Thursday, November 28, 2013

Baby in Summer Prozac By Fall

I laugh at my title but it is true. It was the same way with Emmaus. Everything for us goes so smoothly at first when we add a baby, but about 2-3 months in I start feeling it. I get back to work and can do okay in pure survival mode for about a month then BAM- our crazy life starts catching up with me and sad mommy/mean wife becomes a frequent house guest and it’s time to bust out the Prozac. Which I shamelessly admit, and take and love.  Makes me a happier mommy & nicer wife. 
It has been a hard transition this time. I feel like with Emmaus I had the hard time but Dan was consistently steady, and this time we are both feeling it. I started working at Children’s Mercy again right before I had Shiloh to pay for Emmaus’ pre-school and between the two Jobs and two babies and trying to get my small business started I think I bit off more than WE can chew.  
So a couple weeks ago with a VERY sad heart I put in my notice at New Birth Company. It truly was a hard decision. I will pick up a few more shifts a month at Children’s and trust God to provide the rest. Which He has always been faithful to do before, Abundantly.
I find myself once again wrestling with the reality of TS. Sad about what it has taken from our family. Frustrated really.  Angry about the extra costs,  angry about the extra work-both hours I work and extra work we have to do with Emmaus, Angry about the whole deal.  
Yet, when I look at our lives, at the path we are walking, I can clearly see how much I have learned. Lessons I am still learning every day.  We are fighting for progress. Hard places in my heart that slowly are being broken down as we continue this journey.  I see this little girl in front of me who is blossoming daily. She can be a hard child, but I can see her daily fighting for progress just as we are.  I see her trying her hardest to recall the words she knows. To use them appropriately. She signs the word, and when I ask her to say them I see her sweet rose-bud lips forming the letters even if I don’t always hear the words.  They are in there.
I think after two and a half years of holding my breath I have finally begun a very painful exhale.  Maybe painful is a dramatic word. But that is how it feels.  November 15  marked a year since Emmaus’ surgery,  a year we were warned would tell us much about how successful her surgery had been.  It has been successful beyond our expectations  and now as we have passed that milestone of a year, added a new baby- (who is developing so quickly it shows us truly how slowly Emmaus developed)-  I have begun to exhale and it is painful.  Heartbreaking truly, so much of that grief that I never processed- instead I shoved it aside and just “accepted our new normal” is having to be thought through.  Which truly is good. Necessary.  And it is a testament to how well she is doing that I can step back from “let’s just survive this” to process.
I am amazed every day at my sweet girls. I feel blessed beyond measure to have two girls.  I think The Lord knew how much joy two little girls would bring me and so gave me a second girl as a gift.  They are the sweetest sisters. Shiloh has begun to love Emmaus as much as Emmaus loves her- it is fun to see her change and develop and have preferences. And she DEFINITELY prefers Emmaus.
 I have written so much about Joy & Pain and how delicately they are intertwined. And once again I see that so clearly in my life these days.
Right now things feel raw and rough and the reality of being Emmaus’ parents, or maybe it’s just parenthood in general is a bit overwhelming.  But the joy, of our house being full of giggly little girls, who’s smiles light up even dark places is overwhelming in a positive way.
I can confidently say-
I know the Lord is faithful. He loves us. And he is bringing good things.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Hand woven faithfulness

I don't even know where the time has gone. I think I wrote maybe two blogs in October. I went back to work the end of September and between working at New birth, and the hospital and then working on building my Etsy business on days off I have been working way too much. My hope is that soon I can work very little outside of our house. But in order for that to happen my little business needs to grow. I love being a nurse, but with the addition of miss Shiloh it has become VERY obvious that I need to be home more, and work outside the house less. It is a strange pull, because I really do love working. But- for several reasons I think I will need to cut my hours and be home more for the next few years.  So- shameless plug. Are you following me on Instagram? I have a business page! I sell lots of fun stuff through there. My user name is @sasabluedesigns or you can find my stuff on etsy at
That however is not why I am posting tonight.
Tonight we had missional community. A small house church we attend that is an off-shoot of our bigger church. It is a group of people circling around a mission, and living life together. And I was just struck by the faithfulness of the Lord that so delicately weaved in and out of the life stories of the people in the room.
Emmaus was so taken with the worship music. She danced, and walked around. And stood awkwardly close to our friend playing the guitar. That in itself is the Lords faithfulness. The fact that our toddler is walking, dancing, and interactive, instead of spaced out and seizing is incredible.
A dear friend with pretty devastating infertility holding her 8 month old and pregnant with another little one. The prayers whispered pleading for these little ones. Heard. Answered.
Extreme breakthrough in a great relationship that will lead to a marriage in December.
Dan holding Shiloh the sweetest baby girl- free from TS. Rocking her poofy hair, and grandma grin. She is a breath of fresh air to us. She is developing so fast, rolling, grabbing at toys, bored easily(which gets annoying-but truly is a great problem). It is mind blowing to us the milestones that come so easily to her.
Anyway- The Lord has been faithful to this group of people.
There are so many things I am expectantly hoping for. Expectantly believing will happen.
-Provision through my etsy/IG business
-Breakthrough in a hard custody/parenting situation with friends
-Continued development for Emmaus & good news with her upcoming Dr's visits
-A job that exceeds expectations for our friend.

