Tuesday, December 24, 2013

this and that

I don't really have any specific theme for this blog post.  I just wanted to jot some things down….memories…thoughts…sentiments…this and that…

>We've been pulling out boxes of some of Vienne's old things - 2 yr old clothes and toys for Ivy to move up into.  It is so precious to me to put Ivy into her Sister's clothes.  Oh, the memories.  I pulled out a box of old toys and just sat there staring into it without touching anything, realizing that each and every one of them was still covered with Vienne's untouched fingerprints.  I so badly wanted to close it all back up and never let anyone touch any of it…but that is ridiculous.  Mark and I do want to find a way to capture some prints of hers when we open another box at another time.  I did end up preserving one little treasure that I found in the box.  It is silly - but the silly things that they create on their own, in their own world, are the true treasures.  It is a dinosaur magnet that is "wrapped" with a flower cupcake wrapper and taped very securely.  I can't remember exactly what she was doing with this…but I remember this being a thing that she did regularly for a bit.  She was also obsessed with tape for quite a while.  A few times a day she would ask me for tape.  I'd let her have pieces.  No harm.  We would ALWAYS find tape stuck in funny places - the edge of the counter, on the underside of the coffee table, her bedside table, toys…etc.  Anyway, I am keeping this little wrapped dino and putting it in Vienne's Memory Chest that we keep in our room (a large hope chest that is filled with extra special sentiments of hers - her sheets, her favorite shirts, cards from her memorial service, her remains…).
(here is the little dino…you can barely see all the tape that is covering it thoroughly.  My Baby touched this last and wrapped it with loving care.)

>Ivy just started showing interest in sitting in the cars that are attached to the shopping carts at the grocery store - you know the BIG gigantic beasts that take up the entire aisle!  Yes, now it is Ivy's turn to adamantly insist that we use those carts.  I remember the days with Vienne.  Yet again, though, I am blessed with another little girl who will stay in her seat in the cart for MOST of the time and stay entertained while I shop.  When she does finally want to get out, she stays by my side and helps me push the cart.  Just like her sis.  It's crazy to me still how similar they are.  Anyway, pushing those carts in New Seasons at this time of year threw me back to a tiny little insignificant memory….but I get it each time I'm at the store.  Vienne would be in the "car" in front and suddenly exclaim that she needed to get out and show me something!  "I need to show you something, Mama!!"  So I would allow her out and she would run over to the Christmas candy display and just look at everything with wide eyes and just say "look!" in a voice of awe.  She wouldn't ask.  She'd just want to show me.  Of course, I was a sucker and let her pick out a nasty Lindor Truffle ball to take home.  She always chose the green one, of course.  Always green.  Everything green.  And, she could never finish even just one of those small balls.  She loved her treats but she was such a tiny little eater.  

>Remember Vienne's special star?  You can read about it here.  Well, Ivy just accomplished her first "genius" drawing yesterday.  A fish.  I have noticed that she seems to be very dexterous with crayons.  Actually, WAY more than Vienne ever was.  In all honesty, Vienne's star was a fluke.  A genius fluke that we treasure always.  But, she never showed interest in drawing or writing after that.  It was a big deal to accomplish writing her name.  She had NO interest in learning to draw or write ANYthing else. Nor did she like to color.  Surprising, I know.  But, she did love to paint and create in other ways.  Anyway, back to Ivy - I can tell that she will like to draw, like her Mama.  When she draws, she actually holds her crayon correctly already, without me even showing her how.  She makes small intentional little marks on the paper.  She will draw circles and swirls and she really gets concentrated on it.  I love it.  So, here is a picture of Ivy's fish.  She stepped back and exclaimed "shish!".  I thought it was pretty great that she even recognized what she drew!  Was it intentional?  Or was it a scribble that looked like a fish?  We will never know.  But, I love it.

>Ivy says "awthsome" now, just like her Sister did.  Here is a video of Ivy saying it about a month ago.  She's already talking SO much more than she was in this video, just a few shorts weeks ago.

>This is my favorite photo of the two of them right now.  It is the wallpaper on my phone and sometimes I will just sit and stare at it.  I can almost see what Vienne would've looked like as a young woman, from this photo.  She is so stunning.  She takes my breath away, still, always.

