Friday, December 2, 2011

12 Days of Christmas


I have been following, but haven't shared with my own followers!!

Come check out the posts at Small Bird Studios.  
Francesca is hosting a special blog hop that is supposed to keep you busy through the holidays.

I have already spied a few "friends" that I know!

Come and join everyone in finding Hope during this very difficult season for babyloss mommas!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Words of Courage

A question asked by a fellow babyloss mom:

"Words of Courage. 
Any come to mind for a particularly cloudy day full of missing her?"

Dear sweet Laura,

I wish I could tell you the perfect answer.  I will just tell you what I do when I have a cloudy day.  


I curl up with her quilt.

I sometimes grab her teddy.

See her sitting on the memory box?  Yes, she is a girl!

I sometimes pull out her scrapbook just so I can see her.

I put a sad movie in.  Steel Magnolias if I am feeling like I need to "Go Sally" on someone.   Tinkerbell because that is the Disney character I associate her with.  I would have watched Tinkerbell to the end of time with her.  

Lately,  Rabbit Hole has been working for me.

It helps me remember that my husband is grieving too, just in a different way.

But my point in all of this? 
It is that I allow myself to have the cloudy day once in awhile.  

If I try to fight through it...things only get worse for me....


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Advent Conspiracy

Love this.....

We have donated in family members names when we are just tapped out of ideas.  We also appreciate donations made in our names for anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays.

Working on the time with family thing.  It is difficult when extended family is 1000miles away each way.

But we sure are trying to spend quality time with our beautiful boys!
We know the value of how short time can be.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Editing some tiny, tiny prints tonight. 

A little darling Madison. 

Not even an inch and a half from heel to toe.

Can you hear the audible sigh from here?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Pit

The ladder I try to use to CLIMB out of the pit!
(In honor of Jamie's due date...)
The day my child died, I fell into the pit of grief. 
My friends watched me struggle through daily life, waiting for the person I once was to arise from the pit, not realizing "she" is gone forever.

The pit is full of darkness, heartache and despair, it paralyzes your thoughts, movements and ability to ration. 
The pit leaves you forever changed, unable to surface the person you once were.

Some of my pre-grief friends gather around the top of the pit, waiting for the old me to appear before their eyes, not understanding what's taking me so long to emerge. 
After all, in their eyes, I've been in the pit for quite sometime. 
Yet in my eyes, it seems as if I fell in only yesterday.

Not all of my pre-grief friends are gathered around the top of the pit. Some are helping me with the climb out of the darkness. They climb side by side with me from time to time, but mostly they climb ahead of me, waiting patiently at each plateau
Even with these friends I sometimes wonder if they are also waiting for the pre-grief me to magically appear before their eyes.

Then there are the casual acquaintances, you know the ones who say, "Hi, how are you?" when they really don't care or really want to know. 
These are the people who sigh in relief, that it is my child who died and not theirs.
You know...the "better them, than me" attitude.

My post-grief friends (and a rare pre-grief friend) are the ones who climb with me, side by side, inch by inch, out of the pit with me. 
 They are able to reassure me when I need reassurance, rest when I need resting, and encourage me to move forward when I don't have the strength. 
They have no expectations, no memories and no recollection of how I "should" be. They want me to get better, to smile more often and find joy in life, but they also accepted the person I've become. 
The "person" who is emerging from the pit
~Author Unknown

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Quiet....

After the storm.

I had to take a break.  I didn't realize how taxing it was to blog every single day.  Not to mention keeping up with regular posts on my other blog.  I didn't want to stop the other, because I promised myself and Jamie, that I would not stop living.  And my other blog is really about me living.  This one is more about grief and my ministry.  

It is strange though.  They are both separate...yet so very intertwined!!!

Things have been quiet.  I received an inordinate amount of requests last month and became overwhelmed that I would not be able to get them done.  But sadly, none have arrived yet!  One mom just emailed saying she was sending hers this week, so my Miss Emore Embroidery Machine is getting excited.  She has been sad!

In the you want to see some fun?

Our "Fall" Family Outing a few weeks ago!

That's where I shot this windmill!

Like any farm there were a ton of farm animals...

but I will only show I don't bore you!

Nothing like a playground fort with the Texas flag flying high near the zip lines.
Pretending he isn't just a little nervous.

 This one was interested in showing off his "guns" by doing pull ups on the zip line.

And this one handed/armed wonder?  
Loved it!!!  We couldn't tear him away.

Forced by mom photo ops.

