Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I have a theory...and this is it.  When we experience pain, its in an effort to teach us gratitude.  Please remember this is just a theory..my theory.  It may not fit for you, but its been on my mind for a while.

I'm no stranger to pain.  Actually you could say that pain and I are pretty tight...ha!  I've had my fair share in  this life of mine.  I'm not saying that I've been through more than anyone else, I'm just saying I've seen some difficult times.

 Growing up I didn't have the best environment around me and saw and heard some things that at times still make me shudder.  Because of this ugliness in my life, I sought out a different type of family, one who loved with all their heart and didn't hurt with words or yelling.  For this I am grateful.

I didn't grow up in a home of abundance, we often times went without and this was both scary and at times embarrassing.  Despite this, I found ways to finance my college education and completed both my Bachelor's degree as well as my Master's degree.  For this I am grateful.

Loss.  This is my personal 4 letter word.  I've had some biggies.  The biggest one that, still brings me to my knees if I let it, was the loss of Vincent. Sudden, ugly and so unfair.  I'm sure your wondering, how in the world is she going to find gratitude in this.  Well, here is how.  As I was dealing with this loss, I was forced to discover me.  Who I am outside of my family and my friends.  This discovery ultimately led me to my sweet husband.  For this I am grateful.

I had several broken hearts as a teenager and young adult.  Relationships that I thought for sure would go the distance didn't.  Some of these left me broken and in secure.  And then came Jake.  Pain in love was soon forgotten when I found the softest place to land.  With him, I am safe and he loves me with everything he has, even when I don't love myself.  For this I am grateful.

Loss: revisited.  Yes, we are here again.  I said it was my 4 letter word after all.  It was not easy for Jake and I to conceive.  We started this process eager, hopeful and faithful.  9 Months into the process I was broken.  I was told I'd never have a child without IVF. This was not an option for us.  A month later, I was looking at a positive pregnancy test...a week after that I was in my Dr's. office hearing the word: miscarriage. Devastated,  I pulled myself back up and we tried again.  Excited, but cautious, we were facing yet another positive pregnancy test.  2 weeks later, I was once again comforted as I was told this child was no longer with me.  Broken...ready to give up....ANGRY. I was done!  But God softly and gently brought me out of that dark place and we were able to finally conceive our precious Ayden.  For HIM I am soo grateful.

All of this and SO much more have led me to this.  We go through pain, to ultimately be grateful for the good we do have.  This is so confusing to me and frustrating at times.  I'd like to think that it wouldn't take this pain to help me to be grateful, but maybe it does.  I still struggle with gratitude.  There is always something I want, something that could be better if, my life would be better if I looked a certain way, but here is the truth.  Until you can accept the pain,  accept your life as it is, you will always struggle to be grateful for what you have.  Last week in group a member shared this quote and it struck me:  Pain is inevitable, Suffering is optional.

I'm going to opt out of the suffering.  There is plenty in this world, that is what sparked my desire to write this post.  A day where all I saw was requests for prayer for those suffering. This made me hold my little family a little tighter and thank my God for giving me what he has.  This will not be an easy road.  I sometimes feel that since I've been through "so much" I "deserve" a break.  I don't. So, if more pain comes then I will turn to face it and ultimately try to find the gratitude hidden in the darkness.

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Friday, December 9, 2011

What a difference a year makes...

Well as I type this today it marks exactly 1 year since Sweet Ayden was born. Oh, how things have changed. Its fun and definately sentimental to look back on what Jake and I were doing last Christmas and what a precious gift we were given on this day. After experiencing possibly the longest night of my life we were blessed with a sweet boy....

Its been such an amazing year. Both challenging and wonderful. I've grown so much as a person this year. Ayden has stretched me not just as a Mom but as a wife as well. I really have a hard time remembering my life before this little boy. He has brought us such joy.

So, today we celebrate. We celebrate this little man, our health and this time of year. While at times its hard to be thankful for what we are given, today it comes very easy. We have been given the best gift of all and because of him our lives will never be the same.

Happy Birthday Sweet Boy...Mamma loves you!!!

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cast the first stone.....

First, I apologize for not posting more...I've been a bit busy the last 9.5 months :)

Up til now I've not had much on my mind to post about, sure being a new Mom is terrifying, but who wants to admit that...not me!! But recently something has come to my attention and I have to say it just makes me sad. It sort of even gets under my skin a bit too.

