Beauty is not so much what you see, but what you dream.
~Old Proverb~

Monday, December 29, 2014

Catching up

                     Cleaning and Scrubbing can wait till tomorrow,
                      For babies grow up, we've learned, to our sorrow.
                        So quiet down cobwebs,
                     And dust! Go to sleep!
                         I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep....

So if I were Aimee-Jane....

                  " These last few months have been so exciting! Me and mama moved into our own little house and we have have been getting used to that. It seems like it took mama forever to get things in order, but maybe it was because I was teething and needed more snuggles then usual.

     Last week was a busy one with the holidays…I seen Grampa and Gramma Starr at the beginning of the week and then  Grampa and Gramma Wells the end of the week. I had so much fun opening presents. Well okay,  actually I had way more fun rattling wrapping paper and chewing on boxes… I didn’t understand why we had to thow all of those good  chew toys in the bin outside! My favorite presents where the stuffed animals. I got a pink bunny from the Starr side and a little Winnie the Pooh from the Wells side. I love them both. I sleep with my bunny and pooh bear is my constant companion the rest of the time. He has a very nice little black nose that I have been busy teething on. Speaking of those teeth! I have one and another on the way! Teething days are hard for me, but I have been taking them like a champ. Mama makes good use of something that tastes like strawberries and comes in a little white tube. She smears it on my gums and no more tears!

  This week I have been learning how to go to bed. Who knew it could be so tough! Often I will fall asleep about eight thirty and then about half an hour later I like to wake up and come out and play with toys. I like to wriggle out of my covers and then perch on my pillow and squeal for mama. She comes in and I laugh and giggle. She tries to hide her smile and puts me back under the covers. At first I boohooed about it quite a bit, but now Im realizing that I have to sleep when she says so that I can get up nice and early EVERY DAY! Like at five am!  It has been a little bit of a battle because Im kinda stubborn…who wants to take credit for that? No takers???? But I am doing so well now! Bedtime still isn’t my favorite time of day but its okay because I have a long bath first, when I can play with my toys and sip some water from the faucet. Then we have snuggles and talk about the day and thank Jesus for it, and then, finally, I snuggle under my covers and try not to think about the toys… in the basket… in the living room… so I can fall asleep.

 Mommy and I go for a walk or a run almost every day with Auntie Liz or Gramma Wells. I LOVE walks! It has been cold lately and I have to wear a hat or two and several layers. Today I looked so cute in the bunting that Auntie Liz gave us! I was like a little Eskimo all bundled up in my stroller. It was like I was laying in the bottom of a hole looking up, Mama had so many blankets on and around me!  I talked the whole time, though. Just jabbered up a storm. There is so much to tell everyone!

  I have been practicing my eating too! I still only eat a very little, but I like ALL kinds of foods! Oh, well, actually… Except for last week mama tried to feed me something called apple sauce and I didn’t like it at all. I promptly spit it back out at her and gagged on any leftovers. She hasn’t tried that one anymore. Some people think I have strange tastes, but I just eat what mama eats. I like sauerkraut and pickles and fish and rice and lentils and beans. Im a huge fan of avocado and spinach and I LOVE oatmeal.

"Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Starr...Do you know how loved you are?"
  I’m pulling myself up on things now days and walking along the edge of furniture. I’ve also figured out how to pull one of mama’s chairs out from under the table and push it across the floor. SO. MUCH. FUN. I chatter and giggle all the way across the kitchen with that glorious red chair.  I can sit in my high chair now too without sliding down, but I don’t really think it’s the best. I much prefer to sit beside mama on the big chair and eat. I try to be tidy, but its so hard. I get so excited you see! I can hardly wait for the next bite and so I squirm and wiggle and bounce and wave my hands every which way! Sometimes I knock the spoon right out of mama’s hand! But the she laughs and wipes things up and puts me in the high chair and says that we will have to do it this way from now on so that we don’t stain the carpet with blueberry oatmeal.

 Life is good and I am growing so much! I’m so busy that, already mama sometimes has a hard time keeping up with me, but we have so much fun! We are already having lots of adventures together and I am such a cheerful and content little person. "


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Joy in the Morning

Waiting :)

"Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy I cherished each moment of it, realizing that that this was the only chance in life to assist God with a miracle."
    ~Emma Bombeck~
I felt like I had been pregnant FOREVER… I suppose maybe it felt like that because from the time we found out I was pregnant until the time the baby was born, it felt like I lived an entire lifetime. Does that make sense?

Andy with my sisters daughters Emmaline.... Emmy adored uncle Andy
  Anyway… It doesn’t seem like it would be all that fair to tell the story of Aimee-Jane’s birth without giving you a little history about the excitement she brought to our lives before she ever even made it into this world. For those of you who don’t already know, Andy and I found out about Aimee- Jane only one day after finding out about his cancer. Which was actually on this date a year ago, so this post seems very appropriate. J As you can imagine, this was a greatly needed boost of encouragement when it felt very much like our world was ending. In my journal I had written:

    “Found out I was pregnant today. I’m amazed by God’s timing. He is so good ALL THE TIME. There is joy in the morning.”

