Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Reason, A Season, or a Lifetime

Recently my mom told me that you have friends for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. I've been pondering this statement for awhile now, and I just can't wrap my mind around it.

I've always held friendships close to my heart. If I was your friend I gave everything for you. That doesn't mean that we didn't have ups and downs, but I wasn't gonna give up on you. I wasn't gonna stop being your friend because of a disagreement.

However, I realized today that there are many friendships that I had growing up that I have romanticized. I expect things to be just like they were when we were little, or teenagers or even in college.

But that isn't true. We're all different. We've all changed. In reality, if we aren't willing to change with each other or accept the changes that others are making the season ends. Sometimes it's hard.

I have a hard time accepting that these friendships need to end. That it's okay if they do. I have a hard time letting go. I don't like losing people. Death is hard and scary for me, and honestly the only acceptable reason for a friendship to end. Even then if my friends who have passed go still come and hang out that would be my preference.

This has been a time of changing friendships for me.  I'm learning that this is okay. Each friendship was for a reason. It taught me something about myself. It helped me become who God wanted me to be, but it ended for a reason. I think we sometimes want to keep our friends in the bubble of when and how we knew someone, and we don't fit in that bubble.

I do hope that I have friends that I will have for a lifetime. Those relationships are few and far between, but they are friendships that are precious because they are rare. If all friendships lasted for a lifetime we wouldn't value them as much.

Friends are needed. We were created to have relationships, and God is teaching me to value them and grow with them.

It's beautiful...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I have this little girl

I have this little girl. This little girl that makes me smile. She makes me laugh. She makes my heart race with fear.

I will be honest. Sometimes my heart races because I'm afraid she has stopped breathing during nap time. Or she has learned to climb stairs. Or because she has fallen...again. I'm always afraid she is going to end up with a concussion. But this little girl is the biggest blessing in my life. She is brilliant. She is fearfully and wonderfully made. She is goofy, stubborn, mischievous, and adorable.

And as much as she has blessed my life and changed who I am; I am daily reminded that this is only possible because of who God is. He has blessed me with more than I can ever ask or imagine.

My fears and my worries are rooted in sin. Because of Jesus I do not have a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and sound mind. I'm so thankful that.

I'm so thankful for this little girl I have. And I'm mostly thankful for Jesus, and for him blessing me with her.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


I updated to adoption blog with pictures of some things I've been baking to raise money! Check it out and place an order today!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Adoption Blog

We have an adoption blog!! Check it out!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

One Year Ago Today

A year ago today I was sitting in a hospital room waiting to see the Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor at North Austin Medical Center. We had just been told that we had lost one of our twins, and no one knew why, but I needed to be admitted where my doctor could check things out. We were later told that it looked as if his placenta had detached from the uterine lining. We were told that these things just happen. There was nothing we could do to prevent it. It's a risk when you are pregnant with twins.

A year later, I still grieve. I still miss our sweet Owen, but I get to spend my days with the sweetest girl I know. Her daddy brought her in to snuggle this morning. She wasn't interested in snuggling. She wanted to play. Her joyful squeals and sweet smiles warm my heart. The way she masks her yawns makes me smile. Hearing her say "dada" is something we treasure in our hearts.

A year ago we were worried that we wouldn't have this sweet girl here. We were worried that we would lose her too.

But a year later we have experienced God's faithfulness on a daily basis, and are preparing to adopt two babies from Haiti.

And we are so grateful that He has brought us through the dessert.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

God is so good!

We decided last weekend to meet with an adoption agency this past Wednesday to start the process of adopting from Haiti. So Wednesday night came and we fell in love with the agency, and God confirmed this is the direction we should be heading.

We talked about all the different ways to finance adoption (because as you know it is EXPENSIVE), and we realized it is incredibly possible to do this. My sister had told me on Tuesday about her friend who wrote a book titled "Debt Free Adoption", and that lingered in the back of my head. Debt free...can we do this? A friend mentioned interest free loans and that sounded intriguing, but I just kept thinking about doing this whole thing debt free.

And God did something AMAZING! Paul went to pick up my seizure meds at Walgreens and called me. My first thought was "Why is he calling? Is everything okay?". Then he said to me "Did you know your meds are generic now?" "No, I didn't." Then he tells me they only cost $5!! $5!!!!! now for about 7 years now we have been paying $40 for these meds. That's A LOT of money. I had an appointment with my neurologist earlier that day, and she usually mentions stuff like that to me, and she hadn't. It was such a sweet blessing from God that we are saving $35 a month on my seizure meds now. $35 that is already in our budget that can now go to something like...ADOPTING!

God confirmed to me that Debt Free Adoption is the way He wants us to go. With something as little as $35 a month God is already providing a way to bring our children home.

