Dec 30, 2012

First Night of Chiristmas

I feel like there is so much to get through when it comes to Christmas.  So so much. I guess the best place to start is at the beginning.  A few weeks before Christmas we drove up to Washington to celebrate with John's side of the family.  I must say I was very reluctant to go, but I'm glad I did.  Our first day there we went to see our old house (more on this later) and then we visited John's sister.  I slept a good while upon arrival because I was sick, and then we made our way to his dad's house on Steilacoom Lake.  Every time we drive there I am always caught up in the beauty.  It is a very beautiful place to live. 

I wasn't feeling that well so I didn't take many pictures, but Ellie really enjoyed making these cookies with Grandma McDonald.  Ells is always willing to participate in anything.  She has so much energy and wants to be doing something at all times.  She immediately set her attention on uncle Joe and figured he was there solely to provide her with someone to talk to.  At one point I saw her firing questions at him and following him around and I did not intervene... I just sat in the dining room and let her keep going. 

Carol and I spent some time playing with our cameras and put a little heart shaped cutout over the lens.  I have seen this done in years past, but never tried it.  We tried it. It did not turn out quite like I thought... but the lights did make heart shapes... which was fun.  

The Christmas tree in all it's beauty!  Again, tried to get a good picture, but was too lazy to change my lens.  It was a fun distraction to do camera stuff.  She is quite the photographer, and I enjoyed looking at the pictures she has taken lately.   

I introduced the Sammy stand off in the last post, and I really can't get enough of it.  

He just hides his face... silently.  

If he does look up, it is always with a little pout.  
Sweet baby. 

I can't even remember what he was sad about but I think it involved having another treat. This little boy and pretty much everything he does is healing to my soul... even the sad minutes of protest. I just love him so much! 

Sammers and his grandpa.  
One thing I have learned these last few months is that there's no such thing as having too many pictures with grandparents and their grand babies.  I take a million pictures, but I only have a few of Mia with her grandparents... it makes me sad.  


All of the kiddos loved opening their gifts.  The adults did a DVD exchange.  The night before the   Christmas party we played a game of Rummy.  I will always associate that game with Grandma and Grandpa McDonald.  They are rummy ninja's.  
I always enjoy my time playing cards with them. 

Jense is beyond excited about a remote control helicopter.  
He loves these, and has flown it literally every single day since we left. 

Sammers got a "mote catrole" and was also a huge fan of this gift. 

Big hugs for Grandma McDonald for the awesome gift!  

Ells playing with her cousin Elizabeth. 
They sat at that table for quite awhile.  
I am really glad my kids had the time they did with their cousins they love and miss so much!

A few weeks ago we were encouraged to have something that represented Mia at important dates, family nights etc. just so it would feel like she was a part of what was going on.  This little Minnie Mouse was at the foot of her bed during Florida.  We have chosen this to represent our little Mia.  I am not going to obsess about it, but it has been neat for the kids to have something to see that represents her while she's busy being an angel in Heaven.  

Thank you for having us!

Christmas part 2, 3, 4, and 5... coming up.  

Dec 28, 2012

All the King's Horses

Jense loves to take pictures with my camera.  We have a deal that if he puts the neck strap around his neck he is allowed to use it.  I rarely post his pictures, but these ones are pretty fun. 

The very best toy in the world is a big cardboard box. 
The kids played in this tree box for hours and hours.
Daddy may or may not have spent the better part of a few hours with them.
These kiddos do so much for my shattered soul. 

Jense took this picture of Sam having a little sad minute.  
I love when Sam does this.  I probably shouldn't it is just so sweet when he buries his head in his hands.  He doesn't throw loud tantrums, his way of protest is to hide his face and be really quiet.  Oh, and he puckers out his lip.  It's the most adorable thing... I love it.  

Still hiding

The kids made home made snowflakes to decorate the house, and long paper chains.  They had this place covered in paper the week after Thanksgiving.  This little snow flake lists all the people Jensen loves... well some of them.  Mia is on there twice.  
I think we all have Mia on our love list twice.  

The boys were playing monster trucks. 
I just think it is funny that Jense took a picture of this...

I have an entire folder titled "Jensen photos."
Many of the photos are of my Mia, so Jense's pictures will come out of hiding sooner than later.  I have a bunch of pictures that Mia took too.  

She loved taking pictures... so so much.  

I miss her face, her laugh, her little body... it hurts.  I feel physical stabs in my chest every day when I want her and know I can't have her.  There are daily distractions, but the pain always finds me.  It is never far away, and it can strike without warning.  

My family was playing in the snow today, and I held Mia's purple snow bibs tight against my chest and cried... for a long time.  I just thought about the last time those little snow pants were used and how badly I wish we could go back to that day.  All of her snow clothes are in the bin with everyone else's   Her things are everywhere.  All of her toys, her clothes, even her toothbrush is in the cabinet.  There are random prescription bottles with her name on them.  You would never know that she is not here. 

