I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord
Psalm 27: 13-14

Thursday, March 29, 2012

"For I know the plans I have for you..."

Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future"

You know how you have that one staple meal on your menu that you know everyone enjoys and it's quick and easy and pleasing to everyone's palates?  Your "fall back" meal so to speak.  And time to time you forget about it, and then when you find that recipe in your pile of recipes it just makes you smile because you know it's going to be a winner?!

I don't mean to be disrespectful to this bible verse in any way.  Don't get me wrong. 
But today I purchased a ring with this verse engraved around it.  When I saw the ring, and the verse...I smiled.  I have always clung to this verse, but I realized quickly that I have "shelved" it for a while...until tonight when I was brought face to face with it in ring form.
As soon as I paid for it, it was on my finger.  The perfect reminder of how easily and quickly I try to "take over" God's plans and "figure it out" on my own.  Like I could REALLY do a better job than GOD?!  Seriously Heather, come on!! 

Lately we have been faced with tough decisions.  Decisions that have really caused battle in my mind between what I was doing in MY will versus GOD'S will.  Decisions that you make in love and in the best interest of current life circumstances.  But always in the back of the mind the enemy whispers "did you really make the right decision?  Are you sure?" 
Stinkin' devil!!  He knows my weakness.  Knows where to strike.  Knows where I struggle. 
You'd think I'd steal re-inforce these areas in my life by now...and yet...I still struggle.
I struggle with self doubt, self inflicted guilt, second guessing myself.  I struggle.

But this verse could not be MORE TRUE!  God has always had His plan for me laid out.  He wants me to prosper.  He does NOT want to harm me.  He wants me to have hope and a future.
He is not out to "get me" or cause me pain. 

Pain will come, but I know it is in those times where I need to just crawl on up in to those heavenly Father arms and cling on like a little child.  And know that He is there to wipe my tears, to calm my mind, to soothe my soul...to give me hope in my future.

Life is changing.  Parts of our journey are coming to a close, and other parts are just beginning.  I know that I am going to have to re-learn who I am and take steps to fulfill my purpose in this new journey.
But it's bitter-sweet.  And so uncertain.

I watched 19 Kids and Counting last night.  I had PVR'ed it because it was the episode where the Duggar's experience the death of their sweet baby in utero.  And I knew I was going to need to be alone to watch this.  Our first loss was similar, however I was earlier in my pregnancy than Michelle Duggar.  But the pain, the look of shock when she heard the technician say "I am so sorry..."
That was an INSTANT flashback to our miscarriage of our first identical twins. 
But Michelle said something later in the episode as tears ran down her face how we are so lucky that we do not have the way of knowing the future, and how it is a good thing, because we would always be awaiting certain fears and we would never be able to enjoy life as it is.  That we were never intended to know our future, and how lucky for that because those same fears would stop us from ever trying.  From learning.  And what would we miss out in those times because of those fears.

Brett said something similar to me a few days ago.  That had we lived life in the "what if" and in fear (concerning children and the path we have been led to take in order to try to achieve that dream), look at what we would have missed out on because of those fears and not being brave to try and do all we could.

It's true.  Fear is a killer.  A killer of dreams, a killer of possibilities, a killer of hope, a killer of what life and what God has in store for each of us.

I struggle with fear.  I do.  And I struggle with worry.  Admittedly. 
And I know those are not of God, and I know that the enemy does a happy dance when my head is in the toilet because I'm so worked up in my fear and worry that I can't keep anything in my stomach.
Yes...that's how bad I can get. 

And why do I allow the enemy to win?  Why do I fear?  My fears have been a hinderance in some areas of life, and in others I have fought through...and look at the blessings we have been granted.

So the challenge is to truly believe that our loving God DOES know His plan for us.  That He WILL allow us to prosper and will protect us.  That we CAN and DO have hope and a future.
If we will just fight the fear, and put our trust in HIM!

As always...music.  Music, the salve to my soul. 

Again, from the CD Passion - Here For You...

Lord, I Need You

Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You're the One that guides my heart

Lord I need You, Oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Where sin runs deep Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me

Teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I'll fall on You
Jesus, You're my hope and stay

What's YOUR cling to verse that restores your soul in times of trouble?

Blessing to you all!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Too blessed to be stressed...

