Monday, December 16, 2013


Every so often a picture/quote along the lines of this shows up on my news feed...

 I'd be lying if I said it didn't sometimes cut at my heart. I'd also be lying if I said I wouldn't change anything or do anything different the 8 short months we had sweet Nate in our lives. If I knew I'd only have him for such a short time, sure I would've held and kissed and cuddled him even more.

Many of you know that we practice a parent lead schedule in our family. Sleep train from a fairly early age and don't co-sleep. I bring this up because sometimes there is crying involved. Not neglectful, emotionless (on the parent's part) hours of crying. More like intentional minutes here and there. Needless to say the quote stated above does bring Nate's sweet face to mind and a pain of guilt.

But when I really sit down and think about why we choose to parent the way we do, and if there are things we should change ( there are always things that we adjust and tweak as we parent each very different child and age), I also think about the fact that our family was pretty well rested most of Nate's life, which means when I'm rested I have better control of my emotions and feel as though I can function as a mom better and have more energy to play. I think about the very sweet relationship that Ella and Nate had sharing a room. She loves her brother so much. He was a very good listener to all that she had to say as they fell asleep together. Their relationship was so special and she was such a great big sister to Nate. Watching a video of Nate has brought her to tears recently. Their bond was deep and special. I also know that Phil and I having our room and bed to ourselves is one facet, of many, that keeps our marriage strong, our communication open and healthy.

I have not done extensive research or gone to school. But I can tell you. I have not seen any of my kids 'shut down emotionally', nor have I seen any of my friend's babies and children do the same. I know that focusing on caring and loving for them during awake and play time bonds our relationship. I also know that teaching them to self sooth, does not hurt our relationship. *

I bring all this up to say, sure hearing your baby cry is in no way fun. Yet I wouldn't change the fact that I am proud of the mom I was and am to my kids and thankful for the refreshing sleep I had, I wouldn't change anything about the sweet and special bond Ella and Nate had, that, I believe, sharing a room helped create. I also know that the fact that Phil and I work hard to keep our relationship strong and healthy, helped us draw even closer during this last year, instead of tear us apart, which could have been so easy to do. I wouldn't change any of that.

Phil and I know that we aren't even close to being 'perfect parents' we mess up. We try things that don't work, we sometimes disagree on how something should be handled and have to work through many things, but we also truly seek God. We ask Him for wisdom to parent our kids, we watch other families, with young kids and grown ones, and talk to them about what they are doing or have done.
This parenting journey will continue to take on different shapes, we will mess up. a lot. But as I look back, I really don't have regrets. We were working on raising Nate to know that he is loved so dearly by us, to be a lover of Jesus, to have a special place in our family, and hopefully one day an adult that would contribute so society.  We just didn't know that it would only be such a short stay. I cherish each and every memory that I have.

*I am fully aware that not everyone agrees with me.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Here comes baby number THREE!!

*This is a little late, seeing that baby was born in August and I'm posting in December... but I wanted to go in chronological order with my thoughts...

Ella had me convinced. Since the moment that we told Ella that she was going to be a big sister again she was confidant that it would be a girl. Sara. end of story. We like to wait until baby arrives to find out the gender. The first two times it was so much fun. We told Ella that we didn't know. It COULD be a brother, but we also didn't push the subject one way or another. She talked about 'Sara' so much that near the end I would catch myself referring to baby as, her, or even 'Sara'.

People would ask what I thought, or which gender I would prefer. I had a girl, have had a boy.... I had feelings about either, but mostly said, 'I'm so glad I don't get to pick.'

You see, having a girl seemed a lot easier. Ella really wanted a sister. They would have so much fun together. I felt like it would be a 'fresh start'. I was looking forward to having a baby in the house again, but it would look different than before if it was a girl, different clothes. Good memories with all Ella's baby clothes. It would give time to heal such deep wounds. Then we could have a boy. Phil, even though he said he was ok with either, really, had a fear that he wouldn't have a son again... We both had so many emotions and had no idea what it would be like the day baby came.

We had lots of fun enjoying our last weeks. Crazy to think we would be a family of four again. Ella did so good being a big sister and adjusting the first time around. I just kept praying it would be the same.
We planned for our 2nd home birth. Had everything in place. I joked that I'd like an afternoon baby: start labor after a good nights sleep and be done around 2pm. My due date came and went, like I had expected. But as I stared nearing the 2 weeks over mark I started having flashbacks to Ella's birth... 19 days over and ending up getting induced.
Monday the 12th (12 days over) I went to Zumba with some friends
I had a few contractions. But I had been having them for weeks. I went to bed, got a good nights sleep and woke up around 5:30 am knowing that I was in labor!! Mom took Ella out of the house and we got the tub set up. Today was the day!
6:05pm. (a little later that I had 'hoped' ;) )
The first picture is just after baby is born. We don't know gender yet


So many emotions were going through my head. I was a little shocked. I think deep down I had really thought it would be a girl. 'A boy, again. Will this feel like I'm reliving Nate? Ella, what will Ella think? She so wanted a sister...'

