Friday, October 30, 2009

Who You'd Be Today

There is a song, I know it sounds a bit cliché, but there is a song. I went to my first Kenny Chesney concert when he was the opening act for Tim McGraw on the Set This Circus Down tour. Then I saw him again in the summer of 2007. He sang a song that always tugged at my heart strings. Now, this song brings me to my knees. I always think of Natalie. I always wonder...who she would be today. I catch glimpses through my friend's children. I can watch her run, talk, play, and love on her sister Alie through them. I had the sweetest moment with Julia the other day at the zoo. She and Alie and I were hanging out. She randomly walked over the Alie in her stroller and kissed her on the top of the head. Then a few moments later she did it again saying I love you baby Alie. I can only imagine what kind of sister Natalie would be. This song will not leave my head, it is playing over and over....

Who You'd Be Today by Kenny Chesney

Sunny days seem to hurt the most.
I wear the pain like a heavy coat.
I feel you everywhere I go.
I see your smile, I see your face,
I hear you laughin' in the rain.
I still can't believe you're gone.

It ain't fair: you died too young,
Like the story that had just begun,
But death tore the pages all away.
God knows how I miss you,
All the hell that I've been through,
Just knowin' no-one could take your place.
An' sometimes I wonder,
Who'd you be today?

Would you see the world? Would you chase your dreams?
Settle down with a family,
I wonder what would you name your babies?
Some days the sky's so blue,
I feel like I can talk to you,
An' I know it might sound crazy.

It ain't fair: you died too young,
Like the story that had just begun,
But death tore the pages all away.
God knows how I miss you,
All the hell that I've been through,
Just knowin' no-one could take your place.
An' sometimes I wonder,
Who you'd be today?

Today, today, today.
Today, today, today.

[Instrumental Break]

Sunny days seem to hurt the most.
I wear the pain like a heavy coat.
The only thing that gives me hope,
Is I know I'll see you again some day.

Some day, some day, some day.

Someday I will know. I will see her again. I will know how her personality blossomed. And my questions will be answered. I will hold her, kiss the top of her head, and tell her I love her. I will get to take off my coat and my heart won't hurt anymore. My tears will be gone. Some day…

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

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Today, we are taking treats up to the PICU staff. I like to feed them. It makes me feel like I am helping a little when they did so much. We have yummy cupcakes and coffee for them. This will be the first trip up to visit without Bryan. I don't know how I will do, probably cry a lot. But I will make the time to say thank you. It is important to say thank you.


Hillary, Bryan, Emily, Alie and our sweet angel baby Nat Nat

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New York in a few pictures...

Ok, it is a few more than a few pictures. We had a blast!!! I need to write up the whole trip so we have the record and you can see what we did. This first picture is in the Plaza Hotel, the home of Eloise. And now, a trip to NYC and staying at the Plaza is on my bucket list. I have to do that one!

FAO Schwarz

The Empire State Bldg from the Williamsburg Bridge

Keli and Alie

Hillary and Emily

Empire State Bldg

Such a cutie!!!

Emily took this one!

Times Square

Ferris Wheel in Toys R Us

Morgan Freeman!!!

Ok, really he is wax...but how real does he look?!?

Ground Zero...what a sight!

Good night all!!
Hillary, Bryan, Emily, Allison and our angel baby Natalie

Friday, October 9, 2009

Emily's big news!

Just wanted to get these pictures up to share Emily's good news. She has been wiggling her first loose tooth since July. Tonight, while rough-housing in the living room, she knocked it just enough that it came out. First came the tears (after she noticed a bit of blood) and the fear. Then, when a few minutes had passed...all was good and she is so very excited. So we have begun the road to adult teeth (gasp!!).

We also had a great time calling Nana on her birthday to wish her a happy day. Emily even had to do it on her own. She and Nana talk all the time! She likes the phone....I am in trouble!
Off to bed...we have a quiet weekend ahead. But, it will involve some boiled peanuts at the Peanut Festival! I am excited!
Good night all,
Hillary, Bryan, Emily, Allison, and our angel baby Natalie

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Alie got her ears pierced!

