Sunday, December 14, 2014

"How are you?"

It's a common question to ask after saying hello, "How are you?". I always seem to struggle to answer people with honesty. The response I first think to say is "Good! How are you?". Knowing everyone really means well and don't always think when asking me how I am doing but I wonder do they really want to know? Acknowledging how I feel to others is another added reminder of the current state of distress my life is constantly in. So I end up saying something like "okay." or "We are trying our best!". The hidden meaning behind what I respond is much more elaborate. Describing how I feel is so difficult because there are not enough words in any language to be able to express how devastated, sad, distraught, traumatic, frustrating, confusing, lonely and painful the past two months have been without our little precious Natalie.  When amidst this trial that has brought all this difficulty, there has come so many blessings of which we are beyond grateful for too. I suppose the word bittersweet could slightly describe our current state of mind. No doubt there has been an immeasurable amount of prayers, love, tender mercies, cards, flowers, monetary donations, food, and special gifts sent that have uplifted our spirits and provided the much needed comfort we seek. We can't express how grateful we are for that! We are just in complete awe!

We feel so incredibly blessed to go through this with the Comforter, earthly and heavenly angels by our side every step of the way. We cling to the gospel of Jesus Christ and don't know how anyone could go through such a trial without it. I read a saying by Carlfred Broderick that brought great comfort to me "The gospel of Jesus Christ is not an insurance against pain, it is a resource in the event of pain". The stress that comes from holidays or celebrations in general when dealing with grief can be incredibly overwhelming. This was the time of year I loved very most of all because our family took so much time to be together and I cherish those memories. Things have definetly changed now and I struggle to bring joy at a time filled with so much sorrow. The tears start flowing and my heart aches every time the thoughts of how Natalie would have loved making gingerbread houses, decorating the Christmas tree as a family, looking at all the Christmas lights as we drive, writing a wish list to Santa, sitting on Santa's lap, riding the Polar Express train in Heber, playing in the snow, opening presents, watching the nativity, smiling in family pictures, Christmas pajamas, brunch on Christmas morning, wearing matching Christmas dresses and spending so much time with our families. "She is still with you though. You'll see her again one day." People tell me these things and I can't help but feel like shouting "I JUST WANT HER!". We miss her every second and hour of every day! Each morning we wake up we are reminded this nightmare we are living in is a reality. Life will never be the same without her nor should it be because she was special and meant so much to us.

In my patriarchal blessing it says I need to study everything I can about the atonement which I didn't really understand until after the accident.  To me I looked at the atonement more in relation to repentance. In studying this incredibly broad subject of the atonement, I'm realizing how much it is also about the suffering and empathy Christ has for me. He knows exactly what our family is feeling and does not leave us alone in this pain. We feel of His love and understanding each day. The song I Need Thee Every Hour is my anthem and I sing it out loud often (my terrible singing voice and all). It does help to sing and music has taken on a whole new meaning for our family. Music is just so powerful and helps to strengthen us so much! It can bring all kinds of emotions out good and bad so I am very choosy what I allow around me and my family. I can't believe how sensitive I am to it now. Really everything is very different and I'm still learning how to do this so called new "normal".

When Natalie left us she didn't take with her any of the clothes, toys or gifts we gave her. She didn't take her special blanket ("Blanken") sippy cups or dress-ups. The memories, education and knowledge of the gospel is all she took. Realizing this was such an eye-opener and has made me see how petty all the little things are. Shopping used to be a fun relaxing thing I really enjoyed. My focus is now on how things I purchase will enrich my family's lives in an eternal way or create priceless memories. Oddly enough I started buying and preparing this way back in September although I clearly had no idea why I had that prompting to do tso butI am glad I listened. We had a whole family home evening that was themed around what the meaning and feeling we wanted to have at Christmas to show Christ of our love. The kids were all on board for this and Chad supported me as long as I didn't make it so sparse that it would make the kids not enjoy Christmas still.

My hope is that anyone who reads this will not take for granted the blessing of family and realize how precious every day is. Cherish your loved ones and show them you love them by actions this Christmas not gifts. Look for ways to serve for through service you feel the pure love of Christ. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

It's at least a start

So here I am. It's 10:30 pm and I get an idea to log back in here to post after 3 years of not. Upon viewing the last post I did back in 2011, I saw a pending post titled "HUGE UPDATE". I remember as I sat at the computer a few years ago trying to write what had happened over the past few weeks and feeling like it was a waste of my time. We just had welcomed our sweet baby Natalie and celebrated Emma's birthday and Christmas. Tonight I sat here scrolling through the dozens of pictures I had not finished updating. The memories of what happened in those pictures to the ones I currently have is difficult to think about. I couldn't bring myself to edit that post at all and finish what I set out to do back then. Instead, I posted it tonight 3 years later, incomplete (that's how I feel, incomplete but that's an entirely different post or two or several I could write on that). My current plans are not to fill in our journey of the past chronologically like I used to. This blog's purpose was to fill in our friends and family on what we were doing in a more descriptive way.  Recently we have been seeing a grief counselor who suggested writing as therapy for us. Because of that advice she gave us I am here writing again.  This is a very scary task for me to think about let alone actually do. I mean writing things down make them real! The fear for me is so intense I make myself sick thinking about what I should write. I can't bring myself to include pictures yet either. My posts may seem very boring and simple but I am just making baby steps and that's all I can do for now.


So we have not completely disappeared, but I had to take a long break from blogging until I had all the chaos of a new baby, birthdays, and holidays out of the way! We are back and this is what we have been up to...

Baby Petersen
This is me at 36 weeks
Ewww I hate these pictures they make me look so swollen...I guess it didn't help that I had been on bed-rest for the past few weeks. These are the last pictures taken of me before I went into labor so I felt it was important to include them...
The next week we got together with Chad's sister Robyn and her kids to make a sentimental gift for Linda's upcoming birthday. They are personalized stepping stones! We had each grandchild (17 total) make their own.
They got very creative!
I made this one for our baby...
This is clearly Chase's.
Bri did a cute job on her's too. Oddly, I didn't take a picture of Emma's but her's was a dancing princess theme...surprise, surprise!!

 I made an essential stop to Miss Plunketts to get some cute headwear for lil' miss.