The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

 People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

Sorta makes you think huh? From the beginning of my blog, I've been putting myself out there in honesty & openness for several reason but mainly so those around me in real life & in my virtual world would know how to pray for and encourage me and it's also been my hope to reach out to others who are walking this path so they know they aren't alone in their feelings. I've seen God do some amazing things by me choosing to be truthful and open with my thoughts and feelings.

But in that same sense, Satan always wants to try and discourage us from doing what's right & speaking the truth. Because I've chosen to have my blog public for above said reasons, there are a few people "from real life" who read this & twist what I say to use it against me or gossip about me (yes, it does get back to me!) It's seems to be a popular occurrence (unfortunately) in the blog world, especially amongst baby loss mamas as people judge those who are in a state of vulnerability.  I've read from several of my friends lately about either hate mail they've received due to their honesty (like here and very well written!) or posts they've written used out of context and against them and therefore felt they had to go private with their blog. It always amazes us bloggers  that the people that don't like us the most or who are looking to hurt us are the ones who flock the fastest to read what we've posted. (whatever happened to ignoring what you don't like?)

The latest is my husbands parents who recently told my husband they are no longer going to acknowledge our children nor send birthday cards, Christmas gifts, etc to them because they don't like what I post on my blog & because we aren't living our lives the way they think we should be nor do we say/do what they want us to. This isn't the first time we've heard that. We've been married 13yrs and have received disapproval of our lives from them since before we married.

Right about the time Kevin was told all this, I was out with the kids for eye exams. We had to spend 2 different days there so the staff saw us quite a bit. On the second day, 2 different staff members came up to us and complimented the kids on how polite & well-behaved they were especially for as much time as we spent there. Then the one lady looked at me and said you are to be given a lot of recognition as well as you are doing a great job as a mom and are definitely doing something right. Wow, God certainly knows just the right time when to send encouragement & let's us know that we are on the right path. I have been reminded that we aren't to live our lives seeking to please man but living to glorify God. Often when you are right where God wants you to be is when you experience the most opposition. I will continue to speak honestly and truthfully and be open with my thoughts and feelings, resting assured that God will deal with those who seek to do ill towards me and judge me.

"Obviously, I'm not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ's servant."
Galatians 1:10 (NLT)

“But I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, ‘You are my God!’ My future is in your hands. Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly.”
Psalm 31:14-15 (NLT)


Thanksgiving holds a lot of memories for me....

I've been a volunteer EMT for almost 10yrs now. For about 7-8yrs of that time, I was oncall Thanksgiving day. Instead of finding coverage and taking off that day, I'd pack up my meal & cook at the ambulance building for my kiddos/hubby, my crew and anyone else that wanted to join us. Sometimes that even included some of the local police and paramedics working that day. Definitely some great memories made during that time.

Then in 2009 on Thanksgiving day, we announced to some close family that we were anxiously expecting baby #5.

This was me on that day....

Oh my precious Noah!!! Look at how he was filling me out at 8wks already. Little did we know that day what the future would hold.

Sadly, he wasn't with us for his first Thanksgiving in 2010.

 Ironically enough, that Thanksgiving (only last year wow) we yet again announced we were expecting baby #6. I don't have a picture from that day as it was too hard to take a picture not knowing what to expect.

So as I reflect on how our last few Thanksgivings have been, I am faced with a lot of thoughts and emotions. Thanksgiving is a bittersweet time. 2009 seems just like yesterday when I was so full of hopes and plans for my precious baby. Never did I think I'd be burying that baby, my son, a matter of months later. Nor did I expect to be blessed with another precious life that following Thanksgiving in 2010 who is now here with us today.

I am thankful for so much! I am thankful to have been blessed with 6 amazing children, even as tough as this last year has been. I am thankful for the promise of Heaven and knowing that Noah is being taken care of and anxiously awaiting for us to join him.

Thank you Jesus for allowing me to be a mama to my 6 precious kiddos!

"As we pause to thank Him for the blessings of the past year, we must not forget to thank Him for the lessons we have learned through our difficult times.
We are not to be thankful for just the pleasant, easy things, but ALL things."
[Millie Stamm]

More than just a holiday

This morning, I saw the following link on a friends facebook page and it really challenged me. I wanted to share it with you all as well and hope you will join me in trying to put this into daily practice. If you have an iPhone, there is a free ap that goes along with this as well.

Because Thanksgiving is More than a Holiday

I know because of Noah I have learned to be more thankful for the little things in life, especially when it comes to Olivia. When she gets me up in the middle of the night or fusses to be held by only me, no matter how many times that has happened the last 4 months, I praise God for those times and embrace them (whereas in the past when my others were babies, I know I grumbled at times & got tired of all the feedings & fussing). I am thankful to have a living baby in my arms, a baby that I can nurse & cuddle with. I don't take each breath we're given for granted because I know in a split second, God could call any one of us home. So I do my best to cherish the time with my kids that I am given!

