This weekend my older brother Paul, his wife Beth, and their four adorable kids came to visit us.  

We had a trip up the canyon, the kids playing their hearts out at our new house, yummy food (and even an evening of soda and candy tasting), a crazy day at church (where I got to sing with my brother), and late night visits with Paul and Beth, after the kids were in bed.

One of the days I got down on the floor and romped around with all the kids.  I crawled around with them, wrestled, tickled, and let them climb all over me.

Something about that moment, and the entire weekend spent with family, sparked a part of my personality-- the playful, fun, and creative part of me, that has been dormant for the last little while.

I've tried not to be too hard on myself, but I haven't felt like a good Mom to Vaughn and Mason since losing Adam.  I still remember after he died, and I came out of surgery, a friend brought my boys up to see him and hold him, and be with us for a little while.  As soon as their bright happy faces came into the hospital room I felt as if my whole soul lit up.  I felt so incredibly happy to see my boys, and that I have them in my life.  I thought: "I'll never ever get mad at them again for anything," and I truly believed in that moment that I would never be able to feel upset or impatient at my beautiful boys again.  I saw them in a different light that day-- in a way that I've never seen them before.

But the loss, and having to move have left me feeling worn out, sad, and tired.  Though I have felt incredibly grateful to have them, I haven't felt playful, or patient.  My thoughts and my time have been preoccupied.  I haven't spent time reading or painting or just running and playing with them, and it's made me feel sad.  

After my family left on Monday I went outside with my boys and jumped with them on the trampoline, played hopscotch, and drew on the patio with sidewalk chalk.  The sun was out and the sky was beautiful.  We laughed and had a wonderful time.  I felt so happy and alive.

I feel so grateful for that visit from my family to bring that spark back to me.  I feel more energized and alive now.

I know I still have a road ahead of me, and that there are emotions and hurt that I need to work through, but I know that it will be so much easier to face when I can spend parts of my day sharing the joy of childhood with my family.

They make me so happy.

(Pictures taken at Spring Mountain Ranch in Red Rock Canyon-- one of our favorite Vegas getaways!)