Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Card 2012

Well, if you didn't get our Christmas card in the mail this year, it's probably because I lost my mind and didn't order all.  Sorry for the shortage.  Next year I most certainly will not have a 3 month old baby to contend with when ordering the cards!  In the meantime, put a stamp on your computer screen and pretend this came straight from your mailbox:

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Jesus is the reason for the season…but Carter is the reason that we won’t be getting many Christmas presents this year.  Yes, only a few short weeks after we sent you our Christmas card last year, we found out that we were expecting our first child, and both of our parents’ first grandchild.  As the card alludes, with the birth of the first grandchild, Jeffrey and I have been rendered invisible, eclipsed by the greatness of Carter in our parents’ eyes.  Don’t worry, we know they still love us…somewhere…deep down.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  While the world suddenly seemed to revolve around the impending birth of our baby, there were a few minor loose ends to tie up before D-day, namely graduating from Medical and Dental School. 

Two major obstacles stood between my dental license and me:  the National Board Exam Part II and the licensing exam for the state of Texas (WREB).  The Board Exam was a 400 question computerized exam.  After 21 years of education, I’m no stranger to standardized tests, so the idea of another one didn’t scare me.  What did scare me was the fact that many of my friends who took the exam had to take it twice due to computer errors.  More than one student had to retake the exam because the computers rebooted during their test, deleting all their answers.  Luckily I made it through all 400 questions without so much as an error message.

The WREB was an exam where students had to find patients to perform procedures on so that standardized graders can examine our work.  Because of the importance of the exam and the number of variables involved (if your patient got sick or didn’t come, you could fail), I felt nauseas the whole time.  Then again, I was four months pregnant by that time, so maybe it was just a little morning sickness.  The results of both exams came in after a few weeks of anxious waiting:  Pass!

Jeffrey spent much of the Spring semester enjoying his fourth year, meaning that he didn’t really do much of anything until March when he started biting his nails in anticipation of “Match Day,” the day when every fourth year medical student finds out where they will go to complete their residency.  Match Day came and we found out that we would be moving to Temple, much to the delight of my grandfather, Gene, who lives nearby in Rogers.  Scott & White Hospital was Jeffrey’s first choice, and it has turned out to be a wonderful decision—we love it here!

In May we both graduated from school, on the same day, no less.  (Imagine how excited our family members were to get to go to TWO graduation ceremonies in the same day!)  Now that we’re both licensed, let me remind you that if you saved your Christmas card from 2009 (Jeffrey holding the sign stating “Buy one prostate exam, get one free”), you may now redeem it at your earliest convenience.

In June I got my very first job as a dentist at Kool Smiles, a corporate dental office that treats mostly children.  Since then, the company has diversified and now consists of two branches.  I work for the newer side of the company, at an office called Resolution Dental.  New name, same pain if you have to get a shot.  Everybody loves the dentist, right?

July marked the beginning of Jeffrey’s residency.  I’m not really sure what’s happened with him since then…I’ve only seen him twice.  Honestly, he’s enjoying most of residency.  Great hospital, great doctors, great hours.  (One of those statements is a lie...guess which one!)

I waddled my way through August and a few days of September before giving birth to Carter Robert Edwards on September 11th.  He has enriched our lives in a way we never could have imagined. He has fulfilled a place in our hearts we didn’t even know was empty.  He has filled his diapers to a degree we never could have anticipated.  We love that boy.

Since Carter was born, we’ve had baby’s first Halloween, baby’s first Thanksgiving, and now we are looking forward to having his first Christmas.  It truly is a wonderful life at the Edwards’ house.

So that’s 2012 in a nutshell.  If you want the extended version or can’t wait until December 2013 to hear what will happen with us next year, check out our blog at

We love you all and we wish you a Merry Christmas!

Jeffrey, Lauren, and Carter Edwards

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Look for the Helpers

Yesterday was another dark day in the story of our nation as a mad man entered an elementary school in Connecticut, shot and killed 27 people (20 of whom were young children), and then took his own life. 

The news has shown a ceaseless stream of tearful parents, interviews with young, traumatized school children, and weary policemen.  Among the footage there are beginning to be some photos of the shooter, and bit by bit his life is being investigated and examined in an attempt to answer that awful question:  Why?

On days like this it's hard to believe that there is any way good will triumph over evil.  The ugliness of this crime leaks out into the social media as people begin to argue over gun control laws and the appropriate punishment for the people responsible for the loss of these lives.

As a new parent in the midst of this I begin to wonder:  What will I tell my son on days like this?  This time we are spared since he's too young to understand, but surely we can expect more days like this, unfortunate as it is. 

As I read through the Facebook comments yesterday, I found my answer.  A friend from high school had written some wisdom that his mom had told him after the Twin Towers were attacked.  This is what I will tell my son on days like this:

"Whenever it seems like the world is too evil, look for the helpers.  There will always be helpers ready to battle against evil with bravery and goodness."

I thought about that message as I watched the morning news.  Instead of tearful parents I saw adults crying together--sharing their pain.  Instead of young, traumatized school children I saw kids who realized the sacrifice made by the many adults who helped them to escape the massacre.  Instead of weary policemen I saw a news reporter put down his microphone to give a struggling police chief a hug in the middle of an interview.  The helpers were there--all was not lost.

Yes, Carter, there will be dark days.  Evil comes loudly, with ammunition and hate, banging down doors and leaving destruction in its wake.  Good comes softly, with flashing lights that signal help is on the way.  When it looks dark, look for the helpers.  They won't be as loud, they won't be as bold, but they will be there and they will be the most brave.

And above all, remember, my son, that good (God) wins in the end. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

3rd Month Is a Charm

Well, Carter Robert turns 3 months old today. Not much has changed since last month...except now he smiles all the time, is starting to laugh, is starting to sit up on his own, is half-way rolling over on his own, can count to 10 (in 3 languages), has written the first 4 chapters of his novel, and is already smarter than me and his mom.

Seriously though, our favorite part of the day is waking up and seeing his smile. Our least favorite part of the day is 4 seconds after we see him smile, when we realize the reason he is smiling is not because he's happy to see us, but rather because he has left us a HUGE present in his diaper. Even still, I don't know that anyone will ever love him more than we do right now. It's crazy, irrational, and borderline insane, but we don't care because he's our baby boy. (Proof that we're nuts: this whole blog post is celebrating his 3-month birthday...that's not even a real birthday!)

Anyway, here's a picture of the kid to prove that he's still alive and that we haven't harmed him (too badly) in the 3 months that we've owned him. So here's to you, Carter - we love you dearly! Happy 11th!

Carter Robert Edwards
3 months old