Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Miss Leah Elizabeth

When this quilt arrived at my doorstep:

Me:  Is this quilt made by you?  ADORABLE

Momma:  I did not make the quilt - I'm not very handy when it comes to sewing, etc.  

"It was a gift from a student and his mother before they knew Leah's diagnosis. I actually saw him and told him today about sending it to you and he was very happy! I know his Mother will be too - they actually attended Leah's service even though it was during the school day."

I adore these stories!!!!!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Miss Caitlin Rose

Has the teeniest, tiniest feet.

An inch long......An inch long!!!!

Every blanket brings a new challenge and this one was no different.

Her prints were tiny enough to get lost in the soft fluffy blanket momma sent me.

So I made do with an applique.

Her name is blurred for privacy.

I pray momma likes it.  

I think I fell in love with another angel.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Angel Babies

And today is the EXACT reason why Butterfly Kisses needed its own home!

I "met" Heidi on my online support group.

She has an awesome organization called Angel Babies 
(see button to the right!)

Yesterday, she was featured in her area on the local news.
  The segment is called "Pay it Forward".

She has been paying forward since her darling daughter left her. 

I hope to be as comforting and as inspiring as her.

It also helps that we have the same name!!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My Ministry Blog!

Welcome to my special ministry blog!

A year ago, I started a blog called Boys, Buttons, and Butterflies

It was a place for me to find a place to express my grief a year after the birth/loss of my daughter Jamie Lynn.

That blog started evolving into a crafting sewing blog.  I tried to share it with her, but I found that as time went on, there was less and less grief posts and more and more crafting/sewing.
Which was great for me!  But maybe not for the rest of the baby loss community!  It caused me such angst that some mommas would not be ready to see me "moving" on if they were fresh in their grief.

I also struggled with what I could "do" for others.  I knew of many organizations and other bloggers that made quilts and such for other charities.  I know of a very dedicated baby loss momma that makes outfits and blankets for those that need them HERE.

I just didn't know what I could do. 
Quilting is very time-consuming and I didn't want to take on something that could not only take time away from my family and my own sewing/crafting plans for them.  But I also did not want to disappoint families if it took me too long to complete quilts!


I am so thankful that I started that blog because in January (2011), I introduced Jamie's quilt in her "before" state. 

I was going just show my AFTER of her quilt.  It was TWO days later, that I received one of those "taps" on my shoulders.  I have always said that God taps me on my shoulder.  

Well, sometimes it takes a SLEDGEHAMMER to catch my attention.  
And on that day, I was walloped good.  As I was introducing Jamie's quilt, I realized that I finally come up with something I could actually do for other baby loss mommas/parent!

I introduced Butterfly Kisses on January 13, 2011.

I have been so blessed to embroider so many blankets/quilts for others.

Unfortunately....too many.

Too many that I have had to start this separate blog.  

But I think it is for the best!  If you'd like to follow me on my crafty/sewing/quilting adventures as I try to live life after loss....please do!!  
I still plan to talk about her and my grief there, but will confine the more serious issues here.

And, of course, use this space to introduce each baby blanket that I am given permission to share with you.

And help those that might have been in a similar situation as myself!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten years ago...

I was completely oblivious of true evil in the world.

The worst stories that this country has endured all occurred well before I arrived on Earth.

We were schooled about the American Revolution. 
Slavery and the Civil War. 
The poor immigrants that I descend from. 
The Great Depression. The Holocaust.

And Pearl Harbor.

 USS Arizona Memorial

I never knew that ten years ago that it would be my turn to experience real history in my lifetime.....


A date that is etched in my brain forever.

I could tell you where I was that day....but that doesn't matter.

It is about where I wasn't. 

I wasn't where too many lives were lost in front of everyone's eyes in a flash.


The only good thing that came about that day?

Our little Bunny was due exactly 40 weeks later.......

Life blooms in the midst of despair.

He did and still does gives us hope that there is still good in this world. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Where there is smoke?

 There is fire.

