Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Noticably Absent....

Hi Y'all. I know it has been so long. Two weeks to be exact. And my post tonight would be long except that we got home late, then had to eat, then got online with Bryan, then had to get everyone to know the drill. And now, it is past my bedtime, I am pooped and this adorable baby sleeping next to me on the bed is very inviting to "nuggle"with.

I will admit to you, because I am working on being more truthful, that when I am absent is when I really need to be writing. It is when I am having the hardest times, and when I am finding it difficult to express myself or focus to get anything done. These are the times when I am depressed and can't seem to find my way up. It has been that way the past few weeks.

But the last few days have been filled with ladybugs. They have been filled with reminders of my sweet Nat Nat. I will share some of the little ladies in the next few posts (which will hopefully be in the next few days) so that you can catch a glimpse of the encouragement I have seen.

I do have a request. I need someone to go to a concert with me on April 5th. It is here, in Norfolk, and Bryan will not be back yet to go with me. Do you want to know who it is? Well....The United Tour will be continuing at the begging and pleading of the I am going to see Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith on the same stage!!!! I am beyond excited and want someone (or several someones) to go with me. Concerts are WAY more fun when you have someone to share it with. Will you join me?

Good night all...hopefully I will be back tomorrow.
Hillary, Bryan, Emily, especially our angel baby Nat Nat, and nuggle-queen Alie

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday....almost

Some of my favs....
The last picture of the girls with Aunt Kimmie and Uncle Marco Marco

One of my favs of Bryan and Emily

Em and else do you bathe the baby when Bryan is away?

Rockband anyone?

Cooking with Emily

Elizabeth, this ones for you!

This is my favorite position!

Emily and Natalie...

Natalie and her friend Julia

til later....

Sunday, January 11, 2009


New Haircuts for Emily and me

At the airport with Daddy before his flight

til later...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Never Let Go

My heart hurts tonight. I sit here, with two of my daughters asleep in the other room, wishing there were three here with me. I am grieving, dear friends. There are many tears rolling down my face and it is hard to even see the screen. Every day, Emily begins and ends with “I miss my Daddy and I miss my Natalie.” And I respond the same way, “I miss Daddy and Natalie so much too.” I am really missing my girl tonight. Maybe it is because Bryan is not here to hold me, comfort me and make me feel safe. Maybe it is because tomorrow will be 14 months and 12 days since I said goodbye to my beautiful red-headed, green-eyed daughter. Maybe it is because I am overwhelmed. Maybe it is because I am simply a grieving mom, wishing that my Natalie was still in my arms.

I have a new song that I have embraced. The chorus is so powerful, so perfect. Never Let Go. David Crowder Band sings this and I live it daily. I will never let go. I can’t. I will never let go of Natalie and my memories. I will never let go of my Lord, my savior that carries me daily through this struggle. I will never let go of the doctors and nurses that took care of Natalie, keeping her safe and helping her heal. I will never let go of my family and friends who waited so patiently for news at the hospital for five days. Our lives stood still and theirs did too. I will never let go of those that could not be with us, but prayed fervently this His will be done. I will never let go of those that brought meals, sent cards, and gave us smiles and well-wishes as we picked up the pieces of our broken hearts. And I will never let go of those that took care of Emily for those 5 days. How could I be in two places at once, with my daughter that was dying and my daughter that was so confused and scared? You helped so much. I could never repay that. I will never let go of my grief, it is now a part ofme. I will never let go of the blogging world that has embraced our family, following us, praying for us, laughing with us (do you remember the crayon story?!?) and crying with us.

I will never let go. Because you never let go. Thank you. My heart is broken tonight, but I know that You will be here to pick me up again. Ever faithful, ever true; You I know, You never let go.

“Never Let Go” by David Crowder Band
When clouds veil sun
And disaster comes
Oh, my soul
Oh, my soul

When waters rise
And hope takes flight
Oh, my soul
Oh, my soul
Oh, my soul

Ever faithful
Ever true
You I know
You never let go
You never let go
You never let go
You never let go

When clouds brought rain
And disaster came
Oh, my soul
Oh, my soul

When waters rose
And hope had flown
Oh, my soul
Oh, my soul
Oh, my soul

Oh, my soul
Oh, what love, oh, what love

Oh, my soul
Fills hope
Perfect love that never lets go

Oh, what love, oh, what love
Oh, what love, oh, what love

In joy and pain
In sun and rain
You're the same
Oh, You never let go

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

Friday, January 2, 2009

Your will be done

It has been hectic. It has been hard. I have been hesitant to write. I want to say exactly what is on my heart, but fear the act of giving it words. It makes it permanent and I have a strange fear of permanence now. I have not doubt that it comes from the loss of my daughter.