Just a few pictures tonight. Bryan has been requesting them! But, the big news this week is that Alie's ears were pierced on Thursday. She did fabulous and did not cry a bit! I am so very proud.
Emily and I had some mommy-daughter time last weekend at Color Me Mine. We both love to go painting and I thought it would be fun to sign up for "Tea for Two". We went with friends and had such a good time. The pictures are the before as Emily was practicing and our set after it had been fired. It is our new favorite thing to play. You are warned now...if you come here, you will probably have to have a least one cup of tea with Emily. It would make her day!
Good night all,
Hillary, Bryan, Emily, Allison and our angel baby Natalie

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I miss her

October 1….a day that I dread really. It is the beginning of the month that my life changed forever. It did change in other months as well, February for our wedding and Emily’s birthday, August for Natalie and Alie’s birthday. But October is different. I became a mom who buried a child, a mom who fears for each moment of my children’s lives, hopes that they will be ok when I place them in another’s care. I became the woman who signs her babies up for swim lessons because there is no other option in her life right now. It is October. Grief is hard. Grief is overwhelming and debilitating. And October is a month of reminders. I miss her.

From my recliner I can see Natalie’s Urn. It sits just to the left of the TV in the living room. We live in this room, play, laugh, even eat some. And she lives here with us too. It is as close as we get to having her here with us. I miss her.

Today, I took Alie to the mall for Gymbucks at Gymboree (one of my favoritest things!) and I got her ears pierced. She looks so cute with them. Bryan called tonight (yeah!!!) and I told him. I think her was a bit upset that he was not there. But getting her ears pierced made her different from Natalie. We never took the time to get Natalie’s ears done. Thankfully, we never did it. We were able to donate her kidneys, heart valves and liver because we never got around to it. I miss her.

There are so many things I am trying to do differently, just because so many things are the same as two years ago. But the biggest difference is that this time two years ago I was not missing my baby girl. My arms did not ache to hold Natalie. She was a vibrant, curious sweet little girl with strawberry blond hair and green eyes. She was very high maintenance, very needy, and so loveable. She was Natalie, perfect Natalie. She was here. I miss her.
Bryan is on deployment again. He is doing well. We get to talk about once a week. I know you all probably want to know more, but that is really all the info I have. I know this is hard on him, with so many similarities between the two years. I know he misses her.

So begins October…I am loving on Emily and Allison. I am hugging them more, making sure to take time with each one individually. I am trying to not lose my patience. I am taking time to play in bed before we all get up. I am not pushing Alie to sleep in the crib. I love my cuddle time with my cuddlebug. And I love that Emily wants to snuggle all the time.

So we are ok. We are getting up and doing what we have to each day. We are making it through. Emily, Allison and I are living the best we can while missing two very important people, Bryan and Natalie. Bryan will be home soon. I miss Natalie.

Please pray for our family. Pray for safety for Bryan. Pray for patience for me. Pray for peace for all of us.

I have a new verse that is helping me through. I came across it rather randomly but I think it was placed in my path for a reason.

“I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8
Good night all,
Hillary, Bryan, Emily, Allison and our angel baby Natalie

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Is He enough?

I have held onto a business card that is covered with scriptures that I find comfort in for the longest time. First, it was in my pocket. Then it migrated to my purse. It took up residence next to my reading corner on the table. Lastly, until it landed in my hand again, it was on my scrapbooking table. I have pondered writing about these and all they mean to me for so long. And the only thing I wrote on the card (other than the verse addresses) is the words, "Is He enough?"

The day I started this card was a bad day. Today, I had a bad day. Just very off and moody. The girls were great. Alie even took 2 naps and Emily let me get some CM work done. But I am bitter right now and that bitterness was really seeping in to my mood. Perhaps because yesterday was the 24th. Perhaps because Alie's birthday is coming up and I will be celebrating this birthday in a similar way that we celebrated Natalie's 1st birthday. Perhaps it is because we just celebrated Natalie's birthday one week ago. Maybe it was all of these things that puut me into the muddy funk that I don't like.

Tonight I was going to post about the birthday celebration of my sweet girl who should be three now. I was going to post this amazing picture (that alot of you have seen on my facebook pictures) and tell the story behind it. But I am going to change gears.

