Monday, February 28, 2011

Blessed Be Your Name

It was the second time I’ve left the hospital without my baby and a Mother should never have to leave the hospital without her baby. The first time was in April, 2006. My husband and I only made it 10 minutes down the freeway before we turned around and went back to the hospital NICU to hold our 4 pound baby girls. The second time was last week and this time we would not be turning around for there was nothing to return to.
     At almost 12 weeks we had a miscarriage and I once again was forced to leave the hospital without my baby. A few days prior when I learned that there was no longer a heartbeat I left in my car and sobbed. My mind was flooded with guilty thoughts, “perhaps it was that night when my children woke me up so many times and I feared having to care for one more. Perhaps it was this day when we found out we were pregnant and had some conflicting emotions about it. Perhaps…” Then out of my mouth with strength and courage I said, “You are the Giver of Life. Not me. You are the Giver of Life. You give and take away. Not me. But I choose to say, blessed be Your name.” Truly my negative thoughts can no more take away life than a positive thought can create it. God is the Creator. He is the Giver of Life.
     Friday I went to the hospital and as I entered the OR I once again was sobbing. The anesthesiologist said to me, “I’m so sorry. The day is sad for you. The whole day is crying for you too.” It poured rain all day and most of the night. Truly, it was as though all of heaven was weeping for all the Mothers who’ve ever had to leave the hospital without their baby.
     We’re left with the same confusing feelings we had the days and weeks that we woke up without our twins who remained in the NICU for 4 weeks. We’re empty. We’re confused. We’re conflicted. We’re heartbroken.
     But I have 3 beautiful, healthy children. Blessed be Your name. I have a loving husband who is walking through the valley with me. Blessed be Your name. I have parents that drove home on Wednesday from a visit here and turned right back around Thursday to come take care of their baby. Blessed be Your name. In September we will not be bringing home a new baby, but my little twins will be starting kindergarten and my husband and I will celebrate 7 years of marriage – September will continue to be a happy month. Blessed be Your name.
Blessed be the name of the Lord. You give and take away.
My heart will choose to say, blessed be Your name.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Grateful Heart Friday

It’s Grateful Heart Friday! Over the past several years I’ve found that I naturally gravitate toward being critical rather than grateful.  I'm always trying to make things better and more efficient.  But if I don't stop and be grateful for all the great things in my life in the midst of working on making things better, I find that my heart grows bitter.  So in my effort to be a grateful woman who models gratitude to my children, I’ve started making Friday my day to reflect back on my week and identify all the things to be grateful for and thank God. Instead of looking at all that didn't get finished, the mistakes I made, things I could have done better, I'm choosing to focus on all the blessings and be grateful.
        I’m really grateful for a wonderful week with my children while my husband was out of town. It’s no secret that I don’t really like sleeping alone (I feel much more safe with a big strong man next to me!) and God was faithful to allow me to sleep peacefully without fear. (I wish He would have allowed me to sleep without interruption from 2 little ladies, but I’ll keep praying for that!) I’m grateful that the rain returned to Southern California and some cooler temperatures, satisfying my love of winter! I’m grateful that my children played so nicely together this week and had many magical moments of brilliant imagination, selfless sharing, and precious giggles. I’m grateful for my awesome neighbors who had us over for dinner to lessen the single-mom load. (Her fajitas were amazing – check “What’s For Dinner?” next week for the recipe!) I’m grateful for a very fun and festive Valentine’s Day at my girls’ school. I’m grateful for Miss Ana and her love for my children. I’m grateful for my little boy who is now a 2 year old! And our magical birthday date to celebrate. I’m grateful that Grammie and Papa arrive momentarily to celebrate their grandson and love on our littles while the mister and I escape for a few days. I’m grateful for the loving family friends that will fill our home on Saturday to bless our son with birthday wishes. Most of all I’m grateful for a God who knows me better than I know myself and has more than taken care of me this week while my husband was away. My fears of being home alone at night, my worry of being really worn out and unraveling at the kids, my stress of keeping all the balls in the air alone - all of my weakness as a Mom He took and threw them all away and instead gave me a blessed week with peace, safety, energy, rest, smiles, laundry done, house fairly clean, sweet visits from girlfriends and rock star children that helped Mommy all week!
*I'm also grateful for Leasa who awarded me the Stylish Blogger Award!!  Thanks Leasa!
(More to come on this fun honor!!)

