Sunday Sermon Recap

What I learned at church…

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Scripture: Isaiah 43: 1-7       “Don’t Worry!”

My translation says this….

“But now, this is what the Lord says – he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.  For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead.  Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life.  Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.  I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’  Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth – everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”

I really needed to hear a sermon about worry this week.  Or just be reminded that I don’t have to live my life worried about everything.  It is truly great to be able to turn my worries over to God and just relax…

Okay… that whole paragraph is a lie.  Maybe that’s the way it works for some people (maybe even most people), but that’s little comfort for me.  I have to take it one moment at a time instead of saying “here you go, God” and then never thinking about it again.

If you’ve read my previous posts, then you know some of what’s going on with my body.  But not quite everything.  Just in these next 7 days, I will have a chest x-ray, an ultrasound (of my thyroid), an MRI (on my uterus), consultations with two different ENT’s (One Spanish and one military), and a followup appointment about the MRI results.  Then MAYBE I’ll know what the next step is.

I am trying to memorize part of the passage above so I can recite it to myself when I have moments of worry or panic.

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

This part in particular because it doesn’t promise that we WON’T pass through waters or rivers and we WON’T walk through fire… just that when we do we won’t be alone.  So I just keep saying those verses to myself.

I’ve also noticed that I’ve been left alone a lot during these appointments.  Someone will need to take a scan to make sure they got the right picture they wanted, or to get a second opinion about something, and I’m stuck sitting in the room… just waiting.  I’ve been using those times to pray.  I just pray that I will make the people who are dealing with me feel better than they felt when I walked in.  I try to make sure I talk to them and let them know I appreciate them doing their jobs.  It also helps me take my mind off of whatever I’m trying not to worry about.

The other part of the passage is:    “Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you,”

We all know… “God is love”… but to see the words “I love you” just makes me smile for some reason.

The MRI this week is the first one I’ve ever had, and so my amount of worry over this is huge.   It doesn’t help that it’s in a Spanish hospital and, while I’m working hard to learn Spanish, it’s still really hard to communicate.  So I’m going to recite these verses moment by moment and lie as still as possible, probably with my nose itching, and pray that I can put a smile on the technician’s face before I leave (being funny in Spanish is so much more difficult)… or really they just smile most of the time when I try to speak Spanish, so it might not be as hard as I think! 🙂

I hope everyone has a slower week than me, but that you’re still able to make someone smile.  I pray that someone makes you smile, and that this week is better than last week.

Welcome to my world… it’s pretty great around here!!

Amanda

Who am I?? – Blogger

I write… and write…

I’m a writer.  I have been a writer my whole life, but I’ve never written anything.  I mean to say, I’ve never published anything, or had anything published, or however the correct way to say it is.

I’m hoping to change all of that soon.  I’ve started taking a writing class.  One of the first suggestions was to start a blog where I can just write and write and write.  So that’s what I’ve done.

I think I want to write short stories.  I’m not sure that many people have that aspiration, but I know I don’t have the patience to write a novel (I’ve actually tried that on more than one occasion).  I have the idea, but stretching it out into 80,000 words or something is just not doable for me.  I lose the thread of the characters or I try to put too many characters in and I just get tired of it.

That may be the same reason why I only like to crochet small projects… I need to change often, so I can’t get stuck doing the same thing for too long or I can’t stand it anymore.

So… Short stories… I’ve written these my whole life.  I remember as a kid, probably around 3rd or 4th grade, that I would ask my mother to give me the title of a story, and then I would write about it.  I didn’t care what it was at all.  Part of the excitement was to make up the rest of the story around whatever title she gave me.  I wish I had some of these, as I’m sure they were pure 8-year old genius!! 🙂

Anyway… I’ve written a couple of really short pieces as an adult, and I’ll be sharing those as we go along here, but I’m also going to be sharing my new stuff that I’m writing.  And some of the exercises from my online class.  So feel free to let me know what you think.

I’ll be starting an online group of “critics” also, so if you want to be added to read my stories and give me advice/criticism about them, then I’d be happy to add you.  Or you can just comment here on the ones I share and let me know what you think.

My daughter is reading a series of books written in poetry form, but all revolving around the same story.  All the poems together tell the story of the novel.  I’m thinking about maybe doing that.  Like a series of short stories revolving around the same people or the same themes.  Then putting them all together in a book.  I’ll see as I go along, and I’ll also be submitting the stories to magazines for publication.

