Thursday, May 31, 2007

Email #2

Not long ago I copied an email that I sent to our family and friends while right after we returned from San is the second in the series.


Hello Family & Friends

God is awesome! Wanted to share what has happened over the past couple of days...

House update:
We sold the house, finally! We couldn't understand why it took so long, but it is easy to see when we look back now. Here is the story of how God worked in it all...

The Designer's Dad works with a man who knows of two different people that have babies with Spina Bifida. The man gave him the name and number of one lady who had the inutero surgery so that I could contact her (this was prior to us going to San Francisco). I tried calling her several times, but always to no avail. I had to leave messages. It was the night before we left for CA and I was desperate to speak to her so I called one last time. Although her answering machine picked up, she cut in and finally we were able to speak. I quickly learned that she did NOT have the inutero surgery and was a bit disappointed at first because I had already spoken to people who did not have the fetal surgery. I was hoping for info from the other.

Ironically she lives in Holland, MI (for those that are here in CO, that is the neighboring city of where I grew up). She was telling me about her adorable 7 month old son and how well he is doing with his advancements. When I told her I was calling from Denver, she was amazed that I had her number. She had no idea how I could have gotten it. She then went on to say that her brother was getting married at the end of June and the two of them were moving out to Denver in July or August. Jokingly I suggested they buy our house. The conversation went on for a while and then we hung up.

About 15 minutes later her brother called and we talked for a long time. I gave him some advice on living in Denver and places to go and so on. He asked about the house, I gave him the website and MLS# and the call was ended. (Side note: The reason they were moving to Denver was so his so-to-be wife could attend CU for an architectural degree, which is the degree The Designer had just graduated from there with- small world!)

The next morning we were off to San Francisco. We were in the taxi and I called The Designer's mom for info on something and I told her about my conversation with the guy moving to Denver. She suggested that if we stayed in CA (remember, we weren't sure if we would be staying or leaving!), she should invite this man and his fiance to drive out with them to move the rest of our stuff and then they could see the house. She called him to suggest it and he said he had already been in contact with his bank because he really liked what he saw on the website.

On Friday we were walking down the halls to our appointment to learn if we would have fetal surgery or post natal surgery and me cell rang. It was the guys' dad calling me. He said that the son was too busy with the wedding and wanted to know if it would be ok for him to fly out to see the house on Wed. or Thurs. This man is the father of the lady I originally spoke with, so he knew exactly what we were going through with our baby and was very compassionate and understanding. I told him that was fine, he could come to see our house, and we would let him know whether we would be there or if he would have to let himself in using the lock box.

Fast forward to Thursday morning. This man flew in Wed. night and was at our house Thurs. morning to see it. He was very excited about the house, the neighborhood, and the possibility of his children living here. He asked me lots of relative questions, looked the house over thoroughly and then took video to show the family. He was here for about an hour. He said he would talk to us by the weekend probably.

Fast forward to Sunday. I was taking a nap on the couch and the do started barking and the doorbell rang. I got up and there was a realtor standing on the front step. She had clients she wanted to take through the house (has she never heard of a phone before???) I told her the house was not completely cleaned and that I would need a few minutes to get the dog outside. She was ok with that. The people loved the house and wanted to make an offer contingent on the sale of their home. I told the realtor I would have to speak with The Designer (who has been Chicago for a conference this entire time!) and let her know back by the evening or early the next morning.

I called the people in Michigan and told them that I was not rushing the, but that there was another offer on the table and I wanted to give them an opportunity before I even considered the other offer. They were just about ready to talk about the house as a family. I received a call back about an hour later and they said they wanted the house definitely!!! So, we are in the process of getting it official. They want to move in Aug. 1 and I was planning to move on July 21, so that works perfectly. God is so in control!

The Designer's Job:
Quick update here...The Designer was made an offer at *** Architectural Firm. That is the firm that he really liked best of all of the firms he interviewed at. They didn't really have a position for him, but they created one and want to work with him in the area that he is interested, which is educational facilities. They have excellent benefits, which include 100% insurance for the entire family starting on the first day of employment. God is so awesome!

I went to the dr. on Friday just for a regular checkup (as if I didn't have enough last week in CA!) She is measuring fine and moving all around. I think she knows when I am excited because she moves around a lot more too! We are tentatively scheduled for a flight to CA on Sept. 6 with a possible c-section on Tuesday, Sept. 7. They have to do an amnio to check her lungs and if she is ready, they will take her that afternoon. If her lungs aren't ready, they will wait for a week and then take her. I think it is going to feel like a long summer waiting on her arrival!!! Regardless of the day she is born, she will have her back surgery the next day. They will have to watch the hydrocephalus (fluid on her brain) for a few days to see if that drains naturally, and if not, they will then insert a shunt. There is a high chance that she will need a shunt, but we are praying that she will not!

Prayer requests:
1) Continued good news about the baby at dr.'s visits. Healthy delivery. Easy surgery. No shunt.
2) The Designer will make a solid decision about his job opportunity. He has a couple of other possible opportunities that he is waiting on for a few days before he makes his final decision about *** firm.
3) That the house sale goes smooth.

Thanks to all of you for your continued prayers. I am sure you can see how your (and our) prayers have been answered over the past few days after reading this letter. We know that miracles can happen and if we all continue to pray we could have even more amazement (and miracles) when our baby is born.

Love to you all- The Designer & The Professor

I wanted to add that at the time I wrote this letter, we didn't know one more interesting fact. The people that ended up buying our house actually are The Designer's shirttail relatives. His biological father's wife is the aunt to the guy that bought our house. Actually, The Designer and the guy who bought our house used to play when they were children! Small world, indeed.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Letter to my daughter

I just stumbled upon this letter I wrote to Lil' Bug when she was just a couple months old. It made me smile...
Hello my darling daughter, Lil' Bug.

I am so happy you are finally here. The day your daddy and I learned that we were pregnant with you was one of the happiest days of our lives so far. We knew we were going to have a baby, but we didn’t know anything about you. We talked a lot about who you would look like and who you would act like. It wasn’t until you were born that we realized you are the perfect blend of both your daddy and me. You have your daddy’s long, beautiful eyelashes and many of your facial expressions resemble his. You have my dark brown hair and many people have said that your pretty little rose petal lips look like mine. And even though you have some of our characteristics, you are so much an individual. You are one of a kind. You are Lil' Bug.

You have no idea how much you have changed and blessed our world. Before you were born both your daddy and I worked full time. Your daddy still works as an architect, but I no longer work as a teacher. I believe teaching is one of the most important jobs in society, but it doesn’t even come close to the importance of being a stay at home parent. I get to see your every move each and every day. The first time you gave me a real smile it brought tears to my eyes and warmed my heart for days. It was like an addiction. I worked very hard to get the next few smiles and eventually they just started coming all the time. I didn’t think there was anything better than that in life. That is until I heard you laugh out loud for the very first time. It was music to my ears and my heart began to dance.

