Every Day Incredible
Love Isn\\\'t Selfish
Carys Rainn Foundation
After The Rainn
I'm feeling a bit emotionally drained as we are looking at Paxton and Carys' 6th birthday tomorrow. Paxton is getting so big. It amazes me to watch him learn and grow. Kiddo knows more about dinosaurs than I've ever known... he's continually sharing random dinosaur facts and spouting out dino names that are definitely new to me... along with facts about them, like what their names mean, which ones were biggest, which ones were herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores... which one had the biggest claw, or runs the fastest... He's reading well beyond Kindergarten level, loves science and all things Star Wars... still gets excited about dogs, and ... well... he still amazes me. As always, it's bittersweet to think about him not being tiny anymore, and to look at him in all his big boy-ness... just a jumble of emotions.
I went to a little girl's birthday party saturday... didn't think much about it. It may not have been a good idea. I wanted the boys to go play with other kids, and I wanted the chance to visit with the other adults. The timing probably wasn't best... I cried about the whole way home, missing my girl. It's hard to not think about all of the "if she were here..." thoughts. The lack of little girl toys, the lack of Easter dresses and pigtails.... the lack of her hugs and kisses. 6 years don't take away that pain. We still have joy and peace, but her absence still hurts too. We've not forgotten her, we just keep moving forward.
As we move forward, I still long for Heaven, and I'm still beyond thankful that I KNOW it's real. I touched it, after all. I felt it. All those ruffled dresses at Easter have nothing on what I'm sure my baby girl has there. I mean... what my big girl has there. :) After all, she's 6 tomorrow.
Time to go work on dinosaur cupcakes and a volcano display for tomorrow's party. I have an excited little dino expert snoozing in his bunkbed!
The ad was approved when status was "ended"
Papaw: Way back before we quit traveling, we’d take off and go to Nashville. We went to Renfro Valley a lot of times too. Old John Lair started it. We were there before he died. They took it over commercial now, but for a long time, they had the old originals. They wouldn’t allow anything on the stage but guitars and fiddles. They had two or three good country women singers and some good men singers. John and Jessie wore those big overalls and they played… it was a good show. Roy Acuff was one of my favorites [at the Grand Ol’ Opry].
Teri: which one tried to date mom? Was it Roy Acuff or Chet Atkins?Norma Atkins… remember Glady’s sister, Norma? She was related to Chett Atkins, and they had mom a date fixed up with him one time. But mom had already met you and started dating you and wouldn’t go with him.
Papaw: They tell me now, after I’m 80 some years old…*laughs* Me and Doris saw several country music shows. We’d take off and go. I had a set-up for a while, I had a camp trailer. I could call KOA campground in Nashville and reserve my camping spot and my tickets. When I’d go down there, my tickets would be laying on the counter, and we’d go to the Grand Ol’ Opry. We didn’t even have to move the trailer, they’d pick us up on a bus and take us to the Grand Ol’ Opry and back to the trailer. Then, we could visit - the owners had a record shop. It was about a mile from there. It made a pretty good night. That Grand Ol’ Opry house now- that Opry house is really something. It’s a big, modern… you’d be surprised.
In Papaw's last few moments, my mind turned to these pictures of me running to him as a child. I imagine there was a similar scene in Heaven when he met my baby girl for the first time.
Heaven is going to be so wonderful.
