Thursday, October 30, 2014

Holiday Christmas Cards : made easy this year!

Graphic Designer, Allie Brown, of Allie Brown Design and I have joined forces to provide the perfect Christmas Card Package!

The package includes a 30 minute photography session, 30 edited images from your shoot, your choice from one of the 6 custom designs Allie has create for this holiday season, AND 50 prints of your cards with envelopes shipped to your door step!  The entire package is only $120 and will run all of November.

Christmas Cards are always so fun and exciting to share with others but can be such a hassle to organize and print and put together.  This year we are making it easy!  Just come to your photoshoot and a week later, your cards are ready to send out!

To purchase this package and book your shoot, contact me through

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Facebook Made Me Fat

Guest post from my husband's hand:

Every couple of weeks or so, I let my mind slip into deep thoughts about humanity.  If I get past staring at my hand as I open and clinch it, wondering how in the world I am alive and have this body that has 'skin' and 'organs' and can move and bend and hold fluid and get rid of waste; often I start to wonder why people do the things they do, or how they got to be the way they are. There are two topics that top the chart these days, and it's because I am encompassed by them daily, literally and figuratively:  Fat, and social media obsession.  They are actually closely related to each other.

I'm not talking about the fact that laying on the couch scrolling endlessly through photos and thoughts about other people's lives actually eats up so much of my time that, before I realize it, I no longer have a desire to 'go to the gym' or 'mow the lawn'.  While true, that's not the common thread to which I am referring.  I'm talking about the underlying structure upon which our modern society is built that makes these things thrive.  The imaginary 'American Dream' to which we all feel entitled.  The disease that has drained our bank accounts, tricked our hearts into unnecessary eruptions of drama, filled the empty spaces in our clothes, and has often killed progress dead in its tracks.  I'm talking about being spoiled.  "I want it now.  I get it now."

We can't even pretend that this disease isn't running rampant all around us.  We are quite literally addicts to the idea of now-ness.  I doubt there exists a person who hasn't heard a friend talk about their need to 'quit facebook', or 'wean off of Pinterest'.  We're not talking about crack or cigarettes here, so why are we even using these terms?  If there is no nicotine in Instagram, why is our shaky finger scrolling further and further down even though our wrist hurts from holding our phone in front of our face in the dark?  Because we have a natural desire to 'snoop', to get the 'down low', to see peoples 'private' lives, to be entertained, to see more- and we want it NOW.  Often not even an important meeting at work, a lesson during our day of worship, or a serious discussion with our spouse can get in our way.  Is the story about your cousin's child throwing cheerios at the cat actually important?  I daresay the answer will always be 'No', but the strange need to read about it will often beat out activities ten fold more important.  It's just. too. easy.

So how does this spoiled sense of entitlement make me fat?  Just as the technology industry has taken advantage of my insatiable and unexplainable craving for mind garbage, the food industry has lulled us into a mind numbing sense of satisfaction with stomach garbage.  Not a soul would look me in the eyes and tell me that sugar is healthy, or even good to put in our bodies for that matter.  We all know that it has no nutritional value and that it can cause serious health problems.  (We all read these words, nod our heads, and put the next oreo into our mouths as we continue...) See what happened there?!  It's like we are living in a false reality.  I literally will finish conversations with my coworkers about the negative and horrific effects of sugar, and within an hour I'm at Chick Fil A slurping out the last morsels of my oreo shake.  My mind doesn't care about consequences or nutrition- it cares about feeding the 'nows'.  

