Monday, October 17, 2011

it's a.....


Today, Oct 17 at 9:22am God bestowed on our family another sweet miracle! Morgan Faith Schwalbe came into this world screaming loudly, weighing 7lbs 2.6oz and measuring 18 1/2 inches. The c-section delivery was uneventful and all was normal.

We are SO IN LOVE with her! Kennedy is sure to be a wonderful big sister and we know Matthew is watching over her. Thank you for your prayers and support yesterday and for the duration of this pregnancy. They have been such a special gift to us.
Here are some pictures (she looks just like Kennedy did when she was born!)

Ken, Cortney, big brother Matthew Phillip, big sister, Kennedy Grace and 'Lil Bean, aka Morgan Faith

Sunday, October 16, 2011

the 7th inning stretch

oct 16 ~ the last preggo picture of me and 'lil bean.

so here we are just about an hour or so before i go to bed so i can try and get some sleep before 'lil bean's arrival. i am so thankful we made it; especially through this last week.

as my doctor (who will be one of my surgeons tomorrow), said on friday at my last appointment, "it's a delicate balance giving the baby one more week to achieve developed lungs and monitoring you to make sure your uterus doesn't EXPLODE."

yes, he used the word EXPLODE. my eyes POPPED out of my head when he said this. needless to say i was a little nervous this weekend. "rupture" just seems so much nicer of a world...ya know?
nonetheless, the only One who could, the only One "I AM" held all things together this week and provided His devine protection over me and 'lil bean.

we continue to praise Jesus for this miracle we are about to experience tomorrow morning (at 9am). we give thanks that God was able to give us peace to wait it out another week.

please join us in this 7th inning stretch (i have to interject here -- YAY RANGERS!! -- world series bound!!) of prayer for God's protection, provision and health. YAHWEH is the great I AM! He is the giver of all gifts and tomorrow we believe He will bestow on us, another sweet child, another miracle. as we go in and meet our third precious child, your prayers are the greatest gift we could ask for and receive.
thank you sweet friends and all have been such an incredible gift of love, support and prayer in this 9+ month journey. bless you over and over...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

what a difference a day makes

first let me say, a heartfelt thank you to all of you who have encouraged me with your sweet thoughts and pearls of wisdom, and most of all your coveted prayers these last 24 hours.

truly, i say, what a difference a day makes. this morning ken and i both went to my doctor's appointment and after the routine non-stress test (i've been getting them the last 6 weeks since i have gestational diabetes this time around), the nurse mentioned that my doctor was delivering a patient and would be over shortly. she also told us that my c/s had been rescheduled. i asked if she knew when and with whom and it was like music to my ears.

i will be delivering on monday oct 17th at 9am. no addtional amnio needed! woo-hoo! and my surgeons would be dr. y and dr. z, both of whom dr. x (my previous dr with kennedy who retired) recommended. both the top surgeons in the practice would be there. i couldn't have asked for a better situation. and their schedules were rearranged to make this happen. this made ken and i feel like they were on top of everything and they were giving us the best option available.

later after my routine non-stress test, my doctor who will not be able to deliver me because she will be out of town and dr. y both came in the room to answer any questions we had and to listen to our concerns. there were tears and even moments where someone was speaking a little louder than normal. but it was a very production discussion and i heard exactly what i needed to hear to obtain peace. dr. y told me that he recently consulted twice with dr. x (my previous dr who retired in june) and pressed him on why he recommended a 36-week delivery. he told us dr. x had backed off of the 36 weeks as long as they did not see any other risk factors with a thinning uterine wall via ultraousnd. in fact, dr. y said "i thought i had told you this when you saw me a few weeks ago?" buddy, you didn't. because if you did, we would not be having this conversation right now!!

hearing this immediately put my heart at ease. honestly it was the only thing that drove me to challenge 15+ doctors and specialists for the last 5 months. i hung onto dr. x telling me i needed to deliver at 36 weeks and wondered why everyone was ignoring this. it drove me a little crazy...ok maybe a lot crazy. but if dr. x was willing to back off that recommendation then i was too.

at that very exact moment, i finally gave up control. it took my daughter waking me up at 4am this morning to break my will but after i got her back to sleep, big surprise i couldn't sleep. it was there in the dark of my living room, that God met me and reminded me that ALL of this is in His control. it always has been, even though i've spent a ridiculous amount of time and energy trying to control it.

