Thursday, December 7, 2017

Announcing Baby #9. Be still my soul.

Officially announced this precious little life on our Instagram acct today, which you can read below.

If you would like to follow any of our accounts please do:

Our Family @buckoutfam
Our Little Michael James @babyjuly2017
Lord willing our newest one @babyjuly2018

Greatly appreciate your prayers for this new little life!

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The ESV Illuminated Bible {Review & Giveaway}

After loosing Michael, reading the bible was very slow going. I could only read support books, a devotional, and my daughters scripture cards the weeks following Michael death. Yet, thankfully am finally back to daily readings. This Bible was a special gift for a new season.

I've had my old bible for 20 years, so to open a new one up daily was a new beginning for me. I needed it. I started in Genesis and also am rereading Revelation. I am the type of person that has to underline and make personal notes in my bible. This Illuminated Bible has worked out perfect because the margins are WIDE. 

I don't use mine for art, but I do know Bible verse journaling as become a hobby for many.  I am not too sure if markers would hold up on these pages but definitely colored pencils would. I personally have only used pencil so far because the bible is so clean and pretty! :) Each book has its own personal cover artwork all in gold lettering too. I especially like that it is ONLY the Bible. There are no study notes or themed devotionals throughout. Only gold lettered scripture art. This version is a Hardback with a slide in book jacket. I love it. See ALL the details below. 

(Note: The only downfall for me--- I really like the New King James Version. From what I have heard though it is the most similar.) 

Good news, I get to offer it to one of my readers! 

PLEASE comment below if you'd like to win one for FREE :)
Giveaway will end in one week on November 23rd.
Open to ONLY continental U.S. residence please.
Purchase Yours HERE.



The ESV Illuminated Bible places the full ESV text alongside over 500 elegantly hand-lettered gold ink illustrations by renowned artist Dana Tanamachi. Printed on thick cream-colored paper, the
Bible's single-column text setting and wide margins provide generous space for additional notes, prayers, and designs—inviting readers to creatively engage with and reflect on the beauty of God's

• 9-point, Lexicon
• Black letter text
• 2-color printing
• 64 full-page, custom book opener illustrations
• 50 full-page verse illustrations
• 250+ hand-lettered margin verses
• 100+ other illustrations throughout
• Illustrated by Dana Tanamachi, whose work has been
featured by Google, The Wall Street Journal, Random House,
USPS, and Target
• Thick, cream-colored paper
• Wide margins
• Single-column, paragraph format
• Smyth-sewn binding
• Packaging: Permanent Slipcase
• Dana Tanamachi is an American lettering artist, graphic
designer, and illustrator whose exquisite typographic murals
ignited the worldwide chalk-lettering trend.  She has been
commissioned by clients such as Instagram, Target, Google,
Time Magazine, Nike, and West Elm. Learn more

In Christ alone I stand,

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Just your average, "I am still alive" post

Well, I finally felt the need to let you know I am still alive. Even had a birthday. I am 38 years old.

It's strange, but refreshing not to have facebook. If some reason, you are a friend I have not seen in 5-20 years and you are wondering--- I am ok.

I recently went on a retreat. A small cabin in autumn wooded beauty. I saw snow. I saw brilliant colored leaves. More importantly I was with a beautiful friend. I will be ever thankful for the time she took with me. (xo)

I was able to open my wound again... let it feel the healing air it needed and patched it up again, by the grace of God. Our time was raw. It was real. We laughed. We cried.  We enjoyed yummy food. :)

God knew I would need that special little retreat because it was there, I painfully miscarried another early pregnancy. Sean and I were so delighted three weeks prior and announced it immediately to our close family and a few friends. The sweet baby blueberry may have only been 7 weeks, but it was life. For that I am thankful.

The loss of life, put me incomplete surrender yet again. Again, into the loving hands of My Father. It has quieted me heart. Maybe I am just numb by grief and many times without understanding. My life and times are in His hands, not mine.

