Year: 2017

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 …

God: Gets It

Wanna see what I’ve been doing today?? I post my raw photos here on the blog but the edited ones are on Instagram, if you want to hit me up (📸bleubirdmama). I’ll give you some anecdotes for these shots… First, this is by far the strangest thing I’m doing today:  I am pregnant with our third and I’m calling this the pregnancy of infections. I’ve had a touch of something unpleasant with each of them; all women experience their immune system being compromised in at least the first trimester. With Heidi I contracted the flu twice in one month’s time; with Everley I had strep throat; with this little person I’ve had a random fungus or some kind of infection in my big toe as well as a cyst become inflamed as well as random bouts of vomiting as well as a staph infection in my thumb. Uggggg. It’s not been a fun pregnancy thus far.  I went to see a podiatrist about my toe to find out if there was a way to kill …

Who’s :: There

I’ve been working my way through a Beth Moore Bible study titled Breaking Free. I chose to host a study group in my home this year, because I knew my availability as a stay-at-home mother would be limited; and I also wanted to invite anyone in my community to share & fellowship. Despite having good reasons for it, I was also hesitant & apprehensive. I thought, “Break free? Do I even want to know what this sort of study will entail? I think I just want to stay in my corner of grief & sadness. I don’t think I can ever break free from the fact that my firstborn daughter died in my arms.” So, in case you think I’m a goody-goody Christian girl, think again. I’ll tell you the truth before you read the rest of this post- I haven’t broken free from my pain & suffering. I’ve actually come to accept it and live with it and see God there with me in it. I think sometimes that’s all those of us who …

Parenting: Tips & Tricks

I’ve been thinking this morning about some of the tips & tricks of parenting that were modeled & taught to me the years before I became a parent. I’m no expert on parenting, obviously, being at the beginning of my journey. But I appreciate those who’ve shared their stories of trials, failures & triumphs with me. I try to think of the bigger picture and life principles as I build into my family. I’m surely not always good at that. But hey, what else can you do as a parent than put your best foot forward?  My mom (one of my many role-models) is in her 70s and, boy, does she have some pearls of wisdom (raised three boys and a girl, how could she not!). She’s one of those that’s made herself a student of life, and when we were kids she made herself a student of early childhood development. In my opinion, that’s a subject she’s well-versed in and can share a good deal of wisdom about. Something simple she taught me concerning …

Home :: Remedies

I’ve had the most productive sick day. And I don’t mean productive like most days, running around with errands and emails and checkups and deadlines. I mean, productively and proactively working with my body to fight the virus. It felt so good to stop everything and focus on my body’s needs, and I admit I was quite proud of myself for researching home remedies and concocting what I needed.  Saturday morning I hit the road with the Little Person to visit some good friends of ours with the intention of attending my other friend’s surprise 30th birthday party. But on the way there I felt a head cold coming on, which I tried my best to hope & pray away. It didn’t work. By that evening, I had to ask my friends for a decongestant and put myself to bed by 8pm. The next morning I packed up and headed back home. TLP was immune to my illness and delighted to have older kids dote on her and play dollhouse.  I arrived home groggy but …