The Last See You Later

Her last words as his wife here on earth.

Her last “See you later.”

lastgoodbye

 

My grandfather passed away a week ago yesterday.  His illness…acute leukemia…was so brief and shattering for our family.  In one month, just one, he went from initial doctors’ appointments, tests, and the unknown to a diagnosis we’d never expected and the doorstep of Heaven.  We were shattered.  Especially heartbroken was my grandmother.

 

The love of his life for 65 years tomorrow, loved and depended upon him desperately.  The days spent at the funeral home must have been grueling for her.  How I wish I could have somehow rewound time for her, taking her back to her kitchen table where we’d play Rummy 500 for hours and my grandfather would sneak a little love tap in as he passed her on the way to the coffee pot.  I can still hear her words…“Stop that!” He’d have a sly grin on his worn face and she’d roll her eyes and laugh.

 

They loved each other.

 

I happened to be standing at the casket the morning of his funeral service when my grandmother spoke her last words to his physical body.  I wasn’t expecting it, because, according to the funeral director, we were expected to leave and offer her a chance to be alone with him one last time.  Although, I doubt she could have stood on her own had we left her.  My father held her.  I watched her knees buckle slightly as she approached my grandfather’s side.  I followed and stood at the foot of “his bed”, as we had called his casket when trying to explain what was happening to our oldest daughters.

 

I’ll never forget my grandmother’s last words to her beloved.

 

I love you.

You took good care of me.

You were my best friend.

You were the best husband, father, brother.

I’m going to miss you.

You’re not suffering anymore.

I love you.

I’ll see you later.

 

And she walked away from him.  I was left motionless – struck by the monumental life moment that I had just taken in.  Things like that hit you so hard in the heart.

Those simple words may seem just that, simple.  But when you hear them trickle in a lonely whisper from the brokenhearted lips of one human who has lost her one and only…they become the deepest words this side of eternity.  Tears welled up in my eyes in agony for her aching soul.

Watching my grandmother go through one of the hardest moments in her life and hearing her last good-bye brought so much clarity.  I thought of my husband.  We are approaching our 8th anniversary.  Eight.  We’re still newbies when our union is stacked up against theirs.  There is still so much we have yet to learn.  As the weight of this new urgency to love him well fell heavy on my heart, I remember saying to him something along the lines of,

We need to enjoy each other while we are still young.  I don’t want to be in her shoes one day and look back on our lives full of regret.

When that day comes when one of us may have to say good-bye to the other…I want those same kind of words to be able to pass between us, completely free of regrets.

You loaded the dishwasher wrong…doesn’t matter.  I love you.

You drove like a maniac…doesn’t matter.  I love you.

You took a nap instead of helping around the house…doesn’t matter.  I love you.

You left your dirty socks on the floor…doesn’t matter.  I love you.

You woke up on the wrong side of the bed…doesn’t matter.  I love you.

You forgot what I needed at the grocery store…doesn’t matter.  I love you.

You burnt dinner…doesn’t matter.  I love you.

You made plans without checking with me first…doesn’t matter.  I love you.

 

You see, when that day comes, none of the trivial things will matter anymore.  All that will remain will be the love shared.  Was I your best friend?  Did I selflessly care for you?  Did I love you well?  

That is what will matter.

If I have to recall her words every day for the next sixty years just to be the wife I need to be…to be the mother I need to be…to be the daughter and sister I need to be…to be the friend I need to be…  I will.  

Will you?

Happy Anniversary, Gram and Pap.  In marriage, companionship, friendship…thank you for always being an example for us to follow.

xo,

Kristi

 

 

Before…You Were His

Sitting there in the heat, watching our kids participate in the closing show at a local VBS, and she turns around.  There’s a new babe on her lap and a husband standing near us in the background.  He’s still in his dress clothes, likely from his long day in an office somewhere.  He’s doing the same thing that my husband is doing day-in and day-out, earning a living to support a family that he loves.  Maybe she stays at home like I do, or maybe they picked up their kids at daycare or grandma’s house and scurried to make it to a VBS with a 6PM start, because investing in their little one’s faith and friendships is worth the evening hustle.  She gives him a simple glance and a nod.  He seems to know it well, because without hesitation, he quickly grabs what she needs from the stroller and walks it to her.  She turns back around, tending to her infant, and he returns to his spot in the back.  Although she’s in the midst of mothering, I catch a glimpse of her youth and beauty, and it hits me.