We went ice skating together... four months pregnant here
And there was. Andy was so incredibly happy. When I went to tell him about the baby he couldn’t stop smiling. I, of course, sobbed in true Trin-like fashion. J It was a wonderful day--- so different from the day before. Isn’t it amazing what HOPE can do!

   Andy was awesome, even despite being so sick! He was my hero! We often spent the morning puking over the toilet bowl together… now if that isn’t bonding, I don’t know what is. I suppose it probably sounds really gross and unpleasant, and it was, no joke, but more than once I caught Andy’s grin when we looked up at each other and I have to admit that it was just a little funny. J It turned out that I had terrible morning sickness. I lost weight and got dehydrated. I ended up on medicine to help with the nausea until it finally passed when I was five months along. When I did have a craving, which wasn’t all that often, Andy, dear man, would always cheerfully oblige me.  I don’t remember ever asking him to go to the store in the middle of the night, but I may or may not have begged him to go get me doughnuts at five am one morning. He gave me a rather odd look, maybe thinking that doughnuts were a request madly out of character for me. J (and yes, thank you, I did enjoy a maple bar… and an apple fritter, oh and one of those little frosted ones with the sprinkles on top… ok, and perhaps one of those delicious plump ones filled with cream.) But moving on!
"I sit here and wonder if you know just how much of me belongs to you?"

It wasn’t too far into things that we picked out names. N0t too far at all actually… only about two days. J Andy picked out a boy name and girl name… We chose a boy name after his very much adored Grampa Starr and girl name that meant something important. It meant Beloved Gift of God… both names seemed perfect and we settled down to wait and see who this little person would be.

I truly believe that Andy knew he was going to die before baby came.  I also truly believe that he did everything that he could to stay alive as long as he possibly could. I’m not sure why the Lord didn’t allow him to stay until the birth of his child, but perhaps the birth wasn’t as crucial as we think and really it was just the knowing that this little person would carry on his legacy, that was so special to my husband.

  I ended up being two weeks overdue with baby… I do remember being a tad bit impatient at one point, but also just very tired and uncomfortable. I was oh so eager to hold the baby, but also felt very scared and uncertain. All of my birth plans had included Andy! We had talked it over many times… lots of details… lots of hopes…

Our plan had been to have the baby at the hospital, but when Andy died and I moved back home with my parents,  I decided I wanted to have a home birth with the aid of my sisters’ midwife. So really, all of my plans went out the window and I was starting from scratch. I was overwhelmed, to say the least. The due date drew nearer and nearer and I still didn’t have a plan. One of the midwives visited to check the house and make sure I had what I would need and she asked me what my birth plan was. I sorta just gave her a blank stare and then mumbled something about “hmmm,  I’m not sure as long as I don’t have the baby in the bathtub!” hahaha

  As the due date came and went I began to feel discouraged. It was so strange! I felt like something must be wrong with me if I couldn’t even have my baby on time! Such a weird notion! I went to Andy’s grave and cried and cried feeling just so helpless and alone in the world. Isn’t it an interesting fact that you can be surrounded by people and still feel lonely!

  When I hit exactly 42 weeks my midwife sent me to the hospital for a routine ultra sound to just check and make sure that the amniotic fluid was sufficient and the placenta holding up okay. Everything checked out fine and the technician printed me off several pictures. I cried during the ultra sound, once again, remembering that last time I had watched my baby move had been with Andy holding my hand. This time my mama did.  My beautiful wonderful mama.

  Baby was so tiny and perfect in there! So happy fidgeting and turning around and I just thought, “WOW! God is SO amazing!!!”  of course I still didn’t know at this point that SHE was a SHE, but I did have my first inkling as the technician said something about her having pretty lips. I looked at the photographs again and sure enough, a tiny little rosebud mouth. J Wouldn’t that be something, I thought. A little girl. Especially since everyone, including me, was just certain it must be a boy!

 That evening mama and I went out for dinner and to the mall.  We walked the whole of Hobby Lobby talking and smelling candles and dreaming about decorating each room of the house.  On the way home I bought an entire crate of fresh strawberries from the farm stand. I went home and ate a third of them and then went to bed.  I lay there for a few minutes before turning out the light, gazing at those pictures of that tiny, precious person with the rosebud mouth and for the first time I felt relaxed and ready. I wasn’t sure what I was ready for or how it was all going to work out, but it really felt just like holding Jesus’ hand and I fell asleep.

