Sunday, May 30, 2010


. . .of joy in the midst of this unbelievable pain.

The wedding of my little sister and her man ~ so happy for them.

Coming home from the wedding, scared to come into the house. . . around the corner, on the back porch, my chalkboard Welcome sign had been cleaned, erased, and and new words written:

You are loved

Hugs from our kids.

Knowing my man is holding me up and that our love is still so strong.

Incredible family.
dropping everything, weeping, praying, not leaving us alone

Amazing friends.
holding us up, driving through the night to be here with us

Unbelievable support from our community.
cleaning, food, mowing, laundry, flowers

The best church family ever.
making a slide show, beautiful funeral, cooking our meals, washing our feet
Though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love.
Lamentations 3:32

Gabe's List

Good job, buddy. Love, Mommy


I shouldn't be surprised by the things that make my heart stop, but they catch me off guard and bring me to my knees, literally.

The one week anniversary. I didn't know it was the time, my body knew. I couldn't breathe. The hardest grief yet.

Someone screaming.

Picking up Gabe's little fire hat to smell it and finding the scent of. . . not him.

His orange guy that did have Gabe's little scent. {Gabe perfume. Love it.}

Turning my computer on and finding the screensaver gone (my screensaver is the black and white photo of the three little pairs of feet). It was like a cruel joke. It has never happened before. I panicked. where is it, where is it, where is the picture, what happened? By the time I sat down to retrieve the original photo, the screensaver reappeared, but I was shaken and scared.

Seeing his obituary. {baby and obituary - those words together just don't compute in my brain}

Waking up in a cold sweat, thinking I heard his cry.

Not being able to remember his voice and his little talks.

Seeing Cambria holding my niece and for one nano-second my heart thinking she was holding Gabe.

Finding a diaper in one of my purses.

Hoping I do find something of his in the laundry.

Hearing sirens.

It's going to be a long road.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I miss you, Gabe.

Burning desire to not forget one moment of his little life.

The terrifying shock of seeing his little body peacefully sleeping. . . so, so still.

Screaming Daniel's name.

"Oh, God, no no no no noooooo."

Calling 911 and knowing that there was nothing they could do.

"My baby, my baby, he's dead."

And I gave our address and of course the dispatcher wanted to give me directions for CPR . . . until I said, "it's Daniel and Hayley. Daniel's already working on him. But it's too late, it's too late." I so wanted her to give me hope, but she was quiet. She knew that we knew.


Unbelievable to see the guys respond to us.

To our son.

Daniel met them in the street with our son in his arms.

He ran the call.

He hoped against hope.

He worked on his baby on that long, long, long 15 block drive to the ER.

And I stood in the middle of the street in pjs with Darren and JuneAnne holding me up.

Went into the house and looked for Cambria's flip flops.

Grabbed a jacket.

Actually sat on my front porch swing and put on the kids shoes.

Called Deeann - I need you I need you I need you I need you I need you- call me back.

Was led to the engine.

Couldn't stop shaking.

I know he's in Heaven.

Ran into the ER.

Stopped cold by the staff, standing in a line outside of his room, weeping.

Oh, no, God, they wouldn't be crying if it weren't true. . .

And then around the corner, there he was, and everyone, including my man, working, frantic, determined, futility. Weeping doctors. Nurses attatching wires with tears streaming down their faces.

Behind me, JuneAnne, still holding me up. There's nothing you could have done, Hayley, no, don't say that, it's not your fault, you did everything right, it's not your fault, it's not your fault.

Rhea, a close friend, one of the ER docs, no, no, no, you couldn't have changed anything.

We knew. They knew. I knew. He wasn't there. It was only his little body that we had loved.

We held him.

We kissed him.

We took pictures.

The kids loved on him.

Pastor and Deeann had their arms around us, holding us up.

We said goodbye.

We gave him to Melissa, the special nurse who I love for holding him instead of leaving him alone.

We were surrounded in the hallway by people who love us so, so much. Chase and Deeann and Pastor and Tonya and Jake and Loren. . . how did they get there so fast?

How do you say goodbye?

How do you walk away?

How do you leave your baby?

Oh, Gabe, we loved you so much.

I'm so glad God blessed us with your life.

The Lord gives; the Lord takes away. And we will still bless His name.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Before the Morning

We said goodbye to our son yesterday.

Unbelievable pain.

Caleb and Marlys turned the radio on during the drive from the funeral home to the church and this song was playing.

We're trying to dare to believe. Keep lifting us up! We love you all so much.

Thank You Jesus for the gift of four months with Gabe.

Monday, May 24, 2010

. Gabriel James . January 12, 2010 - May 19, 2010

Gabe, Jesus loves you even more than we do.

He called you up to Heaven while you were sleeping and we know you are singing praises to Him right now.

But we miss you really bad, buddy.


Daddy and Mommy and Jacob Daniel and Cambria

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tents & TipNut

What is it about hide-outs that children just love? I think that feeling of being surrounded must bring them security or at the very least, warm fuzzies. My kids just love the tent concept. After promising for months to hang these curtains for Cambria, I finally did today! She snuggled right in to her bottom bunk with a book. Seriously, how does someone that looks this calm accomplish THIS in the next fifteen minutes??
Yeah, even on my Uppercase Living stuff.
I googled "remove crayon from wall" and clicked on TipNut - wow, what a site!!! They said to use baking soda (I did) and within five minutes - voila!

Just wanted to offer some hope to anyone else with a ruined-by-purple-crayon day.

Back to child training. See ya.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Music. . .

to my weary heart today.

A friend, Mary posted this today. . .

I can't say it any better than the author of the article!

If you are a mommy to littles- go read it!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I Heart Regular Black Paint, Too!

FREE - ugly colored high chair
*after black paint*

Speak Out!

Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you. . . Psalm 107:1-3
(The Message)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Ramona Quimby, Age 8

Cambria is scheduled to be a flower girl in Lydia and Tim's wedding. (Fourteen days away. . .)

That's the good, albeit old, news.

The bad news is that I discovered her in the bathroom on Wednesday, carefully clipping her hair into the toilet.

It was thoughtful of her to make sure she didn't make a mess on the floor, I guess.

I called my sister.

"Lydia, are you familiar with the Ramona Quimby, Age 8 hairdo?"

She was.

I styled the remaining hair into a little bob that actually looks pretty cute.

We think bobby pins and a big bow might hide the choppy bangs.

She takes years off of my life.

Love without Weariness

"Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired."
Mother Theresa

Thursday, May 6, 2010

(things NOT to say)

. . . to a young mom with little kids.

Check this list out from my friend Loren.

It cracked me up. (And a few are from me. My claim to fame.)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bye bye...

On the way to church tonight:

{Jacob to Cambria}

"I have my Bible. I can say Bible. Can you say Bible? It's kind of like saying bye to the bull."

Huh. Still contemplating that one.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Most Expensive Free Chair. Ever.

I contemplated writing a nice long post about this chair and the way I found it as part of my therapy. But I decided to forgo the therapeutic story and just simply state the facts.

Last Monday I worked hard all morning.

I saved.

I re-purposed.

I made banana bread out of two lonely ripe bananas instead of lazily throwing them out.

I re-seasoned my cast iron.

I cleaned.

I looked out my freshly Windex-ed front window at about 2 pm and saw two girls out junking, just like I used to do during the last week of April pre kids.

The temptation was too great.

I loaded the kids into the van with books (for mobile-naptime).

We went.

I found this amazing chair. I parked.
It had great lines.
I could see past the duct tape and yucky varnish.
I loved it.
I loaded it.
I got back in the van.
I looked over my shoulder and s l o w l y eased out of my parallel parking spot. . . into grinding metal.
Yep, I hit a car.


Of course it was all in extremely slow motion, so the damage was very minor and the elderly-swearing-like-a-sailor lady only got her front parking light knocked out; after a friendly chat with insurance agents, it will be repaired and good as new.

My van door, on the other hand, is a sadder story. It doesn't look so hot. I thought about taking a picture and posting it here, but the frustration is still far too fresh.

So my free chair:

After I calmed down and the urge to kick things had passed, I painted the chair (black, of course) and re-covered the seat using an old linen dress that already had cool seams. I incorporated those lines into the seat and it looks pretty cool.
I wish I could look at the chair without thinking about the stupid scrape/crash/bump/*accident*/*wreck*/*catastrophe*.
Maybe someday.

Idiot Bread

I wish there was some of this bread left, so I could have some for lunch today, but, sadly, Daniel took the last two pieces to work. Easiest bread ever and it tastes so good!

2 c. warm water
1 T. yeast
1 T. sugar
1 t. salt
1 c. whole wheat flour
3 c. white flour
1 stick butter, melted
garlic powder
italian seasoning
parmesan cheese

Soften yeast and sugar in warm water. Add salt and flour and beat well. Spread into a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan and cover loosely. Let rise for 1 hour, then pour melted butter over the top, sprinkle with the seasonings and bake at 400 for 30 - 35 minutes.

It's the bomb!


Monday: Pasta with Chicken, Bacon, Spinach & Tomatoes. And Idiot Bread.

Tuesday: Tuna Salad Sandwiches, Chips & Dip

Wednesday: Taco Salad & Corn Casserole

Thursday: Barbecued Ham-Wrapped Ckn, Mac & Cheese & Broccoli

Friday: Pizza (in case you didn't know, pizza on Friday is part of our religion)

Saturday: Waffles & Smoothies

Sunday: Chef's Salad