So… because I’m a writer, I’m now also a blogger!  And I’m very glad you joined me on this journey of mine!

Welcome to my world… it’s pretty great around here!!

Amanda

 

Who am I?? – Teacher

I teach, therefore I…

So that English degree that I told you about in another post is used still today (although I joke that I don’t use it at all!).  I use it especially when I read Facebook posts where the grammar is horrific!! And especially memes… I don’t care what the point of the meme is, if they can’t use the correct form of your/you’re and their/there/they’re, I can’t focus on what it’s saying!  I just can’t.  I realize that sometimes people make an accidental mistake and they actually know the difference, and I can overlook it in a text or something else that is quickly written and maybe being read by one person, but if you are making a meme there are two rules you should follow:  1. Is everything spelled correctly?  2. Is my grammar correct?  That’s it… if those two things are good, then I’ll check out your meme and laugh about it… otherwise, I’ll scroll on past while I shake my head and the lack of thought that went into it… and please don’t share memes that don’t have those two rules either.

Okay… all of that sounded snobbish, and while it is actually what I think, I never say anything about it.  I just don’t tell people when they’ve made grammatical errors.  One of my favorite English professors in college said this about correcting people’s grammar.  She said, “I don’t correct grammar unless the person is my child or a student in class.  You shouldn’t do it either because it really is none of your business.  No one will talk to you after you correct them either for fear that they will say something to bring about your wrath.  So just mind your own business and don’t do it!”  I’ve followed that rule since she said it.  I hadn’t thought that maybe my friends and family members didn’t like it when I told them they should say that “the bike is BROKEN” instead of “the bike is broke”.  So now I only correct my children, and since they’ve grown up listening to me MOSTLY use correct grammar, then it isn’t as much of an issue.  I do still think it, but I can’t really help that part, and I do a great job of keeping my mouth shut about it! 🙂

One more thing about grammar, and then I promise to get on to the “teacher” part of this post! 🙂  If you think someone (usually someone online) is being stupid or acting like an idiot… please, please, please… just don’t say anything! 🙂  We all know that’s the correct response.  Just be nice to them or don’t respond to them at all.  HOWEVER, if you just HAVE to say something and tell them how dumb you think they are… don’t say “your an idiot!”  The “idiot” might not get the mistake, but the majority of the people who read this will likely think that maybe you are the idiot… BUT… just don’t say mean things period… this also applies if someone is amazing!!  “your amazing” is still incorrect… 🙂  So don’t do that either!

Okay… I graduated from college and became a stay at home wife.  I thought I’d be great at this job because I’d have all day to decide what we would eat for dinner and to clean the house and have everything perfect.  That’s when I discovered a few things about me…

  1. I don’t enjoy cooking.
  2. I HATE to clean.
  3. I like to watch movies.
  4. I like to do crafty things.

None of these things are good qualities listed in whatever job description we all hear about when talking about being  a housewife (don’t like that term!), so I sucked at this.  (I still do actually, and it’s been 16 years!)

I wanted to cross-stitch and watch movies while I did it.  I didn’t want to clean this gigantic house that I was having problems living in because all the bedrooms made me realize that I wanted babies in them and that wasn’t happening.  I just didn’t know what to do.

My husband (who is a MUCH better housewife than me!) suggested I see about substitute teaching at the local high school.  This will have to be a whole other blog series because this school was CRAZY!!! I did teach, for one year.  That’s all I could take… in that one year, I was subpoenaed to court to testify against the principal who was arrested TWO different times during that school year.  I saw children doing things that I had only just started doing since I had just gotten married.  It was just out of control, and I’ve just decided to make this my first blog series after Who am I??

After that job, we moved and I got pregnant.  Price was born and we were living so close to Hamburg (where I grew up), and my old principal when I went to school there was now the superintendent of schools and he told me there was good chance I would get a job at my old high school, if I wanted it.

I tried to do the stay-at-home-mom thing, now that I was officially a mom, but I stunk at that too.  It still involved all the same “requirements” as a housewife, only now I had a baby to deal with on top of it.  The “baby” was now 18 months old and I decided teaching again seemed like a good idea.

I LOVED being back at my old high school.  I was in the teacher’s lounge hanging out with my old teachers.  It was awesome… and surreal!  That school year was weird though because I didn’t actually have a classroom, I had a cart! 🙂  I’ll post more about that later too… I got pregnant again while I was teaching there and decided that with a toddler and now a baby on the way, I really wanted to stay home with them.  I loved being a mommy and didn’t like that I didn’t get to see Price all day while I was teaching.

