Sunday, May 13, 2018

Thinking much this mother's day about how it will never NOT be bittersweet. I've seen so many posts today about mothers who have passed away and about babies who didn't get to stay. I'm missing my girl.

At the same time, I'm so incredibly thankful to have these wild boys of mine. They melt me.

The big boys got it in their heads today that if they dressed exactly alike (down to matching socks and shoes), wore their hair alike, practiced making their voices sound like each other, and if Keegan made himself look taller and Paxton made himself look shorter... they could trick people into thinking they were each other.

They giggled off and on all the way to church, thinking they were going to swap classes and trick people. They bring me joy. When I'm exhausted from the baby not sleeping well, or not wanting to stay with anyone but me.... that sweet little face is still such a blessing.

They exhaust me, they frustrate me, they make me laugh ... they bring me joy. There will always be one little girl missing this side of Heaven.

I'm thankful for the bittersweet though. Both sides of it. I'd rather have had her for the brief time I did than not at all.

From the beginning, it's been bittersweet. I recently saw a post prompting people to share about their first mother's day.

Mine? I was home. I had one baby at the cemetery and one in NICU.

Even so, I'm thankful I can focus on the sweet and appreciate the bitter.
I know that God always has a loving plan... He ALWAYS has something incredible to teach us when we're not too focused on the bitter to see the sweet.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

6 years. How?

This year seems to have hit pretty hard. I realized that, because of the holiday timing, I go through all the "anniversaries" twice. The monday before Easter, I was admitted to Labor & Delivery with preterm labor. Thursday morning, the babies arrived. Good friday felt dark and lonely. Easter Sunday was bittersweet... painful and joyful, yet somehow very, very fitting. This week, I'm going through the emotions again. The 18th marked the anniversary of when I was admitted to Labor & Delivery... 21st was when they were born and she went to Heaven ... It's like I hit rewind and play again.

I'm feeling a bit emotionally drained as we are looking at Paxton and Carys' 6th birthday tomorrow. Paxton is getting so big. It amazes me to watch him learn and grow. Kiddo knows more about dinosaurs than I've ever known... he's continually sharing random dinosaur facts and spouting out dino names that are definitely new to me... along with facts about them, like what their names mean, which ones were biggest, which ones were herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores... which one had the biggest claw, or runs the fastest...  He's reading well beyond Kindergarten level, loves science and all things Star Wars... still gets excited about dogs, and ... well... he still amazes me. As always, it's bittersweet to think about him not being tiny anymore, and to look at him in all his big boy-ness... just a jumble of emotions.

I went to a little girl's birthday party saturday... didn't think much about it. It may not have been a good idea. I wanted the boys to go play with other kids, and I wanted the chance to visit with the other adults. The timing probably wasn't best... I cried about the whole way home, missing my girl. It's hard to not think about all of the "if she were here..." thoughts. The lack of little girl toys, the lack of Easter dresses and pigtails.... the lack of her hugs and kisses. 6 years don't take away that pain. We still have joy and peace, but her absence still hurts too. We've not forgotten her, we just keep moving forward.

As we move forward, I still long for Heaven, and I'm still beyond thankful that I KNOW it's real. I touched it, after all. I felt it. All those ruffled dresses at Easter have nothing on what I'm sure my baby girl has there. I mean... what my big girl has there. :) After all, she's 6 tomorrow.

Time to go work on dinosaur cupcakes and a volcano display for tomorrow's party. I have an excited little dino expert snoozing in his bunkbed!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

My Amazon Ad was Rejected (and I'm not sure how to respond from here)

Okay, readers... I'm looking for input or someone who could give me some solid advice. This is not okay... I just don't know how to respond from here. In a nutshell, I tried to place an ad with Amazon and the reasons I was given for it being rejected were... well... rediculous and discriminatory. The reasons were NOT backed by Amazon policy, so I am assuming it was an individual who made the judgement call. Regardless - not okay. I initially posted this to my facebook page in hopes that someone would have some feedback and let me know if I was reading too much into it or being overdramatic about it. It seems the general response I have found so far has been that others share my thoughts.

On 9/26/2016, I received the following response regarding the amazon marketing ad campaign I was trying to run for my book leading up to Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day (October 15th). 

I immediately emailed and asked for clarification, as I didn't understand what the problem with my ad actually was. 


Keri no word yet.
So, my initial thoughts are that I fully understand that there are restrictions and rules surrounding the ads for books. I get that. I know that grief/loss can be a sensitive topic, so I understand why they may want to restrict the ads fo
r a book about grief/loss and not put it on a main page. BUT... if I am putting in very targeted keywords that would be directed to people searching for similar topics (anencephaly, pregnancy and infant loss, etc.) ... I sincerely don't get the problem. UNLESS whoever reviewed it is saying that because it's pregnancy and infant loss, it's considered an unacceptable book because it's a "potentially embarrassing bodily function" or in that category... and if so, that's ridiculous. 

