Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas Sweet Girl

So Ellersley...Christmas is here. When Daddy and I were given the gift of you one of the first things we thought about was Christmas. Christmas this year would be full of so much Joy. We dreamt of bundling you up and driving you around to look at lights, we dreamt of going to see Santa, we dreamt of what our Christmas picture this year would look like. We dreamt of sharing Jesus with you even if you were too little to understand. We knew that this Christmas would be the best we have ever had, full of chubby, rosey cheeks and big red and green bows. We knew it would be full of parties and showing off your pretty sparkly dress. It would be full of dancing in the kitchen with Daddy to Frosty the Snowman. It would be full of decorating the tree together and taking pictures with the dogs in their Christmas sweaters. It would be Christmas Eve with Grandpa Dan and Grandma Marcia and Aunt Heather and Uncle Aaron and Uncle Nathan and Carter and Kyle. It would be Christmas Eve night spent at Grandma and Grandpa Kolp's with Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Rachel and Uncle Rob. It would be Grandpa (Santa) getting all the presents situated in the morning and the fire roaring. It would be you and our family together for the first Christmas. We knew this Christmas would be different from all of the others.

This Christmas is different from all the others. You are enjoying Christmas with, what is that like? Do you have a big Christmas tree? One with lots and lots of lights like Grandma Kolp has or one with lots of pretty bows like Grandma Marcia has? Does someone drive you around to look at all the pretty lights on all the mansions up there? Do you have a pretty, sparkly dress that you get to show off at a party? Do you have pretty red and green bows? Do you get lots of presents and do you have a roaring fire? Do you get to dance to Frosty the Snowman? Do you know Santa? Or do all of these things not even matter because you are celebrating Jesus's birthday? Do you give him presents? Do you know that he came to this Earth to save us all from ourselves? Do you know that he came the same way you did? Do you know that he had a mommy that loved him so much? Do you know that he had a Daddy that loved him so much? Did someone tell you the story of Christmas?

We just want you to know, Ellersley, that we love you and we miss you more than words can express today. Our home will be quieter today than it should be. Our hearts will be heavier than they should be. Our Joy will be stifled more than it should be. We know that you are there celebrating the birth of our Savior. You are worshipping Him in the perfect place where all peace and love abide. Will you tell Him that we said Happy Birthday? Please tell Him that we said Thank you...Thank you for the peace and thank you for the Joy and thank you for the love. Tell Him thank you for sending you to us and allowing us the privilege of feeling your love and joy every single day. Tell Him we said thank you for coming here and in turn allowing us to come there. We can't wait for the day we will get to spend all of our Christmas's with you and with Him. Until then sweet Honu, have a very Merry Christmas...

He will bring us Goodness and Light,

Mommy and Daddy

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Popped Bubbles and Choosing Joy

It's almost Christmas!!! : ) Well, really it is already Christmas for us because the family celebrations have already begun and truly that is the beginning of Christmas. There are only 5 days left...that makes my heart pound a little since I still do not have 1 single thing for my husband. Not one. I must admit that normally I love to buy gifts for people. I love giving, it makes me so happy to see someone else so happy. I must put a but here, But I really don't like buying for my husband. I hate it this year...oh that's horrible to say. I just don't know what to buy!!! What do you buy someone who has everything? Or let me rephrase, what do you buy someone who wants items that are too expensive? The poor guy...he doesn't want me to spend a lot and so here I sit with only a few ideas and they aren't really that great. I will try my best and let ya know how it goes...

I am beginning to realize that I lived in a SERIOUSLY thick bubble before August 13th, 2011. I mean like walls of steel bubble. Do you live in that bubble too? The bubble that allows you to only see what is going on in your world? The bubble that shouts AAAAHHHH WATCH OUT don't look that way because there is someone over there hurting and well, we surely would not want to approach that. The bubble that I was floating in thought that Christmas time was always happy for everyone. The bubble made me think that everyone was holly and everyone was jolly, everyone loved Santa and everyone loved Christmas cards with little teeny tiny sleeping newborns on them. This Christmas I am not feeling happy, not holly and not jolly and little teeny tiny sleeping newborns give me more tears than I can handle most days. Has your bubble ever been popped? I hate to say it but I hope it has. Popped bubbles allow us to see outside of ourselves. Popped bubbles allow us to see that there are far too many hurting people and families in this world. Four months ago my bubble was popped. I hated it and I still hate it but the popped bubble is growing on me. It's allowing me to see the world outside of my bubble. It has allowed me to see that I am not the only one sitting in a quiet home and an empty nursery this Christmas. It has allowed me the priviledge of diving in to someone else's hurt. It seems my entire month of December has been filled with the UGLINESS of this world: infant deaths, suicides, divorce, financial problems...not in my family but everywhere I look I see it or hear it. I hate it. But, I praise God for my blessings. It allows me to see the richness of the love and the peace that he's given to me. It allows me the priviledge of praying over those families. Praying earnestly that God would be real in their situation just like he is in ours. The popped bubble allows me to choose Joy.

Choosing interesting statement. I was completely unaware that I could choose joy. I never really thought it was a choice. I thought that Joy was kind of out there on it's own and it would come if it wanted to but if it didn't want to then so be it. Grouchiness would ensue or grischiness as we like to call it. I have decided to chose joy. The joy is not a feeling that comes naturally to me at this time in my life. It is a choice. I choose to have joy. The world outside of my bubble is ugly; it's sad, depressing and just plain nasty but I will stand and grasp my joy with a tightly clenched fist right in the middle of the mess. My joy is not just floating out there somewhere waiting to swing by me, no my joy is forever and always in my grasp. It is there for the taking whenever I need it and I will choose joy every day. I will choose joy when the sun is shining and I will choose joy when the rain is falling. I will choose joy when the plan goes the way I thought it would and when the plan does not go the way I thought it should. I will choose joy when God says yes and when God says no. I will choose joy. God did his part in giving it and now all I have to do is take it. Psalm 16:11
You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

In His presence there is fullness of Joy! : )

My husband and I hope and pray that you are choosing Joy this Christmas. We hope that the Joy of Jesus is making your home a happy place in spite of the sadness some of you may be enduring. We hope that the cry of that newborn baby so long ago has won over your heart and captivated your every thought. He is Joy to this world despite all the sorrow and sadness that we must endure here. He came to give that Joy, take it and use it...


I want to post this because I love has nothing to do with joy...well it brought me lots of joy (and tears) so maybe it does but either this...for all you mommy's of angels, thinking of you and yours this Christmas : ) Oh, and I almost forgot...I got this from a friend...another mommy of an angel @


I thought of you and closed my eyes,
And prayed to God today.
I asked what makes a Mother,
And I know I heard him say:
A mother has a baby,
This we know is true.
But, God, can you be a mother,
When your baby's not with you?
Yes, you can he replied,
With confidence in his voice.
I give many women babies,
When they leave is not their choice.
Some I send for a lifetime,
And others for a day.
And some I send to feel your womb,
But there's no need to stay.
I just don't understand this God,
I want my baby here.
He took a breath and cleared his throat,
And then I saw a tear.
I wish that I could show you,
What your child is doing today,
If you could see your child smile,
With other children who say:
We go to earth and learn our lessons,
Of love and life and fear.
My mommy loved me oh so much,
I got to come straight here.
I feel so lucky to have a mom,
Who had so much love for me.
I learned my lessons very quickly,
My mommy set me free.
I miss my mommy oh so much,
But I visit her each day.
When she goes to sleep,
On her pillow's where I lay.
I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek,
And whisper in her ear.
"Mommy don't be sad today, I'm your baby and I'm here."
So you see my dear sweet one,
Your children are OK.
Your babies are here in My home,
They'll be at heavens gate for you.
So now you see what makes a mother.
It's the feeling in your heart.
It's the love you had so much of,
Right from the very start.
Though some on earth may not realize you are a mother,
until their time is done.
They'll be up here with Me one day,
And you'll know that you're the best one!
~Author Unknown


Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night,

Elle's Mommy





Thursday, December 15, 2011

She's Not Here

Sometimes I get an overwhelming feeling that I forgot to schedule newborn pictures or that we have to get our Christmas card done or that I didn't schedule her an appt with her doctor. It happened to me a few times in the hospital those first few days following her birthday, "OK OK well did you call the insurance company because we have to add her to our insurance." I said it over and over a few times trying to make my husband understand. He finally looked at me and said, "Baby, no we don't need to add her to our insurance, she's not here."

