I Can’t See You

Brynlee usually HATES when I wear glasses so I usually wear contacts. She asked yesterday, “Why you wear dem glasses for?” I said, “So I can see!” Brynlee looks puzzled, “So, you can see me, Mommy?” I nod….thinking she got the concept…Today I took my glasses off to rest my eyes…she says, “Mommy, put your glasses back on, PUT YOUR GLASSES BACK ON!” I tell her I would she says, “HURRY MOMMY I CAN’T SEE YOU!” ROFL

The Struggle

Absolutely nothing hurts worse than to see your child struggle, to see her try her very best, to see her work so hard and things that come so easily to other children…And then to see that she still can’t master the things she’s working so hard to accomplish….It makes me feel like I’m failing her, it makes me feel like I’m not enough, it however does not make me less proud of her!!! It takes true adversity, true strength, to try, try and try some more…she doesn’t give up, she doesn’t admit defeat, and that is what matters more to me than any struggle she faces. Braelyn, my beautiful girl, I know that you don’t understand all the new things you are learning but mommy promises that together we will conquer whatever needs conquered….It hurts to hear your child falls in the special needs category, it rips at the seams of my heart, but I know we must face whatever hardships you have and we will!!! I refuse to let you be categorized, or put limitations on because I know you will overcome whatever lies ahead…there is nothing you can’t do, and together you will be the very best at whatever you choose to do. I wouldn’t change a single thing about you, you are perfect, you are resilient, you are special, and you are different which is what makes you who you are!! I hate that you have to try harder, study more, try to understand things that you cannot comprehend…but God gave you courage, determination and a stubborn streak a mile long….so just know mommy will be here every step of the way and I’m so thankful that He gave you teachers that want to see you succeed, teachers who see the inner and outer beauty I see, teachers who love you…but then again, I don’t know anyone who can see your smile, hear your contagious laugh and not fall in love with you. This is a part of you, but it doesn’t define you…as tears roll down my face watching you play, I know God has a plan for you (his plan for me was to be your mommy) and I just want to say to the little girl sitting on the couch eating a popsicle I’ve NEVER been more proud of you

The Caterpillar Who Never Became a Butterfly (miscarriage #3)

This will be, by far, the hardest blog I have yet to put on paper. I must share it, must purge it from my soul, allow myself to feel the grief. After seven years it is still so raw, so fresh, buried just beneath the surface. Each loss has scarred me, I wear them with honor……these scars on my heart are all that I have left of them. I will not forget them, for that would be far more tragic than not sharing the memory of their brief existence.

After the eight week mark after miscarriage number 2……we were given the green light to try again. We decided not to actively try, we would just let it happen if it was meant to be. I was mentally, emotionally, and physically spent from the grief of two losses and I was afraid. I prayed without ceasing…….this was only a coincidence and the next pregnancy would be normal! I prayed the outcome would be at the end of nine months a beautiful baby to hold. A baby to ease the pain of the losses I had endured. I was in no hurry this time, just trying to come to terms with the second loss of a dream, a hope, a baby.

I had become the crazy pregnancy test lady. The same person that at 21 had never contemplated I could be pregnant, now I was obsessed. Only now they were terrifying, pregnancy meant once again losing a piece of me. I had ten on hand at all times……I tucked them away. Preferred to simply give my soul and body rest for a short time. However, that was not to be……

Merely, three months after my second loss…….I found myself once again, digging out my stash of tests. I unwrapped one, anxiety, fear, excitement, anticipation roared within me. I ripped the package, yanking the contents out, I followed the instructions that I now knew by heart…….and I didn’t even lay the test down before seeing those 2 scary, beautiful pink lines staring back at me. I held that test in my hands, begging it to not disappear, to stay with me, to let me be a mother, to let me hold a baby instead of a test this time. I sat in the restroom, crying tears, bitter that I could not even enjoy this moment due to the fear that gripped me, it gnawed at me, clawed at my heart, it almost begged me to fall victim to hope…..I had told myself that I wouldn’t allow myself to become attached to this baby. I couldn’t take the hurt if these two pretty pink lines shared the same fate as the last two. Yet, there I was staring at this test, and I could not stop myself. I was totally and utterly lost in this baby. I thought that by sheer determination I would carry this child and see it born. Against my own will, I loved this child. Stopping myself from doing so, would be as impossible as trying to staying alive without breathing. The love engulfed me, how could two little lines on a plastic test hold my whole existence, my sanity, my need, and my greatest desire in it? “I need this, God! Give me this baby! Please don’t take it from me!” I pleaded to the heavens. I collected myself, stood on shaky legs, managed to call my sister. I needed her voice to guide me back to a place where I could face this terrifying excitement.

