Saturday, December 31, 2011

Basement

We have begun a new project at our house this week of finishing our basement. We have wanted to this for awhile and the dream has come true. I am so excited to see it coming together. We have had such amazing help this week. Corey's dad has been down five days on his week of vacation to help. If not for him this project would not really be possible because we would of had to hire an electrician!!! Our awesome neighbor also came over for a few days and brought all of his tools with him. This made many jobs much much easier. What a blessing for friends and family to be close and willing to help. We are adding a play room, living room, computer nook, and crafting area. It will most likely take awhile to get those rooms all put together but I know it will be worth the wait. I am most excited about the toys getting out of the kids rooms and our upstairs living room.

Christmas

We had a fabulous Christmas weekend. We spent Christmas Eve at my moms house and enjoyed a great evening of food, laughs and gifts. Ella was not feeling too well. She has been fighting runny nose/cough for week but the day before Christmas Eve she ran a fever. Despite her not feeling well she was a trooper. We decided to stay home from church since she was not feeling well. The kids did so well opening their gifts Christmas morning. They rotated opening between the two of them, waiting until the other was done before opening another gift. It was so fun to see them get excited and be able to open on their own this year. After good naps we headed to Corey's parents house. The kids have so much fun playing with their cousins. I am disappointed I did not get more pictures.
My grief had been so heavy up until Christmas and I was actually having a little anxiety about the actual days. But thanks to prayers and the peace of the Lord they were great days. I was overjoyed to think of Elias in heaven celebrating and truly had a peace that only my God can bring. I still imagine daily of what our life would be with a 10 month old crawling around and what joy and blessing he would be bringing our life. Missing him physically but knowing my heart is blessed by being able to be called his mother. Knowing he has changed me even though he is not here with me. He holds a place in my soul that belongs only to him. Love you sweet Elias.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

307 days

The last few weeks have been very emotional for me. First walking through this first Christmas season without my son is heart wrenching. I have had a huge sense that someone has been missing from our family. While loading the kids into the car, I make sure I have both kids because I feel like I am missing one; wondering what it would be like to have Elias with us. Getting the kids ready for the day, feeding them breakfast, putting them to sleep. I can remember one year ago singing to Ella and Elias still being in my belly knowing I would never be able to hold and rock him to sleep like my other kids. Knowing that I was going to lose my son, knowing that he most likely would not come home with us. I never expected the pain and heart ache to be this hard. Its hard because he is apart of our family, he has a mommy, daddy, brother and sister who love him and miss him so much. I have struggled with how to acknowledge that without seeming to be overbearing. He has changed my life so much, how could I just move on and not allow others to know I have a son or that Ethan and Ella have a brother? I don't want people to feel bad for me or treat me any different-just know that I have a child who is in Heaven and we miss and love him very much. Its hard. Everyones life continues to move on and so does mine but in a different way then before. Its difficult for me to put into words. I never expected to lose a child, to leave a hospital without my newborn son, to bury my own child. 307 days of missing my sweet sweet child. Daily I am trying to navigate my way through this tightrope of beauty and pain. Knowing that everyone will not understand how I feel or that I will truly be able to explain my feelings.

He Will be Home

I have some amazing friends. They have supported me, loved me and encouraged me whenever I needed it. I know that Elias' life has had a huge impact on each of these ladies and am so blessed to be able see that. I have received these special ornaments for my baby boy. Ornaments that allow me to acknowledge my son in a way that I was unable to before. He is Forever in our hearts, as the back of the blue bulb reads but he will be forever home with his Heavenly Father. I bet he will have an amazing Christmas.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Baking


Ethan and Ella have really started to like helping out in the kitchen. We baked cookies last Sunday. They had a blast and stuck around until the very end because that is when I let them taste the spoons:) We made Peanut Butter Blossoms and they unwrapped all of the hershey kisses. I am going to try to start adding baking in to our craft time during the week. It took a little longer and was a little messier but was a great time! Also Ella tried on my shoes, she just thinks she is so big!

Soccer

Ethan started attending an instructional soccer class once a week thanks to a great deal on groupon:) He is learning toe taps, duck walk, drop kicks, dribbling. He loves running around and playing!

Getting Cold

A few weeks ago we had a very light snow fall. The kids were amazed to watch it fall out the window. We enjoyed our first hot chocolates of the winter. They thought they were so big to drink out of mommy and daddy's cups:)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Today-9 months

Today the memories and heartache of the last year have weighed heavy on my heart. Its really hard to put into words how the loss can tumble over me when I think I am going strong. There are so many emotions. Its hard to believe that one year ago I had Elias in my belly. Tossing, kicking, moving all around. We were praying our way through the unexpected. I never expected this journey to be so hard at times. Today I hope for so many things
Just a few more kisses.
Just a few more snuggles.
One more minute, hour, day...
For him to be here on this Earth.
Celebrating his firsts of everything to come. Nine months brings so many milestones. Decorating for the Holidays, tree trimming. As I watch my other kids hang ornaments I imagine a curious little boy crawling around trying to get whatever his big brother and sister have. Missing Elias in a way I have not felt. We have been through Easter/Mothers Day but Thanksgiving and Christmas seem to important and he is not here. My tears are many today. I looked through lots of pictures and we have a about ten short (10 second) videos of him. I saw things today for the first time. One video is right after he is born and you can see him breathing, his chest moving up and down, I never really saw that part. I think I was concentrating more on his body as a whole. He was alive. Can you think if I had terminated as the doctor recommended? Not ever giving him a chance at life? I can not! There was another video of us giving him a bath. I remember being so nervous I was going to hurt him but today I did not see nervous. I saw a mommy who loved her baby boy and was giving him his first bath. There is another video of us dressing him, weighing him and Corey rocking and praying over him. It feels like an out of body experince watching those videos. That was me, by the grace of God, having joy and laughter, at a time that maybe some would be heartbroken. Truth is I was heartbroken and still am but having the protection, peace, hope, love and promises of our Heavenly Father gave me that joy. He takes care of his flock. He gives them exactly what they need, at the right time, exactly what is best for them. He knows me. He is my Sheppard and I am of his flock. That is all I need to know. All of this heartache, tears, emptiness; really I can not find a word to describe how much I love my son and wish he were here. But the amazing thing is Our God already knows that!
Psalm 23- Familiar but Oh so comforting!
" The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD
Forever."
Amen!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pictures




