Friday, December 12, 2014

Counting Stars

I have been hard on myself recently thinking that I should have written this update sooner, but then I take a breath and remember all the good moments of the last few weeks and am glad that I took time to REST.

The last, well, month and a half has been a whirlwind of celebrating Judah's arrival with family and friends.  We have had sickness and trials, but through it all, life has been FULL.  Full of joy, full of moments to be thankful.  Too many to really name.

We have made it to the 36 week mark.  This was not a date I ever dreamed of making it to when I first found out I was pregnant.  I had this internal finish line of "if I make it to Thanksgiving, I'll be happy."  Well we have made it to that point and don't have any signs of slowing down.  We have scheduled our 'finish line' date of December 30th.  If Judah doesn't make his arrival naturally by that date, we will do a C-section then.  My name is on the OR schedule.  That date is scheduled at 39 weeks.  Ready or not, here we come!

Judah Isaac: 35.5 weeks - estimated around 6lbs.

Lately I been, I been losing sleep
Dreaming about the things that we could be
But baby, I been, I been prayin' hard
Said no more counting dollars
We'll be counting stars
Yeah, we'll be counting stars

Thursday, November 6, 2014

In My Arms

Since the day we found out our official due date, I've had an invisible red circle around October 29 - the 30 week mark - in my planner.  While I've been determined to have a healthy pregnancy this time around, there was always a little part of me wondering if we'd make it this far.

We have entered uncharted waters.  With Sarah I didn't really get to have a third trimester.

When we first found out I told my dear friend, Kelsey Harrison (Owner/Photographer at Kelsey Harrison Photography:, and told her one major thing I wanted this pregnancy that I never got with Sarah was maternity pictures.  October 26th, we went out and did just that!  I am so beyond thrilled with how they turned out.  If you need photos of your family, she is truly the best to work with.  She not only captured our entire family, but also some of the little details of our life... One of my favorite pictures is a simple picture of Sarah's sweet curls.  I always try to catch them, but never am successful.

We are beyond excited to meet sweet Judah, but I am so grateful that my health is remaining in check and he's staying put for right now.  Here are some of my favorites from the session.

Your baby blues, so full of wonder
Your curly cues, your contagious smile
And as I watch, you start to grow up
All I can do, is hold you tight
In my arms

Monday, October 20, 2014

When I'm With You

Well, folks.  We've reached the third trimester.  I am, admittedly, pretty on edge and constantly questioning every slight sensation, feeling, and pain.  My doctor has been very encouraging of me to be hyper-sensitive to each symptom and discomfort.  We have gone in for a couple unplanned check ups, one was after hours so it took place in the ER, which sounds way more scary than it really was.  So far all the tests and labs are coming in clean and with excellent results.  My doctor is very happy with where I am.

We have started the two week check ups already!  AND, we have scheduled the rest of my appointments, all the way past my due date.  Hard to believe that we're already to this point.  As Sarah would say, "I can't believe it!"  (one of her new phrases!)  This excites me, since I adore my doctor and love seeing her.

My nesting instincts are kicking in pretty hard and I'm trying to get the kid's room ready get some color on the walls.  I have a fun project that I'm working on and I can't wait to share pictures of how it all comes together!

Speaking of kicking, Judah is seriously one active and STRONG little boy.  It makes it difficult to focus on things most days!  He is much stronger than his sister was and is growing big and stronger every day.  When he starts wiggling, I wonder what he's going to be like.  I can't wait to meet him and hold him.

As for other updates - Sarah has spent a week now with both sets of Grandparents over the last month or two.  She did great at both places for the week.  She's such a big and independent little girl.  It was amazing to see the new things she came home saying and doing after being gone for a week.  My new favorite this past week is how she was SO excited to see our cat, Abby.  She kept chasing her saying "So cute!".  They really love each other.  Warms my heart.

Sarah also had an eye doctor appointment this past week.  I am fairly sensitive to her vision, and have notice that she appears cross-eyed in pictures and has now for over a year.  I'm not the only one to notice it, so I know I'm not totally crazy!  I insisted she receive another exam to make sure she didn't need corrective help.  The eye doctor said that, as last time, he believes that the bridge of her nose is just very wide which causes the illusion of being cross-eyed.

October 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014

Trust and Obey

I've always wanted to keep this blog a place of honesty and transparency... So I'm going to be honest - this past week has be rough.  Jim was out of town for most of it, which left me on "full time mom, full time employee and full time baby incubator" mode which left little room for any time to really REST.

