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Friday, March 25, 2011


the word alone sounds empty. fractured. sad. i've been given the honor of joining the women that have held a baby in their womb for too short a time.  something i never understood or had true compassion for. throughout the years i would often hear of friends and family that had miscarriages and my heart would feel saddened for them, for about 48 hours, if that. my life took over again and rightfully so, that's why it's called "my" life....i'm not living someone elses, just my own.

and now i am comforted to truly comfort. i never realized how quickly a Mother's heart is born. it only takes a few weeks to fall in love. in my case 7.5 weeks. oh, i had such anticipation in waiting to tell friends and family and you, my blog friends. to share the news of our "Spring Blossom" as I had endearingly named it.  I was going to take pictures of the pregnancy test standing upright in the dirt next to my other spring shoots! "My newest perennial!"  my mind was spinning with creative "announcement" ideas.  "My Edelweiss!"i love me some JOY and what greater JOY-FULL thing!?  We decided to wait until I was 8 weeks to begin telling people. So that's not been easy, sharing the happy news now married to the sad.

You, my "blog friends" feel very real to me. perhaps that's just because i invest a lot of energy into my blog, so when you comment or show up on this site i feel your presence in a way. my mom asked me with disapproval in her voice if i'm going to put it on my blog. it wasn't disapprovaing on purpose, i just don't think in "her day" you would talk about this kind of thing with many others, let alone strangers. well, even today, it's not something you really hear others talking about. that's not so much me though.  it's part of our story now, part of my life and heart and that's why i write. i write to share our world, our days, my thoughts and ponderings.

it was a difficult week to say the least. physically i never knew the trauma that some women's bodies go through after delivering the unformed, unborn baby. i reacted quite similarly, (though much less intense), to when i delivered my 3 full term babies. what a shock it was to me. each miscarriage is as different as each woman's birth story it seems. emotionally, just such a mixture of all kinds of things; questions, feelings, thoughts: "Was it my fault?"  "Am I working too hard?"  "Did I do something to make this happen?"  All very normal questions to have.  All untrue. There are so many "wives tales" out there~~and the fact is that most of the time there is something inherently wrong with the baby and this is Nature's way of taking care of it, (over 500,000 miscarriages each YEAR in America alone).  And just because you had a miscarriage doesn't mean it will happen again. a new level of grace has now been burned into my emotional well. our bodies are not meant to let our babies go too soon, neither are our hearts.

Last Friday i awoke to light bleeding, cramps, back pain throughout the day and by the setting of the sun, no more baby. i knew the moment it passed from me.  and that was a sad realization, that we were no longer one.  our time together was over

part of me feels really silly even "mourning" this death at all. i've seen the deep valley that several of my friends have traveled, delivering stillborn babies or watching their full-term babies take their final breath in their arms.  this pales in comparison to say the least!! Losing a baby this soon is a form of God's grace on my life, I mean it. I cannot imagine the heart-wrenching, soul-shaking, physical beating that takes place when you hold your fully formed baby in your arms just long enough to whisper goodbye. it's just not right.

the boys were so excited and all questions when we told them about the new baby on it's way. and so when Jake told them that the baby had died it understandably made them sad. and in typical childlike fashion they spoke some words and on with life they ran. Luke, my 4 year old said, "Why did the baby have to die Mom? I guess we have to wait for God to give us another baby." And that about sums it up doesn't it?

"Will the dust praise You?
Will it proclaim Your faithfulness

Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me,
O Lord, be my help.
You turned my wailing into dancing,
removed my sackcloth and clothed me with JOY,
that my heart may sing to Youand not be silent.
O Lord my God,
I will give you thanks forever
Psalm 30: 9-12

This is the verse that was spoken to my soul. Our baby will never praise on this side of heaven, but WE CAN~~~WE WILL. We are left to proclaim His faithfulness NO MATTER WHAT. And that is all I can give my baby, a legacy of praise. As I said earlier, I have seen this as a gift of God's grace on our life, our home, our family. As odd as that sounds, that's what it is to me.

Death is a part of life. I do not judge God for the way things happen, to me or to others. He is worthy of praise just because He's worthy, not because of what He does or doesn't do for me,
for us,
for earth.

