Kylie May

Kylie May

Layla Faith

Layla Faith

Zoey Noelle

Zoey Noelle


Our baby boy, due March 16th.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Inspiring Through Tragedy

Okay, so I have a lot of thoughts about this. I'm hoping that I can explain them in an organized and well-explained way. We'll see.

I know that many people have been reading my blog since the very beginning. I've gotten a lot of encouraging comments about my writing. Personally, I think it's just my honesty & openness that people like in my blog. I don't sugar-coat anything. I write like I would be talking & I talk about how I'm feeling (even if it's not pretty).

I would qualify my situation as a tragedy; a disastrous event or misfortune. I reacted to my tragedy with unrealistic optimism and faith in God. I believe that I did this because it's what I have seen others do & what I've been taught. It's just how you react. I remember Pastor Mark saying that he'd give himself 24 hours to freak out, and then move forward. The freaking out came in spurts. Trust me, there were days that I freaked out & allowed myself to cry my eyes out and feel sorry for myself. But, I always had to reset & remember how I needed to respond to this situation. Not only for me to be able to cope, but for my family & friends. It was my testimony of faith in action. People were watching me. (This is not to say I changed, but I knew that I had to pull through. Feeling sorry for myself would not encourage anyone or show anyone how God can give you peace through a situation.)

I reacted consciously. My reaction was not how I felt. At all. I had to intentionally deny my emotions and make myself think positively. If I would have allowed myself to be 'bummed', to say the least, I would have questioned God. I would have been angry and mad about what was happening. I was confused and sad, but that's different. I could have easily turned away from God because of my confusion. I could have blamed Him for allowing this to happen. But why? What would the point of that be? For others to feel bad for me? For me to feel better? I don't think any of that would have been worth it.

When a tragedy comes into someone's life, that person has to choose how they will react. If they don't intentionally decide how to react, the default will be to act how they feel. My point in all of this, is to say that when you see someone in the face of tragedy, you pray and hope that they will chose faith. It is so easy to act and react how you feel. It is NOT easy to react with faith, peace and trust in God. It's not the 'easy way'. The biggest testimony, is to see someone intentionally chose faith.

People would tell me all the time, how inspiring I was. I did not feel like I was inspiring anyone. I was merely keeping my head above water in the midst of uncertainty and confusion. However, I have recently seen a couple people choose to react how I did. Now, I can see how it can be inspiring. It is refreshing to observe someone make that decision. I know I keep repeating this, but remember this is a conscious decision. These people, who show so much strength throughout tragedy, don't feel it. (Having been there, I can say that.) There is so much confusion about why these things happen and the answer is most likely not a week away.

It truly is refreshing and inspiring to see someone with faith through an incredible tragedy. It's amazing to watch that. With all of that being said, thank you. For finding my story inspiring, even though I didn't understand why you thought that at the time. Be encouraged to intentionally choose to have faith and trust God when you face a tragedy of your own. Know that when you see someone that you're inspired by, it's not easy to act the way that you're amazed with. Pray for them, to feel the peace and strength that they are operating in. It's not easy, but it is inspiring. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Normal Baby

We had our 28 week ultrasound with Dr. Hayes this morning. Kylie May got to come with today, so she could see what all these appointments are about. She never came to any of Layla's appointment (every week). We never knew what the appointments had in store, so it was safer to not bring her. I guess we felt pretty good about everything up to this point.

Kylie was so excited to be with us! She was interested in everything in the rooms & what they were doing. It was fun to see her in that atmosphere. Beanie looked great! The ultrasound went pretty quick. Kylie loved seeing Beanie on the tv screen. We were able to watch Beanie put her hands over her eyes and 'play peek-a-boo'. She put her fingers in her mouth, and opened & closed her mouth. It was neat to watch and be able to show Kylie. We got one good picture of her pretty face.

For me, and Bryan, the best part was seeing her bones! Wow. I know it's normal, but we didn't get to see normal for Layla. When they measured Beanies femur, it was so bold and straight. You could see it so clearly. Just the way it's supposed to be. (With Layla, we couldn't see anything that resembled a bone. Not even short bones. They just didn't show up on the ultrasound.)

Our meeting with Dr. Hayes was the best we've ever had in the last year or more with him. He started with "Your baby looks great.". *sigh* He continued to say that he was looking for the measurements to be in the 10-90 percentile. Her femur was 30% and her humerus was 50%. I mentioned how cool it was to see her femur and he replied "It couldn't be more straight. It's exactly what we want to see. No curve." To hear him say these few things was music to my ears. It's not the way his appointments typically go. It's probably unusual for him to be able to give good news! He said he doesn't want to waste our time with appointments, so we'll see him in 7 weeks for another measurement ultrasound.

What a relief. We were expecting a good appointment. I don't think either of us were very nervous about it. It was just cool to hear all of those positive things. There has been a lot of sad news that we have been heartbroken about for us in the past and a few friends recently. This was just what we needed to get us through. I'm praying that even this little bit of positive news will help others remember that He will carry us through the hard times.

