Sunday, February 28, 2010

Busy days..

It's been quite a while since my last post. Life has just been incredibly busy lately. Valentine's weekend, we traveled to Virginia. Spent the weekend with my family and found and purchased the *exact* vehicle we were looking for. Chrysler Pacifica Touring....granite blue, just like I wanted. We were truly blessed by finding this vehicle that just happened to be located about 20 minutes from my hometown in Virginia. We deeply appreciate my father acting so quickly and "sealing the deal" until we could get there to give our down payment. I look back over the past month or so when we were car shopping and so many times I doubted we would be able to get this particular vehicle. Many times I considered settling for something else. But patience is a virtue. God directed us in the direction we needed to go, we just had to wait for His time.

I witnessed something in Church this morning that I honestly didn't think I would ever see. I'm not going into detail here, because I'm not sure the other party would appreciate me broadcasting it to the world, but just know that it has me in awe.

And lastly........after 5 years of begging and pleading...we're getting a PUPPY!!!!!!!! AND it was my husband's idea..the one who has been dead set against getting a puppy until we have our own home with a large yard. Anyway..We went and picked him out last weekend and he should be ready to leave his mother and come to us next weekend. The girls are so excited!! Of course there will be lots of pics to come! His name will be Micah (because my husband and I both like the name) Nestle (because he is the color of chocolate milk ;) ) Bowen.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The sun always shines..

It's only Tuesday and this week has already proven to be quite challenging. From a heated debate with the hubby to two sick little girls to getting denied for a used car loan to this cold dreary rainy's just been difficult. I know this too shall pass and I'm fortunate enough to be able to see through the clouds and know the sun is shining on the other side. Even when things aren't going the way I had planned, I know that God gives me new opportunities around every corner.
I hate hate hate arguing with my husband, but the "debate" we had last night will hopefully bring us closer and let us remember to always treat each other with respect even when we don't agree.
As with any mother, I absolutely hate seeing my children sick, but I do love the way they want me to hold and cuddle them when they aren't feeling well. I miss the days when they would want me to hold them all day long.
A few hours after I was denied the car loan, before I told anyone else, my parents call me to tell me that they are willing to co-sign a loan if needed. Thank you!! So now we're just waiting to see what comes our way..
The cold rainy days seem to drag on forever, but here we are halfway through February already. Spring really is right around the corner and I can't wait!! Bring on the sunny warm days!

So even when I think everything is going bad and that everything is out of my control, God knows just what he is doing. He is showing me that I need to let him be in control and anyone who knows me knows just how hard it is for me to give up control...that's what I'm learning to do. Learning to believe, learning to trust that the sun will always shine through!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

This week...

Each Saturday I am going to be making a blog entry reflecting on the good things that have happened this week. The entry will end with a list of things that I would like to work on in the week to come.

So, here we go...

The good:

*I did our taxes and we will be getting a decent refund this year that we will be able to use as a down payment on a "new" used vehicle. This is something we desperately need and I am hoping and praying we will be able to get something with 3 rows of seats. We just don't have enough room in a car anymore.

*My friend Jonna and I took a day trip to Myrtle Beach and went shopping at the outlets. I found some great deals and was able to buy the girls quite a few spring/summer outfits. We had a great day!

*I made some great progress in the parenting book I'm reading, "Taming the Spirited Child" by Michael Popkin. This book is very informative and has some great suggestions on understanding and disciplining a spirited child. Shaylie is very much of a spirited child and I am so hopeful the ideas presented in this book will strengthen her as a person and also our relationship with her.

*The girls painted homemade valentines for their grandparents today. They are adorable and the girls had a blast making them.

*I finished the first chapter in "The Power of Positive Mom" by Karen Ladd. this is a great Christian parenting devotional-type workbook. It really makes you think. I have enjoyed it.

I'm sure there has been more but right now I can't think of anything else. This week has been rather busy and stressful (working late, not feeling well, etc). Hoping for a longer list of "the good" for next week.

