32, 22 and blue.

32, 22 and blue.

I turn 32 years old on Saturday. 

I’m 22 weeks pregnant. 

And we’re having a BOY. 

I hate how previous pain can steal your joy. 

And I hate how our current joy can cause someone else pain. 

Emotionally, I hate knowing this post in general can cause other people pain. I remember experiencing the pain. 

I remember what it was like to be on the other side of those celebrating their milestone and how it made me feel. I was sad, jealous and just when I thought I was okay, I felt resentment all over again. 

SEN19R SUNDAY

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4 years ago Michael and I moved back from Pittsburgh and traveled north to the suburbs. We were familiar with Buckhead Church from our time in the city, and found ourselves in the seats of North Point Community Church. We had been praying for a landing spot when it came to a home church and community. We knew we wanted to serve, but didn’t know where or how to since we were so new to the area. And then came Senior Sunday.

We saw a plethora of high school students on stage with their small group leaders. Vision was casted about how imperative it was to be involved with the next generation. We heard meaningful stories from said students and leaders and couldn’t sign up fast enough… we looked at each other and simultaneously knew this was exactly where we needed to be.

And the next thing we knew, we were walking through life the next 4 years with some of the brightest, bravest, coolest kids we know.

I can’t even imagine if something like Inside Out was around when I was in high school. It’s hard to fathom what it would have been like to have a “bigger sister” or "second mom” to bring the hard stuff to.

High school can be brutal. I would not want to be in high school in today’s world. I thought I loved high school and then sometimes when I look back, I’m like man it could have been a lot better. I could have processed things a lot easier with the right person.

It could have been better if I knew I had a judge free someone I could go to with simple growing up questions. It could have been better if I had an awesome crew I was doing life with and knew we were in the same circle on Sunday nights. We could talk about the fun stuff and hard stuff together.

The next generation needs you. They need your experience. They need your ears and heart. Every student and every child need people other than their parents pouring into their life. And I hope you as parents or mentors have a relationship with those said people. I genuinely want my kids to come to us with things but i hope I’m not naive enough to know they won’t tell me everything. I hope my children have a minimum of 3 other people they can call especially if they feel like mom and dad aren’t cool enough or understand.

And for my girls? I hope and pray over the next 4 years you:

  • Grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ

  • Don’t find your worth in others (or their opinions) or likes or streaks or whatever

  • Find community aka a home church aka a small group to do life with

  • Serve others through being a leader or volunteering at a non profit that gives you life

  • Don’t settle for anything less than what you know you’re capable of or deserve

  • Be nice to yourself and be nice to others

  • Push yourself and set goals. Write them, believe them, achieve them. And celebrate the little ones like getting to class on time or not hitting the snooze button after your alarm goes off =)

  • Don’t be in a rush. No one said you HAVE to make a 4.0 and graduate in 3 years. But yes, give it your all.

  • Give yourself grace. You’re not going to figure out it all out in the next 4 years

  • Get out of your comfort zone. That’s where the magic happens!

  • Embrace the ordinary and make it extraordinary

  • Call your parents

  • And then call your small group leaders because they’ll be ready to see you on fall break, thanksgiving, christmas, spring break (ya right, doubt you’ll come home… maybe I’ll come to you?) and so on.



Thanks for an amazing ride.

You are all called to do great things and look forward to hanging on the sideline and watching you girls as a next generation of leaders and world changers!

But seriously call when you come back in town. K bye.









We lost the baby.

Painful to write, yet hopeful it helps.

“We lost the baby”

 

It’s hard to say the phrase out loud, but when i do, it’s the beginning of my healing process.


I was 11 weeks and the baby was still measuring a little after 8 weeks. At 8 weeks our peanut had a strong little heartbeat (170!). We were so hopeful. We started telling our close circle, because why not? We knew the people we told this early would inevitably be the people who were there for us, well, where we are now.


We proudly put his/her pic on our fridge in anticipation of our growing family.


I couldn’t help but retract and think about my last 3 months.


