Sunday, June 27, 2010

summer family reunion

Summer is in full swing...almost half over already! Here are some memories from a family reunion we had. Love this family...feel so blessed to be part of it! So many kiddos, so many cousins to catch up much fun! Our Aunt Julia & Uncle Ken have hosted this summer reunion for the second time now. They have the perfect setup at their place and go all out for the kids. cousin Lincoln braving the slip n' slideThree cute girlys cooling off in the pool. {kaiya, leah & bailey}
Giles & Great-GrandmaChit-chattin it up with the girls. Time to line up for the candy hunt. Ready...Get Set...Gooooooooooo!!!
This is serious...there is not only candy, but money involved too.
Now the fun begins...STRAW FIGHT!!
I love Kaiya's face. Grandpa Jerry seems to be really entertained from the sidelines...I think secretly he would like to be part of the fun.Yep, I knew it!Please don't tell me that is my daughter getting ready to throw straw on our gracious hostess.
Oh my oh my...I was not the one behind the camera.Hans and Luca
Already looking forward to the next one!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

fourteen years

Fourteen, it seems like such a big number. It also seems like yesterday that I said "I do" to this man and started the journey of our lives. A journey of excitement, adventure, countless joys, passionate and unconditional love and mountaintop experiences with the births of three beautiful children with my best friend right by my side. A journey of sadness, tears, disappointments and the painful of loss of children through miscarriage, death & failed adoptions.

Our children watched our wedding video this year in it's entirety for the first time. They were glued to the screen...taking in every little detail. I even asked it they wanted me to fast forward through the sermon...they said no. It was sweet. We talked about marriage...what it means to make that very important it is to choose that special person carefully along with God's help. We talked about what qualities are very important to look for when making that choice. We talked about the vows or promises a man and woman make on their wedding day.

And when I watched Kevin and I say our vows again, they meant so much more today after fourteen years than they did on that very first day we were married. "For better and for worse...richer and poorer...sickness and health." We've experienced all of those and that has brought us to where we are much stronger and so much more in love. We took the whole day of our anniversary and went on an adventure. Starting off early with breakfast at Cracker Barrel and then off for a morning hike on some trails before it got too hot. What a fun day...just the two of us. Picking wild raspberries along the trail.
We also wanted to rent a paddle boat to take out on the lake. When we got to the rental place, they had kayaks which were new this year. They had some where two people could go together and they had individual ones as well. I've never been on a kayak before and of course when Kevin saw them, he was all eager and ready to try those instead of a boring ole' paddle boat. The double kayaks were already rented out, so the individual ones were the only ones available at the time. I'm usually an adventurous type of person...willing to try most anything. I wasn't sure I wanted to take one of these on by myself was a little windy...I could just picture myself desperately trying to keep the thing under control with the wind blowing it half across the lake and then tipping it over and dumping myself into the lake.
Kevin persisted...I kept resisting until finally giving in. The instructor assured me that these types of kayaks were tip-proof. Ok, here we go.
Ok, I'm in...not so bad. I just need to figure out how to use this paddle thingy.
Ya, I can do this...not bad if I do say so myself.
Well, we had the BEST time out on the lake in our little yellow kayaks...exploring and talking and racing. :) That's another thing I love about Kevin. He has always been a great encourager...not taking no for an answer...motivating and pushing me to give it my try and not give up. To push myself and become better. I appreciate that though not always at the time. It has made me into the person I am today...I am better because of him.
By the time we got back from our kayak adventure, it was really warming up. Time for a little swimming in the lake. How different it is to go swimming without little ones to keep track just focus on each very very romantic.
After showers and freshening up a bit, we went to dinner at our favorite restaurant...The Cork. Waiting at our table when we arrived was a beautiful bouquet of fourteen flowers and a sweet little note from my man.We caught a movie after dinner too. What a full fun and adventurous day. It was also the day we shared our pregnancy with the world on Facebook. So exciting and humbling to share that day together and read all the kind words from friends and family all around the world.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Father's Day and the Big Announcement

Father's Day eager to present daddy with their gift. It was a pretty exciting day for our, on Father's Day, we would share the BIG secret we had been keeping to ourselves for fourteen weeks...we would finally share the news of our miracle pregnancy with our families. We couldn't wait...and here was how we were planning to do it. First stop...a campground where my sister and her family had been camping for the weekend. My parents came along with us. We were planning to have a brunch. As soon as we got out of our van to greet them, Kaiya got a dog bite. Poor girl...we had to take her to the ER for stitches. Three and a half hours later....we were back at the campground and almost ready to burst with our news...and finally being able to share the joy was so much fun and such a relief.I had to throw a few hints to my mom as she was holding Luca...looking at her shirt...reading it several times and still not quite getting it. :) Poor baby Luca didn't know what in the world was going on...we scared her half to death with all the screeches of excitement and commotion. She went into full blown crying mode.My niece, Maci, was the first to catch on. She had been suspecting it for a few weeks because of my growing waistline...she is so observant.
Next stop...Kevin's parents house for a Father's Day picnic...arriving a few hours late because of our little hospital emergency. And a few hints had to be thrown out with Kevin's family as well...overall unanimous response was that most were speechless. So fun to see the looks of unbelief and surprise on the faces of our family. Lots of hugs followed. And our little brave girl still had a very fun day despite her injuries.

