Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Good Thing... head is attached, because it may have been left behind in all the running around i have been doing lately! i havent blogged much in the last week because i literally have not had more than a few minutes to sit down to think! other than the usual stuff that happens when you are trying to move across the country, i have had company, drove to michigan and back (with another trip there tomorrow), done some home hair, and have tried my hardest to spend serious quality time with my friends and family! if i did have down time i have found myself spending 5 or so minutes here and there on pinterest. ugh...i hate all my friends who have got me sucked into this!! i really do not let myself spend more than a few minutes at a time...i could spend hours looking at things though. if you are not on there and would like an invite, let me know! i will gladly send you an invite (ps. i think you have to have facebook to do it...not positive though!) so, before i tuck my niece (kayla has been here since monday) into bed, i thought i would share a few of the quotes from my "nice thing to say" board (pinterest thing). by the way, i will have to post about my girl time with kayla...our first, hopefully, annual trip together!

ok, so here are a few saying/quotes that i have found that i really like, or make me laugh, or make me stop to think, etc!!

"what if you woke up today with only what you thanked God for yesterday?"

"love is friendship set on fire"

"judging a person does not define who a person is, it defines who you are."

"faith is not knowing what the future holds but who holds the future."

"just because today is a bad day does not mean tomorrow wont be the best day of your life, you just have to get there."

"a clean house is the sign of a broken computer." lol!! i love this one! :)

"creative minds are rarely tidy."

"life isnt about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain."

"happy girls are the prettiest." audrey hepburn

"wake up every morning with the thought that something wonderful is about to happen."

"its up to you to find beauty in the ugliest days"

"the 'normal' you speak of doesnt sound fun at all."

"we must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." joseph campbell

"before you talk, listen; before you react, think; before criticize, wait; before you pray, forgive; before you quit, try." totally wicked*tumblr

hope you liked a few of these. sorry i dont know the source of most. feel free to use them as status updates though :) enjoy your day tomorrow! pray for me as i drive to michigan again to be a part of my little sister's wedding. there will definitely be a post friday about the wedding and time with kayla.

blessings, ALo

Monday, June 20, 2011

Texas or bust!!

we are houston, tx...!!! there is so much that i could say, but dont really know where to start...

yes, we were praying for this. maybe not necessarily houston in the beginning, but something different. peter has not been happy with his job for some time, so this is a definite answer to prayer! peter will be working for cameron, an oil drilling company, with their engineering team. this is a good career move for him which makes this a good move for our family! the big move will happen pretty quickly, but i will not be there permanently for several more weeks. peter will be able to take a couple weeks off from his current job before starting his new job (start date of july 25th). we will make a trip down with his car and his electronics (!!!) to look around and scope a few things out and we will then fly back up north for a family reunion and a few goodbyes. this is where i get anxiety! i hate saying good-bye, or even see ya later. i know that texas is pretty far from everything that we have known for the 5 years we have been married. as mentioned in a previous post, peter and i have an anniversary trip to jamaica planned over labor day weekend. so, right after that trip (our flights for that trip have been booked to leave from dayton, ohio) i will start my final trip from ohio to texas. i really am excited!! i am excited about the new job for peter, new house (eventually) for us, and kinda just starting over. we all know how crazy this year has been for us and a change in scenery maybe what i need to focus on...although, that is where the biggest source of my anxiety (today) is coming from. it will be so hard to leave our close friends that we have here and our family just a few hours away. there is no way that we, especially me, could have made it through our pregnancy and loss of our baby girl without our support system. i am sad that people in texas will not know charlotte like my friends here do. they wont understand the excitement we will eventually have over the next baby because they dont know we went through to have babies. yes, i am open and will share when i feel comfortable or when people ask about my tattoo, but it wont be the same. that being said, i have said to several people, i could talk to a brick wall if needed...meaning, i have no problem making friends! and i know that the people here that love me will still love me even from far away! by the way...houston is the 4th largest city in the nation, which means it is easy to get there...several great airports...come visit! we will be about 45 min for galveston beach and not far at all from the 2nd largest mall in the nation, the galleria! yep...plan a trip and visit us! 

so, over all...YIPPPPPEEEEEEE we are moving to houston, texas!!!!

