Thursday, August 5, 2010

Out of these ashes

I have been silently grieving these last few weeks/months. because how do you explain to family and friends who don't really get it..that just because I hold this beautiful new life and revel in God's Hope and mercy and promise...that i'm still missing her?  How do I not feel guilty for the rise and fall of new emotions on this journey with another life to hold in my before empty arms?  How can i not only just feel gratitude all the time?  Some of you get it.  I thank you.

So on my way to walmart last night for a quick formula and diaper run, i heard "Beauty will Rise" from scc (steven curtis chapman).  And for those of you who don't know, he lost his 5 year old adopted daughter Maria in a tragic accident in 2008.  The same year our Cana beat us to heaven.  He wrote this song as a form of therapy and witness as they travel thru their grief.  I sat in the car and cried, realizing i hadn't been allowing myself time to grieve my daughter's death..Or praise God for her life.  So in a stolen moment in the walmart parking lot, I sobbed.  I looked up the lyrics this morning...and gasped at the connection to my girl.  It seems as tho he wrote this song just for us....

But buried deep beneath
All our broken dreams
we have this hope:

Out of these ashes... beauty will rise
and we will dance among the ruins
We will see Him with our own eyes
Out of these ashes... beauty will rise
For we know, joy is coming in the morning...
in the morning, beauty will rise

So take another breath for now,
and let the tears come washing down,
and if you can't believe I will believe
for you.

Cuz I have seen
the signs of spring!
Just watch and see:

Out of these ashes... beauty will rise
and we will dance among the ruins
We will see Him with our own eyes
Out of these ashes... beauty will rise
For we know, joy is coming in the morning...
in the morning...

I can hear it in the distance
and it's not too far away.
It's the music and the laughter
of a wedding and a feast.
I can almost feel the hand of God
reaching for my face
to wipe the tears away, and say,
"It's time to make everything new."

"Make it all new"

This is our hope.
This is the promise.
This is our hope.
This is the promise.

That it would take our breath away
to see the beauty that's been made
out of the ashes...
out of the ashes...
That it would take our breath away
to see the beauty that He's made
out of the ashes...
out of the ashes...
Out of these ashes... beauty will rise
and we will dance among the ruins
We will see Him with our own eyes
Out of this darkness... new life will shine
and we'll know the joy is coming in the morning...
in the will rise!

Our Cana was named after the wedding at Cana.  A wedding feast.  The first of HIS signs...the first sign of the coming glory!  The promise of what Heaven will be like...a wedding feast! 

New life IS shining.  I hear her now.  Thank you Lord for the healthy cries of a newborn baby girl.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Renewed in Hope!

I have thought about how i wanted to share EHM's birth story...well, for 12 weeks now.  And life (a toddler and a newborn) just hasn't allowed me the time i want to give to the details.  Even now, naptime is a struggle for travis, and she won't nap longer than 20 minutes today.  But i couldn't let any more time go by without thanking my photographer and friend, Linda.  She is a local photographer and graciously donates her time and talents (and some treasures) to the NILMDTS ministry.  I found her thru another friend / blogger / family from church.  I asked her if she'd be willing to take some photos of our family and friends meeting ehm.  Especially those who met our Cana during her short time here with us.  I wanted the people who met cana and walked with us thru that loss to be there to witness God's mercy and renewal in our 2nd daughter.  To not be focused on who's taking the pictures, if they got any with her..etc.  So Linda....wouldn't even let me give her a dime.  I am hoping she will let me grace her sweet babies with some of my handiwork but...

She is amazing.  These are just a few of the shots i got from her.  She gave so much of herself in these photos.  She went above and beyond, staying with us the entire day.  I'm so blessed and thankful.  I hardly think writing about her is enough...So i ask you to please consider her the next time you local readers need a photographer.  She is wonderful.

more to come...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

new for Fall/Winter 2010

Super excited and loving this new style offered for 2010!

Remember college and team colors for fall!

and since i just couldn't post here without an update to my 2nd princess:

EHM is 12 weeks today.  and quite the eating machine.  And as "big e" would say "little e has a figure to keep up with..."  She sleeps from 7-8.5 hours a night (praise the Lord!)
and is starting her laughing (mostly at Big e).

