Kyara Dzenis

Kyara Dzenis

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Spring!


This spring has been full of life.  Mostly its good, sometimes its… not as good.  Its life. 


I finished my first semester of student teaching.  While it was difficult to leave Kassey, not be home when Skylar was done with school, and to juggle schedules in ensure everyone got to their activities, I must admit I really enjoyed being at the school.  The students were fun and the teachers I worked with were extremely positive.  It was nice to have something that was "mine."  Of course, by the time I only had 1-2 weeks left, I was counting down the days to get back to being “mom” again.  

I also have a greater appreciation for my friends who are working mothers.  I am not sure how you guys do it!!  Laundry, cleaning, dinner, chauffering from one thing to the next, all while working long hours out of the house!  Amazing.  I can truthfully tell you, I can count on one hand the number of nights I actually cooked at home while working.  They all happened the first week, before soccer started!  After soccer, I was lucky to get a PB&J made before we were heading out the door on the way to the fields! 



This spring we marked Kyara’s 2nd Heavenly Birthday.  I am finding that I am missing her so much more now than I did last year.  Instead of getting more peace, I am more and more unsettled by her absence.  I can feel myself withdrawal from my family and at times I wind up in a hole of emptiness, sadness, and longing for her.  It is extremely difficult to get out of these funks and I know my attitude affects my entire household.  I am not sure how to describe the pain that accompanies these harder times.  It like the air has been removed and each time I try to take a breath, my chest and throat get tighter and tighter.  I have heard the saying about an elephant sitting on your chest, well, I think the elephant is squashing me sometimes! 


“You saw me before I was born.  Everyday of my life was recorded in your book.

  Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”

-          Psalm 139:16


Being reminded of God's love and that He knew the plans He had for Kyara before she was ever born is relief.   I know we have free will, but God knew the ending before the beginning was set in motion.  As parents we are given these precious blessings to love, comfort, teach, and then love some more.  They are a gift to us from our loving Father.  He doesn’t promise us a certain amount of time with them, just asks us to love them and raise them to be His children while they are in our care for His perfect timing.  But as the human mom that I am, I can’t help but question His timing.  This certainly was NOT my timing.  Kyara was suppose to grow older, graduate from high school and college, get married, have a family, have adventures… lose her first tooth.  The little things we take for granted.    And I can’t help but wonder “WHY?”…

I still don't know, nor do I think I will ever know the answer to why, but I am looking for how I can take the pain, the experience and make it an opprotunity for growth and development.  Somedays, some weeks, I seem to be on a better track than others.  One thing I have been struck by is the love others poured out on our family duing our heartache.  Others were there asking how they could serve us.

"As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace."
- 1 Peter 4:10

This summer, Skylar and I are embarking on a new adventure.  I had written in the past that missionary work was something that had been placed on my heart, and I wasn't sure how or when, but it was somthing I wanted to seek out.  Well, our church is going on a mission trip to Belize and Skylar and I are going with them.   This trip is really special to me for several reasons.  It is the first one I have been on, Skylar will be going with me, and it is focused on children in a extremely poverty striken part of the country.  We will visit orphanages, do a Vacation Bible School, provide dental hygene and cardiovascular information, and even do a sports ministry.  I am thrilled to be a part of this amazing opprotunity to serve others.  I am also scared to death by this!   I am absolutely going outside my comfort zone.  I am not the most outgoing person, and I don't share well with others (although I have tried to be open on here.  For some crazy reason writing my thoughts and putting them on the web for anyone to read seems safer than speaking to a group of people!)  I hear people say all the time that by going on a mission trip where you are serving others, many times, YOU are the one changed.  I am praying to keep an open heart and an open mind on this trip.

We ask that you pray for our mission team as we embark on this journey.  We are currently raising money for the trip and for supplies for our missions.  We were able to save about $2000 on airfare which freed up funds to supply construction supplies for the community to build a preschool.  Amazing how God goes before us to prepare the way!  We appreciate your prayers as we are getting ready for this amazing journey.  If you would like to make a financial contribution checks can be sent to:

 Fayetteville First United Methodist Church
175 E. Lanier Avenue
Fayetteville, GA 30214-1659
Please include Belize Mission trip and Skylar and/or Genie Dzenis in the memo line.


We are also sponsoring a Golf Tournament at Whitewater Country Club.  Those of you golfers in town, please consider playing in this tournament.  We are also looking for hole sponsors and tournament sponsors.  For more information or to register to play online go to:  http://www.fayettevillefirst.com/index.php



Kyara's Park in Griffin is well on its way.  The community has really embraced the center and although it is not completely finished yet, it is moving forward.  We are excited about this work!  I will post pictures soon!

Some recent pictures of our fun this spring:

Pettting sharks at the Georgia Aquarium

Getting Kisses from the some crazy creatures at the Coke Museum

Kassey's punching gloves were bigger than her!  Notice how she can't even stand up straight!


Skylar and Kassey hamming it up for the camera at the Butterfly Garden at Callaway Gardens.

Poor girls spend half their time in the car going from one adventure to the next!

Kassey's 4 year old doctor appointment.  This was BEFORE she knew she was going to have 4 shots.  She was tough though and barely whimpered after the 4th shot.
Skylar was Harriet Beecher Stowe at school.  She would recite a speech about herself for each group of  students that came to her.
We went to Medeviel Times for Mother's Day.  We had a blast until our knight lost his battle!  Thank goodness the evil Green Knight didn't win!
HAPPY EASTER!



Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Long Time Coming

I saw the date of my last post and to be honest, I am surprised.  Where has the time gone?  I guess life moves by quickly and sometimes, if I don't do things when I think of them, I forget to do them.  Hence the reason I have not written on the blog in months.  I have thought lovingly about the support and relief I got from this blog.  During the worst times in my life, I was able to put my thoughts and emotions out there in cyberland and I received an enormous amount of love and blessings from those who read and commented.  Sometimes it allowed me to deal with what was happening in a very therapeautic way.

But, life continues and things happen.  The past few months have proved to have some major changes in our lives.  The biggest change is that I have started my student teaching.  This means I have taken off my stay-at-home mom hat and put on the working mother hat.  I can't say it has been easy.  I miss being at home with my babies (well...I guess Skylar and Kassey aren't technically babies any more, but they will always be my babies!)  I am teaching 6th grade math.  Come to find out, middle schoolers are a completely different breed!   I have a fantastic supervising teacher, who is very supportive, encouraging, and has helped make the transition as easy as possible.  Kassey has been adjusting to daycare, but we are lucky to be able to keep it all in the family.  My sister-in-law runs a in-home daycare and had a spot to take Kassey.  Kassey loves being able to see 4 of her cousins every weekday!  I gotta admit, I am not sure I am loving it as much.  When I would pick her up at school in the fall she would run at me with a huge smile on her face yelling 'Mommy!!"  The excitement on her face was precious.  Well, I can kiss those day goodbye.  Now when I come to pick her up, she hides and cries that she doesn't want to leave.  I think Aunt Missy must be bribing her with candy or something!  :)

Skylar is also adjusting to the change.  A teacher at her school offered to let Skylar stay with her and her daughters after school until I get home.  What a God-send!  Skylar is able to get her homework done and I know she is safe.  Skylar played basketball and lacrosse over the winter and is now back in the swing with soccer.  I really liked the fact that she tried different sports during the winter.  I think she appreciated the fact that I know nothing about either one, so I couldn't coach her!  Gotta admit,  I kinda liked just being "Mom".

