Happy Birthday Is Hard For Me…

He would be 6 today. 6 years old. Saying Happy Birthday to a son who is not here year after year is harder to do than facing the day he died, year after year. I imagine, as does his big sister and his dad, what he would be doing…would he be too sick to play or would he be one of those heart kids who has all the energy and could play sports, even? Would he climb everything? Would he drive his sister(s) crazy? Would he have severe needs or would he be vibrant and healthy? Sometimes we just imagine. Imagining the what ifs doesn’t ever really make the why go away, ya know? Whether you’ve lost a child or not, we all ask God why, at some point.

 

 

 

Why him or her? Why now? Why not? Why me?

I asked many why questions from May of 2012 to February 2013. I still ask why questions occasionally. I have found that asking why tends to frustrate and make me hurt more than I want. So, I quit asking. Part of me went to this place of trust and leaning into the Father. Part of me went to “just don’t think about it/him at all” “move on” “get past it” “what’s done is done”. I’m not sure that was the healthiest approach. It “worked” though. I moved on with life, pretty quickly. I would have moments/days of pretty intense emotion and grief, but for the most part I just kept on with life.

 

I suppose my why currently, is, why did I think I had to push myself so hard after his death? Why did I think I had to be super Christian woman and get right back into life, ministry, and all the things? Why did I think becoming so busy I couldn’t think would actually be the answer?

No one told me otherwise. Either, they were too scared to or they knew I probably wasn’t going to listen, or they were just too nervous to talk to me about my loss because it’s so taboo. No one in my church told me to take some time and heal. No one in my direct network of people encouraged me to see a counselor. No one mentioned that it would take some time to walk through my anger, confusion, or hurt. It is quite possible, that I was in such a fog that I didn’t hear or didn’t listen to those who were. I had one lady send me a book that did help me walk through my “offense” at the Lord. What a gift. It was deeply rooted in scripture and extremely helpful in sorting out so many of my feelings and emotions. No one told me I would not feel welcome or at home in our house at the time. We ended up selling that home in 2014. It was a big step in my healing.

I am not calling out any one person or church or ministry that “failed” me. There were so many loving people who came alongside me and prayed for me. Many sent cards and sweet thoughts our way.  I think though, that I put on such a “faith” face and hid behind the worship team, my family and what I was thankful for that I just neglected my soul and honestly, my brain in so many ways. I still suffer from some things that I know have come directly from not taking care of myself in the immediate throws of grief.

In my season of why, I really needed someone to help me get into a counselor, take some time to rest, and to be reminded to not feel guilty or like I was not a good enough Christian because I was taking time away. I wish I had been wiser, myself, in how I addressed my early months of grief. I feel as though each year, I do come through another layer that I buried myself under.

I don’t say this to get pity or for people to feel sorry for me in ANY way. I am also truly in a place of rest and healing when it comes to my son and his death. I don’t ask the why so much anymore, but not as a means to push away pain, but as a result of deep trust and faith in the Lord. It wasn’t that I was false/fake/lying as I updated/blogged my feelings and my thoughts on grief after his death. I wasn’t saying “churchy” things and not really working through what I was writing, but I was (and still am) SO HARD ON MYSELF.

My soft place to land has always been my Nicholas. He still is my place to fall when the heaviness of losing our boy gets me undone. I’m thankful for that.  I also know that some people don’t have a place to land and so it tanks them. The heaviness of grief causes terrible habits, dark seasons and utter despair, even.

This last week has been rough. I mentioned in a different post regarding my Whole30 stuff this last week, that the whole week has been a struggle and that I didn’t succumb to my old habits of drive through sodas and easy dinners out. I pushed through and took care of myself, food wise. But,

I started pushing it down again.

See, Monday brought with it some stuff with my big girl. She is old enough now that I won’t share things on here so she has a place to grow and privately walk through school, friends, learning, growing etc without the world knowing. She can give me permission at some point, but for now, she just had a hard day. Second grade is a whole new experience educationally speaking, she is in a new school and there are a lot of life changes that have been new to us all. Monday I felt like a failure as a mom. We were beyond rushed to get to ballet, she had to wear her old leotard, her hair was a mess (usually, but really a mess this time), we had to change her into her stuff in the car, I was frustrated, she was rushed. I went back out to my car and just let it all out. That day was just hard. I realized that I was struggling so hard with her growing up. The growing pains of life are things that she needs to experience to grow, in many ways, especially her faith. So I pray and pray, encourage and support and do what I can do help guide her. I can’t keep her from growing.

