Monday, July 26, 2010


I can hardly believe some days that Felicity's been gone almost 2 years. I recently wrote about how I feel I'm doing in my grief. Oddly enough, within days of writing that, I had some days of sadness where I spent a lot of time thinking about her.

Her pictures are displayed throughout our home, but I came across a few the other day that knocked the breath out of me when I saw them. I literally couldn't breathe for a moment and even now as I'm thinking back to how that felt, I feel short of breath again.

She was so beautiful! Did I really have a baby die? In the car the other day, I flashed back to when I routinely traveled that same road to visit my midwife for appointments. It still feels so surreal to me sometimes.

Little things trigger my emotions: seeing an ambulance and wondering if it was the one that took her lifeless body to the hospital, seeing a cute little brown haired girl at the playground, sitting at the dining room table when it's dark out and seeing my reflection in the patio door. I remember doing that the night before she was born and being so tired of being pregnant. I took for granted that my baby would be born healthy and soon.

I told my friend Heidi the other day, that I kind of feel myself shutting down as Felicity's birthday approaches. I still don't know how to do this - celebrate a birthday for my daughter who's not here. And yet, I want to and I have to. The boys need to remember their sister and now that Caleb's here, I don't want it to seem like he's replaced her. The planning of these things always seems to fall on my shoulders though, and right now, I feel too weary to even think about it.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dear Elijah,

Just today we counted it out on the calendar and in only 41 days, you will be four! Four! Where has the time gone? You are such a fun little guy. And whiny. Did I mention that yet?

Each day with you is interesting. Some days the big boy in you comes out and some days you revert to baby mode, complete with baby talk lately. Where did that come from? I admit, I love it when you want to cuddle, but I long too, for you to mature.

You've recently decided you don't want to eat toast (with peanut butter and honey) for every meal (not that we let you) and have decided you like more interesting things. Namely chips and other snack foods. Or anything with sugar in it. You will drop just about anything for food that tastes good. I hear "I'm Huuunnngggrry!" many times throughout the day and yet, it takes you SOOOO long to finish a meal.

I think it's cute that instead of saying "Am I....," you say, "Are me....?" In many ways, you walk to the beat of your own drum. I hope that grows into some good leadership skills. Right now, it's hard to imagine. Your first reaction to things that don't go your way is anger. And with the anger comes hitting and scratching. This is usually directed towards your older brother and I know sometimes he deserves it. We working on making sure he's not purposely teasing you and also working on teaching you how to ignore it. It's not been easy. For anyone.

You are a good big brother. You love Caleb. A little too much at times, but you're getting better about being gentle. Sometimes you are the first to notice when I'm sad. Your usual response to this is to say, "I'm sad about 'Licity too." And then you go back to playing. But I love that you say her name and talk about her, even if you don't remember her very well.

You are a creative kid, Elijah. You love play-dough and painting and other artistic endeavors. You are also becoming a big helper. You love to help me in the kitchen, especially with washing potatoes and fruit. You also love to help Daddy with whatever he's working on. You have made it very clear that you want to be a daddy and a policeman when you grow up. You are going to have kids so that you can do devotions with them. You also already know who you're going to marry, since you can't marry me. You've told me you love her even though she's a couple years older.

We're working on your listening skills too at this point and you're doing better. You're definitely our wild child and I already envision having you run laps or something like that before expecting you to sit still for very long to do school work. And speaking of that, you're so anxious to do school and especially to read. I'm think we'll work on it this year, though very informally.

All in all Elijah, I just want you to know how much we love you. No matter what!


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Vacation ~ Part 2

Duluth! Located on the southern point of Lake Superior, it is a fabulous place to visit. Up until about 5 months ago, my BFF Julie lived there. Even though we don't get up there often it was still and added bonus to see them when we did make it up there. There is so much to do and see in Duluth. Just going down to Canal Park and watching an iron-ore boat come in under the lift bridge is always an amazing sight. We got to Duluth on Monday in the late afternoon and basically had time to check into the hotel, get settled and then go out for supper. Everyone was pretty beat because of the heat. It's usually perfect 70s temp in Duluth this time of year, but the east coast heat wave affected even MN. Our dinner out at Grandma's was forgettable, except that it was our most expensive meal on vacation. Never going there again. We also agreed to eat the rest of our lunchtime meals out and do sandwiches for dinner. With young children, eating out in the evening is more work than pleasure, or so it seems for our family.
Tuesday morning we headed up to Enger Tower which is an old observation tower. There's a nice park up there with flower gardens, trails, a great view, and lots of rocks to climb on. With 3 boys, I imagine there's going to be lots of rock climbing in my future. Elijah's so funny - he called it "Anger" tower once and "Angry" tower another time.
My handsome guys!

