Sharing

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Alice and her Papa ❤

Today is our last full day in Ohio.

I’ve been visiting my family for the past week while Tom has been managing some house projects back in Oregon. This is the longest Tom and I have been apart since we got married ~ it’s been hard being away from him for so long. Alice and I both miss him so much!

During our visit I have been able to share Anna and Abigail’s love story and Love Rocks at a number of local schools and it’s been such a blessing. Being in Ohio without my girls is always so hard on my heart ~ the girls loved visiting with family.  Sharing my girls’ love story is how I mother them through our distance and this week I’ve done lots and lots of mothering ~ my heart is full.

Today is my first post over at Portland Moms Blog so if you feel moved to check it out click here <3.

 

Happiness Journal

 

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This little girl LOVES her baby so much and that makes my heart happy today.

This morning I found her in the “apartment” talking to her little one about all sorts of things. When I asked what she was doing she looked up at me with a huge smile and carried on with out missing a beat.

I started cleaning up her room a bit and she came out holding Anna’s baby sling in one hand and her baby in the other. I put it on her when her baby first arrived but she wasn’t sure what to think. Today was different, she wanted to carry her baby close.

I can’t tell you how happy this makes my heart. Watching my littlest girl nurture her baby in such a loving way. We sat on the floor and I told her what a good mama she was. She rocked back and forth, padded her babies bottom and then stood up.

“What now Miss Alice?”

She ripped off the sling (with baby inside), threw it in the floor (with baby inside) and started playing with her books.

I picked up her baby, pulled her out of the sling and let her know that her mama loved her very much.

Crossroads

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Two weeks ago I sat here staring at a blank post, wanting desperately for the time I needed to write. I didn’t want to think about how long my little one would be napping or whether I should be checking things off my to do list. What I wanted more than anything was to connect with my grief and longing in the way I used to. I wanted to sit and wait for the words to come without trying to force the words out because I was pressed for time. My heart felt extremely overwhelmed.

Since the girls went to Heaven I have used this space as a way to connect with our memories as a family, share my heart through my grief and also share how, even in the deepest of suffering, my faith in God has allowed me to have joy. Through this space I have connected with so many people who have broken hearts just like mine, and I have always felt that sharing our story of love, hope and faith is something I should do for the rest of my days. God gives me peace each morning and I feel compelled to share that peace with others.

In the past couple of months I have also been feeling a nudge to share more of myself and my journey as a mom of a little one. Again, I have struggled finding the time to write and figure out how to merge both my present and my past together in words.

Two weeks ago as I sat staring at a blank post I came to a crossroads: do I stop writing in this space and ask God for peace in that decision or ask God to show me what I need to do to continue to write and share our journey, which now includes life with a little one?

I sat and prayed.

Later that same day, not expecting an answer so quickly, I saw a post by a friend of mine. She is a managing editor of a blog that is looking for new contributors.  Portland Moms Blog is a space to foster and support the community by connecting Portland-area moms to information and parenting perspectives unique to the city and region. Basically it is a collection of moms writing about mothering from their own unique and diverse perspectives, all living in the Portland metro area.

I sent a message to my friend asking if she felt it was something I could do. Her response was, “OMG, you SHOULD!!!”

Later that night the fear and anxiety of not being a good enough writer started to take space in my thoughts. I started to question how I would have time as a scheduled contributor when I didn’t have time to write on my own time for my own blog. I started to doubt and let that fear of the unknown make my decision for me.

Then it hit me. This wasn’t my decision at all. I had asked God for guidance and He was giving it to me. I just needed to trust that the door He was opening and be obedient. That is when the peace came and I thought about the mom that is out there suffering in the same way that I suffer. The mom, like me, that couldn’t relate to a mom’s blog because “those moms” still had all their babies. It became so clear to me that our story of grief is not the only story of grief in this area and that in writing in this new space I can give grieving moms a voice.

In trusting Him I know that I will also be able to find the time, find the words and share my story in a way that honors, not only my mothering, but the many other woman that mother through a broken heart as well.

Today I am honored to say that I am now a contributor to the Portland Moms Blog. I have no idea where this new venture will lead me but I do know that it is an answer to prayer.

Last Sunday there was a gathering of the contributors and leadership team of PMB. As I sat amongst these woman I couldn’t help but be grateful for the opportunity to not only meet them but also share stories of mothering with them <3.

Anna’s President

Anna was two years old when President Obama took office. I remember sitting watching the inauguration with her thinking that she would grow up with Obama as her president. I was pleased with this fact because I knew he was good man, good father and was someone who was going to run our country with integrity.  I also was proud to know that with my vote, along with many others in our country, the first African-American president was elected.

I’m sure, like many, I was emotional watching his very first speech that day and found myself chanting, “yes we can” and dancing around the room with Anna. I knew in my heart that positive change was on the horizon for our country and it felt so good.

A couple of months later, after spending a day with her dad, Anna returned home with a new baby under her arm. Her granny had found it for her and Anna was smitten with her new addition. We sat that afternoon talking about her little one and, as I did with all of her dolls, I asked her what her baby’s name was.

She looked at me with proud mama eyes and then shouted, “Baby Obama.”

I smiled, gave little Baby Obama a kiss on the forehead and welcomed him into our family.

