Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August 1st

Today my sweet Titus is 10 1/2 months old, the age Elyse was when she went to be with the Lord. I wasn't really sure what to expect from today. Cliff did a great job of expressing his (our) thoughts on it, but I am some times late to the game (I'm late to a lot of things;)). I don't always know how I'm going to feel until I'm here in the moment.

As I was putting Ty down for his nap this morning he was a little fussy (oh, by the way I took him to the doctor yesterday because he has had a cold for about 2 weeks and started coughing Monday night. He has a sinus infection, it hasn't been easy having him sick during this time). So after we read 'moo, bah, la, la, la' (one of our favorites) I decided to just rock him. I started singing to him, "Jesus love me this I know, for the Bible tells me so, little ones to Him belong they are weak but He is strong, yes Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me the Bible tells me so." As I sang those words to my sweet gift, who is 10 1/2 months old today I realized those words were from the Lord to me. Tears started falling from my eyes as I thought about the love that Jesus has for me. Isn't He so gracious to love me in my weakness? In His strength reach down and touch my heart, my mind, this very day that I have to trust Him a little extra with this life that is in my arms. As I told Titus how much I love him, I also told him that Jesus loves him even more.

Looking back on the last 2 1/2 years, I know so much more today than I did before about how much my Jesus loves me. I know it seems counterintuitive, but I know my God a little better than I did before. And while if I could choose I would have a sweet, sassy 3 1/2 year in my home right now.  I wasn't asked my opinion though. This is the path that has been laid out before me. And so I will choose to press in, to trust deeper, to love this boy that is 10 1/2 months old with all that I am. I will choose to love my God who is able to strengthen my heart and my mind in new ways each day. I will choose to be joyful that I got to know my daughter intimately in those short 10 1/2 months (+9 inside of me). And I will rejoice in that time and look forward to eternity with my God and my sweet girl.

Thanks for journeying with us. May you see Jesus through our smiles and tears. 
Thankful for these two sweet boys!
Wish there was a little girl in an orange dress next to them. :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Elyse's 3rd Birthday w/Jesus

Today is Elyse's 3rd birthday. Many of you know and have already written, sent a text, called or celebrated with us. We miss this girl. I miss her everyday, multiple times a day. I'm thankful for today for so many reasons, 3 years ago today I heard three very exciting words. 'It's a girl'. That was so fun and a little surprising, I remember I kept staring at her name on her bassinet that day thinking 'I really have a little girl'. There was something so special about finding that out in that moment. A little girl. If I had known then that I would only get to hold her for 10 1/2 short months I'm not sure what I would have thought. I'm so glad we don't know the future. But, I wouldn't trade those 10 1/2 sweet months for anything. The tears, the pain, the heartache, the loss, the many, many rough days are all worth those short months of having her in our family. I'm a different person because of her life and her death. Life is more precious to me than it was just over two years ago. I look at Titus and I really treasure every moment with him both when he is happy and sad (which is not very often).

We celebrated Elyse's life on Sunday. We threw a party, it's the party I've never really gotten to throw and it was good. We had family and close friends. Our good friends and little friends that would have been her good friends. We were together, there were tears and laughter, good food and lots of pink and orange! I sure hope she likes those colors, cause her mama does. ;)

 The drinks & cups, a borrowed and enhanced idea from my friend Allyson, thanks friend!  Pink & orange mason jars with chalk lids to help you keep track of your own glass.

 The amazing dessert buffet from my very talented sis-in-law! Thank you Spoonful of Sugar!!

Tanner & Pete, sweet friends! 

Peter is such a great big brother and remembers and loves his sis so much.
 We released balloons at 1:06pm, the time she was born. It was just two days early this year. We always do balloons, but this year was fun with SO many!! There were 50 that went up to her and the kids were so sweet as they sent them 'up to heaven to see Elyse and Jesus'.

Here are a few lot of pictures from the party. Thank you for celebrating with us and for walking this journey of loss, hope, redemption and hopefully more than anything of looking to Jesus for our everything. He really is everything. I'm thankful I get to celebrate Elyse and then look forward to Easter and the cross and the empty tomb, because that brings new life and assurance of seeing my girl again.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Elyse's 2nd Birthday with Jesus

As I write this we are headed down south to celebrate our sweet girls birthday. In just two days she would be celebrating her 2nd birthday. Oh how much I wonder what life would be like with her these much of a two year old would she be, how much would she be saying and how would Elyse and Pete be getting along (or not getting along).

