About Me

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Hello and welcome to my blog! My name is Amanda Crow. I am a mother of four amazing children: three who are here with me on earth, and one who is awaiting our reunion in heaven. I am a homeschooling mom who embraces the life God has given me.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Macie's Day of Sunshine

I am officially declaring Macie's birthday as "Macie's Day of Sunshine!" Ryan and I decided not to host a golf tournament this year since we are now foster parents, and life has been more hectic than usual. The tournament was a lot of work, and it didn't have the outreach I was looking for.  I knew there had to be a better idea to honor Macie and to help others, so I came up with "Macie's Day of Sunshine." Since Macie was a ray of sunshine and brightened everyone's day, we are asking others to help that spirit live on.  I have created a facebook event for it, and over 200 people have already signed-up! We are asking for everyone to take a moment to look around, and see who you can bring a little sunshine to on August 10. Pay for a cup of coffee, buy a lunch, mow a lawn, pick-up trash, or make a donation. Just do something to bring a smile to someone's face! Once you do, visit our blog, and post "Happy Birthday!" or share your story of how someone was blessed. Thanks in advance, and remember to live everyday to the fullest.

Here are some pictures of Macie's birthdays. This would be her 12th birthday. Oh, how I wish I knew what she would look like, and who she would be...


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Never too young to make an impact

I received the greatest gift today. Our neighbor shared this touching story which clearly shows who Macie was. I am forever grateful for this recount of how my daughter's life was able to touch others at such a young age. You can read the story below.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Missing Macie on her 10th Birthday

It was 10 years ago, today, that I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Macie. It breaks my heart that we can't watch her celebrate this milestone or see the wonderful girl she would become. I made this cake with Kaylee in memory of Macie on her birthday.

Macie's 7th birthday and sadly the last we had to celebrate with her

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Just Embrace

You can now visit me at my new site. I have set-up the page, but I haven't published any posts yet. The site is www.justembrace.blogspot.com

Before I leave, I have a final comment. I know I have mentioned the four leaf clover before, and I have another neat story:

 We recently took a trip to Michigan, and although we had a great time, I found myself having a very difficult time (I'm sure that doesn't make a lot of sense). Anyway...this was the first time I really noticed Kaylee struggling a lot. She is so close to her brothers, and they hangout together all the time. However, while we were in Michigan, the boys were off playing with their cousins. It was a group of boys fishing, catching crayfish, looking for snakes, etc. Kaylee was not really into all of that and she was left without someone to play with. My heart just broke for her. Macie would have been right by her side the whole time. I could tell Kaylee was really sad. It really hit her when her younger 3 year old cousin started calling Kaylee her sister. It was so cute, but I could see that it bothered Kaylee. My heart was so heavy and I felt like I could cry all day. I decided to take the dog our for a walk near the hotel. As I was thinking about how crappy our situation was and asking God "the why questions" again, I looked down and there was a four leaf clover at my feet. I bent down to pick it up and next to it was one with five leaves. So I plucked them and took them to the kids. The four leaves always remind me of my four kids. I wasn't sure what to think of the 5 leaves, but none the less, it was neat to find. I love how God places these little reminders in front of me to reassure me that one day all will be well again.

my little reminder that I still have 4 children

Monday, May 16, 2011

A final post

Warning: this is a grammatical mess of quickly written words and thoughts…bear with me….I hope you can follow along…

It‘s probably obvious by now, due to my lack of blogging, that posting my feelings is no longer beneficial. Truth be told…it doesn’t help. In fact, it just feels like one more item on my never-ending to-do list. In the beginning, it helped a lot. I needed to express myself and let others know how I was doing and feeling. The pain was fresh and raw, and many people were genuinely concerned with how we were doing. It gave me the outlet to share without returning endless emails and phone calls, but now that has all changed. It has been two years since the accident. Most people have moved on and have expected us to do the same. Unfortunately, people don’t realize that the second year was just as difficult as the first. The only difference is that you become one with the pain and heartache, and you learn to adapt and return to a “normal” life. You once again robotically function and go through the motions of a regular existence. However, there is nothing regular about the way we feel.

