Recent Happenings

In my last post, I mentioned that January is usually the slowest month of our year, although this first week hasn’t really been an indication of that.  I suppose most of the weekdays are pretty quiet in this house, but this past weekend was filled with activity.  I took Tuesday to just rest and recalibrate.

So here are some of the things we did.

Friday night, we were invited to a pizza and game night party, where we made our own pizzas.  This was so much fun!  I really enjoyed helping to make the pizzas and getting to know some of the people at the party I had never met!




Then, Saturday morning, I was invited to go see the movie, I, Tonya at the Alamo Drafthouse with a group of girls.


I had a few takeaways from the movie.  The domestic abuse made me really uncomfortable, and I wouldn’t recommend people who have first-hand experience of domestic abuse to watch the movie.  Also, the role that the media played in this girl’s life was cringe-worthy.  I could just make media the bad guy, but even now, how many people would be ready to whip out their phones in hopes of views on their accounts?  In one of the statements made in the movie, Tonya had accused everyone in her life of abusing her, then turned the tables on everyone viewing the movie, and accused them of adding to the abuse.

Sunday, we had our last “in home” meeting for our missional community.  We are doing a trial run of combining both house churches in Dallas into one big gathering, which starts next week.  Michael and I have been a part of this house church for about two and a half years.  I’m looking forward to seeing what this new year will bring.

But my weekend didn’t stop there.  Michael and I got invited to a coloring and figure painting party at a friend’s house on Monday night.  I felt like such a cool kid to be out on a weeknight, even though I started to fade about 8:15pm.  Still, I had so much fun and laughed so hard.  I love being with people that make me smile.


Needless to say, I took some much-needed downtime yesterday, and hope I have a little more downtime today as well.  This pregnancy energy level is no joke.  Most of my energy comes in the morning and I sputter out about 8 every night.  I’m so grateful to have friends who have been understanding and patient with me.  I’m sure it will only get more complicated with the baby is born.  So we will try to take advantage of friend time as much as we can!

How was your weekend?


Halloween Memories

Okay, a couple of full disclosures and then on to the more fun memories.  First, I didn’t take a lot of pictures this weekend, but we did a lot of fun things, so the post may be lacking in photographic proof.  Second, I am right now acknowledging that this past weekend was kind of a doorway into a darker period for me.  I distinctly remember being pregnant this time last year, thinking about what this year would be like with my daughter in tow.  And it has left this weird hole in everything I see around me, like I’m in another dimension or something.  Plus, the memories are just going to get darker as this new month progresses.  My daughter’s birth/death is on Thanksgiving day this year, and it’s only beginning to process in my mind.  I can tell because almost every experience right now is through the filter of “but my baby is gone.”

But this past weekend wasn’t just a horrible, terrible experience.  I had a lot of genuine fun times.  Friday night, I hung out with my missional community to do pumpkin carving.  I used clay modeling tools to help shape my pumpkin.  The finish product was this.


Michael also carved a pumpkin.  He carved it for a boy at the party, so we didn’t actually get a picture of the finished product because it went home with the little boy, but here is Michael carving the pumpkin.


I got him that awesome pumpkin shirt for the party specifically.  I thought it was appropriate.

Saturday, we went shopping a lot.  I got paid for some dog sitting that I did last weekend, so I wanted to go ahead and buy some clothes for the colder weather.  My body has changed so much this past year, that it was time to just buy new clothes.  We went to Outback Steakhouse for lunch, and we splurged and got some Halloween desserts.  Michael got the milkshake and I got the “dirt” cup.


Earlier in the week, I asked for advice on which movie we should watch for Halloween.  The consensus was Hocus Pocus, which I found out Michael had never seen.  When Walmart didn’t have it, I went to Target on the suggestion of Facebook friends.  The Target I went to, according to the website, only had five copies.  And the aisle it said it would be on didn’t have any movies on it.  So, I searched through the movie section of the store to no avail.  Then, as I was shopping for other things, there it was laying on a shelf by itself!  Kismet!  So we got to see it this weekend after all!


Then, that evening, we sat on our driveway to hand out candy.


Our neighbors joined us, but we quickly realized that there weren’t a whole lot of trick-or-treaters coming through the neighborhood.  So, about 8, we closed up shop (leaving the bowl of candy out for any stragglers), and headed out to eat with our neighbors for an impromptu double date (something we have been wanting to do for a while).  The girls even got gussied up, and it was a lot of fun.  I didn’t get any pictures however, but if we go out again (which I’m sure we will), I will try to be more intentional with the pictures.  We were just having so much fun that I forgot!

How was your Halloween this year?  Do you watch a particular movie or have any traditions?

Adorkable Stickers

Thank you so much for all of your support yesterday.  I was blown away by the response, but I love how this community can come together and support each other.  Thank you again!

