In 7th grade, I sat across from my husband in class. He liked to light things on fire and I thought he was just about the funniest person I’d ever met. We became best friends our sophomore year of high school, I fell head over heels in love with him, and 2 years later we started dating.
After graduating in 2001, he headed to boot camp for the Marines. The day he left he pulled out a ring and proposed. I was 17.
We were married in 2003. Bella was born in 2009. In between that we did deployments, growing up, jobs, and life.
Bella is the light of our lives. Currently she adores anything to do with stuffed animals, books, dragons, dinosaurs, and bugs. We use a lot of paper and glue. She truly is the best thing that’s ever happened to us both. We had no idea in the years after having her just how much we would end up seeing her as a little miracle.
Our most profound story is of losing 3 of our sons. Preston and Julian were identical twins born too soon at 20 weeks in May of 2012. After a week long battle to keep them alive, they only lived a brief time in my arms.
Bella and I were sent on a Disney Cruise thanks to Babble, the week we spent sailing on the Disney Magic was perfect.
After a failed international adoption, we became pregnant with Kaden – born this past August full term after a very high risk, very hard pregnancy that seemed not to impact him in the slightest. He was perfect – and the day we went to take him home from a precautionary NICU stay, he was found to have a rare heart condition and virus that caused it. He passed away 3 weeks later at Children’s in Dallas.
A few years ago, we decided homeschool was the best choice for our family and moving situation. Because of that, the Land of Nod come out to set up an entire homeschool room for us in December 2013, then shot it for their catalog. It was one of the biggest highlights of this blogging journey.
In 2014, we attempted another adoption, domestic, and two months in, the potential birth mother changed her mind.
In November 2014, World Vision invited me to travel with them to Zimbabwe, learning about their work with infant and maternal health and the severe mortality rates. It changed my life – prompting me to return to school as a grief and loss counselor.
In February of 2015 we, quite unexpectedly, found out I was pregnant with our daughter Charlotte. Quite the shock, we went through 9 hard months of waiting and my inability to take any medication – to be able to bring her home in October of that year; happy, whole and healthy.
Our struggles still continue as we miss ours sons every day. Sam was medically retired in 2016 after finding out that he has many issues from the Iraq War that prevent him from staying in the Army any longer. We built a home and are finding the peace and joy again that we missed for so many years.
Find out about our life as a military family, a marriage of nearly 12 years after being high school sweethearts, and how writing is my passion both on this blog and several other sites I write for. You can read my work on World Vision, Babble, Liberating Working Moms, Simple Homeschool, Mom.me, She Reads Truth, Still Standing Magazine, The New York Times, and The Huffington Post.
We are making our family whole again, and this is our journey. The good, the bad, the ugly, and the wonderful moments in our lives. It’s all here.
Thank you for being a part of it.