Wednesday, June 24, 2015

To my daughters






Little Miss Lucy and Zoë June,

Before your birthday month gets away from me, I wanted to write down some thoughts about both of you to keep my birthday letter tradition alive.

Lucy, you would have turned NINE YEARS OLD this past week. 9! What a big girl you would be. How tall would you be? Would you be patient and nurturing and mommy's little helper? How sassy would you be? I try, but I just can't quite picture exactly what your personality would be. I wonder what you'd be interested in. Biking? Singing? Dancing? I know I am guilty of painting a mental picture of you that is close to perfection. You'd be helping me with the younger kids, blonde and beautiful and cheerful all the time. You'd excel in school and be kind to everyone. It's easy to do this when you aren't here. And while I know you would be all of these things, I know you'd have your struggles and weaknesses, heartaches and disappointments. I just wish I could experience it all with you. It breaks my heart. It's a pain I'm learning to live with, adapt to, but can't focus on for too long or it will get me off track with the task at hand. The task of raising your brother and sister. Man, it takes energy.

But I want you to know something, Lucy. I feel like I am finally at the stage of "accepting" that you died. Seven years later, and my head and heart have stopped fighting with the facts. You are gone. Tragedies happen in life. They happen often, and to a lot of people. And they happened to me and daddy. But this is life. We think the picnic would be perfect if it weren't for the ants and the wind, but the ants and the wind ARE the picnic. They are life. We start on a road and want things to go smoothly, for the scenery to be beautiful and the car not to have any problems. But we encounter roadblock after roadblock. "If only all these things weren't in my way, then I could keep going and get back to smooth sailing and life again." But those roadblocks ARE life. Your death IS life. It is all part of life.

Of course I still miss you. Of course I still cry occasionally and yearn to see you with your siblings, but I have made peace that you are gone...that another birthday for you has come and gone and you weren't here to blow out your candles. This is life.

And Zoë, oh Zoë--you little spit fire. You have gotten SO big. You act like a teenage girl sometimes and it kills me. The way you sing "You're going down, down, down" while strumming Peter's guitar. The way you flirt and laugh and tease. You adore your big "brudder" even though the two of you fight like crazy. Fight, play, fight, play, fight, play...all.day.long.

"Pink!" is what you would say anytime you were asked what you wanted for your birthday. You wanted a pink flower cake and mommy tried her best to make you a decent one, but I was pressed for time. Eh, you're only 3, you loved it, you probably won't remember how fancy it was. (or wasn't)

Something I truly love about you, Zoë, is how sincerely and often you express gratitude. "For ME?! REALLY?!" You get so excited about the littlest of things. You remind me that life is a miracle worth celebrating. It amazes me the way you thank me every time I get you food, or open  your door, unbuckle you, or get you dressed. You, with your cute little lisp, "Sanks, Mom." Oh, I just treasure you!

Both of you girls are absolutely beautiful. You both have/had remarkable hair, perfect pouty lips, and deep blue eyes. You are my pride and joy, my sweet June babies. My heart will surely burst the day I see you together again for the first time.

I love you forever and ever,

Mommy

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

APPLES AND BEANS



























Took a trip to the big apple and bean town last month. 

It was heavenly. 

Saw friends. 

Saw shows. 

Saw friends in shows. 

Ate food. 

Walked A LOT.

Tried to get into Jimmy Fallon show. No go. 

The weather was heavenly. 

I loved spending time alone. It fed my soul like a redneck at Chuck-a-Rama. 

Took a bus to Boston. 

DELIGHTED in my nephew and niece. 

Went to a rock show that my brother judged. 

Walked around the historic city, as usual. 

Breathed it all in. 

Magnolias. 

Wonderful brother. 

Amazing sister in law. 

Laughed a lot. 

Cried some. 

Missed Lucy. 

Went to hot yoga with brother. 

Went on some runs. 

Walked the Minute Man trail in Concord with Vic's cousin and wife. Love them. 

The weather. Did I mention it? 

Spectacular. 

Lost 6 pounds. Have gained it all back. 

Felt cute.  Loved wearing my new white, high-top Chucks. 

Had a great time. 

