Sunday, September 29, 2013


2 Days old. His first night home. He was so, so tiny! 6lbs 1/2 oz, 17 3/4" long. Preemie diapers, preemie onesies, sleepers, pretty much preemie everything. His pediatrician and I had such a hard time finding a formula he could tolerate. Finally we landed on Carnation Good Start and he gained some weight. As small as he was he always had chubby cheeks. They were perfectly squeezable! 

Thursday, September 19th, was Sully's 3rd birthday. All of them have been spent in heaven. The cemetery is a horrible place to spend your baby's birthday. There is just no getting used to it. This year I went up to Michigan for a few days. St. Joseph, MI, right on Lake Michigan. It is a beautiful place. For a long time I was alone on the beach to just watch and listen to the waves coming in. It has a long pier with a lighthouse. The weather wasn't great, but it matched my mood. 






God's grace and the hope I have in Jesus Christ that I WILL see my baby boy again got me through the day. Honestly, they have gotten me through everyday since January 11, 2011. I don't know how anyone survives this without this hope. I certainly couldn't have!

Happy Birthday, Sullivan Conner! Mama loves you and misses you, but I will see you again!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Women of Faith Weekend and a Random Rainbow

This August I decided to go to a Women of Faith conference in Indy. I had hoped my friend Laurie would be able to go too, but it didn't work out. Two weeks before the conference I decided I wasn't going to let that stop me from going. I wanted to go just that badly. This years Indy lineup included Lisa Harper, Angela Thomas, Liz Curtis Higgs, Sheila Walsh, CeCe Winans, Third Day, Mark Lowry, Gateway Worship, and ANGIE SMITH.  Yeah, she was the deciding factor for me. I have wanted too hear her speak for the last 2 1/2 years. 

I was able to choose my actual seat on the website, so I went with one that was the 2nd from the aisle. I do not like to be closed in! So, I left work Friday at 5 and headed East. I got there, parked, and went into Banker's Life Fieldhouse, then got nervous. Who in the world would I be sitting by? Would I lose it when Angie spoke? Totally worried for nothing. I've got to remember that God's got this! All I have to do is be obedient. He'll take care of the rest. When I got to my seat there were two ladies already there. I put my stuff down and they smiled and asked my name and where I was from. They were from Naperville, IL. One was a photographer and had a list of places she wanted to go. I was able to warn her off of one, and suggest another. They were so nice and just kind of adopted me in. They weren't as familiar with the artists as I was. You should know that I have a freakish memory and most of these people I had seen at Praise Gathering at one time or another. They would ask who someone was and I was able to fill them in a little. I'm fairly sure they think I'm a crackpot. Ha!! 😏😬😜 oh, well. 

7,000 + women worshipping an awesome God.

The conference was Friday night 7:30-10ish and Saturday 9-5. There was not a single disappointment the entire time. The 1st night CeCe brought The. House. Down! If you have never heard her live you are missing out! This woman has joy resonating from her. Amazing!

 The theme was Believe that God Can Do Anything. The speakers talked of doubts and messed up lives and faking it. They told personal stories from their lives. Lives that were difficult and messy and sometimes ugly. Lives that are being transformed by God. You want to know why these women have such a huge following? It's because they are real. They are honest about their struggles. They have lived through pain and grief and different types of abuse, and they are willing to put themselves out there. They speak of the pain. They talk about the hard stuff. They tell about messing up. Not just in the past but now too. They are real women with real lives and real struggles. They are obedient to God in sharing their lives to help others. 

Angela Thomas, Sheila Walsh, Lisa Harper, Angie Smith, Liz Curtis Higgs

Mark Lowry

Liz Curtis Higgs. She used to be a DJ in Indy before Bob and Tom!

Lisa Harper. She is adopting a sweet girl, Missy, from Haiti. 


Angela Thomas. She once yelled to her high school aged son, during a football game, to "Be the Sunshine"!!! 

Mac Powell from Third Day.



Angie and Lisa

Their shoes. Are. You. Kidding. Me?!! I couldn't walk across my living room in them let alone up steps and all around a stage! Lori, if you're reading this, I totally thought of you when I saw them!


Sheila Walsh. Could listen to her accent all day

Yep. I got to meet her! I didn't say one single thing except to thank her after the pictures were taken. I'm such a dork! 😜😳

Seriously, if you get a chance go to one of these conferences. Don't worry who's there or who's not, God will take care of that. He knows what we need to hear better than we do.

