Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What's new?

It has definitely been awhile since I last posted our big news of finding out we're having two girls. With the excitement, travel, and busyness of both Thanksgiving and Christmas, there has been little time for writing and reflection.

Now that I am home-bound till the girls come, I hope to spend more time writing and sharing updates. For now, I want to write a small update of sorts from the last month.

We spent Thanksgiving in Little Rock with my family, the Rainey's. It was fun getting to all be together as every one of my 5 siblings were in town for the big feast. We spent a few days with my grandparents and extended family on my mom's side at a farm in south Arkansas. It was fun sharing our news with them and getting tips from my Aunt Judy who has twin boys.



After Thanksgiving, there arose a frenzy of activity at our house that happens every year at that time. Decorating the house, making lists of Christmas gifts, shopping, wrapping, and shipping! It was all a bit crazy, but I was able to get it all done before we left for Florida on the 17th to spend Christmas with the Mutzes.

But before we left for Florida, I did get a chance to fly to Texas for 4 days to visit my dear friend Christy Paine Hutchins. She and I were BFF in high school and college and even lived together for a year, such a blast!! So many memories and definitely a time in my life that I would love to re-live again if I were given the chance. I had such a great time with you Christy, thanks for taking such great care of me while I was there!



We had so much fun together talking, shopping, eating at this awesome Mexican place with free queso happy hour, watching The Proposal, and laughing together. She even hooked me up with a "tacky", maternity Christmas sweater to wear to our small group Christmas party.


I must note here that Jacob's sweater is actually a woman's sweater. But it still goes with the "tacky" theme, I do believe.

In Florida we spent a great 10 days with Jacob's family going to Disney, taking the family Christmas photo at 10:30 p.m., playing with the nieces and nephews, making and decorating Christmas cookies, doing Christmas three times, and doing our best to not pass around this awful 24 hour flu bug that Jacob, Cari, and Uncle Dave got. Thankfully they were the only three who did.



Just a picture of what's to come for us in the coming months. :) These precious boys are Cari and Phils' twins, Isaac and Will.

After the family left for a mission trip to Guatamala, Jacob and I traveled down to Longboat Key to spend the night at a condo there and get some time together. We went out on the boat Sunday morning and ended up losing power and having to be towed back to the dock, over an hour and a half long. We probably spent 3 hours on the boat, 1 hour of that was spent cruising along and enjoying ourselves. Even the dogs were enjoying the constant wind in their faces but not the cold seawater when they got tossed overboard by Jacob. :)

We drove back to Lakeland, packed our bags, and hit the hay around 11 p.m. only to get up again at 2:15 a.m. on Monday for our drive to the Orlando airport with Eric, Jacob's younger brother who had to drive to Miami for a new passport so he could fly to Guatamala to meet up with the fam. Our flight left at 6 a.m. and we made it to Denver and then home around 10 a.m.

3 hours later, after nice nap in my own bed, I awoke feeling awfully "weird" and unsettled. I couldn't put my finger on what was wrong or what I was feeling, I just knew it wasn't right. We called and made an appointment to see the nurse practitioner and then 10 minutes later I got sick and threw up. We went to the appointment and I had to lay down on the exam table because I felt like I was going to pass out. The decided to send me to the hospital for fluids and to be checked out more thoroughly. In triage, they tried to monitor the girls, but couldn't find their hearts very easily although they seemed to be doing just fine kicking at the little monitors on my belly. They finally hooked me up to an IV and told me to order some food and see if that would help. I had only 3 bites when it all came back up again. The nurse warned us that I might be spending the night at the hospital since I wasn't keeping anything down.

We checked in, officially, and I ordered more food to try again. I was also given some anti-nausea meds that seemed to help immensely. I was able to eat and keep it all down which was a huge praise. To pass the time, we watched The Mentalist and talked to a few family and friends. After a pitiful night of sleep, I was released the following morning.

I am definitely feeling better, but not 100%. I am weak and tired and achy from being sick, but not feeling as poorly as I did on Monday. Sleeping in my own bed has helped and being able to walk around more is good too. The general consensus for my stay in the hospital was dehydration and a possible flu bug or something in my GI tract. I'm doing my best to drink as much as I can and eat as well as I can. These babies need me to be healthy.

I see my doctor next Thursday for another check up, glucose screening test, and another ultrasound to check out the girls. At that point I will be 25 weeks in my pregnancy.

I am thankful that the girls were unfazed by my short stint in the hospital. They both had great heart rates and were constantly kicking and moving the entire time I was there.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The big reveal...

When I was pregnant with Molly, everyone had a guess as to what we were having. Most people said we were having a boy. In fact, one woman in the Seattle airport told me she thought we were having a girl. She was the only person who guessed right. I had an inkling we might be having a girl, but that was more of what I wanted than what I really thought we were having.

This time has been no different. In fact, a few days before our ultrasound we polled some of our family members to see what people thought. Here were the results:

The majority of the votes were for: 1 boy and 1 girl. One vote came in for 2 boys and one vote for 2 girls. People were even giving suggestions as to what we should call our son and daughter twin combo: Janie and Jack, Dennis and Denise (you can guess who suggested that one), Jack and Jill, and the list went on.

We decided to share our news by wrapping two outfits that showed what genders we were having. Those we were with got to open that cute gift and unwrap each outfit, revealing what we were having. It was so much fun to see the different and excited reactions of others as they found out the news! I am so glad we waited to share it in person!

Since I cannot have each of you open our fun "gift" I will share it with you through a picture. Enjoy our news and give great thanks with us!!










I have to say it even though it's clearly obvious. We're having 2 girls!! I still cannot believe it and I think the news will take some time to sink in. It's been so fun knowing and I can see why people find out the gender ahead of time. What an exciting time x's two!!

Oh and I have to tell you that the one vote for two girls was my older sister, Ashley. She was so pleased to have "won" the competition especially since she's the mother of 5 boys!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Babies update #7

Praise the Lord with us! Our ultrasound this afternoon went smoothly! Both babies are measuring great and they both weigh in at a hefty 8 ounces! The technician we had also did our ultrasound back in May when we went in for a second opinion on our precious Micah. She remembered us right away and was excited to see us again, this time for a good outcome.

Our tech's name is Stacy and she said she would probably be seeing us about every month for check ups on the babies. She did an excellent job and even cracked some jokes with Jacob who was making me laugh and as a result, making the images on screen all jiggly. It was really a fun appointment as we got to see all sorts of things about our babies.

Baby A is head down and Baby B is head up, although that will most likely change over the next few months. My placentas are both on top and possibly fused together, she was unable to tell for sure. We even saw Baby B kicking at Baby A's head. :) They are both so close together they could probably snuggle each other.

Both of their brains looked great. She measured all sorts of things about their brains like the cerebellum and then some other words I don't remember. Everything checked out great! Each baby's bladder, kidneys, diaphram, stomach, and heart were also measured and recorded. It was really neat to see each of the four chambers of the heart pumping away and providing life to our little ones. The tech also measured their leg and arm bones as well as the amount of fluid in each babies sack.

We saw arms, legs, feet, and little hands all moving around. We even brought our video camera to capture some of the action for fun. Thankfully she was able to see both babies' gender and neither of them were shy about it. We are very excited about knowing more about our babies. I can now see why some find out the gender before birth. It's pretty fun!

