Thursday, December 27, 2012

Another Year Gone

     And yet again, another year is coming to an end.  I'm not sure why it feels as if life gets faster each year, do I fill my days with too much and not take the time to stop and think about today?  I know one of my greatest failures has been not focusing on the blessings of today but rather focusing on "what is coming next."  When I was in high school I LONGED to be in college, when I was in college I DREAMED of getting engaged, and when Ferrari and I got married all I could IMAGINE was life with a baby.  
     You know the saying, "Don't let life pass you by."  I never really took the time to think about it until I realized life WAS passing me by and without my permission!  I was throwing away precious days thinking about what I wanted to fill my life with instead of appreciating what God had given me.  I would focus on the suffering instead of the blessings.  My pastor mentioned this week to run through the valley of the shadow of death, don't camp out there.  Yes, it is important to walk through the valley sometimes, it shapes us in to the people God wants us to become.  However, God never intends for us to set up camp there!
     I read a devotional this morning talking about this very topic.  I LOVE how the author asked, "Are the best years of your life slipping away while you suffer enforced monotony?  Are you afflicted with opposition, misunderstandings, and the scorn of others?  Do your afflictions seem as thick as the undergrowth confronting someone hiking through a jungle? Then take heart!  Your time is not wasted, for God is simply putting you through His iron regimen.  Your iron crown of suffering precedes your golden crown of glory, and iron is entering your soul to make it strong and brave." F. B. Meyer
    Did you let another year slip away, focused on what remains just outside of your reach?  The good news is you can change TODAY, 2013 can be YOUR year!  Stop focusing on the monotony of your suffering, pack up your things and get out of the valley of the shadow of death.  God has great plans in store for you!  A wise friend once mentioned to me, "We go through what we go through, to help others go through, what we went through."  Look for opportunities to give your suffering meaning and purpose, it will help you as well as others.
     Lastly, enjoy TODAY, for today will never come again!  You can never undo it or redo it, so DO IT with a purpose and a plan!  Make every moment meaningful, because you never know what God has in store for you TOMORROW.  

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Not mine, but Yours.

     As sinful humans, there are a lot of things in life that we have a difficult time understanding.  If we don't entirely understand it, that makes it incredibly difficult for us to accept and live life by it.  I'm referring to the different things on this earth that are not really ours, but God's.
     I was discussing with someone very close to me, the value and stronghold money can have on our lives.  We can get so wrapped up in the thought that every penny WE have earned, is OURS.  Who elses' would it be, we worked for it?  Well, as hard as it is to swallow, every penny belongs to God.       This notion is extremely easy for me to understand when it comes to money; however, it's not so easy for me to understand when I apply that same reasoning to my children in heaven.  
     I was expressing to Ferrari, how I feel like the twins were given to me and taken away.  It is SO extremely painful to have had them for such a short amount of time.  I felt robbed!  Why do other mothers get to see their children grow up and live full lives.  Why not me?  Why wouldn't God let me have that with my twins.  I was SO excited to raise twins.  I wanted to dress them alike.  I was eager to see the connection they would have with each other as they grew up.  Would they be best friends and always have each other's back at school?  How similar would they look, even if they weren't identical?  
     I'm so glad I married such a wise man, because he explained to me that I may have felt that way, but the twins were God's children all along.  He only allowed me to be their Mommy on earth for as long as He intended me to be.  It wasn't anything I did or didn't do, it wasn't my fault, or my husband's fault.  He wanted His children home with Him for reasons I won't completely understand on this side of Heaven.  So even though I may feel robbed of time with them, it's not right to completely feel that way over something that wasn't entirely mine to begin with.  I didn't earn the right to be their mother, it was a gift from God.  I know this is my HUGE area of struggle right now, and I know for other's it may be other things in life.  Every dollar we have to our name, every name brand pair of jeans or designer bag, a big beautiful home, these all seem like OUR possessions, but they are actually things God has entrusted to us for the time being. 
Can you imagine how different life would be if we all COMPLETELY understood that, and not only understood it, but changed the way we live because of it.  I doubt we would all have such a hard time giving our tithe to church on Sunday, or to wherever God has called you to give.  Life on this earth is short, how can you be the best steward of what God has entrusted you?  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

12 Days of Christmas With You In Heaven

The holidays can be extremely difficult for a lot of people, especially for women who long to fill their home with children to share their holiday traditions with.  Thanks to Pinterest, it seems like every year there are more and more ideas on what to do with your children around the holidays.  But, where are all the ideas for what to do without your baby?  I HAVE FOUND a blog that is the Pinterest equivalent!!

If you are struggling with what to do this Holiday season because you've miscarried or lost a baby?  Please head over to Small Bird Studios and see her blog about the 12 Days of Christmas With You In Heaven series.  She did it last year too, and I LOVED all the ideas & giveaways!

