This year is coming to a close, just a few short hours remain. As the moments melt away into memories, I
have been reflecting on what 2012 signified to me.
The moments that meant something, the milestones and heart ache and life altering decisions; the changes that shape my future.
This year has been one with many growing pains; we have added another child to our tribe, our home is different, and our relationships have grown and evolved. But I suppose that’s how every year is, full of change I mean, because if it stayed the same life wouldn’t be very interesting. I have no idea what tomorrow or the next day will bring, and I have no idea what I will be doing this time next year, but I trust it will all work out. Things don’t always get better, but change is inevitable. Good or bad, in the end it’s all a chapter in our stories, and every story an adventure. An uneventful life is hardly a fulfilling one. So instead of a New Years resolution for 2013, this year I am simply thankful I survived. I am thankful for our families and friends. I’m thankful for the roof over our heads and the clothes on our backs. I am thankful that I woke up this morning happy and healthy. Hardships make us stronger, an prepare us for whatever comes next. Stronger day by day should always be the goal, no exceptions. Life isn’t perfect, and I won’t pretend it is, but I am grateful for every moment, and pray no matter what the future brings, I never forget who holds the future.
Stronger December 31, 2012
This year is coming to a close, just a few short hours remain. As the moments melt away into memories, I
Empty Beds December 15, 2012
My heart is truly broken today.
All I can think of are those sweet children, whose blood cries out from the ground.
The world is filled with others who echo my sentiments of grief and devastation.
I can’t even imagine the pain of the families who are now eternally broken, missing a priceless piece that can never be replaced.
I can’t imagine the suffocating grip on their lungs as the words spewed from the other end of that phone; the call that changed their lives forever as news of an unspeakable tragedy spread.
Breathlessly waiting for word, searching for the faces of their little angels in the crowded chaos.
Screaming, crying, and horrendous images flashing before them.
It didn’t seem real.
This cannot be real.
As more time passed, realizing your child had still not been found and praying that perhaps they were hiding, waiting for it to be safe to come out.
The seconds pass by slower and slower, time seems as though it is standing still.
And you suddenly see it: a policeman is approaching you, his head hanging, his eyes brimming with tears.
His word hit you like a train, violent and unforgiving with unimaginable weight; knocking you off your feet.
Your worst nightmare has manifested.
Your baby is gone.
You will never be able to look into their eyes again and see that unconditional love that filled every fiber of their being.
They will never run to you from across the room and call your name with excitement, simply because they missed you.
They will never again wrap their tiny arms around your waist and whisper “I love you.”
They will never be with you again.
You suddenly regret every time you were impatient.
Every single moment you lost your cool, yelled or didn’t have the time for whatever it was that they wanted or needed.
Now you can never take that back.
You are out of time.
There are no more second chances.
There are no more fun days to make up for the nights you couldn’t be home to tuck them in.
No more pajama days and snuggle time.
No more movie nights with popcorn and over sized blankets.
No more bedtime stories or homework help.
Every moment you treasured, and every second you took for granted has been stolen, in the blink of an eye it’s all gone.
Their bed will never be slept in again,
Their toys remain scattered on the floor.
Their Christmas gifts will never be opened from its shiny wrapping.
Every hope and dream you dared hold onto, for the future and your lives and your family, has vanished.
Everything is empty now.
Nothing makes sense.
No amount of comfort can bring back your baby.
No amount of kind words or good deeds can numb the overwhelming and uncontrollable sense of loss.
Their life has not only ended, but your dreams, your reality has died with them.
I grieve for those families.
My eyes brim with tears as empathy overwhelms me for the loss they must be feeling.
Why have these innocent little ones been stolen from this world?
A gunman coming into a school, and slaughtering babies as they wept and screamed and begged.
He killed them as they cried.
He killed them as they pleaded for their mommies and daddies.
Their hearts racing with paralyzing fear.
There was no one to save them.
There was no one who could have stopped him.
Evil manifesting in the purest, most unimaginable form.
School’s are thought of as a safe haven for children,
Their classrooms and friends and teachers are meant to represent stability.
This image of security is now shattered,
As I contemplate sending my little one to school tomorrow,
Nausea and anxiety is all but overwhelming me.
I know there is nothing I can do to control the world around me,
And there is nothing can stop some things like what happened in Newton, Connecticut.
Knowing that doesn’t make me or the rest of the country feel any less violated.
I feel as though we have been ruthlessly raped of any innocence we still possessed.
