Wednesday, August 31, 2011
At the very beginning of the summer we discovered "our beach" while on a canoe ride. Oh, it is such a wonderful little spot on a nice lake with a sweet little sand beach. The water is shallow near the beach and just gradually gets deeper. And the best part? The best part is that you can only get there by boat! We have returned there a number of times over the summer and every time but one we have been the only ones there! No road, cars, people, noise...just our family enjoying beautiful Maine in the summer- swimming, splashing, relaxing. We may not own it, but I can't help but think of it as our beach!
Sunday, August 28, 2011
The last four weeks have been quite difficult and I have lots more that I want to share about our whole experience, my health, and how God has met us. But for today I want to share one of the amazing things that has come out of the last month and that is the incredible love and support we have felt from our family and friends. Family and friends have held us up, called, sent messages, made us many meals, stocked out kitchen, cleaned our house, sent cards, watched our children, sent gift cards for meals, talked with us for hours, prayed with us, prayed for us, and cried with me. We have quite literally FELT your prayers and your love for us, our family, and the sweet little baby that we lost.
There were so many calls from girlfriends who just let me cry and talk and share and process. I can't even think of how many times I talked with my friend Laura in the first two weeks. And my friend Jennifer who insisted on coming to my house to pray with me (after a tearful phone call). And my mother-in-law who was at our house just barely 12 hours after she heard our sad news- and quite literally spent days taking care of us, feeding us, loving on us, and just giving me space to heal. At the end of that first week I was getting the kids dressed and realized that I hadn't been dressing them all week...and realized that Joe or his family had been stepping in and doing all of the little things that I normally do.
And there were so many messages from friends and family (even friends I had sort of lost touch with) who have walked this road before me and who were willing to open their hearts and share their experience with me.
And my friend Steph who changed her plans to go kayaking with friends on one of the nicest days of the year so she could watch our kids while I met with my doctor recently.
And then a couple of weeks ago I had a really good day (the first one I would say in a while). My friend Melissa came up from Southern Maine just to be with me. That would have been more than enough, but she organized 5 of my close girlfriends and they spent the day just loving on me...talking with me, cleaning my house (and porch), bringing many meals, filling our fridge, cabinets, and freezer, making lunch for all of us and our kids, sharing with me, leading me through scripture, letting me share and cry, and praying with me (and providing childcare so we could all be together). It was BEAUTIFUL and I felt so loved and cared for.
And these are just a few examples.
In scripture the book of Romans speaks of love in the 12th chapter. Verse 15 tells us to, "Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." And another translation says, "Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep." When we truly love others we mourn and weep with them- this is loving them. I've never felt this so powerfully as I have these last four weeks. I have literally felt your tears for me, heard them on the phone, and read them in your messages. As you have mourned with me and physically wept with me something incredible happened- it felt as though you were taking a piece of the pain for me, that I wasn't alone but that you were bearing it with me and lifting it up to the ultimate Healer.
I can't even begin to thank you enough, my friends and family, for walking this road with us.
Friday, August 26, 2011
I'm sure you know by now that I LOVE living in a place where we can pick our own berries...lots and lots of berries! And blueberries happen to be one of our favorite foods- especially for Eli. Last year we picked blueberries once and then we bought many boxes of frozen wild blueberries that we ate throughout the year (I believe we went through 7 or 8 large boxes and even that wasn't enough)! This year we found a nice little pick-your-own blueberry place only 20 minutes from our house!! And we visited there three times to pick berries! These pictures are from the first time we were there. Eli just couldn't have been happier...a whole field dripping with his favorite food...and he just wandered around picking and eating. And Lily...she went picking with us all three times (Eli only went the first time) and she did amazing- working hard to fill up her pink pail every time! She can be such a hard worker! But one of the funniest memories for me from the first time we went picking was that we forgot to bring Eli's diaper bag along...big mistake! Of course after about 20 minutes Eli had a messy diaper and there was just no way we could let him sit in it for the rest of picking and on the way home. So my AMAZING husband took it upon himself to figure out a solution (which I believe involved some dried out wipes he found in our van...I don't really want to know the details)! But there was absolutely no diaper to be found so we just had to let the little guy go commando. Ummm....check out the second picture...yes that's his very very white little bum sticking out of his shorts (which were way too big without a diaper to hold them up)!:) Thankfully we managed to finish picking and drive home without any accidents. We left with lots of blueberries and a renewed commitment to remember the diaper bag!:)
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
My little ones were a little overdue for haircuts so when we were in Wisconsin my mom took us to her salon and got us all haircuts (even me, though there aren't any pictures to prove it)!
So, he wasn't thrilled, but he tolerated it and held still for the most part (the tootsie rolls helped too- notice the chocolate on his chin)! Truth be told I don't absolutely love his hair when it's first cut, but I do love it after it's grown for a week or two!
And as you can see Lily's hair was getting quite long and as beautiful as it was it was always getting in her face so we needed a change...
And oh my, if this isn't the cutest little bob (on the cutest little strawberry blond) in the whole world then I don't know what is!:)
Monday, August 22, 2011
When we were in Wisconsin recently we visited The Milwaukee Zoo. I have such fun memories of going to this zoo when I was younger so it was so much fun to take our kids there. They love animals and they loved this zoo (which is pretty easy- it's such a big, nice zoo with all kinds of animals)! Many of us agreed that watching the grizzy bears play (in the first picture) was a big highlight! Thanks Mom and Dad for a fun day at the zoo!
This is what our dog did the other day...
He tree'd a raccoon in our backyard.
He tree'd a whole family of raccoons (if you look further up the tree in the 2nd picture you can see a mass of four raccoons all curled up together)!
Indy was out on his leash when I heard some intense commotion and saw him barking his head off at a little critter hanging upside down from a very small branch in our backyard. Oh my was I thankful to discover that the little critter was not a skunk (we've been there-twice) but a raccoon! And after Indy was inside I watched the raccoon run up the tree instead of down and that's when I saw the rest of the racoon family further up in the tree! And that's where they stayed for at least three hours (I'm certain they probably didn't come down until well after dark since when they tried to come down around dusk Indy scared them once again). Oh my are they cute (when they are high up in the tree and safely away from me and my family) but I know they are kinda nasty creatures and I'm thankful that thanks to our dog we probably won't be seeing them around here again soon!
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Once again we have thoroughly enjoyed berry picking season this summer! And these pictures from our first strawberry picking adventure back in June pretty much say it all: This was the year that Lily picked more strawberries than she ate (though she still ate plenty) and Eli just pretty much went around eating strawberries out of each of our containers (rather counter productive, but cute)- we did finally teach him how to pick them himself (every one went straight into his mouth, but at least it allowed us to get some picking done)!!
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Eli really wants to be like his big sister...
He wants to do the things she does, play with the toys she has, and just generally copy much of what she is doing! And this, as you can see, includes riding bikes...oh my how badly he wants to be able to ride a bike! So much so that one afternoon at my parent's house he just went ahead and put her helmet on (backwards) and tried to take off all on his own (he didn't get very far)!:)