Updates for days

I Think I’m coming down with a cold.  You know that miserable tired feeling like you have 1% battery left in your body and that soreness on the side of your throat?

Yep.  I’m feeling that.

It’s like always the worst part of a cold for me… the beginning.  Every part of me wants to be in denial, like, “No, I’m just tired, that soreness getting worse in my throat is because we slept with the windows open three days ago… right?”

nopeSo there’s that.

Annnnnd, I have an announcement… We had our BABY!  Evelyn Grace Anthony was born Thursday, June 11th around 6pm in the evening, wearing a super special hospital hat.  Someone made that in love, I just know it.

IMG_8697Here she is!  Her nails were crazy long and she scratched her precious baby face.IMG_8705“Our Baby!”  The kids all decided that her name should be Evelyn.IMG_8718

Davin brought these BEAUTIFUL flowers to the hospital.  I was so surprised.  Our wedding had floral arrangements that were very similar, so that made it even more special.

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Evelyn was born on my Gramma D’s birthday.  They are birthday girls in this picture, separated by a few years.

All my previous kiddos were born on Fridays, so Evie decided to break the mold with that one.  When she was born I cried.  I said, “Welcome to the world!” with tears in my eyes.  She’s the first baby I’ve cried over upon delivery.  I think it’s finally sunk in that these tiny brand new babies are going to turn into the little people I do life with.  It only took five years and three kids. The first three were just so shocking I was like, “Wait, I grew this tiny human in my body?  Howwwwww?”

Evelyn is pretty amazing.  In fact, she’s so amazing that I tried to write about her a few times on my blog, but every time I’d get distracted and didn’t have the heart to not stare at her as much as possible during awake times, hence the lack of blogging.  However she can’t be blamed entirely for my over three month absence, I also started freelancing!  I love it and here are some of the articles I’ve recently contributed to, click on them to read:

Ten Scriptures to Help Overcome: Loneliness

Ten Scriptures to Help Overcome: Depression

This one is particularly useful seeing as how school has already begun, but maybe it will come in handy anyway:

Back to School: Five Strategies for Busy Families

I liked it.

I also helped out on a really cool follow up guide for a program called, Dare to Dream.  K-Love’s Randy Rich is a former Bronco’s player that speaks at school assemblies about moving beyond the negative labels others place on us.  Our team worked on a three-week follow up guide for teachers, coaches and mentors to use to help navigate students through the process of dropping the negative labels, picking up their dreams and beginning to follow them.  In the process I got to meet some crazy rad people, and it kinda made my summer like even cooler.  I even got to, “go into work” for a couple of days, and wear FANCY SHOES!  And, my clothes did NOT smell like barf.  They did TODAY, but not those two special days, nope… I was a professional;-)

Let’s see… other things to update you on.

The kids started school and everything feels new, but we’re getting into a routine.  They LOVE their school, it’s amazing and one of my favorite parts is taking a nap in my car every day while I wait to pick them up, it’s the best.  That and Ellie gets to listen to WeeSing Bible Songs on repeat.  I’ve actually gone through a few stages of the WeeSing Bible Songs CD. At first it was sweet, then it was annoying, after that I was American Idol/X-Factor judging the children’s voices in my head (not good) and now I’ve come to what I hope is the last stage, neutral acceptance.  It’s become so familiar, it can almost be ignored by my ears, so we are at peace now, that CD and I.  I have no one to blame but myself seeing as how I sought it out, having such fond memories of Psalty the Singing Song Book as a kid, I jumped at the opportunity to bless my children with this gem on Amazon, but it’s just not the same when you’re an adult.

psalty

dissapoint

Ellie loves it, so that’s cool.

Time for some baby pictures.  I will tell you, she’s pretty stinkin’ adorable.  She’s also very chill for the most part. Yesterday she decided to start getting some teeth and now large sections of her gums are swollen and she’s not too thrilled about it come, oh say… five-o-clock.  At 5pm precisely, she’s unhappy, for a little bit.  However, it’s a well known fact that babies all around the world have a tendency for the grouchy around 5pm.  So all us Mama’s can just hang in there knowing we are not alone.  Yesterday I gave her a few Hylands teething tablets even though she’s only three months old and much to young for teeth, MUCH TOO YOUNG and is also wearing size nine pajamas.  Girl is going to be TALL.  I’m jealous, I used to want to be six-foot tall.  I didn’t quite make it.  There’s hope for my girls.  Except Ellie, she has no hope for that, she will never, ever be six-foot tall, but her personality will more than make up for that great loss in life.

