Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Still here...

Well, I'm not sure where the last 9 months went! Having a baby can be pretty all-consuming, I guess. But June is almost 9 months now, Holly is 4 and summer is here. I am so thankful for summer and pool days and lots of sunshine. Here is Holly going to her last day of school:

June playing with her "schoolhouse":

Both these girls continue to bring us lots of joy. It is hard work but oh-so worth it. June's little personality is really coming out and it is so interesting to see how every child even within one family is so unique. She is very sensitive and loves Holly. If Allen and Holly are playing and Holly screams laughing, June cries. She thinks Holly is hurt and gets very upset. We keep telling her, "It's okay, June. And we smile and say "yay!" but she still cries if she thinks Holly is hurt. And Holly is equally as protective of her (most of the time). I think she cannot wait till June is walking and playing with her on the playground. She is really careful to pick up tiny little parts to her toys "so June won't swallow them" and showers her with hugs and kisses. Many times these hugs have ended with June toppling, but the intention is sweet.

We still miss Joseph a lot. I was really distracted for many months after June was born and just didn't have time to grieve and be sad. But I think now it's hitting me again how much I miss him and wish he could meet June and be Holly's big brother, etc. Holly also misses him a lot. The other day she was saying how much she wanted to go up to heaven and bring him back and then he could never leave again. We finally decided she could draw him a picture and put it in an envelope with some candy and send it up with some balloons "to heaven." This really made her happy and she did enjoy doing it. As she's getting older she asks many many questions about heaven and dying. One book that has helped so much is "What About Heaven?" for kids. If you ever need a resource for children who are dealing with death and eternity this one is great. It asks a bunch of questions at the beginning of the book, then at the end answers them. Holly thought it was great that it never was night and always is day! She saw in one of the pictures that there was a bed in a kid's room and she asked a great question: "Why do they need a bed if it's never night?" She's always thinking!! If any of you have other good resources please let me know. I know she will continue to ask questions and we are going to need wisdom!

We are drawing close to Joseph's birthday (and the day he died) and that brings so many memories and emotions. I will sometimes go back and read through this blog to look at pictures and be reminded of certain things and I'm always blown away at how loved and prayed for we were throughout Joseph's illness. I have no idea why God caused so many people to care for Joseph and our family. We were (and are) so blessed. Thank you to everyone for showing us God's love in a very dark time.

Allen and I will celebrate 9 years of marriage tomorrow. I simply cannot believe what all life has brought us in our 9 years. We were looking through our honeymoon photo album and we were marveling at how young and carefree we looked (and skinny!). We had no idea what lay ahead of us. Lots of fun and great memories, but also a lot of sadness. But I am so grateful and proud to call Allen my friend and husband. He has been God's good gift to me throughout all the ups and downs. He has made wise and sacrificial choices for his family and I'm so thankful for that. We have had our fair share of struggles and hard times, but I have to say I'm still pretty fond of him. :) And he's still the funniest person I know.

This is how we feel at the end of each day (and after Holly's birthday party :)).