sharing from my heart to yours
In this life we grow so much.
I’ve been watching my kids grow and learn.
The world through their eyes is so amazing!
From the time we are born, we grow in many ways.
The tiny baby’s eyes light up as they learn to recognize
the people who love them.
Their pride when they take their first steps, or learn to ride a bike.
The inches on the measuring stick getting higher off the ground.
But in so many ways,
even when we reach the highest point of our growth chart physically,
we are just beginning to grow in other ways.
This, of course, depends on each person and their life experiences.
As we leave the comfortable nest of our parents’ home,
and stretch our wings to fly,
we often take a few spills, or battle through some fierce storms.
We face the world on our own, or find a partner to struggle through with.
Many of us start our own families, and we try to teach our
little ones some of the lessons we learned.
But mostly, learning and growing come through experience.
As I look back over the past year, I am filled with many emotions.
I remember the gut wrenching pain of holding my lifeless child.
I remember the joy of realizing that one of my own is Home.
I have felt anger and frustration.
I have felt peace and comforting assurance.
And through all of this, I know that I am being molded
into the person that God wants me to be.
I feel like I must have had a lot to learn,
for something so hard to happen to teach me.
But I know we don’t have a God like that.
He doesn't wait, just looking for His next 'victim' that He can teach a lesson.
He feels our pain, cries with us, and knows our sorrow.
But He turns all things for good.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
So much of me wishes that I could go back and not learn.
Or maybe I could be growing and learning in some easier way.
But I am starting to see that God works in mysterious ways.
In my own experience, it’s in those darkest, hardest times
that I have felt His arms wrapped around me the tightest.
He is teaching me to trust.
Teaching me patience and faith.
He has a plan here for me, and he’s making me into the person who
I need to be to finish that plan.
We talk about ‘teachable moments’ in regards to our kids.
Do we look for the teachable moments for ourselves?
I pray that I will be a soft clay.
That God will mold me into the person he wants me to be.
The refining process is hard.
The heat from the fire of the trials is hot.
…Fear not: for I have redeemed thee,
I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned;
neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour…
I have a long ways to go. A lot of learning left to do.
The growing pains will be there, and they can be scary,
but I know that I have a God who is with me always.
May we all allow Him to work in us, becoming the people He wants us to be.
Always clinging to Him as we face the storms, as well as the sunshine.
“Lord, keep us safe from the battle.”
We miss you Skyler.
This year without you has been hard.
But your year with Him has been beautiful!
Six years ago...
I became a Mommy.
I learned what a blessing that was.
I fell in love faster than I knew was possible.
I held in my hands a perfect miracle.
I felt more physical pain than I had ever known.
I felt more joy than I could have imagined.
My life had changed.
Five years ago...
I was learning how to be Mommy.
I was treasuring giggles.
I was savoring memories.
I enjoyed watching so many firsts.
Four years ago...
I was learning how to be a mommy of two.
I loved 'visiting' with my growing son.
I watched as he learned and grew in amazing ways.
Three years ago...
I was expecting baby #3.
I was still learning how to be Mommy.
I was adjusting to living in a new part of the country.
I watched my boys' interests change and mature.
I saw my 'baby' turn into a 'boy'.
Two years ago...
I had three blessings who called me Mommy.
I was still learning how to do it.
I was bursting with pride watching my baby be the biggest brother.
I was facing new challenges and new joys.
One year ago...
I was soon to be Mommy to four.
I was still learning that role.
I was adjusting to a new home and lifestyle.
I watched my baby boy become a maturing little man.
I thought he was amazing.
I felt like life was just about perfect.
I am the Mommy to four.
I'm still learning every day.
I 'celebrated' my oldest son's birthday at the cemetery.
I have felt more emotional pain than I thought possible.
I discovered that it's possible to feel joy through pain.
I have felt an eternal joy.
I look at my family and see blessings.
I also see a missing piece.
I feel God's hand of love.
He's got my baby.
That's worth celebrating.
People talk about all those 'firsts'. The first Christmas, the family event, the anniversary date, and the first birthday without your child.
