On Due Dates and Miscarriages

I knew the day was approaching. Circled in red on my calendar, it was a constant reminder of what wouldn’t be. My momma heart was bracing itself for the day’s impact. The funny thing about calendar days: you can’t skip over them no matter how much you want to. The youngest reader in the house read the words and asked, “Mom, what’s due date?” He cried when I told him. We sank to the kitchen floor and snuggled.

But then I started to feel strange, and I secretly wondered. The cheap Dollar Tree test confirmed it…I was pregnant on the due date of our miscarriage baby. Suddenly, the day didn’t seem so dark and gloomy. We danced through the day.

positive pregnancy test

We kept our secret tucked inside as best we could between the sickness and the excitement. We waited–for weeks to slowly pass and heartbeats to be seen. We waited for weekends with family to see the look on their faces as we told the story of God’s goodness and timing. We waited for just the right moment to slip a black and white photo across the table and have everyone erupt with joy. We waited, breath held with each passing day toward new trimesters and the next red circle on the calendar.

We danced through the days and high-fived at the end of each one we made it through. Then we said a prayer to make it through the next one. One day at a time.

We danced at my sister’s wedding in our vintage-inspired clothes. We toasted with our water glasses while others around us had a little something more. We celebrated.

vintage 1920's wedding

vintage wedding selfies

But then I started to feel strange, and I secretly wondered. The blood in the toilet confirmed it…I was miscarrying at my sister’s wedding reception. Suddenly, the day didn’t seem so happy and fun. We sat, shocked, while others danced through the night.

Everyone tried to get me to leave and go rest, but I didn’t want to. In a way, I wasn’t ready to face what was happening. I watched my boys move on the dance floor, oblivious to what was taking place. I yearned for their innocence. I made a choice to dance with them. To enjoy the night and make a memory with them. To be joyful even when my world was crumbling around me, because of the Hope of Christ in me.

The next day, we went to walk on the beach. To make a memory with the boys, spend a few more precious moments with those who love us, and to watch the sunset. As the boys dug in the powder white sand, we contemplated how a God that can make something so beautiful could still care so deeply and personally for us. His love is beyond all measure. He has shown us time and time again.

beach sunset

We said our goodbyes and settled in for a seven hour drive home. It was a quiet trip full of prayers that I’d make it home before the hardest part physically of a miscarriage. As we approached the exit for our home, the more intense my pain. I knew what was coming.

We carried sleepy boys to their beds, and I settled in for a night of pain and laboring over a baby we wouldn’t hold this side of heaven. It was intense, but I felt God’s presence strengthening me and comforting me as new life quietly slipped away.

And here I sit, numb and shocked about the whirlwind weekend full of so many ups and downs, wondering and crying out for answers. Trying to understand why and what purpose this holds in our life, knowing that only time will tell. Reminding myself that He carried us through this last time and knowing He will again. Reminding myself that I will still choose to say “Blessed be Your Name.

I’ve clung to the words in Nehemiah 8:10 “…do not be grieved for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” God laid the words on my heart to comfort me, and I’ve clung to them. He is my joy. He is my strength. Without Him I am nothing. And just as He used Nehemiah to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem and purify the Jewish community, He will use this to rebuild my life and purify me for His glory.

Here I am, Lord. Use me.

Confessions of a First Time Baseball Mom

So.

Jonah started playing baseball this month. While I played softball when I was young, the role of a baseball mom is definitely a new one for me. In just the three short weeks that Jonah has played, my routine has been thrown topsy-turvy and I’m all discombobulated. I also have a few confessions…

Confessions of a First Time Baseball Mom

Fall Ball?

I’m melting in my blue camping chair. Melting, people! They teased me by naming it “Fall Ball” when in reality, I live in Chattanooga, TN and it doesn’t get really good and cold until January. Ok, maybe December if we’re lucky. Which is nice if you like to wear flip-flops all the way until November like I do. Sitting in my blue chair that I’ve carried out to the ballfield while throwing a pound of snacks at a 2 year old just isn’t very fun because it’s hot and we always end up on the side facing the sun. I don’t really do scorching hot unless my feet are being rhythmically splashed by waves.

So, I’m calling your bluff, Fall Ball. You lied.

Confessions of a First Time Baseball Mom

Cleats, Bats, and Helmets, Oh My!

Growing up, I was only responsible for bringing a glove to softball games. Looking back, it was slightly gross to share helmets with all of my teammates. It’s a wonder I never got lice. Oh, how times have changed! Not only was I asked to pay a hefty fee, but I also had to go out and get a list of equipment that rivaled the length of a school supply list: cleats, a batting helmet, a bat, a bag to hold all of the equipment with fancy clips that attach to the fence, and more. Insane! I thought about being the non-conformist, but you see how that went…

Confessions of a First Time Baseball Mom

My Laundry Nemesis

Baseball uniforms are my laundry nemesis. Tennessee red clay doesn’t come out of pants easily…go figure. From now until November, my kitchen sink will have stained baseball pants soaking overnight in a combination of Fels-Naptha and Oxi-clean two times a week. There is no room for laziness with uniform cleaning. With baseball games twice a week and a practice on a third day, I have to be on top of my stain-fighting game. I’m not sure about you, but I like to do laundry on my own timeline. You know, when I’m down to the last pair of underwear.