I heard her voice transcend through the air as I pressed the phone to my ear, “Hey beautiful.” “Sissy, I am pregnant again!” I didn’t even recognize my own voice, it sounded weak, it shook like the leaves of the last remaining leaves on a tree before the winter breeze swept them away. I could feel my pulse in my neck, willing it to pump life to this tiny being that I was carrying. Then her voice reeled me back to earth, “REALLY????? Oh my gosh, I am so excited! I cannot wait. When do you go to the doctor? How far do you think you are?” That is one of the many things I love about my sister, her optimism was contagious, and I found myself just being an expectant mother, not a pregnant woman expecting her baby to die. She didn’t voice negativity, she didn’t give voice to all the fears raging in my mind…..and that is exactly what I needed! My sister, my savior in this nightmare I had conjured up……her voice chased that all away. For that, there are no words for my gratitude and my love for her had cured me. We chatted about names, appointments, gender, nurseries, baby clothes and all the things a mother to be should be able to discuss…a conversation that I had been robbed of. She quieted my fears, she gave me the hope. That hope, that glimmer of hope, was like throwing a life raft to me as I was drowning in my own uncertainty.

I hung up the phone and drove to Wal-Mart to grab a few things for dinner, feeling suddenly lightened, my burden lifted. I strolled through the grocery aisle but couldn’t stop the urge, this pull that kept dragging me to the baby section. I decided I would allow myself this luxury. I lingered there touching the tiny garments, and I was drawn to the pink clothing. Scotty and I wanted a girl. I told myself I would love either gender, as it wouldn’t matter if I could only get this baby here. Deep in my heart, as certain as one could be about anything; I knew. This baby, this one tucked softly beneath my heart, this child was a girl. My heart fluttered, and jumped and I smiled from the tips of my toes all the way up to find it’s way to my lips. If I could’ve looked in the mirror, I am sure I would’ve seen someone I wouldn’t recognize. My pale blue eyes were surely dancing with light and laughter…..and hope! I touched a tiny pair of butterfly shoes, they were so tiny, I thought there surely were no feet small enough to adore them. They were soft, fuzzy, and impulsively I lovingly picked them up, allowing my fingers to linger on the soft material. I thought of how they would warm my daughter’s feet, how they would feel against her brand new skin. I bought them, they were a symbol, these shoes. A symbol of the hopelessly, hopeful me.

I came home to share my secret with Scotty. I cooked supper while he showered, I made our plate, and the centerpiece of our table were those tiny pink and purple butterfly shoes. He came to the table, he saw the precious shoes sitting there, and his eyes searched mine. He was gaging me for a reaction, he knew what I had been through, he was concerned how much more I could possibly endure. Oh no, he was going to voice the things I was not ready to hear, he was going to reason with me that we had to at least acknowledge what we might be faced with. I didn’t allow him to, I crossed the room, clung to him like an anchor to keep my dream from floating away with his words. “It is going to be a girl, and her name will be Braelyn!” I said. I felt my eyes soften and sharpen at the same time, challenging him to give me this moment, to not rob me of this one small treasure, and I knew if he didn’t I would surely crash from the clouds from which I had been dreaming. His hazel eyes, searched mine, and in them he found what I needed him to find…..I needed this moment. I watched as his eyes turned into to orbs of love, flickering in their depths, love leapt from every fleck of gold and danced in the green irises that stared back at me! “It better be a girl,” he said as his lips slid into a slow smile….I loved his smile, it was always genuine and rare, and each time he shared one with me I felt like I was receiving a gift. We both lost ourselves in the moment, allowed it to fill us up, the happiness over running until our giddy laughter echoed through the room, bouncing from the walls and falling into my ears like the sweetest music I had ever heard!

My doctor appointment went well, they saw the baby but since the tech was swamped we didn’t get to hear the heartbeat but there was a tiny little dot, nestled inside that circle. Joy abounded in my heart…and spontaneity sent me pulling into the nearest lowes. I picked up paint, then made my way to walmart for some colorful acrylic paints. I was going to paint this baby a mural on her wall. Without hesitation, I went to the soon to be nursery, I wanted something beautiful to surround her. I wanted to cover it with all things soft and lovely. I pulled the soft, fuzzy shoes out for inspiration. Slowly, with precision I began sketching butterflies across the wall, kissing them with the paintbrush to add delicacy to their wings. I stood back and admired my work. Just like my writing, my art comes from a source of emotion and I felt the joy leap from my brush onto the walls. Something was missing….what was it? My journey to get here, to getting her here, it needed to be symbolized.

