Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Selah's Advent- Day 25

Today's Bible verse is:

    And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
(Matthew 2:11 ESV)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Selah's Advent- Day 24

Today is Christmas Eve! Tonight we will put out milk and cookies (or perhaps cheese and Diet Coke, as my mom told me Santa liked when I was a little girl), get some warm, cozy PJs on and read THE story of Christmas.

Today's Bible verse is:

    And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
(Matthew 2:8-10 ESV)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Selah's Advent- Day 23

Tonight is my family's annual Family Reunion/Christmas party. Two years ago, I was on the verge of tears because of my recent miscarriage. Last year, I may have had sore, swollen feet, but I was overjoyed to have my Selah in my stomach, happily kicking away. This year? This year, I have my almost walking joy of a 9.5 month old to show off. Without Selah this year, it would be an emotional repeat of two years ago. Hopefully it won't be. We'll see.

But that's our Christmas activity for the day.

Today's Bible verse is:

    When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
    “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
        are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
    for from you shall come a ruler
        who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
    Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared.
(Matthew 2:3-7 ESV)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Selah's Advent- Day 22

I was hoping to go look at Christmas lights tonight as Selah's Christmasy activity, but we'll see.

Today's Bible Verse is:

    Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
(Matthew 2:1-2 ESV)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Selah's Advent- Day 21

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Manley!

Today, we are (ok, I am.) making snowflakes for Sandy Hook. It's not enough, but nothing ever will be. Hopefully, the Winter Wonderland the Connecticut PTSA is creating for the makeshift Sandy Hook Elementary School will help the little ones.

Tonight's Bible verse is:

    And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
(Luke 2:18-20 ESV)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Selah's Advent- Day 20

Tonight we are reading The Legend of the Candy Cane.

Today's Bible Verse is:

    When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child.
(Luke 2:15-17 ESV)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Selah's Advent- Day 19

Tonight, we are watching Veggie Tales: The Story of St Nicholas.

Today's Bible verse is:

    And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
    “Glory to God in the highest,
        and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
(Luke 2:13-14 ESV)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Selah's Advent- Day 18

Tonight's activity is to watch The Polar Express and the drink a cup of hot cocoa. Yes. Even Selah. :)

Today's Bible verse is:

    And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
(Luke 2:12 ESV)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Oh, Newtown... We mourn with you.

So, instead of reading about frivolous things or people, remember these innocents who will be spending Christmas with Jesus this year.
  • Charlotte Bacon, 6
  • Daniel Barden, 7
  • Rachel Davino, 29
  • Olivia Engel, 6
  • Josephine Gay, 7
  • Ana M Marquez-Greene, 6
  • Dylan Hockley, 6
  • Dawn Hocksprung, 47
  • Madeline F. Hsu, 6
  • Catherine V. Hubbard, 6
  • Chase Kowalski, 7
  • Jesse Lewis, 6
  • James Mattioli, 6
  • Grace McDonnell, 7
  • Anne Marie Murphy, 52
  • Emilie Parker, 6
  • Jack Pinto, 6
  • Noah Pozner, 6
  • Caroline Previdi, 6
  • Jessica Rekos, 6
  • Avielle Richman, 6
  • Lauren Russeau, 30
  • Mary Sherlach, 56
  • Victoria Soto, 27
  • Benjamin Wheeler, 6
  • Allison N Wyatt, 6

Pray for Peace

Pray to whoever you kneel down to:
Jesus nailed to his wooden or marble or plastic cross,
his suffering face bent to kiss you,
Buddha still under the Bo tree in scorching heat,
Yahweh, Allah, raise your arms to Mary
that she may lay her palm on our brows,
to Shekinhah, Queen of Heaven and Earth,
to Inanna in her stripped descent.

Hawk or Wolf, or the Great Whale, Record Keeper
of time before, time now, time ahead, pray. Bow down
to terriers and shepherds and siamese cats.
Fields of artichokes and elegant strawberries.

Pray to the bus driver who takes you to work,
pray on the bus, pray for everyone riding that bus
and for everyone riding buses all over the world.
If you haven't been on a bus in a long time,
climb the few steps, drop some silver, and pray.

Waiting in line for the movies, for the ATM,
for your latté and croissant, offer your plea.
Make your eating and drinking a supplication.
Make your slicing of carrots a holy act,
each translucent layer of the onion, a deeper prayer.

Make the brushing of your hair
a prayer, every strand its own voice,
singing in the choir on your head.
As you wash your face, the water slipping
through your fingers, a prayer: Water,
softest thing on earth, gentleness
that wears away rock.

Making love, of course, is already a prayer.
Skin and open mouths worshipping that skin,
the fragile case we are poured into,
each caress a season of peace.

If you're hungry, pray. If you're tired.
Pray to Gandhi and Dorothy Day.
Shakespeare. Sappho. Sojourner Truth.
Pray to the angels and the ghost of your grandfather.

When you walk to your car, to the mailbox,
to the video store, let each step
be a prayer that we all keep our legs,
that we do not blow off anyone else's legs.
Or crush their skulls.
And if you are riding on a bicycle
or a skateboard, in a wheel chair, each revolution
of the wheels a prayer that as the earth revolves
we will do less harm, less harm, less harm.

And as you work, typing with a new manicure,
a tiny palm tree painted on one pearlescent nail
or delivering soda or drawing good blood
into rubber-capped vials, writing on a blackboard
with yellow chalk, twirling pizzas, pray for peace.

With each breath in, take in the faith of those
who have believed when belief seemed foolish,
who persevered. With each breath out, cherish.

Pull weeds for peace, turn over in your sleep for peace,
feed the birds for peace, each shiny seed
that spills onto the earth, another second of peace.
Wash your dishes, call your mother, drink wine.