If you were wondering how my life is going, or what it looks like on a daily basis just imagine me screaming as loud as I can, "THIS SUCKS!" and that will pretty much describe how I feel at any given moment of my day. 

I have to cling to her snow pants as a sorry attempt to feel close to her. 

I try to post about life... about my kids playing in boxes, but all i want to type is how badly I want my girl back.  Her absence consumes me, my thoughts, my life. I just feel like I'm being picked on, that every day is a reminder of how I have to feel sad for the rest of my life.  So many wonderful people are doing so many things to provide even a little shred of peace.  I just wholeheartedly believe that every single of day of my life is going to be painful.  I will truly never be the same, and that is devastating to me.  

I admit I am not in the same mental place I was in October, but honestly I think my life is just going to be sad.  By all definitions of the word.  I will have happy moments in my day, yes, but true happiness... holding nothing back, will be something I see in other's lives... not my own.  
I have never been depressed... ever.  

I wonder if I am predisposed to depression.  I wonder if this was the kind of thing I can not recover from.  This is too big of a hit for me.  I am learning to pretend to be OK.  I have never taken an acting class, but I can put on a happy face while feeling empty inside.  If you see me smiling chances are it is in an effort to make you comfortable and unaware of just how destroyed I am inside.  I will continue to smile, but it is not a reflection of my being OK.  
I am definitely not OK.   

It makes me sad- that this-this not OK person- is me.
Mia provided us with so much happiness everyday.
She was such a joy to care for... to parent.  
We all miss her so much, and trying to pick up the piece of our shattered hearts just seems like a big fat waste of time, because it will never happen. 

The pieces will never be put back
It is going to result the same way it did in Humpty Dumpty...
All the king's horses and all the king's men.  

Even nursery rhymes don't end the way they aught to
It's just the way it is. 

Dec 27, 2012

Survived- A look at why I fell in Love

Well, we survived Christmas... somehow.  It went as well as it could have, and I am just glad it is over.  Usually I am sad when Christmas is over, but this year, this year I am relieved.  Relieved that I don't have to anticipate a Christmas morning without my girl.  Relieved that I don't have to try an be excited about something when I am not.  Christmas is over and now I can get back to the task at hand.  Managing my life while feeling incapable of pretty much everything.

There were some bright spots these last two weeks.  I will get to them eventually... hopefully.

John gave me some really sweet gifts.  I told him a month ago that I did not want anything.  I still don't want anything, but I guess he has been looking for this gift for years.  When Mia was born he started looking for this gift.  I will expound later.

He did give me something else in addition to his unique gift... something I love.

When JB and I were dating he pulled out all the stops to win this heart of mine.  He was incredibly romantic and it was really easy to fall in love with him. I actually tried hard not to love him.  It was a fools errand.  I held out pretty strong for a few years, but in the end I couldn't. John had won my heart when I was 18, but I needed a few years to admit it.

He used to find my car on campus and put parking citation envelopes underneath my windshield wiper.  My heart always sank when I saw those envelopes because I was a frequent campus police citation recipient.  Sometimes when you are late to take a test you just have to roll the dice, park the closest you can, and let the cards fall where they may. He would take my empty envelopes and create his own citations and put them on my windshield.  I can still feel the wave of relief I felt when I opened the envelop to reveal a citation written by John.  His citations were so sweet and made me feel so loved.  Although he usually got in trouble for making me believe I was actually getting a ticket, he was quickly forgiven for being so sweet.  He did a lot of sweet things, and had a lot of help from something we lovingly called the "stalker net."  The place we attended college had a program allowing any student to look up any student's schedule enabling anyone to know exactly where someone is at all times. The college changed this after we left, but the SN added an extra exciting element to marshmallow madness. I'm pretty sure he used his access to find out where I might be parked, or what class I was in.  

He is such a romantic .. another one that comes to mind is how he would write me a lot of love letters. I kept all of the letters... they are in the garage.  I remember practicing the harp in a little closet in the music building and he would slide love notes underneath the door.  This was before cell phones, well, before we had cell phones, and I wonder if he ever slid a note through and it was not me on the other side.  I tried to catch him a few times, but he was too fast. I must mention that he still write me love letters.  He doesn't give me tickets, but the letters remain.  

Another thing he did... I could keep typing forever, but I will end with this one.  John would sing to me.  Not the goofy, soliciting laughter serenading that he does now, but true gooey, lovey dovey, crazy cheesy, looking into my eyes singing.  I loved it.  I think this was my downfall... I told him I would not be getting married before I went on a mission, and I blame his singing for preventing me from making it on a mission. It was cheesiness at it's finest and I ate it up... every last drop.

There were quite a few songs he would sing to me, but the one I loved the most was this song.  I loved it.  He would change "Ellie" to "Mimi" and well that completely did it for me.  This song is the reason we named Ellie... Ellie.  It was a sentimental song, and this song is a big part of our past.  