The greatest joy comes from the deepest pain, just as my losses had made this pregnancy all the more poignant. I stared at the butterflies, and then it occurred to me. Beautiful butterflies only get their wings after they transform. After they go through being a caterpillar, they earn their wings. Me and this baby had earned our wings, but I had to signify the importance of the journey. I painted a brightly colored caterpillar, it was climbing up, over and around her door facing. It’s face was smiling as if it had faced adversity and came out more vibrant on the other side…exactly how I felt! Then with painstaking accuracy I wrote her name, Braelyn upon her walls with tender, elegant strokes…..she was real, she had a name!

I was due for another checkup in less than a month. I was closing in on eleven weeks, not much longer before I was out of the first trimester. Every mother who has lost a baby waits on bated breath for that first trimester to pass, so that the chance of loss decreases. I recognized it was nearing, and allowed myself to just enjoy every second of pregnancy. My once flat stomach was already swelling to expand for the life growing there. I hadn’t gained any weight, but my tummy was rounding and I found it so beautiful. I had already bought my first pair of maternity pants and wore them like a soldier wears a well earned metal. I spoke to her, telling her about my days, telling her about her daddy and how she would woo him, about an aunt that would dote on her, and a nanny who would surely swoon in her presence. I told her we only had to make it to March 15th, her due date and my mother’s birthday. I couldn’t have picked a more fitting day for her to be born, on the same day as the mother I loved so much. The irony that on the day my mother was born, she would be born, and I would be born as a mother. I relished in knowing I was never alone, I spoke softer, angered slower, forgave more quickly……she had already changed me. What a lovely soul she must be to change me from the inside out! I loved her with a love that words could not describe. I slept with her shoes beside my bed, a reminder that soon her small feet would fill them, and the thought warmed me as I fell into sleep each night.

I got up the morning of my doctor’s appointment, showered and slipped on my beloved maternity pants. I applied my makeup, but the glow from my spirit shone through. My stepson was over and I was awaiting his grandpa to pick him up. I tousled his curly locks, wondering if my baby would share her brothers curls. He was playing a video game, and looked up with a smile before continuing on. I went to grab a bottle of water from the fridge and was doubled over with a pain unlike any I have ever felt. I grabbed the phone screaming for my mother to get to my house….the pain was coming in waves, every few minutes they ripped my insides literally bringing me to my knees. I couldn’t even think, the agony was blinding. I told him that his poppa would be here soon, and to not wait for me.  I halfway remember calling my father in law to pick up my stepson. I didn’t want to scare him, my sweet boy, I had to put on a brave face. It wasn’t until I shut the door behind me did I allow the pain to cease me…..I slid to the floor, and crawled to the bathtub. I got in the tub letting the hot water wash over me and tried to breathe through the pain. I was so thankful for that pain, it kept my mind from thinking about what this meant. I don’t know how long I laid there, weak, broken, defeated and convulsing as the pain shattered me over and over.

Then my mom was there, and Faith who had grown to be like a sister to me. I was naked, exposed, but my mind didn’t register it. I vaguely remember being dressed, as silent agonizing moans escaped my lips as the pain raked through every bone in my body, ravishing every muscle with it’s viciousness. I was sitting on the side of the tub, and I heard voices that sounded far away. Faith, a nurse by occupation, her voice sounded foreign, and scared, “Ruth, she has lost a lot of blood….we got to get her to the hospital now.” It was only then I allowed my eyes to look into the bathtub, and was bewildered that I was still alive. They helped me to the car, I was weak, the contractions were violent and intense. The thirty minute drive seemed like eternity, I clung to the pain allowing it to mute my thoughts.

I tuned everything out, I was taken back to the Emergency Room, examined and then sent upstairs to the ob’s office. My sister, Mary Ann, my safe haven, my strength during weakness was there with me as I walked into this office. Only then did I allow myself to recall the words the doctor had told me, “hemorrhaging”  “we don’t see a heartbeat” “you need to discuss the next step with your physician” and then the tears came. This pain was by far worse than the physical pain. All around me sat pregnant women, bellies rounded, smiles on their faces, and others with newborn babies surely there for their follow up after birth….something I wouldn’t be getting. I watched as one lady lifted her fussy daughter, I caught a glimpse of a shock of brown hair, adorned with a beautiful bow, a frilly little dress, and upon her feet……MY daughter’s shoes. I felt so robbed, I felt like my sanity was leaking out of me, and how dare them send me to this place. Forced to watch something so beautiful as a mother comforting her child, and knowing that at that moment my baby was dead. Her baby was feeding from her breast, while my heart was being ripped from mine.

Some infinite amount of time passed before I finally was released from the hell of that office and ushered back into the room where the doctor awaited. “I recommend a D&C,” she said with all her medical, scientific words.

