38 weeks.

 It doesn't seem possible that I am at that point. I have been having major de ja vue to last year at this time. Pregnancy after loss is tough no matter when it happens, but being on the same time line as I was exactly this time last year I think has added another level of difficulty to this rainbow pregnancy. I really don't know how to put it into words in a way that others can understand. Those who have been there, get it. Those who haven't, be thankful!

Coming up on my due date & Noah's 1st birthday & his death anniversary all at once sure makes for a  kalidescope of emotions. There really is no way to prepare emotionally & mentally for the coming days. So just like I've done this last year, I just go with it as it comes and ask for those around me to grant me compassion, understanding & support. I have noticed some of my friends have been sending little notes or messages lately & that means so much right now!!

I admit I am really hoping to have this baby early, like yesterday! But reality is, knowing my history of having babies who like to be well over-done, I could be looking at another 4wks of pregnancy if I go my typical super-late. I wanted this baby to be in our arms as we celebrate Noah's 1st birthday and reflect on his heavenly birthday. But just like I've learned this last year, it's all out of my hands. Not my timing but God's & I just have to trust he will allow this baby to make his/her entrance at just the right time.

In the mean time, I am trying to just keep busy. Well, as busy as my 38wk pregnant body allows! I've gotten some projects done around the house that have been ignored for a long time. My garden is doing really well & we've been picking stuff from it for awhile now for freezing, canning & just plain ole eating. I've been scoring some ebay deals for our homeschool curriculum & just working on getting organized for our coming school year. Which speaking of, it just dawned on me the other day, that this is the last year for my twins in elementary school as they are going into 6th grade!!! WOW, I'll have middle schoolers in a year! It doesn't seem possible as *I* was just that age not that long ago! lol

 "Do unto other as you would have them do unto you."
 Most often quoted, least often practiced.

All things baby

This past Thursday evening some dear friends of mine surprised me with a baby shower! It was a great evening just spent sitting around chatting, sharing & laughing. We all didn't leave till almost 11pm, the time just flew by gabbing! It really meant a lot to me that these ladies (as well as others who couldn't make it) reached out to encourage & support me. Not only did they celebrate this new baby, they also remembered Noah which meant the world to me.

In addition to the diapers, wipes & cute toy they gave us, a group of them also went together & got us a pack-n-play. What blew me away was the thought that was put into the specific design they chose. This pack-n-play matches the color & theme of the nursery I had painted for Noah a year ago!! While this gift is for the new baby, it also has a part of Noah tied in with it which I just love! I really appreciated the thought that went into them including Noah as well. They get the fact that just because this baby is coming doesn't mean Noah gets pushed aside or forgotten.

In fact, Noah & this baby share a special bond. In the baby loss world, this coming baby is known as a "Rainbow Baby" which you may hear me reference more in the future.

"Rainbow Babies" is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm experianced from a child that has died nor diminishes it. When a rainbow appears, it doesn't mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds will still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of hope.

This baby in no way replaces Noah or suddenly makes everything all better. Both of which has been stated to me in comments from people during this pregnancy. I share that because if you know of anyone that is in my shoes, whether now or in the future, just be sensitive in what you say to them during a pregnancy after a child that has died. Pregnancy after the death of a infant is in no way the same as pregnancy before a loss. The innocence is gone & is replaced by a whole new set of emotions and experiances which can feel isolating at times as most people just don't understand.

On that note, while we are waiting for our rainbow baby to make an appearance any day now, I set up a baby guessing game as a way to help distract me right now from all these crazy emotions these coming weeks will hold. Feel free to play along. I plan to print this out then for the baby's book.

Baby guessing game

"a duck in a pond is calm and carefree... but what you don't see under the water is the struggling & stressed feet.. what you see is not always what it seems"

Fathers Day

Today was a pretty nice day overall. I admit there were tears shed because Noah wasn't here to be a part of it all. I know it was hard for Kevin not to be holding one of his sons in his arms especially today on a day that honors fathers.

During church today, our pastor had all the dads stand. Then he had slides of funny statements to eliminate the guys as he was giving away a gift card for some car washes & oil changes. Had to laugh, one of them was "if your wife dressed you today, sit down!" And yes, several guys sat down. lol Another one was "if you don't own a mini van or full size van, sit down." By the time they got through several of these, it was only Kevin & about 3 other guys standing. Then our pastor said the tie breaking question is.........who here standing has the most kids? Well, guess who won?? Yup Kevin!! The pastor said he has 5 kids with 1 on the way. Pretty neat!

