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January 4, 2016

Dear Maddie Grace… 5 Years

Hi Madeline,

It's Mommy.

I just had to write to you..

It's been so long since I entered in this blog address and pulled up this page.  To long.

But tonight, I knew I needed to. I needed to write.

So here I am.

It's been almost 5 years since I met you and then had to say goodbye.

With tears in my eyes and my fingers to this keyboard I'm here. I can feel you. I can feel healing.

So many times I came here, not sure what I wanted to say or how to say it, but I wrote. And it has helped heal me. It really has.

SO many memories are flooding back as I sit here in the quiet, just me and this computer.

It was here that I came when I didn't know what else to do.

It was here when the Lord gave me words to help myself and by many testimonies, so many others.

I miss being here. I miss writing about my day to day struggles and victories…. and I mostly miss saying your name.

I wish my days allowed more time to sit in the quiet with you.. but they don't.
And honestly that 's okay because the noise and the busyness of your brothers and sister is what I need in this season of my life. God knew it's exactly what I needed and it truly is.

I sat there today with Jonah and Emmaline playing quietly and watched the first snow flurries of the season fall softly to the ground; and I thanked God and thought for you.

Your baby brother and sister have done something wonderful for my heart. They have restored a hope and a joy that truly has help to heal me. I'm so thankful for that.. and for God's amazing mercy on me.

As I sat there and thought of you, so many things crossed my mind..

Who would you be as you would be turning 5?
What kind of party would you ask for?
What would your little voice sound like?
Would your hair still be that beautiful dark brown?
What color would your eyes be?
Would you love music as I thought you would?
Would you sing all the time, my sweet bird?
Who would be your favorite princess?
Would you love to dance and spin?
Would we have tea parties and get manicures?
Would you still look just like your Daddy?
Which brother would you be the most like?
Who would you be???

So many questions…

For a long time I would get so sad as I would think about them.. And I still do a little..
But it's okay. I'm really okay.

I guess, I just really miss you.          

I know I always will and I know that will never change. Time has helped some and God has healed me in ways I truly didn't think possible.

Honestly, His grace is so amazing.. but you know that don't you sweet girl?

Oh how I wish I could see what you see, and experience what you have. Eternity with Jesus.. What that must be like? I'm so glad one day, I too will know.

I'm so glad your Daddy shared Jesus with me almost 17 years ago.. He loves me so much that he wanted to make sure I could spend eternity there too. He's amazing Maddie Grace. I love him so much! He truly makes me better.. He makes everyone better, really. I wish you could know him down here.

Sometimes I just sit and think about my story and how I met your Daddy and how I got saved. Then we were married and started our family. I love our little story. I still can't believe that God blessed me with all 5 of you in 8 short years.. He is so good. I never even thought I could have babies and wow was I so wrong. I'm thankful for that.

I feel like my life's calling is truly to be a Mom. I'm not always the best.. I'm impatient, I get frustrated, and sometimes I feel like I'm totally failing… but goodness I love it. I love mothering and guiding and helping these little people to grow. Sometimes I get sad that I don't get that with you, but then I have to remind myself, God has you.. and you truly need nothing else.

But, as your birthday approaches I'm emotional, because around here we like to do birthdays big. =)
I wish I could throw you a party and watch you eat cake in a big tutu and dance around with your little friends and giggle. I wish it more than anything.. But I know and I have to remind myself that none of it really matters. For you are where we all would love to be. You're with the one who made birthdays possible. The giver of life.. it never ceases to amaze me.

I had an extremely hard time this year on Jonah's birthday. I'm not really sure why?
I mean 4 isn't one of the bigger milestones… but then it dawned on me… he's such a comfort to me and has been since 8 weeks after I lost you.. He gave me a glimmer of hope during the darkest and hardest time of my life. He gave me continued purpose. Now he's growing up and becoming more independent and it just reminded me, time is passing… Jonah is 4 which means Maddie would be turning 5.. it took my breath away, it truly did..

5… you would be 5?

Only by the grace of God have I survived it.

I miss you as much today as the morning you left me.

I can still smell you. I can still feel your sweet hair against my cheek.

I can still see your sweet face and your bright eyes staring right at me.

I can still hear your Daddy singing gently to you down the hall in your nursery.

I can still remember finally getting you to sleep after a long sleepless night.

I try to forget all that came after that but it's still there.. like a scar that I see every day. It will always remain, reminding me of how far I have come and who I am today.

In time it has faded but it's still there. And it makes me miss you.

