Friday, December 30, 2011

16 Months

What would life be's so hard not to wonder what life would be like if you were here.  Christmas was a little easier this year, but your presence was definitely missed.  At least this year I was able to hang your stocking.  :)  It looked just right!

I still miss you...I guess know I always will.  Some days are easier than others.  I'm just afraid that I will forget you; forget what you look like; forget what it felt to hold you.  I don't ever want t forget you.  I just read a post from another BLM and her husband and it seriously upset me.  How could anyone say a child didn't exist just because that child is no longer here?  Let alone a family member.  You know, baby girl, I've dealt with so many people leaving my life because they couldn't handle my grief.  I'm a better person for it.  But if anyone EVER had the audacity to say you didn't exist, that person would be gone from my life forever, family or not.  You DID exist, and you will ALWAYS live in my heart. My soul hurts...16 months is far too long.  I love you Addie B.  Life will never be the same...but I'm okay with that...I think.  Happy 16 months sweet girl!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

15 months and a feeling of gratitude

Sweet Addie,
     I'm a little late posting this, I know.  It's been a crazy weekend with Thanksgiving and all.  But, happy 15 months baby girl.  Do you know how much I missed not having a rambunctious 15 month old to chase while I was preparing Thanksgiving dinner?  There will always be something missing in my matter how many children we have, there should always be one more.
     I barely remember this time last year.  I was still in such a haze...hated the fact that the holidays were coming closer and you weren't here to see it.  Its my favorite time of the year and I hated it.  I have to say, though, this year I am looking forward to the holiday season once again.  I am thankful for the fact that you graced our lives, even for a short time.  You've helped me see the small things in life and appreciate what I have.  Yes, I often find myself dwelling on what I have lost, but it's not nearly as hard to remember what I have.  YOU taught me that...YOU taught me what it is to love unconditionally...YOU taught me what it means to be truly grateful...YOU taught me to love with my whole heart (or what's left of it).  YOU have made more of a difference in my life than I will ever understand.
     I love you and miss you sweet girl.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Giveaway Winners!

     Using, 2 winners were chosen.  Congrats to Melissa (comment 6) and Tiffany (comment 2).  Please email me your address and calendar choice so I can order them from Red Bubble.  My email is

    I plan on having a few other giveaways during the holiday, so stay tuned!  Thank you again to everyone out there who has helped me and supported me!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Gratitude and Giveaways

    Although I am thankful every day for what I have in my life, now is the time of year that gratitude shines through.  Every day I am thankful for the family and friends who have supported me, who have stuck by me, even at a time when I didn't want them to.  The more I alienated myself, the more they come around.  I am grateful for that.  I have people in my life who, no matter how bitchy or moody I am, stick by me.  How lucky am I to have a husband that overlooks my faults, ignores my nasty moods and always tries to make me smile?  How lucky am I to have a husband who is patient and kind, knows when to "smother" me and knows when to leave me alone.  I never thought luck would have a place in my vocabulary after she died, but it's there.  I am lucky to have known her at all, despite never getting the chance to meet her on the outside.   And, I am grateful for the things I've learned since losing her.  No, life hasn't been easy, but I've come to expect that.  Although I'm still not in the greatest of places, I can still see through the fog; I can recognize what I am and should be grateful for.
     That brings me to the giveaway...I am SO VERY grateful to the friends I have met online.  Some days, when it seems like no one understands, some one does.  I am lucky to have people who are endlessly supportive and who really do understand what I am feeling.  So, to all my friends out there in the virtual world, THANK YOU.  As a show of gratitude, I have decided to give away 2 "Lost for Words" calendars.  Carly Marie Dudley and Franchesca Cox designed 2 beautiful calendars this year.  

You can check out Fran's here and Carly's here  
To enter, all you need to do is write which calendar you would like.  I will choose 2 random winners on my birthday, which is 19 November.  The calendars will ship directly from Red Bubble.
**Don't forget to tell your friends about the giveaway!**

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Aiden!

  Today I am remembering Aiden William Jackson, born silently 1 year ago today.  Hugs to your momma and daddy.  Watch over them and your little brother too!  Sending you lots of love and hugs today, Natasha.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A lifetime without you...

     At least, that's what it feels like.  Fourteen months without you is too long.  Hard to believe that I have many more years of missing you; of wishing you were here.
     I lied today.  I was asked that know the typical kid questions you get after Halloween.  "What did your kids dress as?" a coworker asked.  My reply, "I don't have kids."  I fucking hate myself for saying that...I HATE the fact that I feel like I have to say it.  Why can't I just tell them my daughter died.  I guess it's because I still don't want that sympathy.  I want people to remember that you existed, not that you died.