Shovel leaves or snow or trash from your sidewalk.
Make a path. Fold a photo of a dead child
around your VISA card. Gnaw your crust
of prayer, scoop your prayer water from the gutter.
Mumble along like a crazy person, stumbling
your prayer through the streets.

by Ellen Bass

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Selah's Advent- Day 16 and 17

Tonight, I am going to my women's bible study'd Christmas party. It's a pajama party, full of cookies, food and lovely ladies. And minus one baby girl. That's right. T is off so he's watching Selah! This is an item for momma's Advent.

Tomorrow, we are going to Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens to see their FABULOUS Christmas lights, thanks to a free ticket courtesy of my friend Jill (V). I'll post pictures on Tuesday.

Today's (and tomorrow's) Bible verses:

    And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
(Luke 2:8 ESV)

    And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
(Luke 2:9-11 ESV)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Selah's Advent- Day 15

Tonight is our annual Cookie party! This year T requested it to also be an ugly Christmas sweater party, yet his "Sweater" is super lame. Boo!

Anyways.... Going with tradition, we will be watching ELF! We have it on at our cookie party every year and every year it is requested. So this year we will play it and it will be day 15's Christmas movie.

Today's Bible verse is:

    And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
(Luke 2:7 ESV)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Selah's Advent- Day 14

Tonight we will watch Little Drummer Boy, the Veggietales version. Haven't seen it before so I hope it's decent.

Today's Bible verse is:

    And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.
(Luke 2:6 ESV)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Selah's Advent- Day 13

Tonight, we read Mary's Happy Christmas Day.

Today's Bible Verse is:

    And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
(Luke 2:4-5 ESV)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Selah's Advent- Day 12

Tonight, we gave Selah a candy cane to eat. Girlfriend loves those things.

Picture from a week or so ago, but the emotion is still the same.

Today's Bible verse is:

    In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town.
(Luke 2:1-3 ESV)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Selah's Advent- Day 11

Today, we put up our (outdoor) Christmas lights!

And then, when we were done with that, Selah and T lit another candle on our menorah (don't ask).

She likes fire. So do I.
Today's Bible verse is:

    And Mary said,
    “My soul magnifies the Lord,
        and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
    for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
        For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
    for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
        and holy is his name.
    And his mercy is for those who fear him
        from generation to generation.
    He has shown strength with his arm;
        he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
    he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
        and exalted those of humble estate;
    he has filled the hungry with good things,
        and the rich he has sent away empty.
    He has helped his servant Israel,
        in remembrance of his mercy,
    as he spoke to our fathers,
        to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
    And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.
(Luke 1:46-56 ESV)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Selah's Advent- Day 10

Tonight, Selah and her favorite man, T, are watching Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.

The Bible Verse of the day is:

    and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
(Luke 1:42-45 ESV)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Selah's Advent- Day 9

Tonight, Selah will be reading Hanukkah: A Counting Book with T when we get home from church and my ladies bible study/ life group.

Today's Bible verse is:

    And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
    In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit,
(Luke 1:38-41 ESV)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Selah's Advent- Day 8

Today is the first night of Hanukkah so Timmy lit the first candle on the menorah with Selah. Jesus was Jewish, you know. :)

Tonight's bible verse is:

"For nothing will be impossible with God."

(Luke 1:37 ESV)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Selah's Advent- Day 7

My husband T is always saying that it's a shame that they don't create/write new Christmas songs any more, but, wait! What's this? A new song by two super famous singer/actors? A new Christmas music video/song that's tonight's item on Selah's Advent calendar*?

Who knows? Maybe it'll be a hit and Selah will be singing this song to her kids some day.

Whoa. That'd mean I'm a grandmother...

Tonight's Bible verse is:

    And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.
(Luke 1:35-36 ESV)

EDIT: Here's another video for you because, well, I like Christmas and Christmas things. :)

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=1425973" frameborder="0"></iframe>

*I cheated and added this for today because of Wednesday's cancellation.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I so want to see a flash mob

Selah's Advent- Day 6

Today, a certain little girl is NINE WHOLE MONTHS OLD! She's been in our arms longer than she was in my body, though she's always been in our hearts. :)

Moving on, tonight we are reading One Night in Bethlehem. T actually bought it for SFM last December when we visited the live Nativity at the Billy Graham Library.

Today's Bible verse is:

    For to us a child is born,
        to us a son is given;
    and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
        and his name shall be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
        Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
(Isaiah 9:6 ESV)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Selah's Advent- Day 5

Today we were supposed to go to McAdenville- Home of Christmas Town USA, but T didn't feel like it (though it was his idea). Oh well.

However, that means the day's activity/item was no longer. We did do Christmasy things, though. I wrapped 95% of our presents and we all went out and got things to decorate sweaters for an ugly Christmas sweater party. So there was that.

Today's Bible verse is:

    And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
(Luke 1:31-33 ESV)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Selah's Advent- Day 4

Today, we went to get a real Christmas wreath! T is allergic to Pine, so we can't have a real tree (especially inside). Instead, we get a real wreath for the front door so we can still smell Christmas without aggravating allergies. Genius.

For her first time around real Christmas trees, she had a blast. She would touch one and then yank her hand away, just to reach out to touch it again. :)

This wreath, mama?

Today's Bible verse is:

    And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.
(Luke 1:28-29 ESV)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Selah's Advent- Description

I was recently asked how we were doing our Advent calendar for Selah this Christmas. For one, it's less of a we and more of a me. Since T is working so much this month, I decided to do it on my own this year. I mean, he IS part of it, but I planned most of it. Two- Selah's "gifts" aren't wrapped like most people's Advent calendars are. She's (almost) 9 months. She doesn't know. I also don't want her to get too used to getting gifts and this would seem like a gift every day for almost a month. Nope. Not doing it. Instead, it's like a Christmasy surprise every day.

