Thursday, July 28, 2011

Four Years Ago Today...and Happily Ever After

I know you will never read these letters...but it certainly helps me in this healing process to address them to you, and tell you the stories I would love to tell you in person. In our long days at the hospital, mama, daddy, Grandma R., Grandma O., Pops, and some of your Aunts and Uncles were able to tell you some stories as we sat there with stories, family stories, and of course princess stories! Pastor Forrust read some of our favorite verses to you - you loved hearing him read, too (your second favorite to daddy, of course...daddy was your favorite).

While I'm trying to decide which letter to post next, I wanted to tell a story that you would enjoy... a "princess" story of some sort. It began four years ago today. Actually, it began about five years ago, when I first met your daddy. I was a nanny for a family living just outside of New York City. I lived with them, working 12-15 hours a day, but most of the time I had the weekends off. During those weekends, I would travel to Aunt Mary and Uncle Bill's house in NJ to spend time with them. During that time, I was introduced to your daddy. I became friends with your Auntie (daddy's sister) and after a few months, she decided I needed to meet her little brother. We were introduced and began dating shortly after. We had so much fun during those months - many fun dinners out, day trips to New York City, and spending time with our families. Your Grandpa and Grandma, aunts, uncles, and cousins in Montana really enjoyed meeting him during that time. While we were in Montana, he was able to see the beautiful Glacier National Park for the first time. After dating for quite a few months, we became engaged...we were engaged for about 6 months before we got married.

Four years ago today we were married in the beautiful state of Montana where I grew up. The ceremony was at my home church, the reception took place near my old "homestead" on Flathead Lake where I grew up.

It was certainly magical that day! Truly a fairy-tale moment. The weather was beautiful, but so hot. It was nearly 100 degrees! In Montana that is tolerable - there is no humidity. It was a gorgeous day. One of the songs I asked my cousin to sing at the ceremony was the song I chose for your daddy. It is called "When God Made You". Whenever I hear that song now, I can't help but think about not only your daddy, but you and your brother, too.

The ceremony was peaceful and perfect. All four of your cousins (at that time there were only four) were the flower girls. Each had a beautiful white dress with a leopard print sash tied around the waist.

All of the men in the wedding party donned a leopard print bow tie and cumberbund. Yes, your mama loves leopard print!

The decorations in the church that day were "Jungle-themed"... tikki torches on the end of the rows lining the aisle, palm trees and green plants up front. A floating leaf candle was used as the "unity candle". It was beautiful!

The reception at Flathead Lake was full of wonderful family and friends, and wonderful food! Your Uncle B catered for that event, with the help of some of my cousins, aunts, and uncles - helping with the prep, set up, clean up. It was a beautiful event, absolutely unforgettable. Daddy and I couldn't have pictured a more perfect day. The tables were decorated with a variety of tropical/jungle type fruits. The infamous wedding cake was, of course, decorated with a leopard print design!

A funny highlight of the day was when the groomsmen tried to throw daddy in the lake! His buddy Pete wanted paybacks - at Pete's wedding, the men threw him in the lake. Haha! But, it didn't work... daddy got away! I was laughing the whole time, I knew it was coming but I didn't say anything (I secretly wanted to see him be thrown in)!

At the end of the day, we drove off into the sunset...where, as in true fairy-tale fashion... we would live happily ever after.

(this picture I took in Aruba on our honeymoon - beautiful island sunset)

We truly are happy, blessed, and would not trade this life for anything. God knew what He was doing when He created us... He knew daddy and I would be together, He knew that you and your big brother would be brought into our lives.
(Top picture: Micah - Bottom picture: Hannah)

You and Micah have absolutely made our lives sweeter... through your life and through Micah's, daddy and I have learned more about true happiness, true contentment, and how to fully rely on God. I don't like to think what would've happened had I not taken that job as a nanny outside of New York City. Because of that, I met your father. You and Micah are truly blessed to call him "Daddy". We are truly blessed to have Micah in our lives, and to have had you in our life (although our time with you was way too short)!

Happy 4th Anniversary to your Daddy!!! Certainly the best four years of our lives...

We love you,
Daddy, Mama, and big brother Micah

Monday, July 25, 2011

Big Brother

Hey Baby Girl...

Your big brother Micah is growing up so fast. He is getting smarter by the day. He counts to 39 on his own, counts to 10 in Spanish, and can spell so many words. He truly loves to learn. Being smart can be a bad thing, too! He almost knows how to out-smart me...haha! He thinks he can get away with anything, and he sure knows how to work his mama. Tonight, for example, as I am typing this - he came running out of his room to sit with me on the bed, even though he's supposed to be sleeping. I guess he just needed some mom time (I think he knows I'm a softy). He has been sick since Friday, some sort of stomach bug. No fun. When he's sick I don't mind staying up later with him. As you well know, you always need your mama when you're sick...

Daddy and I have been busy planning a party in your honor. You get to spend your first birthday in will be having the greatest party of all up there! We will make sure we have a lot of fun at our party here, we won't make it a sad event. We know you want us to have fun. Your brother will certainly have fun with his friends and relatives there...he'll be excited to see all of the purple and pink balloons we will have for your party, too! More on that later...

Whenever Micah sees something pink or purple he says "Hannah! Pink and purple is for Hannah...oh Hannah would like this!" It might be a flower in the garden, or a toy on the shelf of the toy store. He has reminders of you everywhere.

Speaking of reminders, it is finally getting somewhat easier when people ask how many kids I have. For the longest time since you passed away, I avoided that question. I couldn't handle bursting into tears one more time. But now it's not so difficult. I proudly tell them "two..." Sometimes they ask further questions, which lets me talk about you. I don't mind that so much anymore. The hardest "reminder" right now is when filling out information forms at the dentist, or doctors, they ask "any surgeries in the past year?" And of course I am reminded of the day you were born - the last surgery I had, not quite a year ago yet. That made me sad to think was the reminder, the harsh reality that it really hasn't been that long since we had to say goodbye to you. You were born only 10 months ago. Time goes so fast, yet so slow.

Love you and miss you so much.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Ten Months Old

Dear Sweet Hannah Joy,

You would have been 10 months old today. I can so easily imagine how beautiful would be. You would be crawling around, pulling yourself up on furniture, and tormenting your big brother and dog! Oh how I wish that was happening right now. We miss you, sweet girl. Everybody does. Daddy can't listen to Steven Curtis Chapman's song "Cinderella" without tears welling up in his eyes. Lately, big brother Micah has been asking about you more and more. He misses you so much.

In honor of your 10 month birthday, we are moving away from your CaringBridge site to this website where people can write you letters, tell stories about how your life impacted theirs, or to write out their feelings when they find themselves hurting and missing you.

We love you sweet girl. We know you would want us to be happy, and keep moving along... and we are doing just that. You will always be a part of our lives...never forgotten.

I miss you especially today.