Thursday, September 30, 2010

ARRRRRRRRRRRRGH!!

Sometimes those really awesome people come into your life. You know when you sit down a prenatal yoga with your belly exploding and your brain won't turn off the crazy thoughts of worry about having two children to take care of in a few short weeks??? Then this sweet mama sitting next to you says, hey you look so familiar??

And it ends up that you have seen each other at The Little Gym, and the regular gym, and all of the many other places we drag our kiddos to in our town. Then it ends up that you are both pregnant with girls a few weeks apart, and you have boys that are about the same age, and she was wondering how is she going to take care of two children, too?!!

Hmmmm, some things are just meant to be. Like meeting Brandi at prenatal yoga. She is just that mama and has that open spirit that draws you in. I feel so blessed to have plopped my mat right down next to her in january. That is the way life is, we meet the right people at the right time. She has been such a support since I had Ellie, and always an ear to listen about middle of the night horror stories. Sweet Grey turned three a few weeks ago, and we got to celebrate pirate style!!

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Shaking the parachute with Daddy


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Ellie getting in on the action with her Daddy

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Little Anna and her Grandfather, so sweet!!

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I swear the Bradley attended this birthday, although I only managed to get one half attempt of a picture of him. Recently we have had a lot of issues with shyness and being in new situations.  He spent a majority of the party in the back seat of the car and in the lobby whining because he was "scared of the pirates."  Which is code language for, "I don't know anyone but Grey and I feel nervous."  But, he was there, and he did have FUN!!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Small Town Americana

Have I ever mentioned how in love I am with our town?  We are so lucky with the beauty around us like this....

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and this...

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There is a university in our town that brings in tons of great shows, concerts, and activities for adults and kids.  Our new house is now in a small town on the edge of the bigger town.  It has quickly found a warm place in my heart.  There are local coffee shops, yummy wine cafes, parks, peach orchards and just amazing stuff in our itty bitty town.  I mean really come by, but don't blink because you will miss it!

Last weekend we had a celebration for the itty bitty small town fire department.  Families gathered on the streets, of course next to the local mexican restaurant 

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to celebrate 100 years of the fire department, which Bradley thought was amazing.  Ellie was a fan in her star headband, but then the fire trucks decided to have a siren competition and she thought that just wasn't cool.

husbands checked their phones for scores of the game, while still participating in family stuff (gotta love them!!)

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then the tractors rolled out

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and the fireman blew their horns

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little boys were in awe

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and little girls smiled...

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OK, so it isn't really a smile, but she still looks adorable!!

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and babies took it all in with pacies

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and sweet toes
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and daddies bonded with their boys, over big trucks, loud noises, and American heroes

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and the flying candy was overflowing

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I love finding out new and fun things about this little community.  Like the town store that has live music on Saturday night and the most insane brownies I have ever tasted.  Or our new Friday night tradition of dinner at the burger (and veggie sandwich-for me) place with homemade ice cream to wash it all down.  

Each week we try a new place to eat, or a new running path.  Making this little itty bitty town, our town too.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tragedy and Hope, Eight Years Later

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If you met me at the park you would know one thing.  I am an open book.  I share my life with others in a hope to find myself and make myself a better person.  This can sometimes be a fault, but most often it is a blessing.  Sharing my story with others has healed me in many ways.  I wrote this original post over two years ago, but I thought it was important enough to keep on my blog forever.  Now with the addition of Ellie's birth there is a new chapter in this story.  Ellie was born one day before this happened exactly eight years later.

You know those moments in your life that change it forever?  They define you.  They crush you.  They make you stronger.  This is my moment...

I didn't know how much there would be to say about the whole thing really, eight years later. But, it seems that although the years seem to pass and life goes on memories of this day permeate me. Without going into extreme detail, I was the driver in a pedestrian accident. He walked out in between two parked cars, not in a crosswalk at 9 at night. He was walking with a friend who saw me and stopped, and he didn't. He lived for 5 days, and then passed away. Even writing this here feels like another persons life, another persons tragedy. But, its not, it is mine. I spent many years dealing with this and working through the range of grief and emotions that comes with experiencing a trauma such as this. It doesn't matter how many police officers, parents, or friends tell you that it was an accident. You are still alive and they aren't. It's that complicated and really that simple. For a very long time I lived in a state of being paralyzed. But, a counselor told me that I had a choice. I could live and move on with my life, or I could die that day too and give up. I know that part of my heart didn't survive that day. I was never quite the same afterward, friends found me difficult and different. Who wouldn't be? There were the ones that have stuck with me through all of this. They have seen my tremendous growth in the past few years. 