I read a few other blogs. I have backed off from reading as many as I used to. I found that if I read my Bible, I was more uplifted. But there are a few that I still follow. Tonight, as I was reading one, I read of another family who has suffered a loss greater than ours. I do not know the story but they lost 2 year old boy/girl twins in a drowning accident. My heart led me to read the last entry on their blog (which has not been updated since), post a comment, and pray hard! But my heart also led me back to my card with scripture on it. I have found great comfort in these and I hope and pray that they find my blog and can find some peace within God's Word. It is the only place I have really found peace since losing Natalie. So, this evening, I give you my list. And my wish is that they touch you as they have touched me.

Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day's out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ's law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.
Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.
~Galatians 6:1-5, MSG

When God made his promise to Abraham, he backed it to the hilt, putting his own reputation on the line. He said, "I promise that I'll bless you with everything I have—bless and bless and bless!" Abraham stuck it out and got everything that had been promised to him. When people make promises, they guarantee them by appeal to some authority above them so that if there is any question that they'll make good on the promise, the authority will back them up. When God wanted to guarantee his promises, he gave his word, a rock-solid guarantee—God can't break his word. And because his word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable.
We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It's an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek.
~Hebrews 6:18-20, MSG

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. ~Hebrews 11:1, NIV

The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling, a scrubby plant in a parched field.There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look.He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.One look at him and people turned away. We looked down on him, thought he was scum.But the fact is, it was our pains he carried— our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures.But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed.We're all like sheep who've wandered off and gotten lost. We've all done our own thing, gone our own way.And God has piled all our sins, everything we've done wrong, on him, on him. ~Isaiah 53:2-6, MSG

All you saints! Sing your hearts out to God! Thank him to his face! He gets angry once in a while, but across a lifetime there is only love. The nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter. ~ Psalm 30:4-5, MSG

“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." ~Deuteronomy 31:8, NIV

"I, I'm the One comforting you. What are you afraid of—or who?Some man or woman who'll soon be dead? Some poor wretch destined for dust?You've forgotten me, God, who made you, who unfurled the skies, who founded the earth.And here you are, quaking like an aspen before the tantrums of a tyrant who thinks he can kick down the world.But what will come of the tantrums? The victims will be released before you know it.They're not going to die. They're not even going to go hungry.For I am God, your very own God, who stirs up the sea and whips up the waves, named God-of-the-Angel-Armies.I teach you how to talk, word by word, and personally watch over you,Even while I'm unfurling the skies, setting earth on solid foundations, and greeting Zion: 'Welcome, my people!'" ~Isaiah 51:16, MSG

And of course, there is the one that I go to so often that I can recite it word for word....
Jesus answered, "You don't understand now what I'm doing, but it will be clear enough to you later." ~John 13:7

Perhaps, if you meet someone who has experienced a loss so great, and you are comfortable with it, feel free to share with them our blog and our story. Hopefully our loss can help someone else.

Good night all,
Hillary, Bryan, Emily, Allison, and especially our angel baby Natalie

Monday, August 17, 2009

"That Mom"

I am that mom...the one whose babies are wearing hand-me-downs that may have a faint stain or two on them. My children may have a bit of crusty snot on the end of their nose. They may even be wearing clothes that don't match because they are so proud of picking out their own outfit. They might make the biggest mess in the restaurant, so much so that I have to leave a bigger tip. They could begin to screaming in the middle of the store because I would not buy the one toy "that is her favoritest and she has always wanted for her whole life".

I certainly do not have it all together. There are many days that I am lucky to just get a shower. And those are the days that I realize that I am "that mom." You know the feel sorry for her in the grocery store. You hope that her kids will take a nap just so she can have some peace for 5 minutes.

But, I am also "that mom". This one is the mom who you tiptoe around hoping to not upset. This mom is sad and hurt and upset and puts on that happy face just to make other less uncomfortable around her. This is the mom who wonders who else around her has walked the road she is on now. This mom wants to be normal, like the other moms she knows, but knows that will never happen. This mom never wanted to be in this group, and tries daily to figure out just how she ended up there.

