Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Whew! We are finally all caught back up with our Gratitude Project.  The backlog was my fault as I had not been taking the time to post weekly and then it started feeling very overwhelming to go back and get all of the photos in order and posted...but I did it and it feels great! So now we are back on track...thanks for your understanding that sometimes, things just don't get done in the timely way we wish they would.  It was a lot of effort, it was also a ton of fun to look back over the past eight weeks and remember what we were doing and seeing. I'm so grateful to be caught back up with our fun project!

Gratitude Project · Week 35

Gratitude Project · Week 34

Gratitude Project · Week 33

Gratitude Project · Week 32

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ashes to Beauty

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of when we buried Luke's ashes.  Laying him to rest was one of the most difficult things I have ever done..to rest his ashes and then eventually walk away from that spot leaving him there.  It remains so tender to me that I have not written about it until today.  

I remember the day was beautiful- lots of amazing clouds overhead, sunshine, a gentle breeze blowing...

We know his sweet spirit lives with Jesus in a place more beautiful than we can begin to imagine, and we wanted to find a resting place here on earth for him that was beautiful as well.  It is a spot that is safe, protected and private but it is far away from where we live most of the time which is often difficult as we are not able to visit him nearly as much as we would like.

 That day we spent some time together preparing his spot, we prayed and we read some scriptures that we love.  We talked to him and we told him over and over again how much we love him.  One of the many verses we read that day together as a family was Isaiah 35....

 1 The desert and the parched land will be glad;
   the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, 2 it will burst into bloom;
   it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
   the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the LORD,
   the splendor of our God.
 3 Strengthen the feeble hands,
   steady the knees that give way;
4 say to those with fearful hearts,
   “Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
   he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
   he will come to save you.”
 5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
   and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
6 Then will the lame leap like a deer,
   and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
   and streams in the desert.
7 The burning sand will become a pool,
   the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
   grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.

At the time we layed Luke to rest, we were certainly smack in the middle of our desert wilderness in life, but we also knew at that time that Luke's little brother or sister was growing in my belly and that helped our broken hearts keep going.  We believed God's promises, only they just did not feel very real at the time.  However, even then, God -ever faithful- was busily working to fulfill his promise to us found in that very scripture- our desert wilderness was going to bloom again...and that sweet, precious, beautiful bloom we named Lily. 

Luke will always be in our hearts and our minds and a very important part of our family.  We are counting the days with longing as we look forward to visiting him as a family again very soon.   

Compared to where we were one year ago, we are no longer living in a wilderness.  Although our hearts still ache from time to time, we truly feel rescued by God from those dark days.  There are now streams of abundance flowing where there was once parched dry ground.  We have peace in our hearts where worry and fear once ruled and our hearts now sing with joy so much easier than back when only agonizing cries escaped.  

He always keeps his promises.

...and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
- Isaiah 61:3

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I wish...and remember

I wish today wasn't the ten year anniversary of 9/11.
I wish all of those vibrant lives were not lost that morning and in the war since that day.
I wish all of those thousands of families were not missing loved ones.
I wish that terrorism was a hypothetical, not a reality.
I wish we were not at war.
I wish our country showed kindness and patriotic unity outside of a national tradgedy.
I wish those two towers were still standing over Manhattan.
I wish our country and its citizens were not targets both overseas and domestically.
I wish 9/11 had never happened....
but it did, and so I will remember with a conscious heart all that has been lost so that I continue to be given my freedom, my safety, my rights and my liberty.

I remember the day.
I remember earlier that morning, I had actually turned off the news as at that time (an hour or so before anything happened), it was a "slow news day."
I remember I was sitting at my desk in my cubicle when I first learned what had happened.
I remember I was RSVP-ing for my friend's rehearsal dinner that was going to be held that weekend.
I remember my friend's fiance telling me the news.
I remember this all took place before the internet was what it is today and feeling alone because I did not have access to a television to find out what was happening.
I remember that day at lunch seeing the smoke loops in the sky from where all the jets were turning around mid-flight to return to an airport.
I remember feeling scared to live in America for the first time in my life.
I remember feeling vulnerable and alone.
I remember watching the news coverage that night at my parent's house because I did not have cable.
I remember crying as I watched the footage.
I remember the spirit of unity and patriotism that captured our nation in the days and weeks following.
I remember paying attention to current events like I never had before.
I remember praying and thanking God that he was bigger than what was going on in the world.

I am remembering today along with our nation and the world those horrible events that took place on that beautiful fall morning.  I am so proud of all of the family members of those lost who are and continue to be so brave in the face of darkness.  As I listened to the names read this morning, I wondered about each of them, their lives, their homes, their jokes, their jobs, their families, their homes, their talents ... and while I did not know any of them personally, I shared in the ache of their loss.

Despite all that has happened in the past ten years and no matter which side of the line you stand on politically, America is still beautiful.  In spite of some people's best efforts, America is still the land of the free.  And without question, it is still the home of the brave.  I am so thankful, and I will always remember.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I'm Four Months Old!