Charles Edward Rose, 6/13/29 - 6/11/16Charles Edward Rose, 86, of Raceland Kentucky went home to be with his Savior at his home while surrounded by his family on Saturday, June 11, in the 2016 year of our Lord. Charles was born June 13, 1929 in Worthington, Kentucky the firstborn son of the late George and Arizona Brown Rose.He was preceded in death by his first wife, Doris Bentley, (daughter of Hilliard and Agnes Davis Bentley) Surviving from that union are 3 daughters, Cheryl Rose Akers (the late Jack Akers) of Ashland, Teressa “Teri” Rose Harris (Rev. James Harris) of Argillite KY, Mellessa “Mel” Rose Thomas (Robert “Gene” Thomas) Jacksonville FL and 1 son, Charles A “Buck” Rose (Phoebe) of Greenup KY.He is survived by his wife, Frances Ruth Martin Rose2 brothersGeorge Rose Jr. (the late Lula Hubbard Rose) of Wurtland, KentuckyWilliam “Bill” Leslie Rose (Avanelle Hannah Rose) of Worthington, KentuckyHe is also survived by3 step-daughtersJoyce Lynn Cantrell (Kenny) of Argillite, KentuckyGracie Rhonda Zieglien (Daniel) of Owensville KYBetty Frances Caudill (Ralph Caudill) Raceland, Kentucky2 step-sonsRobert Wayne Stepp (Velvet) Argillite KentuckyHarold Eugene Stepp (Lisa) Wurtland Kentucky9 grandchildrenJames L Watson II (Monica) Mohave NevadaLillian Patricia Addison (Gary) Elkhorn, NebraskaCharles Robert “Bobby” Thomas (Christina) Jacksonville FloridaWilliam Michael Thomas (Lindsey) Jacksonville FloridaAmy Renee’ Harris, Argillite KentuckyJames Andrew “Andy” Harris (Bethany) Argillite, KentuckyKeri Ann Harris Kitchen (Aaron) Grayson KentuckyRoger Dale Rose (Shellie) Greenup KentuckyJames Patrick Rose (Janel) Greenup Kentucky10 step-grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren and 9 step-great grandchildrenWe remember Charles Alan Rose he is deceased but not forgotten.Funeral services will be conducted at 10:00am Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at Reed Funeral Home in Greenup Kentucky by Rev. James W. Harris. Burial will be in Bellefonte Memorial Gardens in Flatwoods. Kentucky.Visitation will be 6:00 – 9:00 pm Monday and one hour before the service on Tuesday.Masonic Rites will be officiated at 8pm Monday during the visitation by Flatwoods Smith Lodge #775. Also Monday there will be a brief, Memorial service held at 5 pm to minister to young children of the family, who are mourning his loss.
Every Easter, I think of the bittersweet nature of what we are celebrating.
"My spirit is willing but my body is weak."
That thought repeats in my head, and I'm reminded how easily I become weak. I've said before that there is that part of me that will always be a bit weary here on earth, no matter how much rest I have. My tolerance for stress and painful life events is different than it once was. It doesn't take nearly as much, and that all-too-familiar feeling of weariness wraps around me again. Maybe it's a bit like an old bathrobe. I don't know about you, but I think it's hard to feel too energetic while wearing a bathrobe. There's just something about it that makes me want to curl up under the covers and not accomplish much of anything.
Granted, much has changed in the past five years, and I've done a lot of growing and healing during that time. Even so, when life throws a curve ball, I feel myself reaching for that robe. It's oddly comfortable because it's so familiar, even though it's not pleasant.
Maybe it's comfortable because I am reminded how near Heaven is, and I'm reminded of the intense peace I felt the day Carys went home there. I never feel like I can adequately put into words what an experience that was. Heaven felt so real, and so close. It hasn't gone anywhere, and sometimes we are reminded of that.
It's always bittersweet. Like Easter.
Everywhere we look, we see bright colors, candies, chocolate, toys, flowers, new clothes..... it all looks so fresh and new. Not all of the Easter story was fresh and new and happy. It was painful... physically and emotionally. We can't ignore that part, or we miss the value of empty tomb.
Christ died- for us. He died in our place. He died a very painful, agonizing death on a cross, and He didn't have to. If only I had words to express my gratitude....
The joys of this life wouldn't be as appreciated without the heartaches. The bitter balances out the sweet and helps us have gratitude.
This Easter, I once again ask for prayers of peace for my family. My grandfather is under the care of hospice. It's hard to know what to say, other than that I'm thankful for God's promises. I'm thankful for the promise of Heaven, where whatever happens on this earth will be drowned out by peace and love straight from the source, Himself.
What a day, that will be!
I went to visit my girl today and took her some flowers that Pax chose for her.
I have also been doing lots of cleaning and organizing, and came across a note pad from sometime in 2011, shortly after the twins were born. As I flipped through it, I found the following:
Obviously, these thoughts didn't make it to the blog at the time.
