Kylie May

Kylie May

Layla Faith

Layla Faith

Zoey Noelle

Zoey Noelle


Our baby boy, due March 16th.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Unexpected Day - Part Two

I'm not going to talk politics. However, I do want to say that I was touched by Rick Santorum's testimony. I related to a person who has gone though the same thing that I have. Going though this situation is not easy and there are many decisions to be made. An experience like this causes you to grow up and mature in a way that cannot be taught in a text book or at a fancy college. It's handling real life and unexpected situations. I respect him.

I learned about the impact of sharing your testimony. This blog has been my sounding board for a while. After hearing Rick Santorum tell his son's story, it reminded me that the story of Layla has touched many people. That one word, Layla has not returned void. That one word, Gabriel has not returned void. Speaking my testimony can change someone's life. It can effect someone's walk with God. It's so much bigger than myself and my feelings and thoughts. I started my blog as a means to communicate long distance with family. I had no idea or intention of reaching people I don't know or people I haven't talked to in years. I realized that my blog has become my testimony. Not just my story. There are people out there with the same story as mine. But a testimony is a story that supports a fact. The fact; God is faithful.

We continue to be touched by the people who think of us and pray for us. This morning was not easy for me or Bryan and it made our entire day more difficult. We were surrounded with people who love us. Not only was my best friend here with her family, but my mom was at church, my co-workers, Bryan was sitting near people who have supported us since day one. To know that our testimony has touched your lives means a lot to us. We feel so blessed to have you.

Today unexpectedly turned into a day of growth and learning about myself. And a day that our precious angel, Layla Faith was remembered in our hearts and minds.

Here's a link to the video of Rick Santorum's visit. Enjoy!

Rick Santorum's Visit to Celebration Church

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Unexpected Day About Layla

My cursor has been blinking for a few minutes as I try to decide what I want to focus on about today. *This is getting really long, so I'll make it a couple posts.*

Today turned into a day about Layla. It's not quite her 4 month birthday, or anything numerically significant. However, she consumed my and Bryan's thoughts today.

I don't know what it is about having fun that makes me think of Layla. It kind of bugs me. I had a great time this weekend with Crimson and the family. For some reason, I can't stop thinking of Layla. I think it's just because I'm making new memories, without her. I guess when you carry a baby for 35 weeks your mind is always thinking about that baby. Then, when she's just gone, it's weird. Trying to make your brain and body realize that she's not here anymore. Anyway, I went to bed last night thinking of Layla, as usual. I woke up thinking of her.

Every Sunday morning, I get Starbucks on my way to church at 7am. I went inside today, hoping to get my drink & scone for free (I didn't!). While I was chatting with the girls as they made my drink, one of them looked up at said, "Hi Ted". I turned around, and there's Dr. Hayes. I know he frequents that location. Bryan sees him all the time. But it was a little awkward. We did the polite, "How are you?". I responded with "We're doing well. Off to work this morning." "Aren't we all", was his last comment. I didn't have anything else to say. It was so fake. I don't like being fake. I should have said, "We're okay. I miss Layla and I didn't really want to see you here this morning. Not fond memories of you and I'm hoping to never have an appointment with you again." But, that wouldn't have been polite. That's not me :)

Work was a little nail biting for me. I just didn't want to mess up! Presidential candidate, Rick Santorum visited our church. He was in the area yesterday and asked to attend our service. I was busy working, so I don't know many details. I've seen some pictures and it looked like a pretty big deal with all the security around. I have a few things to say about his visit.

I love my job.
I was nervous, but it was almost an adrenaline nervousness. I succeeded (I think). I'm in a position to tell people what to do and sometimes I feel bad being so bossy. But it's my job and that's what makes the end product look good!

Rick Santorum's Testimony
Rick Santorum spoke at the end of second service. I don't know anything about politics so everything I say is based on today. I like him. He come across as a very real person. I appreciated his honesty about his struggles in his faith walk and the rights he spoke about today. He gave a testimony that really hit home for my family. He had a son, who was born and passed away after 2 hours. He went on to describe the situation and his feelings toward God. The "why me", "tears to anger", and desire to "resolve". The feelings that are still so fresh in my mind.

Controlling My Emotions
I remember right after having Layla, I would really break down and cry, a lot. As I was directing the service, I felt one tear fall. Wiped it with my hand. Then another. I was doing good. The more he talked, the more I was recalling the vivid memories of Layla's journey. My tears continued as I tuned him out and thought about my angel. I had never cried on a Sunday morning in front of my crew that usually sees my strong demanding side. But, I'm real. And we're real at my church. I cried, but I could refocus (pun intended) and get back to work. I am finally to a point where I can control my emotions through this grieving thing.

"God is Faithful"
I remember one of the things he said while he was telling the story of his son, Gabriel. "If you're faithful, God will bless this." He mentioned that he's felt miracle after miracle throughout the period after his son was born. I could relate, because I feel the same way. A person's outlook changes after something like that. Things that may not have seemed like a miracle before, do. He ended his speech by strongly saying, "God is faithful".

To be continued because I have much more to say...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Daily Layla Talk

While I understand that this may not be that impacting or exciting for ya'll, I wanted to get it all written in one place. I have notes of little things all over that I don't want to forget :) Plus they're all really cute and conversations that make my heart warm.

Layla was everywhere during the move. It was difficult. I am getting stronger as time goes on. I feel like I have more control over my emotions. Moving all of her things. Tons of cards, notes from Dr. appointments, her gender party invitation. Finding a "Layla Ribbon" here or there. While we were moving, Kylie found the boppy that I used for her and asked if it was for baby Layla.

