Sad News

Just a few weeks ago, we announced that we were expecting another little one.

On Wednesday afternoon, we went to my OB’s office for what was supposed to be a “pregnancy confirmation” appointment. Of course, in my mind, I received that confirmation over a month ago, courtesy of a home pregnancy test. I was almost 10 weeks along.

But, this was not to be the happy appointment the name would indicate.

I have had spotting during the first trimester of my last two pregnancies (three, including this one). It is, apparently, “my normal.” And, twice, it has been nothing to worry about.

So, when it started this time, I didn’t really worry. Or, rather, I tried not to worry.

But, this time, it was different.

After about a month of on-and-off spotting, it turned into true bleeding on Tuesday evening. So, I was not expecting good news going into my appointment.

As my doctor started the ultrasound, I glanced at the screen. Hoping, and praying that, despite the symptoms to the contrary, we would see the flutter of a tiny, beating heart. My doctor was uncharacteristically quiet. And, one look at her face confirmed my suspicion. “Are you sure you have your dates right?” Yes, I’m sure. “Because, baby is only measuring at 6 weeks. And…I’m not seeing a heartbeat.”

Miscarriage.

It’s the word no mother-to-be wants to hear. But, there it was.

I miscarried on Thursday, at home.

“…I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.” 2 Samuel 12:23 (ESV)

When I announced our pregnancy, we were looking forward to meeting our son or daughter around Thanksgiving. So, I said that we had much to be thankful for this year.

We still do.

Yes, of course, we are sad and grieving.

We already loved this child. We wanted this child.

But, even though we will not have the joy of knowing this child, this side of Heaven, I am still so grateful for each moment I was given with this little one. I am thankful for the time, no matter how short, that I was blessed to be his or her mommy.

“…The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;
blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Job 1:21 (ESV)

Thank you for being excited with us over this little one. And thank you for being willing to grieve with us. We appreciate your prayers.

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Filed under Life, Miscarriage, Mommyhood

Hannah’s Jamberry Birthday Party

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed my obsession with Jamberry Nail Wraps. I love them! And, I seem to have passed this little addiction on to my oldest girl. So, a Jamberry birthday party was the perfect way to celebrate her 11th birthday!

Her actual birthday was on April 4th, and we had a simple family celebration that evening. But, we had a Parenting Conference at church that weekend, so we planned to have her party the following week. But, it had to be postponed. More than once. Of course, my sweet birthday girl handled the delays graciously. And, we finally got to celebrate last weekend.

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Hannah is my little party planner. Many of the details were her doing. She picked out the wraps that she and her friends got to put on, helped set up the table, and even made place cards for everyone.

And, she had very specific ideas about her cake…as usual. This year, she chose Angel Food Cake, with fresh berries and homemade whipped cream. (She made it very easy on me!)IMG_3960

And, instead of ice cream, we made strawberry Greek yogurt popsicles.

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Rebekah wasn’t a fan of the cake, but she really liked her popsicle!

After a lot of rain, the weather was perfect for enjoying their treats outside on the patio!

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She received some very thoughtful gifts…and had a very enthusiastic helper!

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Hannah has some very sweet friends, and we were so thankful to have them, and Grammy & Grampy come celebrate with us! (And we missed the ones who were unable to make it!)

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Happy 11th Birthday, Hannah!

 

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Filed under Birthdays, Hannah Elisabeth, Homemaking, Hospitality, Mommyhood, Traditions & Celebrations

Book Review: Wonderfully Made

As a mom of 4…well, soon to be 5, you might think that, by now, this whole pregnancy thing would be getting old and boring. Oh no! I still fill my phone with a variety of apps that entertain me with daily facts about my child’s size and developmental milestones. I still look at each grainy 8 week ultrasound picture with the same amazement I did with my first. I am still in awe of the changes that take place in the few short weeks between those early ultrasounds, and the much more detailed, clear, 4D images at my 20 week scans. I stare at those earliest pictures, and memorize every feature of those sweet faces…and excitedly show them to their big siblings. And each of the older siblings seemed to be equally fascinated by their newest brother or sister.

My oldest was 6 when I was pregnant with her brother, and she had been praying for a baby brother or sister for years. So, she was full of questions right away… How big is he? Is it dark in there? Can he hear me? What does he eat? How did he get in there?

I answered (or avoided) these to the best of my ability.

That baby boy is now a big brother himself. He was only 20 months old when his first little sister was born, and not extremely verbal. But, by the time his second little sister was on the way, he had come up with all sorts of questions of his own….Does she have any toys? Where does she go potty? (All boy, that one.) Can she smell this? Can she see this? Will she get wet? (Asked during a run to the car in the rain.)

I love seeing my children’s early interest in, and love for their younger, pre-born siblings. But, I didn’t always have the answers to all of their questions. And, as I quickly discovered, some apps aren’t always what I consider age-appropriate for little eyes and ears. And, finding good, age-appropriate, biblical resources for children on the topic of conception, and development can be very difficult. I found that many of the books were either way too mature, or way too evolutionary for my liking and conviction.

