Saturday, August 22, 2009

Happy Birthday angel

The birthday letters I write to the kids every year are letter to them, for them, as they get older. They are notes filled with stories of the people they are turning into. Lines filled with words of accomplishments they have made in the last year!

My yearly letters to you are for me. They are notes filled with stories of how much I love you. Lines filled with how you impacted my life and continue to do so long after you are gone!

9 years! I have a 9 year old! That astounds me and well, honestly makes me feel slighty old!

They say every persons grief is different. Even grieving for the same person, individual people respond differently! The same hold true for years later.
What is even more amazing is that years later people who never knew you grieve for you!

I realize every year on the day of your birth just how much I am loved. Friends, always sweet and kind, seem to realize that on this day in particular I need to be taken care of a little more! They seems to know without having been told or lived through it, that an extra hug, a smile, a kind word will go farther than any other day! On your birthday, I am reminded that while I do all for everyone else, every other day, that on your day I need to be human, I need to take time and let others love me!

On your birthday I am reminded that there is a huge world over which I have no control. There are some parts of me, I have no control over! I am reminded that some of the greatest joys in life are not things that we actively seek out. Some of the finest moments we are given are those that God allows to happen.

It seems that every year that passes someone new learns about you! The reaction is usually the same, you can see they want to be sad, they want to hug you, they want to know how I survived the pain. For some, I suppose it shows I am human! My answer is always the same...I had to survive, I wasn't the one He called home. That letting go is heartbreaking but when left with no choice, you learn to accept. That sometimes in quiet moments, you still cry but for the most part, you are so busy with the chaos, you smile and move on!

I think this year your greatest gift to me has been to show me that no matter how bad life gets, I am a survivor! This hasn't been an easy year, for many reasons. There are times I have been tempted to throw in the towel, give up, walk away from anything and everything. Then I think of you. I look back on the most difficult time in my life, watching my own child go home, and I know that I can survive anything! I am strong, but human. I am tough but easily bruised. I am fearful yet confident.

I have never looked at your life and death as a badge to be worn. I have never thought of surviving the death of my own child to be a coat of armor wrapped around me. Yet, I realize, I am who I am because of who you are.

I look constantly at my tattoo. It warms my heart to see your feet on mine. I wonder would we have spent hours dancing around the living room while you were a small child? When I got the tattoo done, I blogged that it was for me. I sit here now and wonder if this isn't yet another way you are holding me? I love that every time I look at my foot, there are your feet. I hope that others look at it and feel peace like I do. I suppose there are some that don't and may never, but for me, I get a smile that goes straight to my heart!

On 8/25/2000 from 9:30am-12:29pm, I was irrevocably changed. I always say I held an angel that day. Maybe it was the other way around. Maybe you were holding me. Maybe you knew that as the years went by I would need you some years more than others. Maybe you knew then that mommy was only human! I am certain then you knew that I loved, breathed only you!

Before you were born, on your birthday, today, tomorrow, forever....
I love you Andrew Joseph!


A friend stated recently that from the outside looking in, it seems that Mr. Producer and I have a marriage to be envied!

I watch my grandma go to the nursing home daily and sit for hours with my grandpa. Sometimes he knows she is there and other times he is clueless!

I listen to friends talk of their divorces, seperations, struggles.

Rarely, I question if that could ever be us?!

I suppose it is fool hearty to assume you will never have problems, issue's, struggles. Every couples level of acceptance is different!

All of this got me thinking....what is marriage?

Ok, crazy question perhaps considering I have been married for 11.5 years. But, really... what is marriage?

To look it up in the dictionary, you may find : The union between a husband and a wife.

Wow, that sounds easy enough!

But wait, there's! For any of us that are there, whether we have been married for 2 days, 11 years, or 47 years, I am sure we would say there is a lot more to marriage...

Passion, romance, dancing in the kitchen, flirting, kissing for no reason?
Washing dished together, sharing a cup of coffee together, listening to Dave Ramsey, paying bills, taking care of sick kids.
Date nights, being silly, having private jokes, making love?
Feeding the chickens, hanging with friends, arguing in the grocery store, going on vacations, remodeling, playing with kids.

The reality is there are many stages and phases in a marriage.

If your marriage is strictly built on passion, flirting, sex, what happens when that is gone? When the person ages or if there was an accident?
If your marriage is built on friendship and comfort only, what happens if you want more than that some day?
If your marriage is built on just the kids and the chores, what happens when that is gone?