Things to work on for the coming week:

*BUDGETING!!! Not so much making or keeping a budget, but not eating out quite so much. And when I say not quite so much, I mean not 4-5 nights a week!! That is just ridiculous and unhealthy. This week, my goal is to not eat out or order in at all, other than Sat. evening, Scott and I are going out for Valentine's Day.

*Keeping my patience with the girls. Not getting irritated so easily. Listening to them more. Staying calm. Using positive words and encouragement instead of focusing on the negative. They deserve better...and better is what they'll get.

*Not letting the house become such a mess! The house will be cleaned tomorrow and maintained all week.

*Limiting computer usage time to when the girls are in bed.

*Preparing for the RobesonMommies Valentine's Party on Saturday.

*Attending church again tomorrow...we are really looking forward to this! :)

I think that's a great list to begin with. I hope everyone has an awesome, blessed week!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ice day...err playing Hookey

Schools here were delayed 2 hours because of the ice storm we got over the weekend. So, I decided to just let the girls play hookey rather than sending them to school for 4 hours. We've had an awesome day so far!! We slept in (YAY!) and we've stayed in our pajamas allllll day! It's been great. We need more days of doing nothing! :) We've cuddled, watched tv, read stories, had quiet time and now they are having a blast fixing "dinner" out of playdough. Nevaeh has been my little giggle box all day. She's been full of herself and just keeps giggling. It's the cutest thing. We've missed Scott though. That's the problem with working third shift, you miss all the fun during the day! Next time we'll plan a day of fun and relaxation on the weekend just for you my Scott :)

Sometimes we need a day where the housework can wait and the errands can be delayed to focus on what truly matters.....each other. I love those little girls with with every inch of my being. How lucky I am to be their mother.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


This morning my family and I did something I've been talking about doing for a few years. We went to church. We attended my friend Jonna's church, Oak Grove Baptist. To say the least, I was nervous. I know I should not have been, but I was. I was worried that my lack of knowledge of the Bible would make me stand out. I was afraid I would be literally lost in the sermon. I hate being "the new person" and didn't like the thought of that. I worried how Shaylie and Nevaeh would behave being as they've never been to church before. I was just a big worried MESS.

And now, I can sit here and say all the worry was for nothing. The Pastor and the other members of the church were so welcoming. I found that I was able to understand and enjoy the service. And as the Pastor was giving his sermon and speaking of people being saved, I began to wonder if I was saved. I know this is something that I should know. Not something I should question. But I didn't know for sure...and then almost as if he knew I was wondering he went on to tell about when he was saved. During a time in his life when he felt he had not much to live for and the hurt was so strong, he was saved and a sense of peace filled him and he knew that it was only the power of the Lord who could cure a hurt this deep. He said his life looked brighter and he was able to move on and really live his life. That is when I KNEW that I had been saved. A few months back, as I blogged about previously, when the hurt of my lost pregnancy had consumed my life and I was in such a deep dark hole, God pulled me out. It was right after I began reading a Devotional Bible for Moms, and began praying, that the pain started to ease and life looked brighter. I remember it not being a sudden change, but a gradual process where the depression was replaced with a sense of peace. Did I know at that time who or what had caused this? No, but now after hearing the sermon today, my first day of going to church, I knew who had given me this new life. Now, I know I never was really alone during that those dark dark times. God was there, I was just too blind to see it.

Now though, I was to see His blessings, and I do. I see them all around me. I enjoyed my experience in church this morning and I look forward to going again next Sunday. I look forward to learning more about my spirituality. Shaylie and Nevaeh enjoyed church also. They attended Children's Church and were very excited to tell me all about what they had learned. Shaylie asked "Can we go to church again Mommy?"

Yes. We can, and YES we will!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Eastern North Carolina Weather....