In regards to being pregnant so soon---Please don't bother telling me "I should give my body time to heal". Obviously I cannot make something happen a certain way or in my time. Otherwise my four month old baby boy would be in my arms breathing. Smiling and looking into my eyes. It is not in my power to do so.

At the end of my little getaway, I got an amazing tattoo in honor of Michael James. It hurt like hell, but means so much to me. I love that boy. I was standing in the airport waiting for my plane literally worshiping God (via YouTube) for being my strength through so much pain. He is my firm foundation. I will put my trust in Him alone. In God I will not be shaken.

He is in control. Casting out all fear. My hope will always be His promises to me..

He is my Father, I do not wonder
If His plans for me are good
If He'll come through like He should
'Cause He is provision and enough wisdom
To usher in my brightest days
To turn my mourning into praise
He's not just reviving
Not simply restoring
Greater things have yet to come
Greater things have yet to come

I am who He says I am
He is who He says He is
I'm defined by all His promises
Shaped by every word He says
Oh I am who He says I am
He is who He says He is
I'm defined by all His promises
Shaped by every word He says..

These are the two songs rocked me to my core as I worked tonight and actually prompted me to write this blog.

ONLY because of my Jesus. grace and peace,

Monday, September 25, 2017

Less Noise; Off of Facebook Disclaimer

"The LORD is good, His mercy endures forever"
Coloring on my swing, under my mosquito net! 
Today was a quiet day. Monday. I was the only one home with my three littles. Everyone was out the door by 7am. Sean took Elizabeth off to the stables, then he headed to his college class. Elijah, Lydia and Jason left by 645 to catch the ferry to school.

After a busy weekend with a full house, it was pleasantly nice. Reminded me that having less noise has been very healing for me. About two weeks ago, I took a week off of facebook. Oh my goodness it was strangely refreshing! How many of us have done this same thing.. time and time again?

Right after Michael went to be with the Lord, I needed a place to share. Mostly on shared Instagram posts, but it was still nice. I hesitated to "take a break" because I was able to connect with other moms who have experienced stillbirths. So many mothers. So many different groups. But even in those groups it was hard. Hard to see how many people go through the similar loss everyday.

I decided after the week break to come back on... then more drama happened. I knew God was confirming it to me. While its nice to "see" what others are doing, it can be such a HUGE distraction from what God wants me to be doing at the moment. It honestly distracts me from real relationships. I have to undo the habit of even just clicking on facebook.

It can be used for good (social media)-- What a blessing it was to have so many people praying for me when we lost Michael. I know this was a HUGE support for our family! But... I also question how much God intended us to be aware of everyone else's life? A good friend of mine said, "it is an easy way for people to check in on me visually, but then you have no clue they actually did." Truth.

Anyways, I am rambling.  All this to say, I will be doing updates here on my blog. This way I am not distracted with more noise.

I am actually praying more.
Reading more..
Crocheting more..
Making shutterfly family albums again.
and Coloring more with my kids.

I will look at instagram here and there, but thats about it.

Heard a hashtag this week and loved it: #thestruggleisrealbutsoisGod

Peace and Love friends..
and whoever is reading this blog ;)

Three of our kids on this ferry, parents passing on the other (we were headed to Jason's conference)

took my littles to Petco.
the perfect costume for our dog sweet pea aka: sausage

Saturday, September 2, 2017

He Knew 5 Years Ago

the peace of God

Was God preparing my heart 5 years ago that I would lose Michael?

Did He know in exactly 5 years I would be holding my son, seeing his beautiful face, praying over his earthly body for the VERY LAST time? 

That in 5 years, I will feel the presence of God wash over me like never before? I would get a glimpse of heavenly peace as I held Michael... but have to hand him over, saying goodbye did we met again?

"But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day..." 2 Peter 3:8

Yes. He did.

God knows the moment I will see my baby Mikey again---That I will see HIM, my Heavenly Father; my Abba Father.. and feel true everlasting peace wash over me again.

