Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Living water

I am so excited to announce that Blair's well is COMPLETE!! Such a wonderful blessing to have it done before her birthday on November 11 and before her little brothers birthday TBD ;-). I can't even describe the feelings I had when I saw it for the first time. Tears of joy, tears of remembrance, tears of thankfulness, and definitely some tears of sadness too because every time I think of Blair I miss her even more! But I can also say that I was very proud of my little girl as I saw her name written on this well. Her life has purpose and meaning to these people who need life and purpose every day! I can't imagine not having easy access to clean drinking water and for these people in Uganda it has been a daily reality all their lives. Until now....
Now they have clean running water EVERY DAY! Giving them another day of life that they didn't have before. All because of Blair's short life here on Earth. I have always loved missions and seeing lives changed for the good because of the great news of Christ, and while I never thought it would take losing my baby to be apart of missions, I am reminded that everything is for HIS glory.  Whether that be losing your baby, giving up your life and comfort to live overseas as a missionary, giving of your finances in difficult times, giving of your energy and time, and all other kinds of sacrifices. (Not saying that I like it or that I am OK with it, but it's my life and I want to choose to look at it through the lens of eternity). We are all called to share the love of Christ in one way or another. We are all called to be missionaries. We just have to trust Him that His plans are bigger and greater then we can imagine and be obedient. Building this well is also just another way God has brought beauty from the ashes. 

The story of how we raised the funds for this well just amazes me! I knew immediately after losing Blair that we would want to raise money toward building a well. Holden Uganda was started by a dear friend, Sarah Erwin, who was just an acquaintance before losing Blair. I had known about her loss of her little boy Holden in 2010 and was a little familiar with Holden Uganda shortly after. But as of November 11, 2011 she became someone who truly understood what I was going through and a light of Christ's hope as she reached out to me. She has walked this journey with me through losing Blair and in my pregnancy with her brother, and I am so grateful the Lord kindled this friendship. All that to say, I became very familiar with Holden Uganda and was thrilled to be apart of this awesome organization that brings hope to those who need it most. So we started an account for Blair....

I posted on my blog awhile back and spread the word by mouth about wanting to raise money for this well. Friends and family were so gracious to send money to get this started and I am just so thankful. Sometime this summer, I talked to Sarah about how much more we needed to raise and we were $100 shy of our $2,000 goal!! WOW! We had the Shaw family reunion (Clint's side) coming up in August and I thought how great it would be to get the family involved in raising the rest of the money. Sarah then mentioned the need for building an even bigger well in an area that really needed it. There are some areas in Uganda that have water pressure that is too high for a small well and would crumble if made too small, so there would need to be a multiple pipe well to withstand the water supply. However, these villages wait the longest because of the need for more funds. Sarah told us to think and pray about it and see if the Lord lead us in that direction. I agreed that we would pray and see what would happen...

So...we prayed about it and decided to mention the need for these funds to build the bigger well at the reunion, thinking it would at least help us get closer to our new goal of $4,000. And WOW! The Lord answered our prayer in a BIG way! We ended up raising $2,450 that weekend! Our family was so gracious to give to this great cause in honor of Blair and we were just blown away and humbled by their generosity, love, and support! Blair was and is loved so much!! We were able to send the $4,000 to Holden Uganda to build the well and hold onto the $450 in hopes of either starting another well or putting it toward other organizations that help those who have lost babies too soon. 

Words can't express the joy we had and still have that the Lord provided this money through our family and friends! Thank you so much to everyone who made this happen with your donations and prayers! We seriously can't thank you enough, and I hope as you look at these pictures that you feel part of this amazing project done in Blair's honor. You truly are apart of it! God bless you!!

Love seeing all that fresh water running out!!

Love this woman's sweet smile (the Ugandans don't usually smile for pictures unless instructed to because they are not used to cameras)

This picture is just amazing with the stormy clouds in the background and then the suns light shining on Blairs name, bday and verse. SO neat!!

 "In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire- may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you don't see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls." 1 Peter 1:6-9

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Whirlwind life!

Well I'm sure by now many of you know about our crazy weekend adventure and current living situation...Here is the story from the beginning to now the best I can remember and explain.   

