Sunday, October 31, 2010

30 Posts in 30 Days...Day 30....Finally

Day 30 - a dream for the future

As I thought about today & this question the one "dream" that kept coming to mind was Babies...more babies.
That's my honest true dream. To have a house full of children, I already have 6 including Isaac & Hannah so why stop? It's already a big number so why don't we make it bigger?? I don't know what God's plans are but I know that when I think of "stopping" my heart aches.
When I think of the future I have this vision, I envision myself as this little old lady, sitting in my living room, my wrinkled frail hand in Dan's, & surrounding us our so so many children! I see my children, & their children, & their children. And oh how we all love one another & even more so we love God. We spend time in prayer & worship & my great grand babies cuddle up in my arms & even in my very old age I am still honored to breathe in that sweet baby scent.
I see my husband revered as the patriarch of the family, although he is aged the men consider his words of worth & value looking to him as a man of character.
Women come to me with their daughters seeking advice & wisdom from me as God has grown me in Him over the years. They rise up & call me blessed (Prov 31:28)

I thank God for the honor of blessing me with children, I have yet to know if He will see fit to bless me with more. I hope He does, it's my dream.

Friday, October 29, 2010

30 Posts in 30 Days....Day 29

Day 29 - hopes, dreams, and plans for the next 365 days

Wow, where would I like to be during the next year? That's a really big question. I know physically I plan to lose weight & already have a wonderful group of women supporting me when I begin this upcoming Monday. So by this time next year I'd like there to be "less of me" & for there to be consistent good eating habits. Also, I'd like to make a serious dent in recovering from the debt we're in & to be headed toward purchasing our own home. After Dan's surgery & his being laid off for 7 months we need to pay off some big bills & I want to get those taken care of over the next 365 days.
I'd like to start making more baskets for BLM's. I've made a few & really like blessing Mommie's with them but haven't had the funds, I really hope God provides for that ministry over the next year.
And Dreams????
I dream of living life fully~of dancing with my daughters, laughing with my husband & praising God with abandon.....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

30 Posts in 30 Days....Day 28

Day 28 - what's in your handbag/purse

Miscellaneous receipts & coupons,
chap stick,
eye drops,
several tubes of lipstick,
hydrocortisone cream,
a straw,
3 pairs of socks,
my wallet,
......and a dog.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

30 Posts in 30 Days.....Day 27

Day 27 - your worst habit since your child's death.

My worst habit by far is not sleeping.
When Isaac died in February of '08 I stopped sleeping. I always had that problem when I would get upset about something, I just couldn't sleep. I'd lie in bed tossing, turning, & thinking. But with Isaac it was different. I stopped eating & drank a pot of coffee everyday, mind you I didn't drink coffee before. I didn't eat until I was completely famished & weak and then I'd only eat enough to get by. I would stay up all night watching TV, I just didn't want to face tomorrow. I dreaded that moment of opening my eyes to the reality of my son's death. I wouldn't sleep until I was completely exhausted & even then I fought it.
Once Hannah died it was much worse, there were times I stayed awake til God brought the sun up. Now, I still have the same problem. I can't say I don't sleep because of the loss of my children it's just become a terrible habit that is hard to break because I associate sleep with the pain I endured at that time. So, it's definitely dysfunctional & myself, as well as my family is hurt by it. I don't function well on lack of sleep, does anybody??
Therefore, I'm not 100% for my children. And considering I have young ones they need so much of my time & it's hard to give.
I find that for me avoiding sleep is avoiding feelings somehow. If I'm too tired the next day then I have a lot of excuses for my behavior.
Somehow, it's very difficult for me to just rip off the band aid & go to bed. I've been doing this over 2 years now, I'm better~I don't stay up til 2 AM every night but I think I would if I could.
I wish I could say I have some awesome game plan for this dysfunction but I don't. I guess I really oughta start praying about it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

30 Posts in 30 Days.....Day 26

Day 26 - your week, in great detail

Honestly, yesterday posting my day in great detail was really difficult. I really have a full plate & coming back & forth to the computer was not fun. I think it was OK that once but to post my week in great detail would take several weeks to put together. So, unfortunately I'm opting out of this one.

But hey, maybe I'll do it another time.

Monday, October 25, 2010

30 Posts in 30 Days......Day 25 *lots of mentions of baby*

Day 25 - your day, in great detail

OK, I'm gonna try to work on this periodically throughout the next 10 hours or so cuz really, it's a lot of work to give my day "in great detail"

