Sunday, October 2, 2016

Happy 7 Months in Heaven

Happy 7 months in Heaven my sweet boy! I probably say this every time but how on THE world has it been that long? Time seems to be simultaneously crawling by ever so slowly and barreling by like a runaway train with no brakes. Ezra, I dreamed of you last night. I don’t remember having done that before (but it is totally possible). I don’t remember anything about the dream except for your sweet face. Your blue blue eyes. You kinda had that pouty face that happened when we weren’t feeding you fast enough! I miss that face. Who am I kidding? I miss ALL your faces. What a gift that dream was.

As I type this, I am sitting in Sugar’s house. I am sitting here, the very place where you took your last earthly breath. We are back for Dittos. The same thing we were here for in March. My anxiety and trepidation are through the roof. The memories of you are everywhere. Every. Single. Room. Tears fall freely. Stopping them is not really even an option.

When I am in the master bedroom, I remember waking you from your nap. And the realization that we were in big trouble with your still body and discoloration.

When I am in the living room, I remember the paramedics whisking you out the front door on a stretcher or something.

Also, in the living room, is where we sat and told your brother and sisters that you were in did not wake up.

When I am in the front bedroom, I remember Izzy lying in a ball on the floor crying and asking the question “Is he breathing yet Mommy? Mommy, is he ok???”

When I am in the back bedroom, I remember crying the entire first night and checking Israel’s breathing every 10 minutes.

When I am on the porch, I remember the interview with cps.

When I look to the road in front of the house, I remember seeing your Daddy for the first time on March 1st.

But when I am in the kitchen, that’s the hardest one. That’s where I remember doing CPR on your sweet body while talking to the 911 operator. The kitchen is where I breathed for you, prayed for you, and watched all your siblings enter into a nightmare. The kitchen is where I saw the paramedics cut off your onesie as they worked on you.

The triggers are everywhere. They hit me from out of nowhere. Hard, fast, intense.

But for you, my boy, I will not allow myself to stay there. For you, I will look past the memories of that ONE day. I will force my brain to remember ALL the other memories you have made here.

When I am in the master bedroom, I will remember changing your diaper 100’s of times. I will remember nursing you. I will remember tickling you there and your huge grin!

When I am in the living room, I will remember you learning how to pull up, throwing the toys everywhere, and chasing your brother with the plastic kid baseball bat laughing hysterically!

When I am in the front bedroom, I will remember bath times, your love for the water, and you trying to escape every time I tried to dress you!

When I am in the back bedroom, I will remember chasing you there. You squealing. I will remember you and Daddy tickling on the back bed.

When I am on the porch, I will remember you playing outside with the trucks and you looking out the window longingly to play in the snow over Christmas.

When I look to the road in the front of the house, I will remember your excitement every time we arrived at Sugar’s house for a visit. I will also remember how great of a traveller you were.

When I am in the kitchen, I will remember so many things. 1. Baths in the sink. 2. Feeding you bananas for the first time and you trying to pull the spoon away from us and feed yourself! 3. You finding the Tupperware drawer and emptying it in record speed. 4. Eating. So much eating.

You are worth every single effort I have to make to remember the BEST times. We miss you every. Single. Day. All of us. You are a blessing. I am so thankful to be your Momma. I love you, sweet boy. Dance with Jesus, Ezra. We are one month closer to you. #MissyouE

I am SO SO thankful Lord that we will see him again. I am so so thankful Jesus made a way. I am so so thankful that you hold our hearts as we heal. I am so so thankful that you hold us up as we take the next step we don’t think we can take.

1 Corinthians 2:9b
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”

Thursday, September 1, 2016

6 Months..already

September 1st. Here it is again..the first of the month. It is no longer thoughts of it is a marker. The time without Ezra marker.

It is unfathomable to me that you, my sweet Ezra, have lived in Heaven for 6 months. It is equally unfathomable, that we have lived 6 months without you in our home. 6 months. I miss you so much I can hardly breathe sometimes. I am not sure how it is even possible to miss you more now than I did in March...but it is true. We packed a whole bunch of activity/travel into this summer. We traveled, we laughed, we played, we explored, we stayed out late, we stayed up late, and we flew by the seat of our pants. We made memories. But every single day, at every single activity, we missed you. You were missing. I thought about you at every turn. “E would have loved this!” “We wouldn’t have even attempted this with E” “What would Ezra be doing here?” “How would it be different with Ezra here?” “Are you sure I don’t need a stroller, a diaper bag, tons of snacks, toys, cups, and paci’s for this 2 hour activity?”

