Monday, January 31, 2011

Three Years

Another year has passed since our first ultrasound with Owen and his diagnosis, yet our feelings are much the same, so many moments that can be best described as bittersweet.  The following is what I posted last year on the anniversary of Owen's diagnosis, repeated again today as so much of it continues to be relevant as it may always be as we miss Owen.

Bittersweet
Originally posted January 31st, 2010
Dates / references to years have been updated to reflect today, January 31st, 2011

Three years ago today we sat in a dimly lit ultrasound room and heard three words that have forever changed us - "incompatible with life." Today marks the three year anniversary of Owen's diagnosis. Over the course of the past three years there have been so many occasions, so many things that have caused us to use the descriptor "bittersweet". Again, as we approach the day, the three year anniversary of Owen's diagnosis, bittersweet is once again the most appropriate descriptor.

Bittersweet: pleasure alloyed with pain (Merriam-Webster)

This accurately describes many of the feelings we have had over the past three years. Some feelings definitely are either bitter and painful or clearly sweet and pleasurable. For example, hearing the words "incompatible with life" burned, it was beyond painful. But seeing Owen full of life, via ultrasound, at 19 weeks and again at 33 weeks was so, so sweet.

There are some things which, depending on the day, can cause these emotions to blur. For example, seeing toddlers the same age that Owen would be and wondering if Owen would be at a similar development stage, imagining what his giggle would have sounded like ... How big would he be? Would he have Jack's coarse, brown hair or Samuel's out of control blonde hair? These ponderings bring us pleasure, but they also burn at times as we question "why Owen?" But then we are often brought to our knees reminded "why not Owen?" What we do know is that God is faithful and we have been reminded time and time again, that although we may not understand, God does not make mistakes.

We have grown these past three years. We have developed an increased trust in God despite not completely understanding God's plan in losing Owen.

Although our hearts still ache over the loss of Owen, we know that our God is sovereign, we know that we have hope, and we know that losing Owen has also brought us many amazing blessings.
We love you sweet baby Owen!
Side profile of Owen, full of life, sucking on his hand at 33 weeks, via 3D ultrasound.

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139: 13-16

Saturday, January 29, 2011

An Etsy Favorite ... The Pillowcase Dress

 May 9th, 2010 ~ It's a dress!

 January 29th, 2011 ~ It's a top!

And ... she's outta here!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Perspective

Isn't it crazy how quickly our perspective can change?  I see Jack as a little boy quickly growing into a little man.  Being our oldest and seeing that he is in 3rd grade, nearly the oldest at the elementary school, makes him the "big kid on campus" at home and at school.  This past weekend, however, I got a different perspective.  Jack's 3rd grade class formed a children's choir for the high school's choral and band "Sounds of the Season" concert (originally scheduled for December but rescheduled to this past weekend due to the blizzard we had in December). 

Jack's class sang one song by themselves and two songs with the high schoolers.  Sigh ... standing up there with all of the high schoolers gave a whole new perspective ... a perspective of innocence and youth.  Jack and his friends looked so small in comparison to the high schoolers.  And, of course, this emotional mama had a wandering mind and heart, thinking forward to how soon it will be that Jack will be a teenager, how quickly it will be upon us when we are cheering him on in high school activities (and are also faced with greater than pint-sized challenges).  I am doing what I can to grasp these moments and cherish each of them, storing them in my heart.

video
Video clip of the song the children's choir sang - "Snow is Falling Still"
(video taken by a friend whose daughter is the cute blond girl that is on the riser above Jack)
Please pause music at bottom of page to watch video

Jack and Some of His Buddies

The grand finale, "O Come All Ye Faithful", was amazing with the high school band, the high school choirs and the 3rd grade children's choir coming together - quite a group!

Admittedly, and certainly not a surprise, being in a public school system has its challenges, but we are so blessed by this community, by the opportunities our children have, and by the incredible teaching staff.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cousins

In Jason's family, it seems that the babies come by 2, not twins but counterpart cousins.  Thus, each of our children has a cousin about the same age as them.  And, we all live within 20 minutes or so of each other.  How great is that?

This morning, Jack and his cousin happened to have a basketball game against each other.  Unknowingly, their respective coaches even matched them up so that they were guarding each other.  These boys have similar characteristics and personalities.  Admittedly, I've said it before, and maybe it goes without saying, but there's just some things about nine year old boys that I don't understand.  Jack and Ethan are only 12 days apart in age and are good buds.  And, they played a great game against each other this morning with great sportsmanship!
I needed to take a picture of Samuel and his counterpart cousin as well.  Isn't she sweet?  Ellison has such a fun personality.  Often times, when she and Samuel are together you will find them immersed in 6 year old humor and holding hands!  Samuel and his counterpart cousin are the furthest apart with 33 days separating them.
By the way, check out Ellison's sweet "RaggieMuffin" in her hair!  If you are in the mood for some Etsy shopping, check out Ellisons here.  Lots of new stuff added, and I must admit I've picked up a few things for myself - maybe I'll be as trendy as little miss Lydia one day (is it bad when your one-year old is trendier than you?).  And, if you "like" Ellisons on facebook you can get a coupon good for 11% off of your purchase - who doesn't love a good deal?  Or, if you just leave me a comment requesting the code or send me an e-mail, I will send you the code for the discount!  Fun stuff!