I look forward to every day we get to share together. Soon you will be rolling over and sitting up on your own. Not long after that you will take your first steps, start school, and you will eventually become an independent young lady. My promise to you is that I will cherish you every moment of every day. I will always be your biggest cheerleader in life. Set your sights high because you can do anything you set your mind to. You will make mistakes. Everyone does. But, you can always learn from your mistakes so don’t ever feel like you have failed. Just look at it as a life lesson and move on. By doing this, you will be the women God intended you to be and nothing less.

And now I leave you with this…don’t just dream, baby girl, dream big!

Love always and forever,

Your mommy

Reflection of our weekend


What a busy weekend we had! It started out with a wedding on Friday night. The Designer's cousin got married. Sure did make us feel old. He was the Jr. Groom in our wedding and here he is the "real" groom nearly 11 years later. Time sure flies.

I wanted to include a cute movie of Lil' Bug doing the Funky Chicken dance, but I can't get it to upload....bummer!!!! However, here is a cute pic of her and I together on the dance floor.

The next morning we headed north to go camping at my uncle's property. It was mostly family, but a few friends were there as well. Lil' Bug was the only kid. She got a lot of attention! Which is exactly the way she likes it. It was her first time sleeping in the pop-up camper and she had a fantastic time!

That brown hairball in front of Lil' Bug is her "uncle" Norton, my parents dog (if you want to call it that!) Norton was our overnight guest as he slept at our feet. Lil' Bug found that very amusing.

Lil' Bug loves to go on the quad. We forgot her helmet, so she couldn't ride this time, but she got to sit on it. When she does "ride" it is literally down the driveway and back at about 3 mph. Here she is with her Grandpa.

Lil' Bug went fishing for the first time! She caught a fish. Well, sort of! She had a LOT of help from her daddy. Here is a cute little video of her catching her first fish. She isn't that amused by it all! Her daddy is an avid fly fisherman, hence the fishing "gear" he is sporting! :)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Will your heart get big?

This morning Lil' bug and I were talking. She is infatuated with hearing stories about when she grew in my tummy. She asks about it almost on a daily basis. I love to tell her about when she would kick me, when she would get the hiccups and so much more.

So, this morning she says, "Mommy! I want to see the baby in your tummy."

I answer, "There is not a baby in my tummy."

Bug, "There isn't?"

Me, "Nope, the next baby that God brings into our family will grow in my heart, not my tummy."

Long pause...processing....

Bug, "Will your heart get big?"

Me, "Yes, but you won't be able to see it!"

Yes, I think that by the time we were done with that conversation, I had thoroughly confused my darling Lil' Bug!

Here is another funny story about Lil' Bug's fascination with babies...

Lil' Bug is addicted to "A Baby Story." Yes, I know...watching it is torture for me, but for some reason I do it anyway. Well, Lil' Bug loves it. Since she is only 2, I didn't really think anything bad could come from watching it.

One day, right after watching it, I brought Lil' Bug into her room to change her diaper. I laid her on her changing table and she instantly lifted her legs in the air and started grunting and groaning very loud. At first I didn't know what she was doing...I asked her. Her response, "I having a baby out my bellybutton!" Grin from ear-to-ear...I was in absolute hysterics! However, she is no longer allowed to watch "A Baby Story" because I am not interested in explaining anything like that to my 2 year old daughter!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Thanks, helped to distract me for a while this afternoon with this good stuff:

Your Personality is Somewhat Rare (ISTP)
Your personality type is reserved, methodical, spirited, and intense.
Only about 6% of all people have your personality, including 3% of all women and 8% of all menYou are Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, and Perceiving.

and another:
You Are 8% Sociopath
You're empathetic, loyal, and introspective.In other words, there's no way you're a sociopath... but you can spot one pretty easily!

Not sure what I think about this one:
You May Be a Bit Dependent...
You're more than a little preoccupied with being abandoned.You need a lot of support in your life, at all times.It's difficult for you to survive on your own...And you don't reallly think you ever could.


Another match....

Well, we had our first prebirth meeting yesterday with N. Can I just say that I am smiling from ear-to-ear right now? It went as well as a prebirth meeting can go, I think.

I originally heard about N about 6 weeks ago. We have had many, many let downs along our adoption journey, so I have sort of become numb when I hear about possible matches. I don't do it on purpose, but it just hurts too bad to hear that you are narrowed down to two and then not selected. Not to mention when you are selected and have a failed match. After a while, the thought crosses your mind: What is wrong with us? Anywho, upon learning that N was going to be looking at profiles, we felt the same way, sort of indifferent.

We did get a call a couple of weeks later telling us she had narrowed down the profiles to ours and a couple of others. It was strange this time around...I felt like there was a great chance ours would be selected. I didn't really have a good reason why, but just had a "gut" (or was it a God?) feeling about it, but still didn't think about it much at all.

Then we got the call that she had, indeed, selected us and wanted to meet us. I was cautiously happy. The time they wanted to meet didn't work out with DH's schedule, so it was put off another week and the time finally came. We had our first prebirth meeting with her. The is the first time since we started the adoption process that I have not been nervous, stressed, anxious or anything else a possible match. Seriously, there has been a peace within me that passes all understanding (thank you, God!). Even though N has some very risky requests, the peace stands. I don't think that means that this adoption is going to take place with no problems. What I think the peace means is that DH and I are ready to handle the situation no matter how it ends up, whether the baby ultimately ends up in our home or in N's...that, my friend, is peace!

Those prebirth meetings are just so odd to me. First, I am not sure I think that meeting a potential birthmom prior to birth is a good idea for her sake or the adopting families sake. With that said, we were not going to decline her request, so we went. Our SW told us what she new about N and her mom, so we were sort of prepared. They arrived about 10 minutes after we did, and I must admit that is the first time I was just a teeny-tiny bit nervous. I wondered if she changed her mind about meeting us, but she didn't.

We talked about some very deep things at our first meeting. Things that I am glad were put on the table right away. It is nice to not have something looming over us until the next time we meet. I want to be 100% honest with N and I hope she will do the same. Our first meeting was a great start to that.

She is a wonderful young lady. Some people may see her and question that, but she is wonderful! I really respect her for the person she is aside from the fact that she now faces this huge decision. I look forward to getting to know her more. I look forward to spending more time with her. I look forward to her becoming a part of the "family" even if she chooses to not place her baby with us. Many in the waiting phase of adoption can't understand that, but it is true. I believe with all of my heart that God doesn't cross people's paths in such an intense way without a bigger purpose and if that doesn't mean us adopting this baby, then I fully believe it means something else and that is cool.