The kids were all excited this morning to give Kevin the things they either picked out for him or made. After church, I cooked a big lunch over charcoal (well, some things I made inside as well). I even picked our first zucchini & grilled that along with other veggies, yum!

I'm sharing a video I put together for Kevin from all of us. (Though admittedly, I was hoping to have the baby today, what a great fathers day gift THAT would've been!!)

"My Dad"
by Abel Ullon

To a dear friend I sing today
A friend that taught me God’s ways
He’s always been there for me
And in his loving arms he cared for me

 Thank you Lord,
for my dad
Pour your blessings on him today
Thank you Lord,
for his life
My father whom I love so much

 You’ve always been an example for me
Reading your Bible and praying every day
Your words will always be my inspiration
And thanks to you, I’ve become who I am

Thank you Lord,
for my dad
Pour your blessings on him today
Thank you Lord,
for his life
My father whom I love so much

I love you dad!

I'm SO thankful for the wonderful dad my kids have!! He goes above and beyond in all that he does for us. Thanks for being a great dad Kevin, I love you!


So today I finally decided to take the step  and inquire about a headstone for Noah's grave. Not exactly how I wanted to spend this beautiful morning.  But really, what time is a good time to look at tombstones for your dead baby. There is no good time. Just saying.

So I walk in and kinda just stood there not knowing what to do next. I see 2 different offices, thankfully a lady came out to me & asked if she could help me. I stumbled over my words saying that I was there to see a certain person a family member put me in touch with. Then she asked if I wanted to see something specific. I said I needed something for my son. Of course then I choked up and about started bawling. I tried to suck it up. How can you though? This is certainly NOT something most people have to do for their child. I could tell she seemed sympathetic but didn't know what to say. So she starts in on my obvious baby belly and asks when I'm due. Uh, I'm due the day my son, whom-I'm- inquiring-about-a-headstone for, died. "Oh" I'm met with.

It's ok. I'm starting to get used to the awkwardness.

Anyway, I had to sit there for about 25 min waiting for the gal I needed to see. Amazingly, God provided a text from a special friend who had no clue where I was but needed the extra words & encouragement. (thank you Tracey!!)

Long story short, I got to talk to the gal, saw some of the headstones & got prices. There is a LOT to think about & a lot of choices. It is definitely not something you can do on a whim. This whole process takes a lot of thought and planning.

But doing this just is a painful reminder that it is all so final.

Designing a headstone is something so lasting. So permanant.


It's not easy. What's even crazier....today it's been exactly 11 months since Noah's precious heart stopped beating this side of Heaven. I am due with baby #6 exactly one month from today. Talk about a lot of emotions. It's weird how you can be happy & sad all in the same breath.

Honestly though, right now, I'm more sad than happy. I've got a lot on my mind. More than one person should ever be faced with thinking about (seriously though, I've had my share more than most ever get in a lifetime, I need a break, it's just not fair). Please just keep us in prayer. We've got some things to face in the coming days.

11 months old

Oh my sweet, precious son, I can hardly believe you are 11 months old today! Where does the time go? If you followed your siblings footsteps, you'd finally be cutting a tooth or 2. They cut teeth super late. You'd be pulling yourself up and cruising along furniture. Though knowing your older siblings, they would be trying to get you to walk on your own. lol

The kids have really been missing you lately. I'm sure you've seen the tears they've shed the last few days. Hannah wished you had been with us boating & swimming this weekend. Erik has wanted you here to play games with and watch him as he starts football. He is worried how you are going to feel being a big brother but yet not being here to be a part of it all. He doesn't want you left out.

It was hard for all of us to be at your grave yesterday after church. It is so difficult being there and envisioning your body being just feet underneath us. We know YOU aren't there but still....it's just not fair we have to go to your grave to be a complete family. The girls & I have been reading the book "Heaven is For Real" and wow....reading that gave us a glimpse into a day of your life in Heaven. You can see us and know what we are thinking & feeling. Which is comforting. I am glad you know just how much we miss & love you!! Not a day goes by that your name isn't mentioned amoungst us. And have you seen the notes the kids write you & the art projects they make for you?? You are the most popular baby ever Noah!!

We're one day closer to being together again. Hang in there my sweet son, we can't wait to see you! We are proud of you & love you so very much Noah!!


