Monday, December 24, 2012


For those of you who have not yet signed up for the newsletter, please do! 

Those who have already know that for today (December 25th) only, You can find my book, Love Isn't Selfish, as a free download for Kindle at
Merry Christmas! I hope you enjoy!

The book is available in paperback and Kindle versions at this time.

Book Description

 December 15, 2012
Because scripture tells us clearly that God is Love (1 John 4:8), we know that God, by very nature, is relational. Love is an action, emotion, state, and characteristic that requires interaction with another being. Love does not exist alone. Scripture also tells us that we have been created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). We were created to love Him in return, though loving Him will never be forced upon us because love isn't selfish.
It is this line of thinking that leads me to the belief that the meaning of life is to learn how to love, and then teach others. Considering that our Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) is to go throughout the world and teach others about our Heavenly Father's commands (such as love God and love others; Matthew 22:37-39), we must learn first what Love is- who He is.
Every relationship we form gives us the opportunity to learn a bit more about His character in order to have a better understanding of who He really is. Marriage, family, friends, neighbors, and even enemies can teach us much about who God is and who God isn’t. This book examines multiple relationships we experience and what valuable information we can gather from those relationships about the character of Love, which is to say, the character of God. It’s about learning to be unselfish in a selfish world.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Love Isn't Selfish

It's here!

I began years ago writing down my thoughts on God's love. Over time, it developed into a book. It's a project that has been picked up and put back down many times over the last couple of years, but it's available now!

For Kindle Version, click here.

For paperback version, click here. (Paperback version will also be available at by next week.)

I hope you enjoy!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

It's Storming in December

     This evening, we had a thunderstorm. One week before Christmas. It seemed strange to have a thunderstorm in December, but it seemed fitting. It was this week two years ago that I spent a lot of time crying, praying... sobbing in my bathroom floor until I was sick. 

     I held out hope after the initial diagnosis on December 15, 2010, that maybe it wasn't true. Maybe my baby girl's skull really had formed properly. "It might just not be a clear scan," I'd been told. Even though my heart knew, I tried to cling to that ounce of hope while telling God I was going to trust Him either way. 

    It was on December 21st that the specialist confirmed that Carys had anencephaly. I knew before he said it. I could see it so clearly on the big screen in front of me, but I still hoped. Even thinking about that moment is still a bit suffocating. 

    This week, two years ago, was when my storm began. Though I will always bear the scars from my experience, my storm has subsided.

     The storm in Connecticut has only just begun. My heart breaks as my mind turns to imagine the intense pain that is being experienced there. My eyes fill with tears when I think of the exhaustion I know is bound to be their existence as they push forward in their new normal. I know they didn't ask for a new normal. None of us did, right? I know I didn't ask to be a Maranomi. Even so, there is a beauty in it. I know I was blessed to be her mom, even if it was for a brief period of time.
     I know it's hard to spend a lot of time in thought and prayer for the families and loved ones of all of the victims. It's hard to put yourself in the position to have your heart continue to break. After all, you can change the channel, right? They can't. 

     As we weathered our storm, the world kept moving around us. Of course, I didn't expect it to stop when ours did. It was our storm, not everyone else's. I was even told that my blog was too sad to continue reading. I get it though... it hurts. And we can't break down every time we know someone else is going through a storm. I know it's their storm to weather, but we can certainly pray. I craved knowing people were praying through our storm. It was what I wanted to hear the most. 

Heavenly Father, 
     My heart is heavy for the loved ones of the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary. I know they are hurting tremendously. I know their storm has just begun and the debris hasn't even had time to settle yet. I hurt for them, Lord. I long for Heaven, where these things don't happen. 
     I ask that you would wrap your loving arms around them and give them a touch of the peace of Heaven. I know how that kind of peace feels and pray that you would share it with them as well. 
     I trust you. I know you have plans for them that you made out of your great love for all of us. I don't have to understand the details, but I trust you. Please comfort them as You work. Please help them to feel your love. 
In your loving name,

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving chores...

Today, I've been trying to do some deeper cleaning to prepare for Christmas decorating. I've had laundry going, I've been sorting through closets and finding places to store Paxton's outgrown clothes. He's been his typical, energetic self.

