Loss During Thanksgiving

I struggled with how to start this post. Do I give you every background detail of the last six or so months of our life ? Because there’s a lot to tell about our story, but all those details would get lost in the main reason I’m writing this today. And maybe those are for another time. Maybe those moments, those struggles, those fears— are for another post

It’s taken my husband and I a long time to get to the place we are today. And it has only been the Lords hands who have gotten us here. We were married at 21 an 22 years old. We were kids, who didn’t have a clue about life but where playing house. We’ve done more, had more changes, challenges, ups and downs, and struggles in the past six years I think than most people realize. To say that this life has been a roller coaster would be somewhat of an understatement. And I say that because to the outsider sometimes people think other people have life all figured out. To the outsider life looks magical doesn’t it? And it is in fact magical, we have had the most beautiful moments, but we’ve also had very difficult ones.

Life today is filled with perfect Instagram squares along with elaborate Facebook posts that are just not real life sometimes. I am guilty of feeding into this as well. But our family is a real family. With real love, with real struggles, with real messes, we aren’t perfect.

We were surprised after just a year of marriage to find out we were expecting. It was fast and quick. We were young and selfish and still had so much to learn about life, but I truly believe God gave us Emelia to teach us so much more about what life is truly about. I believe he gave her to us to make us hold on when things got hard. She is our angel, and angel we didn’t deserve.

Years 2-4 were some of the hardest years. Being new parents, job changes, and being in major financial debt we felt suffocated. We were selfish. God was pretty much out of sight in our crumbling world that we so stubbornly tried to control ourselves as we kicked screamed when it didn’t work out the way we wanted it to.

As our little girl began to grow up my heart longed as people around us continued on with baby number two, but the Lord told me to wait for a very long time. He rooted in me deep down that my marriage needed to  come first, even though I often didn’t put it first.

There were times I cried because I didn’t know if we would ever have another baby, and it wasn’t because we were trying to have another and it wasn’t working, it was because something inside me, deep down–said no.

So we focused on us. I prayed to the Lord to lay on my heart if we were supposed expand our family. At the age of three my daughter began asking me about siblings. We would lay in bed at night and she would pray the Lord would make her a sister. But the Lord still whispered wait. So I did. And as He continued to have her press into my heart with her prayers the word wait began to fade as the Lord used my first little to lay on my heart for another.

It wasn’t as easy as we thought it was going to be–life stressors, health issues, and all kinds of unknown  <saving those details for another time>  seemed to all fall around us at once, and right in the middle of that chaos, we would find out we were pregnant.

I remember saying a few years ago, “Maybe when Emelia turns four we’ll try for another.” There I was trying to have 100% control over my life and to my surprise it worked out just that way, or seemed to at the time. I was pregnant almost 5 years later exactly to the time I had been with Emelia. My girl was four and right before her fifth birthday she would be that big sister.

There’s these little areas of life that we try to box of from God aren’t there? I believed that He would and did lay on my heart that we were supposed to have another child, but I still wanted to control when that happened, and to my surprise it all worked out just the way I had planned. We were ready. Our marriage was stronger than ever. We had moved into our house that gave us the space we needed. Our finances were better, job stability was there again, we had a 5 year plan to become debt free. We were ready.

We try to make it all about us don’t we? Like it’s our plans that are going to carry us through this life.. It’s always about us isn’t it? But that’s so far from the truth–it’s actually not about us at all. It’s about Him.

After seeing that sweet baby’s heart beat, we shared the news with our family and friends and we couldn’t believe that we were finally at this place. Until we weren’t.

Halloween came and went and as I sat in the kitchen that night with my mom I would voice how anxious I was again to go in for my 10 week ultrasound. How something just felt off and I was anxious to see the baby again.

The nurse practioner placed the probe on my belly and although I couldn’t see the baby clearly it was there, but as she pressed more my heart sank inside and I knew. I sat up and said there’s no heart beat is there? I could tell in her eyes that the baby was gone, but she insisted on sending me for another ultrasound to be sure.

There’s this look they give you. It’s a look that you’ll never forget. You do your best to swallow the tears so they can walk out of the room without you falling apart.

A pain of guilt ran through me as a I walked down the hallway to leave the hospital, it felt like I had taken my daughter’s entire hopes and dreams and crushed them before her eyes. I choked through the sentence with my husband to get out the words that the baby was gone.

The next day I would find myself meeting with my physician to go over my d&c procedure. It all was so fast. How did this all happen? Why did this all happen?

