Monday, April 30, 2012


from this, burgeoning life
to this....complete shock and utter disbelief that the little rib violator did NOT make it.
my babies always make it.
what would you have me to do with this, Lord?

ten months with Jesus
I know it's cool that one of my babies is with the Lord and is being well taken care of, waiting for me.
but somehow, today, that just doesn't make me feel better. I mean, it does, but it doesn't.
I know it's a line people use when they really don't know what to say but saying nothing would be better.
"God needed Jack in heaven"
No, I'm pretty sure it goes deeper than that.
God doesn't NEED anything.
I do.
What do I need to glean from this?
How am I to walk the rest of my time on earth, with this as my story?
recalling life before Jack
and life after Jack...
Use me, Lord.

ten months.
it is a good thing I have a lot to do to keep busy because I fear I'd be a blubbering mess if I sat and thought about it for too long.
All the things he'd be doing now
how he'd smell (that's a big one for me. I love to sniff my babies, more than I ever thought I did)
how wiggly he'd be.
if he'd be weaning himself from two naps.
teeth? cheerios? diaper rashes like your 3 brothers?
we'd be baby-proofing the spiral stairs by now.
we'd have baskets of toys all over the place.
life would be more casual because there'd be a little one in the place.

Was I not being a good steward with the gifts God had given me? Is that why Jack is gone?
I'm pretty sure that isn't it because there are people all around me that seem less diligent with their children.
I just may never know.
I'm not trying to compare. There is no comparison.
and in the meantime, I will try to live my life as a child of God, wife to David, mom to Will, Ethan, Melanie, Levi, Molly and Jack, daughter to Jim and Joan, sister to Tom, Andy, and Becky, Friend to many and
hopefully point them to Christ.

That's all I can hope.
Point them to Christ.
Even the ones that don't believe.

Point them to Christ.

Come to Jesus, folks.
He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
John 14:6

Thursday, April 26, 2012

forty-three if only's

forty three Thursdays ago, I watched a father say good-bye to his fourth son.
I floated above the room of the emergency department at Community South. I didn't even think to bring one of the blankets I'd picked out for you, or an outfit. Why only think of this in the days/months after your death?
I watched 5 expectant, excited siblings shed tears of confusion and utter sadness over a much anticipated little brother. The prayers going up from those siblings still bring me to tears and make my knees weak.
I watched a grandma, a woman who fixes everything, cry tears of complete shock over her sixth grandson.
I watched a sister, brother-in-law, aunt, uncle, sob for the future lost.
I watched family and friends, who'd patiently put up with a very grouchy pregnant girl, kiss, sniff, and rub the head of that fluff-headed boy and tell him hello and good-bye.

I just, still, cannot believe that my Jack is not here.

When I see girls, women all around ignore, mistreat, NOT cherishing their gifts from the LORD. Everywhere. there are even TV shows about it. blech. do they even know how precious that life is? How one knot or knock to the head could end it? It's hard not to think "How Unfair" or "why me???"...

if only you knew what you were sacrificing, selfish one.

I don't want to taint Jack's post with disdain and utter sadness over the things I hear and see,  but losing Jack has opened my eyes to things I'd hoped to never see. I have great big wide open eyes.

I miss you, so much, little guy. Visiting your grave just is not the same but I'm so thankful for that little resting spot for you. We all long for the day when we will see you again.

Life is Beautiful.

I'd like to add:
Last night, after exercise and general tired sighs, Will, my 17.5 year old son, came out to me and asked if he could pray with me. Even typing it now, I get stingy eyes...we prayed together and inwardly, I praised the Lord for such an awesome gift.

i will close with that. I just can't even top that.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

...all that and a bag of chips...

Food for the soul. John 14:6 ...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Just wanted to make sure you knew this...
Molly - pre-bang butchering episode of 2012. love this little pic of her...she LOVES soccer.