So, I woke up around 6:15 to Hopie's baby coos & talking. I really love when I wake up to those sweet sounds as opposed to having slept through that & now she's ticked & screaming for me. So this morning's alarm clock was a blessing. Honestly, I'm so groggy in the morning I really can't remember if I nursed her or not....I must have but it's a blur...OH!! Yea! Nursed in bed & fell asleep for about 10 minutes more & then she was grinning & talking with a full belly so we got up =)
I took her in the living room & put her in her Exersaucer to play while I got my morning started. I got a big glass of water & a Ghobani Greek Yogurt, so so sooooo yummy. But before having my morning snack I prayed. Ooh! I was having a hard time!! It's so hard the first few minutes to close my eyes & not fall back asleep, I mean I sit up & pray but maybe I should perch my toosh on the end of the sofa so I'm not too comfy =)
Anyway, God & I had a good talk, I really like Him. I know that sounds juvenile to some or maybe just too simple. But that's the truth, I really LIKE my God.
Then I texted Good Morning to my Angie Girl before she was off to school. I miss her ;(
OK, next I read His word, 1st & 2nd John & Psalm 1, not as much reading as I woulda liked but then Nomi woke up. Picture this~a petite girl with mussed up brown hair with a few wispy curls framing her face. She's all puffy eyed & smiles, with a yawn she says "Good Morning Mama"
I have happy smiles right now.
So she cuddles with me & chews on an apple as I finish up my Bible. Hope is bouncing & giggling~so far it's a good morning. Then the crabby Bear is up~Lana. I love my bear but she's not easy to please. She woke up complaining that we were too loud (?????) so I told her she needed to lay back down, she said she wanted to be with us so I said she could as long as she didn't complain.
At this point I was getting goofy tired again so I knew I was gonna fall asleep. I flipped on the TV & watched Dr. Creflo Dollar~he's pretty good, I've heard of him but never heard him preach. His sermon was encouraging & challenging & most definitely kept me awake!!
My Lana was feeling better & was smiley now.
So the girls got dressed & I warmed up some "pancapes" Angie cooked Saturday & gave Hope cereal, I always mash bananas in there & this time added a strawberry too. She was more then pleased :)
So now here we are, 3 hours later from where I began this post. Hope is having her morning nap, the girls are playing at the table & we're about to start school in just over 10 minutes.

......OK, for you it's been 1 or 2 seconds since the last sentence~for me it's been several hours & I'm pooped. School this morning DID NOT GO WELL. Hopie started fussing & screaming right away & I realized I didn't give her pain reliever for her teething gums. So I picked her up, gave her meds, & loved on her a bit. I laid her back down & she was very upset with me, so I'm trying to have a math lesson with Lana while going over Naomi's workbook with her & Hope is howling. I heard a loud thud & went running & praying into the bedroom thinking she fell out of the crib. Thank God she didn't, she must of been standing & fell backwards bonking her noggin on the headboard. After that ordeal I decided to throw in the towel & let her get up & we'd pick up our lessons after lunch. After she was happy on the & lose I realized I had to switch loads down in the basement =(
So I asked Lan to keep in eye on her as I ran like a maniac at top speed so my babies wouldn't be alone.
After I flew as fast as I could back upstairs I thoroughly enjoyed rollin around on the floor with my Rainbow Baby while the girls watched Micky Mouse Clubhouse. I gotta say, I love that show, it's pretty cute. Well, a little after 12 Hopie started rubbin her eyes & I gave her some lunch & laid her down. As I walked outta her room I looked across the hall to the bathroom & saw wet tissue stuck to the floor. Which only means one thing, Nomi peed on the floor & tried to clean it without telling me. But how could this be??
She was at that very moment laying on the floor watchin her show with the same clothes on.....
well, her pants were all wet!!!!!
I didn't have a good moment then, nowhere near a good moment. I was very very upset. I put her in the corner for not telling me. Peeing on the floor is an understandable mistake, trying to clean it up is actually very responsible but keeping the pee-pee clothes on. Mommy didn't handle that well.
So after I was more clear headed she & I cleaned up the bathroom floor with a bucket of vinegar & water. She kept telling me the floor was "duh-gusting'
Yea!! I know!!!!
The girls are waiting on some Mac n Cheese & so am I. I switched loads again just now & am planning on having some Astronomy & Literature lessons with the girls after we have our vittles. We'll see how that goes.

.....OK, it's now almost 8 pm. Hopie is in bed for the night aside from her 10 pm feeding with Mama, Nomi is eating some cookies for dessert, & Lana just finished up brushing her teeth.
However, I did stop with lunch so let me back up a bit. The girls & I had lunch with some homemade applesauce we made over the weekend =)
Lana wrote a story about "Dan & Jan" & read it to me with her own illustrations. Pretty cool. After a bit of time with me, the older girls played in their room with their princess tent while Hopie & I hung out. A little while after that I went to get the laundry from the basement after dropping a candle holder on my foot...nice. Things are startin to get kinda boring so I'll hit the highlights of the evening~Dan came home & we had a supper of Corned Beef & Cabbage, I just had the taste for it & it was yummy. I had to laugh because while it was cooking Nomi kept saying "something stinks" but she sure did wolf it down!!
During dinner Dan slipped over, looked me in the eye & said sweet things that took my breath away. Those words are mine to hold in my heart...I won't share =)
After wards Lana danced for me & Nomi joined her, it's really sweet~I'm seriously thinking of looking into dance lessons for Lan. She really loves it however, I have to find a place that teaches tasteful dancing. Oh well, that's a whole different subject.
So now, Lana is practicing her reading while Nomi "reads" the story she wrote to Daddy. The night will end as it always does.....
Daddy reads the bible to the girls & pray with them before putting them to bed, they give me "eyes & nose" before running off to be shushed so as not to wake up the baby. They will go to sleep "hopefully" & I do the dishes & get Dan's lunch ready while he relaxes in front of the TV.
I then vedge with him & we may even have a meaningful conversation.
So that's my day in great detail, at least today....who knows what tomorrow will be like.
Oh & on one last note as I finish this up I hear Nomi behind me saying over & over "I farted, I farted, I farted" have sweet little ladies ^-^