I put something in a box, he pulls it out. I stack a box, he knocks it over. I turn around and trip over something he pulled out into the floor. I pick up the laundry hamper to find a stash of little duckies. I put his shoes away and two minutes later, they are scattered on the floor. He beats me into a room and has the water running in the tub before I can get to him. Whew... doing chores is certainly more exhausting with a mini "helper."

...and I love every bit of it.

I'm thankful for the toys I step on as I'm carrying the laundry basket through the room. I'm thankful for the blocks scattered through my bedroom floor. I'm thankful for the pile of little clothes i'm going to need to fold and put away when it comes out of the dryer. It all means I am blessed, and I have a Heavenly Father who loves me.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Finally Settled.

     I posted a few months ago about how i was struggling with not having a headstone yet for Carys. We had trouble deciding on what we wanted, then we had several other delays (like her headstone being sent back to Georgia twice before the company purchased a new machine to etch it again). The monument company we used was wonderful though and they were taking care of the problem when we didn't even know there was a problem.

     Her headstone was finally set in place this past Friday. It could have been a very emotional day, but it wasn't. I feel peaceful at the thought that it is finally settled. We're moving along with The Carys Rainn Foundation, and I believe we're in a good place in our grieving. We miss her and will as long as we are on this earth. BUT... we're thankful for the time we had.

"Though my heart is torn, I will praise you in this storm"

"Be still, and know that I am GOD" Psalm 46:!0

As always, I'm so thankful for my babies and everything God is doing through them both.

Friday, November 9, 2012


Apparently standing in the bridal party at a wedding rehearsal can be a trigger for an emotional break-down. Who knew?

Over all, I believe I'm doing very well in my grief experience. I'm thankful for the opportunity to share my journey with you all because it has been very healing for me and I can only hope that things I share can be very healing for you too.

Sometimes, even though I'm truly okay.. even though I have peace, I'll find that a certain thought, or item, comment, scent, etc. will serve as a trigger and I'll be ambushed by my emotions.

Yes, ambushed. I don't think there is a better word to describe it. It happened a few months ago during a trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy training. I had a mild ambush yesterday at walmart when I came across the bin of mini stockings... like the ones I'd purchased for the babies (the only thing I'd purchased for both babies, a couple of weeks before Carys' diagnosis). Tonight, I was ambushed again.

Usually, I'm more easily ambushed when I'm tired or stressed.... or tired and stressed. This past week has been chaotic, crazy, stressful, busy. I feel disorganized, worn down, and like Paxton is being neglected of his mommy's full attention. Yesterday he was even asleep before I made it home from work a little past 9:00. He's not been neglected, of course. He got to spend time with grandparents and his daddy... but I couldn't be with him like I wanted to be. After this week, I feel drained. Drained and susceptible to ambush.

That's how we all are, right? When we're stressed and worn down, we are more vulnerable. It's nature. It seems to be when satan fights the most too. The jabs. The fears. The doubts. The negative. He thrives on it all.

Yes, I have weak, human mommy moments when I ache for my girl. I found myself thinking about taking a yellow rose from the wedding tomorrow to her grave. That thought led to how little girls love weddings...which led to the thought that I won't get to see her as a flower girl, let alone a bride. <Enter embarrassing breakdown here.>

Regardless of my broken heart, I have peace and joy. I refuse to let the pain of missing my daughter rob me of the joy of knowing Heaven is for real and I will see her again. I will still praise my Heavenly Father and trust Him that He knows what He's doing. Trust is the antidote for anxiety, after all!

I remember writing at Easter the weekend after the babies were born about the disciples and their spirits being willing but their flesh being weak. We're human. We'll have the moments of weakness when we cry over things that won't matter in eternity. We'll have moments in our frailty when we are more susceptible to our jumbled up emotions. We may cry, we may scream, or we may act out our anger. Regardless of how I may feel like responding, I will continue to be grateful that Heaven is for Real, and grateful for God's amazing plans.

I look forward to Heaven, where my spirit can be willing and I won't have the weak flesh to hold me back. Frankly, I've cried enough tears for a lifetime. :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Projects, Projects, In the Works!

