Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Talkin' about Mama

Well, it's been quite awhile since my last post.  I have no real reason, I have had many thoughts and things to journal, but just don't get it done.  So here is this one, enjoy, it might be awhile before the next one again.

Today I had the most terrifying, humbling, and blessed thought I may have ever had.  I was putting away some clean dishes and Caleb was playing with his train in the living room.  He started saying "MamaDaddy," and yes he says them as one word sometimes.  Suddenly, I had this vision of him as a teenager or a young adult telling friends about his parents.  You know, like we all do at so many times in our lives.  Things like "my mom does such and such" or "my dad used to do this with me."  That wasn't the part that struck me it was the thought that when he is talking to someone saying those types of things, he will be talking about me!  I am his mom!  No, I am not just realizing this simple fact, but I was a whole new perspective on my role in his life.  I have never had this role and have never thought about being that person he is talking about to others in his life.  While I am so incredibly blessed to be his mama, it is humbling to think about what he might tell others about me as he goes through his life.

I certainly don't want it to be things that I would not be proud of, though I know I do those things far too often as it is.  But I can only pray that the good things will overpower the negative things.  And I find myself wondering what are the things that will stand out to him.  What will he tell others about his parents as he was growing up? 

I think back to what my own younger life and what are the things that stand out to me about my parents.  Everything that comes to mind is relational.  Like when I was shopping with my dad and convinced him, as I could of most things, to let me get my ears pierced a second time.  It's not really a memory about the actual piercing but about my relationship with my dad and the time spent together.  I think about the time I spent helping my step mom make a fleece baby girl blanket while I was in high school, then getting it as a Christmas present that year to save away in case I have a baby girl someday.  I still have that blanket and it means so much to me and love that my baby girl will have it, as was always the plan!

I know Caleb won't remember much of  the first few years of his life, but I hope that for he and Zoey, when then get old enough to remember things, that I am able to make the memories they will cherish all their lives.  Those memories don't have to be expensive or extravagant, but filled with love and quality time spent with them to make them feel how much I love and cherish them as well as how much our Father in Heaven loves them and cherishes them too.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Risking My Life to Give Life to Another

I am now 15 weeks into this second pregnancy and for the first time really understand how carrying our children,we risk our lives for our children before they even take their first breath.  With this little one living inside me, sharing my body, our lives are inextricably tied together; a privelage and a blessing despite how difficult it can be.  My first pregnancy was unbelievably easy, it had never occured to me that I was sacrificing my body or risking my life for him, and I entered this pregnancy with the naivete of thinking this one was going to be just as easy; I couldn't have been more wrong.  Starting things off with some unrelenting morning sickness, something I barely experienced with Caleb, a severe headache landing me in the ER for the first time during this pregnancy, then a bad head cold that lasted for two weeks.  At this point, already, I was asking Wes if it was too soon to "get it out." After recovering from the cold, I then started having some bleeding for about 5 days, taking me to the ER for the second time.  Resulting in several days of bed rest, which is not conducive to having a one year old, who was not happy about my inability to get down on the floor and play with him.

After recovering from the bleeding and praying daily for some reprieve from the morning sickness, I was completely blindsided by what was to come next.  After a bad bout of sickness one Saturday, I woke up the next day with some pain in my right leg.  I brushed it off as strained muscles from the day before and toughed it out.  After a week of the same pain, I began having severe pain in my groin area on the same leg.  I again thought that I had somehow just pulled a muscle and toughed it out for three more days.  It wasn't until I was sitting up at 3am crying from the pain that I googled other ideas of what it could be and made a decision to call my doctor the next morning.  They had me come in for an ultrasound on my leg and my pelvis.  They were going to check for blood clots and also anything that might be pressing on my pelvis that could be causing the pain.  They never had to do the second ultrasound as they found a large blood clot in my right thigh.  I was shocked, the farthest thing from my mind was a blood clot.  I imagined sciatica, round ligament issues, pelvic issues, or anything else.  I thought about all the things I had done the past few days, any of these activities could easily have dislogded the clot and caused a pulmonary embolism.  Scary, to say the least.  

