I’m not really one to write a huge, long birthday post every year for each of my kiddos.  I hope that they know they are special and loved without that.  In fact as they get older I imagine they won’t always appreciate having the details of their lives and birthday bashes splashed across my blog, accessible to the world.  However, there are moments that I feel the celebration of their birth is really more about my unpacking where they’ve come from and where they are going.

Lanae is my third child.  In so many ways she fits the mold of “birth order”.  She’s a middle child!  I can see that she sometimes feels forgotten, ignored, unimportant.  She yearns to shine bright but I see the crushing of her little heart overshadowed by two big brothers and a baby sister.  I know she’ll be fine.  She’s resilient, beautiful, amazing, smart and host of other wonderful attributes.  But she’s also my sweet, sweet little girl.  I long to hold her close, protect her, tell her she will succeed, she is loved, she is worthwhile and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she hears me and believes me from now until her last breath.  But I see in her a niggling of doubt.  A constant pain of uncertainty, insecurity, if you will.  And I pray that she will overcome that.

You see she is the child I prayed I would get but never fully believed I would.  I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way to those who have faced issues of infertility or who have lost a child.  What I mean is that her arrival bestowed upon me the immense privilege of experiencing life with a daughter (and in fact, granted me the opportunity to experience it twice).  After the arrival of our two boys I pondered what life might look like in a houseful of boys.  My outlook shifted a bit as I tried to wrap my mind around that.  When I first found out I was expecting our third, I had in my mind that this little one may be the completion of our family.  James told me we would be finding out the gender because he knew he could survive three boys, but the possibility of four boys was more than he could fathom.  More importantly, he needed me to wrap my head around what my life would look like long before the child arrived.  He had no interest in a wife delivering a healthy, wonderful little boy only to be overcome with disappointment because he wasn’t a girl.

But, of course, God always knows the plan.  I sometimes wonder if he doesn’t look at us with a minor smirk and say, “if only they’d just trust me, they’d know I already have it all figured out”.  In this case, I’m sure He did.  When we found out Lanae was on her way, it opened the door to possibility.

131214_MHP_Davenport_029When I look at her now I see this stunning, little lady.  I can’t imagine how different my life would have been without her.  Sometimes I struggle to “get” her.  She’s intense!  She’s affectionate but standoffish.  She knows what she wants but sometimes struggles to go after it.  She’s so, SO precious.

My privilege in raising her is recognizing the ways she is herself.  I can pinpoint exactly who she looks like, oddly a total “mini-me” of her Uncle Cam, James’ youngest brother.  But I can’t pinpoint those obvious character traits that place her more in relation to my side or James’ side.  However, I am reminded through that, that she is her own person.  She’s exactly who God created her to be and while she may find along the way that she favours certain relations in her life, I think she’ll be a much happier, content individual when she settles into the fact that she is herself.  Perfectly made for a purpose at this time in history, in this family, as Lanae Daelyn Davenport!

HAPPY 8TH BIRTHDAY SWEET CHILD.  You are LOVED!!

Someone asked me that today.  It was a heartbreaking question in the wake of a tragic circumstance.  Both of us sitting on the sidelines of someone else’s tragedy but feeling the soul-crushing loss deep in our own souls because we live in community and we share each other’s burdens.

It doesn’t end, my dear.  But it changes for those of us on the sidelines.  Our heart scars bear testimony to what we witnessed and life goes on.  What changes is the pit in our stomach goes away and the memory of the tragedy doesn’t haunt us in every moment.  We daily are reminded, often in the little things, because it’s impossible to forget.  The tears don’t flow every time we relive the moments but the heaviness remains in the memories.

Sometimes I remember something about that day or week or month and my mind relives the entire process.  Sometimes it stretches that scar enough to make it hurt and other times it feels like the pain of a wound reopened.  It’s never far from my mind, easily retrieved from the corners of my mind to be understood and not understood all at one time.

Sometimes it’s in the witness of another’s circumstance that we are brought back to the gut-wrenching knowledge of our own loss.  But as time passes we are able to pick ourselves up much quicker.  To find the joy in the places we know we can, to continue with the life we’ve been given.

I felt that today after the question had been asked.  I stood in the pew in our morning worship service, thankful as always to be surrounded by people I love and who love me.  My children crowded into the chairs beside and in front of me.  Sunday mornings are often mornings of remembrance for me.  I still can’t define why this is the case but I often find myself thinking of little Ryker as I worship.  This morning my heart was full but he wasn’t far from my mind.  Then a dear friend shared her heart.  She shared of God’s mercy in the midst of tragedy and I was thankful for the reminder.  But seconds later I felt the opening of my heart as my youngest son, hurdled the chairs in front of me, into my arms and sobbed, great heaving sobs into my chest.  He felt it too.  The reopening of a that wound, the recognition that suffering on this earth doesn’t ever end.