I know the Lord is faithful. So I have no less expectation for these areas.
I will blog again soon and share pics from this month!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The drunk and the rolly poly.

I fall more in love with Shiloh every day. I am beginning to think she is an old soul. She just kinda goes with the flow. She has opinions, but mostly she just is at peace with the world around her. I hope she remains a peaceful person. The world needs more peace keepers.  We call her the grandma baby. Her hair has some major body to it- so she kinda looks like she has a grandma hairdo. And the faces she makes are just kinda grandma-ish. And her toothless smile- very grandma.  It is pretty awesome.
She turned two months on the 7th and then a few days later rolled over. From back to belly and then she returned to her back when she felt "tummy time" was done. I am a little overwhelmed and undone with this quick development. (She has been given the nickname rolly poly)
1. I find it rude she would dare grow up so quickly
2. Can we just do average? None of this crazy early or crazy late development
3. I am super proud of her.
4. I am kinda sad- because I just know how hard her big sister had to work to roll. I mean the child was 9 months and probably 100 therapy hours in before she finally rolled. And it just seems unfair how vastly their lives and development will differ.
But I still am very excited and proud of her.

Two months. Dang. It is going too fast. (Her cuteness kills me!)

And then there is Emmaus.
Getting braver every day. Discovering she can not only walk-but walk quickly. We joke she walks like she has had a few too many adult beverages. And we are so proud of her cute-drunken looking walk.  She is changing so much. Doing new things every day.
I have started this routine of every evening sitting her on my lap, holding her tight and telling her what I am proud of from the day. Positive affirmation I suppose-
"I am so proud you ate your lunch" "I am so proud how well you loved Shiloh today" "I am proud you have such empathy for those around you" ect- I think I started this because somedays between the whining, the shuffle to and from school, it is easy to get lost in the craziness of the day.
Emmaus loves this new routine- she knows I am praising her and I see her think about what I am saying.
And last but not least- I am working way too much. And I am pressing in to the dreams God has put in my heart. Pressing into the financial provision I know we need- And trusting that the Lord has gone before me and is already doing work there.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Growing up.

I stopped in my tracks tonight as I walked into the kitchen. My "Big Little's" fleece pull over was strung across the chair. Man it hit me hard. She is getting so big. Yesterday, she clearly (with cries and squeals when presented with the options) communicated she wanted to go with her dad, and not stay home with her sister and I.
She is getting bigger every day, braver. This morning she walked from our bed, out of our room, and started down the hall before she decided crawling would be easier.
And she's not the only one changing fast around here. My little little is like a new baby every morning.
She has opinions, she gets bored (again this is new, miss Emmaus was quite a bit older like 18months before she had much of an opinion about anything!) and she is so interactive with us.
I am obsessed with the friendship forming between the two of them. Emmaus' love for her sister is pretty incredible. From Day one she has been so sweet and loving with her- and every day it blossoms more.
Dan sent me these pictures while I was at work today.
Wherever Shiloh is, Emmaus is not far away.  She loves to be near her sister. 
Lastly just so I never forget-
Tonight when I put Emmaus to bed (which is rare occasion)- After we said prayers- I tucked a blanket around her and she smiled sweetly, and just laid there. This NEVER has happened when I put her to bed. And it was such a "You are so big" moment for me. That she would understand it is bed time, that its okay not to fight it and just lay there and go to sleep.

I'm so proud of you sweet girl.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Dreaming a little dream

Dreaming a dream.
I was challenged recently with this.
"What would it look like if we followed our dreams- and not only trusted- but excitingly expected the Lord to provide for them"
So I am busy dreaming- and slowly stepping into them.
Making a plan- being organized (yes I am terrible at these things-but this dream is forcing me to try). Asking for help, being vulnerable (but not afraid) to fail.
So while I am keeping this dream semi-close to my heart- I am busy over here- dreaming it. Taking steps into faith to make it happen.
What dreams should you be dreaming and expectantly hoping for the Lord to provide for?

