Sunday, May 22, 2011

an MRI for Nora

I've hesitated on what to say or write...
The human in me has been a tad bit too emotional.
The mama in me has been scared something fierce.
The Jesus-follower in me, though, is wanting to rest and trust in His goodness and His sovereignty, and I know that it's not a weight that I have to carry on my own.

I'm hoping that in a few short days, I'll look back and laugh at my anxiousness, but I can't help to have some fear when MRI's are concerned. Our track record with them is none too easy, full of heartbreak and bad news. The one we are encountering is mostly precautionary... but still... it's my baby, you know?!

I noticed when Nora was just a few weeks old that her pupils were different sizes in certain lighting. I mentioned it at an early (2 month, I think) well-baby check up, and after a handful of doctors examined her eyes, they confirmed that they, too, noticed the difference, and while they suspected it was normal, they wanted a specialist in that area to make that call. I was told that they'd make the referral, but it could take awhile for us to be seen. I never heard anything else about it.
At her four month check-up, I mentioned again the difference in her pupils, but to a different doctor this time. She did a few quick tests and agreed with the first doctor, a pediatric ophthalmologist should take a look. This time, I received a phone call the same afternoon notifying me of an appointment just two days later. 
I had consulted 'dr. google' on the matter and didn't think too much of it. She had no symptoms indicating Horner's Syndrome, so I assumed I would be told that she had aniscornia- basically, just meaning that her pupils are different sizes. I expected the doctor to tell me as much and to be done with it all.
 At her appointment, they measured her pupils, dilated her eyes, waited, measured again. I wasn't given any information after any measurements, before or after any of the waiting. I was starting to get a little nervous. A long story short, and avoiding the little details that add to my anxiousness for tomorrow-- the difference in her pupils is greater than that which they usually consider normal (for the abnormality, that is). 
 The doctor ordered a 24 hour urine collection and an MRI of her head, neck, chest, and abdomen. 
My heart hit the floor.
I guess I was probably easy to read, as he quickly reassured me that his 'gut is that everything is fine, but he wants to be sure that it is.' He promised me that if he expected the tests to show anything wrong, he would prepare me for that. His nurse assured me when he left the room that he is known for being proactive, and I told her that given our family history, I'm a big fan of proactiveness. 
Anyway, the MRI is tomorrow morning at 6:30 a.m. 
On top of all that, it's taking place at the same place we always took JD. I'll be checking Nora in and sitting in the same waiting room as I always sat, anxiously awaiting news on my little brother. It's hard to be there anyway... but at the same time, there's no where else I'd rather my children be taken care of.
Please do pray for peace as we wait, and for conclusive results... I've had reminder after reminder this week of God's goodness and faithfulness and love, and I know that none of this has caught Him off guard. I keep thinking of the quote I chose to write in the front of my 'one thousand gifts' journal, that I thought was a good cornerstone for the notebook-- months before any of this arose:

"And I can always give thanks because an all-powerful God always has all these things- all things- always under control."

and then the lyrics from a new Chris Tomlin song, 

"I lift my hands to believe again
You are my refuge, You are my strength
As I pour out my heart, these things I remember
You are faithful, God, forever..."
and lastly, the verse we've held onto over and over again:
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. The LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
(Joshua 1:9)

It will be 24-48 hours before we have results. Please, keep us in your prayers as we wait. I've got Phil 4:6-7 on repeat in my mind... and am holding on to the promise of peace that surpasses understanding to guard my heart and mind as a result of not being anxious but instead praying with thanksgiving!
Thank you in advance for praying!

(And I apologize if this seems dramatic. Like I said, I hope to soon look back and think I was silly for being worked up about an MRI... but after all we went through with JD, an MRI is a scary, scary thing...)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

a big day!

 this guy....
is officially registered for preschool. 
Wasn't he just....this??
 ...and this?
 and not that long ago..this?
but now-
(above photo courtesy of kelly allen photography)
My boy.... is a boy. An almost-4-year-old, almost-school-going little boy.
It's nearly more than this mama heart can bear to think about. I remember like it was yesterday the day we found out we were expecting him, the day we found out 'it's a boy!', the day he (finally) entered this earth. I've barely gone to bed but a night or two since he started calling me Mama, taking steps, loving footballs.
But now...suddenly...
this boy dresses himself in the morning, pours his own juice. He carries my stuff and loves to help. He plays with his oldest younger sister and would do anything to take care of Nora James.
...and in just a few short months, he's off to school.
I've put off registering him, put off considering all of this for as long as I could, but as of today, he is officially registered, and will be attending the school that our church runs and that his Daddy works at.
It's hard and so sweet to watch your babies grow, huh? 
Anyway. Sigh.
More exciting news!!
This lady...
(above photo courtesy of kelly allen photography)
(That's ME, fyi.)
(and man, my husband is good looking!)
is now the possessor of a domain name!
Meaning... I'm so close to having a real (photography) website!! 
'Tis exciting.
we got family photos taken last week.
Kelly is an amazing photographer, and I love the images we've seen so far--
cannot wait to see the rest!
Jordan and I took several just the two of us... and I am really excited about those. We didn't do engagement pictures, barely have wedding photos, have so few shots of the two of us. So I'm pumped.
It was interesting to be on the other side of the camera, and fun to feel the anticipation of seeing the pictures. Gave me a fresh perspective on what I do.
I did an hour spin class at the gym this morning. Holy Moly.
I think that's enough excitement for one day.

Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

what a difference... (Cate version)

One year makes.
Caters, last May:
and today:
...and a few more of my approaching 2 and a half, wild, tender, free-spirited little girl:

 (time out. when did this happen!? So big, so fast...)

Isn't she lovely? 
And to know her, to be with her, hear her sweet voice, listen to her rapid-fire thoughts... amazing...
she's incredible.
I've said it a million times over, but what's one more time?! 
I have blessed beyond measure.

Pics of Corbanator coming next!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


It was 80 degrees.
We went outside as soon as we got dressed.
We took a 20 minute walk-
big kids in the NEW double jogger, 
Nora riding in her favorite place... the sling.
I would've been content to walk much longer, but 20 minutes is the perfect amount of time to eat an apple and raisins and ask Mama questions about heaven and Jesus and why we take walks.
We then got some gas station coffee...all four of us, the big kids holding hands and being told not to touch the 'beautiful fings' (aka the pink lighter at checkout-- per Cate).
In case you're wondering, it's no easy task to carry two coffees (one for my friend), a baby in the carseat, and to keep a 2 and 3 year old within arms reach simultaneously. You must be in a daring mood to attempt. Just a warning.
We play for hours at my dear friends' house who has three the same ages as my 3. 
We got to talk and drink coffee and worry about tanlines and sunscreen.
The kids mostly got along and Cate was exceptionally not nice... very unusual for her.
I may or may not have scrounged up change to sneak through a certain fast food chain for a certain beverage of choice that may or may not consist of 'diet' and 'coke'.
We came home and I laid the kiddos down for naps... all three.
That was about 45 minutes ago, and only one of them is sleeping.
I went up to address Cate's non-sleeping-ness, to find her WITHOUT CLOTHES (and diaper), and trying to pick the lock to Nora's room with the clippy that was in her hair.
I've removed everything with plugs and any sort of metal already. Who knew I even needed to check her head for potential lock pickers.
Now- her big brother snuck out and opened her door (which is child proofed from the inside), and they're giggling in Corban's room.
I'd been attempting to sew, but with the 19 trips I've had to make upstairs, and running out of thread, it's just not happening today.
Rain is quickly moving in, and I've got a photo session scheduled with one of my favorite families for this evening. I'm hoping the weather passes by then.
All of this to say- 
this weather has me SO looking forward to summer. 
I'm so ready for long days outside (like today) and suntan noses and water fights and sand castles.
Soon, my friends. Soon the forecast won't have 9 days of rain in the next ten, and maybe just maybe we'll have consecutive days with sunshine.
Won't that be grand?
Until then, I'll soak up these moments we do get.
And try to enforce naptime for the sake of us all.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

4 months old!

sweet baby Nora James...
4 months old!

So so happy, smiley, content. 
She loves to coo, reach for Corban, snuggle her blankie or whatever I'm wearing. I want to always remember the way she curls her fist as she grabs it and holds it to her face... those little things that too quickly become a blur. She arches herself sideways when she's ready to eat, rolls from belly to back, loves her bouncy seat and to be carried in the sling.
She's still a peanut, weighing in at a whopping 10 lbs, 0 oz, and is 23.5 inches long. 
This age is so fun- starting to see so much personality...
I love love love being a mama to this sweet baby girl.

Monday, May 2, 2011


Just a quick blurb here-
We're working as a youth group to raise support to go to St. Kitts this summer.
In case you're wondering... I hate fundraising. BUT- with three of our five member household going on this trip, it's necessary.
I've never been on a mission trip before, and I am beyond excited about this opportunity. I've previously mentioned our best friends moving down to the island to start a church--- it was really really sad for us to watch them leave, it was a major role change in Jordan's job, etc. etc. etc.- Now, we're getting a chance to go down and be a part of what God is doing in St. Kitts. They've already gotten plugged into SO many things- coaching a basketball team, serving at a Boys Club, leading a Bible study. We'll be helping with these things, running a vacation bible school, beach clean-up, whatever other needs arise between now and then. I can't wait to be down there with our dear friends, to see life as their experiencing, and to serve the people that are now part of their home, their lives.

To read more about what Brandon and Wendi are doing in St. Kitts and what we'll be a part of this July, check out their blog here.

If you're interested in contributing to our team financially, you can click on the following link to do so:
Marathon Event Marketing - Indianapolis Fundraising - Horizon Youth Group - Kristen McGaughey

Most importantly, please be praying for our trip. We're taking an incredible group of kids down to serve alongside incredible people. We want to be used to spread the love of Jesus to the Kittitians and to bless and encourage Brandon and Wendi and their growing family. We covet your prayers for our time now as we work and serve as a group to prepare to go their to work and serve the locals!
Thanks, friends!! :)