Monday, December 20, 2010

What's It All About?

I used to LOVE Christmas.
I loved the decorating, the baking, listening to Christmas music, the shopping, shopping, shopping, the parties, more baking, gift giving, etc.
But now it all feels like "busy work". Things to keep me occupied and overly busy so I am distracted from what's always on my mind.
The last few Christmases have been hard. Some heartbreaking memories kept me from feeling the giddiness I usually felt that time of year.
This year, I hate to say, I am dreading Christmas. Everything just feels so silly and petty, and I wish I could sleep through the whole thing.

This year is harder.
Our baby was due to be born on Christmas day. But my womb is empty and so are my arms.
Five months after we lost that baby, I became pregnant again. With twins. Though the pain of losing our baby was terrible, I was thankful that these babies were here - almost as though to comfort me. We may not hold our little one on Christmas, but we had a flicker of joy; the hope that soon two more babes would join our family.
Six weeks ago we lost those babies too.
Three years ago, after many difficult years of trying to conceive, we were expecting twins. We told our families on Christmas day, and on January 1st, I miscarried.
Three months later, I was pregnant with twins again. Though I miscarried one baby, by the grace of God, our sweet miracle Isabella Hope was born.

It seems like each year Christmas (and life) gets harder and more painful. Each year we mourn the loss of more babies we never had the chance to hold. Each year, and this year in particular, I struggle so hard to not fall apart. To pretend that Christmas is fun and wonderful. For the sake of our daughter, I try to let her experience of Christmas be one that is full of joy.
I try not to let by broken heart bleed for all to see.

Oh, but this year is hard.

Friends, I write this today, not to depress you or bring you down, but to show you that I know pain and suffering, and loss. But I have HOPE.
You see, Christmas is about a baby. Just not my baby.
This baby is the son of God, born to the virgin Mary.
He was fully God yet he came to this world a human - a baby.
This baby grew to be a man, and lived a perfect life as an example to us.
He did not have an easy life. He was a man of sorrows, therefore we can know that Jesus, the son of God himself, understands our pain.
He suffered and died on the cross to pay the penalty for our wrongdoings. He got what we deserved, and He paid willingly because He LOVES us.
He was dead and buried for 3 days before he came back to life to prove His victory over sin and death. And he ascended into heaven where He reigns eternally.

The sweet baby Jesus we sing about at Christmas was so much more than just a baby. He is Emmanuel, God with us. The King of kings and Lord of lords. He came to bring us peace.
And though you may feel like me right now - heartbroken and beaten down. There is a peace that passes all understanding, and it can only come from Him.

Luke 2:11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

Isaiah 9:6

6 For to us a child is born,

to us a son is given,

and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hugs and Kisses and Chocolate!

We have a nice big island in our kitchen.  When I bake, that is where I work.  Of course, Isabella likes to be with me all the time, so she is also my baking buddy. I love it. I stand on one side of the island, and she pulls up a chair and watches and "helps" on the other side. 
She knows I don't let her up on the counter when I'm cooking, but she's very very sneaky....

She will say "Mommy? I need a kiss." How can I say no to that? So she has to climb onto the counter to reach me well enough to give me a kiss. 
Then.... "Mommy? I need a hug." Again, I can't turn her down. So up she comes for a hug. Just as I tell her "ok, now sit back down in your chair" she says "Other side??" (she likes to give hugs on both sides. Once with her head to the right, and once on the left.) 
I am a sucker for those hugs and kisses. And she is very generous with them, especially when it gets her closer to my cookies! :)
But this is what happens when I'm baking up a storm and I turn around for a second to get cookies out of the oven.
 She wasted no time.
 She was a girl on a mission....  She saw chocolate!
 She was pretty proud of herself!

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Monday, December 13, 2010

*I Need Your Help*

Ok, kids, I need your help.
Here's the story:
I was out shopping last week and something caught my eye
My first reaction was: wow, that's ugly.
Then I saw another one sitting in the wrong spot on the wrong shelf. Hmm, it actually has a nice vintage European look too it, I thought. Maybe it's not so ugly. I left it on the shelf and continued my shopping.
Now all i could think about was that awesome ugly soap dispenser, and I had to have it. So I bought it.
When my husband saw it he asked my why I would buy something like that. I told him my theory about how it has an old world European look and doesn't it look great in our kitchen? Um no. It's just ugly, he said.
So I ask you, is this awesome or ugly?
Be honest, I can take it!
On another note, it's time for the Last Chance Before Christmas Sale!
Be sure to check out my etsy shops
Everything is BUY 2 GET 1 FREE!!

