Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Be Still

shhh...hold still...inside voices...listen...be still.

i have heard all of these things so many times growing up. i am still not good at any of them! be still? what does that even mean? dont you know i am a very stereotypical type A personality? but that is what i have been trying to tell myself for the past few weeks.

be still.



be still and know that God is here. listen for what God is trying to tell me over the noise of life. wait on God's perfect timing. these are all hard for me. i feel like some days are better than others, but today has been a bit more of a struggle. i am trying! God knows my heart and my desires, but i want to know HIS!

this song keeps coming to mind today. such a encouragement!

Psalm 46:10 He says, "Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in earth".

blessings, ALo

Friday, January 27, 2012

Whats the Deal

is the month of january cursed? i swear...i have been dealt another blow this year. remember last january? yeah, it sucked...we said goodbye to Charlotte and my good friend elizabeth started her battle against cancer. thankfully, elizabeth and i are both on the flip side of last january, but our good friend susie is just beginning a battle of her own. :(

i met susie several years ago while i was working at athletes in action. she and her hubby, ben, are missionaries with aia in the international division. in fact, when i first them they had just returned from india to take a position at headquarters. fast forward a few years. susie and i started getting to know each other just after they brought their son, charlie, home from rwanda. i started doing susie's hair and eventually talya's hair (susie's little girl). we would have so much fun being girly, talking about books we were reading, etc. susie was a huge source of encouragement after we lost Charlotte. she and ben lost a sweet baby boy while living in india :( ben and peter were in the same bible study for awhile...we just fell in love with the thomas family and have missed them since moving to houston.

over the last (almost) 2 months susie has been having mini seizures, headaches, and a few other symptoms. the doctors started testing her for epilepsy and MS. susie is now 14 weeks pregnant with baby #4, so that is complicating things a little bit. this past wednesday, susie had an MRI to rule out a few things. before she and ben could even get back to the office, they were called back to the hospital. susie was told that she has a mass the size of an orange on the front/right side of her brain.

for real? a brain tumor? for my friend? my pregnant friend? my very young friend?!?!? how could this be happening? she is healthy, she works out, she has 3 kids 6 and under at home, she is PREGNANT!! i knew that susie was having a few issues, but i was never prepared for what i found out on wednesday. who would ever actually think this could happen? how could this happen again to one of my friends? i just sat and cried for a bit on wednesday and again on thursday. i have prayed non-stop since wednesday and i know there are people all over the world doing the same thing!

susie had another MRI yesterday and a biopsy this morning. the doctors think that the tumor may be contained and, hopefully, benign. as crazy as all of this is, susie seems to be doing "ok". on wednesday when she made her first post about the tumor, she was cracking jokes about wishing dr. shepard and dr. montgomery (from grey's anatomy) were real! :) she also posted a photo of her hospital intake sheet...apparently someone wrote that she has a brian tumor...spell check much? is a brian tumor better or worse than a brain tumor? :)

please pray for my sweet friend! please pray that the biopsy shows a benign, contained tumor. please pray for wisdom for ben and susie as they have to make so many decisions. please pray for baby thomas #4 that is still growing and developing. please pray for susie's doctors and nurses. please pray for susie's kids at home: simon, talya, and charlie. PLEASE PRAY!!

isnt her smile infectious? so beautiful!

Jeremiah 33:6 Behold, I will bring health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth.

blessings, ALo

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Made My Day

first of all...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!!!! i love you! thank you for all that you do for me and for our family. you are more than i could have ever ask for in a mom. now that i am older you are also one of my best friends. thanks for all your support and encouragement and words of wisdom, both as my mom and as my friend. thanks for knowing when to be my mom and when to be my friend...i am sure that is hard some times. you are one of the strongest people i have ever known. thanks for always being real and following where God leads you. i am blessed because of you! happy birthday!

