but wanted your opinion. Should I cut my hair shorter again or let it grow?? I'm about to do something with the color again..cause I'm looking pretty drab!
Scared Mike when he walked in the door today. HA HA..I love spooking him. He was outside changing the brakes on the car...gotta love a man who can dabble in working on vehicles.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
We have been attending Odessa Christian Faith Center since this summer and we are really really enjoying it. We are going to attend the Membership class soon to become members because we believe that this is where God has placed us for our church home. Our Pastor Don delivered a wonderful message today in our series called
His teachings about the word of God never ceases to amaze me. I learned a lot about having audacious faith today and he read from a lot of scripture and told the story of The Shunammite's Son who was restored back to life (2 Kings 4:8-37). It's an amazing story of faith and of having no reservations in what the Lord can do in one's life. If you get a chance please read this scripture. It's a wonderful message of audacious faith. Have a blessed week!
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Today Mike, Zoee, and I went to watch Kaleb (her cousin) march in the UIL Area Marching Competition here in Odessa at Ratliff Stadium. He goes to Lubbock High in Lubbock, Texas and we went to root him on. They didn't place in the finals..but did a great job. We got to meet Kaleb's girlfriend and see Mark and Darla.
Friday, October 22, 2010
On a different note: Today Mike and I have been married for 6 years and 8 months. We are fastly approaching the seven year mark.
I'm so blessed to have such a great husband.
I'm so ready for the holidays to kick off. We have a few things planned for Halloween (pics to come) and not sure exactly what the plans are yet for Thanksgiving and XMas...but I'm ready!
I am dedicating this blog to myself and my girls. Because I had read some pretty powerful and inspirational words, pondered about it, and decided to share...
I read a mother's blog that I read regularly and she had a post from another lady's blog that was truly inspirational to me. I thought I would repost her blog as written while adding my own story to it. I love it so much and I hope someday I will be able to read it to my daughter in seeing how this is the true reason I ever started this blog in the first place. Documenting her life, our life as a family. Confidence is something that I've always thought I had growing up but never really truly accepted to an extent, especially being overweight the majority of my life. So:
What do I wish I could tell my 13-year old self?
To Thine Own Self Be True.
I am a woman. Someone's daughter. A Mother. A lady, a girl, a female, a what-have-you, but I join the other millions of double-x chromosomed beings in this amazing place called womanhood. And while I have walked years on this NON Kotex-buying (because of my PCOS), perfume-sampling, leg-shaving, tear-jerking, nail-painting, hair-dyeing, love-falling, soul-satisfying path, it wasn't until I looked into my beautiful baby girl's eyes for the very first time that I obtain the importance of those powerful words. The old saying goes: You always want to give your children what you never had. Well, I hope that instilling in my girls confidence and not putting them down in any manner or form will make them grow up to be loving, caring, well-rounded women, wives, mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers some day.
It's one thing to find yourself, to know yourself, to love yourself and dwell confidently as a woman in a world that can seem to gnaw at your perceptions with expectations to be smarter, prettier, richer, funnier, skinnier, faster, better, different from any marvelous thing you already are.
But, how will I raise my girls to know this? How will I teach them to believe that they are as amazing as I know them to be?
I wish I could have known what I know now back then. When I didn't listen to my parents and rebelled ever second they were throwing rules in my face. When I listened to rap music and ran around with the wrong crowd at a certain point in my life. When I had raging hormones and when I decided to party because I thought it was the cool thing to do and everybody I hung around was doing it. When I had friends come and go from my life because of stupid reasons and hurt feelings over actions and words. When I hear how what a failure I am because of not choosing to pursue a career that would make me a lot of money, but deciding to be a stay-at-home mom instead while living on a budget instead of having that house of my dreams and that car that would impress others instead of myself. That marrying a man nine years my senior who already had a lil' girl that comes from a troubled home with her mom and decide to embrace the role as step mom would be extremely challenging but prove to be a pivotal choice in my life for the better because he is an amazing, humble, hard-working husband and extremely hands-on, loving father, and truly my best friend.
I wish I would have known that Confidence is Beautiful.
I wish I could take that girl I was and tell her from my grown-up self...