I was super stressed out about work, transitions and walked away from a job I held close to my heart. They were family and I didn’t want to let them down. Inevitably i walked away and had the stress ulcers to prove it.


I knew I forgot about the whole soft cheese thing when I guzzled feta... was it the feta? Or what about the blue cheese i ordered with my wings, because who eats wings? I guess me when I’m pregnant?? Or maybe it was that charcuterie board with the meats and Brie? Gosh, I love Brie. Or what about the amounts of queso I shoved down my gullet. Wait, queso is okay, right??? #Pasteurized


I know it wasn’t the plethora of Taco Bell or the #1 from CFA with CFA sauce and a Diet Dr P I had, because Frankie turned out fine???? She loves those nugs.


Or what about the 48272th time my pup’s boney leg hit my abs or lower pelvic region because she gets *SO excited literally about everything. Or how about trying to walk her on a leash and straining too much?? She is *awful on a leash.


Oh. The jet ski. It was the jet ski, wasn’t it? Pounding waves on the Pacific? Nah. That was the happiest and most freeing ride I’ve had in a while.


Cycling. Maybe it was the cycling uphill that got my heart rate so high and I  probably pushed myself when I should have been more careful.


What about the airport and how i handled my luggage? No, couldn’t be that. I asked a sweet stranger to lift all 41lbs for me while Michael was getting everything else done.


Did i stay hydrated enough? My co host kept encouraging me to drink water in between breaks... is it possible to dehydrate a growing baby?!?!


My IUD. My IUD came out in May and BOOM we got pregnant. Was my body just not ready???


Chasing a toddler. THAT was it. Because women for thousands of years haven’t been chasing a toddler while trying to conceive or after conceiving...


Nope. None of it.


I know none of the replays above has anything to do with our misfortune.


It just happened.


I walked into a bathroom, bled, called my husband. He was with me in 20 minutes.


I knew.


My amazing doctors worked us in that day and confirmed our biggest fear. No heartbeat. Our peanut looked the exact same from our 8 week appointment. Just thinking about how he/she (we’ll know one day!) was there for weeks breaks my heart.


The situation becomes business and so matter of fact so quickly... it was like my body was numb, but my mouth was okay to talk there in the office.


I absolutely adore my doctors, nurses and office staff. I can’t fathom the ups and downs of their job. The waiting room felt like years, but giving us fish food to feed the koi and keep my 17mo old entertained helped...


Our drive home was pretty silent. It’s hard to compute and communicate what you feel in that moment. We just held hands and felt peace as we heard our little girl giggling in the back, not having a clue of what just happened.


The next day we went back into the office, they took our baby and we went back home. We were in and out in an hour.


Michael and I feel fortunate. We’re fortunate we’ve been given the gift of life and even creating life.


I have so many people in my life who are still struggling, still hoping, still trying... still fighting the fight. I have so many friends who have had this happen to them numerous times.


Can you imagine? Gut wrenching.


And then I have friends who haven’t been able to have biological children, but oh has the Lord redeemed their story and given them a family.


Writing has always been therapeutic for me, so i figure this is the most natural way for me to get it all out. I’m not looking for sympathy. Not one bit. I’m simply hoping it’s helpful for those who have someone in their life that has gone through it... 


Before this happened, I don’t think I had the right words to say to the close circle of family and friends who have been through this. I probably sent them a text, but i didn’t get it. I get it now. I get their pain. 


And now I want to sit in the pit with them. I want to sit in their pit and hold their hand. I want to stare at a blank wall with them. I want to eat Chinese take out with them or literally text them memes back and forth to get their mind off of it. I will even watch an awful 90’s Lifetime movie with them. I would. 


I get how they, too, probably racked their brain of every single thing they thought of that might have caused things to go awry.


I don’t know why I’m wired this way, but I could have reported the game of my life and still tell you where i screwed up or how i should’ve asked a different question. My husband is the same when it comes to football. I could have told him “good game, babe!” and he would still remember every missed assignment.


With this? With this assignment? I’ve let it go. I truly let it go early in the process. Because, I had to. I know it isn’t my fault. It’s a chapter of my story and He still knows how it will finish.


