Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day

In between cleaning up vomit and sweeping the floor, I thought I would write out the story of my favorite Valentine...Josh! He is more than I could have ever asked or imagined. I'm sure he never thought our lives would turn out this way....but we will hold on tight to each other everyday!

It was 15 years ago in my Christian Faith and Ministry class at ORU...I saw the cute freshman boy I had seen a few times before. I had seen him speeding around campus on a pretty blue motorcycle. We had met through mutual friends a few months before, I thought he was cute but was never going to date him! I walked into the class with my best friend and nearly bowled her over so I could sit by him. We talked through the whole class and exchanged phone numbers. I was excited to just have good conversation with him and maybe get to hang out sometime. A few nights later he called to ask me if I wanted to run out to was not a date! We went to and ice cream place and had a great time. A few days before, the date I was taking to a ballet cancelled, so I asked Josh if he wanted to go with me to the ballet. I let him know he was my second choice and that I was not going to date anyone from this school again! Some first night out! He said yes to the ballet and what a time we had!

I could not walk in heels, he had on pants with loose pockets and a pocket full of change! As soon as we sat down in the theater all of the change rolled down the floor...very loudly! We laughed so hard and I know he was so embarrassed. From the very first day we had so much fun and always laughed together. A few days later was Valentine's Day....I felt bad for him that he did not have a car at school so for some reason I gave him the keys to my car that day because he had some places to go. He has always been such a gentleman...washed my car, checked the oil (which was almost empty) and put chocolate and flowers on my front seat. I knew that day he was someone special...but just a special friend! On Valentine's Day I got home from clinicals after 6pm. He called to ask me to dinner! I put on my sweet black velvet pants, my denim shirt with a black velvet collar and cuffs, puffed up my curly hair and went out for my first Valentine dinner. We ate at a little diner in downtown Tulsa. Or, I should say he ate and I drank water and had soup. I must have drank 10 glasses of water. We started the drive back to school and got! I had to go to the bathroom soooo bad, but i was to embarrassed to tell him. I was planning in my head how I was going to wet my pants in the car, drop him off in the parking lot, then pull out my big 1993 cell phone and call my friends to come to my car with a change of clothes!! I really was going to do eyeballs were floating. After a while I began to realize that wasn't going to work so I asked him to pull over at BK! I was so horrified. I ran to the door as fast as I could...closed!!! QT was next door and a gas station bathroom never looked so good.

The weeks went by and we spent more and more time together. He came to my house for a few days over Spring many fun memories with the person I just thought was going to be a great friend. I was so blind...but falling for him all at the same time. If you ask him, he will tell you I was to old for him! Our first kiss was months later dancing on top of a table at a lake while Celine Dions, "The Power of Love" played from my sweet stereo in my 1989 Mustang. I knew then this was turning in to something amazing.

The only summer we were apart I was miserable...I remember telling my mom, "I will never be apart from this man again." I wasn't...we were engaged a year after we started dating. February 12, 1995...he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. As soon as I said yes, I asked, "What did my dad say?" Poor Josh! We went to a restaurant in a hotel, and I called my mom from the lobby (cell phone only plugged in the car) and told my mom, "We are at the hotel. We did it!" (That makes me laugh so hard!) My sweet Josh has always taken such good care of me...more than I deserve. We had a fairy tale Christmas wedding and drove off in a horse drawn carriage...we didn't know it wouldn't always feel like a fairy tale.

Josh has always been such a rock for me. Holding me so close, letting me laugh, cry and everything in between. He is my best friend and I know there are so many days I do not deserve him. I have the best husband...never complains and is one of the hardest workers I know. He loves Jesus and his family with a fierce love. He is passionate about life and always sees the sun behind the shadows. So many moments I have reached for his hand in the dark...when he could have raced ahead of me on this journey, he has chosen to go at my pace and stay right there with me. I know there are days I have jumped out of this boat and he has jumped in right after me carrying me back to our boat. We are in this together...even when we don't want to be. I love him more today than ever before. I have watched this amazing man hold all 5 of his babies with tears in his eyes and watched him sob as he handed Pearl back to Jesus. This man I married is more than the man of my dreams....I don't know how to dream that big.

