Sunday, April 5, 2015

This Easter

Happy Easter!
At church this morn all I could think about was last Easter.
Last Easter looked a whole lot different. 
Thing 1 had just left and was not able to come home. 
This Easter…
Well, just count them. 

It's not perfect. It never will be. 
But it's us. And we are beautiful. 
Saved by Grace alone. 
And that is where my Hope lies. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

1/2 day adventures and clarifications

 Last week these guys hit the 1/2 day jackpot.
{which you saw if you follow along on Instagram}
Plus, it was fab weather. So we took full advantage and went on a couple adventures.

On this particular day we traipsed through Longwood Gardens: hiding from the dragon who had escaped from the tower // creating imaginary mazes where we were "lost for days" // looking for four leaf clovers // searching for the lonely leprechaun who missed the rainbow // bubble blowing // follow the leader // follow the baby // and who can make the best gargoyle face.

I wish I could rewind and do it all again this week.
But alas real life calls.
Sigh.
Sometimes real life stinks. 

Which leads me to a topic change.
I wonder if...
You are starting to wonder about the realness of these posts?
Are you wondering how can one post be so incredibly sad and then another so amazingly happy?
I'm guessing you are.
Because how could you not?

The answer is simple really:
Our life is both incredibly sad AND incredibly happy all at once.
Both happiness and sadness are all mixed up in this insanely beautifully tragic way. 

Our oldest son, their biggest brother…does not live with us anymore.
I miss him. 
I love him. 
I hate that he's not here.
I hate that this happened.
I feel robbed.
I don't think it's fair.
He was dealt a crappy hand and it sucks.
And I am not "over" it.
I will be dealing with and processing for the remainder of my days.
No matter what level of acceptance or healing takes place…it will never change that this reality is sad. 

BUT

I am more than the loss of a son.
I have a family.
I have 4 more boys.
4 boys that are home, that also need me, that I also love, that deserve joy, that deserve fun, that deserve happy, that deserve to know it's ok to be happy despite there also being sad.
I have love.
I am loved.
I have joy.
I have 1/2 days filled with sunshine and adventures.
And I am going to seize these days and enjoy them to the fullest.
Because I am blessed beyond measure.
I have no regrets.
No regrets.

So…it's gonna happen. 
I'm going to share some really hard stuff once in a while.
Because really hard stuff is part of our story.
But we are so much more than that.
We are beautiful.

I love us. So much.

ps-there is a whole faith side to this journey too, that I haven't shared in a while because really I'd been struggling there {you would too, trust me.} But we'll save that for another day. XOXO!

Monday, March 23, 2015

redifining

My boy. 
Do you know that I love you?
Do you know it, really?
You smile when I tell you…but do you believe that it's true?
We've had some hard conversations recently. Both with our son and with those involved in his care/treatment.  Decisions are being made and conclusions are being reached. It is time to start accepting what "is". 

Things are changing. 
Roles are changing. 
His to us. 
Ours to him. 
"Family" is being redefined. 
It is good.
It is love.
It is hard.
It is worth it. 
And adjusting has begun. 

Still, some days I feel like I am slowly loosing him forever. 
{like I have lost him already}
Tonights late night phone call has me feeling so again. 
"Not my son", I want to say, "Not MY son."
But I don't, I listen and thank them for calling and then I hang up the phone. 

There will be no phone calls from him this week.
He will be avoiding conversation with me.
He will avoid me "parenting" him. 
{aka lecturing}
He will wait to see us at our weekly Family dinner…where we will all pretend that all is well with the world and that Texas Roadhouse is the best restaurant eva'.
I can't say I blame him though, I mean seriously.
Who wants a lecture from their fancy nancy mama while she's in her fancy lil' house, while they're spending they're days in a not so fancy psychiatric care home?
So in a way, I'm grateful he won't be calling because I don't feel quite up to talking about it either.

Things are changing. 
Roles are changing. 
His to us. 
Ours to him. 
"Family" is being redefined. 
It is good.
It is love.
It is hard.
It is worth it. 
And adjusting has begun. 

Tonight I will not be up all night crying or worrying. 
I will not frantically scratch in my journal thoughts of "how, why, when?"
I will choose hope, I will choose trust, I will choose joy, I will choose love. 
I will drift off to sleep, no longer afraid or filled with doubts or guilt, but rather filled with love for my son and sadness for his condition. 
And I will count down the days till Thursday's family dinner. 
Because I can't wait to see him again.  
Sigh. 
I just want to hug him and tell him I'll love him, "forever & ever, no matter what." 
And I want him to believe me. 
Because it is true. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

dating {round 3}

V-day Date #3
Another mid-day lunch date, smack dab in the middle of a school day. 

