Someone needs to sit me down and teach me how to put pics on our blog. nothing makes me frustrated as quickly as a computer, especially one I don't understand.

Today was Memorial Day. The day to remember the men and women who have died for our country and the day to remember all our loved ones who have gone on before us. Makes me miss my little girl. Our little one year old who seems as though she will be perpetually 3 months old in her mommy's mind. I spend a lot of time watching little girls who our around what Ava would be. Like when we're at Target and a mom is in her own little world with her one year old. Just trying to get a few errands done. Perspective is a crazy thing. Yes, my kids still drive me crazy (Zoe seems to be perpetually on speed as of late) but I hold them each a little closer and realize that they are just a gift to me. They are not something owed to me or something that is always a sure thing. They are God's kids and God has just entrusted them to me and my hubby for the time being.

On to Zoe on speed... I'm not kidding. If I didn't know better I would be convinced she has a chocolate stash under her bed. This past Thursday night the child would NOT go to sleep. She knows she can't get out of bed so she was trying to do everything short of getting out of bed to keep herself entertained. She loves to hang off the side of her bed upside down and tell me that I look silly. She walks around the edge of her bed on the metal side rails but you know how a 2 year old is- she is not out of bed. I was in my room next door putting laundry away when it got a little too quiet. you know the sound or lack there of. I proceeded to her room where it was quite dark and I thought my eyes were deceiving me, but no. She had completely broken off one of the posters on her four poster bed. I was lying on her book shelf and the other post was hanging on by a thread. You know what her comment was? "No spanking." I had no idea what the heck to do. It seems as though these little incidents happen more and more often lately. Wow does she keep me on my toes.

Noah continues to be his sweet little self. Continues to love school and doesn't want it to end for the year. Poor little guy, no bus to pick him up everyday. He hated it so much at the beginning of the year and it made it so hard for us to put him on it every day with his big crocodile tears. Now, that's the highlight of his day. He is getting SOOO close to potty training. we even wore "big boy underwears" today. He did so good and he gets so excited when he goes in the potty. He claps for himself and yells at the top of his lungs. Then he says "mommy happy?" with a big old grin on his face. little doll.

that's all for now. my computer is like 150 degrees sitting here on my lap and that doesn't mix well with the 90 degrees it is up here in our bedroom. hopefully i can breathe through all this humidity in the air...


Happy Birthday Ava!!!

Today would be Ava's first birthday. My little peach would probably be a walking, semi-talking little doll. We spent the day being reflective and having a fun time celebrating. Both sets of grandparent, Holly and Jason and the kids, Uncle Geoffrey, and even Uncle Derek (all the way from Okinawa) got together. We started out at my parents house in Allendale and planted a magnolia tree in the front yard in memory of Ava. It grows gorgeous pink blooms and blooms in May, right around her birthday. We then went to the cemetary and we put some little things around her grave. Then we each had a pink balloon and let them go. The wind was whipping up a storm and they all took off quickly. We were planning on having a birthday cake and ice cream out there but it was too cold so we went back to my parents. We then had cake and ice cream and each of the kids had a turn to blow out the one candle for our little Ava. We then headed off the Chuck E. Cheese's and each of the kids had a ball playing games and riding rides.

When we got home and I was putting Zoe to bed, she was looking at my locket I wear around my neck and she says, "I love Ava." I told her Ava used to sleep right here and pointed to the area in the room where Ava's bed was. She then proceeded to tell me that Ava sleeps with Jesus. Just so matter of fact that it brought tears to my eyes.

Many times through out the last 24 hours quiet tears have come. Last night, starting at about 5:15 to now has been difficult. Remembering going into labor, the emotional rush and joy of her arrival and the exhuastion after, all make this day bittersweet. We are so lucky to have known her, to have had her here with us yet losing her is still so difficult. Life is just not as colorful or as vivid, especially the past few days. It makes me realize that life is moving on and that we are becoming happy again (whether we choose to or not).

It has been a real blessing to feel like it is okay to openly grieve again. Some of the notes, e-mails, phone calls, etc. from friends made were very thoughtful. Having her birthday makes people think of her again and talk openly about her. It's nice to feel like it's okay to cry and feel sad.

Through this whole ordeal, as difficult as it has been, nothing has been more apparent than the faithfulness of God. Even when I feel like my heart will break or I will scream out of anger God is still the one thing we can come back to. To know without a doubt that one day we will see Ava again makes heaven a reality. Before this I never really yearned for heaven, yet now I yearn for it daily.

We continue to rejoice in the fact that we have two living children to bring us through this difficult time. The joy and comic relief is unending. Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers.