Saturday, April 26, 2014

Legacy Bracelet

This post should have been done about a year ago. A lot of you who know me, know how much this bracelet means to me. It was gifted by a sweet friend, Amy Skogerboe, while we were still in the NICU. She has an amazing ability to make "Legacy Bracelets" - a reminder of where we have come from.

I wear mine EVERY time we come to the hospital - even if it for just a small procedure. It is a visible reminder that God was with us through everything with Gavin, and He will continue to be with us in the days ahead.
 Each time we come to the hospital, at least 4 people comment on how wonderful my bracelet is. I am able to share Gavin's story with them and most often, they always want to know where I got it! They know so many families who would love a bracelet. Even the surgeons have commented on them - men don't usually notice things like that, but it grabs their attention too!
How adorable, right?

I rarely turn the pictures in towards my wrist, but if I do - there is a super cute pattern on the inside. I don't know the exact process, but each block is wood, and the pattern is made of fabric. SO COOL!

 Oh - and did I mention it is a great toy for Gavin to play with when he needs extra distraction? They are durable!!

We have come a long way, baby! If I ever need reminding I look at my bracelet with my little 4lb 8oz baby on it.
Oh - and it's not just for medical parents! They are great for Mothers' Day gifts for moms, for grandmothers, or just because! I could also see them being an amazing gift for someone who lost a loved one.

Go check out their website! Legacy Bracelets

*Legacy Bracelets did not ask me to write this, I just had to share because I can't thank them enough for sharing this amazing gift with me!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Nothing deep

I have tried to think of something "deep" to share. Something that reflects this Easter weekend, but it's just not coming. Maybe it doesn't have to be deep - maybe it is just the simple, yet AMAZING fact that we have a Savior. A Savior who died, was buried, and rose for US! For our sins. The weight of the world's sins - past. present. future. are wiped clean for those of us who trust in Him.

It is reason to celebrate! Reason to be thankful! Hope for our future - peace for today!

Pre-esophagus dilation. 

Rosy cheeks! Happy boy!
The dilation went great, he shouldn't need it done again!

April 17th snow DUMP!
We got 14 1/2 inches at our house.
Gavin's favorite - BATHTIME!

Happy boy at daycare! We love our Nikki!
Our little boy is growing up! Doesn't he look old?

Monday, April 14, 2014


Spring showed up in a big way this past week. However, rumor has it that spring will be hiding for cover as we get some snow in a couple of days, but that won't stop me from sharing our adventures in the great Minnesota spring air!

There is something therapeutic about walks. I honestly don't even think about the physical benefits when I walk, although heaven knows they don't hurt. At the risk of sounding like a woodland hippie, I will spare you the "I just love being in nature" line - but really - I LOVE being out in nature. There is no building that can mimic God's creation, no sound recorded by man that can match a robin singing, and no smell quite like spring has ever been made by man (although the smells from the cows across the street leave something to be desired).

It's spring, folks - and this is why I love it:

Obsession with putting on last season's hats.

Mornings with Grandma

Cabin fever? No - just excited to be OUT OF THE HOUSE!

Isn't he handsome? Garsh...I think so! Garsh - really? Yep.

Again - the thrill of putting things on your head!
Never gets old, am I right?

Torn between the Huskers and the Bison.
OK, not torn - just has two options. GO BIG RED!

Swing, swing.

This look right here folks is why I love having a boy!

Happy to be out of the house!

Finally - GRASS!

Soaking up the rays. 

Fresh out of the tub.

A little extra CHEESE please!
As you can tell, we haven't done much out of the house besides walking to the park. Trying to keep Gavin healthy for his test (pH probe) on April 25th. Prayers are appreciated, for continued health and continued patience. Yesterday after a long (cold) weekend couped up in the house Gavin walked to the door and kept saying "buhbye? buhbye? buhbye?!!!!"

Hang on buddy, not too much longer and spring will return!

