2009 will go down in history as the year I grew up.

Looking back on this year is painful. Humbling. And hopeful.

I never thought I'd be grateful for the trials of this past year.

You know the jewelers trick, how they put their brightest diamonds against black velvet and shine spotlights on them?

The good from this year shines so intensely, contrasted against the dark and reflecting God's bright light.

I've learned the value of the friends I already had, which I probably would never have fully appreciated without Leila. The level of support we received was just tremendous. Christine, Shari, you guys are my bright diamonds. I love you!

I think this year was the year I fully came to appreciate God. He answers my prayers every day. I know putting our family through these situations hasn't been easy for Him. He hates to watch His children struggle. But He is infinite in wisdom and knows that these trials were intense learning experiences and would be necessary for our growth.

Despite all that's happened, 2009 will be fondly remembered.



Today Andrew and I met some friends at Boonshoft Museum for a playdate/mommy get together. We had a great, pretty unremarkable time - until the last 15 minutes.

We were on our way out when this darling little brunette girl, probably around 3-4 years old, came up to me with a very sad look in her eyes. It turns out somehow she got separated from her family. My friend Christine went to the office to grab an employee (we were on the second floor, and the little girl wouldn't go to the office on the first floor with us - as it should be, mom taught her well not to leave with strangers). The employee came and took her downstairs to the office, Andrew practically glued to her side. He was not letting that little girl out of his sight!

They didn't even get around to paging her mom over the loudspeaker before a distraught woman barged into the office to claim her lost daughter. Andrew was right there through the whole thing, and we were within sight of the whole reunion as we browsed the adjoining giftshop.

Andrew came up to me after mom and daughter went back to having fun. He said, "mom, I almost had a sister".

Ouch. All that time, I thought he was just being protective. But I guess he was of the "finders, keepers" mindset, waiting for that little girl to be unclaimed so we could take her home with us.

And then the employee who reunited the mom and daughter had to come over and compliment me on Andrew's manners, and made a comment about how he said he had a sister but she died.

Of course I start to tear up (in fact, I'm doing it right now). I don't often see how Leila has affected Andrew...but when I do, it's so painful for me.

We talked about it on the way home, about how taking a girl from her mommy would be wrong, and God would be bringing us our own little girl. My advice to him was to pray about it. God has a way of listening to that child. I said it was up to God to give us that gift.

And he said, "but it's up to you and daddy to do....um...that thing I'm not allowed to talk about."

Weirdest feeling in the world, crying and giggling at the same time.


Lines in the Sand

I've had so much positive feedback on my picture of the scale - people have repeatedly called me "brave". I wish I were full of courage.

My picture on the blog is a nod towards my "bravado". And my inability to complete things.

Instead of drawing a line in the sand, I've carved a line in bedrock.

By involving my friends, people I know will hold me accountable, coach me on when I get discouraged, I've added an insurance policy to weight loss. It's not like going to the Weight Watchers meetings, where I can simply stop going. I have people who know my real struggles, and will no doubt call me on it if I don't continue this journey towards optimum health. I certainly hope you won't be afraid to reach out and pat me on the back or slap me upside the head, depending on the situation.

So I just wanted to say that YOU make me brave. That I can't do this without YOU. God has provided YOU to push me to success. YOU deserve the credit here.


12/27 - One Day Down, ??? More to Go.

I just wanted to outline my first set of mini-goals.

1) I want to be able to go up and down the stairs 35 times by my 35th birthday. I'm trying to utilize exercise methods without paying out money for a gym membership, and my stairs, they just beckon me. My 35th birthday is right around the corner, so I'm not completely confident that I'll make this goal...but I'm thinking big!

2) Getting high fructose corn syrup out of our diets. I read and read about the evils of HFCS - how it messes with your blood sugar levels. And it's disturbing, the places it pops up. Last night my dinner was egg white omelet and a bowl of Kellogg's All Bran. And, while eating my bowl of "sticks in milk", I took a gander at the ingredients. Yup, there's my nemesis. Proudly taking third place in the list. Disturbing, I tell you! Anyway, I can't really nail down a to-do-by- date on this one - there's plenty of processed foods in this house, and we're not in a position financially to throw away food and do a pantry overhaul.

