Friday, December 10, 2010

Here lately...

It's been a while since I've done one of these.  So it's more of a "here the last 4 months" rather than a "here lately" but you get the idea!  So drum roll please...... our life in pictures over the last 4 months!

I love when she stands like this...

 Little miss diva ready to walk out the door for church. 
{She also has a purse if you look behind the baby.}

 Playing Putt Putt with Daddy.

 We love summer time!!

Transitioned to her new big girl bed.
{Ask me if she sleeps in it....}

 Best friends sharing secrets

  Playing dress up!!

 haha!  Helping Mommy make chocolate chip cookies!

Meeting baby Zoe Kate for the first time!  
{She's a natural! ;)}

 Excited to go to the fair!
{And if you know her at all, you know her shirt is so true!}

She had so much fun feeding all the animals!

Our little farm girl. She was so upset when she had to put everything back.
She thought she was collecting them to take them home. :(


John Deer green

Just a little mommy and Daddy love.

 One sad little pumpkin

 Painting pumpkins!!

And carving pumpkins!!

Mini fall carnival in the backyard

Cinderella's castle!!

 My Jessie Cowgirl

I love our family!

Getting hyped up on candy....

I love my little cutie patootie!

Check out all that candy!!

Okay, so this is actually going to be Part 1....there are too many pictures! ;)  At least I got caught up through the end of October.  So stay tuned for Part 2...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

This year

**Please let me start by saying I'm sorry if I offended anyone with my last post.  I had simply planned on talking about how 28 and I aren't friends...yet...and my goals for this coming year, but instead, it unleashed a fury of junk I've been keeping inside.  Granted, I've been wanting to write a post about how badly I want to be pregnant again, and a post about the financial aftermath of loosing a child and how they coincide.  I just hadn't planned on doing it there.  Not that anyone has said that they are, but, again, I apologize if I offended anyone.  I promise that was not ever my intent.  The hubs thinks it was a bit harsh.  And he's probably right.  I'm generally not that blunt.  I assure you it was not about anyone in particular.  The "you" I was referring to wasn't actually you {my readers}...simply a blanket statement, generic "you".  Again, I'm seriously sorry if anyone was offended or hurt or felt attacked in anyway**

Okay, so my goals for this year.

We were at lunch Sunday celebrating mine and a friend's birthday when he {bday friend} turned to me and asked what all God had been doing in my life this past year and what I wanted to see happen next year.  It was funny that he asked because I had just been thinking about that very thing in the shower that morning.  This past year God has shown me a lot about trusting him {you'd think I'd have that one down by now...} and that even when my world seems so unsure and change is all around that he is still there.  I say you'd think I'd have the whole trusting God thing down by now, but the thing with trust is there are always new levels of trust.  I may completely trust in one area but struggle in another.  That doesn't mean that I trust any less in the first.  It simply means I am human.  I. am. human.  And I have a dependency on something greater than myself.  I have to rely on God.  And for that I am thankful.  So while I may get annoyed sometimes that I don't trust God more, he is showing me through that weakness that I can't do this thing called life on my own.  I am only human and without him, I am nothing.  He is teaching me to be thankful for my weaknesses, because through them HE is made stronger in me!  {None of this should be used as excuses though.  We should always try to better our weaknesses.  The whole "but I'm only human" excuse is lame.  But I'm sure you knew that.  *grin* When used as an excuse, it typically means we are looking for justification for our sins.  We are looking for ways to feel okay about giving into our flesh.  Christ called us to die to our flesh, and that my friends, is a daily and sometimes hourly process.}

So what about this year?  What are my goals? Dreams? Hopes and desires?