Josh, I love are one of my greatest treasures and I cannot wait to grow even older with you! I know 15 years ago this was not what you signed up for...but what a journey this has been. Each moment full...full of love and sweet memories. Thank you for all you have given me...5 babies and a life full of love as well as grace and peace. I can already see us at our house on the beach, holding hands on the porch, laughing and loving until Jesus calls us home. Let's find a beach soon...we have more memories to make.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Is it summer yet?

I cannot tell you how many blogs I have had brewing on my head....just nothing I can write down yet.   I have not forgotten about the sweet families I like to check in on.  I pray for so many of them.  There are days in the midst of all the families I talk with, presentations I give and people I pray for I am bombarded with images of my sweet baby.  It hits me so hard that I am one of those with a story too.  I am one who is desperately missing my Pearl.  Crazy to think it has been 2 years and it doesn't take much for the images to come racing through my head and heart and knock me to the floor. 

Oh, there is so much hope in the air as well.  Families all over the nation are finding there is hope when faced with such a heartbreaking situation.  The community is discovering ways to help hurting families...just listening and never forgetting.  I continue to be humbled everyday how God is using one little baby, born with a funny nose and the prettiest lips you have ever seen.  I am amazed and confident that He will do more than I could ever ask or imagine.  

It's 70 degrees here little Z said to me, "See mom, I told you it's summer!"  I am off to go swing outside and laugh loud with my kids.  

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Thank you

I wanted to take some time and let you know how thankful I am for the gift the readers of MCK Mama's blog gave to String of Pearls.  For those of you who don't know Jennifer set up a raffle on her blog....the money that was given went to 3 different organizations.  Over $19,000 dollars was raised and String of Pearls will receive almost $4,000 from the raffle.  Each day as I watched the numbers climb...I knew this was not just people wanting to win a great camera.  This money was from people who were wanting to make a difference in others lives.  These were people who wanted to help families in crisis and to make this heart wrenching journey more bearable, somehow.  

The vision for String of Pearls was created out of a need to reach families with another alternative instead of termination when faced with a fatal prenatal diagnosis.  This dream to walk with families has been growing in our hearts and is quickly becoming a reality.  I can't help but to think of Mary, the mother of Jesus.  She knew God had created something amazing for her...but maybe it didn't feel like a reality until she felt the first kicks in her womb.  I feel like we are feeling the first kicks of the dream God planted in our hearts.  Yes, there is fruit already and families are being reached, but I know there are still big plans in store for String of Pearls.  Each of you who donated are part of the quickening I am feeling in my heart as I sit and write this.  Thank you so much for giving so willingly.   Know each dollar we receive will be used in the best possible way.  

This money will be used to provide families with baskets full of items to make memories with their baby for the short amount of time they have them in their arms.  The money will be used to print brochures about String of Pearls to leave in Dr's hands who counsel patients following a fatal prenatal diagnosis.  Money will allow us to educate staff in hospitals about the concept of perinatal hospice.  I want all of you to know what a gift your donation is to these families....we will be able to let them know they are not alone on this journey. 

I cannot begin to tell you how this touches my heart.  To know that myself and these families are not forgotten is an incredible feeling.  I am so thankful and honored I have the opportunity to walk alongside families who have found themselves on the journey of a lifetime.  I know I will never forget the generosity of so many.  

I also want to thank Jennifer for her precious heart and desire to be a part of what String of Pearls is doing for families.  I had the honor of talking with her when they were not sure if Stellan would live or die.  Even though our stories ended differently she did not forget those of us who belong to the club, the club of families who have had a baby die.  She could have moved on and never spoken to me again.  She did not forget and I know I will never forget her either.  I am so thankful she has Stellan in her arms today.  Both Jennifer and I are the owners of a miracle....hers is in her arms and mine is in heaven.   I am honored she has chosen to remember the families who are walking this journey.  

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.  

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The ache

This month is flying by. School projects, cookies, Christmas trees, lights, Advent activities, Oodle, sick kids, budgets, meetings, shopping, Christmas music, going to bed way to late! We have much to be thankful for this season but I cannot help to feel the ache that is just below the surface of my heart. The ache sneaks up on me and catches me by surprise sometimes and other days the ache is just right there. I know this time of year will always be ornament on the tree put there by our hands not hers, a missing stocking and placing flowers at her grave instead of presents under the tree. I can't help but to think of the ache Mary must have felt too. She was like so many of us...was giving birth to a son who she knew would die. She treasured every moment...just like I did and she too missed him before he was even gone. I know someday the ache will be gone....when we see Him face to face. For now, the ache is still there...some days I can walk with the ache and other days I just need to lay down and feel the pain in my heart and remember what my sweet baby felt like in my arms.

