December 11, 2011


Dear Carter,

I have to admit it.  There are some days when I simply can NOT wait to get to church, and there are others when I tend to drag my feet.  There is a pattern here, and typically the dragging of the feet is because I just know that I'm going to be reminded of your funeral.  On the other hand, some weeks this is welcome because it's the last place that I felt like we were really "with" you. Sometimes I don't even understand how my crazy mind works!

Our lesson in church today was about how we can be compared to a piece of iron.  Some may think of God as a hammer, or an axe, or a saw....just trying to form us into what he would want.  The piece of iron will withstand those tools, so instead we should see God as a tiny flame. It may take some time, but that tiny flame will GENTLY bend the iron.  Isn't this just so true? Sometimes it may take more than a tiny flame to mold me to do what He wants, but hopefully He is patient with me.  I also have to say that losing you didn't feel like a tiny flame to me, but God knows what he's doing.

I started to think about how God has placed certain people into my life, knowing that even if they may not help to "mold" me at that moment, maybe they possibly could later in my life. It became even more obvious to me as I was going up to get my blessing, and found that my High school counselor was the one who would be giving it to me.  If you didn't know it before baby boy, I was a bit of a trouble maker in High School.  I got bored, and decided that I didn't need school during my Junior year.  My High School counselor did everything he could to help me to stay in school, but I was just too stubborn (and maybe a bit lazy), and instead missed most of my Junior year which I had to make up during night school in my Senior year.

So here he is, fifteen years later, and he gave me a blessing today....and I was remembering the long talks we had about how you can't give up.

You just can't give up.

And those words affected me more today than they did back then.  I kept on remembering his positive attitude, and how he would tell me that he believed in me and he knew that I could do it. Not that I feel like giving up on life (no panicked phone calls please), but more like I want to give up on trying to be unselfish about wanting you here with me....about not being angry that you aren't here.

Although he certainly wasn't talking about my journey without you, it felt as though that was the case as I was reliving those conversations today.  Today, he had no idea who I was as I received my blessing and walked back to my seat, but he somehow gave me a much needed pep talk.

December 7, 2011

Festival Fun

Dear Carter, This year we decided to approach the festival a bit differently. Last year we took your brother and sister on one of the busiest nights, and they didn't really enjoy it too much. This year we took them during the day, and it worked out perfectly because Jovie had a dance recital which fell on the day we had planned on going. She was thrilled to dance at the Festival, and she practiced and practiced. It really showed too because she rocked it!! When we got there, we took a trip around the building to take a look at all of your trees. They loved them all, and were especially excited to see that we had won the tree they had decorated.

After looking at a few other trees, we decided to try out the Kid's Corner where Mikey got put inside of a big bubble.
They both made a phone call to an Elf at the North Pole (sooooo cute!!)

Jovie got a quick manicure before her performance...

and then she was all ready to go!
I think that they both had a great time down there, and I hope that they look forward to it again next year!

December 5, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree 2011!

Dear Carter,

This post is going to be picture heavy, but it's because you had so many cute trees at the Festival!  It's still hard for me to believe that it is all over and done with. I have to be honest in saying that with it being all over, I'm not really feeling the Christmas spirit any more.  I'm sure it will come as it gets closer, but for right now I'm just not feeling it.  We did decorate your grave today, and I hope you like the little tree we put up there.  Your sister and I decorated it today, and we think it turned out so cute!  I have a few more things I'd like to put up there, but the ground was a bit to frozen to get the posts into....tomorrow I'll be sure to bring a hammer.

As for the Festival Of Trees, all of your trees sold.  The first one to get more than one bid was the one that your brother and sister did for you.  It was called, Carter's Hope and the theme was butterflies and stars.  We actually did a whole photo shoot of our family with our tree, and we plan to use those pictures for our Christmas cards this year.  I'll be sure to share those soon!  Here is the adorable little tree.
They even put your little picture in it.
We decided that we just couldn't let go of this tree since it was your brother and sister's very first one, so Daddy bid on it and won it! We gave it to Grandma Erbes to enjoy.  It is adorable!

The next tree was your cousin Samantha's Sweeter Than Candy tree.  She says that she named it that because you are Sweeter Than Candy which is so SO true!
Your Aunt Stacy, Aunt Nelva, and Cousin Monica were also there to lend a hand.  The tree was so fancy and just beautiful!  We are very proud of her for doing this.  She raised all of the money for it on her own.

The next tree was your Grandma Geri's Frosty The Snowman Tree. Your Great-Aunt Nancy helped her with it too.  This was their first tree, so they were nervous, but as you can see they had absolutely nothing to be nervous of!  It turned out adorable, and the lady who purchased it was thrilled with it. 
Finally, here is the Team Carter "We Are All Misfits" tree.  We had a lot of help from our friends, and we appreciate them so, SO much! There is ABSOLUTELY no way we could have done this without them. We came up with the idea for this tree the day after last year's festival, and it took us this whole year to get it just right.

I am going to do a separate post on our trip down to the festival tomorrow.  Just know that I love you and miss you so very much.  Sometimes I'll just be working along, and all of a sudden I feel as though I've been kicked in the gut.  I suddenly hear the words in my head "he's really gone".  I can't believe it has been as long as it has.  I just plain miss you little guy.  I love you, and am praying that you know that, and that I'll somehow feel some comfort in knowing that.

December 1, 2011

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Dear Carter,

Today starts the 25 days of Christmas.  It really seems as though it has crept up on me this year which is silly since I've been decorating your tree for so long.

On Tuesday night, your Daddy, Aunt Stacy, Cousin Samantha, and I headed down to Opening Night at The Festival Of Trees.  They all look so much different with the lights dimmed and the clutter cleaned up off of the floor.  When we saw your trees for the first time that night, we realized that we hadn't really gotten the full effect of them until that moment.  The bidding started, and there was a LOT of pacing and walking by your trees over and over again to see if they had received a bid.  I can happily report that ALL of your trees sold, and every penny of those donations will be donated to Primary Children's Hospital. Despite the butterflies in our stomachs, it really was a delightful night, and I'll definitely want to go back again next year.

On Wednesday, we were blessed to have the opportunity to see Jovie dance at the Festival.  She did a fabulous job, and we couldn't be prouder of her.  She knew the full weight that she was dancing for you, and she practiced her little heart out.  I'll definitely have to post a video of it when I get it on the computer.  Afterward, we took a look at all of your trees, and let your brother and sister explore the rest of the festival.  They got to have their picture taken with Santa, and do all of the fun kid activities that they missed out on last year.  We really wanted them to remember this festival as a fun time, and something they will look forward to every year.

As happy as I am to participate in this festival every year, it was still hard to leave your tree there knowing that I most likely will never see it again.  We've been working on it for a year now, and it feels weird not having it here.  I guess that just means that we need to start on your tree for next year.  We are definitely trying to give back one tree at a time!