Monday, October 10, 2011

Finger Painting!!

I recently bought Penny some big paper and finger paint. She has totally loved it! I don't know why it took me so long to get some but it has been well worth the wait!

I love how timid she is at the beginning, then by the end, nearly every inch of her is covered in paint.

This is what Pen does when I ask her to smile.

While taking a break, she looks at her belly and
sees a world of canvas opportuity

Reaching in for a hand full

A little tentative at first :)

I adore her chubby little hands

Trying to figure out what her mom just did to her nose

My sweet, happy girl!

Making sure nothing goes unpainted :)

Now she's wondering if it tastes as good as it looks.

Time for a bath!

Start Spreading The News...

Way back in August, Sarah, Jona and I took a trip to New York City! My family surprised Sarah for her 30th birthday and Jona and I decided what better way for her to enjoy NYC than for us to tag along! :)

We had so much fun. It was HOT and incredibly exhausting but we really did have the time of our lives. I learned quickly, while our on honeymoon, that my husband is an OVER ACHIEVER vacationer. Which means that you shouldn't expect to sleep in or relax. My sister is even worse. The two of them combined create a sightseeing force that is not to be messed with. I am just now getting the feeling back into my feet.

We saw the Metropolitan Museum, Grand Central Terminal, Ground Zero, Museum of Natural History, The Pompeii Exhibit, The Hello Deli, Ed Sullivan Theater, Strawberry Fields, The Dakota, Central Park, Rockefeller Plaza, Top of the Rock, Empire State Building, took a boat to the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Carnegie Deli, Times Square, took ABC tour...

It went on and on. It really was a blast. My poor sister has been suffering from Celiacs, soy allergies, Dairy allergies and every other food allergy you can think of so her food choices at home are pretty limited. As it turns out, NYC is like the mecca of gluten free and vegan restaurants. It was so fun to watch her be able to eat things like pizza and pasta and breadsticks that actually tasted good!

We left Penny with my gracious in laws. We missed her like crazy. By the end of the trip Jona and I kept staring at kids on the subway. We couldn't wait to get back to her but we really had a great time with each other and Sarah.

Here are some pics from the trip...

Sarah and I in Grand Central Station
(which was across the street from our hotel)

Sweatin' it up in the Subways. Seriously every time
we got down there I wanted to cry. Subways are not for me.
Go ahead, call me a snob.

Inside the Met. This place is absolutely incredible.

While at the Met, I made Jona sit down about
100 times to "take a picture".
Holy cow, my feet hurt

(sorry for the butt crack :))

This was my favorite part
Sarah and I got last minute tickets to see Phantom
I cried through the whole thing. Absolutely amazing!
(We also saw Wicked, which was great, but not as good as Phantom)

Sorry for the poor quality.
I think this was right before Wicked

My sister is even beautiful while stuffing her
mouth full of gluten free pizza :)
(Don't hate me for this Sarah)

This was on our last night.
We surprised Sarah by taking her on a sailboat cruise to see the statue of liberty.
It was so beautiful. I didn't get a great picture of it,
but here's one of the skyline on our way back.

Thanks Jona & Sarah for a great trip. Love you both!!

I'm Not Dead Yet

I've come to terms with the fact that I am a very obnoxious blogger. I would apologize but I'm not sure it's about to change so I'll hold off on that. Hey, at least I'm not as lazy a blogger as this guy :)

I come to realize that my relationship with blogging is a lot like the friend you were supposed to call a while ago. You don't call, forget to call, lose the number, etc. Then you get to a point where you're so embarrassed to run into them that you move to another state and change your name. Thats kinda where I'm at.

I thought I might start another blog but then I realized that no one reads this blog anymore so maybe I'll start with a whole new audience. So welcome, newbies. This blog is filled with consistent, meaningful, life-changing content.

Let the blogging commence!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Ever since I could remember, it has been a dream of mine to have a little girl. Whenever I would picture what she'd look like she would have these cute little pigtails. Imagine my dismay when for the first year of her life, Penny was almost completely bald! I can now say with confidence that my child has hair!

