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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Decorating for the Super Bowl!

Today I decorated my living room window for the Super Bowl! 

I have the plastic plates, cups, napkins, and even the plasticware says STEELERS!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The BRUCE Family!

This is a picture of my family that was taken last summer at my niece's high school graduation party. 
It was the first time we had all been together in the same place in many years.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Kellan Carpenter

This is my grandson Kellan.  He is 7 months old now and starting to crawl!  They are going to have their hands full!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I haven't kept up on this blog very well lately - what can I say - I've been sick!  But I was well enough to watch the Steelers win their divisional playoff game and now they are on their way to the SUPER BOWL - AGAIN! 
This is me in my Steeler Stiletto's!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


These were taken outside my new apartment.  I'm finally all unpacked and all moved in.  Threw alot of stuff away and have ordered my new tv and new sofa - oh and waiting for Spring! 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Green, Spring Days are ahead !

These are pictures that I took in the fall when I went with a group to the  Highlands Nature Sanctuary in southern Ohio.  We spent a weekend there and went hiking on several trails.  It was so peaceful and beautiful.

I love this picture of the stairs. 
This was the cabin that we stayed in.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bridge at Church

This is a walk bridge at church that goes behind the property back to another parking lot.  It's pretty with the snow. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow and Crochet


Yes, it's still snowing!  When it's this cold and snowing all the time, I don't get out much.  This is a Steeler afghan that I started this week (made up the pattern in my head) and it will be Steeler yellow and black (of course!) 
In fact, if I continue to work on it at work as well as at home, I think that I should be able to have it done in time for the Super Bowl!  GO STEELERS!     (to see the finished product, go HERE)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Kellan and Austin

Bri with my grandson Kellan, Thanksgiving 2010.

Austin with his daddy after "eating too much" for Thanksgiving.

Monday, January 10, 2011

More Snow???

Tonight I found out that they even have snow down in Nashville!  Trina forwarded this beautiful post card scene (below) to me tonight that she took with her camera phone!  Thanks Trina!  I can't believe there's snow in Smyrna and I'm not down there to blame it on........ 

Winter in Smyrna, TN
More snow is expected in Ohio in the next day or two.  This is about the time that I start getting sick of snow and want Spring to hurry up and come.  Unfortunately, in Ohio, we are looking at at least 3 more months of winter!! 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Justin Isaac Grace born Jan. 9, 1983

My picture today won't win a prize for being the best picture blog, but it will help me to tell you a story about a baby born 28 years ago today. 

Justin Isaac Grace was born on this day back in 1983 to Tim and Teresa Grace (me).  He only lived an hour and a half before he went to heaven to be with Jesus.

This is a picture of a plant.  Everyone that knows me knows how much I love plants.  This planter held one of the arrangements that someone bought for me while I was in the hospital after Justin's death.  Although there's a different plant in there these days, I have always kept the praying hands planter as a remembrance to my son. 

Let me tell you the incredible story about the short life of Justin Isaac Grace...

I had a completely normal pregnancy, and my husband (Tim) was in the delivery room with me for Justin's birth.  But immediately upon delivery of the baby, the doctor told Tim to leave the room.  It seemed that almost immediately the room became filled with nurses and other hospital staff.  I was still laying on the delivery table, as my doctor had left my side to go over and attend to the baby momentarily. 

I began to pray - silently at first, as my fear and worry began to rise.  I had already had one baby two years earlier, so I knew that something was very wrong about this delivery room scene.  I prayed that although I did not know what was wrong with my baby, God did, and that He could touch and heal whatever was wrong with my child.  As the moments ticked by, I began to pray a little more feverishly - and a little louder.

It was at that moment that I heard the voice of God.  I not only heard his voice audibly with my ears, but I could also feel and sense Him as well.  The only words that God spoke were
"Don't pray that way - pray for My will to be done"
and in that instant, not only did I feel peace that could only have come from God himself, but I also knew that the baby was going to die.  I cannot describe it, but I knew that it was 'for the best'.

