Tuesday, April 28, 2009

El Paso, Texas!

It was so much fun to board a plane and go to a state I had never been to before to be with my man whom I had not seen for so long. Of course, it was a trip that I had spent months looking forward to with excitement and dreading with agony all at the same time. I knew it would be a very sweet and wonderful time of being together with my husband again, but the goodbye that was to follow would be the worst yet.

I was right.

It was a blast traveling with fellow-sweethearts...

During a layover at the Dallas Ft. Worth airport sporting our new favorite T-shirts that claimed, My soldier is hotter than yours!

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First hugs... together at last--my brother and his fiancee
(My husband's company wasn't released for another hour, so there was no one around to take these kinds of pictures for us... sadness, I know.)

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Just a glimpse of one of the many mountain ranges around El Paso and surrounding areas--view from our hotel.

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Nothing so sweet as being together!

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My favorite picture from the zoo--a spider monkey

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Forever and Always!!

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It was so wonderful to spend that time together!

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...Saying Goodbye...

Monday, April 27, 2009

My Man

I can't help but recall with fondness the sweet experience I had on the evening of April 27th, one year ago. I had been noticing a quickly growing fondness in my heart towards a certain man who had recently extended the arm of friendship to me. I found that I admired him so much more than I had ever admired anyone in my life, and that both scared and amazed me. I knew we would be life-long friends; but deep down I desperately wanted it to be more than that. Especially, for some unexplained reason, the longing was strongest the night of April 27, 2008. And that's when he asked the "deepest question of them all," as he put it. Would I begin a relationship with him?

Obviously you know what my answer was.

It was a man I always wanted. One who was strong, and brave, and kind, and true. One who would have the courage to be everything he was meant to be. One who knew and stood for what he believed, and was not ashamed of it. I wanted a man who would fight for me if he had to. I wanted a loyal man who would protect me. I wanted one who could love and cherish me for who I was. And the only man that could win my timid heart would be a man who was not afraid of its contents.

Andy was and is that man, and still so much more. He is my man, and I am so proud of him. I am so lucky.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


After the long, quiet ultra sound was over, the CNM came into the room and confirmed my worst fears. My baby was dead. She said I could go home and wait it out, but if the baby did not come on its own, they would have to do a D&C. My life was crumbling around me, and I was afraid to even dare to hope for anything. All I wanted or needed was Andy... But it looked like I would have to go through this valley without him.

It was then that I got to see miracles unfold in ways I never could have imagined.

The thing I was most afraid of was having to have a D&C. I know plenty of women have had that surgery, but for some reason I was terrified of it. Especially if I would have to experience it while Andy was so far away. I had heard too many horror stories. And things were not progressing on their own.

I chose to put my fears aside when God intervened and allowed my husband to come home. I would cherish his presence and wait and see what would happen. The day after he arrived the baby came. Only God could have planned it that way.

That was a month ago today.

I will never forget feeling shaky from exhaustion and choked with emotion as I held our very tiny little baby in my hand while Andy wrapped his arms around me. Sweet little eyes, tiny arms, tiny legs, even tiny little fingers. I was overwhelmed with gratefulness that not only would I not need surgery, but I actually got to see and hold my darling and very tiny baby with my husband's strong arms around me. I realized in that moment what a tremendous gift this precious life was to us, and I am forever grateful that God gave us this baby. Though sad, it was a beautiful moment.

Even though our grief was great and the tears still come, we are so grateful for the privilege of calling that precious little cherub baby ours, for being able to love and cherish him so much, and can't wait to see him again. I will always miss this child that God gave us.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

It's Really Happening

I just returned home from a 5 day trip to El Paso, TX. The love of my life got a 4 day leave that allowed us to be together for a total of 100 hours before a very tearful goodbye on an airport curb. And now he's gone. As in really gone. We're talking miles-and-oceans-and-land-and-seas-away gone. The distance is so great, the separation so long, yet he still managed to leave that sweet and wonderful adoring love of his home with me in my heart and I know he carries mine with him. Lonestar's "I'm Already There" says it the way it is for a military couple so much in love with each other, but so far apart.

The miles between us are too mind-boggling... God only knows when the next time will be that I will hear his sweet voice... It will be months--several months--before we will be together again, and even then it will only be for a short time before he must leave for another several months... I can't even bear the thought of the long journey still ahead of us.

I will post pictures from my trip in the near future... And being on my own, my life is becoming one tale after another of a military wife on her own, doing things like trying to replace windshield wipers (in a blonde, clue-less sort of fashion) in a WalMart parking lot during a severe thunderstorm with sirens blaring all around after discovering that the old wiper did nothing but flap and whip a rubber blade around on a rain-soaked windshield. Perhaps the crazy happenings in my life might warrant a few chuckles on your account.

