Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Dear Sam

Dear Sam,

Happy "Birth"day little one!  I've been thinking about this letter for quite some time, but still don't know just what to say.  I have so many thoughts going on in my head and in my heart.  First of all, I wish I were holding you today!  That thought overrides all the rest.  Today you should've been in our arms, I should be nursing you, your grandparents and older sister should be visiting, our church and seminary families and my co-workers would all be anxious to meet you.  You should be here.  But, instead you are with Jesus.  We are also thankful for that.  If you can't be here with us, I'm so glad you're with Him.  And I'm sure that Hannah and John have been "showing you the ropes" in heaven.  Not that they really need to - I'm guessing you got there and just went straight to the feet of Jesus - but as your mom I want to think about the three of you hanging out together. :)

Lots of people have asked me and your dad how we're doing.  My answer has been that to be honest, I'm doing way better than I expected.  When both Hannah and John were delivered directly to heaven, I ended up getting to a pretty dark place with my grief.  With you, Sam, that hasn't happened.  I'm so thankful for that!  It's not that I miss you any less, or feel less love toward you, I think that the Lord has just been faithful to answer all the prayers that have been offered up for us.  When I think of you, it's not with sadness but a sweet memory instead. My pregnancy with you was different and my miscarriage with you was different. I guess it's not unlikely that my grief with you is different as well. 

Your dad wants you to know that we gave you the name "Samuel" because it means "heard of God".  Samuel in the Bible was a Nazarite, dedicated to the service of the Lord.  As hard as it was for his mother to give him over to God's care, we too have given you over to Him.

We love you very much and can't wait to meet you one day.

Mommy and Daddy

Friday, June 7, 2013

Our Baby Boy

Dear John,

We should be meeting you today, but instead you are safe in heaven with Jesus.  Daddy and I are so happy that He is watching over you, but our arms ache to hold you.  I loved knowing that your due date was June 7th since that was my Grandma Swanson's birthday.  Even though I know you probably wouldn't have been born on this day, it's been special for me to think of the two of you sharing it together.  Since I was born on my Grandpa Swanson's birthday, I think that sort of thing has always meant something to me.

Heaven has seemed so much closer since I often think of you and your big sister, Hannah, there.  I am sure she's helping watch over you and I picture the two of you playing at Jesus' feet.  I wish you were playing at my feet instead, and no matter how much I know that you've been given an amazing gift of going straight to heaven and avoiding all the heartaches this earth brings, I still wish you were here.  I daily fight that struggle.

Maybe you could do your Mommy and Daddy a favor?  Could you talk to Jesus and ask Him to watch over us?  Sometimes we've had a hard time knowing what words to use when we talk to Him, and since you're right there, maybe you could ask Him to help us in our grief.  We hope that you get to have a brother or sister, one that gets to be here with us first, but we are trusting that His will is best in all circumstances.

We miss you every day, even though we haven't seen your face, and we love you so very, very, very much.

With love,
Mommy and Daddy

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Favorite Face

This is my favorite (freckled) face!  Wow, I love this kid and can't believe it's already time for him to start kindergarten this fall. Wasn't it just yesterday that he was born?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Three Years

Happy 3rd Anniversary to the Love of my life!  These last three years have been quite a journey, and I'm so excited to see what the next three years (and 60 beyond that!) hold for us!  I love you!!!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Christmas with Micaela

Happy Summer! I realize that it's been close to 100 degrees out, with 100% humidity, this week, but I thought I'd cool us all off by looking at pictures from Christmas! :)  Actually, I finally signed back on to Blogger, and I see that I uploaded all sorts of pictures of Micaela's visit at Christmas, but hadn't posted them yet.  I'll add a few quick captions, and hopefully this will help you cool down a bit!

She brought a piece of coal for her dad, since we had talked about the lack of insulation in our home.  Funny girl!

Our one and only Christmas in our house.  I did really enjoy how it looked.

Cuddling in their new blankets.

Micaela helped add some new ornaments to our tree:

Being silly..... It was definitely the theme for her visit!

Making Chicken Ole' - a specialty of Micaela's.  Very yummy!

Then we decided to make a WHOLE bunch of Christmas cookies, and had lots of fun decorating them!

It turns out I didn't take any pictures of the decorated ones.... bummer!  You'll just have to take my word for it that they were cute!  :)

Well, we did have a wonderful visit with Micaela and always enjoy the times we get to spend with her!