That is what my tea mug says.  With a beautiful butterfly on it.  And the verse:

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with Thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God."  Philippians 4:6

I love this verse...yet, for a life-long worrier as myself...it's a tough one to follow.  Be anxious for...nothing?!  Yes, that is a loaded thought for me.  Yet...what a FREEING reality to know that truly we do not have to be anxious.  Anxiety is naaaaasty.  I know.  Anxiety for myself is heart thumping, pulse racing, absolutely NO appetite causing, rapid drops in weight (trust me...it comes back when the anxiety subsides!  So it's not like it's a help or anything!)

I know that anxiety and worry do nothing but rob us of our joy and hope.  And of course...what more could the enemy want!  He wants to rob our joy and hope.  But why is it such a battle to let go of that which robs us?  Why do we keep thinking that we can control the uncontrollable?  Things that we literally can not humanly change on our own!

We take on a lot.  We try with all our might, thinking we can do things better.  That in those time where we feel alone then we were right all along in taking the reigns.

No, not really.  That's when we held on so tight we pushed God to the back of the equation and chose to believe in our own strength more than His.  And, ummm, I think He is just a "tad" bit stronger than we could ever be, don't you?!

So, with head hung low I hand back the reigns to God...but still want to hold on to a piece of that "control"...even then.  Even in that desire to let it all go and leave it to God...I STILL believe that I can manage it on my own.

I'm a stubborn girl.  I'm a strong-willed girl.  I'm a...silly girl.

For all my anxiety and worry and "control" has brought me nothing more than knots in my stomach, a pulse that races beyond ridiculous, a mind that feels paralyzed in the "what ifs" of life.  So really, what has all my anxiety and worry done for me in a positive way?  Hmmmmm, can't think of much right at the moment.

Yet, those "painful" letting-it-go moments...are wildly freeing and releasing and just so darn nice!
To feel that anxiety draining away...it's like watching dirty water going down the drain.  Now, if only I would just rinse the remaining anxiety from my life like I rinse the sink after draining that dirty water.  Because the residue of my anxiety, without fail...returns with a vengence.
And like a dirty, unrinsed sink...it STINKS!

Why do we find it so hard to believe that God truly does want us not to worry?!  He IS in control.  So why do we worry?  Why do we doubt?

I've never "understood" a non-worrier.  Never really gotten how they manage to stay so calm and focused.  And I've envied them from a distance, yet, I still feel "safe" in my worry and "control".

When will I ever learn? 

And of course it's "easier" to have the hand-it-over, no-worry mentality when things are going relatively good.  But come that whollop of struggle... that desire to "handle it" comes flying back.  

It's crazy how logic and emotion can play two very polar opposite roles.  Can create such a difference in struggle.  My logic knows what I need to do.  My emotions go running wildly in the opposite direction.  And my faith begins to feel...well, weak.  Because I'm scared.  Lets be honest.  That's what it comes down too.  I'm...scared.  
Scared to hurt when the answer is not what I've been praying for.  Scared to be pushed in a new direction.  Scared to find the courage to face a new path.  Scared to be challenged.
I guess I've felt to stretched, pushed, challenged for so long that I'm beginning to feel like one of those rubber stretch toys that you can pull in a million different ways...except, I keep wondering when I'm going to snap :)  

Yet, that's where I appreciate and am thankful for my stubborn side.  I refuse to be beat.  Even when I feel I've been worked over to a bloody pulp.  I refuse to give up, even when it all feels so bleak.  I refuse to cave to the devil's lies...because I know...he lies.  He doesn't love me, he wants to destroy me.  So for that very fact...I refuse to let him win.  He will not take me down.

I may hurt.  I may question.  I may wonder how I will take my next breath.  But I WILL fight.  Even when it hurts every fibre of my being.  I will fight.

There are two songs that have reeeeeeally been my daily encouragement lately.  Well, there are TONS, but these two particularly help give me the strength I need through the day.  They are both from the CD "Here for You" by Passion.  I wish I were more Blogger-Savey so I could just link the two songs from youtube, but if you ever want to hear them, just go to youtube and search for Here For You - Always, and Here For You - Sometimes.  
Seriously...listen to them.
But for now, I want to share the lyrics.  And I hope that even just reading the words encourage someone.  I really have no idea who or if anyone reads this blog much any more, but for whoever does...I hope these lyrics strike a cord (though hearing the actual songs will really really touch you, I just know it!).

