Sunday, October 31, 2010

My Little Pumpkin

My heart and prayers go out to all you mommies who had planned on having your "Little Pumpkins" today.  My very thoughtful cousin, Paula, bought Holden his first Halloween outfit (a pumpkin of course) back in January or February. We had saved it for today...

Today is the first real holiday we are without our son.  Since we miss Holden every day, to me this is just another day I am not holding my Little Pumpkin.

This morning, I thought that being the germ-a-phobe I am, I doubt he would've experienced many crowds this year.  That and he wouldn't be eating candy of course!  I was just missing my sweet boy for his first holiday, even though he wouldn't be exactly experiencing the holiday itself.  Those were my "deep thoughts"...but I did laugh at myself for thinking them.

We are hoping some little trick or treaters come by to fill their bags with all the candy we bought.  Last night we only had one goblin, so I am hoping that tonight is more popular down Lubbock Avenue!  Their happy, innocent children smiles and costumes always make me smile each year, and I am especially hoping to see their joy this year.

I think we mommies get our plans and hearts so set on all the wonderful things our babies will experience.  That is why I think I am having a more difficult time today than Chet.  I had so many big plans of dressing Holden up, taking cute fall pictures of him, etc.

I miss you with all of my being, Little Pumpkin.  One day we will get to see our Lil Pumpkins again.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

2 Months in Glory

SO many hugs and kisses await our little guy.  Isn't it good we have an eternity to catch up on all of them?!

We visited Holden's little spot at the cemetery right after work.  We prayed and released two balloons up to the sky.  Chet told me that his headstone should be here in the next few weeks, much sooner than our expected Christmas arrival.  That makes me really happy, since the place is so bare right now.  The plain pile of dirt really gets to me.  I know Holden is not there, but with Jesus ... still, the ugly pile of dirt makes my heart sad.

Today my sweet friends poured out their love to me.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!  It's so humbling to feel this kind of love.  You made today a blessing.  I smiled each time I read one of your precious messages.  Thank you for giving my heart joy and comfort today.

I also was blessed today, because I was able to "meet" a girl named Erin through email.  She and her husband Blair lost their beautiful little girl Gwendolyn Hope just a little over a week ago.  Her honesty, love and heart for God are astounding to me.  Please lift them in prayers.  They need to be covered and surrounded by prayers.  I ask that God's peace, hope, love, mercy and grace pour over them.  Their grief is so real to Chet and I, and their journey has just started.  Little Gwen has already made an eternal impact for the kingdom, and her story has touched my life.  Meeting someone through this kind of situation is heartbreaking to me, and to be honest, I wish we didn't ever have to meet like this.  But I am so thankful that the Lord brought the Cushman family into our lives.  Gwendolyn and Holden are surrounded by glory tonight!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

2 months ago tomorrow

We met our handsome 7lb. 5oz. baby and kissed his perfect face.  I still feel like something is missing in my life.  I have come to accept that the void will probably always be there.  Right now our precious Holden would probably be sleeping through the night, laughing, cooing at us and smiling with his chunky cheeks. 

I pray for our hearts every day.  I pray we can fully accept His will for us every single day.  I sometimes feel like my mommy heart aches more now than it did two months ago.  Such a spectrum of emotions fill my days.  Saying goodbye to my son, on earth, has definitely been an honest challenge to my faith.  I really do have to remind myself each and every day that God's plans are so glorious and perfect.  Each day when I get to see the joy in my friends faces, as parents, I cling to the promises of Christ's hope and plans for us.  Each day is a new day to be blessed by my son's life, and I am so grateful for that privilege.  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13

Mommy and Daddy love you more each day, Holden Newell.  We are going to celebrate your two months of life with Jesus by sending up balloons to you tomorrow.  Your Daddy picked out 1 Samuel 1:27-28 to go on your little headstone.  It says "I prayed for this child, and the Lord granted my request.  In return I am giving him to the Lord.  He will be dedicated to the Lord for his whole life."  We prayed for you every day.  We prayed for you each day of your life in Mommy's tummy.  We know your life is dedicated to the Lord for eternity.  What a blessing son!!  You have made an impact for eternity.  We thank Jesus for giving us the most beautiful gift of your life as our son.  We thank Jesus for what your life has done to our lives.  Most of all, we thank Jesus for His amazing love, that he would die on purpose, so that we can spend eternity with you, sweet baby.  Jesus is hugging you today, but soon we will get to hug you too.  We love you Holden Newell!   

