Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A family getaway

Ever since Londyn fell in love with Mickey Mouse, we've wanted to take her to Disneyworld to meet him!  We've been looking for a long time into when we could take them...  Burkey is actually in love with Minnie, which is both pretty adorable and pretty hilarious at the same time :).  Love him!!  Shortly before Harper died, we were trying to figure out if we could make it happen in November.  We never settled on a date, and then when everything happened in early November it was obviously out of the question.

I knew that Harper's due date would be a hard time for me.  There were so many reasons... I was so excited to have a February baby.  My birthday is the 18th, and I've always loved having a birthday close to Valentine's Day.  I couldn't wait to share that with Harper.  I'd already bought her Valentine outfit, and had picked out the perfect headband to match...  I'd pictured her sweet face in my head a hundred times.  She was due on the 11th, and I was excited to spend my birthday getting to know our new baby.  I just knew that week would be a hard week for me.  The last thing I wanted was to be sitting at home being sad all day.  Dana and I both felt strongly that we wanted to be celebrating Harper's life.  We wanted our family to be having fun and laughing together- just like she's doing in Heaven...

So, most of you already know this, but we decided to go to Disneyworld over her due date!  I have to say, I think it was the perfect thing for us to do.  I definitely had some very sad moments, but it just felt so good to be celebrating Harper's life!  One of my favorite parts of the trip was our Harper balloon.  

We told the kids that we were going to get baby Harper a balloon, and we were going to let it go for her to have in Heaven... Theology's a little off here, but we didn't care.  It really was one of the sweetest moments we've had as a family.    

No family balloon time would be complete without kids fighting over it :)...

I've been amazed at Londyn throughout this whole process.  She has such wisdom beyond her years.  We let her let the balloon go- she loved it...

We watched the balloon until we couldn't see it anymore.  My eyes were filled with tears as it floated away.  It felt good to cry.  I've never been a huge fan of crying, but my mom has always told me that some things are worth crying over.  I can't imagine something more worth it.  And so I do cry.  Often.  There will just never be enough words for how badly I want Harper to be here.   I let the tears heal my heart.  I held Londyn and we cried together... She said (as she often does) that she wishes that she could hold baby Harper, but this time she added that it makes her so happy that Harper has a balloon... Me too sweet girl.

So yes, we had some sad moments, but we also had SO MUCH FUN!!

giving Mickey kisses!

so adorable :)

our good friends, the bergantzel's came with us!

Minnie's house!

playing in Minnie's house

waiting for the parade

playing at Honey I Shrunk the Kids

dancing with June from Little Einsteins

aww.  little stud muffin

everyone loves uncle Jim :)

We are so thankful that we got to spend such a huge day in such a happy place.  We couldn't have asked for a better time.  Thank you all so much for the sweet messages on her due date.  Just to know that you were thinking about Harper meant the world to us- thanks for missing her with us.   

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Time for a happy post

It's definitely time for a happy post, and so







A few days after Harper died, my amazing friend Jenni called Dana and asked if she could take me to Florida.  Um, yes please!!! Jenni is just plain wonderful.  She is a once in a lifetime friend, and a getaway with her was 100% what I needed.  Jenni's sister passed away very suddenly in December, and her and Brett are in the process of adopting their niece Norah (you can read their story here).  There really aren't words for the amount of hope they've given me.  This outcome would never have been their first choice, not even close.  But they've given their story completely to God, and although it's painful, He's making it beautiful.  They are amazing.  Take the time to read their story, it's worth it.  

We spent a lot of time on the beach, just relaxing and taking it all in.  It was good for my soul to be with a friend who understands what it's like to be in a painful season of life.  Not just a hard season, but a life-defining, heart-wrenching season of life. 

We cried a lot.  We cried for both of our losses, and the ways that life will never be the same.  But we also laughed a lot.  We had a lot of fun.  We both get the happy/sad ways of life at the moment.  And we're both ok with it. 

Love love love you Jenni!!  There aren't words for what an amazing friend you are.  Thank you for knowing just what I needed at just the right time.  