Two of my favorite things: my fingers and my feet! xo
Hello World!  I'm four months old today!
It is hard to believe that another month has gone by, but I have been busy doing all kinds of things. I'm starting to take some really good naps. I'm still not on a regular schedule, but I'm getting closer every day. I like to keep mom guessing by sleeping for a long time one day and a short time the next.  It's a lot of fun.  I still love playing in my little gym where I can kick and grab things that dangle over my head.  I am getting better and better at grabbing things on purpose too.  I LOVE to suck on my fingers and find it very soothing.  I also enjoy grabbing and holding onto my feet as well.  Who knew they were so much fun?  I have rolled over from my tummy to my back a handful of times, but have taken a couple of weeks off from doing that trick.  I am getting close to rolling from my back to my tummy, but still have not done that on my own yet.  My spit bubbles are highly entertaining and I have a good time in my crib "talking" and blowing spit bubbles all by my self.  I like to get distracted when I'm eating and love to watch people walk around where ever I am.  I am beginning to really enjoy reading and like helping mom and dad hold the book and turn the pages while we read.  I am just on the verge of laughing and like to shriek a little bit when I'm having an especially good time.  I tend to be kind of shy around new people or in new places, and mom says I'm very easy going and a really great baby.  At my 4 month doctor visit I weighed 12lbs 13oz, and am 23 and 7/8 inches tall! 

ps.  Here are some scenes from this month's photo shoot...

Mom's photography assistant was back and was a huge help...

so cute smiling at the assistant instead of the camera...

helping hold the sign...
...doing great "sitting" without mom and dad's help...

so cute!

a bundle of cuteness...

this is what I like to do most of the time...
I'm really good at tummy time now...and I really like mom's photography assistant!
I'm sooo big!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

An Unexpected Break

It is finally September.  I've been absent from the blog, initially not on purpose, but thanks to mother nature, some personal challenges and timing, it all added up to practically a month away.  It is difficult to explain, but in a way I needed a break.  I will try to explain...

As stated earlier, our house went on the market after two crazy weeks of getting things all packed away, scrubbed and straightened.  We were very excited to have the ball rolling and then our area (especially a three block radius around our house) was hit by a crazy microburst which ripped down half of our GIANT tree in the backyard, which ripped all of our power lines from our house, which ripped out our electrical tower from our roof, which pulled all of our gutters down in the back of the house....all in the span of about 20 seconds.  It was very scary as we went from gentle thunder to a wild storm in seconds and when the wires were pulled out of our house, everything was sparking outside mere inches from our house! I have never been so scared in all my life as I stood there holding Lily waiting for our house to catch on fire.  Thankfully, Joe is ultra together in those kinds of situations and was calling 911 within seconds.

Needless to say, all ended up being okay with the potential fire situation, but the damage was done to our house, no doubt about it.  We were without power for 5 days and STILL do not have our wires officially hooked back up yet, we are waiting on inspections by the city for all of the electrical work we had done.  Our phone line is still down on the ground and our gutters are still dangling from our roof, but hopefully that is all on track to change this week.  It has been a lot of lesson learning for me on patience, persistence, waiting, home insurance claims, professional contractors, repair bids and the overall home repair industry.  Lots of learning.  But we are finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.  So while our house was taken off the market less than a week after we put it on...we are hopeful that it will be back on by the end of this week...and this time for the duration! So that has been our last almost three weeks. whew! We are so thankful for my parents who let us move into their house for a few days!

So during all of this time, I have not written, have not taken a photo (well, maybe only a handful) and have honestly been kind of down in the dumps.  August is always a rough month for me personally house drama aside.  For me, August is PACKED with mile stones and memories...some lovely, some painful.  This August marked 5 years since I summitted my first 14er (more on that someday).  Five years since Joe and I had our first DTR conversation and decided we could not even be friends.  Four years since Joe and I reconciled our damaged friendship and God began turning things around for us.  Two years since Joe and I (with Luke in my belly) were baptized on a beautiful August morning.  Two years since we received the devastating diagnosis that Luke would not be coming home with us after being born.  Two years since we began blogging here at Lassoing the Moon.  Two years since I started writing and following that love.  Two years since I discovered the world of blogs and my love of blogging.  And one amazing year since we found out that Lily was growing in my belly.  So many highs and so many lows.  I mark and remember all of them as these anniversaries pass.  They are all major parts of my story and for some reason, they all take place in August, my least favorite month of the year.  Ironic, huh?

So...now that its September, fall is in the air and August is behind me, I'm feeling a little bit more pep in my step.  Some inspiration in my spirit and some spiritual and physical energy again.  I feel like I have just been hiding out a little bit.  So here is to being brave, being true to myself and being honest about it all.  I just kind of let all of the balls fall to the ground over the past few weeks and have been just focusing on Lily and taking each day at a time. This break wasn't planned but it was very much needed.  Thanks for sticking with me and for checking back in here at Lassoing.  I'm so happy you're here and I'm so happy to be back.

I always feel like the start of the school each year is like a New Year.  I have not been in school for over a decade, but I still feel that way and I get excited about the idea of starting new around this time of year, new pencils, new ideas, new things to learn, new ways to grow, new friends to make, new challenges to face, new ways to be inspired....So here's to a great month of September everyone...a fresh start and a great new year.  It's good to be back.