jesus calling.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

i sat down on the couch a couple of hours after my last post, and opened my Jesus Calling book to today's date. i am so floored by the timeliness of my reading for today that i have to share it.

Grow strong in your weakness. Some of My children I've gifted with abundant strength and stamina. Others, like you, have received the humble gift of frailty. Your fragility is not a punishment, nor does it indicate lack of faith. On the contrary, weak ones like you must live by faith, depending on Me to get you through the day. I am developing your ability to trust Me, to lean on Me, rather than on your understanding. Your natural preference is to plan out your day, knowing what will happen when. My preference is for you to depend on Me continually, trusting Me to guide you and strengthen you as needed. This is how you grow strong in your weakness.

{James 4:13-15; Proverbs 3:5 (AMP); Isaiah 40:28-31}
August 31st


i’m not sure where i’m going with this post, but i guess i’ll figure it out as i go. that’s what i really love about blogging.. truly blogging for yourself and getting your thoughts out. oftentimes, i don’t necessarily realize what i've uncovered until after i hit ‘publish’ and later reread what i wrote.

right now, we are in a tough place. and also a truly wonderful and miraculous place. and it is confusing. overwhelmed is seemingly the only way to come close to describing my feelings. so many things are weighing on my mind and taking up room in my head until there isn’t any space left. my emotions and hormones are completely out of whack and trying to keep up with everything doesn’t give me much of a chance to reign them in. on top of the fact that i can barely sleep these days; it isn’t pretty. i don’t intend for this to sound like a pity party, it’s not. i am arguably writing this during the best time of my life, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that everything is cloudy with life. endless doctor appointments. weekly vet appointments, which involve 3 hours of drive time. managing work schedules to allow for all of these appointments, but still getting in overtime hours because i am swamped. trying to pay for all of these appointments. brian working extra shifts and odd jobs trying to save money for my maternity leave (because it is unpaid). which oftentimes leaves me alone at night while he works, praying that nothing will happen to guinness while i am with him alone. and that it doesn’t make my husband exhausted while driving during his day job. and worrying that he will miss too much of the pregnancy because he is working so hard to support us. trying to find time to get the nursery ready, something that i always dreamed we would have finished long before this point in the pregnancy. baby planning and yet wanting to spend every moment with guinness during the last of his life. it's a lot sloshing around up there.

we are just in a moment right now, where things are starting to topple over and overflow and break down and keeping up with all of it is so tiring and emotionally draining. ideally, all i would like to do is be at home with my husband by my side.. growing and talking to our sweet baby and cuddling with guinness every last chance that we get. but life doesn’t let you do that all of the time.. you have to suck it up and keep going because it is worth it, and i know that. but lately i have been needing that reminder more than i care to admit. i know that things will get better and we are working every day to ensure that they do. then i’m left mad at myself for wasting any moment of this magical time in my life being anything other than completely-over-the-moon happy and grateful. even though i do feel that all of the time on some level, it just isn’t realistic to feel that and nothing that for 9 months of pregnancy. it just isn’t. but i don’t want to look back later in life and realize that i didn’t enjoy this pregnancy enough. or that i didn’t enjoy my last moments with G enough because i was too busy stressed and crying and emotional.

i feel the baby kick and it makes me happier than i could possibly describe. and then i look at G’s face and i feel overwhelming sadness that crushes me. "the confusion sets in."

i am constantly reminding myself to enjoy every moment and i pray to find a better balance of this gratefulness and allowing myself to be sad.

brian keeps reminding me that i am growing a human after all and i’m allowed to feel all of these things. in those moments it’s easy to feel safe in his words.

thankfully, today has brought some clarity and i hope that it stays. i am so grateful for this little one that i'm growing. a tiny human that will be half me and half brian.. an absolute dream come true. i'm grateful for guinness' cuddles and kisses and comfort. i'm grateful for the wonderful man in my life who would do anything to take care of this little family of ours. honestly, i'm grateful for the friday night lights reruns on my tv right now, while brian is touching up paint in the nursery. and i'm grateful for the bag of brach's candy corn that i am about to devour. there is so much to cherish and the rest will fall into place, somehow.

i guess this is just my reminder to myself that it is okay to feel all of the things that i am feeling. but that i simply need to take a breath and keep going. we all have these times and we get through them because that’s just what you do.
  {sources: michaelscott//goodstuff}

