Category Archives: memories

Holding Friends Close Again Today

I can’t imagine the loss of a child, at any age.  Before birth, as a baby, young child or even as a grown adult.  My heart breaks for every parent who outlives their child.

Today is again a memorial day for friends who said good bye too early.

I remember hearing from your mom that she was expecting, working on a cross stitch blanket for you, going to your baby shower, meeting you at a few months old, hearing and reading your parents journey of, first and foremost, loving you, seeing you struggle and ultimately having to say good bye. 

I am honored to have been close to your parents in the excrutiating weeks toward the end.  I thank the Lord for allowing me to walk this journey with your parents.

Know dear one, you are loved and missed, beyond words.

Again, please love on those in your life who have loved and lost a child whether through miscarriage, stillbirth, illness or tragedy.

It is Fall!!!! And we welcomed it at Yates Cider Mill

Hubby and I have been going to Yates Cider Mill since we were dating.   It is not really big, it is just the right size and it has a wonderful river you can sit by and walk along.

We enjoy taking the girls there each year (seems like there are more of them every time we go!).

Just had to share this one again!

*Please go over and see how you can pray for Ali and her family.

What I Wish for My Children

When each of my girls was born, as soon as they put the baby on my chest or, in Patrice’s case, after being cleared by the doctor, I said to them, “We love you and we pray you come to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior very young.  That’s all that matters.” 

And it is as true now, 5 years and 1 month since the first was born, as it was during those first moments.

I pray every morning “I pray you come to know Jesus very young and never let go, hang on to that forever.”

But I also have other wishes and hopes for them.

I hope they will grow up to meet a man who loves and cherishes them, and that they have lovely families (my husband and children are the greatest joys of my life).  I hope they find their calling in this world, be that full-time ministry, stay-at-home mom or out in the career arena.

In the area of friendship, I hope they find friends like I have, those you don’t have to see or talk to every day to have an amazing support team, those friends who will share the minutae of life, face-to-face friends and social media friends. 

I hope they grow up comfortable in their own skin.  I hope hubby and I do not project our hang-ups or fears on them.  I hope we encourage and help them to spread their wings and find their own way.

And oh what an adventure it will be watching them get there.  The adventure it already is…

Seeing Caitlyn head off to school, Sue adjust to being the big girl in the family when sissy is gone and watching Patrice smile and laugh her way toward toddlerhood…so much to see and do, and this is only the beginning for all of us!

*all pictures from Caitlyn’s first day of school.

What do you wish for your kids?  Link up at Life with Levi.

Also linking at Some Girls Website

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Just a Couple Days Ago…

 This was just a couple days ago, right?  It was just a couple days ago we had our first daughter, right?

 Our first bloody peek?  Tell me it was, please tell me it was just a few days ago…
No, you won’t comfort this mama with a lie?  You’re going to make me face it, face the truth that a few days ago we did this…

 We headed to our first day of Kindergarten on Tuesday, September 6…

 Honest to goodness…my first baby went to Kindergarten this week…

Look at her.  Isn’t she amazing?  She is doing so well in school.  She is learning the ropes.  She is coming home with new ideas every day.  She is making new friends.  Today she told me, “I made 4 new friends.”  “What are their names?”  “I don’t know.”  Ahhh, this might be why childhood seems simpler, no concern with the extra details, like names. 

This has been a challenging week for mama.  Today, for the first time Caitlyn cried when I dropped her off for school.  Sobbed really.  Sobbed til there was snot running down her nose.  I know, I know, she was done before I even got out of the school, but it was still hard.  I realized that for the first time in her life, since those pictures taken above, that I could not check on her to make sure she was okay.  She was in a completely different world…one I can’t shape or control. 

Since the moment those pictures above were taken, I have been haunted by the thought that my job, from that moment, was to raise her to leave me.  From that moment, the midwife and nurses needed her, her daddy could now share in her.  I cried daily for the first 5 months of her life that she was growing up so much.  Hey, I did, just being honest here.  Before I even went back to work, I hyperventilated in Target because my baby was growing up.  Yeah, I’m kind of a sap.

Well, this week was the first time I really had to let her out of my control.  We have always chosen our daycare very carefully so that we would have as much control as possible.  And minimized the time our kids were away from us, but now, we are in a new realm.  Someone else has decided how much of the day she is away from us, they are teaching her new things, and while we are involved, we are more support staff. 

I’m not sure I like it, well I’m pretty sure I don’t.  But at the same time, I like watching her learn.  I love seeing her come home excited over the new things she is seeing and doing.  I loved seeing her owl picture she colored on the first day.  And the book she colored and put together today.  And the air of independence she is getting.  It is amazing.

So, as I have been many times since that first picture was taken, I am a conflicted ball of thoughts and feelings.  And while it’s not exactly comfortable, it is where we are, so, for now, it will have to be Enough.

