Roots~ Part 2

What's a post without pictures?

My 18th birthday


Squeezing into my wedding dress- 6 months pregnant

We did it! We're married!

Welcome to the world sweet Ryan!

I love that face!


Our little family

I love that I got to share this part of our life with you, thank you for reading, and thank you for all of the sweet comments, you all made my heart happy. xo



**This was not easy to write, sorry my words and thoughts are all jumbled. Not all of this will make sense.

I was 17, and a senior in high school; I loved chasing boys (one in particular), going to football games, playing sports, clothes, friends, you know...teenager stuff. I was invincible, my head was in the clouds, and my biggest concern was a math test. I really didn't like math.

I was in love with a boy. This boy was different from the others--I didn't like him at first. He teased me and made my face turn all shades of red, he made me laugh when I wanted to look tough, and he wrote me beautiful love notes when I was 'already dating someone thank you very much.' My heart skipped a beat when I saw him and I knew I was crazy about this boy. By the time my senior year began, we had been dating for a year. He, being a year older, left and went to college. We kept in touch, and by 'keeping in touch' I mean we talked 3-4 times a day (long distance..sorry mom), sent letters, sent emails, and he made frequent trips on the Grayhound back home to see me. We talked and talked, sharing our dreams for the future, planning a wedding for one day. Aside from not getting to see each other every waking second of every single day, things were going great.

Just after Christmas break, I started feeling different. I couldn't put my finger on it, but just felt off. I had always had crazy irregular menstrual cycles (I feel like a 5th grade health teacher when I say it like that...I had whack periods) and assumed that was the culprit. I was looking forward and planning my future, college, that boy, moving, a wedding...then it all came to an abrupt halt.

I was at school and felt awful. The minute the bell rang to end the day, I made a beeline to see my mom at work. I didn't know what to say, I didn't know how to act, I didn't even know how to construct a sentence to describe this hunch that I had. I was nervous, my hands were sweating, my armpits were burning, I thought I might throw up...thank you overactive nervous system. My mom took one look at me and said "What's wrong?" I started crying and said "I don't know!"...silence..."Are you pregnant?" (how do moms know everything?) The tears unleashed and I said "I don't know!!" We made it to the truck. Silence. We drove in to town. Silence. We pulled into a Rite Aid parking lot, parked the truck, turned off the engine and my mom quietly said "I'll be right back." I cried and cried as I sat in the truck waiting. The silence was deafening. I had no idea what was going to happen, and naive, 17 year old me kept thinking "Man, I am so going to get grounded."

My mom returned with a small brown paper bag. In it was, in fact, a pregnancy test. I hopped out of the truck and my mom asked if I wanted her to come with me. I said 'no thank you' and made the trek into the movie theater. I was relieved to find the bathroom empty. My hands were numb, my heart was racing; I fumbled through the directions and peed on the stick. I sat and waited....for....a ...long...time. I picked up the stick, and there was my answer--I was pregnant, 17, and sitting by myself in the bathroom of a movie theater. It's amazing how, at times,you can feel calm in the middle of an emotional storm. I slowly walked back to the truck, pregnancy test in hand, and climbed in. With tears in her eyes, my mom asked, "So, what did it say?"

"I'm pregnant..." The tears poured, I couldn't breathe, I couldn't look at my mom. I remember saying "Why?! How could this happen to me?! What do I do?!" My mom was quiet, and then when I had calmed down she softly and so beautifully said, "Well, we are going to have this baby." She smiled at me and started the engine. Silence. We drove home. The whole time thinking--thinking about that boy and what he would say. Would he run? Would he hang up on me? Would I be on my own to raise this baby?

I called him. I distinctly remember how cheerful he was when he answered. I couldn't hold my shaking voice together, and finally blurted out the words "I'm pregnant..." Silence. And then he said matter of factly "Well, we will just have to move our wedding up then, how fast can we plan one?" We laughed and cried together on the phone, and made plans for him to come see me that weekend. He was amazing. He was so loving, so kind, so strong and steady. That was the strength I needed to hear, those were the words I played over in my mind as I broke the news to my little sister, to my step dad, to my dad and grandparents. The reactions were not all as easy or gentle as my mom's had been, but I had the support of those closest to me and that's all I needed.