We finally got Ella's two year pictures done! Ella and Ethan did amazing!!! I brought Ethan along so I could get some brother and sister shots (those are hidden until Christmas card time). Ethan wanted to get in on some single shots. He is so silly, I just love him to pieces. Ella did great listening to the photographer and posing. I love getting our pictures done what great memories.
At Ella's two year check up,which was also over a month behind, she weighed in at 24lbs 3oz (11th percentile) and was 35 1/2 inches tall (85th percentile). She is growing up so fast!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pregnancy Care Center Niles Banquet

I had a huge honor of being asked to share my testimony/story of carrying Elias at the Pregnancy Care Center Niles annual fundraiser banquet. These types of things I NEVER thought I would be able to do. However I am learning to never say never:) It was a huge blessing to be able to share how Elias' life mattered. The theme for the night was Every Life Mattered; how fitting. I was very nervous but once I started talking it just flowed. Its a story that only my heart can tell and I find that I am at ease sharing about my little guys life. I am so humbled that God choose ME to be his mommy. I continue to be in awe of how God is allowing me to grow and share through my sons life almost nine months later!

Marked

It was hard for me to even find a title for this post. Final, Moments, Reality...Finally Elias' headstone has arrived. Moments that make my loss so real. Reality that I have a loss. So many feelings and emotions. I did find joy in seeing his headstone placed. I was nervous it would not arrive before the ground froze. I wanted so badly for his headstone to be there. It seemed like the least I could was have his "place" correctly marked. Its the mommy in me to want to take care of my child who is not here with me. Its hard because I know he is in the most majestic of places where this event is not a big deal but having his marker was a great feeling. A feeling like Elias was our child, he was here on Earth with us and he meant something. He left a mark on so many hearts and lives-we are forever changed!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Miss Ella

Ella has begun to love to dress up. She loves purses, necklaces and SHOES! She also has a new love for pockets. She thinks she is so big that she can find her pockets and walks around with her hands in them all the time. She is lovable, silly, smiley girl!

Pumpkin Carving

Last week we carved our pumpkins. This we started sharing the pumpkin gospel with our kids. Its a great children's story that tells of how we can have renewed life with God. How God transforms us into beautiful new creations to shine for Him. It made the evening purposeful by having a Christ centered focus. Ella loved cleaning out the pumpkin; while Ethan enjoyed painting is mini pumpkin.

First Tea Party


Ella got her first tea set for her birthday this year. The kids have been playing with it but a few weeks ago we pretended to have a real tea party-with water. The kids thought it was so fun to drink the water out of the tea cups. Ethan was a willing participant. He liked the pretzels and drinking from the tea cup too:)!

Field Trip


Ethan started preschool this Fall and we had his first field trip to Thistleberry Farms in South Bend. It was a beautiful day. We did a corn maze, jumped on the huge jumping pillow and picked pumpkins while on a hay ride. Ella was able to join in on the fun too! Ethan is loving school and looks forward to school days.

Monday, October 10, 2011

We love the zoo


Our kids love seeing animals and visiting the zoo. We purchased a membership this year from the local zoo and have enjoyed going six or so times this summer. Last Friday was just a beautiful October day so Anitra and I decided to take the kids. We had a perfect summer like day. We rounded out our trip with a picnic and some playground time.
At the beginning of September Corey and I took the kids to the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo. I would highly recommend it. It was great! We got to feed the giraffe, watch the sea lions swim and saw lots of monkeys. As you notice in the pictures from the top collage; Ella is starting to take on Ethan's way of smiling...they are so silly!!!

Happy Birthday Ella!


Our sweet little girl turned two! Its hard to believe that it has been two years since we welcomed this adorable girl into our family. On Ella's birthday we tried to make her day as special as possible. She had balloons when she woke up and a banner for her day. One year ago on her first birthday we found out about Elias' condition. The week leading up to diagnosis day and her birthday was extremely hard. It was like we were reliving those moments and days all over again. There were a lot of tears and deep heartache felt. However there was some restoration that happened over these days. I had to let go of some grief I had been holding on to. Let go and allow God to show me His love and mercy over me and this valley. I believe that through the valley the Lord continues to refine my heart and mind so that I am eternally focused instead of the things of this Earth.
Ella is talking SO much. She loves taking care of her baby dolls and her new loving family dollhouse she got for her birthday. Ella also enjoys reading books, cooking in her play kitchen and cars with her big brother. Ella's hair has finally started growing a little and we have enough for two little pigtails (pictures of first pigtails above). Ella still loves to be rocked and held when not playing, she loves her snuggle time. We are so blessed by her!
"Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. " Psalm 62:8

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Time

Summer is ending and we begin a new season. I love the Fall season; leaves changing colors and falling, fires, warm food, football, windows open. Time is a funny thing. I have continually been encouraged by God's promises over the last several months that He alone brings healing. Just as He promises in Psalms 23, He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, He leadeth me beside still waters, He restores my soul! My only goal since finding out about Elias condition was that I wanted God's Holy name to be glorified. I wanted to hold on to His promises and allow God to be the one directing our way. He has been carrying me, and continues to carry me as I hold on to His promises and allow God to be the one directing our way. He is leading me through His word on a journey of grief and sorrow that only He can bring me through.
I enjoy blogging, I love reading others blog. So many blogs have brought me so much encouragement and inspiration that I might have missed if it was not for the blogging world. Because of other life events I am feeling that blogging should not be on the top of my priority list. Its been nice to share where I am at and how I am feeling so that people who I see and talk to regularly know where I am. I love sharing about my kids and how they are growing or what our family has been up to. Really that is the reason I started our blog is to share about our families happenings way before we even thought of Ella or Elias. It was a way to share with friends that have moved and family who was not close by. I felt like I needed to share where I am at with this blogging stuff. Hoping anyone who might still be reading will understand.
Today is the 18th of the month, 7 months without our sweet sweet baby. Good has come but the best will be when I hold him again.
Everything Has Its Time
"To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born
and a time to die;
A time to plant,
and a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.
~Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
I will leave you with this song because I hope all of you have made the same choice. Trust in Jesus!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