so, this afternoon as i was getting ready for church i got a call from my sister in law, whitney (jonathan's wife). when i answered the phone it was actually my 8 year old niece, kayla. i immediately got a huge smile on my face...her little voice is so cute! she reminds me of myself so much sometimes. kayla has always been very outgoing...not shy at all. so, when i answered she didnt skip a beat in getting right to the point, plus she is 8! :) "aunt aimee, this is kayla. i am learning about missionaries in awana this week and i need to know about where you have been and what you do to tell people about Jesus." insert even bigger smile, a giggle, and chills...plus a little heart melting! my niece called to ask about why i do what i do...about my biggest passion. i was caught a little off guard and didnt say anything for a second. kayla jumped right in. "aunt aimee, are you there? can you tell me?" lol "sure kayla. are you ready, there are a lot of different places." over the next few minutes it told her the different places that i have been to for short term missions and what i did there, then i told her what i do now and why it is important to me. i am not sure what all she gleaned from our conversation...i know that me telling her i went to hungary messed her up...she was thinking hungry...lol! however, at the end of the conversation, when i was talking with whitney, i heard kayla asking about the photo album. she wanted to pick out a picture to take in with her report of her and me together to show her leader...her aunt the missionary. now, i know that i am not "really" a missionary full time. but, i do have a part in missions...and the students that i work with day in and day out are a mission field, and houston is my mission field, and the gym is my mission field, and my home while doing hair is my mission field. it just made my day that my niece thought of me when doing her awana project. it made my day that she is excited to show her leader and friends pictures of us together...that she is excited about what i do...that she is "getting it". i got to tell kayla several times in different ways today how important it is to tell people about Jesus. how i get to use many different tools and gifts to share the good news of Jesus. it makes my day thinking about kayla and carter (her little brother) going to awana, saying the verse they have been memorizing all week. carter (age 4) can still tell you several verses that he learned a few weeks back...so cute!

anyway, i love to brag on my family (have you noticed?) by the way...HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ZOE! yep, my little niece turned one today! she and my mom (aka mimi) share a birthday. i think my mom is probably a little glad...the attention will be on zoe from now on instead of how old she is! :) i am so glad that my family members are making it a priority to raise the kids knowing memory verses, teaching them about missionaries, and how to follow Jesus from an early age. so excited to see these kids grow up to be missionaries where ever God takes them, just like their aunt aimee.

what made your day today? i hope it had something to do with your mission field!

blessings, ALo

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Time for an update!

well, this last week has been crazy! after wearing ourselves out in ohio, peter and i both got pretty nasty colds this week. oh well...we rarely get sick, so i guess we were due. although i did make homemade chicken noodle soup that was delicious!

nate is now home from the hospital!! praise the Lord! i know that he has a long few months ahead of him, but he is a tough kid and will be just fine! thanks for all the prayers for him and my mom! they were greatly appreciated!

so, 2 more things...

1. my sweet, beautiful, crazy, loving friend lisa is pregnant!!! woohoo!! i have been holding this in for months!!! it has been so hard not to write something here or on her facebook page! today lisa, josh, and jake found out they were going to be having another sweet baby boy. here is the video and some pictures!

Baby Husmann #3

lisa and i have been through SO MUCH together in the past year. it seems like we have been friends for so much longer...she just knows me so well. i know that lisa had a really hard time telling me that she was pregnant. she knew that peter and i had been trying for several months and she just wants it for us about as badly as we want it for ourselves. i couldnt be happier for lisa and her family. yes, i wish i were pregnant too, but that does not make me any less happy for her. lisa is an awesome mom to both of her boys (jake and jaxton) and this next one is more than blessed to join the club! i love you, friend! i know that last year was one of the hardest ever, and you have always been more than supportive of me through it all. thanks for loving my Charlotte. i know she and Jaxton are best buddies, just like us! and...i cant wait to be a part of this little one's life, even from houston! :)

