Thursday, October 31, 2013

hallelujah harvest 2013

Hi there!

This year, Brayden got to be a part of our church's annual Hallelujah Harvest. He got a little roasty-toasty in his full lion costume, so the video you see at the party is him in a t-shirt and his costume pants. But the pictures that follow are in his full costume. He went trick or treating at our next door neighbors (just one house!).

He did like his costume. Super nice to have just pants and a zip up hoodie! When he showed his costume to people, he'd point to the lion on his head! So cute!

tuck is waiting for brayden to come back from trick-or-treating at the neighbors
coming in from the neighbors
super excited to eat the candy he picked out ... just waiting for mom to unwrap it!


this is really nummy...

yep, I bit off the paper and everything! 

so glad I found the candy bowl... 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

pregnancy update

Hi there!

As you can see, I wasn't joking. There is officially a baby in my tummy! Crazy! :-) S/he is kicking and rolling around and making his/her presence known... and yes, I am super excited we don't know what we are having! Something about not knowing until we meet the little kid makes me so happy. Yay!

25 weeks

This pregnancy is going the best out of all of them. I'm farther along than previously with no scares or concerns. This tells me two things: I have a better idea of what I can and can't do and I'm not as nervous this time around. I know in the back of my head that I did it before and I can do it again. I also have a much better picture of the end result. That propels me forward.

Don't get me wrong. This is still hard. It takes a crazy amount of guts and strength to do this again and both Erik and I have been like, Ahhhh, why are we putting ourselves through this again! Thankfully, though, this time, we remember and are still creating moments with Brayden that tucks the six months of limited activity and bedrest during his pregnancy in the far corners of our minds where they are almost unreachable. We know the same will eventually happen with number next.

During Bray's pregnancy, I had a week where I was doing limited amounts of things each day, but I did something out of the house every day. That created a minor scare that made me buckle down on bedrest so Brayden wouldn't come too early. This time, I am not repeating that. Although I have let myself go out of the house a couple times each week (with my doc's approval), I make sure I spend the next few days down doing nothing and when I'm out, I'm purposefully not walking long distances. And if my body tells me to rest or drink water or not stress or whatever, I try to comply. So the plan is that you will see me out and about to a limited degree until January when number next makes an appearance!

I have to give a shout out to all who have helped us and continue to help us! We have been extraordinarily blessed with family and friends who step up to the plate when we need help, and for that I am extremely grateful. And if you haven't yet helped but want to, you are probably on my list of people to call if I need anything--and trust me, having that list and knowing I can call you is a blessing I can't explain!

Bray and Erik have been troopers through all this. Erik is the lucky one because he gets to put Bray to bed every night and I think they have a male bonding thing going on now! I do my best to play with Bray on the floor or have him snuggle next to me and watch VeggieTales or have him crawl into his highchair and color with me. Creativity is key when your activity is limited!

One of his latest toys is the address label stickers that come from various companies in our junk mail. He loves sticking them on the sofa, on his shirt, on the chair, and then moving them some place else. I love watching his mind at work as he decided what he wants to do!

Well, that's about all for now. Thanks for your prayers. Number next will be here in 3-3.5 months! Yippee!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

four years.

Four years.

Every year that comes, I wonder how I will commemorate the day my big brother went home to be with Jesus. This year, when Oct. 1 came, I hadn't thought much about it, and then I started to write this blog... and then I cried.

Time's a tricky thing. I remember after Brian passed and I would hear about how time healed and watch people walk through the five and ten year anniversaries and not seem as emotional as in that first year or even first moments, which I didn't ever want to be like that... but I was wrong. I am learning that every year is just as emotional as the prior year, but it comes out in different ways. Every anniversary is a chance to remember and cry and reflect and wish it had never happened... and that's okay. It's okay to miss, it's okay to love, it's okay to wish they were still here. And I do.

The anniversary and his birthday and his wedding anniversary--those special days--are all days to remember and cry... and then most of the time, when I think of Brian, I smile or laugh or just remember and wish silently, but tears don't come because life has continued and time has healed. We've moved on in life, which seems callous to say, but it isn't and it is a good thing. Brian would never have wanted me or any of my family or his friends to get stuck in the past crying over him every thought of him. He'd want us to remember his smile, his laugh, and his love for the Lord.

Thanks for my best friend, I was reminded of this story yesterday. She dropped me a note to let me know she was thinking about my family this week and then told me her favorite Brian story... so here goes.

We were at a 50th anniversary party for my extended family. Brian and I and our family cousins were sitting at the end of a long table of people. You know, the long dinner tables that have like 20 people around them and bouquets at each end as centerpieces for the table....

Wait. I should preference this story by saying I was verrrrrrry gullible when I was younger. (I still have my moments!) Brian knew this and would take full advantage of it every once in a while.

... Okay, continuing on. Somehow the conversation at the table switched to what the food was in these cute bowl-like containers at the end of each table. They were circular globs of food and kinda whitish-yellow. There wasn't one at every seat, but I must have been at the end of the table and it was relatively close to my plate. I must have said something like... "What's that?"

My brother, as grand as he is, said, "Oh, that's ice cream."

"Ice cream? Really? That's strange."

"Yeah, it's vanilla ice cream. You should take a bite."

"Well, no one else has one, so it can't be ice cream."

"Well, it's special for the people at the end of the table."

Right about now, my cousins who were sitting with us chimed in. "Yeah, you're in the special seat at the table. You should take a bite."

I was pretty doubtful that they would have ice cream just for me and the other person at the end of the table, but they must have been making some pretty convincing arguments because they finally convinced me to take a very small bite. (Peer pressure, anyone?)

And yes.... it was butter.

I still remember the feeling of that pat of butter in my teeth. I didn't take a lot, but it was definitely gross and easy to tell it wasn't the beautiful scoop of ice cream I was hoping for....

Now, don't let that taint any nice guy images you have of Brian. He was a great big brother and didn't take advantage of my gullibility all too often. Just often enough to make memories and have a story to share twenty-some years down the road. :-)

So to my big brother... I can't believe I'm 32 and you passed at 30. I wish you had stayed ahead of me paving the way through life, so I'm grateful that God blessed me at the perfect time with Erik and his family in addition to my parents, Cristina and your girls and Andrew and baby #5, your nephews Brody and Brayden, and your future niece/nephew Baby #3. You are missed, loved, and remembered often. All my love.