Before…she was his.

Before the diapers and the late night feedings…

Before the stretch marks and tired legs…

Before the sippy cup laden cupboards and Cheerio covered floors…

Before the car seats and strollers and bibs and pacifiers…

Before living in sweats and smelling like spit-up…

She was his.

Date nights and perfume…

Long hugs and real kisses…

Dancing and movies…

Fancy resturants and long phone calls…

Weekend getaways and inside jokes…

Before these babes.  Before she was Mommy, she was simply his.

And I glanced at my own mister, standing in the background, relaxing his weight against a swing while our toddler ran amuk nearby, and I couldn’t help but remember being just his too once.  It made me smile one of those joyful smiles that you really have no control over.  The kind that just happen, because you are that happy in the moment.

I spend my days being Mommy.  I live and breathe motherhood.  There’s no escaping it, especially if you long to do it well.  I wouldn’t trade my days, hours, minutes, moments of mothering for anything else in the world.  I embrace being completely wrapped up in it, but I forgot in the process how to be his too.

I forgot what it was like to put him first, to be just me, a girl in love with the best kind of man.  I forgot that he’s the reason that this whole thing evolved into a beautiful family in the first place.  My love for him and his for me…

And all that thinking in those brief moments brought that silly, giddy smile to my face…

And I made up my mind to be his again.  

his

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join the Klover House family on Facebook {here} and find us on Instagram @kristi_kloverhouse!

 

i.hit.his.truck.

oh this day.

oh this day, this day.

technically yesterday now, but can i just tell you about it? maybe you’ll feel a little better about your day! :)

i.hit.his.truck.

there. i said it.

ok, now i’ll rewind…

today was weird. eden slept in until almost 11am. so weird for her. so weird for any of the kids in this household to sleep past 8am. yeah, they’re thoughtful like that. 😉

so, i of course was lazy with the big-littles until 10ish, which translates to breakfast and movies in mama’s bed while mama takes a shower. (i can see them clearly from my shower.) they know not to move an inch. they chilled on the cozy bed, watching disney jr. while i showered/got dressed, then we hung out downstairs while i ironed dresses for the second time to take to a local boutique.

around 2pm, we headed out the door, stopped at michael’s for some craft/sewing supplies, and ended our errand-running at the boutique to drop off the dresses. we then went home to start dinner and wait for dad.

this is where i think favor may have checked out for the day…

the plan was to eat quickly and head out to the mall as a family.

i got the kids into the house and went to take eden out of her carseat. poop.was.everywhere. great, typing that line just reminded me that i have to wash that bad boy. i forgot. you’ll see why soon enough. oh yeah, i already told you – i hit the truck.

anywho…back to eden. had to strip her of her brand new, cutesy outfit and give her an inconvenient 4pm bath. fortunately, i had made a roast a couple of nights ago, so beef stew was on the menu. i had it simmering on the stove when hubby rolled in… recovery (from the time lost thanks to the impromptu bath) was looking good and the mall with three littles was still looking plausible. isla had passed out on the couch, and shortly before the hubs walked in the door, ava announced, ‘mom, isla pooped in her pants.’ say what?!

yep. poopy pants numero dos. seriously. come on.

hubs walks in. ‘you’re changing number two’s number two, mister. welcome home.’ yep. i’m a nice wifey. *not really.*

while he protested, we discussed the trip to the mall. basically, he came up with every excuse reason under the sun not to go to the mall as a family, citing isla and her poop-pants needing a bath and dinner not being physically on the table as the two major ones. on the table. really, sir? it’s not good enough to have it cooked and ready. it has to be in the bowl on the table??? 

 i was mad. he was bitter (over the poop pants), and no one but mama was heading to the mall. (yes, you may be thinking that it would be a good thing to be going to the mall alone. normally it would be, but it was supposed to be our family time, b/c we’re probably not going out anywhere over the weekend.)

i got into the van alone. this is where it gets crazy. before it was just cranky. now it gets crazy and uber-cranky.