I read the first 2 books of the Twilight series.....I know, maybe not deepest book to read! I have a sweet friend who loved the books and I always like to see what moves her heart. I was moved by one section of this book. The main character, Bella, is missing Edward...her soul mate. She has been missing him for several months and is slowly coming out of the fog. This is one part of the book that made me cry and spoke to where I am at this moment.

"I lay in my bed a few minutes later, resigned as the pain finally made it's appearance.

It was a crippling thing, this sensation that a huge hole had been punched through my chest, excising my most vital organs and leaving ragged, unleashed gashes around the edges that continued to throb and bleed despite the passage of time. Rationally, I knew my lungs must still be intact, yet I gasped for air and my head spun like my efforts yielded me nothing. My heart must have been beating, too, but I couldn't hear the sound of my pulse in my ears; my hands felt blue with cold. I curled inward, hugging my ribs to hold myself together. I scrambled for my numbness, my denial, but it evaded me.

And yet, I found I could survive. I was alert, I felt the pain- the aching loss that radiated out from my chest, sending wracking waves of hurt through my limbs and head- but it was manageable. I could live through it. It didn't feel like the pain had weakened over time, rather that I'd grown strong enough to bear it.

Whatever it was that had happened tonight- and whether it was the zombies, the adrenaline, or the hallucinations that were responsible- it had woken me up.

For the first time in a long time, I didn't know what to expect in the morning." New Moon Stephanie Myers p. 118-119

Knowing you can survive through the pain.....a gift only God can give us. He has already given this gift, we just need to receive it. My hope for so many familieswho are hurting this season is that they will see the gift that has come...the gift that we cannot fully understand, the gift that will not take away all the questions, the gift gives us hope that we will survive the pain and can have hope in our hearts.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


I am thankful for so much....I don't think I can begin to make my list right now, but I am going to do it this week. The list is long and each one of you who read my blog and pray for us and String of Pearls is a part of that list too. Thank you so much.

I wanted to follow up on my post about Mck Mama and her plan to have businesses donate a portion of their proceeds to String of Pearls on her baby Stellan's behalf. Here they are!

Heidi at Candles For Causes sells Mia Bella Gourmet Natural Wax Candles and other fine products and will donate a minimum of 50% of profits from now until ?.

Pamper yourself with fabulous Mary Kay skin-care products from Melissa, an independent beauty consultant. Visit today and 30% of net sales will be donated!

Jessica at Jekuthiel Gifts does websites, calendars, labels, bumper stickers, knitted potholders & baby items. For every $5 spent on her website through Dec 20th, $1 will be donated to String of Pearls.

Katy, an independent Tastefully Simple Consult, sells easy to prepare gourmet foods and will donate 10% of proceeds from sales beginning NOW until January 1, 2009! (Please email her at after you order so that she knows that 10% of that order goes to String of Pearls.)

Christine sells Tastefully Simple and will donate 20% of all sales from now through December 31, 2008.

Robyn at Brace Yourself Designs makes keepsake jewelry, mommybracelets and more, and will donate 10% of all proceeds, anytime you mention this endeavor (through Christmas and beyond!!)

Darla, Independent Consultant with Arbonne International which offers pure, safe, and beneficial botancial baby care products, will donate 35% of proceeds from sales of the Arbonne Baby Care line through December 2009 and can be reached at

Emily at Apple of My Eye Gifts makes unique children's clothing and baby items, and she will be donating 15% of her proceeds through the month of December.

Conquer eczema, wrinkles, fatigue and weight-gain with Julie. Arbonne’s premium skin-care and wellness products are vegan, with no parabens, no mineral oil, no chemical dyes or fragrances. Ask how you can save 35% and String of Pearls can get 14%.

Shawna at Firefly Photo Jewelry handcrafts custom soldered photo jewelry as well as handstamped jewels and would be honored to donate 10% of all proceeds from sales from now until New Years Eve.