We find joy because God has shown us mercy but the sorrow never ends.  It just changes.  It is there for us to give back to Him daily.  To live with the peace that one day it will be taken from us.  But until that day it reminds us that we cannot travel this earth alone.  It brings us back to His feet, seeking comfort.

Dear friend, it will end the day we come face to face with our Creator and alongside those gone before us, are able to lay ourselves at His feet.

I’VE BEEN BUSY…

It has been a few weeks since I’ve touched the pages of this blog.  I could say it’s because I’ve been busy and that would be true to a degree…I’ve been busy reacquainting myself with my children after a very long year of being tied up with studies, I’ve been busy galavanting through the natural beauty of the province I live in, I’ve been busy reconnecting with friends whom get neglected when the chaos of school and extra-curricular takes priority, I’ve been busy, busy, busy.

OR PERHAPS I HAVEN’T HAD MUCH TO SAY.

I love blogging.  I love journalling. It gives me a chance to look back and see where I’ve been, how my journey has unfolded and perhaps give me insight into where I’m headed.  But there are times that life goes quiet.  I contemplated an update about how life was going in our home earlier in the summer but it seemed a bit silly to spend time sitting in front of a blank screen and imagine some important words to share when really life has been pretty average.

AVERAGE BUT AWESOME!

Okay “average” makes it sound like we’ve done nothing and that’s not entirely true.  James and I navigated an across the world trip for 12 days that was amazingly successful and enjoyed that opportunity immensely.  Our children survived and even more than enjoyed their time with both sets of grandparents.  We’ve done some pretty cool small trips with our kids this summer.  I took the kids to Whistler at for a few days with friends and we enjoyed the sights of a magnificent piece of nature that I haven’t seen in 13 years.  The six of us also headed to Seattle for a day and night for a Mariners game and to stay in a hotel.  It was only one night but our kids were ecstatic to have our attention for 48 hours and the thrill of a hotel with a pool never seems to lose its appeal.  We did the PNE for a day and I took the kids back to Whistler with my parents to experience the peaks of those beautiful mountains.  We stayed in “our own backyard”, so to speak, and enjoyed all it had to offer.

We’ve also spent a great deal of time with family, cousins and friends just basking in the glorious weather and the joy of being spontaneous!  Sleepovers, BBQs, bowling, swimming, etc. have been incredibly fabulous.

WHAT’S NEXT?

As our summer has drawn to a close we’ve faced some serious uncertainty!  Many families on our side of the Coast are in the same boat.  The usual anticipation, anxiety, and excitement has turned to a seemingly endless summer.  While my kids are not really upset by the whole situation, I feel the wearing on them and the need of return to routine.  We’re trying to make the best of a situation that appears to have no end.  A return to the routine of extra-curricular activities, the addition of a few “educational” endeavors at home and the hope that school will return to regular session VERY soon.

As we get back to some of the normal things we do I’m hoping to add a few more thoughts to my blog!  Share some of the joys of parenting, marriage and eventually joys of my new journey of teaching.

Passage of Time

Today marks the anniversary of Ryker Leif’s birth and death.  To be honest I wasn’t really sure how I’d feel today.  There are certainly less tears shed as time has passed.  They still come on occasion but less frequently.  I thought perhaps the day would pass as every other day has with the acknowledgement that there is still grief but the sharp pain of it has passed to a dull ache.  But truthfully the past week has brought different waves of sorrow.  I have seen countless pregnant bellies, newborn babies, and toddlers.  I’m not sure if perhaps I’m uber aware of them at this moment in time or if the Spring has truly brought about so much new-ness of life.  Whatever the case I feel acutely aware of the should have beens.

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I’m pretty sure no one ever told me raising boys would be easy!  In fact I’ve never heard anyone say raising any child(ren) would be easy.  I do feel privileged, in a way, to have the experience of raising two boys and two girls.  You see, there is an interesting dynamic that occurs between brothers and one that occurs between sisters.  I could probably write a series of books for both, but for the sake of today’s post I’ll focus on all things “snips and snails and puppy dog tails”!!!