     As time allows, I'm working on several projects. I have one book, (Love Isn't Selfish) that is in the editing phase, and I've recently been working on writing the "long" version of the babies' story. Also, we're moving along with plans and activities for The Carys Rainn Foundation, Inc. (starting now with designing and decorating a tree to donate to the Paramount Arts Center's Festival of trees). We're excited to have an opportunity to get the Foundation's message out for all of the many people who visit the festival each year! I've also been feeling much more inspired lately when it comes to arts and crafts, and I will be sharing some of those projects from time to time my other blog, Rainndrops on Roses. I hope to eventually start listing items in an Etsy Shop!      
     And now, we come to this post. I've just started a new mailing list arrangement where I can manage the mailing lists for the Foundation, After the Rainn blog and the Rainndrops on Roses blog. Please sign up for the new mailing list(s) and spread the word to anyone you think may be interested in receiving news and updates from us (there is also a tab on the After the Rainn facebook page). Thanks so much!


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Monday, October 15, 2012

Babies on my mind...

I've had babies on my brain today... but not how that phrase is usually intended. It was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I've been thinking of all the beautiful stories of babies who are already in Heaven. Each tiny baby with such huge purpose.

It's been a blessing today to get lots of messages and tags in posts, with people acknowledging Carys. THANK YOU. My day has been non-stop so I didn't even get to really respond to all of them, but they have been very appreciated (and I've most certainly remembered your babies too!!)

This evening, I attended the Remembrance Day balloon release and candle lighting ceremony at Central Park. My dad shared a few words and I was blessed. I am truly thankful for the promise of Heaven. I'm thankful that we don't really "lose" someone when we know where they are.

One moment I wanted to especially share was seeing my siblings walk up to the group with my nephews. Mason, my 6 year old nephew ran out in front of them, holding up a single red rose that he'd taken from his mom's rose bush. He had a huge grin on his face. As he handed me the rose, he said with a very pleased look, "This is for Carys!" My brother let me know it was Mason's idea - he'd wanted to bring me something.

Of course, tears instantly sprang to my eyes, but it was a good thing. She really was here.... and people recognize that.

I've said many times that it seems like I just glossed over an entire year or more. I was in such a fog that it seems now like a long, emotionally draining dream. I know I was there for 2011, but many of my memories are hazy. It's so strange.

Now though, I have pictures and mementos. Her little hand and feet prints, the outfit she wore. Sympathy cards. Best of all, I have a real memory of a baby girl that made her mark on the world in a big way but a short amount of time. A couple of nights ago, I was told "She preached a sermon!" Today, even my 6 year old nephew acknowledged that she really was here. I didn't just dream that she existed.
She was here; and now... she's in Heaven where I am just waiting to see her again.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Not Afraid of Dying...

With everything that has been going on in the world lately, end time prophecies have been on my mind quite a bit. I've heard several sermons from Revelations. Actually, as I write this, there's a sermon on TV from "End Time Ministries." It's turned down low so I can't really hear all of it, but I am getting bits and pieces. "prophesy...matches up...."

Why is it that we live like we're going to be on this earth forever? We won't be.

I feel scared for those who aren't prepared for eternity.

As a Maranomi, I'm a member of a community I never asked to join, and being in the baby loss community, I hear frequent stories of babies dying. It happens. As much as society seems to want to keep it quiet, it happens- and it hurts.

It's difficult to find words to explain the pain of losing a child. It changes everything.

One of the biggest changes for me is that I'm not afraid of dying anymore. I mean... I don't particularly look forward to the process... and I don't want anything to happen to me for the sake of my family and friends who have already had so much happen... but for me, I have a peace about it. After all, I had a glimpse of Heaven, right? I know that I'm ready and I have had a small glimpse of what it's going to be like there.

I found myself wondering today if all the heartbreaking things that happen are all part of God's plan to help us not fear the trials we may face as prophecies continue to play out. We don't fear things as much if we can see them. It's like turning on the lights so a child can see there really isn't a monster in the closet. If we get a glimpse of Heaven, we can see how wonderful it is and not be afraid. Losing close loved ones often gives us an opportunity to touch Heaven if we're in the right spot.

