Monday, February 27, 2012

Friendly Visit

this weekend some of our awesome friends from ohio came to visit. jon, lindsey, and baby violet fulton came in on thursday and just left (very) early this morning. we had a blast!! i had to work every day that they were here, but they were very understanding and we all made the best of our time. basically, we just laid around! saturday we all went to galveston...not the best was freezing, rainy, and galveston is not the nicest place, but we laughed a lot and made great memories! my favorite part of that day was when we went to this little shop on the strand that had some very unique books. our favorite (which lindsey bought) is called "thats disgusting" it is so gross/weird/creepy/not for kids! here are a few pics of the book...there are probably 15 or so pages. the first page is not too bad, but by the end things get out of control! 
Linds demonstrating her fav. page.
nice cartoon
a little smellier than play doh

see what i mean...gross! while the fultons were here we also went to some of our favorite places to eat here around our house. we hit up everything from pizza, to tex mex, to a deli, to texas barbecue, and sea food in galveston. the best part of the weekend was hanging out with sweet little violet. she is absolutely precious!! peter and i have been friends with jon and lindsey since we were in college. it is so awesome to see them as parents and doing a great job at it! here are a few pics of sweet little violet (she turns one in a few weeks). 
At lunch thursday, it was 80 and sunny, she was happy! 
a little breezy at Chuy's, but she can pull off the hat!
playin on the steps, she is super active.
violet wasnt loving galveston! aren't my friends so cute???!!?? 
first time at the beach for violet...too bad it was so cold! 
had to get one with my hubs. love him!!
violet was glad to be home after church and lunch. cutest outfit ever, wish you could see the whole thing!

i hated getting up at 4:15 this morning, but i was so glad that the fultons were here!!!! they booked this trip before i even moved here officially! love that! thanks so much, guys! we love you! 

so...quick update: i went to see my ob nurse practitioner last week on that point i was 2 days late, but she thought it was because of all the antibiotics and me being sick. they did a quick blood test which came back negative for pregnancy. before i left she gave me an order for a blood work panel work up. the blood work had to be done on day 3 or 4 of my period. i started friday, so i had the blood work done today. i will go on march 12 to see the endocrinologist/hormone specialist. we will go over the results from today and also do an ultrasound with dye to see if there are any blockages anywhere. if all of those things are inconclusive, peter will probably have to do a few tests. so...please that if there is an issue, it is something simple, preferably with me (not that he cant handle it, i would just feel better if it were me, not him)! i am feeling fine about everything right now, but we will see if that changes on the 11th! :) thanks for all the prayers, support, advice, encouragement, etc. since my last post. it is hard some days, but i know that God is in control, none of this is a surprise to Him. i know that He loves both of us so much! i know that He has started a good work in me and that work will continue until He returns (Philippians 1:6). that has been a HUGE encouragement to me. i am praying that i continue to look for the good work of God in my life, even in the trial, especially in the trial. 

blessings, ALo

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New blog

hey guys, i will update you on my stuff tomorrow, but i wanted to let you know that whitney and eric (thatcher's parents) started a new blog to keep everyone up to date. they have so many people praying for them and following their story, facebook notes just werent cutting it. they did post yesterday about the lastest ultrasound...some great news!

please keep praying that thatcher continues to stun these doctors!!

blessings, ALo

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

First Step

tomorrow, peter and i are taking the first step in trying to figure out why we have not been able to get pregnant for over a year. i have so many mixed emotions about all of it! it has been over 13 months since we had Charlotte. it has been over a year since we have been trying to get pregnant again. i know that sometimes it takes time. i know that hormones take a little while to get back on track, but it has been a year. i can only compare things to "the first time". the first time we got pregnant immediately. the first time was easy. the first time there was no "planning" or "scheduling". i have heard the term "secondary infertility" a few times the last few months. i heard it from a doctor here in houston and my doctor in ohio. both said that it is not uncommon. both said to wait it out a year and see what can be found. my issue is that most people who have secondary infertility are busy chasing around another kid at home. we dont. it makes me miss Charlotte so much more. i would give anything (even not having any more biological children) to have her here. i am not stressed, i am sad. i am not depressed, i am confused. i am not mad at God, i just dont understand.

so, i have been sick for a few weeks...literally, just shy of 3 weeks! i had strep and a bacterial infection. i had several fevers, horrid hacking, and nasty drainage. after taking a few different meds, i am finally feeling better. the only thing lingering is a massive headache. i have had this migraine since saturday. the kind where i am nauseous, vision spots, sore neck, hearing issues, etc. normally i would not be too worried about a headache. yes, it stinks that i have lost sleep from it, excedrine migraine normally knocks them out, but it is not touching this! anyway, normally i would not worry, but with all that is going on with my sweet friend susie, i am PARANOID!!! maybe i am not pregnant because i am sick, more specifically, that i have a brain tumor. crazy right??!!?? ok, did God allow me to get sick so that peter and i could "try" as often as we needed to? does God not want me to be pregnant? to have a family? i am so confused! part of me hates going to the doctor tomorrow because i want God to work and do what He wants, but didnt He give us doctors/medicine/knowledge to be better? to fix little things that could be off?