I do not belong here, it's my passing through place. And I'm ok with that. I don't know how long I'll have any of my babies, or how long they'll have me. However I want to know Him Who placed me here today. March, Twenty-Eleven. I want to travel the unknown with Him by my side. Even though the way feels lonely and dark at times, how much worse for my SPIRIT and SOUL to fall into loneliness and darkness too. But for the GRACE OF GOD there go I.
Tyler's hand-picked flowers for me.
And it's not about my own strength either. I'm over that. At least that's my hearts desire. To no longer have anything of ME to trust in. My thoughts, my ways, my ideas, my judgements, my life experiences. For goodness sake, I can't even LOVE Him without His inner strengthening.

"But I, BY YOUR GREAT MERCY, will come into Your house; in reverence will I bow down toward Your holy temple. Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies~~MAKE STRAIGHT YOUR WAY BEFORE ME."
Psalm 5:7-8

See, He does it all.

Please don't misunderstand this post. We are so sad and my heart is broken at what could have been. It's definitely been harder on me then Jake.  And that is common as well.  Men don't bond emotionally with the baby until later on.  Their everyday life isn't affected by a growing womb, nauseous mornings, name doodling and nursery plans.  However, if i can offer any encouragement to the four men that read this blog.....DON'T UNDERESTIMATE YOUR ABILITY TO CARE FOR YOUR WIFE EVEN WHEN YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND HER. 

Jake has been so beautiful to me despite his inability to really KNOW what's happening.  He arranged for me to have an in-home massage, he wrote me cards, kept the home in order, (as much as he knew how, bless him) and prayed for my heart.  He was/is such a comfort to me.  A refuge.  A hiding place. Reminds me of Someone Else i know.  However, I will say that one night he did put Paisley to bed without a diaper on.....a sign that he was in over his head a bit!  Oh, it was a funny moment Sunday morning when he found her just as sweet as ever in a drenched nightie and bedding!  You know, the stinky, soaking morning pee?   She didn't even cry through the night or anything.  Bless her dear soaked heart.  He graciously laundered the bedding and we had a good laugh about it!  

 It's NOT easy to trust the uncontrollable happenings in this life. I'm not trying to make it sound like it is. I'm just not sure what other options I have....or want. If He has my life, then He has ALL MY LIFE. "'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home."

And so I go back to the "yearly theme word" for me. To GAZE upon Him, upon His grace taking on different shapes and forms and colors then I had ever imagined or desired. It's an adventure. It's a pilgrim's progress. In my post from this January about a yearly theme word I wrote, "There is a deep soul work that wants to bury down into me and I want to embrace that wholeheartedly, whatever it may look like. Easy to type out, hard to work out." More true today, then ever.
"Lord, help me this day to draw strength
from all that comes to me."
~unknown author~

A special THANK YOU to our family and friends for their VISIBLE support this past week. Flowers,(pictured above), meals, phone calls, cards, coffee drop offs, texts, chocolate covered strawberries, emails, caring for our children, praying for us, giving us space and time, keeping us near your mind.  We literally FELT your love.   I know it takes time to show you care and we have been humbled by your kindness toward our life and home! 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Today my little boy turns FOUR!

This is what greeted him when he woke up this morning and came down the stairs in his "zippy nightie", all squinty eyed from a goods night sleep. What a beautiful and unique addition he's been to our family.

*He balances us.
*He grounds Tyler and brings a security to him, (even though they can seriously fight too).
*He is so sweet to Paisley and loves to be in charge of her.
*He is silly and likes to say gross words to make Tyler laugh, (i.e. fart, poop, boogie).

*His favorite game is Uno and he is VERY good.
*He likes to drink "refreshing water" and I will often find him in the kitchen putting ice into a tall glass with some water. "Just needed some refreshing water Mom." *He said to me last month "I love you 5 days Mom!" and "I love you 15 500 Mom!"
*He loves to "do school" and will be the first one at the school table with his books open and ready. Such a willing learner. He writes his name perfectly and will start over if something goes off.
*He likes to dress handsome, "not all the way handsome like at Tom and Becky's wedding.", (which means he'll wear everything but the newsboy hat)!
*He still sleeps with his "puppy" that was given to him when he was born.
*He does things right the first time. He doesn't need to be asked twice to do something.
*He doesn't like to have sticky fingers. He is very textile and will dry his hands off for a long time after his bath. Likes his shirts just right, his socks lined up, his shoes to fit correctly and all else in line.
*He is happiest when he is helping. *He is a loud sleeper...always has been. Makes all kinds of noises at night, even singing in his sleep sometimes.
*He loves to play his "gar", (guitar) and has great rhythm.
*His favorite person is his Dad, but Grammie is a close second. *He is very sensitive to those around him, their needs.
*He wants to be heard, (typical second born)! We still work through him screaming to get Tyler's attention, (but if we're being honest here I scream too sometimes to get Tyler's attention. He's a typical firstborn, off in imagination land)!