This week we have also discovered the true meaning of what I'm sure people are trying to describe with the 'terrible twos'.  Most evenings have ended up in uncontrollable meltdowns.  We are at a loss.  It's like a mean game of 'figure out the puzzle', but if you don't figure out the puzzle quick enough then the tear factory will explode.

In spite of this frustrating puzzle, God has been whispering lessons in my ear through all of it...  "Trust and obey."  Sounds pretty simple, right?

Most of Sarah's meltdowns typically start because of one of two reasons.
  • She is directly disobeying a command/directive.
  • She wants to do something by herself and will NOT accept help.
I often found myself saying things like: "You aren't quite big enough for that yet, but you will learn.  Right now, mommy needs to help."  "Trust me, I know how to do it."  "It's bedtime, we can't watch anymore TV."

It makes me question moments in my life that I feel like I'm struggling against something... How often is God whispering, "You're not quite ready for that yet, but give it some time.  Until then, let me help."  Or even, "It's time to move on, you can't do it that way anymore."

If something feels like a struggle and you're straining against the world - take a moment to stop and ask God, "is this really how I'm supposed to do it?  Is this really what you want for me?"  And then just listen.  Read the Word.  He might just be trying to tell you something.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

It's a BOY

We definitely have had an exciting day today!  We found out that we are expecting a BOY in January.  I am just completely overwhelmed and still coming to understand what that means for our little growing family.

We knew today was the "big" day, so we definitely woke up excited!  We opted not to take Sarah to this one since the ultrasound usually takes a good 30 minutes or more.  I didn't want to have to try and worry about her getting antsy while we were taking a peek.

He was not cooperating very well and was incredibly active.  She was having trouble getting all the views of the heart she needed, but finally was able to manage despite his best attempts to thwart her plans.  She finally got down to the tell tale area, and exclaimed... "Well that's your problem right there!  It's a BOY!"  And there was no mistaking that he was, indeed, a boy.

Jim was completely beaming from ear to ear and I was a little in shock!  Not that I didn't want a boy - I have just not been around many boys... Their energy overwhelms me a little!  However, Jim reminded me that Sarah was a little spitfire, too... and that if I can handle her... Then I can handle a boy.  So true.

We have decided to name him Judah Isaac.  Judah was a name that I kept coming back to and fell in love with the meaning.  Judah means "praise or thanksgiving" in Hebrew.  Isaac means "laughter".  It is our prayer that our son will be filled with laughter and praise all the days of his life.  

8/14/14 - Meet Judah (he's a wiggly one!)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Say Goodbye

It's been about a week since we said goodbye to my final surviving Great Grandmother.  It was a bittersweet weekend at home with the entire family gathered.  I don't remember the last time we were able to have virtually everyone there.  Unfortunately there were a few spouses and kids unable to make the trip, but everyone we grew up with around the Christmas tree was there.  It was good.

We spent 5-6 hours on Friday in the funeral home reminiscing, looking at pictures, laughing, sharing stories... Sarah (who unfortunately missed a nap that day) decided to run up and down the hall of the funeral home singing "Let it Go!" at the top of her lungs...  I, as her mother, cringed a little at the boisterousness and irony.  However, it did bring many smiles and laughter.

I am so overwhelmed by how blessed and how truly special it is that I have spent 28 years of my life having Great Grandparents around.  I have fond memories of 4 of them, and was especially close with the last two who passed.  It's part of our decision to want children at a young age.  I hope and pray every day that my grandparents will stay healthy and around for at least another 20 years so that Sarah and any future children can learn their stories and have fond memories as I have.  (If you're one of my grandparents reading this - take care of yourselves!  We want you around for a long, long time!)

As for Great Grandma Becht, my biggest regret is that I hadn't seen her since Christmas.  In some ways, I am sure it was a blessing. She was still mostly herself, albeit very quiet.  When we left there I had a deep sense in my soul that it might be the last time I saw her.  My intuition turned out to be right.  The thing that broke my heart the most that night was seeing the tears fill her eyes as we said goodbye.  I honestly think she had the same feeling I did.  She missed the family.  She missed being home.  She missed the holidays with a room full of family.

While I tear up every time I think back to the last time I saw her tear filled eyes, I have to smile a little knowing that she is truly at home now.  She's been reunited with the love of her life that she spent 70 years with.  I know that she's reunited with friends and other family members that had long since passed.  She's watching over my angel baby, Isaiah, and telling him stories about me as a child.  Most importantly she's with Jesus and has a new body with no more pain.

