15 years

{photo by Wes}

Thank you for choosing to love me for 15 years {and beyond}.

I am blessed.

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Texas and our busy week at home

Welcome to my brag book.

It’s like I’m a first time mama, so please excuse my excitement about my ‘baby’ boy.

{oh yeah and don’t tell him I called him my baby boy}

Here he is in training…

{front row – grey t-shirt – left hand side of pic}

{image}

And here is Austie…

{image}

Teaching all these 11-13 year olds.

 {God bless her}

And while they’ve been busy away.

We’ve been busy here at home.

Sanding floors…

First time dance revue…

Drawing on random sidewalks…

Have a great weekend…

He made it to Texas.

Yippeee!

{Dylan last night at 11:00 pm – too much energy to sleep}

His sweet little voice called at 4:00 this afternoon to let us know that he arrived safe and sound.

He was very hot but excited.

And then I got a text that made my night.

Thank you all for your prayers for D {and for me} this week.

I am feeling the balance of being a parent BIG TIME. Wanting to keep him here with me and not let him out of my sight, but knowing that this is an amazing gift that he gets to experience. I am still tearing up thinking about him walking down the terminal to get on the plane {without me}. I feel like I have no control, just like with Lulu. And just like with Lulu, God is reminding me that He is holding them. They are His first. Even in this, Dylan is His first.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Summer is almost here…

This is a sign that summer starts {at least in this house} in 2 short days…

The kiddos boards are our go-to the whole school year for school papers, soccer forms, ballet rehearsals, and schedules.

And with just 1 paper on each board that says to me it’s almost time for staying up late, pulling out the swim trunks, flashlight painting in the dark, more cooking on the grill and less on the stove, riding bikes, heading off to camp, sleeping under the stars {at least once}, making s’mores a regular dinner item, catching fireflies for night lights and visiting the Dairy Barn way too often.

What is on your summer to-do list?

“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.

Lice & The Little Girl

Our week started off a bit ‘different’ than normal. Monday at 1:30 the phone rang and the nurse from Woodland said, ‘Cami, we have had a large number of students from Simon’s class that have head lice. Although I can’t find anything on him, he says his head has been itching.’ {instant stomach ache}. She said that they checked Owen & Dylan, too & that they were both good. But said that maybe I should come get Simon & get the shampoo to wash his hair, just to be safe. I got to Woodland and walked in looking at the students sitting in the hallway to have their heads checked. Simon smiled and we waited our turn for the nurse to take us in her office & show me what I should be looking for. {this is the 1st time, we’ve had a call about lice}. I told her I didn’t even know where to buy the shampoo. We walked back out of the nurse’s office & I walked over to sign Simon out for the afternoon. A little girl from his class, waiting her turn to have her head checked, ran over to hug him good-bye. I looked down and noticed this little girl was wearing a tank top {in the beginning of March} to school, no sweater over top, she had dirt on her face, and her hair looked like it hadn’t been brushed {let alone washed} in days. As she reached to hug Simon, I instantly wanted to say ‘don’t touch him’, but somehow I didn’t. She smiled at me as she waved good-bye to us both. I walked out feeling physically dirty and I also felt mean for thinking such thoughts.

Simon & I went to Walgreens to look for lice shampoo. We couldn’t find it, as we walked up & down the hair aisle. We then went to the medicine area to look. Then we went BACK to the hair aisle, starting our search again. There was a lady working there who looked up and said, ‘can I help you find something?’ I hung my embarrassed head and said in a whisper ‘do you have any lice shampoo?’ She came over and said, ‘yes, right this way.’ She kindly said to me,  ‘don’t worry, you are not the first person to go through this and you won’t be the last. my kids went through this when they were in school’. I found the stuff we needed. As Simon and I walked to the front to check out, I was so hoping it would be the same lady that helped me find the shampoo, but no. It was another completely different one. Which meant someone else would know that I WAS BUYING LICE SHAMPOO. {oh how my pride was trying to be in control that day}.

As we walked outside I thought of the little girl, again. How sweet she was.

We headed home to shave Simon’s head, sweep the entire house, wash Simon’s wardrobe, spray the entire house, and give him a smelly shampoo. {yes, I was THAT paranoid}. I checked Boo’s head. We checked Simon, again. The other boys arrived home from school, I checked their heads. We had dinner. I checked heads. Homework was done. I checked heads. They all took baths. I checked heads.

And then I thought of the little girl, again. Was she at a home where someone was checking her head? Feeding her dinner?

{Simon sporting his new hair-buzz – he was SO bummed Tuesday morning when I told him I was going to take him to school, so that the nurse could check his hair before he went back to class. He wanted to ride the bus, so he could show his bus driver that he got his haircut ‘because he has lice’ – his words. Oh Simon, you will keep me humble.}

As I thought about Monday’s events, I’m so glad I held my tongue to the little girl. I’m so glad I didn’t put my thoughts of ‘her being dirty’ on Simon. I’m so glad his heart {and the little girl’s heart} are still tender and caring. We went over the ‘not wearing other people’s coats, hats, etc’. Afterall, Simon is still in kindergarten, I have to remind him to wash his hands after he uses the restroom. I will teach him those things in life, but he can teach me that hugging a little girl, who doesn’t look as clean as I’d prefer, is most definitely not the end of the world. It is his way of reaching out to the world and loving them right where they are.

Have I told you, how much I can learn from my kiddos?

I’m SO thankful God gave them to me to learn from, not just for me to teach.

Hearts

I’ve been thinking about hearts lately.

Lulu’s heart had 3 holes in it.

My heart still skips a beat when I see this guy.

 

My heart is full because of these kiddos.

And then I’ve been listening to a BEAUTIFUL song called ‘Alive’ by Natalie Grant.

It has some amazing words through-out the entire song. But these 2 lines have been sinking deep into my heart.

1st this line…

‘What kind of king would choose to wear a crown that bleeds and scars, to win my heart?’

I will never understand, while I am still here on earth, how deep His love is for me {and you}.

and this line…

‘What other heart would let itself be broken every time ’til He healed mine?’

I am in awe, yet again, to know that when we are broken, His heart breaks.

Until we are healed.

I know that His heart is for us.

Amazing Grace

Grief is stinging this morning. Stinging my face like the wind on a bitter cold day.

{Amazing Grace How Sweet The Sound}

My brain understands that our bodies weren’t made for this world. But my heart just doesn’t get it today.

I am still in shock.

My heart is broken for Connie’s family.

Broken!

{That Saved A Wretch Like Me}

And it’s broken for us all over again.

{I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found}

I see your sweet wife, your beautiful mother, and your amazing mawmaw. And my brain says ‘Cami, she is in the place with no more pain, no more tears, forever rejoicing. The place she was created for. The place WE ALL were created for.’ And yet I can’t understand how we won’t see her here anymore.

My brain knows.

My heart does not.

{Was Blind But Now I See}

And all the while in this deep disbelief, He says ‘this grace that I have is for you, this grace is constant and this grace is amazing.’ 

God, I don’t understand, I don’t get it.

Please remind my heart who You are, today.

Please.