Thursday, March 31, 2011


As Bethany’s birthday approach’s, I find myself going back in time and rerunning so much of my life after her death. My heart had never hurt or ached the way it did in the months following her death.
                Most nights I cried myself to sleep as my body would simply fade away into the darkness of the night. I forgot how to be a wife, mother, daughter and friend. I was angry and bitter at my Lord for allowing me to go through something so horrific that I was blinded to the blessings right beside me.
                As the weeks and months continued to go by, I would allow myself to get dressed and go to church, but I was simply playing a part. People would say hello and hug me and tell me how great I looked to be out after Bethany and my blood clots. I remember thinking, “They have no clue.” I would come home, change and fade away into my covers, praying God would change something and make me feel better.
                Week after week this continued until I was becoming unrecognizable to myself and my family. I was allowing my hurt and my pain to rob me of my entire soul; I was lost! I began reading my bible and clinging to every healing bible verse I could find. Daily, I found God pulling me to my knees in tears. I realized that I was not dealing with my hurt, I was simply angry for God for what I had been through. God began to show me that He had to bring me to my knees and make me come to terms with my loss, and that even though my daughter was gone; He still loved me, and He was still there.  
                Over time, I let go of my anger and allowed God to show me that Bethany was a blessing in my life, and through my anger I was missing out on the other blessings right in front of me.
                I was driving past the hospital the other day where I had Bethany and I began to recap all I had been through, and this song came on the radio. I felt as though God had the lyrics written just for me.
                My favorite lines are these:
“What if your blessings comes through raindrops, what if your healing comes through tears, and what if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you’re near.”
                This is SO true, because we serve a God that loves us SO much, that my blessings have come when I have cried myself to sleep for the thousandth time as the rain was hitting the window. I have woke up in the middle of the night praying God would heal my heart because I didn’t think I could take the pain anymore, and what simply amazes me is that He did.
                Yes, I have been hurt and I have been through pain. I will still have bad days, and I will always miss my daughter. I will fall short as a mother, and I will make plenty of mistakes as a wife.  I will strive to do my best and yet still fall short. I do not deserve the blessings that God gives me on a daily basis that I so often forget to say Thank you for, and yet He so freely gives me.  My God is so giving, and yet I am so often wrapped up in my own insecurities that I fail to notice how truly blessed I am. I AM BLESSED!
                I will never look at my daughter’s death as anything other than a BLESSING, because I will see her again; and that is because of the healing power of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Crock Pot Turkey

Ok; we had the best dinner tonight! It was so good. Who says you only have to have a good turkey breast at Thanksgiving? I made the best turkey, and it was so moist and tender, and easy.
Turkey Breast
1 small boneless turkey breast (frozen, I run it under hot water just to get the wrapping off)
½ small white onion
½ tsp minced garlic
1 extra large chicken bouillon cube or 2 small chicken bouillon cubes
½ cup water
Salt and pepper for seasoning

 Pour water into crock pot. Add bouillon and garlic. Cut your onion into four pieces and place them in the bottom of your crock pot. Place your turkey breast on top of the onion pieces. Season the turkey with salt and pepper. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 7-8 hours.

Use the gravy packet that comes with the turkey. Heat it up over medium heat with about ½ cup of liquid from your crock pot after your turkey is done.

Green beans

2 cans whole green beans
1 can diced whole potatoes or sliced (drain liquid out of can)
2 pieces of bacon
¼ cup diced onion
2 beef bouillon cubes
Salt and pepper

Brown bacon and onion together in pan. Once bacon is brown and onion is soft, add potatoes. Sauté for about 2 minutes in pan. Season with salt and pepper. Add 2 cans green beans and bouillon cubes. Bring to boil. Simmer for about 25 minutes.

And we had cheesecake for dessert, but that was from a box. I would love a good homemade cheesecake if anyone has one to share!  

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Thursday, March 24, 2011


Feeling defeated is something all too many mothers feel on a daily basis. Our children pull us in fifty million different directions, the laundry is piling up, the dishes are everywhere, and someone still needs to clean the house! And don’t forget about our spouse, friends, and other church responsibilities we might have as well.
            This feeling can be overwhelming and yet multiplied by 10 in the midst of tragedy or grief. So many times after I lost Bethany I would long to be what my family needed me to be, but I just didn’t know how; it seemed like too much. There were times that even sitting down to a family dinner felt forced and strange. At times I wanted to run as far as I could and wake up from this nightmare I had found myself standing dead center in the middle of.
            The problem with running from my nightmare was that my pain and memories still went with me no matter how far I might try to run. The truth is; motherhood IS overwhelming at times and can make any mom feel defeated, but I have to remember I am still hurting and still healing. I have to give myself time. Time to let go, and time to work through these feelings that I just don’t always understand. There is NO time limit. God will pull you through in HIS timing, not ours…
            The thing I have learned about motherhood is that tomorrow may never come, but my kids are still here today. I have learned to make myself a schedule to stay up with the laundry and housework, but reality is; sometimes things get off schedule and I get behind. Instead of getting stressed and upset, I remind myself that each day I can work a little harder to catch up rather than killing myself to get it all done in one day and missing out on time with my kids; the mess will still be there, my kids may not!
            Stop feeling defeated, and allow yourself to be REAL. Understand that you don’t have to be everything for everyone ALL the time. GOD will get you through, and allow you to balance out your life and your priorities.
Where are you running today? Are you running into the chaos of your life, or running into the arms of Jesus to bring direction into your life?

