Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Balloons for Lila.

For Lila's anniversary we decided to write messages on balloons and send them to her. I invited family and friends to be a part of it. Afterwards I thought that maybe that was a horrible decision. Maybe Quinn and I should just be alone and try and make it through but in the end it was the perfect way to finish the awful day, surrounded by love and support. I'm glad we did it and I'm glad Lila had so many people show she how much they love her. 

I don't think I took one picture the whole time. My mind was just mush so I am grateful people started to send me pictures they had took later that night. 

Monday, April 27, 2015


The morning of the anniversary of Lila's passing I awoke to find our home had been covered in balloons from our neighbors. I've talked before about my sweet next door neighbor and dear friend Jill who has done something for us every 26th for the past year. She never missed a single month. Whether it be treats, or books, or flowers, or dinner, or gifts she had acknowledged every single month. This month she got a little help from others in the neighborhood. It was so sweet to wake up to that and to feel of their love and support. It always makes those hard days more survivable. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

dearest Lila

My sweet girl, 
It's been a year today since your passing. I have been asked if it feels like a year. i guess there are two sides to that coin. If I think of specific moments of you then it feels like yesterday, I can remember your sweet smile, your laugh, your spirit  but if i start to think of the last time I saw you it feels like fifty years. I start to get that all consuming feeling of grief and I literally have trouble getting air into my lungs. It feels like someone is putting their hands into my chest and slowly squeezing my heart. A whole year without you. How can this be possible?! How have I survived without you in my life? I never thought I would be able to. Sometimes when I cry myself to sleep the only comfort I can gain is to visualize you laying next to me with your arms around me. 
This last year without you has been hard, hectic and trying and yet it has shown me the beauty of surviving. It is certainly more fast-paced with your sister. She never ever sits still and is constantly exploring. I think Heavenly Father heard me when I complained that I just wanted a normal naughty child who would talk back and keep me on my toes. I am sure you two are having a good laugh about that one now. The spirit in our home is much different. It's normal, exhausting, rewarding and funny. Gone are the days of quiet and reflective peace that you and I enjoyed together. Everything has its season.  But oh how this adventurous little sister of yours loves you. She talks about you often, she loves visiting you at the cemetery, she kisses your grave and tells you she loves you several times a day.  I think you must have made sure that I had this great little spirit in our home before you left us. She has been the reason to get up in the morning. I know you waited for her, and I am grateful. She is giving me the hugs that I know you want to. The other morning I awoke with such intense longing for you that I was already crying when I went to get your sister. She looked at me full of concern and said, "mommy sad" "mommy love you" "mommy ca?" her way of saying cuddle. As we sat in the chair where I once rocked you I felt you with us, trying to comfort me as well as your sister. I am so unbelievably thirsty for moments like this, I question whether you come back to us. Do you remember me? Do you miss me? 
We have found ourselves in a new home in a new neighborhood struggling that we are not in "your home" but maybe you waited for that decision as well because we have met wonderful people who love you without ever having met you or only meeting you briefly. They have fallen in love with you and therefore by default have loved us. And somehow this building that you only stayed in for a few weeks is starting to feel like home. If I do drive in the old neighborhood I struggle. I worry that I should have stayed on the street where I raised you for forever. Maybe I would be closer to you if we had. But our home is filled with you, pictures, paintings and memorials. 
We have done IVF through a deep sense that your sister is meant for a sibling. I thought it might throw me over the edge but somehow a miracle happened and we are 13 weeks into a pregnancy. If you would have told me last year that we would be three months along at your one year mark I wouldn't have believed it but life has a way of pushing you into the direction you are suppose to go. I would like to think you are preparing this little baby to come to us, telling them funny stories and to watch out for Ruby's pinching.  I think this may be the last of our children. The loss of you has shattered my heart in such a way that I don't know if I can possibly handle more. I feel blessed Ruby is healthy and if this child is as well I will feel as if I don't want to tempt fate. It's not the way I saw our family being but you kinda changed my expectations of what my life would look like the moment you were born. I have to trust in that because while it has been more excruciating than I thought possible it has been more beautiful than I pictured. 
Tonight after we sent you balloons covered in messages with friends and family at the cemetery your dad and I came back and listened to your funeral, something we haven't had the courage to do since we were actually there. It was beautiful. You were and are so loved. What amazing gifts and lessons you gave while on this Earth. I am sure you are being just as influential in heaven and I can't wait to get there and have people be in awe that I am Lila's mom. What a badge of pride it has been to be your mother. I am humbled that you gave me such an honor. Thank you love. 
Listening to the talks was healing and also hard it made me miss you so much. To listen to me talk and to realize I had only been without you a week, I have not found that time heals wounds, in fact the time has only sharpened my grief because I am missing you so much. I am worried now that it has been a year that people will expect me to be more "over it" I have already had the comment, well, at least all the firsts are over. I can't imagine that a second birthday, or christmas without you will be anymore easy. The void of you all consuming, how can that ever go away? I once explained to someone who was asking how many children we wanted to have (as if it was as simple as wanting and then getting) that our family would never be complete. I would never feel whole or "finished" because a huge chunk of our family was missing and I would never feel that wonderful completely full feeling in this life. 
Lila I miss you so much my darling. This last year has been torturous, healing, raw with grief, peaceful, miserable, joyful and all in between. We never forget you, not for one single second and we talk about you constantly in our home, your siblings will defiantly know you. You are with me and you are not. I struggle with my thoughts of where you are and I am comforted to think you are out of pain. I want you to be my little girl forever and I worry that you are needing me in a place I cannot go. I wish you could visit me, come tell me you are happy. Tell me you are waiting and counting down the days that you will see me again just like I do. I love you Lila bear, know this my sweet. I will till the day I die and then forever after. Happy Heaven day