The Bible verses come from here. The ideas for the items/activities (activities coming soon!) have spurred from many places. I considered doing Christmas themed books for all 25 days, but that's a lot of books. So then I thought Christmas themed books AND movies* (we could enjoy the movies as well, right?), but that only totaled, like, 10 that we already owned. 15 short and I didn't really want to go out and buy 15 more. Then I thought about adding random God-themed books we owned to the Christmas books. This is God and Jesus's holiday! But it still didn't add up to 25 and, again, I don't really want to buy a lot new for this. Then I thought to add some activities. Most Advent calendars are mostly made up of Christmasy activities (ie caroling, decorating cookies, looking at lights, snowmen, eating candy, etc), but Selah is too little to enjoy most of these this year. That's why our list isn't made up only of these, but they have been added to the list randomly (one this week!). Throw in some Christmasy PJs or two and that's how we got our list of surprises to lead up to December 25th- Christmas Day!

Hope this helps!

*Today's item (the CD) is the only CD on the list. It's special to this day in memory of my wonderful grandfather's birthday. :)

Selah's Advent- Day 3

Selah's getting her Advent item early today so we can listen to it in the car on our way to my doctor's appointment. Double purposing mama over here. :)

Selah's listening to:

I just love her voice while singing O Holy Night.

A Christmas CD was given today because every year on my grandfather's birthday, December 3, I gave him a Christmas tape or CD and a box of Queen Anne's Chocolate covered cherries. He always loved those gift (or at least he pretended to). I know he loves this year's gift as much as I'm sure he loved his gift from us two years ago.

Well, before tears get worse, here's today's Bible Verse:

    In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary.
(Luke 1:26-27 ESV)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Selah's Advent- Day 2

Tonight we read "Good Night Baby Jesus".

The Bible verse of the evening is:

         Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
    “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
        and they shall call his name Immanuel”
    (which means, God with us).
(Matthew 1:18-23 ESV)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Selah's Advent- Day 1

We are doing a double Advent calendar for the little. One is a bible verse and the other is a book/movie/PJs/activity.

Tonight's Advent was a new pair of PJs!

Don't you love the reindeer on the butt? :)

Verse of the evening:

      Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
(Isaiah 7:14 ESV)

Friday, November 30, 2012

This just made me smile

And we all can use a smile.

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 30

But, most of all, I'm thankful for 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 29

I'm thankful to be done with Selah's Advent calendar. You guys will most likely see it for my December blogging challenge.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pop culture has a way of kicking you while you're down

Jessica Simpson is pregnant again. Her baby is 7 months old. The Twittersphere won't shut up about it either. They say it is unbelievable. It's apparently wrong. Bad, in fact.

I was pregnant when my baby was 7 months and it was oh-so-right. Soon, yes, but so wonderful. But not any more. My baby's little brother or sister is gone.

And now Jessica Simpson will just be a reminder of how I have failed once again. I hope she can ignore the negativity and be as happy as I wish I could still be.

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 28

I am thankful for Christmas songs and Christmas movies. They certainly know how to cheer a girl up.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 27

I am thankful for video baby monitors. With them, I can see that Selah is crying because she has stood up in her crib and doesn't know how to sit back down, instead of her crying because she is terribly hurt.

This is the one we have:

Monday, November 26, 2012


I didn't cry today. First time in a week. Does this mean I'm over it? Not in the least. I'm far from over it.

I have an empty spot inside that can't be filled. I miss you, little one.

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 26

I am thankful for the little girl I have in my arms. I may have already mentioned her, but I am truly thankful for her still. She has made all of this much more easier to handle.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 25

I am thankful for the overwhelming love and support during a difficult time. I love you guys.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Anesthesia Dream

Right before the doctor put me under during the surgery on the 23rd (Black Friday), he told me to think of my favorite island. Think about cabana boys and mixed drinks. I laughed and then blacked out.

While I was out, I did dream. I had a dream that I was Black Friday shopping with my wonderful grandfather (the one who died in 2008). Towards the end of the dream (or at least the last thing I remember), I handed him a bundle and said "Happy early Birthday, Pop".

I never saw what was in the bundle, but I think we know.

And I know for a fact that he loves his gift.

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 24

I am thankful to have had 2-3 months as your momma, little one. I'll see you and your face in heaven one day. Give Pop a kiss for me.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Surgery was a success

I feel like a failure. I feel heartbroken. I feel so... Empty.

But I'm alive and I have my wonderful, supportive husband and my sweet, sweet, precious baby girl.

And I just know that, one day, some day (hopefully sooner than later), we'll have our second forever baby.

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 23

I am thankful to be done purchasing 98% of my Christmas presents. This way, I do not have to go get mixed up in the crazy crowds out of desperation. I can get mixed up in them just for fun.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 22

I am thankful for good friends and good food and when the two combine. Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The day the heart stopped beating

On October 15th, I found out I was pregnant. A definite surprise, but such a welcome one. For a week or two, this was my little secret. God and I shared this secret.

I told Timmy via text message picture of a dinner roll in the oven. A bun in the oven. Our surprise.

I dreamed of how I would share our news with our family and friends we were overjoyed and so in love.

I went to the doctor and was given a due date towards the beginning of June. Bloodwork was drawn and ultrasound appointment was scheduled. I couldn't wait to share my joy.

This week was my appointment. I am(?) 11.5 weeks pregnant. The baby in the ultrasound, the baby in my belly, measured 7.5 weeks... without a heartbeat. Our baby, our joy, our surprise, died within the last few weeks.

Bleeding has started, but a D&E has been scheduled for Friday. What a Black Friday we'll have this year.

Pre-op was done this morning for my 4-5 surgical procedure this year. At least they'll be putting me completely under this time. I couldn't bear to be conscious while my (dead) baby is ripped from my body.

Please pray for us during this time. When I'm ready to talk about this in person, I will.

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 21

I am thankful for a wonderful, understanding endocrinologist. Thanks for not scolding me about any minor thing and leading me in the direction I need to be going, Dr. W.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 20

I am thankful for my iphone. It keeps me connected to the outside world when I need it most while also allowing me an escape from the outside world when it becomes too overwhelming.

