Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Remember Me...

So, this may sound extremely weird, little man, but just as you grew in my belly and I thought of you often, like everyday and all the time, but never got to see you, it's kind of how it still is for me...(except I'm not as bloated...)

Any Mommy who loses a child dreams of special moments they could savor for just a second more. Noah, the one place on earth you were safe was in my belly. I got to share you with Daddy and Em, but at night, it was just you and me, snuggling...you know, kind of...I remember wrapping my arm around you in my belly and holding you. I enjoyed our conversations and tickling whatever part you decided to let protrude below my ribs. I would try to guess, but only you knew...

Your Daddy and I really miss you. Em asks about you a lot. She asked just tonight how old you would be if you were alive. I told her almost 2. She needed to know the exact age so I informed her 1 year, 11 months, and two weeks. Apparently, son, the repetitious approach of your impending birthdays, the day you went to the hospital, the day your lung collapsed, the day you went to see Jesus...apparently the days that precede it are doomed with longing and anxiety for me. Don't worry, sweet guy, I don't mean it in a bad way. I believe our hearts, those of us left behind, allow us to feel this pain so we will always remember. The thing is, though, it's impossible to forget, nor would I ever choose to.

This past weekend, in addition to the countless soldiers past, present, and future, who have joined you or will one day, we chose to remember our family and friends. Noah, there isn't a day, literally, not one, that goes by that I don't think of you and miss everything about you. But, you see, there are days that go by that I don't think of the people that are still here with me, breathing the same air I do. I take them for granted because their parts are still going strong and they are a phone call away.

So, while your sister and Daddy and I planted beautiful trees in the backyard over the weekend, we decided that each one would represent our family, naming them after your great grandparents, your grandparents, your aunts, uncles, cousins, Big Sis, and Daddy and Mama, and, of course, sweetie, one for you. You and your sis have beautiful Maples. Nobody else gets Maples. What? Yeah. A lot of trees...but, when we sit out there under the stars and hear the breeze blowing through the branches, we'll pray to the Lord and remember His blessings, His goodness, His faithfulness, and how full our lives are with the hope of one day being altogether as a family.

I miss you, Noah, and I will always remember. Mama xoxox

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Please pray...

As so many surrounded us with prayer, please pray for Christian musician, Steven Curtis Chapman and his family at this time. Their youngest daughter, Maria Sue, adopted from China, 5 years old, died after being accidentally hit by an SUV driven by her teenage brother.

Father, please comfort their hearts...please touch their family as only You can, Lord. You are their only hope of knowing peace, Lord. Please bless each member of this family, the brother's heart and mind, and the hearts of the children who witnessed the accident. Lord, please send Your love to comfort the Chapmans...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I hear a whistle...

Here's a picture of Em's adult tooth pushing out the baby tooth.
Here's Em playing sweeper, but though her eye is on the ball, her thoughts and fingers are wiggling that tooth...
Em begged Jason and me to pull her tooth out yesterday. It was really, really loose, but just wouldn't budge...for me, that is. Jason yanked it right out, with finesse, of course!
Here is the toothless wonder calling her Gramma's to tell them "the really exciting news!"

This means Em is officially a big girl. She started looking for colleges early this morning. Actually, all she looked for early this morning was what lay under her pillow. The tooth fairy, a tall, handsome guy with curly hair and blue eyes, couldn't contain himself! A FIVE spot and a pack of gum. She's on cloud 9! Woo hoo!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Dear Kids...

...and to your Daddy,

Yesterday was Mother's Day. I thought a lot about what it means to me to be your Mama and I must say it is a humbling honor. Emily, who is technically the middle kid, reminds me often of the brother or sister that was born before her at only 9 weeks. It's not that I don't think of you, sweet little one, so please forgive me if it comes across that way...I am actually quite grateful for you and the profound mark you had on me. If you had not lived within me for such a short amount of time, I know that I would not have held on so tightly to the Lord when I was pregnant with your little sister. I would have taken that pregnancy for granted, personally, because your Mama is an out of sight, out of mind type of girl often. And, if we hadn't lost you, and then had Emily, I'm not so sure I would have been up for having a third child, your sweet little brother, Noah Steven, whom you have likely met by now...Not that 2 is a magic number for how many kids a family should have. It isn't. But there are other moms who are better at it than me. Anyway, kids, I always said that I wanted to have 2 - 4 kids. I most certainly did not imagine that my desire for 2 - 4 kids would turn out quite as it has, though I praise God with my whole heart that the three of you have been exactly who you are supposed to be and have graced my life for as long, or as short, as you have or did. A lot of other parents would likely call me a weirdo for praising God for my 'odds', wondering why I am not bitter, jaded, angry at God and "Are you going to try for more?" I'm not really interested in what other people think...I hope in our time together, no matter the length, that is one thing you have in your heart, along with the fact that God created you and loves you more than your Daddy or I am capable of. God loves you all! We do our very best and love you with the fibers of our beings that are capable of loving, but we make mistakes and mess up royally. God loves you and knew and knows the number of your days, and because of each of your sweet lives, #1, Em, and Noah, I cling tightly to Him.