Oh how I miss you my love.
Oh how I long to be with you again.
Oh how I'm thankful for just the 2 days that I had to fall completely in love with you.

You, sweet girl changed me.

Forever.

I still struggle, I still fail, I still disappoint myself, the Lord and others.
I still have to make a complete effort every day to find joy in everything, as there is such a sadness that has lingered in my heart since the day you left me.

But everyday, I find it. Somehow I do.

I know some of that strength comes from you. And the rest from the Lord.

I miss you Maddie Grace and I truly know my heart will never heal completely. And I don't' want it to. You are ever present in my heart, in my mind and in our day to day lives.

You are my #3, my first baby girl. My dream come true.
You were my bundle of pink after 2 boys. The joy in my heart and smile on my face. And you still bring me that joy, everyday.

I still see you… in the birds, in the pink skies and in the beautiful fluffy white snowflakes.

Every time I stand in front of Cinderella's castle, I feel you.

Every milestone I watch Emmaline learn, I see you.

With every mother/daughter moment I experience with her, I know you're still there.

Whenever I hear or see or speak of grace. You're there.

You always make your way into our photographs and you live on always here at our farm.

You're with us. Others may not see you, but your here.

And for that I'm thankful.

You make me not afraid to talk about God, or Jesus or Heaven.. because it's personal to me now. More than ever.

Oh Maddie I love how you have given me such a story to share… of God's grace. It's amazing the lives you have touched sweet girl.. but you know, don't you? It's truly amazing.

So this year as your birthday approaches, I will do my best to smile.

I can't throw you a party, and I won't be having a panic attack thinking about you going off to Kindergarten next fall, but that's okay..

Because you are right where you need to be.  And so am I.

You are exactly where God wanted you.. and one day I will be with you.

Oh Heaven how I long for thee...

I try to think about Heaven and imagine how wonderful of a time you must be having. It gives me so much hope.. and also peace for the day.
I thank God for His peace.

Life is good sweet girl. I'm truly the happiest I've ever been. Noah, Elijah, Jonah and Emmaline bring me more joy and more love that I deserve. They are amazing.

We had such a sweet Christmas.. I honestly didn't want it to end… but as it did there was my pink sunset and the hope of a new day with God's fresh mercy the next morning.

Our life is not perfect.. and I never want it to be..

Being broken makes me happy… because it makes me need God more.

Thank you for helping me with that.

I truly am better, Maddie Grace because of you.

And though I don't get to mother you and watch you grow down here, I'm blessed. Our connection goes much deeper and much farther… to Heaven and back. That is so amazing to me.

SO on your birthday, I will look through your pictures and likely cry =), and I'll hold and smell your little outfits like I always do.. We will visit your spot and send you balloons and sing happy birthday as we do each year..

But this year, it's different.. and I'm okay.
I'm finding my way and I'm continuing to grow in God's grace.

I'm happy even though I'm sad if that makes any sense at all. =)

My sweet friend Jennie wrote to encourage me today (and talking of her own experience with her daughter) she said this… "I'm in the settled stage with Elaine-- not life of course =), but I'm settled. It's good when my thoughts go to her. Not to say there aren't rough days-- they come… but she's settled in my heart. "

I couldn't have spoken it better… I truly know what she means and that's exactly how I'm feeling…

Settled.

Please thank Jesus for sending me little angels on this earth to help and encourage me along the way.. It truly helps me so much..

And if there's one thing I truly need on the 6th and the 8th it's strength.

Strength to smile.
Strength to laugh.
Strength to rejoice that you never had to know the pain of this life.

Oh I miss you Maddie… I really do.

But I feel so much better.

I feel settled.. I just needed to share with you my heart. <3

Happy 5th Birthday my love!

1 Peter  5:10
But the God of all grace, who hath called us into his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you…


Much Love,
Mommy





                                                                                                            

           


November 13, 2014

All I can do is say thank you....


Hello friends! This post is very over due!!

I wanted to take some time away from our very full and busy life to share our sweet little girl with you. I know many of you have probably wondered "what happened" to us and I apologize for that.. To put it honestly, I just haven't had any extra time to blog!! I've been so busy raising up my four beautiful children that writing just had to be pushed to the back burner for a little while. Also, we had an incident shortly after Emmaline was born where someone was stealing her pictures and posing our sweet girl as her own. That was really hard on me so I took some time to just enjoy my love and keep her to myself. I'm thankful that is behind me.

