12-03-19 A Look Back

I was looking through old photos this evening when I first saw this one, I thought it was Tim holding Baby E, but no, it’s Big E. This was during our farmhouse days- I recognize the chair and the green wall.

One of our neighbors when we lived in the farmhouse was a woman in her nineties that had actually been born in our house. She would see us taking walks in the evenings and she would invite us into her home. She would talk and talk, telling us the history of her family and the area, while game shows played on the tv in the background. Nearly every wall in her house was covered with pictures and news articles about President Obama and his family. She was so proud to have a black president.

As she talked about our farmhouse she would get a glint in her eye, she was so proud of it. The house was originally just two rooms. Her family had always been a landowning black family, which was rare during her childhood, and the house has been a place of pride. Her parents raised seven children in those two rooms, eventually adding the two rooms above, to make a total of four rooms. You could tell where the original wood stove had been in the house, and the back stairs were just the type you would imagine from a house built in the early 1900’s. As the years went on they added more rooms which eventually included indoor bathrooms, a dining room, and a basement kitchen. By the time we moved in, it was a mishmash of decades that exuded character from every corner.

The house sat on a lovely hill, and our neighbor would talk about the roaming farmland that had sloped away from it. Not much was farm land any more, and houses dotted the landscape. Everyone in the small neighborhood were descendants of that family except for us. It was fun to listen to them recount their memories of visiting their grandmother in that house growing up.

I never loved the house. It was a challenging place to live, but I always appreciated its history and stories. It was unusual and had character. We spent two years in that little farmhouse, which my kids remember as someplace magical. We had a small garden. We took long walks nearly every night. We greeted the stone animals that populated the ends of the driveways. The kids sped down the grass hill in their Cozy Coupes.

I brought Baby E home from the hospital to that house. For that reason alone, there I have a soft spot for it.

Well, I should probably draw this ramble to a close. Tim just popped up in bed and asked me if it was time to get up. “No honey, it’s time to go to sleep!”

Thank you again for your prayers and well wishes. I’d like to say that each day gets better, but this journey isn’t very linear. Some days are better than others. Today was an okay day. Tonight I’m incredibly grateful for the people God has brought into my life that I can reach out to, without embarrassment or shame, when I’m have a rough moment (or hour or day. ) They are truly a godsend.

12-02-19 The Dollhouse and "I Love You Food"

A couple of months ago I was scrolling down Facebook Marketplace when I came across a curbside pick up. I had been looking for large bins we could store containers in at the shop when I spotted the picture. Alongside a few large bins, I noticed a dollhouse. I figured since it was a curbside pick up, it wouldn’t be there by the time I got there, but I was more interested in the large plastic containers anyways.

To my surprise, the dollhouse was still sitting there when I pulled up. It was dusty and a little musty, but I got it into the back of the car. When I got it home, I brought it inside, and it has been waiting in a corner for me to get around to cleaning it. Today was finally that day. I wiped and scrubbed it down, washed the furniture that came with it, and made sure it was ready for the kids.

The kids, who have been eyeing it for weeks, couldn’t have been more excited to place it in the middle of the living room floor and play with it. It entertained them for hours and it brought a smile to my face.

Tonight we had the last of our “I Love You Food.”

“I Love You Food” is something that I implemented the last time we were in this situation. When I came home from the hospital last time, our church family and MOPS group surrounded us with love and showered us with meals. It was one of the things that made recovery a little bit easier, knowing I could focus on healing and not stress about getting meals prepared. I remember one of the first nights someone came over and brought food and the kids weren’t thrilled at what came. (Tim and I loved all the food, but the kids were picky.) I sat them down and we had a serious discussion about “I Love You Food” and I explained to them that the food was a gift, that it was an incredible blessing, and that we would eat anything that was brought over, because it was “I Love You Food.” After our talk, they sat down and ate their meal without complaint. During the following weeks, when the kids would suspiciously eye food, all I had to say was that it was “I Love You Food” and they would settle down and eat it. They were surprised to learn how much they enjoyed the new flavors and dishes.

This past week we were once again blessed, this time by our new church family, with an abundance of “I Love You Food.” As I set food in front of the children each evening, I reminded them where each meal came from, who brought it, and that it meant they cared and loved us. The kids would smile and get excited to learn what each new meal was and once again they were surprised to discover new foods that they enjoyed! It was all delicious!

I can’t express how thankful we are for the outpouring of love and support. It has helped to soften the edge of a truly horrible experience knowing that so many people have prayed and provided for us. It is always a beautiful thing to see the body of Christ in action, and our family has seen if first hand these past few weeks. Thank you again for your kindness. Thank you for your prayers. We love you.

12-01-19 Twelve Years

When Tim bent down on one knee in the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge during a torrential downpour to ask me to be his wife, I had little concept of how that would actually play out. I threw my arms around him as I said yes, excited to be starting out lives together.

Twelve years after we said “I do,” I can still look back with confidence that God chose the right man to walk through life with me.

Happy 12 Years, my love!

11-30-19 Nothing

I have spent the better part of an hour staring at this screen and I have precious little to show for it. For all the emotion I felt yesterday, today I feel numb. No energy. No creativity. Nothing.

So tonight I will graciously accept defeat and head to bed. Goodnight sweet friends.

Thank you for your continued prayers.

