On January 4th, Em said she wanted to hug her brother. I said go for it. She said, “No, mom, I want to SQUEEEEEEZE him! I just LOVE him SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much!” I knew the kind of squeeze she meant and I knew it could possibly hurt Noah a little, but I also knew in my heart he was going to be with Jesus soon, and well, she needed to have that kind of hug memory, so, the second picture is of Em squeezing the tar out of her little brother! I know we as parents tend to shelter the new baby from the older sibling to “protect” them, but it’s not like Em had the ability to actually crush Noah’s head, and I knew that every time she saw this picture, she would know the love she was feeling that day. So, HUG AWAY, people! Don’t let the day end today without squeezing really hard! Whenever I hug, I’m rarely the first one to let go…And, DON’T do one of those pat on the back hugs that my old roommate in college used to do! They were very patronizing. If you’re going to hug, if you’re going to love, if it’s a kiss for friendship or one for love, MEAN IT AND DO IT RIGHT!
And, if you’re married, hold the 10 second kiss…it may seem long at first, but you can’t be mad in the midst of it! Jason and I hold the 10 second kiss pretty much every day. I highly suggest it!



26 Responses

  1. Thank you for this. I love how you appreciate all you’ve been given. Nothing new can come into your life until you are grateful for what you have — and that is always something I’m working on – being grateful.

    Isn’t it amazing how the “little” things always turn out to be the big things!! That is what life is all about — it’s always the ‘little’ decisions that make HUGE differences… But the power (and the trick) is having the faith to believe that the little steps or little things ARE significant! If you think little things don’t make a difference try going to bed with a mosquito.

    I will work on the 10 second kiss — and I will definitley have to work on the hugging — I tend to give “butterfly wing” (as my friends call them) hugs with everybody except my husband and baby. and I’m sorry for that. Thank you for your words as always.

    – lurker Randi from NC – 🙂

  2. SO TOTALLY AGREE! I hate those side hugs, too… that’s not a hug! YOu can totally go through the motions of the peck kiss, but the 10 second one, no way….thanks for the reminder on that one.

  3. Thanks for this, Adrienne. I needed to be reminded of this – esp. the 10-second one!!! 😉 I agree with you on not letting go first, and hugging like you mean it. Fake hugs are worse than no hug at all, I think. Thanks for sharing your time, your thoughts, and your heart with us. I am learning much from you. We continue to pray for you and your family daily.

    In Christ,

  4. I had forgotten about the 10 second kiss! Just last night laying in bed, Jim and I were discussing why we don’t “smooch” as much as we used to…this reminder and goal will definitely help us out. Thanks for allowing God to use you to share and invest in people (specifically, me).

  5. I totally agree with you on that one!! Fortunately as far as big hugs and kisses go, I have always been a total mush-ball with my kids to the point my three year old tells me,”stop, mommy!” LOL and my 8 year old say’s,”mom, your embarrassing me!” lol I can’t ever seem to love on them enough! Now the 10 second kiss is something that my husband and I need work on!! Thanks for the reminder!! Love the pics of Em and Noah, they’re gorgeous as ever!

    Paula and Family

  6. I am very happy that Em got to squeeeeeeeeeeze her baby! You may never know what that means to her. We don’t always get to see what children carry in their hearts. Well I best get squeeeeeeeezing!


  7. ha…we used to call those kind of hugs “Non hugs” because they weren’t really hugs at all!

    I have started calling people out on those kinds of hugs and demanding a re-do hug with more effort. It seems to work! 🙂

    Holly in Golden, CO

  8. And every time OTHERS see that photo, they, too, will know just how much love Em was feeling for Noah, too. It’s so evident! A great picture, Ade.

  9. So sweet.

    After I bawled my eyes out yesterday, reading your blog till almost 4 am, ‘Papa Bear’ stirred when I was coming to bed. He was so patient to let me babble a little about what I’d read (at that ungodly hour). I only started to cry when I told him that you also have a 4 yr old little girl. I love the things you share that show the special grace that God has given her. You are all an inspiration to so many. It’s beautiful to see God glorified, in the midst of your tragedy.

    . . .And you can bet I did some extra smooching on my little guys today.

  10. Oh Adrienne, you never cease to amaze me with your wisdom, or should I say that God never ceases to amaze me, by working through you.

    I am a smoocher and a lover to my kids, but not a very good 10 second kisser to my hubby! I promise to work on that today!

    As always your babies are beautiful! Much love and hugs to you and your family!


  11. I’m guilty of those “non hugs”. Thank you for sharing this!!!

    My oldest loves smothering his baby with love. He can’t put it into words how Emily can but it is amazing. Just lately I’ve been able to leave them in the same room alone together for a few minutes knowing that Turner will be okay!!

    Thank you for making me smile today and posting such beautiful pictures of your children!