In the last post I shared before pictures of Kyara's Park.  We have had 2 build dates, but the building is still not completely finished.  The project is still very exciting, though!  There are many different organization who are looking forward to using the community center as an outreach for the people in the area.  God's hand is all over this project.  I am thrilled to be a part of it and I look forward to the day that the center is completed and can be used by the neighborhood.

Last year God placed it on my heart to look into a mission trip.  I was not sure at the time where this would lead me.  I didn't even know where to start, but I felt there is something I am suppose to be doing.  In the fall, I caught wind that my church was going to Belize on a mission trip this coming summer.  After finding out more about what was involved in the trip, SKYLAR and I have signed up.  We will be visiting children in the orphanage, participating in a Vacation Bible school, playing sports with the kids and spreading Jesus' love to the people in a small town just outside Belize City.  I am super excited about this opprotunity and I will share more as we know more.  My goal is to go with an open mind and an open heart.  I hope I can share the love and comfort I have received through Jesus with others as well deepen my relationship with Jesus.  I will share more as we get closer to this exciting opprotunity. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Play Park Before

This is the final week before the big build on the park in Griffin. This park is being built in a very poverty stricken section of the city.  I went by the build site 2 weeks ago to see the site and if any progress had been made.  First, let me say that I went alone, with Kassey. Yes, it was the middle of the day, plenty of sunlight, but I got a bit lost and wandered in some pretty desolate areas before I finally turned on the correct road.  As I slowly started down the road, my heart rate started to increase and I could hear the thumping of each heartbeat. I had wanted to stop to take some "before" pictures, but as I looked around, I wasn't really sure where the lot was, and I didn't think it would be wise to stop the car, get out, and ask.  Maybe this is not a very Christian thing, but I was a bit scared.  There was a section between a couple of run-down homes that looked promising, except the area seemed to be a dumping ground.  Beat-up sofas, tables, and trash littered the ground.  I decided to keep going and to try again the following week. 

This time, I had been informed that a crew had gone to the site and had begun to level the lot.  Kassey and I packed up in the car again and headed out.  As I cruised through the street this time, I noticed that noone was outside.  The lot had been cleared and the trash had been cleaned up.

Head on shot of the build site.


View of the lot looking back up the road. 
 As you can see by the pictures, there is still a lot of work to be done on the site.  This Saturday, Oct. 1, SquareFoot Ministry is holding a build day.  We will begin at 8:00am and conclude around 6:00pm with a neighborhood dinner.  You can learn more about the build at http://squarefootministry.com/Kyara%20Dzenis%20Park%20Build.html.  If you live in the area and are able to volunteer on Saturday, you can sign-up at the build site on Saturday.  If you don't live near here or are unable to volunteer on Saturday, please consider making a donation.  The paypal site will direct you to a page so that you can make sure it goes towards this build.  Most of all, we ask for prayers for the build to be successful.  We have already seen God's hand at work in making this park a reality, and with our support we can make it a success.

Kyara loved to play.  When I would ask her what she enjoyed most at school it was one of two things, either the playground or naptime!  When she was in Pre-School, she loved to ride on the tire swing. Each day when I would ask about her day, it was centered around the playground.  They were either on the "little playground" or on the "big playground."  She LOVED the big playground, because that's where the tire swing was.  She would tell me all about "her boyfriend" pushing her on the tire swing.  I met this "boyfriend" of hers a couple of times, and I must say, he was quite the charmer!  When I was approached about the park build, I thought it really encompassed Kyara and her joy.  It is an amazing project that will bring laughter and fun to a place that was a bit scary for a grown woman to drive through.  I can't wait to see how God uses this build to touch others' lives.

One thing that Kyara could not escape from, no matter if she wanted to or not, was soccer.  She was born into a family that loves the sport, so from the time she was barely walking, she was around soccer.  Good thing she loved to play, too.  I was looking through some old pictures, and found some to share...

Sometimes the hardest part of soccer is not scoring the goal, but getting yourself out of the net after retrieving your ball!

Skylar and Kyara were best buddies and Kyara wanted to do everything her big sister was doing.  Skylar, obviously loved being the big sister.  What isn't shown is them both in a heap on the ground after Skylar hugged Kyara too hard and made them both fall!

These soccer pictures are from after the initial ingestion.  Kyara didn't let the fact that she couldn't eat and had to use a G-Tube slow her down. 

Look at that shielding technique.  Arm out for feel, putting her body between her opponent and the ball,   using her left foot to turn away from pressure... 

This age group was so funny.  You usually had one player on each team who understood the concept and took over, everyone else hung around watching or looking at the clouds.  In this game, Kyara was "ON!"  Memory doesn't quite serve me, but I think this is the one where she would run over to the sideline and yell "That's 1.... that's 2.... that's 3..." each time she scored.  By goal 10 it was getting a bit embarrassing!

Even when it was cold outside, she had a smile on her face and a ball at her feet!

Have a blessed day!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Play Park

Squarefoot Ministries is building a playground and community center in Griffin, Ga and have sweetly decided to do the build in memory of our angel, Kyara.  I don't know how to express in words the emotions I have.  I think it is amazing that Kyara continues to touch people's lives and that she is bringing peace, hope, and love to a poverty striken area.  God is amazing with how He works through people.  Squarefoot Ministries is an amazing organization, which is heavily involved in missionary outreach right here in our backyard.    If you live in the area, please consider volunteering on October 1st to help build this park.  If you do not live in the area, please consider donating to the organization. 

The web address for more information is:
http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.squarefootministry.com%2F&h=vAQDB70hBAQAIX7VGmll21uH9OkT7KsiSIr7Z7RkXWz17Sg


I have also pasted the information below:
The Build in Memory Of Kyara Dzenis


The Griffin Impact Community Center and Park

Griffin Play ParkDate of Build:  October 1, 2011


The Griffin Impact Center and Community Park will be located at 223 Kentucky Ave. in Griffin Georgia. This area on the north side of Griffin is a run down, extremely poor, troubled part of town. The center and park will serve as a beacon of hope and change for the area. The center will be used as a place of learning and outreach for the residents of the area. It will help them become more self sufficient, thereby helping each individual reach more of his/her potential. The park will serve as a place for children in the area to play in a safe clean environment


Impact Race Ministries and Square Foot Ministry are striving to make a difference right here by helping those who find themselves in need in our community

Below are some sobering statistics about this area.

• Average per capital income is less than $15,563.
• 23.5% live below the poverty level (9.8% are 50% below the poverty level)
• High school drop out rate is over 50%
• Unwed pregnancy rate (white –51% ) (African American – 68% )
• Unemployment rate is at 15.3%
The build is being dedicated in memory of Kyara Dzenis.

http://kyara-carepage.blogspot.com/


Join us for the final build day in Griffin Georgia for the final installation stages of the Community Park. This park and playground is being built in Griffin Georgia off Kentucky Ave. A large group of Churches and Civic organizations as well as other non-profits have come together to make this park a reality.
Work on the park will start at 8:00 A.M. and will take about 7 hours to complete. Work will included planting trees and bushes, pouring concrete for swings and climbing equipment and a picnic shelter. At 5:00 P.M. join us as we invited the neighbor to dinner. After a day's work, we all gather in the evening for fun, food.
The event is open to youth groups as well as individuals and there is not charge to participate.


