Monday, March 28, 2011

Blessings in Disguise

i drove to michigan this spend a few days with my family. when i am in the car alone, regardless of the length of time, i tend to call people and chat it up. when i drive to michigan i know that i have the first 2 hours with good phone service and then there is almost 2 more hours with horrid reception and i will be stuck with me, myself, and my singing voice. peter loves that when he is in the car with me...NOT! :) but i love it when he is not there because he cant razz me about not knowing the words or my choice in music! today i spent almost the entire first two hours talking with my high school gal pal, pooter (aka kristin). we talked about the 10 year reunion coming up, our kids, sports, and family. i love talking with pooter because its like nothing has changed...its like we are sitting at her house on the couch, not hundreds of miles apart. the last 2 hours of the drive today were not that bad because it was such a beautiful sunny day...freezing, but so pretty! i didnt bother with cds or my ipod, i just scanned the radio which makes for super random and usually half finished songs. just as i was crossing over the michigan state line i found a radio station play a song i had never heard. my interest was piqued and decided to listen...i was quickly hooked. i waited somewhat impatiently for the song to finish, hoping to find out the artist and title so that i could text myself...i got lucky. i want to tell you a little bit about the artist and then have you listen to the song. if this is not perfect for so many of us, including myself, then i dont know what is!

laura story lives in atlanta with her hubby. she is known in the christian recording world and had won several dove awards in nashville. the song that got me, blessings, was written after the story's journey with cancer. laura's husband, martin, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. at one point martin was alive because of breathing machines and he has since experienced memory loss and significant post-operative vision loss. the faith laura has written and sang about (she wrote "indescribable" sung and performed by chris tomlin) was challenged and put to the test. laura says “Martin hasn’t received complete healing—and that can be hard at times when we view God as all-powerful and all-loving. But here we are now saying, ‘Yes, this is how faith works.’ God has proven to be faithful. We have been truly blessed out of a circumstance that at first didn’t seem like much of a blessing at all. Laura's perspective has also changed for the better; the words of James 1:2 (Consider it a great joy . . . whenever you experience various trials) ring especially true and duly influence the joyful, wisdom-loving tone throughout Blessings“Don’t get the wrong idea. It hasn’t been easy, everyone wants to be a mature and equipped follower, but would I have signed up had I known what it would take? God has grown us up, deepened our faith, our awareness of our great need for him as a Savior, daily. We knew it before, but we didn’t see it. This is a good place to be.” please follow the link abouve to see the full bio and story on this incredible song. after listening for the first time, i couldnt wait to get to mom's to listen again to hear if i really heard the song correctly. listen...and feel that God has so much for you and for me, even in the hard times!

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace

Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

All the while You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near?

What if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

And all the while You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near?

And what if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near?

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst
This world can't satisfy?

And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise?

blessings, ALo

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Blue Polish

so, i wouldnt say that i collect nail polish, but i have a collection of nail polish. i used to be an OPI snob, but lately have bought several Essie colors and love them. i find that the essie stays on my nails without chipping a little longer...could be me not working though too! :) i have always loved nail polish and if you knew me in college then you remember the heart tin! the heart tin has since been retired due to rust from polish remover and has been replaced with a hard sided box from beauty school. my box is too small now. i dont have room for my files and/or clippers. i guess i better start looking for a bigger box because i am not getting rid of my polish!

when i went to the hospital for jaxton's birth, i went into lisa's room before surgery to give her a hand and foot massage. when i took off her socks, to my horror, i found that she did not have polish on her toes!! i am one of those girls that never leaves my house without my toes polished. now, i know that it is not important to everyone...but how could my new friend not have her toes polished?? :) anyway, we laughed about how her toes should be blue in celebration of jaxton's arrival...i think she even mentioned that her toes where blue when jake was born. i didnt have my polish box with me on that trip, but when i came home i found that essie had the new spring line out...and i bought all 6. :) there was a beautiful blue, called coat azure, which i  couldnt wait to try. when i first polished my toes i immediately thought...oh man, i hope this doesnt look like fungus! it turned out to be awesome and i then thought of my chat with lisa about blue polish...i thought about jaxton. that made me love the polish even more. now, every time i wear this color i will think about jaxton. this will probably be one of my new favorites along with the new purple, nice is nice, which is the same color purple as charlotte's blanket. i love how its the little things that bring a smile to my face and help me remember charlotte and jaxton in a good way...things like nail polish!

