5 pi parties

 the two Janneke's

Another year for Janneke.  She turned 5 on 3.14... hence, the need for another pi party.

When we celebrate Emily and Sophia's birthdays, there are stories shared - the time they were born, where they were born, who we told first, the fact that Soph came so fast and Em took her time... The girls love hearing those same stories each year.

When we celebrate Rachel and Janneke's birthdays, it becomes complicated.  There are certainly stories with each of their births, but we don't enjoy retelling those.  In fact, the day Rachel was born and the day Janneke was born are days I almost want to forget.

Not that I am regretting their birth or have some hidden angst that I've suppressed.  I don't think I'm a bitter person.

I just find the anniversary of the day they were born difficult.  I don't tell my older girls that their parents cried buckets before finding the right words to tell them about the new baby.  I don't like to relive the shock or the panic that came - instead of the joy and excitement that we had hoped for.  I don't like remembering the sounds of new healthy babies around me in those crowded maternity wards in 2006 and 2009 - or the excitement I could hear from other families of those babies.

This isn't to take away the joy of any healthy baby born.  It's just to say that the actual birth-days for my two younger girls are layered with complicated emotions.

It wasn't intentional, but we celebrated Janneke's birthday with her grandparents on Thursday, and with more family on Saturday - instead of Friday. Friday happened to be the day Ralph and I could arrange extra respite care, so we could spend the day with Emily and Sophia on some snowy hills.  Yes, this x country skier went downhill... and finished with no broken bones.  Rachel and Janneke were loved and cared for at home, and we made some happy memories on the slopes with the four of us. Being on that ski lift together felt so far removed from that hospital room five years ago.  And that was a good feeling.

loved seeing these two master the hills with ease

When we came home, Rachel was happy to see us, as restless as she seemed, and Janneke was fast asleep.  Within minutes of Ralph holding Rachel, she fell asleep - a reminder that she is loved and loves us.

We give thanks for Janneke's five years.  We are thankful for the many ways we have been supported these past five years, and we acknowledge the peace and the grace that God has provided. Grace allows us to see past the brokenness and sorrow of the birth and give thanks for life and glimpses of joy.

finished the March Break with some music therapy
peace to your homes,