The entire album pretty much defines our first year of dating.  This song in particular made my heart sing, and I loved when he sang it to me.  There have been a few other songs that make my heart melt when he sings to me. His usual serenades are for laughing purposes, so when he sings to me and doesn't change the words or act goofy it is a special treat.  He can be serious.  

Christmas night he sang to me.  It was lovely.  I was tired, broken hearted, and ready to just sleep and make Christmas without my girl a memory.  My favorite part of the day was when he sang me this song:

I love the lyrics, I love that this is the song he chose to sing to me, and I especially love his voice.  After he was done singing it the first time, he humored (after repeated requests) me with an encore. I fell asleep immediately after the second song, and slept soundly.  He made me feel so loved, even if for a few minutes.

My husband knows me, and knows what I need.

It seems like a life time between when he first sang to me, and this song... about not giving up.  It feels like a lifetime but it has only been 13 years.

So much is missing in my life... so much wrapped up into one little person.  With all that is missing I do still have so much.  The skies are definitely rough around here, and I still feel broken most of my day. This is what the last few minutes of my Christmas looked like.  It was time warp back to when I first fell in love with JB, and it was a lovely memory and one I will not forget.       

Dec 25, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday

Merry Christmas to our Angel Jacob
Today is his birthday

Merry Christmas to his Angel Mother
who saved our little angel.

Merry Christmas to my baby girl who is in Heaven with her angel Jacob

A little message from Jessica to Mia:

My dearest sweet little Mia,
You are a very special little girl. I am proud to call you my honorary daughter. You have given me some of my heart back. After Jacob died I felt like I had lost a piece of my heart. Being able to watch you grow into the beautiful little girl you are has started to heal and fill the void in my heart I was feeling. I love you and always will. I wish I could have had the chance to hold you in my arms and feel your little arms wrapped around my neck. I wanted to tell you how much I loved you without even having to meet you. Unfortunately, you were taken from this world before I even had a chance to say THANK YOU. Thank you for giving me life, thank you for helping me heal, thank you for giving me something I never had a chance to have. You touched so many peoples lives in just the four short years you were here in this world. Your sweet smile and the twinkle in your eyes just makes my heart melt. I am going to miss watching you grow up. 
Thank you for the joy you gave me.

This picture is the first meeting of Jessica and Mia.  She flew to Florida to say goodbye to her.  Sweet Jessica is finally being reunited with her son's beating heart.  I am so glad she got to feel that precious heart beat.  She has done so much for us.  

Jacob left his heart for Mia, and Mia left that precious heart in both of us. 
We have a bond that you can't put into words.  She is our angel.

She is my heart, and today we celebrate his life... both his and the life he gave to Mia.

Happy Birthday sweet baby boy. 

I think that Jacob and Mia must be together celebrating with Jesus this day.  

Dec 22, 2012

Head Hole

Head Hole from Mimi on Vimeo.

My sister took this video of Mia one day this past summer.  We were in my bed and Mia came running in the room to announce that she had found the "head hole."  What is a head hole you ask?  This is the video of us trying to get her to repeat "head hole."  Her little personality is so stinking sweet I just want her back.  I want to see her with my eyes.  I want to do her hair.  I want her here.  Watching this movie is torture but at the same time at least I can see her.  I feel so temporal ALL THE TIME!  Where are my eternity eyes?  I want her right now and it feels impossible to wait a life time.  Ok, go watch...

There so many things I love about this video- the list is long:

~ The way she says "a arm hole"  her sweet soft voice... a little unsure.
~ "pool pool"
~ How she bends her neck down to see what I'm talking about
~ How Ells comes in and says, "come on Mia" in her usual beckoning voice.
~ How I ask Ells to go out for a minute so Mia wouldn't be distracted (of course she stayed) :-)
~ Her thinking noise
~ "Two hands"
~ Both Nat and I trying our best to get her to say "head hole"
~ Ells trying to give her the answers
~ Mees looking at her sister and saying "stop it"  you have to look at her face closely.  It is so Mia!
~ Turning back to her sister smiling knowing she was funny.
~ "Ok, just a minute" this is what she says to Ellie... FAVORITE PART!
~ Her little hand waving to sort of dismiss what Ellie is prompting her to say.
~ Then the pause before she confidently replies with "goes in the head hole."
~ How she whispers "arms and hands" after Ells tells her what to say
~ Her signature eye brow raise as she says "arms and hands"
~ Repeating it loudly once she realizes she whispered it.
~ "pool pool one."
~ "my fabrite"
~ When I ask her again she says, "hole head"  then fixes it to "head hole"  SO CUTE!
~ the fidgeting with the shirt
~ plugging her nose with a shirt and starting to repeat loudly "A HEAD HOLE"
~ The arm through the neck of the shirt, and holding it there with other hand.
~ How Ellie hears "put it on" and goes for it.
~ Ells does what she does best and gets her sister dressed
~ Slapping her belly and saying "belly button"
~ "It's my fabrite!"
~ The look on her face when she knows she said something funny
~ "How many do you have?"  2!
~ After she made her joke she said, "noooo" then changed it to one belly button
~ "yeah this is Mia's"
~ Ellie's inability to let go of her sister
~ Mia's moment of retaliation when she sings "lightLEEEH"
~ the snort
~ Her sweet little smiling face as she is singing
~ "I want some gum too"

This is the song we had been practicing a lot to sing to Jessica.  She only sings a few words of it, but the lyrics are:

I am like a star shining brightly,
Shining for the whole world to see.
I can do and say, happy things each day
for I know Heavenly Father loves me. 

