Yearly Update

I realized it’s been a whole year since I posted a public blog.

And what a year it has been!

Full of so much. New baby, new home, new pathways we never expected. Some great times and scary, sad times. Through it all, we just keep living and pushing forward. Sometimes, all you can do is try.

Photo Credit: Phillip Haumesser

Stephen arrived with little fanfare. It was a trying pregnancy. Full of shots (over 400) and monthly ultrasounds. And then one day, just like that, he came rushing into the world. He’s healthy and strong and as big as an Ox. Well, nearly. He turns 8 months on Thursday and is already tipping the scales at 22 pounds. He’s joyous, mellow and has brought so much light to our home. I never imagined more children. And now I can’t imagine life without him.

Photo Credit: Phillip Haumesser

Xavier is a freshman in High School. He chose to go back to public school. It has been better than our wildest expectations! He’s on student council, FFA, lightman for the fall production and still pushing forward on his Eagle Scout goals. Grades are good, friends are plenty and he has even realized that girls may not be simply annoying.

Photo Credit: Phillip Haumesser

Ziva still recognizes the most simple beauties in life. The tiny bugs, the colorful pebble, the flowers and every bird in the sky. She reminds me to slow down and be in the moment. Her reading has improved greatly and she loves math! Her sass and creativity keeps us all on our toes.

Photo Credit: Phillip Haumesser

Zoe is getting her own post. But her spirit drives me. She is the strongest person I have ever met. Kind, loving and always thinking of someone other than herself. She’s inspiring to so many. I’m proud she’s my daughter.

Photo Credit: Phillip Haumesser

The farm is farming. No garden this year to speak of. We have some beets, greens and herbs out front. We cut back on animals and breeding. Trying to keep everything alive while making constant hospital trips has proven difficult. So we are being still right now as everything else works it way through. I did do some canning, despite swearing it off for a year. No matter where we go, we can always take a jar of “home” with us.

Jam Sessiom

I hope this update finds you all healthy and well.

All our love,

Patty and the Brat Pack

Phillip from Phillip Haumesser Photography is amazing! Check his work out here!

Pumpkin Day

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This Friday, my family and I will celebrate Pumpkin Day. It comes on the 21st of October every year and this is our 11th year celebrating. The kids are excited. We have decided on Pumpkin pie and pumpkin rolls. We will paint pumpkins this year instead of carving and happily set them on the porch for all our neighbors to see. It is a day of joy and love. I am so glad they look forward to it every year!

Now you won’t find Pumpkin Day on your calendar. It’s not a national holiday. It’s a birthday. Jason’s birthday. The day we celebrate the love he brought into this world and the love he left when he passed away.

When someone passes, the grief leaves a hole. That first year, my son and I were still reeling when I realized we were days away from what would have been my late husband’s 23rd birthday. His parents, in their infinite wisdom, knew that we both wanted to celebrate and remember him. But how do you do that with a small child that still asks for his dad daily, even months after passing? So his mom made arrangements for us to go to a farm and hunt pumpkins and pet animals. She knew that nature would help heal us and the distraction would help all of us cope with that day. We had a wonderful time making memories and recalling good times with a great man that was no longer with us.

I spoke to Xavier that day and told him if his dad was there, he would have loved it. And then we would have gone home and had cake or pie. My two year old heard the word “pie” and promptly demanded pumpkin pie for the night. And so he got pumpkin pie, complete with whip cream and a candle. As we blew out the candles, my son smiled and cheered. A tradition was born and it has stuck ever since.

In grief, we have found it critical to remember the love, hope and peace that are also left behind. Embracing a day to relive happy memories gives us the chance to do both. As a mother, it gives me peace to have his father in his life as a living memory. As a widow, it allows me a chance to embrace him once more; regardless of where my life has taken me. I hope that wherever you are in your mourning process, you find a way to embrace the good times as well. Maybe sharing our little tradition will sprout some ideas for you too.