Health update: Gavin is doing great! We do nebulizers morning and night to help with any respiratory issues. The surgeon who repaired his TE Fistula when he was born looked at his swallow study and determined that he needs to have his esophagus dilated (stretched), so we will be heading in for that on 4/16/14. Prayers are welcome! Other than that, he is just peachy - and always ready to go "buhbye!"

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Beautifully Wrecked

Wrecked: "The remains of something that has been wrecked or ruined."

My words will surely fail me here, since God's work in my calloused heart can't be expressed wholly by written words. How does one put down into words, what the Lord does in your heart?
Lord, help me as I struggle with adequately conveying the wreckage of my heart! I want to remember it just as it was.

I wish I could hit "repeat" on this weekend. The warmer weather. Gavin taking his first of many steps. A date night with my Love. The first walk of the season. Open windows.

And a concert.

Casting Crowns, Laura Story, & For King and Country. They are all so talented, we love their music. I didn't expect a life change to transpire out of the concert though. Their words spoke to my heart, familiar songs were sung and my eyes - they were opened.

They say the band members walk through the arena and pray for each person that will be sitting in each chair. Perhaps they prayed extra for mine?

Faced daily with the question of who am I trying to be? Wife. Mother. Yes, those are a big part of me, but who am I trying to be? I think the answer would be the girl who knew the answers to the spiritual questions that she was faced with. The one who had unshakable faith, yet never had anything that rocked her world to the core. The young girl who loved to see Bible stories played out on the felt boards in our little country church. The teen who was determined to change her science teacher's mind on the Big Bang Theory and evolution. One who desired to go deeper in faith, and wouldn't let doubts stand in the way.

Desperately trying to get back. Scratching, clawing, fighting my way back. Read this book, page through that one. Listen to this speaker, sing to that song. Schedule quiet time, do quiet time less and less. Moments of doubt, and seconds of firm belief. Starting to give up, yet knowing that isn't an option. Alone, ashamed that my words don't match my heart.

Dangling off the edge of the cliff, with only a tattered string to cling to - and then out of the corner of my eye I see a new rope. How long has that been there? It isn't the one that has been there for 28 (almost 29) years, it isn't familiar but it is secure. It isn't worn by the years, and soaked with tears. My world - wrecked, and I desperately jump from my tattered string to the secure rope. Finally, I see that God is more than religion. I see that He LOVES me - despite my past - despite my lack of loyalty. I think I expected Him to shame me - but instead I felt love, and I have never felt more beautifully wrecked. He sees me for who I am - a sinner in need of Him, and He loves that ugly, sinful, betrayer. He sees me and my tattered string and cuts that cord. I don't need it anymore. I am thankful for the journey, but I can't go back now.

Revelation after revelation was spoken to a place in my heart that I didn't know existed - and it stuck there. I wish I had a mental notebook to keep all of those revelations, but the main ones can't be contained by writing - they are in my heart.

Casting Crowns' new CD is another smash hit in my mind. There is one song in particular, and at the first note, I knew which song it was - "Just Be Held". Ready to belt it out, they prefaced the song with a story about their bass player's son who is 11 months. 4 months ago he had surgery - not just surgery but a heart transplant. Can you imagine? The desire of all dad's is the same - to FIX things, to make things all better - but there are some things that are bigger than any earthly father. As the song played, picture after picture filled my tearful eyes of their son with a feeding tube, then one with a ventilator, then one with no-no's on his little IV laden arms. That is all I saw as I broke down in uncontrollable sobs on Jason's shoulder. We have walked a road similar to theirs, yet so very different. The next song they sang was "Let my life song sing to you" - isn't it amazing how God works? LifeSong - our ministry.

For the first time in a long time, I read my Bible without doubts. I read and read and read, I loved each sacred word. Oh how I have been waiting for this freedom. I know there will be days that will wear down the rope I am currently on, but I trust that He will throw me as many as I need over the coming years. We aren't meant to stay where we are, we are being shaped by the Creator.

