Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking Back on 2009

This is one year that I am actually glad to see GO. I don't mean to sound so negative because the year 2009 has brought some wonderful opportunities into my life, but it was a treacherous road to travel. Ringing in the New Year for '09 was probably one my fondest memories, because I had my sweet Allie by my side. She was never expected to live even one day, but yet she lived for days, weeks, months, and surprisingly stuck it out to see a new year dawn. It was shortly after the New Year when '09 took a turn for the worse.




We lost our Allie on January 14th, 2009 and have struggled to regain our balance ever since. Most of this year was spent putting on fake smiles and pushing through the pain of getting out of bed every morning. Moments of laughter fell few and far between and was something that only a few could find in us, and how thankful we were for those moments. The approach of Holidays, which are thought of as joyful, were things that were dreaded for us because we knew they would be spent in tears. Tears that called out for mercy. Tears that pleaded for the pain to be taken away and for our daughter to be back in our arms. Therefore, when I look back on the year 2009 the following things will probably be what I remember most.

2009 was...

The year that I lost my daughter.
A year filled with sadness.
The first time I had to celebrate holidays missing one of my children.
When I threw a one year old birthday party without the guest of honor.
The year that my son had to learn many tough lessons about life and death.
The year I started blogging.
When my faith was shaken.
The year I grew closer to God and my family.
Mason's first (of probably many) E.R. visits for staples.
Michael's first time to be put to sleep for a procedure.
The time I had to say a speech on my daughter's behalf.
The year I helped raise awareness for Trisomy 18.
When Mason first became obsessed with the Blue Angels Jets.
A time that I learned what NOT to say to someone that has lost a loved one :)
When I witnessed how ONE person could make a difference in others' lives.
The time I discovered what a great community of family and friends I have.
When Michael and Mason both lost their first dog.
AND
The year that I realized how bad a mother's heart and arms could ache for her child.




I thank you all for your love and support, and I hope that the year 2010 is a good one for everyone. Sending you lots of love :)

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas '09

Well, our emotions for Christmas follwed pretty much what we expected. I only included one picture of me in the photo slide show because my eyes were so red and swollen. Michael and I did our best to give Mason the "normal" Christmas morning that he deserved, but all of our emotions were too strong to keep inside so he witnessed us crying several times throughout the day. He, of course, could sense that we were upset about missing Allie and talked about her some, but I think for the most part he had a good Christmas. We did have to tell him some sad news the next day. His first dog, Dorie, was killed by a car on Christmas. It doesn't matter how old you are, it is always tough losing your first dog (it was Michael's first dog too). I think our emotions were worse under the given circumstances. We pushed through and survived though. I know that with time the holidays will come easier, but they'll never be the same.

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

If I'd Only Known...



Dear Allie,
If I'd only known that this date last year would be your last birthday party, then I would have thrown a parade in your honor for the whole world to see.

If I'd only known that your first Christmas would also be your last Christmas, then I would have given you the North Pole.

If I'd only known that you would enter Heaven shortly after you entered a New Year, then I would have invited the President to meet the most amazing, precious, beautiful, adorable baby that ever existed.

If I'd only known that these would be my final moments to get my last photos of you, then I would have taken over a billion pictures and videoed every second of your life.

If I'd only known that I had less than a month to kiss you, then I would have kissed you without ceasing.

If I'd only known that you would soon be leaving my arms to be in the arms of Jesus, then I would have found a way to stop time so that I could hold you forever.

If I'd only known.

Love,
Mommy



It's been an emotional day today. Michael even tried getting me out of the house some to help, but unfortunately it didn't. My mind continued to drift away into the world of "what ifs", and my heart just ached. That horrible pain in the pit of my stomach was back and didn't want to leave. I wish she was here, because the holidays are not the same without her. There is an empty space under the tree where her presents should be, and a hole in our hearts that can never be filled. I did finally get my tree up, and I am glad that I did, because all of her ornaments and cherished treasures were too precious to keep hidden away in storage. It hurts some, but for the most part I do enjoy catching a glimpse of them from time to time. I apologize for being so gloomy today, but it was just one of those days that caught me by surprise. I knew from the moment I woke up, and didn't want to get out of bed, that it was going to be a tough one, and the day progressively worsened. I was uncontrollably sobbing by breakfast time, and I had many more to follow. I still count my blessings even though I have a tough day every now and then, because I cannot be more thankful for God giving me the blessing of actually having those precious memories and cherished treasures of her first Christmas. I hope all of your Holidays are filled with blessings as well.