2. so, lisa has a HUGE part in this one too, really it is all about her! remember how i was helping get the word out about lisa collecting wedding dresses last spring? well, this past weekend lisa organized a sewing day to finish several baby dresses. at the end of the day, the remaining dresses were divided up so that the ladies could work on the dresses at home. when the dresses are finished they will be sent to lisa and she will then take them to the hospital to be given to families who have to say good bye to their babies much too soon. this will give them something beautiful to wrap their babies in. when lisa first "met" charlotte (meaning we shared a special time in the hospital not long after Jaxton was born...i showed lisa my pictures of Charlotte and she showed them to Jaxton. still brings tears to my eyes thinking about how special that was for each of us.) she looked at me and immediately said, "i want to do something special in her memory. i want to donate my wedding dress to make baby dresses." needless to say, lisa wasted NO time in starting the cause. lisa collected somewhere around 30 dresses from women all over the country! (by the way, at this time, she is not collecting any more dresses. when there is another opportunity for that, i will let you know) as sad as it is that she felt the need to do this, it makes me so happy at the same time. the dresses are beautiful!! as each dress is made, i am praying for family that will receive them. i wish there was more that i/we could do, but prayers will have to be enough. i wish that i had had a beautiful dress like this for Charlotte, but that is why lisa is doing this. and i love her for it!! here are a few pictures from the sewing day!
Ladies working away!
lisa (center, leaning over) and some friends cutting and prepping

getting the dresses ready

4 of the finished products. BEAUTIFUL!!!!

 i had given lisa my dress months ago, asked for it back when i made the canvas with Charlotte's sand art and lace, and still had the dress when we moved. so, i dont remember if i told you or not, but the ONLY thing missing from the move is that canvas with the lace. for real. i am devastated. the moving company is looking into it, but i am keeping my dress until i either get the original canvas back or i have to make another one. i am really hoping they find it, becuase i really dont want to have to make another. it was one of those things that i did that was very healing for me and now it would just feel like a chore that i really dont want to do!! but, lisa and i are saving our dresses for last anyway, so i have time. just hope with me that it "shows up" some where!! :) here it is...please excuse the unfinished painting...we did finish it before we moved! :)

i hope that you all have a great night! i am finishing this week so excited for my friend lisa and all that is happening in her life. please pray that this baby continues to grow on track! please pray for lisa and josh as they prepare (in every way) for another baby! please pray for lisa as they are approaching Jaxton's first birthday at the end of february. please pray that i can be a great friend to her through the next several months!!

blessings, ALo

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

One Tough Cookie

well, i wrote this blog once earlier, but something went wrong and it didnt post. its fine because i have a new update anyway!

my little brother, nate (age 14) has had a pretty rough few weeks. almost 2 weeks ago (1/5/12) we was snow boarding with some friends and took a nasty fall! being the tough guy that he is, he got up and wanted to try another run, but didnt make it all the way down before he had to call ski patrol to come help him the rest of the way down. we all thought it was nothing more than a bruise and told him to shake it off. i know that my mom and some of my siblings feel pretty badly about things that they did or didnt do to help him out. on monday of last week, nate went in for a sports physical to get ready for his upcoming wrestling season and they found protein in his urine. before they would clear him to play, they asked that he go see an orthopedic doc on friday. on friday, they immediately sent him to the ER for an x-ray and then a cat scan. upon review, it was obvious that nate broke his pelvis/hip. :( for just over a week he had been walking around and trying to get by on a broken pelvis. seriously one tough dude!! he had surgery on saturday early morning and they placed a plate and 3 screws. he seemed to be doing "ok" outside of some mood swings on his pain meds. he was supposed to go home today, in fact, the first i wrote this that is what i said. but, in the last few hours things have changed. this morning, nate's fever was a little high and his blood count was low. they decided to send him back into surgery as soon as his doctor was out of another surgery. i just heard from mom that they had to go in and clean everything out, put in two drains, and give him a blood transfusion. while he was under, his blood pressure dropped pretty low and his heart rate was high, so they were in a hurry to close him up and get finished. right now they are deciding whether to take him to ICU over night.