Luke, we love you so much.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Giveaway Winner

Good Spring Morning Friends~~
just a very quick visit today
to announce the winner of our
All those lovely comments warmed my heart right up
and made me want to get my hands in the dirt,
my laundry on the line
and my face in the sun!!
As chosen by, #82 is our winner,

Thanks again to everyone who took the time to enter!

First a howling blizzard woke us,
Then the rain came down to soak us,
And now before the eye can focus - Crocus.
~Lilja Rogers~

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

SpRiNg GiVeAwAy!!

five days!!!!! FIVE DAYS!!

I just couldn't help myself. During the past few months as I've been out and about I've picked up some little dandies! This giveaway is for no other purpose then to say, (SHOUT) that



box o' spring!

my newest favorite cleaner.
smells so good. cleans even better.

because every woman could use
a little polka dot glam when cleaning.

so you can assure your husband, (if you're married)
that you did not move his screwdriver somewhere
because alas, you have your own pair of PINK ones!
the cutest napkins.

"thanks a latte" and some of the others say
"thank you very mocha"~seriously!? too cute!

these darlings were just too sweet to pass up.
and they smell so pretty too.
practical beauty can't be beat.

take a break
and eat chocolate.
from Europe!

*wooden box and lemons not included in giveaway!*

Leave a comment with your
favorite thing to do when
it finally gets warm outside

If you want to enter twice you can:

*click "like" on the facebook sidebar and add another comment telling me you did so.

*Share this giveaway on your blog and leave a comment telling me you did so.
And of course I'll pick the winner on the

"It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is.
And when you've got it, you want -
oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want,
but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!"

~Mark Twain~

Thursday, March 10, 2011

a letter

Recently I sent a letter to a friend.
I wanted to share bits of it with you because even as I was writing it, I felt I understood myself just a little more.
"As far as I'm concerned one can never have too much stationery, (another weakness of mine along with aprons, dishes and various chapsticks)! I hope and say a prayer that this little package finds you fulfilled and focused. Not on all that must be done in caring for your home, husband and children~instead on the inner workings of your womanhood and spirit man.

We are so much more then wives and Mothers, (although I question that many days). I long for fulfillment through and what I do AND in who I am. And I know that I, (we) are not alone in that desire. How comforting to know that we are not the first or the last to trudge, (as it were) through this life!
Motherhood is no easy task, (but I don't have to tell you that). I'm not out to pretend it is. There are days I yell and pinch too much and just generally act a fool....and then there are sunshine days that I thank God for. Yet, it's on the difficult days, (or weeks) that I want to know His nearness, care and compassion for me. I CANNOT DO THIS IN MY OWN STRENGTH. I don't want to be strong or brave or a "good Mom" because those things are really accomplished through my own doings....and quite frankly I'm tried of me!!

And so, let us fall to our knees at our kitchen sinks
and cry out for Sweet Grace, mercy and Truth to FILL US ANEW!
"Your mercy and loving-kindness , O Lord,
endure forever~forsake not the work of Your own hands,
(um, that would be me)!!
Psalm 138:8

All my love dear friend,

The realization of my need for Jesus is increased on a daily basis
. And it's not because I've been sitting in His presence with His peace and stillness rushing over me. It's in the DAILYNESS OF LIFE that I am seeing how pathetic I am IN AND OF MYSELF. And this is not something I say to put myself down or make myself feel like I am a victim of Motherhood. On the contrary, it's a TRUTH that seems to be burrowing itself deeper as the children grow and the demands, at times, SEEM greater then I can possibly handle.

I'm reminded of a hymn
that I use to listen to my Mother sing as a young girl, watching tears stream down her face. Seated on the hard, oak colored pew in the little Mennonite church on a Sunday morning. Fidgety and five.

"Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
for I am thy God, I will still give thee aid;
I'll strengthen thee, help thee and cause thee to stand,
upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand,
upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand."
~How Firm a Foundation~

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Anthropologie Eye Candy

On a random Monday in February I had the most extraordinary day.
My sister invited me, along with two of her friends, to a shopping trip near Philadelphia. It's probably thirty minutes from Philly, but that's the closest big city.