"Pffff.  I'll just quit when I need to."  Riiiiight.  Just make a simple little choice to 'quit' once you don't fit into any of your clothes and ache everywhere.  NEWSFLASH:  I reached that point and I didn't quit.  It's really, really, really hard.  How hard?  Well we know that sugar has similar effects on the brain as cocaine, possibly even more addictive... My wife and I just headed a '10 day Sugar-free Challenge'.  We had over 20 people on board and gung-ho about kicking this nasty additive that is in almost ALL processed food.  After 7 days we did a quick headcount... and the number of people still going strong could be counted on one hand.  What did those people have in common?  They were already basically on 'no sugar' diets.  I could have taken the responses from most people who dropped out and replaced the word 'sugar' with 'cigarettes' and I don't think anyone could have picked them out of a bunch of cigarette addicts.  The thing that kills me- ALL participants that lasted through the week lost POUNDS.  A few even LOOK better.  In 7 days.  How many times have I felt disgusting or depressed about all the weight I've gained since college.... and all I had to do was stop gorging myself on sugar?!  But... but... I want it!  Right now!  'It makes me happy!'  I can't even tell you the number of times I've heard people say they'd rather be 'happy' than be on a 'diet'.  I've said it myself.  Do we honestly think that we cannot be 'happy' when we eat food that nourishes our body rather than destroys it?!

We are spoiled brats.  Modern society knows how weak we are and literally spoon feeds us garbage for our mind/body that they know we can't resist.  They know we want want want- now now now... and they give it to us.  Maybe we should just go along with it until it becomes a REAL problem- when the majority of our society is obese and having health issues, maybe even to the point of an epidemic- or when people start losing real communication skills because they only feel comfortable behind their electronic devices, and it causes conflict in their REAL relationships.  Wait a second....

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

the key to grief

it's a very strange experience
to miscarry a baby.

i kind of hate the word miscarriage. just like how i hate looking into the toilet now. just like how i hate my heightened sense of all pregnant women in public. just like how i hate cramps and the wave of fear it brings.

at a photo shoot saturday i unexpectedly found myself telling the mother and friend, "It's so very weird to go from being yourself and having your body to yourself, then surrendering all of you to something else."  It's a sacrifice you don't even, couldn't even, fully understand until you have unconsciously found yourself served up as God's instrument.   Your body isn't yours, really, any more.  (and it finally teaches me that it was never really mine to begin with.)  Your mind and body are occupied with creating this baby's life.  It makes decisions and coordinates functions and moves and prepares all without your choice.  i never knew it would feel like this.  i knew being pregnant would be cool but i didn't know.  i didn't really know how magical it is.

it is incredible, truly.
but it is so strange.

and how crappy i have thought it is to feel my body becoming "normal" and becoming mine again.  i ache to be pregnant again.  it's like i was ushered into a new, bright room, through a gate to a better place, then in one night---pulled from it and placed back into no mom's allowed room again to sit with my empty uterus.
maybe i shouldn't...but i feel like i've been demoted.

i mostly wanted to write today so that someday i could reread this piece and remember.
i was vacuuming a couple of days after i began the miscarriage.  (i cleaned a lot as part of my coping. distractions.)
i thought about how the grief of miscarriage uprooted a lot of my feelings of past experiences.  all grief i've ever felt... kind of came back, poking at me.  i thought about my struggle with grieving my brother's situation and considered how i didn't really tell anyone, really, what i was thinking and feeling during that time.  i guess, maybe God.  i prayed a lot throughout that experience. and i think maybe only God knew. He was the only one i was real with.  i don't feel like i knew what to do with grief when i was younger.  i tried to write about it, to address it.  then i tried healthy things to distract me and move on from it and took comfort in understanding God's plan for his children on Earth.

i kept vacuuming and wondered about others i knew that experienced grief, how did they deal with it?  how am i dealing with my grief now?  what is the best way?  is there a wrong way?  what should i do?  but really, is shop therapy really that bad??  but serious, how to people get over things?

i couldn't answer all of those questions, but i did decide on one thing that was helping me the most.
my husband.
i decided that when you grieve.  whenever that is in life, over whatever it may be.  you must have one person you can be YOU with.

in a room with anyone but my husband, i unconsciously put on a smile, faked it through being put together, and made jokes.  i told myself, and other's even told me, you can be whatever you are feeling... you don't have to put on a smile.  but my body wouldn't let me.
i think it is a fear of creating an uncomfortable situation.
i don't want to wail and collapse in front of others. what are they suppose to do? imagine the adrenaline that runs through them and makes them panic when i loose it in front of them.  let's talk about THAT awkward situation.
i fake it. to spare the awkward situation. and i remind myself to not fake it to myself at least.