Every day it seems the news is plagued with images and stories of shootings and violence and death,
Murdering children the same age as my son.
Taking their life without remorse or regard.
Executing the innocent without motive.
I lay next to my husband and breath in his scent,
Listening to the gentle snores of our infant.
Our children are the single most important things in our lives,
Without any one of them my whole world would fall apart.
How do you go on from such a tragedy?
How do you move forward when something so precious has been stolen for good?
I don’t have any answers for you.
I don’t know when it is exactly the families of the victims will be able to go an hour, or a day without weeping.
But five hundred miles from my home, those parents are fighting sleep.
Some of them will be laying their children to rest tomorrow,
Something no parent should ever have to do.
The darkness is all around them, but all they can see is their child’s face.
Their angel’s empty bed is haunting,
There is no rest in sight for their weary souls.
All I can do is pray that God comforts them as they grieve.
All I can do it be grateful I got the gift of one more day as a mommy to my four boys.
Nothing can be taken for granted,
None of us know when it will all end.
None of us know when the world as we knew it today will be forever changed with the mark of evil,
And leave us with empty beds and hearts.
Growing Pains August 20, 2012
Just got a phone call from Anthony’s school, reminding me about their parent open house tomorrow evening.
It surprised me how close to tears I came as I heard the cheerful recording on the phones other end.
Tomorrow we meet my son’s Kindergarten teacher.
Tomorrow we get to see his classroom.
Tomorrow we meet all his new classmates.
Tomorrow my son becomes an elementary schooler.
I dreamed of this day, even when he was still in my belly.
I wondered what he would be like as a “big kid.”
I wondered how I would feel,
And how school and growing up would change him.
And after six years of wondering and dreaming,
I am still not prepared for this day.
I am bubbling with fear and questions and insecurities.
Have I prepared him enough?
Have I taught him all that he needs to know?
Will the other kids be nice to him?
Will he makes friends?
Will he learn quickly?
Will he enjoy it?
Will he remember all the values we have tried to instill in him?
Will he miss me as much as I will miss him?
The last few months I have tried so desperately to suppress all of this,
Focusing on the new baby and all the wonderful new changes that has brought into our lives.
I have tried not to think about how huge this is.
It seemed so far away, and just one of those “I will worry about that later” kind of things.
And now its here.
Its real and right in front of me,
And I have to face the fact that my first born son is really growing up,
And there is nothing I can do but accept it.
My husband and I have raised him, and will continue to do so long after tomorrow,
But we just have to trust we have done what we can and given him the very best of us,
And now it is time to let go a little and watch him flourish as his own little man.
I cant be with him every day, all day anymore.
I cant protect him from everything that is out there.
I cant fight off the kids who will be mean,
Because kids stink and they are all mean sometimes.
I cant keep him in a bubble.
I have thought about homeschooling him lots of times,
But that was before there was a whole other kid added to the mix.
The prospect of trying to take care of four kids, two of which are under two,
AND homeschool still makes my head swim.
I know my limits, and that was just not an option for me in this season of my life.
Still, the more I think about sending him off into the great big world,
The more I want to say “screw it! I’ll figure out a way!” and keep my little guy little for a while longer.
I know I cant do that,
But boy do I want to.
I guess this is a little bit of me growing up too,
Not just Anthony.
He is ready, and he is excited.
I’m not sure I am,
But I am praying with everything in me that I get there,
Within the next 24 hours.
I have to let my baby go,
And trust that God has him and everything else in his control.
I have to have faith in the decisions my husband and I have made together,
And believe that regardless of my doubts we chose the right thing for our family and son.
Who knew it would be this hard?
I never thought it would be.
I know I am going to miss him so much!
But hopefully it will make his time at home that much sweeter,
Because we will have a chance to miss each other during the day.
We are all growing up it seems.
Anthony into a young man,
And mommy into a grown up with elementary aged children.
Truth be told, I couldn’t ask for a better son.
He is so kind and sweet and sensitive to others feelings and emotions.
He has the biggest heart, and genuinely cares about others.
He is so smart and bright and funny,
And boy does he make me laugh.
He loves to be creative, whether its art or building things.
He is such a helper, always taking care of his brothers and even me!
He is a jewel in the truest sense and I am so blessed to call him my son.
I cant wait to see what the future holds,
And what a wonderful young man my little boy will grow into.
Yes, he has a bright future ahead of him.