      Now it’s your turn – take a few moments to reflect on all the blessings from this past week and cultivate your grateful heart! (Grab a Grateful Heart Button on the right and add it to your Grateful Heart post)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Embrace The Morning

It's no lie that being woken up by the littles every morning is not my favorite thing!  There is something completely satisfying, normal, fantastic and divine about waking up on my own - according to my body clock!  I don't think I'll see those mornings for at least another 18 years!  So, the littles all came in, Valentine balloons in hand, and I thought - EMBRACE IT!  I even pulled out the tripod to capture a photo of me in bed (which makes this post double for my friend Hillary's link up "Picture me (im)perfectly" because me in the morning is a vision of me in my imperfect state!!)!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

You're 2!!

Last night I rocked my one year old son for the last time because today he is 2! As I rocked him, per his request, “rocking chair Mommy, rocking chair,” I prayed for him as I do every night. I couldn’t hold back my tears. I don’t really know why, but this little child has captured my heart in a way that humbles me, blesses me and daily leaves me feeling – I can’t believe I get to be his Mommy. Lord Jesus, thank you for Macky Bear. Thank you for the gift of this child who is so full of life and has brought so much joy to our home. Thank you for his smiles and intense hugs and cuddles that tell me beyond a shadow of a doubt that he loves me. I pray that he would grow to know you and make you known. Anoint him to do your will. Protect him from the lies of the world. May he be known as a man after your heart, a man of purity and a man of integrity. But for now in his little 2 year old body, please continue to grow him healthy and strong. Grow in him a heart of gratitude and compassion. May he continue to bless everyone he meets with his smile and love. Thank you for my baby boy. Amen.
Happy Birthday Doodle. Moma loves you.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

And now I will show you the most excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps not record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Cor. 13:1-8

Very familiar.  Very convicting.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Grateful Heart Friday

It’s Grateful Heart Friday! And I’m excited to introduce a little button to commemorate the day! I’m grateful for some bloggy friends who helped me do it: Leasa, Hillary and Nealy.
        It's been a pretty great week - much better than last week! My heart is full of gratitude and I'm ready to tell you all about it.
        I'm grateful for Hillary and her super fun kids that played so nicely with my littles that we actually got to spend time together as Momas! I'm grateful for KaraLin and her birthday celebration that kept my children on a carousel for 3 hours! I'm grateful for Chelsea Cameron and her amazing 24/7 Family class that is convicting me week after week. I'm grateful for Gretchie and her endless friendship, encouragement, and trust. I'm grateful for pilates. I'm grateful for a super fabulous pink and red tulle filled day with the Queen of Valentine's and all the precious little kiddo hearts. I'm grateful once again for Steven Tyler - I can't help but smile at that guy! I'm grateful for a 9 hour night of sleep without interruption. I'm grateful for great friends. I'm grateful for little girls that want to know everything about my life when I was their age. I'm grateful for a little boy that it just learning how to pucker! Most of all I'm grateful for rest that has come from a God who has promised to make me lie down in green pastures, lead me beside quiet waters and restore my soul. I can feel my eyes changing and their focus is shifting from criticism to gratitude. I’m grateful for Grateful Heart Fridays!!
        Now it’s your turn – take a few moments to reflect on all the blessings from this past week and cultivate your grateful heart! (Grab a Grateful Heart Button on the right and add it to your Grateful Heart post)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Embrace Valentine's Day