She's not here . . .Today the tears flow freely and I don't know how to get them to stop. I don't know that I want them to stop. They are tears for her, tears because she's not here. She's not here and she never will be. It's weird because we have been told over the past 4 months that there are certain stages of grief. We are told that one of them is bargaining. I found it strange when someone said that to us...well duh I know God won't give her back. But, I find myself trying anyway. Not that I really say 'ok God if I do this then you can give her back.' No, I find myself saying 'ok it's been long enough now. We are stronger, we learned what we needed to,'s time now for you to give her back.' Some days now I wake up feeling like Oh it was a dream, Thank God it was a dream. But, it wasn't a dream. It was a nightmare, that's what it was. A real life, true to the core nightmare.

We went to a psychologist last night, not by choice. :) We had to, for work related reasons...but we went and it was interesting. The man had a lot of good things to say and some strange things but he made me think a lot about how to grieve well and how to leave a dead child dead. Saying that makes me want to puke a little but let's be honest that's what she is. She's dead. She's not breathing, she's not alive, she's not here. He talked about parents that he's seen that have not grieved well and years later are still sobbing over the loss of that child and still throwing birthday parties in their honor. I sat listening and wondering to myself if this older gentle man had ever endured the loss of a child. How does he know what grieving well means? How does he know that throwing birthday parties for a dead child is not grieving well? Does he know what shattered dreams are? Does he know how impossible it is to let those go? Does he know how to love a child that is no longer here? Does he know how to focus on the great bonding moments that we did have instead of the tragic night she left us? I just's so easy to say but not so easy to do. So, today I just wonder what our lives will look like in the future. What will we tell our other children? How will we share the wonder and the joy of Ellersley with them? Will we have birthday parties for a child gone too soon? What will her non-existent life on this planet look like? Will there be other children? So many questions...I hate questions...I love answers...*sigh*

So, have you ever seen Tangled? My husband and I are a strange couple...we love Disney movies. We watched Tangled with our nephews about a month after Ellersley passed away and we were hooked. We ended up buying it and we watch it a lot. If you have seen it, you know it's about Rapunzel, the lost princess. Wesley and I have decided that this movie is about our lost princess, Princess Ellersley. She's been taken from us and she is lost and this life feels like a never-ending search for her. Is that her in that 4 month old baby? Is that her running through Wal-mart with the blonde hair and blue eyes? Is she the tiny butterfly that hung around our house until it got too cold? We look for her everywhere we go and sometimes God will allow the wind to blow and there she is. She's in the wind with Jesus, whispering that she's just fine. She's just a whisper away and she can't wait to see us. She's here. She's not gone, not too far. She can't be held but oh she can be felt. Her love and her joy surrounds us in those moments. Some days it's so hard to feel it but some days it's so evident.

My little hubby loves Tangled. He watches it and dreams of his sweet baby girl. Will she have big beautiful eyes like Rapunzel? Will she have long, gorgeous blonde hair? What will that moment be like when we finally can run to her? Will an angel come and just give us that look and we will know it's time? Will we run to a big door that she is behind? Will we pause and praise the One who held us all this time? Will we stare at her, in awe of her beauty? Will we just run to her and wrap her with all the love we've been holding in just for her? The dreams of a Daddy. . .

Today my heart is heavy for our loss but also for all of those that have fallen into our lives that have also had a loss recently. There are too many to name, one is too many. I pray that Jesus will hold you as he holds your little one. I pray that his comfort will be your peace of mind and that your memory will be full of the joyous, loving memories and not the devastating tragedies. I pray that Jesus will be near, that his love will bind up all of your wounds. I pray that you will have hope that one day you will dance the streets of heaven with your teeny tiny sweet one. I pray that you will understand the love that Jesus wants to give to each of us. I pray that you will fall in love with Jesus, the baby that came so long ago, so that all might be saved.

I'll leave you with a story about our nephews, what would a post be without a good story about them? So they were at our house for our Christmas Monday and a song came on the radio. They had been learning some songs at church for their Christmas program and this particular song that came on the radio, they knew. Carter looked at me and said "Hey, we know this song..." I said "Oh yeah, well sing it for me..." So he started singing along with the radio..."Hark the herald Angels sing, glory to the Newport King..." I wish I had a video...why didn't I take video? I said "The Newport King? No honey it's newborn king. A newborn is a baby and that's what baby Jesus was...he came to us as a baby so he was a newborn king..." Carter looks at me stumped and says, "Oh OK well I always thought it was a Newport king..." Oh man, kids! Not sure what a Newport King is but apparently He's a pretty important should get to know him...

Blessings to you and yours,

Elle's Mommy

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Mighty to Save

So, the other day I picked my nephews up from school. Carter and Kyle, 5 and 4 respectively, go to preschool. I decided to pick them up to begin our Christmas celebration!!! Every Monday, now until Christmas, we are going to have some Christmas fun...this past Monday we decorated our tree and we watched Rudolph and The Toy that Saved Christmas. The other Mondays will hopefully hold fun crafts and baking cookies and watching more Christmas movies, we will see! Oh, this past Monday we also attempted to make chocolate covered popcorn...haha! Not really fun at all but yummy...I am so not a baker, cooker or even helper in the kitchen and not really a thinker either so that didn't really turn out so well. : ) But half chocolate covered popcorn is still pretty yummy! The boys didn't mind at all!

So, I guess what I want to tell you is what my nephews taught me that day. They always teach me something, it never fails! We decided to go see Ellersley at the cemetery, I take them there quite often and so does their Mommy and they just love it. We got there and it was quite rainy outside but we got out and looked at her new headstone. It was just put in on the 22nd and they had not seen it. I read what it said... "Ellersley Grace Deem August 13, 2011...Little Ones to Him Belong". Carter decided that even though it was freezing and kind of raining, we needed to take a walk which is the norm when we go visit her. So, I said ok and we walked around for a while until my hands were about to freeze from the cold. We got back to the car and I was putting Kyle in his seat and I looked over at Carter and he was bending down in front of Ellersley's stone. He stood up and came to the car and he said, "Nicki, I'm sad that baby Honu died." This wasn't the first time, we've talked about our sadness lots of times. I said, "I know baby, me too." He got in the car and that was that.

As we were pulling away I told them to blow her kisses and they did a thousand times over. Carter said, "When we drive to school we drive past here and we always say 'We love you baby Honu' and we blow her kisses...and then we sing songs to her." I said, "Oh, you do, well what do you sing?" Kyle piped up, "We sing this Nicki...Savior, you can move the mountain..God is mighty to save, mighty to save...". Enter my tears...I said "Oh yeah! I love that song and I'm sure baby Honu LOVES to hear you sing that to her!" Kyle proceeded to sing the rest of the song for me while Carter joined in..."Do you have that song Nicki?" Kyle asked. "I am pretty sure I do Kyle." I turned it on and those little men in my back seat sang it as loud as their little voices could manage.

Savior, He can move the mountains My God is Mighty to Save, He is Mighty to Save Forever, Author of Salvation He rose and conquered the grave, Jesus conquered the grave!

Now, as I sat there and listened to them singing I could not stop smiling. I could not stop smiling because my Savior, He can move the mountains. He is Mighty to Save. He is FOREVER. He is the Author of Salvation. He rose and CONQUERED THE GRAVE! HE CONQUERED THE GRAVE! Don't you know what that means? And I know as a 4 and 5 year old all they know is that this song is about Jesus and that Jesus and baby Honu LOVE to hear their little voices. But, in my 29 year old mind, I know that it means that ONE SWEET DAY I will hug my baby girl again. That because of my Jesus and because he conquered the grave, my baby will not be in the ground forever. That her little soul, and who she was to us and to everyone who knew her, is in heaven waiting for us. Mighty to Save was a song and a phrase my husband had a very hard time with directly after Elle's death. If God was so Mighty to Save, where was he when Elle stopped breathing? Oh, the pain of that statement is so very real and so very raw still 3 and a half months later and honestly, I don't have the answer. I don't know why, I probably won't ever know why and that was a fear of mine but it is becoming so very unimportant to me. Why is the wrong question...The question we should be looking for and asking is How? How Lord will you use this tragedy? How will you be glorified as MIGHTY TO SAVE? Could it be through our lives? A testimony to His goodness, to the JOY that He gives in spite of the pain? Could it be through volunteering at the hospital and telling almost everyone I come in contact with about Ellersley and how wonderful our Jesus is? Could it be through people turning to God because of Ellersley's short life? Could it be through open doors and open hearts? Let it be Jesus...let it be...

