Monday, April 30, 2012

Little Boy

Can someone please tell my baby to stop growing so fast into a little boy?
He is changing before my eyes and I don't like it one bit! 

He is growing so much every day and his little face is changing before my eyes. He is losing that baby look. 

He is not only growing as a boy but his little mind is growing too. I can tell we are moving closer to 3 as he has no problem telling me what his opinion is. His favorite thing to do is to tell me which way to go when we are driving and when to stop and go at lights. He knows his little routine and when it is time to read books and when it is time for the library and when it is time for the super packed day of library and Y time which he affectionately calls "Y-brary time". 

I love to catch him playing so intently by himself but I love it when he asks me to "play with me, mommy". How can you resist?

I am so excited for summer when we can have lots of adventures together outside and with friends. Please come quickly, summer break!!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Life rearranged

Dear friends, I came across this the other day on a blog, Life ReArranged, I had recently been frequently for its love of all things instagram. For some reason, I stumbled upon a whole series she did about women sharing their stories from miscarriage and infant loss and it really struck me. After Trace died, I spent lots of time reading other mom's blogs about infant loss but it seems like these days I am doing less of it...unless something pops up out of the blue like this did. It really rang true with me exactly how I am feeling. It isn't the big things that get me like seeing other babies and pregnant women (love them and sooo happy for them....probably even more so now than I was before, however crazy that is) but it is the unexpected moments where the grief catches you by surprise. I know I started planning our new life with little Trace in it as soon as I found out I was pregnant. How can you not? All the thoughts flow through your head about your new family and have to figure out how to keep on living with the big hole in your heart that is empty of all those dreams. 

The title of the blog which before I just thought was cutesy or whatnot has totally struck me in a new way and I totally get what it means to have your life rearranged. My life is rearranged now, too. I'm trying to figure it all out again. I thought I would share this excerpt from the Life ReArranged blog with you today:
With my last pregnancy, I was unusually apprehensive. 

I was excited, but terrified to announce.

With the last two, we yelled it from the rooftops before we had set the test back down on the sink.

This time, I felt like maybe it was my turn.

Certainly I couldn’t go through this unscathed.

Surely, it was some awful rite of passage…right?

I shook it off.
Told the world.

Bought a tiny stocking.

Told Henry about the baby in mama’s belly.

Planned around due dates.

#4 was on its way and we were thrilled.

And then the baby died inside.

And the tears and sadness and sheer pain was like nothing I had anticipated.

The mourning was deep and real.

The grief palpable.

My heart broke into two and I immediately wanted nothing more but to hug all of my girlfriends.

All of the women who have gone through this…all of my sweet sisters who were now a part of this wretched, ugly club.

The most crippling part of the experience so far has been the way my emotions hijack me.

I’m fine.  Truly.

I go about my day.  All is well.  Days, even weeks without a tear.

I can even talk about it calmly and without welling up.

I’m good.

No problem.

And then…out of the blue…suddenly and without warning, a pang of pain so real and true will hit me like a freight train I never saw coming.

Just when I thought I had it all under control.

It’s not the obvious: seeing pregnant women, belly pictures of sweet friends swollen with their own bundle, snuggling newly born babes…

all of that, in fact, makes my heart swell.

Seeing two pink lines for a friend, a tummy extended, the squishy wrinkly 2 week old skin…

Pure joy.

Genuinely over the moon happy that they are not in this crazy mixed up reality of being a mama to 4, but with only 3 to show for.

It’s the unexpected grief that always surprises.

Planning for a summer trip to the lake that I wasn’t going to go to…because I would be much too pregnant.

Remembering that I packed away the tiny stocking and knowing that opening Christmas boxes will be like scratching the scab off a freshly healing wound.

Christmas.  As a whole.  Christmas sounds really miserable.

Preparing to speak at Blog Sugar in September…and realizing that I should have had a tiny babe snuggled tightly in a Moby as I share my bloggy heart.
Giggling with the three.

Finding Jilly’s shirt…the one that says “Big Sister”.

