Saturday, April 30, 2011


Almost May.

One more day.

As I pick up crayons

finish Kindergarten with my JD

help Cambria learn to use scissors properly {cut fabric scraps, not hair}

answer texts from my crazy-hard-worker husband

wonder if the little flutters in my stomach are for real. .  .

I have this little edge on my heart, and at the weirdest times I will think of


gravel in our hospital parking lot.

why is there even gravel there?

maybe it isn't gravel, maybe they are landscaping rocks.

i wonder about the insignificance of my wondering.

my heart wants to remember.

tears push at my eyelids at the oddest times as i remember. . .

the floor.

where i sank.

legs unable to hold me

weren't there chairs everywhere i went?

all of these odd memories of looking up at people from the floor.

the doorjamb of the trauma room.

where i grasped at straws and watched

frozen in unbelief

as everyone tried everything.

i think it's grey. and cold. and plastic. and probably imprinted with fingernail prints.

the floor.


sitting there, numb and shocked, my voice not sounding like mine.

i can't call my mom.

i can't call and tell her.

if i call and tell her, it will be real.

Handing my baby to a nurse to take away wasn't real enough?






you need to sit down

it's really bad.

gabe is with Jesus.

I kept saying that.  So weird.  I'd never even used that phrase before.  I see myself, standing on the sidewalk in my pajamas, saying in this odd high pitched voice to the neighbors. . .

he's with God he's with God he's with God

awful awful refrain.

with God with God with God with God.

not with me with me with me with me.



no i don't know, mom.

there wasn't anything wrong.

i know i know i know

i don't knowwwwwwww what happened.

my babyyyyy.


maybe i could throw the rocks.

or kick them.

or just lay down on them and die.

this isn't happening to me.

this is a nightmare.

but it wasn't.

I straighten my stack of current books on the stand next to my favorite huge chair where I'm curling up late at night to read. . .


Choosing Gratitude

When Your Child is Hurting. . .

I remember the stacks of thank you notes I kept there to write with him snuggled in my lap. . . such a loved little man.  So many fire truck outfits.  So many tiny jeans.  Newborn infant boy clothing has come a long way.  I grin, thinking of his uber hip jeans and his little grey hoodie and his dark dark hair and his super gorgeous self and then I cry.

tears that bottle up now. . .

it's not quite so raw. . .

i can hold it together if i go out.

actually i can hold it together for a long time.

i am making it.

there really is healing.

i do have hope, hope i didn't know even existed.

but still, always that missing piece to our crazy family puzzle,

that little ache that knows he would be saying daddy and mamma.

that incomplete heart,

the break

the edge

the frayed parts of it. . .

remember the reality of our loss and then i know why. . .

why my heart twists

and why I think of odd things like




while I'm washing pink plastic cups

and folding grass stained jeans

I think of gravel. . .

probably because my heart knows there should be sippy cups with little trucks on them next to the pink plastic cups

and jeans that don't have grass stains next to the ones that do.

Ahh, my littlest man. . .

you are so loved,

every moment,

my heart doesn't forget you,

little man.

I wish your jeans could be in the laundry too.

wish i didn't know about broken hearts

wish you didn't have a grave

wish there weren't weird corners of ER entrances with rocks and gravel

wish you would have been here to have ice cream when your big brother finished Kindergarten. . .

wish you could have snuggled in with all of us this morning and enjoyed our Saturday morning at home

and pancakes

and syrup

and that you would have needed your sticky pudgy hands wiped.

love you, buddy.


Friday, April 22, 2011


Could I just go to bed and pull the covers over my head and sleep until next year?

I wish I didn't have to face all of the decisions stacking up around me, everywhere I turn another dilemma facing my weak and weary heart. . .


Sleeping until next year is a good option.


I guess I can't.

Someone sprayed water all over the bathroom from the balloon pump. (I know because my socks are wet.)

{direct cleanup}

Morning spent with a precious girl. . . sorting out life over Starbucks and tissues.

{JD:  why do girls cry? 
 me:  girls cry when they are sorting things out.
JD:  wow
me:  the sooner you figure that out the better you will be able to deal with women.
JD:  huh
me:  the best you can do is pat them on the back, say "I'm sorry" and walk away and give them some space.
JD: [ l o n g silence. . . .] one more thing you could do is hand them Kleenex, mom.}

I cut out Cambria's Easter dress today (nothing like waiting until the last possible moment) and as I sat down to sew, discovered that the pressure foot to my machine is missing.

{search sewing area. search sewing cupboard. search whole house. decide to run and buy a new one. remember i don't have the van today. give up. pack Easter dress away.}

Found out this afternoon that Daniel would be home tonight.

{prepare man-friendly meal}

Discover that his floor hockey night starts an hour earlier than I thought.

{forget man-friendly meal. he sees my frustration. he stays to eat with us. he's way late. i pout. i fail. i stink at flexibility.}

Watch my Jacob Daniel (current occupation aspiration: architect) spend the entire afternoon building a house and furniture with cardboard, popsicle sticks and a mini glue gun.

{euphoric child. mess everywhere}

All the while, underneath, lurks constant strain and constant worry.  I am so afraid.  I am not strong.  I am so fearful. 

I know what miscarriage is.

We've walked that {more private} road.

Each little twinge. . . I wonder. . . is my little punkin. . . okay? Please, just be okay.  Please, let me make it to twenty-five weeks.  Please, let there be a heartbeat.

I told my mom today that I would like to be attached to a Doppler.  She laughed, because we both know that wouldn't really solve anything.

I hope for a future with our fourth child, my fifth pregnancy. 

I hope for hope.

I feel lost.

I feel . . . a lack of motivation.

I feel. . . unproductive.

I feel. . . like sleeping for a year.

Did I already say that?

"I have labored to no purpose;  I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing." {Isaiah 49:4}


God said:

It is too small a thing for you to be my servant

I will also make you a light

I will. . . restore. . .

I will. . . keep you. . .

[I will] say to the captives 'Come out'

and to those in the darkness 'Be free'

Though a [mother may forget her child] I will not forget you!

See, I have engraved you on the palms of My Hands.

[from Isaiah 49]

Only God gives such amazing hope to the unproductive.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pajama Partaa

invitations. . . little sleeping bags. . . *with pillows*

Am I the only person who gets overwhelmed by the amazing parties people have for their children?

The bloggers only make it worse.

Seriously, handmade favors for each child?

Beautiful photography covering each moment?

Never mind the amount of $$$$$$$ spent on exquisite little treats and extras.

I love parties, in fact, I live and breathe them.

However, my imitation Pottery Barn style would probably be scoffed at by the PB designers and I don't have time to create tiny nightgowns made out of vintage sheets (snatched up at antique stores on my free Saturdays). . . although those would make great favors for a pj party.

Our favors were bead necklaces ($2 total) and a bucket of lipglosses ($1). Just call it Hayley-free-embarrassingly-cheap style.

The reason I'm writing this is not to complain about finances, but to point out that really . . . who cares if your parties aren't perfect or you don't have a real fondue pot?  Seriously? Just have fun.

Little people are the absolute easiest guests EVER.

They are thrilled with the ordinary.

So our pj party.

Ordinary mommas  living on regular streets driving regular vehicles wearing J. Crew via Goodwill - - - be inspired.

We colored.

We played beauty shop.  ($1 spray misters filled with water = drenched little heads + tons of fun)

We ate "fondue." Actually Cheez Whiz.  + snow peas + carrot sticks + pretzels + mini hot dogs.

Daniel built us a little fire and we traipsed out in the back yard to roast pink marshmallows. . . {hilarious side note. . . as he instructs 8 little girls to stick their roasters in the fire, he was unprepared for their prompt obedience.  About 8 little marshmallows instantly lit on fire and then 8 little sticks zoomed up and then he's like "oh, oh, oh, don't wave it around!" Definitely new experience. . . fire + firefighter + instruction = normal. Adding 8 little girls at a slumber party = not normal.

Another side note. . . if you take eight little girls outside in the dark, four flashlights are not enough.  I wouldn't have made it if Sarah, one of the moms, hadn't had pity on me and stayed to help.

The girls talked constantly.  Why does this still surprise me?

They also had a very hard time going to sleep. I put on some quiet bluesy jazz for them to drift off with and I guess I didn't know the CD very well because it only intensified the giggles and wiggles. Daniel: "That CD is not working."

We had a midnight snack run, too. . . I looked at the three little girls sitting on chairs in our kitchen, eating by the glow of the water dispenser light on the refigerator and I thought. . . wow. . . I have so looked forward to this stage of life. . . seeing my kids and their friends happy in our home. . . {if this makes no sense to you it is probably because your toddler children never *bit* their friends}

On a whim I grabbed Rhodes frozen cinnamon rolls at WalMart and my breakfasts for overnight guests will never be the same.  They were totally amazing.  I have made homemade rolls since I was eleven. . . but if you can buy the exact same thing for $3 and put it together in two minutes then I say, retire the rolling pin.

It was truly a blast.

It is also true that I drank a ton of coffee the next day.
Pajama Party. . . <---------- here. . .

Remember that great quote "If Mamma says there's a pink elephant on the roof, there's a pink elephant on the roof"?
Your mom didn't say that?

Animals waiting on the porch swing to greet our small guests. . . (note the snake, courtesy of JD)

I went to the library right before the party to check out "Bedtime for Frances" which is ALWAYS there, but of course,
the night I wanted it *really bad* it wasn't.  So we settled for some other cute ones. . .
like "Llama Llama Misses Mamma" (I thought that might come in handy.)

before we were married and Daniel was living here alone, he saw this humongous mirror sticking out of a dumpster behind a hospital where he was waiting after running a call.  He drove back later, off duty, and loaded it into his tiny ranger (I just laugh thinking about it).  That mirror was the most honkingly heavy mirror I have ever seen in my life.  It graced our newlywed dining room for . . . . an embarrassingly long time.  It was like living in a house of mirrors.  Eventually we Daniel cut it up and so we have all of these cool mirrors in our basement. I brought one up and leaned it against the wall for the beauty shop.

My mom gives these little fur families to the kids.  they adore them.  we made them a treehouse home
on a cakeplate next to a plant that I'm desperately trying to keep alive. I thought it added to the decor.

I love to change everything up in my house when we have parties.  I brought a lamp down from upstairs
and pushed the table next to the chalkboard wall to make a buffet. . .
that way I had room to drag in one of the overstuffed chairs from the living room and
create a puzzle-putting-together area in the dining room.

Yes, here is the hidden Wal-Mart advertisement.  They're paying me for this.  *I wish*
Organic cotton pjs $5!!!
The tutu was a birthday gift, but it was only $5 too.
I know because I went and bought one for my niece.
(Sorry Deeann, now I made your gift sound cheap.  Sorry Edith, I also made it sound like I got a very un-sacrificial gift for Kamie.)

Oh my. I can't believe {once upon a time} I told God I wanted to be a mom to just boys.

{*practicing the hostess part* "hi, thank you for coming to my party. here is a necklace for you. . .
Mom, what if everyone wants pink?"}

this is an extremely original game. . . musical necklaces. when you don't have enough little chairs, improvise.

{my fondue assembling assistant the lovely ms Kaylin. . .}

{endless beauty-shop-ness}

this just cracks me up

don't all girls love looking at catalogs and magazines??
Breakfast. . . Rhodes Cinnamon Rolls with {pink} frosting

Thursday, April 7, 2011

tiny little heartbeat (little #4)

The stick turned blue.

I'm pregnant!

God is giving us another little person to love!

I'm so scared; are we out of our minds?

This week I heard a tiny little heart beating inside of me. . . tears are pooling now, just remembering Tuesday morning; this is our fourth little beating heart, created out of our love and the mighty hand of God. 

The awe doesn't wear off.

I hope the fear will.

I stood in our bathroom, peering down at a tiny plastic stick,  hoping, hoping, hoping. . . and then those two blue lines.

I jumped up and down.

I screamed at myself in the mirror we're gonna have another baby!

I cried out to the heavens in the direction of the ceiling Oh God, let him live for seventy five years! I'm begging You, I'm pleading with You!

I sat on the floor and wept.

We are so thankful.

We are so terrified.

{What monitor to use; or should we even go that route?}

{Googling innovative, uniquely designed cribs}

{How will I ever lay the poor child down? He'll have to sleep sometime}

{Fielding the kids' earnest questions. . .I hope it doesn't die, right Mommy?}

I tell myself each morning, Hayley, statistically this is not going to happen again.  And then I hear the haunting echo of statistically it shouldn't have happened to Gabe.

My faith in God as a Giver is being stretched and tried.  I know the answers.  Trust Him.  Trust His heart.  I want to. 

My reality is still arms that ache to hold a child torn from our family.

God, You won't take again, will You?

The answers are not mine.

What is mine is today.

I thank God for today, for life each night as I rest my hand on the chest of my sleeping son and feel his beating heart, as I smooth tousled hair from my daughter's face and rejoice in her warmth and even breathing.

Today is all we are given, tomorrow is not promised.

Today I thrill for the life inside of me.

Today I cry that our fourth child will never know his chunky-monkey older brother.

Today I thank God for a man who loves me.

Today I ache for the pain that life brings.

Today I google baby names, holding onto hope.

Today I look at photos of other children's headstones, searching for the perfect way to honor our precious little man.

Today I thank God that my kids were more cheerful than they were yesterday.

Today I hold Cambria as she weeps for a worm died in the street because a car ran over it.

Today I sit on the couch and play UNO (and lose) with my Jacob Daniel.

Today I share lunch with a dear friend.

Today I pack a NON pb&j sandwich for my man.  Today I make him take a few minutes out of his day and sit. And breathe. Today I love him.

Today Tonight the bedtime battle looms.  JD it is your turn for the shower { x 4 }

Tomorrow is not promised.

Jesus is promised.

Hope is promised.

Heaven is promised.

Grace for each day.

It isn't tomorrow.  I don't know what the future holds. 

It is today, and today. . . we rejoice in the life that God is giving.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Do You Want to Know?

Sometimes we don't want to know about pain.

It hurts too much.

It's too messy to get involved.

Why should you be responsible? asks Josh Wilson in his beautiful plea to open our eyes to see people as God sees them.

Once you see a world that's in need

and a sorrow you just can't ignore

your heart will break

and you'll lay awake

cause you'll know you could do so much more

Do you want to know?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Christ is Risen

I've been thinking a lot about Easter. . .

The empty grave has new significance for me this year. 

Daniel and I have always made a visual image of a tomb and Jesus' body for the kids on the days preceding Easter Sunday.  We wrap the little stick figure in perfume drenched white cloths.  We paint flowers on a tiny clay tomb.  We seal a stone over the door. 

And then, Easter morning we roll away that little stone and show them the linen cloth on the floor of the tomb.

He's not there! 

I am always so thankful at the remembrance of what He did for us.

This year, my heart thrills  at the remembrance of what He did.

That He defeated the grave is just so unthinkably staggering.

The more I listen to this song, the more I love it.

Christ is risen from the dead

He trampled over death by death

No scheme of hell

No scoffer's crown

No burden great

Can hold You down

In strength You reign

Christ is risen from the dead

Trampling over death by death

Come awake, come awake

O, church, come stand in the light

The glory of God has defeated the night

Sunday, April 3, 2011

SMS Shine

Jacob and Cambria love this.

{Watch for the frog. It's Cambria's favorite part.}