Sunday, August 8, 2010

The First Week of August 2010

 This past week has continued to be gentler than I anticipated -- at least for me.  It's been a difficult start to August for Bryan, though.  My brother and his family decided last minute to drive out and spend a few days with us, so their presence certainly helped lighten the burden of this first week.  The five cousins had a grand time together: playing, swimming, going to the Aquarium, wrestling, and having their first ever cousin sleepover.  Joel and Colin are both three, and they slept on a pallet one night at the Thiels' house while the 4 parents went out to dinner.  When we got home after 11:00pm, they were still chatting away -- about Silly Bandz, Star Wars characters, and silly pizza toppings.  It was hilarious and adorable.  The grown-ups meanwhile went to Veni Vidi Vici, an upscale Italian restaurant in Atlanta.  Bryan knows the head chef, Jamie, through his job at our church, and Jamie took away our menus and prepared us an amazing 8 course meal of food just for us.  It was incredible!  And a really wonderful evening with Matthew and Ashley.

Bryan and I both loved seeing our niece June, who Bryan called "our June."  She is a day younger than Samuel, and seeing what she was up to was precious and in some ways shocking.  She is so big now and crawling all over, climbing the stairs, saying "hi June," and generally being the most content baby ever.  Bryan and I both feel so deeply endeared to her, and it did us both good to cuddle her and kiss her and carry her around a little.  I am so glad she's a friendly soul and was perfectly happy for us to hold and smooch on her.  We can hardly believe Samuel would be that big.  I am so thankful that June is in all of our lives and can be a joyful picture of what might be in Heaven.  She is one cute one year old!

People have been continually gracious and kind to us.  Four times today I teared up over the kindness and thoughtfulness of others.  The teachers in Joel's Sunday school class gave us a card with a donation to Children's Health Care of Atlanta in it, and I didn't even know that they knew about Samuel.  I started crying in the middle of a room full of people when I opened it because it took me by such surprise and was so thoughtful.  A few minutes later a woman I barely know told me that last year when Samuel was alive she didn't know about him and what was going on, but she was praying for us.  Why in the world we would even have been on her mind is baffling to me as she was a teacher in Caleb's Sunday school class a several of years ago, but Bryan and I didn't know her personally.  It reminded me that the way God cares for us is so personal, so much bigger than we can fathom, and so miraculous.  And this evening our friend, Laura (who has served us in absolutely AMAZING ways over the last year -- too numerous to count), brought over printed pages of our blog -- just in case.  :)  Over the course of this past week, people have sent cards, flowers, a necklace, a meal, a pie, a plant that blooms in August, donations in Samuel's memory, a Starbucks gift card, and free babysitting.  I feel so cared for and so blessed.  Thank you, friends, for loving us through this past year and for continuing to love and encourage us, and most especially thank you for praying.  We feel it!

And here are pictures from the cards Caleb and Joel made for Samuel:

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