17 hours and 4 minutes

Those hours that Elias was here with us on earth was a magnificent moment in my life I will never forget. Those hours, his life have laid something on my heart that can never be erased. I had a great opportunity to go away this last weekend with my closest girlfriends to a Woman of Faith conference. Right after Elias passed away I found out that Angie Smith was going to be speaking and I HAD to go. Angie's blog and book have been a huge encouragement to my walk, you can read about her story here.
This weekend was awesome and brought so much light and inspiration to a heart that was being torn and broken by grief. This summer as I have been learning to walk the journey of grief I knew there was something grand on the other side but I needed to walk through the grief first. As I tried to ignore my feelings of sadness and emptiness I soon learned that those coping mechanisms would not work. So I took the first step and shared what was really on my heart with my hubby and two close friends a few weeks ago. I had been praying that God would help me resolve those issues but knew I must physically speak those words to help the healing begin. As I took that step I knew that God was preparing my soul for healing and restoration. I never could of imagined the dreams and goals He would lay on my heart. Who knew that 17 hours and 4 minutes of an earthly life would make such a statement felt and heard across so many lives! I am not sure where those dreams and goals will take me but I do know that I am allowing my Heavenly Father to be the one leading me down the path!!!
"Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk. For I lift up my soul to You." Psalm 143:8

Thursday, August 18, 2011

6 months

It has been six months since I held this little hand.
Six months of sadness.
Six months of tears.
Six months of discoveries.
Six months of missing my sweet little boy.
Six months of wondering what was next.
Six months of emotions.
Six months of empty arms.
Six months of an empty heart.
Six months of missing milestones.
Six months of getting stronger.
Six months of my faith being tested at times.
Six months of learning how to share my heart.
Six months of learning to let go and pray.
Six months of hope.
Six months of never forgetting.
Missing Elias in my arms today. I hurt because he is gone but I rejoice because he was here.
"Weep Not. Pray to God with all your heart. To pray often is almost to conquer." ~Gustavus

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Busy and Growing

There has been so much going on the last month. I can not believe that it has been this long since I have written.
First I have been potty training Miss Ella since the week after the 4th of July and it just clicked with her last week. Whew!!! Glad I did not give up like I had wanted to do. We are still working on it but I think she pretty much has it. We had tried in May because she had shown some interest but it was disastrous after the first week so I decided to wait a few more weeks. Now no diapers in our house except at nighttime, kind of weird. I have been changing diapers for almost the last four years. On to new adventures!
Second we had family in town the last week of July. It is always great to see my uncle, aunt and all the cousins. We always have a great time together; eating, laughing, shopping. Its a fun filled week and always sad to see them go back home to Missouri.
Thirdly we have been just plan busy with other summer stuff from birthday parties, showers, working, and a huge landscape project. Back in June we decided to do some landscaping around house so that we could also do a memorial area for Elias. We had been given some gift certificates to buy plants in his memory. We have finally got the 20 ton of rock moved around the entire house, concrete borders put in and plants on the sides and back of the house. We just need to purchase plants for the front. Elias memorial area will be in the front of our house as you walk in by the sidewalk. I am so excited to be planting in memory of him, to see something grow. I will have to post some pictures when we are done. Hopefully that will be before winter:):)
Fourthly...I think it has scared me to write whats been going on in my life and heart. Struggling to navigate my way of a new normal. Understanding how our sweet child is in Heaven and not with us. I know that this was God's plan for our family and I am completely truthful in saying that I do not question God's will for his life. We have been blessed abundantly with many different forms of blessings that have come from carrying and losing our sweet Elias. However I would give it all back to have that sweet boy in my arms. To have the child I am longing be him, not any other. I know that I am becoming stronger in my convictions and purpose of my life through this last struggle of understanding. I continue to seek God's wisdom and direction that only He can provide. Elias has been called home by the one that loved him most. I hold on to that hope. I am at a turning point in my grief and I refuse to let Satan get the best of me. Praying my life is one that is reflective of his love, mercy and grace.
"And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You." Psalm 39:7


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Forever Framed

Above are five of our favorite pictures that Eileen from Traditions Photography took for us. She did an amazing job. Every time I look at these photos I am so thankful for her and willingness to take pictures for a woman she did not know. I think Eileen and I are bonded together for sharing those moments during pregnancy and labor and delivery together.
Our house is not very big so the wall we had to work with is very small but it worked out perfect. The frame is in the perfect place, you can see it from the dinning room and living room but its not the focal point. Someday I will have a little nook that is dedicated to him. It will have a big comfy rocking chair (like a mother should for their child) for praying, reading, quiet time or whatever your heart desires. It will have this picture on the wall with a few shelves displaying so many things I wish I had room for now. Also some sort of anitquish chest to put everything that belongs to Elias. Sounds awesome:)! Just a little day dream in there:)
Corey and I talked lots about what to do with the pictures. I put together a photo album of 300 pictures, there were over 700! We decided on getting a special frame from Eileen to display in our house. I wanted something special and unique for him. Corey and I picked out our pictures and what we liked for framing. Once our pictures were in we needed to go in and decide for sure. I had let Eileen know what our budget was and she said she could work with it. Well I knew what I picked out we could not afford but with Eileen knowing what our budget was she would figure something out. Well when I went in to the store to pick out our frame I found out that some very very dear friends of ours helped to cover the cost of what we picked out. I was amazed, humbled and teary eyed. This frame for Elias is probably one of the most expensive things I own. It is so beautiful. I love being able to look over and see his beauty. Instantly remembering how sweet his life was and how deeply affected I have been by such a tiny life. Remembering that every life matters. Having yet to question God's will for Elias' life. Seeing his picture in our house reminds my kids of a brother they will never know until one glorious day when we are all together again. Reminding me of a child that went to the One that loves him more then I ever could. Knowing that we made the right choice to carry our sweet baby until he was ready to meet us. Reminding me that Elias will never be forgotten. He is forever framed in my memory, heart and life. Missing you sweet child of mine.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Where I am at

The last week or so has been very emotional. I have been unable to express to any one person just how I am feeling. It seems I am just trying to figure out how to move on. How to move on to our life without our son. I want so easily to talk about Elias and share his life with others but usually I find myself in tears. Knowing that the tears come when I talk about him I don't. There have been at least three times when asked how many children I have and the door has been left open for me to be specific but I have not walked through. It seems I have been unable to speak the words. The hurt is to real to simply say that we lost our son in February, so I leave it with Ethan and Ella. I feel guilty about not telling people that we have a third child. Guilty because he is my baby and nothing about that will ever change. Guilty because it feels like I have done him an injustice. Guilty because I wish I had the courage. I have heard so many other moms struggle with this same simple issue, I never knew it would be so hard. I do not want people to feel sorry for me or feel like they have brought up something they should not have.
I am trying to navigate through this walk of grief in what sometimes feels like I am alone. I read lots of blogs and books and find myself easily relating to them. However, days and weeks when the overwhelming feeling that everyone has moved on but me is heart wrenching.
I am at a place where I am wondering what is next. It seems we spent the last year in a whirlwind that there has to be something else coming but there is not. There are some speaking and ministry opportunities coming my way that I am really seeking where God can best use His story.
There is nothing that can fill the hole in my heart that was put there by Elias. There is no amount of time that will make me love him or miss him less.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Its always coming

