Peaceful Home

Stephanie’s dream for our home was that it would be a place of peace and rest for people. She wanted all who entered to leave feeling restored and at rest in their spirits. And she wanted that for all of us. Her kids would grow up in a warm, safe, and peaceful home where they could take refuge from the world. And I would be able to come home from work and shed the burdens of the day and be ready for the next day. This was one of her many missions as a housewife. She made such a godly pursuit out of creating a home for us to live in. It was so much her life dream and she did everything to attain that.

Some of the women in our families have done similar, and I know she learned so much from them. In addition to them, I have learned so much from Stephanie. Because I’m not Stephanie, though, I pray so hard that I can maintain that air of peacefulness and rest in my home. It’s easy to be afraid that I might not live up to what she has created for us. She had that sensitive spirit that could really feel the Holy Spirit, and I don’t have that the way she did. It was her spiritual gift to be able to discern spirits, and I miss that. I depended on her for that so much. But I just hope that I can use what I do have to keep our household just as she kept it.

I do pray that people would be able to come to my home and feel that rest and peace. It’s something I always wanted along with Stephanie, and it’s certainly something I will still strive for constantly.

Brady the Doctor

I am amazed at how smart my little man is. Last night, after Halle went to sleep, he wanted to play this game of Cranium that he got in his meal at Chick-Fil-A (it was miniature and not as full-featured). I had to modify it since he can’t read quite yet, so many of the tasks had me drawing or acting out things for him to guess. He guessed correctly almost everything I did – from castle and treasure map to hot air balloon and baby. The best part, though, was when he got off the couch and told me it was his turn. He “acted” out a Buzz Lightyear space helmet after telling me, “This a really hard one to do.” He proceeded to use his hands to draw in the air or indicate the shape of things in order for me to guess what he was doing. What most impressed me was his patience. Brady has always gotten frustrated and started crying when someone doesn’t understand what he’s saying to them. Stephanie worked with him a lot in order to get him to explain what he meant or show us what he wanted, and he’s gotten much better with that, but he still has his moments. I was so happy that he understood well enough to know that it was okay for me to guess a bunch of times until I figured out what he was acting out.

Next, he wanted me to play dead so that he could be a doctor and make me feel better. (I was uneasy that he suggested this at first, but I can’t help but hope that this is healthy for him, that he understands playing dead and understands that doctors can make people feel better in most cases.) He showed me how to do it – you have to stick out your tongue from the side of your mouth a little bit – and he ran and got his doctor kit. He knew how to use every last tool, which is a credit to how much Stephanie played with him. Nonetheless, I was impressed by it all. He gave me a couple shots and told me that some people are scared of those. It was so much fun to see him go back and forth from his tools to me and to use them all in order to make me feel better. He even went back to his room one time and came back out with sunglasses on. I’m not sure why he did that, but he was certainly a stylin’ doctor. After I felt better, I got to be the doctor.

There have been many nights over the past couple weeks where I have been completely wiped out at the end of the day. I resent my actions on those nights because I am often not very compassionate towards Brady, especially if he is not falling asleep so I can get some time to myself. Last night was so refreshing, and I’m so thankful to God that I had energy left to play with Brady even though it was late. And I’m so glad for how much fun he was having and that he and I really had some good times together. He really amazes me, and it did me a lot of good to be able to appreciate that.


I realized that I never mentioned anything about how Thanksgiving went for me. A lot of that has to do with how the days have gone since then – they’ve been busy and I end my day just needing to do nothing besides maybe watch TV.

Overall, Thanksgiving went pretty well. My mom put out a candle and lit it before we prayed. I’m so thankful that she did that and thought of it. It’s a great way to remember her, and yet I hadn’t even thought about it. At that point, though, I started weeping pretty hard and just had to put my head down and let the tears fall. I certainly didn’t eat as much as I have in past years. Later that day, we played a card game, which was great because I love games and had fun with that. The day ended pretty uneventfully.

The next day was spent at home putting up the tree and a few other decorations, which also went surprisingly well for the most part. Strangely enough, the hard part for me during the day was not the Christmas decorations. It came at a moment where I was looking for the last box of ornaments that I had missed during my earlier journeys to the attic. I saw a box which contained a large Jim Shore pumpkin that Stephanie got from my parents last year for her birthday. Having a fall birthday, it was always her favorite time of year and she had so much joy putting up fall decorations. Seeing this pumpkin made me remember her excitement about such things and that she never got to put up those decorations this year. She only had one year to enjoy this pumpkin that she was so excited to get, and that had me weeping in the attic for a little bit.

The rest of the weekend was spent seeing “Tangled” with the kids and their cousins, hanging out with friends and their kids, and getting pictures taken. I’m happy to say that it really did go pretty well.

Regarding the pictures, I had a couple 8x10s printed of Stephanie in order for us to include them in our shots. Halle took notice and was all about touching the picture and smiling at Mommy. She looked at me to hear me tell her that it was Mommy. It was sweet and she was just happy to see Mommy’s face. I was unsure if she would get upset, but she didn’t. I have every intention of getting some photo books for the kids, and this just affirms that idea.

So many people showed so much love for me at such a time, and I appreciate it so much. I do hope that all of you had a great Thanksgiving spent with family and that it was a time to relax and just enjoy your loved ones. I know the holidays can be stressful with family, but I pray that Thanksgiving and the future holidays can be a time of happiness with your families and appreciation for having them.