Wednesday, January 26, 2011


“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. Jeremiah 29:11
Life is unpredictable, and yet we live in a world that predicts life on a daily basis. We wake up every morning, and most people could tell you there daily schedule to the minute. We see people who rage in anger when someone cuts them off on the highway or bumps into them in the grocery store because this does not fit into their daily schedule.  
We predict that because we have made bad choices in life, our children will automatically follow in our footsteps.
We predict that when we go into work our mean boss will continue acting like a jerk.
We predict that we can have healthy pregnancies and actually bring those babies home….
The thing about predictions is that you are setting yourself up for failure. Now, I am not saying that all predictions can’t come true, but they are not our predictions to make.  God has already planned out our future, minute by minute, so why are we wasting time predicting every step we take? God has great plans for you; plans to give you hope and not to harm you. Even when hard times come your way; God has a plan.
What if we all started living life a little differently, without predictions? What if we woke up and just lived? What if, instead of knowing what every minute of our day consisted of, we simply lived every minute of our day by letting God lead us.
What if we stopped assuming others are going to act a certain way and take the higher road and be kind regardless? We live in a world full of anger, rage, and hurt; who’s going to stop the cycle?
I would love to predict that all women can have healthy pregnancies and bring those babies home in the end, but the truth is; stillbirth or baby loss can happen to anyone! There are no rules, and no one is exempt. It does not matter if you are rich or poor, famous or not, it can still happen to you. My point is….Enjoy every moment God gives you and never take one moment for granted. However much time God allows each of us to have with our children is moments we cannot get back, and are moments we must treasure.
For me; I got exactly 37 weeks with my sweet Bethany Hope.  My heart aches for more, but my God said,” this is plenty until you meet again”. I treasure the moments I was given, and I live life now without predicting my future. I treasure the blessings God has given me today and look forward to the life he has planned for me!
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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chicken Enchilada!

Today is my daughter’s 11th birthday, I can’t even believe it. So, this is what we are having for dinner tomorrow night, but I am posting it today for Tasty Tuesday! This is by far my favorite chicken enchilada recipe ever. My friend gave it to me a while ago and I am not even sure I still make it the original way (since I tend to change things as I go). This is how I make now.  I often freeze the leftovers for my husband’s lunch. This is one I need to make WAY more often!
Chicken Enchiladas
4 chicken breast (boiled and cut into small pieces)
8 oz cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup(low fat)
1 can enchilada sauce mild
1 ½ bags shredded Colby/Jack cheese
10 large tortilla wraps
chicken broth(I use the broth from the boiled chicken)

Mix cream cheese and 1 cup shredded cheese together. Add enough chicken broth till a creamy mixture is made. Add diced cooked chicken in and mix together. Add more broth if needed.
Spread mixture into tortilla wraps and roll each one up and layer into a casserole dish.
In a separate bowl, mix enchilada sauce with cream of chicken and pour over top of all the enchiladas. Cover the top with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 min.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Where’s Moms Time Out?

Can Mom PLEASE get a time out! I guess you could say it had been one of “those” days. I woke up way too early with a mild headache, and my guess is that set the mood for the day.
 All three of my children woke up on the WRONG side of the bed. My five year old was in the floor crying because he did not want to go to school. No one was pleased with their breakfast choices. By the time I got two of them on the bus, I felt like I had been up for hours. I’m not really sure what my third child was thinking when she decided to pull an attitude over her home school work shortly after this; not the day my friend!
 As the day progressed I would love to say things got better, but unfortunately I did not wake up in Disney World. I babysit two very precious babies, which I truly love, and thank goodness they were not giving me any trouble. We did however have one very large diaper explosion which my daughter thought she would bring the baby to me. Well, she then felt something wet on her arm and went CRAZY. She put the baby on the floor and started screaming. This in turn meant extra clean up for mom because the diaper explosion is now all over the floor…Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!
Ok…..I get through this just to start making everyone’s lunch and I spill everything on the floor. We somehow make it to 4:00 and the boys walk in the door fighting, really???  I’M DONE!
I walk in to my bedroom and sit down on my bed thinking, “I really need a time out about now”.  My kids start knocking on my door trying to tell on one another for who knows what, and the tears just start falling.
I look up and of course make eye contact with the picture of Bethany Hope sitting right beside my bed.  I then think to myself how much harder this would all be if she were here, and how much I would give anything for that.
I instantly started to pray for God to forgive my awful attitude, because the truth is, all moms are going to have bad days.  No children are perfect and all children are going to test their boundaries at some point, but I would not trade these bad days or moments for anything. I just need a “Time Out”, to pull myself together and breath for a minute.
Walking away from the situation for a few minutes and spending some time in prayer was a great reminder for me that I love my children, I love my life, but I will have hard days. Sometimes we do need to just take five minutes for ourselves to allow God to give us a little help when we need it the most.
I came out of my room in a better mood and ready to handle my not so pleasant children.
Give yourself a “Time Out”, and reap the benefits of a few minutes in prayer.
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Who am I?