P.S.
I finally added Mason's 4th Birthday photos to his birthday post. Just scroll back down a couple of posts and enjoy :)

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Mason's 1st School Program

Oh, my 'Little Man' is getting too big on me. Last night he had his first school program, and my heart just melted. I was a little nervous going in because he has never done anything in front of an audience any larger than us, but he made us so proud. He did so well, and the program was PRECIOUS! We were amazed at how well all of the little kidos did. They sang a few Christmas songs, recited some Bible verses, and even did some signs along with one. They all looked so adorable. Mason looked so growny walking in his little line and standing up on stage :) I am going to have to find something that keeps my eyelids pried open. I'm too scared to blink because time seems to be flying by at warp speed. Here are a few, well okay a little more than a few, photos of Mason's 1st school program :)

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy 4th Birthday Little Man!

My Little Man turned 4 today. Oh how fast the time has flown. We decided to do things a little different this year. We just wanted to have a good time and take our minds off of other things for a while. Boy, did we have a good time! We rented a jump place, and I think the adults had just as much fun as the kids :) I really think Mason had the time of his life. After he had his fill of the bouncers and slides, he played foam stick hockey with some others and was in his element. For any that know him, they know that he is OBSESSED (without any help from us) with ANY kind of sport. He has been playing with all different kinds of sports since he was a year old. At his 1st birthday he was kicking a soccer ball up and down the hill in our back yard :) And that seems like yesterday. The Lord has blessed me with the sweetest most precious little boy he could find, and I am so thankful to have him as my son. Happy 4th Birthday Little Man! We love you.

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Bitter Sweet Moments

I am usually not one to procrastinate about things (I tend to leave that up to my husband because he is reeeeeeally good at it) :), but I have found myself doing exactly that this holiday season. For instance, my tree is usually up the day after Thanksgiving, but not this year. It has been like pulling teeth trying to decorate for Christmas. Michael and I were fully expecting the holidays to be tough, and Thanksgiving was our first set back. We held it together the best we could for all of the family gatherings, knowing good and well we were both dying inside, but wound up falling apart the week after. From there it only got worse. It didn't help that during all of these emotional valleys Mason had to be rushed to the E.R. to get staples in the top of his head due to a fall at daycare (which he got out today), I came down with bronchitis, and Michael discovered that he will need surgery to remove a cyst. It kind of felt like a "pile on" and I allowed myself to believe it also. The devil had me wrapped around his little finger again, and I have since been fighting hard to break loose from his grip. For some reason bad thoughts continue to seep through the cracks from time to time, even though I know how blessed I am. It is quite difficult to hold back all the thoughts of "what could have beens..." that are running through my head. We created some very precious memories last year with our Little Allie, and I am so grateful for those memories, but I also cannot stop longing to still have her with us this year. My head is filled with thoughts of how things "should" be: I should be Christmas shopping for two babies, I should have a little full of life one year old running around, I should be trying to keep all of the decorations out of reach, My house should be full of giggles and laughter of siblings playing (and a little fussing too), I should be buying coordinating Christmas outfits for Christmas card photos, I should...., I should..., I should..., but I'm not. Memories of last year have intensified these feelings, because who could have known that at Mason's birthday party last year we were only going to have a month left with our precious Angel. I tried to live every moment like it was her last, but you always feel like you could have done more. Needless to say, I have a bad case of the Holiday Blues, and my procrastination is because I know that pulling out all of those cherished treasures we created last year (that I'm so blessed to have) will be painful to see as well.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

So Much to Be Thankful For

Last year we OBVIOUSLY had A LOT to be thankful for, and like I stated a couple of posts ago, it has been a little difficult getting geared up for this year's upcoming holidays. We knew we were thankful for the memories that we have of Allie, but now we have even more to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Mason received a good report yesterday and Michael received a good report today! Yay! I am one happy gal :) Thank you for your prayers. We continue to count our blessings each day, and we are so grateful for God's strength to help us through.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

