Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My Moonlight Aura sculptures

I thought I would also share the sculptures that I got from Moonlight Aura. This shop is special in that Krystal specializes in the sculpting of hands. The hands can hold objects, be signing in sign language, or be representing something else.

I got a pair of hands holding a purple flower. Normally, Krystal would put her own butterfly on the piece but I requested to put my own on. I wanted to add to the sculpture one of Carleigh’s butterflies from her 2nd birthday cake to make it more special. I figured one of the small white ones would work perfectly and I was right!

I also got a small hand sculpture in gold signing ‘I Love You’.


I also got a couple clay pendants that are usually used for necklaces and I made it into a suncatcher that hangs in our van.

I would definitely love to get more sculptures from her shop. I already have my eye on a few!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Midnight Orange Sculptures

I have been wanting to share here the sculptures I have from The Midnight Orange that I have gotten that hold special meaning for my babies.

This piece is called You Make Me Gleam and is the first sculpture I ever got from The Midnight Orange. I actually won it through a giveaway held by Stephanie back in October 2009. All of us who entered were able to have a sculpture created by D. Antonia thanks to her own generosity. I  picked this piece out for Carleigh. I just love it.

You Make Me Gleam (1)

It wasn’t until March this year that I bought my second sculpture, even though I had kept my eye on many of them. I even wanted to get a custom order done by D. Antonia but then she stopped doing customs because of the growth in popularity of her sculptures.

My second sculpture is called Love Grows In The Moonlight and I bought this piece specifically to go on Carleigh’s second birthday cake. It went perfectly with her butterfly themed cake and I have always loved how the colors purple and teal go together. Plus, purple is Carleigh’s color! Now it is a lovely reminder to me of her 2nd birthday.

Love Grows In The Moonlight

The third and fourth sculptures I got were the piece called Sleeping. I got a purple one for Carleigh and a yellow one for Jordan.

Sleeping - purpleSleeping - yellow

The fifth and sixth I got for them is called Quiet Time and is of a baby butterfly resting on a toadstool. Again, I got one for each of them in their colors.

Quiet Time - purpleQuiet Time - yellow

The seventh is called These Lazy Days. I actually bought this piece and put it up on the SGM online auction I hosted and then I rebought it because I really loved it. I like to think it is me and Carleigh just basking in the sun together. I’m laying there and she comes along and lands on me and it is just perfect.

These Lazy Days

The eighth is called a Wee Creature and was made by D. Antonia for Carleigh. In her words, “This one came down from Heaven and after two years of playing with Carleigh she's going to keep her momma some company.”

Mystery Wee (4)

There are more pieces in my collection but these are ones I specifically bought or have for my babies. You can see half of my total collection here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Silver Angel Wings

Not to long ago Franchesca held a giveaway for a silver angel wing necklace from Sue-Ella Signature Designs. I happened to be the lucky winner of the necklace. It was such a wonderful surprise! I had been eyeing some of this same jewelry and here I had won one! It just really made my day.

I got in contact with Sue to figure out what I wanted to do with the necklace I had won. I decided that I wanted to buy another angel wing on top of the one I had won so that I could have one for Carleigh and one for Jordan. Sue suggested a different angel wing necklace where I could have the wings facing the opposite way and it sounded perfect.

Last week I got my lovely necklace in the mail and it is just so beautiful. And I just happened to be wearing my angel wing shirt of Carleigh’s that my friend Mary made me.


The angel wings are fine silver with a sterling silver chain. On the back of the angel wings are my babies’ name in the same photos that Carly took. Each angel wing also contains sand from Christian’s beach.


Then I got snap happy with my camera and decided to take a picture of the angel wings with their sculptures from The Midnight Orange. So you see Jordan’s angel wing with his yellow Sleeping sculpture and Carleigh’s angel wing with her purple Sleeping sculpture. I just love how it turned out.


Thank you, Sue, for such a beautiful necklace! I truly love it!

Monday, June 20, 2011

A special blanket made even more special

My friend Heidi has a beautiful ministry called Butterfly Kisses. With her ministry she takes blankets for your baby and embroiders them with their hand and foot prints. After seeing her work a couple times I really wanted to get this done for Carleigh.

I decided to do the blanket that was given to me by some family members for Carleigh’s first Christmas in Heaven in 2009. The soft, pink, marshmallow blanket was already embroidered with her name and birthday and a moon holding a little bear.

The blanket has sat in her memory chest since we got it. I had not even unwrapped it from the ribbon or taken it off the hanger it came on. But I took off the ribbon and removed the hanger (then put the ribbon back on) and sent it off to Heidi for her to do her magic. She did a fabulous job!


