Monday, August 17, 2009

7 New Things

This weekend has been interesting. As I have been waking out of my "coma" I have been noticing new and exciting things about Kirsten. They seem to me to have come on very suddenly, but I am sure that they have been gradual, I have just been too out of it to notice over the past few weeks.

1. We do not have to let Kirsten win at Candy Land. For some reason she is impossible to beat.

2. Kirsten can set the table all by herself. We had the missionaries over on Saturday and I got the plates and glasses down, and she set the entire table, including filling the glasses with ice and crystal light, counting out all the silverware and folding the napkins, all by herself.

3. Kirsten is a regular fish. Jeremy took her swimming on Saturday and she jumped in by herself and then swam underwater half-way across the pool to him. When did she figure that out?!

4. Kirsten wears a size 12 shoe. The biggest problem with this is that all of her shoes are size 10. Yesterday at church I noticed her shoes were a little small. Turns out they are all VERY small. I guess we are going shoe shopping before school starts next week.

5. Kirsten can do Pilates. She did my entire 20 minute video with me this morning. She has some crazy strong abs.

6. Kirsten can write her name. She has been able to do this for a while, if we tell her which letter to write. But this morning, she drew a picture and then wrote her name on it all by herself.

7. Kirsten is learning how to read. Last night during scripture study, she asked for a turn and read "And the Lord did" all by herself. Jeremy and I were in shock! She got stuck on the word "visit", but then got "them and did see" before Jeremy and I freaked out so badly that she stopped trying and started laughing!

This little girl will never cease to amaze me. I do not think that I could ask for a more amazing, thoughtful, caring, kind, wonderful daughter. I love you, Kirsten.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Doing better

I feel as if I am waking up from a coma. The past two days have been surreal as I begin to really feel more like myself and actually see the world around me. I have been a little overwhelmed as I notice more and more things that I have left undone over the past two weeks that I now have to catch up on. I am determined to take it a step at a time though and not stress myself out.

There have been many things that I am so grateful for as we have gone through this experience.

I am grateful for my ward. We have so many wonderful sisters at church that have been a huge support for me.

I am grateful for my neighborhood. The moms here have been more than amazing. It is times like this that you realize who your real friends are, and I am so blessed to have some wonderful friends that I have made here in the neighborhood. I am so thankful for the meals, the babysitting, the cards, phone calls and well wishes from all of you.

I am grateful for my family. I cannot begin to express how much I love all of you. You have been my strength to lean on. I am so thankful for a loving husband and my sweet Kirsten. I had no idea that a 4 year old could be so thoughtful, loving, kind and understanding. I love you.

I have gradually been feeling better each day, but I can honestly pinpoint the minute that I realized I would be okay and things really started to look up. It was Friday afternoon when my daddy got home from Germany and came to see me. I cannot tell you how it felt to cry in the arms of one of my parents. To share this grief with them, a grief that only a parent can know. And then for him to tell me, as only a parent can, that he loves me, that it is okay to grieve this loss, and that I really will be okay. Jeremy and I have decided to plant a fruit tree in the backyard as a memorial to our baby, to keep a part of them with us.

Friday afternoon Kirsten took a nap (a miracle, I know) and I was able to immerse myself in the scriptures and had some private time to pour my heart out to my Heavenly Father. Friday we went to a dinner party and some good friends of ours were there who have and are still going through similar experiences as us. We were able to finally talk openly with them about our struggles, hopes, fears, and pains. Thank you for being there. Saturday morning I went to a brunch with some friends in the neighborhood. As I was driving home, I realized that I was the happiest that I have felt in some time. Today at church, Kirsten fell asleep during sacrament meeting. She has not done that in probably 3 years. What it meant was that I was actually able to listen today. It was one of those simple, yet tender mercies from our Heavenly Father.

