Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Losing Something Precious



That moment of excitement....your having a baby....it overflows and the joy spills out of your heart and is splattered all over your face in a HUGE smile that just wont go away.

There is a spring in your step, and everything that was once second nature to you(grabbing a coffee, eating spicy food) is now a question in your mind as to how it will affect the precious little peanut you are carrying inside of you.

You and your husband lay away, late into the night, dreaming of your future, sharing your fears, and trying to come up with the perfect name that your child will grow old with.

You contemplate when to share your big news and who should know first...you start the multiple baby lists, you know the ones...baby names, wish lists for the nursery, cloth or disposable diapers, nurse or bottle feed, what will you need at the hospital.....and the lists go on and on.

They are your dreams being put to paper.

Then your heart stops, and your hope for the future is torn from you with one word.

"miscarriage"

You sit in the doctors office trying to compose yourself, as he explains that your child is gone forever.

It takes awhile for the reality to sink in, that all the plans you made, all the list you wrote with so much hope, are never going to be fulfilled. The pain you feel is so much more then the actual physical pain of going through a miscarriage.

For me, the emptiness of no longer being pregnant was the worst. and before you say, you were only "X" amount of weeks along, you couldn't "feel" pregnant, you couldn't be more wrong. From the moment you see the lines, you feel pregnant. You may not have the baby bump, and you may not be far enough along to feel the "flutter" of life inside of you, but you are pregnant, and your body and hormones have reacted accordingly.

The grief you have when losing a child to miscarriage can be overwhelming, especially if you are going through it with just you and your spouse. For me, I only told a few people, mostly because the responses I received from non family members were harsh, and un-suportive. I am not saying that they meant it to be that way, but they did not know what to say, and therefore ended up saying things like....

"You can always have another one"

"At least it was an early miscarriage"....because that makes it better some how?

"God must have know something was going to be wrong with it"......This is the WORST thing you can say to someone walking through the grief of a miscarriage.

"a lot of people miscarry, don't let it upset you".....true, a lot of women do miscarry, but I am not them, and I am grieving for the child that I lost.

Please,please, please.....if you have a friend or family member going through this, please don't tell her or her husband any of those sayings...even if you are trying to help, it does more damage then you will ever know.

Instead of saying words that may hurt them, ask them how they are, if you can do anything for them, would they like to talk about it. Offer a shoulder to cry on, and a place  (with no judgment) to talk about how they feel.Treat their loss like you would any other loss, not only are they losing the baby that they were carrying, they are losing all their dreams as well. They are losing the chance to carry their child to term, to feel the baby kick. They are losing the labor and delivery, and that moment where everything goes quiet, and they can hear their child cry for the 1st time. But most of all they are losing the chance to hold and love on, to kiss and to watch their child grow into an adult. They are losing a whole lifetime with their child, and it hurts.

It hurts so much that the thought of having another child and the possibility that it could end the same way, can be to much for them. They may never again try, for fear that they will have to walk down that road again.

Be gentle with their hearts, for they are so fragile.

It seems that miscarriage is a taboo subject, one that people wish could be swept under a rug and never brought out again. but it cant be. It needs to be discussed, and it needs to be a subject, that while it may be uncomfortable, that needs to be addressed. The only way we will be able to make this happen, is if we, people who have gone through this before, start speaking about it. We need to share our grief with others and not hide it away, as if it is something to be ashamed about.

It has taken me a long time, to get to the point where I am "OK"  with talking about my miscarriages, It is never easy, but it is something that I have walked through, and if someone who has going through it for the 1st time, needs comfort and friendship, then I will open up about my pain, in an effort to help them through theirs 

I struggled with making sense of the fact that I had lost my child to miscarriage....I thought for the longest time there was something wrong with me...I blamed myself for not being able to carry our children to term. We walked this journey four times, and each time I was shocked at the grief that overpowered me.I though that having already had one, I would know what to expect...but I didn't. My grief was different, and yet the same all at once, for each one.


We were blessed with a beautiful daughter before our1st miscarriage, and she has truly been a blessing to us and our family. Being pregnant with her and feeling her little kicks and hiccups have been one of the greatest things I have ever had the privileged of being a part of. However it was not smooth sailing. We almost lost her multiple times, and I was put on bed rest in an effort to get me to full term. She on the other hand, wanted to come as soon as she could, so at 6 1/2 weeks before my due date Olivia made her appearance at 4 lbs 15oz, and has been a joy to us ever since. She is truly our miracle baby, as we were told the night before she was born, to "not expect her to live through the delivery" and if she did, she "would be in the NICU for months."

