Spring Break

This past week was our first Spring Break with Londyn in school and decided with the much-needed break, our theme was to "FIND SOME FUN!" 

Since my brother, his wife and newborn baby just moved to Newport, we decided to visit them and enjoy the beautiful Oregon coast.

This was my fortune cookie at a delish Chinese restaurant in Newport.

Londyn LOVES playing games and watching Netflix on my tablet.  She sure know's her way with electronics... like father, like daughter.

We checked out the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse and got a chance to take a gander at this gorgeous scenery.

Lulu's favorite part of the trip was playing in the sand.  This girl loves the beach!

Cray-cray Kaylee was so much fun to have with us.

My newborn nephew Matthew is a such a handsome little man.

Lulu loves "the baby"

It's always a great time at the outlet mall!

After we got back from the coast, we went to the Tualatin Wildlife Refuge with some friends.  The kids loved exploring nature and seeing lots of different animals.

Cutie kids

Lulu the Explorer

Some pampering at the nail salon

We had a fabulous week as just us girls!


Over the past few days, my plan was to stay busy so we could skip over the pain of celebrating another first holiday without Zoe.  I wish I could say it was all pastel colored eggs, chocolate and spiritual uplift... but it was hard.  It was so hard.  All I can say is that I tried and trying is enough.  

Andrew had to work Easter, so we set out our own little egg hunt for Lulu on Friday night.  She was so surprised on Saturday morning to hunt for eggs.

Later Saturday morning, I took Londyn and her cousin Sammie to a local egg hunt.  They scored full sized candy bars, a goody bag and way too much candy.  

Londyn was a pro this year.  She didn't hesitate one bit!  The Easter Bunny made her nervous, but she was brave and took a photo with him.  

It was a GORGEOUS sunshiney day!  

Later on Saturday afternoon, we made our weekly visit to see Zoe.  Lulu picked out a balloon to take to her sister and wanted to show Zoe all of the candy she got at the Easter Egg Hunt earlier. I am so blessed to have two sweet girls, but it breaks my heart to see how much Londyn misses her sister.  

It was an extra special visit because we got to see the memorial plaque that was recently placed at the cemetery.  In the Fall, a young man named Geoffrey completed his Eagle project of beautifying Zoe's cemetery with some lovely landscaping.  I love how the sign turned out.  It is so touching to be reminded of Zoe's goodness!

Andrew got home at 7am from work this morning and we quickly watched Lulu open her Easter basket.  She loved all of her surprises!

I just love my little Easter girl.  She looked like a little doll, heading to a tea party with the Queen!

Before our ward, I went to an earlier sacrament meeting to hear Elder Pape give his farewell talk.  Adam is my niece Mikayla's boyfriend and we love him!  After listening to his talk, I know for a fact that he is going to make an amazing missionary.  Londyn adored Adam last year after he wooed her with a princess dish set for her birthday and painting her toe nails for her.  Ever since he went away for college, she has been super strange (more like terrified) around him.  With that in mind, I didn't take her to hear his talk but she is looking forward to his "party" open house where she has requested that he have balloons.  

After church, we had a a great family dinner to celebrate Easter and April birthdays.  

Lulu loves her Uncle Kevin

Gma & Gpa Milne's Annual Egg Hunt
The egg hunt was a success!  My parents always puts a special egg out for each grandchild with their name on it.  My dad set out one for Zoe and told Londyn to find both.  I'm so grateful to have parents that are  sensitive to our grief.

Today I am celebrating the sacrifice of my Savior.  Without Him, I would not have the assurance that we WILL see Him and Zoe again.

Because of the life and eternal sacrifice of the Savior of the world, we will be reunited with those we have cherished.
On that day we will know the love of our Heavenly Father. On that day we will rejoice that the Messiah overcame all that we could live forever.
Because of the sacred ordinances we receive in holy temples, our departure from this brief mortality cannot long separate relationships that have been fastened together with cords made of eternal ties.
It is my solemn testimony that death is not the end of existence. “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” Because of the risen Christ, “death is swallowed up in victory.”
Because of our beloved Redeemer, we can lift up our voices, even in the midst of our darkest Fridays, and proclaim, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”
When President Hinckley spoke of the terrible loneliness that comes to those who lose the ones they love, he also promised that in the quiet of the night a still, unheard voice whispers peace to our soul: “All is well.” - "Sunday Will Come" by Joseph B. Wirthlin

Me: What do you think Zoe is doing in heaven? 
Londyn: I think she is playing with Jesus. 
Me: Do you think she has lots of friends there? 
Londyn: Yes! 
Me: Do you think her friends are boys or girls? 
Londyn: Boys. 
Me: Why just boys? 
Londyn: because Jesus and Heavenly Father are boys, Mom! 

