32. 

Happy birthday to the best man I know! 

Yesterday this amazing guy mentioned he keeps two sticky notes on his computer at his desk (he works at a credit union as an MSR) to help him during a day. I asked what they are and he shared one says ‘Prequel’ to remind him that everyone has a story before they met/spoke to him, reminding him to be gracious and loving despite how they are when they speak to him. And the other is ‘RUA’ (Are You Awake) which reminds him to find God in the now, to remind him we are always connected to God. I just again was struck with how incredible and deep this man is!  I’m so thankful he was born 32 years ago today, that Jesus captured his troubled 16-year-old heart (in a juvenile detention center) and changed the course of his life drastically (you should ask him his story – it’s incredible!), that we met and I’ve now had 11 years of celebrating his life! I love how passionately and deeply he lives every day (even at work).

 Happy birthday Ted!! We love you!

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Germany: a mini getaway!

When Ted’s mom was here, she wanted to take a trip to Germany, where Ted and his family lived for a few years when his dad was in the Military. We took a trip her second weekend here, it was quite a fun experience for us all!

(iPhone pictures)
IMG_0659Amsterdam Train Station
1422407_10151772340976989_2037173186_n 1391723_10151772338961989_1584882579_nBoys first real train ride – we took it from Amsterdam to Germany which was about 3 hours away., They LOVED IT.
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Adding to our slowly growing collection of Starbucks mugs from around the world.IMG_07201385239_10151772414576989_1715540481_nWe stayed in our very first hostel as a family – with Grandma Anisa! It was so beautiful and nothing like I’d expected! Boys loved the bunk beds.1393812_10151774199011989_1625626559_n

The Cologne Cathedral. This was breathtaking. And bigger than you could imagine. Incredible. As we walked closer to the Cathedral Chase was cold and said, “Maybe ‘the church’ has a nursery inside!” Hehe

IMG_07231452411_10151774210341989_548480616_nChaseyboy wanted a picture by the “flying lion water fountain” :) Love him,
1385422_10151776464506989_960943628_n “Love Locks” bridge in Cologne. AMAZING.
1455951_10151776467936989_1977937162_n We spent a while looking at lockets and reading inscriptions of couples from years ago to currently. Even the boys enjoyed these locks!1456675_10151776473621989_1883172944_nThousands!IMG_0769IMG_0755Teal and pink lock but of course (you know me – my fav colour combo)

IMG_0754IMG_0742IMG_0730“tuckered out” this kid can sleep anywhere!75510_10151774735376989_1448204305_n

Grandma Anisa bought baby girl E.S. her first toy. Handmade from Germany and with PINK but of course :)IMG_0768Probably my favorite place in all of Germany :) A bakery. YUM.IMG_0734

(Images below: Canon Camera photos – taken by Ted)

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It was truly a blessing to have a weekend away – (and paid for) – with Grandma Anisa. It was a great time to explore a new city and have time as a family!

6 years + a whirlwind family getaway

For our 6th anniversary, we were so busy with our 3 summer weddings, that we honestly FORGOT about it! June 20th we realized how close June 24th really was. Stunned (but Ted was thrilled I too had forgotten, HAHA!) we decided to wing it this year. We didn’t have anyone to watch the kiddos and just thought, let’s go to the mountains. So off we went – as a family – it was SO relaxing and so needed! 20130626-154342.jpg

It started raining on the drive up, which we both love and miss.familygetaway-1

Presh’y boys excited for our trip!untitled-8

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Snow sighting in June.photo 5-5

The view, the drive, the fresh air!photo

Friend’s blessed us with a night away in the mountains. AMAZING.photo 1-2 \photo 5-3

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The view from our roomphoto 3-1

It was the kind of place where we just brought food and ate in. Made our trip SUPER reasonable :)
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Meals in the sunshinephoto 5-4

photo 3-3hummus and chips, but of course!photo 5-6

View from the kitchen. loooooved.photo 2-4

Shailo LOVED the porch and the view. Let’s be honest though, he was especially excited when we left the room and he could roam free.photo 1-3

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Yes, it’s true. We are “THOSE kind of parents” hehe.

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Family walk as the sunset.
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It actually should read “hers and his” for mine was the sweet, pink one :)
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6 years, 6 homes, 4 babies (our 1st and 5th anniversaries were the only two I was not pregnant during :)), lots of driving, flying and traveling, many incredible moments and many difficult ones as well.

6 WONDERFUL years with my best friend, I am a blessed woman! Truly thankful for this guy!

Ted.