Can you just die from the cuteness.......

Daddy, I want THIS one!

Which one isn't a cute pumpkin?

A little bouncing



They always show at the right time....I was missing her terribly that day.  Then I walked by some bushes around the ziplines.......Hello Miss Butterfly!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Day 31: Do you feel like 31 days has helped you open up more about your child(ren) and your grief?

Windmills always make me feel free...don't know why!

The 31st!!!!   I can't tell you how happy that I made it!  

Persevered.  Fought.  Cried.  Pushed.  Wavered.  Conquered.

31 days was a bit much for me.  Countered with the fact that October is Jamie's birthday, this blog challenge was a bit more difficult than it would have been any other month.

Has it helped me be more open?  I don't think so.  If you had asked me a few years ago if I thought opening up was easy, I would have answered
"I am an open book".

While carrying Jamie, the one thing I learned about myself was that I actually am a VERY private person.  When I told dear hubby my surprise at this revelation, he looked at me with humor and remarked 
"You didn't know that?  I ALWAYS knew that!". one mentioned it to me.

So the reality is...

In everyday life, I am pretty private about my pursuits, my thoughts, my stories, my life, my faith, and my grief.  

But my blog has always been a place for me to share them.  I don't feel any more or less open here. I AM glad that I moved Butterfly Kisses to it's own home.  It would have been too overwhelming on Boys, Buttons, and Butterflies!

I will try to be more quiet for awhile.  I think this was overload for a blog.

Always, feel free to email me with any topic you'd like to hear about.  There are a million of them! 

And keep those Butterfly Kiss requests coming.......My machine has been quiet the last few weeks......

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Day 30: How are your preparing for the end of the year? (ie: Holiday's and starting a new year)

Since it is the third time we are experiencing the holidays...I hope it goes well.  

Hopefully, we will be a bit distracted by baby Button's first Christmas.

But it is always hard to see those little toddlers with their bouncy blond curls in beautiful dresses.  

We can't help but picture Jamie.....

And we will always hang her stocking by the chimney with care....

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Day 29: What are your beliefs as far as where you think your child(ren) is/are. Will you see each other again?

A Bead-filled Bezel I made, over at Boys, Buttons, and Butterflies

I like to believe in Heaven.

Is this difficult to believe?


Faith is a tough thing when you prayed and prayed for your child to live when she was born.   


If I don't have Faith.

I won't see her again.

I want to. 


Friday, October 28, 2011

Day 28: Have you ever corrected or wish you corrected someone about your loss?

"No girls?"

This statement is WORSE than fingernails on a chalkboard.  I thought it was just me, but dear hubby agrees.  

  • First off, it reminds me (not that I really forget) that she isn't here.  I never forget it, but sometimes life is a bit easier if I am not thinking of her 24hrs a day.  That would require admission to the local loony bin for me.  So having someone say this is a kick in the pants if I am having a good day.
  • Gee, thanks for making my boys feel bad.  I guess four boys is horrible and I SHOULD have a girl?

  • This reminds me of the book I am going to write some day.  "What not to say to parents..."   Thanks for more material!

EDITED TO ADD:  I realize I didn't really answer the question, because I didn't have anything to really I told you something I hate.   This is all that keeps popping in my head.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day 27: Share a picture.

Twist my arm, why don't you?

Poor probably are sick of me!!!  

Only 4 days to go and I will give you a break.

I promise!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 26: On a scale of 1 to 10 rate your day today and why?

Not a bad day.

Not a perfect day.

A little cloud over my head for dear hubby.  He has a lot on his plate right now.

But overall, a nice far.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day 25: On Birthday's, Diagnosis Day's, Anniversaries of Passing. How do you handle them?

HONESTY HERE:  Getting burnt out on the blog challenge.....but fighting through.  Only seven days left.  What would it say about my character if I didn't finish what I started, right?

OOPS!   I think  I answered today's question yesterday!

So now I will answer yesterday's correctly....How do I HANDLE them...emotionally?

I don't know.  There is no way to "handle" you emotions....really.   You can control the outward expressions of your emotions, but you can't control how, when, or what emotion you will be feeling from day to day...moment to moment.

I'd like to think that from the outside looking in...the others around me think I am handling things beautifully.  I say this, because a few of them have told me so.

But from the inside, looking out? 
I am trapped.   

Trapped in my glass house.  I am barred from leaving my threshold by the grief that keeps the door sealed.  I can look out and see things clearly on some days.  The sun comes in and warms my house and my heart.  Some days, the fog is blocking my view.  I can't see beyond the pain.

