My Dearest Daughter: Saying Goodbye to Gender Disappointment

My Dearest Daughter,

Though I’ve never actually met you, you have always a part of me: a dream, a desire, a hope. Until today. Today I say goodbye to the dream that was you in order to make room for other dreams.

For as long as I can remember I dreamed about hearing ‘it’s a girl!’ I dreamed of holding you, your tiny body cradled in mine as we rocked in a beautiful white chair in your bedroom covered in shades of purple and grey, your strawberry blonde hair sticking out of the blanket, while I sing you the songs that my mama sang to me. I pictured taking you to your first ballet class; watching you twirl, so proud in your tutu, stealing glances of yourself in the large mirror. I pictured the bows, the braids, the frills, the ruffles, the headbands, the shoes. I looked forward to introducing you the world of American Girl dolls and playing dress up and tea party. The beautiful, delicate doll house your great grandpa built for me is still sitting in your Grammy’s house with all the furniture and people carefully packed away waiting for your tiny hands to explore. But even beyond all of the girlie stuff I hoped we would always be close…sharing secrets together, going on mother-daughter outings and long walks talking about everything and nothing at the same time, hearing all about your first date, your first school dance, your first kiss, your first heartache; everything you might be too shy to share with your Daddy. I pictured you coming in to tell us you met ‘the one’ and then sharing in your excitement as you planned your wedding. And then I pictured you as you became a mom…my baby girl having a baby.

My dreams aside though you would have loved it here. Your older brothers would have loved you and have been fiercely protective of you. Kadyn would have taught you that it’s okay to be sensitive…you CAN be both sensitive and strong. And so can men. He would have taught you all there is to love about the arts and literature and would have read story after story to you, never tiring. Kai would have made sure you were a bit of a tomboy by teaching you all there is to know and love about sports. He would have talked your ear off about soccer and had you kicking a ball before you could walk. He also would have taught you mathematics and would have always been eager and willing to play any game or do any puzzle with you. Lukah would have taught you to love hard. He would have been the one to sit and listen to you gripe about boys and relationships and then make you laugh. And your Daddy. My heart aches for your relationship with your Daddy as much as my own. You were already a Daddy’s girl, even with just the thought of you. He would have made sure you knew you were loved, and beautiful, and smart. There never would have been a question. He would have raised you strong enough to be confident in your own choices and yet never too old to hold his hand. Sure, he would have relished embarrassing the heck out of you on occasion, but you would have secretly loved it knowing he was yet again showing his love for you. You would have known from day one how a woman should be treated just by watching him in action with how he treats me. I pictured you at your wedding, dancing with your Daddy during your father-daughter dance; he would have had tears in eyes and you would have found a way to let him know that you would be okay. And so would he. He would have encouraged you to be whoever you wanted to be and always follow your heart. He would have taught you that you don’t need to fit a certain mold, you are loved for who you are.

In my longing for you and my initial gender disappointment I’ve been told many things. I know people are trying to be helpful when they remind me that one day I’ll have daughter-in-laws or even granddaughters. But I also know that though they will be special in their own way, they aren’t you. I’ve also had people tell me that God gives us the desires of our heart, but I’ve learned that doesn’t always play out the way we picture. And I’ve been told if you focus on something long enough, hard enough, and put all your energy/mind on that thing, then it will happen. Now I can now honestly say that doesn’t always work. Sometimes there is a greater, more beautiful picture waiting than even we can understand in the moment.

Surely we are doing something right though in raising our boys because God is entrusting us to yet another. One more brave, strong, wonderful boy. With you in mind we will continue to raise them to the best of our ability…letting them be little while gently guiding them to be the men other parents would want their daughters to date. Men that will no doubt make amazing husbands and fathers. I can’t promise they won’t think they are ‘dying’ when they get sick (I think this must be an innate male trait) but I can promise that I will teach them to cook, to braid, and to do their own laundry. We hope to raise them to embrace their individuality and fight for their beliefs. And goodness will they know how to love. Strong. Loud. Fierce. Bold. Completely. Never ending. For to feel loved, to know love, and to be free to express love Just The Way They Are is above all the greatest gift we can ever teach them.

