Friday, December 31, 2010


We have been praying and praying for it.  Since we drilled wheat in September almost no moisture has come.  The fields have been dry, the dust blowing.  We got an inch or so the beginning of December but not enough to make a difference.  Until now.  The last day of the year, the first real snow of the winter.  Thank you Lord!!!


Monday, December 27, 2010


"How did you cope with a loss and a birth at the same time".  This question was asked by a beautiful woman named Rachel who's writing has carried me over the last year.  She writes of the most inspiring things...  Her blog is called Waiting for Morning.  My friend Brooke told me to visit her blog a long time ago and read this post about a lemon tree.  I cannot count how many times I have thought to myself, I have been cut but my roots are growing deeper.  I will push through this.  I can do this.  The lemon tree has given me so much strength and I am grateful she wrote it.  And if you're reading this, thank you Brooke.

At any rate, it turns out that Rachel reads my blog and she left a comment and asked "How did you cope with a loss and a birth at the same time".  It is the first time that anyone has asked me this.  I cannot believe it is the first time anyone has ever asked.  And yet I wonder, how can the whole world not think it?  Sarah was born, less than 24 hours later God came and whispered in Marie's ear and she got up and followed Him Home.  Who does that happen to?  Who has to deal with that?  And the truth is, I don't really know how I cope.  I don't fit in anymore among the mother's who have never lost a child, but even among those who have I cannot help but feel that I am somehow different.  Just because of how it happened, how God twined my daughters together, how His plan fell into place.

There are moments.  Real.  Honest.  Horrible.  Moments when the pain is so intense that my chest seems split in two and I scream in a voice that scares me because it is too much and to terrible to comprehend.  The baby, the beautiful little brown haired girl that I carried inside me, the princess that I could not get enough of, the hand I held constantly for two years, five months and twenty five days... she is gone.  And on Christmas morning I screamed in a cemetery.  I clung to Luke's fleece jacket and screeched in a voice that is not my own because sometimes it hurts that much.

Then I took a deep breath.  I wiped the tears on the back of my hand, I wrapped my scarf tighter, fluffed my hair, blew a kiss to Heaven and told that little girl I love her, and I got back in the car with the other two and held it together.

How do you cope with loss and birth at the same time?  To have one arrive and barely have celebrated it and have your heart ripped out at the others leaving is surreal.  I did not put Sarah down for weeks.  Rarely did I let her out of my arms.  I held her like a lifeline.  I rocked and crooned and cried and held on to that tiny baby with everything I had.  And Josie... she was so lost.  And who could tell her no to anything after her sister had just gone.  She developed a huge attitude and I was having to deal with her, and worry about her, and try to keep it together enough that she would be okay.  And Luke was so lost and my heart hurt so much for him because Marie was his.  His baby.  And his baby was gone.

I don't know how we made it through that.  Still make it through that, because we still have to.  Every day we still have to make it through.  I dreaded being asked how old Sarah was, because answering meant telling them just how long it had been since Marie was gone.  I am so grateful now because I can just say "Sarah is one".  I don't have to tell them it's been almost 16 months...

My body was so confused for a long time.  The pain of recovering from Sarah's birth was sharper, the cramps crueler.  My legs ached, my back hurt, my womb felt like it was being pierced by a knife.  I think my ability to handle the normal pain of recovering from childbirth was just not there.  I was not able to move through the pain as well.  I would look in the mirror and despite having Sarah in my arms I couldn't comprehend that I was not still pregnant.  The grief of loosing Marie took so much energy to process I never really came to grips with the fact that I had just had a baby.  It took me a long time, and Sarah was probably eight months old before I really absorbed that I was not pregnant anymore and in passing I was no longer shocked to see my profile. Sarah was probably eight months before I really began to rejoice in that tiny little white-blond haired girl.  The easy baby with an easy smile.  It is horrible to say that it took me that long to really celebrate her.  Oh, I loved her so much from her first breath but my heart was too broken to celebrate much of anything for a very long time.  Praise God for her health, yes.  Thank God for her being there because I knew she was saving me, yes.  Coo, kiss, cuddle, sing to, play with, oh yes.  But really celebrate with joy in my heart?  A long time coming.

How do you say hello to one and goodbye to another?  For twenty minuets our three girls were together in one room on earth, then Luke took the big girls home and they have not been together since.  I dislike very much being a family of four here.  I dislike very much when people point out the large age difference between the two children they see.  Six and one?  What a space!  I want to scream at them, I have a three year old!  But how can they know? 