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I am captivated by my Savior.  His love is greater than I can fathom.  This challenges me every day.  

My mind is jumbled with so much. My heart is tugged and pulled. I am at a bit of a loss for the right words. Good thing I admit my lack of adequately describing my heart on paper.

I've spent this week almost shoving what Jesus has laid on my heart in my little "Sarah corner".  It's easier that way.  I can just lie in my own pity party, right?  I have the "right" to ignore what I know I should do.  I mean, I lost my child.  Doesn't that give me leeway for 'disobeying'?  I don't want to leave my comfort zone.  His plans are not easy sometimes.  His plans will make my little life as I know it drastically changed.  Excuses have come off my tongue each time Chet and I pray about this.  "We can't do that. We don't have the money. We don't have the time. We don't have the resources."  Really?  The Almighty God who created and owns the entire universe is speaking to me...and I'm worried about those things? 

Excuses are not okay.  God will never accept them.  My heart tells me my small plans are not even worthy of being in the same sentence as His mighty perfect plans.

On three separate occasions this week Chet and I have been moved to be more compassionate towards Jesus' orphaned children.  Since before we got married, we have known orphan care was in our lives.  We've just always said "one day".  This story is not complete and not public blog material, but I ask for your prayers.  Specifically your prayers to help me let Christ lead my life; less of Sarah, more of You, Lord.

I am against the "feeling" led movements.  I know my human emotions are too riddled with Sarah's feelings.  I want our decisions to be God's plans.  Not plans we make because of a "good fuzzy feeling".  Not because it's the "cool" thing to do.  Not because of moving, terribly sad statistics about orphans.

Compassion towards Jesus' children is not a "Plan B" for Chet and me.  So please don't ask me or comment about that.  Thanks in advanced.  :)

What could be better than having a 13 year-old nephew challenge your faith?  As Chet and I have prayed a lot this week about the next steps in our life, about orphan care, and about letting Him lead us....
We met Carrie and Trey and their boys for the Max Lucado/Third Day/Michael W. Smith/TobyMac concert in Lubbock on Friday night.  During the intermission, J.R. mentioned feeling called to go to Africa and share God's love.  Well!  No hiding from God, huh? 

Would Chet and I be praying about all this as much, had we been holding our almost 2 month-old in our arms?  Possibly?  Probably not.  Our son's life has been a gift from our Father, who loves us to a depth I cannot understand, to change our hearts and take us down a journey to live more for the eternal. 

I thought I'd make it through the whole concert without tears, but I just can't take me anywhere.  Michael W. Smith sang his new song Welcome Home:

I can’t believe that I’m here having to say goodbye
And I can barely see you through these tears I cry
I close my eyes

I can hear the sound
As angels gather ‘round
Saying this is where you belong
Welcome home

There are the days that my heart aches wishing you were here
But I know where you are the hurt and the pain disappear
There’s no more tears

What a lovely sound
Angels all around
Saying this is where you belong
Welcome home
Welcome home
Welcome home

Holden is where he belongs.  I am captivated by my God who counts each and every one of my tears.  

Oh, and read this...but only read if you want to be changed.  Disclaimer:  This is something you should not read at work:

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I happen to be apart of the best group of Bunco ladies in the world! :)  Our Bunco group consists of ladies who have been wonderful friends and sisters in Christ to me.  I love these ladies oh so much!!  Talk about friends who are like family!  I greatly look forward to that one Thursday a month that we all get together for a fun evening of girl time.  

This month's theme was "Boo-nco" at Ashley O's house.  We missed Amie, Amber, Ronda and Rebecca, but still had a GREAT time!  