There was a period of time that I felt like I was lying every time I said, "I'm okay." I justified it to myself by saying, "well, in some ways, I'm okay... I mean... what does it really MEAN to say I'm okay, anyway? It's all relative...."
Still, I didn't really feel okay. I also didn't want to worry those around me who cared, or seem like I was just seeking sympathy or pity.
I was struggling. Clearly.
I know the comment about clients "who are too selfish to parent" seems very harsh... that's where I was at the time. I didn't mean it harshly, it was just written out of hurt. I was working with clients who would tell me that they weren't doing what they needed to do to regain custody of their children. I worked to try to encourage and motivate, but seriously... it hurt.
God had different plans for me than He did them, though.
God always has a loving plan... even when it hurts.
I'm not really sure why I'm sharing this now... maybe someone else can relate to not feeling "okay." Maybe someone needs to feel less alone, and have some hope that even though things may not feel okay now, they can improve.
I'm truly "okay" now. I miss my girl, of course, and I am forever changed, but I'm out of the grief fog and moving on, taking her memory with me.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
The second annual Carys Rainn Memorial Ready...Set... Glo! 5k was held Friday, June 26th. With those who preregistered and those who registered Friday night, we had a total of 198 participants. It was quite a few less than last year, but with the severe weather we had, we're pretty pleased with the turnout.
Speaking of severe weather, this is the text I received while doing the 1 mile walk in the torrential downpour that was happening.
"I sure am thinking of Carys," Pax had commented when I was explaining what it meant that it was a memorial 5k. We were all thinking of Carys.
All in all, there were some factors of the evening that weren't ideal, but it was still a success. Everything we do through the foundation helps raise awareness and opens the door for grieving parents to talk about their little ones in Heaven. What a privilege we have!
Andrew's mom, from Andrew's Angels!) had sent a balloon and puppy to Paxton and these pretty yellow flowers in memory of Carys. Paxton fell asleep snuggled up with Gus, his new puppy (which quickly joined the litter of puppies that have already taken up residence in his bed).
When I signed into facebook, I noticed the trending topics and that a QUADRUPLE RAINBOW had been sighted in Long Island.
(and notice that another friend shared the link about our foundation's 2nd annual 5k and it showed up in the news feed right below)
The point of all of this play-by-play post is that God knows what we need when we need it. The pain of loss has really stung this year, but throughout the whole day, I have had friends and family sending me messages, commenting on my facebook wall, etc., acknowledging the birth of BOTH of my babies. I'm sure all of the baby loss moms will especially understand how appreciated and validating that is. I'm not the only one who remembers her. She really was here and really did make an impact.
Even more, though, today is a reminder that God meets our needs, whether physical, spiritual, or emotional. He knew our hearts and arms are aching, and He sent loved ones our way to remind us that our grief matters, even four years later.
***God always has a loving plan. For more information about what is going on through The Carys Rainn Foundation, Inc., visit www.carysrainn.org and be sure to sign up for our mailing list so you know when we make new announcements!
When I was still pregnant with the twins, I purchased a couple of little sound recorders to go in teddy bears. I recorded Paxton and Carys' heartbeats at one of our appointments and recorded Carys' onto one of the recorders. I'd intended to put it in a Teddy Bear and just hadn't found the right bear and the time to do it. Today, I did.
Thankfully, he was a willing recipient of cuddles this morning and was cheerful as he snuggled back against me, smiling.
He's getting so big. It seems as if he's grown several inches just in the past week or more. He talks nonstop and uses a vocabulary that is much bigger than his age. He's witty and entertaining. He's growing up so fast, along with "his" baby, who will be a year old this month.
Where does time go?
After a while, it dawned on me. October is six months after their birthday. That first October after Paxton and Carys were born saw me at my lowest. I'd resigned from my supervisor position and transferred to a different position that didn't feel like a good fit. I had significant work-related anxiety and I was having difficulty coping with it. It seemed like everyone else was moving on before I was ready to do the same, and though no one said it, I got the impression that others were no longer as interested in hearing me talk about Carys and our story. I was still functioning from within the grief fog.
It felt like I was kicking and screaming trying to hold on to a time when my baby girl still felt near, while the progression of time kept pulling me farther and farther away.
Three and a half years.