Molly - post-bang butchering episode of 2012.  There's really no salvaging of this hair.....we may go PIXIE this week.

then, whilst digging thru pix of Molly on iPhoto,  I stumbled upon these two oldies but way goodies...Little Red Riding Hood is in 'da house! with her she-bop sisters of soul. (2009)

and this. awww. this does make my body cry is safe to say that Jack would totally resemble his big sis, minus the Goody barrette.  she had the most edible chin, cheeks, forehead, eyebrows, ohhhhh. He'd be looking like this right about now. She was one here. I miss this tiny goody goody. She is challenging, to say the least right now.
but so smart and loves her new sport of soccer. I will have to video her when she's playing but I just can't get past her atrocious bangs.  (2008)
It is safe to say that I do believe my kids are "all that and a bag of chips" as the title notes.
As parents, we are sort of allowed to, right? It does  NOT mean that I think my kids are perfect. But they are MINE. (ours)

Except when they take their little kid cutter scissors to their own bangs...almost two years to the date of when they did it last time...Easter Eve, 2010...I will have to dig one of those pix up. At least we got Easter under our belt before this hack job, right?

I just can't even fathom what would be going through Molly's ticking time bomb of a head to convince her to partake in such tomfoolery. She's a pretty smart kid so this surprises me...she told me she "couldn't see" (even though I'd just trimmed them right before Easter) and she told Melanie, before I arrived home to see what happened, that "Mommy did it".


Then she played the Jack card and said she wanted to look like him.

Levi's been calling her buddy. Because she looks like a boy, he says. he giggles right up from his belly when he says it too.  snicker.

On another note, my beautiful neighbor, Tashena, gave birth, rather quickly, to her 3rd son last week. Congratulations, Tashena, Dan, Elijah and Kade. Tucker James is one blessed little guy. We are so relieved that he arrived safely. Kind of a big deal around these parts.

On yet another note, and there are many...I'm going to write our story. I have some ideas floating around in my loosey goosey brain. It may only ever be for the eyes of my family and close friends but alas! I will write it...It may be in scrapbook form(s), it may be in a spiral bound notebook...but it will have pictures and it will take me a long time. It may involve a green tennis shoe and stories of fraternal twin brothers bugging the snot outta each other...

One thing is will be true.
Another sure will include God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit and His continued work in our lives...and how we hope that all that we say and do brings glory to Him.

John 14:6

Oh and while I'm here, go check out the blog on my blog list "Carrying Anna" and read Misty's beautiful tribute to her darling daughter...and appreciate the photos of their 5 hour meeting. Cry a little bit. or a lot. like I did.
and then pray for these people, as they navigate through this first month after Anna's gentle passing to glory and the minutes, days, months ahead. to God be all glory.

when you get done with that, hug your babies, or call or grab your kids if they are older and tell them you love them...we are not promised tomorrow.

just wanted to make sure you remembered that.
just a friendly neighborhood reminder.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I love how David is resting his head on mine. I love that guy! We had not a clue, did we. It makes me ache to look at all of the beautiful pictures that Natalie took for us. I will be forever grateful for the time she spent and the images captured of our sweet Glory Baby with us. All 8 of us. (I was soooo ginormous, I can see clearly why this weight loss is such a struggle...)

Jack Oliver Young, you are so loved. I just wonder what Molly is peering at here...the baby, in my arms and in my belly, that was maybe possibly going to upstage her soon? 

I love that Levi has his head so close to Jack.  I'm glad that he heard us have fun and laugh.
I'm glad that he now knows just how much we all love him.
42 Thursdays ago.

We miss you, Jack. We're in an "up" time, at the top of the wave...we may be in a holding pattern as your first (still)birthday approaches...I'm gathering ideas and thoughts of how I would like for his Balloon Launch to go, to honor not only Jack Oliver Young's precious, short life but to honor the changes that it has brought into each of our lives.

I can't believe that in 10 short weeks, he will have been gone from us for a year.

As I wrote in my JOY journal today...I was struck with the fact that when people lose a loved one, whether a child, parent, grandparent or spouse, they probably had the chance to create some memories with that loved one, before they passed.

I never got to do that, we never got to do that. I held that adorable, lifeless boy and all of my hopes washed down the drain...