Honoring Lila

Yesterday was the 25th but I felt like it was the anniversary of Lila's death. It was a Saturday and brought back so many emotions. I really wanted to lay in my bed and sob. My friends decided that the better way to honor Lila was to use our bodies, a gift she was never able to fulfill in this life. So they signed me up for the tulip 5 k at thanksgiving point. I was dreading it. I just wanted to hide in a hole, but it was good to honor her by walking. We walked through where we took family pictures a year ago. I haven't been back since and while it was excruciating it reminded me of her last and final smile in the parking lot. Oh how I miss this girl.  

Sweet boys

Quinn has had the same group of guy friends since high school, most since elementary. They are sweet boys who have always made me laugh. But I have come to have a deeper and more intense love and admiration for them. They are incredible and thoughtful boys. They decided, with the leadership of Ty and fletch,  that they wanted to do something really special for the anniversary of Lila's passing.  They brought all the supplies and equipment to tear out our overgrown back yard and create this beautiful peace garden for Lila. It took the a day and a half but it looks stunning. I was so overwhelmed by their goodness and completely humbled that they would do this for us. 



They also made these hats and want to do a service project every year in her honor. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

The tulip festival

Quinn, ruby and I headed to the tulip festival last week. I was equally excited and dreading it. This was always such a special place for my little family. I see Lila everywhere. I can see her running through the blooms and laughing. When we walked in I just started crying. Cute ruby was so concerned and kept asking to hold my hand. I love how sensitive she has become. I hope Lila was with us. I missed her desperately. I can't believe that the year mark is here. I miss this girl more than words can describe. People have said it's such a blessing she left when she did but I would have given anything to have her with us strolling through the tulips. 

 Sweet ruby kept saying "Love you Jesus",  "Hi Jesus". Then after I told her Jesus is the reason we get to be with Lila again she kept saying "thank you Jesus." What a sweetheart 
 I thought of our girl looking at this statue. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Utah spring

Running through the sprinklers on Monday and playing in a blizzard on Wednesday. Utah spring 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Ruby and the Cemetery

(I love this tree at the cemetery. I have never seen a tree with half pink and half white blossoms) 

Beautiful moments with Ruby at the cemetery 

We are regulars at the cemetery, Ruby has come to be very familiar with it. With Lila's spot and those around her. She has become so incredibly cute about it. As soon as we pull in she starts saying "hi Lila" when we get out she runs to Lila's grave and will bend down and kiss it and tell her, "love you lila" She will continue to jabber on with Lila's name constantly in the conversation. When we leave she will say, in a very sad voice. "bye bye Lila", "love you Lila" It honestly breaks my heart every time and yet it is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. It makes me feel like they still have a friendship going on. Ruby knows her, she talks about her like she is constantly here. I hope that they stay up late and talk to each other, I hope Lila is in our home. I pray she is in every thing we do. 
One time while at the cemetery, Quinn and I were talking about how much we loved that Ruby talks to Lila, how incredible this little bond is. All the while Ruby was saying "bye lila" in the back. I said to Quinn I can't believe that she starts to say hi Lila as soon as we turn into the cemetery. From the back Ruby says. " I said bye" Quinn and I were stunned. Ruby is one smart little cookie. I think she was only 17 months at the time. 
I had a really hard time on Easter. It has been one of my hardest days so far. I could not stop crying. When we went to the grave I sat down and just started to sob. My sweet 19 month old quickly came over and hugged me, without any prompting from dad, and started to kiss me. It was one of the sweetest and most needed acts of comfort I have ever received. What a saving grace this Ruby is for our family. I honestly don't know where we would be without her. 
I love to go to the cemetery there is a calm and sweet spirit there. I love that Ruby can feel it and that she loves her sister. 

Easter egg hunts

Ruby loved the Easter egg hunts this year. It was so fun to watch her get so excited to find the eggs filled with canee (candy) She had three different hunts. A neighborhood one, and then two with the grandparents. She is a lucky little lady. 

Lila's tree

My sister in law Kathy's parents were so kind and purchased a tree to be planted in Lila's honor at sugarhouse park. Its on the east end right by the rose bushes. We were so very touched and humbled by the gesture. We decided to help with the planting, of course it decided to be crazy Utah spring and it started to snow right when we started to dig. The boys were awesome and stayed till the end. We can't wait to watch it grow.