Simply A Farmer’s Wife

Parker’s House Dedication Is Tomorrow.
September 26, 2008, 10:42 am
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And I’m freaking out.  I feel like I have a million things to do and only about 24 hours to do them in.  I need it to stop raining and I need it to be really nice tomorrow.  Not too hot and not too cold.   Tomorrow is an important day for Parker’s House and The Parker Reese Foundation.  It is a chance for those to see what it is we do for CDH families.  A day for all to  feel the amazing peace, hope and excitment that exudes from Parker’s House. 

We have had more stuff donated for Parker’s House in the last week than I could have ever imagined.  My car is full from front to back.  Enough space for me to put me.  Our living room is packed full of stuff.  We had to get a trailer from a friend to haul more stuff.  We are taking two vehicles tonight because we needed that much space.  Is that not amazing?  A true testament to God’s amazing work. 

I know that tomorrow will be a crazy day and I probably won’t have time to post until late Sunday.  I am super excited about Parker’s House and the people involved.  With each day that passes I become more driven and inspired to truly make a difference for CDH and the families it affects.  There will be several CDH families there tomorrow, along with their family members and ours, and some medical professionals.  We are counting down the hours and checking our list one last time. 

Please say a prayer for us tomorrow.  For Parker’s House.  For The Parker Reese Foundation.  For Brad, Kellie and Carter Meyers.  For April, Russell and Nash Van Dyke.  For the people who will be traveling hours to attend.  Pray for good weather. 

And please pray for my brother-in-law, Roger Solano, who leaves at 7 a.m. on Monday for a year deployment to Columbia, South America.  He has served 15 years in the United States Army and needs our prayers as he leaves behind my sister, Jennifer, my niece Karsen and my nephew, Caden.  He will be missed more than words could ever say but I know that this time he has a very special angel going with him.

It’s Happening Way Too Often Folks.
September 17, 2008, 3:01 pm
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CDH babies are dying too often and to be honest I’m so sick of it.  I am so tired of hearing that another baby has died.  That another family will know the pain that Ashley and I know.  That another family will have a void because their child is gone.  That another family will NEVER be the same. 

This shouldn’t be happening in 2008!  I am pissed off that parents are having to bury their children because of damn CDH!  It’s a freaking hole so why can’t we fix it?  I know it’s not that simple people but it seems like it should be. 

In the last two weeks we’ve lost William Ethan, Elliott Arcile and Kaden Morrow.  Those are just the ones we know about.  There are countless others. 

I am asking you today to step up and do something.  Donate, volunteer, educate others!  DO SOMETHING!  If you don’t know what to do email me at jes_singletary@yahoo.comand I’ll give you some suggestions.  If you live in the Texas area we are having a golf tournament in October in the San Antonio area.  You can play or you can sponsor a hole.  In order for us to find a cause and one day a cure we have to advocate for awareness and research.  It starts with us.  CDH families and friends.  It’s time we make a difference.  It’s time we save these babies.

Grab A Drink. This Is Gonna Be A Long One.

Okay, it’s been a while since I last updated.  Life has been crazy to say the least.  We have been going nonstop for about two weeks now and to be honest I’m completely and totally exhausted.   I need some time for me but I don’t think that’s going to happen for a while. 

Ashley is playing in TWO softball leagues.  So our weekly schedule looks something like this.  830-5 work, 700 game, 930 game, 11 get home, 1 go to bed.  Yes he has two games a night.  I get home in time to change clothes grab a bottle of water and get back in the car to travel to his first game and then get in the car to travel to the next game.  See with him playing two leagues the games aren’t at the same place.  I know y’all are thinking easy solution stay home but I love watching Ashley play.  And secretly I think he likes me there.

Needless to say I’m exhausted. 

Ashley’s grandmother is in the hospital.  Her organs are slowly shutting down and there is nothing left they can do for her.  She’s an amazing woman and we know that soon her time here on this Earth will end.   Losing her husband two weeks ago was hard on her.  Please keep her and his family in your prayers.  It’s so hard to see someone you love go through so much like she has. 