On top of that, Thursday I started filling out our application. They ask for LOTS of information about finances. And we started talking about assets and liabilities. God started showing us more money that He had already provided for us to put towards our adoption. I talked to my mom, and they are going to give us money for birthdays and holidays. Now it may be $35, but God has already shown us that $35 can be A LOT and He is going to provide!

We are excited about what God is doing in our family. We're excited to see how He is going to provide so that it grows the way He has designed it to grow.

We are praying that our story will be one of hope and inspiration for those of you who have always wanted to adopt, but thought it cost too much. We want to show how God will provide for you when you are obedient to love the fatherless.

It's amazing!

Stay tuned for some ways you can jump on board and help out. One way will be through a Noonday Collection Trunk Show ( prepared to get jewelery for Christmas). Another will be through a t-shirt, and another through training and running the Chosen: Marathon for Adoption next October. God can use you in many ways to love the fatherless. We look forward to seeing how He is going to use you!

Monday, October 17, 2011

We're Getting Started

After many referrals to different orphanages and adoption agencies we are finally getting started in the process to adopt our children. We have a meeting Wednesday evening with an agency to go over cost, applications, timelines, etc.

I'm a little giddy to be honest. I've wanted to adopt my whole life, and I know God has been calling our family to care for orphans we just didn't know when and where. We're excited.

I know that this process is going to be long, we've been told to expect it take 2 years. I know that once we bring our children home it isn't going to be a fairy tale, but a very real challenge. I know that it isn't going to be easy, but I do know that God is going to be with us through this process. I know that God knows which children will come into our home, where the money will come from, and how we will all adapt to one another. God has this all planned out and it is perfect, but not easy.

Please keep us in your prayers as we begin this process. We have a lot of decisions to make. So here is what you can be praying for now:

1) Wisdom about which agency to go through.

2) Wisdom about whether or not we should even go through an agency or just work through an orphanage to complete the adoption.

3) God's protection over our children while they wait for us. That they will know they are loved, cared for and desired by us. And they will know they won't be orphans for long.

4) God will provide the money for us to bring our children home.

Also, please keep our friends Jake and Krista in your prayers as they are in Uganda RIGHT NOW waiting for a judge to give them guardianship of their son. They have a court date Friday. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

5 weeks, 18 weeks, 9 months, 1 year, 13 years, 30 years

Saturday I attended the memorial service of my dear friend, Amy Brunson Schinzler. There were many tears, there were laughs, and there were sighs of relief.

Of course, everyone who knew Amy is devastated that she isn't here with us anymore. She made everyone who knew her smile, and she is one of the most inspirational people that I know. For a person who dealt with so much cancer, she came to know Christ in a deeper way. It had helped me to know Christ in a deeper way, and more grateful for trials I face. God's grace is shown in trials. He uses them to draw us to a deeper understanding of who He is, and how much He loves us.

I heard something at the memorial service that really hit my heart, and I have been pondering it since then. Bobby Pruitt said "To us 30 years doesn't seem long enough, but to Amy (now that she is in heaven) 30 years was too long."

That is so true. I think I struggle with eternity because I don't know what it will be like. I don't know what Heaven is really like because I haven't experienced it. But I believe that what the Bible says is true, and because of that I know that Heaven will be AMAZING! I know that I will know God in a deeper way than ever before because sin won't be hindering it.

So here is what God showed me through this. I had a miscarriage at 5 weeks...that seemed too short to me, but to that baby it was too long. We lost Owen at 18 weeks. To me that was too short, but to Owen it was too long. A friend of my mom's lost her baby at 9 months, to us that was too short, but to that baby it was too long. My best friend died in a car accident in 8th grade, to us it was too short, but to her it was too long.

You see, when you have accepted Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, your sins are forgiven. Your eternity is going to be greater than you could ever ask or imagine. And the time you have on this earth may seem to short, but once in Heaven we will all know our time on Earth was too long because Christ is so much greater.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

In Honor of Amy

Most of my teenage years I had heard about Amy Brunson. My dear friend, Kim Goble, had known Amy for sometime, and I would spend time with Kim and hear all about the adventures she had with Amy. The first time I met Amy was the summer of 2002. We moved into a house with 5 other girls for a summer youth internship at HCBC. Amy and I ended up being roommates and that is where our friendship started.

Amy always made me laugh. She was the one who always had a smile on her face, and was cheerful. We had girls hang out nights at her parents house, and I felt like I became part of her family. 

When I think of Amy I think of this verse:
"5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. " 2 Timothy 4:5-8

I have not known another person who lived life so fully, who glorified God no matter her circumstances, who showed others who Christ was through suffering, and worried that she hadn't shown Christ to enough people even in her last days.

