Life in the City

This week makes one month since we rolled in to the city. Hard to believe! All the months of thinking, praying, planning felt like forever; and then already one month down. It’s a little sad.


We are mostly settled in. All the furniture has been placed and pictures hung. We’re adjusting to life in the city more and more every day. There are a lot of new things to learn to be able to survive the city. We’ve learned that nothing is convenient, everything is expensive, and you better be ready to walk a lot to get anywhere. I suppose we knew all this prior to our move here, but it just became more apparent as we dove into daily life.

Just to get a feel for our lives here….we live on 1st Avenue, right on the East River. We are a couple of blocks away from the craziness due to the Queens Midtown Tunnel. We have a beautiful view that I feel so blessed to have…our windows look out onto the East River on the left side and to treetops with views of Midtown and the Empire State Building on the right. We are several blocks from a Subway stop; so we either have to walk to 33rd and Park or to Grand Central to jump on the train. Otherwise we can hop on a bus or walk. If it’s just me or Adam, we tend to walk everywhere. It gets us exercise, is cheaper, and sometimes it can be faster than public transit. The boys have been taking a sports class on Tuesday and Wednesday at Chelsea Pier on the other side of Manhattan, so we hop on a bus for that trek. I have been so proud of myself being able to navigate the streets, subways, and buses. Surprisingly it has been simpler than I had expected. Adam just laughs at me when I tell him how proud I am that I got from Point A to Point B.


The closest grocery store is about 5 blocks away and I have been there a few times to pick up several different things. When we viewed our apartment many people told us about Fresh Direct. You order your groceries online and they deliver them to your apartment door on whatever day and time you select. We jumped on this and it has been very convenient and kept us from having to go the store every other day. Food is expensive. Expect to spend $6 at least on a box of cereal and $6 to $7 on a half gallon of organic milk. Eggs will run you around $4 a dozen. I have decided that whatever I can purchase on Amazon Prime I will and just purchase items like milk, cheese, eggs, meat, etc. through Fresh Direct. Speaking of expensive…enjoy your washer and dryers people! It cost $5 to wash and dry a load of laundry here. The one good thing about this is a lot can fit in the washing machine and you can do multiple loads at once!


As far as convenience, we have found that Amazon Prime and are our best friends. The first week we were here we had no trash can. I went to Lowe’s 3 different times and hauled 3 different trash cans back and forth to our house in the heat. By the way, Lowe’s is basically a 3 mile round trip, and hauling big, bulky things in the heat like that are NO FUN! At least I got to see pretty sights along the way!


We have started the church hunt. We have visited Brooklyn Tabernacle twice and we will try it again next week. It is really convenient to get to from our apartment.  We jump on a bus a block over and ride it to the F train and then ride that train to right in front of Brooklyn Tabernacle. The first time we went Adam and I remarked that it was the easiest trip we had taken. We do like it there, but I want to make sure that the boys like where they are and that they are learning, growing, and finding friends. We came from such an awesome church, and they are so eager to make friends like they had at Quail Springs!!!


This week my mom and dad became our first out of town visitors. Unfortunately, they came during a heat wave with heat index’s at 109 degrees! We tried to do what we could to show them around. It was fun to get out because we hadn’t even had time to get out and explore much ourselves. We went to Grand Central, Time Square, Central Park, a broadway musical, got my dad a pastrami sandwich (his request!), and took in a Yankees game. I think we wore them out between the heat and all the walking!




We are so excited about the year ahead…being able to explore the city, other cities around here, and just getting to be a part of all the events that are so iconic to the holidays.  We wanted an adventure and this place is definitely one!  I love the sights, the sounds…love it all!  So excited for the year ahead!!!


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Our Story

The last few weeks have been a blur, a whirlwind. It’s hard to believe it’s already been almost two weeks that we learned our baby girl was no longer with us.   We are making it day by day only because of God. I’m so thankful His mercies are new every morning. He has gone before us in all of this and is still making a way for us.