On Friday I had an appointment with my high risk doctor at 9:00 to do fetal monitoring. I was with my mother-in-law, Patty, and we were planning on driving to Dallas to meet up with my sister in laws to shop for the weekend. Clint and the boys were going to New Mexico to go deer hunting. It had rained the night before and was currently raining, so it was flooding everywhere. Yet there were still cars on the road and businesses were open as usual. Except for my doctors office, which was closed and did not call me to inform me of this. Who does that!? So...very frustrated, I called my regular OB to see if I could get in for at least a test to hear the baby (NST). They were able to get me in at 9:30 so off we went. Our baby boy looked GREAT on the NST and all was well, however, my doctor noticed I was having some contractions so she wanted to check me before we went to Dallas. She discovered I was 3 cm dilated and 30 percent effaced. CRAZY! So, needless to say, I wasnt going anywhere! Looking back it was all the Lord because I would've probably gone to Dallas and who knows what would've happened!?..... I was admitted into Labor and Delivery to be monitored and given meds to stop the contractions. They worked off and on, but I continued to have contractions anywhere from 3 to an hour to 2-5 minutes apart. So very irregular, but definitely there. I could feel the contractions, but they were not painful. Just a tightening and cramp like feeling. I didn't change any in dilation, but went to 50 percent effaced, so they kept me overnight to continue monitoring me and giving me meds. I was checked again Saturday morning, and my doctor found that I was 3 1/2 dilated and 70 percent effaced, while still having contractions. So she made the decision to send me to Odessa Medical Center, which has one of the best NICU units around. This was IN CASE our baby boy decided to greet the world earlier then planned, not because there was anything wrong with him or me. Therefore, I was transferred from Dr. McBrayer's care to a new doctor in Odessa, which was hard being that I have grown so close to my doctor through the last year, but it has been a smooth transition and I really like this Odessa doctor. I was in the L&D in Odessa from Saturday afternoon until Sunday evening being monitored with the least amount of meds to see if I would naturally stop contractions. I did, so they moved me to a postpartum room Sunday night for less continuous monitoring. At this point, I actually went from 3 1/2 dilation back down to a 2! Didn't even know that could happen!? Praise God! We then were told that we should not leave Odessa because I needed to be as close as possible to the hospital in case labor picked up again. We then began trying to form a plan and some good friends, Bryan & Tasha Creech, offered for us to use their 5th wheel trailer. We found out that the hospital had hook-ups free of charge right in the parking lot!! WOW! Another God thing for sure! we are in our new "home" for the next 4 + weeks! I am now 33 weeks and we are hoping to keep the baby "cookin" until at least 37 weeks. I can even be transferred back to McBrayer if I make it to at least 35 weeks! I will do this by drinking LOTS of water and resting. I am not confined to the bed, but need to be off my feet as much as possible. I'm able to get out, but I just can't leave Odessa. So, it could always be worse, and I am thankful that I am able to have a little freedom. I will be going to the doctor twice a week for NST's, sonograms, and doctor appointments also, so that will be comforting to know what's going on. Clint is going to work as usual and commuting back and forth between Odessa and Big Spring. Turns out to be exactly 1 hour between. We also still have our remodel going close to being done, but still going. So it's a lot of phone calls and Clint going to the house to check in. And a lot of relying on others to help us out. I don't think we have really had "normal" for over a year and a half! AHH! Spontaneity is our new middle name! Crazy to think how much has happened in just a year!? Makes me think....where will we be this time next year!? Hopefully the biggest things on our agenda will be planning our boys 1 year bday party and Blair's 2nd bday in heaven! We shall see....

I have been continually reminded of God's goodness and provision and also how little control I have over my life. The reality of having true faith and trusting the Lord for every step has been a HUGE lesson for me. It has truly been a scary time, but I have also have a peace that I know only comes from the Lord and your prayers. It is the same peace I had when I held Blair in my arms, which shows me even more how real God is. I couldn't humanly handle any this on my own. I have seen what it really means to fiercely love your kids and feel like you would do anything to protect them, however, I can't do this alone. It is completely out of my control. My children belong to Him, and I am just blessed to be their mom, and I need the Lord to be my strength and work through me. Because otherwise I would be a nervous wreck and emotional most all of the time! I would want to find a hole and bury myself in it, not wanting to function with the world. But I have learned to take each moment with a deep breath and prayer, asking God to show me his purpose. I may not know at the moment why, but I know I will someday. I am choosing DAILY to believe God for who He says He is and rest in the truth of His promises that He will never leave me, nor forsake me. He works ALL things for the good if we just love Him and let go! So, that is what I am learning right now, which can be very difficult at times. It's not easy, but God didn't promise that this life would be easy. He just promised that He would help us through it. 