“A D&C???? You want to dilate my cervix and rip the baby out?” I asked, swallowing the desire to spit in her face. I wasn’t angry at her, I was insane with grief. She was just doing her job, but I was going through a slow, twisted death. I listened as she voiced the reasons that it should be performed, “loss of blood” “the baby was stuck against my uterus which means it would not be expelled and was causing excessive contractions” “need to do it as soon as possible”…..I smiled to myself a sadistic smile, even in death, my daughter was trying to stay with me. “Fine, schedule me for the morning, for this procedure.” I spat, hatred filling my heart.

“April, we should act now, waiting is dangerous, if you hemorrage again…..” she began, and I could see her concern, trying to explain to me without adding to my misery.

I waved my hand at her, “I am aware of the risk. I am aware my baby is dead. I am aware I am not going to be a mother. But I am not ready to do it. I am not ready to be “unpregnant.” I am not ready to let her go, you can take that from me in the morning…I have lost enough today!” She silenced, nodded a sad nod, and scheduled me for 5 am the next morning.

It wasn’t until the ride home, that I realized I hadn’t told Scotty…..I hadn’t given him the chance to be there, I didn’t want him to see the wreck that was now his wife. When I walked inside our home, he was watching tv, laughing at whatever was on the screen. One look at me and he was on his feet, he sought to hug me but I pulled away, “She is gone! Mom will take me in the morning for surgery.” My voice was defeated, hard, flat, emotionless and I didn’t recognize it as my own. I knew I was being selfish, shutting him out, but I couldn’t share this, it would break me in two. I couldn’t feel his anguish on top of mine, nor could I give him my burden. I had to hold onto every ounce of the pain, it was all I had left. I resigned myself to the nursery and cried ugly, bitter, hate filled tears. I crumbled into the floor, glaring at the caterpillar for it’s false hope of a butterfly. I touched my stomach, “We have tonight, one more night.”

The next morning I checked in for my “procedure” feeling as if I was attending my own funeral, a funeral for my heart. They wheeled me back, sobs echoed through the room until they silenced me with sedative, and I welcomed it……the sweet oblivion. I awoke too soon, and with a scary realization, I had almost hoped I wouldn’t wake. What awaited me now? An empty nursery, an endless nightmare, a pair of butterfly shoes that would never grace her feet.

For nights on end I slept in the nursery which was once a guest room. Scotty was attentive, checking on me, but I was lost in a place that even he couldn’t pull me from. The morning peaked through the window and glared upon the caterpillar, and the butterflies that I had painted. I grabbed some interior paint, and viciously covered them each detailed piece of art. Angry strokes of my paint brush, blotting them out just like my baby had been blotted from existence. I cried, and screamed, then cried some more.

It wouldn’t be until many years later, when the maddening grief had subsided would I see with different eyes. I would realize that my caterpillar hadn’t turned to a butterfly, she had gained her wings though, her angel wings had lifted her to the heavens and carried her away from me.

Balancing Chores and Being Mom

Last night, my slumber was interrupted, not once, not twice but at least a dozen times. All by things that simply could not wait until the morning, things that demanded my attention, things that only Mom, aka, I could do. One needed to go potty, and needed my company to the bathroom, the other needed a drink, and I dutifully carried out these tasks. I made the trek back to my neglected bed, to close my exhausted eyes, only to hear, “Mom, I need __” and so my tired body somehow managed to get up to meet the requests of my two very needy daughters. In the back of my sleep-deprived mind I thought, “Sleep, please, I just need sleep.” I drifted off around three a.m. to be awakened at 6:30 to a very awake six year old shouting orders for breakfast. I ask myself, who was really captain of this ship? Obviously, they are, and they don’t mean to be bossy, they are just still dependent on me for their needs. The back of my mind wonders when the day will come when I can go to my bed and not be beckoned from it, when will I not be required to assist every need, and then a sadness filters through my exhaustion……..that day will come all too soon.

Oh, as much as parenting two small children wears me out, the thought of the day they no longer need me is torturous. My mind constantly reminds me, “Hold tight to this moment, they are fleeting!” There are days I want to shush that voice, and just be tired and cranky. But I pull strength from some deep place, put a smile on my face, and chipperly ask, “What would you like for breakfast!” Of course, they always want something different, and usually I compromise and they get a pop-tart (don’t judge, I am not a morning person, and it is a task to just stumble to the kitchen). So, the day begins, a list of demands, to dos, sibling rivalry will ensue, channels to change, cartoons to watch, counters to scrub, questions to answer, laundry to launder, dishes to wash, meals to cook, and somehow fit in time to simply enjoy my kids……it seems an impossible feat. The same feat that I face every single day. Do all that needs done, and still find time to be a good mom that does more than just chores. It is a daunting task, one that I face with determination, and usually end the day feeling like either I failed to get the house clean but the kids got attention or my house is tidy and my kids didn’t get the time I planned on giving to them. Either way, there simply is not enough of me to do it all!