I have a post in my head that I've been thinking of and wanting to post for a while. Hoping to get to it tomorrow. Sounds like it might be a snowy day at home. We'll have to wait and see!

Thanks for all of your support. Please keep my friend Rajah's family in your thoughts and prayers. We'll be heading to Stevens Point on Friday for the funeral. If you would like to know how to help, here is a link to help offset the costs for the family. Thank you for your generosity.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What Now? - Perspective

"...and suddenly, all of your own troubles and worries become unimportant." posted by a friend of my on Facebook today.

I got a phone call from a close friend in Stevens Point that a friend of ours passed away this morning. It was so unexpected. It  caught me off-guard and I am still in shock. The way I feel cannot even compare to how his family feels. He was 36, married for over 10 years, 5 beautiful kids. I keep saying it's awful. It's worse than that.

Rajah Heetai was a wonderful man of God. He respected everyone and always put others needs before his. He treated his wife like a princess and loved his kids so dearly. He knew what was important in life. He served in the church & community. He's someone that 'everyone knows' because he was genuinely nice to everyone he met.

There are so many characteristics about Rajah that I could go on about. I am just heartbroken for his family. I can't think about anything else. The feeling of grief comes over me so quickly and I cannot imagine how they will move forward. What now?

Rajah's wife Amanda is just as amazing as Rajah. She is so bold and strong. She is an excellent mom, and I know that God will protect her. I know Amanda will lean on Him and trust Him for every need.

Please lift up the family in your prayers. Hug your spouse extra tight and tell your kids you love them.

His passing changes my perspective again. It forces me to think about the relationships I have. Ones that have shaped my past. That have made me who I am today. Think about your perspective now, before a circumstance forces you to. Take a step back and look at the big picture.

In loving memory of Rajah Heetai.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Thinking of Layla

I'm almost 27 weeks pregnant with Beanie. According to my app, she's 15 inches long! I had Layla at 34 weeks, and because of her skeletal dysplasia, she was only 10 and 1/2 inches long and 4 pounds. I've been feeling Beanie moving for a while now. It's getting to be more & more. Now that I compare the sizes of Layla & Beanie, I realize why I can feel her so much. I love it. A lot. When I relax at night I can count on feeling her kicking the most. Throughout the day, I get kicks while I'm working at my desk. It's this little reminder that I'm growing a baby.

I didn't feel Layla very much because of her size. My pregnancy with her was physically so different from Beanie. I can't help but think how much of a blessing that was. It was challenging enough emotionally. If I would have felt her kicking more, or felt sick/miserable it would have made it such a different experience.

My sisters and I went out for lunch on Sunday. They really got me into thinking about Beanie. I have three months until she's due, but I haven't thought much about having her. I was talking more about it today with a friend. Thinking about the weeks after Beanie is born and wanting to work. She reminded me of what it will be like. Not sleeping at night, nursing every couple hours, not being clear-headed. My most recent memory of having a baby was not bringing one home. I had a baby and my life went on as usual. I was back at work twelve days after having her. I didn't need to figure out maternity leave or where the baby would sleep. Who would take care of her or how we would financially afford it. So, with Beanie, I'm trying to remember what I need to think about.

I will be in the hospital for a few days. I will bring a baby home. I will not be sleeping through the night. I will not be grieving her loss. I will be happy. I will be exhausted. I will still need to take care of Kylie. I will take off of work. I will not know what I'm doing. But, I will have a baby!

I was watching one of 'my shows', as Bryan calls them, tonight. The lady in the show had a baby. The first things she said was "she's crying". It dawned on me in that moment, that this experience with Beanie will be so different. I will feel that joy. The overwhelming, forget everything else, joy that comes when you hear, hold and see your baby for the first time. I felt something when I held Layla, but I can't honestly say that it was joy. It was relief. It was pain. It was sadness. It was an ending, not a beginning like it's supposed to be.

Bryan, Kylie and I were driving past the hospital where we had Layla. I want to give Kylie a heads up about things, so I told her that we'll be having Beanie there too. This started a list of questions from her. I wasn't expecting it to trigger so many memories for her. She asked to go to the same friends house as she did when Layla was born. She wants the same person to bring her to see me & Beanie. She asked why Layla didn't open her eyes. If Layla was sleeping already. How she got out of my belly and stated that happened before she came to visit. She was wearing her white dress. Did daddy & I cut her hair when she was sleeping? What color will Beanie's hair be? For a four year old, she remembers and understands so much.

This is our life. These conversations just happen and it's normal for us. I was waiting in the lab at the Dr. the other day. This little boy, about Kylie's age, asked his mom, "When did my brother die?". She quickly told him to quiet down so others wouldn't hear. I didn't hear her answer. It was hard to ignore their conversation. This is just their life now. Maybe it had been a while, maybe it just happened. Either way, it has changed them forever. I wanted to talk to her. I had no idea what I would say. How it would be received. I just wondered if she would feel comforted by meeting someone else who lost a child.

