Monday, May 23, 2011

Our latest addition....

Chloe Hope

Born April 22nd

7 lbs, 2 oz ~ 20 inches


Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Estee Love

Born August 20th

8 lbs, 3 oz ~ 20 inches

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

10 days and counting

We are getting close to our due date (Aug 21). We've had a few scares, but God has been faithful to take care of our baby girl. I was put back on bedrest for a few weeks, but when I reached 37 weeks, the doctor took me off again. Thanks for all your notes asking how we've been doing. It seems to have been one adjustment after another.

I had a shirt made that pretty much sums up how I feel about this pregnancy and baby. It hasn't been easy, even now, to trust that everything is going to be OK. This past week, they performed a non stress test on the baby and the monitors weren't looking so good. The nurses faces, silence and reactions instantly brought back memories of my devastating appointment last summer. Once again I was alone and afraid of what they were going to tell me.

But I know that this baby's life, just like my other two girls', is completely in His hands. God has formed them and made each of them unique. And that brings me great comfort.

On a lighter note, we still have not decided on a name. We are taking a list of about 20 to the hospital with us. My personality likes to have everything ready, in order and planned, so this is a strange feeling for me. The other girls' names hold such perfect meanings for them as individuals, so it puts a little extra pressure to find just the right name for our next baby girl. My sister Elizabeth helped me put this in a photo. :)

In spurts I've been able to work on the nursery. I wanted to brighten it up a little, since we had a couple of bare walls. I drew up a topiary tree and a shelf-like branch that Troy cut out of wood. I finally finished painting them and he hung everything up for me.

So that's all of our news for now. I haven't checked in much lately, and just found out that I lost all the blogs I'd been following. So I'm off to rectify that the best I can.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Find Rest

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation;

he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

My salvation and my honor depend on God;

he is my mighty rock, my refuge.

Trust in him at all times, O people;

pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

Psalm 62:5-8

For more inspiring Word Filled Wednesday, visit

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The belly grows....

So much to catch up on. I'm nearing the end of my second trimester and have been feeling great! I started "nesting" early in anticipation of an uncomfortable last couple months and that has kept me away from blogging more than I anticipated. But more on that in a later post.

First things first. My sister Elizabeth did an amazing maternity shoot for me today and I couldn't wait to share. I'll be 7 months in just a couple of days. As you can see, the baby continues to grow nicely.

Next up ~ Madeline. She did get her cast off, after Easter. They could not determine if there was a fracture in the growth plate, and after 3 rounds of not-so-successful xrays, we decided to just take the splint off and see how she did. She's regained all motion, so we are hopeful that she is healed. We did get some cute Easter pictures, thanks again to Elizabeth, although she still wasn't too happy with her arm at that point.

Also, I am happy to announce we are now "pacifier-free!" I will admit, bedtime is not as self-motivated as before, but it is one more thing I can check off my list before the new baby arrives. Thanks to Super Nanny, we went with the reward system: mail all your pacifiers to the Paci Fairy so she can share them with other little babies, and the next morning a big girl present will arrive in its place. I was going to tell her this a few times in preparation, but the first night she started asking for an "enbelope" to mail her pacis. I scrambled to get a decent big girl present together by the next morning (some new bedtime water cups, a new bedtime blanket I sewed that night, and some dressup stuff) and that was that. She will tell anyone, she is a big girl now!

And last but not least, thank you for all your prayers for Crystal and her kids. They continue to struggle to find their new normal without a husband and daddy. From the outside, I can see that Crystal is doing a great job at continuing to keep things running, but understandably she feels overwhelmed at different times. We missed Mike's laughter at our Memorial Day swim and Bbq. We miss him during basketball playoffs. We miss him when we see his girls and all their energy. I can't imagine how many times a day she misses him.

God has been faithful during this time. We all feel His presence and see Him at work in their situation. It doesn't take away the seeming senselessness of it all, but it does bring real comfort. Specifically, please pray that we will continue to be sensitive to Crystal's needs and obedient to respond. And also, just practically, for her to be able to get some good sleep at night. Her kids have been waking her up 3 to 4 times a night, and as Moms we know it's hard enough to function normally, much less on very sporadic sleep.

I know this post has been all over the place, thanks for sticking with me. Hopefully, I'll be back sooner than later.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Long overdue updates

It's been a hard couple of weeks. I've had a difficult time finding the motivation to write at all. I mean, wasn't I just here? This journey is all too familiar. GRIEF. A different road, but a parallel path.

I've spent lots of time with Crystal and her kids, and even more time thinking and praying for them. And in so many ways, it has taken me back to the raw emotions of our own loss last summer. But in other ways it seems so much harder than what I went through.

My heart longs for Crystal and her kids to be far enough down the road that the hurt has subsided and they've found a way to make it. I wish I could do that for them. I can't, and it hurts.

O Lord, be gracious to us, we long for you.

Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.

Isaiah 33:2

A blogging friend that I've never met, sent me this verse on a 3 x 5 card in a package of wonderful homemade soaps I ordered from her. She had read my last post and had some encouragement for me. Actually, she sent me 9 incredible verses. She must have remembered that I like to write them out and put them around my house. Or maybe God just put that in her heart as a gift to me. Either way, these verses are now spread around my home and car, to literally bring me strength throughout the day.

And it reminded me why I needed to write. It's because of all the beautiful emails and comments I've received that have encouraged me in the last couple weeks. Many of you have been where I am. You are all too familiar with this journey. So I share in the hopes that maybe you can help me travel it just a little bit easier.

UPDATE # 1: Pregnancy, week 20.

About two weeks ago, I had a detailed ultrasound with a perinatologist. He was checking on the baby's health, the previa, the placental tear and most importantly - Gender! I have good news all around.