Saturday, January 1, 2011


I'm trying to get into the New Year's spirit over here. It's been a little harder for me this year. We've done everything that you're supposed to do... We spent time with family, we played with our babies, we ate dinner with friends, we drank wine, we watched the ball drop. We've done it all and still I can't quite get myself to feel it. I usually love this time of year. I love reminiscing about the past year- looking back at what we've done, where we've been, our high points and our low points, how we've grown, what we've learned, etc, etc. This year, the overwhelming hugeness of November and December completely overshadows the rest of the year for me. Looking back at the year only makes me cry. Looking forward at the new year to come only leaves me thinking about all of the things that we should be experiencing with Harper. Neither feel "right". I feel stuck at the moment. I don't want to go back, but I'm not sure that I want to go forward. Going forward feels like I'm leaving Harper in the past. I know it isn't true, but I don't like the feeling of moving on yet.

Even if I hate it, I do know that I need to walk forward. One tiny step at a time. And so I'm forcing myself to look at 2011, and I'm inspired by my friend Sarah over at emerging mummy to pick out a couple themes of the year for myself.

The first theme that I'm choosing is HOPE. Hope has eluded me most of the past 2 months. There have been a few beautiful moments that it's felt close, but by and large it hasn't settled in my heart. Dana and I have been talking a lot lately about it, and I find myself in a season where I have to chain myself to hope. I have to cling to the fact that Jesus is the giver of hope, that He knows my future, and that it is GOOD. My mind tends to go crazy thinking about worst case scenarios, and I'm in a season of learning to silence my own voice and listen solely to the voice of the Lord. Much easier said than done.

I used to be convinced that we could decide how many children we wanted. That we could choose a number and without a problem have that many healthy, happy kids in our family. We've talked with 3 different doctors, and they all feel that with treatment, having more babies should not be a problem. This should give my heart hope, but I haven't been able to land there. I still let my mind wander and feel terrified at the thought of going through another pregnancy. Even though I still need to land here, we know we will try at some point this year to get pregnant again. I'm committed to landing in a place of hope. I'm chaining myself to hope and choosing to believe above all else that HE IS GOOD.

My second theme for the year is joy/contentment. I know that grieving my baby girl will also be a large part of this year, and I'm very ok with feeling sad. I actually like it... It makes me feel close to her. But I believe that Jesus can give me JOY in the process. I don't think that I always have to feel happy, but I do believe that I can have a deep abiding JOY in my heart.

I spent the morning of Nov 1 (Harper's birthday), making these worship rings with my kids.

We danced around and around that morning to the song Your Love Never Fails by Jesus Culture.  We sang these words:

you stay the same through the ages
your love never changes
there may be pain in the night,
but joy comes in the morning.
and when the oceans rage,
I don't have to be afraid
because I know that you love me,
and your love never fails.

On the very morning that my baby would be born without a heartbeat, we proclaimed the words over and over that He is the same through the ages.  Without knowing, we were making a statement in our hearts that He was the same Monday morning as He was on Monday night.

Sweet Burkey has completely taken to his worship ring, and day after day he toddles over to the storage cube, digs until he finds them, and then whines until I turn the music on and pick him up to dance.  The funny thing is that he's happiest when it's this song, and sometimes he'll even whine and whine until I turn it on.  Jesus is constantly reminding me that joy comes in the morning.  Even when I'm too weak to acknowledge it for myself, this truth is being spoken over and over in our home.  He's not letting me forget it.  And without us even meaning to, He is ingraining this truth into all of our hearts.

I'm choosing JOY for this year.  And, I'm choosing to feel content right where I am.  I am embracing this painful season of our lives.  I'm going to enjoy my family right where we are.  I continually find myself wishing that I could see 5 years down the road and know the number of kids we will have.  I am choosing to feel peace with not knowing right now.  I need to, once again, learn the secret of being content.  I've learned this lesson in the past, and now I find myself needing to learn it all over again.  Instead of wanting to fast forward to another pregnancy or a different season, I'm choosing to have joy right where I am.  I'm going to learn to be ok with the uncertainty.  It's painful for me, but I need to.

Where we live, January and February can often feel like the longest months of the year.  It's freezing, and we can often go for days without seeing the sun.  We get lots of snow and many times are stuck inside for days.  It's just a hard time of year to bundle babies up and take them out, so we stay in way more than we do in the summer.  Just as we're preparing mentally for the long winter, I'm doing the same in my heart.  I know that spring will come.  That the sun will shine, and it's warmth will be felt.  But, I can't do anything to change the fact that it's winter where I am.  And so I'll learn to be ok with that right now.  I'm looking forward to a springtime season in my life.  I'm HOPEFUL that it will come.  But for now, I'll choose to have JOY right where I am.