Thursday, September 15, 2011

Changes are coming...

Lots has taken place since my last post....In order to condense it so you are not reading for the next year, I am picking pictures to tell the story.  These pictures show some of the big things before the big move. :)

Emily and Singleton, her BFF from preschool!

Alie's silly face...makes me smile.
Hurricane Irene coming to Chesapeake!
Alie practicing her songs...because there is nothing else to do in during the storm with no electricity!

Splashing in puddles between Hurricane Irene squalls
Alie splashing in the puddles...she was soaked but had so much fun!!

Alie's birthday dinner... Plaza Azteca!  We had no power so
I decided we would go out!
Alie and her birthday cake....Tinkerbell for our Tinker!

Blowing out her candle....I am three now!
Even without power we celebrated!
More to come...had to stop to let blogger not mess up.  It is not working quite you can tell from the unevenness of the pictures. 


Thursday, August 11, 2011

hello world...

I need to blog. I have spent the day crying on and off. And I need my outlet. It is here. This is one of the places that I can be authentically me, not holding back and letting it all go.
Let me start with the update. It has been so long that there is so much that has happened. For my sweet friends who see me on Facebook all the time, bear with me here. This will be redundant for you...but pivotal to bring me back up to date.
Bryan has deployed since my last post. And he made it home safely. I am so grateful for him. Along those lines, we have received orders to his next duty station. We are going to Stuttgart, Germany for the next 3 years. Long time but so short too. We are going to really enjoy our time there. We are planning lots of sightseeing (yes, I am my father's traveling daughter!) and plenty of trips to those places I have only dreamed of until now. The packers come in 19 days and we fly out in 26 days. I am nervous. I will admit that. And I know that the first few weeks and months will be hard. But we will get through that and I am sure we will thoroughly enjoy our time in Europe once we get through the initial shock of it all.
The girls are thriving. Emily has finished the 1st grade and is excited to begin school once we arrive in Germany. She is spunky, imaginative, sassy, and beautiful. I am so proud of her. She was so excited this week when she passed her swim test at the YMCA. She can now be in the pool without one of us with her. Wow....not sure I am quite ready for it. But I let her go down the big slides and she was ecstatic! I find myself needing to let go and let her grow, even when I am praying through every moment of it.
Allison is almost 3 and we can tell! She is full of questions, personality and temper tantrums! She won't take a nap but needs it still. And if she does take a nap, she is up late! I don't really know which is worse.
Natalie, our sweet angel, is missed by the bucketfuls. I long for her in places of my heart that I did not think were there. It takes my breath away most of the time still. Emily talks about her all the time and Allison has even begun talking about her "big siter Natalie". Alie knows her pictures and asks when they can play together. Breaks my heart on a daily basis. Natalie's birthday is this coming Thursday and we will be celebrating every moment we had with her. We will start with donuts and coffee to the PICU at NMCP. That evening,we will celebrate her with our closest friends here. There will be food, cake, ice cream and balloons sent to her telling our girl just how much we love her, miss her and are thankful for every second we spent together.
Can you believe she would be 5 years old this year?!? It feels like she was born just yesterday and it also feels like more than a lifetime. I am not sure which is worse. I miss her with every ounce of me, every breath I take and every step. She is my first thought when I wake and my last before I fall asleep. Her pictures are in every room of our home. I miss her so desperately.
I am hanging in. I have begun looking at when and where I will complete my Bachelor's degree and move onto my PharmD. I miss the pharmacy. I miss the challenge of it all. I miss my career. I need to be home with the girls now. But I also need to begin back on my journey so that I can be me, the pharmacy girl, again. I am staying in women's bible study groups as much as I can to learn more about Jesus and the heaven I will be joining my sweet girl in. The girls keep me busy and on my toes. And I enjoy this time with them. They are growing so fast. I am grateful that I am able to be home now and see all these lovely stages. I mean that, really!
So as we begin on this journey to Europe, I am going to begin blogging again. It will be for me to get out what I am thinking and how I feel. It will be to update our family and friends on where we are, what we are doing and how much fun we can have there. It will be an online diary for the girls to remember our time in Germany. I have debated starting a new blog. But this is home. We are still looking up, looking for guidance, looking to the One who can heal our broken hearts. There is still a will slow but I know this rain is here to stay. Thankfully we have an umbrella, One who holds each tear we cry and wipes our cheeks with His love and mercy.
Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. ~1 Chronicles 16:11
For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. ~Psalm 30:5
All my love,

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Three Years...