We have sensed His presence and experienced His faithfulness from the day we found out we were pregnant in January. We were not trying to get pregnant. The day I found out I called Adam bawling. He thought I’d had a wreck because I was so upset. I told him this was the worst thing that could happen, but He reassured me all would be good this time. We believed this time would be different. Surely this would be our “redemption story”…our comeback to give God all the glory. God gave me a peace day by day that He had me; He had the situation under control.

The day I found out I was pregnant, I immediately texted by OB. Our OB was amazing (as always) and immediately put us in touch with an endocrinologist in Dallas who had extensive background in dealing with multiple second term pregnancy losses. We eagerly awaited getting to visit him believing he might be able to find the source of our last three losses and be able to prevent another one. Our visit with him left us hopeful that he would find an answer. He ran seven tests that had never been run before and we just knew something would come back positive. The day I got the test results back I was so disheartened to learn everything came back normal. Really? Normal? Three losses and I’m normal? But, I thought “Ok God, You want to do this all on Your own. You want to receive all the glory for this baby being born full term.” So, we moved forward continuing all the meds and injections I was doing for “precaution” and believed with all our being that God would bring a screaming, kicking baby into this world on September 30.

Our last visit to Dallas was during week 16. We got to see the baby via ultrasound. She (although we didn’t know that yet) was kicking and moving around. The doctor remarked several times, “Wow, what a busy baby we have here!” Seeing the baby during that visit made me hopeful something would be different this time. Just maybe we would walk into the doctor’s office the following week and see our baby kicking and moving all over the place.

Sunday afternoon there was a mix up with my Heparin injections and they weren’t going to be able to get them until Monday afternoon. I was supposed to give myself a shot on Monday morning. So, I sent a text to my OB and she said they would work on getting it from the hospital and have it for me Monday morning. So on Monday morning we headed to the doctor’s office to pick up the Heparin for my morning injection. My mom dropped me at the door and I ran upstairs intending to just grab my medicine and head home.

When I arrived the girl at the front desk sent me back to see Jennifer, the nurse. Jennifer was working on getting the meds ordered through the hospital. Then she said, “Hey, what week are you again?” I told her we were going into week 17 and she said, “Ok, hold on.” In just a few seconds she was back waving me to come her way. She said, “There’s no one here this morning, let’s do a quick heartbeat check.” I immediately had an enormous calm over me, almost knowing what I was walking into. All I could think was, “Of course, I’m alone again.” Adam had been so diligent in making every appointment, but this one wasn’t scheduled. I was supposed to come in Wednesday for my appointment, so there I was alone. As soon as the sonographer put the instrument on my stomach I knew it – no heartbeat… AGAIN. She said, “Have you felt the baby moving?” It was still early to really feel any movement. She said, “It looks very recent because I can still see all four chambers of the heart.” I just laid there in disbelief praying God would perform a miracle and make the baby’s heart beat again. Maybe she made a mistake and just wasn’t seeing things right. She walked out and gave me a chance to call Adam. Thank goodness Adam was on campus at the hospital and was able to walk over in just a few minutes.

We sat in the room and just cried and prayed. We couldn’t believe this was happening again. “No God, this was supposed to be different. You were supposed to receive the glory with a full term baby.” I was just at a loss. Jennifer, the nurse, was so good. She offered hugs, Kleenex, and made us comfortable while we waited to decide what we should do next.

I decided to check into the hospital that day and begin the process of inducing labor. I asked our OB for another ultrasound to just be sure our baby was really gone and to see her one last time in my womb. She was so peaceful. Her little hands were close to her face and her little legs were crossed. The nurse had known for 2 months what the sex of the baby was. We told her to let our nurse in labor and delivery know because we wanted to know when they did the sonogram. A girl.