This world will not be here forever. We will not live on earth forever. Prophecy is being fulfilled, and I believe what scripture says is true.

If Christ returned today, would I see you in Heaven?

Please, don't waste a moment. We have a Heavenly Father who loves us. He sent His son to die in our place so we can live in the New Jerusalem... where God's glory radiates off the jeweled walls to reflect rainbows of color in the vast expanse of His love and peace. Will I see you there?

Sunday, October 7, 2012


This morning, Paxton screamed at me. A very shrill, clearly unhappy scream accompanied by real tears and little hands trying to swat me away. He didn't get to do what he wanted to do, so he reacted. It's not the first time, it certainly won't be the last. He recovered quickly and let me love on him, but I found myself (in a very therapist-y manner) saying something to him along the lines of, "Honey, I know it's frustrating when you can't do what you want to do, but mommy has reasons. You have to trust me."

Then I pictured God saying the same thing to us at times. "My child, I know it's frustrating when things don't go just how you want them, but I have good reasons. You have to trust me."

Paxton is just 17 months old. Even though I try to help him make the connection between his emotions and appropriate labels for them, he is developmentally not able to really verbalize how he's feeling and what he thinks. So, instead of telling me how he feels, he shows me.

 As a therapist, I'm always amazed at how often we, as communicating adults, don't communicate. We don't tell people what we feel, we show them.

This often also happens in our relationship with God. How tempting is it to poke out our bottom lips, furrow our brows, cross our arms over our chests, and turn away from our Heavenly Father when we don't get what we want when we want it?

Have you ever done that?

God is our loving Heavenly Father. Even when He doesn't allow us to have what we think we want when we want it, He has reasons. He knows exactly what we need. We have to trust Him.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Caption Contest

UPDATE: 10/7/12 -the Entries have been posted for voting on the After The Rainn facebook page... be sure to vote!

Same as always, here's the deal: If I have at least 10 caption entries (from 10 different people) by 11:00 pm on Friday (approximately 48 hours from now), I will then post a poll with the entries and allow voting. 
The caption with the most votes will receive a prize... 

For the prize, I have a (gently used but in great shape) copy of Max Lucado's book, Cure for the Common Life. We ended up with two copies AND the audio book, and it's a great read!

947087: Cure for the Common Life Cure for the Common Life
By Max Lucado / Thomas Nelson

* You work all day, arrive home exhausted, watch TV to unwind, and then go to bed---only to wake up the next morning and do it again. Is there a remedy for routine? Lucado says yes---and helps you embrace your uniqueness and use your singular talents to experience the "uncommon" life God intends for you. 240 pages, softcover from Nelson.

Happy Captioning!!
(Though I'm sure it won't be an issue, any caption that may be considered as disrespectful will be promptly removed)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

We Remember

So, it's just after midnight, but I didn't want to go to bed without responding to the anniversary of 9/11. Throughout the day, I've seen so many posts about where we all were when the tragic news aired. It's hard to believe it's already been 11 years.

I was in my apartment at MVNU. I'd been up late the night before and slept in because I didn't have class (because that's what my college-self could do). My roommate came in, wide-eyed, and asked if I'd seen the news. I ran to the stairs as my apartment-mates gathered around the little television we had.

It seemed unreal.

It was a scary day, but not just because of the terrorism. It was also the day my mom had an emergency, life-saving surgery. I'll have to ask her to share her story for you all here, she has quite the testimony!

It has touched my heart today to see the frequent status updates that gave the simple message, "We remember."

We remember the terror we felt. We remember the shock that our nation was being attacked. We remember  the endless news coverage detailing the horror of the day. We remember the heroes. We remember the stories of emergency workers and civilians alike who put their lives on the line to rescue others. We remember the soldiers who left the comforts of home to defend our country in war. We remember and we're truly grateful.

John 15:13King James Version (KJV)13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

We remember.

We remember the somber aftermath as the dust settled. The realization of the heavy significance of the whole ordeal. The emphasis on the fragility of life.

