About Beth

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Hi there.  I'm Beth, the Spirit seeking, life living, truth telling, blessed mama/artist/blogger behind this God-breathed mess.  Thank you for reading my words, for taking the time to linger here. 

Some random Beth facts
I am the mother of two amazing children. One of them lives in Heaven, and one here with us. They have changed my life for the better and I am unspeakably grateful for them both (learn more about them below).

I love pumpkin in all of its incarnations except for pumpkin-flavored coffees and lattes.  And not because I haven't tried.

I hold a Bachelor's degree in creative writing and a Master's degree in elementary education.  I have never had a job that required either one.

I have written four novels since graduating from college (thanks, NaNoWriMo).

I cut my bangs for the first time since middle school at the very end of 2012.  This time, they do not look like a horse's forelock.

We go to a really amazing church.  The people there have taught me the meaning of the term "church family."  I am so grateful for them, and so blessed by them.

I spent a semester in New Zealand in my junior year of college.  I ate a ton of Hokey Pokey ice cream and pasties while there, had several Lord-of-the-Rings-filming-location-inspired nerdgasms, drank the only beer that I have ever truly enjoyed, learned that tramping (the Kiwi term for hiking) while wearing a humongous hiking backpack is really freaking hard, and walked on top of a glacier.

I enjoy all things Joss Whedon.

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The Best Husband Ever and I met online (a fact that makes me still makes me blush) in 2006.  I say this is a God thing because a) we should have already met in person because we knew all the same people and hung out in the same places, and yet somehow hadn't, b) he is shorter than I am, and c) if we had met face-to-face before getting to know each online first, I would never have dated him (see point b).

I made this blog's banner myself. 

In 2007 I traveled to Malaysia with a group of women of all ages from my church.  There we spent two weeks serving the poor, supporting local missionaries, making dinner for Chinese students, and hanging out with an orphanage full of the most beautiful Indian children.  I also ate as much naan as I possibly could.

I am originally from New Jersey, but live in Montana.  The mountains make my heart sing, and I don't miss the east coast.  Except for Broadway and the museums.  I miss those quite a bit.

I enjoy taking photos with my point-and-shoot (this one).  I especially enjoy taking self-portraits.

I went to a Catholic all-girls high school, and not having boys around was really good for me at that vulnerable time.

UntitledI hope to homeschool.  Or unschool.  Or both.  We'll see.

The Best Husband Ever and I have three naughty dogs.  They are (in decreasing size order) Cody, Jackson, and Lio.  Cody is a lapdog trapped in a humongous body.  Jackson doesn't understand why we don't let him chase cats.  Lio rules them all.

I came to art-making late in life (March 2011 to be exact) and God used it to free my from my eating disorder (more details on that below).

Like 99.998% of all girls, I was obsessed with horses growing up.  I have not ridden a horse since 2004.  I miss it.

My favorite art supplies are (mostly) the cheap ones.  You don't need the fancy stuff to create something beautiful.

I used to take photos of my food.  A lot.

36 weeks + 3 daysIn 2010 I shaved my head.  Never again, even though my husband loved it.

I used to be a Star Wars junkie.  I still enjoy the original trilogy, just not quite so fanatically.  I believe the new trilogy is something of an abomination.  I was never a Trekkie.

I broke my elbow, badly, nine days before my son's birth.  That really sucked.

Some favorite reads: Anne Lamott, Don Miller, National Velvet, Neil Gaiman, Audrey Niffenegger, Little Women, The Chronicles of Narnia, the Harry Potter series before Harry turned into a pompous poo head, YA books that aren't about paranormal boarding schools or vampiric love triangles (authors Suzanne Collins, Laini Taylor, and Robin Lefevers, Veronica Roth are among those that have earned my stamp of approval).

One secret dream: to be an alpaca farmer.

These facts are far more tongue-in-cheek than anything else on this blog.  

Our rainbow baby
On February 7, 2012, my husband and I discovered that we were pregnant with Eve's younger sibling. He made his debut in the fall of 2012, and is the joy of my heart.  He is always smiling (unless you're trying to get him to sleep), and is the sweetest, brightest, most wonderful boy in the whole entire world (it's true, I'm not at all biased).