Confession: I’ve already forgotten to wash his uniform. In my defense, the uniform never made it to the laundry. It won’t happen again. We’ve got a system.

Confessions of a First Time Baseball Mom

Dinner? You mean you like to eat?

I’m such an amateur. Our games are at 6:00, so we’re at the ballfield by 5:40 to warm up. Smart moms would have something in the crockpot. Better yet, smart moms would have thought about dinner before they left for the ballgame. For some reason I act surprised when my husband asks what we’re going to eat. Every. Single. Time. Here’s another sandwich, honey.

Confessions of a First Time Baseball Mom from www.happybrownhouse.com

Ant in My Pants

Y’all…I didn’t pay attention to where I placed my blue chair when staking my claim on the perfect spot to watch the game. I put my chair in the middle of an anthill. It wasn’t until my feet were swarmed by ants that I noticed. The ants were very appreciative of the pound of goldfish crackers I threw at the two year old, who then dropped fifty percent of them on the ground. My feet? Not so much.

Confessions of a First Time Baseball Mom

My Calendar Called

My calendar called. It said, “See you in November.”

I will admit I really, really like white space on my calendar. I fight for white space. I like margin. I need margin in my life or I tend to get a little, um, shall we say…crazy. With one piece of paper, every single empty calendar square was gobbled up. So long, fall fun. Goodbye, quiet evenings at home. I’ll miss you, regular bedtimes.

If you need me, I’ll be at the ballfield. I’ll be the sweaty girl at the end with goldfish crumbs under my feet.

Are you a baseball mom? Tell me your confession in the comments or give me a tip to figure out my dinner dilemma.

InstaFriday 7-26-13

It’s been a while since I’ve participated in InstaFriday. I’ve missed it. I have found it to be one of my favorite ways to recap what we’ve been up to. I hope you enjoy getting a glimpse of our everyday life as well…

Asher has a thing for getting in baskets. He’s such a silly boy these days. He’s started to laugh, cover up his mouth and say, “I’m so funny.” That’s for sure.

Asher in a basket

I’ve been eating better since we got back from vacation. And by better, I mean I’m in a self-inflicted food bootcamp. I’ve radically changed my diet to try to eliminate some health issues. It’s worked, but gosh, I want a cinnamon roll. To keep me from being too tempted to cheat I stayed home to write instead of going to Panera…because they have lots of bread there. I can’t have bread right now. Boo-to-the-hoo.

Sad Sara

We are in the middle of updating all of our paperwork for the adoption. I had planned on staying in my pajamas as long as possible that day. It didn’t happen. I had to make a mad dash to the post office to overnight some papers to USCIS (Immigration).  I’ll jump hoops and pay a ransom for you, little one. Anything for you to be home.

mailboxes

I took the boys downtown to see a train exhibit at the Chattanooga Choo-Choo. The Lionel Collectors Club of America was having a convention and they set up their trains. The public was invited for free! We made a day of it by looking at the trains for a while and then riding the trolley. Asher and Jonah both got to ring the bell on the trolley. They loved this. Jonah kept thanking me over and over for taking them. He’s such a sweet boy.

Chattanooga Choo-Choo

Trains

ringing the trolley bell

Asher has discovered the Rainbow Rice Sensory Bin. Surprisingly, he didn’t make a huge mess.

Rice Sensory Bin

What have you been up to this week? Tell me in the comments.

Failure to Thrive?

As I write this, I’m sitting at Panera immediately after Asher’s 9 Month well check. I’m trying to catch a few moments to myself and process after a few hard days emotionally. The latest wave to crash against me? Hearing the pediatrician mention the words “failure to thrive” in reference to Asher. I mean…have you seen this kid?

Is this the face of a child that is failing to thrive?

Asherbabyfood-HappyBrownHouse

Sure, he may be on the small end, but what those growth charts don’t tell you is that he’s been crawling and climbing for 3 months. He’s chasing an active big brother and would much rather play than snuggle up for an extended nursing session…unless it is nighttime and there’s nothing better to do. Those growth charts don’t tell you that he’s clapping, waving, and giving kisses. They don’t tell you that he’s been saying “Mama” and “Bubba” for 3 months. They don’t tell you that he’s recently picked up the words “Bye-Bye” and “Go-Go”. They aren’t able to tell you about the depths of his belly laughs and the shrieks of joy when he’s in the bathtub splashing.

Failure to thrive? Not the face I’m looking into.

Now, don’t misunderstand me…

I am concerned that he doesn’t have the rolls where he should. I am concerned that he’d rather play with his food than stick it in his mouth. I am concerned that he doesn’t have cheeks to pinch. I do recognize that his low weight could be an indicator to something medically wrong, but failure to thrive? Really?

I’m just not sure.

You see, I’ve seen the children that truly aren’t thriving. I’ve seen the empty eyes, the frailness, and the missed milestones. I’ve seen the orphan child that bangs her head against the crib rails or rocks back and forth to self-soothe when there isn’t someone to snuggle when she wakes up in the middle of the night.

