2012 Brought Me Joy

The thing about experiencing tragedy at the end of the year is that you can easily forget all the wonderfulness of the previous months.  2012 was a great year for us…getting settled in our new home, starting homeschool, introducing Judah to baseball and discovering his talent for it, letting Bella have at try at soccer and me at coaching, a summer full of fun, getting Bella into dance and watching her do something she loves, joining a homeschool group, having tons of birthday party fun, the homegoing of my grandmother, and so much more.

One of our greatest joys was discovering that we were expecting our 4th child.  It was a very special time for us.  Bella was getting ready to turn 4, and as the time grew closer, I asked her what she wanted for her birthday.  Her response was always the same, “A baby sister.”  It had started early that year when I was grocery shopping with the kids.  We were in Sam’s and passed by a mother that had a tiny little baby girl in a stroller.  Judah looked at me and said, “Look at that baby girl Mommy…I want a baby sister.”  I reminded him that he had one, that Bella was his baby sister, but he responded with, “No, I mean a little one like that,” pointing at the newborn.  From that moment, both Judah’s and Bella’s desire for a new baby sister only grew, and spread to Justice, and eventually to me and Jason.

So it was very special to us when we discovered that I was pregnant the week of Bella’s birthday.  We shared our happy news at her party, and from then, our excitement and joy only grew.  The kids talked about our new baby every day, especially Bella, who would often cry at bedtime that she missed her baby sister.  (From day one, it was a baby sister. It didn’t matter how many times we explained to them that we didn’t know yet if it was a boy or a girl; they were certain it was a girl. And so were Jason and I.)  She couldn’t wait to have her and made sure that every night when we prayed we thanked God for our new baby.  And by the time Christmas was here, even Justice was saying that what he wanted for Christmas was his baby sister.  She was already very much wanted and loved.

There are no words for the grief we felt when we got the news that are baby no longer had a heartbeat, so I won’t even try to convey it.  Instead, what I’d like to share is the joy she brought us in the 12 weeks she was in our lives.  Although we didn’t see her, or hold her in our arms, her life touched ours.  She is forever a part of our family for she was created for eternity.  I don’t understand why things happen the way they do, but what I do know is that my baby’s life will glorify the Lord.  In this I have comfort, and I have joy.

So 2012 was a good year for us, a very good year indeed.  It brought laughter and tears, and joy and sorrow.  It brought me my second daughter, and her name is Arianna Joy, and I am forever grateful for her life.


I’m feeling a little guilty for neglecting my blog.  Life has gotten eventful in recent weeks, and every time I would sit down to write, something would pull me away.  But, however bad this turns out to be, I promised myself I’d actually finish this time.

Bella played her last soccer game last night, which as fun as it was, I have to say I am relieved.  I loved watching her play (when she actually did), but in the meantime, T Ball started.  So for a little while, we had sports 4 nights a week.  But that wasn’t so bad…until Judah’s games were rescheduled on the same night as Bella’s soccer practice.  So I would have to tell myself it was okay to miss his game to coach Bella’s soccer team, but it didn’t make it any easier.

Also, during all of our running around Justice got strep throat.  Nothing to serious or anything we couldn’t handle.  We caught it early, and he was feeling better soon.  However, just a week later Judah got sick and we found out that he has asthma :( It was rough for a while, a little scary for this mommy, but all is fine now.  And he played awesome at his first game.

Mother’s Day was great this year.  After spending time with most of my family, I got to do my favorite thing…come home and get in my pjs and spend the night with my favorite people.

Last Saturday was the most eventful.  After staying up all night getting things ready for Justice’s birthday party, we headed to Radcliff at 8:30 am to the Walk for Life, a fundraiser we participate in every year for our local pregnancy crisis center.  My mom and I walked 2 miles, pulling a wagon that contained my 3 kids and weighed roughly 80 pounds.  We then grabbed something to eat before Judah’s baseball game, went to Judah’s baseball game, then ran a few last-minute errands for the big birthday party…all in the blazing heat.  I finally got home that evening to finish some yard work and decorating, so that, thanks to Brandon and Shannon, we turned our dining room into Elmo’s World for Justice’s Elmo Party.

Brought to you by the Letter J and the Number 2

So we had Justice’s big Elmo Birthday Party on Sunday, which was a huge success!  Everything turned our perfect, and we all had fun, especially the birthday boy.  But that’s a whole other blog that will come later.  Here’s just a preview

Also this month, Jason got sick, I got poison ivy (still have it :( ), and my dad had surgery.  We’ve had our fair share of soccer games, baseball games, doctor visits, hospital visits, weddings, birthdays, and everything in between.  It’s been eventful, and exhausting, to say the least.  But this month is almost over, and we just have 3 birthdays and 1 holiday weekend to go.  If I could, I’d hibernate for the summer…but as it is, I’ll just have to settle for letting this day be pajama day.

What’s Next?

