I created this blog when my sweet little girl, Kristen, was diagnosed with cancer, for the third time. After fighting for almost 3 years Kristen was called home to that same God who gave her life. I've contemplated on many occasions rather I should quit this blog or not. Each time I am inspired that I should not. One of my favorite quotes comes from Neal A. Maxwell- "Those who "plow in hope" not only understand the law of the harvest but they also understand what growing seasons are all about. True, those with genuine hope may see their proximate circumstances shaken like a kaleidoscope at times, yet with the "Eye of faith" they still see divine design." Kristen blessed lives and continues to do so. Her light continues to shine. As for me, I continue to "plow in hope" knowing well that Kristen is mine for eternity. Families can be together forever! This I know. Our family continues to live and to love and this is our story...

Monday, July 23, 2012

birthday girls & relay for life

This past week we celebrated Kali's 1st Birthday.
She is such a little sweetheart. 
She is so tiny yet she walks around 
like she owns the place.
Happy Birthday Kali Ann
We love you!

We also celebrated Claires 2nd Birthday.
We took her to Build a Bear. 
she was the most popular girl in the store. 
Happy Birthday Claire
We love you!

Friday night we had the opportunity to participate in
Relay for Life.
Relay is a fundraiser sponsored by the
American Cancer Society.
The luminary ceremony was very touching
and powerful. Those who lost their battle with
cancer were spotlighted in a slide show.
Luminaries were placed around the track with
the names of loved one  on them.
A bag pipe player led the entire group around the
track as were able to reflect on our 
loved ones. This happened to fall on the 2 year
anniversary of Kristen's death. It was an 
emotional evening and I am thankful that
I had the opportunity to participate.
I would like to thank my family and friends
who donated money to our team. and to those who
came and walked with us.
I will definitely be participating in Relay next year.

Friday, July 20, 2012

2 years

Dear Kristen,

It's been 2 years since I last held you in my arms and heard your sweet voice.
During these past 2 years I have learned a few things.
I have learned that time cannot heal your absence, how could it?
Time has no voice, it has no smile and it has no heart.
I will always be a grieving mother. I will always miss you.
I will always love you.
I have become familiar with loss, your loss. It is now a natural part of my life.
Endure is what I now do, endure is what God asks us to do.
I have learned that it does not need to be an agonizing endurance,
I can find joy along the way,but I have to look for it.
One of the most important things I have learned is that it is
possible to feel sorrow, joy and peace at the same time.
 I still have dark hours,and I have them often, however,
I have the hope of an awaiting sunrise and an eternal morning,
this brings light and love into my heart.

I believe if Kristen could say something to us she would say,

"Don't lose your way
With each passing day
You've come so far
Don't throw it away
Live believing
Dreams are for weaving
Wonders are waiting to start
Live your story
Faith, hope & glory
Hold to the truth in your heart"


Saturday, July 14, 2012

wear your seat belt

Last weekend I left town with my husband.
He had a job in Seal Beach, California. I have never really left my children home
and gone out of town before. I figured since Ryan was 18 I was finally fine to leave for
a few days. It felt weird. Rich was working and I spent a lot of time sitting
at the beach alone and walking through the town. It felt strange to be alone.
With 6 children I haven't been alone much. I always knew that someday my children 
would marry and leave, But I always planned to have Kristen with me. 
And now I was again reminded that I was ALONE. 
Cold sorrow, like ice, quickly returned to my heart as I walked down Main Street.
I could feel my eyes filling with tears as I was wishing 
that Kristen's hand was tucked inside my arm as it always was. 
It felt as though grief would soon engulf me.
As I looked up a large, bright orange butterfly flew in front of me.
It circled around me and seemed to follow me back to the house. 
It felt as though Kristen was telling me that she was indeed near.
That I wasn't alone.
I soon headed back to the beach, there was something I needed to do.

I felt as though I had gained a little strength.
I headed back to the house, I was only back for a few minutes when I received
a call from my oldest son. He informed me that my youngest son, Ryan, had been
in a car accident, that he hit a power pole and rolled the jeep. 
I soon started to receive multiple pictures and this is what I saw

Not a picture you want to see when you are 680 miles away.
Ryan was fine, but I just couldn't see myself walking down the pier to get ice cream
or sitting on the beach, I just wanted to GO HOME!
Rich felt the same way and we left almost that moment and drove home.
Ryan has been slacking as far as his  seat belt goes,
luckily, he put it on that day. 
I like to think he also wasn't alone that Monday afternoon. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Anniversary revisited and Orphan Spotlight

Today the girls celebrate their 2nd anniversary.
It was such an amazing day 2 years ago as
 Kristen was able to join in the festivities.
I blogged about this day last year and 
added a lot of pictures, you can re-visit it here

 Orphan Spotlight
Meet Katie 
Isn't she darling!

Katie was born in March 2005.  She has blue eyes and dark brown hair.  
She is quiet yet sociable.
This sweet little muffin is already 7 years old. Please don't her spend another year without a family.
Visit Reece's Rainbow for more info.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

4th of July fun

 The kiddies came over for the annual sleepover and  4th of July breakfast. 
They kept me up past midnight and woke me up
at the crack of dawn. 
We partied most of the day.
Katy and Kamie both ran in a 4th of July race.
Katy came in 1st place in her age division and 6th overall. 
She proudly arrived sporting her medal, the kids were all excited.
The cemetery where Kristen is buried is not far from City Hall.
 The firework display is  across the street from the cemetery.
As the evening was coming to an end, we went to the
cemetery to watch the fireworks.
We had a perfect view. 
I wonder what the fireworks look like from where Kristen is?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

another birthday and some 4th of July treats

One thing we're never short of around here is Birthdays.
Yesterday we celebrated the birthday of this guy...

He is the one who carries the wisdom.
He also keeps us all on our toes while at the same time 
reminds us to keep our feet on the ground.
Happy Birthday Rich

With the 4th of July arriving in just days, 
I thought I would make his birthday treats red white and blue.
You know I'm struggling to find what I'm looking for when
I pull out the red and blue jello.
Oh well, It worked.

This stuff is fabulous, especially the ribbon coconut.
I did learn that it is best to wait for the mixture to cool a bit
before adding the m&m's. 

Oh yes, the baby girl is walking. 
It doesn't hardly seem possible that her birthday is quickly approaching. 

With the arrival of July, my minds keeps wondering back to July 2010.
It seems like yesterday, yet it seems like a lifetime ago.

"Grief is like the ocean,
it comes on waves ebbing and flowing.
Sometimes the water is calm,
and sometimes it is overwhelming.
All we can do is learn to swim."

We love and miss you Kristen.