Tuesday, October 24, 2017

on Hope and the Adventures of the Year Twenty-Two.

Well, technically twenty three. Since I'm starting my twenty-fourth year tomorrow. (*cue shriek of panic because I'm sooo not ready for that*) But that's CONFUSING even though it's accurate, so for the sake of simplicity, since I am for real TURNING 23 tomorrow, we'll call this the year of 22.

This has been a year for the books. In every conceivable way.

And I have struggled - majorly - in the past couple days to even get excited about my birthday. Because even though this year was amazing, and we've come so far and done so much since my birthday last year when we were just freshly married honeymooners in the backwoods of Vermont, this year was disappointing, painful, heartbreaking and tough. And for some reason, I want to do twenty-two again and fix all the hurting places, instead of letting it go, celebrating the beautiful, and starting fresh. But I'll get there, I will. Keep in mind that writing this post is my therapy, so it should get progressively cheerful-er by the end. *wink*

photo by Jess Lapp Photography

We've been on 10+ legitimate overnight trips this year. We are crazy. And somehow we are not broke. In all, I want to say it's been twenty-three states and two countries (three if you count the USA, ha) - which is completely insane.




“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” – Mark Twain




“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous


photo by Tony Nisly
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste it, to experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” – Eleanor Roosevelt



It's been an incredible year of loving every second of life beside my best friend, of wandering through other places, eating amazing food and collecting memories we'll always treasure. 

We also set up our first home - lived in the midst of multiple renovations to make it feel like a home - and had a blast being "adults" and making a "space" our place. My little homemaker heart has been in heaven - even though meal planning is SOOO not as easy as I was hoping it would be, blah, but grocery shopping is really fun YAY because of ALDI Y'ALL. (and although I always remember my quarter, I always forget my bags. can't win 'em all.)

And our little home has also seen it's fair share of tears and heartache.

And this year I've said heart-wrenching goodbyes to two precious babies that grew in my tummy for too short a time - my firstborn, Jeremiah, should be two months old right now, and my precious rainbow baby, Daniella, should be almost halfway cooked, due six weeks into the New Year. 

My body failed me, and something I sort of assumed would come easily, has turned into the biggest challenge of my life. I never understood depression, self-hatred, and how much grief can change your life so drastically. There's something profoundly broken about coming to terms with your own weakness, your own lack. 

Getting real: I've gained eighteen pounds this year. I'm not saying that for you to tell me I don't "look it" or that I'm beautiful or anything - it's not a plea for sympathy. I'm being honest. But for the first time, numbers on a scale began to mean something, began to scream at me. The weight that went on to nourish my babies, stayed on to remind me daily that I lost them. The outfits that got tight, that got me excited that they may never fit again because I was going to be a mama, now leave me crying on the closet floor because no one tells you how grief sneaks into something as stupid as caring about a clothing size. I've tried working out, I've tried eating healthier than ever before, trying to regain control of what I felt I had lost. It's been a nightmare. I've written about it some, instagram has been an outlet and a journal, but my own journals have been empty, my blog quiet, even some relationships have been pushed the back burner as I've had to come to terms with this new identity that comes from loss. Sometimes you have to admit that something hurts, that it's hard, in order to even begin to heal. I've thrown my phone across the room because of someone's pregnancy announcement on Facebook, wept over baby pictures of a child due the same week as mine was supposed to be. But I've also had moments of pure joy playing with my nieces and nephews and rejoicing over other's new little ones on the way...okay, pause, as I'm writing this I'm realizing....can we just have a moment of silence for all women dealing with jacked up hormones? They are real, they can be wonderful, but they are also bipolar and psychotic and GOOD NIGHT. *mic drop* Back to story.

I'm not here to complain. Or even to make you feel sorry for me. Or even to vent.

I'm here, and I'm writing this, because Jesus is turning this into a TESTIMONY. This is part of my story, and I don't want to forget it. 

There is a thread of hope that's been running underneath of this entire year.

It's this crazy idea that we have a purpose, a name, a place that goes deeper than anything we see in our physical lives. It has nothing to do with we can or can't do, or what we look like, or even our story. And it has everything to do Love. A love that compelled the Hands that gave us life to reach into our pain and our brokenness and tell us we are cherished, we are valuable, and we were created for something BIGGER than just ourselves.