Again, thank you for all the continued prayers for our family. We have been so humbled by the amount of support, love, encouragement, kindness, and provision that has been given to us. You are God's light to us, so thank you! 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Kicks, prayers, and Jesus...

These are the things that make my world go 'round these days! My sweet baby boy's kicks and movement, friends and families prayers for us and this pregnancy as well as our hearts, and Jesus who is my all in all and sustainer of each new day. My sanity is dependent on them!  

A few updates...

Baby Boy Schuelke:

Yup, that's right...still no name! And probably won't have one, at least to the public, until he's born! Makes it more fun that way and the fact that we are just indecisive and need to meet him first! :-) That day is getting closer as I have reached the 31 week mark today! It's amazing how fast it's gone and then sometimes it feels like forever!  He is a very healthy boy and growing lots! He is actually measuring a little ahead at recent sonograms and I've been told I have a little more fluid then normal. I've tested negative for gestational diabetes, which is what they often credit for extra fluid. They say sometimes it just happens for no reason and is just more uncomfortable for momma to carry. But I'll take it if that's the worst I have to endure! They will just keep an even closer eye on me as it raises the risk of preterm labor. I will begin going to either my OB or high risk doctor once every week until he arrives, so it gives me a lot of peace that we will be watched closely. He is very active and moves a lot, which is so comforting and great confirmation that all is well. My OB doctor says at this point she doesn't want me to go past 39 weeks, but all will depend on his development. I am hoping to go into labor naturally without being induced, but ultimately I will do whatever is good for our baby! Only the Lord knows his birthday, and I am completely content in that. Your continued prayers are much appreciated! I will try to update more regularly throughout the next couple weeks. I have to show off a picture of his sweet little face and profile at my last sonogram! I just love technology!

We have been very blessed by our wonderful family and friends over the last couple months! Our brother-in-law Nate took my maternity pictures and they turned out great! He is so talented! I will dedicate a post soon to show more of them off, but for now here is a couple teasers...

I also had my first baby boy shower in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Sept. 9. It was seriously the cutest shower I've ever been to with so many thoughtful details. I felt so loved and blessed by all who came and prepared this wonderful shower! Thanks to you all! Here are some collage pictures I stole from my friend (and one of the hostesses) Lesley's blog, along with some others.  

Wonderful hostesses!
Lesley Gilmore, Whitney Hicks, Jo Wahl, Kelly Birrell, & Aubrey Myers

Blair Nicole:
I am so excited to announce that Blair's well with Holden Uganda is finally underway! We are hoping that it will be complete by her first birthday in heaven, November 11. I can't wait to share pictures and the complete story of how the Lord blessed us with the funds to build this well! It makes my heart smile to know that something life changing will be given to Ugandans who otherwise wouldn't have had hope- all because of our precious daughters short life on Earth. She has changed our lives and is changing lives around the world! Such a blessing! 

On Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 3:00 we will be participating in Memorial Walk for Babies in Midland to honor Blair's life. It will be such a special time with our family and other families who have lost their babies and want to honor them as well. If you live in the Midland area, we would love for you to join us! The website should have all the info you need and I also posted a link on my FB page with more info. You can also email me if you have any questions- I am hoping to order Tshirts by Sept 27, so if you want one, let me know. They are $15 for adult and $12 for or turquoise. You can also order one yourself on the website. Looking forward to this special time!

Other family news:

Both of these announcements will have their own future post, but thought I would at least mention them for extra prayers! Blair and our baby boy will have TWO cousins very soon!!! The first will be Lydia May who will be only 2 months older then our boy. She is the daughter of my sister and her husband . She is expected to arrive before, after, or on Sept 27. We are so excited!! They will also have another cousin 2 months younger then our boy! Clint's sister and husband will be expecting their son sometime around January 24. So much fun! They already have 2 cousins, Stratton (4 in Nov.) and Truett (2 in Oct.) Scott (Clint's older sister and husband) so the fun will never stop for both sides of our family! Did I mention that we have some pretty excited grandparents as well?! ;-) 

Thank you Lord for the many blessings you have given our family! All the praise and glory to Him alone! 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Summer in Pictures

I've been so behind in updating that I decided I would dedicate this post to our whole summer (minus August) through pictures. 