And because of that, it is with a tear filled face but excitement in my heart that today I say goodbye to the dream you were. You hold the dreams of my past and to hold on to you any longer takes moments away from my precious boys. At this point to want you here means one of them would not BE. And as I anxiously await the arrival our newest, and our last little I cannot imagine life without ANY of them. They are each so special to me and I love them beyond imagination. And you see, they deserve all of me, not just the broken pieces. And I deserve to have complete, whole happiness in each of them. From this point forward I am all in. They are each the dreams of my present, and the dreams of my future.

So, baby girl, with a kiss and prayer I send you off. I pray you can bring hope to a couple that may be in the thrown of trying desperately to have a baby and currently feeling hopeless. They need you more than I do. And every time I hear of a ‘miracle’ baby I will smile and think fondly of you.



Our Sons Are Watching Too

This past winter I had the privilege of attending a conference called “Shine” where the main speaker was the talented pastor and author, Bo Stern. Recently Bo also wrote a blog post discussing one of the main points that she spoke of at the conference. To summarize, both were about the shame that surrounds women and their personal perception of their outward appearance and how the only way to truly overcome that shame is with a heart change. I absolutely agree with everything she said….almost.

How many times have you heard the following?

Women need to get their thoughts of their appearance in check because our daughters are watching. (Something similar was also said at the Shine conference)


Redefining family after baby gender disappointment

They sit across from me waiting anxiously, eager to play cars, trains, superheroes, or ninja turtles.

Boys. My destiny. I’m learning to embrace this. Honestly, it hasn’t come easily. My parent’s closet still has my American Girl Doll neatly packed waiting for my daughter to play with. There also sits my dollhouse my grandfather made for me and all the adorable little mini people and furniture that go inside all boxed waiting for my daughter’s hands to carefully take them out. Only my daughter doesn’t exist.

5.5 years ago my vision of my family changed when we found out we were expecting our 2nd little boy. I had always wanted 4 children but had never really thought much past the first being a boy and the second being a girl. When I wrote about having baby gender disappointment  I experienced during pregnancy (and even for several years after) 4 years ago I had no idea there were so many people that shared similar feelings. Since then it has been the most commonly viewed post on my blog.

I spent 3 years after the birth of our second son wondering if my desire for a girl would ever be overtaken by the desire to simply have another baby no matter the gender. Three long, embarrassing years riddled with ugly emotions of self-pity, anger, disappointment, jealousy and guilt over feeling all of those things especially when there are so many women that would do anything just to have a baby. I would see friends with their daughters heading off to dance class with leotards, tights and ballet shoes in tow and my inner core would ache with such intensity that I was sure I was going to spill my insides. I would sob whenever I thought of all the things I did with my mom that I would never have a chance to do with my daughter. And my heart would hurt when I thought of the father-daughter moments my husband would never have. All the while desperately trying to fill my role as a mom to little boys. But as the months and years passed I found God changing and reshaping my heart. I began embracing being a boy mom. I would be completely lying though if I said the longing was gone, but it finally reached a point where I was ready for a baby…boy or girl.

Good thing because an adorable, wonderful, happy, light of our lives baby boy joined our family. Yes, that made boy number 3. Initially, when we found out that we were expecting boy #3 I could feel some of the same emotions creeping back in. It wasn’t until a dear friend of mine wrote

“I believe that raising a boy to become a good man, today, is such an incredibly important task. God wisely chooses special people to get that privilege. And now that I have a daughter, I’m praying for parents like you to have boys, so that someday Paisley will be loved well by one of them. Congratulations.”

that I realized what I gift I have.

Though I often don’t know what I’m doing with boys and it certainly isn’t what comes naturally I’ve been redefining what family looks like and redefining my role. Of course, I am mom. But more importantly, I am mom to 3 wonderful boys. And of course we are family. But our family is not your 2.5 kids: one boy, one girl, and a dog. We’re creating another mold in which to fit.  Something I’ve realized is that little (and big) boys need their mommies just as much as little girls. And though our relationship will tweak and change as they grow who is to say that I can’t have the same relationship with my sons that I do with my mom? Raising these boys to be great men is going to be a challenge, but one that I am embracing. My husband and I hope to teach them how to treat a lady, to be sensitive yet strong, and most importantly teach them that our love for them is fierce.

