Hope Intertwined

It’s fairly easy to talk myself into a “rational” state this pregnancy. For a while.

I will not get too invested. Invested just enough.

I will not plan for after.

I will not allow myself to daydream too much.

I will stay calm and practical about this all.

I will not be surprised by pain again. I will be prepared.

However that happens.

And then I feel baby kicks. I see her little face on the screen, her hands waving wildly. I hear Bella say her name, and watch Sam put his head on my stomach to talk to her. I carry her with me everywhere I go, my mind wanders to a nursery theme, cloth diapers, packing a hospital bag.

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20 weeks and ciHHV-6 Fundraising

Today we had our 20 week ultrasound. This one truly was all about the baby’s health, we knew gender with the Verifi test at like 12 weeks, we’d had a pretty thorough scan of her organs at 18. One thing they couldn’t see were all the heart chambers. We were told it was normal, they’d check again in 2 weeks. She was only 7 ounces and bouncing around like crazy in there.

But still. With our history waiting two weeks was a little rough.

Thankfully, everything in her heart is in place and positioned ok. We’re still going to ask for a fetal echocardiogram to check blood flow, because Kaden’s heart was also great and then it just wasn’t. Nothing structurally wrong with his at all, simply the weakened valves.

So far though – everything is looking good.

Here she is!  [Read more…]

Caddie Woodlawn Meets Today’s Timepiece

I love watches. I think it stemmed from reading Caddie Woodlawn as a little girl and seeing her fascination with her father fixing timepieces – from clocks to watches. She ended up loving to work with them too; I think of it like I do knitting. That soothing, redundant place you get to while you’re creating/fixing. So now, I usually won’t wear a watch unless I find one I love and that feels really comfortable to wear all day.
I don’t know if you all have heard of JORD watches, but I hadn’t until a few weeks ago. I found myself on their site, having serious watch lust, as I looked over their wooden choices – all sustainably made. They have watches for both men and women, and honestly you could switch some between the two and it would work for either gender.
Jord Watches - Cherry and Mother Pearl
I’m now the proud owner of their Sydney Series brand – the Cherry and Mother Pearl. Bella asked for the small pillow immediately – because obviously we haven’t read Caddie Woodlawn to her yet so why would she care about the watch? So besides the fact that this watch is something you can wear with almost anything, and keep forever, it has a:
  • Sapphire Crystal Face
  • Seiko Quartz Chronograph Stopwatch Movement (VD54)
  • Screw-down Crown
  • Swarovski Crystals

Jord Watches-2

And? For just $10 they’ll custom size it for you before it ships.
And YES international friends! They’ll ship to you and it’s not as much as a house payment! ::praise hands::

Jord Watches-1

Things I love about it:
It’s so, so smooth. All the edges and sides are just perfectly smooth.
Each one is made uniquely so they all have slightly different looks – even with the same wood used.
The face is clear to read, it’s easy to set, and it’s sturdy. I don’t have to worry about it catching and snapping on something.
Jord Watches-3
You can purchase your own JORD watch here, read more about them, or find out check out their FAQ’s for more info. They’re also really active on social media – on FB, Twitter, and especially Instagram.

I received a JORD watch in exchange for my honest review – all opinions are my own. A thank you to JORD for letting me be a part of this!

JORD Wooden Watches

Perfect in Weakness

World Vision Zimbabwe 2014-5

Several months before I went to Zimbabwe, I started praying daily that God would use my life for his purpose. For something, anything to happen to me that didn’t end in heartache.

The Sunday before I heard from World Vision, Sam and I were at church. We hadn’t gone in a while and of course the Sunday we decided to was missionary day. So I sat and listened to couple after couple talk about their lives in the mission field, giving it all up for Christ and changing their world.

It was August. Our second adoption had fallen through with over 2k paid out in living expenses we’d never see again. Things were not good, our money strained, Kaden’s first birthday had passed, the one year of his death was coming up…

I sat there, so envious and confused. My heart just ached to do what they were doing. I was so angry at God that I bowed my head slightly and let my thoughts roll as we all prayed:

Not everyone has the desire to adopt. Not everyone wants to go to a foreign country and serve. I’m not asking for fame or fortune but it would be really, really great if something that you’ve placed on my heart since I was a little girl actually worked out for me. Why bother making me with all these passions if you won’t do anything? You take adoption away, you take my babies away, my life is such a mess. What are you doing? DO SOMETHING.

And then we all stood up and filed out.

That following Friday evening I sat down to check my email after Bella was in bed and saw a message from World Vision. I wrote about it in detail here, but in short – one of their staff had put together a team headed to Zimbabwe in a few months for a Vision Trip and after reading my story, wondered if I might want to go too? We would be learning about infant and maternal health there.

World Vision Zimbabwe 2014-4

I cried so hard I could barely tell Sam what had just happened.

After that, things didn’t go smooth. My passport had just expired and WV needed it in 3 weeks to get me into their system. Sam couldn’t take the nearly 2 weeks off work I’d need to go, and my mom wasn’t sure if she’d be able to come out. I tossed around the idea of going to them with Bella, but knew that jet lag would KILL me on the way back – trying to fly or drive home from Colorado to Texas after. (So glad I didn’t try to do that.)

I couldn’t find a doctor to give me the right vaccinations, I couldn’t remember what I’d already had when I went to India – the list went on and on. Several times I thought, “Maybe I just shouldn’t go, because if I should – wouldn’t this be smoother?”

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Bella at the zoo

There are some days lately – as I start to become less sick, less tired, a little more hopeful – that I look at all we’ve gone through in the past three years and all we are both facing and looking forward to in the upcoming months…

And I feel happy again.

Little bits. Tiny moments of joy where Bella sits next to me chatting, I knit, Sam and I talk, Charlie is on his bed at our feet, the cats are probably somewhere barfing. It all spins together and I feel just so fiercely proud and protective of what we have. Our memories, our hurts, our ability to come back together time and again. Sometimes I feel like we could face anything at this point.

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