During the second year of grief, everyone begins to think you are healed and over it. But you are not! Just because you see us laughing and our kids playing doesn’t mean we are over it. Just because you notice us enjoying the kids’ sports and activities doesn’t mean we are over it. Just because we start volunteering more and taking on new hobbies doesn’t mean we are over it. Just because we started reading books that don’t deal with death and dying doesn’t mean we are over it. We will never be over it, but our family has learned to live with it. The second year of grief was just as difficult as the first. The cards, flowers, and prayers start to disappear, the rest of the world seems to move on, and we are left with a hole in our family and hearts. The holidays during the second year were probably more difficult, because you come face to face with the realization that Macie has been gone for so long. If anyone reading this has a friend or loved one grieving, please don’t forget that they are probably hurting just as badly with each passing holiday.

With so much time passing, we start to forget what she sounds like, and all the smells of her are gone. I could easily remember her voice by playing some home videos, but every time I pick up one of the DVDs, I just stare at it and put it back. For some reason, I am absolutely terrified to watch those videos. I was able to watch them days, weeks, and months after the accident, but it has been over a year since I have watched one. I really can’t explain that one?!? I so desperately want to see her face, hear her laughter, remember her voice, yet I can’t bring myself to watch a memory of her. I want the real thing and a past memory just will not do.

During the past couple months, I have also come to the realization that I am not only grieving my daughter, but I am grieving my identity as well. This was hard for me to admit, and still is. Pride has always been a struggle of mine, and sometimes I think God took Macie from us to humble me. I always felt that Ryan and I did a really good job at raising our children. We protected them the best we could, and tried to control every situation and detail of their life. Yet, our child died in a tragic accident. I guess I’m not in control after all. Anyway, I loved being the young mom with 4 kids. You don’t’ see many 28-31 year olds walking around Walmart with 4 kids in a shopping cart being well behaved. I was always the one pregnant or nursing. I loved having a big family (not big compared to the families on TLC or some within my church, but big compared to the typical American family). We were different, and I liked that. Now, I just look like a typical mom with her 3 kids, and the youngest child is throwing a fit about something. Unfortunately, Carter, our youngest, didn’t receive the same parenting as the older children did. For the past two years, we have been pretty lackadaisical as far a discipline is concerned with him. Normal bedtimes and schedules flew out the window when Macie died. We are now trying the return things to a pre-accident existence. Back to the identity….So now I am the mom raising 3 kids, and everyone around me is either pregnant, just delivered a new baby, or adopting. I now have the small family. I know this shouldn’t bother me, but it does. I’m only sharing this because I know there are other grieving mothers that probably experience the same thing. You not only grieve a child, you grieve who you were.

I know I still have 4 children, but the world does not see that. I have met several new families this year, and they have just assumed everything was normal about me. They just assume I have 3 kids and my life is great, until they ask my kids’ ages. That’s when my pulse races and the internal dialog begins. “Do I tell them, do I not tell them? Will they care? Do I want to explain everything? Do I want to answer questions? Do these people matter to me? How will they react?” Then I say what I always do, “My oldest son is 11, my oldest daughter would be 9, my second daughter is 8, and my youngest son is 5.” When I get to the “oldest daughter would be” part, I either get a confused or shocked look, or the person starts counting my children and asks where the other is. It’s always an interesting situation to say the least.

I am trying really hard to get over that. With Macie, I can’t, won’t, and don’t want to ever get over her…ever! But I can get over my identity crisis. At the beginning of the year, I started working out a lot. I realized that I really enjoy fitness classes, and I have regained my passion for healthy foods and healthy living. The exercise helps with the moods swings a lot and I am sleeping better. When I’m working out, I am able to relieve the stress and anger that builds up throughout the day. It is so easy to want to curl up in a ball and not do anything, but I refuse to let my grief take my body as well. My kids need me to be fit and able to keep up with them, and that’s what I intent to do. God still has work for us to do, and I want to be healthy enough to do it! We are all growing a little stronger physically and emotionally every day.