poor nate! he has been through so much the last 2 weeks! he really is one tough cookie! everyone is totally amazed that he was able to walk around on a broken hip for over a week! he is going to have a serious recovery! right now he is on total bed rest while he has the drains. before he goes home, he will have to be off more meds. he will not be able to put any weight on his hip for 3 months. he will miss out on all of his favorite winter sports (mom had just bought him a new snow board and bindings and new wrestling gear) and some school time (nate is not disappointed about that). originally, mom was going to have to give nate shots, but that all changed with the drains...thankfully for both of them!

please pray for my mom! i know that she feels bad about all that happened, but we al know it is NOT her fault!! please pray that she has patience during this long recovery and that nate's mood swings will not put mom over the edge! :)

please pray for nate! he is going to have a long few months of appointments, rehab, sitting around, school work catch-up, and boredom. boredom for a 14 year old is NEVER a good thing! :) please pray that this last "clean-up surgery" did the trick and that he will be on his way home soon! please pray that his spirit is not too discouraged by what he will be missing out on!

i know that nate is a tough kid and that he will be just fine...hopefully sooner rather than later! crazy thing is, now he and mom have matching scars! a broken hip and a hip replacement...weird!

thanks for all the prayers!

blessings, ALo

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy Birthday, Charlotte!

To my sweet girl,
Happy 1st birthday! I cant believe that you have been gone for a whole year! daddy and i miss you so much it hurts. today we have talked about you together, prayed together for you, and ate cookies together to celebrate the day you were born. daddy and i both wrote messages on balloons for you. i know that you wont get them, but it helped us seeing those purple balloons lift off towards your birthday celebration in heaven. Charlotte, you are the best thing that has ever happened to us. we are so thankful for each moment that we had with you!! God knew exactly what He was doing when he formed your little body. we are so glad that you are now in His loving arms, safe and healthy, waiting for us. daddy and i cant wait to see who you look like and what your personality is like. are you spunky like me, or super chill like dad? there are so many things that we are missing out on, but we know that this is the way God has had it planned since the beginning of time. this next year we hope to have your little brother or sister, but we will never forget how you paved the way for our hearts to love. we will never forget all the joy that you have brought us! Charlotte Jean, mommy and daddy love you with our whole hearts. we think about you each and every day and miss you more than we could have imagined. happy first birthday/angelversary!!

today has been a great day. not that we have not shed tears; not that we have not had moments of intense pain and sadness, but it has been great because most of our day was spent together, thinking and talking about our time with Charlotte. peter and i went to church this morning pretty early and we were there until about 1. it was so nice to be there, worshipping with the middle schoolers and being challenged by jason to "get off the fence" in our relationship with God. i also had a few responsibilities to keep me distracted most of the morning from everything else that was going on. after church, we went to lunch with a big group of people from church. there is this really awesome burger joint called "the shack"...i left stuffed! when we got home, peter and i wrote messages to Charlotte on some balloons that we bought, prayed together, and released the balloons. i got teary/emotional, but it was so nice to have peter right there with his arms around me. we were able to spend so much time together, laying on the couch, talking about what we think Charlotte would be like if she were here. more tears were shed, but not necessarily just sad tears. lots of longing, but we know that she has been made whole and is just waiting for us to meet her in heaven when it is our time.

thank you sooooo much for all the prayers, text messages, calls, facebook notes, cards and other forms of encouragement. i have felt so supported and loved through it all!! here are a few pictures from today.
at "the shack" for lunch

ballons with Charlotte's blanket

peter's message to his sweet girl

my message to my baby girl

just before the release

new "hope" willow tree from robin and blake, with a sweet card!! love that it is a balloon! 

napping with his sweet's blanket...love this!!!