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(Ted – covered in dirt and grim from working on our garden, holding a vegan peanut butter, oreos and banana pie that was AMAZING!(recipe from a friend))

My awesome babe turned 28 the same weekend as Mother’s Day. I don’t know if I even have the words to fully convey my feelings and my heart in regards to this man.

He is so many things all wrapped up in one:

He’s passionate.

If something is on this man’s heart, he’s unstoppable. Sometimes this changes from month to month, but for the most part he is passionate about justice, mercy, grace, identity in Christ, what is truly means to be The Kingdom… as well as things like photography, capturing people’s stories: the beautiful and the awful.

I’ll file “energetic” under passionate as well. Although, it does help that he no longer drinks 6 shot Americanos ;)

He’s inquisitive.

He loves learning and to be informed. I mean, this man is constantly learning and researching, listening to podcasts, reading, listening to NPR, and BBC news, etc. He amazes me with how much he is able to take in and remember.

I think what astounds me even more is his heart behind his research and also his willingness to research even the most difficult, controversial subjects that most often Christians just bash or share their opinions ignorantly. He has challenged me OH SO MUCH, in such a beautiful way.

He’s determined.

I can only think of one time where I thought Ted was giving up on dreams. One, out of many times that he’s faced trials, major difficulties, set backs and momentary “failures”. He is truly the most determined man I know. I think his sons are taking after him in this area and if they use it as their daddy has, I have no problem with this sort of determination! What a man!

He’s visionary, a dreamer.

He is a dreamer to the max. I am more practical but also a dreamer as well. I think this is why we are truly pursuing our dreams with the belief that even though some days it doesn’t feel like it, we’re on our way.

His heart for our family, for people, for our lives, etc… it’s INCREDIBLE and I truly pray he never ever loses that part of who he is.

He’s grounded/rooted.

And I don’t mean like at his Bank job or in a home or a place… in fact, quite the opposite in those areas (I mean, come on, if you know Ted, a bank job? REALLY? He’s amazing at it, but seriously, not his dream job! Beats, Walmart though! Ya do what you’ve gotta do!)… what I am talking about is in his beliefs, his goals, his dreams and most importantly in who he is. Many times, I have seen people give him flack for this or that or even his job(s) and he stands so firm in belief that there will be more ahead for us. He stands so firm in who he is that a lot of the time, he often doesn’t feel the need to defend himself even when others are wrong or cruel to him. He teaches me so much in this area.

He’s a DEEP and an “outside the box” thinker.

I feel these two go hand-in-hand for him. I know I am obviously bias, but I think many that really know Ted would agree… he is one of the deepest people I know.  He’s often misunderstood and even comes across offensive. Why? Because he often challenges our Christian views and judgments that we so often spout out without truly thinking or even knowing what we’re talking about (me too). He challenges me to research and to learn the heart of God and what it means to be The Kingdom and to have mercy. To be accepting and loving as Jesus was. He rubs even our Christian peers the wrong way, but if you take a moment to listen you’d be oh so challenged and deeply reminded of the love of God. If you can just get past the initial sudden defensiveness you feel ;)

WHOA.

He’s a “people person”.

He wants to get to know you and your story and what makes you who you are. Where you’ve been and where you want to go. Also, he’ll most likely ask to take your portrait … kidding, sort of.

He’s hilarious.

6 years later and I’m still laughing til I cry. seriously. He’s so shocking too, bahaha

And together we are the biggest pair of Nerds.

He’s SO much more…

486690_10151457083626989_1995457267_n…a fun and playful and loving daddy. They ADORE him!

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An incredible husband – not in the gives me back scratches and brings me flowers and gifts sort of way but in the deep stuff – like how well he loves, encourages and affirms, challenges me in my weakness and how he TRULY loves me as Christ did the church.

Ted, I am one BEYOND blessed woman.

And I just HAVE to share because it’s hilarious…

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Ted’s actual birth day (the 10th) the boys and I popped by Ted’s work (he worked ALL day) because I was afraid they wouldn’t celebrate him… HA, I was wrong! LOVE it. Made me laugh so hard.

Happy birthday, my love!!