I said in the beginning God has gone before us from the get go. And God was not surprised when this happened. He already was working things out and going before us.   It was evident in the nurses we were blessed to have in labor and delivery. Emily, the nurse to greet us when we showed up at labor and delivery, had been one of our nurses during our 2nd loss. Ever since then we have kept up with her. Monday they had told her she had a reduction in hours, I’m guessing because things were so quiet. She had told them she was coming to work Monday. A few hours later they got the call that I had lost the baby and would be checking in that day. Emily immediately said I was hers. She greeted us with hugs, tears and offered the world to us in ways of comfort, food, and laughter. She stayed by my side constantly on Monday making sure I was comfortable; doing anything she could to make me feel better.

During the afternoon Emily asked us who we would want for our night nurse. Having had two previous losses at St. Anthony’s, Adam had a list of all the nurses who had tended to us. Of course none of them were working that night. Emily said, “I have the perfect nurse. She just started, and she’s never done something like this, but she has an amazing heart and will be wonderful!” She was not kidding! Shelby was absolutely amazing!!! She has one of the biggest hearts! She shared with me about books she had read that had helped her grow in her faith, prayed for me, and shared tears. I’ll never forget what she said to me. She told me that as she drove to work, knowing she would have me, that a sense of peace came over her and she said, “Sometimes God calls you to things you don’t feel equipped to do.” Isn’t that the truth?! I was lucky enough to have Shelby both Monday and Tuesday nights as my nurse.

Tuesday came and I was excited because I was going to have Danielle as my nurse. Danielle is very special to me. She was with us several days on our 3rd loss and was there the day we delivered. There’s a special bond and a special place in my heart always for Danielle. On Monday when I lost the baby, Emily immediately messaged Danielle. Danielle was actually not supposed to work that Tuesday, but had traded with another girl the week before. Danielle claimed me for Tuesday and Wednesday and I could not have felt more at ease and thankful.   Danielle has seen me through the worst parts of the last two deliveries….where the pain ramps up and when the baby is delivered. She is so compassionate and loving.   The love of Christ overflows from this lady. She truly showed Christ to me as she sat and talked with me when Adam stepped out of the room, hugged me, cried with me, held me for my spinal, and was the one to hold my baby girl for the first time. My oh my how I love her!

I can’t say enough about my OB, Allyson. She has been with us through three losses and has never told me to go find another doctor! She has a big, compassionate heart and has always been so kind. During every loss she has checked on us consistently, hugged us, cried with us….far more than any other OB would have done. We feel so blessed to have found her when we moved to Oklahoma.

Emily, Shelby, Danielle, Jennifer, and Allyson are absolutely amazing women! I know the reason is because they know the Lord and were willing to stand by my side. It’s not easy to have to be a nurse or doctor to someone who has lost a baby. Not many nurses jump at the opportunity to take care of helping someone deliver a stillborn baby. Yet these women, so willingly gave of themselves. This is something I will forever be grateful for. There are not enough words of gratitude to express to let them know what a blessing they were to Adam and me. You ladies will forever be a part of our story, a part of our lives. I’m thankful that I had y’all to walk with me each step of the way and would want no one else. Your care and concern for me is beyond being a nurse or doctor.   You will always hold a special place in my heart. God placed you in those moments to minister to me when I needed it and I’m so thankful you embraced His call! I love you girls!!!

Over the next couple weeks and months I want to share more about our story and how God is working through it. It’s been unbelievably tough, I’m not gonna lie. But, I keep reminding myself that He is always good and His plans are perfect. We may not understand them here on this earth, but I will continue to look for the good and look for where He is working and moving.


Habakkuk 3:17-19 NASB

17 Though the fig tree should not blossom

And there be no fruit on the vines,

Though the yield of the olive should fail

And the fields produce no food,

Though the flock should be cut off from the fold

And there be no cattle in the stalls,

18 Yet I will exult in the Lord,

I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.

19 The Lord God is my strength,

And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet,

And makes me walk on my high places.

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Home Makeover: Family Room

Updating is what this home was screaming!  Bones of house were great, but all the finishings were original and were beginning to show their age, as well as, wear and tear.  So we decided to bring this house up to date with a facelift.