Monday, November 19, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 19

I am thankful to have such a strong and beautiful family member. No details or names to be given at their request, but some of you may know who I am talking about.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 18

I am thankful for photographers who can take ADORABLE pictures of my little. Selah is certainly photogenic.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

When I was 17..

This has been floating out there in blogland for a bit so I decided to fill it out (maybe for the second time, who knows).

When you were 17, tell us what kind of car you drove, where you worked, and what you were usually up to on the weekends?
  • I drove a 1990 Jeep Cherokee when I was forced to drive. Hated driving then even more than I dislike it now.
  • I worked at Camp Amelia, a day camp and afterschool care, in Fernandina Beach.
  • On weekends, I... I don't remember. I know I spent a lot of time with Megin. :)

Show us pictures of you when you were 17.

Sorry, Meg! But don't we look good? ;)

SADD yearbook picture

When you were 17, tell us what you wanted to be when you “grew up.”
  • A special education teacher

When you were 17, tell us the kind of boys that you dated. Did you have a type? Do you have a relationship you remember well? Tell us about it.
  • Nerds. 
  • I actually dated my best friend's older brother. It can make things awkward now, especially since I'm still such close friends with the entire family.
When you were 17, tell us where you pictured your life 10 years from then. Did it turn out the way you expected it to?
  • I always saw myself married with children (not the tv show). I had no idea who it would be to or where we would live. I didn't know if I'd be a working mom or a SAHM. I just knew I'd be married with kids.
  • Did it turn out the way I expected it to? Sure! I got married when I was 25, had my first baby (SF) when I was 27 and will hopefully have another when I'm 29. :)

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 17

I am thankful to have a wonderful house that keeps me warm and sheltered from the elements outside.

Friday, November 16, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 16

I am thankful for the dishwasher. While I don't used it every time we have dishes, I certainly appreciate it when I just don't feel like washing them by hand.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 15

I am thankful for DVR. It allows me to watch entertaining programming with my husband when he's not available to watch it live.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

30 days of Thankfulness- Day 14

I am thankful for 3 wonderful years married to my awesome husband. I look forward to all that our next year contains. :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 13

I'm thankful for Revlon's Cherries In The Snow red nail polish. Without it, part of me would be so boring and would have been for several years.

Monday, November 12, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 12

I am thankful for the veterans out there, every branch and all that they have done for my freedom.

Yes. I know yesterday was Veteran's Day, but why can't I still be thankful today?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

30 days of Thankfulness- Day 11

I am thankful for beautiful weddings for beautiful friends who make beautiful brides. Congrats, Cayla!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

30 days of Thankfulness- Day 10

I am thankful for a wonderful mother who happily watches Selah overnight while I go to a wedding.

Friday, November 9, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 9

I am thankful for all of the little babies and pregnancy announcements I hear about daily. Babies really are a miracle.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 8

I am thankful for my dogs, one of which was born today, 3 years ago.

Happy Birthday, Ellie!

They really are Man's Best Friend.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 7

I am thankful for good health insurance. Without it, I'd be broke or, worse, dead.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 6

I am thankful that I have the right to vote, even though I don't have a clue who to vote for. I can see good reasons and bad reasons for both, but I know where my heart is.

Monday, November 5, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 5

I am thankful for the research of Banting and Best and the Insulin they discovered.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

30 days of Thankfulness- Day 4

I am thankful for a large, caring church that I cannot get lost in, no matter how hard I try.

Good Shepherd United Methodist Church

Saturday, November 3, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness- Day 3

I am thankful for friends who really care. You know who you are.

Friday, November 2, 2012

National Diabetes Month

Most people don't know (or don't care) that November is National Diabetes Month, November 14 is World Diabetes Day (and my anniversary!) and November 1st is Type 1 Diabetes Day (my type of diabetes). This month, JDRF is hosting Be T1D for a Day*.

Personally, I think everyone should sign up for it. Even I plan on signing up and I already live with type 1 every day. You will receive (up to) 24 texts within 24 hours to simulate what it's like to live with type 1 diabetes. The texts will include (simulated) blood sugar testing, giving insulin and diet related choices.

This will give you a glimpse into what I have to deal with EVERY DAY. If the texts annoy you, just think about everyone with type 1 who can't 'silence' their diabetes without major complications (which may include death). Type 2 and gestational diabetes do not compare to type 1. Give it a try and see how you feel and, when you do, multiply your feelings by 1440 (minutes in a day).  When you get that overwhelming feeling, multiply it by 365 (days in the year). Then realize that it is like that every single day for us until there is a cure.

And Insulin isn't a cure.

*Free. Texting fees may apply if that's how your cell plan works.

30 days of Thankfulness- Day 2

I am thankful for a wonderful, caring husband who provides for his family, even when he is crazy tired.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

30 days of Thankfulness- Day 1

I am thankful for Hyland's Teething Tablets.

Embrace the camera

I've never joined Emily at The Anderson Crew for Embrace The Camera before, but I thought it was time and I'll continue doing it whenever I have pictures. :)

Trick or Treat!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

This MUST stop

I should've watched this with kleenex. It had me in tears.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Say so

Yesterday, when our church played this:

I kept thinking about this:

And I know that I wasn't the only one. ;)

Friday, October 19, 2012

My sugar and spice

A year ago, I found out Selah was going to be a girl, though she knew it all along. ;)

In honor of that, I am posting a list of things I want to teach my daughter that I found on the internet (here).

1. Music is universal.
2. You can make the world a better place by being a better person.

3. Kindness can never be overdone.

4. Never chase a man.

5. Be the brains, and the beauty will follow.

6. Respect your body.

7. Respect yourself.

8. Never trust a man who is unkind to his mother.

9. Never depend on a man (or anyone else) to give you what you want. Get it yourself. 

"There is no one alive who is Youer than You."
11. Dance like nobody's watching.