Lessons from a 4 and a 5 year old...they are too many to count.

Thank you Jesus for being Mighty to Save! Thank you for moving mountains! Thank you for being Forever! Thank you for being the Author of my Salvation! Thank you for conquering the grave and for saving us from death! Thank you for the never-ending promise of Heaven and all the Joy that it holds for those who love you! Thank you for Carter and thank You for Kyle! Thank you for the lessons that we learn from those who are so pure and innocent...Thank you for the Joy that they bring to our life. Thank you for keeping our sweet Ellersley safe and warm. Thank you for holding all of our dreams until the day we can fulfill them with her. Thank you for being just a whisper away...

Romans 8:28
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.

Elle's Mommy

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Well, I guess I should probably talk about thankfulness since it is now Thanksgiving. You surely wouldn't know it was Thanksgiving by walking into Wal-mart. My word, I was there the other day looking for a stuffed turkey. That's all I wanted, a stuffed animal turkey to put on our daughter's grave. Is that so much to ask? Santa was everywhere, reindeer all over, candy cane Hershey kisses galore (I did grab some of those and so should you because they are the best) but not one turkey to be found. I finally gave up and decided she didn't really need a turkey to sit in the rain in the place that she doesn't even reside. I am sure she has plenty of stuffed animals in Heaven and if she doesn't then that's probably because she doesn't really need them. She has all that she needs. Ok...on to thankfulness...

Thankfulness is a choice, did you know that? Over the past 3 months thankfulness has been a difficult choice. In the past it was an easy choice, Oh thank you Lord for this beautiful home, thank you Lord for wonderful jobs, thank you Lord for working vehicles, thank you Lord for full bellies every day, thank you Lord for a giving, sweet family, thank you Lord for a changed husband, thank you Lord for a new marriage...but thank you Lord for a baby that is not breathing on this planet? Oh that's a difficult one. I have searched for a verse from the Bible to put here, a profound verse that would give some insight to how we are supposed to be thankful for all the things that happen in our life. I am finding that there are too many, ha! Imagine that. God is so funny...I am searching through Wesley's concordance and there are probably over 100 verses that just have the word 'thanks' in them; there are way more with thankful, thanked, thankfulness and thanksgiving. The point that I'm getting from the Bible is this : "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!" Psalm 107:1

Take note that it does not say...Give thanks to the Lord only when you have a warm home and lots of food and healthy babies and non-cheating husbands. My Bible doesn't say that anyway, maybe yours does and if yours does maybe we should trade : ). I am so bad at being thankful. I am selfish and want only the good from the Lord. It is so very difficult to say 'Thank you Lord for everything that has happened in my full life.' It doesn't flow out easily, it's more like it comes out in a scream or in a cry or just not at all. Wesley and I have walked these past 3 months and oh we see the good. We see the people that have heard Elle's story, we see the tears and the faith that she has caused. We see the kindness of so many people, kindness that came to us in letters and cards and more money than we knew what to do with. We see the change in our own lives, the faith that has grown and the JOY that has been a steady friend even though she is not here. We know God has been good, we know he has blessed. But to be thankful, it doesn't come easily. Thankful for what, HOPEFULLY ( I hope you are listening Jesus), will be the biggest tragedy our lives will see? Thankful for empty arms and bleeding hearts? Thankful for dreams shattered and more questions than answers? Yes, thankful because God is good in the good of life and in the bad of life. Our lives are covered by the grace and mercy of a God who loves us more than we can even imagine. He is always watching, He is ever-present, He is walking right beside us...He always was, always is and always will be. We choose to believe it, we choose to be thankful every day. He never said it would be easy..."
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4

Thank you Jesus for life, thank you for our home, thank you for JOY, thank you for jobs, thank you for cars, thank you for the blessings of this life that we take for granted every single day. Thank you for peace that passes anything our small minds could ever understand. Thank you for our sweet baby Honu, thank you for all the JOY she brought us this year and for the JOY she will bring us forever, thank you for empty arms and a bleeding heart (oh that hurts), thank you for shattered dreams and thank you for more questions than answers. Thank you for tears
Lord, and thank you for healing. You are the giver of all things good, Lord, and I don't understand what that means but someday I will. Thank you for that.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours,


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ellersley Grace VI

So what happened next is something out of nightmares. Actually, I can tell you that it wasn't even a nightmare of mine. I NEVER thought or dreamed or night-mared or even remotely imagined that this could happen to us. It has taken me about a week and a half to get up the umph to even write about that we go...oh tissues may be needed, just a suggestion.

So we were in bed after a long but fun day. We were so exhausted but the kissing began and well it couldn't be stopped, what can I say? During the fun I felt like I had started peeing. Now, keep in mind that I was 7 months pregnant, 7 months 1 week and 1 day to be exact. The actual act of peeing happened almost every hour but I felt like I had to pee about every 5 minutes. Also, secretly I may have peed a tiny bit at one point in my pregnancy while in bed. Wes may have made me laugh and it may have only been a little bit...that may have happened. If you see me on a regular basis I am holding you to an oath right now...DO NOT EVER ASK ME ABOUT THAT...I would be so embarrassed : ) So, anyway I sit up right away and I am immediately laughing, "OH, oh I think I'm peeing...". I sit there for a minute and Wes is on the other side of the bed at this point, "Well get up!" he said laughing. I stand up and I'm giggling and running to the bathroom but by the time I reach the bathroom I realize it is not pee. It was blood and it was running down my leg.

Now, as a pregnant woman I instantly knew something was wrong and I instantly started saying "Thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus, ok ok thank you Jesus". I was sitting on the toilet and the blood was just flowing out of me, it would gush and stop and gush and stop. Wesley was walking around the room and asking me what to do. He said, "Well I should call 911, right?". I said "Yeah, I guess. I'm fine I don't feel any pain but yeah I shouldn't be bleeding...". He called 911 and the ambulance was on their way. He came over to me nervously smiling and he kissed my head and my hands and then I asked him to pray..."Jesus keep our baby Honu safe, thank you for being with us and watching over us...give us peace Jesus peace" I stayed on the toilet until the paramedics came and I just kept thanking Jesus. Wesley and I knew that Elle was coming but we knew that she would be fine. All the books we'd been reading said that a baby at even 25 weeks had an almost 90% chance of living so we knew our Miss Elle would be fine. We knew she'd be early, waaaaay earlier than we ever thought but she would be fine. I cannot explain to you, even now, the peace that I felt. It makes me laugh, strange I know. God was filling me with peace. I had never been to the hospital ever in my entire life. The extent of my doctor visits have been for the common cold, which if you know me is like pneumonia to me. I am the biggest baby on this planet but I was so calm. I knew I would be getting an IV, I knew I would probably be having a c section that night, I knew all of it but I was ok. I was brave, because of Jesus and because of her. I just wanted her to be safe and I knew she would be.

The ambulance came and the paramedics got me all set up. I was not in any pain at all. I was bleeding and I could still feel it gushing out of me every minute or so but I had no pain. I remember trying to be very conscience of what was going on around me. I did not want to pass out and I knew since I was losing blood there was a chance that could happen. I remember being very alert and very awake and just wanting them to hurry up. Once in the ambulance I was getting nervous and starting to shake and I just kept praying. "Thank you Jesus, thank with us, be near, protect our baby girl..." The paramedic asked me if I was feeling Elle move and if I had felt her move that day. "I'm not feeling her move right now but it's kind of late and she usually doesn't move around this time, I felt her all day today though." I really can honestly say that the thought of her not being alive never even entered my mind. I truly feel that Jesus was protecting me from the evil that could have overtaken me in that moment. The paramedic was calm and kept me calm and Jesus was just permeating my being, I truly believe that.

