Friday, December 31, 2010

The Year in Review

The days are long but the years are short. I've read that somewhere before although I'm not sure where. They are words that resonate with me. As I sit here mourning the passing of the holidays and anxiously awaiting the next big fun event in our lives I force myself to stop and remember that life is made up of more than the holidays, birthdays and trips that pass us by. Life is the day to day. The breakfasts and dinners, the errands we run and the seemingly endless playing and story reading. It's in the fine details of daily life that memories are made.

This last year was a good one. We started off with a blizzard (or two) and Matthew had fun in the snow.


In March we went out to Pittsburgh and visited Matt's old family home. His parents moved away from their a few years ago and going back brought back a lot of memories. We took Matthew to his first hockey game and one of the last ones in the old Mellon Arena.


April brought us the first of one of our many trips to the beach. Fortunately for all of us Matthew was more enthused as the beach season went on. The first one didn't go so well.


As a surprise for daddy for Father's Day we went to a Lehigh Valley Ironpigs game! Matthew had a blast and loved to watch baseball, even if it was a super hot day.


Fourth of July found us in Ocean City, NJ with Sarah and Wayne which is our yearly tradition. Weather was beautiful and the beach and boardwalk was packed! It took us forever to get home but it was still a great day!


July 9th came, as it does every year, and this year our little baby turned two and became less and less like a baby. I busied myself with his party and all the celebration to keep my mind off the fact that like I said earlier, those years go by so fast.


Following Matthew's birthday was our third year of life without the twins. They're always in our hearts and never far from our minds and to celebrate them we released balloons at Matthew's party. We also let Matthew make an animal at Build a Bear.

In August came an always anticipated time of year, our annual trip to the Outer Banks. This year was an amazing time with friends and we are looking forward to next year's trip. One of the biggest highlights from last vacation is that Matthew learned to swim! He was so proud of himself and was a little fishy.


This place...this place heals my soul.


This kid? Yeah, he heals my soul too...


Summer was full of all sorts of fun. Beach trips, strawberry picking, going to the zoo and playing with Pop-pop.



The fall was a lot of fun too. We visited State College, PA where Matthew informed us not only was he going to school there, he was taking the bus. We got to meet Matthew's great-great Aunt's, which was a real treat!


In November we went to the airport and picked up our beloved cousin Andy along with Uncle Jim and Aunt Charla. Matthew loved having Andy here and still talks about him a lot. We had a lot of fun. We visited DC, went to a lights festival, celebrated Grammy and Pop-pop's 50th Wedding Anniversary as well as Pop-pop's birthday! We also went to see the Liberty Bell and just spent some good time together. It was sad dropping them off at the airport and we miss them.


The holidays were busy as holidays tend to be. We went to Kozair's Christmas Village and our annual trip out to Hershey park. We spent time with family and friends and were blessed by the life that we live. Matthew had an awesome Christmas. He was slightly overwhelmed but had a blast opening all of his gifts.


It's been a wonderful year. I hope and pray this next year is just as fulfilling. And fun. And I hope all of you have a wonderful year as well.

Goodbye 2010!

2010 was a great year for our family full of lots of fun an adventures. I wish I had been better at blogging about them all but that does not good because as the old saying goes, you can't turn back time.

It is part of my new year's goals to be better with blogging in the next year. One day soon I'll catch you all up on what's been going on here. We had a great holiday and have spent a fun week together. Matt's company closes between Christmas and New Year's so he's getting lots of good quality time with us. He even said the other night after putting Matthew to bed that he has a new respect for me after dealing with an energetic two year old all day. Not that Matthew is a bad kid but he is two which seems to be a constant battle between need need need and "I do it yaself!" (which is how Matthew says he would prefer to do things on his own.

Well that's all the time I have for now. We are having a little party tonight, just the three of us. We're going to make party foods and play some games and celebrate all the good that came this year while looking forward to all the blessings our way in the new year! This year our family has a wedding and someone (no, not me) is expecting a baby!! But that's not my news to share.

In closing I'll leave you with this saying from Edith Lovejoy Pierce: "We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day."

God bless you all and I hope you all have an amazing 2011!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Portrait of a Birthday Party

Okay so if you thought the Halloween post was late, wait until you read this one! Yep, I'm posting pictures from his Birthday party, teehee. It was a wonderful day and I just wanted to share.