3) And my last mini-goal isn't really a goal, since I have no influence on when it will happen. I'm just curious. How long do you think it will take Yasar into making some form of comment on my losing weight? Something positive from his lips. Without me asking him. Yes, that's going to be the hard part. I'll let you know. :)

"I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13


The First Day...

I. Am. Done.

Yes. That is my feet. On a scale. What you can't hear is the groan of despair emitting from my mouth.

Is that number so terrible? No. I haven't really put on much weight in the last year. But I feel terrible. Easily winded. That general malaise that comes with eating crap food. The tightness around my waist and thunder thighs that indicates being too fat for my fat pants. That fact that I ate so much yesterday I ended up puking at 1am was kind of my epiphany - this has to stop. Now.

I need a little help from you all. See, the great thing about Weight Watchers is the accountability factor. I have to stand on a scale at the weekly meeting and either feel joy or shame, depending on that number. I can no longer afford Weight Watchers, so I'm wondering if you can help me accomplish the same thing.

Every Saturday I'll be posting my number. And I'm going to attempt to give you my average daily calories for that week. And, hopefully, make some mini- and mega-goals to achieve along the way.

No more excuses. No more "I'll start tomorrow..."

This is the first day of the rest of my life.


Christmas 2009

Before the chaos begins.

Thank you, Nanny! I love it!
And Aunt Beth, I couldn't wait to put this on!
My bling-bling from Andrew. I'm gonna need a security guard to walk around with this on!
(hmmm, I wonder if he's a Bengals fan...)
Fun to decorate, not-so-fun to eat.
Tiger's glad the presents are gone so he can get back to normal.
Making kibbe with daddy.
Happy Birthday, Jesus!
My candles burned all day, remembering my little angel, and the angels of all my friends. Merry Christmas, my Leila. I know you're celebrating at an awesome birthday party in heaven!


"Poor" Me?

Want a guaranteed way to change your outlook on your life? Pick up this book. It should be required reading for everyone.

It would take so little of our income to change the life of someone. Literally change their lives.

Partners in Health has an innovative program going on in Rwanda. They build hospitals. That address the whole person. It impressed the heck out of me - when they have a child that is diagnosed with malnutrition, they offer a class to the family with information on how to maximize the harvest from their family garden. Very different from the "treat 'em and street 'em" philosophy here in the US. They also create jobs for natives in home healthcare, and the majority of their medical staff is "non-Western", meaning they are born- and trained-Rwandans.

Millennium Villages
is another organization that uses their funding to address the bigger picture, from industry and agriculture to healthcare and education. They are building communities out there. They are building HOPE. They are building FUTURES.

Lord, help me remember those suffering in other countries when I feel "poor". Thank You for putting this book in my path. Help me to maximize my donations for the good of those who need it most.

Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."
Matthew 19:21


O Little Stack of Christmas Gifts....

Last night I sent the boys out on a date. In "boyspeak" we called it a mission. Andrew had to take pictures of lots and lots of Christmas light displays with the digital camera, and then his daddy took him out to grab a treat and "bond" (we've both been suffering from Yasar withdrawl, but Andrew seems to be particularly whiny lately about missing his dad). They had a great time, the pictures are very cool (if a little blurry), and I plan to have them made into a photo book here if I could get my %@*^! slooooow internet to upload my photos to their server! Argh!

My real motivation to getting the boys out of the house is I needed to get the Christmas presents wrapped. My sneaky little 6-year-old was adamant that he was going to see his surprises, so I needed that extra layer of security that festive paper adds. I hunkered down with my scissors and magic tape and got it all done.

And then I looked at our presents. Sure are a lot less then years past. I started feeling a little bad. I mean, it's Christmas! We should have lots of gifts to open, not this small, pathetic pile. Isn't that our right? Oh, so humiliating......

I guess what happened next could be classified as an epiphany. Why are we opening presents on His birthday? It should be about what gifts we can give Jesus on His special day, right?

I'll give you a moment to digest that.

So I've been praying about what Jesus wants for Christmas this year. I feel like the little drummer boy - not much to give, but willing to give all I have. I can't wait to see where He leads me!

(Somehow, I don't think it's going to be to Zhu Zhu Hamsters)


Tag....I'm It.

Church today - two birth announcements in the bulletin.

