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Words don’t seem adequate when it comes to thanking you, but wrapped up in these words are love and gratitude beyond measure.

Russ and I want to thank you from the very depths of our hearts. You have prayed for us, cried with us, fed us, sent us gifts of comfort and cheer, and given generously to help us.

The day after the accident a dear friend established a GoFundMe account to help us purchase a new van, cover funeral expenses, and help with any medical expenses. We never saw the GoFundMe page (it was closed before we had the opportunity), but we were astounded when we heard of the generosity of so many people. We felt your love and concern for our family. The outpouring of donations toward this account continues to lift many burdens off of us.

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Eight years ago today, Russ and Kalkidan arrived at the Spokane airport after an arduous 50 hour trip home. They faced bad weather, canceled flights, and an unexpected overnight stay in Atlanta. She became our daughter in January 2007 and we met her in February 2007, but due to delays with her visa, she was unable to travel home with us on our first trip. When the call came that her visa was approved, Russ was on his way back to Ethiopia within two days.

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I had a post nearly ready to go this morning, but when I read it one last time, I decided it was too somber for Monday morning. This place gives me the space to reflect, to grieve through my words, but I want you to know that we are not mourning every moment of every day.

I’m so glad that I went to Boise to watch Annarose compete in the state track meet. I drove down with a new friend and had six hours of great conversation. We met up with other friends and had dinner together. The next morning we were at the track early enough to watch the pole vaulters warm up. Annarose cleared her PR height on her first vault, sailing over the bar with ease, which was very exciting. She didn’t make a new PR, but she was happy with her performance, and loved being with her team at the state meet.

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“My Mom looks prettiest when she is smiling.”

Eby actually wrote “smileing”, but it’s definitely the thought that counts, not the spelling. Eby made an “All About My Mom” gift at school for Mother’s Day – such a great gift.

My friend’s daughter, who is in the same class, wrote that her mom looks prettiest when she “gives hugs.”

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2009

 

Two  years ago I wrote a post titled Mother’s Day for the Brokenhearted (you can read it below). I never imagined that I was writing quite so directly to myself.

Being a mother is beautiful, terrifying, and humbling. We love fiercely – even when it’s hard.

Today I feel the loss of my spicy, sparkly girl. She came to me with fear coursing through her veins – mothers die, adults aren’t safe, I need to take care of myself. For nearly eight years I was given the opportunity to love her well; over and over again I did my best to demonstrate that I was safe, that love was worth the risk, and that I would never give up on her. 

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We’re headed to Coeur d’Alene to watch Annarose pole vault. This is her last regular high school track meet. Track and pole vaulting have been wonderful and she has enjoyed them so much; it’s a bittersweet day.  Can you believe how strong she looks in that picture?

High school went by so quickly (young mamas, trust me on this – it is so fast). With all that was going on with her siblings’ needs, I missed so much of Annarose’s school years and my heart is sad. I don’t want to miss a thing this last month.

 

photo credit: samuel qualls

photo credit: samuel qualls

Life continues to feel slightly more normal. I’m getting stronger, sleeping better, and overall, having much less pain. It’s somewhat easier to leave the house and go out into the world. I’ve made it to the grocery store, baseball games, Bible study, track meets, and even gone out to dinner with friends.

It’s all good; the challenge is that it’s almost too good. Time for physical therapy, daily walks, reading and reflecting, writing, and even working on thank you notes has all but disappeared. Last weekend I realized with a rush of panic that I’ve let it slip away and let life rush in.

 

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“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.” Frederick Buechner

After nearly four months, I returned to the place of our accident – where Kalkidan’s life on earth ended and her beautiful eternity began. Russ and I were on our way to the Spokane Orphan Summit and the best way to get there was to drive straight up Highway 95 and then cut over into Washington. It couldn’t have been a better opportunity; with no children with us we could talk and cry without concern for anyone else

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Russ traveled to California for a meeting this week. It was the first time he’d been away since the accident and I was a little anxious about it. It’s not that life is terribly hard, it’s more that we are leaning hard on one another. I often rest my head on his chest and breathe; I need to feel connected, hear his heartbeat, and borrow a little of his strength.

We’ve experienced so much in our years together – since we were seniors in high school. We’ve had many challenges and faced everything we promised in our marriage vows: better and worse, richer and poorer, sickness and health. Thirty years of marriage have allowed us to experience the highest heights and lowest lows.

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Spring semester is winding down, projects are wrapping up and finals are looming in the near future.  Isaiah had a little hiccup this semester that is still making me laugh, so (with his permission) I just have to share. The caveat is that I’m probably going to miss some important details and when Isaiah reads it, he’ll want to set the record straight, so watch for a potential apology and an update.

Last winter when he registered for spring semester classes, Isaiah planned to take a yoga class. He registered for three different classes, intending to drop two once he chose the class he liked best.