prayer requests:
1. that peter's transition into his new job would go smoothly and that we will fit right in (btw, he two very close friends from college that work at cameron...that is our connection!)
2. that the details of our relocation will work out just right...mostly the sale of our home here in ohio. the new company is offering a lot of help, but we will need to sell this house...and ASAP would be great!
3. that we can have good quality time with everyone without feeling stressed about doing everything we need to do. i would hang out all day with friends, but that doesnt get the packing done! :)

we know that we are following what God whats for us, which is why we have so much peace about moving across the country. God has closed and open the perfect doors for us and we cant wait to see what is next...hope i dont melt in the houston was 113 degrees there yesterday!!!

blessings, ALo

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sweetest Gift

i came home from michigan to the sweetest gift! my friend kat ordered it for me from etsy and it was a total surprise...which made it even better.

kat and i are what i call texting friends. kat and i have only talked face to face 3 times, but we text several times a month. kat and her hubby (blair) have two kids...their youngest carter was born january 4 with several health concerns. kat was one of the first people to truly understand what we felt when we got our diagnosis with charlotte...they knew before carter was born what he was up against. kat and i are the kind of friends that dont need much more than prayer from each other. we simply text a prayer or a few words of encouragement when we cross each others minds.

so, i came home to a surprise gift from kat. she ordered me personalized bible verses that came in a cute drawstring bag. there are 80 business card size cardstock with verses personalized with my name. sparklestudio (this looks just like the one i got!) on etsy did a great job...and thanks to kat, all 80 pieces had my name spelled correctly! :) for real, this is one of the most thoughtful gifts that i have been given! what is more encouraging than God's word and promises? and it is even better to see your name in each one of those encouragement cards! not to mention that i am also a sucker for cute fabrics...and this is functional!

so, thank you kat for brightening my day! i am so thankful for the encouragement in a time that is very difficult for you. love you, my texting friend!!

please keep kat and blair in your prayers as they face a long journey as parents to a baby with disabilities! please pray for carter...he is now five and a half months old, but still facing some big health concerns...shunts, casts, surgeries, therapies, specialists, medications and so much more. please pray for caitlin, carter's big sister. i am sure that life can be very confusing for her at times. i pray that this family feels God's peace and comfort on those days when they feel stuck in trying to make decisions. i pray that carter continues to prove the doctors wrong. kat, i pray for you!

blessings, ALo

Sunday, June 12, 2011

All Grown Up

this morning i drove to michigan to be a part of my cousin amanda's bridal fun!!! i am so excited for amanda and her fiance, joe, to be married this summer (one day after our 5 year anniversary!). unfortunately, i will not be able to be here for the wedding (it is the same weekend that my sis-in-law is getting married!!) so i wanted to be sure to be here for the my mom was co-hosting :) of course i couldnt come without making something sweet...i made mini chocolate (with chocolate chips) cupcakes with caramel frosting, buttercream stuffed strawberries, and phyllo with frosting and blueberries. my mom did a great job with the party, but the best thing was being able to see all the ladies here to support amanda in this new journey of her life!! there were 4 generations represented!!

amanda and i had a great childhood together! from the beginning amanda and i were close...i was born on her first birthday! :) so we were "forced" to share but i never minded, i dont think that she did either. after my family moved from michigan to georgia, amanda and i didnt get to see each other very often, but when we did we had so much fun. in the summers, she always let me tag along on the boat with her friends, go grab lunch or go shopping. i never felt like the younger cousin, but rather a good friend. over the years, amanda and i have done our different things and experienced different life adventures (although i did become a hair stylist after her; she made it look so fun!! :) ), but she has always been there to chat and catch up! one of my favorites memories of our "adult" friendship was sharing a tent with her in africa for a week...that would make anyone close!!! so, today it was so fun to see her opening presents that she and joe will use in their life see how excited she is to spend her life with joe! it is so crazy that we are all grown up and married and starting families of our own when it seems like yesterday we were here at the lake as kids... frizzy perm hair, matching bathing suits, and eating mimi's ice cream dessert (that is one thing we still like to do!). 

amanda, i am so happy that you have found the love of your life! i can see the happiness he brings you when you walk into a room together!! i cant wait to see what God has in store for you guys. i hope that our kids will one day be able to come to gull lake to hang out during the summers and have the childhood that we were so blessed to have together! know that i will be praying for you and cheering you on as you grow old together...i am always here to chat! love you, amanda jo! my family by force, but my friend by choice!!! 