Those around me can sometimes see into me very clearly, but most times, the tinting on the window just reflects back what they are feeling.  If they are happy, they see happy.  If they are sad, they see sad. 
  Every once in a while the grief opens the doors and allows them to visit.  But usually it is only for a short time.  They are guided back to the porch to enjoy the sunshine.

I cannot predict what kind of day it will be.  It could start with a sunny morning and end in the stormiest of nights.  It could gently rain all day.  It could be a raging hurricane with no end in sight.

So how do I handle the days. 

I can't.  

I don't know exactly what the weather will be like.

This morning?

It looks like a clear day with no clouds in sight.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Day 24: On Birthday's, Diagnosis Day's, Anniversaries of Passing. Do you prepare for them?

Do you prepare for them?

Definitely Birthdays.

Diagnosis day and anniversaries are usually only remembered by me.  

The anticipation is, nine times out of ten, worse than the actual day.

Last year, we celebrated her birthday grandly.


This year was much more quiet.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Day 23: Besides changing the outcome, what is one thing you would have done differently?

One thing?  

Too difficult to whittle here is my list:

  • Maternity photos.
  • Talked to her more than I already did.
  • Rubbed my belly more than I did.
  • Sing to her more than I did.
  • Taken more photos with our NILMDTS photographer
  • Had a family photo taken of all of us with Jamie.  The boys had left for home before NILMDTS got there.
  • Kept her with us in the hospital just a little longer after she passed
  • Bathed her ourselves
  • Kissed her more
  • Told her I loved her ONE MORE TIME.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day 22: Do you have a song or songs that make you think of your child(ren)


The first song is an obvious one for fellow CTT (carrying to term despite fatal diagnosis) moms.  

However, for those that don't know of it.  One of the singers from the group, Selah, and his wife received a fatal diagnosis for their daughter. 

His wife wrote the song and sang,

I Will Carry You.

Can you hear the tears and pain in her voice.  I love when he sings with her.....


And then smallest wings, by Craig Cardiff.

I listened to it at least once day while carrying Jamie, on the Now I Lay Me Organization website.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Day 21: Is there something about your child(ren) that brings a smile to your face?

Her feet.

So tiny.  So precious.  So perfect.

I smile.


I see pictures of them.  


I see her footprints. 


I will never forget holding them in my hand.  I will never forget her daddy and I opening up her blanket time and time again to touch those feet.  We were in awe of them.

And they definitely left their imprint on our hearts.  

I am smiling right now looking at the photo again.....

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Day 20: If you have anger.....What are you most angry about?

Only 10 days left.  These are getting tougher and tougher.  

Cassie wasn't kidding when she said that it was a blog CHALLENGE!!!

If I have anger.....I can tell you that while I was contemplating this question all day yesterday, the anger in my head was spewing.

  Like a volcano.

  Large explosions, steady gushes, and hot as fire.

But this morning I woke up to write my thoughts and only one phrase came to mind.  
"I am angry because I want what I can't have"

 That's it.  Any anger I have goes back to this simple fact. 

I want her and I can't have her.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Miss Calypso

I love it when a Butterfly Kiss blanket gets in their momma's hands and they are so happy with them.

Calypso's Mom got hers sooner than I had time to post my pictures.  

She already posted HERE!!!!!

Day 19: What is your happiest memory of your child(ren)?


The only truly happy memories I have are the times before her ultrasound.

All the others are what I call bittersweet.  

Absolutely wonderful, but absolutely devastating at the same time.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Day 18: Have you found something that puts you at peace?

What does this mean?  Peace in general?  Peace about Jamie? 

I thought about this all day.  ALL day, yesterday because I like to work through each question as if I am reading a daily devotion.

Baby Button brings me peace.  I can hold him.  I can feel my heart rate lower.  My blood pressure mellow out. 
My brain rests.  
He makes it too easy.

As long as we aren't running.  When we stop.  When I climb on the hammock with my husband and breathe in the air.  

I always knew I was a dreamer.  I think my grandmother said I was an "old soul" once. 

I think she is right.  

I like to swing in that hammock with the trees rustling above, the breeze gently wafting over me, and the occasional butterfly to land in my near vicinity.  I like to go back in time, and remember when I would swing in that hammock with my Jamie pushing, pressing, and rolling in my tummy.  

I remember those moments.

And it brings me peace.......