We are enjoying the news to ourselves for a few days and then we'll share it with our family over Thanksgiving. A perfect time to give thanks for the blessings God has given us through our kids.

Again, we thank you for the continued prayers for us and our little ones. We daily give them back to the Lord because we know that they are a precious gift and not anything we deserve to have. What a treasure to be able to get pregnant and experience life growing inside me. I do not deserve it nor do I take it for granted. We love these babies for as long as God gives them to us. And we are so thankful for such a gift!!

Stay tuned for our big announcement!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Babies update #6

I just had another check-up with my doctor. It was a good check up and we were able to hear their different heartbeats, which was very neat and reassuring.

He was able to find both babies hearts' without any problem which was also comforting. Astrid's heart was around 150 and Bob's was around 145. Both steady and strong. My doctor is pleased we've made it to 18 weeks and is encouraged with our progress.

Tomorrow, at 2:30, we'll be having our 20 week ultrasound even though we're only at 18 weeks. We'll be checking everything, measuring their heads, legs, arms, and bellies. We are also going to see if we can tell what team we're going to be on: Blue, Pink, or Both! We are both looking forward to that appointment and getting to see our babies on the big screen.

If we aren't able to find out the babies' sex then I will for sure do a post about how the ultrasound went and anything noteworthy to report. It is likely that we'll have to have another ultrasound or two to find out this fun news.

If they do cooperate and aren't shy, we will more than likely enjoy the news to ourselves for a few days until we get to Little Rock for Thanksgiving. My hope is that we'll be able to share the news with my family in person and share it with Jacob's family via skype. Once our families know then we'll share it here and on Facebook. So keep checking back for more info! Definitely by this time next week we'll have something to share!

Thanks for praying! Keep 'em coming!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Puppy Stories

You've asked and so you receive! Below are more pics of the precious pup! She has easily made her way into our home and hearts, just like Tank did. Here are some little facts about Lambchop:

- She weighs in at 3 lbs. 12 oz. Light as a feather!
- Her black hair is pitch black and we have found a few areas with white hair, definitely from her dad who had a looks like the red puppy below, with a tuxedo white stripe down his chest.
- Her eyes match her hair, blackest of black. Sometimes when she's sleeping you can see the whites of her eyes, but not often.
- She has some pretty sharp baby teeth, which I can't wait to see fall out. Tanks' teeth were just as sharp and now they aren't so bad.
- Her little legs are about 3 inches long. She can stand up under Tank's belly with no problems.
- She and Tank are best friends that love to bite each others ears, jaws, legs, and noses. Ouch! Not the kind of friend I would want to have! But as long as their tails are wagging I'm fine with it.
- Tank keeps himself occupied playing with her. We no longer have to push him out the front door, he loves to run out and play with her which is fun to watch.

And here's a funny story of the two of them that is just too good to pass up. Tank is obviously bigger and faster than LC but she keeps up with him anyway for awhile. We noticed the other night that LC found a toy of his and was chewing on it. Well, you can guess what happened next. Tank decided he wanted the toy and so he took it from her. She bolted after him and he just ran around with her nipping at his heels. Then she stopped to sniff something and Tank realized she wasn't following him anymore so he came back to find her and then taunted her with the toy in his mouth!! Literally! He dropped down on his front legs with his little rear end sticking up in the air and just wagged his tail. She responded in kind and pounced on him, but did not get the toy.

Fighting over toys usually results in more biting and chasing. It's fun to watch.

Enjoy the pictures!!!

When we met Lambchop for the first time. The red puppy was her companion for the trip. Her name is Lexi and some friends of ours picked her from one of the other litters. She and LC both have the same father.

Jake and Lambchop. She's so small!!

She has a little hat of hair that's all poufy on top. Very cute!! She basically followed us all around. We let them run around a grassy area outside the cargo building before heading home.

Tank investigates the newcomer. They sniffed each other for a bit and then Tank sort of sat there and stared at her like he wasn't sure about her.
Sharing Jake's lap. Can you imagine them both on MY lap? I only have a lap for one dog right now and I know that won't last for long. :)

Thanks for visiting!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Meet LC

Ever since I gave Tank to Jacob for Christmas last year we have just loved having him around and seeing how much joy he brings into our lives. He is such a great dog, so well mannered and incredibly well-behaved, except for the last two weeks at small group. Oops! Anyway, we truly enjoy and delight in him all the time. One of the greatest things about him is that he is totally hypo-allergenic. I am totally allergic to dogs and he doesn't bother me in the slightest. My mom has even been around him a few times and she isn't bothered by him either, and she's even more allergic than I am. The real test will be my sister Ashley, who will meet Tank at Thanksgiving. Can't wait to see what she thinks of him and if he causes her to sneeze at all. I really hope not.

Ok, back to the topic at hand. I don't really remember when we started talking about another puppy but it happened sometime this summer. We contacted the breeder who we got Tank from and there were three litters already in the works, one of which was Tanks' mom Cocoa. We were really excited because we had wanted another chocolate puppy, but this time a female. In September, the week the puppies were due, we got an email from the breeder saying that Cocoa was not pregnant and had never been that entire time. We continue to shake our heads at this, wondering how one doesn't know a dog isn't pregnant. I would think a non-swollen stomach would be the first clue. So, no chocolate poodle puppy for us, bummer.

Either way, the breeder said we could have first pick from one of the other two litters that had just been born. We said we would wait to see pictures and then decide.

We decided on a black female from Gina's litter. We thought it would be better to have a different color and we really liked the dark look. Plus, we wanted a female anyway so we could have the chance for puppies in the future IF we wanted to.

Well, it's been 8 weeks now and just around 3:45 this afternoon a plane in Denver will be landing with our newest puppy on board. Jacob has chosen the name, Lambchop, even though she hasn't the slightest bit of white on her. It's really a cute name, although a little long for calling it out from time to time.

Just recently, the breeder posted some new pictures of our little gal and I picked my favorite two to share here. We will definitely be posting more once we have her and have introduced her to Tank. Since his world is about to be rocked by two infants, we thought a friend would help soften the blow a bit although that was definitely not our main reason for wanting another puppy. I do hope they become best friends! We keep telling Tank about his little sister but I don't think he has the slightest clue what we're saying. :) Plus, he's far more interested in his rubber chicken than getting a playmate.

Enjoy the pics and check back later for more in the coming days.



Isn't she precious! I cannot wait to hold her and get to know her! It's incredible to think how small Tank used to be. It will be fun to take some comparable pictures of the two of them together.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The rest of the story...

Here are the other two ultrasound pictures that are a "must-see". Amazing what technology can do!! I absolutely loved seeing our babies and checking them out from head to toe!

Here's a foot!! So cute and so clear! I have no idea whose foot it belongs to, all I know is that I can't wait to tickle it! :)
Dr. Austin said that the baby was saluting us! Or sucking his/her thumb! Either one is cute and I am so glad we have a picture of it!! Thanks to Dr. Austin and Gayle for their incredible attention to us and our kids!!

Speaking of "his or her", we have an appointment with Imaging (the place where we went for a second opinion on whether or not Micah was really gone or not, and also the place where they have a better ultrasound and check out twins from 20 weeks and on) on Friday November 20th to find out the babies sex and do all the bells and whistles of measuring and such. IF the babies cooperate and we do find out we will more than likely wait to post on the blog until after we've told our immediate family. Once we've done that then we'll definitely share the news via the blog and/or Facebook.