I know, I know.....I've been slacking from here for awhile. It's been a combination of things, a few crappy days, busy with stuff around here, mini-vacation, finishing homeschool paperwork, etc. So now I am trying to play catch up, just bear with me! :)

The other weekend we went good ole fashion camping!! It was a last minute trip for us. A bunch of friends from our homeschool co-op were going and it happen to work out that we were able to borrow an RV. Yes I know, we were sorta spoiled! It was just a small 31' with a slideout. We were just thankful to be able to have something to use.

We headed northwest of us to Mifflinburg Pa, about a 2 hour drive. Of course the kids wouldn't have cared how long we drove as they had a blast being able to just chill and play games (seat belted of course) in the RV.
This pic was taken on the way home, tired kiddos & animals!

We got there about 8:10am Friday morning. I unfortunately had not slept a wink the night before. My stupid insomnia has been really bad lately. I haven't been sleeping past 3am and it just so happened that night I couldn't fall asleep (no, it was not from being excited! lol) So here I was, wide awake since 4:30 am Thursday morning & we were now 28hrs into no sleep. I was feeling fine though.

2 of the families were already there prior to us. There was a total of 5 other families besides ours....in total, 12 adults, 18 kids, 3 dogs and 1 kitten who thinks she's a dog and had to come along so she didn't go nuts without human company. (yes, this is our goofy kitty). We had all of our sites situated together which was really nice.

We had great weather! It was actually cooler than I anticpated. Thankfully I had had the kids all pack warmer clothes just in case. It was close to 90* when we had packed but I knew from the past when I camped, to always be prepared cuz it can get cool. We actually had sweatshirts on at different times and didn't even have to turn on the a/c at  night (the kids actually said they were cold overnight at times). It was perfect camping weather and made sitting by the fire great.

The campground had just opened their pool so our group was the first to break it in for the season. In fact, we had it to ourselves on Friday. It felt nice just sitting out in the sun. Of course, I got tired of having the sun hit the front of me, so I took my kids small swimming tube and laid it down on the chair and plopped my big ole prego belly in it. It was a perfect fit and allowed me to lay on my stomach which I haven't been able to do in months! (yes, I do know I looked kinda goofy, who cares. This momma was comfy!)

Yes there IS a 35wk prego belly there!

We did a lot over the weekend....swimming, biking, fishing, sports, and lots of cooking over the fire! From hot dogs & burgers, to s'mores & mountain pies. Oh boy did we get creative with the mountain pies! We used cherry & apple pie filling. But we also made one where we spread peanut butter on bread then put in marshmallows & chocolate & roasted, YUM! Then the one morning, I took the leftover veggies from a foil packet I made the night before (peppers, potatoes, onions, mushrooms & bacon) I put that in my mountain pie maker, then cracked an egg over it, sprinkled some salt, pepper & cheese then roasted it over the fire. Oh. My. Word!!!! It was amazing!!!! In fact, I got the group hooked and a lot of the others used my roasted veggies & made omlets as well!

The one day we played a round of kickball on a field, adults verses kids. That was hilarious to watch! The kids did awesome and some of the adults pulled muscles. lol The adults ended up winning but the kids sure did put up a good fight.

There was even a DJ the one night playing songs. I was down with some of the kids and they had a blast with the chicken dance & cha cha cha slide. We had went back to the camp site and a bunch of the girls wanted to go back to the dance. Bless James' heart, he took a whole group of girls down! I only wish we had gone down for some pics. Rumor has it he was hula-hooping with the kids amoungst doing a bunch of other crazy dance moves!

We did have an afternoon shower the one day that forced everyone into their campers. I guess since we had the dvd unit, the kids felt compelled to hop in ours. Which was fine. But it cracked me up to see how many kids squished themselves into our RV to watch Gnomeo & Juliet. lol We had more than this at one point, this was when it was quieter. ;)

Another day we played basketball, kids verses adults again. It was only half a court and all the grass surrounding the court was a major muddy mess. Anytime the ball went out of bounds, someone was getting muddy. I wish I had snapped the pics of Kenny stumbling then falling face first into the mud. What a great game!

It was awesome how great our group got along! And it was nice to spend a long weekend with these families that we see every week at co-op but don't usually have a lot of time to sit down and chat with. We shared SOOO many laughs (not good for a 8 month prego gal who could've peed her pants). But there were also just has many heartfelt, deep conversations that just bonded us all even closer than we had been. There is definitely something special shared amoungst all of us and I am so thankful for this amazing group of friends!!!

~Those who gossip about you (or mock your blog) don't define your character- they define theirs. 1 John 4:20