Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Poem For Cole

Mr. Howard's best friend sent us this beautiful poem he wrote.

Oh little one, dear little one.
I know we haven’t metBut in the life you never had, just know we won’t forget.
You see, the love and joy that you brought, even though you weren’t quite there.
Will always be remembered, when I say my prayers.
...Today I pray for you, that your soul has found its place.
So when your family ages, and they have lived their lives.
They can meet you at the gates with God…. with a smile upon your face.
You’ll open up your loving arms, and wrap them with your wings.
Share with them a warm embrace and talk about the past.
Now as you watch over them, with a halo on your head.
I ask of you two little things.
That you guide them through a happy life and help them reach their dreams.

Casey, thank you! It's beautiful!

The Dinosaurs

Those of my fellow Palm Springsians will recognize these dinosaurs! I'm sure my parents have a photo of me and these from when I was little. Mom, if you do - send it my way and I'll post it. Kathe, do you have one of Mr. Howard? While we made a quick stop to visit our hometown Palm Springs, we just HAD to stop and take Connor to visit Mr. Rex and Dinny. What fun!

Tri Delta Sisters

What would I do without my sisters and their families?

Allison, Sara, Jen and I all met at the University of California, Irvine. Allison, Sara, and I were all in the same pledge class and joined Tri Delta together in 2001. Jen was already in the sorority and quickly became my best friend (and Big Sister).We all met Amy the following year when she began attending UCI and joined Tri Delta. I have been inseparable from these women since then. Of course we don't get to see each other often due to the pesky problem of our geographical locations, but these women mean more to me than I can list out. They were the first ones we contacted when we found out about Cole. They were the first ones to hop on planes to come out and see us, send flowers, or texts telling us how much they love us. They were the first ones we wanted to see when we made our impromptu visit out to Southern California. To say they are simply sorority sisters is an understatement. They are truly our extended family.

Of course, as we have all grown up, our friendship has extended to our significant others. Now among our fabulous group of friends: Joe and Kylie (Amy's extended family), Brett (Jen's family), Jack, Madison, & Jackson (Allison's family), Nate & Paige (Sara's family). Aren't we such lucky people?

Our main reason for visiting was to welcome the two newest additions to our Tri Delta Family: Paige and Jackson. You are just precious! We're so happy we could meet you!

The boys & kids:
Nate, Paige, Mr. Howard, Connor, Jack, Jackson, Joe, Kylie, Madison, Brett
 Connor, Jen, Me, Jackson
 Joe, Amy, Connor
 Sara, Paige, Me, Connor, Jen, Madison, Amy, Kylie, Jackson, Allison

For past visits & Old Photos of Us: April 2010, September 2009May 2009, November 2008, June 2008. Each visit we make, our families continue to get bigger and bigger.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

San Diego Beach

While in San Diego for SeaWorld, we hopped on over to the beach to take Connor. He has been to the beach a few other times, but never since he's been walking. He wasn't too thrilled about the sand and how dirty it made him (can you guess who he takes after?). It actually took everything in my power not to brush him off every time he put his hands in the sand. I will not have a child obsessed with cleanliness...I will not have a child obsessed with cleanliness...I will not...Forget it! He's still going to have my DNA at the end of the day!
Just beginning to get used to the sand and seaweed: 
 Daddy & Connor:
 Daddy & Connor again:
 Mama & Connor
 His shirt says "Is My Dad a Hunk or what?"
We didn't get to take any photos with Uncle Colin & the Gang, but Connor did get some quality bonding in with his Uncle while we were in San Diego at dinner.

SeaWorld

We had such a fabulous time. Of course, it was bittersweet. In the back of my mind, I know that this trip is only happening because we aren't going to be welcoming Cole into the world properly in February. If he hadn't come early neither of us would have the time off. Of course he was there with us in spirit. I love you, Cole Jayden!

On our Way to SeaWorld:
 Shark Encounter:
 Mama and Connor (sorry my head got chopped off...blame the photographer):
 Daddy & Connor in the Shark Tank:
 Mama and Connor in the Shark Tank:
 Yummy Chicken Strips:
 I love my daddy:
 We needed a picture of Mr. Howard and I:
 The Polar Bear Exhibit:
 Real Ice! How fun!
 Trying my hand at the ice again:
Connor definitely understood SeaWorld a LOT more than he did Disneyland! We had a great time!

I know a lot of you aren't religious and if not, you can ignore this. But this is what's been keeping me going, whenever I get sad. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. Do not be afraid… for I am with you… declares the Lord. Jeremiah 1:5,8

Monday, September 27, 2010

Connor's First Trip to Disneyland

The basics:

  • First Disneyland Trip: September 27, 2010
  • VERY First ride: Pirates of the Carribean
  • Second ride: The Haunted Mansion
  • Third ride: Astro Orbiter
  • Other rides: It's a Small World & Innoventions
  • Connor did a fabulous job and loved it! His favorite ride was by far It's a Small World. I will have to post an ADORABLE video soon!
Daddy and Connor on the Tram!
 Mommy and Connor in the park!
 Pirates of the Carribean: I'm a big boy!
 Auntie Jen & Connor in Pirates of the Carribean!
 Auntie Jen, Mr. Howard, & Connor before the Haunted Mansion:
 Mommy being silly with Conor's Ears on!
 Daddy & Connor in It's a Small World
 Auntie Jen, Sleeping Connor, & Mommy
 This is what Connor and I did while Auntie Jen & Mr. Howard went on Buzz
 Main Street: Auntie Jen, Mama, & Connor
Other Details about the Trip:
  • Rides Mama, Daddy, & Jen went on without Little Man: Space Mountain & Buzz Lightyear (Connor could have gone on Buzz, but he was asleep)
  • Jen and I cried as we bought Mickey Ears for Cole to match his big brother's. I think the lady wanted to ask us what was wrong, but she didn't dare. Instead she just stared at us.
Our Precious Boy's Mickey Ears:
What a fun trip!