"That was then, this is now. I wish I could go back, but I don't know how. I remember when I stood my ground, swore I'd never let you down - I want to be that man again. But that was then, and this is now!" This is now by Casting Crowns.

I have for so long wanted this - I am free. Satan - you can take a hike, your days of whispering doubts into my heart are over. I am through with it. I have the truth.

I am wrecked, but BABY... I'm FREE!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Call it what you will.

There isn't one specific item on my heart today. No - in fact a multitude of emotions, thoughts, and questions are bouncing around in my head. Sort of like the little beads inside many of Gavin's toys - no rhyme or reason, just bouncing around in there. I'll be honest, it makes it hard to focus!

Here are a few of the "beads" in my head:

Health. I had a dream last night that I was diagnosed with cancer in 3 different spots on my body. I don't know why, but it got me really thinking about how I am handling this ONE life I am blessed to live. What am I putting in my body? How do I spend the 24 hours I am gifted in each day? Do I say "I love you" enough?Sadly, my one-time dream is a reality for so many that I love. I pray for healing each day!

Motherhood. To put it in the words of my MN friends - "Uffdah!" Whether your kids are tiny newborns or toddling their way through terrible twos. Perhaps they are healthy, or maybe wracking up "frequent flyer" miles at the hospital. They could be perfect angels, or getting into EVERYTHING in sight. No matter what side you fall on, motherhood is a hard journey. Some days have been so gut-busting hard that I don't know where my next breath will come from, and others are so full of joy that I never want to stop breathing those sweet moments in. I think some people may look at our life from the outside and see all of our troubles, but let me just tell you that I wouldn't trade Gavin for more nights of sleep, more days at home, or less hospital bills. He has brought so much joy into this world of mine, and has helped me see that this life is very frail. It is indeed "a vapor", as James 4:14 says - and I want to enjoy each droplet of that steam!

Snow - Don't want to complain, but will you PLEASE stop?? I am craving a nice long walk with Gavin out in front kicking at the wind! I may be huffing and puffing, but when that thermometer hits 50, I'm getting out there!

Fragility - When we started our ministry, I could have never anticipated the outpouring of support and love from family, friends, and strangers. I am touched each day by the love we feel.
I also didn't think about the hard stories that we would hear.
The ones that leave you without words.
The kind that make you feel like a kid again, yelling "That's not fair".
People who have tried for a long time to get pregnant are now faced with uncertainty and complications with their baby.
Friends who prepared their hearts to welcome a little one, and only heart ache came.
Acquaintances that delivered their baby and are now spending days and months in the NICU/PICU.

Marriage - The beads in my head are constantly rattling around on this topic. Probably because it is the one that needs my attention most, yet gets it the least. I need to stop "wanting" to work on respecting Jason more and actually START respecting him. I need to stop putting off dates, and sweet couple times - because I crave those most out of anything!

Quiet time - This is a biggie, and sadly the demands of work life, home life, and social life have pushed it to the back burner yet again. I need this the most! It is hard to say that don't "crave" time with my Lord, and sadly it is usually an item on my "To-do" list. What a sad statement, but I must be honest. I have become lost when it comes to my spiritual life, and I feel the Lord calling me back to him each day - but sadly my response is "in a minute, Lord". CRINGE! What if He said that to me? What if when I was pleading with Him to heal my son, He put a hand up and said "not now, I have other things I am busy with". I shudder to think of that. He is ALWAYS there, just waiting for me to meet with him. Most days I leave him waiting, much like a scene from a movie. You know, the ones where the blind date doesn't show up? Thankfully, God won't give up on me. He can't, it's not in His nature - He loves me, even when I am un-loveable. He is FaithFULL when I am FaithLESS.
There are many more "beads" pinging around up there, but that is all I have time for today!

Happy Friday, friends!