On Mothers day I decided that I wanted to spend the morning after church at Blair's grave. This was the first time that Clint and I had been together and the first time that we had seen her grave marker. We were very happy with how it turned out. If you didn't know before, we decided to have Blair buried where we would be, therefore, we had the whole marker made with all our names. We thought it would be special to always have her with us. This was a very hard day for us/me, but it was also very healing and exactly what I needed on my first Mother's Day. I hope to spend many other special days here in the future sharing the gift she was and is with her siblings telling them that this is not where Blair is. She is in heaven with Jesus! It is just a place here on Earth that we can go to remember her and see where her body was laid to rest. 

Congratulations Kaitlyn and Rance Dunn!


I had a great time in Albuquerque, NM catching up with great friends. Leanne was in town from Cambodia, so Kelly and I got to spend some time with her. We relaxed by the pool, had coffee & dinner dates, shopped, had family BBQ's, watched basketball, got to reveal the gender of my baby #2, and had great conversations about life and what the Lord is doing in each of our hearts. I am so thankful for these two and the ability to stay in touch! Love you both lots!!
Also got to see other great friends and spend time with family, but unfortunately didn't capture it with pictures. Where's my sister Brittany when you need her!? We NEVER leave without at least 50+ pictures when she is around! Come home sister!! ;-)

On June 15, 2007 I married my best friend and love of my life! We celebrated our 5 year anniversary this year! I can't believe how fast the time has gone! I would not trade one second of the past 5 years for anything! We have grown stronger together through the good times and bad, and I love him more and more each day. I thank the Lord for blessing me with Clint and can't wait for the many more adventures we have ahead. I know that no matter what comes, I can get through it with him by my side and the Lord as #1 in our lives. We decided that our house is our big expense this year, and we are celebrating all the Lord has blessed us with. Every day with my husband is a gift and worth celebrating!  

My step dad, Andy, drove me home from ABQ and stayed with us a couple days. He got a little taste of West Texas heat and country livin' while he was here. Haha! He was a HUGE help to us, and the boys had a good time working hard around the yard sweating! Thanks for all your help Andy!! Come back again anytime!! :-)

Got to see my Hope Mommy friends in Abilene to celebrate Marsha's newest addition, sweet Lorabelle Smith. What a blessing it was to see them again and love on Marsha and her sweet baby. These girls are such a gift to me! 

As I write this I am now 23 weeks, but this is the last belly picture I have taken. I'm a little behind as you can see. Hoping to take another one soon!


Happy 4th of July!!

Had a fun weekend with Chris, Sally, & Tom, Shawn, Jennifer, & Kristyn, my Dad & Linda, and Gpa Larry! We all got together to visit, eat, and shoot fireworks. Didn't get many good pictures unfortunately...again...Britt, we need you!! But the ones we did get captured it well. Tom had fun wrestling his dad- Chris and cousin Kristyn while we all watched cringing at each move that the next would cause tears! He's one tough little boy!! And I might add that Chris is pretty tough too!! haha

Thanks to the Schuelke blood "literally" running through me, I caught the biggest fish of the weekend! I thought I was just going out with Clint as moral support (forgot my fishing license at home), but when he gave me his pole to take over awhile I ended up catching these two big stripers! Man! They were hard to reel in too! Clint thought I was just being a sissy since I am "with child", but needless to say he understood once I pulled them out of the water one after another! I guess you could say this was our son's first fishing experience and now he is going to expect it every time! Haha! Not likely! ;-)

I had the awesome opportunity to work on Chrysalis Flight #49. It is a version of Walk to Emmaus but for girls ages 15-19. My mother-in-law was the lay director, so I got to have a big part in all the preparation. It was such a blessing to be able to minister to these girls and show them how much God really loves them. We had 34 girls come on the Chrysalis and 33 team members. God truly showed up in awesome ways and the girls left changed. Going on my walk back in March truly blessed me, and working one was even more of a blessing that I didn't expect! Thank you Jesus! 

My table group! Love these girls!

Well, that about sums it up for now! It has been a great summer with many great memories with friends and family! And there is still one month to go until we can officially say goodbye to summer 2012. Maybe I'll try to do one post per month with an update from now on?! We will see! I hope all your summers have been blessed so far! 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Boy or Girl?!?

