Happy Birthday Karlyn!

Someone in this family had a birthday! In case you hadn't heard. ;-) We had a fun small-ish party at home with family and friends. I'm so glad everyone took time out of their day to celebrate our sweet girl. She is truly loved.

Karlyn was so glad her friend Mallory could come. They have been to each others birthday parties every year and are only five months apart. I love seeing them play together!

Ryan came up with a game for us to play and I was super impressed! He handed out strips of paper to everyone and asked them to write down something about Karlyn - something funny she'd said or a sweet memory with her, or a characteristic they admired about her. He then read them out loud and Karlyn got to guess who said what. With a little help, she did pretty good!

So, I made the cake. #obviously  Karlyn had requested a strawberry cake and I had seen this number/sprinkle idea on Pinterest. Ya'll, I'm no professional cake baker. The top looked OK - the sides didn't fare so well. :-0 I'm embarrassed to even have pics of it but oh well. Ryan made my "4" stencil for me and we thought it turned out good enough. I think part of the problem was that I used too much frosting in between the layers which didn't leave me enough to smooth out the sides well. At least it was bright!

I told you it was bad. :/

Good thing 4 year olds don't care!

Little miss thought she needed a swipe of icing.

It was a fun day and Karlyn got all kinds of cool presents. Warm cozy pj's, paint and paint brushes, a stick horse, books, stick-on earrings and more!



Karlyn, you are FOUR years old today!

What a joy and delight you are! Daddy and I can't believe how blessed we are to call you our daughter. You make us laugh over the hilarious things that come out of that mouth and your smile and joy are infectious. Here's what you're up to at four years old~

Favorites: You love to watch your shows. Still! Faves right now are Doc McStuffins, Pajanimals, Caillou, Boj, and "Home (Left) Alone." You tell us you want to "just relax and watch your show." Favorite toys are definitely your baby dolls. You have an assortment and are about to get more for Christmas! =) You have "big baby" at both our house and Nona's house who is actually the size of a very large newborn. One time you recently named big baby "Surendulen" (sp?) and dressed her up like a tiny gang member, complete with medicine dispenser sticking out of the shirt. You have also developed a love of accessories. Jewelry is now a must - necklace/bracelet/weird black skeleton ring - with any outfit as are random outfit changes. You like your hair done a certain way in the morning which usually involves a ponytail/headband combo or a braid. At night, pajamas are worn with slippers - or flip-flops - and jewelry and a headband. You adore skirts and dresses and anything girly; tears are shed over having to wear pants. You dress yourself when we say it's OK!

Fun: When it was still warm outside, you liked to go in the backyard and play tennis with daddy. You love playing at the park, sliding, swinging, and playing "kid" which is where we swap roles and you're the mommy. You are big into paint right now and just got some for your birthday. You also like to color and draw but get a little frustrated sometimes when it doesn't turn out like it did in your head or you "just don't know what to draw." This leads to a quick and fierce crumpling of the paper and a toss onto the floor. And a reprimand. :>

Friends: You have lots of friends at school. Brittany, Hank, Serae. You seem to get along well with all the other kids even though we went through the "so and so is not my best friend anymore" stage. Your sweet friends Mallory and Asher go to church with you and you always have a blast playing together. You also have pretend friends. Rosie, Luke, and Addison, but usually we hear you talking to Rosie. Or about her. She goes on outings with us and spends the day at school with you. Sometimes she's your baby but mostly your little sister. It's very cute.

Family: You love your family and lately it's so stinking adorable when you refer to daddy and I as "you guys."

"Guys, where are y'all?"

"Guys, I was thinking this weekend maybe we could go to Yogurtland."

Speaking of daddy and I....daddy is no more. You pretty much call him Ryan and it's pretty much the best thing ever. The way you say it is so casual and I guess you just heard me call him that over and over and it stuck in your brain. You'll say, "Ryan, I can't see the TV when you stand in front of it. Ryan, I can't help you clean right now; mommy has to give me a bath. Ryan, where are you?" ha.

You are blessed with plenty of aunts and uncles to love on you as well as grandparents and great-grandparents. You've had sleepovers with Nona and Grandmother and it makes me happy to see you together.

Food: You're a mac-and-cheese girl all the way. I blame that on the fact that I ate it as second breakfast on occasion during my first trimester with you. You also eat avocado, some meats depending on how it's prepared, yogurt with "blue-blerries," apples, bananas, applesauce squeezes, fruit snacks, olives, cheddar bunny crackers, grapes, raisins, cherry tomatoes, green beans, strawberry jelly, hamburgers, and "the little square sweet potatoes." Apple juice is a staple. I mix it half and half with water and you're good with that. You can down some ice cream and discovered a love for Reese's over Halloween. Can't say I blame you!

Funny: Oh, Karlyn. You say and do too many funny things that I forget to write down. #badmom We've seen several nativity scenes lately which are obviously "activity scenes." If Nona asks you if you can do something, you say, "I'll have to ask my family."