>Everyone is wondering how we are doing during this holiday season.  For the most part, I have been coping by staying as distracted as possible by actually surrounding myself with "festive" things.  I have, now, realized that I was sub-consciously trying to somehow fill a devastating void that could NEVER possibly be filled (nor do I want it to!).  But, I think I knew that this Christmas (being the first that we are choosing to celebrate since she passed away) was going to be difficult.  So as hard as I anticipate it to be, I realized I was trying to make everything else about it to be as perfect as it possibly could be…so that then, maybe just maybe, it wouldn't entirely suck.  And, I wanted Ivy to experience her first real Christmas with all the decor and festivities, movies, and music.  But, you know that when you set yourself up like that, you are bound for disappointment.  I did have an emotional break down last week - feelings of despair and disappointment and devastation and loneliness.  It's all inevitable.
We are staying in Portland this year and "celebrating" with my family. 

I wish I could send each one of you a Christmas card.  Your support and encouragement and prayers mean so much to me.  But since I cannot, here is the photo that we put on our card and sent to family ~

(Left:  Vienne Juliet at 19 mo. in 2009 ~ Right:  Ivy Lynnae at 23 mo. in 2013
Wearing the same vintage Christmas dress, standing on the same rocking chair in front of Grammy's tree.)

Here are the out-takes of Ivy…just cuz she is a darling…



Saturday, November 30, 2013

What I am thankful for

Thankfulness is obviously hard for me.  I often struggle with "the glass is half-empty" mentality since Vienne passed.  But, I realize that I do still have much to be thankful for.  Mostly, I am thankful for this stunning green-eyed beauty of mine - my Ivy-girl.  She is the only light that shines in our lives…and she surely shines it brightly.  I know that her Sister's pure and precious spirit lives on in Ivy.  It is undeniable when you are in her presence.  I cling to that knowledge.

And, secondly, I am most thankful for this handsome supportive, loving, sensitive yet strong Man of mine.  I could not get through this life without him.

And, I am thankful for family.  These are my in-laws, but I am also thankful for my own family who mostly continues to be a constant support system of love.
And, finally I am thankful for amazing friends - Old friends who stand by me through thick and thin, and love me no matter what.  And, new friends who have come up out of the woodwork and blessed me with their compassion and selfless support.

Here are some of the rest of the photos taken by Kinsey, this Thanksgiving 2013...

our little Joy-Bug was running all over the grass like a ping-pong ball.  It was difficult to get her to be still for a family shot.  

Vienne, my Love, you were missed desperately on this holiday.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


This is what I am currently feeling.

Apathetic and despondent.

I know I don't owe anyone any explanations or anything, but it is still in my character to care.  And, so I wanted to come on here and just explain why my blog posts are fewer and further between and why my email and/or comment responses take almost a month to accomplish.  I am struggling with apathy.

I look at my inbox each day and just watch it fill up but I just can't seem to find it in me put effort into much more than my and Ivy's survival right now.  But, don't get me wrong - I LOVE LOVE the comments and emails and texts that send love and prayers and encouragement.  I need them.  I thrive off of them.  I cherish them.  And, I am so thankful to those who take the bold move to reach out to me.    And I know that no one writes me with an expectation that I have to write back - but it is in my "normal" nature to do so.  So, this apathy wars inside of me with my natural inclination to show that I care.  I want to be able to express my gratitude and I want to encourage people to keep the loving correspondences coming…but I guess I am writing this just to let you know that I might not be as immediate as I once was.  I read each and every single email and comment, but it might take me a month to respond.  But, I promise that I will.  Eventually.  And, like I said, I know that no one expects anything from me.  This is not coming from a place of feeling pressured by anyone…but myself.  I want to be able to give back, but it is just very hard for me right now.  Please don't give up on me. Even though I don't write on here too often right now, I know it is just a phase.  Please continue to come back and check in …. eventually I will get back on the blog track.  Even sitting down to write this one took me a lot of focus and discipline.

Thank you all for being here and loving me and supporting me.  I am just in a really dark place these days.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

{Home Video}: Vienne's Wii bump, age 4

This is just a random video that I know hasn't been shared yet.  Nothing too extraordinary, just her gosh-darn cuteness...and even a little whining snuck in there at the end.  I even miss the whining voice.  She was somewhat of a perfectionist with herself (unlike no one I know....ahem...) and when she couldn't get it just right, she would sometimes give up like this.  Some people have a hard time believing that she whined or even needed discipline…but she did.  She was still a child.  As "flawless" as I claim her to be (and as you witness her to be)…she was still a child.  There was discipline, for sure.  I can just count the times on my fingers… ;)

I miss her deeply.  The unfairness of it all keeps haunting me.  I just want my old life back so so badly.  It is such a horror to wake up each day to realize that I am still forced to live my nightmare.  I feel like a prisoner.  This is my sentence.  I will always find ways to discover joy in this prison…I will strive hard to "make the best" of my horrid fate…but I will always want out.  I will always want to escape.  I will always pine for the life I once had.

