Friday, December 28, 2012

1/2 way there

Well tomorow I am 20 weeks which is 1/2 way to full term:) I feel like I have been pregnant for forever.  This week has been quite an emotional week (and I don't think I can blame the hormones).  Friday Armando and I left for Cabo San Lucas.  It was really nice and what I needed.  A little beach time is always a good thing for me.  We came back on Christmas day and went to my sisters where probably for the first time all of my siblings were together on  Christmas day.  I could only look at my dad and wonder if he was feeling the way I was my first Christmas without Mike.  Happy on outside and falling apart on the inside.  It was different without mom.  Christmas was her faovorite holiday, enough so that she always wanted to celebrate it again in July.  She would buy small gifts throughout the year and well that meant there was plenty of gifts to open on Christmas.  Baking this year was not the week long event that it was normally, abrieviated would be an understatement.  But we did gather at Dads and bake some, which to dad was a comfort.  Perhaps in July I can convice the crew to bake:) This year though new tradition, Shelly, Micah, and Armando played guitar and sang Christmas songs- I wont say carols as they were all the frosty and santa songs that Shelly picked out, but to him perhaps that is what he thinks of as Christmas.  So next year I will be ready with printed sheets of carols that tell the real reason of Christmas, Christ.

Well the day after Christmas I had my monthly check in with the OB.  I have been told by several that I needed to tell the doctor about the car accident and the injuries that I had.  In the last few weeks I can feel them again, I think it is the muscles and bones stretching, and where there is scar tissue and stiffness it hurts, but never the less I told him.  His response was -"well you are probably going to have to have a c- section.  I know my face dropped b/c he immediately started stating all the benifits to c-sections and its not that bad......... I forgot everything else I was going to ask him and walked to the car tears streaming down my face.  I realize that in reality it doesn't really matter how the baby arrives as long as it arrives healthy, but something inside me really wanted to experience a natural birth.  So I requested my medical records and am praying that they show that the birth channel is not afftected and I can try to have a natural birth. 

Thursday I went for the anatomy scan.  This is the ultrasound where they check all the organs and make sure everything is the right size and in the right place.  It was probably one of the coolest things I have ever seen.  I was sad that Armando had to work and couldn't be there, but I took Dawn with me and she had an amazing time.  It was like watching a video in biology class- you could see all 4 ventricles of the heart, the different areas of the brain, watch the blood flow into the kidneys, amazing to think this is all happening inside me.  Then they took a picture of the feet- holy cow the cutest things ever so tiny and so complete AMAZING:) Dawn asked exactly how big is the baby- well its 10 ounces- my response a good size steak:) pretty funny to think about. 

I am looking very pregnant now- My belly I think has finally poped out and decided to stay out which is wierd and wonderful all at the same time.  Until now it would swell and shrink and I felt looked mostly like fat as opposed to prego.  So we will see how the 2nd half of this goes.  Im am grateful God has given me this gift and opportunity- one I had given up on 5 years ago.  God can do amazing things:)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Torn by Beliefs

Today was an interesting day.  My brother had his daughter (who is 8 months old) baptized. The whole service I just kept thinking every passage you are reading you are misapplying.  It made me think that if I am having this much trouble with a small piece of theology in my family, how much harder would it be for people who have completely different views.  It made me realize why Christ said if you love me you must leave your family.  I was so bothered by it I started crying in the service because it took all of my might to sit and not say a word about all the things that were wrong.  I wanted so badly to point them out and scream  baptism doesn't make you a child of God belief in Christ does.  You cannot be a child of God if you don't have belief in His Son.  I'm not saying God doesn't love this child, he loves in a general sense all of his creation, but you are not a child of God with the gift of the Holy Spirit until you believe and confess in Jesus. 

Since my mom passed away I now have an even bigger burden for the salvation of my family.  We all grew up in the same house, but each person is at a different place in their walk with God.  Some are walking with Him, others just have the head knowledge without visible application of the truths they know.  I am not one to judge them, God will, but I am concerned for their hearts and the hearts of their kids.  My mom was the spiritual leader in our home, which may surprise some as you would expect that my dad being a pastor would have filled that role.  But it was her.  She was the one who would encourage us to read our Bibles, pray, and live a life that would please God, but above all she prayed for us each one of us every day.  Now I feel that there is a void.  So I feel that I need to be her voice to them sharing the Word of God with them.  I am not as bold as her, so this scares me beyond belief.  But to my surprise God provided a window today.  I didn't want to even be there, as I don't agree but want to show support so there I was an emotional wreck trying to keep it together on the outside. 