All that to say we miss you so. We all do. I know that you are lighting up Heaven. I have never in my life been so thankful for Heaven. For Jesus. For the cross. For the stone rolled away. For forever. For the peace I have knowing where you are right now. I think of you there, E,having a blast. Learning, growing, exploring, worshiping… and it fills me with joy...painful joy (is that even a thing?) I LOVE where you are. That is always the goal. My mama heart just wants to be holding you, caring for you, chasing you, feeding you, teaching you, learning from you, helping you, hugging you, kissing you. THIS is a mama’s job. It is a mama’s joy.

This path we’ve walked since March 1st is unnatural. It is unwanted. It is rugged, windy, slippery, and unknown. It is not my choice. But, it is now my job. It is our road to walk now. To live without you here. To love you but not see you. To heal. We love you so much Ezra. We talk of you, about you, and to you all the time. Miss all of you. Every. Single. Part. (even poopy diapers but in all honesty Izzy does not miss that part! He told me a few days ago!) #MissyouE

Last week our 11 year old got out of bed, walked into the living room, and with tears running down her face looked at me and spoke these words. “Mom, of all the people in the whole world, why us?” Tears leaked down my face...because no one should cry alone :) Oh, how I understand what she is saying….where she is coming from. I get it. Totally. But what sprung to my lips was this:

“I don’t know. I don’t know why us. But, why not us? Jesus said that in this world we WILL have trouble. This is what it looks like for us. This is trouble. There are SO many types of trouble.

I have a friend who is fighting cancer. Trouble.

I have a friend whose husband walked out on her and her littles for another woman. Trouble.

I have friends that are looking for work, and don’t have enough money. Trouble.

I have a friend who is watching their best friend slip closer to Heaven and further from them. Trouble.

I have a friend that has lost multiple babies in her womb and longs to hold them. Trouble.

I have a friend whose family has been ripped apart by tragedy. Trouble.

I have a friend that struggles daily with depression. Trouble

I have a friend…..this list could go on and on. These troubles are not our trouble. So, sweet girl. All I know is this is ours to walk through. Everyone has something. Everyone. But Jesus has overcome the world. And as we “walk through our trouble”, we keep our eyes on the One who overcame it all.” (John 16:33)

It is a great reminder. We are all walking through something. Everyone. So we will show love, kindness,forgiveness...repeat. Walk alongside one another in the midst of trouble. Lift one another up in prayer. And press into the ONE who has overcome the world!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Fifth First

Ezra boy. We miss you so much. Five months ago you left us. Five months. You have already been gone a third of the time you were here on Earth. A third. I have no idea how that is possible. It seems you were the wild card in the family. You are the one that moved us into a bigger vehicle (we fit in a sedan now...sadly). You were the one that was not yet talking and just kind of grunted and pointed when you expressed yourself (making an interesting game of charades for the rest of us). You are the one we had to close all the doors in the house for (so you wouldn't bathe in the toilet water or empty your drawers in 5 seconds). You are the one that we swept daily for (so you wouldn't eat food off the ground). You were so central to our world.. All of our worlds . We each had such a sweet, special, relationship with you. Now we each have a unique hole, unique memories, and a unique way of grieving you. I miss you baby boy more than I could ever put into words. Some days the longing for you is so so deep. You forever changed us E. We love deeper because of you. We think eternally because of you. Our hurt is great, but that is because we love you so much. I am ok with that. I love you baby boy. Miss you like crazy.
Thank you friends for loving us. For being willing to have awkward conversations, deep conversations, or just letting us talk about Ezra. We thank God for you every time we think of you. I wanted to let you read a writing from Jake. It is so amazing…. It needs to be shared. It is a hope filled message written right after E died. 

