Happy second birthday Shepard and Deacon! Birthdays of loved ones in heaven are a tricky thing. As members of the LDS church, we have received a lot of knowledge regarding heaven and our greater plan that our family holds very dear! We’ve learned that once we are in heaven, our spirits are “grown” and “developed”. Basically the age of a young adult in prime physical condition. Everyone is busy in heaven doing wonderful things as that is their purpose there for now. Can you imagine hanging out with your ancestors, all young and able together?
We’ve also learned through the Gospel it’s part of God’s plan for every little spirit’s body to have an opportunity to, “develop until it reaches the full measure of the stature of its spirit.” Our sweet baby boys will receive their opportunity to return to earth in the Resurrection and will then physically grow up! Amazing, right?? And when they are returned to our arms (oh HAPPY DAY!!!) to finally be raised by Derick and I, we will get to celebrate their birthdays all over again physically with them. This last piece of knowledge is literally life-saving for us. How blessed we feel to be members of the Latter Day Saints church. Life on earth is still unbearably hard at times, but that doesn’t change what I do know and how lucky I feel to be able to know it!
And for anyone who would like a beautiful and more full description of what I’ve tried to briefly share, please read this!! I read it often and cry my face off every time, but it’s just about the most loved piece of literature a mom like me could possess on this earth.
So basically it occurred to me that the twins will get two sets of birthdays. :) And their birthdays for us now are a celebration of the amount of time that’s passed since the joyous day they were born into our eternal family. So with this year’s gift from Shepard and Deacon, I created a print sharing the wonderful message of our eternal family. Displaying this phrase in the home is common for LDS families, and it’s truly what the entire gospel hinges on, our belief that families can be eternal! And I wanted to create a print that had a bit more modern style to fit a gallery space I’m putting together. For now everything I’ve been collecting is just piled up on the mantle, including this vintage sky diving photograph I scored for $2 thrifting. Ha ha.
I loved the personalization of adding the boys’ names at the bottom. I’m positive this message is something the twins would love to remind our family of daily if they could. Seeing their names and reminders of them around our home are very hard and painful yes, but for me it’s even more painful to have them absent. At least having their presence physically marked in places also brings a little warmth into my heart to hang out with the pain. And for our other boys, they thankfully get to skip some of this pain for now, and they love talking about the twins and having them around our house. :) This choice is completely personal though and not the same for everyone, which of course is more than okay! The only thing anyone can be certain about grief is that every person needs to grieve a million different ways.
So if you also share this style, (not everyone does, and that’s ok!) :) here’s what the print looks like for everyone on the left, and if anyone would like it personalized for their family (it can be ‘love’ anyone of course, whether in heaven or on earth!), then just send me a quick email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be so happy to make that for you. Click here to download the file in all sizes whether you would like to print at home or have it sent somewhere to be printed in either 4X6, 5X7 or 8X10 portrait style. Also of mention, the font used is called Sunshine in My Soul (fittingly enough), and can be found here for free download.
And with all that said about ages and growing, this watercolor painting I had painted for Christmas as the family’s gift from Shepard and Deacon is one of my favourite things in our whole house. :) Sometimes a mama just needs to see a family portrait with all six of her sons in it! It was done by AlovesL Etsy shop and I could not recommend Anna more! Weirdly enough I think all the boys look a bit older in watercolor, so I think this will work awesome to use for our Christmas card next year along with a real photo. Christmas cards and family photos are so hard now, this painting couldn’t be more perfect!
Happy January 14th everyone!