Thursday, June 1, 2017

Seven Years

Happy Seventh Birthday, my dear sweet boys!  Oh how I wish we were celebrating this morning with balloons down the hall, the birthday banner we always hang, and two special birthday cakes just for you.  Instead we'll make cupcakes as a family and we're going to buy two little seven  year old boys in foster care special gifts.  I love the idea, I love that because of the two of you that two little boys who need some extra love are going to feel it. But it doesn't take away the pain of your not being here. Love you sweet boys! 

This is the first year I have cried on Lucas and Caleb's birthday.  Honestly, it has always been a day where we smiled, celebrated their short lives, and enjoyed time together.  I am sure we'll make it to that this afternoon.  But this year has been incredibly hard.  The grief has been intense, the bouts of crying ugly.  I have had so many flashbacks, and I have once again found myself dealing with guilt.

I know it is probably a combination of things that is making it so hard, or maybe it really isn't. Maybe it has something to do with the ages of Simon and Benjamin this year.  I missed out on so much during this season with Colton and Ethan. Maybe it is just how grief is.  It is ugly, it is frustrating, and it is it's own beast. I have been surprised this year by how much pain I have felt leading up to this day.  This is the most I have cried and grieved since their first birthday.  

I am grateful for the love and support those in my life show me this time of year.  That even seven years later, when I am in the church bathroom crying, they are still loving and encouraging.  They are praying with me and for me.  They give me the, "This sucks, I love you." glance.  I hope that all moms who are missing their babies are surrounded by the same.  Because I know I couldn't walk this alone.  I have learned that I don't have this, that grief can still pack a punch, and keep on punching.

A while back I made this blog private since I wasn't writing anymore.  Life became busy, I wasn't really needing or using this space as I once did.  But I'm going to open it back up for awhile.  Maybe I'll write some more here, or maybe there is someone out there who is searching for a similar story to hers. 




Thursday, March 5, 2015

Dreaming and Waking and Thinking and Crying

I had the scariest dream this morning.  It was so incredibly real, I woke up cold all over and in tears. 

~~ We were swimming at a pool and Simon was running from me.  I took off to catch him from the other direction and he didn't meet me.  He didn't meet me.  My heart started to race. I started to scream.  I was looking down at the water, not up.  I knew he fell in.  I saw him from across the pool at the bottom and I dove in screaming.  By the time I got to him,  a lifeguard was pulling him out.  But he wasn't doing CPR.  He was staring at him, shaking his cheeks.  Every few seconds Simon would almost draw a breath, then his head would fall to the side.  His eyes seemed to be screaming for help.  I was screaming at the lifeguard.~~

I woke up.

And cried.  

It took me some time to calm down and warm up enough to wake Willy for some support. I heard Simon talk in his sleep.  I went up to kiss him and came back to bed. I felt angry at this lifeguard, not understanding why he wasn't doing more to save my little boy.  Then I began to think of all the things we need to do to protect him.  He's full on two now.  He knows what he wants and is incredibly stubborn and determined to figure out a way to get it.  I can't keep him off the top bunk of the big boys' beds, doorknobs are no longer a deterrent for him.  And there's the pools and parks this spring and summer.  

Then I began to really think about the worst of it.  I don't want to, but I can imagine the pain of him not being here.  I can go there too quickly, and this time of year, it doesn't take a whole lot.  Losing Lucas and Caleb, my mind takes off to that awful place on its own. And then the floodgates open.  Thoughts, memories, tears, all take on a life of their own.  I have to hold on tight at the moment to the sound of Benjamin's monitor ticking, and the knowledge that Simon is in his bed, I just kissed his head, and he is safe right now.  And the sound of Colton and Ethan "walking" down the stairs.  