Missed Vic. 

Was a champ on the flights, mostly. (We've talked about the fear of flying that I have developed after Lucy died, haven't we?)

Want to travel the world every second. 

Love my family and friends. 

LOVED the musical "Something Rotten". LOVED. 

Seeing a bestie dressed as a gorgeous woman in drag in "Kinky Boots" was a trip. He was fantastic. 

I laughed. I cried. It was better than "Cats."




Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Because You've Told Me I can't Quit


People,

I'm busy. So busy. Yet, what am I doing? I don't really know. My life involves a lot of cleaning and running around, feeding little mouths and trying to be a good wife (have we talked about how hard marriage can be? HAVE WE??)

This blog is nowhere close to the top of my "to-do" list or even on my radar. But you crazy, awesome, wonderful readers and friends write to me and tell me to keep going. So here I am. I'm interested to see what is going to come out of my heart.

For starters, we just survived the 7 year mark of Lucy's death. SEVEN. YEARS. I have lived for 7 years without my dear daughter. Zoë and Peter have lived their entire lives not knowing their magnificent sister. Yes, it still hurts. Yes, we still cry tears and are in disbelief at times that she is not here, our firstborn and radiant blonde cherub. But you know what? We aren't the only ones to have lost a child. We aren't the only ones to lose a loved one, to grieve, to sorrow in our hearts. Whether its a death, infertility, divorce, depression, hunger, abuse, or hopelessness, the entire human family will not come out of this life unscathed. Our situation is not unique. This is something I've learned since Lucy died. There is no fairytale ending or happily ever after, there is only learning, growing, forgiving, and loving. And it's WORK. But I am not afraid of hard work.

Speaking of work, I'm in the middle of several exciting projects. If you follow me on Instagram (@smallyspice) you know that I recently certified to teach "Let's Play Music". (this program is seriously too legit to quit). I will be teaching ages 4-6 in the Fall in Park City. Please send students my way! I'll be doing free sample classes at the end of June if you'd like come see what it's all about.

I have some other projects up my sleeve that are keeping me either busy or stressed thinking about how they should be keeping me busy.

Most of my energy the past few weeks has been spent "in my head", a mental battle of self improvement and awareness.

Today, I was introduced to the blog A Blog About Love and have been devouring it. The passion with which the author blogs reminded me how healing and therapeutic sharing on here is for me. So though I didn't share anything too specific or profound, it's helping me sort through my thoughts and feelings.

Much more to share later. So much more. Until then, take care of your heart and your loved ones and don't be afraid to work. You can't quit either.

Monday, May 18, 2015

I believe in Angels






If you believe in nothing else in life, believe in angels. Believe in love and humanity, compassion, and the transformative power of service. I personally know a few angels and one of them is named Jennie Towery. If you have closely followed my blog, you might remember she was the Relief Society president ( the women's organization in my church) when Lucy died. She sewed Lucy's burial dress ( without being asked), organized every detail of the funeral, and even saved some of the fabric from Lucy's burial dress in case I had another girl and she made Zoë's blessing dress out of it. Every year, for 7 years now, she ties ribbons on Lucy's tree in the park, (the tree was a gift from my Peter Pan cast) as well as around our home. She even drove to my parent's house last May in SLC and we woke up to see pink Lucy ribbons everywhere. Last night, while getting ready for bed, we saw a car pull up in front of our house. Jenny and 2 of her kids were armed with pre cut ribbon,ready to decorate our house for our Lucy sweet. 

Today marks 7 years since she choked. 

Jennie was taken off guard when we opened the front door ( tears in my eyes) and although it was bedtime for the kiddos, we jumped in the car to join her at the park to tie more pink ribbons on her beautiful flowering crab apple tree. 

There is so much in life I don't know. There is so much I'm uncertain of. But I believe in visible Angels. I believe in love. I have been saved by love-- again and again

Monday, April 13, 2015

SpiderMan Party Details
















I really brought my A game this year in the party department. Some years I just don't care. Buy a cake, throw up a banner, and let the kids run around and play games. But I have to say, I've really missed having home decorating and improvement projects (since we are living at my parent's place) and I threw all my creative energy into this party...and it was so much fun. Truly. I was so pleased with how it turned out and felt a great sense of accomplishment.

