Wednesday, October 20, 2010

On My Own: Maintenance

So what do I do now that I've completed my 9-week challenge at Goals in Motion and will not be continuing with their maintenance program?

1. Walk everyday - That's easy right now because the weather is nice. I'm sure it will get more difficult to want to walk when it's cold and snowy. But for right now it's beautiful and the boys and I are enjoying the outdoors.
2. Do a workout video 5-6 days a week - The ones that we own are Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred, The Biggest Loser Workout, The Biggest Loser Last Chance Workout, Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones.
3. Eat - This is probably the hardest for me. I get too busy and forget to eat and then in the evening I'm hungry. So I need to remind myself to eat breakfast and a snack in the morning. Otherwise I pass on the opportunity to boost my metabolism right away in the morning. I want to fuel my body so it can burn. ;)
4. Protein 5-6 times a day - This was a struggle during the challenge because I like variety and feel like I'm always eating the same things. My favorite ways to get extra protein throughout the day: protein shakes, protein bars, cottage cheese, almonds, peanut butter, eggs, chicken.
5. No carbs after 3-4p - Again, this was a challenge during the challenge but I found myself feeling better during the early morning workout if I ate some protein in the evening. Although, popcorn or dry cereal would be my first choice for an evening snack. And not having carbs at dinner has been an adjustment for my family. More salads less bread, rice and mashed potatoes. We still eat those things, just earlier in the day.

I've lost about 5 pounds since the end of my challenge but I don't know if it's fat or muscle that I've lost. I'm afraid that it's muscle. It's harder to stay motivated on my own. I really liked the class environment and working out to a video at home is hard to keep up. But I'm trying and doing pretty well. Hopefully I will get to my goal weight (140lbs) and maybe less. ;)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Goals In Motion: Finale

My 9-week "boot camp" at Goals In Motion is over! And I have to say that I'm disappointed that it's over. I thought I would be relieved. ;)

I was getting very discouraged because I wasn't seeing the scale move. I felt disappointment every time I got on the scale...1 lb here, 1 lb there. It was hard to know that I wasn't "losing weight." I kept telling myself that muscle weighs more than fat, but as a woman I wanted to see that scale move.

I did feel strong, though. I loved the resistance training more than the kickboxing (cardio was never my thing). And I was getting good at it. I loved starting a new "level" and thinking I was never going to be able to do something...squat with 50 lbs, do a full pike on a balance ball, wall-sit with 20lb on my lap (and have it be more than tolerable). I had great coaches who nudged me to try more weight or change colors of bands or even use two bands. They were so supportive and not pushy at all, just very encouraging. It was fun.

Don't get me wrong, kickboxing was fun too. My goal was to be able to kick a bag over and I did it! And it was awesome!! I liked feeling like I knew what I was doing (although there's still one kick that I'm not very good at) and hitting that bag did feel good most days. And it was fun to see what the different instructors would do. It was different every time and I really enjoyed that. I also noticed that in my last 3 weeks my thoughts during my workout changed. I was no longer focusing on remembering to breath, how much time is left, that I feel sick, I might throw-up, that I can't catch my breath, that this weight is heavy, how much time is left, I can't get my leg up that high to kick, I'm tired, and how much time was left. I was instead thinking of what to make for dinner, when was the last time I got my hair colored, where did I put that library book, wonder if I can stop by Wal-Mart and run errands before heading home, what was on my Wal-Mart list, why are people here already, is it 5:45 already? My brain was no longer just trying to keep my body working it was actually thinking. ;) It's just a little sign that my body was working hard and I wasn't having to use my brain power to keep it going.

Alright, here are my stats:

Body Weight
initial: 167
final: 155.8 (today I'm at 150.2)

Body Comp
initial: 32.9%
final: 30.2%

Sit Ups (full)
initial: 10
final: 32

Push Ups (modified)
initial: 30
final: 56

Sit and Reach
initial: 17in
final: 21.75

Mile Run
initial: 13:51 minutes
final: 11:55 minutes (which is better than high school)

Before I reveal my pictures, I wanted to tell you that I got third place for overall body change! So even though I didn't see the scale change much, my body changed. I would never have guessed that I would get third place and wish I would've kicked it harder the last few weeks and maybe I would've gotten first. :) I just never thought that I would even place. There were people in my challenge who lost 26 pounds and decreased their body fat by 6% so I didn't think that I would win anything. I was very shocked to hear them call my name. Ok, here they are:

Where I see the most change is probably my face, chin and neck. Also, I don't have as much fat under my right armpit. And my legs look smoother. The belly is another difference. There's actual muscle showing and less/no love handles.