Meeting Chris and having Bradley has healed a huge hole that might not have ever been filled. But, even though I have gotten stronger and moved on.  Today is a day that can bring me to my knees. I guess this is a difficult day just to get out of bed, still this many years later. I don't have a lot of people talk to me or ask me about it anymore. I think they all want to believe that I am healed and I have moved on with my life. That's fine, but I haven't. This is a part of me, and I think of him and his family all of the time, especially today and on Monday. Well, I can't believe that I am going to publish this, but I am. I will send it out there for everyone to pick apart. But, this blog is about me and my family. 

I never posted about the connection between Ellie's birth and my accident.  It just seemed that there was too much other stuff going on at the time to really analyze it all.  Six months later I am in awe of the timing of both of these life changing events.  Eight years later Ellie was born.  Almost to the day.  No coincidence I believe.  She was in the NICU for the same amount of time that his family was rallied around his bed eight years before.  She came home.  He didn't.  I feel in some ways that she is the period on this long journey called forgiveness.  I was given the ultimate gift, a baby, and his family said goodbye to their baby eight years before.  As a mother, we can truly relate to any mother's pain and grief in a way that other's cannot.  I hope in some way that I have done the right thing.  I have been strong and moved on.  I have survived.  Bradley and Ellie have taught me the power of forgiveness and along with my husband given me the strength to move past this moment.  I have let it define me and change me, but I have also come through it a new person.  We cannot go through a moment like that without it changing our path forever.   

This is me...strong, broken, weak, healed, hurt, fixed, happy, mourning...all rolled into one.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Goodnight Kiss

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We have these meetings in the middle of the night or the early morning hours, me and you.  I used to dread our middle of the night meetings.  My body was so heavy from deep sleep. I would stumble to your crib and feed you while still keeping my eyes closed.  Or part dreaming about the next chance to let my head touch the pillow.

But then our meetings in the middle of the night ended, and we just would meet together in the early morning.  Most of the time the sun wasn't up, but it was on its way.  You would lift up your little head and cry out for me.  I would pick you up, plant a kiss on your cheek.  Together we would rock, just me and you.  You were so hungry.  You would drink and drink, and I would rub your little head.  The peach fuzz of your hair tickling my fingers.  When you were filled up, I would hold you.  We would rock to our own song.  The song of sleep and full moons.  Your baby body giving way to fullness and slumber.  You would sigh and suck on your paci.  Squish, squish, squish in my ear while we rocked to our song.  We fit together like a perfect puzzle.  You ready for sleep, me wanting to hold you just one more minute.  Then as gentle as the breeze I would lay you back down.  Squish, squish, sigh.  Goodnight kiss.

These were our little meetings Ellie.  Just me and you, some milk, some pacies, some moons.  Six months of our meetings have come and now gone.  You don't wake me up to meet in the early morning.  You sleep and sleep.  Part of me is so proud of you little girl.  This is a huge accomplishment.  You sleeping through the night.  But another part of me....  The crazy mama part of me that loves you more than life itself misses our midnight meetings.  See I don't have meetings with your brother anymore.  He is a 'big boy.'  He hasn't met me in the middle of the night in a long time.  I know that this too shall pass, and these moments will be just a memory and a blur.  I just wanted something to remember our goodnight kiss.  

So some pictures in an adorable bonnet and a dress that was mine as a girl were in order.  We needed to document your sweet face, and your crazy chubbiness.  I need to remember every inch of who you are at this moment.  Soak it all up, because you my dear are growing up.  

Happy Six Months My Sweet Ellie!!  Mama loves you more than milk and pacies, and for many moons to come!!


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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fall at Last

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Fall is right around the corner, and I can hardly stand it!  This has been a long and HOT summer here, and I am ready to pull on some jeans and wrap myself up in warm sweaters.  It is hard to believe I am saying that considering we had a horrible winter, with three large blizzards that practically shut down our area.  But I am ready for football, pumpkins, Halloween, and  long walks with a cool breeze.  As a fall kick off, we met our dear friends at the apple orchard last week.  We got there before the huge crowds hit, so the kids were able to find apples right on their level.  In years past we usually need a long pole to pull down apples from the top of the tree, but not this year! 

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A view from the looking tower...apple doughnuts, ice cream, peaches for sale.  What more could you ask for?

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Chloe and Bradley waiting for Larken and Amalie to arrive, come on guys!!

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The apple wagon!! Of course someone, who you know very well, had to be in charge of the wagon's direction and speed.  Bossy little guy, not sure where he got that from?

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On an apple hunt

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This one looks good mama!

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Or you can just pick them right off of the ground according to Amalie!

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Sweet girl




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 Chloe enjoying apples right off of the tree!

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Chloe and Greta

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Forever Friends