Sunday, October 24, 2010

30 Posts in 30 Days.....Day 24

Day 24 - where you live

I live in Chicago Ridge, Illinois. I just moved here but I grew up in Chicago. So that's what I'm gonna post about.
Where do I start?
How about Mario's Italian Lemonade, Weber's Bakery, Al's Beef or how bout Home Run Inn Pizza??
Yes, we have some awesome goodies in Chicago~Mario's Italian Lemonade is the best summer time treat ever. If you ever visit Chicago you NEED to take a drive to University Village & have a cup. After some lemonade how about walking across the street for Al's Beef. This place is amazing!! Hot dogs, beefs, sausage, & mmmMMmmMm fresh cut fries.
So good, so good.
OK, enough about food. What about the sights, people, schools?
Well, I home school so don't ask me about schools, the people of Chicago are generally as kind to you as you are to them. And as far as the rumors of insane's true, we're nuts.
And last but not least there is much to see in Chicago. Downtown Chicago itself has much to offer, museums, parks, Navy Pier...really too much to list.
Wow, I kinda feel like a travel agent.

Mostly what I'd like to narrow it down to is "WHERE I LIVE" everyday & all day. I live in the presence of God. I live with Him paying attention to my heart & often times I forget that He's the unseen guest at my table & in my home. He is important to me but life happens & I neglect what & who's most crucial in my life. My relationship with Him.
So "Where I Live" is with my Savior in my heart & home. I look forward to the day I will live with Him in His.

30 Posts in 30 Days.......Day 23

Day 23 - a you tube video that makes you laugh.

Well this is easy because I just posted it yesterday on Facebook. I LOVE this video. I suppose technically it's a KIA commercial & not exclusively You Tube, but come's hysterical =)
Especially for Dan & I cuz it's a throw back to our younger years, so much so that as hem "rapped" along my Angie looked a wee bit embarrassed for me. Oh well, I don't care, you're only young once right & I can relive my glory days from time to time even if it's vicariously through hip hop hamsters.
And with that I leave you with 3 words...DO DAH DIPPITY.

Friday, October 22, 2010

30 Posts in 30 Days....Day 22

Day 22 - a website that has been meaningful since your loss.

The website that has meant so much to me is NILMDTS.

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep is a wonderful service provided to bereaved parents.
This is their mission statement~
To introduce remembrance photography to parents suffering the loss of a baby with the free gift of professional portraiture. We believe these images serve as an important step in the family's healing process by honoring their child's legacy.

After Isaac & Hannah passed I was so torn up & alone, I felt no one understood what I was going through & didn't know who I could possibly talk to. I stumbled across NILMDTS & their Parent & Family Forum
There I found mothers grieving with me, they were interested in knowing my children. They cared about Isaac & Hannah!! They weren't afraid or awkward when I was angry. They were loving & nurturing when I was broken. I love these women, the friends I've made in this forum.
I wish I didn't need to know them nor they me. But I'm thankful to God that he blessed me with these precious people in my life.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day 20 & Day 21

Day 20 - a hobby of yours and how it changed since your loss.

I can't say I have many hobbies, I really don't. I keep telling myself I need to get one, to have something for "me"
I hope to start scrap booking because I LOVE pics of my babies so we'll see bout that.

Day 21 - a recipe

OK, this is sooooo my thing. I love cooking, baking, eating!!
I used to be so afraid to step in the kitchen, my MIL is an amazing cook, I mean she just doesn't mess up. I was so insecure because when Dan & I first met I really only knew how to make a few things & he was always talking about how knock down drag out GOOD his mama's cooking was. So eventually I tried what she does.....I looked at a recipe.
One day she said to me "I'm just lucky cuz I can read a recipe"
At first I thought she was bein sarcastic (insert insecure Daughter in Law *here*) but then I realized she was serious. She meant just take a crack at the recipe & see what happens. Lo & behold it worked! I can cook!!'s a few of my faves

Monkey Bread~My kids love this on Sunday mornings

1 Pkg (3.5 oz) vanilla pudding mix
3/4 cup sugar
1 T Cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 melted butter
3 tubes (10 oz each) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits

Combine pudding, sugar, cinnamon, & pecans in Ziploc bag & mix together. Coat individual biscuits in melted butter then shake in pudding mixture. Place in bundt pan sprayed w/ cooking oil. Continue with all biscuits are in pan, Bake @ 350 for about 25 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes then invert onto serving plate. Best served warm.

Slow Cooked Mac-n-Cheese (my family demands this at the holidays)

1 Pkg (16oz) elbow macaroni
1/2 cup stick butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 can (12oz) evaporated milk
1 can (10 oz) Campbell's condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup
1 cup milk
$ cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided

Cook macaroni according to pkg directions, drain. Place in a 5 quart slow cooker; add butter. In a bowl, combine the eggs, evaporated milk, soup, milk, & 3 cups cheese. Pour over macaroni, stir to combine. Cover & cook on low for 4 hours. Sprinkle w/ remaining cheese & some paprika. Cook 15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
*I always top w/ an extra stick of butter, sliced in pats*

Honestly, I could go on for a long long time posting recipe after recipe but it's late & now I'm hungry =)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

30 Posts in 30 Days....Day 19

Day 19 - a talent of yours.

