One Year Ago...

What a difference a year makes...
That quote is an understatement....

Exactly 1 year ago,
I had put my boys to bed with a smile on my face, kissing their sweet foreheads and
 thanking God for their lives....
Behind that smile, I was terrified.
Terrified of what was happening within my body. Within my womb.
You see, I had found out 2 weeks prior that we were expecting a baby.
I found out on our last day of vacation in FL and we had a whole 18 hour drive home
to marvel at the new life that was forming inside my belly.

It was exciting, nerve-wracking, heart was jumping outside of my chest...
We kept the pregnancy as much of a secret as we could...
I had only told a few close friends....
Sometimes I wish I hadn't told anyone...
On this day 1 year ago I noticed the tiniest smidge of blood when I wiped...
I knew something was not right.
I went to the ER where I was checked and had an ultrasound.
The baby was alive. But not measuring where he or she should be according to my last period.
{Which is sometimes common}
But I knew, I knew something was not right, even though the doctors tried to tell me otherwise.
Through their fake smiles they told me our babys heart rate was slow and he/she had a 50% chance.
I walked away from the hospital feeling defeated but trying my best to hold out hope.
So after I put my boys down to bed 1 year ago.
I crawled into bed and I prayed.
I prayed for my family and for God to let our baby live. I prayed for strength.
I prayed for anything I could that would help me keep this baby longer.

The next morning came as usual and all seemed well.
I went along with my day as usual and took the boys on a playdate.
While we were there I felt a gush. I got the boys and walked to our car.
I grabbed a baby wipe and swiped to find TONS of blood exiting my body.
I almost dropped to the ground. I knew it was over at that moment.
I went home ran in the bathroom and sobbed.
I felt so robbed and angry and defeated by my body.
I kept asking myself why. Why is this happening.
And to this day those questions still have no answer.

But I know one thing as I look beside me tonight....
I am blessed.

Yes, we went through a bad experience 1 year ago.
Yes, it sucked. It sucked the life out of me for almost 2 weeks.
But we made it through it.

There are some things in life you can't control
No matter how badly I wanted to keep that baby. I couldn't. I had to let it go...
You just have to do the best with what life gives you.
I hate that it happened but in a way it opened my eyes.
It opened my eyes to be grateful for what we do have and our family.
To live in the moment and not take anything forgranted.

To welcome new things and say goodbye when we have to, no matter how bad it hurts.
I am stronger having this experience. I would never wish it on anyone 
but looking back it has taught me a lot.
I would never say that I am grateful for having went through it but the lessons are ones I will never forget.

And what came after that heartache is something that I will cherish my entire life.
We were blessed with welcoming a new life.
Jude Edward made his way into my heart, soul and womb 2 weeks after that horrid day.
1 year ago I would have never imagined being here in this place tonight.

Watching my sweet son's chest rise and fall as he sleeps peacefully.
His perfect lips are sucking at the air and his arms raised above his head.
He is peaceful, as am I.
We are blessed. We are VERY blessed.
What a difference a year makes.
And the friends that reached out to me one year ago.
I cannot say enough thank-yous!

If you have suffered a loss, you are not alone.
 There are so many wonderful women who I am grateful
 to have met that have been in my shoes and your shoes.
I am grateful to call you all friends.
Reach out, they will be there for you!
Do not let the heartache defeat you. Be strong.
Keep your head up and try to see the light at the end of the tunnel...I know you will reach that light!
Trust me! 
And when you do, it will be even more sweeter. 

Summertime Faves...

One of my all time favorite things about summer is WATERMELON....
My second favorite thing is GRILLING...then comes homemade ICE CREAM....
{my fave things always include food...clearly}
Luke crushed all three things(watermelon, steak and icecream) at dinner the other night....
In TRUE Luke MESS fashion....
(Yes, that is a sprinkle in his nose)

What are your faves???

::Festival Fun::

You cannot attend festivals and not eat the food....yummmmmm!
A kiss at the top of the Ferris wheel, I love the lake in the background! 
I love this pic I got of my SIL and her son!
Making the trek to the top...
We were snail slow...I bet the guy at the top wanted to choke me out!:)
We had so much fun!
I was shocked by how daring my little man is getting!
I love reliving the fun of childhood with my kids!
Great memories :) 

Prayer Life as a Family....

I have touched briefly on our prayer life as a family....
But always promised to touch more on it...
So here I am today to go into depth of what we do daily as a family....
I love every aspect of our faith and I love that we are teaching our children early...
I grew up with pretty much no prayer or church life.
I knew who God was and that was pretty much it.

People always ask how our children are so well behaved at Mass...
I think it has a lot to do with our prayer life outside of church...
We teach them daily that we need to be quiet and listen during prayers as well as mass....
We want our children to be fully aware of everything about the Church and God.

Each night we gather in our room and do evening prayers from the Liturgy of The Hours book....
Christian Prayer
There is a different set of evening prayers for each night...
They take about 5 minutes including singing.

After night prayers we do the rosary as a family...
(we used to only do this with Vincent because Luke was so young but now that they share a room in their big boy beds we started last month having Luke join us)
We have Vincent repeat the first Our Father, the first 3 Hail Mary's, Glory Be and the Fatima Prayer
{cutest thing ever to hear him}
The boys then just listen for the rest....

**When Jordan travels I use the Holy Rosary site on my iPad and Vincent can touch and check each time we say each section of the rosary. Click on which day it is and the checklist pops up! Really easy to stay on track and have the kids help during the rosary.**

After prayers and rosary we brush teeth and end with Bible Stories, we do one or two a night, when the book is complete we start again at the beginning.
New Catholic Picture Bible

Other things that help kids....
The children's rosary is our fave. Non toxic (my kids chewed on it as babes lol) and large colorful beads!

On top of our night time routine,
We also say a prayer before meals....
Vincent says it even before ice cream or's pretty funny!
Here is a video I caught from Easter of him saying it!
{I was slow at getting lens off}
"Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts 
which we are about to receive from 
Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen."

That is pretty much our prayers involved in daily life...
They take about 30 minutes at night which seems small given the 24 hours in a day....

Never in a million years did I imagine doing this many prayers with my kids, 
But honestly once you get in the swing of things it is like second nature!
If you are looking to start more prayers do it! 
Hearing your children pray is one of the sweetest things! 

If you have any questions regarding any of this let me know!


::Parade Time:: in Pics...