Our 2015 Wish For You!


from our family to yours…happy new year! Szczęśliwego nowego roku!

this is what we wish for you…

we wish you a beginning of 2015 that is god-guided. and a daily wellspring of grace.

may your 2015 be filled with humility and love. may your 2015 be filled with forgiveness and joy. may your 2015 be filled with opportunity and energy.

may your hands and hearts and feet be willing to go forth and help those in need!
may your smile be abundantly bright!
and may the peace that stills your heart be the beat needed to encourage your daily walk in life.

god bless you, our friends!

richard and brooke nungesser and our crew of adelyne, maxwell, and josephine

Rainbow Baby?


I will never shy away from sharing of my loss.  And I am not sorry if I cause discomfort.

Miscarriage is a very silent loss.  It is a very wrenching loss.  It is a very soul-crying loss.

Miscarriage takes you from elation to depression sometimes within weeks.

Today I read many articles of women, very prolific writers, phew!  Writers that bore their souls of their miscarriage losses.  From first trimester to 16 weeks.

From listeria infections to sudden delivery.

Women that never shared the loss with their children.  And then some that, for some unknown reason, started the conversation in the car on the way to school.

I am sure many of us (especially if you are around my age) can recall the episode from Friends when Rachel, Monica, and Phoebe are in the bathroom during the reception of Monica and Chandler’s wedding.

And the two girls, Phoebe and Monica, had given Rachel another pregnancy test to take to see if she really was or wasn’t pregnant.

Phoebe read the results, “She (Rachel) was not pregnant.”

Rachel cried.  And said she was happy.  And that it was for the best…

Of course, Phoebe was not telling the truth.  She wanted to see how Rachel really felt.  And, obviously, Rachel felt a great loss once she thought she was not pregnant.

Now, let’s leave fiction and enter reality.

The character of Rachel shared the heart of many.  THAT pregnancy test.  That pee stick.  That unsanitary little thing carries a great weight.

And as soon as we see the sign “Positive” our lives change.

Our beings change.  Our hands fly to our bellies.  We smile secretly to ourselves, appearing looney to the rest of the world watching random woman lady walking around with dreamy smile on her face.

We envision blue.  And then pink.  And then blue.  And then pink.

We have already calculated how far along and potential birth dates before even the first doctor’s appointment.

Names.  I am sure that is the first Google search you did as soon as you got back on your computer, after the due date, before the Chinese gender calendar.

Names.  Beautiful names.  Crazy names.  Trendy names.  Old names.  New names.  World names.  Names and their meanings.  Social Security popularity on names.

And twins?!  I mean, after all, can’t you recall someone, somewhere in your family that had twins?  Therefore, what would the doctor share with you?  It’s TWINS!

Whether you lost your baby 24 hours after your positive pregnancy test or 12 weeks later…In those potentially 24 hours you knew you had your baby growing inside of you, you conquered the internet.   You looked at What to Expect-type websites.  You saw where the baby was and how you would grow, and you secretly tucked your favorite name away, knowing that even if you had to fight for it, that special name would become a part of your baby in some way, sort or form…Soon.  If 9 months is considered soon.

Miscarriage.  It rips the very soul out of you.

And even the most gut-wrenching cries cannot bring back what you want the most.  The realization of your baby.  In your arms.  In the 9th month.  Like it should be.

Miscarriage.  It is a devastating end to what was once a beautiful beginning.

For you.

My husband?  For him it still continues, too.

Two years after our miscarriage, my husband and I were in our car on our way to church.  Church is one hour away.  My husband is the pastor of the church.

We were on our way.  On the highway.  We were driving.

It hit my husband.  The loss.  The great, great, tremendous loss.

And as we were driving in the car at 80mph, he started to cry.  The car started veering.

Sobs.  Gut-wrenching sobs were escaping the soul of his being.  Tears that he had always stifled to be strong for his wife that suffered so much physically with the loss and hemorrhaging and emergency D and C to remove the placenta.

