Tuesday, September 20, 2011

She would be 11...

I've had this blog post idea swirling around in my head for over a week now. On the morning of Sept. 12th I was listening to the radio and the DJs were talking about the 9-11 memorials. They were asking their listeners (me) if there was anything in our lives that we memorialize year to year and how God has healed us over time.

I immediately thought of our sweet baby girl and the tradition we started 11 years ago.

Here we are at the cemetary on Christen's 1st Birthday
R worked so hard in that little plot of dirt. We planted trees and spread lava rock and rejoiced in the miracle of life. In the midst of our sorrow, God had blessed us with hope for the future ~ Christen would soon have a baby brother.

July 26, 2002

This was the picture that started the tradition. I really had not set out to do this every year. It's just something that happened. Instead of blowing out the candles and singing, "Happy Birthday" we sat as a little family smiling...for we were blessed.

July 26, 2003

July 26, 2004
July 26th, 2004; now this was a special day. Just about two hours before heading out for our traditional birthday picture I found out that R was going to be a big brother. I cannot tell you how it made my heart sing to find out this wonderful news on Christen's 4th birthday. Once again...blessings.

July 26, 2005
Look at those sweet little faces. So happy to be able to share this day with our sweet babies.

July 26, 2006
I remember as a child feeling very uncomfortable going to cemetaries. It's always amazes me that my kids are totally fine with it. They've grown up knowing this is where we go to celebrate their sister's birthday. They run around looking at headstones. Now that they're older they like to read them. They fix the flowers that have fallen out of vases. They are especially interested in the smaller headstones...

July 26, 2007
I love these pics from 2007. I wish I could go back and hug those little people that have grown so much over the last few years.

July 26, 2008
K's 4 and R's 7 and we're smack dab in the middle of summer baseball, but we make the drive south to the cemetary to take flowers and a picture. Our little family is growing and K talks about her sister as if she's right there with us. I love how this little girl, who was born almost 5 years after we said good-bye to her sister, keeps her alive in her heart.

July 26, 2009
K went with me this year to pick out the flowers. She loved the butterflies and helped me arrange the vases.

July 26, 2010
This picture almost didn't happen. My camera had just enough battery to take one picture. Thank you God for this one picture.

July 26, 2011
Here we are this year. I love these pictures. I love how the kids are posing behind Christen's headstone. I love how, in their hearts, they know they will see her someday and the cold stone that makes her real today will be replaced with loving arms.

This is our memorial. This is proof that God is a God of hope. We will keep going every year and we will keep remembering what God has brought us through.

We love you sweet girl...

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