One down and one to go

Well, we received a good report on Mason today. He just has a mild form of asthma that can be taken care of with medication. Oh, we are so thankful to hear this news. I am so grateful for all of your thoughts and prayers. We have Michael's test tomorrow and I am praying for the same result (good news). Thank you again for sending some extra prayers our way this week.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Halloween and more

Ha, it has been so chaotic around our house that I thought I had already shared Halloween pictures. Oh well, I guess it is never too late. I think it had to do with all we were going through during that time. I think it is safe to say that we were tricked instead of treated :) I came down with the flu and Michael and Mason had the HORRIBLE stomach virus. For the first time ever, I missed taking my little man trick-or-treating. Thankfully, he had his virus early enough that he didn't have to miss out on the fun and was able to go with his Mimi and Papa, but it was still heart breaking for mommy. He had a blast nonetheless, which is all that matters. So here are a few photos of our little Blue Angel pilot :) There are also a few photos from the JSU game that we went to this weekend and a few of Allie's Halloween and fall decorations at her site. We were saved by our neighbors on Saturday, when they invited us to the game, in more ways than one. Michael and I were a little down, to say the least, with the stress of worrying about all of their upcoming tests this week and the fact that it was Allie's 10 month Angel Day Anniversary. You know it is strange that sometimes we can be okay with the anniversary days and on others we are not. Something about it being the number 10 and marking being without her twice the amount of time that I got to have her just bothered me. Who knows, it could be because of the holidays approaching and my aching desire for her to be here to celebrate them with us, or her Angel Day now only being 2 months away and bringing back such intense memories, etc... Anyway, like I said, we were both down and a little snappy :), which can also happen sometimes in marriage even when you are not going through depression, when our wonderful neighbors invited us to the JSU game. It was a beautiful day and great for doing something outdoors, and we knew Mason would LOVE it, so we agreed to go- - first save. Soon on our journey we were almost regretting our decision. We stopped by to get something to eat on our way because we were going to meet up with them at the game. Mason likes to roll down the back window in the car and yell out his order now when we go through a drive through, and this time was no different except for the fact that his window would not roll back up afterwards (great). I saved his drink so that he would not spill it on himself while we were moving, and of course when I hand him his drink after we had stopped, and Michael was working on the window, what does he do but spill it all over himself. We called Jennifer and Steve to let them know what was going on and that we would be there soon and just happened to think to ask if the gate accepted credit cards. Well, guess what, they didn't. Do you think we had any cash on us. Typically, this would have been fine because we would have just used our ATM card to get some cash, but a few months ago Michael thought his wallet was stollen and cancelled everything. We broke the devastating news to Mason that even though we had told him we were going to a game and drove him all the way up there that we would not be able to go to the game now. This was not pretty. But, again, our neighbors came to the rescue and took care of our way into the game--second save. What wonderful friends we have! The boys had a blast and even showed out a little for the other little cutie you see in the pictures. I don't know why I always have a "story" to tell when I go somewhere, but it seems to work out that way pretty often. I'm not too sure that is a good thing :)



P.S.
Please pray for Mason and Michael this week as they both go for further testing, and I would like to add another special prayer request. Jim Murrell,a friend of ours that was only a couple of years ahead of us in school, is in very serious condition. His mother-in-law was also the heavenly Hospice Nurse that cared for Allie like she was her own grand-child. Jim Murrell is in heart failure, and due to the map work complications of his heart, he is not a candidate for a heart transplant. He is a preacher in Mississippi and married with two young children. Their youngest child was recently diagnosed with a mild form of Autism and his wife suffers from serious health issues as well. Even through all of these hardships they are still able to remain faithful. This family needs all of the prayers and help that they can get, because insurance will not cover pre-existing conditions. I'm sure they will appreciate any additional prayers that you can send their way. You can also visit them at www.philadelphiachurchofchrist.com Thank you again.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