I was taken to the recovery room, and the baby was taken somewhere for examination and tests to determine what might be wrong with him.  The only things visible (on the outside of his little body) were that his genitals were not fully developed, and that he had a club foot. 

The doctor eventually came in and told me that Justin's kidneys and liver were all very poorly developed, and that there was not much that they could do.  He told me that he didn't think the baby had very long to live, and asked if I wanted to see him or hold him.  I told him yes and he went to go have someone to bring my newborn baby to me. 

What I didn't know (until later), was that my husband Tim caught the doctor in the hallway and asked him NOT to bring me the baby.  Tim did not have the experience with God on the delivery table that I had, and thought he was looking out for me.  Tim was afraid that if the baby died in my arms that I might freak out. 

I don't know how much time went by, but eventually a nurse came in to check on me and I asked if she knew what was taking them so long to bring the baby to me.  She said that she would check on it and also left the room.  When the doctor heard this, he figured out what was going on.  He brought the baby to me himself, but when I went to take Justin out of the doctor's arms, he hesitated.  He told me that he had just passed, and was not sure if I should take him. 

In that moment I hesitated too.  It would have been one thing if the baby had died in my arms, but I was not sure if I could handle taking him and holding him now - knowing that he was dead.  Instead, the doctor held him and I took off his little blue cap and pulled the blanket away from his little body so that I could see him and touch him.  I cried as I touched his skin and his soft cheeks.  The doctor was very patient with me and let me take as much time as I needed. 

That's the one thing that I regret - not having the nerve to take Justin and spend time holding and touching him.

Back in those days the mother was normally in the hospital for 3 days after chidbirth.  I made the funeral arrangements from my hospital room and Justin's funeral was held the day that I was released from the hospital.  It was just a small graveside funeral with family and close friends, and they brought a metal folding chair to the graveside so that I could sit down.  It was a bitter cold day - just like it is today. 

     *     *     *     *     *

They later determined that I had gotten pregnant too soon after going off of birth control pills.  The pills were stronger back in those days, and they stayed in the mother's body a lot longer than they do now.  This caused Justin Isaac to have many birth defects including having many very poorly developed internal organs.  He was ok until he came into the world and his little body had to work all on it's own - his organs weren't developed enough to do the job. 

I love to tell that story.  The hair on my neck stands up every time I tell it.  I have prayed over the years that God would use Justin's story to somehow help someone that might be going through sadness from the death of a child.  Justin is one of the first in my family circle to already be in heaven.  I used to imagine him as a little child running and jumping and playing with Jesus in heaven.  I imagined Jesus reading stories to him.  I don't know if all of that really happens in heaven, but I know that it would have been so selfish of me to insist they hook him up to machines and try to prolong his life here on earth.  Athough I missed him terribly, I knew that he was in a better place. 

I also knew how much God was right there with me through all of it.  In fact, I got pregnant again 6 months later with Aaron and never had the first nightmare or even a hint of fear that something might go wrong with that pregnancy - and I know that also came from God. 

I miss you Justin, and I can't wait to get to heaven so that I can see you again.
Love,  Mommy   

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Still snowing....

It was still snowing that fine snow on Friday night and these pictures are taken as I left work.  Notice the ducks that are in the pond?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Let It Snow

In Central Ohio, the snow started last night (Thursday).  We only got around an inch here, but I was glad that I was safe and warm and comfy in my new apartment...   

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My new apartment

Sunrise this morning outside my new apartment.  And yes, I'm STILL unpacking.  Sheesh.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My best friend..

Well, here is my new blog!  I'm following in the footsteps of my friend Billie Mitchell and have accepted her challenge to take a picture everyday.  (find the official procedures here)

So here are my first pictures.  This is an Ornament Cake decorated by my best friend Betty in Nashville, TN. 

Betty, my best friend for almost 15 years, and her wonderful husband Dave, (who thinks of me as another one of the children - hmmm??).  They are such a cute couple and live just outside of Nashville.  It's my home away from home.  Love you guys!

And I can't forget Danny and his new bride Debbie... don't they make an adorable couple??