The baby looks great. No issues, no "markers" to indicate any problems. We're measuring exactly on track. And there is no sign of the previa. That has grown up and the placenta is now off my cervix, clearing the way for baby to make it out with no issues when the time comes.

The placental separation cannot be found! Praise God. 12 weeks of bedrest finally did its job and my body was able to heal. More importantly, this means my physcial restrictions were lifted. And God knew the exact timing. I needed to be able to be up and around so I could help my friend these last few weeks. I would not have been able to watch her kids, since I would not have been allowed to lift the baby. My stamina is not yet what I hoped, but I'm believing it will get there. The doctor advised me to ease back into things gently. That has been easy on some days, harder on others. But my body lets me know when I've overdone it, and I don't have much choice but to sit back down for a little bit.

And lastly, it appears with some degree of certainty that we are being blessed with another girl! I'm not sure what God had in mind giving my husband four girls to take care of in his house, except that he must be pretty good at it. It was not a surprise to me, as I noted the similarities with my first pregnancies. Just like last summer I was able to be confident we were pregnant with a boy because of the differences. We are grateful and excited!

I am also happy to announce, I had my first inquiry of pregnancy from a stranger. It may have had more to do with the awkward clutching of my belly after a too-long trip with the girls to the library but I have convinced myself it is because I am finally starting to get a belly.

UPDATE #2: Madeline

I am happy to report some improvement in her health, immune system and allergies. Without getting too detailed, it appears that the chemicals that have been so hard for her body to filter out have finally started to leave her system. This allows for her filtering organs, such as her liver, to actually begin healing and stop being overtaxed. We added 3 new foods into her diet in the last 2 weeks. Foods that she previously couldn't handle. It may not seem like much, but to us it is nothing short of a miracle.

On the other hand, if you've gleaned anything from previous posts, you will already know that she is a character. She is full of life, energy and has no fear. That being said, yesterday she was at her grandparents house for an overnight with her sister and cousins. Troy and I were looking forward to an evening that didn't include making dinner, baths or bedtime routines. We had just finished one of our goals for the evening, dinner out, when we got the dreaded call.

Something involving Madeline, her cousins, her sister and a swiveling office chair resulted in a fall requiring immediate attention. (Can I just admit to you at this point that my primary feeling was not overwhelming concern for the well-being of my daughter, but rather a selfish disappointment in the loss of a rare evening alone? Just keeping it real.) In spite of her protests over the phone that she had been "healed for a minute" when everyone prayed for her, we knew we had to get it checked. This IS the same girl that toughed it out for 6 weeks with half a toothpick lodged in the arch of her foot, and only complained twice - once when it happened and six weeks later when we realized she needed a doctor visit.

So I packed my bag and made the 45 minute trip to my in-laws. My father-in-law graciously accompanied us to the ER, probably because he didn't know it was going to take over SIX hours. But thank God that he did. Madeline's arm was so hurt that she couldn't lay or sit or move without being in intense pain. I was in no condition to lift, carry and move her on my own, not to mention I wasn't allowed in the room for the X-rays.

After a second round of x-rays, the doctors could not find a fracture. That's not to say there isn't one, because apparently they hide in the growth plates of kids her age. And whether it was a fracture or a sprain, the poor kid did NOT want her arm moved. They stabilized it in a hard cast and she immediately perked up. She hasn't cried since unless you touch or move her, or she is trying to roll over in her sleep.

And yes, my two year old still has a pacifier. But seriously, at 7:30 she gets her blanket and pacifier out of her room and announces to us that she is ready for a rest. THEN, she goes to bed willingly. Who am I to mess with perfection? It's a summer goal to get rid of it. As is potty training and moving her into her sister's room. Any and all tips are welcomed.

Thank you for your notes and thoughts and prayers. I hope I get some time to get caught up with everyone in the next few weeks.

Friday, March 20, 2009


My heart is breaking. Today we learned that one of my dearest friends, Crystal, suddenly lost her husband, Mike, in the early morning. He was 36, active and healthy, with no history of illness. He unexplainably stopped breathing in the night and they were unable to revive him. They have 5 year old twins and a 6 month old baby. And none of them had the chance to say goodbye.
Mike holding our Madeline and his baby Nathan

I would do anything to bring this family together again. God had been doing an amazing work, and their story is one that brings Him glory. Crystal is a true friend who has overcome more than her share of tragedy and hardship. She understands real friendship, for good and bad. These last few months I've been on bedrest, she has faithfully picked up Olivia once a week for ballet with her girls. Afterwards, taking them home to play, and always returning her with an amazing meal in hand. I wish with all my heart she was spared this. And that the kids still had their Daddy.

Our girls with the twins

Mike was an incredible father. My husband had immense respect for the way he cherished his family. He was also charming and funny. He could bring a smile to everyone, young and old, and especially my girls. A few weeks ago, we went on a family vacation together. Afterwards, Troy and I talked about how easy and natural it was to be with their family. From the guys to the moms to the kids, it was just no work at all. And SO much fun.

Troy and Mike with all our girls

I had the privilege of spending the day with Crystal today, and her children and family. I want so badly to bless her in the way she has blessed our family. I am very honored that they allowed me in, to share in their grief and to serve them. Please pray for guidance and wisdom, as I continue to seek out the best ways to minister to them right now. I am so broken hearted and just devastated, as is my husband.

Please offer up prayers for this grieving family. And for Mike's family that have flown in from the East coast. While the hope of heaven is all that we have, somehow even that hope doesn't seem enough on this dark, first day of Spring. Jesus, please be with this family on their first night without a daddy and a husband. Meet them in their grief. Provide for their every need. Give them strength to make it to tomorrow. Amen.