Something I prided myself in, after Noah died, was that I had an appreciation for my kids that other people didn’t because theirs were alive and one of mine was not. Those parents had never struggled through the death of a child. So, I had an appreciation and a view that was unique. I could walk my girl into kindergarten without being a blubbering mother. I could be excited for all of her new milestones without being sad. Pride. It always comes before a fall.

and I fell Monday. I fell into a sadness about my Ava growing up that I had pushed down for years. I was embarrassed and called my best friend. We live 12 hours away and so sometimes we just send voice messages or video texts… I just messaged her so I could say words and I know they would land on a soft place, but also a place of truth. She messaged back exactly what I needed. Love, support, confirmation that I can feel certain emotions without being ungrateful or unaware of the grief of loss. I was reminded to take care of my soul and give my life space during the times that I need to.

Move along to Tuesday after school and I just had no patience, I was frustrated and sad and mad and every thing in between. I was very disrespectful to my people and ended up going to bed quietly and frustrated. See, my person, he is patient and doesn’t push me or stir up things. He just waits until I break, then he helps me pick up the carnage. I broke on Thursday morning. It finally all came up. I texted him… “I’m sad. I need to be sad. I want to be sad. I am struggling.” He simply replied back, “you can be sad.” The permission and acceptance given to me in that one sentence was peace giving. I didn’t immediately perk up. I had a rough day with lots of tears, but the peace was from the Lord and it was like a blanket. I can be sad and have faith. I was reminded of that not long after Noah was born, by my sister. It’s ok for things to not be ok right now. It is ok to have sadness, to lament, to not be ok. We let those things draw us nearer to the Father though, not push us away.

What is the why that is holding you captive?

If I may, I’m steering away from my own story, my own grief, my own struggles to just simply reach out a hand and ask…

are you ok?

Maybe you lost your mother or father? Maybe your husband died? Perhaps it has been decades since your loss, but you are realizing there are parts of you that have not truly healed or come to a peace and it haunts you. You struggle, you are uneasy and unsettled. There are things in your life that are not working and you can pinpoint it going back to years of  grief, unattended.

Maybe we could quit asking why long enough to just let God comfort us. Maybe if we quit asking him so earnestly why, we would realize that letting the why go unanswered is the first step in letting our faith triumph over our fear.

Perhaps we could start to give ourselves space and grace to let our emotions be what they are, but not own who we are. Let’s get the help we need, be vulnerable enough to share the load with those around us, and really let ourselves heal.

So today I stop. I’m celebrating his life and  being what I need to be; whether that is sad, thankful, grateful, lonely or frustrated. Here is the thing though…

 

If I let Him, God will meet me in my emotions, show me his love and grace and then walk me through them. We can’t stay there. We can linger in all of our feelings or we will get stuck.

 

Today, Nick and I took time to just be. We got the kids to school and to Grandma’s and then had the day to just do what we wanted to. I had planned to take off anyway and then Nick blessed me with taking off work as well. After the girls got to their places, we had a great (compliant) breakfast, went to our teacher conference with Ava’s teacher, then went to give blood. So, we got there and my iron was too low. Honestly, I was sad. I felt like I failed at the one thing I wanted to do on Noah’s birthday. I wanted to share what I could, that he got so much of, but I wasn’t able. Nick could though, so I waited on him and when we got to the car, he could tell I was upset about it. He said, “but I was able to and I was here” I knew what he meant. If I had been alone and couldn’t give, I would have been more sad. It’s true. He said, “we’ve always been a team”. Truth. So it was fine, he ended up making some joke and I laughed and as usual, he brings my heart back to the light. 🙂 We went to Roasters, then to Hobby Lobby and looked around for a long while. (he loves Hobby Lobby by the way, so I didn’t drag him) haha. We went to get Ava, then ran some errands and off to our normal Monday evening activities.

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Today has been nice, slow and soul caring. I am thankful for many texts, messages and sweet thoughts. Thank you. Our community is strong, loving and so kind.

Happy 6th Birthday, Noah James. You are still so loved.

S

 

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Whole30/September Reflections Day 19/20

Happy weekend, friends.