You Be the Judge

It has been a little difficult getting into the holiday spirit this year. Once you have lost a loved one, holidays are no longer the same. We can be thankful that we were able to create some holiday memories with Allie, but they are still memories, which means she is no longer here to create new ones. Well, we have a few traditions that we try to do every year around this time, and even though it was a little tough we still wanted to participate in a few of the activities for Mason. This past weekend we went to the Pumpkin Patch, which was emotional at times but well worth it in the end. Mason had a great time riding toy tractors, walking through the corn maze, picking cotton, riding on the hay ride, petting the farm animals, looking at crafts, eating "cotton corn" (cotton candy- he combined cotton candy and candy corn I guess), picking out the perfect pumpkin, and who knew you could have so much fun with bails of hay! It was a terrific experience for him and we enjoyed it as well. We ended the night with a wonderful Halloween party where they went on a "haunted hay ride" through the forest. Well, I didn't realize that the hayride was going to be a haunted hayride with people dressed up in costumes jumping out with chain saws and leaf blowers (lol). I was really worried about Mason, but if you ask him what his favorite part of the party was he will say,"I liked the hay ride when the munsters jumped out." Michael and I also have another tradition that we have done since we have been married, and that is we like to have a pumpkin carving contest. It is just between the two of us and it is all in good fun, so we decided to do it again this year. Mason does his part by helping us clean the inside and picking out the designs, and he enjoys getting to paint his pumpkins :) So this year I thought I would let you be the judge. Can you figure out who did which design? Thanks

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Walk to Remember

RMC Bereavement Services host a memorial each year to honor the special lives of our babies. It is titled "A Walk to Remember" and they provide the families with a lovely meal, and then everyone walks around Oxford Lake to remember their loved ones. We were also able to order T-shirts with their names. This was my first one to attend and boy did they brake me in good. They asked me to speak at this event; talk about making your heart stop:) I am not a speaker by any means so those poor people got stuck having listening to me. This really is a great program that they have for grieving families, and we found out that they have other events throughout the year as well. We felt honored to have the chance to share Allie's story, and it was nice getting to talk with some of the other parents. Thank you RMC for taking the time to put this wonderful event together for us in memory of our precious little ones.


P.S.
Thanks to all for your prayers. Michael received his results from the catscan and they have ruled out Crohn's disease. He still has to go for some further testing to find out what the bad area is in his intestines, but hopefully it will just be something minor that they can remove and take care of the problem. The scan did show that he had pnemonia, so that is probably why he has felt so bad recently (no telling how long he has had that- you know how it is trying to get men to go to the doctor). Thanks again.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Prayer Request

Please keep my husband in your thoughts and prayers over the next couple of weeks. Due to some problems, he has to go for some testing. The doctors are suspecting Crohn's disease, and we are thankful at the moment that they are thinking it is something treatable, but non the less we are still worried. Our emotions are still tender with flashbacks of sitting in doctors' offices waiting for results, so we are having a little trouble handling these situations at the moment. We pray that the tests will prove to be something minor, or at least treatable, and that his problems will subside. Thank you in advance for your prayers and support as we take it one test at a time.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sometimes You Just Have To Let It Out

Okay, this post has been sitting in my draft box for a while. Recently when my walls felt as though they were closing in, I would sit and type it all out on the computer, but that is as far as it went. The publish button was never hit because I was not ready for the world to see. It was uncomfortable for me to share such vulnerable emotions because this is such an ugly side of grief, and I don't like for others to witness this agony. Everyone grieves differently, and sometimes it may cause you to think or do things that you would not normally. The thought of sharing this with others always scared me because I didn't want people to think bad of me for something that, for the most part, I couldn't control just because they may not understand the grief process. So it was just safer sitting in my draft box. My thoughts suddenly changed the other day when I was reminded why I created this blog in the first place. This blog was developed to share Allie's story and possibly help others going through similar experiences. How am I helping others that may be struggling with grief if I sugar coat it all? Therefore, I decided to just let it all out. The following is pretty much a summary of the emotions from my draft box:

Michael and I have, of course, have been struggling with our emotions. Probably me a little more so than Michael now, because even though we are both on the same journey we travel different paths from time to time, which is perfectly normal. He hit this latest stage a little sooner than me, so he has had more time to start pulling back out of the valley while I am now sliding head first into the valley. It is difficult trying to help each other through these tough times when you are both hurting, and we do our best, but there are also times when we have just said, "I love you and I'll meet you on the other side." This summer went really well for me. I was handling my emotions well, I was able to be strong for Michael, I was relaxed, and I was even feeling better. I honestly thought I was on the road to "recovery" (I know there is not really a true recovery from such tragedy, but you know what I mean). Then August hit, and my world turned upside down. I'm not sure if it was because of school starting back or that it was Allie's birthday month or the combination of everything, but I suddenly found myself in a very scary state of mind. I am smart enough to know that there are stages of grief that everyone tends to go through when faced with tragedy. For some reason I also believed that since I knew these stages then I could recognize what was happening and possibly just skip right through. I had just walked Michael through, so I should be fine, right? This, obviously, was not the case. My emotions seem to be caught in a whirlwind that is spinning fiercely out of control. I cannot tell heads from tails. I went from having an abundant amount of faith to having little or no faith at all. My eyes blinked and it disappeared. The devil is really good at what he does, and he knows that I am vulnerable because I am a mommy with a broken heart (easy target). I have fought, and fought, and fought, but it is just too difficult. He has me wrapped so tight in his grip that I am almost suffocating, and I'm tired. I am so tired that I am just threads away from giving up, and my thread is frayed. It would be so easy to not get out of bed anymore, it would be so easy to quit work, it would be so easy to quit going to church, it would be so easy to just stop everything. The least little bit of difficulty shuts me down completely now. I cannot handle the slightest change, the simplest decision, or the tiniest addeded stress. Being able to manage my weight feels like a lost cause at the moment because even though I know what to do to loose it and try to make myself feel better, I don't have the motivation to even get started (which just adds to the cycle, because that causes me to get depressed). To add to all of this emotional craze, I can't seem to shake the guilt. I still continue to beat myself up about things that were completely out of my hands. It is so bothersome to me that I had to watch my baby suffer (it doesn't set well with me, and I don't know if those images will ever leave my mind). I'm still taking those baby steps through this entire process, and I am praying that this stage will pass soon. There is so much anger and confusion, which upsets me because I am not typically in this state of mind, but this is one of the changes grief has brought on me. Michael and Mason are my focus at the moment and what keep me going. I know that I will eventually make it to the other side, but until then I pray that I can regain my strength to stomp that devil back down where he belongs. I hate to be so brutally honest, but I want to let others know that it is normal to feel some of these emotions when dealing with grief so they are not mislead. Please continue to pray that God will give us strength, comfort, and peace. Thank you.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Month's Worth of Catching Up.

Well, as you may have noticed it has been a month since my last post (Allie's, would have been, 1 year birthday to be exact), and there are many factors that have played into my absence that I may post about later, but now we have a lot of catching up to do. First, I would like to thank everyone for the overwhelming response to Allie's Birthday Butterfly Kisses. You all went above and beyond the simple request of wanting to send out a few virtual butterflies on Allie's birthday, and we wound up with a superb slide show of over 300 gorgeous butterflies to view at anytime and remember our Little Allie. What a special tribute we now have in her honor, and it is all thanks to my very special family and friends and bloggie buddies. Thank you again.

As for Allie's real butterfly release, it was absolutely precious. Many family and friends joined in the memorial. Watching the Monarch butterflies gracefully fly from their envelopes was truly an amazing site. There was so much symbolism and emotion in the release, and I was so proud that we had the opportunity to do this in Allie's memory. Afterwards we had a celebration at the house, complete with all of the food and decorations that we always did for her, to remember the happiness of the short but precious life she lived. This was such an emotional day for us, and we did the celebration because we wanted to honor her life but also because it gave us something to focus on building up to the day. It was rather difficult planning a birthday party without the guest of honor, but it was something that I knew had to be done. I collected butterfly balloons for months and just had them blown up that day, put all of the butterfly photos into the slide show, prepared for the celebration, etc. I even baked her butterfly cake and cupcakes because I knew I wouldn't be sleeping the night before her birthday anyway, and I could just focus on trying to create something beautiful for her. The memorial was beautiful and perfect for her, and we could not have been more pleased.

It is almost hard to believe that last year at this time we were having her first birthday party. It definitely wasn't your typical birthday party. It wasn't a party to celebrate an entire year of life, there were no presents stacked in the corner to be opened, and the birthday song was barely recognized through the rain of tears, but it WAS a birthday party. It was to celebrate only one month of life, but that one month was like a year to us. Most Trisomy 18 babies don't even make it to birth, but she had lived one entire month. She deserved to experience it all, even the birthday parties. I will never forget the look on the ladies face when I stepped up to the counter and said, "I would like to order a birthday cake, and I want it say Happy 1 Month Birthday!" I am now so thankful for those birthdays, and I am so proud that we were able to celebrate a few with her before she entered Heaven.

