Sunday, December 28, 2008

Life has been pretty crazy for our family this last week.

We celebrated a wonderful Christmas eve with Luke's family this year. We started off by bringing flowers and a small tree to Olivianna's grave site. She would have been 6 months on the 24th. How a half a year flies by....
That was a sweet time for me, as I have missed her more and more as time goes by. That evening we ate lots of yummy food and way toooooo many yummy desserts, opened presents and spent some time remembering the reason why we celebrate Christmas. The birth of our Lord and Savior.

On Christmas day we traveled up to Sonora to my brother and sister in loves house. They live on 3 acres of absolute beauty in the rolling hill country. It didn't snow, but we sure had a lot of hail and stormy weather!
Once again, we had an amazing meal, ate lots of desserts, opened way too many presents and took lots of pictures. The 3 little ones had so much fun playing with each others new toys, dancing, and going for a cold walk with nanny and papa! It was a great day!

Adi singing "jingle bells"

Adi and Lexi laying down for a little rest together

I was in bed that Christmas evening by 7:15 and did not wake up until about 8:45 the next morning. I guess I really needed my sleep. On Friday morning we got a call from the doctor once again confirming that all of my blood tests came back stating a failed pregnancy. This started my weekend of depression. I was trying not to be bumbed out...but all I could think of was how this year has continued to present itself with pretty stinky things. Finding out about Olivianna in the beginning of March. Our house getting shot up in the end of March, a funeral in June, a robbery in September, a failed pregnancy in Nov/December...and with only 60 hours left of the year...another morning in the hospital for a D&C (more on that later;).

On Saturday morning we woke up early and met up with Luke's family to go on an adventure. We drove to Yosemite to go on a sleigh ride in the winter wonderland! Luke's grammy and papa are from Oregon and drove down to spend Christmas here this year. One of the items on grammy's bucket list is to go on a real horse drawn sleigh ride. Part of her Christmas present from the family was this adventure.

The weather was absolutely beautiful on Saturday. We boarded the sleigh and got all warmed up in the blankets ready for the ride. The two Belgian work horses pulled us for about 25 minutes until we reached the half way point where there was a fire and hot apple cider waiting for us. We had a little break (picture time!!!) and than got back on the sleigh for another 25 minutes of more downhill sleighing. I highly recommend this to ALL. (It departs at Tenaya lodge right outside of the Yosemite gate). We finished the day with a delicious meal at a Mexican restaurant and headed home. It was a long, yet lovely day!

Rick & Rex were the horses names

Adi going through gigi's purse

Sunday was my hard day. I woke up not wanting to get up out of bed. Do you ever have those days that you lay in bed and think....I will just sleep all of this sadness and disappointment away? Well, that is what I wanted to do. I was dreading what was coming Monday morning, dreading how I was feeling, and honestly dreading that I had one more day to be around a whole lot of people.

... but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

Praise the Lord that He did not allow me to have this attitude all day. He truly renewed my strength and brought peace to my heart.

Sunday was the day that we had our Balsbaugh family Christmas. Once again....we ate lots of food...opened presents....spent time in communion and remembering Christs birth and Resurrection...ate lots of dessert...and finished the day off with some card games. It ended up being a great afternoon.

Monday morning. 8:00 a.m. Memorial hospital.
I had my D&C performed by my wonderful doctor. All of the nurses were very sensitive and sorry that I had to be back in the hospital under this situation. The procedure went well, lasting about 45 minutes. Because of the anesthesia, I came home and slept the day away. My amazing husband took care of me, as did my MOPS friends that I was privileged to spend some time with in the evening.
I am just so glad that this is all behind me.

With all of that said....I have been thinking a lot lately about how I am praying to have a much better year in 2009. Although over and over I am reminded that I am not guaranteed a better 2009. I am guaranteed life in Christ. I am guaranteed His love, His salvation, His inheritance, His rest....but not an easy 2009.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

I am the bread of life;no one who comes to me will ever hunger,and no one who believes in me will ever thirst. John 6:35

What will separate us from the love of Christ?Will trouble, or hardship, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?No, in all these things we triumph victoriously through him who loved us. For I am certain that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither present things, nor future things,nor powers, neither height nor depth, nor any other creature, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:35, 37- 39

I pray that my eyes will be fixed on Jesus this year. That my faith will be strengthened and renewed each day. That my witness will be pure and glorifying to the Lord. That I will be a light in this dark world. That I will care about others more than myself. That I will grow in my walk with my savior, my husband and my sweet Adalin Rose.

I also pray that we will be able to have a healthy baby one day again.