Losing Bethany Hope has taught me so many life lessons I don’t even know where to start, but here’s one; life is short!
I think before I lost Bethany, I often would get wrapped up in things that really didn’t matter and forget to focus on what did, AKA, my family. I love my husband and my children, they are my world, but are my actions showing that?
One side of me you might not know is that I love to cook, or at least I did. Somewhere in this battle of losing my little girl and waiting on Christ to bring me back to solid ground, I think I fell into a dark hole and I lost part of me. I truly have come so far and yet when I look around me I see how much all of this has changed me.
I used to love cooking for my family and truly being a mom to them, not because it was my job, but because I was blessed to be able to take care of them and I loved doing it. I have noticed that over the last, oh I don’t know year, I have fallen into a rut, a bad routine. I cook, clean, and take care of my family as if it were my job.  I have lost the joy in taking care of my family because I am blessed to have them.
I realized that my family needs me to find “me” again, although I am not completely sure who that is anymore. To start, I am going to start cooking again like I really enjoy it, instead of just quickly throwing meals together so we can eat. I truly want to please my family, I want to make them happy…..SO……to help me and give me some encouragement, I thought I would start something new on my blog
            “Tasty Tuesday’s” Every Tuesday I will post what’s for dinner at our house…..I will also give you the recipe. I love finding great recipes and sometimes changing them up a bit. Feel free to post any ideas you have on things I can add or ways you have tried it at your house, I love getting new ideas in the kitchen! 
I am excited to get back in the kitchen and share my creations with you. Life is too Short; as many of you know……What am I waiting on?????
Here is what we had last Night:
My take on Chicken Divan:
4 small thin chicken breast
3 TBL butter
Garlic, salt and pepper (season to taste)
Cream of chicken soup (fat free)
8 oz reduced fat cream cheese (Room temperature)
Parmesan Cheese
Italian seasoning packet

Place frozen chicken breast in crock pot with butter, ½ Italian seasoning pack, and season with garlic, salt and pepper. Cook on high for 1 ½ hours. (Remember the breasts are thin so it will cook faster. For thicker breast cook longer).  

Mix cream of chicken soup, cream cheese, and the rest of Italian seasoning pack in a small bowl till creamed together) Take chicken out of crock pot and place on cutting board. Stir mixture into crock-pot. Trim any fat on side edges of chicken and cut each breast in half. Place the chicken back in the sauce in crock pot. Cook one more hour on LOW.
When the chicken is about 10 minutes from being done in the crock pot, wash and cut broccoli crowns. Gently boil for about 4 minutes. DO not completely cook all the way through.
Place broccoli in casserole dish, then take chicken out of crock pot and place on top of broccoli, then pour the sauce from crock pot all over the chicken and broccoli. Sprinkle parmesan cheese all over the top till covered. Bake at 350 for about 20 min. Broil the last 2 or 3 min to gently brown the cheese. Serve over egg noodles.  Enjoy!
We even finished off Dinner with yummy homemade strawberry milkshakes! Clean-up; well my sweet husband took care of that while I was making the milkshakes. 

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Family Fun

Today was the BEST family fun I have had in a long time. We took our kids to a local skating rink in town ( I didn't even know we had one). At first the kids had a hard time learning this new and exciting activity, but then had a blast once they got the hang of it.

Now, I use to Rollerblade all the time when I was in high school, but forgot how much I loved doing it. I had so much fun, and got more exercise then I have gotten in a LONG time. :) I think the best part was watching my husband trying to skate circles around me and try new moves on his skates....TOO FUNNY! I had a BLAST! We all had a great family time.

Hours out with my family today made me see that this needs to be a new priority for 2011, Family Time. We seem to get so wrapped up in the  "busy" lifestyle we have and often forget to make time for the family moments that matter the most.