He was so strong for so long.  And then two years later, our son Maxwell nearly died.  And then Maxwell lived.

And then all of it hit Richard.  On the way to church.  In the car.  Traveling 80mph.

And we nearly wrecked the car.  He had to pull over on the abandoned highway.  And I had to sit there.  Stunned.

I sat there as Richard shouted at God.  “Why?”


I sat there as Richard shared his guilt.  He was in America when our baby’s heart stopped beating.

“Why, God?!”

I sat there as Richard cried.  And cried.  And cried.

I didn’t know what to do.  And that is probably exactly how he felt as I lived through my time of tears. He probably didn’t know what to do.

Miscarriage.  The silent shame?


Miscarriage.  The silent pain.

The pain of loss.  Such tremendous loss.  For the mom.  For the dad.  For the brothers and sisters.

For those that love you.  For you yourself.

No one knows what to do.

No one.

And that is probably why miscarriage remains such a silent topic.

Because what can you say about a baby that you loved and barely knew?  Except to the very core of your being you did know.  Just as well as you know the other children you have.

I read once that a rainbow baby is a baby that follows the storm of loss.  Just like a beautiful rainbow shines after the rain.

And I loved what I read.

So, today, I am here to say.  Miscarriage.

It is a loss that guts your soul.  And you feel it forever.

But miscarriage also taught me about life.  The beautiful value of how precious and yet fleeting life is.

I had never valued life so much until our baby lost it.

And then we, through the storm, saw our rainbow.

Eventually a double rainbow.

And their names are Maxwell Loren (2 years and a few months old now) and Josephine Diane (9 months old).

Our baby we never got to meet.  Sam.  Simply Sam.

And despite the beauty of our rainbows, there is not a day that goes by that we don’t reflect upon the gorgeous life of our Sam.

For Sam was our storm.  And Sam was our watering.  And Sam was our awakening.

Our awakening to compassion.

To beauty.

And to life.

Sam.  Oh how I miss the baby I barely had.  Then I look at my rainbow babies and I smile.  I smile at them while remembering Sam.  It’s as if there will never be one without the others.

Just like there will never be a rainbow without a storm.

And 3+ years later, I can smile.  Sadly smile.

The ultrasound of my perfect baby alive in my mind.  The heartbeat-strong.  The feeling of life-there.

And yet time has passed and life has changed.  And we have double rainbow blessings…

But today, Dear Sam, I raise my life and voice for you.  And for all women like myself.  And for all men like my husband.  And for all siblings like my Adelyne.

And I say loudly, without shame, you are loved deeply…even if it is only our hearts that get to hold you.

You were our storm.

But everyone knows—water is necessary for life.

And that is what you were.  A life.  A beautiful life.

Thank you, Sam.  Simply Sam.

Now, I am off to kiss my babies.  My rainbows after our storm.  And I am going to inhale deeply their scents.

And maybe even cry a little.

Because the world does spin, but my heart remains the same.

Mother.  To Sam.

No matter, I will go to bed with a smile.  Because my storm was beautiful.  And mine.  And forever I am changed.

So despite death.  I was taught life.

And I am happy about that.

Because life is beautiful.  Just like our storm.

Be “Mommy Wise” and Hope You Don’t Raise a Thief…


When I had my son, a year and a half ago, I got asked waaaaay too many times if I was “Baby Wise”.

If you are not “Baby Wise” it becomes especially annoying to be asked about it ALL the time.

And so, one day, I rather curtly replied…”No!  I am MOMMY WISE!”

After all—

When my children are hungry—I feed them.  Heck, when I’m hungry, food is ALL I can think about and I want to eat.

When my baby is tired—I let him sleep.  Heck.  Have you TRIED pacifying a sleepy baby?  If you DON’T let them sleep, you BOTH become tired.

