12-31-16 Happy New Year!!

Tim and I had been discussing baby names the morning we were at the hospital waiting for a room to open up. In the back of my mind, I had a feeling we were in the middle of something terrible. My mind had wandered to the thought of losing the baby but I refused to dwell there, after all I had had three successful pregnancies. No, it couldn’t be that bad- after all, I had prayed.

The night I found out I was pregnant I asked God to spare me the pain of losing a baby, but a few weeks later my baby was gone, and in such a dramatic, heart wrenching way. I struggled with why God had said no to the one thing I had begged of him. And so I vacillated between numbness and deep sadness, trying to make sense of the loss we had experienced.

I’ll never know this side of eternity the answer to my ‘why,’ but I can (and have) learned from it.

I’ve learned that the body heals faster than the heart.

I’ve learned that a community of believers has the power to impact the outcome of grief. 

I’ve learned that miscarriage and infant loss is more widespread and common than quiet whispers allow. That there is a kinship of women that have walked this path ahead of me, and their collective wisdom has helped navigate me though this season. 

I’ve learned that naming our baby is helping me to process my grief. (One day I will share her name, but for now it is a treasure I keep close to my heart. )

I’ve learned that grief takes on many forms- fear, sadness, compassion, courage, love, etc.

I’ve learned, or rather been reminded, that God’s goodness is not contingent on my circumstances and that the loss of our baby is a part of our story and is being worked out for good even if we can not yet see it. 

And I’ve learned that you will smile again, laugh again, feel again. It takes time, but it happens. And when it does, it feels like freedom. 

2016 was not all terrible. In fact, it was peppered with some truly wonderful experiences, but it finished with such a fantastic maelstrom of difficulty I am not unhappy to see it end. Of course, the turning over of a new year neither guarantees prosperity, nor safety, nor happiness, but it does offer a good opportunity to do a mental reset, a chance to start fresh and to approach the new year with a sense of optimism. So with that in mind, may God bless you in your travels, encourage you in your relationships, and draw you ever closer to himself. Happy New Year!

I’d like to say thank you to those of you that have journeyed with me this past year. Your words of encouragement were deeply felt and appreciated. Thank you for reading and thank you for staying! 

12-30-16 Noises

As we walked back from the bathroom towards the office, we meandered through doorways and past panels that were set up on saw horses, waiting for their first coat of spray. Baby E held onto my finger, tighter than normal, as his eyes darted around, trying to absorb his very busy environment. A metal door slammed behind us and I felt his little body jump. I looked down as he regained his footing. Across the shop a spray booth kicked in, sending a roar through the warehouse and Baby E jumped again. By now he was worried, the noises approaching from every direction. About twenty feet away, someone turned on an air gun to clean off the dust on a panel that had accumulated from the sanding process, but this was one loud noise too many for Baby E. His body trembled and he started to scream. I scooped him up and carried him the rest of the way.

I mused as I comforted him that the very noises that had startled him were the same noises that brought my childhood flooding back to my memory in a rush of nostalgia. The  sound of the spray booth is comforting, a constant hum that permeated a great deal of my early years. The air gun reminded me of the hours my sister and I spent playing with it, watching how the rush of air would toss our clothing or distort our faces as we pointed it at each other.

Our childhood was unusual. I’m so glad that it was.

I’ve spent a week with my parents. One day I made a brief stop at the shop. While it is not the same building as when I was a child, it smelled the same and it sounded the same. In a strange way, it feels a little like home.

As I type, my loves are driving. They’ve been driving the better part of the day, but will have to stop to sleep and continue in the morning. By this time tomorrow my sweet children should be sleeping under the same roof again, and I might find myself staring at them, wondering how they grew so much in just one week.

I can’t wait. I’ve missed them terribly!

Happy Birthday, my love!

12-29-16 Let it be noted…

Let it be noted that Baby E has talked constantly for four days straight. If talking was a marathon, he’d be bringing home gold, because seriously he does not stop. Just as my ears start to feel the sweet relief of silence, they are accosted with a barrage of babbles and screeches that torture my introverted sensibilities. When he sleeps there is quiet, but only when he sleeps.

