Words to Live and Write by

I am willing to fall Because I have learned how to rise.

I craft Love from heartbreak, Compassion from shame, Grace from disappointment, Courage from failure.

I am among the brave and brokenhearted, and I am rising strong.

(credit to Brene Brown)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Our Adoption Profile is UP!!

Our profile is up on adoption.com! Here is the direct link: https://adoption.com/profiles/hmtrujillo-1278

We are so excited to be on to the next step of our adoption journey: connection!

Please help us by sharing our profile with your friends - you never know who might look at it and know someone, or share it with someone who knows someone who is looking into adoption. The more exposure we get the better.

We'd also love your feedback. And don't forget to help us raise funds on our gofundme site: https://www.gofundme.com/dropsinabucket.

Thank you for all your continued support!

P.S. If you would like to add a personal endorsement to the "recommendation" section of our profile, please let me know! I'll need your email address to send you a request straight from the adoption site. We'd love to have expectant mothers hear about us from YOU!

Leave your thoughts and comments please!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Words to live and write by


There is no greater threat to the critics
and cynics and fearmongers
Than those of us who are willing to fall
Because we have learned how to rise.

With skinned knees and bruised hearts;
We choose owning our stories of struggle,
Over hiding, over hustling, over pretending.

When we deny our stories, they define us.
When we run from struggle, we are never free.
So we turn toward truth and look it in the eye.

We will not be characters in our stories.
Not villains, not victims, not even heroes.

We are the authors of our lives.
We write our own daring endings.

We craft love from heartbreak,
Compassion from shame,
Grace from disappointment,
Courage from failure.

Showing up is our power.
Story is our way home. Truth is our song.
We are the brave and brokenhearted.
We are rising strong.

- Brene Brown, "Rising Strong"

Leave your thoughts and comments please!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

How Time Out Works at Our House

You know those Mommy-Freak-Out Days? If you are a mom, you know what I mean. Today is a Freak-Out Day for me. Details are pretty irrelevant - typical reasons a mom might freak out, you've heard them all before. I am just not handling anything right now. So I am in Time Out. I've locked myself in my room and I'm not allowed to come out until I can start reacting appropriately and rationally. (It's okay, Daddy's home early from work, and Grandma & Grandpa are visiting, so my threenager is not unsupervised.)

I figure I better model how this Time Out thing works for my little girl. You see, when she does something to get in trouble, there is a consequence, and she usually doesn't like it. But we reserve Time Out for when she's not necessarily making mischief, she is just not handling things appropriately. She is exactly like me in this. When everything is blown out of proportion and we get snappy and cranky and angry, it usually means we are hungry or tired or just need to cool down. And I am just as susceptible to this as my child. So when I can't handle things, when I'm overreacting, and food or a little rest doesn't help, I need a Time Out. Lana often PUTS me in Time Out - she KNOWS. And we both know that whoever is in Time Out needs to mellow down before they can come out.

Obviously, I have my laptop in Time Out right now. So I just felt like saying, "It's one of Those Days." Not for pity, just for a few "I have those, too - you are not failing because that happens." Because that helps me calm down some. And also to make a commitment somewhere that later, when I can handle life again, I am going to rewrite today and make it better. Because I have the power to do that. Once I regain control of my perspective, I can change it and focus on the good moments, and make one of "THOSE (bad) Days" into one of "Those (great) days." I can do it. ... in a few more minutes or so.

Leave your thoughts and comments please!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

No Soliciting!

Okay, I'm a nice person. I am. But nap time is sacred. And solicitors are a pet peeve (I know, they're all just trying to earn money, but still).

So I've got this handmade sign at my door that reads: "I'm not buying; I'm not signing. You can't sway my vote or my religion. And HEAVEN HELP YOU if you wake me or my baby from a nap. Seriously, NO SOLICITING! (Exceptions: Girl Scout cookies and LDS Missionaries.) - That covers most everything, right?

Now, I have a good view of the front porch from my computer, and I often watch solicitors approach my door, read the sign and walk away (or for better entertainment, read, start to walk away, turn around, read again, then walk away a bit faster). I think the capital letters really get my point across.

But today.... Today I watched two men, obviously not starving college students, walk up to my door, read my sign, *during nap time!*, and "knock,knock,knock,knock!"