I don't want to jump to conclusions, or assume anything. I posted thinking someone might be able to share some insight I hadn't considered yet about why this ad was rejected. Trying very hard to give them the benefit of the doubt...
LikeReplySeptember 27 at 1:37pm
L**** Yeah...I'm not sure that's very easy to do in this situation. 
LikeReplySeptember 27 at 2:19pm
Keri I'm trying  

My response will be determined by theirs, I'm sure!
LikeReplySeptember 27 at 3:49pm
Keri  I have to say though, the responses I'm seeing here make me feel more validated in my initial "what the what??" reaction lol
LikeReplySeptember 27 at 3:53pm

October 2nd:

October 12th

The ad was approved when status was "ended"

Keri Harris Kitchen Keri THREE weeks later, and their reason is because it might "affect the sentiments of parents who have lost a child or children and children who has lost their parents" and it's "related to bible" 

I'm having trouble knowing how to respond right now. But no, my "problem" has not been solved.
LikeReplyOctober 17 at 9:11pm
Keri Harris Kitchen
Keri ***** ******.... thoughts?
LikeReplyOctober 17 at 9:12pm
Kelly Gerken
K*** I feel their response denotes a lack of sensitivity or understanding of the culture and needs of families enduring pregnancy and infant loss. And, I believe their stance on sharing biblical principles is discriminatory. Unacceptable.
LikeReply1October 18 at 6:20am
Kelly Gerken
K***** I am glad they took a second look and approved it, but their basis for the original rejection seems not to have been given adequate consideration and research. Kind of like..."Oh, this is about a sensitive topic (i.e. babies dying/parents grieving) and...*gasp*...the bible. Reject!"
That's not how things should be done.
UnlikeReply2October 18 at 6:25amEdited
Lori Mullins Ennis
L** - K*** nope. Not at all. 😔
LikeReply1October 18 at 6:25am
Keri Harris Kitchen
Keri  You all share my thoughts. So. Now, the question is how do I respond in a way that is Christ-like, grace-filled, and effective.... I don't want to leave it like that... I'm not okay with it.... the outcome I would like to have would be to raise awareness regarding loss, but also that rejecting something just because it references scripture is also discrimination. It's insulting that Christians are accused of being discriminatory and somehow it's socially acceptable to silence Christians.... I think the only reason they approved it (after the scheduled ad time frame ended) was because I specifically asked them to tell me why it was rejected, and policy does not back their reasoning. I wonder how many get rejected and never approved because people don't ask.
LikeReplyOctober 18 at 8:16am
Lori Mullins Ennis
L**** You're nice. I'm (in my head) writing an article titled "Why Amazon hates Baby Loss Moms."
LikeReplyOctober 18 at 8:42am
Keri Harris Kitchen
Keri  lol I COULD go all in and be absolutely nasty about it... and it may be somewhat satisfying considering how indignant I feel. BUT... considering the books I have published on amazon... it wouldn't mesh well. haha Sooo.... looking for a less emotional route.  I wonder what a lawyer would say... ***** .... I know this isn't your area of law generally, but..... maybe you have some thoughts...
LikeReplyOctober 18 at 11:50am
Keri Harris Kitchen
Write a reply...
Keri Harris Kitchen
Keri  So basically... because it's a sensitive grief topic... which, I understand is a sensitive thing, and that is why I chose very specific keywords so the marketing would be very targeted. and secondly ..... because it contains topics related to bible??? there is nothing in their policies that I saw that says biblical topics are not allowed in ads.
LikeReplyOctober 17 at 9:18pm
Lori Mullins Ennis
L**** Discriminatory for sure. And I'd definitely have a response for both the reason why it discriminates against those who've lost children as a resource and those who claim the Bible is as important to their faith as any other "spiritual" book they also allow ads for is to those religions/views and and I'd share some examples. This is so sad.
LikeReply1October 18 at 6:22am
Keri Harris Kitchen
Keri  I have so many other things needing my attention right now. at the same time, I don't want to just leave this as it is.
LikeReplyOctober 18 at 11:52am

Monday, June 13, 2016

Happy Birthday, Papaw Charlie

I was all too aware that today my grandfather was born 87 years ago today, before my phone and computer reminded me. Two days ago, surrounded by his family, he celebrated a new kind of birthday- into Heaven. We've known for months that it was coming, but it doesn't matter how long you "know," It's never enough time. It's never easy.

I've had the privilege of hearing my papaw tell the stories of his lifetime. It's a project I'd started years ago and life had just gotten busy, as life tends to do. I still had so many questions to ask and stories to hear. 