We sped off to the hospital with Wesley riding in the front of the ambulance and my parents driving in their car right behind us. I remember watching their lights almost all the way to the hospital. Once we arrived at the hospital they opened the doors of the ambulance and I saw Gib, my sister (Rachel). She was standing there with Rob and Wesley. I looked at her and she was crying and she said "I love you" and she blew me a kiss. She was so worried about Elle and I. I will never forget the look she had on her face, one of panic and deep concern for us.

The paramedics took us straight up to the Labor and Delivery triage unit. We were wheeled into a tiny room and the nurse came in and immediately wanted to listen for Elle's heartbeat. There were a few other people in the room giving me a new IV and pulling up my shirt and pulling down my pants. People everywhere. The nurse put the wand on my belly and I remember praying that she would find her heartbeat quickly. We had just gone to a doctor appt the Wednesday before and I specifically remember the doctor saying, "Oh she has a very strong heart, very strong heartbeat." The nurse wasn't finding it. At this point, I started to worry. I looked at Wesley, my rock...holding my hand and he looked at me, " It's ok baby, it's's fine." I kept praying and Jesus's peace was filling the room. The nurse started to look pretty nervous and she opened the door to the room, "I need the chief of staff in here immediately..." My mom and dad were standing there when she opened the door, they were praying to hear the heartbeat too. The minute that nurse yelled for the chief, a million people flooded the room. I could not even begin to tell you what they all were doing but they brought a big ultrasound machine with them. The Dr. was a big, kind woman who pressed down very hard on my belly. She was bound and determined to find Miss Elle and to make sure she was ok. She finally found Elle and we heard the heartbeat. I sighed a big sigh of relief and smiled at Wesley, "There she is..." The doctor said, "OK Honey we have to do emergency surgery right now and get your baby out ok...and I'm sorry but he can't come..." I can tell you that in any other situation, had I been given any time to think I would have been terrified. I was about to be sliced open and the love of my life couldn't be there. We were about to meet our daughter and he couldn't be there?! They wheeled me out of the room as fast as they could and he walked beside me and said, "I love you, it's ok, I love you!" I yelled I love you as they wheeled me into the room that would hold the birth of our first born baby.

Once in the room I was flat on my back with tons of people running around like crazy. Again, that peace. I had butterflies but I had peace. I would feel myself start to shake and get nervous and then I would just say the name of Jesus and all of that would leave. Demons must flee at the sound of His great name. The lights were bright and I remember seeing all kinds of utensils everywhere. I tried to close my eyes and just breathe and relax. I thought of her and how we would get to meet her soon and kiss her little nose and her little feet. I was so excited and I think most of my nervousness was actually anxiousness to meet her. The people started grabbing every limb I have and poking needles into me. The nurse that was with us in the triage room was still with us and she was leaning over me. I remember looking at her and she had a very anxiety ridden face and tears welling in her eyes. I did not like that. She said, "Honey, I have to put a catheder in you now and I'm sorry but it's probably going to hurt..." Well, great I thought. "Ok", I said and she started. I don't even think I felt crazy. God, He really is in the little things. He knows how much of a baby I am, he calmed me for the IVs, he calmed me for the catheder, he calmed me the entire way. It was all as easy as pie. The man behind my head started talking and I asked him if I was having an epidural. He said "Oh no we are putting you under maam". Oh, gooood was exactly what I thought. If there was one thing I was worried about it was a shot in my spine. I did not want to do that but I knew if I had to that Jesus would be with me. I was elated to hear that He had already taken care of that part. That man said, "Ok, we are going to put a tube down your throat. You may feel some pressure on your neck." He put his hand on my neck and that is the last thing I remember before going under...

You were born into this world at 11:31pm on August 13th, 2011. You were born with no heartbeat and the wonderful doctors did CPR on you for 22 minutes. They got your heart to beat but it was not enough to keep you here on this planet. Your little soul met Jesus at 11:53 pm. You weighed 2lbs 9 oz and you were 15 inches long. You had weight in this life, Miss Elle. Your eyes were closed, your skin was flawless, your fingers were long, your hair looked strawberry blonde. You have Mommy's nose and Daddy's ears and toes. You are our perfect little girl.

I woke up in the recovery room to Wesley's tear-stained face. He was holding our baby and he tells me now that I had such a wonderful look on my face. A look of excitement and JOY to finally meet our sweet baby girl. I was so excited to see our beautiful baby. He tells me that was the worst moment of his life. He looked at me and said, "She didn't make it baby, I'm so sorry but she didn't make it." I was heavily drugged but I remember fully understanding what he was saying. I don't remember this but he tells me that I said "Oh God, why, God why?" Even through a foggy brain the heart can speak. I remember him handing her to me and I thought she was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Seriously, she was perfect. She looked so much like Wesley, it was almost funny to see. She was a little person, one that we had created together with Jesus. Those moments with her will forever be etched on my brain and my heart and they are far from something I can even articulate in writing. We have a book, The Belly Book, that describes our entire 7 month journey. In the belly book one of the questions is this, 'How I felt when I first saw you'...this is my answer...

I was full of JOY and sorrow. JOY that you were here and you were so beautiful and that you were mine and Daddy's. JOY that you looked so much like Daddy and JOY because I loved you so much before I ever even met you. Sorrow because I knew you would not be staying and we would never do the things that I do with my Mommy. Sorrow because I was afraid it hurt you and I didn't want you to be in any pain. Sorrow because I missed you kicking and moving in my belly. Sorrow so very deep it only came out in a very loud groaning. The ache of a Mommy's broken heart...

'How it felt to hold you for the first time'...this is Wesley's answer...

I don't know if I will ever be able to describe what I felt holding your little body in my arms for the first time. The deepest feelings, stronger and harder than any I've ever had before came rushing over me. I felt love, overwhelming love for the most beautiful baby I've ever seen. You made me feel strong and brave and you made me want to protect you even though you were already gone. I also felt awe just to see what you finally looked like after all the anticipation and waiting through the months. But mixed in with these feelings was the worst ache and pain and sorrow I've ever known. I hurt because you weren't there with us. I hurt because you weren't moving or breathing. I wasn't ready for that and I'm still not ready. I groaned for the fact that Mommy was going to be hurting so greatly; that we, together, would never get to see you grow or hear you cry or see your blue eyes. I still wish it wasn't true. I wish I could feel how it is to hold you again, right now. Sorrow came when you were born but so did love unspeakable. That's what I will remember forever after the sorrow leaves -- love unspeakable.

We held, hugged, kissed, smelled and snuggled our beautiful baby for 12 hours. Our family was all around and they all got to meet their sweet Ellersley and do the same to her. She spent time with grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles and sweet friends. Our nurse came and took pictures of us with her and she took her and dressed her in a cute outfit and took pictures of her. They are the most cherished possessions we own at this point in our lives. The outfit and hat she wore hang in a shadow box now in her room. We snuggled and slept with her all night, we cried over her and told her how much we loved her and how much we would miss her. We told her about all the dreams we had for her and how she was so anticipated. And of course we told her about that JOY, the JOY of that first test, the JOY of telling our family, the JOY of telling our church, the JOY of listening to her heartbeat, the JOY of seeing her move around inside me, the JOY of finding out she was a girl, the JOY of feeling her kick for the first time, the JOY of reading to her, the JOY of knowing she was coming and the JOY of loving her.

The first day and a half in the hospital seems a blur to me except every part with her. I remember it all so clearly. I remember how she looked and how she felt and exactly what she smelled like. I remember what she felt like laying in the crook of my neck, she loved to snuggle. I remember taking pictures with her and I remember sleeping with her. I remember her, I don't think I could ever forget. I know that so many friends and family came to visit us that first day but I really could not tell you who it was. The morphine was so strong, I hated it. I was so sleepy and I would be in the middle of a conversation and fall asleep. Remember that I had never been in the hospital ever before so any kind of major pain med was totally foreign to me. I hated being out of control, imagine that. : ) I remember coming off of the morphine...that was not a fun time.