Happy Easter from the Armitage Family


Handy Andy: Loft Bed

Handy Andy is at it again... he's been working really hard for the past two weekends to build this amazing twin size loft bed for Lulu.  

The Before picture below is rarely what Londyn's room looks like.  It is usually wall to wall covered in toys.  To utilize the vaulted ceilings, we wanted to put a loft bed in her room.  She is getting older, but we weren't super comfortable with her climbing a 6 ft. vertical ladder in the middle of the night, so Andrew created one with stairs.  When she gets older, the stairs can be removed and another ladder rung can be added.  One of the best perks is that with the cost of lumber, paint and the IKEA mattress, this bed cost significantly less than the cheapest of metal loft beds AND it has so much more character!

I seriously can't believe how fast he was able to make this huge piece of furniture.  I should know by know that when he gets going on a project, he doesn't stop.  By the way, he got off work at 7:30 this morning and hasn't slept yet... he was too excited to get it finished before Lulu got home from dance today.  

Londyn knew Daddy was working on a project but didn't know who it was for or what it was that he was making.  He just kept saying it was for someone special.  He told her earlier this week that on Wednesday, he had a surprise for her.  She was SO excited to come home to see her surprise, a brand new bed that Dad made just for her.

Andrew says all that work was worth it to see her reaction and how happy it makes her.  
She could not stop laughing!


Liquid Sunshine

This evening I decided to sort through this huge pile of Insurance and medical documents, pamphlets, equipment guides, prescription information, medication charts, disability and PT/OT paperwork, discharge papers and multiple books on heart defects. This pile collects dust on my desk and stares at me regularly.  I know I don't need to keep any of this but it's like tossing out a part of her.  These papers are a tangible part of Zoe's short time on this earth.  They are proof of what she endured, what we experienced... what we lived through.  It's like all of the alarms I keep on my phone, reminding me to run her 90 ml feeds every three hours and meds at 9am and 9pm each day.  It's like the container of her diapers that still sit in our family room and all of her clothes still neatly folded in their drawers.    

How can something like a pile of papers knock the wind out of you?  After a good cry, I decided to keep the ones that I felt were most important to me.  I then threw the rest away.  I felt like I was taking a healthy step.  Now I can't promise I didn't consider going out to the garbage bin and digging them back out but ultimately, I feel like it was something I needed to do.  

Tonight's bedtime conversation...
Me: Who do we remember on Easter?
Lulu: Jesus!
Me: And that He died for us and was resurrected.  Do you know who comes on Easter?
Lulu: ZOE!
Me: The Easter Bunny
Lulu: Awww... I want Zoe to come on Easter.

Today has been an emotional day... not for any particular reason, but just because grief comes when you least expect it.  When it does come, it's like time hasn't passed and the shock of losing her is overwhelming.  It feels like I just held her for the last time, watching her take that last breath.

I wish there was a timetable for grief.  I wish I knew that at a certain point, it would hurt less and I was in control of my emotions.  But it doesn't work that way.  Most days, I feel like I'm in control but every once and a while it shows up unannounced and uninvited   The tears come and go at random and all I want to do is snuggle Londyn in my comfy bed.  Tonight was no exception, as I let my 3 year old stay up until 11:15pm, to do just that.  We laid in bed watching Netflix, laughing and snuggling.  She is truly one of my greatest comforts and a tender mercy from my Father in Heaven.

Tomorrow is a new day and I could really use some sunshine... but the Oregon forecast doesn't agree.

Oh well, there's always liquid sunshine... aka Diet Coke.  With a day like today, I've exceeded my DC limit.  Good thing there's only 6 more minutes left of this day.