Grae is FOUR

Our sweet baby girl, (who would remind us she is NOT A BABY), turned four on March 26, 2018.
It seems as if time has doubled in speed since the day we welcomed our little Grae Golden.
She came into the world stubborn and ferocious, tiny as a pint, but larger than life in spirit.
Shortly after she was born and named, we noticed the repetition initial G.G.  We thought that was the perfect nickname for our teeny lady, and “Gigi” stuck.
Not a dull day has gone by in the Miller Manor since that fateful spring day she was born.
Grae tends to get the most attention in our family…. because she demands it the most.
Grae has stretched and grown my soul like nothing else.
Because of Grae I am more patient, less judgemental, more loving and tender, and definitely less tightly wound.
I can hold my side of any argument, but I have surely met my match in Grae Golden Miller.
Grae’s favorite things are: green, geckos, pj masks, super heroes, monster trucks, monsters, and small toy figures (which she calls “figguhs”).
Her favorite foods are soy-yogurt, oatmeal, quesadillas, chipotle, mac&pony (macaroni), ramen noodles at Grandi’s, and veggie straws.
She is a fan of ICED beverages – whether it’s water or apple juice or lemonade, she likes that sucker filled with ice and refuses to drink a sip if the ice has melted.
Sometimes she wakes me up at 2 or 3 in the morning to get her more ICE. :/
Grae climbs into my bed most nights, wraps her little arms around my neck and sleeps soundly until late morning.  She wakes up with ferocious bedhead, demanding breakfast just as sure as the sun rises.  From that moment on, we are on Grae’s time, man.
If Grae could spend her entire day making art, and she does mostly, she would be the happiest girl.
She is meticulous about coloring.  She switches hands back and forth and is neatly ambidextrous.
She is the master of “I spy with my little eye”.
Grae is the most dazzling big sister to her little “Maj-uh.”
Major only ever wants to be where ‘Gigi’ is, doing what Gigi is doing, sitting next to where Gigi is sitting.
She sweetly pats his head, or strokes his back here and there.  Sometimes offering him a reassuring “Oh, good boy, Maj.” or a “yeah Maj! You like that?”.
Grae has been a surprisingly sweet big sister to that baby boy.
Grae made up her mind that when she turned four, there would be no more screaming and crying for things.
For weeks leading up to turning four, she would tell me when she was four she wouldn’t scream or cry because she would be a big girl.
Not exactly sure where she got this in her head, but it stuck.  Now that she’s four, I will gladly report she has made an effort to throw less fits. :D
She often reminds me of Daniel Tiger’s songs like “When you’re feeling frustrated – take a deep breath – and ask for help!” Although when I remind her of the songs when the roles are reversed, they don’t have quite as calming of an effect. ;)
My sweet Gigi has tried hard to wrap her head around the news of our dear “Auntie G” passing.  She has tried to offer me words of encouragement and often reminds me that Auntie G is our angel.  (She was also bothered we didn’t see Auntie G’s “wings” at her viewing… she is an angel now, afterall!)
It has bothered her how upset my mom has been and she’s hardly let Gram out of her sight. She never let go of her hand through the entire service, and she’s asked to call gram every morning since.  She is such a bundle of light, I know she will help our family heal.  Of course, her heart isn’t weighed down by the sadness us adults feel, so at times she has seemed insensitive and even inappropriate, we know her intent is always in the right place, bless our hearts. ;)
Gigi is also quite famous for her one-liners.
Recently on a family trailor trip, she instructed me to shut the door to the bathroom with, “I don’t need an audience!”
Another time last week as I was talking to her, she disgustingly looked at me and said “That doesn’t even make sense!”
We often talk about all the spicy things Grae does because mercy, she does.. But Grae is also just as sweet and loving as she is spunky.  She is always offering a snuggle or love to someone, telling me she loves me hundreds of times a day, being tender with Major, and especially her dog Finn.  (Grae is a little dog whisperer!)
So all in all, life with Grae is a wonderful wild ride, and we’re so lucky we’re the ones that get to be enjoying it.
Grae Golden Miller, you sure own us.
Our life is infinitely better with you in it.
I’m so glad you are four, my darling girl.

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under control

Today I woke up early enough to greet my kids up to get ready for school.  I let Mr. Miller sleep in as he has let me do so so many days these past couple of weeks.
The babies slept in with their dad, and I took the girls to school, sipped on my morning drink, and listened to my  audio book.
Not unlike I do every single morning.
But these mornings have been filled with immense grief, reflection, prayer, hope, and sadness these past couple weeks.
I am reminded again that God has us, He holds us in his tender care.
Everything is under control” my book reminds, a tender mercy from heaven.
After Mr. Miller reluctantly leaves for work, I get my hands busy tidying my house.
Boy does it need it’s normal,  functioning mother to run it.
It feels good to bless my family by getting my hands busy.
My heart is full of love and sadness, but the love helps hold the weight of grief from crashing down.
The grief rolls in in waves, in the little details and memories that come in so easily, and crash down so hard.
Everything is under control, I’m reminded.
I rock my baby extra long, just like I have been doing these past weeks.
My heart is healed by each session of singing lullabies together, snuggling, laughing, tickling, touching.
In the afternoon, Grae makes art while I plan out some outside landscape.
The spring air rolls in through the windows, the hope of summer tickling our noses.
Light fills the house, love swells, and the weight lessens.
Everything is under control.