After that we made a random stop at Best Buy and as we were walking in I heard someone yell my name. When I turned, I was shocked to see Julie across the parking lot. As she ran up to me her hubby Steve walked out of Best Buy. They had come back "home" for the w/e and had stopped at Best Buy before making the long haul back to the wilds of Iowa. We visited for awhile and she saw Caleb for the first time. It was so great to see them and their 4 girlies - very providential! Despite the time and distance that often separate us, whenever we're together we're able to just pick things up where we left off.

After a yummy lunch at Mexican Lindo, it was off to Gooseberry Falls State Park. Elijah referred to it once after we left as "Duckberry." It was perfect and cooler by the falls. Paul and the big boys climbed around on and in the falls while Caleb and I sat in the shade and enjoyed the view and some good people watching. I heard at least four different languages: an Arabic dialect, French, Spanish, and I think Dutch.

I climbed around some too. The water felt wonderful though Caleb wasn't too thrilled.

After some more exploring and a close call with a bear in a cave, we found it supper time already.

On Wednesday, we headed down to Canal Park. There is a ton of fun shops, a free maritime museum and a path along the water to walk on. Due to the heat, we spent a lot of time watching the boys (mostly Elijah though as Ethan wasn't feeling great) run through these fountains.
It was hilarious. The people who passed us by certainly got some entertainment out of watching Elijah run through these over and over again. I've heard of splash pads but we've never been to one. All Elijah needed was this though. He probably would've stayed there all day. It was one of my favorite moments during our whole vacation.

He ended up wearing a t-shirt, boxers, and water shoes to lunch since his jean shorts were soaked. We went to a pretty nice place too with cloth napkins and champagne glasses on the table. I don't think anyone noticed. At one point in the meal, he got a whiney tone in his voice and said, "When are we gonna be there?" It was pretty funny!
Ethan continued to not feel well all day. Our last stop was a playground where Caleb enjoyed swinging for a few minutes.
Thursday was Ethan's golden birthday. Poor kid felt pretty miserable on our way home. As we left the hotel I noticed one of our monarch larva had emerged from it's chrysalis (yes, we brought them with us on vacation). That was a cool birthday gift. We released it at home later that day.
It was a good vacation. Unfortunately Ethan's been sick on and off again since we've been home. The doctor doesn't think it's strep but we're still waiting on the 24 hour throat culture.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Vacation ~ Part 1

Hurray! We're home from vacation! What is it about coming home? I'm always excited to go, but as I get older, coming home is better!

Last Saturday, we left for Jump River, WI to spend the weekend at Paul's sister's cabin. Unfortunately due to the weather, we weren't able to enjoy many outdoor activities. The big boys did get to throw candy in the local parade though. Ethan did a great job. Elijah did okay. He was too busy stuffing candy into his own pocket to throw much candy to the bystanders.
Paul, Caleb, and I enjoyed the parade from the comfort of the van. Caleb was more than happy to take the wheel into his own hands.

If you need anything lubed up, he's definitely your man!

"Mother, where's my candy?"

We left Jump River on Monday morning and proceeded to head towards Duluth, MN to spend the next few days. On our way there, we stopped in Spooner, WI to appease the boys' need for speed.

Caleb and I sat on the sidelines and I tried to take some photos of the two of us. Here's the best two.

During the long car ride to Duluth (2.5 hours) we alternated between listening to "Johnny Tremain" on tape and Elijah moaning and groaning. "Are we THERE yet?" "I'm HUNGRY!"
Good times.
Near Duluth, we stopped at Amnicon Falls. It was a series of beautiful waterfalls, and you could even wade down or swim in the water.
We always get comments about the boys' hats. They were purchased HERE by my parents. Paul even has the adult version and it's been great for when he's out working on our land.

While the boys went for a short hike, Caleb and I enjoyed the view. I again attempted to get some more pictures of the two of us. Caleb had already had one wardrobe change by that point.

This one cracks me up! He's certainly developing some interesting facial expressions.

Not far from there we stopped at Pattison Falls - the largest waterfall in Wisconsin. We didn't take a good photo of the falls but we did get this one of the boys and I. It was the only one of me with all of them all vacation. (I'm usually the one behind the camera.)
It was HOT and HUMID so we didn't stay long (read: everyone was crabby). On to Duluth!
Stay tuned. More to come....eventually.
This one took me hours to do as blogger and I currently have a very volatile relationship. Here's to hoping some time apart improves our communication and respect for one another.