I have gotten much better at just letting things go.  I tell people about Marie only if they seem worthy of knowing about my special little girl.  The one who was "made for so much more than all of this".

How do you cope?  Tonight it is after ten pm and Josie cried when I prayed with her at bedtime because we saw Tangled and in that movie the King and Queen lost their Princess and we have lost our Princess too...  And she cried because she has a whole life to live before she goes to Heaven and she is not very happy about being away from her sister for such a long time.  She is more than I little jealous that Luke and I do not have as many years left.  How do you cope?

I don't think we do.  I think that God carries me when the pain from my broken heart is too much and my legs are too weak.  I feel Jesus near when I am shaken and yet need the strength from somewhere to pretend that I am not.  When it is all too much I know the shade from the shadow of His wings and I hide there (Psalm 57:1).  Our faith has become more of a desperate thing, so much simpler though, and so much deeper.  I cling to the Word in a way I never did before.

I have no idea how I got from August, 2009 to where I am now; teetering on the edge of 2011.  How am I the mother of an almost seven year old and a feisty one year old?  How can my beloved brown haired girl have spent two Christmas' in Heaven rejoicing among the angels?  Life is a funny thing.  It has taken turns that I did not expect, and somehow I have made it through what I once believed would kill me.

I am blessed by a deeper appreciation for so much.  For the miracle of my children, for the scent of their hair and their being here to hug.  I am so taken with my husband.  The man I was made by God for.  His strength and his quiet determination.  His annoying desire to tease me when I am sad until I get either angry or smile.  His being there for me in ways I had no idea that a man ever could, and for the father I have been blessed to see him become.

I don't know how we make it through the troubles...  I have been carried, sheltered, held.  I am blessed to have seen God at work in my life and to have felt His hand on me.  I love Jesus so much more than I could have imagined... and I believe Him when He says:

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Does it answer the question, How did you cope with a loss and a birth at the same time?  I don't know.  I don't have an answer I suppose because I don't think I coped.  Somehow we just made it through, and every day we make it through another day.  I hope that I am like the lemon tree because my roots are deeper and I feel stronger.  My branches are beginning to stretch skyward again... and someday, just maybe I will bear fruit.  And just like the birth and the loss, just like a lemon,  I know that the fruit will be bittersweet.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I have wanted to post pictures but haven't gotten them off my camera.  The last week has just been a whirlwind!  Saturday was Josie's dance recital.  She has only been doing tap/ballet/tumbling for two months so it was a simple little thing to showcase what they had learned so far.  She was great!  You can tell that she just loves dancing... 

I was taken by surprise though, sitting in the audience watching the class below Josie's dance.  They are three and four years old... and sitting among the other mothers of three year olds as they watched their little girls dance I just cried.  I have a three year old too... And I wish so much that I could have seen Marie dance there with the rest of them.  I wish I could have seen her smile and twirl in a Christmas dress with little black tap shoes on her feet...  That wasn't what she was meant for though.  She was meant for different things and God's plan did not include her staying here long.  I miss her though, and I wish I could have seen her dance.

Sunday night was our church program.  In our church children start attending Sunday school when they are three.  They participate in the Christmas program for the first time, saying their tiny little lines.  This year they held stars...  I was very busy sitting with the kindergarten class.  All boys.  Busy, chatty, wonderful boys.  Josie sat behind me with the first grade girls.  She sang her heart out and said her line perfectly.  I was so proud of her.  Still, it weighs on my heart.  There in the nursery pew, there could have been a little girl there with brown curls and a Christmas dress.  And I try not too let myself think of it but I wish I could have seen her in a Christmas pageant.  It just wasn't the plan...

So I try not to let my mind make wishes.  I try so hard to be grateful for what we did have with Marie, how much God blessed us in having her.  How blessed we are to still have Josie and Sarah and to see them grow.  It's just hard sometimes not to see what could have been.  The heart wants what the heart wants...  I cannot wait to grab her up in Heaven and hug her...  As much as I wish to see her in a sparkly little gown, to paint those tiny fingernails red the truth is Marie was different...

"You're beautiful...
You are made for so much more than all of this
You're beautiful...
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His"

We wish all of you who read here a very merry Christmas.  May each and every one of you have a very blessed holiday!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Favorite picture...