This has been my mantra, almost from the time I found out you had died.  And, now, it will be included in a calendar to be distributed around the world.  This calendar is the creation of Carly Dudley.  She and Franchesca Cox created 2 calendars this year, a long with their Lost for Words card line.  Carly and Fran asked for submissions and Carly chose mine to be included in her calendar.  I have always loved her work and this pic is just beautiful.  She and Fran did a wonderful job on their respective calendars.  I can't wait to order mine.  But you, little one, should get the credit.  You are my inspiration, you are my life, you are my world.  I just wish we could share the same world together.

      I miss you, can you tell?  It still blows my mind how much I miss you...I never really got the chance to meet you, yet a piece of my heart died when you did.

     Here we go into another holiday season.  I'm not ready for this yet...I don't want to have to face another joyous season without you here.  Would a baby brother or sister help?  Yeah, probably.  I'd have someone new to share my favorite time of the year with, but I could never forget you.  I want to hang your stocking this year...I hope I'll be brave enough.

     I miss you, can you tell?

     Life goes on, as it always does.  Another month will soon pass and I'll be writing to you again.  It doesn't matter, though, how much time love for you will never change.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Remembering Ellie on her 1st Angelversary

Remembering you, sweet little Ellie, and thinking about your momma and daddy over the next few days.  Today and tomorrow will be 2 of the hardest days they will ever face.  May your light shine on forever.  Keep an eye on your mom, dad and Max.  Lots of love to you, Tiffany!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Chasing a rainbow is...discouraging at best

     I need something...motivation, a sign, anything!  I'm ready to give up and accept that I was never meant to have children.  It took us almost 3 years of not preventing pregnancy to concieve Addison and now, there seems to be no hope on the horizon.  When I originally started this journey a year ago,  I had excellent motivation...the future held for me the prospect of a healthy child.  Almost 14 months and 80lbs shed after her death, I am losing any and all hope.  I have always been an emotional eater and I find myself regressing back to the old ways.  Which, of course just makes me feel worse.
    I have no motivation whatsoever.  7 months of trying with no BFP has weighed heavily on my heart.  I'm so emotional, so snappy.  I KNOW there are families out there who have struggled longer, or who have had multiple losses, so even thinking this way makes me feel selfish.  That, too, makes me feel even worse.
     Ugh...I knew this was going to be hard, but DAMN.  They say God doesn't give you more than you can handle, but I'm calling "bullshit" once again.  I know for many, turning to God after a loss helps with the grieving process.  But not for me.  I'm sure that's rooted in the fact that I've never had a strong faith in God or religion.  All I know is I'm tired of constantly being tested.  I should have a happy 14 month old sitting here with me today...instead all I have are tears and memories.  I'm tired of being strong (because I'm not) and I'm tired of pretending that everything is okay (because it's not).  Things will never be right again, simply because she's not here and nothing will ever change that, rainbow or not.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Remembering Julius on his 1st Angelversary

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do any graphics last night so I couldn't post this.  But I wanted to make sure to remember Tiffany's sweet boy on his first angelversary.  Keep watch over your momma and daddy little Juju, they miss you so much!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hope resonates...

     Despite the place I'm in right now, I've decided to link up to Fran's Small Miracles Blog Hop this week.  Hope is there, no matter how small.  Tomorrow, my nephew, will face yet another heart surgery.  He isn't even 3 years old, yet this boy has fought and survived 2 heart surgeries, one of which was a full on, invasive open heart surgery.  Tomorrow will be his second open heart.  I look at that little boy and can't help but feel hope rising...he is a fighter.  I know he will get through this.  But it still scares the crap out of me.  When we first found out he had a hole in his heart, I was optimistic.  I know how resilient babies are.  I knew he would come though with flying colors.  He was 6 months old when he had his 2nd surgery, the first open heart surgery.  Now, at almost 3, I'm not nearly as confident.  I can't help but wonder if that is because of losing her.  My hope is so hard to find...but its there.  I know he can get through this...I know it.  At least that's what I keep telling myself.  Born with Ventricular Septal Defect and holes in his heart, Z is a miracle, plain and simple.  Today, he gives me hope, that no matter how small you are, the fight can and will go on.  A fight that he will eventually win...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Happy birthday Meredith!