Well some of them are pretty basic.  Like get back in shape.  Not the New Year's Resolution type get back in shape where I'll fizzle out in 3 weeks time.  But for real.  I've gained XX pounds {Ha! Like I'd actually say how much! ;)} since being married and I'm SO over it.  So over it.  I'm tired of feeling horrible about myself and I'm desperately ready for change.  What am I going to do about it?  Well, we are eating, holidays=horrible time to try and change your diet.  But we are trying.  We are also purchasing an elliptical.  I have awful joints so running is out of the question.  I'm excited to go and pick it up sometime this week!  Another one...have a baby.  Before I turn 29.  I realize that only leaves a few months to get pregnant and I'm hoping the Lord sees fit.  I also realize that this will put a bit of a damper on the whole losing weight thing.  Luckily for me, I lose weight during my pregnancies and only gain a few pounds over all.  *grin*  {Not that I would try to lose weight while pregnant.  That would be silly.}  Let's see, another is to continue working towards paying down our debt.  We recently just paid off 2 pretty large debts.  We still have 3 credit cards and all of our medical debt.  We are working on a pretty strict budget right now and will hopefully make some pretty good leeway over the next year.  I will be so glad when this burden is lifted!  It's a heavy, heavy burden and I'm so sick of it.  Hmm, what else?  I want to become more organized with my house and time.  Watching kids all day makes it tricky as far as the house is concerned, but I'm determined.  Scott and I both have two weeks off for Christmas, so I'm hoping to declutter and reorganize everything...and sell a ton on Craigslist!  You should see our garage.  Not pretty.  

Okay, now spiritually.  I want to read through the entire Bible in a year.  I've never done it and it's about time.  I also want to find a children's Bible.  We have one, sorta, well, not really.  It has Bible stories in it and it works for now.  But McKinnley

I am thankful for a new year and the change it brings.  I was thinking about change the other day.  And how often, change comes in the form of the road less traveled.  Most of the time I think we tend to think of this as a somewhat scary road.  I mean, it's less traveled, so who knows what could be lurking around the corner.  But remember earlier when I said I was thinking about all of this in the shower?  Hears the picture that came to mind.  A small, winding, country road covered in snow.  On either side of the road are huge barren trees that create a canopy over the path.  Its a beautiful scene.  And not just because of the quaint, picturesque quality it holds.  It's all in the snow.  See, this little road is untraveled, leaving the snow beautiful and unmarked.  There are no footprints, no tire tracks.  Simplistic beauty in it's rawest form.  So, even though it's an unknown path {a road less traveled} it's majestic all on it's own.  Sometimes when God is taking us through change, he leads us to the road less traveled.  And most of the time he leads us down unknown paths.  Instead of fretting over the fact that we don't know where we are going, what we are doing and that we can't clearly see the road in front of us or where it leads, we should step back and soak in the majesty of the moment.  Change can be beautiful, especially when we let God take the lead.  So step out and be the first to make footprints in the snowy path.  Embrace every moment of the change.  Feel the soft crunch of snow beneath your feet.  Dance and twirl like a little child.  Make snow angels and snowmen.  And for goodness sakes throw a snowball or 2.  Know that God will be there with you every step of the way.  Embrace it.  Enjoy it.  You'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Birthdays have never bothered me before.  But this one, man.  I don't think I'm quite digging 28.  I'm sure I'll get over it in the next couple of weeks.  At least I {hope} I do.  When I was younger, people always thought I was older.  Now that I'm older people think I'm younger.  Most of the time it doesn't bother me.  Twice this last year people thought I was still in high school....

Yes, high school. 
 I was 27. 
 It was flattering. 

I'd like to at least look like I'm in my twenties.  I should be thankful for it.  I'm sure it will all catch up to me someday.   ....hmm, maybe if I dressed in something other than t-shirt and jeans...  I need a make-over.  *grin*

Anyway, like I said, 28 and I are not getting along.  Why?  Who knows.  Closer to 30?  I don't know, but good grief, what will I do next year when it the last year in my 20's??  I don't even want to think about that right now.  The thought of getting older has never bothered me before and I hate that it is now. 

Maybe it's because there are so many things I wanted to do by the time I was 28.  One of the main things is I wanted to be done having kids by 28 and we aren't anywhere close to that.  We want at least 2 more if not 3.  I know, I know, get cracking at it.  Kin is over 2 1/2 years.  I thought for sure we would have already had another one and be thinking about when to get pregnant again.  But, here I am, still not pregnant.  There have been a lot of factors going into us not having another baby yet.  Like ridiculous amounts debt and medical debt related to everything we went through with Elli.  We simply haven't been able to afford it.  "It" as in the actual pregnancy/delivery process.  For Scott to carry me on his insurance is absurd and I'm self employed so maternity coverage is either non-existent or outrageous.  So where does that leave us?  Paying off debt {slowly I might add} and trying to save up money to have another one.  Ask me how that's going.  Yeah, still not pregnant.

