Sunday, September 6, 2015

7 Years

All decorated for your birthday!
Dear Joshua and Caleb,

7 years.  It's been 7 years since you came into the world, almost exactly 7 years in fact.  7 Years since I held your tiny lifeless bodies.  7 years since you changed my life completely.  I can still go back to this moment 7 years ago.  I know the smells and the sounds and the feeling in the room.  I don't think those are things I will ever forget.  Those are things I don't want to ever forget.  While those are hard things to remember and feel, I am just so grateful.  Seriously just grateful for the journey.  There are about a million reasons I wouldn't change our journey but it doesn't mean I don't miss you.  I can't help but wonder who you'd be today.  I sometimes wish I could just get a glimpse at what life would be like with you today but I'm quickly reminded of God's plan.  It wasn't God's plan for me to watch you grow up.  It wasn't God's plan for me to see who you would be today.  My faith today, and always, will sit in His perfect plan and there is no doubt in my mind that you are right where you are supposed to be and your lives have been carefully orchestrated help others.

Today I looked at my Timehop, a sort of time capsule of what I posted on this day each year.  What a journey these past 7 years have been.  All over again I am completely overwhelmed at the support and kind words and love we've received from so many family and friends, many of which I wouldn't even know today if it wasn't for you.  You didn't only change my world but their world too.

So many of the things I do, I only do because of you.

I've been blessed to continue to help facilitate a support group for families that have lost their children.  I sit in those meetings and fumble and probably say a lot of dumb things but because of you mommas have a chance to sit in a room and be surrounded by other mommas that get it.  That get their tears, their pain, their loneliness.  That is huge!  It was huge for me when I lost you boys and now I have the awesome opportunity to be there for these mommas.  I've watched mommas who's loss was so fresh and so painful journey through the year in our group.  They've changed, despite my fumbling and loss for words, because of God.  Because God is still using your lives to change the world.

I faced a fear.  I'm talking, would rather have had a root canal, type of fear!  I spoke at an event.  A motorcycle ride in memory of twins that another family lost.  A motorcycle ride!  If someone had told me that the day would come that I would speak to a bunch of bikers I would have said they were crazy!  When I was asked to share your story my immediate response was NO!  But God led me to see what an opportunity it was.  I got to say your names.  I got to share you with a room full of people that wouldn't have known you if I hadn't gotten up there.  I got to witness a beautiful event full of wonderful people that I wouldn't have had the opportunity to be a part of if it wasn't for you.  Most importantly I got to share how God has used your lives over the past 7 years.  I did this for you because I absolutely just wanted to run the other way.  I did this because your story changes people.

I look at your brothers, I mean really look at them.  I'm always overwhelmed with gratitude.  If it wasn't for you I wouldn't have the honor of tucking your brothers in at night and know what a treasure they really are.  I wouldn't be able to stop myself in the midst of a tantrum (theirs not mine... although I've been known to have my own a time or two) or a fight and remember how awesome it is that I can see their sweet faces and feel the joy that they bring me every single day, even the really hard ones, if it wasn't for you.

7 years later and God is still using your lives!

Oh what I would give to see your sweet healthy happy faces in Heaven today though.  I can only imagine how beautiful you are and how amazing it would be to hug you!  Today is the day that I miss you the most I think.  It's a reflection day I guess.  Most days I look forward but today I look back and I miss you.  More than normal.  Life and responsibilities and the blessings of your three brothers sometimes make me forget how much I miss you but I'm grateful for today's reminder.  Remembering how hard this day 7 years ago was and remembering how much I miss you just reminds me of how important our journey is.  So tomorrow I will continue our journey.  I will go out and take you with me in my heart and we will journey together and see how God uses you.

I love you and miss you today and always my sweet forever babies!


Our annual family photo...
Our annual family photo :-)

decorating your headstone

Your birthday celebrations are never
complete without ATV rides!