We went into the meeting not knowing the sex of the baby. Ordinarily that would have driven us nuts, but not so this time. We just figured they couldn't tell at her u/s. When we first sat down, N referred to the baby as a "her" so I asked, are you having a girl or do you simply suspect you are having a girl? She said she is having a girl! A girl!!! woohoo...if this is the baby for our family, we will have another daughter. I couldn't be happier!

We will be meeting with her and her mom again in the next couple of weeks. We are playing it by ear due to schedules and such, but they have our phone number and email address. Her mom said that she would contact us to set something up soon. Her mom has to be involved because N doesn't drive, so mom has to transport her. The next meeting, Lil' Bug will attend. That will be a fun meeting. Lil' Bug is a wonderful kiddo and I am sure she will embrace N and her mom in a matter of seconds. Oh, I can't wait!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Email #1

This is the 1st email I sent to our loved ones...

Hello to all of our family and friends-

The Designer and I had a busy past few days! Where do I begin....

Day #1
We left our house on Thursday morning at 4:30am. It was very difficult for me because I was not sure if I would see my "puppy" again until Sept. or Oct. and as most of you know, he is definitely one of my best buds. I was not sure when I would see Denver again. Also, I was not sure if I would be back to Colorado or if this was goodbye forever to my life here. Also, the day before was my last day at work and I am not going to be a Legacy next year, so that was challenging saying goodbye as well. Overall, I was just VERY emotional.

When we left for San Francisco we were hoping and praying that we would be selected for the inutero surgery group. We wanted to give our little "princess" the best chance for a "normal" life and felt that that would be the best chance of doing so. We were, however, praying still that God's will be done and not ours!

We arrived at the San Francisco airport at around 8:30am and took a shuttle to our bed and breakfast, which was one block away from the university hospital. Our first appointment was at 10:00am. It was for an ultrasound. We got to see great pictures of our little girl. She was a wiggle worm, which is pretty typical lately. The sonographer was friendly, but did not give us much information. The doctor came in and spent some time with us, but did not really talk to us much either. That was frustrating because we wanted to know what was going on. We asked if he could see where the lesion was at on her back and he said he was trying to find it and never did tell us. Thankfully, we found out from someone else later (more on that later).

We were supposed to meet with a social worker and some of the other doctors for consultations, but we were behind because our first appointment took so long. Instead of the consultations, we ate lunch before our next appointment, which was with the cardiologist at 1:00pm. The cardiologist looked very closely at the baby's heart. She said what all of the other doctors had said since we learned we were pregnant. "Wow, she has a beautiful, strong heart!" Nothing wrong there!! While I was laying on the table having the Echo, Dr. Harrison came in. We had no idea who he was, but soon found that he is deemed, "the grandfather of fetal surgery." He is the guy that was going to actually open me up and get the baby ready for the neurosurgeon to do his magic. He was so friendly and calming. It was a relief to meet him. He is the one who told us that the ultrasound found that the lesions is in the L5-S2 range. That is lower than we had originally thought and probably means a better prognosis with regards to her mobility. We are very pleased to hear that.

After the Echo we finally met with Stephanie, the social worker. She was very high strung, but very nice. She said that we were holding up remarkably well (better than most) and wanted to know how we were really feeling. Besides tired we responded that there was no reason for us to worry because God had everything under control and that is exactly how we wanted it. She commended us for that. She then had the perinatologist come in. He would also be part of the surgical team. He came in and talked about the inutero surgery itself. He explained the risks and rewards. He reminded us that there was no confirmed rewards to the inutero surgery and that is why this is a clinical trial (experimental) in the first place. He then added that there were additional risks in my situation. The baby is breach and the placenta is on the front side of my uterus. Because of this, they would have to take the entire uterus out of my abdomen, flip it over, make the incision and do the surgery on the baby. The extra risk revolved around the placenta. If anything happened to that, the likelihood was that the baby would not survive! They have done some surgeries with this additional risk, but could not really give us statistics on it. He told us a lot of other things, but The Designer and I both left having some serious red flags about the inutero surgery. We met with the neonatologist and he explained the consequences of a premature birth, which was likely to happen if we did have the fetal surgery. After those consultations were over we had a little break (not long enough for a nap though!).

We got to finally meet the surgeon that would actually do the repair on the baby's back. Dr. Gupta is one of the best neurosurgeons in the world! He was very direct and at times seemed somewhat agitated with our questions, but he did answer them all. He would be the dr. for her back surgery whether it was done inutero or after birth.

Finally we were done with our first day and we were exhausted. We went to get some dinner and then to the UCSF bookstore, which was right across the street from the hospital. We bought the baby some scrubs! They are adorable. We went back to our room and crashed for the night.

Day #2
This day started very early as well. We had an MRI scheduled to begin at 7am and it was on a different campus, so we had to shuttle over. We had to get up early to get there on time. The technician told us that fetal MRI's usually take 1h 10m, but sometimes can take as long as 1h 30m. I am slightly claustrophobic, so the thought of an MRI was kind of freaky to me in the first place, but I knew that I could handle anything for our baby so in I went. As soon as I laid down on the table the baby started moving and did not stop until the whole ordeal was over! I could not believe her! Because of her being a little stinker, I was in the tub for 1h 45 m and it felt like an eternity. I thought I was done and then the tech said that he had to redo some shots because the baby wouldn't sit still. I survived, but boy was I ready to get the heck out of there! Later we got to see some of the images and they were amazing. Also, we learned beforehand that this is the only machine of its kind in the entire WORLD and that we had the best technology ever, looking at her. We knew we were getting great care for our baby girl.

We then were supposed to meet with the social worker again because she was supposed to make sure we were ready to say yes or no about participating in the study. After stopping for a breakfast and a LOT of prayer, we headed up to her office. We were still very anxious about the news with the placenta and the extra risk involved. We told her of our concerns and that we wanted to meet with the doctor who told us that info again before we made up our minds. She set up the meeting. We talked to him about our concerns and he made me feel a little better, but not completely. I asked him if he would recommend his wife have this same surgery, should it be necessary and he flat out said NO! But, he said, that was because he had other children for her to care for. He said it was not because of the risks involved with the baby. Still, The Designer and I were not completely comfortable.

