Friday Happenings

Now it's time for my favorite part of the week! It's been a few weeks since linking up, but I love my girls Karli and Amy, so it's time to link up again ;)

We celebrated Memorial Day with family and friends this weekend. We are having a lot of rain here though. So it was more like reenacting Noah's Ark all weekend.
My look

Rae's Look

We went to visit our Papa (Raegan's great grandfather) on Tuesday. He sure loves his Raegan and we want to spend as much time as we can with him.

We just got Raegan's new teether in the mail and to say Raegan loves it is an understatement!

This mama had a MUCH needed girls night out with my baby boot camp girls last night! We went to a local winery and enjoyed some vino and pizza!

Kyle works half days on Fridays, but most of the time he ends up working the whole day, BUT today he came home by 1pm! It was so amazing to have the whole afternoon with him. So we had to go to the park and enjoy this break from the rain.
I forgot a bow for Raegan. Don't judge please :)

Hope you have a great weekend!

Trend Spin Link up- Dressed Up

Happy Tuesday! Today I'm linking up with a couple of great ladies and showing you how we like to dress up! I love a good maxi dress. In Texas it's hot. Like REALLY hot! And a maxi dress is so nice to wear because they are flowy and cool! And cute! And Old Navy has the best prices! I snagged this maxi for $25! What's your favorite way to dress up? Show us and link up below!

Real Moms

A blogger friend of mine, Meredith, wrote a blog post that really struck a chord with me and she graciously allowed me to write a version of her post to fit what has been on my heart.

She is a twin mom and she wrote about how she's noticed lately twin moms' feelings of "isolation" have turned to a feeling of "superiority" to singleton moms since they birthed 2, instead of 1. How snide comments like "It must be nice to only have one..." or "You think that sounds like a bad day..." insinuates a twin mom is better, stronger, and more loving than other moms. (even if it wasn't intentional).

And I began thinking. The same thing happens with moms who had to take to infertility treatments to have their children {raising my hand}. Our feelings of "isolation" have turned to feelings of "superiority" since we had to endure so much to have these children. For many of us, we waited years and years to have a child. The longing and wanting of that child{ren} was and is strong. Stronger than anything we ever wanted. Possibly even more so than our naturally conceiving friends. 

I have sat silently listening to "friends" say terribly, hurtful comments like "Are you sure you don't just want to take 1 of my kids?" or "I totally understand how you feel. It took us 4 months to get pregnant." These comments hurt. I know they do.

But on the other side, I've also heard comments like "It must be nice to get pregnant in 2 months..." or "You think you had a hard time conceiving..." almost making it sound like we are superior to the moms who conceived naturally.

Please know, I'm just as guilty. Thinking, feeling, and saying the exact same things as my fellow infertile sisters.

No one doubts the difficulties we have faced. I've never met anyone who has heard my story and said that I've had it easy or they wished they could go through what we went through. No, they always grab my hand and give me a squeeze as if saying "I'm so sorry". These gestures and comments drive some women crazy, but I don't think we're allowed to have it both ways. 

We can't get upset at someone for making comments that may or may not have been made in malice and then turn around and make comments that may insinuate that we are better, stronger, or more deserving of our baby because of our struggle.

Bottom line: All moms love their children something fierce and deserve to be a mom.

Having to do infertility treatments didn't make us moms - having kids did.

We're all real moms.

No matter how we go there.

Keeping Face

I hate having dry skin.

Like really hate it.

Especially on my face.

I'm always searching for a new lotion to try and most of the time I'm left out to dry. 
did you see what I did there? ;)

That was until I found Bellatora products.

As soon as I started rubbing it into my skin, I knew I had found a keeper.

The lotion itself is so soft and made my skin feel the same way.

I'm always having to reapply lotion after a few hours because I feel that my skin gets dry again, but not this lotion.

It has a 48 hour time release ingredient that helps keep your skin moisturized and smooth for up to 48 hours.

They also have an anti-aging eye cream and these days this mama will try anything to get rid of the oh so lovely under eye bags.

I know I'm not the only one.

Raise your hand if you have the mama bags. Come on, don't be shy!

sponsored post: This post was sponsored by Bellatorra, but all opinions are my own!

To All Moms {To Be}

As Mother's Day approaches, I've had this comment said to me numerous times over the past couple days.

"Are you excited for your first Mother's Day?"

Immediately my heart beats quickens and my hands clench, and I want to reply with, "This isn't my first Mother's Day."

But I always kindly respond with a smile, "Of course I am!"

At first look, this is my first Mother's Day. This is the first time that I'm "allowed" to celebrate being a mother because I have a living child.

But what about when I wasn't a mom, but wanted to be?

Does that not count?

Mother's Day 2013 we were waiting. I wanted to be a mom then, badly.

Mother's Day 2014 I was pregnant, but still mourning the loss of our first baby. I was still a mother even though I was told I was only a "mother to be."

To the mom who is still "waiting",
Happy Mother's Day.

To the mom who isn't considered a "mom" yet because you've lost your baby,
Happy Mother's Day.

To the mom who is newly pregnant after years of waiting but isn't considered a "mom" yet,
Happy Mother's Day.

To the mom who has a living baby and an angel baby,
Happy Mother's Day.

The the mom who is still waiting for their child through adoption,
Happy Mother's Day.

You are a mom. It's engraved in your DNA, whether or not your child has been born yet.