Wonderfully Made: God’s Story of Life from Conception to Birth is different. Danika has written a book that truly does tell God’s story.

The book begins…at the beginning. With God’s design for marriage, the relationship between a husband and wife, and how that special love and commitment leads to the creation of a child. I thought this section was exceptionally well done. I realize that all parents will have their own opinions on how and when to address the question of where babies come from. But, in my opinion, this book offers a clear, but not explicit, explanation that is simple, and entirely appropriate for little ears.

Throughout the book, Danika weaves together the scientific facts of a baby’s weekly development with the beautiful truths of Scripture. As I read this book with my own children (ages 11, 4, 2, and 1), they loved the comparisons of the baby’s size to familiar, everyday objects. We read the book together shortly after discovering that we were expecting baby number 5 to join our family. I was 6 weeks along, and we read that at that point, our baby was about the size of a nail head. My 4-year-old son was especially fascinated by that little fact! My oldest (11) loved the most recent size comparison to a pencil sharpener, at 8 weeks!

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While we read the whole book in one sitting, I like that I can also read one page with them each week, and tell them “This week (week 9!) your brother or sister can already make faces at you!” Or, “In a few weeks (week 14), your baby brother or sister will be able to burp and hiccup!” (This is specifically for my boy.)

The book is wholly wonderful, but my favorite part was the ending. (Yes, I am going to give away the ending!) Just as clearly as she shared about the beginnings of our physical life, Danika shares about the beginning of our spiritual life, when we are born again – in Christ. She ends where life truly begins – with a beautifully simple presentation of the gospel!

This book was designed for children from ages 5 to 11. But, it easily held the attention of my 2, 4, and 11 year olds. I also think this would make a perfect baby shower gift for a new mommy (and daddy!).

I am so thankful to have such a wonderful, biblical resource to share with my children each week as we anticipate the arrival of their newest sibling. And, I would highly recommend this book to any parent – expecting or not.

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Filed under Baby, Biblical Womanhood, Book Reviews, Currently Reading, Life, Mommyhood

Rachel Has Some BIG News!

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Someone is going to be a BIG sister!
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Baby is due to join our family
on, or around, Thanksgiving Day!

We have so much to be thankful for!

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Please see update here.

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Filed under Baby, Life, Mommyhood, Secondary Infertility

Happy Birthday, Hannah!

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How is she already 11?!

Even though this girl is growing up far too quickly for her mama’s liking, she has grown into the sweetest, most creative, joyful 11-year-old I know.

Hannah, you continue to amaze me with your talents, your joy, your creativity, and your genuine love and care for others.

You are the best big sister. And, I honestly don’t know what I would do without you! You usually have such a great attitude about all you are asked to do for, and with, your little brother and sisters. (And, you are asked to do a lot!) I know they can be a lot of work, but they love to be with you! And, I am so thankful that you genuinely enjoy being with them too. You patiently allow them to play in your room. You read the same book, over, and over, and over…and over. You make up silly stories, and imagine all sorts of new adventures for them. You reenact favorite cartoons, with surprising accuracy, to keep the little ones entertained. You sing songs, and snuggle with grumpy, still-sleepy siblings after their naps to cheer them up. And, you just might be the best pre-school teacher there is! Since he was only days old, you have tried to teach your brother everything you know… But, now he is actually interested! And, you fascinate him with random facts about sea creatures and bugs. You willingly help him practice writing his letters. You teach Rebekah about colors, and shapes, and subtraction. (Yes, really.) And you enthusiastically cheer each all of them on whenever they learn, or master, something new.

You have the most diverse interests of anyone I’ve ever known. Sometimes I can’t keep up!

You love learning all you can about any type of animal…but especially horses. And, I am encouraged and surprised by how clearly you can refute the evolutionary talk in the stacks of library books you bring home each week. You talk about becoming a real zoologist someday, and creating a sanctuary for endangered species, or tracking some undiscovered animal across Africa… But, you also have a dream of owning a little farm, just so you can have your very own horse.

You loved learning Hebrew with Daddy, and now you are begging to learn Greek, Latin, and Chinese. You draw, and color, and make all sorts of amazing creations…pictures, jewelry, cards. You want to learn how to cook and bake, so that, in addition to being a farmer, and an artist, and a zoologist, and, apparently, a linguist, you can also open a restaurant!

You are thoughtful, and compassionate, and encouraging. I love how you still greet your daddy when he comes home at the end of the day with the bouncy enthusiasm of a puppy. You constantly look for needs, and for ways to help meet them. Your sensitive heart cannot hear about how a missionary family is struggling without committing to pray for them…and trying to find a way to save enough money to send them a month’s worth of support. You are my little encourager…and I treasure your sweet notes, hugs, and happy smiles.

I love that you are still a little girl in so many ways. But, you are growing up, and becoming a beautiful young lady – inside and out. And, I can’t wait to see how the Lord will use all of your unique talents and interests someday.

I love you my sweet Hannah-girl. Happy 11th Birthday!

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Filed under Birthdays, Hannah Elisabeth, Mommyhood, Traditions & Celebrations