Butterfly Sparks Designs

Thursday, January 28, 2010

the phone call

I didn’t cry until Michael mentioned my wedding dress. Prior to that moment I was just stunned. I thought of furniture--a cozy recliner he bought to nurse my babies comfortably, an antique table we bought when we first married. I was still okay even as I remembered that the things we were passionate about, the things we used to unwind, were destroyed--golf clubs, recording equipment, sewing machines, craft supplies, pre-school books and materials for the kids. No, the piercing of my heart didn’t happen until we both remembered that the computer with all of our pictures of the kids’ births and first years was in the shed. When the realization occurred that symbols of all the memories we held dear were gone...early pictures of our parents, our honeymoon pictures, michael’s drawings, every piece of paper that proved he had a successful music career, and that he was celebrated as a songwriter, videos of our chidrens’ births that we had all worked hard to accomplish...As I inventoried our “stuff” in my mind and could no longer state, “that can be replaced,” ...that’s when I officially lost it.


One side of me kept saying...but the babies are okay. Michael’s okay. No one was hurt in the unexpected electrical fire that took down our shed and all of its’ contents. And it’s true. Things could have been MUCH, MUCH, MUCH worse. Our little house, 20 ft. from the shed, was untouched, even in the 40mph winds. After concluding the conference in San Francisco where I heard the news, I was able to fly home to the very alive, very comforting arms of my family. Hallelujah and Amen!
But a conversation I had with a friend months before kept replaying in my head. She told me how she never really grieved a tremendous loss she and her husband faced. That unresolved experience was still affecting her. And so she and her husband bravely did something about it. Now, if you were comparing her loss and mine, you’d vote for her. But loss is hard regardless and it was she who reminded me that grieving was important no matter how big or small of a deal it is that we lost a bunch of “things.” I think we did grieve, and may have a day or two left in us. Then we’ll be good. I imagine on birthdays (I used to watch my kids’ birth videos on their birthdays) I’ll be a little sad. I feel strongly though that part of life’s maturing process is to really feel those emotions we have without letting them paralyze us. Let the emotions fuel us and inspire us to respond positively, and maybe even with action. An action response, in this case, might be to remind families to back up all of their pics on CDs and put those CDs in a fire-safe box!!!


I will never forget Michael kneeling next to me first time I went to see the damage. I had found my oldest’s scrapbook--the only one I made time to put together. As I dug through each of the pages fused together by an inferno, I clung to the idea that I would find something to keep. Amazingly enough, there was. And he sat there, silently, just holding any black, charred remnant I handed to him. The kids were running wild around the yard, and he still just sat with me. These are the moments that draw our hearts nearer to one another. Without that fire, I would not have experienced that tender moment with him, a moment that puts more cement on my allegiance to his kind heart. Gifts. These moments are gifts in our lives. And that moment is a new memory. One that wasn’t in the fire. One that didn’t get “burned up” to use my daughter’s description. So there you stinkin’, destroying blaze. You’re not going to break us. It’s rebuild time. We’ve really simplified now and we’re awarded a fresh start in a sense. We’ll feel sad when we have to but we will also keep moving forward and do a better job at preserving what we can from here.

Here are some images of the graveyard, so to speak. For whatever reason, getting to take these pictures was good for me. They’re not super-technically right or the perfect composition. They are really just necessary. Therapy. And you can believe they’re going in a fire-safe box. :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Blog post...

finally blogging again! more here soon, but you can go to
http://www.merakoh.com and click on the picture of Me Ra and myself to read where I posted on her blog!!!

thank y'all for your sweet comments!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Big News

It's time to update.
And I can think of no better way to do this...

Go here and see how my life has (IS GOING!) to change.

Un. Be. LIEV. Able.

Want to see?

Click me!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

if you haven't heard from us lately...

it's because we've been here.

and here takes a while...

but more frequently than the grocery store, we've been hanging out at the sunny (sonny?) porch inn. rather than explaining why an old frame house has been given such a fun name (my sister in law is much better at telling these stories!), i'll just tell you why we've been here.
you see...we're moving.



but before you get all crazy, we're simply moving down the road. still in our sweet town.

to a two bedroom, 1 bath house.

and i'll tell you what, i couldn't be more excited!!
and that's the truth.

michael's parents are allowing us to do some work to a house that michael's grandfather built. and actually, the work started last summer when michael, his sisters, and their husbands and children gutted and cleaned the house. pregnant girl had to sit back and watch as they waded through what was left after the house had been abandoned by former tenants (70s?,80s?)...
"sonny porche" and his mama...

everyone has a part in re-doing the s.p.i. and it will eventually be used as a camp house for all. but until then, we are getting it ready to become our next home.
so that's where we've been. and we've been packing too. because we have a contract on our current home! it's nuts around here. i mean, nuts.
but here's the fun part. some of these pictures are for the sake of my sisters (in-laws)--to keep them tuned in while they're away. sit back, enjoy our progress!

painting the kitchen


we painted the cabinets. they're not really installed yet, just a peek at what's to come.

and the trim

a look outside...doc's territory

hello handsome
this is my husband pulling fence.
and being handsome.

and finally, the little troops.
what the sweetest baby in the world does while we work...

the toddlers for security from snakes club

Friday, March 13, 2009

it's been a busy few weeks but we have definitely had some fun!
the carnival came to town for "Land of Leather" festival.  we were anxious to see if the kids were interested.  last year was a flop, but this year...

another story!

it was all we could do to hang on as lori threw herself on to the first ride!! in fact, i kept holding on to her and she kept pushing away my hands.
now, her brother?

just as excited with a little less ferocious intensity. this was his "warm up" ride. didn't even sit down even though dad held on. thus, displaying again, the difference between my first and second. but don't let this fool you.

he was ready for the boats. okay so they are VERY low to the ground. and his sister ran and dove into her seat. either way, he got on happy.

here they are, contemplating the kiddie roller coaster. at this point, they were begging to ride! i was very convinced lori meant every word, but nolan? would he really get on??

BELIEVE IT!! they rode this for the rest of the night!

we had the best time! did you, west?


Saturday, February 21, 2009

wanted to share some recent pics of my youngest.  

unfortunately, the happiest smiles make for the blurriest pictures in babyland...all that arm dancing.  as you see here, underneath all of that cloud is one stellar baby shot.

here's typical west.  content.  sweet.  hanging out.
again, pretty typical.  he's "talking" a lot now.  i'm quite sure he is telling me how much he loves me in this shot.  ;)