Someone wrote on my FB wall, and when I went to reply via wall-to-wall, it pulled up the last time we'd posted that way. Back in March. I was all a-bubble about how Andrew was coming to the next OB visit to see the ultrasound, to see his little sister for the first time.

I mostly stay ahead of my grief.

But today it's catching up with me. It's reaching for me, ready to tag me.

I don't think about how this Christmas "should" be. I don't let my mind go there.

I just feel the stark emptiness in my arms.

I miss her today.

The Angel on Top of the Tree

Merry Christmas, little angel. Mommy loves you.


Stepping Out In Faith

Generosity has been the topic in church these last few weeks.

It's a conviction that's constantly stabbing my heart. It's been a long time since we've had an income to tithe from. I hate not being able to give what I owe, especially to God.

Two weeks before Thanksgiving, God spoke to me. He asked me to believe in Him, to trust Him.

My little cheesecake venture was just getting off the ground.

So I promised Him that every penny I took in between then and the next Sunday would go into our church's harvest offering.

That was so hard. Especially when I needed ingredients to fill incoming orders and didn't really have the money to pay for them. It felt like Satan was tempting me at every turn that week.

But I kept my promise. I walked proudly and tearfully to the front of the church that next Sunday with my husband at my side, our envelope containing our widow's mite clutched in our hands.

I believed that God would bless me for my faithfulness. I believed that it would be a blessing in the form of more cheesecake orders.

And it was. The few days between Sunday and Wednesday were exhausting. I made and sold 24 cheesecakes in 4 days. I am so grateful to God for His faithfulness.

But that wasn't all. I don't necessarily believe in prosperity gospel, but God made a solid argument for it Monday.

The church secretary stopped at the store to give Yasar and I an envelope that was left for us at the church.

An anonymous envelope. Containing $500 cash.

If I could explain the thoughts and emotions that I experienced, opening that envelope. My Father cares so deeply for me. How He loves us!

I know He will carry is through this next test. The one that's no longer on the horizon. It's here.

The store is failing. Whether it's due to the economy, or the new competition moving into town, it doesn't really matter. We've had two of the worst weeks imaginable, and no resources to pull from to make it up. We need a miracle of Biblical proportions to keep the business going.

And I think about the foreclosure, and the fact that our house is up for sheriff's sale, but is not yet on the list. I wonder if this isn't God's timing. His plan. It all fits together a little too conveniently to pass it off as coincidence.

My mom told me yesterday that my dad's got an appointment with the heart specialist this week. That his PCP ran an EKG on him and must have a concern with the results. A few years ago he had a quadruple bypass, and he's an uncontrolled diabetic.

I wonder if God's not setting the stage for us to move back to Pennsylvania.

I trust Him. Whatever is coming, He's shown me in a very palpable way that He's in control.

Stepping out in faith is becoming a habit.


One More Day

....First thing I'd do is pray for time to crawl
I'd unplug the telephone, and keep the TV off
I'd hold you every second, say a million I Love You's
That's what I'd do, with one more day with you

One more day, One more time
One more sunset maybe I'd be satisfied
But then again; I know what it would do
Leave me wishing still, for one more day with you...

~One More Day, Diamond Rio

Jennifer at The Blue Sparrow shared how she's spend one more day with her little angel Bryston, and invited us to imagine the same.


"...Last night I had a crazy dream.
A wish was granted just for me, it could be for anything..."

I'm sound asleep, snuggled up next to my husband. The house is quiet. I'm dreaming about that last kick I heard. My daughter's last goodbye. Crying in my sleep, clutching my Leila Bear. And God speaks. "One day." My bladder is slowly lifting me to consciousness. I awaken, just enough to stumble to the bathroom. Crawl back into bed. Reach for Leila Bear. Reaching... what the heck?

Riffling through the blankets. Nothing. Getting more and more awake, more disturbed. Then I hear the rustle from the corner of the bedroom. A whimper. There's a big, boxy shadow over there that wasn't there before.

"Yasar!" I hiss. "What IS that?" He mumbles, rolls over in bed. The whimper again, then a more demanding cry. A hungry baby cry. I'm on my feet like a shot, mercilessly jostling my husband.

