11-21-16 He Counts The Stars

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About a week after my surgery, a couple of friends (and fellow MOPS mamas) invited me to join them as they did a test drive of the craft they would be doing at the next MOPS meeting. Figuring I would probably be missing the meeting, I was grateful to get the chance to spend some time with them and also have some fun painting. It took us a few hours, and a few mess ups, but I think the final product turned out pretty neat. The whole process was super relaxing and enjoyable! I’m looking forward to hanging it on the wall! (The lighting was bad when I took the pic, it is more vibrant than that.)

11-20-16 Fix my eyes…

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The wind is squealing outside, ripping violently through the trees and houses. Winter is upon us. Today was so cold, the wind eating through your clothes and skin, gnawing down to your very bones. Yesterday was beautiful, but by evening the winds had started to pick up and soon they were whipping. It kept it up all night and continued all today.

I’ll be honest, I am finding it hard to come here each night. My days are mostly good, but by the evenings, I am exhausted and tired and sore, and that’s usually when the sadness sets in. I don’t wish to bore you with this grief, but it consumes these silent hours and it is in these solitary moments that I must remind myself through the sadness of my great joy.

Last night I whispered to Tim, “It’s been three weeks,” somehow thinking that by saying this I would remind myself that nearly the same amount of time has passed since the loss of our baby as the amount of time we had known our baby existed. That somehow, that should temper my grief and sadness. But this evening though tears,  I realized, “It’s only been three weeks.” I can’t expect the void to be filled. I can’t expect this grief to be gone. I can’t expect to be back to normal. After all, it’s only been three weeks.

Tim has a passage that he leaves posted on our fridge- 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all, so we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Thankfully in Christ, there may be profound sadness, but there is never despair. This may hurt every fiber of my soul, but it does not overwhelm my ability to see His goodness and His constant working in my life. If anything, I think it amplifies it. So in these somber moments, when my heart aches and I feel discouraged, I’m fixing my eyes on Him. There can be no better focus.

11-18-16 Limbo

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Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.   ~Psalm 27:14

I’m in limbo. Somewhere between grief and acceptance- vacillating between the two like a pendulum. It’s getting easier to get out of bed in the mornings. The routine is helping. The evenings are rough, by then I’m tired and sore and ready to retreat. But the days aren’t half bad. I think I’m even finding my smile again.

11-17-16 My boy… again!

The other day when I was still home, we had had a long morning and at one point I laid down on the couch while Big E was watching tv. I asked him if he would run upstairs and grab my pillow so that I could rest. Sure, Mommy! He said as he took off up the stairs. Moments later he returned with my pillow and a blanket and with his daddy’s help they ‘tucked’ me into my place on the couch. Next, Big E took about twelve different trips up to his room, each time returning with a stuffed animal in his arms that he gently placed on top of me “to keep me warm.” After I finally convinced him that I was plenty warm, he crawled up onto the couch next to me to settle in to watch tv. As he sat there he kept stroking my hair and leaning down to kiss me on the cheek.

I love you, Mommy. 

Seriously, what did I do to deserve such a wonderful little prince?? I love him!

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Baby E was not happy with me this evening as I unceremoniously plopped him into bed before putting down the big kids. This is night two of just me doing bedtime and I’m limiting the amount I pick him up. Once to get in and out of his high chair (if necessary) and once to get him into his crib. He wasn’t ready to go down this evening, so I had a very fussy two year old who kept crying and screaming for me to get him out. Sorry kid, not tonight. 

One more day and the work week is over. Today was better than yesterday, and I think each day will get easier. Thanks for the prayers and well wishes! They are much appreciated. 🙂

And thank you to Rebecca for coming over and bathing my kids this evening. They smell great!!

11-16-16 My Boy… His Heart

There is something special about Big E’s heart.

A few weeks ago, before the incident, we had picked up some Operation Christmas shoeboxes at our church to fill and send off. Then everything happened and we didn’t get the chance to do them. I had them set aside to take back. Apparently Big E saw one this morning after C got on the bus and decided to take it upon himself to fill it up. He went around and grabbed up a bunch of small toys, most of which have been his prized possessions as of late. He got some trains, some hot wheels, etc. He seemed excited about how much the other kids would like the toys he picked out because he liked them so much.

This boy melts my heart!

His selflessness never ceases to amaze me, and given the opportunity he has proven himself to be compassionate and generous time and time again. What a treasure!

Today was my first day back and at work and I was pretty nervous getting ready this morning, but the drive in was uneventful and everyone was very kind when I got there. Besides being extremely tired and worn out by the end of it, it was a great first day back!

11-15-16 Tomorrow

Tomorrow I go back to work.

These past two and a half weeks have seemed like a lifetime, but it is now drawing to a close. I met with my surgeon this afternoon and she said the incisions look great, which they do. She said to expect that my insides will still be healing for a few weeks, so I might have some tenderness, and I need to start using the muscles I’ve been resting the past few weeks, i.e. my stomach muscles. She cleared me to *try* to lift Baby E, but that it might still be too much at this point, so I should take it slow. So, I’ll only lift him when absolutely necessary for the next couple of weeks.