Sometimes - Passion

Sometimes every one of us feels
Like we'll never be healed

Sometimes every one of us aches
Like we'll never be saved

When we've given up 
Let Your healing come
When there's nothing left
Let Your healing come
'Til we're rising up
Let Your healing come
Where You go, we will follow
Where You go, we will follow

It's Your love that we adore
It's like a sea without a shore
We're lost in You, we"re lost in You
It's Your love that we adore
It's like a sea without a shore
We're lost in You, we're lost in You

It's like we'll never atone
For all the love we've known 
Like in a smile or a song
When you feel it come
And that feeling's gone
It flies

When we've given up
Let Your healing come
When there's nothing left
Let Your healing come
Feel it rising up
Let Your healing come
Where You go, we will follow
Where You go, we will follow

Always - Passion

My foes are many
They rise against me
But I will hold my ground
I will not fear the war
I will not fear the storm
My help is on the way
My help is on the way

Oh, my God
He will not delay
My refuge and strength, always
I will not fear
His promise is true
My God will come through, always

Trouble surrounds me
Chaos abounding
My soul  will rest in You
I will not fear the war
I will not fear the storm
My help is on the way
My help is on the way

I lift my eyes up
My help comes from the Lord.

Truly, if you can go listen to the songs...you won't regret it.

Don't give in.  Don't give up.  Find your fight...and fight!
And know that I am praying for us all!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

3 years in heaven...

March 9, 2009...the day heaven was blessed to welcome home our angel Zac.  
I now try to focus on how healthy, whole, pain-free...perfect Zac is in heaven.  Who wraps HIS arms around him.  Knowing that Zac is home.  And that one day we will join him.

But on THIS March 9, 2012, while we remain here on earth missing our sweet angel...it still hurts to be apart.

Evan and I went out to the cemetery with balloons to release for Zac's heaven birthday.  And you know, this may sound odd (maybe not so odd to parents who have suffered the experience of burying their child)...but Evan and I had a very nice time with our visit and balloon release for Zac.
I had to dig a path to Zac's gravesite, and Evan had a blast making snowballs behind me and throwing them at me.  
Then, when Evan released the first balloon, it got stuck in a nearby tree.  So we moved a bit and released the other two, which successfully (and barely) made it over the trees.  We had fun blowing kisses and cheering the balloons for Zac to "catch".  And I even managed to get the first balloon out of the tree it was stuck in, so we let it go again...and it aaaaaalmost made it, but then again got stuck at the very top of a very tall tree that overlooks the childrens cemetery area.  So, I figure that one is just meant to be watching over the cemetery.  I like that thought.

Before we left, Evan told Zac "love you Zacy.  Miss you!"
It was precious and heart breaking all in one.  But this time...more precious.  

It was a special day for us indeed!

We love you Zac.  We miss you always.  You are forever in our hearts our sweet angel!!!

Can you see the hidden silver balloon! :)

Birthday photos

Just thought I'd add some birthday photos!
Happy 3rd Birthday Sweet Evan!!!!!

With the Jake and the Neverland crew! 

Ahoy Matey!

Color your own pirate mask!

Stick the eye patch on Captain Hook

Evan was too distracted to open all his gifts, so me and the girls took over!

Zac and Evan's birthday cakes :)

Happy Birthday Evan!!

Happy Birthday Zac!  Wish you could have blown out your candles!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


I often write about the struggle between joy and sorrow.  And of course that is a part of my inner weaving now.  And will always be.  But today I want to focus on my joy.  My love for Evan.  How very much I cherish my 3 year old little boy.  

More and more I realise how fast time goes.  How quickly Evan is growing up.  How these precious moments will quickly pass where he wants to "climb" up in my arms and wrap himself around me.  How he adores the fact that I will take the time to lay beside him as he falls asleep at nap time or bedtime.  And how he loves to drape his arm over my neck while he drifts off to sleep. 
The sound of his breath.  The smell of his skin.  The touch of his hand...


To the point that often I get teary-eyed watching him as he sleeps, or hearing him playing and the way his imagination has blossomed, or the way my heart melts as he asks to hold my hand.

Yes, the mom in me who wishes that Zac could be with us in these times aches...but the mom I am to Evan here on earth...I feel so ridiculously undeserving of such a treasure and of such a gift and of such love.  I can barely type for the tears in my eyes just thinking of it all.

