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August 1, 2012

Something about the sky...

There's just something about the sky.

The way that the sun rises and sets.

The way that the clouds roll across that blue canvas decorating it with wisps of white.

The way that it seems to go on forever.

I've always loved the phrase "they've got their head in the clouds"... because it so describes me.

I could stare up all day long and just dream about Heaven and our Lord.

I've always loved the sky.

It keeps us wondering, Hoping. Waiting.

Waiting for our Lord to return or for our time here on Earth to come to an end.

And one day, all my questions and wonders will come to sight.

Here lately as I've looked to the sky, I can't help but think of my sweet Maddie Grace.

I see her in everything now.

I think of her with those beautiful pink sunsets.

I think of her as a birdie flies overhead.

She is never far from my thoughts.

Just as I take care of and am constantly with my sweet little boys, I feel as if I care for her in my thoughts. Always thinking of her, missing her. Dreaming of her.

Just this week I had a sweet friend message me and say that when she thought of me, she pictured me with all four of my children. I love that she said that. I aim to let Madeline be a big part of this family even though she is not physically here with us. She is my daughter and I love her though I can't raise her I still want to honor her.

So the things that remind me of her or draw me to her, are the things I love to consume my thoughts with. I love to feel her with me.

Last month, Rick and I had many wonderful moments that we cherished together and all of them had to do with the sky.

We hosted a wonderful 4th of July party to start the month off. We had the party out on our new land and barn. It was so fun to look around and see what the Lord has given us. It keeps us grateful. God has sure blessed us with many Rainbows since our storm of losing Madeline.

As we prepared for the party, Rick took the boys and I to a fireworks store to stock up for our big night. We found so many beautiful fireworks and loaded the cart. As we were about to leave, Rick told me he wanted to get one more thing.

He walked me over and handed me something. He told me he found these online and wanted to get some of them to set off in honor of Maddie Grace.

They were sky lanterns.

I can't tell you how much I love this man and how thoughtful and wonderful he is. I love that he thought of and planned this for her.

So we boutght 6 in honor of Madeline's birthday.

The party was amazing. The fireworks were breathtaking and beautiful.

I loved looking around and seeing all of our sweet family and friends smiling and laughing and looking up.

As we launched the sky lanterns there was such a serenity among the crowd.

I feel like everyone was thinking of Maddie. Watching her lanterns as they floated into the dark sky.

So many of them never met her, yet they loved her. They love us.

We watched the lanterns utnil they drifted out of sight. It was so pretty watching them float away.

Just a precious moment of remembrance.

It was a beautiful night.

The next day, Rick (Jonah) and I headed away for the night to celebrate our anniversary. We celebrated 9 years and it was a wonderful time. I still can't believe we've been married that long. We were only 20 on our wedding day. Just babies.

We celebrated with a couples massage and then headed over to a beautiful hotel on the Ohio river. We walked across the bridge into Cincinnati for dinner. It was so nice.

As we walked and the Cincinnati skyline loomed above us, we talked. We reminisced and talked about how good God has been to us. How wonderful our lives have been. Though we've been through both good and bad times, we've survived and everything has made us stronger. And that is a blessing.

I'm thankful to be married to best friend and I'm grateful that we both have the same goal in sight; To try to point other's to Christ and live our lives the best we can for the Lord. To love each other and our children to best of our ability and to always cherish every single moment together, fully knowing how quickly life can be over.

And to keep looking up to Him in all things.

He will guide us. And He does.

He is our light in a dark world. He is the way, the truth and the life.

I'm so grateful that I know Him. I'm so thankful that Rick led me and showed me how much I needed God in my life. I truly am blessed.

As our month winded down, we had one more amazing opportunity.

For Rick's 30th birthday, we went sky diving.

Yes, I'm serious.. =)

It was one of the craziest yet most amazing things I've ever done.

I'm so glad that Rick and I got to experience this together. There is just nothing like it.

As the plane took off that evening, I watched as the world below became farther and farther from my view. My tandem instructor was pointing out things below but honestly I wasn't looking down there, I was looking up. Watching as we drifted through the clouds higher and higher.

The sun was setting and the shaddows moved over the plane. It was beautiful.

I looked over to Rick and gave him five. We were really about to do this. My stomach was full of butterflies but I was ready.

I took a breath. I closed my eyes. And I jumped.

When I opened them I saw the plane moving away from me and I felt the cold wind on my face. It was the most exhillerating feeling I've ever experienced. Such a rush.

We fell for what seemed like forever. And as I fell through the sky, I looked all around me, taking it all in. It was beautiful.

The ground finally came to view as the chute opened. And then it was the most peaceful serene silence I've ever witnessed. It was so quiet. The world below me felt still.

In that moment, I realized, I was the closest I could be to Maddie this side of Heaven. I was in the sky with her.

I leaned back and told my tandem instructor I felt like a bird and his responce was"You are a bird."

And I was. :)

I saw Rick floating in the distance and I smiled. I wondered if he was thinking of Maddie too.

What a moment it was.

As we drifted back to the ground, I saw our boys cheering us in.

As we gathered back together as a family, my heart felt good.

I thought, I'm gonna be okay.

I miss Maddie. I always will.

But I know I will see her again.

And until that day I'm just gonna keep looking up, wondering and waiting.

Waiting for that glad reunion day when we will meet again, just beyond the sky.

What a blessing to think.

Much Love,

Please pray for our family this Saturday as we travel to Disney World with the boys. We will be spending a week there at the animal kindgom lodge. We are very excited and grateful to have this time to be together. Please ask the Lord to comfort my heart, as the last time we were there was the week after Madeline passed. I'm asking God to fill my heart with happiness and many sweet moments. The boys are excited to go see "Maddie's Castle!" =)


  1. Love this Natalie. I love that you felt so close to Maddie because of the skydiving- so much. :)

  2. I love this post! You look so happy! And you look amazing!

  3. I love to read about your sweet family! I've written on here before, and I just wanted to write again to tell you what an inspiration your family is. I had 2 miscarriages after my fist daughter was born. I am now 35 weeks pregnant with another girl. I went into premature labor at 31 weeks. At the time the doctors said I would be pushing it to keep her "baking" for 2 more weeks...proof that the Lord answers prayers. I'm amazed at how the Lord works through trials to remind us just how much he loves and wants us to seek him. I think about your family and pray for you often. I hope you have a blessed trip to Disney. That was truly the most life changing trip my little family has ever taken! I can't wait to go again as a family of 4!

  4. Loved every word of this...the lanterns are so awesome! I am so excited because we are going to send one to our Ellersley on her birthday, the 13th of this month. She is our Princess Ellersley, waiting for us in the sky. I love the sky diving, wow! You are a brave woman, I don't think I could ever do that...although I love the thought of being close to my sweet girl! I will keep you and your family in my prayers this coming week. We made a trip to our Princess's castle too this year. It was so bittersweet...we were surrounded by family and she should have been there. God knows and is oh so near in all of those moments. Praying for comfort and peace for you mama and your sweet family...

  5. Wow! I want to experience sky diving too. That would be a thrilling unforgettable memory for me.

  6. You are so beautiful, love the pictures with you are your husband! Sky driving looks amazing, so brave!!