When I got home Saturday, I listened to the stations on Pandora I'd created when talking with Papaw about some of his favorite music in his early years. I will always treasure that day. He became so animated, singing along with his favorites, and his face lighting up with a bigger smile than I'd seen on him for quite a while. He told me about trips to the Grand Ol' Opry and Renfro Valley, and so much more. 

Papaw: Way back before we quit traveling, we’d take off and go to Nashville. We went to Renfro Valley a lot of times too. Old John Lair started it. We were there before he died. They took it over commercial now, but for a long time, they had the old originals. They wouldn’t allow anything on the stage but guitars and fiddles. They had two or three good country women singers and some good men singers. John and Jessie wore those big overalls and they played… it was a good show. Roy Acuff was one of my favorites [at the Grand Ol’ Opry].

Teri: which one tried to date mom? Was it Roy Acuff or Chet Atkins?Norma Atkins… remember Glady’s sister, Norma? She was related to Chett Atkins, and they had mom a date fixed up with him one time. But mom had already met you and started dating you and wouldn’t go with him.

Papaw: They tell me now, after I’m 80 some years old…*laughs* Me and Doris saw several country music shows. We’d take off and go. I had a set-up for a while, I had a camp trailer. I could call KOA campground in Nashville and reserve my camping spot and my tickets. When I’d go down there, my tickets would be laying on the counter, and we’d go to the Grand Ol’ Opry. We didn’t even have to move the trailer, they’d pick us up on a bus and take us to the Grand Ol’ Opry and back to the trailer. Then, we could visit - the owners had a record shop. It was about a mile from there. It made a pretty good night. That Grand Ol’ Opry house now- that Opry house is really something. It’s a big, modern… you’d be surprised.

I am still working on transcribing some of the recordings I have of Papaw's stories, but had so hoped to have his book finished while he was here to see it. I'd asked him once before what he would write if he ever wrote a book. He told me he would write his story. It's a good one! I feel like I only have a small portion, though. I am actually hoping to have stories submitted by others, too. If you have a story to share, please visit here.

In Papaw's last few moments, my mind turned to these pictures of me running to him as a child. I imagine there was a similar scene in Heaven when he met my baby girl for the first time.

Heaven is going to be so wonderful.


Charles Edward Rose,  6/13/29 - 6/11/16
Charles Edward Rose, 86, of Raceland Kentucky went home to be with his Savior at his home while surrounded by his family on Saturday, June 11, in the 2016 year of our Lord. Charles was born June 13, 1929 in Worthington, Kentucky the firstborn son of the late George and Arizona Brown Rose.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Doris Bentley, (daughter of Hilliard and Agnes Davis Bentley) Surviving from that union are 3 daughters, Cheryl Rose Akers (the late Jack Akers) of Ashland, Teressa “Teri” Rose Harris (Rev. James Harris) of Argillite KY, Mellessa “Mel” Rose Thomas (Robert “Gene” Thomas) Jacksonville FL and 1 son, Charles A “Buck” Rose (Phoebe) of Greenup KY.
He is survived by his wife, Frances Ruth Martin Rose
2 brothersGeorge Rose Jr. (the late Lula Hubbard Rose) of Wurtland, KentuckyWilliam “Bill” Leslie Rose (Avanelle Hannah Rose) of Worthington, Kentucky
He is also survived by3 step-daughtersJoyce Lynn Cantrell (Kenny) of Argillite, KentuckyGracie Rhonda Zieglien (Daniel) of Owensville KYBetty Frances Caudill (Ralph Caudill) Raceland, Kentucky
2 step-sons
Robert Wayne Stepp (Velvet) Argillite KentuckyHarold Eugene Stepp (Lisa) Wurtland Kentucky
9 grandchildren
James L Watson II (Monica) Mohave NevadaLillian Patricia Addison (Gary) Elkhorn, NebraskaCharles Robert “Bobby” Thomas (Christina) Jacksonville FloridaWilliam Michael Thomas (Lindsey) Jacksonville FloridaAmy Renee’ Harris, Argillite KentuckyJames Andrew “Andy” Harris (Bethany) Argillite, KentuckyKeri Ann Harris Kitchen (Aaron) Grayson KentuckyRoger Dale Rose (Shellie) Greenup KentuckyJames Patrick Rose (Janel) Greenup Kentucky
10 step-grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren and 9 step-great grandchildren
We remember Charles Alan Rose he is deceased but not forgotten.
Funeral services will be conducted at 10:00am Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at Reed Funeral Home in Greenup Kentucky by Rev. James W. Harris. Burial will be in Bellefonte Memorial Gardens in Flatwoods. Kentucky.
Visitation will be 6:00 – 9:00 pm Monday and one hour before the service on Tuesday.Masonic Rites will be officiated at 8pm Monday during the visitation by Flatwoods Smith Lodge #775. Also Monday there will be a brief, Memorial service held at 5 pm to minister to young children of the family, who are mourning his loss.