11-29-19 A Grieving Day

Some days are easier than others and today was not one of them. Today was a handle with care day. It was a tear-stained face-cry into my husband’s arms kind of day. Today was a grieving day.

I had several difficult interactions today, that I think individually, on a good day I could have weathered just fine- but today I didn’t have it in me, so when they came, they clobbered me.

I keep reminding myself to be patient- with my mind and my body. It’s been just over a week and there’s still more grieving and healing to come. There’s no magic switch to make it stop, it’s one step in front of the other, leaning on the Lord and the people I love.

Thank you for your continued prayers.

11-27-19 Forty-Two Years

My parents celebrated 42 years of marriage this week. This evening, my sister took me to the grocery store and we picked up a cake for them. When we got home, I pulled out the same knife they used at their wedding all those years ago and sliced it up.

42 years! What a remarkable testimony of love, grace, compassion, patience, and joy. Their marriage hasn’t been perfect (whose marriage is?), but their commitment to each other and their wedding vows has been. I’m so grateful that they modeled a stable and loving relationship throughout my life, and watching them hold hands this evening brought a smile to my face.

So Happy Anniversary to my amazing parents!! This past year has been a challenge to say the least, but your continued love and commitment has been beautiful to behold. May God continue to watch over you, give you peace in unknown waters, and remind you how very much you are loved!

From all of us- Me, Tim, C, Big E, and Baby E- WE LOVE YOU!!!

2007

11-26-19 Dreams

As you can imagine, I have been sleeping a lot this past week. No sooner do I wake up then I eagerly anticipate my next slumber. I’m down to 1-2 naps a day, which I will call a success.

What I didn’t anticipate with all my sleeping were the incredibly vivid dreams I have been having. I can’t usually remember all of the details when I wake up, but they have ranged from traveling to Alaska to rescue my niece (who ended up not wanting rescued btw, so that was a wasted trip and I had to reschedule my flight home during a white out blizzard) to a crazy amount of dreams about babies… Babies I meet, babies I have, babies I could adopt- babies… babies… babies.

I always wake up the same- drenched in sweat in our chilly bedroom, my eyes trying to focus on anything familiar until my mind begins to settle. Because I’m not sleeping well, it causes more dreams as I come in and out of my hazy state multiple times a night. This adds even more to my tiredness during the day, hence all the extra naps.

I don’t remember this happening last time. Maybe it did and I just don’t recall. I don’t mind the dreams, I just wish there weren’t so many babies. My subconscious has been busy, I guess.

It’s crazy and amazing how attached you can become in just a few hours. Nay, a few minutes. My fear of losing the baby wasn’t just the fear of all the physical pain that would accompany it, but the hole that would be gouged in my heart at the loss of another child. I didn’t want to love it if I couldn’t keep it. It was too late, though. I loved it the second I knew of it. Of him. Of her. I loved that child.

I wish I could have protected it. I wish it could have been saved. I pray one day ectopic pregnancies aren’t a death sentence to the babies and a danger to their mamas- That one day they can be born too.

Until then I will stand on my soapbox and shout from rooftops that they mattered, not just because they were wanted, but because they existed. They weren’t just a clump of cells, they were beautifully and wonderfully made, they just landed in the wrong place.

It’s important to remember that their mamas are real mamas, with real tears, experiencing a very real loss.

Every child matters.

Thank you for your continued prayers and well wishes. We feel very loved. Just this evening my kids were talking about how much our church loves us and how well they have taken care of us over this past week.

To Christ be the glory.

11-25-19 I Remember

This photo popped up in my memories today. Three years ago today we were walking this same journey.

I remember-

  • hating that shirt, but buying it anyway. I hated everything I tried on because when I looked at myself in the mirror, I didn’t see the shirt, but the body that had failed me.
  • taking that walk. It was on the trail by my parents’ old house and it was the furthest I had ventured since my surgery. There was a hill that I struggled to get back up. By the time I got home I was spent.
  • forcing that smile. I didn’t feel it, but I wanted to. I felt hollow, like the world kept moving on around me and I just stood still trying not to get in its way.
  • Tim. I remember the way he felt so strong and steady next to me. How he walked slowly beside me, holding my hand, encouraging me.

I also remember it got easier. Little by little, day by day, prayer by prayer. And it will this time too. So while I wait this thing out, I’ll focus on the good little moments that come each day, the one’s I wouldn’t normally see as huge blessings, and be thankful for each one of them.

To Christ be the glory.

Thank you for your continued prayers and well wishes. We love you all.

11-24-19 Fear

If you had asked me a week ago what my greatest fear was, this would have ranked up there in the top three- finding out I was pregnant and losing the baby to an ectopic rupture. I have feared this scenario for the better part of three years. And here we are.

The irony is this… The fear I carried in no way aided me when the actual event occurred. None of my worrying or obsessing over it made one difference. It happened so quickly and was so completely out of my control that there was nothing I could do to prevent it. When it actually happened, I was just along for the ride.

Those moments of fear over the past several years that clouded my judgement and stole my joy were mere dust in my hands and rot in my heart. If we fear the ‘mights’ and the ‘what-ifs’ of life, if we allow them to be our traveling companions, when tragedy strikes (and it will, in some form or other) we will find our companions have withered and we stand alone.

It is much wiser and much braver to leave those fears at the cross. And when they plead to join you on your journey, turn your back and give them no power.

Let Christ be enough.

Thank you for your continued prayers.