Celebrating Seven!

June 12, 2014

claire's bday2

“Happy Birthday Claire,” I whisper to her as she wakes to greet her seventh year of living the miracle that is her life. She smiles immediately and says “Am I seven?” And so begins her happy day of  birth.

But the truth is, I don’t celebrate this day. Birth day  is a bitter sweet memory.On that day I was happy,but the medical professionals were not. I was positive,but the  medical professionals were not. I cried tears of joy when I saw her sweet little face, and medical professionals reminded me that my joy would be fleeting…her life would be short lived.
Seven years later I sit in full view of the miracle before me. I fight the haunting of those days and choose to see all the happy of this day. She is the gift of this day, she is the joy that prevailed. She is the reason our lives have been made whole. We can’t listen to horror stories,or dismal words of a medical world that sometimes does not believe that God is bigger than any of all this.

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Truth be told I don’t celebrate Claire’s “birth day.”

I celebrate the very first breath that she was never supposed to breathe, I celebrate each and every moment of the life that God has placed in my presence.  I celebrate a life that was never supposed to be of quality.  I celebrate her full beautiful life today,because there are no guarantees of what tomorrow holds…that is what makes today and everyday a very precious celebration.

The truth about today is that I celebrate Claire’s life just as any other day and I see her proving that God is bigger than any of all this.

And as she fell to sleep this evening, she was smiling still, asking “Am I seven?” I said, “yes,you are seven.”  Closing her eyes with a sleepy smile she whispers “seven.”

Hello God in the celebration of today and the sleepy whispers of a growing miracle…Hello Butter



Claire's bday1

Goodbye Friday Lights

October 28, 2013

I see it in your eyes as you are standing there after the last home football game. You have a knowing and I can see it there as we hug on you after the last of the crowd goes by. It’s friday night, it’s the ending of a season in your life and you are soaking in the last moments of it. With clear eyes and full heart you are saying goodbye to high school football.
I wonder if you hear my past words somewhere in your mind. “It’s your gift,”  I’ve repeated those words for years now.
When you were just months into the very first season of football. I said them. A mother that tries to preach with encouraging words since she really doesn’t know what playing on that field is like. “It’s your God-given gift. We all have been given talent from above. God makes us each unique, gifted with a talent to use in this world and I think your’s is football.”

A mother can encourage with words like these and I’ve said them often over the years as you’ve grown from that small little football player with the white cleats when everyone else wore black ones.You had style from the start. You were called “White Shoes” by a beloved coach in those early years. Those shoes stood out so that my worried eyes could easily pick you out of a pile of boys all sprawled out on that field.  I’d see the white shoes pop right back upright and my heart breathed relief each time you’d keep on running. And always after my  proud words used  to encourage you’ve  been humble. No matter the points scored, no matter the game played, always and still humble even as a senior shining under the Friday night light.


Still wearing those white shoes to honor that sadly missed coach who was called home to heaven too soon. I see it in your clear eyes and full heart, you are saying goodbye to high school football  as you think of all those little eagle moments. Your eyes show the knowing that lessons learned on the gridiron have gone way beyond what the score board shows. You know God works in ways you will never understand. Like the calling to heaven not only that little eagle coach but also a too young, much loved team-mate. Life is full of loss and saying goodbye is hard.


And while your team shows amazing character by the never quit attitude and the amount of heart played with each play,still you know that it’s not really about winning or losing. You say “YOLO.”  I say it’s about using the one life God’s given you to live as full as you can because that’s how God would have it, living full in the gift. He gave you talents to live life full, to run fast, to play hard, to never give up and to just keep living. To keep popping right back up no matter how knocked down you feel. No matter the hurt of all the loss,games, coach, friend, loss is hard and it hurts. But God is always there.  In all seasons.   


And in this Senior season God would have it that those white shoes may not have carried you to the goal of a state championship season. But  instead, those white shoes have taken you from a small sometimes scared little boy, to a young man filled with courage, character, heart, grit and pride of team. You play for The United Eagles. Because united is how your team plays. Always together, a brotherhood of boys learning life is to be lived with a heart full, and the huge amount of courage it takes to keep getting up after you’ve been on the losing end of a hard-fought game. With clear eyes full heart you are saying goodbye to high school football.

So, as this season comes to a close and our Friday nights will never be under the lights again, I will look back on these days and remember a humble clear-eyed full heart boy filled with a love for his team, a heart filled with a love for His God and I will remember how quickly that young man grew up right before my eyes while running hard in those white shoes.