Ashley and her sweet sister Amy went ALL OUT and made it such a fabulous night!!  Look at all the yummy food!  I am really going to have to do a lot better in the spring when it's my turn to host! 
 Me filling my plate....  Of course. :)
 Ashley's precious Ellie and her sister Amy (Thing 1).
 Okay, a little disclaimer...I am WAY into character here.  I look so evil I almost didn't post this.  But Chet deleted all the other photos when I was smiling.  I thought this was the "be in character" photo.  But I really don't know if Cleopatra looked that serious after all.  In fact, I don't even know why I chose that was just one I saw on the costume bag. ;)  Anyways, these ladies are Daphene (cat lady), Lisa (she didn't have time to dress up), Michelle (Flapper), Jaci (adorable Pumpkin Smuggler-with Baby Johnson), me (Cleopatra), Renae (Amy Winehouse), Maria (Vampire), Melanie (Bubblegum under a chair), Julie (Olive Oil), Amy (Thing 1 holding her niece, Ellie, as herself) and Ashley (Thing 2).  What a FUN TIME!
 Ashley and Ellie Grey.

Little did I know a year ago when we started this Bunco group that I would lean on these ladies so much.  Thank you all for being such an important, encouraging part of my life.  I love you!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Exercise and other random thoughts

Chet and I have joined the exercise class at our church on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.  I've only gone two evenings and feel utterly beat.  I cannot believe how out of shape I have let myself get...I am SO excited about the possibilities of toning and losing a little weight though.  The pain is good.  Or that is what I keep telling myself as I try to walk, sit, bend over, lift my purse...well everything.  :)  Getting into a hot bathtub to ease the pain, hurts.  "This is worth it Sarah."  "This is worth it Sarah!"  "This is WORTH it Sarah!!"  Yes, I have said that to myself quite a bit.  The two cute ladies who run this thing are a bit too cheery for up-downs, squats and lunges if you ask me.  But I will forgive them if I have lost weight at next month's weigh-in.  ;)  I am very grateful for them doing this for us and being the great motivators they are!  They are passionate...which is exactly what I need while I am working out.

I would've taken a "before" picture of myself, but that crazy thought disappeared as quickly as it entered my mind.  Then I thought a good picture for this post would be one of my tennis shoes or something.  The truth is, my tennis shoes are extremely dusty and dirty and resemble those shoes your mom always made you keep for "outside playtime".  We walk our dogs on a dirt road, so I didn't want people thinking I needed shoe donations.  Hmmmm...guess I won't post a picture this evening.  Maybe in a month or two if I can zip up a pair of jeans I will take a picture. :)

On my heart this evening:
As you know, Chet and I are very, VERY blessed.  When I check my mailbox and find a letter or card, even after 7.5 weeks, I am so encouraged and lifted.  I watched a clip of Steven Curtis Chapman's wife, Mary Beth, speaking on Monday night.  They lost their daughter in a tragic accident, and obviously felt incredible unspeakable pain.  She said that they could physically FEEL the prayers of their friends and family in Christ.  Although our pains are so different, I know what she said is true.  I can physically feel myself being lifted out of the lowest pits.  I cannot EVER say thank you enough to all the people still praying for us.  There have been moments, random moments every day, that I will all of a sudden feel like I can't breathe or move.  It is then that I can feel God's love and peace wrap around me and pull me up.  After 7.5 weeks of anything in my life, I can hardly even remember ANY details, much less the tiniest of details.  I feel like we met Holden just yesterday, and can feel and remember every single detail of his precious life.  This feeling can be so overwhelming.  

I have been touched SO many times I literally couldn't even type out my feelings over the past 7.5 weeks.  Brothers and sisters in Christ from all over the country, who we don't even know, have sent us sweet letters, beautiful cards and simply amazing gifts of love and encouragement.  But this evening I have been given a special gift of love I cannot even describe.  We received a precious hand-written note from a brother in Christ who is praying for us...this brother in Christ does not even own a computer.  He asked a friend to print out our blog pages so that he could read our story.  (Yes, I am crying.)  He is simply praying for and thinking about Chet and Sarah Erwin, people he has never met.  Now if that isn't a picture of Christ's love, then what is?

Well, I better get off my sore behind.  If only writing helped heal sore muscles too.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I love you


I love you more today than I did 52 days ago.  I did not believe that could even be possible with as much love as I had for you on August 28th.  

My heart has grown in love I did not realize existed, because of what your perfectly planned life has done to me.  The gift of your sweet life has allowed Jesus to work in my heart as only He can.  Jesus has redeemed me and shown me such powerful grace every day.      

Not a second goes by that I am not thankful to be your mommy, sweet, sweet baby.  