Thank you once again for all of your love toward our family. We are truly blessed to have so many amazing people in our lives. We pray that we can be an encouragement and support to you in your time of need as well. We love you dear family and friends.
"Waves and Ripples"

I was told to expect tidal waves of sadness, pain and grief. I was told the waves will come and go, and so far this has held true.

The tidal waves are strong, hitting with no warning. The waves nearly drown me in sorrow and tears, pulling me down with tremendous force. Tumbling under the heavy waves, unable to breathe or see, I am just trying to survive.

The tears flow fast and hard. The sorrow almost unbearable. I ride this wave until somehow, I am spit out on the shore. My body and soul shaken and battered. I am exhausted, hardly able to stand. But I survived. It had nothing to do with strength, only raw survival.

After the wave passes, another wave comes along, but this one is of hope and peace. The wave of hope and peace is much smaller, more of a gentle ripple than a wave. This ripple enters my heart and I feel peace. My eyes so red and blurry, can see again. My body so weary and tired, can move again. My breath comes easier. I can smile and even laugh. The weight of my pain and sorrow is a little lighter.

There is some guilt that comes with the ripple of peace and hope. The guilt that creeps in after a good laugh. The guilt of enjoying the company of friends. I hate the guilt.Then the cycle repeats. The tidal wave of tears and pain striking without warning. The small ripple of peace and hope. Then guilt. Over and over and over.
I hope that one day the ripples will stay longer and the waves will not be so large.
I hope one day, the guilt will bury itself and not be felt. Today I will continue to survive the waves of pain and float on the ripples of peace.

I read this on a blog of a woman who lost her daughter to triploidy just two months ago. It really rings true in my heart, as I feel that the waves come and go with great force. I trust that Jesus can calm the storms in my life and that He desires to do so when I keep my eyes on Him.
Matthew 8: 23-26
23 Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. 24 Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
26 Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

He gives peace like a river to our soul....

Mokelumne River day use area (near Lockford)

Daddy letting Adi drive...we were going pretty slow!

Mokelumne Fish Hatchery

The steelheads were jumping

Today we took a very relaxing drive in the countryside. We stopped and picked up some of our favorite Lockford sausage, ate at an old diner, and went on an adventure at the Mokelumne river day use area and fish hatchery. The sky was amazingly blue and the red moss on the river's edges were brilliant.
We have been hugging Adi a little tighter these days and praising the Lord for blessing us with her life. We could not imagine life without her.
This evening we went to our church's Christmas performance called "Behold the Lamb of God."
What an encouregment it was. God came down in the form of a helpless baby to save the world from their sins. To give us eternal life....and eternal love.
Thank you Jesus.
We praise you this Christmas season.

Friday, December 19, 2008

My heart cries out...

"Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, Until these calamities have passed by" (Psalm 57:1).

"Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You" (Psalm 143:8).

My heart can do nothing but plead with the Lord to be merciful to me and to hold me in His arms as I mourn the news that we saw/heard today.
We could not hear the babies heartbeat. We could not see the baby. We could only see the 7.5 week old sack that the baby stopped growing in. Dr. Altman explained that this is a very unhealthy pregnancy and that it will not result in a baby. My body should "naturally" miscarry in the days to come...but for now we wait.

Please pray for peace for our family. And that this miscarriage process will not happen on Christmas day.

We are so thankful for you; our friends and family...who rejoice with us and mourn with us in different seasons of life.

We praise the name of Jesus Christ, for He is faithful.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thank you for all of your sweet emails, comments, phone calls and cards! We are truly blessed to have so many friends and family members rejoicing with us, praying for us, and thanking the Lord with us.

Today is Luke's birthday. I am so thankful beyond words for his life.
He is a kind man with a loving and generous heart. He truly loves the Lord and desires to follow Him in all things. He amazes me daily in all aspects of life.
I love you Luke Philip Grover. May the Lord bless this next year of your life. Happy Birthday!

I have been quite emotional since I took those two tests. I have missed Olivianna more in the last week than I have in quite a while. I keep reminiscing in my mind the 9 months that I carried her precious life. I talked and sang to her so much. I prayed for her constantly. I enjoyed her in the womb, because that was the only time I could enjoy her. And now, a part of me is afraid to move on. To love another baby as much as I loved her. To talk to and sing to another pray be a mommy to....

I called the doctor's office to make my first appointment on Monday. The receptionist took my name and birthday, and than very excitedly proclaimed "Wow, and you have a five month old baby at home!!!"
I thought that they would have inserted that information into the computer...Like perhaps, BE SENSITIVE, HER BABY DIDN'T MAKE IT. Or something of the sort.
After telling her that my baby girl is in heaven, she excused herself, and about 3 minutes later came back on the phone (practically in tears) and apologized over and over and over again.
Poor thing. I felt so bad for her.
My first appt. is on the 19th. Dr. Altman will see me right at 8 weeks to check things out.