Today we had the first birthday without our Skyler.
But he had his first birthday WITH his Father!
It was his best birthday ever.
I thought it would be harder.
Last night it was.
I felt like I should have been wrapping gifts, decorating the house, and making a cake for my big 6 year old who should have been thrilled
and counting down the minutes until he turned six.
But we woke up this morning with a peace.
God was still sending little signs to us that He had us covered.
Today I held two day old puppies, from the same puppy pictured above that Skyler got for his birthday last year.
She had four puppies, three living, and one that didn't make it.
The picture of the cross in the sky was taken as we left from the cemetery today. Skyler saw crosses in everything.
Little miracles, signs from God, reminders of His love.
I close this day, the day of Skyler's birth,
feeling like we truly were able to celebrate.
I feel relief seeing again that God will carry us through the tough times, in ways we didn't consider. I look at all these years of pictures and am so thankful for the memories I have of this amazing little boy.
I see how much he taught me.
I see how greatly I have been blessed.
We were blown away at the love that was shown by so many of you.
We didn't expect so much support,
didn't know so many people would remember.
Thank you for that.
Every good and perfect gift comes from above
1. a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity,
usually used for rest, recreation, or travel; recess or holiday
Just a couple of days ago, my family got back from a lovely vacation
south to visit family and to 'get away'.
We had a good time getting to know some of our relatives a little better, and seeing people that we haven't seen in a very long time.
We stayed busy, went to some fun places, and soaked up some warm temps and sunshine that we were needing after the subzero climate of the Midwest!
The kids had a blast with their cousins and all the new experiences!
I did notice a missing little person while we were gone though.
The above definition of 'vacation' can apply to many things, but not to grief. Not to missing somebody or being lonely.
Not to the road of living after loss.
I knew that before we left, but being away from home for two weeks brought some unexpected feelings along with it.
As our trip neared the end, I felt a lot more sadness that
Skyler wasn't there to enjoy it with us.
But the thought that really got me was
that he also won't be at home when we get back.
As I said, we had a wonderful trip.
But you can't escape loss.
You can't take a break from this journey.
Oh how I wish you could.
Even for just one day.
But what would that mean?
Would it mean forgetting that Skyler ever was here?
I think that is the only way I could ever truly take a break.
I don't ever want to forget.
A bit ago I went to tuck my two year old back into her bed, and as I walked by my boys' bedroom, there was still only one boy snuggled on his pillow.
As the weather has gotten nicer and the kids have been enjoying playing outside, there is still only one boy hunting for mud boots
and stomping in puddles.
Vacation didn't change that.
Last year at this time, I had two boys that were thrilled to go
outside as the snow melted and spring approached.
Winter is ending and spring is near.
My heart leaps at the new life.
My heart aches at the lost life.
I enjoy the sunshine on my face.
I long to hold the sunshine who first lit my world.
I miss my boy.
I hate that he is gone.
Has it gotten easier? Some days yes... but often no.
He's still gone.
I can only imagine the Light that Skyler saw when he opened his eyes for the first time There, after he closed them for the last time here.
The Son that he is living in is SO much brighter than the sun we enjoy now.
Though death can be complicated and confusing and messy for us,
I know that for Skyler, that same instant
was eternal joy and awe and freedom.
We try to pick up the pieces and live life again,
knowing it will never be the same.
And while we live, while we fulfill God's purpose for us,
we wait for the day when our work here is done, and we can bask in that same Sonlight that our sweet son is glorying in even now.
His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things:
enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Well done, Skyler.
You lived an amazing life!
I was looking back tonight at my letter to Skyler in his journal from August 20th, 2009. He was 4 months old.
Being a mommy is one of the greatest things the Lord has blessed me with.
My heart is overflowing with love for you,
with the need to protect you
with the desire to hold you close,
with joy from your laughter and smiles.
And with that comes the worry and fear for the future.
I find myself scared for you and what lies ahead in your life.
I have to remind myself over and over that you are the Lord's
and that He will watch over you.
