Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Answered Prayer

last week i was able to experience something really awesome...answered prayer. i have experienced answered prayer a lot lately, but this was AWESOME!!!!!

one of my best friends, piper, lives in traverse city, mi. with her hubby and their little boy corban. piper and i have been close friends since her freshman year (my sophomore year) of college. we have been roommates, traveled to australia together, been a part of each other's weddings...basically we have had a blast being friends for the past 9 years!! some days i cant believe it has been that long and other days it seems as though we have been friends forever! i love her hubby, doug...they are perfect for each other...and they are both amazing parents to one and a half year old corban! piper was such an encouragement to me, even from far away, when everything was going on with Charlotte. she and her mom came to visit and then the whole family was down in may for Charlotte's balloon celebration. between piper, sarah mack (the third friend in this trifecta) and myself, we have seen and done just about all of it! piper even held my hand for my first tattoo!! :)

so, several weeks back i got a call from piper that she and doug were pregnant again. i was so thrilled and had to call her back to razz her about getting pregnant at my house...she is still denying it, but i think it is true! :) fast forward a few weeks...piper and i had made plans that she would come down from T.C. to visit me at my mom's before i moved to houston for good. she was also coming for a haircut...nice perk, even if it was a 3 hour drive. well, just a few days before going to michigan, i got a late night phone call from piper asking me to call her back right away. she said "i am ok and the baby is ok, but there is a problem." needless to say, i freaked! i called her back as soon as i got the message. piper proceeded to tell me, very calmly i might add, that she had started bleeding the night before, was told to wait til morning to come in, bled some more that next morning, and went in for an ultrasound to find out what was going on (i am pretty sure she was about 13 weeks at that point). the doctor found that piper's placenta was sitting at the bottom of her uterus (placenta previa) and that the placenta was starting to lift off (placental abruption). NOT GOOD! the baby was doing great though...moving around and very strong heartbeat. the good news was that the placenta had not completed lifted off yet. if it did she would miscarry the baby. the doc put piper on complete bed rest immediately...hoping that the placenta would reattach itself to the uterus and not lift off any further.

while talking with piper, initially, i was very careful not to say too much, but i knew that this was pretty serious. i called both peter and lisa and told them...asked them to start praying. lisa and i cried together, both feeling so much of what we did when we got our results just months back. we talked about why this continues to happen to people who really want and desire to have families, and not to those who dont...all of those insecurities that have surrounded each of us for the past 8 months or so.

i was set to leave for michigan 2 days after talking with piper. of course because of the bed rest, there was no way that she could come to kalamazoo to see me, so my mom and i decided that we would make a day trip up to see piper that thursday. piper and i were both excited, even under the junky circumstances. before going, i was praying not only for this little baby and for piper, but also that i would not be too hard on piper, or too emotional. it all was seeming a little fresh, at times. piper was scheduled for almost 2 weeks of bed rest before her next doctor's visit and my trip fell right in the middle of that. when i got there, kelly (pipe's mom), corban, and pipe were all hangin out in the master bedroom...pipe pretty much was only allowed to lay in bed and get up to go to the occasional quick shower was acceptable too. we all "played", talked, and hung out before lunch, then i was able to have some girl time with pipe while corban slept and kelly went to get food. my mom pretty much ditched me to look around downtown TC...she claims she didnt want to intrude on my time with pipe, but i know that she just wanted to shop. by the end of the day, i had cut piper and corban's hair, given piper a pedi, and almost convinced kelly to chop her hair time! i tried hard all day to keep it together for pipe, but before leaving, while praying together i lost it...we both lost it. my heart was hurting for my friend! i was so unsure of what God was doing, why He was allowing this to happen to my best friend, didnt understand what kind of impact this would have on the family. we prayed for complete healing, for strength, and for peace. we prayed that people around them would be encouraging and that God would work a miracle in piper's body. we hugged, several times (which is not normal for me, good thing i love you, pipe!) she promised to call me immediately after her appointment the next week about what the doctor said.

i didnt have to wait long to talk to pipe again...i realized 45 minutes down the road that i left my wallet at her house...great! of course, my mother refused to turn around, so i had to have doug overnight mail it to me...thanks, doug!! the whole next week i prayed for piper, doug and little baby radtke all the time. i knew how long days could drag waiting for information, worrying about your baby. pipe and i talked a few times through text, but we were both pretty anxious about thursday morning.

