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?