As a matter of fact, she has a killer mullet going on. I have been told several times (ahem Janel) that I need to cut it because its getting a little hillbilly, but I refuse to cut those precious locks that we have been waiting for all these months!

Anyway, If finally gave pigtails a shot and I thought she looked super cute! Here is some photographic evidence...

Yes, I am aware my child looks freakishly tall.
She is really tall for her age, but not that tall!

See what I mean about the mullet?
There's just not much hair on top

This is Pen's BFF the Mr. Vacuum.
Whenever I try to use it she lays down in front of it
As if I am forcing it to clean against its will.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Family Day Away! Ventura

I started getting big time cabin fever a couple of weeks ago. If you are in So Cal this time of year then you will know that the second you step outside your skin actually melts off your body. Its disgusting. I was very ready to get out of our little condo!

Anyway, we decided to head to Ventura and it was such a perfect day. We had lunch and hit some antique shops that we hadn't been to since our honeymoon. My husband is quite the antique shopper (don't tell him I said that) and has been looking for a cigar shop Indian for quite some time. When he wasn't looking I found the perfect one and bought it. I personally think its really creepy but Jona is absolutely in love. I told him there is one rule he must follow in order to bring "Chief Squatting Tiger" (his name NOT mine) into our home is that he cannot be in my line of sight when I wake up in the morning. So far so good.

After the shops we went down to the beach and rented a beach surry. I had always wanted to rent one before because it looked so fun but boy those things are exhausting. Penny absolutely loved it. She wasn't too keen on the helmet, but really, who is? We were going to rent it for two hours but decided on just one (thank goodness!).

After our little bike ride we went down to the beach and Pen played in the waves with her Dada. I can't tell you how many times I looked at my little family and thanked the Lord for how He has blessed us! I would love another little baby in my arms but God has been so kind to us.

On the way home we stopped at a fruit stand off the 126 and had some amazing strawberries and smoked pistachios. It was such a sweet day. Here are some pics!

Jona and the new love of his life :)

Penny's almost ready to go!

My Studly Hubs
(Who did 99% of the work)

This is Penny's new face. She's not unhappy,
She just likes her lips like that

She's pretty stinking cute in my opinion :)

On the swings! (duh)

There was a seal on the beach.
He didn't seem to be doing to well,
But it was cool to see nonetheless

Pen & her Dada watching the seal

He is such a precious Daddy.
Pen has no idea how lucky she is to have him!

By the way, I was actually there with them :) When I sent my dad some of these pictures he suggested that Jona just took Penny and paid a hobo to take a bunch of pictures. :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Back In The Swing of Things

I first would like to thank all of you, both on my blog and on Facebook, for your kindness, your prayers and your encouragement to us. I have been so overwhelmed by the emails, flowers, meals, cards, messages, phone calls and so on. I have been so overwhelmed how the body of Christ works and we have been immensely blessed.

I'll be honest, I was shocked by the number of women who shared with me that they too had miscarried a baby. I couldn't believe it. At least every other message was someone who had gone through the same thing, if not worse (multiple miscarriages or even stillbirths). It has taught me that God's grace is most definitely sufficient. This has hurt like crazy but watching how others have healed, or are in the process of healing has shown me how God provides.

I have been so humbled by friends who have gone through horrible pain with stillbirths, miscarriages and infertility who have taken the time to share with me what God has taught them. I'm also thankful for the friends who haven't experienced that pain but who have come along side and hurt as if they had.

We ended up having to have another D&C, which was unexpected, but I ended up being so thankful for it. It relieved a lot of pain, so I am on my way to being almost completely healed physically.

LAPD allowed Jona to take a lot of time of work so we were together nearly every second these last two weeks. Those were probably the sweetest weeks of our entire marriage. He is such a good, good man. I cannot believe how blessed I am to be his wife! Today was his first day back and I already miss him so much.

We are getting back into the swing of things. My darling Pen is home and is making us laugh all day long. Pray for her if you think of it, I'm almost 100% positive her ear infections have returned. It is time for her to get tubes put in. We have a lot of insurance stuff to work out so hopefully that will be tackled early next week.