(Now I'll see if I'm able to figure out the new-ish upgrades to Blogger.  I guess I haven't logged in for a while....)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Thanksgiving and Christmas 2011

First of all, I'd like to say thank you to everyone for your loving comments on my last post about Hannah. We are very blessed with such a great circle of family and friends!

Instead of continuing to wonder where in the world I should start with catching up on this blog, I'll decided to just pick something and go with it!

Here's a little insight to how we celebrated the holidays. Julie and David invited us, along with our parents and our cousin, Sara, to their home for Thanksgiving. Like most Thanksgiving celebrations around the country, there was a little bit of "resting and relaxing" going on.

At our celebration, there was also a little bit of wrestling and tickling going on between uncle and nephew.Sara, Julie, and I had a great time reconnecting again!
It included a lot of laughing!
Of course there was yummy food as well. There was the standard Thanksgiving dinner, and then there was all the other deliciousness...

That same weekend David came over to play at Grandma and Grandpa's. There wasn't any snow with the warm winter, so we had a great time playing tag and soccer in the backyard. We ran around so hard that someone needed a water-break.
My awesome dad. I think the older I get the more I become Daddy's Little Girl.
My awesome husband. I'm so blessed to have such a wonderful partner in life!
My favorite little guy. What a fun goofball, who is also smart and hilarious and gives great hugs!
Back in Appleton later that weekend, we got to host some great friends at our house. Jim and Suzy are leaving for Ecuador in a few months, and they just became parents this weekend. I'm sure Stan and Cheryl are excited to be grandparents! It's fun to get to see them each year when they return to Wisconsin!
I'm a big fan of our tree this year. In fact, we just took it down 2 weeks ago because I was enjoying it in our living room so much! I started wondering if we could leave it up all year, but decided against that....
It was fun to experiment with the close-up settings on the camera.
I couldn't find the topper I thought we have, so here's my homemade version.
I enjoy nativity sets, and here's a great one that's been given to me piece by piece over the years.
We had a few things going on in Appleton over Christmas weekend, so we went to the Twin Cities the weekend before so we could celebrate with my family. We weren't able to see David and Julie, but my little buddy was able to join us on Friday night for a celebration. Here we are listening to Uncle Brent read the Christmas story.
Then we had a fun time watching David open his presents from us. Gotta love that excitement!
When we were at his house for Thanksgiving, it was easy to see how much fun he had playing with dinosaurs. We knew he'd love this book!
He immediately went through page by page to read all of the dinosaur names.
We didn't skip a page!
He asked for help on the hard names.
Then it was time for the rest of his present from Uncle Brent and Aunt Kari.
A dinosaur sticker book!
It was a hit!
As you can tell from his grin! Wow, I love this kid!
He also got to open a gift from Grandma and Grandpa, and loved his new flashlight! It has this big light, and then also a powerful beam light and some other fun functions.
We love spending time with him!
And I think he likes us too! :)
No time spent together could be without wrestling or climbing or, well.... boys being boys!
I think someone loves his grandparents!
And I know they're pretty fond of him, too! :)
The next day I got my haircut and she curled it. Then we took some of the traditional pictures in front of the fireplace.
After our photography session, we got to go to an amazing concert event, called "The Story". It was the story of the Bible from Genesis through Revelation, hitting some of the big stories along the way. There were songs and videos that were incredibly well done! There were big-name artists like Steven Curtis Chapman, Selah, The Newsboys, Natalie Grant, and others. I'm so thankful my mom got tickets for her and my dad, and Brent and me! It was such a blessing!
After we came back, we decided to open presents. I took this picture because it was pretty funny to realize that we all skipped out on wrapping the presents this year! Often times in my family, people are found finishing the last of the wrapping just moments before the opening. I guess this year we just decided to skip it altogether!
My mom purchased a special ornament in honor of Hannah. Thanks, Mom!
On Christmas Eve we had a beautiful service at Hope, and it was easy to see just how hard Brent worked with our choir -it sounded amazing! On Christmas Day we hosted Brent's family for dinner. Here is what our dining room looked like for the occassion.
We had roast, potatoes, broccoli salad, rolls, and all sorts of other fixings. I just took a few pictures of a few items, mostly as we were waiting for everyone to arrive.
Once they arrived, this was the only picture I took, otherwise we were just busy having a great time together! Here's the whole family:
Which reminds me to ask you to pray for our family. Brent's grandpa, pictured above, is now on Hospice, and of course that means a lot of difficult emotions for everyone. Please pray for peace and rest and comfort.
Well, there's a little insight to some of our celebrating. I'll do a separate post of our time with Micaela, as it's time to close for now.