happy Easter.

Easter has felt very different to me last year and this year.  It is more personal and I’m so much more thankful for what it means now more than ever before.  Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection not only have saved us from our sin, for which I am so in need and so grateful, but it also means that Christ defeated death.  And because of that, this isn’t where it ends with our baby.

 

Gabriels grave Easter 2014

 

Because of God’s love for us, because of Christ’s victory over the grave, we will see our son again.  Grieving parents, or anyone in this world, could not ask for more hope than that!

 

 

Happy Easter!  I pray you know how loved you are by God’s deep love for us and by Jesus’ death on the cross for us.  He is not dead, but He is risen!

Easter2014

 

something pretty.

I was looking for some pretty Easter printables and found so many good ones.  Here are my favorites in case you are looking for something pretty to print out for Easter.

 

easter risen-green

image + printable here.

 

 

 

easter Free-printable-Easter-banner

image + printable here.

 

 

 

easter amazinggraceprintableblue

image + printable here.

 

 

 

easter Hosanna free Easter printable 1

image + printable here.

 

 

 

easter He-IS-Risen-smaller-for-blog (1)

image + printable here.

 

 

 

?????????????????

image + printable here.

angels we have heard on high.

I went by the cemetery to see Gabriel’s grave and put Christmas flowers there last week.  After I put his flowers out, I went down to the other side of the cemetery to put Christmas flowers on my Granny’s grave.  They are buried in the same, large cemetery.  Gabriel’s grave is in the back of the cemetery, up on a hill in a small patch called Babyland.  My Granny’s grave is down near the front on a nice, large flat patch that is the Veteran’s section.

As I finished pushing those flowers in the ground at her freshly buried spot, I stepped back and looked around.  All I could think was what happened??  I stood there looking out over this very different patch in the very same cemetery where my son is buried.  And all I could think was what happened??

angels we have heard on high

This whole year we’ve been living it, and when you’re knee deep in it, you don’t really get to ask that.  But when you step back and realize, wait a minute, my child is in Heaven, the how did we get here?  and what happened? come to mind.  What happened to get us here?  What happened to us?  How is that this time last year life was totally normal and this year it’s crushing?  What happened?

 

Then I got in the car and the song that immediately came on was Angels We Have Heard On High.  I was hit hard.  It was a pretty cool moment.  And I immediately thought of my angel and felt comforted.  So no matter what happened, or how we got to this point, it doesn’t really matter.  What does matter is that we have an angel, and we have hope.  So no matter what happened, we have hope.

 

 

Angels We Have Heard on High

Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o’er the plains
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be
Which inspire your heavenly song?

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Come to Bethlehem and see
Christ Whose birth the angels sing
Come, adore on bended knee
Christ the Lord, the newborn King

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

See Him in a manger laid,
Whom the choirs of angels praise;
Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,
While our hearts in love we raise.

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

 

 

 

 

 

valentines day.

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day, full of sweetness and love.  I’ve never been big into Valentine’s Day but there are some things about the day that I love.  I’ve always  loved getting loved on by my parents.  Special gift bags from them — I remember years where mom picked out pjs for us and one year Dad got me and my sister some awesome heart earrings.  I still like getting a little something from them even though I’m grown.  And now I get goodies from my in-laws, too.

 

I appreciate the reminder to spend the day loving on others.  We tried to spread a little love with some homemade cards, courtesy of Jack.  I’m finding all of these little holidays are more fun now with Jack around.  The kid is great fun and it’s really exciting just to celebrate with him and watch him discover this world.

 

So I loved on my love-bug all day, and that was the best.  We also decided to celebrate yesterday as Gabriel’s first Valentine’s Day.  Since we may not get to celebrate that milestone with him next year, we made sure to mark it this year.

 

valentinesdayfirst

 

 

And I’m sure he enjoyed the chocolate covered strawberries just as much as I did.

