Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"For A Moment," a poem by my sweet mother

My amazingly, talented and creative mom, Judy, wrote me a poem, speaking of the loss of our baby. It was stunningly and achingly beautiful and I had to share it. My mother is a gifted, gifted writer and communicator and always has been.

"For A Moment"

In that secret place of newness,
The knitting needles clicked in time,
To the beat of God's own heart,
Knit and purl, knit and purl--line upon line.

Thread and yarn were not the fabrics
As He worked through night and day,
To create a living image
In His tender, skillful way.

The babe was fearfully and wonderfully made,
Woven together, a heavenly work of art.
A tiny handmade treasure--
Safe under his Maker's and his Mother's heart.

But, before the creating,
His days had been ordained.
And before the birthing,
Nothing yet remained...

Except to let him stay with God,
Fashioned by His hand, yet always
planned to be,
Your child for a moment,
But His child for eternity.

Psalm 139:13-16

Sweet mama of mine, I love you so. Thank you for this gift of words to help heal my heart and remind me of the Savior's great love.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

a life lost, yet HOPE in what is to come

To be honest, I've had this post written in my head since we found out we lost our baby at 10 weeks in utero last week. But, I've had a difficult time coming up with a title for this post. I'm not devastated, so the title couldn't be too heavy; and yet, I'm mourning, so it couldn't be too upbeat. And what kind of photo to display for a post on miscarriage?

A sweet friend brought these flowers to me last week, my favorite, gerber daisies (not even sure she knows that!). This was our wedding flower, representing the start of our life together as a family, and today they adorn our table, representing a life lost from our family.

I'll admit I didn't see a miscarriage pronouncement coming. I've had 3 healthy babies, healthy pregnancies and deliveries, so why would this one be any different? After a routine visit last Monday to my OB, the sonogram revealed no heartbeat. Aron was with the kids at home, so I was alone at the OB's office, but if you know me, you've heard me talk about my amazing OB here in Dallas. She's seen me through 2 of my 3 pregnancies (though never delivered either of my oldest), so was literally the perfect friend to be with me in a moment of sorrow.

When I saw the ultrasound with our sweet little peanut and no beating heart, my own heart felt heavy and I shed a few tears. But, as I began to process aloud with my OB, I felt flooded with a sense of deep peace, knowing this sweet baby boy or girl was in heaven, joy-filled and in perfect happiness with the Savior. This is the HOPE we have as believers in Christ; in the words of Jesus, "In this life you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). We live in a broken world where loss is a common experience to all human beings and yet, Jesus came to bring life, life eternal and one day, our family will be reunited with our sweet babe who has already gone before us into His arms. In those moments as I looked at our lost life, I was deeply grateful for the 3 beautiful children that are already mine. No doubt, in those initial moments, God met my emotional and physical loss in a very real and tangible way.

After repeated bloodwork and another sono late in the week confirmed no heartbeat and my numbers were declining, continued peace flooded my being and I felt the words of Horatio Spafford come to mind: "It is well with my soul." Spafford penned the words to that famous hymn, after passing the spot on the Atlantic where a shipwreck claimed the lives of 4 of his daughters. Only Christ can give us such peace. As I mourned the loss of this life days before, I prayed aloud, "Thank you, Lord, for the 3 lives that I have and the 1 that you have." My D&C was Monday and thankfully, I feel no pain.

One of my favorite passages in all of Scripture is Revelations 21:5 where Jesus tells of the coming of the end of time: "Behold, I make all things new!" Indeed, in the midst of tragedy, Christ promises that some day, all things will be made right. I chose to place my hope in this tremendous truth.

I'm deeply grateful to good friends in Dallas who've stepped up and ministered to our family, be it childcare, meals brought, or time spent in person. Friends from afar have written emails, notes, called, and within hours of hearing our news, reached out immediately. What a beautiful thing community can be!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

family weekend

Our weekend consisted of spending time together as a family, the best kind of weekend for me!

Actually, our weekend kicked off with a date night for Aron and I provided by Erin and Christian. We tried Uncle Julio's mexican restaurant and didn't think it was amazing (though the homemade guac was pretty good!); there are better places around here. But, the company was excellent, we loved catching up and just being "us" sans kids. We stopped at the quirky Obzeet for tres leches cake and coffee before picking up our kiddos.

Last night, we enjoyed a party in our building. The school brought in a bounce house and provided pizza and drinks and we mingled and met new friends. One family who lives on the 5th floor is from northern California and has a girl Maggie's age and a boy Curren's age. How fortuitous! They seem like a great family and I think we will all be fast friends.

Today, we went to the splash park and soaked up all the water time we could. Kate is getting more and more adventurous, walking all over and under and through any wet spout. A water baby for sure. After a pancake dinner, we played in the courtyard for a bit.

Looking forward to a full week next week of time with friends, pool fun, a visit to the Arboretum, and a possible trip to Tyler to see my friend Bethany, who used to be my hall mate when we first lived in Swiss Tower 2 years ago. Aron is traveling Wednesday through Friday, so I'm trying to stay busy.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Kate Evangeline: Month 12 + 1st birthday party

We celebrated Kate on her birthday last week. We began the day with spiced carrot muffins (thanks, Casey, for the amazing recipe) for breakfast, opening gifts, and playing with balloons. After lunch, a few friends joined us to eat cupcakes; I made the chocolate chip cupcakes out of Deceptively Delicious and they were good, though quite dense, more like a muffin. All the kids really enjoyed them. Kate *loved* her cupcake and couldn't get her hands on it fast enough!