In closing, I want to thank you all for your love and prayers and support. The last two months have been long and hard, the next ten or more don't promise to be any better. God has given us grace--not in day, week, or month-size portions, but moment-sized. We still dearly miss our baby and always will, but are comforted knowing that our blessing is waiting for us in heaven. Please continue to keep us in your prayers.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Because He Lives

I have a completely different perspective of Easter this year than I ever have. When I hear songs about the cross, they come across with so much more meaning now. It seems as though the death of my baby has only emphasized the reality of what Christ's life, death, burial and resurrection was all about.

The love that caused our Savior to suffer was precious. I have always known that. But now somehow I am more keenly aware of how tremendous it was, and how specific and intimate it is to us--to each created human being. I am overwhelmed to think that not only was the Old Rugged Cross for my redemption... but it paid the price for my baby. When He was on the cross, not only were you and I on His mind; but even my baby was.

And not only that, but He bore the pain that day that I'm feeling now. He knew this heartache, He knew this sorrow, and He willingly took it to the cross that day.

I don't know... Maybe it's just because as a mother I rejoice to think that my child has the same salvation that I have experienced. It overwhelms me to think that Jesus actually loved my baby just as much and more than I did. I just can't imagine that kind of love.

Because He lives, not only is the future of my husband and I secure and sure; but so is our baby's. And because He lives, we will one day hold our little sweetheart in our arms in the place where the little lambs will lie with the lions and all things will be made new.

Happy Easter.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Monday, April 6, 2009

Our Joy in Sorrow

When tragedy comes into our lives, there is so much we can not understand. The Why's? go unanswered and sometimes it feels as though the tears will know no end. Yet even in the darkest valley, there is one thing we can be assured of...

The presence of an unfailing Father.

Even though I will never understand why we had to experience this loss and I will never find a reason in this that was worth the life of my baby, I can not doubt the love of God. From the moment the nurse sat down next to me and told me that she's sorry, but my baby died, I experienced the hand of God working like I had never known.

I could give you a million examples. But the one that stands out to me the most is how Andy got to come home. Initially his request to come home was turned down. Our situation would generally be considered a "medical condition" as opposed to a "loss in the family". Naturally we both felt it keenly as the latter... Our baby was not a medical condition! Yet what could we do to convince anyone of that? But then the leadership in his unit bent over backwards... in an amazing way. They knew it was important for him to go home. I am so grateful for the incredible amount of effort and inconvenience they went through to see one of their soldiers go home to his wife in a time of grief. I know they didn't have to do that, it was only because of the care and concern that they felt for us that they did everything in their power to make it possible. And they did indeed make it possible... Andy came home for over 5 very special days.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

This is What it is to be Held

I was in my car driving down the highway mentally blocking all the pain of the last two weeks. The death of my baby is not an easy thing to recover from. Just a week before I had delivered our precious infant, my husband and I buried him the next day, a couple days later I had to say goodbye to my sweetheart, I was no longer sleeping at night, and I had gotten myself into a car accident. The mental block was necessary for sanity. I couldn't afford to live in the reality that my life was completely falling apart. I flipped on the radio to keep myself awake and tuned into a station I rarely listen to. Next thing I know, soft piano music was playing and the voice of Natalie Grant began to sing.

Two months is too little they let him go
They had no sudden healing
To think that providence would take a child from his mother
While she prays, is appalling

Who told us we'd be rescued what has changed and
Why should we be saved from nightmares
We're asking why this happens to us
Who have died to live, it's unfair

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive

This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was when everything fell
We'd be held

This hand is bitterness
We want to taste it and let the hatred numb our sorrows
The wise hand opens slowly
To lilies of the valley and tomorrow

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive

This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was when everything fell
We'd be held

If hope is born of suffering
If this is only the beginning
Can we not wait, for one hour
Watching for our Savior

This is what it is to be held.

Is that just one set of footprints in the sand I see?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Words Can't Express

In the last two weeks, I have found words to be difficult. Upon the news that our precious baby had died, I can't count how many times people helplessly said to me, "I just don't know what to say!" From strangers... friends... family... even my husband. Truth is, there are no words. I don't know what to say. Nothing a person can say can make the pain go away. There are no words to make us feel better. There's nothing we need to hear that we don't already know.

The thing that has ministered to our hearts the most and brought a tremendous amount of comfort in our pain is the love, support and prayers from people... all over the world. Everyone from close friends to complete strangers have found ways to let us know that they are praying for us. I don't even know how to begin to thank them.

I write now to thank each of you for every prayer you ever offered on our behalf. There's so much on my heart, so much I want to say, so many emotions that I feel, and a lot of pain that has yet to heal. In the coming days and weeks, perhaps I will be able to get it from my heart on to this computer screen in front of me. But right now, all I can say is Thank You. I don't know how to say it and be able to express the amount of gratitude I feel...

Just, Thank you so much.