I put my daughter down for her afternoon nap and hugged her and kissed her longer than usual just saying thank you Lord, thank you for my daughter. I fought back the tears as I walked out of her room. I thought back to all those years ago being a first time mom. How much I took for granted a healthy child. How much I’ve taken her for granted. I incredibly blessed we are that she is healthy that we have her. What a beautiful testament she is to the Lord’s promise in our lives.

That afternoon on November 9th my surgery was completed and I was sent home to recover.

The last two months have been filled with hills and valleys, just like our marriage has been. But I’ll tell you what’s different today as I type this out, my marriage is stronger. We are better parents together for our daughter. We are better people together and as individuals and that’s not because of us, but because of the Lord’s change to our hearts.

This past year my husband has truly lifted me as I’ve cried in his arms as I’ve so many times doubted the Lord. He has been the rock to our family as I’ve fallen a part before his eyes. He has held me through every single moment and we are here today together hand in hand trusting in the Lord that he is good. That he is faithful. That he will continue to carry us for the rest of our days.

My devotion the day after my procedure read: “Why did Christ endore all of this hardship? Because He knew we’d feel them too. He knew we would be weary, disturbed, and angry. He knew we would be tired, grief stricken, and hungry. He knew we would feel pain, if not pain in the body, pain in the soul…pain too sharp for any drug. He knew we would face thirst, if not thirst for water, thirst for truth. The truth we glean from the image of a thirsty Christ, who understands. Because he understands we can come to him.”__Max Lucado.

In just 8 weeks time our world has changed. We’ve experienced loss as our other angel child has gone to heaven to be with Christ.

What the Lord has unfolded to me in all of this is these kids are not just ours, they are His. They are his plan. His gift to us. He knows every hair on their head. He formed them in my womb and He knows all the days of their lives, of our lives. They are a product of his perfect, devine, beautiful plan that we’ve been blessed to experience through the gift of being parents.

I can type this today with peace. And that doesn’t mean that I do not have pain– mental, physical, and emotional pain.  It doesn’t mean that this coming June my heart won’t break inside remembering the baby that didn’t make it here to meet us, what it means is that the peace of God is greater than than all of that. It means that God is greater than all of that. It means that he overcomes. It means that in Him we are overcomers, warriors, that in Him we are not alone.

On the days I feel most alone, I have to continue to focus on the one who will sustain me.

Whatever your past five years have been like, your past five months have been like, your past five days have been like, you are not alone. Believe that the Lord is hanging on to you and even when we feel like we’ve given up, he won’t give up on us. Believe that he will carry you through. Believe that he will sustain you in the valley and celebrate with you on the mountain.

Six years ago on our wedding day our pastor preached from Psalm 3:5-6. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.

I marvel at the Lord for the ways he speaks to us. How he couldn’t have prepared a more beautiful, truthful verse for our road in this life together. Two selfish kids, who had no clue about life, who took so much for granted. Who took the Lord for granted more times than I’d like to admit. How his grace was delivered to us over and over again when we so didn’t deserve it.

So here we stand trusting him. Six years later. So much has happened but he has remained constant and he will continue to remain constant in our journey no matter where he takes us.

xo,

Kate

 

Loss During Thanksgiving

Back Hallway Fall Decor

With that last post being a s u p e r heavy one I thought I needed to lighten it up a bit over here, but the goal of this space is to keep it real, and lets be honest, real is not warm and fuzzy home projects all the time.

But I do love a good home project or revamp! This weekend I was finally able to go through my fall decor and boy was I running bare.

Most of my stuff were still hand me downs from when we got married 6 years ago so I was in major need of some fall redo.

Michael’s will occasionally do an extra sale from 3-5 PM and this Sunday I got one of those emails –so I basically ran–and I mean ran there during my girl’s nap.

All fall decor was marked down 40% off and starting at three they gave an additional 20% off your total purchase. SCORE!

Faux pumpkins can cost a pretty penny so I was excited to score some great deals! I hurried home to decorate one of my favorite spaces in my house, only problem, I used most of my finds all in this back corner! Good thing I started early this season!

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Faux Pumpkins (similar)Garland– Wreath – old (similar)  – Herb BoxHello Autumn Pillow

Plaid Pillows-TJ Maxx (similar)

Next week I’ll be talking about my Target dollar spot treasures! If you haven’t hit target yet this week…get there girl! Your welcome! 🙂

xo,
Kate

Back Hallway Fall Decor

It’s Days Like Today Where You Wash Their Hair

Thursday I began a twelve hour day taking report. My co-worker apologetically told me today would be difficult. The patient was doing poorly and it was likely she would pass away  within the next few days.

I listened to report and the anxiety began to overcome me, I’m not made for this type of nursing.

I had 4 patients that day, but one that would need me most.

I saw her first and followed the morning catching up with my other three only to be back in her room in between assessments.