So many things have changed in three years. I now work from home, being a full-time mommy, working for the non-profit, working in direct sales, and various other projects so I can be with our boys. I generally feel happier and more at peace than I have in a long time - but I still miss her. My arms ache to hold her. I long for pigtails and pretty little dresses. I long to feel her little arms wrapped around my neck and to hear her giggle while playing with her brothers.
I don't often allow myself to go there. It hurts to play the "what would it be like if..." game. Some days, it just still hits hard, and I find myself longing for Heaven even more than normal.
Heaven is going to be so wonderful. I can't wait to feel those little arms around me and kiss those sweet little cheeks again.
"*** Thanks to everyone who came out to support the Carys Rainn Foundation by participating in the Ready... Set... Glo 5K in Ashland, KY! We had 282 registered! We lit up the KYOVA Mall!*** We gave out 35 medals for 1st time 5k runners/walkers! It was a great run, great weather... but our runners were up to the challenge!*** Congratulations to overall male winner John Sloan at 19:33 and overall female winner Susan Sanders at 21:21! In the Amy For Africa Big Boy Classic Challenge Scott Walter defeated Mark Maynard.*** Special thanks goes out to Heather Pick of Team Christian and Wyatt and Amy Compston of Amy For Africa. Their enthusiasm and support added to the success of the event!"
After listening, if anyone is interested in participating in any of our upcoming events, visit the website at www.carysrainn.org or www.facebook.com/carysrainn. We're currently seeking item donations for the auction in July, and registration for the 5K can be submitted online at www.tristateracer.com.
"At age 36, I was diagnosed with mesothelioma just 3 ½ months after my first and only child, Lily, was born. I was given just 15 months to live unless I underwent a drastic surgery to remove my left lung. Miraculously, I beat the odds and I’m still here eight years later.
Asbestos is not banned in the US, yet it’s the only known cause of mesothelioma. I was exposed to asbestos through my fathers work jacket when I was just a little girl; my diagnosis came about 30 years later. Once diagnosed, most patients die within 2 years. I am one of few survivors who openly share their story and work to spread awareness regarding the dangers of asbestos."I share this now not simply because I was asked to do so, but also to acknowledge that storms come in many forms. Make an effort to prevent the ones you can, but also know that it's not possible to prevent every storm from coming. Even if we are doing everything we believe is "right," sometimes storms happen. How you respond to them make a world of difference. Heather chose to reach out to others in an attempt to prevent them from going through the same traumatic experiences she has faced. Check out her awareness page, then consider the storms in your own life.
Does God want to use your storms for some purpose that is not yet being realized?
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
I've had Carys (and Heaven) on my mind frequently lately as Easter and their birthday approaches. 3 years. How has it been that long already? I'm thankful, though, to say that Carys continues to be very well remembered and frequently mentioned. As I recently shared with some dear friends in the baby loss world, "most moms take their kids to the park to get out.... i take mine to the cemetery. (sharing because I know you all understand) so... Pax asked me today where Heaven was, if it was way up high in the "fye." I said, "That's where we imagine it to be; we can't really see it." he said, "I want you to wift me up high so I can see it!" Then, he said something about Carys' flowers. I told him they were pink and yellow flowers for her, and he got his pouty look on his face and said "but i didn't want dohs fowers." so I asked him what flowers he wanted to get for her instead, he said "nofing. Toys." I asked what kind of toys, he told me he wanted a mommy toy, a baby brover toy, a daddy toy, and a Paxton toys." I know what Carys needs for her birthday (well, what we need to get her for Paxton).
The Carys Rainn Foundation is doing well and I'm excited about the events we have coming up. June 27th, we will be hosting the Ready... Set... Glo 5K (a nighttime glow race). The second weekend of July will be our Online Auction, and we will be hosting a professional training August first at KDMC for medical and mental health professionals. Exciting stuff!
Since last time I posted, I resigned my position in community mental health to stay home with my boys. While I am very much at peace with that decision and thankful to have this time with them (even on the rough days!), I'm also still working at my own projects to contribute to the household income. I started www.kerikitchen.info to keep them all straight. (ha!) So, Prayers appreciated. :)
But now, I actually have both boys napping and a billion things on my to do list... so God bless and have a wonderful day!