Well, it seems as though my updates are becoming farther apart, and I apologize to all my faithful blog followers for not updating more regularly! When I finally have a moment to update, they always become novels, so thanks for your patience again in reading! I want to get in the habit of updating once a week with smaller posts instead of once a month with huge posts, but for now this is how it will have to be!

Most important news first that I know many are anxiously awaiting...our gender reveal for baby #2!! We did two gender reveals. One with my family and friends in Albuquerque, and another with Clint's family at the lake in Abilene. We had a get together with my good friends Kelly and Leanne and my family at my mom's house. We did the whole balloons in a box thing. Brittany and Chase were able to tune in via skype! Thank the Lord for technology! We celebrated afterward with cupcakes made by my mom. My brother in law Nate took pictures for the occasion. (Unfortunately, my dad and Linda didn't make it so I had to tell them on the phone. Just bad timing as they were coming to ABQ the following week to help my sis and bro-in-law with their new house.) In Abilene we had a pinata filled with candy for my nephews to break, but apparently pinatas were not meant to be broken by a 1 and 3 year old! So I had to do the rest of the job and release all my pent up frustrations on the poor thing! Turns out it's very therapeutic to be able to release all your strength on something defenseless that needs to be broken! Ha! Seemed like forever, but it finally broke revealing the news. We celebrated with cookies made by my sis-in-laws. My sister-in-law Tarah took pictures for this occasion. Before we did the reveal I had everyone tally what they thought we were having on a chalkboard. Boy seemed to take the lead for both families. These reveals gave some excitement to this pregnancy that has had the potential to be more anxious and fearful this time around. I'm excited that I will get to share these pictures with my sweet baby in their scrapbook someday!






We were fortunate to find out what were having at our 15 week appointment with the specialist doctor. I wasn't expecting to find out so soon, but it was pretty obvious! It was all confirmed at our 20 week ultrasound as well. Baby Schuelke is definitely a BOY!! Finding out was so bittersweet for us. It was a weird feeling at first to completely change our thoughts of the future for a boy instead of a girl. Because naturally, we had totally prepared ourselves for having a girl the first time around both mentally and physically with all of Blair's stuff. We both agreed, however, that God knew what was best for us in this situation for this child. A hope mom and I were talking and thought it was so interesting because it seems like a trend that after losing a child, your next child is the opposite gender. That trend has been the case for most of the hope moms that I know. God must know what our hearts can handle! Having a boy will give us a fresh start in many different ways. We will get to have lots of NEW and DIFFERENT clothes and other items for a boy, I will get to plan the nursery differently, and the mental preparation will just be a little different as well. We don't have to wonder/decide "should we use all of Blairs stuff or get new stuff?" I have hope that the Lord will bless our family again with a little girl someday, but until then we can put Blair's stuff away in safe keeping and enter the "boy world". We will raise our son to be a Godly man while telling him all about his older sister who he can be proud of :-). We have discovered that boy names are HARD to come up with! We have yet to agree on one we BOTH like! Ha! It seems that all the names I like, Clint doesn't , and all the names he likes, I don't. At least we have +- 20 more weeks to decide and I know it will be the perfect name for our son. We will keep you posted! It is also pretty special for Clint's side because we can now carry on the "Schuelke" name!

All my appointments have gone really well so far! Praise be to God! He is growing and developing right on track! Huge blessing! And I am feeling him move more and more each day, which is so special to me! The appointments continue to be the most anxious for me, but your prayers have helped so much! Thanks so much for praying! My faith has grown a lot in the past year and I know that our child is already the Lord's no matter what. Each day as his momma is a blessing that I don't deserve and an honor/responsibility I don't take lightly. My next appointment is August 3 with my regular OB and Aug. 17 with the specialist. So until then, I'll be busy exercising, trying to eat right, getting our house ready, and updating my blog of course ;-)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Many updates!

It has been awhile since I posted and I feel like a lot has happened at the Schuelke house that I will attempt to update in this one post. So thanks for your patience in reading this novel... 