We woke up that morning and the rain that was a threat was delivering as promised. Oh boy, it was a torrential down pour. Not good for the birthday party that was being set up outside! Fortunately at noon the clouds parted and the rain stopped! About that time Sarah and Wayne, David and Jessica and Mary got there and I pretty much shut down. Through all the work and worry I was just done. They all stepped in and got the rest of it pulled together along with Christi who showed up not too long afterwards.

So the year of one is gone, along with the party and we are well in to the year of being two (and yeah, maybe thinking of next year's party), but here are the pictures anyway! Enjoy!!





Happy Halloween!

Yeah, yeah, I'm about a month late on this, but I come bearing a few cute pictures if that helps. Life has just gotten busy and I really regret not being better about blogging. I love reading back over this blog and seeing how much we've all grown as a family.

So to catch you up on all the happenings in our home...

We went to the zoo...

and squeezed the last drops of warmth out of the summer...

We went to Hershey Park with Sarah and Wayne and had a lot of fun!

One weekend we went out to Altoona and Matthew finally got to meet his great great Aunts Betty and Marie!

On the way home from there we stopped at Penn State...Matthew told us he was going to take the bus there.

We did the obligatory pumpkin patch where Matthew surprised us by going on this giant slide.

He loved helping to pick out the pumpkins this year.

Halloween was touch and go since any previous attempt at wearing his costume resulted in a monkey meltdown.

All the time I spent telling him that if he wanted candy he had to wear his costume must have made an impression because as Halloween arrived and I asked him if he was ready to wear his costume he shocked us all by saying, "yes."

Pay no attention to the lollipop in his hand. Hey, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

So there you have it, our fall. Next week is sure to bring lots of fun and adventures as we go to the airport tomorrow to pick up Matt's brother and his family! We're so excited and can't wait to have some good family time together!

If I don't get back here before (which lets face it I won't) from our family to yours...Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ugh, I Did It Again

We've been busy enjoying life and haven't been posting here. I really need to be better about it. To make up for it here's a video of Matthew playing with his train set. It's a long one but worth it if you wait until the end!

Monday, September 6, 2010

And Time Marches On

When Matthew was five months old we realized it was time to get him a high chair.


He was so tiny you can barely see him sitting in it! He enjoyed his new view of the world and loved being able to sit with us while we ate dinner.


In April, as we were decorating rice krispie treat eggs for Easter, we took what would be the last picture of him in his highchair. He had decided soon after that big boys sit at the table and never went back.


I'm not sure why we kept it around so long after that. Part laziness, part denial. Today we decided to pack it away to make room for Santa and the (K-I-T-C-H-E-N) that he's bringing him for Christmas.

These moments are always so bittersweet. There may be another baby that uses the highchair someday, but there won't be another baby Matthew that uses it.

Here's Matthew standing with daddy before he took it out to his car to take to storage.

Bye high chair!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Watch the Wind Go By

Listen to this.

I heard it tonight while we were at dinner. And it made me fall in love with Matt again. I love him. I've always loved him and I always will love him. But every once in a while in our busy, every day lives something triggers a feeling in me and I fall all over again. Just like the first moment I saw him in the mall and knew I had come "home." And like the moment I laid in his arms as the life we had known lay in a heap at our feet after we lost the twins and knew that no matter how devestated I felt, I was not alone. And like the moment I first saw him hold Matthew.

Not all the moments are big monumental ones. Some are small but they're still special. One weekend when I was still in school and we were visiting his parent's house when they lived in Pittsburgh, I had been up late the night before hand writing a paper since it was before laptops existed in our home and when I woke up the next morning and came downstairs he had typed up my paper for me.

At dinner, rising above the crowd noise I heard this song. And it brought me back to our life before children. Before loss. Before toddlers. It's hard to remember times like that existed. I love my life, and the chaos that children bring, but it's nice to fall again every now and then. To be brought back to the center of what our family is. And dream of the day when Matthew is off in his own home with his own family and Matt and I are old and rocking on our porch. When we have all the time in the world for each other again instead of just stolen moments after Matthew goes to bed.

I love him.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Where Have I Been?

Gosh, it's been a month since I've been here! Wow! Where have I been?

Oh yeah, here:

And going there took a lot of preparation to get ready. And we were there for two weeks. And then there was the week of depression when I got back. Anyway, I'm back and I promise to do better.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Check Out Our New Duds!

So I was kind of forced to redesign the blog when my old background disappeared, but I am in love. Blogger added all kinds of new features to design with and it was a lot of fun picking a new look! I hope you enjoy it and I hope it gets me blogging more!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Few New Videos

Matthew has had quite the imagination lately! He just amazes us!