Kylie knows that Layla is in heaven, but she forgets. When she asks, I say "Layla is in heaven with Jesus.". Her response is always, "I know that.".  I love when Kylie talks about Layla. It's so sweet and often times, she brings it up on her own.

A lot of our talks are as she's falling asleep at night. She asks if there are any monsters or bad guys. My answer is always no, because Layla is an angel and is watching over us. One night she asked where Layla is and how she got there. Not quite sure how to answer some of her questions. This was our conversation before bed the other night.

Kylie: I miss Layla.
Mom: I know. Me too. 
Kylie: Is she going to stay in heaven for a long long time?
Mom: Yeah.
Kylie: Why? I want her to come back. 
Mom: I know. Me too. You can dream about her tonight. 

That one made me tear up, as many do. There was so much meaning in the way she said it. She started crying as she asked why. I gently ignored that part when I responded.

Kylie needs to fill out a worksheet for school about herself. "My family members are ________." I don't want to push it so I didn't say anything. We filled it out today and I anxiously waited for her answer. "Mommy, daddy and Layla!". I was thrilled. Most times that Kylie talks about her, except at night, there is so much excitement in her voice.

A couple hours later we had another talk about her. Kylie brought it up in the car.

Kylie: Is Layla coming home? Is your baby a girl or a boy?
Mom: Layla's not coming home. She's in heaven with Jesus. Is what baby a boy or girl?
Kylie: Layla.
Mom: Lalyla's a girl. 
Kylie: She's my sister. And Auntie Sarah's baby is Ben. He's my brother. I have a brother and a sister. Ben and Layla are twins!

Again. Not quite sure how much I should try to explain to her! I remember painting Kylie's nails before Layla was born. I let her pick out a color and she picked blue because according to Kylie, it's Layla's favorite color. A few days ago we were at my desk at work. Kylie grabbed the bright blue pen and was so excited. She said, "Mom, it's Layla's favorite color! How do you spell Layla?". She continued to draw an 'L' over and over in blue ink.

Like I said in my last post, I don't talk about Layla much. There isn't anything to say anymore. No updates on appointments or questions about how I'm doing. It's okay. I don't mind. But sometimes I want to talk about her but I don't know what to say. I am always thinking about her.

Thanks for reading a little piece about my days. We're so blessed with Kylie, great friends and family. Ps. I love hearing that some of you think of Layla often. I know she came to earth for a reason.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Summer-like Days

Feeling good since my last post. It's been a couple weeks, but I've been taking some time to enjoy life. I know it sounds cliche. I chose life & made the conscious decision to not live in fear. I'm truly soaking in all the good moments each day. Remembering everything I have to be grateful for.

The weather in Wisconsin has been amazing! We've been pretty spoiled actually. It's be in the 80's a few times in the last week. I love it. I hate to admit I'm bummed it's going to be 64 on Saturday. Crimmy and the family are coming for the weekend. I can't wait to unpack, organize, and decorate with her. Kylie's pretty anxious to play with the girls, too.  

It's felt good to keep the tv off and spend more time outside. We've fallen in love with our new neighborhood. Going on multiple walks a day and running around in the back yard. Kylie May got a new bike! She loves it and is already pretty good at riding it. 

After Easter, we're all going on a family vacation to visit Emily in Jacksonville! We can't wait. It will be a nice time away from work and responsibilities. Two vans, six adults, four kids on a twenty hour drive! Should be tons of fun. (I'm not being sarcastic.)

My thoughts about Layla are constant. I know that won't change. I don't talk about her much to anyone but family. I still miss her. I think of her the most when we're having fun as a family. I want her here with us.

I have another post that I'm hoping to finish soon. Here are some pics of our fun "Summer-like Days". (As you can tell, Bryan is typically working while I'm home playing with Kylie.)

She had to ride her new bike right when we got home from dance class!

I love her hair this long, but it's time for a summer hair cut!

A bight & sunny afternoon picnic.

Gorgeous sunrise on my way to church on Sunday.
The beauty always reminds me that we serve a big God who does big things!

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Now Choose Life

Another quote from our pastor last Sunday, "You can either live in blessing, or in Sucks-ville. It's up to you. You can live in blessings or in curses. You can live in faith or fear. You can be healthy or sicker than a dog. You do it on purpose."

Can you tell, we're pretty real at our church? Life isn't always easy. Through the challenges and hard times, we need to choose life. We need to make the conscious decision to live in blessings and faith. We chose life when we moved in November 2010. Until February of 2011 we were wondering why we left such a comfortable life in Stevens Point. It was harder than we thought it would be. Things improved in Jan/Feb 2011 with Bryan getting his job at Starbucks, my hours increasing at the bank and the list goes on. Those things didn't just happen. We worked for it. We had to choose to make things better. It would have been easy to mope around and be like Eeyore and feel sorry for ourselves, but who was that benefiting? We chose life.

Just when everything was going great, we found out we were pregnant with Layla. That was around this time last year. We were on a high of how perfect things were, until August. Then, another low. Another challenge. We were knocked down, big time. But, we chose life (literally, too). We chose to keep our head, just above water, and make it through.

God seems to have this pattern of ups and downs. He reminds us that He's in control, all the time. In the ups and downs. Knowing this pattern, I hesitate being too excited or happy or on this 'high', in fear of the down. It's like I'm waiting, for things to go wrong or bad. Not that I want that, of course! But there is it. The choice. I could waste my time, living in fear of the next 'down', but why? I can and will, yet again, choose life. I'll choose to enjoy my current high. Having my dream job, living in a new place in a great neighborhood, making new memories with my family. I will enjoy what I have and stay humble. I will give all of the praise to God. Who has and will continue to be my strength everyday.