the only way i can describe the peace i felt at that exact moment was to tell you that it was same feeling of peace two summers ago when i decided to let go of all the anger i had been carrying around about the death of my son. it was a peace that only God could give me. people could pray it for me; but God had to give it.

ken and i are completely at peace with everything that is going to happen in the next 6 days. we are confident in my doctors but most importantly we know God is in control and will be faithful. my friend candace shared this verse with me this morning:

Hebrews 10:23
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. (NIV)

we're holding steady that God will protect me and 'lil bean and that our healthy, sweet child will be delivered safely next monday.

if you would also hold steady with us, i would be most grateful. thank you sweet, sweet friends. you all are so amazing and faithful and i'm so thankful to know we have this network of support around us. each of you are just precious, amazing friends and family! God Bless You!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

not the post i thought i would be writing...

....ok so, again, it's been FOREVER since i last posted, but alas, i've been tired throughout this pregnancy while chasing my 18 month old. excuses, excuses.

i thought i would be writing about my thoughts of welcoming 'lil bean into the world tomorrow. instead, we will have to wait at least a week.

today i had an amniocentesis for a lung maturity test. the maternal fetal medicine specialist i see absolutely required it since we were planning a delivery for 37weeks+3days. i was completely terrified to get the amnio and with hands shakin' and sweatin' like it was my first kiss, i held onto my hubby's hand and looked away into his eyes while the MFM walked us through the procedure. he said, "bee sting" and i guess that's when the 4-inch needle went in. i hardly felt it. then he said, "some pressure/cramp" and i might have felt a little one, but seriously not much. after like a minute, he said, "all done."


i was worked up for nothing. i had to be monitored for 45 minutes afterwards to make sure there were no complications and waa-lah, hubby and i left the office while i patted myself on the back for being so brave and we headed out for a celebration breakfast. he suggested denny's...i got my way with eggcellence, a healthy little cafe serving, you guessed it, eggs. :)

the day was great. i got all of the bathroom drawers and hallway closet cleaned out and sorted. kennedy played with juju and took only 1 nap that lasted 1 hour 45 mins (woo-hoo! we're making progess as we started out with an hour when we transitioned to 1 nap a couple of weeks ago.)

after naptime we all got gussied up and decided to head to the naval academy for a maternity photoshoot. yep, the photographer in me, totally forgot to schedule a maternity shoot at the normal 28-32 week timeframe so i put on all black to attempt to cover up my bloatedness. :) at first glance of the pictures, i'll need to do A LOT of photoshop editing!

when we pulled up to our scenic backdrop for perfect pictures, the phone rang.

it was my OB telling me that i could not deliver as planned. "the baby's lungs are just not developed enough."


i asked what the score was. we needed a surfactant to phospholipid (S/P) ratio of 55mg/g or greater.


i was in shock.

less than 40; definitely immature, risk of respiratory distress syndrome and other complications. 40-55, intermediate risk; need further testing to see if delivery is possible; 55+; welcome, baby!

33......really? but the ultrasound tech said friday if she was a bettin' woman, she would bet that i would be having the baby tomorrow. we even watched together on the screen as 'lil bean used his/her diaphram and was breathing!

another OB told me that the MFM would not consider anything before next monday, oct 17. and even then, the normal procedure with a reading of 33mg/g would be to repeat the amnio (on the 17th) and deliver the next day (18th). however, the MFM was going to write a letter to the hospital explaining that he would not require another amnio and that i could deliver at 38 weeks+3 days on oct 17. this was a relief to me as i have a very emotional reason not to deliver on the 18th. it was the day that our best friend, matt, our son's namesake, was killed.

oh yeah, the OB would be out of town starting the 15th and would not be my surgeon for my c-section.

as she was talking, i was half listening because all that kept coming to mind was....

....REALLY GOD??? what the hell??? WHERE are YOU in ALL of THIS???

i asked if i could have 1 of the other 2 surgeons i knew (who were the top ones in the practice) and she said she would have to check. she told me that i would have to be seen in the office tomorrow and Friday; my normal 2x/week monitoring for my non-stress tests (all because i have gestational diabetes). she ended with how sorry she was about our plan being disrupted and then i started once again telling her my fears about going longer than tomorrow.

that's where i need to interject and give you all the back story.

with kennedy, i saw the high-risk doctor in the practice and he made my pregnancy with her seem effortless. i didn't even feel like i was "high risk." he just had a calmness about him. we'll call him dr. x. all the fears we had of going through pregnancy again were put aside because of his character and confidence. by the grace of God, even though i went into labor with kennedy 1 week+1 day before my scheduled c-section, it was dr. x who was on call and delivered (on easter day, no less!). it was him who called ken over to take a picture of the cord knot while kennedy was being cleaned telling us how rare they are (and how dangerous they can be). it was him who while i'm cut wide open said in a calm yet concerned voice to me, "your uterus is very, very thin." i remember asking him what that meant and he said he would be making a repair because it was like "saran wrap."

fast forward to pregnancy with 'lil bean. i booked my first "i'm preggo-let's confirm it" appointment and when asked who i usually saw i told the woman scheduling the appointment i had to see dr. x due to my high-risk history.

