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Happy shots

Sooooo, I lost my cell phone last week. Like: lost it-lost it. There was most likely what could have been clinically diagnosed as a panic attack involved. Also entered a great friend who wouldn’t leave me in that state, and did everything in her, and her 3 little monkey’s power to find it. People: I WENT through and physically touched, and gagged my way through our trashcans, fridge, laundry…it was not a repeatable experience. What made me the most distraught, aside from the fact it was found nowhere close to my path of travel that day, was I was so bloody upset. Over A STUPID phone. One that I realize rules my life much more than I am comfortable admitting. Do we realize how dependent we are on our phones? I couldn’t decide if I was more upset about losing  my 2048 high score or having to re enter contacts. By the way, that is the best game ever. It was not until we actually prayed, did we find it. Sounds so ridiculous, right? Well, I believe with my whole heart He cares about the small things too. And shows us love and comfort when we beg. And whine. And cry. Even over stupid phones. Now that she has been recovered in all her sparkly glory, I realized how many pictures were at stake. Of course I photograph the loves in my life, and more often, the funnies.

Since we all know I think in a perfectly logical fashion, completely organized, I will share with you random pieces of the last few months. You are welcome.

My middle baby getting his hair did.

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Since they discontinued the bottom left coolness, we went with this:

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While baby girl is discovering ???? Mama failed to correctly screw the lid onto the 20 pound costco sized coconut oil.  And she exploded. As in ALL OVER the kitchen. I tried to play it off like, ‘How fun! We have super shiny floors that we can potentially crack our heads open on! Yay!” And then I slipped and almost broke my groin.  Isn’t coconut oil supposed to be hard?

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This happened a few months ago, and I wasn’t sure if I should share…but let’s be honest, this is worthy. In our house, we have one child (un named) who is straight out of little rascals. Same one who dropped the worm down a girls shirt earlier this year. We typically handle these transgressions with apology letters and pictures to the victims. This was his finest work, and it took all of me to try and not control this thank you card situation. And, truthfully, I wanted to see if this girls parents had a sense of humor. I didn’t get called into the districts office, so let’s assume they laughed.

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Remember how I have headaches all.the.time? Chad does. My last venogram (sp?) showed the blood clot/ flow situation. See how the vein goes down the middle and makes a 90 degree turn to the right? Yah. It’s supposed to do that on the left side too.

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We took a wonderful vacay up north, to visit our sweet Andersen’s and spend some time with precious family/dear friends.

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Apparently Cows approach cars in the same way they do their friends. Taking a good whiff of the tail situation.


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Boys had the fantastic idea of fishing for trout in a manmade pond. They caught 8 of those suckers, and spent $100 to take them home and eat ’em for dinner. Only they tasted like poop. Next logical step was to set them out on the cliff for the birds. Not one seagull took the bait. (Remember these birds eat doritos bags for lunch).

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Bestests of Friends

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Brayden’s dream of visiting the Oakland A’s was realized, and he dropped em’ about 2 hours later. Haven’t seen green and yellow since.

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Park time with C and E. Sweetest kids! I miss my Kayte!

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IMG_1959Cheers!

 

 

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2 years

2 years ago this morning, we left CHOC with empty arms. Dark, broken, empty hearts. A blanket of sadness we fought to carry to the car, to pick up and share the news with our other babies. We made it through that day, the days that preceded and followed by God’s grace and mercy…His faithful presence and promises. The outpouring of love from our family and friends.  We clung to Him and each other in a way where I look back, and I honestly crave the depth of that dependence. On our Savior and eachother. I will never desire the circumstances that led us to that valley, but I look back and see a sliver of what Heaven must feel like. In step with our Lord, face down, worshipping God for the Holy, loving, God He is. Wholly trusting in His generous mercy by the second. Revisiting this day makes it feel like we just gave him his last bath, said goodbye, left that sterile cold room with some worthless trinkets. Voluntarily reliving the experience is something I deny myself far too many times. The dark desert of sadness is a place I fear going, I try to avoid as I never know how long I will be lost there. On some level I feel like in the moment of choosing to go ‘there’ I am choosing to forsake the many ways God has shown me His hand and the many good things that have brought Him much glory through it all. Don’t get me wrong, there are many times the loss crushes me without warning. But allowing myself to follow the trail that leads me to the memories of that day is opening a door into a place I am never sure I want to be left in.
So what am I doing today? I shipped my boys to school and did what south Orange County people do and went to the gym. Only to realize, of course, the class I intended to go to is tomorrow. Way to plan Michelle. The point in going was to avoid idle time. So, I sat down to write. Only to have two women sit next to me lamenting over shoulder surgery with the oh-my G**, and then talking about their church, to dropping f-bombs and ending the discussion with planning to ditch work one day and indulge in mimosa’s and pass out on a beach. Normally, I don’t judge. But when you claim church, the body of my Savior, or whatever church might mean to you, and then proceed to share that example…I struggle to not interrupt and tell you to shut it. It’s hard to see how God will use that. Oh…that’s right Michelle, 8 years ago, you were that hypocrite. And God used that wickedness and lack of respect to allow me to see the dirty rag of a sinner I was, and still am. So I prayed. And still judged. And then prayed.
Now, I plan on praying,  pretending to workout, going all crazy and getting a fancy coffee and if I play my cards right, maybe even shower. I will get my boys and head over to visit his grave, and probably sweat as its 90 something degrees today. Can you get it together California? I prefer 70, but can we stick with a happy medium?
I can’t help looking back at the past two years with joy, gratitude and peace. One year ago, God brought me through many complications, the threat of meningitis, 5 surgeries. I could not walk, didn’t know if ever would normally walk again. Running was a joke. Driving? Ya right. Readily accepted that was too much for God to do. I didn’t know if I would ever think clearly or be able to independently care for my children again.  Much like 2 years ago, I had no idea why God brought me there. I questioned if this was a gift or punishment, yet forcefully trusted that He had/ has plans. He chose me to take part in His plan, and as followers of Christ, isn’t that what we all pray for? ‘Use me! I am yours!’ I prayed that long before any of the trials rocked our boat. Looking back, I see the redemption He has given us, been kind enough to show us firsthand-to build our trust and look forward to the redemption He promises to give after death. He is the victor. Today, I rest in that. I praise God for giving me all you cherished family, friends, friends of friends, and people I do not know…to pray for us, love us, encourage us. You will never know how mightily God used you to help us walk this path faithfully, steadfast. He used you all to help us press on. We deeply love you. I want to encourage you all to give extra love to your babies-give them that chocolate bar. Put down your phone, computer, distraction and give them a cuddle. Search God’s Word for a promise, a new truth. He is ever faithful…oh is He faithful.