Obviously the belly has changed and I didn't see it when I looked in the mirror but I can really see it in the pictures. I have ab muscles, granted it's no 6-pack but I don't have to look too far to see muscle instead of a belly. Again, my legs are smoother and I have only 1 chin and a neck. Someone said my chest looked perkier, but I think smaller would be more accurate. Why do women lose weight there first?

This is probably my favorite pose. I know I will never have a dancer's body (long, lean) because I know that I'm more of a muscular build. And I love seeing how smooth the back of my legs are. Yay!! Also my shoulders are more toned and you don't see any back fat. My bottom is smaller and my shorts are no longer skin tight.

It was a great 9-weeks. We're planning on saving some of our (hopefully) tax return money so that next year I can join a maintenance challenge (FYI: they do have payment plans if you want to continue after your initial nine weeks). Goals in Motion is a lot of fun. The staff is so encouraging and I can't say enough positives about the workouts themselves. They're great and they're a lot of fun. I have to say that Jeff was probably my favorite instructor because he would usually choose classic rock to work out to. Makes it more fun when you can sing along. Thanks to all of you who supported and encouraged me (Wendi, Karen, April, Kim). You made this process a lot of fun!! Thanks!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Planning: Balloons (Part 4)

(You can start reading the series here: Planning (Part 1), Planning: Picking the Music (Part 2), Planning: Cake (Part 3).)

Ok, now that I've been Debbie Downer all week I thought I'd talk about the balloons as my final post on planning the memorial service/heaven party for our son, Elihu Siloam.

I knew I wanted balloons to be released and was inspired by Denise to do just that. And we will make that (along with the cake) a yearly celebration for our son Elihu. But this time I wanted it to be especially meaningful. I wanted to play a song while we let our balloons float into the sky and I had heard the song Fly by Celine Dion when I was in high school and fell in love with it. I just never thought that it would have so much meaning for me.

We got multicolored balloons and everyone (even the littles) held on to the string of that balloon until they were prompted to let them fly as a gift to our son in Heaven. I listened to the words of the song holding on to my balloon and I didn't want to let go. I even heard myself say "I don't want to let go. This is so hard." But I knew I had to let go. And what hurt was the reality of the symbolism of letting that balloon go - letting my son go. Really letting him go. I was brought out of my grief by laughs and shouts of joy as the littles yelled excitedly as the balloons disappeared into the bright blue sky. "There goes your balloon." "Oh look, there's my balloon." "They are flying so high." It was really sweet and innocent. I'm letting my son go and I'm hearing them rejoice. It was a bittersweet moment. Something that I will always carry with me. Letting my son go. Really doing it. Finally releasing him back into God's hands. My Elihu.

Celine Dion

Fly, fly little wing
Fly beyond imagining
The softest cloud, the whitest dove
Upon the wind of heaven's love
Past the planets and the stars
Leave this lonely world of ours
Escape the sorrow and the pain
And fly again

Fly, fly precious one
Your endless journey has begun
Take your gentle happiness
Far too beautiful for this
Cross over to the other shore
There is peace forevermore
But hold this mem'ry bittersweet
Until we meet

Fly, fly do not fear
Don't waste a breath, don't shed a tear
Your heart is pure, your soul is free
Be on your way, don't wait for me
Above the universe you'll climb
On beyond the hands of time
The moon will rise, the sun will set
But I won't forget

Fly, fly little wing
Fly where only angels sing
Fly away, the time is right
Go now, find the light

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Planning: Cake (Part 3)

(You can start reading this series here: Planning (Part 1) and Planning: Picking the Music (Part 2).)

We wanted Elihu's memorial service to be a celebration of his Homecoming and of our hope that some day we will be celebrated as we return Home to Jesus' arms. So we wanted cake and balloons. That's what really signifies a celebration at our house. We have cake and balloons at every birthday party and I knew that I wanted the same for Elihu's Homecoming party. And that's what we did. But as with most things dealing with our loss it was not easy.

I took the boys along with me to the grocery store to pick out a cake. I didn't want to call and order one because I didn't want to have to spell his name and have them ask me questions. So we went to the bakery and saw all the pre-made cakes. I like white cake and white frosting and there were only a few of those left. I looked around for cupcakes because then I wouldn't have to talk to anyone but there were no cupcakes. Which I thought was really stupid.