To donate ,please make checks to Square Foot Ministry , P.O. Box 371, Fayetteville, Ga. 30214, mark checks for Kyara's Park. All donations are tax deductable.



Update on us:  School is under way and it is crazy in our house!  Skylar is playing soccer 4-5 times a week and Kassey is doing Karate and soccer! She is thrilled to finally have "her" soccer to go to.  I am still going to school on Monday nights and helping coach Skylar's soccer team.  Gunars is doing a great job at Georgia Pacific and is helping coach Kassey's soccer.  We are busy and we are loving it! 

Quick story:  Kassey got herself dressed for school on Thursday.  Everything looked good, we got hair brushed and off we go.  No big deal, right?  Well, AFTER school while we are in the grocery store, Kassey pulls her pants halfway down and informs me that she didn't wear panties to school!  WOW!  That is the last time I am going to let her dress herself without checking to make sure that she has EVERYTHING taken care of!  Hahaha! 

Have a great night, and thank you for keeping up with our family!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Happy Earth Birthday, Kyara!

Seven.  Kyara would have been seven on August 6th.  Time flies.  I think back to the many many times people would say to me when the girls were little... enjoy it, time flies and the next thing you know, they are moving out.  Those words ring true in a different sense to me now.  Enjoy the time we have, because you never know when they will be called home by God.  Not that I won't see her again, I know I will... but it is such a LONG wait!  I try to remind myself that in the scheme of ETERNITY, the next 60 years (give or take) is only a blink of an eye.  Some days it works, and some days I just need to hold her, tell her how much I love her, and give her an Eskimo kiss, Butterfly kiss, and Mommy kiss (our old bedtime routine, which I still do with Skylar and Kassey).

This year for her birthday we went up to Hospice Atlanta to feed the families, visitors, and staff.  I really appreciate the help of my brothers' families, my mother-in-law (Luz Estela), and Bunny and Pop for helping us get everything ready for the dinner.  I am thankful that Gunars, Skylar, and Kassey help me get everything together and go up to the Hospice center with me, even though I know it is difficult for them to go there.  Hospice Atlanta is a very peaceful center which provides end of life care for patients as well as support for their families.  The work these individuals do is amazing.  So, in celebration and rememberance of Kyara, we go up to serve them on her birthday.  So many members of the family have not had a homecooked meal in days or weeks due to caring for their loved one.  It is so nice to be able to provide a little food, comfort, a smile, and hopefully some sunshine to them.  I would love to say we do this just for these families, but sometimes I think I need it, too.  It makes me feel closer to ... I don't know what... Kyara? Jesus (serving others)? put me more in touch with my emotions?  I don't really know, but it is a tradition I hope to continue.



First day, Kyara just a few minutes old




1st Birthday - Celebrated in Hawaii!



2nd Birthday - At Stone Mountain Park!


Kyara's Third Birthday won't upload for some reason, will try again later.


4th Birthday - The first day of school (Pre-K) was her birthday.  Kyara loved school and was so excited to be in the "big girl school" with Skylar. 



School started back this morning for Skylar and Kassey starts back next week.  Soccer has started for Skylar and Kassey has been doing karate.  Our lives are about to get hectic and to tell the truth, I prefer it that way.  A little routine, a little craziness, and enough to keep my mind busy.



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hello again.

I know it has been a long time since I last posted on here.  In fact, it has been months - March 19th, Kyara's Heaven birthday to be exact. I have been running away from posting.  I felt like I should be feeling better than I am at this point. I am not sure why, but things have gotten harder for me since her 1 year "birthday".   I guess my world of denial is closing in and reality, the reality of missing her so much that my heart feels broken, is taking over.  In the past few months, Skylar has turned 9, school has ended for the girls, and summer is already half over.  Time is passing without me making the most of each day with my family.  I am guilty of allowing my grief overwhelm me at times and it puts me in such a terrible mood.  I think I believed that it was time for me to start doing things on my own.  Stop writing on the blog, stop talking about Kyara, stop looking at pictures, stop communing with God.  As I have decreased doing these things, I have found that instead of moving forward out of my grief, I have slipped further and further into it.  I saw a picture of Kyara smiling at a birthday party on the computer at my brother's house and I almost lost it.  In class (my class) we were watching a video with 5 year olds writing and one little girl wrote her "K" backwards, like Kyara used to do, and it made me cry.  Scenarios replay in my mind over and over throughout the day.  "What could we have done differently."  "Remember how Kyara used to do this?"  (And sometimes, my answer is 'no, I don't remember.)  "What would she have been like now?"  When I try to "shut-it off", I realize I am just numb to everything. 

Kassey is growing up so fast.  I pulled out the hand-me-down clothes from the attic to change out from the winter to summer.  After each season, I have donated the good clothes to Goodwill or other charities, and each time it is a little painful.  I am getting rid of the memories that I have of each of the girls wearing the same clothes. Its funny how I look at an outfit and I can remember Skylar wearing it at the beach, or in Washington, or at the soccer fields.  Now Kassey is already in 4Ts and this the last size Kyara wore before the surgery. I am struggling with the thought of not pulling down hand-me-downs that have the memories from both Skylar and Kyara for Kassey.

God is good and mysterious, though.  He has shown Kyara to a few of my friends in dreams.  I believe it is to let me know she is doing great.  She is not the one I have to worry about, I need to work on opening my heart and freeing my mind from trying to control everything!  He has it under control, if I will just surrender my will to His will.  Easy to say, not easy to do.  But here is what I have been learning over the past 3 months...  I can not do this alone.  I have tried, and I have spun into a deep dark place. 

God is using Kyara, even now to bless others.  Our church, Fayetteville First United Methodist has a group called Squarefoot Missions who is planning to build a playground in Kyara's memory.  This playground will be in a "rough" neighborhood in Griffin, Ga (a city that was devastated by the tornados that came through a month ago.)  The playground will be a blessing to the children in this neighborhood.  God, in His wisdom, has chosen a group of men at the church to remind me of the ways He can continue to find good in Kyara's passing. 

Next week we are going on the Leonard/Dzenis family beach week.  7 children (ages 2-9) and 8 adults in one house.  Well, at least we have the kids out numbered.  We have done this beach trip for 8 years, and each year it is an adventure.  Last year was tough for me, since it was our first year at the beach without Kyara, but I am hoping that this year will be a little easier.

I must say, I am feeling better, even now, after writing this down.  I really believe this blog helped me get through the past 2 years, and I am so thankful for it (and your comments of encouragement!!)  I am going to write more, for me... and for anyone who wants to read it.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

1st anniversay - Kyara Dawn Dzenis

One year ago today God gave Kyara the most precious gift - ultimate healing and a place at home with Him. Although I am so happy for her, I would give anything to have her back, even for a moment so I could hug her and kiss her and reassure her of how much I love her. I am so thankful for the time we had with her and for the lessons she has taught me, some of which I didn't learn until after her death. It is because of her that I have been on my journey to develop a relationship with God. It is because of her that I have had a journey to share with you. God works in mysterious ways and I pray you have seen His grace in her story.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Camp Stars

The weekend at Camp Stars is behind us and I can't say that I am not happy to be on the other side of camp.  Camp Stars is a camp run by Hospice Atlanta in which families who are mourning the loss of a family member can go and meet other families, enjoy the fantastic amenities at Twin Lakes, and spending bonding time while remembering our loved one.  Skylar went to the kids camp in the fall and loved it.  In fact, more than once, she cried after coming home because she wanted to go back to camp.  So this spring, we figured, why not go to the family camp?  I had some reservations about going, but if it was important to Skylar, I would do anything! 