Going to the Fair for Try Something New Thursday

Going to the Fair, Going to the Fair, Going to the Northwest Michigan Fair is part of the jingle from the fair ads near where I grew up.  We as a family are not in that area, but I did recently find our local county fair.  Last Saturday my friend and I loaded up some of our kids and headed to the Oakland County Fair.
It was warm, very warm, but that didn’t stop us from having fun (though my camera battery dying stopped me from capturing all the fun).

We checked out the sewing, photography and art projects of some of the 4-H groups.  I tried to explain how mommy was in 4-H as a kid and did those types of projects.  My kids ignored me.  I think they are already practicing blocking out the “when I was a kid…” stories from my hubby and I.  Sigh.

Then we headed to the farmer for a day play area.

That is field corn they are playing

Great sand alternative if you ask me!

Patrice in her camo outfit 🙂

Then we headed to a circus.  We saw elephants, tigers and lions.  They had girls up on ropes doing tricks.  We checked out the miracle of life barn.  There were little chicks hatching, baby cows and lots of baby piglets.  It was lunch time for the piglets when we were there.  It was pretty funny watching the piglets eating in double layers, literally one on top of the other.  They were kicking their legs and wiggling around.  Kind of like Patrice does when she is really hungry and wants to nurse.  Yes, I did just compare my baby to a piglet.  It is what it is…

We also learned about animals from Farmer John’s show.  And afterward, the girls got to feed some of the animals.

And…then…it…was…time…for…the…rides…!!!!!!!!

Sue was just barely, with shoes on, tall enough to go on any, a total of 4 without an adult.  So I got an arm band too.  I haven’t been on rides since my hubby and I were on our honeymoon at Disney World.  But, you will be glad to know, I survived.  With only minor injuries.  Yes, with injuries.  The fun house, wasn’t my idea of fun.  It started with a mirror maze.  Sue knew exactly how to get through it.  Good thing, I think I’d still be stuck in it.  Then there was a wall of fun mirrors…fun, yeah, right.  Each one made you shorter and fatter…just what I was looking for at 4 foot 9 inches tall and still carrying around baby weight.  And then there was the slide.  It was as tall as the building.  Twisty and metal.  It took us girls a few minutes to gather up our courage to go down it.  I considered going back through the mirrors, but oh, did I really want to see myself that fat and short again?!  So, down we went.  The older girls did great.  Sue was a little scared.  She went down basically on my lap.  And then came the injuries.  I scraped my elbow in two places, my knee in a place or two and burned my hand.  Graceful, that’s me.

But that was just a blip in an otherwise perfect day!  It really was spectacular.  All of the girls were so good.  My friend and I got to share great memories as mommies with each other and our kids.  Perfect day I tell ya.  Perfect.

*I’ll try to get back later to add the linky info.  Now?  I have to get ready for work!

Grateful on this 5 Minute Friday

As I mentioned, yesterday was 7 years since my dad died in a car accident.  Even as I type those words, I fight to believe them.  It does not seem like it is possible my strong, healthy, funny dad is gone.  It does not seem possible that he was not at my wedding and has not met any of my children.

I have a lot of regrets over some lost time with my dad.  There was some time after college where we were quite far apart on several issues.  It made conversation hard.  I didn’t know how to work through the issues, so I let the 4 hours that separated us be a safe barrier between us.  I know why, and my reasons were valid, but I regret it, nonetheless.

But this is not about regret, it is about being grateful.  And I am extremely grateful for a conversation I had with my dad exactly 2 weeks before he died.

I had just gotten engaged to the amazing man I now call my hubby.  It was a dream come true.  And we were making the rounds telling people.  I was looking forward to telling my dad.

So I called him one morning on my way to work.  I had gotten up very early and was headed into work about 5:30.  My dad was also an early riser.  Always had been.  I thought he was nuts.  So that Wednesday morning, I called him to tell him just that!  “Dad, I still think your nuts be here I am almost to work too.” 

We talked about the engagement, the beginnings of our wedding plans and a few other things I don’t quite remember.  But what I do remember is that I hung up the phone feeling very healed.  Like things were much better between us

Just two weeks later he was gone, and I was left with my regrets, but also with that one call.  That healing call.  And for that I am eternally grateful.

That is my 5 minutes writing about what I am grateful.  Won’t you join the fun?

The Gypsy Mama hosts this blog party every Friday.  She gives a topic for us to write on for 5 minutes, with no editing and no worrying about perfection.  In return, she asks we link up and comment on the person’s post linked up before us.  It is a great way to cap the busy work week!  Head on over

Hunting and a Rememberance for Try Something New Thursday

At his 40th birthday party, July 1991

My daddy left this world in a car accident 7 years ago today.  I thought about not doing Try Something New Thursday and instead doing a post about my dad like I did last year. But I got to thinking about what my daddy would like.  He wasn’t big into funerals, had actually said many times he didn’t want one (I am so glad we had one for him, it was a chance for so many people to say good bye) and he said we should continue to live our lives.  And we have.  Since he died, I have gotten married and had three little girls.  And we live, we surely do.

