Monday, November 28, 2011

Not for the faint of heart. Heck, I don't even want to read it again.

Do you know how hard it is to peek in on my children every night and constantly remind myself that instead of checking in on 3, I only get to check in on 2? It's a fresh dose of reality every night.

I got to watch my niece today for my brother and sister in law. And while that was so much fun (she is such a clever and endearing little girl. She helped put away groceries and helped me sweep) it was also a reminder that I should be taking care of 3 kids everyday.

I've been thinking about Christmas a lot. Looking at toys for the boys, I find myself wanting to reach for toys Daniel would have wanted. I get to place presents under the tree this year...and at a grave. Not fair.

I've realized that I have put off talking with my Christian counselor for way too long. I can feel the enemy starting to edge his way in and it's making me doubt myself as a Mother and a Christian. It's hard to cry out in thanksgiving to our Lord when all I want to do is cry. I've got a ton of people rallying around me, and it feels like I'm building a wall around myself.

I'm not angry at God (which isn't the norm, I suppose). On one hand, I accept....maybe accept? that Daniel's life and legacy came down to July 19th because I can see the changes in my life and others; but on the other hand, it hurts so darn much and just isn't fair. I'm not supposed to outlive my children.

I have a love/hate relationship with pictures. Seeing his face, his smile, remembering his laugh, it's good and bad.

I think I'm becoming an insomniac.

It feels better typing this out. But can you believe that this isn't even all of what I think about?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful Thanksgiving

This year and the upcoming holidays mean a lot more to me this year than in years past. My whole outlook on life has changed. And for as much hurt as my heart has felt this year, it has felt that much more good.

This year I am thankful for:

...all the years I got to make memories with Daniel
...a husband that needs me and is there for me
...all 3 of my sons family. Even though we're all spread apart, the connection we have is strong and there is nothing we wouldn't do for one another faith. It's been stretched and tested but remains strong-probably stronger Mom and Dad. You've trained me up and because of the two of you, I can endure anything because of the love and support you give me
...Rachel. You've been such a rock for me home. Even though it is a desire for Ryan and I to leave, we have a roof over our head church. A year ago this may not have entered my list, but the compassion and faith and solidarity you have shown my family and myself is beyond anything I could have imagined coworkers-and Ryan's
...Karen. I'm thankful my children have a safe and fun place to stay, and with someone who loves them as much as we do
...Books for Daniel
....Park Pets for Daniel
...Daniel's spot. I'm thankful for the beauty of his resting place dog. Even though he gets on my nerves, it is nice to have him home with me when Ryan isn't

Saturday, November 19, 2011

This is going to be a rambler

We took family pictures yesterday. Honestly, how I got Ryan to agree is still beyond me but I rolled with it. Aside from candid family pictures during birthday parties and the like, this was our first real family photo. It makes me sad to think Daniel wasn't in them. I'm sure it's going to make me sad every time we have another family photo session. I compensated his absence by wearing my Daniel necklace; it made it feel like his presence was there a little.

During the shoot, Jess wanted a picture of just me to add the the collection of photos she had already taken. Afterwards, I realized what had been bothering me about taking a single shot of myself. I felt exposed. It was a good picture of me [ she let me take a peek after] but I felt so alone in it. It felt awkward. Thinking back, I cannot remember a picture of just myself since 2004. For so long I have been Ryan's wife and Daniel, Jake and Andrew's Mom and I feel comfortable in those roles; I feel secure. Do I want to establish myself into something else? I'm not sure; I don't think I do because I love my persona as a wife and mom, that really has always been my life long ambition, but why was I so uncomfortable with just me?

Aside from that existentialist approach to me, the shoot was fun. Jake was a riot and Ryan went with the flow [God bless him]. Im excited to see the final product. Jess is phenomenal.

Today marks 4 months since Daniel passed away. I've been so caught up in thinking of how it's going to be during his birthday and the holidays that today completely took me off guard. I realized only after I felt on edge with everyone, what was truly bothering me. It hit me hard. I wasn't prepared for the depth of my emotion or my extreme ache of missing his little body cradled next to me, of missing his voice saying, "Mommy". I want to hear that so bad.

I've been a mess all day and have felt so edgy but here in the silence of my home, I've been meditating on my feelings and talking to God. He's allowed me to cry out to him in sadness, in bitterness, He's not fighting me to control myself, but He's sweetly and gently reminding me though scripture to follow Him, to trust him. He knows I'm hurting, He's not going to downplay my pain by any means, but He is going to raise me up when I am done. And He's going to remind me-again-that He has me, He has Daniel and He has my family.

