God is always working to make His children aware of a dream
that remains alive beneath the rubble of every shattered dream,

a new dream that
when realized will release a new song, sung with tears,

till God wipes them away
and we sing with nothing but joy in our hearts

--Larry Crabb

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I really should write something profound, but I am tired and tomorrow morning will come all too soon. It is a weird feeling to know that (hopefully) tomorrow sometime we'll have our new little addition. We will be at the hospital for induction first thing. SIGH. I love feeling this little one move around inside and will miss that so much, but at the same time am so excited to finally meet him/her. We are so blessed. Before I sign out for the night I just want to say THANK YOU to all of you. It seems that at so many turns of this pregnancy we were given a glimpse of how many people were keeping us in prayer. I firmly believe that those prayers have brought us to this place, and for that we are grateful beyond words. God's faithfulness and provision for us has been evident throughout this journey. Through the ups, downs, and uncertainties we have truly felt Him holding us in the palm of His hand and drawing us closer to Him. Thanks again and good night! It is off to sleep I go...I need to be well rested on the day that will undoubtedly change our lives. I will post pictures and make an announcement as time/circumstance permit!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Some random thoughts. Mostly about pregnancy
  • Do you remember when McDonald's had Mac Jr. sandwiches? I wish they'd make a comeback. A Big Mac is too big (and too much fat, and too salty) but a Jr. would be about right. The snack wraps don't do it for me, either.
  • Toothpaste is still disgusting. I can tolerate it now, but can't think about what I am doing...which actually works well because my brain doesn't really work anyway.
  • A lot of good things in life are overlooked when your attitude gets bad. The key to bed rest for me was to stay positive...someone else always has it worse.
  • Strength is found in silence when you just let the Holy Spirit fill you. I love a quiet house these days...but am quite sure that they are limited.
  • It is easy to forget how far a 9 month pregnant belly sticks out. I've gotten "stuck" a few times or ran into things. Sorry, baby!
  • Hearing my baby's heartbeat and feeling it kick are the best sounds and feelings in the world. I try not to take one moment of them for granted...even though I REALLY want to hold this baby in my arms, and sometimes those kicks are painful!
  • Beef roast with potatoes and carrots is the best meal ever. I love plopping it in the crock pot in the morning, smelling it all day, and devouring it for dinner.
  • How sad is it that I can polish my toenails without much difficulty but have trouble getting my socks on? (or seeing how the polish job turned out?)
  • Finishing a good book is bittersweet. I love to find out how they end, but hate it that I usually end up wondering what happened next.
  • Craig eats onions regularly now! Shhhh...please don't tell him, he doesn't know!
  • It makes no sense to me how I spent week after week on strict bed rest trying to keep this baby in, and now have been up for nearly a month without going into labor.
  • I think that hardwood floors look nice, but I didn't realize that they need to be swiffered every single day. Come on, it is just the two of us...and apparently some dust-producing bunnies.
  • I don't know how, but am pretty sure that Baby Riedel has acquired some miscellaneous sports equipment in its playpen. I swear it was playing racquetball last night.
  • I have spent 13 1/2 of the last 17 months pregnant and am beginning to wonder what it feels like to not be edgy.
  • Aside from Maddie's room, we do not have any room in our house completely "settled" yet after our move. Tonight we are going to hang some metal thing above our mantle on the kitchen side of the fireplace...it will be the first holes in the wall. Pictures? We'll see...I'm not so good at follow through on that.
  • This pregnancy has had its share of unusual symptoms, but hasn't been textbook. For example: my appetite is nil, (I have now gained 7 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight and baby measures 7 lbs 11 oz!), I have no stretch marks on my belly, and my regular t-shirts and athletic pants fit and still have a little growing room.
  • Kroger is now the grocery store of choice. They are the only place in eastern Michigan that consistently has Hot Tamales in stock, plus they have this incredible ice cream.
  • Flying a 12 year old unaccompanied minor on a direct flight is ridiculous. Honestly, it is cheaper to fly an adult with her. Matter of fact it is even cheaper (by about $500) to fly her to Grand Rapids with a layover in Detroit than to fly direct to Detroit. Makes no sense at all! Thanks, Baby Riedel, for not arriving on our time sensitive schedule so that we can pay to fly Maddie twice. :)
  • I really wish I knew how to knit cute hats. Wait...summer is coming!
  • This week I renewed my Michigan nursing license (which for some reason they only issued for 9 months). My Iowa license expires in November, and my Illinois license next May. I have no idea what I am going to do work-wise at this point, but at least the doors are open for a lot of options.
  • I thought that my orchid would bloom near the same time that baby was born. I was wrong and don't plan on waiting for it...although the kid seems to be holding out...
  • Tomorrow is the big day. Stay tuned for updates! I'll post soon!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Today I started the big countdown to when Baby Riedel arrives. 6 days or sooner.

Today Craig and I dropped Maddie and my mom off at the airport. It was sad. I don't like good-byes. At all.

Today I got my belly stuck between some lady's cart and the checkout counter at the grocery store. It was embarrassing. Sometimes I forget that my belly sticks out more than ever and has no give.

Today I went on a date with my husband for the first time in several months. We went to a movie...Just Go With It....it was good, but not great.