Baby #2:
My pregnancy is going great so far with no sickness to speak of!! I think I feel even better this go around then last. I think it's because I've been able to get a lot more rest without working, but who knows! I think it's also just a blessing from the Lord! I've had great appointments and lots of pictures from ultrasounds, which I will try to post soon. I am officially in my 2nd trimester-14 weeks- so that is a relief! And I can say that I definitely have the baby bump! Much sooner then last time, which I have heard is normal for 2nd time around...I hope!! My next appointment is with the high risk doctor on June 4 for an ultrasound and consultation. We will get to meet Dr. Bruner and talk about the game plan for this pregnancy. We are looking forward to seeing our little blessing again and to hear another perspective. My OB appointment with Dr. McBrayer will be the same week on June 8. Prayers are so appreciated as the appointments seem to be the hardest and bring the most anxiety for me so far. Thanks so much!! 

We are officially back in our house!! It has been wonderful being in our own bed again with our own bathroom, closet, kitchen, etc. Our remodel is 95% done with carpet and a few odds and ends to still finish. The kitchen is all set up for the most part besides the final decorative and some organizational touches. We absolutely love it and feel so blessed to live in such a nice home! Our couches are on concrete until everything is done and we can put carpet in, but it's nothing to complain about. I still want to wait to post final pictures because clutter is still something that is EVERYWHERE! We still have construction going on in our addition that includes our master bedroom, bathroom, and closet. It will be AMAZING when it's all done! Our construction guy, Jake, is still working hard living in a trailer behind our house to get it done. Another blessing because it just means it gets done even faster with him close by. I feel like we are finally on the final run of decisions to be made and let me tell you...we are about sick of decisions! But I am treating it as a full time job and know it will all be worth it in the end. Although I've never seen a job where the money leaves this fast instead of coming in! :-/ :-{ Sigh...I am blessed to have such a wonderful husband who works so hard to provide, allowing me to be a stay at home wife and soon to be mommy! :-)

Dog troubles:
It has been a rough couple weeks when it comes to the furry members of our family. We had a dog, JJ, that was just dropped off at our house about 4 years ago. He has always been a little cowardly toward strangers, but loved Clint and I. I became immediately attached as he also became attached to me. Well, he has always been wary of men for some reason and even though Jake (our construction guy) has been working at our house for 8 months with no problems, JJ all of a sudden decided to bite him on the pant leg. Didn't break skin, but was enough to break the trust between him and Jake, and us as well. We had to start pinning him up in our shop when we weren't home. One day when I was home, I let him out of the shop and he seemed to be fine until we had a rattlesnake in our carport that made him nervous. After a series of events including pistol shots to kill the snake and me putting him inside the house, JJ became very scared. When the craziness was over, I tried to carry him out of the house and he proceeded to get scared, growl, and bite my foot. This, of course, scared me pretty bad and immediately broke my trust of him. Let's just say that was not a good day for me!! We then had to make the decision to get rid of him. I could not handle the thought of him doing that to one of my kids someday! I also didn't want people to be scared to come over to my house! So unfortunately, with the method unknown to me, we do not have him anymore. This was and still is very sad for me because I honestly loved that dog after 4 years of having him around. However, after everything we have been through in the last year...this did not rank as worst! I know that God is in control and could be preventing something worse in the future from happening, and for that I am thankful!!

Lake house:
Clint's parents just recently bought a lake house in Abilene on Fort Phantom Hill Lake. It is super nice and convenient being only about 2 hours away. I imagine lots of weekend/summer get aways in the near future with me sitting in the shade, sipping my ice water, eagerly awaiting the arrival of baby blessing #2!! There will also be many years ahead of great memories with babies, cousins, dominoes, skiing, fishing, watermelon, sunscreen, and so much more... AND some good visiting time with my Abilene hope moms! :-)

I will finally be making a debut to Albuquerque, NM very soon to stay with my family and see some of my closest friends! I haven't been "home" since October of last year so I am super excited! I will also get to see one of my BFF's Leanne DeRemer as she and her husband will be back visiting the states after serving 2 years as missionaries in Cambodia. Really looking forward to catching up and spending time with the people I love! More to come on that soon!

Holden Uganda:
I will soon be posting an update about the status of funds to start Blair's well in Africa! Thanks so much to everyone who has helped to get us closer to our goal! We don't know who you are yet, but we will soon find out! Stay tuned for more info on that to come...

Well, there is a little peek into the world of Brooke and Clint! Thanks for taking the time to read, and...fingers crossed...I will be posting more again soon! Have a blessed day!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Lots of thoughts...