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls"
Matthew 11: 28-29

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Not a single day goes by that we don't think of you and wish you were back here with us. But since you can't be here, we're sending you a flicker of our love your way. Your brother mentioned something this evening before bed. Sometimes I like to sit there and listen to him talk unprompted because I secretly wish he will give me some clue if he ever dreams of you or sees you. Tonight, he said "Daniel sorry". Baby, I don't ever want you to think what happened is bad. I know you see us cry and I know you see us sad but I want you to know we all have a time to live here and a time to be with Jesus and your time was just sooner than we expected, but that will never mean we're angry at you or at what happened. Sometimes it's confusing for Mommy and Daddy to understand why but we know God is patient with us while we ask our questions and sort through what we're feeling. We also know in our heart of hearts that you're in Heaven whole and happy and we would never ask for any more than that. And through our tears we will honor your life and always share how much you mean to us because you are our special blonde haired, silly, inquisitive little boy. Sometimes we will have sad days and sometimes we will have happy days but everyday we will love you.

Friday, November 11, 2011

It is absolutely so freeing to drive with the windows down on a winding road and listen to The Band Perry-while singing {slightly} off key. My own personal Heaven here on Earth.


*We've been teaching Jake left and right and all the names of his family and he is so darn cute when he says "Andrew Thomas" . He also calls Uncle Rob "Grom" so it was only natural that when he said Daniel's name, Daniel Robert, it came out "Daniel Grom". I laughed so hard

*Andrew has started growing so fast now! We just started him on a few solids and I don't think he's ever going to look back

*We met with our realtors this week and were slowly getting ready. I'm in task mode right now so I'm not fully processing what this move is going to mean, and I'm ok with that because frankly, I just don't want to open up those feelings right now

*I can only say it truly is a God send to have our specific team helping with our house. They are perfect for us right now

*I'm chopping my hair off-much to Ryan's dismay. Which is why I am doing it when he's sleeping. Ha!

*I'm seeing Breaking Dawn next week, and yes, I will openly admit to how excited I am

*I've been trying to make a point to read my Bible or spend some time in prayer before getting on Facebook. I don't do it a 100% of the time and I'm working on that

*I went into Hallmark to get Andrew's first Christmas ornament and heard all the Christmas music and started thinking this Christmas-and all others-are going to be so different. I missed Daniel A LOT that day

*I also realized Daniel is taking care of us even from above and watching over our family

*I've been teaching Jake that Jesus and Daniel live in his heart and they live in my heart. I pray everyday he gets a little more understanding and I pray I get lots of direction to train him up to be a spiritual boy and man

*Andrew gets quiet when I start talking about Daniel. It's kind of nice

*We gave Lance to another home. It was hard but it was best. He went to a really awesome family

*I thought I was obsessed with craigslist until I started selling things on there. Whole new level of obsession, people.

And ladies and gents, this was all in one week! It's been busy, my mind hasn't wandered a lot but it's felt full filling and tedious at the same time. Go ahead and try to figure that one out. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

One of the hardest parts of moving on is putting away the past. It seems so shameful that Daniel's life has been reduced to a box and placed tenderly away. I know a lot of you may think and possibly comment that Daniel's life can remain alive in my memories and I can honor him daily with my actions, and while this may be so very true, the sad part is that in moving on, I have to clean up the past.

We are in the process of gingerly thinking and patiently planning on moving. Throughout the week I have been rearranging and cleaning the house in preparation of the very first steps to putting the house on the market. I look around and think that all of my babies have been brought home here, Ryan and I started our life here, we've shared first Christmas's with all the kids here, we've cried and laughed and screamed here. Some days I worry that this isn't the path we're supposed to be traveling, but I've been praying fervently that if this wasn't a decision that was in the best interest of our family, God would make it known and shut down all paths except His.

And while it hurts to pack and sort and remember and store and reduce memories to storage, I can only hope that by moving on we are following Him and making new memories to ease the old. If that even makes any sense.

*As I was posting this blog, I got a text from a dear friend that had the words "God is good". Amazing that He can speak to me when I question the decisions that need to be made. Some may read this and think coincidence and some may read this and think God is gracious and good and some may read this and not give it another thought but after all that has happened to me and in my life, I can only read this and think sad things may happen and it may hurt but He is good and loving and continually with me.*

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011

Andrew's first, Jake's third, first one without Daniel. I'm going to be frank, the entire day of Halloween my heart just wasn't in to it. I honestly don't think it had much to do with the fact Daniel wasn't going to be there enjoying the candy and the garage doors, I think I just didn't want to leave my warm home. But Ryan in all his worldly parenting wisdom said it wasn't about me, it was about Jake-and getting as many Reese's peanut butter cups are we could for himself. So, an hour before we put on costumes I started pretending with Jake and practicing what we would need to do and say when we got to the houses, and started bribing him to put on his costume. Not above bribery by any means; just check out my Halloween pictures :) Once we got going and once Jake caught on to the idea that saying trick or treat and giving a cute, Mickey smile equated to more candy, he was game and it was a race to the next house. Overall, it was a pretty good time and I chastised myself for ever thinking it was going to be a bust. Seeing Jake's cute little Mickey Mouse nose and his excitement over the police car passing out chips and the ambulance passing out candy and stopping to examine most cars in the driveways (seriously, what it with my children and garages and cars?) it was well worth fighting the cold. He got some good loot, I have candy to last me into 2012, and both kids slept in till 8:30. Happy Halloween to me!