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Anna and Baby Obama

 

I have an unsettling feeling in my gut this week. You know, the one you get when something really good is about to end. I’m not going claim that I know everything about politics or that every decision President Obama made while in office was perfect, he wouldn’t even claim that.  What I will say is, as a mother, I am proud that Barack Obama was my daughter’s president, a man who did lead our country with integrity.  This statement holds a lot a weight in my heart because he is the only president she ever knew.

On Friday night I think I may hold onto Baby Obama and his Aunt Alice for a while and daydream about the day Anna and I danced around our family room singing “yes we can.”  So mI will also continue to believe in the power of love and hold onto the hope that President Obama talked so eloquently about last week during his last speech to our nation.

President Obama was not only Anna’s president but he was mine and he and his wife will forever be role models for me as a parent and as an American.

I’m praying for our country and it’s leadership.

An Extra Day

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On days like today, a snow day in our town, I can’t help but think of how excited we all would be to have an extra day. The girls would no doubt complain at some point that they were bored and I’m sure I too would go a bit stir crazy but we would have a day together ~ something that for more than 3 years I have only been able to long for.

I wrote this on Dec. 12, 2013 ~ nothing has changed.

I miss my girls and I am still finding refuge under His wings ❤

I Miss…

~ playing games with the girls at night; Uno, Jungle Speed, Wig Out, 1313 Dead End Drive and our new favorite The Game of Life.

~ snuggling with Anna in the morning.

~ telling the girls to stop fighting.

~ hearing about Abigail’s day at school.

~ playing Cafe with Anna…I would cook dinner and she would belly up to the bar with her babies and pretend she was at a Cafe.

~ Anna asking for a bednight snack.

~ Abigail asking questions about whether 6th grade was a good time to have a boyfriend.

~ laying in Anna’s bed while she brushed her teeth and danced around her room.

~ kissing Abigail goodnight and having her grab and pull me into bed with her.

~ Anna so intently watching Tom shave.

~ telling the girls I don’t have enough energy to play lava monster at 7:30 pm and having Abigail give me a hard time. (I’m not a night person)

~ giving Abigail a hard time at 7:30 am when she was grumpy and didn’t want to dance around with me. (She’s not a morning person)

~ that we understood this about one another but still gave each other a hard time anyway.

~ how my girls made me want to be the best parent I could be.

~ having kids play hide and go seek in our house. Many times trying to find Abigail because she knew all the good hiding spots.

~ having Ozilline knock at the door around 5:30 to ask for a play date and then hearing Taylor Swift blasting from upstairs 5 minutes after her arrival.

~ the girls asking to go get ice cream, over and over and over again.

~ Anna holding my hand.

~ Abigail asking if her hair looked stupid or was sticking up on the sides. It always looked fabulous.

~ dropping Abigail off at school and rolling down the window just as she was 5ft from the car and Anna and I screaming, “I love you Abigail.”

~ the look she gave us when we did that.

~ new artful creations emerging from the studio.

~ hearing Abigail and Tom talking in her bedroom.

~ monkey bars in the morning before school.

~ relentless request for sleep overs with friends.

~ the excitement that filled the house when Emily and Ben were coming for the weekend.

~ seeing Anna at recess and having her kiss and hug me a hundred times.

~ watching Anna ride Tiva.

~ having Abigail show me all her new Tap moves.

~ hanging out at the dance studio watching Anna in her tap class.

~ the smile she gave me when her eyes met and she knew I was watching.

~ listening to Anna care and nurture Baby Mary every single day!

~ hearing the loud music coming from Abigail’s room, even when the door was shut.

~ picking Anna up from her dad and listening to stories about her weekend away.

~ watching Tom dance with my girls.

~ elaborate dance productions in the family room staring my girls.

~ looking through the American Girl Doll catalog with Anna while snuggling up in the big red chair.

~ the excitement of finding Joey Francisco, our elf, each morning in December.

~ thinking about their future.

~ Anna giving me the “I Love You” sign as she drove away with her dad for their weekend together.

~ watching Anna lift Sampson’s back-end up so he could stand up.

~ sitting at the table and eating dinner as a family.

~ asking Anna to stay in her seat while eating dinner as a family.

~ talking/fighting with Abigail to do her reading.

~ being amazed that even when Abigail loved her book she would only read for exactly 30 min.

~ listening to the excitement in Anna’s voice because she was finally learning how to read.

~ listening to Abigail’s plans for her future.

~ listening to Anna’s plans for the future.

~ planning birthday parties with lots of surprises.

~ hugging Abigail and having her squeeze me really tight.

~ hearing Anna shout from the shower, “Mama where are you?”

~ hearing “Mama.”

~ planning family adventures.

~ finding our journal under my pillow and reading Abigail’s latest entry.

~ writing an entry back and telling her how proud I am of her.

~ talking about and then writing down 3 things that made Anna happy each day before she went to bed. Looking at her drawings of those 3 things the next morning.

~ watching Wonder Kratts and Curious George before school with Anna.

~ movie nights snuggled on the couch.

~ asking the girls to pick up their shoes.

~ paying out allowance.

~ listening to the girls plan for their allowance.

~ laughter.

~ watching Anna continuously move throughout the house every single night.

~ Abigail’s sweet singing voice.

~ Anna singing “We are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” by Taylor Swift at the top of her lungs.

~ finding love notes on my night stand.

~ my girls, I REALLY miss my girls.

This list can go on and on. I pray for continued peace and know that I will spend eternity with my girls. Until then, I will miss them terribly and will cherish the life I had here on earth with them. Under His wings I will find refuge. I am forever grateful His grace and for the time I had with my girls.

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