Sunday, August 26, 2012

Happy Birthday in Heaven

Today has really been a day. We woke up to wonderful news that our newest niece was born late last night. It was a little emotional to wake up to such big new like that on Levi's day. I was sitting in the hospital that night a year ago laboring and waiting to meet our miracle baby. I guess he decided he wanted to wait until the 26th. We are thrilled that sweet Mila is here safe and healthy though.

We started the morning out at church. We all wore our matching Levi shirts. A few friends of ours were also wearing their Levi shirt. It meant so much that we have friends who remember our boy with us and support us every day through this journey. After church, we started preparing for Levi's birthday party. We decided to do an ice cream party because we thought that would be fun for everyone, also we just didn't really know what else to do. Levi is a part of our family every single day. Not a day goes by that we don't talk about him and we try to include him in everything. Oh, I miss that baby so much. Lots of our friends and family showed up at the park to celebrate Levi and his short life with us on Earth. I can't express how much it means to us. So many people act like Levi never existed, I think because they are scared to talk about him. The people close to us know how much we love him and love talking about him though.

This day has been wonderful and difficult. I am so happy to have a special day just for Levi, just to celebrate him and turn the entire day into a day all about him. It is so hard to do all of this without him here, though. It is so hard to see all of the women at church who were pregnant with me walking around with their babies. Their babies are all here. It is strange to be around them and know that those are the things Levi would be doing. He would be wobbling around church with them, maybe sucking on his paci. We never heard him cry, maybe we would have been walking to the nursery after the service and hearing him from down the hallway crying for us because he had reached his limit of being away from us. I picture Caleb running to him and hugging him, picking him up to get a good squeeze. And then, I am so thankful for God's promises. I will see that one day. One day, I will hold him in my arms again. I'll let go long enough for Caleb to get his hug. Then we will all have forever together. That is the day my heart is longing for.

Sorry, this post has been all over the place. Big day

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Old Friends

Last night, we went to Pier Park. We were walking around and we ran into some friends from our NICU stay. This is the crazy part, there were two families from the NICU there and they had just run into each other and were talking right when we walked by. So, we didn't run into one family, but two! What are the chances of that happening? None of us knew that the other was going to the beach. It was a God thing. It was so good to see and hug them. If any mama can relate to some of the things we have been through, it would be a NICU mama. I remember the day each of them took their baby home from the hospital. I longed for that day. I was so happy for them and so jealous. I couldn't help but be jealous of them both last night. At the beach with their older child and baby. Seeing them brings back so many memories and stirs up so many emotions. We spent so much time together in the lactation center, pumping milk for our babies, sharing how our sons were doing. They were there when I just sat there and cried until I felt I had no more tears. They were there when the doctor told us that he didn't think Levi was going to survive. I will never forget those women and I will forever pray for them and thank God for bringing them into my life. Other than that, we had a great first day. We had a good time at the beach, pool, and we had some yummy food! Caleb is so happy to be at the beach and he is so stinkin cute! All of the things he says and asks are so funny! I love that boy. Maybe I will be able to get some pictures up when we get back home.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


We are leaving for the beach tomorrow. I know Michael is so ready for a break from work. He has been working so hard and deserves this. I am a little nervous that it will be an emotional trip for me. We are going to the panama city/laguna beach area where we stayed last year. I was pregnant with Levi then. I remember sitting in the pool feeling him kick. That was before we knew that he had CDH. I was so happy to be pregnant. I enjoyed every moment with him and was anxious to meet him. While we sat on the beach, I imagined our next beach trip and how different it would be with Levi. I am so sad to be going on this vacation without him. I wish I could just hold him for a little while again, no, I just want to hold him forever. I am excited about going, though. I think it will be good for us to get away. I am excited about it being just the three of us. We haven't taken a trip like that in a few years. Every year we end up going to the beach with some of our family. We should have lots of fun. If you think about us, please pray for comfort and protection. I hope you all have a great Memorial Day.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

6 months

It has been 6 months now since Levi left us. It is so strange. It feels as if it was only yesterday and at the same time it feels as if it has been much longer. I know that sounds insane. The memory of that first night, the next day, is so vivid and it seems like only yesterday. I don't think that will ever change. But, it also feels like it has been an eternity since I held him. I hate that. I just was to hold him so badly. I just want to love on him. I don't have any part of him here to just hold. I can hold his blanket or stuffed bear but I can't hold him. I can't wait to see him again. I long for the day when our family is back together. And meeting the other babies that we lost for the very first time? I can only imagine. I think we are all doing ok. As best as possible, anyway. We have been to counseling. We still struggle. There are some things that are so incredibly hard. Sometimes, the people we love aren't very understanding and that makes it harder, but everyone I know who has lost a child says the same thing so i think that is just part of this journey, feeling alone. We are working through everything together and still taking things as they come, one day at a time. If you could, please pray for us. Specifically, that God would help us deal with those things that are the hardest. Because Michael and I both want to work through that, but it feels like we never will sometimes.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What We Have Been Up To Lately