What a day to remember. :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

assisting God in a miracle

A few entries from my journal...

Thursday, April 22nd -

Today while at the grocery store with all three kids I bought a p-test...hid it under the other items in my cart, wondering why I was wasting my money once again because I was certain what the results would be. Got home, unloaded the groceries and originally planned to wait until the next morning to take the test because well that's what they recommend isn't it? How many people actually wait though?

I went into the bathroom and took the test...watched the hourglass flash on and off, on and off...thinking to myself, at that moment, about all the other times I've been in this exact place in my life...the results have always been negative. But, I just needed to know so I could go on without wondering. Maybe just maybe, but probably not.
Then that eight letter word appeared as if it were screaming out loud right at me...Pregnant. With unbelief I stood up and looked at myself in the mirror. "Are you really pregnant...really?" All ability to perform any task that needed the least bit of concentration was absolutely not going to happen the rest of the day. I was in a daze. I hid the test in a drawer and tried to at least take care of the kids until Kevin got home that evening...I did go back to that drawer a couple times...just to make sure.

Friday, April 23rd - I took another test this morning with the same results. Today went by and my mind was in a fog. I went to the Internet and searched to see how far along I could be and what a possible due date may be. Kevin and I had a date night planned for Saturday evening....I began to make plans to tell him the BIG news on our date. I've always imagined and dreamed of how I would share this kind of news with him...I wanted it to be perfect.

It was so hard to keep such big news all to myself for two whole days. I felt like blurting it out at the store "Hey, guess what everyone...I'm pregnant!". I called my Doctor today because of my history of only being pregnant one other time and miscarrying shortly after finding out I was pregnant--that was eight years ago. I made an appointment for an ultrasound on May 4th hoping that I would make it that far and be able to keep the appointment.

Saturday, April 24th -
My plan was to wrap up the test and give it as a gift for Kevin to open on our date tonight. When I went to get the two tests out of my drawer, they were blank--guess they don't last very long. So off to Wal-mart to buy another box of tests. Test #3 - same results. I placed it in the box, wrapped it and tied it with a bow.

Time for our date -- we dropped off the kids at a friends house...I had butterflies. Arrived at Olive Garden and parked the car...I told Kevin that I wanted to give him something before we went into the restaurant. I handed him the box and grabbed the camera. He opened it and pulled out what he thought was a thermometer. We both had tears and it was such a good feeling to finally share with him what I had been keeping to myself for the past two days.

Tuesday, May 4th -
It was finally time for my long awaited doctor appointment and ultrasound. I didn't know what to expect at all and instantly this is what popped up on the large tv screen right in front of me. My tiny little bean took my breath away. I was so unprepared for the emotions I would feel at that moment. Then I saw the flickering heartbeat and really felt like it was not me lying there, but someone else. More tears. Kevin was in the waiting room with the girls and I wished so badly he could have been in there to see what I had just witnessed. I was eager to share the pictures with him and tell him all about it.

During the next few weeks, I had morning sickness sporadically throughout the days. The evenings seemed to be my worst time. Kevin would get home from work, and I would basically go straight to the couch...exhausted and nauseous. By the 11th week, I was feeling much better...morning sickness seemed to come to an end for now thankfully. June 1st -
Another doctor appointment today. This is actually considered my first official OB appointment. Kevin was with me today...I was anxious for him to be able to hear the heartbeat. When the doctor put the heartbeat monitor on my belly, we heard nothing. The seconds felt like minutes...still nothing. Finally, she decided that we needed to do another ultrasound to see what was happening. She sent us to a waiting area and we waited and waited and prayed. I was beginning to prepare myself for the worst. Our memories in the past of trying to get pregnant were full of disappointments and heartaches. Would this be another one of those moments?

Finally it was our turn. The ultrasound was underway and immediately there was our baby up on the screen...actually looking like a baby this time. "He" was flipping around all over the place and instantly she found a nice healthy heartbeat. Sigh of relief!! Kevin and I watched together in amazement at the life growing inside of me. I loved hearing Kevin's comments and the excitement in his voice at the wonder of this miracle. Once again there were tears.
It's really true, we're expecting and full of joy over this opportunity that God has allowed us to experience. A dream we had let go of. The timing is such a miracle. I was talking with my doctor in March about having a procedure done that would reduce the pain of my monthly cycles. The procedure would have also eliminated the chance of ever getting pregnant in the future. It was a hard decision, but up to this point I had no success with pregnancy's. I had three beautiful adopted children...adopting in the future was also a possibility. I was planning to tell my doctor at my next appointment that I wanted to move forward with the procedure.

I became pregnant within weeks of that appointment.

As I type this post and share our joy, I can't help but remember the unforgettable memories of our disappointments and heartaches of infertility and miscarriage. Even after adopting our children, hearing others news of pregnancies and seeing pregnant mothers out and about was painful. I will never forget those years and my heart goes out to others that are experiencing it themselves. You are not forgotten.

Baby due December 19th, 2010. To God be the Glory!
And today I'm celebrating 14 years with a wonderful husband, Father & best friend.