Monday, September 23, 2013


We had a little stay-cation. Before I head back to work next week.
And in that time we have....
Had two therapy sessions & one day of school for Emmaus.
Gone to a housewarming party and a birthday party.
We sold a car.
Dan laid a yard of sod with my dad.
We changed about 100billion poopy diapers. (Dan kept calling it poop-cation)
We had one night where both girls SLEPT! Emmaus from 730-7am and then Shiloh from 8-430am- and then back to sleep till 7. (I am sure we will never be so lucky again- but it was magic!)
We had one night where we slept very little.
And Dan and I had a moderately sized argument. (Cause lets be honest- we are both introverts and too much time spent together and we both go a little crazy) (Yes-  I am an introvert- be amazed-

Today we continued a fall tradition of visiting a local cider mill.

 We watched donuts being made- truly Emmaus just waved like crazy at the sweet lady behind the window.
 Discovered the glory of a case of cider donuts.
 And the glory that are these perfect rose-bud lips covered in cinnamon sugar
 The most timid of steps taken among the fall pumpkins.
Each step anticipated. Celebrated. Filling our hearts with joy.
 Mommy and Sister Snuggles
 Kisses between Emmaus and her main man.
 And then what inevitably happens when you are two years old- THE DREADED MELT DOWN. We knew it was coming- the whining was there- when the donuts ran out
(All 1/2 dozen of them)
 So- doing what all good parents do- we let our dictator of a toddler call the shots- snapped one last family pic-and got the hell out of there. She fell asleep within five minutes of getting in the car. 
(Win for a bonus nap!)
We count the day a success.  Thankful for the cool weather & memories.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Hey you- with the brat of a child

Hey you- Yes you the one with the brat of a child. Can you get her under control? Stop the whining? We are trying to eat here! And have you ever read a parenting book? Don't you know you aren't suppose to praise your child for having what is considered "normal" behavior?! She is seriously whining/screaming between every bite of food and the one time she nicely said "more mama" -and she didn't even say please- I heard you praise her to high heaven! Speaking of food- ummm kids are suppose to feed themselves- you baby her by feeding her with a fork.
*EYE ROLL* Your child is a brat and you don't have any parenting skills. *Laugh*- and you thought you could handle another one!?

Yes- this is the dialog Dan and I imagine our fellow diners are thinking whenever we go out to eat. Or really anywhere. Emmaus is often a bit much when we are out and about. And I don't mean the "oh, she's two" much. I mean the -"those are the worst parents ever and their kid is a disaster of a brat" much.
I remember thinking that before when I have been out (pre-children of course). Thinking- I will NEVER let my child act like that.
And guess what- she does. Tonight we had a pretty good dining experience.
Emmaus clearly was hungry so our sweet waiter put her food in first. She actually liked her food. She threw very little on the floor intentionally. Yet- her lack of words often leads to a protest between bites when whoever is feeding her dares to sneak a bite of their own food and doesn't get her next bite soon enough.
Oh- and we feed her. She is slowly learning to feed herself- but so far it often includes food catapulting off her fork at great speed and impressive distance- so to avoid our fellow diners wearing her dinner we feed her.

If Emmaus had several other diagnosis that physically made it known she has some delays I think I would expect those we experience daily, who know nothing about us, to have a bit more grace for her. But to the world around us she looks normal. She currently has no physical signs (or not obvious ones) that she is different than most two year olds- something I both love and hate about TS...

And while people have rarely been rude about her behavior, delays, or how they perceive our parenting- I know their thoughts often "go there". Because I was once guilty of that.

So I guess what all these words are leading to- is think twice before you think poorly of people. We have no idea what is going on with others. We have no clue what the reality of their daily lives looks like.

Everyone is dealing with something. Whether it is a kid with a chronic disease, a toddler that hasn't napped for a week, a sudden death, a lay off... Everyone has crap.
So lets be kind to those around us- and try our best to think kindly of others.


Monday, September 16, 2013


In case you missed this on facebook- I thought I should share a "remixed version" here. (And I am not ashamed of using a Katy perry song- I think the lyrics are kinda perfect)

"You held me down, but I got up, already brushing off the dust, you hear my voice, you hear that sound- Like thunder gonna shake the ground. You held me down but I got up, 

I've got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire, 
Cause I am a champion and you're gonna hear me ROAR 
Louder, louder than a lion
Cause I am a champion and you're gonna hear me roar. 

Get it girl. You are a fighter. We are hearing your ROAR!