I've been spending more time in prayer lately.  This time of year usually brings me closer to God.  This morning was no different.  I feel His comfort and strength as I move through the day. I was able to get out of bed and go about normal snow day business.  And the boys have been able to move through their day without picking up on my pain.  The big boys know this time of year.  That's another post for another day.  How much I hate that they have to walk this also.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Five Years Part 1

Five years ago yesterday we found out we were having twins.  They were pretty sure they were identical, but they were growing well.  Our life was headed for a HUGE change.  I remember Willy and I asking the technician if she was joking.  We were shocked.  And I was really excited.  Everyone was. I still remember many details from that day. Riding home from the doctor, thinking how I was going to be a mom of twins.  I always wanted twins, not sure why, but I did.  I remember telling Dru at work and how excited she was.  IT was a huge birthday surprise! She told the entire dining center in one loud announcement.  There were phone calls and emails.  This was really going to happen.

Here's the first blog post when we announced here and began the journey.
http://earlstwins.blogspot.com/2010_02_01_archive.html
I was so excited to share with the world our experiences being pregnant and raising twins, along with two other boys.

And here I am five years later.  I still feel a sting when I wake up on February 18th.  I woke up in a bad mood yesterday, but couldn't place it until the afternoon. I know the next three and a half months are going to have some hard moments, days when the tears just flow.  I know by now to embrace those days for what they are. They are now moments when I can just stop and concentrate on the two little boys who aren't running around, adding to our wonderful chaos.

I miss them dearly.  I hate that there are days when I am just so busy with our four living sons, that they don't cross my mind except for a fleeting thought.  Their picture is by the bed, I say goodnight every night.  I packed most of their shelf away when we listed the house on the market.  I am so looking forward to putting it back up one day when we move.

Five years ago, it hadn't crossed my mind yet that this was the journey laid out for us.  There has been incredible heart-wrenching pain, but there has been indescribable joy also.  There were days when I didn't believe I would ever be happy again, and now most days I am blown away by happiness I feel.

The healing that has been brought is amazing.  I love that there are friends and family that continue to love, mention, remember, and embrace Lucas and Caleb.  There will always be a hole where they belong, but being surrounded by such amazing people softens the edges that were once very jagged.


Friday, February 6, 2015

Time Flying-

This has been a crazy hectic week.  But looking back, I think that is most weeks right now.  Four boys to take care of, a house trying to sell, and my Scentsy business growing again.  It seems like some days drag on, but really, they just fly by.  

Here is a snip-it of our week.  We managed to sign Colton up for spring and summer baseball.  And then transfer both big boys to a different school across town.  It happened that most of Colton's ball team also go to their new school.  (I'm not going into reasons why we're transferring right now, but know it's been in the works for awhile)  The big boys start there on Monday.  Simon has potty trained this weekend.  Like pretty much on his own.  Love this!!!!  I truly despise potty training, it's the one part of parenting I would gladly pay someone to do.  And Benjamin rolled over this morning.  How does that happen?

I have three Scentsy parties this month, and we're getting ready to roll out the new catalog in March.  Everyone seems to be taking advantage of 10% off and are loading up their favorites, along with Washer Whiffs.  I have one new team member, a lifelong friend!  So excited for her.  And I'm trying to bring two more on with me.  Not to mention Spring Sprint next weekend!  I am so excited for that.  It helps that we'll be paying a visit to IKEA.  

Then just the everyday stuff around here.  Laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of of my boys.  We've cut back on video games and now tv time as well.  There's a lot more music being played in the house, and tons of laughter.  The sound of Benjamin laughing at Simon....be still my heart.  Simon has also decided he is one of the big boys.  He follows them around all the time.  And Simon's newest game.  Repeating what we are saying during a conversation, like he is the one having the conversation.  Makes ordering at a drive thru window quite comical.

Typing all this, I can see why time is just zooming past with us.  We're doing our best to embrace the moments.  I am beginning to journal again so I can keep more of them recorded.  So many times during the day/evening I just want to bottle up the amazing emotions that come with being the momma to these four boys.

Here are a few pictures to end with.  None of the big boys this time around.  I'll have to load some with them off my camera.





Thursday, January 8, 2015

The One With All the Pictures

I've been putting off writing for a few weeks now.  There are so many things I want to share, so many pictures.  But catching up with different posts seems overwhelming with everything I am trying to catch up with here at the house.  I have some time right now. Benjamin is napping, the other three boys are playing upstairs, and dinner is in the crockpot.  So here is a ton of pictures I've wanted to share for some time now, and a few words here and there about them.