My 4 year old niece came over and grabbed me by the hand, "I need you" she took me out of the room to a large Christmas tree where at the bottom was a porcelain nativity scene.  She sat down pulling me with her and said, "what is this?"  I said its the nativity scene.  "whats that, tell me the story" she said.  So I told her about each one of the figures and why they were in the scene.  I ended by telling her that God sent Jesus so we could be with Him in Heaven.  She said she wanted no part of Heaven.  Why I asked.  "because you have to die to go there and I don't want to die" It was hard to explain to her that Heaven is so much better than here, but I understand her fear.  Then she said I don't believe in God,  why I asked.  "I cant see Him, so hes not real" but about 2 seconds later she was telling me how God rested on the 7th day of creation.  We talked about this for a bit and then went back with the family.

I needed that conversation today.  Maybe more for me than for her.  God gave me what I wanted, a chance to share with my family in a way that I could do.  My prayer is that there would be more conversations like these not only with the 4 year old but with all of them.  I am not as bold as my mom, but she taught me well by example that God places you where you are for a reason.  She used to tell me my adventures were "Jesus missions".  I was a missionary, not to a foreign land usually but to foreigners to the kingdom of God. 

I am glad God encourages me when I need it and it ways I don't expect

Sunday, December 2, 2012

4 months and counting

Today is December 2, 2012 and well much to my unbelief I am 4 months pregnant.  It still does not seem real most days.  I am not as nauseous as I was, well until about a week ago, which is nice.  I am still not hungry most of the time but trying to eat at regular 2 hour intervals to give my body what it needs.  I am excited that I have a bit more energy and I have started to exercise again.  I really have not done any regular workouts for about 2 years, which is really sad, but I know there is a season for everything and well there is no time like today to start working out again.  Thursday I took a hula class with Leilani, which was alright, Im not much for group classes and really dont like a room full of mirrors but my abs need the work so hula hula I shall go:).  Then Friday in the rain Armando and I went swimming which was the 3rd time in weeks span as we went before Thanksgiving and I went again on last Sunday, but Friday I felt like the old me, not as tired and I wanted to keep swimming:) I only swam for about 40 min.  Saturday morning again in the mist we went down to Redondo and he ran while I hooked up the heart monitor and walked fast enough to get the heart rate up, I think eventually I will run again as it just seems easier to run rather than walking like a crazy woman for 40 minutes.  The waves were big and I always forget just how much a love the smell of the ocean and the sound of the crashing waves.  A good start to the weekend:).  This morning I got up and did a prenatal yoga video, which pointed out very quickly just how flexible I am not.  I am hoping if I do that a few times a week I can increase my flexibility and do everything I can to prepare my body for labor.  I just keep thinking that my mom did this 6 times.  My body continues to change, which from a biology background is cool and interesting to me as I try to remember all that I learned so many years ago and watch as God does this amazing thing inside me.  From my own perspective it's odd.  I am in what i call the fat stage, I am not big enough for strangers to see that I'm pregnant, but I am definitely larger than I have ever been.  Which means that nothing really fits right.  Maternity clothes are too big, and well my regular clothes (minus sweats) are too tight and uncomfortable.  The biggest challenge for me has been telling people that I am pregnant.  It just seems so odd and well something that I want to keep to myself for the most part.  Most everyone is excited when I tell them, but I just feel weird saying it.  I guess in a few weeks my body will say it for me. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Hello Dini

Hello Dini, I wanted you to know that because of our conversations last weekend I am even more excited about my future.  I am really excited that I will be able to write in more detail tomorow- I can hardly wait which is something I thought I would never really say.  So until tomorow - thanks for the super yummy strawberries and your peaceful home last weekend:)