I am still struggling with my nights. I'm having a hard time sleeping and can't stop dreaming about sad things. I have worked to find a sense of normalcy. I used heavy cleaning supplies in my bathroom tonight and took ibuprofen which were two things I hadn't been able to bring myself to do. You are not supposed to do either of those while pregnant. I know its silly, but it kinda brought closure.

God has been so kind. He has provided immensely. I am more in love with Him and I'm more in love with my husband and my little girl. I'm thankful for my friends, I'm thankful for God's word, and I'm thankful for what God teaches us through trials.

My sweet friend Michelle shared this passage with me and I have clung tightly to it...

Psalm 31:14
"But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord.
I say, 'You are my God.
My times are in Your hand'"

Monday, July 11, 2011

July 5th, 2011

We were planning on getting someone to watch Pen the morning of the ultrasound but because she seemed like she was getting sick, we didn't want to risk spreading it to someone else.

Jona met me immediately after work and we drove down to Glendale Adventist for our ultrasound. We joked around and talked about the baby and laughed about what our doctor would think if he walked in the room and Jona was on the exam table instead of me :) Yep, my husband's sense of humor is bizarre.

We made some small talk with the OB and got ready to see our baby. I was almost immediately encouraged because the sac looked beautifully round and was much bigger than last week, or so I thought. My heart instantly broke in to a million pieces when I heard him say "the baby doesn't have a heart beat". We sat silently and tears streamed down our faces as he looked and looked and didn't say much. He kept telling me to hold my breath so he could get a clearer picture. I'm pretty sure I set a world record trying to be perfectly still. Even Penny was silent for a good 10 to 15 minutes.

I never thought we'd go through that. I never thought we'd lose our baby.

I can't tell you how much I hate hearing the statistics of how often a miscarriage takes place. I don't care if I'm "in the norm" or if 1 out of 5 pregnancies end in miscarriage. It shouldn't be normal. It's a little, precious life that's been lost. It is certainly not normal.

Our doctor gave us his sincere condolences and told us that he felt we needed to have a D&C within the next couple of days. Even that same day if we could. We asked him if we could wait and he said yes, but only a couple of days.

I don't remember how it came about but I told him my ears were really hurting. He checked them, found that I had a double ear infection, prescribed be antibiotics and sent us on our way. Even that was such a blessing that my OB took time out to care for my ears so I wouldn't have to go into a walk in clinic in the middle of all of this.

We each called our parents and cried with them and asked if they would tell our siblings. We headed back to SCV. We asked a friend to take Pen for the day and we just got back to the house and slept for the rest of the afternoon. I don't think it had quite sunk in yet.

Penny was dropped off that night and our friend Janel, who had been watching her, told us she hadn't eaten much and still had a bit of a fever. Just like the night before, Penny laid on my chest and didn't move for hours.

I started realizing how hot she was and I noticed her breathing was becoming really shallow. We tried to give her a shower to cool her off and she just screamed and screamed.

We called our pediatrician and were told we should probably take her into the ER. Another God thing was that we had just switched insurance and have to find a new pediatrician. Even with them knowing that they spent a lot of time on the phone with me and helped us with Pen. I thought that was pretty cool.

It kills me to say I finally noticed how miserable she was. I know there was a lot going on but I don't know how I didn't realize she was acting so lethargic and sickly.

We took her right in and God again showed us His kindness and mercy. We didn't even wait 20 minutes before they triaged her and learned even after several doses of medicine she still had a 105 temp.

For those precious parents whose children are in and out of the hospital with heart breaking illness and disease, my heart goes out to you. There is nothing more painful then holding down your screaming little baby while they poke and prod and test them. Pen and I cried together.

The doctor's and nurses were wonderful and they let me hold her the entire time. In the wee hours of the next morning the test results came back and we found out she had pneumonia and a double ear infection. It was enough to make her pretty sick but I was so grateful it wasn't more serious. Again, God's blessing.

Wednesday was spent taking care of Pen and me driving around to pre-op appointments for my D&C that we scheduled for Thursday.

My incredible inlaws flew home early from their vacation to help take care of Penny. My sister in law helped with Pen and cooked us a meal. Have I mentioned I love my inlaws?