So.. get excited and also pray with us that they continue to grow strong and healthy over the rest of the pregnancy! We continue to trust the Lord with His plans for these two and ask that you do the same with us. Thank you so much for praying for us and lifting us up so many times! There are many who I have not had the pleasure of meeting that I am so grateful for their prayers!!

We are so thankful for the body of Christ!

Thanks for reading!

A lot happened on October 28th

Just a week ago I had a lot to celebrate and look forward to! So many great things happened in one day that I have to say I feel supremely blessed and loved by my God and by so many family and friends.

On October 28th, I celebrated my birthday! I turned 29 this birthday which just doesn't seem possible. I do not feel like I am 29 now, not at all. Nor do I feel like I should be starting a new decade in a year. In spite of being so close to 30, it was a wonderful birthday filled with phone calls, little gifts, and even a yummy peanut butter and chocolate cake at our small group that night, which just happens to be my favorite flavor combination! Don't even think of asking me to share Haagen Daaz' Peanut Butter and Chocolate ice cream with you! OR, telling me how fattening it is. I don't care, I just want to eat some and enjoy it!

I did have one big surprise on my birthday. One that has never happened before in all my 29 years. I even asked my mom and she confirmed this to be true.

We had over a foot of snow fall on my birthday, not to mention the additional foot and a half that fell over the next 48 hours. Beautiful, sparkling snow all pure and white. I do believe we get snow just about anytime of the year in Colorado. And I love it, especially when it warms up to mid 60's two days later. :)

One of the best parts of my birthday happened around noon, earlier than I expected it to. We had another ultrasound of our babies. Our doctor's office was closing early due to the snow and asked if we could come in early. "No problem. See my babies sooner than later? Sure thing!"

My doctor must have been photo happy because we came home with 19 ultrasound pictures all folded up to share. Baby B was the star of the show, being quite photogenic and not shy. Baby A must have been hiding or "purposely hidden" by Baby B and thus we were not able to see A as much as B. It was a great ultrasound, both babies' hearts were pounding away and they were also moving around and even waving to us. Dr. Austin kept saying, "Look how cute they are!" And he's definitely not an emotional kind of doctor, just straight forward and factual. It must have been my birthday that caused him to give us extra time to gaze upon our babies and take extra pictures. I am incredibly thankful for the amazing doctor and staff at the office, so wonderful and so gracious to us as we've all held our breath and waited.

So... without further news and fluff, here are some of the best shots of the twins. Enjoy and give a big "yea" along with me for the scanner working and letting me scan all 19 of the pics. I promise I am not sharing all 19 here, that would take forever.

Here's Baby B all stretched out from head to toe!
Both babies together, looking a bit smooshed if you ask me.
Another one of the twins together, this time from a birds' eye view of their heads. Way cool!
This is Baby B showing off his/her profile! You can see the bridge of the nose, two lips, and a chin. You can also see Baby A off to the right possibly annoyed with B hogging the spotlight!
And this is one of the best shots of baby A. A is closest to my cervix and so harder to see, being tucked in under B.

I was not able to put all of the pictures that I wanted to on this post so I will get the rest in another blog post. Not the rest of the 19, just 2 more that are great to see.

Also, after the ultrasound Jacob took me to Panera for lunch which we both really enjoyed. His birthday gift to me was an assortment of choices around Denver or Boulder of fun places to see or eat at. Can't wait to plan a day full of fun together!

Monday, October 19, 2009

What would have been

The past few weeks I have quietly reflected on the coming day, October 19th. It has always been in the back of my mind and something I have thought of often. I do not feel overly anxious as I have anticipated this day, just reflective and thoughtful.

Today would have been Micah's due date.

Had he been anything like his older sister, we would probably be waiting another week to meet his little self. I wish it were only going to be a week to meet him.

We will have to wait till Heaven to meet him and also get to know Molly better. It just stinks that we can't be with our kids right now. It hurts my heart as I think of them, miss them terribly, and ponder what they are up to in the Heavenly realms.

The past few weeks have been extra difficult for me in this area. I have really missed them both and am grieving them more and more. I feel as if their losses just happened a day or two ago. I journal-ed a week ago and meant to post it but I guess now will be better than never.


10.12.09

"I really miss our kids today. I always miss them but today, and the past few days, I have felt that ache in my heart as if I had just lost them. It feels like just yesterday that I held Molly in my arms and kissed her soft skin. I re-live the moments of delivering Micah as fresh as when they happened, his perfect body lying still in my open hands.

As we approach Micah’s due date and our own 14 week mark with the twins, I am aware of my troubled heart that aches to be with my kids. I truly feel pain in my heart and soul as I think of them today and how we were not meant to be separated. We should be together. They should be here with us, learning new things and celebrating important milestones. But they are not. And they won’t be ever again.

Death is so final. So loud as it comes crashing down upon our dreams and hopes. I am struck with how final death is as I think about it. I know that it is not the end, not at all. There is no victory in death, for Christ swallowed up death and sin when he died on the cross for us all. He made a way for us to spend eternity together. He gives me a gift in the price he paid. He gives me the great gift of spending forever and ever with Him and with our kids in Heaven. What more do I need?

I sold a few of our books and audio cd’s of the broadcast of Molly’s life to some women at a bible study that I go to. After selling the cd’s I realized that I had only listened to those broadcasts once, the week they aired during Molly’s b’day week. I long to be near Molly again, to remember her and imprint her life more deeply into mine. I want to listen to the broadcasts and look at some of her pictures. And of course, have a good cry."


I think I have been more anxious lately but on a subconscious level rather than actively feeling anxious and worrisome. I am 14 weeks with the twins and that is when Micah died in my womb, and that scares me. What if we are asked to surrender yet another baby or two? I ache for the moment when we can hold our babies in our arms and know, that for the time, they are safe and well. What we also know in that moment is that they are never safe, never promised a long life with us, just the moments God does give us. That has been one of the biggest lessons I have learned in Molly and Micah's death. Being pregnant definitely helps as we approach and pass Micah's due date and other important dates, but I am still so sad and still grieve for my kids. I struggle with being fearful of the lives of these two that I now carry. Being pregnant with two does not replace the two we've already lost. It does not make up for lost time or lost lives.


There are no guarantees. I am not free of future death now that I've lost two kids. I was never promised that these babies would make it to term or that we would bring them home. I am only given the days which God has already ordained for them before the beginning of time and I have to trust what He gives and what He takes.


Pray for us, and me especially, as I carry these babies and lean on Him each and every day. Pray that I am not overcome with worry or fear and that I am able to enjoy this pregnancy for as long as we are given these babies.


Thank you all. Words cannot describe how grateful we are for the prayers and kind words.


May the Lord bless you as you have blessed us.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Dr. appt # 5

I have seen my doctor a lot these days. And the staff at the office already know who I am when I come in each time. It's really nice.

I saw my OB on Wednesday and we got to hear the babies hearts thumping away. In my mind, it took him awhile to find baby B and hear the heartbeat. To Jake and his newspaper, it took no time at all. :)

Baby A is around 155 bpm. Baby B is around 150 bpm. I checked my past pregnancy journals with both Molly and Micah and saw that both of their hearts were in the 155 range at this same point in the pregnancy. That was really neat to see.

Next appointment, on my birthday, October 28th, will be another ultrasound. That will be fun to have on my birthday! I will be 15 weeks then.

I cannot say enough to those of you who pray for us so fervently. Truly, I am just humbled beyond words.

Thank you so much.

Monday, October 12, 2009

It feels like Christmas


"Why Christmas?" one might ask.

Well, maybe because we got about an inch or more of snow on Saturday. Or maybe because the weather has been in the high 20's. Or maybe it's because I've dug out all my winter maternity wear, coats, and scarves. And my all-time fave: the Christmas decor, tinsel, and ornaments ALREADY on the shelves in stores. Jacob laughs at me each year when I refuse to think Christmas until AFTER Thanksgiving.

It's ridiculous folks. As my friend Sheri Rizner would say, "Seriously? Seriously."

I drove home from bible study this morning singing Christmas songs in my head and thinking about how I need to get my Christmas shopping done and write our Christmas letter. As if it were early December rather than early October. At Costco yesterday it looked like the Christmas rush, there were people everywhere buying all sorts of huge items, like drum sets. I felt like I needed to buy something large also, thankfully I did not.

I am really sad about this weather we're having. As I said before in one of my posts, fall is one of my favorite seasons and it really did get skipped this year. The trees have all lost their pretty colors and even some have turned black or brown from the bitter, freezing temperatures at night.

Anyway, I just had to write about this. I do love the snow and it is really pretty to look at, but not in the first week of October.

Seriously? Seriously.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Already October

I just can't believe it's already the 2nd of October. September went by incredibly fast for us! Here in Colorado, fall has already started and will soon be over. It must be one of the shortest seasons here, unfortunately, as it is my favorite!! In light of how short it is, I am choosing to enjoy it as much as I can!!

We spent last weekend camping at our new favorite spot by a creek near Frasier. It is so pretty and quiet. We have enjoyed camping there twice in the last month and both times were so much fun. We nearly froze our tails off at night but it always warmed up in the morning. And the stars at night were spectacular. I felt so small looking at the millions upon millions of them. An incredible display of God's wonder and glory!

We saw our doctor again yesterday for another check up. He seems to be breathing easier now that we're 11 weeks and doing so well. It was a fast appointment and I did get to hear Bob's heart beat, but not Astrid's. He said that Baby A was probably still too low in my pelvis to hear. That made me a littler nervous, but not much since he didn't seem concerned. We talked a little more about different tests I can have done in the coming weeks, when I come back to see him again, and when he'll do the next ultrasound around 18-20 weeks. He asked me if I was ok not having an ultrasound for today and I said I was ok but had been worried and feeling nervous again a few days before. As I was still explaining how I was feeling, he stepped out of the room and peaked around the corner, then motioned me to follow him. "It's totally normal to be concerned and nervous. You're here now so let's just go in and look." So we got to see our babies again!! So much fun!! I feel so spoiled by my doctor's office, but I am not complaining! I'll take any and every chance to look inside my womb at our little miracles growing and thriving.

The only sad part about this ultrasound was that Jacob wasn't there for it. He was on his way but hadn't made it in time. He assumed I would be called in well after my appointed time and so he thought he would get some more work done before he came to sit with me. I totally understood how we can wait sometimes for the doctor. Well, this time was totally different. I had only sat down for a minute before I was called in and then only sat in the exam room for maybe 2 minutes before the doctor joined me. Very uncharacteristic of typical appointments, but again, I am not complaining!!

It was a quick ultrasound. The screen came on and our two little munchkins came into view. I was so amazed at how big they were already and how they were moving around so much. I wanted to stop time or record the whole thing, it was that cool. One of them was waving their little arm back and forth as if to say "Hi Mom!!". Both of them did little jumps in their sacks, bopping around and moving. I was so encouraged to see them doing so well. They just amaze me every time I get to see them!! I wish our scanner worked so that I could share all of the pictures, but for now this one will have to do. I took a picture of it with my phone, the only thing I could think of to do to share the images.



This is one of them, not sure which though. My OB moved the scanner around so fast and I was so in awe that I didn't pay attention to who we were looking at. :) But they pretty much look the same. Both were healthy and moving around a lot which was fun to see. I made two appointments: one to go back in two weeks, in case I am nervous or feel the need for it, and then one for 4 weeks. I can do both appointments or just do one of them. I am really grateful for the staff at The Boulder Medical Center. They have become so dear to me as we continue on in this fun new journey! I cannot thank them enough!

I still just can't believe I am pregnant with twins! It really is incredible! I am so excited as time goes on and the babies get bigger and bigger. I am so happy that they are healthy and well.

Thank you all so much for your prayers for us as we wait upon the Lord for these two wonderful little lives! We are humbled and grateful beyond our imagination!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The latest and greatest

We saw our doctor again today and had another ultrasound to check in on Astrid and Bob. To our relief and joy we found that both of them are growing like they should, healthy, and little hearts beating away.

It was really neat to see their hearts beating and then of course to hear them was even cooler! Bob's heartbeat is at a healthy pace of 182 bpm. Astrid's heartbeat was also healthy and fast at 176 bpm.

They are both measuring right on at 9 weeks. Right now they are just over an inch long, about the size of a green grape. :) It was really a relief to see that Astrid had caught up to Bob and was the same length and everything. We were both really pleased and grateful for another positive appointment. I didn't post a picture with this post because our doctor didn't take very many and the ones he did take weren't all that great. So next time we get a pic, we'll post it! :)

Because I had some bleeding, my doctor did ask me to take it easy for the next few weeks. This first trimester is so crucial and the time when most miscarriages occur. He did say that I would be in "the clear" around 18 weeks. So we're halfway there and so excited!

We know that we won't ever be "in the clear" until we have our babies in our arms and we know they are healthy and well. And even then, they are still on loan to us and a gift from God. As we already know well enough, He gives and He takes away.

May we always bless His name, no matter what He gives or what He takes.

Thank you all so much for praying for us and rejoicing with us over these two healthy lives!! We are so honored and thrilled to be given this opportunity to parent two babies at once!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Twins are double the fun

So I wanted to update everyone on how things are going and also test something out on my blog. For some reason the dates are messed up and not showing the right date for the post I am adding. It seems to think it's still August 19th. Weird, but hopefully it will be fixed on its own, otherwise I might be asking Jake to do some checking around for me. :) I am not blog savvy, unfortunately. I just know how to write and add new posts and that's all.

We are loving all the prayers and excitement of being pregnant with twins! It is a roller coaster, to be sure, but we are enjoying it every moment of every day! We pray for the babies together at night and especially for Baby A to grow alongside Baby B.

Really, words cannot describe how much fun this is! I am just so grateful for this incredible gift from the Lord. Truly. :) Here's a fun tidbit, because we have an A and a B to refer to, Jacob has decided to give them funny names. :) So... drum roll please.

Baby A is now Astrid.

Baby B is now Bob. :) Fondly named after Jacob's grandpa, Bob Gaiser.

There really are no huge updates except for my next appointment with my OB at 11:30 on the 16th of September. We'll get to see the babes again and do more measuring, checking out Baby Astrid and hearing the heartbeats hopefully.

Also, I've heard that this is common to twin pregnancies but it still makes me nervous. I am experiencing some bleeding which I hear from my brother in law Michael, who is also an OB although not mine, that bleeding is normal and unless I have cramping associated with it, it's likely nothing. So you can be praying that the bleeding truly is nothing and just my uterus doing extra work for the extra life inside. I totally appreciate all the prayers and any mommies of twins, please feel free to let me know any advice you have for me, books to read, etc. I would love it!!

