Tuesday, August 30, 2011

St. Louis, Part 3 - Hanging with the Duggins and the Fabbianos

We squeezed in lots of visits with friends during our time in St. Louis... some days I ran Eli a little ragged as I dragged him around town.  

On this particular day, we first hit my old school (North Kirkwood Middle School) so the principal could show off the new science wing that is under construction.  I am SO jealous that I didn't get to work in this space... it is going to be really impressive when it is finished and a vast improvement over the small classrooms most of the science teachers were in before.

After leaving North, we headed to south city to visit with Erin, Marlie, and Tate Duggin.  Erin is my sweet and extremely talented photographer friend who took these awesome pics of Eli after he was born.  Tate was only awake for a bit of our visit so I didn't get any pics of his cute mug, but I did snap a few of Eli and Marlie playing outside.  




At some point, after we went back inside, Eli started coloring in Marlie's room and I couldn't resist catching him in the midst of all the pink!


Our last stop of the day was the Fabbiano home.  I'd actually already seen Katie twice during the trip but both times were without our kids.  She had never met Eli and I hadn't met her youngest son Joshua.  So, in spite of the busy day and lack of napping, we headed over for a little play time.  Eli did fall asleep in the car and stayed asleep for the beginning of our visit (while I relished the all to rare snuggles) but we still had fun!

Look at these blue-eyed cuties!


Our friend Kelly stopped by, too... it was her wedding celebration that brought us to St. Louis to begin with!  I love this picture of her playing with the boys. 


Eli found this guitar to play with but was a little confused as to why there were no strings to strum!  Doesn't he look like a little rock star?


Katie and I were both hoping for a cute pic of all three boys together but Samuel was still a little grumpy from his nap (who can blame him?) and wanted nothing to do with my camera.  I did get this super cute on of Eli giving Joshua a little side hug...


... and managed to snap a quick one of Eli and Samuel sitting together before we headed out!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

St. Louis, Part 2 - Hanging with Patty G

Oh, Patty G.

Do you remember meeting for the first time at the Bread Co on Woodlawn?  With Perry?  And you were all tan from being in Hawaii?  And you both were trying to tell me about Roger?

What I didn't know then is how much I would come to value you as a colleague and even more as a friend.  Or that I would come to know and love your daughter, too.  Or that I would have to come up with an appropriate number of goats to give Drew to secure your granddaughter's hand in marriage to Eli!

Love you!  Thanks for brunch!





Friday, August 19, 2011

St. Louis, Part 1 - Hanging with Uncle Nate

Thanks to a perfectly timed wedding of a sweet friend, Eli and I escaped to St. Louis for a week right as Josh's preseason madness began.

Our visit also fell immediately before my most melancholy week of the year... the week that holds both Noah's birthday (Aug 17) and the anniversary of us saying goodbye to him (Aug 16).

Which was also perfect timing... because spending time with our friends in the Lou was food for my heart and soul when I needed it most.


We spent a great afternoon and evening with Josh's brother Nate... who hadn't seen Eli since last June.  Eli LOVED hanging with Uncle Nate and was quite enamored with his dog, Maddie, too.



Eli especially enjoyed introducing Nate to his favorite game of chest bumping. 


But my favorite moment of the day came when Nate got his guitar out and Eli joined him for an impromptu jam session.  I could watch this video over and over... oh, wait, I have watched it over and over!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday, Noah!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The goodness of the LORD

A few months ago, a friend asked me to share some of my thoughts on grief. She had been asked to prepare a lesson plan on the subject as she interviewed for a job as a high school Bible teacher. Most of the following is from our email conversation but it also represents much of what is swirling around in my head and heart as we mark the third anniversary of saying goodbye to Noah.

(It is probably worth noting that I have been wrestling with the wording of this entire post ALL night long... it is a disjointed and imperfect representation of my thoughts but it is my attempt to honor Noah's life and all the lessons he taught me.)
I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. Psalm 27:13-14
It may sound strange but God convinced me of His goodness in the midst of Noah's short time with us. It is hard, or even impossible, to call Noah's diagnosis 'good'... but there was SO much good that we saw during his life. From the joy that he brought us to the impact he had on others to the way we saw God's hand provide in so many tangible ways as we walked through a dark, dark valley.

And, amazingly, it was in the valley where I discovered everything that God had done in my life up until Noah was born was to prepare me for the journey of his next 364 days. Youth group, college Bible study, His Life, church, late night conversations about theology, volunteering with youth ministry, Damascus Road, mission trips... I could go on and on and on. It was those faith building experiences, those opportunities to learn about the character of God, those moments where I wrestled with what I believed that gave me a faith and a confidence in the Lord during the hardest time of my life. As it says in Esther, "For such a time as this."

Josh and I walked the days of Noah's life holding tight the simplest of truths: God is good. God is love. God loves Noah. God loves us. God will provide.

By no means did this make our journey with Noah easy or prevent my heart from being broken in two when I had to say goodbye to him, but it allowed our marriage to withstand the weight of our loss and for both Josh and I to emerge with a strengthened faith rather than a wrecked one. And it allowed me to trust God enough to let another sweet baby into my life to love.


Monday, August 15, 2011

A hug for Noah


Oh, sweet little Noah man.
We are thinking of you a lot this week.

I have lots of fun pics to post from my recent trip to St. Louis with Eli but thought I would put those on hold for a little as we remember a few sweet moments from Noah's life.  He would have turned 4 this week on Wednesday... how is it possible that 3 years have passed since I was able to hold him in my arms?  

Would you do me a favor?
Would you find someone today that you love and give them a hug in memory of Noah?  

Monday, August 1, 2011

Short shave for the heat wave

Eli's hair was getting a little shaggy and, with the hot temperatures, a hair cut seemed like a good idea.  He weathered his first hair cut like a champ... and this time was no different.

We clipped on a home made cape to catch the clippings, put a Little Einsteins episode on the TV, and it was off to the races!

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Not really sure what this face was all about... but it was pretty stinkin' cute!




Ahhhh... short and cool.  He was such a champ through the whole process... I'm sure it helps that it was his Daddy that was wielding the clippers!  Can't decide if he looks older or younger with the buzz cut, but I know its C-U-T-E regardless!