Saturday, September 15, 2012


I have so many cute pictures to share from B's birthday party.


A few hours after the party I felt really, really sick. We went to urgent care for an official diagnosis of mastitis and a prescription for antibiotics.

My fever was 101.9 at the hospital.

Pictures of B's party coming soon. J decorated the yard so nicely and all of our friends and family came. It was a great day (with a few mama tears). And B was so patient with us as we went to the hospital and then hung out in the car waiting for my prescription to be filled over an hour past his bedtime.

I have never gone from feeling fine to unable to move from the couch in a matter of hours. Strangest feeling.

To bed for me.

one year

My mom stayed with us last nigh so I could get a decent amount of sleep. Bennett slept all night and is still sleeping now. I woke up at 5:30am and couldn't go back to sleep. Isn't that just how it goes?

I don't want to make today about Charlotte. It's Bennett's first birthday party. It's a chance to celebrate him. I miss her though. Her first birthday was a memorial service of sorts. How different it is to plan a party and bake cakes with a naked little boy toddling around the house getting into everything and making the execution of every small task difficult.

The house is quiet. Isabel is sleeping at my feet. And I just need to take a moment to imagine a little girl asleep in the next room. She would spend her day jealous of the attention showered on her little brother. She would pitch a fit, perhaps. She has a fiery spirit. It's that red hair. Those curls. She would be vibrant and loud and present ...

I can't quite make my mind go there. It's been too long. I have settled into the fact of her absence. It is becoming more and more difficult to conjure a life for her. But him -

oh, he lives and breathes and frustrates and delights and I am stunned we have had him an entire year.

Friday, September 14, 2012


So yesterday ... 

B fell on the front stoop and banged his face up.

J fell in the backyard while working on the shed. He glued his face back together. Apparently this is a common practice in the medical field. It is even done at the end of some operations, including open heart surgery.

Okay, maybe he shouldn't have been standing on a poorly stacked wood pile while roofing the shed.

And I have a mysterious bruise above my eye.

None of these pictures show how banged up we truly are. It looks much worse in real life. B's face wounds darkened by the minute for a good couple hours after he fell. He looks like he got in a bar brawl.

We're going to look real good in B's first birthday party pictures on Saturday.

At least the shed is looking fabulous.

The custom door J built is way too fancy for a shed. This summer project has been hard, as they all are, but it makes our backyard look so nice.

Next year is looking like a swing set year. We got in a bit of a fight last week and I yelled at J, "Why can't you just buy a shed like a normal person?" In about a year the exact same statement will be coming out of my mouth; just substitute swing set for shed.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

*Blogger is being evil. It won't let me change my font or do much of anything I normally do. I'm going to toss this up here despite its lack of a title and preferred formatting*

We are transitioning to fall, which means it's 40-50° in the morning and 80-90° by late afternoon. I have to change B multiple times a day and he still ends up either too hot or too cold.

I've been doing a lot of deep cleaning in preparation for B's birthday and the new season. I have a lot on my plate right now:

promoting Unexpected Goodbye (not excelling at this!).

preparing my heart to speak in mid-October.

jury duty at the end of September (not the best timing).

and watching a little seed of an idea slowly begin to take root and grow.

On Sunday I was asked if I would be interested in helping start a ministry for families who lose babies at our church. This is where I want to serve and where I want to be right now. I can't wait to see what happens.

I am stretched a bit thin. I want to make sure B and my family comes first and that's requiring some juggling. I am in a strange place right now. My life slowly changed after Charlotte died and now it's changing so fast it's all I can do to hold on and pray I am headed in the right direction. That's the wonderful thing about letting God take control; I can focus my energy on doing because I know He will point me in the right direction.

B is not so patiently waiting for his oatmeal. When he wakes me up at 6 am (or 5:45 even, sheesh!) I get some mama time in the morning while he plays independently. It's only fair.

I am doing my best (read J is doing it all) to craft it up for his birthday. I can't wait for the big day, but I will also be glad when it's over. And come November life will settle down for a couple weeks before the holiday craziness begins. Looking forward to that short respite so I can breathe and drink hot chocolate and enjoy the fall.

Monday, September 10, 2012

on comfort and contentment

Every now and I again I develop a terrible 'we must move!' itch. It's a compulsion (I guess?) that comes around every few months and the only way to put it to rest is to seek out every single house for sale in our area that we could afford (ish) and realize none of them are right for us.

I like to find really cheap houses that would require so much work it would knock us straight over as soon as we walked in the door.

I like to find dream houses that are way out of our price range. My favorite houses are in the $400-500,000 range. That's a whole lot of house we don't need, but they sure are pretty.

This morning I was cleaning Bennett's room when I heard a quiet knock at the door. My neighbor and I were planning on walking (Mondays is our day to get out and move!) so I assumed it was her. I opened the door to find her five-year-old holding a note.

While on vacation a couple weeks ago my neighbor dropped her phone in a washer full of water. Neither of us have landlines (who does?) so we've had to find other ways to communicate.

I dashed out a quick note and sent it back with her little guy. I stood on the porch watching him run down the sidewalk, arms outstretched, white note fluttering and I thought, how charming.

Another neighbor was across the street gathering children for the walk to school. I crossed to the middle of the street (in my pajamas!) so we could chat for a minute. She told me she bought my book and was looking forward to reading it.

I went back in the house. A few minutes later I heard the soft tink of the door knocker. Another note! I threw open the door, pen in hand, ready to send my neighbor's son home with a second reply.

Last weekend the neighbor next to us gave Bennett a tool box for his birthday. He loves it SO much. He's been hauling it everywhere. I find screws, hammers and wrenches all over the house.

It's these tiny moments and big gifts that make me realize we live in a wonderful place. Our house isn't big, but it's big enough for us. It doesn't have everything I want, like a second bathroom, but it fits our needs. It doesn't have a big kitchen, or a master bedroom and it's certainly not a newer home, but it's quaint and charming and when I told J I thought just maybe I had found our dream home (it was so not) a couple days ago I think I might have been wrong.

What if this is our dream home? What if our five-ten year home becomes our forever home? What if I learn to be content with having a roof over my head (which is such a blessing), fabulous neighbors and an easy walk to places I love? What if I put aside my desire to have a bigger house with a bit more land and find ways to make this space beautiful? What will happen if I stop looking at my friend's houses with envy (you do it too, don't you?).

For a few seconds I thought of moving and my heart cried out, "What about my hardwood floors, and my picture window, and the quaint front closet, and the tiny bathroom where my water broke at 8am on a May morning, and the beautiful shed J just built and my friends and the fact that we are content here?"

We've lived here four years. It's our first home. There is contentment and comfort in these walls. Grief too. Oh, these walls have heard some wailing. My heart dreams of an old home with a library, spacious kitchen and huge garden, but we fit here. And I am beginning to realize much will be required to move me from this place. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

can you help me?

Do you live in Oregon?

In the Willamette Valley?

I need your help.

On October 13th I will be speaking at a memorial event in Clackamas, Oregon. The event raises funds for A Butterfly's Touch, which provided our wonderful memory box when Charlotte died, but it also gives families a chance to come together and remember.

October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. There are memorial ceremonies and walks all over the country on or around October 15th. I think a large city like Portland should have a big October memorial gathering for our babies.

Will you come?

Will you help me spread the word?

Will you help me grow this event?

More information HERE.

Hope to see you there.



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