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

One month (and 3 days but who's counting)

Well sweet Shiloh- you turned a month old. It came and it went, and I didn't blog. I'm sorry baby girl- you see you are the second child- and while you were just as wanted and anticipated as the first, there will be less blogging about you (or at least timely blogging).
I did remember to snag a few pics on your one month bday though! (WIN!)

You dear one are as sweet as they come. You have started smiling and cooing- and you like to be entertained. If I fail at my entertainment duties you have quite a bit to say about it. You like to be sitting up so you can see your surroundings and are not much of a snuggler- unless you are dead asleep. (Your daddy is sad you don't snuggle more)
This week I watched what I would consider to be your first experience of sister bonding. Emmaus was standing by you on the couch and you were looking up at her smiling so big, and cooing and you both thought the other was the best thing in the world. It melted my heart a bit. I pray that you two will be close, that you will delight in your relationship as sisters and that those sweet moments will continue.
You two will need each other.
You are a great eater- You weighed in at whopping 10lbs 7oz today at your one month Dr's visit and you were 22 inches long. (90th percentile for both)
You are becoming less fussy in the evening (thank you!) and sleep from around 8:30pmtill 7am waking only twice to eat (usually). 
You truly are a very sweet baby. We are so grateful to have you in our family. It has only been a month but it feels to me like you have been here all along. I can't wait to see how you will grow and change this year. I know it will go by way to fast- it already is.
I am so thankful to be your mommy.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Where we are with TS

A little about our current reality with TS- the stuff I don't blog about much-because its ugly and hard.

Today as I drove home with both girls in the car Emmaus got upset. I really have no idea about what. One minute she was happy and smiling and the next minute she is freaking out.
When I say freaking out I mean beating herself in the head (no- not patting her head, but literally beating her head with her hands or fists) pulling out her hair- (she literally has a bald-ish spot on her right side because she does this when she is upset) and then biting her arm. She BIT HER OWN ARM FOR A MINUTE STRAIGHT- I was afraid she was going to break the skin!
All the while I am nicely asking her to stop- asking her what is wrong, trying to appease her with her favorite music- and praying to the Lord that she would stop. Stop because my heart is slowly breaking as I watch her physically hurt herself because she is upset.
She has few words. And none to express frustration. And her mind doesn't handle being upset like the average two year olds does.

Since her surgery I tend to say "She is doing SO well" when people ask how she is. Because truth be told she is! She is developing! She isn't seizing multiple times a day-heck she isn't seizing multiple times a week. She is walking around furniture, she is walking if you hold her hands- and while I think it will be a bit before she walks on her own- she is progressing!

Sleep is still a challenge. Thankfully due to a stricter routine she is napping better- nights are still a crap shoot. Bedtime itself is much better- but rarely does the girl sleep through the night. A few times a month she blesses us by sleeping all night. And then a few times a month she blesses us by EXTRA quality time and stays up all night long.

Generally we feel like our lives are kinda normal. But then there are times when we notice she doesn't play with her peers the way she should. When we wonder how much she understands when we talk to her. When she hurts herself while I am driving and I am unable to intervene, that we realize we are still in a battle with Tuberous Sclerosis.
It didn't end with brain surgery.
Brain surgery wasn't curative medicine. It was palliative medicine.
(Palliative- to reduce the severity or symptoms of a disease)
There is no cure yet for TS.
Which is a harsh reality for me.

We are thankful for our sweet girl. For the unconditional love and wet kisses she has given to her sister. For her snuggles-I seriously watched her crawl onto the lap and snuggle another mom she has met twice today! She is a love bug.

But we know TS is still with our sweet girl. So while we say "She is doing really well" cause she is- we say that meaning- in the scope of having a disease without a cure "she is doing really well".

We have a long road to go. But it is a blessed road to walk with a sweet girl.
Our TS walk in in two weeks. Would you consider donating to help us move forward with research to find a CURE for this disease? A cure for Emmaus.

HERE  is my fundraising page for the TS walk. I am way short of my goal- cause I kinda just had a baby and made my already crazy life a bit more CRAZY- so I slacked on the walk fundraising this year. Any donations would be GREATLY appreciated!


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Little babies

I had the realization today that I have TWO very young children. I know technically they are two years apart- which is pretty normal spacing- but in reality they are like 16 months apart? Less in many aspects?! I don't know how "old" Emmaus truly is developmentally.
But I had this realization while holding a crying 2 year old, and making "goals" with her occupational therapist at school and then realizing my newborn is screaming bloody murder two feet away and I had failed to notice- and then I found myself holding both, able to comfort neither- and the OT shifting the attention to me and saying "I have no idea how you are managing". YEAH. Me either- but you win some you lose some- and she caught me in a losing moment - ALTHOUGH- to my defense we did get to school on time- Hell I managed to enroll the kid in school. I WIN.
Although she did look like this with her mini cheerio beard when we got to school. Let me tell you- stick with plain cheerios! Honey nut are like little self adhesive O's and get stuck EVERYWHERE!!
I may be pondering my small children too much- because I definitely left our van door open today while I stopped into work. Just forgot to close it. You know what a task it is to close those  automatic closing doors! 