12. Love with passion.

13. Bad hair days happen- wear a headband.

14. Listen to lyrics- they heal broken hearts.

15. Use writing to vent frustration, rather than speaking mean words.

16. A good book can change your perception.

17. "You is kind.

You is smart.
19. You is important."

20. Good girls are good, not boring.

21. Make mistakes.

22. Learn from your mistakes.

23. Travel.

"It isn't what we say or think that defines us, but what we do."
25. Play fair, fight fair. 

26. Wine should be sipped, not chugged.

27. Tea and poetry are better than coffee and talk shows.

28. You can always borrow my clothes, if I can borrow yours.

Find your own voice- write it, speak it, be it.
30. Stand up for what you believe is right.

31. Don't gossip, unless you want to be gossiped about.

32. Your daddy will love you more than any man you ever meet.

33. Decide who you want to be and be confident in your decision.

34. Define yourself by your own attributes, not by what other's expect from you.

35. Pick flowers and put them in your hair.

36. Be the kind of friend you want to have.

36. Dare to be different.

37. Life is fast, live slow.

Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty. 
39. Bad haircuts will grow out.

40. Days without laughter are wasted.

41. Shel Silverstein's books are not just for children.

42. Read everything by Nicholas Sparks. 

"I'll back you up."
44. Go barefoot.

45. Always share secrets with your mother. 

46. Do unto others as you'd have done to you. 

It hurts to be beautiful. (my mother use to say this when brushing my hair...it's not metaphorical)
48. You are not entitled to anything, it has to be earned.

49. Promises are always worth keeping.

50. Secrets should only be shared with your mother. 

51. Happiness is a choice.

52. Fairytales are real if you believe in them.

53. You make your own fate.

54. Dream big or don't bother.

55. Big rewards are made from big risks.

"Anything can happen child, anything can be."
57. Someone else is happy with less than what you have.

58. Girlfriends- the real kind- are better than therapy.

59. Find a way to create art, it can save your soul. 

60. Take pictures & cherish every. single. memory.

61. Apologizing takes strength. Be strong.

62. Forgive, but don't forget. 

63. Sometimes you have to fake it.

64. You will always remember your first kiss- make it worth the memory.

65. Sometimes I will choose to be your mother, not your friend.

66. All you have is your word- make it stronger than oak. 

67. Find friends who become family.

68. If it looks too good to be true, then it probably is. 

69. Never wear clothing to attract boys, it will attract the wrong kind. 

"A room without books is like a body without a soul."
71. Be a lion, not a lamb.

72. Imperfections make you perfectly you.

72. Water-proof mascara is necessary when watching Steel Magnolia.

73. Choose what you eat to be healthy not skinny.

74. Choose the path less traveled, I hear it makes all the difference.

75. You don't need long hair to be feminine.

76. Your brother's will scare off any boy who does not treat you with respect.

77. I will love whoever you choose to love.

78. You will always be my girl.

79. The key to looking "naturally" beautiful is great mascara and a little blush.

80. A pint of icecream and a chick flick will make it better.

81. Daddy will probably never say no to you, so get his credit card and let's go shopping.

82. Daddy will help you with Math homework.

83. I'll read you novels.

84. Let the sun shine on your face.

85. Life can change in an instant, hold on like hell to what you have. 

86.  If you're trying to convince yourself you're right, then you're probably wrong.

"Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously."
89. The secrets of life can be found in the novels of Jane Austen. 

90. When you say, "no," mean it.

91. Ponytails are just easier.

92. "For every minute you are angry, you lose 60 seconds of happiness."

93. Money does not buy happiness, but it sure is nice.

94. Mommy and Daddy will love you regardless.

95. Guardian angels are real.

96. Sunshine on your shoulders will always get you high. 

97. "Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall- all you have to do is call."

98. Daddy will always be home.

99. I will always be home.

100. "Home is where the heart is."

I love you, Selah Faith.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

As Selah Grows

I've started a blog over on Tumblr called As Selah Grows for pictures of little miss Selah Faith. By doing so, I can begin to prepare for a facebook shut down and I can, hopefully, get this blog back to what it used to be before people expected Selah picture updates through here.

Not that I won't be putting her up on here because you know I will. :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Why her candle was lit

On October 15, I noticed a friend had a candle lit on her Facebook wall. If you remember my entry from that day, you were to light a candle in memory of your lost pregnancies and infants. I knew my friend (we'll call her Cassie) was pregnant, due at the end of September with her second child, a boy to be named Ethan. Well, I couldn't remember hearing anything about his birth and neither could Timmy (Timmy works with her husband).

I sent Cassie a private message asking if everything was ok because I knew what the candles stood for because I had one lit as well. This is what she sent back:

"Everything is not ok. I went into labor September 29th and when I got to the hospital they couldn't find Ethan's heartbeat. I delivered him at 5 pm. Our hearts are beyond broken and we are just asking for thoughts and prayers as we try to cope/heal/make sense of this. Thank you for checking in and for any prayers you have to spare."

That's what I was afraid had happened when we didn't hear joyous news of a baby's arrival.

So I'm asking you, as I hold my baby girl extra close, to pray for this family. Hold your kids close and pray for all of the families dealing with similar scenarios. Hold your babies close and pray for all of the families who would desperately love to have a baby to hold.

What else can you do in a time like this?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Selah says buy: Red Stamp iPhone App

I was recently introduced to the free Red Stamp app via Pinterest and I LOVE IT. It's such a cute way to send a quick note or message to somebody, especially personalized thank you notes for gifts for your baby.

The app isn't just for thank you notes. You can also send notes of congratulations or quick hellos. These can be sent electronically (free) or through the mail ($2 for 1, but the price goes down to $1 if you want to send a lot).

