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Showing posts from July, 2016

charlotte's song

There are a lot of songs I listened to after Charlotte died that I can't hear without feeling like throwing up because they so vividly remind me of those days after she died. I can't remember how those early days felt without physical pain. It was so shocking, and it hurt so much that she was gone, and I never want to feel that way again so I do my best to avoid triggers that will take me back there. When I think of her birth, however, the song I always hear in my mind is The Frames version of "Falling Slowly." Even though I don't want to remember the days immediately after sometimes I want to remember her birth. And when I hear "Falling Slowly" I am in the room where Charlotte was born, sunshine streaming in the window, watching it all from above. As far as I understand this seeing from above is a response to the trauma of being there. I can see myself, I can see everyone who was there, but I can't go back there unless I am a silent witness hove

when things fall apart, come together {community post 4}

I hosted our annual summer bash today. It was wet and wild, with kids and laughter everywhere. In the middle of the chaos I always wonder, is this fun?  but then I see kids laughing and moms chatting and I realize it is fun. It's a different kind of fun than putting my feet up and talking late into the night with my friends. Conversations start and stop as water gun fights erupt around the yard and kids run in and out of the house, but talking to someone taller than 3 feet counts as fun even when it's in the midst of chaos. I've felt a little lost this summer. I miss my best friend, the missing part of a friendship triangle I couldn't have dreamed up had I sketched out the perfect friendship triad in my mind. Two is good. Two is definitely better than one, or zero, but I really miss the one who moved. I've also felt really sad this summer. I think my babies turning 3 and 5 this fall is throwing me off balance. I am absolutely definitely done with the baby stage

books and faith

In between the child raising and project managing, I read. In between days out and cooking dinner - sometimes while  cooking dinner - I read. After I put Ainsleigh to bed, in the space before Bennett's bedtime when he is often occupied with his father, I read. I always have a book in my hands. I carry the book I am currently reading with me throughout the day. When I wake up I pick it up from where I've dropped it by the bed the night before and deposit it on the end of the kitchen table. As I play with the kids, and tidy the house, and run errands I know there is always a book on the kitchen table waiting to be read. There are days when I don't get to it, but there are many days where I ask the kids to please give me a minute, I'm finishing a page, a chapter, a sentence, a paragraph, a book. My first year at university I went through a rough patch. Or rather a series of rough patches. And in the middle of it all, I remember wondering what could possibly make me fe

the mechanical failures continue

This is the summer of machines and things failing to work. For example: We are STILL without a dishwasher. My phone suddenly stopped logging into Instagram. So I am suddenly and unexpectedly without Instagram. Which is great for time management, but I miss it and hope the problem will magically resolve (this does not seem likely). Although less Instagram means more time for house painting so I suppose it's a good thing (not really, I would really like it back). We are painting the interior of the house and a valve inside the paint stick has failed TWICE. Yes, I have to use a paint stick. I am a terrible painter. Rollers and trays do not work for me. The first time was understandable. We've used the paint stick for a couple years, it's a small valve, and the company was willing to replace it. The second valve failed immediately and catastrophically. I was preparing to paint the living room, fully expecting the paint stick to behave as it should, but when I pressed

how to let go: a series of small steps

Last year I avoided sending B to a Vacation Bible school he had an opportunity to attend. I didn't want to deal with the food allergy issue with a group of people who don't know him, or us, and I was not comfortable leaving him so I didn't. I let the opportunity pass us by. This year I thought B was too young to go to the sports camp our church puts on in lieu of a vacation bible school type program. I was relieved I didn't have to think about it, or try to decide if he should go. A few days ago I found out from one of the preschool parents B wasn't too young to go, and if I hurried to sign him up he would probably get in a group with a friend from school and possibly have his preschool teacher as his group leader. I hastily signed him up and prayed for protection and peace. Sending B to a three hour day camp like that can cause enough anxiety to send me into a panic if I have enough time to get to that state. Thankfully I did not have that time, and when I d

hope heals {book review}

Katherine Wolf suffered from a devastating brain stem stroke in 2008. She was a young mother with a six month old son when the stroke occurred, and by the odds she should not have survived. But the book she and her husband, Jay Wolf, wrote about the experience is all about defying odds and coming together with the strength of Christ behind them to help Katherine live a fulfilling life. Hope Heals is an incredible story of how quickly life can change, and how to proceed with faith in the midst of extreme uncertainty. Hope Heals is written from both Katherine and Jay's perspective, but Jay and his experiences as a father and caregiver feature more prominently than Katherine's words. They are both excellent writers though, and the narrative doesn't feel jumpy or tied together awkwardly like it sometimes can with more than one writer. Katherine writes so honestly about how difficult it is to be a disabled mother. My heart went out to her as she wrote about hearing her

on peace

When I talk about Charlotte's life and her sudden death people usually go back to one point: you don't know why?! Every time I tell her story that is the follow up question, even though I always include within the telling that fact. It shocks and upsets people to hear an infant on the verge of life can suddenly go backwards and re-enter the gates of heaven it has just exited. There has to be a reason. There has to be a concrete fact behind the death so they can use that fact to prevent it happening to them or someone they know. I too asked why. Over and over. Desperately. Quietly. In a state of remorse and guilt. In a manner that can only be described as begging. And then I began to seek peace. Through the Bible. Through prayer. I asked the burden of why she died to be lifted from my shoulders, because I knew I wouldn't be able to answer the question, and continuing to seek an answer that does not exist would eventually drive me mad. I can't point to the ex

the real doctor will see you shortly {book review}

I love books about hospitals, doctors and medicine. I don't like hospitals, or doctors, or blood, but I like reading about them! I find medicine fascinating because it has evolved so much over the years and doctors are now able to treat many illnesses and diseases that were fatal not too long ago. But I also think that Western medicine has lost its way and in the maze of insurance companies and hustle to see as many patients as possible the patients have been forgotten. Matt McCarthy is a physician who focuses on people over procedures and protocol, but as he navigates his intern year in The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly  his focus leads to some uncomfortable moments and conversations. As he works through his first intern year McCarthy is faced with difficult questions: Is he too invested? Where is the line between being too clinical and overly familiar? What should he as a doctor disclose to his patients about his personal life as he is trying to serve and help the

the summer of 1,000 Uno games

Both kids are really into playing games right now. I'm actually surprised with the games they can play and how they're willing to try games far above their comprehension. Anisleigh is 2.5 and she is quite the Uno player. When I was growing up games were king entertainment-wise. I've carried that love into adulthood and now I want to pass it on to the kids. There are so many fun, smart games being created right now, and there are a lot of classics the kids love as well. Here's a few beyond Go Fish, Crazy 8 and other typical kid games. Red Light, Green Light, 1, 2, 3 We discovered this game at an independent toy shop in Ocean Shores. It's really simple, and can be boring for adults, but it is great for kids because it teaches basic patterning. Ainsleigh can play this one on her own as long as I repeat the pattern as she's playing. All kids have to recognize is the colors red and green and the numbers 1, 2 and 3 so they can play from an early age