here are a few pictures of my "collection". i recently cleaned out the box from all the old, goopy ones and non-opi colors, but there are still!!

jaxton blue

all laid out...kinda by groups. nudes, darks, purple and pinks, reds

in their more room

blessings, ALo

Saturday, March 26, 2011


i am so used to anticipating things so that i am not taken by surprise, but lately i have been trying not to anticipate, trying not to plan or look too far ahead. i have found that the things that i anticipate are the things that are hard for me (ie. speaking at the church, due date, fathers day, "angelversary", etc.) today i went to a baby shower. up to this point (since we said good-bye to charlotte) i have avoided them, some on purpose, others by chance. the shower today was for a close friend of mine in my bible study. ashley is due the end of may with her first baby girl. ash's due date is two weeks after what mine is/was supposed to be. this shower should have been a joint shower for both us of, for both of our baby girls. instead of going to receive, i went bearing cupcakes and a gift for baby bev (a nickname until she is born). because ash and i are close friends and because of the timing of everything, i have been anticipating that the shower would be hard for me to get through. i have been very open and honest with ash and the other girls in my bible study and they were all understanding and prepared for me to leave early if needed. but thankfully, not because of any thing i did, i felt ok staying. i had been praying all day that God would allow me to get over myself and be excited for my friend. yes, i gave into a few moments of selfish sadness today, but i did not experience most of what i had anticipated to. i am so blessed to have so many people praying for me as i continue on this journey of grief. i am praying that i will work hard on not anticipating things to be bad all the time. i am praying that God helps me keep my anxiety at bay. these are ways that you can pray for me too. again, thank you to all who continue to encourage and support me and peter. i wish i could put into words how much we both appreciate all of it!

in case you are wondering..i make awesome desserts, even if i do say so myself! today i tried my hand at some new decorating but used simple, classic flavors for the cakes and frostings. so here are a few pics of the cupcakes i made...owl and bird theme. sour cream cupcakes with cream cheese frosting (made from scratch!)

cute, huh? i had a lot of fun with my friend sandi making these...they took us a while, but everyone loved them, so it was worth it! i will have to add a pic later of the "project" that i have been working on for the last 9 weeks for ash's nursery...her gift. its awesome and frustratingly slow all at the same time :)

wanted to end with the card that my friend morgan gave me today. i have seen this card before, but it was so sweet of mobaby (another bible study pal) to get it for me for today! i am so blessed!

"Life really isn't fair sometimes. But the good news is that you will get through this. You've got the inner strength and determination to get through anything." inside "And if you ever feel like you have to be reminded of that, just let me know. I'll tell you as many times as you need to hear it."

blessings, ALo

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lulu Grace

today i met sweet lulu grace via her beautiful momma, Cami. :) lulu was born on september 23, 2010 with trisomy18 (same as jaxton) and was here with her family for 62 days. 62 days filled with love and lots of smiles. today lulu and my charlotte were giggling together as they watched their mommies cry, smile, and pray together, in sweet memory of them. today marks the 6 month birthday of lulu and i was blessed to celebrate her life with cami at a local chick-fil-a...i love that place...a great place to celebrate a birthday! this is another one of those situations that i wish i didnt know cami because that would mean her lulu and my charlotte would be here. but because we cant change that i am blessed to have had cami reach out to me in the midst of our grief. cami greeted me with a huge hug and a warm, understanding smile. i have been feeling alone at times lately, but when i saw her i knew immediately that she was exactly what i needed...good, Godly encouragement and friendship. we were able to passionately share our daughters with each was messy at times, but so beautiful at the same time. there were so many things that cami said that encouraged me, all of which i am still processing...i will share some of that soon. i did want to celebrate lulu grace a little more tonight before i go to bed. each month on the 23rd cami and her family (hubby and 4 children) celebrate and remember lulu by blowing bubbles (i will share that reasoning later too, its a great one!). i dont have any bubbles here, but i did find a few photos. lulu...i am thinking about you tonight. i am praying for your mom, i know that she misses you so much. i also know that she loves you more than she could ever put into words! cami, thank you for pouring into my life today. i love you already!!