Today I waited in the restroom line for about 5 minutes at the movie theater before I realized that I would rather risk wetting my pants in the car than standing in that line. (I did make it home, for the record!)

Today I reaped the benefits of always checking the supply of toilet paper before picking a stall in a public restroom. 2 out of 3 had empty dispensers. Whew!

Today I fixed my husband dinner. Who cares if it was leftovers.

Today I made a little girl's day when I bought three boxes of girl scout cookies. Sadly though, neither one of us could figure out how much change she owed me. My brain is failing fast.

Today I watched Craig and Maddie struggle to put clean sheets on Maddie's loft bed and only helped a little bit. I hate making that bed so much.

Today I posed for one last "family of three" picture before Maddie left.

Today was a good day.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


March 10, 2010. One of the days in recent years that my brain takes a pause to reflect as I remember how it unfolded. My heart shutters as the recollection of events march forward. At each phase I will for them to be changed in a way that would make the result at the end of the day different, yet between then and now my mind has embraced the way everything was orchestrated to allow for peace to fill my soul. So emotion packed. Joy, despair, helplessness, trust, knowing that God was holding our situation in His very capable hands, worry, feelings of failure, feelings of accomplishment. Most of all the underlying current of the day filled me with stillness. The verse from Psalm 46 came to mind. "Be still and know that I am God." Stillness was all around me and being in the midst of it my soul was infused with new hope and, oddly, joy. Inexplicable joy. My soul was just as still as my womb where our Christopher had fallen into a forever earthly rest.

It is hard to believe that it was a year ago now that he died. The images of our little guy are so fresh in my mind and I hope that they will always stay that way. I remember seeing him for the first time and feeling completely overwhelmed that this was actually happening. I remember the awesome midwife that assisted with the delivery saying "He looks like a perfect little boy." I remember Craig sitting in the chair near my bed looking upon our son, his eyes brimming with tears of both pride and loss. And I remember that little body so perfect, complete and peaceful. It was at that moment that I realized how precious life is once again. How at some moment in the last day our tiny son's little heart gave its final beat and changed the future as we had planned it leaving feelings of hurt and confusion in its wake.

Shortly after his silent birth Craig and I had a heart to heart while passing our still son back and forth in his little basket. It was perhaps the conversation that changed our relationship from great to awesome. We talked between unrestrained tears about a lot of things with our souls exposed and vulnerable. That conversation ended with a a few promises to each other. One was that the day our son died would not also be the day that his parents stopped living. Our mindset in our journey, which required rather intense medical intervention, to becoming a family was always to choose life....no matter what. This time we needed to make a conscious decision, in honor of our son, to choose life not for him because it was too late, but for ourselves. We knew that there would be lots of new feelings and emotions that we likely had never felt before, and those thoughts could be given the power to either unite us further or break us down. We committed to unite, to share, to trust, and to pull together and to heal. Another promise was that we would not allow the sad place we found ourselves in that day to be where our journey becoming a family would end. Though the future could easily result in more loss and hurt we could not leave that hospital room and our son behind knowing that it was the end. It couldn't be. In honor of our son we would try again. He will always be my firstborn, always be very loved and very wanted and will never be replaced in our hearts or lives.

A lot of healing has taken place between then and now, but my heart will forever bear a scar from the hurt caused by the loss and my mind will always wonder how life would be if he had lived. We were blessed by his existence and have been blessed in ways that we never would have imagined since his passing.

So here's to a day of honoring our firstborn son whose time with us was much too short. Our son whose life brought us joy and purpose. Our son whose death left us broken but united. Our baby who made March 10 be a day that we celebrate the fact that he lived. Our sweet Christopher Job who was born into heaven last year on this day.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Dear Mario,

It has been a pleasure getting to know you and your super brothers (whoever they may be)again via the Wii. I know that our relationship has been rather intense lately, but I find it only proper to inform you that soon I will be breaking up with you. I have also very much enjoyed the opportunity to practice mad driving skills while living vicariously through your friend, Daisy, on the Mach Bike. Unfortunately this has become slightly less than fun lately as everyone that I have competed against has completely annihilated and embarrassed me.

However, my baby seems to absolutely love your sound effects. Or perhaps it is the voice of its father screaming "UNFAIR" (to put it mildly) during competitions. Either way, we may be interested in having you perform your background music during some times when nothing else is working. A soundtrack for infants would be nice.

Dear Sleep,

Remember when you used to come to me every night for about 9 hours? I miss that. Please come back.

Dear Baby Riedel,

It has been a joy to carry you and I have absolutely no regrets about our time together...Well...I guess I regret the turkey sausage ingestion that one day, but that is not your fault. However, I am very ready to hold you in my arms and see the chubby cheeks that you've likely gained from stealing all of my calories for the last several months. I will definitely miss all of your silly antics from within, though.


Dear Water company,

So sorry for our recent influx of water demands. Blame it on the kid. Many times it was a false alarm. Do we still have to pay for those flushes?


Dear Hospital,

Thank you for finally agreeing to credit me back the $5.25/day charge for turning on the TV and the $2.75/day charge for phone service during my 8 day stay in December. Perhaps you now realize that especially unemployed dutch pregnant women don't part with their pennies lightly.


Dear Readers,

Thank you for being patient with me as I struggle to write these days. I will update soon. Hopefully I will have some "real" news!