And let me just stop here and say, I just might loose it if one more person feeds me that garbage about "if you wait until you can afford it/are financially stable/are out of debt to have kids, you'll never have them."  {all while chuckling, I might add, at the thought that someone would acutally think about doing that}  It's crap.  Yep, I said it. C.R.A.P.  You don't know my financial situation {or anyone else's for that matter} so please, do yourself a favor...don't pretend like you do.  It's insulting.  Insulting that you think you know our situation better than we do, insulting that you find it comical, insulting that you think we are ignorant to actually try.  Do I think we will be completely 100% out of debt before we have another one?  No, not even a little bit.  But I do know we have to work really hard at getting it down so that if we do get pregnant, we aren't in over our heads and loose our house.  {Not that we are about to...I'm just using it as an example.}  Put yourself in our shoes for a split second and imagine how hard it is to have mounting debt over your dead child all while yearning for another one to fill your arms.  It's heartbreaking.  So, please, please think about the words that are about to exit your mouth before saying them.  You may not mean them will ill-intent, but speaking from experience, they pierce the heart.  Whew...I guess that's been building for a while. 

I digress.

So where was I? Oh yes, trying to pay off debt before getting pregnant again.  So that's a big reason why, but I suppose the biggest reason simply comes down to God's timing.  Because let's be honest, debt or no debt, 28 or not, if it isn't God's timing, it's not gonna happen.  And that's something I'm trying to be at peace with.  I obviously want his perfect will for our family, so it isn't too difficult, but I long for another baby...babies... so bad that some days are harder than others.  Being 28 is reminding me of the harder days.  I know this too shall pass and I rest in knowing that he has the perfect timing, depsite the fact that I think the timing is a bit behind.  And before you think I'm nuts, I know 28 isn't old, not even close.  I know 28 isn't too old to be having babies.  I simply wanted to be a young mom.  My parents, and grandparents for that matter, we pretty young.  My parents were 39 and 41 when I graduated high school and not even in their mid 40's when my younger brother graduated.  All I've had to compare to is being a young parent, hence the desire to be done by 28.  Oh well, not my timing but his.  His is perfect.  Mine is flawed.  I still want a baby. *grin*

So, 28, I'm gonna try and warm up to you, but be patient, I'm getting old

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

What was frozen through is newly purposed


It happens every day, all around us.  Things are constantly moving and ever changing, evolving.  And no one can escape it.  Change isn't necessarily bad, but it's usually {uncomfortable}.  It takes us past that place of knowing and comfort into a deep, dark unknown.

It all depends on the situation, but in general, I'm not a big fan of change.  Something to do with that deep, dark unknowing part that gets me.

*Confession: I'm afraid of the dark.  There, I said it.  I feel liberated.  Sorta.

Lately, a lot of change has been going on.  Aside, of course, from the aging skin that I just can't seem to escape and the fact that my baby girl isn't so much a baby anymore, {change is happening}.  Change in my heart and attitude.  Change at work (well technically my hubby's work, but our ministry).  {Hopefully} a change in my waistline *grin*.  It's inescapable.

All this change has got me thinking, pondering really.  Like I said before, I'm not a big fan of change, pocket change, yes.  But I know that God is using the change to refine me.  I know that God is in the midst of the change. 

The other day I was laying in bed trying to take a nap, but {failing miserably} when God reminded me of a song I have always held dear to my heart.  Every Season by Nichole Nordeman.  I love it.  From the moment I first heard it years ago...we won't say how many years...I have loved it.  It always finds a way to resurface in my life at just the right time.  Usually when I am in "fall" and "winter" and oh so desperately ready for "spring". 

