Friday, March 25, 2011


For a beautiful picture of my aunt go to Isn't she lovely?

I had a great conversation with my mom last night as she was getting packed for a trip to Florida. It will be good for her to get some sunshine and rest. We got to talking--as we have so much in the past weeks--about silly Leslie things. I write them here so I won't forget. Not that I could, but still. My mom said she has been going around her house and has something in every single room that her sister gave her. Leslie LOVED to give gifts! Even if they were two weeks (or a month--can I get an amen, Missy?) late! :) Last week the kids were helping pick up our "train room" downstairs and Tate dragged out a giant, adorable teddy bear with a big red bow around its neck. Wouldn't you know, that bear was a gift from Auntie Les for his birthday last November. I even remember when it arrived and what a stir it caused because it came in such a big box and all the kids were excited to see what it was.

It never failed to amuse me that even though my birthday and my aunt's were one day apart (my Libra sister--we always strive for balance!) that we could NEVER get each other our birthday cards on time. Ever!

I started crying on the phone tonight because I just remembered that I got an extra ticket for Auntie Les for Zoe's dance recital in May. Zoe's costume came in this week and it just hit me tonight when I was talking to my mom that the next time our family gets together (to celebrate my grandpa's 90th birthday in May) that Leslie really won't be there. This whole thing still doesn't seem quite real and definitely doesn't seem right. Memories and life and trying to make sense of things.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cute kid quotes

I have to get these down before my foggy brain forgets them since they are good ones...enjoy...I know we did...

From Max: "Come on, Charlie, work with me here, man." Just sounded so grown up!

From Charlie: "Mom, it is hard to think with your heart." Me: "Well, yes it is, but whatever you think is OK. What is your heart thinking?" Charlie:"That my mom is the super cutest girl in the whole world." seriously....could not make this stuff up if I tried!

From Zoe: "Mom, my leg hurts." Me: "Where on your leg?" Zoe: "On my leg armpit." (try to figure that actually kind of makes sense!) :)

From Tate: Poor guy had another ear infection and Buck and I were trying to decide about taking him to urgent care over the weekend. Somehow in his fever-induced fog Tate heard the word "doctor" and out of nowhere started saying "No, Mommy, doctor my cry." Which is true! Ever since our traumatic ear-suctioning experience, the doctor DOES make him cry. :( No doctor for him...we waited it out and ibuprofen and ear drops did the trick. Phew!

Another little sweet Zoe story, when my family was in town for my aunt's funeral, my sister, cousins and I went to the funeral home to spend time with my aunt and view her without other people around. Well, in explaining that Auntie Les had died, we told the kids that she was in heaven. So as I was leaving to go to the funeral home, I made the mistake of saying I was going to see Auntie Les...Zoe nearly fainted. She said "I thought she was in heaven??!!" I don't know if she thought Auntie Les came back or if I was going to heaven to visit but needless to say there was some explaining to do. Goodness gracious...

We are muddling through real life around here. I have enjoyed some great conversations with good friends lately and hope for the same for you--the good stuff in life. Happy day, friends.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Where to begin...

What a long week it has been. We are weary, but feeling like life has to move forward at some point so I guess life moving forward starts tomorrow morning! Because of all the circumstances surrounding my aunt's sudden death--she was in Houston on a business trip, not at home, coupled with the fact that her family chose to have her funeral here in Iowa, where she was born and raised--made for a long week of waiting last week. Family started to arrive and her visitation and funeral were on Friday and Saturday. More family visits today and the start of picking up the pieces. We are a small family--not that something like this hits a big family any less--but I do think we feel Leslie's absence intensely, especially when all of our family is gathered together. How she would have LOVED to see everyone together!

There is so much heartache beyond what is happening in my own little world as well. I think of Japan. The images are staggering and every day I hear a death toll that is higher than the day before. It truly makes me wonder about when Jesus is going to return in His glory to make all things new--when every tear will be wiped away and every knee will bow to acknowledge Him. Come, Lord Jesus!

I also humbly ask for prayers for my friend Brenda, fighting now in the middle of her second relapse of lymphoma. Her kids are our kids' ages and our husbands also work together. They are working on a plan for Brenda to start a clinical trial--a new and overwhelming prospect all the while trying to maintain as much normalcy for their 3 kiddos. Her life and her illness is a testimony to the Lord, and so please continue to pray not only for her spirit to be uplifted but also for her body to be completely healed.

It is spring break around these parts and I must say I am looking forward to having my little ducklings (or monkeys or chickens...whatever animal I choose to call my children on any given day!) around this week. Plus an extra--super-cool cousin Will is spending half of his break with us as well! If you happen to catch me at Target in my jammies, don't judge me. :) Here is hoping for a peaceful week.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Holding close

Isn't it crazy how you can get 20 phone calls, texts or e-mails a day and just know that they have relatively minimal significance but then you get that ONE. The scary one. The one that says "my life is going to change after this phone call." And somehow you know just a millisecond before it happens. So that phone call happened on Thursday. My beautiful, vibrant, strong, light-up-a-room beloved aunt was killed in a tragic car accident. There is a Leslie-shaped hole in our family and there always will be.

God does not abandon us. He is gracious and loving and there have been amazing glimpses of His hand even through the overwhelming grief and heartbreak. My cousins, my aunt's only 2 children were together with their children for spring break. They live in Utah and Minnesota--had they been at home, the miles separating them would have made their grief even more unbearable. They found out the news of their mother's death together, sharing their grief and supporting one another. Thank you, Lord for this blessing. When I found out, I was at work (and I hardly ever work on Thursdays) and it was the end of the day, patients were gone, I had a dear friend with me for support who immediately called Buck, and my kids were already taken care of because I was working. Buck and I were able to go to my mom right then. If I would have been home, I am afraid I would have scared my kids or had to scramble to find someone to be with them but God really had all of that taken care of in that moment. I know these are just glimpses and there are many other ways God is working even in the midst of unspeakable pain.

My mom and I flew to Florida to be with my grandparents, and on the drive to their house from the airport, my mom glanced out her window and gasped. There in the distance, with virtually no rain in sight, was a beautiful rainbow. God's covenant to His people. He does not abandon us. He is here. "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you," James 4:8. So thankful He's near.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A very happy happy birthday to this guy!

Happy Birthday to Mr. Theodore Geisel!! Don't you know who this guy is??

I most certainly bet you do. He's given us some wonderful, funderful things to think about.

I had to share a few quotes of his that I just love.

"Today you are You. That is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You."

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
"A person's a person, no matter how small."

"Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you'll think up if only you try!"
Oh, that Sam I am...
Oh, the places you'll go...

And Tate's book of the moment...that silly Cat in the Hat...

And you can never forget Thing 1 and Thing 2...

Thank you, thank you, Dr. Seuss, for bringing joy and laughter and fun to our home through silly words and pictures today and most days!! We are thankful for Dr. Seuss! I am pretty sure you are too! :)