I had never actually looked my faith square in the eye and said, "I BELIEVE." Because belief only counts when you don't have anything left to give. When everything inherently going for you falls away. It's easy to believe when life is going well. It's when you CAN'T see what's going on, or what's happening next, that FAITH matters.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. - Hebrews 11 
(go read the whole chapter. it's worth it.)

And lo and behold, we aren't just in this life to be "happy", or to get what we want. If you ask me what I want the most for YOU in life, I would NOT tell you I want you to be happy. That's fake, cheap, and doesn't mean anything in the long run. I would tell you I want you to know you are LOVED BY JESUS. That's it. Because if you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you are loved by Jesus, you WILL be able to overcome the brokenness and pain that this hurting world tosses at you. I'm learning that JOY doesn't mean laughing and happy all the time - it means rest and security and knowing who we are, why we're here, and Who is holding us in His hand. It goes beyond miscarriage, beyond depression, beyond grief, beyond weight, beyond relationships. *deep breath* And if we have our eyes open to see what Jesus is up to in everything, He can show us how He is lifting us above our circumstances and into His peace.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4
We just spent the weekend celebrating our anniversary in Savannah and Charleston. We slept, and we slept, (we don't sleep enough at home) and we talked, and we were quiet, and I drank water (cause I'm bad at remembering to do that, and Josh was around 24/7 to remind me) and it was a retreat from the crazy and it was beautiful.

We got sucked into This Is Us (no regrets!) and in those very first episodes, as I watched Jack and Rebecca grieve the baby they lost, even as they celebrated the lives they were given, so many broken pieces healed in my mind. I want to share more about that someday - there's a lot more to that story.

We capped it off by worshiping with Bethel Music for almost an entire day - and Jesus sealed it with His reminder that we are seen, we are loved, and He is with us, no matter what.

This year has been RAW. Real and raw. But aren't they all? I'm finding that out. And in just an short hour, I'll be starting another one. I have so much hope right now that unfulfilled dreams will come true, that healing is coming (has already started), and that beauty will rise from what feel like ashes.

But I'm also learning, as this year closes, that HOPE makes everything, even our pain, beautiful. And I'm about to spend the last little bit of being twenty two snuggling with the patient man who works his butt off everything single day to put food on our table and gas in our car - the man who has held me while I labored with both of our children, wept with me in our loss, and made me laugh harder than anyone I've ever known. I told him today, when he apologized that we're barely going to see each other tomorrow, that he's the greatest gift I've ever been given in this life. And he has always always always pointed me upwards and outwards when my eyes felt glued on myself. He's given me hope, he lives by Hope, and he's showing me how too.

So, tonight I'll go to sleep (late) 22, and wake up (early) 23, and Josh will be waking up (before me) beside me and Jesus is still on the Throne and twenty-three maybe maaaaayyyybe won't be quite so hard as twenty-two, even though I'm fully expecting it to be a doozy of a year in its own right, because they always are and being an adult is totally unicorns and butterflies. (right?).

Happy birthday to me...and are there any songs about being 23, 'cause let's be real, I'm gonna miss feeling 22...

*realizes forgot to take off makeup and decides to stay up all night because whyyyy who wants to use a remover wipe when you're already ready for bed. blah.* #hashtagSTILLAKIDYALL

Friday, August 11, 2017

remembering our angel babies

I firmly believe the Lord turns all our pain for good. Sometimes it's hard to see right away, but He is faithful to His children, and we can rest confidently knowing He's never left us, even in our darkest moments.

I'm a mama who's suffered through multiple miscarriages. I hate that I have any experience in this area, but I do. I've gone through the joys of my very first pregnancy test, and the deep loss of innocence that is saying goodbye to your first child. I've gone through the roller coaster of hormones and five months of waiting to carry another baby. I've gone through the emotions of a rainbow pregnancy (getting pregnant after a loss) - the fear, the joy, the excitement, the determination to enjoy every second. And then the devastation of losing that baby too.

I don't have any living biological children, and that's hard. Sometimes I feel like it would be easier if I could throw myself into caring for a child right now, instead of the painful, stark emptiness of a quiet home.

But something Jesus has been showing me since losing Daniella, is that I *am* still a Mama. And that it's completely normal and healthy to celebrate that. I went through two labors, both incredibly intense and painful and traumatic, I gave birth to two children, and with both pregnancies I had to wear maternity clothes and adjust my personal life to accommodate my growing little ones. I was a mama then, I'm a mama now, and I've found so much beauty in embracing my pregnancies and my stories and the lives of my children.