But, I am left to wonder these things without answers...ever. So I will focus on the fact that I've made it to this point, one year ago I honestly wasn't quite sure how that was going to happen. But here we are in March 2011 and we are doing even more than surviving we're making it and we're looking ahead to what God has planned for our family and future. Oh it doesn't mean I don't still grieve...often, but I have hope HOPE in the creator of life. Who does indeed give and take away.

Cliff is running in his third half marathon within the last nine months tomorrow. I know he's incredible and in such great shape these days. I'm hoping to jump back into the game next year, after baby comes and a little recovery time!!

Then on Sunday, the 27th Elyse's birthday we're going to Disneyland!! We went last year with my sister, brother-in-law, Sam & Ben. It was a good, mostly fun thing to do. This year it's just the three of us going and I'm looking forward to watching Peter enjoy everything even more. I think he actually knows who Mickey Mouse is this year. ;) Lots of people have ask us if this is going to be a tradition, we don't know. But, we did think that since I wasn't very far along in pregnancy and we don't have a newborn it would be a good thing to do on Elyse's birthday again...we'll see what next year holds.

We do want to invite anyone that's interested to help us celebrate her birthday by releasing a pink balloon at 1:06pm on Sunday. Some of you did this last year and it meant a TON to us. If you take pictures will you send them to us or tag us on Facebook? We would love to know that you are thinking about our sweet Elyse and us.

Thank you for walking this journey along side of us, through tears, prayer, hugs and so much more. We are so blessed and loved by each and everyone of you. And we really don't take that lightly, we covet your love and friendship.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

January 6th

Today marks the point where Elyse has been gone longer than she was here on earth with us. Minus that sweet 9 months in my womb, which I now treasure so much more and really appreciate that I got an extra few months to know her.

I was doing okay, had a busy day lots to do (still have lots to do as I sit and write out my thoughts). I think I just wanted to push it aside and not confront what it really represents. I think I've been wanting to do that lately, just put my head down and plow through. Surely it will be better on the other side. Really? Probably not. Not if I don't learn anything from walking this road. Lord knows I never want to have to learn any of these lessons again, at least not in this same way.

And then it all came crashing down. The fast tears streaming down my face, feeling as if I might not be able to breath because it hurts so bad. Those feelings and emotions that I don't feel everyday anymore. But they still come. And they probably will a little more as February and March are drawing so near. I just wanted to be mad, I just wanted to be angry and sad and every other emotion that I keep at bay most of the time. I'm tired of having the 'right' reactions and attitudes. I just want to scream and say it's NOT OKAY!!!!! It's not okay that my sweet girl isn't here anymore. I think you got it wrong Lord, I think I still need her.

As I looked up and saw her smiling face and chubby arms, her beautiful blue eyes, those cheeks that went on and on and of course her chubby little legs that barely fit into those skinny jeans she's wearing. I thought, I didn't get enough. Not enough giggles, or smiles, or tears, or even fits (which I never really got to experience). I didn't get to feel those roles in her arms enough, or place enough zerberts on that belly, or tickle those thighs enough to elicit such joyous squeals and giggles. I was jipped. There should have been more moments, I wish I could have one of those moments right now.

But you know what? I don't, I don't have any more moments with Elyse this side of heaven. I'm really sad about that, really sad. And you know what else? That's okay that I'm sad. I want to feel this sadness for all that it is and today I felt it.  Deep in my soul I feel it right now. Part of me is missing, part of my family is missing, so much of my future is missing.

So I thought, I'm just going to be upset about life and scream LIFE STINKS! Which it does, at times. My God wouldn't really have any of that...I think He's okay that I'm sad. But, He doesn't want me to live there and truth be told I don't want to live there either. It's hard work being upset about everything and it's draining, it will suck the life right out of you.

So I jumped on the treadmill because if there was one thing I really needed to do today it was run. I put on a podcast from Focus on the Family in was on Trusting God in Family Life I didn't think much of the subject. And then it started, talking about the fear of losing a child and Job and so on. I won't go into all the details, but I will tell you it was God speaking to me. More tears, I had to walk, I couldn't run with the tears that were falling. It was God reminding me that His ways are the best ways. His plan is good, He has good things for me. He's God and I'm not. I'm so glad.