I want to the mom who has it all together, a tidy house, happy children, and her sanity. I have resigned myself if I can at least make it through the day with two out of three of these tasks then I have accomplished enough! As mothers, we put these crazy demands on ourselves. I am here to admit it, I am here to say it outloud…..I DO NOT HAVE IT ALL TOGETHER! There I said it. That was hard, even to type. I am an overachiever by nature, but I am not superwoman….if you are struggling to hold it all together; IT IS OK! We will fair this day, none the less for the fret and worry and shortcomings. To the moms who have it all together, good for you, I would like to give you a high five….right in the face!

To that mom who says with all her motherly wisdom, just enjoy it, it goes so fast, you will want these days back…..SHUT UP! I already know, that is the cause for all this pressure I feel to cherish each second of every day. But, that is as impossible to do; just as impossible as matching all the socks in my sock basket, because let’s face it we all have a sock basket. It contains tons and tons of tiny socks, varying in size and color, and never, I repeat, NEVER will ALL the socks have a mate. Who knows what happened to the other sock that it originally was paired with, who has time to worry about it? Not me, there are tons more of tiny socks to wash, and tiny feet to put the socks on….and you got me, there are days my children’s socks don’t match….GASP, oh the tragedy!

To that mother who keeps her house spotless, I envy her, mine once was the definition of tidiness…and I still work to maintain order, and cleanliness but it usually involves me staying up after bed to accomplish it. So, if you are that mom who manages to keep her house spic and span, and you have two kids under the age of seven, then truly, I gravel at your feet! I have no idea how she does it, this mom with the spotless house. I scrub grime off cabinets, crayons off walls, and just when I think I can relax, there is a spill to clean up or worse. The OCD side of me wants to hold my children hostage in their room all day, so I can keep my house pristine (I am only half joking). But if they spent their childhood captive in their room, what kind of person would they grow up to be. Nah, I will let them play. I will allow them to scatter their toys across my living room, and I will even keep myself from following behind them to pick them up. They need to build their imagination, need to play, and this is all part of the messy experience. I do make them clean up before bed, but there is almost always a stray toy splayed out on one of my floors…..and I am just going to have to be okay with that. So, if you come to my house at noon, I can’t guarantee you will not see a bevy of various toys speckling my house. You have been warned. Children live here, and children, well, children are messy! I will continue the never-ending challenge of keeping it orderly, some days I am more successful than others.

I have two little girls, which is exactly what I always wanted. Along with these two little girls, I also will confess, I have an obsession with clothes. They have boutique clothes, you know the ones you have to hang dry? Yeah, those clothes….as if I don’t face an insurmountable hurdle of keeping up with clothes with regular washing requirements….If you see my children out you will undoubtedly see, two beautiful little blondes with adorable frilly outfits, perfectly styled hair….and then you will see me, frazzled, hair bobby pinned, and unpressed clothing. Now, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE fashion, and dressing up, but if I have an errand, there are only so many hours to get us both dressed and usually that is them. Just like their laundry, it always gets hung to avoid wrinkles, my everyday wear usually gets shoved wherever the heck it will fit!

To those mothers who strive for perfection…….look in your childrens’ eyes….there you will find it! If you think that you have accomplished all the feats of motherhood, you might want to inspect your children….through the hustle and bustle, did you stop and play with them awhile? Did you enjoy their company? Appearances are important but my joy comes from seeing my girls smile. Now, I have a game of baby dolls to play with two important people, and then maybe, just maybe, if time allows I will get the sink emptied of dishes, the laundry switched out, and all the toys put away….but if not, there is always tomorrow for those things, today I choose my kids first!

Grandma On a Loan

Twenty years ago, I was a small child, searching for something that I never got but needed so desperately

I longed for what other kids my age had….a grandmother to love and cherish me

I did not have a grandmother to hug or kiss the tears away

But when I found my best friend, I found my grandma that same day

Grandma, with eyes so bright and sparkling blue

Grandma, full of heart and I love yous

She was a void fulfilled, a secret kept, an answered prayer to a lonely little girl

She was a kiss on the head, and the best Grandma in the whole wide world

Amazing how she could wrap you in a hug, and all the pain would just melt away

No matter what the situation was, she always knew just what to say

God hears our prayers, he knows our heart, and he knew that I needed a grandma to call my own