Can you tell with all of my capital letters that I was:

1.  Annoyed about all of the questions

2.  Passionate about NOT being Baby Wise


3.  I have the BEST sleepers and eaters in the world === and I have absolutely NO schedule except THEIR schedule:

Hungry and Crying:  They eat.

Tired and Fussy:  They sleep.

Happy and Alert:  They get put in the bouncy or the rocking cradle or the swing.

Some days are great.

Some days are not.

Each day I cherish the fact that God gave me my baby.  For one day my precious baby will grow too soon.  One day my precious baby will no longer nurse.  And one day my precious baby will not want to be held by me.

Sigh.  That day will never come, will it?!

So, again, the answer is NO.  I am not Baby Wise.  I am Mommy Wise.  So wise that I have raised my oldest to not become a thief???!!!

Perhaps I am not so wise after all.

And here is how the multiple thievery stories go…

So, we have taught our daughter about giving.  How great it is to give.  How it is SO much better than receiving.  And SAVING YOUR MONEY—It’s the best idea EVER!

Anyhow—we have given our daughter all of this knowledge about Giving to God, Saving for the Future, and Putting a little aside for the Toy Store Now.  On top of that, she has made a piggy bank for the New Life Center (our 24-hour home for formerly homeless, addicts, and released prisoners).  She is so responsible and GIVING with her money.

So responsible and giving until she does it…

Comes down the stairs with a HUGE wallet stuffed with coins of every shape and size.  A bulging wallet.  A wallet that screams, “There is LOTS of money in here!”

“Momma, can we go to the toy store?”

Blank stare.  We were just at the toy store where she spent EVERY toy-store dime (or grosz since we are in Poland).  I know that the bulging coin purse did not come from her Toy Store piggy bank…

“Momma!  Toy store?!”

“Ummm…Ada girl.  Where did you get all of that money?”

“My piggy bank!”  Proudly, of course, stated.

“Adelyne.  You don’t have any money in your Toy Store piggy bank.”

“I know.  So I took it from the Bank and Church.”

Blank stare…

“Ummm…Ada girl.  Did you also take it from the jar for the homeless?”

“No.  I would have, but I couldn’t find that jar,” innocent eyes and honestly proclaimed.

Slap my head and call me Shameful Momma.  My 6-year-old has confessed to stealing from the “Bank” the “Church” and she would have stolen from the homeless jar HAD she been able to find it.


And “The Talk” ensues…

It is decided by her, by the way, that she cannot trust herself with the money, Daddy will hold on to the money she is to give the church.  The Bank money goes back in that piggy bank.  And the New Life Center money jar will stay in Mommy’s room where she can come and put money not withdraw money.  Lol?!

This is the end of her attempted thievery woes, right?


Now we are in the States.  My daughter knows that her cousin Emily has a jar of money just sitting pretty in her teenage room.

Money, money, money, mo-ney!  Mo-ney! (Read by singing the “Money” tune)

And so, not wanting to be the thief—but not having any problem being the mastermind—she tries to convince her cousin Joshua to go into his sister’s room, find the jar of money, and TAKE IT!

Bang my head upon the wall and call me “Failure”?!

Thankfully, my sister HAS raised proper children.  And, therefore, her son did not steal from his sister.  And my daughter did not go to prison for “Masterminding Theft from Family Members and Other Such Stuff”.  Although, I feel like locking her up sometimes 😉

Yes…More talking ensues about how we do not take what is not ours.

But the grocery store—that belongs to EVERYONE, right?

Shameful Incident Number 3…

Adelyne is now at the grocery store with Daddy and she really wants to buy a $30 Barbie doll with her money that she has saved by selling her chickens’ eggs.

Now.  If her money is hers, we generally let her spend it how she delights—but, she did not have her money with her on this day.  So Daddy told her “No.”

Gulp.  How dare we tell a child “No.”

I guess this is what she thought.  So, because she was mad at Daddy for the big “N-O” word, she took a nearby Mood Ring.  Took it.  Hid it.  Hid it, that is, until Daddy found it.

