Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day Dad!

I hate not being with you on Father's Day, but I cooked some tri-tip roasts in your honor and we ate them all in your honor too. I let my kids eat junk food along side their veggies and smiled, thinking about how you always buy so many groceries every time you come visit and how I give you a hard time about buying the kids junk food. Making memories. That's what that's all about.

Today at church, Pastor Jim talked about the sins of our fathers and being intentional about breaking those sins generationally. It got me thinking about how you broke the chain of Mormonism in your family and what an impact that will have on generations to come. I am so thankful you met Jesus and you introduced us girls to him as well. This also got me thinking about Grandpa. How could I not? We have spent so many father's days together and I hurt for you thinking about how hard it must be to celebrate today without him. I hate thinking about the day I might celebrate it without you. You see, even though I'm sure there were some generational sins that got passed down along the way. I see many more things that I'm glad were passed down. You learned beautifully how to love from your Dad (and Mom). I really believe I chose a man that adores me because of what I saw growing up in our family. The way Grandpa always looked at Grandma, the way you look at Mom....and even the way Grandpa looked at us and I sneak glimpses of you doing the same. There can be a lot of love in a look and I can pull up a memory of Grandpa in a second just by thinking about the way he used to look at us and then our kids. He adored us all and poured so much into loving us. It is such a beautiful gift that I hope I am passing along to my own children. There are generational sins but there are also generational blessings wouldn't you say?

I also think of you a lot when I think about my little outnumbered family situation. How I long for a girl sometimes and I think of you and how you got your boys when we all got married. I hope that I welcome and love on my future daughter in laws in the same way that you have accepted my husband into our family. You might be the only real stable father figure he's had in his life and I'm so glad he has your example to follow on how to love and lead.

Thanks for being such a great Dad all these years. We feel so blessed to have parents we get along with and actually want to spend time with. It seems like a rare thing!

Blessings to you sweet Daddy-o!!

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Hewitt Update

Okay, well I have good news and bad news. I'll start with the bad news first.

Hewitt was still having seizures. That will always be in the bad news category (duh). He is mostly having absence seizures. The Dr. said around 4:30am they started increasing until he was having very short ones every 10 seconds after waking up. They seemed to taper off after a while, but I was definitely bummed to hear they were coming every 10 seconds.

Good news. In his quick check through his EEG he didn't see any myoclonic seizures. These are the ones that make his arm jerk involuntarily that I thought I had seen an increase of. He did say he could see why, that he was making some jerky movements with his arms but he said they were NORMAL little boy spasticness. I loved hearing that and I probably wouldn't have believed him until he showed it to me on the EEG reading.

The Dr. spoke at length with me about how Hewitt is doing in school and behaviorally. This is probably my biggest concern right now. He's behind. I know he's intelligent, that's not my concern. It's just getting the information to stick in that sweet little head of his. Hopefully this summer I will be able to spend more concentrated time working with him. His Dr. had a lot of great ideas of ways we could help him and also suggested finding a child psychologist to help us with some of the behavior modifications.

This is probably one of the hardest things we are dealing with right now. It is really hard to watch him with other kids. He really struggles with boundaries and appropriateness and it just breaks my heart to watch him struggle through this. I know God will use it as part of his story - but it hurts my heart. And, sometimes it breaks his. So, we will continue to fight for him this way. ..trusting that there is a purpose for it all.

Our next move is to remove the Keppra from his med routine. Just typing that makes me feel all fluttery and nervous. Hayden and I have talked for years about whether or not this med is contributing to his behavioral issues. It's so hard to know what does and doesn't at this point. He's been on this med since the very beginning though...April of 2008. So, we will take the next 8-9 weeks and very slowly wean him off of that. This is what I would really appreciate prayer for more than anything. This could mean that we might be dealing with exaggerated side effects for the next 8-12 weeks as his body adjusts to not having it. I feel like this is a good move for him, but I'm still nervous about it. We have a medicine picked out to add if we need to add one. I'm hoping we can just stay on the one, but we will see. The Dr. said that they don't treat absence seizures very aggressively at this age. But, if he's still having them when it comes to driving age we will revisit that. So, part of me is excited for this change and the potential for his behavior to normalize but part of me is terrified that removing it will throw us back into hundreds of seizures a day again. Deep breaths - lots of deep breaths. We would covet your prayers for this transition. It has potential to be a very difficult one.

It feels good to have a plan in place and this appointment behind us. We have a busy ministry summer so I'm excited to let go of the school year and jump into summer!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Some of you that are my Facebook friends probably saw me post this picture this week:

There are many things I want to say about wounds and the importance of looking beyond the surface with people...but, the reason for this post today is not for a rant about wounds. (because that's what it would be) It's because of my friend Laura and her family. Laura and I went to school together. In fact, our senior year of high school, she was my dearest friend. Our friendship had only just developed that year but we had a lot of fun together, did school projects together and I loved spending time at her house with her crazy family. We haven't seen each other much since graduation. A few times here and there. She married her high school sweetheart Steven and they are the perfect match - they complement one another so well...they are a great couple. Anyone would be blessed to have them as friends.

As we've grown our families, we have stayed connected on Facebook. I've enjoyed seeing her 3 boys all close ages to 3 of my boys. There is something about having only boys that boy mama's get. We were pregnant at the same time in 2011, her with her 4th baby and first girl. Me with my 6th boy, Kingston. I really enjoyed seeing the process through Facebook, a girl nursery all decorated and ready for her arrival. Kingston was born on her baby's due date. Laura went past her due dates with all her boys so they weren't concerned. But, on the 24th, something went wrong. You can read her story on her blog What did happen is it left their family without a baby girl to bring home and without the option of even trying for another. They are devastated. They are in mourning. I can't imagine how one would even move forward with that kind of pain. Laura has done a great job sharing her raw feelings on her blog and I would encourage you to read it and pray for them. I am so encouraged by her willingness to just be real with her readers. If you are interested in helping another way, you can donate to an upcoming walk that they participate in to support The Tears Foundation. It's a non-profit created to help parents offset the funeral and burial costs after a baby dies (things you never even imagine you'll have to think about), and they also provide a monthly support group for grieving families. They will be walking in Tacoma on June 15th. If you want to give to this great organization and support the walk you can donate here: First Giving

I want to honor the memory of Brynna. Her birth and death changed me. My letter to Laura in the next post explains how it changed me. I hope that you will walk gently through the lives of those around you. You just don't know what people are dealing with.

She's beautiful, they're beautiful.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Letter to Laura

{Originally written October 2012}

My sweet friend,

I wish I knew the exact number of times that you've come to mind this last year.  I would like to think that it would encourage you somehow.  To know that you are thought of, loved and prayed for so often. If you could hear and see how many people have thought, prayed and cried for you as you've walked this journey over the last year. How we have watched, some up close and many from afar, your hearts be broken in a way unimaginable to most parents.  I think back to October of last year.  I don't know if you realize this or if I ever told you, but Kingston was born on October 15th - Brynna's due date.  I can't type that without crying. I know that you would never want me to feel guilty for not losing my baby, but so often, I look at him and I think of her and your family and all of the wonderful things of having a new baby in the house, and how unfair it is that you aren't holding her right now. I think they call it survivor guilt?   I think about that Sunday morning, sitting in the nursery with him, I felt a tug on my heart to pray for you.  I didn't know why at the time, but God was asking me to pray without knowing why.  I think I messaged you on Facebook to tell you that He had put you on my heart.  Little did we know what was about to happen.

Hayden and I went on a trip this month and we arrived home on the 15th.  I felt bad that we missed most of Kingston's first birthday, but figured we could just celebrate when we got home that weekend.  Well, the supplies are bought, it's now 2 weeks past his first birthday and we still haven't done a party for him.  I keep thinking about you and your remembering Brynna's birthday.  I think about how I want to do something to honor her, to honor all of you.  I don't know why, but I am having such a hard time just having this birthday party.  It feels so unfair that I get to celebrate - and again, I know that's not what you would want, but the feeling just lingers there.  And, Kingston is a baby and he isn't going to know we did his first birthday really late...but, I just feel like I can't move forward with it and I just wanted you to know.   I want you to know that because of Brynna I did things differently with Kingston.  I held him more, he stayed in our room much longer than the other boys did, Kingston rarely cries longer than 30 seconds because if I can't get to him one of his brothers does, I tried very hard not to complain about those middle of the night feedings and dirty diapers, I stopped our life in ways I had never done with the other boys and I soaked in this baby as much I could.  He might be spoiled because of all of that but he also might just be a really loved and doted on baby...and I'm completely okay with that.

I really don't know where you're at spiritually and what you believe about God.  All I know is that you were raised Catholic and I think I saw you were going to a MOPS group.  (eh, facebook stalking maybe?)  So, I'm going out on a limb here as I share the following:

I hope this doesn't sound trite or thoughtless, but your loss has encouraged us to embrace what we have in a way that we never have before.  My two biggest prayers for you this year have been this:  That you would process the anger, that if you're mad at God that you would tell Him, that you would lay it all on Him, that you would pound your fists on His chest and tell Him how unfair this is and how much you hurt.  And that in all of the anger and release that God would show Himself to you in a new way, that you would hear how He calls you by name and loves you like His own child.  That you would be given a new day with hope and that your new life redefines what hope used to mean to you.  I pray, my sweet friend, that as you process all of these emotions that your heart would soon be relieved, not that you would forget, I know that you will NEVER forget.  That, when the time is right, you will be able to move forward with peace - and a peace that doesn't even make sense to you.

5/28/2013 - I wrote that over 6 months ago and when I finished it, I didn't feel right about sharing it yet. I don't know why, but I just felt like it was the wrong time. We never did celebrate his first birthday. (Shhh - don't tell him that.) I still look back at that first year as something that has forever changed me. Your girl, your experience, it changed me. I know that we have been apart for so long but something about this has just bound my heart to you and your family. So, it's there, bound to yours whether you want it or not. I just want you to know that I love you, I hurt for you, I tell your story, I share a picture of your sweet baby girl and I pray for your sweet family. You are so very loved. You all are. I hope we can see each other soon so I can give you a big huge hug.

With hope,