My sweet baby Natalie,

Oh, how I miss you. I miss your smell. I miss your smile. I miss your cuddles. I miss your energy. I miss your curiosity. I miss your spunk. I miss the way you put your arms behind you like you were taking flight even though you were just walking. I miss your love of mac and cheese and chicken nuggets. I miss how you and Emily played together. I miss every inch of you, every moment that we did not get together, every milestone and holiday that we lost. You are never far from my thoughts. You are my first thought in the morning along with Emily and Allison. You are my last thought at night. You and your sisters make my heart smile and cry all at the same time.

Three years ago I sat by your bed. I begged you to open your eyes, to tell me you love me just once. I held your hand, rubbed your legs, brushed your hair. I brought stuffed animals to keep you company and pictures to show you were full of life. I told stories about you to anyone that would listen. I pumped milk so that you could still nurse when you woke up. And I prayed. I prayed more than any other time in my life. I prayed that God would give you back to me. What I learned that day was that I am not in control. He is. And He held you and me both that night while I waited. Waited for miracles. Waited for answers. Waited for anything.

I would love one more day with you, boogs. I would love a lifetime more with you. But I am so very proud to be your mom. I am so thankful for the 14 months and 12 days that I physically held you in my arms, the 39 weeks I carried you in my womb, and the lifetime that I get to spend telling others just how fantastic you were.

Three years....feels like forever since I held you. Three years...seems like it should be so short in the grand scheme of things. Three years. I do not know how I have gotten this far. And I don't know how I will go another three years. But I do know that everyday is one day closer to you, one day closer to heaven. And everyday I will choose to remember, choose to love, choose to fight. I will do all I can to keep your sisters and your Daddy safe. And I will look forward to the day that I see you again.

I love you so much. I ache for you all the time. I am desperate to hold on to what I have of you here. You are missed more than you could ever imagine. You will always be my Natalie, my boogsie, my little ladybug. You will always be a part of my day, a part of my thoughts, and a part of my heart.

I love you sweet girl!

I miss you most...



Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fearless...Fear Less

I used to be fearless. I used to be invincible. I used to be footloose and fancy free! I used to not worry. My only fear was that the house was going to catch fire and I would lose my pictures. That was it. I was not scared of anything. Then the worst happened. And my fearlessness turned to daily terror. Fear of erasing pictures that I cannot get back, fear of car accidents, fear of the house burning down and not getting Natalie's urn or albums out. Fear of swimming, fear of playing somewhere that we are unfamiliar with, fear of burying another child, fear of having my heart broken again.

Fear tends to grip me when things are not working right. It has been that way for the last few weeks. Car repairs, demanding toddlers (both of them) and general exhaustion has definitely contributed to the fear and anxiety I have been feeling.

This weekend, we came down to Florida for a visit with my family. We saw Kimberly and Mark a few weeks ago over Fourth of July weekend. So it was definitely time to see my parents and grandparents.

We all were invited over to dinner at the home of my parent's good friends, the Thomases. I was fine with it....until Dad said that they have a pool. Let me preface this by saying that we have not ventured into any backyard and only two homes that have backyard pools since before Natalie's accident. I do not go there. I do not like them. I do not want to be near them. Not since Natalie's death. Too hard...too much imagination to want to go there much less the chance of another child falling in and getting hurt. I very reluctantly said ok to going, not because I did not think we would enjoy ourselves, but simply because I knew that Emily would want to swim and I was going to have to face my fear head on. But, with me in the pool with both girls, Emily in her vest, and four other adults watching all of us, I decided that I would have to go there sometime and this would be it.

