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!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Elyse's 1st Birthday

Well, I should be staying up late tonight making cupcakes, cutting fruit and all the other last minute preporations that go into a first birthday party. Cliff hates it when I throw a party becuase it usually means we're up until at least 1am and pretty tired by the time the party starts! But, it's all worth it in the end when everyone has had a good time and most importantly the guest of honor knows they are valued and loved! And when the last guest leaves you put your feet up and know you will do it all again for the next event!

Tonight isn't like that, we're in Southern California, we went to Disneyland yesterday to celebrate our little girl and to have some time away this week. It has been really good, but a little bitter sweet too. I'd rather be at home with sore feet from standing in the kitchen instead of standing in lines all day. But, THIS is my life now and I'm trying with all that I am to still go on with each day and to make the best of what I've been handed. Including still celebrating Lysie's birthday.

Cliff did a great job explaining what we're doing tomorrow, so here is a copy of what he wrote on his blog.

Saturday, for Elyse's birthday, we're starting a tradition. At 1:06pm, the time that Elyse was born a year ago, we'll be releasing balloons in her honor. April, Peter and I will be in San Diego and will have a picnic lunch, a time together to honor her, and then we'll release our balloons. We're inviting anyone who wants to join us, wherever they are, to do the same in honor of Elyse. If you are able to do this we would love to see some pictures from your time and also be able to put those in her album.
Thank you family and friends for helping us celebrate!

Monday, March 22, 2010


The definition of perseverance:

1.steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., esp. in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

2.Theology. continuance in a state of grace to the end, leading to eternal salvation.
This may seem like a funny or strange post, but I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who is persevering with us. In so many ways. It really means a lot right now. Life has been rough for the last five weeks or so and lately perseverance has been on my mind. For us to "stay the course", for our friends to keep asking and nudging their way into our world. I really appreciate those that keep asking things, specific things or just come over or just jump in and help or maybe don't do anything but sit with us. It's really difficult to explain, but I kind of feel like I'm in a fog A LOT!! Simple problem solving things are difficult, planning life activities more than a day in advance takes a lot of brain power. Really simple daily life things are just so different.
I thought the second definition was interesting too. I'm living in that continuing state of grace everyday and I am so thankful for salvation. Praise the Lord! Can't wait to get to heaven, for so many reasons.
Thanks for reading my random thoughts, it means a lot to have people 'follow' this journey we're on.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Top Ten Things I Miss About My Lysie Lu

  • 10 - I miss her smile
  •   9 - I miss her giggles
  •   8 - I miss hearing her say 'mama' and 'dada' and 'baba'
  •   7 - I miss watching her crawl and listening to the sound of her slapping hands on the linoleum
  •   6 - I miss reading her stories
  •   5 - I miss having her press against me with her feet while I fed her in the high-chair
  •   4 - I miss her hanging out in her high-chair eating cheerios & puffs while I cooked
  •   3 - I miss watching her face light up when she saw her brother
  •   2 - I miss singing to her
  •   1 - I miss feeling her in my arms; whether feeding her a bottle, just holding her, lifting her up to change her diaper, or get her dressed, putting her in the high-chair, holding her on my hip or just carrying her from place to place. I just miss feeling her.
These are certainly not all the things I miss about my sweet girl, just the ones I was thinking of now.

Friday, March 19, 2010


A good friend gave us the devotional 'Jesus Calling', it's been great because there are times that I want to go to the Word and then I sit there with my bible unsure of where to turn. It's just a short devo and a few verses. I read yesterdays today (I didn't really know what day it was) and was very blessed by the truth in the words. Here is what it said:

Trust Me one day at a time. This keeps you close to Me, responsive to My will. Trust is not a natural response, especially for those who have been deeply wounded. My Spirit within you is your resident Tutor, helping you in this supernatural endeavor. Yield to His gentle touch; be sensitive to His prompting.

Exert your will to trust Me in all circumstances. Don't let your need to understand distract you from My Presence. I will equip you to get through this day victoriously, as you live in deep dependence on Me. Tomorrow is busy worrying about itself; don't get tangeld up in its worry-webs. Trust Me one day at a time.
"O Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you." Psalm 84:12

My soul needed this reminder today.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

One Month

It is overwhelming to think that tomorrow will be one month since our sweet Elyse went to be with Jesus. I still miss her just about every minute of every day, which will probably remain for a while. We got a pack of info from Angel Babies, a ministry in Fresno through Hinds Hospice. There is a page with some insights for friends that I wanted to share. It talks about things I have been feeling, but have been unable to communicate, at least unable to communicate them well. Okay, here is an excerpt:

To our Family & Friends: Our Grief Experience Shared.
We want to share with you some of our feelings and how you can help and support us. We have suffered a tremendous loss, and we need to grieve. Even though this may be uncomfortable for others around us, it's something we MUST do. We won't be over this in a few weeks as most people expect. We will be able to adjust to the loss of our precious child if we are given the time needed to grieve. (Avereage intense grieving is 18-24 months). However, we will not be the same people we were before our loss.

