One step at a time

Creating an enjoyable journey for myself and my family.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

23 Weeks

On September 14, 2003 I gave birth to my first child; a daughter named Jenessa Michelle Shumway. She weighed one pound, two ounces. I was 23 weeks along. The doctors at Utah Valley Medical Center explained to us that babies are not considered viable outside the womb until 26 weeks. I have seen some miracle babies that have survived, but Jenessa only lived and breathed for one hour and then her tiny lungs gave out and she passed away.

Today, exactly ten years later, I am 23 weeks pregnant with Jenessa's little brother, David. I can't help but reflect on such a strange coincidence.

Almost nothing about my pregnancy with David has been the same as with Jenessa: I live in a different state, I'm not juggling a pregnancy, a job and school at the same time, I feel super healthy as opposed to super sick, I am surrounded by family and I feel prepared for what pregnancy/labor/motherhood is all about. I am a new woman with a whole new outlook than when I was 23 years old.

I forgive myself for what I didn't know and couldn't understand at 23.

I believe everything that happens in our life happens in a divine right order. There are lessons we as individuals need to learn and they can be learned in no other way. I believe a kind and loving Father in Heaven sends us what we need exactly when we need it.

Baby David is doing great. Because I have "high-risk pregnancies" I have an ultrasound every two weeks. Every two weeks my doctors tell me some variation of the same thing, "Everything looks great, see you in two weeks."  I'm grateful for their expert attention, which brings me peace and comfort, especially during this twenty-third week. Perhaps there is a little guardian angel watching over me and David as well.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Tonight during bedtime prayers Mia said, "Please help Mom not to be sick tomorrow, and next month and always." It made me laugh out loud. Poor kid, she really has no concept that my sickness is 100% pregnancy induced. This week has been one for the record books though.

I spent Sunday night in the ER with contractions, which were stopped and we were sent home when it was determined that all was well.

Tuesday I had my cerclage surgery, which required about 24 hours of recovery.

I have on-going nausea and vomiting.

No wonder Mia is over Mommy being sick.

I'm 14 weeks pregnant and feeling optimistic about the next 22 weeks. I think the worst is behind us.

It feels good to be having this baby here in Seattle. My family and in-laws have gone above and beyond to help me during all the sickness and surgeries. My friends have been helping with the girls. The weather hasn't been blistering hot. Adam has been such a blessing because he has been willing and available whenever I needed him.  I have experienced so much support during this pregnancy. It feels like all our prayers are being answered and I'm so grateful.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


I've been hooked on the NBC show SMASH since it first aired in 2012. I'm a huge Katherine Mcphee fan, but my devotion to the show goes deeper than that. I love the way the dramatic and emotional songs from the show parallel  my own internal struggles.

The most recent episode featured a song called, "Heart-Shaped Wreckage." I love this song. Call me a hopeless romantic, but I still believe in love that lasts forever. There is not a love in this world that doesn't produce some wreckage...that goes for any relationship.

Ruth Bell Graham is credited with saying, "A good marriage is a union of two good forgivers."

May we all be good forgivers sooner than later.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Adventures in Raw Food with Reiko

Our second client from Japan arrived 2 days ago. Among other things, Reiko Ueda is interested in sampling American-style raw food. I am no expert in raw food, but I am an expert in trying new things and doing research. Over the next month while Reiko is staying with us I intend to incorporate one complete raw food meal each day, some days we will have two and occasionally three. So far eating raw is much easier than I anticipated. I love fresh fruits and vegetables, so what is there to be intimidated about? Like everything else in life, raw food diets can be as easy or as complicated as you want them to be.

Today we made a green smoothie for lunch that turned out to be delicious. Here is the recipe if you feel like putting your blender to good use. I'll keep you posted if we discover any other winning recipes.

Kale and Pear Smoothie with Herbs
Serves 2

2 cups kale
1 1/2 cups water
2 ripe pears, cored
1/4 cup herbs (parsley and cilantro both work great)
1 frozen banana (remove the peel, cut into 1-inch slices, and freeze in a plastic bag overnight)
1 cup ice
1 Tablespoon flax seeds (optional)
Protein powder (optional)
1/4 avocado (optional)

Blend water, greens, and herbs for 15 seconds - 1 minute (depending on your blender) on high. Then add the pear, banana, ice, flax seeds (if using), protein powder (if using), and avocado (if using) and blend for an additional 30 seconds - 1 minute.