blessings, ALo

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Do We Look Alike?

i have been soooo blessed to be from a very...unique family. i woke up this morning really missing my family, wishing that we lived closer to some family. this weekend, my hubs and i spent time in PA with his mom and grandparents and his dad was also able to come out from NJ for a visit. right now, living in ohio, we are 3 hours from his mom (PA), 9 hours from his dad (NJ), 4.5 hours from my mom (MI) and 5 hours from my dad (MI). this obviously does not include travel time to grandparents and some siblings. let me tell you about my siblings... :) get ready...there are a lot of them!!

jonathan (aka paco to me) is married to whitney and they have 2 kids and several pets. they live in allegan, michigan. paco, 26, is now in the subway sandwich business with my dad after serving 6 years in the army. whit has become a good friend of mine over the last 10 years and i am so glad that she chose to be a part of the craziness of this family. whit occasionally work at subway if needed, but she is most known for her cleaning abilities. she is a great housekeeper and people started taking notice. now, she regularly cleans house for a few people...i wish she lived closer, Lord knows i need her!! kayla is 7 and in first grade and carter is 3. they are really good kids and i have missed being closer while they grow up. kayla loves to ride horses and carter loves anything having to do with tractors or guns, just like his dad!
Jonathan 1 1/2 and me 3 (i think)
thanksgiving 2010

grant is #3 in the mix. he is 23 and actually lives at our house!! :) i have mentioned in a prior post that he is a hairstylist. he works at square one salon and spa in Centerville, oh and he is very good at what he does. grant is what i would call, lively! :) he definately brings the life to the party. we have had a lot of fun with him here in ohio over the last 10 softball should be interesting this summer! :) in all honesty, grant has been an amazing support the last 10 months and it will be very strange when he moves out. i will actually have to leave the house to have my own hair done, and peter will have to find a new biking buddy. 
i have always been a backseat driver! 1988
Florida 12/2010
laura, my amazing and absolutely brilliant sister-in-law (peter's sister), is 22 and currently living in alpine, tx. laura graduated with a 4.0 gpa in wildlife biology and is now at sul ross university getting her masters, which for her means lots of research involving trapping and tracking animals.  she has a really neat blog if you are interested. even though our passions are very different, i love that she has gone out on a limb to follow her passion. texas is very far from ohio, and we miss laura tons, but peter and i are very proud of how hard she is working for what she wants!! she has some pretty sweet stories too. i am blessed to call laura not only family, but a true friend!! 
A favorite of Peter's!!! 1992?

Laura and Bob (her bf) in Florida,  March 2011

Olivia (aka Miss O or Liv) and i are 7 years apart...that means she is 21!!! Liv lives is Grand Rapids, MI with her baby girl Zoe who was born January 25, 2011! both liv and zoe came for a visit last week and i loved it! zoe is a good little baby girl and it was nice to hang with liv...even if she did use me for my hair highlighting skills :) with me being #1 and liv being #4 in the original group, we did not grow up being very close but in the last few months, or honestly, the last few weeks things have started to change :) i cant wait to watch zoe grow up and be a beautiful young woman, just like her momma!
Christmas card photo, '91 or '92
Liv, Zoe and Brian (liv's bf) 2/2011