Thursday was hard. So hard. I really struggled with the surgery. I didn't want it, I was so scared and I was just beginning to realize the truth of what had happened.

However, God continued to bless. My nurse was so so sweet. I'm almost certain she was a Christian. The woman in the bed next to us had her husband reading outloud to her. We quickly realized it was The Gospel According to Jesus. How cool huh?

I don't really remember anything about the rest of the day, because apparently they drugged me pretty good afterwards. To me, this is also a major blessing since I don't remember I don't have to keep thinking about it over and over again.

It's been 3 days. The Johnson's have taken care of Penny who is doing SO much better. Jona and I have spent every minute together. All we have done is eat, sleep, watch movies, talk, cry, pray, laugh. It has been such a sweet time. I miss Pen so much and I can't wait to get back to caring for her, but this time with Jona has been an unexpected blessing. I love him more than I ever thought possible. He is an incredible man and I can't stop thanking God for the gift that he is!

I'm hurting, both physically and emotionally. I didn't expect the recovery to be so hard. Night time is the hardest. Im not sure if it's the painkillers or what but every time I close my eyes I have nightmares about our little baby. It has probably been the hardest thing of all.

Another way God has blessed is through people. We have so many hurting with us and praying for us it's overwhelming. I've gotten hundreds of notes and messages, some from people I've never met. It's incredible how God has blessed and encouraged us through so many of you. It has been shocking to read the number of women that I know who have been through miscarriages. You would never ever know. I feel like I walk around and its written on my face. I do believe in a God that heals and I long to get to the point where I have healed some.

I hope it wasn't inappropriate for me to share in such detail. I know that so many have gone through heartache so much deeper. Whether it is infertility or several miscarriages or stillbirths, I take such comfort in knowing God is the God of them all and that He is good in ALL that HE does.

I miss my little one. It's like there is a huge empty space where my baby was. I wish I knew the gender and that we could name it. I can't wait to meet our darling baby in Heaven.

I read this quote a couple of nights ago and I've read it so many times I've memorized it...

"Dry, then, your tears, and cease to mourn, you saints of God.
They are “not lost, but gone before.” Their spirits live with Jesus.
And when He comes, He will bring them with Him,
and you shall see and know them with a cloudless sight and a perfect knowledge."

Octavius Winslow

Thank you again for your kindness and your prayers. It is impossible to miss how God has cared for us through this. He gives and takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.

Our Little Angel

Lately sleep has not come easy. Tonight is one of those nights where I've been awake for a couple of hours. I've gotten up to get drinks of water, turn the air off, then on, then off again. I finally decided to see if blogging will help. This will probably be kinda long so I may split it up into two different parts.

I wrote a blog post a couple of weeks ago and announced to the blogosphere that we are expecting our second baby. We were absolutely thrilled.

We have been trying for almost a year to conceive another baby. I have some slight fertility issues so I have been taking general fertility drugs every month to improve our chances of getting pregnant. It was a difficult time to get our hopes up every month only to be disappointed with a negative pregnancy test.

God was so gracious to us and He placed Godly women in my life to point me to Christ and my sufficiency in Him instead of placing my sufficiency in being able to get pregnant.

We had close friends and family who would pray that God would bless us with another baby and He so graciously answered our prayer on June 5Th when I learned we were 5 weeks pregnant!

Anyway, in this last blog post I wrote about how I found out, how I told Jona (such a sweet, funny moment), how we told our parents and how we taught Penny to announce that she will be a "sissy (sister)".

I was about to finish the blog post and post it when we left for the Resolved conference in Palm Springs. I decided I would post it when I came back. Our time there was extremely difficult. It was blazingly hot, our car broke down, Penny barely slept, I threw up a lot, and several other little trials kept hitting us in the face one by one.

We came home and the very next morning I got to take my mom with us to our ultrasound. I was about 8 weeks pregnant and I was excited for her to see the heartbeat we had seen thumping furiously the week before.