We will miss the season you shined under the lights, but look forward to  the plans God has for you in the next season. With tears in my eyes and my full heart hurting just a little, I say goodbye with you to this football season and…hello God in the next season of life without White Shoes on the football field…



Photography courtesy of Snapshot Reiter

Copyright © 2011-2013 Hello Butter images & content

Best of Living

June 12, 2013

girls relay

The lump in my throat swelled as we rushed into the front gates of that stadium. Fans all yelling for teams running around the track, excitement thick in the air.
I see the blue & gold colors flash by as our girls team place in this race of whole state. Believing is to Be Living.

And more tears well in my eyes as we are witness to the first wheelchair race in history at a high school level. Claire cheers as they go by, my heart soars with hope knowing there is a chance she can compete one day.Believing is to Be Living.

A weekend in Columbus full of the accomplishment of many young athletes and coaches too as our own coach is honored for years of dedication to this sport of track & field.Believing is to Be Living.

Then to see medals placed around the necks of a poised team of four boys also dressed in blue and gold. United they are. Proud parents we are. Hard work and determination to achieve their own piece of history. A race to a set goal, just shy of reaching the record they stand on the podium to shine smiles that melt hearts. Moments to cherish, smiles to remember, races to show that Believing is to Be Living.


And today marks six years of racing with determination,faith and goals that were said to be impossible. But a special little soul has never quit running,never quit believing…She is six years old today.



Happy Birthday Claire! Thank you for inspiring me to believe because the best comes when you decide to not just believe but to be living.  Be Living full in the moments God has blessed us with. Believing is to Be Living.


Quote from Ann Voskamp @ www.aholyexperience.com

Claire’s Birthday Pictures by Kaptured by Kelly

Field of Laughter

May 28, 2013

These four of mine, they trudge out to the middle of that hay field to satisfy a mother’s need for remembering moments. My sister looking through the viewfinder seeing us all laugh at posing just so, and smiling on cue.


She is Kaptured by Kelly and capture she does. Capturing moments this mother’s heart needs. Not just for the picture to be framed, but for the laughter of the day to sink deep into my soul, so that on days we are apart I can remember those special smiles we had out there in that field.

Small moments made big in my search for simple joy. Simple pure joy that fills a heart that overflows love. A kind of love that spills out when there are tough days. On days that we are separated by space or days when there is an empty house quiet and still.

On those days I will remember laughter in the field and remember God.



How much He has blessed our lives with these four. He placed them together in this world for a reason. He knows their hearts and knew they were a perfect fit to be siblings. I knew this long ago. Only did not realize how much they would rise to the occasion of being special.

On that day the youngest quit breathing they were there. There to see her lying on the ground with life fading. They were there to wait at the end of the lane to show the ambulance the way back to her. And they knew how much I needed them to be strongly calm, so that when I flew in the helicopter with her I knew they would be ok.


Hard days like that help us grow even more into the family God wants us to be. He carefully chose each of us to be together through hard, sad, happy, laughing days.

So, when the girls jumped onto the brother’s back, I smiled knowing that is exactly how God would have it. Siblings sharing the load of a world together with love, with God…four siblings growing in a field of laughter.



Copyright © 2011-2013 Hello Butter images & content


Days Like This

March 18, 2013

Nearly 7 months later we show up to a large exercise room with therapists that have become like family.

That’s how it is in a world of special.

You can find a familiar love in unlikely places. Like doctors offices, hospitals and physical therapy exercise rooms. Where braces, walkers and total gyms are excitedly anticipated after a long break off, needed time away from physical work outs since seizures stole progress away. But, we brave the risk of over exertion, tired seizure attacks and happily meet up with familiar friends that also happen to be an important part of making her world a more mobile place.

It’s hard work for her when she returns. She moves muscles that are not willing to. She says “I can’t do it” to her therapy friends and they say “We won’t hear the cant word”. She says, “it’s hard” and again the response is encouraging,

“I will ask you to do hard things, but you have to work hard to grow”.

She smiles big and puts her head down to focus on those weak muscles and with determination there is ever so slight movement in tired places. She smiles even bigger knowing she can even through the hard.

We all need days like this, hard but necessary. Working through hard to grow more.Grow more into less of who we think we are and grow more into who God knows we are. It takes hard days like these to see weakness in muscle slowly progress to the places of strength that only God knows exist. We need to journey through hard days to discover a strength that results in living full,simple peace.

God grows hearts through hard days…


Hello God…Hello Butter

Butter Bling?

February 8, 2013

Camera pics 279
Remember when I said we were going to make jewelry?
Well, we did.