I will also leave you with some words of encouragement.  I know I have mentioned before how much I love the devotional, Streams in the Desert.  Well, yesterday's passage hit it right on the head for us baby loss mommas.  So I thought I would share an excerpt of the devotional here... ENJOY!

Ice on trees will bend many a branch to the point of breaking.  Similarly, I see a great many people bowed down and crushed by their afflictions.  Yet every now and then I meet someone who sings in affliction, and then I thank God for my own circumstances as well as his.  There is ever a song more beautiful than that which is snug in the the night.  You may remember the story of a woman who, when her only child died, looked to heaven as with the face of an angel and said, "I give you joy, my sweet child."  That solitary, simple sentence has stayed with me for many years often energizing and comforting me.  Henry Ward Beecher 

E'en for the dead I will not bind 
my soul to grief:
Death connot long divide.
For is it not as though the rose
 that climbed my garden wall
Has blossomed on the other side?
Death does hide, but not divide; You are but on Christ's other side!
You are Christ, and Christ with me;
In Christ united still are we. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day

     So, you know how I mentioned in my last post how much healing I have been getting from reading other women's blogs.  Well, I want to shared one more woman's journey with you today.  I was reading her post about yesterday being Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.  I know I didn't write anything special yesterday, for once I just didn't know what I wanted to say.  I spent the entire day thinking about all 5 of my babies.  I couldn't help but think about life with them.  What it would look like.  What would have been different if I never lost the very first pregnancy.  I wouldn't be the woman I am today without my entire journey, so it is impossible to know what my life would look like if I hadn't experienced even one of my losses.
     With all of that said, I wanted to share Karen's post with you today.  She blogs over at Our Adoption Faith Walk.  I promise this woman's story will move you to tears, the journey she has been on is incredible.  The emotional toll she has experienced would keep any non-believer down, but she has an incredible amount of faith in God.  She keeps moving forward, and she knows deep down that all of the hurt that has affected her family is for GOOD.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE go read her post from yesterday!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Healing in Reading

There are some days I find healing in writing.  Writing for myself and writing for others who may be going through the same things as me.  But lately I have been finding healing in reading.  Reading other women's battles and struggles.  Reading about how they are overcoming, reading about how they are handling the pain and loss, and reading about what God is teaching them through it all.  We have a lot we can learn from one another.  There is a blog I have been following, and have even emailed the author back and forth a few times.  I have prayed for her & husband, and I wanted to share her latest blog post.  She is very wise in her words, and I'm thinking some of you could find strength in her story.

She blogs over at Walking in His Plan.  If you have a few moments I encourage you to stop by and read her latest post, Loss & Marriage.  She and her husband are currently on the journey to adopt from Ethiopia.  Waiting is tough, and a few encouraging words may brighten her day- so if you feel led, leave her a comment.  You can do so by clicking on the comments tab at the top of her blog.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Part Two