so this is my life lesson learned : have someone (anyone) that you can be real with.  that you can still cry to even though its been weeks and you think you're suppose to be over it.  someone that you can tell how scared you are and what you're worried about and how you feel, all the real stuff.  someone that you can talk to about being sad and not feel like they want to run away from  your awkward pain.  someone that just lets you and doesn't judge you and accepts all of you.  you have got to have someone like that.

i think it's a key to life.
whether its a friend, or sibling, or spouse, or parent, or God or even a therapist.  we all need someone we can just be real with.  because who wants to travel through life hiding pieces of themselves and pretending to be happy?
hearts will heal if we will only let them.

i think its the only way i have survived this and had enough light to get out of bed each day and walk forward.  i am ever thankful for my husband for being this for me. it's invaluable to my healing and happiness.  and, oh, i wish it for everyone.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

 sneak peek for this California bride

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

fear not; i am with thee

i am not sure where to begin. or what to say. or why im writing.
ok, i lied. i do know why im writing. i knew that i could never fully heal without writing- for my sake. and i know i could never live my days pretending like this didn't happen.

we have a life to celebrate here. OR if i can't celebrate because its horribly dreary and i want to escape to a land far away with just my husband and some of the homemade rolls my sister in law makes, then the least i can do is acknowledge it.

yesterday, we walked through the doorway of the ultra sound room with doctor farley and he said, "well, it's not like you're going to go tell the world about this." it stung me a little bit. as if it would be wrong to do so. i thought about it.

you see, i was only 8.5 weeks along.
he didn't know me very well at all.

2 weeks pregnant.

when we found out we were pregnant, i figured i was maybe 4 weeks along. but later i found out i was way off. and 2 weeks when you're pregnant is WAY, like years in normal human time.  

we couldn't tell anyone of course, so i told strangers daily. and began writing in an empty journal to our babe for him or her to later read.  maybe i would give it to them on their 18th birthday with notes i have written over the years to them.

and so it goes.

aug 17,2014
Dearest Baby,
On the 14th I took a pregnancy test and found out you exist.
As I write this, I think my handwriting looks like MY mother's and I hope that you know and love her so much.  
I hope that maybe someday, your handwriting will look like mine too.
We just got married three months ago today.  We've only tried for you for the past 30 days.  I have had so many fears that we would struggle to get pregnant.  I worried it would take a long time. 
--- your daddy just came in and interrupted me..

aug 22, 2014
It has been a week since I found out you existed!  My positive pregnancy test was on August 14th! A very exciting moment! I felt different that day.  I couldn't squeeze my abs the same, I felt bloated and a little crampy. I took the test after I got home from grocery shopping and dinner with daddy at Texas Roadhouse.  I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw two lines.  I quickly reread the box to make sure that was what two lines meant. I couldn't believe it! Crazy! I yelled for Andy to come upstairs.  I showed him the stick and asked if it was real.  He didn't react like the movies. He said "I don't know...I guess so?"  Very calm.  Then he got nervous.  Worried about money I think.  It was all so crazy.  I figured with my irregular periods that it would take us a long time to get pregnant but here we are on our first try! I can't believe it.  It really has taken me all of this week for it to set in.  It's so strange. I think the reality will actually hit when we have our Drs visit.  I called to make the appt with Dr Farley and they guessed I was probably 4 weeks pregnant.  I asked what we would do in the appt and she said an ultrasound to see my baby and hear your heartbeat for the 1st time and i just got the chills.  
Tears welled up in my eyes.
I can't believe this is real.  I am so lucky.
I feel so blessed to have found Andy and to create a family with him.  I am so lucky to get pregnant so quickly.  I am so blessed.

I am so excited! It is so unreal to know my body is housing a living thing.  Being pregnant is incredible.

