About Me

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I'm a work in progress. I'm a mom to two, soon to be three, awesome kids that have taught me things I didn't know I needed to learn. I'm married to a kind and handsome man that I genuinely love to be with. I like to be around interesting people and enjoy learning from others. I'm quirky, energetic, have a glass that's usually half full (of wine) and am spontaneous when it fits into my plans. My life is much slower than it once was and even though I sometimes miss the old days, I never take these new days for granted. So, I've given up alot of things in order to give more of myself to my family ... and they better appreciate it. I mean, I expect nothing in return for my selfless love.

Saturday, June 30, 2012


Thank you for the encouraging emails, texts, words of encouragement and hugs. Your graciousness means so much to us. We are settling into these unknowns much quicker than I thought we would and are feeling an overall sense of peace about the future.

We both understand that there is a plan. There is always a plan.

IF our baby has been given an extra chromosome I'm going to buy this shirt

There are quite of few like this out there. :)

So, we'll find out in about 18 weeks whether our baby is a boy or a girl and whether or not he/she has Down Syndrome. For now we wait ... enjoy life and give great thanks for the miracle of pregnancy, our daughters, redemption and God's promise to never forsake us. We face nothing alone.


Then the Lord said to him, "Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? (Exodus 4:11 ESV)

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. (Psalm 139:13, 14 ESV)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Down Syndrome

My Great Grandma Mae had lots of dolls around her house that she would fix up and make clothes for then donate to local children in need. When I was a little girl I was told that I could pick out a doll from her collection ... any doll that I wanted. I chose perhaps the most hideous doll available. She had lost most of her hair and her head was littered with holes where the hair plugs once were. Adding insult to injury, the hair that did remain was short, black spikes randomly shooting out of her head in all directions.

Around this same time some family friends brought home their new baby boy from the hospital and after a visit with them I decided that my doll would be named after their baby ... Michael.

Oh, how I loved my Michael. I had no idea that she was so ugly. And to top it off I had named her after a boy. I carried Michael around with me everywhere for years and I remained blind to her obvious shortcomings. I do remember comments being made about her appearance but I wasn't phased in the slightest. She was my baby. I had picked her out and I loved her.

When I was in early elementary school my parents decided to take Michael to the doll hospital to have a wig sewn on her. It was a present to me. I remember feeling a mix of emotions ... anxiety about the change, excitement about her new hair ...

The day had arrived to get Michael back and as the doll dr. handed her to me I felt a sense of dread. They had changed her. She was now donned with a beautiful, blonde wig and I hated it. In an attempt to make her "normal" and "beautiful" I had lost her.

I didn't play much with Michael after that. It might have been because I was getting older or it might have been because Cabbage Patch Dolls took her place. But, really I think it was because she had been ruined in my eyes. I had loved Michael as she was and I loved her despite her hideousness because she was mine.

At the time my parents discussed with one another that God might bless me with a special needs child one day. A child that I would love to pieces despite his/her shortcomings. It had been made obvious to them that my love could extend beyond appearance and normalcy. I would be blind, as I had been with Michael, to the obvious "ugliness" that the world would see and I would love that baby simply because it was mine.

Some 20 years later I'm sitting here on a random Wednesday morning wondering if my parents' prediction might be coming true. Am I prepared for this? Have I grown enough in my faith to handle such heartache? Will it even feel like heartache if Nate and I accept the challenge as a gift? We're a swirl of emotions right now.


A few weeks ago I told Nate that something was different about this pregnancy. I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was, but I mentioned that perhaps the baby had Down Syndrome. I'm not even sure where that assumption came from. A few days later I ran across a blog (http://www.kellehampton.com) that moved me to tears. I turned to Nate and blurted out, "If we have a child with Down Syndrome I think we'll be ok!"

Two days ago the nurse from my OB's office called to talk about the results of my ultrasound. She said that my cyst is shrinking (yay). She also said that they found an Echogenic Focus on the left ventricle of the baby's heart. She proceeded to tell me that it usually wasn't an indication of anything, but that they would do another scan at 30 weeks to see if it had gone away.