Camera pics 278
Camera pics 189

I found it very fun to do, but the quality of my work was not good enough to share with everyone. So, while it is a nice hobby it is not a good business for me.

However, I did find a very nice company doing a way better job than the Martin family!
I have a website that allows you to go online to shop for the good stuff.

If you would like to visit this site and order I can give a 60% discount, just in time for Valentines Day, if you order by Monday.
Here’s the website:

All you need is to add this vendors code at check out, then I will place the order, take a payment and ship or deliver to you. Seems simple enough, let me know if you have any questions.
Vendors Code: PUR91089

The website has a side bar that includes a Holiday tab, you can find Valentines Day jewelry there, it’s a good place to start!

A little bling in the winter might help chase the blues away? Although, I dont need bling to sparkle because I have this:

winter Claire

As Always, saying Hello Butter and now adding Hello Butter Bling!

(I know,Butter Bling a little cheesy, but I had to say it)

Whisper a Prayer

December 25, 2012

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,
every one was stirring when suddenly she became quiet as a mouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
when she started to have a seizure and it’s just not fair.

As we fought the urge to arise with a clatter,
we did not rush to the ER because we knew what was the matter.

After awhile she started to awake and her wondering eyes did appear,
She twinkled that bright smile, that is ever so dear.

We took a deep breath and remembered to say,
Thank you God for Jesus and his birthday.

We retire to bed with no signs of seizure in sight,
we are happy to say Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight.

And if you dont mind please whisper a prayer to keep Claire seizure free,
So she can experience all that Christmas is meant to be.

Always reminded of how blessed that we are,
Our family of love the very best gift by far.


Scars Bared

November 26, 2012

Her shirt off and scars bared, no care in the world, only reading. Or imagining or just plain living in a world of five years old. She has learned far more than doctors diagnosed. She would be blind, deaf and unable to speak are words that echoed in my mind for awhile. Until she started to live, breathe and overcome or hurdle over all that stood and stands in her way.

A much needed breath of thanksgiving , after a holiday seizure tried to steal it away.

There in this morning sun, she reminds me of hope, hope for days of joy, peace and a love that transcends all understanding.

It is God here in this morning. God that shines through her naked, scarred body to read words that only she can see. Oh how grateful I am for these everyday miracles, smiling small moments of brilliant light. God’s light through her. Small moments big …Moments of Hello God Given Miracles…Hello Butter

1000 gifts…adding this and still counting…


© 2012 hellobutter

Claire for President

November 6, 2012

Maybe she can run for the President of the United States one day?

Small is Big

September 22, 2012

 What will I remember?

When my eyes have become tired and mind fading? What will I remember about these days of living full? Of life that passes so quick, of school routines,volleyball matches and football games played? When the nest is empty and the house is quiet and still?

What will I remember?

 I really won’t remember the avalanche of homework and paperwork sprawled throughout the house, or late night suppers thrown together, dirty dishes and clothes piled high. Mini vans full of left over food,gear and Gatorade bottles empty.

  Instead, I will remember the firsts of all the moments a kindergartener has. Her first day of school, her first teachers,the making of her first friends and her first smiles of a happy heart filled with dreams and  learning.

full of smiles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Instead, I will remember the smiling first days of a junior high daughter,exciting and full of all things new. The changing of class,the learning of new games and new routines.

  I really won’t remember those news stories in the morning paper,that would make me wonder about one reporters views of hard-fought games.  Hard fought games under the Friday night lights that seems so big, but really in this full life how big is it?

Instead, I will remember my mom heart full of nerves but always calmed by the knowledge that God is on the football field too.

It is the small moments of the game that are the biggest. It is the small moments of this game I will remember. I will remember the small moments of Fridays with bananas and yellow tape and scrubbing white cleats clean,taking priority. The hugging of a player excited to go to the lights, the quick word of encouragement always with a “play like its your last” theme.

I really won’t remember the score, or the yards gained, or passes thrown or even the news headlines.

Instead, I will remember the heart, the character, and the witnessing of God making boys to men. God blessing the game with boys all heart, that grow up playing hard and running fast to a life that is full.

A life full of small moments made big.

Small moments of team helping each other up when they are down, moments of blood, sweat and tears. Small moments of wrapping my arms around a young man learning to win in more ways than a scoreboard will ever show.

I will remember the game,the player,the kindergartener, the 7th grader…all being full of small moments big and just how big God is, especially in the small. Especially in the living full.

I will remember to say Hello God…Hello Butter

© 2012 hellobutter




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