I hope whoever reads this knows they’re not alone. I hope whoever reads this knows there’s no right way to do it... ya just feel it out. You go through the motions of tears, anger and genuine sadness. I’m sad. I’m just really sad.


My recipe is to eat a *lot of double stuf Oreos and take it one day at a time.


I’m on day 4, so I’m no expert.


I don’t have all the answers. But I do hope for anyone reading this, chooses to text them anyway. Call them anyway. Drop whatever off anyway. Whether they answer or not, trust me the gesture doesn’t go unnoticed.


We’ve grieved a lot this year and one thing i now keep in mind when others grieve is how easy it is to reach out when its new. It only gets harder and lonelier the days afterwards when the rawness wears off. And i try to keep myself in check with that... 


Loneliness sets in and it can get ugly. Genuinely ask how your person who is experiencing grief is doing... No offense but in a certain stage of emotion, a bible verse is sadly the last thing you want to read. Trust me. Jesus knows I feel this way 🤷🏽‍♀️


A lot of people don’t talk about miscarriages.


I’m an external processor, a communicator, so for me the whole talking about it helps. Talking about my miscarriage (saying it out loud) helps. And I hope it helps someone else. Whether you’ve been through it or you know someone who has... maybe there’s something useful in these thoughts of mine that can be of use the next time you hear about one.


Some of my favorite women found me outside of the bathroom that day. I fell into their arms, convulsions and all and they just stayed with me. They sat in that pit with me. I felt so safe in the middle of turmoil.


One of my friends had been through the exact pain was with me. Her words, wisdom and prayers resonated with me and truly made all the difference. She’s checked on me non stop and I’ll never forget it. What do people do without community?


Loss is hard. Grieving is hard. We’re still grieving my father in law and the “firsts” of missing him this year.


The next time someone asks the rounds of firsts like, “Hey, when is number 2 coming?” will be hard.


The next time someone asks “Hey, how are you feeling? How many weeks are you now?” will be hard.


The next time someone says “isn’t it time for Frankie to have a little sibling?” will be hard.


But we’ll make it. And I’ll try my hardest not to ask anyone else those questions, because you never know.


It won’t happen overnight. But through God’s protective shield of comfort, his grace and mercy, our community - it will get easier. It will take time. But it will get better. The Lord still holds a light through these dark situations.


In the mean time, feel the feels. And eat ALL the double stuf Oreos. 

Go Gators?

Mississippi State was where I covered my 1st college football game on the sideline.

Dan Mullen was in his 2nd year as Head Coach and was starting to make a name for himself in the SEC (despite Alabama and Auburn rotating SEC west titles).

There was a redshirt true freshman named Dak Prescott fresh on the roster that year. They were pretty excited about him. 

my story // #myLife16

my story // #myLife16

You come off of these juxtaposed emotions when retreats are over because you go from a hands high worship rush to a sugar coma to a coffee crash to a "wait I ate Taco Bell last night and that's why I feel so terrible and my metabolism isn't of a 15 year old girl anymore" to "IS EVERYONE ACCOUNTED FOR IN THE CAR DID I LOSE A KID PLEASE I HOPE NOT." The run on without punctuation was necessary. 

Integrity > Money

I accepted and declined a TV offer all in one week.

I accepted for the possibility. I accepted for the possibility of a new challenge on a national scale. I accepted for the opportunity to be a light of a great role model and example.

I declined for the expectations. I declined for it didn't align with my brand nor integrity. I declined so I could be a light of a great role model and example. 

Coach London

Coach London

 Why I’ll continue to root for Coach Mike London. 

Class.

Mike London exudes class. He teaches his players to go to class, play with class and treat people with dignity and respect. That’s his motto. He talks the talk but walks the walk. I met Coach London when I was covering Syracuse at UVA for Homecomings this past Saturday. Yes, homecomings as in plural. It’s a Virginia thing. AnyHOO, they were sitting at 1-4 and desperately needing a W for more reasons than one.