Sept 4th
Dearest Baby

It is completely silly, but I feel like I have been pregnant for FOREVER! My 1st doctors appt is next week and then I can know how far along I really am.  If we're about 6 weeks like I think we are, then you are the size of a pea! Your heart is already developed and your blood is pumping through your body! You're alive!
It is wild and crazy to know you are growing inside me.
Today I have fed you a donut, reeses pieces and pizza on accident.
I am sorry.
I'm reading a book that is trying to convince me (and all women) that I must eat vegetarian while pregnant.
uh. no.
I feel tired easily. But mostly I have been thankful to feel pretty good! no sickness.  I am so glad.  I only feel tired and hungry.  And my boobs hurt.  Some days I feel like I look huge in my belly and other days it doesn't even look like i'm pregnant at all.  
Dear 9 months, please go by quicker!

I wonder what you will look like and what you will like to do. I wonder what your laugh will sound like and the color of your eyes.  

I wonder if I have the patience to be a good mother and wife to Andy, as a mom.  I worry about not being as good as I want to be.  I don't want to be stressed and cranky. I want to be calm, loving, happy and fun.  I want to create the best environment for you.  I want to never push my marriage aside or forget to nourish it. I already want you to be here, but to never grow up.  Daddy wants for you to be a boy and I want for you to be a girl.  But we both know, all we really want is for you to be healthy.

I hope I can create a home that always has the Spirit in it.  i hope you grow to know of my love for the gospel and my dedication to living the principles of it, not because I was told to, but because they bring me happiness, freedom, and protection.  God is a part of every piece of our lives.  He guided me through out my life to develop in a healthy way and to learn so I could grow and He brought me to Andy.  
He has blessed me with you and has given me the chance to feel all of the love and amazing things I do during pregnancy.

I know so many women talk with dread about pregnancy and whine to other about it--but holy cow! It's not like that for me at all.  It is so magical! How incredible it is to feel bloated BECAUSE there is a human developing inside me! Every headache is so worth it! 

How very lucky I am to get to be a mom.

I need to go work on photos but you must know, I fall asleep at night thinking of you.

Sept 8th
Dearest Babe,
I hope you are healthy and growing. Our first doctors appt is in 3 days and I can hardly stand it! It's really hard not to tell anyone about you yet.  I feel like my life has already changed and no else has any idea.  Last night in Alicia Silverstone's book, she said vomiting is a sign of a strong pregnancy.  Scared me and pissed me off at the same time.  I'm sure you and I are mega strong.  I am so happy you exist and cant wait to hear your heartbeat.  Tears well up in my eyes on my way home from work each day --my quiet time.  I love you already.
-Your Mama

Our doctor's visit was exciting! Andy recorded nearly all of it and we found out Baby Bell was only 6 weeks instead of 8 like the receptionist had guessed.  I was nervous for the appointment and particularly to have my blood drawn as I hate needles.  I was trying to prepare myself to be ok if he didn't find a heartbeat. Because I knew that sometimes happened and I knew it was more likely to happen early on. We were escorted from room to room.  Doctor said baby was perfectly healthy 6 week baby! We sat and watched the heartbeat!  It is difficult to describe how wonderful it feels to see the baby and watch its healthy heart, knowing its a part of you and growing to be yours forever.   Doctor said with a nice strong heartbeat, chances of miscarriage are very low.  He congratulated us once again, and happily sent us off on our way! 

We waited a week to tell our family and another week to tell the world our great news.  We tossed names up in the air and never agreed on any.  I picked and planned almost everything (its just my nature) in my head (an on pinterest).  I bought a onesie with a bike on it and another that says Luv U Daddy.  I unbuttoned my pants to sit. And couldn't wait to get my bra off each day.  I dreamed about what I would teach our baby and imagined breastfeeding in the quiet of the night with just a lamp on. I worried that I didn't know enough about the gospel to teach him or her everything.  I worried about how we would afford their college and a mission and their wedding.  I worried about if i would be a crazy over protective mom that didn't microwave food for fear of harming the baby.  I stretched and ran a little and thought about which muscles I need to strengthen for labor.  I read a couple pregnancy books and quickly grew bored of reading about pregnancy and birth.  I worried about the seatbelt that laid right over my uterus.  I drove careful knowing I never wanted that belt to jerk tight against our baby.  I rubbed my belly unconsciously when I thought about him or her and I prayed each day telling Heavenly Father how grateful I am to have the baby in me.  I wasn't taking it for granted. I knew how blessed I was.