JULY 11th, 2017; was my precious Michaels due date. 

It was the day I held him, prayed and said goodbye. 

Five years earlier, when I blogged this song on JULY 11th, 2012 ----God knew it was going to minister to me like never before. I was going to cry before God like never before, broken down and needing His help like never before. 

YET, in it all I would continue to serve Jesus wanting to see him glorified in my life. He knew I would experience a moment of trial that would change me forever. He knew I would need His strength, His help like never before.

AND, here I am am singing that song:
Take my life.
Take my hands.
Take my voice.
Use them..
I am written on His hands.

"for your Father knows what you need before you ask him... " Matthew 6:7

and I will share it again. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Life Continues after Birth

Random thoughts I am processing..

walking with mama
Hadassah turned 7 years old this summer.

Elijah got his drivers license last friday.

Today is the first day of school.

I waved goodbye to three of my kids as the left for the charter school---in the car--- with their big brother ---over the ferry!

Praying for my little Jay Jay. First time back in school since 1st grade.

Supposedly I am going to do a great job homeschooling the four others. gasp.

Sean and I found out we will be working now four nights a week on our online job. Thankful for Gods provision, but praying for endurance.

All the while---- (very few people know) Sean continues his schooling as a Nurse Assist 2 & RN.
AND continues his web design.
attempting a selfie
So proud of him. We are going to his summer graduation as a CNA on Thursday!

As I type this, I am getting two little girls out the shower. (Multi-tasking at its finest!)..Also, keeping Mo from wandering and somehow trying to motivate Elizabeth to start her "new homeschool year".

Yet..As I kissed everyone goodbye... stress over the busyness of it all,  I picture a newborn swaddled in my arms. The moments of what I thought "should have been" will always be with me. From my understanding they will lesson, but never leave my heart.

Even as I combed the millions of rats out of Hadassah's hair she said, "Mommy, I miss baby Michael". We all feel it in our own way, some more than others.
I told her "I do too, more than words could express"...I assured her we can pray for a new baby someday. :) She thought it would be neat if I could have a Christmas baby.
Well.. I then explained how "this Christmas would be a little too soon because it does take 9 months." ;)

Life continues.
happy 7th bday hadassah!
Deep breaths. Time to put on some workout clothes...
pressing on,

read this scripture last night
it was from the book i was reading right before Michael passed.
a fiction book about a midwife.
i never saw the scripture before in the front of the book.
of course
little i knew what the night would hold..
but now I cling to the fact that God knows my future.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A Battle for Normal; After a Stillbirth

Empty arms. I am fighting hard. Feels like a spiritual battle daily. Stressful nightmares. Outburst of anger. Anxiety attacks. Confusion. Loss of joy. Purpose. Focus.
At any given moment especially toward the end of my day..when tiredness sets in.
I have to take breathes. Pray. Turn on worship music. Listen to bible studies. Read my bible. Intentionally listen to my kids.

It comes in waves.
My hormones have been out of whack.
Postpartum depression at it's worst. (or the worst I've experienced). I should have gotten Michael placenta encapsulated, yet that was the last thing on my mind in the emergency room.

I was "supposed" to have a baby rest. For me, having eight kids I actually looked forward to nursing 12 times a day. The Lord knew what was to come, He would have to be my rest.

Last week I was screaming... "what do I do now!?" I was falling apart tremendously.
Yet, I have been "feeling" better today and the weekend went better... Maybe the hormones are balancing out. The grief fog is lifting.

I have to be so careful because the every day mothering tasks stir up bitterness.. and plain tiredness.

I have been trying to find some source of "normal" outlet, but it is not coming easy.
Two weeks after birth, I got aggression out by weeding my garden beds. Yay, I planted two new rose bushes. Planted seedlings.. planted a potted plant.

Went on a a few run/walks, but was quickly reminded I was only three weeks postpartum and not three months. My body is not as strong.. yet. Knee braces and all. 