As I laid beside Evan this afternoon as he drifted off for a nap I realized that my mind had gone to the morning of Zac's passing...which is tomorrow, March 9th...his heavenly home date.  My mind flung me right back to that conversation with Zac's neonatologist...those horrid words a parent should never hear, the decision no parent should ever have to make.  The time we spent with Zac in our arms, and the moment I knew he took his final breath on me.  Leaving that room without our son.
And my heart stopped.  My heart once again broke in to a zillion and one pieces.

And then I opened my eyes and watched Evan as he slept.  The peaceful look on his face.  His little hand still holding mine.  And I thought back to every single second he spent in NICU fighting to come home.  I thought of all the times I wanted so badly to hold him, but could not.  The times I just wanted to touch him, but had to hold back and be satisfied with just my finger in his teeny tiny hand.  How I feared for every day he was apart from me.  Those were the longest 66 days of my life, and the hardest to be apart.  He was there in front of me, yet I couldn't hold him.  He was there...but we were still apart.  Wathcing him growing in an isolette the way he should have been growing in me.  And my nights were filled with fear when I had to go home.  If I could have, I would have stayed sitting in that chair beside his isolette all night, not just all day.  

So yes, I cherish every today that I have with Evan.  Yes, I cherish every hug, kiss, snuggle, "love you mom", hockey/soccer/basketball game, every fit, every time I catch myself feeling "tired".  I cherish it all, because it goes too fast.  

Today Evan told me he wanted to go to school like his cousin Finley.  And the very thought of the first day of school made my stomach drop.  How can time go so fast.  And how do I get ready to be apart from my little man again...even if it's just school!  
I feel like no amount of time can make up for those 66 days we were together, yet apart.  

He will always be my little boy.  Always.  And I just pray pray pray for him and his future.  I pray for his peace, his wisdom, his strength, his confidence, his kind heart, his drive, his ambition, his acceptance, his love.

But today, he is my little boy.  Today I will continue to scoop him up and snuggle him in and help him in whatever way he needs.  I will continue to cherish each today that I have been blessed with him.

And I will never stop letting him know that he is CHERISHED.
I love you so very much my sweet Evan!! 

I love my boys with all my heart.  That will never change!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Three years already?!



March 6, 2009...10:51pm Zac Michael flew in to this world with severe urgency.  10:52pm Evan Brett biskly followed.  

I don't know the details outside of the explanation from Brett.  I have no memories of their birth, other than the panic in the operating OB's voice.  I remember feeling like someone was soffocating me because of the mask.  And then I remember waking up in agony, and then fear, begging and crying for Brett to tell me our sons were alive.
He assured me they were.  He showed me pictures he was able to take.  He was able to see them briefly.
Brett and I were unable to be together due to the severe urgency of the delivery.  We didn't get to hold hands and whisper our fears and joys.  He wasn't able to keep me grounded in that room.  We didn't get to hear our sons cry.  Or see them lifted.  Or have them placed on my chest one at a time for me to see, and melt over and become a blubbering mess of tears.

Not your typical pregnancy and delivery.  12 weeks and a day early my boys were born.  17 weeks of fear from my 23rd week of pregnancy.

I try not to live in the past of what was not.  No, I didn't get a full pregnancy.  No, I didn't get to enjoy it the way others do.  No, I didn't get to even live in my own home for 5 weeks before they were born.  And no...we did not get to bring both of our sons home.

But...I had 28 weeks with my sons alive and crazy inside of me.  I had 28 weeks of being something I never thought I would - PREGNANT.  I had wonderful care those 5 weeks I became an in-patient on the antepartum ward at RUH.   My sons had wonderful care, and were loved and known by all.  
I HAVE precious sons.  Yes, one in my arms and one only carried in my heart and my mind...until heaven of course.  But I have the world, because I have them.  

I try not to stay paralyzed in what I can not change or understand.  I am trying to become a person facing forward...not forgetting, just facing forward.  I am trying not to focus on what we lost, but what we HAVE.  That includes both our sons.

My heart will always be a mess of joy and sorrow.  It will.  And that is something I can't change.  But I can change how I face each day, and how I face my relationship with God, and how I face my tomorrow's.  I have that choice.  I had no choice in what transpired in my pregnancy and then the passing of Zac.  I had no choice.  But my present and my future...I have a choice on how I face it.  And I need both of my sons to be proud of me!  I WANT them to be proud of me.  