Here's to Spring's arrival.  May it come quickly.  But, in the meantime, I will not {despise} the winter.  Instead, I will brace for the bitter cold winds.  For in that cold, frozen dead tundra, God is making way for new life to enter.  The former things that were dead and frozen through will have new life, new purpose.  They will be green again.

I hope this song touches your heart the way it's touched mine.  If not now, then later, in the midst of your winter.  Because change does happen.  And just like the changing of the seasons, it's inevitable.  Embrace the change and the refining you will go through.  You just might learn something in the process.

Every Season by Nichole Nordeman

Every evening sky, an invitation
To trace the patterned stars
And early in July, a celebration
For freedom that is ours
And I notice You
In children’s games
In those who watch them from the shade
Every drop of sun is full of fun and wonder
You are summer 

And even when the trees have just surrendered
To the harvest time
Forfeiting their leaves in late September
And sending us inside
Still I notice You when change begins
And I am braced for colder winds
I will offer thanks for what has been and was to come
You are autumn 

And everything in time and under heaven
Finally falls asleep
Wrapped in blankets white, all creation
Shivers underneath
And still I notice you
When branches crack
And in my breath on frosted glass
Even now in death, You open doors for life to enter
You are winter 

And everything that’s new has bravely surfaced
Teaching us to breathe
What was frozen through is newly purposed
Turning all things green
So it is with You
And how You make me new
With every season’s change
And so it will be
As You are re-creating me
Summer, autumn, winter, spring

Friday, October 22, 2010


Started WAY too early.  Well, technically, it didn't start any earlier than any other day for me; I just didn't get {near} enough sleep last night.  Here's a little recap from 11:00 pm to now.....

:::Went to bed way too late.  But unfortunately, it's become a bit of the norm around here.  Oops!
:::McKinnley drifted off fairly easily and quickly.
:::I thought for sure I would be asleep by 11:30
:::I would drift off to the point I where I was neither fully asleep nor awake, only to cough myself right out of that weird dream land.
:::{This went on until 2:00 am}
:::Scott came down with something similar to what I'm just now getting over and was up and down all night.
:::McKinnley had nightmares all. night. long. :(  She talks and cries in her sleep when she has them.  And last night was bad.  She normally doesn't wake up from them, but last night she would wake up after a talking episode, crying and asking for me.
:::There were 3 distinct times this happened and it took forever to calm her back down enough so she would go back to sleep.
:::5:30 am awake for NO reason
:::6:15 am awake {again} for no reason
:::6:50 alarm goes off
:::Get up, get ready, fall back asleep on the couch until Malachi showed up.
:::10-something find McKinnley sucking down and entire tube of toothpaste.  Luckily it was the flouride-free kind
:::Call poison control to make sure everything would be okay.
:::Oscar told me she should be fine, but would most likely experience diarrehea and possibly dehydration.  {He'd be calling back to check}.
:::Art project with McKinnley and Mali.  Successfully managed to keep the paint off my carpet!
:::McKinnley refuses to go to sleep during nap time for over an hour.
:::She get up to go to the bathroom and flushes 3/4 of the roll of toilet paper down the toilet.
:::It came within {1/2 an inch} of overflowing.
:::Multiple plunges later, it finally goes down.

:::It's now 2:30 pm and I have a L.O.N.G. night ahead of me.  Let's hope it goes a little smoother!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Fall.  I love fall.  Seasons changing, breathtakingly beautiful landscape, pumpkins, crisp cool air, hayrides, caramel apple cider... It's my {favorite} time of the year.  There are so many fun, family oriented activities to take part in, especially in October. 

I just wish I had time to participate

This time of the year is always extremely busy for us {leaving little to no time for blogging}.  I try and steal away time to enjoy the wonders of fall, but it seems like all I come away with are fleeting moments clouded by pure exhaustion.  But, I'll take what I can get because I refuse to let it completely pass me by.

Until next time....

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ahhh, the joys of Summer....

 It's the simple things in life
that make this heart smile

Sunday, September 19, 2010

3 years...