I read it to him tonight (and didn't cry as much as I thought I would).
He didn't say much about it, but I could tell he was really paying attention. As I was getting him ready for bed, he was just jabbering. He asked me what I've been dreaming about and talked about the Bible stories we read. He told me the 10 commandments (with some prompting of course). I thoroughly enjoyed just talking to him. What an amazing little boy he is.
The conversation led to him asking me where God and Jesus live. I told him God lives in our hearts and asked if He lived in his (he said yes). He then asked where Carys lives, which led to him asking where Heaven is. It's a little difficult to explain to a 2 year old where Heaven is. I told him it was a little hard to explain, but we could picture it being way up high. He seemed satisfied with this answer. But then, I commented that I believe we felt Heaven the day he and his sister were born.
Of course, this prompted more questions. "Did He come down?" "Did Jesus dive down from the ceiling?"
"Did Heaven dive down?"
"Something like that, buddy."
Heaven did dive down when they were born. It dove down and totally encompassed us with overwhelming peace and love. It's not REALLY "way up high"... it's closer to us than we even realize. It has to be - we've touched it. It wasn't the first time Heaven dove down to earth... and it won't be the last.
So thankful that Heaven dives down when we need it most - and leaves us with the promise of more.
2012, my word was Joy
2013, my word was Action
For 2014, I am ANTICIPATING what God has in store.
I am excited about the possibilities in front of us and know that God is continuing to work in a big way. I'm anticipating progress in my personal life, professional life, the Foundation... I'm anticipating seeing pieces falling into place this coming year.
I know God has a plan!
New International Version (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
Negative, defeating, discouraging thoughts will always come. Often, they come as seeds planted by others’ words, or the experiences we have. After a loss, they may come in the form of statements such as, “You need to just move on,” or “Don’t cry,” or “aren’t you over that yet?”
I’m sure you’ve heard your share of well-intentioned but hurtful comments. People often say hurtful things, simply because they just don’t know what TO say and end up with a foot in the mouth.
While you may know some of the things others say, or the things you say to yourself aren’t helpful, and usually aren’t even true, it’s easy to fall into the trap of treating yourself as if they are true and dwelling on them. Its easy to do, surrounded and weakened by a fog of grief, but it doesn’t allow for healing.
What often happens if there are such barriers to healing, is that it goes beyond typical grief and can develop into long-lasting depression and anxiety, characterized by guilt and anger. The grief process naturally lasts a long time, and I believe it would be safe to say it leaves a scar that never fully goes away. With that said, the barriers can be like glass in the wound that keeps it from healing properly. It may not always be obvious, but if it gets bumped in some way, it’s like it’s still very well raw and fresh.
Today, I want to ask you if you have glass in your wounds. What unhelpful thoughts keep you from finding that peaceful healing. Are you thoughts leaving you feeling guilty? Angry? Bitter/resentful? What is standing in the way between you and finding peace? Are there lies you are telling yourself that maybe you would never tell another parent here? For example, “I should be over it by now.” “If I had only….” “I shouldn’t have/If I hadn’t ______then this wouldn’t have happened…”
One of the best ways descriptions I could possibly give for working through your grief would be to find a purpose and peace in your experiences. This isn’t possible, though, if you focus only on the unhelpful, guilty, resentful, negative thoughts. It’s not possible if you continue to focus on blame. It’s not possible if you don’t give yourself permission to experience the grief and feel what you feel. It’s okay to admit if your heart is broken, or if you miss your children. It’s okay to admit that you are grieving, even if it has been what others may consider “too long.” It’s not about them. It’s about you and your journey to finding peace with your loss.
Most importantly in your journey to finding peace, it’s important to focus on what is helpful and healing. For me, personally, I have found peace by focusing on the fact that I fully believe that God loves us, that He’s not selfish, and doesn’t allow painful things to happen to us for our own amusement. Scripture tells us that He is Love, and describes in a very detailed way what Love really is. I believe that, and believing that helps me find peace. I believe, as scripture also says, that God has plans to prosper us and not to harm us – to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11-13). So if God loves us, love isn’t selfish, and He has plans for us, there must be a loving purpose in my daughter not being with me. Because I believe this, I can honestly say that I would still rather have had my daughter with anencephaly than not at all. She has touched the lives of many and will continue to do so through our non-profit, founded in her name. God had a purpose for her, even though her life here was short. A final thought that has helped me find peace is that I believe fully that Heaven is for real, and I will live my life in such a way that I will be with her again.