Everyday when I get Emmaus from school they tell me how great she slept! Today she slept a whopping TWO hours! ummmm I don't rememeber the last time she napped that long!! 
Oh- thats right- cause it was NEVER. (fine rarely)
Most of her naps occur in the care and then I hang out till she wakes up. 
(Which I always thought was STUPID- but really- I get to sit there in silence and read, or play on my phone- WITHOUT getting whined at because the toddler wants my phone) 
I win again!
 Shiloh may have developed baby acne- due to her daily "face lickings" (kisses) from Emmaus. I probably should wash the poor kids face daily- poor second baby. She probably needs a bath- considering I don't remember when her last one was. 
 Tonight we had an impromptu dinner with some good friends. Well it was Brinner (breakfast for dinner).  And then an impromptu dance party afterwards. We are trying to be more intentional about living and sharing our lives with others. Whether that be dinner- or just time spent together. But to live in REAL community with others- not just cyber community! 

 And I will leave you with this. A true pic of my current reality. Nursing one baby- snugging the slightly bigger baby. I don't know how I am doing it- but I (we) are. And yes my hands are full, but so is my heart. And yes I freak out occasionally with everyone needing me. (And touching me- I am just not a huge physical touch person). But I wouldn't have it any other way. 


Friday, August 23, 2013

A word about timing

I don't know if you all remember this one time- about two weeks ago where all my FB status' and instagram picture were of me being really frustrated that I was still pregnant?

ohhh... you recall that starting almost 4 weeks ago?! Yeah- okay so I didn't handle the end of pregnancy the most gracefully.

But luckily the Lord had grace for my impatience.
In fact- like always his timing for Shiloh's arrival was incredible.

Last summer we visited our family in Maine. And during that time Dan and I had a very hard conversation about planning our family- and decided to wait a few years to try to get pregnant again.
At the time Emmaus was not doing very well. She was seizing a lot and extremely behind developmentally- and falling further behind every day.
I have always wanted a big family and kids close together in age. So us deciding to wait, made me a very heart broken mama.

Then out of no where (despite the use of protection) we got pregnant the next month. I was shocked. I was afraid Dan would be mad- but of course he wasn't. He was just as excited as me. He is a good man like that.
I carried that sweet babe for 7 weeks and then miscarried. I was devastated. Not because of the miscarriage itself. I understand that miscarriages happen- but just the loss of hope. I felt that when I became pregnant unexpectedly it was the Lord saying "Laurisa- I know the desires of your heart, and I have given this baby to you as a gift" And then just like that- this hope, this gift was gone.

I knew Shiloh's birth would be redemptive. It would be a celebration of a healthy baby. A birth free from the fear of TS, the fear of the unknown that comes with knowing your baby has a major medical battle ahead of her.
Even the fact we had a girl was redemptive to me. Healing. I was so thankful that Emmaus would have a sister.

When I filled out the birth certificate for Shiloh. One of the questions was "date of last other outcome" meaning a miscarriage. So I started thinking that it was in August of last year- and probably that same week she was born. And sure enough when I looked it up- I started miscarrying on August 7.
Exactly a year before our sweet Shiloh arrived.

I love how God's faithfulness works in my life. How his timing is perfect. How he makes ALL things NEW.
Shiloh means Abundant Peace- Elizabeth Means "My God is bountiful, oath of God/ Fullness of God"

I think that is exactly right. This baby is such a blessing. The Lord is Good- he is bountiful and full.

Faithful. Redemptive. He has not forgotten the cry of my heart. The hard things, the burdens and pains, and he does make those things right.
The Blessing of a healthy little girl. And given to us 9 days late- but on a specific date- to remind me of the Lord's goodness.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Lots of people have been inquiring how we are adjusting- so here it is.
Emmaus is in the middle of a developmental spurt at the moment- which is both exciting and exhausting. She has new opinions, but isn't able to communicate them well- so gets frustrated easily, she has taken to climbing EVERYTHING. And since she is not the most stable child- and cannot easily get out of these high spaces- I cannot have her out of my sight- OR I may find her standing on a chair at the stove trying to turn it on, scaling the stairs/railing-hanging off at a 45 degree angle -sitting on our side tables- hanging off the side of the couch-standing on her toy chest.
You get my point. She is brave.