Thanks to everyone and we'll keep you updated as we know more!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It all started one early Monday morning...

August 10th proved to be an exciting day for the Jacob Mutz family. We woke up around 6:30, early for me as I love to sleep in, and got some of the greatest news ever...

Two little pink lines with a white border: We're pregnant!!


Here I am, making sure I record this momentous occasion.





Some silly pictures we took a few hours after we took the test. Jacob is really pushing his tummy out in that second one!

We both prayed and thanked the Lord for choosing to give us another life to care for and pray over. I couldn't believe how fast things happened this time around. When we were trying for Micah, it took 8 months, so we were pretty surprised when we saw the pregnancy test turn positive!

That was 3 weeks ago when we found out we were pregnant. Well, just when you thought you'd heard all the news there was to hear, we've got more for you.

Yesterday, September 1st, we were scheduled for our first ultrasound to make sure the little bean was growing like he/she should, hear the heartbeat, do the measuring, etc. A fun ultrasound to be sure, but not a whole lot to see as we are only 7 weeks along.

The doctor came in the ultrasound room and asked if I had any questions. I had been praying all morning long and working on not being anxious about anything but presenting my requests to the Lord. I was a bit nervous that we'd hear bad news again. Once you've been burned, it's easy to be skittish and nervous the next time around.

"So, do you have any questions for me?", he asked. I looked at him and said, "Can we just get this over with and make sure there's a heartbeat and all? I just want to know all is well." He said that was fine and Jacob even laughed at me a little for being so hurried. I was just really nervous.

The screen came on and immediately we saw a little dark circle with a fuzzy resemblance of a baby inside. He pointed out the heart beating and as he began to take his measurements my eyes took notice of a second dark circle hovering near the first.

"So what's that other circle all about?", I asked him. He told me we would check it out after he did some measurements. "Make sure there's not a twin in there," he mused. At the sound of the word, "twin", Jacob sat up in his chair a little higher and looked at me with eyebrows raised and a big smile on his face. I smiled back at him thinking, "yeah right, me... twins? I doubt it."

It didn't take long for the doctor to do the measurements and then moved over to the second circle to investigate its contents.

To our complete amazement and joy, he spoke the words, "Yep, there's a twin in there."

What?! Twins?!! Are you kidding? You've got to be joking! I can't believe it! How are there twins in there!! Seriously!! Oh my gosh, I can't believe we're having twins!! AHHHHHHHH!!!

All of those thoughts came into my head at once, most of which I spoke aloud to our OB. He continued to do his measurements, showing us Baby B's heartbeat and length. He also noted that Baby A was a little bit smaller than Baby B. Just a few days behind which might mean something or it might mean nothing at all. We're hoping for the latter! :) Either way, you can join us in prayer for both our babies to grow healthy and strong!! I do go back in for another ultrasound in 2 weeks. To check on them both, but especially little A.

Here's a picture of the ultrasound. Our two little blueberries growing and thriving, unaware of the excitement going on outside their little world. :) We cannot wait to meet them!!



As of now, our due date is April 20th. That will more than likely change since we're having twins now. And really, I can't believe I just wrote that... twins. Wow. Twins!!

Also, check out this picture of how we chose to celebrate our great news over lunch.


An "identical" lunch at Chick-fil-A, complete with cookies and cream milkshakes. Jacob wanted to have an identical twin lunch, even though these babies probably won't be identical twins. He ordered for us both and we truly had the same lunch, down to the light mayo and bbq sauces. It was fun, including asking the moms sitting nearby to take our picture for us. We told them we had just found out we were pregnant with twins and they both cheered. One of them even became teary. So sweet.

So we're off!! Another adventure has begun! We are praising the Lord all day long, thanking him for this great blessing times two! A really neat thing to add is that ever since college I have prayed for twins one day. I have always wanted them and while we have no idea what we're getting into, we're pretty excited for the challenge and joys of hopefully bringing home our babies to care for and love on.

Rejoice with us and keep those prayers coming!! We still need them!

Love you all!

Happy 4th Anniversary!







Today we are celebrating 4 years of wonderful marriage, friendship, and love. I absolutely love my husband! He is, by far, my best friend! We do everything together and have so much fun. Sometimes we tell each other, "I love doing life with you!" And it's so true! We've experienced more life in the past year than in both of our lives combined. I wouldn't want to do this life with anyone else, the mountain tops and the valleys are a joy to walk together.

Here are just a few things that I love about Jacob:

1. I love to snuggle and watch movies or tv shows together. I feel so safe and secure when I'm held closely in his arms.
2. I love road trips! It is so much fun being in the car together and seeing new places!
3. As I said earlier, I love doing life with him. Just the simple, day to day things.
4. I am so thankful we've had each other as we've walked through grief. I can't imagine doing it alone.
5. I love his spiritual leadership in our marriage. He does a great job leading us in prayer and devotions, nearly every day.
6. He is a fantastic businessman! Always eager to learn and try new ventures!
7. He is the best daddy to our kids. Showing such sacrificial love and caring for them as much as he can.
8. I love dreaming together. It's really fun planning our "forever" home or thinking of new trips to take together.
9. I love his passion and zeal for life! He makes life so much more fun than I ever imagined!
10. I just love Jacob. Plain and simple. He's the best husband for me and I am so glad that I am blessed to have him in my life!

I love you so much Jake. Thank you so much for loving me so well and for being patient with me. Thank you for tenderly caring for me and serving me so much. I am so thankful that I get to spend the rest of my life with YOU.

I love you.
Your Princess

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Cupcakes and Wine?



Some would say, "yuck", but I say, "yum!" I stumbled upon a little delicacy at a nearby wine shop. I've heard of flavors like spice, berries, oak, and coffee. But never before have I heard of a wine described close to a dark chocolate cupcake with vanilla berry coulis. :) I have found a fun wine! It's so nicely balanced and light, with a hint of cupcake on the finish. And, one of the best parts about this wine is the price tag: only $12.

I am immediately a fan of Cupcake Vineyards, located in central California. Their motto on the back of the bottle has become a favorite of mine:

Cupcake: Live Deliciously

I definitely live to eat and only things that are delicious! Let's not waste time or calories on things that are not so tasty! Agreed?

I am savoring a glass of this tasty Cupcake wine as I make a yummy tomato soup from a famous restaurant in Boulder, The Kitchen. I shared a few spoonfuls of this smooth and warm tomato soup with my sweet mom for lunch last week. We had a yummy lunch with fresh bread and good conversation!

I'll post the recipe soon! It's a must for all to try! Oh and if you're interested in this vineyard, click here to visit their super fun website!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

New Recipe

I have just added another recipe link to my list of faves on my blog. It's a super great recipe for summer time! It's Pasta, Pesto, and Peas. And you actually serve it at room temp or even cold and it's delish! I just made it recently for us and added cut up cooked chicken which was a tasty addition! It's also a great idea if you're making dinner for someone. They won't have to reheat it when you take it over! Just eat it straight from the fridge!

I usually make my own pesto, but you can easily buy a jar of it at the store to cut out part of the work. It's super yummy!!

Enjoy!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A funny story...