I’d like to leave you with a verse that helps me keep my focus:
New International Version (NIV)
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
This is "normal."
Is there ever really such thing? I'm getting to experience a "normal" pregnancy with all the normal quirks and symptoms (and some discomforts I didn't really experience with the twins too, but hey, I'll take it).
Yet it doesn't feel normal. Even now, I feel like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. I have absolutely no reason to actually believe anything will go wrong from this point... he has been growing and everything has gone completely as expected, but it's still hard to just relax. I've heard so many of the horror stories.
Did you know it's Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month?
This is part of it... the aftermath of pregnancy and infant loss. Even normal things don't really seem normal after loss.
Throughout this pregnancy, I've allowed myself to be distracted by so many other things (largely feeling stressed about work)... but I wonder how much of it is my way of coping too - trying to keep myself from focusing too much on the what-if's. Once a baby loss mom, always a baby loss mom. Even had another dream last night about Paxton falling and having what seemed to be a potentially life-threatening injury. Just like the last one, it was some kind of brain trauma. I know every parent has those kinds of fears, but for me, it's another reminder that I need to get the fall flower arrangement to the cemetery for my baby girl.
I do have peace in knowing that whatever happens, God has a plan and we'll be okay. I just still find myself pleading, "God, please don't ask that of us again..." I know very well that if He did, it would be because He had a very big, loving reason for doing so. I know that He'd give us what we need exactly when we need it. I know that and I believe it... but at the same time, there's such a part of me that is just still so weary. The part of me that longs for Heaven regularly - the eternal home where things are stable and God's love and peace saturates EVERYTHING. That part of me hopes that Heaven comes before any more major losses. Maybe that sounds bad to someone who hasn't been through a journey like ours, I don't know. I'm being honest though.
We've not announced this little darlin's name. Not really because we're trying to keep it a secret, it's more because we've just not been sure ourselves! We're continually being asked, and I can't give a definite answer, even though we're about 99.9% sure. What we do know, however, is that we plan for his middle name to be Isaac.
During the last pregnancy, the story of Abraham and Isaac came up so frequently. I wasn't asked to sacrifice Carys on an altar, but we were asked to sacrifice our hopes and dreams for her and trust that God had other plans for us. I had to be willing to let her go before I could find peace. I know all too well that the same could be true for any other loved one. I have to be willing to let go, no matter how much it hurts, and trust that God will provide. That certainly includes this new, very loved little boy.
God always provides. Sometimes, we're just too busy clinging to things we need to let go and we completely miss what He may have for us. Trust isn't always easy. It's not always comfortable. But God always provides.
New International Version (NIV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
New International Version (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Life gets crazy, right? Sometimes it seems like we're pulled in a billion different directions. Sometimes it's far from fun. Sometimes, it's exciting. It's always full of blessings (even if we don't choose to focus on them).
I've definitely been aware of and thankful for my blessings lately, even when I get overwhelmed with other things. In fact, as I type now, I'm enjoying listening to Paxton and his daddy laughing together playing in the other room.
This brings me to the other news, "for those who don't know."
Baby Kitchen #3 is on the way.
This morning, we got another peek at Baby Kitchen #3, and everything looked perfect. After last pregnancy, we're overly aware of how easily things can change. I've heard so many "horror stories" at this point of so many of the things that can go wrong, that even though things have been perfectly smooth, I can't help but be nervous. Even so, we're at peace and know that God still knows what He's doing. Every appointment, we leave feeling relieved to have another good report.
As strange as it may seem for a blogger to be quiet about something so big, I've had a hard time posting here on the blog and haven't even posted anything publicly on facebook until now. In part, I've wanted to be cautious about how I approach announcements because I have so many people on my friends' list whose losses are still fresh or who continue to struggle with infertility. I know when someone is hurting, it can be difficult to see others' happy, healthy pregnancies plastered everywhere. To those who are hurting, please know I wish you peace and comfort.