 2 weeks ago after our wedding reception in california and our announcement to our family, 
we visited the beach and these stunning redwoods

its been easy to write and relive and remember everything so far...

here comes the rain.

4 days ago, on Friday evening I was driving home from Salt Lake.  I had worked all day followed by a photoshoot,then Andy met me downtown for dinner.  We ran through a heavy rain storm to the restaurant. lightning was striking terribly close. on my drive home i thought about my life.  when andy and i got engaged i thought it was a joke.  i skated in circles around the rink with him asking if he was sure.  as we were engaged i wobbled on the edge wondering if he really would want to marry me and if i was really living real life.  i wasn't THAT lucky of person to get to live this dream! even on our wedding day, Andy was nervous and pacing and i imagined him calling it all off.  how blessed i am to have married the man of my dreams.  this was all going just too good.  then to find out the sweetest joy, that we were pregnant! it was all so perfect. i was living the dream i've dreamt about for soo long.  and i thought about the horrible trials i faced in my early twenties and thought, well maybe i do deserve to get to live this untainted dream!  as i drove that night on the wet, sloshy roads, i felt so so so grateful.  I told God, in my mind, thank yous over and over for what i have.  It felt too good to be true. I knew from my past that life, really isn't designed to be "too good to be true".  it isn't meant to be perfectly sunshiney happy and smooth.  it isn't the plan.  it would never help us to expand ourselves, or grow.  
it isn't possible any other way.

oh my heart aches. 
ill gulp back my tears since none of you can see me sitting on my blood stained sheets, wearing a diaper and feeling the cool breeze come through my bedroom window--i can write this. i can do hard things. i've done them before.

on saturday we went to ikea with our dearest friends, heidi and ryan and their pretty baby, claire.  i already have researched cribs and baby things and designed the nursery in my mind.  i was on the hunt to create my dream nursery on a budget.  i woke up that saturday morning feeling great. I had felt awesome the past couple of days and was excited to pick out nursery items and shop.  We ate art city donuts (incredible) and walked around ikea.  I ate two hot dogs and soda and naturally had a belly ache on the ride home.  
i got home and headed straight to go to the bathroom. 
i wiped and shrieked a curse word. 
andy asked whats wrong. 
it wasn't just spotting. it was a lot of blood.

i tried to keep calm. it wasn't that much, i told myself. i got the doctors number and went through the emergency phone line.  i dialed as i walked up the stairs with tears in my eyes.  i knelt beside my bed and prayed will the dial tone rang.  

 what was happening?  some people bleed during pregnancy and its just a scare. they end up being ok.  it was saturday at 5:00 pm that this began. 

after the phone call to the emergency line where i just left a message with the operator to have a doctor call, i headed back to our bathroom.  my heart is racing as i retell this.  my heart is so heavy.

i sat on the toilet to check if i was still bleeding. i was upstairs by myself. i wiped.  it was red red blood. SO much blood. and i knew.

i fell on the bathroom floor. my face on my dirty bathroom rug, my pants at my ankles and butt in the air. i wailed. i was uncontrollable. i screamed into the floor. 
my poor husband. he didn't know if i was physically in pain or not. 
he curled around me.
he tried to calm me.
but i couldn't stop.

i wondered if i was bleeding all over my floor and clothes. 
i knew the bedroom window was open and wondered if he whole neighborhood could hear my screaming.

i don't know how long i stayed like that. but after some time i got back on the toilet. then after a while, i just pulled up my pants and laid in bed with andy crying. waiting for the doctor to call.  i just laid there, bleeding through my underwear. not wanting to move. i was unsure if i should still have hope, i did anyway.  i told myself some bleeding happens. the doctor will tell us what to do.