I sat a while and debated whether to open the door. They began to walk away, and I thought, "Oh no. Not during nap time. Not today. Today I am feeling FEISTY!" And no one messes with a feisty Hannah.

So I opened my door, caught them on the bottom porch step, and said, "Excuse me!" They turned around. "Did you read the sign?"

Open mouth and hesitation. "Uh yeah... Well... We were just at your neighbor's house and they have the exact same roof and we're doing pricing..."

I cut them off, point to the sign, and say with a smile, "Not buying."

Open mouths again. "Okay, but we'll be back tomorrow and..."

I cut them off again and point at the house, smile really big, "Baby's napping! Did you read the sign?"

This time hands are in the air and defensive positions are taken, whispered words, "Okay, sorry. Have a nice day."

I smile and wave them off.

Yep. Those capital letters really get my point across. I didn't have to yell. Didn't have to get all mean. I just smiled and repeated a couple phrases from the sign. Feisty Hannah is still nice - they just knew that "HEAVEN HELP YOU!" was standing behind my pretty smiles.

Leave your thoughts and comments please!

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Refiner's Fire Is Real

 May I learn to see my life's challenges as part of refinement. And may I learn to apply refined qualities in a manner such as this.

God has been schooling me (in different areas) to know how to comfort, to know "how to do it because I've been through it."

May I also bear my own testimony that the deeper the sorrow and the longer you spend in the valley of death, the greater your capacity to experience joy and savor the sweetness of life!

Leave your thoughts and comments please!

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Next Step

 I haven't written much lately. It hasn't been for lack of subject matter, but how personal and especially how unresolved it all has been. Things have been in turmoil and the path unclear for some time. But, at long last, our path has been made clear, if not the end, and we are ready to begin a new journey in our lives. I'd like to invite you to begin it with us, and tell you how it came to pass, because now pieces and fragments so confusing at the time have fallen into place and formed the beginning of a story.

   As you may know, we have been trying to have a second child for nearly two years. It was two years ago that God began prompting me that this was what we needed to do. I vehemently rejected His promptings. After Lana's pregnancy, I had sworn to never again, for any reason, allow myself to become pregnant; and I was happy in that decision. God said otherwise. I disagreed. We went back and forth for some time. I am perhaps too stubborn and unyielding; God knows this. I said it didn't matter if He sent an angel to tell me to have another child, I wasn't going to do it. So he sent something more powerful than an angel. He played a card I didn't even know existed. In His own mysterious way, He allowed the spirit of my unborn child to touch my spirit. My soul recognized my child's soul in the same way I recognized Lana when she was born - with enormous, overwhelming, indescribable love. Love so powerful the closest word to describing it is Motherhood, and that only to those who have felt its greatest depths.

  Well, what was I to do? I could fight obstinately to protect myself from suffering, but how could I leave my child stranded? What will a mother not do for her child? For it was my child, and I knew it. I grumbled that God had pulled a dirty trick because I was scared. I was terrified. By trying to become pregnant I gambled everything: my health, my life - and not just my own life, but the life I had with my husband and daughter. In trying to have another child, I could very well leave my husband a widower and my daughter motherless. It was not an exaggeration. But I had to try.

  And so, in my most terrifying leap of faith, I removed my IUD and began fertility treatments. It was far more taxing than I had anticipated. Within six months, I had fallen into a deep depression so binding I could not function even in daily tasks. I was trapped in bed and in my own personal hell. I could not escape. I could not bring my unborn child into the world, and now I was also failing my child already in this world. Paralyzed by fear, by PTSD, by my perceived failings, by depression, I knew I could not continue the course. I apologized to my OB for being fickle, got a new IUD, and began therapy anew.

  Once free of my depression, the pressure to have a child returned. Surely God could not ask that of me again. We knew what would happen. I begged and prayed to be released, but the call was persistent. And when I stalled, I again felt the calling of my child to please make room. So, in anguish of faith, I leaped again.

  I pushed harder this time, past the depression. It's grip was strong, but I reached out to others and begged them to hold onto me, that I might not fall into the pit again. the darkness overwhelmed me at times, but there were hands to hold mine and hearts to listen compassionately. For those dear friends, in those crucial moments, I am forever grateful.