I can't believe how fast time goes.  Three years.  My 2lb 9ou baby boy Evan has turned 3 years old today.  He is my everything.  And every time I feel his arms around me I melt.  Every time I hear him tell me that he loves me, I melt.  And every time I feel his hand take mine...I melt.  

He is a miracle.  

I won't post any pictures just yet of his birthday party from Saturday, because we have a bit more partying to do tonight :)  But on Saturday our house was filled with family and friends who have been a very special part of Evan's life and each who mean the world to us.  
Evan was sooooooo excited about his birthday party!  For days he kept asking if it was time for his party yet.  So when the day arrived, he was PUMPED!

I spent a few sleepless (literally...maybe 2 hours of sleep each night!) nights prepping and getting everything ready.  The Friday night I didn't finally let myself lay down until 5:30am, and then was back up at 7am.  But even though I was tired, I'm glad I did that, because other than cleaning my house that Saturday (which STILL took me 4 hours!)...I was able to chill out and feel calm because everything was ready.

While I was cleaning I sent Brett and Evan out to have some lunch together and to pick up the wraps I had ordered for dinner that day.  While Evan was gone I put up all the posters that I had done for him.  He is HUGE in to Jake and the Neverland Pirates...so I drew out each character and colored them and cut them out and then put them up on the wall.  The coloring took a few days, but thanks to the use of an old-school overhead projector I was able to have some help with guiding me I was able to trace out the 6 characters in a few hours.  And the cutting out was tedious and even somewhat painful on the ol' hands...but MAN did I EVER have fun!!!!!!  And when Brett and Evan came back home from their outting, and Evan saw the wall of the characters, and I saw the look on his face...it was WORTH IT ALL!!!!!  Absolutely worth it all!

I had found pirate masks that each of Evan's friends and cousins got to color and take home.  They were wooden.  And I also found a pirate ship that I painted up and put in a bunch of "golds of bloom"...pirate gold :)  And then was informed that the pirate ship was a cool BIRD HOUSE!  Yes, it is indeed a bird house...but I didn't even clue in to that fact when I bought it!!  Too funny!

I also made a cake each for Evan and for Zac.  That's just a given that I will do that every year.  And that was pretty fun too.  But tonight we are making another one to have with the grandparents for Evan's actual birthday.  Of which I really need to start baking soon! 

It was such a fun day, and Evan had so much fun with his friends and cousins.  And I wanted to explode inside watching our little guy...just taking every moment in and every giggle and every look of excitement.  I want to engrave every minute of every day in my mind.  Never take a single thing for granted just because I may be tired, or need to clean, or need to make supper or just need some "me" time.  Sure, I'm human and that happens...but every time I realize that I'm focusing on things that aren't worth stressing over...I catch myself and I remind myself how fast all of this could have disappeared.
How memories could have never happened.  

I still struggle when everyone sings Happy Birthday.  I hurt inside because I so badly want to hear Zac's name included.  But I know he is partying in heaven.  I know I will sing to him for each year he missed here on earth.  

A dear dear dear friend of mine did something absolutley extraordinary.  She made BEAUTIFUL name plaques for BOTH the boys.  Zac's I received after so I could open on my own (and I'm greatful for that because I cried when I saw it!).  My heart was overwhelmed.  It was so full of love and appreciation for her strength to not wonder how I would react or if it would be painful for me.  She knows me well enough now to know that I will always treasure such an act of love and selflessness.  That she would remember Zac too...is precious, and appreciated, and cherished.  
I will include pictures of those too once I post some.

The day was wonderful, and the evening carried on in a special way.  Evan's NICU sweetie and her mom and dad (my dear friend I was just mentioning above) stayed the evening with us, and we got to just soak in watching our little wonders play together.  It is AMAZING watching how fast they just connect (the live out of town so we don't see each other a ton).  It's seriously like they have this connection that we will never fully understand.  They basically "grew up" side by side in the NICU...of course side by side in their own incubators!  But like they know each others presence.  It's WILD!  And to watch them now, normal three year olds, being silly and laughing and hugging each other...you have no idea the tears this brings to my eyes.  No idea the amazement it creates in me.  How intense it is to have friends who know so closely the fears of wondering if your child will survive, and then getting to bring them home.  As much as I wish this journey had never happened to either of us...I am glad that God placed us in each others lives.  And SO greatful for the friendship that has grown.

Memories are so intense.  

Three years...and it happened in the blink of an eye.  How much more clichè can I be!!  The one who can't stand typical clichès.  But it's true.  It happens so fast.  Time goes so fast.