Chances are, you know this song.  When Mia sang this song in my heart I knew it was kind of her anthem.  She really is this bright star and her mama lets the world (those reading) see.  The next line is a perfect description of her life and the last line is of course true.
She always sang it perfectly, though she sang "lightly" instead of "brightly"
We of course changed the lyrics to lightly.

This video depicts the Ellie and Mia relationship perfectly.  Ells is like a moth to the flame with Mia.  She realizes Mia is not with her and immediately comes in the room asking her to come with her.  You can even hear her calling for her as the video starts. Then she doesn't leave when asked and continues to mother her.  Ells did not take one day with Mia for granted.  She was quite literally all over her all the time.  Mia was always a good sport and so kind hearted.  You can see perfectly in this short video how she just sweetly allowed her sister to be fussing with her non stop.  Well minus the "stop it" :-)

I miss SOO much the two girls together.  I feel so sad for Ellie. So so, not going to be ok, sad.  When I hear any complaints from Ells about someone at school not being nice or anything of the sort I wish I could keep her exempt from anything sad.  At least for year... at least.  I wish everyone in her life would reciprocate love to her like Mia did.  I am trying to give her what she needs, but she wants her little sis.  She wants to be the mommy, and the ring leader, and the instigator of all things girlie.  I wish she could get her Mia love from someone else, but I fear it will forever be unmatched.    Mia went along with everything Ellie wanted to do.  A true sweetheart.

I wanted to get her song on video and I knew the only way Mia would do it is if Ellie was not there trying to feed her the lyrics.  I feel a little bad I asked Ellie to leave.  She got distracted by my gum and I didn't get the full song.  Oh well. I don't need any more guilt.  Ells had unlimited Mia time everyday.

I am grateful Ellie was the very best sister to the very best little sister.

I wish I could travel back in time to a life where my sister and I are filling our days trying to get Mia to repeat the things she says.  This is the way it should be.  Not this... typing about her life and watching videos from months ago.  It hurts so much.

Headstones, Snow, and hot pokers

It snowed.  
Mia's little purple tree is holding up in the snow.

My parents brought up this garland heart with solar powered lights.  
I didn't even think about solar powered lights for the tree.
Now if you drive by you can look for the glowing heart. 
Thanks mom and dad! 

Tomorrow we are going shopping for something wrought iron... from Nats.  

I finally broke down and looked at some headstones. 
I didn't want to- at all.
I still don't want to... but everyday of my life is a series of things I don't want to do!!

Looking at headstones online is extremely unpleasant. 
I think I'd rather do anything really... red hot pokers to my eyes... maybe?
At least I have a chance to recover from the pokers.   
I think I know why the options are pretty basic... no one wants to design a fancy headstone.
How depressing are headstones!?  
Exceedingly more depressing for a precious 4 year old than say
someone approaching 100 years and it is their time.

Her headstone matters a lot to me, and I want it to represent her well.
The most loved little 4 year old!  
I want a very unique and beautiful and lovely and possibly purple headstone to match my precious Mia.  I want something that has never been done before.  I don't want it rectangular, but don't really know what is possible.   
If anyone knows any fabulous headstone designers... send them my way.

Tell them to bring the hot pokers!

Dec 21, 2012

Remember Mia- Blankets

The relief society got together in our ward and make fleece blankets for Primary Children's hospital in honor of Mia.  There wer so many cute fleece blankets that I am sure many children will be happy to have.  Mia loved getting a blanket every time she had a cath.  They even gave her one this last time she was there to have her teeth fixed.  I attended the activity and helped make the blankets and I am so touched that so many women were there helping.  

I know there is nothing to say, and many of you who I see regularly feel like you need to say something to me about how much you love her.  Thank you!  It brings me happiness to hear how loved she is.  It eases the pain for a minute to hear she had an impact on your life.
I really appreciate the brief happy expressions of love.

Everyone loved her and that is what keeps me going.  She is so loved by so many.  
Thank you for coming, and thank you for this wonderful service project to honor my little girl.
I know they will bring comfort to many children.

40 Sisters made 55 blankets.  
Thank you again for your love and support!
Thank you Krista for the pictures.

Also, to whoever brought the desserts they were delicious and I ate more than I should admit!  

Dec 20, 2012

One Last night- John's thoughts

My last night with Mia

On the worst night of my life, there was a small miracle.  So you can properly understand the significance, I need to start at the beginning.  