God has given us each a different portion. He used Amy mightily over the last 10 years in my life to point me to Him when I was suffering. I haven't endured anything like cancer. And the things I have endured don't even seem to compare. But today I am left wondering if the trials I have endured have pointed other to Christ the way Amy did.

I am grateful that Jesus conquered death. I am grateful that Jesus died on the cross so that if you believe in Him when you die you will go to Heaven. I'm grateful that this is not the end for Amy, but the beginning. I'm grateful that her suffering has ended, and I will see her again. 

Amy will be missed. Several people have said that there is an Amy shaped hole left in our world and I agree. Life will be different without her. 

I'm grateful that this verse is true: 
"38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39 

Sweet friend you are missed, but God has been glorified in your life and your work is done. You finished the race. Can't wait to see you in Heaven.


Thursday, September 29, 2011


Haiti has been on our hearts for awhile now. We know and know of several people who have adopted from there. We know many of these people began the process before the earthquake. We know there are people out there who admire those people who adopted before the earthquake, and (I can't think of how to say this) think the rest of us who start the process now do it out of guilt.

I'm really not sure how to describe how they think. I've never had a conversation with them. I heard a guy on the radio say that it a family was admirable because they adopted prior to the earthquake. It made me feel like people who adopt after tragedies aren't admirable. They are. I think that God uses tragedies, like the earthquake in Haiti, to draw us to a need.

I'm going to be honest. God has been drawing my heart to adoption for awhile. Almost my whole life. I can't remember a time when I didn't want to adopt.  I always thought I would adopt from China. I wouldn't marry Paul unless he was willing to adopt. We've researched it. We took classes to adopt from foster care before we got pregnant. About 6 weeks after Julia was born we met a sweet, precious friend, that was adopting from Haiti, and I told Paul we needed to do it. We have since prayed about it, and talked about it, and God confirmed that we need to adopt from Haiti.

She's beautiful!
Now, I'm being honest, I've always wanted an easy adoption process. I really wanted to go the easy route. I want a child to just fall into my lap. Wouldn't that be nice? But recently I told a friend that we were going to adopt from Haiti, and she said "Don't you have to be 35?" Well, she is right...ideally. Not only do you have to be 35, but they want you to be married for 10 years and have NO BIOLOGICAL children. Can I just say we don't meet any of these requirements. Neither one of us are 35, we've been married for 7 years, and yes we have a biological child.

I've been researching adoption for many years now. And I always get bummed when I see the requirements. I get discouraged, and I decide "well, I just can't adopt from there I guess."

But God has been teaching me about His power lately. And the fact of the matter is, God is bigger than Haitian Law. (That was a shocking realization for me.) God doesn't care how hold we are, how long we've been married, or how many biological children we have. God has 2 children in Haiti for us. He has 2 children in Haiti that He is preparing to be part of our family. He is preparing our hearts and our home for 2 Haitian children. He's preparing Julia for 2 Haitian siblings. And if He is already doing all of this work, why would I not trust that He will remove the road blocks for us to bring our children home?

I've seen God move mountains for friends who are adopting. I'm watching friends go through many road blocks in the adoption process, but I believe that God has put those there to teach them (and me) to trust His timing. God is bigger than the laws and requirements of any country, and I believe that if He calls you to adopt from a country, He will bring you through the entire process in His timing. In His PERFECT timing.

So we are adopting from Haiti. We have been in contact with a couple of orphanages in Haiti. We've been referred to an adoption agency to start the process. And we are praying our children that are there.

Will you pray with us and for us through this process?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Life has been so crazy! I had no idea how busy I would be with a little one at home. I feel like I never have time to get anything done. We are attending MOPS, and doing childcare at church one morning a week.

We are working really hard to get her on a sleep schedule. Dr. says that she is a big girl now and can make it through the night without waking up. That can be really hard on me. I hate to hear her cry, but I am getting to the point that I sleep through it so if she does cry Daddy gets up with her. I feel kind of bad, but most nights she wakes up at 5 AM which means she needs to eat anyway. However, we have been staying up late the last few nights...between 1 AM and 2 AM. So 5 AM is really early.

She also got sick for the 1st time with Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. That made it really hard for me to let her cry at 2 AM because I knew she wasn't feeling well. We are slowly healing though and she has been a trooper through it.

So here are a few milestones:
-J is holding her own bottle (mostly) now.
-We can get her to laugh, and she has a super cute laugh. And some times it even sounds silly, and I laugh at her.
-She is sorta crawling. It started with her burying her face in the ground, sticking her her hiney in the air, and then inch worming.  Now she is actually army crawling and boy can she go! She's every where. I gotta keep an eye her!
-She is up to 16 lbs and 27 inches long.

She's a fun, gorgeous girl, and a blessing to this Mommy!  Love her!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sewing Projects!