We walked over to where we had to make up our minds officially. We decided the night before that we would tell them we wanted to be in the study, they would then "flip the coin" so-to-speak and if it came up with inutero and we were still uncomfortable, we would back out. We were told that although legally they couldn't make us participate, it would be a huge disservice to all involved if that occurred and that they expected a level of commitment from us. They said that if we were not ready we could have more time. The Designer and I knew what we had to do. We went in and told them that we wanted to be randomized knowing full well that God was going to have to intervene and have His will done. We prayed and waited for the results...God is awesome and knew exactly what we needed and had us selected for the post birth group. We were both relieved, but I really thought The Designer was going to kiss the lady! :) He later told me he would have thrown up on her if the results were different! YUCKY!!!!!

After we finished all of the paperwork The Designer and I spent a night on the town. We went to Fishermans Wharf and took a short cruise around Alcatraz and under the Gold Gate Bridge. It was beautiful. We saw lots of Sea Lions, wind surfers, and beautiful scenery. It was so relaxing and enjoyable. We also found a shop that The Designers mom told us about where you can pick an oyster and they open it up and get the pearl from inside. The Designer decided to have that made into a necklace with the baby's birthstone (Sept) on it. It is cute. I will wear it until she is old enough to have it. We were exhausted again and took the streetcar in the wrong direction, so it took us over an hour to get back to our room. By that time I think I was sleep walking.

So, what's next?
Well, since were are in the post natal surgery group, we will be flying back to San Francisco in the first week of Sept. (week 37 of pregnancy) for a c-section. They will do an amnio to see if the baby's lungs are developed and if they are, we will have the c-section that same day. If they are not, we will have to wait for a week and then they will take her by c-section. Either way, the day after she is born they will do the back repair (closure) surgery on her. I will be in the hospital 3-5 days and the baby will be in for longer, depending on how well she is doing. If the fluid on her brain doesn't drain itself, they will put a shunt in her head when she is about 7 days old. There is quick recover from that surgery. They told us to plan on staying in San Francisco between 2 and 3 weeks total. We absolutely cannot wait to meet our princess!!!!

Prayer Requests:
I know that so many of you have been praying for us over and the past three weeks. It has been such a learning and growing experience for both The Designer and I. We are so blessed to have friends and family like all of you, who care so much for us and our little princess. We could use prayers as follows:
1) We are still moving back to MI this summer, so pray that the move goes smoothly. 2) Pray that the pregnancy continues as it has been going or better. We don't need/want any other surprises unless they are good, of course! 3) Pray that our house sells quickly 4) That the surgery in Sept. will go well and, or course 5) For a miracle that our little one will be healed completely by the grace of God and she will have no medical problems when she arrives.

Please know that The Designer and I are both at peace with everything that has happened and is still happening to and around us. We see God at work around us each and every day and feel so fortunate to call ourselves children of His. We know that God works for the good of those that love him and we are no exception.

Thank you for your continued prayers. God bless.
The Designer, The Professor & baby

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Experimental surgery

Most women learn their child has Spina Bifida after taking some of the prenatal tests that are offered around the 16th week of the pregnancy. The Designer and I were not interested in those tests. To be completely honest, we really couldn't see the point of them. For us, if there was something wrong, we were not going to abort. We also knew that there was a fairly high false positive rate, and the added stress of that was not of interest to either of us. So, we declined the test.

Had we had the test, we would have known about 3 weeks earlier than we did, about Grace's Spina Bifida. Since we didn't have the test, we were very fortunate to have an excellent OB that was paying exceptionally close attention and noticed something that didn't look quite right. However, since we didn't know until we were about 21 weeks pg, we had to move quick to be eligible for the MOMS study as the fetal surgery must be performed before the end of the 24th week of gestation.

We contacted MOMS when I was almost 22 weeks along. We were on a huge time crunch. Not to mention that it was the very end of the school year, so things were hectic for me at work too. When we learned that we were eligible for the study, we had to make arrangements to fly out to California to have the final approval after being thoroughly examined physically and mentally. They wanted to make sure we could withstand the trauma that we could/would face during this study.

Leaving for CA for so bittersweet. We were so hopeful that something great would happen. We were optimistic that they could "fix" our daughter. However, there was sadness because if we were selected for the fetal surgery, I would no longer be living in Colorado when we could leave California.

Let me explain...we were planning to move to Michigan in August of 2004. At this time (the end of May, beginning of June) we were still living in Colorado. If we left for California and were randomly selected to have fetal surgery, we would have to stay in California until the baby was born. Since I was only 24 weeks pregnant, the hope was that the baby would stay put until I was at least 32 weeks. Then, we would have to stay there after her birth for up to 4 weeks, to make sure she was okay. If this were to occur, all of our stuff would no longer be in Colorado, as The Designers parents were set to come out, pack up our stuff, and move us to Michigan during that time frame. So, I was very sad to leave for California for fear that I wouldn't ever be back.

After saying all of my goodbyes to my friends, our house, our church, my doggie, the only state I had lived in as an adult, my wonderful job and so much more, we headed for the airport. We had a very early flight and arrived in California early that morning. It was a long day. It was a long weekend.

We were unsure of what to expect really. We just knew that there was so much up in the air and so much at risk. We prayed a lot. We wanted God's hand in everything we did.

In the next post I will include the first email I sent out to all of our loved ones explaining our trip.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

from darkness to hope

In the last post, I described how we learned about Grace's diagnosis of Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. I will continue on with that for a bit here.

When we got home from the dr.'s office we didn't speak a word. In fact, we both went straight to bed. It was the middle of the day. It was pouring down rain. It was miserable. WE were miserable.

We laid there. Neither of us speaking. Total silence except for the occasional gasping of air between quiet sobs. Then I spoke. Not to The Designer, but to God.

"Why, God? Why did you do this to my Princess? Why are you punishing me? Why her? What did I do that was so horrible that she deserves this; That we deserve this?"

Silence once answers...just silence.

As I laid there, my hurt turned to anger. I was mad! I was mad at life. I was mad at God.

We laid there, both of us crying for a while. The Designer's sobs quieted and eventually his sobs turned into a rhythmic breathing pattern. He fell asleep. He looked so peaceful. For a fraction of a moment, when I saw him there sleeping, I felt like everything was going to be ok. But, a quick reality check snapped me out of that fairytale moment. I wished I could fall asleep.

Who was I kidding? I couldn't sleep. I wanted to! Oh man, did I want to. I was sure that if I could close my eyes and drift off, I would return to the world that I had known. The world that was not shattered. The world that I longed to have once again. But there was way too much on my mind for sleep. For one thing, up until this point I mistakenly believed that I had control of my life and suddenly (or so it seemed) I lost that control. I searched deep within myself to figure out how I could gain control once again. The one thing that I could do was arm myself with knowledge, so I quietly escaped the bedroom and headed to the office.