Since sharing about Jeremiah's life back in January, I've heard so so many of y'alls stories of loss and grief, and while I know not everyone is a blogger, or feels comfortable sharing personal details, I feel like the Lord has given me words and a platform and I want to use them to help those of y'all who are walking similar roads, and want to celebrate and remember your babies, but aren't sure how.

*note, this isn't a sponsored post, just me sharing what we've found is meaningful for us!

1. Willow Tree figurines
When I found out I was pregnant with Jeremiah, I was really nervous. I spent a lot of those seven weeks worried I was going to lose him. I held off on so many things, sort of unspokenly waiting for that all-elusive end of the first trimester before I let myself get excited. When I lost him, it shook my world, and I instantly had regrets about not celebrating his little life fully before it ended. So in the weeks following, my husband and I made a conscious effort to do things that honored the life of our baby.

We had a Willow Tree figurine from our wedding, of a husband and wife. When we were out shopping one day, not even a week after the miscarriage, we were in a boutique shop and saw a Willow Tree figurine sitting on a shelf...an angel helping a little baby walk. I started crying when I saw it...it felt like a perfect gift from Jesus to remember our little one.

The day after we lost Daniella, Josh and I hopped online to find the perfect figurine for her too, to add to our little family. We picked one of another angel holding a baby in her arms - it looked so tender and represented what I was longing to do with my precious daughter.

The Willow Tree figures are so beautiful, so poignant...I'm thankful for the tradition we inadvertently started, a tradition we'll be able to continue with any future children as well. I love our little "family" on our dresser.


2. Buy an Outfit

Once again, with Jeremiah, I didn't really do much while I was pregnant to celebrate him, but afterwards I learned so much. I went out to the store a couple weeks afterwards to buy him an outfit that was all his. Something that was specifically for him. Even though it was hard to go to the baby section and buy something with an empty womb, it was also healing to acknowledge the fact that I did have a baby, just not with me, and that he was real.

As SOON as I found out I was pregnant with Daniella, within a week, or so, I went to the store and bought an outfit for her as well, this time with all the joy and hope in the world of our precious rainbow baby. And, once again, even after we had to say goodbye, it was so incredibly healing to have that outfit that stood for our hope and our love for her, even before she was born.

3. Make a Shadow Box
Mine are still a work in progress, but this has been such a fun way to pull together all my little mementos for each child into one framable, hangable memory. It's also something that I could do for any future children - I love the idea of things that carry into any future pregnancies, a way to unite these first two little ones with their future siblings. A shadow box is definitely more hands on and creative, but it was fun to shop for things to decorate with, and spend time arranging each box to look different and unique.

4. Remembrance Jewelry
On Mother's Day this past year, one of the most emotional days I've walked through in the recent past, a dear friend gave me a gift at church, and it was the sweetest little necklace. A tree with a little heart - and somehow it instantly felt like that little heart stood for my heart, for Jeremiah's heart, for the heart Josh and I have for family...and I pretty much haven't taken it off since. (except for the brief weeks it got left behind in Ohio, so glad to have it returned now!)

After Daniella, we found a beautiful necklace with customizable nest and initials on etsy. I decided to go with white eggs (versus birthstone colors), to represent our angels and it turned out perfectly. Another piece of jewelry that reminds me of who I am, where my heart is, and how valuable our children's lives were, and still are.

5. Stuffed Animal(s)
I love stuffed animals, I loved collecting them as a child, I love having them around our home now. My dear friend Kaitlin makes these adorable little owls as a fundraiser for Downs Syndrome awareness, and I commissioned her to make these two for our sweet babies. My heart was to have something that was special, that "belonged" to them, and once again, something would connect them to our future children as well.

Also, little plug for KK, her website for the owls is HERE - and here's a post I did years and years ago with the first Henry owl I bought, and why they matter so much to me. It's so important to me to use the lives of my babies as a platform for advocating for the life of other children who are at risk, and so it was no-brainer to use Kaitlin's owls as part of our remembrance of our little ones.

6. Name your CHILD.
Not everyone feels comfortable with this, and I understand, but to me, it was so so important to acknowledge that our children had beating hearts, eternal souls, and purposeful lives, by giving them names. We chose names for our babies that we were actually going to name them anyway (most likely), and then used middle names that reflected the purpose we felt Jesus had laid on their lives. Here's our babies name stories, as a source of encouragement or inspiration to y'all.

