Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter 2017 (and a look down memory lane)

I have been diligently going through the sea of pictures on my computer. Deleting and deleting for days, duplicates and unnecessary photos.

Someone please tell me why we thought it neat to take pictures of our kid's blowout diapers. I mean really. I don't understand. I must have deleted 50 photos of brownish-greenish gunk oozing out of tiny Pampers.

This process it taking me longer than expected, not only because I have so many poop pictures, but because I am watching every. single. video and looking at each and every photo oohing and aching over how tiny these girls once were. Oh the memories! I'm not hating it. 

Since I have been walking down memory lane, I must share a few pictures from Easters past.

Here we go. . . . 

Easter 2013. . . 

Easter 2014 . . .

Easter 2015 . . . This is a bittersweet year as only a few days later, on actual Good Friday, I was admitted to the hospital to deliver our son, Chance. I was discharged on Easter Sunday. So much metaphorical goodness here, but I will save that for another day. :)

Easter 2016 . . . 

Which brings us to, Easter 2017. We kicked off Good Friday with our annual neighborhood/subdivision egg hunt. Ms. Kay (who lives a few doors down) has been hosting this even for 12-13 years! 

It was a blast! Oh, and by "we kicked off Good Friday" I mean me and Camille. Brandon was in bed with the flu and Clara did not have the day off school. 

Camille found 50 eggs. She was like an egg-hunting ninja. Mommy may or may not have made some of this candy disappear. After the egg hunt was bunny sack races and hula hooping contest by age group, and a pinata. Plus lots of food for all to enjoy.

On Saturday, we attended our church's annual "Big Bunny Party." Camille had a grand time until we actual got unclose and personal with the Big Bunny. She screamed for her life. Yet once in the car driving home she asked if we could see the Big Bunny again. #threenager

This one on the other hand, lovingly gazed up at the bunny and even petted his leg. 

Clara would not let go of this teal egg. Cutest ever!

I walked around with Clara and prompted her (from elbow) to pick up the eggs. I would say "pick up" and then "put in" while pointing to first the egg and then her basket. She did great!

Our good friends, the Christoffs, attended per usual. Love getting these two girls together! (Katherine also has Cohen Syndrome and just started walking!!! This was the first time I saw her walk in person and I was sobbing messy tears behind my sunglasses. These kids work so hard and when one of them reaches a new milestone we ALL celebrate!) 

Clara even played a few games, with help from mama of course.

I would point and prompt her and she would take a step and just set the horseshoe down gently. Cutest thing. The kids working the game were beyond adorable and would cheer for her like she had just thrown it for miles.

Picking out a prize. See my hand on her elbow? She does so well with the prompting!

On Sunday, Easter day, Brandon was still sick in bed and Clara started having symptoms so the three of us stayed home and sent Camille to my parents for church, lunch, and another egg hunt.

So there you have it. Easter past and present, since kids anyway.

While these girlies are growing and changing there is one thing that isn't changing . . . my ability to creatively stuff Easter baskets for my kids and/or take a family picture on Easter Sunday dressed in our Sunday best. Someone please help me. I have fun-filled memories from childhood of awakening on Easter Sunday with a basket full of goodies sitting at my spot on the breakfast table. I have yet to recreate such a memory now that I have two littles that call me mama. Thankful for grandparents and aunties that fill the gap because, goodness, the struggle is real.

And a family picture?

Well, there's always next year.



Thankful for grace, ahem, and the promise that comes with the empty tomb!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Dear Chance . . . Two Years in Heaven

Dear Chance,

We celebrated YOU yesterday, on your second birthday. How has it been two years? I find that parents say this regardless on their child's milestone days and regardless of it they live on earth or up in heaven. Time just keeps going on by, but sweet one, we think of you. every. single. day.

We kicked off your special day Monday evening by baking cupcakes, complete with blue icing and sprinkles. Your big sister, Camille, had a ball creating the perfect treat for you.

Your daddy took a half-day off work on your birthday and we went to your grave site as a family, as is our tradition. We love having a place to visit you, even though we know you are walking with Jesus, not laying in the ground.

Your sisters just make themselves at home on the grave markers all around you . . . Ahem . . .

Sweet friends left balloons and another family left a card on your grave. What a thoughtful gesture. Since mommy didn't have time to stop at the store for balloons, this was perfect, and we were still able to do our annual balloon release.

Our friends, your friends, showed up in BIG ways, again, and we were left breathless and wrapped in God's love and tangible presence. What a dear community we have. They love us, love YOU, and they thank God for how you have impacted their world's as well. You are not forgotten, Chance, and their honoring of you confirms that.

Friends wore their blue . . .

Sneakily delivered a cooler of goodies, balloon, and a birthday cake and card to our back porch, right next to your tree. . .

They visited your grave and had conversations about heaven . . .

Delivered flowers with sweet notes . . .

Released balloons in your honor . . .

And delivered dinner complete with adorable drawings . . .

Chance, I think back on your birthday two years ago and I am filled with such bittersweet emotion. The memories of that day just flood my mind. I will always love you and miss you and I appreciate how your short life continues to point us back to what truly matters . . . Jesus, shining light, and eternity. Your little life did not leave little impact.

I love you, my son. I wish you were here, but I am honored to be your mommy even if we are separated for this short time. Happy birthday, baby boy!

P.S. Camille continues to believe you live in Hawaii. I try to correct her, but I guess heaven is a bit like Hawaii, right? :)

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