I haven't had much time to blog lately (not that I have anything very interesting to say) because we have been staying very busy. Spring baseball started for Caleb and that alone takes up so much time. I feel like we live at the ball park sometimes! I am really enjoying watching Caleb grow and learn each time we go to practice. My sweet boy started this season with a very choppy, weak swing and he would miss almost every ball but after lots of practice (and encouraging words) he now swings the bat like he really knows what he is doing. He is still working on it and his throw, but he is loving baseball and that is really all I want. I remember playing softball every year growing up and how much I loved it. I love to be able to watch him playing and having fun. He is so proud of himself when he is doing well and I think that is adorable. Other than baseball, I started making hand stamped jewelry and I am loving it! It keeps me busy. You can see some of my stuff at Michael has been so bust at work. He runs a grocery store and they are incredibly short staffed right now so he is at work pretty much every day. we are just taking things one day at a time because you never know what the next day will bring. Some days are ok and some are harder than ever. I think grief is a cycle because it seems to go around and around through the same emotions with a surprise every now and then. We will keep taking life as it comes and we will always try to be strong and the best parents we can for Caleb. If anyone still reads this blog, we always appreciate your prayers for us.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Six Months

It has been six months since I gave birth to my precious Levi. Oh, how I wish I could be taking his 6-month-pictures. I wonder if he would be sitting up at this point. I was sitting at Caleb's baseball game earlier today just wishing I could hold him. I see everyone else with their babies. Strollers everywhere. New babies and older babies. I see babies that are the age he would be now and babies the age he was when he left us. My arms feel so empty. I wish he was snuggled up to me under a blanket. I see everyone else with their children all around them and I can only imagine how amazing that reality must me. I am so jealous of those who walk around with their entire crew in tow. For a moment, I can close my eyes and imagine how wonderful it would be.

Back to reality...I am so thankful for the time we had with Levi. I am so thankful for each day with my Caleb. He is an amazing gift and I feel incredibly blessed that God chose me to be his mom. Although our days are so painful so much of the time, I will not take my big boy for granted. We include Levi in our family every day the best we can, but it is so important to me that Caleb knows just how much he is loved. It is hard to have so much love for your children but one of them not be here. It is very hard to explain. My heart hurts and I long to hold him again, but we keep going and do what we can to cope with every day. I want Caleb to grow up knowing as much love as possible from us. I don't believe it is possible to love my boys any more.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I went to a funeral today. It was my first since we had Levi's service. Thank God, it was not for a child. I did not want to go, to be completely honest. I guess no one really wants to go. The funeral was for the mother of a couple who I care for deeply and consider true friends. I was so sad for them. I remember my dad's funeral when I was a teenager and it was just awful. I hope that I don't lose my mom for a long time. Even though this woman was older (71) I can only imagine it must be just terrible to lose your mother. I am kind of off track though. I wanted to write about attending a funeral. No one likes to do it, but if you are close to someone who loses a loved one, and you consider going to the funeral, please go. It means so much. I know that it meant so much to me to see people at Levi's. At least to me, it shows that they care and that they love you and your loved one. I know this is a random post, but it was on my mind because it was very hard for me to go today. This world is just too much, I long for the day that our Savior comes back and takes us home!

Saturday, February 4, 2012


I heard this song today on the radio for only the second time since Levi's service. We chose this song along with a few others for the service. The last part of the song is just so true. I am as emotional hearing this today as I was on October 18th.


...that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home.
It's not our home.

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst
This world can't satisfy?
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What I Am Working On Right Now

I had a meeting yesterday with a friend and our minister of education at our church. We are in the process of starting a community group for bereaved mothers. We are still working out all of the details but I hope that it turns into something amazing. I have looked around and have not found another group like this in the area. We are setting it up differently than many other groups that would be considered "grief support". There is so much more to this group. We are still working out all of the details and how we want everything to go exactly, but I am very excited about this! The plan is to finish getting everything planned and set up and I hope for the group to start sometime in March.

I am a little overwhelmed thinking about this group, but God has clearly led me to take this step. I know that He will show me what I need to do with the group and I pray that I will be open to letting Him use me in whatever way He sees fit. I am stepping out of my comfort zone a little, so I hope that this group is a blessing to others and brings glory to God! Please be in prayer for the group, for wisdom and courage for me and for Loni (my friend who will be working on this with me) as we continue with the planning and preparation.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Something I Made

I got a sewing machine for Christmas and I have been so excited about it. I have been sewing anything I can think of. Well, I have a friend who's son has been in the hospital and I decided to make him a cute hospital gown. I had no idea how this would go as I am just starting to sew and am by no means a seamstress. Well, I found a pattern but ended up not using it and used a gown that I borrowed as a guide. It's not perfect, but I wanted to share it on here. I think it turned out really cute!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Your Questions, Answered

Awhile back, after getting many questions from friends, I asked readers to send me their questions so I could put together a post answering goes

How did you and Michael meet?

