Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Day 31 ~ Capture Your Grief ~ Sunset

Day 31 of Capture Your Grief wants us to share a photograph of the sunset from wherever we are in the world.

Because of the weather in my area, I was unable to get a picture of the sunset so I decided to share a picture I took off my front porch last summer. I just love how beautiful the sky is and it’s my favorite I have seen in my area of SW Ohio.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day 30 ~ Capture Your Grief ~ Your Grief-Tell The World

Day 30 of Capture Your Grief wants us to share what we want the world to know about this road you are travelling.  Do you just want your baby’s name to be spoken? Do you want others to know they are not alone? Whatever it is, write it down on a piece of paper and hold it up for the world to see!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Day 29 ~ Capture Your Grief ~ Music

Day 29 of Capture Your Grief wants us to share a YouTube clip of a piece of music that reminds your of your baby.

One of the first songs I heard after getting Carleigh’s fatal diagnosis was I Will Carry You by Selah. It was this exact video that I watched just hours after we found out. I remember just crying listening to this song. We were able to use it as part of the slideshow for Carleigh’s service. This song will always be special to me.

I found this song in the summer of 2009. It is Still by Gerritt Hofsink. I was doing a search of songs about losing a baby and came upon it. It is amazingly beautiful and I have loved it ever since the first time I heard it.

A song that reminds me of Jordan is Happy Birthday by Flipsyde. I found this song in 2008 and it just really resonated with me.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Day 28 ~ Capture Your Grief ~ Memory

Day 28 of Capture Your Grief wants us to share one of your most significant memories on this journey of grief, it can be a positive or negative memory.

I’ll always remember seeing Carleigh on the 3D US that we had done. It was so amazing seeing her move and kick around. There was so much love in my heart for her in those moments. She had the chubbiest cheeks just like her big sister. I never got to see Carleigh alive other than in her ultrasounds so being able to see her in 3D was certainly a gift. I treasure the video that we have of her.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Day 27 ~ Capture Your Grief ~ Artwork

Day 27 of Capture Your Grief wants us to share some artwork that reminds you of your baby or something that was created for them by you or someone else.

Before Carleigh was born I did a belly cast. The cast was done when I was 36 wks. For 2 years the cast remained unpainted and tucked away in a plastic tote in a closet. I finally got it out and sent it to Stephanie of Beyond Words Designs and she painted it for me. I told her that I wanted the color purple and stars incorporated but the actual design was up to her.

What Stephanie came up with was amazing and totally perfect. The top is a bright blue that fades to a deep purple with a shooting star and many little stars on it. I love it so much.


When I sent the cast to Stephanie I also sent the stamps I had of Carleigh’s hand and foot prints and she put them in the exact position she laid in my womb. She also painted a little heart where her heart used to beat.


Friday, October 26, 2012

The best Carleigh wink ever

I wanted to share of the latest (and greatest) wink that I have received from Carleigh. I will start off to say that I have tried to come up with a way as to explain what happened but so far I haven’t.

The experience happened driving back to the cabin from the Grace for the Journey conference on October 13th. It was very late at night and it was raining. We were all tired and I was having trouble staying away (like slurring my words tired). I glanced into the rearview mirror and noticed something on the back window that I had never seen before. It was a very small handprint in the upper middle of the window. It was obviously the handprint of a baby. I tried to think and there was no occasion when any of my children would have put their hand on the window where it was. They have never been on the outside at that height and closeness to the window to make it and they cannot reach the window from the back seat at the age the handprint would make them.

I studied the handprint as best as I could while driving and it dawned on me that the handprint looked like Carleigh’s handprint-the one that is tattooed on my shoulder. I just couldn’t believe it! I kept looking at it and thought how amazing that was. I meant to take a picture of it later but when I remembered to do it I could not find any trace at all of the handprint on the inside or outside of the van.

Was it really Carleigh’s handprint? Was she trying to keep me alert while driving? Was she protecting me? I don’t have definite answers to these questions. I want to believe it is Carleigh’s handprint that was on that window and since there is no other explanation for it that is what I am choosing to believe right now.

Since then I have seen the handprint on 2 other occasions at home. I have continued to look for traces of the handprint on the inside and outside of the van with no success.

If this is indeed from her then thank you my sweet girl. Mommy will cherish it!

Day 26 ~ Capture Your Grief ~ Their Age

Day 26 of Capture Your Grief wants us to share how old our baby was when they died. Write it down on a piece of paper. If they died whilst you were pregnant you can write their gestation.

Beneath their butterflies are the gestations when they died.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Day 25 ~ Capture Your Grief ~ Baby Shower/Blessing

Day 25 of Capture Your Grief wants us to share a photo from your baby shower or blessing.

My pastor’s wife hosted a prayer shower for me and Carleigh on March 14, 2009. We had food and a yummy cake. All the decorations were in purple, which is how the color purple became Carleigh’s.

I had those who came bring baby bottles full of change instead of gifts and we donated the money to our local women’s center.