When Mia was waiting for a heart transplant in the ICU for 4 long months, I was usually in our home town of Puyallup about an hour away from Seattle Children's Hospital.  I tried to maintain my job and care for the kids at night.  A wonderful friend from our church and later Mimi's mom watched our kids, making this possible.  When I could, I would come visit Mia and Mimi at the hospital.  This was a very trying time for us.  You can imagine the stress of trying to juggle life while also trying to keep your child alive, wondering if she will make it another day.  Well, something I haven't shared often, but is very real is the guilt I felt.  You see, I had a hard time bonding with Mia.  Each time I would visit, I felt so out of place.  Mimi pretty much had become a skilled nurse since she lived there and cared for her daily.  I, on the other hand would show up and feel really out of place.  I usually didn't really feel like I understood much of what was going on, there were so many tubes and wires and machines etc that it was overwhelming, and to be honest it was frightening.  I held her four times in the first four months of her life.  When the nurses would put her in my lap, it seemed like Mia would desat, alarms began beeping, all the tubes would become tangled and messy.  It was upsetting to me and I eventually felt like it was too much stress on me and on Mia's little body to try and hold her.  What I realized at the time is that the reason I couldn't connect very well with my child is because of lack of physical touch.  Have you ever heard of the 5 love languages?  Hands down, mine is physical touch.  I think I appreciate all of the different love languages, but for a deep connection, the type I have with my kids and wife, physical closeness is a necessary ingredient.  I held her hand and would stroke her hair, but I longed to connect on a deeper level.
I remember those months, as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep.  The lonliness.  I eventually would go crawl in bed with Jensen or Ellie and learned that I could snuggle up and fall asleep almost instantly.  This evolved into me scooping them up out of their bed as they slept late at night and putting them into my bed.  Sleep once again came quite easily.  Boy, you should have seen Mimi's response to the utter destruction of our children's well trained sleep habits when she finally came home with Mia.

During that time I remember feeling the dread of the possibility that Mia would go to heaven before I got to hold her properly.  That she would go before I could snuggle her, let her sleep in my arms.  It is hard to describe, but with each of my children as I have been able to hold them this way, it is as if I am at such peace that my breathing slows and my heart feels such peace.   I think that many parents know exactly what I am talking about.  Well, Mia survived and she came home.  She grew to be one of the sweetest, softest little girls I have ever met.  

Fast forward to present time.  Each night at around one a.m. Mia would wake up and come into our room.  It took us about 4 years to break Jensen and Ellie of the habit of trying to climb into our bed at night, but Mia was well aware that if she came over to my side of the bed she was guaranteed a warm welcome.  I loved these nightly snuggles.  I am the type of person that simply sleeps better in what I call a bear hug.  I would scoop up my little angel and hold her tight with both arms wrapped.  Something Mia would do that I miss terribly is how she always said "I missed you today" any time I would see her.  Well, in the night should would wake me up as she would ever so softly put her hand on my cheek and would quietly say "I missed you" and slip back into her sleep.  So sweet.  And on nights where I just couldn't fall asleep, I would go snuggle her and somehow sleep would quickly overtake me.  Nights have become terrible for me.  I can't sleep.  I typically collapse around 4 a.m. on most nights.  It is just so hard at night.  Things slow down, my mind keeps replaying all of my sorrow that I feel, and my snuggle buddy isn't available.  She doesn't live here any more.  She is safe, I know that she is ok, I know exactly where she is.  I wish this gave me more comfort but literally I can't sleep.  I need to hold her, for our hearts to connect, just as I had waited for and was blessed with as she came home to us, and grew up to be such a big girl.  