We do remember, don't we? I remember the fullness of churches the following Sundays. I remember the signs asking for prayers for our nation. I remember that our nation seemed to be drawn to our Heavenly Father during the crisis.

Do we really remember? Do we remember that innate desire to cling to God in the middle of the storm?

Please, remember.

God is not only God in the midst of a crisis. He didn't go anywhere. Did you?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Grieving Parents

I have been so very thankful to be surrounded by supportive, understanding people as I have made my way along my grief journey.

Unfortunately, many grieving parents have not experienced the same. I'd like to start finding ways to share the message that pregnancy and infant loss is a loss like any other- and it's "okay" to grieve. In fact, it's unhealthy to avoid grieving.

By all means.... please share.


Saturday, September 8, 2012


In an undergrad art class, I did a charcoal drawing of a model. I enjoyed the process of the assignment. We had a very brief time to do a contour drawing of the model. We were told to rub it out. Another pose, another contour drawing. Rub it out. Repeat. Eventually, we had a very smudged, dark page with outlines of our model in different poses. For the final pose, we "drew" with our eraser to create the image.

I really liked how it turned out. I connected with it. He looked weary, and I've struggled with chronic fatigue for years.

It made it into one of the art shows at the college. Years later, it found its way into a frame in my bedroom. I thought it seemed fitting to hang it in the room where I should be able to find rest.

Through the journey following Carys' diagnosis, I've looked at the image differently. There is a weariness that goes beyond the tired of the end of the day, or even the physical fatigue I've dealt with for years. There's the sheer exhaustion of losing a child. It's the weariness that comes along with being a Maranomi. It affects every area of life and makes the peace and rest of Heaven all the more appealing. 

Though I'm regaining much of my strength, my weariness is like a shadow that seems to follow me. I think it will as long as I live here. Some day, though, my strength will be renewed. Because God always has a plan.


Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


  [dih-skur-ij, -skuhr-]  Show IPA verb,dis·cour·aged, dis·cour·ag·ing.
verb (used with object)
to deprive of courage, hope, or confidence; dishearten;dispirit.
to dissuade (usually followed by from ).
to obstruct by opposition or difficulty; hinder: Low pricesdiscourage industry.
to express or make clear disapproval of; frown upon: todiscourage the expression of enthusiasm.

Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

11 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.



"Hope is any chance greater than zero that something can change for the better."

-Dr. Gary Patton


I'm thankful that the hope I have is bigger than any discouragement I may face.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Trust When It's Raining

I've not posted much lately. It's not because I've not had thoughts I wanted to share, because I have (lots of them, in fact). It's just been because I've been busy.

I ran into a coworker today that I hadn't seen for quite some time. He commented that I seemed happier. I feel happier. My heart's still broken, but I'm picking up speed and functioning better. I'm not in the fog anymore (most days). I told him that I was feeling more like myself. "A changed version of myself... but more like myself."

As I take a break from working on the billion things I need to get done, I'm writing and looking out the big window in front of me... at the rain. It makes me smile. There are people scrambling to get under cover outside today (especially at the annual Route 60 yard sale this weekend), and I'm sure many of them are probably complaining about the rain and getting wet. It's probably changed some plans for some potentially unhappy people.

But still, it makes me smile.

I stopped by the cemetery on my way back into town, and the tears still come to my eyes, I still miss my baby girl just as much, but I have a deep peace within me.

The rain, to me, is now a reminder of what it means to trust. Storms can be scary (and we have had some scary storms this year!!) but when it comes down to it, they are entirely out of our control. So, we have to just trust that whatever happens, God is going to work through it. He always does. He ALWAYS has a plan that was formed out of His great Love for us.

On another note, continued prayers are appreciated as we move forward with The Carys Rainn Foundation, Inc. We are currently waiting on tax exempt status. You can find more information at and

God has a plan, He always does. 

With Peace,

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Everything We Want, All That We Need.