i heard from piper thursday at 10:34am that the doctor said that her placenta reattached itself!!!!!! woohoo!!! the bleeding had stopped, which is what they were looking for, the baby's heart beat was still strong, and pipe was right on track growth wise!!! PRAISE THE LORD!!! we are still hoping that the previa "fixes" itself, meaning that it will move away from the bottom of the uterus. if not, pipe will have to have a c-section when it is baby time. in the big scope of things, that is the least of her worries! she was told that she still needs to take it easy, i think she called it "light bed rest"...basically, her 18 mo. old cant be bouncing up and down on her, no vacuuming, no lifting, etc.

i am so excited, they are so excited, her friends and family are so excited!!! this has been a huge answer to prayer!!! we are still praying, but this is an AWESOME start! :) please pray that the baby (which i think is a girl, btw, but they wont find out til delivery) continues to grow right on schedule, please pray that pipe's body continues to be a healthy and safe environment for this little one, please pray that the placenta moves as the blood source in the uterus moves!! we are so thankful for all that God has done so far and we are going to continue to be excited about what is in store!!!

here are a few pics...from most recent to oldest...!
corban and doug at Charlotte's balloon celebration 5/11

piper, me, and mack 5/11

me, mack, and pipe RIGHT after mack gave birth!! 3/11

at mack's wedding, pipe was prego w/ corban! 8/09

meeting in the middle for lunch 4/09

night time boat ride 8/08

all of us at the lack 8/08

of course my fav. pic from college wont upload!!! :( oh well! love you, friend!!!

Psalm 34:4 "I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears"

blessings, ALo

Monday, August 29, 2011

See Ya Later Michigan

so, i just got back to ohio yesterday afternoon. i have spent that last 10 days in michigan with my awesome family and had a little weekend friend get together last week. i had not originally planned on staying more than a week, but as my departure approached i started having serious anxiety about saying good bye to my family...specifically my mom!! i have said it before, but my mom and i have become good friends the last few years. since quitting work back in january, i have taken several trips to michigan to hang out. my mom has been a great source of support and encouragement through everything we have gone through this year. all of our family (both sides) has been great!! this past week it was so nice to just hang out!! we played tennis, hosted friends from ohio, went to see "the help" (great movie, book was better, but still very good!), laid in the pool, got pedis, did a little shopping, plenty of home hair, "pinterested" together, went to a wine tasting, and just hung out with family...we also laughed a lot...oh and i crafted a little for her :) it was great! because i had been so emotional at the beginning of the week about leaving, i was not sure how my actual good bye would go. by the time sunday morning came around i was, thankfully, fine! that last few days gave me some really great time with my family, so leaving was so much easier. i didnt even shed a tear! :) so, i am here in ohio hanging out with my awesome friends a few more days before my long anticipated trip to jamaica with my hubby, bro, and sis-in-law for our 5 year anniversaries.

as far as the texas/move front goes, things are going so smoothly!! PRAISE THE LORD! i am more than ready to be down there, settling in with peter!! our truck of stuff made it down to texas on the 16th...apparently all there in one place! :) we have until october 16th before we are responsible for paying for the storage of our stuff. peter did some house hunting again this weekend and found a house he really likes! :) the area has a ton of great stuff (unlike where we have been living...driving 20 min just for a decent grocery store) and the commute doesnt look like it would be totally unbearable. we are just praying that if this is the house for us then it will still be available when i get down there next week!! we closed with the relocation company on our house in ohio last week. we are officially DONE! :) the closing for the new buyers is set for the 20th, but even if something happens and they back out, we have still sold our house to the relocation company, so we will be fine. again, PRAISE THE LORD! peter has been enjoying houston so far. his job is going well and he has really enjoyed hanging out with the guys that he already knew that are down there!! :) so exciting now...looking forward to this new it helps knowing that i have trips planned to come back to visit!! :)

so, here are a few pics of my mom and me over the last few her so much!!
mom and her gang at her house during the big family reunion in july

at olivia's wedding shower in july

mom, mimi (mom's mom) and me at the reunion in july

mom and me at dinner this last saturday night

i am going to go enjoy the sun on my friend kelly's back deck...hope you all have a great week!! happy birthday to my good friend marcie solin today!! :)

blessings, ALo

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Beautiful Thing

i know that i have been MIA for a bit...things have been super busy/crazy...and i live out of my car right now. :) this weekend i am in MI with some friends from OH, hoping to enjoy an awesome weekend at the lake. the weather does not look too promising, but with this bunch, we will have a blast regardless!! :)