here are a few pics of amanda and me together...

amanda and i were pretty young...obvi the 80's! (84?)

one of our many matching outfits! grant and olivia pictured too ('91)

amanda did my hair for my wedding ('06)

in utah on our fmaily trip, cousin alex pictured too ('10)

from the shower today (i stole this from buffy, thanks!) amanda and aunt pam ('11)

blessings, ALo

Friday, June 10, 2011

Oldie but a goodie

my sweet and awesome hubby has been spending hours putting all of my cds onto the computer and then onto my ipod. seriously...i would never have done this myself! and now, i dont know what i would do in the car without that ipod full of music! :) just another reason i love my hubby...he spoils me!

in the meantime i was going through some mixed cds and found one of my most favorite songs from 10 years ago. now, it is all i can think about...all i keep singing! here is the cool has brought me a lot of encouragement today. i think i am going to keep playing it on repeat and rockin out. so, if you see me in the car singing at the top of my lungs...join in! :)

so, here is the oldie but goodie...ginny owens singing "if you want me to" (lyrics below)

The pathway is broken 
And The signs are unclear 
And I don't know the reason why You brought me here 
But just because You love me the way that You do 
I'm gonna walk through the valley 
If You want me to 

Cause I'm not who I was 
When I took my first step 
And I'm clinging to the promise You're not through with me yet 
so if all of these trials bring me closer to you 
Then I will walk through the fire 
If You want me to 

It may not be the way I would have chosen 
When you lead me through a world that's not my home 
But You never said it would be easy 
You only said I'd never go alone 

ya oh oh no

So When the whole world turns against me 
And I'm all by myself 
And I can't hear You answer my cries for help 
I'll remember the suffering Your love put You through 
And I will go through the valley If You want me to 

blessings, ALo

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

5 months

it has been 5 months, today, since i got to see Charlotte face to face. it has been 5 months since i had to say good bye. today was a pretty "normal" day for me. i actually woke up pretty late because i stayed up until 2:30am working on Charlotte's celebration photo the way, it is going to be so nice. i am still so thankful to emily for taking so many great photos!! so, i didnt wake up until almost 9am then i ate breakfast while i watched The Voice that had recorded. is anyone else watching it? i sure do love blake shelton! :) i then got right to work finishing my photo book. if i finish it and order it before tomorrow i get free shipping! duh!! well, i finished it!!! now, after i post this i am going to proof it and buy it! :) well, me being a perfectionist got caught up and was then running late for a few "home hair" appointments. i quick jumped in the shower and got ready in about 20 minutes...if you would have seen me today you would have totally guessed that too! my apologies if you did see me! anyway, i was able to spend the afternoon with my friends joyce and debbie. i have been doing their hair basically since i started. they started coming to me while i was in cosmetology school, then home hair before i was full time in the salon, then at the salon, now back to home hair. they are so loyal, but i think it has more to do with a friendship than what i actually do for their hair...thanks girls...although they are both good about drumming up more business for me (thanks!!!). on the way home, i stopped at the grocery store for steaks. it has been so hot here, but i know that the rain is coming, so i thought tonight would be a perfect night for was! i made sauteed mushrooms, fresh corn on the cob, mashed potatoes and the grilled steaks. it was delicious. now, i cant wait for the fresh strawberries and homemade whipped cream we are going to have for dessert! all of this has been pretty "normal'. not much different than what i would have done last summer. the difference is not something that anyone else will really notice. today, when i woke up, the first thing i thought about was Charlotte. today, when i was making the photo book all i kept thinking was about Charlotte...this was a pattern all day. this is a pattern everyday. this is probably not different for those of you who have kids...i assume you think about them all day every day. today has not been a sad day necessarily, i have only cried once, i just think about her and how different my life would be if she were here...if i had a 5 month old baby.

i was asked today if i had little ones. i wish i knew exactly how to answer that without making everyone involved feel awkward. i dont want to say no, but how do i say yes? today i said "well, technically yes, but we lost our baby in january." i felt bad for myself having to saying that, i felt bad for the person asking...ugh...this sucks sometimes! hopefully in the next 5 months i will have a better feel on how to handle that!

thank you for all who have been praying for me, for us! thank you to all who sent encouragement after my last post! i have had a much better attitude this week (so far) and have been looking to God when i feel down or discouraged! and...i have not been running to food the past week when something (good or bad) happens!! my waistline is seeing a difference!! :) thanks, friends!

