Thursday, November 21, 2013

Malia turned 1... almost a month ago!

I can't believe how quickly the past year has flown by. It feels like just yesterday we were bringing this sweet baby into our home. We were essentially strangers who have grown into best friends.  It is no secret that Aaron and I have loved every moment with Malia. Honestly, we have so much fun in our house, laughing and marveling at the silly things that she does. Aaron and I love being parents to this little girl, it is truly an honor.  

We celebrated her birthday several times, because why wouldn't we?  It started out first thing in the morning with a cinnamon roll.  Not the healthiest breakfast but it sure was fun.  She wasn't particularly interested in the roll itself, but she loved the candle. Sugar was standing by to help if needed.     

She then got to go to her first day at Nike Tykes.  She had so much fun playing with friends and eating at the table like a big one year old girl.  

How old are you Malia?

We then went to the Big Boo at Aaron's school.  It is a huge Halloween carnival.  It was fun to meet Aaron's student's and their families.  Malia had a great time dressed up as a Denver Bronco's cheerleader.  Thank you Uncle JR and Aunt Essie for the cute outfit.  

Sunday was the big day, her actual birthday party.  I really didn't want people to have to spend a bunch of money on gifts for Malia.  It really isn't about the gifts anyways, it is about the relationships and time spent with our friends and family.  Based on this we asked each person to bring their favorite new or used children's book as her gift.  We thought it would be fun to Build Malia's Library. We then chose the Very Hungry Caterpillar as the book to decorate around.  It was such a blast!  I wish I had gotten more pictures though.  All that work and fun and I have about 5 pictures of Malia.  Lesson learned, next year we will be more intentional with picture taking.

The food was fun and simple, based on the book
Monday we ate apples
Tuesday we ate pears
Wednesday we ate plums
Thursday we ate strawberries
Friday we ate oranges
Saturday we ate watermelon, cupcakes, salami, swiss cheese and a lollipop

 This was Malia's bookshelf were friends helped build her library.  
At the end of the day she received about 25 books, no repeats and no titles she already had!

It is hard to read but this was a fun poster that talked about Malia's 1st year.  
Highlights include that she loves pancakes, wrestling with dad, cuddling with mom 
and her best friends are Aunt Jesi, Ben, Georgia and Jaidyn.

 This was one of the activity stations for the kids.  
There were crayons and Very Hungry Caterpillar coloring sheets.  

On the wall behind the table is a caterpillar with all Malia's 12 monthly photos.  
I should have gotten a closer picture.  

Let the party begin!

For kids who dared there was also a bounce house in the garage.  
Others chose a more quiet activity of coloring.


Thank you to our friends and family who came to celebrate this day with us. We are truly blessed by each one of you.  

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Big Sister on hold...

It is with a big lump in my throat and tears in my eyes that we let you, our friends and family, know that we recently had a miscarriage.  I had a good cry session with Aaron and one at work with my boss (in the bathroom of all places!).  I feel at peace knowing God is in complete control.  I am repeatedly reminded of Jeremiah 29:11.  For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lordplans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  He has a perfect plan for our family and our future and in that alone I find great hope.  I believe the picture we posted, that Malia is going to be a big sister is still accurate, it just may be a little later than we had planned.  
I went back to my last post, you know the one, 34 is not messing around!  I believe today that God put these four truths on my heart almost 2 months ago for this very reason and this very time.  

1.  I will focus on what I have.  
All day yesterday all I could do was love on Malia.  She is such an amazing gift from God, a true miracle. How blessed am I that God has entrusted this sweet little girl with Aaron and I.  If you have ever been around her you know, there is something special about her.  Today, I choose to focus the beautiful daughter I have right in front of me.   

2. I will be intentional with my time.  
At the same time that I began having symptoms of a miscarriage I got extremely sick.  I was up all night puking and then Malia woke up puking.  It was miserable, I was exhausted and completely run down.  The following day I felt better but there was this voice in my head that said "just keep laying here", "don't get out of bed today", "you have an excuse to be sad and not motivated".  God brought me back to this idea of being intentional with my time.  I still have a daughter and an amazing husband who need me, I have work to do, I have a God to serve.  That day I chose to get out of bed, take a shower, read the word and get to work. 

3. I will live for today.
As I said in my last post I will continue to have a couple priorities each day; thanking God for giving us another day together as a family and just loving on each other.  That's it.  Although I have big dreams of growing our family, I also have big dreams for the 3 of us.  They mostly include a lazy Sunday afternoon cuddling, reading books and laughing hysterically as a family.

4.  I will rejoice in the Lord always.  
He has a plan, I trust Him with everything I am.  I choose joy, contentment and thanksgiving because I know that I know that I know He is with us.  

Now there is one other thing that I really want to address.  Something that made me sad and then made me angry.  I was so fearful to let you know about the miscarriage.  Fearful of man, fearful of judgement, fearful of my friends and family, how crazy is that!  My first thought was that my "friends" or "family" would think I was such a fool for announcing on FaceBook and Instagram that we were pregnant.  After all, it was early, and after all, you never know what might happen, and after all if something did happen then I would have to come back and tell you that as well.  Why didn't I just wait until it was "safe" to say something?  Why didn't I spare myself the pain of having to take down that cute picture of Malia with the Big Sister Pumpkin? Well to my friends and family who told their friends they couldn't believe I posted it, who told their husbands I should have waited, who told my friends they knew this would happen here is my explanation of why we chose to post our announcement.  I hope you understand and will extend me grace and compassion in this area.

To glorify God. Period.
That is it.  What a joyous occasion and a miracle it is to find out you are pregnant.  I want to share in our joys with you, our friends and family.  If you know where I come from and what I have been through you would know what a true redemption story God has made of my life.  You would know that each time He chooses to bless me is another opportunity to show His goodness.  It is true, you never know what might happen, which is all the more reason to speak of the abundant blessings in our lives.  To truly rejoice in the way He loves us. Waiting until it is "safe" is counter-intuitive.  See above, we do not know what tomorrow holds.  A miscarriage can happen at any time, and any time it happens it is a gut-wrenching and heart breaking experience.  But believe it or not, this too glorifies God.  It shows His power, His mercy, His grace on my life.  It shows His love, it shows that He will meet us right when and where we need Him.  It shows He is powerful, He is God, He is in control.  This is all to glorify Him.  My whole story, my whole life, the whole reason why He put me on this earth is to glorify Him.  And I am not great at it, I am a human with flaws who sins and makes mistakes.  But my heart is to be in true relationship with my Father, and I have never felt closer to Him than now.  He is taking the broken pieces of my heart and placing them back together one piece at a time.  If you have the desire I would just ask that you pray for our family and that this difficult time would be used to glorify Him.
As for the cute photo of Malia and the pumpkin, I'm not taking it down, I'm actually reposting it.  It is a reminder, a hope, a promise of what is yet to come.  

Friends and family, thank you for your love, grace, compassion and kindness during this time.