My oldest wanted me to pick a cake that was very colorful and had plastic balloons poking out the top. But it looked too happy. It kinda made me sick. I stared at those cakes for a long time while many wonderful helpful staff asked me if I needed help and I kept telling them that I was just looking. Meanwhile my 2 and 4 year-old were growing restless in the shopping cart. I finally picked up a cake with white frosting and green trim. Then I had to wait to ask to put Elihu's name on it. She asked me what I wanted written on the cake and I was thinking "Baby of Mine - Elihu Siloam." But I couldn't bring myself to say the words out loud. I just said "Elihu" and then spelled it several times so she got it right. My heart was aching as she handed me this plain cake with only his name on it written in bright green. I was weeping inside as I put the cake in my cart and headed to the checkout. I couldn't say the words "Baby of Mine" because it would be too real. To be picking out a cake for my dead son. I couldn't bear it so I kept those words hidden in my heart.

I thought the cake was too plain and wanted the cake to have a little bit of joy so I thought "sprinkles!" We went to the baking aisle and the selection of sprinkles was minimal so we went down the block to our local hobby store. Inside the boys and I wandered to the baking aisle/birthday party aisle/party aisle. And I stared at those sprinkles for at least 25 minutes. My boys were so well-behaved and I am so grateful for that. Because, if any of you know them, they are not lacking in the energy department. I meandered through the party aisles multiple times looking for the "right" sprinkles for my cake. But I didn't find the "your baby died" party aisle. There were no angel sprinkles. There were plenty of baby bottles, and pacifiers, and pink and blue sprinkles. There were happy birthday sprinkles and birthday toppings. More sprinkles and party favors for a pirate party, a luau, a princess party, a boy ball party... But nothing that says "my baby died and I am terrible grieved." I cried and cried and my boys kept giving me their helpful suggestions of what to put on Elihu's cake. I think the older one knew why I was crying. He was so sweet with his suggestions like he just wanted to help make mom feel better.

I finally picked out a generic bottle of colored dots and went to the check-out counter. The check out girl was so slow as I stood there with my bottle of sprinkles and a tear-stained, red, puffy face. I just wanted to get out of there! But it was as if time stopped as that girl checked out over $150 worth-of brick-brack for a middle-aged woman. I was irritated. I was mad. I was frustrated. I was embarrassed. But mostly I was sad. So sad because this was reality. It was becoming very real that we were to have a Heaven celebration for a child that I had never met. It was too real. Too real to be standing in that line with tears streaming down my face crying over a bottle of sprinkles. Crying over my dead, faceless son.

I got home with my boys. They helped me pick out all the pink and purple sprinkles from my bottle (and I let them eat them they ate them) as I topped Elihu's cake with yellow, green, blue, and orange sprinkles. And it looked like a happy little cake. Almost too happy. But at the same time too plain. No personality because I will never know his personality. I wondered to myself "What he would pick for his birthday cake? Will it always be a plain-too-happy-not-enough-personality cake?" We put the cake in the fridge and I cried as I shut the door knowing the fridge was cold and dark. Elihu's cake in my fridge surrounded by half-empty milk jugs, containers of leftovers, sippy-cups of juice, bottles of ketchup - all small symbols of our life. And there sat Elihu's lonely cake.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Planning: Picking the Music (Part 2)

Read Planning (Part 1) here.

Picking out music was one of the hardest things to do in planning a memorial service for our son. Worship with music is something that is dear to my heart. It's one of my favorite ways to express my relationship with God and to thank Him for who He is and what He's done. Normally I really enjoy pondering the words of worship music but this was really hard on my heart. And considering that my husband was super busy with youth ministry and seminary classes I knew it would be my responsibility. In the end, after a hard afternoon and evening reading lyrics and listening to music, my husband helped me pick the final songs.

I knew that I wanted this time to be a hopeful time. A time of celebration of our Elihu's short life, his Homecoming, and our faith that we would join him one day in heaven. But I also wanted it to be thoughtful and a time of reflection. Those are some hard things to combine but we really prayed over it and these are the songs we chose:

How Can I Keep From Singing 
Chris Tomlin

There is an endless song
Echoes in my soul
I hear the music ring

And though the storms may come
I am holding on
To the rock I cling

How can I keep from singing Your praise
How can I ever say enough
How amazing is Your love
How can I keep from shouting Your name
I know I am loved by the King
And it makes my heart want to sing

I will lift my eyes
In the darkest night
For I know my Savior lives

And I will walk with You
Knowing You'll see me through
And sing the songs You give