Another special moment in time:
You may also remember from last year that Auburn University dedicated the first eagle's flight to Allie. My cousin, Tina, is good friends with Marianne, the eagle trainer at AU, and after hearing Allie's story she felt the need to do something and decided that would be a special tribute for her. I am still amazed by the kindness that was out poured by everyone during those difficult times and even still. Anyway, Michael's goal this year was to go to the first Auburn game to see the eagle's flight. He knew it was going to be emotional for me, but asked anyway, and after some thought and discussion I agreed to go. It didn't take long to get things moving. Michael mentioned that we would be trying to go to his dad, and in no time he had already talked to a friend and had tickets to the first game on the way. Isn't he just the best father-in-law ever! He also knows how to choose his friends wisely :) We are very grateful to them. I am so glad that we went. It was still emotional, but I had some positives to keep in mind as well. This was Mason's first college football game, and he absolutely LOVED it! I think it is his new obsession :) Of course, we went all out. By half time he had already indulged in a true ballpark hot dog, nachos, and cotton candy. To top it all off, he ended the game with a large snow cone. Watching the eagle was also a treat. I think it was a record flight time. I'm not really sure, but I know it was the longest flight that I had ever witnessed and I heard several similar comments from others that were at the game as well. Spirit continued circling and circling and gracefully soaring as the crowd roared with its "War Eagle" ~ gives me chill bumps just thinking about it. I'm going to leave you now with a few photos of Allie's celebration and even a few "illegal" ones of Mason at the game :) Yeah, Michael and I were not thinking at all, and decided that it would be better to take the video camera because it could take both video and still images. Well, when we got up to the gate the little guy informed me that I was not allowed to take video cameras inside the stadium. Ugh...Michael and I are so unfocused these days that we didn't even think to check for items that we could take and not take in the stadium. He just gave me a sweet grin though and told me to put it away in my bag and promise not to use it. I put it away immediately and agreed to not use it, but come on, it was my son's first Auburn football game! I couldn't bare to think that I would not be able to capture one single moment of this experience, so I snuck it out for just a few shots every now and then :) (sorry)


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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday to Our Angel in Heaven

Dear Allie,

I told myself that I wasn't going to cry today. Well, at least not a lot anyway, because I wanted to remember that today was the celebration of a joyous occasion. One year ago today God sent us one of his most precious angels. I can remember everything so vividly, as though it were yesterday, and I remember Dr. Ballard giving us ALL of the reasons that we had to induce (because she knew that I wasn't for it). I couldn't choose a day to induce, because I thought that I would be choosing the day that my baby was going to die. But, one year ago today, you proved the whole world wrong. You came into this life a little fighter, and we did not have to say goodbye on your birthday like we had all thought. Therefore, the reason I want to remember your birthday as a happy day. You were so precious and the tiniest baby your Daddy and I had ever held. I remember trying to quickly wipe away my tears, as I held you in my arms, because I wanted to make sure that I could see every inch of you clearly. I remember your Daddy's precious smile as he held you in his arms for the fist time. I remember how proud your brother was to finally get to kiss and hug you. You were a blessing from day one, and the number of lives you have touched is countless. It feels like an eternity since I have held you in my arms, and most days I just don't know how I am going to make it, but somehow I manage. I wish so bad that you could have been here to celebrate you 1st birthday, and I want to kiss your sweet little head more than anyone could ever know. The pain of knowing that you have a sweet, precious baby that you cannot hold or love on is almost unbearable. Big brother still asks about you a lot, and he continues to get confused from time to time. He wanted to know the other day when you were coming back since God made you better. I hope that you are having the best time up in Heaven and sharing some cake with all of your other angel friends. I wish I were there to witness your first steps, and tell you how much I love you, and give you lots of hugs and kisses. Until I can hold you in my arms again, I'm sending plenty of butterfly kisses your way. We love you and miss you tremendously, Allie. Happy 1st Birthday Baby Girl! We release these butterflies in memory of you on this special day.



