Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Dear Twenty-Something Single Child Me

When I was in my mid-twenties and had one child I used to see parents in the mall who had multiple children and I would think, "Oh, man, they look so unhappy, so stressed, so tired".  My ex-husband and I would actually have conversations where we would say, "having multiple children looks so miserable, let's not have any more".

Today I realized I was making that face that I saw on those parents years ago and wish I could go back to tell that mid-twenties me something very important.

What I didn't realize in my mid-twenties was that mother was probably up at 1 AM with a sick teenager worried if her daughter ate something bad or if the stomach flu was going to take hold of her house.  (thankfully it was something she ate and she is fully recovered)

That mother, then woke up before the sun so that she could get some work done before taking her last baby to enroll in elementary school.  She spent the morning holding back tears while her five-year-old was beyond excited to be big. 

After registration, that mother took a very hyped up five-year-old to the grocery to by chicken noodle soup, crackers, and Gatorade all of which the five-year-old felt she needed to scan in the self-check line.  Needless to say, it took the mother longer to check out than it did to select her items in the store.

After having a semi-stressful afternoon at work that mother took her big girl on a scooter ride to get her other daughter from school because almost kindergartners do not walk, they ride scooters.

They ride scooters and practice tricks that make their mother almost have a heart attack. The mother, then, has three work phone calls as her daughters beg her to go the park and her teenager is asking, "what's for dinner?".  Though tired and stressed from the day's work, she feels that she owes her girls some fresh air.

Little did she know that her middle daughter would ride her bike so fast that it would make the five-year-old daughter angry.  And that daughter would begin to pout.

And refuse to continue riding until her sister came back to ride right next to her.

And that moment is when the mother made that face - the tired, stressed out, unhappy face,  but still utterly adored her daughters.

And though she was tired, she was so happy that she took them out and allowed them to be kids.

Which reminded her that she was so happy that she decided to have multiple children, even if her youngest had enough attitude for five children.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

They Are Gone - There is No Good Title for This

The last 24-hours have been really, really hard.  Emotions ebb and flow through sadness, anger and hurt. At this moment we cannot find joy in what has happened. Even saying that Nicole is at peace in heaven with all six of her children lunges you into sobs because it is just not fair and it all sucks.  I have no educated words to help explain this pain.

Multiple families walked into this Easter morning full of sorrow, asking "why?".  E and J are just as, if not even more, distraught and heartbroken as we are.  I know their attachment to these six children grew just as strongly as ours did.

Matt and I were both taken completely off guard at how strong the grief kicked us in the gut last night.  This is the finality that I prayed would not have to be felt, the end to Nicole's genetic legacy here on earth. The re-opening of the wound somewhat to grieve Nicole's death again in such a strong final passing.  She is gone and every part of her is now gone as well. Urgh, that hurts so bad and makes me so dang angry (know that I have filtered that sentence for your is way more PG-13 than it appears to you right now).

Even though I clearly can write my anger and sadness, we really have no words. We all need time to grieve. Time to feel the pain, to be angry and walk in the sadness for a while. Time feel what life is like now after this final piece is gone.

Thank you so much for all of your prayers for E, J, Matt and I as we walked through the last two weeks of this journey. Please continue to lift E & J up in your prayers. Pray that all of us find peace after our time of grieving.

Orginal Post: Attention Prayer Warriors

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Bekah, the Future Author

Last month I received a wonderful surprise from Bekah's teacher!

All of her focus was put into writing this amazing book.

By Bekah
Boy Jesus
Born in a Stable

Along Time
There were no 
beds in Bethlehem

There was an angel in the ski
she said, do not be afraid
I've come here for a reason
you much come with me

I am taking the liberty to translate a bit for you, for instance, "you must cum wits me" - God, love her! 

The King prayed to
the baby. The Shepherd prayed too. 

Baby Jesus is finally alone.

Poor Baby Jesus, it's hard to have so many visitors. 

I could cry. This was just too precious not to share. Bekah has such a big heart and that heart beats for Jesus. She is most certainly a little kindergarten evangelist. 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Morgan's Magical Unicorn Birthday

Last weekend my dining room became magical as we celebrated Morgan's 5th Birthday!

 I had been collecting unicorn party supplies since the Fall and so many times I was tempted to change the color theme. Like, when I found these invitations.

Click Here to Find them on Etsy

 Matt was out the town the entire week before Morgan's party, so I decided to give myself a break and order her cake from H-E-B.

 Games didn't really happen this time, but we did have the traditional pinata.

 Morgan still gets super embarrassed when people sing Happy Birthday to her! Silly girl!

Presents followed cake which always causes some sisterly drama. 

Poor's hard to watch your sister open a cool new scooter. 

After the party, we tested out the scooter!

I can't believe she is five already. It was a rather emotional birthday for this mother...more on that later this week! 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Attention Prayer Warriors

We are in the middle of a sermon series at church called, Thy Will Be Done.  Taken from the words Jesus gave us in the Lord’s Prayer, the timing of series is a bit eerie as my family faces an event that is so dependent on only God’s will. 