Gods timing however is perfect, and our baby girl came home 3 days after she was born, small to be sure, but perfect in every other way.

Throughout the grief we went though, I have often looked back to her birth and thanked God for blessing us with her. Not only was I given a beautiful little girl, I was given a reminder that Gods timing is perfect, and while this is not the road we would have chosen to walk, it is the one God has given us, and His hand has been on our lives, bringing us closer, this whole time.

What we went through was not a surprise to God, and He gave us what we needed to come out of our grief and find peace.

For those of you in the midst of this storm...trust in Him, He knows exactly where you are, and what you are going through. That longing in your heart will start to heal, and your heart will be stronger. Open up to those around you, and express your thoughts and needs. People will want to help you, but may not know how. Let them be a blessing to you and your family. And most importantly, do not blame yourself, this did not happen because of anything you did, or did not do. We may never know the"Why" surrounding a miscarriage, but we do know that our steps are ordered by the Lord, and that he will never leave us or forsake us. Put your trust in Him, and He will lead you through this storm.















A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
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Friday, March 25, 2016

Focusing on His LOVE this Easter


Just a quick "how do you do" before our crazy weekend starts!

I cant believe that it is already Good Friday, Easter is only a few days away! Where has the last few months gone. We have been crazy busy getting Olivia ready for her Spotlight On Ice, all the while trying to prepare both Olivia and Dallas (mostly my hubby) for our Church's Easter Drama! and While I am excited to see how it will unfold, I am honestly looking forward to having a few Saturdays where there is nothing expected of us, and we can relax and recoup as a family.

With all this going on, I have had to STOP, and remind myself that Easter is not about a Bunny, candy, gifts, or even an Easter Drama...it is about the resurrection of our Lord, and instead of trying to do it all and go crazy while attempting to juggle so many things at once, what we should be focusing on is What His death and Resurrection means to us personally.



Think about it.....He LOVED us so much, that He died for us, so that we could be saved.

That is what I want to focus on this Easter.


His LOVE.

So if you are running around feeling frazzled and are too busy to enjoy this time with your family...Stop, take a deep breath, and remember what this weekend is all about.

Don't worry about trying to make the perfect Easter basket (your kids will Love whatever you get them), Focus your time and energy on your family and celebrating the Love that God has for you and them. Show your children that the gift Jesus gave us by dying on the cross, is so much more important the the gift they will be receiving in a basket.

I am not against Easter Baskets ( we give one to our daughter every year), but this year we are focusing more on the reason behind  Easter, then the Easter Bunny :)

I know that finding peace and rest in the middle of a hectic weekend, can seem very hard to do, especially when it is during a holiday, and more often then not, you are surrounded by more then just your family. When you feel overwhelmed....take a deep breath, say a quick prayer for peace, and remember who LOVES you :)

Hope everyone has a WONDERFUL Easter Weekend!

If you are local, you are welcome to come to our Easter Drama at 10am and 6pm!









Sunday, March 20, 2016

A day in Spotlight!

It has been a LOOOOONG, but fun filled weekend. It was Spotlight on Ice 2016, and Olivia was a Lost Boy in Peter Pan! To say that we are tired (especially little miss)  would be an understatement.....We are EXHAUSTED!!

But it was so worth it.

At first, I will admit, that we were a little reluctant, due to everything going on, and our family getting so sick during practice times, but all in all it was worth it. Olivia had a great time, and we were able to see some GREAT skaters (seriously SFSC has some of the best ice skaters around) in numbers like Cinderella, Peter Pan, and Calamity Jane, to name a few!

We didn't take that many pictures, as my husband was backstage and I was going back and forth with Olivia to get her on and off the ice at the right time.  But we did snap a few, and thankfully our friends snapped some photos as well :)





Olivia was especially excited to get a picture with the guest skater Ryan Bradley!! 


Olivia as a lost boy in Peter Pan








Olivia as a lost boy

Not the best picture, but Cinderellas Coach was AWESOME!!

Cutest miners ever!

Erin Hart as Mrs. Darling in Peter Pan...She did a wonderful job!


Me and my goofball hanging out before todays show


Olivia with the flowers her Daddy got for her :)

My hubby backstage, hanging out with the horses from Calamity Jane

Love this girl:)

Opening number

Peter Pan


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Whats in our Easter Baskets!

Its almost Easter (how on earth did that happen?) and if you are anything like me...you still haven't bought much of anything for the Easter basket!