I am blessed beyond blessed.  Greatful beyond greatful.  Thankful for our sons and the joy and love they have each brought to our lives.

Happy Birthday my sweet boys.  Happy Birthday Evan and Zac.

"I'll love you forever;
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be."  (Robert Munsch)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Good things come in threes, but then what?

I haven't had much time (or energy for that matter) to update my blog.  Although it it almost 1 in the morning, and really...I SHOULD be sleeping...here I am.  I will regret it when my alarm goes off in 6 hours, but hey, what can ya do!  In all honesty, my mind is racing a mile a minute and even if I tried to climb in to bed now...my mind would not stop.  And I'm tired of trying to keep up with my mind.
So, instead I have set up my couch to curl up on, and am watching (for about the 20th time) My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  Nothing like a chilled chick flick to help calm the deep thoughts of ones mind!

I have also been crazy busy with planning Evan's 3rd birthday, and Zac's 3rd heaven birthday.  So pretty much all my "spare" time has been submerged in that.  I've been having a great time with this one...yet more and more I am coming to accept that the all-too familiar sting and kick in the gut of knowing that Zac will never be a part of these on earth will always be a part of the birthday planning.  I won't even try to deny that, and won't pretend I don't feel that pain...and won't apologize for it either.
It doesn't mean that I'm not giggling, laughing and feeling giddy about my birthday projects (I have so far out done myself and have set a bar of standard within me!).  It doesn't mean that I'm not smiling and looking forward to the day of celebrating the birth of our sons.  Nope, it doesn't mean that I'm dragging myself around or feeling sorry for myself.  It just means that...I miss Zac.  I miss three years of birthday celebrations without him in photos or digging in to cake or opening presents with his brother or hearing people singing "Happy Birthday to Evan AND Zac".  It means my heart aches because my baby is not here.

I KNOW that heaven will be throwing such a wonderful party for him!  I know that his siblings are surrounding him.  I know that family celebrate with him.  And I know that one day we will party together too.  I know he is happy, he is whole, he is healthy, he is complete, he is PERFECT.  And for that reason...I can make it through another birthday without him here on earth.  Of course, he will still be a part of the day.  He will still have a cake with his name on it.  He will have his picture present.  He IS present in our hearts and our minds.  He is not forgotten.  He is loved and cherished and missed.

I haven't let Evan see any of the party planning that I've been sweating over...literally.  Evan is HUGE in to "Jake and the Neverland Pirates"...but do you think there are any stores that carry such themes!?  NOPE.  So, I had to create it myself :)  And boy am I proud!  I drew out, colored and cut out each character (including the parrot!), and will be hanging them on one wall in the kitchen.  I found a wooden pirate ship that I painted and filled with pirate coins.  I found pirate face masks for Evan and his friends to color and hopefully get a picture of them all together with them holding them in front of their faces.  I drew out a big Captain Hook head and will do "stick the eye patch on the pirate".
And Evan's cake is the Jake character.  Zac's...a colorful rainbow.  Those I have yet to do.

Yes, this is always a bitter-sweet time, but it's not like that feeling doesn't usually daily exist.  It's just this is just so much more magnified.  But, I'm looking forward to Evan's party, which we are having on Saturday since the boys birthdays actually land on a week day.

So, what does this have to do with my title of my blog?  Nothing.  Just what has been keeping me busy these days.
What does the title of my blog post mean?  Not sure really.  I guess I was feeling a bit of self-pity in other areas of life...but here are the amazing three bits of good things that have recently happened!
1)  My very best friend got engaged after years of tears, prayers and wondering.  I am soooooo excited for her, and my heart leaped bounds when I got the official call of the news!!!!  This is going to be a very very special wedding day!!!!!!
2)  My sweet furbaby Bailey received WONDERFUL news!!  Yes, the tumor the vet removed was cancerous, but it was a low-grade, and the pathologist report came back saying all the margins were clear...so THEY GOT IT!!!!  Yes, we still have to keep an eye on here as these tumors do come back...but now we are more prepared for what to look for.
3)  My grandma received some encouraging news to a scare we had.  Still some stuff to get through, but believing that she will come out on top!