There are certain days that can bring my grief, my sadness, my heartache right up to the surface where it feels like Elias was just here yesterday. There is an 18th in every month which reminds me of the day he was born. There is always a Friday in every week which I can remember the day he was with us like it is today. There are songs, scriptures, places and pictures that I can see or hear everyday but then there are times when those things take my breath and my words away. They take me to a place where I am holding my sweet baby and having to let go. I am so overcome with tears and sadness. No matter how "good" I think I am doing and how time is starting to heal my wound it is easily ripped right open to start all over again. Elias has a part of my heart just like any child does with their mother. He was a part of me, from me and Corey. Its seems too complex to even comprehend sometimes. I continue to hope in the Lord, to hold onto to his promises and his faithfulness.
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. " 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

4 months

My sweet baby boy would have been 4 months old today!!!
I would of been looking forward to his check up to see how much he had grown, he would be working on sitting up, getting into more of a schedule, smiling and starting to babble. I am incredibly heartbroken because he is not here. I wanted to take him to his four month check up. I wanted to be the one to nurture and love him. I did not want to say goodbye that soon. It seems its hard to find the words today. I am speechless with heartache. My God choose me to be his mommy, something I do not regret. God choose my family to walk this journey, something I sometimes wish was not me. I choose to let my God hold my hand through this entire journey, just when I was twisting and turning for Him to loosen His grip, he held tighter. My only hope is that through this devastation to me that someone could see my hope and faith. I am not sure when I am really going to ever get over losing Elias but I think I am managing to keep going. I focus a lot on what we as a family have going on-down to the five loads of laundry I did today. Its the little things that keep me going.
I am constantly thinking about babies and if we are going to have more or not. Sometimes I let the thought consume me. I feel so sad to think I would never experience a baby turning and kicking in my belly, that I would never hold a sweet newborn baby of my own again. I worry that Ethan and Ella would not remain close throughout life and it is only the two of them. However there are so many moments that cup is so fully and completely blessed with the three children that the Lord has already given me, why change that? I am not sure what God has in store for us but He knows and as I let my thoughts of worry or sadness fill my mind I return to the One who has made me. Who knows how many hairs are on my head, who knitted me perfectly in my mothers womb, who has lead me to a life of redemption!

Monday, June 13, 2011

June 13th 2010

One year ago today we found out we were expecting another baby.
I struggle to type these words because it seems so unreal that it was a year ago.
I feel so guilty because I knew how I felt when I saw the test go positive. If I only knew that day what was to come. I was in disbelief, shocked and unexpected. I think I took about five more test in the days to come. I was not ready to have another baby. I still had a baby, really two:) But like my friend said, God knew what he was doing a year ago. It was a busy Sunday the day I took the test. I remember Corey saying you are wasting your time and money, there is no way. I took the test because I was just not feeling "right". I had never really been sick with my two other pregnancies and was not sick but something just felt off. Well obviously there was a way. Reality was becoming clear that YES I WAS PREGNANT. We waited a few days to tell a couple of close friends. I needed their prayer and support that I could be a mommy of three under three. I was not sure I had it in me. As I was being encouraged by friends I decided to share with our family. I think everyone was surprised as we were. Over the next few weeks we just began to soak in what our new family might look like. Well looking back now we were so naive. We just expected to have a healthy baby and to be able to bring him home with us. What I thought this summer would be like with a new little one is nothing of that. Instead we are grieving our little sweet baby boy who never made it home with his earthly family but who is in Heaven with his Heavenly Father. I was seriously worked up over having another child. I feel guilty today because I can not even imagine having those thoughts again. Taking for granted a healthy baby. Being so selfish worrying about me and not what a blessing this child was and is. I feel guilty because I can not believe I felt that way. We had somewhat struggled to get pregnant with Ethan, trying for over two years. I knew how sad I felt when others became pregnant so easily and here I am easily pregnant with baby number three allowing myself to feel pity for me. Well God had big things to teach me through this new little one. If only I had known on that day and weeks following that positive pregnancy test what I knew today the negative feelings I had over precious life would never have been. But you know? That is part of my story with Elias. Before I even knew that he would never make it home to live with us, for me to care for him, raise him God was pulling me closer to Him for what was in store in the months ahead.
"Blessed be the Lord, Because He has heard the voice of my supplications! The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him." Psalm 28:6-7

Friday, June 10, 2011

Beauty of the Cross

I am in love with this song. No matter what I need to let go of; my previous life, my grief, my bitterness towards people, my entire sin nature He finds grace in me just as I am. He found it fit to suffer, to bleed, to hurt for me. I am so unworthy and all I can do is praise Him and live for Him with my entire being. And no matter where I am in my life, letting go of whatever it is, he comes right next to me to walk, to cry, to hold my hand through. It is true beauty.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Okay

We are here chugging along. I have been sleeping better the last two or so weeks which is awesome. I have been able to get into that deep sleep almost every night. Huge answer to prayer. I think I am a much happier mom, wife and friend:)
Last weekend I spent the weekend with my two older sisters and mom for a girls weekend. We do not celebrate birthdays anymore so we try to do a fun day/weekend throughout the year. I love this idea. We went to Pokagon State Park in Angola. We frequented this place growing up and we had so many memories going back. We shopped all day Friday, for like 7 1/2 hours straight! Relaxed in the hot tub Friday night. Saturday morning we woke up and went for a morning run, came back for breakfast and then enjoyed a nice long hike. After our hike we came back and relaxed a little before heading out to paddle boat. We came back to our room, showered and relaxed for a couple of hours. We played some euchre, read and just relaxed. We ate dinner at a nice restaurant and then came back and scrap booked. I finished Ella's scrapbook up until she was a year old! It was a nice relaxing time. I am so thankful for Corey willing to let me go and hang out with our kids.
I got awesome news yesterday morning about Elias' memorial money that was giving to our church's children's ministry department. We found out that with this money our church has already begun to purchase and put in place a new security system for our kids. I am super excited about this. Knowing our kids will be safe and parents can feel at peace leaving their kids in our children's ministry. My heart melted all day yesterday thinking about how my sweet little son will impact a whole lot of kids and families. I miss Elias, I think of him often. But I am okay. I am okay with Elias dancing in Heaven. In reality its a much better life then I could of ever have imagined for my little boy. In Heaven with the one that loves him most, made perfect, made whole! Grief is a funny thing. The last few weeks I have been doing "better" whatever that really means. Its getting easier to understand and comprehend that my son died but there are these moments when the heartache and sadness seem to overtake. Sometimes it last a few minuets or hours but joy and peace fill the ache. We are walking up this valley with the good Lord on our side.
"For You have delivered my soul from death. Have You not kept my feet from falling. That I may walk before God in the light of the living?" Psalm 56:13