I have been thinking a lot lately about my sweet Blair. Not that I don't every single day at one time or another, but just a lot of milestones are coming up soon that have made me think a lot. For one....tomorrow marks 6 months since losing Blair. That is HALF a year! So surreal as I realize how fast the time has gone, yet also how slowly. It's such a weird feeling being trapped in the reality of what only seems like a nightmare. And knowing that it isn't going to go away- I am not going to wake up and have Blair with me. It has already been a 6 month nightmare that hasn't changed. Everyone has said that with time it does get easier, and they are definitely does. I have less sad days then before, but the reality is that there are STILL sad days. And I think it's normal for there to always be some sad days. It's just a part of this new reality. The thing I cling onto and feel hope from, however, is that I will spend more days WITH Blair in eternity someday then I will spend WITHOUT her and missing her here on Earth. What an amazing promise from the Lord! How sweet those days will be! Blair has given me a new found hope for eternity with a more eternal perspective and what a sweet gift that is! 

It feels like only yesterday that I felt Blair alive and moving inside me, excited for the future. And now I am left wondering how it will feel knowing it's another baby that I will feel moving soon and not Blair. Makes me long for my baby girl, but also excited for the restoration of new life. Yet another mix of emotions...

Another milestone coming up soon is Mothers Day. While this is a great day to honor Moms (I truly do have the best!), it is also a reminder that while I am still a mom, I don't have my child here to prove it. I know your thinking--"Oh Brooke! You are definitely a mom no matter what! Especially since you are pregnant now!" And I would say I definitely know that, but it doesn't change the fact that it is hard and that I don't have Blair here with me. I feel so blessed to be the mom of two now, but I just long for the day when my arms will be full! I read a quote from a fellow Hope Moms blog that really hit home and I could really relate to, so I want to share it:
"If you know someone who has lost a child, and you're afraid to mention them because you think you might make them sad by reminding them that they died-your not reminding them. They didn't forget they died. What you're reminding them of is that you remembered that they lived, and that is a great gift." (Elizabeth Edwards) 

Before all this happened, I would have felt the same way if someone I knew had gone through this. I wouldn't know what to say and would feel like I didn't have the right words. And honestly, you may think your words aren't enough or that you would mess it up, but sometimes the only way to show you care is to say it. And speaking from someone who has been through hard times, any thoughtful expression no matter how big or small means so very much! All you want to know is that people have not forgotten your loved one. All that to say....the best Mothers Day gift is just that. Just knowing that you haven't forgotten our sweet Blair and not being afraid to tell us. And this is not to say that we have not felt everyones love and prayers shower over us because we definitely have in SOO many ways!! It's just to say that it's ok to mention Blair's name and the fact that we ARE parents to two. We are even to the point where we won't even cry (every time) talking about her, so no worries that it will become a very somber moment the minute you mention her to us. We LOVE to talk about our baby Blair and her new sibling! And we LOVE to hear of moments where she came up in your conversations or if something reminded you of her. They truly are gifts to us! :-)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

11 weeks and counting...

So sorry for not updating sooner! Life has been busy and full of craziness! As I mentioned in my last post, I had my first OB appointment with baby #2 on April 18th. Well it's now been over 3 weeks since the appointment and I am just now getting to blog about it! 

The appointment went great! I had a lot of anxiousness going into it because it was the first time back as a pregnant patient since everything with Blair happened. I was so nervous to go back into the same ultrasound room with the same sonographer (is that what they are called??). More on that later...
My appointment was at 2:00 and my mom (who was in town helping me with my house) and Clint were there with me. We were met by my doctor who was very excited to see us and so encouraging and uplifting about everything. She had a great game plan and had done a lot of research to prepare for this time around. She offered for me to go to a specialist- "high risk"- doctor on top of my appointments with her, which I agreed to do. This will make sure there are many different eyes on this pregnancy and really give me more peace that the baby and I are being monitored closely. SO thankful for that security! She did say, however, that God has the first slot in everything so that was also such an encouragement and reassurance. God knows our baby better then we do and I find peace in that truth. 
 Going back to the ultrasound...It was a total God thing because I ended up being in a totally different room with a different sonographer! I think it really helped my nerves a lot! My doctor said it was definitely a God thing (although I do think God can work through people and may have given her the insight that it may be better to not be in the same room etc. So her word may or may not have made it happen). As I saw my baby and heard their heartbeat it was such an unreal, emotional experience! That heartbeat is honestly the sweetest sound I will ever hear and I was so relieved to hear it! We had a good report with baby looking good and growing right on track. My official due date is November 24 and won't change from here on out. My doctor did mention that she will probably induce me at 39 weeks and I am confident that the Lord already knows our baby's birthday. It is all in His hands no matter what! 
Our next appointment is Friday, May 11- Blair's 6 month bday in heaven. Sure to be a very bittersweet day, but filled more with joy then sadness as we get to check on Blair's sibling. I am amazed at God's timing and am reminded again that He knows what's best. We will also have another ultrasound May 17. So continued prayers are appreciated so much!
I will also be seeing a high risk doctor at the beginning of June, so more on that to come...
Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers for our hearts and our baby! They are appreciated more then you know! I have felt a lot of peace that can only come from your prayers! 