Plus I am including a FREE fabulous gift in every order!
I know I'm running low on items, but there are new pieces, and with the new year will come a whole new stock of goodies. You can mix and match between shops if you like. I will refund to you the cost of the 3rd item as soon as your payment is received. It's your last chance to snatch up some last minute gifts/stocking stuffers! (or grab those pieces you've been eyeing for yourself!)
Happy shopping, and don't forget to vote on the awesome-ugly soap dispenser!
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Monday, December 6, 2010

Let Her Eat Cake! (The Happiness of Turning 2: Part 2)

I didn't know what sort of cake to make for Isabella's 2nd birthday. She doesn't watch tv or movies, and she's not into any specific characters. But she does love candy.
 And flowers.

But mostly candy. :)

So I came up with a flower garden cake... with candy!
She was really excited for her cake!

 But it seemed like she had to wait forever for us to be ready to eat!

Finally, it was time!!

 Where to start?

 It was finger lickin' good!

And, apparently, table lickin' good!

Happy birthday, sweet girl! We love you so much!

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Monday, November 22, 2010

The Happiness of Turning 2: Part 1

Last week our favorite little girl turned 2! I cannot believe how fast these years have gone by. I try to soak up every second with her, but it is flying by!
We though it would be really fun to bring her into the city for a day at the aquarium.
We were right.
Isabella was dancing and squealing with delight at every turn! It is so wonderful to see her light up and be filled with joy and awe as she learns and discovers new things.
We saw sharks...
...she loved them!!
She got to pet a Blue Tongued Skink....
....and Sea Stars!

She pretended to be a penguin and went down the "ice slides" with Daddy.
We saw super cool jellyfish!
We had to take a picture of this sign. I thought it was so funny "Misunderstanding DOOM Sharks"
This lizard was just hanging out in the water.
We had a blast together, but all that excitement is tiring.
She has not stopped talking about petting the skink and the sea stars. And every 5 minutes she tells me about the sharks and fishies, and "big guys" (that's what we called the ginormous fish). I love that she had so much fun - we all did. It was a great family day, and just the beginning of a week long celebration of our sweet birthday girl!

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Explaining My Absence. Warning: Not a Happy Post

Well, here I am again. You may have noticed my absence from blogging for awhile now. And if you've been reading my blog for any length of time, or if you know me in real life, you probably know the reason why.
Yep. Another round of heartache has been generously dropped on us.
Funny how we've been through this so many times, yet each time I expect a different outcome.
But it's always the same story.
I get pregnant.
We get excited.
We think we will finally have another child.
I get violently ill and assume that's a good sign. (After all it's the high level of hormones that produces such sickness.)
Then we go in for a normal doctors appointment and hear the devastating news.
"I'm sorry, it doesn't look good. You will probably miscarry within a week."

Que the sounds of our hearts shattering.

I fall apart instantly and cry uncontrollably for what seems like hours. My husband tries to be strong, but he's falling apart too. Our 2 year old tells me "Mommy cry, Mommy sad. Bella sad too."

More tears.

Once again she is robbed of her siblings. And we are robbed of our children. And there is an ache that seems endless.

Last week we lost two more of our precious little ones.

Before you go and tell me that "God has a plan", and "there's a reason for everything", and 'at least you have Bella", "your babies are in heaven", "God is in control". Let me first tell you that I know all these things. I know God knows what he is doing - but I don't, and for us all we can feel is pain. And I know our babies are in heaven, but you know what? I don't want to be the mother of 6 dead babies. I know they are in heaven, but I want them here with me.
I am MAD.
There, I said it.
I hate the feeling of being teased by God. He allows me to get pregnant (which in itself is a really difficult process) only to take our babies away.
Don't judge me. I know he has a plan, and I know there is a reason. But for the life of me I can't understand why he would allow 6 of our babies to die.
Just imagine how we feel. Many of you are mothers. What if God decided to take away your child? Or 2 or 4 or 6 children??
It's easy to say "trust in God" but sometimes it's really hard to do. Right now it's hard.
It feels like we just keep getting trampled on, and every time we are about to get up we get knocked over again. And again. And again. We are broken and bruised. And tired.
I just want peace.
I want to remember what it feels like to not have a broken heart.
I want to hold my babies in my arms and kiss their sweet faces.
I want to know if I have sons or daughters....