I was asked to speak at our MOPS group at church a couple days ago. I've been thinking about it a lot. I remember feeling so strong after Layla was born. I felt like I could do anything after what I had gone through. I know I've said this before, but I don't believe my own posts from when I was pregnant with Layla. I know that it was genuine, I remember feeling that way. Maybe not always 'feeling' strong, but being strong in my faith and trusting God. I don't know where I would begin to talk about how I made it through because I can't believe that I did. I don't feel as inspired to share now as I did last year. But, it's not about how I feel. Maybe it's time to figure out how I can use what I went through to help other people. Like the lady in the lab who lost her son. There is a reason for all of this. This could be my first step in discovering that.

Friday, January 11, 2013

It's Friday!

We made it to Friday! This has been the first 'normal' week since all of the days off for Christmas/New Years. It's great to be back into a routine. Seems a little busier than I thought it would be. Bryan and I went out last night. We had great ideas of fun places to eat and things to do. But, we ended up going to dinner and a movie. A little boring. We don't have dates very often, so we're content with a simple relaxing date. Uninterrupted conversation was lovely.

We had an appointment for Beanie on Wednesday. I had to take my glucose test. It was not very tasty. Beanie's heartbeat was in the 150's. I'll be 26 weeks on Saturday! The days are starting to go by quickly. One of my co-workers had her baby girl on Monday. She came in to visit on Thursday. Her baby was so tiny. I feel like I just stood there and stared at her. Only four days old, they don't do much, but I was still enamored by her. I can't wait for my own.

Our next appointment is on the 29th with Dr. Hayes. Another big ultrasound. I'm ready to see her again. It's been a while compared to every 3 weeks, like with Layla!

Kylie May has been a little feisty these days. Maybe winter is getting to her. It's probably hard to adjust from having me home all the time, to not at all. I'm hoping we can reset this weekend and start next week off on the right foot!

It's been very springy around here. A high of 45 today! I like it, but I know it's not going to stick around. I'm sure winter will return and we'll have another snowstorm or two. Kylie & I are off to the dentist for her this afternoon. She has a sweet tooth, so I'm hoping for no cavities! Have a happy springy weekend! Oh, and go Packers!

Monday, January 07, 2013

Motivated & Excited

Christmas is over. **big sigh** I love the season, but it's taken on a new life with my job at church. It was an amazing busy time and I'm happy to be moving past it. Last weekend I had the huge opportunity to have a wedding booth at the Green Bay Wedding Show. I do wedding videos. Please check out my site & 'like' my Facebook page. I've been doing this since 2005 and never done any advertising. It's all been friends & family. I thought I'd give it a shot in Green Bay to see how it goes. The show went great. A huge thanks to Holly Marie Designs who designed my site, business cards, pricing sheets, coupon booklets and DVD cases. Also to my dad, who made my vision happen. I had this picture in my head of how I wanted it to look, and he made it happen. Thanks, dad!! Huntley Painting & Designs painted the wall for me and applied the logo/text. He did awesome at matching my colors and fonts. Well done, Steve! I could go on and on with people who helped me achieve this (Bryan, Addie, Mom, Emily). I lost my voice on Thursday and was feeling sick the whole weekend. On Friday, the first day of the show, I was losing my mind. I was rushing to finish things. One thing after another was going wrong and Kylie was not cooperating. I was a mess, but only lost it for a couple minutes. I didn't feel like it was worth all of the effort I put into it. I felt like I was making a huge mistake and had no confidence in myself. That had to turn around, because I had to go sell myself to 1,000 brides! I had a coughing attack with watery eyes and no voice with the first person I talked to. After that, I went to the bathroom to regroup. I decided that if I got more referrals than coughing attacks, I would be in good shape. Nobody else was boosting my esteem, so I had to do it myself. I did! It was a success and I've already booked one wedding. Thank goodness!

Here's a pic of my booth. I had an awesome time meeting brides. I love talking about details and wedding plans. They're all so excited and in love. It's so cute.

So, all of that to say that I'm super motivated and excited to be moving forward into 2013. Starting to get excited about having a baby in April! Ah, it's going to come fast now. We're trying to figure out where things will go in our house & what items we need to buy. We have a few things from Kylie, but I have to see what it looks like. I don't remember it from 4 years ago. Kylie was an October baby, so the clothes will be off a season. I'm sure some things will work.

Bryan & I decided to pull our offer on the house. There have been some complications come up with the financing since we have a house in Stevens Point. Initially we thought we would need 2 months of reserves for each property and now it's 6 months. That's a big difference. If we pull the offer, we'll be able to plan for Beanie in our current place (which we still like) and get settled in even more. I think we're both content with the decision. It gives us some certainty instead of having our housing situation up in the air for a couple months. I suppose this could change if they can work some magic with our numbers. We'll have to see.

***Okay...maybe not. We just keep getting more info on the financing. I don't want to 'give up' just in case it might work. It would be so nice to have a house with our new Beanie. I'll keep you posted.***

I know it's a little early for Valentine's, but I'm over the Christmas season & ready to move on. :) Spring cleaning anyone?