a few weeks ago i mentioned that my friend kat had sent me a super encouraging gift...a cute bag with personalized verses inside. i also mentioned that her son carter was born with some disabilities. carter was born in january...just a few days before charlotte, actually. like peter and i, kat and her hubby blair, were told that carter would have a very difficult life if he was born to term and "made it". carter was facing many serious and life threatening complications and because of that his parents were told several times that they should end his life. of course that is not how doctors ever phrase it, but that is exactly what it means. kat and blair went into each stage of pregnancy knowing what the doctors were telling them, but believing that God was bigger than each of the diagnosis. each day was another day that God was giving them with their son! to make matters worse, kat was violently ill through her pregnancy...i mean ILL!!!! but through it all, kat kept going and told me once that it was worth it all just for time with carter. this whole journey started just over a year ago, and while carter still faces many difficult challenges, he is here and surpassing more and more milestones. i am so thankful for the example that kat and blair have set (and continue to do so)! while no one knows what all happen in the future with carter's health, it is so awesome knowing that God is in control and that carter's parents seek God first in all that they do!!!

here is an awesome email excerpt blair's sister wrote which includes a great video link that kat and blair made of their family. if you are like me, you will cry...good tears...excited tears! thank you kat and blair for setting an example by your courageous faith!!

"Friends and family, 

It's been 8 months since Carter came into our lives and I can honestly tell you that he's been the biggest blessing my family has ever known! Blair and Kat recently made a video, which I posted on facebook and copied here, but they also wanted me to pass on an update about Carter's health. 

These past few months Carter has continued to grow and develop well beyond the doctors' expectations. He is now only wearing braces on his feet 14-hours a day, which is a big drop from the 23-hours he was required to wear them initially.  Once he is one, the hope is that he'll only have to wear his braces for naps and bedtime. Most likely Carter will wear his braces until he's four, in order to ensure his feet are completely straight and won't turn again. We won't know whether or not Carter will be able to walk for a year or so, but we all pray that one day Carter will run with his sister in the backyard and walk through the campus of Notre Dame for a football game or two!

In addition to Carter's feet, Blair and Kat continue to have him monitored by various doctors and specialists. Every week, Carter works with physical and occupational therapists to continue the development of his motor skills. He is progressing extremely well and is able to hold himself up while on his stomach, control his head and he's loving baby food! Just last week, a brain scan showed great news;
 the fluid filled spaces in Carter's brain are shrinking and his brain matter is growing!
Overall, Carter continues to experience miracle after miracle. As an outsider, it's amazing to see how Carter is changing the lives of my brother and Kat. It's also encouraging to see how much little Caitlin adores her "wittle broffer." Carter still has a long way to go, but Kat and Blair stay focused, take one day at a time and put complete trust in God's plan. 

On behalf of Kat, Blair, Caitlin and Cater, thank you for all of your continued prayers. Please know that God is hearing them and Carter is living proof! 
Aunt Sarah"

please pray for kat, blair, caitlin, and carter. this family is so sweet and they love the Lord! please pray that kat and blair will be encouraged to keep going. please pray that carter will continue to reach milestones. please pray specifically for his shunt and his vision right now! please pray that caitlin will also continue to grow and be the cute spunky little girl that she is...that she doesnt feel like she needs to grow up too fast!

blessings, ALo

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


not that peter and i needed any more confirmation from God about moving to texas, BUT...we sold our house!!! IN 4 WEEKS!!!! you know all that stress and worrying that i was doing a few posts back? gone as of 5pm this afternoon!!! there is no other way to say was a total God thing! as long as you have not been living under a rock for the last year, then you know that the housing market has been on the rocks for a seller, well for anyone. we were really concerned after we had to do so many "adjustments" to the house after the inspection for the relocation company...also making us think that maybe we would have a hard time selling the house. our next door neighbors have had their house (a mirror image of ours, with fewer updates) on the market at a lower asking price since november with no bites...also a freak out factor for us in the beginning.