Also, Christmas was crazy with the family, minus short stack, catching the flu.  We all had varying degrees of it, but Ethan and Simon were hit incredibly hard.  It put our usual holiday festivities on hold for a while, but we were able to squeeze in the important stuff the week of Christmas.

About 35 weeks pregnant

We take fun fall pictures every year in front of Willy's parent's house.  She always does a great job with the pictures and it's so much fun to play in the leaves with the boys.








Colton loves gymnastics!  And is begging to go back soon.

Ethan has played to sessions of soccer, and is beginning club soccer this weekend.  He forgot his socks in this picture.  Better than the weekend before when he had two right shoes.


Oh my, this smile

A minute later, Benjamin started crying and Ethan then started to cry saying Benjamin hated him.

Super proud of how this cake looked!

Ethan turning SEVEN



Colton and I had a shopping day right before Christmas.  It was a ton of fun hanging out with him.



I was nervous handing lil one over, but Santa was certain.


Simon bounced between wanting to cry and being in awe.


My four boys in front of the tree. Christmas was a little tougher this year than last. It was Christmas number five without Lucas and Caleb.  Being busy and up with Benjamin helped some.  There will always be a hole there where they should be, though the edges aren't nearly as sharp as that first year.  




Benjamin meeting Grandma Jojo

And proud Aunt Shari


My crazy boy with his hat and animals.  This is the picture most days during lunch.

I took the four boys to Jump Mania on New Years Eve to get out of the house and run off some energy.  It was a fun, smooth trip.

Game night with the big boys.


Dairy free and soy free cake frosting!  

Hot cocoa and cookies after school.  The boys were excited!!

Thanks for checking in over here.  Until next time....

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

How Fast Two Weeks Have Flown By

Wow! It seems like it was just a couple mornings ago we were headed in to finally have Benjamin. Instead, it's been two short weeks.  I've tried so hard to embrace each moment, for I know how fast it passes, and how quickly one forgets the little moments, the little noises, the tininess of a newborn's nose.  I often wish I could bottle the moments up.  Each time he smiles the split second before he falls asleep.  Each time Simon pats his back or kisses his forehead.

We're doing much better around here.  The boys are back at school, so we have a routine going.  Benjamin is sleeping through the night til 3:30 or so.  He'll eat and go right back to bed til 7:30.  I fell into the three hour schedule during the day subconsciously.  I've done it with the other three boys, and helped other moms with their babies.  It's become second nature.  And Benjamin has taken right to it.  I am ever so grateful.  And I find it much easier to function when I know what is coming next and when.

The big boys are doing well.  There are moments when I know they are taking advantage of my attention being so split, but for the most part they are falling back into routine.  There was even a moment tonight when all four boys were awake and happy.  Willy was doing some writing and I was finishing up some bible study questions. And it was relatively quiet.  I took a deep breath and just enjoyed the moment, grateful to finally have such a moment. It's all falling into place.

I have to say that the meals that friends have brought have made a big difference. So much goes on between three and five that the idea of dinner has been daunting.  Knowing that a warm meal was going to be served many nights without me having to plan or cook it has taken away some of the pressure.  I'm easing back into it, about every other night or so I'm taking care of dinner.  And I still have some meals in the freezer.  I am so grateful for those freezer bags full of meals I can just through in the crockpot in the morning and forget about.

Last week was also Thanksgiving and Ethan's SEVENTH birthday.  WOW! on that one also.  That kid is growing up so fast.  He is wanting to help me with nearly every meal in the kitchen.  If I'm in there cooking or baking, he is too. And I love it!  I love being able to share one of my favorite hobbies with him. It's time we have together, the two of us.  We're making memories that I know he'll hold close forever.

On to some pictures from the last week.

Wednesday morning snow surprise.



Happy Thanksgiving.

Grandma Dru and Grandpa Donica

Look at that hairline!

Oh my

Having a conversation with momma

Happy Birthday, Ethan!

Love how this cake turned out

He often looks like he is deep in thought.



Simon and I enjoying some tv time together. It seems like it's been so long since he's been able to sit on my lap and lean back like this.  I've missed this.



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