....Crazy sums it up. Just three days ago I was so thankful for a beautiful sunny 63 degree day in January. And as I sit here tonight a major ice storm is approaching our area. The high tomorrow is not supposed to reach freezing and they're predicting significant ice accumulations. And that's just how it is down here. Sometimes we see all 4 seasons in a matter of a couple weeks. Usually I don't mind it...and our winters are pretty mild. But lately I've been having spring fever. The 60-70 degree days are spoiling me.

So, for anyone reading this from Eastern NC please be careful if you must go out tonight or tomorrow! We are supposed to be going to a birthday party tomorrow if we aren't "iced" in. But if we are I'm planning for a relaxing day snuggling with my three loves.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Our Story

Life hasn't been easy. I haven't always had the outlook that I am fortunate enough to have now. In 6 short years, we've been through a lot. The high points have been very high and contain the memories that I will always cherish. The lows have been incredibly low and even though life wasn't easy while we were going through them, there's very little I would change because it's made us what we are today.

So this is our story in a nutshell. This month six years ago is when my life really began. I was in my 3rd year of college, dating my best friend (now husband and STILL best friend), Scott, when we unexpectedly found out I was pregnant. Devastated was a mild way to put how I felt. The immature 20 year old that I was had no clue how wonderful of a gift God had given me. Scott and I moved back to VA to be near my family, and did the responsible thing. Got full-time jobs and an apartment, prepared for the birth of our little girl, and planned a wedding. Things began to look up. Our precious Shaylie was born on Oct. 1st, 2004 at 11:32 pm. When I held her in my arms for the very first time, I knew what unconditional love was. I knew that God existed and God was good. My life had a purpose and was owned by this little 6 lb. 14 oz beautiful baby. Sweet little Shaylie soon became a living breathing crying machine. She was extremely fussy and was never content. She hurt, I hurt. She cried, and I cried. Scott felt helpless and expressed it by getting frustrated with both of us. Scott and I argued and Shaylie cried more. I was trying to plan a wedding that was suppossed to happen in less than 2 months and I couldn't even think straight. This was not what I had envisioned. I thought babies slept and ate and cooed. No one warned me about this. This isn't what I signed up for.

Somehow in the midst of all this, the wedding did get planned. On a beautiful afternoon, December 4th, 2004, surrounded by family, friends and our daughter, Scott and I were married. It was my dream wedding. We had a BLAST. Shaylie cried all the way through the wedding and the reception. Then Scott and I left for a 4 day honeymoon in Disney World. We had so much fun and got a much needed break. Even though I cried every night because I missed my baby.

We returned from our honeymoon and its almost like Shaylie sensed the stress level was decreased. She was much more content. Still cried a lot, still had belly problems, but was much improved. Things were looking better. Then I finally went for my postpartum check up and found out I was pregnant again. What?! You can't be serious. I have a 2 month old baby at home. I can't be pregnant. I can't have another fussy baby. I just can't do it. Things were just starting to look up, this could not be happening. And I continued to think that way for a couple weeks. But alas the morning sickness kicked in and somewhere in there I realized I really was going to have another baby. The babies would be Irish Twins (born within one year of each other).

The beginning of the pregnancy went by smoothly. We began to get excited about having another baby girl. I realized I would need to finish my nursing degree in order to be able to provide for our family. So I planned to enroll in school in August. The baby was due the end of September. I knew it wouldn't be easy but I needed to do it. Scott also thought it would be wise for him to make a change in jobs and did. However, the change didn't go as well as he hoped and ended in him having no income for a couple of months and we lost our insurance. And the stress picks up again. In July 2005, at 26 weeks pregnant I began having pre-term labor. The contractions were strong and frequent and showed no signs of stopping. The doctors warned me that the chance of the baby surving at 26 weeks were slim to known. That was one of the scariest times of my life. While I was in the hospital trying to save the life of the baby I was carrying, I was stuck away from my 9 month old baby at home. I missed her, but I needed to be where I was. Finally the doctors/midwives got the labor under control. I was allowed to go home on strict bedrest. Well strict bedrest while you're trying to care for an infant and still attempting to go to work on the good days, just wasn't very feasible. So the contractions would begin again and I would end up back in the hospital. Looking back now I feel horrible for not following doctors orders and remaining on bedrest, but I had to take care of the baby I had at home too. After numerous hospital visits and a few job changes for Scott, our second daughter Nevaeh Skye was born on September 10th, 2005 at 10:49 pm, at right around 35 weeks. She was my little fighter. She weighed in at 6lbs 11oz. She never needed any help breathing and was able to come home 2 days later.