And so, there I am in Florida, standing at Mia's bedside, unable to hold her, knowing that there was very little time left for her on this earth.  She is hooked up to the ventilator, the ECMO heart machine, and many others.  I can't pick her up.  I can't scoop her up into my arms.  I thank God that I was inspired to go to nursing school.  I found that this time I no longer felt intimidated by the environment, by the machines and tubes.  The mystery of the equipment had evaporated into familiarity.  It is like, in a sense, I didn't even see them there, just my little angel.  I am so grateful that I was able to focus on Mia and that this aspect was no longer a stress to me.  My heart was broken and I couldn't believe that my baby would leave this world in a way that I could not hold her.  
Now to the miracle.  We are in Florida, in the Cardiac ICU.  A place where patients are in critical condition, nurses are very particular and rightly so.  Well, each night I would say to the night nurse, "Hey, just so you know, the day nurse told me I could bring another bed in and set it by Mia so that we can snuggle."  Boy, the reactions I got were something to behold.  I knew that I would get this reaction, because lets be honest, the ICU is not a place where this kind of thing goes on.  The sheer amount of machinery, tight quarters, high acuity of the patients etc makes it a place that isn't really appropriate to do this sort of thing.  I knew what they would say, but I enjoyed getting the shocked look on their face and immediate protest.  Well, on the third night, the last night I will have on earth with my perfect little girl, I got a different sort of answer.  There was a new nurse.  As I laid the trap, there was no look of disapproval.  She didn't say anything, just looked at me thoughtfully.  I told her I was kidding, that I knew it was unrealistic, but I did say that I truly wished it could be.  An hour later I return to the room and I see a bed sitting outside of Mia's room.  I look at the nurse and she smiled and quietly told me that she was pretty confident that she was going to make it happen.  I wept.  This wonderful person was making it happen.  She told me that her strategy was that when the head physician passed by, she would ask.  The bed was already there, he would be able to literally see the bed, and visualize how it would fit into the room.  He said yes.  Of course he did!  I love that this wonderful human being of a nurse thought "how can I get this done?" instead of reasons why it wouldn't work.  I asked around and no one had any recollection this sort of thing being allowed in the ICU.  It took just one person to say, "but why not?" I tell you this, I will remember her with gratitude until the day I die.  She gave me a gift that no one else on the planet had access to.  She made the effort.  I took Jensen and Ellie to get a late night snack and get them to bed.  I came back to Mia's room around 1 a.m. and there seemed to be some excitement as I approached.  There were several different staff members in different groups, many I hadn't even met before, all smiling from ear to ear, some tearing up.  Each of them seemed to be waiting for me.  I stop at the door and look in to see Mimi fast asleep next to our girl.  At a time when we were living a nightmare, I actually saw something wonderful.  Mimi seemed to be sleeping peacefully, both hands softly holding Mia's hand and little forearm.  These people too had fallen in love with our little girl and knew that they were witnessing something special.  I know in healthcare people get a little bit calloused, and to some point it is necessary to protect oneself emotionally, but I know that on that night they understood that our lives were shattered.  That Mia was special and that she was loved infinitely.  

Mimi woke me halfway through the night and let me have a turn.  I laid down beside her.  I held her hand with my right.  My left hand wrested on her chest, feeling her heart beat strong and steady.  My heart was full.  I slept soundly one last time.  As I write this it is nearing 5 a.m.  I continue to look for peace.  For a way to be able to lay down without feeling like an elephant is sitting on my chest.  It hurts more at night.  

January of my life

I was planning on waiting until January to show pictures from the funeral and some from her last days.  I look at them daily and marinade in my sadness.  The images are painful and awful and heartbreaking to look at.  They are my life.  A life that feels like a never ending nightmare!

I wanted to wait, but will be posting a blog John wrote which includes two pictures.  Pictures of him sleeping with his baby girl one last time.  I have read his words over and over and whatever shed of life remaining in my heart is squelched when I read his words.  He loves her... he needs her.  I wish I could help him sleep, I wish I could give her back to him.  There is just no solace ...yet.  Yes, yet.  There has to be some at some point.  

I suppose their is no reason to wait for January because everyday is January.  This is the January of my life!  It will always be January.

After this post I will wait until January... let's get through Christmas!  That's what I keep telling myself anyway.

January is going to be extra depressing, just a warning.  For all you new year's resolutioners... if being depressed isn't one of your resolutions... then you might want to not read.

When you see John, give him a hug.  He needs more hugs.  He is not ok.  He might look like it, but he is not. Not at all.

There are so many daddies and mommies without their little ones today and I have been thinking about those families so much.  So so much and I just wish I was at a point in my life that I had something comforting to say.  I have faith that I will someday.  I don't understand what they are feeling fully, but I have a pretty good sense of their grief of not having their perfect child with them.  It's the worst kind of reality that is more painful than any earthy experience.  I am heartbroken for them.  Truly heartbroken.

Dec 19, 2012

Mayans 2012 Party

The "merry misses" threw a Mayans 2012 end of the world party complete with some end of the world games, delicious food, and this awesome homemade pinata.  It was a really fun night and if we could have a party like this once a week I just might survive my life.  I know the world is not going to end... I just like that the Mayan calendar is ending and I have a reason to champion this belief.  In truth I hope it is not the end.  There I said it.  I don't want the world to end.  I am just insanely and by insanely I mean going insane with sadness.  I had so many plans for my daughter... my family... my life.  It is easier to shout Mayans 2012 instead of face my reality that my girlie is not here.  It is easier, and Mayans 2012 enters my train of thought multiple times throughout the day.  When certain memories creep in I can't suppress my urge to scream MAYANS 2012!!  It's just easier.  These girls have been around during said outbursts and decided a Mayans 2012 party was in order.  I laughed a lot that night, and you can tell by my smile (even though my eyes are closed) that I was happy for an evening.  I loved the party, I love the girls who made it happen, and I love my husband.  I even utilized someone taking our picture to do the John and Mimi pose... explained in THIS POST  Re-reading that post makes me feel loved and that I really did have it all for awhile. So much happiness, so many wonderful people in my life... Why!??? Why!  Stupid life. Stupid Florida. Stupid Stupid!!