After food and cake we went to the sanctuary of our church and had prayers. My pastor also anointed me for Carleigh. We listened to songs too and read scriptures. It was all so lovely and appreciated.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day 24 ~ Capture Your Grief ~ Siblings

Day 24 of Capture Your Grief wants us to share about siblings. This could be done two ways – your could photograph your own siblings and post about how grief has affected them or you can post about your other living children.

Kyndra is the only one of my girls that is in the same picture as Carleigh. She was 15 months old when Carleigh was born. Carleigh was born at 3:49 am so she was very sleepy when we got most of our photos and I don’t have any of her holding her sister, but she really didn’t take a whole lot of interest anyway since she was so young. I think she thought she was a baby doll.



The only way Carleigh’s younger sisters can get pictures with her is with either her photo or her Carleigh Bear.



I wish so much that my girls could grow up with Carleigh and she with them. I hate thinking of what all they and our family is missing out on without her here. I want to make sure my girls grow up knowing about their sister and how much we love her. I want them to know it’s ok to remember her or be sad she isn’t here. I want them to know that it’s ok to express grief and it’s ok to talk about it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day 23 ~ Capture Your Grief ~ Their Name/Their Photo

Day 23 of Capture Your Grief wants us to share, if comfortable, a photo of our baby or babies we are remembering this month. If you do not have photos, you could use an ultrasound image or something that represents them.

I am remembering my babies Carleigh and Jordan. ♥♥


Laguna Beach in Panama City Beach, FL

Monday, October 22, 2012

Day 22 ~ Capture Your Grief ~ Place of Care/Birth

Day 22 of Capture Your Grief wants us to share the place that looked after you whilst you were pregnant. Share a photo of those who took care of you and your baby. This could be a midwife/doula/friend/partner.

We had 2 nurses that were there during the labor and delivery. Of course, there were more nurses involved in our care throughout our stay but these are the ones I have pictures of. My nurse Monica in the first picture was with us during the earlier part of labor and my nurse Erin in the second picture was with us during the later part of labor, delivery, and the moments after.

I’m very glad that Erin was my nurse when Carleigh was born. It felt right for her to be there and she was very attentive to our needs. The whole staff during our stay was wonderful to both to us and our family.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Grace for the Journey Conference

October 13th was the very first conference hosted by Sufficient Grace Ministries. We traveled up to Northern Michigan and the conference was held in the Petoskey area, so pretty far up there!

Kelly, my cousin Jillian, and I left Thursday evening to travel up to a cabin my family co-owns near Gaylord, MI. We got there around 10 pm (maybe later?) and got everything unpacked. We stayed up for a little bit and then hit the sack to get some sleep after being in the car for over 5 hours (me longer since I had to drive up to NW Ohio to get the other gals).

Woke up in the morning to a beautiful view of Bluegill Lake. So much beauty in God’s creation!


After some yummy cinnamon rolls, we got ready and set off for Petoskey as we had a meeting with a hospital in the area to talk about the ministry. The unit was very busy and we ended up having to leave and come back but that was no big deal since we just went and ate some lunch at a small family restaurant with some good food! The meeting went very well with some of the nurses and the manager from the unit and we left some information and items with them from SGM.

The pics below are on the way to Petoskey (such colors!) and driving in Petoskey (you can see Lake Michigan).


On the way to and back from Petoskey we noticed this little shop called String of Pearls in Elmira, MI. We stopped by on the way back and took some pics of it and then popped in to see what it was but didn’t stay long since it was already past closing but we went back the next morning to browse some more. The name of the store reminded us of the organization String of Pearls, which helps families with fatal diagnoses in pregnancy. I ended up getting a really cool clock for my house and also got another for the new space for SGM. :)


On Friday evening (Oct 12th), we ate at a local restaurant in Gaylord, MI called Big Buck Brewery. They have really good food and beer too (so I hear lol). I always get their homemade root beer. It’s good stuff! Kelly and I got 64 oz of root beer each to take home with us!


On the way back to the cabin I stopped by a little area on the other side of Bluegill Lake so that Kelly could take some pictures. The sky at dusk was very pretty over the lake. By the time we got home Friday evening we were pretty tired! We just put on our pajamas and relaxed the rest of the night before turning in.


On Saturday morning (Oct 13th) we got up and had some more cinnamon rolls and took off to Walmart to grab some more last minute things for the conference before heading to Petoskey. (Oh yeah, and we stopped by the String of Pearls too before heading up.)

Once we got to where we needed to be we unloaded and started setting stuff up. The time went by really fast and it seemed 5 pm was right on us and we were still trying to get things the way we needed but we ended up making it. The most trouble we had was with the computer for the powerpoints (of course).


Kelly spoke first and shared about SGM and her family’s story, Jenny spoke second and shared about her story and what to say and what not to say to families who are grieving. Kelly also threw some giveaways in the mix.