*This is a post I started writing March 26th.  It may seem a bit redundant to the previous post, but I feel it perfectly illustrates what life has been for me the past 3 1/2 years.  .....a tug of war back and forth.  The all-consuming grief vs. the overwhelming desire to not allow myself to be defined by the pain.  I'm ready to break this cycle...or for the sake of the illustration...the rope.*  

It's been 3 years.

It's been three years.
Three years.

Wow. It just doesn't seem real, no matter how many times I say it. It seems like yesterday. I feel like I've been {stuck} in that moment this whole time.

It's hard.

I would have thought 3 years would have made more of a difference than it has. But it hasn't. It still feels so fresh. So raw. And honestly, I don't know what to do. The tears still flow, the heartache still stings. I can't even bring myself to finish this post in a timely manner. (over 6 weeks now)

March 18th was the day.

It's a day that has marked so much in my life. And it's only been three years. It's amazing how that day was such a defining moment. That moment has only affected 3 of the last 27 years of my life and yet it feels like those three years have made up my entire life.

It's all-consuming...

Do I want my life to be {defined} by that moment? By these three years? There's so much more to life, right? So much more that what the last three years have been. I mean, sure, that was a HUGE, monumental, life-changing moment in my life and yes it has rocked me to my core. It has changed so much about it {who} I am. (and probably rightfully, justifiably so)  I know I won't ever forget that moment.  And I will.not. ever forget her.  But I don't want my life to be defined by the pain that moment caused.

*And that's where it ended.  Again, easier to stop writing and go on pretending than to face .....anything.   Regardless of the fact that I want to break this cycle, these words are still true.  It's still very raw.  {If I let myself go there.}  It's so all-consuming at times it's suffocating.  That day 3 1/2 years ago is still monumental.  Still life changing.  But I still don't want my life to be defined by the pain of that moment.  So, yes, these words are still true and they probably always will be.  And that's okay.  Yep, I said it.  It's okay that these words still ring true.  

You see, I've had it all wrong.  I got so caught up in this game of tug of war that I lost focus.  I've been focusing on the two opponents.  Grief vs. Fear.  For so long I've struggled with balancing the grief of the situation with not allowing myself to be defined by the pain (or grief) of the situation.  I didn't understand how to do one without the other.  I thought they went hand in hand.  If I grieve the loss of my daughter, I allow myself to be defined by that grief.  At least that's how I saw it until now.  See, it's okay to grieve.  It's good to grieve.  I should be grieving the loss of my daughter.  But that doesn't mean the grief itself will define me.  I could let it, if I wanted to.  But that would be a miserable existence.  Trust me, I know.  

I've had it backwards this whole time.  For so long I've associated Ellianna's situation...Ellianna herself...with pain.  It seemed as if they were one and the same.  Shame on me.  Kids change us.  They do.  They change who we are {woman to mother}.  They change how we interact with those around us.  They shape us, help define us if you will.  Having Ellianna did change me.  That moment when I realized she was gone did define me.  That moment.  Not the pain.  But her.  God.  The faith she allowed me grow in; it changed me.  In that moment, when I knew she wouldn't breathe a single breath on this Earth, that was the closest I've ever been to God.  He did change me.  

It was in that moment I was given the rope.  This whole time I've struggled with it.  The weight of it.  The roughness.  The blisters it wore on my hands.  The opponents.  I threw it into a game it was never meant to play.  I danced from end to end trying to win.  Pulling and tugging until I didn't know what else to do.  Wanting to properly grieve and wanting my joy back.  Pulling and tugging, Pulling and tugging.  The poor rope; that's not what it was for at all.  Rather, the rope was there as a gentle reminder of Ecclesiastes 4:12.  "...A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."  The rope held me together when two sides of me were waring against each other.  It served to remind me that with God as our center, my center in this case, it would not be easily broken.  I'm thankful for the rope.  I'm thankful for the bond it represents.  I'm thankful it went along with my antics until I was ready.  Now my focus is on the rope.  On God, my Savior, who holds all the pieces of my broken life together creating a beautiful masterpiece.  

Tonight, I'm thankful.*

As previously stated

I've been a horrible blogger.  I mean, May?  Really, May was the last time I posted?!  Crazy!!  I guess I've been a little busier this summer than I realized.  Summers are always busy for us, but seriously....M.A.Y.