We'll have everything we want in Heaven. I remember being told when I was a small child that we will have everything we want when we get to Heaven. My young mind couln't understand the concept, since I knew we couldn't take anything with us when we went. I remember thinking of my favorite possessions. At the time, my little Pound Purry kitten, Christmas Music went with me everywhere. It went with me to Kindergarten, it went with me to church, and it went with me to bed. It was so well loved, it had to undergo multiple "surgeries" to keep it together. I couldn't imagine not wanting it to go with me somewhere. I remember wondering if I'd be able to have Christmas Music the stuffed kitten in Heaven with me, and if so, how that could possibly work. I knew I'd be with my family but I knew I couldn't take physical possessions with me. Would Christmas Music just be there? Would I not WANT Christmas Music any more? What would I DO in Heaven?

I asked my mom. She smiled. I don't remember her exact response, but she basically told me that if THAT was what I wanted most in Heaven, then she was sure I'd have it.

As any of my readers already know, I view things much differently these days. I once caught a glimpse of Heaven as I held my baby girl, and there is nothing on this earth that could possibly compare.

I feel so rejuvenated just thinking of Heaven. When I focus on Heaven, the stresses of this world seem a little less significant. I look forward to the peace.

I truly believe that the meaning of our life on earth is to learn what it means to love, and then teach others. God IS love, as scripture says. It's all about the selfless relationship of a Heavenly Father. Nothing else matters. I've given a lot of thought to the matter, and have even written my understanding into a book (which is currently being edited by a friend so I can publish it).

The point is, Heaven is being home with God... surrounded by Him. Surrounded by Love. The attachment I felt to my little pound purry as a child is nothing to the incredible love that IS God.

Our wants change. I don't care about the "stuff." I care about the peace, love, and relationships. Heaven has EVERYTHING that we could ever need, and more than we could possibly want.

What I want most in Heaven now is to be joined by as many of you as possible. Will I see you there?

To read a previous, related post,.click here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I'm OK.

"How are you doing?"

For such a long time, that was a very difficult question to answer. People would ask (genuinely or to be polite) and my brain would scramble to find an honest response. I started to really hate being asked. There were times I didn't FEEL okay, even though I still knew I was.

The response in my head was always two-toned. I was blessed and I was devastated. To respond with one seemed to devalue the other. I was at peace and I was pained. I was heartbroken and yet still thankful. I was exhausted, and had some pretty significant work-related anxiety for a while, but I was amazed at how God was working.

There were times I'd say "OK" just because it was easier than having to go into what all I did feel. Some people really want to know, others do not. There were also times that I couldn't say I was OK without feeling like I was lying. I was struggling to function. I started saying something like, "I'll be okay." I trusted I would feel okay again eventually, but I wasn't then.

Sometimes I wonder, What would feeling "great" really mean? I feel blessed and thankful, but I'm not sure "great" will ever be my answer anymore (This side of Heaven, anyway). But I'm okay with that. I have so much to be thankful for. I feel loved and amazed by God's presence. I feel hopeful and excited about God's plans.

There are still difficult days when the impact of the whole journey just seems to hit me full force again, and days where every little thing reminds me of how much I miss my sweet little Carys Rainn. Last night, I got all choked up and teary reading "Piglet's Rainy Day" to Paxton. It was one of the only things I bought for Paxton while I was pregnant (other than necessities) and I've read it to him many times, but last night it just hit me differently.

"It rained for days and days and days." Wow. I've been there.

"And each day he gets a little more anxious as the rain creeps higher and higher." Some days I felt like I was going to drown in it all.

"Piglet wonders if someone might come and rescue him if he writes a message, puts it in a bottle, and throws it in the water." Piglet's cries for help made their way to Christopher Robin. Mine made their way to Christ.

Piglet and I Both survived the flood. We're OK, and we're blessed.

Some days I will still cry at the smallest thing, but I'm okay with that. I'm blessed and I'm thankful.

455590: Piglet&amp;quot;s Rainy Day Piglet's Rainy Day
By Penguin Putnam Inc.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sometimes it still feels fresh.

A major part of life as a Maranomi is feeling like a basket case. My tear-filled days are fewer and farther between, but they still come. I think they always will on this side of Heaven. All weekend though, I had little things that would just trigger the thoughts about everything that has happened since December of 2010.

I've thought a lot about the struggles during those first few months as Paxton spent 3 weeks in the NICU and I had battles with the breast pump. The sleepless nights. The tears and tissues. The anxiety over going back to work. Trips to the cemetery.