My favorite picture of 2010...  I think it is this one:

Just her... sitting there on 30 year old concrete...  In the sun and wind and the grass green.  Her daydreams that remind me of young.  The things I knew before I knew things.  The watching of ants, the tickle of the tall grass, the whisper of summer winds.  Her hair matching the golden wheat, long blond, soft as gold.  Sun-kissed skin, plastic beads dancing on her wrist.  This is my blessing, my child...  The feel of sun on her back in a quiet moment of reflection...  As it has been a year of reflection, a thinking time, a healing time.  God's love on us like sun's heat on cotton shirts...  Summer day heat, hope, home...

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Monday in December...

We had a good weekend.  Saturday we were around the house, Josie and I made some fudge.  I spent some time working on a few projects I wanted to finish.  Luke and Sarah have been fighting a cold so they rested, took it easy.  After how busy November was I am enjoying these slower days.  Yesterday was really nice so we got outside and went for a nice walk at the fishing pond.  I got a couple of really good shots of the girls and Cooper had a good time running.

We have the house decorated for Christmas, and I am so grateful to have a lift in my heart this season.  Last year Christmas was pretty tough...  December's have been hard for the last few years.

In December, 2007 we got the confirmation that Marie had Leigh's Disease.  It was overwhelming...  Looking back now Luke and I were talking about how little she was.  Only nine months old and tiny.  I remember the drive home from Denver sitting in the back of the car with her.  Talking about what we would do now...
Marie 3 years ago today...

Marie had some very rough days.  When we turned her care fully over to God, along with our wonderful Dr J and the brilliant neurologist Dr M she stabilized.  She thrived then and in God's hands, without the meddling of so many physicians we got to see her smile and enjoy her very, very good months before she was called home.

Some days it is still very hard to believe that she's gone.  So hard to believe that Marie has been in Heaven for over a year...  In so many ways I feel like I just kissed her goodnight a moment ago.

December's have been hard, but there is so much to celebrate too... It feels good to be able to find some joy this season.  I was so very lost last year.


Monday, December 06, 2010

Chocolate Pudding Cake...

Yesterday I chatted briefly with my friend Clarissa about a cake that I make often.  It's become one of those desserts that has a lot of memories and emotions tied to it for us.

The original recipe was typed on a typewriter sometime after Luke's Grandmother and Grandfather were married in the early 40's.  It was so weathered and used that when she made me a copy not long after Luke and I were married it didn't copy well and my recipe has her hand typing with smudges from the years.

I have made this cake for birthdays (it is one of my Father-In-Laws favorites).  I have made this cake on snowy days (it is at it's best eaten warm).  Josie and I have made it together.  I have made it alone in a huge hurry to have something on hand for this or that occasion.  One of the last times I made it was for the second birthday of Princess Marie.  She adored chocolate, and her Great-Grandma's Chocolate Pudding Cake was perfect for her. 

This cake recipe is something special, made again and again by at least three generations of women in my husbands family.  It has stood through 70 plus years of changing tastes, and really, I've never found anything quite like it.

Chocolate Pudding Cake

1 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 C granulated sugar
2 tbsp cocoa
1/2 C milk (or water, or orange juice, or 1 egg plus enough water to make half cup)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp shortening, melted
1/2 C walnut meats (optional)
     3/4 C brown sugar
     1/4 C cocoa
     1 3/4 C very hot water

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cocoa.  Add 1/2 C milk/water, vanilla, and shortening; mix until smooth (will be very thick).  Add nut meats.  Pour into greased 8 inch square pan.  Mix brown sugar and cocoa, sprinkle over cake batter.  Pour hot water over entire batter.  Bake in moderate oven (350) for 40-45 minuets (cake will not be "set" when fully cooked).

This recipe gives you a cake on top, and a creamy chocolate "pudding" below.


Friday, December 03, 2010

Fingerprint Friday...

I am finally getting around to participating in Fingerprint Friday again, a little event that I love.  It is so cool to visit the different blogs and see God working in peoples lives...

To learn how to participate in Fingerprint Friday please go here.

"I can see the fingerprints of God
When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of God
And I know its true
You're a masterpiece
That all creation quietly applauds
And you're covered with the fingerprints of God"

 That really says it all doesn't it?   Is my Josephine a special soul or what?


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Chocolate and Memories...

