Warming Up

I would wake up first usually.

With the three-hour time difference we were late to bed, late to rise girls when we traveled back East ~ opposite of the way we lived our lives back home.

I would sneak out of my childhood bed, that I loved sharing with Anna during our visits, and go downstairs for a cup of coffee, for some reason it was always better at my parents house.

She would wake up, realize I wasn’t there anymore and come snuggle on my lap, burying her head in my chest. I was proud of her, my beautiful daughter. She was kind, sweet and so loving.

By the third day of our visit it was no longer my lap she would cuddle up in but rather Nana’s, it always took her a few days to totally warm up after being apart for so long. Warming up in new surroundings was her norm, always staying by her mama’s side until she was comfortable. I wasn’t worried, just proud that she knew what she needed.

This morning as my nieces and nephew came down from their nights rest they climbed into their parent’s laps.

I miss my girl.

In Oregon I’ve had 10 months of my new norm, and the expectation of hearing footsteps running down the stairs and feeling my little one curl up with me is no longer there. I’ve created a new norm of kissing my girls pictures each night before I go to bed, thanking God for taking care of them one more day while we are apart and holding Anna’s blanket tight when the reality of my life hits me in the morning.

This morning, for some reason, I wanted so desperately for my girl to come running down the steps alongside her cousins and curl up in my lap.

I wanted to feel her sleepy head on my chest and squeeze her tight as we snuggled, both trying to adjust to the three-hour difference. This morning I needed my girl close so I could warm up to my new norm, a norm I don’t want but have no choice in settling into.

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Happiness Journal

It was on my mind before I ever held Anna in my arms for the first time. I wasn’t sure how I was going to manage it, I had seen it done but there was usually a second person to help, a husband or partner in crime.

What if I had to go the bathroom?

My younger brother was getting married 2 months to the day after Anna’s arrival. Anna and I were going to Ohio for the first time together, just Anna and I.

I remember waking up in the morning before our flight out, taking a deep breath, saying a very long prayer for safe, peaceful travel with my girl and checking to make sure I had all of my bases covered.

I was prepared and ready for anything that could possibly happen.

That was our first trip together and probably the easiest as she sleep almost the entire time. She was two months old and we had the perfect rhythm together, we were going to travel the world someday.

Yesterday was my first trip to my parents house without my girl.

I armed myself with lots to do and focus on, so that the sadness of her absence didn’t overwhelm me. Books, my husband and a bag of Love Rocks kept my mind busy as I ventured outside of my comfort zone ~ a place I often avoid, preferring to stay close to my house and the girls’ tree.

There were so many trips together to visit family. We had so much fun traveling and as we landed I couldn’t help but remember how excited she would get as we got closer to our destination.

As we landed I closed my eyes and envisioned her standing in the seat next to me, “We are in Ohio and I’m going to see Nana and Papa,” she would yell to all the other passengers on the plane.

She was always so elated by this fact.

Through my sadness I smiled.

As I exited the plane I left a Love Rock on the seat for someone to find. They will not know the significance of that particular Love Rock, the gesture helped me focus on the love and joy of my girl, helping me to stay afloat so I could find my parents, who were waiting for us at baggage claim.

As we came down the escalator I could see my dad sitting waiting for us and another memory came rushing into consciousness, Anna’s first encounter with her papa.

It was after that first flight together and, like yesterday, my parents were waiting patiently for our arrival. Anna was a mama’s girl and I was nervous she would cry and not want to be held by her Nana and Papa. After our initial hugs and kisses I handed her to my mom, they both smiled. Then my mom turned her around to face my dad, I grabbed my camera.

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The bond that my daughter had with her Nana and Papa is what makes me happy today; looking at this photo helps me focus on the love and joy that she has given every one of us in her short life here on earth.

Yesterday when I got up I took a deep breath and I said a very long prayer for safe and peaceful travel without my girl. God granted me that peace and continues to provide me the reassurance that, even though my heart is broken, there is love and joy to be remembered and felt.

 

Peace Comes Through Loving

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What I have found more than anything else these last 4 months through making and sharing Love Rocks is that people want to share and receive love!!! There is so much going on in our world and I truly feel that peace will come through loving.

I have felt this first hand in my own life.

There is something about these little rocks with fabric hearts on them that make people smile, think and want to share. If all 9,000 plus people in the Love Rock community made one Love Rock and placed it in the world just think what would happen if that kept multiplying.

Could our news be filled with stories of love, hope and how people take care of one another despite their differences?

Let’s share Love Rocks all over the place; with teachers and school staff as your kids go back to school, with your kids as they go back to school, with community members as you go to the grocery store or local market, with neighbors, with other people’s neighbors, with people who make big decisions in this country, with someone you need to forgive or who has asked for forgiveness, with individuals or families you know are going through a rough time, with our countries homeless as you wait for the light to turn green…basically share Love and Joy everywhere you go.

I know my girls are in Heaven, along with so many others, smiling at all the love and joy being shared.

This Love Rock community can truly make a difference…don’t give up because LOVE ROCKS!!!

Will you spread Love and Joy today?

He’s Back

blue and purple tree

He’s back ~ Stanley is back making a new nest.

As Tom and I stood by the tree on Saturday remodeling, he came springing through the grass and looked up at us, startled at first and then I swear he winked as if saying, “Thanks for the new digs.”

I’m sure Stanley is used to our antics, probably wondering when we are going to use the pom-pom yarn again.

I’ve learned that we can share the tree. I provide him with a bright, cheerful and peaceful place to raise his family and he provides me with stories I can tell.

I’m looking forward for the infants to arrive ~ hoping it provides some distraction from the falling leaves.

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