Paul and I did some sewing projects as gifts for my baby shower hostesses. I should preface that Paul did a lot because I was 8 months pregnant and got tired...easily. I would wake up to him sewing and saying "I just finished purse number 3." It was AWESOME! I was bummed because I wanted to make it thinking it would be more special to them if I did, but come 8 months pregnant I'm sure they were excited that I remembered to give them a gift.

I do want to say that the WONDERFULLY talented and AMAZING Beth Carroll is the reason any of this got done. I have been following her blog for awhile now, and she made this so simple for me. I was able to go on her site find tutorials, print them out, buy materials and sew. Most of the tutorials are hers, and if you want good tutorials she is the girl for you. I have tried my hand at sewing one other time. It was my freshman year in high school. I was taking Home Economics, and I aced that class every 6 weeks except one. The one where I had to sew. I never did finish that pair of shorts...

Anyway, all of the fabrics I used I bought at JoAnn's and I couldn't find any reference to who designed them. However, I did find some I loved. Enjoy these pictures!

Proof I worked: (My Grandma was a tremendous help and allowed us to bring her sewing machine to our house!!)

  Proof Paul did A LOT of the work:


Phoebe Bag:
(The Black and White one we gave to my niece who was very excited to get a big girl purse!)

Diana Hobo:
(Similar Fabrics)

Krista Aprons:

I was also blessed enough to have some things made for me as gifts for Julia, and since I have been having so many friends that are having babies I decided to sew up some things as gifts for them. These were so easy, and turned out GREAT!!

Nursing Cover: (Top: Riley Blake's Sugar and Spice Blue Sugar Paisley Bottom: Same fabric from JoAnn's, but my friend had registered for a nursing cover in this pattern...PERFECT! )

Sling: Fabric is Riley Blake's Red Sugar and Spice-Sugar Main with Red Sugar Floral

Bibs and Burp Cloth: (I used scraps from the fabric I used to make the Sling and Nursing Cover)

WOW! That's A LOT of sewing for a girl who never finished those shorts in high school. Ms. Krueger would be proud of me!

Please visit Beth's website if you ever need inspiration or tutorials! She's AWESOME!!

Monday, June 27, 2011


Now that Julia is 3 1/2 months old we thought it was a good time to take our first trip to visit family and attend a friend's wedding. We thought it would be smooth sailing. We knew we would have to stop for feedings, but we expected that. Not this:

Friday: We left our house at 7:45 AM so we could go through Lakeway and drop off dinner for a friend who on bed rest. We expected my mom to be leaving Giddings at 9 AM so we would arrive in Waco around 11 AM and head to Ft. Worth to see my grandparents.My mom didn't leave until 10:36 AM. Julia slept from our house to Georgetown and then cried from Georgetown to Waco. We stopped to feed her and change her diaper, but she kept crying. We were in Waco before we knew it. We went to the mall to find a pair of dress pants for Paul since he's between sizes in his closet. We spent sometime at the mall, and then headed to meet my mom at the McDonald's just north of Waco. Julia enjoyed being out of the car and couldn't have been more upset when we put her back in. We headed to Ft. Worth, and had to stop 20 minutes outside of town to feed a screaming baby who didn't want a bottle. We finally got to my grandparents around 3 PM, and we thought all was right with the world. We had a fantastic visit, and left around 4:15 PM to head to Allen to stay with Paul's brother. Julia cried from Ft. Worth to Allen. I'm gonna blame it on the traffic. It was miserable, and frustrating. And we arrived at there house close to 7 PM. I HATE DALLAS TRAFFIC!

Saturday: We started off wonderfully. Jenny and I went to have some mommy time out, and get manis and pedis for her birthday. We got back, ate lunch and then we had to get ready to go to the wedding....In Arlington. The trip there was pretty uneventful, and the wedding was beautiful. Julia did great at the wedding and through the reception. We left around 6:40 PM, and expected an easy drive back to Allen. Guess who forgot to check what was going on in Arlington that day...US! There was a Ranger game and we got stuck in game traffic. We finally got back after 8 PM, and were able to eat. We missed the meal at the wedding because we needed to go, and our table hadn't been called to go through the buffet yet. We did get Torchy's Tacos!

Sunday: We enjoyed just hanging around the house and playing with the kiddos. We had fajitas for lunch and they were delicious. Before we were able to eat I mentioned that I was so hungry I was nauseous. I was eating and I still felt hungry. I had a banana and apple before we left. I was still hungry. I thought. We got stuck in traffic in downtown Dallas because of a wreck and I had to go to the bathroom. The longer it took us to find a place to stop...the more I noticed I was nauseous. We spent 45 minutes at a Starbucks as I ran back and forth to the bathroom. Nothing happened. I thought I was going to be fine, but we got south of Dallas to stop for gas and I just knew I was going to be sick. I went to the bathroom and it was locked. I banged on the door, and no one responded. The lady inside said it was unlocked. I lost it. I turned around, found a bush and threw up. We went to the McDonald's next door where that continued. We had to stop in Carl's Corner for yet another bathroom break. I was miserable. We bought some Pepto Bismol and I took it. It worked wonderfully. Then I found out that since I'm nursing I'm not supposed to take it. I was gonna have to pump and dump and Julia was getting bottles the rest of the night. All of that combined with drivers that weren't paying attention or driving 10 miles under the speed limit in the left lane made for a 6 hour trip home.