  The next morning I woke suddenly. I got up and headed to the kitchen for a drink of water. My water broke on the way and I called my midwife. I was so completely excited and not nervous at all. I felt very calm as I literally waddled back to the living room to express to Dad how I felt that today seemed like a good day for the baby’s birthday.

  Labor progressed well, I suppose. I remember that my midwife came to check on me and said something about how she thought the baby would be here by noon. My sister came and gave me a shoulder massage and I sat there laughing and talking with both of Andy’s grandma’s and all of my family, as the contractions came and went. About noon the contractions did get harder and I went to my sister’s house, which is where I had decided in advance to have the baby. I had a large bedroom and bathroom all to myself here. I walked in and the bed looked like a refuge. I had made it up with mounds of soft quilts and a mountain of pillows. After I lay down there I really don’t remember getting back up until after the baby came. I laid there for somewhere close to ten hours. I labored on my side and I definitely had moments where I didn’t think I could possibly have this baby. All of my sisters were there and mama. They were AMAZING! I can’t even say that enough! They reminded me that I could do this and they helped me through each contraction. I don’t think I screamed once, although you might want to ask my family on that one. J I remember my dad coming and holding my hand and praying for me and I remember telling him that I absolutely just couldn’t handle another moment and he said “Sure you can! The Lord’s going to help you. Let him help you.” I was super encouraged and started pushing about twenty minutes later. I pushed for about an hour and  Im not gonna lie… having babies is hard work! Its exhausting and scary and it hurts like you might die. I suddenly knew, like so many other times this year, that there was simply NO doing it without HIM! He was all and everything. I gave and gave in my own strength, which was nothing and then when I gave in HIS strength, there was finally and at last… Aimee-Jane. J and she was perfect and splendid and I felt glorious! The pain diminished and I held her close and I noticed for the first time that night how many beautiful people surrounded me. They were everywhere and they were blessings and they were me and Aimee-Jane’s people. Oh how surprised we were that she was a girl! And yet oh how excited. My dear Andy was wrong! We were all wrong! And yet it seemed like he grinned in that moment, because thats okay. And that’s perfect. And that’s God’s plan. And that’s what is so right and amazing and AWEsome at the end of the day. Its seeing GOD’S plan and knowing HIS might and feeling HIS power. Its coming to the end of our meager strength and falling into his arms. And that, people is truly life at its best.

 So that’s our story… right up there with all the birth stories that are so dear and precious, because no matter where and no matter who, each little tiny person that enters this world, is a grand miracle and a beautiful testimony that indeed, God is not finished, and indeed HE is GOOD!!


Monday, July 21, 2014

Happy Days

I went on a road trip with my parents this weekend... I spent many hours talking to Aimee-Jane and watching her smile from her car seat... I ate too many York peppermint patties and drank a few too many root beers... I listened to quite a lot of classic country and had long conversations with Dad and Mama about everything from angels to the price of gas. A misspelled word in the menu of a country restaurant hit my funny bone just right and I had one of those "I cant stop laughing" moments. It would have maybe been a little embarrassing except that it hit mama's funny bone just right too and poor dear dad was the only one who turned a little red. :)  I watched my parents walk down the sidewalk in front of me holding hands and laughing and I had one of those "I miss Andy so much I can hardly breathe moments", and Aimee-Jane had her first tummy ache and we talked and snuggled until six in the morning when she finally fell asleep.
It was really one of those epic perfect weekends that you know you will never forget. I watched as my brother in law, Aaron, married his sweetheart and I cried when they had their first dance together. So many hugs and great fellowship with Andy's family. I keep saying "Andy's family" when I refer to them, but really, to me, they are as much "my" family as my family and I wouldn't want to do without a single one.
My Aimee-Jane is growing a little more all the time. Her cousin Jack thinks she's just the cats meow... he wakes up most mornings and comes running to my room asking for "the baby". He crawls up on the bed and we watch her sleep or I let him pat her head gently. I'm glad she'll have him to watch out for her as she grows. I doubt he would ever let anything happen to his "Emmy-Jean" as he calls her, as long as he can help it. :)
The Lord has certainly blessed us greatly. In so many ways that we can't even begin to count them. I am so thankful that he has given me such amazing family and that he gave little Aimee-Jane in the midst of all the tears and heartache. Such a wonderful precious little gift! Lots of times I can hardly believe that she's mine. She smiles up at me and giggles and my heart just melts. I often wondered about the love of mamas...  my mama told me that I wouldn't fully understand it until I had a child of my own and now I'm beginning to see why. Its a love that tugs on your heart and is different from all the other kinds. Its so much sacrifice and joy all mingled together. Its all the little moments that tattoo themselves on your heart and are with you forever. Its beautiful... its hard... its precious and heart wrenching... its completely and totally unforgettable.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Learning... Some more :)