He is so smart, and above all he is ready for this.
I am just trusting that even if I don’t know it just yet,
God has prepared me for this also.
52 August 11, 2012
Another low key evening for me spent watching the Olympics with my boys and waiting for my hubby to get home from work.
After visiting the wolds of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest I found myself checking up on my blog.
I found a link I had never noticed that breaks down views by country, and found a list of over 52 countries all around the world where people have read the words I have written within the last six months.
I felt a little choked up.
I had never realized just how far and wide my posts have touched.
And maybe every person who read them wasn’t a fan,
But maybe, just maybe, some of them were touched.
Maybe something I said made a difference in someones day,
Was a bit of encouragement,
Or made them feel a little less alone in the world.
Thats all I have ever wanted,
All I have ever hoped for in my writing,
That because I pour my heart and soul out to the world,
To someone, somewhere it will make a difference.
I cannot begin to tell you how humbling it is to know that a part of that dream has come true for me,
That all over the world I have been a part of people’s days,
Even if only for the couple of minutes it takes to read one of my posts.
God is good.
It’s that simple,
I consider writing a gift and a huge blessing,
The ability to verbalize what I think or feel is amazing.
Maybe I am not as articulate as some,
I certainly don’t see myself as anything amazing,
But I do know that not everyone can say whats on their heart,
And I thank God for giving me the words.
Every post may not always be pleasant,
But it is truth as I see or feel it,
And I think thats all anyone could ask for.
There are plenty of other great writers who have reached far more people than I have,
But for me,
A girl born and raised in a small town in Indiana,
52 countries around the world is a pretty big deal.
I am truly blown away.
I guess what I really want to say is thank you,
All of you,
Anyone who has ever taken the time to read one of my posts,
Or to share it with others,
You have touched me by supporting me,
And your views and comments and love and encouragement fuel my dream more than you will ever know.
I am so humbled by the love that I have felt from so many of you,
I cannot even begin to express just how much each of you mean to me.
Dream big and keep on dreaming.
You never really know just how much is within your reach,
And all that God will bring in your path.
Normal Friday July 20, 2012
My alarm went off this morning at its usual time.
My fifteen month old son lay sideways next to me, legs resting on my chest.
Devin’s footed dinosaur pajamas make him look smaller and bigger than he is at the same time, and his gentle snoring makes me want nothing more than to roll over and snuggle him for the remainder of the day.
But reality calls and I slowly (and awkwardly) manage to sit up and get out of bed, despite my large protruding belly making balance a foreign word.
As I enter the living room my five year olds bright smiling face greets me.
He is curled up on the couch watching power rangers, as he does most mornings, without a care in the world.
Jordan is still sound asleep in his bed, resembling a chubby little bear cub as he ignores the noises of the morning in our house and peacefully dreams four year old kind of dreams.
Yup, it seems to be a pretty normal Friday.
Until I log onto facebook and see posts about a tragic shooting in Colorado last night.
Some crazy man walks into a movie theater with tear gas and three guns, kills twelve people and injures fifty others.
How is this possible?
Sure, Colorado is over a thousand miles away from my small midwestern town, but the ache I feel for those affected by this is just as intense as if it had happened here.
No one should die that way.
Sure, death happens all over the world, every single day, but the deaths most frustrating to me are the deliberate and the senseless.
Those people died for no reason other than a 24 year olds sick and twisted fantasy.
I’m 36 weeks pregnant today.
Just a few more weeks and we will meet our youngest son.
My three boys sit at my feet on our living room rug, innocently playing with their toys, wrestling, and enjoying each other like little boys do.
There is such a short window in our lives, when we don’t know how sad and frightening the world really is.
My boys have no idea that around the world people are broken and hurt and dying.
They don’t know there are sicknesses without treatments and that some children woke up with empty, aching bellies and have no food to fill them.
I am reminded of two things today.
If all you focus on is the negative, the negative is all you will see.
While I am deeply saddened by this tragedy, I have to focus on my children, and my life and my future, for them and for me.
Life is short, and no one is promised tomorrow.
All you can do is enjoy every moment as it comes;
The song of my children’s laughter,
The warmth of their hugs,
And the joy that they bring me.
If I didn’t believe that in the end good triumphs over evil,
I could not bring children into this world.
But here I am,
About to give birth all over again,
And so I am trusting that there is a plan,
And that there is a purpose for everything and everyone.
Photo of me @ 35 weeks, by Katrina Lonadier.