Bedtime isn't funny but I can't not write about it...for memories sake! Ever since you climbed out of your crib at two years old, you've had trouble sleeping in your own bed. And by trouble, I mean you don't. Here's how it goes down. You want daddy to lay with you in your bed until you fall asleep.

 You and daddy share a special bond at night at as he reads you Bible stories and then asks you questions about them. He tells you what it means to love Jesus and that He died for you. He prays with you and you remember to pray for Aunt Ashley or Uncle Klay. 

I usually then have to come wake up daddy. Sometime between midnight and 3:00 AM you shuffle quickly to our bedroom and lay down on a pallet that we've made for you. Yes, YES, I know. But we know you're coming and I don't want you to lay on the hard floor without a blanket and we've told you the bed is off-limits. Usually there is no talking or tears, you just come in and do your thing. We've had talks about this, threats, plans, etc. I bought a $30 pillow pet. #wasted  You've told us that as soon as you turn 4, you're going to start sleeping in your bed. I'd believe you, but I heard the same thing about 3. It really is sweet/funny because you'll tell us that you're going to and then thirty minutes later with a tremor in your voice, say, "I changed my mind. Can daddy sleep with me?"

I don't think this will last forever. And you are our only baby, even at four. So we let you and we love you. :-)

Karlyn, thank you for bringing untold joy into our lives. Thank you for making me a mom. Thank you for your hugs and kisses and your twenty "Mommy...I love you's" throughout the day. Thank you for showing us your sensitive side and your free spirit and your kind caring heart. 

Happy 4th Birthday!!!!


Dear Santa

Christmas is almost here but I thought I'd make a little just for fun wish list. I can never think of things I want when asked on the spot, which ya know, is all the time. :-0 So I let myself have some fun and came up with a few things. I'll also be directing my last-minute-shopper husband here!

  • Workout clothes! Leggings, tanks. I'm loving the gap fit pair I ordered on Black Friday. I also found a few cute tanks at Dick's the other night. 
  • Unstoppable by Christine Caine. I've heard great things about this book and think it would be the perfect read to kick off a new year. 
  • OILS. I love me some Young Living oils and I'd love to add to my collection. Joy would be nice. :-)
  • 1989. I still kind of want this. And did you know it's not "Starbucks lovers"...?
  • The Against All Grain cookbook. I think she has more than one so any of them would be amazing. 


The Most Wonderful Time...of the Year

We went to see Santa. Karlyn's almost four but better late than never right?

It was. A disaster.

I got there early to get us a "fast pass" so we could return later that afternoon to see the jolly red man. I was slightly frustrated trying to get us out the door; toddler's love to stand still while you dress them. Also, how much longer can I call her a toddler?

The line wasn't bad at all and soon enough it was almost our turn. One of Santa's helpers suddenly goes, "OK, here's what's gonna happen. Santa's gotta take a break."

OK. That's fine...bummer, but we'll walk around for 15 minutes. We stayed in line though because I wasn't sure if she had the final say. Sure enough the family in front of us got to go. Let me pause here to say that Santa was looking totally checked out. Like, I've been sitting here for four hours checked out. No smiles. Nothing. As soon as Karlyn realized we were up next she did the thing that all kids do when they've spontaneously decided to revolt and their body becomes immovable. "I don't want to do this! Nooooo!" Ryan tried to tell her that we would walk up there with her. I had my real camera and iPhone poised for the perfect shot. I wish I could tell you exactly what happened over the next 60 seconds but it was a blur. Santa quickly assessed the situation and got up to stand behind his chair so that one of us could sit in the chair with Karlyn. Weird? A little. The official "free pic" was her sitting still in Ryan's lap looking forlorn. I could feel myself getting tense. Frustrated. Perturbed. Karlyn took a flying leap.

Christmas Card 2014?

Our turn was over. And I was fuming. Santa handed Kar a candy cane.

I was not a happy mom. All I wanted was one good picture. A cute one, of my precious adorable child sitting sweetly in Santa's lap. "Karlyn, what were you doing?! Why didn't you just tell us that you didn't want to see him? Ugh. You ruined today."

Ya'll. I'm not gonna lie. That's what I said. :-( I told my child that she ruined the day because she didn't want to sit on Santa's lap for a good photo op. My heart was/is so ugly! And while I wish I could blame my reaction on hormones settling into place, I get frustrated too easily over dumb things. I was mortified afterwards over the way I'd acted.

She didn't ruin the day. I did. I tried to rationalize it by saying I had gone to all the effort blah blah blah but the truth is lots of kids have the exact same reaction to Santa as she did that day and it's no. big. deal. Karlyn was just being a kid who needed a nap. I tried to at least eek out a few pictures before we left but my attitude and her willingness were no match for each other.