And let me tell you…Brothers? The bond there is strong. Best of friends, worst of enemies but at the end of the day when they’ve “secretly” crawled in to bed next to one another and fallen asleep it completely melts my heart.

Redefining family


Dealing with Gender DisappointmentAnd please, when you see someone with all the same gender, don’t assume we’re trying for the opposite gender. Maybe we are and maybe we aren’t. Just know that we’re redefining family.


I would love to hear your thoughts on baby gender disappointment …both good and bad! Please follow me on Facebook 

To see the original post on dealing with Baby Gender Disappointment when you’re disappointed with your baby’s gender check out the following link:

Transparencies of Motherhood: Baby Gender Disappointment 

Taking the ‘but’ out of Love

“Birth.” A day that will change your life forever. This day looks different to everyone. For some, it’s actually days…plural. For others it may be so fast you almost didn’t make it to the hospital. For some, it may not even happen at a hospital. For others it may include the best Neonatal Doctors and Nurses there are. For some it might be a c-section. For others it might be au natural. For some it may be the day you adopted your child. For others it may be the day you became a foster parent. But whatever you call it, however you experience it…it’s amazing. As parents we have spent hours, days, months (and for some even years!) wondering what our unborn child(ren) will look like, smell like, feel like. Wondering what it will be like the first time we hold them, hear their cry, see their smiles. We wonder about the personalities they will develop, and the men and women that in a blink they will become. We spend hours praying for them, for their friends, for their teachers, for each of their spouses, for the jobs they will have, the careers they will hold. The pictures that formed in our head during those expectant months just bold outlines in a coloring book waiting to be filled in.

Of course we have many hopes and dreams for them. But please consider this…

I am Mom

I know how to make homemade playdough, build the best forts. I race matchbox like a pro, have the best Choo Choo sound around, and have built some pretty great Chima Legos. I have seen every Veggie Tale movie, can belt out any Disney song, and know how to shake my thang to Raffi. I despise The Wiggles, Spongebob, and Yo Gabba Gabba. I know how to sing the abcs, twinkle twinkle and every other nursery song imaginable and I have made up countless versus to nursery songs to keep them going long enough for tiny little eyes to close.  I can recite Goodnight Moon, The Going to Bed Book, and On The Night You Were Born. I know the theme songs for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, and Curious George to name a few. I am fun.

I have stretch marks snaking my belly, an extra 5 lbs on my hips, spider veins on my legs. I’m lucky to get a shower long enough to shave, never mind actually getting lucky enough to shower. I have bags under my eyes and constantly have my hair pulled back in a ponytail.  And after nursing 3 kids well, my boobs have shrunk to nothing. I have been peed on, pooped on and thrown up on. Yet, I am beautiful.

Miscarriage–a letter to my unborn twins

My Dear Sweet Angel BabiesIMG_3521

As I stood in the bathroom, hovering near the pregnancy test, I could feel my heart beating in my chest. I knew I didn’t need to take any tests to confirm what my body had already been telling me. With 3 healthy pregnancies behind me, I knew. I was pregnant.

Though you weren’t a ‘timed’ pregnancy, you was most definitely a planned one. By that, we knew we wanted 4 kids, just didn’t know that it would be this soon.

From day one, everything about this pregnancy seemed right. It was God’s timing, not ours. It was in the middle of a move we weren’t even sure we would make until the month before. And we had an offer on a house initially that would have been too small for a growing family…and we beat the odds with our new house which would fit us all perfectly. The cards had all fallen in to place for this pregnancy to happen.

Though it took a couple of weeks for the shock to wear off and the idea of 4 kids to settle in, both your Daddy and I were elated, especially knowing you were so meant to be. I had a certainty about it that I didn’t have with any of the other kids. Within a week we had told your big brothers and they were so excited to tell all our family and close friends. We had already begun to imagine what our family would look like. We began making plans, arranging vacations, and ‘sick leave’ based on your impending arrival. July couldn’t get here soon enough…

Designer Genes

Daddy: “Kadyn, you must have your mommy’s genes.”

Kadyn: “No, mommy has her own jeans, they wouldn’t fit me. Mine are just right.”