They took me off of the morphine at 10pm Sunday night, almost 24 hours after the c-section. I, up to this point, had not really cried. Oh, I was sad...darkness was surrounding me, but my body would not allow tears to form. Monday morning at about 6am it all came spilling out of me. I had just woken up and gotten up to use the restroom, I got back into bed and my little body could not hold that hurt any longer. The tears started streaming down my face and the wailing began. Wesley ran to my side and my mom to the other side. Wesley held me and cried with me and my mom prayed that Jesus would be near. It was the strangest feeling I have had up to this point in my life and I pray every day that it NEVER happens to me again. I always had read in the Bible those stories about the mourners and how they had groaned in pain for those that had passed away. I never understood that and I actually thought it was a bit dramatic. Well, I can truly tell you that it is not drama of any kind. It is real, raw brokenness. The cry and the ache of a very broken heart. This wailing happened a few times a day for the first several days. It happened once when our entire family was in the room. We were about to eat and everyone was grabbing their pizza and I just couldn't stop it from coming out. Our nephews were there and afterwards Kyle came over to me and said, "Nicki, it makes me sad when you cry...". It made me sad too Little dude, it made me sad too.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


So, before we move on to the night of the 13th I just want to say a few more things about our Jesus, our baby Honu and our life together. First of all, it seems my entire life has been one big game of God teaching and me learning. I grew up thinking I would be the perfect wife and the perfect mommy. I thought I had been given all the love I would ever need and I would be able to give it away, freely, to others. I found a life and a journey that has followed a very different path. A path full of love, always, but love in a very different way than what I ever could have imagined. My journey as a wife started with guarded love, controlling love and eventually a relationship that wasn't love at all. God showed me His love, slowly and painfully. He opened my eyes to see that I was not the perfect wife. I learned that my trust should be in Him and Him alone. I could not rest in any person on this Earth. My rest and peace and comfort and trust was only to be in Him. In looking back over my notes from my counseling during that time of our life I found this verse. It is one I held onto then and I'd forgotten it but there are now tears in my eyes as I read it. God is all we need...

Jeremiah 17:5-8 This is what the Lord says: "Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land. But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green and they never stop producing fruit.

Let's go over that last part one more time...THEY NEVER STOP PRODUCING FRUIT...never. It surely does not feel like we are producing any fruit at this point in our lives but God is ever-present. He is pulling the fruit out of us because we are trusting in Him. It's the only place we know to go. Now, after what has happened with our Ellersley, I find it so very difficult to know how to love her. Something I NEVER imagined in my days of dreaming of her. I knew that would be the ONE thing I could do, I would know how to love her. That love that I thought would always come so easily and freely now comes with much sorrow and pain. Not so easy and not so free. But my Bible says that 'Perfect love casts out all fear'. The love of my Jesus has been showing me that my fears of not loving her adequately are from one place and one place only. And that is not a happy place. Another scripture I just found...

1st peter 1:5-9 And through your faith God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold-though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.

There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. One day our love for her will be whole and complete all because of Jesus. Our love will NEVER be severed by the hands of death. We will live in love with her, forever. I am listening to a song right now...Gratitude by Nichole Nordeman...

Grant us peace, Jesus, grant us peace move our hearts to hear a single beat between alibis and enemies tonight...or maybe not, not today peace might be another world away and if that's the case...we'll give thanks to You with gratitude for lessons learned in how to trust in You, that we are blessed beyond what we could ever dream in abundance or in need and if You never grant us peace, but Jesus would You please...

Thank you Lord for our story. Our story of love, our story of lies, our story of control, our story of trust, our story of life and our story of death. Thank you for lessons learned in how to trust in You. Thank you for this blog and for the hearts that it is touching. I can't believe what You have done Jesus, You are a magnificent God. Thank you for using an empty vessel. Thank you for filling us with fruit and pulling it out at any chance you get. Our lives are Yours and You know how difficult that is to say. Jesus, thank you for taking care of our baby Honu and giving her all the things that she needs. Thank you for your gifts. Our lives will be yours until that wonderful JOY that is ahead. Our hearts and minds cannot imagine that JOY...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ellersley Grace V

So, it was a GIRL!!! There are no words to describe the JOY that cake brought us. The video barely does justice the emotions we were feeling in that moment. We could not BELIEVE God had given us what we had always desired. We did not deserve this love, we did not deserve this JOY, we did not deserve this blessing. We were in awe of his love for us. We were feeling very, very blessed.

So began the shopping and the planning... : ) We went out immediately and bought her first outfits from Mommy and Daddy. Pink jammies from Daddy that said Daddy's princess and a pink hoodie sweat suit from Mommy. Work consisted of searching for as many headbands, bows and tutus we could find. We bought her a hot pink tutu for newborn pictures, it is gorgeous. People bought her headbands and bows and blankets and socks and clothes and turtles, of course. Friends started making headbands and bows for her and other things to decorate her room. She was anticipated greatly and loved even more. She has a closet full of clothes still waiting for her to fill them... We decided on what we wanted for her room. Hot Pink, light green and brown and we had the bedding set picked out. It had those colors with flowers and a gorgeous honu as a part of the decorations. Perfect! It fit her perfectly and she told me she loved it ;) The painting began and we were just in love with the colors. My father-in-law thought I was going to hate the pink, he thought I would think it was too bright. It was the most perfect color...perfect for our baby Honu.

We moved through July with flying colors. No problems at all, well, sweating non-stop and swollen feet after standing for more than 5 minutes but I was told that was normal for a summer pregnancy. So, I embraced it and loved it all at the same time. July brought lots and lots of moving on her end. She started kicking and it was, again, the most amazing feeling this side of heaven. She decided that she wanted to kick Aunt Rachel first, much to Daddy's dismay. I was laying on the couch at my parent's house and it was around 9 or 9:30 at night. She started kicking and I said , " Oh, oh there she is!" Rachel ran over and shoved her hand down on my expanding belly. We waited..."OH OH she's right there!" haha...I can't help but smile thinking about it. Rachel loved it. Ellersley loved her Aunt Rachel and she wanted to make sure that she always would remember that.

The kicking got stronger and more often. It was the most wonderful time of our lives. I'm pretty sure that every single time she moved Wesley got a text or call from me. Her moving was so special to me and I could not help sharing it with him. She was always awake in the morning right after my shower, rolling around mostly...morning acrobatics. She was always awake after I ate, always. I told you she loved to eat, remember? And at night? She was insane at night. Every single night from about 8 until 10 she was wide awake. She and Daddy talked then. He read to her and sang to her and played his guitar for her. He always felt her kick, he said she was trying to hold his hand. A few times he had his face on my belly and she kicked him or punched him right in the face. He said she was kissing him, of course she was. He loved her so much before she ever even got here. She was a Daddy's girl before she ever even entered this world.

A few weeks after we found out she was a girl, we decided on her name. We had always liked Ellersley but Wesley was holding out on me. It was the name he had liked to begin with, if you remember, but he was for some reason not wanting to commit. After some persuading and telling him that I loved the name so much because he had liked it first, he decided that would be her name. We knew that we wanted to spell it Ellersley instead of the way it was in the book, Ellerslie, because 's-l-e-y' was like Daddy's name, Wesley. So Ellersley it was, Ellersley Grace Deem, the most heavenly name. Grace was actually a Grandma Kolp, my mom, pick. She has always loved Grace but Wesley has never been a fan. Well, she said that way back in February when we conceived she felt like she heard from the Lord. We were sitting in church on a Sunday in February, now that I've had some time to think about it I'm pretty sure it was the week Wesley and I found out we were pregnant but hadn't yet shared it, and she felt God telling her that I was pregnant. That Sunday we started worshipping God and the song "My Grace is Enough" was what we were singing. Mom says that she felt that day that God told her we were pregnant and it would be a little girl and her name should be Grace. So...there wasn't much arguing with that, Grace it is Grandma...we love it and now it means much more than what Grandma originally thought it might mean. God knew that his grace would be enough to pull our broken hearts through the darkest hour.