Also, one evening about 5 days later, we had a double rainbow. It was the brightest rainbow I've ever seen! I actually walked down the road to grab some pics wearing pajama bottoms and a t-shirt, barefoot! Again, I'm a dork. Lol!

It was a gorgeous evening.




Monday, September 9, 2013

Summer Catch-Up

   It's September......September 9th, 10 days until Sully's 3rd birthday in heaven. I think I'm going to just let that be for a while. I'll come back to it in the next post. For now, I'm going to hit the highlights of a busy summer. 
   This past July I went to Church camp. Ok, Peyton and Paige went to camp, inSchroon Lake, NY. That is a lonnggg way from Illinois, especially since they just turned 13 in February. Sandy decided it was a little far to send them on their own. So San, Reese, and I drove to upstate NY to spend a week at Word of Life. The kids camp is on a little island in the middle of Schroon Lake. We stayed in a cabin/chalet A-frame like housing thingy. 

 This is actually the one we were in. There are 3 separate units in it. I was on the upper level, Sandy and Reesie were on the bottom right. They were actually quite nice. They were air conditioned and had full baths and wifi. On the WOL Inn grounds, there was a dining hall, indoor swimming pool, Church, playground, daycare, tennis courts, all kinds of activities. Most everything was included with your week reservation. Pretty cool setup. 

 Sandy is sitting in the adirondack chair to the right. An adirondack chair in the adirondacks. 

We got to see the girls several times throughout the week. They participated in several things for TI (teens involved). They were in quizzing, drama, and choir. Paige was also in praise team and sang a duet with her friend Katie. They both did fantastic! Their Jr High drama took 1st place! We even got to ferry over to the island to see their cabin and some of the cool stuff they were getting to do. If you know me, you know that I. Love. The. Water. On it, in it, next to it, doesn't matter. I also have very little will power when it comes to water. I've been know to jump in fully clothed, or wade in, whatever I have to do to get in that water! 
   Reese was able to go a few hours a day to the daycare where they had a little vbs going on for family week. She had several friends from her home church who were also there. That definitely helped. She's 3 1/2. We drove from IL to NY. That's a long haul for a 3 yr old! She was happy to be on the playground with her friends. There's just not enough space to tell you all we did during the 8 days we were gone. I was able to go to Lake Placid one day and tour some of the Olympic sites. That was totally awesome. I get Real "into" the Olympics! We saw the ice where The Miracle on Ice actually happened. We also saw the ice where one of my all time favorite skaters Sergei  Grinkov died. I'll admit I had a moment. The town itself is great. Little shops and restaurants all over the place, cobblestone walkways, amazing churches around a little lake. 
   The 3 of us left a day before the big girls and went to Niagara Falls. Holy cow people! Get there some day if you can! It was amazing! The power and speed of the water was just ridiculous. I would like to say that Reese was excellent on the way home! Seriously! 


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Total Craziness of September 21, 2010