I turned on my computer and went straight to Google. I began to type in S-P-I-N-A B-I-F-I-D-A but I was hesitant to hit search. I was nervous about what I was going to see. I clicked the button and my search began. I found a wide array of information. Some from medical facilities, others from individuals impacted by the birth defect. I read, I cried, I read some more. I was scared to death to continue, but something came over me and I went on anyway.

I was in the middle of my search when I remembered that the dr. had given us print outs discussing our daughters condition. I gathered those papers and began to read. That is when I first read about a program calls MOMS (Management of Myelomeningocele Study). That was the piece of information I needed to hold out hope that our daughter could possibly be ok. I returned to my computer and searched this study. This is what I found: After reading for a few minutes I decided I needed to contact this study to proceed. If nothing else, they could give me more information. I was CRAVING information. It was almost an addiction. I called the number and left a message. A couple of hours later, we received a phone call back. I was encouraged. For a brief moment I had hope for a brighter future for my daughter.

The lady on the other end of the line told us about the program. She informed us that it was a clinical trial (study) and that they had to have a controlled group (those that do not have prenatal surgery) to compare to those that have the experimental surgery. She also informed us that it was totally random as to which group participants are involved in. We learned that there were a couple of site locations that participated in the study, but since we lived in Colorado at the time, we would be assigned to the University of California-San Francisco location. She gave us some statistics for babies and mothers of those that have the prenatal surgery. They were scary numbers. I don't recall the exact percentage, but it was relatively high for premature birth. The surgery must be performed before the 24th week of gestation and we were around 21 weeks when I made contact. That meant we didn't' have a lot of time to make a decision.

We decided it was time to let our families know what was happening. We had called them after our appointment with our regular OB to let them know they were having a granddaughter, but we didn't mention that we had to go to a perinatologist. We didn't' want them to worry.

My mom was strong for me. I cried as I told her my deepest, darkest fears. People will make fun of her. Her life will be so hard. She won't be able to live out her dreams, etc. She promised me everything was going to be okay, but I know that she was scared too. Deep down inside, she was disappointed. She was amazing though, and stayed strong for me.

We called The Designers parents. They were actually on their way out to visit us in Colorado. They were driving because we were planning to move back to Michigan a few months later, so they were pulling a trailer out to bring some of our stuff back home with them. In addition, The Designer was graduating from CU-Denver with his Master's degree and so both sets of his grandparents were on their way out too.

We called them. They were at a hotel in Nebraska when we reached them. They could tell there was something wrong. We informed them about our dr.'s appointment and what we knew. His mom is a nurse and understand all-to-well what this could mean. She cried. She couldn't talk to us anymore. We hung up.

No one ever said it, nor do I think they would ever admit it, but I felt like somehow we had let them all down. This was the first grand baby on both sides of the family. This child had been longed for by all of the grandparents for so long (we had been married 8 years before she was conceived). Now, their dream grandchild was on her way and she was going to be disabled. Yea, I am sure they were disappointed, but they hid it well.

The night of our dr.'s appointment we called our church to see if anyone was around for us to talk with. We honestly didn't care who it was, but we wanted someone to be there to help explain why God would do this to us. We called. Someone answered. We went. We told the associate pastor and the children's pastor all about what we had been experiencing. We asked them to show us scripture that would make us feel better. They really had no words to make us feel better, but after an hour or so of asking them very tough questions (as if they were responsible for explaining God to us!) we started to feel better a little. We left there with a bit more hope than we had arrived with.

On the following Monday The Designer and I decided to return to work. I am not sure what we were thinking except that we knew we could not just sit around and cry for the remainder of the pregnancy, so we decided to give it a try. It was much too soon. The Designer is an architect, so he was able to go in, realize he wasn't okay and leave. I, on the other hand, was a high school teacher and had to try to put on a face that everything was ok. I tried my first class of the morning and I failed. The rest of the day I stayed in the office, talking with my friends (my peers), crying and researching on their computers. At some point someone sent me home. I really shouldn't have been there. We both returned to work a couple of days later.

We proceeded with the steps to enroll in the MOMS study and the next couple of weeks were a whirlwind. However, as more time went by, more smiles crept into our days. The strangest thing happened....God was filling us with peace, hope, and even a small amount of joy was returning. God was showing His face and we were actually noticing. This was the beginning of our "real" change. The first time we learned how to completely put our trust in God. The first time I can honestly say we let God carry us when we couldn't carry ourselves. It was the beginning of a wonderful relationship that I am forever grateful to have!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day- A mixed bag

Mother's day brings up a variety of emotions in me.

For most of my friends, today is a wonderful day! These are my friends that have children. They are recognized for being a mom, and well they should. A few of my friends even have children old enough to give recognition without the help of their father, grandmother, etc. I so look forward to that age with Lil' Bug. When she colors me a card and writes her own poem in it, that will be worth a million bucks to me. Today when I picked her up from Sunday school, she had colored a picture for me. It was cute. It said, "I Love You, Mommy." But, it wasn't really from her. Her teacher drew it and wrote it. To say she even colored it would be a stretch, but it was still sweet. She doesn't really understand what today is. Honestly, she has no idea! But, in a couple of years she will understand and when she does, she will make me a very special Mother's Day card from her heart.

On the flip side, I have many friends who can not find the joy in Mother's Day. The reason for their sadness varies. For some they are trying to conceive and have been for so very long. For others, they successfully conceived this year only to miscarry. What heartbreak! Still others are lonely on Mother's Day because they placed their beloved son/daughter for adoption. And still others do not have their own mother alive or involved to even celebrate with. For these friends of mine there is very little joy. Very little (if anything) to celebrate on Mother's Day.

This year I had one request for Mother's Day. It was a simple request. request was to keep it simple. And that is exactly what Lil' Bug and The Designer did. They bought me a huge hanging basket of flowers. We buy one every year anyway, so that was cool. Oh, by the way, Lil' Bug picked them out herself and I couldn't have done a better job had I done it myself. She rocks!

For me, Mother's Day is bitter sweet. I look at my beautiful daughter and I am so incredibly thankful that God chose me to be HER mother. There is nothing in this world that makes me as happy as seeing her beautiful smile. But it wasn't always that way. In fact, the first Mother's Day that I knew I was going to be a mommy was the most difficult Mother's Day I have ever experienced.

I will tell you that The Designer bought be a beautiful bouquet of flowers for my very first Mother's Day. Sure, I was still pregnant, but I was a mother and he honored that! I was floating on cloud nine. Life was perfect.

On the Monday following Mother's Day we went to our obstetrician for our 20 week appointment. We were very excited for this appointment and had been looking forward to it since the moment we learned we were pregnant. This was the very appointment we were going to learn the gender of our baby. The Designer didn't go to all of my appointments, but he wouldn't have miss this appointment to save his life. So, with a skip in our step, we hurried to our appointment.