Today is Natalie's third birthday. Last year it did not seem quite as hard as it is now. Perhaps it was because Alie was days away from her arrival and we were still in shock. I think that has finally worn off and now it is just the insurmountable grief and heartache that encompasses us. I still can't figure out why. I think that question will remain on my heart and the tip of my tongue until I see Nat again. Two years ago we were starting on an incredible journey, one that we never could have imagined or picked. But it is one we now stare head-on and know we have to face. Two years ago I was not sleeping because I was just so excited to meet our second baby girl. Now, I am not sleeping because I miss my second baby girl immensely.

We will be celebrating Natalie's thrid birthday with an evening with our close friends. We are going to go to Red Robin for dinner, the perfect place to take children and one that I know Nat would love as much as Emily does. Then we will head to the store and get some Happy Birthday balloons. Finally, we will all head back here, decorate the balloons with my extensive collection of Sharpies (random, I know) and send them up to her with all the kisses we can plant on those balloons. We are going to have cupcakes and sing happy birthday. We are going to do all those things we would do with her here, but we have to do it without her. One day I will get to celebrate her birthday day.

Sweet baby girl, we miss you so very much and wish that you were here with us. I know you are having a ball there. Have a great time celebrating with all your friends in heaven, just as we will celebrate with your friends here on earth. Love you so much, Boogsie....all the way to heaven and back. Love, Mommy

Friday, July 24, 2009

I am back...

I am having a hard time again. I think I write more when it gets harder. I am not too sure if that is good or bad, but for now...

It has been busy. Full of memories, good and bad. We went to the cabin as we do each summer. This was Alie and Anna Kathryn's first trip there. We did all the things we love to do there, swing on the porch in early morning, wade in the creek, check out what the cows are up to and moo at them, pick blackberries, eat lots of comfort food, and make a trip to Babyland General to watch a new Cabbage Patch baby's birth. It was wonderfully fun and so bittersweet. We were missing Natalie. Her picture is still on the fridge. I can still see her beautiful smile as she played on the swing on the river porch. I was reminded of our visit to Babyland General and watching Natalie crawl around the babies. She was so happy at the cabin. I am always so happy at the cabin.

Alie has gotten her first tooth and begun walking in the last 2 weeks. Thankfully that tooth came was rough. She really is a snaggletooth baby though. Her first tooth was her top front right one! So odd...but so cute! And I love the toddle of a new walker, the way she moves her legs and is so happy with her accomplishment. She is an absolute joy and I am enjoying watching her grow. But... (there is always a but right?) she looks so much like Nat now. She has so many of the same mannerisms. I love the reminders, but the bittersweetness is hard for me.

Tonight was girls night out. My friends Jenna, Carmen and Erin went to the movies with me to see My Sister's Keeper. I read this book before Natalie's accident and really thought I would be ok. Boy was I wrong! I cried through the whole thing. It was just another reminder of all the things that Natalie won't experience and we won't have with her.

So, I am asking for prayers. I am in need of guidance, encouragement and love right now. We are all struggling with Natalie's death right now. We are preparing for Bryan's next deployment. Emily starts kindergarten this fall and I am worried that she will not be cared for emotionally. I have less control then and it is hard to give that up.

I will add that I am leading a bible study tomorrow (really it is this morning) on Living beyond your Circumstances. Please keep me and the ladies attending in your hearts and prayers as we share and wade through this difficult topic.

My family and friends are all asleep so I must go as well. I am sorry to be absent from blogging for so long...hopefully I can get back into this. It will help me, and hopefully help you as well.

Good night all,
Hillary, Bryan, Emily, Alie and our angel baby Natalie

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Allison's Day

I know that I should have posted this about, oh, 3 weeks ago. It has just been that weird here. I have been in a weird place but want out of it! So I am starting here.

Over Memorial Day weekend, we had a slew of friends and family in town. I really do mean a slew... Alie was baptized that Sunday morning. It was a glorious morning! I, of course, was a bit frazzled and hoping everything went perfectly! My parents came up...and Daddy baptized his fourth grandbaby. What a blessing! My sister, brother-in-law and my most adorable niece Anna Kathryn came as well. I was so glad to have them here. But the best bestest friend from my childhood, the chick that knows it all about me and loves me no matter what and I her, came as well!!! I was so elated to find out Keli was coming, then even more excited when I realized she would be here all weekend! Plus, our friends from Northern Virginia were here and all of my fabulous friends that have supported and lifted us during the last 19 months. I could not have asked for a better day. I had three pews full of people I was bliss!