"It's her!" As soon as I realize, her little head pops into view. As if conjured by my words. She's so beautiful - sleep-tousled brunette curls, espresso eyes. Long lashes and pursed lips. Her chin starts to quiver out her need, but I've got her scooped into my arms before the next cry can be born. Pink footie pajamas. Soggy diaper. Scent of Balmex and Baby Wash. Letdown.

I bring Leila back into our bed. Begin nursing her. Filling up my eyes with her, my nose. Stroking that fine, soft hair. That ripe peach skin. Memorizing how her little cheeks work as she fills her tummy. We fall asleep, Leila nursing between Yasar and I.

I can't write this. It doesn't feel like truth. Ever since Leila's due date, I've put the "what if" thoughts away. I've never really imagined what she'd be like as a newborn, an infant. Someday I will receive the gift of seeing how she turned out. Until then, I really just prefer to be thankful to God that she's in heaven waiting for me.


Cottage Industry

What's been keeping me so busy lately?

Why, cheesecakes, of course!

You all know how hard these last few months have been for us. Between the economy, the cheap-o competition moving into town, bankruptcy, losing the house, losing Leila...wow, I'm really glad I'm not one of those people compelled to write an update letter to send with my Christmas cards!

Anyway, I prayed. I want to get this certain game for Andrew for Christmas. And, with no income to speak of, I was pulling my hair out, trying to figure out how.

As always, God provided.

When we built this house, my husband wanted to honor my creative side and spent $2300 on an almost-top of the live oven. And I spent about a year perfecting my cheesecake method.

(perfecting - that's funny. many times they still don't come out perfect!)

I threw it out there on Facebook, asking friends if they would be willing to purchase my cheesecakes.

That was about a week ago. Since then, I've sold 15 cheesecakes, and have another 10 orders behind it.

And I'm happy, you know?

It's so nice to feel like I'm doing something productive. I get up at 5am, plug my mp3 player in my ears, worship and talk to God. My kitchen is so much cleaner.

Of course, it makes it hard to stay on Weight Watchers. But I'm working on that.

So, that's why it's been so quiet here. If you're nosy (I sure am!) and on Facebook, you can look up my menu by searching for "cheesecakes by emily". Leave some input - what do you think would be a great cheesecake flavor? Or just leave a little note of encouragement. Those are always cherished. And while you're there, make me your friend. :)


The White Roses

All of the earth's Mothers were gathered at God's garden of flowers; those beautiful budding spirits who could someday come to earth were nurtured and tended in the Holy garden.

A Loving Father spoke to the Mothers of earth. "See the works of my hands. Someday you will be the mother's of these radiant spirits."

The Garden of God glowed with a mixture of all of the colors.

"Choose ye", He said.

Now in the East corner of the garden pure white roses stood as sentinels. They were not so colorful as the rest, but glowed with a kind of purity which set them apart.

One by One the Mothers stepped forward; "I want the blue eyes one, the curly haired one,
who will grow to maturity and be a mother in Zion."

Yet another chose a brown eyed brown haired boy, full of life and love that would someday be a prince in a grand country.

The Garden buzzed with excitement as the others with their own special spirits, those they would soon welcome into the warmth and love of an earthy home.

Once again, Heavenly Father spoke; "But who will take the White Roses, the ones in the east corner of my garden? These will return to me in purity and goodness. They will not stay long in your home for I must bring them back to my garden for they belong to me but they will gain bodies as planned. You will miss them and long for them but I will personally care for them."

"NO!,NOT I" many of the earthly Mothers said in unison. "I couldn’t bear to give one back so soon."

"Nor I" said other mothers. "We will take those who will remain and grow to maturity and live long lives."

The Heavenly Father looked out across the multitude of Mothers with longing in his eyes for someone to step forward.


Then Heavenly Father said; "See the most pure white and perfect of all the white ones? I chose him. He will go down and be a sacrifice for all mankind. He will be scorned, mocked and crucified. He is my OWN. Will not anyone choose like unto Him?"

A few mothers stepped forward, "Yes Lord I will"; then another as well. And then some in unison said "YES, we will." Soon all the pure white roses were taken and they rejoiced in the choice in their mothers.

Heavenly Father spoke again. "Oh blessed are you who chose the white roses. Your pain will be a Heavy Cross to bear but your joy will be exceeding, beyond anything you can understand at this time.