     Shortly after we finished the classes, the Lord prompted us to pursue one more path prior to completing our home study.  I was so confused as to why the Lord would throw us this curve ball, but I knew for sure the Holy Spirit was guiding us to a Reproductive Endocrinologist.  Two completely different sources game me the same doctor's information on two different occasions.  I researched the doctor, and this guy is "The Top Doc" in his field.  But wait,  I had given up, threw in the towel, never wanted in a million years to ever consider doing more infertility treatments especially- IVF (Invitro Fertilization).  I have no idea what grounds I had made my decision on, other than I had heard how horrible IVF could be on your body and your emotions.  I was tapped out, and didn't want to even consider this as an option.  However, when the Holy Spirit guides you, you buck up and listen.  So we visited this doctor, I was sure I would despise him and his bad bedside manor.  WRONG, I loved the guy.  I had never had a doctor give me so much time, answer so many questions, and even map out different treatment plans giving me "options."
     After he reviewed my novel of a medical file, literally its at least 6 inches thick.  The secretary actually wanted me to go to kinkos to make a copy of it all, because she didn't think she had enough ink or paper to do it herself. OUCH!  We took this doctor's advice seriously and discovered the means we were using to get pregnant before, weren't really going to be options for us again going moving forward.  Not what we were wanting to hear.  Based on my past history, and our discussion, we slowly removed all of our options, leaving full blown IVF with genetic testing as the only answer for us.  Umm, SO not what I was expecting or wanting to hear.  But again, we felt the Holy Spirit guiding us to move forward with it.  So, as good stewards, we did.  Not once, but twice we tried IVF.  Well, as you can tell I have not experienced a pregnancy within the past year, therefore neither of these IVF cycles worked.  We did learn some valuable information from the genetic testing, but that is about it.  If we had ever felt more lost, or stranded in the desert, it would have been the day the RE called to let us know that everything was perfect with our cycle he just had absolutely no idea why it wasn't working.  GRR!  It's one thing that it didn't work, but a whole other thing when you can't explain why or give me something new to try next time.  The only explanation we could come up with- God had a different plan, yet again.  He quietly shut the IVF door, and swung open the adoption door.
     SO... we diligently completed our paperwork, turned in our humungous file and waited, and waited, and waited, and waited.  We turned in our folder to CFCA in November, but they didn't start our home study until February.  It was the first time in years that we literally couldn't be 'doing' anything towards starting a family.  I couldn't take any pills, I couldn't get ultrasounds, take my temperature, take classes, fill out paperwork, NOTHING.  It was the first time, I felt, that it was 100% completely out of my hands and it was HARD but freeing at the same time.
     I tried to start living my life.  Trying to focus on other things, but continuing to think about my baby!  Wondering about my baby or babies (we were open to twins), wondering if he/she was already conceived, when he/she would be born, what he/she would look like, who his/her birth family would be, and the list goes on.  I decided to just start praying whenever the thoughts crossed my mind.  Praying for the baby and praying for the birth family, and praying for us to be prepared for whatever baby God had for us.
     Out of the blue, I received a phone call from a pastor at my church.  He asked if we were still planning on growing our family through adoption.  I explained that the agency still hadn't quite "finished" our home study (in reality they had barely started it, haha) but that YES we were waiting to adopt!  He said a girl contacted the church looking for a family to place her unborn child with.  He gave me a little more information, and said he would get back to me after he contacted her.  After some emailing back and forth, we set up a time to meet her!  We met Laurisa and her husband, at a Starbucks.  I can still remember the look on the woman's face that was sitting next to us at starbucks.  She was attempting to do her taxes, but she remained staring at the same fast food receipt for our entire conversation with Laurisa, she was totally eavesdropping, the nerve!  I'm sure it's not the typical Starbucks conversation so I'll let it slide ;)
     Our meeting went smoothly, and we left that meeting MATCHED!  We were shocked, floored, and thrilled!  We were so incredibly excited to put faces to the birthparents, know the due date, and begin planning for our family to grow!  Laurisa invited me to her ultrasounds and we were beyond excited when we found out we would be expecting a baby girl in August!  All seemed to be going as perfect as it could.  When the doctor suggested Laurisa go see a specialist for an ultrasound because it appeared the baby may have had some fluid around her brain.  I remember crying all night about the unknown, and just wondering how could this be?  What does God think He is doing?!?
     With further testing and ultrasounds we learned that the precious baby girl, Laurisa was carrying, had Spina Bifida.  We were told there was a break at the end of her spine where spinal fluid was leaking out, which in turn was causing the fluid build up near her brain.  I remember Laurisa and I just staring at the doctor, staring at each other, and sharing a lot of tears.  We left that specialist's office completely stunned, and googling the diagnosis.
     Over the next few days, through a lot of prayers and conversations, we came to the conclusion that we wouldn't be the best home for this baby girl.  This still is the HARDEST decision I have ever made!  I have waited so long for a baby, and yet I had to be honest with Laurisa and let her know that we thought there was a better home out there for this baby.  We would stand by her side and help her find the best home; and if God wanted us to raise this precious baby girl, we KNEW He would bring her back to us and show us we were the best home for her.
     Well, I am SO SO SO happy to report that with the help of CFCA, Laurisa found THE PERFECT home for her baby girl.  Baby Izabella Hope was born in early August, and has an amazing adoptive family by her side.  She has undergone surgery to close the opening in her spine, but may also need brain surgery.  Please keep Izabella and her family in your prayers!  Laurisa is starting a blog to share her story and Spina Bifida awareness.  When it is up and running I will link it here.

Stick around, it looks like there will have to be a PART THREE :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

