Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I keep a picture of you as my screen lock on my phone. I guess it's my way of acknowledging you on a real level. Today at work I had the idea to rotate your picture out. I scrolled the the very top of my photos because that's where all of yours reside and I came across one of you holding Andrew. Seeing you hold your brother, your little hands protectively covering him and your head turned into his was almost too much. Sitting there, remembering those moments. Sometimes it just doesn't seem fair that they were cut so short. I still don't go to that place often. That place of "what would you be doing" "what would you look like" "what would you love or hate".  I'm afraid of what I may feel even giving in to those questions just a little bit. It doesn't go unnoticed on the surface. I think of you daily. Every single day you enter my mind. It's been 18 months. Almost to the point of half the life I had with you. It angers me that I don't get new stories to remember or new pictures to place on my screen lock. I feel so cheated sometimes. 
It rained and thundered today. Jake was scared. I told him you loved the rain and thunder and to know that whenever he hears it, you're right next to him. He fell asleep within minutes. I wondered when you would come protect me from my fears. 
I can say I miss you a million times. I could scream it from a mountain and here the words reverberate back to me. It still couldn't convey the depth of pain I feel missing you in our day to day life. How can I really explain what it feels like to have a part of my heart break everyday? How can I really describe the turmoil and tug of war with wanting to wish you back but never wanting you to leave the glories of Heaven?  Sometimes, it just plain sucks and there isn't much I can do but pray this release gets me through to the next.
I just really, really, miss you right now, bud. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013


"...I believed in God, so I spoke..."
2 Cor 4:13
Weeks ago in Sunday school my class touched on the subject of the truth of the Bible. More specifically, where we fit in the story of God. I struggled with this lesson. I was from the understanding that the Scriptures are my life lessons, that His words were supposed to be a foundation on how to model my life. So, I really got tripped up when we read that the Bible in not fundamentally about me but more of a revelation about God and His plan for the universe. How my life really isn't my life but a life about God; and I'm just a vessel to be used to glorify Him. So, I asked questions in class, got some really great answers from some of the pros (Kevin and Alice :) and thought, ok, makes sense. I'm a vessel, if I'm obedient I will gain knowledge in direct proportion to studying Him and His word and that will illuminate through me and in that way, my actions/words/thoughts/movements show Him. Simple.
I didn't really know just how much I didn't get it until I started up with this online Bible study on Luke. We're into the 2nd chapter and I am learning so much more about obedience. Yeah, we're reading the "Christmas story" currently but take away the tinsle and lights and showiness of Christmas and what it left is a hard-to-stomach-because-I-don't-think-I-possess-an-iota-of-the-faith-they-had-yet, incredibly selfless, vessel of a story concerning the obedience of Zechariah, Mary, Joseph and Jesus himself.
But, this post isn't even about Luke-all the way. The study of Luke opened my heart and mind to His word and tore down some veils of conceit and got me to this:
...I believed in God, so I spoke...
All of a sudden, everything from Sunday school and Luke and life started forming together in my lap via 2 Corinthians and the light (lightbulb) finally showed through.
I have a treasure stored within me. I gained that treasure when I gave my life to Christ. When I gave him my old, conceitful, my-way-has-to-be-the-only-way, life, I gained His life. And by gaining His life, my life suddenly became about His story because I want so very much to be a part of His universe.  These words, my ability to carry on through some pretty tough stuff, my actions-while definitely still a work in progress-show His love because I gave up the love of me.   All of a sudden, I am reading His story as just that-His story. The words written by humans filled with the Spirit concerning the works God did-and is doing-to make His story fully complete. And I want to be obedient. I want to shout that I am being used for His glory and my heart of black is changing to a heart of gold because He is flowing within me. When I finally meet Him face to face, I want my heart to be as perfect as it can be (cuz it's not totally perfect till I die anyway, still human down here) because I want my heart to be a heart that served Him in the role He chose for me.
So, thank you Lord for not giving up on me. For seeing that I would eventually get it and for guiding me to Your word. Thank you for the lives you placed around me-and above me-to help carry on Your plan. Thank you for the gentle reminders life is precious, but strong, if filled with You. Lord, I ask of your forgiveness when I stumble and pray You lead me back to Your plan always. Forever in your name.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Parenting 3.0

