Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Special Surprise Today!

One of the dozen butterflies we released on Jamie's Birthday

Today, we received a letter from our oldest son.  He said it was a project he did in Religion class (have I mentioned how blessed we are to send our children to Catholic school!) 

The yellow ribbon that was tied around the piece of paper should have been a sign of how special it would be.  I opened it and at first glance noticed that it was written on a pink paper with pink roses and butterflies all over it!  Be still my heart, my moody thirteen year old pays attention!!!! 

The letter read:

Dear Mom and Dad,

Your blessings that you have bestowed upon me, have been generous and faithful.
I just want to say, that I love you and always will forever and ever.

I picked a psalm that was for a butterfly and was meant to be.
Blessed be God, who did not refuse me the kindness I sought in prayer.
Psalm 66:20.

Love J,
I Love You

Jamie, our darling butterfly, you are not always just on mommy and daddy's mind, but your sweet older brothers' also! 

And if you are wondering about the butterfly release in the picture,  
We can't say enough about The Butterfly Release Company
We were able to have a special inscription on the "envelopes".  We followed their exact delivery instructions and all of our butterflies arrived intact and made Jamie's 1st Birthday an unbelievable memory!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Jamie's Christmas Tree

   The craziness of the Christmas holidays are upon us.  I am having a tough time this year.  You would think with this "rainbow" baby on its way, that I would be happy.  Again, a perfect example why another little one can't replace the one who is gone.

    A little tree for our Jamie.  I will confess, I made this last Christmas.  I have so many projects in the works, that I don't have a single completed project to share! 

   I thought it was a good one to share considering she is so on my mind this month.  Here's to starting this a second holiday season without her. 

   JJ and I painted this plastic/resin tree that I picked up from Hobby Lobby last year.  We used layers of different pink paints to get different shades of pink.  We hot glued crystal and silver balls on after it dried. Then we used some cool paint called Snow-Tex by Deco Art.  It was so fun and cute to see little, big brother do something for his baby sister.  And it looks great next to her urn in my bedroom.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Rainbow Disappeared in the Clouds

The cross made by JJ's class.  Made a book with scrapbook paper from Jamie's album
A babyloss momma's rainbow baby left us today.  His big sister passed away last year when she arrived too early.  Now he is following her at only 19 weeks.  His little heart went silent today.

His mother's heart is aching.

Why does this matter?   It matters because Baby Button is our Rainbow baby.

What is a Rainbow baby?   "Rainbow Babies" is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn't mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope. 

One of the 25 cards we recieved from his class.

I can't take credit for this most amazing, insightful, and just plain beautiful definition. 

It occurred to me that I have tried to distance myself with this child on its way...sooner than later.  I now realize that I thought if I pretended not to be attached, that it wouldn't matter if something happened to my rainbow.   What a fool I was! 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Birthday Blues

A year ago today, we had a memorial funeral for Jamie.   A year ago yesterday was her due date.  Two days from now is my birthday.

I think I might really hate my birthday now.  I told my husband that I really don't like my birthday anymore.  It brings nothing but disappointment.  And actually, I have never really liked it.

This isn't a new concept for me, me being disappointed.  Growing up in the Chicago/Milwaukee area, the day used to be dingy, dark, and possibly accompanied with cold rain.  As a child, my parents did not have a lot of money.  My gifts were never extravagant.  I never had birthday parties.  But I am okay with that.  I understand the difficulties.

These past 14 years, we have creeped our way further South.  The days are nicer.  But as an adult, I have had the privilege of my family "forgetting" my birthday.  There is more often, than not, an empty mailbox.  Definitely devoid of a gift...most of the time, not even a card. 

My husband does not win any prizes in the birthday department.  He is often out of town...much like he will be this week.  I guess that is what happens when you have your birthday right before Thanksgiving.  Business must get done before we sit down to eat turkey!!!  I cannot recall a single memorable gift that he has given me.

Except........last year's.  He and the boys went shopping for a charm bracelet at one of my favorite stores James Avery.  They bought five heart charms.  One for each of them, the three boys, my husband, and they even included my darling baby girl!   They chose a plain heart so that her name could be engraved on it.  It is so beautiful and a day never goes by that I am not wearing it.

But still.......I dread my coming birthday.  I should have a bouncy one year old blond baby girl in my lap.  I should be anticipating her first step or if she was like her brothers, she would be already running and I would be chasing her these coming holidays.  We should have been sharing this month for our birthdays, like I share it with my mother.  Instead, she was born in October because we both were not doing well.  Instead, she is in an urn, instead of in my arms.

I really don't have high expectations for this week........

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Baby Button

My little button.  One of the inspirations of starting this blog.  My Jamie is my butterfly because she flew away.  This beautiful baby on its way....please God have this one come home with me in my arms.....we have named Button. 

The boys and Jamie's real names begin with J's and ironically, their "pet" names from me start with B's.  Why do I have pet names?  I am one of those mommies that don't know if I am going to have a boy or a girl.  I have kept the gender/sex reveal a surprise for myself and everyone we know until they arrive five times now.  Why?  Because there aren't many REAL surprises in life anymore.  Even Christmas isn't the same as an adult!!!  The real reason I don't find out?  I have learned from my L&D nursing days that it is never a guarantee that these precious packages come home with us.  Does it matter if they are a boy or girl?  No, it only matters that they arrive safe and sound.