I pray that you will feel the peace of God wrapped around you tomorrow as you face one of the toughest holidays in the life of a mom who is still waiting or has lost their child. Even for the moms who have a living baby, but an angel baby in Heaven, I pray God grants you the same peace.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” {Psalm 34:18}
a letter given to my by sister for Mother's Day 2013

Cleft Palate Surgery

The day finally came. I could barely sleep the night before, but it was finally here. 9 months in the waiting and it was time.

We woke up and headed out around 6:30am. We had to be at the hospital by 8:30am and the hospital was downtown and we knew we would be hitting traffic. So we left with plenty of time to get there and even stop by Chick-fila. This mama bear needed some chicken minis and a DP, pronto!

We got to the hospital around 8am with plenty of time and headed to admitting to get checked in. Once we were checked in, they sent us to the waiting room to be called back for pre-op along with everyone else who was there for surgery that day.

Ugh. This part was terrible. Raegan hadn't eaten since 11:30pm the night before and she was a bit cranky, but not too bad. We were waiting for about 2 hours when they finally called us back. They weighed her and our doctors came back to talk to us one of time, which was so nice for this anxious mama's heart.
Our ENT came in to discuss the bronchoscopy they would be performing to check her airway before doing the cleft repair. Due to her PRS (Pierre Robin Sequence) diagnosis, they worried that her airway would be difficult for them to intubate and possibly extubate her after surgery. They said she could possibly need to stay intubated if she couldn't handle breathing on her own. Fortunately, her air way was considered "normal". Thank the Lord! He came out and updated us during surgery and it was such a weight lifted.
 She was all smiles for the most part. Always her sweet self with a little tad of cranky, but I would have been too if I hadn't eaten in 12 hours.

They took her back to the OR and she went willing to the nurses. Of course. She loves everyone. Kyle and I lost it. I couldn't keep it together. I couldn't protect her anymore. I wouldn't be there when they put in the IV or when she woke up from surgery. It broke my heart.
Then the wait began. Thankfully the nurses updated us each hour and they actually finished the surgery early. They sent us up to ICU and again we waited until they brought her down.

Surgery went perfectly!

They finally came to get us and as soon as we entered the ICU, I heard her crying. Then I started crying. A nurse was holding her and as soon as Raegan saw me, she reached for me and this momma's heart grew 2 sizes. We were finally reunited.
Can you tell how happy I was?

She was very swollen and in a lot of pain. 

At one point I just couldn't handle it anymore. Watching her cry in pain was too much for me. My sister took her and rocked her and sang to her. I am so thankful for her. Right when I couldn't be strong, she stepped in and took over. I am so lucky to have her as a sister.

I sang "Our God" by Chris Tomlin for hours. The words were encouraging to me and the sound lulled Raegan to sleep each time she got upset.

But once we got her some pain meds she slept most of the afternoon and evening.
The evening and night time were very tough. She wanted to be held constantly, but wasn't sleeping well because she felt terrible.

Kyle and I switched off back and worth holding her and sleeping in the chair. I would say we got maybe a total of 2-3 hours of sleep.

We tried getting her to eat but every time the bottle went into her mouth and she sucked, she pushed it away. Finally around 4am she started eating again. And by 7:30am our sweet love bug was back!
Her energy levels were back up and it was almost like she never had surgery. She even started pulling off all her wires. We couldn't keep her still. She was all over the place!
We were expecting a weekend stay in the hospital and now they were talking about letting us go home!
Her doctor stopped by, checked her out, and said if we wanted to we could go home. He wasn't surprised by Raegan at all. He knows she's a strong one!

So we went home less than 24 hours after surgery. We were shocked, but knew God was the reason why. We are so grateful for all of the prayers and well wishes.

She is definitely a little warrior!

Every day that passes she gets better and better.

Our next obstacle is that her cleft doesn't open back up. Our post op is in 3 weeks. If it doesn't open up in that time, than it never will. There's a 17% chance that it could open back up. Please pray it doesn't.

And to make things even more fun, we are 4 days post-op and she's trying to take her first steps. 

How is she old enough to do this?

Texas Bluebonnets

It's kind of a right of passage if you live in Texas, you must take pictures in the bluebonnets every spring.

And I have to admit, up until a few weeks ago, I never have.


Now that you've picked your jaw up off the ground, take a look at these beautiful pictures that Melanie Melugin Photography took. She is absolutely amazing!

Could she be any more cute?

I think not.

I Will Gladly Serve

Last night while reading Raegan her bedtime story from her The Beginner's Bible we read the story of Jesus healing the blind man.

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”

“It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him."

My eyes immediately welled up. 

Amazing how God' s word does that to you.

From the beginning I've always said that God's purpose through all of this was so that God's glory could be shown.

We are infertile to bring God glory.

Raegan was born with a cleft palate to bring God glory.

But only if we allow our story to.

Kyle and I could cry and lament about the trials that we've been through and how God has abandoned us in our time of need, which I have felt sometimes, but that's not what God calls us to do.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
Proverbs 3:5-6

God calls us to trust in Him with ALL our heart! That has been hard for me at times. It was hard when we lost our baby. I was angry and I was frustrated that He would give us what we had been wanting and take it away just as quickly.

I turned away from God after our loss. I admit it. I didn't want anything to do with Him, but during that time God was molding our story so that His faithfulness would be shown.

Cue Raegan.
She is the definition of God's faithfulness and her story shines His light daily!

I get goosebumps thinking about all of the times that I've been approached by friends who are blown away by our/her story. From the beginning of IVF through her cleft palate repair, God has been present.

I am so proud of my daughter's story. 

I am proud of our infertility journey.

Because in the end, God's glory is what matters. 

And if we can take part in His amazing plan, just a little bit, I will gladly serve.
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