I happened to pull up my blog today and noticed it has been almost exactly ONE year since I last posted. Oh, my.... I didn't intend for that to happen. It's hard to fit one more thing in the day, but then I think about how nice it would be to have a journal. This is the exact answer to that and I've known it all along. It all comes down to priorities. No excuses, you make time for what you want to make time for. I intend to make more time for recording my history and feelings in the moment. I always think I can go back later and just add photos, but the emotion you're feeling in the moment is hard to replicate. It's not frozen in time like a photo is. I have a love-hate relationship with social media. I love that I can connect, no matter the distance, but I hate that it is a time sucking monster. As I'm brainstorming with myself about how to better spend my time, I often come back to needing to step away from social media more often. I then wander back to times when life was a little more simple. I didn't constantly have to have a device in my hand. Now with the business I'm running, I'm finding it glued to my hand even more so and ever so difficult to adhere to that desire.
We've been sailing through some rough waters recently. Different from times past, because those were REAL rough, but all in the same, it's still hard. I find it very therapeutic to write down my whirlwind of emotions when facing a trial. I love being able to look back and see how I've grown from it. It is amazing how trials can make you tougher. They truly make you change. For the better, for the worse, maybe a little of both. Change is painful, but necessary. There's really just no escaping it.
Lincoln is now in the 1st grade in a program called Mild/Moderate. It's in a regular elementary school, but not the one located within our neighborhood. They bus him to the closest one that provides the program. It's in Pleasant Grove.
We started the year off great. All of his past school years, preschool through Kindergarten, have been great. His 1st grade teacher left for maternity leave for about 6 weeks and all hell broke loose. It took a little while to emerge, but I started getting more and more phone calls towards the end of the 6 weeks. It was a mixture of him refusing to do his work, swearing, & teasing classmates. He had a partner in crime as well. I had actually gone in for the costume parade on Halloween & wanted to take some photos. His temporary substitute teacher threw me off a little. She was a bit abrasive with the kids and at a Halloween party to boot. Keep in mind, this is a special needs class. It didn't sit well with me, but I thought maybe I put too much thought into it. It wasn't until I had a conversation with his bus driver that I found out she was the same way with Lincoln everywhere, no matter the situation. The bus driver had witnessed her basically bullying him when loading him on the bus. I ended up pulling him out that last week she was there until his permanent teacher came back. Things went back to normal a teeny when his original teacher was first back.
His friend that was influencing him for the bad, was transferred to a new school. I thought the misbehavior and phone calls would end, but it wasn't so. A couple times throughout the school year I meet with a team of teachers and therapists to go over Lincoln's Individualized Education Plan (IEP). At the end of the meeting, they let me know that they suggest he go to a different program. They felt this one was too challenging for him. I could see that definitely being the reason he was acting out. He couldn't communicate his frustration in not being able to do what they were asking of him, so he would misbehave, hoping to be "punished," & then not having to do his work. I found out that was what was happening with the substitute teacher. Instead of facing the issue head on, or understanding what the underlying issue was, she'd just banish him from the class room and have him sit in the hall for time out. She was giving him exactly what he wanted.
I had a good visit with the new school/program they suggested he attend. I just wasn't sure, but knew something had to change. So, Scott and I came to the final decision that a change needed to happen. He'll start up some time this next week. I hope and pray he adjusts well and that this is exactly what he needs. I want nothing more for him to flourish and be happy. In a way, it is a step backwards instead of moving forward. When something like that happens, you can't help but to feel a loss. I mourn for what he "should" be and hope for what he could be. His future is a big question mark, it always has been. He has exceeded our expectations in some areas. We just have to have faith he'll continue to do that through out his life. He's truly a sweet boy. He is so so special. He has had a very difficult entry to life, but he always finds a way to make it work. We'll make it work....
We were able to take the opportunity to go see the Provo Tabernacle that is now transformed into the Provo Temple. Always such a privilege to go to an open house for the temple. There is such a reverence when walking through and pointing out to our children what each special space means. I love that they can look at it and set a goal for themselves to walk through the doors as a worthy recommend holder, for whatever event it may be that would take them there. Lincoln was full of questions, as always. Brooklyn was wide-eyed, taking it all in. The older kids were engulfed in all the details, admiring the beauty of the temple. It was fun to hear Scottie explain the baptismal font to the little ones.
I have such a deep somber feeling when this time of year comes around. Some may wonder why they don't hear me speak of Colten very often. It's not that I'm reluctant to speak of him, it is more that I feel he is so sacred.
One thing I can't ever help to have remorse for, is not having pictures taken at the hospital when I had him. The whole experience was so foreign to me. I had never known anyone that had gone through this. I didn't know what feelings to feel or opinions to have, besides that of utter and complete sadness, of course. I opted out of having anyone come take pictures. That is one of my biggest regrets. I didn't know how it would work out and I wasn't able to envision how this would all turn out. His face, tiny body, little hands, will forever be etched in my memory. I remember just about every detail of the events surrounding that day.
I always have an urge to open the dam and release my thoughts, words & emotions on his day. This was what I wrote for him today:
Trying to find the words to say, but nothing comes out. Trying to describe the way I feel that hasn't been said before. Very few can comprehend, for they've never been where I have been, but it's okay. In some strange way, I have been given a gift. It's not one I'd ever ask for or would have imagined would happen to me, It's not one I would ever wish on anyone. Though your death brought much sorrow, it also brought some comfort, Knowing your little spirit wouldn't have to face this cruel world. It does sadden me that it has meant less time & earthly experiences with you. Though it has caused much pain, I can look beyond that because I know there is a bigger picture. There's something out there bigger than my plans for you. There's someone out there that had a better plan for you. There's someone out there who loves you, & me, more than I can even begin to comprehend. What a sweet, sweet, perfect, peaceful spirit you bring when my thoughts are engulfed with you. I can feel you near. Gratitude is a companion to of all those amazing feelings. It seems strange to say, but I have such a comfort in the Father's plan. Grateful you are real. Grateful I got to hold you. Grateful I'm your mother. Grateful I'll be with you again. Each year, we have tried to make it a tradition to send off balloons. This year we went to his graveside and released white balloons. I think of him often and wonder how differently life would be with him in our lives.
Well, she got her uniform today and tried it on. This makes it officially official. She's pretty excited. In the meantime, she has perfected her standing back hand spring along with her round off back handspring. They had all of the girls working on them and gave them two weeks to get it done. By the end of the practice that day, she accomplished them both. She's simply amazing!
It's no joke that he is a jr. He is as busy as his father and gives his father a run for his money for that title. He pretty much loves any sport...oh and money too! He's growing so big .... thinks he's going on 20!
She definetely is our "Little Princess." Anything pink will do. She truly is one of the sweetest girls you'll ever meet! She is a girly girl but can run with the big boys.
Our big five year old!! He is growing into his personality everyday. He LOVES his brothers and sister. And yes, he is still obsessed with his blanket!
Is our little angel wrapped in the arms of our Savior. We didn't get to spend time with him here on earth, but we know will be with him for ETERNITY!!
He's our miracle baby!! Lincoln was born at 28 weeks...3 months early. He has come a LONG way. We are surprised more and more each day by his valiant fight! We are so lucky to have him as a part of our family and know we are extremely blessed because of him!
This sweet little girl is our last little baby! Savana has been waiting and wishing for her for years, her wish came true! Watch out, before you know it, Brooklyn will steal your heart.