God blessed me with best friends that shared their grandma with me…thank God for my Grandma on loan

The years passed by and as I grew it seemed my problems grew as well

I could tell grandma I was okay but when something was bothering me she could always tell

She was always a step ahead of me, she knew what I was thinking before I even spoke

It was as if Grandma heard my heart breaking, everytime it broke

She would pick up the pieces of my shattered heart, wrap me in her arms and magically the pain would start to ease

I asked her once how she made the hurting stop, and she said she bowed her head and got down on her knees

Grandma, she was a mender of hearts, a healer of the soul

Grandma, she was a mentor, with a wisdom few will ever know

Miraculous how she could stitch a heart back together when it seemed beyond repair

No woman could touch God’s throne, like her when she spoke to Him in prayer

God hears our prayers, he knows our heart, and he knew that I needed a grandma to call my own

God blessed me with best friends that shared their grandma with me…thank God for my Grandma on loan

I lost so many things in my life, and I am ashamed to say at some dark times, I even lost my faith

But I needed only see Grandma, to remember God was real, she always reminded me of his saving grace

I spoke to Grandma often, about how I wanted a baby, a child to call mine

She would just smile and tell me, “It will happen, child, but in God’s time”

She had a way of telling you about God that left you hungry for his love

Everytime, I sat with her I was reminded of the Good Lord above

Grandma, with a heart of gold and a ready smile

Grandma, reminding me to talk to God every once in awhile

Astounding how she could whisper such simple words and I would feel such peace

An afternoon with Grandma, always brought me back kneeling at the Master’s feet

God hears our prayers, he knows our heart, and he knew that I needed a grandma to call my own

God blessed me with best friends that shared their grandma with me….thank God for my Grandma on loan

I have been given 2 miracles that call me Mommy and I know Grandma’s prayers helped to make that dream come true

On February 4, Grandma traded in her pain for comfort, she is in heaven where all angels go when their time is through

She didn’t leave us, and although she left her earthly body, she didn’t really die

Angels don’t stop living they just sprout up wings and fly

Today she is dancing, singing in streets as gold as her heart and soul

I know God is welcoming her in to the pearly gates, as we are letting her go

Grandma, with a halo on her head and a smile upon her face

Grandma, being born anew wrapped in the Lord’s embrace

My heart is broken to say farewell, but if she was here she would tell me not to cry, and wipe away my tears

It doesn’t feel like I had her long enough, but I am so glad I had her in my life for the past 20 years

I have no doubt that she was an angel here on earth, but even angels must be called home

God blessed me with an angel for a Grandma…thank God for my Grandma on a loan

Daddy

Doesn’t it seem like yesterday that I came into this world?
It goes by fast, Daddy, I won’t always be a little girl
One day you will look back on my first steps, and it will be a distant memory
Gone will be the days when you could pick me up and hold me
Gone will be the times that I danced on your feet to our favorite song
I know it doesn’t seem like it now, but I won’t be little for long

You will find yourself looking back on these days and wish for them once more
You will miss my feet on yours as we dance across the living room floor
Gone will be the days when you coming home is the highlight of my day
Gone will be the times when I say to you, “Daddy lets play!”

One day you will see that time isn’t really on our side, and I will be grown
One day, Daddy, you will look up and I will be gone
Cherish it now, won’t you please?
Enjoy the kisses, hugs and skinned up knees!

Years from now, it will seem like yesterday that I sat upon your lap and kissed your cheek
You will question when I got too big for us to play a game of hide and seek
Gone will be the days that the sound of your voice will light up my world
Gone will be the days, for you see, I won’t always be a little girl

One day you will remember these days and wish you had every moment back
One day you will wish for more time, but time doesn’t work like that
So hold my hand while it is still small, kiss me often while you have the chance
Never get too wrapped up in life that you forget to teach me to dance

I depend on you to teach me all the things I need to know
Please, Daddy, remember to do these things as I grow!
I love you, Daddy, right now you are the only man in my world
Love always, Daddy’s little girls

Praise From the Lips of Your Child

So I am doing the dishes, and cleaning the counter tops. Braelyn crawls up on the back of the couch to look over the dividing counter between the kitchen and the living room and says, “Mommy, I pick up the toys!” I said “Good Job, Brae Brae!” She sits there and talks to me for a minute and I am engrossed in my chores and nodding my head as I half listen…and then she says in the sweetest voice, “Mommy wash the dishes? Mommy wash the sink? Mommy clean the stove? All to which I nod and she says enthusiastically, “Good job, cleaning the dishes! Good job cleaning the floors! I so proud of you!!!!!!!!!!!!” Needless to say, I stopped what I was doing and scooped her up for some smooches! During times I feel stretched thin, during the days I am doing all that I do and feeling like no one notices all the hard work….my sweet little girl reminds me just how much she appreciates me! Nothing as priceless as being a mom! Adore my kids!!!!!!!!