So here we were with a newborn, an 11 month old and over $8000 in medical bills. Luckily my sweet Nevaeh was a perfect baby. She was so good. She slept all the time and rarely cried. God knew I needed a good baby. He knew just what he was doing when he sent us Nevaeh. To make a long 2 year story short, we strugged BIG time financially while I was in nursing school. I will forever be in debt to our family for all the help they gave us during this VERY difficult time.

Somewhere along the line there we decided that we were happy with our little family and made the decision for me to get my tubes tied. Another baby was just not an option. So the summer after my first year of nursing school, I went in for surgery. The surgery was a success (or so they thought) and we thought our baby days were finished. Then 7 months later, I begin to feel the all too familiar symptoms of early pregnancy. I was sure there was no way I could be pregnant, but I took a test just to check....well sure enough, POSITIVE!!! WHAT?! Really?? Didn't we just take care of this? Just a few days after the shock of finding out I was pregnant, I had a miscarriage-on Valentine's Day. I will never forget the look on Scott's face when they told them they couldn't find a heartbeat. We were surprisingly excited about this pregnancy. We had even picked a name for a little girl- Delaney Amaya (amaya means "from obscure origin"). We thought this baby was really meant to be...tubal ligations rarely fail, but ours did. So we thought it must have happened for a reason. Then just as suddenly it was taken from us. It was a difficult time.

I finished nursing school in June of 2007. This was such a blessing for us. We needed this. We needed the income and we needed something to work out for us. Scott finally had a good job and things were really looking up. We were finally at the point where things were beginning to settle down and we could enjoy our family.

Summer of 2008, we decided to move to North Carolina. The cost of living was cheaper. Nursing wages were higher, which would allow Scott to become a Stay at Home Dad and work on his writing career. Things were going well. We were on a strict budget since I was the only one working, but we were making it. Then life decided to throw us a curveball again. In December I began experiencing pregnancy symptoms again, so I took a test (well a few actually) and they all said positive. I tried not to get my hopes up, but after a few Dr. appts which showed my HCG counts increasing we were told it was a normal pregnancy. Then we got excited. We told the girls they were going to be big sisters and they were ecstatic. We had been blessed again. We told our families and everyone was shocked but happy. Then on Dec. 30th, our world came crashing down. We received a call from the OB-GYN saying that something wasn't right with the pregnancy and we needed to come to the office right away. We get there and they inform us they have reason to believe the pregnancy was ectopic and at 11 weeks gestation the risk of the fallopian tube rupturing was incredibly high and my life was in immediate danger. I was told to go directly to the hospital for emergency surgery. I was scared, I was hurt, I was angry. This wasn't fair no mother should ever have to choose between her life and the life of her unborn child. No mother should ever have to sign a consent form, consenting to the termination of the life of her baby. No this shouldn't be happening. But it was..very quickly. I was scared for Shaylie and Nevaeh. I had to live for them. I was scared for Scott. I was mad we were losing another baby. Within 2 hours, I was in surgery. The surgery went- I can't say well, but as it was suppossed to. No surgery where your baby dies goes well. The physical pain was severe, but little did I know how insignificant it would be to the emotional pain I would feel in the coming months.

