Monday, July 30, 2012

We Hartmans....

 We Hartmans like to watch the Olympics.
 And snuggle with Grandpa
 and eat...
 oh yes, we are good at eating
 and being silly
 We are good at playing
 especially hopscotch.  We rock at that.
 We're good at catching up after time away from each other..  
And when we do see each other?  Well, the one of the Hartmans makes us take LOTS of pictures (just to get one good one!) and then we keep playing.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Thankful ... Saturday..

Some days are good, and I get up and do things like make the bed and muffins and make some plans for the day.  And then, out of no where, there is a bad day.  Or a bad moment.  Sometimes I can tell it's coming, and other times it feels like it's coming from nowhere and hitting so hard.  I miss Ella.   I know it's still early and we haven't even been without her for a month, but I just never knew it would be this hard.

I need to start a thankful journal.  I need to keep looking for blessings all around me. I need to keep carrying my album of verses with me that have been so encouraging in the last few months.  I need to get up and get in the Word first thing.  Even if I don't want to get up.  I know I need that, so if you would, please pray that for me- for energy to get up, take a walk and be with God.

Anyway, on this great Saturday, I am making it my "Thankful Thursday post".. Today I am thankful for:
-time with Grandpa.  We have been with Shane's dad this weekend and my kids have been so happy!
- Garage saling.  My husband and FIL humored me and drove all over town this morning.  Got Graham some good fall and winter clothes, then I hit up Children's place. Ah, shopping really is retail therapy (smile)
 -Graham's personality.  He's taken to telling me "no" and ah...(gasp).. hitting a bit when he's unhappy.  I'm choosing to be thankful for his developing personality.  ha!
 Friends!  Oh, I have such good friends.  I LOVE getting mail.  I'm talking old school, go to the mailbox, mail.  We've received so many sweet cards and letters from friends, even some sweet gifts that have been so thoughtful.    I have friends making me meals which is so lovely not to have to worry about cooking, and friends who call and text and check in.  I have the greatest friends.  My girls from MI have come to visit and their kids have entertained mine. (Grace was LOVING having Emma at our house!)  What a blessing all my friends have been for me.

- and this little man who looks like his daddy reminds me to be thankful for the man that I married.  We are walking a hard, hard road, but we are committed to walk it together.  Thank you God for Shane.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Everyone needs a superhero

Doesn't everyone need a superhero?

Grandma Shirley brought the newer Superman to our house and Gracie  No kidding.  We have had a number of goldfish come to live (and die) at our house lately, thank you fair lady for giving our daughter a free win, and the last two were named Superman.  

This is Superman.  See his blue uniform and red cape? Here is what Gracie likes about Superman. (her words)

"He's the greatest and he's the strongest. He saves the airplane I like.  I like the bad guy and the kryptonite.  I like her too (she's looking at the DVD case).  I like all of Superman."

Sunday, July 22, 2012


May the God of hope fill you with all JOY and peace in believing so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in HOPE.  Romans 15:13
 Graham brings us so much joy.  He loves so sweetly and learns new things every day.
 (and he looks good in a cowboy hat)
 When I see my son playing outside, laughing and being silly, I am filled with joy.  At different moments I've been struck with deep sadness. Sometimes I just start crying or don't feel like doing anything.   I know I'll continue to have those moments but I am so very thankful for laughter and joy.
The Holy Spirit IS filing us with HOPE and JOY and PEACE.  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Through the Lens of a Four Year Old...

These pictures need no captions.  They tell such a powerful story of...  learning how to use a camera. :) These are the pictures Gracie took for us.  I'd say she's got some talent, eh?
It's hard not mention Ella when I post... but I want to make sure I'm still documenting the life of our family.  We've had some great moments mixed in with the hard these past two weeks.  Lots of Grandparent time all around, lots of movie time, rest time, even laughter and smiles.  How can you not with two small children?    Today I started crying and the tears were flowing while I was getting lunch ready.  My precious daughter came up to me with the sweetest, most caring voice and asked if I needed a hug and a kiss.  Then my son came up to me and said "mom, sad?"  Those are moments I KNOW God is giving me to show me that I am loved and I believe He is caring for me through my children. Thank you Lord for ALL your provisions and for all three of my beautiful children.  Amen!

Lord, you are my lamp; the Lord illuminates my darkness.
2 Samuel 22:29

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Today it's been one week since we celebrated Ella's birth.  I think it's fitting that she was born on a Thursday.  My Thankful Thursdays will be always filled with thanksgiving for her and her life. 

 And I am so very thankful for this little sprite.  She has so much energy.  Her imagination is beyond my dreams.  She is so creative and thoughtful.  She knows this is a hard time for us, and a little hug from her means the world.
And thank you Lord for this little man.  He has taken off with talking and I can't get enough.  He loves to jump and says "watch me mom!"  He is all boy and will throw anything.