I wish I had this when Selah was born for quick thank you notes for meals dropped off or gifts mailed (before I forgot to send them in a timely manner). I'll definitely use this with the next.

Go get it now. You'll love it even if you don't need it for kid's thank you notes. :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

My heart bursts with happiness and love

Today, I decided to try giving Selah little pieces of cooked frozen waffle (Gluten-free, of course) and she loved it.

Then she reached for the piece in my hand, grabbed it with her thumb and pointer finger, and then put it in her mouth. All by herself with no prompting from mama. Ever.

She's so proud of herself!

My little girl is growing up way, way too fast. The fever has definitely returned (as if we all didn't already know that). :)

Not a little sister

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day, a day to remember our lost babies.

I won't forget that Selah should be a little sister.

I won't forget the weekend of our loss two years ago.

I won't forget the feelings between that loss and Selah's birth.

I won't forget.

I will appreciate the little things.

I will continue to remember that little one and the milestones that should be when I see Selah hit hers.

I will realize (in an odd way) that there would be no Selah if it weren't for that loss. Oh, how I wish I could have both of my babies.

I will keep hugging Selah a little tighter, kissing her a little more often, smelling her sweet baby smell a little longer, more than most parents.

I won't forget the lost and I will keep appreciating the one I have in my arms.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I will adore You

I just love this song. :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Selah says buy: Top 10 Items for the first 6 months

 In the 6 months Selah has been hanging out with us, we've found a few items that all three of us love and would hate to live without.

1. Baby K'tan
An old picture, but you see how much she likes it.

Yep. I'm a big time babywearer. Selah loves being held close, but I love the use of my hands. That's where the Baby K'Tan comes in. It's WAY WAY WAY easier to use than the Moby, but it holds the baby the same (IMO). We've used a wrap/carrier since her first weeks, but we've pretty much used the K'Tan exclusively since about a month and a half. From newborn until toddler, it will work with a variety of ages, but we can only speak about how fabulous it is until about 6 months. I'll let you guys know in a few months if we are still using it with joy.

2. Fisher Price Soothe and Glow Seahorse

This girl loves her seahorse. We've used it since she came home from the hospital and she now knows that, when the seahorse comes on, it's time to sleep. I've even caught her stroking the sea horse's stomach when super sleepy to turn it on. We have it in pink, but you can also get it in blue.

3. Bright Starts chiming car seat toy
She even fell asleep holding it.

Finally! A car seat toy that isn't super annoying! This toy plays a gentle chiming sound that seems to remind everyone of wind chimes. We had this bird that we call a baby angry bird (that has seemingly been discontinued), but SOMEONE broke it while playing with Selah. We went to the store to replace it with another bird, but they only had bugs and butterflies. Selah now has the butterfly.

4. Mudpie doll teether
This thing is a weird pink and green combination of ribbon tags, blanket toy, rattle, teether and doll. Selah loves it. I love that it fits in her hands well and that it's practically a 5-in-1 toy. I'm not sure the best place to get one since SF's was a gift, but if you see one, let me know.

5. Baby Wisp hair clips
Look at that little bow!
I like bows on baby girls, but I'm not a huge fan of everyday ginormous bows on tiny heads. I like to be able to put proportionate sized bows on little baby heads. BUT! Babies don't always have a lot of hair on which to attach bows. That's why I was super happy to find Baby Wisps. No. They aren't little toothbrushes with freshener for baby sized mouths. They are tiny hair bows that use super fancy technology (aka I don't know exactly how to describe how they work) to attach to a few strands of baby hair (without pain). Cute way to make baby girls look like girls.

6. Muslin Swaddle blankets

As a blanket
Muslin blankets were (and are) wonderful during the summer. While Selah was still being swaddled, these were a lightweight blanket that held the swaddle fabulously. I also use them as a blanket for her when we are out and about and it gets too cold inside (hello, air conditioner). These fold up so well that I keep on in the diaper bag at all times. (Side note: Wasn't Selah too cute in those older picture with the blanket??)

7. Teething Bling teething necklace
It's a cute necklace for momma that baby can safely put in their mouth while teething. They come in all sorts of colors, but mine looks like the picture. You can see it on me in the picture under Baby Wisps. Selah loves it. Enough said.

8. Homedics Sound spa Sound machine

Sound machine with 6 sounds and a projector as well. You can use the timer, but we don't. We let the ocean waves run all night. Very relaxing.

9. Cloth diaper burp cloths

See the pretty burp cloth on my mom's shoulder? (Hi Mom/Mila!)
A later picture with a close up of the previous burp cloth
At my baby shower, my friend's decorated plain, white cloth diapers with fabric paints to create burp cloths. Some people used stencils. Some people free handed it. Everyone created burp cloths that show me everyday how much they love me and my Selah. (The burp cloth featured in the pictures was actually a freehand drawing. Some people are so talented.)

10. Pacifier Leash
Yeah. She fell asleep like that.
 No link for this because there are tons out there. A pacifier leash is exactly what it sounds like: A piece of ribbon that clips to fabric on one end and hooks to the pacifier on the other. The one in the picture is a fancier one with a bow and a button with an S on the clip. You can find these easily with pacifiers. They are also super easy to make yourself: Ribbon, suspender clip and Velcro sewn together. Bam! There you have it.

An extra because they are that important:

11. Hair ties

If you have long hair (or even any hair at all), I recommend getting some hair ties. These are some of my favorite because they are non-slip, meaning hair that is put up, stays put up, no matter how often little tiny baby hands grab it.

 Now, I know these aren't all "necessities" but we certainly enjoy having them. Selah says buy. :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thankful Thursday-Selah's Dedication

On August 19, a very special little girl got dedicated! She may not know now how important that day was, but she will in the future. Check out the video to see it all go down!

Money Talks - Take the Money and Run (08.19.12) from GSUMC on Vimeo.