This week, I was praising God because I actually started a new crochet project. :) YES. A new baby blanket. Hopefully, for what grieving mothers call their "rainbow baby." I am praying for my own rainbow baby and I don't care what others opinion may say.

I attempted a start of a new fiction book. For the first time in years it is not about birth or midwifery. Someday, I will get back into my passion.

Friends, then it came: Only out of observation, I went an entire day without crying. 28 days, exactly four weeks after the birth of Michael.

Not sure if I was even happy about it, but I knew it was needed. Part of the fog passing..

((((deep breaths))))

Watching my family play during an evening beach trip.
Yes :) All seven, plus Dad are in this picture.
I was laying down on the blanket taking life in...
Our first time back here without baby Michael.

Last April...
One of my beach memories. Mordecai hugging Baby Michael.
Miss you little one.

God, what is normal? You are working in me... I will trust. I press on. In You I HOPE. You are with me in this battle.

In verse 19, word "high hills" literally can mean "battlefield"...

Habakkuk 3: 17-19

Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines; 
Though the labor of the olive may fail, 
And the fields yield no food; 
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, 
And there be no herd in the stalls— 

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, 
I will joy in the God of my salvation. 
The Lord God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet, 
And He will make me walk on my high hills. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Baby Michael James; Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

I took 141 pictures of my son before I said my final goodbye.

I want a thousand more.

I want to hold him longer and soak in every tiny feature.

Since I am waiting earthside for our glorious reunion; I am aware my own body is growing older, I may forget and I don't want to...

This blog is dedicated to every sweet memory God gave me while he was in my arms....

My little Michael James Buckout, 

I only had a moments relief when your father first handed you to me. But you were warm. You reminded me of Mordecai. A little string bean. Long and cute.

I tried to clear your airway, so you could breath. Suction. Even using my own mouth to try to bring life into your lifeless body. Yet you were already asleep... gone from my arms.

In the hospital, when I finally had you with me again.. I held you close.  I got to grieve, weep and study your every feature through my drenched face. I could not understand why.. but oh my goodness you were beautiful! Absolutly amazing.  I don't know how many times I kissed you, but it wasn't enough.

When Daddy came to meet us we would weep together and talk about your lovely features..

Bittersweet was our every breath. Every word..Every tear..

Your soft hair... fuzzy, more thick brown in the back. A slight red color like your sister Hadassah. I loved rubbing my face on gently on the top of your hair..I have done this with all your brothers and sisters. Your sweet head was growing cold but I didn't care one bit.

Your face... Your lips looked like a content nursing baby. Milk drunk, but with no milk.  Chubby cheeks, thin eye brows, and little button chin. You had a precious little double chin.. extra skin like your mama and Grandpa. You had a precious Buckout nose!

Your ears... little and sweet. I sung to you while I was alone in the hospital. In my heart you could hear. "Jesus, Name Above all Names.. blessed redeemer Glorious Lord.." (Daddy had went to pick up your siblings.) It is the same song we sung every night to your little siblings before bed. I know you heard it in the womb. I held you close, snuggled you on my chest and tried to voice every word before my heart broke into pieces.

Your hands and toes: your fingers were so long, wrinkly skin and such long fingernails. I can't believe how big your hands were! Even your feet were so long! Toes curled. Soft with dried vernix... I wish I would have looked longer but I felt I had to keep you warm and wrap you up.. :(  Oh, Hadassah so badly wanted you to grasp her finger with your tiny hand. In heaven you will hold hands with your sissy.

Your legs and arms sooo long! Like a little froggy. I wish I could have fatten you up.  You had a fuzzy back and flat little bummy like few of your other siblings ;). I am so sorry I didn't change your diaper. :/ Oh, a mothers heart is always full of regret!!

I loved having you on my chest. You little nose dripped and it took my breath away. My arms miss you little one.
Baby Mikey, you changed my life forever. You brought your mothers love deeper than I ever thought it could exist.