On top of that we left my pillow. ARGH!

I'm not sure when we will travel again, but it can't be much worse than this. I'm praying we learn how to travel with a little one. This was miserable...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Post Partum

The past few weeks I've been struggling with anxiety, loneliness, frustration, and fear. I'm not sure why, and I'm wondering if some post partum depression is settling in.

I'm not sure what it feels like and how I'm supposed to know if that's what it is. All I know is that I feel like I've changed.

I know part of what I'm feeling is based on so much that is unknown. We don't know where Paul is going to be working or where Julia will go to daycare. So many of the things we thought we had mapped out have fallen through since she was born. Not the best timing.

If you know me at all, you know that I like to have things planned out. I feel settled and comfortable when that is how things are. This morning I was standing in the shower and I just had to admit that I don't trust God right now. It's so easy for me to say that's what I should do, but I don't. I don't trust that He will give Paul a job, find childcare for Julia, take care of our health insurance, etc. I worry.

Yesterday morning the sermon at church was about Jacob trusting that God would take him back to the land of his father. God made a promise to Jacob to be with him even when things were hard, and God did. But for some reason I find it hard to believe God's promises when I'm going through hard times. Why?

I'm not sure where I'm going with this. I don't know if post-partum depression has begun to sink in or if I'm just overwhelmed by all of the uncertainties in our lives right now, but your prayers are appreciated. Please pray for wisdom, and for clarity in how God is moving us right now.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

Today was my first Mother's Day and it was absolutely wonderful!!

It began with a surprise visit from Paul's brother, wife, and kids. They brought dinner, and meals for several days. I'm so excited! They are taking such good care of us.

I then was given an infant sling made by my dear sweet husband, and lots of snuggles from my sweet daughter. We had lunch with my grandparents, and took flowers to my mom's mom's grave, and my aunt's grave...AFTER wandering around in 98 degree heat for an hour looking for it. It was a sweet time for my mom, and I loved being able to do that for her.

Thank you Paul for making today so wonderful, and for planning a surprise visit from family. Today was very special for me. And thanks for our daughter!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A few thoughts...

Upon hearing the news that the U.S. had successfully completed an operation that led to the demise of Osama bin Laden, I breathed a sigh of relief. All that we had worked for the past 10 years was over. We had avenged the lives that were taken on September 11, 2001. And then a wide array of emotions set in.

I'm not excited about his death.

I'm not celebrating.

I'm not devastated.

I'm not really even sad.

But I'm not relieved.

I've been trying to figure out how I feel, what I think, and what is right. I don't even know what right means right now.

I've been reading blog posts, tweets, and facebook statuses from people who are excited, proud, overjoyed, but also those who realize their brokenness and need for a Savior.

I have some thoughts for all of them. Hopefully, this will come across compassionate.

I do believe, as Christians, that the death of someone so evil should be a reality check for us. It should be a time that we realize that we are just as broken and evil without Christ. But as Christians we are no longer that evil. Our debt has been paid. We are redeemed, and we are no longer seen by God as evil.

I think, as Christians, we should be rejoicing that we have been chosen by God to be redeemed. This should be a time when we see how evil we once were, and rejoice that we have been cleansed by Jesus' blood.

However, bin Laden had rejected Christ. God allowed his heart to be hardened, and because of that he will not receive God's grace. He only gets God's justice.

I understand not wanting to celebrate when someone receives God's justice and eternity separated from Him. Maybe that's why I'm not celebrating his death, but I am celebrating my life in Christ.

But I also understand, that those who lost loved ones over the past 10 years are celebrating because justice has been served. I don't think anyone wants to experience justice, but I do think when someone as evil as bin Laden has killed so many without remorse, those left behind have closure in his death.

I am proud. I'm proud to live in a free country. A country that does fight for safety. A country where so many men and women CHOOSE to sacrifice their lives to keep the rest of us safe. I'm honored to live among these men and women.

I don't know how else to express my heart and my thoughts. I don't feel like I can fall on either side of the debate. I can't rejoice in bin Laden's death, but I also don't believe that his life deserved grace. He rejected grace. And all who reject grace receive justice.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


My life has been forever changed by the precious girl that is snoozing away as I write this. She gives the best snuggles, the sweetest smiles, and has the stinkiest gas.

