Friday, November 30, 2012

My Full Confession

I am in a wee bit of trouble with family and friends...but I am used to it.  I kinda/sorta run on the adage "It's easier to beg for forgiveness, then ask for permission".
  But in this case, beg for forgiveness with good news than worry everyone over nothing...


Here is the deal.  I had surgery Monday. 

 I had a mass in my right axillary removed.  The non-delicate armpit. While I was under general anesthesia, my surgeon also fixed a umbilical hernia I had.  The hernia was most likely a result of my pretty weak abdomen after it received so much stretching during my pregnancy with Jamie Lynn and then Button's quick arrival to the crime scene.  Severely excessive amniotic fluid and big babies in your uterus result in muscle gaps of about 2-4 inches.

 Yup...I am asked about 1-2 times a week if I am pregnant or when my due date is.  Nice.
 Suffice it to say, my guts decided to take advantage of the weakness and poke through!
As for the mass? It was non-cancerous!! Simply a cyst with a sidepocket of infection, was the description.  It fooled us for a bit because it behaved like a hard non-tender lymph my doctors were worried, I was a "wee" bit worried but trying to be super confident all would be well.  Mr. Boss was VERY worried the past two months. 

And because of all the worry?  I didn't want anyone else to be added to the stress and worry.

  Mr. Boss's family has a significant breast cancer history and my very own maternal aunt was recently diagnosed this summer with a rare breast cancer.  Then there was also some lymphoma discussion.  But I kept going back to "Why worry over something that ends up being nothing?"

However, if thought you noticed a frenetic, panicked tone to my WIP posts and my to do list lately?  

There was.

  Reason Number One: I knew that I was going to be laid up simply because we all know surgery is no fun.  I did not want any obligations left out there hanging.  I hate feeling like I let someone down! Unfortunately, I was not able to finish my do. good stitches quilting or work on a commissioned applique job for a quilt.   But I am trying not to be too frustrated about it!

Reason Number Two:  The near future after the surgery was unknown.  I had to realistically "go there" so that I was prepared for the worst.  I already had a million and one diagnostic appts and pre-op appts beforehand, I couldn't fathom what I had in stored if I was given the dreaded "C-word" option.


So here I am....hanging out on a couch or a chair....recovering.  Thankful that I don't have cancer.  I am not naive to think that I am free and clear in the future, but I know I am safe, for now.  My incisions were a lot bigger than I anticipated.  My hernia ended up being bigger than my surgeon anticipated, but the recovery is much less worse than my two c-sections.  My arm?  Which happens to be my dominant...SEWING....arm is swollen, numb at times, and painful.  I even have a few zings and zangs from shoulder to finger. I am THANKFUL that my doctor was so thorough and made sure there was nothing else there or nothing left behind.  I am HOPEFUL, that it will all heal properly and well.

In short. 

 I am not able to sew right now.  No quilts.  No Butterfly Kisses right now.  

In the meantime?  

I am planning my UFOs and WIPs schedules and planning some other "to dos".

I still have a few projects to share in the next few days that I was able to complete before our Magical Thanksgiving trip and my surgery. 

And I have quite a few goodies arriving in the mail because I did shop for some Black Friday deals this past weekend!!!!!

(Cross-posted on Buttons and Butterflies)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Recent Butterfly Kisses

I realized recently, that it has been awhile since I have shared some projects.

I thought I'd show them in their various states.  Proofs and finished!

Without futher ado....
A few shirts for some Molly Bears.  


A special request.  This momma had a Farmall quilt made for her husband.

I did her oldest living daughter's prints.

And then sweet baby Dalton's prints in the middle.  

There is an empty third spot for her future rainbow baby!

Proofs for footprints

and handprints.


And one of my favorites!  A heart applique.

I love Button's hand gently touching this as I took a photo.

On a lovey!  This blanket had a teddy head.  I mimicked the heart applique based on the already exisiting heart.

I have three blankets and pillowcases in various stages as we speak before the holidays.

I will be taking a break for a few weeks to catch my breathe!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Fundraiser

This post was partly drafted well before Sunday and was due to be published on Monday, but, alas, a bug called "The Flu" came in swiftly, ravaging our family, taking out every man, woman, and child in our home!

I am asking you to pretend that today is Monday.

The official Pregnancy/Infant Loss Awareness Day.  