Christmas Card option #2

I love this girl to pieces and I apologized over and over. Why the heck did I feel SO much pressure to get a good picture? Pinterest? (we blame everything on it) Because that's what good moms do? It's a picture. And one I had placed far too much importance on. I felt so bad because then she kept saying things like, "I'm sorry I frustrated you. I don't want to ruin your day."

Knife stab to the heart.

We came home, and she and Ryan napped. We girded up our loins - ha - and ventured out again for some dinner and Christmas shopping. I told my mom the story and then texted her later asking if I had scarred my child for life by telling her that she'd ruined the day. And that's what moms are for...to dust you off and tell you no, you haven't. You're a good mom and your daughter loves you and hey guess what, I've messed up too. 

I always want to be honest and never want to give the impression that I have all my stuff together, because I don't. I mess up and have to ask Karlyn to forgive me. And that is something I am truly grateful to have seen modeled by my own parents. They were never too proud to say I'm sorry, will you forgive me?

Oh. And today? Karlyn told us that who but Santa decided to visit her school. And she sat on his lap and told him what she wanted. (Barbie and Elsa doll)

All's well that ends well right? Plus that first picture? hilarious.


Loss #4

I have a zillion things I need to do today but I feel like this is one of them. We lost our fifth pregnancy (fourth miscarriage) and I feel weird for even thinking of writing "but it hasn't been that hard to handle." I really think a lot of it was the timing. Right at Thanksgiving and the busyness that ensued. Don't get me wrong. It sucked. I definitely let myself have a few days to move through the stages of shock, numbness, and pissed off. I cried. I thought "this isn't fair." I didn't want to do Thanksgiving.

I was scheduled to go in for a pregnancy test on November 14th, following our round of Femara, hcg shots, and progesterone. I really didn't think it had worked but the night before my test, the 13th, I got really nauseous as I was going to bed. Hmmm. I took a test that next morning and it was positive but that didn't mean anything to me because I'd gotten a positive a few days before that and felt that the chance of the shot still being in my system was high. So I went in for the appointment. Blood work at 8:30 AM, results by 4:30 PM. Long wait. My hcg was 20 which to me was still inconclusive, though the nurse assured me there was no way that it would still be the shot by then. I got off the phone and was pretty neutral. Disappointed? Little did I know I'd feel that way for the next week and a half. More tests. More phone calls. She told to come back in Monday morning for another blood draw.

That weekend was spent wondering, waiting, thinking, hoping with at least one freak-out of "I don't feel pregnant." Monday finally came and my hcg was 38. It hadn't doubled in 3 days. But, the nurse said it was close enough to what they would have liked to see so I should come back in on Friday to re-test. I googled everything under the sun and prayed a little. I didn't let myself test though so as not to drive myself further crazy with examining line darkness.

Friday. Hcg was 81. This time the increase was over four days and it yet again wasn't where they wanted it to be, which was 96. I asked her what they usually saw in situations like this, and she said it could go either way. I asked what my progesterone was and it had dropped from 35 to 25. With a little nudging from me, because I wanted to know and suspected, she said,
"So it's really not looking good."

 One more blood draw on the upcoming Tuesday. I took a test Monday morning and it was a pretty nice line. I was cautiously optimistic. I woke up Tuesday morning, the 25th with what I thought were increased symptoms and really felt like I'd get a good report that day so I was flabbergasted when she told me my number had dropped to 63 and I needed to stop taking the progesterone. I started bleeding the next morning.

Finding out you're pregnant after so many losses? It's just not the same. Do we get excited? Talk about baby names? Stay neutral? Expect to lose this one too? I told myself not to go look at my maternity shirts hanging up in a separate closet but I did anyways. This after just days before (when I thought the cycle was a bust) me shoving every last baby item into trash bags and into the closet so I wouldn't have to see it when I opened that door.

How can losses get easier and harder at the same time? Easier because we've done it before. Because I've spent so much energy being upset that I don't have much left. The tears have all been cried before. Harder because we're even less hopeful that this will ever work for us again. Harder because you immediately estimate a due date, and think about your baby names, and pray a prayer asking God to let this be it.

Harder because your almost four year old wants a baby just as bad as you do and wonders why God hasn't answered her prayers in that way. At least the way we want them answered.


I feel done with fertility drugs. And while we've talked about adoption, neither of us is full-steam-ahead, gung ho, let's adopt. And I kinda think you should be before starting that process. All I know is...pretty much nothing. I don't know why this keeps happening. I don't know if we'll ever have more than one child. I don't know if there is something health wise, supplement wise, that I'm missing. And I'm honestly a bit tired of thinking about it all. I wish I knew the answers but I don't. I wish we were gearing up to announce a pregnancy this Christmas but we aren't. I wish miscarrying didn't seem so -

normal now.

But it does.


Baby Wings

November 25th. After a long week of low and slow rising hcg numbers, we confirmed that our fifth pregnancy is ending and our fourth angel baby is heaven-bound. I'm in the numb, we've done this too many times stage.