 Psalm 139:13-16 "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

this still stands out to me from last year, so i thought i would share it again. this is what peter posted on facebook when we got home from the hospital a year ago. LOVE HIM!! he is such an amazing dad!!

"Today we said goodbye to a child we never knew, but whom we love more than words could express. Our baby girl Charlotte was not meant to know this world, but is now at perfect peace in the gracious and loving hands of our Lord, where she will feel neither pain nor sadness. Although the loss of her physical body will take time to recover from we have comfort in knowing she is experiencing inexplicable joy in the presence of her Creator and that one day we will see her again."

blessings, ALo

Saturday, January 7, 2012


a year ago right now, peter and i had been sitting in a labor and delivery room for 8 hours. i had been given a few doses of induction meds, we had both eaten hospital food for lunch and dinner, a few friends had come and gone, flowers had been delivered, and both of our moms were there with us.

i really cant believe it has been a year already! some days the memories and emotions still seem so raw (but if you read my blog you know that!). i remember, quite vividly, everything that was said, how things felt, the prayers that were begged, and tears that were cried. i cant believe it has been a year since we started our good-bye to Charlotte.

tonight, i am pretty ok. i have talked about Charlotte so much the last few days and it has been very helpful. thank you to all you have listened and offered support and tissues! tonight, i am glad that i will get more sleep than i did a year ago. tonight, i am thankful that i know exactly where Charlotte is...that i know she is healthy and safe and happy!

i cant believe it has been a year already. i am praying that i dont have some major freak out moment tomorrow, at least not in public, when reality hits me. i pray that my time with peter celebrating Charlotte is a time of sweet memories and hope for the future. we never thought that the last year would have had the turns and dips that it did...we are praying God keeps us on our toes, in a good way, this year!

thanks for all the prayers...i am definitely feeling them all tonight!!

blessings, ALo

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What to do

i dont know what to do. Charlotte's "birthday" is sunday and i dont know what to do to celebrate. is it weird? i want to take time to think about and celebrate her...our time with her. i just dont know how i want to do that. do i have people over for cupcakes? do i do something with just peter and me? its hard because my new friends here in houston dont "know" her like my friends in the midwest. they were there for her balloon release, they were there when i was pregnant, etc. on the other hand, my friends here have mentioned being available/wanting to celebrate with us if we are up to it. i dont want the whole day to be sad. but i also know that this is such a huge part of who we are and i want our friends to know us, to "know" Charlotte. i still have not shared any of her things with anyone here. plus, who doesnt love cupcakes? :)

i just feel weird planning but not planning a non-birthday birthday "thing"...see what do i even call it? i know that part of me is wanting to plan something as a distraction for what the day is really about. if there are people over, i will be in entertainer mode. all of this is wrapped pretty tightly in denial. i am running circles around myself in my head...i think i am making this harder than it really is. i am making myself, and peter, crazy. then throw my jealousy issues in there and i am a big ball of mess. i still wish i was just planning Charlotte's real first birthday...the one where i get to watch my toothy little girl, dressed in pink frills and ruffles, get completely covered in cake and frosting. the party where i wrap tupperware, because thats all a baby really wants/needs/can play with. yeah...i am needing some prayer! i should just leave it at that.

so, here is the deal...peter and i are going to come home after church. we will have lunch and then have cupcakes to celebrate Charlotte's birthday. we will probably release a few balloons after. we are probably going to hang out here, do our thing alone, but that could change. i might add a post later in the week inviting people over. if not, or if you live too far away, feel free to have something sweet and think about Charlotte and pray for us as we are still trying to figure out this road that we are on. how to celebrate and remember, but not be weird or awkward or whatever the right term is for a situation like this. pray that God reveals His next step for our family. pray that my jealousy and feelings of doubt will be turned into something healthy and God honoring.

thanks so much for all the support and encouragement. i promise i am not really as crazy as i sound.

thankful that God's love never fails...He never gives up!

blessings, ALo