For lunch we had ice cream and french fries, while we colored paper hats and place mats, and counted the balloons. 

This one isn't a big talker or interact-er at restaurants. The noise, the lights, the commotion, it kinda overwhelms him. And of course there's always the concern that his food won't come before we have to head back to school. 
{lol}

I'm  not sure what was his favorite part: leaving school for lunch or the actual lunch itself. 
Either way, I scored major mom points. 
{woot! woot!}

I'll be honest, the lack of "I'm so happy to be here" feedback , has hurt my feelings from time to time. 
Which is silly because I know it's not personal, it's just his way. 
But regardless of how much we talk or smile at each other during our dates together, when bedtime comes those nights, he always thanks me for his special date and tells me how wonderful I am. 
And I always feel ridiculous for doubting that he had a good time.  

This sweet sweet boy of mine. Wanting nothing more than to be happy and to make others happy. 
His simple ways melt my heart and remind me how LUCKY I am to be his mama. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

dating {round 2}

This fella hit the jack pot with his V-day date. 
Adventure Aquarium.
{littlest brother included, because he insisted the little guy tag along.}

Technically his date was supposed to be a train ride to the city and lunch from a food truck.
But…winter hit NJ hard this past month, so I decided to give him "free choice" instead. 
I wasn't a bit surprised. It's his fave place to go, ever. 

We did it all. 
Sharks, jelly fish, HIPPOS, turtles, sting rays-sting rays-sting rays, lunch, gift shop, face paint, sting rays, more sharks, lobsters, sea horses, and more. 

Oh this boy. 
I want to bottle him up and keep every precious 4 year old-ism about him forever & ever at arms reach. 
This boy is so full of spunk, silliness, sensitivity, stubbornness, wit, hugs, kisses, awkwardness, sass, heroism, competition, loyalty, dimples, giggles, recklessness, & bounce that I can't bear to think of him growing to be a man! 
{though really, he's going to be an amazing man, no doubt.}

Thank you Jesus for this boy. 
I love him so…it hurts.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

dating {round 1}

For V-day this year I gave the three middle boys a "date". 
The date and venue were predetermined for each. 

This sweetie was up first.
His date: lunch out, on a school day, at his fave restaurant. 

He's starting to hit that age…that age where I "embarrass" him. 
At his school revue he told me to cheer but not to cheer his name, because that would be embarrassing. So I abliged, no name cheering, despite the fact that I was surrounded by moms who were cheering the names of their children! {no fair}
Oh, and…he doesn't want me dancing in Target!

But…I haven't lost him to the cool side completely. 
He still gives me extra hugs and kisses every time we say good bye (including in public), he still holds my hand whenever he can, he still draws me pictures of my favorite things, he still looks up to see if I saw his "best" cartwheel, he still insists on being tucked in every night with hugs & kisses & air kisses, and…He still asks me to sit on the same side of the booth as him so that we can cuddle.

Memories of dating Boo: booth cuddles // strawberry milk // SELFIE // ummm, out to lunch on a school day // booth cuddles // the whole restaurant all to ourselves // he orders for himself now // buttered noodles // being taught the art of pokemon // my sweet 7 year old boo…growing up way to fast

PS-after the Revue, he told me that next time I can cheer his name…guess it's worth the embarrassment. {can you feel my grin?!}

Saturday, February 21, 2015

S & E sneaky peaky {HC Photography}

I know it's been a while since I've shared any "sneaky peaky's", but...
I had to share these.
I mean come on! Look at the blues on these two!
{And could this little miss be any cuter? A. Show. Stopper.}

Bonus for me: this is my other bestie and her first "born". 
Long story short:
They live in Mississippi & happened to be in NJ for a few days and she asked ME to take their pics. Just like I'd had the privilege of doing with her & her oldest daughter. 

It's no fun not being able to be a part of your the lives of your friends children. 
You love them more than should be possible and they don't even know you. 
I'm grateful to have been able to do this shoot for them…I'll cherish this time we had together. 
And now I might have to start planning a road trip. 


*******************************************************************
{shameless}
HC Photography announcement: 

I've started booking Mothers Day sessions already! 
Mommy & Me, Maternity, sibling, surprise family sessions, etc.
{basically anything you can come up with to surprise the lovely mom in your life, because moms love pics of/with their kids}
To book your session visit HC Photography for pricing details, session options,  and contact info.