My Dr. started me on an injectable blood thinner that I would have to remain on for the duration of the pregnancy.  I am probably one of the worst people to have this new responsibility added as I hate shots more than anything in the world and now have to give them to myself twice a day.  The medicine is the absolute worst, it feels like I am injecting acid directly into my flesh.  But I keep telling myself that short duration of instense pain each day is better than having a pulmonary embolism, so I manage to do it.  This leads to the scariest night of my whole life so far.  After spending the day at my in-laws, Caleb and I made our way home and I got him to bed.  I made some hot chocolate and sat down with some chocolate chip cookies, about to enjoy some me time before heading to bed myself.  I got on the phone with my Step-mom and was just relaxing when I felt something, brushing it off I kept on talking, then Caleb started screaming, so I put the phone down to go check on him and felt another something.  I went to the bathroom and saw the scariest amount of blood I have ever seen.  I was terrified.  My first thought was that I was loosing the baby, my second thought was I was going to bleed out.  To make the situation worse, I was alone with Caleb.  Wes was on a camping trip I insisted he go on, not thinking anything would happen.  I called my mother-in-law and 911.  The ambulance came and we waited for my in-laws to get there to keep an eye on Caleb.  The bleeding had stopped so I was not in immediate danger of bleeding out.

I took my first, and hopefully only, ride in an ambulance.  At the hospital they did an ultrasound and found a small hemhorrage in the placenta.  It had stopped bleeding and the baby was aboslutely fine, hearing the baby's heart beat was the point in which I was finally able to stop shaking.  After arriving home, and I mean my in-laws home, from the ER I had another gush of blood but it also stopped.  I was terrified to do anything.  That night, as I tried to sleep, I was afraid to turn over in the bed, to sit up, to get up to go to the bathroom.  Caleb was fussing off and on throughout the night and I was afraid to get up to comfort him, terrified if I did anything besides laying absolutely still would trigger more bleeding.  A huge blessing was my mother-in-law and father-in-law taking care of Caleb at 3am when he was crying and in the morning when he woke up.  My father-in-law, who had gotten very little sleep in the past two days, took care of Caleb all day until Wes got home and took over.  I got maybe 2 hours of sleep that whole night. I cried off and on for 24 hours.  Yesterday I followed up with my doctor.  The main points I took away from that conversation was that I have to stay on the blood thinners to avoid another dangerous blood clot but being on the blood thinners could cause more bleeding, which could be dangerous, throughout the pregnancy.  Also, that I could become very familiar with ER staff as each time I start bleeding like that, I need to come in, to ensure the baby is fine and that the bleeding will stop.  For all those who have ever had a 1 year old, it is not that easy to just go to the doctor or the hospital. 

The emotional and physical roller coaster this pregnancy has been has worn me out.  I am not even half way through and am already counting down the days to when this little one will be here.  I have made a little lighter of it all through my posts on FB and in conversation with others, but its all I can do to keep myself from worrying myself sick.  I am daily afraid of losing the baby and if I think too much about the rest of the pregnancy, I become afraid of what else could possibly happen.  I don't ask for help well and don't accept help well.  I have had to force myself to accept it when it is presented.  I feel guilty for not being able to take care of Caleb and Wes they way I want and feel guilty for Wes having to do more after working all day.  I have to keep reminding myself that I have another child I have to take care of and their situation is a little more precarious than Caleb's at this moment.  But a mother's guilt in unyeilding and I feel like I am choosing one child over another, which I know is irrational and I know that it doesn't mean I love Caleb any less. 

I don't know how this story is going to end it, but I am putting my hope and faith in knowing that God is watching over me and this little one.  And in 5 1/2 months or so I will get to meet this brave and strong little one who I already cherish as my miracle baby who has kept going on strong through everything.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


I just read through the book of Job a couple weeks ago and, as God does many times, He used real life to drive a point home.  Job was a man of faith, a righteous man.  In many ways and in many, if not all, areas of his life, he was a good man, the best really.  He was there for his friends, he encouraged those who were suffering, he did all the right things, he even accounted for and made offerings to atone for his children's sins.  He was successful and prosperous.  One could even argue that his life was perfect.  It's easy to be faithful to God when life is going so perfectly, right?  Well, what about when things aren't perfect?  When circumstances are less than desirable and there is pain and strife, can a man remain faithful to God?  That is exactly the question presented regarding Job.  Allow him to be tested, to loose all but his life and see if he still stands by God.  And that is exactly what happened. 

It's not his attitude that is remarkable, or the manner in which he bares his sufferings.  I related a lot to Job in those areas.  He longed for the grave, hoped in it.  He questioned God's reasons, begged for answers.  But through it all, he never lost faith.  He never cursed God and turned his back on Him.  He may not have understood the why, but he remained faithful.  His faith allowed him to know that though he didn't understand, he believed what God promised.  His understanding of who God is did not fail him.  And he came to understand that bad things happen to the very best of people and to the very worst of people.  In the same way, prosperity comes to the very best of people and to the very worst of people.  But he also believed that in death, the reward would come to those who are faithful to God.