{5 years}

Sunday -June 24th- Ted and I celebrated our {5th} anniversary!
(Can’t seem to find not one photo of just us from 2011…)

As we sat on the beach in Cancun, we talked and dreamt of what our future together would be like. Talk of where we’d be in 5 years, 10 years, etc. We talked about what our 5 year anniversary would be like, that we’d travel back to Cancun, to the exact spot where we honeymooned. …

That was initially the goal. :)

The morning of our anniversary I was running around the house, doing this or that, preparing for us to head up to Fort Collins for our anniversary evening, and I stopped dead in my tracks. I (we) had kinda of felt a little sad that we weren’t able to fly back to where we’d honeymooned 5 years earlier. But as I stood there, watching Chaseyboy play and use his imagination and Shai sitting on the floor, teething cracker crumbs covering his cute little face, my heart felt so very full. This is our real life. And I wouldn’t trade it in for {anything}. Ted and I talked about it while out to eat that evening, and even my dreaming-travel-lovin’ husband agreed. We sat with tears in our eyes, just very thankful, that here we were, 5 years – 3 babies, 8 moves, heartbreak and loss – later. Together still. Throughout everything, we’ve made it. I know that might seem a bit melodramatic, but it’s truly a miracle that I can stand here and say we’re making it.

I realize that I may be misunderstood in sharing this. But for those who have/are walking down a road that you may never have imagined walking (not only with loss of a child…) you’ll understand this. There were countless times, after losing Eisley, that Ted and I weren’t sure we could make it. Grieving oh so differently, all while trying to figure out how to be there for the other. Even still, we struggle and somedays it’s a fight within to really keep pressing on. We are and I am so very thankful for this.

Another thing we had talked about doing for our 5th was an anniversary tattoo (and thankfully this is the 2nd anniversary out of 5 that I am not pregnant! so that worked well ;)). We had talked/dreamt up these rather elaborate tattoos the represented this or that. And who knows, maybe someday we really will do those. However, at the beginning of the year, we talked about what we really wanted and it came down to simple, meaningful, powerful. We just wanted ‘i love you’ written in each other’s genuine handwriting.

To be able to read it every. single. day. through the good times and the really hard ones… that is what we wanted.

Side note: Placement was a hard one, but the awesome thing is that in the end, we both shared where we were getting it and it so happened that we each wanted it on our arms and as unbelievable as it sounds, we really didn’t plan on it being on opposite arms either, so that when we hold hands it’s together. (You can laugh, I am) I’m a sap and I absolutely love it! Ted already has a tattoo above his collar bone and had originally thought he’d want this tattoo on his right side above the collar bone but decided right arm instead. Mine is on my left arm. I like it there because it’s the same side as my wedding rings. See, I’m a SAP. 

With all of that said… Sunday, we got our tattoo together.

We went to the gal, Ryan, who tattooed my foot. When I called to make the appoitnment they told me she only had one hour slot available on Sunday and was booked through July. I felt bummed but she contacted me to say she’d remembered me and loved the idea and would do us BOTH! Hooray!

I went first because I wasn’t sure I could handle watching first. The anticipation was alreadykilling me! It began and the pain was {nothing} compared to my tattoo on my foot.

Ted … he was such a pansy. ;)

la la loovve it!

(Left: Ted. Right: me)

Happy 5 years, my Love. Here’s to many more!

…years ago.

{5} years ago, on June 16th 2006, Ted asked me to be his girl.

March 1, 2007 he asked me to be his wife!

{4} years ago {today} we became husband and wife!

June 24th, 2007

 This is still one of my favourite photos of us. Taken on our honeymoon.

{3} years ago we spent our first anniversary in Thailand (with an outreach team we led). Our favourite anniversary location to date – this {will} definitely be happening again.

{2} years ago today, we shared our second anniversary while almost 9 months pregnant with our 1st little one.

 (3 weeks later, Chase Journey Davis was born)

{1} year ago today, we shared our 3rd anniversary while 4 months pregnant with our Eisley-girl. This was our favourite year of marriage. So many dreams beginning to unfold, so much hope for the future as our little family grew from 2 to 3 and 3 to 4.

This last year was by far our hardest, most trying year…

(photo was taken at Eisley’s memorial service as we released balloons)

This is the part where my heart aches deeply. I never imagined walking through such tragedy so early on in our married life. I had never imagined this kind of tragedy; the loss our one of our children. Our baby girl. After we lost Eisley, we walked through the deepest, darkest valley in our marriage. There were times I was terrified that we wouldn’t come out stronger, that this would break us. But we fought hard for our marriage. We beat the statistics of couples after the loss of a child. (I touched on this in another post; here.) We didn’t give up when it felt like all of our dreams were crashing down. We held on and walked (and are walking) through the valley together, hand in hand.

“I took you by the hand and we stood tall. Remembered our own land, what we lived for.”

(We both love the song After the Storm by Mumford and Sons and feel that it was and is fitting.)