Here's a few videos I took of him this morning.

We're busy busy here in the McMichael family. We leave for our annual trek down to the Outer Banks in a little over a week and we are so excited! Enjoy these videos!

Monday, July 12, 2010


When I wasn't looking at his birthday party somebody taught Matthew a new trick. Luckily it's a cute one.

Check it out!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

Dear Daniel and Hope,

Three years ago today we let you go. As the time has passed it has gotten easier to deal with the loss of you but on this day my heart still breaks, my mind stuck on that day. I can smell the hospital and remember the tears from doctors and nurses who were with us. I can still hear the minister who baptized you crying in the room next to us. Three years out of your loss I wish I had been there when it happened, but I wasn't strong enough then.

The day we lost you was the saddest day of my life. And that day stretched into weeks and out of your loss came the strength to try again and because of that strength we have your brother.

But make no mistake about it, you made me a mother. And for that I am forever grateful.

I will forever love you and forever miss you.

your mommy

i carry your heart with me

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

-e.e. cummings

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Another Trip Around The Sun

Dear Matthew,

Being your mommy is one of the greatest gifts ever. This year with you I got to live out lifelong dreams I've had. When other little kids talked about growing up to be doctors or lawyers or actresses, I wanted to be a mommy. I wanted to spend my day with my child and do mommy and me classes. And we got to do a lot of them this year. We did swimming classes and gymnastics and lots of different library ones. It was so fun to watch how you changed through them. From the timid little boy who wouldn't leave my side to the kid who runs by me yelling "hi mommy!" as you're chasing a ball in gymnastics. I can't believe how much you've grown this year. And I am so grateful that I have the oppurtunity to spend every day with you. You are such a joy to me. From waking up in the morning listening to you on the monitor saying "mommy, are you?" to having you blow me kisses as daddy carries you into the bedroom after your bath. Every day is just so fun. Even your tantrums and power struggles.

I never knew love like this could exist. When you are happy, I am happy and when you feel pain I want to take it all from you. I want to keep you in the living room forever watching the movie Cars and protect you from mean little kids, and girls who won't love you back and bosses who won't see your potential. I want you to feel nothing but love as you grow. But I know that's not possible. As your mom and dad it's our job to raise you to be strong and wise and kind and to let you fly away and hope that we did it right. We want to raise you to know that the world won't always be a happy place, that hard times can sometime feel like they're around every corner you turn. And if we've done our job right then when those days come you'll hold your head up and keep walking forward, strong in the knowledge that the Lord is always with you and no matter how alone you may feel you're not.

Tomorrow is your second birthday and I just don't know where the time has gone. I miss the baby but the little kid you are becoming is just so awesome. I can't wait to watch you grow even more and see you one day become a man. I hope you're just like your daddy because he's the best man I know.

On this night before your birthday I have this prayer for you. I pray you always love with your whole heart, even if it gets broken. Never settle for someone who doesn't love you as much as you love them. Follow your dreams, wherever they may take you and know that a lot of times you have to fail before you get what you want. Sometimes the things that are harder to get are the most worthwhile. Working hard is the only way to get what you want, and if it's coming too easy perhaps it's not the right path. Love God always, although you may not understand all that He does, He will never let you down.

I love you Matthew, and I will always love you. No matter what you do or where you go you will always have a piece of my heart with you.

Happy birthday baby.

Monday, July 5, 2010

We Ate at Moe's....

The events of July 4th and 5th 2007 are etched into my mind and will never be forgotten. We went to meet Sarah and Wayne to go down to Ocean City for the day like we did ever year. We were going to eat at Saladworks for lunch but they were closed for the holiday so we went to Moe's. The weather was bad so we didn't stay on the beach long and the fireworks were cancelled. After walking on the boardwalk for a little while we decided to leave.

We dropped them off home and checked into our hotel for the night. Hall and Oates were performing in Philly at the Welcome America celebration and we watched that and went to bed.

The next morning we woke up and had breakfast at the hotel and got ready to leave. I was wearing a green shirt and tan shorts. We stopped at the post office to mail something and then found a Saladworks to have lunch at.