A child that is born after a loss is known in the babyloss community as a rainbow baby.  "The term refers to the fact that a rainbow appears only after the rain. In this case, the 'rain' or 'storm' is the grief of losing a child. Many mothers who use the term point out that the rainbow doesn’t negate the effects of the storm, but does bring light to the dark and is a symbol of hope."  (source)

pregnancy photos

jacob's birth day

Newborn photo session

My stillbirth story
EveOn the night of November 18, 2011, at 31 weeks of pregnancy, I realized that I hadn't felt our baby girl move all day.  My husband and I went to the hospital and received the worst news -- that she had died.  The next night my induction began.  At 3:43 PM on November 20, 2011, our first child was born.  She weighed 3 lbs 3 oz.  We named her Eve

A year and a half later at the time of this writing, Eve's brief life continues to impact my own.  Although I am so sad that she could not stay here with us, I am so grateful for her and for all the ways my life has changed for the better because she lived.  I will forever miss and long for daughter with hair that matches my own dark and curly mess.  Thank you, sweet girl, for being ours, if only for a little while.

“Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you.” ~ Jeremiah 1:5 


My eating disorder story
In early 2008 I began treatment for an eating disorder which has manifested through self-starvation, binging, chewing-and-spitting, and over-exercising over the course of my battle for health and balance. This blog was born during my eating disorder, and I have written about my battle extensively. In the spring of 2011, my eating disorder miraculously went away at a point when I had given up trying to achieve health and balance. It is my belief that God healed me and set me free from what could only be described as the hellish shackles of disordered eating, and that He did it then so that I would be healthy when faced with the devastation of my daughter's death.

Since then, my deep desire has been to live each day for all it’s worth, to fully experience this life, to trust God recklessly, to create and keep creating, to try and fall and try again, to love, to forgive and ask for forgiveness, to be grateful, to laugh more, to pray more, and never, ever give up.

"Convinced that no human being can please God by self-improvement, we believed in Jesus as the Messiah so that we might be set right before God by trusting in the Messiah, not by trying to be good." ~ Galatians 2: 16
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Previous blog incarnations 
This blog originally came into being in 2007 as Muffin Love, a food blog, which later transformed into Kitchen Courage, a balanced living/healthy food blog, then again into To the Fullest in 2010, a balanced living blog, before transforming into its current incarnation.  

Disclaimer 
At times I use affiliate links to promote products, a service for which I am reimbursed a very small amount of money (really, it's tiny). However, I absolutely do not endorse products that I have not personally used and enjoyed. All recommendations and related affiliate links that you see on this blog are products that I trust and have no qualms about endorsing.

23 comments:

  1. Beth, Your post is so well written. Thank you for sharing so openly. I have realized over the last year or so, that motherhood comes in many forms. I blogged about this in one of my first posts. However, I think you really did an amazing job of sharing two very different experiences in mothering. Please let me know if it would be okay for me to share this post. Wishing you a blessed Mother's Day. Best, Sarah http://blog.myangelyouareloved.com

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    1. Thank you so much, Sarah. You are welcome to link to these posts. I hope that your Mother's Day was gentle.

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  2. Hi Beth,
    It's nice to meet you. Of course, I'm reading and writing to you because we have a lot in common. I am the mother of boy/girl twins, and 5 babies in Heaven. We lost quadruplets at 18 weeks in 2006 and then our perfect baby girl at 41 weeks on July 1, 2011. I'd love to share my blog with you, agirlandaboyblog.blogspot.com. I am also in recovery from eating disorders including compulsive eating, over exercising, restricting, and bulimia.

    It's not often you come across someone with more than one life changing experience in common.

    God bless and thank you for sharing your journey.

    Laura

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    1. Oh wow, Laura. Thank you so much for introducing yourself. I am definitely off to check out your blog after I finish writing this -- as you said, it's not often that you meet someone who shares MORE than one huge life changing experience! I'm so very sorry that you've had to trudge through eating disorder hell, and the horror of losing not one but five sweet babies (losing four in one go? I can't even imagine...).