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Beef Stroganoff

Ok, here is my take on beef strofanoff. I saw this in a magazine one time, and I loved it so much, but it had  way too many other things added to it. So, I changed it up and made it my own. It is really creamy, and is really yummy! I hope you enjoy it; if you try it!

Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff
2 packages beef stew meat
2 cans low sodium cream of mushroom soup
2 low sodium beef bouillon cubes
½ white onion (diced)
1 small can mushrooms (only use half if you are not a big fan of mushrooms like me)
¼ cup water
2 TBL parsley
Flour to coat beef

~ Coat stew meat in flour and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brown meat in Olive oil with onions. Once brown, place in crock pot. Add mushrooms, water and bouillon cubes to your pan and bring to boil. Add both cans of cream of mushroom soup, parsley and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Pour mix over meat in your crock pot. Cook on low for 4-5 hours. Serve over egg noodles.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Give Me JESUS!

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26

This World can be so hard, making us feel lost and incapable of so many things. This song sums up ALL that I am feeling today. I do not need material things, and I do not need to become entangaled in what the World says is right; Give me Jesus!

Give Me Jesus lyrics Songwriters:  Jeremy Camp;

In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
Give me Jesus

Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
You can have all this world
Just give me Jesus

When I am alone
When I am alone
Oh, when I am alone
Give me Jesus

Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
You can have all this world
Just give me Jesus

Give me Jesus

When I come to die
When I come to die
Oh, when I come to die
Give me Jesus

Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
You can have all this world
Just give me Jesus

Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
You can have all this world
You can have all this world
You can have all this world
Just give me Jesus


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Friday, March 18, 2011

This is LIVING!

I must admit, today started out as one of those days where I thought the “business” of our evening was going to overwhelm me. The kid’s barley had two feet in the door from school, and I had their snack and my hand and the car started, we were out the door. Our puppy had a vet appointment, and then back to the house we went to gather everyone’s appropriate attire for their activity. As I was fixing Kayla’s hair, and trying to find a missing baseball sock, I realized that I forgot to lay something out for dinner; man, one of these days I will get this all together! Brad took Gabe to baseball, I dropped Brayson off at his baseball practice and off Kayla and I went to dance practice.
                After Kayla’s dance, we were driving to Gabe’s game. I debated not going since I had missed half of it already, but I knew I had to go see some of his very first game, so off to the fields we went. I knew Gabe was nervous about his game because he had  a few rough practices and had jammed his finger at his last practice. I was sitting in my car and praying that God would give him a peace and allow him to have a GREAT game.
                I pulled up just as his team was going on field for the last time. Brad said it was a good game, but close. When I got there the score was 13-8, and the other team scored two runs, and had two outs. The score is now 13-10 and all we need is 1 more out to win the game…Gabe is playing 2nd base, and I think I was WAY more nervous than he was! The next batter comes up, hits, and…..GABE CATCHES IT, OUT! WE WIN! I think my heart about jumped out of my skin. I started screaming and jumping up and down like a crazy women; I was proud! The coach ran over and picked Gabe up as the whole team started screaming his name. It was an amazing moment in his life. He received the game ball, and I do not think I have EVER seen my son shine the way I did tonight.
                We took Gabe out to eat for pizza and I think our whole family was on a complete high from our evening and it made me think; this is life. THIS is living. So often in life we worry about how busy our life is and we get upset about all the running around we have to do, but this is what life is about, this is what makes ALL the running around and shuffling I do completely worth it. I DO NOT claim to have it together. In fact, Gabe had on two different baseball socks, because we do live and we do lose things, but that’s OK! I will live my busy lifestyle any day of the week if I get to see my son’s face light up the way it did tonight, and my family as happy together as we were tonight. Thank you God for an AMAZING night. Thank you GOD for our busy schedule that gives our children the opportunity to accomplish their dreams, and me the ability to watch!
       I imagine if Christ feels the same I felt, watching my son beaming from ear to ear, when  we follow Him and choose to do what is right instead what is wrong. I picture Christ screaming, HALLELUJAH, and jumping up and down because he is SO proud, just the same way I did with Gabe. Too often we forget the Christ is our Father, and he is SO very proud when we choose to follow him and let him fight the battles in our hearts...