Emmaus is SO sweet with her sister. 

She loves to kiss her- and initiates this on her own. (Kiss = lick). She loves to be near her. When we burp Shiloh, Emmaus likes to help and pats her back along with us. She loves to stroke her head, and just be near her. She "talks" to her in the sweetest voice- her tone gets lower, and she gets quieter. It is truly such a fun thing to watch.
One funny thing- is when Shiloh starts crying Emmaus thinks it is funny. She laughs with this ridiculously low toned slow laugh. It's a chuckle really. And its hilarious.

Here is a great picture of my daily life. 
 Having both of them by myself has been interesting- I thought I would be more overwhelmed, but it is going pretty well. Yesterday we even made it to the doctor for a quick visit by myself! Emmaus having school twice a week has been a blessing! It is nice to know after a busy day with both of them the next day is a school day and I will only have one.

Shiloh- She is pretty much an incredibly easy baby so far. She is an awesome nurser. And not having to worry about her weight (like we did with Emmaus) has been AWESOME! Since her first night home she has consistently slept 4-5 hours in a row at night. UMMMM I am not sure how I won the sleeping lottery with this child- but WOWZA- it's a blessing. (Emmaus hasn't slept a solid night since Shiloh was born- but what else is new!?)

So far we are just enjoying our new life. Enjoying sweet Shiloh- and getting to watch Emmaus love her so well.
I feel that I have gained a new amount of patience- because I only have two hands and cannot feed a baby and help my toddler at the same time. I am learning grace for my own capacity- and patience for Emmaus' capacity to handle things. I am learning to calmly explain to Emmaus why she has to wait- and understanding her lack in ability to communicate brings on whining, and grumpiness.
And most importantly I am learning when to just call it quits and head home, change activities, give up on a battle.

Yesterday I started working on taking care of myself too.  Here were my key actions
-Eat more than a bite of your toddlers mac & cheese and a few bites of dinner (LIKE SOME PROTEIN)
-Drink more water than other liquids
-Remember that coca-cola isn't a food group.
-Sit down, lift the toddler as little as possible

Lots of learning. Lots of loving.


Thursday, August 15, 2013


I cannot stand it anymore. 
The hate. The bullying. The corruption of sweet little minds
-even if unknowingly. 
Teaching our young to hate, to bully. 
If we treated others like we treat ourselves Ellen would do a huge campaign against it. It would be trending news, and no one would put up with it. 

During this pregnancy I got some stretch marks- I had two from my pregnancy with Emmaus and this time I added several more. And when they first started to appear I was so mad. I was angry with myself for starting this pregnancy heavier (I mean the bottle of wine I shared with my husband every night pre-brain surgery may have contributed) but still stress or no stress I should have been thinner, weighed less, been in better shape. So I was mad- at myself. Some phrases like "my body is ruined" or "sorry babe- my tummy is gonna look all jacked up now"or "I hate my body" may have escaped my mouth.  Never did I give myself an ounce of grace. 

I have always been a self hater- all my friends are self haters (mostly), my mom, my grandma. Pretty much most women I know hate themselves- or at least their appearance. 
We diet, we work out like crazy, and yet still at our most fit-we pinch the skin that is on our hips and scream about how "fat we are". We look at the laugh lines on our faces and see wrinkles (yes I know I am 27-but they are there). 
And don't get me started about how we feel about changing bodies during pregnancy and shortly there after! 

Well one night during my last trimester I was completely humbled by this obsession. By this self hate. 

I got to thinking about my precious daughter. How lovely she is. How God made her so beautifully. And how I want her to know her beauty- and I don't want her to hate herself too.  Her disease causes lots of skin abnormalities. She has spots that are a little raised and bumpy, she has area's of hypo-pigmentation, and she has the potential to get several other skin complications. But I never want her to think she is not lovely, not beautiful because of these things. 

Yet I think the "abnormal" markings on my skin- the very thing that let my body change and grow to house my beautiful girls- are horrible, ugly, and unacceptable.

So what message am I truly sending her?

So I say enough. 
My body is incredible. It has helped create, grow, sustain, and nourish two children. It was beautiful before I had babies too- even if I wasn't the "perfect hollywood size" or I am short. 

I refuse to hate myself any longer. 
Simply because I refuse to set that example for my daughters. 

All my "self hating" friends were damaged by having idealistic expectations put on them- whether by themselves and the media, or many by their mothers- and not always intentionally by their mothers- but if your mom hates XY&Z about herself- and you grow up knowing you have your mom's chin, her torso, and her calves-then you will learn to hate those things too. 