Parenting is difficult. Hands down this will be the hardest job I will ever encounter. Daily I fear if the choices I make for myself and for my children are the right ones needed for their happiness, their growth, their structure. My worst nightmare is one of my boys not knowing the loving hands of God, not grasping the importance of kindness and stewardship, not having a desire to be the very best them. I struggle with knowing where the line is in mothering boys for obedience.
Ryan and I have had to reevaluate how we approach disobedience and consequences with Jake. He's been getting into a nasty habit of talking back, not listening and hitting. After a long conversation with Ryan, prayer and study of the Word, I think Ryan and I have found some solid ways to maintain consequences while still maintaining a loving hand. It's such a delicate balance between being firm and exercising compassion because, after all, Jake is still only 3.5.
Tonight was difficult for me. Jake talked back to me again so he was put in his room and firmly told why he was being punished. He wanted out so badly but we held firm and I continued getting Andrew ready for a bath. Jake had to be placed back in his room twice and to hear him plead he wouldn't do it again was hard to hear but we knew he really didn't get what was wrong. Later, we sat with Jake and talked with him about obeying and being a good Jake versus a bad Jake. It took a little while but Jake finally started getting what happens when rules aren't followed. Then,finally, he was starting to put together how his actions were being good instead of bad and, of course, we offered lots of praise with his good actions.  It was rewarding for myself to see first hand that firm guidance wasn't going to break his little spirit.
Still, I think one of the most important things we have to work on with Jake is understanding emotions. We've noticed Jake gets frustrated and doesn't seem to understand cause and effect and how being disobedient hurts Mommy and Daddy and it is not OK to be silly when apologizing. I think we're going to have to work on displaying emotions and placing a name with actions.
If anything can come out of what I studied and what Ryan and I worked on together is that it takes a team to rear children and a unified front. I'm thankful Ryan and I can work on this together. (Lord knows we're going to need it when Andrew hits the two's.) It was comforting to be able to piece discipline and Biblical teaching to one another as well.  If our children cannot have respect for us, then they will surely not have the respect for the Father. I know my boys have big, sweet hearts. It is my duty, and Ryan's duty to rear them in the ways they should go so that they never depart from them. I would rather it hurt me now to punish, then hurt them later.
Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.
Proverbs 13:24
Do to others whatever you would like done to you
Matthew 7:12

Saturday, January 12, 2013


I have three sons. Two are present physically and one is waiting for me in Heaven and ever present in my heart. I can't quite pinpoint when it happened but sometime after July 19th a separation seemed to form. It wasn't until I posted this picture of Daniel and Andrew that I even realized it had happened. 
I have two sons. Two sons that share my time, photos, toys and food. Two sons that are continuing to grow up with one another. And then I have one son. One son whose images stop at 3.5 years. A son that I've seemed to tuck deeper into my heart and who occupies my solitary thoughts. 
Whether subconsciously or not, I have separated my thoughts into Jake&Andrew and Daniel. I could never forget my three men are brothers but I've failed myself in sharing that they are three brothers; whether it be on social media or in my day to day life. I don't know if that is part of a normal process; I do have to carry on and give the boys-and myself-a semblance of normalcy, or if I just successfully unlatched a part of my family. It isn't just Jake&Andrew and Daniel now, it will always be Daniel, Jake and Andrew and seeing my oldest and youngest next to one another ignited so much in me. 
I don't want this to be what's normal. I want to share their special bond. Jake and Daniel's two years together getting into mischief, having to vie for attention, their conversations. Daniel and Andrew's physical similarities, Daniel's gentle and loving actions towards his baby brother. Daniel, Jake and Andrew's first July 4th together, their first park adventure, sharing time in the car with one another, helping with bottles and diapers and squishing in together on the couch. Comparing one another at different stages like a mom is supposed to do {even if we say we don't; we do} and marveling at the differences. And I want to see pictures of them next to one another and not feel like I've placed them in different portions of my heart. If I don't make the change now, then I feel the memories that I have to share will fade away and the boys won't remember themselves as three. 
I cannot wait to really sit down and place pictures in my albums and start the process of constructing a book for each of the boys and their special relationship with one another. They need this. I need this.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


This weekend Ryan and I did something we've never done before; we saw 2 movies back to back. A rarity to see a movie in itself, but to be able to view 2 was almost crazy! Despite the 1:00 (am!) ending and my moment of falling asleep, it was a fantastic night-especially since we shared it with my best bud, Rach.

Les Mis, in my opinion, was better than the play I saw in London. The actors that were cast did phenomenal in their roles and I cried at least 3 times. Lincoln was really neat to see, too. The historical comedy and dialogue, while difficult to follow occasionally given it was close to midnight, was entertaining to the history lover in me. Felt for Mary Todd in regards to losing a son, too. In fact, in regards to how men and women approach grief over losing a son, even if it was touched on momentarily, was eye opening. I think I came away respecting Ryan more.

