Friday, September 30, 2011

Insta-Friday and old pictures

1. Max playing in the garage
2. The park near our house is covered in spider webs and the other day the sun was shining just right and the whole web lit up- it was kinda cool.
3. At the apple orchard- "Twist, twist, twist..."
4. More apple orchard- "Dunk!"
5. The tree near Ellie's spot- right where we park. It's starting to turn pink. It was all pink when we buried Ellie last year. When I arrived at the cemetery the other day and saw that it had started to change, it hit me really hard. I was a little surprised. It's just another reminder of how long she's really been gone.
6. The super ugly and alarmingly large wild turkeys that hang out in the cemetery.
7. Ellie's spot- view from the car since it was rainy...
8. Sensory Integration Therapy: aka "Pretty Music." Max is supposed to listen to the classical music twice a day, for about 15 min. to prep him for the program. Which will eventually help him to focus on the task in front of him and ignore outside noises.
9. Actually using his spoon. He had mastered this skill but one day started flipping out when we gave him a spoon. But he started using it again this week. I have never seen someone eat a cup of yogurt more slowly... but at least he's doing it himself...
10. From Picasso Jr.
11. Driving the fire truck at his school picnic last night
12. Riding in the fire truck... he never would have done this last year- we were thrilled and so were his teachers!
13. Playing in the gym at school. Getting ready to go into the ball pit. The gym is pretty awesome- I'm a little jealous he gets to go play there every day...
14. Sitting in the big boy chair at his three year check up this afternoon. He rocked the check-up. The Dr. was impressed. And he was SO cooperative. He didn't get shots today- we'll go back another day and just see a nurse. He really likes our doctor and his nurse so we don't want him to associate them with the shots.

life rearranged

Remembering September 30th, 2010
Hanging at home with Mommy. When life was better, more careful. When Peanut was here.
Playing out on the patio in the cool fall air. Ellie and I (mostly me) had a bit of a BabyLegs obsession and these were one of our new favorites! She also had a new super cute dress that was purchased as an option for pictures...

Our boy with his crazy curls and typical forehead bruise!

Very rare pictures. Ellie was sitting in the kitchen with me and Max actually sat down to play near here- and with the same toy! I couldn't get the camera fast enough! I like how in the first picture even Ellie is like "MOM! Are you catching this?!" I also love her chunky thighs, and how this picture caught her ankle cross (which she did all the time but we hardly have any pictures of) and how the toes on the left foot are gripping the toy! 
 Typical- Max staring at the toy and Ellie staring at Max. I can tell that she's excited by how her mouth is open a little bit, her arms are tucked up, fingers spread, and she is starting to scoot her feet in and out. She loved when Max would come over by her!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Kinda Quiet

I kinda feel like hiding lately. Lots going on in my head- but nothing I really feel like saying, or I shouldn't probably say... I'll probably crack one of these days soon, I feel it coming- just not quite yet...

Remembering September 26th, 2010
I took Ellie to a bridal shower for Dave's side of the family and I'm so glad I did because it's the only time some of them were able to spend with Ellie. She was her typical adorable self that day. While we played a dice game, she happily sat next to me and banged on a tin pie plate. Holy shit I miss her...

Remembering September 28th, 2010
My two babies playing in the bath tub. We have a hilarious video of this evening... Max didn't want Ellie to have any of the toys so he kept taking them away and putting them behind him. He didn't realize the toys just kept floating around him, right back to Ellie. Ellie was highly amused by this- until Max started screaming. Then Ellie looks at us, and decides she should cry too- until she gets her toy back...  

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Some of my Favorite Possessions

However along the night, the dawn will break.

Almost exactly one year, we went to the local arboretum to take our first, and apparently only, family pictures. Our friend, Kristen is an AMAZING photographer in Michigan, but was here in town for a wedding, so we jumped at the chance to have her take our pictures.
Words cannot even explain how thankful I am that we took the time to get these pictures. They are beautiful and capture our family just the way it was. Some of the pictures are almost prophetic of what was to come of our life, and our dear sweet girl. The proofs first became available to us to see just days before Ellie got sick. And at the time, we just thought they were awesome pictures to document our life, at that moment in time. At the time, we had no idea just how important these pictures would be...

If anyone lives in Michigan and needs not only an INCREDIBLE photographer, but a nice, kind and caring person, to take some pictures, please visit K. Holly Photography.

Anyways, there are so many great pictures- like I said, Kristen is awesome!, so I'll probably share them over time...

My mom came along to help wrangle children...

Some of these pictures might look like the same picture- but to us, it's easy to see the different expressions in each one. I LOVE these pictures of Ellie. 

