"Thank heaven there is tomorrow. Because there is tomorrow, all our yesterdays have meaning and all our dreams have hope."

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Makes You Think . . .

We once again received an anonomyous card in the mail yesterday.
It means so much to us that people remember Gavin.
It had a quote in there that I loved:

"Unshaken faith is faith that has been shaken."

Friday, June 27, 2008

Dear Bug

My Little Bug,

Today you are eleven months old. I can't believe how old you are getting. Almost a year old! It's almost time for a birthday party! What kind of party would you like this year? Your Daddy and I are brainstorming fun ideas for your first birthday. How about a Bug party?

For the past eleven months you have been the center of our life. Even without you here, it seems life keeps moving on, but we are still stuck in the chaos and beauty of last year. I find moments where I crave to be in the spiraling chaos again just so I can hold you. We did have fun times together, didn't we, Bug?!

There are so many things I want to tell you, Gav. Mostly, I want to tell you how happy I am that you are our son. The day you were born our hearts were so torn. We were so happy to have you here with us, but your medical problems concerned us. We were worried about your quality of life and we were consumed by the things you would and wouldn't do. A few days after the initial shock wore off, I realized that I was the happiest momma in the world because I felt the most amazing amount of love for you. You stole my heart right away, Bug. I began to understand God's plan for our family. I knew that if your little body had to come to this earth with all the the challenges you had, I was glad that I was chosen to be your momma. I knew I could take care of you and I knew I would love you no matter what. I felt like we were the lucky ones to have you.

I am so proud of you, Gav. You are a strong, patient, brave and beautiful boy. Your spirit always radiated peace and comfort to us. Your presence was powerful your absence leaves a void that will never be filled the same way. I am a proud momma. I have you for a son - the greatest joy in my life. Keep working hard Gavin. We will see you again.

Your Momma

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Halo of Hair

Okay, so a lot of people cry over their hair. I can't tell you how many times over the past ten years I have walked out of a hair salon, sat in my car, pulled down the visor mirror and cried. Isn't that just part of what women do? Doesn't that come with the territory of artificially changing what was yours in the first place?

Today I was driving to work, pulled down my visor mirror and attempted to hold back the tears. No, I haven't been to the hairdresser lately (who I love and I NEVER cry when she does my hair) and I wasn't having a bad hair day either.

I felt like crying because I didn't have my normal halo of short hair sticking out from under the rest of my long hair. See, just a week or so before Gavin died I started losing my hair. The bathroom at the Ronald McDonald House was covered with my hair all of the time and my sweet mom would get down and wipe it all up while I sat there dumbfounded at my loss. She would reassure me that most women lose hair after they give birth and while they are nursing. I believe this was part of it, but perhaps my body knew something was waiting in the wings. The inevitable.

The morning of Gavin's funeral I sat in the shower and pulled out clump after clump of hair. Not on purpose, mind you. I was already feeling enough pain to numb the heck out of you - trust me, I didn't need any more. My hair just came out every time I touched my head. This pattern continued for about three months after.

In the end, I lost about half of my hair. Since then, I have had a halo of new hair growth crowning my head. It would stick up everywhere - it didn't matter what I did, it was EVERYWHERE. Today when I looked in my visor mirror, I realized that they are gone - blending in again with what hair was spared. You think I would be happy, right? Actually, it made me realize that time is passing. The chaos and havoc that danced on my life has started to cease. Time is going forward and my hair is growing.

Maybe I should take a lesson from my hair. While I never will be exactly the same and the effects of the past year will always hold a sad and precious place in my heart, perhaps I should begin to blend in with the rest of life too. My hair won't ever be quiet the same - I will never be quite the same, but we will continue to thrive. Maybe in the end, something as simple as hair can give me hope that life can still be "okay" even if there are parts we miss.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Allison!

Happy Birthday Allison! I love this picture of Allison and her cute Princess Mabel. I feel so lucky to have a sister in law like Allison. She is such a strength to me and a great example to follow. She is a wonderful sister, friend and mother. I love watching her interact with her children and I admire how much dedication she is able to devote to her family. I feel forever in debt to her for the beautiful photos she took of Gavin on his blessing day. She just stepped in where I felt I couldn't go, and she did such an amazing job at it. We love you so much Allison and we hope you have a great birthday! Do something fun!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Why I Love To Be In Primary On Sundays

During church on Sundays I spend time in the Primary with the children. I love it - and this is why I love it so much . . .

A three year old boy from the Sunbeam class walks into Primary a little late and announces with his arms waving in the air to the other 40 children in the room, "HELLO EVERBODY! I'M BACK!"

That is why I love primary - oh, the laughs we get and the stories we could all tell!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Left to Tell by: Immaculee Ilibagiza

I have joined a book club! It's something I have always wanted to do, but never seemed to find the time or the people. One of my friends started a book club and we had our first meeting a few nights ago. We decided to read Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilbagiza. This is a true story written by a survivor of the Rwandan Holocaust in the 1990's. I really don't want to give the story away, but I would definitely recommend it to anyone. It's a book about finding God and hope in the most awful of circumstances. She has such a clear concept of God, Jesus, hope and the after life. Anyway, if you are looking for a summer read . . . I recommend this one!

Friday, June 20, 2008


This past week I was talking with another mom who also lost her baby, when the topic of bargaining came up. I realized that is where I am at. That is what I have been doing for the past week. So many times I think, "Okay, God - I have done what you have asked me to do. Now would you please give him back? I will do anything if you will just give him back."