Of course, we knew the humor behind the dialog. However, it wasn’t until after the conversation that I really stopped to think about what he said. Our eldest, Kadyn, in a way, was right…my genes won’t fit him…his are just right. He is his own person, unique and wonderfully made. He may have our “genes” but he also has his own genes that fit perfectly.

According to the pediatrician, Kadyn, is the most severely allergic kid in the clinic right now…and it’s a big clinic. Research is proving that allergies seem to be linked to your genes. Although his genes seem a bit too big for him, (anaphylaxis seems so severe for such a little boy), I have to remind myself that God created him. God’s eyes saw Kadyn’s unformed body. And all the days ordained for him were written in His book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:16). To God, Kadyn’s genes have the perfect fit…nothing too big, nothing too small.

Now that Kadyn is 3 I would love to enroll him in a preschool (this was written several months ago and posted on my personal family blog). However, something is holding me back from sending him. Only in the past few days have I realized that it’s because I’m scared to hand his life over to someone else…someone that I don’t know, and don’t trust. Questions flood my mind…”will he eat something he isn’t supposed to have?” “Will the staff forget to read the labels on snack foods?” “Will the staff know how to properly administer an epipen?” “Will they know when to and not to give the epipen?” “Will another allergy present itself unknowingly?” (A few weeks ago he had another allergy scare…with walnuts…a nut we thought was on the “safe” list. He complained of his throat feeling funny, then threw up 3 times, then his face got puffy and his nose got so stuffy I couldn’t even understand what he was trying to tell me when he spoke…scary.) It’s frustrating as a parent knowing that these “genes” most probably came from me/us. However, as his jeans continue to get bigger, and he, older, I realize I need to keep things in perspective. God created him, God will protect him, God has a plan for him. That doesn’t mean that I won’t be prayerful the entire time, that doesn’t mean that I won’t ask 100 thousand questions of each preschool I interview to make sure I’m sending him to a safe one, but it does mean that it’s time to let go. God is in control.

Kadyn, you are right, your genes are perfect little man. I thank God that he chose YOU for us and I can’t wait to further watch as your “jeans” continue to grow.


This is a prelude to the next few days where I’ll be sharing with you the process we went through in choosing a preschool for our son and the precautions we took/take with his life threatening food allergies. Hopefully you find something in this series that you’re able to take with you: Choosing a Preschool.

Parents–it can be hard to relinquish control to someone else, can’t it? After all, we would die for our kids, but would someone else? Whether your fear for your kids is allergies, shyness, a handicap, inability to hear, to see, or something else entirely, and whether your preschool is actually preschool, or daycare, or grade school, a new babysitter, high school…or college, it’s important to acknowledge that your fear is real. It’s your truth. It can be scary that first go around. It can be scary to even admit out loud. But go ahead…we’re all about being transparent on this blog! 

Since when did I become “Mom”?

Call me mommyI became a mom the moment I conceived. I learned very quickly to self-sacrifice and to put my needs aside for the betterment of my children. During pregnancy you spend 9 months growing each child. You decline countless drinks, high sugar foods, and anything else deemed “unsafe” or “unhealthy.” You sacrifice your body to your baby; stretch marks, extra skin, sags, t-h-r-o-w-i-n-g-u-p!, possible C-section scars. Not to mention labor. And that’s just the beginning. I found once they were born to be even more restrictive since I was nursing. It seemed every food and even my beloved, coveted, much needed coffee was off limits. Greens, beans, red sauce, dairy…you name it, I couldn’t have it. (You mean no pizza?! What’s a girl to do?! I’m surprised I didn’t lose more weight than I did.) You’re up all night, have countless hours of lost sleep, cracked nipples, Mommy-brain, and lost sleep (did I say that already?).

And yet, if a beautiful pregnant baby belly, feeling your baby kick, feeling the rhythm of baby hiccups, bonding before birth, and meeting your baby for the first time isn’t worth it…and if baby cuddles, baby kisses, baby smiles, baby coos and baby giggles weren’t enough to make it all worth it (oh how the list of wonderful could go on forever)…the moment your little one stretches his/her pudgy little arms out and says “Mama,” and then “Mommy,” (or Dada/Daddy) Or, “Mommy, I love you.” Oh. So. Worth. It. That precious word can make any sacrifice worth it.