At 10:00 AM my patient’s son had finally made it to the hospital. I met and found him with his face in his palms, sobbing.

These are the moments they don’t and can’t prepare you for in school.

That no one can prepare you for.

I sat across from him discussing things I didn’t want to. Hospice care, comfort measures, his mom’s last wishes, all things that should have been discussed with this family long before today. Thankfully I have an incredible, hands on boss who also sat with the family to discuss their options.

Following that the physician was called and comfort measures would finally begin for this patient. A patient who now had a partially collapsed lung. Breast cancer with mets to the colon and other places in her body. Morphine was given only to be increased quickly due to her pain. Hospice was consulted but bed availability wouldn’t be known until the next day.

The family left late morning and her and I were left together. I swabbed her mouth with sponges and placed lip moisturizer over and over again to make sure her lips wouldn’t completely crack. And then I asked her the most random question, a question which probably doesn’t seem that important to people when someone is dying but I would have done anything to make her comfortable. So I asked,

“Do you want me to wash your hair.”

Her weak head nodded yes and so I did, I washed the little hair she had left.

By late afternoon it was becoming difficult to make her more comfortable. She was anxious so I called her son and requested he come back to her bedside. In between seeing my other patients again I found myself back in her room. This time she didn’t need her hair washed, this time she needed someone to hold her hand.

She was scared. She was alone. And she needed someone. I was her nurse. So there we sat together. She laid with her eyes closed. I held her hand and spoke to God praying over her silently. There we sat. There I cried wiping the tears away quickly in case she opened her eyes because it was me who was supposed to be strong.

I had an hour left in my shift and her son finally arrived back. After updates and more pain medication I left them alone to give report to the next twelve hour nurse coming on.

As I went to leave for the day I peaked in the room one last time and they both were resting peacefully.  I didn’t have the heart to wake them so I left.

I’m never going to be made for this type of nursing, but it’s not my job or decision to decide which type of nursing I’m prepared for because what I need to be is prepared for what my patient needs from me.

But it’s moments like these I’m reminded of what nursing is truly about.

What a privilege it is to be a nurse. What incredible lessons our patients have taught us about life. What incredible opportunities we have been given to participate in their lives. What an incredible career we are able to experience that the rest of this population will never understand.

It’s days like today that you won’t be able to explain as you walk into the door with a tear stained face, only to feel guilty because you know how grateful you should be that you are happy and alive, that your family and friends are in front of you happy and alive.

It’s days like today where you will go to bed and pray for your patients. Where you’ll wake up in the middle of the night and think about them. It’s days like today where the rules of nursing are thrown out the window because what your patient needs right now is not policy and procedure type of nursing, but for you to sit with them at the bedside. For you to hold their hand. It’s days like today where you wash their hair.

It’s days like today where you are tired. So tired. So defeated because you’ll go over again and again in your mind if you could have done more. It’s days like today that will make you a nurse. Days like today with patients you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

It’s days like today that are so hard, yet so humbling. And it’s these patients who will teach you the most about life. What it’s truly all about.

xo,

Kate

It’s Days Like Today Where You Wash Their Hair

Dining Room Table

Our dining room table was passed down to us when we got married and we used that same table for 5 years. It made the move with us to our new home a few years ago and promised myself I would not purchase a new table until I could pay cash for it.

Fast forward to this past winter, I was walking through one of my favorite resale shops and spotted this piece. I actually left the store and got about a mile down the road and called my husband. His immediate response was of course, “How much was it.” When I told him it was only $60 he told me to turn around right now to go back and get it.

I raced back praying it would be there. It was. And then it was ours.

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I refinished the table with Rethunk Junk paint in the color, Cotton and placed a clear coat on the top to protect it. This piece has completely transformed our dining room. And there is just something about an old piece that makes you feel at home. You can feel the history behind it and those feelings don’t fade as the weeks pass by. Little did I know as I waited and waited that this beauty would be waiting for me 5 years later and only cost me $60, but oh how it was worth the wait.

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xo,
Kate

Dining Room Chairs in “Driftwood” from Target.com

 

 

Dining Room Table

She Wasn’t My Plan, but She Was His.

As Mother’s Day is approaching I thought long and hard about this post. This post is raw and I ask that you give me grace if you do not understand the honesty I bring you with my words.

Motherhood scared me to the core. There are many times I look at her and wonder what I ever did to deserve her. Sometimes I think back to the early stages of my pregnancy and a very large lump gathers in my throat  because I was so lost. I had no clue who I was. There were many times when I voiced my fear about being “mom” that people looked at me a little strange, which made me feel even more so that something was truly wrong with me.

Let’s face it, if you’re a woman, motherhood is just something that’s supposed to come naturally to you. But it didn’t for me.