I was remembering kisses.  I used to bribe Marie with them to get chores done.  Vacuum house= three kisses, vacuum stairs= one kiss, bake cookies= five kisses plus however many chocolate chips she managed to get Josie to give her, clean bathroom= two kisses.  Rie would hold them on her tongue as the bits of chocolate would melt, she would almost hum "mmmmm".  She would be so excited when we would unwrap the foil.  She knew her chocolate was in there.  We don't buy kisses anymore.

I was remembering how much Rie enjoyed things.  Loved her chocolate, loved mac n cheese, hot dogs.  Loved playing in tents with Josie.  Whatever it was she approached it with the most pure happiness.  And we got to experience that too.  In some ways life was much simpler when Marie was here.  Our good and bad days were based only on how she was doing.  All the other details of life faded into the background.

I do not recall much worry wasted on our bank balance, or on the wheat, or on all these outside things.  Days were good if Marie was good, if she wasn't okay we worried about her.  I am grateful Lord that I no longer have to worry about her... I do miss her like crazy though.

I am so thankful God for memories, remembering is like spending time with her.  I can close my eye and remember her joy in eating bits of Hershey kiss and I am given a few minuets of time with my girl.  I can glance back at Sarah sleeping in the car seat and catch a glimpse of Maire's face as she dreams.  I brush Josie's hair and for a second instead of being the color of ripened wheat it's darker brown and full of ringlets and Little Mama is scowling at me for doing it.   Only for a second, but I am so grateful or the seconds that come, it is like spending time with her.

Thanksgiving was nice, we traveled and it's good to be home.  We got to spend time with my girlfriends from college and it was so good to be there with them.  With their children.  To watch them play...

Sarah has cut those little teeth right in front of the molars, top and bottom. Both came in last week and she was cranky and not sleeping well.  Josie cut her hair off and it's pixie cute.  She looks so grown up with her new hair-do.  I am trying to get my Christmas cards together...

It's been 15 months since I kissed my Rie...  I'm not feeling that raw hurt anymore but my goodness!  Do I ever miss that baby...


Monday, November 22, 2010


This year I feel real gratitude. I can say I am thankful and I can mean it.  Last year I was so lost, my heart was so broken...  This year I am thankful.

I am thankful for the way we have healed in a years time.  It is not a complete healing, there are times when my broken heart aches with a nearly unbearable pain, but it is a better place.

Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.
Jeremiah 17:14

I am thankful for the peace that has taken the place of despair in my heart.  There are times when I feel broken, when despair fills me.  But it is always replaced with the feeling of peace that passes understanding, and I now know exactly how it feels to be carried by my Lord.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 14:27 

I am thankful for my two beautiful girls, Josie and Sarah, who bring me so much joy.  I am humbled that I was trusted with Marie, my princess in Heaven.  From her we were given so much.  I would welcome them all again and again.

I am thankful for the people that have surrounded us in the last year.  Through them we have felt so much love, be carried so many times.  I am so grateful for the friends and family that surround us.

I am thankful every time I hear Sarah say the word "Mama..."  Josie call me "Mom" or sass me with "Mother".  I cannot wait to hear Marie utter that word when I see her in Heaven.

I am thankful for my husband.  I am so blessed that the last year has brought us closer together rather than driving us further apart.  We have God's hand upon us.  Never once has there been a resentment held, a word of blame cast...  Together we have rejoiced at the highest of highs and cried at the lowest of lows.

His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely. This is my lover, this my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.
Song of Solomon 5:16

This year I am grateful to have grown and matured in my faith as a daughter of God, a woman of Christ.  I am grateful for my Savior who gave His life for me.  I am humbled at the love that I have seen over and over with my own eyes.  I am thankful that traces of doubt have been replaced with conviction, faith, belief in what I am told.

Every day I miss Marie, every day I think of her and what it would be like if she were still here.  I imagine her face at nearly four years old.  How long her hair would be, if her eyes would still be so blue...  In Heaven she is thriving and I am grateful for answered prayers.  He healed her after all, "not my will, but Yours be done", and I try to thank God for it every time I pray.

This year my life is so much different from two years ago.  It is so much more hopeful than last year.  I pray you all have a blessed Thanksgiving.  I have said it before and will say it again, in my life I am BLESSED.

Blessed is she who has believed that what the LORD has said to her will be accomplished!"
Luke 1:45


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What can you say?

Yesterday when I went to pick Josie up from school her teacher met me.  The moment I saw her on the sidewalk I knew something was up.  I told Josie to get in the car with Sarah and Mrs. McK filled me in.