I can sing in the troubled times
Sing when I win
I can sing when I lose my step
And fall down again
I can sing 'cause You pick me up
Sing 'cause You're there
I can sing 'cause You hear me, Lord
When I call to You in prayer
I can sing with my last breath
Sing for I know
That I'll sing with the angels
And the saints around the throne

This song had a lot of meaning for me and my husband. It's hard to sing through the troubled times, when we lose our steps. Thankfully the Spirit prays on our behalf when we have no words to express our hurt, our pain, our joy, our sorrow, our hopefulness, our faith when we are grieving and going through times of depression. But deep down inside I knew that even through all the tears, crying out, anger that God was with me. I wasn't losing my faith through my grief I was losing my child. And today I can say out loud the words of this song and really mean them even though tears accompany the words.

Call to Me
Seeds of Courage

Call to me and I will answer you
Call to me and I will answer you
And tell you great and unsearchable things
And tell you great and unsearchable things
you do not know
Call to me
(repeat 3x)

Shout it out now, hallelujah
Shout it out now, hallelujah
Shout it out now, hallelujah
Shout it out now, hallelujah

I am thankful for the promises in Jeremiah 33:3. That He hears us and will answers us. And thankfully He did that for me especially concerning our son's name. It was a blessing to have God speak so directly to me. (The music and lyrics from the Seeds CD collections are priceless. They are designed to instill Biblical seeds in your children's hearts as they memorize Scripture to music. Kinda cool.)

What a Day That Will Be
Bart Millard

There is coming a day when no heartaches shall come,
No more clouds in the sky, no more tears to dim the eye;
All is peace forevermore on that happy golden shore,
What a day, glorious day that will be!

What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face the One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand and leads me thro' the promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be!

There'll be no sorrow there no more burdens to bear,
No more sickness, no more pain, no more parting over there;
And forever I will be with the One who died for me,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

When the trump begins to sound we will then be Heaven bound
We'll meet Jesus in the sky in the twinkling of an eye;
When He takes me by the hand and leads me thro' the promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be!

I knew I wanted at least one hymn. I studied the words of several hymns and enjoyed looking up Scripture and really pondering the words of each song. I picked What a Day That Will Be because it spoke so hopefully of our Homecoming in heaven. I feel so blessed to know that our heartaches will be no more, our tears will be no more that one day we will be heaven bound and we will embrace our son. It was hard to find the right music for this song. The words and promises of this song were very important to me but so was the mood of our celebration. Most of the recordings I heard were very funeralesque and I did not want to go that route. I wanted the music to be representative of the joyful promises of the song and I found Bart Millard's Hymned Again CD online and my husband already had the CD in his office. It was perfect. We had the words and the tempo that we thought best got our message across.

Our God Is a Great Big God
Vineyard Records

Our God is a great big God,
Our God is a great big God,
And He holds us in His hands.

He's higher than a skyscraper,
He's deeper than a submarine.
He's wider than the universe,
And beyond my wildest dreams.
He's known me and He's loved me
Since before the world began;
How wonderful to be a part of God's amazing plan.
This is a favorite song of our boys and I love the lines "He's known me and He's loved me since before the world began; How wonderful to be a part of God's amazing plan." It's a blessing to sing the promises that come from God's Word even when they are hard to understand. (We received this song on a CD mix from a friend. Vineyard Records Great Big God series has some great music that my boys really enjoy - and I don't find annoying :) - and I'm sure your children will too.)

There were many other songs that I would have enjoyed singing and playing at Elihu's heaven party/memorial service but I am so glad that these are the ones we chose. I do have a file, however, of all the songs that I studied in preparation for the service. I printed them out and put them in a special box with our son's keepsakes.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

More Than a Name: Elihu Siloam

We started calling our baby 'bud' after an email from my husband's Gramma. 
That's why I put the flower and buds on the program.

On October 8, 2010 we had a Heaven Party/memorial service for our third son, Elihu Siloam. The image above was the program I made for the service. Tomorrow I will talk about the music we chose but first I wanted to share with you God's Gift of a Name because it was truly a blessing. Straight-talk from my Creator. From Elihu's Creator.

Here's what my husband and I shared that morning:

Service Notes for Elihu Siloam
October 8, 2010

(worship song: How Can I Keep from Singing Your Praise)
Welcome (by my husband):
We want to thank you so much for joining us today at the park as we honor our little boy with a memorial service. Later we will release balloons and watch them drift into the sky hoping with a childlike faith that someday we will arrive Home to embrace our son (and brother). As we release them we will delight in Elihu (yep, that’s his name) and in God’s mysterious ways. We look back at Elihu’s short life and hope forward until that magnificent day when we all finally make it Home.

