Wednesday, October 8, 2008

and still we smile...

this isn't officially ten smile tuesday...simply a collection of little blessings in the past week. we were blessed by a day of togetherness...the four of us celebrating elizabeth's birthday. yes, the tears did fill our eyes at moments...and yet, laughter filled the air as well. we are blessed....even by the things in life that are painful. i am thankful that we were able to get out of the house today...take a trip to the museum...enjoy a birthday breakfast at the local donut shop...simply savoring the simple things in life...delighting in the joy of our daughters...delighting in each other. you see friends, we do not grieve without hope...we do not despair. i cannot even begin to describe how incredibly carried by the God of peace we have been. He is holding us us grace at the very moment we need it...filling our hearts with rejoicing even as we mourn.
riding the carousel

driving the bulldozer


our little walking gator (aka.."drool monster"!)

we were blessed by not only one. not only two. but three separate deliveries of gorgeous flowers. like leslie was a few weeks ago, i was absolutely blown away when "the internet" sent me flowers. you incredible girls...thank you for thinking of us...thank you for praying for us...thank you for being with us in this time.

this lovely bouquet was from "the internet" :)

this lovely arrangement was compliments of my Bible study

...and another gorgeous fall bouquet from our church..

and of course i have to share some pictures of our now three year old elizabeth. i cannot believe how quickly three years have zipped past. last night in the car kate was crying, and elizabeth starting singing to her...oh the incredible sweetness of her little voice, soothing her sister....oh the blessing of hearing her praising Jesus in song. of course, it filled my already weepy eyes with fresh tears. if you asked elizabeth what she did on her birthday she would be sure to start by telling you about the "wiggle donut with cimmanen" she had for breakfast...and, of course, she would mention sitting on the big tall stool at the donut shop and watching the cars go by on main street. then she would tell you we went to the children's museum, and of course, she would proudly report that since she is officially three, she is old enough to ride the carousel horses that go up and down (this, my friends, is a BIG deal!). she would be sure to mention seeing the "dinoSAURS!" and choo-choos...and would most likely tell you that she drove a bulldozer with her daddy. she would be sure to mention going outside on her swingset (the one that "my daddy and my poppy built!") to take some birthday girl pictures. she would probably tell you that she received LOTS of phone calls from people who love her--and those lucky folks got to hear about this day from her sweet little voice! of course, she'd want to tell you that she got to sit on daddy's lap and open two presents...the curious george movie and some lacing shapes. and of course, no birthday would be complete without blowing out candles on some chocolate cake (good thing three year olds don't care whether its a "real" cake or just a warm delight bowl mom got as a free sample and whipped out at the last minute!). as for the rest of the fam...if you asked us about the day, we'd simply say we were darn lucky to spend it with such a fabulous, funny, beautiful, special girl. we love you libbers!

...and finally...a few last things we are smiling about.

the blessing of incredible friends and family who've come alongside of us and helped us in the past week. my mom came and stayed with us for three, cooking, taking care of the girls and me. my dear friend jill spent two days at our house...loving and serving us. mike's parents came saturday with yummy chili and an early birthday celebration for libs. our sweet friend jamie watched the girls tuesday during our appointment and then kept them into the afternoon so we'd have some processing time. she also watched the girls during our first appointment and rushed dinner over the first night of my bedrest...taking care of us while we were still reeling from the news that something was amiss. our dear friend nancy drove all the way across the city to bring us dinner one night...and she has loved, encouraged, and blessed us by sharing her own experience. a dear friend i have only just met in the past couple of weeks brought us dinner last night. our cup runneth over with blessings and love from the people around us.

grandmommy reads to miss elizabeth

elizabeth enjoying some chocolate cake grandma and grandpa brought over

though i was couch bound for a week, i had the privilege of watching miss kate take her first walk across the room (right straight to her daddy when he arrived home from work i might mention...looks like we've got another daddy's girl!). oh how sweet to be a captive audience for the debut week of crawling...i hope to post some of the video was captured very soon.

and this. a willow tree angel to add to my collection. mike and i picked this out yesterday...with tears streaming down our face at hallmark. how thankful i am that my husband didn't think i was silly for wanting something to have in front of us...a visual "remembrance" of sorts. in fact, he also suggested planting a tree in our yard as a sort of memorial...something we will be heading to do this weekend.

and so dear friends...we are blessed beyond measure. we serve a God who is ever faithful and oh so God. we are blessed by this trial, as it is showing us the intimate tenderness of our Father, our refuge and our rock.


Fairlightday said...

