Dear Lulu,

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I woke up at 2:00 this morning and could hardly breathe as I thought about you.

I wonder who you look like on your 4th birthday.

I wonder if your eyes match the stars in the night.

I wonder if your hair is still dark and gently lays across your forehead.

I wonder who is holding you close.

I think about your brothers and sister, as they run and play. I see you beside them.

Chasing the chickens, throwing September’s tennis ball, riding in the golf cart.

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If I could have one more squeeze – I would take it in a second.

If I could kiss your sweet little nose – I wouldn’t hesitate.

It has been more difficult, this birthday.

My heart is still raw.

Time is not doing his job very well.

But…

I know my tears are captured in the hand of The One who made this ‘your’ day.

There is hope in front of me.

So, we WILL celebrate you today, Lulu Grace.

With so much pink…

Balloons – the big ones.

Strawberry cheesecake.

And bubbles being blown all over this little city farm.

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We will embrace it all.

The brokenness that still plays its part.

The beauty that somehow outshines it all.

And we will hold you closer still.

Happy 4th Birthday, baby girl.

Luvu, mama

A Few More Moments of Celebration

We spent Monday night at the soccer fields. When we got home Boo set the table for our party of bubbles and strawberry swirled cheesecake…

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bubbles

cheesecake

Our birthday-buffet was overflowing with luv from you all…

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Thank you!

{See what GREAT love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God. 1 John 3:1}

We’re still soaking it all in.

And then last night we had our family pictures taken.

Here’s a sneak peek…

family

I’ll share more photos later and where you can find this sweet photographer.

I can’t wait to show you the one of us with Lulu’s tree. ❤

Happy 3rd Birthday

Today we are celebrating you, Lulu.

We bought a tree for you and trees for your brothers and sister. We had a beautiful day yesterday and planted your pink weeping cherry tree. Today we will plant the rest and over the years we will watch them as they grow and think about how you are growing in heaven. I can only imagine you would be right in there planting with us. Garden gloves, dirty knees and a big smile.

You certainly fit in with us.

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trees

Our strawberry pie is waiting in the refrigerator for after dinner…

and the bubbles will come out tonight.

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We’ve got our family pictures scheduled for later this week.

Wow, you keep us busy, just like your big siblings.

I’m glad.

And although time keeps moving forward, we stop where we are and thank God for you.

Happy birthday baby girl.

Luvu.

Back Camera

Birthday Thanks

This year was a difficult birthday. And I still don’t know exactly why. Maybe there is no reason {or maybe a multitude of them} for why I felt the way I felt. But that is what I have reminded myself of…those are feelings.

Feelings that are real, but feelings that I can’t base her birthday on.

The truth is, Sunday was a BEAUTIFUL day- full of sun and hope and peace.

I struggled the week before with feelings of guilt for not having everything planned out, even though I didn’t know exactly what to plan out. I think with having so much change this summer, and I still don’t feel ‘settled’ yet. I didn’t want to miss making 1 memory for Lulu because I was so preoccupied. I had to remind myself that just like with the other kids, if we had other things going on during their birthday’s, we would still celebrate them, even if it was a different day.

We started Sunday with church and the kids all wore a special shirt…

Then we came home to play with Lulu’s birthday present…

Meet September.

Our 3 month old Goldendoodle.

That afternoon we all headed off to D’s soccer game. And afterwards we celebrated with Marion’s pizza and a chocolate chip cookie cake and singing happy birthday to Lulu.

From yellow balloons, to cards, calls, hugs, texts, roses in bubble containers, $2 bills, a strawberry pie candle, texts, email’s, mum’s, a song written just for Lulu, and bubbles. We had friends celebrating with cake & ice cream from California to covering us in prayer in New Jersey. And we did get to eat my strawberry ‘soup’ pie {thanks for renaming it, babe}. Yes, we had to eat it with spoons again this year. And I will figure out a recipe one year that works. But it was delish.

Thank you for continuing to make memories with us. Because those memories are real. Our feelings change from day to day. But the luv that you all share is real.

Thank you for luving our daughter with us.

“I miss her all the time”

Owen said, as he snuggled down in our sheets trying not to hear the thunder that was crashing outside our window. It was 10:30 pm and all the other kiddos were dreaming away in their beds. I had been reading a blog of a young family who just had their 3rd baby, a little girl named Nora Rose.  She, too has Trisomy 18. Our friend, John had sent me the link and as I looked at the photos of this 2 week old beautiful baby, I could see Lulu’s face. I don’t know this family, but as I look at her mama in the photos, I cry tears of joy for her baby girl she is holding and I cry tears of grief for my baby girl that I wish I could hold for just a little longer. And then I look at Owen, tears running down his cheeks, missing his sister still and that’s when he said, “I miss her all the time”.

It’s a journey that never ends.

 It changes.

The paths are different now. They pull from us in a way that we are still not familiar with, we are not used to. They make us think more – work more – carry more.

And then someone says, “I miss her”

“I think about her so often”

“When I see bubbles, I think of Lulu”

“I will be forever grateful to have held your baby”

To know that our daughter is loved so much. That she is still a part of so many lives. I can barely whisper, thank you.

Thank you, for sharing your thoughts of her.

Thank you for letting us still cry.

Thank you for asking us how we are and letting us honestly answer.

Birthday Weekend

We had such a difficult yet wonderful celebration for Lulu this past weekend.

Friday was a special day that we filled with new memories. We got to spend it with people who were with us when Lulu was born and even got to hear some of their memories of her. That was very special.

Saturday we blew our bubbles…

 

 

  

 and I made a strawberry pie – my first one… 

It was runny (we had to eat it with spoons) but it was delicious….

 

And something else that filled our hearts all weekend long were the cards, the visits, the emails, the texts, the phone calls,

the “thinking of you’s” – and the “praying for you’s”,

and the most helpful words to hear… the “she will not be forgotten’s”.

THANK YOU!

THANK YOU!