Monday, January 30, 2012

To a girl I miss...

I dreamt about you the other day and you've been on my mind since. It came out of the blue and has instigated so many memories. I thought back and realized it has been...almost 8 years since we've laid eyes on one another-in the flesh. Time sure has a way of sneaking up on you.

Both our lives have taken us completely different directions when once upon a time, we were inseparable. We weathered junior high together, found first crushes, great ways of sneaking out of class and NSYNC. We grew into beautiful young women in high school, spent awesome summers getting tan and hitting the pavement in our tennis skirts, found more first loves and heartbreaks, fought hard and made up just as fiercely, shared dreams and ice cream, played Barbies and thought things would never change.

I know if you were here with me now, I know you would sit with me on the couch and ease some of my heartbreak because your heart is so big. I know you would chase my boys around and get down on your hands and knees a play cars and sing songs because, even as you grow into adulthood, you are still a little kid at heart. I know I would be sharing in your excitement and new dreams as you enter such a special time in your life, and we would probably laugh and eat more ice cream together.

Life has a funny way of smoothing you over, ironing out your past wrinkles, and helping you realize what is truly important in life. If there is anything that our past has taught us, is that love molds your heart and even though we've stepped in and out of each others lives, the memories and stories we made together, shaped a part of me today.

I am wishing you all the best from afar and maybe you will find the cookie dough in the milk aisle soon (because that's what you were trying do to in my dream ;)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Too heavy for this brain...

I've been to Daniel's spot twice this week. Once to put some Valentine's decor up and this evening. We had another showing at the house and the boys are sick so I wasn't about to take them anywhere germ infested, so my car managed to find it's way there. I was on the phone with a good friend at the time and while I was picking up a wreath that had been blown over he asked what I think about when I am there. Huh. What do I think about? What do I feel?

Initially, I stare down at the temporary marker the cemetery provides. (We're picking out his permanent marker next month; get ready for that post...) It's still shocking to read his name. Then I think about how much I wish grass would hurry and grow; it's depressing staring down at dirt. I look around at the other markers and think of those families, I look to the sky and around his spot. Sometimes, I close my eyes and listen to the sounds around his spot. I talk to him and Jesus. I do have a little trouble talking there. I feel more comfortable talking in my car or at home. It feels weird talking to dirt. I still often wonder what it all means; what my purpose is in all of this. Once, I prayed I would get to see him. I've read a book there, I've cried there, I've cleaned up the mud on his marker, I've rearranged his stuff there. I've walked by other markers and wondered about them. I turned around once and placed a purple teddy back on an infant's spot.

I don't know if I really allow myself to think there, though. Writing all of this out, I am beginning to think it still makes me uncomfortable being there. His spot really is in a very peaceful area, but there, peace eludes me. I have more anywhere else but there. I wonder why? I wonder why I can't think there; it seems I do everything else but think. I am so task oriented there. I find it difficult to stop moving. I wonder if it's because in my mind, I can see him whole and I can remember him and at his spot, it's like it's so final. Maybe it's just cemeteries in general. They carry a bad connotation with them. Death isn't a bad thing (I am slowly learning that) and it leads to a greater, full, eternal life. So, why do I feel empty every time I am there?

I think I will be taking this up with my therapist in February.

Monday, January 23, 2012


.We have marked more miles on our cars this past week than ever it feels like. We've had quite a first week with the house showings and have had to bundle up the kids everyday...and the dog. While it's great to have so much interest right off the bat, it's also very exhausting driving and bundling up children. Reason #247 that I am dying (maybe not literally) in our next house!
.I dislike taking the dog in the car. Why is it the bigger the dog, the stupider they are? Just sit down in the car and your legs won't splay out around you when the car turns
.I hate our mortgage company. Hate is a strong word-it fits
.But my faith in Jesus is making this whole mortgage/paperwork/house selling business better
.Hardship letter sucked too. Dear people who have never met me, let me tell you all about why I need to move. All the while reliving what happened. Gooood times.
.Ryan found this new (to us) show on Trutv. Hilarious. I wish I could remember what it was called because it is truly hilarious
.Have you ever stopped to think about what you think about at a red light? That was mentioned in Sunday School as part of what are character could show us. What does your mind turn to when you have a moment to stop? Mine turns to Daniel, God, Ryan, the kids and all the stuff I've got to get done...but then sometimes I just stare blankly at the lights. I wonder what that means?
.I have a time set up to meet with the Perinatal Palliative program with Wings. One step closer. yes
.Jake is losing his little boy look and getting his leaner, 3 year old look. Except his face. The boy will always have a chunk face. I am looking forward to seeing 3. Jake has been 2 for forever!
.The diet. Could be better, could be worse. Lost some weight but need to get my butt moving and exercise!
.In the next few weeks I am going to precept a Maryville student. Should be fun!
.Jake wants to be a Police Officer when he grows up. So cute.
.Andrew still has a round head-and I looooove that head. And his hugs, and his face grabbing, trying to eat your nose face. He is love, that boy.
.Can you believe it's almost February? Dang. Ready for some warm weather! Or next week to roll around because that seems to be the trend in good ol' Missouri. Snow one week, 60 degrees the next.