The blanket for now has been wrapped back up in the ribbon and put back in the memory chest. I plan to get it out more and use it for both the girls and me as they continue to get older. I imagine us wrapped up in it and they ask about the prints and then I can talk to them about their sister.

Thank you Heidi!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

What I’m grateful for

featured on

I decided to take part in a writing link-up with The Dead Baby Club. I like linking up to stuff like this because it gives me the opportunity to sit and think and write about things on my grief journey. I don’t write like I used to simply because sometimes I feel like everything has already been said, but I know that’s not true. This journey is continually evolving. The topic for this link-up is about gratitude.

Gratitude. Since the loss of my child(ren) the one thing I am most grateful for is…..

I have found that I am a lot more grateful for healthy, living children than I ever was. I took it for granted. I mean, I realized things happened but I never figured it would happen to me. It’s always other people that stuff happens to. But then it became me and my world was shattered and changed forever. The innocence of pregnancy was no more and in crept the fear of losing another child. And it didn’t end with the end of the pregnancy. It continues as the child grows.

My husband thinks I am a little overboard at times with our rainbow baby. Like when I check on her breathing just 5 minutes after putting her down asleep or when we are driving and I check on her in her car seat to make sure she’s still breathing. I can’t help it. The death of my child has made me paranoid. I told him that just because it happened to us once doesn’t mean we are exempt from it happening again. There are no rules with this kind of thing.

More than ever I believe that every child who is born healthy and alive is a true miracle. I don’t take that miracle for granted like before.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Right Where I Am: 8 years 5 months 3 weeks

I’m taking part with Angie at Still Life With Circles and other wonderful women in this community in writing a post about where we are at right now in our grief. Like my other post, I’m just gonna write what comes to my heart. I thought it would be good for me to write about where I am at with Jordan too.


It has been 8 years 5 months and 3 weeks since I made a choice that forever changed my life-having an abortion. Writing that word still gets to me after all these years. It was December 19, 2002 and it was a gloomy, rainy day. It’s a day I tried to forget for 5 years after it happened. I tried to pretend it didn’t happen but stuff like that you push away in your mind and heart always resurfaces at some point.

After my daughter Kyndra was born I struggled a lot with what I had done. I sunk deeper and deeper into a hole that I didn’t know how to escape. My heart and my limbs felt heavy and I felt like there was a perpetual dark cloud over my head. Thanks to God and the bible study Forgiven & Set Free I was able to find healing.

Today, I’m in a really good place with my grief with Jordan. The regret, guilt, and shame are not heavy chains weighing me down anymore. It’s still there and always will be but I have hope and forgiveness through God. I have the hope of one day seeing Jordan in Heaven. I want to tell him as we embrace for the first time how much I do love him and how sorry I am that I made the choice that I did.

I may not think of Jordan as often as Carleigh but he is also in my heart and in my thoughts. I do believe that my grief and healing with Jordan helped me to cope better with my grief with Carleigh. It is because of Jordan that I made the decision before Carleigh to never terminate another pregnancy. It hurt me too much and I didn’t want the wounds to run that deep ever again.

One of the things that is harder with Jordan is that I don’t have anything tangible to remember him by. Nothing that was his. In Ohio, clinics must keep your records for 6 years before destroying them. I tried so desperately to find my records before my 6 years was up. I had hoped there was an ultrasound picture in my file. I called the clinic but it was closed and a new clinic had taken its place and said they couldn’t help me. I called the Department of Health but they said they couldn’t help me either. I even got in touch with Heartbeat International and they also said they couldn’t help. Finally, I gave up. No one seemed to know where the records went after the clinic closed. I still wonder to this day what happened to them.

Jordan does have a special place though. The National Memorial of the Unborn in Chattanooga is kinda the equivalent of the cemetery to us for him. We have a plaque placed on the wall there and a copy of it I have placed in his memory box that I recently received. I love visiting the memorial and we’ve gone there every year in October for the past 3 years. We had planned to again this year but I decided to go to the October 15 Memorial in Minnesota instead.

It still isn’t easy to share my story about Jordan. You never know how people will receive it but I do it because I know that it will help other people who have been through the same thing not feel so alone. Too many women stay silent and suffer alone. It is a very taboo subject.

It is because of Jordan that I have learned not to be so quick to judge others. I was the good Christian girl who was against abortion but yet I still had one partly because I was afraid of what people (especially my parents) would think when they found out I was pregnant at 19. Little did I know then that there are things worse than being unwed and pregnant. But when you’re in a place where fear has taken over your heart and clouded your mind you can’t make sound decisions. I just wish there would’ve been someone who had broken through the fog and made me realize what I was really doing.

