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little sister

No, not yet.  This isn’t THE post.  But any day now.  Or any minute.  And I think I’m ready. I wince as I say that because they sound like famous last words.

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My To Do list has gotten a bit shorter.  I have my Babywise in hand. The miscellany catch-all basket with breast pump and burp cloths is next to my bed.  A freshly laundered blanket and bumper handmade by my mom is tucked into the cradle Grandpa made for my little sister years ago.  Now bring on the chaos.

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A little sister.  I wonder if Evyn understands what’s about to happen.  If only she could get as excited as I am about the gift she’s about to receive.  Her little sister.  No one else can say that.  I’ve been trying to prepare her.  We’ve read baby sister books, including this charming one by Tomie dePaola that I bought from a library sale.  And when we visited the pumpkin patch I helped her pick out Big Sister and Little Sister.

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She knows there’s a baby in the tummy.  She knows the term "little sister."  But I guess the rest she’ll just have to experience and discover for herself.  The sharing.  The fighting and hair-pulling and arguing for space in the bathroom.  The loving and hating and and jealousy and protectiveness.

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Like all relationships, I know theirs will be unique – different than what I shared with Lora.  But I hope in some ways its the same.  I hope theirs is a refuge.  A sense of belonging to each other like they belong to no one else, and a comfort that someone else is in the same boat when things get hectic around here.

This summer we found a picture of Lora in a bright, tacky frame that only Lora herself would have picked out.  A hot pink vinyl flower shape that made me smile.  She was in her high school cap and gown.  Exactly one year before she died. Evyn made the same mistake everyone else does when they see Lora’s picture.  "It’s Mommy!" she said.  I explained it was her Aunt Lora.  And that "mommy had a little sister once, too."  Which made me choke to say.  I used to wince when I heard those words – little sister.  It was painful to run across them in gift shops and book stores and even sometimes in conversation when friends would relate their own sister stories. But over the last few months, I’ve quit wincing and started embracing those words for the serendipitous little miracle they are about to become.  I love hearing E.’s three-year-old voice tell everyone "little sister" is in her mommy’s tummy with such pride.  I know that pride myself. 

Eighteen years was short by my economy, but long enough in God’s measurement.  And though I’m sure being a sister doesn’t make me an expert at raising sisters, I have eighteen years of memories in my heart’s bank to share and draw from. That’s a pretty cool blessing.  Lora would think so, too.

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The NON-Superwoman - As a big sister, I understand the sister bond and am excited for your little one. Sounds like you are all prepared for your little one. I need to jump on it–we are so behind in prepping for our new addition.

Dawn - I was not blessed with a sister. My first two children are daughters…and I was so delighted for them and continue to be…as I watch their close relationship as adults. My last two (sons) are twins and they are not close. That saddens me.
May your girls enjoy a unique bond as they grow up together….and may you cherish your special memories always..of your dear Lora.
Hoping all goes well with the delivery. Can’t wait for the good news.
xo

Jennifer Brimmage - Absolutely precious, Crystal.
A love like no other.
I don’t have a sister, but I’m so thankful that my daughters do.
Lots of love,
Jen

Sarah Byrum - This is my favorite picture. Look at your little face, you’re trying to be very careful. You look too sweet. Thinking of you lots while this new little life becomes yours.

Sarah Byrum - This is my favorite picture. Look at your little face, you’re trying to be very careful. You look too sweet. Thinking of you lots while this new little life becomes yours.

Mom - You were–and ARE–the very best sister to our Lora. There is no “past tense” my girl, as God is beyond time, and now, so is she.
I must admit an experience just this last weekend. I was “prompted” to buy this new baby a gift, ‘in Lora’s memory’, and did so–but as I looked up from her gift to Baby #2, I saw a bib with the embroidery, “My Aunt Loves Me”….. and I ‘heard’ a voice, “Buy it, Mom”… but couldn’t. I couldn’t take the chance that it would hurt your heart.
Still. KNOW that Lora “thinks so” [about The Blessing], and KNOW that she IS watching over this little one [and will continue to do so], and her relationship with Evyn. There definitely *will* be similarities, probably more than you could imagine, my love. (((hugs)))
~ mom