Be yourself. You will stand out. I promise. Just be you.
Now in my thirties, through both the joys and hardships of my life (and let me tell ya there were many of them), I feel I am finally arriving to the very comfortable place of knowing myself, accepting myself, and celebrating the intricate infrastructure of assets and flaws, talents and fears, strengths and struggles. I own them and revere them.
The women I think as most beautiful in life are always, always...the confident ones. And the traits I remember about my favorite people are never their waistline or their face symmetrics, how well they did in school or how much money their parents made. No, it's their infectious laughter. The way they scrunch up their nose when they smile. The way they freely dance, run to hold a baby, sing off-tune, compliment others, accept a compliment, look for beauty and believe in who they are without any apology. The way they proudly, beautifully swim against the current.
Don't quite fit in? Fantastic. Not like everyone else? Even better. Curves? Embrace them. Freckles? Love them. Laugh lines? Rock them. Take everything you are--your background, your family, your history, your story, your community, your style, your job, your dreams, your talents, your body, your humor, your sorrow, your joys and make them yours. Be ashamed of nothing. Make the most of what you have and Girl, make it look good...because you can.
And when you doubt yourself, when you feel unsure, let these words fuel you: To Thine Own Self Be True.
To Thine Own Self Be True.
To Thine Own Self Be True.
...and no one can ever take that away from you.
Are there days ahead where I console the tears of my teenage girl because someone made fun of her or will I watch her try to be someone else while she figures it all out? I'm sure there are, and that kills me. But I will show them the way. I will celebrate their strengths and help them use their struggles to balance it all out, to learn something new, to feel the victory that comes when you conquer hardship, when you discover a little more amazingness about yourself.
Not caring what people think is difficult and, as one who just wants everyone to be happy, I struggle sometimes with the choices I make and what people will think of them. But I am always happier when, in a moment of doubt, I return to that peaceful, comfortable place of To Thine Own Self Be True.
What I'm really trying to say here is, 13-Year-Old-Self, you have no idea how fabulous you are. But you are. Breathe it in. And let it out. You are fabulous. And when you are true to yourself, you will grow. No, you will soar.
I think women are amazing. We can thrust living beings out of our bodies in one grimacing push or go through an invasive operation to bring life into this world. That, in itself, is impressive. But we have to learn to celebrate our beautiful differences...for ourselves, for our children.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
I have been feeling so overwhelmed lately with laundry and dishes. The two jobs I loathe the most out of all housecleaning chores. I sometimes procrastinate and feel guilty about it...but I really thought that being a SAHM would much easier and it's proved to be quite challenging. Don't get me wrong..I love being at home getting to watch Zoee grow up, but sometimes I feel like I get up and instantly punch the timeclock and don't rest until about 10 at night. I don't know how Mom's with multiple kids do it. I guess if I have more children in the near future I will be finding out. I can't help but wonder what it would be like to walk in Oprah's shoes one day with all the help she has around. Even though she's not a mom, I would love to have a stylist, housekeeper, assistant, cook, and driver.
OMG...It's been a rough week to say the least. We had a glorious Sunday and then when Monday hit..all hell broke lose. Zoee has been acting out and being so bad for the past few days. I wondered if it was because of her teeth breaking through..and sure enough I confirmed it today. I feel bad that she has to go through all that pain and understand why she was acting out..but I just wasn't having any of it. I put her the corner for "Time Out" for the very first time yesterday and to my surprise it went way better than I thought the first time would. She tried to escape a few times but got right back over in the corner when I would correct her again. I'm hoping if we have to do this again it will be as easy as it was the last time..but I'm not holding my breath..cause kids are going to be kids. I've definitely been channeling Supernanny these past two days. And hope my ulcer is not getting bigger by the stress.
I will be buying one of these ASAP!
This is my thought for the week!
I really want my wedding pics (that I haven't gotten) and also to be able to schedule a photography session with Chanda (a local photographer) for Zoee's two-year pics coming up in March..that would totally rock. Oh and the "Biggest Loser" Family cookbook would be great along with a gym membership to the YMCA. They have a babysitter for Zoee, so I could swim and workout.
Here are some of the others that I would like "In no particular order"...