Today is about Violet's Quilt.  One of my Butterfly Kisses Quilts.
 The one where I played with purple/violet flying geese and designed a violet embroidery design.

I never got a chance to post the finished project because I was over anxious to get it in the mail and to her mom.   Luckily, her mom took one for me!

I cringe when I see this photo because it is all wrinkled and wonky.  I swear it wasn't before I sent it! I guess I need to wrap things like that better?  At least I hope it straightened out for Devany since the day she pulled it out in that photo!!

Who's Devany?  Devany is Violet's mom,  and is a blogger over at Still Playing At School.  We found each other through the vastly growing "babyloss" online community.
Devany also happens to be a Scentsy consultant.

She, apparently, was so appreciative that she decided she was going to run a 2 week online fundraiser for Butterfly Kisses.  Any orders that she receives will be shipped out directly to the customer, anywhere in the country (sometimes the world).  ALL of her commission (25%) from this "party" will come to Butterfly Kisses!  She wouldn't take no for an answer from me.

 I do my Butterfly Kisses embroidery at no charge.  I am trying to keep it that way, but with shipping it gets to be a bit much sometimes if "traffic" is busy or items are large!  I sometimes receive small donations, and I ABSOLUTELY appreciate it.  However, things are not so cheap these days.  My costs sometimes lie in the threads and fabric depending on if I am using my already established supplies or not.  However, the real costs lie in the stabilizer I have to buy for my embroidery machine and the shipping.  Occasionally, I also donate an entire quilt if I feel that it is necessary.
If you are interested in buying something like a warmer, hand soap, bath tablets, drawer scent name it... please go check out Devany's Scentsy Website.  It would be sincerely appreciated.  When you are ready to buy, you just click on the left side that says "Buy From Party".   She has a designated a Butterfly Kisses Party that you can order from.

Thank you Devany for doing this for me.  I don't deserve it!

Dual Posting with Buttons and Butterflies

Saturday, July 14, 2012

She follows me everywhere

I have thought I was spoiled because butterflies are all over our yard. 

Busch Gardens Europe, Williamsburg, Virginia

But she managed to show up on our trip at least once or twice, or even MANY times a day!

Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, Virginia
Imagine our shock as we stood outside the Natural History Museum in Washington D.C. and a little girl put on a GIANT pair of butterfly wings.  I didn't take a picture because I thought it was awkward to take one of someone that I didn't know! But this is what she looked like.

Butterfly Costume

And when I finally captured one of the many while we were at Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.

I thought it was fitting because I LOOOOVE that place and would have loved to take my little girl and dress up in a colonial dress and hat for the day with her.

Needless, to say, I am happy to be home, and will now accept items!  And I have one Butterfly Kiss quilt commission to work on ASAP!

Friday, June 29, 2012

With Love Filled Wishes....

A friend of mine sent this to me. 

I adore her.  I love the butterfly. 

Love the little heart.  And the fact that I have some other Precious Moment Figurines for other special occasions, like my wedding cake topper, is pretty cool.

However, how amazing is it that the name of it matches the name I use for my blog and embroidery charity?

I love how she watches over me on a shelf in my studio.
Right above the area that is the workhorse of Butterfly Kisses!!!!

Thank you so much Sandra.....she is perfect!!!!!!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Right Where I Am....Two Years, Eight Months, and Ten Days

I have written this post a hundred times.

In my head.  On post-its.  On this post.

But I always delete it.

Angie at still life with circles has had her link for Right Where I am Project up HERE for weeks now.  I faithfully did last year's post as soon as I heard about it.  It was the reason I decided to move all of my grief posts to their own blog.  This year?

Where am I?
I just don't know.  

I am here.
But I am not here.

I am happy.
But I am not happy.

I am sad.
But I am not sad.

My cup runneth over.
But my cup remains empty.

What does all that mean?  Why do I ramble so?  I am usually not one to mince words.  I certainly don't have problems speaking my mind most times.  And my friends can tell you that I can ramble and ramble and I usually make sense.

But three years.  Three years ago today is  D-day.  Diagnosis day.

Three years ago seems so near....yet so far.  Time is yawning.  Yet the pain is just under the surface.   The pain is under the skin and if you touch me just right, it will seep out.  Oozing my anger.  Oozing my hopelessness.  Oozing my sadness.

