Friday, July 31, 2009

Show us your life - Wedding Party & Flowers!

I am joining in on Kelly's "Show us your life" again...2 days late! This week is wedding party and flowers. A couple of my 2 favorite things in life are Christmas time and flowers - which were highlights at our wedding! I loved having a "Christmas theme" wedding. We were married December 21st, 2007, it was a Friday night wedding. We got married at Josh's grandparents church and his grandpa is a Baptist pastor and he married us, which was very special to us. Josh's best friend from college who was a groomsmen sang I will be here by Steven Curtis Chapman while we were lighting our unity candle and giving roses to each of our parents. My dad played the trumpet for the recessional - It meant so much - even though he didnt anticipate being a little choked up after the ceremony - and now to this day he is still upset about it.
Anyways! Now on to my wonderful wedding party!

My bridesmaids wore black, strapless dresses and all looked so beautiful! I had 6 bridesmaids, a junior bridesmaid, and flower girl as well. We also had 6 groomsmen and a ring bearer. Our wedding party was AWESOME and I hope they had as much fun as we did! (Beware, long post ahead :) My sister, Nikki was my maid of honor, she is 6 years younger than me and just growing up so fast. She hated the fact that I wouldnt put off my wedding for a couple weeks until she got her braces off...oh the joys of being a teenager! Tonya is my best friend, we went to high school and college together and were roommates in college as well. We also have the same degree's so we went through almost All of our classes together - we had many fun, late nights "studying" and many laughs throughout all of our classes. Did I mention she is Josh's cousin too? Oh so convenient for us! And her hubby is Josh's best friend from school as well! Works out perfectly! Jessie was next, she is my cousin and just the sweetest girl. She sings beautifully and I cannot believe she is a senior in high school this year - I am feeling old... Bethany is my wonderful sister - in- law, the one I talked about in detail Here. She picked me up the morning of our wedding and brought me to get my make up done and was a major help! We have become closer through all that has happened this past year and I am so thankful for that and wouldnt have it any other way! Katie is Josh's cousin who I went to college with as well, she is fun and always up to doing anything with you! Emilie is also Josh's cousin. She is such a sweet girl. She was so excited about being in the wedding - I know this because she works at Bethel (where I went to school) and I think everyone knew I was getting married in December after Josh graduated and that she was in the wedding! She is too cute!

Lindsey (Junior Bridesmaid), Jack (ring bearer) and Kylie (flower girl) are my cousins. I grew up babysitting/nannying for them. I remember when ALL of them were born, and now Linds is going to be in 7th grade! Talk about feeling old...Here is a picture of Jack and Kylie walking down the aisle...aren't they adorable??!!!

Josh's best man was his brother, Jayson, and he gave the best toast at the reception and it was very meaningful and so true. He is a wonderful guy and role model for his younger bro. Dave was next, and he is Josh's best friend from 5th grade. Dave is married to Tonya, which I mentioned earlier - so us 4 have great memories and fun times together!! Jon is Josh's best friend from college. He is originally from Iowa, and we are so bummed that him and his wife Katie moved back home after college. They are so fun to get together with - especially now they have Hallie and Katie is pregnant with number 2! We so enjoy our weekend getaway's to Iowa to visit and love when they come here as well! Chris is my younger brother. He is a great guy and whatever girl ends up with him is very lucky :) Growing up with a younger sister and an older sister gives him a little perspective on girls. Dan is one of Joshs friends from school as well - and now he is getting married in a couple weeks as well! Tommy is Josh's cousin - and getting married in October! He is a great guy, all of our wedding party was just wonderful! Here is a picture of the guys - side view...

The girls and I carried red roses, to match the poinsettia's at the church. I also had ivory roses mixed in my bouquet. Our flowers were beautiful!! I dont have a picture of just the flowers but hopefully you are able to see them through the pictures...! It was great having a Christmas wedding - There were gorgeous Christmas trees and many poinsettia's which made the Christmas theme all come together!

Go to Kellys Korner to check out the other wedding parties and flowers!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Same page...