I know that none of you could have been my sweet kids without a lot of help from your Daddy! I am a Mom because he is your Dad, so Sweetheart, if you read this, thank you from the bottom of my heart for blessing me with 3 great kids, thus far. It'll be exciting to meet #1 with you someday!

And kids, regardless of what our family currently looks like on Earth, none of us were made for here, so how God is designing it in Heaven is something to which I look forward. In the meantime, little Heaven dwellers, I am going to enjoy each day I am blessed to live here with your sister, Em.

Em, you take my breath away! My heart is so full from all the treasures I store there each time I look at you, hear your voice and can hold your little hand in mine. There is so much I want to tell you, protect you from, show you, and teach you, yet you do this for me everyday. Thank you for blessing me with your life of passion! You are a wonderful daughter and a beautiful child of God!

Noah, sweet guy, I miss you terribly! There isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss you and think of you! I know God said, "Well done, good and faithful servant" to you the moment you entered His presence! The legacy you have left and continue to leave, ALL points to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and for that, I am so proud of you! Lord, since You are reading this, would You mind doing the kiss routine I wrote out for You after Noah left my arms, the one from the archives of 2007? I kiss sweet little baby boys here on Earth and nuggle their ears but it is not my place to love them the way their Mommy's do, and I don't, so...You remember the drill.

Thank you, kids, for all you have taught me and continue to show me about my selfish self and my loving Savior! Thank you for humbling me so I can see God the way He desires to be seen. It is an honor to call you my children.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Moms and kids gone wild at Mickey's house...

So, I love my spontaneous friend, Cristine! About a week and a half ago we were on the phone. I asked her what she was doing and she said, "Going to pick Lukers up from school. Oh, Ade, it's so cute. Everyday when I pick Luke up from school I ask him what he wants to do that day. I figure he'll say something like, 'Let's go to the park or get an ice cream', but instead he says, 'Let's go to Disney World!' It's so cute but obviously we can't just go to Disney World after school everyday."
Me: "Em and I are going to DW with Jason next week while he works. Do you guys want to meet up with us?"
C: "Are you serious?"
Me: "Yes! If you can find tickets, you can stay with us because the place we're staying in has 3 bedrooms! You should see if you can swing it!"
C: "If you are serious, I'll make it happen!"
Me: "I wouldn't invite you if I didn't mean it, friend! Get on the horn!"

So, Cristine had some frequent flier points! She and Luker Jones (we have all called him that since he was a baby, like the song by Counting Crows, Mister Jones and Me...) joined us on our adventure. Jason grew up with Luke's dad in South Dakota, then we all met in college, and we've been traveling together ever since. Chad and Jake, their little guy who is almost 2, couldn't join them on this adventure at such late notice, but maybe another day.

Here they are, Em and Lukers, ready for a great adventure!

First stop, Splash Mountain...2nd stop, Thunder Canyon!

A little girl loves a tea party...
A little boy likes the fact that a tea party can become spinningly (I made up this word) nauseous!
You spin me right round, baby, right round...
...like a record, baby, round, round, round, round.

Flying in Neverland over the streets of London.
The sun was bright so we picked up some new shades...
Disney classic...apparently you are supposed to be 7 to ride without your parent, but the lady let it slide...this one time.

Misting off at the refreshment booth.
A very intent Emily taking her mom on an afternoon drive.
Look out! Lukers is behind the wheel!
Her driver's license. She asked if it was real. I reminded her she doesn't get one until she's 20...

Luke loved the comedy act on the Jungle Cruise. He kept reciting the one-liners by our captain the rest of the night.
I'm fried. Cristine is ready for another park.
A magic carpet ride...
Recovering on the above ground, level space transit train...recovering from her traumatic Space Mountain experience...too fast, too jerky, too dark, too scary, Mom!
Taking the Ferry back to reality...sorta...
Actually, we took the Ferry to the parking lot where Jason then drove us to Epcot for dinner and fireworks.
Cristine and Lukers headed back to the parks today. Jason doesn't work today so we are going to hang out at the pool and relax in the lazy river. Em's lathered up in sun screen, so I gotta go.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Part 2: Where in the world is Em and her family?

Yay! Congratulations to Sarah who guessed that we were in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. We flew there Monday and left today. Above are a few pics.

Our trip is not done. Here are some more clues to the next stop on Jason's exciting week of business bliss:
  • Cattle raising was once the primary way to earn a living in this town.
  • The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Seminole Wars came through here.
  • The South Florida Railroad System helped this town change from a cow town to the hub of commerce for central Florida.
  • During WWII over ten thousand men and women were trained at Army, Air Force, and Navy bases near this town.
  • In 1875, this town was 2 square miles.

The first one to guess where Jason has meetings on Thursday also wins an original piece of art from Emily herself, signed and sent via the USPS. Have fun! We are!

I'll post pictures once the town is named...

Where in the world is Em and her family?

Em and I are little puppies following Jason around on business this week...it just so happens Spring is here, there's an ocean, palm trees and sunshine and pools. I'm on the hotel computer, but wanted to post a picture of the beach scene, g-rated, to see if anyone could guess where we are (family and friends who know, don't tell). Since I can't post pics on this computer, here are some clues. The first one to guess gets a first edition picture painted and signed by the infamous artist, Em, for their very own refrigerator. Here are the clues:
  • The other day border patrol busted some people on a boat trying to sneak into the country just south of here.
  • There are pine trees and palm trees everywhere.
  • There are pieces of coral washed up on the beach.
  • The sun sets over the land.
  • This is a spring break town, but thankfully we avoided the scantily clad humans by one month.
  • Cruise ships stop here.
  • There are numerous canals here, dubbing it the "Venice of America".
  • The town was named after a man named William.
  • There is an artificial reef off the coast made of tires that has proven to be an ecological disaster, but the local authorities are working to remove it.

Have fun! We'll see who gets an original piece from Em!

Today we are heading north for another adventure...

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Ding Dong...

So, it's Saturday. Who came to your door this morning? Perhaps a pair of Mormons? Maybe some Jehovah's Witnesses? Maybe a kind police officer asking if I was the owner of a 2001 silver Honda Accord that is currently in South Dakota? In case you were wondering, #3 was my morning scenario.

Jason is turkey hunting with his brother and his friends in the Black Hills. He is at a remote cabin with no cell phone coverage, a downed phone line due to 36 inches of snow that fell Thursday night, and no electricity. It does have a generator, so, no, he's not really roughing it...it is on a dirt road if that counts? The reason I know that 36 inches of snow fell Thursday night is because Jason called me Friday to tell me that they had dug out of the cabin to the road for 7 hours, got to town to fill up his friend's truck, and were heading back to the cabin.

The Officer asked if it was our car. I said yes, my husband and his friend drove it to meet his brother and their good friends to go turkey hunting for the weekend. He said a State Trooper found it just off the road. I asked if Jason was in the car. He said it was abandoned. I told him they had made it to the remote cabin before the storm got too bad and I had heard from him yesterday morning. Heart rate beginning to elevate a little, but assured in my heart he was just fine...

O: "Have you heard from him today?"

M: "No."

M: "I spoke with him yesterday, though. I'm sure he's fine." (FINE is a relative term...yes, he's alive, but when he gets home...NOT SO FREAKING FINE!)

O: "Is there a way that you can get in contact with him or is there an address at the cabin, perhaps a phone number?"

M: "Do you mind waiting right here, Officer, I am going to go call some of the other wives? I'm sure when they dug out yesterday they just pulled his car out to the road so they could actually leave to come home (to my loving arms and swift kick in the pants) tomorrow."

I go make a billion frantic calls. Not one wife is available. And, because I love my mother in law, one of my best friends, so dearly, I don't really want to call her for the address because, GEE, TOMORROW IS THE 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF HER HUSBAND'S DEATH, STEVE, WHO WAS AN AVID HUNTER, HER TWO SONS ARE AT THAT SNOWED IN CABIN, AND SHE'S BEEN THROUGH THE LACK OF HUNTER'S COMMUNICATION FOR OVER 37 YEARS NOW...WHY DRAG HER INTO THIS EARLY MORNING EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER!? #$%^&*? But, of course, she's the only woman available to answer her phone, so, I try to ask casually, but her mom's heart starts beating, too. Then, she rocks the free world and gets on the horn to everyone and their dog and finds the address and phone number of where these boys, (yes, though, grown, they are boys), are staying.

O: "I'm sure it's as you have said. I will radio the State Patrol near Deadwood and give them this information."

M: "You should probably pray for Jason, too, since he's likely never going turkey hunting again."

O: "Will do, ma'am."

All is well. Apparently they are having the time of their lives. Really enjoying each other's company. I found this out through my mother-in-law who found out from her best friend who is the mom of one guy and the wife of another.

Jason, if you secretly have Internet at the cabin, please email me or drive to town and call your freaking wife, please, Sweetheart!

Believe me, he's not leaving town without me for a l o n g time...