Co-sleeping Equals NO Sleeping for Me

I am SO glad my kids don’t co-sleep! Since the day they were born, I have been a firm believer that they should have their own space to rest, and they are usually really good sleepers because they learned to self sooth. I KNOW there is so much controversy on parenting styles, and to each their own. I prefer snuggles on the couch, lovings during the day, a night time story & prayer, and the night ending with each of us in our own beds. I LOVE to snuggle them, but at night I need that time to rejuvenate and rest for the next day, so I can do it all again. I have no idea why I cannot sleep when a baby/kid is in my bed, but I CANNOT! Every time they move, toss, turn, grunt, sigh, snore, it wakes me up. With the exception of a handful of sick nights, and a few night terrors, my independent girls sleep in their own beds. Last night, was one of those few nights when I was awakened to the sound of my door cracking open, it was Brynlee Jean (she NEVER wants to sleep with me) she patters to the bed, blankey and her fuzzy pillow in hand….no obvious distress, no crying, no fever, I am trying to make sense of this occurrence with sleep deprived eyes in the dark. “Brynlee, what are you doing?” I hear a sweet voice, “I just missed you and needed to be next to you, mommy.” How could I deny that!? So I scooted over, didn’t sleep a wink, and watched my quickly growing baby sleeping…I know these moments are fleeting, I hold on to each one. I still sneak into their rooms and watch them sleep. The sentiment was absolutely the sweetest, and although I am tired today, it was worth it. Does it change my stance on co-sleeping? NOPE, a night now and then is bonding, but this mommy is tired today! Not sure but I think she might be part ninja in her sleep!

Earthbound Angel

Once upon a time, in a land not so very far away

There lived a Mommy who wanted children and so she knelt to pray

The Lord heard her as night after night, the same prayer she uttered

“Lord, I want a baby, Oh Lord please let me be a mother”

He listened with mourning to hear his child’s heart broken in two

He loved her oh so much, He would one day send her YOU

He didn’t answer her right away, and her faith was being tried

Now she sat by her bed determined that her prayer would not be denied

God heard her every utterance, bottled her every tear, and wept

He would give her a child….just not yet

It hurt Him to listen to her cry out to him, his beloved was in despair

But He couldn’t give her an answer now there was still too much to prepare

What she didn’t realize as she was praying on her knees

God was working on a miracle: the most perfect baby the world would ever see

He looked into his canvas, pulled out his paintbrush to begin his work of art

With each stroke He made He listened to the childless mother’s heart

He poured in sunshine, til her hair was gold; just the perfect shade

So that when her mommy held her, she would see the miracle that God had made

Relentlessly the Mommy prayed, clinging desperately to faith

While God was crafting perfection for all the time she had to wait

The Lord gazed into his bag of wonders, to paint his miracle into existence

He knew what the Mommy needed, for every prayer she prayed, the Lord had listened

He borrowed some color from the sky, and placed it in her eyes

So bright and blue, for all the tears the Mommy had cried

While he worked behind the scenes, the Mommy’s prayers desperately began to turn to begging

God loved that Mommy so much, He refused to stop til he gave her a child nothing short of perfection

Tirelessly He drove on, inspired from his creations, his eyes fell upon his flowers

He picked a red rose with the most perfect bud, fresh from the field right after a shower

He looked upon the vibrant color, thinking it magnificent, He injected it into her cheeks and lips

Her smile would look like a blossom, because he had taken the essence of the rose tips

The Mommy prayed, wailing to the Lord as her heart was lonely and aching

The Lord worked with frenzy for He loved her and didn’t want her to think she had been forsaken

Now He put away his canvas, and reached down upon the earth for his clay

It was time to sculpt the angel He would give to the Mommy one day

First he sculpted the ears, tiny and flawless, so they could hear her Mommy’s story

He had no doubt that she would tell her that she was given a miracle, and give him all the glory

The Mommy told the Lord if it was his will for her to have no children to remove the pain within

She didn’t hear Him whisper, “I will child, in my time, you will be a mommy but not til then”

The Lord took the Mommy’s teardrops, and because he loved her so

He placed a treasured tear shape in each nostril on a tiny button nose

God knew that as the baby grew she would smell the wonders of the world

And the Mommy would know God loved her just by looking at her little girl

The Mommy asked God, “Lord please just give me an answer? I need to find my way,  I need to know your plans.”

She couldn’t hear because the Lord spoke in a whisper, “I have your answer,  I hold her in my hands.”