After I wrote my previous post, I went to look at my other favorite blogs. Trisha was the first one I read - she lost their precious baby Nate and she has been such an encourgement and a great support during this difficult time. Apparently us moms are thinking along the same page...I was originally going to post about a couple of "friendship issues" that I have been having, but decided to wait on that and post about this. Anyways - go read her post and hopefully this will make more sense.

When you can't trace His hand, TRUST His heart

Last night I decided to read Josh's Max Lucado, The Devotional Bible: Experiencing the heart of Jesus". I started at the book of Job - and so many things became so clear to me. I skimmed the book of Job after we lost Emma, and I related to it and was so thankful for that. I knew God hadn't abandoned me and that He was still with me even when I felt so unbelievably alone, so lost, at my lowest point. That is what I got out of it then, that is what I needed then. Last night I had a different perspective. (Isn't the bible a great source for advice and comfort?!) I understood and related to Job a whole other way - it just clicked...

Let me elaborate. This is how the devotion started out (those that read devotional bibles know the layout but I thought I would describe anyways...)- It is easy to thank God when he does what we want. But God doesn't always do what we want (obviously*) Just ask Job...(or myself, other moms who lost their babies, and many others*)...

Then it proceeded to have an "inspiration" portion on the side which I thought was perfectly said, speaking to me, of course: The struggles that you're going through now - don't discard them. Listen to God as he teaches you so that you can teach others. You see - a time of suffering teaches us something we never knew before and may prepare us for a time of counsel that we will give someone years from now. God is with you. God is with you! The same God that guided His Son through death and back to life said He will never leave us or forsake us. He is right there with you, perhaps even more in times of crisis than any other time.

Oh isn't that the truth!!

Then there was a "How this applies to you section": Ask God how your suffering can bring you closer to Him. Then thank the Lord for He is a good God no matter what I (or anyone else) am going through.

God is God. He knows what he is doing when you cant trace his hand, trust His heart.

Job said "The Lord gave these things to me, and He has taken them away. Praise the name of the Lord" (In all that Job endured - he did not sin/blame God).

I am striving to be half the person Job was. I confess - I have asked God why. Why were we chosen to endure this pain? I have cried and cried and cried some more, I wanted to know why. I don't believe God did this - Do I believe God could have intervened? Yes. He is an all AMAZING and Powerful God. He performs miracles and answers prayers all the time. He answered many of our prayers before I delivered Emma, when we first learned of my water breaking- I was told it would be unlikely to make it a week without delivering. I was sent home on bedrest and pleaded with God to make it another week - I made it 6 wks. My doctors were astounded. I prayed to feel any movement, as that was my only reassurance she was still fighting when I was laying in bed counting the seconds - and I did. He answered my prayer to have a fighter, a baby who would fight for every last breath - and Emma was. She was born with a strong heartbeat and was perfect...For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb (Psalm 139:13). My doctors thought Emma would be small for her gestational age, yet she was spot on for everything. Perfect in every way.

Oh boy did God answer so many of our prayers. I know He will continue to answer our prayers and I hope and pray He answers prayers for others. I have been praying especially for Kate and Stellan. I found them through the blog world, what a great added support system and place for more prayers. I know there are many, many more prayers and heartache out there. Just because you might not think God is answering your prayers the way you think he should, know He is with you and will never forsake you. Rely and trust in Him. Cry out and Run to Him. He hears every thought and every cry.

Okay I think that is enough for tonight...Props for hanging in this long! Goodnight!

*my personal input added :)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Show us your life - Wedding dress edition!

I loved my wedding, I loved planning my wedding, I love reading about weddings, I especially love looking at wedding dresses. I follow Kellys Korner and she has "show us where you live" Friday's that go through your house and show different rooms - it has been fun to look at everyone's ideas and I now have our future house all planned out!

Anyways - today is "Show us your life" - Wedding dress edition:
I loved my wedding dress - it was the first dress I tried on and I did try on other dresses "just to be sure" and clearly went back to my dress. I got it for a GREAT price - which makes it even more special!
I love this picture - We got married December 21st and I loved having a Christmas themed wedding - I love the Christmas trees in the background.
This is another favorite of mine. My dress is more a goldish color - in the pictures it looks try and picture that.
Thanks for looking at my wedding dress - head on over to Kelly's Korner to see everyone else's wedding dresses!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Love and Hate...