I wanted my sister to have a new nephew to spoil, or my friend, Tammy, to see one of my precious baby boys, for her to love on him and for me to redeem the awesome coupons she made for childcare. Or for my other friend, Jennifer, to start working on Leemarie's dowry for the day when Jack would marry her...who would he start to look like? whose personality would he lean toward?  His feet would have rarely touched the ground, had he lived.  Tom always said we should name him Replacement Molly...(I'll explain that another day). So, who is my Replacement Jack?

No one will ever replace you, Jack. Just wanted to make sure you knew that.

I'm so blessed to have six beautiful children. I'm so honored that the Lord is taking us down this's dark and thorny in a lot of places but in the moments of light, it's VERY light and the Son shines on us in ways He never has.

sorry, I'm always really emotional when I finish exercising...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Soccer daze begin...

precious girl

she actually looks like she may know what she is doing.

doesn't seem possible that she is old enough to begin this...

Molly...scored two goals in her first game.

oh dear...this face.
I actually missed Molly's very first soccer game.
Melanie and I were on a Purity Retreat, which was awesome...and another post in and of itself....

but my loving family stood in the gap for me and got her to her game on time, and Uncle Tom, Grandma, Uncle John and Aunt Sherry even attended her game...Tom taking these incredible pix.

Ok, I could keep rambling on, but I will spare you...I have a busy week ahead of me/us and I've just finished my Day 5 of Stage 6 of Run Your Butt on that note,


God bless you.

Hangin' with the Purcell gang..

Norah and Molly. Norah is one of the funniest kids around!


Jen almost stood still long enough to get in this pic.

Their band, Silver from the Flames, was performing the acoustic version of their song, "The Best I Can Do"
for us...these are some rockin' dudes! (Matthew is playing the drum box thingy. I'm sure there is a name for it, though it has escaped me. enlighten me here, folks)

I see a future love connection, maybe, right Jen??

Mel and Matthew discuss their favorite jelly bean flavors.

Matthew knows when his time is up.
So thankful for our good friends, the Purcell family. Jennifer, James, Jamie, Logan, Matthew, Ella, Norah and Leemarie are some of my/our favorite people.

We got together with them at a local park on Easter evening...then reconvened back at their abode for ice cream and our choice of 9 varieties of chips (funny story about those chips).

Jen and I had arranged for Jack and Leemarie to marry someday and since that won't be happening, we have some other fun arrangements going on, behind closed doors, of course.

Love you, guys, and praise the Lord for the gift of your friendship!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A very NickNatRy visit...

Molly, of course, had to teach Ryan how to lock himself between our main door and the storm door. look closely...

a rousing game of Apples to Apples. I do believe Nick won!

things were getting pretty heated.
not really. it was a blast though!

teaching the Whirling Dervish (aka Ryan :D) how to jump on Mel/Moll's bed.

Molly wanted to baby him and he would have NO part of that! He is a BIG BOY!

Visited a cool (if not kind of abandoned) mall in Bloomington last Wed with the Shipman fam...Natalie is due to have her second baby, a girl, around June 9th. 

cute girls
We then found this rivetingly long hallway, where we stood and sweat (it was rather warm in there) and let Ryan run back and forth. He is a force!!

Ethan really was JUST this age (Ryan will be two, in August)

run boy, run!

The doting parents.

Molly's turn by the cool old phone booth.

A cool alley shot.

visiting the county seat...

we took the S fam to the Miller-Showers park that we always visit on our trips to Btown. Ethan was playing peek-a-boo.

Nick (aka Ryan, to me) gets up close and personal with the ...creepy yet cool statute thingy.

My kids love their Uncle Nick, Aunt Nat and cousin Ryan. I'm pretty sure they will love Sophie (baby #2) also!

Today has been a really good day. I've gotten a lot done...

Today also marks the 40th week, 6th day since Jack's earthly departure...That was the day that he was born...40w, 6 days. Tomorrow, he will be gone longer than he was ever "here". Incognito, but here.

Emotionally, I am doing ok. Thanks for asking. But honestly, grief is vicious. Hits outta nowhere. Everyone else, truly, goes on...but a grieving mom NEVER lets go. EVER. Especially not as far as we got. We were at the finish line...This week, I keep replaying those intimate moments. Those eyes of our competent middy...the panic that turned to pain...his adorable little face, chin, hair, legs...ahhhh. I miss you, darling one.