Monday, January 16, 2012

6 months

6 months. 6 months. I feel like I am in a weird state of limbo right now. On one side, I have been moving on, creating a new kind of day and keeping busy and on the other side, I can stop right in my tracks and get hit all over again with that fact that Daniel is gone and have to relive everything again. Each side is hard; moving away from him and reminding myself all over again that he isn't here physically. It's getting to a point now where it's a little harder to remember his voice and that makes me so sad because his voice was everything. That kid could never be quiet; he always had to know about something, tell us something, remind us of something. It was endearing and annoying all at the same time ♥ Mostly, I just miss holding him and tucking him into bed and reading to him and pushing him on the swing, and having him help cook with me and watching him try to squeeze his body into a cozy coupe... OK, I just miss all of him-even the fighting to go to bed and the escape tactics to get out of the house (ok, maybe not that one as much) and the food foraging and dumping on carpet and the crazy schemes he talked Jake in to. Man, I pray Jake doesn't do that with Andrew :) But maybe the one thing I miss the most is seeing him sit next to his little brothers. My pictures are never whole. It's still hard to look at new ones.
I do thank God that Jake can still remember him. He still shares with Daniel, practices saying all of Daniel's name and will randomly mention something of Daniel (even though Rach and I still can't figure out what he was talking about when we were driving the other day). He also associates blonde haired cartoons with Daniel.

Andrew will know all about his biggest brother too. I make a point of showing him pictures of all 3 of them together and of Daniel separately.
Recently, (and this so hugely personal and I cannot believe I am sharing it but Sunday school empowered me and I have to share this testimony) I got down on my knees where Daniel had laid and I thanked God. I thanked him for holding Daniel, for holding us up, for giving us our family, for walking before us and making the planning come together so seamlessly for his funeral, for protecting us, for providing for us, for lifting the cover over my eyes concerning my self, for staying by me when I mess up me and for working on my family. It's taken me a long while to be thankful for all of this but it hit me that day so powerfully that all I could do was fall and cry out. I think that was a turning point for me. I felt released of added bondage. I have noticed my heart change more since that day. I know I can make it through the rest of my life because I have His support within me. And that is exactly how I am doing "all of this" .

6 months. My life has been turned around, back around, and turned around again. But I am getting there, I am making it and I am thanking God for seeing me through it all.


That is what has become of my home now. An empty tomb. General, normal, everyday house sounds reverberating off the bare walls.

We took pictures today and it should officially be on the market tomorrow. While most-if not all-of you know what that means to my family, I have come to realize how sad it is as well. I know I've preached that memories aren't in material things and that moving from this home is what Ryan and I need (and that TOTALLY still holds true), but as we've been packing and rearranging to make this home not ours anymore, it feels like I am slowly losing a piece of me. My family is what makes me, me and to make our house more desirable and for people to picture themselves in it, I have to lose me (my pictures, my decorations) in the process. Ryan tells me it's not permanent and of course I know that, but the sounds in my house and the warmth is missing and so different. I've been trying to figure out what had me unsettled about all of this and I think I have finally figured it out. The sound and the lack of warmth.

On the flip side, I do have total peace with the decision to sell. If you recall awhile back, I had total reassurance from God that this was what we needed to do. I just never imagined the emotions all of this would make surface.

If I may be so frank in all of this, those of you that know us, and even those that don't, please respect us. Please don't snoop into our home or pry for curiosities sake. And please, please pray that we can continue to have peace with this decision, that the Lord will go before us and make this process simple for us, that we-I- continue to have faith, that the pictures taken today will show prospective buyers that this house can really be a home (because it truly did hold some fond memories for us) and that those that are working closely with us can be led as well.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Where is your star?

Today in Sunday school and service we touched down on paths. Both really spoke to me and got my thinking for the rest of the day.