The more I thought about it, and the post I was thinking about for today’s Try Something New Thursday, I decided this post was a great way to remember my dad!

Last week, the dog was barking non-stop before us girls left for the day.  I couldn’t get out there, so Caitlyn said she would go yell at him.  She did, he kept barking.  So she said, “I’ll go yell at him louder.”  So she did.  Then a blur came running toward me.  “Mama, there is a aminal out there.  It’s behind the plant daddy got you.  It’s big and fat and brown and it’s going like this ‘tsk, tsk, tsk.”  So I ventured out a little bit.  I heard it’s noise.  That was enough for me.  I went back in the house.  We got ready and left for daycare and work.

I told daddy about it on the phone “I’m guessing it is gone, but could you check before you let the girls outside to play?”  I also gave him Caitlyn’s description.  He and a co-worker spent time that afternoon trying to figure out what it was.  Then daddy and Caitlyn looked on-line at pictures.  We think it was a groundhog, but we don’t know for sure.  But not for lack of trying…

That’s right, for Try Something New Thursday, we put out two live traps, one near where the groundhog was seen and one in the garden.  We haven’t caught anything yet, so maybe the dog scared it away, but just in case, we are prepared!!!

Have you tried something new, or have someone to remember? Link up and share.

A New Campground for Try Something New Thursday

We recently tried our second camping trip as a family.  It was a little, okay a lot, wet.  But a fun time was had by all.  So, if it was our 2nd trip, how does it qualify for Try Something New Thursday, you ask?  We were at a new campground!

We didn’t want to go far from home, but wanted to be able to enjoy the out of doors, so we headed to Attica, Michigan (Yeah, I had never heard of it either).  It is near Lapeer, Michigan. 

Attica Pines Campground is run by a family and is very family friendly!  It was a great experience.

There was beautiful lake/pond that the girls fished in.  They each caught one fish!

We explored two play areas.

Huge dirt and rock piles for climbing…Do you know how dirty two little girls can get with muddy piles to slide down?

We had bonfires and collected sticks for the fires.

We played tether ball, took hikes and had lots of fun.  You should check out Attica Pines Campground!  It is a great family get away!

Now share what you have tried new lately?

Camping with Three Little Girls for Try Something New Thursday

As you likely know, last week Blogger was having some trouble and it was impossible to post on Thursday, so this is a week late…

For Mother’s Day we tried something very new.  We went camping with our three little girls.  It was great.  The weather was perfect.  The drive to and from went well.  I got to visit several college friends.  I did a 5k race and accomplished my best time ever.  It was a success!

What have you tried new? Won’t you link up and share?

Kindergarten, The Red Dress Club Style

I have been seeing the twitter tag #trdc on another bloggers tweets for weeks and finally asked what it was.  It is a blog of a group of ladies who generate ideas, write and link up together.  What a great idea.  Who couldn’t sometimes use a thought starter for blogging???  So here I am, at the jumping off point to delve into my memories about kindergarten.

I remember I had the same teacher as preschool, Miss Brush.  I adored her.  She had dark brown or black hair.  And she was so sweet.  I remember playing with wooden blocks.  And having little wooden cubbies that stuff went into.  I cannot, for the life of me, remember if that is where we stored our stuff or if that is where toys went…

I remember learning to read.  My mom says I was reading at age 3.  I don’t remember that.  But when I was in kindergarten, the eye doctor decided my right eye was lazy.  So, I had to wear a patch over my eye every day.  It wasn’t like the cloth patches they have now for kids.  It was like putting a big band aid over that eye every day.  It even smelled like a band aid.  And it stuck like a band aid.  I dreaded having my mom take it off every night.  It pulled at my skin and hurt.  But it gave me one thing, the memory of learning to read.

You see, I do not have a lazy eye.  I have an eye that cannot follow letters and numbers to read.  With each glance or blink, the optic movements change and I see something different than I did with the last look.  This jumping makes it just about impossible for that eye to “read”.  It basically sees fuzzy shapes and colors.

And there were lots of those in my kindergarten classroom.  Some of those shapes and colors were exactly that, shapes and colors.  Miss Brush had big squares with the color names on them that hung from the ceiling.  One of those had a red border and said the word Red.  And one day I worked with that one crazy, not lazy, eye and it put together those three letters, R E D, and I got red.  I remember going home and being so excited, I read the word red.  I remember telling my mom and she was so proud.  Though I think a little sad because I had to work so hard at something I had previously done before the doctor took away my glasses.  But I didn’t have any of that sadness, I had only excitement, I Read!

What do you remember?  What could you write for RemembeRED?