Hmmmmm....I'm not real sure on this one. I don't wanna sound boastful. People tell me I sing well so I suppose that qualifies. I'm also told I write well & that I am an encourager.
I don't often have the self confidence to go out there & say "look at me! I can do_____"

I know there are many things I like to do, I like to cook...wait~scratch that, I LOVE TO COOK. I love having people over & feeding them way too much food. Recently we had people over to celebrate Hopie's dedication & a friend of ours said "Tina you're very hospitable, you always have lots of food & it's nice to be here"
I was floored! I felt so good in that moment & I'm grinning now thinking about it =)
We've had many parties at our home & I like entertaining people. I hope one day to become "Mama"
Ya know? Mama, from the movie Soul Food. Every Sunday her children & their families would come over for fellowship & some good eatin. Now, they were nuts but's my family!
So, maybe that's my talent. Feeding all my friends & family way too much food & hopefully creating fun memories for all of them =)

Monday, October 18, 2010

30 Posts in 30 Days....Day 18

Day 18 - my wedding/future wedding/past wedding.

My wedding...well honestly. It wasn't what I thought it would be. Now, I love Dan & am happy to have married him but I didn't get my dream wedding. Nor did I fully understand the magnitude of my commitment before GOD. I wasn't a believer then so I was marrying Dan with all the right reasons by the worlds standards.
I'm afraid this sounds wrong, like I didn't want to get married. I did & consider it the best decision I've ever made. Dan is the only man on this earth who "gets" me or who will actually put up with me!!
But, we were married in the courthouse & I wore a dress that he liked but honestly I didn't like. We didn't have our own rings either so we used my parents who are now divorced. My sister couldn't make it in time & that made me sad because she's important to me. Plus I was so nervous the judge actually told me to "breathe"
So, I would very much like to have a renewal of vows.
I would like to be able to take the time to tell Dan what he means to me by writing my own vows. I would like to be a testimony to others of God in our marriage during the ceremony. I have LOTS of ideas which I can't write here because some of them are surprises for Dan & he reads this =)
But ultimately for a future wedding I want to invite God to be involved considering He wasn't the first time & I want the opportunity to tell Dan how wonderful he is in front of all our family & friends.
Now, I need to mention some wonderful memories I have of our wedding. My Angie who is now 15 but was 7 at the time was my Maid of Honor (I'm happy smiling right now)
My mommy made my bouquet & it was absolutely beautiful. And last but not least, I mentioned I was very VERY nervous. Well, I can remember as clear as a bell~ Dan....he was just sweetly smiling at me & holding my hands in his, & I thought "wow, he really loves me"

Sunday, October 17, 2010

30 Posts in 30 Days....Day 17

Day 17 - an art piece (drawing, sculpture, painting, etc) that moves you.

I have been blessed with a beautiful friend by the name of Toni who painted a wonderful piece of work I'd like to share with you. Saying I'm "moved" by this piece of art is an understatement. I've posted about Toni & her art before, you can read about it here.

Again...thank you Toni.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

30 Posts in 30 Days....Day 16

Day 16 - a song that makes you cry (or nearly).

It took me all of 2 seconds to think of the answer to this.

Biko Mono Ve (Pass Me Not , O Gentle Savior) It Is Well With My Soul by Selah

When I learned of Isaac's death I went immediately back to Hymns. I grew up listening to Hymns & they brought me such comfort in a time of great pain. It was almost like God Himself was singing to me. At some point Dan & I decided we wanted a song played at Isaac's funeral & we chose this one. I borrowed the CD from my mom & felt somewhat prepared. I wanted to be a witness to others like Horatio Spafford, who penned "It Is Well With My Soul" after losing his 4 daughters in a tragic accident.
However, the morning of Isaac's funeral my soul was far from well. I felt if that song was played it would be a lie. My soul was in anguish & was not at peace.
Instead, Dan & I chose "Be Still My Soul" by Selah.
It was more fitting for where we were emotionally that horrible day.
That's another one that makes me cry...of course.

Honestly, this is a very difficult post for me, I added the links to the songs & had to listen to them to make sure they were the right ones. I'm sitting at the computer right now & want to fall in a heap on the floor & just cry.

Oh my babies, how Mama misses you. I ache for you, my arms are lonely without you. One day, we will be together & what a wonderful day that will be.
Until then, I'm hold a piece of my heart.
Your feet never touched the earth but you changed my life forever.

Day 15 & My Angel's Candles

Day 15 - what you like about your house.

What do I like??? Hmmmmm......
Well, we've only been here 3 weeks this upcoming Monday so I'm still discovering new things.
I suppose what I like the VERY MOST is we pay almost 500 bux less then the old place! Woo-hoo!
I also love that we have several awesome parks in walking distance, as well as an activity center & library.
And what do I absolutely positively love??
My sister who is my bestest bestie is 5 minutes away!! I mean I can run & get there in 60 seconds! Mind you if I do that my heart will probably explode as I fall over in a heap on her front step but none the less...I can do it if I want to =)
Well....maybe 120 seconds.