Jeremiah Chayyim - Jesus gave us the name "Jeremiah" to call our baby while he was in utero...there was a night about a week before I miscarried where I was dealing with a lot of fear in regards to the baby, and Josh and I took the evening to just sit and pray and thank Jesus for the life He'd entrusted to us. Josh opened his bible to Jeremiah 1, and there's a verse that says that God called Jeremiah from the womb to be a prophet, and placed a calling on his life before he was born. It was so comforting to me, as a mama, to know that God KNEW our child, had a calling on their life, and LOVED him so much to give us a name like that to call him. Six days later, our baby was in heaven and we were comforted by knowing Jesus had given us a name for him, and that His calling was still there. Jeremiah means "the Lord exalts" or "the Lord raises"....and "Chayyim" means "LIFE" in Hebrew. The Lord Raises Life. Even though Jeremiah only lived a couple weeks, he was a gift of Life to us.

Daniella Rapha - Daniel is a family name on Josh's side, and since we were pretty sure we were having a girl, from day one, we were tweaking some of the family names to see if we could make them work for a little girl too. We actually had a pretty solid list of little girl names we were thinking about for this baby, even at ten weeks. We never talked about names with Jeremiah, but we did with this little one and I'm so glad! So Daniella was on the top of the list, and every time we jokingly called her some other name, it felt weird, and we always came back to our top pick. I have no doubt that that would've been her name at birth, so it was given when picking her name after she passed away. "Daniella" means "God is my Judge" - and when you think about how God sees us when He judges us, it's actually tear-jerkingly beautiful, this redemptive righteousness that covers us. Rapha means "HEALER" in Hebrew, and all through my pregnancy and even in the days leading up to the miscarriage, including our midnight race to the ER the night she was born, every song, every scripture, every word of encouragement from others, had something to do with healing. So we stood for it, believed it, and even after we said goodbye, we claimed God as our Healer and gave that testimony to our daughter to carry.

Also, there are testimonies from our own immediate family members who went back years later and named little ones that they lost, as a way of healing, even decades later. So if you're still dealing with pain from un-grieved little ones in your past, I encourage you to consider giving them a name. No matter what the circumstance, or what happened, they are still your children, they are still precious in the eyes of God, and they are valuable, and worthy of being remembered.

Also, I have a friend who lost her precious daughter at 40 weeks, and over the past seven years, has written her little girls name in the sand all over the place, and now so many people all over the world have been writing her name and remembering her, and Hannah collects them all and has them in a scrapbook. There IS something healing about writing your baby's name out, and then there's indescribable feeling when OTHER PEOPLE remember and love your child enough to write their name and send it to you...it's precious. 

Finally, don't be afraid to talk about your children. Use their name, or tell their story. You were pregnant, you are a mama, and there's a beauty when we as a church, as a people, remember these lives we love so dearly.

I hope this encouraged y'all as you walk through your own journeys - feel free to add your own ways you remember your children in the comments...I love hearing stories of others, and what they've done to honor their babies, and how they've walked through grief. There is strength in community, y'all! I believe it!

There so many hard days - days when I just curl up and cry and grieve my empty womb, but I'm so thankful for the freedom to still rejoice, and for the hope I have in Jesus Christ that He is close to the brokenhearted, that He carries us in our pain, and redeems our brokenness. That's ultimately how we stay grounded when our world crashes around us, and even when we can't always see how in the world He's going to heal our hearts, we can trust that He always will. The pain doesn't get easier, but our Hope gets stronger. Remember, there is no emotion, no feeling, no pain you're walking through that Abba Father didn't walk through when He lost His only Son. This is close to His heart, this IS His heart, and He is with us as we share in His suffering. He is the Healer.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

celebrating life, as early as possible

- NOTE: I wrote this post the week I found out I was pregnant with Daniella. For whatever reason, I decided NOT to share it, and I wish I had. But here it is, in it's entirety, a slice of my mama's heart from June 2017, celebrating the life of my daughter fearlessly from day one. - 

so, dear friends, this is a post that I've wanted to write for months, and had days where I felt like I'd be writing it soon, and other days when I wondered if it would ever be able to be.

it's been almost six months since our sweet Jeremiah went to be with Jesus. His due date is just around the corner, and instead of spending these blazing hot summer days being very pregnant and hiding in the air conditioning, I've been very capable of being a normal person and doing all kinds of activities....all the while being conflictedly trying to enjoy them and also deeply grieving the change of plans. 