It's just too much.

I'm sorry if you came here looking for an uplifting post. I know it's thanksgiving time and most people are posting recipes or the things they are thankful for. Believe me, I know I have much to be thankful for, I do not take those things for granted. But today I am broken and feeling defeated. So that's what I'm writing about.

I am reading Psalm 77 and relating to David in his distress. And I am clinging to His promises.
Praying for peace. Praying for comfort. Praying for miracles....

Psalm 77

1 I cried out to God for help;

I cried out to God to hear me.
2 When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
at night I stretched out untiring hands,
and I would not be comforted.
3 I remembered you, God, and I groaned;
I meditated, and my spirit grew faint.[b]
4 You kept my eyes from closing;
I was too troubled to speak.
5 I thought about the former days,
the years of long ago;
6 I remembered my songs in the night.
My heart meditated and my spirit asked:
7 “Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?
8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”
10 Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
11 I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
12 I will consider all your works
and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”
13 Your ways, God, are holy.
What god is as great as our God?
14 You are the God who performs miracles;
you display your power among the peoples.
15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.
16 The waters saw you, God,
the waters saw you and writhed;
the very depths were convulsed.
17 The clouds poured down water,
the heavens resounded with thunder;
your arrows flashed back and forth.
18 Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind,
your lightning lit up the world;
the earth trembled and quaked.
19 Your path led through the sea,
your way through the mighty waters,
though your footprints were not seen.
20 You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Peanut Butter and Chocolate...Need I say More??

I made these delectable treats several weeks ago, and I am still thinking about them.
Is there a better combination that chocolate and peanut butter? If so, you better tell me about it!
I was told to bring a "simple" sweet treat to a family gathering, and this was one of the things I brought. It's hard for me to be too simple when it comes to baking, but these were pretty easy and I just couldn't resist making them.
I really need to start writing down my "recipes" right away, so I remember how I made them. Hopefully I'm not forgetting anything!
(These are great for all of you gluten free people, too!)

Flourless Intense Peanut Butter Cookies
2 cups peanut butter
2 eggs
1 cup sugar

That's all folks! Mix em all together and refrigerate for an hour.
Form into balls and place on cookie sheet. Flatten with a fork for a traditional pb cookie look.

Bake at 350 for 12 min. Cool completely.

To make them extra tasty, melt 10 ish oz of your favorite chocolate and dip each side of the cookie into it. Dip generously, kids, it's delicious. :)
Now for a little pizazz, I chopped 1/3 ish cups of honey roasted peanuts and immediately after dipping cookies into chocolate, I dipped them into the nuts. I made 1/2 with nuts and 1/2 without.

Make these. Your tummy will thank you!

But wait, there's more! Be sure to click here now! It will make you happy and save your sanity come Christmas time. Treat yourself and take care of all the gals on your "nice list".
C'mon, all the cool kids are doing it ;)
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Monday, October 11, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1.  I love this man.
  I love when he takes me on romantic dates in the city.  
I love when part of the day includes sushi and him buying me "whatever car I want" (sweet)!  
I will keep him :)

2. I love this girl. She can always make me smile. We're so happy to have her :)

3. The month long birthday bash for Bella Regali continues! 
Today is the LAST DAY to get anything and everything you like from Bella Regali @ Buy 2 Get 1 FREE!
But wait there's more! :)
See that Like Box to your right for my fan page Pearls and Petals?
Go ahead and click like! Become a fan and you will be the first to know about giveaways, sales, and new items, plus you will get more savings than anyone else! Become a fan today and the Buy 2 Get 1 Free special will also apply to my shop It's A 10 where everything is under $10!
What better time than now to start Christmas shopping! There's no better price than free!!

4.  Here are some of the new goodies you can find @ It's a 10.
These one of a kind bows are perfect for all ages. Me and my near 2 year old both rock the look :)
And these sweet flower clips are great clipped to a headband (included), clipped to a ponytail or directly in your hair, clipped to a purse or diaper bag to add some pizazz, or clipped to a necklace for a trendy look! 
Cute, right? And they look just as great on all ages. We are addicted!
With everything in my shops @ Buy 2 Get 1 FREE, why not mix and match and find a new must have accessory for you and some friends?
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