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Monday, January 19, 2015

Baby Quinn

This isn't my typical post, but I don't think I can go on posting, acting like it didn't happen. I wrote it a while ago... Just never could get the courage to post it. So here I go. I'm finally going to let it all out, in hopes of helping other women. Sad to say, that even though I've been a mother for many years, I never truly understood what it must have been like for other women. In my case, hearing other stories and having someone to talk to, has been the biggest help.

The end of last year was a difficult one for our family, but at the same time beautiful. The beginning of August we found out we were expecting our 5th child. By the end of that month we found out I had miscarried at almost 9 weeks. I had always wondered, how would I handle a tragedy. One that involved my children. I know I have faith in God, but would that be enough to carry me through? We were beyond excited to add to our family. So the loss was real. It hurt. It still hurts. But I have never felt closer to God in my life.

August 22, 2014 will always be etched in my mind. I had my first OB appt that day. I had to bring all the kids as usual, because we homeschool. So of course the kids are with me all the time. No biggie though. We do everything together. The appt went fine, but then I requested an ultrasound. My periods are way off, so we never know my exact due date.

My first appt was at 11am. The ultrasound was scheduled for 2pm. I had to find something to do to keep the kids busy, since my OB is an hour from my home. So we went to the mall and got lunch. 

At this ultrasound children are not allowed in, so a nurse waited outside with them. As soon as the ultrasound began I knew something was wrong. The tech told me matter of factly, "Sorry hun, I don't think this pregnancy is viable." She acted like it was no big deal. Asked me if I've had pregnancy symptoms. Like morning sickness, etc. Which I replied, "I never have any. I get fat, feel a kick, and then have a baby." My pregnancy's were always perfect. No problems. So finding out my baby wasn't growing and didn't have a heart beat was a complete shock.

My ultrasound was over about 2:30pm, and then I had to wait for the dr. I didn't call my husband, because I wasn't sure what was wrong. Maybe the tech was wrong... Maybe the dr. would say some miracle happened. As I walked out of the tech's room, trying to wipe tears from my eyes, and hide my pain, the kids could immediately tell something was wrong. I kept saying it was okay, until they put us in a room alone to wait for the doctor. Then I explained to them the baby did not have a heart beat and was in heaven. They looked shocked, but they took it well.

It was a Friday afternoon and most of the doctors had gone home. So we had to wait 2 hours before an on call doctor could come see me. She was amazing though. She explained to me my options... She hugged me... She told me it was okay to cry in front of the kids... I was told I could go home and miscarry on my own, I could go home with medicine that would make me miscarry, or I could have a D&C. I was in such shock I didn't know what to do. I hadn't even told my husband yet.

I felt like if the pregnancy was over, I just wanted it done with. Also I bleed very bad after delivering. I was afraid what if I bled too much at home and there was complications? But I also didn't want to have a D&C, because what if the baby was okay? I didn't want to harm it. I asked if they would do another ultrasound before a D&C. She said no, because they had already done one. I told her if I had a D&C that I wanted an ultrasound before hand to make sure my baby was gone for sure before preceding. So she agreed. We scheduled it for Monday, but she said I could cancel if it I wanted to. There was no rush, and she didn't want to push me into anything.

So finally around 4:30pm, we started home. It was a gloomy, rainy day. The poor kids had been at the doctor's since about 10:30, besides going to lunch. The 1 year old hadn't had a nap. Everyone was exhausted and cranky. As soon as we got in the car the youngest 3 immediately fell asleep.

As I pulled out of the hospital parking lot I finally made the call. I couldn't even breathe as I tried to explain to my husband what had just happened. Then I called my sister and mother. After getting off the phone, I turned up the music and just kept thinking Jesus is with me. It's okay. The rain was coming down, and the first song that came on was Natalie Grant's Hurricane. The words had never meant so much to me as they did then.

You're spinning out of control again
Your life feels like a sinking ship
You're wondering how it came to this

Is it too late?
Is it too far?
For Him to reach you
And come to where you are

Step out on the edge
Don't be afraid of it
And when you feel the rain
Call His name
He'll find you in the hurricane

You're in the wreckage underneath
Your hope is buried somewhere deep
You're wondering how long it will keep?