"well, he's retiring in june."


i was completely sad but resolved to see him until he flew the coop.

my very FIRST appointment with him when i was 9 weeks pregnant, he told me (and documented in my chart) that i needed to deliver at 36 weeks because of the thin uterine segment and window present at kennedy's delivery. he also said that since he would be retiring i would need to see the MFM specialist occasionally during the pregnancy.

my last appointment with him was around 20 weeks. i asked him who should deliver me and he gave me two names (the top 2 surgeons in the practice). i asked him about a third doctor and he said it was fine for me to see her but that one of those two doctors should do my surgery.

i started seeing the OB i wanted to with plans to somehow have one of the two he recommended deliver me. at the same time i saw the MFM at 20 weeks and it didn't really go that well. he first told me he wouldn't consider anything before 39 weeks.

but the documention...the recommendation....from dr x???

i ran into the objection of delivering at 36 weeks with every. single. doctor, specialist, nurse, dog, and cat around here. i even went to the director of the MFM department at johns hopkins (can you get a more knowledgable opinion from such a stellar hospital?) and the overall consensus was not a day before 37 weeks. (in fact the hopkins MFM said nothing sooner than 39 weeks!)

we pressed every button and challenged every person in every way we could. the bottom line is that no one was listening to the recommendation of the only man who was elbow-deep in my uterus at delivery.

finally i stopped fighting them all and just accepted the 37 week+3 days delivery. i had a scheduled c-section for oct 11 with the doctor who i very much liked and the assistant surgeon, one of the top ones in the practice that dr. x had recommended. i couldn't have planned it better.

and so, that's where we are. now you all know the back story.

when i hung up with my OB today i teared up a little but then said to ken and my mom, ok, let's do the pictures and deal with this later. total, classic, denial.


we piled out of the car and i'm pretty sure we never got a shot of kennedy ever looking at the camera. we got a lot of her crying and whining though. a perfect maternity session all-around. :) after about 45 minutes i gave up and suggested we drive over to the park.

when we got there, my sister called because she received my text about not delivering as planned. i answered and never should have. she said something that probably shouldn't have upset me the way it did and all of my frustration, anger, sadness, confusion, and fear dumped ALL.OVER.HER.

i'm ashamed to admit that as of writing this post, i've yet to apologize to her.

so by now, you've figured out that i'm a planner. and i can tell you that my type-A-EXTREME- planning-self pretty much wishes this verse was left out of the bible:

"Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:20-21 NIV

my mom had loosely quoted this verse to me earlier when we were both stressing about not delivering tomorrow. in writing this post, i couldn't remember the exact verse so i opened up to see if i could find the verse by keyword search.

ya'll....FOR REAL...the next thing...REALLY happened!!!

i opened the webpage and FRONT AND CENTER was the verse of the day:

Verse of the Day

Listen to the Verse of the DaySubscribe to the Verse of the Day
“Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:20-21 NIV

ok God, i've spent the last 7 hours stressing, worrying, panicking, freaking out, etc and you give me this? THIS????

of course!

i've made these plans of exactly how 'lil bean would come into the world. along with my OB, i have made the plans. and although i don't understand all of the reasons right now, i relinquish control. God has the plan. HIS plan has a SPECIFIC purpose. it's just not the plan i thought was best. this plan, with all of it's ambiguity right now, completely scares me.

but if you truly give up and give it over to God, what is left to do or say, except...amen?

a few things have given me comfort tonight:

1) my mom recalling this verse about our plans v. God's plans.
2) God deciding it needed to be the verse of the day on ummm...yeah, that was pretty cool.
3) my husband pointing out that as much as we like him, maybe, just maybe, dr. x was wrong. we've consulted 20+ doctors/specialists on this and none have agreed with him
4) a friend from high school reminding me on facebook that God has held me in His hands through so much in the last few years and He will continue to hold me this next week too.