Last week was rough for me. I'm not quite sure why. I think part of it was I realized how lonely it is to be a stay at home mom. I want nothing more than to do this forever, but last Tuesday was rough for me.

As we were getting ready for Bible Study I was so frustrated by how flabby my arms were that I just wanted to punch something. I honestly didn't want to go because I started thinking of how thin all of the girls are in our group and I became very self conscious. I've been cleared to exercise for 3 weeks now and I tried to start running, but I have to do it either before Paul leaves or after he gets home because of our stroller. On top of that the weather has been so horrendous that it's really too hot to be out in the middle of the day with a baby, and the pollen is killing me. I can't take munchkin to a gym because she has to be at least 8 weeks old, and frankly I'm frustrated by my lack of options. Not only am I frustrated but I am jealous that Paul gets his exercise everyday by riding his bike to and from work. He doesn't have to worry about whether or not he can take the baby he just gets to go.

On top of that I realized that I don't have many people to talk to during the day because most of my friends are at work. My friends who are moms and are at home are struggling with getting out of the house too. It's hard to decide to do it when you know your little one needs to be fed and needs a nap. You don't want to miss any of that, and so you decide to stay in and not reach out. Then you end up realizing that you just want to scream at your poor husband because he is out socializing and you are left to talk to this tiny thing that can't talk back. There is no interaction. And loneliness sets in.

We ended up at small group and our friends who had their baby 3 weeks after us, and we spent the evening talking about our struggles and getting wisdom from our friends who have been parents a little longer than us. I was so overwhelmed that I wasn't sure where to start with my feelings, and the more I talked the more I cried, and the more I realized that I'm trying to avoid something. Owen.

I didn't realize that missed him as much as I do. I didn't realize that even though my arms and life are full with this one sweet little girl that I still ache for my precious son.

I know my life would be completely different and more chaotic right now, but I dream of that chaos. I desperately desire that chaos because that means my son would be here, and I wouldn't be missing him.

My sweet angel girl is so precious to me, and I love being her mama. She makes me smile, and manages to do something everyday to remind that the blowouts and screaming are worth it.

I never knew that motherhood would be this rough. I never knew that I would be missing my son while holding my daughter. I also never knew that motherhood would be this joyful.

This precious girl has changed my life.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Now that I'm a mother...

Now that I'm a mother, I see things differently...

Now that I'm a mother, my heart rejoices differently...

Now that I'm a mother, my heart hurts differently...

Now that I'm a mother, I get angry differently...

Human Trafficking.

Two words I have read over and over again throughout the past months. My sister has blogged about it. She has run to raise money to help fight it. I didn't get it. My friends have blogged about it, tweeted about it, called other to action about it...I didn't get it.

Two and half weeks ago I became a mother. I became a mother to a daughter who has a name. A daughter who means more to me than I ever expected. A daughter whom I love more than life itself. A life I can not imagine selling to someone else in order for me to be able to eat.

I'll be honest, I didn't ever pay much attention to what human trafficking was all about. I read the words and heard about these organizations that are fighting it, but I didn't get it. Then today I read a blog written by someone who has a t-shirt that simple states "she has a name". It was about why she likes this shirt and then it tells this story:
The story behind “she has a name”: There was a john (male paying for sex), a pimp, and a prostitute. The john asked the pimp what the girl’s name was. The pimp said, “She doesn’t have a name. She’s whoever you want her to be.”

These words broke my heart.

They broke my heart because I spent years thinking of the name I would choose for my daughter. Her name needed to have meaning. It needed to be special because she is special. Ultimately, her name was chosen because of my mom, grandmother, friend, Paul's grandmother, and Ruth from the Bible. Her name means something to me, her mother.

The thought of someone saying that who she is isn't important makes me crazy. She is important to me. Her name means something to me. Her life means something to me.

And the lives of these girls who are being trafficked all over the world mean something to someone. They are girls with names that were chosen just for them and they need to be remembered. They need to be valued.

Now that I'm a mother I see the urgency to spread information about what human trafficking is, who it effects and how to help. Because if it were my daughter I would be praying for someone to help Julia.

Here's some organizations leading the war against human trafficking:

How can you help?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Julia Ruth

Julia Ruth was born March 11, 2011 at 7:46 AM. She was 19 inches long and weighed 6 lbs. 7 oz. She is absolutely beautiful!

We had a scheduled c-section and everything went very smoothly. Dr. Seeker even said that it was good that we did the c-section earlier than he wanted because her placenta was very calcified. Basically, her placenta was getting to the stage that it wouldn't be able to support her. It was doing exactly what our maternal fetal medicine doctor thought it was going to.

I will say this...morphine in your spine is CRAZY!! I felt very loopy, and the only thing I could think when I saw her was how beautiful she was. I am still amazed that God has blessed me with her.