Friday, August 31, 2012

35 years

Today is Mike's birthday.  It would have been 35 and I imagine that I would have planned a big party or maybe something small just with family, but maybe we would have had kids by now, maybe not, these are some of the millions of thoughts that have crossed my mind this week and well often fill my mind.  However God's plans are perfect and His timing is perfect and what we dream of or speculate what we think our lives would be like His plans trump ours.  Emotionally these "big" calandar days always throw me for a loop.  I am living a life that looks nothing like what I imagined and had you told me 6 years ago this would be my life ( or even 2 years ago) I would have told you you were crazy! I still find myself wanting to make sense of it, but it doesn't, I want to not miss him anymore, but I still do.  This becomes a challange when you have a new husband (who is a great guy, so don't think otherwise) who you are supposed to be completely happy with and yet I still have this void.  I feel like a soap opera story line half the time in my life, which I think my life would make a pretty good soap opera, (minus all the affairs and murders and lies and well maybe not so much....) but what if Mike came back who would I choose? Its a good thing I wont ever have to answer that question. In Heaven no one is married as marriage is a earthly picture of what our relationship will be like with God.  Now its hard for me to make this picture mainly because my view of marriage is flawed by the fact that both my marriages are marriages between sinners who cannot love the way God can and does and will love us. To love and be loved perfectly is unconprehendible to me and I cant wait to experience it.  no more emotional roller coaster days, just perfect peace and joy.  no more questions, no more disapointments.  Heaven sounds so good!

10 years

Ten years is a long time, or so I thought.  10 years ago today Mike proposed.  I remember it, almost every detail of it, and back then I had no idea how my life would end up.  Today I went to the beach and thought about all the dreams that he and I had at one point in time.  Some dreams we got to expierience while others I had to stay goodbye to when I said goodbye to him.  I was reading two books today, one a grief book- which was bad, Ive yet to find a helpful grief book, the other If God is good, a book on evil.  I know I don't pick such light reading.  However, what I realized yet again today is that God works in ways that I cannot imagine.  I have learned so much in the last 5 years that if I had my way, I wouldn't have learned.  I still find it hard to make plans, for in my mind I feel that any plan I have will surely end in disaster (either for me or for those who are close to me). I know that God has a plan and it is for my good.  I know that trials are to teach me and to grow my faith and make me more like Christ.  This past year has been so odd.  I feel uncomfortable in my own skin most days torn and confused about who I am the choices I have made, and what Im doing and where exactly I am supposed to be.  I know I will never get direct answers to any of my questions and can only pray for wisdom.  I wonder in 10 years what will I be doing, what memories will I cherish from now.  Will I be proud of the choices I made or regret them.  Saying yes that night to him changed the course of my life in ways that I could not imagine that night.  I thank God for the gift he gave me in Mike, and know that His plans are perfect, and joys and trials I have now are gifts too.  10 years is not that long.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Happy anniversary

"the hardest part of moving forward is not looking back" Sally on Felicity.  I don't normally quote TV shows and really Im not that much of a tv watcher but every once in a while (the summer after the car accident, Friends became my "happy place" and well now) I find myself watching episode after episode of an old tv series.  Felicity reminds me of college and well I miss my college family.  College life is odd, crazy, and well like most stages of life you dont realize how much fun it is until its over.  Anyways this is not the point of this post, the quote is.  Today is the wedding anniversary of Mike and I.  Its wierd. It would be 9 years, and yikes that number sounds like a lot but time has flown and I can still remember a ton about that wedding.  I look back on the almost 4 years we had together and well just like college you don't realize how fun it was til its gone.  I know that both were full of there unique challenges and tough times, but really over all I am who I am because of them.  Anyways today is one of the many days that I find myself looking back and wondering if we hadn't been in the accident how my life would be different, then I force myself to stop as I usually paint that life as this amazing movie perfect life that "could have" been.  I was struck by the quote that the hardest part of moving forward is not looking back, because in many ways this is so true.  Its hard not to look back, and in many ways I think it is alright to look back as long as you stay focused on moving forward.  I am trying to be a better wife this round, looking back reminds me all too often how I was not the best wife I could have been with Mike, looking back reminds me how short this life is and how I am not promised tomorrow so I better enjoy now and not wish or plan 5 years down the road. (not that you shouldn't plan b/c you should but realize that God's plans prevail not your own).  But looking back does distract from the here and now if you let it.  My emotions get all jumbled up and most of the time I end up such a mess Armando has no idea who I am or what happened that Im this crazy lady.  Learning from the past is a good thing, but dwelling on it, either the good or the bad, is not helpful.  Our focus is to be on Christ and Him crucified.  So today I remember a great day that was the start to 4 years of God using a man to grow me up in Him, 4 years of me learning how to be a "wife" (which I don't think you ever really master)(and for the record I hate titles) and now God has given me Armando and well this marriage has different challenges  (poor guy) and different joys.  So pressing on is what I plan to do, as hard as that is some days.  I am hopefull that just like college and well every other stage of life when I look back it will  have been fun but more importantly I will have served Christ well and made the best use of the time I was given.  I don't know what the future holds, but I  am trying to boldly and cheerfully face it learning from the past but not dwelling on it.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Knowing God