Thursday, September 3, 2015


 So anyone that knows me, even a little, knows that I HATE my arms or can probably assume that I do.  There's a whole list of things that I don't like about myself but that's my number one.  My boys have recently discovered my arms.  Just a real high point right there.  Case calls them messy.  Awesome, right?  This is payback though.  I have the exact same arms Bubby (Grandma) had.  She wasn't a model or anything, well I take that back... she probably could have been in her day but she'd never have made it by today's standards.  Regardless of her weight though she still had "messy" arms.  I can remember standing in her kitchen playing with her arms and even harder to admit is that we frequently referred to her as Chubby Bubby as we played with her arms.  Saying "we" makes me feel better a little.  Surely I wasn't the only one of my cousins that said it, right?  So clearly I deserve the arms that I have today.  I've earned them.  

Bubby (and Poppy)

Sheer excitement when she found out I was pregnant the first
time.  Unfortunately she only met Joshua and Caleb before
she died but I'll never forget her excitement the first time!

This brings me to tonight.  Ty was in bed but he always wants me to come in and check on him.  So when I was checking on him, sitting on his bed leaning on my hand across him (not a flattering look for "messy" arms) this is the conversation I had with him...

Ty: Mommy, I didn't know girls could have wiggly arms like that.
Me:  Most girls don't but I do.  I don't like them but they're the arms I have.
Ty:  Well that's just the way God made you.
Me:  That's right.
Ty:  And if you want to be alive then you have to have those arms.

I'm sure there's a Beachbody coach, or a Fit Momma article somewhere that disagrees but I can assure you being a fat girl from way back when these arms have always been messy regardless of whether I was at my highest or lowest weight.  So I'm convinced Ty is right.  If I want to be alive then these are the arms I have.  Thanks for the reminder to be grateful Ty.  So my apologies if these bad boys take you out the next time I try to point at something while standing near you but these are the arms I have to have and I guess I'm going to just go ahead and be grateful for them.  I guess.  Well I'll try.  Okay odds are I'm still going to hate them but I'm grateful for them at the same time... that's possible, right?  

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Knox's Word Count

Dear Knox,
We went to your one year appointment with Dr. Freeman a couple week ago.  He asked me how many words you were saying.  Here's how that conversation went:

Dr. Freeman:  How many words is he saying?
Mommy:  I have no idea if he's saying any.  
Dr. Freeman:  Would you say 10 or 12?  
Mommy: No.  I don't know if he's even saying one. 
Dr. Freeman:  Well he says Momma and Daddy, right?
Mommy:  No.
Dr. Freeman:  What does he say when he sees you?  
Mommy:  Maybe "Hi!"
Dr. Freeman:  What about when he sees your husband?
Mommy:  "Hi!"... maybe.

So apparently you should be talking more.  It's possible that you've started to say Ma and maybe some other vague words that only you understand.  Oh and when the little old lady is whispering "hush" in Goodnight Moon you are definitely saying that!  The good news is that you understand us when we ask you where Mommy or Daddy is and you understand when I tell you to sit, probably because I tell you 531 times when you are in the bathtub.  Dr. Freeman made me think your lack of talking was okay since you seemed to understand things.  

I'm not going to lie.  I'm not encouraging any of this talking business.  You're my favorite right now because you don't talk, which means you don't argue with me.  So go ahead.  Take you time.  I'm fine with it!  But please don't ask me what your first word was because I have no idea.  I think I'm going to go with "Hi!" though because I'm pretty sure I have to document your first word somewhere.  Consider it documented.  We're going with it!

I love you and your lack of talking!  


P.S.  Here's one of my favorite videos of you.  Daddy caught this one.  It looks like you are practicing your stand up comedy routine...

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Mommy Fail #1,000,001

Dear Ty,
I let you down tonight.  I'm so sorry!  This isn't the first time I've failed you and I'm sure it's not going to be the last but it's definitely one that's going to stick with me.  I keep reliving what I had did and what I SHOULD have done over and over again.

You were at soccer practice, reluctantly.  You had to leave Case's school skating party to go and that put you in a special mood to begin with.  When we got there a boy had forgotten his soccer ball and I asked you to share yours with him.  You didn't want to and you probably did it for maybe a minute after I practically pushed you onto the field with him.