There's been a whole lotta lovin' around here for the past week!  We've hosted 2 little parties and today we're off to the Grandaddy of them all!  My friend Stacy throws the best Valentine party for the littles - we look forward to it all year!  (hopefully some pics will follow)

Share the Love! and Happy Valentine's Day!
*Tomorrow I have a new little tiny fun thing to share on Grateful Heart Friday!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


After finding the little dude playing in his room, lights on, sound machine off, at 3am too many times, we thought it was time to get a crib tent.  I was certain that our son would freak out and this would traumatize him.  My husband thought it was cruel that we would “cage” our child.  But we had to try.  I couldn’t handle the all night parties any more!  Dear friends lent us their tent and we put it up with a big celebration, “Look Macky, you get to have a fort in your room!!”  He was thrilled and wanted to get in immediately.  He insisted that we zip it up and every night since, there has never been a tear or even a mention of his new sleeping quarters.  I’m totally amazed that the tent hasn’t phased him at all.  Boundaries are funny.  Like rule or guidelines, they stir up negative thoughts and make us think we are losing our freedom.  Yet it’s amazing how much true freedom comes within boundaries.  We are safe, we are protected, we are cared for, we are afforded the best opportunities with the best possible results when we operate within boundaries.  It goes against our independent, selfish, humanness to be told we cannot do something, or to be told that we can only do something at a certain age or context.  We want to do whatever we want, when we want!  Without boundaries there really isn’t freedom – there is chaos.  And we quickly find that we are in bondage to addictions, bad habits, emotions, our self, debt, and the list goes on.  But God loves us so much that He has given us boundaries in life so that we can live the best possible life on earth with abundant blessings.  Sometimes I wish God’s boundaries were more physical and obvious like the crib tent over me!  But He loves us so much that he gives us the freedom to choose His narrow path with boundaries, or the wide path that leads to destruction.  Are you living within the boundaries?  Are you finding freedom there? 

Monday, February 7, 2011


This morning when I woke up and saw that it was 5:20am, I decided to get up.  After going to bed at 8:30pm and sleeping almost all through the night, I figured 9 hours was more than enough!  I went into the guest room and picked up my reading of Joshua.  Now in chapter 10, I’ve started to wonder why this book was impressed upon me at the beginning of the year.  This book tells of battle after battle after battle for the Israelites.  This morning I was thinking, “this has no relevance in my life.”  Then I read Joshua 10:25, (in the midst of another battle with five Amorite kings) “Joshua said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.  Be strong and courageous.  This is what the Lord will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.’”  Joshua is encouraging his army with these words and they struck me.  I face many battles everyday; battles with my sinful nature, selfishness, anger, impatience, disobedience, ungratefulness, temptation, not to mention the battles I fight on behalf of my children.  My life is a battlefield against an enemy who wants nothing more than for me to be afraid, discouraged, weak and defeated.  But Joshua’s words were the words that God gave me at the beginning of the year, “be strong and courageous,” and I love in chapter 10 how he highlights the power of God who defeats all the enemies that come up against us.  God has fully equipped us as moms to be victorious over the battles we daily face in raising children, creating a Godly home, and faithfully serving our husbands.  God has fully equipped all of us as followers of Jesus to be more than conquerors.  So don’t be afraid of the battles you currently face.  Stand up and tell the enemy that you’re not impressed!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Grateful Heart Friday

