Friday, February 25, 2011

Dear Mom,

Okay, so I feel pretty silly writing a letter to you. I know you are living it up right now and this letter is really nothing. It's just that I've been missing you a ton lately. I just told a friend today that while life gets easier after losing a loved one, it's still hard and sad sometimes.

I know a lot of my emotion is just from pregnancy hormones. I am 31ish weeks with another baby girl! Isn't that great? Kendall is getting a little sister. While we are so excited, a little part in me is so sad because you aren't here to experience another granddaughter. I know, I know...what you are experiencing far surpasses the joy of another girl. That's so hard to fathom sometimes because I know you would be eaten up with excitement over sweet Arden Abigail. (That's her name. We chose Abigail because of the honor you!) I'm sure she would already have a few new smocked dresses, monogrammed bloomers, ruffle socks, and an itty, bitty swimsuit. Those were your things.

Lately, my mind has gone back to when you came for Kendall's birth. It's crazy how vivid those memories are for me. Remember how you flew in on your birthday? You said flying as a handicapped person was the best way to go because somebody wheeled you around the whole airport, carried your luggage, etc. :) I made potato soup especially for you that night and we had homemade hot fudge brownie sundaes for dessert. I also remember you took us to eat at Cheesecake Factory for lunch the next day and you ordered fish tacos. (Why do I remember that??? What a silly thing to remember.) The following day was the day before my due date, and we went out shopping. We bought Kendall's coming home outfit and all the Hallmark ornaments that day, including Kendall's ""Baby's First Christmas" one. It was raining, yet we were out running around in it. I am still so thankful that you were able to be in the delivery room for Kendall's arrival. We have a few video clips of Kendall's first few moments of life and when I watch them, I don't even watch them to look at Kendall, really. I watch them so I can hear your voice in the background. What a precious, sacred sound to me.

What else, what else have I wanted to tell you....

I learned how to sew!!!  I did! I really am so excited about it and proud of myself. Evan's parents bought me a sewing machine and Sheila taught me the basics. Practicing has been a fun little hobby for me this winter.

I've also been writing for Lifeway. Do you remember when I sent in my application to do some writing  before we moved from Arkansas? Do you remember how sad I was when I got an email that said "my samples were received, but they wouldn't use them at that time?" I was so devastated...I thought it meant I wasn't good enough. Well, Mike hooked me up last spring and since then, I've had three sets of weekly devotionals and one article published in the EC magazine, and another set of monthly devotionals published in the KNOWN curriculum. I still don't feel like I am "good enough" to be a published writer, but oh, the lessons I have learned from God's word through writing and the joy it gives me to do something I enjoy so much! I know you would've loved reading it, even if it really isn't that good. :)

Do you remember all the times I called you, upset over my plans not going the way they should? Do you remember all the tears shed? I would be so upset, and you would very quickly call me out and tell me how life is like that. Well, I just want you to know that I'm slowly letting go of my need for control. The Lord is teaching me a lot lately about how it's best to just trust Him at all times. I wish I could tell you all the ways He is bringing about this lesson in my's so good. I hope I really "get it" this time.

You would soooo love Kendall. Y'all would be the biggest buds. She loves everything girly...dress up, make-up, lotion, princess things, jewelry, you name it. We are, right now, in the phase where she changes clothes every five minutes. On Sunday, in the span of one hour, she had on a red dress-up dress, then a pink one, then her everyday clothes, and then her pajamas. All that money you and daddy spent on dance costumes over the years is coming in handy for pretend play now! Kendall really has the biggest imagination. One minute she's a Disney princess and the next minute she's Sharon/Susan from the old Parent Trap. Too funny!

Kendall and I are flying to Arkansas next week. We were supposed to ride back with Daddy at Christmas, but I ended up getting the stomach bug. I was going to go anyway, but Daddy pretty much made me stay home. He's a good daddy, you know, and he knew I was sad about not getting to see all the grandparents and spend more time with our family, so he helped make a way for Kendall and I to come. Whenever I come home it's always so good and so fun, but there is always a little part missing, and that's you.

Like I said, I know this letter is meaningless, but it sure does feel good writing it down. Kendall recently learned the words to the hymn When We All Get To Heaven and every time we sing it together, I can't help but think of you. I'm so thankful for that hope. What a day of rejoicing it will be! I wish you could just tell us all about it...

