Monday, October 08, 2012

Dear Eva...

Dear Eva,

Someday I believe you'll read this.  You will wonder at the world and what it could have been before you.  And I will tell you, there was a missing piece in it that wasn't filled until we had you.  Our rainbow after the storm, our star.  Evangeline, we wanted you so.  We prayed for you every day while you were growing beneath my heart.  Before you were born we loved you.

And then you came and joy was multiplied.

Your sister's eyes shone when they met you at first.  Sarah was shy, Josie was excited.  A tiny one, a dark one, so like Marie and yet entirely your own self.

And Daddy... In his strong arms, in his kind hands, Daddy held you so tightly.  And I could see the love he has for you shining from him. 

Over the last year you have grown!  We see Marie in you, and I hope that as you age that is a comfort.  Even though you never walked together in this world I think your souls must know each other.  The nurse told me when you were born, while I cried with all the emotions of a mother holding her child for the first time in her arms that surely you left Heaven with a kiss from your sister on your cheek.  I don't know if that is true, but I know that the heart knows what the heart knows.  I hope that as you age you feel the blessing that your resembling Marie has been to us.  It helps us to feel she is not so far away. Some concrete proof that she was, because you look so like her.
You are always ready with a smile, always quick to snuggle into arms.  You laugh often, filled with joy daily.  You love your sisters and follow them from place to place.  You adore Daddy, chattering to him on the telephone.  Your first words, "Daddy", "Hi, Daddy".  You spend hours at the window watching the dog outside, you do not like it if he comes to close.
There are so many who love you, so many who have delighted in watching your first year in this world...  We are blessed to have you sweet Evangeline.  Happy Birthday Lulu, we love you!


Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Rain, and hope.

Nearly done, nearly done, NEARLY DONE! Today Luke is almost done sowing wheat.  One more quarter.  One. More. F'ing. Quarter.

I do love fall.  But this has been a long September.  After Sarah's birthday and Marie's day Luke was in the field.  He prepared fields for planting and going on hope and prayer (because there has been no measurable rain for months) he started sowing.  You sow wheat, you plant corn.  I learned that very early on in my journey as a farmer's wife.

Anyway, he started sowing.  Then we had to stop and harvest millet.  A blessing to have a crop but to be honest it was kind of pathetic.  Fifteen bushels per acre is nothing.  At least it was there but it was a terrible yield.  Mama got to be in the grain-cart.  This means that I scrambled to find childcare and spent the day in a tractor only to come home and do all that mommy stuff I didn't get done all day.  After millet we drilled some more wheat.  And then we stopped to harvest corn.  Corn harvest is supposed to happen in October, but, there's a drought and it's early.  God was good and the corn yielded a bit better than we had hoped.  44 bushels per acre on dry-land corn.  Good, average yields are about 120 bushels per acre, but in this drought year we are grateful for what we get.  Corn harvest brought more tractor time, more scramble to find childcare, more cranky girls because they are totally not used to me being gone.  We finished corn, he went back to sowing wheat.  And tomorrow, by grace, he will be done.  Hallelujah.

I would love to have that guy home for a day...

And this Friday there is a 30 percent chance of rain and snow.  It is a better chance than we have had for awhile.  We need moisture to get the wheat up, moisture so that it will grow and not starve for water and die off.  A nice cold snowy winter so that it is cold in the ground and we get a good stand (healthy plant) next spring.  Will you join me in prayer?

Lord, Let is rain!  Let it snow! You know the time it will come, and the reason for this dry season, but we ask you send moisture!  Love you Lord!  Amen.

In other news, I will have a one year old next week.  Totally mind blowing.  And she learned how to drink from a straw yesterday!  And Sarah has her first day of dance class today.  My littlest girls are growing up...

I am also going to make apple butter tomorrow.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Well...  Summer happened.  We were busy.  I sort of just took off. 

Josie and I did a ten week session with Judi's House in Denver.  They do amazing group support/grief counseling and  we came away with some new coping skills and understanding.  Josie needed it.  It was nice to have that one on one time with her every week while we drove.  Six hours round trip, lots of car time.

It has been dry.  Not a great year to be a farmer.  Wheat actually yielded a bit better than expected, but we are now sowing wheat in dry ground and getting ready to pick drought stunted corn.  It happens, it's a season of dry.  It will change.

Sarah turned three.  It was beautiful and her party was perfect and she sparkled all day. 

We marked three years since Marie went to be with Jesus.  Luke and I gathered our girls and packed up the pickup and the dog and found ourselves at the lake again this year.  Soft sand, sunshine, wind... we had a good day just being with our three girls here and remembering the one who flew.