It's No Secret... Part One

    It's no secret that I have been struggling with blogging on here since we have brought home Audie Lynn.  Yes, there isn't a whole lot of extra time in my day to devote to blogging, but more than that I am struggling with the subject matter.  I am still getting used to being "on the other side" of grief.  I am still getting used to the fact that so many of my friends are still trying to bring home their baby, or overcome their infertility.  I am still getting used to a lot of things.
     I NEVER under any circumstances want to offend any of my readers, so I am letting you all know that there will be a whole lot less of me blogging about "Life with Audie" on here, and more about what I used to write about.  I have not been cured of my PCOS or my incompetent cervix, so there will be a time that I am very much so in the thick of struggling to get pregnant again.  Those desires to be pregnant as well as the HUGE fears of pregnancy are still very much alive inside of me.  I may end up on the roller coaster ride of adoption again at some point too!  Who knows where God will lead our family.
     I always felt like a mom before we brought home Audie, I was just considered a mom to angels.  The only thing that has changed in the last couple months is that I am Mommy to a living child as well.  Therefore, society can't argue with my Mommy title anymore.  I am still me, the same girl God raised from the burning ashes of loss and despair.  I will stay true to the purpose of this blog, and that is my promise to all of you!
     SO... With all of that being said, I wanted to share a bit more of our adoption story with you.  I know it appeared that we just signed up to adopt, and got a baby within a matter of weeks.  However, the truth is we started down the adoption path in April of 2011.  We knew we wanted to work with Christian Family Care, and I logged on to their website and requested some more information.  I was so excited when the packet came I ripped it open and forced Ferrari to listen to me read every paper inside.  He was less than thrilled.  We have this thing where I have to read everything out loud to him, because if he tries to read it to me my mind checks out within seconds due to my self diagnosed ADD.  Anyway, I had this huge ball of excitement in the pit of my stomach, and started filling out the paperwork THAT night!  We signed up for the next session of classes the agency offered.  Once the classes were over, we felt so much more informed about the entire adoption process.  Literally they answered all of our questions and then some we didn't know we had.  I hadn't been so excited about anything in SO LONG!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Tale of Disbelief

  Everyone seems to ask the same question, does it seem real yet?  The midnight feedings & diaper changes definitely feel real, but in all honesty I still have moments of disbelief.  I have found myself getting emotional this past week when I would look down at my beautiful baby girl.  It is hard to believe that she is mine!  It is hard to believe that a whole month has passed!  It is hard to believe that a month ago we got THE call!  Our journey to a family has seemed so long, but NOW all of it seems OH SO WORTH IT! God is So Good!

If you are in the midst of a trial or climbing a mountain, I will leave you with these lyrics.  Words that have filled me up when I needed it the most!

One Thing Remains
By: Jesus Culture

Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
constant in the trial and the change

One thing remains

Your love never fails
It never gives up
It never runs out on me

Because on and on and on and on it goes
It overwhelmes and satisfies my soul
And i'll never, ever, have to be afraid

One thing remains

In death
In life 
I'm confident and covered by the Power of Your great love

My dept is paid 
Theres nothing that can separate
My heart from Your great love

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Tale of Audie Lynn's Arrival!

     It felt like any other day, I kissed Ferrari goodbye and headed to pick up my niece, Grace.  I was taking her to swim lessons that morning, and was going to spend a few hours with her while her mommy spent some time with Grace's new baby brother.  As we were loading up the car after swim to head to Target, my phone rang.  It was my hubby asking if it was a good time to talk because he had some good news.  At first I told him no, but he proceeded to tell me the information anyway, and I am so glad he did!
     He said he had received a phone call from the adoption agency and that there was a baby girl ready to go home from the hospital today! We just needed to go meet the birth mom first.  She had picked us out of the matchbook, but was anxious to meet us in person to know if we were the right couple for sure.  I was SHOCKED, EXCITED, SPEECHLESS!  I just started crying, which sort of upset my niece in the back seat.  I think she thought I was still mad or sad at her because of her mini-tantrum as I drug her out of the swim school jungle gym.  I kept explaining to her that I was crying happy tears but she just stared at me with the weirdest look on her face, poor girl, hopefully she isn't scarred for life :)
I booked it towards home, because Ferrari informed me we only had about an hour before we needed to meet with the birth mom.  I apologized to Grace for not being able to take her to Target, and dropped her back off with her mommy.
     I sprinted up my stairs grabbing the car seat and a bag.  I will admit we didn't have much to put in the bag, because all we were really told was to have the car seat ready.  I did have one outfit hanging in the closet that I thought would fit her, but no bow.  If you know me at all, I HAD to have a bow for her to wear coming home from the hospital!  So here is where I come clean... I stole one out of the Owl Love You Forever donation bin.  I know, I know, I am terrible, but it was for an amazing reason and I do promise to replace it!!
     We stopped at Baby's R Us on the way to at least grab a couple bottles, diapers, and wipes.  I had my sister text me a list of other essentials for the first day home, because I was not thinking clearly enough to come up with what I would need on my own.  We literally raced around the store, throwing stuff in the cart, it was so much fun! The check out lady asked, "Is all this for someone's registry," I said, "No."  So she asked, "Oh, are you guys just restocking your shelves?" I said, "No."  She looked at us sideways, so I felt the need to explain that we are adopting and just got THE call.  She had nothing to say to that, and instead handed me a gift receipt.  I'm still not sure if she just didn't believe me or what, but I did catch her name, Maddy. I thought her name was cute and immediately began to think about what this little girl's name was going to be.  We didn't have THE ONE picked out.  We had a short list, but as we began rereading our favorites, they all seemed like horrible options.
     Before we knew it we arrived at the agency, & my stomach was in knots.  Was I wearing the right outfit, did my hair look ok?  Hubby kept playing on his iPhone, and I told him to put it away so it didn't look like he was obsessed with it, haha.  I was so worried that she would see us and not like us anymore.  My fears were set at ease as soon as we met, her birth mom is SO incredibly sweet.  She noticed my hair cut and color was different than in my match letter, which caught me off guard.  This girl knew her stuff, and suddenly I felt like I should have updated our match letter.  Then she said she loved the hair cut & thought it looked similar to my wedding photo and I began to relax :)  We sat in a small room and talked for two hours.  It was incredibly surreal, I just couldn't believe that it was finally happening.
     Once we got the "approval," we headed over to the hospital to take OUR DAUGHTER home!  Talk about one of the weirdest feelings ever- park, grab the empty car seat, head up to the nursery, load her up, and head home.  I felt like I was doing something illegal just walking out of the hospital with this adorable baby girl, how could she really be mine?!? The nurses were incredibly helpful and so sweet, giving us some extra diapers and formula!  They explained the basics to us, how to feed, burp, swaddle... it was the fastest Parenting 101 course I've ever heard of, but surprisingly helpful!  She was 6 lb 4 oz, 19in long and just PERFECT!