(all of our feet, just add a bump in for Boy S)

My Ted, I am so very honoured that you choose me (of all the girls chasin’ you ;) to be your girl. I am so thankful and blessed to have you be the one by my side. So honoured to call you husband and watch as you’ve become and incredible, loving, adoring father to our babies. I love you more than my mere words could say. I love you now and forevermore, through the deepest, darkest valley and at the peak of every mountaintop (sometimes slightly crazier and higher) dream. I cannot wait to see where life takes us, where He leads us.

SUPER excited to see what this year alone holds, beginning with another awesome little dude entering our life.

Oh, and I really, REALLY better not be pregnant 4 years in a row ;) …No, seriously…Let’s save our 5th anniversary for our tattoo and my skin not stretched out a mile long.

3 years {and counting}

Happy Father’s Day, my Ted. If you count the year I was pregnant with Chasers, this marks 3 years! 3 precious babies in 4 years babe, who would have thought, right?! Good job, love. You make the {cutest} kids. :)

 I just wrote this intense blog post and realized, I’m not too sure I’d want everyone in the world reading my mushy, incredibly pregnant-hormonal-emotional post to you. They might actually learn the truth, if they don’t know already, that Ted has an incredibly crazy woman for a wife. ;) So let’s go the more simple route (’cause I’ll probably touch on that for our 4 year anni in a week!)

I’m so grateful you’re the one by my side in life and very blessed and honoured to have you be the “dadda” to our babies.

I know Chase is SO very thankful for you and that way you love him! I cherish the memouries of watching you “talking” to our Eisley-girl and how deeply you prayed for and love her. I adore watching your love for Boy S already. I can see in your eyes as you talk to him inside my belly, just how much he’s already captured your father-heart.

They are so blessed, so very blessed to have you as their daddy.

{Happy Father’s Day}

WE.

The past week has been especially difficult in the Davis household. Reality sets in more and more each day and with each reminder that our Eisley-girl is gone, I grow weary. I originally popped on to write a post, venting in a most unhealthy kinda way about reminders and things are bringing me down. But I just can’t… I can’t go there and what’s the point but to bring me down further. So instead I decided to share, first a verse, then a little bit about how WE are (you’ll understand the need for caps soon) and then (the FUN stuff) in the a DIY project I’ve been meaning to share with you.

A few nights ago I was desperate for a word I could cling to. I typed in “sorrow, grief, tears, loss,” etc, into a search button on Ted’s ipad Bible app. I stumbled across these verses in Micah.

We’re clinging to Him, to {hope}.

(call me cheesy, but rainbows do always remind me of hope and promise. We woke one morning to this!)

We’re holding on to a few promises we feel He’s given us.

 To be honest, it has been so very rough between Ted and I, since we’ve lost Eisley. “They” say it is the most difficult thing that  a couple can go through, the loss of a child. The statistics of divorce after the loss of a child are ASTOUNDING. I can actually see how that could happen, not that I think it is right. You can very easily disconnect from one another because you don’t know how to be there for each other as you are BOTH grieving. You feel at a loss for how to be there or even encourage each other, most of the time. To say “it’s been rough” for us is a huge understatement. You might have noticed that I didn’t talk a lot about Ted since we’ve lost our girl. I wanted to respect where he was at and not share his personal life like I share mine with you all.

Side note: It might be confusing to some, why I share so much. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I shared our journey before we lost Eisley and I want to share our journey as we grieve as well. I write to process (in my journal) but I share some things “aloud” (blog) also from advice for those who’ve walked this road before us, also for encouragement and to know we aren’t alone, also a mixture of hoping that Eisley’s life and story and our journey will touch someone or help someone.  And I think, if I’m compltely honest, a bit of why I write and process for all to see, is because I am afraid of people forgetting Eisley.

Whoa, side track.  Back to Ted and I…We’re both the weakest we’ve ever been and it’s hard to have strength to be strong for one another, so lately we realized, that is okay. We are super weak, broken, sorting through shattered dreams, clinging to hope but we’re all of these things {together}. We’ve recently started walking together and it is so healing. That might seem confusing, why would we just now start walking together? It’s hard to explain. You’ve heard it said that “men and women grieve differently”. it. is. so. very. true. However, we’re learning that we grieve differently, yes, but not seperately.

And we’re now we’re seeking counsel to help us walk through this season. For the first time in my life, I really want to see a counselor. There is so much to process and walk through, things that I’ve avoided that I need to face, truama I need to process with someone who is not grieving as well. I’ve put a LOT on Ted that hasn’t helped him in his grieving, so this will be so healing for us both.

 Ted, I love you and am so thankful you’re the one by my side. WE are not giving up.

(on a fun note; DIY Recipe box on next post)

2010: beautiful, tragic.