I still can’t believe 2 years have come and gone. I’m not sure what this 3rd year has in store for us, but I pray it will be filled with healing and closure. I have the promises of Heaven on day, and I know we will be reunited with Macie. I guess we need to just keep pressing forward until that day comes. With that said, I feel I need to put an end to this page and close this chapter of our lives. We are finding a new identity for our family and looking for a new purpose. I want this page to be in memory of our daughter and everything we will miss about her.

We love you so much Macie and can’t wait to hold you again!!!

1 Thessalonians 4:17

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Macie Memorial Meet

This weekend, February 27, was the Macie Crow Memorial gymnastics meet at our YMCA. This was the 2nd time Kaylee has competed in this meet. It is always difficult. You are mourning the loss of one daughter and cheering another daughter on at the same time....something no one else can understand. Prior to the meet starting, our family was presented with flowers and one of the coaches wrote and read the following poem:

Remembering Macie

Unfair, it is, so brief a stay
you had down here on Earth.
Unfair to us who knew you,
who knew what you were worth.
We thought we knew that laugh, those eyes,
would one day grow old,
but what we didn't know was we were wrong;
that, we were never told.
So now all we have are memories,
which, though happy, draw a tear,
reminding us how temporary
life can be, I fear.
Let this reminder set us straight;
let your example be our guide.
Take nothing e'er for granted;
be happy, smile wide.
For we know that you would want us
to live as merrily as we can;
treat each day as our last,
to live up to God's own plan.
And when our thoughts choose to stray
on how you touched our lives,
we'll remember the joy with which you lived,
and that with which you died,
knowing Heaven awaited
your flipping, jumping, grinning soul.
We miss is still down here, that smile lighting up the gym,
but we benefited; from knowing you our hearts are full.
We may continue to ache,
for your person from here is gone.
Your tiny frame has left us,
yet your smile lingers on...

-Coach Ashlynn

Isn't that beautiful? I am so thankful for the people in our life that still love and care about our daughter. It means so much to us!

Friday, January 21, 2011

An Angry Child

Have you ever taken something away from a child, and they didn't understand why? They usually sit in the corner, arms crossed, refusing to speak to you. They still love you, they still know you are there for them, but they just don't want to look at you or speak to you. That's how I feel right now. 

I feel like a little child who's angry at her father... heavenly Father that is. I don't want to be, but I don't understand why I can't have my daughter. My prayer life has really been in the dumps lately. I know God loves me. I know God wants what is best for me. I know God is in control. I still love Him and trust Him. However, I miss my daughter so much that I feel like crossing my arms and ignoring Him. I don't feel this way all the time, but the winter months and holidays are taking a toll on me. 

I made it through Thanksgiving and Christmas okay. However, December 26th hit me like a ton of bricks. I woke up and did nothing but cry. New Year's eve wasn't much better either. Then, to top it all off, Kaylee turned 8 on January 14th.  How can Kaylee be older than Macie? Kaylee is the little sister, and now she is 8!?! Macie was only 7 when she died. I just look at her and wonder what Macie would look like? How tall would she be? How would she act? Would she still be a gymnast? Would she enjoy being homeschooled? These questions haunt me all the time.

Yesterday, we awoke to a foot of snow. I told the kids we haven't had this much snow since I was 5....and I don't even remember it. So this was a new experience for me too. Yet, it was just another reminder of something Macie didn't experience. Yeah, yeah, yeah...I know I should listen to my past words about heaven being so much better than anything here on earth, but I just need a few days to have a pity-party for myself. Whenever I am doing well, I feel guilty. It's like we didn't love her enough or something (which is not true). It's hard to explain and confusing. I want to feel better, but when I do, I feel worse. I told you...it doesn't make any sense.

This is actually taken from an earlier snow. It was just too cute not to share.

We measured 11 inches....yeah, I know what our Michigan family is thinking, but it is a big deal to us :)

The snow was so deep; the dog had to hop like a rabbit.
Christmas Day