Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Baby Joshua,

I know you are smiling down on us today. We love you. We miss you. You are still right here, in everything we do, forever.

I love you, always.


A boy...

There are no words. I have a boy.

He is healthy, perfectly formed, growing well, and all tests are good.

God gave me my boy. My sweet boy to love. Lily's brother, Mark's son.

He is a miracle. I am profoundly grateful.

Samuel Elijah. My son.

It may be unfulfilled
It may be unrestored
But you never know the miracle the Father has in store
Just watch and see
It will not be unredeemed

Monday, August 24, 2009


There are days I feel so small. Small and insignificant. Days I feel bored with life, bored with existence. I feel as if I don't matter. I feel forgotten.

Do you ever feel that way? Like you are going through the motions of life? That there is no life in your life? Same day, same routine.

I was feeling that way yesterday. I've been shut up in the house for a week with the flu, and I got the old tunnel vision. You know, where one day inside leads to more and more? It just gets easier and easier to not go out.

Last night I was moved to pray. I find I have alot more time now, considering I get up around 300 times a night to pee. (thank you, baby) It's always been in the dead of night when I feel closest to God. No distractions, no noise. No filter. Just Him and I, looking at the moon together. Many times I simply tell Him I love him, over and over until I fall back to sleep. But last night was different. I poured myself out to Him, praising Him for all I have been given. Just praising Him. No agenda, no requests. Just worship. I felt Him. He was with me, close as skin.

As I fell back to sleep, I felt different. Lighter. Cocooned in a way. Safe.

And this morning I woke with the sun. Everything in me was ready to take on the day- to go, to run, to play. To make my daughter breakfast, curl her hair, kiss her sweet little head over and over. To go grocery shopping and sing in the car. To be joyful and free. To exercise and laugh and feel the sun on my face.

It was just ordinary life. Just still the same old me. But for the first time in a long time, I felt there was meaning in my day. There was MORE than the mundane. More time to look at the sky, less time spent indoors, brooding over housework. More time memorizing my Lily's sweet face as she watches the world go by. Less time sitting in front of Noggin.

It was just a day. But it was a day that God held up a mirror for me. My life, and all I do, does have meaning. It is ordinary, and it is something women have been doing since the dawn of time. I am not saving the world. But I am saving myself, every single moment that I move beyond my past. With every concious decision to parent well, with every snuggle and laugh and experience, I am moving beyond myself. Beyond what I knew, to what I have CREATED. To what God has allowed me to become.

I am a mother who was never mothered. I am a parent who was never parented. I am a wife who has never seen what a wife truly is. I am moving beyond everything I ever knew, and leaving the safety net behind.

And up here, balancing on the high wire, looking down at all I have left behind, I have never, ever felt safer. I know the Hands that hold me now. I am what He makes of me, and His work is good.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I am not one to look for signs everywhere. Sure, I notice them if they are blatant enough, but I believe if you are constantly looking for something, you may be misled.


The other day I wanted hot chocolate. We didn't have any in the house, but I was telling Mark about how my grandmother would make home-made hot chocolate occasionally, and how I remembered clearly the taste and the FEELING that she did something special, just for me. She would always bring it to me in a plastic Campbells soup mug that she knew I loved. It was cracked and battered, but it had a special place in my heart.

I remember clearly sitting in the early morning sunshine with my grandfather. The air was just a little chilly, enough for me to be in a sweater. We were sitting in their old lawn chairs, just listening to the world wake up. I was content. I was happy. I was always happy when I was with my grandparents. I was safe.

My grandma came out of the kitchen door with two mugs of hot chocolate for my grampa and I. She handed it to me, kissed my forehead, and went back inside. It was a small thing, but I will always remember that moment. Her scent, her love, the way the cocoa warmed me up, the way the cup felt under my fingers.

After Mark and I talked about it, I woke up in the middle of the night. As usual, I said a small prayer, and then laid for a while, thinking about my grandma. I silently told her I loved her, and wished she could see me now. I told her about the new baby, and how if it is a girl, it will carry her name- Rose.

Yesterday, Lily and I were sick. But we ventured out to Old Time Pottery, mainly to let Lily run off some cooped up energy. I walked the whole store, Lily running ahead. I picked up a few things, and by the time I made it nearly all the way back around, I was done for. Tired, achy, sneezing. Then I saw it. An end cap with a display of soup cups, thermos's, etc.

And wouldn't you know what was right smack in the middle?

And last night, Lily and I shared some home-made hot cocoa from this very mug.

Thank you Grandma. I love you.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

This girl

This girl knows what love is. It is a man that gives entirely of himself. A man who provides. A man who is gentle. A man who grieves a lost child with you, and holds you, and cries with you, even if he doesn't understand the depth of the loss himself. A man who gives so much to your child, that you know she will have no empty places to fill. One who loves his parents deeply. One who listens. Who is tender.

A man like I have.