Until that most perfect day when I get to kiss your beautiful face again, just know Mommy loves you.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Memorial Walk for Babies

Friday night we experienced an amazing event to help us remember Holden, the Memorial Walk for Babies in Midland.  Our friend, Allison Webb, had told us about the event only days after Holden was born.  We looked into it and decided we definitely wanted to attend.  Allison told us she would walk with us, so we were very thankful she wanted to remember our son like this with us.  She also bought a memorial sign for him to have at the walk.  A girl we met through our son's loss, Paige Thomas, is one of the walk's organizers.  What a blessing it was to meet sweet Paige and her precious family, in person.

When we arrived at the park, we were SHOCKED to see that Tisha and Charys had surprised us and came all the way to Midland to be with us (6 hours of driving, just because they love Holden and!!!  What a gift and sweetest surprise ever.  Please go to Tisha's site: Shuffied Photography to see how wonderfully she captured the event with her gifted photography.

It was bittersweet to see all the families in attendance.  But getting to remember all of our sweet babies through something like this, was very healing.  I was sad that we had to write down so many names on balloons, of our friends' babies who have gone to heaven as well.  Tisha has pictures of some of the balloons we released.  I realized how much I couldn't write on the balloons...I just started tearing up with their names.  I wanted to write so much more, but I'm not a fan of public crying.

During the message at the walk, it was mentioned that our children are all God's, and that we must care for them with "open hands".  I had heard the "open hands theory" when we went through Dave Ramsey's financial lessons...leaving our hands open for what truly already belongs to God, to receive even more blessings.  I had not heard it in regards to our babies and children though.  It is a good way to describe that our children are all God's and He has given them to us as caregivers, not owners.

The precious singer at the event sang "There Will Be A Day" by Jeremy Camp and "Amazing Grace-My Chains Are Gone" by Chris Tomlin.  They were so beautiful and emotional...there WILL be a day when we will have no tears.

Of all the things we have done since Holden's service on August 31st, I think this was the most healing for us.  Releasing balloons up to our precious son, and our friends' precious heaven babies, was so special.  Tears are replacing words as I type.

The money raised by the event goes towards First Candle and memory boxes for families like ours.  It is something that you can only fully appreciate when you have been through the loss of your child.  The memory boxes, NOT a baby, is all families have to take home from the hospital.  They are incredibly important.  When we drove home with our memory box for Holden - and an empty car seat - I just thought of how much it meant to me.  It was so unfair to have something like that 'in place of' my son, but I know it held priceless things about him, like his footprints.  I am so grateful these boxes exist.  The memory boxes created by the volunteers at the Memorial Walk for Babies are beautiful...what treasures they will be to families one day.

Thank you Tisha, Auntie Charys and Allison for joining us in remembering Holden.

Friday, October 15, 2010

He will kiss away my tears

My heart is heavy.  I can't help but want to hold my little baby right now.  What a glorious day it will be when we will all be re-united with our beautiful children.  As the song Glory Baby says, "He will kiss away our tears".  
I love you more than anything, sweet Holden.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

God's promises

...are new each and every morning!!

This morning's sunrise was breathtaking.  I was late for work because of this beauty.  I had to stop several times to just marvel and stare.  (Note: it didn't dawn on me to take a picture while I was I have a bit of a blurry, buggy-window, iPhone photo to share.)

Happy 1st birthday to a beautiful little girl named Callyn Joy today.  She is the second child of a sweet family we have met, a perfect little girl, a rainbow baby... and proof that God's blessings are so perfect and abundant!! 

God's promises are new each and every day.  Regardless of what we are going through...He does turn our darkness into light.  Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning. Job 11:17

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb Psalms 139:13

October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  I didn't even know this day existed two months ago.  People talk about breast cancer awareness so much in October (and I think they SHOULD!), but October is also a month to remember pregnancy and infant losses.  I think miscarriage, stillbirth and infant loss is almost "taboo".  It seems like people are too afraid to talk about losing a child, especially a baby.  Maybe it will hurt too much?  Maybe it is embarrassing?  Maybe we won't know what to say?  I don't know?  I even tiptoed around the topic of miscarriage with my sweet friends, not knowing how I could help.  I absolutely ached during my pregnancy when some of my friends had just lost theirs'.  I regret not reaching out more.  Being there more.