After Jenny spoke, we had an intermission and went downstairs to eat some BBQ pork, chips, and cupcakes. Holy cow that BBQ pork that Kelly brought was DELICIOUS!! And the cupcakes were so yummy too! When our bellies were full enough we came back upstairs and some of those who were in attendance had to leave. Then it was my turn to speak! I spoke about how to incorporate your baby’s memory into your family’s everyday lives and in celebrations.


Next on the agenda was a sort of discussion on sibling grief. Kelly, Jenny, and I sat at the front and talked about the subject but we also talked about other things too and interacted with those who had attended. We also had more giveaways too! (Oh, and in case you didn’t notice Evanee came with me for the weekend trip!)


We had planned on doing a lantern release but it was raining the whole day and we weren’t able to. Instead we had a candle lighting ceremony and remembered our babies that way. As we lit our candles individually we spoke the names of our babies. Mine ended up blowing out prematurely since I was bouncing Evanee the hot wax spilled out and took out my candles and got all over my hand and over the floor. Nice! lol

candle light 3candle light1

Once our candles were out we all took some time to talk and even goof off a little. And take pictures!!!

75740_3893464541760_1731681717_n156561_3893448101349_1292543203_ngirlsme, jenny, hollyme, madge, holly2rachel, me, holly

By the time everyone left it was after 10 pm and we started packing up. It was I think after midnight when we got back to the cabin. (Amazing story to tell in a post coming soon about the drive home!) We were all really tired but stayed up a bit once we got there. I think I ate like 3 or 4 of the cupcakes that were leftover!

The next morning on Sunday Kelly and I left for Petoskey one more time to go to Jenny’s church to set up a table for SGM with our info. Once the service was over and everyone had pretty much gone we loaded up and went back to the cabin and packed up all our stuff there and loaded it. We made sure all was tidy and then we took off to head back to NW Ohio. We prolly got back in the area close to 10 pm. I definitely had enough driving once it was all over!!

Day 21 ~ Capture Your Grief ~ Altar/Shrine/Sacred Place

Day 21 of Capture Your Grief wants us to share a photo of your special place in your home/garden for your baby.

A special place we have in our flower beds is beneath our weeping cherry tree. The concrete statues and bench we got from family members as gifts after Carleigh was born. Aside from the hostas, I haven’t really planted anything else in that area but would like to.


In our home, I don’t have one specific place yet for my babies. Things are more scattered around the house. Carleigh’s memory chest and Jordan’s memory box are up in Lainey’s bedroom. Carleigh’s belly cast, funeral flowers, and a canvas of her picture is in our bedroom. There’s a couple pictures and her baby board in the living room. I am hoping sometime in the near future to be able to set aside that special place.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Day 20 ~ Capture Your Grief ~ Charity/Organization

Day 20 of Capture Your Grief wants us to share our favorite charity or organization that has touched our hearts on this road of grief.

 Sufficient Grace Ministries is definitely a ministry that has touched my life. In addition to being a board member of the ministry, I also am a recipient of its materials. I was given the Comfort Bear and the Dreams of You memory book for Carleigh. This ministry reaches out to so many grieving families and never asks for them to pay for materials, which I think is so great (and we hope to keep it that way!).

Friday, October 19, 2012

Angel Magnets

I picked these angel magnets up at the store one day. Just thought they’d look cute on our fridge. Of course, purple for Carleigh and yellow for Jordan. I love little reminders like this around the house. :)


Day 19 ~ Capture Your Grief ~ Projects

Day 19 of Capture Your Grief asks us if we have worked on any projects inspired by your loss?

For Carleigh’s 2nd birthday we donated memory boxes and bears to the hospital maternity unit where Carleigh was born (and where I also work).


I’ve also donated Comfort Bears and Dreams of You memory books to the unit from Sufficient Grace Ministries and baby blankets.

I’ve done other things inspired by Carleigh but thought I would share this one.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Day 18 ~ ~ Capture Your Grief ~ Your Family Portrait

Day 18 of Capture Your Grief wants us to take a photo of you with your family, work out a way to incorporate your baby/babies who are no longer physically with you anymore. You could hold up photos of them or even just hold their names with you. What does your family look like now? Is it just you left here? Do you have a large family? Is it just you and your partner?

The last family photo where we included our Carleigh Bear for Carleigh was on Carleigh’s 3rd birthday on March 28, 2012. In the pic you can’t see but I’m pregnant with Evanee. :)


We have also included her photo when we have taken pictures too. This one is from November 2010.


We plan to get family photos taken next weekend and I definitely plan on incorporating Carleigh into our pictures.

Remembrance Jewelry, Memorial Keepsakes
My Forever Child - Remembrance Jewelry, Memorial Keepsakes, Sympathy and Decorative Gifts to comfort those touched by the loss of a Child. Personalized, Engraved & Handcrafted Miscarriage-Pregnancy Loss Bracelets, Baby-Infant Footprints Charms, Custom Necklace Pendants with your child's Footprint, Handprint image or photograph.