Another VERY special gift

On Saturday evening, my sister brought over a gift for me, all wrapped up. I knew, from Dave, that it contained some precious memories of Alivia. It took me over a day to be able to open the gift. I finally did late Sunday night. I cried my way through it as I read precious memories that others have of our little girl. Yes, my sister took the effort to collect from a number of people memories, poems and remembrances of Alivia's life. Then she put it together into a book accompanied by pictures. It's another gift that I will always treasure.

Kel, thank you so much for all the hard work you put into this. This will forever be one of our families most meaningful books.


A new favorite

Heaven Is The Face (Slideshow With Lyrics) - Steven Curtis Chapman


Special gift

This past Saturday was a good day...a hard day, but a good one. I probably cried more and remembered more than I have in awhile. My amazing mom took the girls for the whole day and overnight so Dave and I could have some time together. I dropped them off in the morning, made a trip to Home Depot and then came back home. Dave and I had lunch together and then watched Alivia's slide show together. We read through emails that were sent and took time to just sit and talk. Then he gave me a gift. It was all wrapped up in white paper with a pink ribbon. I opened it to find a picture that he had taken that I had never seen before. He took it when Alivia was just a week or 2 old. We had been napping together and I never knew he had taken it. Since he took it with his phone, the quality was pretty poor. So, he had our dear friend, Kristen, work on it and then framed it. It took me quite some time to recover from seeing it. I will treasure this always.


September 26...

Alivia's birthday. The Lord sustains, the Lord hears, the Lord knows, He helps, He carries, He is gracious, sovereign and good. The theme of this year for me has been,

"The Lord gave, and the Lord hastaken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21

In the midst of our painful loss, we continue to know that God is over all things and we will seek to praise Him. This morning I found comfort and hope in Psalm 23, another life passage for me this year:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil ,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord

In memory of our little girl, I'm posting the slide show (from her memorial service) that captures her short life. For all who read this blog, thank you for remembering with us and caring for us...we are so grateful!


Psalm 121

This week has been full of up and down emotions, as is to be expected. I have not blogged for awhile for a number of reasons, one main one being that I just don't quite know what to say. There are so many conflicting, random, and mixed thoughts and emotions filling my heart and mind these days.

On top of that, life has picked up and has been super busy, which has really served me to keep my mind occupied. I was just telling Dave last night that it seems like when it rains, it pours. The last number of weeks have been challenging for us, on a number of fronts and have continued to push us to further dependency on the Lord. It's been hard, but God is continuing to sustain us. It does seem that once September hit, I started to finally feel better in the pregnancy, just as life picked up a few paces. I have been giving thanks to the Lord as He knew this time of year was going to be hard and has helped my body to be able to keep up with all that is going on around me and has given me things to do.

This morning, in my devotions, my mind quickly went to what I was doing a year ago, the day before Alivia was born. I remember it so clearly. A friend had offered to watch the girls for me so I could get some things done...I was one week away from my due date. So, I painted my kitchen, of all things!

I think the time from now till Nov. 2 is going to bring back so many memories for me. Things I did a year ago when our little peanut was with us. May God give grace.

I was just reading in Psalm 121 today, which has been a passage I go back to often. It is such a good reminder of where my help lies and also of the promise that God will uphold me through life's continued storms. The past few weeks have been especially tempting for me in giving into the weight of my circumstances. I have felt weary often and even have told Dave that I'm tired of life's numerous trials going on in our lives and those around us and I'm tired of my heart being so heavy for so long. It seems, at times, everywhere I look is hardship, sickness, death, bad news, fear and disappointment. But God has not promised us easy lives, no, the contrary is true. Yet, He has promised to sustain and uphold and that is where my focus is to lie. And I can be encouraged in that truth and in the fact that it's through the storms that our faith is built. He is continuing to do a great work in our lives and he will, indeed, HELP us!

Psalm 121
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes form the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lrod is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you
by day,
nor the moon by night.

The lord will keep you form all
he will keep you life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your
coming in
from this time forth and


That rose was His...

I have heard this quote a few times in the past. But it was very timely this morning as my mind has often been on the events of last September, when little Alivia was born.

The other day I was cleaning out a cabinet and found 2 little newborn diapers in the way back...they were Alivia's and it seems like just yesterday I was using them. And yesterday afternoon I heard a baby cry that almost sent me running. It sounded just like her. Then I happened upon some pictures on my computer of our last year's trip to the pumpkin patch. She was just a few weeks old and I so clearly remember walking around with her in her baby pouch. It doesn't seem like almost a year since she was born, and yet so much has changed and taken place in this one year. The emotions, the ache in my heart and the memories are still so fresh. I'm learning that's just how it will probably be for awhile, particularly this time of year.

Tears flow now as she is still so dear, so near and so loved in my heart. So, this quote was refreshing and encouraging as I came across it while reading in Beside Still Waters this morning. I know it was the Lord's doing that sent her to Him. And as much as it pains my heart, I am so grateful for the time He gave her to us, even if just 5 short weeks, to care for her and love her. Those are 5 precious weeks I will never forget. What a gift she was to us.

Lest You Sorrow. 1 Thessalonians 4:13

"Suppose that you are a professional gardener, responsible for a garden that is not yours. you take great care of several prize rose bushes. You fertilize, water, prune, and train them. Now that they are blooming in great beauty, you take considerable pride in them.

One morning you come into the garden and find that the best rose has been taken. You are angry and accuse your fellow workers of taking it. They declare their innocences, saying that they had nothing to do with it. But one says, 'I saw the master walking here this morning. I think he took it.'

Is the gardener still angry? No, he immediately says, 'I am pleased that my rose's beauty attracted the master's attention. That rose was his, and he has taken it. Let him do what seems good.'

It is the same with your loved ones. They did not die by chance. The grave is not filled by accident. People die according to God's will. Your child is gone, but the Master took her. Your husband is gone, but the Master took him. Your wife is buried, but the Master took her. Thank God that He let you have pleasure of caring and tending for them while they were here. Thank Him that as He gave, He Himself has taken.

If you believe in providence, you may grieve, 'but I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus' (1 Thess. 4:13-14). - Spurgeon


BIG first day

Today was Mckenna's first day of school, in Kinder- garten. I absolutely can't believe that she is starting school. It's been an emotional few weeks for me, to say the least, as I've contemplated this. But she had a wonderful first day and keeps asking if she can back every day! She definitely loved it.

I'm very grateful for Covenant Life School and know that this is the place the Lord has her right now in this season. It's a blessing knowing she will be so well cared for and taught, particularly since I'm not sure how much I would be able to do after the baby comes, if I homeschooled her. I'm grateful knowing her education this year is being well taken care of by amazing people!

Ready to go...

"wait, mom, I need to fix my hair band..."

dash to the car, so we won't be late!

Walking in on her first big day, with Daddy and Selah.

In the I love my family.


10 months...

in the glories of heaven. I've been thinking about our little girl and grieving today as I've considered just how much she continues to be missed in our lives.


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