i know that there are so many of you that are praying! praying for my friend susie (ps. please read her blog from yesterday. it made me cry! love her heart!!!). i know that you are praying for whitney, eric, and baby thatcher. (today they had another ultrasound. i hope to read an update later. i will post if so!) please pray for peter and me. please pray that God makes things VERY clear for us. please pray that we will be open to whatever news we hear. please pray that we stay true to who we are and not allow this to consume us. i know that we will be given LOTS of information and probably a few options. please pray that we process it all with clear minds and open hearts and no pressure...from anyone!!

thank you for listening to me and my insecurities!

i have been singing the chorus of this hymn in my head the last few days...

I need thee every hour, most gracious Lord; 
no tender voice like thine can peace afford. 
I need thee, O I need thee; 
every hour I need thee; 
O bless me now, my Savior, I come to thee.

I need thee every hour; stay thou nearby; 
temptations lose their power when thou art nigh. 

I need thee every hour, in joy or pain; 
come quickly and abide, or life is vain. 

I need thee every hour; teach me thy will; 
and thy rich promises in me fulfill. 

I need thee every hour, most Holy One; 
O make me thine indeed, thou blessed Son. 

blessings, ALo

Saturday, February 18, 2012


i have a blog post that i want to write later about something awesome that happened to me the other day, but it is really late (just got back from a high school event) and i wanted to share the latest news from Thatcher's parents. PLEASE continue to pray for them!!! this family has become very dear to my heart. there are still so many unanswered questions! i am so thankful that they are strong believers and have faith that God is working in this little life already! they have hear from people literally all over the globe...people are praying for a miracle, and i am doing nothing less myself! so, please join me!!

Update for Thursday 2/16 (sorry it's a long one)
Thursday began much more quickly than the first few days had. A different pediatric neurologist stopped by our room even before he began his rounds to let us know he was going to look at the images of Thatcher’s head and that he would be back by in a few hours to discuss what he determines from them, and he stuck to his word. He came back in and we dove right in to another diagnosis and possible prognosis for Thatcher. This time we were given some “cautious optimism” as the doctor put it. He provided for us an entirely objective look at Thatcher’s scans, he purposefully had no history, and focused on the brain scans only, so as to be as objective as possible about his diagnosis. He let us know that both he and the neuro-radiologist who looked at the scans with him, believed that it could possibly be Aqueductal-Stenosis, which is a treatable condition. The prognosis to go with it is essentially what the world would consider a normal life and normal life expectancy. The thing that you have to know about this consult is that we weren’t even supposed to meet with this doctor. God had put it in motion that we would several days earlier. Our friend, Brittney, was in the room when the news was initially broken, recommended him as a great neurologist, and then she was able to let him know of our story, so he went out of his way to meet with us. God certainly is in control here. The meeting was quickly followed by another consult with a maternal fetal medicine surgeon (the one who broke the news to us on Tuesday night). He immediately shot down the idea of Aqueductal-Stenosis and took it off the table of possible diagnosis. He let us know that we would be meeting with a neo-natologist (fancy word for a high-risk pediatrician) later that day, broke the news to us that Thatcher would almost certainly be delivered via C-section, and that we could expect to be discharged that afternoon. The neo-natologist came in a few hours later with a lady from the CAPS (chronic and palliative care team) to go over what to expect during the actual birthing process as well as possible measures of intervention and care for Thatcher. It was both a good and very tough meeting. We were able to discuss and talk about how we will fight for Thatcher no matter what that looks like, we want him to have the best chance possible, and we will do anything and everything possible for him when he is born, but at the same time we had to look at the other side of the coin and discuss decisions that no parent should ever have to make for their newborn child. Such as resuscitation, ventilation, ect. They helped us develop a birth plan and were on their way. Needless to say the day was pretty up and down, and with a day like that, after spending a week in the hospital and having more possibilities then answers you would expect to get frustrated (trust us, when we begin to focus on it, we get pretty frustrated). But it just made us chuckle, that yes these doctors are very knowledgeable and we are thankful for their wisdom and professional opinions; they really have no clue what to expect. It was just yet another reminder that God is in control, and only He knows Thatcher’s story, and He will write it however He sees fit. In between meetings with doctors God orchestrated different encounters to keep us focused on Him, and to let us know that He was with us and in control. From our nurse walking in declaring that she is a Christian and that she sees miracles in the hospital everyday to the many encouraging emails, phone calls, texts, facebook posts, and messages. We even realized that God was using this situation to answer a prayer that Eric has had this entire pregnancy. Eric has prayed that God would be alive in our home, that he would have stories to share with Thatcher to illustrate that our God is not just a character spoken about in the bible but that He is alive and well and working in and around our lives and the lives of others. Well, we have heard so many stories of God’s grace, healing power, His dominion and might, and we are currently witnessing the body of Christ move in a way that we’ve never seen before. God is certainly alive, and He is doing big things. Whitney’s dad was sent a message from a friend in Qatar who was approached by a friend of hers who wanted to share the story of a young couple living in the Woodlands and their sweet baby boy. This woman does not know us, and our friend has no idea how she found out about Thatcher’s story, but this is just another example of how God is using Thatcher to reach people across the globe.
We continue to be humbled by the support of the body of Christ, by your prayers and your faith that God is truly sovereign. We will continue to pray knowing that He can and believing that He will heal Thatcher, in accordance to His will. We simply ask that you join us in this prayer.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21