We may need to talk about our baby, how much we loved our child and the details of our experience. Even though we may not have many memories we suffer from broken dreams. During this time we need others to be there and listen to us time and time again. This is the kindest thing a person can do for us. We do not want to forget our baby and we will need to mention her in the future. It would be appreciated if you would remember our baby, especially on difficult days such as anniversary days, birthdays, Christmas, and Mother's and Father's Day.

In our struggles with our grief, we may have difficulties with the following:
* Understanding our many emotions and feeling emotionally balanced.
* Coping with feelings of guilt, anger and jealousy.
* Dealing with normal daily functions due to lack of energy.
* Deciding what to do with our baby's belongings.
* Coping with the individuality of our grief as a family and as a couple.
* Sharing family celebrations.
* Seeing babies that are the same age our child would have been.
* Need to make major decisions such as subsequent pregnancies, moving, job changes, etc.
* Visiting the cemetery and purchasing a tombstone.
* Remembering our baby in special ways that are acceptable.
* Feeling different and subsequently feeling isolated.
* Dealing with physical symptoms that arise due to grieving.

Dealing with these many emotions takes a lot of courage and tedious work. It is worth it so we can have peace of mind and physical well being.
If we sound a little selfish, please understand. Only after we are able to adjust and experience the journey of grief can we reach out and help others. One day we will be able to live life in a fuller manner.
We try not to criticize others. Before our baby died, we didn't understand the full impact this loss had. We want to share this painful experience with you so others can understand our need for support. No one will be able to take our pain away, but perhaps they can be there and listen.

Reading this has been so comforting; it helps to validate some of the feelings and emotions that I have. A couple things in particular have stood out to me, the statement about grieving over broken dreams. That has been such a reality for me, you picture your family, life and future to be a certain way and then in an instant it has all changed. So not only am I missing my sweet little girl, I'm missing what I imagined her life and our life as a family would be. I'm so saddened over her and Pete not being great friends. I'm saddened over future siblings missing out on their older sis. There will always be a part of our family that is missing...

Also, the timeframe of intense grieving, 18-24 months, that seems like a long time. And yet it is hard to imagine this pain and suffering leaving us anytime soon. I think the encouraging side of that is that what we're experiencing is pretty 'normal' so to speak. I know some people expect us to be over this soon, not so much spoken expectations, but silent ones. Well we're not going to be better for a while. We know that God is good, faithful and sovereign and that we are in His hands. We trust Him with our futures, with the pain and ache and know that HE WILL complete a good work in us and through us. There is so much more on my heart and in my mind, but I think this is more than enough for right now.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Love this boy!!

I really do love and I think I appreciate him in new ways these last few weeks. What a blessing he is! He LOVES looking at sissy's pictures. For almost a week now he has been asking to see her pictures, the ones around the house, on the computer, on Cliff's phone, her slideshow, anywhere he can see his sweet sis. I think it took all the commotion slowing down for him to really realize that she isn't here with us anymore. He asks for her sometimes and we usually just tell him that sissy is with Jesus now. One day he'll understand just what that means. Yesterday I was cleaning my bathroom and right outside the door is a basket left from Elyse's memorial service with a bunch of the smaller frames in it. Peter emptied the whole basket talking about each picture of her (he would say, "sis" or "feet") it was so cute! And then he put them all back just the way they were before, what a sweet type 'A' little boy I have. We have been praying that he will have supernatural memories of Elyse and I hope this is the beginning of seeing that prayer answered.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Your Hands

I am loving this song by JJ Heller lately, it kind of just spells out what I am feeling. I find myself playing it and sing it often. I had just heard of her a couple months back and then a few days after Elyse died my friend mentioned this song. I had to purchase it right then! You can check her out here or download the album here. Enjoy!

I have unanswered prayers
I have trouble I wish wasn't there
And I have asked a thousand ways
That You would take my pain away
That You would take my pain away

I am trying to understand
How to walk this weary land
Make straight the paths that crookedly lie
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands

When You walked upon the Earth
You healed the broken, lost, and hurt
I know You hate to see me cry
One day You will set all things right
Yea, one day You will set all things right

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands

Your hands
Your hands that shape the world
Are holding me, they hold me still
Your hands that shape the world
Are holding me, they hold me still

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave You when...

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave...
I never leave Your hands

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Monterey - The Aquariam

I love this one of the boys, it totally shows all of their personalities, Pete could have stayed here all day!
Oh how I love this boy, he wasn't really into posing for the picture.

The Jellyfish room was really cool. We had a good weekend all things considered, it was rough at times and good at times. We know that we are going to have so many firsts without our sweet girl and this was just one. Cliff does a way better job at writing our feelings so visit his blog for a more detailed report. Overall we were glad to "get-away" for a couple of days, yet nothing is to great these days. Thanks sissy and Eric for everything!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Here is the link to my sweet friend Jen's (one of my many sweet friends named Jen) website of a handful of amazing photos that she was able to capture from Elyse's Memorial Service and the graveside. They are so incredible, I'm so glad that someone thought to have someone take photos (thanks Johnna - I think) I'm looking forward to seeing more.

Jen, what an amazing gift you've given us - THANK YOU!!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sweet Elyse

Oh, how I miss this sweet baby girl. God is so faithful and good, but man what I wouldn't give to have this whole last week be just a bad dream and I could still have her in my arms.