I cannot speak for every mom who has lost her baby, but I know for myself, Holden Newell is as real of a baby to me as anyone's baby is to them.  I love to talk about my son.  It makes me happy when people say his name.  It makes my heart sing when people remember important dates to us.  The other day, a girlfriend (I don't even know very well) said she was praying for us because it was a "Saturday".  (We gave birth to Holden on a Saturday.)  Things like that can truly make a mommy's entire day.  When someone says Holden's name to me, I just smile inside and out.  I instantly know they care.  I've received invaluable gifts with Holden's name, initial and/or birthday on them.  Some gifts are "mommy gifts".  These are truly priceless.  I know Holden is real to my friends.  That is worth more than I can say.

Two friends who have recently had babies (who would've been Holden's friends here on earth) both told me they missed my son.  Missed my son?!  My Holden?!  Wow.  That is amazing.  Precious.  God's love being shown to me...especially when they're filled with unspeakable joy holding their own beautiful babies.  Actually, I don't think I've heard many sweeter words, ever

Some people are afraid to mention Holden; I know and understand.  I was that girl not so long ago.  But as a mom, hearing your baby's name is so significant.  Not saying his name, to me, is like seeing your other friends and forgetting their kids' names. 

That being said, THANK YOU to everyone who has said "Holden" to me.  Thank you to everyone who has remembered the 28th of September being his 1st month birthday.  Thank you for caring about Chet and I enough to make yourselves uncomfortable, just to speak his sweet name to us.  What a blessing you are to us.  I hope it doesn't make you uncomfortable to talk to me about my son.  I am like you; I enjoy talking about my child as much as you do about your children.

Chet and I will be remembering Holden, as well as our other friends' "heaven babies", at the Memorial Walk for Babies in Midland this Friday.  We are blessed to get the opportunity to meet other families who have walked this road.  Things like this don't bring our babies back, but they do give us a way to remember them and fellowship with others who can truly understand.

1 in 4 families experience some type of baby loss.  That is a big statistic.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sweet Sleep

Please check out  Or read about their precious mission on Angie Smith's blog,  These little children are thankful for a straw mat and a Bible.  Can you imagine an American child being thankful for that?  Just makes my heart smile.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

6 Weeks

Our little Holden was born six weeks ago.  This would've been a big weekend for us, had Holden lived on earth.  At 6 weeks, I would have been deciding if I wanted to go back to work or stay home a little longer.  I can say that I would have certainly, without a doubt, decided to take the full twelve weeks off, after meeting someone I love with indescribable love.  

Saturday I woke up with the thought that I can't believe I actually contemplated being able to go back to work after six weeks!  But then I wondered if I would have appreciated every single moment as much as I would now?  My sweet little boy has really made me appreciate every aspect of life so much more. 

Tonight I can't even muster up the words to say all I'm thinking.  I miss my baby so, so very much.

Don't tell me "things happen for a reason."
Don't tell me to "keep busy" and "move on."
Don't tell me that you "know exactly how I feel."
Don't tell me that it was "too hard" for YOU to talk to ME about the death of MY baby boy.
Don't tell me that YOU feel "uncomfortable"looking at his picture or calling me on his birthday."
Don't ask me about other children.
Don't SAY anything to try to make me feel better.
Hug me.
Listen to me.
Sit quietly with me.
Let me cry.
Smile when you look at his picture.
Help me plant a tree in his memory.
Allow me to sit in the rocking chair in the nursery.
Light a candle.
Release a balloon.
Walk with me on my journey.
Remember him forever.
~author unknown

Catching Up

I am a bit behind on pics, so I'll post some from the last two weekends.  Chet wanted to Photoshop these, but I am impatient, as usual, and just wanted to post them anyways.  I also posted Kayson's birthday pictures first and Ruidoso pictures last, so they are not in order.  But you get the idea, right?


Robot-themed goody boxes.
 Cupcakes (the several I had were all yummy)!
 The birthday boy!!
 Par usual, my sister can't just do cupcakes OR cake.  She does both.  She's just that way.  I am glad one of us got the Betty Crocker genes.   Scott actually did the decorating is what I heard.  I think it's the cutest robot cake I've ever seen...and eaten. 
 Some of the kiddos enjoying sweets and treats.
 Helping Kayson open his "Machine Oil" (aka kool-aid).
 I don't believe a party is complete without six-shooter radios.  
 Or bubba teeth.
 Definitely isn't much of a party without bubbles
 ...and hotdogs!
Blowing out the candles.  Or pretend blowing them out.  (The wind helped us a lot that day.)  I told Kayson, "I guess we brought the wind from West Texas."  He gave me a funny look that said something like, "Auntie Sarah is clearly mistaken!" and then verbally said, "God brought the wind Auntie Sarah."  So I learned. :)  He rolled his eyes as he walked away.  Auntie Sarah seriously didn't know that?  lol...