I wasn't trying to impress anyone or prove myself Pinterest worthy, I just felt the urge to go full out this year. I'd forgotten how satisfying it feels to be creative and see your vision come to life. I had so much fun staying up late working on the cake and all the little details.

We had a Spiderman tatto station, bags of homemade popcorn, homemade cake, cans of "spider webs" (silly string), spiderman strawberries, spiderman maze, pin the spider on the web, sprite, spiderman straws, and Spiderman rings for each boy on the cake.

Peter was in hog heaven and I think all his buddies loved it. I just wanted to share the fun. May the force be with you, or whatever Spiderman says. I'm so thankful that my son is loved by so many wonderful people.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

My sunrise baby turns six




Peter Parker,

Remember when we cuddled in bed the other night and I told you all the details of the day you were born? You stroked my arm and listened intently when I described how much it hurt to push you out, how wide your shoulders were. You asked questions about my "water breaking" and I told you how the chord was wrapped around your neck three times.

You remembered how happy your birth made me and daddy. I know, because you said something about how sad we'd been after Lucy died. "And then I came and you got happy and then Zoe was came and you got even happier!" I guess you could say it like that...

But what I didn't tell you is that we sometimes refer to you as our "Sunrise Baby". Do you know what that means, sweetie? You know how you always get sad when it starts to get dark outside because it means you have to stop playing and go to bed? You whine and cry and pout because you usually want to keep working on building your Lego sets or watching cartoons. Well, when Lucy died, it was like all the lights in the world went out. There were no more toys for us to play with or things that made us happy. The whole world stopped.

But do you remember what happens after we tuck you in at night and sing, "You are my Sunshine"? You always complain that it's going to take forever for the next day to come, especially when you are counting down days until your birthday, or a trip to see cousins, or Christmas. But you close your sweet little eyes, your long brown lashes resting on your freckled cheeks, and before you know it, the sun has risen and it is a bright, new, beautiful day waiting to be filled with adventure.

That's what you did for us, Peter. You were the sunrise after our deepest, darkest, tear-soaked night. And you brought so much hope and renewal with you. You are such a ham and there has NEVER been a dull moment with you.

Thank you for coloring our world. Thank you for allowing us to open our eyes on a new day instead more darkness. You are our little Peter Parker and we love you to pieces. (Despite you thinking that I "don't love my favorite son after all" because I wouldn't read you a story tonight. And despite the fact that I crushed your dreams of being a rock star by signing you up for "the wrong instrument"). You are so adorable and enthusiastic about life. Your Spider Man birthday party was so much fun today!

It's been a wonderfully exhausting six years with you, my sunrise baby boy. I will love you everyday that the sun rises and sets and beyond,

Mommy

Saturday, April 4, 2015

What I Learned about love from a stranger


Dear Chase, 
The chances of me EVER seeing you again or learning your last name are close to impossible. But I wanted to thank you for being so kind and helpful on my flight home from Los Angeles. It was an especially windy night in Utah and the last 40 minutes of our flight was turbulent and laden with anxiety (for me). 

We chatted when I first sat down and that's when I learned that you'd be traveling for 48 hours--all the way from Japan to Ogden to see your new nephew who was being born during our flight. Until take off, you were getting updates on the baby's progress. 

Yes, you were covered in tattoos and clearly had holes in your ears from where gauges used to be. I didn't know what kind of person you were, but I had a good feeling about you. Your long hair and beard were neatly kept and your clothes looked new and clean. But then you told me how long you'd been traveling and apologized for being "ripe". It made me chuckle. ( And then maybe grossed me out if I thought about it too long). 

You were so kind to trade seats with me when I mentioned that sitting by the window was helpful to me because seeing the ground lessons my anxiety. Later in the flight, when I grabbed your arm and asked if you would please talk to me and tell me stories about your life to distract me, you took out your headphones (I know you were exhausted) and told me about your pregnant and tough wife who is a police woman in the military. You told me about the animal rescue shelter where you work in Japan and showed me photos of kittens while I breathed in and out and counted to ten repeatedly. I loved hearing about life in Japan--the fantastic way they eat such healthy foods, the cleanliness and organization of the city, and the culture. After all this, you mentioned that you usually don't talk at all on flights. But you said it in a kind way. 