I literally have one thing bought for my daughter for this year. we are not big on all the candy that usually gets put into an Easter basket, and we lean more towards books she likes, DVDs, a special doll or something else that she has asked for. we do NOT spend a lot of money on her Easter Basket, as we do not want her to expect something huge ever Easter...Easter is about the resurrection of our Lord, and we want to keep the main focus on Him, not how many gifts, or how expensive a basket she was given. I am not opposed to others doing that, since we are free to choose what is best for our own family's, but this works best for us :)

Following are some of the ideas we have (and may buy) for our little miss for this Easters basket:)

We did buy this for Olivia's basket, and cant wait for it to get here!(this is the one thing I have so far)


I am always on the lookout for GREAT family movies, at a GREAT price...this fits both criteria!


We own this one already, but they are both such great movies that I thought I would post it as well..and its at an all time low price!


 I am HUGE on giving books for gifts, and every Easter I debate on if I should give her one book, or just fill the whole basket with books and nothing else :) she loves the adventures in the Thea Stilton Books and this one, or one like it will be making its way into her basket!
 



My daughter Loves these Ty Babies stuffed animals....there is no better way yo cheer her up then to surprise her with one of these...they are inexpensive and bring a smile to her face, Instead of a HUGE bunny that she will play with for one day, we usually get her one of these for her basket, we know that she will Love it and it will be played with all the time!


We also do not do the HUGE chocolate bunny...we have in the past, but she never ate it all, and we ended up wasting the money on something that ended up in the trash...we now do a small bunny, and we then pick out her favorite candy and put it in her basket, she loves that she gets her favorite candy, and we don't feel bad for buying something, that will most likely get thrown away.

:) 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Learning to listen to God....and my Husband

This week has been very hectic....between my daughter being sick, my Oil Business,and trying to spring clean, I feel like I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off.

This week probably wasn't the best week for me to start spring cleaning, but....since I was off work (daycare) due to my daughter being sick, I thought"why not" get started!

So early tuesday morning as my hubby was leaving for work, I decided to "change" our bedroom.

Please tell me that I am not the only one that has these hair brained ideas...you know the ones that sound so great until you actually get into the middle of it, but then it is too late to turn around!

Yeah, I had one of THOSE ideas!!!

Halfway into rearranging my room, I realized that I didn't feel that great and I wanted to stop, unfortunately the mess I had created "cleaning and reorganizing", now had spread from the bedroom to the hallway, kitchen, and the living room.......It was not pretty!

And my hubby was going to be home for lunch in just a few minutes....

Now my hubby doesn't care if he walks into the house and it is a mess....but since he had suggested the night before that I wait till he got home and he would help me, I felt like I should at least make an attempt to prove that I could do it alone..

Which I couldn't!

As I sat and stared at the mess I had made, I got to thinking about why my hubby had wanted me to wait...

1st of all, I wasn't strong enough to move the furniture by myself without getting hurt...

2nd, if we did it together, it wouldn't take so long..

and 3rd, he knew that I would get overwhelmed doing it by myself, and that I would want to quit.


My hubby sure knows me and what is best for me.....even if sometimes I think I know whats best and therefore go ahead with my own plans, ignoring his suggestions and wisdom.

I was reminded quite recently by a dear friend who wants nothing but the best for me, that I was not allowing my hubby to lead me, and I was not standing behind him and his decisions. Because of that conversation, I have been searching MY heart and asking for direction in regards to that very issue, and after much thought and prayer, this post was created :)

Isn't it amazing that God would put men into our life that would know what is best for us, and who would lead and guide us.

Kind of like, what I believe God does for us, his children. 

There have been many times that I see a problem that I know I need to pray about, and give it over to God, but I "know" I can take care of it myself.

How many times have I sat up late in to the night, trying to figure out a problem and and working out things in my mind, that "may" help us.

Way to many times to count....

If I would just stop....and listen to what God is trying to tell or show me,in the long run, I would be better off,not only spiritually, but also physically ( we all know that worrying leads to stress, and being over stressed can take its toll on our bodies)

 I need to remember that.....

1st.......some situations I am NOT strong enough to face alone, and when I try to...I will end up hurting myself and possibly those around me.

2nd.....If I let God work and rest in His Peace, then I wouldn't be spending Hours (OK sometimes it is days and weeks), trying to figure out how to take care of it on my own, he would take care of it in His perfect time.

3rd....If I stopped and took a step back, and turned the situation and our needs over to God, I wouldn't get overwhelmed and want to give up half way through, because I wouldn't be in trying to figure it out on my own.

God wants what is best for us, and by following his prompting and guidance, we are opening out heart and our lives up, for God to work with us and through us, to accomplish something greater then we could ever have hoped to achieve doing it on our own.