  Still, month after month, pink stick after pink stick showed that I had once again failed to bring my child into our lives. The pressure did not lessen. If anything, it built.

  I began to ask that ever-unanswerable question, "Why?"

 Why the promptings? Why the pressure? Why the sense of urgency? If God was not going to send me my child, why would He ask me to do this? My mental, emotional, and physical health were steadily deteriorating. For what purpose? Why, after we had already suffered years of infertility, would God do this to us again? Of course, the heavens were silent.

  Then came cause for more questions, as Anthony nearly died from hypokalemic paralysis when we discovered he had Graves' Disease. On the heels of that, I contracted C. Diff., which left me hospitalized myself and incapacitated for months to follow, during which I suffered several other ailments. Help flooded in at first, then died down to a trickle. Again, for those who supported us during those arduous months, I am forever grateful.

  But I asked again, "Why?" Why these sufferings? We could not try for a child with our health in such conditions, and yet the pressure did not lessen. I had another child, and I was still failing. I was tormented. Had I not done what God had asked? Had I not done all I could do? Where was His hand? Where was the fulfillment of His prompting? What more could I do? How much more could I endure? Why this pressure, this constant pressure, when He knew there was nothing else I could do? This was in His hands. I could not understand His will.

  My health returned slowly, but not entirely. Mentally and emotionally, my health was low. Physically, I had suffered trauma and was fighting to recover. Then, to add insult to injury, my body decided to manifest its own PTSD from Lana's pregnancy. I began to have debilitating pain each month which, in short, turned out to be my body sensing ovulation and sending extreme pain signals to my brain for an average of two weeks as a sort of protection against becoming pregnant. When we realized the pain was not in response to something "wrong," we tried to overrule my body and, under my OB's supervision, eventually resortied to using narcotics to mute the pain so we could still try to conceive for another six months. Nonetheless, it was clear my mind and my body simply could not, or would not, tolerate pregnancy.

  Again in anguish I went to the Lord. Everything had fallen apart. I had tried. I had tried beyond my capacity to try, and still we had no second child. Why was He still asking this of me? How could I comply with His edict to add a child to our family when we needed so desperately to stop and recover my health?

  This time I thought to go to our bishop for counsel. We needed intuition I could not find. As we met with him, he was sympathetic but had no firm answers for us. As we explained that no matter our circumstances, the promptings and pressure to have this second child remained the same, he turned to the story of Alma and Ammonihah. Alma went to preach in Ammonihah, but seeing he would have no success, he left the city; and on his way, an angel appeared and told him to return to the city, for he still had work to do there. So Alma speedily returned, but, our bishop pointed out, he went by another way. He then suggested that perhaps there was another way that we had not yet tried, and we should prayerfully seek it out. He confessed he had no idea what that way might be, but to remember the Liahona, that ancient compass, and how it worked. He then gave me a blessing, which was comforting and encouraging, but gave no specific directions.

  I left and racked my mind and soul for other ways. And as I did I was reminded of a blessing by another bishop, years ago, when we were struggling still to have our first child. In that blessing, I was told that I would have multiple children, each had very specific timing for being born on this earth, and whether they came biologically or by adoption, my preparation to be a mother had to be the same. At that time, we had looked into adoption - the expense and the uncertainty were far too great for us; it was simply beyond our reach. Searching again for "another way," I looked into adoption again, beginning with LDS Family Services, which had always been most accessible and affordable, only to find that they no longer offered adoption services.

  I stopped my search into adoption at that and wept. If that were not available, surely no other agency would be within our reach. I thought of Alma returning to Ammonihah and cried out to God, "He went another way, but he had an Amulek! You sent and angel to Amulek so Alma had a way into the city, and a way to do what you asked. Where is our way in? Where is our Amulek?"

  That was on Sunday evening. On Monday morning I woke to read a message from my mom with a link to an LDS news article. She simply said, "Have you seen this?" I read the article and watched the accompanying video.

  My jaw dropped open. I was speechless. I turned the computer to Anthony and said, "Watch this." His jaw dropped open.  God had given us our Amulek.

  In short, the article announced an unprecedented move by the Church, mobilized just that morning. Until February 2016, qualified LDS couples hoping to adopt could post listings on adoption.com, now the worlds' most used site for connecting families with birth mothers, and the expense would be paid for by the Church. This meant that instead of waiting in an agency's long line for up to years, we had the potential to connect with a birth mother within months.

