Monday, September 27, 2010

Trip to Texas

IMG_0875I am calling the month of September “Fall Break” due to the fact that we basically took the entire month off.  I know, most kids just started school and here I am already taking a break.  To my credit, we did start school in July, so I still think we are ahead of the game :).

This past week, the girls and I went to Texas to visit my parents.  We had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed the farm—probably for the last time before cold weather comes.  We spent a ton of time outdoors and the weather couldn’t have been more beautiful.  One of Liberty’s fav things to do is ride horses.  She is finally old enough to ride by herself and she thinks she is such a big girl.  Emory didn’t know whether she liked it or not.  Nonetheless, I did manage to actually get her on the horse.  In addition to riding, my Dad also has a new horse drawn cart he bought from an Amish man a few weeks ago.  It is super fun and we all thought it was great!



Emory, Liberty, and Hannah


Papa’s new toy :)

We also just spent a lot of time playing on the ginormous swing set.  Emory has decided that she is big enough to slide by herself and it is absolutely priceless.  I wish I had better video of her actually going it alone, but here’s what I have.


Just having fun playing outside!


Seriously, aren’t these the cutest babies EVER!






One of the major highlights for Liberty was Nana and Papa’s new kittens.  You would think she doesn’t have a kitten of her own at home.  She carried those poor little things around for 4 days.  I’m sure they are thrilled to be free at last!


We got to spend lots of time with my sister (Amanda) and Hannah.  Hannah is such a big girl and about a million times more active than Emory (even though they are 4 months apart).  Emory was content to ride on her car while Hannah pushed her.  It was possibly the cutest thing ever.  Emory was actually being kind to Hannah at this point.  She still hasn’t worked out the whole sharing thing.


Liberty and Uncle Shane playing iPhone games

On Monday, we were home alone because everyone had to work.  We decided we would go to Rochester and visit Lilly’s sign (this is what Liberty calls it).  My parents just recently had some work done at the cemetery and I was anxious to see it.  They had concrete curbs poured around our family plot and had the granite markers set on the concrete.  It looked SO nice.  We also decorated Lilly’s tree for Fall.  We always have such a great time doing this.  It’s special for all of us to have something of Lilly’s to take care of.  Obviously Emory doesn’t have any idea what we are doing, but she has fun.  She loves opening and closing the little picture frame with Lilly’s picture in it :).  She will not grow up knowing her sister, but she will grow up having all the memories of decorating that little tree in honor of her sister.

IMG_0868 IMG_0869 IMG_0873Thus ends our “Fall Break.”  We are back to it on Monday.  So thankful for our flexible schedule!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Lilly Thoughts

The day I have been dreading since Lilly went home has finally arrived.  Last week Liberty told me, "I don't really remember when we had Lilly."  It's not surprising.  I expected it, hence, the dread.  Liberty was only 2 when Lilly got sick and 3 when she died.  I knew she wouldn't be able to remember everything.  I guess I was just hoping she would be able to hang on to something.  The fact that she has no concrete memories of her sister doesn't distress her at all.  She is perfectly content to hear my stories about Lilly.  She can't be bothered with unrealistic expectations, like remembering life before the age of 4 :).  She is forever my little optimist when it comes to Lilly.  When I'm sad, she always reminds me that I will see her again soon and I still have pictures.  When I tell her that looking at a picture isn't the same as holding her, she simply replies, "you're right, but its ok." It's always been "ok" to Liberty.  She has never doubted in God's perfect plan for Lilly.  She has never been angry, confused, frustrated, or too sad.  She simply believes she will see her sister again and that is good enough for her.  Oh how I love love Liberty.  What would I do without her?  I always tell her that God knew how much I needed her and that is why he made her first.  It is so true!

Nonetheless, the fact that she can't remember anything really makes me sad.  She had a very special relationship with her sister. I guess in my mind it also brings up the possibility that I might start to forget things as well.  This, of course, is terrifying to me.  What if I can't remember what it felt like to hold her little hand, or what she smelled like, or what each little scar on her body looked liked? What if I forget how it felt to hold her in my arms, or how precious it was on those rare occasions when she opened her eyes, or how wonderful it was to kiss her perfect little lips.  I want to store these little treasures in my heart because they are all I have left of her.

I rarely get too down about all we have been through with our sweet girl.  I know it must seem crazy, but I honestly don't feel like I have too much to be sad about.  I miss Lilly terribly, but the challenges we faced and continue to face are precious to me.  God has used them to stretch and grow me in ways that I didn't know were possible and might not have been otherwise.  Yet, today I am sad.  I am sad because Liberty doesn't remember Lilly.  I am also sad because last night I sat in a room full of women who talked and shared about their amazing little ones.  I am incredibly blessed to know these women.  I am incredibly blessed to share in the struggles they have raising children with special needs.  I love that I have the opportunity to be a part of their lives and their children's lives, but last night I sat and listened to stories and all I could think about was the fact that I don't have any new stories.  Their lives are very difficult and stressful and I envied them because they still have their children.  I wished I could complain about doctors, bills, insurance, lack of sleep, and the million other things that come with raising a child with special needs because that would at least mean I still had my daughter.  I know, I feel horrified just writing it.  It is a completely selfish thought and not one I would truly act on even if I had the power. 

I know the sadness will pass.  I know God is always gracious to remind me of his plan and I am so very thankful for all 3 of my girls.