::pack:: of fixations

life after tragedy. living while grieving. love and triplets.


One year

I keep thinking back to where I was just one year ago.  I was in a very dark place.  The pain, it wasn't going away, it wasn't getting better...when was it going to get better? 

I needed to run away.  I needed to run period.  I couldn't run, I could hardly walk.  Everything hurt, everywhere hurt.  My mind, my body, and my heart ached.  When I read this post that I wrote one year ago it still makes me cry.  

How are things one year later?  

My body and my heart still hurt.  I still miss him the same.  I'm sad because my daughters won't grow up with two older brothers, instead only one.  

Hope.  I have hope now.  I just keep pressing forward and slowly you don't have to push yourself as hard.  Things are getting easier and easier.  I've found the beat of our new daily routine and fully embrace every minute of it.  I'm making and washing bottles again (a whole lot of them) just like I was 2 years ago.  Not for Colum, but for my three beautiful daughters.  

Laughter comes much easier now.  I no longer label myself as the Mother who lost a son in a tragedy who must stay strong.  I'm now the mother of five, three of which are triplets, a magical 5 year old son, and one precious little angel in heaven.  The simple repetition of every day life as a Mother feels different now, I enjoy it and have a new found appreciation.  It's everything I want right now.  It's the most important thing to me in this moment.

I LOVE where we live, and am happy to bloom where I'm planted.  I look forward to raising my kids here in this community.  The days are somehow brighter here, people seem nicer, it feels happier.  Perhaps, I was right in my need to run away...just not quite as far as I'd thought.  I want to try to run again, a few of you have asked.  It was too painful on my knees.  I'm trying something new for pain management, something a little hokey but, I'm feeling some improvement and I'm hopeful.

The girls are growing.  Holland barely fits in Newborn size clothes now.  They are staying awake a little longer.  Their eyes are starting to be able to see the world for the first time.  They stare in pure fascination at the back of the couch while being burped.  We still can't tell Wren and Dale apart.  We are so in love with them and enjoy getting to know them more each day.  

I still can't believe how much has changed in just one year.  One year ago I don't think I could have ever predicted myself being here.  If I could go back in time and tell myself one thing it would be, 

it will get easier, there's still more happiness to come....one day at a time.

Wren, Dale, and Holland

Wren & Dale...so much alike!  Being held by Aunt Bobbi.

trying to master this for night-time feedings..."the prop"

can't forget a few pics of the handsome men in my life.

Ryan was walking around carrying Dale and I hurried and grabbed my phone and snapped this...I love this picture (Dale)

Quick stop at a neighbors during our first family walk through the neighborhood.

My beautiful Holland!


time of my life

The entire Pack clan have been fighting colds including my little minions!  We are slowly getting better.  I'm going to try and squeeze in a nap but I wanted to show you some of the pictures from the amazing photo shoot we got to be a part of.  It was at Busath Studio & Gardens and the photographer was Carrie Ryan.  She was incredible to work with.  Upon planning the shoot over the phone she asked if there was anything special or home-made we'd like to include.  Unbeknownst to her we'd been through a terrible tragedy and I began to sob hysterically as I explained a quick version of our story and all about the Colum doll.  She made me feel very comfortable and we had the best experience.  I feel so lucky right now! Lately, I feel like I should probably head straight to Vegas.  But Vegas can't give me what I have right now inside these here walls.  They posted a few of the pics on their blog (click here).  We were all sobbing while they were taking different shots of the last one on there.  

All of my kids...all 5 of them.  It's just beautiful.  I will share more soon.

I heard a song while driving today.  It's words were beautiful and really hit home right now.

It's something unpredictable but in the end it's right.  I hope you have the time of your life.

Having the time of my life right now!



I stole this from my niece's instagram and reposted it.  I changed my instagram username to Packx7 if you'd like to follow me!

I've missed typing on this keyboard.  Every single day I intend to update but the day somehow always gets away from me.  I think it has something to do with having triplets ;)

First order of business is how we chose each of their names.  There's something special with each of them.

Holland Raquel- I used to have a client whose name was Holland.  I loved it.  Ryan doesn't remember me asking him early on in my pregnancy if he liked the name Holland and him telling me no, but it happened and I scratched it off the list.  Later...much later I asked him again and he liked it.  It's been a top contender ever since.  Raquel, is actually my real name.  Kelly is just a nickname ever since the day I was born.  I've always liked Raquel better and have even tried to go by Raquel when starting new jobs but it just doesn't work out when I refer to myself as Kelly and then people ask me who Kelly is.  So there you have it, Holland Raquel Pack.