Here is a picture of our sweet baby at 8 weeks 4 days. I made the huge mistake of accidentally leaving the pictures on the dash of my car, which made the pictures become a little darker. I was so glad they were still easily seen! Oops! Don't do that fellow mommies!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bun in the Oven!

This picture is how we made the announcement to our family and friends that we have another "Bun in the Oven"!! Some of the comments made us laugh..."Is that a biscuit?", "Oh! What are you cooking?!", "I like your new oven!" (that's my in-laws oven) Haha! Most people knew right away. 

There were so many different emotions as we found out we were pregnant again. The first was excitement for the future that we were blessed with another child. The second was relief that we were able to easily get pregnant again. The third was hope that this time would be different and filled with more joy. The fourth was fear that we would face heartache again which would seem unbearable. The fifth was sadness and longing for Blair. The sixth was impatience as I began to dread the long 9 months of waiting. The seventh was urgency and determination to make this pregnancy a good one despite what we have been through. And the final was complete joy that we would have a sibling for Blair that could bring beauty from ashes and joy from pain. I am sure these emotions are normal for anyone who has been through what we have, and I am sure that we will relive each of these emotions over and over again at different times throughout this pregnancy, but we want to daily choose to be positive and look forward to the future, trusting God along the way. 

Like I have mentioned before, I had the most perfect pregnancy with Blair physically & mentally and I don't want to let my past affect my memories of this pregnancy. It has been great so far as I have had a peace wash over me that can only come from prayer. I have also had no pregnancy symptoms and have felt great despite some extreme tiredness from time to time. I think not having to work during my first trimester has really helped this time around because I have been able to get a lot of rest. I am now 7 weeks with my first appointment next week, April 18. My due date for this baby will be November 24...really close to Blair's birthday (Thanksgiving due date is pretty cool too!..So much to be thankful for). With this brings many thoughts as I imagine November 11 coming around. I hold onto the hope that, while we will experience sadness as we celebrate Blair's heavenly birthday, it is a sadness for us and not her. She is happy and experiencing extreme joy in the Lord's presence while we are here and aware of her absence. However, I look forward to celebrating her birthday with her sibling either in my arms or soon to be in my arms. I think it will be so neat to celebrate their birthdays so close together. And while they may not be able to share toys, clothes, rooms, or laughter, they will be able to share their birth month (or at least close to it). For that I am so thankful!  

When I was pregnant with Blair, we waited to tell even our families until after I was 10 weeks along. We felt much different with this pregnancy. We know there are so many people who have become such great prayer warriors for us since Blair and we felt it was important to let people know asap this time. We have seen the power of prayer at work in our lives and know that prayer is so important. We need people to pray for our baby, our hearts, and our fears along the way as we embark on this journey again. My mother in law had the great idea to make these prayer magnets to hand out to friends and family who want to join us in prayer. If you want one let me know and we will get one to you somehow! (ABQ friends- my mom will have some to pass out soon, so if you want one you can contact her -or me and I'll let her know-) 

Thanks so much for supporting and praying for us throughout this journey. We couldn't make it without your prayers!  I'll try my best to keep my blog updated with recent news and things to pray for. 

**My first appointment and ultrasound with my OB is Wednesday, April 18th. Please pray for a great appointment and a healthy heartbeat**

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus....Brothers and sisters, pray for us."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, 25

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
Philippians 4:6