I am a part of one of the social networking sites. I enjoy it and its a good way for me to keep up with Jake's extended family in Chicago. As a part of this site you can "like" pages. Well, I have decided to "like" the Parenting Magazine page. I enjoy the magazine and find some helpful things in there. The magazine's page isn't the issue. Its the comments to their posts that trouble me so much. As a new Mom I guess I was naive to the fact that there are many other Mom's who would choose to judge and demean each other as opposed to encourage and support. I mean aren't we all in the same sleep deprived boat. Apparently we are not.

Its sad to me that the smallest thing that is meant to be an encouragement ends up being a firestorm of I'm a better Mom than you. It borders on ridiculous. Now, let me also say that I'm not perfect, I've had my moments of judgement, but come on. This is just sad. I'm blessed to have several very close friends who have children, so when I'm lost I know I can call them and get advice. I also know that all of us parent very differently so if their advice doesn't fit my situation they are not going to write me a scathing email about how they are doing it better because they can clean, cook, do laundry and teach their child Spanish all in one day. They are accepting and open.

I have to admit I'm intimidated. I would like to start taking Ayden on playdates, maybe join a Mom's group, but what if, what if I run into one of "those" Mom's. The Mom's that act like things are perfect and look down their perfectly powdered nose at you and your eyebrows that are grown out because getting in to have them done wasn't in the plan this week. What if????

It already sort of happens when I hear others talk about how their baby is sleeping this many hours at night, or takes this many naps during the day. I automatically think, if they knew that Ayden still wakes up sometimes at night or that we are just now working on getting him to take "scheduled" naps, what would they think? What would they say behind my back? What does that say about me as a Mom? I get frustrated, I don't think it should be this way. Motherhood is hard, really hard, whether you have one or 10, its hard work. This is the time when we should be standing together to support each other, not nit picking and cutting each other down. I guess it just doesn't make sense to me.

Because of this, I'm going to try very hard to be an encouragement to new Mom's, not judge, but be accepting and open. My prayer is that the part of the population that feels like its OK to act this way will have a wake up call. Nothing tragic just something that doesn't go right so they have to reach out and be...real. That's all. Just be real..and...KIND!

There is a new show out called "Up All Night". Its hysterical. Jake and I love it. This issue was played out nicely in the show. The main character is a working Mom and her husband stays at home. He had been taking their baby to a baby class and when the Mom started attending she did everything "wrong" and this was very much noted by one of the "mean" moms in the group. To make a long story short, after a confrontation, the main character runs into the "mean" Mom in the middle of a fight with her stroller. She can't get it to close. The main character steps into help can't get it to close either, and by the end of the scene both moms are stomping on the now broken stroller. It was a classic bonding moment. I guess that's my point. We are all one stroller malfunction away from complete chaos. So, lets be kind to each other and do some stroller stomping!

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Labor of Love

Well, this post is long in coming and as most of you know I gave birth to our beautiful baby boy Ayden on Dec 26th. Its been six weeks since he was born and I swear there are days I still look at him and think oh my God, I really did this. The road was not easy, and there have been ups and downs since, but I am continually filled with more gratitude and joy than I could have ever imagined. He is perfect. That in itself is a blessing. The labor was not easy, but then I guess it wouldn't be called labor now would it. It got scary, not just for me but for Jake as well. I ended up having a C-section after 25 hours of labor. Our little boy just wasn't ready to come and my body wasn't working like it should. As I lay there knowing that this was it, I was terrified. Terrified that something would go wrong, that Jake and I would leave the hospital once again without our baby, that something would happen to me, that Jake would have to face this new journey alone. I don't mean to sound dramatic, but indulge me if you will. It was scary and hard. Ayden was faltering, my blood pressure continued to rise. The reality was things got hairy. Jake was the essence of calm, it was amazing to see his strength during this time. I know it wasn't easy for him. He did amazing!
So, now as my little one sleeps I continue to be overwhelmed by the amount of love I have for him. I'd like to tell you that the worry has stopped, but those of you that know me well know that would be a lie. I continue to worry that Ayden is ok. That is when I have to remind myself that he is God's. God blessed us with him when we thought we weren't going to be parents, so I have to remember that above all...he is God's.
I also feel blessed to have had all my 'family' around me the entire time I worked to bring our boy into the world. Knowing that they were just outside the door praying and encouraging Jake really made the difference. I was once again reminded that this group of people is invaluable in my life. Without them I'm really not sure how my life would have ended up. I love you all more than words and thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I will attach some pictures so that you can meet the new man in my life. Its true that a baby changes everything, I think its changing me most. Things thatwere important before, just aren't important anymore. I am no longer defined by my education or career, but by my family that God has blessed me with. This complicates things as I am scheduled to go back to work in March, I'm not ready and right now shudder at the thought, but I am faithful that God will prepare me or open another door that will allow me to do both without one suffering. Truthfully right now, work would suffer, because there isn't anything I wouldn't do or sacrifice for my family. But as I said I am faithful and I know God will provide.
Here is Ayden Jacob:

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Let the countdown begin!