Confession.  Tears.  And trouble.  Loads of it.

Back to the store we go.  She has to apologize to the General Manager.  She has to pay for the ring.  She had to donate the same amount as the ring to charity.  She had to donate the “once stolen but now purchased ring” to a local clothing closet.

Lions and Tigers and Thieves—oh my!

Friends, I must admit—I may be WAY better at the baby thing than I am at the older kid thing.  But, regardless, I am sooo glad that I am saved by grace—and my daughter too.


Maybe the only “Mommy Wise” wisdom I have when it comes to parenting is in regards to feeding and sleeping?!

And like Looney Tunes always says in the end, “That’s all, folks!”


Update:  I found this article on crying and babies—and I really liked the 12 things that your baby has to say (when crying).  Hope you enjoy it too!  Most of all, be encouraged to know that you’re doing your best!


Here came the discipline!


I hope that you took the challenge to be bold in your faith and share the hope that you have in Christ.  Do it.  You are legendary.

Today, however, I’m going to be talking to men.  If you’re a woman, I’m sure that you can use today’s topic as well. 

My daughter and I traveled back from California on Sunday.  The first flight that we thought that we could take was full.  So we planned on taking the last flight out of Sacramento on Sunday.  This flight was scheduled to leave at 19:00.  We walked up to the gate just in time for the flight to depart.  And what we heard on the PA was a two hour delay.  Then that delay became a two-hour and forty minute delay.  Needless to say that by the time we arrived home it was after 00:30.  Tired we both went to bed. 

We both woke up early that Monday morning.  I got ready for work, and then I woke Adelyne for school.  We both had busy days with school and work. 

That evening Brooke went for a girls’ night out, and I stayed home with both Adelyne and Maxwell. 

We had a great time together.  I made dinner, we ate, laughed, and cleaned up.  Then I bathed Maxwell and got him ready for bed.  Adelyne took her shower while I finished getting Maxwell into his bed and down for the night. 

After Adelyne’s shower I asked her to get her pajamas.  She refused.  I asked her again and again.  She would change the topic and start trying to play with something else.  Again I asked.  Adelyne would say, “But, but, but.”  By this point my fuse was almost gone.  I told her to get her pajamas or she would be in big trouble.  Once again she flat-out refused and started to whine.  This went on for quite a while before I put my foot down. 

Here came the discipline!

Adelyne knew by this point she was in big trouble for refusing to do what she was asked.  I was tired, and I knew that she was tired.  But tired or not she still needs to do what she’s been asked to do. I had every right to discipline her, not because I’m harsh, but because it had been a long week of trying to get her to follow through with what her mommy and daddy have asked her to do. 

It was time for the discipline.  Just mere seconds before her discipline, however, I asked her a question.

“Adelyne, do you know what GRACE is?”  She looked at me with tears in her eyes and a strange look on her face.  She was probably thinking that I was talking about her cousin Grace that we spent the weekend with in California. 

“Adelyne, do you know what GRACE is?”  I asked again.  She thought for a second and said not really.  I explained to her that Grace is getting something that you don’t deserve.  It’s a gift of love.

I went on to tell her that because of her disobedience she deserved consequences of her actions.  But this evening I’m going to give her something different.  I’m going to give her GRACE.  We talked more about God’s grace that He gives to us. 

I’m thankful that God’s grace is given to me every single second of every single minute of every single day.  The very fact that I’m breathing is a sign of God’s grace in my life. 

But I’ve found that in my life I’ve never been the one to extend that same GRACE that God has extended to me to my own family (wife, children, and even the dog).

God has extended to you grace today.  Let that sink in.

If God can extend GRACE to me and you, then let us be men.

Go now and extended it to your spouse!

Go now and extended it to your children!

Go now and extended it to your neighbors!

Go now and extended it to your supervisors!

Go now and extended it to your employees!

Go now and extended it to your enemies!

Thank you, God, for extending us GRACE.