After about 10 minutes of practice you all were given a patch to bring to your parents.  His mommy was sitting right beside me.  You said, "that boy keeps bugging me!" loud enough that the boy and his mom could clearly hear you.  I thought you were being unkind.  That was my first mistake.  Instead of talking to you about it more, I made you apologize to the boy and I apologized to his mom.

About 30 minutes later that boy came running to his mom crying.  He had clearly been hurt.  I saw you watching from a distance and my heart sank.  I just knew you were responsible for his tears.  The boy told his mom that someone bit him.  She was understandably upset and pretty much announced it to the entire line of moms.  I asked him if you did it.  He said yes.  I couldn't even fathom why you would bite him.  You came over upset almost immediately.  I asked you if you did it and you admitted to it.  Through your tears I made you apologize and tell your coach that you were going to need to leave early.  I was so mad at you.  You didn't bite people when you were a toddler but at four years old it happened?!?!  In the back of my head I kept thinking, how could you even have bit him?  I so wish I had listened to the back of my head!

On our way home, I talked to you more about what had happened.  It turns out that the kid kept falling on top of you on purpose every time you fell down (which you do a lot while playing soccer, not sure why).  You told him to get off and you pushed him off when he didn't move.  He thought that was fun so he kept falling on you wanting you to push him off.  The last time it happened the kid put his finger in your mouth so you bit it.  You were defending yourself.  Yes, you should have used your words and talked to the boy and nicely asked him not to do that anymore and yes you should have explained to me what exactly was happening because "bugging me" from you could have meant he looked at you funny; but my "should haves" list is much longer.

I let you take the heat for some kid being obnoxious to you.  I let you take the heat for defending yourself.  I let all those moms think that you were a mean little boy that bites people for no reason.  I 100% don't care what those mom's think of me but to know that they think you were being mean while this kid is just a victim breaks my heart.  No it doesn't matter what those people think of you because God knows your heart.  But it sure does break mine to know that I am the reason this escalated.

Daddy had a long talk with you.  He's SO much better at this than I am.   He explained to you that you have to be kind but you also have to defend yourself.  He told you that you need to make sure you are clear when you tell an adult what is happening.  And then you prayed for that little boy's finger to get better.

Before you went to bed and with tears streaming down my face I asked you to forgive me for letting you down.  Your heart was so clear to me at that very moment.  You could hardly bare to see me upset and with tears welling up in your own eyes you forgave me and gave me a hug.

I love your heart and your passion.  I'm so sorry that I doubted you and that I let you down in front of all those people.  I promise that I learned a hard lesson tonight.  I will listen when you tell me there's a problem and I will be there to stand up for you when you haven't done anything wrong.

I love you sweet Ty Ty!  Mommy is SO sorry!!!


P.S. My night of fails didn't end with you... I shut Knox's hand in the door twice.  At least I was spreading the "joy", right?

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Knox's First Birthday Party

Dear Knox,
Your first birthday party has come and past.  It's hard to believe!  Yes, I know you don't remember it but that's why I blog :-)  You had a carnival themed party.  It was SO much fun!  
Your birthday party outfit
Photos compliments of Sarah Mayo Photography <3 br="">
This was Mommy's first attempt at a pattern and it fit and didn't fall apart so I call it a win!

Here's a look at all your decorations...

Birthday banner with all your month pictures

Awesome cake by Suzie!!!

Snacks in addition to nachos, hot dogs, corn dogs, and pretzels
Everybody loves carnival food, right???

Cake table

 What's a carnival without games and prizes?
ball toss

Knock down the cans

Prizes... don't worry I didn't let anyone pick
your brothers!

duck pond - this was your favorite!

Playing the duck pond game, which really
meant that you just took a duck for each
hand and made a break for it.  
Making a break before anyone noticed!
Grandma's gift to you... I see many jumping
sessions in our future!  
Cousin Molly LOVED it!!
And Maddox too!
Playing with Brooks and Sha Sha
You were a pretty big fan of your cake!  

We even had a photo booth!  

It was a fun day!  I'm always so blown away by the great family and friends that show up to love on you boys at your birthday parties.  We are very blessed!  Any day that we get to celebrate you is a good day in my book!  

Love you Koxy!!!