nathan, nate dawg to me, is 13...7th grade!!! i was 15 when nate dawg was born and at first i didnt know if it was a good idea for mom be be having any more kids (i was a selfish high schooler), but i cant imagine life without him now!! nate is a typical middle school boy, but he is also very loving and compassionate towards his family. he is always the first to give me a hug when i go home, even if it is a little awkward. i dont know anyone else that can remember so many sports stats, or just random info for that matter. i am pretty sure that if you put any type of competitive event in front of nate, he will participate and will work very hard to win. :) nate is a fireball and i love him for it!
paco's tuning blue ceremony. 2003
nate dawg and paco with nate's first deer, 9/2010
just when you thought i was finished... :)

mamie is 5!! every time i see her i can never believe how grown up she gets! as you can see, our names are very close, and yes, dad confuses us all the time when we are together or when i call! :) mamie was born august 2005. at first we thought she was going to have very dark hair like jess (her mom) but it then turned red like grant's and now dark my natural color :) mamie loves to help take care of her little sisters and cute!
mamie at grant's grad party! 6/2006
classic mamie smile!! love it! 12/2009
matilda (tilly) is so much like me its a little scary! so, watch out world...! tilly has the a full sized attitude in a pint sized body, but it sometimes works to her advantage. i am pretty sure that matilda came out ready to stick up for anyone, me included at times. on the other hand, tilly gets really cuddly with me and peter after the first 10 min of being home. i have a feeling tilly and i will have a very unique relationship as she grows up. 
9/2007. tilly (11mo), mam (2 yrs), and me before the fair
this is the face we all get! tilly 3/2008

mila, born 5/2008, is different from any of the other girls...its awesome! i love that she is so laid back but also knows what she wants. she is very deliberate...with everything. :) when i talk with mila on the phone it takes her about 3 min to tell me one sentence. the other crazy thing is she gets her point across. not long ago she was upset about something and literally stood in the bedroom crying for almost an hour, just to show that she was mad. deliberate and determined! :) 
mila 3 months old 8/2008
i know this is not super recent, but i love this one! 12/2009
margaret, we all call her maggie, is a chub with one of the biggest heads...i think she is adorable! maggie was born 8/2009. i havent quite figured out what her personality will be. she loves to be right next to dad  when he is in the room, literally hangs on his legs! the last time i was in michigan i read the same book to maggie at least 7 times, maybe she will have my love of books. love you, big head!
april 2010...big head :)
maggie, mila, mamie, matilda in their matching pillowcase dresses 6/2010
james, whose middle name is edward, therefore we call him edy, was born this past september. i dont know edy that well yet. i have not able to be up there that often since he was born. i can assume though that being the only boy in a house of 4 big sisters will be nothing short of exciting for him. the girls already dote on him and love to take care of baby edy :). i cant wait to share stories of him as he grows up.

here are pics with everyone from thanksgiving...parents, kids, grandkids...quite the bunch!!
mom with her kids and grandkids, zoe not here yet! :)

dad and jess with the little kids and dog maddie
its a feat to get a good one with this group.

my mom hosted thanksgiving at her house this past year...first time in over 20 years that my whole family was together. it was really great for my parents to do that for us kids. yes, technically we are a little different than most families, but i love our disfunction!! :) 

blessings, ALo

ps. like the new look? the font used for the headers is pretty much just like my handwriting :) i like the new background for spring. hope it is a little easier to read too! 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I Wonder... old Charlotte will be when i get to see her in Heaven. i first mentioned this to lisa last week and it came up in conversation again today with my dad-in-law. i mean, i know and i am excited about the fact that when i see her she will no longer have turner's syndrome, or a cystic hygroma, or any of the other things that made her leave me too early. i know that she will have a perfect body, but will she be a baby? will we all be the same age in heaven? i got teary thinking about it today, because i know that when i get there it wont matter. but it does matter to me. i long to see her and know her every little freckle and count her eyelashes as i rock her to sleep in my arms and, more than anything, to feel her heart beating in her tiny chest. it makes me sad to think that maybe that wont happen. we all know that i am not good with the "not knowing" thing. not knowing what my baby looks like right now is hard for me. thinking that i may not get to be a mommy to Charlotte the way i have envisioned in my dreams is hard. maybe my praises for God will include that. God has promised us the desires of heart...this is mine...maybe it will finally come true in Heaven. that is what i am hoping for!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It had to happen

i knew it some point. ok, well, first off, this post will be me complaining and venting, so if you dont want to read that...stop now! its ok, i understand.