Wren Dove- Dove is pretty obvious.  And I LOVE IT!  For people who are new to reading my blog, Colum's name means Little Dove.  Wren has been a favorite name of mine since I first heard it.  Also, one of my very very favorite nurses (Megan) on floor 6 (Ortho trauma) was pregnant while taking care of us.  She later named her baby girl Wren.  Wren was definitely high up there on my favorites list the whole time.  Wren has quickly earned the nickname "Wren Bird" around here and something tells me it's gonna stick.

Dale Jane- Jane has been my favorite girl name since 10th grade.  But recently Finn has had quite a few Jane's in his classes and I didn't want to risk her having to go by Jane P.  About 4 months before our accident Ryan's Father passed away.  He died way too young, 2 weeks after turning 66 years old.  His name was Dale.  I was just 18 when Ryan and I first started dating and was so regretfully shy back then, especially to my boyfriend's parents.  Dale wasn't one for long conversations either, but showed me what a beautiful man he was in other ways.  Sometimes I'd drive up to the city of Alpine and hang out with Ryan at his parent's house in his basement.  It would get late and we'd say goodbye and I'd go outside and start walking down the driveway towards my car.  Almost every time I'd hear the screen door shut a few seconds behind me and turn around to see Ryan walking down the porch steps.  He'd look down sorta embarrassed like and say, "my Dad is making me come out so I can walk you out to your car".  (Ya, I'm crying right now).  Another little thing Dale did that I didn't realize for years after he'd gotten sick was always defrost a boneless, skinless chicken breast for me at their family dinners.  I don't eat pork.  And the Pack's sure cook a lot of ham.  I never expect to be catered to, but every time there it would be.  Just one chicken breast set out for me.  My own family didn't even remember I didn't eat pork and it meant so much to me.  The chicken breasts stopped shortly after we'd gotten married.  I'd always assumed it was Ryan's Mom who set out the chicken for me all those years.  We were driving to his parents house once and I was joking about how now that we were married, the chicken had stopped and they didn't have to impress me anymore (terrible I know).  It was in that very moment I realized it was him.  He had gotten sick and that's when the chicken stopped.  I got really emotional knowing it was him all that time.  I wrote a post about him here shortly after he died.  I will never forget these little silent acts of love and am so proud one of my daughters carries his name...first and last!  Colum is actually buried with his Grandpa, it brings me some peace that my baby's body is not alone.

Their little personalities are all starting to come out.  Holland has the loudest cry.  She's all business when it comes to feedings.  She has Colum's face but not his eyes.  She's the most alert.  She's our little grunter.  Often whatever side she's sleeping on that eye gets really puffy.  I noticed it one night during a feeding and then Ryan mentioned the same thing the next day.  Ryan didn't remember until I reminded him that Colum's used to do the same thing.  She is definitely a lot like her big brother in a lot of ways and I won't be surprised if she growls when she wakes up when she gets a little older.  

Wren, is the patient one.  She wonders why every one is always in such a hurry.  She usually takes longer to eat her bottle than the other two combined. She likes to stop and smell the flowers, look around, and flex her fingers in between sucking.  She's the smallest of the three and is delicate with her movements.  She eats like a lady and has the quietest cry with a side of rasp. She always sucks on my face when she's hungry and I love it! 

Dale is in between Holland and Wren on the patience scale.  She's probably our best burper.  She snorts when she's hungry.  My niece early on found a freckle/mole on her scalp and we were so excited for this was a way to tell her and Wren apart.  But then we gave them their first real bath and the mole washed away.  Luckily, Dale is a few ounces bigger then Wren.  And there's something different/opposite with their nostrils if you look really really close that makes me wonder if they are mirror image twins.  But for now we are very careful not to get them mixed up.

We went to Snowbird for Oktoberfest yesterday.  2 baby wearers and 1 in a stroller...it felt good to get out!

A moment I captured of Finn playing with Wren.  It made my heart so happy.

Wren, Dale, and Holland.  Rarely awake at the same time.

Home from a Doctors appointment.  I try to remember why taking just one baby was so hard.

The most amazing photo shoot we got to be apart of!  Notice the Colum doll Finn is holding.  Can't wait to post these!

Look closely and you can see the mole to the left of Dale's bow.  The mole that washed away.

Selfie of me holding Dale at their Dr appointment

Daddy and Wren

Wren in a size Newborn, it was like a potato sack.  She's put on a few ounces since this picture.  Her yawn kills me.

Finn holding Dale
Bobbi, the best sister in law ever.  Here holding Wren.  Bobbi (Ryan's Sister) and JoAnn (Ryan's Mom) are my sanity and saving grace right now!  I don't know what I'd do without them.  One of them has been staying here and getting up for feedings, helping with cleaning and laundry.  Thank you so much ladies!
Holland Raquel

Can't believe they were all in my tummy.

My family.
***I really hope this post makes sense.  I'm obviously exhausted.  Please excuse any mistakes in all my future posts.