Since Emmaline has been born, everything has been great! She has been the sweetest addition to our family and has healed our hearts in ways we never imagined. There's not a day that goes by that I don't cry tears of joy over her. She is the sweetest blessing and she helps me so very much. I want to share our birth story with you.. and everything that has happened since and plan to do so in the upcoming posts. I'm going to do my best to catch you all up on the months since our sweet Em was born..

But first things first!!! Here is a picture of me holding my sweet love for the first time.
She absolutely took my breath away!




I held my baby girl in my arms on April 17th and have been in complete bliss ever since… The tears in my eyes are a complete testament to the Lords amazing mercy on our lives.. He truly gave us a special gift in giving us our sweet mercy girl. All I can do is thank Him over and over again for this sweet blessing!


Since that moment I first held her, so many fulfilling moments have taken place.

The boys became big brothers to a much prayed for "little sister."
Watching their sweet little faces meet her for the first time was something I'll never forget.






They are the best big brothers and have been so wonderful with their sweet little sis.

Introducing my daughter to my friends and family and honesty just getting to say her name every day has been beyond healing for me.







I'll share all about our Em's birth and our hospital stay in the next post. =)

Bringing home our bundle of pink has been so amazing.. Every day since there has been a new adventure, a new "first" and a new memory we've made.. Don't worry, I've documented and photographed all of it! =)







As soon as we got home, it was Easter the next day. I got to dress Emmaline up for her first Easter Sunday and it was so very special. My Mom came over to be a part of it and we were both in tears standing over her changing table, as I put my daughter in her very first dress. I can't explain to you the emotion I felt in my heart. My mom still buys me my Easter dress each year and I can't wait to do that for little Emmaline for years and years to come!!!

Here are a few pics of our sweet Easter blessing. She will always be our little "bunny."






Watching Rick hold Emmaline and sing to her absolutely melts my heart and gives my heart such a "whole" feeling again. He was meant to parent a little girl, he is absolutely amazing with her and I'm so thankful I get to experience seeing my sweet Husband with our daughter. I'll never forget him introducing her to her room… something we never got to do with Madeline. From that moment on, I knew everything we did would be an extra blessing because it would be something we only dreamed of with our sweet Maddie Grace. God has been so good.







Seeing Madeline in Emmaline's cheeks and little dimple chin makes me hopeful. And it reminds me that she is with us every single day; in the faces of my babies and in the chirps of every bird outside my window. I feel so much like Maddie is still a part of this family.. And having Emme just confirms that for me.




We've had quite a few photo sessions done since Emmaline has arrived and I'm loving it so much.  I love having beautiful family photographs together, oh how much joy it brings to my soul.. Seeing a little splash of pink along with Madeline's shoes now in our photographs... there are just no words for the way my heart soars during these moments..




Our boys are completely smitten over her. She gets many hugs and kisses all day long..
And I'm loving watching each of them interact with her and create bonds and relationships.
I've waited so very long for moments like these and each one brings me to tears!





Every day the Lord continues to heal and bless me.. Every day I am grateful.

Emma Mercy has been the perfect addition to our family and has truly made us all feel "whole and entire" again.





Every day Rick and I still say that we can't believe we have a little girl and we praise God for his blessings.



Every smile, every new face she makes, every day she grows a little more it is such a gift and we are beyond grateful.


Some days I just sit and hold her and smell her hair and kiss her cheeks. She is like a breath of Heaven sent strait for us from the Lord.  And from her big sister. =)


I now find myself just smiling all the time.. Full of the comfort of God's grace and mercy. He has been so very good in blessing us with this sweet gift. She fulfills us in ways we never imagined. She blesses us to the fullest.

She truly is a dream come true.





This little girl is proof that no mater how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, a dream that you wish will come true. <3

I'm so very grateful that the Lord has given us another sweet baby girl. And I never take one day with her for granted.. life is just to brief for that.. Maddie Grace taught me that.


So today, we will snuggle and she will nurse and we will continue to grow in love as an earthly family of 6. I'm so thankful for the beautiful blessing God has given us....


And as the song says..


All I can do is thank you for this life I never deserved...
Wanna thank you for the grace I know I don't have to earn.
You love me, you love me your mercy is proof.
All I can do, is say Thank you... All I can do is say thank you!


Thank you Lord for your everlasting grace and mercy on our lives. We are so grateful.


Much love,
Natalie

We just returned home from our first family vacation with Emmaline and we headed back to Disney World!!! I honestly can't wait to blog about it. I promise to catch you all up with our lives the last 6 months and I pray that now that winter is coming and we will be "In" a little more, I can do just that. Thank you for loving us and praying for us from afar. We love you all!