I’ll admit I am both excited and nervous to get back into our routine. Tomorrow seems like a huge mountain to get over, but once that is done, it should be pretty easy to settle back in. I am grateful to my MOPS moms, who are covering us with dinner this week, which is greatly appreciated because I’m pretty sure I will be completely spent by the time I get home in the evenings. Thank you so much. 🙂

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Today was parent day at C’s school. When we arrived her class was in art, so we got to sit in  on her class and help her with her project. They made a dreamcatcher. It’s currently hanging on my little Christmas tree. After art was recess, so we went outside with her and watched her as she played and ran around with her friends. Every once in awhile she would look up just to make sure we were still watching.

From there, I left for my appointment while Tim stuck around. Afterwards he took her on a date to Burger King before picking up the boys.

This evening was pretty low key with some cleaning, homework, and eating dinner.

Thank you again for everyone that has prayed for us the past several weeks, and also to all of those that sent letters, messages, meals, etc. The outpouring of love has really been amazing. Thank you!

 

11-13-16 A Beautiful Thing

I’m sitting here staring at my best friend, the man I chose to marry nearly nine years ago. When I first met Tim, we were teenagers and I barely noticed him. He was my good friend’s younger brother. Over the years we got closer and the summer before I moved to NYC for college, we started dating. It only lasted a few months and we went our separate ways. The years that followed had us weaving in and out of each others lives, a friendship ebbing and flowing as time drove it, until one day I looked up and really saw him, maybe for the first time and I realized how special he was to me. If you ask Tim, he will probably tell you that he loved me from the start, and I wish I had caught on sooner, but God’s timing isn’t mine.

Tim proposed to me on bended knee on the Brooklyn Bridge during a torrential downpour. The rain was streaming down our faces, our clothes soaked from all the water. Lighting was flashing and the wind was fierce. And the moment was perfect.

A few months later we were married. Two and a half years later we welcomed C into our little family. Having kids does a strange thing to your marriage. In some ways it draws you closer together, a new life completely dependent on you both and it is marvelous. But in many ways it pushes you apart. When your children are very little, sleep is like a vapor and before long you are running on catnaps and caffeine. Your body is pushed further and further on fewer resources and before you know it, you are drifting away, each of you clinging to passing debris, trying to stay above water.

The thrill of early romance fades away, and while you see glimmers of the person you married, you also see flaws and annoyances and they see them in you as well. And while choosing to love your spouse was second nature at “I do” it is more of a necessity as time goes on. And maybe that is why so many marriages end. Not that people become lazy, but they become disenchanted, having been told all their lives that there is a Happily Ever After if they just find the right person. If they can just find the person that will make them complete. But no one can fill that hole and it is disingenuous to expect another flawed and incomplete individual to do so. That is too much burden for any one person.

So while Tim does not and never will complete me, he is my right person and he always has been. These past two weeks have reminded me of that. I look in his eyes and I see the man I married, the man that gave me butterflies in my stomach and I couldn’t wait to hold. He is the same man that has held my hand through this horrible situation. He has cared for me with such gentleness and kindness. He has walked along beside me and helped to carry this burden. In the first few days he held me as I cried, helped me in and out of bed and made sure all of my needs were attended to. He provided stability and love for our children. He worked tirelessly so that I wouldn’t have to. All the while coming to terms with his own grief and disappointment.

So in the midst of this special kind of horrible, I’m seeing a glimmer of God’s purpose- a stronger marriage and a tighter bond. A reminder that I married a good man, an honest man, a godly man.

Tim’s my best friend. And that’s a beautiful thing.

11-12-16 Feeling like a mom.

I’m feeling like a mom again.

It’s been two weeks. Two weeks that have flown by in a blur and yet lumbered sluggishly hour by hour. The first week was spent mostly in bed, watching the trees outside my window and listening to the activity happening around my house. The second week was a chance to push myself, getting out as much as I could and building up my stamina. In all that time I have had a small army around me to help our family continue to run smoothly. Tim has been off work and has shouldered the brunt of the household duties and child care.

And while I absolutely needed that to happen, it did put me out of the loop with my kids. They learned quickly to rely on daddy these past two weeks, but I’m picking up more responsibilities in taking care of them again. I’m changing a few diapers when I can chase Baby E down. I’m fixing breakfast and running some laundry. I’m helping to tuck them into bed. I tire easily, but I’m grateful to be up and about.

I’m really hoping the surgeon clears me for lifting on Tuesday, even though they initially said 4-6 weeks. I miss holding my baby boy.

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This girl had an American Heritage Girl fundraiser this morning, so we went to a local restaurant for a pancake breakfast. The food was delicious and C was excited to be helping out her troop.

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But the absolute highlight of her day was losing her first tooth! She kept saying, “I can’t believe I lost my tooth!!!” (In other news she also lost her toenail. Yup, the one she dropped a brick on in the beginning of August. That took long enough.) I asked her if she was expecting to lose any other body parts this evening and she informed me she thought she was done. 🙂 Let’s hope so!

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