The client was looking for a clean, classic look.  And I believe that we achieved that through the use of cool, crisp creams and grays (actual colors listed at bottom of post).  As well as, mixing traditional elements with more clean lined design through furnishings and finishings.


Home Makeover:  Family Room & Kitchen


Home Makeover:  Family Room

Home Makeover:  Family Room

Home Makeover:  Family Room

Home Makeover:  Family Room

Home Makeover:  Family Room

Home Makeover:  Family Room

I will be posting the sequel to this post, their kitchen remodel, soon and very soon.  So keep posted!


Revere Pewter HC-172 (Walls), White Dove OC-17 (Trim), Edgecomb Gray HC-173 (Ceilings)


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Learning to Let Go


Those are the first words I read last night out of my ‘Jesus Calling’ devotional book; and it hit me…and hit me hard.

Ever since we lost our baby boy six weeks ago I have been holding on tight.  Holding on tight to so much…my emotions, my wants and desires to get pregnant again, and to get pregnant right away.  It seems like I’ve been constantly praying that God would provide answers through chromosome testing and through blood work.  Praying that God would allow us to get pregnant again soon.  And every time I prayed I could feel myself holding on so tightly to what I want so much.

But last night when I read that first sentence it was like God had spoken audibly to me saying, “Can you loosen your grip?  Can you just let go and let me?”  I would never say that I am a control freak.  Personally, I would much rather someone else make the decisions for me.  Someone just tell me what to do, and when to do it…and I’m fine.  But for some reason I am having a hard time letting go of this…something that I want so badly.

Funny thing is, when I let go,  I’m letting go to the God of the universe…the Creator, the Sustainer, my Heavenly Father.  He is the One who knows best and has the best path for me to walk down.  Why would I want to choose my way over His?  But yet, I so often do.

So, today my hands are open.  I am saying, “God do what you will, what you want in my life because I trust you.”  I will still continue to pray that God will bless our family with another child, but I will choose daily to hold loosely.

Psalm 91:1-2

”  Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  This I declare about the LORD:  He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I TRUST HIM.”


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It’s Been A While…

So, it’s been a while…okay, a long while.  Life has overwhelmed us and the blog took backseat.  I want to catch you up on our life these past few months as I move forward with blogging.

Last time I blogged was November.  November…wow, how did I let that many months go by?  But, like I said, it’s been crazy.  Before we knew it Thanksgiving was here and then Christmas.  Both families were in town for Christmas and I was feeling less than great.

Early November we found out that we were expecting again.  We were beyond thrilled, having prayed and tried for a long while, and having lost our baby girl at 16 weeks back in July 2011.  We told our families over Thanksgiving and then began the morning sickness, or all day sickness!

The holidays raced by and then it was into the new year.  And just like the holidays, it seemed like there was constantly something going on.  Running boys to school, play dates, doctor’s appointments…just a busy schedule and I still wasn’t feeling great.  So, sitting down at the computer or doing a project wasn’t really something I was up to.

February rolled around and we were now 17 weeks along with our baby.  On February 6, I went to the doctor for my ultrasound and checkup.  As soon as they pulled up the ultrasound picture I could tell…there was no heartbeat.  I didn’t say anything, but just waited for the sonographer to confirm what I already knew.  She scanned for a second and then said, “I’m going to get the doctor, we’ll be right back.”  I’m sure those were just a few short minutes, but to me they felt like eternity.  I immediately began to cry and ask God why.  Why was God letting this happen again?  Why would He even give us another baby just to take it away?  Why did I have to be sitting here alone?  I was heartbroken.  A few minutes later the doctor came in, scanned, and confirmed what I knew.  Our baby was gone.  There were no words…just why….

The next few days were a blur as we checked into the hospital to deliver our baby.  Several days later we delivered our baby boy.  Adam and I felt blessed that we were able to see and hold our baby.  We were overwhelmed with the love and care of the doctors and nurses.  We were overwhelmed with the love and support from our friends, family, and our church.  We knew that God was in control.  Yes, we were hurting.  Yes, we wanted to bring a healthy baby into our family to love.  But, at the same time we rested in knowing that God loved us, was hurting with us, and that He had a plan…plans to prosper us, and not to harm us (Jeremiah 29:11).  Plans to work all things together for our good because we love Him (Romans 8:28).