please continue to pray for me and my family, but mostly for the health of our sweet 'lil bean.

we put so much stock into dr. x's recommendation because a) he was there, elbow deep, like i said before, and b) he made us feel so confident and secure in our pregnancy with kennedy. if i could just hear him say, "maybe i was wrong about 36 weeks; it's ok to wait a little longer. i don't think your uterus will rupture," i could sleep restfully at night! please pray i don't turn stalker, somehow find his home address, and show up on his doorstep to ask him this. i don't really want to go to jail before i deliver 'lil bean.

obviously i'm kidding about the last part. sort of.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

we will never forget!

today we remember 9/11...ten years later. i can't believe it's been 10 years. i remember exactly where i was that day. i was living and working in chicago and i was running late to work. i took a cab instead of the bus and when i arrived to the office, no one was there. our gym was accessible through internal stairs near my office and finally i heard people talking. i went up to the gym and found everyone standing around the treadmills watching the TVs. then someone told me..."a plane crashed into the world trade center."

with my own eyes, i then watched the 2nd plane hit. before the first tower fell, we were evacuated from our building (only 4 blocks from the Sears tower) and we ran to the parking garage where my boss was parked. along the way, we saw tons of people running north towards the river. as we ran i remember the feeling of panic that came over me. i wasn't sure about having my boss drive me home since i lived in a 20-story apartment building on lake shore drive, but after awhile i decided it was ok to be there. i got home and watched in horror replays of the towers falling and the crashes in PA and the pentagon. i watched the TV the entire day as the story unfolded and news reports flooded in. i spoke to several friends and we all couldn't believe our country had been attacked. the day before 9/11 i had just returned from a trip to dallas to attend a friend's wedding and suddenly i was afraid to fly. it was only a few weeks later i had to go to NYC for work. i remember staying wide awake the whole trip watching everything, when normally i would have snoozed for the early morning flight. i will also never forget the smoldering ash still in the air when we flew over manhattan to land at laguardia.

i worked in nyc from august 2002-august 2003 at 4 world financial center. every single day i walked by the world trade center site. and every single day i walked by it, i felt the vast loss of life and destruction. i was there for the first 9/11 memorial and i will never forget the tears my coworkes choked back when faced with memories from that day.

9/11 changed everything in this country. fear replaced comfortable. anger replaced contentment. but heroes joined the ranks of our military to rid the world of tyranny and terrorism and thousands have proudly served and sacrificed since. i think about the many lives that have been lost in this war. in particular our friend matt who died in a training exercise when his jet collided with another over the pacific ocean. if that accident had not happened, matt would have deployed to the war zone just a few months later. i am humbled the men and women of the armed services willingly go into harm's way to carve out a path of freedom for me, my children, and this country. because they serve, we stay safe.

in just about 7 weeks my husband will join the ranks of those who are serving and have served in operation enduring freedom for a 1-year deployment to afghanistan. we will miss him terribly but we are proud he has an opportunity to serve his country in this capacity. 10 years later this war is still going on and many people have an opinion about that. i will not interject my thoughts on the subject and debate it here. my husband has been called to serve and he will do so with honor, commitment and sacrifice. for that, we are proud.

may all those heroes of 9/11 always be remembered. WE WILL NEVER FORGET! i am grateful to all of those who have served in military and civil service since. may God bless you here on earth and those angels now in heaven. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

visiting...and being visited

today i had one of those days. and i mean it was a helluva morning. by 10:30 i was ready to crawl back into bed and start over.

i won't go on and on about all of the things that went wrong or not exactly my way (at least right now; maybe another post a little later)...but instead i thought i would share some fun pics. two weeks ago, kennedy and i went to raleigh, picked up joni, jack and liam and headed down to south carolina to visit angie, ben, andy and m.e. so fun to have a mini reunion. :)

a few days later my dad and step mom came to visit and we had a great time! grandpa was pretty taken with the sweet girl, and as he pulled away after a week of playing, she cried and cried. i think she's looking forward to more play time when we move there in 3 months.


