Wednesday, March 28, 2012

While putting sun block on Andrew this morning before we started playing outside; the smell took me back to a special time last year. To sun, sand, a looooong 12 hour drive with 2 toddlers, family and fun. Even though our budget had been tight, I made it a point to save for a special trip to Florida-along with my parents and Grandpa- to see my brother, his wife and my niece for Easter. I wanted time away before having another baby added to my chaos and I wanted to make special memories for Daniel and Jacob.
I think I came out with the best memories of all.
Daniel and Jacob were not fans of the ocean. I can't say I blamed them. It was loud and rough. But the smell of the salty sea air was so intoxicating and I wanted them to enjoy something I love so much. There is just something so awing about looking out into the ocean and thinking that it goes on like that for forever. Even in the rough, tumbling waters, there is still something so peaceful in something so beautiful. Instead, those boys taught me about patience and sand could be just as fun. They woke us up at the crack of dawn every morning but it didn't matter. (Funny how time is irrelevant when you're on vacation) We got to eat breakfast on the deck facing the beach and then find fun new spots to swing and dig. (Funny how we can be so close to the beach and end up playing at a park :) We got to plan our Easter hunting together with cousins and spent some special time with Rayna. I spent some quality time with my parents and my mom and I pushed the boys and Sophia around looking at Florida real estate. We even met a special friend, crabby, that camped out under the car. It was crazy to watch that thing move. Daniel was scared and intrigued and left Florida with a special stuffed crab.

But, the most special memory of all-and the most sad-was that this would be the last time that our far off family would see Daniel. God works in such special ways. We may not-or ever-understand His timing or His reasoning, but to look back and see how effortlessly the pieces fell to make that trip; it makes me so thankful for His love. The timing of the trip, the way the money came together, the fact Rayna got to see her boys and Sophia got to spend some time with Daniel; it makes that trip one of my most treasured.
And, in looking back, especially at a time when I need encouragement that all things work together for those that believe in Him, our Florida Easter trip is tangible proof that He will work it out in His own way and His own time. I just need to have the faith that it will.

"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9

Monday, March 26, 2012


*It's March?! Could have fooled me

*Andrew is getting into everything. And the boy can't even walk yet. Instead he pulls his table toy behind him to move. Really? Lord, help me; this kid is going to give me more gray hair
*I've had, um, quite a few breakdowns this week. Not really felt the need to blog about them; but I've been writing in my other journal. It hasn't been pretty
*...but nothing like pulling some weeds to make you feel better
*Made delicious shredded meat off pinterest for tacos. I heart pinterest
*Mercy Me's "The Hurt and the Healer" is an awesome song
*I realized when Jake turns 3.5, I will officially be in uncharted parenting territory. Makes me kind of sad-and scared
*Allergies are horrendous! Well, it's either that or the kids gave me a cold
*Got to spend some quality time (sans kids!) with my bestie
*Still need to spend some quality time out of the house with my hubby
*Getting a new manager at work; I wonder what is going to change...
*Talking about perfection and God and changing hearts in Sunday School. We will never be perfect, but we can change how we react and better ourselves to glorify Him. Always needing a reminder
*Just a few hundred dollars more and we'll have all the money for Daniel's Park Pet
*Going to be an aunt again and I.Am.Over.The.Moon. excited!

Monday, March 19, 2012

A visit

Today isn't the first time I have taken the boys to Daniel's spot, but today was the first time that Andrew got to leave the car to visit. Driving up is difficult in the car because Jake always asks where Daniel is but this time he wanted to know why. Ugh. How do you explain all of that to a 2 year old? Luckily, he is 2 and was easily distracted by the fountain near Daniel's spot. Gives me more time to formulate an age appropriate answer. (Feel free to chime in with help!) Anyway, I sat Andrew down and Jake quickly grabbed Daniel's police car to play. It gave me time to listen to our windchime that plays along so melodically with Daniel's neighbors' chime and enjoy the sun warming my skin. It's not often I feel complete peace there, but today, with all my boys and the beautiful weather, it was near complete peace. Our permanent marker should be in soon and I am anxious to see it in place...and to see some grass sprout up; it's so naked.