On another note, I didn't post yesterday because I was busy getting my home full of boxes somewhat organized for my "Wave Of Light" Remembrance Candle for Isaac & Hannah.
I needed to put some thought into what I wanted to express. This is my first time participating in the Wave of Light because I've always had a hard time with the candle thing. Growing up I would see candles with Saints on them & people would light them & pray about different circumstances. Deep inside me I didn't want God to think I was putting my babies before Him. So I had to work things out in my heart & do this right.
Glorifying Him & Him alone while remembering my children.

So, I set everything up.
Isaac's shadowbox & his bunny, & Hannah's photo & butterfly. I also had rose petals from their funerals. Their were a total of 6 candles, Isaac & Hannah shared the bigger one while their were 5 tea lights. One for my cousins daughter, my friends 3 Angels, & my big brother in Heaven.

Here is a photo of their candles.......

After we lit the candles I read from Job 1. I read to my girls of how everything Job owned was destroyed & then while still reeling from that disaster he was told all of his children were dead. He answered this terrible news with "Naked I come from my mother's womb, & naked I will depart. The LORD gave & the LORD has taken away, blessed be the name of the LORD. "
Job 1:21
I explained to them that the Lord is ALWAYS good & worthy of praise..even when circumstances tell us otherwise. We then sang "How Great is Our God" which is the song we sang at Isaac's funeral, that was very hard for me. I've sung that song many times since Isaac's death but last night for a moment I was back in that funeral home & it struck me like lightening.
After our time of praise Dan led us in prayer.
The ceremony was bittersweet & painful at times but overall it was healing for me & God was praised.

"You're the name above all names,
you are worthy of all praise
& my heart will sing~How Great Is MY God"

Thursday, October 14, 2010

30 Posts in 30 Days....Day 14

Day 14 - a non-fictional book that is meaningful to you since your loss.

Well, I don't have one. Not that I can think of at least. I did mention in my post from Day 4 several books I like & highly recommend on pregnancy loss.


On another note, today is kind of a rough one for me. I'm really missing Isaac & Hannah and it's a "on the verge of tears" day. I feel like getting under the covers & hiding. But I can't. I really hate when these days come. I want the pain to stop but then again I know it never will & it's part of what makes me Tina.
Sometimes I feel like I think & talk about my little butterflies too much. That I should just "get over it"
I know other BLM moms who appear to be living life without going backwards. I'm certain they hurt but it's more private & at times I feel my public pain is inappropriate. But, I really believe that's a lie from satan. Right from the pit of hell.
I say that because others' have told me how encouraged & inspired they are by my story~so I'm going to keep telling it. And everyday, my story continues & today is a hurting day. I will not pretend I'm OK.
I will not be silent.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

30 Posts in 30 Days....Day 13

Day 13 - a fictional book that is meaningful to you since your loss.

OK, this may seem silly to some. But the book that means a lot to me is titled "Love You Forever" written by Robert Munsch. I received it one Christmas from my aunt. At first I thought it was an accident, that she'd meant to give it to her daughter who had just had a boy that spring. I just had my 3rd girl.
You see, the book is about a mama & her son. Throughout the book the boy goes from baby to adult & you share the Mommy's thoughts of all the hair raising things he does~playing with toilet paper & destroying the bathroom, tracking mud on the floor, playing music loudly with his friends. But every night, Mommy crawls in his room as he's sleeping, right up to his bed, picks him up, rocks him, & whispers sweetly in his ear how much she loves him.

I always thought the book was cute, but wished the author wrote one for girls as well. I read it to my daughters & they thought it was cute & funny too. But it mostly sat on the bookshelf. But, one day after Isaac went to Heaven~I found it. I cried as I read it~thinking of my son & all I missed. However, the book has grown in my heart. I absolutely love reading it now, it doesn't hurt as much, in fact it's one of those sweet things that brings healing to my soul.
To my Isaac my wonderful perfect son
"I love you forever, I love you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be"

Monday, October 11, 2010

30 Posts in 30 Days....Day 12

Day 12 - something you are OCD about.

This question, unfortunately is a very easy one. I'm bonkers a bout a ton of stuff!
But the major two are water & seat belts.
OK, first one~water, specifically pools.
My mom & MIL have pools. My kids naturally LOVE to go to Grandma's house swimming. However, I'm batty about it. I mean I just can't relax, I'm terrified my girls are going to drown. I have 3 small children so they can be a lot to keep tabs on during swim time. I remember the summer after Isaac died we were at my mom's house & the girls were swimming. Dan was in the pool with them but I couldn't see Naomi, I asked where she was & then spotted something floating in the water & thought it was her. I didn't hesitate, I began to scale the side of the pool trying to jump in & was screaming. Dan hollered that Naomi was "right here, she's fine" I broke down crying in my mom's arms saying "I couldn't lose another baby"
I've not reacted as forcefully as I did since then but the fear is always there. The scream is always waiting in my throat.
Pools terrify me.