We laid on the bed first listening to Lil' Bugs strong heartbeat. Then the technician did the ultrasound. She asked if we wanted to know the sex. Of course! We were excited to learn that we were having a baby girl! Celebration. Now we could go register...not so fast! The technician didn't say alot. She showed us her hands, feet, head, etc. She printed a lot of pictures and then she called the dr. in. This was our first pregnancy, she we thought nothing of it. The dr. came in and started the ultrasound all over again. Hmmm....why are we doing this twice.

"Ha! You were wrong! You said we were having a boy according the heart rate."

"Yes, yes I did. I want to take a look at the baby myself, is that ok?"

"Sure, go ahead. We love looking at her. Take all day if you want!"



"Um, is everything ok?"

"Well, most likely everything is ok, but I would like to send you to another doctors office that has a higher powered ultrasound machine to take a closer look."

Slight panic...

"Closer look at what? She's okay, right?!?!"

"Well, see this right here? This dark area on her head. Well, that could be fluid. Most likely it is just a shadow and nothing to worry about, but I would rather be safe than sorry. So, let's get you over the perinatologist."

Deep pit in my stomach...something is wrong...something is very VERY wrong...

"Normally it takes a while to get an appointment into the perinatologist, but I don't want you to have to worry about this so I am going to rush them a little bit. Do you mind driving to the other side of Denver to one of their extension offices if need be?"

"No. That is okay. I will go wherever I need to go."

*The doctor tells the receptionist to tell the other office they are looking for something called hydro-- something...what was that word she just said? Oh geesh, I wish I was paying better attention. Should I ask? Do I really want to know? Yes, I do want to know!

"Ok, so we have an appointment set for you on Thursday at blah, blah, blah. Will that work for you?"

"Sure, of course! Whatever. Would you mind writing down the word that the Dr. just told you she is concerned about? I would like to do some research."

"Oh, well, ummm, sure, I guess. It is h-y-d-r-o-c-e-p-h-a-l-u-s. Hydrocephalus."

"Ok, thanks."

My friends were throwing me a baby shower the very next week so I had to go register so there were things for them to purchase. I was sick to my stomach. Something was wrong, I just knew it. I couldn't get that word "hydrocephalus" off my mind. What did it mean? Was my baby going to die?

We went to Babies 'R Us to register, but I wasn't feeling good so I let The Designer do the majority of the registering. He was so proud he was having a girl. Everything on the registry was joke! He had fun. I was scared. Time went by slowly.

I went home and did a lot of reading about this thing called hydrocephalus. It was very scary. It was my first realization that if IF my daughter had this, my perfect world might not be as perfect as I had planned, hoped, dreamed of. I cried a lot.

The next day I asked The Designer if he could take time off of work to go with me to the perinatologist. He said no, he couldn't take the time off. I was sad. I told him I really thought it was important for him to go. He wasn't sure it was necessary. He was sure that the baby in my belly was completely healthy and there was nothing to worry about. Those dark spots on my daughters head were nothing more than shadows. He was positive!

The next morning I was still not feeling well. I begged him to go to the appointment with me. He conceded. Not because he wanted to, but because he knew that I wouldn't give up.

The Designer met me at the dr.'s office that afternoon. It was a gloomy, drizzly day. We drove separate so The Designer could go back to work. I planned on the same. We walked in, The Designer still sure everything was ok. I was so sure everything was terribly wrong.

We were called into the room and the dr. came in to do the ultrasound. She checked out other parts of our daughter before she got to the head. She showed us some perfect little hands and feet. She allowed us to see a strong little heart beating actively. We were anxious. We had been praying very hard since our appointment on Monday, but that day we were praying especially hard. We wanted her to look at her head...please, get to her head. Tell us it was all a mistake, there were no dark areas there and let us go home.

The doctor looked at her head and was silent. Why didn't she just blurt out everything was okay? Why didn't she calm my fears? She then went to the babies spine. She spent a long time on the spine. Still, she said nothing....NOTHING. I was beginning to get very worried. Her saying nothing spoke volumes.

The dr. then spoke. Her words shattered my world! My life would never be the same again.

"Well, there are a couple of things I need to discuss with you two."

"Okay, what are they?" We were trembling.

"I will confirm that there is fluid on your daughters brain. She does have hydrocephalus. At this time, it is not life threatening. In fact, it is very mild, but it is there and something we will need to keep an eye on."


"Was there something else?"

"Yes, I have identified the reason for the hydrocephalus. She has Spina Bifida."

Spina Bifida??? What is that?

"What is whatever it is that you just said? What does that mean?"

"Spina Bifida is a neural tube defect. It is one of the most common birth defects found in American children. Roughly 1 in a 1000 babies will be affected with a neural tube defect. The official cause of Spina Bifida is unknown, but it is suspected that it has something to do with a lack of folic acid in the mom during conception. During the first three weeks of gestation, the spine is formed. For some reason, in these children the spine doesn't form completely and there is then a hole left in it. Sometimes the nerves will come out of the hole. Sometimes they will stay in the hole.

I know this is a lot of information for you to process. I am going to leave you two alone for a little bit while I go print some information about this to give to you."

She leaves....

tears....sobbing....WHY GOD? Why us? Why our baby? Why??????

We talked. Honestly, I don't remember what we said. I remember sitting on The Designer's lap and both of us sobbing uncontrollably.

The dr. returned with a packet of information. In that packet was a glimpse of hope. I will go into that in another post on another day. But, that information was something we held onto.

We left the office and went to our separate cars. I shouldn't have been alone.

I walked in the door of our house. The beautiful Mothers Day flowers that made me beam just a few days ago were there to greet me. This time, however, they made me very sad. When I got them, they represented my future; My hopes and dreams for my daughter. They still represented my future, but now that future was filled with so many unknowns. Seeing those flowers hurt so bad!

Jumping around...

Ok, so I have given you some background knowledge of who I am, how I met The Designer and our wedding. Now I will probably be jumping around a lot discussing various things that come to mind.

I hope I don't make you dizzy...thanks for coming along for the ride!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

The summer of 1996...

June 15, 1996. That was a beautiful day. It was about 75 degrees beautiful blue skies. The wedding was in the afternoon, so we had the entire morning to get ready. Our wedding party was kind of hodgepodge of people. My matron of honor had been a friend of mine since early elementary school. We had been through a lot. We had gone for a few years without talking, but eventually we found our way back to one another before I was married. My other two bridesmaids were friends as well. Oddly enough, I no longer have contact with any of the girls that were in my wedding (that is a whole other post!). The Designer had his brother stand up as his Best Man. Two of his cousins stood up as his groomsmen. Additionally we had a junior bride and groom. The junior bride was my cutie patootie baby sister, R. R is 10 years younger than I am. She is adorable. The junior groom was another of Matt's cousins. Our Flower Girl and Ring Bearer were each cousins as well.

