Year: 2017

Little Bear :: Birth Story

Part 1: I rediscovered these pictures taken by my husband just a few hours after our son’s home birth. There’s more to the story, but the gist here is that Gatlin (Little Bear) was born very fast- like lightening speed fast- and as a result had a hard time waking up to his new surroundings… My Midwife wanted to see him nurse, but he wasn’t giving that sort of enthusiastic response, so she called our pediatrician and discussed over the phone how to proceed. They decided together to have him further evaluated at the local hospital… Our pediatrician has been so good to our family since the loss of our Heidi. He understands us very well and is always encouraging. He met my husband and Midwife at the hospital and discussed the lab results with the ER doc; in the end, our pediatrician said with a twinkle in his eye, “Well, he could stay here over night, but none of you can nurse him! Best for him to be home where he belongs.”  Two great …

Heidi: Third Birthday

I remember a friend of mine who’s son passed away of SIDS, as well, twelve years prior told me that some years you let yourself remember and reflect and rejoice in that precious child’s life; and other times you don’t do all those things and that’s okay, too. It was their first child -Jackson was his name- and with their other children they wanted to always celebrate Jackson’s birthday with cake and balloons, the typical party paraphernalia for any age. But she told me that some years there was too much weight, too much grief in the days leading up to Jackson’s new number. She’d remind me, “And that’s okay, you know? Grief is like the ocean tide- it comes and it goes, it’s subtle and it’s overwhelming.”  I wasn’t sure how I’d handle Heidi’s third birthday this year. But I decided that I needed to celebrate her. I made a rainbow cake and added skittles for humor since she was born the day after Halloween; my parents brought balloons and flowers and a card …

Steel :: Magnolias

When I first moved to this area five years ago, I knew a couple people but had no history connected to this city in the mountains. Everything was new. My husband and I slowly built friendships with folks in our church community. But then our Heidi suddenly died, and we suddenly had a flock of friends supporting us and carrying us through and knowing us more intimately than anyone ever had… Out of that came my very own Steel Magnolias. Women of a different season and of different experiences who became my safe place, my home away from home, voices of truth, steady and assuring companions.  Now and then we take a retreat together or we meet for coffee or we fellowship in a living room for an afternoon. Today we sat around the dining table with lumps of clay, building and creating while sharing our lives together. What special people I’ve been given the privilege of knowing 💙 What sorts of intergenerational relationships do you have? What kinds of activities do you share with …

Picture: a day

I’m going to be trying a new thing here on my blog- Posting a picture a day with a few thoughts attached to it. I’ve used my Facebook blog-page as a “sounding board” or “launch pad” for some topics that I’d like to write more about. But I really love my little blog -it started out like a craft project for me or like a collage of pictures and artwork from my home- and I want to continue using this place for most of my writing. The reality at this stage of my life with such young children is that I rarely have time to put two thoughts together much less finish a sentence. Some of you readers know of this dilemma 😉 So I’m going to attempt sharing simple thoughts and perspective from little snapshots in my part of the world. I hope you’ll tune in next time as I journal along this journey of having a family, living with grief, learning from God, and throwing with clay… all while renovating an old farmhouse …

Picture: of Grief

It’s a darling photo of a darling family. It would seem that simple. But it’s not.  Something I combat as a grieving mother (yes, grief is an ongoing process) is envy or pride or something like that. When I see pictures of other happy people in their happy place….. and know that they’ve never experienced tremendous pain or loss or heartache and that their life really is just about that simple….. I scroll past the picture.  Because when I look at my pictures I see people who came to a place of tender comfort from the trenches of battle. I see faces that smile though they were sullen, sore saddened shoulders that have been raised upright again, arms that envelop two precious lives… and ache for the other precious child. I see people who have suffered and wept and torn their hearts out and bloody beat the ground with woeful words to God. I see people who have a story that’s dug deep & long gnarled roots into the ground of God’s truth in order …