blessings, ALo

Thursday, February 16, 2012


here is an update on baby thatcher:

Update from 2/15 after Pediatric Neurologist consult:
The majority of today was a waiting game.  This morning we met with the maternal fetal medicine surgeon (the same doctor who brought us the MRI results last night) to make sure we understood what information was given last night and to answer any questions we had.  There weren't any new developments, or a change to his prognosis.  The positives out of the meeting were he admitted it's his job to give us a worst case scenario picture, and Thatcher not making it to delivery or only living a few hours is our worst case scenario.  Also, he agreed with us that Thatcher's movements and his "breathing practice" were good signs of some basic functions.  This afternoon we met with the pediatric neurologist who essentially had the same diagnosis, major atrophy to Thatcher's gray and white brain tissue resulting in hydrocephalus exvacuo (enlarged ventricles) but a much improved prognosis.  She couldn't give us a life expectancy, put a cap as to how long he might live.  She did say he will be in an infantile state for the duration of his life.  He will struggle with mental retardation, seizures, movement ability and control, ability to chew, to go the restroom, to sit, to walk among many other challenges.  BUT that's not what today was about, the things Thatcher won't be able to do.  Today was full of peace, of a renewal of our spirits, revelations of God's goodness, and full of evidence of God's miracles both big and small.  We have prayed from the beginning of this pregnancy that God would use Thatcher in a big way to bring glory to His name.  Today, God used Thatcher to bring people together from all over the US to The Netherlands, Africa, China, Greece, and Australia to look to Him in prayer.  A baby who they've told us will not develop past infancy has done more for the Kingdom of God before he is even born than his two parents have ever done!  Praise God! We are more convinced than ever that He is using our child to bring glory to His name and will continue to do so in a big way.  We are continuing to trust in Him, our Creator and Perfecter of life.  We know He can heal and we believe He will heal His child, our sweet baby Thatcher. Thank you all for your prayers, stories of healing, and encouraging words.  We are so humbled and blessed by the out-pouring of love from our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus.  We only ask that you continue to go to God with expectancy of Him healing sweet Thatcher in accordance to His will. 

for the best updates on susie, please follow their ministry blog. i know that susie is meeting with several doctors today to come up with a plan. 

please continue to pray for both of these families. my heart is so heavy, but when i stop to pray i feel that burden start to lighten up. i know that God is in control of both of these situations!!!


blessings, ALo

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


i know that it has been a few days. i have been super sick and have not been up for anything.

i need you to pray!!! a sweet friend of mine here in texas has a nephew due in just a few weeks, but something has gone wrong. baby thatcher is due in about 4 weeks and up until this point, his mom's (whitney) pregnancy has been routine. aunt robin (my friend) was just at a huge baby shower for him three weeks ago, and when i was asking about thatcher on saturday everything was great. whitney had a routine 34 week appointment on monday and things did not look "normal". i do not know whitney and her hubby eric well...we have met once. here is a brief update from a facebook note on eric's page. PLEASE PRAY!!! we know that God is working...we know that the story is not over. this is whitney's second pregnancy, she suffered a miscarriage between five and seven weeks with her first baby. again, PLEASE PRAY!!!!

my heart is breaking for whitney and eric and for my friends (aunt and uncle) robin and blake.

from eric's page:

Hi Friends,

There's a lot to share so I thought a note would work best. We went to my wife's obgyn this morning for Thatcher's 36 wk visit, and 3rd trimester ultrasound. On the ultrasound he measured a little small at 4.11 lbs so her doctor decided to do a non-stress test to make sure his heart rate was good and was reacting normal with movements. Thatcher failed that test, so we were sent to the hospital to try again and to get a biophysical profile (an ultrasound where they test his amniotic fluid, his movement, his lung/diaphragm movement, and placenta.) He failed the nst again and on the bpp the radiologist found swelling in both ventricles of Thatchers brain caused by an old brain bleed that had gone unnoticed. We were sent downtown for further testing and for an MRI to see what brain damage were looking at. Since arriving downtown Thatcher has PASSED a non-stress test, weighed in at 5.4 lbs and has more fluid around him! So MRI has been postponed and another bpp has been scheduled for 8 am tomorrow. They claim the drs in the woodlands may have misread the original nsts and the bpp and they are reassured with the way thatcher is responding. We know these positive results are the outcome of God's healing power from our friends and family praying on our behalf! We are now asking all of you to join us in boldly asking God to completely heal Thatcher and stump the specialists who are coming to do an ultrasound at 8am tomorrow! Thank you for praying with us for our sweet baby Thatcher!!!

Update from today (2/14) after the MRI:

We got the results from the MRI this evening, the doctors have basically given up on Thatcher, they said that the MRI revealed that there is significant attrophe to thatchers brain in both the upper and lower parts, they do not know how long he will live once he comes and they don't know that he will even make it to delivery. They have told us to enjoy what time we have with him and prepare as best we can... We have not given up. We know Thatcher is God's child, he is still here and he is still alive and we will continue to pray boldly for healing fully knowing that God is bigger than anything, any ailment or disease or sickness. Thatcher is still kicking and we rejoice in every move that he makes, we will fiercely love this child no matter what Gods will is for him. Thank you so much for your prayers and support this far, please continue to pray for healing.

We love you all and are so humbled by your prayers. Facebook and text messages are fine but please allow us some time to wrap our minds around all of this and take it all in.

thank you for joining me in prayer!

blessings, ALo

Saturday, February 4, 2012


I didn't get a full body pic yesterday, but i like this picture of me and my hubby. we went to the house of blues last night with some friends to see my friend amos perform. it was so much fun! i got to hang out with my friend jess, which is always a BLAST. we get into trouble together...our husbands probably get annoyed! :) i also had to stay close to my hubby last night...make my presence known against someone who had their eye on him. i got a little ruffled, but i think i made it very clear! anyway, wanted to show you my nails too. i got the inspiration from pinterest (i waste too much time on pinterest, ugh!). i think they turned out pretty cute. can an almost 30 year old still do "cute" stuff? eh, who cares?

see my short hair? and it's not blonde! i love that we are both so happy here!

cutesy nails. trial run for heart day!

hope you have a great weekend! we are hanging on the couch on this rainy weekend!

blessings, ALo

Friday, February 3, 2012


i have shared several songs here before, including "desert song" from hillsong. i had mentioned that one of the singers is also a baby loss mom, but this video tells a little bit more about her story and why she worships. thanks to my friend emily for sending me the link last night...i just couldnt wait to share it!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, 
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

hoping this oldie, but a goody, is stuck in my head all day today...or desert song! 

blessings, ALo

Thursday, February 2, 2012

20 Down

as of 6:30 this morning, i have lost 20 pounds since november! when i came on staff at cof, i started working out at a local la fitness with some of the "young people". i saw some change in the beginning, but not a HUGE difference. i knew that the biggest issue was what i was eating. with the holidays right around the corner, i made a very small effort to change my eating and kinda slacked on my workouts but still lost a few pounds. as of january 2, i really started to change things up and work out really hard! i started doing a 90 day challenge with "body by vi" a shake/meal replacement system. i traded out breakfast and lunch for shakes, started drinking a TON of water, taking multi vitamin supplements, and trying to eat a more sensible dinner. sometimes i have opted to eat lunch and drink a shake at dinner...either way, 2 shakes and a meal. i have cut out snacks for the most part and i try very hard to just drink water. there are days when a diet coke really hits the spot...a total necessity! :) anyway. in 30 days, i have lost 8 inches!! i hate to say it is just because of body by vi, because i have been working hard in the gym, but i also know that i would not have seen this much change with out the shakes. i am so excited! i feel so much better. i actually do not despise the workouts as much and my clothes, especially a particular pair of jeans, are fitting so differently. i have another 60 days to go...hopefully i will continue to stick to it! i could be where i was when i got married in no time...only this time be way more toned! my ultimate goal is still 40 pounds away. if i am not pregnant, i would love to see that number by may!

thanks for the encouragement! i guess i should have taken a picture...i will get on that...i still havent said/posted anything about my new hair either. ok, i promise to do that this weekend! :)

blessings, ALo