Paul is a great daddy too! He is so patient and supportive. He tells me how good I'm doing at 2 AM when she is crying and I can't get her to latch. (We are getting better at nursing).

She squeaks in her sleep which is absolutely adorable. I love when I am holding her and she just starts smiling in her sleep. I love how she snuggles. She is such a blessing.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Baby day!!

Tomorrow is baby day! I'm so excited that I think I've worn myself out. I have so much to get done before we go to the hospital that I can't focus! I really just want to sleep! I feel like I have been tired for 9 months!

Here's the plan for tomorrow:
We will leave our house between 4:15am and 4:30am to get to the hospital by 5am. At 5am we will go into to get prepped for surgery and all of the fun things that go along with that. At 7am the c-section will begin. A few minutes later, the c-section will be over and our sweet baby girl will be here!

Then our families will get to come meet her, and hopefully we will be able to google chat with Uncle Josh and hopefully Aunt Melissa at some point so that they can meet their new niece.

I can't believe that after all of this waiting Julia Ruth will finally be here! I know that tomorrow will be mixed with overwhelming joy and sadness since Owen won't be with us. I love that little boy so much! I can't imagine what it will be like when we get to Heaven.

I do hope that we will be able to find a way to remember him, and talk to her about him with out making it all about him but about her as well. I want tomorrow to be an exciting day for her and all about her. After all it is her birthday!

I will post some pictures when I get a chance. I still haven't figured out how to do it from my Mac, but I hope that changes soon!

We'll keep you posted!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

All of the sudden...

This pregnancy, which seemed nearly impossible to happen a year ago, is coming to an end.

This pregnancy, which had many shocking moments, times of grief, excitement, and overwhelming joy is ending NEXT week!!

Our Maternal Fetal Medicine Doctor, Dr. DeStefano, told us after we lost Owen that we would need to deliver between 37-38 weeks. Dr. Seeker wanted to wait until closer to 38 weeks. He thinks we can make it to 39 weeks, but it isn't his decision. He has to defer to Dr. DeStefano who has more schooling and experience in bringing high risk babies into the world. She said yesterday she's not budging...this baby girl needs to come between 37-38 weeks.

Dr. Seeker said if she didn't think we should wait he thinks March 10 or March 11 is a when we should induce or do a c-section. WHAT?!? I wasn't prepared for that. I thought for sure I had until March 16th. Nope...this baby is coming next week. For sure!

We will find out more today after we see Dr. Seeker. We will decide c-section or induction, we will decide on a date and time, and then Paul and I will frantically figure out all we need to do in order to bring this baby home and be ready for her. So many things left to do!

Last week, I was completely terrified about losing 6 days to prepare. 6 days where I could spend some time either sleeping or just hanging out with my husband. This morning I found myself talking to her, and asking her if she was ready to be out in this world. She began squirming like I have never felt before. I think she is ready for lots of snuggles.

I am ready to hold this baby girl that I have prayed for for so long. I am ready to kiss her, feed her, wake up 30 times a night to take care of her. I'm ready to bring her home, and watch her grow. I'm ready to see God's plan for her life play out. I'm ready to learn more about who God is through this little life.

I don't know why God chose to leave her and take Owen, but I know that God's plan for Owen's life only included him being with us in the womb for 18 weeks. I know that God's plan for Julia's life includes more than we can imagine. I can't wait to see what He is going to do.

This little girl is more precious than I could have ever really understood before her life was conceived. And as long as it felt like this pregnancy was going to last..

All of the sudden...

It's OVER....

And we get to bring our little girl home...

Monday, January 17, 2011


I'm having a hard day today. It seems like that happens when I don't have to work. Thanksgiving Break and Christmas Break were hard. I feel like these days I'm at home I tend think about Owen A LOT! I miss him. I cry over him. My heart aches for him. I'm still questioning why he had to go. I'm asking Jesus why Owen didn't get to stay here. Why I have to hurt. Why I have to suffer. Why?

Last night at church the sermon was on suffering. I cried. I cried because as Jeff Mangum spoke I could identify with where he is right now. The anxiety, the fear, the depression. The desire to retreat from community and just be alone.

I have to say I don't understand suffering. I don't understand why God allows it. I don't understand the purpose of it. But last night Jeff said something that really spoke to me. In 2 Corinthians 12 Paul is talking about the thorn in his side. That he asked God to take it away and God said no. Then Jeff said these words (which are a paraphrase, but spoke to me) God said to Paul "I do not take joy in watching you suffer, but I know you heart better than you do. If you had ease of life you would live according to your own desires. Because of suffering you run to Me, cling to Me."