Yes.  I have fooled everyone.  I have fooled everyone into believing that I was better.  That I was perfectly fine.

But the ones closest to me know better.  My husband worries about me.  My boys protect me. A few friends know to ask the "right" question.  The normal passer-by says "How are you doing?".  I say "great..busy, but great!"  But these friends?  They say "No, really, how are you doing?  I think about you all the time and pray for your family."

They are the very few that actually remember that we went through our own personal hell three years ago.  They are the ones that know that I may pull the ole Heidi big smile "Nothing wrong over here" dance.  But they call me on it.

With the grief...there are the physical changes that just don't help.  My abdomen became so stretched out from all of the extremely excessive amniotic fluid with Jamie and then compounded by a quick pregnancy just 7 months later.  I always had a nice 2 year gap to recuperate between the other children, but the Empty Arm Syndrome hit me HARD after she was born.  And as so many say, though your empty arms are filled with joy, you can't pretend that the one that is missing never was there.  The extra weight, the stretched skin, the stretched abdominal muscles.  They all just magnify, in the most harshest sense, what wasn't meant to be.

So I trudge. I try my best to find balance.  I try not to cry when I read the stories of all babies gone too soon.  The moms trying to carry to term just to spend a little more time. I try not to cry when I see a blonde haired toddler with a precious dress on.  I try not to cry TOO much when I watch Tinkerbell, Sleeping Beauty, Pride and Prejudice, or Steel Magnolias, the movies I was finally going to get to watch with my girl.  I try not to cry when I see the adorable, frilly, ruffled creations that my sewing friends make.  I try not to wallow in my own misery while I make a pink quilt for someone else's girl. 

I pretend that when I am out and about, I don't care that people ask me "No girl?" or "Going to try for the girl?" or "You need a girl."    

I also won't cry that no one, really remembers, other than myself, that today is such a meaningful day.  That I am the only one who remembers on this very date, three years ago, we found out something was really, really wrong.  That it was the date that started all the questioning and wondering.  It was the date that led us to the realization that her condition was fatal and the ultimate decision to keep her inside her safe, warm, and comfortable cocoon as long as I could.
I pretend that it doesn't matter.

I don't know who I am fooling more...them or myself?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Fresh New Look

Every one needs a haircut or a makeover.

Butterfly Kisses needed one BADLY!

I am so excited about my new blog header ala Francesca at Small Bird Studios
 If you are a member of the babyloss community, you know a thing or two about her...but if you don't?  

Let me introduce you!

I love her tagline......what a beautiful mess she left behind......yup get out the tissues!

A new creation.  Beautiful.  I *know* a few gals that contribute.  Pretty amazing women!

Awesome collages.  A real cool vintage look.

She works with Carly...another favorite lady of mine.  She is the one that took my favorite photo HERE of Jamie's name in the sand.

Last, but not least.  The reason I am talking about her....she designed my new blog header and Facebook timeline cover.  It is EXACTLY what I needed to clean this blog up.  For the longest time, I was not happy with it and actually avoided it.   

THANK YOU FRANCESCA.  Maybe more people will actually stop by and stay now!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

My Very Own Molly Bear

Have you heard of Molly Bears?

If you haven't...I am going to tell you about them!

I know SEVERAL baby loss moms that have Molly Bears.  For some reason, I thought that I really didn't "need" one because I already have two teddy bears for Jamie.  The one we received from the hospital's bereavement group and the other was one that the boys won the weekend after she was born.  They were at our Church's bazaar and they tried their hand at winning a bear.  They used her birth date numbers and WON!  The proud looks that they had on their faces is something I will never forget!

I was recently contacted by one of the Molly Bear Team members to do a Butterfly Kiss project of her and Bridget (one of the co- founders).  

OF COURSE, I said..YES!!
  Then they told me that they would love to do a bear for me.
How could I say no?

A package arrived on Saturday, but I couldn't open it because I had a disaster in the studio due to some computer issues!  Pure torture seeing the box sitting in the corner, but I didn't want to lose any pieces/parts to the overstuffed package.

After the dust settled and all was quiet....we opened the package, yesterday, Father's Day.

Our very own Molly bear.

If you are thinking...she is just a pink teddy bear, Heidi....what is the big whoop?