23 weeks.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

You are the closest I will ever come to magic.
Suzanne Finnamore

how far along: 23 weeks (plus one day). only 16+ weeks to go!!!!

baby is the size of: a grapefruit or ear of corn (1.5 pounds!)

movement: still inconsistent, but getting stronger. and full-on body flips. baby must be a gymnast.

miss anything: sushi at the moment. desperately.

cravings: my appetite has been lousy this week.. still dealing with major food aversions. candy corn is the only craving that comes to mind, but that is not abnormal for me this time of year.

symptoms: sciatica pain is horrid.

showing: i always swore i would never wear those maternity shirts that bunch up on the sides... yea, well now i live in them. it's ridiculous how weird i look in one of my husbands shirts now. those maternity clothing folks sure know what they're doing.

wedding rings on or off: still on.

best moment this week: naps with guinness when i'm sure baby can hear his snores because he is snuggled so close. and G coming with us to pick up the paint for baby's nursery. and the crib & mattress arriving the other day.

looking forward to: seeing the finished nursery paint job. the trim, closet and ceiling are all just about done and this weekend hopefully the color will be up on the walls!

it's been a very emotional week and my raging hormones aren't helping. but right now i am cuddled up with my sweet mister guinness.. he is loving on this baby so much already.

also, can we just note that it is nathan scott week? this is very important.


loving my tiny family.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

we spent most of yesterday at our favorite park, just hanging out and enjoying time together.

it was wonderful.

followed by some much-needed air conditioning.

and then a very special trip to lowes so that mr. g could help us get baby's nursery paint.

he was very excited at first, but waiting for the paint shaker quickly turned into nap time.

i loved yesterday.

mr. guinness.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

with the heaviest heart of my life, i am going to try to write this post. we have learned that our beloved G's cancer has returned, very aggressively. he was first diagnosed with multi-centric lymphoma this january, which we treated with the CHOP protocol chemotherapy (the most aggressive treatment that was offered to us). he did really well during the chemotherapy, and  nearly 6 months ago, he was deemed in full remission. we still had to finish up the chemo protocol for the full effectiveness, and his last treatment was in may. we don't know how long he would have lived without this chemo treatment, but the estimation that we received in january was not long. this precious, precious time that we have had with him.. these past 9 months.. have been worth their weight in gold.

since completing his chemotherapy, we have returned to the UW monthly for rechecks to determine if the cancer had returned. so far.. two checkups.. and all was well; G was still in complete remission. about a week after his last checkup, we noticed that his glands were slightly larger than normal (this is a huge indicator of lymphoma, but can also be a indicator of allergies, which guinness suffers from regularly). we were in direct contact with the vet and decided to bring him back for another recheck and further evaluation, after his allergy medications did not reduce their size.

just like that, everything changed. the cancer was back and there was nothing we could do. without treatment, they estimate G to have only three short weeks with us left. my heart twisted into a knot at the words. they offered another highly aggressive chemotherapy protocol that would give us an estimated half of his first remission time, if it took at all. and they offered a clinical trial which has no guarantees or estimates of life. the only other option is to make him comfortable for the rest of his short life.

our entire day yesterday was spent crying in an ugly, cold clinical room. meeting with doctors and interns and researching and trying to figure out what was best for our boy. toward the end of G's previous chemo treatment, we swore we would never put him through it again. even though he tolerated it fairly well, it was so much for his little body and he wasn't himself for a lot of that time. but when you are presented with the option of death versus trying another chemotherapy... your previous reasoning becomes a bit cloudy.

we decided that another aggressive treatment was not an option. if we only have a very short time left with our boy, we don't want him to be sick and miserable. it seems cruel and selfish and we cried about this for hours. but we also were not okay with just going home with meds to make him "comfortable". i shudder at the words... going home and just waiting for him to die? because he is still acting like himself.. happy and cuddly and giving us kisses and begging for our food.. we just couldn't do this. so we decided to hear about the clinical trial.

clinical trials are scary. there are no guarantees.. there are no estimations or approximations. it is basically a test. an experiment. they don't know what will happen either. but this was an option that would treat G with a less aggressive chemotherapy treatment (single agent) accompanied by a drug to make him more comfortable. we have no idea if it will work.. we have no idea if it does work how much time that would give him.. we have no idea if it will make him terribly ill (in which case we have decided we will not continue). there are major risks, including death. which is terrifying. but considering that the other option is a known death in approximately 3 weeks, we decided to try it. to try it and see how he reacts.

