Thursday, April 28, 2016

Baby #4

I know, no blogging for 2 months and then I just unload my entire life on you guys. But we went to my parents house last weekend and while the girls watched Frozen for what seems like the millionth time (but it's really only like the 4th) I blogged. Warning: Long post ahead...

So... baby. On December 7th, we found out that God had chosen to take our third child home to be with Him. That was the hardest thing I've ever dealt with but even looking back a few months later, I could see how much we grew through that experience and how our dependence on the Lord's grace is stronger than ever.

We decided to wait before we would consider the possibility of adding another baby to our lives. A few months went by and the pain started to lessen. I could share my story with new friends and not end up in tears. I could see how strong our faith had become through this loss and I was comforted knowing that God could bless us with more children, if He wanted to. But if not, I was okay with that too.

Pregnancy after loss

When I took the test, it was a faint positive but it was definitely there. I cried the whole day. I was happy for a new baby. I was sad for the one we lost. I felt guilty being excited for a new baby. It seemed like not enough time had passed (although at this point it had been 3 months). When I told Brian, he was so happy and excited and then minutes later was sad and grieving. It was such a weird feeling and not something that anyone talks about after experiencing loss.

As time went by, we slowly and extremely cautiously began talking about adding a new baby to our lives. I remember at about 8 weeks of being pregnant, Brian suggested a name and I was shocked. I felt like we had to make sure this child survived before we started picking names.

And there's the catch. We never do know if a child will survive, do we? Just because we've had Allie for 3.5 years and named her and loved her and taught her and disciplined her, doesn't mean we have any guarantee that we'll get to see her through the next 3.5 or 10.5 or 50.5 years. Same with Maddie. Same with this baby.

And it was this moment... this was when I truly held all of my children with an open hand. Losing a baby that we never even got to meet was hard, and we both knew that the lives of our children are never guaranteed. But it wasn't until this 4th baby that I truly trusted the Lord's sovereignty over our lives and our children's lives. It doesn't mean I don't sometimes fear losing them -- but my heart is turned to prayers that the Lord would just have mercy on them and save them before choosing to take them.

Fear

I can honestly say that I have not struggled with fear with this pregnancy until I was driving to my first doctor's appointment (which incidentally was the day before my due date). A sweet friend offered to watch the girls which was a huge relief. But I was a wreck the entire day. I cried and prayed the whole way to my appointment. I was fearful of going through a loss again and I poured my heart out to the Lord, begging Him for the strength to face whatever would happen.


My doctor asked me how I felt.
"Nervous."
"Tell me about your loss."
*Immediate tears as I tried to choke out what happened in December.*
Praise God I had the sweetest, most compassionate doctor and she really made things so much easier.

"Okay, ready for the ultrasound?"
*Nervous chuckle... I half expected to see nothing and half expected to hear nothing.

(Tells self: don't cry, don't cry, don't cry)
*look at the screen, see the baby moving and hear the heartbeat, and immediately start crying*

I can't explain the emotions that overwhelmed me but I was so thankful that God had mercy on me. The doctor said everything looked great but I didn't get much comfort from this knowing that everything had looked great with the last pregnancy until it wasn't. But I didn't need to draw comfort from that -- God gave me the peace I had so desperately been crying out for and for the first time, I felt truly excited about this new little one.

So. Now what? Physically, I feel great (a huge difference from the last time) just sleepy and hungry all the time. I've taken naps with the girls like 3 times in the last week and I love ALL. THE. FOOD.

Emotionally? I'll let you know. Some days I'm excited. Some days I'm still grieving. But every day the Lord continues to give me grace and peace. And I'm hopeful that we get to see this little one grow into someone who loves and serves God. But if not? I know God will still use their life, however long it might be, to strengthen and grow others as we trust in Him.

Lastly? My due date is 2 days after my birthday so, Lord willing, 32 will be a pretty memorable one. :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Life... today.

