Kiwi Hannah is 5!

My heart aches. It’s ached all day off and on. I took a nap in the middle of the day because I was tired. Kobi tucked me in and kissed my cheek and sang to me while I napped.

In between the nap, we had breakfast, we played with balloons, built a fort, went swimming, went to Chick-fil-a, and Dunkin and made the most of the day. We tried to say yes to Kobi all day and it was pretty fun well at least for me, because I feel like I’m always saying no.

Things felt different this year. Maybe because Kiwi Hannah is five and that seems like such a milestone birthday! It just hit me differently. Like it’s been 5 years! It took us 5 years to even get pregnant with her, so for her to be gone for 5 years after the fact, just seems like a lifetime has passed!

There are so many things I want to say, and feel the need to say but I don’t have the energy, not today. Just know that we celebrated Big Sister Day the best we could!

The First Day of School

My Dearest Katherine,

Today was your first day of school! It’s pre-K 3 but you have a school uniform, so I’m counting it as your first day. You looked so big and grown and when I asked you what your favorite part was you said, “all of it!”

I was so sad all day because I know that today was the first step of many you will take further away from me and closer into the grown up Kobi you are suppose to be. The last time I asked you, (just a few days ago) you said you wanted to be a helicopter pilot when you grow up. You also have a wonderful imagination and have kept your father and I scratching our heads with some of the stuff you’ve said. You’re already reading books on your own, and tonight when we baked cookies, you didn’t need the chair to stand on, just standing on the step stool was enough.

You are growing and changing and I know it’s inevitable, but I also want to savor each moment, each memory we make together. You are going to change the world! You are strong, you are smart, you are kind, you are valued, you are funny, you are loved, loved, loved!

My prayer for you today and always is that you will always love going to school, that you would continue to love Jesus and shine His light wherever you go! That you would make friends but be okay with knowing that everyone won’t like you. I pray that you chase your dreams, and that you remember you are loved unconditionally, win, lose, success, failure. Keep trying, keep getting back up, always finish what you start. It won’t always be easy but it will be worth it!

Happy First Day of School my love!! I know you are going to learn so much, and I promise to try and learn with you and encourage you to continue to learn even when it means surpassing my knowledge! You were created to be great!

~Love Mom~

To my Knight in shining armor on our anniversary

Dear Knight-in-shining-armor,

It’s been ten years. Life has been hard. The armor is a bit banged up from all the elements of this adventure we have lived together. It’s clunky, rusted, and hard to move around in. Even so, you still polish it and keep donning that heavy suit for me, making sure I feel our happily-ever-after hasn’t completely died.

It’s been ten years. The weight of the armor has been an unnecessary burden on you just because I liked the way it looked. It’s not realistic and I’m sorry I’ve made you carry that weight around all these years. For a girl who hates Disney I sure did fall for their lie…

Nevertheless I have seen the error and the damage I have done and on the day that we celebrate our love of being married. I would like to release you, to tell you to TAKE OFF THE ARMOR and go and get top dollar at the junk yard for the scraps so no other man can fall into that lie.

See the problem with you being a knight was that you were never really allowed to rest. You were always in a fight, and you served me no matter the situation and probably worst of all, you were never allowed to make a mistake. The only person who was ever that perfect was Jesus and yet that same standard was tossed upon you and polished so brightly it blinded me.

It’s only by God’s goodness and glory that we’ve come this far because I’ve had it all wrong this whole time. I’ve been walking around so blinded by the pristine shine from your armor that I couldn’t see you, and it’s just now that I am starting to see and believe the “you” you have become. You need to be in a position where you rest, where your decisions are valued, where you don’t have to be in a fight all the time, where you can be seen and where you can make mistakes knowing full well they are allowed and we can work through them together. If I’m suppose to be your helpmate, why can’t I help solve the problems instead of making you feel like they are all your fault even when they are out of your control?

Today we are ten years in… it’s been a hard ten years it feels like we’ve lived several different lives in that time. And although I feel like I’m starting from the beginning, I’m excited because I know that there are no filters, no light blindness, just you in your rawest form and I get to see you, to hear you, to watch you stretch out and become the man you were always meant to be.

I’m sorry for the things I did, the things I didn’t do, the things I said or didn’t say when I was walking around blinded by the armor I made you wear. I have repented for the damages I have caused our family and I am asking your forgiveness today so that we can start this next decade on the same page of realistic expectations, hopes, and dreams together. Happy Anniversary, my love. Thank you for loving me so faithfully and so unconditionally all these years.

My Dearest Kobi

It’s been a long time since I wrote you. In fact there’s a journal that has been neglected so long that all of your major milestones since we moved to Oregon are captured in my mind and via phone. Check your Facebook for all of the pictures when those words run out you’ll be certain to find them there.