Life has been pretty busy these last few (okay 6) months.
I am just finishing up Fall/Christmas portraits. (Can see some work by clicking on grover photography on the right) and looking forward to a little break. It has been so much fun taking pictures for families. I love the relational and creative aspects of it the most!

My dance class at Enslen has a performance next Tuesday evening. The kids have been working so hard and are so dedicated to the class and doing their best. The girls are performing a modern dance, and the boys a hip hop dance. It is so much fun to watch them....and sometimes funny too!

Yesterday at MOPS we had our Christmas meeting. An amazing woman from the church spoke and very simply and powerfully shared the gospel. She talked about the expectations that we have for Christmas and that we need to plan for the unexpected. More importantly, we need to prepare our hearts for the birth of the King...not just our houses, presents, cards, etc. Her talk was very convicting to me because I can get so wrapped up in doing "things," and saying "yes" to everything, that I forget to be still and prepare my heart for what this holy day is really about. Thank you Marti!

Praise the Lord for miracle weekend at our church. Big Valley deposited 1.5 million dollars into the bank yesterday that was given for the miracle weekend offering. Our church will buy a building that is located in the parking lot to expand the children's ministry at our church. God is so faithful.
From him [Jesus] the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
(Ephesians 4:16)

Monday, December 8, 2008

A gift

I will exalt you, LORD, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.

You, LORD, brought me up from the realm of the dead; you spared me from going down to the pit.
Sing the praises of the LORD, you his faithful people; praise his holy name.
For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.
When I felt secure, I said, "I will never be shaken."
LORD, when you favored me, you made my royal mountain stand firm; but when you hid your face, I was dismayed.

To you, LORD, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy:
"What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
Hear, LORD, and be merciful to me; LORD, be my help."
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. LORD my God, I will praise you forever.

Psalm 30

Praise JESUS!
We Praise Him for this new blessing growing inside of me. Joy does come in the morning...Great is His faithfulness!

We trust that the Lord will take care of us no matter what. We trust that He will sustain us these next 8 months.
We trust that He has good for us and that He is forming His creation in His hands with love.
What an amazing birthday/anniversary/Christmas/thanksgiving present. THANK YOU JESUS....WE WILL NOT BE SILENT.

Due date: August 12th (My sister in law, Tiffany is due on August 13th)
More details to come...
Time to relax:)

Monday, December 1, 2008


We are truly blessed.

What a wonderful week it has been. Full of love, thankfulness, family and fun.
I was so excited on Wednesday when Luke arrived home from work because I knew that we would get to spend the next 5 days together. My favorite thing to do!!!!
Thanksgiving day was Luke and my 4 year anniversary. We were extra thankful this day for our marriage and what the Lord has done in our marriage in the last 4 years. We praise the Lord for bringing us together.
On thanksgiving day we went to my aunt Judy and Uncle Wes' house in the afternoon for the "big" turkey dinner. We had a lot of fun spending time with family, playing outside and (Luke taking a nap)!

We than traveled across town to Luke's aunt Caroline and Uncle Stewart's house and visited with the "big" Grover side. And finished the evening off with more food at Luke's parents house. We ate a ton, laughed, watched our wedding video, played a board game and enjoyed each other. A very nice Thanksgiving!!!

On Friday we did absolutely nothing. Luke and I pretty much sat around until noon...ate lunch...sat around after lunch...and packed for our weekend. (Oh yeah, we did take a little drive somewhere in there:)

The cousins checking out the horses...and each other!

Parker and Adi looking at the horses

Lexi planting daffodiles

Adi boxing

My Handsome husband!!

Saturday was my 27th birthday and Luke (the romantic he is) took me away for the weekend. We stayed at the Hilton in San Francisco right next to Union Square. Everything was decorated for Christmas and people were out shopping! We decided to join them and spent most of both days walking, shopping, eating, drinking coffee, and enjoying God's creation. It was warm and completely clear. Absolutely beautiful!
Luke and I on our wedding day. November 27th, 2004 (scanned photo..not best quality)

Here are a couple pictures from our weekend
Union square christmas tree
saw this fun car parked near the water
The harbor at sunset

Golden Gate Bridge at sunset

Silhouettes are fun!!!

I will tell of the kindness of the Lord,
the deeds for which he is to be praised,
according to all the Lord has done for us-
yes, the many good things he has done
for the house of Israel,
according to his compassion and many kindnesses.
Isaiah 63:7