Mom - You were–and ARE–the very best sister to our Lora. There is no “past tense” my girl, as God is beyond time, and now, so is she.
I must admit an experience just this last weekend. I was “prompted” to buy this new baby a gift, ‘in Lora’s memory’, and did so–but as I looked up from her gift to Baby #2, I saw a bib with the embroidery, “My Aunt Loves Me”….. and I ‘heard’ a voice, “Buy it, Mom”… but couldn’t. I couldn’t take the chance that it would hurt your heart.
Still. KNOW that Lora “thinks so” [about The Blessing], and KNOW that she IS watching over this little one [and will continue to do so], and her relationship with Evyn. There definitely *will* be similarities, probably more than you could imagine, my love. (((hugs)))
~ mom

lara - beautiful pics of you and lora. my sis and i were very close growing up, too. i’m happy that E. will have a little sis to love too. :)

lara - beautiful pics of you and lora. my sis and i were very close growing up, too. i’m happy that E. will have a little sis to love too. :)

charlotte - finally catching up with you…can’t believe it’s almost baby time! wishing you all the best with everything to come. she’s a lucky little one to be yours! xoC

charlotte - finally catching up with you…can’t believe it’s almost baby time! wishing you all the best with everything to come. she’s a lucky little one to be yours! xoC

Keri - I am wiping tears from my face, crystal, as I read this. Tears of joy for Evyn and the new baby about to join your family and tears for you that Lora isnt physically here w/you. What a special bond you share. I say that in the present tense, b/c I know she is with you.
Keri

Keri - I am wiping tears from my face, crystal, as I read this. Tears of joy for Evyn and the new baby about to join your family and tears for you that Lora isnt physically here w/you. What a special bond you share. I say that in the present tense, b/c I know she is with you.
Keri

Chris - I pray that you and your beautiful family are blessed beyond measure when your new little one arrives. It sounds as if your oldest daughter will be a fantastic big sister, by her mother’s example.

Chris - I pray that you and your beautiful family are blessed beyond measure when your new little one arrives. It sounds as if your oldest daughter will be a fantastic big sister, by her mother’s example.

Ruth - My own “little sister” passed away in August at the too young age of 24. She left behind 2 children though, her daughter is almost 7 and her son is 4.5. She was only 18 mos younger than me, so I have very few memories or even photographs that do not include her. The memories are painful but bittersweet because at least we did have her those 24 yrs.
My daughter will not have a sister as we are quite DONE with our 3. But it is so great to watch her 2 older brothers with her. My oldest is 3.5 yrs older, my second is 14 mos to the day older than his sister. It is so amazing to watch them play together, to see my almost 7 yr old squat down and talk to her in a little sing song voice, asking if she wants something or is ok. When we brought her home she was instantly HIS baby, to hold, feed bottles to, even attempt to change her clothes and diapers. If she falls down or is scared they wrap her in hugs and tell her it’s ok. Sometimes that is enough and she doesn’t even need her mommy because she has her brothers. I think observing the sibling relationship really adds a whole other layer of love for your children. It’s just so sweet and heart squeezing to watch them together. It can be trying at times but I wouldn’t give it up for the world.

Ruth - My own “little sister” passed away in August at the too young age of 24. She left behind 2 children though, her daughter is almost 7 and her son is 4.5. She was only 18 mos younger than me, so I have very few memories or even photographs that do not include her. The memories are painful but bittersweet because at least we did have her those 24 yrs.
My daughter will not have a sister as we are quite DONE with our 3. But it is so great to watch her 2 older brothers with her. My oldest is 3.5 yrs older, my second is 14 mos to the day older than his sister. It is so amazing to watch them play together, to see my almost 7 yr old squat down and talk to her in a little sing song voice, asking if she wants something or is ok. When we brought her home she was instantly HIS baby, to hold, feed bottles to, even attempt to change her clothes and diapers. If she falls down or is scared they wrap her in hugs and tell her it’s ok. Sometimes that is enough and she doesn’t even need her mommy because she has her brothers. I think observing the sibling relationship really adds a whole other layer of love for your children. It’s just so sweet and heart squeezing to watch them together. It can be trying at times but I wouldn’t give it up for the world.