This has been such a great weekend, after a really tough week. I have been getting through this Whole30 really well and the last few days had some leverage, I guess you could say. What I’ve been so thankful for is the fact that it didn’t derail me completely. On Friday we attended a birthday party for our sweet friend’s daughter and we indulged a bit on some broccoli cheese casserole and I might have stolen a bite of cake off of Ava’s late. ha. I could tell that the amount of food on my plate was more than I’ve been used to the last 3 weeks, so I stopped when I was satisfied. This morning, I cheated as far as Whole30 rules and weighed. I have lost 10lbs since September 3rd. That was a huge surprise to me! I had a cup of coffee with some Premiere Protein vanilla shake in it, heated and frothed. It was a wonderful treat. I made a compliant breakfast hash and drank water the rest of the day. We went to see Incredibles 2 with the girls and I stashed some snacks for them and us. A larabar for Nick and some pistachios for me. We bought a water for a million dollars so I was not feeling too bad about my whole30 snacking. We went to Blue Sky after the movie and we got the protein plate with side salad. I had the ranch, which is obviously not compliant, but, it wasn’t too much. I feel a sense of control I have not had for, probably ever. If I am not careful I will slip back into old habits. So this week is our last full week of Whole30 and I plan to finish strong. The small little blips yesterday and today were nothing to get me off plan and beyond next week I will be doing as much of the same thing as I can, with only the addition of a few items. It was almost like practice.

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I had a lot more sweet tooth moments this last week. Trying to push through those. I am hoping to figure out some more activity soon, but my main focus is still just lifestyle change and breaking old habits. With such progress, I truly believe I can keep up the work it takes. I do feel better. In Whole30 they talk about non-scale victories. For the record, I have been sleeping better, little to no leg pains, more focused, beginning to feel less stressed/more patient in many ways, I could tell at practice Thursday that my voice had better flexibility and flow. I don’t crave drive through sodas like I did. I have almost quit wanting bubbly drinks at all. As long as I have a plan and am prepared I tend to do really well. It is all in the planning.

I made a fun dish to take to the birthday that was compliant. A chicken/bacon/ranch dip. It was so good! It was almost like it had cheese in it, but it didn’t. I made the compliant ranch dressing, cooked up some chicken breasts and bacon in the oven on one sheet pan, then added in all the ingredients, mixed it up and then baked it. It was so good. We used plantain chips to dip. It was really good. I got the recipe from @Justjessieb on instagram.

I mentioned earlier that I had a rough week. Such a rough week, but I didn’t resort to old habits. Thankful for that. Thankful for our Life Group lesson this week and how it reminded me to own my emotions/feelings, be honest about them and take care of them and myself.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

s

Whole30/September Reflections Day 17/18

Hello.

Anyone reading these? Ha! Honestly, it has been for me that I’m logging this stuff each day. It has helped me a lot. I realized today that I finally have some major control on my eating/emotional eating issues. This round of Whole30 has me reigned in tight and I am thankful. This week could have tanked me EASILY, but I fought back. I fought this week against food boredom(I really need to make a new recipe or find some new things to eat), against emotional eating (I used to always drive through for a dr pepper or some treat or after school snack for the girls when struggling or tired or just needing a pick me up), against eating because I’m bored, and lastly just eating when I don’t need to/not hungry. I’ve found a rhythm and a rhyme to myself and my food needs. I’m still dealing with headaches and some tooth pain (whole other story), but overall I am stinking proud of myself. I have been drinking water, I splurged and got Chic fil a with a friend, but got grilled nuggets and a side salad and unsweet tea. It was nice. I’m branching out slowly and finding I can still live and do life without such a tight leash. I can still do things besides bring my lunch or eat at home all the time and not blow it. I will still mainly eat and home or bring my lunch, but it is nice to know I have more will power than I thought I had.

It’s been quite the adventure. I see how this last week and all the emotions it has brought me could have tanked my progress and pulled me back into old habits. But, instead, I have had to confront and deal with my emotions and not just cover them up with sugar or snacks. It’s hard. It’s a big deal for me and I’m proud that I’ve been so steadfast in this.

I found a Whole30 recipe for a chicken/bacon/ranch dip. I am excited to try it and bring it to a birthday party tomorrow. Planning ahead is the name of the game!

I can do hard things. img_1503

 

I guess I don’t have much to say about reflections in this part of the month other than, this year, I’m sad. I’m just being really honest about it and saying it so that I don’t keep pushing it down inside of me. I’m sad that my son died. So I’m taking steps to take care of me this weekend and I’m letting myself feel every emotion and be sad. There is no need for me to push it down and hide the tears. I encourage you to own your emotions and let God take what is actually happening in you and use it to draw you into himself.