The other part of my hesitation to publicly post about our newest little blessing is that it still seems hard to believe. Even though we're currently at 31 weeks, it's hard to believe that in a matter of weeks, we might get to bring another baby home with us. Those who have a baby or babies in Heaven will understand that, I'm sure.
However, as long as things continue to go as well as they have, our newest little boy will be arriving in a little under 2 months. We're very thankful, blessed, and excited about the opportunity to welcome another baby boy into our family. Paxton is excited about "baby brudder" and often puts my hand on my belly over his and calls for his daddy, "daddy, come feel baby wiff us!"
Yes, life is crazy sometimes, and things get overwhelming and stressful at times, but I'm so very thankful for my family. They bring me so much joy! I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be called mommy. I recognize that it is a privilege not all have a chance to experience. Trust me, I don't want to ever take it for granted.
|left: baby K #3, right: Paxton ... think they might look a little bit alike? :)|
As I've recently posted, there are many good things happening. I'm very excited about the foundation, I'm very much in love with my family... I am a very blessed woman.
In other areas, I can't help but feel that no matter how hard I try, it will never be enough.
I was thinking recently about the one shift I worked in the cafeteria in undergrad. I remember being at the brink of tears most of the time I was there. It wasn't the work I minded, it was that it was another tie I had created there when I felt horribly unsettled about being there. I didn't have a rational reason to give, just that I felt very out of place (in a place I had loved until then). When I tried to think of a solution, the one that gave me a great deal of peace was "simple." Transfer.
I didn't know why, but I was miserable. For whatever reason, I didn't belong where I was. After calling home in tears, my parents were supportive in allowing me to pack up and transfer to a local university where I spent the next semester. Even though I was going to classes with all new people in a place outside of my comfort zone, I felt more peace. I knew I had to go, and I went.
Looking back, there were a number of things I experienced because of that semester that seemed to be parts of the reason God was directing me there - and I do believe God was leading me there. I often wonder, though, if a big part of the reason for leaving for just the one semester was simply a lesson in following. Simply recognizing that when I had no peace where I was, it was because I needed to be elsewhere.
While I do have many blessings to count, I've also been feeling very out of place in a couple of areas. I don't feel like I can really be open about details right now, but the general idea is simple. If I'm struggling so hard in something to make it work, but no matter how hard I try, it doesn't work... Maybe i'm trying too hard at the wrong thing(s).
In college, the answer was simple. Transfer out of your comfort zone and trust. Now that I'm older, it's really not as simple. I have an idea of what changes I need to make, but I'm limited in how much I can do. My choices don't only impact me. I'm willing, I'm just feeling stuck where I don't belong while I wait for what's coming next. So, for the moment, I guess my answer is to continue to pray for wisdom, and trust.
I trust that God knows where I am in my journey. He knows where I'm headed. Best of all, He sees what steps are next, even when I don't.I'm trusting... wearily... but ready to take the next step in the right direction, as soon as I have peace about what direction that may be.
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
Life gets busy! .... and it's about to get even more busy.
Really though, I'm not posting to talk about the struggles... I'd actually rather not even go into that right now. I just wanted to take a few moments to throw out some good updates. First of all, I announced in April that the foundation is officially tax exempt. We're still moving forward! It's been a slow road so far, but I'm still so excited to see the potential we have in front of us.
I've recently had the opportunity to engage in some discussion about the future possibility of some research in the area of pregnancy and infant loss. I won't go into details right now, but I can say (while trying to stifle my nerdy excitement) that i'm pretty excited about the possibilities of the information we can give back to the medical and mental health communities!
In order to raise funds for the projects we have planned for the future, we're having our first big fundraiser this coming weekend (all day July 27th). It will be an online auction, hosted on the foundation's facebook page (www.facebook.com/carysrainn). We've had lots of great donations and support so far! I'm very hopeful and looking forward to the auction (maybe not so much the shipping chaos that is bound to follow... but it'll be worth it!).
For now, that's all I'm going to share. This momma is exhausted and I've been looking at my computer screen the bigger part of the day, writing, calculating shipping estimates, and trying to get organized for the big auction.
Don't forget to watch for rainbows!