How do we make a cultural change for our children? I think we have to start with ourselves. We have to get comfortable with our selves. We have to see our own beauty. We need to be healthy, but not only physically healthy- mentally healthy. 

So I am continuing this journey I started a few months ago. 
To teach my daughters how beautiful they are- to be comfortable with myself first- so they can learn to be comfortable with themselves. 
So my sons (future ones of course) can learn that a beauty is not just in a woman's appearance. 

I know I am not alone in this self hate- or the desire to break this cycle- to give my daughters the gift of truly knowing they are beautiful


Wednesday, August 14, 2013


It's been a week- and I have written this blog about 100 times in my head, played over the details, trying to decide if I should let the pictures speak? Or spill every detail. So instead of planning- I will just write.

First let me say- the photo credit for the birth goes to Allison Corrin Photography. She did an incredible job-and if you at all are thinking about doing birth photography- I would highly encourage it and encourage you to use Allison. She did an incredible job! Check out her business page HERE. 

I had a hunch about 3pm that baby may make an appearance that night. I had publicly scolded my uterus on facebook earlier that day-and apparently it listened. I had a few errands to run and since neither Emmaus and I were able to nap- we went ahead and did those. I called my midwife to give her a heads up. When dan got off work I let him know I thought baby would arrive that night, we went on a walk when he got home and my contractions picked up. I made a call to the midwife again, saying yes, things were picking up. About 7pm I decided I wanted to go to the birth center to be evaluated. My mother in law arrived at our house about an hour later to watch Emmaus and Dan and I headed to the birth center. My cervix had changed, I was now 5cm dialated (I had been 4cm at my last appointment) and progress was being made so we stayed at the birth center to labor.

As the evening went on things progressed. 
Natural Birth is not about "staying in control" 
It is about letting go of it. 
About relaxing, about letting your body do what it is so incredibly capable of doing. 
It is about saying no to fear, and learning one contraction at a time to make peace with the journey you are on. 
I was surrounded by love. 
By my mom, and closest friend. 
By women who love birth, who daily help women become mothers in the most incredible setting. 
By my husband who never stopped praying, encouraging, or holding my hand. 
Who with me was most excited to meet our new little love. 
Many prayers escaped my lips. Pleading for help, giving thanks for the miracle of a healthy baby. I have learned in the last few months that choosing thankfulness even in the pain helps make the road more clear. 
(At one point I may have snapped and yelled about "people leaning on the bed"-just to show the other half of the picture)
And then very quickly -our little love arrived. 
8/7/13 12:26am
So anticipated. So wanted. Finally with us. 
And Born En Caul- Our Blessed, Lucky, baby.
(Although I think I am the lucky one)
Relieved to not be in labor anymore, and excited his baby was here....We both forgot- then after several minutes I remembered- We did not know if we had a daughter or a son. 
A little girl. Dan new it all along. I was surprised, and elated. 
A sister for our Emmaus. 
An unspoken desire of my heart. 
Two girls to giggle, to learn and grow together. 
Shiloh Elizabeth
8lbs 10oz
21 inches

And then when the sun came up, and the two year old with it- 
we headed home for the sweetest of meetings. 
Only gentle touches. And a couple un-captured smooches 

This labor was different than Emmaus'. It was faster, and harder, and while with her I had time to adjust to each new phase- this one quickly evolved-it was more intense. It was redemptive to have a birth were the NICU was uninvolved and fear of the unknown was absent. To get to completely celebrate a new baby and not have to celebrate a baby while mourning the presence of a disease.

She is loved & we are lucky she is ours.


Monday, August 5, 2013

41 weeks

How I got here.... I do not know. 
41 weeks. 
That is 14 days later than Emmaus came. 
(Bless that child)
I haven't had the best attitude.
-Like this one time when I cried for like an hour cause I couldn't find a shirt I wanted to wear-
(and maybe yelled at my toddler- humbling to ask your two year old to forgive you)
-Or this other time (from week 39-40) when I was so grumpy all week because I didn't have a baby-
-Or this one time I was literally angry at my poor unborn because of their presence in my uterus-

But I feel like I may have turned a corner. 
You see- I am learning patience. Learning contentment. 
I am learning I cannot control things, and the disappointment that I have when "my plan fails" is purely due to my unrealistic-or uncontrollable expectations I have set on myself. (or my unborn/uterus)

Funny thing- is this lack of control of the "uncontrollable" things in my life should be easy right?!
I mean- my toddler has a random genetic disease, has had brain surgery, countless seizures, ailments, ect ect. 
And yet- I am STILL a control FREAK. 
It seems the Lord is being faithful to me and helping me work through that. (again)

It is a little awesome to tell people at the store or wherever that I WAS due last week. They are all shocked and flustered and suddenly fear a baby's head popping out from between my legs. 
They look at me like WHY would you go that late- won't they induce you?