A couple of things stood out to me during the weekend.  I live in a land of denial most of the time.  Somehow I have tricked myself into believing Kyara is just on a trip or something.  Now, I know she is in heaven and I am not delusional or anything, but I think that is a coping mechanism I have been using without realizing it.  The first night at dinner, we had to introduce ourselves and tell why we were there (who died.)  For some reason, after hearing each family say "We are so and so and we are hear because________ died," it hit home.  WE are there because Kyara died.  Even writing that doesn't seem real.  What do you mean she's dead?  She's not dead, she is just not here right now.  How do you grasp the fact that one of your babies are dead?  Well, the way I am choosing to see it is... Kyara is not dead as we know it.  She is in heaven very much alive.  She is there waiting for us to join her.  She is reminding me daily that it is my job on earth to not become spiritually dead and to rejoice in the truth of eternity together.  This time apart will be nothing compared to eternity.  In light of this way of thinking, I am going to say that I am not in denial after all.  Yes, Kyara's earthly body is dead, but now she is so much more!  Thank you, Jesus!

Another thing I realized is we are in a pretty good place right now.  Gunars and I can and have laughed again.  We enjoy today and we enjoy our girls.  Although times come when I can hardly stop crying, they are fewer and farther apart than they once were.  Memories of Kyara make me laugh more than cry these days.  She was a "Goofy-Head!"  Going to the camp and hearing everyone's heartwrenching stories was tough.  But the hardest part for me was the Memorial Ceremony at the end of the weekend.  I found it to be too much like a funeral and I have already done the funeral.  It was not something I wanted to go through again.  Once was enough for me, thank you very much.  They played very beautiful, very sad music.  The atmosphere was so solemn, as soon as you walked in it was like the air had been removed from the room and it was difficult to breathe.  People were crying before the ceremony even started.  This is the one part of the weekend that Skylar said she did not want to do.  It was...difficult.

I was happy to see how much Skylar enjoyed the counselors and the other kids at Camp Stars.  She loved them so much, we would have to "force" her to sit with us during meals!  This was a family camp after all! 

I also came to realize how difficult it is to know what to say when you find out someone's child/sister has died.  The first night, while we were checking in, there was a little girl and her father making their nametags beside us.  The administator mentioned to me that her mother was off to the side feeding their newborn baby.  The little girl was looking at me and listening to our conversation, so I asked her "Do you have a little brother or a little sister," (meaning the baby her mother was feeding.)  The girl informed me, "My little sister died and that's why we are here." Stare, stare, stare....pause. Pause.  Close your mouth, Genie, think.  Say something...anything!  "Oh, I am so sorry.  Is your mother feeding your little brother or sister?"  In my head, I am thinking... what should I say, do I mention Kyara?  Do I say, "Skylar and Kassey's sister died, too?"  How should I react?  I later learned that this is how the little girl tries to make conversations with people.  But I felt in that moment like I am sure many of you have felt when talking to me.  Especially at first.  What do I say?  Should I say this, or should I say that?  No, better stick to I am so sorry.  That is the safest route.  I don't want to upset her.  I think most of us are just looking for a connection, though.  A way to say we are not alone.

We are 3 days from Kyara's anniversary/birthday.  I am not sure how I will feel on that day.  I will do the things I do every Saturday, though.  We have soccer, both Kassey and Skylar. We will cheer them on the best we know how.  I will not stay in the bed and pull the sheets over my head, even though I may feel like it.  I couldn't decided if I wanted to do something in memory of Kyara for the 19th, there is much to be thankful for, but I would give anything to hold her in my arms again.   One day, that dream will come true! 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Writer's Block

Not that I am a true "writer," but I seem to be having a hard time writing my thoughts lately.  I am on my 3rd draft of this post, which is something I have never done in the past.  I have alsways just written what came to mind and then posted it.  I felt that gave a more "true" idea of what I  was thinking.  This time, though, I have not had a clear direction as to what to write.  So many things have been going on in my head. 

 Kyara's 1 year anniversary is coming up in a week and half.  It has not slipped by me.  I have not talked about it much because it still feels so unreal.  I think I may still be in a denial stage.  Kassey has been kinda taking Kyara's place some, too.  I am not sure how to feel about this thought.  Kassey has been my double edge sword.  She is such a blessing.  So sweet and wonderful.  She fits right into things I remember Kyara doing.  She even wears Kyara's hand-me-downs.  These are wonderful and painful reminders everyday.  But, I also think about the future, when Kassey no longer can wear Kyara's clothes, when she bypasses Kyara's earth age and I know I am going to want these reminders back!

  I have been a bear to be around lately.  I realize I have been moody and not the friendliest of people, especially to those I love the most.  Poor Gunars gets the blunt of it.  I can be downright nasty at times.  I believe it is a defense mechanism.  The closer we get to stressful dates, the worse I am to be around.

  I am realizing I am a selfish person.  I think about me, my pain, my tragedy, my life way too much.  I have been on a journey for the past 2 years to discover a relationship with God.  In the past I have been learning alot about what scripture says, intellectual stuff, but I have not really developed a relationship.   I read scripture (and I am not sure of the book, verse, or chapter - still learning;))  but it basically says... you have done all these great things in my (Jesus) name, but I do not know you.  I am that person.  Not that I have done great things, but I think I can be all talk and no relationship, if you know what I mean.  To develop a true relationship with God, I must surrender to Him, death to self.  For a selfish control-freak person like myself, this is a very difficult step.  But as the book I was reading today says, if I want to hold onto the control of parts of my life, that means I am not trusting that God can take care of it.  And if I can't trust God, then I can't have a true relationship with Him. So, I am working on this.  I want to be able to surrender all control over to the all-knowing, all-powerful Father.  While working on my surrender issues, I have had thoughts about missionary work.  I am not sure when, how, what... but I have a strong desire to look outside myself towards how I can serve others.

 This weekend we are going to Camp Stars. This is a family camp hosted by Hospice Atlanta.  Skylar went to the Children's camp in the fall and really enjoyed it.  I am a little nervous about going, but excited as well.  I worry about the automatic wall I put up as soon as I am talking to anyone about feelings.  I know I put up the wall more for my own protection than for anything else.   I have found a place of numbness that is "comfortable" at times. 

  Sweet Kassey is asking more and more about Kyara.  Again, the double edged sword.  I love that she loves her big sister.  I love that she remembers her (at least she remembers her name and can pick her out in pictures.  Kassey was just 2 when Kyara passed away.)  She will ask me, "Momma, when is Kyara coming home?"  We will have 15-20 minute conversations about where Kyara is and why she is in heaven.  Kassey even said to me today, "I can't wait to be in Heaven so I can hug Kyara.  When can I go there?  It won't be for a long time, right, Momma?  What has to happen to my body?  Oh, that's right, it has to stop working, right?"   But Kassey doesn't really understand that Kyara isn't coming "home" because SHE is home.  We are the ones who are not home.  Kyara has the ultimate home.  Which then brings me to another thought that I have been wrestling with... if we are not made for this world, why do we spend so much effort trying to keep people here?  I for one, can't wait to die so that I can forever be in the company of my Heavenly Father.  Let me rephrase that.  I am not in a grand hurry.  I am not going to help the process along... but when God calls me home, I am ready.