He gave you to me temporarily with a huge responsibility with it,
but ultimately, you are His.
I must give up all my worries and fears and release you into
His care and keeping.
May He watch over you and hold you close,
even when Mommy no longer can.
Wow. He is. He does. He knows!!!
A few quotes from other entries...
"I can't imagine life without you"
"I pray with all my heart that we are all together in
Heaven with Jesus some day."
"...I was reminded again of what a treasure God has
entrusted us with for a short time."
"I pray that as you grow up, you will also grow closer to our Savior,
and the little "yes, Jesus..." songs you try to sing now turn into
praises for His saving grace!"
"Praying for you always and that we will be forever united together."
"No matter what happens, you will be loved and treasured by me. My heart sometimes hurts watching you grow, knowing all you'll have to face ahead. But it's awesome too... thinking of all you can learn and that God chose ME to help you! How do I deserve you, a joy in every day?"
All these things in the years before he died.
God is still reminding me.
Sending me little messages of comfort.
He knew all along, and has promised to work it all for good.
The other day, I had a day full of joy.
The sun was shining, the kids were (mostly) happy,
I felt renewed and refreshed.
It's not the first time I've felt joy in the last 8 months, in fact,
I really do feel it often.
I have a friend (who knows who she is, :] ) who might think this is a 'pretty words' kind of post, where I tell you all about how I can keep on living because God is carrying me, even through my pain.
Those things are true, for sure.
But really, I'm giving you on honest look at my heart.
Now, don't get me wrong, grief is ugly (very ugly),
but it's not the end of the world.
Though many days, I wish it was!
How much easier it would be, to have Christ come and bring us all home, than to have to deal with this heartache each and every day.
Yes, it's always there, even on the good days.
But you know what, joy is too.
Even on the bad days.
Rarely do I have a day that is just ALL difficult.
There are tough days, where it feel like I could just curl up in a ball and stay in bed all day long. I want to go to the cemetery and pull my sweet boy from his grave, even though I know he's not really there. I want to rewind and just hold him and hear him laugh again.
But even on those days, there is joy.
Joy because of the peace in my heart.
Peace because of the joy that Skyler has forever.
Both joy and peace because I'll have that too, even though I'd often prefer sooner than later.
I've said before, I'm SOO thankful for my three other little blessings.
They keep me going, they remind me of what I'm here for.
They give me a purpose each morning and a reason to get out of bed.
The other day, the one when I felt so much joy, it was mostly because of them.
And I had to laugh, because as I was writing this post in my head that day, Rystin and Vayah were singing
"I have a joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart!"
(and no, as far as I know, I had said nothing out loud about joy!)
Then, ironically, they started arguing about WHO had the joy in their heart.
I have been doing some preschool work with Rystin.
He is a bit of a perfectionist.
He has more patience than any kid (or anyone!) I know when it comes to working on things. He can do a 100 piece puzzle all by himself without much trouble, and has loved puzzles since before he turned two.
He has been interested in writing lately, but struggles when he can't get it right. That day, it connected with him and he figured out how to (mostly) write all the letters in his name!
The top line I helped him a tiny bit with two letters, the next line with one, and the last line he did by himself. He was SO proud, and so was I.
And Skyler would be too!
And these are the moments that I'm reminded of joy.
This boy turned 4 just last week. He reminded me of Skyler in the way that he was SO excited for his birthday (as most little boys) and talked about it for months until it came.
As a typical mom, I'm proud of my kids. I love them beyond words, and they are the coolest things that exist (except the days you want to hide out in the bathroom because you're going crazy! ha). I was SO proud of Skyler and thought no other kid compared (even though I knew that every mom thought that... but really... mine was the best right!? haha). I've felt that love about all of my kids, but that first born just
amazes you with what they teach you as a parent.
I feel like I'm getting to know Rystin on such a different, new level
And I'm feeling that pride all over again.
This boy has gone through so much.
I've watched him walk through so many emotions and listened to him tell me the things on his broken heart. This is also a gift, as he is NOT the type to share his feelings easily. He is learning, and the moments have been brief.