Happy Birthday, Sugar

Oh, Sugar. Oh, Honey-Bunches-of-Oats. You’ve been the cream in my coffee all year long. What a delightful year it was.  Your one year birthday celebration was a smash hit with about 60 people here to commemorate your special life and to rejoice in God’s good gifts to this family. All are smitten with you- your infectious smile and almond shaped eyes and thick eyebrows and rosy cheeks and endearing little voice.  At your birthday last year you were just a crawler and the “Nap Queen,” so your jammies say. Truly, you were delightful every day with your amiable disposition, fascination with the world around you, satisfied little laugh, and seemingly perceptive sense of humor.  After your birthday bash, you and I had a quiet month of September at home, attending story hour at the library, baking goodies, making friends. Then we had a whirlwind of October on our trip to Aunti Gina’s in Newport Beach followed by a two week separation for the anniversary HI trip when you stayed home with GaGa & Mongie (as …

Dear :: Son

Happy due date, Dear Son.  You’ve been given it to your Mama easy, Bud, and I gotta thank you for it. You’re my first “normal” baby- your sisters both had traumatic events, whether leaving or entering, and so far with you it’s been a nice flow and fairly predictable. You’re a quiet little fella who doesn’t cry much or for long and you seem pretty content hanging by yourself when you need to. It’s probably tougher being an infant than most of us think, considering you can’t do anything for yourself. I imagine that when you fuss and hear me whisper in your ear, “It’s okay, Bud. Mama’s got you” that you relax and know you’re cared for; I imagine that when I scoop you up and hold you close that you feel safe and understood; I imagine that when I wipe your bum and then finish the job with kisses on your cheeks and gentle words that you know all is done in love and that the unpleasant things aren’t a threat; I imagine …

Safe :: Haven

I sometimes wonder what people think when they see my IG feed or my FB feed- these beautiful snapshots of our life at Bluebird Haven. Do they think we just have it made? That we’re so lucky? That our situation in life is enviable?  It all looks idyllic, as someone once told me.  But how we got here isn’t idyllic.  Let me tell you what I see when I survey this place we call home. I see grace upon grace upon grace.  God brought us to this place as though we were war-torn refugees. We had no home at the time and the place we’d been calling home held the stench of death. We had been living in a rental, a sweet little gingerbread style house, in a rather idyllic town that was much like Mayberry. But Death came like a thief in the night to our cozy home and ripped our hearts out of our chests. We were a bloody tortured mess. I remember my husband trying to literally tear apart the deck posts …

from Thin :: to Fat

This is one of those awkward times in life. I look in the mirror and I wonder, “Who’s that??” I’ve always been tall and thin, classic with a bit of flare, fair skinned and peachy, unwilling to be a model or make too much of my looks. But being pregnant with my third in three years has changed my physique so much that I’m like, “Whoa. I look fat. I never ever thought I would look like this.” Some of you are like, “Welcome to the club, sister. It’s called womanhood.”Okay, yes, I agree with you. I find myself pep-talking. “It is a privilege to be pregnant. It’s a privilege to carry this son of ours. It’s okay to go through changes. It’s okay to feel different. Life is full of flux. This is one stage of many fluctuating parts of life. Just roll with it.” (pun intended) I look at pictures of myself from just nine months ago when my husband and I had the delightful fourth anniversary trip to Hawaii. Where did that …

Why :: Write

I had a recent conversation with someone I love & respect, and in this conversation I was being prodded and challenged to consider why I write what I write. I was taken aback that my loved one didn’t understand the backbone of my writings. It was jarring to me and I’ve taken a backseat to think things through. Why DO I blog? What am I trying to convey to readers? What do I care about in my own life? Why do I verbalize the raw parts of my life? So, I’ll share my journal notes to myself about why I blog and then you can comment about what you think of it. How’s that? Discussion is good. Feedback is good. Sometimes I feel like I’m just blogging out into the void, but then some of you write to me privately about your own stories and your own inspirations. That means a lot to me. I think that most of the time I write for therapeutic reasons and as a form of artistic outlet, but I …