We moved on to August and the excitement was growing as was the belly! We registered for our baby shower, we ordered the carpet for her room, and we were getting close to having the painting in her room finished. We set up our labor classes, our tour of the hospital and our baby basics class. Oh, we were pumped! Little Miss Elle's Party invites were sent out and we were discussing what her party would look like. The days were hot, the belly was huge and the feet were swelling but oh the JOY was overwhelming. Even as I write I cannot help but smile at the JOY that she brought every single day. We received a big package in the mail from Uncle Dan and Aunt Sara with more clothes than we could ever have imagined. I was in love with every single thing they had picked out just for Elle. Everything was so cute and we dreamt all week about what she would look like in all those new clothes.

Saturday August 13th was a day we had filled to the brim with all kinds of fun. The morning was full of baby shower shopping. We picked out table cloths and leis with hot pink flowers, we picked out center pieces and princess decorations. We had all kinds of gorgeous decorations, her party would have been the most beautiful party ever! I remember being pretty wiped out after that shopping trip, I came home and Wesley and I took a nap because later in the day held more fun. At about 4 pm we left with my family (Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle Rob and Aunt Rachel) for a Carter's outlet store. We were shopping for Miss Honu! We had the best time picking out TONS of clothes for her, Grandpa has said that we were buying her birthday gifts and we didn't even know it. We picked out jammies and little teeny tiny outfits. She got outfits that talked about loving her aunt to bibs that said she was grandpa's little sidekick. She got a big winter vest and all kinds of colorful, beautiful outfits. They also hang in her closet...just waiting... We ended the night with dinner and that JOY in our hearts that we knew would never be squelched. Little did we know, our JOY would be coming soon...

Baby Honu 08-12-2011

   Wasn't she just gorgeous?not me
     but her...Oh how I loved that belly...

Elle's Mommy

Friday, October 28, 2011

October 28th, 2011

Ellersley Grace Deem, this was the day that the doctors on this Earth said you would arrive. Boy, were they wrong. God had a different day for you sweet Elle, a day we will never forget. A day that started like any other day but ended like none we've ever known. A day that began with a big round beautiful belly and ended with a beautiful baby girl. Was Jesus whispering to you baby girl? Was he calling your name? The name that he gave you. Did you know that you would be leaving us? Did you know that was the plan all along? Did you know that August would hold your birthday, not October? We had so many plans for you...we had parenting classes to attend and a tour of the hospital and labor classes. We had to finish your room and get it ready for you. We had to pack the bag for our hospital stay and put your carseat in the car. We had a dinner date with Daddy for his birthday. We had birthday parties to go to for your cousins. We had Thanksgiving, showing off your beautiful face and your dress and your headband and bow. We had a family Christmas picture and spending the night at Grandpa and Grandma's on Christmas Eve. We had Aunt Gib and Uncle Rob's wedding. We had so many plans. Proverbs 16:1 We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer. God had his own set of plans. He has plans to love us and to love you. He plans to never leave us or forsake us. He plans to prosper us and to give us and you eternal life. He plans to wipe all of our tears away and he plans to make all things new. His plans never fail, his promises are true forever. We had our plans and He had his. We thank Him for His plans. He allowed us the priviledge of loving you here for 7 months 1 week and 1 day. We loved you well. We talked to you, we read to you, we laughed because of you, we sang to you, we told you about Jesus, we felt you move, we fed you, we kept you safe, we kept you healthy and we told you, everyday, how much we loved you. We told you how our lives would be forever changed because of you and they are. You are our baby Honu, we loved you then and we love you now. Nothing will ever change that plan. Nothing. Hearts broke when your heart stopped beating, I don't know that ours will ever stop bleeding...

Sweet dreams sweet Honu.

We love you so very very much much much punkin head,

Mommy and Daddy

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ellersley Grace IV

We were 9 weeks and we decided it was time to tell our church family. We were so excited to let them in on our secret because they had been joining with us in asking God for a miracle. We knew they were going to be so elated. We decided to put the ultrasound picture up on the screen for the whole church to see. Wesley was going to give a testimony about an amazing healing God had performed in Hawaii. That is a completely different blog post but long story short God healed him from Celiac's disease, woohooo! So after talking about the healing he said "OH and we have a picture from vacation to show everyone." Up came the ultrasound photo and there were some audible gasps. "That's their baby!" someone said. Wes said "This is our baby...we are 9 weeks pregnant!" They were so happy, we were crying, they were laughing and crying. JOY...always that JOY! : ) Baby Honu was just spreading the love and the joy everywhere she went.

So the pregnancy moved along and with each week we grew more and more in love with our baby Honu. We moved through the first trimester with no issues at all, no bleeding, no morning sickness, no pain. There was nausea, of course, but that was cleared up quickly with some Jimmy John's pickles or Doritos or milk. The belly started to pop rather early, much to my dismay. It was weird, I always thought I would love it right away but I was not very fond of it for a while. It was popping so early, it seemed like to me. Looking back at the weekly belly photos, I popped, for real, at about 10 weeks...that's insanity! :) Eventually, I LOVED it. The belly has been another thing that I miss the MOST. I loved being pregnant, I loved knowing that she was in there and that I was taking care of her, I loved talking to her and reading to her, I loved it when Wesley talked to her and kissed her. I just loved it, loved it, loved it. Our families did too. My sister had a special song for her every time she saw her and I. "I love you little baby..." I can't remember all the words but I loved it and baby Honu loved it, of course. She got down right to my belly and sang it to her, someone told her once that the baby was still too little to hear anything. Rachel was in disbelief..."YES SHE CAN HEAR ME..." Of course she could. My nephews, Carter and Kyle, loved her more than anything. Every time they saw me they screamed, "Baby Honu...oh she's getting big!" Carter, the now 5 year old, would pull up my shirt and kiss my belly and hug it. Kyle, the 3 year old, loved to talk about her and if she was a boy or a girl. He always knew she was a girl. Baby Honu was very loved!

We made it into the 2nd trimester, no problems at all. Perfect weight, perfect measuring, perfect blood pressure. I was perfect and baby Honu was perfect, just what we wanted to hear. During the entire pregnancy my husband was completely perfect also. He packed my lunch every morning before work and he gave kisses to baby Honu and I every morning before we left. He sang to her and played guitar for her and read a lot of books to her. He always asked how I was doing and how she was doing and if we needed anything. He was always willing to do whatever I needed, I couldn't have asked for a better man. He did have some trouble with pickles in the beginning but Aunt Rachel came to the rescue with the Jimmy John's perfect pickles. : ) He was a great Daddy from before she was ever even conceived and I know he will raise a baby wonderfully on this Earth, with Jesus's help, someday.

When I started to feel her move around in there, I was just more in love than I ever thought possible. It was amazing...and totally WEIRD! It was May 28th and I was at home laying in bed. It felt like a caterpillar was crawling or moving around in my belly. That is the only way to describe it, which is totally not a good way to describe it but it's all I've got. I remember feeling it and immediately texting my family and calling Wesley at work. :) I was so excited and full of that JOY, it could not be contained. I started to feel her almost every morning and then always after lunch. She loved to eat, just like her Daddy. : ) The moving turned from a caterpillar movement to a butterfly and then to the rolling. I was not a huge fan of the rolling. I loved it, of course because it was her, but it felt like she was doing somersaults in there. I hate roller coasters and that is what it felt like, like when your stomach drops out on a roller coaster. Yes, that's what it was like. The greatest feeling I've had on this side of heaven.

