Thursday, December 29, 2011

Good-bye 2011

I really should be organizing my house right now because Andrew is sleeping and Jake is supposed to be sleeping but I hear his cars, but I just want a moment to myself.

I cannot believe 2011 is coming to a close. I am so ready for this year to end. It's been bittersweet, obviously, and I have felt so aged so fast. It's really hard to wrap myself around all of what 2011 brought. There have been so really good moments entwined with some bad and I guess that rings true for everyone. A lot can happen in 365 days. But this year has been especially personal for me and I would like to share some of the highlights.

First trips. Florida was tiring, fun, warm and sandy. The boys hated the beach, loved Mustangs and hunted Easter eggs. Ryan experienced a tornado and went above and beyond helping in Missouri.
Jake turned 2-and still loves to eat.
Another little boy was added to the mix. A great blessing and a fun birth
I became a Mom of 3 for forever
A special 4th of July. Daniel picked out the best firework of the night. He was so proud of the rocket.
B4D. Lots..and lots...and lots! of books donated in honor of Daniel.
New ink.
My baptism on 9/11/11. An emotional day for sure but the best time in my life to affirm my faith in God.
Enjoying a special day with Jake and Andrew. The weather was perfect for friends and pumpkins. It was a nice reminder of what I have to be thankful for.
Remembering a very special little boy. All the people who have rallied around us and honored Daniel has been soul changing.
Cousins were reunited.
We honored a great big brother and formed a new brotherly bond.

A first Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A counseling session

To say my first counseling session was cathartic is putting it mildly. After the session, I felt more in tune with myself and was even happy walking into my house. Even though we just chipped at the surface, it was a great foundation to build on. Things I learned about me and my grief:

*I'm not crazy. This torrid wave of emotions is totally normal. Society today wants us to cleanly finish one grief process before moving to the next and that's not normal. I'm in denial, anger, and bargaining everyday, multiple times a day. Even though it still makes me sick to my stomach to jump around so much, I feel like I can get a better handle on things.
*I've been too hard on myself. I try and put up a brave front for people around me, and it just hurts me more. Im grieving, people. I lost my first son and it makes me cry and it hurts. If you see me distant, or tearful or moody deal with it-or walk away. I need this time.
*Society isn't a fan of grief. We have a get on and get over it attitude. But how can you get over losing a huge chunk of your heart? This is precisely why I have this blog; to share my experiences and share my walk with God in all of this. People don't talk about losing a child, but it happens and there aren't a lot of places to go to get confirmation that what you may be experiencing is normal.
*I'm embarrassed by what happened. I feel like people may have a situational sorry for me. 'Oh, that's how your son died? OK, I'm not as sorry now'. I feel like my character as a Mom is being judged. Maybe that's all in my head? I don't know, so I don't say exactly what happened. Plus, some people just don't need to know.
*I have got a looong way to go before I ever feel slightly normal again. I'm slowly accepting that.
*I'm looking forward to my next session. Counseling may not be for everyone, but I'm a talker and here is someone who isn't going to judge me, or make me feel guilty for crying (seriously, I've been holding back tears from others for so long that I had to remind myself it was ok to cry in front of my counselor because he won't care) and has a perspective on what is going on inside of my head. And is someone who can give me spiritual advice in addition.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Alright, God. Here we go, the week I've been dreading. I'm going to need you- a lot. We had a good talk and a good cry yesterday. That peace I prayed for? I totally feel it today. Thank you. The people I asked for to help me? Thank you for placing me in their hearts. I finally listened and made the appointment to speak to a counselor. This is the perfect week to finally do it. But, of course, you already knew that. I'm under no illusion that I'm going to make it through this week without crying-already cried multiple times today-or dreading the holiday and Daniel's birthday. But I know I can make this week what I want of it; I could literally break myself with sadness or I can cry when I need to and treasure the blessings you're giving me this season. I'm looking straight up to you, Lord, because looking anywhere else isn't helping and I'm really starting to dislike myself. So, let's do this, God. I'm ready.

Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil...Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Ephesians 6:11,14-17

A birthday

This week was much like the week you were born. The weather was mild and rainy. I was thankful for that because I did not want to drive in the snow in labor! Your birth day feels like only yesterday, and in a sense, 4 years ago isn't that long at all. I remember going the whole day in early labor and not even realizing it because who knew you could labor in your thighs? I surely didn't. Looking back, I would have laughed had my water actually broken in Bass Pro and not at home. Your Daddy and I spent the day eating lunch with Grandpa, picking out dishes from Grandma to Grandpa in Bass Pro and relaxing at home. You see, were figured we would be going to the hospital the next morning and not the evening of the 21st. But our new little life began the moment I sat up from the couch and felt a pop-and then a gush :)

Everything happened quickly and calmly even if I felt anything but calm. I sat on a pillow the entire car ride (we had just gotten a new car a few weeks before!) and your Daddy stopped for a candy bar. OK, not really, but he isn't one to miss a chance at comic relief and looking back, I'm grateful for that pause. Once we got to the hospital, it was like a real life Christmas story; there wasn't any room available! I stood there soaked and was so grateful when a nurse came up the elevator and found a mostly clean room for us. While I changed, the bed was cleaned. From there on out, it was a wait. Your Grandpa and Grandma and Rachel met us up there and later, Grandma Chris. We didn't get much sleep, after all, who could sleep when we were so excited? Around 5:30 I started pushing and at 6:23 am, December 22nd 2007 you were born. I only got to hold you for a second because you came out so stunned and needed extra attention. But you're a fighter and perked right back up and it wasn't long before we all got to meet you.

