Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Disney - Day Three!

Day Three in Orlando meant Magic Kingdom and my birthday!! I totally don't usually care about my birthday, but it was fun to have it while at Disney! I even got to wear a pin all day that said Happy Birthday and all the workers and cast members say something to you! It even got us in the fast lane of Peter Pan when there was a 50 min wait one time! I'll take it!! :)

We were all so excited! There really is just something about the energy at Disney. We loaded up the double stroller with lunch, ponchos, CHRIS' CAMERA (duh), tons of snacks and two cuties and were on our way! We got there early and took the ferryboat over. Bella stood up at the railing and immediately went all pirate on us. "Arrrrrrggggg!" she said!
Farrah just sat and took it all in!
We're here!!
It was a great overcast morning (with just a few spinkles). We took a chance because they said 80% chance of rain - but I couldn't stand waiting another day to go! And we picked a great day.
IMG_3714We walked right onto a few rides in the morning. Peter Pan was a favorite, Bella did not like the Snow White Scary Adventures. She was a big girl, but made sure that we weren't going to ride it again. They also LOVED the teacups. The favorite of the day was the race cars. Giggles all around!!
We watched the 4D movie a couple of times! I loved watching the girls reach for things. They also loved getting to ride the carousel.
After lunch, we realized it would be best if we left to get some rest and come back for the evening festivities. Farrah fell asleep so quickly in the stroller, and all the way back to the car - then she was WIDE AWAKE! And Bella was all of a sudden, too. So we just came home and had downtime and cooled off. We then picked up dinner and headed back.
Right as we walked through the gate, the bottom fell out of the sky! But it was perfect timing - we got to go inside and see Cinderella, Belle and Sleeping Beauty. I didn't know how Farrah was going to react... but she was IN LOVE!!! They were both completely in awe. Farrah kept going back for second hugs.
Belle gave her a big smooch!
The weather delayed the parade about 20-30 minutes... but it did finally come! The girls were pretty antsy as we had to hold our places to watch. And it sprinkled just a bit again.
We then turned around and watched the fireworks show at the castle. Amazing!

We then rode Peter Pan, teacups and racecars again :) We wore the girls OUT!! It was only 10pm when we left, but it felt like 2am with kids. They were OUT so fast! Chris and I enjoyed a quiet ride back on the ferry.

It was a wonderful day. A great way to ring in my 32nd birthday. We loved being big kids with our kids. Here's to a great year!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Disney Day 1 & 2!

We drove down to Disney and didn't tell the girls where we were going! We left the house around 7am, made a couple of stops, and arrived around 3pm. Bella's two guesses for where we were going were: "To spend the night at a restaurant!" and "Africa!"

When we arrived at the house, the only thing they had their eye on was the pool!! We wanted to capture the moment of telling them where we were (instead of trying to capture it in the car on the way to Disney the next day!) Chris set the camera up and we told them... Bella said, "Can we go swimming now??" They had no idea what "going to Disney World" really meant. But that changed when they saw the castle on our third day!!


That night, we hung out in Downtown Disney.

The next morning, we had a character breakfast at Beach Club Resort. Goofy, Minnie and Donald were all in attendance. Bella loved it! It's a little awkward to know how to interact with these characters because they don't talk. But she gave lots of hugs and high fives. Farrah liked them all at a distance. When they would come to the table, she'd stare straight ahead at Chris and I, would get flush and overall just looked like she was trying to hold it together!! I think she cried on Goofy's second visit with us. Her favorite part was waving hardcore as they left our table. And she loved the waffles.


That afternoon we woke up and had some snacks!

That evening, we spontaneously got together with the DeFeo's that just moved down to Orlando! Courtney is my friend Katie's BFF. We came to give Courtney and her girls hugs from the Douglas girls (and us!) Katie just had her baby boy last week and I know she can't wait to come visit Courtney. It was great to see them and get to know them better and my girls had fun playing with Ella and Larson!

Monday... was my birthday!! I guess Disney found out and gave me a great day and firework show ... :)

more to come...

Friday, February 24, 2012

The 24th - another anniversary

It's been 2 months since Hallie went to be with the Lord.
We miss her!! But I love that she feels like a part of my family - even if she's not presently with us. It's strange that I basically know everything there was to know about Hallie. But I'll never know more - of what she would have been, her little quirks, what she'd look like, what she'd grow to love. Oh how I long to see her again one day! But I just love her and I smile when I think about her. I don't always cry (although that happens, too) but thoughts of her are always under the surface. It's just a strange thing - losing a child. And strange that I had to prepare for that. I am just not a good communicator at what I am feeling and how do you even put words to something like this? But I do have comfort in knowing others just "get it" even though I wish none of us had to.

Today is the 24th. And we miss Hallie. And we continue to be thankful to ALL of you who have helped us. And continue to think about us.

Guess what? We're official! Thank you all SOOOOO much! I'm going to be able to bless so many through you all!!