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Uninformed

Before finding out about Elias' diagnosis I was so uninformed. I had actually read Angie Smith's blog while pregnant with Ethan and remember crying, well actually sobbing, while reading her post. I was pregnant with a beautiful healthy little boy and she was walking down the path of carrying her sweet Audrey. It did not seem fair. The day we found out about Elias her blog was one of the first places I sought out for comfort. Even though our children carried different conditions, we both lost our babies too soon. She knew how I was feeling, she had carried her baby unlike the doctors recommended. Throughout my pregnancy I found lots of baby loss mama's blogs and would read for hours. I now only follow a few because I can become wrapped up in reading for a whole evening if I let myself:) Anyways, I learn of babies weekly, sometimes daily, who are with us for only a short time because of fatal conditions. Before Elias came into my life, I had no idea there were so many woman who have walked this journey of losing an infant. That sounds so naive and yes I knew that infant loss existed but not on the level I do today. There are so many moms walking the road of carrying a baby with a fatal diagnosis that they will only be able to hold for a short time. My heart is broken for them. I know how they feel. I wish I could take the pain away for them. I wish I could make their road, their story take a turn for the better. Those are my wishes, my hopes, my pain, my heartache, my selfishness. However there is someone already navigating their story, their is already a driver. We are only along for the ride. What will we make of it? My prayer for each of these woman and myself is that we would allow our Heavenly Father to be our driver, be our shield, our protector, our light when all we can see is darkness.
"For You are my lamp, O Lord; The Lord shall enlighten my darkness." 2 Samuel 22:29
This last Saturday Corey and I celebrated 7 years of marriage! It seems like just yesterday we were getting married. We have grown so much in the last 10 years, its crazy how time flies. Sunday we enjoyed dinner out and got our grocery shopping done. I only shop twice a month and it is a task. We are up to two carts and it is nice to have someone to help me. Its off the list at least for another few weeks:) Monday we headed to the zoo, enjoyed a picnic lunch and visited the cemetery. Elias was in need of some new flowers. The white silk flowers were worn but I was really surprised at how long they actually lasted. We placed sweet baby blue flowers, which I love. The cemetery looked beautiful, there were so many flowers. Memorial Day weekend is like "opening" day so there were lots of people out cleaning up, putting out new flowers and flags. Its my story, its my families story of visiting the cemetery frequently. I was a little bit older but I remember visits to the cemetery with my Mom and as I got older to visit my Dad, its a part of life. My kids love to go and it always brings up sweet, loving, heavenly conversation which I do not believe would happen if Elias were not there. I am reminded of a verse in Isaiah that was shared with me after Elias had passed. "No more shall an infant from there live but a few days..." Isaiah 65:20 He was so small, so sweet and it was too soon but am joyful at what eternity has in store!
P.S. In August a few girlfriends and I are headed to Indy to see Angie and some other amazing women at a Woman of Faith conference. I am so excited, we have floor seats! I am looking forward to seeing her in person and hear from her what God has been doing in her life.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday

Today we met with the doctor concerning the pathology report that indicated a balanced trans location of chromosomes. I have a better understanding of what the report meant and I have a deeper meaning that it all does not matter anyway. God is ultimately in control in my world and genetics really don't matter. Our docs assistant called us back this afternoon and our insurance would cover the needed lab work to find out for sure if we are carriers of this trans location. With a balanced trans location people can be healthy and have no known issues. However some peoples bodies can not recognize the trans location which would result in a miscarriage. Our doc explained it like this; our 46 chromosomes are like a novel, 46 chapters and someone with a balanced trans locations novel might read 1,2,3,5,6,4,7,8,11,13,9... where someone without this would read in numerical order. As long as all the pieces are there most cells can figure it out but like I said if not this would result in a miscarriage. Now all of this was very interesting but it still does not matter. First God is in control. He provides the strength, hope, love and mercy for my life. Second,my sweet son is still not here with us. All the test, reasons or no reasons, he is gone to be with Jesus. We are trying to finalize his headstone; what will it say? will it ever be just right? As I was researching and finding all these sweet stones, I overcame with emotion. There is something that just does not feel right, we should not be looking up stones for our son. I had to stop. Another day. I know I have to do this, this is one thing I want done as soon as we finish paying for it. But not today. I learned of a family in Kansas that had their daughter last Monday who was born with anencephaly. She just passed away last night. 8 days! Most anencephalic babies do not even get the opportunity for one minute because parents choose to terminate their pregnancies. 8 days. My heart breaks for this family. My heart breaks for all families who have to say goodbye before they even begin to say hello. My heat breaks for my family. Our journey has not ended, our lives are still being transformed though this one sweet little life.
"But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation." Psalm 13:5

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Life Walk

Saturday June 18th Corey, the kids and I are walking in the Life Walk. We believe that life is a gift from the Lord, creator of everything. I have a better understanding of what a special gift a child can be. How perfectly knitted each child is because of my Elias. He was truly a gift to my heart, my family and friends. I hope that others can see that choosing life can enrich their hearts and minds more then they could have every imagined.
Please consider donating to our family to benefit Niles Pregnancy Care Center. Thank You!

More Blessings

Corey and I are humbled frequently in how people have reached out to our family. This last week we received a check in the mail with no return address or signature on the letter. It simply said they knew we could use the money in lots of different ways and they were praying for us. It brings tears to my eyes as I type. This is something that we never thought could happen. But once again God has humbled me to show me how big He is. We are so Blessed, really. And to this person or family or whoever it might be I am hoping you might be a reader-THANK YOU! We are so close to paying off Elias' headstone-amazing!
Here are the lyrics to Laura Story's song "Blessings". Its the last song on my play list on the bottom of the page. This song seems to fit my life in so many ways.