You’re growing up so fast. I want time to stand still so I can treasure each and every moment with you. I know it can’t and won’t and I’m actually really excited to watch you learn. I mean just the other day you came in the kitchen with your shoes on the correct feet with straps through the loops and Velcro in place. The week before that you wrote the most perfect letter H all by yourself (check Facebook for that highlight your daddy made it his profile picture). The week prior to that you peed in the potty for the first time! And yesterday when we went to the store, you pointed out the peppers in the produce isle and began reciting, ” if Peter Piper picked a peck of peppers…”

You are incredibly brilliant! You love to read and be read to, and you love to dance and sing. So much so that you’ve begun making up your own songs! You love people so well and really do walk around to the beat of your own drum. You aren’t afraid to ask for prayer or pray for those around you. You are compassionate and strong. You love to write and color with pens. You really do know what you want. You’re interested in Engineering and you love planes so much that you have to stop and look for them the moment you hear them flying over head!

Oh and did I mention that you are only two and half years old right now? I’m sure you can do the math from when this was written in your head because you are your father’s child after all, but I decided to just throw that out there.

My Dearest Kobi,

You. Are. Brilliant! Don’t ever forget that. Don’t let anyone EVER tell you otherwise. You were meant for greatness. The favor of the Lord is with you wherever you go, and although we may not be with you, know that our love for you is deep and unconditional. Oh and please hear me when I say, doing it differently is what we do best!! Trust God because He’s never failed us! You are one of the best things that has ever happened to me!

Love you FOREVER,

MomMother and daughter in dresses

Daddy picked your dress and you picked mine for church one day. Photo taken 7/18 in Eugene, OR.
Mother and daughter spinning
You asked to spin in our princess dresses so we did. Photo taken 7/18 in Eugene, OR

A New Life

After a pain so deep I thought it would kill me, I found new life! When Kiwi took her last few breaths on this side of heaven it completely ruined me. The anguish I felt was unlike anything I’d ever felt before, and am in no hurry to feel again. It was a struggle just to breathe, let alone eat or get out of bed! I won’t say sleep, for once I did fall asleep I slept to pass the day. I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore, it was one of those gut wrenching cries that you feel in the pit of your stomach! 

At some point, about 3 months later I decided that it was time to do something, so I found work  to keep my mind busy, then decided it was time to go to grad school and a year to the day of Kiwi’s first birthday, I found out I was pregnant with her little sister, Kobi! Although, there was a new life to grow, I was petrified. The saga that was bedrest began, grad school got put on hold,  and I did absolutely everything I could to keep Kobi growing. However, little miss Kobi decided she wanted to come closer to her sister’s original due date and made her appearance in February! We finally had a baby on this side of heaven to take care of, and to love!!

Time in the NICU made things go very slowly at first, days began to run together, and I couldn’t wait until William got off so we could go for our visits. All I ever wanted to do was be with our new baby! We were able to finally bring her home and things began to pick up! I spent all my time with her, went back to grad school, and stayed home with her as long as we could afford to. 

Kobi grew and grew and grew some more!! Her first birthday came and we celebrated her life and all that God has planned for her! It truly was a joyous occasion. We have often joked that we got to celebrate keeping her alive, cause it really is a huge accomplishment, but now as she is beginning to walk, and her personality is beginning to show itself, and she’s becoming more independent, I see that she has kept ME alive! 

She has given me a new life! One full of joy and frustration and gratefulness even at two in the morning! Kobi literally makes me feel better just by holding her, and she gives me the energy and “want to” that I need to get stuff done.  I want her to see a positive example of what marriage is like. I want to make sure that she is taken care of, not just now but when we (her parents) are long gone! I want her to know the voice of Jesus, the love of God and the comfort and teachings of the Holy Spirit. I want her to know that her prayers are heard and answered according to His will! I want her to love people, travel and good food! I want her to know that her father and I are a safe place and I want to show her unconditional love. It’s that want I have for her that keeps me alive and has given me a new life! 

People have always said, “a baby changes everything” and they are absolutely right, but I think most people focus on the long nights, the dirty diapers, the privacy issues, and the overall change in schedules. They never talk about the joy you feel at each milestone accomplished, even if it is just pooping, or getting a full nights sleep. Or better yet, the cooing, and the smiles. That clapping and the laughing. My favorite thing to do is to watch Kobi try to figure out how something works! I can see the wonder and curiosity in her eyes and it’s such a wonderful feeling. I love teaching her new things and finding moments to just love on her, and seeing her play with her daddy, consistently melts my heart because she adores him!! Those are the things that have made the changes so worth it!

This new life is not quite what I expected but I am loving every moment of it and am so grateful to have each and every experience to learn and continue to grow.