I am reserved when it comes to the holidays. Last year, we put up a tree but only decorated with new ornaments. This year, we put up the tree, hung the stockings, put up the outdoor lights. I was sad all season. Relief came tonight as I took it all down. I feel Natalie’s absence so much now. And I seem to grieve more. We had one Christmas with her. She was four months old. She did not get to enjoy it like I see Emily enjoy it. Last year we were still in shock, numb from her passing, and just going through the motions to make it through another day. This year it has been real. There were less presents. The table had one less place setting. Her stocking was empty on Christmas morning when all the other stockings for the kids were busting at the seams. Crying became a constant while we were at my parents. I managed a smile when I needed to, but I knew my feelings were opposite of my outward appearance.

I am fully aware that the holidays are more difficult when you have lost a loved one. I did not know that I would feel as though I was wading through mud, thick black mud. I have spent lots of time looking for comfort. Bryan and I have leaned on each other. I have gone to my bible more times than I can remember to get me through this. And I am glad the holidays are over. Now for the next hurdle…

First, let me tell you about the most amazing thing that happened in Florida. My sweet, amazing, beautiful, funny niece (but I am not biased!) Anna Kathryn was baptized on the Sunday after Christmas by my dad. Having your father share that moment, the sacred sacrement of baptism, as your pastor is amazing. I have done this twice, both with Emily and Natalie. And Daddy will baptize Alie as well. We all stood up with Kimberly, Mark and Anna Kathryn during this moment to share in the joy. Anna Kathryn was adorable and everything went smoothly. We all sat back down and Dad continued the service. My Aunt Celia leaned over, tapped my shoulder and let us know there was a ladybug crawling towards us on the pew. Yes, you read that right, a ladybug in December in St. Paul’s UMC on our pew! She crawled to Bryan, Alie and me. I put my hand down and she crawled right onto my finger. She spent about a minute tickling my finger until she got agitated and flew away, towards the stained glass window at the back of the church. I have not seen Nat visit us in a long time. And I have been discouraged by it. But, how amazing is it that Nat visits us at the baptism of the baby that we know she provided the hedge of protection over at her birth. Anna Kathryn was born on the day that we celebrated Natalie’s life. And I am certain that Natalie is a major player in making sure that Anna Kathryn became a part of our family. Here she was again, on one of the most important days, protecting my sweet niece. There she was…comforting me as my 14 month old niece smiled my way.

We did have to head home early. Bryan received a call from work calling him back to deploy. We were so sad, both at the shortened visit, but also the reminder of his impending deployment. We found out today that he will be leaving this week. Please keep Bryan in your prayers as he travels to the Middle East and as he defends our nation. We are desperate for safe travels and a safe return. Emily, Alie and I will make it through. I am nervous about being alone with the babies while he is gone. But I know I can do this. And I have Corey too! He is a blessing and so helpful to me. I am thankful he is in our lives.

I have to admit…because I know that you all know my secrets…that my heart has felt harder recently. I have spent many hours praying for God to soften it. I have prayed for guidance through this sea of grief. I have prayed for direction and faith. My faith in my Lord has not waivered. I have waited for Him to guide me. And I am now working through some of the conversations we have had in the last few weeks. Please be in prayer over these. I cannot divulge more at this moment, but Bryan and I are figuring out just what it means. I tend to ask Him seveal times if this is really what He wants before I say, “Your will be done.” I question when I should not. And I am now focusing on obedience.

Last year was full of grief, questions, never-ending court dates, and overwhelming fear. But it was also a year of hope, new life, answers, and love. We found resolution, restoration and remembrance to be evident at every crossroad. We pray that this year will bring all of this and so much more. I know that this year, with deployments and anniversaries, it will be a leap of faith for each of us. But I know whose hands will be there to catch each of us.

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." John 14:1-3

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

Hillary and Emily at the LifeNet ceremony

Good night all. Happy New Year.
Hillary, Bryan, Emily especially our angel baby Natalie and Allison