Meeting her brother. 
She was so excited. I could hear her behind the door. Squealing. My heart was breaking. "I should've pushed more that there was just as much of a chance that this could be a brother." No going back now. She came in so excited. She wasn't very thrilled to find out it was a brother. Her whole happy attitude changed. She was disinterested. That was so hard to watch. She loved being a big sister to Nate. I just hoped that she would come around and love being a big sister to Evan.

Oh, we loved on Evan. But there were so many things that were so hard. Nursing was hard. He was fussier than the last. And really. Even though Nate was such an easy baby in reality, poor Evan just wasn't. I hated that. It was a rough first few weeks. It took me so much longer to bond. So many tears. So many thoughts in my head trying to process this new life I wanted to love. So many prayers. 
I took every opportunity to snuggle and love on him. To build our bond. He would look at me and seem to say, " Do you love me for me, Evan, Not Nate, not with fear of losing me or comparing me?" That was hard. I am so thankful for wise counsel and a loving God. I learned a lot about myself in those first weeks.

Ella, she wasn't so sure of her brother at first. But after some time, some questions being answered, like, "when is Evan leaving?" (in reference to Nate going to heaven) These are stinking hard questions to answer.
Her love for him just keeps growing. It melts my heart. I love seeing her love on him.

It's a boy. I thank Jesus for every day we have breath. Some days are so full of joy. Some have much more sorrow. Some days feel like I'm going to be living these next 8 months with a bit of deja vu. Above all else. The good days and and bad. I trust that Jesus loves me. He has 'fearfully and wonderfully made each of our kids' (Psalms 139:14)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

So,  most of you may be surprised to hear that I'm really not that good at planning parties, starting traditions and doing all those fun extras for all the little holidays. Don't get me wrong. I love having friends over, I love decorating. But I'm not very motivated to to either for a 'special' occasion. I can rise to the occasion, but I prefer not to. It may be because I'm a procrastinator. I generally know about birthday parties, holidays, and weddings in advance... but most often I'll be getting the present the day of, on the way... or arrive and think, 'SHOOT!! I forgot a card!!' But.... this Father's Day was different. For some odd reason I planned ahead. Bought and made presents, taught Ella how to write 'dad' for the card and planned a special meal. All that to say. We had a wonderful day and I thought I'd share some of it with you. It probably wont be like that next year. :)

'Mad Libs' card from Ella

Fun little 'I love you to pieces' craft

I made this with Ella's hand print. Copies of ones from when Nate died, and left a spot for this new little baby's feet prints

Yes!! He 'feels like a real dad getting tools!'

kisses all around

Books from my mom

 Now Ella takes a few pictures

After presents, lunch, ice cream, playing, resting, hanging shelves (with the new drill), Sweet Potato Burgers for dinner. YUM!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

It is well with my soul....

Today's sermon was good. The title was 'Wisdom vs. Lies'. There were a few things that were said that hit close to home. Things that Phil and I have talked about as we've gone through this journey of having our faith and trust in God challenged more then any other time in our life. Why we do the things we do. Why we make choices not to do other things. Standards we have set in our life. It has been something that has been challenging to me my whole life. I've been excluded from plenty. At times it hurt, other times I didn't care. But back to the sermon.....

Our pastor talked about the peace and happiness that only God can give and how it is manifested in people's lives. Jesus is that source, and it's different that what the world can offer. It reaches much deeper and fills much fuller. Now that doesn't mean life wont have troubles. That there wont be great pain. He shared a story I've known for quite some time. A story about Horatio Spafford, the guy who wrote the song, It Is Well With My Soul. (if you don't know the story look here and here). It is a story of great loss, yet great strength and trust in God. Now, we as believers have many crossroads. Like we were reminded today, satan wants to steal away the peace and happiness and plant lies in our hearts. He tries to offer us things that the world says will make us happy. Here's where wisdom comes in to play. If we as followers of Christ are seeking His face, by reading the Bible, and searching out the wisdom that it has to offer we will be less likely swayed by satan's lies. The problem is (quoted from the sermon notes) that all too often we view God's commands (especially against sin) as a burden and as something that ruins our fun. While the solution is, seeing wisdom as our best friend - knowing that God's commands are all about his glory and our thriving.

Proverbs 3:13-18 Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold...her ways are pleasant ways and her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who embrace her, those who lay hold of her will be blessed.