When Jesus was a toddler, the Magi came to visit him by following the star. They knew their path would be arduous and long, but they knew no matter the difficulty in the journey, what was waiting for them at the end was the most prized finish. They kept their faces up and followed that star to come and worship our tiny King because they believed with their whole hearts that He was worth the path they had to travel, He was their redeemer and lover.

So much in the faith that the path they traveled was the one worth traveling.

It puts me to shame. Has He not shown me everyday that His ways are worth it? Instead of giving my all to Him, I let the enemy come in and plant doubts in my head over the past week and make me question the very foundation and support of my life. My path was diverted and I off-roaded it until today. It made me feel guilty and bad and I hated myself. The trouble was, I was so deep in the brush that I was losing my path. My star was not shining as bright and I had trouble seeing my way. I've been stumbling, trying to make my own way, walking around in the dark when my answer was always shining right above.

It took today to lift my eyes to the sky and refocus myself and find the right track. Of course my path is paved with bumps and canyons but it is lit by the brightest star and I can clearly see my prized finish in the distance. I can maneuver my bumps and canyons with more faith in myself and with more ease because my path is now back to the One who paved it and is lighting my way. I feel at peace. I know my way and I know the things I need to do now. I feel stronger and more equipped and my mind is clearer. We've beat out the enemy again and it feels great. My eyes are focused to the One that matters, and it is all good-and everything will be good and fall into place because of my direction now.

If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.
Jeremiah 29:13

Thanks Kevin and Pastor Mark

Friday, January 6, 2012

Yeah, I DVR'd the series finale of Wizards of Waverly Place...and my kids aren't going to watch it...

I never really realized how much food plays a part in my life until Ryan and I started our diet. To say I love food is an understatement. I lllloooovvveee food and eat when I am happy, sad, bored, tired, having fun, hanging out or working nights. Food Network is constantly on in our house and we've become quite the food snobs. It doesn't help when Ryan is an excellent cook and I can do some damage with baking (good damage) We make quite the team.

So, it's nearing the end of day 3 and I've noticed I am not only training my body but my mind as well. Usually when the kids go to bed, I'll curl up with a good book or my Kindle or watch T.V. and have a snack-and not a good one. It's automatic still for me to think that's what I need to do to relax. Instead, I've been working my brain muscles and training myself to think of alternate options. To not eat after 8:30 and have a healthy snack and some tea before ending my eating for the day. I've been keeping my hands busier (and that may not be good for my wallet...) and I've been interacting with the boys more. My mind is still constantly on when I can eat next, but I can feel myself slowly changing. My sugar detox headache is going away, I slept better last night and I am peeing like a race house from all the water I've been drinking which is awesome. Yup, I celebrate going to the bathroom; it's all part of getting healthier (which comes in second to getting skinnier if I am going to be honest ;)

My hope is that when Ryan and I are done with this 40 day stuff, we will continue to incorporate good lifestyle changes into our life and hopefully start P90X which has been collecting dust on our shelf since we bought it. It helps that this is a common goal for both of us and something we're doing together. I miss doing stuff with him (but that's another post entirely)

And no, this was not a new year resolution for us, it just happened to coincidentally coincide-in case you were wondering :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

I spent the first few moments of daylight in this new year at Daniel's spot after work. As I was driving home, my first instinct was to go there and make sure nothing had blown away because the winds were terrible this morning. I almost didn't go but then decided at the last minute to jump off the highway. I'm glad I did. I stood there for awhile, freezing, wishing I could see him and reflecting on what 2012 is going to mean to me. I'm not sure what I expected to feel once the clock turned to midnight. Maybe I was hoping for some of this weight to be lifted? For the newest minutes of the new year to suddenly make my life a little easier to bear? It didn't happen. But as I was standing next to Daniel's spot this morning, I talked to God. I am not a fan of new year resolutions but as I looked up to the sky and down at the ground, I asked the Lord for resolve. I prayed for help to work on my marriage, to make more time with Ryan, to spend more time enjoying what I have and less time worrying about what I don't. I prayed for peace this year, for strength only He can give me, and I prayed for my heart to be open to His path for our lives because as much as I don't want to acknowledge it, 2012 is still going to bring about a lot of changes.

I will never forget this awful time,as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends. His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin new each morning...the Lord is my inheritance, therefore, I will hope in Him.

Lamentations 3:20-24

(Thanks, Janet :)

Now, if you'll excuse me, Jake and I have some time to go stand on our heads and play while it's just the 2 of us.