At a time when it wasn't acceptable to speak of a child's death, Meredith arrived in this world too soon.  Her momma, Sarita, never got the chance to even say hello.  Meredith passed away 3 days later, never getting the chance to be held by her mother.  Today we remember another little one gone too soon.  Happy birthday Meredith!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Makes me wish things were different

     A friend of mine shared this blog post on FB today called 50 Rules for Dads with Daughters.  It brought tears to my eyes.  I can't help but wish life had turned out differently for us.  I wis P had gotten a chance to use some of these "rules" with Addie.  He's going to be a great father, he just needs the chance.  We both do...

     I wanted to share this, but beware, this just might make you cry....

Monday, September 19, 2011

Taking a break...

  I think I've decided to take a break from Blogger.  As happy as I am for all the BLMs out there, celebrating new pregnancies and/or the arrival of a rainbow, I just can't take the sadness anymore.  It's overwhelming to know that I can't share in these experiences right along with everyone.  And it seems like everyone I know is in the land of rainbows.  While I'm sending out heartfelt congratulations,  a part of me feels like it is dying.  And, I don't want to feel that way.  I want to feel happy about it...I'm just finding it so hard to do so.  So, I really think I need a break.  I'm sure I will still write here, but I doubt I will read much.  I really hope I can get over this issue, because I really do enjoy seeing how everyone is wishes to all my pregnant friends, and to the new momma's out there, cherish the time with your little ones (as I know you will).

  Just one last request...I am trying to put together a calendar of angel dates, so I can make sure to remember every angel's birthday/special date.  Future plans may include graphics sent to momma's on the special date.  You can email me at if you would like your little one included.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The brick wall that is my life...and a new book, Baby Dust

  I feel like I have hit a brick wall.  I can't seem to go any farther and it's killing me.  I had hoped that by her birthday we would be expecting our rainbow, but it has yet to happen.  Every month I am reminded of how I have failed.  Just like I failed to keep her safe...failed to bring her into this world, a healthy child.  It's hard not to blame myself when it was my job to keep her safe for 40 weeks.  I tried to do everything right, but it didn't work.  And, now, it seems as though all my body wants to do is continue to fail.  I thought having to wait for 6 months to start trying again was torture...HA!
    Everywhere around me I hear of rainbows.  It's not that I'm not happy for theses mommas, it's just hard not to wonder if my time will ever come.  And it's hard not to be jealous.  And I really don't like HATE that I feel this way.  I wonder if I just need to take a break from all of this.  I love reading the updates and finding out how everyone is doing, but it makes my heart ache even more that I can't share in these experiences.  Then, yet another member of my family announces they are expecting as well.  It's so f***ing frustrating.  I guess I just need to stop reading...I need to shut myself off from the rest of the world.  That just doesn't seem like a viable option though...I just don't know anymore.

     On a side note, Deanna Roy has released a new book called Baby Dust which details the life of several women after the loss of a child.  Deanna also created a trailer that included photos taken by members of the first Illuminate class.  I was proud to have 2 of my photos selected to be in this trailer.  I am looking forward to reading the soon as I find my Kindle.  You can watch the trailer here.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday Addie B!

     Sometimes I wonder if it was enough...our trip that is.  It certainly wasn't elaborate, but it felt right at the time.  Now, I'm not so sure.  I wasn't ready to face her birthday with a crowd of people, but now I keep wondering if I should have?  What kind of mom doesn't throw her daughter a birthday party?  It seems so selfish....
     That being said, without her here, I honestly feel that the trip was the choice that was best for us.  Canaan Valley is peaceful, beautiful, and definitely quiet during the summer.  Guess that's what we get for going to a ski town in the summer...but I think its what we needed.  We spent most of our time exploring Blackwater Falls State Park.  On a cliff, high above the Blackwater River, we wrote her name.  Simple, yet poignant.  We sat on that cliff for quite a while, just the 2 of us.  Never said a word, although I'm sure each of us knows exactly what the other was thinking.  Together, we created her, together we said goodbye to her, together we love her, together we miss her and together we celebrated her.  Here are a few pictures:

Thank you for the gorgeous visitor!

Daddy writing your name high above the Blackwater River on your birthday.

     I wish I could share all the pictures of butterflies, candles and balloons I got but there are way too many.  I am so overwhelmed by the know that she is remembered means the world to me.  Here is a picture I never expected to get though: 

My friend, Cindy contacted the owner of this image, Priscilla Vecchio Photography.  She told Priscilla my story who in turn agreed to send Cindy copies of this image to give to me.  On top of that, Priscilla has named this image after Addie.  Talk about being flabbergasted.  But I absolutely love it!  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!!!