I am so thankful for all of my friends and family.  We have been blessed beyond words.  We are being held up in prayers and love by so many.

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime!  Weeping may last through the night but joy comes in the morning.  Psalm 30:5

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Baby Ella

Three days ago, almost exactly I gave birth to Baby Ella.  We were not thinking she'd be coming 5 weeks early and were not prepared like we thought we wanted to be but praise God for his plan and his hand in our lives.  It was the best we could have hoped and prayed for in spite a diagnosis of pre-eclampsia.

Our Thursday was quiet, I rested and we had no visitors.  The pre-eclampsia was under control so there was no major concern. The pain medicine I was given worked well and allowed me to sleep.  When it was time, our sadness about what was coming turned to joy.  Our baby was coming!  Even though we knew there would be pain, we were able to celebrate her fast arrival.  It was perfect, and so was she.  Our time with her was filled with love and great memories.

Ella had lots of hair, curly hair!  I have always wanted one of my babies to have curls. :)  She had two cowlicks on the top of her head that would have given her fits as she grew older and her hair was daddy's color, light brown.  She was 5 lbs 7.8 oz and 19 1/2 inches, not bad for being a premie!

Our parents were able to join us to see her and then hold her.  It was a great time to again, celebrate her. I always wondered how I'd feel after holding my baby who was no longer alive, but again, praise God, it was just like any new baby!  I was (and am!) proud of her and wanted to show her off and cuddle her as much as I could.

We are home now.  The pain has arrived in full force. We are taking it day by day, moment by moment.  Sometimes it's ok and sometimes it's very much not.  But I will be ok because I am being held up by my God who knows what I need before I can ask for it.  Who knew Ella before she was created and knew the number of days she'd have and who does NOT make mistakes.  I will be ok because I have a husband that is committed to us, to our children, and to seeing us through this storm.  I will be ok because I have friends who love me and who stop by to just give a hug, or who send a quick note or who have made a meal with love.  I will be ok because I am confident that there is a little one in heaven right now celebrating and dancing with God with pure joy in an unbroken body that is perfect inside and out.  And I will see her again.  Thank you Jesus.

(side note: for all of you who said Ella was beautiful, she was!  But the picture that posted to facebook was my profile picture from my blog.  It was Gracie as a baby.  That was not meant to mislead, it was just my profile pic that I had never changed.  I have since changed it to avoid confusion) :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Gabriella Marie

Today was a good day.    Shannon gave birth, ahead of schedule, to Gabriella Marie who was born at 2:30 pm.  It was a quick and beautiful birth.   Shannon is doing well as preeclampsia pushed us into the early birth.  Gabriella was with us for more than 2 hours.  (She was diagnosed 6 weeks ago with Trisomy 13 so we knew she would not be with us for long.)  Shannon and I were able to be with her the whole time and help her onto the next journey, to be with our heavenly Father.   Oh!  She was 19 ½ inches and 5lbs 7oz.  
Thank you for your prayers and love-

Monday, July 2, 2012


Our theme for this summer is ... flexibility.  We aren't really making plans and so far when we have, they haven't happened.  But that's ok.  It's been a good, laid back summer so far.    We were supposed to go with Shane down south to a camp last week but we decided not to go at the last minute.  That meant that the kids and I could go blueberry picking with my girlfriends.  This is a yearly tradition and I love it.  (confession- I don't LOVE blueberries, they are ok, but I love the tradition part of it!)

 So, we went.... on the hottest day of the year so far....  whew!  The kids did great!  Gracie had a great time with my friend Joanne's niece.  Graham picked a few of them and then dumped them.
 Many of his picks were yellow unripe blueberries (sorry farm peeps!)
 Joanne, Joelle, Gracie-  Jodi and Joanne's mom also went.  They were so sweet and brought snacks and water.  Good idea.  It was HOT!  Graham and I picked for about 45 minutes then we retreated to the van with AC and a movie.  :)
 baby #3 got to enjoy the picking too!
And our crew!  I am blessed by all of my friends.  All over.  It was a great time last week.  This week my girls from Michigan are coming to visit.  I'm blessed beyond measure.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Mermaid Festival

 We had a great time at the mermaid festival this year.  My parents came down for the day and Grandma Shirley was also here.  She and Shane enjoyed some rides (I loved her scream on this one!)
 Grace was so excited to ride the rides yet couldn't seem to find one to ride!  Graham enjoyed a few with daddy too.
 Then there was back home to cool off and play with Grandpa

and read books with Grandma
 Thanks Aunt Michelle, Uncle Adam, Aaron and Hannah for the dress.  She loves it!

Have I mentioned that I love that my kids love to read? :)