  12. Thanks for the great pics! Em is totally in the moment and the love is evident. She will treasure that picture when she is older. Thanks for reminding us of the little things in life. I agree wtih Tammi in the above post, I am a lover and smoocher with my daughter. But am lacking in that departement with my husband. I am going to try the 10 second kiss with him! But I can say I am a hugger by nature, but so many people now days are not. Thanks again for sharing your wisdom with us. Looking forward to your next entry.
    God Bless!
    Kris in Troup, Texas

  13. What a great memory for Em to have for when she gets older! Thank you for the reminder on the 10 sec kiss, this is something I need to work on more also! As far as the hug, if someone is going to give one of those little “pat on the back” hugs I’d rather not even get one! Hugging is just that……squeeeeeeeezing the daylights out of the other person! (Ok maybe not squeezing them THAT hard) but giving them a hug like a hug is suppose to be!

  14. Adrienne,
    Thanks so much for this post! I am a definite “HUGGER” and always verbally expressive with my feelings, as well. I have always wanted people to know how I feel b/c life is so short and not one of us is guaranteed tomorrow on Earth (thank you LORD for an eternity in Heaven though!!). I learned this lesson at a very young age when my Daddy died of Systemic Lupus complications. All my life, I have wondered what his touch felt like or his voice sounded like (I was only 2 years old when he died). I long for those memories and long to meet him in Heaven. I have one picture of him holding me and it’s my favorite!! (Hey, I was the third daughter…I suppose I should be thankful to have ANY pictures of me!! HAHA) I imagine that this will be the picture that sweet little Em will hang on to forever and hold that memory of her “SQUEEZE” with her baby brother in her heart! God Bless You both for allowing her that opportunity! Take care~~~ You are in my prayers!!!


  15. I had my 3 year old god-daughter today. She loves to sit on my lap when I am on line and when checking your blog she saw the two photos you posted and said “oooh! that girl loves that baby lots huh?”

    I explained to her that Em was baby Noah’s big sister and that she will give her brother smooches like Em (Her mother is expecting a baby boy next month). She doesn’t understand yet but after reading your blog I can’t wait until she does.

    The things you allowed Em to be a part of is going to mean more then anything in this world when she is older.

    And I agree smooches and hugs are so important. I sent my girl home with a tummy full of cookies and big red cheeks!


  16. Okay, so I did the 10 second kiss with my hubby tonight!!!He was almost embarrassed as was I since we always do the normal quick peck on the lips or cheek!(after 15 years together you wouldn’t think a little kiss would make us blush!lol) We giggled at each other like we were high schoolers again..lol It was fun and we are going to try to keep that up! Thanks Adrienne for the idea!!

    Paula and Family

  17. Thank you again for sharing … I bawled my eyes out when I saw that pic of Noah and Em, I stared at it for ages … and read what you said plenty time!!

    I am often guilty of non-hugs and pecks … I will make an effort to not be guilty of that anymore and I will do so until it is not an effort anymore – it should really come naturally – to EVERYONE!!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!! You have opened my eyes – just when I thought they could not be opened any wider!

    Love you all of you!

  18. Thank you for sharing those pictures! I’m glad Em got to SQUEEZE Noah! She looks like she was loving every minute of it!

    Also, I couldn’t agree more with your comments on the hugging and kissing. I hate when my husband is in a hurry and does a quick hug. I always tell him I want a REAL hug and he just laughs and does it right!

  19. “And, DON’T do one of those pat on the back hugs”

    AMEN! Those drive me nuts.

    Hug like you mean it!!! BIG SQUEEZES to you, Adrienne and Em and Jason too!

  20. Yes! Those hugs when you give a little part of yourself away. I keep warning everyone back home my hugs may be suffocating. I have missed them so much and have so much more of me to give now.

    Actually, was just talking about this kind of hug this week. One day I was really needing a touch from God and I not only got one of those kind of hugs, but 8 from all of my students. Don’t get me wrong I get hugs from them every day, they hug me in the morning and I don’t let them out the door until I give them one at the end of the day. But this one day, in the middle of it when I needed God the most…..they ALL hugged me with a little bit of themselves.

    And don’t forget, you all have hugs I need to give you from each one of my students. They mention that at least once a week.

    Now for the 10 second kiss, that I look forward to in the future……..actually thinking may have to try 20 seconds or more.

    Again, thank you for you. Your in our prayers. May God hug you in many ways today.

  21. Everyday I come on to see if you have posted a new blog. Today, I am so very happy to see this one. All anybody needs in this world is a little love. No, love does not cure, but it sure does make things in this life more pleasant. Please continue to post blogs…even if you feel you are done…I would feel sad for it to all come to an end. Your words and Noah’s life are nothing short of inspiring and miraculous!!! I’ve never met you, nor do I and many of these other people leaving comments know you personally, but it is simply amazing how God connects people for some reasons that are just unexplainable.

    Mary Geeslin

  22. I can almost feel that hug myself. The look on her face says it all. What a great memory! I must run… I have some hugs to share.

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