I just have to share this story. It was pretty funny and fairly painful at the same time. Plus, we all need a laugh every now and then, right?

So there we were... sitting around our house doing absolutely nothing. Boring. Jacob has this obsession with climbing all the 14'ers in the state of CO in the next 5 years or so. He's been researching every website, previous climbers, routes, equipment, etc. It has been fun to watch, but it gets old after awhile. Especially since I am not so inclined to climb 59 mountains that are at least 14,000 feet in elevation. Whew!

I whine to him about getting out of the house as it's nearly 7 p.m. and the only rooms we've been in are his office and our room where I took a nap at one point because I was so bored. Not to mention our puppy, Tank, had been sleeping on and off all day long. We went to church this morning and that was the extent of our activities for the day.

I was hoping we could go for a walk or something but Jake had a better idea. "Let's ride our bikes to Wal-Mart!" I looked at him quizzically and ask, "What's at Wal-Mart?" He explains that he needs a new bike tube for his mountain bike and we need the exercise.

Wal-Mart is only 3 miles away, with a little hill in between. A quick little jaunt for a bike ride at 7 p.m. sounded fine to me. I walk out to the garage to get going when I notice that the sky is darkening with some rain clouds. "You know, we might get rained on," I mention to Jake as we get on our bikes. "No we won't, because we'll just come home if it rains." I'm not wanting to squelch his idea so I hop on my bike. Jake likes for me to get ahead of him sometimes so that he can catch up with Tank running close behind him. I start riding and the wind feels nice as I pedal along the sidewalks. I keep glancing over my shoulder to see where Jake and Tank are. I finally stop by a red fire hydrant, just at the top of the hill on Baseline Rd. I see them coming around the corner so I hop back on and continue riding.

We ride close by for a few more minutes. I felt a few rain drops but nothing major, so I just figured we would make it to the store and if it did rain we could wait it out there. As the wind picks up Jake yells, "Let's go back! I think it's going to rain." I see some lightning not far away and think that he has a good idea.

Not ten seconds after turning our bikes around, the sky opens up and the rain begins to pelt us. Literally. In my mind I'm thinking, Hmmm, maybe we should have kept going to the store and waited there. Or to our friends house, Kim and Greg, but they have company over so we should just go home.

I love rain storms. Sitting in my nice, warm, living room, curled up with a book or something. They are nice to watch from the comfort of your home as you listen to them pound against your roof.

I do not love rain storms when I am out in them. Riding our bikes INTO the storm was torture! Tank was still running faithfully behind me and I kept throwing praise over my shoulder as we rode. "Great job Tank! Come on buddy!!" I can hear Jake ahead of me yelling at the rain. I am yelling too.

The rain drops feel like hail driving into my skin at 100 miles an hour. I'm pretty sure I even saw some hail at one point. Jake said it felt like someone was throwing marbles at his face. I knew the same, stinging feeling. It was so painful to look ahead to where you were going. Rain was driving down at an angle right into our faces. I decided to keep my head down and watch the sidewalk that way. I would glance up every 30 seconds or so to make sure I wasn't going to plow headlong into a tree or someone.

We almost sought shelter in this little tunnel that's part of the golf course nearby, but I realized how close we were to home so I yelled at Jake to push on. "Let's just get home!!" He yelled back, "You're a crazy woman! But ok!"

We continued riding on, the rain lessening as we passed through the shelter of a few trees. I was thankful for the fact that we were riding downhill this time, making the painful pelts of rain go by much faster. I found myself laughing out loud the rest of the way home, certain that the cars driving by were having a good laugh at these idiots who chose to bike in the rain.

Until we rode our bikes into our garage, the rain continued thrashing at us like an angry man down on his luck after a poker game. I was laughing and Jake wondered what I had to laugh about. We looked at each other, realizing how sopping wet we were. I had dirt on the back of my tank top from the bike kicking it up. We could both feel water soaking our toes. Our shirts were dripping wet and my legs were red from the rain drops that had pounded them for nearly ten minutes.

After being home for all of two minutes, we look outside and realize that the rainstorm is nearly over and blue skies can be seen in the distance. Ahh, too bad we couldn't have watched it from the comfort of our home. But that would have been boring and this was too much fun.

Friday, July 10, 2009

He Provides

Today the Lord provided for me in a very unique way. I would have never asked for this sort of provision, but am thankful for how God is using my pain to give Him glory.

I got a call from a friend’s husband who asked me to come to the hospital to be with his wife. They had just miscarried their baby. I was one of few friends who were called. I dropped what I was doing and drove to the hospital to be with them, thankful that I had nothing going on. Hugging her husband as I entered the room I could tell that there were tears springing into his eyes. I sat with my friend as we talked and shared hearts. We had been pregnant together for our first pregnancies. Now we were sharing the pain of losing babies we barely knew, but had prayed for and dreamed over.

I took her home, her hands holding a soft blond teddy bear, a gift from the hospital. She mentioned as we left that she had now done both: left with a baby and left without a baby. I knew the pain she felt. It was just 2 months before that I was in her same place, clutching a bear and feeling the pain of an empty womb.

I see this as an open door from the Lord. A provision for me in my current state of feeling a deep sense of loss and no purpose to call my own. I would never ask to share this unique heartache and pain with a close friend, but am incredibly humbled and honored to have been called to the front of the battlefield. I have offered to help her with her son and the work she has to complete that seems overwhelming. I told her that I had nothing pushing me forward and that I would love to help her. Thankfully she accepted my offer gladly and I start working with her next Wednesday.

I see this as an opportunity to share pain, talk openly and honestly, be authentic, and share tears mixed with laughter. I pray that I am encouraging and helpful, a cool drink of water in a very dry time.

So I give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. He has given me a purpose in my pain.

Thank you, Jesus.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Good grief!

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted here. Jake and I spent the last 2 weeks on the road visiting Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Utah. We really enjoyed our trip and had great conversation and lots of laughs. We even got to meet up with Jake’s brother, Ozzie and his wife, Johanna for part of the trip. We met them in Utah, at Zion National Park and really had a good time hiking, eating at Oscar’s, chatting in our tent till midnight, and seeing some great parts of our country together. It was a really fun time to go on a trip with another couple, especially one in our family!

I have so much I want to write about but am afraid it won’t make sense if I just unload here so I’ll have to write a piece at a time.

Recently, Jake and I have had the opportunity to adopt a baby boy who will be born in the next few weeks. We prayed and prayed and sought advice and prayed some more. The idea of having a child in our home by August was incredibly appealing, to say the least. But we just weren’t quite feeling 100% about it either. Last night we decided to let this adoption opportunity go to someone else.

I knew that it would be a good decision either way. If this is not our baby then we would let it go and somehow we’d see how that decision was a wise one. If this was our baby we would see the good in it and enjoy every moment. Unfortunately for me, after making this decision I experienced feelings of deep depression. I felt worthless, aimless, a waste of space, and without a purpose in my life. I don’t have a job or skill that keeps me motivated and I am not pregnant, counting down the weeks. Late last night I really heard some lies from the enemy about my worth and I let them enter into my heart for a time. Then I realized that none of those things were true. I asked the Lord to help me focus on truths rather than lies. And it helped.