However, lately my kids have been calling me “Mom.” Gosh darn it, I worked hard for that “Mommy” title. I was hoping it would stick around a bit longer. Mommy means they’re still little. Mommy means I have more time for baby cuddles. Mommy means they are still my sweet little boys. But, Mom? That makes me feel old (Mom, if you’re reading this…you’re not old!). Mom means my boys are growing up too fast! Mom means the years have been flying by. At this point, I long to hear Mommy.

This Mommy cherishes these moments. The days of organized chaos, no sleep, and lots and lots of cuddles. The days where my kids want to be with me, ask me to play with them, and will let me kiss them. The moments of discovery, of the many firsts (smiles, walking, talking, learning new words, etc), and of ‘Mommy I love you.’ I cherish these moments because they are numbered.

And for all you Moms and Dads out there…I hope you know that deep in our/their hearts, you’ll always be “Mommy and Daddy.”


Readers: Have your kids switched from Mommy/Daddy to Mom/Dad? Regardless, what has been your most cherished moment?

Baby Gender Disappointment

Long-ing (noun): a prolonged, persistent yearning or unfulfilled desire or need, especially one that cannot be fulfilled.

Baby gender disappointment. This is not something I am proud of. However, I feel it’s one of those unspoken things of motherhood. Therefore, I am willing to be transparent for a moment and share my heart. The reason this is often unspoken?  Because there are so many women that struggle to have a baby…any baby. There are so many people that say “just be happy you have 2 healthy kids.” Truth be told, I am grateful I have 2 happy kids, I love both of my boys equally, with all my heart. But why do I always feel I need to apologize for wanting a girl? Why do I feel I need to apologize for being disappointed we were having another baby boy?

When my husband and I found out I was pregnant the first time we didn’t care what gender the baby was. We found out early that it was a he? Ecstatic.

Life Before Kids

The other day I was asked if I remember what life was life before having kids? Sure…

Life before kids was quiet, carefree, and without much responsibility. We were able to sleep in (or sleep in general) until our hearts content, make plans on a whim, and our house was always clean. We rarely frequented the doctor. 
Life Without KidsOur quiet house is now loud. It is filled with chatter and coos, giggles and baby laughs, I love you mommies and I love you daddies. Our restfulness has been overtaken by sleepless nights and early mornings. Our once clean house has become cluttered with toys, children’s books, and Disney DVDs. Every room has a unique touch of child…small shoes by the door, mini washcloths by the tub and potty seat in the bathroom, bibs and highchair in the kitchen, and jeans the size of my foot strewn across the bedrooms. Our plans on a whim have become events, even the smallest outings, meticulously planned weeks in advance (something that can never be understood unless you have kids of your own). As for responsibility? Yikes. And the Doctor visits? We are now on a first name basis. In fact, Kadyn is know as the “child with the most severe allergies in the clinic.” Double yikes.

I miss the boys when they are sleeping even though I cherish those precious moments. A clean house is no longer at the top of my priority list and all the extra loads of laundry?…I think I spoke to laundry in my last post…I smile as I fold their tiny little clothes thinking of them wearing each outfit (MY and MY HUSBAND’S laundry is another matter…and I never said I enjoy putting the laundry away). 

We are all things boy: trucks, dirt, and bugs. Blue, brown, green. Overalls, crocs, camouflage, polos, baseball hats, and big boy undies. Blocks, trains, cars. Play-doh, Legos, remote control cars. Running, jumping, climbing. Owies, kisses, and Band-Aids. Trikes, wagons, and forts. Frogs, spiders and lizards. Hammers, noise makers and flashlights.

I will miss these days; days of baby cracks, night lights and special blankies. Padded jammies running down the wood floor hallway, endless hugs, and saying each letter “k” as a “t.” Days of baby rolls, all about mommy, and seeing life through the eyes of a child experiencing them for the first time.

Of course there are days that I want to pull my hair out, days that I wonder why God chose me to trust so much, days where I wonder if I will ever sleep a straight 8 hours again and days when I wonder what I am possibly doing wrong. Days I think if I hear one more scream, I will probably go insane. There are days that I need to step away, just to catch my breathe. And that’s ok. 

Through it all, I am always reminded of how wonderful being a parent is.

What was life like before kids? Boring.