I waited to tell my friends at school. It was so hard to bear that secret; walking around knowing that I was different, that I had changed, but no one else knew. The morning (actually all day and night) sickness started and it was getting harder and harder to hide my secret. My friends and teachers didn't understand why I was running out of the classroom so often. The rumors started and that was the beginning of my hell. Some friends stayed, my very closest friends judged me, some turned their backs on me, people just watched when I would walk down the hall. The fake smile that I once gave to others was now the cold look I received. Little miss popular became the school's whore. Through all of this, I bonded with the sweet baby I was carrying. I knew that no matter what happened, we would be together.

School drug on. Aaron, that boy I was crazy about, called me all the time. He tried to come home from school almost every other weekend. He was supportive and wonderful, along with my mom, step dad, and sweet little sister; I had the best support I could have ever asked for. I needed it, not only to make it through each day of school, but to soon face harsh words of judgement.

I had a very private, special relationship with God. He was mine and I loved that no one in the world knew what I told him. I didn't regularly attend church, but didn't (and still don't) believe that you had to be a part of a church body to have a precious relationship with Christ. Aaron's family attended a small baptist church, and many of the people that attended went to my school. Some of the parents worked at my high school and I had known them since grade school. This connection made what happened next heart shattering. Aaron and I received a letter in the mail from the Mom's In Touch group from Aaron's church, which is a group of moms that meet to pray for their children. To our shock, the letter was not one of support or love, but instead one of cold, hard judgement. The letter said that 'Aaron and I would be going to hell for our sins. The only thing to do was to have an abortion.' The letter was ugly. Defeating.
**Not all 'Mom's In Touch groups are this way, and not all of the women in this particular group were a part of this letter.
I have to be honest and say that after this letter, I wanted nothing to do with organized religion, ever again...little did I know, God had a big plan for us and somehow, all of this brokenness and hurt would become beauty.

We pushed on. On May 31st I turned 18, on June 5th I graduated high school, and on June 7th Aaron and I got married. What a week!! We moved in with Aaron's parents for the summer and then moved up to Portland so Aaron could finish college. We had our own sweet place and were so in love. On September 9th 2003, we had a boy. A beautiful boy, Ryan. I fell in love all over again. He was perfect!

The years that followed brought so much healing, strengthening, and beauty. There have been hard times and struggles, but God has carried us when we felt we couldn't go on. He is our rock, our redeemer, our love, our father. We have now found a church that we call home, friends that have welcomed us with no judgement, and the constant support of our family.

I am now 24. I have four absolutely precious children and a husband, soul mate and best friend (celebrating 7 years of marriage this year!) I look back and wouldn't change any part of our past, as it has shaped who we are now and who we will grow to be.

God has breathed so much beauty into brokenness and I am thankful for each day of this life.

Riddle me this

What is itchy, miserable, painful, and red all over?

Me with adult chicken pox.

Last Monday I came down with a fever, body aches, stomach stuff...the list goes on. I thought for sure it was the stomach flu or maybe that I ate something bad. After two days of the symptoms getting worse and not better...the infamous red spots started to appear. I had been exposed to the virus as a child, but never got it. I thought for sure that I was immune. Guess not.

I am now on day six and feeling worse by the hour it seems. I will spare you the gruesome details of this illness, but needless to say, I will be taking a break from this space until I can drink without heavy anti nausea and move my joints without truckloads of ibuprofen.

Anna and Tyler got it as well. Ryan and Tyler have had the vaccine (which is only 70% effective) and Tyler still got it...three to be exact. He is fine now. Anna is on the upswing of hers and poor sweet Aiden will be getting it within the week.

Aaron is a real life superhero. He loves me so much and the way he takes care of me and the kids is so selfless, kind, and precious.

Healthy thoughts!

I can do this, I can do this, I can do this....