As noted in my previous post, I was a little nervous about Holland's first birthday. It was hard to know what to expect. But it ended up being a wonderful day. We were surrounded by people we love and felt lots of love from people all over the world. I was able to reflect upon the huge blessing my little girl has been and is to me. Our family has experienced some painful moments; things that I never ever thought I would have to go through. But there has also been so much gained through all of that.
We were at Eagle Crest with the Ainge's for my cousin Kim and Joe's wedding. We spent the morning horseback riding. Our cousin Kennedy was nice enough to let us use her horse, Spirit. And anyone who knows me knows how much I love horses, so I was in heaven. And what was even more enjoyable, was watching Briz ride a horse and love it too.
Then we went back to the resort, went swimming. We loved watching Briz get braver by the moment and little Dane go crazy in the water.
At 3:33 we started our birthday party. We had a bunch of balloons, and all of our family members there wrote personal messages to Holland. We then sent the balloons up. And I honestly didn't expect it to be as cool as it was. I'm not sure if it was cause we had a little group of people or what, but I loved it. And I loved that Briz thought it was fun.
We then opened a present for Holland: just a little book. And my sister and brother in law got her a card and some flowers.
And to top it off, we sang Happy Birthday and had some yummy Costco cake (thanks to my parents for getting that). It was simple and sweet; just what I had envisioned.
But the best thing were all of the sweet messages we got: the pictures of people sending off their balloons. I was shocked. I just didn't expect people to remember a ton, or to be able to find time to send balloons off (it seemed like a bit of a fiasco for us!). I am so glad that people thought of her on her birthday. And it makes me feel so much peace because not only does it mean they are thinking about her, but that they are thinking about things that are greater than our stupid daily cares. For just a moment, Holland makes us think about eternity.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
It is a few days before Holland's first birthday. I have so many thoughts in my head, so I thought I would just start writing them down. Truthfully, I don't spend a ton of time obsessing over my baby girl. I have pictures up of her all over my house. We talk about her openly in our home and outside of our home when we feel that people are comfortable with it. Briz gives her a kiss every night after saying prayers, and we visit her grave every few weeks. Our angel Holland has become a part of our lives, as a spirit. She is ingrained into the fabric of our every day lives and for the most part I am fairly used to this. But every so often, it hits me how much I miss her and wish she were still here. These are moments filled with crushing emotion. I have so many things that come to mind: heartache, sadness, curiosity, and for the sure the biggest one guilt. But as her birthday approaches and I'm reminded in a very strong way of how much I miss her, I am having a feeling of panic. Losing a child is hard to explain, because the pain doesn't go away. I don't miss her any less than I did the day after she died. She is my daughter and she is a part of me, and the pain is just as real. But as people who grieve say, we develop a "new normal." I have learned to function with this ever persistent ache. And I am used to it most of the time. I found myself on the computer tonight (not able to sleep) searching the internet for her name. I just want to hold on to anything that is her, and I thought that maybe I would find something new: something that would surprise me, and it would give me a little jolt. It's like when I will randomly find a pacifier or a burp cloth in some hidden compartment that I didn't know had been there. I grab it and smell and kiss it and I never want to let it go. I still don't want to let my sweet girl go. Each "first" I experience is scary. Every time I reach a marker, it's difficult. But this one feels bigger. And as with all of the little markers, there are many anticipatory feelings (and not all bad). I hope that with this first birthday and each first that I feel closer to her, not farther away. It's a different kind of close than I thought I would experience with my daughter. A different close than I experience with Briz (The thoughts and feelings I had before Brizzy's first birthday were obviously so completely different). But she is close by. I hope I can continue to get to know her; no longer my beautiful baby, but my guardian angel.
I loved watching the Olympics. I cheered, I screamed, I yelled, and I gasped (okay and maybe I cried a little one the night of the opening ceremonies where they showed all different parts of England). But I also laughed. A lot. Many of these laughing moments came from the hilarious Olympic commentary. I know that none of it was meant to be funny, but yet, it was. And there were a few times that I laughed at the Olympians messing up. Again, not meant to be funny, but I can have a cruel sense of humor sometimes.
Can you tell I'm a bit tired with the lack of creativity in my blog title? We have been up to a lot of fun things and some other not as fun things (i.e. work) and we are pooped. Here is a brieft update.
- We went to Utah and visited a lot of people we love. Some of my favorite things about the time there was seeing Briz play with her cousins and also holding one of the cutest babies ever. It was our first time meeting Kensie and I just couldn't get enough of her. What a sweet, happy girl. And the "big girl" cousins are hilarious.
- The family made the trek out to Logan and helped Nick with the start of the Cache Teton Relay. Then everyone but Nick, Seth, and I headed back home. We helped out with the relay. And I'm not going to lie, it made me tired. It was fun to work hard and be a part of it thought. And it was such a cool finish at the Teton Village.
- While in the Teton Village, we took the tram up to the top of the mountain. It was high. I was scared. We also decided to float down the Snake River. Just us. It was slightly dangerous, but it was a fun little adventure.
- Saw some friends that I love and miss: Nate, Mary and their adorable girls; I got to be there to wish Mander a Happy Birthday and meet Brian FINALLY! And I ended up getting to see Carly, Sadie, and Elise.
-It has been HOT here. And while 100 degrees is pretty hot in this humidity, I am not complaining. Particularly, since we tend to find our way in the water. Mostly thanks to Brett and Julia and their boat. Can't get enough time in the water.
Have done some fun family activities. Nothing too special, just enjoying being outside as much as we can.
I have also been terrible about taking pictures. That's my goal for the rest of the year, to take more pictures!!! Some upcoming fun stuff: Joe and Kim's wedding at Eagle Crest (where Briz is going to take a crack at being a flower girl - she won't stop talking about it) and our Cruise! Booyah.