the most exciting part of the month was that Ellie learned how to ride her bike minus training wheels! go ELLIE! it was pretty crazy how quickly she picked it up. she decided she wanted to do it on a Friday and by Saturday afternoon she was cruising like a pro. she kept saying, "woo! look at me! i'm so BIG!" i love that kid.
we also had some added fun mixed in. i got M tickets to see BYU play vs Texas at home for his 30th...the game was rained out for the whole beginning but they ended up pulling through, and they even made it on TV! why is it so cool to be on TV? i'm not sure really, but it just is.
on that weekend while M was away, i took the girls to the movies and to Six Flags and even made them a lil fancy spaghetti and meatball dinner. we had a really fun weekend together which always feels nice as the mama.
we had another Primary Program! this year's theme was "I am a Child of God." what a simple and pure truth! the program was one of my favorites we've ever had. i love how the gospel is broken down to the basics in Primary - it is so easy to understand...as it should be! Ellie's line was so sweet and pure. it was "I am grateful that Jesus was ressurrected because that means I'll get to be with my baby brother Max again." her pure faith and testimony as she confidently and passionately shared that truth on that day made me cry. i think it made others cry, too! she is such a sweet and tender soul.
Sept also marked the 6-month birthday of Max.
i've said it before, but i'll say it again: milestones are hard.
a six month old baby is so fun. and so big. and so sweet. they have their personality. they interact. they eat real food. they cuddle you and you are their whole world.
and yet our baby wasn't here to experience all of that. i don't think i'll ever get used to these milestones being missed.
i remember feeling overwhelmed with how sad i felt.
i felt frustrated for feeling so sad still. like i should be getting better by then but i almost felt to be digressing again. M and i talked about it one day and he told me something that continues to stay with me- he said, "i think it's important to just let yourself feel what you're gonna feel." it's so true. otherwise you either implode or explode - and neither scenario is good. i guess i just wanted to know how i could grieve and get it over with and i am slowly realizing hat there's no such thing. there's no set way to do it. there's no right or wrong amount of time or window of emotion that you should experience. it's all different for each person. i loved this little quote at the end of the Disney Short, "The Ballad of Nessie" i heard around this time. it said,
"Do not be afraid to cry
It really is ok
Sometimes it is through our tears
that we find a better way."
i love that because experiencing these emotions - these real, literally painful in my chest emotions, has taught me things i really couldn't have learned any other way. the hole that Max has left felt and feels gapingly monstrous. i ache for him every day. i cry for him often. and i think it is through those tears that i am able to find more compassion and love and empathy for those around me. i'm far from who i want to be, but Max is helping me become better - even missing him is helping me become better.
for his six month birthday, we painted pots for Max. i wrote in my journal: "The girls absolutely loved painting pots for Max today to bring them to our place. We spent at least an hour working up designs and using all different colors and paintbrushes. They were so proud of how their masterpieces turned out- and hoped that Max would love what htey did for him. It is so touching watching these beautiful little girls honor their sweet little brother like this. I love it."
Alice was so sweet - pointing at the balloons and saying, "Yook, Mama! Da balloons are dancing in da sky!" they did look like they were dancing. i loved that. i'm so grateful for these precious little ones that keep me smiling even when it feels like i can't.
i wonder what he thinks on these days. are these days hard for him? or is it just hard because he knows that they're hard for us? i wonder if he gets to come and see the little things we do for him. i think he does. and i hope he knows that even when another 100 half-years pass by, we'll still miss him and love him as much as we did this day when we painted pots, planted flowers, sang songs and had a little dance party for him on his 6 month birthday.