Six Months

Chantry is six months old today. It feels like a major milestone. It feels like we’ve made it. When she was first born, I didn’t sleep for three days, not sure how I would ever sleep again when she was here, breathing beside me. I stared at her for hours, not wanting to blink and miss a moment of her life. Part of me was terrified it was all a dream, or that something awful would happen and she’d disappear. Half of me expected anything and everything to go wrong. So every moment as she slept, I watched. I listened.

Now six whole months has passed since that first night watching her. She’s grown so much and I’m in awe of how quickly it’s all passed by. She is as enchanting now as she was that night. I’m still in awe of her presence. As I lay here and watch her sleep, I can’t write how grateful I am for her. For the chance to be her mom. She is such a gift. One I hope I never take for granted.

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The Best Of Friends

I watch your best friends play a lot.

Parish loves to dance, and hates costumes. He watches through the window every. Single. Tuesday. Until the garbage truck rolls up. His smile hasn’t changed in two years other than the addition of teeth. I haven’t seen him in person in over a year, but I’ve watched him grow from afar. I’m still so in love with that little godson of mine.

Everly grows daily and I know she’s a lot younger than you, but I still imagine you would’ve loved her. She’s so funny I died laughing every day she was here visiting us. She adores your little sister and I’m sure she would’ve felt the very same about you. She’s pure happiness packed in to the cutest little girl.

Your three older cousins remind me of you.

Noah placed a note in my lap at your memorial service telling me how very sorry he was. I think he could’ve been your role model and Superman. I’m constantly in awe of what a brilliant big brother he is. I know he would’ve claimed you as his own.

Zoë probably would’ve wanted to carry you everywhere. Take you right up to school and show you to her whole class. You would’ve fit right in as her other littlest cousin. The one that didn’t live with them.

I think Tucker would’ve loved to have you be the littlest, just so he could be not the littlest anymore. He would touch your head and giggle about how soft it was. He would love you so much. I’m sure of it.

Out of all of your best friends, I’m sure the one to miss you most, the one that will feel the ghost of you as she grows, is Chantry. I wish you were here to help her learn to crawl. To laugh when she laughs and cry when she cries. I wish you could be here to grow with her. To hate each other and love each other and be crazy wild kids together. I wish you could learn together. Learn about new worlds and the magic that lives here. I wish you could read her bible stories and your favorite books. I wish you were here.

I will watch your best friends grow, my love. And I will see you in every step they take.

Capture Your Grief – Day 12

A day to shine

Shining gets harder the older I get. I live in the now most days, The now of an almost 5 month old who doesn’t sleep much and a mom who’s lucky to wash her hair once a week. I think I’ll never be the “shiny new” Again. The shiny I was the day I moved to college. Or the day I got married. I think there’s a layer of grief that makes shininess seem less important. Less needed. It’s okay that I’ll never be shiny new again. I have this dirt on me because I loved and I lived.

Who wants to be shiny new when you can show the love you’ve felt and the life you’ve lived right here on the surface?

Capture Your Grief – Day 10/11

Life is Short

I absolutely love this photo. Mainly because it has all three of my true loves in it. Thomas and Chantry and Austin.

Life is short. It doesn’t feel like a it’s been two years since Austin was here and gone. It doesn’t even feel like it’s been four months since Chantry came in to our lives. It all is one big blur of happy and sad and color after color that doesn’t quite make sense. Life is passing us by so quickly. Only quicker now that we have a daughter growing and hitting every milestone Austin never faced.

This world is spinning on, and us with it.

Capture Your Grief – Day 9

Clear + Let Go

Our apartment isn’t the prettiest little place.

Mostly it’s messy and lived in. I’m always finding things to let go of because I’m just frustrated with how small my space feels. But sometimes this little space feels just right. When we’ve picked up and hidden all the clutter, and the kitchen is clean and the clothes are put away, this tiny little space feels a lot like a home. I’ve had to let go of little pieces of me to fit in to this world I live in now. I used to think I’d have a perfect family and I’d be the perfect mom. After Austin died I was certain I would never be too tired or frustrated with our next child. And so when I do get sad or frustrated or feel like I’m taking it all for granted

I beat myself up all the more because I know I shouldn’t take this for granted. I should love every second. I’m trying to let go of that part of me. I’m trying to learn to give myself space to feel all of this emotion and to let it all be ok. Let the mess in me and in my little space be ok.

It’s not easy any day.

Capture Your Grief – Day 8

Sunday Tribe Circle

On Sundays we go to small group, this last week almost everyone canceled but four couples. So instead of studying our book about marriage, we played settlers of Catan. Thomas and I love this game but we looked like total newbs this time. We obviously did not have our heads in the game.

I’ve been exhausted for weeks now. Chantry went from sleeping a 5-7 hour stretch at night, to never wanting to leave my arms. It’s been a huge transition and I’m trying to remember that this only lasts for a short time and it’ll get easier but she’ll also never need me this much again.

Breathe. Enjoy. Love.

This is important.

But I’m so glad to have friends that will play games with us, even when I’m a tired blob of a person.

Capture Your Grief – Day 7

For the First Time

Chantry is all firsts for me. Firsts that I missed and ached for with Austin. The day she laughed, I cried because he should’ve been laughing right here with us. Every time she rolls over, or starts to almost crawl, I am in awe of how quickly she is growing, and how much it all makes me miss Austin. She blows me away with how absolutely and unendingly happy she makes me. She has been my healer.

I have such a unique chance here. A chance to enjoy two fold everything she does.

I hope I learn to never take it for granted.