Okay, my weight loss saga.  Yeah, I’m getting motivated again.  I am determined to lose the weight.  I have to lose the weight.  I am miserable with my physical appearance.  The weight gain didn’t start until about 6 months after Parker’s passing.  I think the first 6 months I was so high from the meds that I didn’t know I was supposed to eat.  I slept most of the time and then I decided I wanted to be this damn martyr and try to go through the grief process without any assistance from anyone or anything.  B.A.D. idea people.  I suddenly became this emotional eater because I was home alone for about 14 hours a day and instead of doing something healthy I ate.  All the time.  Everything I could get my hands on.  And in some really sick way it made me feel better.  It wasn’t until my sister approached me about my weight gain that I even noticed something was wrong.  I don’t know how I was oblivious to the fact I was gaining weight at the steady rate I was.  I guess when your only child dies you just don’t give a crap.  When she died I felt like I had lost a huge part of who I was destined to be.  I wanted so bad to be a mother.  And in the  blink of an eye I had lost that opportunity or so I thought.  If only I knew then what I know now.  I found a few websites that helped with the weight gain issues but never took to heart the advice they gave until I decided one day that I was going to do Weight Watchers.  Heather Southwell (Bryce’s Mom) inspired me tons and Jenn Miller (Audrey’s Mom) did too with their amazing weight loss stories.  Heather did WW and Jenn did the Skinny Cow Challenge.   I think the most important thing for me to do is OWN my weight.  Not be ashamed of who I am.  Ashley said to me the other night that he loves me regardless because he loves what’s on the inside but he deserves to have his wife back.  Not the girl who sulks in her pity but someone who rises above it.  If talking about losing weight actually worked I’d be one skinny chick.  I found this great blog thanks to Cristin called Operation Skinny Bitch.  I joined the group and talk about inspirational ladies!  It’s so nice to know that there are tons of other women just like me trying to accomplish the same goals.  I found another blog called  My Journey to A Better Me  and she tracts her monthly weight loss (or gain) and provides pictures.  She’s quite inspirational.  I’m think I’m going to create a new blog just for my weight loss.  I’m really serious about this y’all.  I know I’ve done this song and dance before but I have to lose this weight.  I am ready for a new me!  I am ready to be this girl again….

This is what I looked like when Ashley and I started dating.  That was three years ago.  I know I can do it.  I know that my desire this time around is greater than  any other time.  So OSB here I come.  I’m updating my IPOD and I’m going to find the time to walk at least 3 miles a night or morning.  I’m going to make a change in my diet.  No more sweet tea, cokes, junk food.  No more eating past 7 at night.  No more lame excuses for why I’m overweight.  Please pray for me as I embark on this journey.  I have never been overweight before and so it’s something new to me.  Losing weight has never been an issue until two years ago.  I need some cheerleaders too because I’m needy like that.  So any volunteers?

This post is completely random so please forgive me for jumping from one topic to the next. 

There were two CDH babies born yesterday.  Baby Girl Reed as most of us know her was born yesterday at 2:58 pm!!  She weighs 6 lbs 8 oz and is 19 and 3/4 inches long.  Her name is Elliott Arcile Reed.  No pics yet and no update on her condition.  I am staying glued to her blog and as soon as I hear something I will let y’all know too. 

Baby Will was born yesterday too at 8:25 am.  Please check his blog for more info as Matt and Heather posted an update late last night.  His condition is not good but as we all know these babies are fighters and so often have proved many wrong. 

Keep Cassi and Brian (BGR’s parents) and Matt and Heather (Will’s parents) in your prayers as their CDH journey really begins. 

The foundation is going great.  We will have our next family The Myers  will move in to the house in a month.  We have the dedication at the end of September and then we are off to planning our launch party.  Please check the blog for more info on our current events.  There are a few going on in NC and one in TX. 

Life is really good right now for us.  Our crops are amazing, our dogs are good, wild but good.  We are thinking of purchasing another puppy but trying to decide if we are ready for late nights and potty training again.  P’s headstone should be in at the end of the month and we are excited about seeing it.  Still stings a bit but we’ll manage to find our way through that.  We are still working on the house (yeah never ending story) and truly the house should be a blog all her own. 

Well, that’s all folks.  I need to get some work done in the office.  My boss’ father passed away on Monday so it’s somewhat quite around here.  Please pray for his family.  Mr. Worth Hester was an amazing man and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to know him. 

Remember to keep us in your prayers and all CDH families.  And know that y’all are always in our thoughts and prayers as well!

Small Update.
July 27, 2008, 4:15 pm
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So, I’ve been beyond busy since returning from Kings Mountain last weekend and I’m taking a break to update that I really don’t have the time to be doing.  I am running on pure adrenaline right now and I think if I sit too long I will fall asleep for days. 