So, with inspiration from Lori, a bloggin' babyloss mama friend, (I'd insert a link, but I don't know how) I decided to write down some of the crazy events of September 21, 2010. The day I brought 2 day old Sully home. 
    I had worked all day, then got home and changed into pajama bottoms and a t-shirt. Yes, that's right 5 pm and already in pj's. That's how I roll 😏. Now, understand that I was on a list to foster-to-adopt list and had been for several months. I'd gone to weeks of classes, done the homework, filled out tons and tons of paper work, had a home visit, and been fingerprinted. It's not a short process. It is very detailed. Then, when finished, you wait. And wait, and wait. So, that Tuesday I wasn't really expecting to get "the" call. When everything first went through, I did sit kind of expectantly. After a while you go back to your regular life. Pj's at 5. 
    Around 6 something the phone rang. A voice on the other end said we have a 2 day old boy, are you interested. Ummm, yeah. I've been waiting my Entire life to be a mama! Literally. It's the only thing I've really ever wanted. In the classes they give you a list of questions to ask when the call comes in. To help you quickly determine if the baby/child is a good match. I. Asked. Nothing. Not one question. I honestly think I loved this baby from the second I knew he existed. I told her absolutely yes, and agreed to go pick him up. 
    This is where I turn into a maniac. Seriously crazy lunatic. I made a couple phone calls while I was trying to get dressed. Rambling, nonsensical calls. During this time, I was trying to find a pair of jeans to throw on. I could find nothing, nada. I was nuts! Throwing things around my closet. Hunting, searching. I could not find a single pair of jeans. So I threw on a pair of khaki capris. Next I start looking for a shirt. 3 or 4 shirts I put on and discarded onto the floor. I decide on a pink Illini t-shirt! What??!!  So, the best outfit (term used loosely!) I could put together was khakis and a tshirt with CROCS. I didn't put on any makeup. I didn't run a brush through my hair. I didn't brush my teeth. Nothing. It's a miracle they let me leave the building with that beautiful boy!
    Now, when I began this whole process I bought a convertible carseat. I didn't know exactly how old the baby would be, so I thought this was the smartest move. I have installed TONS of carseats. Tons. Infant carriers, forward facing convertibles, boosters. All of them. I had never, ever, ever put in a convertible REAR facing carseat. So, I'm out in the garage, in the backseat, trying my best with about 1/4 brain function. I tried and tried and tried. I called my sister, who hadn't seen the seat. I have it my best shot. And it was an air ball! Complete disaster. Completely wrong. It's hot in the garage and now I'm sweating in my khaki capris and pink tshirt. Nice. I got the seat in the best I could and decide to just go with it. Yeah. I was only going about 8-10 minutes away and I decide to drive 20mph on the way home. 
    I fairly flew to pick up MY baby!  Holy cow, I was going to get to be a mama! Can you say emotional?! I got there, the people were wonderful. Thankfully they looked passed the crazy. The moment they placed that sweet baby in my arms was life changing. Never had I felt such love. Instantaneously, completely head over heals in love with 6 lbs 1/2 oz, 17 3/4 inches of baby boy. After about 45 minutes I got to bring my guy home. This meant placing him in a nearly upright convertible carseat that wasn't installed correctly. Talk about praying continuously on the short drive home! Thank you, Jesus for this boy followed by please God, get us home safely!
    Home. Safe. In total shock! I'm not even sure I was blinking at that point! I'm going to post a couple pictures from that night. Look at them knowing that I was a little crazy and completely in shock, because they aren't pretty. Ha! 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hello,my name is....

Sorry I've been absent for a while. Within the last 2 weeks, I've read 2 blogs on making sure we don't silence our story. So, I'm going to give it a try. It's not a comfortable decision, it's a scary one! It's been a long year already. When you year Starts with the anniversary of your son's death, it can be easy to let that set the tone for all that is to come. That is a horrible way to stifle all the good God has in store for me. So, I'm going to start again. Today. May 30th. Jack's day. A Thursday and a 30!! Today, I start with prayers for my friend Laurie, as she starts the 1 month countdown to Jack's 2nd birthday in heaven. Today, I pray for my friend Charlene, who starts her 1 week countdown to Kaleb's 10th birthday in heaven. 10 YEARS! Today, I will get back into reading my Bible regularly. I was doing so good with this, then I got busy for a few days and started letting it slide. Before you know it a week has gone by, then a month... Today, I'm going to start with this: Hello, my name is child of the one true King. I've been saved, I've been changed, and I have been set free. (Matthew West)

Last week I had a complete hysterectomy. That's right. Gone, all of it. I'm 42 years old, so it wasn't likely that I'd be getting pregnant. I knew this, it wasn't a surprise. Now, it's a definite NO! Ok, God. Door closed. Sully was a child of my heart, not of my womb. It could happen again. I'm on a list. Thatisn't a definite no, at least not yet. Waiting.

So this month of May has meant another Mother'sDay without a child to help celebrate being a mama. Holidays at the cemetery aren't great, people! Follow that with surgery the week after and it's made for a really long month!

But, I have this hope: Higher than the mountains that I face, stronger than the power of the grave, constant in the trial and the change, One Thing...Remains. Your love never fails, never gives up, never runs out on me...... In Death, In Life, I'm confident and covered by the power of You Great Love. My debt is paid, there's nothing that can separate my heart from Your great love!! (Passion)

Clearly, God uses music to speak to my soul, to calm my fears, and heal my heart. I am so grateful for Christian music that speaks truth. When I'm Worn, He reminds me that I am Redeemed. (Worn, by Tenth Avenue North) (Redeemed, by Big Daddy Weave) He reminds me that there are 10,000 Reasons for my heart to find (Matt Redman)

Ok, ok. I'll stop with the songs. But seriously people! Listen to the words. HEAR the words. God also uses photography to soothe my soul. To show me His beauty, His creation. So, here are some of my favorites from my Mother'sDay spent at the butterfly exhibit and gardens at the zoo. Give yourself a big round of applause if you're still reading at this point!