He sprinkled in a little energy and sculpted tiny legs to run, and jump and play

Laughing to himself that Mommy would soon ask for rest when she prayed

He made pudgy little arms just the right size to hug when Mommy’s days got bad

With a smile, he added in a little mischief, so she could play with her Dad

The Mommy was silent now and the Lord knew she was waiting on his reply

The Lord was quiet and still, “My love, you will soon know why.”

With a skillful hand he developed delicate little hands that would hold her Mommy’s one day soon

Then he shaped her eyes to look reminiscent of a stunning half sized moon

He placed in a heart full of his very own love to carry back down for him

Hoping that the Mommy would know how much she loved her then

The Mommy was praying again but this time for him to know she would love him no matter what

God was amidst working on his miracle when the prayer came up, he wanted to reply but his voice caught

He felt his tears fall as he pumped his blood into his tiny gift, so she would be pure, and free of sin

He picked her up into his majestic arms and wrapped her in baby soft skin

He knelt down whispering words of love into her heart before he breathed air into her lungs

As the baby began to breathe, the Lord wept and whispered, “It is done.”

The Mommy was praying now, asking the Lord to please stop the pain

“Lord, you know angels can’t survive on earth….” an angel pleaded in vain

“Your majesty you know what happened the last times,” another angel begged in unison

The Lord placed his finger to his lips to silence them as he picked up the little one

He whispered in that perfect little ear “I clipped your wings, you won’t need them there on Earth.”

“Your Mommy has carried eight of my angels, so I know she will know your worth.”

The Mommy’s prayer was praise for she felt an inner peace

“It is never easy to let an angel go but you my love, are one I must release.”

“Make up for all the losses she has endured, she carried my angels and I know the pain it caused”

“I needed more angels for my choir, to sing away my pain for my lambs that I have lost.”

“Tell her I love her enough that I can spare one for her,” he said as he kissed the teardrop nose

“Tell her as much as she loves you, I love her more, and I am sending her my finest rose!”

Sisters in the Snow

Just came in from playing in the snow with my girls! I usually hate the cold weather…..but what better to warm your heart than two little girls playing in the snow? Throw in a senior lab, who for a glimpse in time is once more a puppy. Hank was leaping and bounding with the girls into the pillowy clouds of snow. Braelyn built a tiny snow man, and Brynlee built one bigger than her…..So representative of my girls personality, Braelyn’s little snowman was meticulously precise. It was tiny, and quirky, just like her. Brynlee’s mantra in life is the bigger the better! (which matches her small demeanor and BIG personality) Her’s was so large that her tiny arms needed help reaching the head to place the carrot in it’s nose!
Long after Brynlee had finished her’s she proceeded with pegging me with snowballs, then they tag teamed me in an epic snow ball fight!
Braelyn was enchanted by the beauty of the snow, captivated she ran her tiny hands through it, threw her head back to watch the way the sun danced on the white crystals, I could see her soft breaths taking in the freshness of the moment….oh the beauty of a child’s heart.
Brynlee was not the observer; she was active in the moment. Rolling in it, crawling through it, throwing it, and tasting it! My tactile child, my introvert who needs to feel her surroundings.
Between the wads of snow I was transcended to a different time and place…outside on a blustery winter day with my sister! I cannot count the number of snowmen we made, the number of snowballs we launched at each other, but mostly I remember the laughter! The way it rang through the air, bouncing through the fresh snow and falling back into my ears like musical notes in the air. For but a moment, I was overwhelmed, for my love for them, the love they have for each other, the love I have for my sister!
Time stood still, in front of me were the two greatest loves of my life, but for a second they were two little girls from yesteryears. They were just taking in the joys of childhood. The only care in the world was keeping our hands and feet from frostbite! Braelyn even had my sister’s old coveralls on…..I willed myself to remember this moment, to store it away for a day when they are grown, and these days have passed. I felt a lump build in my throat at the realization of how quickly that day will arrive. Was it not yesterday that it was my sister and I? Too soon I will have to recall these memories instead of make them…the thought breaks my heart. It makes me miss my sister, it makes me miss these little girls who will surely grow up against my will for them to stay small, and it makes me eternally grateful for yesteryears, and the here and now!
So, in rememberance of today and all those that passed, I taught them how to make a snow angel. Watching their excitement at the tiny angel imprints they created. I saw my sister there, me teaching her this very thing, and when Braelyn looked up at me a tear slid down my cheek. Never in my life can I go back to the days I shared with my sister, but my girls get to share this gift, and I get to relive it through them….and that is my gift…Sis, if you were here I would build a snowman with you, and then throw the world’s biggest snowball at you!!!!!! Miss you every second!