The picture is not the best because it was taken on my phone, but it is me and my favorite 3 kids in the WORLD....I am BLESSED!
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Friday, January 14, 2011

Check this Out Please

It you have lost a child and just want to chat then please help this forum get started..... Share your story.... it is for anyone.  Post it on your blog as well if you don't mind, we are just trying to spread the word to give parents a place to chat with others about what they are feeling and what they are going through. Thanks for your help!
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

I would die for that

About a week after Bethany’s death, my husband and I were out running some errands; really I think I was just along for the ride. My husband pulled the car up and I ran into a store to grab 2 things I quickly needed. My intention was to get in and out as fast as possible and hopefully not run into anyone I knew. As I quietly waited in line, it was finally my turn and I did not even look up as my mind tried to process the words that the cashier had just spoken to me. She said, “Finally, someone who is not pregnant is coming through my line. I swear, every person that has been through my line all day was about to pop”! My eyes began to fill with tears as I tried to process what she was saying. All I could think to myself was, “I would die for that. I would love to go back 2 weeks ago and still feel my little girl alive inside of me”.  I practically ran from the store and got into the car as fast as possible and begged Brad to just go home. As I have recalled this moment in my mind over and over again, God has reminded me that all too often these situations happen in life. I didn’t know this cashier’s story, and she didn’t know mine. Maybe she can’t have children and having to see pregnant women angers her. Too often we are quick to snap or be hateful to others because of our own hurt or disappointment in our lives. Guard your mouths and be careful at who you vent your anger too. Remember, they just might have a story too.  I saw another mom from a forum post this video and thought it was SO perfect…..
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

White Blessings!

God always seems to know exactly what I need and when I need it!  Now, I know that to most people a little snow, or should I say white slush and ice that looks like snow, is nothing to get all worked up about, but in Georgia the world stops! Schools closed, the base shut down, and our town went silent; it was a snow day! For us this exciting snow, or ice day, meant staying in our pajamas all day and spending some much needed quality family time. My husband and I got to sleep in, which was so nice. We had a great family breakfast well, more like brunch. My children packed on the layers and out they went to play in the slush. My son opened the door and with his bright red face grinning from ear to ear said, “Mom, this is a blast….Our slide is SO fast with ice on it”.  I could not help but smile and laugh as I began to video them running around the back yard. They played until they were frozen and then came in to warm up by the fire. We then played dance central as a family, which is quite funny to watch my five year old shacking his hips to.  By the end of the day I felt relaxed and completely blessed to have this unexpected day to spend with my family. It’s days like this that I know God is reminding me to soak in the blessings he has given me and never let one day go by when I do not treasure the amazing gifts I have been given!
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Monday, January 10, 2011

Surprisingly Hard Day!

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3: 5-6
I finally began unpacking and putting away all of the Christmas goodies that had seemed to make their way onto my bedroom floor. For some reason our bedroom had become the drop spot for everything we didn’t know what to do with when we unpacked the car after our Christmas vacation. This room needed some serious TLC! As I came to the hope chest my mother had given me for Bethany, I decided it was time to gather her things and transfer them into the chest. I got the box down from my closet where her things were and began to go through them. I had not realized how long it had been since I had looked at her stuff. My eyes began to fill with tears as I pulled her hospital blanket close to my face. My heart broke as I smelled the blanket. For weeks after she died I would sleep with her blanket because it still smelled like her, a sweet newborn baby; that smell was gone. I pulled her socks and outfit from the box. They still have stains of her blood on them. There was a small envelope with clips of her dark hair. Then I came across a round clay plate with her footprints and handprint engraved in it. I could not believe how tiny and perfect they were. I began to miss her so much and felt so helpless and inadequate in this moment. I wanted her back.  The verse above came to my mind and I began to say, “Trust in the Lord”. As hard as it was to hold her stuff and miss her so deeply, I also knew she was in the arms of my Savior and I had to trust that he was right there taking care of me and ready to get me through this difficult moment. I gently put her stuff away as I could feel Christ reminding me that I was here to help other women who are going through what I have been through. Her life was not in vain and she was sent to help others. I will be a voice to share with others the importance of allowing Christ to heal your heart throughout any storm that may come your way. I choose to DANCE IN THE RAIN!

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

I will Rise, By Daddy!

Our church had prepared a lunch for us before Bethany’s funeral. On our way there we had to make a stop by the funeral home. The car ride that morning was like a cartoon where the deepest darkest cloud simply stayed over our car as we drove. We pulled into the funeral home on our way to church for Brad to drop off a beautiful canvas picture of Bethany Hope. I watched as my husband carried our daughter’s picture in and then walked out with tears rolling down his face. I watched him as he gently grabbed my hand and drove to the church with a silence I had never seen from him before. The last few days he had seemed so strong, or was I too hurt to notice his pain that I could so evidently see on his face this morning? The days following Bethany's death I was somewhat consumed into my own personal bubble that I had had not even noticed how this had truly impacted him. The Sunday morning Bethany was born, Brad was supposed to sing the song, I will Rise, in church with our pastor. Ever since her death this song holds a special place in our hearts…
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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Giving up is not an option