I waited a long time. I waited to be loved like this. And it came, slowly. It took time. It took patience. And every second of waiting was worth it. Every tear, every single bump in the road, every moment was worth it. I am grateful for the pain before Mark, because now I know... I know what this means.

It's not always perfect, and it's not always easy. But I love him, and I am loved deeply and without conditions. He and God dwell in the same space inside of my soul, a place reserved entirely for sacredness.

When I first heard Peter Gabriel's song "In Your Eyes", I cried. I wanted that. I didn't understand that kind of love, but the words and the passion. I wanted that. And I craved it.

And then Mark walked into my world, and this song made sense. Every single word fell together, and I felt it and knew I HAD it.

The melody is amazing. His voice is deep and graceful and beautiful. But the lyrics are striking. They are what love is to me. It is loving and turning back to the one you love even when it's hard. It's devotion. It's being called back, time and again, to the one that completes every part of you.

(pause music on sidebar)

In your eyes (in your eyes)
In your eyes (in your eyes)
In your eyes (in your eyes)
In your eyes

Love i get so lost, sometimes
Days pass and this emptiness fills my heart
When i want to run away
I drive off in my car
But whichever way i go
I come back to the place you are

And all my instincts, they return
And the grand facade, so soon will burn
Without a noise, without my pride
I reach out from the inside

In your eyes
The light the heat
In your eyes
I am complete
In your eyes
I see the doorway (in your eyes) to a thousand churches
In your eyes
The resolution (in your eyes) of all the fruitless searches
In your eyes
I see the light and the heat
In your eyes
Oh, i want to be that complete
I want to touch the light
The heat i see in your eyes

In your eyes
In your eyes

Love, i don't like to see so much pain
So much wasted and this moment keeps slipping away
I get so tired of working so hard for our survival
I look to the time with you to keep me awake and alive

And all my instincts, they return
And the grand facade, so soon will burn
Without a noise, without my pride
I reach out from the inside

In your eyes
The light the heat
In your eyes
I am complete
In your eyes
I see the doorway (in your eyes) to a thousand churches
In your eyes
The resolution (in your eyes) of all the fruitless searches
In your eyes
I see the light and the heat
In your eyes
Oh, i want to be that complete
I want to touch the light
The heat i see in your eyes

In your eyes
In your eyes
In your eyes

accepting all i've done and said
I want to stand and stare again
Til there's nothing left out, oh
It remains there in your eyes
Whatever comes and goes
I will hear your silent call
I will touch this tender wall
Til i know i'm home again

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

That girl

I was cleaning up this afternoon, and getting out things to make dinner. I decided I needed some music, so I switched over to VH-1 Classic, because yes, I am old.


They were playing a 1997 concert with INXS. I thought it would be good background music. It was.

And then THE SONG started up. You know what song I mean...one that takes you RIGHT BACK to a moment in your life that is unforgettable. And you are back there, in every way but physically.

See the girl who loved this song also loved a boy. Was head over heels. And it was real. A real first love. And it was good. And this song was wrapped up so tightly in that love that it took me right back, instantly.

Do I still love that boy? No. Not with the heated, torrid feelings I had when I was 17. Does anyone really love like that ever again? But the memories were so profound and bittersweet. It was like going back in time, just for a second.

And it was so touching and beautiful.

And then I looked around and realized just how much that girl didn't know. How much better life is when it is messy and busy and overwhelming. How a house is a home when you love the people in it. How real love, lasting love, is not about passion as much as it is about friendship and kindness. How real life is your baby's smell and a home cooked meal, your husband's cologne and his hand reaching for you even in sleep. It is in a thousand mundane moments.

That girl was naive, but beautifully so. She loved with everything she could give. She loved that boy with her whole soul.

But what that girl knows now is that love is so much deeper, so much richer, and so much more comforting than she ever could have thought.

(pause music on sidebar)

Actual conversation



*she pats my belly*

When is da baby gonna come?

Not for a while. It will be cold outside.

Oh. And you are gonna PUUUUSH da baby out?


*she thinks for a while*

Mama, will your beddy POP?


When da baby comes, will your beddy pop?

Oh, no. The baby moves down out of my belly and comes from my (insert word here).

Oh. *she looks slightly horrified*

That's how babies come, honey. That's how you came too.

*now she looks truly horrified*

Mama, you will need a REALLY REALLY big bandage.

Yes, indeed. :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Acceptance or perspective

I am struggling between these two things right now.

I am fighting to accept that I may feel rotten until this baby is born. I am also fighting to put that into a perspective I can deal with.

Today I went to exercise. It was brutally hot, and I was in a terrible mood. A friend asked me how I was feeling, and instead of saying "Fine, thanks." I blurted out "Terrible." and went on to explain how crappy I felt.

And then I felt so so guilty. 90 percent of me is screaming from the rooftops- "I am pregnant! I am blessed!!!" and 10 percent is sick and sad. I let that 10 percent rule my mind a little too dang much, and it makes me angry. It rules my mouth. And I am disappointed in myself.