 Well, there you have it.  Not a great post, just a bunch of thoughts written in a crazy post. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Snow/Ice Days, Kassey is THREE!, and Basketball Championships... Oh Boy!

Quite a title, huh?  Well, the days keep moving forward, even when I wish they would slow down some.  In January, we had our first snow of 2011.  Snow is not really an accurate description.  Ice is more like it.  It was impossible to make snowmen.  It was difficult to cut through the thick ice.  In fact, Gunars got hit by a snow/ice ball (thrown by an 8 year old) and ended up with a black eye!  Atlanta tried to be prepared for the storm, but 3 snow plows for the city didn't quite cut it.  I even heard that our "sand trucks" were someone in the back of an old beat up Ford throwing sand on the road. We had the entire week off from school.  I heard many parents complain about wanting their kids back to school, and I really didn't feel that way... until Friday.  Monday-Thursday were great! We stayed outside, we sled on the ice, we went for walks around the neighborhood, we had a great time.  Then Friday came.   The roads were pretty clear by then, and really there wasn't much ice around anymore, but the kids still had the day out.  I also had the cable guy come and Gunars was back at work.  So I had to stay in the house with the cable guy instead of playing with the girls outside.  Kassey had to nap and Skylar didn't want to be alone, so we all ended up inside alot of the day.  That is when I said, "It is time for you guys to go back to school!"


Skylar was so sweet pulling Kassey down the hill on the sled.


Heading back to the top for another ride.


At one point, Skylar layed on the ground and just hung out there.  I am glad she was wearing a ski bib under her jacket; the ground MUST have been cold! 


While "body sliding" Kassey hit a sweetgum ball that was frozen in the ice with her cheek.  After wiping up the blood and putting a Dora bandaid on it, she was good as new!


Skylar's attempt at "ice angels."  Notice she is not make a budge in the ice.


Bundled up and ready to have FUN!

On January 27th, Kassey turned three!  Wow!  I have so many thoughts about this one, I don't even know where to begin.  Three years old.  Kassey is such a hoot.  I think she has been a great stress reliever for me over the past 2 1/2 years.  Of course, I loved her from the beginning - not just for the past 2 1/2 years, but it was for those times that God brought Kassey in our lives.  Gunars and I weren't trying to get pregnant again... we weren't NOT trying, either.  Just letting nature (aka GOD) take His course.    He wanted the right child at the right time to be there for us, and she was!   For her birthday, I decided to make her cake. Now, I am not a baker, so this was a challenge, and if I was going to do it, I might as well go for the gold.  So, she wanted a Cinderella cake and I hit the internet looking for ideas.  I came across one that I thought, "That is do-able."  Fondant icing, buttercream, cake, cinderella doll... sure, no problem.  After printing the recipe, I headed to Michaels' for all the supplies.  I then noticed the price tag on all this cake stuff, and called my sister-in-law, Missy, to borrow her supplies.  Skylar helped me make the fondant icing for the cake, which was alot easier than I thought.  It was MESSY, though!


Skylar getting her hands dirty!


The cake needed some work.  I dyed most of the fondant thinking I would need more for the skirt, but then didn't need it, so I just dyed the icing different colors to make the stairs.  Sadly, I think the cake didn't taste too good.  I put a TON more buttercream icing than needed and the cakes were dry.  I told Skylar I would make one for her birthday, too.  Her response, "No, thank you.  Publix does a good job."  Ouch.  :) 



Final Product


Skylar has been playing basketball this winter.  Her team was off to a rough start, with a 6th place standing going into the tournament.  There are only 8 teams in her bracket, so 6th place is... let's just say "not so good."  However, tournament time came, and our team was on their game!  We won the quarterfinal and semifinal games. WHAT?  We were in the championship game?  Sadly, our winning ended there, but we were so proud of the girls! They did a great job!

I know this has been a long post, and nothing too thought provoking, but this is life around here.  I have lots of things I am struggling with, but I will write a different post for those in the coming days.  We are heading to Spokane, Washington tomorrow to visit old friends.  I look forward to having a good trip.

Friday, January 21, 2011

2 Years Later...

It has been 2 years since Kyara's cardiac arrest.  2 years and there are parts that I remember like it was yesterday.  2 years and there are parts that I strain to remember and can't quite recreate.  On January 21, 2009, I heard my baby's voice for the last time, I felt her touch ME for the last time.  I wish I could recreate those moments.  The parts that I remember the best are the traumatic parts.  Walking around the corner and seeing one of Kyara's nurses with tears streaming down her face.  Not being told what was happening, but rather led to a "holding room" and left there with my fears racing while I waited for the doctors.  These are not the memories I want to be holding on to, but they are the one that I can't seem to let go of.

So what do you do on the second anniversary of your child's cardiac arrest which would ultimately lead to her death?  Before I answer that question, let me be clear... I lost Kyara that day.  Yes, she survived the arrest, but she never looked at me again.  She never talked to me again.  She never hugged me again.  She never talked or laughed again.  She was never KYARA again.

So, back to the question at hand...  What do you do on the second anniversary?  Well.  I don't know anyone else's answer, but I struggled to get out of bed.  Then I struggled to get dressed.  I took Kassey to a birthday party for a 3 year old in her class and I struggled to smile.  I had lunch with Bunny and Pop to investigate a resturaunt for my little brother's rehearsal dinner and I struggled to be a part of the conversation.  Tonight we will have dinner with friends then go to the high school basketball game where Skylar will be introduced and receive a trophy for winning the 3rd grade division 3v3 basketball tournament.  So, although I am in agony today, life goes on.

I believe God understands our pain.  Yesterday I got an overwhelming feeling I should watch Louie Giglio's message "How Great is Our God," so while Kassey was sleeping, I put it on the TV (I got a Passion set for Christmas).  I grabbed a blanket and snuggled into the couch with my drink and pressed play.  To be honest, I started to dose after about 30 minutes.  Not that the message was not amazing, I was just exhausted.  But I was suddenly awaken by a realization that I was asleep.  I sat up straight and put my full attention on what Louie was saying.  He was saying that the cross is proof that "God doesn't always change the circumstances, He did not change them for Jesus on that hillside outside Jerusalem.  But the cross is also proof that God always has a purpose in the circumstances and that His purpose and His plan will prevail and will triumph through any circumstances in this world."  God knew Jesus was hurting on the cross, but He didn't change the circumstance (although He could have) because He had purpose in the circumstance.  He also has purpose in our circumstance, in Kyara's circumstance.  And His purpose will be revealed, in His time. 

The other part that struck me, and has been proved to me today is scripture.  Isaiah 40:31 "But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.  They will soar high on wings like eagles.  They will run and not grow weary.  They will walk and not faint."  No, I am not soaring high, but I did get out of bed.  I put on that smile for the birthday party.  And I will cheer like a crazy woman tonight for Skylar's trophy ceremony.  God will help me.  He will renew my strength... enough to keep me going.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year

The holiday season is coming to a close with a bang this year. Literally. I heard fireworks as I was trying to go to sleep in the brother-in-law's basement last night.  Bang-bang-baang!  Welcome 2011!  Goodbye 2010, I can't say I will miss you...too much.  Although; 2010 has left us with many memories.  Some good, some not so good.  But as I have said before, I cherish ALL the memories.  They make me who I am today.  They remind me of who I was.  They are there to remind me of the journey we have taken.