Tonight I’m wondering about my future.  Presently, I am deeply sunken in Mommyhood, spending all of my days taking care of our 4 year old, 3 year old, and 1.5 year old.  I am woken up at 7 am every morning, after having at least a couple of extras end up in our bed some time during the night, usually by the pouncing, and jumping, and laughing, and squealing of all 3 of our children…or by my husband who informs me that he’s walking out the door and our children are awake and waiting for breakfast…or by the screams that come from my extremely, melodramatic, 3 year old daughter, who is being antagonized by either one of her brothers.  There is, however, the rare occasion that I do actually wake up at 5 am, the time I set my alarm for to ensure that I have enough time to myself…to dress, fellowship with God, enjoy the quiet, and to not feel like a zombie.  So then my day usually consists of fixing our meals and then cleaning up the kitchen (at least 3 times a day), rushing my little girl to the potty and cleaning up the mess if we didn’t make it on time, making the beds, picking up toys and trying to get the kids to actually help (usually a dozen times).  And then, either vacuuming, laundry, or other cleaning, and trying to remember to stop and play with the kids, or read my Bible, or to just sit.  Then putting the kids down for their nap, picking up the toys (again), putting the kids back in their beds (a number of times), and then finally getting to enjoy the quiet with some solitude or a nap for myself.  And then, going to the grocery store, or meeting family for dinner, or a service at church, coming back home to put everyone in bed, trying to keep them in their beds, picking up the toys (yet again), and hopefully, if I’m not already asleep at this point, finishing up any unfinished chores and spending time with my Hubby.  It is exhausting, and sometimes overwhelming, but it is my life, and I love it. 

I do, however, have nights like tonight where I wonder, what will I do when this season is past?  What am I going to do when my kids are older and involved in things that don’t include me?  I know that they are not the sum total of who I am, but right now they take up so much of me that it’s hard to see anything different for me. 

I use to enjoy writing, and was actually majoring in journalism at one time.  I was also majoring in early childhood and special education when I graduated from the local college with a 4.0 and an associates in arts and humanities, having taken and aced chemistry 104 and 105.  At one point I was planning on going to the Hair Design School, not because it was the only other option outside of college, but because it was an actual passion of mine.  I have a harp, and used to take lessons, and I have self-learned to play the piano.  I’ve attempted, but not yet conquered the guitar, and one of my secret desires is to own and play a ukulele.  I sing and play for one of our worship teams at church, and help lead other worship/prayer sets that we have throughout the week.  I am a “Mary” deep down, in that I love to worship and just sit in the presence of Jesus. 

I love God, and I love my family, and I am very comfortable with my identity being in Him and in them.  But I still wonder some times, is there more that I’m supposed to be doing?  Should I be going back to school, or do something else to prepare myself for the other seasons that will come in life?  How do all the things that I love and have a passion for work together into an actual path for me to walk on? 

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. ~Proverbs 3:6

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” ~Isaiah 30:21

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. ~Proverbs 16:3

Walk for LIFE

Every year we participate in the Walk for Life to raise funds for CrossWay Pregnancy Resource Center in Radcliff, KY.  CrossWay Pregnancy Resource Center exists for the sole purpose to put Jesus Christ on display by demonstrating His unconditional love to girls and women who are faced with an unwanted pregnancy, and to let them know that they do have a choice, and abortion isn’t their only option.  Founded in 2001, CrossWay offers many services that are all free and confidential.  They provide pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, clothes and diapers, counseling, and bible studies. 

The Walk for Life is 2 miles around the city of Radcliff, and all sponsors give a set amount, not a per mile pledge.  All donations will be collected after the Walk is done on May 14 through the mail, so there is no money needed up front, and you don’t even have to live in our local area.  We just simply need your mailing information and your pledge amount, and you will receive a mailer letting you know where to send the money after May 14.  Last year our family was able to raise $500 for CrossWay, and this year we’ve decided to make our goal $1,000.  The Lord has really been teaching us about giving this year and how it truly is a blessing on many levels.  I came across the teaching by Mike Bickle, Giving Extravagantly, one of the best teacings I have ever heard – no exaggeration – it changed my life.  It is a real joy to us every time we give, and we ask that you would consider pledging our family in this Walk.  To reach our goal of $1,000, we would just need 50 people to donate $20 each, or 100 people to donate $10.  There is no minimum amount required; we welcome all pledges of any amount and know that the Lord will bless your gift. 

Walk for Life 2010

Blogging Debut

This is my blogging debut.  There are a plethora of reasons why one might blog, and I guess mine stems from my deep need for impact, from the internal realization that to just live for oneself isn’t really living at all.  I have a need for others and for others to need me, and we all need God.  So this is my feeble attempt to reach out into the world and give a little bit of me, and hopefully more of God.  And in the words of Steven Curtis Chapman:

              More to this Life   

Today I watched in silence as people passed me by,
And I strained to see if there was something hidden in their eyes;
But they all looked at me as if to say
Life just goes on.

The old familiar story told in different ways,
Make the most of your own journey from the cradle to the grave;
Dream your dreams tomorrow because today
Life must go on.

But there’s more to this life than living and dying,
More than just trying to make it through the day;
More to this life, more than these eyes alone can see,
And there’s more than this life alone can be.

Tonight he lies in silence staring into space,
And looks for ways to make tomorrow better than today,
But in the morning light it looks the same;
Life just goes on.

He takes care of his family, he takes care of his work,
And every Sunday morning he takes his place at the church;
And somehow he still feels a need to search,
But life just goes on.

But there’s more to this life than living and dying,
More than just trying to make it through the day;
More to this life, more than these eyes alone can see,
And there’s more than this life alone can be.