The story of Olivia Hope

Monday, September 27, 2010

Six Month's ago.

I didn't sit down to write a new post. I sat down to check my email (and facebook of course!!) but I glanced down at today's date...

Six months ago today I buried my baby girl.

Six months ago this evening I watched it start to rain, just like it is now, and wondered if she was safe and protected from the wet and cold.

Six months ago I got ready for bed wondering how I would EVER live life normally again.

My heart is heavy as I remember these details and many more but I am thankful for each day that God gives me with my loved ones and how He has shown me that I can live. I am thankful for the certainty of knowing that Olivia LIVES!

...but I still want her here.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

One man's junk is another man's treasure!!

So we desperately needed an new tv stand. The dinky little one we had was, first of all, unsafe for kids to be playing around and, second of all, it couldn't house our gaming systems or dvd's-most importantly our wii! I had been on the lookout for something super cheap and found this gem at a flea market for $20 bucks. I was all excited to bring it home. After telling Andy I only paid $20 for it his response was "you paid money for that?" Ok, it really was a piece of junk but I saw the potential and due to it's size I knew it would work. It was full of cobwebs, mildew and just dirt and the outside was sure nothing fancy but with a bit of scrubbing, painting, glazing, antiquing, drilling, sawing (had to cute holes in the back for cords) and some new harware I'm quite happy with the results and I finally have my Guitar Hero back!
Oh, and please try not to focus on the shelf jammed with books and kids things...I'm working on that too!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Super Big Girl!

So many changes have been happening in our house, actually in our family. Mostly just milestones and with each new one brings excitement, of course, but also the tiniest little ache that there is someone missing amidst all this celebration.

In the last couple of weeks we have (FINALLY) started potting training, which is going GREAT by the way. Still a few accidents here and there but she gets it and is trying and of course we act super stupid and make a huge big deal for each poopy and tinkle that makes it into the potty!! It's fun! Along with the potty training came the big-girl bed and that's going great as well! The first dentist appointment (great as well! She actually asked them to clean her teeth again when it was all done!), starting to understand things like Andy showing her how to race cows on the wii and even just getting to the age where we can start doing fun things like painting bird houses! I will say some of the fun was sucked out of that when I felt like I couldn't leave my spot standing behind her chair with my wet rag in hand to wipe every fresh smear of paint off of my red kitchen chairs before it dried!! However, they really DO grow up so fast and I am having a blast with my big 2 1/2 year old but I miss Olivia so much. Each new development that comes our way makes me instantly think that I won't get to enjoy these things with her, or she should be here to celebrate with, or Gwen should have the privilege of showing her little sister how to do these things...

I've been going through a devotional written by Nancy Guthrie called Hope. Ironically shortly after we decided on a name for Olivia a friend loaned me a book written by the same women who lost an infant daughter named Hope and while the circumstances are different most of it hits home. I was given the devotional and it has been a blessing to work through. More recently a chapter called Rest in Peace.

"I began to see that Hope's brief life on earth and quick deliverance into eternal life in the presence of God was not cruel or tragic. It was, in many ways, a gift to her, a protection from evil to come. Not that it felt less cruel or tragic to me. I felt robbed. I felt cheated...I don't want to loose Hope. I would like to see her grow. I would like to know her as an adult. But I also know that this life is filled with pain. And I don't think it is a tragedy that she will have the opportunity to be spared from evil, from the pain of this life, and be in the presence of God. This is what I believe. It is not necessarily how I feel. But believing this makes a difference in how I feel..."

Replace Hope's name with Olivia (or leave it for that matter since we did name her Olivia Hope) and this was pretty much written for me. And I CAN Rest in Peace knowing that I will see her again. I couldn't ask for a better situation for HER. Now ME is another story but if I've learned anything it's that this is not about me. Remind me of that later when I forget!!

Please don't stop praying for us. We do still hurt. It's only been six months! Some days it seems more and some days it seems less. I picture that while Gwen is learning to not get out of her big-girl bed each nap time Olivia would be in the next room in her crib starting to sit up by herself and maybe even crawling...Each new milestone is bittersweet.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


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Well THAT mid-year resolution went right out the window!!

First of all I'm so sorry that I haven't been blogging lately. I have become consumed by summer. That's good and bad I suppose. Mostly good, however I have allowed myself to escape into vacations, gardening, trips to Lancaster, etc.

Many of you have been asking about my friend Jenn and her family. It didn't even occur to me that I ask you all to pray and then I didn't update. Noah was born on July 13th, lived for about 9 hours and went to heaven on the 14th. Andy and I went to his memorial service which was beautiful and very meaningful. As excruciating as it was to do that all over again only four months after Olivia's we were glad to be there for the Porsche family and to be refreshed with the sermon that the pastor spoke. Keep up to date with them at

My brother and his family came out at the end of July to visit for 10 whole days!! It was so great to see them and to get the cousins together. We had a blast and didn't rest the whole time! Other than that I've been a crazy canning girl, taken many trips to Lancaster and have been busy with MOPS, Pampered Chef, Church and trying to do everything I can to savor every moment I have with my family. I admit that I have definitely let some things go and have used my grieving as an excuse (I can't really think of a better word) but on the other hand allowed myself to enjoy life as I know it to not get caught up in formalities. All that to say it's back to the grinding stone for me!

How are we? Well, I guess fine. I mean can you really be "fine" after loosing a child. Only five months in tells me I don't know the answer to that yet. We are definitely doing well, learning to grieve and heal with baby steps. We are obviously functioning and living normal life but not a day goes by where I don't get sad or miss my precious daughter like crazy. It still hurts a lot and I still need plenty of prayer from you! I heard the saying recently from a friend of mine regarding Michele and her son Hezekiah. The friend said to her "you will always have a Hezekiah shaped hole in your heart...". That pretty well sums it up. I will always have an Olivia shaped hole in my heart. Nothing, no child can fill it. Even now, after a truly great day, I am tearing up just writing this. It hurts. I want my daughter.

Above is a taste of what we did this summer.
Maybe if I say it again I'll follow through this time: I want to be a better blogger so see ya soon!