God knew that I (speaking for myself here), would need this in my personal life as well...that is why He gave me someone who will look at my crazy ideas, assess them and make suggestions accordingly to what I need.

God gave our husbands wisdom to lead us, and it is our duty to follow and listen to their guidance (even if sometimes it seems like we have the better idea, and we may have, but we still need to defer  to them as the head of our house), just as our husbands listen to and receive guidance from God on how to lead our families,and be the head of our homes.

God gave us husbands who want the best not only for us, but for our whole family as well...it is their job to protect us, even if what we need protection from is our own crazy hair brained ideas :)

I know that this will not be the last of my crazy ideas, (who are we kidding.....I am human after all) and I am sure that God will remind me (again) why my hubby asked me not to do something.Not because my husband wants me to do EVERYTHING his way, but because he is responsible for me and my well being, and also because he knows that I am a little crazy, and I like to think that I can handle anything that life throws at me, when in reality, I need my husband to help me with all the crazy things I do :)

I am just as sure, that I will be gently reminded that I need to give everything over to God, That he has my best interest at heart, and He will guide, protect, and lead me, in any and all situations that I may face.and while the timing may not be "my time" or the answer may not be what "I wanted", I can rest knowing that His timing is perfect in all things, and His answers will lead me down the path that He has chosen for my (and my family's) life.

 I need to be more open to listening to God and to the Man He gave me! This is not something I will overcome today (or tomorrow), it is something that I will need to work on daily, and I know that there will be times that I fail...and that's OK...because no matter how stressed out I get over situations I can't control, or how overwhelmed I get doing a project that I should have waited on, there will always be whispered reminders from God, and a helping hand from my husband to help me get to where I need to be :)




A Wise Woman Builds Her Home










   

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

A New Season



 Ever feel like you have given everything and it is still just NOT enough?

We have all been here....when you feel like you have given everything that you have to offer, and yet you don't feel like its enough!

I have been struggling with this very problem recently.

I give of my time and still feel like I should have given more.

I put my family and friends first, but then feel guilty if I need to do something for myself.

I feel like I should constantly be giving, doing, or making something.....AT ALL TIMES!

I don't feel like I do enough, and that if  I fill my time doing something for my family, it will show them how much I love them...that's my love language...time...and I want to give it to them :) they are my world, and I love them.

I also have a hard time saying "No"....uggggh I hate that word...I want to make people happy and if me saying "yes" to "one extra thing" will do that, then that's what I do...and usually its not that one extra thing that throws me for a curve....its all the "one extra things" that have started to add up.

My hubby bought me a bigger calendar for Christmas because I was running out of space on the last one. It has truly been a lifesaver, as long as I write everything down (yes, I do forget sometimes, but I'm getting better) I am able to keep all my appointments. my schedule is still crazy, but it gives me a ton more space to write everything in.

It has taken me a long time (OK...I'm still working on this) to realize that I cant keep giving everything to everyone around me. I need to carve out some "me" time.

Time to rejuvenate, time to rest, and time to breathe, time for me, to just be me.

And while I know I need to do this, more often then not, I end up saying yes to more things then I can handle, I overstretch myself, and all the things I wanted to do, while they do get done, are done in a mad scramble and I am left exhausted and looking for a place to hide.

A few weeks ago, after my mother passed, ( how can it still seem like yesterday and forever ago, all at the same time) I hit rock bottom. I was unable to sleep more then 2-3 hours a night and would be awake all day. I didn't leave the house. unless my dear husband made me, and all I did was sit and watch Netflix...It wasn't a pretty sight.

I was exhausted, worn and heartbroken....and on top of all that, I felt GUILTY.

I felt Guilty that I couldn't get out and have fun with my family, that I had to say the dreaded "no" word to people, that I was missing church, not because I was mad at God, but because I just couldn't go. I had already been through this with my father, and going out into a world where both my parents were gone, was just to much for me.

My heart just couldn't handle it.

With all this going on, its no wonder that my body was reacting the way it was.I started researching all my symptoms ( I know, not the best thing in the world to do), and after talking to friends I came to the conclusion that my body may need a reset. which sounds so much easier to do then it actually is to do.

Sleeping and resting for 4 straight days sounds so heavenly....however for me It sounded like the most IMPOSSIBLE thing in the world.

Olivia had school, we were starting 2 homeschooling Co-ops that week, and we had revival at church.

So...... in other words, it wasn't going to happen anytime soon..I actually got my beloved calendar out and looked for when I had 4 days free and there was no time to schedule a rest.

Kind of sad now that I think about it....my schedule is so full that I cant find time to rest.

Thankfully God had other plans!