Miss you so much!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday-Happy Birthday Edition

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


A few weeks ago, Evan and I were looking at several pictures on our fridge. I think it all started because I put Kendall's preschool class picture up there and we were looking at it. Anyway, as we were looking at the pictures, we were started talking about who Kendall favored. No doubt, Kendall has Evan's eyes and she seems to have my lips/mouth, but her nose always throws us.

That is, until we started looking at this picture. (Isn't she pretty??)

And then this picture. (And isn't she pretty?)

And then, this picture.

Do you see it?
Kendall has my mom's nose! And my mom has my Mimi's nose!
I'm so glad Kendall shares some distinct physical feature of my mother. Very special to me! And thanks to my hubby for helping me figure this out!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mother's Day, round 2

For two years, I've had these great ambitions to focus on what Mother's Day can mean to me now. You know...honoring all those people who are "like mom" to me (because Lord knows there are a ton of them out there!)and reflecting on what an honor it is to be Kendall's mom.

Two years in a row, I failed.

I had big plans to buy cards and mail them to several people, but it just didn't happen. When I tried to make the cart go down the card aisle at Walgreens on Tuesday, it just wouldn't go. I got that knot in my throat just thinking about it, and I knew I would break down right there in the middle of the store.

For the second year in a row, I told Evan that I was sorry. I know he counts on me to come through on things like that for his mom, but again this year, I just couldn't. He called his mom tonight and apologized for no card or gift.

It's crazy how much you can still miss a person, but yet have complete peace with the circumstances. I'm not angry at God and I don't question his timing, I just miss her like crazy.

I want to share brownies with her and talk about new found recipes. I want to call and tell her all the funny things Kendall says and does. I want to go shopping with her. Sheesh...I really miss the shopping! I want to ask HER decorating opinion. I want to say, "Remember that time we went walking at 5:30 in the morning and saw _____ (name withheld) in his underwear?" then crack up laughing because even though it happened ten years ago, it's still THAT hilarious. I want her to hear Kendall singing and for her teach Kendall new songs. I want to talk about which flowers to plant where and have her give opinions about what we should do next in our yard. She was just really good at that kind of stuff. I want to discuss with her how my husband is so excited that he can't stand it about going on a mission trip to Africa and I'm a little flipped out about him being across the globe in a semi-dangerous place for a week. Then I want to hear HER say how proud she is of him for his faith-step and of me for being a big-girl.

I could go on and on...

Very recently I heard someone say, "Man, she's driving me crazy!" speaking of their mother. I didn't say a word aloud, but I wanted to say, "Be thankful that you have a mother that can still drive you crazy and don't EVER take it for granted."

Happy Mother's Day. Maybe next year I'll make it down the card aisle....

Friday, April 30, 2010


I nearly cried in the batter bowl as I made these brownies just a few minutes ago. She would love 'em.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Conversations with Kendall

Kendall has been especially fun during this Christmas season. It's really neat to watch her learn things, even though I'm not quite sure she understands it all yet. She has especially enjoyed the Christmas trees in our house and knows which ornaments are okay for her to play with/touch. One ornament in particular is a Baby's First Christmas ornament that is a plush yellow duck with wooden wheels, hanging by a ribbon. It's a Hallmark ornament, so you can probably guess who gave it to us, right???!!!?

I remember buying it, too. It was the day before I delivered Kendall. Mom flew to Louisville on her birthday and stayed with us until about a week after Kendall was born. I delivered Kendall on a Tuesday, and the Monday before, Mom and I got out and about. It was the first cooler day after many, many 90 degree days (in October) and it was raining. We went to a children's boutique to buy a coming home outfit (which was WAY too big) and stopped at a Hallmark store before grocery shopping at Kroger. It's all so vivid in my mind.

This past Sunday, Kendall was looking at the Christmas tree and pointed to her ornament hanging there. She said, "That's mine." I said, "Yes, that is yours. Your MawMaw gave that to you." Kendall then looks at me and asks, "Where's MawMaw?" (I know she has no idea who "MawMaw" really is, but I know she knows from her picture, because we have one hanging on our fridge that we talk about frequently.) I replied with, "MawMaw is in Heaven with Jesus." She repeated me, then was completely satisfied.