i couldn’t find my check from the boutique. i planned on stopping at the bank on the way to the mall. i looked everywhere i could think of for the check i had just gotten hours before. it was nowhere to be found. i envisioned it twirling across the parking lot or being cashed by some joe schmoe. i was getting all flustered over it. not good. i pulled out of the garage in haste, staring at the concrete on the passenger side to see if maybe it dropped out of my pocket when i was unloading the kids/bags earlier. 

and it happened. 


cruuuuuuunnnnnnch.

uh-oh.


i looked back and reality hit me as hard as i hit his truck.


i scraped the front corner of his BRAND NEW F-150. i wrecked into his most beloved ‘baby’! the man loves his truck, and i crunched it. ugh.

i pulled back into the garage, ran upstairs to my doom, and confessed. let’s just say for that moment (or several minutes rather), i was ralphie and he was the dad of the christmas story, or maybe i was the mother when she broke that awful leg lamp, and he was still the father.  either way, it wasn’t pretty, folks. it was head-on-the-kitchen-island-crying-while-the-kids-watched-hubby-dropping-the-word-stupid kind of not pretty.

after he returned from the initial inspection, i retreated back to the scene of the crime and ran away to the mall…and trader joes…and target. i closed down target, people. i was the last customer out. i did not want to come home tonight.  on the bright side, i did get all of my easter shopping done.

deep breath.

i will survive. somehow, i will try to make this better.

right now, i’m thinking this bag of dark chocolate almonds is helping. maybe he’ll leave in the morning without talking to me about it. maybe he’ll never bring it up again. probably not, but a girl can hope, right?

geesh. why on earth did i have to go and crash into my own husband’s truck in my own driveway?!

anyway…i found the check. i won’t say where. ok, i’ll tell you. why not? it was in a ziploc baggie, rolled up in my garment bag on the front seat of the car. perfect place for it, huh? 
*rolling my eyes at myself*

i’ve beaten myself up all evening and night. do you do that too? when you do something ridiculous, do you kick yourself in the tail?

trouble is, so does my hubby. there’s not a whole lotta grace here when mama does something stupid. i’m a different personality. i get harsh and say mean things when he hangs a shelf crooked or drips paint on the floor. when he hit a deer last year and hit the garage door with his jeep, i didn’t say a word. crazy how certain things make people explode and other things just roll off our backs, and it can be totally different for someone else.

tomorrow (today), i’m setting the bar low…i aim to wash the carseat cover, clean the house, feed the children, and have school. i think that sounds relatively safe, right? i’ll let you know how it goes… hope friday is a good day for you!  good night, friends!

(i’ll post pics to accompany this post tomorrow…)

***there’s currently an eden gray by klover house giveaway happening on the owl’s skull blog.  check it out for a chance to win a custom, handmade matryoshka doll skirt called ‘matryoshka maiden’.  (this fabric is also available in our baby romper and child’s dress.)  visit the klover house shop for more!  all owl’s skull fans can also find a special eden gray discount on her blog!***

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date night and the pin-it party!

good morning and happy saturday, friends! dance was canceled this morning, thanks to a never-ending winter… seriously. enough with the snow already! how is it in your neck of the woods? maybe you like the snow. maybe you know how to ski. maybe you have a never-ending supply of hot cocoa. maybe you’re a little crazy. what?! don’t scoff. yes, you must be a little kooky if this cold appeals to you. (or four. you might be four. my four-year-old revels in this. she’s going sledding right after the usa/russia hockey game concludes. she going with daddy, b/c, like you, he is crazy and likes the snow.) okay, enough of that. i apologize.

so, what are we pinning today? i know you have lots to share with us, b/c you, like me, have been STUCK INSIDE FOR WHAT SEEMS LIKE SIX YEARS, AND YOU WRITE AND MAKE MOON DOUGH SO THAT YOU DON’T GO CRAZY! haha sorry. i can’t seem to help myself!

our featured pin from last week’s party is this one from whitney of ‘beauty in the mess’:

so appropriate, given yesterday was valentine’s day! {my valentine’s-related post} my hubby surprised me with dinner and we decided to end the night with some spontaneity and went to an arcade in the burgh. i kicked his butt at skee ball…connect four…and some crazy light game in which you hit buttons on the wall (kind of like ‘whack a mole’). it kept saying, ‘player two is on fire!’ i was, people. i was. it.was.awesome. if i would’ve remembered to put on make-up, it would’ve been perfect. but, hey…at least i got a compliment from the maitre d’ on my dress!