I just wanted to say a little about that.
If you have read for long- or know me at all- you know I am very pro-natural birth. I seriously was blessed to have an incredible natural labor with Emmaus despite the concern for her health.  It seriously was one of the most sacred times in my life. To have to die to myself, trust the Lord with every single contraction, and let my body do it's work- seriously changed me. It was the most holy communion I have ever had with Jesus. And I cannot wait to do that again.
This week will hold some interventions to get baby out if baby doesn't come soon. I thought about doing castor oil today but, decided it wasn't time yet for intervention, and I would rather wait a couple more days to see if labor sets in and enjoy my days with Emmaus.
My body is making change. I am 4cm dilated. Baby- just needs to be more fully engaged in my pelvis.
I am confident this baby will come. I trust the Lord to provide safety for me and this babe. And I am so excited to meet him or her!

Also a small shout out to my husband. He is seriously incredible. If you have met him you know this- but for the rest of you- He is an incredible husband like INCREDIBLE. He loves me so well. He is patient, he is extremely self-less and incredibly forgiving.
(And his incredible ability to be a completely engaged and present father makes his husbanding look poor- cause he is just that incredible of a dad)
I clearly married up.
In the last weeks he has been so patient and supportive. He has slept on the couch so I can hog the whole bed, been on daddy duty most moments he is home so I can have a break/nap/be extremely pregnant.
You are a good man babe. Thanks.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Waiting- and the poopy day.

So while I wish I was posting a blog about our sweet new addition- Instead I will tell you an awesome tale of one of the craziest mornings we have had lately.
So This is VBS week- which is a blessed event that for years to come I am sure I will look forward to! 5 straight mornings of my child being gone in the summer- and to learn about Jesus, sing sweet songs, ect!
So Emmaus went on monday and loved it. She was bubbly and happy all day, took a nap, was a little chatter box AND I got the morning free. AWESOME.
Then Tuesday morning at 1am- it all fell apart.
Emmaus woke up screaming- I went up to check on her after a couple minutes and the poor child is kneeling on her bed, staring at the wall, screaming bloody murder and batting at the air. Well- my brother had night terrors- so I assume this was the same. It took a good while for me to get her calm. I tried holding her, and speaking softly to her- to which she smacked, pinched and bit me- then I tried singing her this song she likes about Jesus- same result and finally I decided to pray for her-and once I started praying she calmed down and woke up and sweetly started stroking my face and saying mama- in a very sad relieved way.
Well the night continued- she didn't sleep well, I was awake due to crazy pregnancy insomnia that has set in, and it was long. Anyway- finally about 4 I am guessing we fell asleep. (*to give Dan credit he was with her for a bit- but I figured I would let him sleep since I was wide awake anyway- and I would take over trying to get her back to bed).
Anyway- She woke up early- and was very excited I was in bed with her- she sat up, sweetly "oooohhhed mama" and then I heard her tummy rumble- I sleepily put my arm around her back to give her a hug- and then I felt it happen.
I calmly got up, got my arm wiped off, started chucking clean things out of her bed- so I wouldn't have to scrub every stuffed animal and blanket, I asked her to stay in bed (which is I am sure she didn't comprehend) and walked to the door to call for back-up. To which I find the door LOCKED. 
Well- the lock is on the outside and we lock her in at night so she won't open the door and fall down the stairs. Dan had locked it out of habit when we traded. 
Suddenly I feel like the room was very small, (her room is huge) smelled incredibly like poop, I was gagging, horrified by the left over poo on my arm. Trying to keep her in bed. Hollering for dan- convinced that he won't hear me, that we will be locked in the poo filled room without help- her crawling all over. 
HECK I will probably have a baby in the poo filled room. 
Well- dan saw me on the monitor squatting by her bed, heard my hollering- and figured I was in labor so came running.  (thankfully)
Of course we got it all handled- it did turn out to be a "crappy" day and she definitely had the bug that Dan had the prior week- but we survived- and my house got DEEP cleaned. 
Probably some nesting/I can't handle the amount of sickness that has happened around here lately.

Can I just say- being a mom is by FAR the most DISGUSTING job I have EVER had! 
(And I am a nurse! And I have worked with adults who are pretty funky- but NEVER have I been poo'd on while not fully awake in a locked room) 

So what I am saying is....We are having fun around where while waiting for baby! 
(Who is now 10 full days later than Emmaus was)