From life to Life to LIFE

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


HEB is a place I frequent. San Antonio is HEB mecca. We live ½ a mile away from our HEB. Not only do I know where everything is located, my kids do too. It had been over 2 weeks since I had been to HEB w/our Colorado trip and mandatory ‘eat the food we have in the fridge’ beforehand. I walked in pretty much on auto pilot. Headed for the paper plates...priorities. It wasn’t until I got to the egg/milk/juice/yogurt area that I really honed in to the fact that things were significantly different. I didn’t think that much of it because all the same foods were in the general area they were before. Just a tiny bit of backtracking and an extra lap around that area and I was on my way. Still in my own little world, I headed to the produce area. Besides moving where the apples were...again..everything was great. So I headed down the first aisle (to be candid we had only bottled water and condiments in our refrigerator) and stopped in the middle. Just stopped. Instead of finding ketchup, I found bread. Bread. Bread belongs in the middle of the store. I really did stand there and look around trying to recalibrate my brain. What I was seeing and what I knew to be true were NOT lining up. That was just the beginning of the confusion. Aisle after aisle I stopped in the middle and just looked around looking for “my” things. Things that have been in that spot for over 9 nine years…. gone. I ended up walking down EVERY aisle(some multiple times) so I didn’t miss key ingredients to the meal. I was so flustered. The trip took me triple the time it usually does. Walking through HEB that day was confusing. Walking through HEB that day was unsettling. It was no longer was labored..and burdensome...heavy and almost frustrating. How similar the reconfiguration of our HEB is to our current life. Don’t get me wrong, rearranging is great. We had a forced redesign. We had a tragedy. Things that we KNEW to be true look different. The Smith’s are still the same “HEB”. We still have the same “ingredients” in our lives (minus E baby) But, everything is different. Things that were given a center aisle are not anymore. Some things that were in the back corner of our store, are now in a prominent display. Some items that were center stage for us are brought even closer to the front.
I can no longer make a list in the order of the store and dart in, shop and go. I no longer know where everything is. This so relates to our life right now. EVERYTHING was shaken up. EVERYTHING. You really have to reevaluate every single thing. And there are not a lot of clear answers….or really any answers at all. I don’t claim to know it all, but I have come to these three things I know are truth.
1. God Loves me.
2. Jesus died (and rose) for me. 
3. God is good.
I can count on these three things when nothing else is clear. And somehow that is enough right now. 
I guess number 4 would be that Heaven is real and my baby boy is there right now!
So I know 4 things. Not much. But enough for now. ‪#‎MissyouE‬
Lyrics to Steady….a song that has become a theme song of sorts for me right now.
You’re my true north when I’m headed south
My constant solid ground
You are my lantern in the night
When I’m twisted up and shaken
You’re the one I put my faith in
Yeah, you’re the reason I survive
You keep me steady when the sky is falling
And I’ll keep steady after You
I’ll carry on when my strength is failing
Take heart ‘cause You’re with me
So let the stars drop, whatever comes
I’ll be ready, You keep me steady
You keep me steady
You’re a river, You cover me
When the bombs fall, You’re the cavalry
Somehow You’re always standing right by my side
So no matter what I will be facing
I will not be overtaken
And You are the only reason why
You’re my hiding place, my home
And fear cannot invade these four walls
I need You near, I need You here

Friday, July 1, 2016

Four Months in

The first of the month used to be my favorite time of the’s payday, it’s new, it’s exciting, it’s a clean slate. Now I feel my body start dreading the first of the month a week before it happens. There is a foreboding feeling. There is anxiety. There are flashbacks. And there is the unrelenting reminder that though ALL your stuff is still here, you are not. Today I didn’t want to get up at all. I just wanted to stay in bed and not feel all the feelings that come with days like this. But that is not how this works. There are other people who need me, and like you DEMAND to eat. So we take another step through the pain. We haven’t moved anything of yours. Your toys are still in the living room. Your clothes are all still in the closet and the dresser. Your high chair sits on top of the table. Your suitcase from Abilene sits in the corner of the room and is still packed. All the sites of you...just not you. (This is probably weird but I don’t care) I spent every waking hour with you your whole life (or really close to it). I knew all your little nuances. Thankfully, I watched all your milestones happen. So I find myself just thinking constantly about you. What you are doing? What new things you have learned? Who are you with? What do you remember about us? Do you know how much we love you? Do you see how much we miss you?
I am counting on the fact that you do. Four months in Heaven Ezra. How much fun are you having? Daddy and I were talking about the fact that you have probably already met the biblical characters you are named after...and WHOA are we jealous! Maybe they videotape those kind of things so that I can watch all your firsts in Heaven when I get there? Little boy we love you so so much and long for the day we see your face again!#MissyouE

Thank you friends for loving us through this. Thank you for praying for us. Thank you for letting us cry..and you crying too. Thank you for saying his name out loud. Thank you for starting awkward conversations because you care. Thank you for coming alongside us in the muck to make sure we don’t stay there. And thank you for all the grace you show us.

Grief pictures:
-Your four year old puts his hands on your cheeks, looks you in the eyes, and asks, “Why did you let my brother die Mommy?”
-You and your husband quietly crying yourselves to sleep together after looking at pictures because neither of us have any words.
-Your son has taken to playing with the baby toys because he misses E so bad.
-Husband apologizing by text that he left the death certificate on the kitchen table when he left because he knows that for some reason seeing my baby’s name on paperwork sends me to a shaky place.
-Your daughter going to sleep in your bed every night because it “feels better”.
-Your daughter coming out in the middle of the night bawling about how unfair it is and how, “it was getting to the really fun part with Ezra!” (basically meaning fun to take places, fun to play with, fun to watch)
-Watching your son invite himself to play with any little boy around E’s age because he misses him so bad.
-As we were praying for our new babies (that we want to have) each of them put in a caveat for them to be healthy and to LIVE a long time.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18

I hope to leave you with one of my favorite songs. I LOVE all the lyrics, but especially the very end.