I prefer mine to be this kind

Fire Pit ready for roasting Marshmallows
Perfect for Smores


From Business Insider website

In 2007, we Houstonians were faced with the possibility that Hurricane Rita was headed our way.  It was shortly after we had welcomed the victims of Hurricane Katrina to our city.  
There was fear.  Much fear.  
We packed up our car with all of my scrapbooks and the large irreplaceable portraits of our boys (they were before digital photography).

Then, in 2008,  Hurricane Ike arrived.
We secured all of our momentos by wrapping in plastic and storing them in a safe spot in our house in case of roof damage or flooding.

This week, the fires here in Texas are starting to get quite close to our  home. 
The smoke and ash are filling the air.  

Just the other day, my son was playing in a tennis match and the ash was bouncing off their balls as they smacked the surface of the courts.

Today, school has announced that they are prohibiting outdoor activity like PE and recess.   I am glad they are because my allergies and asthma are rearing their ugly heads today.

But that is small potatoes compared to the 1,000 homes that have burnt to the ground and the 2 lives that were lost.

From Business Insider website

I look at the photo of that home burnt down and it make me wonder. 
"Did they get everything that was absolutely precious to them?"

I sure hope so.

As I prepare today for my scrapbook retreat weekend.  It makes me even more aware of how important certain memorabilia is to me.  There isn't a safe enough place in the world for them!

How can you help?
I have gotten word of a few quilt shops starting some special quilt drives.  As soon as I have one that I can get behind...I will post!!!

Request Form

Please be sure you scroll all the way through to the bottom of the form to submit. You will receive a reply email within 24 hours!

Jamie's Quilt

"These are my footprints,
so perfect and so small.
These tiny footprints
never touched the ground at all.
Not one tiny footprint,
for now I have wings.
These tiny footprints were meant
for other things.
You will hear my tiny footprints,
in the patter of the rain.
Gentle drops like angel's tears,
of joy and not from pain.
You will see my tiny footprints,
in each butterflies' lazy dance.
I'll let you know I'm with you,
if you just give me the chance.
You will see my tiny footprints,
in the rustle of the leaves.
I will whisper names into the wind,
and call each one that grieves.
Most of all, these tiny footprints,
are found on Mommy and Daddy's hearts.
'Cause even though I'm gone now,
We'll never truly part."

Jamie's Quilt. 

 When she was born, we were enthralled with the perfection of her feet.   We could not keep our hands off of them.   We used her quilt for some of her NILMDTS photos.  She looked just precious on that quilt.  A few months later, I told hubby that I was going to embroider her name and her footprints on her quilt.  I was nervous, but he thought it was a good idea. 

I chose brown to go with the quilt, but now wish I had gone with either a bolder larger font or a different color.  The background is so busy.  
But honestly...it doesn't matter....I love it.

So this leads to my charity/ministry:

I have finally perfected the digitizing and machine embroidery process.

Any baby loss momma that has a blanket or quilt that they would like to have their baby's name and footprints or handprints on....please contact me. 
Yes....the footprints are the EXACT size of her actual footprints that were done at the hospital. 

All I need is a scanned copy of your baby's or babies' footprints/handprints and the measurement (length and width) so that I can digitize them for my embroidery machine.

This service is free of charge.
  I have and continue to receive funding to launch this project!
Note:  If you are currently carrying a baby with a very poor or fatal diagnosis and would like your baby's name on their blanket for their birth day, I can also help you out. 

I have done a few already....and one of them actually defied his odds!  He is quite the healthy infant.  Boy, were those doctors wrong!

 If you are interested, please fill out this form FORM HERE or on my Butterfly Kisses FB page!


 Here are a few that the momma's allowed me to share on the blog (just click on their name to read those posts):

Miss A's Blanket

Miss Carleigh's Blanket

Little Isaac

Madaline Grace



Under construction

If you have somehow landed here, please know that this site is in transition.

Many apologies.