Dear Addie,

     I'm so sorry this is late.  I have tried so many times to write you this letter.  There is so much I want to say to you and I just haven't found the right words to say it.  So, I've given up.  This letter will probably be all over the place, not organized in any way whatsoever.  But, oh well...

     I miss you little girl.  I dream of you almost every day now, especially in the days since your birthday.  I have to tell you that I feel guilty about your birthday.  You deserved more and I'm sorry I couldn't do it. I'll probably regret that for the rest of my life...but it's just another notch on the list of regrets I have about you.  No, I DON'T regret you, please don't ever think that.  It's what I DIDN'T do that I regret.  My 2 biggest regrets are not spending enough time with you after you were born and not getting more pictures.  I really wish I had gotten a picture of all 3 of us, our first family photo.  I will never forgive myself for that.  I won't make excuses...just know that I am sorry.  But that's not what this letter is about!  See, I'm already rambling...

     This past  Yes, your death shaped me but it is your life that changed me for the better.  It is for that simple reason that your death will NEVER overshadow your life.  Before that day in January 2010, my life was rushed.  I took so much for granted, including your Daddy.  After I found out you would be gracing our lives, so much changed.  I stopped smoking (and haven't looked back, no matter how much I wanted one after you died), started eating better, even became more active.  My life is better because you were in it.  Plain and simple.  I have learned so much from your short life.  I've learned what it is to love unconditionally.  I've learned how to adapt and survive.  I've learned the true meaning of generosity. I take time to enjoy the little things.  I rarely put my camera down anymore, it goes almost everywhere with me.  I capture life as it happens, afraid of missing opportunities, like I did with you (I'm so sorry!!!).

     During the darkest of days, I often wondered how I could continue to live when you weren't here with me.  I do still blame myself sometimes.  I wish I would have insisted that something was wrong when you stopped moving as often.  I wish I would've gone into labor early.  I wish the doctors would've pressed this issue when they found the original antigens in my blood.  I play the what if game all the time.  It's hard not to...seriously.  Even when I'm in a good mood, those little questions creep into my mind.  What if I had eaten better?  What if I had called the doctor sooner or gone to the hospital sooner?  What if...what if...what if?

     This isn't the first letter I've written to you, but you know that don't you.  Sometimes I think I'm crazy to write to you...but it makes me feel a little closer to you.  I wrote one recently as a part of my photography class, Illuminate.  Here's a little bit of it: 

"I put my camera down after you died.  The love I had for photography was gone; the passion I had for life died when Dr. Willey said, “I see no cardiac activity.”  Despite the blur I was in for the next few weeks, those are words I will never forget.  I don’t recall a lot from that time, only that I spent a good bit of my life sleeping and crying.  I thank my lucky stars every day for your Daddy.  He never left my side, keeping me busy, gently prodding me to venture out into the world.  I don’t know how he put up with me, but I will be forever grateful.  He kept me sane at a point in my life when I could have easily lost it all.
     I remember the exact day I once again picked up my camera.  It was September 25, the day of your memorial service and nearly a month since we last saw you.  My eyes opened to a new life that day;  a life without you, yet a life with purpose....That day really did open up a whole new world for me.    My grief is still there, but it is different somehow.  My grief fuels my creativity.... I knew I wanted to plant a garden for you and add a few more personal touches to the house as a way to connect with you.  Still, the want, no the NEED to do something more, do some good in her names was strong.  I wanted to do something that would benefit families like ours; families that leave the hospital empty-handed and broken-hearted; members of the baby lost community.  Out of the fire came On Her Wings.  In your honor and memory we have raised over $700 for the March of Dimes as well as teaming up with other mommas like me to help raise money for funeral/burial costs when a child dies.  And, on your first birthday, we will be donating 10 memory kits to the hospital where you were born.  This is exactly what I wanted to do…I want to keep your memory alive, to make sure you make your mark on the world (no matter how big or small).  Do you see what you’ve inspired, little girl?  Do you see what your little life meant (means) to me and what it will mean to so many others?
     As I sit here writing you this letter I’ve come to realize that your story and your legacy are one in the same.  A work in progress for which I am the author.  I will write the story of you, Addison Breann.  The world will remember your name, I promise."