My favorite song to run to is fitting. It has a good, steady rhythm...

Beauty Will Rise by Steven Curtis Chapman

It was the day the world went wrong
I screamed till my voice was gone
And watched through the tears
As everything came crashing down

Slowly panic turns to pain
As we awake to what remains
And sift through the ashes
That are left behind

But buried deep beneath all our broken dreams
We have this hope

Out of the ashes
Beauty will rise
And we will dance among the ruins
We will see it with our own eyes
Out of these ashes
Beauty will rise
For we know joy is coming
In the morning

In the morning
Beauty will rise

So take another breath for now
And let the tears come washing down
And if you can't believe
I will believe for you

'Cause I have seen the signs of spring
Just watch and see

Out of these ashes,
Beauty will rise
And we will dance among the ruins
We will see it with our own eyes

Out of this darkness
New life will shine
And we'll know joy is coming in the morning

In the morning,
I can hear it in the distance
And it's not too far away
It's the music
And the laughter of a wedding and a feast

I can almost feel the hand of God
Reaching for my face to wipe the tears away
You say "It's time to make everything new
Making it all new"

This is our hope
This is a promise
This is our hope
This is a promise

It will take our breath away
To see the beauty that's been made
Out of the ashes
Out of the ashes

It will take our breath
To see the beauty that He's made out of the ashes
Out of the ashes
Out of the ashes

On this eve of the 41st Thursday, I hope you will read thru these words, maybe even look this song up on Playlist or's a wonderful song. In fact, SCC's album of the same title is definitely a worthy purchase...he wrote it after their daughter, Maria, died in 2008. 

And for those of you on the exercise path, get this song on a playlist, use it to encourage you to improve your health, or use it to take you to the next level of worshiping the Creator of the Universe...He, Jesus Christ, is worthy of our praise. 

so many thoughts I could share here but tomorrow is Thursday, after I'm off to sleep. forgive the rambliness of this post...

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Good Times

the early morning Easter practice...Levi's name tag made me giggle.

Cam, in the coolio hat, is Moll's new pal. (there were a lot more kids involved...we were the only suckers to get them to the church at 8!! ha ha!)

On your mark, get set......urrrrh.

My gals.

someone's special...yes, you, LeviTaylorYoung

It's only right that they'd find eggs by our bluebird house

Jack is even participating.

we miss you, sweet baby. wish you were here to eat nummies and wear dapper Easter duds.

Molly found an egg in Jack's garden...

Piper zeroes in on yet another egg!

Aunt Sherry oversees the hunt...

sweet babies
only four of my parents grandkids are missing here.


He is Risen and we are soooo JOYful about that! (I'm not exactly sure why we had them jumping...)

4/5's of my parents granddaughters..

strawberry cake, how we love thee! I will have to get onto Tom's Facebook account to steal some pix from his amazing camera that I love so much.
The day was sunny, the weather was a bit chilly but perfect, as an Easter in early April should be.

Early morning at Southland, Levi and Molly would be singing in the 9 am service. We NEVER make it to the early service. We rarely make it anywhere before 10:30-11...that's just how we are at this stage in our lives.

Home to take power naps (yes, we are weenies), get mom's lasagna in the oven, make cake, bake bread, wait for the fam to arrive at 3...stuff eggs, make up baskets...gorge on deliciousness.

Fam arrives, we sup...we goof, we even toot. (yea, we're THAT family)

Eggs are hidden, kids are giddy with glee and excitement...

The hunt is on and memories are made that we will cherish for years to come. Traditions carried on that I hope my kids, nieces, nephews will carry on with their own offspring...

Family heads home, we head to visit with some dear friends for the evening, in a local park, then at their home, over ice cream and chips...of which, I shall blog about later on. These people warm my  heart in ways I never fathomed. Praising God for how He brings people together...

Happy Monday after Easter y'all....Hug your babies (even the big ones), your spouses, your family and friends...Be mindful of tomorrow, but be sure to live in the present...

Prayers to the Bowles family, at the loss of their son, Jordan...yesterday. You are being lifted in prayer and love, Denise, Sandy....