Remember, it’s not how busy your life is, it’s how much you choose to complain about it! Stop complaining and start LIVING!!!

The coach giving the infield a pep talk right before Gabe caught the ball.

Gabe's coach after He caught the ball.

Gabe's coach praising him. (Love this)

One PROUD Dad!

Gabe's favorite little t-ball brother.

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Storms of Life

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah. Psalm 46:1-3,7

This week has been a REALLY hard week.  First our church pianist, who had been recovering from heart surgery and was doing well, took a turn for the worst and passed away. Then we all watched and listened as an unexpected earthquake has devastated so many people in Japan. So many people where simply living their everyday “normal” lives, and in the blink of an eye, everything changed.
American little league is rather big in our community, and the kick off day was Saturday. It was a busy day and our boys were ready to play some baseball. Unfortunately, the opening ceremony was not like it normally is. You see; this week two young soft ball girls were tragically killed in a car accident in our town. An 11 year old little girl and her 17 year old sister.
 The ceremony was so hard for me to sit and listen to. My heart was aching for this family, because I so personally know that no parent should have to bury their own child, and no parent should EVER have to know what I knew they were feeling. There was also a part of  me that knew what they were going through was even greater then what I had gone through, and all  I could do was pray for them.  I have been very emotionally this weekend, and I think it is because Bethany’s birthday is right around the corner and this week all I have heard about is death and how the storms of life are always unexpected.
                Sunday morning at church, our pastor did an amazing job talking about this, and it once again reminded me that GOD IS IN CONTROL! He stated that, ALL storms come without warning. I think back to the storm in my life, and I know that one day your life seems somewhat normal and in the blink of an eye, the storm comes and destroys EVERYTHING in its path. CHRIST is the only way to be prepared because he is the only one who can calm the storm once it has done its damage. Is Christ in your heart? Are you prepared to turn to the only one who can calm the storm? The question is not if you go through a storm, it’s WHEN you go through a storm!
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Friday, March 11, 2011


I was reminded today how bitter sweet parenting children can be after you have lost a child. On one hand, you look at your children and know what a true blessing they are in your life. On the other hand, you imagine your angel and every little moment and detail you are missing with them.

            There is a part of you that longs to be the parent your children need you to be and yet your broken, empty, LOST.

            I think one of the hardest things for me has been answering questions that I have no answer to. My ten year old daughter was probably the one who took Bethany’s death the hardest, because she could understand the best. She had wanted and prayed for a baby sister throughout my entire pregnancy. She would talk to me about all the things she would help me do once the baby came.

 In some ways, I felt like I had let her down; I had shattered her entire world. She is a new and young Christian, so there is still so much she is learning and does not understand. Many times after Bethany died, she would ask me, “Mom, why would a God who loves us let you carry a baby the whole time, just to take it away?”  How on earth do I answer this question to a child, when deep down I’m thinking the same thing?

The only answer I have ever been able to give her is my honest answer: I don’t know, but I do know that no matter what we go through GOD will never leave our side. He is always right there waiting to hold our hand, and guide us through the storms of life.

I’m not sure; WAIT, I'm pretty sure I will never be able to answer that question for my children, and I know that many days I STILL struggle with wanting to be angry with GOD for what I have been through. The closer May approaches and Bethany’s 2nd birthday approaches, I find myself somewhat on edge and a little tense.

I know that God is trying to remind me that he is still there, and although some days I feel like pretending May doesn’t exist, because then I don’t have to relive that day or the moment my world came crashing down around me; God also reminds me that May 3, is a day I held one of the most beautiful little girls in the world, and I fell in love. Hurt may exist, but wrapped in that hurt is blanket of love I would not exchange for anything in this world

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I finally have my new blog design all finished, allthough "I" did none of the work myself. My sweet husband is SO very talented and spent a long time making my header for me until it was just perfect, and I love it. Thank you Brad for your time and hard work. Franchesca from small Bird Studios, is also very talented and made my button and signiture for me. If you are in need of a blog design, please check her out here. Thank you Franchesca! She has also lost a child and has an amazing story. Thank you again for all of those who follow my story and my life. The friendships I have made in this blog community have been so uplifiting, and it is wonderful to know that we are not alone in this journey!
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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cheese Danish

Tasty Tuesday Treat
I put these together last night, so my kids could have a treat this morning. I have been making these for about 6 years now, and they are so YUMMY! They are perfect as Danish right out of the oven, or let them cool and they taste even different, but still great!
Cheese Danish
2 packages crescent rolls
1 8oz light cream cheese (room temperature)
½ cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract


Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla with blender till creamy. Open crescent rolls, and separate into square sections (2 triangle rolls stay together to form a rectangle). Pat with flour on each side. Place a spoon full of cheese mixture on square and spread out evenly, roll square up. Continue until all crescent rolls are rolled. Place on plate and cover with saran wrap and place in the refrigerator over night. The next morning, take each roll and cut once in the middle and then cut each half one more time. Basically each roll makes four. Then place flat on a cookie sheet. Dap butter on each one and sprinkle cinnamon on top. Bake at 350 for about 20- 25 minutes. These are SO GOOD…..They will just be a little golden on top, but not much.