it is so easy for us to be selfish with these decisions. we want to keep him forever.. but since that isn't an option, we want to keep him for as long as possible. i want him to meet this baby so badly it makes me ache in ways i didn't know that i could. but we are trying very hard to think of him first and us later. we do not want him to be miserable in the last days of his life. we want him to be happy and to be loved and to be at peace. so, i don't know what will happen. if we decide that the trial chemotherapy is too rough on him, we will stop treatments and try to make him comfortable and happy.

it is all so surreal talking about this and crying about this when he is laying right next to me.. snoring soundly and nuzzling deeper into his blanket. he is my best friend. i have never had a pet in my life until guinness, and the unconditional love between us is something i cannot describe. he has been there for me, every day. through 5 years of infertility and a miscarriage; through bad days at work and deaths in the family; through fights with my husband and sicknesses that leave me bedridden. G has been there.. to love me and cuddle me and kiss me, unconditionally. to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries and vacations and a baby on the way.. he's always there. i can't imagine coming home to this house without him waiting for me. i can't imagine waking up and going to bed without him in our routine. i hate that G will probably never know our baby. he would have been the best big brother... getting poked and prodded. being cuddly and protective. it absolutely kills me to know that we will probably never have this.

i have been trying very hard to keep my emotions in check, knowing that i need to protect the baby and that my stress and anxiety needs to be kept at bay. i honestly don't know how to do it though. i have been able to stay relatively calm so far, as calm as i can... but the utter sadness that flows through me is unavoidable. i have never been so sad. and while there is new life stirring inside me, it is strange to feel so sad.

last night i eventually found myself sleeping at the bottom of our bed, with my feet touching the headboard. i couldn't sleep without being next to G, and feeling his little belly move up and down with every breath.

on our car ride home thursday, after G's first clinical trial chemo iv.

the words that i want to say are somewhere that i can't reach. i feel dazed and hazy. clouded. i don't want to leave my boy for anything. not for work, not for food... not for.. seriously, anything. i want to stay cooped up in our house and never leave in hopes that the world will continue on and forget about G's cancer forever.

i am so grateful for these last moments together with all of my family. i believe that G does know of the little one growing inside of me and he will always be baby bub's protector. right now, i have my dream. i may only have it in ways that i didn't recognize so easily, but this is it and G has gotten me here.

thank you all for your sweet words, encouragement and prayers. i know that we are not the only people in the world that have had to deal with these circumstances, but i never truly understood just how badly it hurts. your thoughts and messages have meant so much to us, as we cherish our last moments with our boy and try to prepare to say goodbye to him forever.


22 weeks.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A mother's joy begins when new life is stirring inside,
when a tiny heartbeat is heard for the very first time,
and a playful kick reminds her that she is never alone.
- Unknown

how far along: 22 weeks (plus two days).

baby is the size of: a papaya (weighing 12.7 to 20.8 oz and 10.5 to 11.8 inches long).

movement: still inconsistent, but beginning to find patterns. baby loves starburst.

miss anything: sleep.

cravings: nutella, waffles, pumpkin everything.

symptoms: back aches, sciatica pain (THE WORST), and swollen feet.

showing: embracing the bump wholeheartedly.

wedding rings on or off: on (i hope i don't get them stuck).

best moment this week: hanging out with our friends & not minding one bit that i couldn't partake in the alcoholic activities because i'm pregnant! just so happy to finally be in this place.

looking forward to: painting the nursery (still trying to pick a color) and getting little, but very exciting details about my baby shower from friends! i can't wait!


'grams of the week.

Monday, August 19, 2013

1/ me and my sweet babe heading out to brett & kerri's wedding this weekend in chicago. we had a great time catching up with our friends over the weekend and sharing in such a special day. i especially loved watching brian be such a cute groomsman.

2/ starbucks and a danish in the hotel courtyard in the mornings. i truly have always loved staying in hotels... there is something so relaxing about it to me.

3/ cinnamon rolls that are french toasted. yes, french toast cinnamon rolls with cream cheese whipped butter. it was insanely miraculous. (from a cute little dinner outside of chicago called katie's kitchen).

4/ celebrating our sweet boy's 6th birthday! a bittersweet celebration as we have just learned that his cancer may be back. hoping for good news on thursday that it is just his allergies acting up. love his little heart so much!!

5/ my favorite boy cuddled up with me and my pregnancy pillow. he sincerely loves it as much as i do.