I started reading Knowing God by JI Packer and  yesterday after the cleaning I was convicted about how little I know Him.  In Chap 2 he says "constantly we find ourselves slipping into bitterness and apathy and gloom as we reflect on them (refering to heartbreaks as the world sees them) which we frequently do. The attitude we show to the world is a sort of dried -up stoicism, miles removed from the 'joy unspeakable and full of glory' which Peter took for granted that his readers were displaying" He goes on later and states that if we really knew God then "they never brood on might-have-beens; they never think of the things they have missed, only what they have gained".  I have gained so much in the things that I have "lost", I forget that everything is a gift and on loan from God.  After Mike died I grew a ton in my faith and prayed more (except when I didn't) and read more (except when I reftused to) than I had before.  I could look at my life in a new way and saw very clearly areas needing improvement.  I was a better person after he died more displined in every area of my life. Of course being me, I have slipped as time moved on.  When mom got sick she became my priority and I put everything aside for her and all my disipline well that went away.  I guess in my own way I was protesting against God and His plan, the only problem is that in protest and lack of disipline I was the only one hurting.  So now to remember the things I gained after Mike died again and to have that faith and daily reliance on God. In the loss of mom, I gained too.  In her illness I gained a restored relationship that I had never thought possible, I learned how to cook (all be it really unhealthy yet so yummy), I learned to be a "nurse", I learned what it is to care for the dying, I learned humbleness by watching a very independent women rely on others for absolutly everything (and I am so much like her, man I need to work on that), I learned a lot about my own heart and what really lies there when it comes to my siblings and stress and I need a lot of work cleaning it up, I learned that in Mike dying I could help my dad as no one else could and in the last 2 days my dad actually listened and wanted to hear it and he was  able to calm down a bit, I relearned the mercies of God that He provides in unexpected ways, and I learned that my mom until the day she died loved her family more than she loved her own life and she wanted to have everything prepared to make it easier (its still hard).  But the biggest lesson was the importance of daily reading of the Bible.  I know its taught and Ive heard it a million times, but.... My mom years ago bought each of us a Daily Bible and before she died she ordered another one for each of us to make sure we still had one.  It was this example that I want to most follow my mom's passionate study of the Bible.  I don't read because Im tired and yet she read and studied when she couldn't move her fingers.  why? she knew the effect of reading and knowing her God.  I want to be focused on that, knowing God, His plan is perfect even when my earthly heart feels otherwise. All my losses and heartaches as the world would call them are just the opposite they are gains.  I gained a better perspective of God and His character going through these last 5 years and while my life is not at all how I dreamed it would be it is the way God wants it and really that is what matters.  So I pray that I would have JOY UNSPEAKABLE and full of glory.  There is joy its found in Christ and not the circumstances but the circumstance all too often are what force us to realize this truth.