Well, I will first apologize for not posting more often. Things have been really busy, for all good reasons, and I know they will only continue to be busy. As of Friday I have 6 weeks left, seems so surreal as this time last year we were spending our nights at the hospital with Jake's Dad and we were about to experience yet another bump in our road to being parents. Its odd to look back and see that what we were dealing with and preparing for then is so much different than what we are preparing for now.
The nursery is done, the major needs have been purchased, all the classes have been taken, and now we wait. We wait for Ayden to arrive. I'm so excited and apprehensive all at the same time. I'm no fool and I completely understand that my life will never be the same, its already so different than it was just 34 weeks ago. My holiday will look different too, instead of our living room transforming into a Christmas spectacular, a pack in play sits where the tree would normally go and the reality that I'm just not in a place to do the decorating is beginning to set in. I made the decision to not do the tree. Mostly this is due to the level of control that I um..demand...over it. Jake has been amazing; cleaning, cooking, doing everything to make things easier for me. Putting up our tree, while so special and important to me, is not one of the areas I will ask him to sacrifice. Again, partly due to the fear that my level of criticism over how it "should" be done, would be just a bit over the top at this point. So, instead of seeing our tree and house in all its holiday glory, we will wait for the greatest gift of all, our Son. I know that this is the best decision, as the idea of taking down said decorations with a baby that is only a few days old to take care of is well...maddening.
I also want Jake and I to enjoy our last few days as us, as we have been since the beginning. We are both so ready to be parents, but also must continue to make time for us to be husband and wife, then mom and dad.
So, we continue to wait, on paper 6 weeks seems like a long time, but in reality, its just not. I only have a couple of weeks of work left, which I can't wait for. I mean really, really, really, can't wait for. I've been so appreciative of all the support and prayers through these last 8 months, they have meant a lot. I still have my moments of anxiety, but for the most part feel that the anxiety I have left is in the "normal" range.
So, as the weeks tick by I ask for continued prayers. Most of you know I'm not a patient person, but this is one time I want to savor every moment between now and the day Ayden arrives. I don't want to miss a thing!!!

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Monday, August 16, 2010


Ayden Jacob Pemberton.....

Can't wait to meet you :)

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Sunday, August 1, 2010


When I got married I swore to myself that I was going to write a book about what it was like to be engaged and document the first year of marriage. I think my primary goal in this was to give hope to those future brides out there that only got the "enjoy the honeymoon, it won't last long" and "that first year will be the toughest". I hated that. I must admit that most of these platitudes came from fellow Christians. I was annoyed to say the least. So now that I am approaching my 18th week of pregnancy I feel like writing a book about what its REALLY like to be preggo.

Now hear me, I am grateful beyond belief for this experience, I love it and wouldn't trade it for the world, but I find it ironic that when you are pregnant instead of people saying," you know its a blessing, but the gas it horrible" or "your child will be a wonderful gift, but those swollen feet are a pain in the butt", I get....enjoy it, or its just part of the territory, be thankful.

And I am. But I'm also uncomfortable, hot and jonesing to sleep on my stomach so bad its all I can think about at 3 o'clock in the morning when I am getting up for the 15th time to pee. I'm not a crier, I mean, I cry, but most of the time its my last resort. The last 4 months have been a tear fest. Anything triggers it, commercials, tv shows and spilling something on myself. I just cry. Poor Jake, he's not seen this side of me. Well, a little as we were working to be parents, but at least then I had reasons to cry...now...not so much.

I just want to restate that I am so unbelievably happy to be pregnant and am blessed that God has given me this gift, but the irony is hard to ignore. The one time in your life when you need rest and nourishment is the one time you can't sleep the way you want when you aren't in the bathroom and the list of foods you can't eat is 3 pages long. How I long for a turkey and provolone sub. Doesn't seem like a big request..but it is.

So, I'm beginning to take notes on my next dream book, there are a few already out there, but boy do I have some new information for the masses.

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