As most of you know, this is has been a very very difficult season for me. I know not everyone feels this type of loss the same, but Jeremiah's life has been one of the most pivotal points in mine, and he's changed how I view pretty much everything and everyone I see.

For example, I will never see anyone's family the same again. Growing up conservative, where the unstated "gospel" can be the number of children you have seems to equal your depth of spirituality or trust in Jesus, it can be easy to miss the invisible pain of the woman with two children, or no children, who you might think has made that choice for her own selfish reasons, who may actually be longing for the family you have and can't. Or the couple with a beautiful rainbow family, heroes who foster or adopt - that we immediately respect (with good reason)...but whose own tribe is the redemptive fruit of years of loss or barrenness, grief and pain. Or the young couple who didn't get pregnant right after their wedding, who may or may not be "waiting" to have kids....you don't know their life, their dreams, their struggles. You don't. Rarely is anyone's story what it appears to be.

Also, I will never view my own children the same. I'm thankful and blessed to be a mama to over a dozen children who weren't born to me, who I don't see daily, who live all over the globe. My heart belongs to them, and not a day goes by that I don't think of them or pray for them or wonder what they're doing and who tucks them in at night. But my dream is to have children here, living with me, in my home - whether they're born from my body or not. But I never guessed my journey to having children from my own self would look like this....and instead assuming that I *would* give birth to children someday, now I hold that so loosely in my hand...and I will never take any precious baby given to us by birth for granted. Not that I would've before, but you know what I mean.

Which is why, dear friends, when Josh and I found out two weeks ago that we're expecting our rainbow baby, our first reaction was pure excitement and joy. And even though we sat on our special secret for almost a week before telling anyone, it wasn't because we didn't want to share...we just couldn't hardly believe it. SO many tears, y'all. So many.

Being pregnant after loss isn't easy. I was afraid of being afraid, and was pleasantly and wonderfully surprised by the joy I've felt since those two lines appeared on that test. But every day, going to the restroom is a little nerve-wracking...every cramp and ache and pain (which I am SO THANKFUL FORRRR - pregnancy symptoms make me cry with joy) makes me nervous...and I do have a mental countdown in my head to the weeks gestation that I lost Jeremiah, and my one prayer is to get past that date. 

But as Josh reminded me the day after we found out about our Little Rainbow, this baby deserves the same joy and love that we had for Jeremiah. And now that we have lost a baby, we know even more how precious life truly is. So instead of waiting, and being afraid of what might happen, we are choosing to celebrate this life to the fullest for every single day we are blessed with him or her. And if that's for sixty years or sixty days, we're beyond thrilled and thankful. We are parents of two beautiful children, and we are grateful.

celebrating the life of Daniella Rapha - born into the arms of Jesus on July 28, 2017, at ten weeks.

Monday, July 31, 2017

when your dreams don't line up.

I think as female specimens, and as people in general, we dream BIG. We have plans, visions, dreams, ideas of how our life, and certain events in our life, are going to go.

As a teenager, I think I thought the day I met my future husband would be a whole lot of fireworks and an instant knowing that THIS WAS THE ONE.

And it was. *wink*

But I also dreamed that my future relationship with said man would be a perfect testimony and "courtship" for the books. Ha. NOPE. I would encourage you to click through the "story" tab and read the whole "book" for yourself. It's far from ideal, far from perfect, in fact it's a complete mess.

As a teen, I thought the day I got engaged would be some kind of elaborate set up, with a photographer and everything.

Well, folks. We got engaged in a chair in a basement (the chair I am sitting in now, in the basement where we currently live) in the middle of the night after what was (at the time, ha) the hardest day of my life. Joshua made it absolutely beautiful, but there was no Hallmark movie scene or photographer - we were basically in pajamas anyway - and you know what? It was perfect.

I thought my wedding would be some kind of epic party affair, with dancing (and alcohol, to some extent, don't judge....my family is Crucian) and who knows what else. Was it? Oh, it was a party. It was nothing like my teenage dream...but it BECAME my dream, and anyone who was there can tell you it was pretty much the most perfect, gorgeous day imaginable. Totally worth it.

I thought I would have a baby nine months from my wedding day. *eye-roll* Ha. Did I expect to be puking and bleeding my guts out on our entire honeymoon? (sorry, TMI.) Nope. Did I expect to get pregnant just two months later, only to miscarry our first precious angel two months after that? Absolutely not.