ok...well the last few days have been rough. coming home from jaxton's funeral last week was hard. i hated leaving lisa and josh knowing that the next few days would be very hard. i knew that i was just so exhausted on the ride home...i kept crying like every 30 min over every little thing. i felt torn between having this feeling of needing to help and also knowing that i was spreading myself thin emotionally and physically. mentally i was wrestling with so many thoughts, some that are better not to bring up again (but thankfully i was able to voice all of those things to peter. i dont what i would have done if he had not gone with me). spiritually, well...this last week i have been all over the place with God. i know that He knows what He is doing and there must be a why/reason somewhere, but i dont think it will ever be good enough or make any sense to me. nothing will ever make not having charlotte or jaxton here ok. so, all of that to say i did not start the week off feeling that great. and if emotional, mental, and spiritual exhaustion were not enough, i am now physically sick. yep! another freakin cold!! i am so pissed off about it! i mean, come on! i have had two other colds in the last 4 months. that is really unusual for me. i am rarely sick. but, yep, sure enough it had to happen. doesnt my body know that i have alot going on, doesnt it know that i dont have time or energy to deal with this? oh, and i have my period...enough said there!

did you know that i am on a self prescribed sabbatical from work? i am. i have not been back to work since the beginning of january. if you are a client of mine, thank you for understanding. if you are a co-worker of mine, thank you for your support. in the meantime, my brother grant has been happily taking my place in the salon after finishing his apprenticeship. i have been in to the salon for a few short visits and also to receive a few services. and each time i leave with some anxiety. doesnt that sound crazy? i probably am crazy. i decided to take the said sabbatical because i am not ready to talk to every person in the salon about what has happened, and to be honest it is nice to be here when peter gets home from work and have the opportunity to be there for others. if i were working at the salon things would be different right now. ok, so today i had to go to the salon to drop off my brother's cell that he left at home. just before leaving, i stopped by a co-worker's station to say hi and show off my tattoo. i recognized the client in the chair, but didnt really know her. she must have recognized me though (even with the dark hair!) because she asked if my tattoo was my daughters name. i said yes and then was blindsided...she said, "congratulations, how are you doing? how is your baby?" ugh. i weakly responded. "fine, thanks". i then looked at my friend and said, "ok, gotta go, sorry" she gave me this sympathetic smile. yep, sure enough it had to happen, but i wasnt ready today. that is why i dont work yet. i cant deal with it yet. i left so sad.

today was a beautiful day outside. it was 70 and march!! i wanted to enjoy it. i wanted to pretend that everything was ok. today was not a good day for me. sometimes i feel like no one gets it...sometimes i feel really alone. i know that i am not alone, that i have a lot of support, but sometimes it just feels so overwhelming and no one knows what it is like to be missing my charlotte jean.

please pray for me. please pray that i get the rest that i need. please pray that i do not allow satan to have a foothold when i am weary. please pray that i will continue to reach out to others for help and not rely on myself. please pray for a better day tomorrow.