We moved to Colorado Springs when Price was 3 and Wesley was 8 months old.  Ron was officially on active duty in the Air Force, and I was staying home with my babies.  I loved it.  I decided that homeschooling was going to be the best way for us to be able to do all the things we wanted to do.  I wanted to travel and we wanted to be able to go home and visit whenever we wanted to.  These things would be made easier by homeschooling, and i figured if I could teach 25-30 high schoolers, then I could teach one on one with my own kids.

I’ve been teaching them for 8 years, and it’s looked different from time to time.  I’ll write more about the ways in which we’ve home-schooled throughout the years and how it looks for us as an ever-evolving entity.  It’s the best decision for our family, but I know it’s not the best for everyone.  This is another area where I try to keep my mouth shut and answer questions when I’m asked, but not butt in when I’m not asked.

I am a teacher, and I love to teach.  Not just my children, but bible studies at our church (I’m about to start a new one), new foster parents about how the “system” works in whatever state we happen to live in.  I love giving information to people and seeing that moment when it clicks in their brains or when they connect it to something else they’ve learned.  It’s a great feeling…

Now go teach someone something… I know you know something that someone needs to know or would love to know!  And for those grammar police out there… see how many run-on sentences you can spot in this post… it’s really the only way I write because it’s the way I speak… run-on sentences and stream of consciousness!!

Welcome to my world… it’s pretty great around here!!

Amanda

 

 

Who am I?? – Traveler

I’ve seen things…

When we go back to my childhood (yes again!!) you might or might not be surprised to know that I didn’t go anywhere for vacations.  Our family all lived near us except for one uncle who still lived in Arkansas.  We did go see him a few times, but not really any other vacations and not anything that I would consider traveling.  My high school youth group for church provided me with more traveling in those few years than any of the years before combined.  We went to church camp at Glorietta, NM and Panama City Beach, FL.  We went on a spring break ski trip to Breckenridge, CO and another spring break trip to Disney World in Orlando, FL.  These trips were awesome, but somehow it didn’t feel like traveling.  I mean… I’m sure I was a normal, self-absorbed teenage girl who was just loving hanging out with her friends on the bus and terrified of the birds that were allowed to fly willy-nilly all over the Disney Theme Parks!! YIKES!! My senior year, our physics class went to Washington DC on a trip and got there on a train from Meridian, MS to Washington DC.  I was a great trip, and one of the ones I remember most easily.  Both of my parents went on this trip, so maybe that’s why I like it so much!  After graduation, I didn’t want to go on a “senior trip” or anything like that (I told you I had no desire to be rebelious).  My parents took me to Branson, MO for a few days.  We had a really good time, and I’m surprised by how much of that I remember too… We went to my first Ripley’s Believe it or Not?!  museum (these museums – or odditoriums – will for some weird reason continue to pop up in my life and travels!)

I went to college in Arkansas, and spent most of that time just trying to get over my freshman year and graduate.  So… no traveling then… I guess that might not be completely true.  We did a spring break mission trip to Kentucky with the MBSF to help them start a youth group.  I then went back there by myself for the summer to be their youth group leader and try to get it going.  I worked for the preacher’s parents at their hardware store, and lived with them while I was there.  It was fun, but weird being on my own… sort of!  The spring break after I met Ron (maybe I never said his name, but that’s my bald-headed man!!)  anyway, we went on an MBSF trip to Washington DC and stopped by the church in Kentucky on our way home.

I wanted to see more of the country.  I didn’t really have a desire to leave the United States, but I knew there were cool places out there that I wanted to see… eventually.  And some places I wanted to see again.

So Ron told me, when I met him, that he thought he was being called to be a United Methodist minister.  I knew some of what the methodist believed, but most of it was just what I had heard other people say.  I needed to find out more about this, and maybe my research will be in another post, but this one is about travel! 🙂

I told him that I was ready to go with him anywhere… then excitedly explained how I couldn’t wait to move all around the country with him and see new and awesome things.  He informed me that he would be in the Arkansas conference and that we would be moving quite a bit, but only around the state of Arkansas.  I pouted… I admit it.  I thought this was my chance to get out and see things.  I got over it and kept reading books so I could graduate! 😉

After we were married for a few years, and in the midst of infertility angst, He comes home from one annual conference and says he’s been approached about joining the Air Force as a chaplain and he was thinking about giving it a try in the Air Reserves.  I followed right along with him.  No griping from me about him following God’s call… Nothing really changed very much except he did have to go to training more often.

We moved churches (inside of Arkansas), I finally got pregnant the first time.  After Price was born, he went away to another training, and before it was even over he was talking about doing this for real.  Joining the Air Force on active duty.

My question “Will we move out of Arkansas?”  His answer “We will get to live all over the world!”  I was IN!!  And it’s been a great adventure…

We spent nearly 3 years in Colorado Springs, Co as our first assignment, then to Ankara, Turkey for nearly 2 years where I was pretty terrified.  Next was Fort Meade, Mayland (directly between DC and Baltimore)… I LOVED it!! And now we are in southern Spain for the next 2 years (it’s actually only about 18 months now… we’ve already been here 1/4 of our time.  It is flying by over here!!  I’ll write more about these individual places and the things we were able to do and see there, so stay tuned for more travel!!

After nearly 10 years on active duty, and now with the number of places I’ve been and places I’ve lived stacking up…. I can honestly say that every single time I drive into Hamburg, Arkansas no matter how long I’ve been gone, it feels like a warm blanket has been draped over my shoulders.  There is truly no place like home, and Arkansas is kind of a wonderful place to call home!!

Welcome to my world… it’s pretty great around here!!

Amanda

Who am I?? – Reader

I. Love. Books!

Not that any of you want to know more about my childhood or anything, but I wasn’t a reader as a child.  I didn’t like to read as a pre-teen (we were NOT called Tweens back then!), and I certainly didn’t read as a teenager!!

Ready for a confession (I hope none of my teachers from high school are reading this)?? I NEVER read a single book in Jr High or High School that was assigned to me.  The reason this might be a surprise is because I graduated high school nearly with a 4.0.  I only had 2-3 B’s from 9th-12th grade.  I was good at research, even back then, and I probably spent as much time reading ABOUT the assigned book than I would’ve spent reading the actual book.  It was like a matter of principle that I wasn’t going to read the book.  I wasn’t a rebel at all as a teenager, and I still follow rules like crazy, but for some reason, I just didn’t want to read books.  Not any books… My best friend read Gone With the Wind and those types of things in school… and she definitely read everything we were assigned in class.  She DID graduate with a 4.0, so maybe that would’ve made a difference for me! 🙂

I went on to college and after a disastrous freshman year that had to be repeated by a little less disastrous SECOND freshman year, I coasted through to my Senior year… met a boy and got married.  I had one semester left after we got married before graduation.  I was a senior in college with a decent GPA, an ENGLISH major, and I had STILL never read an entire book that was assigned to me by a professor.  This is pure craziness, I know!  I had one semester left and decided to take it easy.  I took The American Story, or something like that.  It was about american literature.  I had plans to just coast on through with some highly effective research and a lot of BS on essay and anything else I had to write.  However, I found myself wanting to be home with my new husband instead of researching at the library, and I just kept staring at the assigned book.  He was studying (he was getting ready to go to seminary), and I didn’t have anything else to do, so I picked it up.  I couldn’t stop reading it, and 16 years later, it’s still on my bookshelf.  I read all the rest of the assigned books for that class, made a pretty easy A, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English degree! 🙂

I spent a few more years not really reading much, and then my mother said something.  She has a learning disability.  This makes it hard for her to read things and write things, and because of this she just didn’t read books.  I’m not sure when this changed for her, but one day, about 9 or 10 years ago, she and I were walking in Walmart and as we were checking out we saw a book on an end cap.  The cover of the book looked kind of like your typical romance novel, but the man on the cover looked like someone to me.  I was obsessed with a TV show about vampires (Called Moonlight, and THIS was the main character).  The main character looked a lot like the guy on the cover of this book… AND the book was about a vampire.  So we each bought a copy of it.  I didn’t live near her anymore, so we talked about the book (after we both read it very quickly) and realized there were more books in this series, and we had read them out of order.  (This is a huge pet peeve with me, but this time it worked out fine!)

Thus began the time in my life when I “learned to read”.  I started reading everything I could get my hands on.  This vampire series led me to other vampire writers and even other fantasy writers and soon I was reading all manor of paranormal romance as the genre is called.  I was reading 2-3 books a week and couldn’t go anywhere without having my book.  Something wonderful happened then… a device called a “kindle” was released about this time and I saved up my money for months to order one that was then back-ordered because so many people wanted one.  And then the obsession really escalated.  I eventually realized that emersing myself in these types of things started to effect my outlook on life.  I started thinking of things around me in terms of how one character would see this or think about this.  I might have gotten a little lost in my own paranormal world.