Only you know what your marriage is based on....what you need....only you know what your level of acceptance much of each: friendship, passion, co-parent do you need?

If the vows, till death do you part were included in your ceremony, then you have to think about all of these...

I am positive my grandparents are still the best of friends, I know that they are still co-parents and I have seen they are still passionate to each other. This may not be the passion of their younger days, but they are still each other's whole world even though they live in seperate places these days, there hearts still remain together forever....till death do them part!

A little humor...

What do you get when you mix 4 kids, 2 colds, 1 van, 5 suitcases, lots of food, blankets, pillows, 2 parents and thousands of miles??? Bravery marries insanity and they do NOT give birth to patience, I promise! At 7, 4, 2 and 2, the kids are actually doing great with being strapped into the car for hours on end! As we drive through the hills of KY I am reminded again of how blessed I am in life! Isn't it funny how sometimes we have to get out of our comfort zone, put ourselves into crazy positions to see the beauty in our lives? I have a husband who is beyond compare! He makes me laugh, smile, cry. He is my best friend, lover. We are blessed he has an awesome job that he loves and that allow us to travel. We have 4 patient, funny, cute, smart children. They all have their own personalities, each one as cute and funny as the other, yet they are all such a great mixture of the 2 of us! We have the best friends and acquaintances in the world. Together and separate, they are people we can turn to for laughs, fun, help or an ear when and if we need to. There isn't one that doesn't bring something into our lives. Thankfully, I have a Lord who has provided all of this and more, for me, just for me! Like anyone in life, I could find many things to complain about, things I wish I could change, things I want. But, there is so much more to be thankful and happy for! So, while bravery and insanity may never produce patience, they have produced thankfulness, fun and great memories!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Happy birthday Katie

This is late in coming but I have been so busy watching the beautiful girl you are turning into that I haven't had time to write this! It is hard to believe you are 4! I am not sure where the years are going, but they are flying by. Before I know it, you will be asking me for the kerys! I have seen so much change in you from 3-4! You started school this year. While I looked forward to you going, making new friends, learning new things; I didn't anticipate missing you this much. I never took Adam to pre-k for the 1st time, daddy was home then. Boy did I cry the 1st day my big girl left! I would never hold you back from new adventures, even if I couldn't go, but man, there were days I wanted to watch you from the window (and some days I did)! You are most definitely the most like me! You are such a social girl. You love to be around, watch and interact with people. Yet, you are cautious. You are passionate about life and love. You wear your heart and emotions on your sleeve. This isn't a bad thing sweetie. When you get older you will hate that people can read you so easily, but believe me, it really is a good thing! I pray you never have anything in your life to hide! You loved school this year. You made some good friends; some will come back next year and other yoiu only havd the joy and privilige of knowing this year. You really became a "little momma" this year. You love to help and cook. You have the BEST sense of humor!! I could listen to you all day, you make up the funniest songs and saying. Even your clothing reflects your sense of humor! you can wear anything and make it look good! You and Rebecca have become very close this year! You love and fight like sisters. Sometimes I am envious of the relationship you girls have! I hope and pray constantly that you will always be close. You are close to Adam and Jason but you and Becca have a special sister relationship. you still look up to and frequently ask when you are going to be ask big as Adam! I wonder if you will always look up to him or if you will be content to be Becca's big sister? You and Jason are a lot alike; you are both very energetic, playful, silly! You two spend a good bit of time vying for our attention. I pray that as you get older you will all stay as close as you are now. You are still (and always will be I am sure) a daddy's girl! That's ok, every little girl needs her daddy! You still need me and love to snuggle with or play dolls with me. You have grown emotionally and spiritually this year too. You easily accept all the gifts the Lord has given you and while you ask about your brother in heaven and your puppy there, you are not saddened by them being there! You love life to much to be saddened by much! I hope and pray you are always that way! you are a very good girl at lostening and obeying and maintaining you individuality all at the same time! You are an awesome child Katie. It is bittersweet to watch you grow. But, since I can not stop time, I promise to enjoy watching you grow. I look forward to what this next yearbrings in your life! I am proud to be your mommy and I thank God DAILY for picking me to be the earthly mother He chose for you! I love you BEAN!!! Happy 4!