June came and with it came some serious excitement. We were having our 20 week ultrasound on June 15th and that meant we were going to know whether her room would be covered in pink or covered in blue. Oh, were we pumped! We had decided a while before this day came that we were going to do the gender cake and have a gender reveal party. We sent invites to our families and closest friends: Baby Honu's Big Reveal, Father's Day Sunday at 5pm. : ) We planned to go to the ultrasound and not find out the sex of the baby. The technician would put the gender in an envelope and we would cautiously and carefully take the envelope to a dear friend of mine who would make the cake for us. She, needless to say, was in awe that she would be the first to know even before us. Wesley had June 15th off and I had taken a vacation day, I would've been way too excited to work. We decided to make a day of it; we went to the park with my mom, sister, her boyfriend (Rob), my sister-in-law Heather and our nephews. We walked and talked and the boys ran and laughed. We had a blast and then we went to lunch together. The ultrasound was at 2:30 and I had to drink loads of water at lunch and try not to pee. Peeing, by this point, was about an hourly occurrence so this was a huge deal. I had to go during lunch and after and all the way to the doctor's but needless to say I survived. We walked around downtown after lunch, it was a beautiful day. We were just basking in the glory of our Jesus and all his blessings on our life. We could not believe what we were about to do, the whole pregnancy was one surreal moment after another. Wesley and I will always remember this day, it was and still is so special to us. We remember walking thru downtown and Heather and Kyle were walking hand in hand behind us. We were talking to each other and I heard our precious little Kyle start to chant...Honu Honu Honu...he and his mama were having a blast talking about Honu and reveling in the Joy of her. That memory will be etched on our hearts and minds forever....Honu Honu Honu... : )

We got to the doctor's office and we had a posse for sure, my parents, Wesley's dad (his mom was on vacation), Rob and Rachel, Heather and the boys and Wesley and I, of course. We were all smiling from ear to ear, what a fun day! The technician started and we saw our little Honu's face. She had her hand right up by her ear...oh so sweet. I was crying and just smiling away. She showed us her head and her arms and her heart and her belly. She had her hands in a fist the whole time, right up close to her face. She looked like the sweetest, most precious baby we had ever seen. She was our miracle. We told the technician before she began what our plan was. She said she would try her hardest to make sure none of us would see what we weren't supposed to see. After showing us the belly she said, "OK now everyone turn around or close your eyes because we are getting close to that area". We all giggled and closed our eyes. Once away from 'the area' she showed us her legs and her cute little feet. We loved every second of it. She asked us to close our eyes again and we all obliged as she tried to make sure she was positive about baby Honu's gender. She said that baby Honu was turned with her back to us and she wasn't 100% sure, so she told me to get up and go pee and see if she would move. I was elated because the shoving and pushing on my belly was getting to my bladder. When I came back she had turned around and the technician said she was 100% sure of what our baby was. She left and then returned with the envelope revealing what God already knew.

We decided to give my friend the cake baker, Erica, the envelope on Friday afternoon. We worked together Monday-Friday and I knew if we gave it to her any earlier and she saw me, her face would reveal the answer. She had been soooo hoping for a baby girl and I just knew if she had even a hint of excitement in her voice or on her face, I would know. She was sworn to secrecy also...Wes would have killed her if she told anyone else. Wes came to work with the envelope on Friday afternoon, before he went to work, and we both gave Erica the envelope together. She was required, by Wes, to put the envelope in her car and at the end of the work day she could open it. Wes, he had a lot of rules. She told me after all was revealed that she was screaming and laughing by herself in her car, she said if anyone saw her they probably thought she was insane. JOY...always JOY.

So from Wednesday to Sunday we were all just one anxious ball of excitement. Is it a girl? Is it a boy? Am I huge? Am I shaped like a basketball? Am I carrying low? Am I carrying high? The heartbeat was in the 150's so, girl? We had no idea. God knew, before we ever conceived, the desire of our heart. We knew not to get our hopes up because whatever God wanted to give we wanted to love. It wouldn't have mattered at all. A little girl though was just what our hearts had been yearning for. Wesley wanted to know what the Daddy/daughter love was all about. He grew up in a house with 2 other brothers, no sisters. He had no idea what it was all about. He had been watching Father of the Bride and would cry every time by the end. God was growing a deep love for a special little lady in his heart. I am so thankful for that. Did I mention I have the sweetest husband ever? Don't tell him I told you that Father of the Bride thing... he's got to keep his macho exterior. I was in LOVE with the idea of a little girl. I am a pink-loving girl at heart. I love headbands, I love bows, I love dresses, I love flowers, I love pink walls (hot pink to be exact), I love tutus, LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT. I am that mom...I had a dream while pregnant with Elle that we forgot to put a headband on her and I was MORTIFIED. It was the first time we were bringing her to church and Wesley's dad had her up in front of the entire congregation. Wesley's dad is the pastor of our church, by the way. Anyway, he had her up front and I was sitting in the congregation with my family. I am seeing this in front of me and I realize in that moment that she is wearing a sweat suit and does not have anything in her hair. I was horrified...oh I would have loved to have been that mommy. Needless to say, we wanted a girl with all of our heart and our Jesus blessed us, again, with the very desire of our heart.

Father's day came and we went to church and went to lunch, squealing all the way! We were completely in love with our baby Honu and we were so ready to slice that cake. We had the party at Aaron and Heather's house complete with pool and hot tub. Add the cake that held our future and well, it was perfect. Our entire family was there and Heather's family also, they are like family to us. Everyone could not stop talking about baby Honu and what we all thought she was. My friend, Erica, dropped the cake off earlier that day along with cupcakes that were decorated with the correct color. She had the cupcakes in a box that said "DO NOT OPEN UNTIL THE CAKE IS CUT". We were finally ready, everyone had arrived and the cake was waiting...

Elle's Mommy

Monday, October 24, 2011

Ellersley Grace III

Much to my dismay, we decided to wait to tell our families. The reason we decided to do this was that we were a month away from a trip to Hawaii to visit my brother and sister-in-law. We knew that would be the BEST way to tell my family...what's better than Hawaii and a baby? I mean really? We decided we would tell Wes's brother and our sister-in-law the Friday before we left for Hawaii, we would tell my family in Hawaii and we would tell Wesley's parents and his other brother when we got back from Hawaii. So we waited and waited and waited...if you know me at all, something like this is nearly IMPOSSIBLE for me to do. It was like Chinese torture or something, a slow painful process. You all should be very proud that I made it! Friday, March 11th we were 7 weeks and we had our first doctor appt. We were so happy, we could not stop smiling...we were about to be told we were officially pregnant, we were going to hear the heartbeat, we were about to have an ultrasound, we were going to be telling SOMEONE (anyone would've been great at this point) that night that we were pregnant and we were leaving for HAWAII the very next morning...I had more butterflies in my belly than I could count. We had the ultrasound and saw the little tiny peanut and saw that tiny peanut's little tiny heart beating so very fast. We heard the heartbeat, 130 beats that first time. I'm pretty sure I had tears and so did Mr. Deem. We just kept telling God how much we were in awe of his miracles. There was a life growing inside of me right alongside all of those butterflies.

If you follow natural disasters and are OCD enough to remember the dates of said natural disasters, you remember that there was a huge Earthquake in Japan on March 10th. This earthquake in Japan created a huge Tsunami scare in Hawaii. This tsunami scare in Hawaii induced multiple calls to us by friends and family making sure we were going to be ok and making sure Dan(my brother) and Sara ( my sister-in-law) were ok. These multiple calls and texts came at the same time we were at a doctor's appt looking at our first born child unbeknowst to anyone else on this Earth, besides our doctor of course. It was comical how Wesley tried to appease the callers and texters. He can't lie ya know? He kind of left that lifestyle behind with the previous posts. :) It was so fun and such an exciting time. We both look back on it fondly, we know God gave us all that joy and we are so thankful for it.

Well, that night we walked into Aaron (wes's brother) and Heather's (our sister-in-law) house. We were there to say goodbye to the boys before leaving for Hawaii and we were dropping our Sophie (dog) off so they could watch her for us while we were gone. They had no idea of the secret that we held. We walked in with a gift bag which contained some chocolates from Sophie (a thank you for watching her) and the ultrasound photos of our sweet baby. I handed it to Heather and said "Sophie has a present for you, just a thank you for watching her." She opened the bag and screamed, "NO, no no no!!!" and she shut the bag and got up, without even getting the pictures out, and hugged me so tight. Aaron was yelling, "what? what? what's in the bag?" She could not stop screaming and we could not stop laughing, crying, all of the above. She finally said "She's pregnant, she's pregnant!" and he smiled and laughed. JOY, we will never forget the joy Ellersley brought to our entire family. We left there feeling so overjoyed and so loved and so excited to tell everyone else. One butterfly down...

So the next day we were up before any other humans are awake and we were off to Maui with my family. Seriously, Maui...God's blessings in our life are just plain stinking ridiculous. We were going to be flying all day and I was a little concerned about nausea. I had not been sick at all, another amazing blessing from God. I would get pretty nauseous at times, like when I hadn't eaten for 2 hours or something, but other than that, no puke. My mom always packs snacks for all of us to have while on the planes so I just munched pretty much all day. They had no idea, we played the game pretty well. The closer we got to Maui the faster the butterflies fluttered. Also, I hate flying so I'm pretty sure that was probably another reason they were fluttering so fast. I have vowed to myself I will never go again, the flight is too long. Oh, but the whales and the sun and the turtles and the mountains and the ocean and the beach and the whales. Did i mention the whales? It's the closest thing we have to heaven...I'm sure of it.