Psalm 145:17-20 "The LORD is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. The LORD watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever."

blessings, ALo

Sunday, June 5, 2011


i dont really know how to describe how i have felt the past week. i think it is frustration. not anger, so much, or jealousy...some confusion, some disappointment but for sure plenty of frustration. from the start of our journey with Charlotte, i knew the that probability of her growing to full term was (according to the specialist) about 3%...pretty low. we prepared ourselves for the worst (as well as we could, but nothing really prepares you). we prayed for a miracle...that she would in fact go to term so that we could see her alive, even just for 5 minutes. as you know, that did not happen. i have been pretty open with my feelings and my grief from the beginning. that openness has helped me process each stage of grief and then move on to the next phase. some emotions have been easier than others, but i cant seem to get over this issue that i have been carrying around for the last almost 2 weeks. i am hoping that getting it out in the open will help me process. of course, God has already started working on me through the message at church this week (we went last night).

so, i am frustrated that i am not pregnant yet. we have been trying the last few months. i know that this sounds sorry. i didnt have to "try" to have Charlotte, it happened the first month. i thought that maybe because Charlotte was born early (not at term like we were praying) that we would get pregnant right away, otherwise, why did she have to be taken from us so early? why didnt i get to see her alive for just a few moments? when i wasnt pregnant by her due date i was REALLY frustrated. peter and i want to be parents so badly. it seems to happen for others so easily...why are we being asked to continue with this grief without a positive to cling to? i know that this is not really the case, but that is what i am thinking lately. yes, i know that it will happen when it is supposed to. i "get" that God is in control, but when do i get to start dreaming again? well, i am dreaming, but not the dreams that i like having. 

ok, so, last night at church we were in week 10 of 11 on a study of the book of james. when we got to church i was already emotional after spending the day around a lot of little babies at my "fake sister" maggie's grad party. when we pulled out of the driveway to go to church i looked at peter...that was all...he knew exactly what i was thinking...he was thinking it too...we just want to have our own family. so, again, i was already emotional when i went into church. before the sermon, we had communion and i prayed about all that i was feeling...knowing that i was allowing some of my frustration to keep me from being real with God. at the end of communion we sang hillsong's "you hold me now" (see bottom of post for the song). i totally lost it! i know that Charlotte is now perfect in the presence of God and that He is holding her close. THAT IS WHERE I WANT TO BE! at that moment that was all i could think of...Jesus, just come back now, please, i am ready! i was so sad...while i am so glad that Charlotte is not in pain and is perfect, i want her here. i want my baby! i want my family! james 5:7-12 is all about having patience in suffering. of course that was the passage for the sermon...of course! please...if you are going through any type of trial in your life or any type of suffering, listen to the whole sermon (titled macrothumos). i had so many notes that i cant type them all. but one of the biggest things that i came away with is "God does not get distracted." suffering does not happen because God wasnt paying attention, or because he was distracted (i.e. God isnt texting while driving). God is always in control, nothing gets past Him. God never makes a mistake! do i know this? yes. did i need a reminder? YES! God knew what He was doing when He called Charlotte home at 22 weeks. He hasnt forgotten about me, even if it feels that way. He is still there, giving me His full attention. 

i was also reminded how much i suck in the patience department. in the passage we see that the farmers are patient with uncontrollable situations, prophets were patient with unchangeable situations, and job was patient with unexplainable situations...and me, i am not patient with anything. verse 11 says that i will be blessed if i persevere in my suffering with patience. i know that i will still face fears and insecurities. i know that i cant control God's will in my life (good thing, i would not be good at that!). i do know that God loves me, that He did not mess up and that He has good things in store for me. everything that happens here on earth is as bad as it will ever get for me...thankfully! i am so thankful for the reminder this weekend!

please pray that i will be more patient, especially with myself! please pray that i will not be frustrated by how things happen or do not happen, that i will be happy with where God has me right now! 

i am writing this down and putting around the house as a reminder this week!
psalm 121
"I lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip, He who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you, the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day, nor by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm, He will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going, both now and forevermore!!!!"

Hillsong's "You Hold Me Now"

blessings, ALo