This morning He showed me this verse:
     "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is as work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."          Ephesians 3:20-21

I'm so glad his power is at work in me. I'm so glad that he is able to do more than I can imagine, I don't have a great imagination. ;) I'm so glad that he doesn't let me sit in my muck for long. Yes, I'm sad, but this year I'm also hopeful. Trying to live in that hope today and everyday. Not ignoring the real emotions and realities that are in my life, but not living in those 24/7 either.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I know Thanksgiving was two weeks ago, but I wanted to share something from my devotional that struck so close to my heart as I read it. And then as Cliff was praying last night it made me think about it all over again.

     Thankfulness takes the sting out of adversity. That is why I have instructed you to give thanks for everything. There is an element of mystery in this transaction: You give me thanks (regardless of your feelings), and I give you Joy (regardless of you circumstances). This is a spiritual act of obedience - at times, blind obedience. To people who don't know Me intimately, it can seem irrational and even impossible to thank Me for heartrending hardships. Nonetheless, those who obey Me in this way are invariably blessed, even though difficulties may remain.

    Thankfulness opens your heart to My Presence and your mind to My thoughts. You may still be in the same place, with the same set of circumstances, but it is as if a light has been switched on, enabling you to see from My perspective. It is this Light of My Presence that removes the sting from adversity.

I am not in a place to thank my Lord for the circumstances that I am in, but I am able to thank Him for who He is. Along with what He is showing me and how He is working in my life through the current events. It's kind of a fine line of thankfulness, almost a sacrificial thankfulness, there is sadness in my soul and joy in my heart at the same time. In this season of Thanksgiving and Christmas my focus must be on who my God is, it's too much to get wrapped up in the activities and emptiness that I feel at times. My prayer is that thankfulness will fill my heart and soul each day, each moment really, and truly realize how wonderful a gift baby Jesus is, better than all the gifts I've ever received.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Pete's Tractor Party

Here are some pictures from Pete's 3rd Birthday Party! It was so much fun, I had a great time putting it together and all the kids and mamas had fun too! Thanks to all who helped and came to celebrate our sweet Pete!

The star of the Party, thanks Kirk!!
Drinks for the adults and kiddos
Almost all the kids in the scoop!

Yes Ben, dirt does make you cuter. ;)
Birthday boy thoroughly enjoying the tractor, dirt and a stick :)
I love GiGi hanging out on the tire in this one!
Sweet Friends

It was so many of the kids first time with a pinata, we adults had a good time telling them to give it a good whack!!
Me, with the cupcake. Can't believe my little man is three.

 The candy bar for favors was super fun! Thanks Johnna for all the containers and candy too! It was a bit of a candy-overload party, but hey Peter's only going to turn 3 once right?

Love you sweet boy, so blessed by the little man that you are and I'm believing BIG things for you life. God has plans for you my little rock.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Blogging and Love

As you are well aware I haven't blogged in a while. The problem with blogging (for me) is that when I get behind I don't know where to start from when I begin again. Should I back-blog and catch everyone up or just skip to what is happening right now. So instead of doing either of those things I debate back and forth of what I should do and in turn get farther behind. I do intend to post about our trip and Elyse's birthday, but they require a little more time and effort than I have to give right now.

So here's a short sweet story about my little man, isn't he cute?
This is Pete climbing his first tree, he loved it! I love that he is all boy. Jumping off the tree was his favorite part, he could have stayed there all day.

But, the story came from breakfast this morning. For the last month or two I've been working on getting him to say 'I Love You' and he would repeat after me (or Cliff) I - I, Love, You - You! He would not say Love, just the I and You. It was really sweet how he said and I figured we were headed in the right direction. Just this last week he started saying the Love part. I was so proud of him!

Back to breakfast, Pete and I sit next to each other at the table and he always leans over and grabs my arm and sometimes migrates to my lap. This morning he grabbed my arm and said 'I Love You'!!! SO SWEET! It is the greatest thing a parent can hear from their child. And just what this mommy needed to hear from her sweet little one. Thank you Lord for this blessing in my life!