I have always been able to negotiate and finagle my way into and out of things. It's probably one of the earliest traits I picked up on as a young child. My parents always tell the story of them bribing me to STOP talking with Slurpees. If I was quiet for five minutes, my dad would buy me a Slurpee. I wanted to know what size and flavor. I wanted to know if I was quiet for just three minutes, could I get a small one and if I was quiet for five minutes, could I get a bigger one? I had so many questions for such a simple request. Unfortunately, I never could keep my end of the bargain. I would break the silence before the minutes were up by asking more questions about the potential Slurpee.

I remember laying in the hospital bed the night after Gavin was born praying and pleading, "Please, just make him better. I will do anything I need to do as a mother, just please let me keep him." No matter how much pleading and bargaining I did, I couldn't change the fact that I had a sick baby. I used to think if I would have gotten pregnant just one day earlier or later, Gavin would not have had these issues. I know it's illogical, but in the moments of grief, you forfeit the luxury of being logical.

So, now, I sit here and wonder, really is what I am doing now all that different? I realize that I cannot bargain or negotiate with God. No matter how many times I ask for Gavin back, I cannot change the situation. I know if I am patient and do what I am asked, I will have my reward. The problem is, I want to bargain and negotiate my way through this part of it - because this is the part that hurts. I need to learn to accept and trust better. I'm working on it. The frustrating thing is that I will have a run of good and positive days and then I just break. It hits out of nowhere and the pain is almost unbearable if I let myself dwell. (Which I would like to say I don't dwell, but, well, that wouldn't be honest. I have my moments when I dwell.) I have noticed the pain comes less often but the intensity hasn't changed. After my last attempt at negotiating with God last night, I have made a resolution to give that up. Instead of asking for him back, I will ask for peace and understanding. Instead of asking for time to rewind so we can have those three months again, I will ask for help accepting this part of our plan. I will pray for trust and peace. After all, isn't what this is all about?

But I mean, really? Who wouldn't ask for a cute bug like this back?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Day I Fell Head Over Heels For a 5 Pound Little Boy . . .

I found this picture today. It was taken the day after Gavin was born. And then I think, "How did this happen to us?"

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Best Daddy Ever!

Today was Jason's first Father's Day. It was a little bit bittersweet - but I have to say, he is one of the most devoted fathers I have ever seen. I never doubted that Jason would be a wonderful father, but he by far exceeded any expectations I may have had. I have never seen a dad love a little boy more than how I saw Jason love Gavin and I know that love was reciprocated by Gavin. I know I have talked about it before, but there was one weekend in particular at PCMC where I saw Gavin's love for his daddy. Jason walked into the room and Gavin's eyes opened so wide and his little legs started to kick. The doctors say that he had little (if any) eyesight, but Gavin knew when his dad walked into that room for the first time that weekend. So, Jason, Happy Father's Day. I know it's not what you anticipated, but you are an amazing father. Gavin is a lucky boy to have you for a daddy.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Our New Floors!

This weekend was spent working on our new wood floors. Jason's brother Craig came down to help and somehow my mom and dad got suckered into helping as well.
Here are a few pictures . . .
Craig is hard at work tearing up the ugly linoleum that was in our kitchen.
Here is the back of my cute husband admiring his progress.

Dad looks WAY too happy to be sitting on the floor all day.

Mom is such a hard worker.

Here is a look at the finished product. I think we really like it!

We still have a little bit of finishing work to do - but I think Jason (and all of his helpers) did a fantastic job!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Emma Smith : My Story

Ok, I know I promised pictures of China, but our house is in chaos since we are having new floors installed. I promise I will post some pictures this weekend . . . I hope . . .
Last night I went to see the Emma Smith movie with some friends. I loved it so much that I called all of my family and we are going to see it tonight. Mind you, I am NOT a fan of LDS movies . . . videos like the Home Teachers, etc. are just not my thing. (Sorry to all of you who may love them.) However, I did like the Joseph Smith movie at Temple Square and when I read that this movie was somewhat based on that one, I decided that is was worth seeing. I think they did a wonderful job at portraying the life of Emma.
I have always felt like Emma was judged harshly by the rest of us who haven't buried multiple children, watched our husbands be mobbed and then murdered, disowned by our parents and been chased out of our homes. I have a new admiration for everything she had to endure. She is a woman of great faith, strength, endurance, patience and love. Those are traits that I hope to acquire one day.
I just want to share one of the lines from the movie that has stayed in my mind. Joseph and Emma have just buried their first child, Emma's father has told them that they are no longer welcome in his home and Joseph has let Martin Harris have the 116 translated pages which he then loses. Jospeh is working in the garden and you can see the anguish on his face. Emma stops him and says, "No amount of sorrow can make things right. Only God can make it right." I was reminded as I watched the movie that we are asked to do difficult things to strengthen us. Yes, we would like for life to be simple and easy - but trials force us to decide who we will be and how we will face our challenges. I hope I can face my challenges well.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

He's Back!

I'm so happy Jason is back from China. (He was completing a MBA class this summer - rough class, huh?) I didn't post about him being gone because I am a FREAK and I was sure that some psycho would stalk and kidnap me since it would be obvious that I was home alone. (I know - I am a little too paranoid for my own good.) After almost two weeks, he is home and life is good. He flew back into town on Sunday - I have missed him so much. He definitely is my better half. :) I'll try to post some pictures of his trip tonight. It looks like he had a great time. Plus, we all need to see pictures of Chinese toilets . . .