It's all been on my mind and it all feels so fresh sometimes.

We've had a temporary marker at Carys' grave since the one provided by the cemetery was removed on short notice. It was recently removed because it didn't go by the "rules" of mowing season since it wasn't actually a headstone. I discovered it missing on Mother's Day and to say it was hurtful would be an understatement. I had to look around briefly for her grave, and for a split-second, I had a horrible feeling of panic sweep over me. I wondered if it was similar to how the women must have felt when they reached Jesus' tomb to find his body was no longer there.

I knew her grave was still there, and the panic lasted only briefly, but it was there and it left its mark.

Thankfully, after speaking with someone at the cemetery, we have found a temporary solution, but I still need to decide on a headstone soon. It's not that I haven't thought about it, it's that nothing seems to fit. I even spoke with someone about having a custom headstone made, but it isn't going to work. So, once again I'm looking for headstone ideas. I am looking for an image I have in mind because the standard headstone clipart just seems cheesy to me. It doesn't fit my baby girl. I have a good idea of what I want, I just have to figure out how and where to have it done, keeping the budget in mind.

It's so tempting to be angry, but it just hurts. I don't want to be trying to pick out a headstone. I want to be picking out sweet little dresses and hairbows. I miss my girl.

"Be still and know, that I am God." 
Psalm 46:10

Saturday, May 12, 2012

To all the Mothers

It seems inevitable that if a group of parents gathers, the conversation will soon turn to the accomplishments of their children. It doesn’t take long to hear how fast Timmy can run, or how many academic awards little Jane has received. It’s information that begs an audience. It’s natural. We want other people to see just how unique, special, and amazing our children are, just as we do. We want to know our children are recognized and make an impact on this world. Our children have the power to transform us into doting fan club presidents and marketing directors. The desire to know our children are recognized and make an impact on the world does not stop when our children leave this world and go to Heaven, yet many people don’t want toy listen. I’ve spoken with many baby loss parents about the reaction we generally receive when we discuss having a child (or children) in Heaven. We often hear well-intentioned but hurtful remarks, or perhaps just as damaging, nothing. No acknowledgement. No mention of our children’s names. No requests for more information. Nothing but a look of near-panic as the person scrambles to find a new topic or get away from us. It’s a shocking thought to someone who is not familiar to the baby loss world. “Old people” die. Babies don’t. right? Unfortunately, they do. It doesn’t matter what the age is, or how good parents are at parenting their children. Babies die too. When we learned of Carys' diagnosis, the verse Jeremiah 1:5 became very significant to me. I believed Carys had a purpose, and I felt obligated to share her story. i wanted people to know how amazing she was, and how much she was impacting our lives. So I began to blog. I found a way to share her story and her legacy. She had a purpose. God created her for a reason, and I will always look for opportunities to share with others how she impacted the world.

In an hour, it'll be Mother's Day. I want to wish all the mothers out there a very happy, peaceful mother's day- especially those mothers who are not always recognized as mothers. Your babies, regardless of how long they were in your life, will always be your babies. I encourage you to find a way to acknowledge them. 

  • Share your baby's story here (link)
  • Find a project to take on in your baby's name.
  • Contribute to a project already in progress.
  • Make a donation to the Gideons International in memory of your baby, to have New Testaments distributed in his or her name.
  • Put a memorial/statue in your flower garden in memory of your baby
  • If you haven't done so yet, name your baby.
I know this post is getting long, but I'd like to share a list of projects and blogs other baby loss parents have started in order to share the legacy of their children. Feel free to add yours in the comments or let me know of any corrections that need to be made!


www.prenatalpartnersforlife.orgWe offer support by connecting parents facing an adverse diagnosis with other parents who have had the same diagnosis. We have many resources such as adoption agencies with clients waiting to adopt and love a special needs child should a parent feel they could not care for them.”

www.missinggrace.orgMissing GRACE Foundation's mission is to provide resources and support for families that have experienced: pregnancy loss, infant loss, infertility or adoption and to advocate for comprehensive, patient-focused prenatal care for all women. Five core areas encompass the heart of the mission: Grieve, Restore, Arise, Commemorate and Educate.”
“providing hand-made memories for families facing loss”