My Bunny helped me pick out this little one's nickname.  I like Button, because I loooove buttons.  They represent so much to me!  I use them when I sew.  I use them when scrapbooking, and I have even made some jewelry pieces with Buttons.  I also like the fact that this baby has "fastened" his/herself into my life.  This baby means so much, in so many ways.

Button has brought out a new view for me.  That there is joy out of pain.  There is hope out of agony.  There is happiness beyond grief.  This child is a not our Jamie, but this child might never have been here if I hadn't lost my Jamie. 

So I bought (sigh....not made) a blanket for our button.  The only purchase I have made, and probably the only one I will make before Button arrives.  I decided to embroider "Cute as a Button" on it in nuetral colors.  The boys and hubby loved it.  I think hubby is a little jealous that I bought it on my own, so I think I will make it up to him and have him go shopping with me for baby's first outfit.  So I guess there is a little shopping in our future...but not much.  I can't do a whole nursery without fear that it might be empty when I come home in a few months.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


The hunt for the ladder.  A hunt, you say?  Yes...literally a long, excruciating hunt for the past 3 years.  Cyberstalking, catalog searching, mall shopping, furniture stores, design stores, antique stores, and yes...even checking out garbage piles.

When we moved into our new house three years ago, my goal was to complete my Studio first.  My Studio?  Yes, a high-falutin word for my craft room.  But doesn't every good artist call it a studio?  Hubby and the boys enjoyed making fun of it, but I have used it and My Room interchangeably for the past three years, it has started to stick. 

As I completed it, my goal was to have a place to showcase my quilts.  Okay my "future" quilts.  Why do I say future? I really must admit, that I have stacks and stacks of want-to-do quilts, but just didn't want to clutter every chair and couch with quilts!  So I decided I wanted an old ladder.  I love the rustic look, I have a bunch of rustic bird houses, and I just think it is fitting to my personality.  Climbing out of the pit I have been in.  Not perfect, but rough around the edges like me.  A bit paint splattered like my heart...still beating, still strong, but just a little tarnished with grief.

Finally, Pottery Barn had a ladder.  But I won't even describe how much it was going to cost me.  Especially when I decided I wanted a second one for my family room.  I wanted to be able to decorate it with holiday quilts.  I was about to cry, until I decided to check a website I found 3 years ago.  It made me weary because it wasn't as flashy as many other websites I shop from.  But when I saw their prices and the fact that the two ladders with shipping would cost me less than one very small one from PB, I decided to take a leap of faith.  Kind of like the one we made to try to have another child.

They arrived today.  Better than I ever expected.  A little crooked, definitely rustic, and completely perfect for what I wanted!  What do you think!

I also thought I would show you my infamous "Studio".  Do you think it is worthy of it's name?

My Studio/Craft Room...LOVE my Island.  Great for any and all projects

My "sitting" side.  I set up my sewing machines (which I store in the closet when not in use), jewelry making, stamping, and the right corner is where my boys have the upper and lower cabinet overflowing with kid craft items!  The larger cabinet on the left holds my scrapbooking paper, album page/page protectors, my Sissix die-cut machine...and some quilting rulers...odds and ends!


The WORK side!  Computer, printer, office supplies!  Gift wrapping, card making, Cricut machine are all hidden in the cabinets.  My ribbon and large sized Sissix die-cuts find a home on an old ribbon rack!

The Cozy Corner....My chair and a half that actually folds out to a twin mattress! The blankets/sheets are stored in my ottoman!  I love this mini-couch.  A lot of crosstitching, needlework, hand sewing done on that cushy seat!  And quite a few naps!!!!!!!



Monday, November 1, 2010

All Saint's Day

Today is All Saint's Day.  And I am grateful for the Communion of Saints.  For those who don't know what that is, I will give it to you in Heidi speak...don't take this as a direct quote from our Catechism!  The Communion of Saints is the belief that all of our loved ones that depart us become members of a community in heaven.  A very special community that is waiting and praying for those who are still wading through all the details of life down here.   A community that we can pray for intercession to.  Especially when we need some help bending God's ear.

Today is a day that always reminds me of why it is hard to be a Catholic. I have always found it to be difficult to be Catholic in our society.  I know to some, this might sound crazy, but I often feel very persecuted for my beliefs.  I have often wondered if it would be better to be Jewish.  No one seems to question their faith or disrespect their faith as much as I feel other Christians disrespect and question mine.  I have often been told that because I am Catholic...I am not Christian.  That is like a knife to the heart.  How awful to say that the oldest church is not Christian?  I always feel like I should defend my religion.  I say I feel like it, but I don't.  It just isn't worth the heartache of getting into a debate, especially when it involves good friends of ours.

Now, after the loss of a daughter, the question of faith and religion is a constant topic on my mind.  I am a realist in so many ways.  The nurse in me is so scientific and rationale.  But the nurse in me is also so sensitive to the things that can't be explained.

 I have empathy for those who are agnostic or are atheist after a loss.  How can you not be?  How can these repetitive or horrible losses be explained?  How can any of our religions justify what seems to be insanity?  Why so much pain for women who want a child or want to keep the child that they have created...something that all religions agree is an important aspect of our faith lives.  The procreation of children from a marriage.  Marriage being one of the holiest sacraments that couples can participate in.  Why would God want to deny couples that are righteously fulfilling our covenant with God?

But there you have it.  God working in his ever mysterious way.  I really hope that there is a Communion of Saints, because that would mean that Jamie is up there with the best of them, St. Anne of Seton, St. Jude, St. Francis of Assissi and so on. 

I hope she is up there praying and waiting for the rest of us to join her, otherwise, all of "this" life is for nothing...........