So here I am playing and replaying home videos of my girl…striving to bring her light into my prison.  It is a sad and happy thing to watch them.   Here is this silly video of my precious Vienne playing on the Wii.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

A belated Happy Birthday to Auntie Kinsey

Birthday posts have fallen off schedule, but I am trying to slowly get back up to speed.

I missed Kinsey's birthday, on here, which was on October 2.  Kinsey was quite busy on her birthday this year, as she was in labor with her second child - a baby boy!  Charlie John (or better known as "Chaaaaawlie" by his big sister!) was born just 4 minutes after Kinsey's birthday, at 12:04 am on October 3!  What's fun and crazy is that their firstborn, Elliott Grace, shares her birthday with her Daddy!  Kinsey tried SO hard to deliver Charlie on her birthday.  ;)

If you don't already know, Kinsey is married to Mark's brother, David.  I have mentioned Kinsey several times on here, as she is our very talented and generous family photographer.  

Not only is Kinsey my beloved sister-in-law...but I am also so blessed to call her a dear dear Friend.   Despite her own shattered heart she has suffered in Vienne's loss, Kinsey has remained as one of my steadfast and committed, compassionate and loving supporters through all of this.  Her dedication to us has been one of the things that has helped to keep me encouraged and know that I am not alone.  I have memories from that weekend when Vienne passed and Kinsey was the one who continually made sure that I was eating and getting rest.  She spent every possible waking moment of that weekend putting together that most incredible video that was played at Vienne's memorial...and not only did Kinsey miraculously accomplish that, she also managed to select and print off enlarged photos, a sign-in photo book, and programs for the service.  All in 2 days.  She is one of the most thoughtful and giving people that I know.  Hands down.

And not only is she thoughtful and giving, compassionate and loving - she is also a most incredible mother.  She is one of those moms that you envy - who actually takes ideas off of pinterest and recreates them!  She cooks and bakes.  She has a beautifully and creatively decorated home.  And, she enjoys teaching and playing with her children.  I have treasured watching her embrace motherhood over these past 2 1/2 years.  She does it so beautifully and gracefully...though, she humbly disagrees when I tell her.  ;) 

Up until the last few months, near the end of her pregnancy with Charlie, she and David committed to driving down to Portland from Seattle once a month to just be with us...and love on us.  Their commitment and steadfastness was one of the largest gifts to us.  They are ones that would drop everything and be here in a heartbeat if they were needed...just as they were the day that Vienne was so unfairly taken from us.  She is a friend who checks on my regularly - never judging, always understanding and loving.  What a true treasure this sister is to me.

I love you sweet Kinsey.  Happy Belated Birthday to you!

Here are the only few photos I could find of Vienne and Kinsey together...then a few sentimental ones. The rest of the photos are a few of my favorites of her work - ones she has taken of our family.  She is so talented.

Kinsey and 15 mo. old Vienne on Cannon Beach.

Kinsey and 2 1/2 yr. old Vienne at Christmas.

so cute.

Kinsey and the two little cousins - Ivy and Elliott.

Friends.  Lacey, me and Kinsey shedding tears together.

*The rest are just a few of my very favorites.  There are so many favorites, but I tried to pick the ones that always stuck out to me, from those sessions.*

15 mo. old.  

*gasp* such beautiful eyes

a hilarious little series that she captured.  We always loved this...how Vienne is totally clueless, sitting in front of us.

I always loved the stories this one could tell.

Vienne at age 2.

Vienne at age 2 1/2.

rolling in the hay - age 2 1/2

Vienne age 3 1/2.

kissing baby Ivy in my tummy

Vienne, just shy of 4 years old.

Vienne, just shy of 4 yrs old.

4 years old - the Classic.

one of my VERY favorites of Ivy Lynnae at age 5 mo.

she captured the serene and gentle beauty of my girls

my favorite photo of me with my girls.

me and my Ivy, age 1

I love you, my Sister, my Friend.  Thank you for the most generous gift of these photos, capturing the beauty of both of my girls, forever.