Please feel free to visit me on my main blog Boys, Buttons, and Butterflies!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Jamie Lynn

We announced to the boys In March that the arrival of a baby brother or sister was due November 13th.   They could not contain their excitement!  To be big brothers…what a boon!  They debated about whether it would be a boy or girl.  They argued where he or she would sleep.  They guessed at different names at the dinner table.  They debated whether it should be a “J” name.  They battled with us constantly to find out what sex we were having, even though I stubbornly refused to find out.  The dust settled when the school year ended, and the family was excited to enjoy the preparation of the nursery over the summer.   Oh the bliss!
On June 24th, our lives were forever changed.  We received the worst news a parent could ever imagine to hear.  At our routine ultrasound, they discovered there might be something seriously wrong with the baby.  After an amniocentesis, a fetal MRI, numerous high level ultrasounds, countless appointments with doctors and specialists, the verdict was given.  Our baby had a lethal skeletal dysplasia (Thanatophoric Dysplasia), or in layman’s terms, a fatal dwarfism.
 Despite recommendations, we decided to hold onto hope that he or she would have a “normal” dwarfism and give the baby the best possible chance and carry to term.  As the weeks went by, it became increasingly clear that our hello would also be our goodbye.  We instead changed our course to prepare for the worst and hope that we would at least not lose the baby before the delivery.  We gathered our courage and strength, and hoped that we could celebrate this child’s life, as short as it would probably be.
We planned all that we could to make sure we had a professional photographer, a special outfit, and a plan of care for comfort.  We also decided to wait for the surprise of boy or girl, since it would be one of the only things we could be excited about.  The baby went to most of big brother Butter's tennis matches.  There was wiggling and squirming while listening to Bean's guitar.  We endured the ferocious Houston heat while watching little, big brother Bunny's play in summer baseball tournaments.  Never was there a more active baby to remind us of its presence.  And every night, we settled to sleep after a nightly hug and kiss from Bunny and sometimes a lullaby from mommy. Despite the baby’s failing health and mine, we were able to make it a couple days shy of 36 weeks.  It was decided that a cesarean section would be the best way to deliver, due to both baby and my health complications.
On October 14th at 7:39am, Jamie Lynn entered this world with the tiniest cry. Like her brothers, she was nice and hefty at 5lbs, 4oz despite being four weeks early.  She was a mere 14.5 inches long from her perfect head to her perfect little toes.  With her too small limbs, and chest too tiny to survive this world long, Daddy quickly baptized her with the healing waters from Lourdes, France gifted to us by Father D___.  After a short snuggle with me, he swept her away to be introduced to her big brothers.  A short time later, which felt like an eternity, we were all reunited as a family.  We were able to dress her in clothes washed and smelling like home.  We exclaimed over her shocking full head of the whitest blonde hair.  The boys declared her “cute”.  We adored her tiny hands and her, oh so perfect, feet. Daddy was enthralled with his sweet baby girl. 
We were together as a family, as she drifted away, her perfect little footprints etched on our hearts forever at 8:54am.
Her immediate family arrived to celebrate her life at a memorial Funeral Mass on November 14th.  With Father D__ presiding, Mary T__ singing solo, and family gathered round, we said our final goodbyes and wished her well on her journey.  As Father D___ said during his homily, if we had opened the funeral to all family and friends, it would be a packed house indeed.  He couldn’t have been further from the truth.
And this brings me to the conclusion of our letter.   It has always been clear to us in the past, but more so now, that we are loved by the outpouring of prayers, thoughts, and letters from so many near and afar.  We are heartily thankful to all those who made donations to the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep organization that provided us with the most beautiful photos of her.  To those who are just getting this news, we apologize.  This has been the most difficult burden to bear, and even more painful to share.  I apologize for not delivering a more traditional G_ Family Christmas Letter.   However, to not tell Jamie Lynn’s story, would be to dishonor her life and her memory.
For our family, the year of 2009 belongs to Jamie.  And always will….
Mommy, Daddy, Butter, Bean, and Bunny.