I fully accept that feeling rotten is kinda the price you pay to have a child. I accept that. I don't like it, but I accept it. And I am realizing acceptance is not enough.

I need a new perspective.

When I was little, I was enraptured by the story of St Mary, and how when she was told she would bear God's child, she accepted it without question. She bore what could have been shame and stigma with the PERSPECTIVE that obedience is crucial. She did it out of love for her God, and for her child. Her perspective was key.

I cannot fight against being sick. It simply IS. I can fight against the thoughts that rule my mind, and the self pity. I can accept, and I can do more than that. I ca find joy. I can bear this with dignity and love. I can set my feet firmly on my path and take on anything that comes. And I can rule my mouth alot more firmly, despite what might be happening inside.

So yes, I am feeling sick. But I am also feeling so so blessed. I am joyful because I carry my baby still. And I love God for still teaching me something new about my own strength, everyday.

Friday, August 7, 2009

For every bad day

Yes, I have been feeling sorry for myself. I've been feeling crappy, which leads me to not getting out of the house, which leads to not getting enough sunshine and exercise, which leads to me being a total pain in the...well, u get the picture, eh?

Today was different.

Today I got out in the warm sunshine, the cool breeze. I watched my husband and my daughter just "be" together. I made chicken salad good enough to market. I listened to James Taylor. I sat on the outside swing while Lily napped. I took in God's creation. I watched my sweet 2 year old run naked in the sprinkler, and marveled at how big she is getting. (And seriously, how chubby her little bum is. So cute.) I ate pizza. I took a walk with my fam.

It was perfect.

And it was also a lesson. I know this because it always is. When happiness smacks you in the face it makes you realize just how much you take for granted. The giggles, the hugs, the quiet night with just the sound of typing. The warm tea next to my hand, the smell of the outside air on my skin. It's a gift.

So, I'd like to apologize for my post from a few days ago. I was focusing on entirely the wrong thing. I was focusing on only myself. And in times like those it is so easy to slip. To just get lost in the small nuisances of daily life...and not see the important things.

Today as I was making lunch, I was in my own kitchen. I had a roof over my head, plenty of food in my fridge. I had my daughter outside laughing with her daddy, the smell of freshly mown grass in the air. I had my sweet baby turning inside my body. I had James Taylor on the radio, and as always when I hear his music, I just melt. It holds such warm memories for me. Times of dancing, singing, baking, crying happy tears. It brought me swiftly back to reality- that my life is so much more than this momentary trouble with my health.

I hope you had a wonderful day as well, my friends. Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I am 15 weeks along tomorrow. It seems it has gone so slowly, but then again so fast. I cannot believe how different this pregnancy is from Lily's. It's harder and easier at the same time.

It's funny how when you begin to regain a little bit of energy, feel a little less nauseated, and a lot less like just lying on the couch trying not to throw up all day, that you realize how truly awful you felt. With Lily, I wasn't sick. I was so tired I couldn't walk thru the grocery store, but sick- not a bit. This one...oh this one! I am feeling so blessed that this little one has held on this long that I am not going to complain...but boy oh boy I bet this is a boy. Trouble already, I tell ya.

I've been thinking this morning about what pregnancy should be. A time to be joyful, to watch your body change and grow in ways that amaze and sometimes mystify you. It's a time to think about family, and what life is really all about. It's a time to slow down a bit.

For me, all of this is true. But it's also a time of serious medical intervention, specialists, increasing medication, and worry. I wish it wasn't- but it is. Pregnancy simply sets my body into a tailspin. BP bobbles, diabetes, etc. My hands don't work, my mind is fuzzy. I'm not myself. I am two people. And what should be a symbiotic relationship between me and my little fetus becomes a body war where I simply surrender to the invasion.

Now don't get me wrong. I realize how blessed I am.I am fully aware of how much this baby means, and how much I am going to love him/her. It's just getting to delivery day that's hard. It's hard to feel so sick, and have friends wonder why I am ignoring them, or not be able to go to exercise class and blow off steam. I don't want to complain to anyone- so if you're asking me if I am okay, I'm going to say yes.

But do you want the truth? I feel cheated. I feel cheated out a pregnancy that should be filled with joy that rapidly gets sucked out of it by doctors and medicines and worries. I know what's down the road... growth problems and diabetes, finger sticks, insulin and every ob telling me the baby is too small. My BP will skyrocket. It's kind of a given. And I am ready for it all. But I am also a little sad that I can't just enjoy.

From the ob to the high risk ob to the nephrologist to, I am sure, the endo, the medical visits, tests, and interventions will mount. I am ready for that too. But it doesn't mean I am any less sad that it has to happen. I wish my body did what it was supposed to do- that it would carry my baby with no more complications but heartburn and nausea.

But in the end, it is 9 (10!) months of troubles for a lifetime of joy. And in that moment when this little one (God willing) is laid across my heart, none of it will matter. But for now, it does, just a little.