We spend our years as a tale that is told... Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Psalm 90:9-12
I feel like its been forever since I wrote... It seems that words fail me ALOT, these days. I've been working on getting some rooms at my sister and brother-in-law's house ready. They offered to let me move in with them and offered their entire downstairs living room, two bedrooms and bathroom all to myself. Bless them, they have been such an encouragement to me! My sisters and a group of friends helped me paint and then Richard put up all the molding and new lights, etc... just to make the rooms especially mine. He is awesome!
I started unpacking boxes last week and getting things in order. Most of the time its not too bad... I just do a couple of boxes at a time, because if I go through too much stuff it seems to make me start crying. One day a box in the bathroom caught me by surprise. Someone had put a bag of wedding pictures in the same box as towels and wall hangings, etc... I sat down right on the tile floor and started going through them. They were happy pictures! We looked happy... We were happy! I sobbed for a few minutes and then sat there thinking about how special those memories all are, and how thankful I am for them! It reminded me to smile and give thanks to the Lord, because not all tears have to be sad ones. :)
I have found that it is very helpful for me to have a regular routine and not spend too much time just thinking. "Just thinking", while okay at times, seems to translate into a pity party for myself, which would make Andy very unhappy. He never indulged my pity parties, it was on of the things I loved about him. I don't consider "thinking with the Lord" to be the same as "just thinking" by the way. I do lots of thinking with the Lord in quiet places, all by myself and end up much refreshed!
 I spend a lot of time helping my sisters with their children, gotta love those precious little smiles and words. I help my parents on their little farm and I spend a lot of time with my Molly. This last week my brother in law Jason came down to Sweet Home and picked me up. We went to Spray for a few days and got to go turkey hunting and fishing. Our turkey hunting endeavors were rather sad, but we did manage to get six trout. I should say Jason managed to, really... because I mainly managed to tangle the line, lose most of the fish that were "mine" and cast out into all the wrong places. Haha! Thank the Lord for patient brothers! He just laughed at me and then let me bring ALL the fish home! :) It was great to go back to had been my first time back there since Andy and I went there for Christmas and I was a little afraid that it would just make me want to cry the whole time. Instead, I didn't feel like crying once! Just enjoyed all the beautiful scenery (Spray in the spring is AMAZING!!) and remembered all the wonderful memories I had with Andy there. It turned into a blessing of a trip and I was thankful. :)
Being thankful, is, I think, the key... it totally changes your perspective. There are so many verses in the Bible that speak of being thankful and it was always something that my husband had on his heart and reminded me about. In the midst of all the sadness I had forgotten, for a bit, how to be thankful. It made life seem so hard and so sad! I'm not gonna still seems hard and sad, much of the time, but with the Lord, I know that I really can do this! I CAN se this baby for the Lord. I can deal with the everyday this and that with the Lord. My Andy may be gone and I will miss him everyday, but the Lord stepped into that place in my heart and has given me confidence.
I'm eager to meet this little person, the Lord is blessing us with... I still get fearful of the whole birth process and nervous of the days ahead, but I know that the Lord will be there each step of the way, and besides that he has given me SO MUCH wonderful family, that I know I will have the help that I need. I am thankful for each and every one. :) There have been many mornings when I woke up crying that my mama was right there to hug and me and remind me that the Lord is still in control. Does she know how comforting that was? And my daddy! He has sat and talked with me for hours about I detailed each adventure we had together and probably told the same story a million times. It didn't matter... if it was funny he laughed like he'd never heard it and if it was sad I could see the tears glisten behind his glasses. I sat in my mother-in-law's kitchen this last week and watched her as she did dishes and made us all dinner. We talked about the good things and being thankful...does she know how encouraging that was? My father-in-law hugged me when I walked into his home and told me he loved me and was glad to see me. It made my heart soar to feel like I still fit in, even though their son is gone.
My sisters are the people that let me be me, no matter what. They NEVER tell me to get it together, they never tell me I'm being silly. They laugh and cry with me over whatever it might be and then they lift me up with words of encouragement. They are the BEST!
To all the friends who have surrounded me since Andy's death, I just want to thank you! You're encouragement and support has been such a blessing. I can't even describe!
The days continue to move ahead. Time keeps going. Aren't we funny creatures sometimes to think that time and life should stop because our heart's hurt? But we do! I look out the window now and then and see spring and new life happening all around me, and I wonder... "How is it still going on like nothing has happened?" But the Lord is the same yesterday, today and forever. He doesn't think as we do...He doesn't see things as we do. His plan is above all and nothing and no one can thwart it. He is the same on those beautiful spring mornings as he was on the painful day that we, on this earth, said goodbye to Andy. His comfort won't change. His love doesn't falter. He continues in His mercy and faithfulness through it all. Bless His name!
What shall we say then in response to these things?
If the Lord be for us, who can be against us!
Romans 8:31