The second thing I'm OCD about is seat belts~car seats. I'm always...ALWAYS asking if the girls are buckled. And I know we as parents ought to make certain that are children are safe & secure but I'm overly obsessive about it. I have pulled the van over just to make sure Hope's car seat is clicked in properly. Mind you this is not even 5 minutes after pulling out of the driveway. I'm always turning around & adjusting Naomi's strap, making sure it's correctly over her chest & not too low or too high. I'm looking over at Lan to see if she's "buckied" I even look down at Angie's hip to check if her buckle is locked & she's 15 & in no need of Mommy's help!

Death is devastating & because it can't be controlled I am left scarred~desperately trying at times to control what I can.

30 Posts in 30 Days....Day 11 **possible triggers**

Day 11 - a photo of you recently and how it makes you feel seeing it now.

As promised...My Rainbow Baby~Hope Joanna.
This picture makes me feel so much joy, such happiness. I praise my Abba Father for giving me this good & perfect gift (James 1:17)
There was a time when Dan & I officially "gave up"
We believed the Lord had closed my womb & I was no longer going to have any more children. I remember saying "OK God, I'm throwing my hands up & accepting that it's not your will"
A few days later I found out I was carrying Hope.
This picture encourages me & reminds me of God & His goodness so much. My spirit is swirling with emotions right now.
There is so much going on in this photo. Looking behind me I can see the cemetery lawn. That is a large piece of my heart because it's where I go to visit & spend private time with Isaac & Hannah & God.
Then there is the look shared between Hope & I, it reveals so much of my happiness.
For me the photo is a mesh of the bittersweet hurt of the past & the love that will forever linger there, as well as the hope of the future (Jeremiah 29:11)
I recently went to the Greg Laurie Harvest Crusade here in Chicago. Dan & I attended on the "Night of Hope"
The night was specifically geared towards those who have lost & Steven Curtis Chapman was there to perform. He also shared how he & his family have survived the tragic loss of their beautiful young daughter, Maria.
He spoke about his song Beauty Will Rise & the lyrics, "
Out of these ashes... beauty will rise and we will dance among the ruins"
He opened my eyes to "RUINS"
He shared how tragic circumstances leave "ruins"
Take 9/11 for example. Terrible ruins everywhere~devastation. However, we choose not to live there, we rebuild, we restore. Beauty rises out of the ashes~& even the "new buildings" are a reminder of what we've survived. They are a reminder of healing.
That's what Hope is for me, she is her own person with her own identity. However, she is God's tangible reminder to me that He does not disappoint, that He restores, that He has a plan & a future.

I must share this picture as well,

This is me singing to my Hopie Girl. I could write a book about how special this time with her is to me. We sing together often & this is one of our songs~I hope it conveys my heart towards God.....

Saturday, October 9, 2010

30 Posts in 30 Days....Day 10

Day 10 - a photo taken over 10 years ago of you and how it makes you feel seeing it now.

So here it is, my very old picture of myself. I'm the one in the red. This is waaaaay more than 10 years old. I was probably 6 or 7 in this pic. That means the year was about '80 or '81.
I really like this photo a lot. Mostly because I'm reminded of my Lana Bear.
Earlier today Angie (my oldest) grabbed a picture of me & said "come on Mommy, this is Lana's face" I told her "I just don't see the resemblance.
She thought I was bonkers. I thought about posting that pic because we have just recently moved & I have no clue where the photos are right now, but I managed to come across this one & thought "wow, this is Lan's face"
It makes me feel real good, because when I was a little girl I was teased often about my big smile. When I posed for a picture my whole face would smile & I suppose the adults in my life thought it was cute but their comments made me feel insecure. For many years I pasted on a fake smile & hoped people were satisfied. Just in the past 2 years or so I decided to go back to the biggest smile my face could produce. I want my kids to look at pics of me when I'm gone & see the "real mama" they remember.
But, I'm rambling, I see Lana in this picture because when she smiles her whole face lights up. She reminds me that being young is full of innocence & laughter, catching fireflies & counting stars.
The above picture reminds me that there were many smiles in my young life~even if among the hurts.
But I must add a pic of my Lana Bear~so you can see for yourself why her beautiful smile lights up my life.
Mama loves you my Gentle Little Flower =)

30 Posts in 30 Days....Day 9

Day 9 - a photo you took since your loss.

These are my animals. My Cow, Bear & Monkey....the wee-est animal isn't in this pic. I blog about them over here.
I love my girls. They are amazing. They are my heart & bring laughter to my soul. I thank God that He believes I'm capable to train these treasures for His Kingdom.
I wish this pic had my Hopie Girl but it's OK, I'll post a pic of my Rainbow Baby soon =)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

30 Posts in 30 Days....Day 8

Day 8 - a photo that makes you angry/sad.