I started getting sick on a Wednesday night after church and I got a horrid flu bug and spent the rest of the week snuggled in my bed sleeping. I ran a fever most of the time and everything was put on hold.

My family took care of me while I slept, and while I wasn't sitting on a beach reading a book, I was resting, and my body was in the process of re-setting itself.

I have never been so thankful to get the flu as I was then. The flu was horrible, but being able to reset and being able to sleep though the night now, was worth it.

It has also taught me something important about myself and my body....I HAVE to rest...I HAVE to sleep at least 8 hours a night or I will fall back into the same pattern as before.  And most importantly I HAVE to learn to say "no" and not feel guilty about it.

I may not be able to make everything that I am asked to. I may not be able to take on new projects and there may be days where I may not be able to make it to an actual church service.....and while it has taken me a long time to come to this conclusion.....that is OK!

I am not condoning giving up on Church...I strongly believe that we need church in our life. It is where we go to worship and be renewed. It is a place to be surrounded by those who believe like you and who will lift you up when you need it the most. Going to Church is not a part of our "religion", it is a part of who we are.There is nothing like walking in to church after a stressful day/week, and just feeling the Peace of God sweep over you. It is life changing....and something I hope everyone experiences.

What I am talking about, is if you are so weary, in body and in spirit, that the thought of leaving your house causes  more distress, you shouldn't feel guilty about not being able to go. Turn off the electronics, put on some worship music, grab your Bible and find a place to reconnect and strengthen yourself both physically and spiritually. Church is Awesome and if you can be there, that is great, but if you cant, remember that God is EVERYWHERE, and that He WILL meet you wherever you need Him.

When my body is rested my whole life takes on a different out look, one that I LOVE! I love waking up feeling rested and ready to face the world with a smile. I LOVE being able to spend time with my family without the feeling that I am taking time away from something I have committed to do.
I LOVE being able to relax and rest without my schedule screaming at me that I have "50 things left to do and I am running behind.......again"

After much thought and prayer, I feel like God is pulling me into a "season of rest," and to be honest I am looking forward to it.

This doesn't mean that I will stop doing everything, and I will still help when I can, but it does mean that for this season in my life, I am going to be focusing on my family/friends, my health, church, and finding Rest in Gods perfect Peace. I will be taking careful consideration on everything that I put in my calendar and asking myself some tough questions.

Does this  bring me closer to God and my Family?

Will it cause unneeded stress on my part?

Is it going to take me away from what my priorities are?

These are just a few of the questions I will use to determine what gets a coveted spot in my calendar.

We are wrapping up a crazy, hectic time in our life, and the future is only looking BRIGHTER!


I have been so blessed with friends (AWESOME Christian Women) who can see through my smile, and know when to share truth with love to me. I believe that God has given these friendships to me, to help guide me through this season of my life. They have been a rock to me in these last few months.

My hope is that throughout this new season in our life, freeing up time to spend focusing on what and who is important, that we will not only grow closer as a family, but that we will grow closer to God. Which is what we want more then anything :)


a-wise-woman-builds-her-home

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Bread Baking Adventure

Lets talk about bread......

I have a love/hate relationship with the stuff.

I LOVE the taste of it, but I HATE what it does to me.

Lately I have been on a search for healthier foods for me and my family, and since my daughter has a milk allergy, I have focusing most of my searches around what she needs the most ( or in this case what she cant have- milk based products)

I have come up with a few great milk-less recipes that we love, like this Milk-less Pancake Recipe 
and this awesome milk-less Muffin base that we use all the time. I love mixing up the add-in ingredients to make different muffins that my daughter can enjoy.

In an attempt to know what we are putting in to our bodies, I have started making most of our snacks/meals from scratch...and while it takes a little more time and effort, I think it is worth it in the long run.

I LOVE to bake, but I am not that great of a bread maker...I don't even own a bread machine!

I can make pumpkin bread and sweet breads....but baking bread for me and my family has never been high on my list...its so much easier to run to the store and grab a loaf, then it is to make it.

I decided a few weeks ago,(yes it has taken me that long to actually go from finding a recipe to actually making the bread), to try my hand at baking bread from scratch. I searched and searched and finally found a recipe that I "thought" I could do with out messing it up to much :)

This is the Basic Homemade Bread Recipe that I used. It is very easy to follow and doesn't take much time to whip up 2 loaves of bread.....and my family LOVED it....Enough so, that I have dough rising for more bread as I write this :)

Below are pictures of my bread baking adventure:) 



Letting the yeast activate

adding the flour

After the kneading


Ready to Rise

doubled in size :)


2 loaves


waiting to go in the oven

resting before taking them out of the pan

 
finished product