Sunday, May 27, 2012

Seasons and Wonderfully Made Link Up

I am a summer girl.  Christmas is my favorite time of year, but summertime comes in a VERY close second.  I love the long days, hours upon hours in the water, sun-kissed cheeks and shoulders, the smell of sunscreen, grilling out, baseball games, snowcones, and family vacations.  Really my list could go on and on.  Even with the insane Texas heat in late July and August I love it all.  I think another reason that I like this season so much is the memories that are attached.  Growing up summers were spent going to fun church activities during the week such as VBS, and various camps.  Then weekends were spent with family at the lake.  As I got older I looked forward to a break from school and going on many of fun youth trips.  The summer before my senior year Jonathan and I started dating and we spent a ton of time with our best friends that were also dating and are now married as well.  Lots and lots of wonderful memories.

This time last year I was carrying our sweet baby boy not knowing when or exactly how he would be born.  We didn't have any idea if he would even be born alive.  Isaac was born at 33 weeks on July 16th, right in the middle of the summer.  We had returned from our family vacation to Colorado 3 days before.  While the majority of my memories surrounding his birth are happy and joyful it was a very, very hard time as well.  While still pregnant I was scared and then after his birth I missed him so much.  I remember being in a fog for a long time after he was born.  It was kind of like an out of body experience.  Without Jonathan, my Mom, and some good friends I don't know what I would have done.

As this summer has been approaching I have naturally been excited, but it has been a little different too.  In the same way that a change of season can bring a flood of wonderful feelings, it can bring to surface the hard times as well.  It caught me off guard when I started experiencing some anxiety recently, but when thinking about it, it all makes sense.  I need to prepare for our Lydia that will be here in about 3 months, but I'm so hesitant to do so.  Last summer preparing for a baby meant making arrangements with the funeral home and picking out songs for his memorial service.  I get so scared that there was something that they missed on Lydia's sonograms or that they just couldn't bear to tell me that something is wrong this time too.  I know that's crazy and that they wouldn't do that so I try to get those thoughts out of my head quickly.  I am thankful for what this past year has taught me about anxiety.  Before, I would experience anxiety and just loose control because I didn't even realize that I was anxious.  Through everything that we've been through I've learned to recognize when I am anxious about something and calm myself down.  I know that worrying is not of the Lord and I need to cast all my cares on Him.

This is one of those moments I knew would come.  One where I am taken off guard and reminded of the lasting effects that losing a baby has had on me.  This is one of the times that I am thankful for the support I have both in those that have walked in these shoes and those that haven't.  This is what the weekly Wonderfully Made Link Up is for.  For people to connect and support one another.  Please link up if you are currently expecting or have ever had a baby with a negative prenatal diagnosis.


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Our Week In Pics

We returned from a wonderful visit with Jonathan's parents in Arizona on Tuesday. I promise I'll write a whole post dedicated to just the trip, but for now here is a glance at our past week in pics.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Wonderfully Made Link-Up

"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well." Psalm 139:13-14.

A friend of mine suggested the name "Wonderfully Made" for my Monday link-up and I thought it was just perfect.  I know when we found out that it was a possibility that Isaac had some problems I clung to this verse.  Remembering that the Lord knit every part of him together inside of me brought me so much peace.  I will never claim that my heart wasn't broken or that this path has been easy.  I will, though always claim that Isaac was a precious and perfect gift from above.  He was fearfully and wonderfully made by our Lord and Savior.  What an amazing thought is that?

Before Isaac was born I was so worried about what people would think and say about Isaac's cleft lip.  Some hurtful things were said, but for the most part people told me he was beautiful (which I already knew:)).  Some of you may have seen this story in the news the last few days.  When I read about this family yesterday I was overwhelmed with emotions.  I was angry at how mean people can be.  I was heartbroken for this precious family that had been unnecessarily hurt in the middle of their grief.  I was proud.  Proud of this mommy for standing up for her precious baby.  She so boldly proclaims that her child is knit together perfectly by God.  You can read more of their story here.  

If you've ever been told that your baby wouldn't live for long or would have serious health problems this link up is for you.  Whether you are currently facing this diagnosis or went through this many years ago I would love to hear your story.  I believe we can all help each other remember that each one of these precious children are "Wonderfully Made".

Thursday, May 17, 2012


First of all I want to thank those of you that linked up on Monday. I'm hoping each week it continues to grow so we can all continue to pray for and encourage one another. I have been so blessed the past few weeks by the connections I've made and new relationships that have been formed. It has been so freeing to hear other mommies verbalize some of the exact same things that I feel.

On a whole different note, I recently got a new embroidery machine that will do bigger designs and I am LOVING it! I am so blessed to have such a selfless husband that values my need to be crafty. I haven't shared any of my projects in a while so here are a few.