If you want to skip the music (where T is drumming), you can check it out around minute 20.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Honest Toddler

If you aren't reading Honest Toddler, you are missing out. It has to be one of the funniest things on the Internet. Well, of it's kind.

Blog: http://thehonesttoddler.com/

Twitter: @HonestToddler

Go. Read. Laugh. Thank me later.

Friday, September 7, 2012

For Meri

Living with Diabetes is expensive. Cancer treatments are expensive. Now imagine the cost of raising four boys, THREE of which have type 1 diabetes. Now imagine raising those four boys while your spouse (and bread winner) tries to beat an aggressive form of brain cancer. Expeeeeeensive, huh?

Then your spouse dies....

Meri, Ryan and family

That's what Meri Schuhmacher from Our Diabetic Life is dealing with right now. That sadness of losing your beloved husband. The summoning of strength for your children. Figuring out how to afford the insane, unavoidable expenses.

But you can help. If you have an extra $5, $10, $20, $100, whatever, even $1, you can go to http://www.giveforward.com/schuhmacherfamilymiracle2 to donate.

Thank you from all of the Diabetic Online Community (DOC) if you are able. Sorry to bother you if you detest posts, asking for donations like this one.

 "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
James 1:27 (NIV)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thankful Thursdays

And things that make me happy

*A (new-ish) happy family

*Another happy family with a new addition

*Little 6 month old (Almost- she wasn't quite 6 mo when this picture was taken) baby girls who sit by themselves.

*4 lb bags of Candy Corn

*Awesome Halloween costume ideas for my little.

*Plans for a family vacation

*Selah's laughs and smiles while playing

*I'm thankful for Pinterest to keep me from being too bored. Find me HERE if you're on it.

*Selah turning 6 months TODAY!

*I'm thankful my stint removal surgery went well. I hope I'm done with hospitals and surgeries for a bit. Four this year certainly beats my previous record of 0.

*I got to meet a longtime blog and twitter friend this week! Katie! I certainly hope to see you again SOON! And I'm still praying for you.

*I'm thankful for modern medicine for oh-so-many reasons, for oh-so-many people. Including myself.

*I'm almost done Christmas shopping. Yes!

*And, as usual, I'm extremely thankful for my Selah Faith.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Out of surgery and feeling a bit better. More details to come later.

This old man across the hall is too cute for words. Reminds me of a kind, gentle man that I'll see one day in heaven. The same man who loved me very much for the first 25 years of my life.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Diabetes didn't keep me from being a mother, but it's keeping me from being the mother I want to be. I know I'm not alone, but I still feel so isolated with it.

I hate diabetes.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Check out who walks up around 55:50. Who's that? Oh, It's me. That's right.

Upgrade - The Blood Upgrade (07.22.12) from GSUMC on Vimeo.

Before church this past Sunday, I noticed a table at the front of the church set up for communion. I mentioned to my friend that, after being spoiled with communion at our seats with nifty single serve cups, I lazily didn't want to walk ALL the way to the front for communion. She agreed. Next thing I knew, the pastor walked up to us and asked if we would be communion servers that day. How do you say no to a last minute, obviously desperate question like that? You tell him hesitantly ok, but you've never done it before. After he quickly told us what to do and what to say and when to go up, we moved to the front row (The front row? Seriously? You've got to be kidding me.).

I'll tell you what. Sitting on the front row makes me super nervous. I know that they are watching the front row people. It means no mind wandering. No inattentiveness. No fidgeting. All of these rules plus my mind was shooting all over the place with nerves during the entire sermon. What if I messed up? What if I didn't remember exactly what I was supposed to say? Would these people think I was a poser? That I didn't belong? Who am I kidding? Should I even be serving communion anyways?

In the video at the top, you can see where we went up. You can see where I was too nervous with stage fright to even turn around during the "instructions". I was glad to be sent with my friend to the side section quickly.

But I remembered. I remembered what to say. The people didn't act like I didn't belong up there doing it. I did wonder a time or two if I was supposed to say "This is the body of Christ broken for you" (See? I still remember!) to every single person. I figured I was, so I did. Every person deserves to know that Jesus died for you, both the singular and collective yous.  I felt deep in my being that each person needed to hear that it was broken for THEM, so I tried to tell them so they knew it. Each person matters.

I would do it again in a heartbeat. If a newcomer to the Church sees someone like me serving communion, then perhaps that will help them know that they belong there as much as the seminary scholar, something that I've wondered a time or two myself. I was super nervous going into that church service, a little relieved going out, but I will volunteer without hesitation to do it again if asked. It matters more than filling a position.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

One Miracle from Aurora

Proof that miracles exist. Article from here.

Shooting Victim Petra Anderson

At Columbine, I have seen this before. But not up close.  As a church pastor in Denver, I have worked as a chaplain with several police and fire departments. I was privileged to counsel parents just hours after the Littleton Columbine shootings. However, in this new tragedy at the Aurora Theater Dark Night shooting, one of the victims was a 22 year old woman from my church, Petra Anderson (pronounced Pay-tra). Petra went to the movies with two young friends who are biking across America.  You and I have been inundated with news about what happened next. A joyful movie turned into bloody, unbelievable chaos. Petra was hit four times with a shot-gun blast, three shots into her arm and one bullet which entered her brain. This a bit of Petra’s miracle story.
With awesome people from our caring and pastoral team, I spent all day Friday in the ICU with Petra and her family. Her injuries were severe, and her condition was critical. A bullet had entered Petra’s face through her nose, and then traveled up through her brain until stopping at the back of her skull. The doctors prior to surgery were concerned, because so much of the brain had been traversed by the bullet. Many areas of brain function were involved. They were hoping to keep her alive long enough to get her into surgery. The prognosis was uncertain—if she lived, Petra might struggle with speech, movement, and thinking due to considerable brain damage. With Kim, Petra’s mother (who is in the final stages of terminal cancer), we simply cried, hugged, and prayed.
It is pressed into my memory now. Motion and emotion…
Other families come and go into the ICU waiting room. Some sit with us, and we talk. Others are visited by doctors with “Family Advocates” in tow. The families listen, sob, and then are moved like stunned cattle to a more private space to grieve. We pray. Petra is finally taken into surgery, using two different surgical teams. One team of neurosurgeons will open up the back of her skull to remove the bullet and clean up brain damage as best they can. Another ENT-specialty surgical team will then work through Petra’s nose by scope to follow the bullet’s path up into her brain.  Their hope is to remove bone fragments, clean up damaged brain tissue, and reseal her brain to reduce infection.
If you have lived any of your days in a hospital waiting room, you know how long the enduring process is. It has a woeful pattern to it. Sit. Walk. Grab a drink. Sit. Walk. Answer a phone call. Sit. Walk. Hug someone. Sit. Talk to the FBI. Sit. Pick at the food. Sit. Walk. Go down the hall, but not too far because you’re afraid to miss something. Back. Hug. Pray. Sit. Sit. A picture of a five year old waiting for next Christmas from January 1st comes to my mind. FOREVER. Only this feels worse: a heavy forever, with no promise of presents, Santa, or good news at the