Apparently in science they were studying fish and as part of that the watched the movie Finding Nemo.  At the beginning of the movie Nemo's mother dies.  Josie could not handle it.  Mrs. McK said she was shaking, crying and I am so grateful for this insightful, sensitive woman, she removed her from the classroom where she could grieve in private.  She was able to miss her sister and not have the other children watch her cry.  I am so glad her teacher was understanding of what she was going through, and more importantly took the time out of her day to let me know what happened.

Josie sat and read a book about penguins while the other kids watched the movie.

We talked about it at dinner that night and Josie said the part of the movie where the mother fish died just brought back to many scary feelings from the day that Marie was called home.  What can I say?  How do I ease that pain.  She's only six.  How can I tell her that day, that morning, that phone call, that ride home, those are my own nightmares.

I just told her that I love her so much and Jesus does too.  And I love Marie so much even though she doesn't live here anymore. It makes me so sad that Josie was so upset...  we seem to just be getting hit by aftershocks lately...  What can you say to a little girl missing her sister so much?  What can you say to explain that we are so far outside of normal?  What can you say?  Sometimes, a lot of times, in my life lately there just don't seem to be words...
Josie in July...  looking so very small...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Life keeps on happening.  I cannot believe it is already the middle of November.  I'm still amazed that it's fall, that its cold, that the days are shorter.  That is is dark at five o' clock.  That it's been 14 1/2 months...

I struggle with what to write about.  I'm good.  The girls are good.  Sarah is talking more, Josie is doing well in school.  I walk, chat with friends, try new recipes, shop, run around, teach Sunday school, try to contribute to some good causes...  Life moves on.

Only the season is one of reflection and I am struggling with sadness in my down times.  The moment it is quiet and calm and I am at a loss for what to do.  Because in those moments Marie's being gone is overwhelming.  I am missing her so much right now.  Missing who she was, that warm and snugly girl.  Missing who she would be now, who she would have become.  I am struggling not to be angry that she's gone.  I don't want to be.  

I keep routines because they help me cope, I am blessed with good friends who let me talk about Rie all the time and never make me feel weird for including her.  Because the truth is, some people do now.  

Fourteen months is a long time.  But it's really not very long at all.  It will definitely take more time than that to heal my heart.  I don't think it will be whole again until I am before Jesus. 

I feel cranky, anxious, rushed.  I feel lost.  And then in a moment I seem to have it together, I'm reminded why I'm happy, I laugh, I smile.  And then again I cry, I am frustrated.  I cant put a name to, or pinpoint the cause of my unhappiness.  It's just general.

I don't like that at all.  And the worst part is that I really feel kind of crappy for being so selfish.  I'm not worried about Marie at all.  She is Home, with her heavenly father.  She is happy, and she is perfect.  I am upset for me.  That she's gone and I don't get to see her.  I'm upset that Josie misses her sister and is struggling with is a lot right now.  I'm upset that Sarah doesn't try to say Marie's name yet because she's not here.  I'm unhappy that I don't get to snuggle Marie to sleep anymore, that I miss making her laugh.  It's really all about what I want, what I miss, what has happened to me.  And that is crappy and selfish.  So I'm trying to work through that.

And even though I'm feeling this way, it's not all bad.  There is a lot of joy in my days and it keeps the sorrow in check so that I'm not totally overwhelmed.  

Below are some photos of us... lately. 
 Harvest party... being shy.

 First snow...

 Eating nutella off a spoon.
 A ghost and a dragon... trick or treat!

Monday, November 08, 2010

I am...

Still here.  I am still here.

I have been in a funk lately.  I think this may have been the longest I have gone in years without journaling.  Over a week of silence.  Call it feeling sorry for myself, being to busy, being cranky, being insecure...  I just haven't had it in me to write whats on my mind and in my heart.

I found myself struggling in the last week more than I have for a long time.  Another holiday without Little Mama.  Halloween was OK, it's always the day after that's the worst.  And I didn't know what to do with myself.  I feel like a bird, beating it's wings against the bars of my cage.  Fighting my reality, and it's totally futile.  I wish I could be content, sit and sing praises despite my situation.

The truth is that no matter how much I wish to be that ray of sunshine, that person of faith so strong that I am content with God's will and submit finding joy in whatever... I'm not that girl.  I'm flawed, and sinful, at at times I'm just totally overwhelmed with how much I miss my baby.