We had a relatively quiet Christmas and New Years this year.  I was nervous before Christmas as to how it would feel.  Would I break down crying, would I be depressed and not enjoy the holiday.  What would the first Christmas without Kyara being here be like? I think the chaos that goes with having younger children at home during Christmas time, and the chaos of getting together with multiple families really helped keep my mind busy.  And when my mind is busy, I don't have time to stop and cry.  That is good and bad for me.  Good because I didn't want to be sad during Christmas.  It is the time to celebrate the birth of our Savior.  It is time to gather with family and loved ones and enjoy each other's company.  This is a joyous time, not a time to be sad or depressed.  So my mentality is to stay busy, so that I don't focus on the empty spot in my heart.  This idea is bad in someways, too, though.  I find that I didn't relax and really enjoy Christmas.  I was so focused on staying busy:  I continued to shop until the last possible moment (even though I could/should have been done a week earlier), we got our second Christmas tree (after the first dried out during our cruise and became a fire hazard), and for some reason, I got the brilliant idea that the presents would just wrap themselves this year.  When 2 nights before the Leonard Family Christmas, I realized that we had NONE of the presents wrapped, (and I am opposed to gift bags - there is something about wrapping paper, ribbons, and boxes being torn open that gives me that warm feeling inside) I knew we were in trouble.  Considering my wonderful, sweet husband doesn't wrap gifts (he does other things beautifully, but wrapping gifts is not his strong suite!), I knew I had a LOT of work on my hands.  And of course I could only work while the girls were asleep, and during the day...SHOP, which created MORE WRAPPING...  you get the picture....  it is a vicious cycle that had me up until 2-3:00 in the morning each night. 

So, what was my point?  Oh, yes, staying busy.  But then, Christmas came and went.  We had a lovely time.  The Leonard Family Christmas was as uneventful as you can get with 20 adults and 7 kids between the ages of 8 and 2.  "Wild and Wooly" is the way my mother, Bunny, describes it.  But, what a nice way to spend Christmas Eve.  We order a Subway platter, Chick-Fil-A platter, fruit, chips, and drinks, then spend the afternoon/evening in a big circle opening presents, laughing, and talking.  At 6:00 everyone piled in their cars to head to church for the candlelight service and communion celebrating Christ's birth.  How can you beat a day like that?  Then its home and bed before Santa comes!

We spent Christmas Day at home with the girls.  Just relaxing.  And, it SNOWED on Christmas Day.  We had a white Christmas.  Quite amazing.  The day after Christmas, we headed to south Georgia to visit my Grandmother and Granddaddy in Eastman.  A good amount of Leonards were there, so it was really nice to see aunts, uncles, and cousins who we don't see very often.

The week after Christmas was time to breathe.  This is the period that was hardest for me.  I think I stayed so busy during Christmas that I was able to ignore the emptyness, but once the hoopla was over and Gunars went back to work, I started to get down.  It was hard to figure out what the problem was.  I was moody and had a very short fuse.  By the time Gunars would get home from work, I was just about in tears.  Finally one night, Gunars asked me what was wrong and it wasn't until after telling him that the cloud started to lift.  So I am finding out, by voicing my sadness, I am able to release it, instead of holding it and letting it grow.  I am certainly going to try this new idea next time things start to feel like they are piling up on me. 

New Years was spent with the Dzenises.  We headed to north Atlanta and spent the night at Zigurds' (Gunars' brother) house.  We have a tradition of eating lobsters on New Years, so this year we had another feast.  Then we rang the New Year in with champagne and James Bond marathon.

And now we are on to a new year.  A new year means closing the book on 2010.  One thing I have been struggling with is forgiveness.  I think about how angry I am at the doctors that treated Kyara in Michigan.  I can't help but look back at things with ideas of what they should have done or how things should have been treated.  And I am angry that THEY didn't think of these ideas.  But since I am working on forgiveness and letting go, I forgive them.  This is what I have to remember...  Doctors are not God.   I tried putting that label on them, and it didn't fit.  More than once, I believed that the doctors will fix everything, but that is not realisitic.  Doctors are not God.  Doctors make mistakes.  God does not.  Doctors don't know everything.  God does. Doctors are not perfect.   God is.  So it is unfair for me to be angry with imperfect humans who made a mistake. God allowed this to happen, and God does not make mistakes.  All things are done to glorify God and Kyara's accident and death will be used to glorify God, too.  For, through this pain, I have become more aware of God's love.  HE is the one who carried me through the past 2 years. He has given me strength when I felt like I had none.  Somedays, He is the only reason I can get out of the bed.  I missed an opprotunity to glorify Him today at church with something my mom said to me.  The surmon was about the light in the darkness, and my sweet mom said she saw me as the light through the darkness of the past 2 years.  But really, it is not my doing... it is the Lord's!  He uses humans to show His glory, and HIS light was the one shining, not mine.  My human mind and body is incapable of shouldering the pain and grief of the past two years without Him.  The glory is God's, but thank you, Mom.  And thank you for being there for me, because I believe God made you my rock.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

December

We are getting ready for Christmas here and things are a "little" crazy.  We are on our second Christmas tree of the season.  Our first tree was trouble from the start.  It fell at least 2 or 3 itmes (once it was even tied up!) before we finally got it somewhat stable...with lots of string helping it and it leaning way to the side, but hey, it wasn't falling down anymore!  Then we went on the cruise and forgot to leave instructions about watering the tree.  Unfortunately, by the time we got home, the tree was so brittle, if you looked at it funny, branches would crumble!  After deciding the tree was a fire-hazard, we took it down and have now put up our second tree of the 2010 Christmas season.  So far, this one is leaning only slightly to the right and hasn't fallen yet, so it is a keeper.

Gunars and I went on a fantastic trip/cruise the first week of December to Ft. Lauderdale then to Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, and St. Marteen.  While we were in Ft. Lauderdale, we met the little boy who is going to be using Kyara's carseat.  The father is an old friend of Gunars' from Venezuela and we had the opprotunity to meet the family while in Florida.  I had mixed feelings going into this.  When Gunars first mentioned it as a possibility, I jumped at the chance.  Absolutely, I wanted to meet them.  But as time got closer, I was beginning to get cold feet.  What would it be like?  Would I bawl my eyes out?  Would I feel nothing?  Would it make me sad to see this precious child, or happy to be able to help them in anyway we could?  Well, the little boy was beautiful.  As soon as they were in the house, I asked to get him out of the stroller so that I could hold him.  He reminded me of Kyara in so many ways, and to be able to snuggle with him was like wrapping my arms around her again.  Of course, the tears came.  But I tried to stop them the best I could.  It was nice to talk to the mother and give some encouragement and really, just talk to someone who understands the trials and tribulations of having a severly disabled child.  The little boy was only 2, so he was still like a baby.  It is a bit different as they get older.  Things like moving them from bed to wheelchair, or into the shower, or in the car are things that have to be figured out as they grow.

The next day, Gunars and I took a walk on the Riverfront in Fort Lauderdale.



We then boarded our cruise ship to head off on our 7 day trip. Can you see me in the picture below?  It is like a Where's Waldo.  The boat was HUGE!!