     I did donate those memory boxes.  And, a whole lot more.  I have agreed to work hand in hand with the hospital in helping the L&D staff better understand how to handle the grief after losing a baby.  This is how I'm surviving.  Would I be doing all of this if you were still here?  Probably not.  I never would have know that the need existed...but now I do.  And, it's because of you; your life and your death have become the biggest influence on my life, although I don't know whether to be grateful for it.  Obviously I'm grateful that you were here, but it's hard to be grateful for your death.

     Have I told you lately how much I love and miss you?!  Because I do....

     I haven't gone in your room for awhile now.  I still have a hard time facing the fact that you aren't here.  During Illuminate, I went in there to take some photographs and was shocked by the enormous grief that hit me when I opened your box.  I pulled out your coming home outfit, your first sonogram picture and the dress you were wearing when I first held you and cried...after 11 months, I didn't expect it to hit me so hard.  A box of memories to hold instead of you.

     A hard to believe its been a year.  I can't say it's been all bad, but it's been rough.  Time hasn't healed me, but time has made missing you a little easier.  I just wish I had the chance to know you, to meet you just once...I wonder what you would look like?  Would you be walking now?  Would you be talking?  It sucks that I have to miss out on all of this.  I had so many plans for I wonder if I'll ever get the chance....Rainbows seem so far away.  I can't help but feel disappointed.  I always thought failure was not an option, but I'm seeing it now more than ever.

     Thank you for all the butterflies little one.  I've never seen so many monarchs in my life!  I think of you every time.

      I wish I had the strength to give you the birthday party you deserved.  I had elaborate plans...butterfly shaped cupcakes, lots of good food, lots of great people.  Your life deserved such an honor.  I'm so sorry I couldn't go through with it.

    I love you and I miss you so much.  My life will never be complete if you're not here.  Keep that piece of my heart safe...I will carry yours with me forever.


Monday, August 29, 2011

A huge thanks

Well, we survived her birthday.  A huge milestone to say the least.  I will be writing a longer post, but I wanted to thank everyone who remembered Addie with us on her birthday.  I got so many messages and FB posts and pictures.  I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love!  Thank you all so much!  I can't tell you how nice it is to know that she was remembered!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Change is....good? Words to remember...

    So, thanks to Hurricane Irene, we won't be hitting the Jersey coast.  I couldn't care less about the friggin storm, but I know it wouldn't be safe to be there.  I'm extremely disappointed.  This was kind of our thing.  Maybe I'm an idiot linking her with a lighthouse trip, but it just made sense to me.  She was there on our first lighthouse trip, so why not celebrate her life with another.  Hopefully, though we can make this particular trip soon.  Instead, we've booked a weekend at the Canaan Valley resort in WV.  Anything to get us out of the house.  I can't be stuck here.  So maybe change will be good.
     I didn't sleep well last night, but I guess I hadn't expected to.  I keep hearing Dr. Wiley's words, over and over again.  No matter how foggy that day is, his words ring through loud and clear..."I see no cardiac activity."    Plain, simple, devastating.  I wish I could forget.  I've been reliving that day over and over.  And I don't see it ending anytime soon.
     Oh how I wish things were different.  I miss you...more than you will ever know.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

And so begins the worst days of my anniversary I never thought I'd see

   Today marks one year since her heart last beat.  Today marks one year from the time I know for sure she was still alive.  I never thought I'd live to see this day.  I miss her, more than words can say.  The hole in my heart is permanent; nothing will ever take that away.  I miss her.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Birthday Plans

     So, after a lot of thought, Patrick and I have decided to celebrate Addison's birthday privately.  We are going to take a trip, one very similar to the babymoon we took in April of 2010, when I was 20 weeks pregnant.  Our trip will take us down the Jersey coast to visit several lighthouses.  Our babymoon consisted of a road trip to visit lighthouses in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina.  This kind of trip has become "our thing" and it seems to be a fitting way to honor her first birthday.  I know some family and friends may be disappointed that we aren't having a party.  I just don't think either one of us is ready to face this day surrounded by people.  We need to do this alone, just the 2 of us.  I still plan on doing a balloon release, but instead of it being in my backyard, it will be on a beach somewhere in NJ.  We are trying to include our family in the celebration, though.  We have asked that anyone who wants to celebrate her life to light a candle or release a balloon or even just remember that August 27 is her birthday. 
     Just remembering her is the greatest gift anyone could ever give us.  That has always been my biggest fear...that she will be forgotten.  Even though she never took a breath, she did exist.  She is and always will be our daughter, regardless of physical presence.
     It seems as though I've had a candle burning the whole month of August.  So many angels have celebrated a birthday this month.  My heart is heavy just knowing that I share this in common with so many mommas.  I've tried to keep up with all the birthdays but its just not working.  I think I'm going to set up a calendar as a reminder.  I hate missing all these birthdays.  Please keep an eye out for the post, I want to add all of our angels to this calendar!
     I also wanted to send out a HUGE thank you to Sarita, Meredith's mom, for sending Addie her first birthday card.  It brought happy tears to my eyes.  Franchesca, from Small Bird Studios, recently added a card to her Lost for Words line, that says it perfectly (click here to see it).  I am so thankful for the people I have met since Addie died.  Only moms who have been through a loss can truly understand what it is like.  I have made friends all over the world...friends who are there to comfort me even when they can't find light in their own lives.
   Last, but not least, I wanted to share my new Sunset Butterflies from Carly Marie.  I'm gathering quite the collection, not that I mind...every one of her butterflies are gorgeous!  One day, I will have them all...I hope!