Here for you if I can be. Love your people by being honest and owning the things you are struggling with. It is better to be honest and own the emotions that are in you, than to react and even explode at your spouse or kids or friend, causing them to get upset as well and then finding yourself in a cycle. Resentment and struggle can happen so often when we don’t just own our own issues. Coming clean with our hearts and guarding our hearts, really knowing who we are and what is going on in our heart and minds is so important. Let’s be people that other people can feel safe being honest with.

Lots of grace, people.

Whole30/September Reflections Day 15 & 16

hi!

We’re still in this and doing fairly well. Yesterday and today were both big tests in emotional eating for me. Today and yesterday were both really tough for me in various ways. For the longest time, hard days meant I could be lazy and just drive through for dinner, cheer myself up with a soda or snack to curb anxiety/emotions…

Well, Whole30 just doesn’t cater to that kind of behavior. Also, my body just didn’t react that way or follow through with the thought because I’ve begun to adjust my hormones, etc as I’ve restricted myself to just certain things. It really is empowering to get home after a LONG and rough day to still feed myself and my kids without having gone through the drive through. I know that there will be plenty of times to come where that still might be the case, but less from emotion and more out of necessity. If that makes any sense.

So I’ve come to the point in this journey that I feel a bit bored and I need something new/fresh/different to keep myself going, so I’m looking at some recipes and trying to figure out how to do that. I can tell that I am just craving water the more I drink it. I am even getting away from sparkling waters for the bubbles, since I’m just not really craving that. Fruit is a life saver for me when needing something “sweet”… mostly lean and green meals with healthy fat. Easy and simple. But, like I said it can get boring. If you’ve done Whole30, shoot me some recipes I can try!!

 

Mothering tends to blare our own deficiencies and downfalls, sins and struggles at us. Most of the time it is the most inconvenient thing to deal with, but with it comes a cleansing that is maybe even more important than a Whole30. Mothering has been such an odd experience for me. It is hard to explain, but I have never had an immediate bond with any of my babies because they were all 3 rushed off for medical attention at birth. I got a glimpse and then had to go into recovery alone, as Nick would accompany our child. I didn’t get to hold Ava for 2 days. I didn’t get to hold Noah for 2.5 months. My Ana did get to be held the day she was born, just not minutes after. I am not certain that that made some big difference in my mothering per say, but as I read other stories of mothers who got skin on skin for hours after a simple and perfect labor, I often feel that sting of inadequacy and guilt. I am not sure why I was dealt the hand I was when it came to my pregnancies, birth stories and 3 c-sections, but I realize that God had his hand in it all. With all of that said, mothering hasn’t come easy for me in some ways. Loving my kids, wanting the world for them, snuggling, wanting to spoil, just make the world about them doesn’t seem to be hard.  Ava was only 11 months old when we found out we were pregnant with Noah. That whole next year was ROUGH. My entire world was turned into a big mess and the things I dealt with in my mothering that year were some of the darkest moments I have and will ever walk through. Loneliness, having to leave my 15month old for multiple weeks at a time, not being rooted in our home/routines…a gravely sick child that I couldn’t help/hold/fix/comfort…then his death…then having to pick up with life and mother/take care of and nurture my child who was alive and well. Years later I know Ana is such a gift, but as I continue on this journey of mothering I have found that there is a wedge sometimes that I can’t quite explain. I feel as though some days I have put up a wall between the emotions I have with mothering and the reality I live in as a mother. I don’t know if that makes any sense. See, after Noah died, I realized that no matter how hard I pray, God’s will will be done in their lives. I didn’t get a say in my child’s life span, so why would that be any different for my other children? Some days I have a trust in the Lord that is unmatched in faith and trust…. other days that means that I am not as invested in some of the details of their lives. I feel as though I don’t make much sense here, but maybe another mom who has suffered loss can understand?

Monday was a day where I just didn’t have a choice but to feel every feeling I have about my oldest. I went ahead and just let it all out, in my car, to Jesus and then a very long voice recording to my best friend. Sometimes I get so caught up in making life work, function, routines happening, trying to help my kids with all the things and doing everything to train/love/discipline/mold/shape/ etc that I forget that 1. we have walked through so many things together 2. I love her more than I can even explain or fathom myself 3. She isn’t mine…she really is His. That can be a hard thing when you’ve watched the breath leave one of your children. These girls we are raising are His, and the things they will struggle through cannot always be fixed by me.