About an hour later, I was in the kitchen unloading and loading the dishwasher while Kendall and Evan were playing and talking in the dining room. Kendall out of the blue looks at Evan and says, "Where's MawMaw?" Evan looked at me, and before either of us could say anything, Kendall said, "In Heaven with Jesus?" So sweet.

The conversation hasn't stopped. Today we were out running a few errands, and Kendall kept saying, "MawMaw is in Heaven with Jesus." Each time she said it, I would confirm the answer. Then she breaks out, "I want to see her." All I could say was, "I do too. Someday, we'll get to see her in heaven, but for now all we have are pictures of her so we must enjoy and cherish those!"

Bittersweet times with my precious little one!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Snow Village

Much of my mom's "stuff" is still in place at my parent's house. Everyone is okay with that. We've gone through her jewelry and many of her clothes, but that's about it. Really, I think Kara and I both find comfort in going to dad's house and going through things of hers and bringing something different home with us each time. Someday, there will be nothing left to bring back, so I cherish each time I'm there and "going through" stuff.

Christmas decorating was a BIG deal growing up. Some of my favorite memories of my mom are of us decorating for Christmas. Mom loved all things Christmas...she put out loads of greenery, plaid bows and lights and always had a beautiful tree with all our Hallmark ornaments. She also collected Department 56 Snow Village. I LOVED helping her get all the pieces out and set it all up. I always had a big imagination, so I would do a lot of pretending as we put all the pieces together.

The last time I was at dad's house, I brought back a few pieces for myself. I took the cathedral, the school, a farm house and a few accessory pieces. On Monday, I had the itch to do some Christmas decorating, so I put it all out.

I love it.

I'll bet it's been AT LEAST ten years since any of it has seen the light of day...when mom and dad moved into the house they are in now, she didn't have room to get it out and the more sick she got, the less Christmas decorating she did.

I think she would delight in knowing we are using it, and I'm glad I have another little piece of her here with me!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

one year

A year ago tonight, I got a phone call from my dad that rocked my world. I remember so many things about that day...

I remember talking to my dad as I was driving home from meetings at school. Mom wasn't feeling well and didn't want to talk, but I could hear her in the background telling my dad stuff to tell me.

I remember the weather being unseasonably cool, so we went to Cherokee Park to grill out and play on the playground with Kendall. It was SUCH a fun evening.

I remember spending a lot of the night blogging-catching our family blog up-to-speed AND updating on this one.

I remember finishing up at the computer and hearing the phone ring, around 10:30, with my first thought being, "This better not be my dad."

I remember seeing daddy's number on caller id, and my heart pounding.

I remember hearing daddy tell me "Your momma died" and the shock that set in my body. I literally shook for an hour and a half afterwards, and continued shaking the next day as I had to make phone calls to loved ones.

I remember Kendall waking up in the middle of the night that night, which was very rare. Evan tried to go console her, but she didn't settle down until I took her. I sat in her room, just holding her with tears streaming my face.

It's so hard to believe that a year has passed. I'd like to think that I'm bigger, better, stronger, nicer, kinder, more loving, etc, etc. but I really don't think that's true. One thing I do know is that I'm changed.

I love music. I love the way songs can express the way my heart feels. I remember listening to this song as we drove back to Louisville from Arkansas and thought the words were so true. The other day, I had Pandora on, and this song happened to play. The tears just started coming to the point I had to stop what I was doing. (To which Kendall says, "Why you crying, Mommy?" And even though she has no idea, I reply with "Because mommy misses her mommy.") Probably nothing else could express my feelings better than this song...

I miss her terribly, and know many others do the same. I rejoice in having a mother that I CAN miss and knowing that this goodbye is temporary.

As my sweet friend Angie said today, she is "one in heaven years!" Happy "Heavenly" Birthday to my precious mother!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Decrees of God

I was invited to participate in a women's bible study this summer at a precious church member's home. I was thrilled at the invitation, as Evan and I have grown very fond of this couple and their precious daughters who adore Kendall. When I received the first email about the study, I grew even more excited as I saw the other ladies' names on the list, many whom I highly respect and others that I just want to get to know a little better. The study is actually more of a "book club" format, rather than bible study on a book titled The Attributes of God by A. W. Pink.