Did my sorrow and sadness end there? No. Did I bounce back and think, “Wow, I sure am content not having any babies in my life! Thanks God!” Absolutely not. This was no quick fix. No easy solution or magic wand that could take away my pain and sorrow. It was all still there and I felt immense pain and anger at our current state. Why was God withholding the desire of our hearts to have children in our lives? I have no idea. I can only guess that it is for the refinement of our hearts that He is waiting. Sometimes I wish He wouldn’t be so mysterious.

Waiting is difficult. We wait every day for things all the time. I wait for the water to boil or for the light to turn green. I wait for Jake to come for dinner or my computer to start up. Those things aren’t hard to wait for because I can easily tell when the waiting will be over. I know when the light will turn green because I see the other cars stopping to begin their wait. I know Jake is coming for dinner because I hear him running down the stairs. The hardest things to wait for are the things that we can’t see any progress in. I can’t tell if we are any closer to having a child in our lives. Even if we become pregnant again, we will still have to wait 9 long months to meet that child. And that’s assuming we have a baby that is healthy, like so many others have every day.

It’s pretty excruciating for me to wait right now. I feel the huge void in my heart that only God can fill with a child. I carry it with me every day. On some days I don’t notice it while other days it seems to be shouting in my ears, taunting me. In the midst of my sorrow and sadness, I find it empowering to say:

I am worthy.
I am a child of the most High God.
I am beautiful.
I am lovely.
I am filled with the purpose of loving God and making Him known.
I am a Princess to The King.
I am dearly loved.
I am worthy.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Fellowship of Sufferers

I am incredibly blessed.

As I listen to the radio broadcasts this week about Molly's life and death a year ago, I am struck with the amazing opportunity we have been given to share the love of Christ to so many. Because my dad heads up FamilyLife, I am reaping the benefits of being able to share our sweet daughter's story with so many people.

In the wake of Molly's book and the radio broadcast I have received multiple comments here, emails, and friend requests on Facebook. Some of them come from fellow mommies and daddies who are going through the pain of the death of a child. It is encouraging to know that we are not alone in our journey of pain and tears over losing Molly and now Micah. But I must tell you that it is equally discouraging to hear of more and more losses. I am so heartbroken for the parents who struggle to conceive only to lose their baby before he is born. The ones who have great hearts and just want to be parents and long to fill their home with children, why should they not be given this blessing? It makes me sad and it makes me angry. It is so not fair. And it's because the world we live in isn't fair and if it were, I'm not sure we would even deserve the kids we have had or the life we do live.

There is an excellent book on loss, and how our souls grow as a result, that I've been reading off and on since Molly died. The book is: A Grace Disguised by Jerry Sittser. It's such a great book. My favorite chapter has to do with this very struggle. I didn't deserve to watch Molly die or lose Micah in my womb!! But... the question in response is, did I even deserve to have them in the first place? No, we didn't deserve them. They were, and still are, a gift. If I have the attitude that I deserve life to be a certain way, then I am certain to be disappointed with each letdown. We are not guaranteed a life without suffering, no matter the form.

I'm thankful that God does not deal with us on a fairness basis. If that were so I'm not sure I would have been given Jacob, let alone my precious kids. I am thankful that I not only have a daughter, but also a son! Do I wish they were here with me? Absolutely!! But God saw fit for us to grow as a result of losing them. I do not believe He caused them to die, but I do believe He is in control and allowed it to happen. Do I like these things? Not at all. But I don't get to chose the outcome of my baby's lives. I do get to chose how I respond to their lives and deaths. And I hope and pray that I continue to be honest with myself, Jake, and my Lord in the process. And ultimately, that I might honor and glorify God as that is my ULTIMATE goal and purpose in life.

To the many parents in this unfair world that experience the disappointment of never having children, losing a child, or losing multiple children, I am praying for you and loving you even though we might never meet. I consider you to be someone who understands my heart and the pain I experience better than anyone else. My prayer continues to be that we might use our pain for the glory of God and allow it to be used for good. May we share our pain with others and engage in loss and, for a time, the death of a dream. We will continue to experience pain in this life. This is not our only time of trial and suffering. I do not expect this to be the last time I lose someone I love, but I do expect that in the midst of loss that God will bless us richly. I don't know how He plans to do that, but I do expect blessings upon blessings. I pray blessings for you as well as for me.

Thank you so much for the prayers of so many and for supporting our book. I pray not for huge sales, but for God to use it mightily as He has Molly.

To God be the Glory

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A birthday gift for Molly





Here's a birthday story written for Molly by her Aunt Stephanie.

Happy Birthday, Molly!

The kingdom was a buzz. It was the week leading up to princess Molly’s birthday, she kept dropping hints to the King about what she was wishing for: cupcakes, a parasail, a new puppy. The list was endless along with the mounds of questions. Because this was Molly’s first birthday she really didn’t know what to expect, so anytime the King was around He was bombarded with inquisitive questions.

Molly finally decided exactly what she wanted and wouldn’t take no for an answer. (She gets that from her earthly father.:) She marched right up to the King and whispered in His ear her request. He smiled, rustled her hair, and said, “You know that is very costly.” She said no she didn’t know it was very costly she just knew it was exactly what she wanted. With that He nodded and went off to prepare for her birthday celebration.

Molly waited with anticipation as the King prepared to enter the banquet hall. Everyone was waiting eagerly to see what the princess had wished. As the King entered the hall, a hush fell across the room the King presented princess Molly with her gift. She beamed. "A baby brother just what I asked for." The King smiled with tears in His eyes. “Yes, Molly just what you asked for but the cost was great.” She grabbed Micah’s hand and ran and said, “the best part is yet to come...come catch the balloons with me. Mommy and Daddy always send enough to share."

Love, tears, and a heavy heart,
Steph

Friday, June 12, 2009

It's Official

This morning, around 10:30, I just received my first copy of Molly's book. I could not contain my excitement as I shared it with both Jake and my sister, Laura, who is in town for Molly's first birthday. We browsed through the pages and oohed and aahed over the pictures of Molly and her sweet hand and footprints scattered throughout.

It's a beautiful book. I am so proud of myself for such a great accomplishment. I've always wanted to write a book but I had no idea what to write about. Writing about Molly was both beautiful and heart-wrenching at the same time. I loved it and cried over it countless times. It is a treasure.

Thank you so much Mom, for helping me write this book, for all the hours you put into it and helping me get on paper the story of my daughter, Molly Ann. I am so grateful. This is such a gift and blessing to my heart!

And also, a huge thank you to the many people at FamilyLife Publishing who also put in many hours, tears, and hard work to make this book happen in four and a half months. What an accomplishment for us all!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Molly's Book, Broadcast, and Birthday


I am so excited!! I cannot fully express the joy of finally releasing Molly's book to so many! It's available! I can't stand to wait any longer to share with everyone the story of Molly Ann Mutz. I know that many already know her story but the book shares so much more. It's incredibly heartfelt and shares the depth of our love for her and the struggle of our grief over letting her go be with Jesus.

Click HERE to order your copy of A Symphony in the Dark by Barbara Rainey and yours truly. I can't wait to hear what you think of it!! Please write me after you've had a chance to read it.

A note for friends and family in Colorado: We are throwing a book release party on Father's Day, June 21st where you can buy a copy of the book signed by both authors. We will be selling the book for the same price as online but you won't have to pay shipping and handling costs. The party will be like an open house where you can drop in anytime. Be on the lookout for an evite in your email inbox for more details.