Romans 9:16 "It does not depend on human will and effort, but on God who shows mercy"

1 Peter 5: 6-7 "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

blessings, ALo

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wedding Dress

it's 1am! i cant sleep. i had a headache earlier and took some excedrine around 9:30, forgetting how much caffeine is in those little suckers, i am! so, as i sit here in the living room, listening to my hubby snore in our room, i cant help but be grateful. i know that i have talked before about peter and how much he means to me, but i dont have the words to adequately describe what he means to me. God honestly gave me a perfect perfect compliment. in the midst of all the crap that has been going on in our lives, peter has become an even greater source of strength and comfort to me. there is nothing that i can not say to him and there is nothing that he would not do for me. i am blessed! peter and i met in college and it did not take long for me to realize how special he was...super shy but a great guy (even if i was not his first choice, right hun?) :) he proposed on december 24, 2005 in central park, NYC on a horse drawn carriage was perfect! we were married on august 12, 2006 and i have been falling more in love with him daily. this is not to say that everything has been easy. we have had our share of hard times, but none more so than the last 5 months. i thank God everyday that He has given me someone that will not give up on me or our marriage come hell or high water. yes, i need to be reminded of that (maybe a little too often), but even in the times that i doubt myself, peter has always been there holding my hand.

when we got married i had no problem planning my/our wedding. i knew what i wanted! when it came to finding my dress, that was a no brainer too. in fact, when i went to the store to try on dresses, i only wanted to try one, but of course they always talk you into more choices. but in true aimee fashion, i bought the one i went for. i loved it and it was perfect! after the wedding, that dress that i loved so much was hung up and covered with two black garbage bags...apparently the dress bag was lost in translation somewhere between the church and who knows where! today, four and a half years later, the dress is still hung in garbage bags! :)

some have probably/hopefully already seen the post from lisa about the project that she is starting using wedding dresses. i am so honored! if you havent read the post, go now so that you aren't lost! i am of course sending my dress! i mean, how could i not? although, i will probably keep a square of the lace for myself, i am thrilled to know that a mom will blessed because of the love that i have for my peter and for my charlotte jean. if you have a wedding dress that is just hanging around (like most are) please send it to me or to lisa! we are both so excited about what this will mean to others in remembrance of our sweet babies!

here are a few pics of the dress! i was going to go take a couple in the bags, but the snoring hubs might get mad if i wake him up! :)

yes, i did have to have a stool made for our first kiss!! and i still use it all the time!! :)

blessings, ALo

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Charming and Charms

i had the most awesome of awesome charm bracelets in high school. it was one of those charm bracelets that was getting so full that i was running out of room and when i wore it everyone knew i was around because it was jingly! well, during an away basketball with a major rival my jewelry along with several teammates' jewelry was stolen. they took my purity ring, my cross necklace and my awesome charm bracelet. my mom didnt believe me at first...she thought for sure that i lost them! i mean, she wouldnt have been too far off knowing how bad i am at taking care of things where they should go, but for real this time it wasnt my fault! i have thought about starting a new charm bracelet several times over the years but never actually did it. fast forward to this year. as you know, i have a really great support system here through my bible study. they have been a huge encouragement over the past 9 weeks and more and i am not sure what i would do with out them. my girlies gave me an incredible charm necklace in remembrance of charlotte jean. it came on a chain that was a little short for my big neck, so i added the charms to the chain and pendant that peter gave me at christmas (sapphires are one of my favs and we both have them in our wedding bands). i have been saying that eventually i will put the charlotte charms on a bracelet and add a new charm every year on her birthday and maybe ones that i find that make me think of her. but for now i reach up and "play" with them throughout the day, i hear them jingle when i move, and they are right where i want them for now.

yesterday, i briefly mentioned my blogging friend joanne. joanne has a BEAUTIFUL charm bracelet and it has made it into several posts as well as being the header for her blog The Simple Wife. i started reading joanne's blog just before christmas and was so encouraged by her writing...and lots and lots of archives. on january 11, joanne suffered a major stroke. she is no longer in a coma, in fact she has been make big strides in her recovery, but this will be a very long very hard road for joanne and for her family. today is joanne's birthday!!! so in honor of joanne, today, every time i hear my charms jingle and every time i "play" with them i will be praying for her. i am praying the pain that has been reoccurring in her shoulder would be gone. i am praying that the transfer to her rehab facility goes great with no added drama for joanne to worry about. i am praying for her hubby, toben, and their two daughters. please, pray for this amazing women, for a full recovery!!