Actually, if we're all going to be honest here, I just haven't felt like blogging.  :/ It was easier not to go there.  Every time I would log on and sit down to start writing, I just couldn't bring myself to go to that place of vulnerability.  So instead, I just shut my brain off and started catching up on other blogs.  {It was easier.}  I didn't have to think.  I didn't have to go to that wounded place.  I didn't have to hurt.  I didn't have to cry.  I couldn't even bring myself to write a light-hearted blog about Kinnley.

Weird, I know.

Good grief it's taken me almost 3 weeks to write this one. {oops!} (not to mention all other unfinished posts dating back to March...)

And I'm not sure why.

I know that writing will help to heal the pain.  I know that it brings me complete and total joy to write about my little miss sassy pants.  And yet, it's all seemed too hard.  As if writing about McKinnley was wrong.  Well, wrong isn't the right word, but frankly I don't know what is.  Sometimes it just feels like if I write about the things that bring me joy, if I go on living, then it's as if Ellianna didn't die.  {Not as in she's still alive, but that I somehow must not be grieving enough.} ....but if I stop living, then her death, HER LIFE, was in vain.  And I will {not} let it be in vain. 

I know that the devil would love for me to believe that if I go on living, and not just living, but living joyfully, that I must not be honoring her.  I know he would love nothing more than to have me wallow in self pity and be miserable.  I also know it's a lie.  One that I refuse to believe.  Refuse!  No longer.  How does my being depressed {sometimes to the point of not being able to function} honor Elli?  My family?  McKinnley?  More than that, how does that bring honor to God?  Well, it doesn't.  So forgive me.  Please.  Forgive me for not living life to the fullest.  Forgive me, at times, for just simply existing. 

Yesterday marked 3 1/2 years since Ellianna went to be with Jesus.  Three and a half years.  Unbelievable.  So much has happened.  So much has changed.  But it's time for one more change.  Me.  I'm ready.  I'm ready to find myself again. 

Here goes nothing.....

Friday, August 27, 2010

I'm a horrible blogger...

I promise I'll {try} to get back at soon.
I'll try really hard.

In the meantime, here are a couple of pictures...

Bet you'll never guess where we just were.  :::grin:::

Thursday, May 20, 2010

She's {two}!!

Wow. My baby isn't a baby anymore. She's two. No sign of "baby" left. And while I guess there hasn't really been any signs of "baby" for a while, now it seems official. I can't say she's one anymore. She's officially a toddler and heading into what will hopefully NOT be the terrible two's!
Oh, how I love her so so much!  She lights up my world and constantly makes me laugh with the things that come out of her mouth.  She's one silly, crazy, funny, intelligent, caring, stubborn strong-willed, loving little girl and I wouldn't have it any other way!

As of late:
You talk 90 to nothing. nonstop. all the time!  And I love it!
Most of the time I forget I'm talking to a {now} two year old
Sometimes you talk so fast you can't get the words out right so you end up stuttering--It's so cute!
I love that you communicate and communicate well.

You sing all the time.
Your favorite songs are:
Jesus loves me
"Twinkle in a star"
{Sometimes you get the words wrong}
Hush little

You love playing "mommy"
{even with the other kids...not just your dolls}
You are slightly bossy
It cracks me up to hear you repeat some of the things I say all day
"one more time, that's it"
"Momma told you 'no'!"
"Look at my eyes"
"lay down and go to sleep"
Your new favorite thing to ask your babies is:
"Do you need to go potty?  Okay, let's go!"
I'm afraid you're going to drop one in the toilet....

You love to go to the grocery store
....both real and pretend....
EVERY TIME we say we are going "bye, bye"
you think we are going to "Emma, John, Kari-John, and JAAAYYDDDE's"

You love slides.  And stairs.
Oh my how you love to climb!
I'm waiting for the day you climb out of your crib...
You {love} bubbles.
And tea parties.
And baths.

You absolutely LOVE to make people laugh/smile.

And you constantly make me do both.
I love you sweet girl!

"You're my __________!"