Eva is just growing like crazy.  It's amazing how she went from this tiny being we didn't know to being a little girl in a years time.  She is funny, naughty, cuddly.  She is Daddy's and it warms my heart because he would never admit it but he has been so lonely with Marie gone.  She is his too. 

Luke and I are good.  We will mark eight years of marriage on the 25th of this month.  It is hard to believe that's all the time that passed.  I feel that we've been together forever, that I've been with him longer.  Sometimes I think it's possible that my soul has.  We've been through more in these eight years.  I am blessed to have him walk beside me.

I am good.  I am finally feeling like we've gained ground.  Like it's okay to be happy.  We are a different family.  So much has happened in three years, life is different.  I am not the person I was before.  In many ways I am but some parts of me have aged or wizened so much that I don't feel like I did before Marie being gone.  I miss my innocence.  But, God has carried us full circle and we have come to a good place.  Things are marked by Marie's absence but also by the way that she is still here, still this family, still the second born.  It's okay to be here and be happy and feel these blessings.  It's a process.  In three years time I imagine it will be different still...

 Today Luke started picking corn.  Season's change.  Things move.  It is.  We are.  It's good. :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

First haircut...

Our crazy brown haired girl got her first haircut last week.  At not quite seven months old.  Eva has a ton of hair, and it's so much more grown up looking now!

 After (she looks terrified here but it really was a good haircut.  She sat all by herself and smiled through it!)

 And just because there aren't many, me.  :)  And Eva.


Monday, May 07, 2012

My favorite things...


This blog, Ain't No Mom Jeans.  Hilarious, educational, real.


Thursday, May 03, 2012


It's farming time again.  Luke is in the field, I am on the home front.  Keeping up with the girls and their doings, gearing up for the end of school and a busy June.  It's amazing how days go by so quickly.  I have chores, Josie has stuff constantly, just getting through dinner, reviewing her days schoolwork, and bath time is a marathon.  Then Luke and I catch a precious few minuets alone watching something on TV and it's time to crash and do it all again tomorrow.

We got the garden in.  Luke and the girls did.  I didn't help.  I don't enjoy it like he does.  Luke loves the garden, and the soil, and the plants.  I just tend it.  Pulling weeds, harvesting, canning.  It is good to watch him though, showing the girls just how to push earth over seeds.  Hopefully he is planting more than lettuce, spinach, and green beans in their minds.  Hopefully there are seeds there taking root.  My real prayer is that they will grow up and see this little town, this farm, this simple as not so bad a way to live.

The business is a blessing.  Life is always pulling forward and there is no choice but to move with it.  Even though that hurts a little sometimes.  Sometimes it doesn't hurt at all and there's a joy in the movement.  It's funny that way.

Last Saturday was Kindergarten registration.  It hit harder than I expected.  Rie would be a kindergartner.  Had life been different, had she not gotten sick... Who would her best friend be?  Would she be getting her ears pierced now?  Would she be fighting me over everything?  No answers...  I keep close the words:
You're meant for so much more than all of this, You're beautiful...You are treasured, You are sacred, You are His"  Beautiful, MercyMe

There was a different plan for Rie.

So, I deal.  I move.  I help Josie heal.  She's needed a lot of help with healing these last few months. I am so grateful that we have been able to provide that help for her.  Her smiles coming easier.  It's working.

Last night we had Ground Beef Pie for dinner with fruit salad, we sat on the patio and watched the twilight come in.  Sarah tipped her chair over backwards and cracked her head on the cement.  Eva was too busy watching the neighbor kids to eat her dinner.  Today Luke is taking the drill home from the implement dealership to get it ready to plan millet the end of the month and Eva will get her first haircut.  Next week we'll be planting corn.  The wheat's green and tall and just barely starting to head out.  The cottonwoods are starting to seed.  I have floors to mop.  And in all of that is the beauty.  

If I squint my eyes looking hard enough that's the blessings.  Those little moments with a cool beer on the patio and a sunset and kids playing with the dog.  Blessed.  And because Josie always asks me, that's where Heaven is.  Just behind the sunset.  Because the sun never sets there.  We're that close to her, to Him.  Jesus is just behind that streak of red in the sky.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Love, love, loves...

Years ago I used to do a post where I would write down what my girls loved at the time, to remember it when they're grown.  I would call it their "stats" or their "love, love, loves".  I decided that it would be a really good idea to start doing that again.