I have to say that I am honestly grateful for this experience. I know that sounds strange, and it does not mean that it still does not hurt, or that it won't still hurt for a while. But, over the past two weeks, as I have struggled both physically and emotionally, I have come to know my Savior in a whole new way. I have grown to more fully understand his atoning sacrifice and what it really means in my life. I am grateful for the renewed sense of His presence and Spirit that I feel in my life. I know that our Father in Heaven loves us, and knows us personally. He is our Father and Creator. He allows us to face trials so that we might become more like Him and be prepared to return to His presence. I am so grateful for this knowledge. I am grateful that Jeremy, Kirsten, and I have grown closer as a family through this. We are trying to focus on what we have, not what we don't, because what we have is wonderful.

I know that I have rambled a bit, but thank you for letting me do this. I am not very good at keeping a journal, and so this has become my outlet of sorts.

Before I go, I wanted to share a picture of my brother, John aka PFC Lowe, in his dress blues. Boy does he turn heads in that uniform. He is back at Camp Pembleton in CA for Combat training. We sure miss having him here.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Kirsten's Birthday Party

Today we had Kirsten's big birthday party. I was not sure that I was up to it after this week, but I am so glad that we did. It was just what all of us needed. We had the party in the back yard and set up a small pool, slip-n-slide, two sprinklers, and a ball that squirts water, plus we have the trampoline. Overall, it was plenty for all 18 kids to do. Most of the parents stayed too, and so we had fun socializing and not just chasing kids.

Kirtsen on the slip-n-slide

Here she is actually climbing into the pool. They were having cannon ball contests earlier.

Jumping on the trampoline

All of the old people trying to be in the shade.

A beautiful cake for a beautiful girl!
The Pinata (did we mention that John and Jeremy's family came?)
The pinata aftermath and mayhem.

Thank you everyone for coming. Kirsten had such a great time sharing today with her friends.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KIRSTEN!!!

Today is Kirsten's 4th birthday. I can hardly believe how quickly the time has passed. She has grown so much and I have grown because of her. I never imagined that it would be possible to love anyone as much as I love her. My heart overflows with love and gratitude everytime I look at her or think about her. Everyday I seem to appreciate more and more what a miracle it is to have her here. I feel so blessed that Heavenly Father has entrusted her to me. I love you Kirsten.

Here is Kirsten just minutes after being born. They let me hold her long enough to take a picture and then whisked her away to help her start breathing.
We were so thrilled the day you came home. I could hardly believe how little you were. I would spend hours just watching you and was in awe of every little thing you did.
Here is Kirsten on her first birthday. She has always been such a good eater!
Kirsten with Daddy on her First Birthday
And here you are today. You are so beautiful and grown up. Daddy got her the Prince Eric doll to go with the Ariel doll she got a few months ago. I don't think she could be happier.
Our wonderful friends, the Hopes, made us dinner tonight and made Kirsten this beautiful cake. It made me cry. I am so grateful for all of the wonderful friends and family that have made this day so special for Kirsten. I was worried when my doctor told me yesterday that I would have to have surgery today. I did not want to ruin Kirsten's birthday. Thank you so much for still making it special for her. We love all of you.

Past week in pictures

I have not had time to update on all the fun things we did this past week. So here is a quick synopsis in pictures.

On Friday, my brother John, graduated from the Marine Corps Boot Camp. We could not go, but we got to pick him up at the airport. He will be home for 10 days of leave before returning for Combat Training, and then it is on to MOS school. He is going to be a linguist. We are so proud of John and thrilled to have him home for a few days.
Saturday afternoon we took Kirsten to Barnum and Bailey's and Ringling Brother's Circus. We had such a great time. The elephants were Kirsten's favorite.
Watching the Circus with daddy.

On Friday, Kirsten had her birthday pictures taken. I cannot wait to see the proofs. Nancy did such a fantastic job. After pictures, we had a cookie decorating playdate at our house. The kids had fun frosting and then eating their cookies.

On Wednesday we went to Nancy's and the kids planted flowers. Then she had them make peanut butter and marshmallow beards. Kirsten and all the other girls would not smear the peanut butter all over their faces, but the boys loved it.

Friday night I took Jeremy's sisters, Kacey and Megan, to see the Legally Blonde Musical in Dallas. We went out to eat afterwards and so we were out way late, which I am not used to anymore. It was so much fun to be just the three of us again, it brought back a lot of memories.

We are enjoying having Kacey and John home and look forward to spending as much time with them as we can while they are here.