Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Running With It

I hesitated on writing a post regarding this subject, but I want this blog to be me through and through and this is a big part of me.

This past Saturday marked 8 years since we lost my dad to pancreatic cancer, a ruthless and unforgiving disease that desperately needs more attention in order to obtain a fighting chance for those who suffer from this illness.

Big smiles at my high school graduation. We were both relieved I graduated. ;) Let's just say I was not the best kid in high school…. :)
The day comes around once a year (as all days do) and sometimes it hurts, sometimes I don’t feel any different at all, and sometimes the memories are enough to make me smile and carry me through until the next day arrives. This was the 8th time I have experienced this day and this is the most different and the most impactful time yet. I think it is so different because of my son. This year cut a little deeper and hurt a little worse. I think it is because I have an 8 month old baby who has embedded his way so deep into my heart and who has made me burst with pride and I can’t share that with my dad.

It’s not fair that Eli has to miss out on having my dad as a grandfather and it’s not fair that I have to miss out on seeing my dad as a grandfather, but it is what it is. I am blessed that I got to have my dad in my life for 19 years and I am blessed that my son is happy, healthy, and is surrounded by so many people who love him more than I ever imagined they would. Things could be so much worse.

This is probably the most flattering picture of me that I have ever seen. Don't you agree?

But as a new mother I wondered how my dad felt and what he thought when he was with me and my brother on those last days. I now cannot even imagine looking at your children and knowing you are leaving them. My dad’s strength during those times amazed me then, but now looking back on it with these new pair of eyes (my mommy goggles) I am overwhelmed with his strength and bravery. What a gift I had in my father and what a reminder to really LIVE my days with my son.

When I look at Eli I see glimpses of my dad and I really believe that was a special gift from God. A little bit of my dad still remains here with me and that makes those hard days a little easier.
My sweet boy has so many physical features similar to my dad (and to me!) and I love it! :)

Okay, that is SO Eli with a messed up haircut… and a dress on. I am convinced we're twinsies. 

What if I started truly living today like it was one of my last? I know, I know … that is a mantra that is overdone and said many times over, but really - what if I actually paid attention? What if I actually allowed my experience with my dad's death to move me in ways I have never done before? 

What if instead of grumbling and whining in despair because Eli woke me up several times the night before (yet again) I relished in the fact that I GET to wake up with my son? I get to hold him close and comfort him. I get to rock him in the middle of the night and I am ABLE to nurse him? Why is this a lesson that takes me so long to GET?

What if instead of being frustrated that the house is a disaster, my son won’t nap, my head is pounding, and my hair hasn’t been brushed in days that I stop and look around at the things I am able to do? The things that God has granted me and allowed me to do for yet another day?
Yes, my hair is orange in this picture.
Let's be real, I may get up tonight when Eli wakes at 2:00 a.m. with the same grumbling attitude and I may wake up tomorrow discouraged that I didn’t get all the sleep that I hoped, but I am challenging myself to look at my life through these different pair of eyes for longer than just today.

I am challenging myself to not just look back on the time with my dad as past memories, but to bottle up those memories and run with them. Learn from them. Grow from them and to stop being such a dang baby. Seriously, that is Eli’s role and not mine!

As mothers, I think we are definitely allowed to have our days where we cry, pull our hair out and fuss, but it is what we do after that that matters. I too often wallow in my “problems” that are not really problems, but after my moment of venting I need to put my big girl pants on, hold that beautiful baby boy of mine and relish in the fact that he is all mine. 

He is healthy. 
He is happy. 
He is loved. 
He is here. 
He is HERE
Praise God.
Too many people, too many dads, too many moms, too many babies are not here today, but mine is.

So, today I will be here too. I will learn from what my dad left me and I will be here. I will be present and open hearted and in my son's life. I will have hard days and I will have beautiful days, but those hard days will never come close to those beautiful days. 

I will let go of what I cannot control and just be here.

Love you dad and we miss you so much.

Oh, and this past Saturday we decided to celebrate my dad’s life with balloons and a photo shoot!  My mom was out of town so we wanted to surprise her and do an impromptu photo session with my family. I have the sweetest and most supportive family ever and they were up for it – no questions asked! I want to do this every year with Eli so we can celebrate the day my dad went to live with Jesus!