6/ the ceremony site for the wedding ceremony. picturesque, isn't it?

today i am sleepy and achy from the week we left behind. but it was worth it.


21 (now almost 22) weeks.

Friday, August 16, 2013

how far along: 21 weeks (plus four days now because i am late, whoops).

baby is the size of: a spaghetti squash or pomegranate (weighing 1 lb and 10.5 inches long) ONE POUNDER.

movement: pretty consistent now.. and more kicks than actual movement/wiggles. sooo many kicks some days.

miss anything: sleeping through the night without getting up to pee (more than once).

cravings: cheesecake and cinnamon rolls.

symptoms: backaches and newly developed swollen ankles at the end of every day. like seriously, swollen SAUSAGES.

have you started to show yet: strangers are officially unafraid to ask.

wedding rings on or off: on.

best moment this week: our ultrasound.. seeing our little bean curl up into a ball, suck on their thumb and do toe touches for us. and learning our babe is perfectly healthy, heart and all!!!

looking forward to: painting the nursery!!!


'grams of the week.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

1/ reminiscing with my beatrix potter collection from my childhood. i am so excited to display them in the nursery and share them with baby.

2/ this cute little cuddle monster posing as one of our many throw pillows. best cuddles.

3/ sweet little packages in the mail.

4/ with the sweetest little details for baby's room in them.

5/ registering is super fun (and also stressful, believe it or not).

6/ decaf caramel machiattos are the best thing in existence to me right now. and also convertible rides.

7/ buddy cuddling up on my belly melts my heart in ways i can't explain. my dream.

8/ favorite records on a saturday morning while the world wakes up.

9/ paint samples for the nursery! and basking in our latest ultrasound photos.

10/ late night runs for pizza... me & G watching the stars from the car while we wait.

not pictured: as much orange is the new black as we could squeeze in. so much chips & queso blanco. baby kicks & kicks & kicks. i randomly watched my sister's sister late one night and loved it so much! (emily blunt, rosemarie dewitt and mark duplass? yes, please). 

tonight, we are making our fall favorite tomato tortellini soup & settling in for the final season premiere of breaking bad. much happiness.



Monday, August 5, 2013

i can't believe it... we are now halfway through the pregnancy, which is both thrilling and terrifying at the same time. we have basked in every moment of this pregnancy, for fear of missing a single thing, and even still it has flown by. we are now entering the downhill slope... the countdown... getting closer and closer to meeting our sweet baby! we took some time together over the weekend to celebrate this milestone, with sweets of course.

u p d a t e s. many bloggers that i know and love have done something similar and i loved reading their updates over the years. i really want to have these milestones to remember from my pregnancy later on, so here goes.

how far along: 20 weeks! (seriously, that's 5 months) !!!

baby is the size of: a banana (weighing 10.5 oz and 10 inches long)

movement: has been very sporadic. some days it is crazy how much i can feel the little bean and others not so much. i can't wait until the movement is more consistent.

miss anything: deli turkey. and laying on my back.

cravings: nothing specific, just still not much of an appetite in general (though loads better than the first trimester). few cravings have been black cherry kool-aid (pretty consistently) and chimichangas. oh, and mac & cheese.. but only the shapes kind.

symptoms: still tired pretty early in the evening and major backaches, but that's it.

have you started to show yet: officially showing and it's wonderful.

wedding rings on or off: on.

best moment this week: having so much time to relax and nap during the day if i feel like it. and getting the nursery completely cleared out & ready for all things baby.

looking forward to: our big ultrasound this week and working in the nursery!

we are very, very nervous and very, very excited for the ultrasound this week. i can't wait for it to get here and to hopefully find out that everything is perfect and put it behind us. and of course to see baby bub again. eeeeeeeeee. we are both starting to struggle with our decision to stay team green, so i'm not really sure at this point if we will find out or not! ooohhhhhhh. the excitement!


'grams of the week.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

1/ the sleepy "house cat" barely hanging on to the couch during his afternoon all day nap.

2/ the sweetest little handmade gift for baby from a dearest friend of mine.

3/ we put together the rocker for baby's room! well, brian put it together really, i tested it.

4/ enjoyed using my french press most mornings during my vacation to fancify my decaf.

5/ the perfect print from a lovely gal is framed & happily greets us in our hallway. 

6/ another one of my sleepy pup.. but really how cute is he? BEST cuddles.

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