The white ones embraced their mothers and so full was their purity and love that it filled their souls with such excitement. Each mother knew they could endure the tasks. The GREATEST of all the white roses gathered them as a hen gathers her chicks and the outpouring of love surrounded each mother and child, consuming all the white ones and their mothers as he prepared them for their task.

Each mother who bore the weight of the white rose felt the overwhelming love of God as they all shouted"Thy Will be Done"

Thank you, Misty, for sharing this. It reminds me of an old miscarriage saying, "Budded on earth to bloom in Heaven". I'm so blessed to have been chosen for a white rose!


Walking With You - Thankful

Walking With You is an outreach of Sufficient Grace Ministries, led by Kelly Gerken. Walking With You is a group of mothers who have lost a baby or child who gather together each month to share our stories, to encourage, and pray for one another as we walk this path together. Our hope is that you will be comforted when you join us here...and maybe that we can offer some grace for the journey as we look to the Lord for comfort and strength.

This month we are focusing on our gratefulness for the gifts we were given and the ways our lives were changed by the lives of our babies. I know that many people are busy, so this can be as simple or in-depth as you wish. I hope you will link your own post with us, sharing ways that you are thankful. I do think that reflecting on gratefulness is very valuable...especially in the throes of grief. Grief is big and consuming. The simplicity of counting our blessings refocuses a grieving heart from the giants of pain, sorrow, and hopelessness to the hope, comfort, peace, and eventually joy that waits for us on the other side of the valley. The comfort that waits for us in the arms of our Savior.

  1. When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
    When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
    Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
    And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
    • Refrain:
      Count your blessings, name them one by one,
      Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
      Count your blessings, name them one by one,
      Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.
  2. Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
    Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
    Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
    And you will keep singing as the days go by.
  3. When you look at others with their lands and gold,
    Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
    Count your many blessings—wealth can never buy
    Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.
  4. So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
    Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
    Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
    Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.
~Count Your Blessings, Johnson Oatman Jr, 1897


I am thankful. As weird as those words taste to me, and probably sound to you, I am. I have been blessed in uncountable ways by my daughter's short life and Homecoming.

I have received comfort. From friends, from acquaintances. From perfect strangers. From God.

I have been richly gifted with new friends. My eyes have been opened to the value of the friends I'd already claimed. The support I've been given has sustained me, and held me upright through this process.

I'm so lucky it happened to me here. In Troy, Ohio. God put us in the perfect place to weather this storm. He surrounded us with caring people in the midst of our despair. He brought me to the one hospital with the one nurse with the ministry of photography and a heart for those tiny, tiny angels. He provided nurses who genuinely hurt for us, and weren't afraid to show it. An OB with a heart. When I look back at everything that happened, I cannot help but praise Him ~ He has well and truly provided.

I'm grateful this happened to me, not to someone I love. I am not strong enough to watch one of my friends go through this. That takes a special person. I'm so fortunate to have a few of those special people in my life. Too many others watch their friends fade away because they don't know how to bridge the gap after a loss like this. My friends are brave. They persevered. I am blessed beyond measure.

I'd been given hope where there had been none. I was resigned to infertility. Now I know it can happen. And, even better, God told me it will happen again.

I'm so thankful for the gift of my daughter. Leila Mae. I love her. Love to say that name. Right now, I have the memories, and when I die, I'll have her companionship. I guess that's a future gift, something to look forward to. A "Now and Later".

I've received the gift of experience. Knowing what this is like. Feeling it for myself. It's given me a depth of compassion I lacked.

And I've been given the opportunity to reach out to others going through this. How great is that!?!?

I Cor 1:3-4

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our troubles,
so that we can comfort those in any trouble
with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.


Missing Her

This week has been a stew of unproductive emotions.

Yesterday I cried over Leila. It's an unfamiliar feeling anymore.

I'm so envious of my friend, Melissa. Who had her adorable little boy two days ago.

I wonder why I was chosen for this burden.

Then I thank God I was chosen, instead of one of my friends.

It's better for me to go through the pain than to watch someone I love suffer.

Today a customer asked me if Andrew was my only child.

I said no, I have a little girl who waits for me in heaven.