We went. We swam. We had a good time. I was not fearless. But I did fear less. I don't have to be fearless. I won't be. But I can fear less so that my babies can enjoy something they love so much, swimming. Allison will be in swim lessons for the first time as soon as we get home. And Emily will be back in them so she can be the best swimmer and the safest swimmer she can be.

I do love swimming. I always have. I want my girls to love it too. I don't want them to be fearless...there is a potential for something to go wrong. But between my fearful soul and their fearless inhibitions, I am going to fear less.

For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. ~Isaiah 41:13 NIV

Because I, your God, have a firm grip on you and I am not letting go. I am telling you, 'Don't panic. I'm right here to help you.' ~Isaiah 41:13 The Message

When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.~Proverbs 3:24

Good night all!


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

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Testing... one two three

I am having difficulties, technical ones. I write all my posts, both published and unpublished, on my hard drive first. Then I copy and paste into blogger and caringbridge for the world to see. I can't get it to copy and paste tonight...any suggestions???

I am not feeling mechanically inclined right now!

Meanwhile...until I figure out what to do, you can catch my ramblings on the caringbridge site,

Until later...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter pics

Easter has been good, hectic, sad, joyous, calming, reflective, and cute! We went to the mall on Saturday night (cause it makes the most sense to wait until the last minute...right?!?!) to see the easter bunny. Bunny took a break so we waited 1.5 hours for the photo we all have to have. Bummer. But I got a few cute pics while waiting for the bunny to finish his dinner of carrots. :)

Of course, Alie was not really happy with a large bunny holding on to her. So she stood in front. I thought it was a good compromise!

Sunday was busy with church, lunch, cleaning the backyard a bit, easter egg hunt and grilling dinner. We always purchase a flower from the church in memory of Natalie from all of us. Emily picks which one and she chose a pink hydrangea. Now I have to figure out how to take care of this plant too! But it is beautiful and a good reminder of our sweet girl who is missed so desperately.

This is William, one of Alie's "men"...she has several friends that are her age, almost all are boys. But William holds a special place in her heart. She like to kiss his picture! I think he makes her heart flutter!

Easter egg hunting in the back yard had to come after nap time. Alie had turned into a pumpkin and needed her beauty sleep. Good thing...we got some great pictures of the girls and Alie had a ball on her first egg hunt. Every time she saw an egg she would shout, "Eeeeegg"and get so excited! It was so very cute. Too bad I did not think of getting out the video camera. :(

It was a good day. It was a wonderful reminder that there is a place for each of us in Heaven because of Jesus and His ultimate sacrifice. It is a reminder that we sin, we fall short, but we are forgiven. I'm forgiven. You are forgiven. We all can rejoice in that.

Until later....

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I am angry...

I have been absent. I have been busy. I have been lazy. I have been angry.
This is what has kept me from writing. I am mad. I am mad that I didn’t go with my gut instincts on October 24th. I am mad that the door opened. I am mad that Natalie’s accident happened. I am mad that Bryan was not home then. I am mad that she never woke up again. I am mad that I had to say goodbye. I am mad that Emily struggles with her feelings of grief and loss on a daily basis and I can’t take that away. I am mad that Allison will never meet her sister. I am mad that I have a beautiful urn in my living room. I am mad that I don’t have a cemetery to visit and grieve in so that I can come home and not do it there. I am mad that I have 2 bins of 12-18 month clothing that needs to be worn (to get the use that the money paid for) but I can’t bring myself to do it...or to get rid of it. I am mad that I don’t get to raise all three of my girls. I am mad that Natalie will never tell me I love you (at least not on this side of the veil). I am mad that she will never have a first love, first kiss, first dance at her wedding. I am mad that she will not get to take care of Bryan and me when we are old and ornery. I am mad at the thought of being mad.

That is what my life, thoughts, and writings have been for the last 3 months. I have been absent because the story would have been the same. I did not want to bore you with it. But then I realized…although I write to let you all know how we are doing, I also write to work through all of these feelings. So I decided that I need to get back to writing. Here I sit, in front of a computer screen, in front of an urn, trying to put my thoughts into sentences. This is quite difficult, much more than I thought it would be.

Until later...