 

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cuckoo

Once upon a time, Mr. Miller’s sister and mother went to Switzerland, Germany, France, and the like.
Mr. Miller begged for them to track down the perfect cuckoo clock for his adoring wife (who had sadly just lost her sister).
Mr. Miller is a very good son and brother.
This I know for sure, because a l l  t h e  w a y  home from the Swiss Alps, through 24 hours of travel, arrived a box at my doorstep with
none other than
the perfect cuckoo clock.
I didn’t think that anything could make my heart feel happy this week.
But now every hour, on the hour, I hear that little cuckoo! cuckoo! cuckoo! 
And you know what my heart feels?
Happy.

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my sister angie

Oh my dear blog readers,

I have been coming to this place for nearly ten years, sharing mostly about happy things and positive outlooks, and today I’m here to tell you that something terrible has happened in my life, my entire family’s lives.

On March 27, 2018, I got my first soul-shaking, devastating phone call.  My beautiful older sister, Angie, had passed suddenly in her sleep.

Our dear Angie, just 38 years old, leaves behind her own beautiful family.  A loving husband, and three wonderful children.

My oldest sister has been my constant rock throughout my life.  Being ten years younger, we shared a room when I was an infant and she would get me up in the night and take me to my mom to feed me.  I was her own personal baby,  and she was my own personal role model through my entire life.  She tolerated me trying to dress exactly like her growing up, including but not limited to, stuffing my bra at the tender age of 4 so I could resemble more closely my post-puberty older sis.  Ang was a stinker like most teenagers, and she would have never let my parents know what a good big sister she was.  Often she would invite me along to cheer practice with her, she’d invite me along with her friends to run to get slushies or treats (them being 16, me being 6), I’ve even been on a handful of dates with her.  I grew up wanting to be exactly like my big sister.

Angie moved out just before her 18th birthday, and that worried me that I wouldn’t see her as much.  But my sister was a good one.  I couldn’t count the sleepovers and movie nights with treats and snacks we enjoyed.  She grew up and got married, but still kept our close relationship strong.  Angie made my life when she got pregnant with our first nephew .  Some of my favorite memories were watching episodes of friends on DVD while I got to be the first to feel the baby move, get hiccups, and talk about baby names and what it was going to be like when that baby arrived.

On August 24, 2002, my life was forever made with the arrival of Angie’s precious son, Brakken.  I loved that baby like I had never known love before.  Angie was the best at sharing her motherhood with us, and we enjoyed being Brakken’s bonus mamas/aunties.  Ang let me and my sisters tote him around highschool football games, keep him for sleepovers, and literally spend every free moment we had at her house doting over our sweet boy.  As a teenager, I moved in with Ang as my first step to the real world, and there we spent every single night up giggling into the wee hours.  I kept Brakken at my new apartment the night she went into labor with Maizee and was among the first to meet that glowing baby girl.   And when Tage was born, I drove up to visit him on day 3, before my sister’s milk had come in, but my milk supply was bursting being away from my own nursing baby.  “Perfect!” she said “I was just going to fix him a bottle, but now I don’t have to.” as she handed her hungry newborn to my leaking chest.  We are sisters in every sense of the word.

Angie has always been the one to have the hard conversations with me, the one to lend me my first car loan, taught me to be the overly responsible adult that I am, and lead by ferocious example.  So much so that I feel lost in the world without her to run my every adult decision past.  I was a lucky baby sister, and boy do I realize it now.  Never have I had to live with such a hole in my heart before.  I have no idea what the healing of that will look like, and I ask for prayers that I might be able to start.

Words can’t express how devastating this news has been to our family, and to literally hundreds of friends who loved my sister.

We have also seen her in the details in a thousand different ways.  We have felt her beautiful spirit close to our hearts, and I have started to learn more directly what it means to have my own very special angel in heaven.  The Gospel is one of everlasting life, and while that has always been a sweet and dear thought, I am learning what it means to cling to that as absolute truth, and the steadiness that brings as I try and grasp this new phase of my sister’s life; this new phase of my own life.

We have so many prayers and well wishes on our behalf, I am so grateful.  These selfless acts have lifted me and my family up in this heartbreaking time.  I ask for your continued love and prayers and we piece our lives back together after this tragedy.

An account has been set up to support the financial aspect of this tragedy for those that feel lead, HERE.

 

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