Jona had to wait in the waiting room with Pen because she was having a major breakdown and would not settle down. Our wonderful OB showed us the baby and said, "I can't quite see the heartbeat."
My heart instantly sank. But he didn't seem to concerned because my uterus was tilted and it was something he said was common at this size. He spent a good amount of time looking but ultimately decided not to be worried and to come back in a week so we could look again. I believe at that point I already knew something was wrong but my mom & Jona weren't concerned. I decided to try and distract myself and to pray that our little one was alright.

I hope in writing this you can seen how God's kindness to us simply abounded. An example: Almost right after out appointment I prayed that God would provide a distraction to make the week pass more quickly. Immediately we were asked by dear friends to house sit in their beautiful home. We got to spend the week watching movies and swimming in their pool.

Jona, Penny & I got a cold but it wasn't anything too bad. On the 4th, Jona had to work so Pen and I watched settled in to watch a movie & some fireworks. She snuggled against my chest at about 4pm and by 10pm hadn't moved an inch. I should have known something was wrong.

She barely would eat and she would whimper if moved her. I kept thinking about our appointment the next morning and was too distracted to access little Penny's health like I should have done.

Thankfully my brother-in-law graciously brought me over some Tylenol & a thermometer to see if she had a fever. She did. It was about 103.7 but I gave her some Tylenol and she went to sleep. I watched the Macy's fireworks and fell asleep a little while later.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Where Do I Begin?

To say that I'm behind in blogging would be the understatement of the year. I can't say that I haven't tried to blog, I just felt like everything I wrote was kind of whiney.

We moved the computer into our bedroom to make some room in our living room. There have been many nights that I couldn't sleep so I would roll out of bed and try to write something. Praise the Lord He always prompted me to wait until morning before thinking about publishing it on here. Once I reread it a few hours later, I would laugh at how dramatic I was being and move on.

I will say that these last six months have been a huge learning experience. I may have mentioned before that my home church (my dad's church) split this last Christmas. It has been extremely painful, as most church splits are, and it really rocked my little world. It has hurt and it still hurts but God has been so gracious through this season. The church is doing so well and God is really blessing in so many ways.

God also used the time to work in my heart and help me see my discontent. I have really struggled with not living close to my family in Washington. It caused dissension in my marriage and a major attitude of bitterness in my heart in several different areas. God has changed my heart so drastically. I adore my family and GBC and I will cherish every opportunity to spend time with them but God has made LA my home and I am so thankful. I have a wonderful husband, home and in laws. It has been such a blessing in disguise in more ways than I can count!

So all that to say, we are doing really well. I am more in love with Jonathan than ever and in my honest opinion, Penny is the cutest thing on the planet. I am several months behind in posting updates and pictures so I will try to be better about that!

Friday, February 11, 2011


Since the beginning of January, Jonathan has been working the night shift. It has been really weird and kinda hard making the transition. It makes it so that I don't get to see him that much, which has been really sad :( Everything is a bit off in our home since he's been on this shift, but one small blessing that comes from it is that it frees up my evenings a little bit to do things I wouldn't do otherwise.

One of those things is a sewing class that I've been taking. My dear mother-in-law bought me a sewing machine for Christmas. I cried. I couldn't believe that she would get me one! The cool thing is that her mother-in-law (Jona's Grandma, Memaw) got her one after she married Jona's dad, so apparently its turning into a tradition of sorts. The tradition will end with me though because if I ever have boys they aren't allowed to get married... Just kidding. ;)

I went to Beverly's, which is literally a block away from my house, to pick up some supplies and saw that they had sign ups for a beginner's sewing class. After I signed up, I learned that a sweet woman I knew from Master's was teaching the class! Perfect!

I just finished the last week of the beginner class and it was a total blast. I learned a lot and I can't wait for the next one (it starts Monday, if anyone is interested, I highly recommend it!). We learned how to make pajama pants and how to work on basic patterns. I don't have any pictures of my pants because I look pretty awful in them, but I do have some pictures of a dress that I just finished for Pen.

Here is a picture of the pattern...

The thing I love about this pattern is that it's easy breezy and it's reversible. I posted these pictures on facebook and a friend commented that it's a perfect dress for a baby because if they spill something on it you can just turn it inside out. That is exactly why I made it. :)

The flip side (Penny being a weirdo)

One second she loved the dress...

