Kylie May

Kylie May

Layla Faith

Layla Faith

Zoey Noelle

Zoey Noelle


Our baby boy, due March 16th.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Foggy December Last Year

I'm typing this after a long day at work, while Beanie is kicking away. Probably hungry again. This month has taken me back to remembering last December. Or the lack of remembering. There are so many things that happened for work/church last year. I try to remember "how did we do it last year?" "was i there last year?" "did i edit that?". I can't remember anything. Part of it is because it's so busy and there is so much to remember. But, for me, all I remember is thinking about Layla every second of every day. It's hard to have that tied to my Christmas memories. Makes me miss her more than usual.

Monday was one year since Layla's party. I'm still so happy that we had that party for her. I remember every single one of you that was there. It meant so much to us. I remember being so strong. I'm not feeling it now. But, I know it's in me. It's in Him.

I'm getting overwhelmed at work. A little bit over worked. I have literally had three days this month that I haven't been at work. And on those three days, I was filming weddings. I love my jobs. This month is just really busy. These long days are stressful and exhausting. Oh - and I'm pregnant. So that doesn't help with my emotions when I'm stressed. Lots of feelings and memories these days. I have much more to write, that I'd love to get 'off my chest' but I'm ready to be home.

Anyway, God knew I needed a break. Tomorrow is a well-needed, well-deserved snow day!! I get to stay home, all day long. In fact, I won't even be able to leave to run errands or be busy. I can't wait! I feel like a little kid. Work is closed. School is closed. (I am bringing some work home with me, but hoping to do it while Kylie's napping or helping Bryan shovel.)

So, to those of you in the path of the blizzard, be safe if you must go out. If not, enjoy your snow day! One of the few benefits of a Wisconsin winter. Take a minute to slow down in this 'always too busy' Christmas season.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Family Sunday - Picture Overload

My, oh my! I love this time of the year. Sure, work is crazy, but it's so much fun to have family time! Kylie's recital was great last Friday/Saturday. I was very proud of how well I did at directing the show & Kylie was cute, as usual. Last Saturday, Emily & her girls came home for a while. Her husband, Brook, is deployed yet again over Christmastime. Stinks for her, but it's great for us! We haven't all been together since April when we drove to Florida. It was my nephew's first birthday on Dec 6 so we celebrated his birthday together on Sunday. We went to the Christmas tree farm and went out to eat afterwards. It was the perfect day. I was super happy that it snowed!! Made for some cute snowy pics. Enjoy :)

 Kylie in her dance costume (minus the cute crown)

This was taken right after we got bundled up at the tree farm.

Together again! I snapped this right before we got carried away with the kids. 
(Sarah. Emily. Nancy.)

We can always count on Uncle Bryan playing with the kids. 
He thought of bringing the sled & the kids took turns riding on it.
(Sam. Isabelle. Kylie.)
Riding on the wagon. 
(Isabelle. Emily. Lucienne.)

 I was the one who wore gloves with no finger tips, so I took pics,
 held tree tags, & carried the measuring stick.
 Bryan & Kylie looking for a tree. 

The kids ran around through the trees throwing snowballs at Uncle Chad. 
I went in to take pics & Jack got me!

 Loading up the trailer with our trees.

Warming up with hot chocolate & popcorn. 
(Kylie. Isabelle. Jack.)

Kylie wanted to visit Santa. She wants a baby doll & stroller this year. 
(Same as last year. Will it always be that easy?) 

Ben, The Birthday Boy!!!!
Uncle Bryan was making him giggle for a long time!
(The shirt was custom made by Sarah's friend Hilary. Find her on Facebook!)

Friday, December 07, 2012

My Little Ballerina

It's been a busy week. I put in my 40 hours by the end of yesterday and I have a couple more days of work! Our church has our kids musical tonight at 7 & tomorrow at 1. We had rehearsals on Sunday night & last night. Last night's rehearsal was challenging for me because I had to work & get Kylie ready for dance. She was not very cooperative before it began. She must have gotten her second wind after dancing, because she was having a blast after practice was over. Dancing all over the stage after most people had left. I have to share this little video. There wasn't any music on, but that didn't stop my little ballerina.

My Little Ballerina from Simply Fresh Films on Vimeo.

Kylie dances with her class in the show. If you'd like to watch, we will be streaming it live online. It's a fun family friendly show about the true meaning of Christmas. Enjoy your weekend! 

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Layla Faith's First Birthday!

Last week Thursday was Layla's first birthday! **If you haven't been to my blog before, please check out the Our Story page.** As I had written, the anticipation was emotional. It was hard to think of what we wanted to do. How do we honor her? What can we do to celebrate every year? What should be special for her first? Bryan and I both took the day off from work. Not knowing how hard it would be or what we'd want to do. Kylie had school until noon and then went to the sitters.

In my family, we grew up having candy in the morning. We all had to get to school early, so we would have our favorite candy on the table for breakfast & open presents in the morning. I remember waking up to the sound of Skittles pouring into a glass candy dish. Best. Sound. Ever.

We couldn't leave Layla out of this tradition. So we woke up to candy, cards, and flowers on the table. Bryan picked out Twizzler Pull n Peels. (Kylie came home from the sitter's and asked for Layla's candy. So I guess that's 'her candy' now.) I, of course, teared up when reading the card that Bryan got for Layla. Kylie asked why my eyes were watering and I told her because I missed Layla. She said, but I'm not sad! She always knows how to make me smile. Kylie asked if we could go visit her for her birthday. I said no and her response was "Is heaven really really far away?". I wish it was so simple in my head like it is in hers.

Layla's ashes have been in a box in the funeral home bag in our closet for a year. We always wanted to sprinkle her ashes at our tree and figured her first birthday was the perfect time to do it. I may have talked about our tree in the past. It's not 'our tree'. It's just a random dead tree in the middle of a field on Hwy 10. Bryan and I have driven that stretch since we moved to Stevens Point in 2003. Every single time, we would point out 'our tree'. We've never walked up to it in over 10 years. To see the way that is has changed over the years is so interesting to us. It's gone through a lot of changes, but gained so much character. We always wonder how long it will stay standing. Hoping it's still there each time we drive through.

Our visit to the tree was perfect. There was nothing I would change about it. We asked our friend, Mandi to come with to take pictures. This would be the only time we would actually walk up to our tree. I wanted it documented for when Kylie is old enough to understand what we did. She took amazing pictures and just let us 'do our thing'. We sprinkled her ashes and left a "Layla Ribbon" with them. One for me, Bryan & Kylie. Then we ventured down to the bottom of the tree. It was so interesting to see all of the old branches that had fallen off over the years at the bottom of the tree. We tied a ribbon around the tree in memory of our sweet baby. It was the best thing we could have done for her first birthday. Surprisingly, it feels good to have done something with her ashes. One year later, and another bit of closure.

After we were done at the tree, we went to Appleton for some shopping/eating. We came home and picked up a cake & Kylie for dinner. The three of us went to Mackinaws for a birthday meal. We quietly sang happy birthday and blew out one pink candle on a mini cake for Layla.

The whole day was perfect. Layla was perfect. We miss her everyday. We remember last year like it was yesterday. I remember all of the details. All of the pictures we have. Family and friends who surrounded us with love. This year has been a 'process' of grieving. I am in a much different place than I was those few months after she was born. Praise God that He is able to bring us joy in the mourning. That He carries us through and blesses us for remaining faithful. (Click pictures to see them bigger.)

"Storms make trees take deeper roots."