Nine Years, Many Lives.

Today William and I celebrated nine years of being married. It was a real low key celebration. I guess that’s what happens when you move to a new city and are on a tight budget. There were no big gifts exchanged, but we did have breakfast as a family, a family nap, a kid free coffee/putt putt date and dinner as a family. It was a nice celebration.

Somewhere between cards being exchanged and coffee being drunken we were in agreement that although we’ve only been married nine years it seems like we’ve lived many lives in that time. There are pivotal moments that have happened in our lives that have marked us and changed us and now is no different.

We had newly wed lives, before and after Miami lives, before and after Kiwi lives, NICU lives, not to mention the mission trips, the trainings and conferences that have marked our lives or the lingering effects of our before marriage lives. We were told this life together would be an adventure but we had no idea what that meant let alone what it could look like.

As hard and long as these years and lives have been, it’s all been worth it to call William Michael Harding my husband. He truly is the man for me. He balances me so well, and loves me so deeply and I look forward to this life, and the future lives with such hope, wonder, and gratefulness to experience it with him.

William Michael Harding! I Love You! Happy Anniversary!

Kobi’s 2!

It’s amazing how much things change in a year!! Although we weren’t near anyone we spent Kobi’s first birthday with, we made the most of our time together celebrating her life! We had so much fun going to OMSI (the science museum) with our friends Katie and Doc in Portland, where Kobi got to run free for hours! We had pizza for lunch and some ice cream because that’s what she likes and then we came home for dinner and cupcakes with our friends, the Zauners! Oh and there was some present opening in there too!

It was kind of simple and didn’t take much planning but it was so much fun and Kobi enjoyed every minute of it, and that’s all I wanted! I know how hard this move has been on her and I just wanted her to be able to enjoy her special day!

Kobi is quite phenomenal if you ask me! She knows her alphabet, their sounds, and can recognize them when we are out and about, she can count to 20 and also recognizes her numbers, she loves to sing and dance, is getting better at legos all the time, loves to eat apples, chicken, chips, and bread of any kind, still doesn’t like green beans but asks for veggie pouches all the time. She is kind and compassionate, rarely meets a stranger, Strong-willed, and so smart!

A loss unlike any other

Blue and Pink Bracelet
My bracelet that lets me embrace Kiwi just a little

Today I dug out my bracelet, I just had to wear it today. At first I didn’t know why, at the time it played right into my outfit: a black dress a pink cami underneath and my blue glasses. I was wearing the colors for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month so of course my bracelet with the same colors and Kiwi’s name just had to be worn today! At some point I realized that today was the day of remembrance for those that have loss children, and I felt like it was subconsciously Kiwi’s way of saying remember me! 

I’ve lost friends and grandparents before, but losing my child was so different, so unexpected, the pain was so deep I thought I would drown. Everything I ever imagined for my daughter was gone in an instant. There would be no long life lived… and instead I would feel like I’ve lived long enough, just so that I could meet her! Of course I held her, but it wasn’t long enough. I saw her breathing, but that wasn’t long enough. 

My baby Kiwi is gone, and it sucks! 

I’m happy for this day and this month because it forces me to grieve instead of setting my feelings aside and being strong for the other areas of my life. It gives me an excuse to cry without explanation, and to really feel the tug on my heart, it also allows me to see Kiwi in different moments, be it a solitary bird flying over head, or a rainbow, those moments are sweet and I know they are her way of saying hello until we meet face to face and can embrace. 

Today, the rest of this month and every other day please remember those that have experienced a loss unlike any other! You won’t always see their pain but know that it’s there and they need prayer and support and acknowledgement. 

Happy Big Sister Day!

Today Kiwi Hannah would have been three years old! So we slept in, had pancakes, took naps, played and played and played in an indoor play room, Had waaaay tooo many sweets, and just enjoyed today! We really celebrated Kiwi’s life, her memory and did things we thought she would have liked. 

A family snuggling
Enjoying some snuggle time.

We were also blessed with pumpkin scones from a dear friend who lives thousands of miles a way… When everything happened with Kiwi, and I was finally home, these scones appeared on our door one day with a note, it wasn’t until over a year later by happenstance that I finally realized who they had come from and was blown away and completely shocked it took me that long to find out, so when the same scones showed up on my doorstep with a similar note I cried for the first and only time today! I felt like the Lord remembered me and remembered my baby… it’s silly because how could he forget her, she’s with Him all the time, but it still just spoke directly to my heart, and I cried happy tears.

I also received just enough text messages/other messages that wished Kiwi a Happy Birthday that made me grateful for family and friends! Leading up today I was a mess, but we really did just enjoy playing hooky from work and taking Kobi out for some fun!! 
I miss Kiwi every day, but I am so grateful to God who gave us the time we had together and then gave us the creativity and healing enough to come up with Big Sister Day! 

Life Since Graduation

Exactly a month a go today I graduated with my Master’s in Communications from Austin Peay State University. I never wrote anything on the blog on that particular day because I was too busy enjoying my family and friends! Now, a month later I have so much free time, it’s incredible! 

I love being able to cook dinner and not feel rushed, I can let Kobi come up and ask to read her a book at anytime, and actually read it more than once, because I have time! I love running errands with her, and playing with her outside! It’s been great to be able to do laundry the same day, and help clean the kitchen and not just Kobi’s botttles. I love having time to go on date nights with William and really enjoy our time and it not be rushed because I have homework due the next day or chapters to read! I mean we just went on a family vacation to the beach and did absolutely nothing, because we needed a break and it was marvelous!! 

Life since graduation has been absolutely wonderful! It’s still hard, and I’m still tired, but now it’s because I stayed up too late watching the movie Matilda ( true story) and not because I was finishing a paper or submitting a quiz! Y’all freedom feels good! Thank you for all your prayers and support while I was in school, I’m grateful and glad to be done!