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Good grief

Christian would have been 2 years old on Thursday, 5/14. These last few weeks have been incredibly hard. Harder than last year. A year ago, my mind was altered, I had the chance to sleep all day. You know, do the things people long to do in times of depression and suffering. This time, I don’t have the bed sentence and IV narcotics to help me crawl through this season.

Grief is a different shade of black for everyone. Maybe you are a muted ashy black and you are grappling with the truth of loss, but you aren’t face down. Maybe you are a deep unmistakable black and are wishing life away.

I am in a charcoal black space right now. On good days, I can be light and fun. The dark moments, hours, and days are black. And I get angry. {if I am being honest}. Angry not at the why-because my head gets it. I can absorb the concept of God’s sovereignty…but why doesn’t my head and heart knowledge connect? Why aren’t God’s countless acts of mercy drowning out the sadness?

In the words of everyone who has lost someone meaningful in their life, death sucks. When I hear the term, ‘pass away’, I cringe. Such a peaceful way to help us quiet the reality of mortality. The loss of a loved one is emotional torture. My personal experience has been that God seems to sit quite a bit higher on His throne…His Word is much louder, my quiet times are much richer. While  I continue to brace myself from the pain, I can always look forward to His goodness. His sweet mercy, which is more precious than anything this world can offer.

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Wendy, Revelation, Gifts and Pics

She was shiny, and totally itchy. She fit the bill in desperate times when I had to dress up pretty. In the right light, she might have not been so noticeable. Unfortunately our relationship never graduated to ‘friend’…she lingered in the almost-friend stage. She hadn’t gotten with the program and weird hairs began going all different directions. It got awkward. Ultimately, the discomfort truthfully rested more in the fact it wasn’t me, or my hair. I kept reminding myself, even when I had locks, they were significantly altered by a little miracle liquid we will call—> bleach.  If I know you, we both know she wasn’t mine. And truthfully, I was exponentially more comfortable wearing the head wrap/ tuban/ scarf. (and I do). Many were kind enough to have smiled and said, “IT looks great!” If  I didn’t know you, it was easier to wear the wig and hide the situation under the elastic. Either way, if I think too long on it, I remember to be thankful I have had this struggle with vanity in the first place.

Our Pastor referenced a verse in Revelation a couple months ago. We were reminded:

Worthy are you, our Lord, our God to receive all glory, honor, and power, for you created all things and by your will they have existed and were created.” Rev. 4:11

Everything He has created and sustained are His to give….and take away. In this life, we have been given FAR more than we deserve. There have been a few things He has taken away, (as they are HIS), and in the taking away, we have been shown that they are still gifts. I don’t want to make it seem like I am holding onto things so loosely I don’t care if they are taken back…I am appreciating what I have been given understanding who holds the rightful ownership. Continue Reading

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Heavy heart

Thank you all for your concern, love and prayers. I feel stupid posting about my last week, when there are far more heartbreaking circumstances that have happened since last weekend. Our friend and brother in Christ was taken home suddenly last Saturday. He has a legacy and testimony that I know will continue to reach far beyond what he, his beautiful wife and new baby could ever fathom. He was and is such a special man, we feel honored to have called him friend.

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