Sunday, January 5, 2014

5 Years Today. Still Grieving, Still Growing.

It's been five years today on this 5th of January. And as I look outside the snow is blowing and there's about an inch of snow. I have to imagine if it looked like this outside 5 years ago he might still be here today. It's the days that look "normal" outside but below freezing that are the dangerous ones. Just a hint of precipitation on a bridge is all it takes. It's all it took.
Outside my window right now. Beautiful, yet scarred from past storms...
I don't want to sound depressing this morning, but if it makes people think a bit before heading out to drive on those "normal" cold days, then it could save lives.

We've actually had a great week. I never know how or when grief is going to intensify so leading up to days like today makes me a bit nervous. Add the weather to the mix and I'm a bit unpredictable emotionally.

However, if you've read much of anything I write I like to remind myself and anyone who will listen how faithful God is! He provided again this week by allowing an awesome opportunity for our sweet kiddos. A Northwest Arkansas magazine named Peekaboo asked us if we could do an update article (Click for article) on our family since the last one in 2010 and feature Caroline and Thomas on the cover!

Link to Peekaboo Jan Issue 
 It was so much fun to let 3 Monkeys Children's Boutique dress them in fancy clothes and see how much they enjoyed the experience of going through a photo shoot with Sweet Portrayals. Even on of Mr. Culp's former student's was working and recognized us and it made it all the more special to catch up with her and hear about her soon to be graduating from college with double majors. I love hearing from his former students and I've even had a few become my own students in classes at the University of Arkansas. Another student messaged me yesterday and said her husband works with the Fire Marshall who cut Thomas' seat belt from him and prayed over him at the accident scene. It's hard to relive that, but it also makes me want to tell everyone how powerful prayer is. It may not have the outcome we desire at the moment, but it effects the future and we are a product of those many prayers sent for us. THANK YOU.

 The magazine hit the stands this week and I can tell so many people have been praying again for our family. I've felt so much peace and the messages I've received have been so encouraging and full of love. We can't thank everyone enough for all of the support. There was also an awesome surprise from God inside when I opened the table of contents...My dear partner-in-grief had her update included as well! And look at our smiling pictures! It reminds me of that children's song "God's fingerprints are everywhere, just to show how much He cares..." 
Link to Kimberly's Update    

We are so excited about the arrival of our baby boy in about 8 weeks or so! I've felt really great except for some lower back pain so I can't complain too much : ). We LOVE feeling him do his gymnastics in my belly each night. The kids faces light up when he says "hi" by kicking them! I definitely had a Christmas miracle when I found out I passed the three hour glucose test!! I failed it with Thomas and had to prick my finger five times a day and count carbs all while intensely I had a lot of anxiety about the test and the results. Praise God that I passed this time, but I've also been reminded of how important it is to keep exercising and eating healthy! (A bit hard during the holidays!) I'm measuring a couple of weeks ahead, but had only gained 12 pounds at my last appointment. I'm sure that will change now that Christmas has happened! Speaking of Christmas, we had a wonderful time at home this year and spending tons of time together as a family. Having Tyler as a husband and father has been like Christmas every day of the year. He seriously was meant to be a dad and husband and we are so blessed to share his love.
We are definitely savoring every moment, and as much as humanly possible not taking each other for granted. We will spend today as a family drinking hot chocolate and snuggling under blankets enjoying God's gift of family. Family can take on so many forms and changes over 5 years, but it is a remarkable gift however it may look today. Thank you for being a part of our journey through life and we are anticipating so much increased joy this spring. Spring is coming y'all...

(From "Spring is Coming" post in February 2010)
My new favorite quote came from the same post of Kimberly's I mentioned above. She read it in the Arkansas Children's Hospital newsletter and shared it:
"Courage does not always roar- sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day that says I think I will try again tomorrow.