the doctor called. asked questions. guided us. told us he would call tomorrow after he checks my blood type to see if it was the rh factor thing. and said we could go to the ER if we wanted.  i didn't want to. i felt safe in my home. i didn't want to go unless it was an emergency and i felt danger. i knew if there was something they could possibly do to help, i would go but i did not feel that.

at some point i called my mother. i didn't want to acknowledge what was happening. i didn't want to say anything out loud. i didn't want to talk to anyone, but i had to tell my mom. she had to know what was happening. she comforted me and i was glad to hear her voice.

andy and i laid in bed for a while. we just curled there crying together. I have the best husband in the whole world. I was so thankful to have him with me and to not be alone.

Contractions and cramping began to increase and i knew this wasn't good.  I read how cramping wasn't good accompanied with bleeding.  But what was happening?  Two weeks ago I WATCHED the heart beat.  We saw it.  Its healthy and strong.  I think the doctor even told us it was cute! I have a picture of it.  It is right there.

As I could actually feel myself bleeding, I made my way to the bathroom.  Andy sat on the edge of the tub. I felt a surge of pressure and something sliding down, a huge chunk passed from me and fell into the toilet.

 the most horrible moment of my life.

I yelled and cried to the ceiling, "no no no no no no nooo..." Andy knelt at the toilet and held me.  Tissue was coming out of me. there was so much blood. my baby.
oh gosh. 
i looked at the dark solid matter sitting in my dirty, now red toilet. i wailed. i didn't want to push it. i didn't want to let any of it out. i wanted to cross my legs and keep my baby.
i didn't want this to be happening.
i didn't want to push my baby into a toilet bowl.
i sat there for a long time.  andy and i in shock. completely heartbroken. scared because we didn't know what to do or what to expect. 
and then i realized...
i have to flush.
at some point, i was going to have to flush my baby down this toilet.
and i bawled again.

this repeated several times each hour. i never knew which chunk had my baby in it. but it didn't matter. it was my baby every time. and every time i was afraid for that feeling of it coming down.
i was afraid to hear the "plop" and to feel more and more empty.
the night grew darker and darker. heaviness weighed on us.

i prayed. i didn't know if i had the strength to do this. 

andy was my rock. and when he couldn't soothe me, i prayed for Christ to help me. 

after several hours, andys sister and step mom came to check on us. jen brought ice cream and diapers and pads and everything i would need. i hadn't left the toilet in hours. i was bleeding like a faucet.  i finally got a jumbo boat sized pad on the diaper and got into bed. i continued to contract but eventually the bleeding slowed enough to sit up and eat. andy made me ritz with cream cheese and salami. he kept me hydrated and looked things up and made phone calls. he is the most incredible man ever. im so lucky to be his.

eventually we fell asleep crying. i slept an hour or so. woke up and stared at the shadow of our fan. 
told myself "i am loosing my baby. that presence of the baby already in our home.. you need to do something to ignore that."
i fell back asleep until 2am. I woke up with terrible contractions again. i laid next to andy and pretended like it wasn't happening. i didn't move. i thought maybe if i didn't move it would prevent it from happening.  the pain grew. i could feel blood making a mess down there. i had to get up.

from 2-4 i continued to contract and pass solids. i was miserable and tired. it was traumatic and horrifying. it was the most physical and emotional pain i have ever endured.  

andy stirred and helped me but i felt so bad i woke him from his sleep.  i laid there in pain, trying to fall asleep to escape it. i hurt so bad i thought maybe i might not live through this. i imagined being rushed to the hospital and the horror and fear it would rack on my sweet husband.  i wondered if possibly something more was happening than just a miscarriage. could there be some internal bleeding aside from the uterus? would i pass out? is something else wrong? i prayed to God that if this was his will, i would drink the bitter cup, but i prayed that he would help me do it.  i was willing. i knew we were loosing our baby, but i didn't want to die too. i didn't want to do that to andy. i didn't want to leave him.  i asked God to spare me, please, if he couldn't save my baby.

