Apr 28, 2014

Time for Summer

I know the blog has been a little bare lately. Sorry about that.

My schedule, however, has been far from bare.

We've been busier than ever getting ready for the summer. It's that time of year again when we make the big move to Colorado for the summer. This year I head up with Kyle, wooo hooo, and although I'll be back a little earlier than him in August, I'm not playing the airplane ride every two weeks game.

Can I get an amen?


I cannot tell you how excited I am that I get to not only see my husband for so many days in a row, but also how excited I am to get to be a part of camp this summer that doesn't involve 'sorry I'll get back to you in two weeks.'

This year though we're leaving even earlier than last and we've been running around the house trying to get ready. I made a giant list on the office board and I didn't even have time to use pretty handwriting. This was all business.

We got the nursery/guest room ready for our summer roomies to move in, and one of them, we're proud to say is already in the house! Sleepover! But that meant moving lots of items to lots of different closets and making sure that our friends didn't feel like they were living in a storage room. It also meant packing up a certain little girl's last mementos and storing them safe and sound on her momma's closet shelf. I may or may not have spent most of that time looking at her pictures and hugging that sweet husband of mine.

But here at the Hess House the garage is cleaned out, the trees are trimmed, the lawn is mowed and it's t-minus three days until the 16 hour drive up to Colorado. I guess I better start packing...

So while I do apologize for a lack of posts lately, I will explain that my mind has been a little too crazy to write something worth reading. I've been on overdrive at work trying to get everything wrapped up and ready to return in the fall, and by the time I get home, whew!

Lots happening here at the Hess House, and I cannot wait to tell you all about our drive up to Colorado and the beautiful mountains we get to stare at from our front porch every morning!

So I'll be packing this week and I hope to be able to get our first Colorado pics and posts up by next Monday, but let's be honest, we'll see how that works.

Either way, Happy Monday. It's time for summer :)

Apr 23, 2014


Today I turn twenty-seven.

And twenty-five seems like a lifetime ago.

The day I turned twenty-five they called to tell me about the tuberculosis.

The day I turned twenty-six I told some of my dearest friends about our new baby on the way.

And today I turn twenty-seven.

I feel much older today. I feel that if the numbers on the cake said thirty-six I would believe them.

When I stand in front of Hannah's grave I just don't feel twenty-seven. When I consider everything we've been through since December and all the things I've had to learn and do and think, I just don't feel like some young girl in her twenties.

But, then, sometimes I do.

Today I ate donuts for breakfast and made my husband wake me up with singing and candles.

Today some wonderful friends called me and sang to me over the phone. I haven't seen them in a while so it made me cry in the very best way.

Today one of my girlfriends decorated my living room and is picking me up a real Great American Cookie Company cookie cake with my name on it. Because I love cookie cake more than most vegetables, even if I am a dietitian.

Today I'm wearing a dress to work and my hair is all crazy and curly like I love it.  It's not a blazer or dress pants, but it's my birthday and I can.

Today if I was still in my hometown, I'd still call my name in to the local radio station to see if I could win a prize. And if I still had my luck from way back then, I'd win it.

And thinking about all those things, all of a sudden I feel more like thirteen. Oh thirteen when I ran around New York City in my new vacation clothes like I owned the place.

Or like five when my brother and I had matching cakes and a joint birthday party in our back yard. Or like eight when I had my party at Skate City and I fell on my back and it knocked the wind out of me, but it didn't stop me from riding in that giant birthday skate all around the rink. Or like sixteen when I told my friends to bring icing and candy to my party so that we could build tiny tiki huts before we went swimming in my parents' pool. Or like twenty-one when my brother threw me a surprise party and made me play pin the tail on the donkey in his apartment kitchen at college.

There is something so very special about birthdays.

I am still so very blessed.

Blessed beyond my wildest dreams. I have the most wonderful family, I have the most wonderful memories from growing up the way I did. I truly have the most wonderful husband that I could have ever imagined, and I tell him all the time "I just can't believe Kyle Hess married me!?! Oh I'm the luckiest girl in the world!" I have the most wonderful community that has loved me so very well over the past few years and especially over the past few months when I needed it most.