We had a balcony room. 


After a full day at sea on Monday, we arrived in Puerto Rico on Tuesday.  We decided to do a cruise excursion and do a zipline canopy tour through the rain forest.  Can you believe it rained?   But that didn't stop us.  After the zipline tour, we caught a taxi back to old town San Juan and ate dinner. Then back to the ship.

The next day we awoke in St. Thomas.  We went to a small Sea World type establishment and Gunars fed stingrays. We watched a show with sealions and learned about sea turtles.  We then walked over to Coki Beach and Gunars snorkeled to fish watch while I rented a beach chair and people watched.  We rented a taxi/bus and took a short sightseeing tour of the island then headed back to the ship for dinner. 

The next morning we arrived in St. Marteen.  We decided to rent a car here so that we could see the island on our own time.  We arrived on the Dutch side of the island and hit every beach we could to take some pictures.  I found it interesting that each beach had a different look to it.  Some were sandy, some rocky, some a mixture of the two.  We drove to the French side of the island, too, and ate lunch at a beautiful restraunt.  Unfortunately for us, we mixed up the conversion ratio of the prices, and lunch cost more than a nice dinner out at home!  What a surprise that was when we got the bill.  Oh well, the food was AMAZING!  We also hit the nude beach on the French side.  NO - we did NOT go nude. :)  But a nice gentleman put on his towel and offered to take our picture.

I would insert pictures, but for some reason I can't get the image thing to work.  I will try to post more pictures later.

We spent the next two days on the ship headed back to Fort Lauderdale.  By the time we got home I was more than ready to see the girls again.  I missed them so much, but must say, not having to cook, clean, do laundry or any of the other things was NICE.  ;) 

As good of a time I had on the cruise, and it was amazing, I still had this hole in the my heart that wasn't filled.  It seems nothing can fill it.  That part of my heart belongs to Kyara.  It will always be hers, and one day, when we are together again it will be whole again.  Until then, I am trying to learn to live with a piece missing. 


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cruising Along

In case the title didn't give you a hint, I'll enlighten you.  Gunars and I went on a cruise.  We celebrated our 10th anniversary this October and decided to take a cruise.  It was important for us to get some alone time to really get solid again.  This year has been a stressful year, well, actually the past two years have been stressful, and there are two ways this stress could drive us... together or apart.   We are committed to maintaining our love for each other and our family, so we needed to take time out for the two of us.

If you haven't been on a cruise, I HIGHLY recommend it!  Wow!  The ship was fantastic, the crew was unbelievable, and for us, the length was perfect.  We went for 7 days to the Eastern Carribean.  By day 5, I was missing the girls and ready to go home.  Gunars felt that way the 6th night.  Really, it worked out well. We saw shows on the boat, we toured St. Marteeen and St. Thomas and ziplined in the rainforest of San Juan. 

Skylar and Kassey spent the week with Bunny and Lulou (Gunars' mom).  My parents had the girls the first weekend, then Lulou stayed at our house with the girls the rest of the week.  Skylar had a tough time with us going, but Kassey didn't really know what was happening.  The second night she told me on the phone that she would "Beat you home".   Well, yes, Sweetheart.  By a couple of days! :)  We were able to stay in touch with limited internet and cell phones when we were in the US territories.  

Right now we are sitting the Ft. Lauderdale airport waiting for our flight home.  I am ready, but not looking forward to the cold weather I hear Atlanta is having.  Yuck!  Just yesterday I was laying out by the pool in my swimsuit! 

I will post some pictures once we have settled back in at home. 

Christmas time is just around the bend and I am perplexed as to how to deal with this holiday.  We have two stockings hung, one for Kassey and one for Skylar.  Seems a little strange.  I still have all of Kyara's ornaments that she made.  They are on the tree.  One has her face and is in the shape of an angel.  I put that one front and center.  I want her to be in full view.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Memories

Thanksgiving... What am I most thankful for?  Memories.  Not that I want to live in the past, but what a joy to be able to remember the good times.  Now, if memories could be a little more selective, that would absolutely rule.  "Only the good ones, please!"  But, to be honest, sometimes the bad ones are good, too.  It reminds me of how much I loved Kyara because of how much they hurt.  A little weird?  I want to remember my memories, and each day they seem to be slipping slowly away.  The sound of Kyara's laughter is slipping away.  The warmth of her touch, the smell of her hair, the funny things she would say and do.  When I am in the moment, I think, I will remember this forever, but it doesn't happen.  People grow and change and the new memories cover the old. 

 I am getting used to having only two girls at home.  It rips at my heart. I don't want to get used to it.  This is not how it was suppose to go.  Sometimes, even the painful memories are welcomed with open arms. 

So, I have decided to share some of my memories.  Not all at once, I want to cherish them, too.  But, here and there... a memory.


Kyara had her own nickname for herself.  Yes, we called her Kiki sometimes, especially when she was a baby and toddler.  But, even as she got older, there was one that stuck and she would remind me of her name.  I would call her "Silly".  And everytime, she would reply:  "My name is not Silly, its 'Goofyhead.'"
No exclamation point.  She was completely serious and would deadpan the answer.  I don't remember where she got this name, but she liked it.  A memory that makes me smile through my tears.

I love you and I miss you so much, Goofyhead! 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Before and After - GRAY NEWS!

The before shot.  A little nervous!



 Final cut.  Well, from the front, I don't even look that gray!


But the side picture tells another story!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hindsight is 20/20...or maybe not...

At this time of the year, I think back to 2 years ago and wonder... did we make the right decision to go do the esophageal surgery on Kyara?  I can honestly say..."Yes, we made the best decision we could at the time." But, I wish we had known the future, so that I could say.. "NO!  Don't do it!"  That is not the way life works though, is it?  We have to make daily decisions on what is best.  Before making the decision to have the surgery done in Michigan, I did not pray to ask if we were doing right.  I did not let God take the lead.  I trusted my own Mommy instincts to decided what was right or wrong and I walked the path alone (well, not alone, with Gunars.  And actually, the more that I think about it, I wasn't alone because God was still there.  He didn't forsake me just because I didn't ask His opinion.  Although, He may have led us in another direction.)  My point is... we made the decision with our human minds and hearts, not asking God's will.  But don't you know, the moment it was time for the surgery I was praying for a good outcome.  Again, not asking for God's will, but mine.  So goes the story of my life...  Not "Thank you, God for the awesome blessings.  How can I best serve You?"  But "God, where are you?  I need help.  Why are you not here?"  It wasn't until Kyara's cardiac arrest that I started to really pray for God's Will, but even then, it was..."Do this...oh, if it is Your Will."  I would kinda add that in as an afterthought.  And I came to realize that my plans, my will, was not being done.  I so clearly remember the day that I said "God, what is your plan?  Please help me feel peace with Your Will.  And if that means, Kyara receives your ultimate healing in Heaven, then let it be."  Suddenly, I felt an overwhelming peace and a voice in my head said, "Kyara has been ready.  We have been waiting for you to be ready."  And I knew that her time left was short and that it was ok.  It was not too long after that that Kyara's health began to decline and we ended up going through Hospice.  Although the process was hard, God carried me through it and I was at peace with our decisions.