And then afternoons like I had today happen.  Josie and I went over an hour each way to be at the dentists office for ten minuets.  Lots of time in the car, just her and me.  We listened to the radio and cried at "I will rise" by Chris Tomlin  because it makes us think of Marie, we turned up Taylor Swift loud and sang along.  We stopped at Dairy Queen and I had a mocha moo-latte and Josie had a mini Oreo mint blizzard and we just enjoyed being together with no interruptions.

As I was driving I looked back in the rear view mirror and I saw her sitting there, singing the words to Taylor Swift's "Fifteen".  The sun was streaming in the window and her blond hair had fallen out of her pony tail and was floating around her face.  She looked at me with her blue, blue eyes and smiled with her father's mouth and I was struck dumb by the beauty of my oldest daughter.  The one that's been through so much, that worries about me, that argues with her Daddy because they are so alike.  The girl that looses herself in books, daydreams and wants to marry a farmer someday.  God trusts me with her...  I am lucky.

Yesterday I beat my wings against the cage and cried, today I am able to sit on my perch and sing praises... it is by the grace of God and His blessing of peace in my heart...  I am... 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Love this...

"Lord make me a rainbow, I'll shine down on my mother
She'll know I'm safe with you when she stands under my colors,"
If I Die Young, The Band Perry

Is that not the most beautiful image?  Can't you just see my Little Mama, all decked out as a rainbow?


Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I've felt quiet lately.  It's not that I don't have a lot to say, I'm just not sure how to say it...  And we've been busy.

Our days are moving on.  Last week Luke turned thirty.  It sounds so young really... I remember when thirty sounded like the end of the world.  Now, being thirty doesn't really fit the way  I feel inside.  I feel like I've seen to much for thirty, like Luke's been through too much for just being thirty.

We celebrated and had a great time.  We actually went out, together, with friends to a local bar.  I hadn't been out with Luke to a bar since I was pregnant with Marie and then I was fortunate enough to have the responsibility of getting him home.  It has been a long time since we went out like that to just have fun with friends. 

I had a very nice time and made it home to pay the babysitter and get myself to bed at a decent hour which was good because the girls were up at six.  Luke stayed out a little later and he didn't feel very good the next day.  I think going out reminded us of why we never really do it!

Saturday was his actual birthday and I made lasagna and tiramisu layer cake and it was a good day.  Still, on days that are milestones or markers the fact that we are celebrating without Marie carries more sting than usual.  For Luke...  Well, she was HIS baby.  From the moment she was born Marie and Daddy had something special, something that had nothing to do with me.  Whenever she was scared, or upset, or something hurt it was Daddy she'd reach for... He was so incredibly proud to have that little girl.  On his birthday I was sad for him, to celebrate without his little princess.

Once upon a time, long, long ago I thought very different things about what our life would be like as we entered this age.  Now, I don't really plan so much.  We just make do, we get by... and it's getting a little easier but the missing her isn't getting any lesser...

Josie had a rough Sunday and wound up wearing my necklace that reads "Marie Isabel".  She told Luke it helped her not to feel so sad, that somehow it kept the tears away.  I think I wear it for the same reasons some days.  She really missed her sister.  We had put together a Halloween ginger bread house and she was looking at it, and remembered the ones we had done with Marie and just started crying.  I don't know what to say or do during these times so I just rock her till the tears are dried...

Little Princess Sarah is cutting two teeth, on the bottoms on either side of the front ones.  The wind blew in today and its gusting 40 miles an hour outside of this house.  The orange, yellow and gold leaves will be gone after this week and the trees will be blown bare.  It's really, really dry here and we need a rain.  God knows the timing but it's hard not to worry because the wheat doesn't have much time left to get the moisture it needs.  We have pumpkins on the front steps and we will have a little ghost and a little dragon keeping us busy this weekend...

I wonder about Marie.  A friend of mines little girl borrowed our Tinkerbell dress up clothes.  She is just turned four and will be Tinkerbell, I love that she will be wearing them.  I watch her and imagine...  I think of Marie and I have a feeling she would have been Tinkerbell too, and they would have gone running around together, bossing everyone around because in my daydreams she's not sick anymore...  We miss so much...  Just when you think the grieving is letting up you are sad for something that never happened... Something that was never....

But she would have been Tinkerbell I think, and I would have curled that brown hair...  We'd have painted her nails and toes orange and black and if, just maybe she'd never gotten sick she would have danced and twirled around...  Just like she is in Heaven.