here is the picture that i took of my is also on joanne's blog today for her charming birthday! :)
arent they so pretty?? i love them and wear them all the time!

happy birthday, joanne!!!

blessings, ALo

Monday, March 14, 2011

Beach Butterfly

these are from my bestie, Sarah Mack...well, she ordered them for us. the sand butterflies are actually done by a baby loss mom in australia. as a way to keep the memory of her baby alive, carly creates these butterflies on the beach near her home. carly regularly writes baby names on the beach for people at no charge, these butterflies are what allows her to keep doing that. i love the way Charlotte's butterfly turned out! i cant wait to have one printed and framed to put with her things in our living room. if you would like more info on the beach butterflies, just go to Carly's page and follow the prompts. 

tomorrow i will be doing a post about the charms my bible study girls gave me for two reasons. 1. i have been wanting to write and show them off. 2. i will be supporting a blogging friend in her journey to recovery after a stroke. please see Joanne's page for more info. if you have a charm of any kind and you blog, you should join me tomorrow!! the info is in the post called birthday surprise.

i wanted to thank everyone who has been praying for my friend lisa and her sweet family. this past weekend peter and i drove to indianapolis to celebrate the life of little jaxton. please continue to pray for my friends as they continue to grieve and try to understand how their lives will continue without him. at the funeral, both josh and lisa were able to stand and give an account of their time with jaxton and how his sweet life has impacted so many people. lisa read the most amazing words describing her love for jaxton...please feel free to read what she said, but be prepared for tears. 

lisa, thank you for always being real and sharing your heart. i wish that there was something more i could do for you, my friend, but know that i love you and i am praying continuously for you to see and feel the peace that only God can give you.  

last week, on tuesday, i spent some time with a my friend elizabeth. a few weeks back, elizabeth and i spent some trying on and picking out a wig just before she started her first round of chemo for ovarian cancer. her first round went as well as it could have i guess. she did find out last week (her off week) that according to her numbers her body is responding to the treatments. the other visible sign that things are working is the hair loss. elizabeth and i were both dreading the head shaving day, but we had talked about it several times and had formulated a plan. basically, after finding the wig and then a week later taking her shoulder length hair to a short layered cut, elizabeth would call me when she knew it was time to do the big haircut. last tuesday was the day. to say that elizabeth was brave (even though she doesnt think so) is an understatement. elizabeth also has an amazing family and support system at home cheering her on as well as countless friends who are right there when she needs or wants anything. just before the haircut, steve (her hubby) prayed for elizabeth. i got so choked up because he kept referring to as his beautiful bride. after the hair cut it was no different. he looked at her with all this love and pride in his or no i of course wish that elizabeth was not going through chemo, and i of course wish that we didnt have to shave her head, but i will tell you that homegirl has a very pretty head...not lumpy or funny shaped at all! today elizabeth started her second round of chemo. please go to her blog to know how to specifically pray for her and her family.

i know that this has been a long one...there has been a lot going on in my life and in the lives of the ones i love. please, take the time to pray today for the ones that are close to you. make the time that you spend with God in prayer special, not just something that is on your checklist...but rather a time that you look forward to and a time that you cherish. 

blessings, ALo

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Too Long

i waited too long in between posts. especially because for the past week there has been a lot that has happened. i was going to sit down and write a little bit about each of those things, but today all my mind can think about are my friends lisa and josh husmann. i am sure that you have all been reading their blog and praying for them. and i know that you have read my posts about my friendship with lisa and how we have come to be friends...through our kids, charlotte and jaxton. my heart is breaking today. at 8:05pm last night (3.9.11) God took jaxton back home. i have no idea why! i have no idea why God did not heal jaxton. i have no idea why God is asking my friend to face this life without her baby. yesterday sucked, today sucks! i have said it before..i wish i didnt know lisa because that would mean our kids would be here and be healthy. i totally wish neither one of us knew the pain that we both have now. yes, i am very thankful to have lisa in my life, but i would prefer it the other way around!!! i cant hep but feeling some of the same feelings that i have felt over the last 8 weeks come rushing back. God, why our kids? God, i for real cant do this for my self...i dont have anything to do/say to help someone else through this. God, i didnt ask for fact it has been the complete opposite. God, we asked for miracles and it feels like You keep saying no.