I know a God, the God of the universe, and I know the height and depth of his love more deeply than I ever thought I imagined I would at twenty-seven. This year of my life has been so very full of blessings, even if they came in the most unexpected packages.

So today I'm twenty-seven. A fun mixture of thirty-six and thirteen, but still a wonderful twenty-seven.

Apr 18, 2014

New Things

It's hard to know when it's okay to talk about new things.

Last night I rode the riding lawnmower for the first time. I remember riding my dad's lawnmower with him when I was probably only five years old, but this time it was just me, looking like a maniac woman driver scooting around our yard on our latest craigslist find.

Last night Kyle cleaned out the gutters and repaired the fence. Kyle asked for me to take a picture of him on the roof cleaning out the gutters, and of course, I did because he's so very handsome, even on a roof.

But it's weird to write about the day to day things. It's strange to think that gutters are as important as grief.

But somehow I think they are. Somehow I think that repairing the fence after a long hard winter is a picture of how we're also repairing our hearts.

That fence works better now than it has since we moved into the house. It took the creaking and almost crashing of the gate for us to think to work on it. But it works better now.

The gate is now easier to open for us, but it is also easier to open for any uninvited guests trying to get into our back yard. There's less hassle. So much so that we'll have to make sure the lock is in place now.

And it reminds me of my heart.

My heart is so easily opened to love now. Hannah taught me how to love so deeply. The Lord taught me how He loves me despite the circumstances, in this crazy way, with peace and joy and compassion and understanding and the truest of loves. Many things are very precious to me now and my heart opens quickly.

But sometimes, like the gate, I feel like I need a lock now. I wish I was stronger at times when my heart breaks so easily, I wish I could hold back tears as well as I once could.

But maybe, just maybe my heart doesn't need a lock. Maybe it's okay to love without regard for heart break. Maybe that's what Jesus did, knowing the people he came to save would crucify him. But then maybe he knew the power of the resurrection and he did it anyway.

Maybe to love with risk of heartache is a great kind of love.

Wise men say,
Only fools rush in.
But I can't help,
Falling in love with you.

And then I realize that they will all be new things. But that doesn't mean the old things are any less important.

So we're cleaning the gutters and we're fixing the fences, and we're loving well.

And, you know what, I don't mind it.

It is a very Good Friday.

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. - Romans 5:8

Apr 16, 2014

The Strength of the World

April 4, 2014

So I'm pretty much a wreck today. I'm over halfway through a box of tissues and I'm confident I'll make it through the entire thing before the end of the workday.

Last night we went to the cemetery. The funeral director called us to tell us Hannah's headstone had been set. I was excited to hear it was finally in, excited to see how it turned out. But as I drove up I saw the headstone and as beautiful as it was, it was so very final. The last shoe to drop on our Hannah's life. There I was, a new mom to no one, standing in the cemetery crying because in my short life I've already lost a daughter.

Today we hosted the county-wide Child Abuse Proclamation Day at work. I stayed busy this morning and I helped get the flowers and the food ready. I got out my camera as the resident but amateur photographer here at work and snapped a few pictures of the preparations.

Then I stepped in to help sort the shoes. Today we had little tiny pairs of shoes lining the side walks of our campus, each pair represented a child that was affected by child abuse this year in our county. And then I had to stop. Although our Hannah was not a result of child abuse, she's still a child of mine, a child with empty shoes. I had the cutest shoes lined up in her closet but no little feet to fill them with.

I went to my office and I cried. Not the kind of crying people typically may do at work. This wasn't a tear or two down the cheek. It was a sobbing, snotty, heart aching cry because I missed my girl. She's not coming back to me. She really isn't. And that hurt so very much.

And so I stayed in my office and stayed productive and I typed through my tears.

When it was time for the program I went out with my camera. It's a beautiful day outside and I wanted to capture the sunshine, not to mention our kiddos faces as they sang on stage.

Then two ladies came up to sing. And they sang of family and loss and suffering. I held my camera in front of my face, but the tears came too fast for me to walk away slowly. So there I was in a crowd of people walking as fast as I could away from all the 'happiness.'

My coworkers are nothing short of lovely and while one of them checked on me earlier another checked on me during the program.