Joy is always a function of gratitude — and gratitude is always a function of perspective.
If we are going to change our lives, we’re going have to change is the way we see.

1/2 Marathon

I mentioned at the end of one of my posts recently what does NYC, me, World Vision and Olive Garden have in common?

Well, I am signed up to run a half marathon (13.1 miles) in New York City in March to raise money in Noah's memory for World Vision who will use the money to build wells to provide clean drinking water to help save children's lives. More can be read here. I am excited about this as I like to push myself to reach goals I haven't done before. I ran a few 5k races when I was pregnant with Noah, but I haven't ran since. So doing this really brings back memories of those precious times I spent with him. The last time I participated in a big race was 2 months after I had Noah. I was in an 80 mile bike race I talked about here. Doing this in Noah's memory definitely helps give me the drive & encouragement I need.

I am doing this race with a few friends but we would love to add more people to our team. If you have any interest in joining us, we'd love to have you!

And where does Olive Garden come into play? Ah yes, I am working to raise money above what I paid to be a part of this race. I decided to make the fundraising a bit more enticing by offering a lucky winner a $25 gift card to Olive Garden. And I may have more prizes in the works thus allowing more than 1 person to win something!!!

 For each person who supports me financially (in any amount) they will get entered into the drawing. (and for those that support me, they can get a 2nd entry by sharing my fundraising page on their facebook page or blog). I realize right now everyone is busy with Christmas planning so I will wait until after the holidays to open up my fundraising page and drawing. But right now you can give it some thought & prayer as to how you can help, whether that's though supporting me or sharing what I am doing with others. You can also be in prayer for World Vision and those of us training to run. I've made it to the gym 4 days this last week but it's hard to find the time to do this as Olivia still nurses frequently. I look forward to sharing more about this in the coming weeks and hope that many of you can help donate even just a few dollars towards helping me. My son may not be here in my arms but it's my hope & prayer that by doing this will save another mother's son by providing clean water, something we all take for granted!

You can't sweat all the little things in life... otherwise you'll end up dehydrated!!

4 months & 16 months

Today Olivia is 4 months old and Noah is 16 months old.....

So hard to believe at times.... my sweet babies, oh how I love you both so much!!

Sweet Potato Chili

Wow it's Novmeber already, where does the time go? One day seems to blend into another. Anyway, we've been busy with a lot lately but I've managed to try a few new recipes out here and there. I've been on a major veggie kick lately, 75% of what I eat consists of some sort of veggie and beans/lentils. Not only has what I've been eating been tasty & filling with fewer calories but it's healthy too!! Just wanted to quick stop by and share one of the new recipes I tried. It's a chipotle spiced sweet potato chili. A great blend of sweet yet smokey & spicy all in one dish!

Yes that is steam coming off the bowl as I took the pic ;)

  • 1 pound Sweet Potatoes, Peeled And Cubed Into 1/2 Inch Dice

  • 2 Tablespoons Extra-virgin Olive Oil, Divided

  • 1 whole Onion, Medium Dice

  • 2 cloves Garlic, Rough Chopped

  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Chili Pepper

  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cumin

  • 1 teaspoon Ground Chipotle Pepper Powder

  • 1 cup Dark Beer

  • 1 can 28 Oz Can Whole Tomatoes

  • 2 whole Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce, Chopped

  • ½ cups Barbecue Sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon Red Hot Sauce (more If Desired)

  • 1-½ cup Frozen Corn (I omitted this to cut some carbs)

  • 1 can (15 Oz. Can) Black Beans, Drained And Rinsed

  • 2 cups Crushed Tortilla Chips, If Desired

  • Salt And Pepper, to taste

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet or jelly roll pan and toss with one tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper as desired and bake for approximately 8–10 minutes or until sweet potatoes are just tender.

    Heat a deep heavy pot over medium heat and add the remaining olive oil. Sauté the onions until lightly caramelized. Add the garlic, chili powder, chipotle powder and cumin and cook for an additional minute or until spices are fragrant. Stir them frequently so they don’t burn at the bottom of the pan.

    Deglaze the pan with the beer and scrape up any browned bits (these are called fond and they’re full of flavor) from the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes, chipotle peppers, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce.

    Simmer the chili for about 15-20 minutes or until it begins to thicken slightly. Add the corn, beans, sweet potatoes, salt and pepper to taste. Serve in a bowl topped with crushed tortilla chips, if desired.

    ~What does New York City, me, World Vision and Olive Garden have in common? Stayed tuned for an up coming post for the answer! ;)

    "Sometimes we expect more from others because we would be willing to do that much for them"