He is by no means done with grief, and neither are we.
Though my heart has been happy to hear him TRULY laugh again, when I hadn't even realized it was missing, I also know there will still be tears.
That is grief.
Days more filled with joy than pain.
Days more filled with pain than joy.
Both are real.
And the pain isn't going away any time soon.
The day following my 'joy day' was a harder day.
As the months pass and Skyler becomes more distant, people start to forget,
or think things are fine now.
We don't forget. Things aren't fine.
But I know that is the way this goes.
Also, I want to point at that people haven't forgotten. This holiday season we were so blessed by many of you who remembered us and our son through one of the most difficult months of our lives.
December was rough.
I think we could have skipped Christmas this year and been fine with it.
Again, thanks to the kids, we had to push through it, and even enjoy it, to the best of our ability.
And we did.
Sometimes the days that the pain hits is surprising.
Sometimes it doesn't hit when you thought it would.
But there was a HUGE hole this Christmas.
I'm glad we didn't skip it, because it would make next year harder than it already will be.
I have been very relieved to have December over, but also was torn about starting a new year without Skyler in it.
You can't stop time, and the days keep rolling by.
One day closer to Skyler.
One year closer to Heaven.
Praying we can keep focusing on those little
'whispers of joy'.
“Tis’ the season to be jolly”
or at least, for most of the world.
It’s been a tough month, and the holidays have kicked us hard.
I expected it I guess, but it’s never quite how you think it will be.
It hits you worse on days you wouldn’t think, and then days you are prepared,
it turns out easier than you thought it would.
Thanksgiving isn’t a day that I have a lot of memories connected to Skyler.
For us, it’s not so different from the typical day,
except we get together with around 60 people for a crazy lunch.
It’s hard to even make sure your kids get food in a crowd like that!
I thought Thanksgiving would be no big deal.
We had some overnight company that week, and Jethro and I snuck out for
a bit while they watched our kids that morning.
We went to see this for the first time:
That didn’t help much!
But in that crowd of people, Skyler was missing.
There was a huge hole.
Is it just because everyone was there except him?
Even though I didn’t have special memories of him relating to that day,
he was still gone.
And since then it hasn’t been much better.
Pulling out the Christmas stuff wasn’t the same.
Last year Skyler (being the oldest and remembering the details)
was the most excited.
He wanted to help put everything together and had so much fun.
The kids enjoyed themselves this year, but there were some things
that I couldn’t do without him.
Maybe next year.
I've been cutting myself some major slack, and doing pretty much the minimum when it comes to anything and everything, especially Christmas related.
Last night we went and looked at Christmas lights in town
and had supper and a treat.
He was supposed to be there.
Today I wrapped gifts.
His were missing.
I miss his laugh and his smile.
His hugs and his comforting arms when Mommy is sad.
I miss the way he took care of his brother and sister
The way he got all hyper and excited.
The way he wrestled with Rystin and protected Vayah and
grinned when he felt Janae's baby kicks.
The way he was always happy about going somewhere with Dad.
His sensitive nature. His generous heart. His wisdom beyond his years.
Some days now, more than before, I say WHY?!
It’s normal to have him gone now.
We are adjusting to being back to three kids, age 3 and under,
instead of the four kids, age 5 and under that we should have had.
But it doesn’t make it easy.
Now most days when I count out four plates to set the table,
I don’t always think about how there should be five anymore.
When we all load up in the car, I don’t always think about how
there should be one more car seat filled.
I don’t always think about that other set of teeth that should be there to brush,
or that extra laundry that should be in the pile.
But lots of times I do.
I know I'll think about it when we take our annual kids in
front of the tree picture this year.
We'll never again have a picture with everyone in it.
I've been going through pictures the last couple of days, because I'd like to start working on albums. I gotta say, I'm SO thankful that I was so photo obsessed when Skyler was little. I don't take pictures AS much as I used to, but still often. I have probably thousands of pictures of Skyler! I'd encourage you all to take pictures of your kids. You'll never regret it!