It is His will and things happen in His time, but I want to ask for more.  I want to ask, beg for the Lord’s abundant favor because, well, this is important - this is big. 

My friend, Emily, sent the best prayer when I asked her to pray for this situation. 

Lord, please be in this. Breathe life into E. Give strength and comfort to J and to Matt and Dana. This situation is so complex and yet you knit life together so often. You know the future of these embryos, Lord. You understand everything, more than we can fathom. You feel the hurt and you rejoice in the goodness. You are good. You are always good. You are life. Lord, hear our prayers!

The last two embryos were implanted into their adoptive mother on Wednesday. Everything went perfectly but now is when the prayers are most needed.  Our families are praying fiercely for these babies to survive the next few weeks and that their parents receive a positive pregnancy test.  Then, the prayers will change to their growth, development and ultimately a healthy delivery.  This is where God’s will comes into play, well, actually he has been in all of this - seriously. It has been an amazing God’s timing, God’s people series of events. 

If you know me in everyday, real life then you probably know about the sextuplets and if you are completely lost, thinking possibly Matt and I are having more children then please keep reading. 

I learned very early on, like before our first date that Matt and Nici had six embryos frozen before her first round of treatments in hopes that after chemo they would begin a family.  That family was not in God’s plans for Matt’s life, but he made a strong vow that these six babies would have a chance at life.  

On our third date, before we had even kissed, after a few beers were consumed, I gave Matt a big offer.  I guess with visions of John and Kate plus 8 running through my head I offered to carry and birth his children.  Yep and to think he still married me.  That would not be the last time I offered to have the children I lovingly call the sextuplets.  

Shortly after our engagement, Matt started working on the adoption papers to find the sextuplets a loving family.  He was not doing this because he was about to marry a crazy woman, but he felt that it would be unfair for a child of his and Nici’s to be born in our marriage.  Not to mention just the pure heartache that would probably be there, you know? 

Years passed and each April when we would pay our storage fees for the embryos I would ask, “Are you sure you want to adopt these kids out?  We can have them if you want.”  Even, after the birth of Morgan, I was asking.  I went between “is he holding onto them for a reason?” and “is my husband really that big of a procrastinator?”.  It really was a complicated, full of feelings mixture of both.  

Then, one day God stepped in only a way that He could pull off.  He worked, again, through one of my dear friends.  That friend had heard my telling of the sextuplets' story many times and knew the struggle Matt and I were both having with the situation at hand.  Then, I am telling you in a Holy Spirit way, she read a post by an old friend on Facebook stating that she and her husband were looking to adopt embryos.  And the universe aligned.  

As the adoption talks began almost two years ago, I stepped back and offered support, but did not want to be a part of the decision making because even though there was a very odd attachment that had grown between me and these children, I am not their biological parent. I hope that makes sense and doesn’t come across as if I do not support their adoptive parents because I do, 110%. 

This really is one of those situations that is stirring similar emotions to the way I feel about Nici - I am just shocked at the emotions that these sextuplets bring up in me.  How in the world can I love children whom I have never met? 

The past two years have brought peaks of joy and pure despair.  After the first two embryos were implanted we quickly learned that E was pregnant.  Heartbreakingly, we received news sometime later that E had a miscarriage.  The loss was a blow to all of those involved.  When J and E were ready, they implanted the second two embryos, but those babies did not survive the implantation.  Heartache, again, waved through our families. 

Many months passed and we received an email from J saying that he and E had healed from these tragedies and they were ready to implant the final two embryos. Honestly, this is when serious fear set in for me.  The next few months will either bring joy, complicated yes, but still joy or something so very final.  Our families are facing the prospect of there being a little Matt/Nici combination walking this earth or the finality of this story.  Ugh, that is so hard, so emotional.  So much that we cannot do, all of which we have to give to God. 

And this is why I am asking all my prayer warriors to pray.  Please, please pray.  We want life, we want survival, we want good to come out of this story.  

Monday, February 26, 2018

Wisp of Fog, Catching a Brief Bit of Sun

I have said so much about this day in the past (link below), but today I fell lead to tell you what is written in the book that he was named after.

You don't know the first things about tomorrow. You're nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. 

James 4:14 MSG

James Neal Krzywonski
June 15, 1978- February 26, 2009

Life is frail. Life is short. Death is certain.

Those are all factual, especially when you've lost some who spent such a short time on this earth.

Today I challenge you, how much time do you have left?  What does God want your life to look like on your deathbed? What will you have accomplished that matter in light of eternity? How much time do you have to hear what God is saying to you? 

Teach us to number our days correctly Lord, so that we may gain a heart of wisdom. 
Psalm 90:12

Thursday, February 8, 2018

95 Happy Birthday Meme

Today she would have been 95. 

As I work through the manuscript of my book, my editor asked, "Who was she? What was your relationship with her?". I still haven't finished that chapter because how do you turn "she was everything" into 1,500 words? 

that cuteness in white is my grandmother

I don't have words today and not because I am experiencing some kind of terrible grief, though I am crying at this moment. This year I really miss her.