This past weekend, we went down to Dallas to pay our respects and say "see you later" to, in my opinion, a modern day Job.  My cousin, Rodney, went home to be with Jesus after a long battle with cancer.  He was far too young and left behind two beautiful little girls and his amazing wife, Melissa.  He was, in MANY peoples opinions, one of the very best people there were.  And it is hard for me to understand why such a wonderful person was taken from his family so soon.  Why he had to battle for over two years against a failing body.  And I may never fully understand, but what I do know is that both Rodney and Melissa remained faithful to God through all of it.  There walk of faith has been an inspiration to me and I believe to many other people. 

We may not ever understand why bad things happen to seemingly undeserving people, apart from the simple truth that we live in a sinful world.  And to many, faith only acts as a crutch to help deal with those bad things when they happen.  But for me, and the things that my faith has carried me through, what an amazing crutch to have.  I am not ashamed to admit that sometimes the trial is much bigger than anything I can handle on my own and I couldn't ask for a more amazing support system to have on my side than God. 

So how does the story end?  Well, for Job, God rewarded him for his faith.  All he had before was restored twofold.  For Rodney, I can't say exactly in details, but I believe with all my heart, this Rodney is receiving and will receive his reward for eternity in paradise with a loving and faithful God.  For Melissa and the girls, for myself, for you, our stories are still going on.  But I believe with all my heart, that God has something beyond what Melissa could ever ask or imagine in store for her and the girls.  And for myself, I choose to have faith like Job.  I have seen God work in my life and the lives of others to know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that God has something great in store for those who have faith.  And it is usually not anything we could dream for ourselves.  And all the rewards and blessings we partake of in this life, our reward in heaven will be even greater.  Greater than we could ever imagine.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Tragedy Wrapped in Tragedy

As so many did, I spent the entirety of Friday afternoon in tears.  Trying to wrap my head around such a horrific event now making its black mark on history and failing at being able to do so.  The Bible speaks so clearly on how much our loving God feels about children and I believe His heart was aboslutely shattered at yesterday's actions.  We will spend countless days, months, and years trying to figure out how to keep this from happening again, as is the case with every tragic event.  After so many other tragedies, we have yet to figure out how to stop it, and perhaps we need to face the fact that we are looking at the wrong areas, trying to fix the wrong thing.  Yesterday, I saw so many people post about gun control, violent video games, the media, casting some blame at the shooter's parents, and settling that he must have very simply been an inhuman madman. 

Don't get me wrong about the last part of that sentence, you do have to be mentally or emotionally very unwell to do such a terrible thing.  What I am getting at is that is not simply the problem.  There have been far too many instances of this for it to be that we has a human race are just genetically producing more people who are crazy murderous maniacs.  I believe with all my heart that God mourns the life of every person lost yesterday, even the shooter.  He was once just a little boy, someone's brother, son, friend.  Perhaps instead of looking to pass more laws about guns and being quick to pass the blame to the media and other areas, we need to look more relationally.  There are countless things in this society that affect children and people negitively; and everyone reacts to those things differently.  Maybe we need to be investing more time into people, stop judging someone because they are different or "a little off" and show kindness, love, and acceptance.  Perhaps the real prevention lies in reaching out to others and recognizing and responding to the warning signs they see in others. 

My mother-in-law once told me, you'd be surprised how many "normal" people are walking around with homicidal thoughts in their heads.  Everyone has a breaking point, everyone is suseptible to feeling hopeless and detached from humanity.  Please understand, I am not blaming anyone but the shooter and the very REAL EVIL that exists for this tragedy.  What I am saying is that prevention does not lie anywhere but in hearing and seeing people, paying attention to the warning signs, and showing each person we encounter that we "see" them.  "The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10)  We will only find a way to prevent this if we can find ways to make every person feel as though they MATTER and that they are loved by a God who wants to give them hope and strength for every tomorrow.  No person should feel like they "have" to do anything for anyone to KNOW THEY EXIST. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Very Mickey Birthday!

Saturday we celebrated Caleb's first birthday!  My labor of love was preparing for this party and wanting to make it special for my little man, as well as for everyone else who came to help us celebrate.  In an effort to save money, I was determined to make everything, this included a lot of printing, cutting, and glueing!  Here are some pictures to highlight the event.

 His birthday shirt...I did not make this!
 Smash cake, you can also kind of see one of the food labels behind the cake.  The plate we made for our anniversary this year, it is our birthday/celebration plate.
 Red velvet and Chocolate/Oreo cupcakes. The black trays were my $1 pinterest idea that was a great success!

Another picture of the smash cake.

 High Chair Banner and the birthday boys mickey ears birthday hat (which he would not have on his head.)
 Monthly pictures.  I got little clothespins and painted them and decorated them to hang the pictures with.
 Table decorations.
 Kids craft table: Make your own mickey ears and coloring pages.
 Behind us you can see the birthday banner.
Family picture!