That is a hard reality. I won’t be able to fix it, make it work or do it for either of them when it comes to struggles, issues, growing, learning…

So I wanted to drown my emotions but I was forced to deal with them and bring them to the Lord. It is better that way. It really is. It still doesn’t make it easier or less confusing. Momming is hard. I really want to just make their lives beautiful and lovely and wonderful and full of ease. Alas, my job is to point them to Jesus, extend grace and lovingly direct them in the ways He has called us.

Whole30, for me, this time, especially is a big challenge in keeping food in its place and actually working through and dealing with things that need to be dealt with. For me, the restriction is almost a fast of sorts. It allows room for growth and work and healing to happen in areas that one wouldn’t think was effected by food.

We continue on! Thankful for the journey and hoping to see more progress and energy as we go.

Also, I’m so thankful for little reminders that I am loved. 2 friends sent things in the mail today and it really made me feel so seen and loved.

Thanks for coming along on the ride!

Whole30/September Reflections Day 13 & 14

Hello and happy Monday!

This weekend was a good one! My day off on Friday looked like some light house cleaning, playing with Ana and a grocery store run. We went and found some hard to find ingredients at a local health food store. We then went to Market Street and got our usual groceries. 🙂 I was really impressed with my finds at Market Street this time. We found some really good “emergency food” options, Nutpods for coffee and some other items. I will be the one to say, I don’t like Chomps. They are like meat sticks (kind of like a slim jim) Eew. TOO spicy. Not a fan. Sad by this, but I like Nick Sticks. That is another brand of compliant snacks and I love those. They are not spicy. 🙂 I’m a weenie I guess.

Anyway, we had a great Saturday and Ava and I got SO MANY CHORES done. Bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchen, Nick took Ana to the dr and got her some meds and did laundry and mowed the back. Overall we are still hanging in there with the Whole30. We even ate out Sunday and minus a piece of cheese they didn’t take off, we were good. 🙂 Not too worried about it. haha We are on week 3 and feeling well! I think the season change in giving me headaches, not necessarily the whole30. I still feel like I will be able to grab up some more energy soon.

My biggest concern and goal moving forward is how we reintroduce things and what we reintroduce. I am still very much in a fragile food state, where I need to watch everything I eat, closely. I don’t want to fall into bad habits again, just because we completed a whole30. So, I am going to really plan what I will allow myself to have and what I will not allow myself to have. I believe I can find a great balance that will still help me lose weight and find healthy habits without diving head first back into big problem foods.

As September continues on, I have had more people give me items for our collection. We are honoring Noah’s 6th birthday with collecting items for Mended Little Hearts of Ft Worth. We are collecting toiletries, small journals, pens, fleece blankets from Walmart(the $2.50 ones), gum, hard candies, non-perishable easy snacks, small packs of kleenex, etc. Ava and I will be bringing these down, possibly all 4 of us, to honor and remember our boy.

September Whole30 made sense, because since Noah died I have always felt this push and need to make him proud, the things he struggled through and fought make me realize I can do hard things too. So we do this and we find that hard things are good things and even though it isn’t easy it has been worth it. I find that true of my entire experience as a heart mom. The 5 months I got were such “trench” months. They were hard, ugly and down right draining, but they were full of long days in my Bible, lots of prayers, journals, meeting new people, becoming family with many of our medical team, and enjoying a little baby boy who didn’t know life outside of those Cook Children’s walls. So September means so much because it is always a time of reflection and I get to remember that I’ve done harder things than attend to my health or pass up a dr pepper. I have endured and I have seen hard times. Dark days, long nights, deep pain. I can continue to do what I’m called to, what God is calling me to, because he always has had a plan and he continues to make the way.

So here’s to week 3! 🙂

Whole30/September Reflections Day 11 & 12

Hello! Yesterday was busy and we got home late from practice, so I skipped my journal last night. Today has been wonderful! We got up and got Ava to school/Nick to work. Ana and I lounged around and watched shows together and got our morning snuggle in. I cooked me a yummy breakfast. Left over steak pieces, potatoes and eggs cooked in avocado oil and ghee. I had some orange juice as well. I had a lovely time talking to my best friend on the phone for almost an hour.(thank you Ana, Haddon and Brooklyn for being so accommodating) 🙂 It was so good to catch up and visit. We got ready and went to Eat-Rite here in town and found some tapioca flour to use for a recipe! I found some yummy almond butter there too. Found out I can’t eat it until after whole-30 because it has sugar in it.. but alas. I’m going to see if the girls like it instead of peanut butter…who knows. 🙂 haha! We went to Market Street next to get groceries and I had a great experience. It has been a long while since I enjoyed a trip to United. I loved it for so long because it helped shape me as a person, working for them for a total of almost 10 years. Today I just really was so happy.