This summer.  In general.  When I should have been big as a house, aching, toes like sausages, and back throbbing…instead plans are being made, life goes on, as if nothing ever happened.

A little life erased.

Gone before I could ever trace the contours of soft cheeks and button nose.

“Mommy, I can jump by your belly now!  It’s okay Mommy…the baby died and is in Heaven so it won’t hurt if I jump on you.”

“Mama, can the baby come back from Jesus?”  “No son, it can’t.”  “That’s so sad mama.”

And then I move on with life, and everything is back to normal and I laugh and I yell and I do laundry.

Always laundry.
And I’ll be folding some indiscriminate pair of pants and I’ll remember the comment:

“I still remember mine 22 years ago.”

I know I will never forget.

I don’t want to forget.

But it’s so hard to remember too.

And even through all of this, my heart just about falls out of my chest when I think about mama’s who held their bundles and had to say goodbye anyway.

Friday, April 27, 2012

New Lens!

Yesterday I got my new camera lens in the mail! :o) :o) :o) I had sold my old 50mm 1.8 and was stalking ebay (they are out of production on new ones for a while, not sure what the deal is?) for a good deal on a 50mm 1.4 and I finally found one that was not already ridiculously bid up. It took about a week to arrive and after 2 failed delivery attempts, I stalked our front door yesterday until I could pounce on our UPS delivery guy. The new lens has so far delivered and I love it--- I think it is going to get nice and cozy on my camera!
 I have been feeling a little uninspired especially with my photography so I'm hoping this will pull me out of my rut a little bit.

I love, love, love it! It seems to be a heftier lens than my old one and I really like the auto focus...why was I working so hard before? 

I am still struggling with the new format of blogger so forgive the wacky formatting of my pictures (like why are the following four in a little photo strip format???)...I will get then hang of it soon, I'm sure.

Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


The whole family headed up to Ames this past weekend to celebrate VEISHEA. It was raining and cold but we braved the parade anyway and Michael had a blast. He loved seeing all the "McQueens" (red corvettes) and Cy and the drums. Most of all, he loved all the CANDY he got!! Afterwards we headed over to Scott's fraternity house for a little alunni get together. It was pretty funny as the only alumni that were there were friends we saw regularly but it was nice to get together anyway. We were so tired after getting home that Michael and I both slept until 5:30! 

I am really struggling with the new blogger format...anyone else? I guess that is a sign of getting old if I am poor at adapting to change. 

Our concert was last night at school and the kids really rocked it. I am so proud of them and have just been on cloud nine ever since. We have worked so hard and they deserve all the success in the world. Those little band kids have really been an unexpected saving grace for me this year....I'm glad they give me a little motivation to get my act together through the week. :o) 

The weather is beautiful and I'm looking foward to enjoying it today! I hope you have a fantastic day as well.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Tidbits

We've been busy this week! Scott had an early game for his men's league hockey so Michael and I shared a happy meal and had a good time. I think this might be the first time Michael has made it through three whole periods! We spent two up in the clubhouse and one down in the arena playing in the bleachers....and there was McDonalds and popcorn later to bribe him. It is a lot of work!

The special trip I took out of town last week was to see Beth Moore speak at her Living Proof Live event in Kansas City. My small group had done a Beth Moore study this winter (James) and when we saw this, we knew we had to go. It was very spiritually motivating and great to get to know some of the girls in the group beyond our usual weekly studies. These girls are so awesome and I know we were all placed together for a reason and I'm glad we can help each other be the women God intended us to be!

So while most of the weekend was awesome worship, learning and fellowship....we did manage to get some dinner and drinks out and do a little shopping on the Plaza also. Most of the girls power shopped but my head and heart were absolutely spinning trying to absorb everything I'd heard from Beth that I spent most of the shopping time on the patio at Starbucks enjoying the beautiful Kansas City weather. I did make one quick stop to the very sensible shoes store "The Walking Store" to pick up a brand new pair of Taos sandals since I have pretty much worn my old ones every day since I raved about them last time I went to Kansas City. Remember?

