Thursday, May 28, 2015

Nine months

It was just yesterday that I was dropping of my big boy for his first day of Pre-K. And here we are, finishing up the year and I have a Kindergartener on my hands.

How exactly does it happen?

I reflect on just how much he has changed in that span from August to May. In all reality, 9 months is so short - its just the time it takes for someone to have a pregnancy, the time it takes for people to safely lose weight, and its the amount of time it takes to get a copyright. In that time though, big C has had a birthday, a few good holidays and all the seasons in between.

When I dropped him off for his first day of Pre-K, he was still three. He was shorter, ornery, and huggable. He liked extra cuddle time, he needed help making every little decision and he was learning about his personal choices and consequences. He adored spending time with my best friend, Andi. She would come and play angry birds with him on the iPad, give him hugs and build marble tracks with him. He loved it.

He's so big now, the boy that made me a mom.

So opinionated. He moves so quickly, is tall, and is four. He's a great big brother, often sharing with his brother or pointing out the new things his brother has learned. He prays nightly for his friend Andi that he misses, and prays for her family. Every. Single. Night.

He is the most tender hearted, compassionate guy when it comes to his loved ones. He loves stairs, thrives on routine, and still is addicted to his morning sippy cup with milk. (Daddy swears the milk doesn't taste the same if you take the sippy away, so I guess it will stay for now).

Caysen has changed too. He went from just learning how to walk, to trying to run. He went from no teeth, to 12 teeth. (only 4 on the bottom!) He went from super short and barely growing to gaining inches. He went from barely talking to nodding yes and no, signing more and speaking more clearly. He went from crying at drop off to church nursery, to walking in and waving bye, as he's ready to play with their toys. He went from crying in swimming lessons to begging for more, wanting to jump off the side over and over.

I look at how my life has changed. I stopped pumping for Caysen in that time, dealt with another winter, learned how to shoot a gun, took on an intern at work, and Caysen got his first real sick bug, which was super scary for a bit because of course all the signs of sickness are also the signs of heart failure. I learned the importance of a good strong hug. I learned the importance of appreciating others. I learned that I desperately love thieves essential oil to help with any sickies. And, I lost my very best friend, in an incredibly unexpected and painful change to the story that I had pictured in my head. Through her loss, I gained a new best friend. I researched more than you would imagine about health concerns and HLHS. I cried more than I ever thought possible. It's hard to describe the changes that are so small yet they seem like something insurmountable, but really, things are just SO different.

When I think back to where I was in August, I NEVER would have pictured this road. The way things have changed. Doing life so differently than I was before, yet still so similiar.

God has a plan. He knows what he is doing, and He knows better than I do about what will come and what is to be. I have to trust in Him. Trust in the path he is taking us on. Trust that this road that we are taking, this one that I didn't picture, is indeed the perfect path.
God always has different ways of drawing us near, bringing us back to Him. In those moments when we feel alone, those most painful nights, God is closer than we can imagine. He is over everything, walking us through it, by our side. Like it says in Exodus 14:14 - The Lord will fight for you, You need only be still. And in those dark moments, he is fighting to draw you close.

2 years ago in May, I started having health problems while pregnant with Caysen, including loss of vision. If you had told me 2 years ago that this is the road we would travel and the path we would take, if you were to tell me all the things that were to happen to us in that time, including heart defects, open heart surgeries and traveling across the country for medical care; I would NEVER in a million years believe you. I wouldn't believe the people that have come into my life. In the same respects I wouldn't believe the ones that have gone WAY too soon, jerked so painfully out of my life that the hurt remains. I wouldn't believe the things we have seen and done, or the things we have put our kids through. It would be hard to fathom what we as a family could survive and endure; and how we could grow our faith like we have.

But God is good, and always good. We will shout it from the rooftops, just what he has given us. Best friends that save our child's life. (I mean, how many people can say that?) A child that we can look at and just appreciate how far he has come in a short time, that is nothing short of a miracle. Friends, family, and another day to share His great love, and to love each other. Take it all in, friends. If you learn anything from me, please don't miss that! Time here is short, be thankful for what you have loved, and for what you have loved and lost.

It can be so easy to wall off, close up, shut everything inward. But no, we are supposed to share burdens, love unconditionally and speak life into one another.

So thankful for the last nine months. For the growth as a family. When I reflect back, I am sure to cherish each step. Because in those 9 months I learned just how quickly life can change, and how short our time is here. are you using your time?

First day:

Last day:

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Time. And thoughts...

May already? Where does the time go?


Time passes so quickly. Caysen is two months shy of 2. I can't believe it! I'm 3 months out from losing my best friend. It seems so short, yet like an eternity. Our lives are but a mist, as it says in James 4. Hard to keep that in perspective, but we will be reunited. Must. Focus. On. That. It's still so difficult, getting further away. You know, the distance and space of time. It's all really hard to wrap my brain around and to fully comprehend.


Pain is still so strong at times, and at others leaves a smile on my face. It's weird how it does that. God doesn't protect us from the pain, but he calls us on these paths. And its on these paths that so often its incredibly painful before it's beautiful. It is hard to focus on the beauty in the midst of pain. I know there is beauty in the fact that she is happy, healthy, hearing, whole, loved. Doesn't mean it isn't still painful, though. This translates into many other parts of my life. It is incredibly painful to watch my child undergo procedures or surgeries and to not be able to take his pain. It can be physically painful for me to hold him down while he cries out wanting me to save him. But in the end, I can look at his journey and see how beautiful it has been. How strong and brave he is, the courage that he has. It reminds me what a testimony he has to share with others, and most importantly the new and valuable relationships he has brought to my life.


A smart friend of mine said that "insecurity breeds lies and vulnerability breeds trust". Learn to be vulnerable. Be honest and open. It takes bravery, but it allows you to be restored in a way that only God can do. Trust is the single hardest thing to do, because when you trust, you have to believe in others. You wear your heart on your sleeve and risk being hurt much easier and deeper than others. But by trusting others, you are allowing yourself to see true beauty that you can't see if you are guarded and closed.


Having those people in your life that you can count on. That you can call on to understand you or just "get it", are imperative. Knowing that no matter what happens, you have that person/people on your side, it's a true gift. Don't let those people go. The ones that fight for you, when you forget how to fight. They are a true treasure, with the God given ability to pick you up when no one else can.

And the greatest of these is Love.

Love and appreciation for those that have impacted my life is ever present. I am better able to recognize what is important in my life, my list of priorities has definitely changed. Don't take a single second for granted! Love is never wrong, and is always worth it, even if it causes pain or heartbreak. I love to love.  This includes people, friends and family, as unconditionally and strongly as I am able. Why? Becuase that is how God loves us. "His love is fierce, it is strong, it is furious". God's love for us is so deep, that we can KNOW that he never starts something without having a plan. We may not see the end, or understand it when we get to it, but He has his reasonings. Maybe its because he's saving us from a future we can't understand, or torment we don't deserve. God can help us to heal, He loves us. In His arms we can know the true meaning of love. I've learned the beauty of loving others as Christ loved us. It's one of the best things we can do, and despite the pain, the vulnerability, and the sacrifices, it's truly one of the most honest and rewarding things to do.

Just some quick thoughts on this Cinco de Mayo.