So, I backed off a little and added in some nonfiction reading to help me maintain balance, and to grow in different ways.  I still read 2-3 books a week, and should probably keep track of it a little better than I do, and I also constantly read more than one book at a time, and go back and re-read books I’ve read more than one time.  I will try to read almost anything, and because of that, there have been plenty of times where I’ve started a book and not been able to finish it because it was just too much… something… whether it’s too much suspense, too much violence, too much sex, too much stupidity by some of these female characters, I just haven’t finished them.  But… I will give every book a chance (if it’s first person point of view, I’ll gripe about it a lot, but I’ll still give it a chance).

So… What I’m currently reading…

  • Fiction(4-6 grade): The Princess, The Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy
    • This is on the kids’ book shelf (I try to read all of the books that they are going to read this year)
  • Fiction(for me): Danger & Desire (an anthology of Romantic Suspense Novels)
    • This is a good way to find different authors…
  • Nonfiction (for me): Growing Great Kids
    • This is about partnering with God to raise kids to follow their calling and use their gifts to change the world!
  • Audio: Good Manners for Nice People who Sometimes say F%&k
    • I don’t say F%&k, and I don’t really like this book.  It’s supposed to be telling us how to be nice with all of this technology around us.  More like, manners for the 21st Century.  The woman just seems kind of rude, and definitely a busy-body.  She takes pictures of people who do things she doesn’t like and posts them online to “publicly embarrass them because she thinks that’s better than having a direct conversation with them because she thinks they’ll only listen when they’ve been embarrassed.  Anyway, I’m finishing it because I can’t quit a book in the middle, but I’m not happy with it.
    • My audible bookshelf probably looks like it belongs to 10 different people.  A ton of different genres represented.

That’s all for now… I just try to read a little bit of everything… and I have a huge list of “to-read” books.  I’m constantly adding to them as I listen to podcasts and read more books.  I’m always open to suggestions, so let me know your favorite book or author and I’ll add it to my list…

Also… if you’re curious about the book I FINALLY read for my college class… here it is… straight from my shelf!  And I’ll link the first “vampire” book I read also… be warned… it’s not for everyone!! 😉

IMG_3179[1]

Vampire Book!! on Goodreads

Welcome to my world… it’s pretty great around here!!

Amanda

 

Who am I?? – List Maker

It’s what I do…

*This post needs to be lighter after the other stuff I’ve been writing! 🙂

I love to make lists… they:

  • keep me organized
    • well, they make me feel like I’m organized
  • help me stay on task
    • okay… they let me know when I’ve gotten off task
  • Let me know where our money goes
    • a budget is essentially a list of debt, right!?
      • just kidding… we are kicking this debt to the curb!!
  • Let everyone in the house know what we’re eating and when
    • This one actually does its job… most of the time!
      • “did anyone thaw out the chicken for tonight?”
  • helps us know what the cleaning schedule is for the house
    • yeah… right… this doesn’t happen… but there is a list!!
  • make me feel accomplished when I check things off
    • Finish making a list… check!

I do my best to check the lists and add to them and cross things off… they do help more than they hurt, so I’ll keep doing it.  Those who know me know that I LOVE making the lists WAY more than I like following the lists, but just writing them down makes me feel centered and maybe that’s all I need them for!  I will continue just the way I have been…

Welcome to my world… it’s pretty great around here!!

Amanda

Who am I?? – Mother

I am a mother… to many…

*I have been a mother to 13 different children… Read on!!

Being a mother has been my dream since I was a little kid.  I was a tomboy, for sure, growing up.  My only sibling, a brother, is 6 years older than me and I followed him around everywhere.  I wanted to do anything he did, and firmly believed I could do anything too.  He put up with me for the most part, but definitely got tired of his little sister following him around… I’m sure there will be more stories involving him as we go along with this thing, but this one is about being a mother.