All of these items and more at the Simply Royalty link on the left.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day and Link-up

Today I am so very thankful. Not too long ago I wrote this post about my mommy. Each and every day I feel so blessed that she is my mom. I am thankful for her mom, my grandmother. Even though I never had the privilege of meeting her I know she must have been an incredible lady because she raised such an amazing person (my aunts and uncle aren't half bad either ;)). I am thankful for my Grandmamma. I feel so blessed that she has always been such a huge part of my life. She taught me the important things like how to see the man in the moon, counting to 10 in spanish, and baking snickerdoodles lol. Seriously though, she is such a special lady and I love her so. I am also thankful for Jonathan's mom and grandmothers that have helped make him the awesome husband and Daddy that he is. Today and everyday I am so thankful for these ladies.

I am also thankful for the babies that have given me the title "Mommy". Jonathan and Kadynce gave me a necklace today that had three charms with my three sweet baby's names. One baby is now a 2 year old full of energy, one is in heaven, and one is kicking and squirming in my belly. I am so thankful for all three of them.

Last night I was thinking about this past year and what last Mother's Day was like for me. We went to Sea World and had a wonderful day as a family. I remember thinking it would be my only Mother's Day with my sweet boy so I tried to soak it all up. I love this little video Jonathan made.

I didn't think about it before, but I think it's pretty appropriate that my first link up for Mommies with a negative prenatal diagnosis (I would LOVE suggestions for a name for this) is right after this special day that celebrates Mommies. It can be a hard day for those of us that have lost babies or are carrying a baby that is very sick. For me it is another day to remember and celebrate our Isaac's life no matter how short it was. Just as much as Kadynce and Lydia have made me a mommy, Isaac did too.

My hope and prayer is that through this link up you are able to find other moms or families to connect with. I hope you are able to encourage each other, cry together, laugh together, rejoice together, and pray for each other. So please, if you have had a baby or are currently carrying a baby that has been diagnosed as being incompatible with life or very sick link up below. Also feel free to share this with people you think it may help.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

When in our Music...

This week a very special man went to be with Jesus.  That man was Mr. Brock, my high school choir director.  When I think back over a typical day in high school I think about how choir was my calm in the middle of the storm that was the life of a teenager.  I think that's exactly how Mr. Brock intended it to be.  He loved music, his family, his students, but most importantly he loved the Lord.  That was evident to anyone that came in contact with him.   So many of the songs we sang were songs of praise.  Yes I did go to a public school and yes I heard people question his song choices.  Did he care one bit?  No.  He believed God should be glorified and that was all that mattered to him.   Below is a recording of the 2001-2002 Greenville High School UIL competition (I became a part of this choir the next year).  That year the choir sang an arrangement of "When in Our Music God is Glorified" by Elizabeth Beckham.  This arrangement was specifically written for that choir.  Since that year each Greenville High School choir concert ends with this song and any alumni present are invited to join on stage.  I still get chills thinking about singing this song in the middle of a big choir.  I encourage you to take a moment to listen to it.  I promise you will be blessed.  What a legacy Mr. Brock leaves and may we all live our lives to glorify God the way he did.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


First of all I want to thank all of you that commented and told me about your favorite thrifty finds.  I loved reading about all of the bargains!  In the words of Jim Bob Duggar "Buy used and save the difference!"

A few weeks ago through a link up at Kelly's Korner I "met" the sweetest lady named Tesha.  Her and her husband just lost their baby boy, Jonathan in January.  When I read this post the other day I decided I needed to share it with all of you.  I had never really thought about the power of hearing your baby's name and what she says is just so true.  I love hearing Kadynce call her baby doll Isaac.  I loved hearing our pastor say Isaac's name over and over when he was using him as an illustration in church this morning.  Saying his name acknowledges that he was here and that his life was important.  Tesha hosts a link up for mommy's that have lost babies on Tuesday mornings and this weekend she went to the beach and wrote each one of those baby's names with seashells.  She has the most incredible heart and this picture meant the world to me!

Here comes the reason for the title of this post.  I have been inspired by how much Tesha and her Tuesday morning link ups have meant to me.  I have said before that when I was expecting Isaac I read any and every blog I could find of someone going through or that had gone through a similar situation as us.  I specifically wanted to read stories of people that had a prenatal diagnosis of "incompatible with life."  There were moments throughout my pregnancy that I literally didn't think I could handle any more.  I was so thankful that I knew someone that had gone through a similar situation a few years before and her encouragement helped me greatly.  She let me know that my feelings were normal and I didn't need to feel guilty.  She also reminded me that the Lord would give me strength to get through each new day.

