Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Friends at last...

I wish I had snapped a few photos sweet Claire during the first 5 days of my trip--all I had to do was look at her and she would scream and turn the other direction. She had a runny nose too, and I was the lucky one to come at her with a kleenex way more often than she was comfortable with. Slowly, we warmed up to each other, and by the end of my trip, we were friends. It may have been that she didn't have any other options of people to be with, but I took what I got. We even shared some creative sloppy kisses and lots of laughs.
This picture is me with Liv and Coleman just before my sis Lindsey took me to the airport. I was so lucky to have good friends and family to take care of my kids during the day so I could go to help Lauren. And of course I have to mention my Ry, who did all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, and kid care on the weekend and evenings so I could go.
This is me with Claire just before our outing to the store the day before I left--it was high adventure at the Super Wal-Mart. I've never had a cart so full in my life, but I guess I've never shopped for a family of 8 before either. All the shoppers and employees were so friendly (way to go North Idaho!) and made so many comments on how cute and well-behaved she was. I probably could have been a little more forth-coming and told them she was my NIECE and not my daughter, but I was just thrilled that she was happy, so I didn't want to spoil the moment.
This is me with Grace, Claire, and Lauren the morning I left. Doesn't Lauren look great? After a near-death experience (her 3rd in a few short years) just a week before, I think she looks spectacular. She is one strong woman with some pretty important stuff to do on the earth, because she keeps living through some harrowing moments.
Here is sweet baby Grace Ella. My camera does a funky flash thing for a few seconds before snapping the picture, so we didn't get any photos without her trying to shield her eyes from the light. This babe is so mellow and calm, which is a huge blessing for Lauren. I was half-tempted to hop the border to Canada with her, but alas, she belongs with her mama and brothers and sisters. If only we could get their clan to move back to Utah!

When it was all said and done, it was a week of work and fun and sleepless nights, good conversations, and thankful prayers. I am so glad I could be there for Lauren. I know she'd do the same for me or any of our other sisters if we were in her shoes. It gave me a lot of perspective about empathy and stepping in to someone else's life. Lauren's family is so blessed to have her, she is amazing in so many ways, and we are all grateful that she is still here with us.


Sally said...

I know I should comment on other things in this post, but you have some awesome shiny hair going on. What a gorgeous color. To me it looks like a river of molten, flowing chocolate.

Allyson said...

I'm so glad that Lauren is doing okay! That's really neat you were able to go spend some time with her! Her kids are SO cute! That little Claire is adorable!

lArZ said...

that's nice that you were able to go down and help her! what a nice sister! =) the little baby is cute!

Ashley & Matt Cole said...

Yea, first pics I've seen of Grace. These little sis's will be such good buddies. I didn't have a shot holding Claire for one minute during Thanksgiving, you must be good.