  The answer was staring us in the face: a way to try to add a child to our family without continuing to sacrifice my health. What yesterday had been impossible, today was a miracle.

  We still had to find an agency and complete a home study so we could be legally authorized to adopt. We researched everything local, and my heart sank as I saw the price tag of a home study. I sent Anthony an email at work with the information at the same time that he sent me an email informing me what his annual bonus would be. The numbers matched. It was a sign if I've ever seen one.

  We found our agency to do our home study. We turned in that lump of money and began the paperwork, the background checks, the health checks, etc. There are only a few more steps before the process is finished and we can post a listing for adoption. Our social worker has looked at adoption.com and encouraged us that there are only a couple listings for Oregon, so anyone looking to place a newborn within the state will see us right away. Maybe there is a child out there right now, growing and waiting, like we are, for all this stinking paperwork to get done so we can be together. 

  We've looked into the cost of finalizing an adoption after placement, and I don't know where that money will come from, but too much has lined up too fast to doubt now. We were counseled to remember the Liahona, and I was told I would take one step into the darkness and only then would another be illuminated. And so it would continue. We have our course set. We have but to take a step, and I have faith that God will provide a way.

  I can finally see the step ahead of me. For now, I ask your support in this, our next great leap of faith. (See below for one way you can support us!)

  As to why - I do not know. This may be one of those things I have to sit down with God in the next life and ask Him to explain for me. But I have had, independently, from a few close friends one consistent answer: "Hannah, you are so stubborn. You know it would have taken at least this long for you to decide you couldn't do the pregnancy yourself." And they are right on that count, though my heart is still in turmoil about it. I hope there are other reasons to be made clear. For now, all I know is the simple explanation I give to Lana - because Mommy can't grow another baby in her tummy, God is going to grow a brother or sister in someone else's tummy for us.

P.S. Here is how you can help!! We've just launched a site where you can help donate towards the expenses of finalizing adoption, court fees, etc. It's a little scary, and very humbling to ask for donations, but raising the amount we need (our adoption agent told us to expect around $30-$40,000) is simply more than we can do by ourselves. And so we are reaching out to our friends, families, and communities for love and support. Unfortunately, that has to come in monetary form. We've titled our site "drops in a bucket" because we know not everyone can give much - and all we are asking for is a drop, because enough drops will fill a bucket; enough drops can fill an ocean; and each drop, big or small, makes a difference.

So please look at our fundraising site: http://www.gofundme.com/dropsinabucket. Donate if and when you are able (no minimum amount and no limit to how often you can give). And then the best thing you can do is share, share, share! Like our site, share the page, pass it on to those you know - tell them about our family, how you know us, and why you'd like to help us adopt, and see if they would like to add a drop to our bucket, too. Because the more drops we get, the closer we get to being able to make adoption a reality!

Leave your thoughts and comments please!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Gems of Love

Last week I was blessed to attend bridal showers and receptions for three separate weddings, all for people I greatly admire. Amidst it all, I was reminded of a line from "Eat. Pray. Love." which I will misquote here: "The funny thing about weddings is that you always end up thinking about your own." It was only too true.
Part of it may be that once upon a time two of these wonderful young women were students of mine and seeing them married was a big reality check to how much time has passed. Most of it is probably that I am approaching my own tenth wedding anniversary this summer. Time has this funny way of seeming simultaneously too short and too long. As in, "I can't have been married for ten years - I'd have to be older for that!" and at the same time, "Has it only been ten years? We've been through so much and know each other so well it may as well have been thirty."
So as I reminisced about my own wedding, I pulled down my photo album and spent some nostalgic time enjoying the pictures. We had a team of two photographers - a married couple - and while one took all the posed shots, the other moved around and outside us snapping candid shots. I love all our pictures, but I've come to appreciate the candid shots so much over the years because they captured genuine, unexpected emotions.
As I looked at the pictures, I thought about what I knew about love ten years ago and what I know about it now. At bridal showers and receptions they often ask for marriage advice. So I've decided to dispense some of my meager advice about love. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so consider this advice very, very lengthy. 
And - Happy encroaching 10th Anniversary to my wonderful husband and myself.

