Tuesday, July 27, 2010


over the summer we have noticed that there has been some strange little plants popping up beside our driveway. crazy these little things are very hardy & grow like crazy. they began to bloom. at some point we were digging around trying to figure out what these little plants were. well, we founds tons of pumpkin seeds in the pine needles. the kids carved their pumpkins on the driveway & we ended up sweeping the seeds off into the beds beside the driveway. well, now we have pumpkin plants.
they start out poking out of the seed. then a shoot comes up with 2 perfect round green leaves. the base of the plant that is attached to the root is thick & strong. it begins to grow & grow fast. the vine becomes long, twisty, with leaves everywhere. it literally grows overnight. then we would see little buds on the vines. they would bloom into beautiful yellow flowers. we watered them. put some fertilizer on them. they would open up & soak in the sun. mac & i looked up pumpkin plants because we never noticed any pumpkins or even the start of one. i thought it needed to be closer to fall & then they would grow but come to find out they are sterile. some pumpkin plants or plants in general never bear fruit. never, ever bear fruit.
i plucked up a hand full & trashed them. now we only have a few growing. they are pointless to have. yes, now we admire the flowers & they still get watered every once in a while but they will never have pumpkins.
i got thinking about my life as a believer. was i a pumpkin plant who was sterile or do i bear fruit. i never imagined myself as a missionary or craving seeing someone come to faith for the 1st time. born again, crazy Jesus freak! i also was NOT a preacher's wife. well, that one came back to bite me. slowly, i have started to feel sterile. yes, i am raising my children as true disciples of Christ, & i do write about faith & live out loud but i am feeling that i am missing the fruit. i am beginning to want more. i need to do more. so during this time i am going to be watered daily by the word, feed by the Spirit, & watch as my vine grows strong & sturdy. soon the leaves will come. then when i do have a beautiful yellow bloom it will become & pumpkin & i will bear fruit.
He has planted the seed in me & i am ready to grow. i want to see what He will bring forth.
Are you a sterile pumpkin plant?

Friday, July 16, 2010

bring it on!

we got the call, august 25th will be libby claire's next surgery, then another shortly after.

summer is almost over. we have been really busy since our last blog post. we went to florida for our family vacation. a year we have waited to return. return to my parents beach house where libs fell, the PICU, the visit with the EMT's & firefighters, the beach, the waves & those seagulls. we finally returned. it was stressful for the first 2 days then we settled in & enjoyed every minute. the beach was beautiful, of course! libby claire was in her element. she could run, swim, dig, play, get dirty, eat snacks & share with the seagulls. followed by chasing them up and down the beach. we went to see the first responders who were in the ambulance with libs. it was so special to thank them & let them see her in true libby claire"ism" running & climbing in and out of the firetruck. we also went to see everyone at all children's hospital. they were in the process of building the new children's hospital while we were there & so we finally got to see the new ACH. we loved seeing everyone. it was a happy, great visit. a little less emotional b/c the building was new. we didn't see libby claire's room or the familiar halls or any of the spots we would fequent last summer. it was wonderful. go to mcgarity clan to see pictures from our family trip.

it was pretty uneventful until the ride home. our 10 hour trip became a 14 hour trip when our left rear tire blew out in our suburban. not fun! thank God for the good samaritan~

back at home now we have had therapy, doctors appointments & daily libby claire stuff. she continues to test our patience & i think takes true pleasure in watching us juggle a baby, 3 older children & still chase her around. her helmet might as well not be on b/c she rips the velcro & takes it off every time we put it on her. during libs coma i specifically remember praying for her just to move, for her to be able to blink, lift her arms, hug me, hold my hand, one day to walk & wow...for her to run. they said those might come but might never. i get flustered & short on patience some days but daily, almost hourly i am reminded of where we were last year. i am so grateful for those fast little legs running, climbing & jumping. even if i am the one chasing after them, barely able to keep up.

we are going to have our own little "SUPERGIRL." yes, we have decided & with libby claire's cranio-facial specialist to go with the kryptonite. we got the call this morning & dr. mclanahan & dr. matthews will be operating on libby claire on august 25th. it will be similar to her surgery last september 3rd. as we have talked about they will place the material in, let it set & harden. then will go back in about 2 weeks later to shave & polish the prosthetic down & make it smooth. we are not sure about csf lumbar drain or anything neurosurgery wise. i guess dr. mclanahan will see what he thinks while she is open. the ultrasound done of her brain shows that the ventricles are slightly enlarged & she is where she should be post-traumatic brain injury. we will have to go & have our pre-surgery consults. probably, go to levine & have typing done. that is where they do a pick line & type her blood. so they can order her blood type for the surgery. not sure what else we will need to do but i am sure we will hear in the next few weeks.