Katie's Fighters - set up to promote awareness and help families with funeral costs for babies with anencephaly

Brinley's Gift -set up to help families with funeral costs for babies with anencephaly

Everlasting Grace – collecting baby blankets and items to donate to hospitals for grieving families

Sustaining Grace -pays for 4D ultrasounds

Angel by My Side -make birth annoucements

On The Wings Of A Butterfly- memory boxes and butterflies

Faces Of Loss

String of Pearls

NILMDTS- bereavement photography

Be Not Afraid

Stephanie Dyer Still Standing online magazine

Sufficient Grace “Sufficient Grace Ministries for Women, a 501 (c ) 3 non-profit, non-denominational Christian organization, was founded in 2004 by Kelly Gerken with the purpose of reaching out to women and families to offer comfort, encouragement and hope. The Dreams of You division of this ministry was created specifically to provide comfort to women and families who have lost a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death.”

Baby Boards: “A baby board is a custom designed remembrance decor item. Special pricing for bereaved family. Email or visit for more information. 100% customizable.”

Moving on, but never forgetting.
Lucy George

You've Become My Light
Cait Groover

A Willful Heart: The Journey of Palmer
Jenny Lees

The Little Journey of Baby Thomas
Holly Bush

Caring for Carleigh
Holly Haas

Speaking Peace
Misty Palka Nielson

Under His Wings
Kim Cone

Gabriel's Message
Andrea Hernandez Cude

Kolton's Story
Lacy Sanchez

Cayden Ryan
Christina Burns

The Story of our Gift from God; Paige Miracle!
Amber Mapas

Rob Smith

Sophia Grace's Journey: An Anencephaly Story
Tabitha McClure

Everyday Carnival at the Adams' home
Erin Lutz Adams

Caring Bridge site
Melanie Larsen Sinouthasy

Carrying Theo
Josie Louise Ward

Our Miracle Lilly Elizabeth
Elena Strode

Amelia Grace: a journey of life
Melissa Raabe Lorang 

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Rainy Year

A friend texted this picture to me this week (thanks, Terra!) because it made her think of Carys. I knew we had a lot of rain around the time that the babies were born, but I didn't realize we had THAT much rain. Yesterday, I had a client reference this time last year, "you know how we had all that rain this time last year?"

How fitting is that?

It certainly was the rainiest time of our lives...


For the last few days, I've been thinking about what was going on this time last year. (click here to read what was going on this week last year) It doesn't seem like it's been a year. It's like the past year has been a long, emotionally draining dream and now I wonder where it went.

Yet here we are, and tomorrow my baby boy turns one. Tomorrow also marks one year since our daughter went to Heaven. Bittersweet, as always. I've been feeling like laughing and crying at the same time, which happens often these days it seems. It's all part of the journey, and what a very painful, beautiful, joyful, sorrowful, rainy journey it has been.

...but the story doesn't end here.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Exhaustion and Rays of Sunlight

It's so hard to explain how many ways our storms have impacted us since December 2010. I know things will never be like the were, but sometimes I wonder if the floodwaters will ever go back to pre-storm levels. It's not nearly as deep, and the sun shines more often, but it's hard to clean up when I keep stepping in puddles.

This whole journey has left me so exhausted, I find myself frequently longing for peace and rest in Heaven. I know God still has a purpose for me here, and I'll keep working at it, I'm just so tired. I've found that situations that may have been minor before now remind me just how exhausted I am. Stress, conflict, expectations that may not be realistic... I don't have the energy for them I once did. It all still impacts the way we make decisions in general.

However, now I have a very clear idea of the direction I want to be headed, and I want peace. I know we are still making progress in our recovery from the storms. I don't seem to be in the fog anymore, and we're on a mission. We're picking up the pieces and slowly moving forward, even if we're not back to be full pace yet.

With the weather lately, I've been seeing some beautiful artwork by God's mighty hand.
The next photos in this post are from recent moments that seemed to represent to me where our journey is now. The rain and dark clouds are still around, but I'm seeing some rays of sunlight