I never would have understood a lot of things or helped other people in similar situations had I not walked this road and for that I am grateful for this broken road. If I could take it back I would to have Jordan here, but since I don’t have a time machine I am glad that God has brought good things out of something so terrible.

Happy Birthday June Babies

♥ Remembering those babies with special days in June. ♥

Wyatt ~ June 1, 2009
Xavier ~ June 4, 2009
Wyatt ~ June 6, 2010
Matthew & Joshua ~ June 7, 2008
Nolan ~ June 8, 2009
Leyland ~ June 9, 2009
Rylyn ~ June 9, 2005
Dylan ~ June 11, 2008
Mikayla ~ June 13, 2010
Calypso ~ June 14, 2007
Mackenzie ~ June 17, 2009
Austin ~ June 17, 2009
Eli ~ June 17, 2010
Aubrey & Ellie ~ June 24, 2008
Jack ~ June 24, 2010
Drew ~ June 30, 2010

If you would like your baby added please let me know!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

SGM Golf Outing 2011

June 4th was the annual Sufficient Grace Ministries golf outing. It was my 2nd year participating. Last year I golfed on a team with Kelly but this year I had my own team so there were 2 women’s teams. Yay! My husband, Anthony, also had his same team from last year (his brother Todd, him, his friend Andy, and his dad).

My team was my friend Kristi, her sister Erin, my sister Katrina, and me. And let me tell you-we had a blast golfing together!

Here is mine, my husband’s, and Kelly’s teams for the golf outing:


The day was a beautiful day! It was warm and sunny and with a breeze. It was a lot like last year only this year had a much better breeze so it didn’t feel quite as hot. However, I learned my lesson last year from getting sunburnt and made sure to put sunscreen on beforehand and bring it with me. Thank goodness I did not get burnt this year but I have really good sunscreen we use now (called thinksport).

Kristi and I were in a cart together and my sister and Erin were in a cart together. We started on hole 1 right after Kelly’s team. We managed to get quite a ways behind them as we continued to golf. So either they get the job done quick or we goofed around a lot!


I started out a lot better than last year but I’m still not a real great golfer! Erin was pretty much the only one on our team with some good golf experience. I mean, she has her own clubs so that definitely means something!


We definitely had some fun and silly moments!! I’m so very glad these girls agreed to golf with me.


Anthony’s team had a great time too.


Kristi and I sponsored a hole together in memory of our babies.


We also made sure to get a pic with the sign at the hole that Sue from My Forever Child sponsored. Thanks for sponsoring, Sue!!


Near the end of the day we were getting pretty tired so we may have skipped a couple holes, which is prolly a good thing because they were still waiting on us when we finished! For a time during the outing it looked like it might storm but the dark clouds went around us thank goodness. I was hoping we would be able to finish without rain and we did.

Thanks so much to everyone who sponsored a hole or other portion of the golf outing. You can see a list of sponsors here on Kelly’s blog. Between the golf outing and a raffle that was held on some signed Ohio State football items, over $6,000 was raised for the ministry. What an awesome amount! The ministry is certainly being blessed this year and I pray that God will continue to bless it and to put it on the hearts of others to donate toward this great ministry.

PS – You can view more photos of the golf outing on the Sufficient Grace Ministries FB page and also in my photos.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Jordan’s memory box

I received in the mail a beautiful memory box for Jordan created by Katy. The box was given to me by my friend Emily after she won it on the Sufficient Grace auction that I hosted in the beginning of April. I had been wanting to get one of these memory boxes for this purpose but just kept putting it off.

The box is absolutely beautiful and I’m so happy to finally have something to put the few things I have for Jordan.


Thank you Katy for creating this wonderful memory box and thank you Emily for your generosity in giving it to me.