Allison, me, Emily, and Keli

Our family

Baptisms are hard. I have not denied that fact. I was so nervous. And I am not normally nervous in church. I almost lost it at one point...I came close. But I took a nice deep breath and managed to save my mascara. It was perfect. My joy overflowed as my father walked my daughters around the sanctuary as the congregation sang, " Allison Hope, God Claim You; God helps you, protects you and loves you too!" She is a child of God. She is a child that I have prayed for. She is an answered prayer. She is beautiful. And she is adored by all of us. This was a day for me to remember my commitment to my Lord, my faith and my walk with Him. But it really was her day. It is the beginning of an amazing walk for Allison. I cannot wait to see where He leads her.
Alie and her godparents, Corey, Erin and Sean

"I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD." And he worshiped the LORD there. ~1 Samuel 1:27-28

Good night all...


Hillary, Bryan, Emily, Allison and our angel baby Natalie

Monday, June 1, 2009

I am the clay

So many good things…so many hard things. Today was one of those hard days. We were visiting the church of our good friends and attending the baptism of their sons. Baptisms are so very hard for me. It was beautiful sacrament. I had never witnessed a Catholic baptism before. I was doing my best to hold myself together and enjoy all that was promised by these parents. There were 5 children baptized today. As the Deacon was calling each name and baptizing the children, it hit me. The first child, a sweet, blond girl, is named Natalie. She was a little older than Natalie was when she was baptized. That was it for me. I focused on my girls and the boys that I was there for. I made it through, even took a few pictures for the family. I left the sanctuary and found a quiet corner. I hugged on Alie and let myself cry. It never stops. There is always the reminder, no matter what we are doing. After the sacrament and lunch with our friends, we ran up to the outlet malls just to look for a minute. We were very good, purchasing only 1 pair of sneakers for Emily. Of course, the GPS who I have affectionately named Lola brought us home near the park where our last family pictures were taken with Natalie. Shortly after we arrived home, Emily informed Bryan and me that she wanted to send her balloon to Natalie. Every time a balloon gets away outside we talk about how Natalie will get the balloon in heaven and get to enjoy it just as she has here. Today, she wanted to write on the balloon and tell Nat Nat that she loves her. I got out the sharpie and we all wrote messages to our girl then headed outside to send her the balloon. It was so very sweet, sad, perfect and perfectly difficult. Of course, we had the camera out. I never go anywhere without my camera! Yet another moment to remember…yet another moment that I wish had never happened.

I have had a few bad weeks. I honestly think I have been in a state of shock for about 18 months. Once month 19 started, I got mad. Angry, hurt, confused, I am hot! How could this happen? Why me, why us? Why? Just plain and simple…why? It seems as though everything that happens now can be traced back to Natalie’s accident. If Nat’s accident had not happened, then ________ would have. If she was still here, then _______. It is a big fill-in-the-blank puzzle. Each piece builds on how this has affected our lives. It has affected how I approach new situations like kindergarten for Emily. It has affected activities I allow my children to participate in. It has affected Bryan’s job and advancement opportunities. It has affected every aspect of our lives. There are good things that have come from this. We have Alie. Our marriage is strong, solid and alive. But the negative impact from this just keeps resurfacing. And I have found that I am angry. I think I have suppressed it so long that this has no where to go but out. So here it is.

But I am hoping that from this will come some shaping of my soul. I know that I am like clay and God is molding me with every turn. The potter is in control and He is pushing on me to form me just as He wants. I know it is softening my heart and helping me heal. There is growth for me in this turmoil.

“Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”
~Isaiah 64:8

Good night all,
Hillary, Bryan, Emily, Alie and especially our angel baby Nat-Nat who is so incredibly missed today and always

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Here I family all sleeping soundly in the other room. I am alone with my thoughts again, trying to figure out just what they mean and how to wade through them. Lots of stuff happened this week and I am going to post on those tomorrow. We have a busy day ahead of us and I know the chicks will go to bed early.
My family has loved on me today. I loved every moment of it. I woke to Alie chatting with me in bed. Then, as I was getting out of the shower, Emily attacked me with gifts...a homemade tulip that she made at school, and card, and a new bible. Move over Dad, Bryan is taking over with the bible giving. But seriously, it is the Women of Faith Study Bible and I cannot wait to really crack it open! I have already looked up lots of my favorites, because I love reading those scriptures that lift me up. What a wonderful gift...but the best of all was that Bryan completely cleaned the kitchen! It is spotless and I LOVE IT!!!
We went to church today. I thought it was interesting that Pastor Dave used a scripture from John detailing when Jesus was crucified. It looks at that moment from the mother's point of view. a few months back, I wrote a lenten devotional for my father's church on this very passage. It was a fabulous sermon. Of course, I got choked up when he began talking about the grieving moms. There I was, rocking a sleeping Alie in the narthex, listening to the chatter from children's church down the hall, and crying over the daughter that I was not able to hold and hug and celebrate today. So bittersweet...
I often wish that I had a grave to visit. Something tangable that could be special for us. We have Natalie's urn here at the house. I visit with her everyday. But I can't (I suppose I really could...) put flowers on it or release balloons here. Seems like it would be not quite as meaningfu, with less symbolism. I am glad that she is here with us. As a military family, we never know when we may have to move. So, until we are settled, we need to be able to be close to her. And we are unsure of where we will retire to. Not burying her was the best way. But, I get my nights, when the family is asleep to talk with her, tell her how much I miss her, how much I love her and how I cannot wait to get to heaven to see her again. That will be a wonderful day. Then I tell her about Alie and how much she reminds me of her. Talk about bittersweet...

I have celebrated Mother's Day for five years now. And I have three gorgeous girls to be so very proud of. I can hold two of them, love on them, kiss them, and cuddle them. And I have one that I have to remember kisses and hugs. You know, Natalie used to turn her head so you could kiss on her cheek when you asked for kisses from her. I loved that. I miss that terribly! I miss her desperately. She was so very kissable. All three of my girls are...

I am off to snuggle with my snugglebug Alie. And I am off to cuddle with my amazing husband. I am so thankful for him everyday. And I am so very thankful that he and I get to celebrate our three daughters together everyday.

Good night all.


Hillary, Bryan, Emily, Allison and our angel baby Natalie

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Eighteen long months...

Eighteen months ago, I watched my baby leave her earthy body.
Eighteen months ago, Bryan and I made a commitment to really work on our marriage so we would survive Natalie’s death.
Eighteen months ago, I became a stay-at-home-mom.
Eighteen months ago, I had to learn how to be honest yet sensitive with our 3 year old who was trying to figure out just what happened to her sister.
Eighteen months ago, our families (about 30 people or so) converged on our home to carry our family…and we barely fit inside.
Eighteen months ago, I stopped nursing Natalie.
Eighteen months ago, my bible returned to my bedside table.
Eighteen months ago, I questioned all that I believe.
Eighteen months ago, I thought I had lost all hope.
Eighteen months ago, my heart was so heavy that I could barely breathe or walk or shower.

What does grief look like eighteen months after you kiss your daughter goodbye? It looks like me.

I am torn. I am sad. I am hurting. I am confused. I am scared. I am lost. I question so much of what I believe. I question my faith. I question God’s love. I question where my life is going. I question all that was solid before October 24, 2007. But, He reassures me that His grace is perfect. I am not but He is. And He is working in me.

I like to shut off. I will admit it…when I don’t know how to react or respond I just shut off. I hide. I want to stay in bed. I do all that I can to keep the kids going while avoiding taking care of me. I avoid the phone. I ignore my animals. I stop blogging even though I still want to and my mind is racing a million miles a minute. I don’t ask for help. I want to avoid the feelings, avoid dealing with what happened. I almost get to the place where I think that if I ignore it, it will go away. I feel as though I am damaged, unworthy, hopeless. But, when I get to that place, that still small voice surrounds me, catches my tears, and reminds me that I am loved. He reminds me that His hands are carrying me and that his yoke is uncomplicated. And then I feel His peace around me and I can face my grief and know that no matter how difficult it feels, I am in His grasp. And I am His child.