 My precious sister and her angel.  
 Um if this doesn't just melt your heart, then what would?  My little Cohen.'s typical for me to post pics out of order.  At least you're used that that! :)
 And now....


We took a hike.  God's splendor and majesty was absolutely breathtaking.  The altitude was literally breath taking.  We almost died.  We realized we were grossly out of shape.  End of story.
 Clear, crisp, cool Ruidoso air is amazing.  Scenery like this makes me realize how artistic my Creator is. Just another quality to our Savior that makes me feel so blessed.  
 Random couple in love.  We just thought they were cute.  Good thing they don't know some weirdoes like us were taking their picture. lol ;)  
 Trees.  Sigh.  I do miss living near trees.

 This bull elk was neat to see!
 So the deer in Ruidoso are extremely friendly.  They basically let us walk right up to them.  I am not against hunting in any way, but days like these make me happy my husband was too broke in college to get into hunting.  I'm glad he was okay with only camera "shooting" them.  They are so cute!
 What is it about babies of anything that just makes us go, "Awe!"

I am a huge chile fan, so we couldn't leave New Mexico without a shot of some chilies!  And now I am doubting the correct spelling of chilies...chiles...chillies?  I don't know?  It's saying all of these are correct words?  This is when spell check isn't much of a help.
And....a little iPhone self-portrait of the new bangs I so bravely got.  :)

These past two weekends have been great, fun and full of blessings.  But I am glad to be back home with my honey though.  There's really no place like home.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Kayson Scott Ballem

Only an Aunt...
can give hugs like a mother,
can keep secrets like a sister,
and share love like a friend.

October 9, 2006 I was given the extreme privilege to be called "Auntie".  Kayson Scott Ballem's arrival changed my life!  There's nothing quite like being an auntie.  Kayson has been a great reminder in my life of God's blessings.  Watching him grow has just been so incredible.  I can't believe it's been FOUR years since I walked into that hospital room and fell in love.  Absolutely perfect love.  Where does time go?

When Charys was pregnant, I already loved Kayson and couldn't wait to meet him.  But when she had him, and I first laid eyes on him, I was blown away with how much love I had for a baby that was not even 'mine'.  My nephew is pretty amazing. 

I browsed through literally hundreds of pictures of Kayson on my computer last night.  Charys sent me an email every day documenting his life while I was in college.  Opening those emails were the best part of my day!  Looking through his pictures made me laugh and cry.  It's crazy to think "my baby" is 4 and is reading beginner books, knows his shapes, colors and sounds...and LOVES robots, creepy crawlies, dirt, trucks...and of course his baby brother!  ((sighs)) Turn back time a little please.

I love you Kayson Scott!  Happy 4th Birthday!

~Auntie Sarah

Monday, October 4, 2010

Paying it Forward

Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7

If I just sat down and wrote all the times we have been blessed, I would never stop writing.  These blessings just keep being poured out on us.  We both got home from work about 30 minutes ago and looked at each other and said we need to live a life of "paying it forward". 

As you can see, my blog has been drastically changed for the better.  Jamie Kubeczka created the beautiful new look for us, and donated all proceeds to the Covenant Fund.  PLEASE check out her talented work at!  I am so grateful she is fabulous at designing blogs, because I could not even create a signature for my blog.  THANK YOU JAMIE! 

For the past five weeks, I have been so overwhelmed by love shown to us.  We are incredibly undeserving and I just don't even know how to begin thanking everyone.  Even random strangers have stepped into our lives and lifted us up.

After we discussed the blessings we have received, it dawned on me that I should always live a life of Paying it Forward!  Didn't Jesus save me years ago?  Why didn't I live every single moment paying that love forward?!  Isn't that my job and call as a Christian?  My every day living needs to be paying God's love forward.

Thank you for spreading Jesus' love to us.  The vocabulary I have does not even contain enough words for the continual blessing you are to us.  You, sweet precious friends, have given us a truer picture of what His love looks like in action.  We will pay it forward.