first day of summer

well today was the first day of summer and my first day of not working.  so I got up made shakes for armando and I and his lunch, then off to run with a friend who is in very good shape, but I need help to get motivated to workout and get back on track, so I swallowed my pride and asked if she would just meet me and we would go she wouldn't have to keep my pace, but she did and I still almost died longest 4 miles ever and of course the last .2 all up hill (if you've run a marathon you know how long the last .2 mile is) after that I went to the doctor who thankfully gave me good news, then I thought I would stop at the dentist office to make an appointment where they took me in but then the power went out so I have to go back, I hate the dentist so this is like torture.  Anyways the rest of the day I promised myself I was going to get all the things that I hate out of the way so that I can relax later, I thought it would be a good plan, but again its torture.  I began to clean my bedroom.  Its not dirty but has boxes and areas that I had stacked of things I didn't want to go through, mainly because Im not sure what to do with it.  Most of it has to do with Mike, pictures in old frames, I know its just stuff but the human mind has an amazing way of connecting memories and feelings and somehow they feel all to real.  What I did not anticipate was finding things from my mom. An old reciept from Lowes that I didn't even remember her buying for me (in the first year after Mike died I didn't want anything from her, I was angry and unforgiving and pridefull-I was on a quest to prove I didn't need her and that I could do this on my own- how wrong I was and I am glad somewhere in that first year God answered my prayer and softened my hear towards her and although she never appologized I forgave her and let down my guard and let her be my mom) I got through most of it, I still have a box of things that well Im not ready to let go of, its closed and put away and I dont even open it, but somehow it comforts me knowing its there and if I want I can touch the stuff (dumb I know).  It was a low day, I guess I knew it would be, but then there was music (I always clean to music 80s and worship- odd combo I know but sometimes the worship on pandora slows down and makes me sad so a little Bangels picks me right up:)) but 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman came on and reminded me yet again that I have so much to sing about.  God doesn't want me to grieve like the world, but rejoice in His amazing love and salvation for me and mike, and mom and the millions of saints gone before me.  The last verse reminds me of mom and what an example she is to me of how to face the end and still bless the Lord and start her never ending singing- her voice was the last thing to go, but until then she would sing not with an amazing voice but from her heart sometimes it wasn't audible just tears running down her face.   Anyways, today is a new day and as the first verse says whatever has passed and whatever lies ahead I want to be singing when the evening comes! and I do have 10,000 things to sing about! What an amazing God I have.

Bless the lord oh my soul 
 Oh my soul
Worship his holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soulI worship you holy name

The sun comes up Its a new day dawningIts time to sing your song again What ever may pass and whatever lies before meLet me be singing when the evening comes

Bless the lord oh my soulOh my soulWorship his holy nameSing like never before Oh my soulI worshhip your holy name

You're rich in love and you're slow to angerYour name is great and your heart is kind For all your goodness i will keep on singing10,000 reasons for my heart to find

Bless the lord oh my soulOh my soul Worship his holy nameSing like never beforeOh my soul I worship your holy name

And on that day when my strength is failingThe end draws near and my time has comeSoon my soul sing your praise un-ending10,000 years and there forever more

Bless the lord oh my soul Oh my soulWorship his holy nameSing like never beforeOh my soulI worship your holy name

Copied from

Saturday, June 9, 2012

adjusting to life

I am trying to adjust to life after mom, after mike, after wedding#2- I have come to the conclusion that you dont really ever come to a point where life is even and doesn't need anymore adjusting.  It is the constant adjustment that makes life, life.  Last night I found myself in a near death situation in yet another all too close car accident.  It yet again was not my turn to go and fortunately I didn't kill my dad or damage anything.  however my body reacted in a way as if I had been hit, tense muscles, shaking legs and arms, heart racing.  And this morning I find myself deep cleaning again with a side of baking.  Some people drink or smoke, I clean.  But I only clean when Im depressed or anxious.  (not surface cleaning, but floorboard in the cracks detail cleaning).  I don't know what it is. maybe its the smell of bleach, maybe Im trying to workout all the emotional energy I can, I haven't figured it out.  I do know that no matter how much time passes the void a person left doesn't go away and another person can never fill it no matter who they are or how much they try to love you.  So today I clean and bake (purple n black cupcakes =go Kings.... too funny that they would make it to the Stanley cup now that Mikes not here to enjoy it and watch with me, Kings games and Cubs games wont ever be the same with anyone else) but life goes on and you adjust your emotions and actions to make it through the day, honoring the memories and trying to make new ones.  In any case Life never turns out how you plan- that would be far less exciting- it God's plan and well I need to adjust my heart to focus more on Him trusting He knows why Im still here wishing I was not.  I know there is a reason and perhaps in my cleaning I will discover a new truth- its happened before.  Im in a place I never thought I would be and trying to adjust so that I can enjoy it as God wants me to.  Life is a gift, but some days are days I wish I could return or regift to a person I think who could handle them better than I have.  But I know tomorow is new and I will be greated with new mercies  in the morining. I hope not to be cleaning but rather singing.