I don't remember New Years of 2009. Nor do I really remember the first few months of 2009. It was all a blur. I was in a fog. I have never experienced such a dark time in my life. Nothing really seemed to matter anymore. In my head I knew that I needed to pull myself together and be there for the two little girls that God had already blessed me with, but I just couldn't convince my heart of it. I wanted to hurt. I wanted to stay in the fog, because I was afraid if I moved on I would be forgetting about the baby I lost. I didn't want to move on, I wanted to go back. I wanted it to be mid-December when it was what the Drs were telling me was a "normal" pregnancy. I didn't know I could miss something I had only known about for 11 weeks so much that it physically made my heart hurt. The first miscarriage I had hurt, but nothing like this. I felt like I had caused this. I felt like I had went against God's wishes. I never should've gotten my tubes tied, because obviously God wanted us to have another baby and now I was being punished. Now, I can sit here and think of how irrational I was being. But not then. I was alone. Yes, I know Scott was hurting too. But too me it seemed like everyone had moved on, everyone else had "forgotten" and expected me to do the same. The only people who seemed to get it were my sweet sweet little girls who would come to me and say "Mommy, why did God take our baby to Heaven"? I would try to explain to them, but then I would just end up crying hysterically and upsetting them. No matter what I did, I couldn't do anything right. So I slept..and cried A LOT. I missed weeks of work, which put us in MAJOR debt again. I found out my sister in law was pregnant and I resented her. I resented her innocent baby. I was asked to go maternity clothes shopping with her and my mother in law and had to run out of the maternity store because I felt like I couldn't breathe. And then I cried some more. I felt like they had betrayed me and were rubbing it in my face. I didn't want anything to do with any of the pregnancy. It wasn't fair. Why were all these other people getting having healthy pregnancies and I lost my baby. WHY?! Everyone told me to look at the beautiful little girls I was already given...and I did, and I loved them, but it didn't help the gaping whole in my heart that was left for my angel baby. So this went on for a couple of months. Not many people knew the extent of the depression that I was having. The financial strain on top of that didn't help anything. Scott started looking for work, but couldn't find much. Then his parents offered for us to move to Lumberton and live with them until we got back on our feet. Did we want to do this? NO. Did we need to do this? Yes.

And so we did. We moved to Lumberton, NC in May 2009. We moved in with my in laws. Scott immediately found work. I was given the opportunity to become a stay at home Mom and get myself back together. And I did. I cherished the time I spent with the girls. Shaylie and Nevaeh are 100% of the reason I was able to pull myself out of the dark hole that I was in. I knew they needed me, but I needed them even more. Every little laugh that I got to experience helped immensly. I soon realized that my life needed something and so I began a Bible Study. From that point, things really began to look up. I realized that my life had to go on. I realized I would always hurt for this child that I never got to meet. I realized I would always be a mother of 3 and most importantly I realized that I would get to hold my sweet angel baby in Heaven one day. And I could wait for that. I began to stop resenting my sister in law and began to embrace the fact that I was going to be an Aunt. I was so excited. Life was looking up again.

I wasn't actually looking for a job when I happened to be browsing the local hospital website and saw an open LPN position in Labor and Delivery. Anyone who knows me knows that this is the job I've wanted since I became a nurse. Well, I applied, interviewed and was offered the job. Of course I accepted. It wasn't part of our plan at that point in time, but it was a God-given blessing. We were able to get our own place and be on our own again. Shaylie started Pre-K and Nevaeh is in preschool. Financially, we are on our feet.

If anyone has made it to the end of this incredibly LONG post, I commend you!!

But as you can see, I have a lot to be Thankful for. I'm thankful for my family. I'm thankful for my beautiful baby girls. I am thankful to be the Mommy of two babies I'll meet in Heaven. I'm soo very thankful for my husband. I'm thankful that God made or marriage strong enough to survive all we've been through and we're closer now than we've ever been. I'm thankful for my family and Scott's family who helped us along the way. I'm thankful for my friends. I'm thankful for our blessings...I'm also thankful for our trials, because it made us get to this point. I'm thankful for my job. I'm thankful that I get to help Mother meet their babies each and everyday. That's special. I'm thankful for getting to know God. I'm just thankful for another day to kiss my husband, hug my girls, laugh at their jokes, call my parents, call my grandmother, tell them how much I love them. I'm just thankful.