now, i realize that most of these things are coming from my emotions and are not always an accurate guide, but again, today sucks and i am sad and i am upset! i think that about covers it! maybe i can tell you about some of the other things from the last week tomorrow...i need to at least write about my tuesday.

please pray for lisa and josh as they grieve for sweet baby jaxton. please pray the God gives me something useful to say or do to be a true friend to lisa right now...that i wont project my hurt onto her.

Psalm 31:9 "Be merciful to me, Lord, for i am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief."

John 11:35 "Jesus wept"

here are a few pics of sweet jaxton from when i was out there last week. the first is from jessie, an awesome photographer and friend of lisa's, the rest i took. mine are a little fuzzy because i didnt want to use a flash...he is so cute!!!

blessings, ALo

ps. this is a song that i have been playing a lot. the lady that wrote it also lost a child and this came out of her healing. Desert Song, by Hillsong

Thursday, March 3, 2011


that is what i had study, you freaks! i know many of you thought i was going to start going off on me, but dont worry. this has actually been something that i have been looking forward to for a long time. because my life has been getting so crazy with traveling, i have missed the last few bible study sessions. the group that i meet with is made up of my friends who all felt like we wanted something meaningful to come out of our time together...not that eating out and playing telephone pictionary isnt important! :) this group of women has been so encouraging to me over the last year that we have been meeting. some of us have been through some really crappy things and some really great things. there has been 2 weddings (soon to be 2 more), 3 pregnancies (so far), a couple break-ups, plenty of family drama, and one baby jax! this group has become a guide as to how the rest of my week/weekend will go and when i am not able to be there i am really disappointed. there have been plenty of sessions where our agenda gets way off schedule and all we accomplish is sharing a need with the group. other times we do great and have awesome discussion about the book we are studying...go figure with a group of nine women that we would end up talking about everything except what we are supposed to, right??!!??

tonight we asked a guest speaker to come and share her story of faith through forgiveness and what that process has looked like in her life. i was blown away by what God had for me tonight! i dont know why i am so surprised because this is a time that i had been specifically praying for in the last two days, but God really showed up and made some things very clear through the life story of this friend. while what she went through a few years back is totally different than what i am walking through right now, the love of Christ is the same. i want to share a few things that she said, and i know that by only getting a little snippet i will be cheapening the effect a little, but there is no way i could write it all. this has been a hard day for me, for no particular reason other than i get caught up in myself and i just love that God tells us what we need to hear right when we need to hear it.

thank you God for using the words of this wise and tender-hearted women to speak to me right where i am. thank you, laurie, for being willing to allow God to use you to impact my life!

here are just a few of the things that i wrote down...i know they are out of context, but still worth hearing!

"God loves us even when our life circumstances do not match that (our prospected feeling of love) and when that happens all we have to do is look at the cross to be reminded that God loves us."

"We are not to compare our sin to other peoples sin, we are to compare ourselves to Almighty God to see the depth of our sin."

"God is not concerned with our comfort. God is concerned with much bigger things like our heart."

"Eve was not called a soulmate, she was called a helpmate. This means that our marriages are our ministry."

"Am i silencing a demon with how i am responding to situations in my life? Am i strengthening an angel?" speaking of the spiritual warfare that is going on around us for us.

"There are 2 options, you can become more like Jesus or you can become a bitter women, it is a daily choice."

Isaiah 55:8-9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways", declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than yours and my thoughts than your thoughts".

humbling to think that the thoughts and things i have planned for myself are not God's and that His thoughts and ways are higher than heaven for me. this is hard for me at times, but, thank you, Lord!

blessings, ALo