Plans & Change & Heartache...

We had planned to be at the beach this past week with our friends, I would have been 16 going on 17 weeks along and anxiously & excitedly waiting to find out if we were having a boy or girl in only a few short weeks after we’d returned from our vacation. Our last big trip as a family of five! 
Monday was scheduled to be a routine check up, but instead no heart tones were found on the doppler. I was sent to ultrasound minutes later, where it was confirmed that we had lost our baby a week and a half prior. 
I never wanted us to experience this. No one should have to. But here we are. Our hearts left with a gaping hole that can be filled with nothing else this side of heaven. I have never felt heartache like this. Our fourth baby, what would have been our family’s little caboose. 
So many things we had envisioned as a family of six, the sweetest little plans the kids had made in their own hearts, dreams of October through December with a new baby, talking nearly every night at dinner about who would fill the sixth chair at our table... 
Truthfully, I still feel so devastated that I don’t have a lot of encouraging words about it. I wish that I did, and I hope that I do at some point. It feels cruel & it feels unfair, and yet somehow, somewhere inside me I still know that God loves us. I see His love in the faces of my children & in Chris every single day. I feel it when I worship & today in the warm sun on my shoulders as I walked across the parking lot. I see it in the sunset over our lake & in my home that is filled to the brim with flowers sent from so many people who love us & are lifting us up during what feels like our darkest hour.
I miss our baby, I miss being pregnant, but am thankful to have carried her for a season. I am hopeful that God will bless us with another baby to keep & I feel certain that even in the company of deep sorrow, He will continue to weave beauty into our story.
 "Can't go back to the beginning, 
Can't control what tomorrow will bring, 
But I know here in the middle, 
Is the place where You promise to be."


Me & My Kiddos, at Home

Way back in December, which feels like ages ago (& somehow everyone's hair has grown a ton since)... my friend came over and so graciously gifted us with some photos of our morning. 
Just me and my kiddos, at home.
It was laid back and relaxed & we didn't even have to get dressed for it, which is such a win all on it's own, but also, I'm so happy she captured me WITH my kiddos. I hope they always remember how much they were loved by me & how often we danced in the kitchen & sat on the floor playing blocks or reading books. If they don't remember, at least now there's some proof! 
I'm so thankful to be a mom. After an incredibly hard season, which I hope to find words to share about at some point, this past year has been such a gift to me & I really am so thankful to feel like myself again & be living out the role of a mother the way I had envisioned and hoped to experience it. 
These kiddos are the sweetest, Brittany is a gem for capturing these, and I hope you are having a wonderful day wherever you are reading this from! XOXO

Estes Park in the Fall

Narrowing isn't my strong suit & this maybe should have been a two part post, but Estes Trip 2017 (in 2018)! How gorgeous is all of the color!?! It's so brown right now, that going through these photos now actually served me well. The burst of life and color they have gave me an added dose of joy, to help get through to Spring color. On the other hand, looking through these, I can't believe how fast our babies are growing. Abel has lost TWO teeth since this, and the top two are loose too! Otherwise he mostly keeps his look pretty consistent, which helps my heart, since the girls look older every single time I snap a photo of them! I think it's all the hair. It's got to be. Anyhow, I love this sweet family of mine, and I love Estes Park. I want an apple from Laura's as I write this, and can't wait to get back up there this Spring :)
^^^Watching the Elk across the river
^^^Isla is such a hambone!
^^^Lauraaaaaa's, so good.
^^^Bittiest :)
^^^Why is her face just the sweetest ever!?
^^^Chris and his very first catch EVER!

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