I told Nate what she had said and through tears lamented the possibility of having a child with heart problems. We have been following several children's stories through our cousin's ministry, http://www.gofundme.com/Operation-Matthew-2535. We have seen the fatigue on these parents' faces as they bounce back and forth between hospital and home. We have seen the children that have been sent back home to die in peace surrounded by family. We pray for them. We cry for them.

But, we don't want to be them.

After lots of research we figured out that this bright spot seen on the heart is no indication of a heart problem!!!!! It is a rather common occurrence actually ....... especially in children with Down Syndrome.

And now we wait. What will we do with this disappointment? Is it even disappointment? This is not something we would ever wish or pray for. If we were forced to choose between a child with health problems and a child with Down Syndrome we would definitely choose the latter. Do we view this is a gift then?

So, I guess this is where faith comes in. Faith that there is a purpose for these grave unknowns. Faith that He has a magnificent plan. Faith that we will have the strength to face this with a spirit of thanksgiving and peace. Faith that we were chosen, that we were specifically selected to have this honor. Without this faith we all just simply fall apart. We have absolutely no control of the outcomes, only our attitudes.


While we are desperately hoping that our baby doesn't have Down Syndrome, we can assure you that no matter what our baby looks like, no matter how many chromosomes he/she has, no matter how the world defines it .... we will love our baby. Love with all our hearts.

Because children are a direct gift from God. Even if it hurts.


Friday, June 22, 2012


The unltrasound went well yesterday. Everything looks good and the baby has all of its limbs, which I always ask about. Limbs are important. My cyst is still there but I won't know if it's better or worse until the Dr looks at the picture. :/ 

I'm just so, so tired. I can't seem to shake this fatigue .... I've let wheat creep back in more so maybe it's the wheat? Stupid wheat. Has to be in everything and make everything more better. Except my body.

I bought some liquid chlorophyll and am taking my greens again in the hopes that they will help me not feel like my eyelids weigh 4,000 pounds.

Tomorrow I work a little and then we're off to our neice's first birthday party. I cant believe she's one already!!! I'm hoping to be able to get to bed early while we're visiting, but the chances are slim. To none.

Party on, Wayne.

Baby, side view

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Midnight run

Well, we made it almost 20 weeks this time without any kind of emergency room visit. We had broken our own record!

I'm sure you can guess where this is going ... last night I had a killer headache and then my heart started racing and I felt sick. After about 3 hours I decided that I needed to get checked out in order to rule out any serious problems. It wasn't anything in particular that prompted me to go, it was the combination.

We went to the ER in Columbia City because that's where I'll be giving birth (just a preference to go to that ER, not required). After about 2 hours and lots of monitoring they determined that the baby and I were ok. They offered me a shot for the pain, but I didn't take it. I wasn't there for pain management, I was there to make sure all was well. I did buy some Tylenol on the way home though.

The conclusion is that I'm pregnant (heh) and also that I need more rest/sleep. FINE. I'll get more sleep.


About the hospital ... the nurses were incredibly nice (which is important because we all know that nurses are the ones that actually run the hospital) and easy-going. The rooms aren't as big or cushy as the ones at the last two hospitals I delivered at, but they are new and clean. I was surprised at how small they were but I'll be recovering from surgery so let's face it, I won't be needing room for aerobics or swing dancing in there anyway.

I'm soooooo excited to meet this baby. November 1 is probably the delivery date ... 134 days to go. This pregnancy is flying by!


So, I was all "Waah. The room's kind of crampy"

Then I ran across these pictures


Present day, Manila
Brings things into perspective, huh? I'm suddenly feeling very grateful.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A little of this and that

Man, I'm really loving this small group thing. I never imagined I'd be feeling this way. I used to think that small groups would be stifling and borrrring, but these people are really fun and so nice to us! This morning (after cleaning up small child vom at the crack of dawn and running to Owen's for crackers and coconut water) the small group women folk got together and talked and laughed. It was so refreshing. They are neat people and encourage me in so many ways.