We love you, Grandma.

December 20, 2013 - our last visit with Great Grandma Becht

So say goodbye 'cause you'll be leaving soon

I know it's hard and I'll be missing you
I know it's time to say goodbye

Friday, July 11, 2014

Baby Mine

Well, we've made it safely into the 2nd trimester!  Praise God!  My office lighting and computer screen were causing a lot of nausea in that 1st trimester.  After about a week and a half, I think I can safely say that it's all gone!  Wahoo!!  That doesn't mean foods sometimes won't make me a little unsettled, but it's not the unending waves of nausea that I had.

I'm barely starting to pop out a little bit.  I've been in maternity pants for a while now, though due to bloating and just not being very comfortable in my regular pants.  Now I'm slowly incorporating some of the maternity tops as well as my belly slowly shows itself.

Next week I go to the doctor for my monthly check up.  I am planning on taking Sarah with me to try and introduce her further to the idea of a sibling.  I try to talk about momma having a baby.  She LOVES looking at the babies in the nursery room at school.  I asked her yesterday if she wanted a baby at home, and she said yes!  I asked if she wanted a baby brother or sister and she said no to both.  HA!  Not sure how that's going to work out for her.

We started potty training a couple weeks ago, and I use the term lightly because we've had little to no success...  Guess we're just going to have to wait a bit.  She has all the signs of being ready, but gets stage fright I think.  She's been very insistent about needing to go to the potty, especially for #2, but when she gets there she starts crying for her diaper.  :(  Poor baby... Really just hoping to have her out of diapers by the time the new little one gets here - really don't want to be buying two sizes!  Yikes!

This morning some of our good friends had their second precious baby and it's just making me dream about what our little guy/gal is going to look like!  Will we have a duplicate of Sarah?  Or a completely different mixture of her daddy and I?  Only time will tell.

Right now, I am heavily wading through names trying to pick out a boy and a girl name before our big gender appointment in August.  I know there's a very, very slim chance that we might find out next week at our appointment depending on if we get an ultrasound or not.  Our doctor loves ultrasounds, which I'm not upset by!  I love seeing the baby grow!!  I have a favorite girl name, but dad isn't 100% on it yet - and neither of us are happy with any of the boy options.  We even polled Facebook, which was hilarious.  Thanks, guys, for your suggestions!  If it's a boy, I guess we'll be forced to pick something out!!

Until next time... Dreaming of my sweet little one.  Yearning to cuddle and breathe in that baby smell.

Ultrasound picture from 6/16/14 - 11 weeks

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Life That's Good

It's with trembling excitement that I write these words... We are expecting our next child, due to join the world around January 6, 2015.

I know after our first experiences - with losing our first and then having a 7 week NICU journey with our second... Many people may think we're crazy. But this is something that we are so incredibly thrilled to be welcoming another child into our family. This has been on my heart for so long, and am so excited that God is leading us down this path again.

I am going to be much more mindful of diet and exercise this pregnancy, and definitely under the watchful care of the most wonderful doctor.  Nutrition really is the biggest key for me to have a healthy pregnancy.  Unfortunately in this first trimester, it's just a matter of what my stomach will handle and what will calm it down.  Plain pasta, mashed potatoes and 7up are the things that are most helpful.  As I start to feel better, I will definitely be more mindful over what is going into my body.

We went to the doctor in mid-May and saw our little "gummy bear" as he/she has been nicknamed so far.  Everything was healthy and looked great!  The doctor's first exclamation was "there's only one!!"  Despite not having twins run in our family, I have had an irrational fear of twins lately, so that was wonderful news!  (Not that twins aren't great - I just don't know if I could do it emotionally or carry them physically...)  I hadn't even mentioned the thought to her either.  :)  And almost within the same breath, she says, "and it's in the right place!"  What a relief.  I'm so blessed to have a doctor who anticipates exactly what I'm worried about and helps calm those fears immediately.  We were measuring about a week behind where we thought we were, but as the doctor explained, with how my body has been working - it's completely normal.  We got to see the tiny heart pulsing, but sadly was too tiny for us to hear this past visit.  We'll get to hear it hopefully in mid-June if baby cooperates!