Don’t look to the right or to the left, just keep your eyes on me.
You will not be shaken, you will not be moved.
I am the hand to hold, I am the truth. I am the way.
Just come to me, come to me, cause I’m all that you need.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

3 months. 92 days. ¼ of a year

3 months. 92 days. ¼ of a year...25% of a year we have been living without you here. I really don’t have an idea how that is possible. I don’t know how we continue on but for the grace of God. I asked your siblings what they missed most about you...Hannah said your smile! Sadie said your noise and chasing you. Israel said playing baseball with you. Narrowing down what I miss is almost impossible. I miss everything. Even the things I didn’t enjoy when you were here, I now yearn to do. Holding you and singing to/with you wins out as what I miss the most, and what I long for the most. Yesterday we went to Sea World for the first time since you died. Everywhere we walked was a memory of the last time we went with you. :)You were so content to ride along in your stroller and just be in the middle of everything (and food of course. Always food!). The memories were coming fast and hard. I think God knew what we could handle. He opened the heavens. As the rain poured down, we made new memories. We darted through the rain...laughing and darting to shelter. We discussed whether or not you would have enjoyed the rain. (the consensus was YES! You would have loved it!) We didn’t even get to go to the kiddie rides because they were shut down...and that’s ok. We did things that were new. For that I am thankful. Your face on the carousel in February I don’t want to forget. Sheer joy. Joy is what you brought to us. Though a lot of times it was circus-like at our home, we LOVED it. We miss it. We miss you. We all do. Light up Heaven little one! ‪#‎MissyouE‬

My sweet friend reminded me the other day that no matter how things look now. Romans 8:28 is still true. “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” So it doesn’t look anything close to good right now, but we continue to be faithful and trust that on the other side it will be real good. Thank you friend for speaking life.

Random Nuggets: (if you are still reading this you are either a glutton for punishment or amazing. The jury is still out.)

1. I miss being blissfully unaware of a thing called SUDC (Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood - SUDC Foundation). The thought that every other day the same thing happens to another family breaks my heart. Praying for a cure, a cause, something. So that no one else loses their healthy babies!

2. Four year olds say all the things, all the time, in public. It might just be a casual “my brother died” or he might correct some unsuspecting stranger “that he was a big brother but his baby died” or that the “fastest way to get to heaven is to take a nap” This is how it is. So know that if you choose to spend time with us. :)

3. Waterproof eyeliner and waterproof mascara are your best friend. (probably will be for years.)

4. Sharing stories, memories, pictures or just letting us know you are thinking of Ezra WILL make us cry, but we will LOVE YOU MORE for it.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Two months you have been gone.

E baby. Two months you have been gone. TWO MONTHS. We can no longer trick ourselves into believing you are on a trip and will be back soon. You are on a trip but 60 years is a LONG time to wait to hug your neck. Really, really long. Pretty much everything and everyone reminds me of you. Friday I found one of your socks in the laundry. Really? We have emptied the laundry SO many times in the last few months and still your laundry is still coming. You were pretty central to how our family functioned (and you always did have the MOST laundry) Your needs were put first. That’s just what you do with a baby. You changed all of us forever. You taught Izzy to share and what it looks like to look out for someone. You taught Sadie how to be a little Mama (she so adored ALL the things baby) You taught Hannah to be selfless and increased responsibility (hard lessons but will serve her well forever). You taught Daddy & I how much our heart could expand and love more. And how to juggle...lots of juggling. You taught me how to persevere. How staying the course and not quitting are so important. So now we have to use all of these lessons going forward. Oh how we wish it was with you.
By now I’m sure you have seen YaiYa and been kissed by her (let’s be honest...she’s probably kissed you a million times already) Get used to it buddy. :) At her funeral yesterday, all I could think of was you. We sang an old song “This World Is Not My Home” and this is where I am. Ready to see your hope you are still waddle-running when I get’s my favorite! You are my “treasure”...Miss you SO much E. Love you most.

This world is not my home I'm just passing through
my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
the angels beckon me from Heaven's open door
and I can't feel at home in this world anymore

Not that you care Ezra, but we received the final autopsy findings this week. You are really a “unexplained death”. You really did go to sleep in your nap and wake up to Jesus. While there aren’t really any questions answered here, it is good to know. Dance with Jesus baby..we miss you.