Friday, July 22, 2011

the cutest (nose picker) i know

first i wanted to say thank you to all of you who wrote me a FB message, email or made a comment on my last post. it's very comforting to know you all are praying for me and my family. the encouragement about my writing continues to amaze me. thank you so much for your kinds words.

onto cuter, and less serious things...

so i thought i'd give a little kennedy update because it seems she has changed by leaps and bounds in the last 2 months, since i last wrote.

first of all she is now walking. and fast. me and 'lil bean have a hard time keeping up. she took her first steps around 13 months but by 14 1/2 months she's all walking, no crawling. just this week, she sprouted her 5th tooth. that's 3 on top and 2 on bottom. she was still eating a little baby food up until 14 months but now she wants only real food. her favorite veggies are fresh from our garden this summer: cherry tomatoes, baked yellow squash, and sweet peas. she hasn't met a fruit she does not like but she goes crazy for blueberries. almost every breakfast is cream of wheat, yogurt and blueberries, unless it's the weekend and we have pancakes, turkey bacon or eggs. her favorite proteins are black beans, turkey and chicken. her newest favorite food is almond butter on a english muffin and she loves it even though it makes for one messy baby.

we dropped her last bottle at 14 months and she drinks either milk or a 3/4 water+1/4 juice mix out of sippy cup but she loves to drink out of a regular cup and spill it all down her shirt. she doesn't drink a lot of milk during the day but loves cheese and yogurt.

about 2 months ago when i took her to one of my doctor's appointments and she freaked out, i decided i needed to find an option where she wouldn't have to go to my weekly appointments. she now goes to the child development center on base 2x/week for a few hours each day. this gives me a chance to take care of my appointments and grocery shopping, etc. she loves playing with the other kids at "school." i've also seen a change in kennedy when it comes to other people; she is more social and is not always so clingy to momma.

as far as talking, she isn't really saying any words except hi and uh-oh. she says momma and dadda but i'm not sure it's always in recognition of us. she is supposed to have 10 words by 18 months so we're working on that. she still takes a pacifier but we're trying to limit that to only nap and bed time so we're not impeding her speech development. speaking of naps, i've tried to transition to just 1 but she's not ready. she takes about an hour morning nap and another 1-1 1/2 hours in the afternoon. in the last month or so she's really been sleeping in! she still goes down between 6:30-7pm but lately hasn't been waking until between 8-9am!

her favorite game to play is still peek-a-boo and she likes to be chased. in the last couple of weeks she's been climbing on everything! she can pull herself up on the couch but she doesn't always want to sit first before getting down. this summer she really started loving swimming which is great because momma loves going to the neighborhood pool. her little baby pool or a sprinkler will also do the trick.

even though we explain to her she's going to be a big sister she doesn't get it. she knows what a baby is because i'll say baby and she'll go get her baby doll. i lift up my shirt and show her my belly and say baby. she laughs, pats it, and usually gives it big open mouth kisses. i thought this was sweet and that maybe she was getting it, but then one day she lifted up ken's shirt and did the same thing. :) i'm pretty sure his belly isn't as big as mine so i don't know why she's doing the same thing. LOL! love you honey!

her latest little trick is this...and honestly i don't know where she gets it. i'm trying to ignore this seriously, gross, unlady-like behavior!! (sorry baby girl, momma did post this picture of you! oh, the horror!) you are such a blessing to us...we love you so much!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

M. I. A.

yep, that's me. the missing-in-action blogger. i just rolled over to 2 months of not one. single. entry.

i was completely aware i had not been doing any kind of writing; blogging, journaling or working on my book; but i was unwilling to admit why.

until yesterday when i was in my counseling session.

i didn't want to get on here and write and write about how much i missed him because i thought 'it's been 2.5 years one wants me to go on and on and dwell on how much i miss my son.'

i've had more encounters with strangers in the last few months than i can count. they've gone a little something like this:
"wow, when are you due? they are going to be close in age. you're going to have your hands full!"

i wanted to respond with an annoying glare and say "well, i should have 3 kids, age 2 and under. now that would be 'hands full!'" and walk away. thankfully with each and every encounter, i maintained composure and grace, smiled, and said something like, "yes, i know, it will be great!"

before matthew, i dealt with grief linearily. i did not have a lot of experience with grief prior to losing my son but with the losses i had in my life; parents divorce, grandparents' deaths, cousin's death, and my best friend matt's death, i grieved, shelved it, and moved on. the hardest one for me that lingered for a bit was matt's death but after some time, i accepted and moved forward. but i didn't have days where i would cry and cry. i never felt like the grief was lingering. my measurement of how i was doing with said grief event was weather i had "gotten over it."

please don't think i'm cold and insensitive. each of these losses hurt me deeply. but when bad things happened, i had a pattern of grieving and...then moving on. i didn't allow myself to revisit the sadness. i just got on with it.