Then it was time for our level II ultra sound appointment. "Do you want to find out?" the tech asked and we both answered her excitedly that yes we did. She worked for a while on Baby A, pointing out a heart, a lip, some toes. I remember while chatting with her it was on the tip of my tongue to say how fun this part of the job must be, to see these babies and let mommies and daddies know who was on the way. But I didn't say it. She went to look at Baby B and then quickly moved back to Baby A and said "let's see if we can see the gender first." She moved the wand around my belly and said "It's a boy!" Then she went to look at Baby B again. And then she got up and walked out of the room. Matt and I looked at each other wondering what was going on. She came back a few moments later with the dr and we knew something had gone horribly wrong. The dr moved the wand around for a few minutes searching and then turned to us and said..."I am so sorry...."

It was the first crumble of the eventual mountain of our lives that tumbled down that day. Yet I couldn't physically mourn. I had a healthy and growing little boy inside of me that I had to keep eating and resting and living for.

These next few days are such a roller coaster ride for me. I'm excited and happy and filled with love for Matthew and planning the fun of his birthday party and then very quickly I'm smacked in the face with the sharp, painful memory of all that we have lost. My eyes well up with tears both with the gratefulness of the healthy little boy who is almost two and also the emptiness that will never go away from the loss of his brother and sister.

I'm thankful for friends and family who remember the twins and know that in these coming days I need to be held a little closer for the ache of longing for those two lost little souls that will forever live inside my heart.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wordless Wednesday--Grace

Matthew says grace with us at dinner, and he says extra grace for the food he's already put in his mouth while waiting for grace to be over.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wordless Wednesday--The Kid Grabbed My Camera

This series of photos were taken by the short guy in the house. Please excuse his technique, he's still learning. :)



and a self-portrait

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

Yesterday was Father's Day and I planned a surprise for Matt a few months ago. If you know me at all you know that I am not a secret keeper. I once told Matt that when we have our next child maybe we'll keep their name to ourselves until they are born. He laughed so hard that he almost had to pull the car over. Somehow he didn't believe I could keep the secret that long.

But I was good, and kept this secret, and it was hard. I begged him all week to let me tell him. But I think he secretly enjoys the torture of me going crazy with a head full of surprises.

I woke up at 6:30 and tossed and turned until 7:30 when I heard Matthew in his room calling for us. I went in and got him ready to go give Matt his gift.

All ready to go!

Here you go dada!

Dada's surprise is we're going to an Ironpigs baseball game!

I had a small emotional moment walking into the stadium. Taking my child to a baseball game was one of the dreams lost when the twins passed away. So walking in with Matthew was a dream come true. Especially on Father's Day.

Matthew loved being there. He was so excited to see the player's throwing balls and kept going "ball!" everytime he would see one get thrown.


It was a good time! And afterwards we went for dinner at Red Robin where Matthew was a very good boy.

I've loved Matt for a long time, pretty much from the minute we met. And there are times when I fall in love all over again and still get those butterflies in my stomach. Watching him be Matthew's daddy is one of those times. I know moments like yesterday when he was taking his son to a ball game are big pride inducing moments. But every father/son moment Matt has with Matthew will always be tinged with the loss we've endured so it becomes that much more special. I'm very vocal in my feeling about our loss, and it seems more natural to comfort the mother of lost children and easier to forget the daddys who have lost their babies. But I don't forget, and never will. And Matt is the best daddy he could all three of his children.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Facebook Made Me Do It

I know I've been horrible at blogging lately. And I could really kick myself for that. Writing has always been such a wonderful outlet for me and honestly it's part of what pulled me through after I lost the twins. I had an online journal on a message board and when the pain would be so intense that I felt like I would burst then I would post in my journal.

Anyway, I blame Facebook completely for my lack of journaling. With their dang ole easy photo uploader and the fact that I can link my facebook pictures into my online journal. I just don't upload to photobucket anymore. Especially since they got harder to use and all of their advertising makes it take forever to do anything. So anyway, here we are, June 19th and my last blog was almost a month ago.

So what have we been up to you ask? Oh lots of stuff. Life is good here in casa McMichael.

We've been sporting our shades to keep the sun out of our eyes.

We baked in the sun at an air show where Matthew proclaimed "oh wow! wook at that!"

We went swimming in the pool at Grammy and Pop-Pop's house. And Pop-Pop even came in with us!

And we've eaten lots of ice cream!

And had lemonade on the boardwalk!

And yummy Mack n Manco's pizza too!

We went strawberry picking...

...and eating.

We've also had lots of fun playdates (fun for Matthew too)!


Yep, it's been a good start to our summer. There's lots more excitement to come too! We have birthdays and of course vacation! We hope you're all having fun too!