It's never too late
Never too far
For you to reach out
And take a hold of love

Step out on the edge
Don't be afraid of it
And when you feel the rain
Call His name
He'll find you in the hurricane

Don't back down from the fight
He'll shelter you tonight
Just hold on for the change
Call His name
He'll find you in the hurricane

There's a place, there's a place you can run
When you fall, and it's all come undone
You'll be safe in the raging storm
So just let go
'Cause you are held in His arms

Step out on the edge
Don't be afraid of it
And when you feel the rain
Call His name
He'll find you in the hurricane

Ooo ooo...

And when you feel the rain
Call His name
He'll find you in a hurricane

The words "Step out on the edge. Don't be afraid of it. And when you feel the rain. Call His name. He'll find you in the hurricane.", felt like Jesus was right there speaking to me. Telling me it was alright. He knew. He knew how I felt. He knew my pain. 

At first I wasn't sure if I was just in shock. I felt this strange calm. I was crying, but I felt at peace. That why ever this happened, it was in God's plan, and it was going to be okay. Then while the song was still playing a rainbow appeared on my windshield. Not in the sky. But across my windshield. From one corner to the other. I thought I was seeing things. I immediately called for my oldest son. Seeing as he was the only one awake. Asking if he was seeing it too. It felt like a sign from God. I felt like he was wrapping his arms around me. Showing me that he was right there by my side. 

When I was home and had a minute to check my phone, I found this photo. My kids had been playing with my phone while I was in the ultrasound and this was the only picture they took. It looked so dark, empty, sad, & lonely. Pretty close to how I felt. 

The next few days were incredibly hard. I tried to not think about it, but nothing else could stop it from consuming my thoughts. Monday couldn't come soon enough. I wanted to see that ultrasound again. 

Monday my husband and I went back to the doctors. The ultrasound was first. It was with a different tech, and she said the same thing. The sac was deformed, empty but with a placenta, and no heart beat. Then we headed to see my doctor. She explained to me I had what was called a Blighted Ovum. Something I had never heard of before. Which is strange because it accounts for about half of all miscarriages. Basically it meant that something was wrong genetically with the baby. Right in the beginning when it was starting to form. My body knew, instinctively that something was wrong and terminated the pregnancy itself. 

The news was hard. I was hoping for some miracle. In the end, I was then sent to the OR to have a D&C. I know it's not what every woman would choose, but it was what was right for me. Not only for health reasons, but for my sanity.  

Afterwards, even though some might think it is strange, I wanted to give this baby a name. We won't ever know if it was a boy or girl. So I had to think of gender neutral names. The kids kept asking questions and my oldest daughter said, "I just wish I knew if it was a boy or girl so I didn't have to call it it." I knew exactly how she felt. After talking with a friend she mentioned Quinn. I didn't like it, but then she said "Quinn, like number 5?" That was it. I knew right away that name was perfect. Quinn. Our number 5. 

Since then a lot more has happened. They noticed a fibroid (didn't know what that was either) during my first ultrasound. So we decided to remove it in December in case it had any possible effect on my pregnancy. Long story short, after being put to sleep, the dr realized it would cause more harm to remove it. So it was left alone. Now we will keep an eye on it, and if it continues to grow, then we'll eventually have to remove it. 

The number one question I get now is "Will you have more kids?". The answer is I have no idea. I think about it every day. Should we try again? Should we just adopt? Is this a sign our family is complete? As in every aspect of our lives, we want to follow God's plan. Where ever he leads us we'll go. When the time comes he'll show us.

Until then, we'll keep living our lives. Raising the 4 beautiful kids we have here on earth, and teaching them to lean on him just the same. In the good and the bad. That is the one thing I took from this. Without Jesus, I don't know how I would have gotten through this. Even in my sadness, there is a comfort that cannot be explained. And that is beautiful. 