Monday, August 15, 2011

As the funk returns...

     The funk has set in earlier than I expected.  I found tear tracks on my cheeks this morning after a very restless night.  In less than 2 weeks, she will be 1.  Can I just say how much this sucks?  I know all of us BLMs go through this, but why?  Why do any of us have to celebrate a memory instead of a birthday?  I have been dreading this funk for awhile now, trying to do everything in my power to keep it away.  I guess I just need to accept it.  Man, I sound whiny.  When did I turn into such a selfish person.  All I think about is me, me, me.

Friday, August 12, 2011

And life goes on...

     It's hard to believe that in just over 2 weeks, Addie will be 1.  Yet, here I sit, no baby to hold and celebrate with.  Words cannot describe how much I miss her.  Lately I haven't had a lot of time to miss her.  I've been so busy with Illuminate and finishing up the memory boxes on top of everything else.  But now that Illuminate is finished and the boxes almost complete, my head is filling with thoughts of her.  Still, life goes on.  So far, we have no big plans for her birthday.  I talked to P, and it seems he's not comfortable with having people over.  He hasn't said that yet, but he's "thinking about it."  That, to me, is a sign that he doesn't want to.  Maybe I'm reading him wrong, but I don't think so.  All I know is, if we aren't having people over, then I don't want to be home.  I need to be a hostess to keep my mind off of her.  If I'm home, all I will want to do is sit in her room and cry.  I still want to do a butterfly or balloon release though.
     I have started a new project to help occupy my mind.  I've decided to keep my class blog for Illuminate active and take part in Project 365.  Project 365 is just the concept of taking a picture every day for a year.  Some have themes, others have specific objects/subjects for each day.  My project will focus on things I love, things I enjoy doing, and anything that reminds me of her.  It's a huge undetaking, but I need the challenge.  Wish me luck!   And feel free to check it out anytime:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Eleven months gone and I'm still here...

     Ugh, today has hit me hard.  I can see how your first birthday is going to go.  What can I say that I haven't said before?  Probably nothing...I miss you.  You have no idea how much I miss you.  Some days, when I think I'm okay, something I see, or hear, or smell, rips that hole wide open again.  I was a mess today.  I'm surprised I even made it through a full day at work.  I guess I'm stronger than I thought.  Ha, who am I kidding.  I had to get up and go to the bathroom SO many times today.  I'm surprised no one noticed.  But, then again, I try to blend in.  Sometimes I just don't think I fit there. 
     As we get closer to your birthday, I struggle with whether or not we should have a party.  As much as I want to recognize your existence, I'm almost scared to.  But I don't know why.  I've thought about doing a butterfly release, but I just don't know.  I would like to have something similar to your memorial service.  I just don't know if I can handle it.  I would love it if you would show me what you want.  Yeah, I know, wishful thinking....
     I still find myself wondering what life would be like if you were here.  I dreamed about you again last night.  The first time in a long time.  The dream gave me a glimpse of what life might have been with you here.  You were a new walker, with curly strawberry blond hair just starting to really grow.  Very unsteady on your feet, I saw you trying to chase Jazz, our dog.  He was having a grand old time, licking your face and darting away.  You just giggled and tried to follow.  Your one dimple is so prominent, I can't believe how much you look like your daddy.  I was packing for a weekend at the river and stopped just to watch you.  I loved listening to you laugh.  Is this how my life would be?  Is this how my life SHOULD be?  Oh, I wish you were here.
     I miss you baby girl, more than ever.  I'm having a hard time right now...the stress of work and trying to make you a big sister is really taking it's toll me.  And now, I have to face your first birthday.  What the hell am I going to do?  How can I get through am I going to survive?  I love you little one...with all of my heart.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Calling all BLM's