But the most thoughtful thing you did during that flight wasn't for me, it was for your wife back home. Remember when things got really bad as we neared landing and I grabbed your hand with a death grip? You nicely told me it was OK for me to hold your forearm but not your hand. Earlier, you had told me about your crazy landing in Japan when the plane almost tipped on its side and the elderly woman next to you held your hand and then fainted. And then you said, "But you aren't a grandma and I don't think it would be appropriate to hold your hand. "

I wish I could tell your wife how thoughtful that was! Even with a stranger in distress and your tough pregnant wife thousands of miles away in Japan, you had her in mind. And while I was just acting out of a gut reaction (I promise I wasn't trying to "hold your hand"!), you showed me what it means to be kind, considerate, and a caring human and husband. 

Bravo, Chase with tattoos and ear gauges from Ogden who hadn't showered or slept in 48 hours, Bravo! And THANK YOU! I truly believe what I said, you are going to be a great dad. 

Much love, 
Molly from Park City who spent 5 days without any kids in Los Angeles with friends both old and new and ate amazing food and had a fabulous vacation. 

It was so nice to meet you. I love what you taught me on that flight. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

What I'm Running From





8 miles. 

That's how far I ran on Saturday. 

62 minutes. 

That's how long it took me. 

A long distance to some. 

Short to others. 

Many will say I was fast.  

More will say it was average. 

I do it because I love it. 

I do it because I need it. 

When I got home, I mentioned something about it on "The Facebook" and received a variety of responses. 

The one that stood out to me most was written by my reliably funny friend, Oliver, wherein he asked, "What were you running from? Zat is ze real question."

And I've pondered this question. 

For 2 days now the answer has come immediately and clearly--

From Myself. 

Always from myself. 

Running from my fears

My insecurities

My grief

My pain

My mistakes

Myself

Nothing is as dangerous to me as myself

But for the past 2 minutes another answer crept into my conscious. 

I don't think I'm running FROM anything. 

I'm running TOWARD something. 

Freedom

Mental stability

Peace

Happiness

Health

Love of self

For so many years I've looked at my runs and my walks and hikes and bike rides and dances and ski trips as running away from my life. 

Away from my troubles. 

Away from my worries. 

Away from myself. 

I've either turned a corner or put on new sunglasses, because I don't think I'm running away anymore. I'm running toward. 

And it feels good. 

It feels right. 

I'm not afraid. 


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sibling Love

The older my children get, the greater my desire to see them interact with their deceased older sister. I've mentioned before how I often find myself wondering things like, "Would Peter have better behavior if Lucy were here leading the way, setting an example?" I worry that Zoë isn't learning gentleness or other things that only an older sister can teach you...and it pains me deeply when I think of the relationship she is missing out on with her sister. I can only hope that as she grows up, she'll have beautiful friendships with other women and girls who will treat her like a sister.

But I have to say, the bond between these two clowns is pretty remarkable. Even my friend's notice and make comments about how sweet they are with each other. (Not 100% of the time, of course).

Just today, when Zoë got upset while we were out running errands, she cried to me that she just wanted her brother, Peter.

I could be wrong, and I'm sure there are studies out there somewhere, but it seems that living children of parent's who have lost a child have a unique relationship. I've received several emails and been told stories from several people about the love they have for and connection they have with their deceased sibling, even if they'd never met them. I'm so glad my children have a very personal and real frame of reference when it comes to death. I'm glad it is a subject we talk openly about in our home.

As they continue to grow and progress, it will be interesting to see how their relationship changes and develops. How much will they think about Lucy? How much will they wonder, just as I do, how their lives would be different with her here? Will Peter and Zoë remain best of friends? I don't know what it's like to have only one other sibling, as well as them to be of the opposite gender. But I have high hopes they'll continue to have a special bond.

Oh, how I love all three of my munchkins.


She was so worn out from skiing that she fell asleep at El Chubasco.