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April 1, 2011

My brother and sister...


I write so often in these posts about my day to day experiences, but I want you to get to know me in other ways too.

One thing you may not know about me is that I have one brother. His name is Erik and He's three years older than me.

We had a great childhood, and we have always had a great relationship.
I have so many fun memories of the two of us from over the years.

Sure we fought growing up and didn't always get along (typical brother and sister), and he definitely tormented me in my High school years.
But, we still love each other. =)

I always loved having an older brother to watch over and protect me, and he always did. There is just nothing like a Bubby(his nickname from me).

I found this quote and thought it was cute. =)
Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero. ~Marc Brown

I get so sad now thinking that my boy's little sister isn't here to grow up with them. There is such a bond between a big brother and little sister. It really is special thing. Erik has always been there for me, and he especially is now. I just love him.

It makes me so sad to see how much my brother is hurting too from Maddie passing away. He was so excited for her to arrive, and I just know she just would have adored her Uncle Erik. It breaks my heart to think she isn't here to enjoy our family holidays, where Erik chases the boys around and throws them in the air. He's such a wonderful uncle and we are lucky to have him in our lives.

He is married to the love of his life, Adrian, and they have a precious little 2 year old named, Kaelan. He is such a joy.

Erik and Adrian have been wonderful to Rick and I through this whole process of losing Maddie. It lessens our weight of sorrow, knowing we have a brother and sister who have been there walking through this with us.
We are so lucky to be so blessed with them in our lives.

Erik picked the perfect girl in my opinion, Adrian and I get along great, and I love spending time with her.

I said all that to say this...

I love how God sends the perfect person at the perfect time to give you exactly what you need.

Today, that person was Adrian.

Rick was out of town, and she knew that I was going to be lonely for a couple of days, so she invited me to lunch and to hang out.

I love that even though I never had a sister growing up, I have three sisters now through marriage. Annette, Adrian and Becky are so great. I'm really lucky that God blessed me with having them in my life.

Adrian and I planned on meeting at our favorite place (Chipotle) for lunch, once Noah got out of school, and then we were going to let the boys play at her house. She has the worlds biggest toy room, and my boys love going over there!

Before I met her, I ran through to grab the boys some lunch. They don't really care for Chipotle. So Mac n Chesse and apple fries was what was on their menu that day.

As I was waiting in the line (it was taking forever) I was staring off.

I noticed the Applebee's across the street and immediately my mind wandered, to Maddie and the day I found out she was a girl...

After my Ultrasound, Annette, Adrian and my Mom and I all went to lunch at that Applebee's. I remember I was beaming with excitement. I had just gotten such wonderful news, that we were having a girl! I remember chatting with the girls and making phone calls to everyone I knew. It was a day of complete joy for me. I loved every second of that day, and I will never forget it. I almost wished I could be back in that moment, before I knew the pain and grief of losing a child. I wished I could go back to the joy of that day.

But, here I sat, months later, the complete opposite. Sad and heartbroken.

I pulled forward as it was my turn and thought just how different life was now. Yet, I tried to stay positive.

I had some other things on my heart that day other than Maddie, and they were at the forefront of my mind. So I went back to thinking on those.

When we got to Chipotle and our boys ran to each other, I couldn't help but smile. My boys LOVE their cousin, Kaelan. It was sweet to watch them.

We grabbed our food and sat down to eat, but instead of just a meal that day, Adrian shared much more. She shared her heart with me. She gave me advice, and it brought me such comfort.

Sometime's you just need your sister....

She's always there when I'm having one of my "bad" days to let me cry.
She knows exactly what to say, but most of all, she just listens. I'm so thankful for that.

I felt that day, that she could feel my pain. She knew my heart and she hurt for me, and I hurt for her. I'm so thankful that she's in my life.

I remember just a few days earlier this week she told me something that has really stuck with me. When discussing having another baby, I told her that even if I got pregnant soon, that it would at least 9 months of waiting to hold that baby. I didn't know if I could even wait that long, my arms ache for a baby, for Maddie Grace, now.

She reminded me that it wasn't so. She said that I will be holding that baby, getting to know that baby much sooner. I would learn that child by it's hiccups and kicks, just like I knew Maddie. Every movement I feel, holding that baby inside will give me the satisfaction of carrying that baby. She reminded me of getting to see the heartbeat on the ultrasound screen, and all the other exciting moments that go along with pregnancy. I would be holding that child, all 9 months. I wouldn't feel empty at all.

She was right. I love the idea of that.

I may not get to hold Maddie again, but I will hold another baby and I won't have to wait 9 months to do it. It will be the moment I find out I'm expecting. I love that... because my arms still ache so.

She always has a way of making me feel better. She really is my sister.
I'm so thankful that we have each other in our lives. I just hope that I am as good to her as she is to me.

And I hope and pray that happiness will fall on our family soon. I know that we could most definitely use some good news during this difficult time. It's been a long hard road for all of us, but I'm thankful they are walking down it with me.

So thank you Adrian, for loving me like a sister. I'm so glad that Erik met you and brought you into our family. We love you.

“For there is no friend like a sister, in calm or stormy weather, to cheer one on the tedious way, to fetch one if one goes astray, to lift one if one totters down, to strengthen whilst one stands.” Christina G. Rossetti

Aunt Adri loving on her girl. =)
Uncle Erik making Maddie Grace smile. =)

We are so blessed to have them in our life!

Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family. ~Anthony Brandt


  1. This post made me sob Natalie (as most of your posts do, you have such a way with words!).

    Although you and I havent spent a lot of time together I feel like I know you so well through the stories that I hear from Adrian (and Erik too!). She was so excited to be planning your shower, I remember her telling me all the little details she was working on. She was so excited for you!

    I remember when I got the call from Adrian when Maddie Grace passed - it felt like I had the wind knocked out of me. My heart hurt badly for all of you and I couldnt wait to rush to all of you, to do anything that I could to help. It felt like that 4 hour drive took 4 weeks.

    Natalie, even though we are far apart and we dont know each other all that well, you and I will always be linked by one thing we have in common - we both love and cherish Adrian, Erik and Kaelan. Im so glad that you too have each other to lean on, you are both very blessed to have each other!

    You inspire me Natalie!

  2. I check your blog regularly and I just wanted to let you know that you are in my prayers. I know how you feel and what you are feeling. Our family just celebrated the 3rd birthday of my son Joshua who was conceived less than 3 months after we lost our beloved Curtis. On April 4th Curtis would have been 4 but we will celebrate him and thank God for letting us be his family ;) -Lisa Mast

  3. Natalie, you've touched me again. I'm almost at the end of my pregnancy-after-loss. It has been the hardest, sweetest, happy/sad time of my life. My arms have ached for my baby for a long time. These twins won't replace my Landon, but they'll occupy my heart and my mind. I've spent more time the last 9 months worrying than anything else. Being pregnant again has been the biggest leap of faith that I've ever taken in my own life. If you ever, ever want to talk to me about it, please, feel free to message me. (

    I got chills yesterday. My doc set my c-section date for this coming Wednesday. April 6th. That is twenty-one months to the day from when Landon went to Heaven. It took a lot longer than I had hoped to acheive a pregnancy after my baby boy.
    Please, pray for me and my babies, as I have and will be praying for you.

    Here's some of our story, it isn't complete yet. Hopefully it'll never be totally complete!!