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Psalm 147:3

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Matthew 5:4

Monday, April 21, 2014

Freshly Picked Review and Giveaway!

If you follow me on Instagram you know this post was supposed to be up last week. However, a trip to the hospital postponed it to today. I'm feeling a lot better and so thankful for all your kind words! 

Having a baby boy means it's a lot harder to find cute clothes and accessories, so I'm always on the look out. I was in love the moment I saw Freshly Picked's moccasins on Instagram. That's why I love social media. Such a great way to find new products and companies to love. 

I was honored when Freshly Picked wanted to send me a pair of moccasins to review and one for a giveaway! Check out the details on the bottom of this post on how to enter to win a free pair of your own.

These shoes lived up to everything and more. I ordered a Weathered Brown pair because I thought they would match a lot. And they do! Next, I want to order another pair to add a pop of color to his spring and summer wardrobe. And I'm dying over those camo ones! They are 100% leather. I love how soft and well made they are. When I first put them on Micah, he seemed confused because they weren't the typical hard bottom shoe he usually wears. He quickly got over it though and ran off to play. It's nice that they are easy to slip on too, especially when you are a busy mom! 

One thing we are constantly battling Micah with is keeping his shoes on. He is always pulling them off. We literally do not put shoes on him until we arrive at the destination we are going, because as soon as we put him in the car, he rips them right off. But these moccasins are a miracle! They have an elastic band around the top that holds them on. So they fit just right with any foot size. It's hilarious though, because he cannot figure out how to get them off. The first time he tried he was so confused. He has since given up even trying. Score!

I think the best part about these shoes though, is that they look great dressed up or casual. They make the outfit. I literally find myself choosing clothes just to match these shoes. 

They are so well made, I can already tell they will handle being passed down sibling to sibling great. If you choose a gender neutral color, you can even pass them down to the opposite sex! We love these shoes and know you will too! If you'd like to order a pair visit www.freshly-picked.com

These gorgeous moccasins have been featured every where from Parenting Magazine, IN TOUCH, and US Weekly, to being sported by the adorable children of the Kardashians and Tori Spelling! 

Now if you want a chance to win a pair, all you have to do is follow me on Instagram (user name: SupermomvsMe) and share my Freshly Picked giveaway photo! Make sure to comment below my photo that you shared it. I will choose a winner Friday at 9pm! You can choose one pair of Freshly Picked moccasins in any color in children's sizes 1-10. Shipping is free, however this giveaway is for people in the continental US only. These shoes are valued at $60 a pair, so good luck to everyone! 

*While I was given these shoes in exchange for a review these opinions are solely mine! 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Word of the Year 2014

It has taken me a while to narrow down my "word" for 2014. It's hard to pick one that fits all my goals this year, but I finally picked one. 

Surprisingly my word this year is LESS. 

Yes, less. 

There are so many things I want more of this year, but to have more of something I need less of something else. 

I chose 12 things that I wanted less of, and I plan on blogging about a different one each month in 2014. 

In no particular order-

-Less spending, more saving
-Less electronics, more life
-Less sleeping in, more productivity
-Less no, more yes
-Less activities, more time
-Less stuff, more calm
-Less time indoors, more outdoor adventures
-Less jumping around, more focus
-Less schedule, more spontaneous
-Less processed food, more real food
-Less me, more random acts of kindness
-Less world, more God

I want to save for an addition on the house and pay for it in cash. I want to focus more on what's going on in real life then on a screen. I want to get up early and prepare better for my day. I want to say yes more to the kids then no. I want more time as a family, then time doing activities. I want less stuff cluttering our life. I want my kids spending more time outdoors then in. I want to stop jumping around from room to room on projects and finish one room at a time. I want to stop scheduling every single day and have more spur of the moment activities as a family. I want my family to eat real food that is not poisoning their body. I want to think of myself less and do more random acts of kindness. But most of all I want to care less of what the world wants of me and think more about what God wants.

These are a lot of goals. That is why I am taking baby steps. These things aren't going to change over night, but I hope by blogging about them every month it will keep me accountable. 