Moving on.

We had an amazing photographer agree to take pictures of our family even though he lives super far away and is studying and in college.  Yay!  Thank you Danny Montemayor for being not only a great photographer, but for being a chill, kid-person in general.  Family photos have the potential to be stressful, and if the photographer is laid back and little kids like him, it really just makes things that much better.  Also, my badd for not realizing summer was taking an extra long stroll though our lives, I thought the END of September would be an acceptable time for fall digs, I was however wrong and it was a million degrees, but we rocked it anyway.

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Ellie who will follow her big brother anywhere.IMG_1257

This is actually a tribute pose to our Gramma Alta who went to be with Jesus in heaven a few weeks ago.  We love you Gramma Alta!IMG_1283And now there are four.  Yay!
IMG_1388Oh, I’m on a swing, swinging, and I look this beautiful without trying.  Gurrrrl is blessed.
IMG_1465 IMG_1490 IMG_1498He makes me sandwiches and asks, “Mom, what can I do for you?” And he clearly loves posing for photos with mom when he could still be playing on that tire swing.
IMG_1511This photo sums up my entire relationship with Ellie.IMG_1569Daddy’s girl.IMG_1605A boy with his Daddy.  This could totally be a greeting card.
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Yay US!

And now… the BABY!IMG_1709 IMG_1736 IMG_1761 IMG_1786One of my favorites.IMG_1794 IMG_1825 IMG_1843 IMG_1863 IMG_1867

I love my newest baby.

Thanks for reading!

our baby’s in heaven

IMG_4538A while back, I felt like I should take a break from writing.  We had a lot going on with birthdays, vacations and the end of the school year.  I felt the Lord whisper to, “take a break and just rest”.  Funny, a week after I decided to listen, we found out we were pregnant… with our fourth.  We were excited and a bit overwhelmed at the idea of four kids, but mostly just stoked.  I was really wanting another baby… and so was Davin.

These last few months have been gloriously free from most social media, blogging and all the “writing thoughts” that go on in my mind during the day.  I took a step back from all that I was engaged in and just rested with my family.  I played with my family, took naps and ate snacks.  Not much to worry about except what I should eat.  Pregnant ladies get really, really hungry… all day long.  It’s a serious business, that eating.

A week ago, we discovered that our baby had gone to heaven… with… out… our permission.  He or she most likely went to heaven around nine and a half weeks, because that’s what the ultra sound showed the growth rate at the day before our miscarriage, information we didn’t have until the following day.  I was fortunate enough to have a natural miscarriage, without any medical procedures.  Since we had never experienced one, and still didn’t have the news from our doctor that the baby had stopped growing, we at first were still hopeful that maybe the baby was okay even with the spotting, since it can be normal in pregnancy.  (Warning: the rest of this paragraph may be TMI for you… warning… warning!)  By 2:30 am when my water broke, we were pretty sure things weren’t okay.  By 4:30 am, after much bleeding and contractions we knew I was miscarrying our baby.  By 8:30 that morning, my contractions stopped, and the bleeding subsided, our baby was in heaven.

We cried when it was happening.  We cried when we realized our hopes for our little Dude or Lady in January were crashed.  We cried to think of the sweet child that we would never get to know on earth.  We cried just thinking about telling our kids that the baby they loved in Mommy’s tummy was in heaven.

It was sad.  But you know what else?  It was inexplicably covered in peace.  Literally just how the scripture that says in Philippians 4:7,  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  A peace really did come over us and that transcended ALL understanding.  

I know it’s early in the process, and I’m sure there is more grieving to be done.  I am not minimizing that.  I am just saying that in the midst of physically experiencing a miscarriage and not realizing what was going on right away, in the midst of understanding the truth that our baby wasn’t with us anymore, in the midst of grieving the loss – I still felt surrounded by peace.  If that doesn’t transcend all understanding, I don’t know what does.

Worldly logic says I shouldn’t be able to feel any peace in the midst of this sorrow.

