Monday, November 25, 2013

She Has Eternity

Yesterday we had our "Winter Baby Birthday Bash" and it was amazing.  We celebrated Desirae's 11th, Isaiah's 7th, Rachel's 3rd and Asa's 2nd birthday.

First, let me say that I did this for a couple of reasons - for one, we have 4 birthdays with Thanksgiving and Christmas all within 6 weeks of each other. This helped simplify our lives.  But another part of it was that I was scared to death that if I had a party for Rachel, nobody would show up.  I told myself I didn't need a party for her anymore, but as the seasons changed and I felt 'her time of year' coming, I knew my heart couldn't handle that.  I figured this way, I wouldn't know if nobody showed up for Rachel.  I also knew that whether they liked it or not, the people who did come would think of her and hear me say her name. And even though I felt like I was shorting them all by not giving them their own party (I LOVE throwing them each a party), I felt good knowing that Rachel was getting the same as the rest of them.

I mentioned in my last post that not many that were there when Rachel was born were coming.  My parents and my nurse/friend Kim were here. I think this was the only downfall to combining the parties - it kind of made it less of a serious day, I think (for lack of better words) so maybe it was easier to turn down. For some reason, being with the people who met Rachel on her day I feel closer to her... and I feel less like I needed to explain anything to anyone.  They were all there and they know what the day held for me. 

But this is where combining the parties was good for me... because this house was hopping!  It was great.  God met needs I didn't know I had.

We had a lady named Claire offer to make Rachel's birthday cake this year as a gift and when I said we were combining the birthdays, she worked with me to incorporate everyone.  She delivered the most amazing cake and cupcakes I've ever seen!  I looked at it and thanked her, but when she left and I *really* looked at it and told the kids how she didn't charge us for it, I started crying...  Rachel has brought us so many amazing people who have a heart to help us just because she is loved.  It's humbling.  I'm just so thankful for that.  Please know that even when I don't say it (which I hope is not often!) my heart overflows with gratitude for every ounce of love we are given as we walk this path.

Here are some photos (wish the quality was better, these don't do any of this justice - I failed in the photo department this party)

Yes, these are edible!!  "Asa" is skiing! :)

Not sure if she did it on purpose or not, but Rachel's name is in Christmas colors. (love it!)
Another spin on my homemade cupcake holder... snowflakes and snowballs on the cupcakes!  She put a snowflake under Rachel's #3 - my irreplaceable girl...

Des & I had fun decorating... (with TONS of technical help from my dear friend Lisa)
The "Arctic Freeze Punch" was a huge hit and super cute.
The kids' favorite food name was "Penguin Poop" - AKA: Meatballs - lol.

 My favorite part about combining the birthdays is that this is the first year since the day she was born that we sang happy birthday to her...  It was such a surprise blessing for me.  It wasn't a piece of the day that I had given much thought to, but I was so thankful for it when we did it...

They all got their own cupcake with edible penguin - Sam ate Rachel's for her, since he didn't have one.

Des was missing Jay - she's always at the top of the guest list.
The penguin piñata...  I loved how the belly had a white heart on it.
The birthday bunch

I set up a little station with some favors for guests to take home ("penguin snacks" AKA: Goldfish!)and with one of Rachel's birthday baskets on it for people to look through.  I really loved being able to show people the things I've been working on - and to be able to talk about the day Rachel was born as I did.
And of course, daisies and Rolo's...
At the end of the party, I discovered a bunch of cards/gifts for my girl that I hadn't realized people had brought.... it left me speechless.  I had a smile from ear to ear.  THANK YOU to everyone who celebrated her with me.  You have no idea how much I needed it.  It seems crazy to some, but there is nothing as good as seeing Rachel's name written by someone else... to just have her get a card, regardless of the contents or words does something for me that I can't explain, but I so need. To know that she is remembered and that people know that I want her to be included and are willing to include her means the world.  My heart has been so heavy and I've been having an extremely hard time with this birthday approaching.  I'm not ready for her to be gone 3 years already - as if I can change that fact with denial??  I was desperate to have friends and family remember her with me - and God has provided.  thank you.
An unbelievably perfect gift from my friend Donna - it's a Precious Moments vase.
Every moment is precious.... and since we still have fresh flowers always on the counter to represent Rachel's presence in our home, I now have the most perfect vase to put them in!  She has touched so many hearts.  Especially mine.
Rachel's gifts...including enough money to cover 2 more care baskets!!  THANK YOU ALL!!!
I wanted to go to Rachel's grave and let a couple of the balloons go, but wasn't able to make it there. As I was cleaning up from the day, I looked outside and snow was falling, just like it did on Rachel's birthday in 2010.  Maybe I'm wrong, but I like to believe God was letting me know that she isn't as far away as she feels.
It was a perfect Winter Baby Birthday Bash... with a perfect ending for this winter baby Mama's heart.  I can't believe it's been 3 whole years...and yet I can't believe it's only been 3 years.  I can't believe how hard it's been and how many tears I have cried... I can't believe how much it has hurt and how actually physically painful a broken heart can be.  And yet I can't believe how beautiful this journey has been, how many blessings I have received, how great and unending God's love is for me and my family... I can't believe how many times I have smiled, how many times I have been able to bless others through it all... I can't believe how far her story has reached and how many times I have heard that she has changed someone's life - through her death. 
I've always said that I would want to keep her if I could have.  And in my humanness, I probably would.  But when I can see the big picture through God's eyes, I wouldn't change a thing.  So, this might sound wrong, but hopefully it will make sense... it just dawned on me that I would love to have another little girl someday, but I don't want it to be Rachel (see, having trouble putting that into words...)  I just mean that I love her for exactly who she was and is and will be in heaven.  I love her for her anencephaly.  I love her for her 43 minutes.  I love her for her death.  I love her for who she has made me and for the amazing purpose she has given me.  I love her for just being her - even in her death.  I love her.  I love how hard this has been - because good things are hard.  And she has been worth it all.  I love her for showing me Jesus so clearly.  For being a piece of heaven in my arms... and in my heart.  But mostly, I just love that I can always celebrate all my winter babies - my Christmas baby included - because even though she isn't here physically, God shows me every day that she is still very much alive.  Not in the way that I would have hoped for the temporary... but she has eternity.  And as her birthday approaches, my prayer is that I can truly celebrate that this year... she has eternity. 


  1. Amazing party,congrats. Rachel is allways by your side. :)

  2. What a beautiful way to celebrate the birthdays. LOVED the penguins! Thank you for sharing your family with us strangers. Your family is amazing! Rachel stays close to my heart and as I battled breast cancer this year I was encouraged so much by you and by Rachel. I will never forget this precious Girl or her family. Happy Thanksgiving!!


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