C.S. Lewis says, "I am a soul, I have a body." Oh, how wonderful God's mysterious ways! I marvel at the REALITY that when my body reaches its finish line here, my soul will not. My end will really be my beginning! Just like Elihu’s.

(prayer for the service)

God's Gift of a Name (from me):
A few weeks ago I got on the computer to look at baby names because I really wanted our son to have a name. When my husband asked me what I was doing I was embarrassed and said, “nothing.” I was afraid that he would think I was being dumb for wanting to name a child we had never seen. I wanted our son’s name to have true meaning. We got Asher’s name from Deuteronomy 33 and really loved how God blessed Asher in the Bible. And in Numbers 25 Phineas also received a blessing from God that we loved. So I wanted this little boy to have a name with special meaning. Although I found some really cool meanings the names were a little too different. Until I found:

אֶלִיהוּא ‘Elihu’    *Hebrew – “my God is Yahweh”

I knew that was his name. And I definitely got that confirmation the next night in bed. I told my husband earlier that evening that I wanted to name our son Elihu and told him the meaning of the name. He told me that he liked it and didn’t think it was stupid that I wanted him to have a name. As I was getting into bed that evening I grabbed my library book, Disappointment with God by Philip Yancey. I wasn’t ready to really read the book but I thought I’d open it to a chapter and start reading to get an idea of what to expect. And I opened it to Chapter 25 and Mr. Yancey called Elihu a brash young man who ridicules Job’s desire for a visit from God.
“Do you think God cares about a puny creature like you? Do you imagine that the Almighty God, the Maker of the Universe, will deign to visit earth and meet with you in person? Does he owe you some kind of explanation? Get serious, Job!” Then a storm draws near and a Voice like no other booms out. God himself has arrived on the scene and has come to reply to Job’s accusations of unfairness.

God’s “reply” [to Job’s questions], in fact, consists of more questions than answers. He doesn’t address their debate on the problem with pain, he plunges instead into a magnificent verbal tour of the natural world. He seems to guide Job through a private gallery of his favorite works, his own creation.

In his book Wishful Thinking, Fredrick Buechner sums up God’s speech. “God doesn’t explain. He explodes. He asks Job who he thinks he is anyway…God doesn’t reveal his grand design. He reveals himself.” The message behind the splendid poetry boils down to this: Until you know a little more about running the physical universe, Job, don’t tell me how to run the moral universe.

“Why are you treating me so unfairly, God?” Job has whined throughout the book. “Put yourself in my place.”

“NO!!!” God thunders in reply. “You put yourself in my place! Until you can offer lessons on how to make the sun come up each day, or where to scatter lightning bolts, or how to design a hippopotamus, don’t judge how I run the world. Just shut up and listen.” (pg 212-213)

I was shocked. I wasn’t expecting to hear so directly from God. The fact that I had picked that specific name and my husband agreed and then I read the opening to the chapter was amazing. A small miracle. I really felt like God was speaking to me. That He had brought the name Elihu to my mind and heart and then prepared to tell me His Truths.

Last weekend at an Anne Graham-Lotz conference (AGL) she asked us “How do you know you are hearing God’s Voice?” And this is what she said:

1. God’s Voice is Biblical – After reading the opening to Chapter 25 in Disappointment with God I was prompted to go to my Bible to find out who this Elihu was and what he had to say to Job.

In Job 32:1-9 Elihu talks about how wisdom doesn’t come from age it comes from the spirit in a man and Elihu has held his tongue long enough. He wanted to speak Truth to Job and his friends about the power and sovereignty of God.

2. God’s Voice is Powerful – First God used Elihu’s words in Job to chastise me. I pictured my little Elihu (a young boy) talking to me – “Mom, why are you questioning God? The God who loves you? The God who loves me? Who created me? Who knew me before one of my days came to be?” God humbled me with His words. How could I question God’s love for me and His love for my child?

Job 33:12-13 tells me that God is greater than I am; why do I complain to Him?

And in Job 34:10, 12 I am told that it is unthinkable to assume that God would do wrong, that the Almighty would pervert justice.

Job 34:26-Job 37 goes on to show God’s mighty power through a storm and proclaim His glory through His creation.