Our first family pic!

All ready to head home!
     As we were on our way home I brought up her name and almost simultaneously we said that her name should be Audie Lynn!  It fits her perfectly!  Audie is the Dutch pronunciation of Arie, and since the twins were Arie & Hadilyn, we melded their names to come up with Audie Lynn.  We are just in heaven with our new addition, I feel like I can't thank God enough for blessing us with her!  She has been home a little over 2 weeks now, and we are LOVING every minute of it!

Lovely Photography from Dusty Perez at

Thank you all for the support and prayers during our journey over the past few years.

Beautiful photo captured by Gina Bacigalupi over at

We are so blessed to have such supportive friends, family, and readers.
God is so good!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Letter to the Lord

Not quite sure why I came across this letter this morning, but I figure it is because someone needs to read it.  That person may be just be me, or that person may be you.  So, I thought I'd share it just in case.  The letter was written the day we went to our ultrasound appointment and there was no longer a heartbeat...

February 10, 2011
Today was a hard day.  I often wonder how many more of these I can take.  Then I reflect on those days after we lost the twins and that overwhelming feeling of you never letting my feet touch the floor.  It is days like that, that help me find the strength I need to move forward.  I know you are not done with me yet.  
I try and focus on the promises You made to us.  The promise to bless us if we are faithful and not to harm us.  The promise to give us hope and a future.  Well, today, more than ever, I want to focus on the future.  I truly am excited to see what You have in store for us because of Your promise that better things are still to come.
Please watch over my 5th child that way You have been caring for my first 4.  I thank You for loving on them while I physically can't, and for telling them stories about me since they don't really know me.  I promise to mother any children you bring into my home just like they are my own.  If your will for my life is to provide a home to orphans, I will do it gladly.  I have so much love to give!  I want what You want for my life.  I want to put aside selfish ambitions for Your plan.  I want Your plan for my life, to be my plan for my life.  I love you Lord, and I know you love me.  I have faith that my future holds a chance for me to parent children.  Now, I must wait patiently for that day to come!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Confession and some HUGE NEWS!

     First off, I have a confession to make.  I am breaking one of my blogging rules.  There are really only three rules I have: #1: Don't blog in Bed, #2: Don't blog about stuff Ferrari doesn't want shared, and #3: Don't "drink" and blog.  Ferrari has given me the go ahead about what I'm going to post, and I haven't had a sip of alcohol in a couple weeks, so that would leave me blogging in bed.  OOPS!  I do, however, feel like it is ok to break this rule because we were out of town all weekend which left me with so much to do in such a short amount of time once returning home.
     Now that I got that off my chest, I am excited to share with you some HUGE news.  Some news that I have been wanting to share for a LONG TIME, but I wanted to wait for the perfect time!  Tonight it is... 


     We finished the classes, completed the paperwork and home study, and are now currently waiting to be picked out of the matchbook! You can see our match letter here!  This process has truly been eye opening, we have learned so much about each other and about what God wants for our lives.  We seriously could not be more excited!!  Yes, this process is hard and we continue to pray for patience daily!  If you can imagine being pregnant without a due date, that is about the best way for me to describe to you how I feel.
     I have been thinking and planning nonstop for years about what the nursery would look like for our baby, and now I actually get to turn our empty nursery into the perfect "nest" to bring our little one home to!
     Not a day goes by that I don't think about the babies we have waiting for us in heaven, and the future babies that we will get the opportunity to bring into our earthly home.  We don't know what, who, or how many we will be blessed with, but what we do know is that we are so beyond excited and prepared to be parents!