This was us - ten years ago.
They say love is blind. That may be why each of us see these and say, "Oh, I've gotten old!" and Anthony sweetly says, "No - you look

pretty much the same."

Love must be blind.

Love is when you walk in tandem - without realizing it.


It's in the look I fell in love with - and still do.

It's in the look he fell in love with - and still does.

  Love is in the details. Life is in the details.


Love works when you laugh at his jokes.

Love is an adventure.

Love is in the look I have for him
when no one is watching.

Love is in the look he has for me
when no one is watching.

Love is when the pieces just seem to fit.


  Love is when I don't have to worry 
about climbing a grassy hill in ridiculous heels 
because I know he's got me.

Love is when you look at your groom
and your only thought is,
"When can we get outta here?"

Then you do the whole reception all over
a week later, don't try so hard,
realize you've forgotten half your wardrobe,
and end up looking 14 years old.
(Okay, that's not love. That's just funny.)

Sometimes love means letting go.

And sometimes love means holding on.

Love is learning in your first dance as a couple
that it's not just about you anymore -
it's about a whole new family to love.

Some memories get a little fuzzy with time,
but you learn all that's important to remember
is that there was love.

Love begins...


and in its beauty and magic and power...

it grows...


and expands...

and stretches on...


for eternity.


It has been a wild, wonderful decade. 
Thanks for sharing these amazing ten years with me, husband. 
I look forward to learning gems about love with you forever and ever.

 Leave your thoughts and comments please!

Sunday, April 5, 2015


Five Best Ways to Shine:
1. Eliminate the poisons from your life.
2. Get quiet every single day.
3. Know that you are a soul, not a role.
4. Live in abundance and lift others up.
5. Just show up, scared.

Glennon Melton:

Leave your thoughts and comments please!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


The white flag is out and waving. I am calling for a truce. More than that, I am surrendering. I cannot fight the battles any longer.

This is where I am:

Not much happening from here. This is a surrender of necessity. I am begging to please, please, just let the battles end, because I can't do it any longer.

I want to heal. I want my surrender to look like this:
The kind of surrender that says, "I surrender myself to you because I trust you. Because I know you will keep my head above water, because I know you will guide me gracefully where I need to go."

Not this:
Not this, which you will recognize as that curled up on the floor position I told you I was in earlier. That position that is begging to please, please, just let the battles end, because I can't do it any longer. Trust and faith to float to the surface are mysterious things to me right now. Right now, I need air. I need safety. I need time to recover.

So please, I give up. I give up on everything. Take it. Take it all. Take me. I need a time out.

Give me time and healing enough to realize that I want to surrender. I want to put my life in God's hands, to let Him do the work, to be one with the flow of the universe around me, to stop fighting back, to stop battling and start living. Give me the wisdom and the grace to remember every day that surrendering each day should look and feel like this:

Leave your thoughts and comments please!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

"Where I Stood" - Missy Higgins

I can't express current emotions better than this:

10-2015 Post Script: I viewed this song differently than you'd think. This was how I felt about choosing to give up trying to conceive and choosing to adopt instead. This is how I felt, knowing I had another child that needed to come to my family, and knowing I wouldn't be the one to carry her/him - that another woman would take my place in that role.

Maybe I should be blogging more about this journey, but it's just so personal and tumultuous, and I usually like to write those stories when there is some kind of conclusion - and I don't know when that will happen. Sorry for the general absence of posts in the meantime.

Friday, February 27, 2015


So many whirlwinds in our lives. Sometimes I feel they will never end. But these prophetic words remind me that despite the storms that rage, despite how I am blown about, I am strong, and I am God's beautiful creation.

"In nature, trees that grow up in a windy environment become stronger. As winds whip around a young sapling, forces inside the tree do two things. First, they stimulate the roots to grow faster and spread farther. Second, the forces in the tree start creating cell structures that actually make the trunk and branches thicker and more flexible to the pressure of the wind. These stronger roots and branches protect the tree from winds that are sure to return.
"You are infinitely more precious to God than a tree. You are His son or His daughter. He made your spirit strong and capable of being resilient to the whirlwinds of life."

-Neil L. Andersen of The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

“Remember … it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, … his shafts in the whirlwind, … when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power … to drag you down … because of the rock upon which ye are built.” Helaman 5:12

Leave your thoughts and comments please!