some days are semi-normal. we go about our day & just do stuff. but some days are not normal. we can not sleep, fuss at the big kids, stress about the running or the bumps or boo-boo's that could happen. we think of the 7 minutes we waited for the ambulance, watching our girl struggle to breathe. her body limp. we remember the days, unending days & nights of wandering not knowing of the future. all the bad creeps in and saturates our mood & minds. but what glorious presence was there with us. we still read psalms each day. we read them to lc during the worst & best. they are boldly praising God but honest about pain & struggle. we are real, facing & living something we never imagined or expected. we have always trusted & felt that peace that only God can bring. well He is bringing it. in a big way. we are so ready for august 25th.

our little busy hard head will finally have a hard head, literally!

so bring it on!
ps-my mullet is really growing out & dr. matthews says he will try to only shave the incision site. so i might not have my head shaved again. we will see? although, if anyone can wear the billy ray it is me.
love, libby claire :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

hot pink flowers

sunday, july 11th we placed flowers in the sanctuary in honor of libby claire.
they were beautiful, just like our girl!
i knew just who to call. meme! matt's mom did a perfect job putting the arrangement together.
i wish libby claire was there & i could have gotten a picture with her.
thank you so much they were beautiful!

this is where libs was. she & pops were snuggling while we were at the church-

last beach day

teeny tiny beach toes

one evening i got libs all dressed in her white dress & grabbed the bag of bread & my camera.
off to the beach with baby doll in hand. of course, i snapped a few pictures in the bright sun before the yummy light moved in & my battery died. urg!

yes, this is why we drive 10 hours in a car with 5 kids. the water & sand IS REALLY this beautiful!

so long longboat key, see you in the fall!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

all children's hospital

a year ago today we raced down the tunnel from one hospital into all children's hospital. at the bay of the OR doors we said goodbye to our little girl & began to plead with thousands of others for our little libby claire. those prayers were answered & with the hard work, dedication & delicate care of these miracle workers! we are so grateful to them all & love them so deeply.
while in florida we made the trip back to ACH to "show off" libby claire.
kelly. love her.
she always referred to libby claire as "my girl."

the RT that worked with lc. they pulled the vent & watched as our libs took her first breaths on her own. first machine to go! so sweet.

charge nurse kristen. was always calm & collected.

heather, child life.
she was awesome. not only did she bring us books to read to libby claire while she was in the coma, she then brought the fish tank, toys...
mostly, she took time to help our older kids with the grieving & understanding of the whole ordeal. so thankful!

lc in surgery garb

i cry as i write this about this beautiful face. she beams now but upon our first meeting she only had a baggie with our blood soaked baby girls hair. kristi was one of the trauma nurse during the surgery. we will always remember her dedication & hard work fighting for our girl!

david pitt, ACH chaplain. he was there with us from the start. i don't even know how to express our love for him. we prayed, cried, & spent the worst day of our life with him. with his quiet console it was just what we needed.
christie helped coordinate our trip home. she covered every detail of our CMC flight. she rocked!

on to devin. one of libs surgeons. you have been right all along. she will do fine & she will come back. here we are a year down the road. thank you for your skills & delicate care.

a site to see. libby claire playing at ACH!

one of the first days in the PICU there was a little girl who was taking her first walk out of the PICU to another floor. our libby claire never walked in ACH, but now she was running.

we also took a trip the the pier.this was our time away with the big kids. we enjoyed the water & beauty there.

skyway bridge.

one tired libby claire. she loved seeing everyone again & eating the sprinkle, chocolate covered pretzel on the way home.

psalm 121
i lift up my eyes to the hills-
where does my help come from?
my help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven & earth.
He will not let your foot slip-
He who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
the LORD watches over you-
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
the LORD will keep you from all harm-
He will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming & going
both now & forevermore.


ok, so if we stay in florida much longer maggie is going to be toothless!
she lost another tooth at dinner tonight.

Monday, July 5, 2010

LBK fire & rescue

we got the honor of going to see a few of the men who were the first responders & in the ambulance with libby claire. no words to express our gratitude!

we are planning on going every year to visit & so these guys can enjoy seeing libby claire grow.

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