The big deal is that she is filled.  
She weighs EXACTLY 5lbs 4oz.  
I *may or may not* have checked on my scale.  I was actually surprised to feel the weight in my hands.  I was so used to my empty arms in regards to her and her urn is so light, that I just forgot that she was a pretty hefty girl for a baby with dwarfism!

Each Molly Bear is unique and special to the parent that orders one.  They are "one of a kind" to you.

I, of course, mentioned my pension for butterflies whenever I think of my sweet precious girl!
  Boy, did I get them!

And she seems quite content with her fellow bear friends and Jamie's quilt.

My one and only disappointment?  

That I didn't do this sooner.....

Monday, June 11, 2012



 I have one quilt in the works and definitely one blanket coming for a visit....if you were planning to send me your blanket/item.


I will not be able to do them until AFTER July 13. If you were planning on sending them before that...please contact me at so I make sure that I will be available to receive it!!!!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Little Black Book

I was digging through my purses looking for a pair of embroidery scissors I was sure I absentmindedly left in one of them.

I noticed a basket on my closet shelf that had a ton of "junk" in it.  I forgot I had a basket with all of the "purse" things.  You know, the kind of things that you move from purse to purse, but don't always need depending on the size?

Everything was jumbled on my shelves because they are in front of the electrical panel.  I hadn't cleaned it up since then...oops.

I thought I would take a peek and see if the scissors were dropped in there.

I found the little black book above.


I opened it.

I remembered I bought it with the intention of journalling while sitting in carpool or in a doctor's office. 


 I could just jot down thoughts without having to feel like I had to write a novel.

I only found two entries

 The last one? 

Dated April (2009)

Just 6 weeks before our world came down to sit oppressively on our shoulders......

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Be still, my heart.

Friday, I felt pressure.  Pressure so tight, I couldn't stand it.

I felt like my chest was being crushed.

My shoulders could no longer take any more weight.

I opened my email.  A note.  A school note that said that my son had "failed to bring supplies/work to class".  Not a big deal really.   

But it was.

I failed him.  I didn't remember that it was due this Friday.  He had told me several times the last three weeks.  I forgot.

I failed him.

I walked up to get Button out of his crib.  He popped up and gave me the biggest smile.  I started sniffling as I changed his diaper.  I had uncontrollable, silent tears as I snapped him into his car seat.

As I drove...the tears flowed.  I couldn't stop them.  No noise, just tears.  As if my eyes were rivers and streams....waterfalls that I couldn't control.  
But the pressure was still there.

My grown young man climbed into the car when I arrived.  My sunglasses on, but tears still streaming.  I apologized for my appearance and told him I had hoped his friends hadn't seen me.

He asked "what's wrong?".  

I simply said,  "I am just sad.  I feel like such a failure as a mom".  

In the pause, I know he heard "you boys struggle so at your schools.  I wish I could cure the dyslexia your younger brothers have.  I hope I don't screw up your baby brother."  

I know he heard in the pause "And, God, I failed your sister.  I couldn't save her."

It slammed me.  I sobbed.  Uncontrollably.  Enough that I had to pull over in the parking lot.

He patted me on my shoulder.  He consoled me.  He told me that I was a "great are doing fine".

I had gathered myself by the time we arrived to pick up the younger two.  We arrived home.  I pretended I was better for their sake.

I was tired.

Then Bunny gave me a folded up piece of paper right before he went to bed. 

I opened it and smiled.

And all the pressure was gone.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

When left...

to my own devices....

I can dream up many things!

Edited and digitized a sweet pair of feet prints.

Now to talk with momma more in depth about my newest creation.

Can't wait to share the end result!

Monday, April 16, 2012


A quilt I made for a momma.

A local friend of mine commissioned me to make this quilt for her cousin who lost her daughter in January.

It was SO fun to make.  I wish I could do these for free for everyone, but I just can't....

I am working on a quilt design that would be available for purchase, but I have been bogged down with a charity quilt for my sons' school.   I am on a 10 day countdown.

Gigantic, no?

I also owe a mom a finished blanket. I am trying to do something a little more unique for her since her blanket is begging for it!!!  But because of that, I am taking longer than usual.

And I had a request for a special mini-quilt for a shelf where an urn rests.  I am still working on the design.  Sometimes it isn't a good thing to give me TOO much leeway with my creativity!

Feel free to yell at me know who you are!