Sunday, October 24, 2010


It was time to change it up... I'm still working on it.  I changed the photos of my girls to the left... I love Josie there, the looks so amazingly free.  Marie and the silly smile that I miss, that brightened my days... Sarah and that look.  She is so serious about figuring it all out.  I love the way if you look at Sarah and Marie you can see they have the exact same blue color eyes.  It's deep, dark, turquoise and if you look at their father you can see the color reflected there.  I love those eyes...


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Please pray for Abigail...

Please pray for Abigail.  She is having a tough time again and it is so heartbreaking to hear of her suffering so much.  Please visit her site and leave her family a few words of support, and include this sweet girl in your prayers...


Saturday, October 16, 2010


This morning Josie was watching the Disney channel and one of the old Mickey Mouse cartoons came on.  Luke pointed out to her that the cartoon was older than he and I are.  She looked at him and said "Really?  And the amazing thing is, it's in color!".
mickey mouse Pictures, Images and Photos


Friday, October 15, 2010

Fingerprint Friday...

There is a song by Steven Curtis Chapman that says:
I can see the fingerprints of God
When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of God
And I know its true
You're a masterpiece
That all creation quietly applauds
And you're covered with the fingerprints of God

So look around you and see where YOU can see God's fingerprints. Is it in nature? Kids? Animals? Where do you see them? Here's how to join.

In my life... "Nearly all of God's jewels are crystallized tears"...

Last night I cried myself to sleep.  It's not unusual but it doesn't happen as often as it used to anymore.  I laid down in bed and Luke and I were talking about the devotion we'd just read and I was overcome...  How on earth do we get by without our child daily?  How does life move forward without sweet Marie?  How is it I can smile, laugh, play, do so many things without her?  Once I believe that I could not breath without her in my arms.  I knew certainly I would not be able to live without her, that life would be a barren wasteland without Little Mama.  I have to tell you in complete honesty, without Little Mama here on a daily basis my life has a gaping hole.  But it is not how on earth we get by, it is instead How in Heaven.

As I lay with my head on Luke's chest and sobbed tears for my baby he reminded me that we get by every single day because we have HOPE.  We have the promise God made us and the ransom Jesus paid and we know just where that child is.  Just because I cannot wrap my arms around her doesn't mean she isn't HELD.  She is in the arms of THE ONE who made the sun and stars, who loves her more than I can even begin to understand and I love that little girl with every cell of my being.

I am beginning to come to a place where I embrace the pain.  The sorrow I feel is part of being mother to Marie and I would not trade that for anything.  I would welcome her over and over again even knowing now how badly it would hurt.  The pain I feel is the measure of how much I love her, and how wonderful she is, and what a witness her life was. 

So my fingerprint... it would be the reminder from my Luke... and the blessing that he is in my life.  My fingerprint is the HOPE I cling to every day, that keeps me from loosing it and crying out in despair.  My fingerprint is the FAITH I have gained since Marie was born, the things she taught me, how she changed my life.  My fingerprint is the LOVE I feel that I cannot explain, the peace I have that surpasses all understanding. 

I miss her so much, but because of our Lord I am able to dry my tears and understand that I must just wait (not-so-patiently) and I will get to hold that little girl with golden skin, brown curls, and purple toenails again... I have faith in God that it will happen just as He told me. Acts 27:25

"Flowers live by the tears that fall,
From the sad face of the skies;
And life would have no joys at all,
Were there no watery eyes.

Love the sorrow for the grief will bring
Its own reward in later years;
The rainbow! See how fair a thing
God has built up from tears." Henry S Sutton

This is the song I heard on the way home from taking Josie to school today... be sure to stop the music on the left before you begin the video...


Wednesday, October 13, 2010


It's beautiful outside.

I have piles and piles of laundry to put away.

I thought about Christmas shopping.  Already.

Luke is picking corn.

Josie went to school wearing earrings shaped like little cupcakes.

I am making chicken parmesan for dinner.

Sarah just woke up and I need to go get her...

Today, everything is okay...

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


Today on the drive home from the elementary school I had a heavy heart.  Josie was off to school, Sarah was intent on taking her socks off in the car seat, it is really cool this morning... And it is October, 2010...  The world is different than it used to be.  As much as I try to just count my blessings I sometimes cannot get past the desire to have three little ladies here... A house full of children, too much on my plate.  I want to have noise, messes, three little cheeks to kiss at night and more laundry to do.  I want my baby, I miss my girl.  There's this empty place and my heart hurts.  There is a gap in our family that cannot be filled... And it just is inconceivable that I have not seen her for thirteen months, and that I have years to go.  Because despite how much peace I may have, how I can accept that my child was called home, I am her mother.  And I would prefer to have her here... And then this song came on the radio....