The ladies.  Cha (holding pinata) and her esposo Joe are the creators of the fancy pinata. 
They are so creative.  I'm pretty sure they should go into custom pinata making. :-)
Oh and this pinata was made of cement disguised as cardboard.
I could not make it budge and I have a lot of anger.

I should post some of the recipes because all of these women have some serious Mayan 2012 food talents.  I wish I had some left overs right now.  Lilly even had a festive bowl that would open while it played a song then would close after the song was finished.  You had to be speedy about getting some salsa or no salsa this time. It was all delicious... all of it.  
Thanks Lil for creating and hosting this fabulous evening!
Also, thanks to my sis for babysitting!  

The making of the pinata-
stage 1

stage 2-

The fabulous pinata
Cha and Joe... serious talents, sabe? 

Here is some footage ala someones cell phone. My favorite thing about this clip is not how John smashes the the pinata with his body, or all of the shouts to hit it. There is one voice I am pretty sure it is Stacy (the brown bear queen) who says "make it rain" in the sweetest most polite voice. She is notorious for smiling while telling an unpleasant story, and just doesn't have a "make it rain" loud boisterous voice bone in her body. JB and I have listened to it over and over and just love it... and her.  I am still eating this candy... thank you!

MAYANS 2012... we still have 2 days to find out. 
What is something you always wanted to do that you didn't get to?  
Hypothetically speaking, if the world were to end? :-) 

My answer that night was that I have always wanted to go to New York.
There are a lot of places I want to visit... especially not in the country, but realistically I would love to go visit New York.  That is mine.  What is yours?  

Dec 18, 2012

Remembering Mia- Cookies

Mia girl lovvvves cooking.  She is glued to the oven as you can see. 
Waiting, watching, excited about that first batch of cookies. 
The kids made these cookies all by themselves. 
They actually worked together and it was a beautiful evening with
all children involved in a family activity. 
This rarely occurs.... with all the kids.  

Sammers is equally excited. He stationed himself as the lookout.  

Ells is excited about the glurch she made at Imagination Station that day.

I see her little body and her beautiful long hair and I just want her back. 
so so so so so so badly.  I want to brush her hair, and kiss her face. 

I need that little peanut. 
I miss her so much!
Here little minnie mouse jammies are in her drawer ready for ni-night. 
I just don't know how much pain one mama heart can endure.
The pain is real and awful every single day.  
I feels as if my own heart might just give out from how broken it feels all of the time.
That is not something I am just throwing out there... it is truly how I feel.
I did make an appointment to be seen by a cardiologist for this reason.
I will post results from the appointment.

I am a heart mom.  I loved my life being a heart mom.
Having to walk back through the doors and get an echo for myself knowing I will never be back with my girl is not going to be something I will enjoy.  I miss watching her get echo's.  She was the perfect patient all of the time.  She just watched her show and was so enthusiastic when she was finally done.  She always picked a prize and it seems like yesterday I was carrying her from the echo room to an exam room.  She was happy and healthy and perfect.  Why is she gone!?!

A Childhood Favorite

One of the highlights of my childhood was going to the annual Christmas party at the town hall.  I loved it.  Some how we missed it last year but this year I was determined to go.  My dad and I took Jense and Ells to one of the reasons we love living here.  Small towns at Christmas time are lovely.  The best part about the town hall Christmas party is the big brown paper sack of candy everyone is given as they leave.  Young and old get the same bag of candy filled with peanuts and cinnamon bears, and my personal favorite the chocolate clusters.

While we were sitting there enjoying the music, our attention was taken from the entertainers to a boy who was in the front dancing like he was alone in his room.  Everyone that could see him was clearly captivated by his uninhibited dance moves, and many people were trying not to laugh.  There were a few moves I just could not hold it in, and I laughed out loud.  The children especially were eating it up.  Ellie kept looking back at me in disbelief that this was actually happening, and was pleased as punch.  Even when she went up as a volunteer to ring a bell her eyes were glued to the boy with more personality than I've seen in someone his age... ever.  He completely made every ones night (well mine) and I'm glad that my friend got it on video so we can enjoy it again.  Whoever that little boy is he is a ham, as is on the fast track to an acting career.  So so funny!

Oh, and I cannot forget about Santa Claus.  When I was younger we had to sing a few songs really loudly in order for him to come.  That wasn't the case this year, he just jingled in like he used to, but there wasn't a crowd singing requirement.  This particular Santa is the exact same Santa from my childhood.  It makes me happy that so many things haven't changed.  A tiny sliver of happiness that is desperately needed in my life.  I miss Mia so much and everything we do as a family does not feel complete.  There is sadness and longing that will most likely accompany many future happy family memories.  She would have loved the party.... Santa... and especially her own big sack full of goodies.  She really would have.  Sammers was fast asleep at home because he was sick.  We will take him to see Santa at some point.  He insists that Santa is a "she."  He believes that "She" will bring him a "Thomas the train and track."  Maybe he is smarter than we give him credit for.  

Dec 14, 2012

Ellie's first job

My friend takes pictures for Seagull book and tape.  
She invited Ells to be one of her models. 
She was ecstatic just to be part of it.