After all this good news I found myself saying to Brett, and my mom, "so, isn't the saying "good things come in threes"?".  But then what?  Does it mean some tough stuff has to happen again in order for a new round of good things?  I'm hoping that's not it...because I really need some good stuff to happen for us personally.
I don't mean to make light of the amazing news of the three good things I mentioned above, or to take away from those...because each is HUGE and SUCH a blessing!
I guess part of my silence here on my blog is because I'm not sure what my blog does any more.  Not sure where I see it going.  I guess now I want it to focus on how God is leading me through new valleys and hopeful mountain tops.  I guess how God is strengthening me and teaching me new things.
But as for sharing personal trials like I used to?  I don't know.  I guess I just feel so guarded.  And I guess because part of me feels like in sharing our recent struggles it will put me under a microscope that I don't want.  But I guess it's this new valley development where I'm learning more about God's provision of help and strength...so maybe I'll share the gist of it.

We have 5 remaining little frostie babies.  Yes, they are literally frozen in time, but there are 4 embryos and 1 blastocyte remaining from our second IVF cycle.  They may be frozen, but none the less...they are our children.
Our first frozen embryo transfer (FET) resulted in a negative pregnancy result.  I was "prepared" for that very real possibility, especially since we only transfered one embryo (we are NOT comfortable transfering more than one at a time because of my history of multiples and the outcome of my pregnancies).  It still hurt to hear "negative", and tears were shed because that meant another one of our children would not come home.  But I was able to come to a place of acceptance and we moved forward to our next FET cycle.
Our second cycle was cancelled due to a poor endometrial lining.
I was crushed, and NEVER saw that coming.  TOTALLY blind-sided but this new "reality" that things don't just go easy.  It's not just transfer one back and bang, get pregnant.  Nope.  And my faith took another hit.  BUT, I gathered myself and on we went to try again.
Our third cycle...again cancelled for the same reason.  This time my lining was only 1MM under what my fertility doctor prefers for transfer.  They like a lining of at least 7mm.
I was FURIOUS and...broken.
So very very very broken.

It's one blow to have miscarried our first identical twins.  It's another massive blow to bury another child, another twin, after having him take his last breath in my arms.
It's now another huge blow to face the fact that my body is failing our remaining babies.  That my body won't even ALLOW me to GET to them.
Do you have any idea what it feels like to have that feeling of failing so many times?  Of failing my children.

Yes, I know that "feeling" is not something I should put on myself...but as a woman, when it's your own body that won't even cooperate at the highest doses of medication...and you can't even GET to transfer after all these years of fighting and fighting and shedding tears trying to conceive and then all the losses we've had...how can I not feel like a failure?

I know it is the enemy.  And that is what I'm learning over and over.  These feelings and thoughts are not from God.  These are attacks from the enemy to destroy my faith and to destroy my already shaky self-image.  I know God requires faith.  I know He needs me to have faith that no matter what this valley leads us to, He will walk beside us and will provide the strength...good or bad/sad.
God never promised that I wouldn't have tough times.  And that...I get.
He never told me He would answer prayers because I "deserve" it.  I love love love that people in my life feel I deserve this happiness and these answers to prayers...but really...none of us "deserve" anything.  Not really. I don't know if "deserve" is the right word.  Because what happens when prayers aren't answered the way we ask, and if things don't turn out the way we hope?  Does that mean that God doesn't think we deserve it?  No, not at all.  And what does it mean when so many hurt, and their prayers aren't answered in the way we think they should be?  Are THEY not deserving? 
I love all the best meaning encouragement and love that people love me so much that they feel we deserve a happy outcome...but all I can pray for is strength to endure whatever comes.

My options for my current plight?  Hoping that a huge medication dose increase helps to fix this issue.  My other options, not ones I'm comfortable sharing at this time. 

I'm just praying praying praying that God will hear and answer our cries, and that this last ditch medication protocol will work.  Because if it doesn't...how do I face what's next?  How do I face knowing that our babies may never enter this world? 

So yes...I'm praying that good things come in more than just threes.  I'm praying that through this valley God will shine...even if it means being challenged more than I ever thought possible.  Even if it means having to overcome more heart ache.  Praying that God will hear the prayers of those petitioning for us.  And praying that I've not shared too much!  Like I say...I am feeling very vulnerable and guarded these days, and just pray that in opening up about this that someone else out there may find the courage to face their valley as well.

Anyhow, it's almost 2am, and my alarm will be going off at 7am...and it's my last day of party prepping and lots to do still...so I had BETTER try to get some sleep.  Time to turn this brain off.

For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of love, joy and sound mind...