The Sunday School Christmas program at church
the other weekend was tough too.
The kindergarten class proudly marched up to recite their lines.
They sweetly sang their song, ‘Jesus Loves Me’.
But there was one face missing.
One proud smile gone from the group.
But I COULD still hear his voice.
Skyler sang that song countless times,
and I have several videos of him singing it.
So in my mind, I could still hear him.
I just wanted to see him too.
He would have been so proud when his brother Rystin got up there with his preschool class and loudly and clearly sang “In a Little Stable”,
just like he had the year before.
“You did so good, Rystin! I could hear you when you sang your song”
Tonight as my family and I made some yummy goodies,
we listened to Christmas music.
One song came on… “I’ll have a blue Christmas without you…”
I thought how true that was.
Then a bit later another song… “I’ll be home for Christmas…”
Sadly I thought if only that were true.
Then I realized how true it really was!!
SKYLER IS HOME FOR CHRISTMAS!
He’s more ‘home’ than he’s ever been here with us.
He is Home, sitting next to our Lord who we are celebrating now.
Because of that first Christmas night, Skyler is
“Alive in Heaven”
as Rystin always likes to say.
Because of that Precious Child, we have the promise of Eternal life.
We can be ‘Home for Christmas’ and always!
So come, let us adore Him!
As my mom wrote in her Christmas letter,
we truly have learned that He is Emmanuel, “God with us”!
Although the days are sometimes difficult, and we live one at a time,
our Lord is with us each step of the way.
The theme of ‘Hope’ continues on…
This has been “my” verse lately:
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
A thrill of HOPE this weary world rejoices!
Merry Christmas, from my weary, yet rejoicing heart!
It’s been awhile since I’ve written. I still have plenty of things to share. Because my thoughts are all mixed up and jumbled today, I’m going to give you them in list form. A few random bits in no particular order…
-You never expect your family to shrink. Growing and multiplying, yes. It’s not supposed to get smaller. I can’t even explain the feeling of going from three kids to only two. Looking at Rystin and Vayah and thinking “these are ALL of my kids now!”. So so wrong. When I had Janae, it helped a little, but it still felt like there should be four. She was my fourth baby… someone was still missing. It was only for 6 weeks that I went back down to two kids, but it will be forever that there’s one still gone. I still have that feeling that I'm missing one when we’re not at home and I’m trying to keep track of them all. Will it always be?
-It also feels like I’ve gone backward in time. My oldest was learning how to write and spell. Now my oldest is only just learning his letters and numbers. . My oldest used to be able to help buckle himself and his brother into the car. Now my oldest just figured out his own buckle. My oldest used to be able to help gather clothes, shoes, and coats for the family. Now my oldest struggles to get himself dressed some days. And on and on it goes. I have to continuously remind myself that my oldest is 3, not 5. I cannot expect the same things from him that I could of his brother, who was two years older.
-The above quote is only half true. At this point, I cannot say that missing Skyler has gotten easier. Actually, I think as reality has settled in, and he seems further away, it has been harder now. But I do find it comforting to think that I’m one day closer to seeing him again, instead of thinking that I’m one day further away from him. It’s a scary thing to think that the memories of your own child may fade away.
-Being busy helps. I never have been one to love things to be crazy all the time. I like routine and schedules. I like knowing what is coming and planning ahead for it. The last 6 months have been completely upside down and very busy. God must know that’s what I’ve needed. Now as winter settles in and we don’t have plans every day, I am seeing how much better we do when we’re busy. Maybe in the long run that isn’t good. I know we need the time to think, process, grieve, and grow. But being around other people still helps.
-I still can’t believe that Skyler has been gone for over half a year. It is sometimes so hard still to comprehend that it’s even true, much less to think that we have survived the way we have for this long without him. I have been around a nephew lately who was born two days before Skyler. That’s been tough in some ways, neat in others. He seems so tall and grown up. Would Skyler be that tall after 6 months of growing? What would he act like? Reminding myself again that Skyler’s plan never went that far. He was only meant to be here for 5 years.