     Hi everyone!  Sorry I've been so absent lately.  I've been concentrating on my Illuminate class and finishing up the memory boxes.  I just haven't had the chance to post much, or read much for that matter.  But I'm trying to catch up!  I do have a big favor to ask though.  I am trying to put together a list of online and in person resources to help newly bereaved parents.  This list will be included in my memory boxes.  I would love some input from everyone.  I know what has helped me, but other families may have other ideas.  I would love to hear every one's opinions.  Please feel free to include memorial websites too, where families can purchase or request items to memorialize their child/children.  Thank you so much for your help with this! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 first post

     So, I've been working hard on my Illuminate class.  Working so hard that I've been ignoring all of my other blog friends.  Sorry everyone!  I've been trying to read all the posts, but its just not working.  I wanted to share the first week's assignment with everyone.  Also, Beryl is setting up another session for Illuminate.  I think all BLM's would enjoy it.  Check out her site, Be Young Photography, for more information.
   Here is the link to the first assignment.  I'm pretty proud of it.  It was a tough thing to do, very emotional, but I'm glad I'm taking part in this class.  I really think it will help me through the healing process.

***Late edit***
I meant to post this earlier!  If anyone took part in Angie's "Right Where I Am" project, check this post out.  Josh did an awesome job on this!  It is gorgeous!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Path of Illumination

     I've been a bad blog friend, I'm sorry.  I haven't been in the greatest of places lately.  I'm struggling with a lot of anger and emotions and I just haven't felt like writing or even reading anything.  I hope everyone is doing well, though. 
    I've gotten some wonderful things in the mail lately.  First off, I was a winner in a blog giveaway.  The beautiful Raquel, Jeremiah and Matthew's momma, sent me a gorgeous butterfly necklace as a prize.  Thank you so much Raquel, its beautiful!  Secondly, I've ordered the rest of the blankets and hats for the memory boxes, and have received the blankets.  I can't believe, in less than 2 months, we'll be celebrating her first birthday.  Lastly, are the email requests I've received for Birth Certificates.  I'm flattered beyond all belief.  I am willing to share the gorgeous certificates that Fran designed.  Just click here to read more about them.
   Last but not least, I wanted to announce the start of a new blog.  I signed up for an online photography class called Illuminate.  The class is taught by Beryl Young, from Be Young Photography.  She is a fellow baby loss momma and has designed this course specifically for blms as a way to help the healing process by using photography and journaling.  Our first assignment starts tomorrow.  I am SO looking forward to this class.  So, if you have time, I encourage you to check out this new blog and follow me as I begin this new path.  Here is the link:

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Silence is golden? Or maybe not...

    I've been pretty quiet lately.  Mostly because I've been so busy.  Summertime brings a lot of action around the Thompson household.  I've been gardening and camping and cleaning and, most of all, working on the memory boxes.  All the fun stuff.  I've been trying to keep my mind off of the fact that her birthday is less than 2 months away  I'm struggling with the fact that she should be turning 1 and we should be celebrating her life and not her memory.
     She sent us a big wink the other day.  We spent the long weekend camping with my family.  I was sitting in my mom and dad's camper when P comes knocking on the window.  Lo and behold, on his hat, there sits a butterfly.  She stayed there for a long time.  A wink?!  I think so...

We spent a lot of time around the campfire too.  There's just something so soothing about a crackling fire (and s'mores and roasting weenies!).  So relaxing...just what I needed.  Time with family and friends can cure just about anything.

Good times with great friends and family

Jazz having his breakfast treat:  sausage gravy and biscuits

     As I said, I've been struggling a lot lately with her upcoming birthday.  I want to have a birthday party, but I don't even know where to start.  I don't even know how to bring up the subject with the rest of my family, not even P.  I almost feel silly even thinking about planning her party.  But how is it silly?  She's my daughter, why shouldn't we have a party for her?  I just don;t know where or how to begin.
     And, with her first birthday looming around the corner, so are the birthdays for little Aaron and Miss Layla.  Their moms and I were pregnant together last year.  They are 2 of my best friends and I had hoped our children would be just as close.  Now, an Evite invitation sits in my email, just waiting to be answered.  It's an invitation to Layla's first birthday party.  I don't think I can do it.  I've already promised Jess I would help out in any way I can, but I don't think I can do it.  Every time I go to RSVP, I can' eyes well up and I start shaking.  The last thing I want to do is turn into a blubbering fool in the middle of her birthday party.  But, I don't want to hurt Jessica's feelings either.  She has been so great to me, more than I can say for most of my so-called friends.  I have no idea what to do...why can't this just be easier?