Now, 7 1/2 months later, I am having doubts.  In the past month or so I have not been praying regularly - except the prayers with the girls before bed.  I have fallen out of my devotional time.  I have allowed Chemistry and this world take over... and now I feel like I am swimming up stream without a paddle (I know I didn't get the metaphor or similie or whatever correct, but I can't remember how the saying goes.)  I am wrestling with myself constantly as to whether we made the right decisions.  Did I really hear that from God, or was it just my mind playing tricks - or worse, was the Devil testing me?  Did I love her enough, does she know how much I love her?  Whether I prepared Kyara for God (which is my biggest fear...). They say "Hindsight is 20/20," but I say..."Not always."  Now, I make sure I pray with Kassey and Skylar.  We read a devotional Bible almost everynight, and I don't shy away from conversations anymore.  I am trying to instill the importance of having a relationship with God and Jesus.  But, what about me?  I need to focus on my relationship because it is hurting.  And I am finding that when my relationship with God and Jesus is suffering, I don't feel great.  I start to feel numb which is hurting all my other relationships around me.  So, my new goal is to start spending more time with my Lord and Savior.  I know this will help bring me out of the rut I am in.

Lord - I trusted you with my life before, I will lean on you and trust you again. 


Not to make light of the all that I have written, but just a quick Gray Hair Update:  I have an appointment to get my hair cut tomorrow (Wednesday) at 12:30 pm.  I am looking at a pixie style cut to remove alot of the colored portions.  This will be the first time I will have this short of hair.  Oh boy -- YIKES!  I will post pictures when we get home. 

One more thing -  I love to read your comments. When I see that I have a comment on the page, it absolutely makes my day.  Agree with what I write, don't agree and tell me where I am wrong, just say hello, suggest songs for the page, whatever.  I greatly appreciate you all who have kept up with us and you have been such a wonderful inspiration to me.  Thank you for caring about our family, and for "listening" to me vent. :)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

HALLOWEEN!

"H-A-Double L-O...W-Double E-N"  Spells Halloween!

I am trying to get into the spirit, but this year is a little tough.  I am working on desserts to take to a dinner tonight and I have a house that looks like I should be on Hoarders.  The boxes are piled up, the laundry is everywhere.  It is a mess.  In the mean time, I am doing an education curriculum class and chemistry (which Gunars keeps reminding me... chemistry is not that bad, but your teacher is ruining it!) and my in home labs are not working.  I am doing the homework, but I don't really understand what I am doing.  I am terrified to take the exam... especially if its not open book!  How am I suppose to remember all those formulas, I am having a hard enough time remembering my kids' own names lately!  Get through this semester... that is what I am planning... just get through it (and pass so I don't have to do it again!)

So, this is a short post since I really have too much to do, but I will post again soon.  I can't wait to get pictures of the girls and Gunars with their Halloween costumes on.  Oh, and by the way, I did decorate some for Halloween.  We have a "graveyard" in the front yard, some spiderwebs, etc. This is a fun holiday and each year I hope it will be less and less difficult for me to enjoy it.  It is difficult to remember that 2 years ago tonight we started our journey to Michigan full of hope and excitement for Kyara's surgery.  We never expected to lose her.  Amazing how excitement turns into horror.  A little like Halloween, though...  Excitement and horror. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

It's Fall, Ya'll!

The mornings are cooler and the days are perfect.  The leaves are changing and the smell of pumpkin spice is in the air.  I LOVE fall!  Soccer is under way and we are spending a ton of time at the fields.  I can't think of a better place to be!   We are discussing the November soccer tournament that we will take the girls, too.  YES! Tournament time = FALL!  College football is full stream ahead, and I am STILL cheering for the Gators, even if we are having a harder time this year.  FALL, Ya'll!  My favorite month of fall is October.  I love the weather, I love the pumpkins, I love the colors, it is like God has painted a different beautiful picture everytime you look at the trees!  What an artist!  I love the fact that Gunars and I were married in October, and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Halloween!  I love CANDY!  Trick-or-Treating!  Dressing up!  Yipee!  FALL, Ya'll!  I mean, who can resist some yummy candy corn, or even better, the good chocolate from Trick-or Treating?  I have to wait to buy my candy stash until closer to the big night, because I have been known to eat all the treats! 

I looking back over my previous paragraph and I realized that I appear to be exclamation point happy and caps lock crazy.  Sorry about that.  I just want to emphasize how much I love this time of the year, because I am now facing conflicting emotions.   Halloween is my favorite holiday.  I love getting spooked.  I love "haunted" houses.  I love the creepy, scary, adrenaline rush of not knowing what's coming around the corner.  I love the makeup and the decorations.  I love Trick-or-Treating, and I love candy.  This year, however, I am not sure how I should feel.  I want to decorate our yard and make it "scary", but is it inappropriate for me to put up gravestones?  Are skulls now off limits?  How about the signs that are bit... unwelcoming?  Having lost a daughter 7 months ago, I am now a bit more sensitive to these things.  But at the same time, that is part of the fun of Halloween!  The pumpkins are nice and all, but what about the thrill?  I also don't want to make light of death or the afterlife.  In the past it has always been a fun holiday, but now, it has new meaning.  I am not sure how to approach it.

We are busy bees around here.  I am still struggling with Chemistry.  It stinks!  Skylar is in the middle of her soccer season and has had tryouts for basketball.  Kassey has also started soccer with SmartStart and is loving it!  She tells us, "We go to MY soccer game?"  Shinguards, jersey, shorts, long socks, ball... check!  Very cute, fun hour watch 2-4 year olds trip over the ball...check!(I have been corrected, Kassey doesn't trip over the ball ;)  But they look like it because the ball is taller than their knees!) Kassey loving every minute...check!  Good times!  Gunars is helping coach the SmartStart group and has really enjoyed getting involved with the kids again. 

Last week, Bunny, Kassey, and I took a roadtrip to Florida to pick up... my new car!  Yeah!  My poor van has been on its last leg for some time now and I have been nursing it to keep it on the road.  So, we did a ton of research and waited for months to find the perfect car to replace the van.  Then, one morning, I saw a car on ebay that was not exactly what I wanted, but would be okay.  It had 52 minutes left on the clock and had an "Or best offer" option.  So we low-balled, knowing that if we didn't get it, that was fine since it wasn't "perfect."  Well, to our surprise, it was accepted!  So, 36 hours later, we had a one-way rental car and were on our way to good ole' Florida!   This trip was hard on Skylar, though.  I think the fact that Bunny, Kassey, and I were on a roadtrip brought back memories of us going to Michigan because it was Bunny, Kassey, Kyara, and I on that trip.  We had told her it would be a few days, then we would be back home.  Instead it was a few months, and Kyara had had the cardiac arrest, so her sister was never the same again.   Life changes unexpectedly sometimes.  Anyway, the 2 nights we were gone were tough, but Skylar seems to be doing much better now.

So, on to the real news...  My hair.  I have not colored my hair in 2 1/2 months.  My silvers are coming in nicely.  Now I have to make the decision about what to do.  The silver is starting to really show and looks a bit tacky with an obvious line of colored hair versus silver hair.  I am thinking about buzzing all my hair off.  Ok, maybe not a total buzz, but a very short pixie style.  I have been looking around and I am thinking a Jamie Lee Curtis style will work.  But now I need the guts to get the cuts!  Enjoy the pictures, and don't laugh too hard! 

Have a blessed week!

 Wow!  The Silvers are showing!