So here we are. We've been living in Oceanside for 2 months now.
  • Our apartment is finally looking/feeling more like home. Just in time for us to start shopping for a house. 
  • Brian got a new job and has been at it for a week. The crazy thing? He's been getting home at 4:15 on the dot everyday. He gets every other Friday off. And he's working at Oceanside Harbor. Yeah, that means he gets to see the sun rising over the beach everyday. 
  • We love our church. The girls and I have made friends fast and a few of those women have already been such a huge blessing to me! I'm so SO thankful that God has placed us in a solid church where we've already been able to be involved (another perk to Brian's new job). We're excited to see how the Lord is going to use us. We've already been so blessed by the people here; it's made the transition so much easier. 
  • We've already had visitors from Sac and it was so fun! As exciting as new friends are, it's so good to just sit and talk with someone who knows you already, knows your history, your struggles, and just be encouraged. We can't wait to have more!
  • And the biggest news... I'm pregnant again. Trust me, another blog post is coming on that. :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Life... a month ago.

Another post I wrote a month ago and never got around to publishing... but I still like to see where my thoughts were because things are so different now!

Transition.

We're slowly settling into our new home. It took us:
  • 1 day to go to the beach. We were obviously having withdrawals from the last 6 years. 
  • 3 days to acclimate to warmer weather. We stepped out the other night and I thought 60 degrees was freezing. I guess deep down I was always a So Cal girl. 
  • 1 week to not get lost going to Target. But I still don't know exactly where Sprouts is. 
  • 10 days to unpack 95% of our things. I have a feeling it'll take 4 months to get to those last 2 boxes.
Moving back into apartments has been interesting. It's not bad -- there's a lot I could complain about but I'm happy to have a roof over our heads. And it's forced me to get creative with storage which means a lot of $4 Swedish shelving solutions. I think more than ever, our living situation looks like it was sponsored by Ikea.

Tiny apartment means there's nowhere to go when the girls are screaming and running up and down the hallway. There's nowhere to go when they're napping and I'm trying to be quiet because oh my goodness, they need a good nap. My parents bought us a wagon that I think is supposed to be used for toting things to the beach but it has been a huge help in toting toddlers and groceries from the parking lot to our apartment. 

The perks? We met a few wonderful families at church. Our new church is different but it's the same God, the same Bible, the same call to worship and fellowship together. We love it in a different way. Brian's job has been sort of easing him in slowly (which I'm sure won't last long) but he already has some other possibilities on the horizon that would be really great. We'll see what God has in store for us!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Blast from the past

I wrote the following post the day that we moved to So Cal and haven't posted it until now. Life, am I right?


It's 1:30 in the morning. I've just spent 10 hours in a car with 2 toddlers and have survived to tell the tale. It wasn't AS bad as I thought it would be but there were still some moments that made me promise myself road trips would not happen again until the girls were out of car seats. All the movies on the iPad and junk food could not keep them from getting antsy and at 7:30 pm when we stopped at Taco Bell for a healthy dinner, they danced and jumped and spun circles all around the restaurant while I was doing all I could to revive myself.

So now that I'm finally laying in a bed, you'd think I would immediately pass out like Brian, Allie, and Maddie did, right? Guess not. It's not that I'm not tired, it's just that when the mood strikes to write, I write. 

Moving 500 miles is no small feat. The last 2 weeks have been an absolute blur and it still hasn't sunk in. The future is so unknown and it's terrifying. Exciting but scary. New home, new job, new church, new friends. I hope that things are just as good as Sacramento or better but I also miss people there and know those friendships can't be replaced. 

Packing your life up is exhausting. You start out all organized and label happy and then it turns into either tossing things into boxes or the trash. 

Loading a moving truck is exhausting and I'm pretty certain we would still be loading it if we hadn't had Brian's dad to help us.

But here we are. Finally. Phew...

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Interviews with Allie: Storytime Edition

Allie is constantly asking us to read to her. And while I love that she's growing up to be a bookworm like her mother, sometimes we don't always have the time. So the other day while I was crocheting bonnets like a madwoman, I asked her to read to me instead.

This is the story of Baby Jesus.

"Then meanwhile there were shepherds. And they were going up and down and up and down and flying. And then Donald Duck came in. And he said "glory to God this is not the highest". Then there was meanwhile. Then they were not shepherds. The end."

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Goodbyes, Part 1

Part of leaving means saying goodbye. One of the goodbyes that I didn't think would be as hard as it was, was my truck. I didn't realize I'd be so attached to a car but it's been with me for 9 years. That's longer than Brian has known me.