Monday, June 27, 2011

A milestone never reached...and my 100th post.

     I started this blog in October, as a way to record my thoughts and emotions after my daughter died.  Never, in a million years did I think I would be sitting here, writing my 100th blog post.  And how appropriate that my 100th entry be on her 10 month birthday.
     This day has hit me hard, but I'm trying to look at the positive side of things.  So, I've decided to write down all the things I've learned since losing her.  If not for her existence, I don't believe I would have seen any of these lessons.

1.  Unconditional love.  I've learned to both recieve and give.  This is a new concept for me, to love unconditionally.  I've always been very guarded with my heart, but she opened up a whole new side of me. 
2.  Survival.  10 months ago, a piece of me died when she left me.  10 months ago, I thought I couldn't go on without her.  Yet, here I am.  I AM surviving, even if there are days when it doesn't feel like it.
3.  Dignity.  I have often questioned the existance of diginity in my loss, along with strength, but its there, no matter how small.  I've held my head as high as I can while swimming through my grief.
4.  Strength.  Again, something I question.  People keep telling me I'm such a strong person, but am I really?  Or has she taught me how to be a good actress?
5.  Generosity.  Above all Addie has shown me generosity.  At the time I felt I was most alone, she helped me find many mommas just like me.  I have seen how generous this community is and the despair seemingly disappears in the light of this community.  Although we've all been through hell and back, the generosity still exists.  There is good in the just have to find it and she did for me.

     I've said it before and I'll say it again:  if I could go back in time, I wouldn't change a thing about my pregnancy.  I am so grateful for the time I had with her and the lessons I've learned.  As much as I wish I could change the outcome; to come home with my daughter, I know I can't.  I'll take what I can get, even if that is just a few pictures and a lifetime of memories that fit into 39 short weeks.

Addie girl,
     I miss you, I know it's been awhile since I've said that, but I do.  I MISS YOU.  I keep wondering what you would look like today...wondering if you would be playing with Miss Layla or cutie Aaron at their first birthdays.  I should be planning your first birthday, but instead, I don't know what I'm gonna do.  I keep asking myself how I can miss someone so much when I never had the chance to meet I could love you without you even taking a breath.  And how is it that I can continue to live my life without you?  I MISS YOU.  I LOVE YOU.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Small Miracles


     I am once again joining Franchesca for her Small Miracles blog hop.  I have a few small miracles I'd like to that has certainly given me a big reason to smile, but all of them have definitely lift my spirits this month.

1.  My new tattoo.  I know tattoos aren't for everyone but I love my other 2.  They all have special meaning for me, but this one trumps them all.

It is life size and on my back, just below the nape of my neck.

Side by side comparison of the tat and her actual footprints.  The
artist did an awesome job at keeping the detail in her prints.  I couldn't
be any happier...well, I COULD but not with the tat. It's exactly what I wanted.

2.  Addie's gardens.  Yes, I said gardens as she has several dedicated in her memory.  They are all starting to bloom and are so beautiful.  It's a wonderful thing knowing I can see something grow in spite of not being able to see her grow.

3.  Camping.  Now that summer is here, we spend almost every weekend on the Potomac River.  Good times with family and friends...nothing beats that.

P's toy...he loves his Dodge Ram 2500 PowerWagon

Eating fresh steamed shrimp with great people!

Our awning lights are butterflies...would you expect any less?

The camper on the right is ours, the left one belongs to my mom and dad.

4.  Road trips.  We went to Kentucky a few weeks ago for a family reunion.  It was nice seeing everyone, but sometimes I felt as though people were whispering about me.  Maybe I was just being too sensitive, I don't know.  Still, I got in some good bonding time with Nic, my newest nephew.  I can't wait to have one of my own.  I never realized just how being a mom comes naturally to me.  I hope that one day I'll get my chance.  Here's some pics of the weekend:

Baby Nic

5.  As always, I am thankful for the man in my life.  If not for P, I wouldn't survive.  He makes me smile, he makes me laugh, he makes me look at life in a whole new way.  I'm so lucky.
He had a mouthful of shrimp...he's gonna kill me for this one, lol
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