God continues to bring healing to my heart everyday.  I think about that baby boy and baby girl everyday.  I am thankful that one day I will see them again because of the hope I have in Christ.  I continue to pray that God will bless us with another child.  It is Adam and my desire to grow our family…to hold and love on a sweet little baby.  Right now we are trusting that God has a plan…and we will remain faithful even in the midst our grief and healing.



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November Giveaway Winner

Now to announce this month’s winner!

If you didn’t get entered to win, there’s still time this month to share Haven on Facebook and Twitter and grow the Haven followers by 100 people this month!  If so, I’ll be giving away a $25 gift card to Starbucks at the end of the month.  Just leave me a comment in the ‘giveaway’ section of the website and share Haven and you’ll be entered to win that gift card!

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Have You Entered to Win?!?

Have you seen the November giveaway yet?  Don’t miss out on this ONE WEEK giveaway!  Winner announced this week!  And check out the second giveaway if we get 100 more people to like Haven on Facebook or subscribe to Haven via email by the end of November!  Don’t miss out!

Well, without further a do here is the…

And here’s how you can be entered to win.  Make sure to follow ALL the steps…

So that you can enjoy all your goodies during Thanksgiving, this will be a one week giveaway.  The winner will be announced Thursday, November 8.

AND, as a special bonus…if we can get 100 more people, by the end of November, to like Haven on Facebook or subscribe via email, then everyone that has entered November’s giveaway will be entered to win…

Who doesn’t love a little Starbucks?!?  So, don’t miss out!  Get entered to win and tell everyone you know about Haven!

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November Giveaway

November is here.  How did this happen?  Seems like it was just Summer!  I love the time from now till Christmas.  So many fun things to enjoy and every year it seems somewhat magical, does it not?

Well, without further a do here is the…

And here’s how you can be entered to win.  Make sure to follow ALL the steps…

So that you can enjoy all your goodies during Thanksgiving, this will be a one week giveaway.  The winner will be announced Thursday, November 8.

AND, as a special bonus…if we can get 100 more people, by the end of November, to like Haven on Facebook or subscribe via email, then everyone that has entered November’s giveaway will be entered to win…

Who doesn’t love a little Starbucks?!?  So, don’t miss out!  Get entered to win and tell everyone you know about Haven!

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October Giveaway Winner

Well, October has come and gone…how did that happen?!?  So, it’s time to announce the October giveaway winner!

And the winner is…

Be sure to check back tomorrow for the November giveaway and get entered to win!

Also, be watching for some Thanksgiving and Christmas ideas around the corner!

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Halloween Treats

The kids are having parties tomorrow at school.  So, this afternoon my oldest and I spent time making treats for the boys and girls.

These are two very simple treats to make and the kids can help and they love it!

Start out with these materials…disregard the Oreos, sprinkles, and white M&M’s which I didn’t end up using.  I thought about using Oreos for eyes, but they were too big for the cakes.  Maybe if you were using a Moon Pie they would have worked.

I unwrapped the cakes (which I think used to be called Ding Dongs back in the day!) laid mine out on cookie sheets for convenience and to be easily moved.

I used the cookie icing to make the eyes for both the spiders and the owls.  I purchased black M&M’s at the grocery store for their eyes.  Once I had made the eyes with the white, my oldest helped put the M&M’s on the eyes and put a piece of candy corn for the nose.  I used black writing icing for the eyebrows and didn’t worry about them being perfect since I wanted them bushy.  Kaisson’s idea was to add the pretzel feet.  I think it was a nice touch!

As for the spider, I made the whites of the eyes significantly smaller than that of the owls.  To make the legs I simply broke a pretzel in half.  Once again, a quick and easy project that the kids will love!

And of course, the creator had to make sure his creation was up to par!  He approved!

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