Travis, as expected, is a great big brother..always helping cram her paci in her mouth, or a blanket over her head...and most recently, he's started covering his ears when she cries.  The neatest thing tho..he started sharing how he is going to take some of us with him in his rocket ship so we can go visit Cana in Heaven....with a pit stop on Jupiter. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Do you miss me?

With my computer on the fritz, i haven't been able to post like i want..or share more of my beautiful family with you.  I have a TON of pics to transfer over and many sweet stories to share..but i don't feel right sharing them without attaching some pics along the way.  be patient with me. Till then:

almost 9 weeks ago, my baby girl was born into our arms and renewed our Hope in the Lord.  She was baptized into our faith on sunday, father's day, June 20, 2010.  Her big brother was baptized on father's day, 2007.  I like this tradition!

She is giving me 5-6 glorious hours of rest each night and we have my Lola (my grandmother) staying with us again after a 3 week hiatus.  Not sure of how long she will hang this go round, but we'll take what we can get!  It's such a blessing to have her with us.  Not for all she does, which is a lot!  that woman will not sit still!  but the blessings are in watching her special friendship with her "travisito" and her "lil chinita."  We love our Lola!!!

EHM - at 8 weeks: 13.5 lbs., 23inches.

TJM - at 3 years old: 42.5 lbs, 41 inches. 

my boy is a giant. my little girl is a chunky monkey!  I love this life. 

Saturday, May 29, 2010


How do you handle conflict?  Or a better question might be "how do you RESOLVE it?"  Do you dive in, head on, even in the discomfort of the situation, because you know in the end the relationship will be stronger for it?  (or at least, that is the hope) or do you cower, run and hide, avoid all discussion and hope it just all goes away?  Or do you stand to the side and talk to everyone else about what should be done to make things right, never telling the one person who could have the power to do just that? 

*this is my blog, this is how i deal.  So please don't jump all over me if you think this is about you.  It's not.  It's about ME. 

Over the last year, (in my grief and more..) i've lost more relationships..or at least bruised them to almost the point of no return.  And i have NO CLUE how.  I am the person who hates conflict and confrontation but gets right to it if I feel i've hurt someone, or if i feel hurt..and even in that hurt, i love the person enough to sit down IN THE DISCOMFORT and talk it out.  I care more about the relationship than i do the awkwardness.  OR THE BLAME.  But i do feel very strongly...almost in conviction, that if the relationship means anything, then you sit and deal.  get it over with.  Don't ignore it.  The enemy just loves that. 

Now i also recognize that some people aren't wired quite like me.  I acknowledge that some relationships and people can't be changed just with a talk.  And if that's the case, i let it go...recognizing who they are and that i can't fix it.  Love them regardless and let go of expectations.  BUT..with family, i struggle with this.  I struggle with needing to understand a situation and not being allowed to.  I struggle with closure. 

There is a book my dear Elizabeth just told me about...and i think we are going to read it together..because we both struggle with our needs within / after disagreements and hurts.  The 5 apology languages...(or something like that..i'm too tired to even google it.)  but it's gary chapman, same author as 5 love languages.  (mine is quality time in case you were wondering....except from my dad. with him i throw in affirmation)  Anyhoos..i'll let you know how it goes. 

I know this blog has quite the angry vibe.  and i AM angry.  but i'm hurt above all.  I'm allowed to be hurt.  I'm moving thru it.  This is one way for me.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

facebook album so far...

since i've failed you in posted new pics of baby girl, here is the link to the facebook far.  Many more to post shortly.  but the high from the first few weeks has quickly dwindled to complete insanity from sleep deprivation.  Please pray for me.

Sing for Hope


Friday, May 21, 2010


I am so proud of my friends, Matt and Cameron Fradd.  Listen to their amazing witness and hope story!!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Look what she did...

I wish i could take more time at this moment to sing praises of the photographer (and now friend, sister in Christ..and midwife stand in) who freely gave of her time and encouragement and support and prayers and gifts in spend tuesday with us as we delivered Elizabeth Hope.  Miss Linda....may you be richly this life and in the one we live for!
Here are a couple she let me sneak at peak at.  We're so blessed!!!