-bought a fall mum on sale 🙂
-they have Nutpods!
-found a different almond/coconut milk creamer
-they have compliant bacon, Chomps jerky sticks, and some R Bars and RX Bars…
-our whole30 emergency food stash is on point right now.
-also found some new bubbly water and realized the spiralized veggies and cauli rice is in the frozen section and that works well for us this week.
-earned 5 rewards and got .50 off per gallon of gas today. 🙂 Filled up my 4Runner for $38 bucks. woop!

So, I have not felt such control over my food related choices, probably ever in my life. I think even last time we did this, I wasn’t this focused or doing so well. I’m very thankful.

This grocery run today, was super easy and I found some awesome helpful products to keep us going the next week and a half or so. Keeping things simple is the best way to do this. I’ve given myself release to just keep things simple and maybe do a new recipe once a week. It is so so helpful. 🙂

This weekend looks to be fairly easy going and not too busy! Looking forward to spending time at home, doing some yard work, playing with the kids, church and rest. 🙂

Y’all have a great Friday!!

Whole30/September Reflections Day 10

Well, folks…we’ve made it to double digits!! Can I just say how very thankful I am that I was just honest yesterday and through that I got the sweetest encouragement from two dear friends. They commented on this post with encouragement and prayers! Prayers! I needed that and it just boosted my spirits so much. So thank you Sandra and Dianne! You both bless me so much, weekly, but your support means so much.

If I can just speak into that idea of encouragement? It means so much. It is one of the biggest blessings to receive; someone giving you a boost. Do it. Encourage your spouse, your kids, your kid’s teachers, your school’s admin, your pastors, your life group leaders, your friends, family, parents, siblings, friends…. be the encourage-r. Sometimes we tend to drain our closest friends and family with our needs and struggles. Sometimes a thank you or an atta girl or atta boy just means the world. Do it! 🙂

So today has been good! I am still not wanting breakfast, so I just drink water. I pack a protein rich lunch and it tends to work for me. So I brought tuna salad, lettuce wrap and a boiled egg. I also had some plantain chips. Tonight I had time to make a new recipe. Mexican Cauliflower Fried Rice. I’m usually not a fan of cauli rice. 😛 But, this recipe made sense and it tasted great! It was nice to detour away from grilled meat and simple veggie. Even though that is yummy and easy. 🙂

Yesterday, I also just had some tough mom moments, personal moments and even though it doesn’t happen often, some grief. I was able to go to the dentist today and get my bite adjusted and that has been SUCH a blessing. I already feel better and have less pain. I am SO thankful for a considerate dentist and his staff who want relief for me as much as I do. So thankful and that has helped with my headache/pain. I also slept all night last night and woke up less groggy. I think I’ve flipped the switch. 🙂 yay!

There are some events coming up that I need to mentally prepare for. We have some birthday parties coming up, as well as some other social events. I am just trying to get a plan in place and make the right choices ahead of time in my brain so I can be prepared. I think that is the key for me for the whole ordeal. If I am prepared and have a plan, I tend to do the best. When I have “emergency” food on me, I won’t swing through pak a sak. When I have my water cup full and with me all the time, I am less likely to drive through some where. I am finding things that work for me. When I have a protein rich lunch, I am not as snacky during pick up line. All this to say…it takes time and effort, but I know that the most important things always do.

I slept with his blankee last night and the night before. When I am really missing my boy I just sleep with his blanket. It helps me go to sleep and I can have a good cry in it if I want/need to. Something comforting about the blanket just soothes me and so I keep it handy. I have some thoughts, old and new about Noah and I’m sure I’ll figure them out by the time his birthday rolls around.

So I am always just so humbled by people when we extend an invitation to join us in donating to Cook’s. I just always realize that people DON’T HAVE TO DO IT. But, they CHOOSE to join in and celebrate and honor our son because they are gracious people and I just can’t get over the fact that they are so generous and thoughtful. So thank you to everyone who is donating. I am going to put together a paypal or something for those who are out of town and would like to donate. What a blessing our community is. I am just truly so humbled and excited to bring these items to the Cardiac ICU. 🙂 Thank you

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I found a heart in my dinner!

Day 10 has been pretty good, overall. I am ready for sleep. 🙂 I hope and pray you all have an amazing day tomorrow! God is faithful and is helping us do hard things. 🙂

Shaina