I have had moments over the past 9 months of thinking I need to "move on."  I have feared people thinking that I am dwelling on something I shouldn't be.  At times I have been afraid to talk about Isaac because I didn't want people to feel awkward or think that I'm just sitting at home mourning him all the time.  It's quite the opposite actually, that little boy makes me smile each day.  Well, I'm done with those thoughts and feelings.  I have forever been changed by that sweet chubby-cheeked boy and for that I'm not going to apologize.  I want his life to continue to be a blessing to others.  So here's what I'm thinking...

I would like to start hosting a weekly link up for those who are carrying a baby with a negative prenatal diagnosis or those that have gone through this in the past.  I think it would be so neat for moms on all different points in this journey to be able to connect and encourage one another.  I'm thinking about doing this on Mondays and I would start next week.  I'm a little nervous about doing this, but I'm going to take a leap of faith.  I would love for you to help me spread the word to those you think this my bless!     

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Their Trash=My Treasure!

I LOVE finding a good bargain.  It is in my blood.  My dad tells stories all the time about going with my Pawpaw (my Grandaddy's Dad) to Canton for First Monday Trade Days.  This was way before the Arbors and Pavilions that they now have with all of the new, crafty items.  It was when people would just set up their "stuff" they were wanting to sell or trade on the back of their truck for the weekend.  My dad says that Pawpaw knew exactly how much something was worth and how much he could make reselling it.  Finding a good deal was an adrenaline rush to him.

Fast forward a bit to my childhood.  I remember many Saturdays heading to Dallas with my Mom and Grandmamma to hit every garage sale we could.  I absolutely loved going with them and still have so many wonderful memories from those days.  Sometimes we were looking for something specific and other times we were just going for fun, but we almost always came back great treasures.  We would find barely-used furniture, toys, clothes, and who know what else for a fraction of the price they would have been new.

I know many people have never thought about buying things second hand and some just don't like the thought of it.  I said I would write a post about second-hand shopping because I love it and think it is just so practical.  I encourage you to try it if you haven't before.  Beware, you may become addicted :)  I am going to share a few items that we have purchased second hand.  I am including the prices only because I want you to truly see how good of a deal you can get.

This dresser we bought shortly after we got married at Goodwill for $100.00.  It was originally an oak finish and Jonathan just recently painted it black for me.

We bought this chandelier at a garage sale for $7.00 and I got the shades for a total of $3.00 on clearance at Lowes.

We bought Kadynce's and now Lydia's crib on craigslist for around $100 mattress included (I can't remember the exact price, that was a while ago lol)

 My parents bought this train set and table for Kadynce's birthday and they got it on Craigslist for a total of $45.00.  It is a mix of wooden Melissa and Doug trains and Thomas trains.  There are even more pieces in a box.

Then there are all of Kadynce's clothes.  It's funny because people are always asking where I get her clothes and the answer is so often Kid to Kid or Once Upon a Child.  My mom and I are VERY frequent visitors to those stores.  The secret really is to go frequently because they get new things in daily and that is how you get the best deals.  Her velvet, smocked, Christmas dress was only $3.50!!!!!  If that's not a good deal I don't know what is.

I would love for you to comment with what kind of deals you have gotten from second-hand shopping!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Blessed Beyond Imagination

I remember it so vividly.  I was in the car with my mom and I remember exactly what road we were on.  It was probably about a week after Isaac had been born.  I was looking out the window thinking back over all the events of the past week.  Everything just seemed so surreal.  The incredible joy of giving birth to our son and holding him for the first time, combined with the overwhelming sadness of holding him for the last time and kissing him goodbye.  I remember in that moment asking God why me?  Why did you choose to bless me so much with this priceless gift that we had chosen to name Isaac.  What made me deserve to be a part of something so big, so amazing?  My heart was so full of thankfulness.  All of the sudden I realized what I was saying.  I realized that, by worldly standards, in that moment that I should have been angry and asking "why me" in a whole different light.  Not only had the Lord blessed me with Isaac, but he had blessed me with a peace beyond anything I could have ever imagined.  I would be lying to say that I haven't had my moments of anger this past year.  I have had MANY times that I miss my baby boy so much it hurts. God is so good and I have felt His presence every step of the way.

When I was pregnant with Isaac several people sent us the lyrics to the song "Blessings" by Laura Story.  I remember thinking it was very pretty and the lyrics were great, but the past week when I heard it at church it gripped my heart in a way I never expected.  I am so thankful for the incredible songwriters that let the Lord speak through their music.  This song describes my feelings about how blessed I am to be our sweet Isaac's Mommy.

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
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause 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
And 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
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
As long that we have faith to believe

'Cause 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
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
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