Guess what else? We are surprising the girls and driving to Disney! They have no idea! We are so blessed to have friends who have a home there and are letting us stay. And... I'll get to turn 32 while in the happiest place on earth :)

Guess WHAT else? The reason I've been slow to blog is I've been working HARD at getting our house ready to put on the market. This was our plan this time last year. But we didn't want a big change while waiting on Hallie. So we put it on hold, and I'm so glad we did. But now... we are ready. Sort of! I've always thought of this place as just a "house" ... but now it's our "home!" Where I brought all three of my girls home. But we know this is what we are suppose to do, so we are going for it!
I'm going to miss this PINK room!!!
This is such a bright room... I wish it was always this clean and I loved being in there... ha!
Same with this room... isn't it funny how we get the house all perfect for selling it and just the way we like it? Then we move?
I promise... this is the cleanest it's ever been! Not that I'm complaining, I love it! But maybe I should take some shots to show you what it normally looks like... but if you're human, and you're a mom, you know and understand!

So... that is what we have and will be up to. Now that the house is listed... and I've spent HOURS touching up paint at naptime and bedtime (which is an awesome way to think - you aren't distracted and can just think uninterrupted!) I'm getting geared up to start some Hope From Hallie stuff. I have some ideas but I don't want to rush it. I want to make sure it's just right. But, you will get the details as soon as I figure them out.

Thank you so much for reading!! Thanks for loving us and our Hallie!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

2 months

Sweet Hallie would have been 2 months old today! Instead of focusing on the things I'm going to miss out on, like taking her picture each month with the pink bear, I like to think about it as "it's been two months since I met my precious third daughter!" I am glad I don't dread each 19th of the month. I know a part of that is just being thankful that I was able to meet her. Each of those 5 days were a gift that I never knew I would get. It will never be enough, but they were precious, sacred days that I'm glad I had.

I have no idea how to communicate how much I have learned and continue to learn through our pregnancy and loss of Hallie. I feel like I'll never really FULLY be able to do so. I just know in my own heart, this whole journey has changed me. I mean, of course it did. It is a huge loss. I will forever walk around on this earth feeling like a part of my heart is missing. Forever. One day I'll be reunited with Hallie. Until then... I just have those 5 days to hold on to.

It still all feels surreal, like an out of body experience in many ways. It's little things that can sometimes trigger sadness - like seeing pictures of women in the hospital with their newborns. Because that was most of my reality with Hallie - in a hospital bed, just holding her. When I see those pictures, it takes me right back to those moments. Or having moments of regret (which, I don't have anything to regret - but Satan can make you guess every decision you made and make you wonder it you did all the right things!) It's a vain attempt to try put a reason on why things happened or try to think that I had any control over Hallie's diagnosis or time with us in the first place.

2 months ago Hallie was born! I miss her like the DICKENS. I sometimes wonder what our life would be like right now with two crazy girls wrestling in one room while I'm feeding a newborn. Or getting some good smiles out of a sweet smelling baby. But I continue to feel and choose to feel lucky and blessed. Blessed that I got to spend five days with her. Blessed that I was able to share her story. And blessed that she matters to God and I was the mother of an angel. It doesn't always take the hurt away, but there is peace most of the time and for that I am thankful!

Hope From Hallie is coming along!!! As of this week, we are now filed as a Non-Profit Corporation, thanks to an awesome friend!! I have some great ideas for it... but trying to figure out the best way to honor families and help them have memories of their babies forever. More to come, but thank you for your generous donations. It has meant so much and I'm so excited to get to help others in similar situations!! I can't wait to officially decide on what my game plan is and to share it with you!!!

"Hallelujah" (the song Casey Darnell and Chris wrote) was recorded and it sounds AWESOME!!! How special. I am getting to the point where I can listen without crying now :) It's such a sweet song. I can't wait to share it with you.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fingernail Painting & Playing Outdoors

As with any 4 and 2 year old... we do about 500 things a day. A lot of activities don't last more than 30 min (um, 30 mins if we are lucky!!!) Isn't it crazy how fast your house can be destroyed?!?

Every couple of weeks I will paint the girls nails. This particular night the girls asked if they could paint mine. Ahhh! "Sure!" I said, as I prepared for a mess. But Bella did great on my toes. And I let Farrah paint my fingernails (and parts of my fingers :)) clear. They were both very proud.

We have loved this weather lately which has allowed us to take walks and just play in the yard, hopscotch, and do chalk drawings. And crack pecans - we have a pecan tree in the yard and this is the first time we've lived here that we've actually gotten any. Maybe they only blossom every once in a while?!? I have no idea, but we had an abundance! And nice thing - Farrah is not allergic. Just peanuts. So she's enjoying them, too!

How sweet is this??

Seriously, they are attached at the hip. They are always touching! Sometimes I have to remind Bella to give Farrah some space!! But mostly Farrah loves it and is always asking for more! Wrestling, hugging, kissing, rolling, squeals and piggy back rides. ALL. the. time.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't think of Hallie every hour of the day, several times an hour actually. Times like these I think "Wow 3 sisters would be so much fun!" But I am glad they have each other. They've really become best friends. I hope they always are.