Here’s something else.  The day before when I was getting the silent ultra sound, (I say that because the tech only asked me three questions, then never spoke again…) the tech finished and went to see if the radiologist wanted to share any information with me, which he did not. While I waited, I stood there thinking, hmmm, this wasn’t like all my other ultra sounds where the sweet lady says, “ohhhh, here’s the baby’s heartbeat!  Here’s the hands!” it was just some weird dude saying not a word.  Thoughts started to cross my mind that the spotting might have actually meant that something was wrong.  When I started to panic and get sad, I heard the Nat King Cole song, “Smile” on the speakers in the hallway.  It’s a pretty tragic song guys, if you start playing it while you read this, you might just cry.  So only do that if you want a good cry.  Once I heard the sound of Nat’s voice, I felt this crazy peace rush over me and I was back at my grandparents’ house, as a kid, listening to their records.  My grandpa is already in heaven and I felt like that was God’s way of saying, “Yea, this is rough, but it’s going to be okay.  We go way back, I was there with you then, and I’ll be here for you now.”

Guys, I didn’t walk through this miscarriage alone.

God surrounded me with his presence in so many ways.  Jesus showed up in Davin as he sat near me the entire night, holding my hand, taking care of my every need, being unbelievably supportive, loving, amazing and strong.  He showed up in the love and support of my family and friends through texts, muffins, flowers, cards and a friend watching our three kids so Davin could go with me to the doctors to make sure I was healthy the next day.  God was gracious to take the baby to heaven earlier in my pregnancy, when it wasn’t as difficult to miscarry naturally.  He timed it so we’d still have space to heal before we go on the crazy awesome tropical kid-free vacation we’d planned for this summer.  I even still get to  look forward to and celebrate a baby right around Christmas, since my brother and his wife will be having their second then (#babyfix)!  And, I felt his grace when I held my three kids the next morning in the kitchen, thinking that some women experience a miscarriage, and don’t yet have a child to hold and thank him for.

I keep thinking of all the ways that he was so gracious to me, even in the midst of this sorrow. And, it doesn’t make me not sad that my sweet baby is in heaven.  That I’ll never hear this kid laugh or see he or she smile on this earth.  But seeing God show up in so many different ways made me feel like there must be something bigger going on than my plans and purposes. Because those weren’t my plans and purposes.

God is sovereign.

Does that mean he wanted my baby to die and my pregnancy to end in a miscarriage?  No. Not at all.

We live in a non-Eden world.  It’s not a perfect heaven just yet.  God’s given us the power of free will, making our world a messy, sin-filled, sometimes crappy place that we get to bring light into through Christ’s love.

God is sovereign means that he has a bigger plan that he is working out in spite of sin’s effects on this world, making room for his love in the tough stuff.  And because he sent his Son to die for our sins, we know that his whole plan is motivated around his love for us.  Even when it doesn’t look like it.  Even when it doesn’t make sense to us.

We toss the word love around like it’s whatever, but when you really, really think about it – God loves ultimately, fully, completely and perfectly, each one of us.  And somehow, I think that truth resonates with you, somewhere deep, deep down in your heart.  And if you want him in your life, you don’t have to be perfect, it’s as simple as this prayer,

“Jesus, please forgive me for all the stuff I’ve done that didn’t honor you.  I’m sorry.  Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins.  Please come into my life and begin to make stuff right.  I want to see you transform my life into something beautiful.  Please be Lord of my life.  Amen.”

That’s kinda a, “Jesus Take the Wheel” type of thing, giving your life over to him;-)  It’s sorta a big deal, so If you did pray that for the first time, you should find someone who reads their bible and let them know so they can help you find a church.  Walking with Jesus is never an orphan experience, you need a big family around you, reminding you about God’s love and truth in word and action.  And, some churches are awesome and some are not, or can be super old-school and if that’s not your thing, keep looking until you find the one that feels like home.

And, like I told Davin after we’d finished crying, “Hey, that’s the BEST kid we ever raised!  That baby is in heaven!  SUCESS!”  God can bring good out of anything.  We high-fived with tears still running down our faces, knowing that there was still joy in our future.

Now I am a mom of four (actually maybe five, we thought we were pregnant before this one and then weren’t after a few days, so maybe number four has a sibling in heaven).  Either way, I have three little ones on earth to raise-up to know the Jesus that their little sibling or siblings are hanging out with right now.

And that’s a huge job.

Thanks for reading.

And for those of you who just love to cry… I give you

“Smile” by Nat King Cole

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it’s breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shining through for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile