Saturday, November 13, 2010

The post cleverly titled "Update!"

*This post (er, ramble...) brought to you courtesy of my daughter, Emily.  Truly, this blog is partially Emily's, as she takes all of the photos.   It is also by virtue of Brand New Playdoh, which provides at least an hour of entertainment and buys me some computer time from the little people.

Our family is doing well.  Gabe continues to grow and fill out nicely.  He has fat rolls on his legs  - which stands to reason.  The boy was born hungry.  He seems to always be saying, "Uh...I could eat." 

The big guys think he is losing his newborn look - and I have to agree.  He's becoming more alert, interested in things that are happening around him, even giving a few quick smiles here and there.  I love those first smiles!

Daddy and Mariam

Gabe is 5 weeks old now.  This time, since his birth, has been a good time of healing and restoration for our family.  My parents are both doing much better from their surgeries from this fall.  They are regaining strength and independence.  They still need us, of course, but it is not as intensive as it was this summer.  My father has been cleared to put weight on his foot/hip that was broken, and after 8 weeks he is finally able to drive again.  I know that it feels good to them to be able to have a bit of their lives back.

Roses from my 16 year old son, Nick.  No reason...just because he was passing the flower shop.  
It feels good to us, too, to be able to focus inwardly on our family more, to do things that we simply could not do with them over the past months.  It seems to me that I missed so much during the times of Jeff's illness, and my parent's surgeries.  The little ones grew so much during this time, and I wasn't there for it.  So now, I try to make time for trips to the park, and games, and stories, and crafts and cookies.  Sometimes, it's even just time for an extra long hug or a quick tickle.  Their little eyes light up as if they are surprised that mama does these things.  My heart is touched when Jeff says "yes" to a story or to a game after a 12 hour work day.  Our little ones are so hungry for us right now.  May God grant us the time and energy that they each need! 

Denim jacket and a tutu.  I love this....
 The summer was too long.  It was all necessary, but parts of it took a toll.  It is difficult to be pulled between the needs of elderly parents and young children.  Sometimes, the choice comes down to who has the most pressing needs, and we talked about this openly with the bigger kids.  We never know when we, or they, or the people they marry, or their own children some day might be the one who needs our help.  I promised them that we would do the same, would be there for them if they need us.  And they will do the same for us, and for each other, and for others as God leads them.  That's family.  That's God's family - standing strong for one another thru tough times.  Not always perfectly, sometimes messing up from exhaustion, but still...there.  We've all grown through these tough days.

And now, it just seems a time to cultivate and to restore joy, to rebuild after a time of drought and locusts.   (It's also a time of hard work and long hours to begin to pay for several major medical emergencies!)

I don't know what God has planned - but that's my hope for the next six months or so.  I want to be purposeful about our immediate family, to check the individual seams of our family garment to see who needs to be strengthened or mended (or even ironed!)    Jeff and I want to be sure each child, each individual, knows how loved and treasured they are.  We want to help them develop their interests and their talents and relationships. We're at an interesting time frame, with almost four teens!  We've got individuality and personality all over the place! 

A good friend of mine died a few weeks ago.  Her name was Mary, and she was only 47 years of age when she died of complications related to Mesothelioma.  Mary had a hard life, but she had such a beautiful spirit of gratitude.  She willingly put away bitterness and chose trust and hope thru many difficult trials.   Mary was the mother of three children, two still at home, and she mothered many more children over her life.  Her relationships were so important to her.

Mary's life and passing have brought into focus for me, once again, the need to live life now, to make the most of these days we have been given.  We can't dwell in the past, we can't count too much on days to come.  The relationships we have with our children, our loved ones, our friends - they matter.  They are worth our time and our investment.  They are worth risk, and long days, and hard work, and yes, sacrifice.  Our prayer for you, our friends, is the same as for ourselves:  joy, and healing, and restoration, and beauty in your relationships. 

Until next time.....


  1. Beautifully and eloquently stated. I do so relate!

  2. You have such a way with totally resonated in my spirit. Thank you for sharing!~JShaver

  3. Holly, what a beautiful testimony! And Emily's pictures are so amazing! I'm sorry to hear of the loss of your friend Mary and am sending up prayers for her family as well as continuing prayers for yours. Thanks so much for sharing all this--lessons we all need reminded of as often as possible.

  4. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. Thank you for this beautiful and insightful post. Be well.

  5. Holly, I loved this post. You know my husband is one of 7. One thing he's taught me is that family is about taking care of each other. Usually, there is enough love and attention for everyone--everyone gets lots. Sometimes, one person is in "crisis" and then that person gets more while others get less. Then the crisis passes, equilibrium returns...until the next person needs it. You can go without for awhile because you know that when your turn comes (because it always does, it's life you know), you know everyone will be there to rally around you. It prevents narcissism, encourages compassion, and reminds you there is enough to go around. I really hope we can pass this lesson along to our children as well.

    It really reminds me of what you all are doing as a family. Now is equilibrium time. Everyone's cups are getting replenished and will soon overflow. I'm glad for some rest for you....enjoy and take good care. Hugs, Didi (ps, i hope this makes sense?)

  6. oh Holly. I've just been getting caught up with your family this morning. I've been gone for the last few months, so all this is new to me. Congratulations on the new life in your more ways than one. I pray that God will fill you up and strengthen you over this winter season. I know He's done a deep and lasting work, I can sense something new in your words. I'm so thankful you've all come safely through.

    God bless,


  7. I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. Even knowing we'll see them again one day, it's still hard to cope with.

    Your post was lovely! So much to be thankful for, for making it through the rough spots, for being able to take a breather, for those beautiful babies. :)

    And Emily's pictures are so awesome! She has a real eye there!

    Joy, peace, and healing, indeed! *hugs* Back atcha hon! :D

  8. Your cleverly titled post, with its beautiful pictures, was, as always, a lovely read. :)

  9. Alan and Tina said (say?) it perfectly.

    Also, LOVE Mariam's sense of style.

  10. Didi - thank you for saying that! I think you've captured it!

    To my other sweet friends - I am sorry that I have not hopped back on here and commented. It is my goal to do so - it feels so rude to NOT! I will try to do so in the future, more quickly, might I add. :)

    Tonight, though, I've gotta get supper on the table! :)