Taken by a dear friend, Megan

Monday, October 17, 2011

Day 17: Do you feel your child is watching over you?

I like to think she does.

I like to think about the day Baby Button was born.  Her little brother went through quite an ordeal.  I wasn't allowed to wear her special medal* in the OR during the c-section.  The whole, NO JEWELRY rule.  So I took it off and gave it to my husband.

  I was a nervous wreck in that OR.  Would the baby cry?  Was it a boy or girl?  If it was girl, would I be sad?  If it was a boy, would I be sad?  If the baby cried, would I cry and finally feel relief?  Would I hate the baby?  Would I survive the surgery, because, you know, our AWESOME odds and everything?

As all of this ran through my head, my husband walked in to the OR.  Sat down on the stool next to my head and reached for my hand.

I felt something hard pressed in my palm.  
I curled my fingers around it and realized it was her medal. 

After Baby Button was born, they told us that he was having difficulty breathing.  That there was no need to worry, but that he needed to go to the NICU for some extra oxygen.  I reached in and touched his fingers...they were so limp.   An hour later, we found out that his platelet level was drastically low.  Not just low, "transfusion required to live" low.  Our barely new baby was going to get a treatment that not even an adult member has needed in our family.  A blood/platelet transfusion.  Not to mention IVs in his scalp, antibiotics around the clock, NG tube feedings, continuous labs drawn, CT scans, ultrasounds, and the oxygen he already required.

And we didn't know why.

For three days, I didn't know if I was going to be bringing him home.  I lost my cool on day three in the hospital.  I snapped at anyone near by.  I was apathetic to those who called.  I was angry.  Frustrated.  And TERRIFIED.

But I kept feeling something.  Something pushing.  Prodding to move forward.  Telling me that it was going to be okay.  Have faith.  Don't give up hope.

Was it her? 
I don't know.

But after he was home and I was downloading pictures (this one taken by my husband's phone), I realized that whenever I was holding Button.....her medal was in the pictures. 

  I'd like to think she was there.  
Watching over us and her new little brother.

But I honestly just don't know........

 *her medal: an angel holding a baby and her name engraved on the back, and blessed by our priest

Some day I will tell you what Button was diagnosed with.  It is often times just too unfathomable to believe that the rest of my children survived their pregnancies and births.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Day 16: Do you take time for yourself?

I thought this would be easy to answer, but it ended up being unclear to me.

My immediate reaction was that I do take time.  I sew, quilt, craft, and blog.  I go on scrapbook retreats.

However, on the other hand, it is often disjointed, hurried, and frantic.  I sometimes feel like I am rushing through it all.

I go get my hair done and nails done on occasion, but haven't had a facial in over two years.  Even when I do take that time, I have lists in hand, schedules to plan as I sit there.   I am anxious to get home because I fear that I am needed.

When I am scrapbooking, I am working towards a goal.  Get it finished.... get it finished...chants through my head.  I try to take every moment to make sure I arrive home feeling accomplished, when I really should come back rested.

I think the only time I actually take time for myself is in the dark hours of night.  When all I can hear are the quiet sighs and snores in the house.  I sit and watch TV. Sometimes, I crossstitch, do hand sewing work, or even sew.  

But sometimes, I just do nothing and stare at the TV.

Is that time for myself?  I am not sure...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Day 15: Today is Pregnancy and Infancy Loss Awareness Day.

What are you doing today? 

Living life.

Because it has to go on.

Tennis lessons.  Flag football game.  Yardwork for hubby.  Two quilts are calling my name.

I know that I WILL take a little time to pray for all of the families that have lost and pray for all the little ones that are gone.

I don't feel like shouting to the rooftops this year about loss.  I am feeling very calm and retrospective this year.  

It just feels right to live life...we only get one chance at this!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Day 14: What have you done to preserve your child's memories or make new memories of your angel.

I wasn't going to post this on her birthday, but decided...why not?!??!

Her memory box.

Box, pictures, urn, dried roses from funeral, her quilt, teddy bears, and the holy water she was baptized with.

Her collage.

In our bedroom, above her memory box and things.

Her scrapbook.

Just a few of my favorite is actually 75 pages long!!!!

A few of her ultrasounds favorite!!!

I had several of my favorite pictures enlarged....

Pink and Brown is the outside of the album, so I spattered it quite a bit throughout....

Her quilt.

I never imagined this quilt would become so important to me.....

Her prayer.
Plaque in my Studio.....I love seeing this everyday.