We were teenagers when we met. My best friend worked at Arby's so we would hang out there a lot and I finally just got a job there too. We were a very close staff. Michael worked there and we became friends. There was a group of about ten of us who would hang out together all of the time. When we got off work, we would sometimes just sit in the parking lot and chat. We all went to movies together, bowling, everything. Michael and I had been friends for awhile and all of a sudden one day,things just changed. We started dating and quickly became inseparable. Everything happened very quickly. God brought us together to spend our lives with each other and I am so thankful for that. We were married very young and we have spent our time since growing together as Christians, as parents, and just as people. I love that man so much and I thank God for giving me exactly what I needed in a husband!

Did we get to spend a lot of time with Levi holding him before he died?

Yes! On the day he died, we got to hold him for the first time. Levi was getting significantly worse and we just prayed about everything because we did not want him to suffer. We decided to hold him and see if that could help him at all. They told us that Levi was very unstable and that we should only hold him if were prepared that he might not even make it from the bed to my arms. So they handed him to me and he tolerated it. Michael and I both took turns holding him all night. We held him and loved on him and I didn't think I would ever let go. One night is not much, but we could have had only a minute or no time at all so we are extremely thankful for that special time with him.

Was Levi in pain?

No. We were very careful with Levi as pain was the last thing we wanted for him. He was not in pain as we held him and not as he left us. He seemed comforted by us holding him, actually and I truly believe he felt how much we love him. He had gotten to the point where they were definitely struggling to keep up with his pain but we hope that those who know us know that we could not and would not selfishly keep our son here in pain.

Will you have more children?

Lots of people have asked us this.  We have no idea what God has in store for us. The thought of more children is overwhelming because Levi's younger sibling/s being older than him here seems so hard. Either way, our family pictures would always be missing someone and that makes my heart ache. As of right now, we are not planning on "trying" for more children. We believe that if God wants us to have more children, then He will bless us in that way. We can not say what will happen in the future because it is not up to us. We do not feel like we "have" to have more children just because Levi is no longer with us although I have heard many parents who have had children die have felt that way. If we are given more children, then we will definitely thank God and they would be such a blessing but no child could replace Levi EVER!

Are you worried that this will happen again?

Hmmm...I have always been an anxious person. With every pregnancy I have had, I have worried about each sweet baby. I worried with Caleb as a first-time mommy. Even in my last trimester with him, I had to try not to think about the things that could go wrong. Don't get me wrong, fear did not and does not control me, but I am naturally somewhat of a worrier. We are not any more worried about future pregnancies than we were with Levi's pregnancy. Before Levi, I had two miscarriages so I was a little more anxious with him than I was with Caleb. At this point, we have had some testing done to see if Levi's issues were passed to him genetically from one of us and if there is something that could have caused this or the miscarriages. There is nothing. All of the results came back normal so there is no increased risk for this happening again. Does that mean that it is impossible? No, but we should not worry because God has a plan for us. When I have worried in the past, it is just me being a little nervous before each appointment and anxiously waiting for good news. Because we know that there is no need in worrying, if God does bless us with another pregnancy sometime, we will be praying specifically that He help us with that because as humans we struggle with those things. Even though we know there is no need for the worry, we cannot always stop it from creeping in.

Are you feeling better?

No. I hate it when people ask me this question. I had people asking me this question about a month after Levi died. I am not trying to be ugly when I say this, but it is so insensitive to ask that! At least that is how it feels to us. Like you expect us to just move on with life as if he never existed. I know that most people do not mean things as we take them and yes, we may be extra emotional and sensitive (or at least me) but I do not care, to be honest. I feel like I have the right to feel however I  feel and to grieve however I need to and I refuse to pretend like it is so easy because that is not the truth and no one will ever know how to approach me if I am not honest.

How is Caleb doing?

He is such a sweet boy. I don't really know how to answer this. I think he is doing about how he should be. He, like all of us, has good days and bad days. Sometimes, he gets really upset out of nowhere and other times, he is fine. I think he is doing great for a little boy who has to spend the rest of his life on Earth without his little brother.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A New Year

Now that the new year is here, everyone is sharing their resolutions. Several people have asked, but no, I do not make new year's resolutions. I do not have a problem with them, I just have never made them. Anyway, I had lots of messages saying "Happy New Year!" and I do not even know if I have responded to them. All I can really think is, "I sure hope so" because honestly, I cannot imagine a worse year than last year. I don't know why a new year feels so fresh and a chance to start with change, but I can't help feeling like I haven't moved forward much from October 2011. The days drag by so much and everyone else around me is still going so fast. I don't have enough time to get everything done that I need to, but the time still goes by very slowly. I can't really describe it. I hope that this year is much better than the last. I hope that 2012 brings big things for our family. I don't know what kind of things, just positive things.

There are many things that I have been praying about and I will continue to pray about until God reveals to me where I am headed. A few things I have been praying about though, are things involving church and the community, fellow parents of Cherubs, fellow parents dealing with grief, children in the hospital, Sav-a-life...there is much more to the list but I am hoping that with God's guidance and through Him opening the doors, we will move forward into what He has planned for us.

Thank you for continuing to keep up with us and pray for us.