Abigail with Missy Prissy Bow Boutique, which sells Prissy Bows for Your Little Princess's Crown, will donate 10% of every Stellan's String of Pearls order, from January 1, 2009 - January 15, 2009.

Lisa and Aleacia at Memorystones create customized lifebooks for foster and adopted children, and scrapbook scripture frames. They will be donating 20% of all profits to String of Pearls from now until February 15, 2009. Please email them at for more information!

Melissa at Little Peanut Designs sells fun and trendy products for kids and mommies and will donate 10% of the proceeds from sales between now and Christmas. (Upon ordering, please e-mail melissa@littlepeanutdesigns and mention Stellan Supports String of Pearls, so they can be assured String of Pearls receives their donations.)

The girls at Tamz have a product to tame those flyaways & unruly brows! At $8.95 a bottle, this is a great stocking stuffer and for purchases made throughout the holiday season, 10% of their proceeds will be donated!

Kerry at Shiloh Photography will donate 15% of any shoot booked in 2008 to String of Pearls. Mention String of Pearls or the MckFamily when you contact them.

Elizabeth Engelhardt Creations sells handmade cards...invitations, announcements, thank yous, Christmas cards, and more. Please stop by to place your order and to see what all she has to offer.

Leslee of will be donating 20% of all proceeds starting December 1st through December 10th and we will throw in FREE shipping! Kiki & Lele specialize in "hand-stamped personalized sterling silver jewelry" and also make hair clips.

Melissa at sells personalized and custom photo cards and scrappy blog designs and will donate 10% of proceeds from any orders placed before the end of 2008.

Nikki at custom makes ring slings so that you can keep your baby close to your heart while having your hands free. Now through December 31st, $5 from each purchase over $20 will be donated to String of Pearls.

Jennifer at custom mommy necklaces and will donate 25% of proceeds from sales to String of Pearls. This will be an ongoing donation; however, all purchases needed for Christmas will need to be made by December 10th in order to guarantee delivery by the 25th.

A sweet gal who wished to remain anonymous let me know of her intention to donate some of the profits of her custom invitation business to String of Pearls!

LoraAnn with will donate 50% from every $100. Family/Holiday Portrait Session booked between NOW and 1/31/2009.(mention String of Pearls)Also, any wedding booked EVER (when mentioning String of Pearls) , String of Pearls will receive $50 upon 100% payment.

Please visit Kay at website at and mention String of Pearls in the comment section when an order is placed for one of her fabulous engraved tiles.

Alicia at Lavender's Blue sells custom baby gifts and will send 25% of the proceeds for the next 3 months to Stellan Supports String of Pearls.

This is a great way to get some Christmas shopping done without getting out of your bathrobe. I know I am planning on shopping this way!

This money is so needed right now...I have several meetings set up with the individual Perinatologist offices in the next several weeks and the referrals for more clients continue to come in. This is much bigger than I am and I am so honored God has allowed us to use our time with Pearl in a way to help other families. The families I have spoken with are all such amazing people who love their babies with an amazing passion. I am looking forward to the day our babies will introduce us to each other after we have fallen at the feet of Jesus.

My sweet friend Corie, Larson's mama, is having a party this week to help me put together baskets to send to the families we are working with. This time together will be such a gift to so many people...I am so thankful for Corie and her willingness to lighten the workload for me! I will have 20 baskets in my basement ready to be given to these families. This is another example of what I have to be thankful for.

Josie's mama, a family we have helped through String Of Pearls, just started a blog. I asked her permission to post her blog here and she agreed! She has an amazing story and just said goodbye to her sweet baby 1 month ago. You can ready her story at Josie is a beautiful baby and I know she is so missed.

I'm missing Pearl too....but so thankful she came.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

MCK Mama

MCK Mama is at it again! She has another idea up her sleeve to raise some money for String of Pearls. She is a treasure and has an amazing story about here sweet baby Stellan. I am so thankful she is not a part of this "club" and also so thankful she has not forgotten about those of us who still a part of the "club".

She is also in a contest for the Divine Caroline blogger award....she has said she will donate all of her winnings to String of Pearls. Go here, down on the left side of the blog and click on the link to the Divine Caroline Button to vote for her blog! The contest ends November 30th.

I have more to blog about, first I better go be sure there are no open bottles of nail polish and no wrestling going on!