I've noticed (revisited?) that it seems so hard for me to step away from my mothering role and step into my wife role and best friend role. As soon as I step away from the boys, I have guilt that I've left them and stepping out of that skin seems almost foreign to me; like I can't quite remember how to be anything but a mom. This weekend helped shed that anxiety. It felt wonderful to be a different role. It was so nice to spend uninterrupted time with my husband and best friend. To examine other entertainment outside of hot wheels, Chuggington, coloring and superheroes. I've been missing being an adult and being in an adult centered environment. (Have not missed the crowds and annoying teenagers, though. Ugh, I really hope I wasn't like that but I'm pretty sure I thought I was the bees knees back then-and definitely would never have caught myself saying that!)
I'm catching on to the fact that I need both worlds to remain a stable person. And I must continue to learn and remember my kids do not need me constantly. But, of course, I would drop everything for them. Always.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012: A year in review

Is is just me or did this past year fly? It seriously feels like moments ago that I was summing up 2011. This year held so much. 
In January, I started the year hanging out with my eldest and we prepared to sell our house. 
Jake was not impressed. 

February marked an overdue phone call from a friend. First times at a Hibachi grill and learning first hand just how little sleep I could get when showing the house.

March brought in warm weather and a new family member. My boys grew right before my very eyes and I dealed with some things.

April brought in fun rain showers and Jake's infamous "lightening face". We put the house back on the market when the first offer fell through. It was a minor set back and I loathed having to show the house again, but Praise God, it didn't take long to get another offer. Easter came this month and it was so much fun to watch the excitement with the kids over finding eggs.  I also learned more about myself and finally felt some release.  And how could I forget the great snowstorm of 2012? It was epic. ;)

May brought my first Mother's Day since Daniel died. It was..ok. Once I finally could see out of my veil of grief to welcome the life I still have. May wasn't my finest of months. I did hit a parked car and broke down in Mercy's garage. Jake turned 3 and we celebrated at Chuck E Cheese. He still talks of his birthday and his cool Cars cupcake cake

In June we celebrated 5 years of marriage, a first birthday, and I took up running. That lasted just a few months but boy, do I miss it.

July. Oh July. If it wasn't for family and church, it surely would have been unbearable. Ryan and I made it one year. It was hard. {It still is hard.} But we made it. Together. As a family, we triumphed in the midst of a tragedy. As a Christian, I grew closer to my God. He was written into all of my year. Interwoven into my hurt, my questions, my fears, my anguish, my feats. If not for His promises of safety and eternity, I surely would be writing of a different 2012.

August was hot. So hot. I celebrated a birthday. We sold our house and moved to a temporary address. A huge chunk of stress was lifted. And a beautiful boy was honored by some wonderful friends. 

September brought a major life changing decision. One that I prayed and labored over for quite a while. Ultimately, the best decision was made for me and my family and I put in my last weeks notice as a Labor and Delivery nurse. 

October brought cooler weather, a new job working as the nurse in an incredible OB-GYN office, a new daycare {and introduced new germs} and Halloween. Andrew really was the star on Halloween. He made me laugh and just really enjoy the moment.

November is most known for a month to reflect and give thanks. And it was. Here. And Here. Mr Metz also received a life saving award for his work in performing chest compressions on a man thru a sun roof. So, so proud. We also welcomed a perfect little blessing named Mason Daniel. I hope he always knows just how excited his Grandma and Aunts were for his arrival. I know we all stayed by the phones keeping tabs on his birth all night. And maybe we got a little slap happy around 3. Someone will deliver with a squatting chair!

December. Oh December. I am still reeling from you. Daniel's birthday was honored with a collection to the Children's Home Society. I was absolutely humbled at the response. Got a lesson from good ol' Gideon, too. I just pray that those receiving the gifts feel the love that was shared in the giving and collecting.  A guest post debuted this month and it's words ring true everyday. I started and ended my month probably the most depressed and down since last July. I had a lot of troubles on my heart and mind. It wasn't the greatest for America as a whole. I struggled till just about the end of the month, praying that the lesson to be learned would arrive. It did and just in time. {post soon} Christmas was, well, a lot different then I had imagined. But it was real. And the time with family will always be treasured. 

I already know this is going to be another whirlwind year. Up next: Another move. A fresh start. More birthdays to celebrate and lives to cherish with more letter writing and less Facebook perusing.