I don't know if it's Josie's being an older kid now, or we just have more girls so there's so much more going on, or I am *ahem* older...  Days are flying by so quickly.  I don't want to miss anything or forget anything.  My memories of Marie are my most prized treasure, and part of my having them is how well I documented them as they happened.  I want to store up these treasures...

Eva love, love, loves...
Sweet potatoes.
Her sock monkey.
Bath time.
Any time that her sisters will slow down and pay attention to her.
Graham crackers.
Her God-mother.  (after Daddy and I; there is something very special about their little bond)
On the flip side, Eva really hates tummy time still.  It's sort of awful but she makes this face and scrunches up her tiny nose and rolls over.  Luke and I call it her "F-U tummy time" face.

Sarah love, love, loves...
Her stuffed animals.  All 10 or so of them that all live on her tiny toddler bed.
Playing outside with her dog.
Going on bike rides.
Playing with bubbles.
Playing on my smart phone.
Going to the farm.
On the flip side... Sarah kind of is anti-nap right now.  It is hard for me as a Mama to let go of that afternoon nap.  

Josie love, love, loves...
Kelly Clarkson.
Hanging out with her Dad.
Her best friend.
Reading.  She goes through a book in a single day.  It is amazing.
Dance, she is still taking Jazz and is really good at it.
Piano.  She does piano lessons with her Aunt Gail once a week.  To see her begin to read music (something I cannot do) is really cool.
On the flip... Josie does not like chores and is a real stinker about doing anything "extra".  I am told it comes with her age.  I am dreading her becoming a teenager.

All in all, life is good but busy.  There is a huge hole in our days that is Marie shaped, but we have learned how to cope.  It has not come easily.  There have been a lot of hard times, and we have been blessed with a really wonderful social worker who has walked with us since before Marie was called home.  With out his guidance it would have been so much harder. 
It is amazing how big these little girls are getting...


Friday, April 13, 2012


I have not had much to say for a long time.  In honesty, I thought about letting this go.  See, I view this as the story of Marie's life... and she's gone now.  I don't know what to say, and my thoughts and feelings are so private.  Where I am, does anyone really want to know what that's like?

The thirty-something mother of four, trying to get by raising her babies, trying to raise them well, with faith.  Does anyone want to hear me talk about the breath stealing pain that still exists sometimes even now, two and a half years after my Little Mama flew home?  The guilt that comes with coming to joy again after the valley of sorrow.  The irrational "how can we be okay without her", "are we really okay", "why do things have to change", "how can things not change", "I am changed but I want to be the same".  Does anyone really need to read the jumbled thoughts of a grieving mother that is far enough out from her tragedy that it feels like the worlds forgotten?  Does anyone really need to hear me? 

But then, I am still surprised that anyone reads here at all.  This is just my space...  And these words are my therapy. 

I am joyful, but guarded.  I am so blessed, but it's a hard story to tell.  A lot of what I'm thinking now I struggle to get to the page...  Because this is a public forum.  And maybe I don't want everyone to know what I'm really thinking.  Because sometimes it is not very nice.  And sometimes it's just really boring.

I don't want to let this go though...  It's still the journey, but our struggles are different.  Instead of being the mother of a child with a terrible illness and helping her to live that well; I am the mother of three little girls whose sister is gone.  And I am a mother trying to help myself and them carry on, being as healthy as possible.  Answering hard questions, comforting tiny souls that didn't know their sister but grieve anyway.  It is a much different place and I am a much different me.  My husband is a different man, and we are a different family.  And that has to be okay...  And if what I have to say is not very nice, or it is really boring, or it makes no sense that is okay.  Because it's more for me than anything and I think I'm saner when I let go of the words...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Two years, five months, and twenty five days...

That is how long Marie was with us.  Today, that is how long she's been gone.  Tomorrow we will have been without Princess Marie longer than we were with her.  It's just another marker.  Another milestone in the passage of time. 

To be honest, I thought it would hurt more.  I cried my tears Sunday night in Luke's arms.  A Mommy and Daddy hurting for the little girl we don't kiss goodnight anymore.  But Jesus does. He gives the hugs and the kisses, and I know that.  I am grateful for that.

Still, we miss her here.  This Saturday we will celebrate the day she would have turned five.  We are going away as a family to the mountains.  We are going to be quiet and be together.  We are going to celebrate the blessing that she was when she came, and rejoice in every single moment of two years, five months, and twenty five days that we got Marie. 

I have said it before, but.... "We would welcome you again Mama.  And again, and again, and again.  We love you!"