My dress was perfect. It was very decorated. The train was about 12 feet long (Yes! You read that correctly, 12 feet!). The train didn't detach, so you can only imagine what my legs felt like after wearing it for a whole day and night. My knees HURT! But, it was worth it. I felt beautiful. I remember thinking that things couldn't be any better.

Our colors were black, red and white. The girls that stood up for me were all poor teenagers, so I found a dress I liked and then had a local seamstress make it so it would be cheaper for them. I am not going to lie. They turned out horrible. Even so, they all survived. And besides, I was supposed to be the prettiest of all, anyway! :)

My parents were divorced. To say they didn't get along would be the understatement of the year. At that point they downright despised one another. There was the normal divorcee animosity, but in addition my dad was having some major issues. My mom had a new boyfriend that I had no respect for and actually despised. It was rough. However, as usual, we tried to overlook the crap and just bask in our wonderful day.

We wanted to take beach photos after the wedding, so we did a lot of the formal photographs before the wedding. The pictures turned out great! After the wedding we had a trolley pick up the wedding party and take us to the beach (Lake Michigan). We took some great beach pictures of the wedding party as well. There were some of us all in the lake. One of my favorite pictures is of The Designer holding me up over the lake, nearly dropping me in. My dress did get a bit wet, but it wasn't bad.

After the photos we headed to our reception. I can honestly say, we had a great time! It was the party of the year, for sure. Like with any wedding, there were a few glitches, but that is to be expected. Something always happens, right? The part I am going to tell about next is something I don't talk about much. In fact, thinking about it now makes me very sad. I am going to talk about it here because it was a very influential occurrence in our lives. We behave the way we do now based on what happened then.

My father has issues. Yes, very serious issues. When he was only 38 years old he had a massive heart attack that he barely survived. He has had several heart attacks since then and he has had bypass surgery as well. Every time he comes through a heart attack, the doctors tell us that he will not survive another and then he does. It is amazing. Anyway, at the time of our wedding he was taking medication for his heart. He was also taking pain killers for a severe back problem. Additionally he was supposed to be taking medicine for his depression (actually undiagnosed bipolar). All of those medicines in and of themselves are a lot to deal with, but put them together and then sprinkle in alcohol (a lot of it!) and the end result is DISASTER.

Now back to the wedding...For the most part my parents had been behaving themselves throughout the day. However, it was a long day for my mom and dad to be around one another and I guess we were pressing our luck. Couple the many hours they were together with jealousy, anger, prescription drugs and alcohol and that spells big problems for our wedding reception. Just as the last of our guests were leaving my dad I noticed my dad misbehaving. The first thing I heard was him calling my mom rude names. He was lashing out. He was vicious. He started picking at anything he could find to pick at. In response, my mom's boyfriend was getting defensive. At that point my dad began to literally try picking a fight with him right in the middle of the dance floor. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I was devastated! How could they do this to me? What were they thinking? Couldn't they have behaved for just another hour? Couldn't they have acted like grown-ups for one whole day at minimum? My "perfect" day was no longer perfect. It was horrible. I cried. I screamed. I even recall crawling up on the table in my beautiful gown and screaming at the top of my lungs to get people's attention. I wanted the attention diverted to me so they would stop. I wanted them to calm down. Nothing seemed to work. The cops were called, but before they arrived, the fight broke up and it was over. What was left for their efforts? Torn tuxes and hurt feelings. Extremely hurt feelings.

A couple of days after the wedding I spoke with my dad and told him that I would not be visiting him any longer until he sought counseling for all of his many issues. He was embarrassed. He was angry. He didn't apologize at the time. For those that know me, they know that I do no hold a grudge typically. But, how was I going to be able to forgive him for this. To me, at the time, this was the unforgivable sin. My relationship with my mom was very strained as a result of all this as well. As a newlywed I was supposed to be on cloud nine and instead I was not talking to either of my parents and very hurt.

As things began to settle back down (about a month or two later) and I slowly started to have a relationship with both of my parents again I received a terrible call. It was my dad. He sounded scared. He told me he wasn't feeling good and asked if I would come over and take him to the hospital. I was scared. No matter how angry I was with him, I didn't want him to die. I rushed over to his house and sped to the ER with him. He was admitted. He was having another heart attack. I was the only child he had that was old enough to do anything for him and lived nearby. His two older children (from a previous marriage) each lived in other states. My little sister was only 9. She couldn't do anything. I felt so alone. So scared.

I sat in the waiting room for a doctor to come out and give me a status. When he finally did come out, he told me it didn't look good. My father had less than a 50% chance of surviving. They encouraged me to call all of his kids and get them to town ASAP. I did just that. It was nice to have their help and support during this time. My father ended up having a quadruple bypass surgery. Fortunately and praise God, he survived. I couldn't be angry at him any more, but I felt like he got off so easy for his ridiculous behaviour a few months prior. We never really talked about the wedding again after this.

My father needed 24 hour care for a while after his surgery. Of course, my brother and sister each returned home to go on with their lives, so that left me. I quit my job and stayed with my father for several weeks after he returned home. The Designed was not happy about this. He was newly married and didn't even have his bride sleeping in the same house as him. I would have been upset too.

Although I forgave my father of his immature actions The Designer has struggled to do so. He says the reason he has a hard time is not so much the way he behaved at the reception as it is the way he has treated me my entire life. There were many times that he was emotionally abusive to me. The Designed resents that. I would too if the tables were turned. To this day The Designer tries not to spend any amount of time with my dad. It puts me in a very difficult position because I am always making excuses about why The Designer doesn't go with me to his house. I am guessing my dad knows the truth, but we never speak about it. It is the elephant in the room.

Our journey begins...

The Designer is about 6 months younger than I am. He was 1 grade level behind me in school. I met him during my Junior year of high school. By the time we started officially dating, I was already making plans to attend college out of state. I couldn't let a boy change my plans. Could I? Well, that is exactly what I did. I decided to go to the local community college while he finished his last year of school. We discussed attending an out-of-state college together at that time. During his Senior year of school, he was granted a large scholarship for a local college. It was significant enough that he couldn't turn it down. He was significant enough that I couldn't walk away, so we stayed local.

About 1 1/2 years after we started dating (about 2 years after we first met), he mentioned marriage to me. He didn't ask me to marry him, but he asked what I would do if he did propose marriage. I freaked out. I was 18 years old. Marriage was not something that had crossed my mind. Besides, all of the relationships I had any personal involvement in ended in divorce. Marriage wasn't something I planned to rush into. I told him absolutely no way would I say yes if he proposed. He said he couldn't imagine it either. We didn't talk about it again.