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family
Protection while we sleep

We pray for healing
For prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand
to ease our suffering

And all the while
You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

Cuz what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know you’re near
What if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness
We doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

And all the while You hear each desperate plea
Lord, that we’d have faith to believe

Cuz what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know you’re near
What if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not
This is not our home

Cuz what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know you’re near
What if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
is the revealing of a greater thirst
This world can’t satisfy?
And what if trials of this life
The rain
The storms
The hardest nights
are your mercies in disguise

Lets See

I am not even sure where to begin. Life is happening at a high rate of speed.
For about the last four weeks I have been waitressing at a small mom and pop restaurant called Pasquale Rullis. I worked there for about five years before I had Ethan and have helped out here and there since. They are a great family to work for and with, I feel like a part of the family. I was going to be only working every Thursday for five or so hours. Well they have needed some extra help and I have been working two or three days a week. Its been a little adjustment for me. Corey and I talked and prayed about me doing some sort of little job. The extra money is always nice and I felt like I needed to do something. However going back to "work" has been a little harder. Its not many hours but I have been with my kids at home for the last three and half years and now not being with them all the time has been a change. I think the kids are loving the extra time with Dad. After this week I am back to only Thursdays. Our June calendar is filling up and I really will not be able to pick up extra days.
Other then working we are doing life. We celebrated some birthdays on Saturday and watched some friends kids in the evening so they could go on a date. It has been busy but good. My mind does not get easily distracted or wonder when we are busy. I feel like I am just going through the motions this last week. This last week marked 3 months since our sweet Elias was with us. Has it been that long since I last kissed his sweet cheeks? Tomorrow we meet with the genetics doctor. Praying we have a better understanding of everything.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Happy Sad

Yesterday was a sad day. Today was a happy one. Its amazing how this roller coaster is so crazy.
I still did not sleep very well last night but woke up ready for a fun day with the kids. We started at the doctors office because Ella has a little eye blockage. She has had a blocked tear duct since she was born and we just saw an optometrist last week where he suggested do a quick, easy surgery to open the duct. She has to go under anesthesia, it just seem like a lot. Corey and I are going to wait a few weeks and see how we feel after that about it. We got more eye drops today and hoping her eye will look better tomorrow. After the doctor we headed home to pack a quick lunch, grab a stroller and head to the zoo for an impromptu zoo and picnic outing with our friends. It was a beautiful sunny day, a little breezy, but great for a stroll in the zoo. The kids had a blast, loved having a picnic and playing on the playground. We rounded out our afternoon with naps. We grilled out for dinner and enjoyed Dairy Queen for dessert. We stopped by the cemetery on our way to DQ and lately every time I think of Elias my arms physically feel heavy. I can feel him in my arms. The cemetery looks beautiful with lots of flowers, mowed green grass, spring has arrived.
Last week we had an appointment with our delivery doctor regarding a tissue report they had done on the cord and the results. The results were a surprise when we found out a few weeks ago. The pathology report showed chromosomal abnormalities on three chromosomes. These abnormalities had nothing to do with his anencephaly. Our doctor recommended genetic counseling or pulling of Corey and my chromosomes to see which one of us could be a carrier. However there is a chance that we are perfect. The doctor said she was very discouraged and shocked to get this report. Us having two healthy children and no known genetic disorders. We will meet with a genetic counselor next Wednesday for a consultation. I am really trying to process all of this. I ultimately know that God is going to give me the grace, strength and hope to get through whatever lies ahead. Corey and I are constantly in discussion and prayer about more kids and what that might be for us. If we decide that we are feeling lead to have more kids, we will try to have more kids. I know that deep in my heart I do not want another anencephalic baby or any other defect, I want a healthy child but that might not be in my story. God might not choose to bless us with more children either, even if we think we are being lead to have more children. My biggest prayer is to not let genetics get in the way. We may decide to only meet with the genetics and not follow through with any blood work. We do have some questions that our doctor felt that the genetics would be better to answer. God knows my genetics, He knows my past and my future, He is the creator. How awesome that I can give these burdens to Him and He has and will carry them! I have been having to lay down my heart, my sins, my worry, my anxiousness daily but I give them to Him. I can not do this alone.
"If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me." Luke 9:23

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Kleenax and a Candle

My emotions are going crazy. I am not sleeping well, not feeling well. I am sad. I am overwhelmed with loss and pain. Its hard for me to see close friends and not cry. My heart is crying and I can not hide it.
I think with time things will get easier but it seems right now that it is getting a little harder. But I think that is how grief works. The loss of my son will never be easy or without heartache but healing and restoration will cover my wound. Its hard for me to even verbalize how my heart is so heavy with tears that all I can do is cry them out. I am thankful for my "Kleenex and candle" friends. No words even need to be spoken with these friends. I can just lay my head on their shoulder and weep. They offer me the encouragement and love I need. I am forever grateful for these friends.
"We all need Kleenex and candle friends when we suffer loss. Compassionate companions who give us permission to cry and offer a Kleenex or their tears. When the darkness of discouragement comes they encircle us. Our heroes of hope light the way to brighter tomorrows and to the One who is truth and our eternal encouragement. And at the right season, we can pass on what we have received to others...a Kleenex and a candle. "~Kathe Wunnenberg
Even when I think no one understands my pain, my heartache, my sadness, my loss, my crazy emotions there is One that does. I am not alone. God is here with me. He understand my pain and suffering. He knows what I am thinking and feeling before I ever say a word.
"Blessed are those who mourn. For they shall be comforted."Matthew 5:4

"And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulations produces perseverance and perseverance, character and character, hope."Romans 5:3-4

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

20 years

Today has been 20 years since my dad passed away. 20 years...has been that long?
I so badly wish he was here with us.
I wish I could of known him more.
I wish I knew all of his favorites: movie, song, book, drink, food. What he thought about what our world is going through. War, economy, unemployment. Give me advice on our yard, house, just plain old life. I wish our children could meet him.
I remember my dad- the fisherman, the worker, the authority,the tickler, story teller. Despite not knowing him on an adult level being only 8 when he passed away. I know him as my Dad, as a little girl should. Sitting on his lap, his beard and his love for his family.
We miss you deeply!!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Baby Dedication

Tomorrow is another holiday, another day without my precious baby. Kids are singing at church and this will be the first time Ethan will be singing. He has not been so hip on practicing but we are really trying to encourage him. We shall see how it goes. It is also baby dedication at our church. This past Sunday our children's ministry director asked if we would like to have Elias be part of dedication. Once again I felt so humbled by being able to share my Elias in this way. She felt like we were a true picture of giving your child to the Lord and how great to start the service off by sharing Elias. It stings, it hurts, it causes tears. Despite being so appreciative of being able to have Elias be a part of what he should of been a part of if he was here with us. It also is a deep reminder that he is not. He is in heaven, He is made whole, He is in the perfect place. The emptiness that has been left here in my earthly heart is what seems unbearable at times. Walking this valley, experiencing these holidays, what would have been events; is leading me to restoration and healing. Understanding that Elias is exactly where he should be.
Here is the verse and picture we picked for dedication. We used this same verse in his obituary. Perfect verse and great reminder that God knows everything and has every detail in His hand.
"For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance being yet unformed And in Your book they all were written. The days fashioned for me. When as yet there were none of them."
Psalm 139:13-16

Thursday, May 5, 2011

For Real?