Back when we lost Emma, I received tons of cards, emails, texts, phone calls, etc. One in particular was an email - from a wonderful woman whom I admire greatly. She went on to explain that she hated many things about our situation - how she hated that we had to face such an excruciating loss, that we had to leave the hospital without our daughter. And then she talked about the things she loved. She loved her name, that we were able to hold her and some close family members were there. I loved that email. It was a great way of expressing our feelings - as we hated we lost Emma but love her so so much. I was going through all of the cards and emails we received (what else does a grieving mom do when she cant sleep at 1:45 in the morning??) and came across that email again. It stood out to me and so I thought I would see if I could write some love/hate things down (okay I wanted to see if I could write the things I love down...we will see how that goes..) I do not particularly like the word hate, as I feel it is very strong and as I used to tell my first graders...choose your words wisely. Well unfortunately I am going to use the word hate and what hurts the most is that I mean every single bit of it....

I hate that Emma isn't here with us. I hate that we were not able to bring her home. I hate the fact that Josh and I have to figure out this rollercoaster ride of (my) emotions the past 8 months. I hate that we were forced to ride this nightmare rollercoaster. I hate that it has been over 8 months since I held my baby girl. I hate that I am worried about having any more children when I know my lifelong goal was to be a wife and mom...(yes that was/is seriously a lifelong goal of mine). Okay I could go on but I wont.

I love that Emma was with us for 3 hours. I love that I was able to hold and take in my sweet baby girl (although I was completely out of it and in shock). I love that I have met some wonderful, inspiring women who have unfortunately walked this same road as well. I love that I can see/feel God working in me. I love that I have developed a whole new passion in life and I more than plan to more than fulfill that. I love that it is raining right now - it is so fitting my mood. Most of all I love that I know and love a God who is hurting with me, and I can run to him.

Here I am Lord, running to you.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Perfect Card...

I love to send cards, get cards, look at cards, I have a nice stash of cards too. I enjoy sending gifts and especially picking out gifts :) I stopped into target the other night specifically to get a gift and a card. These gifts could not have been more opposite. One was a baby gift for a good friend who is pregnant with her second child. The card was for one of my fellow support group members because their son's year anniversary of his death is at the end of July. As I was reading through all of the cards and holding a baby gift in my hand, extreme sadness overcame me. It took all that I had not to start crying right there. My mind filled with so many "whys" - Why am I here looking at sympathy cards when I should be getting a first birthday card? Sadly, I would not even know this couple if we hadn't lost Emma. They seem like such a great couple, it is so heartbreaking they lost their baby boy. I should have been getting 2 gifts, well probably only one actually, not a gift and a sympathy card. Then I was trying to find the perfect card. How do you search for a card to say I am so sorry that your baby isn't here with you, this should have been such a fun and exciting time- planning and enjoying your child's first birthday. Or you read cards that simply say that you are sorry their "loved one" isn't here. I just couldn't bring myself to get this card. It did not seem personal by any means, and I wanted to personalize their child, I wanted them to read a card that didn't have some specific word that stood out and didn't fit. I finally found a card- I don't know if it is the perfect card but it was the best one I found after being in the card section at target for oh at least 30 minutes.

As much as I do not want to be a part of this group, as much as I do not want to go to a support group meeting, as much as I do not want to see a counselor, as much as I dont want Emma to be gone, I am a part of this group, I am glad to have the support group and I know I needed the counselor. I am a completely different person.

I am tired, exhausted, worn out. I am going to try to go to bed...and hopefully fall asleep. The annoying and frustrating thing is that I dont know if I will be able to. I NEED to get over this late falling asleep thing- it is really beginning to put the icing on my cake. I miss my sweet baby girl so much.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Pray for Kate

Please, please pray for a sweet little girl, Kate. I found this after reading Bring the Rain and I am asking for the many prayer warriors out there to pray. This little girl and her family need it more than ever.

They are on an emotional roller coaster to say the least. You can view their youtube video here. And here is a link to their CaringBridge Site. Please listen and read their story. Pray for their daughter, her doctors and everyone else involved. We all know the power of prayer.

Thank you. Hope everyone is having a great 4th of July.