After having one child, we know that it really does take a village to raise a child.  So how can you help, you may ask?
  1. Right now the biggest piece of the puzzle is prayer.  Pray for a healthy, full-term delivery.  If I make it to Christmas I will be a happy camper!  But how even more wonderful it would be to make it all the way to my due date.  I'm longing to have a normal, non-C-section delivery as well, so please be praying that my body will cooperate when the time comes.
  2. Hold me accountable.  If you're out eating with me, help me to make good meal choices - skip the Sprite and get water.  If I'm leaning towards pasta and fried foods, direct me to the grilled meat and healthy veggies.  Nutrition is a big key in all of this for me, and definitely one of my weaker points.  I won't be mad at you, I promise.  I just need help some days.
  3. Help us talk with Sarah about being a BIG SISTER!  She's very jealous of other babies with Momma right now and we could use all the good PR we can get about being a big sister!  
We value your love and support with us as we begin this exciting journey into parenthood - again!

Our first glimpse of the new peanut back in May.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

I Get To Be The One

My sweet Sarah,

Today, you turn 2.  I regularly think back to the day you were born.  It was the day a dark cloud rolled in over our home and stayed for the next 7 weeks, as we both fought for our lives.  As much as I wanted that beautiful, full term, glowing, all smiles delivery you see on TV, God gave me something so much more special.  He gave me you, and your amazing testimony that day.  You and I both walked through those dark valleys together with your daddy.  We found God in those moments and continue to see Him every day as we remember back to that valley we came through.

From the start you were a fighter.  You had your own schedule.  You were your own person.  You were determined.  You were aware.  These same qualities still hold true today.  It's amazing to watch you grow and, even more fascinating to see the ways you stay the same.  Through every season of life your tenacity, confidence and courage shine through.

Right now in life, you are learning how to speak in sentences and let us know what you want.  Branching out from the "more" and "peeese" (please).  You love to grab my car keys, jump on your toy car and tell me that you're going shopping.  You adore "Stuffins" and "Fia" (Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First for the non-toddler crowd!)  You love playing tea party and serve the best cups of tea.  You also love carrying around dolls and animals with a blanket and pillow and make them go "night night" all over the house.  Your favorite place is on the kitchen floor as we're trying to cook or clean.  :)

My love, you are such a joy and a blessing.  I wouldn't trade any moment that I have been able to spend with you.  You are unique, beautiful and so very smart.  You are so very special to your daddy and me.  Hope you have a fabulous birthday.

Momma (& Daddy!)

Through birthdays and broken bones
I'll be there to watch you grow
I get to be the one...

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Beautiful Day

I must say.... I LOVE Spring. I always have. It, more than any other season, shows me God's love. This year it has been even more so evident. If you have never slowed down and enjoyed Spring through the eyes of a two year old- I really encourage you to do so. It's full of discovery and wonder.

Sarah has become so aware of the world around her. She chases the birds because she wants to converse with them. She loves pointing out trees and leaves. There is no urgency or rush - no anxiety or care. Only the innocent admiration of these "new" things. 

May we look at the world with fresh eyes, looking for the wonder and awe in our every day moments. What is a busy, stressful day worth if you can't take a moment to stop - stand in the sunshine - feel the warmth on your skin and soak in the glory of God.  Try it. Let me know how it feels. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Spring is Coming

Early March has a way of rattling my soul. This month always seems so unimportant - no major birthdays, no anniversaries - just the slow thaw that moves us closer to spring.

However, I always stop and reflect and listen this time of year...

Three years ago we lost our first child on the 2nd of March. What a traumatic day that was. We spent the first week or two recovering from surgery, mourning our loss, and celebrating his brief, but oh so special life. It was in this valley that a little voice began whispering in our ear... This is not your home. 

Later that year, we uprooted and moved to Franklin, TN. This is still one of the best decisions we ever made. Despite the hardships we have faced and the difficulties that come with being separated from your loved ones, it has truly shaped our direction and vision as a family. I truly believe that we wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for our little Isaiah Matthew. 

Two years ago we celebrated our soon-coming little girl. This was the exact same weekend that a year prior we were mourning. A true testament to seeing beauty come from ashes and the redemption that comes. What a joy it was to find out we were expecting our beautiful Sarah Katherine.  

Last year didn't hold much pomp and circumstance, however that little voice started whispering again... Time for another change. Prepare yourself. This past year has brought job changes, lay offs, joy, laughter and tears

This weekend we will spend our early March in a class we would have never dreamed of a year ago. This year we are again seeking and discerning the call God has put on our lives. And yet again, early March has brought that still small voice whispering of further direction, vision, and passion. 

I wonder where we will be next year at this time. It seems like God has continually brought me back to this time of year and I'm so grateful to have this time of year together with Him. 

Spring is coming... New things are on the horizon...  Are you listening? What is He whispering to you?