Honestly, at that point, I was scared out of my mind. I was a Momma for the first time and little babies don't come with manuals. Every moment we were living was new and I just hoped for the best. I think we faired pretty well. We learned from each other and you taught me a whole new meaning of love.

Your first birthday was quite a celebration. You were one and going to be a big brother to boot! You got a ton of toys and a "yummy" egg free, nut free cake. I don't blame you for only eating the icing. You were such a character and entertained us all that day. You quickly learned that raising your hands to the side and going "uhoh" was sure to get laughs and played the part up.

The year you turned two was so much fun. The weather was mild and you had little buddies come join in on the fun. We celebrated in a Sponge Bob theme. I still don't see why Sponge Bob appealed to you, but you liked seeing the decorations. Grandma Nancy was able to share in your special day and we had a better cake this time! Cooked eggs were ok (raw eggs we would learn later still didn't agree with you) and you got to eat chocolate cake. This year was the year your Daddy and I were sure that you would love opening presents, but you still didn't want anything to do with them. Your lack of nap probably had something to do with that. Daddy and I got you your first 4 wheeler and you had so much fun riding that around.

We celebrated in a Imagination Movers themed birthday when you turned three. To say you were obsessed with the Mover's is putting it mildly. Your birthday this year was a low key event of just family and in addition to turning three, you were also going to be a big brother again! This was also the year of the major sibling fight between you and Jake. Who knew a Little People farmhouse could get you kids riled up? You had recently transitioned to a big boy bed and you got new Toy Story bedding to top it off. I think I was more excited to make up your bed than you!

This year's birthday is a hard one and I wish I had more to share with you. In honor of you, we're eating Mac and Cheese and Oreo cheesecake. For lunch everyday you would ask for Mac and Cheese; it was your top favorite meal. Your favorite cookie was a Oreo. Or, rather, your favorite part of the cookie was the icing. Remember when Daddy went for an Oreo and all the icing had been licked out and the cookie placed back in the package? This year you'll get a special police car and a balloon to decorate your spot. I know you'll see tears today, bud, but remember that with those tears we have happy memories too. You hold a very, very special place in our hearts and we're thankful to be able to spend a day with those that love you. I imagine you're having one of the most fun birthdays of all today and getting to celebrate with even more people that love you in Heaven.

Happy 4th birthday, Daniel. We love you so much.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My special gift


Happy 6 months to you! Gosh, I can't even believe it's been six months. You have been such a blessing to me. If Daniel was my sensitive child and Jake is my comic relief, then you are my child that can weather anything. From excessive vomiting, preterm contractions, tornadoes, sadness, Jake :), you've taken it all in stride and are just one of the happiest babies. Your past 6 months have been anything but calm and you've taken it all and made some pretty special moments for us.

It's not by coincidence that you're here today. We were, in fact, trying to prevent another baby but God saw our bigger picture and blessed us with you; and if it wasn't for you-and Jake-my days would be much less happy. We have a very special bond and I can feel it every time you look at me. It's almost like you can look into my soul. You lift your head back when you're sitting on my lap and stare straight into my eyes and time stands still for just a moment.

Your laughter-screaming-is infectious. You blow the best raspberries ever and absolutely adore your brother. Even when he is trying to squash you. One of my favorite times with the two of you is watching you in the bathtub. You egg Jake on so much and just laugh at his reaction to you. You refuse to roll over but love to sit up and examine everything. I see a lot of Daniel in you when you do that. The jumperoo and our walking table are two of your favorite toys and you smile so big when you're in them. I see a lot of Jake in you when you do that. You haven't taken a food yet that hasn't agreed with your palate. Your refection is your best friend and you're still toothless!

You are a very special addition to this family. If these next 6 months bring me as much joy being with you as the past 6 months, my heart will be happy.
Happy 6 months, Sillers!

Monday, December 12, 2011


This past week I've thought about blogging a lot. To be honest, it's been a really crappy week-2 weeks. Bad since my last post. I've been sleep deprived, challenged at work, hurt, angry, emotional and cold (winter is here) And every time I've sat down to type something (mostly to complain about how life is unfair) I have invariably been pulled away so it's left a lot of time for me to think instead of write. Now, I see the blessing in all of that.

I've had the chance to really look inside of myself and question myself and wonder where my life is going in all of this. I've had the chance to wonder how Ryan and I are going to make Christmas and the chance to talk to him about it. I've had the chance to cry, yell, laugh, love and miss. I've lashed out at God and have gotten angry at my whole situation.

But, you know what stopped me in my tracks this week? What really turned my focus around? A flower. A flower that wouldn't have meant much otherwise if it hadn't been sitting in a pot of mostly dead mum leaves. Frankly, I was shocked it even bloomed. And the more I stared at the flower, the more I could relate to it. Struggling to find that little piece of light and warmth left in an otherwise cold and hostile environment. Growing and changing despite it's circumstances. Overcoming. Trusting that it could bloom in spite of it's odds. Man, what a metaphor for my life.

What everything has boiled down to these past 2 weeks is trust. And how much I have lacked it. I need to trust that God is at work in my life. Trust that, given my circumstances, good will arise in spite of all of this. Trust that God has placed specific people in my life to help. Trust in my husband and that he can handle all of this hot mess over here (specifically, me)

I enter this new week better prepared and hopefully better spirited. I'm a big ol' work in progress but I at least feel like I have a grasp on something tangible.

The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon new heights
Habukkuk 3:19