The foundation is going great.  It’s a lot of work but the most rewarding thing either of us have ever done aside from having Parker.  We have been overwhelmed with emails, letters, phone calls and donations.  It is amazing how wonderfully knit the CDH community is.  I am so excited about the future of our foundation and what it will have to offer families of CDH.  We are working like crazy on Parker’s House so that it will be ready for the next family, Kellie, Brad and Baby Carter.   The amount of volunteers we’ve received is amazing!  We do have a wish list on the blog if you’d like to check it out and help us out some!  It takes $50 a day to keep Parker’s House going so if you can spare that we’d appreciate it. 

I have a new found addiction for the new show Hopkins.  I have yet to watch an episode without crying.   It’s just an amazing show with some amazing stories.  If you haven’t watched it yet you really should.  I also just ordered Tori Spelling’s new book sTORI Telling.  I cannot wait to get it and read the juice.  I watch her show on Oxygen and I love it.  She really is a neat person. 

Okay, back to work folks.  Gonna grab me some sweet tea and get back to working.

Looking Back.
July 18, 2008, 6:27 pm
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So, when we started the foundation and we started Parker’s House I never imagined that my life would change in the magnitude that it was the day that I met April, Russell and Seth.  I remember our first visit with them.  It was at Parker’s House.  I felt an immediate connection to them and as we drove off I told Ashley that they would be lifelong friends.  Not the kind you see every once in a while but the kind you plan trips with and the kind you talk to all the time.  They are truly some of the most amazing people I know.  Their courage is indescribable.  Their love for each other evident.  Their faith in God everlasting.  When I went to the hospital to see them and Seth I had butterflies all the way there.  Not the good kind either.  The kind where I felt like I was going to throw up.   I knew that I needed to be strong for them.  I promised myself I wouldn’t break down.  I wouldn’t cry.  I even asked Parker to help me.  I was in the parking garage and I said a prayer.  I know that God heard me because I felt this amazing gust of wind and I knew it was Parker.  He had sent one of my favorite angels to comfort me.  I walked in the PICU and I felt this numbness start to come over my whole body.  April knew something I think because she put her hand behind my back.  This woman who’s child lay fighting for his life was comforting me.  It wasn’t supposed to be like that.  I was supposed to be strong for her.  I immediately started crying when I saw him.  For many reasons though.  He was gorgeous and perfect in every way.  He opened his eye and looked at me.  It gave me chills.  When I touched him he moved and I remembered never seeing Parker move.  Never seeing her eyes.  Never seeing her do anything except lie exceptionally still.  My heart was heavy for the Van Dykes and for myself.  I know that it’s selfish of me to think of myself during a time like that but how do you not.  I cried myself to sleep that night in the hotel thinking of Seth and Parker.  Praying that God would spare his life and heal his body so that April and Russell could take their son home with them.  Reliving Parker’s death isn’t easy.  It tears my heart a part all over again and I find myself in that same dark place that I was two years ago.  I questioned whether i needed to continue with the foundation or just get out while I still could.  I didn’t think I could continue to be connected to families and CDH babies and walk away not scarred.  I knew that each time a family moved in my heart would break all over again and I would have to relive Parker’s death.  Was the reward worth the pain? 

And then it hit me.  The day Seth passed.  It all hit me like a ton of bricks.  I was given Parker for a reason and it wasn’t to quit.  It wasn’t to lie in some dark hole and feel sorry for myself.  It was to help families like our own.  To change the face of CDH as we know it.  I know what my purpose is now.  I know what I have to do and I have never wanted it more than I do now.  Not just for my beautiful little girl but for every single baby who has been and will be born with CDH.  I wanted to bring to her home.  I dreamed of the day I would bring her home.  That day never happened but I’ve been given this amazing gift because of her.  Her life has touched so many people and her story is one I will tell forever.  Parker will live on not only in my heart but through our foundation.  My plans for her ended before they ever began but now I have new plans for her and her memory. 

I know that this journey will mean reliving the worst moments and days of my life but it also means reliving the greatest moments of my life too.  It means honoring the one person who I love the most.  Parker.  So is the reward worth the pain?  Absolutely it is. 

Tomorrow Ashley and I will travel to Kings Mountain for Seth’s funeral.  Please continue to keep his family in your prayers and say one for us too.  This family has a long journey ahead of them.