Molly's story will also be shared on the Family Life Today broadcast for the week of June 15-19. Click HERE to find a station near you and for times to listen to the broadcast. OR, click HERE to listen online. Her broadcast isn't online yet, but will be starting that week.

On another note, I can hardly believe it's almost been a year. I am struggling with her impending birthday and home-going celebrations. I want so much to honor her life and celebrate our daughter, but I am not sure how we will do that. We will make her a birthday cake and sing her Happy Birthday, sending balloons with love notes from Mommy and Daddy, and spending some time at her doorway. I want to buy her something. A cute dress, or a fun clip to put in her hair. I want to do something for her like I would if she were here, except I feel that buying her something that will only sit on a shelf in her room is silly and pointless.

So much to think about when approaching such an important day and week of celebrating Molly's life. Pray for us as we walk through these anniversaries and remember the sweet and sad memories of that week. We are extremely grateful for Molly, her life and impact on ours and the gift of having her with us for seven days. What a joy, what an honor. We love you, Molly Ann.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Doorway Cut in Sod







Ever since Tuesday morning I have been wanting to write about our sweet time at Micah's burial. It was truly so very good for our hearts to be there and actually place him in the ground next to Molly. There was finality, yes, but it was a good sense of closure.

We arrived at the cemetery a little before 10 and began filling some balloons with helium. We had just enough for two blue and two white ones. After tying on some string, we followed Pam, the funeral coordinator who helped us with Molly's burial less than a year ago, to the foot of Molly's grave. It was a warm and sunny day, much like it was when we buried Molly. Pam had set up two chairs that faced a little pedestal with Micah's little white box on top. Beyond Micah we could see Molly's marker, just a foot away. It was a perfect setup, yet perfectly horrible at the same time. I could not believe that we were there, again.

Pam stepped away from us to give us as much time as we wanted before putting Micah in the ground. We prayed together, and with tears pouring from my eyes I asked the Lord to weep with us, to hold us close, to heal our hearts. After we finished praying, I picked up Micah's box and just held it in my lap. So light, so fragile, so empty feeling. And it was empty. Yes it had our son's body inside, but the best part about him wasn't there. His soul and spirit is with Jesus and with Molly. Again, I just cannot believe it. Cannot hardly fathom the reality of where we sat.

We took turns holding the box and capturing those moments on our camera. Something to remind us that this was not a bad dream, but in fact reality. That we had buried a little boy of ours. After some time we each wrote on a balloon. Jake chose blue, as it represented his little boy, the son that he had. I chose white, for the purity and holiness of Heaven, the reality of where our son was and where we longed to be. After writing on the balloons we read aloud what we had written and then let them slip away into the light blue sky.

Then Jake took Micah's box and after we both hugged it tightly, placed it in the ground, inside a small concrete box. I knelt on the ground, kissed my fingers, and placed them on his box, whispering my love and good-byes.

A concrete lid was placed on top and then Jake took a big shovel and put dirt in the hole. The caretaker of the cemetery helped him finish and when the piece of sod was placed on top, I placed a single white rose tied with a piece of ribbon on top. I also put another white rose with ribbon in Molly's vase.

Our babies were home. Where their lives have truly begun and they are experiencing the joys and delights of purity and holiness. They are held close by Jesus and sung to by a choir of angels, free from the sin of this world.

Oh how I cannot wait to be there with them both.

Take us soon, Jesus.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Place for Micah


Today, the 19th of May, we will be making the same trip to the cemetery that we did just less than a year ago to bury Molly. But this time we are burying our son, Micah Wiliam. This time we are taking blue and white balloons instead of pink.

I went to visit Molly's doorway on Sunday and when I got there I saw that there was already a place being prepared for Micah. At the foot of Molly's plot was an orange cone set off by several different colored flags. There's a chunk of grass lying a yard away ready to be put back in place after he's in the ground.

I am somewhat in shock that we are now going to have two babies buried next to each other. TWO. Not just one who we'd take our kids to visit one day, no, there are two now. Two babies to visit. Oh Lord, spare us from one day visiting more than two children in a cemetery. May it not be so.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A simple gift in the midst of our suffering


She fumbled in her purse for her wallet while her two year old daughter, looking adorable in pigtails and pink, asked impatiently for the cookie her mom was buying. I stood behind the counter in my messy apron and smiled at the little girl, thinking of Molly and what she would have been like. The mom, clearly irritated, glanced over her shoulder and out of frustration, told her daughter to stop asking her for the cookie or she wasn't going to get it. Looking back at me she mumbled, "I don't know why am I buying her a cookie. She clearly doesn't need one and is bouncing off the walls. So annoying."

Working at the bakery last fall and into winter, I came across many parents toting their kids behind them as they purchased a cake for a birthday, cupcakes for a party, or a cookie to quiet their shouting kid. Having just surrendered my only child made me more aware of how selfish we can be. I wanted to sit down with each mom that came through that door and share with them what I had lost and how they weren't appreciating the gift they had been given. As it was not my place, I never did.

I did encounter one young mom who inquired about the necklace I wore to work. A simple black and white photo of Molly that hangs around my neck on a thin silver chain. Mentioning her own daughter, she asked me how old Molly was. When I shared with her our story, her eyes filled up with tears. She asked me what she could do for me and I kept telling her there was nothing she could do. Then it dawned on me, here was my chance.

I told her there was something she could do for me: She could enjoy her daughter and the blessing of having her in her life. After telling her this, she nodded and affirmed my suggestion saying she would do that. I saw this mom several times while working at the bakery and each time she would ask how I was doing and thank me for sharing my story.

A few days ago I got a message in my Facebook inbox from Carrie, a young mom I have met only once. I didn't even know she had kids until she wrote me on Thursday. Here's a bit of what she said:

"What I really wanted to share with you is how you have really taught me to be a better mother. Having these two so close together is not always easy, but the second Madison starts throwing a fit, or Noah hasn't slept all night, I stop in my frustration and think about Molly and Micah. In an instant, my frustration is gone and I look at them as the fragile blessings they are."

I know that I don't know the difficulties and frustrations that come with parenting. I do not share this to put myself on a podium as someone to be admired. I share it to encourage those of you who have been given the gift of children in your care, to enjoy them as much as possible. I would gladly give my suffering to be up late at night with a crying baby or in a bakery with a toddler demanding a cookie. I would also love to have the joys of holding them as they fall asleep, reading Dr. Suess in funny voices, and making cupcakes for a birthday party.

My heart longs for those moments and is tired of this suffering. It is my prayer that you enjoy the ups and downs of parenting, knowing that our kids are on loan to us, a gift from God.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Home

We are finally home, where we can rest without interruption and grieve as we need to. We were discharged from the hospital this morning and left around 10:30. My nurse told me that it would be hard to leave without our baby and I told her that while I agreed with her, I hadn't ever experienced leaving the hospital with a baby. I do not know the joy of holding a baby in my arms as I am wheeled out to the car. I only know the grief and sadness of leaving empty handed and with broken hearts.

We both slept when we got home, which was much needed and very good for our bodies. We are glad to be home and I am looking forward to resting up and getting healthy again. I really don't like being this helpless and needing to rely on so many people for so many things.

My whole body is incredibly sore, like I ran a marathon or went on a really long horseback ride. My throat hurts from the tube being down it during surgery and I just hurt.

Thank you so much for praying for us. We are so grateful and wish we could tell each of you personally.