i stared at my husbands face and felt so bad i wasn't making him a father.  i ached for the pain he had expressed to me earlier in the evening and his feelings of helplessness.  i felt heartache that it was reminding him of feelings of his mother's passing.  i just couldn't believe this was real. 

i survived the night. which felt like a miracle.

the following day was Sunday. i had slept from 4am-9am. i woke up looking at andy. i took a groggy deep breath in and realized what had happened the night before.  i looked around. i felt the diaper on me.   

it wasn't a dream.
and whole new wave of pain hit me.

sunday the bleeding slowed enough that we could go for a drive. 
we live in the most beautiful place in the world, im pretty sure.   healing had to start somewhere.. 
tears were on the brim of my eyes all day but i was trying so hard to think of how i would be ok from this.  i caught myself holding my belly and had to tell myself to stop. i repeated to myself that i was not pregnant. there is no baby inside me any more. i told myself it was going to be ok. 
but i didn't feel ok.

sunday came and went with lighter bleeding, and a little bit more tissue passed.
monday morning we visted the doctor.  i had become very anxious all day sunday that i hadn't pushed everything out and might need the surgery to scrape it all out.  an event that ive heard is painful and traumatic.  i had fear i would need it. 

doctor farley came into the room. asked a few questions. and replied, "that's the pits."

it really was the pits. or worse.

we went to the ultrasound room. i never looked at andys face. i feared i would loose my strength i had walking in if i saw pain in his face.  my uterus popped up on the screen.
empty as can be.

my uterus was completely empty.
i searched for the spot where i saw the little circle halo around my baby on this screen last time.
just black.

while an empty feeling filled me and almost made me feel out of place laying in that room with the wand on my belly -- i also felt relief.  my body did it. all of it came out on its own. 

how blessed i was.
we left relieved and thankful to not need the d&c. as soon as we got out of the stale clinic air, andy held me and let me finally cry. 

i feel like a little bit of me is missing.  i also still feel the presence of the baby near me. which sounds creepy probably, but i do. i don't feel alone. i can feel Heavenly Father's love, but i ache. I'm so sad. A really deep sadness that i can't really convey.

the greatest thing that has come from this experience is my gratitude for my husband.  he is the greatest man i know, and i am so proud to be his wife.  he has been truly amazing in helping me and calming me and strengthening me.  i am truly so thankful for him and feel blessed to have such a great man. 

the next couple of weeks will not be easy. just this morning at 6am i woke with incredibly painful cramping/contractions again that andy helped me through. i bled on our sheets and lost it again at the sight of them.  im not really ok. i've been faking it to try to convince myself. 
so when you ask, the answer is no. 
but i will be.  eventually.  
the miscarriage should be over in the next couple of weeks. and slowly i think my heart will heal.  
yesterday we opened the windows for fresh air and sunshine.
and already it is becoming more bearable.

we appreciate all your love and support.  so many are praying with and for us and it means a lot to us.  thank you.

forgive me as i have solemn moods through out the day.  i am not great at responding to texts and calls. i honestly do not want to get out my house and see anyone, and i have trouble talking about it out loud.   but i'll get better.

I know that God is light. He dispels darkness.  I know that he doesn't make bad things happen to us, but knows they are inevitable as we are on this earth.  As he aches to watch us struggle, I know he blessed us with strength and angels to lift us up.  I know it because he has done that for me. I am thankful to know Andy and I are sealed together in the temple for eternity.  I am thankful that no matter what happens, we will be together forever and our children will be ours always. 

The gospel of Jesus Christ is pure and good.  It is bringing me hope and warmth at this time when i feel low.  I am grateful to know of it.  This life is still good, even when there is horribly bad to endure.

Positives to see in this:
-im alive
-i can ride a mountain bike again
-i can work more to save more money
-i have a stronger relationship with my husband
-my love and knowledge of my Savior has grown
-i can stop rubbing coconut oil on my body
-i can help & comfort others in the future