Matter of fact,  I have a child that might be rocking in a crib halfway around the world this very second.

No. I just can’t accept the term “Failure to Thrive” in reference to Asher.

Low on growth charts? Yes.

Failure to thrive? No.

Not when there are 163 million orphans needing a forever family.

Jonah says…

“Asher, you’re my best friend.”

It’s happening. Slowly, but surely these boys are becoming brothers.

brothers in a tunnel Happy Brown HouseMelts. my. heart.

Teach Them Diligently Convention: A Recap

Last weekend I strapped Asher in his carseat and drove with some friends to the Teach Them Diligently Convention. Only, it wasn’t that easy, because homeboy hates his carseat like nobody’s business. So a quick drive over the mountain in between nursing sessions took much, much longer than it should have, but that’s besides the point.

This was my first homeschool conference to attend. I had no idea what to expect, but I was with good friends and I knew, if anything, I would have a great time with the girls…plus Asher. Lucky for me, Teach Them Diligently was fantastic. It really set the bar high for all future homeschool conferences I attend. The speakers were fantastic. The vendor hall was filled to the brim and then some (seriously, there was an overflow room!) For being a first year event, I was super impressed with the smoothness of things. It was a well-oiled machine!

I had the chance to sit in some fabulous sessions. God used some of them to pierce my heart and reveal things in my heart that needed to be left at the feet of Jesus. Other sessions filled me up and gave me the confidence to follow our convictions about homeschooling, even if we’re in the minority. I couldn’t get to all the sessions I wanted to go to because there were just too many on my list! Some I had to step out of early due to my adorable little sidekick.

I got to connect with other homeschool moms that I know from social media. How fun is that?!?! Some of the meet-ups were planned, but one in particular was completely orchestrated by God and probably the most encouraging for me. I met Jacque from The Grain Loft, a real-life reader of The MOB Society, and fellow adoptive mom. My heart was so encouraged by our meeting. Their adoption story is similar to ours (well, the beginning at least) and it was a pleasure to talk to her and her husband. It was kinda weird to have someone recognize my writing, but kinda cool at the same time.

I also got to meet Melanie Young from Raising Real Men and a fellow MOB Society writer. Listening to Melanie and her husband, Hal, during their Raising Real Men session was fabulous. I have long admired them and what they have to say about raising boys (they are practically experts with 6 boys and 2 girls). Their session, named after their book Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys, was a treasure trove of wisdom for parents of boys.

I got a chance to thumb through curriculum in the vendor hall. Picking curriculum is by far the most daunting thing to me right now about homeschooling and getting to look at things up close and personal was helpful. Although, at the same time, my indecision is getting the best of me still as I look over catalogs repeatedly. As a public school teacher, I never had the chance to choose curriculum…I don’t know what to do with this new found freedom! Although, I think I have narrowed it down to a few. We’re still praying over the decision.

One of the vendors that I met that blessed my heart was Kristi from Samuel L. Collins and the Search For Biblical Truths. She sent me home with a DVD for Jonah to watch & review and an encouraged heart. God used her speaking session to point my heart in the right direction when it comes to planning activities for Jonah. While the ABC’s and 123’s are important, I tend to get tunnel-vision when it comes to that sort of thing and forget that it isn’t all up to me. One of the things that I wrote down from this session in my notes was

“Where is God going to work when you have it all figured out already?”

Ouch. I’m so guilty of this. I think I have to have a plan and be in control, when really, God is already at work. Oh, this session was so good!

I know I’ll have lots more to say about Teach Them Diligently as I read over my notes and listen to the sessions that I missed. (My friends and I went in together to purchase them!) If they have it again next year, we’ll be going again for sure!

iHomeschool Studio | an online webinar with 4 days worth of popular homeschool speakers

InstaFriday: Six Months

Asher is 6 months old today. SIX whole months. Um, THAT is half a year. How is that even possible? I mean, on the one hand, it feels like he’s been around much longer than six months when I think about colic and sleepless nights that no amount of coffee can help. But then, on the other hand, I feel like I just blinked and here he is sitting up on his own.

He keeps me on my toes in ways that Jonah never did at this age. Which is probably why I’m having such a hard time squeaking out a blog post. Or cleaning. Or showering.

He’s wiggly–changing his diaper is like wrestling a greased pig at the fair.

And strong-willed–I think it’s safe to say I will be reading Dr. Dobson’s book sooner than later.

He’s “King of the Catnap” and my cuddle-bug.

I wouldn’t trade him for all the world.

He leaves me absolutely speechless some days. Like when I turned around and found him CLIMBING onto the bouncy seat just two days shy of 6 months.

Or when he CRAWLED to get the remote the second he saw Daddy put it on the floor….at one day shy of 6 months.

My life flashed before my eyes and I caught a glimpse of him standing on the roof with a cape one day….and I got a new gray hair just thinking about it.

And should you not believe me, here’s proof I’m going to lose my mind before Asher turns one.

 

Linking up with…life rearranged