Petra Anderson and her world class violin.

After the waiting drags for over five hours, tired doctors and nurses spill back into the room, one or two at a time. I look for “Family Advocates” but can find none. I exhale. The doctors update us: “It went well, and she’s recovering now. We found very little damage to the brain, and got the bullet out cleanly. It went better than we hoped for.” Each brings a warrior’s smile, and a bit of information—information that we turn into hope as we regurgitate it over the next hours.  Still, the medical team remains professional and reserved, “Something might still go wrong. We just need to wait and see if she makes it for the next 48 hours.”
Tears and thank you’s abound. We are so thankful for these men and women. We hug. Everyone hugs. Then, round two. Sit. Wait. Pray. Fully dressed people cuddle into small snails and try to sleep on the floor. Some are shuttled to a room donated by the Holiday Inn across the street. Thank you, Lord, for every little thing. We sit. We pray. “We’ll understand better tomorrow.”
Petra is moved back to ICU. She looks, surprisingly, wonderful. With a small hole in her nose, and her arm wrapped, she almost looks uninjured. She is medicated and sleeping when I come to visit her on Saturday. I sit, talk, and pray quietly with Kim amid the darkened room, lit by glowing medical screens and power switches. Nurses, like quiet soldiers posted on guard, come in, march attentively through the machines, and go out.  These men and women really care. Finally, one of the surgeons comes in to check on Petra. He has had some sleep, and looks more like a movie star this time. As Petra sleeps, he retells the story of the surgery, and we ask questions.  The doctor reads the perfect script, as if he is on Hallmark Hall of Fame. He fills us in on the miracle. Honestly, he doesn’t call it that, he just uses words like “happily” and “wonderfully” and “in a very fortunate way” and “luckily” and “we were really surprised by that.”  Kim and I know a miracle when we see it.
It seems as if the bullet traveled through Petra’s brain without hitting any significant brain areas. The doctor explains that Petra’s brain has had from birth a small “defect” in it. It is a tiny channel of fluid running through her skull, like a tiny vein through marble, or a small hole in an oak board, winding from front to rear.  Only a CAT scan would catch it, and Petra would have never noticed it.
But in Petra’s case, the shotgun buck shot, maybe even the size used for deer hunting, enters her brain from the exact point of this defect. Like a marble through a small tube, the defect channels the bullet from Petra’s nose through her brain. It turns slightly several times, and comes to rest at the rear of her brain. And in the process, the bullet misses all the vital areas of the brain. In many ways, it almost misses the brain itself.  Like a giant BB though a straw created in Petra’s brain before she was born, it follows the route of the defect. It is channeled in the least harmful way. A millimeter in any direction and the channel is missed.  The brain is destroyed. Evil wins a round.

As he shares, the doctor seems taken aback. It is an odd thing to have a surgeon show a bit of wonder. Professionally, these guys own the universe, it seems, and take everything in stride. He is obviously gifted as a surgeon, and is kind in his manner. “It couldn’t have gone better. If it were my daughter,” he says quietly, glancing around to see if any of his colleagues might be watching him, “I’d be ecstatic. I’d be dancing a jig.” He smiles. I can’t keep my smile back, or the tears of joy. In Christianity we call it prevenient grace: God working ahead of time for a particular event in the future. It’s just like the God I follow to plan the route of a bullet through a brain long before Batman ever rises. Twenty-two years before.
While we’re talking, Petra awakes. She opens her eyes, and sits up, “Mom.” Movie-star doctor spins to grab her, to protect her from falling. The nurse assures him she’s been doing this for a while. He talks to her, and she talks back. He asks questions, and Petra has the right answers. “Where do you hurt, Petra?” “All over.” Amazed, but professional, he smiles and leaves the set shaking his head. I am so thankful for this man.
Petra is groggy and beat up, but she is herself. Honestly, I look worse before my morning coffee. “I’m thirsty,” she proclaims.
“You want an ice cube, honey?” Kim replies.
“Please.”  Wow. She lays down, back to sleep, a living miracle who doesn’t even know it yet. Good flowering out of the refuse pile of a truly dark night. “Thank you, Jesus,” I whisper.

Kim and her daughter.
Petra, you are amazing. Kim, you, too, are amazing. I am so proud of you both. But God, you are in a league of your own. (Duh.)
There is much ahead. More surgerys. Facial reconstruction, perhaps. And for Kim, chemo therapy to stretch every moment out of life. But life remains.The ending is yet to be written for this family.
One final note: I am told Petra will take her first steps today. Time for the miracle to go for a walk.
Kim and Petra need our help. For more on the Andersons, or to help with their medical costs, please visit here. This is a great site.

More information about supporting Petra Anderson and other shooting victims is also available at Hope Rises: