Monday, December 28, 2015

Comfort & Joy

Comfort and joy were hard to come by this year, however I did catch tiny glimpses of both.  

In reminiscing with family, in long hugs, in the kids' pure excitement, in chocolate chip meringue cookies.  
And in giving...even when our hearts were hurting.

It was there.

All of these things and much more are just glimpses of the promise that life will go on.  My Dad will live on in us.  

And we will have comfort and joy in abundance again.

To add to our mental reel of memories...a few things that kept us going this holiday season:
Caroling.  Singing their little Christmas hearts out :)
Celebrating the birth of a King.

The boys' vision for their fort coming to life.

And then Christmas came...

Max's three gifts.
wooden castle + dragon puppet, science experiments for my self-proclaimed "scientist" and a fireworks launcher.
Sullivan's three gifts.
Joinks and a marble run for my guy who loves building anything and everything and a wooden parking garage.

Fletcher's three gifts.
A sleeping bag for my little fox, magnetic truck/blocks and a classic carousel.
Milo's three gifts.
A moose rocker for "milo the moose", a spinning top and classic See & Say.

Max - Explorer book, more "knights + dragons" for his castle, boat in a bottle
Sully - Royals book, wooden ship puzzle, helicopter transformer
Fletcher - alphabet book, take apart vehicles, road tape
Milo - Peek a Boo card set and Dada book written by our favorite, Jimmy Fallon.  I also threw in a few old baby toys I had in the basement...he didn't notice ;)
Our group gift to the boys seems so basic, but its something they all love - COLORING!  I bought them a giant roll of paper since we always run out and made them little individual coloring boxes.  I included stamps and homemade crayons in each box.
Also, the book "I love you the purplest" is about a mom of boys (one even named Max!) and how she loves them equally, but differently.  Plus people who know me well know that my favorite, favorite color ever is this book spoke to me on many levels :)
We had to wake these sleepy heads up!

 Merry, Murray Christmas.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A fragile adventure

Life is a fragile adventure.  
I've faced one of my worst nightmares and I'm still here.  Surviving the blow.  It's shocking how quickly things in life can be taken from you.  So fragile we all are.

Now that the raw pain of my Dad's passing has subsided (its transformed into more of a dull ache), I find myself overwhelmed with gratitude for the person he was.  He was just easy to be around...laid back, welcoming and nonjudgmental. And he was a blast.  He lived big and we always wanted to be near him. Oh, how I adored him.  

Although we didn't get the quantity of years we wanted, we definitely got quality in the years we had.

Jennifer and I were just talking about one of the more recent (pre-illness) conversations we had with him.  He said to us "I'd do anything in the world for you, baby girls. Anything."  Jenni and I just laughed and said "We know, Dad..."  Because he was always professing his love like that.  Both sweet and dramatic :)  We knew and felt the depth of his love for us always.

The unconditional, boundless love my Dad gave me made my heart what it is today - big and open and strong.  It's because of his love that my heart is able to hold this profound grief without breaking into a million tiny pieces that could never be put back together again.  I will hold this loss in my heart always.  I will make room for it to live among the love and happy memories and hope and pride that also reside within it.

His life may not be on earth anymore but his love will never leave me.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Milo // 3 Months

As we celebrate your 3 month milestone, Milo, I must admit my heart is heavy with worry about your Boobo.  He's been in the hospital since the week after Fletcher's birthday.  Although these updates are supposed to be about YOU, I cannot write this post to you without acknowledging this very difficult time for our family.
You and Boobo just days before he was admitted to the hospital for ARDS.
You've been accompanying me to the hospital to cheer him up.  Your sweet smile has brought him joy and I've been so happy to be able to contribute something, anything, when we all feel very helpless.  When he's awake I put you on his lap so he can watch you smile and coo.  You're oblivious to the machines and tubes that surround us.  There's so much love in your squishy little bundle of roundness.  I have to believe there's healing power in that.  Love is the best medicine.   

Your Boobo is the coolest, most kind-hearted, generous, toughest, hilarious, loving guy you could ever hope to have on your side.  His life experiences/stories have kept me entertained and in awe for as long as I've been alive.  I can't wait for him to get better so you can find out for yourself how lucky we are to have him in our lives.
You and Boobo on Halloween.
In the meantime, we're trying to keep things as normal as possible around here.  Including keeping up with my moment-capturing...  
Happy 3 months, little guy.  Life continues to happen all around hard and as beautiful as that is.