Friday, July 3, 2015

Weekend Links 7/3/15

Have a fabulous fourth of July weekend!

Life
20 Moms Things I Wish I Had Done More Of
This is What Happens When Satan Steals Your Motherhood

Special Needs
The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum

Loss
Somewhere Over the Rainbow: Not Every Rainbow After a Loss is a Baby
When God Hurts My Feelings - Some great wisdom as it relates to grief and loss. 
I'm The Same, But I'm Different (Since Losing Our Child) - YES. THIS. It is as if this sweet mother was inside my head and writing from my heart. 
Give Thanks In Sorrow - A sweet friend sent this to me and I love this perspective:
"God doesn’t ask us to silence our sorrow in favor of thanksgiving. Rather, He uses our sorrow to proclaim a type of thanksgiving we wouldn’t be able to express otherwise."


Y'all. . . her hair. . . there are no words. . .

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Rise & Shine

There is something about watching the sunrise each morning that captures my heart and, some mornings, takes my breath away. Especially since losing Chance. There is something so powerful about going to bed at night, darkness all around, yet awakening at that beautiful moment, that beautiful peak between dark and light. The dark is still there, still present, yet the light is visibly there, too, touching the dark. It's that moment when dark and light intersect, and you know that in moments time, the light will overcome. Because it always does. Day after day after day no matter how dark the night, the light eventually breaks forth and wins.


July 4, 2015 will mark three months since Chance's birth. Three months. In ways it feels like just yesterday that I was holding him, and in other ways it feels like much more time has passed. And I think about this phenomenon. How three months can feel like three seconds and also three years. How the darkness and the light of the last three months have been weaving together this amazingly ornate picture of tears, and growth, and longing, and stretching, and beauty from ashes.

Because beauty really can come from ashes.


Because no matter how dark darkness feels there is always the promise of pure light on the other side.

Because the One who holds us in all our joy also holds us in all our sadness.

Because if we just keep putting one foot in front of the other even when we don't feel like it, and keep searching endlessly for the sunrise we will be so pleasantly surprised when we find it and realize that the light is winning.

Because the light always wins.

Then your light will break forth like dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your guard (Isaiah 58:8).


So keep searching, friends. Keep striving for the light. Keep striving for the light that does not burn out. Keep searching for the beauty that comes from the ashes of your story.

For the light keeps shining in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it (John 1:5).

Choose to let God's gift of a sunrise sink deep and inspire you.

Choose to rise and shine.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Weekend happenings & Summer Bucket List 2015 (McDonalds play area & sno cones)

We had a great weekend. . . it felt like the perfect balance between relaxing and enjoying family time at home, while also having a few planned outings. Love when it all plays out like that. And we even checked a few more items off our summer bucket list!

A little Saturday morning biscuit making. . .



And some potty practicing. . .

Swinging . . . because our weekend any day would not be complete without it . . .


Park exploring. . .




Despite it being 100 degrees outside, I agreed to let Camille swing with me. . . this girl hardly snuggles anymore so I couldn't resist her request. . .





Sno cone eating. . . A big thanks to our friends for the last minute invite . . . One more item off the bucket list!

Don't let the pic below fool you. . . she was not a fan . . . she basically kept putting it in her mouth over and over then spitting it out in with a look of disgust . . . at least she was having fun!



McDonalds playing. . . And just like last summer, fun was had by all. Well fun was had until Camille fell and busted her lip, just as Clara decided to wander off outside the play area to the other side of the restaurant (I was alone with them). But after Clara was retrieved and blood cleaned, the fun continued! (This outing was actually last week before Brandon was back in town from a work trip, but combining it with our weekend recap.) Another bucket list item down. . .




 Love her joy. . .



 Cutie girl. . .

Hope your weekend was filled with fun and family as well! 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Weekend Links 6/26/15

Life
Can You Trust Him With Your Future?
Stop Waiting to Be Ready
The World According to Beckett

Special Needs
ASD Brains React Differently to Sensory Stimuli, Study Says

Loss
Empty - Kendra beautifully recounts the birth of her daughter, who passed in her womb at 33 weeks, and how even in the midst of such heartache, God provided every step of the way. If you want to read more about Aliza's diagnosis/their family situation, Kendra includes several links at the end of this post. Have tissues handy.