so, i got a call monday mid morning (while driving from MI to PA) that there would be a showing that day between 1 and 2 pm. i already had a few things on my list to pray for on the drive out, so i added that to it! :) when we didnt hear anything the rest of the day, i figured that no news was bad news. :( i called my realtor, sue, tuesday morning while running wedding errands with my sis-in-law, laura. sue told me that she had not heard from the other broker, but had them on the list of people to call that day. not even 20 minutes later, sue called me back. she said that the other broker called her first and that the couple wanted to put an offer in...i freaked out! laura looked at me like i had just been hit by a car! :) sorry, laura! well, we didnt hear anything else yesterday, but mid morning today a very good offer came in! we had until 5pm to decide what we wanted to do. after A LOT of phone calls back and forth with about 8 people, praying, emails, and more praying, peter and i decided to accept the offer!!

we are now, officially, homeless...proud of it!! again, we are so blown away by this answer to prayer!! we are so excited to not have to worry about me going to texas and still having a house to sell in ohio. we will be able to really start looking aggressively for a home in houston! all of it, wow...pinch me, i still think i am dreaming!! THANK YOU, GOD!!! as cynical as it sounds, peter and i were honestly thinking that this would take forever...based on our track record. :) maybe this is a huge point to prove to us that God is in control!!!

in case this day could get much better, i get to see peter tonight...after being apart for 2.5 weeks! yesterday, laura, susan, and i were busy all day with wedding stuff and today has been totally consumed by house selling. i am pretty much elated that at 10:15 tonight, i get to pick up my hubby from houston! :) august 12th is our five year wedding anniversary. we will also be celebrating the marraige of laura and bob that day (how cool to share an anniversary with your sister?!?!), so peter and i wont be doing anything big. our big party comes in a few weeks in the form of a trip to jamaica! i do have a suprise birthaversary gift for peter though!! birthaversary=birthday+anniversary...his birthday is august 18th :). i will have to write later about his gifts and let you know what he thinks...he reads this so i cant tell you now...hi, babe!! :) so, anyway, i am so pumped to be with peter and his whole family this weekend!!

ok, lastly...i promise...while sitting out on susan's front porch (ps. what an awesome day weather wise here in western PA!!) talking to lisa on the phone about all the exciting "God things" that happened to each of our families today, the most beautiful butterfly landed on my thigh and hung out for a bit! i told lisa i had to hang up to take a pic with my phone. they are not the best quality, but still so awesome!! i am not one of those people that thinks everything is a sign or whatever, but since Charlotte's celebration, every time i see a butterfly i stop for a moment to think about her. butterflies are an awesome reminder to me of God's awesome creativity in creation, also demonstrating that not all changes are bad or ugly!! so today when the beautiful orange spotted butterfly with scalloped wings came to hang out, i took it as another awesome reminder of God's love for me. ironic/coincidence that the butterfly came by today, at that moment? i cant believe that! :)

thank you to all who have prayed for us through the whole texas transition! i am even more excited now to go down south to look for a place for you all to come visit..come soon!! :)

blessings, ALo

Monday, August 8, 2011

Stole It

it has been 7 months since we met and said goodbye to Charlotte. today, while driving, i thought about the entire two days we were in the hospital. most of it was hard...mostly emotionally and mentally, but there were moments that were hard physically. i know that i have blogged before about the great staff that we had in the hospital, but even 7 months later, i am still so impressed with them and the care that we were given over all. i will definitely miss that staff when we have a baby in texas. anyway, today was not a super emotional day, just a contemplative day. i have been so busy with everything else going on around me, it was really nice to have some time to myself to think about Charlotte today. i even pulled out her pictures to "spend some time with her" while driving. i miss Charlotte, everday. i think about Charlotte, everyday. it is crazy to think that it has been 7 months since i held her little body in my arms! every day is a little different, but i will never forget those moments that we had with her!

this next bit i "stole" from my friend erin's blog. i dont necessarily feel like this all the time, or to a tee, but some of it is true. i liked the analogy. 


I wear a pair of shoes. They are ugly shoes, uncomfortable shoes. I hate my shoes.

Each day I wear them and each day I wish I had another pair. Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step. Yet, I continue to wear them

I get funny looks wearing these shoes. They are looks of sympathy. I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs. They never talk about my shoes. To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable

To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them. But, once you put them on, you can never take them off. I now realize I am not the only one who wears these shoes. There are many pairs in this world. Some women are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them. Some have learned how to walk in them so they don't hurt quite as much. Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before they think about how much they hurt.

No woman deserves to wear these shoes. 

They have made me who I am.

I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.

- Author Unknown

there is so much that has happened in our lives in the last 7 months...i am anxious to see what God has for us over the next 7 months!!

blessings, ALo