If you are looking into a memory box for your baby I highly recommend getting one from Katy. This box is very well crafted.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Right Where I Am: 2 years 2 months 5 days

I’m taking part with Angie at Still Life With Circles and other wonderful women in this community in writing a post about where we are at right now in our grief. I’m not sure where to go with this so I’ll just write what comes to my heart.
Today it has been 2 years 2 months and 5 days since Carleigh was born still on March 28, 2009. It is hard for me to believe it has been over 2 years already since that day. Wasn’t it just yesterday I found out I was pregnant with her? Wasn’t it just yesterday that we got the news that no parent should ever get? Wasn’t it just yesterday that I held her in my arms?
Sometimes I wish I could go back to yesterday. I think that is because I feel I didn’t get enough moments with her while she was here. I got to spend 37 weeks with her in my womb. I got to feel every single kick and hiccup and gosh I am so grateful for that. I shared moments with her that no one else ever got to experience. I think because of that I grieve for her in a way that no one else ever will. No one knew her like me.
I remember being completely ecstatic when I found out she was a girl around 16 weeks. My dream was going to come true of having 2 girls close in age like me and my sister. Life couldn’t get any better. But then that horrible day came. I’ll never forget the exact moment when all my dreams were shattered. It only took one word. Anencephalic. I saw the word and I knew what it meant. We’d never take our baby home.
I am still completely amazed at the grace that God gave me that day and on the rest of our journey. While my heart was completely broken, I felt God near me and He walked beside me through it all.
The first year was the toughest for me, especially around month 6. I had to go through all of the “firsts” like holidays and her birthday. But not only that I had to get through each month of wondering what she would be doing at that stage and what milestones she would be reaching. I still wonder to this day what she would be like and I imagine I will always wonder for the rest of my life here on this earth.
Now here I am at 2 years 2 months and 5 days out. What is grief like for me now?
My grief is a lot easier to bear, even though my grief has never felt extremely heavy. I’ve never really had sad days, just sad moments. Those moments have happened less and less as time has passed. They are still unpredictable though. I can be doing just fine and then something triggers a moment. It could be a reminder or a song or just looking at my other girls and seeing the little girl in the middle that is missing. I don’t miss Carleigh any less than I do from when I last held her. I prolly miss her more. People prolly wonder how can I be less sad but miss her more? I don’t really know.
I’ve always been an optimistic person and that optimism has carried over in how I handle my grief. I’ve kept my optimism and my hope and I think that has helped cope better than if I didn’t have it. I had my rainbow baby in September 2010 and she has brought a lot of love and joy into the spaces of my heart that were empty and aching. But I don’t want people to think that my heart is completely healed because that isn’t the case and never will be. My heart will always be broken for the daughter I had to let go and there will always be a piece of it that will be hers.
I like to imagine her being so happy that her sisters make me happy. I like to imagine that when we laugh and play together she laughs along with us. I even imagine that when mommy or daddy feels sad she wants nothing more than to reach to us and hold us and tell us it’s gonna be ok.
There are things that are harder now though. Although it has gotten better, I don’t look at babies and pregnancy the way I used to before Carleigh. A pregnancy doesn’t always equal a baby even when you’re past the first trimester like so many believe. I used to have the “that’ll never happen to me” mentality. Then it did happen to me and it forever changed me. It’s harder to talk to people about how many children I have because some people don’t think that children in Heaven count and I don’t agree with that.
I see more of the blessings I have been given in this life because of Carleigh. She changed me so much and I know she made me into a better and more caring person. I would hate to think that because of her I became less than that.
I don’t visit her at the cemetery as much as I used. It’s not because I don’t want to but because the days get away from me and I’m not out that way as much as I used to be. We visited recently though and it was so nice. Kyndra has always enjoyed going to the cemetery. She laughs and plays and runs around. She should never have to associate a cemetery with her sister.
I wish people would say her name more or just talk about her. I wish people would tell me that they miss her. I want to know that there are people who miss her besides me. I’m always missing her.
I never realized before Carleigh how much of an impact losing a child has on a person. It’s a pain and a grief unlike any other and can only be fully understood by those who have been there. Some people may disagree with me but I think it is the worst kind of loss. Children shouldn’t die before their parents.
I like to look at her pictures and the keepsakes I keep in her memory chest. It was not too long ago that I watched just a little bit of one of her videos from the day of her birth. The silence in the room from that day is haunting. I didn’t realize how quiet the room was then. I was so focused on her that I was unaware of what was going on around me. I do remember hearing the clicks of my friend Ashley's camera taking pictures of us. That was basically the only sound in the room aside from the whispers from our caretakers.
I don’t give myself a lot of time to sit and really think about things. Honestly, I barely have time to myself to get other things done let alone have a good grief session! But there are occasions when I am by myself at home or I’m in the car and I will take myself back there. I go back to the moments when we found out, when I carried her, when I held her in my arms, and when we said our final goodbyes. I wonder how I have made it through this. This is the stuff people tell you that they don’t know how you did it because they surely couldn’t. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been told that. And I want to tell them that it hurts and it sucks but oh, she was so worth it. She was and is worth every moment, good and bad, that I have experienced these past 2 years 2 months and 5 days.
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