     I was so lucky to spend yesterday with a group of fellow bloggers at 
the Elevate Blog Conference in Huntington Beach, California!!  

     I am so proud of myself, YOLO... (ok, no I don't use the term YOLO frequently, in fact other than joking about the phrase with Ferrari, it's never come out of my mouth.  I was so confused the first time I heard it, and even more stumped when I began hearing it everywhere so I gave in and googled it.  YOLO for those of you who don't know, means You Only Live Once.  I apologize for the long side note!)  But, I really am proud of myself for going when I knew that I wouldn't "know" anyone other than from reading their blogs.  A couple years ago, I would have never ventured to another state to attend an event where I wouldn't know anyone.  Just one more positive thing that came out of my babies' short lives, they have taught me that I only live once and I better make this life worth living!
     So, back to the event, I learned so much and had such a great time connecting with other women with similar interests.  One woman in particular I was especially excited to meet, I'm sure many of you have heard of her and possibly know her whole story because she is THE BIG TIME in blogland... I met Ashley from Lil Blue Boo!  I know, I know, contain yourself readers!!  This woman's blog is a daily inspiration to me.  You can read more of her story HERE but in short the last 365 days of her life have been filled with trial after trial, her daddy died unexpectedly, she had a miscarriage, and she was diagnosed with cancer.  Her mantra is to CHOOSE JOY, and through her trials has blogged just about every bit of it.  She writes about the good, the bad, and the ugly, and so so so much more!

     I never thought in a million years I would get to meet Ashley, let alone take a picture with her, or hear her speak at a conference.  We even got to spend a few minutes chatting about writing through loss and trials, and how sharing your story can and has helped so many people.

     I just want to say thank you to the girls behind the Elevate Conference!  Go check out their blogs and give them some love!!  Summer from Made By Munchie's Momma and Jen from Delighful Deets, the two of you did a FANTASTIC job, I hope it's an annual event.  The conference was SO much fun, very informative, and the decor was drool worthy!  Hopefully I can steal some other bloggers photos once they upload some, because I did a horrible job at taking pics!  I got a few with my phone though just to give you an idea!  Above is the snack bar, our craft project, our  swag bag full of goodies, and of course my new CHOOSE JOY bracelet! 

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Tale of Mother's Day

     Whew, yesterday was a rough one.  It is truly a bitter sweet day.  I so wish I could have focused my attention on my own Mother and how much I love her!  However, this holiday has become one of such pain that it is hard to push the pain and hurt away so I can smile and celebrate with the mothers around me.   It's a day with so many different emotions, that it is often really hard to sort through what I am feeling.  The couple days leading up to Mother's Day I found myself wiping away a lot of tears, and losing my patience on anyone within two feet of me.  Then I woke up yesterday and just kept thinking in 24 hours this day will be behind you and you can move on.  Let's go, you can get through this!
     So we headed off to church and surprisingly I wasn't stressed about the service even though I knew it was child dedication day and that I would have to choose to remain sitting or stand when they had the mothers be acknowledged.  Last year I stood, and this year for some reason I didn't.  I think I just felt like the stares would be too hard and I didn't want to have to justify to someone that I am a mother.  So I clapped for the other women, with some what of a smile on my face.  I realize now that my heart was pretty hard, and it takes a lot to admit that but it was.  
     Then pastor began preaching on being broken.  If I didn't know better, I would swear to you that God gave the pastor this specific sermon just for me.  I'm so not joking either, I caught him making eye contact with me, & quite a few times too!  Once he got into the sermon, I was kicking myself for not having tissues in my purse, seriously how did I not bring kleenex on Mother's Day/ Child Dedication? I apparently thought I was pretty strong emotionally, haha I should have known better!  Ferrari kept sweetly offering the sleeve of his shirt to wipe my tears, because he knows how much I hate crying in public.
     Pastor talked about being broken in the "waiting room," waiting on God to give you a miracle and heal you or remove you from whatever situation that has been encompassing your life.  He challenged us to be happy and excited for those around us that ARE receiving their miracles.  If we can't handle celebrating with others, than why would God entrust us with our own miracle.  It was like a bad car accident.  I wanted to look away but couldn't muster up the strength; because I knew I needed to hear those words, but the tears they just kept streaming down my face.  I pictured myself like a child with my fingers stuck in my ears and shaking my head back and forth because I wanted to do whatever I could to drown out what I was hearing.  The sinner in me wanted to jump out of my chair and stomp off to wipe the running mascara off my cheeks, but the hurting woman inside was desperate to drink up those words of wisdom he was sharing- How could I expect God to do a miracle on my behalf, if I sat jealous and angry as I watched those around me receive their miracles?
     That sermon was the best thing I could have heard yesterday.  It was exactly what I needed to hear, not sugar coated to make me feel better about my situation, but like a cattle prod pushing me to be the better version of me while I wait.  Do you know how much I hate being the girl that cries when my friends announce they are pregnant?  I hate that my friends have to tread lightly around me when they are pregnant, trying everything they can to not upset me.  They are so sweet to be patient and sensitive to my feelings, but I want so badly to be overjoyed for them and excited for their great news!  I want the attention off of me and what I am feeling.  I want to be "normal" again.  I want to throw the baby showers and help decorate their nurseries.  As hard as it is for me to hear their good news, I want so desperately to celebrate with them!  God is working on enlarging my heart, and I am thankful for it.  He will not abandon me as I work on changing, instead He will be right there with me to offer strength and support!
     Maybe this was a sermon you needed to hear too, or maybe you just needed to know there are others out there that have a hard time on Mother's Day, or that there are other women who struggle with hearing their friend's good news. I am confident God wants to help you be excited for other's miracles, and I am confident He will instill in you an everlasting JOY that can only come from the Father himself.  Can you imagine the day your miracle happens, and no one is around to celebrate with you because they are too wrapped up in their own pain & waiting?  God doesn't want that, He wants his sons & daughters to be there for each other through the good times and the bad.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hope on Wheels