It's difficult to believe it's been 8 months. I woke up at 6:30 to feed Andrew and realized it was the 19th, and waited for some kind of emotion to well up, but it didn't happen. It wasn't until I was visiting his spot that the full force of what today is hit me. I think I handled it well. I think July 19th is weighing more heavily on my heart so this is nothing (in comparison). And Mother's Day. And the fact I work the 12th and Ryan works on Mother's day. I think I may need to switch that; I don't know if I'll be able to see new Mom's excitement-atleast this year.

I spent some time looking at pictures of Daniel last night and it never occurred to me that his hair laid to the right from the moment he was born. I remember fighting that hair so much to lay how I wanted it to. It annoyed me then, but to see it lying that way in his casket, the familiarity in a very upturned time, was so comforting. Ryan was the one to point it out; I couldn't stop staring at his hands. I am so glad he did.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

They make my heart pitter patter.
Happy St Patty's Day from a very non Irish family :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A week turned around

This week started off bad-so bad. With the weather changing I've brought out all the 3T summer clothes. Seeing the clothes that Daniel wore just 2 summers ago when he was 2 1/2 was difficult. There was one shirt I couldn't even stand to take out because I know I wouldn't be able to see Jake in it. Practicality ruled over my emotion because it just doesn't make sense to purchase an entirely new wardrobe when it was only worn once. Still, it doesn't make it any easier. We also found out that the contract placed on our house was terminated by the potential buyer so now it is back to square one. And our mortgage company isn't making it any easier. It's getting more discouraging and harder being here. And then I went to my OB and I hadn't been there since July and I was placed in the same room and my tears started flowing remembering what I felt sitting there 8 months ago. My attitude hasn't been stellar, either. I know earlier this week I was letting all of this get to me and burrow deep inside.
I had a lot of "woe is me" moments and tried to seek encouragement and peace with prayer and reading my Bible but I know it was a half hearted attempt because I wanted to sulk and be angry at our situation. It wasn't until last evening that I picked up my book I had been reading that I finally opened my eyes to who was trying to get my attention all week. Matthew 6 jumped right at me and the more I read into it, the better I felt. Sure, I've read it before, there are even some scripture that I marked, but lying in my bed last night, I think I really read it.

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

I think it was my attitude about this week that bothered me so much. Does He not promise me that He will take care of myself and my family? I've had setbacks this week, with my house and my heart and I didn't make it any easier on me-or Ryan- with my attitude. I let it get the best of me and thought we won't ever get better or move. It harbored with me and made me blind to His comfort. But, He got me finally, in the calm of the night where He so often gets me. I went to sleep with a better mindset and a new knowledge of what I need to change in me to change my circumstances. It helps that a page was sticking out more than the others and I came across this (and its' one of my favs):

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

And then this (I can't remember how I got to it, but does it matter?):

Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.

I know Ill be reflecting on all of this for the rest of the week and giving thanks for Rachel, my Mom and Kevin for prompting me with words of comfort. I know it helped me enjoy this awesome weather we've been having and enjoy my men.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Tag! I'm it!

Tiffany tagged me!

Here are the rules...
1. Post these rules
2. Post a photo of yourself and 11 random things.
3. Answer the questions set for you in the original post.
4. Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them.
5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them you’ve tagged them.

I eat tuna straight out of the packet with crackers (currently :)
I would have been a teacher had I not become a nurse
I used to stuff clothes underneath my Barbie's clothes to make them pregnant. I kept it G rated! It's no wonder I am an L&D nurse
My Grandma used to make me practice writing because my handwriting was that bad
I am not into The Hunger Games
I have become less of an pet person as I have gotten older
I make a willful effort not to get on Facebook on Sundays
I have been tempted a few times during this Lenten season. Crap. I am still trying!
I cannot wait for my boys to start school. I love school.
I also love the smell of pencils and books
I would wear maternity clothes all the time. So roomy!