3. God’s Voice is Personal – Then God used Elihu’s words to Job to comfort me. Job 33:4 says “The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” So even though our little boy did not breathe the air of this earth, it was the breath of the Almighty that gave him life. God did care about my baby boy. God gave Elihu his short little life. He is loved. He’s in heaven basking in God’s glory. He was fearfully and wonderfully made – and now I really know that full well. I needed God to be direct with me and He was gracious enough to do that. Even though I know the words of Psalm 139 it wasn’t specific enough for me. But in God’s mercy He gave. me. specific. He heard the cries of my heart. And although my questions weren’t answered I was at peace. I have humbly come to accept His love and grace through this trial.

And now for Elihu’s middle name…

I had been questioning God: Why did this happen? What’s Your plan? What did I do wrong? Am I being punished? But I was reminded this past weekend at AGL that God doesn’t work that way. Jesus talks about this in John 9:1-3
1As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"

3"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”
This is not about me (as are most things). And I now know that God sent us this child so that His work and glory might be displayed in his little life, in my life, in Jonathan’s life, in the lives of our sons.

Then Jesus spit in the dirt and rubbed the mud on the blind man’s eyes and had him wash in the pool of Siloam and he was healed – he could see. And I too was blind and God used this experience to open my eyes. My big lesson: to know that a relationship with Jesus is personal. That he cares for me specifically, not generally.

So that’s why we are giving Elihu the middle name of Siloam (one who has been sent) because I truly believe that God sent Elihu to open my eyes – to humble me before God, to cause me to bend to His will, and ultimately to cast my anxiety on Him because He really does care for me and He cares for my Elihu Siloam.

(prayer of thanks for Elihu Siloam)

(start song Fly; hand out balloons; release balloons)

(worship songs: Call to Me; What a Day That Will Be; Great Big God)

I planned on having my husband read Psalm 139 but after we released the balloons we just listened to worship music and danced around with our kids watching the balloons drift into the sky. Then we gathered for cake. To celebrate Elihu's Homecoming in heaven.

That's how we celebrated little Elihu's life. We asked a former student, now professional photographer, to come and take family pictures prior to the service and to stick around to take pictures during and after our service and Heaven party so my husband would be able to be truly present in the moment instead of focusing on pictures (which he has a tendency to do). ;) We haven't seen all the pictures yet but we are so thankful that Matt could come and take pictures of this special day for us. (I plan on posting some of them as I am able - our photographer is now working on a cruise for 5 months so we'll see how long it takes.) ;)

PS. Thank you to Denise who helped me find the words to begin such a meaningful service for our son and who's encouragement made this celebration possible.
PPS. I never did read Disappointment with God. ;)

Here's more on the Planning (Part 1) of our service.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Planning (Part 1)

October 8, 2010 was to be the due date for our third child - another little boy. But that's not what God had planned for us.

My husband and I didn't want the day to go by without stopping to recognize that this was the day we were to have our third son. We knew we wanted to spend some time together as a family but were unsure as to inviting others into this intimate time. I know that my heart heals as I open it to the love and support of friends and family but it does not come naturally. I need to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in my life and not my own desires or fears. So we invited a few special friends to spend the morning with us.

Hi Everyone ~

This Friday would have been our due date. But God had different plans. Instead of celebrating the birth of a baby we want to look back and hope forward. Look back at the short life of our son and hope forward to the day we will finally embrace him in heaven.

So we are having a party. ;) And you are invited to join us on Friday, October 8 at 10am out at the park. We will have a short ceremony for our son to talk about how we decided on what to name him, sing praises to our God, and send some balloons up to our son in heaven. And there will be cake. ;)

You are all special people in our lives and we want to share this day with you.
Love ~
Jonathan and Jessica

I knew it was going to be difficult but it was time for me to plan for my son's memorial service (heaven party) even though we had never met him.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Does anyone have any tips to get red fingernail polish out of carpet? I'd appreciate any suggestions: do's or don'ts. Thanks!

Monday, October 4, 2010

More from Molly

I've had tabs up from Molly Piper's blog for a long time. But I haven't been able to blog about them so I'm just going to list them here and then see if I feel like blogging about them later. I would encourage you to read them as they have been some kind of comfort to me. And I wanted to get them in my archives for future reference. Thanks and enjoy the links.

Brokenhearted Love: Give It, Live It.

I Hope? Who, Me?

Why I Didn't Blog My Pregnancy: Time Was Slipping Away

Why I Didn't Blog My Pregnancy: Fear

We used to be happy people...I even have proof.

Do you want to die this Mother's Day?

What does grief look like at 17 months?

Remembering Our One-Year-Old