Although, I am positive it is only a sliver of the love the Heavenly Father has for us both. Yet, you already know... I will see Him with you face to face with you soon.

I love you deeply my sweet baby boy. I want to snuggle you so bad it hurts. Nurse you. Kiss you... but I will wait. The Lord will renew my strength. So thankful you are with our King Jesus. You will never feel pain, shed a tear, and are completely satisfied for all eternity. I will be there soon.  I am praying.. Maranatha!

Love you forever little bb8,
Your Mama.

Daddy and I taking a moment to show our little girls how we would wrap you. 
They both brought Mommy your blankets from home. 
For now, I sleep with those blankets every night.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Sorrow upon Sorrow; a stillbirth

my sweet baby in my arms once again.
we left in separate ambulances to the hospital.
the most traumatic night in my life.

There have been many times these past 6 months I have attempted to blog. I even wrote a couple of pregnancy blogs that I intended to publish after Michaels birth. I already had to delete them.

I read a grieving Christian mothers advice the other day. She said write if you can.... journal, blog, pictures..ect.

This is the real me... attempting to write. To process. To heal... after only 17 days. It may come to nothing. I may shut down my blog completely. I don't know.

I don't want to spam Facebook with all my sorrow and grief. There are these evil condemning voices that tell me I am just looking for pity. At this point if someone wants to see how I am doing I guess they can look here.
Maybe I can look back to what God is teaching me through this all.
Maybe there will be another grieving mother who will find comfort reading my words.

Only those who saw me knew even that I was expecting our 8th child. For my own reasons, I just wanted it to be quiet. I kept my own private instagram acct @babyjuly2017 to connect with other moms also expecting in June or July. I didn't even tell my family at first, till some slowly found out. I envisioned making a surprise Skype call hours after his birth..

If you are here because of curiosity of how my sweet Michael left my womb and went to heaven, there won't be an answer for you.  I don't even have the answer. Our doctor doesn't have the answer. Only God has the answer. Michael's life left me presumably hours before I was even in labor.

For now I have stopped marking off the days on the calendar. I look expectantly to flipping it to August.

Yet, I want June back. I want July over with..

Honestly, I want to be smiling at my sweet nursing baby boy in a quiet house. Rubbing his head (kissing his head) and touching his small fingers and toes.

This is my first night alone while dad takes the kids to the Library.

The "firsts" have made me very uncomfortable. I shake. I cry. almost like small panic attacks. I either go inward and don't say a word or cry uncontrollably.

Like my first time driving alone. My first time back at Walmart. My first time driving to this place.. or that park.. places I expected to have a baby in my arms.

the last picture of my precious boy living with me. in me.

But tonight I will be ok.
I may clean... fold laundry.
I may worship.
I may listen to a bible study.
I know I will cry.

Truth be, it is sorrow upon sorrow.

 A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; 
but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, 
for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 
Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you. 

John 16:21-22

The only song we played quietly at Michael's memorial...

He is near. His peace is real.
Every life is a gift.
Thank you all for your love and support. It means to world to us.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Never Unfriended by Lisa-Jo Baker {Review and Giveaway}

My Thoughts on Never Unfriended:

So, I was a little unsure about approaching this book. I did not want a "guide" for my friendships but life circumstances are such that I really wanted to be more sincere with those God has placed in my life.

It really surprised me that Lisa encouraged her readers to take from this book however they can. Even if this meant tearing out pages, putting them on our bathroom mirrors or SKIP through out the book to the parts that resonated within your life.

Her stories are relatable and thought provoking.

In a good way, I realized how selfish my motives have been in friendship! While, I don't feel led to pour out my heart right now (on my public blog) God really used this book to remind me "not look out for my own interests but also the interest of others" (Phil 2).

I know readers will not be disappointed in this book. I encouraged you buy it it with an open mind, even if you think your friendships are fine or buy it even if you have no true friendships at all!