Mother's Day is just around the corner, and for us baby loss mommas this can be one of THE most difficult days of they year.  I am so excited to share with you about an experience that you won't want to miss!  My friend and mentor, Kathe Wunnenberg has started on organization called Hope on Wheels.  She is a fellow baby loss mom, and she is one of the most encouraging women I know!  If you are dreading the upcoming Mother's Day, allow yourself this day away to prepare emotionally and connect with other women who understand!

May 5th is her 
3rd Annual Mother's Day Hope on Wheels Bus Trip!

You can experience TRANSFORMATION through heartfelt sharing, a worship experience, women who can relate to your loss and restoration in a serene 30 acre lush setting along Oak Creek in Arizona.
If you are dreading the upcoming Mother's Day, allow yourself this day away to prepare emotionally and connect with other women who understand!
For more information and to sign up visit

You can also underwrite a seat on the bus for a women by clicking Give a Seat on the website. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Tale of Choice

I have been attending a Bible study at my church based on the life of David.  During the past 8 weeks we have watched David as a young boy sling a stone and kill a giant, rise as King, and fall in times of sin and despair.  Bits and pieces have spoken to me more than others, one event of course standing out- when David loses his son.  He was "the man after God's own heart," and yet he made oh so many mistakes, and if I can be honest, he could possibly be entered in the Guinness Book of World Records for how many times he majorly messed up.  The one thing I kept noticing throughout the study was how many people were affected by things that he did or didn't do.  I think at times, he was completely unaware of how his actions were affecting others.  If only he could have lived in the iPhone age, then maybe his many wives, servants, and children could have tweeted or Facebooked him to keep him in the loop.

Reality is everything we do or go through- the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the ugly- has the ability to affect so many people, especially in our social media obsessed world.  You can now notify every person you know the moment something occurs, and you can even snap a photo of it, thanks to smart phones.

I have learned to embrace where I'm at, and to own my mistakes and celebrate my victories.  People can relate to you if you are real.  I have never been one to have many "girl-friends," perhaps because I didn't really feel like I connected with them.  I was always better at being friends with the guys.  When Ferrari and I started dating in high school, all of that quickly changed.  For some odd reason he wasn't ok with me hanging with the guys anymore ;)   Yet now meeting women seems to be a main part of my ministry.  Unfortunately, I now have a lot of "girl-friends" and I'm not saying that I don't treasure each and every one of them, because I love them all; I'm saying that the field of loss and infertility that I'm in, seems to be growing out of control.  There are more and more women in my field everyday.

I am contacted through this very blog, by email, and even by phone all the time.  I never in a million years would have thought that what I have been through, or my decision to start a blog could affect/help so many women.  I thought I was doing something for myself, creating a place to write about my emotions and the things that I was going through to help me gain a better understanding of my crazy life.  I had no idea God was knitting together a network of women that could care for and support each other.  I have been able to meet a few different women that have received Owl Love You Forever boxes in the hospital.  I can't even explain to you the feelings I get when I see the organization come full circle, like when I can hear each mother's story, see pictures of their baby wrapped in the blankets, or that they can't sleep without their stuffed owl in their arms.  God did not put us on this planet to live our life in solitude, not affecting others.  He purposely allows us to go through things, knowing that they will change our lives and those around us forever.

We may not have a choice on what He allows us to go through, 
but what we CAN choose is how we react moving forward.  