Happy birthday to sweet Elizabeth. What a wonderful milestone. It seems like such a short time ago.
I have to tell you that there is nothing strange, weird, or bad about you having something to remind you of your little one lost. Nothing. Thank you for sharing it with us.
I love you and Mike's idea of planting a tree. It will always be special and dear to you. Hugs Amanda.

Nancy M. said...

Happy Birthday Elizabeth! She's such a beautiful little girl! Sounds like y'all had a wonderful time on her birthday.
I have a little Drool Monster, too. Yay for Kate walking!
The tree sounds like a wonderful idea.

Shanna said...

Aww what a sweet post, Happy Birthday Elizabeth!
I'm so glad you were able to find something to remind you. It's something that I wish I had thought of so many years ago. I also think a tree would be a wonderful idea, something to always be there.
I'm so glad you were able to get out and enjoy each other's company and also that you were so taken care of by so many people who care about you ;)

Noah and Ryders Mommy said...

Happy birthday Elizabeth! Im so happy that you both are allowing God to carry you through this! You have two sweet, gorgeous and precious little girlies whom I excaim over each and every time I come to your little spot and I am so thankful to know you Amanda and be here for you even if it's in the smallest of ways. I hope he still continues to carry you t hrough and knowing that the rememberance will never go away, you can still find peace and jo y in your little family
happy birthday to your sweet girl I loved looking at all those pretty lttle faces!

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Happy Birthday, darling girl. I know you bring your mommy so much joy and delight. :) Hugs!

Aminta said...

Happy Birthday Libbs! What a happy day, to remember your little one that made YOU Amanda a Mommy.
How special.
I LOVE your angel of rememberance. That is beautiful.
I hate it when people say "I know how you feel"...... and in this case I think no one knows how we feel to love and to lose. I love that you love this child, this child who will never know heartache and pain, who wil grow up in the loving arms of our Father in heaven covered in the blessing of his mother and father.
Bless you through this greaving process. And know that you are washing your spirit with these tears.
Bless you Amanda, and know that you are loved and prayed for.

MoziEsmé said...

Those are sweet smiles! I was so sorry to hear about your baby, but so blessed to see the smiles shining through the tears. Happy birthday, Elizabeth.

Amy's Blah, Blah, Blogging said...

Well happy 3rd birthday to Elizabeth! Oh my gosh, how have 3 years already gone by? It seems like yesterday you were telling me the news. Crazy!! It looks like she had a lot of fun and special memories of her big girl day.

Kate is walking? That is so precious. Oh, I remember's like you have to take in every moment or they are gone, just like that.

I'm so glad that you and Mike have been able to take some time to find a way to greive for you. I think the Willow figurine and tree are perfect rememberences, just lovely.

Take care,

Rebecca said...

happy birthday to elizabeth!

so glad you are seeing the blessings during the trials.

so fun that kate is walking. and it sounds like libs had a wonderful birthday!

still thinking of and praying for you...

Lisa said...

joy admist all of your pain - I am thrilled!!
hope you are feeling well...
thinking of you constantly....

all my love

kt mac said...

wow Amanda what beautiful words although there was some sadness in this post it was also so beautiful and fun. I am so glad that God has been surrounding you with his love during this time and you have had so many dear friends and family to support you.

Happy Birthday Elizabeth - what a big girl you are. It looks like you had the most amazing fun day :)

and congrats to Kate for her first steps!

still upholding your family in my prayers.

kt x

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

This was so so beautiful! I have been praying for you and wondering how you have really been doing. I stopped by today and found this post. This is really how you are doing and I am so gald to know that He is carrying you as only He can. We experienced this SO much when we lost our baby. It is an unexplainable amazing thing isn't it? You guys are truly very blessed!
I also LOVE willow tree angels. You picked a perfect one! I think it is very important to have that tangable which we so desire. I so get what you were saying Amanda!
Blessings to you my friend.

Rebecca said...

thanks for the name comment. we love to look at name meanings, too.

oh i wanted to say before...i love that you got a willow tree figurine in rememberance. and planting a tree sounds great, too!

Chelle said...

I cannot believe that your sweet Elzabeth is three, that means that my Annabelle isn't far behind...the pictures of her special day were so sweet.

And I have to tell you how much I keep coming back to your post and how your words on grieving but not without hope, and how Jesus is carrying you both through echos our experience when we lost our first baby. I found myself nodding as I read this post, with tears in my eyes. My heart both hurts and leaps for you. Such a bittersweet time for you guys.

Now dearie, consider yourself hugged.