I started this post last week when we we’re in the middle of a double birthday week.  A friend recently text me and jokingly  asked who’s birthday we were celebrating because this is the time of the year where we have 5 birthdays in 3 months.  Birthday extravaganza.  I feel like I can’t solidify many thoughts lately with all that swirls through my brain on the daily, so, you know, I’m here to just write whatever.

Sundays are when we use up the last of the groceries left in our fridge.  This usually means the last of the weekly eggs and any browning bananas are turned into banana bread, waffles and egg muffins.  I can usually pull off 30-40 waffles and then we bag them up and toss them in the freezer.  The big kids pull them out, throw them on a cookie sheet and broil them in the oven to perfection.  There’s something weirdly satisfying about turning the last of food items into more food which will last us all week.

Watching Josh Kelley & Amon stretch kind of makes my day.  I just think they are the cutest things.  It doesn’t take much these days to make me feel all sappy about my people.

Everett’s Gotcha Day was at the end of February.  It was a pretty sucky day all around, but we did our best to celebrate as always.  Before we reminded the kids about the day being Everett’s special day Hudson came down early and said he felt sad.  I reminded him of how our minds might not remember specific dates, but our bodies do.  Harper was really sad and down so we let her stay home from school.  We pulled ourselves up with sunshine and lunch with Josh and our favorite chocolate caramel bars from Target.

That night we took the kids to see the new How To Train A Dragon movie.  It was FANTASTIC!!!!  To celebrate our special family days we pick something fun to do together as a family.  Everett’s gotcha day is no different…still so much to celebrate in this special boy who changed us all.  The movie was just incredible.  We got treats and popcorn and settled into our seats.  Winter sat by me and before the movie began she started to cry.  I leaned in close and pulled her in.  She said, “It doesn’t feel good without him.”  And then she and I cried together right there in that movie theater.  We held onto each other tight and felt Josh, Harper, Hudson and Solomon’s hands and arms sporadically wrap around us.  She puts into such simple and sweet words what we all are feeling.  None of this feels good without him.  We recovered after a good cry.  Winter snuggled on me during the whole movie and when the lights came up we discovered she’d made herself quite comfortable by raising two arms rests, stretching out, taking her shoes off and catching some Z’s.  Gah, I love her.

We finally got Everett’s colorful lanterns up about a month ago.  The cemetery is always a roll of the dice for our crew.  Sometimes it can be so so good for our hearts and some times it’s like we’ve been knocked 20 steps back.  This visit was a good one.  How can you deeply love and deeply hate a place simultaneously?  I hate that Everett’s life is now represented in things like the cemetery and rainbows and lanterns and Fiesta donkeys…and then I love we have things which are so symbolic of him.  He was such beauty and wisdom and bravery and heart wrapped up in the sweetest little boys body.  I hate this is how our life is now.  We just desperately want him back.

Our cardiologist appointments are always pretty hard days.  You just never know what news your will hear or how Leo will do with all the tests.  I also can never kick Everett from my brain and cry at some point Every.Single.Time.  I adore our cardiac staff.  They are kind and compassionate and love us really well.  At our last appointment I could not stop crying and I kept trying to explain my emotions and feelings away to our cardiologist.  She finally leaned in and said, “You don’t need to try and explain any of this.  You owe me no explanation.”  And then more tears came.  Over the moon thankful for compassionate and empathetic people who love our kids and fight for their little lives.

On a lighter note…will someone please stunt these two boys’ growth and throat punch time for me?!?!  Thanks!

PS:  143 forever.

Amon!  He’s our resident cat and the funniest kid.  He’s weird and quirky and seriously cracks us all up all the time.  And how can one little human have the cutest nose in the literal world!!!!!  Everyone needs an Amon.  Everyone.  Weird kids for president man!

Brothers at therapy make everything better right?!?!  We have been insanely lucky to have the best therapists on the block.  I could sing every single one of their praises.  They make us better.  They make our kids work hard.  They believe in our kids.  And they welcome, not just our child who needs the actual therapy, but our whole family into the process.  People who love their jobs and give so willingly of their talents to others amaze me and make me strive to be a better human.  Heroes are freakin’ everywhere.  We are friends with lots of them.

The sun is out today and I’m about to pick Leo up from speech therapy.  It feels good to have written random words, you can feel spring on your fingertips and I cannot wait to get that “after-speech-therapy-I’m-way-too-excited-to-see-you” hug/”I might bite your shoulder because of my excitement” from Leo.  I know people facing unreally big, hard things today.  Things I could only try and imagine, but there’s this weird wiry thing called hope.  It lingers.  It stays.  And it’s always there swirling around while also digging it’s heals into the ground on our behalf.  Today it feels fresh and real.  I don’t know exactly where I’m going with this, but hope is ringing in my ears and heart today.  Some days I shove it deep into my pocket and call this whole thing shit, but not today.  Holding onto hope always.  Clinging to it like our lives depend on it…because they really do.  Here’s to it people.  We’re likely far stronger than we ever imagined.


  1. Now I have always loved an amon sleeping pic, but the black and white scientist Amon may have become my new fav!! Hugs Laura!

  2. Thanks for these words…hope…it’s what I need to hear today. As I sit with my dad waiting for the cardiologist to come and begin this process of healing. Before I left home, I was in my craft room processing…and as I looked around I saw my key chain from you….’hope filled’. It’s what I needed yesterday and what I need today. Hope…I’ll probably need a dose tomorrow too. 🙂

  3. Jennifer says:

    I love Everitt’s decorations. What recipe do you use for your waffles and egg muffins?

  4. BarB cole says:

    I ALWAYS love your posts. You. ARE. REAL. No matter if it’s good or bad, we get to savor the real deal and heart throb of your tribe. I FEEL the HOPE and joy today. Everett is missed, I look for his sweet picture every single time. I think of your family often, especially when I see rainbows and balloons. Praying heart for each of you. Hugs from WV.

  5. My son is 25 years old and was born with Tetrology of Fallot. I so understand your apprehension at Leo’s appointments with the cardiologist might say. Even after numerous surgeries, I still have those moments at my son’s yearly appointment wondering if our world will come crashing down with bad news. I know that at some point in his life he will need another valve replacement and that scares him as well as his dad and myself.

  6. Thank you for your words. The final ones were words that I needed. I have always considered myself a hope-filled person. I am usually the person that is reminding others to, “Have hope, because God is still in this.” Recently my world has been rocked by wave after wave. I have been lost, lonely, tired, and feeling like there is no hope left. This week is the first week in my life that I have felt as if this is something that God might not be able to fix.
    Thank you for reminding me that hope does not come from me. When I am in the depths and not able to pull myself up, hope still lingers. I am not in a place where hope is buzzing in my ears, but I know God’s promise of hope is still working even in my darkness.

  7. I am here (and on Instagram) for all the HudandSol laying/sitting together. 🙂 You’re kids are just the best. Thanks for sharing them.

  8. That picture of Amon at the door. I can’t!!!!!!

Leave A Comment