It would be very easy for me to sit in my bed and cry with the lights off, and trust me I have been tempted to do so on more than one occasion.  Satan can creep into my mind and assure me that I don't deserve all this heartache, and he will have me believing that God doesn't care about little 'ole me anymore.  I have to stop that thought process before it starts, because the mind is a very powerful tool the devil uses to destroy us.  I have to remain in God's word so that I can fight Satan with the Truth.  God has a bigger plan than what I can see or understand.  He allows each and every event to occur, because He is working them all together for my good.  I have to trust Him knowing His plan is pure perfection!

If you prefer to keep what you are going through a secret, I don't blame you because I have been there.  I never wanted to discuss my miscarriages or awkward doctor appointments, but I urge you to try.  You just might find healing in connecting with someone that has been there, or you might be able to help someone else get through what you have already been through.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Things We Used To Whisper

    I can't even explain to you how excited I am to let you in on this NEWS!  First off, no I am not pregnant, this is possibly even BIGGER! Ok, maybe not, but close :)
   All of us in the baby loss community know and understand that society views our situation as "taboo."  If it weren't, we as mom's of angels would answer this question truthfully when asked by strangers, "How many children do you have?"  Instead, we keep our real number of babies in our head, and give a forced smile with an answer that is socially acceptable.
   There is no question, people don't like talking about death in general, but when you bring up the loss of an infant people get really quiet.  No one knows what to do or say, they just sort of stare at you and try and fill the silence with anything that comes to mind.  Well, frankly I am TIRED of it!  This type of loss happens everyday, and it will continue to happen everyday because of this sinful world we live in!  We can no longer sit in awkward silence, but get up and do something about it!  We need this cause to be more socially acceptable to discuss, so we can make a difference!

Join me, Owl Love You Forever, and Hosanna Wong in bringing awareness to your community!

Hosanna Wong is an extremely talented spoken word artist that has written a piece specifically for this cause!  
Let me tell you, this girl GETS IT!  She has started a movement called
She has the desire to spread compassion and hope to those suffering!  
Please check out her brand new video!

Visit The Things We Used To Whisper!  There you will find all the info on how to help!

 Help us spread the word by showing her video, post it on your blog, email it to your friends, do whatever it takes!

Let's make 'Infant Loss' no longer 
something we have to whisper about!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Liebster Blog Award

Wow, it's hard to believe that a whole month has passed since I blogged last.  I must be in a writer's funk or just too busy.  Ferrari and I had our 4 year anniversary, and thanks to leap day we got to celebrate for TWO whole days instead of ONE!  Getting married on March 1st has its perks :) Ok, now that we are caught up I want to get to the real point of this post!

I received a comment from a fellow blogger nominating me for the...

Liebster is a German word which means "dearest" or "beloved". It is also used to refer to as someone's "favorite" and the idea of the Liebster Blog Award is to bring attention to blogs with less than 200 followers that deserve more recognition and encouragement.

I was nominated for this award by Kristin DeYoung over at DeYoungs in the Dominican!  I am going to be honest here and let you all know that I was completely surprised & humbled to receive her comment and the nomination!  I headed straight to her blog to learn more about her and her growing family and to see what this award is all about!  Kristin is just as sweet as can be, and if it weren't for similar struggles we have experienced we might not have ever crossed blog paths!  One more reason why I am beginning to love technology and social media, and quickly forgetting my hesitations with sharing my life so publicly.

There are certain rules that come with the Liebster Blog Award:

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Hope that the people you've sent the award to forward it on to their five favorite bloggers and keep it going!

Here are my Top 5 Picks:

Moments from everyday life written by my fabulous sister, Shannon!  I count on her blog for comic relief when I read what my mischievous nephews are up to!  Her unique party planning ideas are always a plus too!  

Whitney does an amazing job letting her readers in on the nitty gritty of dealing with Hereditary Pancreatitis, and the procedure that is giving her life again!  Her amazing amount of FAITH in God to get her through it all, is such an encouragement!  She is such an inspiration to me!

When I read Ashley's posts, I often feel like she is writing from my very own thoughts.  We so often have similar emotions and reactions to life's circumstances.  We have a unique bond, as we have both experienced multiple miscarriages.  Her blog is raw and honest.  She lets you read what we so often feel but don't discuss openly.  If you know someone who is or has experienced a miscarriage, Ashley's words might help you understand what they are going through.

Andra is a true inspiration of how to turn grief into something positive.  After losing her best friend, Leigh Ann, Andra started this non-profit in her honor.  She wanted to make her friend's memory live on and with a beautiful purpose, to show God's love to children by giving them a handmade blankie!  Through her organization, hundreds of blankets have been distributed all over the world! 

This blog is one that I connect with on so many levels!  The writer, Franchesca, has also experienced the loss of her firstborn baby.  She has picked up the pieces and is living her life with joy, despite her loss.  She is very creative and makes many projects inspired by her beautiful daughter and focused on healing, grief, joy, and love.