After a Stillbirth, a Silent Deliver Room - Video where a woman beautifully and perfectly describes what it is like & the emotions faced when you deliver a child who has already passed from this life. 

So much truth to this quote. . . faith has less to do about ones appearance of strength, and all to do with ones full and total surrender.

This girl is happy for the weekend! Or maybe she is happy her daddy is home after a four day work trip. One thing I know . . . mommy sure is happy! 
Make it a great day!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Your best possible path

Several weeks ago I was reading over Psalm 23, a set of scriptures that I have read over many times in the past and that I have heard preached on time and time again. Yet something about this day, something about this common chapter, was different. And to be frank, since losing Chance, my interaction with scripture has been just that. Different. I'm more focused and more deliberate and thus more in tune to truly hear His voice. Which is how one should always be when studying the word, no? With eyes and ears ready and hands open to say " Jesus speak so I can hear and receive and learn and then give your truth away." 

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. 

Our life is one big journey beginning at birth and ending at death. And our job in the in-between is to trust and follow. And while there is so much good that happens in this in-between there is also so much heartache and sadness and feelings of complete overwhelm. And its in these later moments that we want to run and hide and ask a million whys and demand a do over because surely this was not the path God had in mind. 



Yet if we trust Psalm 23 then we have to trust His ultimate path for our life, regardless of where He leads. We have to trust that even though we walk through the valley of (fill in the blank), we will not be overcome because the path He leads us down is our best possible path. A path that while annoying and frustrating and maddening while traveling, leads us ultimately to the best blessings. Blessings that we could never even dream up in our little limited human minds. He promises His path leads to righteousness (vs 3), and yet there is so much more. His path is one that leads to an overflowing cup (vs 5), and an abundance of goodness and love (vs 6), and a thousand other precious gifts promised in His word.

He guides me in paths of righteousness. . .

Even though I walk through the valley . . .

You prepare a table before me . . .

My cup overflows . . .

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life. . .

The Lord is my shepherd, and where He leads I will follow. I will follow through the storm and the fire because I want that overflowing cup. I will follow when I am broken to my core because I want that table He has prepared for me. I will follow through the tears because I want that eternal dwelling. I will follow because He has written my best possible path. He has done the same for you. He is writing a story greater than you could ever write yourself. Do you trust His lead?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer Bucket List 2015 (Bayou Bend Wildlife Park & the Splash Pad)

We are working our way through our little summer bucket list. While it has been extra hot outside, these activities have also provided some extra fun & toddler entertainment.

BAYOU BEND WILDLIFE PARK 
My older sister, brother-in-law and their kids were in town, so I kept Clara home from school one day and we all made a trip out to the wildlife park. The girls seemed to really enjoy it (especially Camille, who would constantly point to every animal she saw and exclaim "Ohhhhhhhhh.") The girls (well really this only applies to Camille b/c Clara usually does not nap on the weekdays at school) only got a 20 minute nap that day, but the time with extended family was well worth the pre-bedtime insanity. 

Clara was loving the deer. . .



Older cousin, Avery, was so sweet to carry Camille around the petting zoo. . .



I wish I had a video of Clara in the petting zoo. She was hilarious! She would walk up super close to the animals, bend over, and then pet them as fast as she could and back right up. Cutest ever!




Camille was not even phased by this huge guy. Also, I had flies and animal food in my diaper bag for days. That was really special.





SPLASH PAD
The day after the wildlife park, we hit up the splash pad with some friends. Camille was strutting her stuff in her hot pink sunnies. :) Splash Pad was a hit for this girl. Also, she took a three hour nap on this day. You might wonder then why the splash pad is not on my list of to-do's as a daily event? Because swim diapers. The end.



Love this picture . . . Totally sums up her personality. . .










Planning to cross a few more items off our list this week. . . stay tuned!