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The day is looming and no amount of stalling will halt it…Next week will mark 6 months since we said goodbye to a precious little boy and let a piece of our hearts go with him.  I speak from a different place than his mommy and daddy but we still share the sorrow and grief of missing him deeply, feeling his absence in the most remarkable way and never knowing when his memory will surface. Continue reading

Living with the blur

We all know there are times when you just aren’t sure exactly what the plan is and you don’t even know where to start to figure it out.  I feel a little like that these days.  I have nothing to complain about in the big picture of things so I won’t do that, but I do often wonder what the bigger picture actually looks like.  This week has already been amazingly interesting and it was only Tuesday night when I started this and it’s only gotten more intriguing, although, I guess in fairness there isn’t much in my life that’s just quiet and slow-paced.  Most of my life is lived in a bit of a blur and while I know there is constant encouragement from various places to just slow down and live in the moment I literally feel like this stage of my life is somewhat out of my control when it comes to the pace.  I know I can choose to add things or not but quite frankly there is little I can take away at this point.

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NEW THINGS

Okay so it’s been way too long since I updated my blog!  A few things have happened along the way, probably two of the most significant events include starting school and becoming an auntie again!  Funny thing is that both happened on the same day…weird to say the least.  Over the last two weeks both of these events have given me opportunity for a great deal of reflection and added an element of emotion to my life.

At this point I don’t think I’ll have time or energy to get into too much detail but there are a few things I would love to share…

ON BECOMING AN AUNTIE AGAIN…

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So while we celebrate Father’s Day every June, we also celebrate the birthday of a pretty special guy!  This year we were set to celebrate a pretty big milestone with my Dad.  60 glorious years of life!  He may beg to differ on all 60 of them being glorious but it seems appropriate that this milestone deserves a bit of exaggeration.  Needless to say that with the events of the previous month we were all finding it difficult to muster the energy and desire to put together a big shindig AND my father is not one for extravagant parties.  He is the epitome of the “strong, silent” type.  Instead we opted for a small, family gathering with just our immediate family.  A fun, photo scavenger hunt was put together, teams were created, funky hats were distributed, 60 citronella candles were purchased and food arranged.

We had so much fun celebrating the man who has quietly loved us through life.  My dad is an unassuming individual who has spent most of his life giving of himself so that his family would never go without.  I don’t think I have ever heard him complain about how difficult life can be.  Don’t get me wrong there are plenty of stories we could share about his amusing antics, making us graham cracker chicken, making us eat outside or in the garage as a punishment for poor table manners or disobedience, an encounter or two with a belt of the leather variety, etc.  Better yet, we could probably share some insider information on the fact that he’ll eat almost anything because his tastebuds are literally broken, he has a few grandkids but one little granddaughter has him particularly wrapped around her little finger, we mock him sometimes because he used to be so strict and the man we now see doting on his grandkids is not the same one we recall growing up.  But the truth of the matter is that we love him so much and he has given us an amazing amount of memories and experiences that have made us kids, the people we are today.  There are many attributes and character qualities that we can pick out in each other that remind us of the best we see if our dad.  While it wasn’t the same celebration that we’d hoped to give him and we were all aware of the little missing person that should have filled the frame of many a picture, we know the memories we created on that day will give us each a great deal of joy as we reflect on who this man is to us and why we are so incredibly thankful and blessed for his presence in our lives.

I’ve included the link for the slideshow we put together to remember the day and I think it’ll give you a better idea of just how much fun we had being silly while we celebrated this very amazing man that I am proud to call my father!

A Day of Memories

FOR FUN…

I’ve said it before but I’ll gladly say it again…my husband is SO CREATIVE!!!  Whether it’s being creative at work, creative at parenting or just plain creative with life, his mind thinks in ways I cannot fathom.  The latest creative endeavor in our home has been sandwich bags made uniquely for each child.

Now let’s just clear the air from the start.  There is no possible way for me to claim that this is environmentally friendly, in fact it’s probably quite the opposite.  However the anticipation it creates for my children to open their lunches makes it easier for me to justify my contribution to global warming.

James came across a designer’s blog some time ago that had fun ideas for using your creative skills in your child’s lunchbox.  He showed me some of the unique creations and then expressed the desire to do something similar with his kiddos.  So he started one Sunday evening with one black and one red sharpie.  The result was stunning…four drawings on a ziploc baggie for each of his kids.  The picture was something special to them and a way for him to let his kids know that he thought of them throughout the day.

Three weeks later and said creative idea going strong, I decided to fill his “toolbox” with a whole set of colorful sharpies.  The result was wonderful…

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