As you know, it's a Monday again. My thoughts are drifting to the negative and I'm starting the week feeling weary and worn down. I need your help. Help me, Lord, to be positive in my thoughts and speech. Please, help me be an encouragement to those around me rather than a dark cloud. Help me to be the employee and therapist you'd have me to be. Let my words be your words.
Lord, as this new week begins, help me to be the kind of wife, mother, friend, and family member you have called me to be. Lead me to actions that will reflect you and your Amazing Love.
Thank you for your many blessings. Thank you for the opportunities in front of me. Thank you for my family and friends. Thank you for giving me a way to earn money for my family. Thank you for loving even me.
I need you Lord.... and I love you. Please, let others see you when they look at me.
Rainndrops On Roses
"God will Bless your socks off"
Since I've been on maternity leave this holiday season, I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to snuggle my boys and get some crafting going! Huge post here....
In the bottom are matching pink sequins
(mixed with a small amount of instant coffee for an aged effect), topped with dimensional mod podge.
- Soup, Can Do!
I found a recipe for 8 Can Taco Soup from the blog High Heels & Grills, which actually prompted this post: It's made with... yes... you guessed it... 8 cans of ingredients. When I stumbled across the recipe, I thought it would make a great gift basket type gift for a college student or someone in a similar position. Arrange those 8 cans in a microwavable bowl (or even a crock pot/mini crock pot if you'd like!), add some pretty wrapping and ribbon.... presto, cute gift idea and a new recipe for the cookbook.
- Knot a Big Deal...
Here's a cool crochet or knotted scarf idea I saw at DollarStoreCrafts.com that I'm really wanting to try now. I'm tempted to try doing it with thin strips of those old t-shirts I have saved back for just such a project...
- It's a Wrap!
I've made heated neckwraps for several people over the years. They can be so nice when you just want to relax, if your neck/shoulders are sore, or if you have a headache. To make mine, I've used inexpensive fleece blankets for my fabric, but you could also use an old tshirt , a hand towel, or other fabric on-hand for material. A quick search pulled up this how-to article for someone else's method.
Another have-made-and-like project that doesn't have to be expensive is a hand/body scrub that leaves your skin feeling silky smooth.
Essential Oils (I've also used mint extract, but lavender essential oil is probably my favorite for this!)
Just mix together until you get the consistency you want (should be pretty thick) and pour/scoop into a pretty glass jar. NOTE: I just recently saw decorative glass jars with a seal at dollar tree, and have also recycled baby food jars and other small, cute jars for this project. In fact, you could probably find epsom salt, baby oil, and mint extract all at your local dollar tree! Just remember to be careful if you use the scrub in the tub because baby oil WILL make your tub slick. :) Be safe, scrub happy!
DoorDinner is a-jar
There are lots and lots of meal-in-a-jar recipes out there. You can find some from Chef Tess or just do a quick search on google or pinterest. You can also make your own by layering dry ingredients of your favorite recipes (or my favorite brownie recipe that I have already shared a couple of times here before).
- Hot Chocolate...Truffles.
Need I say more? I came across this recipe for hot chocolate truffle balls to drop in milk and make hot chocolate. They sound incredible... gotta try them!!
What ideas do you all have?? Please share!!
First, I want to share an article I wrote for www.elevateyourmarriage.comThe post is about "Avoiding the 'Last-Minuter' Approach."
The second link I'd like to share is to another blog I just stumbled upon to discover some good stocking stuffer ideas:
then I sprayed the back with a clear spray to cover some of the messy glue spots I
had left behind in my original struggles haha
Positive discipline handouts
Therapy handouts blog
FOR THERAPIST FRIENDS AND NON-THERAPIST FRIENDS:
This link has audio files for relaxation techniques that are great... who doesn't need to relax sometimes??
Last thing to share for now... the side table. The base was an old plant stand I painted black. The top was a plain glass table top that I covered with stained glass pieces.
So I sprayed it gold and tucked it into the Christmas tree...
then I did the same with a few more.
good deals, including 10 free Christmas cards
Coupon Code: ucover
pay only the $11.95 for S/H for a baby sling.
Coupon Code: seven
pay only S/H for a nursing cover
Short and sweet... just thought I'd share
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