If you want to check out some other YUMMY treats: check out this Yummy new blog I found here.

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

We ALL fall Short

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”. Romans 3:23
          It has been somewhat of a long day and as I crawl into bed and sit down at my lap top, my heart begins to ache. I had been struggling all day with finding just the right words to write another encouraging post, and nothing would come to me.
          I began to think back to most of the things I write about and I realized that for the most part they are all encouraging and uplifting. I have tried so hard to share the part of my heart that God has healed and encourage others who are walking through grief to see the parts of my story where God has uplifted me or encouraged me throughout the darkness.
Although this was my desire and my reason for starting my blog; I realized that fairy tale endings after heartache and loss are not the reality of living every day to day life. If im not 100% honest with you, then I am walking that that thin line of sounding like a hypocrite.
          The truth is; life is still hard at times. So many days I feel so inadequate to be the Christian, wife, mother, daughter, sister, or friend that God has called me to be. So many times when my children are arguing, I feel too weak to play peace maker for the hundredth time. I often complain to my husband when I know I should have said nothing at all. I often seclude myself.  I think of the friendships I have missed out on, and what God might have had in store for them.
          So many nights as I crawl into bed, I feel as though I have fallen short in so many areas of my life, and I wonder how hard I really tried. I truly love my family with all my heart, and I have learned to not take them for granted, but I wonder how often I truly follow through with that.
          For so long after Bethany died I was hurt, angry, and bitter. Her death changed me in ways I never could have imagined. Slowly over time, those feelings escalated until my body practically exploded.
          I was becoming a different person right in front of my family, and I didn’t even realize it. I began taking my anger out on my children. I was yelling, and became easily agitated over things that had never bothered me before.
          God has gotten a hold of my heart and brought these things to my attention, and I am learning that each and every day is a gift and yet a struggle.  A gift that I can be here with the family God has given me, and yet a struggle to not hold on to the anger I once had.
          I have learned that we all fall short of Gods amazing grace; I sure know I do, and yet he still loves us and picks us up time after time.
I have learned about a million life lessons through my daughter’s death, but the one that I am still learning is that life is a lesson you learn daily. Every day is a new day that God has blessed me with, and so many of those days I still seem to get it wrong, and yet I know God is still there waiting to guide me and help me.
          I have been through more heartache and hard times at the age of 31 then most people go through in their whole life, and then I also know I have more blessings then people could ever even begin to imagine.
          I could easily escape into the worlds view and claim that it’s ok because I’m not perfect and I’m going to fall and have bad days; the problem with this is that it is an excuse to place my fears under. The Holy Spirit within me is perfect, and is there waiting daily and giving me a new chance to get it right.
          So, what are my options? Life is hard! So many days seems impossible! I can jump up down and be miserable and angry for what I have been through, or I can daily learn to allow Christ to lead my life and my heart until I reach heaven’s gates. My time here on Earth will not always be great, and I will inevitable have bad days, but I have to remember that each and every day is a new day and a new gift from God to start fresh….My encouraging you is also a way to encourage myself that we can get through this journey!
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Wednesday, March 2, 2011


This has become one of those meals that we love so much; I might have to double it just so we can leftovers. J Enjoy! I had a busy night, so this meal was perfect because it does not take long to put together at all, but I did forget to take a picture for you, sorry!
Kielbasa Turkey sausage (sliced)
1 package frozen cheese tortellini
½  diced green bell pepper
½  diced red bell pepper
½  diced white onion
1 ½ tsp. red wine vinegar
1 TBL. Grill mates Montreal Steak seasoning
Butter, salt and pepper for sautéing
¼ cup parmesan cheese plus extra for topping

Sauté red and green peppers with your onions in butter, salt and pepper until soft. (Start boiling your tortellini at this point). Add sausage to the pan with your peppers and heat till warm, about 5 minutes. Add your vinegar and seasoning and stir together.  Simmer on low until your tortellini is finished and then add tortellini to your sausage mix and stir together. Stir in parmesan cheese. Serve and top of with extra parmesan cheese.

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