1~ What is your favorite childhood memory?
Smelling the sheets that had been in the linen closet. It reminds me of comfort :)
2~ What song is playing in your car right now?
Whatever is on Joy FM. I don't do cds very often.
3~ Do you sing out loud when you drive?
Yup...and it's bad.
4~ What is the one place on earth you would travel if money was no object?
5~ What is your favorite book?
Fictional: The Help
6~ What is your favorite movie?
Ugh....going with one that stands the test of time. The Little Mermaid
7~ What seems more scary to do ~ Scuba Dive or Sky Dive?
Sky dive. I would like to scuba dive
8~ What is your favorite thing to do with your spare time?
9~ What are you passionate about?
My family
10~What are you afraid of?
My kids getting hurt
11~Are you Happy?
Most days, yes. I'm a work in progress :)

You're it! : Becca, Jenny, Ellen, Jessie, Em

1. If you could change your name, what would it be?
2. What is your go to comfort food?
3. Did you play a sport in high school?
4. Do you have an iPhone?
5. When was the last time you wrote a letter?
6. How many kids do you want?
7. What made you start blogging?
8. What is your favorite season?
9. What is your favorite number?
10. Do you like your job?
11. Where would you love to vacation?

No picture of me....iphoto isn't working :(

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Oh man, it's days like today where I wish I was more of a coffee drinker...or had Starbucks right in my own backyard. A wake up at 5:45, up for the day at 6:30 and a time out by 7:30. Thank the Lord for nice weather and play dates.

And baby smiles. And watching Jake reenact Cars 2.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

...and then it happened

I still live July 19th like it's today. I imagine it will be that way for some time. I'm not immune to what people have said in response to Daniel's death. I've read it; anyone that knows me has probably read it. Taken at face value it sounds horrific. I am not downplaying the tragedy I have felt; I saw it with my own eyes-I still see it in my car, in my dreams, on my couch, lying in my bed. But in those minutes of discovery, something changed in me. That's what people don't know and didn't read.

My heart broke a thousand times and was restored simultaneously. At that moment kneeling by Daniel's head, I knew God was with my son. It was this God that picked me up from the floor after I fervently prayed over my son, "please, God, be with him", and instrumented the rest of my life at that very moment. It was this God that gave me the strength to pray as we rode to the hospital to give Daniel back if Daniel couldn't be Daniel anymore. It was my God that got me through planning his funeral and making such hard decisions perfect for Daniel. It was my God that surrounded myself and my family with love, prayer and support by so many people. And it was my God that held his promise of peace the moment I saw my son again.
Oh my gosh, the peace. Standing beside Ryan, gripping his hand and staring down at our boy and knowing he's ok and we would be ok; it consumed my whole being. I wish there were enough words to describe it. It was like I was given more breath inside of me. I was absolutely stunned.

I cannot say the days following have been easy on me. I believe I have cried enough tears to fill an ocean. I've been distant, quiet, envious, frustrated and hopeless. But would I change the course of this journey? Do I wish my son back? The answer is no. Daniel's loss has permanently cemented God's promise in my heart. I WILL see my son again; healthy and whole and beautiful. He is exactly where he belongs. To want him back to a world like this would be so selfish of me. I was graced to have him for a short while and I will always have him in my heart; and eventually he will be in my arms again. Do I miss him? EVERY minute of every day. Sometimes the weight of his life and his death hang so heavy on my heart. Sometimes I feel like I just can't give enough love to my family because I am consumed with so much sadness. It takes all of me-and then some-to paste a smile on my face and I still fail miserably many times.

My secret to making it? Well, He's not so secret if you know where to look...

...and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7

He reached down from Heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters
Psalm 18:16