Michelle - Send you warmest wishes! Take care Dear – I wait for THAT post :)

Michelle - Send you warmest wishes! Take care Dear – I wait for THAT post :)

stephanie - crying….reading your blog the past year has given me new appreciation for my sister. we were never close growing up like you describe you and lora, but we are finally able to talk and relate as adults. thanks for sharing. you will LOVE seeing your daughters interact. i am glad i have two sons. they will always have each other. i drill into them that they are each other’s best pals and friends come and go but brothers are forever. it seems to be working so far.

stephanie - crying….reading your blog the past year has given me new appreciation for my sister. we were never close growing up like you describe you and lora, but we are finally able to talk and relate as adults. thanks for sharing. you will LOVE seeing your daughters interact. i am glad i have two sons. they will always have each other. i drill into them that they are each other’s best pals and friends come and go but brothers are forever. it seems to be working so far.

Erin B - I’ve got the brother bond going on and it’s definately different than a sister bond, a bit rougher but Jack Loves his Luke. I envy how gentle Evyn is going to be with her baby sister, girls just have that gentle touch as you can see you had with Lora. You blog always makes me cry when you talk about Lora because your memories are so wonderful and so beautiful. I can’t wait to hear the good news, I better get the phone call like last time. Miss you very much:(

Erin B - I’ve got the brother bond going on and it’s definately different than a sister bond, a bit rougher but Jack Loves his Luke. I envy how gentle Evyn is going to be with her baby sister, girls just have that gentle touch as you can see you had with Lora. You blog always makes me cry when you talk about Lora because your memories are so wonderful and so beautiful. I can’t wait to hear the good news, I better get the phone call like last time. Miss you very much:(

The Goddess - Everytime I read your blog it brings me to tears. This was such a beautiful post (remembering the special relationship with your sister.
I wish you and your family the best as you welcome your new little one.

The Goddess - Everytime I read your blog it brings me to tears. This was such a beautiful post (remembering the special relationship with your sister.
I wish you and your family the best as you welcome your new little one.

Barbara - I came over from sew mama sew for the belt tutorial but stopped for this post. It’s so beautifully written, sad and hopeful at the same time. I have 2 little sisters and one big and maybe don’t appreciate some as I should. Thanks for sharing and good luck with the new little sister.

Barbara - I came over from sew mama sew for the belt tutorial but stopped for this post. It’s so beautifully written, sad and hopeful at the same time. I have 2 little sisters and one big and maybe don’t appreciate some as I should. Thanks for sharing and good luck with the new little sister.

Beth - I am a big sis too, my baby came home from the hospital on my fifth birthday! We are not especially close right now, but I love her to pieces, and can’t imagine life without her! Bless you as you still grieve your sister!
I am trying to “bite my tongue”, but it isn’t working…please check out the website http://www.ezzo.info regarding the Babywise…

Beth - I am a big sis too, my baby came home from the hospital on my fifth birthday! We are not especially close right now, but I love her to pieces, and can’t imagine life without her! Bless you as you still grieve your sister!
I am trying to “bite my tongue”, but it isn’t working…please check out the website http://www.ezzo.info regarding the Babywise…

Crystal - Lora was actually born just the day before my third birthday!
And thank you for the extra reading and concern, Beth. But be assured I am never one to fully adopt and subscribe to ANYone’s philosophy or opinions – Babywise or otherwise. With our first daughter, we used a few basic principles in Babywise and decided the rest for ourselves based on what worked for us and other research – successfully. We’ll do the same again with Baby #2, tempering what we learn from our child with a few basics from the book.

Crystal - Lora was actually born just the day before my third birthday!
And thank you for the extra reading and concern, Beth. But be assured I am never one to fully adopt and subscribe to ANYone’s philosophy or opinions – Babywise or otherwise. With our first daughter, we used a few basic principles in Babywise and decided the rest for ourselves based on what worked for us and other research – successfully. We’ll do the same again with Baby #2, tempering what we learn from our child with a few basics from the book.

Gift of Green - Found you from Sew Mama Sew – thanks for the tutorial and for your blog! Can’t wait to “catch up”.

Gift of Green - Found you from Sew Mama Sew – thanks for the tutorial and for your blog! Can’t wait to “catch up”.

Regina - Remember me? I keep in touch with your mom sometimes and read your blog when I have time. So happy for you about your new baby girl. Your mom emailed me and said she’s being born today! How exciting! PS–We live in the same state now :) I live near Charlotte.

Regina - Remember me? I keep in touch with your mom sometimes and read your blog when I have time. So happy for you about your new baby girl. Your mom emailed me and said she’s being born today! How exciting! PS–We live in the same state now :) I live near Charlotte.