My husband got a mouthful from me as I processed this book, so I know I will keep it around. I have now passed it down to my daughter. :)

OH! and YES you can WIN a copy on our blog by commenting below or on my facebook link :)

ABOUT: Never Unfriended: The Secret to Finding & Keeping Lasting Friendships:
As the community manager at the website since 2010, Lisa-Jo Baker has had the chance to engage hundreds of conversations with women about friendship. Starting with that guarantee from the most faithful friend who ever lived—Jesus—this book is a step-by-step guide to friendships you can trust. It answers the questions that lurk under the surface of every friendship—What are we afraid of? What can’t we change? What can we change? And where do we start?—with personal stories and practical tips to help you make the friends, and be the friend, that lasts.

So thankful, He first LOVED us..

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The New Dad's Playbook by Benjamin Watson {Giveaway & Review!}

Yes. Please. I am so happy I can recommend this book for new dads! I won't be keeping mine because of course, Sean is not a new dad. BUT will be perfect for one of my doula clients. As a doula I have come across so many different couples and personalities! More often than not, husbands are unsure about the entire pregnancy and labor process from beginning to end. This is a perfect resource.

This book would be great for a man who isn't a big reader or IS an avid reader.

It is not heavy read, but it's a very honest reflection of how life is changing with pregnancy, birth and having a newborn.

Also, wonderful advice from a man to man.

Your man doesn't have to be "into" sports to learn from this book either!

It is written from a Christian perspective, but focuses more on pregnancy and life after baby than biblical teachings.

To have a LOOK inside or purchase a copy; you can visit Amazon here.

OR if you'd like to WIN a copy; let me know by liking, sharing this post on Facebook or commenting below. Feel free to spread the word!

ABOUT: The New Dad's Playbook; Gearing Up for the Biggest Game of Your Life 

When it comes to the unknown territory of having a baby, new dads want to get in the game but, says Super Bowl champion Benjamin Watson, "I could find clearer direction for putting together a baby swing than for taking care of a newborn child." This is every man's game plan to being the best partner and the best father, from pre-season (preparing for fatherhood) to Super Bowl (birth) to post-season (after baby is home). It helps men understand what their wives are going through physically and emotionally during and after pregnancy, allowing them to support their most important teammate. It tells men what to expect when their baby is home--and what to do when the unexpected happens. This tell-it-like-it-is book will take men from just winging it to winning it.

Children are a blessing!

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Otterganics Daydream Day Cream {Product Review!} You MUST try!

About Otterganics Daydream Day Cream:

  • The best organic anti-aging cream for a dry face with sensitive skin.
  • Pure - no added water; no fillers; no synthetics; all natural; 100% organic.
  • Fresh light scent, great for sensitive or dry skin; smells like a good day.
  • FLexiBLE: Add water for your personal consistency. Start at 50/50 water + cream.
  • Packaged in a beautifully recycled glass jar; crafted in very small batches.

My Honest Thoughts:

  • The double packaging was perfect! The jar was in perfect condition. 
  • The moisturizer smells amazing. Everyone in my family (esp my husband), as commented "you smell sooo good". 
  • The sent is floral, but not overwhelming at all.
  • The cream is a bit grainy, but mixing it with a tad of water helps it spread. I prefer to mix it with a drop of Argan Oil :D
  • I use it after the shower in the morning and at night if I have removed make up.
  • Absolutly no breakouts since using.
  • I have not seen any age reduction, but that is because I have only used it for two weeks. ;)
  • My skin does feel refreshed after using.
  • Happy to have found a cream with Neroli Oil in the ingredients. See below.
  •  This cream will definitely last! A little goes a long way. My husband encouraged me to not be afraid to spend the money because I don't treat myself very often.
Fully Recommend Daydream Day Cream!

Where can you purchase yours??
Of course at here at lovely Amazon!

Keeping it real,

I received this product in exchange for review from Giveaway Service website. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.


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