But now I'm that girl.

I'm the one who can't make it through a song in a program. I'm the one who is still very much grieving the loss of her daughter. I'm the one people pity sometimes, and that's okay. I'm not quite as strong as I used to be, but I do have a much tighter grip on the God who saved me. And for that I wouldn't trade the strength of the world.

Turns out grief doesn't just go away when it's been 100 days or 3 months, it's there. Even after many 'normal' days in a row, many days without any tears. After running around Disney World and smiling around our small town. It's still there. Because my heart still loves her, and she's still not with me. And guess what, that's okay.

Apr 14, 2014


It's spring here around the Hess House. We've been quite busy getting ready for the summer. I'm working on the transition from winter to spring to summer, and for me, what feels like a transition from death to grief to life again.

So today at the Hess House we're resting.

I'd highly recommend it.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. -Matthew 11:28

Apr 11, 2014

When You Wish Upon a Star

Other than meeting Woody, I think I loved the nighttime shows the most during our Spring Break vacation. I love fireworks and I love shows and I love Disney, so you can imagine how wonderful they are all together.

We stood watching as Cinderella's Castle was lit up with lights and projections and how Wreck-It Ralph tore up the castle and good ole Fix-It Felix fixed it right up. We saw our favorite heroes, we saw the most hated villains, and we saw all the Disney Magic come to life.

Then a particular song started to play.

It didn't help that as it started with the voice of a small girl singing. It didn't help to be surrounded by cute little curly-haired brunettes in tiny princess costumes. But the song started to play and I wished so hard that there was truth in it.
When you wish upon a star,
Makes no difference who you are. 
Anything your heart desires, 
Will come to you.

I heard the little girl's voice. I knew my heart's desires. And I knew that wishing upon a star wouldn't make Hannah come back.

It's a sweet song. I love that it inspires people to dream, the song inspires us to think past a world where we are defined by our constraints; to dream of a world when we can achieve what we dream of. If no one ever looked past was they already had who knows where we would be.

But it's not the hard fast truth.

The truth is that God is good, that He loves me, that he is sovereign and works all things for good, that he will give me the desires of my heart when I am following after Him. Sometimes God's dreams for our lives are different than our own dream, and without a doubt they are always better. Always good. Even if it doesn't look like the good we expected.

So there I was, the girl who was crying while standing at the happiest place on earth. Tears were streaming down my face and I was a little embarrassed because I'm sure people thought I was tearing up because the fireworks were so beautiful.

But that wasn't it. I missed my girl. I got caught up and I wished so hard, but I knew there was only one person to be talking to. So I just prayed. I told the Lord how much I missed our sweet Hannah. And I told him how much I wanted another chance to get to be a mother. I pleaded with my Lord to someday give us more babies.

And there I was. Filled with the love of a wonderful God. Standing with my husband behind me, holding me in his arms. My head filled with memories of the most beautiful little girl I've ever seen. And then I realized that so many of my dreams have really already come true.

I know the Lord's dreams for my life will come true as I follow Him. I just don't know what his dreams are yet.

Apr 9, 2014

So We Booked a Trip to Disney

After losing Hannah, spring break vacation wasn't exactly the first thing on our minds. When we thought about spring break we were thinking I'd be at home on maternity leave snuggling with a little baby, or you know, changing millions of diapers and getting little sleep. Turns out plans change. After I returned to work, I was looking forward to spring break. A much needed time to not only relax, but a time to maybe smile a little more. A vacation seemed like the perfect week after everything we'd been going through.

I will tell you though, and I'll share more on this, but I'm not sure a vacation would always be appropriate for everyone, or that there is a certain time that would be a 'good time' to take a vacation after losing a child. I'm sure that for some people walking around Disney World with millions of smiling children is the exact opposite of what they'd want to do after losing a child.

But I will tell you that our vacation just happened one day.

So one day we were sitting on the couch throwing around Spring Break vacation ideas. It went something like this:

Kyle: What about a fishing trip?
Brittany: What about a beach vacation?
Brittany: Oooooo, what about Disney World?!?
Brittany: Wait, spring break is in like 2 weeks, we can't go to Disney World...
Kyle: Why not?