Never a dull moment

Travis is apparently not going to allow his new baby sister to overshadow him.  On friday morning, the first morning home with our 2 babes, around 1030 am, i jumped in the shower to get ready to take miss E for her first pediatrician visit to check up on her jaundice. Travis was going to stay home with Lola.  I heard a very loud thump.  I hurried out of the shower, opened the door and asked, kind of half pleading that nothing drastic was wrong, what had happened.  Big E was here and she very calmly stated that travis had fallen in the kitchen and his front tooth fell out.  SERIOUSLY?!  I could hear lola and mitch asking travis to spit in the sink while he was screaming and saying "my tooth!"  My poor boy.  I got upstairs as fast as i could and saw the damage. sweet baby boys smile....

So we got in touch with the dentist who saw travis when he was 14 months and had crawled up onto a chair and then tried to climb across the window sill, only to come crashing down ON the window sill and push his two front teeth back up into his gums.
 1st tooth injury: july 4, 2008

This newest injury/loss is a result of the root of those teeth being weak and so the break was clean..  Dentist said he will most likely get his big boy teeth in sooner than normal and that they may be weak at first too.

 1st tooth out: April 25, 2010

My fragile emotional state just can't take another accident.  I think there is a blue moon beer in the fridge calling my name. :)

so much more to share with you all.  How God moved so clearly in the room as miss E was being born.  How Big E was affected by her new goddaughter's birth and what she did with that new experience.  How "everyone poops" has become a joke within a story.  How i can see a little bit of Cana when i look into the face of our little girl, finally in our arms.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Elizabeth Hope is here

It's the morning after we welcomed Elizabeth Hope into our arms and right now i am watching her daddy feed her some formula because, like travis, she is not if she knows her main milk supply won't come from mommy.  (mommy had reduction surgery in 2000 and there is lots of damage to the milk ducts so they have not learned how to produce entirely enough..yet.)  But it's all good.  We are holding our 2nd baby girl, our 3rd baby, travis' 2nd little sister.  And just wait till you see the pictures of him meeting her for the first time.  I can hardly write it out without getting all misty.  :)  it was just as we'd hoped.  too beautiful for words.  And until we see the pictures that this amazing woman gifted us with, i joyously introduce:

Elizabeth Hope Milbrandt
8 lbs. 19.5 inches.

thank you Lord for your faithfulness & mercy & enduring love & sacrifice.
& Hope.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Your Mom!

So i had come catching up to do, i know!   (5th post today!!!)

Enjoy a little misc. catchup post from the last 2 weeks...

April 1st, i had my 36 week appt and found we had dilated to 4.5cm.  Stricter bedrest and just 5 days till Lola would be here, praise the Lord!  Elizabeth had watched travis for us that afternoon and we came home and visited on the deck with her for a bit before she went on her way..quite abruptly, but sometimes she's weird like that. :)  So after letting travis get nice and dirty with the sand and water tables, we decided to get him in the tub.  He stripped himself down on the deck because hey, who wants sand all over the house when you can't vacuum!  As he ran down the hall to the bath, mitch and i noticed...something was just a LITTLE bit different about our boys naked bum.

Can you tell what it is?

Then just a couple from the last few days of "celebration Lola" as we rejoice in her return visit,
3rd summer, 3rd great grandbaby from this growing family.  Thank you for all the love and service and guidance and support you give us all, Lola!  Travis and Lola have such a special bond.  The first night she was here, he would just grab her over and over again and say "i love you lola"...and "give me more hugs, Lola."  Mitch and i would laugh in awe at this neat connection travis has to his great grandmother. 

Easter Saturday and Sunday

Egg coloring saturday afternoon 

 and one casualty became....
a snack!

Easter Morning!
This is how we look for eggs at my house!

Resurrection Weekend

Being on bedrest had just gotten so old as i looked out the window on that beautiful Easter i fluttered my eyelashes as best i could and Mitch let me talk him into all of us (mema included) going to the little area "spring celebration", as long as i kept my butt on a blanket.  Most of the pictures i take lately are from the view from my couch, a chair on the deck, or, as was the case this saturday, my view from a blanket in a park.  :)   We only stayed long enough for me to be uncomfortable.  and satisfied.


mema tried to get travis to do the bunny hop

Do you have..."ice ice baby?"