Now here's the thing. I see this as so true in my life. Our circumstances suck. People have said we are handling it well. We have our moments. We're human. But in general, our trust in God has not wavered  Phil and I are closer than ever. Even while grieving differently. We cry. We laugh. We get out of bed in the morning. I don't feel we have turned to anything unwise as a crutch during this time. It doesn't mean that we need to let our guard down, that it's smooth sailing ahead. But what I do see it meaning is, that all the wisdom that we have brought into our life, choices that we make, things we decide, straight from the Bible have in a sense, have 'paid off'. In a time where more turmoil  and trouble could easily come, we have a solid foundation/rock, that we are standing on.

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed. Perplexed, but not in despair. Persecuted, but not abandoned. Struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Choosing to follow God's wisdom isn't always easy, and it isn't often the most popular. Saying 'no' is hard. But the foundation that it builds far outweighs those things.

That being said. I have to keep another area in my life in check. Pride. It can be quite the pitfall also. And that, is being very honest.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sub Conscience.

While things all around me may be exciting and enjoyable, while I sometimes may feel overbooked, generally I can push on, grab hold of my ultimate strength, Jesus. Today was hard, while out jeeping my heart just hurt. I missed my boy, my sweet baby, I thought of his birth, and the horror of finding him. The tears came. I pushed them away as best I could and pressed on. Then at our Good Friday service I once again had my heart and thoughts turn to him. I miss him so much, I hurt so bad, and nothing really can change that. Tears came once again, I did my best to not show it. I thought of all kinds of non emotional, non mother like things... like how I could re-decorate rooms in our house. It only worked temporarily. Then as I was messing around on my phone I realized today is March 29th, sweet Nate would be 13 months today, 13 months ago I gave birth to the most perfect healthy beautiful baby boy. Little did I know my heart would be ripped out and torn apart. Although I am so thankful that I know the ultimate Healer and Comforter, I'm amazed at how our sub conscience works, it knows without being 'told' that today was a special day.
Also as I sat, and tried not to look around, I still saw others around me with their own painful stories, per say. While I may feel like mine is the biggest, hardest, worst etc. so many other people have their own heartache. This also reminded me that this world is flawed, while some choices have cause and effect, some are completely out of our control. There are no guaranties. I can feel myself start to slip into worry, my eyes have been opened to a whole new world of worry. The reality is, i need to take every thought captive (this is hard) and I turn to my Savior, who gave up his only son, suffered and died, so that we, I, could live,  and live in peace. Maybe not earthly peace, but peace that is deep inside. That I have a hope and a future. So, while I can have super hard, sucky days, miss my son so much I can barely breath, kiss my sweet girl, feel my tiny wiggling unborn child and be held by my amazing husband, I also can hope and trust with full confidence that Jesus is King. He loves me so much that He died for me and all my sins. So thankful for forgiveness.
One more thing. I also received a text from a friend that she was praying for me today. Wow. God sure knows when I need it. Thank you friends for all your prayers.

(*ok,blogger people, i copied and pasted this from my email. how do I get rid of the 'highlight'? It's kinda annoying.)

Sunday, January 20, 2013


The Sunday after Nate died, while at church and singing this song, Beauty of the Cross, by Jonny Diaz.

                                                            "Beauty Of The Cross"

At the cross I find the beauty of Your matchless grace
At the cross I see a King who died to take my place
It's the moment that You made me clean and pardoned my soul
Amazing grace that I would be allowed unto Your throne
Not by my own will but solely by Your will alone
I'm unworthy of this love you have shown to me
I see my desperate need

The beauty of the cross is that there's One who has redeemed my soul
Beauty of the cross is that I'm finally free and letting go
Beauty of the cross is that Your grace has found me just as I am

Not by my own works that I may boast or I may come
But simply through your Son the sinless and Exalted One
Only through the cross that I'm made clean to draw near to you
Saved so that you would receive all glory due Your name
Everlasting God from age to age you never change
A true love story remains for all eternity
That all the world would see

My sinful soul could only be
Redeemed by the blood of a sinless King
So you came to the world that You had made
Conquered sin on the cross and You rose from the grave

That's the beauty of the cross

Through tears and sorrow, I came to this realization that when I get to heaven it's not going to be all about seeing Nate. That's not going to be the greatest joy, yes, I'm sure seeing him again will be wonderful. But that's not really the point. We were created to love God. Once you've come to have a saving knowledge of Jesus, while I don't fully grasp what heaven will be like, I do know through reading the Bible, that it's about worshiping Him. There have been times in my life that I looked at that and thought it could be incredibly boring, bowing down and singing for eternity, no longer being married...will we care about having cute hair and clothes? I'm not a sports gal, but I know I've heard Phil talk about hockey....

The point I'm trying to make is this, while we may do other things besides worship our Creator, the great thing about heaven is that we GET to. That is what we were created to do. Sometimes it is super hard to grasp. But while singing this song it reminded me how much Jesus loves us and what heaven is all about. We will be overjoyed to see loved ones, but that will not be the main, great thing.

My mom taught Ella this song, I can only pray that she will continue to grow to love Jesus and fully understand his love for her.