And so I did what I do best when Kyle says things like "why not?" I research. And in less than 24 hours I had budgeted the entire trip, we knew what the costs were and we decided that it could very well be our last chance to venture to Disney without kiddos. (Well, we hope.) And so we did it, we booked a trip to Disney. I spent the next two weeks planning, researching, and making my DIY vacation tees. Then we were off.

And there we were in Florida. Pulled out of a world that has been so very hard for the past few months, dropped right into a world where everywhere we really did feel like kids again.

I think I probably got way to excited to see Woody. But let me tell you, Buzz and Woody did not disappoint. When people ask me what my favorite moment was at Disney I'm most likely to say meeting Woody. That's me, I grew up with Andy and I just can't get over the fact that I shook hands with Woody. I mean I love mascots/people in giant costumes. Kyle should have known after I screamed for the DQ Blizzard-man in the local parade that I'd be crazy at Disney. But let's just say that it was clear that Woody was excited to see me too... right?

There were moments when Kyle just stared at me. Mostly when I wanted to wait 45 minutes to meet a 'person in a costume' which was obviously the 'real thing'! Or when I jumped up and down at a parade because, well, we were just walking down the street and a small parade popped out of nowhere! That's when I caught Kyle Hess looking at me. He later said that one of the best things he did on vacation was watch me smile. If that's not the sign of a keeper I don't know what else is.

There were times when it seemed like we got to ride in the first row of every ride. I will say that not only did I get picked to be the 'spy' on the Star Tours ride, but I also got picked to have my wand chosen at Ollivander's. We happened upon the very best seats for the parades and wandered into the best viewing area for the fireworks at Cinderella's castle. The day we were at the busiest park just happened to be the day it rained in the morning so we practically walked on to the rides without wait lines. Other than the time a bird pooped on Kyle's hand, I'd say we were the luckiest people at the park. It was very 'Michelle get's to be the princess' circa Full House goes to Disneyland.

Or maybe, not that He had to, but maybe it was God's way of giving us these little reminders that he cares for us. Just little smiles to remind us of how He still in in control of all things, and how he is very, very good.

I'd love to tell you all of the stories. I'd love to tell you all of the research. I'd love to tell you about every one of the 'magical' moments where things just seemed to go our way. But I'm sure many of you would fall asleep reading all the details.

So here's just a little sneak peak into our Disney Vacation. It was this little blessing from God to just relax, to not care about a thing, and to get to spend time with the man that has loved me so very well over the past few months when I've needed it most.

It really is a magical place. Most of all I had a great buddy to spend time with. More pictures to come tomorrow, more stories on Friday.

Apr 8, 2014

Smiling Often

I told you that I smile often. We really do, especially that Kyle Hess, he's got a wonderful smile.



Apr 7, 2014

It's April

I cannot believe that it is already April.

I told someone the other day that it feels to me like somewhere near mid-February. It feels like Valentine's day should be nearing soon. I'm not sure if it's the cold weather that's been lingering around or simply that for quite a while time stood still.

When Hannah was born the clock stopped. The days felt like weeks but often the weeks felt like days. Other than dating my journal entries I had little concept of time. A week later it was Christmas, but even after Christmas had passed it still felt like early December.

Soon the new year came and there was a slight lift. I knew it was January, but if you would have asked for the year I still would have said 2013. It wasn't supposed to be 2014 if my arms where still empty.

Each day I would continue to write. It helped. I started to wake with a purpose. I needed to get about the business of reading, writing, and healing. I spent mornings singing worshiping, and I spend some mornings singing and crying. In late morning I would read and write. But always I'd allow myself to feel.

But as the weeks passed I began to fill the afternoons with change. I began to put our kitchen back together. I cleared out the refrigerator, froze the leftovers from the yummy casseroles. I wrote thank you letters. And I put on my tennis shoes and I went walking, with the sunshine and everything.

Each day felt like a step forward, even if at times or moments it felt like ten or twenty steps back. My return to work was impending and that meant my six weeks was almost up. I knew I wanted to be ready, I knew I wanted to set aside as much time as I could to mourn. Not that I'd be finished mourning by six weeks, not at all, but once I went back to work I knew there would be eight less hours in the day to feel.

My doctor cleared me at my six weeks check up. No more restrictions, nothing to hide behind. Still pain, still hurt, still great sadness, but I was ready to turn my eye to the future to see what the Lord had waiting for me.

I jumped in to the exercise program at work. I jumped back into my daily tasks, the pile of things I had left on my desk in December. But I did it very slowly. Someone told me to make a list of one thing I could accomplish at work each day and set a goal to do at least that. When they told me, I remember thinking 'only one thing?' but then I returned and I realized how much of an accomplishment 'only one thing' really was.

The end of the first week was the hardest. I don't think I realized how much 'processing' I'd be missing out on because I was at work for eight hours a day. I had held in tears that needed to come out. And they did. All at once. And that was okay.

The weeks passed and things got more 'normal'. Or we started a new normal. I could do more every day at home and at work. At church I was reminded that there are others suffering, as easy as it was to think the world was all about us in such pain. At home I was reminded that I am still a wife to a wonderful man. And the Lord continued to remind me that he had a purpose for my life, he still does.

I won't pretend like every minute of every hour was hard. There were moments where somehow I would almost forget and I'd be laughing and smiling. Sometimes I would get busy and I'd be productive for the first time in a long time. But I will tell you that no matter how it looked on the outside every day was and is still hard. Sometimes it's only a few minutes, sometimes it's hours, sometimes it's tears, sometimes it's not. I remember someone saying to me, 'well, I'm sure there are still some times when it's hard.' I wanted so badly to let all my tears out and tell her it's not just hard 'some times' but that it's all the time.

Hannah is part of every moment of every second of my life. Not just 'some times.' But that doesn't mean that every moment is sad. Sometimes she makes me smile.

And each day I smile more. Each day I thank the Lord more that I got to be her mother.

And today it's April. I have no idea how April arrived so very fast. But it's April. And I want you to know that I smile often.

Apr 4, 2014

A Mix CD, of All Things

I'm the girl that listens to the Christian radio station almost exclusively. Except for long car trips and when I play lots of Adele on Pandora when I'm painting furniture, my radio stays dialed in to the Christian radio stations. Yes, even through the share/donation phone drives, I'm that girl.

I used to drive an hour to work and I needed something uplifting for that hour. As much as I love to hear a strong voice belt out about a broken heart and a rotten man or something, that wasn't the way I knew I needed to start my day.

And before Hannah was born I listened to the songs. I was looking to make a list and so as I heard songs play I wrote down every song that I could play through labor helping me through the contractions. Turns out I didn't need them so much for contractions, I needed them for my heart and soul when they told us our sweet girl was dead.

In the weeks and months that followed this music has been irreplaceable to me. Sometimes more healing than anything else for me is music. Once we returned home I listened to those songs over and over. Songs about the Lord's goodness through suffering, songs about pain and hurt but also hope. I love to listen to words about my Lord. I love to hear the words of a song and realize they express exactly what I do not have the words yet to say myself.

A few days after we got home one of my dearest friends made me a CD. A mix CD of all things, and it turned out to be such a blessing. My friend has wonderful taste in music, but I'm not quite sure how she found songs so perfect for what I was feeling and what I needed to hear. I don't know if she listened to every word of every song or if she just prayed and the Lord took care of the details.

Sometimes you need a song about suffering, about crying out to the Lord when you don't know how to go on. Other times you need to hear a song about how the Lord stands even when we are weak. And then sometimes you need songs about how the Lord has called you for a purpose, about how we can sit in our misery or how we can be changed for his goodness, for his glory.

These songs are all those things.

I would recommend sending a CD to a friend you know who may have gone through such a loss. I would have never thought about it. But it has been a most wonderful gift of time with the Lord, time for mourning, and time for healing.

Today I especially love one in particular on that CD. The songs is Called Me Higher by All My Sons and Daughters. Here's a link to the song on YouTube, feel free to listen, please do. Really, take the time to hear it. This song reminds me that we all have been called for a purpose. I get so excited every day to see what the Lord will bring us.

One of the artists of that song David Leonard said this about that song:

Being swayed by our emotions won't last long, because there will be things in our lives that will cause us to come off those high moments. God calls us to and designed us to have those moments and those feelings. At the same time, we have to stay grounded and rooted in what we know is true—God and His Word.

I agree.

Apr 3, 2014

Scriptures for Our Loss

God's Word, the Bible, is the truth I hold on to. It is the only ultimate absolute truth in my life. As someone who thrives on facts, I love that I can refer to God's Word and know it is true. When my feelings may be lying to me, when my heartache screams lies, I know I can hold fast to the truths I find in scripture.

These are some of the verses that I held onto when we lost Hannah. Some you know I had on my mirror before we lost her, a testament that the Lord really had prepared our hearts, he had already filled our home with truth for us to return to.

So today I'm sharing these with you. There are many more I'm sure. Feel free to leave a comment with a verse you'd like to add. And of course feel free to share with someone who may have experienced loss, and if you do, tell them there's a lady in small town East Texas already praying for them...

The first were the ones on my mirror...

John 16:33
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

Psalm 91:2
I will say to the Lord, "my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust."

Jeremiah 31:25
I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.

And then the ones the Lord brought to us in the days after we lost our girl...

Philippians 4:6-8
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Romans 5:1-5
Therefore since we have been justified by faith we have a peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Psalm 46:1
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Lamentations 3:22-24
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him."

Isaiah 9:6
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Romans 12:12
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

1 Thessalonians 4:13
But we do not want to be uninformed brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.

Psalm 94:19
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.

Romans 8:28
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:18
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Romans 8:26
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

Isaiah 40:31
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.

Jeremiah 29:13
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

And not that there is a promise of life to come, for we do not "deserve" a healthy baby simply because we lost our Hannah, but these I hope to cling to if we should ever get pregnant again. To know that even if we lost another, that the Lord would protect my soul.

Psalm 16:8-11
I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave. "You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.

Psalm 91:4
He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

I pray that you never know of another person who experiences loss, I pray that no one ever has to lose their little baby again. But I know all too well that they will. So I'm already praying for those you may share this with.

If you found this because you have been through loss, I'm so very sorry, but know that there is someone who has been through it before and has come out on the other side and counted it blessing. But if it's too soon to see the good, I pray that you have room for your tears, and that you have very very soft tissues, and that you have lots of friends and family to hug and cry with, and that you have His Truth to cling to.

Numbers 6:24-26
“The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”’

Apr 2, 2014

We Talk About Her All the Time

March 22, 2014

Last night I spent some time with a few of the ladies I am so very blessed to call friends. We sat on the couch and ate yummy things and talked about life and family and God and friends. We watched funny videos and we talked about what makes us laugh out loud.

The kiddos in the house went to bed one by one. Except for the tiny little newborn in one of my best friend's arms. I soon held him and stared at him ooo-ing and ahh-ing over how absolutely adorable he is. He is the definition of adorable, and poor thing has the cutest sad face I've ever seen: lip turned under, little chin quiver. It'll break your heart or make you laugh, depending on your previous mood I'm sure.

The little guy stared to cry and I handed him back to his mom. She calmed him down and he looked over at me with his beautiful eyes.

And then she said to that little man,

"That's Brittany, that's Hannah's mom. You know Hannah. We talk about her all the time."

My heart swelled and I think pretty quickly I changed the subject because I didn't want to have a full fledged breakdown in front of an entire room of ladies.

But I don't think she could have said anything more perfect.

Nothing could have blessed my heart more. "Hannah's mom" ... "Hannah. We talk about her all the time."

The Lord is good with the little ways he blesses us.

Apr 1, 2014

First Christmas

March 7, 2014

Today I was looking at old pictures from the summer.

I saw the pictures from our Christmas in July up at Ute.

And then I got teary eyed. And a smile spread across my face. Because all this time I thought about how our sweet baby girl never got to spend a Christmas with us, not while we were pregnant, not in this world.

And then I realized that she did.

Our Christmas at Ute was her first and only Christmas with us. Surrounded by people we love, people that loved her. A dear friend even made up a gift that morning for all three of us. A sweet handmade frame just for our little family.

Today that made me smile.

Oh how the Lord surprises us. Sometimes with tears, sometimes with smiles, but always with joy.
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