(usa just scored. i have a happy, hootin’, hollerin’ husband.)

okay…the party…

(and we won! the neighbors can probably hear him screaming and clapping. haha)

wanna join the party? here’s what to do:

1. follow the co-hosts on pinterest (links below)

paula from beauty through imperfection

becky from your modern family

gabrielle from MamaGab

me! kristi from klover house


2. pin our “pin-it party” picture. (one of these)

3. add as many of your great pins as you want!  remember to get your pins from pinterest & not from your blog page. it will make it easier to re-pin a pin instead of a post.

4. hop around and re-pin other pins from this page- lets share the love!

5. adding your link gives us permission to use an image from the pin (or post connected to the pin) to feature on next week’s pin-it party. because of this we ask that you only link up images from your own site, and images that you have taken, created or have legal rights to.

thanks!!!! REMEMBER: when it asks for your NAME, you can put your PIN NAME or your BLOG NAME. essentially, it’s your pin’s title.

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the truth about valentine’s 2014

i think back to our early valentines this morning. i remember saying to my husband (then boyfriend) at one point, ‘i am one of those girls that doesn’t need flowers and mushy cards.’ music to his man-ears, i’m sure. i meant it too. i had come out of two years of singleness and independence, and flowers and chocolates from my significant other were no big deal.

oh how i wish i still felt that way! haha

sometimes i wonder where that girl has vanished to. she was cool, in shape!, artsy, self-reliant…

now i’m a mushy, melted, sappy, tired, old bitty who needs flowers and chocolates, and love notes!

seriously, i’m not sure what happens in some marriages (like mine). we’ve seemed to have lost our adventurous spirits and the giddiness that comes with just being together. maybe that’s why i feel the need to have these *objects* to serve as reminders of that spark. unfortunately though, it’s kind of like when you try to use a canadian quarter in a vending machine…it looks similar. it’s meant to serve the same purpose, and if you’re not careful, you use it assuming it’s the real deal, but…it’s no george washington. you know what i mean?

i don’t want chocolates, flowers, hallmark cards or fancy dinners to make me feel loved. i want the real deal. i want the butterflies, the anxious heart, the goosebumps, and warm fuzzies. that’s what i want for valentine’s. a genuine smile, a belly laugh, and strong hug that says ‘i need you.’

maybe i’ve just been too tired, busy, distracted, and complacent when it comes to my marriage, my friendship, and my love. for too many years, i have been expecting the counterfeits, and i have been guilty of handing them out in return. time to take back this ‘holiday’, and make it our ‘everyday’ again.

i don’t want the kind of valentine’s the world tells me i need. i want God’s version. i want a ‘Song of Songs.’

all that said…it sure won’t hurt anything, however, if he starts tomorrow off with a big bouquet… 😉

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good find friday: week 9

hello, dears. it’s friday! i’m hearing that we’re getting a bucket-load of snow over in our neck of the woods this afternoon. how about where you are? snowing? if it’s warm, don’t tell me. 😉 anyway, i have rounded up quite a healthy bunch for you here today…healthy in regards to your souls, people. not your bodies. nope. i’m on the holidays-are-here-again-and-life-is-tasty binge diet, so i’ll try to be good, but it most-likely won’t really kick in until the last peanut butter blossom has vanished.

are you a mama of little ones? you have got to read some of these articles. in your free time, that is, of course. take the computer to the toilet. seriously, i know that’s all the time you get, and that’s if you get it!

to the mamas of littles during the holidays – be encouraged and take heart, mama.  you’re super, even if your cape is unraveling.  😉  it’s the most wonderful time of the year…and one of the busiest.  remember one little piece of advice:  do.less.stuff.  it’s totally okay.

 license to mommy: 7 day challenge – going right along with the first article…here’s a little challenge for mamas who want to let go of the stuff that’s bogging us down and embrace the chance to, first and foremost, be mommy!

time warp wife’s 7 wonderful ways to prepare your marriage for the holidays – good, simple advice.

12 Christmas stories to read to children – i love this. who wouldn’t appreciate a list of stories that you can share with your littles during this magical, awe-inspiring time of year.

an alternative to the elf on the shelf tradition: kindness elf – we don’t do the elf, y’all, and i’m proud to say it. i am totally cool with it!  if you do, i’m cool with that too!  to each, his own.  i loved this alternative, though!  perhaps it will be a tradition we will consider for our children next year.

a woman confronts a man who steals her wallet at the grocery store… – this story will challenge you.  how would you have reacted?  would the good in you come as naturally?  would mercy flow?  she shows guts and compassion.