It's Grateful Heart Friday!  I'm going to take a moment to reflect back on my week and recall all the things to be grateful for.      I have to admit, I've been in a bit of a funk lately.  I'm tired, short tempered, and just feeling a little down.  Perhaps it's coming off the high of a weekend away and having my parents here for almost a week.  I miss the help and the companionship!  Yesterday I took the littles on a walk to pass time before the dreaded dinner hour.  The girls insisted on pushing their baby dolls in strollers which is always a cute scene!  As we walked through our neighborhood I almost dreaded every step.  I just was having a bad day.  Tears filled my eyes and I just started to thank God for anything and everything I could think of.  "Thank you for the blue sky.  Thank you for healthy kids.  Thank you for legs that work.  Thank you for air to breathe..."  I know that God loves a grateful heart and I truly believe that being grateful is something we need to work on intentionally.  It doesn't always come naturally to be thankful!  Sometimes my funks come from focusing on all that I don't have and I that I wish I did.  Choosing to be grateful instead pulled me out of myself and placed my eyes on something much greater.
     I'm grateful for February and all the pink and red that has filled my house!  I'm grateful for the little monkey fighting me for my chair right now.  I'm grateful for my mom and her pampering love!  I'm thankful for my dad and how he is fully present with my children when he visits.  I'm grateful for a park in my neighborhood.  I'm grateful for forgiving children.  I'm grateful for a patient husband.  I'm grateful for Steven Tyler on American Idol!  (Can I say that?  I love that guy!)  I'm grateful that today is Friday and this week is over!  I'm grateful for a Valentine's party tomorrow and for a birthday party Sunday for one of my favorite 3 year olds that makes me feel like I'm the greatest Auntie ever!  Most of all I'm grateful that I do know someone greater than myself and that even though I sometimes don't choose to focus my life on Him, He waits patiently for me.  Always forgiving.  Always loving.  Always present.
Now it’s your turn – take a few moments to reflect on all the blessings from this past week and cultivate your grateful heart!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Embrace Your Moma

As I mentioned here, last weekend we went on a Mother / Daughter retreat with our very dear friends Patti & Molly.  It was a glorious weekend away in beautiful Santa Barbara, filled with lots of sleep, talking, great food, shopping - all the things girls love!
 Me & My Moma
 My Mom is a fabulous story teller and she had us all rolling at dinner with one of her famous tales!  Molly toasted us to 35 years of friendship!  Yes, we've all known each other that long.
(you can see "Franco" on the marquis in the back - oh yes, Mr. James Franco showed up a half hour after we sat down to accept an award at the SB Film Festival!  It's award season here in So Cal ladies!!)
 The beautiful Patti & Molly
 We had to sit down after our huge breakfast (at 1pm!!)
Me & Molly B
If you can get away with your Moma, I highly recommend it.  Especially these days when visits from Mom usually means her babysitting the kids so you can get away alone!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Today I took my son to the park to play.  The sky is bright blue, the sun is warm, but the wind is very strong today.  As we made our way to the park I realized that the wind was making it rather cold outside.  For brief moments, when the wind died, it was warm and pleasant.  As we played on the swings, slides and rocky bridge, the wind kept forcing me to step into the sun and warm up.  I was thinking about the famous quote from Billy Graham, “I’ve seen the effects of the wind but I’ve never seen the wind.”  I believe he’s talking about not being able to actually see God, but we can see the effects of Him, or the evidence of Him all around us.  It’s so true that even the slightest breeze stirs evidence of it’s existence through rustling leaves, rolling balls or wind chimes.  I then thought of the Hebrew word for Spirit which is ruach – meaning wind.  In Greek it is pneume – also meaning wind or breath.  As I saw evidence of the wind all around me at the park and even felt it, I prayed that the Holy Spirit would fill me and blow through me like a mighty wind so that the presence of God in my life would be evident to all. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Valentine Candy Heart Magnet

I just love this little Valentine craft so much, I have to share it!  I can't take credit for it - I saw it on a friend's fridge about 10 years ago and thought the idea was precious.
Here's what we're making:
Candy Heart Magnet
Here's what you'll need:
a box of candy hearts with a window (sadly this year the "Sweetheart" boxes don't have windows!  So I had to settle for Brach's Hearts), scisors, tape, a cute pic of your kids or loved one and a sticky back magnet
 Step #1:
empty out the candy (or eat it all!)
 Step #2
cut the photo to fit the window on the box
 Step #3
place the photo in the window and secure with tape
Step #4

stick magnet on the back
A precious Valentine Candy Heart Magnet
Happy Valentine's Day!


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