What a JOY Kate is in our lives. This year definitely has been amazing and has flown by.

Happy 1st birthday, sweet girl!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

what to do in 30+ days of 100+ degree heat?

Try new foods: quinoa and broccoli!
Take a nap with your sister
Have a birthday party (more to come!)
Practice your camera skills

Swim time with good friends

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Before I left California, a group of my girlfriends came together for dinner one night at the yummy Cafe Rio (and coffee afterwards at the best place, Coffee Bean) to wish me off. What a wonderful night it was, being with my closest friends all in one place! I'm grateful for my MOPS friends--Katie, Casey, Lissa, Amy, Cassi, Jodie, and Chrissy--for Jessie (who left before this pic was taken) my friend who I met at DTS when our family was moving back here in 2009 (she and her husband were, too!), for Kayleen (who came for coffee afterwards, my newest friend and "soul sister"), and for my other wonderful friends, most of who I have known since high school and college and who have remained close all these years later (each was in my wedding, so fun!)--Linds, Cayla, and Lisa.

I love (and hate) how friendships come into your life at just the right season, and then how often, they change, be it because of a physical moving away or just a change in life seasons (joining new groups, new churches, change in schools, etc). In all the moves we have had in the last 6 years, I have had a variety of changing relationships and I've come to be grateful for each one; I'm grateful for each of these girls who came into my life at just the right season, who walked with me through life's ups and downs. I'm grateful for the laughter, the time spent, the playdates, the mom-dates, the listening ears, the prayer and spurring each other on in motherhood.

Thank you, sweet friends, for such a special night!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Just so it's official: we are having another baby!

I am 8 weeks along, not 10 like I had originally thought and baby #4 is due March 11. What a GREAT month, lots of good friends and family have birthdays right around the 11, so maybe baby McKay will share a birthday with someone else we love. Secretely, I am hoping for another boy (we already have the name!), but of course, another girl will be equally loved (no name yet).

I'm feeling good, a bit yucky on and off most days, just like with the other pregnancies, but this one seems to be the "best" so far. I'll be honest and say I'm not super excited about how this is already affecting my body; it's something I'm really battling. I've never really gotten back in shape since Maggie's birth 4 1/2 years ago, so I'm starting off the heaviest and already looking very preggo. I'm slowly starting back to exercise (walking, swimming, light weights), but there is a ways to go for me to be comfortable in my own and skin, and bottom line, I'm pregnant, so my body is just going to change over the next 9 months whether I like it or not. I'm grateful for what the body is capable of, growing a little person and birthing him/her into this world, it's quit miraculous and I'm trying to focus on this, be easy on myself and not get too down. It's been a bit of a battle most days, truthfully. Something I'm having to surrender to the Lord many times a day.

Kate Evangeline: Month 11

Kate turned 11 months last month, but with all the transition, I have yet to post her pic. And I can't believe that in 2 days she will be 1!

What a SWEET girl, she is. She will eat almost anything, loves to make silly faces and make silly noises and is now an official WALKER. She took her first steps last week and daily, she is on her feet more and more, including climbing onto the couch! Crazy girl.

LOVE her.

We are still here!

A month since my last post, almost a month since we have moved into our apartment in Dallas, and a month to the day that we found out we are having baby #4!

A lot has changed in 30 days.

Isn't it interesting how some months the days D.R.A.G by and you look and most every day of your week is left? Some days are so mundane you feel you could pull your hair out or punch yourself in the face? Ok, maybe that's just me. Sometime I enjoy mundane, many times, I do not.

And then, there are months filled with changes or trips or playmates or parties or fill-in-the-blank and time races by and the next thing you know, a new month has arrived? For me, the later has been true--the month of July has been a vapor, come and gone and brought a new season of time for us.

In July, we unpacked our life and set up shop in a 2-bedroom apartment, took Curren to the emergency room on the first night we were here because we were pretty sure he had swallowed a bolt for the bunk bed (he didn't), gave away a ton of stuff that didn't fit (and I was glad to, I am loving more and more the idea of living simply), saw one of my oldest friends, Elicia, and her sweet family, gone blueberry picking at Blueberry Hill Farms about 80 miles east of Dallas, met new friends, saw old friends, figured out how to survive in almost 30 days of over-100 degree heat (stay indoors, or go out early and play), navigated old stomping grounds rather successfully, visited a few churches, had our first ultrasound, and in general, are just figuring out what it looks like to do life in Dallas. Again.

I'm reading 2 fantastic books: One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, a book about finding true joy of the Lord through a life-lived in gratitude and Give Them Grace by Elise Fitzpatrick, a parenting book that is changing how I parent and has had me in tears more than once.

I've had bouts of loneliness, settling back into life here and missing friends and family in California, but ultimately, I know God has called us to finish school and do so here in Dallas. In many ways, coming back has been a good thing as it's a familiar place and there are familiar faces. If one is going to move across country, what better place than a place that was once "home?"