-Sometimes life gets discouraging. I see my own pain and sorrow. I see so many others hurting in similar or very different situations. I see the way the world is living. But I know that God is still in control. He is lifting up His children and holding them close. He still has a mission for us. There are so many out there who don’t know Him, and need this hope.
And one quick story to share...
Awhile back we were looking into what we wanted on Skyler’s headstone. (Something that just isn’t right to have to figure out!) Because I enjoy design, and wanted it to be more personal, I told the company that I would come up with something and email them what we wanted on the stone. I did a quick google search to get some ideas, as well as images we could use. It didn’t take long and I found this…
Yes. There is no doubt that that little boy could be Skyler. I loved the picture, and when Rystin saw it he was SO excited. We decided to use this image, so I included it in my design and sent it off. Later, the man we were communicating with asked if I had a clearer copy of the picture. I didn’t, but told him I would go back to the site and see if I could get it in a bigger file size. After much google searching, trying many various key words, and going back to my browser history, I’ve never been able to find the picture again. They were still able to use this copy for the headstone, so that wasn’t a problem.
But for me, it feels like it’s a picture just for us, of our little boy with Jesus.
Praise the Lord, they truly are together for eternity!!
Oh what a day that will be, when we can all join them there!
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope,
through the power of the Holy Ghost.
A few days or so before Skyler died, he told me he loved me.
It was one of those random things...
I was making supper and he came in the kitchen and gave me a big hug
and said "I love you, Mommy!"
He told me he loved me once in awhile,
and we always said it to each other every night before bed,
but he wasn't the type of kid who told me real often on his own.
I'll always treasure that last time.
One of the things that Skyler and I used to do was play the 'I love you game'.
We would go back and forth and try to
'out-do' each other in how big our love was.
"I love you as high as the ceiling!"
"I love you as big as the house!"
"I love you as tall as the trees!"
And so on.
I don't recall who said it first,
(I want to say Skyler, but I can't remember for sure)
but eventually, the ultimate was always:
"I love you as high as Heaven!"
I still love you, Skyler.
As high as Heaven.
I always will.
Even through missing you,
I still will love you.
I'm so thankful you knew that.
And I'm thankful to know that you love me...
even "as high as Heaven, Mommy!"
I'm so blessed by all these little things, that have become big things in the end!
I started to realize that the tone of this blog was feeling a bit discouraging.
Ok, maybe not totally, because I realize it has been a place for me
(and maybe others) to be ENcouraged.
But I want you guys to understand that my life isn’t
completely consumed with loss.
Yes, it’s been a tough summer.
But I have been so blessed in ways that others have not, so I am thankful.
I have appreciated using this blog to share my feelings, and the journey through grief (and still will). But there's more to my life to share.
The little people in my life couldn’t get much sweeter!
They’ve had some challenges adjusting, especially Rystin.
I could share some heartbreaking stories of some
of the things he has gone through.
Maybe someday I will. But not now.
Right now, let’s focus on the smiles and laughter, the happiness and joy.
Kids are amazing when it comes to change and acceptance.
They are told something, they take it as truth, and keep on living.
If only we could truly have the ‘faith of a child’ in all circumstances of life!
It has been so neat watching the way
Rystin and Vayah have bonded this summer.
Rystin has been forced to find a new best friend,
and Vayah is just getting old enough to fit the bill.
They know how to fight like cats and dogs,
but then there are the times that they just connect.
Skyler and Rystin fought some, but overall, there wasn’t a lot of drama.
2 year old girls? Yup. There’s drama!
It hurts me deep to know that my little boy doesn’t have a big brother to wrestle with, to do boy stuff with, and to look after him anymore.
They had such different personalities, but were together all the time.
It has been interesting to see Rystin stepping into the ‘biggest brother shoes’.
His first choice for footwear has been Skyler’s shoes.
He goes for Skyer’s basket before his own a lot of the time.
They’re floppy and clumsy, but he knows what he wants.
He’s thrilled to be able to use his big brothers stuff,
and has commented about how he can have them now.