We finally made it to Maui and to Dan and Sara's house. Once there, we took all of our stuff in the house and started unpacking. Wesley kept looking at me and I kept looking at him, we were waiting for the perfect time. We brought gift bags, one for Mom and Dad, one for Rachel (my sister) and one for Dan and Sara and in each would be one ultrasound picture. We got three that day at the doctor, how perfect is that? Did I mention yet that God is amazing? He knows every single detail of our lives, every single one. So everyone was gathered in Dan and Sara's room, they were talking about something. I have NO IDEA what, I was preoccupied with my butterflies. Wesley grabbed me and we went into our room and grabbed the bags and smiled the biggest smiles we've ever had. I probably squealed, I'm pretty sure I did. We walked into the bedroom with the bags and I said "We have presents! We just wanted to get you all something because we are here and it's Hawaii and who doesn't like presents?" We handed them out and Wesley said "DON'T look inside, you have to open them at the same time". We both said, "OK, open them!"

Rachel was the first one with a reaction. She screamed and instantly cried and then ran to me and jumped on me. It was wonderful, again that overwhelming joy. My mom was crying and screaming. Dan and Sara were elated and my Daddy, he is so sweet. He just stood and cried. He is such a soft, sweet grandpa. Both my parents were just so happy, they had waited so long for this blessed day. They, too, were full of that joy. Many hugs and kisses followed and of course, "You knew for HOW LONG???". They couldn't believe we had kept it a secret for a whole month, they were proud of me like you should be. We went on with our vacation, loving a new member of our family.

We needed a nickname for our new family member. We are the kings and queens of nicknames and this new baby was to be no exception. We tried out the normal stuff, baby and peanut and champ but none of those really fit. Well, since we were in Hawaii and we had been fascinated with turtles in the past, we decided on Honu. Honu means sea turtle in the Hawaiian language. It fit perfectly since we didn't yet know that she was a girl. She was baby Honu then and still is today. Our sweet baby Honu.

Well, we rested and relaxed our way through a week and then we found our way back home. We were ready to tell the rest of Wesley's family, our extended family, our church family and our friends. We got home on a Tuesday, I think, and we went straight to Wesley's parents house. We could not wait another second. We went over under the premise that we were showing them pictures from vacation. Of course, we did that but we also brought a gift bag! :) We did the same thing for them that we did with the others. Dan opened the bag and took the pictures out and he started laughing. "What, what is it?" Marcia said. Dan, through his joy, said "It's their baby!" She got up and hugged us and Dan just smiled and said "Are you kidding?" And then that joy came again, they were so happy. They had been praying so very hard, just like the rest of us. God had answered all of our cries and that is always a happy day.

Elle's Mommy

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ellersley Grace II

Ok ok ...I love him a lot ok. So moving into the rest of our lives obviously we thought we were invincible, never to be touched again by any miniscule thing this life could throw our way. We could handle it all, with Jesus. We had been through the FIRE of this ugly world and come out shining, so we thought, in our great pride. We had been given great love and we began to dream about sharing that love with a little one.

Jesus had given Wesley a great desire to become a daddy and well, my desire to be a mommy was bred into me, remember? November of 2008 our desire turned into action and we started actively trying to 'be fruitful and multiply'. About a year into our 'adventures' (that's what we'll call it) we realized we were not getting anywhere. Babies were not forming, something was not right. We went through some standard testing which proved that nothing was wrong but that ugly word, infertility, was being thrown around. At this point we were telling God that whatever He wanted we were ready. P.S. DON'T EVER SAY THAT...unless you mean it and then you better GET READY! : )

We knew that we had the love of Jesus and we just wanted to share that with a child. It didn't matter to us who that baby was, a biological child or an adopted child. We just wanted to shine Jesus's love into another life. We explored adoption and still feel God's pull toward a baby boy in Africa but the timing was just not right. Someday, little man, someday...

We decided to start infertility treatments in November of 2010, pills to be exact. The pills made my body work the way it was originally intended to work. I guess that meant hot flashes? God works in mysterious ways, what can I say? So we or I took the pills and counted the days and did all the steps I was told to do. And then we waited, 1 month down and no baby...2 months down and no baby. Christmas Eve came and I remember being sooooo sad on that day. At church on Christmas Eve I was watching a little girl that is so very close to our family. I was keeping her during the service for her mommy, she was almost 2 years old and I just remember sobbing because we did not have a child to hold for another Christmas. God was in my midst, holding me ever so close to his side. Preparing my heart all the way...

January came and again the pills but this time a shot was introduced also. I hate shots, not really a big fan of the needle but for a baby, sure I'll do it. It didn't hurt, by the way, easy as pie. I took the pills and got the shot on Saturday, February 5th. Little did we know, God created our Ellersley that day with a little help from Wesley and a little from me. Or should I say we created Ellersley with a little help from Him? Hmm...well either way that day will go down as a day we will always remember. The day my body worked in the magnificent way the Master created it to, forming a miracle that would come to mean more to us than we ever dreamed or imagined.

Before Ellersley was ever created we were thinking of names for the baby God would one day give us. Wesley just happened to be reading Scottish Chiefs, a book about the hero William Wallace. He came across the name of his estate, Ellerslie. If I am remembering correctly he was reading a specific part of the book to me and the name of this estate came up. He looked at me and said, "That would be a cute little girl's name, Ellerslie." I said "yeah, yeah i kinda like it." I love that her name was loved by daddy first, a name that Jesus picked out just for her and made sure that her daddy saw it. A name that is unique and special to her, a name that no one else has. She is one special little lady.

So after February 5th we were all just waiting and waiting and wondering and pondering what it would be like if I were really pregnant. It was a long anticipated dream for our entire family and we were just dying for it to be true. I remember pee, lots and lots and lots of pee. I was starting to get up in the middle of the night to go pee and at first I didn't think much of it but then it became a nightly ritual. I was getting excited and so was Wesley. So, on the morning of February 16th (a Wednesday) I got up to pee. It was probably about 3 am. I rolled over Wesley and went into our bathroom. I got out the pregnancy test and did, well, what you do on pregnancy tests. Then I sat and waited as Wesley stared at me. I picked the stick back up and looked and then I looked again. "Are there 2 lines on that?" and I handed it to Wesley. "No Nick...well, are there 2 lines on it?" We went back and forth like this several times. It was a cheapo test from Dollar General that everyone says to get because why spend the money on the expensive ones. I'l tell you why...THIS IS WHY!!! The lines are so faint you have no idea if you are or if you aren't and it's just cruel and unusual punishment to those who have been anticipating for soooo long.

So, we were just in awe at the thought that there could be a peanut growing, I think we were in shock. Wes was trying not to get too excited because we weren't sure yet if it was really true. We had a million other things going on that day but we decided that we would get the test that actually says not pregnant or pregnant, the digital ones that cost like $30 bucks for 1 test. We were not going to be the judge of the pink lines again.

February 17th, 2011 I rolled over Wesley at 3 am and made my way to the bathroom. We were both as excited as a 7 year old on Christmas morning. We could not believe that there was a possiblity that I was full of life. I was so anxious... I peed on the stick and handed it directly to Wesley. There was no way I could look, I was so nervous. He stood over it watching intently and hoping for a miracle. He finally, after what seemed like an eternity, looked up and I said, "What does it say?" and he handed me the stick and then he smiled the most wonderful smile. I looked at it and said "Are you serious???". There it was, the word we had been waiting for, Pregnant. I ran to him and jumped into his arms. He had some tears and I was just in complete shock. I'm pretty sure I screamed with excitement and we hugged and kissed over and over. A few hundred "Thank you Jesus's" were said also that February morning. We got back into bed full of joy, thankfulness and a love for each other and a God that had heard our cries and fulfilled the deepest desires of our hearts. We could not believe it...we were pregnant!