Blessing Upon Blessing

Thursday, June 15th, 2017, I spent the day driving the ten hour stretch back home from Nashville Tennessee, where I'd been living for the previous nine weeks. I was a mess. Physically and emotionally exhausted. My time as a nanny in Tennessee had ended - by my choice - three months earlier than originally planned. I didn't know what came next.
I'd left my job when I moved there, and now I was back at square one - or so it seemed, with no job, and no idea what to do with my life, or what direction to turn.
I hardly dared think of the future, because it was enough to live one day at a time. To think beyond that was overwhelming. I'd previously dealt with depression, but here I was, battling it again, under different circumstances, and I didn't know what to do with it.
Coming home, though a hard decision to face, was the right choice, and I'm so grateful for how all the details and the timing worked out so perfectly in that.
The next few months were hard. So many …

Life Update | A New Season

It's been a long time, y'all. I just looked, and the last time I actually posted anything was back in October. As in, six months ago.

Needless to say, a lot has happened since then.
Most recently, I moved to a different state. Tennessee, to be exact.

Let me rewind.

Back in December, a friend and neighbor of mine told me about a family she knew, that needed some help. Specifically, someone to come live with them for several months, and help care for their eight children, while the mom underwent treatment for a brain tumor. This friend thought that I might be a good fit.
I politely told her that I'd think about it, and went along my merry way. I wasn't really interested.

But I couldn't stop thinking about this family. This family that I had never met, and knew basically nothing about.

I told my parents about this family, expecting that they would be completely against the idea of me going to live with people that we didn't know. I figured that their disapproval w…

Awkward + Awesome

This is another one of those, like the "Things They Said" post, that I've just been keeping in a note on my phone all year, of little moments that are, well, awkward, or awesome. Sometimes both, because I do awkward really, really well.

Awkward: Walking into a store, and seeing someone you sorta-kinda-halfway know, and accidentally making eye contact before you realize what you're doing. Then, you both just ignore each other, and pretend it never happened.

Hearing two people discussing the proper way to pronounce your name: "Ruh-bek-uh" vs. "Ree-bek-uh"

When the guy doing housekeeping at your hotel asks why you don't have any kids...

Getting done with a big grocery shopping late enough that only the self check registers are still open...and having so much trouble with the register, that checking out takes about as long as the actual shopping did. Messing up near the end and making it where you have to re-scan half the items, doesn't help eit…
October. It's infant loss awareness month. And today, October 15th specifically, is infant loss awareness day. It's a good day, because for so many, the loss of a baby is a silent pain, one that isn't talked about. In having a day like this, however sad it is, we can maybe allow others into our circle of grief, and at the same time, comfort them in theirs. 
For us, October is a month that we should have a birthday, but we don't. You see, we should be celebrating a first birthday this October. 
But we're not. And furthermore, if we were celebrating that first birthday, we wouldn't have our Mercy girl. Mercy Grace, we joke, since her middle name, Anna, means Grace. 
It's strange, this loss. We can't imagine life without her, but in order to have the lives we grieve, we couldn't have her. It's one or the other. 
If we had Baby J, who would be one this month, we couldn't have Mercy. And likewise, if we had had Baby A, who would've been one in Au…

The Things They Said: A Compilation of Some of the Entertaining Comments of Small Children (and a few not-so-small-children)

When I got off of Facebook the end of last year, I started keeping a record of some of the cute and hilarious things my siblings (and other small children) said, so I could share them here, since that was one thing several people said they'd miss seeing me post. I had every intention of posting various installments on here, perhaps every month or two, with all these entertaining snippets.
I very dutifully kept this list up...for the first four months of the year. After that, I simply forgot to keep keeping track. That list lived quite nicely, and mostly forgotten, on my phone. Until today. So without further ado...

Sibling: "The thing with winter is that it's supposed to be nice holidays and everything, but everybody wears dark colors, like they're going to a funeral. "

Esther, turning in circles: "I feel like I'm spinning in a tornado..."

One sibling to another: "You're just a fragment of my imagination."

Joshua, getting up off the couch …

The Baby Project: In Remembrance of the Precious Babies Gone on Before Us

If you've been around for long, you probably know about the baby our family lost in March of last year, the second baby in a row.

That loss was adifficult journey, but in many ways it opened my eyes to how widespread miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss is. So many people around us have suffered this lost, and nearly everyone, if not every single person you'll come in contact with in your lifetime, has been impacted by the loss of a baby, whether their own or someone else's. It's not often something that you hear about though, and that's sad to me, because there's so much pain surrounding these losses, and so many could be helped in healing by hearing of others' journeys.

Shortly after those two losses in our family, I came up with a way to honor and remember those babies, as well as some of the babies lost to friends and family around us.

Enter what I'm calling "The Baby Project". It's a whole new product line in my Etsy shop, in h…

Life Update: Where I've Been (Literally)

I wonder if I'm the only one that finds it a bit ironic that blogging more often was on my list of goals for the year, and here we are arrived in May, with this being only my second post this year. In my defense though, life has been way crazier than even I imagined. It has a way of doing that, you know?
It still kinda surprises me when I think of it being May already - I mean, it still feels like it should be the beginning of the year.

I thought I'd give y'all a little recap of what life's been like...

In the middle of January, my parents went to Nevada for a week - Daddy was going on a business trip, and Mom was able to go along. That left me at home in Texas with all 8 younger siblings. Quite doable, but that Sunday while they were gone, I made sure to get everyone to church on time for Sunday School, so that they could be in someone else's care for that 45 minutes.

On the 21st, I met up with my parents in the airport, had a few minutes with Mom, and then trave…