I want these to be permanent life changes. Which are going to take time to incorporate into our daily lives. 

I've never been so excited about LESS before. 

Last year was amazing but I cannot wait to see what 2014 has in store for us. Every year being a parent just gets better. 

Did you choose a word for the year? What are your goals? 

xoxo~ Jennifer

Friday, December 27, 2013

Master Closet Turned Baby Boy Nursery

We are not going to talk about how Micah is 15 months old and I am just now doing a full reveal of his master closet turned nursery. We are not going to talk about how a year and a half ago I made the pom poms for his room, and just hung them up last night. We are just going to pretend that this was all part of the plan. And just ignore the Christmas decor. It will all be gone next week. ;)

The story of our master closet turned nursery...

When we decided to have a 4th child, we knew we needed a separate space for him. A crib and all his supplies really wouldn't fit good in either kid's room. So after searching pinterest I came across a lot of closet nursery inspiration. Next thing Steve knew, I was tearing apart our closet and telling him he needed to build a new barnwood closet in our room for our clothes. As this room has no windows, it's extremely hard to get good photographs. So please excuse the bad lighting! And FYI- this room is 5x7. 

This has turned out to be my favorite and most special room in the house. I am going to be so sad when he outgrows it. We plan to move him in his big brothers room once he's about two and a half. So I am enjoying every minute of this sweet space.

The first thing you see is his crib and map. I wanted a big statement above his crib and my latest fascination with maps fit the bill. I first planned on only have a color scheme for his room. Aqua, orange, green, white, and grey. But somehow it started turning into a world/forest animals theme. A map above his bed, a map & places around the world on his frame wall, globes on his shelves, and a "world" quote on his chalk wall. I made the pom pom garland months before he was born and just hung it last night. Whoops.

His room was mostly furnished from Ikea for $300. That included crib, mattress, frames, light fixture, book shelves, shelves, and rug. The changing table was a baby shower gift, and his quilt was the biggest splurge from Etsy. It's my favorite piece and ties in all the colors. It's gorgeous!

On the left wall we added 2 shelves that we had left over from an Ikea bookshelf. We just purchased some new brackets. The pegboard we spray painted orange for a pop of color and plan on adding some baskets to it eventually. The globes, vintage toy car shadow box, and abacus came from yard sales and antique shops. Mixed in with some new items and a basket that holds his hats and extra blankets. Like I said, ignore the Christmas items. 

Next to the changing table we have his chalkboard with a quote that is dear to my heart. I really am trying to raise kids that will be the "good" in the world. To me it does not matter what they accomplish in life, being the "good" comes first. The chalkboard is actually a large framed picture. I just painted the glass with chalkboard paint and spray painted the frame. Then I used my silhouette to create stencils for the chalk art. 

Under it is a coat rack from Target and a letter M canvas. Everything in this room has to be functional or beautiful. Organization is a must in such a small space.

On the opposite wall is his frame wall. Full of fun prints and inspiration. Most frames are from Ikea and the others were picked up at yard sales and spray painted to match. Most items were downloaded prints and the others were created with my Silhouette.

Under the frame wall is his toy basket and rocking chair. The mini rocking chair is the first thing I purchased for him before I even knew if he was a boy or girl. :) The faux sheepskin rug and light fixture are from Ikea. I had a friend come install a new light fixture because the closet only had a dim florescent light in the beginning.

Now facing towards the door, on the left side is 2 Ikea spice racks turned book shelves. It's the perfect little reading nook. He has more books located in other bookcases in the house but these are his favorites. Whenever we walk out of his room and I'm carrying him, he always reaches for a book. He loves being read to.

The last and probably most functional thing is the shoe rack on the door. It was for my shoes, and I was going to remove it when I converted the room, but realized how many baby items it could hold. It stores his diapers, wipes, shoes, beanies, mittens, lotions, and more. I love having everything so close and in reach when I'm at the changing table.