Next Up: SeaWorld

A Couple Memories

Everything is still so surreal.

I had a baby a week ago. I held him in my arms. I went to a funeral home days afterwards and had a memorial service for him 2 days ago. Wow!

Because everything has happened so quickly and life just keeps happening, despite my best efforts to slow it all down, there are some memories I do not want to forget.

We never got to hear Cole cry or watch him open his eyes, or see his first smile or coo, so we don't have a lot to definitively say, "Wow! That he got from Mama" or "Isn't he so like his big brother." But there is one thing that is completely definitively his Daddy and that is his nose. Before we had kids we'd joke that our kids better get my nose. We even remarked that Despite our best efforts, Connor lost the nose lottery. But, can I just tell you how precious Cole's nose was? Because he was so small, his rather large, incredibly adorable nose stood out like a sore thumb and I wouldn't have it any other way! I love that my kids are all Daddy because I think their Daddy is pretty darn adorable.

Another memory I have is from afterwards. After the birth. After the death. I told Mr. Howard before this all happened that I was so worried it would break us. His reaction to that was so genuine. After we walked out the doors to labor and delivery childless, he turned to me and told me he loved me. I know it seems so simple, but it isn't. Life is certainly not simple. Things happen that are soo complicated. Decisions are made that change people in an instant. For him to tell me he loved me after I had just given birth to a baby we had to send off to the morgue only four hours after looking at his face for the first time, may seem simple to someone else. But to me, it was ultimate forgiveness. Forgiveness for the decisions we made. Forgiveness for the words we said to each other after finding out. Forgiveness for being so smug about pregnancy and life in general. Forgiveness for thinking we were in control of our destiny. Forgiveness for being naive. Forgiveness for being human. Forgiveness for having our little one's heartbeat stop inside me. Forgiveness for being angry. Forgiveness for choosing me to marry and have a baby with. Forgiveness.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

If this has taught me anything...

It has been to appreciate all the moments you have with the ones you love. We have decided that we don't take enough time for us. Mr. Howard's job is stressful. He doesn't get a lot of time off and when he does, it's a random day here and there. In light of our time off from work in this horrible situation, we decided to make the most of it and are spending the next week taking Connor to do all the things we've been wanting to do. No waiting.

If you take any lessons from our situation, it should be to do the things you've been waiting to do. On our waiting list: Waiting to go to Disneyland. Waiting to go to SeaWorld. Waiting to visit my brother in San Diego. Waiting to go back to Palm Springs. Waiting to visit Paige and Jackson (the newest Tri Delta babies). Waiting to visit our friends in Southern California. Waiting to spend time together. Waiting to take a family vacation just us!! And that's what we're going to do this week!

First up: The Sacramento Zoo with Grandma!










Next up: We're braving a flight to Los Angeles with Connor. =)

What a Beautiful Day

Last night was Cole's Memorial Service and we were so blessed that a small group of family and friends were able to come. We know that several of you wanted to be there with us and Cole knows how loved he is; we are simply happy that you thought of him.

 Thankfully we had beautiful photos taken at the hospital of Cole and Daddy and then a separate one of Cole and Mommy and we were able to have those out for friends and family to see.
 We had cards out for everyone to be able to write notes to Cole. If anyone, who wasn't able to come, would like to write a note to Cole, I'd be happy to send you one of the cards and envelopes my mom bought. We are not going to open Cole's cards, but are going to do something special with them for our baby boy.
We have been blessed with bouquets of flowers and cards. Thank you so much!
Cole's Aunt Amee & Uncle Timmy had cookies sent and everyone particularly loved the lemon cookies. Mmmm. Courtney and Filip also brought over my favorite (red velvet cupcakes) and they were a HUGE hit! Everyone kept asking me what bakery I had bought them from.

The only snag was that I had searched high and low for a Big Brother shirt for Connor to wear and was unable to find one. I am sure that Cole knows what an amazing big brother he has; I only wish I could have seen them together!

Jesus replied, "You do not realise now what I am doing, but later you will understand." John 13:7

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New Stage of Grief

Anger.

Each Day is So Different

Yesterday I could barely get out of bed. I couldn't stop crying. I knew the obituary would be in the paper and I knew it would be tangible. Real. Today it was easier to wake up, maybe because Connor was crying on the baby monitor and I had a purpose. Maybe because I'm beginning to deal with it all.

I went to dinner with friends last night and I spoke about Cole. I was able to laugh and that felt good. But then I feel guilty for laughing. I went home and thought, "how can I go to dinner and have fun?" Logically, of course, I know that this is part of life. I have to laugh and smile and have fun. But it feels wrong.
Today I look at the photos of Cole and smile. I remember the happiness. Some people can't ever have children and I've been blessed with two sons: Connor - a beautiful, healthy boy and Cole - a beautiful Angel. How lucky am I?

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