This is Valentine's Day of 2008. Dan & I went to a dinner hosted by our church & had a wonderful time. We even won a bag full of goodies. You can't see in this picture but my tummy was pretty big, even for 5 months. I felt beautiful & was excited to be with my handsome man.
This picture makes me sad because it was the last one taken of Dan & I together before we found out on the 22nd that Isaac was gone. It also makes me angry. Quite angry in fact. I feel as I look at this picture that I am looking at a fool. I'm aware that there is no way I could've known my son was dying but it still bothers me very much to see the big smile on my face.
The big oblivious smile.
The fact that my son died & I was completely unaware really upsets me. It's very disturbing in my soul. A mothers job is to protect her child at all cost, & I did not do that. I joyfully conversed, laughed, & ate a good meal as my son's life was slipping away.
Now, I'm aware that I do not know the exact moment my Isaac died nor was there anything I could do.
However~it still makes me angry that I couldn't save him.

30 Posts in 30 Days....Day 7

Day 7 - a photo that makes you happy.

This is my Dan, my best friend, my sweet handsome man. We were in South Haven, Michigan when I took this pic of him. It was October of 2007 & we were on a much needed get away. We had a wonderful & beautiful time. Little did we know that Isaac was being formed inside me. God was giving us this wonderful gift.
When I look at this picture I see the cold waves crashing behind my strong man. They didn't phase him, look at that grin! Now, I know they weren't 12 foot waves but they were loud & cold & somewhat intimidating.

My Dan is the picture of calm.
I love this picture of him & I love him.
To my are the best thing that ever happened to me. I love the way your eyes twinkle when you laugh...I mean really laugh from way deep down in your belly. I love how your patient with me when I'm "shell fish like"
I love that when I'm afraid you don't mind that I act tough & then hold me when I finally cry.

Dan, I love you.

30 Posts in 30 Days....Day 6

Day 6~20 Things That Calm You

1. Praying
2. Reading to my little ones.
3. Singing (Worship)
4. The scent of Dan's soap
5. Blogging/Writing
6. Driving
7. Sunsets
8. Praying over my Girls as they Sleep
9. When Dan rubs my head.
10. Lisa's Heaven
11. The scent of rain just before it begins to fall.
12. Ice Cream =)
13. Cuddling up with Angie Girl & hearing about her day.
14. The sound of breaking glass...I know, strange.
15. Making Butterfly Baskets
16. Hot Cocoa
17. Watching fire dance
18. Taking naps with my HotBox =)
19. Walking
20. Visiting South Haven Michigan...I saved this one for last because all the others I can do whenever I want. This one is a " once a year if I'm lucky all around entirely calming experience"

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

30 Posts in 30 Days....Day 5

Day 5 - your favorite quote.

I have a few relating to Isaac & Hannah so here they are~

"Learn not to smile in spite of our suffering-but because of it" ~ Joni Erickson Tada

The mention of my child's name ...
May bring tears to my eyes,

But it never fails to bring
Music to my ears.
Please don't keep me From hearing the beautiful music.
It soothes my broken heart And fills my soul with love. ~Nancy Williams

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free

Bring me anything that brings You glory

And I know there'll be days When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain ~Mercy Me

An Angel Never Dies

Don’t let them say I wasn’t born,
That something stopped my heart
I felt each tender squeeze you gave,
I’ve loved you from the start.

Although my body you can’t hold

It doesn’t mean I’m gone
This world was worthy, not of me
God chose that I move on.
I know the pain that drowns your soul,
What you are forced to face

You have my word, I’ll fill your arms,

Someday we will embrace.
You’ll hear that it was meant to be, God doesn’t make mistakes
But that wont soften your worst blow,
Or make your heart not ache.
I’m watching over all you do, Another child you’ll bear
Believe me when I say to you,
That I am always there.
There will come a time, I promise you,

When you will hold my hand,

Stroke my face and kiss my lips

And then you’ll understand.