Yes, this room is small. But it is perfect and sweet. Bigger isn't always better.

xoxo ~ Jennifer

Monday, December 2, 2013

Micah's Monster Theme 1st Birthday

On September 13th, 2013 my baby turned 1! In celebration of having a Friday the 13th birthday, we celebrated with a Monsters Theme. But before we get to the party let's take a look at this cutie's 1st birthday pictures. They were taken by Taryn Lewis of Sugar Tree Studios

And my 2 favorites:

Those eyes just slay me. 

Now to the fun stuff. His party! I decided to do an outdoor movie to enjoy the coming Fall. His theme was monsters and the colors were aqua, orange, white, and grey. 

I ordered these giant 36 inch balloons online and had them filled a local shop. Beware: the price of helium has risen b/c of a helium shortage. It cost over $7 a balloon to fill on top of already ordering them! Ouch! 

The balloons were my favorite part of the party decor though so it was all worth it!

Setting up before the party. 

Ugly Dolls were scattered around the party. 

This was the cupcake bar. Right before the party started we popped the eye ball cake pop in his monster smash cake. The kids enjoyed cupcake push pops with fun flavors like birthday cake, cookie dough, and cookies and cream. While the adults munched on mini cupcakes like cherry cheesecake, maple bacon, banana pudding, cake batter, white chocolate raspberry, cinnamon toast crunch, and more! Maple bacon was the hit of the night. 

I ordered them all from a local baker. She is amazing! Even his smash cake was a yummy flavor. Sugar cookie!  

I made a paper bunting banner and a mini fabric bunting banner. Then just used some wrapping paper from Home Goods to cover the sign above the buffet. 

The adorable cupcake pops even had little monster eyes on top!

Cutest smash cake ever!

I made a "chalk" art sign for above his food table with all his stats and favorite things. I just bought a foam board for $1.50 and tried 3 different types of markers before I found one that would show up on black foam boards. 

FYI- Sharpies do not work! You must use Max Pen UltraMark in Metallic. They are actually cheaper then Sharpies and show up great on black. 

Before the food was setup.

If you Instagram #Micahsbday913  ;)

I created all these banners for the backdrop of the photobooth and for the backdrop when he smashed his cake.

My little man. His shirt is from Etsy. 

He couldn't walk or stand alone yet. He just started walking recently at 14 months.

Only group photo we got all night. Isn't that how it always goes?

The kids had a choice of the trampoline, swimming, checkers, watching the movie, or just playing in the back yard. Plus there were kids hanging off the swing set and driving the power wheels into people. Oops!

He loved his cake and ate it so dainty. That's my boy. Never wanting to get messy. 

The coolest part of the night was the outdoor movie. And it only cost us $10 to make the screen! We just purchased the wood to make a frame. Then used an old pool cover, painted it white with left over paint, and stapled it on. I used Micah's pom poms from his room and some balloons to decorate it. 

Once it got dark the kids sat down and enjoyed the movie. 

We opened gifts in side with the adults while all the kids watched the movie. He got lots of lovely gifts from very special people. So thankful for those in our lives! Mommy and daddy went with the monster theme and got him the Tickle Monster Laughter Kit, and a fun puppet theater from Land of Nod. 

It was a wonderful day. I love planning parties, but my favorite are 1st birthdays! If you want to check out our previous 1st birthdays, you can find them here

This is Micah on the eve of his birthday, getting ready for bed. I'll leave you with my thoughts I instagramed on his birthday. As much as I love 1st birthdays, they are so bitter sweet!

"This time last year I was getting ready to go to my 38 week check up. Little did I know, I would be sent down to labor and delivery, by myself, with 3 kids. Lucky for me, the kids were angels, and a few hours later Micah Nolan Brown entered the world. 7 lbs and 19 inches even. He changed our lives just like each of our kids have. Bringing more love and joy then we can imagine. Completing our family in a way nothing else could. I thank God every day that I am so blessed to have my children. Watching them grow is so bittersweet. I'm enjoying every minute of his childhood but looking forward to one day meeting the man he will be."

Find Micah's birth story here, and his room tour will be up sometime this week. Finally! 

Only 14 months late...