Its amazing how the reality that we lost our sweet son just a mere 11 weeks ago can come raging up without any notice. Today it happened. I knew we were going to visit the cemetery today, I know I always cry but today was different. I missed last week because as I prepared for the spring tea talk and everything else going on I was not able to get there. Today my arms ache in a way I have never felt. Today I relive the few hours right before he passed.
I could not decide what I wanted for dinner from the hospital. As I contemplated my sisters, mom, Corey and I decided to order out. I decided Rulli's sounded excellent, what comfort food. As we ate dinner we just enjoyed the company of Elias in our arms. He had been so peaceful all day long; eyes shut, no cries, not really any movement. The only time he really moved was when we tried to put a new hat on him and when bathing him. As night entered I kept thinking how I thought I never would have had this much time with our son. It had been such a peaceful day. We were planning on taking him home the following day if he was still with us. I think I was a little naive or not really allowing myself to know that he would soon be gone. I just kept loving him and holding him as if he were to never leave us. My sisters and mom were going to head home, it had been a long day and an early morning. As I went to go wash my face, brush my teeth, try to get cleaned up there started to be a change in Elias. His left eye had started to open just a little bit but still no movement or cries. At that moment I could feel my heart starting to break. I took him from my sister who had been holding him and just started to rock him and hold him tight. My mom and sisters left the room. The nurse had checked his heart rate at around 9:15 and it was 93. It had been in the 120's all day and we knew it would soon be time for him to be in Jesus' arms. As I held Elias with Corey right by my side. We just prayed and sang. Around 10:15 Elias started to have little spasms. I just held him a little tighter, cried a little more, prayed harder that these seizures/spasms were causing no suffering, sang a little louder. His left eye was still opened. During this hour Elias only had maybe six or so seizures, can not remember for sure. But what I do remember for sure is holding his perfect little body in my arms, trying to make it easier or better for him. Around 11:10 ish the nurse checked his heart rate again and it was down to 43. We continued to pray, sing and adore him. Around 11:25 Elias' had another seizure but this seizure ended with a smile. A real smile from a sweet little boy who had shown no other facial expressions throughout the day. At that moment Corey and I knew he had run into Jesus arms, that he was made whole, made perfect. We called the nurse and she confirmed that there was no longer a heart beat. A second nurse came in and listened, there was no heartbeat. I held him in my arms all night. One thing I have always enjoyed with my little newborn babies is to nap with them. Well during the day when Elias was with us I did not have the chance to nap with him but I did now. We made phone calls, said goodbye to my sisters and mom and settled in for the night. I held him, rested well with him in my arms. My journey had not ended as Elias passed but it some sense it was just the beginning.

Monday, May 2, 2011

I am Here

I have been wanting to blog for a couple of days now but life seems to have overtaken for the moment...
I had been asked to speak and share my journey with Elias at our spring tea woman's event at our church. This last week I spent time rehearsing and putting the final pieces together. I was starting to get nervous at the start of last week but as the week went on and I practiced; God just gave me the strength to share my story. It did not have to be the greatest message ever preached or be a some sort of earth shattering teaching. It was the story God had given me and carried me through. I was just he medium in which God's love, hope and redemption was shown. The morning was a great event and I was able to talk slowly and allow Gods words to flow through me. It was actually really fun sharing Elias with a lot of people who may not of known him before. Sharing my sweet child and how he has transformed my life in so many ways. Challenging other woman in their own walk with God. What a great day! What an amazing blessing!
Speaking of Blessings. Corey and I have and continue to be so blessed throughout this journey. Its amazing that when are least expecting, most needing God works out all the details. We have been trying to figure out how we were going to pay for Elias' headstone. With all the medical bills, car repairs, funeral expenses and just plain old life there has not been much left for what we were hoping to use for his headstone. We got a call last week from the funeral home letting us know that cost were going up on May 1st and that if we could try to get an order placed so we could lock in a lower price. Corey and I had already been talking about this trying to figure out a way to get one ordered. I want so badly for Elias to have the proper marking. We are never going to get to pay for new toys, clothes, books, food, cars, college, wedding for him, it seems like this is the least we can do to show him our love. So one day last week Corey and I decided on a headstone and Corey went to place an order. To lock in the price you only had to have 10%down, to have it made you have to have half paid for and for them to place it has to be paid in full. Well the reality is that we could not pay in full and we would make payments until it was. I was so sad thinking it could be months before this would be paid for and placed for Elias. How terrible that we his parents could not provide this right now for him. However our Heavenly Father provides exactly what we need. The following day at the spring tea I learned that the money from ticket sales would be donated to our family. My eyes fill with tears as I share this with you. I am not sure if it will cover the headstone or not but it will probably get us pretty close. Just as I worried, doubted, and felt self pity the Lord has blessed me. I am so unworthy, I was not thinking even closely that God would provide this money for us but He has. Why do I doubt? He knows us, He knows our needs down to every last detail.

Easter

Good Friday we spent at my sister Amy's coloring Easter eggs. Ethan had fun coloring the eggs, Ella was not so into it. We still had a two dozen eggs left and the kids were done. So my sisters, mom and I sat and finished. It was a great time for the kids to play with their cousins and hang out with the family.
Easter morning I had a very little basket for the kids knowing that both Grandma's were giving them baskets and my neighbor left some treats in our yard. My mother-in-law made Ella's dress, isn't it adorable? I did not get a very good picture of them together but at least there was an effort. Ethan has been taking pictures with his eyes closed silly boy-memories in the making!
Easter afternoon we went Corey's folks house. My mother-in-law also made all the other girls dresses out of the same fabric. Ella was not so into getting her picture taken but there they are; all the grand kids:)



Monday, April 25, 2011

Poem

We received this poem with a donation to Elias memorial fund at church. Beautiful are the only words I have!