      Yesterday must have been a strange day for you, the one year anniversary of your full-term daughter's loss. I hope it was peaceful. I am dreading our own one year mark, coming up in November. You are a brave woman -- I don't think I would have tried again for biological kids after losing quadruplets, but I am glad that you did. Biggest hugs.

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  3. Not only is your work beautiful but so is your blog. Makes me think there is a beautiful person behind it all. You are going to be a blessing to so many people, even people you may never meet. Peace.

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  4. Our daughter was born at 35 weeks sleeping on Oct 6th. I found out we were pregnant with our son in April. Due in December. Hugs to you

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  5. Hi Beth, I read your beautiful essay "When Your Baby has Died and Your Friends are Pregnant" on stillstandingmag.com. It was a brave and inspiration piece. My husband and I lost our baby boy, Buck Masahisa, at 20 weeks this past April. I have communicated over the phone and email with my two best friends (who live long-distance), both of whom are expecting their babies two months behind when I would have given birth to our son. I have been open with them about my intense grief and about my inability to celebrate their upcoming births given the dark place I'm in. I keep thinking how interesting and wonderful an essay told from the perspective of an expectant friend of a babyloss mom would be. While my friends have shared their sadness over our loss with me, I often wonder what things go unsaid . .the really honest things on the other side of this. I wonder if one of your friends would be willing to share this perspective?
    I'm so very sorry you lost your baby girl Eve. I wish you all the best in your upcoming arrival of Jacob.
    Big hugs,
    Ginger

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  6. Beth...I stumbled upon your blog last night while laying in bed listening to Glory Baby while thinking back to November 20,2011 when I lost my sweet Adley Rose at 16 wks gestation. I've been blogging as well, the heartache will never subside but I wanted you to know I'm thinking of you and yours. Big Hugs!

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  7. Thank you, Cherie! I'm sorry you're remembering a loss, too. I hope the day was gentle.

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  8. I seriously love that you noted you play board games "except for risk." :)

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    1. Haha thanks, Andrea. Risk makes me way too angry, so I've cut myself off. :)

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  9. wow you and I are very much alike.. Sad really. I was 35 weeks pregnant when I found out our daughter no longer had a heartbeat. I delivered her 5 days later on Oct 6 2011. I found out in March 2012 that we were pregnant with our son. He was born happy and healthy Nov 26 2012.

    Hugs to you. I look forward to reading your blog..

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  10. Glad we're connected know. Your heart is beautiful as is your story.

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    1. thanks, new friend. I'm glad, too. <3

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  11. Beth,

    You have an amazing story. Your writing is so real. I hung on every word. I am so glad my life is blessed by knowing you.
    Gale

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  12. love. moved. happy to share such profound authenticity. no veneer. no gloss. no veils. just love. thank you, Claire

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  13. Thanks for sharing your story, Beth. It is so touching. I know others who read it will find peace and closure in reading about your life.

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  14. Beth, I finally found you. It's Tam, from Australia. We used to write to each other as kids. We were the best of Penpals and then life got in the way. I still have all of your letters. What a beautiful, inspiring and moving post. Please get in touch at tamarachapman@live.com.au or on Facebook. Would love to reconnect. You have been on such a journey since we last wrote to each other, some 10 years ago. I will continue to read your work. Keeping you in my prayers, Tammy x

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  15. Hi Beth,

    I was moved by your most recent post and thought you might find this video helpful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKwo-D9UpWA In the event that you are not able to click through simply search for "I am that I am" on you tube. There are several video's choose the "official" one. Wishing you a peace filled journey.

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  16. Wow, beth! I love your blog! This is Devin from Elora's webinar! :) Look forward to getting to know you better. :)

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  17. I wish I had gotten to know you better before we moved. I can't believe the similarities in our lives- I've been to New Zealand (friends lived there for a year), I have babies in heaven, my mom has an alpaca farm... If I ever manage to move back, we need to hang out and have more baby play dates.
    -Jenny (your old neighbor)

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"I am glad you are here with me."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King