Giving up is not an option, although I can guarantee that many of you like myself have often thought, “I’m just so tired, I can’t handle this battle anymore!"
After Bethany Hope had died, my life felt hopeless, lost, still! I laid in bed most days those first few weeks just watching as those around me seemed to just keep going as if life just seamlessly went on without her here. I had no desire to be a mother, wife, daughter, or anything anyone needed me to be. Exactly 4 weeks after Bethany had died, I was once again heading to the same hospital where she was born, probably the last place on earth I wanted to be.
A few days earlier I had been limping around the house in pain because the whole left side of my stomach was cramping and sore. My mother insisted something was wrong, but I would not listen. I felt as though I was in survival mode at this time. I was lucky to get out of bed from day to day, I was not about to go to the doctor. By that evening I had walked from the kitchen to my bedroom and collapsed on my bed in tears the pain was so bad. My entire leg was numb and my left foot was tingling. I was scared, and finally believed my mother’s intuition must be right and something was wrong.

The next morning my OB did an ultrasound on my stomach and said there was nothing there and I needed to head straight to the ER for a full checkup. I remember thinking the whole way there how stupid I was going to look when nothing was wrong with me. My husband called as I was sitting in the waiting room and asked if he should come. I told him I was sure I was fine. They got me into a room rather quickly for the ER; I guess having a numb leg was not such a good thing after all. One cat scan later, my husband Brad arrived just as the doctor walked in with two other nurses. He said, “We know what’s wrong, it’s very dangerous, and were admitting you. You have a very large blood clot from your belly all the way to your left knee."
He barely got the words out of his mouth before the nurse was injecting two shots of blood thinners into my stomach, which are very painful! Brad and I just looked at one another. We could not even believe this was happening. The doctor then went on to say that this was so serious and my blood clot was so large, if I had waited even a few more days it would have reached my lungs and killed me. The next morning I was being rolled into surgery and poked in about hundred places. I was feeling scared and numb as to where my life had taken such a wrong turn.
Theses surgeries became part of my life for 2 weeks between 2 different hospitals. The outcome: no change. After five different procedures my vein was damaged and there was permanent damage to the pulses in my left leg. I left the hospital with the doctors telling me my clot could not be removed no matter what they did. If they continued to go into the vein they would only do more damage. I went home feeling so confused.

Week after week I went to the hospital to be poked for blood test. My hair was falling out due to the high doses of blood thinners I was on. I felt like I was on a never ending rollercoaster ride only I was not having any fun.
Tired? Exhausted? Finished?
These are only some of the words that can begin to describe how I was feeling; only I learned something sitting in the hospital bed or waiting on nurses to draw my blood. I’m still here and I don’t have to do this alone. God has a purpose for me and is willing to lead me through this journey if I just let him. Yes, every day might be a challenge for a while, but every day is a new day and gift from my Savior. Giving up is not an option when Christ is there waiting to take our burdens away.
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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Use Me God, Maybe?

Use me God, but my puppet strings only go so far! I will control this part of my body and God can have the other half. As Christians, we are quick to say we want God to use us for his will and his glory but yet we attach so many stipulations to God. We often tell God he can use us but what we really mean is this:  God, use me to reach others, but only others in my church. God, I know you want me to share Christ with others, but if they can just see me living a Christian life then I will never actually have to talk to them. God, of course I will give to those less fortunate, but that man on the street is really not homeless, he just wants a hand out. God, I will share my story but only the good parts and not the dark valleys, their too embarrassing. We tell God we want him to use us and use our lives or our story for his glory and yet we all seem to have an excuse as to why we can’t step up to the plate when God presents an opportunity for us to serve him and allow him to use us. I come from a divorced family. My parents divorced when I was in the fifth grade. Unfortunately, this was never a pretty separation for our family. My siblings and I were all young, but old enough to understand that our family had fallen apart. Over the years anger and bitterness and even resentment began to arise in our family. Where there was once love there was now anger and hurt. Relationships slowly began to fall apart right before my eyes. It was heartbreaking. I watched as years and years went by with absolutely no communication between members of our family. I would cry and pray and beg God to reunite our family. I could never understand how God would allow this to happen to a family where everyone was Christians. I spent years trying to make peace in our family. Years trying to reconnect the members who stopped communicating. I can remember at the end of my pregnancy with my sweet Bethany Hope, a few of these members slowly made contact with one another. I can remember being so excited and once again praying for God to use me in any way he could to make this reunion happen and bring our family together again. Well, I have to say I am not so sure I was ready for how God was going to use me, or should I say my daughter. My family has all seen firsthand how short life can be through Bethany’s death. We all see that tomorrow may not come for a second chance. I just spent a week with a reunited family because I believe God used my daughter to heal my family and bring us all back together again, WOW….sometimes leaves me speechless. Are we really willing to let God use us if we say, “God use me!”
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