I do know that when things are good in my life I tend to rely on myself. I don't make reading my Bible and prayer a priority, and I take credit for my ease of life. When I am suffering I cry out to God, I sit in His presence seeking His comfort, I scour through scripture looking for God's promises.

I'm not gonna lie...I still question why I have to experience this pain. The pain of losing my son. The pain of hope leaving. The pain of raising a daughter without her brother. I wonder why God allowed Owen to exist in my womb for 18 weeks only to take him away. One night I realized that Owen had to be conceived to be in Heaven. It was important to God that Owen was conceived. It doesn't make my heart hurt less, but it reminds me that Owen was special to God.

Last night as we sang some old hymns that talked about what it was going to be like to see Jesus, I wondered if Owen was overwhelmed with joy to see Jesus' face. I wondered if Owen felt at peace seeing Him. I wondered if Owen immediately began to worship. I wonder if Owen felt complete. If he felt an incredible, overwhelming, love that can't be described.

I know God is good and does good. I know that He is a God of grace. I know that after having suffered for a little while my God of all Grace, who has called me to His eternal glory, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish me (1 Peter 5:10). But I wonder if I'm ever going to stop asking why, and stop hurting.

It amazes me that Owen's short life was able to draw me closer to my Savior. Maybe it is more of a push, but his life meant something.His life had a purpose. I desperately want Julia to know how powerful God is, and that He is good. That He will use what He needs to use to draw her closer to Himself.

It doesn't necessarily take away the pain, the questions or the tears, but it gives me a quiet place to rest until God is ready to show me why.

I heard this song by Steven Curtis Chapman recently and I felt like he wrote it about how I felt when I couldn't find the words. These words describe how I feel. And they remind me God is in Control!

Our God is in Control

This is not how it should be
This is not how it could be
This is how it is
And our God is in control

This is not how it will be
When we finally will see
We'll see with our own eyes
He was always in control

And we'll sing holy, holy, holy is our God
And we will finally really understand what it means
So we'll sing holy, holy, holy is our God
While we're waiting for that day

This is not where we planned to be
When we started this journey
But this is where we are
And our God is in control

Though this first taste is bitter
There will be sweetness forever
When we finally taste and see
That our God is in control

And we'll sing holy, holy, holy is our God
And we will finally really understand what it means
So we'll sing holy, holy, holy is our God
While we're waiting for that day

We're waiting for that day
We'll keep on waiting for that day
And we will rise
Our God is in control

(Holy, holy, holy) x2

Our God is in control

(Holy, holy, holy)

Our God is in control

(Holy, holy, holy)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Arggh...anxiety, worry, and fear...OH MY!

The last two months have been marked by anxiety, worry, and fear for me. I think a lot of people would say that it makes sense since we lost a baby, but for me it seems to go a whole lot deeper than that.

For me, it seems like I'm not trusting God. That I'm not trusting in WHO GOD IS.

My mom suggested a Bible Reading Plan that plan application on my phone that deals with grief. It is 5 days long, and I started last night just to see what it was all about.

So far I have read the following passages:

Genesis 23:1-20-Abraham loses Sarah, and he finds a place to bury her and remember her.
Genesis 37-Joseph's brothers tell their father Joseph was killed, and Jacob says he will mourn until he goes to Sheol to see Joseph.
Genesis 42-Joseph's brothers go to Egypt for food, and Joseph asks them to leave Simeon and bring back Benjamin. The brothers go home and tell Jacob the request, but Jacob refuses to send Benjamin because he has now lost 2 sons and doesn't want to lose a 3rd.
Ruth 1:1-21-Naomi loses her husband and sons in war. Naomi tells her daughters in law to go back to their mothers' houses. Orpah goes but Ruth will not go. She returns to Bethlehem and she tells them to call her Mara because the Almighty has made her life bitter, the Lord has afflicted her and brought misfortune upon her.
2 Samuel 12-David loses the son he conceived with Bathsheba while Uriah was at war. David fasts praying for God will be gracious and allow his son to live. David stops fasting when his son dies because he knows that his son will not return to him, but one day he will go to his son.
2 Samuel 18-David grieves the loss of his son Absalom, and says that he would have died in his place.
Job 1:6-22-Satan brings affliction upon Job because he believes that Job will not be faithful to God if he does not have all of the blessing that have been bestowed upon him. However, Job tears his clothes and worships God.
Psalm 23:1-6-David writes a psalm to God praising God for who He is and the peace He gives us.
Psalm 42:1-11-The psalmist writes how his soul longs for the Lord, and even though his soul is cast down he will praise the Lord.

And here is what I have learned:
No one is spared from mourning and grief. We all have to deal with it. It's normal to feel like God has brought this misfortune to you. However, it is important to realize that even though He allows misfortune He doesn't cause misfortune. Our souls long for Him, and need Him to get through grief. And it is important to praise heals the heart.