I’ve been reading around on blogs lately, asking you to sum up the year 2010 in a few words or even just one… and I truly feel like I can’t sum it up in just a few words. Or maybe it’s more that if I do sum it up in one word, I would be leaving out so much that I really don’t want to. If that makes sense? Anyways, I guess this is my end of the year post, I’ve already unloaded 15 pages into my journal so don’t worry I won’t be doing that here! ;) I’ll try to sum it up the best I can.

(just last year)

When 2010 came around, I remember being so excited, maybe more so than any year before, for a few (summed up) reasons;

One, because we were beginning the year as new parents. Each new month with Chase was exciting, watching his little personality shine more and more with each month, learning every little thing about him and who he was. Figuring out how we wanted to parent as each new step came, what we wanted him to learn, what kind of traditions we wanted to establish and what traditions just came naturally, and of course documenting everything (I realized early on I am one of “those moms” :))  etc, etc, etc.

Two, we had so many exciting plans as we were beginning to take steps towards our dream as a family and for our life. We left  our positions on staff at Youth With A Mission Denver to pursue our dreams. The first step towards our dream was for Ted to head to college and I had planned to join him (just a few classes though, not full-time) at some point in 2010. We also each had little plans and goals individually and together for the new year.

We left YWAM in March and moved from Arvada to Fort Collins (where most of my family lives). Our plans slowly began to change as we found out, less than a month after moving, that we were 2 months pregnant with Eisley. We were so surprised and very excited. We would have two kiddos, just shy of 17 months apart, at Christmastime this year. What an adventure!

We spent April and May doing things as a family and spending a lot of time together because we knew our life was about to get crazy-busy again. What we didn’t realize at the time was just how crazy it actually would get. Our life first began “turning upside down” (even that feels like an understatement) as I first started bleeding at 13 weeks.

Ted began a full load at college and was working in between classes, just as I was put on light bed rest for the first time. Our summer was a whirlwind of emotions, new fears, loss of innocence to a healthy pregnancy, hoping, praying, praying, praying…etc.

We all know the story and to be honest, repeating it all seems overwhelming suddenly.

I will just say, when 2010 first came around, we never imagined that we would walk through such a tragedy. We never imagined losing a child. We had planned on trying to get pregnant in September. Instead,  this September, we were 6 months (almost 7) pregnant with our little girl and we were fighting, hoping and praying for our daughter’s life and for a few ounces more. I had worried about someday having a miscarriage, but never imagine that we would instead be a family who had a still born baby. …

2010 is both beautiful and tragic. Beautiful in that this year held the only time that I would have with my daughter, Eisley Antalya, here on earth and tragic in that we said our goodbyes to her this same year.

Ted and I are so different than we were even just one year ago. I don’t know how anyone could walk through what we have and not be changed honestly. We’re changed in really difficult and hard to explain ways, like in that we now know, even more so than ever before, of how fragile life is, of how much of a miracle it really is to have a healthy pregnancy, we’re changed in that we’ve lost our innocence and will, maybe forevermore, worry whenever I am pregnant with our next children, etc.

We have new fears and worries but also we have a new out look on life and new inspiration and drive. Our precious Eisley taught us so much in her short time with us. We are both so inspired to carry on her legacy in our own ways. For me, I am creating in a much differnt way that Iever was before and finding beauty when it seems impossible to find beauty. I also give just a tad credit to God for that one ;) He’s really carrying me right now. I really wouldn’t make it through this without Him. I couldn’t, I would have no hope.

We have aching hearts, shattered dreams and an Eisley shaped hole as we enter 2011, yet we also have dreams and hopes for the future.

I hope I will carry on my daughter’s legacy and share of the love and hope and trust I have for and in of my Saviour.

Ted’s really challenged me to challenge my abstract thinking and words with ways I can put actions to them. So how am I hoping to do the above? … a bit of the way I hope to carry on Eisley’s legacy is through creating and through opening my Etsy store. I hope to share her story with those I come across and as I share her story, the love and hope I have in my Saviour will also shine through. I hope to share of how trustworthy He is, even still.

{2011}… we know that no matter what we might face in this new year, with all of the anniversaries of our times with Eisley and memouries, we can cling to the Hope we have that is carrying us through now. It’s hard to welcome in a new year while aching so much, and I can’t say for sure that we’re ready, but it’s time… and we have hopes and dreams for 2011, so here we go!

I personally love and am inspired by goal lists and resolutions, so I make one every year and each month sometimes, I don’t think I’ll share all my resolutions here (some are more personal) but I will share something I am making! It’s a pretty cute resolutions/goals craft thingy that will inspire. I will be sharing it sometime after the first of the year.

Much love to you, as you welcome in the new year!