Until next time,



  1. I LOVED this post! My grandpa -- who I grew up living with, so I was very close to him like my own father -- also passed away from Pancreatic Cancer in 2007. I agree that there needs to be WAY more awareness for PC. I also loved you how you shared your heart...it is easy to just be frustrated and feel that the days are hard and long, but you're right -- our babies are here, healthy and happy. I'm working on not taking my husband or daughter for granted, even when I'm having a bad day. You never know what day could be your last :)

    1. Megan I am so sorry to hear your grandpa passed away from this cancer! I am so passionate about spreading awareness for PC! You are so right about never knowing what day could be your last! I feel like I have been getting constant reminders of that since my son was born and am trying so hard to not take that thought for granted!

  2. Man... this post just made me cry. Like, a lot. What a beautiful and heart-wrenching thing to celebrate the one you love while still mourning the loss. Thanks for sharing, lady!

    1. Thanks for your sweet comment Ryan!

  3. Wow Kristin this post is.. I cant find the right words. Isnt it something what mommy goggles make us see and feel? I feel like that is because we are learning from our lossed loved ones through our new babies. There are far far too many people out there that do not appreciate the fact they get each day and that everyday with a loved one, especially a parent or child is such a gift. I just had to comment how beautiful this was. I will reread it frequently. Very very special words that maybe your little guy can read one day. (And props to your family- you have beautiful photos and looks like memories with your dad!)

    1. Thanks so much for your sweet comment Jennifer!! It made my day! I had so much fun meeting you the other day. We should get together sometime!

  4. What a sweet post! My husband just lost his Grandfather to PC. I love your positive outlook.


  5. I'm so sorry for the loss you've had to go through. I can't imagine losing my dad. What a blessing that we, as believers, know that death is not the end and we will see loved ones again! Thanks for linking up with the faith and fellowship blog hop. If you'd ever like to cohost, feel free to email me at susannah.kellogg (at) gmail.com

    1. Thanks Susannah! So true - to know death is not the end is such a bittersweet and amazing feeling! :)

      I am going to link back to your blog hop once I get home! I just linked up through my phone real fast while I was out! :)

      I would love to cohost sometime. I will be shooting you an email! Thanks again for visiting and your sweet comment. Made my day!

  6. Girl, this brought tears to my eyes! I am so sorry you lost your Dad. I know it was 8 years ago but I also know that doesn't make things any easier! I am so glad that this year you are making this as positive as possible. It is so easy to wallow in our problems and our grief, but God gives us so much more to be thankful for! Thank you for the reminder! I think I'll go cuddle with my hubby and fur child and 'wallow' in my blessings!

  7. i can't even imagine the loss that you feel, but what an encouragement to see your faith! :) thank you for sharing!!
    isn't it crazy how just changing your perspective can change your heart? instead of seeing things as burdens, but seeing them as blessing (like you GET to wake up with your son!) :)

  8. This is a really beautiful tribute to your dad's memory and a special memory for your son someday. I also really needed to read this today because I have been overly frustrated with my son lately. He just turned 6 and is asserting his will at every turn. I need to be proud of him being confident and wanting to be independent instead of frustrated that he wants to do it his way.

    1. Thanks for your sweet comment! :) It is so easy for us to lose patience with our little ones! It's just exhausting work being a momma isn't it?? I am sure when my little one gets to be that age I will be super frustrated many times! I love what you said about being proud of him being confident and wanting to be independent. That is such a beautiful way to look at it! Thanks again for stopping by!

  9. I'm sorry for your loss.

    I think your attitude is one we should all adopt. Sure, we have bad moments, bad days- but we should find the good in them and be thankful for those around us.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Shell! So true about needing to find the good within the bad moments! Could always be so much worse! :)

  10. this was a beautiful post and definitely a lesson I need to live by too. thanks for the inspirational post!

  11. What a beautiful tribute to your dad! I can only imagine that he is looking down on you and is beaming with pride. And your son is gorgeous, by the way! Wonderful post.

  12. Such a beautiful tribute and post about your dad. I am sure that he is so proud of you, and is watching over you every day! I find that it makes the heart hurt a little less to think that they are watching over us, and not missing out on those special moments and memories. Even if they aren't here to enjoy them with us.

    Thank you too, for the reminder that I need to find the good in everyone, and be thankful for them.