That following summer (June 15, 1995 to be exact!) he had a special dinner planned for us. He made reservations at a beautiful restaurant. We ate dinner. He was nervous, distant even. He was about to start a new job and I knew he was anxious about that, so I didn't think anything of it. We enjoyed our dinner and ordered dessert. Just before dessert arrived, The Designer got down on one knee and proposed. He really proposed! What?!?!?!?! I freaked out. I cried. I laughed. I was confused. How could he do this? I didn't answer him! I froze.

Moments later a driver arrived at our dinner table and escorted us out to a limo. Yes, a limo! The Designer had enlisted the help of his brother and cousin for his master plan. They showed up, took The Designers car and planted it at the beach. The Designer had a plan with the limo. First, he needed to hear me accept his proposal. After the shock wore off, I did. The limo had a few set stops. The first was my moms house. The Designer wanted to tell everyone in one evening and then go to the beach to watch the sunset. My mom said that the minute she saw the limo pull up in front of the house, she knew what was happening. She cried at our news, but wished us luck and sent us on our way to my dad's house. He wasn't home! Bummer. We then went to his families house to tell them. They were excited. We then went to the beach where his brother and cousin had set up a tent at the state park. We sat and watched the sunset. We talked about our future plans. We laughed. We cried. We prayed. Life was a whirlwind, for sure.

Not long after that I moved out of my house with my mom and sister and moved into the basement of The Designers house. Of course, his room was upstairs, but he spent most time down in my room. Life was good. I had compromised all of my goals, decisions, etc., but at the time, it felt okay. We set our wedding date for exactly one year from the date we were engaged...June 15, 1996. Just 2 months before my 20th birthday.

About 2 months before our wedding, we rented our first apartment together. It was small. It was charming. It was our first "home." We loved it. We were all settled in before our wedding.

How I met The Designer (a history lesson)

The Designer and I met when we were very young. We were 16 years old, to be exact. In fact, The Designer had JUST turned 16 about 2 weeks previous to our first encounter. I can honestly say that it was definitely NOT love at first sight. Let me tell you what I recall...

My family didn't attend church while I was growing up. I did, however! My neighbors went to a tiny little Baptist church a few miles away and every Sunday morning they would pick me up and take me along. I would also go on Wednesday nights. The couple that did this twice a week year after year after year were saints. They were the ones who shaped my walk with Christ and I can never thank them enough.

The Designer went to church for special occasions (like Christmas, weddings, etc.) only. His family was not the "religious" type. He was not the religious type.

I had a couple of great male friends at my church. They were my best friends, really. One of those friends went to the same high school The Designer attended. Our church was having a ski retreat weekend and my friend knew that The Designer was a skier, so he invited him to come along. I had NEVER skied before, but wanted to go anyway.

I remember the day The Designer and I first met clear as day! We first met over 14 years ago, but in so many ways, it feels like it was just last week. I walked in to the church where everyone was gathering, getting ready to take off for the weekend. He was already there. My friend briefly introduced me to him. I said hi and moved on to talk with my friends. He didn't really stand out to me except his dimples. Oh my goodness...his dimples were huge and SO cute! I thought he was adorable. Not gorgeous, but adorable. That was it. There is one odd detail that I have yet to mention. When I first met him, he was standing down one step from the landing I was standing on. So, who cares? Why is that important. At that moment I didn't think it was important, but in a minute you will see how it made a difference.

The church van pulled up, we all piled in and we left for our great weekend adventure. We were in the van for a couple of hours. I was talking to everyone. The Designer was focusing all of his attention on me. I didn't notice. Well, I might have noticed a little bit, but I guess I really didn't care. We arrived at our destination and we all piled out.

Whoa! The Designer is TALL. I mean, very VERY tall! Why didn't I notice that before? Because he was standing down a step at the church. Ahh, I guess I was paying more attention to him than I thought. Anyway, his dimples and his height were what caught my attention. At that time he was about 6' 6" tall, dark blond hair, athletically tone but very skinny and very, very cocky! Oh yea, and did I mention, COCKY?!?!?!

Oh, I hated cocky! I mean, I really, really HATED egotistical cockiness (I still do!). To me, it is a huge turnoff. When someone has to be so cocky and egotistical, it really just tells me that person is trying anything to make themselves feel better. To stand out. I decided The Designer was no different.

The weekend went by. I was annoyed. We got home. I figured that was the end of things with The Designer. Little did I know that that was actually just the beginning...

He called me every day. Sometimes he would call me many times a day. Ugh, how annoying! I wasn't interested. How could he not see that? He started attending my church so that he could see me. Are you serious? I mean, I am glad he went to church, but come on...for a girl? Wow! He called for a month or so and my mom was really fed up with his focused attention. She suggested I go on a date with him so that he could see we were not compatible and he could move on. I knew his type too. He was the type that liked the challenge. He thought I was playing hard to get. He wanted me to be his conquest. I just knew it! I wasn't about to give in to that. But, I heeded my moms suggestion and did go on a date with him. Just to prove that I was more than he could handle. We were not meant to be together. I would NOT be his conquest.

He picked me up and we went to one of my high school's basketball games. I felt that was pretty safe. We would be on my territory, surrounded by my friends. I flirted with all of the guys we were around (all of my friends) in front of him. At one point I even left him alone for a long period of time to go chat with other guys. He patiently waited. What was up with the guy? Why didn't he get the picture? I couldn't understand him at all. He brought me home.

That wasn't the end. He continued to go to MY church. He continued to call. Slowly I was starting to see something in this guy. He was very determined. I was not sure if he was still trying to make me one of his conquests or if he was genuinely interested in me, but I found myself thinking about him more and more. I was angry at myself. When he would call, I began to actually enjoy spending time talking to him. I started looking forward to the phone calls. I was making the biggest mistake of my life, or was I? My walls of protection were coming down and I was scared to let anyone in.

I figured he had put up with my tactics for this long, there must be something very special about him. After a few more months I agreed to go on another date with him. I was really falling for him. He was by my side when my parents divorced later that summer. He was always my biggest fan and supporter. I began going to all of his games. I loved seeing him. I hated being away from him. I fell in love with him. The rest is history.

Welcome to my blog!

I would like to welcome you to my blog. I hope you laugh a little, cry a little, and learn a little as you read through some of my innermost personal thoughts and moments.

In an attempt to keep the identity of my friends, family and loved ones safe, I will use fictitious names to refer to them. My wonderful husband will be affectionately referred to as The Designer. My beautiful daughter will be referred to as Bug. If the need arises, I shall refer to myself as The Professor. All others name changes will be on a whim! :)