Not in a way that he got a cool present,
but in the ‘I want to be like him’ kind of way.
Anyways… we weren’t going there. ;)
Yup. This little girl has brought us a lot of that!
She’s been a bit more of a needy baby at times,
but is getting better as she grows.
She sleeps amazingly (typically 9-10 hours straight!!),
so that has been such a blessing!
We have realized how important sleep is in all of our lives right now.
The struggles are so much harder when we’ve been lacking in that essential.
It has been so hard to understand how life can just keep going.
We lost our firstborn son, one of the brightest rays of sunshine I know.
And yet, our day to day lives don’t look that different.
We get up and greet the day, doing all of the same things we did before.
The empty spot at the table is becoming ‘normal’. The days filled with sorrow are fewer.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a hole, we still hurt, we still cry.
But when I look at our life overall, we’re happy!
We are able to keep living, keep doing the things we need to do.
Things we enjoy still bring us good feelings.
We can still run and play, laugh and tease, rest and relax,
pray and praise, work and live.
I never thought I’d be able to do those things the same way again.
But we’re still living.
Living in a more normal way than I thought possible.
So for those of you who don’t know my family well, let me introduce us.
These are the rays of sunshine that have kept us going.
These little people are the light in our dark days.
My sweet little boy.
The boy who is stepping up to take on the ‘oldest child’ role.
The boy who loves to laugh and tease.
The one who has quiet moments and tears,
and feels things most people ten times his age have never felt.
His white, curly blond hair and sparkling blue eyes makes everyone smile.
He is energetic and loves to be on the go.
He's patient and detailed, he'll work on things until he can figure them out.
I’m secretly excited about his little freckles that are starting to show up.
I love this boy like crazy!
My fiery little girl.
The girl I never realized how much I wanted until
she was in my arms for the first time.
The girl who turned our world around and keeps us on our toes.
The one who can brighten a room with her smile,
and make everyone laugh at her crazy antics.
Her dramatic two year old ways are all over the place!
She is independent, but loves to snuggle.
She’s determined, but oh so sweet.
She remembers her biggest brother,
but is young enough not to show a lot of response.
It’s been so fun to watch her grow and learn, and I love to imagine all the things we’ll do together.
I love this girl like crazy!
My baby girl.
The girl who brought us hope in the midst of heartache.
The girl who has kept me going,
needing a mommy who needs her to hold and snuggle.
The one who can melt your heart with one little coo.
Her jabbering and smiles make the dark days brighter.
She loves to tuck her face in my neck and sleep,
breathing warm little sighs in to my ear.
She’s active and alert, always checking out the world
like she’s ready to jump right in.
We have needed this girl so much, and have been so blessed by her joining our family during our deepest hurt.
It is so neat to think of my girls being sisters and friends.
I love this girl like crazy!
Seeing these rays of sunshine, it’s not so hard to see why we can keep going.
God has taken one of them home, and the world got a little dimmer.
But He has blessed us with three other little joys,
who need our love and attention.
This earth may never be as bright as it was, but Heaven got that much brighter!
Our mission here is that much clearer.
Our desire for our final Home that much stronger.
One day, our sunshine will be full again, under the light of the true Son!
We can keep going, because He has blessed us.
We’ll carry on as He carries us.
I have so many more thoughts to share about our story,
but I wanted to show you what brightened our summer.
The bus drove past our house today,
it didn't even slow down.
Cuz the little boy that should be here,
is now wearing his crown.
He had been so excited,
looked forward to that day.
Little did we know,
he wasn't here to stay.
The place he went is better
than anything he'd thought.
And he's learning so much more
than any teacher could have taught.
I see so many photos
of other kids' first day.
My heart breaks as I think
how my sweet boy went away.
I miss him in a way so deep,
and many days I'm sad.
But it makes my heart rejoice
to know his heart is glad.
I'm thankful for the years we had,
though they seemed too short.
I wait for the glorious day
when we'll meet again in Heaven's Court!
I'll love you forever little man!
Hello and Welcome!