We have a great weekend full of pretty much nothing and I am looking forward to it. :o)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Lately I feel like I have been lacking.....some inspiration. I can't quite put my finger on what is causing it but I am sensing it is the recent string of cold, rainy days and just a general feeling of being a little too busy around here.

Its been busy with extra meetings and work for both Scott and I and also I am in the midst of concert preparations at school (next week!!) and also wrapping up my community group season with two concerts and add to that a trip out of town with my small group that was very motivating just seems like too much. It seems like too much running around and not enough time just enjoying being at home.

Also, I feel like I have been working hard to get healthier and so I feel tired from exercising and it just makes me cranky and extra tired. I thought exercising was supposed to make you feel better? I am almost throwing in the towel completely on trying to run because it just gives me shin splints so bad and it isn't getting any better. I am trying to at least run a few intervals a few times a week on the treadmill but I still feel like a big fat failure in that department. I've been trying to mix up my routine with weekly Zumba classes and also a yoga class so I think that might help get me out of my rut. I just feel like in my head I have this thing that tells me if you want to be in good shape you have to be a runner and I *know* that is not true but yet I still cling to it.

Lastly, Trace has also just been on my heart and mind a lot lately especially since his first birthday is creeping up on us day by day. My mind keeps wandering back to who I was this time a year ago and I just can't believe how much my life has changed in just one short year. Last April I was filled with a sense of anticipation and happiness for my growing family and now I just feel....empty and a little bit lost. I'm not sure where I am supposed to be going next or doing next. After a loss you feel like you are obviously in survival mode for a long time, but I didn't realize how long it would last. I feel like maybe now I have moved past the actual physical part of surviving- sleeping, eating, taking care of myself and my family and now I've moved on to some sort of mental survival mode where I can't really plan things for the future or get excited about events coming up...I can only just get through this day and even sometimes I feel like that is just going through the motions or phoning it in. So while on the outside things might seem fine and I am waking up in the morning and being productive, I still am very much still dealing with grief and just plain missing Trace. I've accepted the fact he is gone and this our life now but I'm not sure what is next....

So that is all that is new with me. I feel like I just haven't had much to say lately but hopefully things will start to turn around soon. Thanks for sticking with me. :o)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Easter 2012 found us back home at my parents house for a low key celebration. The weather was pretty good and it was nice just to relax for a few days. Michael had an absolute blast which was no surprise as he had been talking about "grandmagrandpas" ever since we left after the funeral a few weeks ago.

Michael did well at the early church service which is a special thing because usually we ship him off to the nursery to play at our home church. I think he liked all the candles, the big cross and the organ music. He seemed pretty excited!

Michael also did his first real egg hunt at the town park on Saturday and then came home to discover more eggs at grandma and grandpa's house. He was so excited to discover all the candy that was hidden inside the eggs and would just gather two or three at a time then go out and look for more after he had eaten the treats inside.

It was a nice weekend. I had gone back and read my post from last Easter and was feeling pretty sad about all the comments I made about having two kids this year and it was just too much to take. It is almost too overwhelming sometimes to reflect on things and realize this is not how my life was supposed to be but I still have to live it anyway. Michael is such a source of joy for all of us and I just have to remind myself of my blessings and my sweet little angel who is in heaven now. I'm sure holidays will never stop being emotional and it is hard to remind myself that we are only six months out from our loss and still have a long ways to go.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

In Bloom

Every year, I swear our crab apple tree blooms for just a few days and then it is done. I always tell myself I am going to get some good pictures in front of it while it is blooming and last year I had some grand visions of taking some little new baby pictures in front of it after we brought Trace home from the hospital....but, it was way done blooming by then. So this year I made sure to seize the day and grab a few photos!

I took these on Saturday and of course it is done blooming now on Tuesday. I wish those little flowers would stick around longer but I guess that is part of what makes them so special.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

March Photo a day roundup

I tried so hard to get these in order but as soon as I hit "create collage", it jumbled them all back up again! Oh is the link to the April photo list if you are interested!
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