I told the lady not to be uncomfortable with my answer. I'm okay. But I will never verbally disown my daughter again.

I'm so proud of that little girl! I know she's just like her big brother, and charming the socks off everyone in heaven.

I know she's adored. Because I adored her here, for the 19 weeks and 5 days I had her.

I still sleep with the teddy bear that holds her earthly remains every night.

I even had a Christmas tree ornament made, with her picture on it.

If I live to be 100, there will never be a day that I don't think about that precious face.

Those tiny toes. That sharp chin. Her button nose.

Losing her is the greatest tragedy of my life. She took a piece of my heart with her. I will not be complete until we're together again.

I live for that day.

"Heaven is the place where she takes my hand
And leads me to You,
And we both run into Your arms.

Oh God, I know, it’s so much more than I can dream.
It’s far beyond anything I can conceive.
So God, You know, I’m trusting You until I see
Heaven in the face of my little girl"
~SCC, Heaven is the Face


Today in Pictures

We voted...

And Andrew did my makeup this morning. Clearly, his future as a makeup artist is secure.


Beggar's Night 2009

Beggar's Night 2009...let the candy-collecting commence! Andrew (robot), posing with his friends Amanda (baby), Becca (vampire-girl), Elyssa (punkin), and Juli (a witch far too smiley to do any harm).
Hard to see in this picture, but people really enjoyed Andrew's costume...mostly the plug he's holding, which came out of the back. It got a lot of giggles. From me, too - total cost? $3.49 for spray paint!
Posing with the booty. Andrew would like to personally thank the considerate house who gave him a ColdEze cough drop - their concern for his health and well-being is touching (and thanks, Miss Christine, for being eagle-eyed and catching that before it went down the old gullet!)
And trading time. Andrew pawning off his chocolate for "the good stuff". Yes, my child doesn't like chocolate. One of these days, I'll get around to getting that maternity test....


My Hollywood Moment

Remember that movie, It Could Happen to You? Nicholas Cage as the good cop, Bridget Fonda as the penniless waitress?

All afternoon, Fonda's voice was chiming in my head....

"I just went bankrupt, right before I came to work."

Took me forever to figure out what movie it was.

Anyway. Today, that was my life.

I just went bankrupt, and then went to work.

It sucks. After 5 years of owning our business, to hear the trustee declare us asset-less. "No asset case". After 5 years, we didn't have anything worth liquidating.

Disturbing. Depressing.

My big Hollywood moment. Bridget, I can totally relate.


Mi Vida (not so) Loca

I wish I could think of something to blog about.

Lots going on, nothing notable enough for its own blog post.

The weather finally turned to autumn.

Not that I'm a huge fan or anything. Just sick of the vacillating.

I lost 3.4 lbs in my first week at Weight Watchers. Ho-hum. The last time I did WW, my first week's loss was in the neighborhood of 8 lbs. My body's doing some wonky things right now.

My friend in Arizona is about to have her baby, and it's hard to face it. So me, being the great friend that I am, I haven't been dealing with it.

Still family tensions.

Homeschool's going well. Andrew's enjoying the challenge of first grade curriculum.

Not pregnant.

Had another pizza restaurant open in town this week, causing some stress in Hubs. I jokingly say he's well on his way to his first MI. Ha, ha, (not so) funny.

All our plans for this weekend have been a wash, blame the weather and H1N1.

Reading The Thorn Birds for the eighty-gazillionth time.

I'm attending a Bible Study on Wednesday nights with a few other women, and I can't express how satisfying that it. There's something about women getting together in the Name of the Lord that always turns out amazing.

Making a new angel-baby blanket using Granny Squares. It's definitely experimental, but at the same time fun. And useful, for it's hard to snack while crocheting.

Just the dribs and drabs of my life. Hope yours is more interesting. Or not, depending how you like it.


Columbus Zoo 10/19/09

Loving the flamingos
@ Manatee Cove. I love this picture!

The leopard watching my child. If you look closely, you may see the drool coming out of his mouth....

Oh, SO hawt!!!


Weight Watchers Again...

I can't believe I'm back. What's this, the fifth time? You'd think I had it down by now.

Until that day the pregnancy test comes back positive, I want to be doing something positive.

Getting my body ready. Into top form - or at least as close as I can get. Ready to nurture life.