I'm just a little baby,
Who could not stay with you there.
I went straight to be with Jesus,
But I'm waiting for you here.

Don't fret about me Daddy and Mommy,
I'm with of all God's blessed.
I'd have loved to stay there with you,
But our Heavenly Father knows what's best.

Some things I'd to say,
bur first of all please know,
please do not worry, that I arrived here Okay.

I am up in Heaven, where I dwell with God above,
No pain, tears, or sadness, just eternal love.
When my life on Earth was through,
God picked me up and hug me and said I welcome you.

Please do not be unhappy just because I'm out of site,
Remember that I'm with you, every morning, noon and night.
I wish you could see my magical set of wings.
Exquisite soft white feathers made from all of God's loving things.

So when your feeling sad and blue and think I'm not right here.
Just look around at all the beautiful things and know I am near.

Thank you for the life you gave me,
it was brief but was not in vain,
I have all of heaven's glory
suffering non of the world's pain.

Thank you for the name you gave me,
I'm thankful for all you've done.
I'll be waiting here for you
in heaven up above.

Thank you Mommy and Daddy for making me,
You made me out of love,
I can't wait for the day I see you again
So you can see what I've become.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Firsts

Today we celebrated our risen Lord. We had an amazing service this morning at church. So humbled that He paid the price for me, for all of me. He paid it ALL. Dying on the cross allowed us freedom from our sin. I am reminded so much of what brought me to know Christ in a personal way. A freedom only He can offer.

My heart hurt today. My heart ached for my arms to hold a sweet little baby while praising our Risen Lord and saviour. I realized for the first time how this year of holidays and other days that remind me of Elias will be hard. Hard to not want him here with his family. Hard to not want him here to make memories. There were a ton of babies in service today. I loved watching and hearing there little voices. They bring a smile to my face but at the same time my heart is broken for the one precious boy I lost. They remind me of Elias, which I am actually very thankful for. Thankful I can see other babies grow and experience that newness, even if it is through anothers child. It helps fill a void that only a mother would feel to nurture and love her baby. He could be celebrating his first Easter with us, his family. Making his way through this first year of firsts. But today he celebrates first hand our Risen Lord!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Best Friends?

Here are some new pictures of my precious kiddos. They have been playing more together which has been fun to watch. Despite Ella being the younger one she likes things her way. Ethan is pretty compliant and tries to comprise with her often. This "compromising" can lead to some arguing/fighting. We are learning to use our words, to share and love each other. It so much fun to see them interact and play. Ethan uses the silliest of faces when we are trying to capture pictures. Love them to pieces!



Thursday, April 14, 2011

Another Week

Elias would be 8 weeks old tomorrow. 8 weeks, where has the time gone?

We spent our week hanging out at home. We did some cleaning, organizing and lots of playing. Two weeks ago I decided that we were watching way too much TV during the day. It had become a convenient way for me to do what I felt like I needed to do and not interact with our kiddos. Prior to these weeks we tried to watch one show or program a day. Now we are not big movie people so it was usually something on PBS, which is somewhat educational:) Or at least that is what I tell myself. Since Elias was born we probably were watching three or four programs a day! Yikes! So we have turned the TV off and it has been great for me and the kids. Its like we reconnected. Our days consist of book reading, worship time, coloring, playdoh, painting, hide and seek, walks, swinging, imaginary play with our little people, trains, kitchen set or baby dolls. Turning off the TV has meant for more intentional parenting on my part. I have been reminded of why I am at home. Not to organize and clean but to raise our children to love and obey our Lord and Savior. God is teaching me so much about myself and my selfish ways and refocusing on Him, my husband and our children.

I am speaking at our woman's ministry event at the end of April. God laid an outline on my heart and I have been trying to fill in the pieces. I am not a public speaker by nature but I know that this is a God given opportunity. An opportunity to show how God has truly carried me through my journey of carrying Elias, how he has taught me and continues to teach me so much about myself. An opportunity to share and show God's love, hope, and grace. If you think of it will you pray that I share God's words and not my own?

Time continues to pass. I have been struggling with this. I am trying to hold onto the time like I have control. I don't want to forget. I don't want to stop hurting. I don't want days to go by where Elias is not thought of. I am scared as time goes on that he will be lost, forgotten. Elias has a part of my heart that will never belong to someone or something else but I am still afraid. But how could a mother forget losing her precious son?

He Maketh No Mistake

My Fathers's way may twist and turn

My heart may throb and ache

But in my soul I'm glad I know

He maketh no mistake


My cherished plans may go astray,

My hopes may fade away.

But still I'll trust my Lord to lead,

For he doth know the way.

Though night be dark and it may seem

that day will never break.

I'll pin my faith,my all in Him.

He maketh no mistake.


There's so much now I cannot see,

My eyesight's too far dim;

But come what may,I'll surely trust

And leave it all to Him.


For by and by the mist will lift

And plain it all He'll make;

Through all the way, though dark to me,

He made not one mistake.

~A.M. Overton

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Necklaces I wear

I have been given three special necklaces from very special people. I wear them everyday, all together. How could I ever choose which one to wear? They all tell my story perfectly.

The first necklace I received from one of my best friends Mary, had a poem with it called "No Tears in Heaven". The charm is a teardrop. Here is the poem:

There are no tears in Heaven, so I have left behind this single, little teardrop to lovingly remind though absent from the body, I'm present with the Lord; the joy of my salvation is now my full reward. And just as God has promised, He's wiped my tears away, and nothing can compare to the wonder of that day. So wear this in my memory, and know that up above there are no tears in Heaven instead there's only Love.

The second necklace I received was from my mother and sisters. It is a single teardrop with two rose quartz stones. Here is the saying that came with the necklace.

Rose quartz is a stone of unconditional love and emotional healing. It emanates unconditional love and nurturance, supporting us through our grieving. It is truly a balm for the spirit and the heart. The teardrop represents the tears that we must cry, the sorrow that we must release, in order to begin to heal from our loss. As a gift, this necklace tells our loved ones that we care about their sorrow and their grief, that we understand the need for tears, that we are here to hold them close and offer comfort.

The third necklace came from a dear friend from church, Kristen. It is a mothers necklace. A stone to represent each of my babies. Garnet for Ethan, born January 18th. Saphire for Ella, born September 21st. Amethyst for Elias, born February 18th. Even when I do not have the strength to tell someone I have three children; the necklace will represent each one when I can not.

I am so thankful for each of these. Don't they tell my story perfectly? Life is going on but the pain is still here. Can not wait to hold him again!