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.

Birthday Decorating

We’re decorating around here for our baby’s birthday.

She will be 2 on Sunday.

Celebrating somewhere else.

And that is really hard for me.

The flower’s are still so beautiful, Aunt Sue.

I have been selfish this week. Not concerned about what God has done for me, but instead why life is so hard? Why can’t Lulu be here with us? Will it always hurt this bad? Why are memories the only thing I am holding?

And then the guilt sets in.

We are so blessed. There are so many people who luv us. Why am I complaining?

It is a crazy ride and I just want to yell at the carnie to stop and let me off!

The back and forth is enough to make anyone go crazy.

Today, would you say a prayer? A prayer for anyone that has suffered a loss. Say a prayer for yourself {hasn’t everyone lost something}. Say a prayer for me, I would greatly appreciate it.

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.

“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.

Joy Dare

‘A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of Him and those that followed shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest heaven’  Matthew 21:8-9

Can you imagine what it must have been like as Jesus came into Jerusalem? To be a part of the crowd that laid blankets and palm branches down. To be the ones shouting ‘Hosanna – save now’ to Him. To see His kind, smiling face.

I wonder what it was like for Him. Riding into town, knowing this was the week that He would die. Our pastor said that He likes to imagine Jesus smiling as He came into town on the donkey. I had never really thought about it that way before. But I do imagine that He was joyful. Joyful but with knowledge. Smiling but maybe his stomach churning. I want to know Jesus in this way. This way that He is not a man from a long time ago that we call Savior. But a man who might have been scared, but because He loves me {and you} so much, he chose us. A man who knew the end of the story before it even began and still chose us. A man that could see every mistake I make, every lie I tell, every sin I commit and STILL chose me!

I know I will never fully be able to completely express my gratitude to Him.

But every day, I WILL say ‘thank you’ because of who He is.

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.

He holds us

This is His promise to us…

When we are asking why,

He holds us.

When we are missing our loved ones,

He holds us.

When our jobs are driving us crazy,

He holds us.

When we feel alone,

He holds us.

When we want to hold our baby,

He continues to hold us.

Do you feel His arms around you today?

What Lulu taught me about LOVE {and a give-a-way}

I can honestly say that loving Lulu was the closest I’ve ever been to unconditional love.

She did not have to ask for our love. She did not have to try to earn our love.

I don’t think I will ever know all the amazing reasons I get to be Lulu’s mama, but I know 1 reason for sure. It is like God leaned down & whispered in my ear ‘this is what My love for you is like’…

You don’t have to ask for it.

You don’t have to earn it.

It is there.  

I am there.

I am here.

Thank God for His love today & every day. Thank God that it DOES flow freely to us & when we begin a relationship with Him, His love pours in us even deeper.

Because His love has kept me centered most my life {and especially this past year} I want to give you a chance to win a devotional that has centered me & pulled me daily to His heart. It is called ‘Jesus Calling’.

I may have mentioned it a few times around here. 🙂 And I’m sure it won’t be the last…

Anyhow, just leave a comment of a time that you felt God’s love so thick in your life.

I’ll draw a lovely winner this weekend.

Have a beautiful day!