Friday, March 30, 2012

missing mom

today is Friday and I am home at 6:30pm. I am never home this early. All week I have been at mom's house spending time with dad making sure he wasn't alone. He went with my brother in llaw tonight, which meant I was not needed there and so I came home. However I have no idea what to do. I do not feel like cleaning (as we cleaned each day at moms) and honestly I feel very odd. What do people do when they get home before 10pm on a Friday??? This I fear is what I am goig to struggle with. Tomorow my dad and I will go to the mortuary to sign papers, I remember all too well what this was like with Mike. five years later Im doing it again. At least I know what to expect, and that has been helpful with dad. I think we might have to get cable, never thought I would say that, I have lived 41/2 years with out it, but at moms we watched the cooking channel and sports all the time, I am going to miss that. how she would crack up and comment on dumb comertials, guess who would be chopped, the list goes on. I know she is happier now but I miss her already and its only been a couple of days. As much as I wished for a Friday night off, now I have one and don't have a clue as to what to do with it. I guess that is life, always wishing for something that you don't have and not realizing what you have until its gone, except I knew what I had with mom.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

a dramtic change

All week I have been dreading this weekend. Why? because everyone was going to be out of town which left Joel and I to cover the weekend. However I now feel completly guilty as my mom has had a rapid change in her health. On Tuesday, after she took her pills she felt pain in her throat. since then each time she would try to eat or drink anything she would have massive saliva production which led to a lot of spitting and fear that she would choke on her own spit. This brought back the use of the cough machine and brought to the house a suction machine. We tried different ways/items/textures of food/drink, but all of them had the same effect. so since Wed mom really has not eaten but a few trial bites of any food. However she was herself up beat and talkative until Thursday night. She had several visitors and went to bed at 3 which never happens. Friday morning after her bath she didnt want to get out of bed, which was a sign that tthings were not good, cause on her really bad days she always went to the other room. Friday would be the last time I would hear my moms voice. She had trouble speaking but got out one word sounds and I would complete her thoughts. As the day progressed she talked less and less and opened her eyes less and less. Early Sat. morning her requests stopped. She slept most of the day and today Sunday we stopped the IV as that was her wish. This is by far the most difficult thing I have ever gone through. Watching her lay there unresponsive breaks my heart. She is comfortable (i think) we are doing the best to manage that. But this is not her. I now pray that God would grant the desire of her heart that she would be able to be with Him. That she will once again sing His praises, she will dance again, and will see her savior face to face. She has fought the good fight and she is finishing well. To the end she was in love with her Savior. She shared this with everyone she came in contact with. she studied his word daily and loved it. I am who I am because of her and I am so gratefull for the Godly mother that I was given. I am also so thankful for the last two years that I have spent nearly every day with her. I am glad that I was able to do something for her as she gave me her whole life. She made sure I got to every soccer game/tournament, softball game, she was my beach buddy for many a summer. We had so many adventures together. we did not always agree, but God is so faithful in allowing our relationship to be restored and allowing me to once again be friends with my mom. I am so grateful for this one thing. I will miss her as I already do. But I know that God is faithful and he will be with me as I walk through the days ahead. I know that he is able to heal and that good does come from the darkness.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Thank you O'Roarks!

not so good pic, but ...proof we actually were there.
Love the turtles!
Bad pic but fun Otters
One of my fave things to watch, Jellies:) they are fun to touch too!
Touching sharks and rays

About a month ago the O'Roarks came to visit LA, and while I could lie and say it was to visit me, it was for little ms. Daphne's arrival. But while they were here I did enjoy hanging out with them for a bit. They also brought with them a coupon for the aquarium, which I vowed to use. So on Sunday for a few hours we went which provided a much needed break. I planned to post many pics but can only load one. sad! but loved it:)
Ok this is backwards but o'well