So, if you missed my post last Friday, I showed you my October weekly spread, which looked like this


And while I did use a few stickers and washi tape I already owned, the majority of the week was decorated with stickers from my friend Lacey.


Here’s Lacey and me at my wedding, almost eight years ago.  We were such kids then!

Lacey is an artist.  I remember in college, she was always doodling her “Bits” comics which were always hilarious and cute.  She even sketched this one day while she sat behind us in church.  She has serious talent.


We keep that hanging up in our room next to our wedding photo.  We love it that much.  Anyway, so a few months ago, I asked her if she knew about planner stickers.  I asked because number one, I’m addicted to planner stickers and will talk about them to anyone.  And number two, who better to ask about creating specialized stickers for my planner than a brilliantly talented artist?

So, after some research and conversation, Lacey sent me the most adorable owl stickers I have ever seen.  Plus other stickers that were equally adorable (and a giant sticker of the Doctor!)


Now the difference between her stickers and the other ones you might find on Etsy is that her stickers are originals, complete originals.  Everything she makes, every color she chooses, is from her.  No pattern is premade.  Plus, her stickers are affordable, especially since everything is original.

And I have to note that she doesn’t just make stickers.  She also sells t-shirts, illustrations, sketchcards, and prints of her art as well.  All of this, you can find at her Etsy store:

Also, she always seems to be having sales or specials, and can customize prints too!  You can find any of those updates on her Facebook page:

I am so lucky and blessed to have talented friends who are passionate about sharing their art.  Check her out!  You won’t be disappointed.

Aren’t these stickers adorable?  Do you like to draw or doodle?

Thank You

I feel like I write these kinds of posts all the time.  But I am so grateful for the people in my life and in my community.  You all have supported me with your words, your hearts and your prayers, and I know that God has put you all in my life.  And I am so, so overwhelmingly grateful.

Our life this past year has been full of transitions, both good and bad.  From our miscarriage to job changes to my grandfather recently passing, I feel like I have not gone through any of it alone.  I’ve received so much support from this community, from the people in our lives here in Dallas, and from my friends and family across states and even in other countries.

Thank you to the people who read this blog and encourage me on a weekly basis to keep writing.  When I started this blog, I wanted it to be something real that I shared with my family, friends, and online community.  In the past, I have written blogs that didn’t really feel like me.  I have worked hard this last year to make sure that the things I’m posting are things from the heart, but I do tend to leave out a lot of the details.

Because of your support, I’ve decided that I’m going to write more about what’s going on in our lives here in Texas.  I am really passionate about the things I do, and I want to share those things with you.  I hope you enjoy the extra writing each week.

Currently, I post most of my blogs on Facebook.  I will still post my blogs on Facebook from time to time, but if you want to follow all of my writing, I would encourage you to subscribe to my blog through an RSS feed or by email.  Or you can just go back and read what you missed when I do post a blog entry on Facebook.  Whatever works best for you.

Thank you all again for all the support you have given me this past year.  You are all amazing.  Thank you.

Weekly Check In 3/28/2015

This is my last March Update.  This month has really flown by for me.  There has been so much that has happened.  I’m not sure what my schedule will be in the upcoming month, so I’m not going to select a particular day that my check ins will come out in April, but I will try to keep it to either Saturday, Sunday, or at the latest Monday, and I will do my best to make them weekly.

This past week, there wasn’t one big thing like in the previous two weeks, but several fun, small things.  Wednesday was this pup’s birthday:


He turned twelve.  I’m sure that face is saying, “I’m how old?!?”  As per our tradition with our dogs, I took him out on a special trip to our local Petco, where he got to pick out some treats, get loved on by the employees, and mark his territory on the outside of the building.  Then, when we got home, we shared the goodies with our other dog who was deeply miffed that we left her.  All was forgotten when the cookies came out, though.

Thursday, I had a wonderful visit with a missions organization, but I think I will explain that further in an upcoming blog post.  Stay tuned.

Friday evening, Michael and I went over to a friend’s house for dinner.  They have two girls in elementary school, and it was so much fun to hang out for the night.  It was a much needed night of relaxation and catching up.  The girls ran upstairs after dessert and were blasting and singing along to the latest pop hits.  Michael and I were very entertained.  We loved every minute with them.

Then, on Saturday, I went back to the SPCA for more animal behavior training.  This particular class was about training tips and particular things they want each dog to learn to make them more adoptable.  This place has some of the sweetest dogs, and they are always getting adopted left and right.  I love being a part of such a wonderful program, and this next month I will be working directly with the behaviorists to create a volunteer track for other volunteers who are interested in training dogs within the shelter.  It’s going to be so much fun!