Moving on

Our wonderful, kind and thoughtful friends, Jerrod and Valerie Kerr, gave us a weekend trip to Ruidoso.  It was the perfect getaway for Chet's birthday!  We figured Chet's birthday would be the best weekend to take the trip, because it was the first "celebration/holiday" without Holden.  Plus, we had planned on having a 1 month-old birthday celebration as well, since Holden's birthday was supposed to be September 1st.  We knew the weekend could end up being pretty emotional.  The cool mountain air, scenery, shopping, yummy food and just relaxing/praying/hiking/reading Scripture as a couple was a great way to spend the weekend.  Chet took tons of pictures, so I will be uploading them soon!  He's getting quite attached to our new camera. ;)

During the drive, I almost finished Plan B, a book given to us by two friends.  [I highly recommend it, not only during a loss like ours', but during anything in life that isn't in "the plan".]  One of the stories the author refers to is Job.  (I am NOT in any way comparing our story to Job's.  He obviously endured much more than what we have!)  But reading the story of Job again was just what I needed.  Job never stopped serving God.  Yes, he questioned God quite a bit.  But he never let go of his faith.  He trusted that God had a reason for his "Plan B".  As you know, Job was eventually restored all he had lost, by God's wonderful plan for him.  I look up to Job; I want to know how he "moved on". 

After reading this book I asked myself, "How do we move on?"  Obviously we are moving on with our lives, back to work, etc., but how do we really move on?  If you knew us a year ago, you would think we were extremely happy, enjoying life as just the two of us; and you would be right.  We loved our little life together, and didn't see any need for big changes.  October last year was when we really became serious about our "starting a family" discussions though.  We still did not feel like anything was wrong with the current life we were living...we just wanted to share our lives with a baby.  Our entire thought process changed in December.  We experienced something we never even knew was "missing" from our lives - parenthood. 

So now we find ourselves asking how we move on.  Really, truly move on?  We both realize Holden changed our lives, and we will never be the same because of him.  (I don't want to be the "same"...I hope we never are...I don't ever want to return to a life of mediocricy.)  I crave being a mommy more than anything else.  Being a mommy became a "part of me".  Not one morning have I been able to wake up without feeling like something is "missing" through my entire being.

Nearly all of my friends have asked me if we are going to have another baby, when we will start trying again, etc.  Those are great and expected questions.  But the honest answer is this: we don't know.  We are just praying right now, for God's direction in the next year or two.  That's all.  Becoming pregnant again is not something I am anywhere near strong enough to handle at the time being.  Plus we have always felt called to adopt...I do not and cannot say what the future holds.  Only God knows. 

Chet and I discussed this over the weekend.  Moving on is a lot harder than we thought it would be.  It's getting easier to do the daily tasks, go to work, go grocery shopping, etc.  But moving on emotionally, and not knowing what God's plans are for us is tough.  Waking up in beautiful Ruidoso, I still felt like something was "missing". 

This probably sounds really ungrateful.  I know Holden is not "missing" at all!  He is exactly where he should be.  I am still thankful with every part of me that we have been given the life of our son, and have had the opportunity to see and understand God in a new way over the past 5 weeks.  It is just me and my weak human self that has a difficult time moving on with our "Plan B".  Even though I don't know the plans God has for us, I do KNOW He has plans for us! :) 

Please excuse the rambling.  This journal is sometimes simply a way for me to write exactly what I am thinking...and that is all, embarrassingly so.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Happy Birthday....


Just a couple of the reasons why this man I married is so great...other than him being obviously handsome and charming. ;)
He loves kisses and sunsets.  And letting me take pictures of our kisses and sunsets (I'm a lucky girl, huh?).
He loves animals, especially our three messes.  Loving animals is a must around here.

He's my best friend who loves me more than anything else...and our love continues to grow.
He is the best Daddy any Mommy could ever want for her son.
Well ... this picture says it all.
He is someone who holds our family together through anything.
I am sure glad God had our lives planned out so perfectly, when Chet decided to wear a cool-looking jacket on the first day of our class together. (Come to find out it wasn't even his jacket...but did the trick, right?) ;)  Here's to the last 5 birthdays together, and an eternity of them ahead. 

Happy birthday to the person I love the most.  xo