I have an OB appt tomorrow. Nate is going with me so he can meet my normal, socially adept Dr. We have an ultrasound next week so we can find out the sex of the baby!! I kid. We won't be finding out until the birth .... waiting all those months and then finding out together in the heat of the moment is a bonding experience we really treasure. So, wait we will.

And now for some iPad pics

Small fry. Those cheeks!
Nj. Those lips! Those eyebrows! Those eyes!
Ok, I'm done.

Me. My small neck makes me laugh.

Sicky chicky. :( Those eyes!

Let's review ... I see that my teeth are wacking out a little. I think I need to start wearing my retainer again. Hey there, 1991.


Sunday, June 10, 2012



EDIT: Nate came home with a third place ribbon!!!!!!

Me: Wow. A ribbon!

Nate: Yeah, third place in my age group.

Me: What about overall?

Nate: 27th *shrugs shoulders like it's no big deal*

Me: What? That's so great!!! I can't believe you did that on a whim with no practice or much effort. I would've died. You must have big lungs. My lungs are the size of a squirrel's.

He did so well! Oh, this was his first race, too (not counting high school/college track). I really love and appreciate his humility!!


Nate is out running a 5k right now. I asked him if he wanted me to wake Freya up so we could meet him at the finish line and he said, "Nah. It's no big deal ... just a 5k." I guess running is easy for some people. He didn't even practice!

I've decided to do a little blog series called 'Reinvention'. Ooooh, the suspense! Usually I write my blog posts on the fly without any forethought but this little project will require some brain power so we'll see how it goes.

Oh! I'll take a picture of my pregnant self soon. I haven't been motivated to do so because a) I look the same as the last two times I was pregnant and took pictures of myself so it seems a little redundant. Same clothes and everything, and b) Hhmmmm, so maybe a) is the only reason. I thought maybe there were more.


Mazie is with my parents in Ohio (they are getting a puppy) and Nate is working up a sweat so it's just small fry and I at home. We had a photo shoot. :)


Welp, I'm off to meet Nate and some other friends at the park for dinner. Hope everyone likes gluten-free brownies! Mmmmm.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

my life

Last Friday night (when winter blew through) we all snuggled down and watched Bambi. Freya wrapped herself up in a blankie ... don't you just want to cuddle up next to her? Tonight after the littles were in bed, I spent some time in the kitchen baking gluten-free brownies while Nate read. What calm. What joyful serenity.
There is so much love here.

This came on my (Mates of State) Pandora station and well ... I like it.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

I did it!!!!!!!!!

I did it! I graduated from Eating Disorder (the new term is "issue", FYI) Therapy today!!! Ann talked about how I have learned to not be scared of certain foods or food groups and how mindful I have become. We discussed the areas in which I still need to be aware of (pausing before I eat so that I am aware of my intentions and motivations) I told her I couldn't even remember the last time I engaged in ED behavior! Months maybe?

I have gone the entire last year eating what I want (for the most part), when I'm hungry and stopping when I'm full and haven't gained any weight. I still tend to limit certain foods like wheat because too much makes me feel like death but I don't FREAK OUT anymore about it. I think .... I think .... I have become a normal eater. After a decade. Me. A normal eater.

Ann left me with three "tasks":

1. Get better quality/more sleep

2. Exercise consistently, even if it's just a short walk (helps me sleep and thwarts depression)

3. Be mindful about food

I talked to Ann about my intense insecurity regarding my body and my struggle to find balance with exercise. She recommended that I go to see Brooke who specializes in the areas of body image, etc. Basically, seeing her is the next step. Right now my thoughts are consumed with negativity about my body, about my inconsistent workouts, etc. I don't want to focus so much energy on such fleeting things. I want to accept myself and learn balance in these areas. I told Ann that I feel lame when I see my friends accomplishing major physical goals like marathons, P90X, etc. I think it's AWESOME that they have accomplished these things but I can't help but wonder why I can't seem to pull it together long enough to do something like this. (Insecurity is pretty selfish, btw.) We talked about how I am still in the healing process and that I need to be more gracious with myself in the meantime. Oh, don't get me wrong .... I really like to workout. I love feeling flexible and energetic, I just keep placing these lofty goals on myself and then I FREAK OUT when I fall short. It's not as though I'm a lazy sloth. I mean, I have two small children, am pregnant and still get up early several times a week to exercise. I just need to stop freaking OUT.

I'm looking forward to meeting with Brooke and letting go of this insecurity.

Throughout this whole process Nate has been so supportive and kind. Last week I was crying because I felt very hopeless about my body ... because I've lost so much weight my skin is silly-looking and sometimes I get very discouraged by this. I told him that I see girls that are much heavier than me wearing tanktops, etc. with normal skin. He gave me a big hug and while he was holding me said, "First of all, they aren't married to me. :) Second of all, they haven't accomplished what you've accomplished!!! You have worked so hard to get here and you're still working through a lot. You are beautiful."

I am very blessed to have such an attractive, gentle man desire me. He thinks I'm cute and beautiful just as I am! I want to see what he sees. I don't want to be so focused on my own (perceived?) shortcomings.


I am surrounded by beauty
It's time to let go of my ugly thoughts.



Monday, June 4, 2012


This is the headboard Nate and I are making
Mazie really likes to "read" my Reader's Digest
I love this picture of Freya

A couple of months ago Mazie gave up her pacifier so we got her some balloons!
She was sooooooo excited
She was watching a bedtime show (probably Pajanimals) and had to pause for this pic.
Hence, the forced smile. Haha. Sorry to interrupt ...
Tomorrow we're heading out of town for my nephew's graduation .... I can't believe it! On the way home we're stopping by Ikea where I'm hoping to convince Nate that we need some things.

We FINALLY finished my parents' garages today. Now all we have left to go through are some things in the laundry room and then I'm going to help my mom decide what china, dishes, ect. to keep. I'm very proud of my mom for letting go of so many things, I know it's hard for her. They have a storage unit of stuff (already priced. Booya) for their neighborhood garage sale in the fall. Their friend Jan helped out a lot, too. I know that my parents have been wanting to downsize for a long time and I'm glad it's over!

All we have left at our house is to turn Nate's office into the playroom, re-organize the pantry and downsize our book collection. OH! Speaking of books ... I got Nate a Kindle touch for graduation. Well, he wanted it and bought it and then we said it was from me as his gift for graduating. :)

Ok, I'm going to rest and then head to bed early. I meant to go to bed early last night but got wrapped up in the Hatfield & McCoy mini-series. It's pretty good. Obviously.


Saturday, June 2, 2012


Pictures from Nate's birthday party from ... er, awhile ago.


Cake and the birthday boy
(worst cake ever, we threw it away)
Puzzle time with Mazie
Whoa, party animal in the background
Freya signing Daddy's card
Nate mentioned that there was a soap he really liked from the soap shop down in the village (which he went to with his mom and sis-in-law, not really by choice. His text to me during that time was, "At soap place now :/" Awww. Heh.) but I didn't know which one. I went down there and guessed and got it right! It smells yummy.
I also bought him some vinyl but I can't remember what it was. Let me ask ... ok, The Velvet Underground and Andrew Bird. We went out to dinner that night at Yamato then to see a movie. We ran into some friends we hadn't seen a long, long time and ended up sitting with them. The wife, Jennifer and I actually just met for coffee yesterday morning! It was so good to catch up an encourage one another ... we're going to start meeting at least once a month. I'm so thankful that God keeps bringing such uplifting women into my life!!!!
So, Nate had a good birthday and felt loved. Mission accomplished. :)