With that said, he has been a sweet boy all week and a good sport as we dragged him around to our many outings. Considering he is only two, and has the attention span of a goldfish, I’ve been pretty impressed with his behavior.

Tomorrow is a big day… A huge day, really, for two very important reasons…

1- My Family Comes Home!- Tomorrow they start the long trek back home and I cannot wait for their arrival. I’m not sure how far they will make it tomorrow, but every mile will bring them closer to me (and that’s a wonderful thing!)

2- It’s My Best Friend’s Birthday!!- While I won’t get to spend the day with my best friend, I am so incredibly grateful to have him in my life and as my partner through this crazy, messy, savage training experience. So let me be the first to say it, “Happy Birthday, Tim!!!”

12-27-16 Baby E


There’s something you should know about Baby E… He talks constantly. I’ve never had this much one on one time with him before, seeing as the two older kids are always there, and I had no idea he had so much to say. Maybe he didn’t know it either until he realized there was silence and had this profound need to fill every moment of it. Every car ride, every meal, every walk has been filled with constant chatter. His favorite topic to talk about is airplanes and who will ride in them. This is followed closely by trucks (which, by the way, is a word he has a difficult time pronouncing) And when he tries to say “Another truck” we get a phrase that even a seasoned sailor might blush at, so I’m trying to change the topic on that one as quickly as I can.

It’s been wonderful to actually see him this week, to get to know him away from the other kids and appreciate the things that make him genuinely unique and amazing. He’s a sweet, kind kid with a stubborn personality and a smile that melts my heart every time!

The big kids are enjoying Florida. They swam in the Gulf of Mexico and played with their cousins. I am so glad they are having fun and I am looking forward to their safe return!

12-24-16 Tomorrow

Tomorrow is a day that I have been both eagerly anticipating and dreading for weeks now.

I love Christmas time and it is my favorite time of year. I love everything about it- the lights, the music, the time spent with family and friends. And I am especially in love with the Christmas story, that God himself would become flesh and dwell among his creation, completely human and completely God – the story that begins in a humble manger, but ends on a rugged cross and an empty tomb!! It is a story that utterly changed my life and my future!

So for me, Christmas is an opportunity to connect with that story, to remind myself of both its tradition and its implications- to see that my life changed is my life saved!

So for all those reasons, tomorrow is one of my favorite days of the year, however this year will be a little rough. Tim, C, and Big E will leave early tomorrow afternoon to drive to Florida. Tim’s family is having a reunion down near Tampa, so they will be joining most everyone down there by Monday. It is a trip that has been planned for quite some time and they are looking forward to it.

If you know me, or have followed the blog for awhile, you know that I deal with an annoying case of PTSD, which manifests itself as panic attacks when I travel. For the most part it has been under control for several years, though I have felt it simmering slightly for the past year. With the prospect of this trip to Florida coming up, I had been seriously considering giving a big trip a try. It’s a place I really want to visit, with a group of people that I love to be around. But I’ll be honest, since the ectopic rupture, my anxiety has been much worse- not out of control, but definitely palpable. So I made the decision to stay back with Baby E. Part of me feels like it is a failure not to go, but part of me recognizes the state of mind I have been in recently and the damage it would cause if I jumped into something I wasn’t ready for. The miscarriage shook me harder than I expected, and I’m still deep in the healing process. It’s getting better, but I want to crawl before I walk.

So in lieu of going to Florida, and missing out on some awesome opportunities, I will be spending an equally awesome week with my dear parents and sister. I don’t get to see them as often as my heart desires, so I am going to take this time to love on them. And Baby E and I will get some wonderful time together. I really think it is going to be a great week! God is good and we are blessed.

Please pray for safe travels for my loves, and for peace as we are separated. I am looking forward to us all being together again by the end of the week! Thank you!