This next part is a bit TMI, so if you want to stop here, it’s all good.  My menstrual cycle started on Saturday.  Each time it starts, I have a little sadness that goes along with it.  I think these are the times it’s hardest for me to deal with losing my daughter.  The pain is no joke either.  My doctor put me on a strict medication regiment to hopefully get it under control, but I was up and down all night Saturday into Sunday.  I hope as each month passes, this gets easier (or I get pregnant).  For now, I just have to rely on God’s strength and comfort until I get to the other side of it.

Ok, TMI is over.  I hope you all have had a good week.  I will check in again in April.  Stay tuned for some blog posts coming this week!

Grief, Loss and Thanksgiving: Part One

Part 1: Grief – Monday, November 24, 2014

It started a week or so ago.  I hadn’t felt the baby move, but I explained it away, chalked it up to the fear and anxiety I carried over from my miscarriage last year.  I had an appointment today, so I made note to talk to the doctors about the anxiety.

However, the appointment was not as run of the mill as I hoped.  First, there was no heartbeat detected.  Then, I had a sonogram done, and there was no growth after 22 weeks, no heartbeat, nothing.  I had lost another baby.  I was wrapped in the compassionate arms of two of the doctors and a nurse almost immediately.  I called my husband who wasn’t there because this was really suppose to be a check up, but he left work immediately to meet me at the clinic.

I was moved to a room with table and chairs, somewhere less clinical, to wait for Michael.  I started making calls to family and work to let them know what was going on.  I wavered between sobbing breakdowns and staring at nothing in shock.  When my husband arrived, the doctor rejoined us to talk about what happens next.  I would have to go to a hospital to deliver, something I didn’t think I would be doing until spring.

We went home and I just sat outside for a while.  Michael made lunch, and we talked about our plans for the week, making one decision and then wait a couple hours to make the next decision, because it was all so much to take in.  We decided we would go to the hospital on Wednesday (our doctor would be on call that day).  We wouldn’t be traveling for Thanksgiving, so we would have to figure out something for food that day. I continued making a few more calls and then let the grapevine take over, receiving texts the rest of the day as people found out.  My friend Lori came by that evening for some talk about everything and anything, but what was about to happen.  It was a nice visit.  Finally, my mom and I made plans for her to fly in Tuesday night to help us during the procedure and recovery.  It will be good to have her here.

A Year in My Life of Transition

If my life were a movie, I feel like the last year would be edited into a montage.  So, in a recap of the last year, I thought I would share a montage of my year in photos.


Having my family come to visit in July was wonderful.  I am very thankful to have their love and support in the ups and downs of this past year.  Having a mom that I can vent my frustrations to (and vice-versa) is invaluable.  Also, having a dad and brother who will listen and be able to say exactly what I need to hear is pretty great too. 🙂


This year, I have been especially grateful to be with this man.  We have had several small adventures through this past year, including beer brewery tours, concerts, long nature walks, even watching people launch things off of ramps to see if they could fly (also known as the Red Bull Flugtag, as seen above).


At the end of September, my in-laws walked with us in the annual Alzheimer’s Walk.  I am so thankful to have married into such a  supportive, compassionate and loving family.


When Michael and I were visiting my parents for Thanksgiving, they took us on a hike through this beautiful park.  This past year, I have learned a lot about spending time in nature as a way to heal, relax and process.  I have incorporated it into my prayer time as a way to connect to God.


Now, who would put up a picture from a cruise to talk about her job?  This girl!  The whole reason I went on this cruise was because of my job! This was our Christmas bonus this past year, and for Michael and me, it was very much needed.  Even though my job has been in a steady state of transition pretty much this whole year, I know that I have the love and support of my work family.  That really makes a difference.


Speaking of family, this is one of my favorite memories of the past year.  I was honored to be able to watch Lori’s two older boys while she and her husband were welcoming in their third!  I think of this sweet family as an extension of my own, and I don’t know how I would have made it through this last year without them!  They are truly a God-sent gift into my life.


The trip to New York was a pivotal point for me this year.  It was uncomfortable and pushed me outside of my limits.  From the moment I got off the plane to the moment I was back in Dallas, I was in community with people unlike me.  A lot of the time, I was by myself in the middle of one of the largest and most diverse cities in America, and I realized how I had forgotten to be with people.  When I came home, I was determined to keep a grasp on this feeling of worldwide community.

That’s when I really started feeling uncomfortable with where I was in my life.  I realized how much time I was allowing myself to go through the motions unchallenged.  A few weeks later, I’m signing up for a Spanish class at the community college that has allowed me to meet people from different countries and cultures who don’t always agree with me, even about core value things.  And, I’m learning to disagree gracefully.

There are more days that I keep my head down than I would like to admit, but I’m still learning to grasp for the challenging opportunities to grow.  I’m still trying to see the world from another’s perspective and make decisions in accordance with the direction and purpose I feel called to in this life.  I hope to go even closer to the life I feel called to lead in this next year, and hopefully I will continue to take you all along in my journey.