Our first stop was to a store called Antropologie. It was I've heard of this store from many of my friends, but had never been there myself. THIS is what greeted us as we walked in the massive 15 foot doors.

made of zippers and some sort of heavy paper! CrEaTiViTy AbOuNdS in this place and I was totally in my element taking it all in! A wonderful mix of vintage, eclectic, ruffles, steel and beauty!

the jewelry display was inspiring.
I'd like to somehow create this for my own beads & baubles.
The kitchen displays

They write your name on the dressing room door when you try things on.
loves it.

the details on this apron were GREAT.
I'd like to reproduce it, (but alas I do not sew).

and this one too.
My purchase of the day~~a flower rimmed hat with a darling bow in the back. I don't have a close-up picture of it yet, but it will probably make many appearance for the next several years in various pictures. It's versatile, (my favorite type of investments). Beach~Garden~Date night~Bad hair day~Easter~Weddings~just because.

I tried to be all "Anthro" looking when I dressed that day:
purple dress*tall boots*yellow bag*dangly bracelet.

THE creative, unique, lovely displays~~eye candy!
If there weren't people around I would have totally played "pretend house" here.
I really wanted to.

SERIOUSLY? Doily headboard? LOVE!

This next picture is from Pottery Barn~I liked everything about this shot.
Summer entertaining at it's best.

Of all the things you wear,
your expression
is the most important.

~Janet Lane~

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Barn Sale memories

Last year was our 3rd Annual Barn Sale.
In keeping with tradition, I'm posting the pictures now to prepare us all for the long awaited garage sale season which is right around the corner! Well, it's "long awaited" for me anyway. The treasures that wait for me on a crisp Spring/Summer Saturday morning are enough to get me out the door at 6am!
And a favorite *event* of the year for me~our annual Barn Sale Extravaganza!! I've already started a pile of things to get rid of this year! I take my barn sales very seriously.

I'm weird.
The advertisements~the displays~the friendly "service"~the quality junk(haha)

The "gates" don't open until 4pm.
Again, I'm weird like that.
Here's my reasoning: So I've found the "perfect sale" to attend. It starts at 8am so I arrive at 7:30am just to be one of the first to get to the "goods". However upon my arrival there are 5 women LEAVING the sale with armloads of the "best". If you wanted the sale to start at 7:30 then put 7:30 in the ad.

I think it's only FAIR to start when you say you will so that everyone who is planning on coming knows that they can get there then and the "best" hasn't been previously rummaged through since 7am and if that wasn't a run-on sentence I don't know what is! And this would have been the case last year had I allowed every person that stopped by before 4pm to shop to their hearts content. Including and not limited to the dear Amish woman who pulled her buggy into my driveway at 6:30 am and was looking through my boxes with a flashlight!! Have you ever been woken up by the "neigh" of a horse? That was my first time too!! And boy oh boy, don't cross a deal-findin'-woman either. When I would graciously tell some of the people that I wouldn't let them in until it starts @ 4pm you'd think I just told them that I saw their husband on a date with another woman! So, call it controlling, I call it "crowd management"!! HAHAHA! Actually, I don't know what I call it;
desperate entertainment perhaps!!? The 4pm stampede!

Last year there were 9 women participating.
trying to keep the money straight! TOO MUCH for all involved. So this year we're trying something different.
We are going to have spaces available for a fee if you'd like to bring some things to sell. Included in that fee will be:
1.) heavy advertisement.
2.) a table and chair set up for you upon arrival.
3.) coffee and light snacks
4.) an apron to set you apart as the "seller".

The yard, (see below) will be lined with up to 15 tables so it may turn into more of a flea market feel actually.
It will be a "BUY AS YOU GO" system. I'm excited to see how it turns out! THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE THROUGH HERE IN ONE WEEKEND so hopefully each seller with leave with a good chunk of money if you have nice things priced well. And as I mentioned before It will be heavily advertised.
If you're interested in participating please contact me @JJ9702@JUNO.COM and I'd be happy to send you some more information!
MAY 6TH-7TH, 2011
And just for kicks here are the links to the last 2 years:



"My mom was a garage sale person, save money.
Come on in to the garage sale, you might find a shirt.
She'd get in that garage sale and point stuff out to you.
There's a good fork for a nickel. Yeah, that's beautiful.
It's a little high. If it were three cents I'd snap it up."
~ Louie Anderson~