When I wasn’t following after my brother and his friends and playing whatever sport they would let me join in on, I was carrying around a baby doll.  I didn’t have many barbies, because I didn’t like them.  I didn’t want to play with an adult doll… or even a teenager… I wanted the babies.  I had a cabbage patch kid (as did every child in the 80’s), but my favorite was a doll called a “Real Baby”.  I tried to search for this to show you what it looked like or even see if they still make them, and I couldn’t find anything about my baby.  What I did find was baby dolls that look so real it was scary.  So… just picture a doll that looked like about a 3 month old baby.  I had a boy, of course, because I didn’t want baby girls.  Anyway, I carried this baby with me everywhere.  I’m sure I threw him down somewhere when it was time to play sports of some kind, but mostly I took great care of him.  I even named him AJ (Andrew Joshua)… The story behind the name may be revealed in a story one day too!

When Ron and I got married, many years after AJ had gone away, we both had some pretty cemented thoughts about children.  I wanted to have 4, he wanted 2.  That was the only thing we disagreed about.  He wanted them to be able to do whatever they wanted with their hair because “it might not be there long” (his hair started falling out when he was 16.. this was particularly devastating to his hair-band-loving self).  I didn’t have an opinion about hair, so that one was okay (I was just praying their hair wouldn’t be as kinky, curly as mine).  I wanted to adopt children.  I didn’t care where we adopted them from, but I knew I wanted to adopt.  He didn’t seem to have an opinion about this at all.

We were married in July of 1999, and in May of that year I had gone to the gynecologist for the first time and gotten on birth control pills.  (We wanted to wait at least a year before having a baby, but not really any longer than a year).

I took those pills for exactly one year, and then I stopped.  I assumed that I would just get pregnant.  I didn’t occur to me that it wouldn’t happen.  That my dream might not happen just as I had planned it.  We were living in a parsonage with 3 bedrooms, a huge formal living and dining room, and it was just too much room for us.  I wanted to fill those rooms with babies.  Instead, it was just us… the whole time.

In 2003, after fertility treatments, I got pregnant the first time.  Our son was born March 15, 2004.  We decided since we had so much trouble the first time, we wouldn’t worry with birth control and I’d probably just get pregnant again soon.

In 2006, after more fertility treatments, I got pregnant again.  Our second son was born on November 28, 2006.  That was the end of the fertility treatments for me.

I decided that I was done with all of the mess that went along with those things.  Infertility posts will definitely be coming because that defined the first years of our marriage, and even longer in my heart.

We became foster parents and have fostered 8 children.  I know each of their birthdays and have a tiny celebration inside each time one of them rolls around, but I only get to see pictures of 3 of them.  We would’ve adopted every one of them, but that’s not exactly the way the system works, so they all ended up somewhere else.  Not with me physically, but with me in every other way.

In 2015, we finally got our girl! 🙂  We didn’t adopt her, but we do have custody of her, so I claim her every chance I get.  She was 16 when she came to live with us, and we had known her since birth, so it wasn’t as hard as if we had taken someone from foster care whom we’d never met.  Not that this isn’t still one of our goals, but I know it’ll be different from what this is.

In 2015, I got pregnant again.  This time I didn’t even know it.  My body, at least the reproductive parts of it, had been messed up for so long at this point that I just thought maybe I was going through menapause early.  I had just turned 38, so maybe I was just early.  I didn’t take a pregnancy test because I didn’t think I was pregnant, and after so many years of taking test after test, month after month and really feeling like I was pregnant, and test after test, month after month seeing a negative test wasn’t something I wanted to repeat again.  So, I just didn’t do it.

When I was 12 weeks pregnant, the baby died.  No one knows why, and no one even knows exactly when.  On November 28, 2015, I started to bleed.  I was in a store (near the hospital, thankfully) and blood just started running down my legs.  I knew something was wrong, but there was no pain.  My first thought was miscarriage, but I didn’t think that could be true because I didn’t think it was possible for me to even be pregnant.

The baby died months before my body decided it needed to get it out.  The doctor thinks that the baby was dead for two months before my body let me know.  It’s rare, but it does happen that the body just hangs on.  I have the ultrasound picture of my third baby, but that’s it.  Not with me physically again… and not even a mental picture to go with a birth day.  I could figure out about when the baby would’ve been born (at least around the month), but I’m not sure I can handle it right now.  It’s been 6 weeks and I’ve not even begun to know how I feel about it.  On one hand, it seems like madness to miss something I didn’t even know I had.  On the other hand, I feel like I’ve missed something wonderful and magnificent by not knowing this baby.  There are a million what-ifs, but none of them really matter.  Nothing brings that baby back, and nothing gives me more than an ultrasound photo.  We just keep walking forward… that’s what this is about… my journey forward!

and still I say….
Welcome to my world… it’s pretty great around here!!

Amanda