 

valentinesday

 

 

I spent a lot of time yesterday thinking about hearts.  Everyone talks about hearts and heart day and yada yada yada.  Every one of those mentions reminded me that our baby boy has a broken heart.  And the thing about it that hurt, is that’s not his biggest problem.  You would think a severe heart defect that a pediatric cardiologist rates as an 8 out of 10, where 10 is irreparable, would be the biggest concern.  But it’s not for us.  It’s just one issue, and probably not the one that will get him.  My heart hurt for all trisomy 18 families, and their pain and loss.  And while I mostly think of Valentine’s Day as a corny little day, it’s sometimes corny little days that make you hurt realizing you don’t get to spend them with your special someones.

 

hearts

 

 

My gift from Tommy yesterday was a little shopping trip to the maternity store.  It’s the first time I’ve shopped for maternity clothes with this pregnancy.  I have a lot of stuff from when I was pregnant with Jack, and since my due dates are the exact same day I have no issues with seasons.  But there were a couple of things I was in need of, and I think Tommy’s line of thinking was that he wants this to still be special and celebrated.  We will still buy the clothes, do the nursery, get a few things for Baby Gabriel.  We will enjoy this pregnancy.  We will celebrate it and him.  And those are declarations we make, really as much for ourselves as anything else.  Sometimes I need reminding, and he did a great job of reminding me yesterday.  And it was fun to look around the store, especially since Tommy was chasing Jack everywhere, and think about our baby.

 

 

So we had a good day.  It was really fun, and I got to spend it with my favorite boys.  I think I’m coming around to this holiday.

boomsday.

For all my Knoxville friends, you know the wonders of Boomsday.  Let me take a minute to explain Boomsday to my friends in other parts of the country.

 

Boomsday — happens every year on Labor Day weekend.  This year, 2012, is the 25th anniversary.  Happy Birthday to you, Boomsday!  It is the LARGEST Labor Day fireworks show in the Nation.  The Nation, people.  They shoot the fireworks off a bridge over the river.  There’s food, games, and live entertainment, and it’s free.  And fun.  What could possibly be better than joining some 400,000 of your neighbors to oooohhh and aaaaahhh over the BEST FIREWORKS SHOW ever. period.

 

I have ALWAYS loved Boomsday.  When we were little our dad worked at the hospital that is right on the river, mere feet from the bridge where they shoot off the fireworks.  Employees got to come hang out on the top of the parking garage, bring their families, and get a front-row seat to the show.  They had food, music, the works.  I have glorious memories of this.  There is music on a local radio station that goes with the fireworks, so you really feel it.  Boomsday used to be on Labor Day, so it was even more special when we were younger because we got to stay up super late on a school night to do something super fun.  They’ve since changed it to Sunday night before Labor Day… smart guys.  One year I even watched the fireworks from my hospital room at Children’s Hospital.  That sure was a bright spot during a tough time.

 

Fast forward to college.  Boomsday 2005 was when I first met my husband.  The University of Tennessee campus runs right up the the river, and you can get a great view of the fireworks from the area around the basketball arena and football stadium.  This was the spot where I first met Tommy.  We didn’t necessarily “hit it off” right away, but I was pretty intrigued by him.  A couple of my friends and I went to meet up with my friend, Sarah, who was with her boyfriend, Randy, who was with Tommy and some other guys.  The short version– we met through mutual friends.  We all watched the fireworks, went to eat, and hung out together that night.  Tommy and I didn’t leave with each others’ numbers or a promise to see each other again soon.  But a few months later, we met up again, and have spent our days together ever since.

 

So tonight, as we watch our 8th Boomsday together, we remember this special day.  We’re not ones to keep up with little anniversaries and moments usually, but this one is sweet and it sticks.  I am thankful for that Boomsday back in 2005.  I am thankful for 8 Boomsdays together.  I am so thankful for my husband and that this year, we are sharing our 2nd Boomsday with our little guy.  Maybe next year he’ll be old enough to join in on the fun.

 

I always knew Boomsday was special, and now it holds a very special place in my heart.

 

In 2006– we were such kids! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

These are all from 2006– apparently that was the last time I took Boomsday pictures.

 

 

Happy Boomsday, y’all!