Thursday, October 27, 2016

Pumpkin Walk

We love Halloween around our parts.  We take full advantage of every single fall activity that exists.  This evening one of our favorite traditions continued as we took on the Pumpkin Walk.  We have gone to the Pumpkin walk since before the twins were born.  And once they came along I believe we missed what would have been their first one (since they were only a few months old and still too tiny to get out of the house much) and then have gone ever since.  This year, at four years old, the most telling comment made all evening was, "Man, this gets easier every single year..."  And it is true.  They love the season and they love running around like any other kids hyped up about seeing jack-o-lanterns glowing in the woods.

This year there was only one difference; John did not enter any of our pumpkins in the contest.  He is typically in the running for first prize for the "traditional pumpkin" and I think after seeing a few "traditional pumpkin" entries he was disappointed we ran out of time to join in on the contest fun.  But with the excitement we get to see from the twins and their cousins while they walk along the trail we still had a lot of fun.    

We met Aunt Kiki, Kiley, and Grayson at Tower Park and waited anxiously in line for the festivities to begin.  The kids ran around the park and grassy area while Kari, Jane, and I talked Rodan and Fields and how in the world our kids could be as big as they are now.   We took the cliche pictures while waiting in line and then also in front of the balloons at the entrance of the walk.

Our evening ended with the most perfect trip to Graeters to top off the sugar high all four of our littles were on from Halloween parties and the other treats we used for various reasons (Yes, I bribe my kids when I need them to do something and I am out of energy to really fight a battle...).  It was a good night.  It was a fun tradition continued; one I am sure the twins will continue to look forward to every year around this time.

We are thankful we get to live in a place where our community gives back with fun experiences tailored to our kids and family.  We even got a small wink from Charlie boy.  {I wish you could walk through those trails with us little man.  I would give anything to see you again and hold your hand while we blaze a new trail with all three of you.  Thanks for the wink.  Thanks for reminding me you are with me even when it feels like you are a million miles away.}

Thursday, October 13, 2016


Days that are wholly devoted to pregnancy and infant loss bring up so many mixed emotions in my heart.  I am thankful my Charlie and so many others babies are remembered and then I am also so hurt that this day has to happen.   It feels wrong to me that there has to be a day set aside to remember our babies.  And it is wrong.  I know it was not part of God's perfect creation.  

I recently read an article a friend posted on social media from Relevant magazine.  It meant so much to me to read this and at this exact moment too.  It was exactly what I wanted and exactly what I needed to help heal another small piece of my heart.  The article titled, "Yes, God Will Give You More Than You Can Handle" gave me a place to lay my burdens.

The article describes the phrase so many people use to ease our pain when we suffer.  In 1 Corinthians 10:13 it says, "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.  And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."  But as I read through the rest of the article I learned {again} that suffering is different than temptation.  We have been given free will and we get to make our own decisions.  Will we fall into temptation?  Will we sin?  That is up to us.  We can decide.  However, when Charlie was born and our world fell apart on July 17th when he died in my arms, I didn't get to choose.  It was ok that I felt like I couldn't handle that day and the months to come.  It was ok that my soul was overwhelmed.

Psalm 34:18 says, "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those that are crushed in spirit."

When we learn that he suffers with us and that he is broken for us it gives us a place to go when we feel lonely.  It gives us someone else that understands how we feel when it seems like no one can.

As October 15th comes closer into view and I can barely lift my arm to light the candle in our kitchen to honor and remember Charlie I pray that the least I can do is realize that this suffering is too much.  It can be too much to endure and that has nothing to do with 1 Corinthians 10:13.  It has everything to do with God's grace and all sufficient power and love that keeps up going each day even when it's too much.  Seeing that face and not being able to kiss it is too much today.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Wrapped Up

When things get overwhelming at work or in my life in general I get wrapped up in my grief.  

When grief was new I was able to really just avoid all things that used to make me anxious; the trivial things.  It was like all the sudden nothing was as important as I used to think it was.  The typical worries went away.  The work stress couldn't get to me.  The things that once "mattered" or that I thought were so important meant nothing because something was stripped from my life in a matter of days.  Something that I longed for and begged God for was taken away.  Nothing matters as much when that happens to you.  

Then as I began to heal I began to go back.  I began to worry about the silly things.  I got away from the scripture that reminds me how much more important I am than the birds of the air.  I let silly things get me down.

And now, while I'm not all the way back to normal and I'm positive I will never be completely normal, I still let silly, worthless things get me down.  I let stress consume my thoughts.  I let people drag me down.  I let worries fill important parts of my brain that should be filled with joy.  I know our time on earth is limited.  I know that I will not always be here and my family will not always be here and yet I can't seem to stop the worry.  And with that worry comes pain.   The most stressful time of my life when I was the most out of control as I have ever been comes rushing back when I am worried, stressed, overwhelmed, and I can't seem to help it.

I get wrapped up in grief.  

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Evenings When I Can't Sleep

There are many, many nights that I do not get a normal amount of sleep.  It never seems to fail.  I will have a few nights in a row where I can get caught back up so to speak and then my mind wanders and the millions of things that have haunted me over the course of the past two years come back to the surface and keep me from sleeping.  The why questions, the frustration, and the guilt push back up to the surface.

It is back and it is fierce this evening.  I have no idea what provoked it.  And to be honest, it was probably nothing in particular aside from the fact that I was up past 10:30, the time Charlie died.    

When Charlie was in the hospital I used to think it was impossible to sleep with the noises and beeping coming from all the machines.  What I wouldn't give to hear those sounds now.  I think I may even be able to fall asleep if I knew he were still here and I could hear the machines to prove it to me.   This evening I want so badly to be back in the hospital.  I miss him so much.  
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