Thursday, April 10, 2014

Let the adventure begin...

The first midwifery supply most student/apprentices purchase is a watch with a second hand. Why? Because one of the first skills you learn is counting out fetal heart tones. Eventually you learn what normal sounds like and can pretty accurately determine what the heart rate is without counting, but even seasoned midwives pull out the watch when they detect a variation from normal. I held back tears tonight when I opened a gift from "the boss" and saw: 

It's a familiar tool; the comforting ticking in the darkness, the reassuring overlapping rhythmic thump-thump beating heart of a baby soon to be born. 

As I begin my first year as primary midwife under-supervision I will do so surrounded by mama and baby duos who will teach me many things, new and old preceptors and colleagues who will share their wisdom and serve along side me, the voice of "the boss" echoing in my ears, and with the weight of a familiar tool in my pocket grounding me. 

I'm ready for this adventure. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Majestic Tour

Yesterday I worked as a runner for a Kari Jobe concert. It was a really interesting day. Doing laundry and airport runs and pizza delivery, oh my! It was amazing to see all the behind the scenes work that goes into a show and lots of fun to have an all access pass. I met so many interesting people!  I told a friend I had never been more excited to go to Meijer when they sent me to buy face wash :) 

I got to spend some significant time with Warren Barfield when I drove him to retrieve a car. He's a really great guy. (Let's not talk about the fact that I didn't know who he was until later lol) 

I also found myself driving one of the bus drivers (who was hysterical!) his girlfriend just got back from touring Europe with BeyoncĂ©. What an interesting life these guys live! 

During the concert Kari did her new song "I am not alone". loved it! She introduced it by sharing the story of her friend's baby who was born too soon and lived 40minutes. This midwife heart of mine connected instantly, then she said the song was based on a scripture from Isaiah... When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, when you go through the fire you will not be consumed" Isaiah 43:2. 

I wear it on my wrist, an anchor to remind me. I named my buisness in reference to that verse... Hit to the feels lol. I was supposed to be guarding a door but I found myself squatting down against the wall with tears flowing. 

God's grace is abundant. 

(Thanks for the use of the midwife mobile Wendy!) 

Sunday, March 02, 2014


March 4th... It does get easier. "They" are right about that whomever "they" are. But snowy March and a chilly fall day in September are still hard. My arms feel empty, my heart breaks all over again, my mind wonders; 

Who is she today? 
Is she safe?
Is she happy? 
Does her mama know what a gift she is? 

I remember the weight of her tiny body on my chest, her newborn baby smell, the breeze blowing through the soft dark hair on her head. 

I mourn
I cry
I bake cake 
I light candles and sing "happy birthday"

I celebrate 

You see this mama heart not only aches for the daughter that God gave me to hold for a short time and know for 6 months and love for a lifetime. It celebrates;

I'll light the candles in honor of a 4 year old who stole my heart, who was named and loved. 

I'll also celebrate 

The gift of prayers answered in ways that seemed opposite of what I wanted, but are exactly the answers I needed. 

The gift of babies to love for a short time or for their whole lives. 

The gift of foster babies reunited with their mamas

The gift of the laughter of waiting children in orphanages 

The gift of tiny babies in the womb whom never took a breath on earth

The gift of wombs full of life and wombs that are empty

The gift of babies born at home in water and those born in hospital rooms, the very definition of what strong is. 

The gift of babies that pass through my hands into their mothers arms 

The gift of an 11year old who were not supposed to be able to walk or live to be 5, riding her first bike. 

The gift of a strong little boy who beats the odds every day with each beat of his super heart. 

The gift of big grinned boy born on the day of peace, that is the definition of living fully into the beauty of bittersweet. 

This year as the wax drips and melts the frosting-purple this year because she is 4. I celebrate the gift of motherhood. I honor those who have mothered me and those whom God has given me to mother, if only for a moment. Because it matters.

"the word mother is more powerful when used as a verb than as a noun. All woman are not mothers, but all women are called to mother. To mother is to nurture, to train, to educate, to rear. As daughters of Eve all women are uniquely gifted to help others in their lives become more of who they truly are -- to encourage, nurture, and mothers them toward who they truly are" -Stasi Eldredge, Captivating. 