Beautiful (MercyMe)

I think the lyrics are intended for someone older but when I hear those words all I think is Marie.  And God used this song to remind me of how much He loves her too...  I'm sad today, but I'm so glad that Marie is with Jesus...

"You're beautiful
You are meant for so much more than all of this"
"You are treasured, You are sacred, You are His"
"Before you ever took a breath
Long before the world began
Of all the wonders He possessed
There was one more precious
Of all the earth and skies above
You're the one He madly loves
Enough to die..."
"You're beautiful
You're beautiful
In His eyes

You're beautiful

You were meant for so much more than all of this
You're beautiful
You are treasured, You are sacred, You are His"
She was always more His than mine after all, I cannot be upset that He would want her there.  This world is so imperfect and can be so cruel, she was made for more... 


Monday, October 04, 2010


Days are flying by on me right now...  sometimes I'm at a loss for what to say.  I don't know what to write.  I try to journal things so that one day the girls can look back and read about their childhood... but because I'm not updating on Marie, and I'm no longer in the depths of the ocean of grief I sometimes don't know what to say.
There's our everyday.  We get up, get ready for school.  Sarah and I take Josie to school and come home and do dishes.  Then we meet up with a friend and walk the dog.  Home for a shower and then there's whatever chores the day holds.  We stop and play, stop for lunch.  Nap time in the afternoon, on Luke and I's big bed because Sarah won't nap in her crib.  While she sleeps I do bookwork, or like today, I mended Luke's jeans.  Then we pick Josie up, run whatever errands are needing done, and come home to play a bit before I make dinner.  Then devotions, bath and bed. 

Josie and Sarah are starting to play really well together.  My heart is filled with joy at that.  They didn't play together for a long time.  Sarah is getting bigger and it makes me happy to see them do things together. 

Our days have a routine, and in that I see flashes of the past constantly.  Something that happens now brings up a memory of something that happened when Marie was here.  I sometimes feel like I have on foot in the present and one stuck in the past.  I am blessed to have so many memories.

Josie is such an amazing big sister.

Sarah is getting braver every day...

Sarah is also becoming a bit of a Daddy's girl...

Though it's unlikely that we will ever have another girl as big a fan of her Daddy as Marie...

Fall is coming on.  The date says it's been here but just today it finally felt it.  The trees are changing, the air has that feel and summer is definitely on it's way out.  It's nice to have the change.  We decorated for fall Saturday, Josie is so excited for Halloween.  I'm going to try to make her costume this year...

And that's how the days go.  I don't know why it feels so busy, but they're over in a flash.

The grief is better now, it comes in waves but the stretches of peace are getting longer.  There are still moments in the day when I look at a picture in disbelief, how on earth could our Rie Rie not be here?  I don't struggle with it anymore.  The best explanation I can give is that something happened that I really don't like.  But I have accepted that I cannot change it.  I have resigned myself to the fact that my heart will ache for the rest of my life and I am just going to have to get by.  I don't like it but I can't fight it so we'll make the best of it.

And this is after all only a moment, isn't it?  The next forty, fifty, sixty years will be but a heartbeat and I will climb steps to the throne and throw my arms around Marie and throw myself at Jesus' feet and I will probably weep.

...and the ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.  Isaiah 35:10 NIV

Life is such a strange thing.  Mine has taken paths that I never knew existed.  Poor Josie has walked through more in six years than so many older than her.  Sarah in her first week had lived through more sorrow than many will ever know.  God chose them for a reason, just as He blessed Luke and I with Marie for a reason...

So it's fall and the leaves are changing and there's a bite in the air.  There are pumpkins on the steps and I'm using my oven again.  Josie is doing well and Sarah is growing like crazy.  Her one year appointment today told us she is in the 95% for height, the 25% for weight.  She is built like Marie, oh so tall and thin.  And so beautiful.  They all are.  Am I a lucky Mommy or what?

I moved the furniture around in the entry way, the first change I have made to the house since Marie was called home.  Before now I was needing to keep it the same...  For the first time in a long time I am beginning to be able to call myself blessed and really mean it instead of just hoping to mean it...