Then she got a check in the mail... now she has a lot of money burning a hole in her pocket.
She wants to spend it all... on monster high dolls for her friends.  
Luckily I have been able to distract her and she has saved it for a few weeks.  
She keeps asking me when she gets to do it again. 

She is such a sweetie!  

Reminds me of when Sammers did this. 
I miss his face that little.   

Dec 12, 2012

Last Time

Last time we drove to Washington all of my kids were in the car
I took this picture with my cell phone when we made a stop at the Boise temple. 
All of the kids were excited to see the temple.  
I can still remember clear as day, handing Mia her snacks... and giving her her meds. 
After she put her meds in her mouth she always had a very excited look on her face because she knew she would always receive enthusiastic praise for doing it herself.   

Today we stopped at a gas station that we did this past summer.  
I distinctly remember sitting there with my Meena trying to get her to eat. 
I made little meat and cheese and bread bites for her-
This particular stop is in Eden, Idaho. 
There is a little Oasis in the middle of the gas station. 
I think it might actually be called the Oasis... but I'm not positive. 
Mia loved it... there is a big pretend snake in the tree!  
I remember being happy.

I remember taking her into that very restroom to go potty.
Today I went into the restroom and just cried. 
Every time I turn a corner I get stabbed in the heart. 
I am not safe even in Idaho.

Why is she not here?
My life feels so wrong without her.  

I want to turn around and see her face and hear her voice. 
Everyone is asleep and I am wide awake... like usual.  
I just can't believe we are driving back to Washington without her. 

It doesn't feel right and it certainly doesn't feel good. 
Her little body should be right there... in her car seat.
I want to hand her things and grab and tickle her toes. 
I want to go back to happiness. 
I don't want every single day of my life to feel like I'm being punished. 
I hate it!!!

The kids threw pennies into the waterfall in the store.
Ellie said, "Let's make a wish for Mia!"
I went and stood next to a display of small model cars. 
I bet many of those cars are the ones that were there last time we were in that store. 

I wish I could time travel back to the last time we were in Eden, Idaho.
I would grab a hold of my girl and not let her go.
I wouldn't not let her out of my sight.  

going to DA DEWBY

Jensen just completed his very first pinewood derby.  
It should be his second. 
Somehow we completely missed it.
I think this experience made up for missing out last year. 

The organizers of the derby are wonderful. 
They had little cars for kids to paint. 
Ellie took full advantage of this. 

Jense's car was a bit too heavy so JB had to hollow out some of the car. 
He got carried away and hollowed out a little too much. 

Sammers was the perfect little spectator.  
I take that back...
A direct quote from my mom that night was:
"I have never seen him be this crazy! have you?"
He was standing on her lap wiggling every muscle in his body.  He also had a little gremlin growl to go with all of the acrobatics.  My mom is such a good sport.  She doesn't have a lot of choice because Sammers is in love with her, but she just let him be crazy.  

He kept going back to the food table for more "chipsss." 
He would sneak away with this look on his face. 
Then he would come back with a hand full of chips.  
He takes after his mom- If I had to pick a food to live off of it would be chips.  

Nana wrote Mia on the back of his car.  
He was planning on having it on the front, but then switched at the last minute.  
Jense is such a sweet kid. 

Jense was pretty proud of his Lego car

Lego car in action

High fives from Papa!  This look on his face says it all. 
He is pretty excited that his car made it across the finish line first.  

I love how he is trying not to show his enthusiasm, but just can't help it.  
It was a good good night for Jense. 
His little lego car did not disappoint. 

I think his favorite part of the night was when they were all just racing for fun in between heats and his lego car was coming in first every time.  His face lit up like it used to before... before Florida.  

Ells loving her own derby car. 

More high-fives. 

The Lego car.  

It was a group effort.  Jense and dad did the main construction/assembled wheels.  The day of the derby snuck up on us so my friend Kerry and I helped Paint and my mom who has perfect penmanship wrote the letters on.  Jense finished it off with taping a lego guy complete with steering wheel to the top.  He loved it!   

All of these photos are a little blown out... oh well. 
After Nana left Sammers was full of love for one person.  Maelin!
She is numero uno on his affection list. 
Last week at the Christmas party he asked for "my mylin"
He thinks she belongs to him. 

He is not afraid to show is affection.  
She was pretty surprised, but by the fifth or sixth sammy kiss I think she realized he wasn't going to stop.  Being the nice mom that I am, I just laughed a lot and took some pictures.  
He is just so full of love this one.  
There are certain people that warrant unprompted sammy kisses and Maelin is at the top of the list.  

Jense was pretty excited that his lego car won an award.
He came in 3rd place overall. 
He's pumped about it. 
He learned some tricks for next year and can't wait to try them out. 

Cutest boy ever!
It was a good night. It helps my heart so much to see my children happy. 
This night was a happy night. 

Way to go Jense!  I am so proud of you!