Prayers (and First Birthdays) for Nella

Prayers for Nella

Tomorrow, I’m leaving to fly to Kansas City until Monday. It might seem random, but it’s actually for a really special reason. Nella, the little girl in the picture above, is turning one. And since she was diagnosed with SMA Type 1 (spinal muscular atrophy) early on, this is huge. She wasn’t expected to live to 6  months and here she is – almost 1.

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Our Homeschool Curriculum – 2014

That’s a super catchy title.

I looooove hearing about what curriculums families chose to homeschool with. To me – one of the best parts of homeschooling is searching for the right kind of lessons for both your teaching style and child’s learning/interests. I’ve spent a couple of months now deciding between a few. Of course the first was Five in a Row. I really like how heavily literature based they are, and we’ve used both the Five in a Row 1 and Before Five in a Row.

I also looked at Peace Hill Press, Sonlight, Abeka (I taught this at school), Memoria Press, and Oak Meadow. Each drew me in for different reasons. In the end, I kept going back to Memoria Press.

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First Day

I dropped Bella off at her first day at one of the on post childcare centers. We started out small – just two and a half hours because honestly – I don’t need a lot of care for her. A few hours for work, and several for therapy.

More than anything, I want this to be for her. I truly thought at her age we’d have 2 or 3 more kids running around, and it never crossed my mind that she’d be alone at almost 5. And yet, this is where we are. So I have to adjust my thinking for both of us, and by the look on her face this morning she’s liking it.

Bella First Day

I mean. Really. She’s just my whole heart. (Her dress and shoes are Tea Collection, book bag is by the über talented Mommy Moxie.)

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Little Changes

Lately I’ve been in a real funk. Besides all the horrible anniversaries next month, there has also been massive guilt about Bella. To put it bluntly – she’s been really hard to deal with lately. On top of that, I’ve been hard to deal with too, and Sam’s been working either the longest days or gone for a week at a time. We’ve all been stressed out and on edge.

Yesterday I was at my wits end. I just could not figure out whether I should continue with my desire to homeschool Bella, or if I was being selfish and it would be better if she was in a school this year.

On top of that, with our friends having moved, we don’t know any families with kids here, and it’s so hot out that meeting people at a park or something is out of the question.

I laid on my bed yesterday and bawled. I felt like on top of everything else, I’d pretty much failed as a mom this past year. I didn’t want to keep Bella away from peers, but with our story it was like facing a shooting squad to “join a mom’s group!” or “go to a Bible study!”

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What Hurts

You know what really hurts lately?

I mean, besides seeing everyone celebrate their kid’s first birthday?

The women who lose babies and make it beautiful and earthy and oh so magical.

Seriously.

I know everyone grieves differently, so I’m not here to judge how anyone does this process. But – in the same breath – these feelings and emotions are part of my process as well. So both are valid.

Just right now, their process really hurts me.

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