Friday, June 30


    Hey friends! Well it's the weekend and I’ve been feeling ALL the cliché feelings this week since my youngest baby, my littlest tator-tot turned two on Monday. My Evelyn Sarah is two years old. So crazy to think about that. I’ve spent just about my entire adult life either pregnant or nursing a little one, so to suddenly realize that my oldest little one is now 7 and my youngest is 2 kinda blows my mind. It’s a freedom that many told me I would regret leaving behind and that I would miss greatly, but I never did and never will regret choosing to become a mom when I did. Martin and I knew at the same moment without hesitation that it was right for us, and that’s all that matters with big life decisions:) It absolutely was right back then, and even more so now as my little ones have carried me through the hardest years of my life, and that has made our bond sweeter and more wonderful than I ever could have expected between a mother and her children.

    Right now as I type this I can see Evie-girl walking around the picnic table I’m sitting at here in our campsite in the beautiful Adirondacks, and I can hear her singing soft nonsense to herself as she kicks little twigs and pine cones out of her path. Those fluffy red curls are bouncing around in the breeze, and I can remember her last two years of life so clearly in my mind. I see my pregnancy with her also, and all of the things that were different with hers versus with the other kids because of my late husband Martin’s cancer diagnosis.

    Even though I was just over a month from my due date, I really had to just pretend that I wasn’t pregnant at all once we needed to secure the kids and start out on Martin’s journey to treatment. Our whole life changed and there was no time for birthing prep or vitamins or stretch mark cream.haha She was always there though, when I needed her the most. There were many moments of such deep despair, when I saw my whole world falling apart and I cried for help, and suddenly in my loneliness I would remember (with the help of a few big jabs to my ribs) that I had a little lady with me. She kept me company on long evening walks through the streets in Tijuana to the pharmacy. Her little kicks could make Martin smile often too even though his pain was incredible, and when she was born, she brought the biggest wave of hope and love and faith that things would work out the way that they were supposed to.

   Her first year of life was full of the hardest trials our family had ever faced, but a day didn’t go by that her innocent giggles and chunky rolls didn’t bring smiles wherever she went. I felt as though she was forced to be the toughest and most versatile little baby to be put through so much, all of the kids for sure, but for her, she has never ceased to be a ray of bright sunshine for me (and many others too I know) when there was no other light at all.

    I was worried that her first birthday wouldn’t be as sweet and special as I had hoped it would be, considering it was nearly two weeks after her father passed away, but a few balloons and a little cake to eat all on her own made her just about the happiest we’d ever seen her. It helped many heavy hearts feel a little lighter that day as our family gathered around her, and looking back now at those photos is a sweet reminder that the innocence and youth of our little children has been a blessing through all of our trials.

    So in wrapping this up, I want to quickly share a very sweet experience that happened the morning of her birthday that I really want to remember. I had laid out a blanket on the pine needles not far from the riverbank(once again we've been camping at Rollins Pond in New York this past week), and had spent 20 minutes or so doing some yoga in the most beautiful setting. The tall trees around me created a canopy of shade from the bright sun, I could hear birds singing, and I had a clear view of the deep blue water flowing gently by. I turned on some soft piano music on my phone, and felt so relaxed as each breath in brought the smell of pine and rich earth, and crisp mountain air.
Doing a quick head check, I could see a couple of the kids were playing around the clearing doing various activities. Richard was helping someone with their life jacket, grandma was helping someone color, and grandpa was pushing one of the kayaks out into the lake. Turning back towards the lake I could see Evie about ten feet away watching me. I smiled at her and then closed my eyes again. In just a moment I felt her hands on my cheeks and I opened my eyes and gave her a peck on the lips. She tilted her head to the side and said in her sweet little falsetto voice: “Mama be happy.”
    I smiled and said something along the lines of ‘thank you sweetheart, I love you.’
But she said again: “You be happy, shoo goo ba (gibberish) we be happy.”
    “Thank you honey, I am happy.” I said laughing.
    But she persisted and pulled my face right up to hers so that our noses were nearly touching, then she said again softly, “Be be happy mommy. Be happy, be happy.”
    Just at that moment some of the branches must have parted in the breeze, and there was a sudden bright ray of light shining down on us. I felt a slight shiver as the warmth of the sun hit me, and with that came a huge wave of peace and serenity, and also strong emotion. I looked up into the light and felt tears well up quickly as I suddenly felt so close to Martin, and I could see his warm smile so clearly in my minds eye. His face was full and healthy as it had been before he’d gotten sick, and I felt so deeply in my chest that he is so happy, and so at peace, and that he wants more than ever for us all to be as happy as possible with him gone.

    I feel so grateful every minute for my children, and for you especially my sweet new little 2-year-old. I hope that only beautiful things come to you this year and beyond. I can’t thank you enough for all you’ve given me, and I can’t express what a joy and a blessing it is to be your mother. You have touched so many hearts and brightened so many dark days with your smiles and your curls (and your eyebrows.haha), and you deserve nothing but the best that this world has to offer.

    Happy Happy Birthday little one.


  1. this right here just did me in.. But she persisted and pulled my face right up to hers so that our noses were nearly touching, then she said again softly, “Be be happy mommy. Be happy, be happy.” - such a sweet soul in such a little person.

  2. Kids and dogs always sense things. Even if you think they don't know, they do. Even though you smile on the outside, she can see it in your face and your eyes. What a sweetie and a blessing she is! Even though she won't remember him, she won't hurt as much as the rest of you either.....

  3. I read that story and literally began crying. It just seems like Martin was totally speaking to you through her. God is amazing and I love that story! It just seems like God knew you would need HER to bridge that gap between you and Martin and to bring you smiles. Thank you for sharing that story.

  4. i have tears in my eyes! what a sweet, tender moment.

  5. So beautiful...thank you for sharing!

  6. Oh this gave me chills! >3 So so sweet!! Martin is watching over all of you, I'm sure of it! >3

  7. So so sweet.. has me crying on this Sunday morning! You have such a sweet family and I love following along as you figure out this journey.. happy birthday Evelyn!

  8. What a sweet sweet little thing she is! So perceptive, and in tune for someone so small. She loves her Mama so very much! I couldn't help but well up with tears for this sweet girl and the special connection she has with her mother. Just beautiful. Thank you!

  9. This is the sweetest and most beautiful thing I have read all day. What a blessing your sweet little girl is! <3

  10. Biggest lump in my throat - I am in the office and I'm meant to be working - but snuck a look at this blogpost and now I'm doing my best to act normally before a colleague notices I've gone all teary! Your children are a blessing. I wish you and yours, health and happiness.


  11. God knew what He was doing when He brought this beautiful ray of sunshine into y'all's lives!

  12. These pictures are so sweet. I love red hair, btw, and your photography is beautiful.

  13. I love this so much. It brought me such peace. My dear friend passed away unexpectedly during my first year of college. He was known for always asking "are you happy?" instead of "how are you?" as a greeting. "Be happy" is a phrase that always reminds me of him and his optimism; I remember him saying it many times. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and these beautiful moments with us. What tender reminders.