Here, just 5 hours into the program, I'm already noticing effects.

Like being tethered to the bathroom.

Drinking 40 gallons of water a day will do that to you.

So many things are the same. But the ones that are different from 2 years ago?

Since when do I have to pay an additional $13 for eTools? Wasn't that included before?

Makes me glad for Hungry Girl. And Dottie's Weight Loss Zone.

1 day down. 70 billion to go....



One for Leila, one for 8/2005 miscarriage, one for 6/2005 suspected miscarriage. Loving you, babies!



With every new hit, my nerves deaden.

Bankruptcy, foreclosure, Leila,

Family issues, marital issues,

I feel like it all piles on top of me.

Forcing me under.

Anybody got a shovel?

Before I lose all sense of feeling...


More Due Date Pictures

My friend Jaime launched a balloon to Leila, and to her little girl Sydney, filled with love from both of us. Thank you, sister. I love you!

And these are the shots Anita took. She has an overwhelming talent for reaching straight to the heart with her photography. I am truly blessed to call her friend.

Leila, you were well remembered here on earth yesterday. Probably nothing compared to the party in heaven, but we;ll take what we can. Miss you, beautiful girl.


The Due Date is Dun.

Leila's day.

I awoke to the smells of pepperbeef slowly cooking in the crockpot.

Showered. Got my early morning grocery run in.

Arranged the desserts. Loaded the boys and the food into the car.

Off to the hospital.

Met up with Julie at the door. She let us into the break room. Helped me plug in the crockpot and spread out the goodies.

She got paged to go catch a baby. That kind of hurt, thinking it could have been me. Should have been.

Had a chance to hug my new friend and fellow DBM D'Anna. The latest in this incredible support system that has sprung from UVMC for me.

Anita showed up with these beautiful mums. The kind that always remind me of grempop's garden. Pink, yellow, deepest scarlet.

And a gift.

It's called "Safe in the Arms of Jesus". And it made me cry.

Saw my nurse Darla, and introduced her to my daughter. Thanked her - without her, I wouldn't have that tiny urn that means so much to me. Hugs. More tears.

And bumped into Dr. Ocampo, still in her baby-catching gear. She remembered me (amazing, since this woman - no, this saint - has a huge clientele). More hugs and words of encouragement.

And we went off to the Healing Garden (which used to be the hospital courtyard) to take the pictures that Anita knew meant the world to me. Pictures of Andrew and Leila. And Yasar and his daughter.Afterward we had the pleasure of Anita and her husband Chuck's company at El Rancho Grande. We were there for hours, and yet it passed in a blink. God, thank you for bringing these amazing people into my life!

And then a visit from Christine. She brought this delicate little rose plant. Tiny pink roses. Just the same color I imagine Leila's lips to be.

The only thing I needed to make this day perfect would have been a hug from Nikki. But I expect to collect one of those soon. :)

God, you are soverign. You knew exactly who I would need in my life to get through this horrible time. I thank You so much for providing these, and so many others, who continually lift me up and help me walk. Who allow me to express myself without judgement. Who are always eager to assist in any way. I pray that you rain blessings on those people.

And I pray that You will help me pass Your blessing on to others. To help others walking this path, all the while pointing to You. You know who I have on my heart right now. I pray that you'll be with her and her husband, show her that, while this road sucks, it has moments of beauty and peace. That we can grow from this experience, and reflect Your love through our actions. And that, despite the pain of losing our babies, all things work together for Your purpose.



Getting Ready

It's almost time!

It's almost here!

Is it weird that I'm so excited about Leila's due date?

I've got happy plans. Not sad plans.

Like that book said, I'm turning "why?" into "what now?"

Andrew's helping me cook:

And we've been making lots of teeny, tiny baby blankets:

The MOD bracelets are here (look, Jennie! I'm repurposing your gift bag! It's perfect):

And I'm just praying that Lea's Angel Wings make it on time.

I've only really let my mind wander a little, imagining where we'd be if we hadn't lost her. More than likely, she'd already be here. I'd be tired, but so happy. Andrew would be the proud big brother, and Yasar would be falling in love all over again.

We're missing you, Leila. And we're so happy you're enjoying heaven. We'll see you soon!