19 signs you’re doing better than you think – this is a great reminder – especially at Christmastime when commercials, stores, and even other people are tempting us to think there are so many material things that we need or should have in order to be fulfilled.  most-likely, we have everything we need and more.

ways to let him know what says love to you – as the holidays draw nearer, and the weight of the world tries to stress you both out…consider taking a closer look at your spouse’s love language(s), and feel free to share your’s as well.  we all want and need to love and be loved.  let’s do it well.

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good find friday: week 7


articles (good to know):

modern christian homemaker brings us 15 uses for coffee grounds – who knew?!  i already do one of these simply by chance, but i learned some great new tricks through this as well!  i’m eager to try them out!

dave ramsey’s three easy ways to pay off a mortgage early – say what?!  😉  seriously, who wouldn’t want to pay off their mortgage earlier?  i love tips from trusted, God-fearing professionals.

deseed a pomegranate in 10 seconds – yep.  it works.  it’s beautiful.  you’re welcome.

dry, itching skin remedies – yay for ppl out there finding ways to help ridiculously dry ppl like me!  i will most certainly be keeping this page up all winter long.

articles (good for the soul):

sarah mae’s maybe your two year old just needs you – if i could (well, i could), i would love to just use sarah mae’s motherhood posts as a parenting devotional.  she gets right to the heart of everything that i am personally experiencing with my own babies.  check out her writings.  they will really hit you in the heart.

and, finally…10 marriage tips every WIFE needs to hear – i am sooo guilty of NOT doing many of these lately.  i hope you find it as motivating and helpful as i have today.

happy friday, my friends!  stop in tomorrow for the weekly pinterest link-up.  be blessed, and hope you have a healthy, fun, cozy weekend.

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good find friday: week 4

articles:

the ugly truth about bravery – i thought this was a really great post on bravery, written by jon acuff.  i’ll say – i agree with all but the very last line…  if you want to take an extra minute, read his short ‘about’ section also.  inspires me to do something meaningful with my own life.

the day i left my marriage – those of you that are married know how challenging sharing your everything with someone else can actually be.  i am no picnic; that’s for sure.  not too long ago, i confess that i googled the words, ‘i don’t like my husband.’  what?!  i know…terrible.  we were going through a rough patch, and frankly, he was just on my nerves.  all.of.the.time.  he’d just look at me, and i would get annoyed.  hormones, right?  so anyway, i typed this phrase into the search bar and then looked for a ‘christian’ domain name.  b/c seriously, a christian wife should NOT feel those things, right?!  yeah.  i found this article, and i am so happy that i did, b/c it really helped to shift my perspective.  i have an awesome husband.  he loves Jesus 110%.  he is an amazing father.  he is thoughtful and takes care of others’ needs before his own.  he prays with passion.  he believes with passion.  he hasn’t left me, even during our darkest days.  he’s a gift that i have taken for granted.  i  hope this article helps you out, if you ever find yourself feeling frustrated with your spouse.  changing perspective often changes everything.  and actually, i like him a whole lot!

for the home:

dear lillie – i love this little blog and shop! i love it soooo much, that i hope to offer some of their items in the klover house shop in the near future! i love finding fellow artisans with common interests and passions. amazing hearts and talents over at dear lillie. check them out, and let them know that klover house sent you!

miscellaneous:

‘skinny double chocolate chip muffins’ by sallysbakingaddiction.com made these little guys (little b/c i baked them in my itty bitty tart pans – so cute…) and they were a hit. we drove to dance class with over two dozen. we returned home from dance class with zero! i didn’t have the exact ingredients – for example, i used strawberry kefir in place of the greek yogurt, but they turned out great! i also skipped the chocolate chips throughout. i simply drizzled 5 to 6 on each little muffin. it ended up being the perfect amount for our taste. you’d never guess these chocolately breakfast treats were made with honey, applesauce, kefir, and egg whites!  these will definitely be made frequently in our house!

america’s mood map – just a fun little time-waster.  apparently, i belong in tennessee…or oregon.  how about you?

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