We had a great time and Caleb was in a GREAT mood the whole time. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tears and Turkeys

As you may have realized, I have failed to post the past week or so.  **SIGH** Life seems to get away from me sometimes.  November is quickly passing me by.  I been busily trying to get the last bits of Caleb's birthday party together, which is this weekend, AAAAHHHH!  I am not ready for this in any way.  I have realized in the past week that, even though I am excited for his birthday party, it won't stop.  After this first birthday, he will have another, and another, and another.  It brings tears to my eyes every time I think about him growing up, this usually launches me into irrational land, where I am already thinking about him getting married; he is only turning one.  I am just not ready to give up my little boy. 

One thing that I already miss SO much is our morning cuddle time.  Since he was a month old, in the morning when he would wake up around 5am, I would bring him in the bed and we would have cuddle time.  For the first 6 months it was just mommy and Caleb cuddle time, the most cherished memories I have of those months.  This week I have ended my sad attempts to recapture cuddle time.  He has no interest in cuddle time in the morning and is just ready to jump off the bed and start a day of little boy adventures.  I tried desperately to hold onto cuddle time but had to realize that it was only making Caleb, Wes, and myself frustrated.  He is already outgrowing me.  :(

I would like to think that it will get easier, but I just don't think it will.  Eventually it won't just be birthdays, but starting school, the ever interesting teen years, sports, and on it goes.  **SIGH**  And so that is my joy and my misery this whole month so far.  On a happier note, his birthday is going to be so special; I will blog about that, with pictures after Saturday.

The other piece of interesting for this post is Caleb's thanksgiving shirt!  For those who remember my FB post about sneaking in and tracing Caleb's hand while he slept to make a hand print turkey, this is what it was for.  I got the idea from no where other than the wonderful and exhausting Pinterest, I only improved it just a little!  

I traced his sleeping little hand on paper, cut the thumb and hand out and then each individual finger.  I then traced those pieces on to brown, red, yellow, and orange felt (I do apologize if a certain finger stands out a little much, it truly was unintentional).  I cut out a little red giblet and a yellow wing.  I glued the pieces onto a little brown shirt and added a little wiggly eye.  I am so excited to see him in this for my favorite holiday!  One week to go! 

Friday, November 2, 2012


Trying to think of a favorite fall memory only reminds me of how old I am getting and my memory seems to be going.  Being that Caleb was born before the official start of winter, I could easily write about my favorite fall memory being the day he was born, but that seems obvious and I think it would be fun to write about a memory from my younger days (besides, I plan on writing about Caleb closer to his first birthday). 

I guess the time that most stands out in my mind was Homecoming week of my senior year of high school.  I look back on that time with my wonderful friends and always smile!  I am so blessed to have had those girls in my life, and some to have still in my life.  So let me share a little about that amazingly fun week.

I don't remember all the dress up days we had but I do remember a pajama day.  There was nothing I looked forward to more than the day I was able to wear my PJ's to school!  It drove my step mom crazy though, as she did not think it was all that great. Another big thing I remember was working with my friends as we created our outfits for School Spirit day.  All the sewing, fabric painting, accessory shopping all to have a unique, wild, and fun orange and black outfit is a memory that will always bring joy to my heart!  I remember sitting out in my friend's driveway using what should be an illegal amount of fabric paint and glitter on some fabulously modified black pants and tank tops! (yes, tank tops in Minnesota in October, another thing our parents were not thrilled with but it was in all in the name of school spirit!) 

(I apologize for the not so great quality, I had to take a picture of the picture from my high school scrapbook)

Finally, our night of TPing!  Now before you get all noble on me, it was in the name of fun, we only TPed friends, and would not ever do more than TP.  Most parents understood it was in all in good spirit and would not get mad about it.  It was a long standing tradition (or maybe not that long standing, I don't really know for sure) for the seniors to TP houses of our Junior friends and vice versa.  I remember hearing all the stories my Sophmore year and looking forward to the days when I could be included.  Junior year was fun but I most vividly remember the fun we had my senior year.  After unloading, again an amount that should be illegal (oh wait, I am pretty sure it is), of TP on our friend Christy's huge front yard tree, we all headed to Perkins, a local restaurant in MN, and spent the remainder of the night talking and hanging out!  At 6am we headed back to get our stuff and head into school.

We wore our crazy outfits to the homecoming game and froze our butts off but had a ton of fun!  I guess it's not a fall specific memory as much as a memory that happened during fall.  But I do think about it every year around this time and miss all my girls.