after losing matthew i came to understand through counseling that the grief process was meant to be lived in stages. although i am now in the acceptance stage 2.5 years later, i've had to get used to the fact that matthew's death is one that i will never completely get over. and that's ok.

now when life becomes stressful or hard, the grief of losing matthew may attach itself and hurt some. it's just a fact.

we have many changes coming up in the next few months and these things do not come without stress. we'll be having our 3rd child, sending my husband off to war in afghanistan, and moving to arkansas all within a month's time. and all the prepping that comes with that, finding a renter for our home, packing, etc. is just icing on the cake.

i would appreciate your prayers for my family during the coming months. the community of people who read this blog have always been so wonderful to me and my family and i feel very comfortable in asking you all to pray for us.

i know God will provide for all of our needs and He doesn't want us to stress. it's tough to die to myself and trust the One who can handle all the details. but i know, He can.

now that i've come clean on the reasons behind my m.i.a. status, i'll try and get on here more often when i'm not chasing a 15-month-old or napping from chasing said child. and while i would love to continue with project 365, i just don't think i will be able to keep up daily. certainly i will write about the things i am thankful for in my life because i do feel like it changed my perspective on life. and i'll need to share a cute picture or two of my growing-too-fast 15-month-old that amazes me each day! and yet, sometimes i'll just need to get on here and share. sometimes i'll just need to write about how much i miss my son. i hope that's ok.

thank you dear friends for all of your prayers and encouragement!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

project 365 - day 138

today i am thankful for my best friend joni.

happy birthday beautiful lady!!

(i stole this recent picture of her and her boys from her facebook.)

joni has been such a faithful and loyal friend to me. we met in college and really got close at the end. she once saved my life while backpacking the grand canyon (another story, another time), and i believe she saved it once again when we lost matthew. she has a heart for God, her family, friends, her patients, and most everyone she meets. literally, this girl will give you the shirt off her back. she is generous, kind, fun, and the kind of girl you love to call your friend. we've been through amazing wonderful moments, and heartbreaking sad ones. through it all, she has been there for me every step of the way. and the icing on the cake is that her husband is best friends with mine so i know we're friends for life. even when we're in our 80s with grey hair, no teeth, and fading memories. ;-)

sweet friend, i hope you have a beautiful day with your amazing family. i love you!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

project 365 - day 134

march for babies walk
the purple beads

this morning we walked with 4 other families in our 2nd march for babies walk in memory of our precious son, matthew phillip. we were so humbled to have our team of 19 strong honor our son in this special way.

i went over to the family tent to change kennedy's diaper before the race and a volunteer recognized me from last year because we hung out the whole walk, since my doctor wouldn't let me participate 3 weeks post c-section. she introduced me to another volunteer and told him how she met me last year when kennedy was just 3 weeks old. he presumed we were walking because of her and went to go get some purple beads, which signifies a nicu baby born too soon, but one who had survived. when he was bringing them back to me, ann said, "oh no, cortney needs the white ones for her team. they're walking in memory of their son matthew phillip and pointed to my t-shirt bearing the words, 'team matthew phillip'." she asked me how many i needed and i said 19. tears were on the brink of filling up my eyes and i didn't want the guy to feel bad because he got the purple beads. i told them i had to run meet my team so he wouldn't see me cry and quickly said my goodbyes.

i started walking back and i just let the tears fall. i told God i wasn't happy about wearing the white beads.

i just want the purple ones. i want him back.

i pulled it together enough to rejoin the group, but more tears fell while a family got up on stage and introduced their daughter who had spent 3 months in the nicu.

i don't want to be here walking...i just want one more day with him.

i was so honored to have our friends come out on a rainy day and walk for matthew. i just wished we were all getting together for breakfast or something...not doing this.

my doctor wasn't a big fan of me walking the whole 4 miles so i bid them farewell at the start of the walk and met up with them for the last mile. by the end of the walk, i felt peace, and healing took over where my anger and sadness once were.

God's in the business of peace, healing, and restoration...we just have to be honest with where we are and ask Him to meet us right there.

a huge thank you to the lindoerfer's, peace's, donaghey's and wainwright's for getting up early, battling the rain, and walking with us today. we love you all and were so honored to have you join us! also, a big thanks to everyone who donated to our team ~ we surpassed our goal and raised $2,110. i was especially grateful for emily and brady getting $5 each from their piggy banks and giving it to me this morning.
it melted my heart.