The next second not so much...

The Last Couple of Months...

I have to admit, it was really hard to sit down to try to blog tonight. I have tried several times in the last month but I just really haven't felt like it. I haven't really known what to say. The last couple of months take the cake for the most painful time of my life. There have been a lot of tears shed and a lot of prayers that have, at times, seemed like they are bouncing off the ceiling. There were several different issues that contributed to this season, but I think a lot of it was caused by my own sin.

I got to a place where I felt so angry I just wanted to run away from everything and never come back either that or kill everyone (that was a joke :)). I was desperately seeking to take control of my life when all I needed to do was relinquish control. I know this all sounds rather dramatic, but truthfully, it was pretty awful.

God used so many different things to break me over and over again. My precious husband, my parents, my in-laws, HIS WORD... He took away things and people that I valued so highly and replaced them with Himself. It has been painful, but its also been incredibly sweet.

It was really interesting for a while. I felt so incredibly alone for a several weeks, which was weird. My husband is never too busy to listen or to hold me but I just couldn't communicate my heart to him. I also have some of the most sympathetic, kind, selfless friends and I felt like I just couldn't get them to help me. Not for their lack of trying, but just because I felt like I couldn't connect. One dear friend in particular kept pointing me to where I needed to repent and I would just say, "I know, but I really need you to help me fix this". It finally occurred to me that Christ was the only one that could fix this stuff and He was graciously finding ways to point me back to Him every time I looked toward myself or others.

I think a lot of my sin has been/is being revealed, and I'm so thankful for it (not the sin, the revelation). I have been really overwhelmed trying to sort through my emotions and the sin in my heart, but I have been reminded time and time again that focusing on the cross and on my Savior is the only way to shed the sin, anger and pride that I've allowed to take over my heart.

I know that this is pretty heavy, but I just wanted to share a little bit of where I've been. God is so good, isn't He? I'm so excited to be in Heaven with Him someday away from the pain of this life! In the meantime, I will rejoice in the many blessings He has given! Even Especially the cute, whiny little baby who keeps snotting on my shirt. :)

Penny's First Birthday and Favorite Things post coming up...

Thursday, January 20, 2011


One of our family traditions is to decorate cookies together. My sister, Sarah, even gives out prizes for the best cookies. I'll be honest.
I should have won this year.
No questions asked.
But Sarah likes to make everyone happy and give out ribbons and prizes to people who don't deserve them.
I'm not bitter.
I swear.

Beautiful Sharon concentrating on her cookies

Jules looking very embarrassed about her husband's decorating abilities

She should have been embarrassed.
This cookies is dumb. I'm not afraid to say it.
I even saw someone say it looked like an Amoeba.
Did he win a ribbon? Clearly Yes.
Should he have won a ribbon? Clearly No.

These were some of Sarah's cookies. They're ok, I guess.

I know what you're thinking...
"She won a ribbon too?! How can that be?
It looks like a rat pooped all over her Christmas tree"
It was so unfair it was unbelievable.

This was dad's cookie. We gave him mad props for even decorating one. In year's past the only award he could have won was "Most Cookies Consumed". But this year he really stepped up to the plate and designed a little basketball player.

Did he win a ribbon? Of course not.
That would be fair. As we can all tell, this competition was not fair

I'll be honest, this one was pretty fair. Scott won a ribbon because he made a gun. It took him a very long time, and he kept it a carefully guarded secret until the bitter end, but I think it was worth it.
Don't tell him I think it kinda looks like a pickle.

Mom also won (yep, basically I'm the only one who didn't).
I'll admit, this cookie was pretty amazing, but she should have been disqualified for her copious use of saliva to get the little sprinkles to stick. Major Foul.

Isn't my Mama gorgeous?

Let's cut to the true winner of the night. Me.
You can go ahead and ignore the deformed cookie woman on the right.
I really think my yoda was incredible and seriously,
Have you ever seen a more beautiful cookie tree?
Yeah, I didn't think so.

You would have thought the knife would have clued them in not to mess with me.

Here's a picture of me with my ribbon...

Oh yeah. That's right. I got robbed.