I drove it off the lot with 7 miles as a lease. Probably the worst financial decision of my life, but what did I know? I was young and impulsive and I had wanted that truck since I was a teenager. It's been through so much with me. The first time I met Brian, I let him drive it to pick up his friend at the airport and back. When we moved to Sacramento, it carried all of my belongings (basically clothes) all this way. It was there when we got married, when we moved into our first house, when we had Allie, then moved to our second house, had Maddie, and now it's gone.

I'm sure the next owner will enjoy it. It was a very good car and I like to think we sold it for a very good deal. But as I watched Brian drive it away to meet the new owner, I had this strong urge to cry. I could wax eloquently and say it was a symbol of my younger years and what I was really saying goodbye to was the days of my youth, but that wasn't it. I just plain missed my truck.

It's been replaced with a more family friendly vehicle. One that can fit groceries and strollers in the back without getting rained on. One that can seat up to 8 people. It will be a great family car and I do already love it.

But still.

I miss my truck.

Or maybe I'm just constantly on the verge of tears because this is only the beginning of a long list of hard goodbyes.

*Sigh...

Friday, January 15, 2016

Change is in the wind.

Oh, 2016. How much change you've already brought into our lives and we're barely 2 weeks in. Let's tackle this one thing at a time... shall we?

I accidentally started a business. While my mom was here taking care of the girls after my procedure, I had a lot of free time. She was cooking, cleaning, bathing and caring for the girls... so I was basically sitting around twiddling my thumbs. I crocheted a bunch of stuff, including some newborn bonnets. I posted a few on Instagram and suddenly I had orders for a dozen more. Maybe this can be a thing? I have no idea. Maybe it'll explode into a business and I'll crochet myself into early onset arthritis. But for now, I'm doing something I enjoy and someone is paying me for my work which incidentally, works out pretty nicely for me.

Brian quit his job. He had his last day of work last Friday and he's been home all week working on finishing the house remodel. We're trying to get that quickly finished because at the end of February...

We're moving to San Diego. There's a job opportunity for Brian and we're finally going to do what we've been talking about doing for 6 years. Last year around this time, I vaguely posted about some changes that might be happening and we have earnestly prayed and moved forward with these changes for the last twelve months.

How do I feel about it? Happy. Sort of. Mostly. Also, sad. Excited. Scared. We're leaving friends here that have become very dear to my heart. We're moving to a whole new place and while I do have some family in San Diego, we'll still start fresh with a new church and new friends. We'll be closer to my parents and sisters. Still 2 hours drive time but that's better than 8. We'll be moving into an apartment while we look for a house. We'll most likely be remodeling a house again. We have to fit our entire lives into a 26' moving truck. We have to drive that truck and 2 vehicles 500 miles. Packing. Unpacking. Cleaning. Organizing. Sorting.

Countless hours of prayer and discussions have gone into this decision. It has not been made lightly. We have no way of knowing what would be the best thing for us to do, so we have to make decisions with the knowledge we do have and the wisdom that God has given us. Could this be totally bad? Sure. It's possible. Could it be totally great and the best thing we've ever done? That's possible too. Ultimately we feel that our goal in this world is to glorify God which is something we could do in Sacramento, San Diego, or wherever we are.

When I moved to Sacramento 6 years ago, I had no idea what the Lord was going to do in my life. I had a heavy heart leaving my family and friends that I love so dearly, but I knew that coming here was the right choice. On February 1, 2010, I packed all of my belongings into my Tacoma and made the drive up here. Here we are almost exactly 6 years later. Our belongings will most definitely not fit into the Tacoma, in fact, the Tacoma is being sold and replaced with a more family friendly vehicle. I have gone through so much happiness and heartbreak in those 6 years. I don't think I ever would've guessed this is where I'd be. In fact, I know for a fact this is not the plan I had for my life.

But here we are. So much changing. Hopefully this will be a good change. San Diego is the vacation destination of choice for pretty much everyone we know here, so it's not like this will be the last time we'll ever see them. I hope and pray that we will find like-minded parents/friends wherever we end up. I'm very happy that the girls will be able to spend more time with their cousins. In fact, whenever I think about being nearer to my family, I get really excited. Whenever I think about living in Southern California again, I get really excited. Whenever I think about leaving our friends here, I get really sad. So obviously, to say this has been an emotional few weeks is a huge understatement.

So if you need me I'll be excitedly crying over a box of dishes.