Happy Birthday Isabella Esperanza Maria! 
Whose name means "God is my oath and hope in this sea of bitterness" 

(Type Isabella in the search box to read more about her story)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

On finding my midwife voice

50 days. I love my job, there is nothing like it. Cords and molding, water, sweat, tears, cries and pouty lips, heaviness, being forever connected by the holy moment when heaven kisses earth. Still and calm, loud and strong. Brave and beauty. Life doesn't look like I imagined it but I am still so overwhelmingly blessed. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

February update

It's probably not a good thing but I'm practically vomit in my mouth shaky nervous for a few of my midwifery colleagues who are taking the NARM exam this week. I'm nervous for them... I know how important dreams are. 

As for an update on me, honestly I'm struggling. Life is gonna be different in 56 days, so many things are up in the air, and it's almost March. It feels like I'm treading water, kicking hard to stay afloat and sometimes going under for a moment too long, lungs burning and then having to take a giant stinging breath, not knowing when I'll surface again. 

I'm learning a lot, I'm excited and have so much happy in my life but there is fear and grief too. So many big feelings that I feel like a toddler trying to work it out. Im learning to trust and to discern and to love and be loved. 

I'm holding on and I'll keep kicking my feet for as long as I can. 

Tuesday, February 04, 2014


I've always wanted to go camping. Real camping. In a tent. On the ground. I pictured a serene location with trees or maybe a tent pitched on the sand, where the waves could lull me to sleep. This past week I got excited for a potential "camping trip" in a tent, a city of tents. I Dreamt  about being In the heat, with the familiar rooster calls through the night, tricycle sputters and jeepney horns. The cry of new life.  I didn't realize how much I wanted to go until I was faced with grieving the loss of the opportunity. I'm standing on the promises that things work out how they are supposed to but it's still a bitter disappointment. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Psalm 121

In bible study we are encouraged to rewrite each psalm we cover in Stepping Up, by Beth Moore. It reminds me of the Touched By an Angel Episode: the 151st Psalm. 

Psalm 121

Even when my heart breaks, fear overwhelms me, and the sidewalk I run is slick with ice and snow. I look to you-- you hold me, cover me, and are the yak traxs on my feet. 

When babies flip and navel chiefs call and my world turns upside-down; you place wisdom in my mind, laughter in my heart and open my eyes to how much love I'm surrounded by. 

You make me brave. 

We stay up late together and you sing me to sleep. I know you keep guard through the darkness of night. 

You know where I am, you know where I'm going (it's better then I can begin to imagine!) and you are there now and forevermore. 


Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Happy place...

The shores of Lake Michigan, the copper-bottomed clear water of Presque Isle, the porch swing of a children's home in Guatemala. Being surrounded by the concrete walls of a church in the Philippines, the holy moment as a baby emerges and takes it's first breath, the sacred space of the head squeeze, wrapped in the love of a friend's hug, trust. Walking into the unknown with head held high. Bravery of others trickling down. The dusty earth caking my riding boots, the wind. A chapel surrounded by a stained glass cloud of witnesses. Miracle babies. 
Words spoken and written, giant bathtubs filled to the brim with bubbles, the sweet smell of a sweaty baby head laying on my chest, wrapped in soft colors. laughter, dancing with abandon, the rare runner's high, Tires. Slurpees on a hot summer's day, tears, prayer-answered, unanswered, and unspoken, a church organ, the drum beat, naps in the sunshine, warm rains. Singing loud. The weight of mercy. The depth of grace. 

Wednesday, January 01, 2014


I'm ready to see what this year brings. I'm excited and a tiny bit scared, but ready. I'm so blessed to be covered in love and prayers and surrounded by cheerleaders. 

Here is a glimpse of 2014 "bucket list"

2014 Bucket List

Write more 
Blog more 
Be intentional 
Serve our clients with wisdom and love
Keep up with Brandy on a run 
2nd goal weight by summer 
3rd goal weight by end of year 
Half Marathon 
First pedicure 
Dance class 
Go dancing 
Karaoke Bar with friends (for my birthday maybe) 
Go to the Dentist 
Go to the Beach often 
Maintain $1,000 in savings 
Do 300 set with 15lb weights
Be happy (live fully) 
Participate in an Extreme trail race 
Camp in a tent 
Try Aerial arts 
Overnight in Chicago (to watch graduation online and see Wendy off to FL) 
Do 5 Handstand push ups 


There are no words to describe this year, but I'll try anyways. Friendship, love, change, growth, wonder, birth, babies, running, tired, strong, adventure, laughter, tears, brave... Life will never be the same. Welcome 2014. I'm ready.