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March 21, 2011

I have been blessed...


This was a really special day for us.

Since Rick had been busy working at the Church all weekend, he decided to take Monday off to spend with the boys and I.

I was so thankful for this.

My sweet husband is the hardest working man I have ever seen. He is amazing.

He works 2 full time jobs to provide for our family, and this enables me to stay home with the boys. They have never had to go to childcare or daycare, but have been with Mommy since they were born.

It has been such a sacrifice for Rick to work so much, but we are so lucky that he does. I have been able to spend every precious moment of my boys lives with them. I didn't even realize at first, just how lucky I was.

Before Maddie went to Heaven, I think I took this opportunity for granted. Now, I am so grateful for this and I try to remind myself just how hard Rick works for us everyday, to give me this opportunity. I don't want to miss a moment. I love being a Mom and I'm thankful for how good Rick is to me and our children. We are blessed.

So, since he took the day off, we decided to take the boys out to my Grandparent's farm and let them try out their new Christmas gift; their four wheeler. It was all the boys had talked about since Christmas when they opened it, and they were just waiting for good weather so they could go ride.

So, as soon as Noah got off school we were off on our adventure.

We headed to the farm to spend this "first" with Noah and Eli.
Of course, as Mama I worry, but I'm am happy to say that this particular four wheeler has a remote control where we can sound an alarm or shut it off if they start going to fast.

Phew, whoever thought of that was genius. =)

So we bundled the boys up and got their helmets on them. Well, actually they are Rick's old motorcycle helmets and they were huge on the boys. (See funny pictures below :)
We really need to get them some of their own. lol

Elijah Braden(age 3) and the "huge" helmet
Noah Riley (age 5) I can't believe how big he looks. =(
Rick teaching the boys how to ride...
Noah and Eli having fun!

The boys were loving it! They were flying all over the yard and out in the field. They were going through the mud and just laughing and smiling. They were happy and they were just being boys. It melted my heart.

I was so happy to see Noah and Elijah just loving life.

They didn't have a care in the world.

No heartache.

No pain.

It was just them on that four wheeler, headed out into an open field.
I was watching Rick chase after them and laughing with them as they were having so much fun. It really touched me.

I got to thinking as I watched them.

I remember standing there the day we bought them that four wheeler.
I was 8 months pregnant with Madeline and I was so anxious for her arrival.
I thought about how the boys would be going out to ride their four wheeler, and Maddie and I would be sitting somewhere watching them.

I was excited because Rick would now have his "boy stuff" and Maddie and I would be doing our "girlie" things.

Not that I don't have some tomboy in me, I totally do. I grew up riding four wheelers and I could fly. Usually, I was the one throwing people off. Haha. I loved it.

But, I always could picture these sweet little girlie moments with me and Maddie. I was looking forward to tea parties. I wanted to have Disney Princess Marathons. I couldn't wait to get our first pedicures together. I was looking forward to putting her in gymnastics and cheerleading.

I wanted to watch her love life. I was looking so forward to hearing her first laugh. There were so many moments I couldn't wait to experience with her.

And here, I sat watching my boys without her. My heart sunk.

I won't be enjoying those moments down here with sweet Maddie Grace.

I took a walk and just cried. I cried out to God and I talked to Him and and I talked to Maddie. I missed her so much in that moment.

I wish she could have been there in my arms watching her big brothers fly by us.

I wish I could've seen her Daddy walk by and kiss her on the head as he went on chasing the boys. I wish we could've had a little "girlie" chat while we were watching. There are so many things I wish.

But, in that moment of wishing and wanting, I realized something.

I looked at my boys and Rick enjoying such a special moment, and I decided instead of sulking and wishing away that moment, to just enjoy it too.

I ran after the boys and laughed with them. I took a video of their "first time" riding together. I watched them as they threw mud all over the place. I watched as they were so happy and full of life.

And it was in that moment, I could see Maddie.

She was there with us. She was in Eli's bright eyes and cute lips. She was there in Noah's long face and dimpled chin. She was in Ricks dark hair and gorgeous face.

She's us. All of us. And she was there.

I'm so thankful for this.

I can still see her beautiful eyes looking at us all, and I know that she loved us. And I know that she knows, we loved her.

I thanked God that day. I didn't complain about the things I don't have, but focused on the things that I do.

I thanked God for my sweet Husband who took a day off to spend with his family and make precious memories.

I thanked Him for my sweet little boys who are so full of life and love, and who love me like there is no tomorrow.

I thanked Him for the short but precious moments I shared with Maddie on that thursday and friday in January.

You know it's funny, my heart hurts so very badly everyday, and yet,
I still feel so blessed. I really still have so very much to be thankful for!

God has blessed me beyond all measure.

I truly do not deserve all the wonderful things He has given me, but I'm sure thankful He has.

"I have been blessed, God's been so good to me.

Precious are his thoughts of you and me.

No way I could count them, there's not enough time.

So I'll just thank Him for being so kind.

God has been good, so good. I have been blessed!"
My Maddie Grace~ 2 hours old. She was miss personality already. =)


  1. Natalie,

    Love your post today. I have been listening to that song all weekend-what an encouragement. I have often thought that very thing as I look at your family pics - that I can see her in all of you. So like God to make a family a picture of His church. A body, with all the parts fitting perfectly together. Each one with his or her own purpose and function, but complementing the others. Though she isn't with you here, she is a perfect fit and a unique and essential part of your family and will always be. Thanks for sharing!!

  2. What a beautiful and inspiring post Natalie!

    "I didn't complain about the things I don't have, but focused on the things that I do." So true...these are words to live by - you are truely an inspiration!

  3. Thank you Ashley and Beth. You both are so wonderful! =)Thanks for reading!

  4. wow, what bright eyes she had. i think she was drinking you in as much as she could while she was here....

  5. So glad that God is helping you along Nat! I see Maddie everyday in the picture you gave me of her, and I remember her too! I remember the sweet video you shared with us, and how adorable she was. I remember that you are stil very much grieving and take the opportunity to pray for you, Rick, and your sweet boys! Love you friend!!