I can remember being six months pregnant sitting in my bed sobbing to my husband because I was terrified. I was completely disconnected from my pregnancy. I was terrified to be a mom, and through the tears I managed to get out that I wasn’t sure I’d be a good one.

Emelia entered the world with a dramatic entrance on June 29, 2013 and my life was forever changed. When I say I had to hit rock bottom before I could see in retrospect God’s plan that’s not an exaggeration. As I struggled with depression through my pregnancy it exploded after giving birth.

As I look back now it’s so clear. As I look back now, while in the complete dark at the time, I can see a light poking through. I can see God’s plan. I can see His lesson(s). I can see His gifts. His teachings. I can see Him so vividly, I can see all of those things when I look at her.

My greatest fear has turned out to be one of the greatest lessons of my life. The greatest gift of my life. She is exactly where I see Jesus. Where I ran to Him. Where I was found. Where I received grace. Where I received forgiveness. Where the rest of this life just makes sense.

She is truly the most beautiful human being I am so undeserving of.

When I look at her I see kindness, compassion, and a heart so lovely that it could only have been made that way by my Heavenly Father who knitted her together.

She is in many ways my opposite but in so many my mini. She has dusted pink and purple glitter all over my life and leaves me sticker reminders everywhere I turn in this neutral loving zone I try my best to live in.

She has shown me that life isn’t black and white. In fact, it’s in those unknown grey areas where you will see true beauty beyond your imagination.

She is my best friend. The light of my life. The best thing that has ever happened to me. She saved me and I will spend the rest of my life thanking God for her and devoting myself to being the best mom I can be for her.

She wasn’t my plan. But she was His. I see it so clearly now. I see His beautiful plan unfold in her every day of my life.

We plan, God laughs.

His plans are far greater than our wildest dreams.

My sweet, Emelia Brynn, I love you so.

Thank you for making me Mama.

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She Wasn’t My Plan, but She Was His.

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

I’ve put together a special mother’s day gift guide! All gifts under $200 for the special lady or ladies in your life!

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Free People may have a pretty price tag  but it’s worth every penny with the quality that is offered! These Royale Flats are the perfect go to option for the crazy season  changes we have here in Indiana and these have been on the major wish list for a while now!

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 I definitely have this on the list to purchase for a special lady in my life this Mother’s Day.  Plus who doesn’t love Chip & Joanna Gaines? I’ve heard so many amazing reviews about this read! I cannot wait to bless a special lady in my life with this!

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I’ve eyed Jord watches for some time now.  They are the perfect go to item to complete your outfit and so full of beautiful character! How gorgeous is this Jord Frankie watch? Sign me up!

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This affordable Mossimo mini back pack from Target is the perfect purse to grab and go! I might have to just buy myself this one, for under $30, I’ll take it! Target for the win

<yet again>.

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Buy a gift from a company with so much heart behind their products! The Shine Project is a place where students come after school to hand make your jewelry. Over 40 scholarships have been given since 2011, and 100% of donations given to the non profit go directly to the students. Not to mention these customizable “mom” mantra necklaces are just perfect!  Shop now <here>.

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My soon-to-be sister-in-law introduced me to this product over the weekend and I placed a pre-order already! At just $22 this is an amazing gift to bless someone with this Mother’s Day! On each page of the Cultivate Journal you get a selection of specially-selected key verses to write out, along with space to write  thoughts, prayers, or whatever God places on the heart! <thanks Lolo>.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed the gift guide! Wishing all of you mamas or buyers for your moms a very Happy Mother’s Day filled with family and love!

xo,

Kate

 

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Bedroom Sign Art Love

I love shopping small and when I saw these signs from Hunt & Gather Goods I couldn’t wait to purchase.

I think like many things, certain art or words can just give a room all the feels.

I’ve waited two years to find the perfect piece or pieces to go above our bed and I couldn’t be happier with how these have completed this part of our bedroom.

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My sister-in-law asked me recently how many signs in a house is too many? My answer was a quick–“There are never too many.”

I love them as much as I love lighting {post to come about that} and I love supporting other businesses while I shop.

Maggie from Hunt & Gather Goods has so many more options to complete your room and  her handmade farmhouse goods are the perfect pieces to give your home all the cozy feels.

And you know I love me some cozy spaces!

Plus these two! Swooning! A girl and her dog.

The bed might not be perfectly fluffed but there were lots of cuddles to make up for it.

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xo,

Kate

Headboard: handmade by my father-in-law

Quilt: Similar <here>

Sheets: Target

Chandelier: Overstock

Signs: Hunt & Gather Goods

Bedroom Sign Art Love