For the first meeting, which was today, we were to read chapters one and two. Let me just say that when I started reading the first page of the first chapter, I quickly realized this was not the summer reading I signed up for! The writing is very eloquent, with scripture quoted from the King James Version. I love to read, but I am not one to pick up an intellectual type book out of preference. Reading the first chapter was a shock to my system, not to mention how unqualified and over my head I felt as I soaked it all in.

However, I pressed on. I gleaned a few things from the first chapter, but the very end of the second chapter titled The Decrees of God brought me to my knees with the following quote:

"O my reader, how thankful should we be that everything is determined by infinite wisdom and goodness! What praise and gratitude are due unto God for his Divine decrees. It is because of them that "we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28). Well may we exclaim, "For of him, and through him, and to him are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen" (Romans 11:36).

While I have been able to say that "I understand and trust that it's part of God's plan" and I know that his plan is perfect, thanking God and praising him for his Divine decrees in this situation goes against everything that my fleshly mind wants to do. But if I dig deep, I know that I owe God gratitude for his plan, even in my mother's death. My carnal mind does not understand, but I fully trust in Isaiah 55:8-9, believing that God's ways and thoughts are higher than my own.

For that, I am thankful and find reason to praise.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mother's Day

Last week I started writing a post about Mother's Day, but got busy and never finished it.

Today, I am reflecting. This is so therapeutic for me.

This weekend my dad decided to come and visit. Arkansas had received a lot of rain that was keeping him from working, so he decided to go ahead and take off. I was thrilled, being that I hadn't seen him since Christmas and he's been talking about coming up here for months and it just hadn't worked out.

Before I go on, I don't really know who reads this blog, and it really makes no difference if 10 people read it or 100 people read it because I really just write this stuff to process the events that have happened in the last 9 months. It's EXTREMELY helpful. I just want to be careful with my words.

So, it's no secret that my dad has a special friend that he spends a lot of time with. Her name is June and they have been friends for a long time; they actually graduated high school together.

She came with my dad this weekend.

He asked my permission, and I'll admit that I was very reluctant about saying "yes" at first, just because it was Mother's Day weekend, but really, I could find a million excuses every time he asks as to why I don't want to meet her, so I obliged. Putting off meeting her isn't going to bring my mom back or keep things from changing.

We had a very pleasant weekend. June is very kind and easy to be around. She made herself very comfortable in our home and seemed to enjoy being around Kendall. I like her.

Here are my thoughts on the whole thing:

Really, if I had my choice, my mom would still be living and healthy. That's not going to happen. So, I have to "choose joy" in a situation that I don't really like. The reasons I don't like the situation have nothing to do with my dad or with June, it has to do with the fact that I don't particularly like the fact that God chose to take my mom to heaven with Him. And the reality of that situation is that I have no control and need to understand that God knows best and sees the bigger picture ALWAYS.

Let's just face it, folks. Men just struggle being alone. Especially men that grew up in the era that my dad did. Daddy grew up with two sisters that told me on numerous occasions how they were taught to wait on my Pappaw and him. Then, he married my mom and had two daughters. He doesn't know how to be without women in his life because it's all he's ever known. Bless his heart, he admitted this weekend that he's just been dumping all his clean clothes on the guest bed at their house and not folding them or putting them away!!!

This is uncharted waters for all of us, but inevitable. I think it's difficult to see my dad with someone else, but at the same time have to believe it's just as difficult for him to spend time with someone else after 35 years. I don't think my dad wanting to date someone is any reflection on how much he loved and cared for my mother.

I remember very vividly when one of my friends in middle school lost his mom very suddenly. This friend's dad ended up dating and eventually marrying a friend of my mom's. If I remember correctly, the time that passed was not very long between when my friend's mom died and when their dad remarried. Growing up in a small town, people talked about it. Some thought it was just horrible that he would do that so soon and would hurt his kids that way. You know what I remember? I remember my mom being very happy for them. Sad for the tragedy of the situation and the stress it caused, but glad that two people were able to find companionship with each other.

I would be lying if I said this whole thing is easy for me and no big deal. It's NOT easy, and it IS a big deal. However, I have to play the cards that life has dealt. I know in the process of this I will become stronger, and hopefully be a better person because of it.