Of course then, I was ready to jump in foster care, or adoption, or something like that. Did I expect to be living in a location where, due to our housing situation, any kind of fostering or adoption would be impossible? Nope.

Then I did all kinds of research on getting pregnant after a miscarriage...and was firmly convinced that with my healthy lifestyle and medical history, we'd be pregnant right away. Yeah. That didn't happen. Five long months of tears and messed up hormones and cycles later, we finally did...but the amount of disillusionment and grief I walked through in that time was beyond anything I ever thought I would walk through. Post partum depression is the closest thing I've found that accurately describes how those months played out, and it was so painfully hard.

The circumstances surrounding the beginning of life for our daughter were beautiful. Perfect. Miraculous. A story only Jesus could dream up and write. And for the first time in six months, I felt whole again...the shell of a bereaved mama whose heart was broken was once again filled with joy and purpose.

Did I see myself losing our miracle baby too?

Not in my darkest imaginations.

It may have crossed my mind at the beginning, but everything was so perfect. Such a powerful story. There's no way.

I could picture her, raising her, holding her....the curls we hoped she'd have...the personality I was so ready to meet.

When we passed the seven week mark, where we lost Jeremiah, we celebrated.

When we chose a midwife and toured the birth center, we celebrated.

When we found out our cousin was due the same week as me, we PARTIED.

When morning sickness hit like a truck, and the headaches and cravings and exhaustion kept me guessing, we rejoiced that our baby was growing like a weed.

When there were only fourteen days left until the end of this up-and-down first trimester, we cheered.

And when the bleeding started, we believed that nothing would happen, and that she would be just fine, and this would be just another part of her story, and our miracle had more life left to live.

So when the ultrasound showed nothing in my body, we were shocked. Where was the labor? Where was the baby? Where was our miracle?

And when, just a couple hours later, the contractions started....and when, six hours later, we raced to the ER to figure out why my body was shutting down...I was shocked.

And when the nurse came and sat by my bed, and told me that I had delivered my baby, measuring right up to ten weeks, our perfect miracle, birthed into the arms of Jesus...I was too numb to even cry any more tears.

Sometimes our dreams don't line up.

I still can't believe my womb is empty again. That my sweet baby, who I bonded with and loved so much, is gone.

Sometimes our dreams don't line up.

I'm learning that Jesus grieves with us. He is broken with us. It doesn't mean He's dragging our dreams in the dirt...but it does mean we have to be willing for Him to turn our ashes into beauty.

I'm twenty-two years old. A baby myself, in so many ways. I've been married for nine months. And I have two children - both ahead of me in heaven. Is this how I pictured this year of my life? Not even a little bit.

I want to write...I want to share the stories of my two beautiful babies in hopes that it can be an encouragement to someone else. I don't know why this is my story, I don't. But it is. And even though the grief is crushing, and my tears leave me weak, somehow we're going to keep going. Somehow Jesus is going to pull us through. And I believe my little one's lives have purpose, have meaning...and I want to continue to celebrate them, even though their earthly lives are over.

Hang tight with me. I was really excited to start blogging again, thinking of all the exciting things I wanted to share, and right now I'm not sure where to begin. But words will come, they always do, and so often through words Jesus brings me healing.

Monday, June 19, 2017

re-invisioning SCRAPS.

I HAVE A NEW DESIGN!!!!! Carmel, whiz graphic designer that she is, so graciously took time over the past several months to help me re-vision the blog and what it represents and where I'm headed with it, and I couldn't be happier. This blog and my instagram are my two favorite outlets of all time, and I'm THRILLED to be "coming home" to Scraps and re-styling it officially as the lifestyle blog it's morphed into over the years.

What can we look forward to, posting-wise? Well, right off the bat there are wedding planning stories and ideas, recipes, home renovation and decor ideas and DIYs, moving tricks, newly-married help settling into a new home, organization hacks (don't laugh), stylebook posts, songs and playlists, marriage and family experiences, and more like that...not to mention relationships, family, and the emotional and spiritual side of life that we've walked through recently.

How often will I be posting? I truly have no idea, haha. Hopefully at least once a week - easing back into the groove here. I have a lot to share, and that makes me excited, 'cause there's nothing like inspiration to get content flowing again.

So welcome back! And let's get this conversation open again - it's been way too long.