I prefer only safe things. I have a hard time with baptisms. I sometimes leave the sanctuary for those, so that I will not break down and loudly blubber during someone elses’ amazing wonderful moment. I just don’t want to ruin it. I am unsure when I get near children that I have not been around much in the last 18 months. I bow my head and avoid eye contact when I get to those places. I do have those strangely uncomfortable moments even in places that I think are safe. At Emily’s ballet studio, I felt a panic rise in me for the last 2 Mondays. Not because I don’t feel safe there, but because Natalie would be starting Kinderdance class in the fall. And she would be playing with one of my favoritest (is that a word?) girls who is just her age. They would be dressing up, playing so sweetly and going through the terrible twos together.

That’s me…simple, straight forward honesty of how I feel. I have bad days. I have horrible days. But I also have smiles, cuddle time with my sunshine Emily, ‘nuggle time with my nuggey Alie, and belly laughs with both girls. There is a twinkle in Emily’s eye again, proving that she is working through it. Alie is blissfully unaware of the past. And Bryan and I are wading through the messy world of grief, together. I am so very happy to have him home. He most definitely is my rock. Now if I can just get back in the habit of journing and getting to the gym, things could be back to “normal”.

As soon as my computer is working better, I will get some new pictures up. Yes, it is still crashing on me. We have a hectic month during May. Alie will be having surgery to open her tear duct on her left eye. I am very aprehensive and scared. But I know it is what she needs done. And Bryan will be gone most of that week. Thankfully, my parents are coming a bit early (before Alie’s baptism) to help with Emily while I take care of Alie, and calm myself down. Alie will be baptized at our church on May 24th. We are going to have a gaggle of family and friends with us…and we would love to have you share in this important moment for Allison and reaffirmation of faith for Bryan and me. It is also such a beautiful moment when a grandpa has the honor of baptizing his fourth granddaughter.

I will do my best to not stay away so long anymore…really it doesn’t do me any good. Journaling helps me heal. So when I don’t journal, I get depressed. And I do love to share my beautiful children with you all.

It is now almost 1am and I need to join my sleeping family. Thank you for praying for us and checking on us. We yearn for each prayer and are grateful for all your support.

Good night all…off to dream of my three girls.
Hillary, Bryan, Emily, our angel baby Natalie and Allison

Monday, April 27, 2009

Busy girls...and boy!

I have been absent. I have been stressed out. I have been busy with the girls. I have been busy grieving my sweet Natalie. I have been preparing for Bryan's homecoming. But I am ok.

Seriously, it has been crazy! Lots of things going on. Bryan is now home and tomorrow is his last day of leave. We have been enjoying family time and the girls are just eating him up! Alie is so on the move now. Emily is so busy with ballet, swimming, golf lessons (starting in May) and school winding down. I am trying (still!) to fix my computer. I am trying to get back into the swing of CM. I am breathing huge sighs of relief now that the love of my life is back in my arms again.

So...more to come tomorrow...


Goodnight all,
Hillary, Bryan, Emily, our angel baby Natale, and Allison

Monday, March 2, 2009

What we have been up to....

I promise a post with words soon. Life is crazy here. From Dora Live, to a trip out of town, Emily's 5th birthday, my purse (and everything in it!) getting stolen at the mall, snow, and preparations to head to Florida for a new license...we have been busy! So here is a glimpse of what has gone on....
Dora Live!
Valentine's Day from my honey...
Happy Birthday Emily!! I cannot believe she is 5!
You can't have a birthday without everyone getting a taste of the cake...Alie loves icing!
Big day ending so sweetly
Nana was here for the snow today. This was Alie's first snow and the first snow that Emily remembers and has gotten to play in.

My snow angel making a snow angel

I really wanted to title this picture, "Snow flakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes" but we did not get enough snow. It was still flurrying (is that a word even?) when I took this. Emily was desperate to catch the snow on her tongue.

til later....