One reason I love this pictures is because of her pointer finger on her right hand. Her fingers were always doing something a little bit funny. Another reason, is her hair. The part right behind her bow was just starting to get pretty long, we don't have too many pictures where you can see that part well...
 You probably can't tell in this picture, but when you look at her eyes closely, you can me, and Kristen, and all the other scenery around us, reflected in her eyes. It's truly amazing. It makes me wonder what Ellie knew that we didn't...

Ellie, Mama misses you so much. I look at these pictures and see how alive you were. You were so beautiful, full of life- perfect. I want you back. So, so much. Love you forever sweet girl!
Forever your Mommy....

Saturday, September 24, 2011

11 months without her

I can't believe in one month, it will be one year since we've held, seen or kissed our little girl. It's been a rough day, and there are have been several tears. We were at home this morning cleaning, and I spent the morning being very crabby. Even after eleven months, it's hard not to let this day get to me. I HATE this day. HATE. I know her death certificate (nasty words to apply to a nine month old) and headstone (more nasty words) say she passed away on October 25th, but I know she left on the 24th. At least the Ellie we knew left that day... so yeah, I HATE the 24th.

Today we went to the apple orchard with our friends. The same friends we went with last year, to the same orchard. One the eleventh month anniversary of her passing. I cried before we even got there. I did fine there- it helped that Max loved picking the apples and "dunking" them into the baskets. But there were several adorable little girls walking around, just like ours should have been. I almost had to give one little girl the heimlich because her dumb family members gave her an apple that was too big for her and then let her play in the hay. When she started gasping for air, her teenage sister proceeding to stick her finger into the girl's throat and actually push the apple piece in further! I was about to grab her (I was seriously was, my heart had already started racing) when her dad whacked on the back and she started coughing herself... thankfully she hacked it up. Crisis diverted. BTW dumb teenage girl, DON'T blindly stick your finger into a choking child's mouth.

Anyways, we all came back to our house, had dinner, made apple crisp with fresh picked apples and hung out. It was really nice having a distraction on such a crappy day.

So on our way home I was reading a FB message from my cousin Jen, and it was about a conversation with her almost four year old son Jon. Jon is an amazing little boy. Seriously one of the funniest kids I've ever met, smart, and such a sweetheart. Some of you may remember what he said at her first birthday party- here.

The conversation between my cousin and her son of course made me cry. I'm so glad that Jon remembers and thinks of the cousin he only met a couple of times. But I'm so sad that he has had to learn the hard lesson of life and death at such a young age. The innocence and honesty that has come from him and my nephew since Ellie died is both heartbreaking and refreshing...

From Jen: Last night when we were saying bedtime prayers Jon asked about Ellie.

"Mom? Do you remember Baby Ellie?"

"Yes. Do you?"

"Yeah. Where did she go again?"

"Baby Ellie went to heaven to be with the angels."

"Oh. Why'd she have to go there?"

"Because she got very sick and couldn't get better so God took her to Heaven."

"Oh. Where's her bones?"

"Do you remember when we went to Ellie's Park and let go of all the balloons?"
Our family refers to Ellie's grave site as "Ellie's Park", for what it is, it's beautiful.


"That's where her bones are."

"If her bones are there, how do her wings work?"

"When people go to Heaven they get brand new bodies when they get their wings. Ellie has healthy new bones in Heaven."

"Oh. When does she come back down here?"

"She doesn't. But she watches us from Heaven everyday."

"That's why we send her balloons?"

"Yes, we send her balloons so she knows we love her and are thinking of her."

"I love her. Is Nanny still sad?"
"Nanny" is my cousin Tiffany, Ellie's mommy.

"Yes honey, Nanny is still sad."

"I love her, too. Should we say prayers for Ellie?"


"And Nanny and Doof and Max?"
"Doof" is Dave, Ellie's daddy and Max is Ellie's brother.


"Can you help me say it?"

"Yes. What would you like to say?"

"Dear God, please keep Baby Ellie safe with the Angels...And...what else?"

"Should we say 'Please help Nanny and Doof and Max everyday?'"

"Yeah that's a good one. What else?"

"Should we say 'Thank you for sharing Baby Ellie with us?'"

"Yeah, that was nice that Baby Ellie got to be here."

"And what do we say when we're done?"

"AaaaaaaaMEN! I liked that prayer Mom."

Oh my gosh, I'm crying again...

Jon~ You're a sweet little boy, and I know that Ellie watches over you every day.
Jen~ Thank you so much for talking to Jon about Ellie so that he doesn't forget. The things you said to Jon were perfect and beautiful.
We love you guys!

I believe that one year ago today we were at the arboretum taking family pictures. I can't say how thankful I am that we did pictures that day. They are some of the only pictures we have of our whole family, and they are stunning. Some are prophetic and almost telling of what was to come in just one month. Here's just one of those pictures, but tomorrow I will share more. It will do my heart good to look through those pictures tomorrow and share them with you.

Remembering September 24th, 2010
If you haven't figured it out by now, my kids liked to play with the Tupperware.