Although I’ve never breathed your air,

Or gazed into your eyes

That doesn’t mean I never was,

An Angel never dies
~~~Author Unknown

Do not judge the bereaved mother. She comes in many forms. She is breathing, but she is dying. She may look young, but inside she has become ancient. She smiles, but her heart sobs. She walks, she talks, she cooks, she cleans, she works, she IS, but she IS NOT, all at once. She is here, but part of her is elsewhere for eternity~~~
Author Unknown

And finally,
A person's a person, no matter how small~Horton

30 Posts in 30 Days....Day 4

Day 4~Your Favorite Book, has it changed since my Loss?

Wow, really? I can't say that I have one favorite book. I mean I'm a girl who was raised to read. I ALWAYS have a book in my hand. I love cook books & can never read enough of them, desert books, slow cooker books, soul food name it, I've got it.
However, I do read a lot more about loss & grieving. The first book I read after losing Isaac was titled "Safe In The Arms of God" by John MacArthur. This was really a very comforting book because it helped me scripturally "back up" what I was believing about my Isaac being in Heaven with God. Not just saying "oh, he's in a better place"
After Hannah died a good BLM friend gave me 3 books, "In A Heartbeat" by Dawn Waltman, "Grieving The Child I Never Knew" by Kathe Wunnenberg, & "I'll Hold You In Heaven, Remembrance Book" by Debbie Heydrick.
These are very helpful books but if I had to pick one to recommend I would say I'll Hold You In Heaven helped me the most in dealing with the emotional roller coaster I found myself on.
Each chapter has a journal entry that asks questions of you that maybe are to difficult to ask yourself. There's also scripture, prayer, & song lyrics throughout the book.
However, I must stick to the question at hand & be sincere with you, I truly believe my favorite book before I became the mother of Angel Babies is the same as it is now.
The Book of Psalms.
This Book in God's Word completes my soul. So many times I ran to His word. I ran to the Psalms & hid there....

I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth...Psalm 121 1-2
When I couldn't sleep He gave me rest...

I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety...Psalm 4:8

He gave me Hope...

I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints....Psalm 52:9

So with that I can confidently say that if I was stranded on a desert island & had only one book to bring it would be the book of Psalms.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

30 Posts in 30 Days....Day 3

Day 3 - a television program that helped you either get through hard times or that moves you.

Well, as strange as this is...the answer to that is Scrubs. Ya know the comedy about interns in a hospital??
Well, like I said in my previous post, Dan & I couldn't sleep...or better said~I couldn't sleep. Dan has & probably always been a night owl, I tried to avoid sleep as much as I could. Looking back now it was extremely dysfunctional. We would stay up hours on end watching episode after episode (DVD rentals) drinking coffee.
Now Dan thought nothing of this new behavior in me, in fact he liked it, he now had a night time buddy. But I was trying to avoid lying down in the stillness of my bed & thinking. Hurting.
So I would stay up til 2 or 3 in the morning watching Scrubs.
Well, I can't say it so much "helped" me but it did soften the blow by giving me a way to numb out til I was ready to "feel"
And like "One Night With The King" I CAN NOT nor do I have any desire to watch scrubs ever again. In fact when I hear the music it instantly depresses me.
So, I can say that if there were a television program associated with losing my Isaac, this would be it~~but it's not a good feeling that goes along with it.

Monday, October 4, 2010

30 Posts in 30 Days....Day 2

Day 2 - a movie that helped you get through the hard times, or one that jumps out at you after your loss.

The day of Isaac's funeral my sister organized an invitation to family & friends to come by our home. I hadn't thought of that but she did & I'm more than grateful. I shudder at the thought of having come home to an empty house. After everyone left Dan & I couldn't sleep so we decided to watch a movie.
We decided on "One Night With The King"
The movie is kind of a blend between fiction & non fiction. It's the story of Esther, how she came to be Queen of Persia. It's also a love story & quite beautiful. The whole movie I was on another planet. A planet where my tummy was still growing with Isaac inside me & life was good. In other words I was using the movie to totally numb my feelings. However, the movie ended & I was stuck in reality. Something that hit me & devastated me was the realization that my son would never fall in love. That he wouldn't experience the sweaty palms & butterflies in the stomach. That I would never see him walk up the aisle or hold his children in my arms.
That night I cried deeply for the first time since I was told my son was gone. I cried so hard I scared Dan. I cried so hard that the neighbors heard.
My heart still hurts at the thought of all those losses. And you couldn't pay me to watch that movie ever again in my lifetime.
I love you my Isaac....

Sunday, October 3, 2010

30 Posts in 30 Days....

My good friend & fellow blogger posted about this idea she found, check out her blog. She's an amazing woman. Anyway, the concept is for 30 days I answer one question about myself. With October being Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month I thought I'd use my friends modified questions in relation to losing Isaac & Hannah. I know it's already October 4th & I could back track some but it's no biggie, we'll just travel a few days into November K?

Day 1~
A song that reminds you of your child, or one that you can't listen to anymore & why.

I have quite a few, so many. Two that pop out are "All That I can Say" by David Crowder Band & "I Can Only Imagine" by Mercy Me.
After Hannah died I was just so crushed, I mean we survived burying Isaac, how in the world could God take another child from us. How could he expect me to be anything more than a shell of a human being?? I felt like He'd forgotten me & I was so completely weakened. I felt there was nothing left inside of me & every single breathe I took was a struggle to live. The song "All That I can Say" reminds me of that pain & it's very difficult to listen to now. It's one of my "crying songs"
It's one of the songs I listen to when I've been bottling up my hurt waaaay too long & need to "pour out"
These are the lyrics to that song.

Lord I'm tired
So tired from walking
And Lord I'm so alone

And Lord the dark
Is creeping in
Creeping up
To swallow me
I think I'll stop
& rest here a while

This is all that I can say right now
I know it's not much
And this is all that I can give

yeah that's my everything

And didn't You see me cry'n?
And didn't You hear me call Your name?
Wasn't it You I gave my heart to?

I wish You'd remember

Where you set it down

And this is all that I can say right now

I know it's not much
And this is all that I can give
yeah that's my everything

I didn't notice You were standing here
I didn't know that
That was You holding me
I didn't notice You were cry'n too

I didn't know that
That was You washing my feet

The last part of the song always brings me back. I remember that my God was there when I held Isaac for the first & last time. When I kissed my Sweet Hannah's face & never saw her again. When I wept & groaned...He was there, & He was crying too.

The other song "I Can Only Imagine" reminds me of the truth. When I hear it I can close my tear filled eyes & think of my Isaac & Hannah & what it'll be like to hold them. To smell their sweet skin, kiss they're chubby cheeks, & hold they're little hands. Oh the day when Jesus will hold me close & wipe away the tears, when He'll heal my wounded heart & bring me in His glory.