"As you release this butterfly in honor of me, know that I'm with you and will always be.Hold a hand, say a prayer, close your eyes and see me there.
Although you may feel a bit torn apart, please know that I'll be forever in your heart. Now fly away butterfly as high as you can go. I'm right there with you more than you know."

~ Jill Haley


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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Summer Ending

This has been a fabulous summer for me. I kept myself busy, basically, playing the entire summer away with my son. God gave me strength and allowed me to have longer periods of time in between my valleys. As the summer draws to a close, I find that I am flooded with a flashback of feelings. August is here, and I have dreaded this month all summer. August is always a little sad for teachers returning to work and ending the summer fun, but it will now forever be a difficult month for me because of it being Allie's birth month. I hate that these two coincide with each other, because the emotions and stress of starting a new year is tough enough without having additional emotional stress put in the mix.

I have to put up a fight every day just to make myself get out of bed, act as normal as possible in front of people, not to have a nervous breakdown, stay strong for my three year old, and etc... but there are some days when I can no longer put up the fight. This weekend was one of those moments. There is still so much grief that needs to escape this body of mine, and I am sure that this meltdown was brought on by the flashbacks that I have been having this week. I close my eyes and I am there (every image, every sound, every smell, every thought, every plead with God to heal my baby). As I begin my new school year that also nears what should have been her 1st birthday, I am overwhelmed. It is as though I am reliving last year all over again. My mind is clouded with the thoughts that were in my mind last year at this time. I remember all of my fears that seem so minuscule now. Will my brain always relate starting school with those feelings? Is it just because it the first year? Maybe. I've been thinking a lot about my Little Allie recently, and I have had a rather tough weekend/week. I'm sure this is not the last of it with her birthday approaching, so please say an extra prayer for us. Thank you again for everything you do.


P.S. Don't forget about Allie's butterflies if you want to send her a birthday message. Just email me a picture of a butterfly with your message to her. I'll leave you with this video of butterfly bubbles that Allie's Gamma sent. Hope you enjoy as much as I did.

Bubble Butterflies


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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Always an Adventure

Sorry it has taken so long to post about our beach trip, but I have been trying to soak up all of my last little bit of summer fun before I start back to school next week. We had a really good trip and it was very meditative for Michael and me. We also managed to do a few special things in memory of Allie on her 11 month birthday. Gamma bought a gorgeous butterfly kite that we flew on the 19th, and it was such an amazing site! Others were stopping or standing on the balconies and taking pictures as well. We will save those photos for her butterfly slide show :) Michael and I were just not up to taking a family photo like we usually do when we head to the beach. Instead we took pictures of Allie's name drawn in the sand and a few of Mason by himself. I love the shot of Mason's toes at the top of her name. His curiosity got the best of him :) As always we packed in a lot of fun, and as you can see we even stopped by the airplane museum. We were actually headed to watch the Blue Angels practice, but when we arrived at the gate we discovered that it had been cancelled. His little heart was so disappointed. You know that is what he wants to be when he grows up :) Even though many of our activities were planned, there was one activity that we did not plan to happen. As we were heading home, our car decided that it wanted to stay at the beach. We were stranded! Of course, if I am going to be stranded anywhere, then I definitely want it to be at the beach. We made the best of it though. My parents were able to borrow a truck and trailer from some wonderful friends, Patty and Brice, (Thank you so much!). We walked to a nearby zoo, killed some time there, then ate lunch at a seafood restaurant next door, and headed over for all you can play putt putt golf afterwards :) So I have to say that our vacation/adventure was a wonderful trip, and I cannot wait to go back soon :)

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

6 month Angel Day

Wow, 6 months. Our precious baby has been in the arms of Jesus for half of a year. I know I'm not supposed to, but it is really difficult most days to suppress my feelings of jealousy that she is not in my arms. Well, I guess it is more of a longing to hold her again rather than being jealous. I really miss her. Some days are still harder than others, and I cannot always pinpoint why, but I have realized that time has allowed us to have more good days than bad days. We are getting ready to make another beach trip and I am hoping that this will do us some good. I'm trying to focus on the positive instead of the negative things that depress me, like: How much I would have loved for Allie to be going with us, thinking of the things she might have been doing at the beach at almost a year old, thinking that family beach photos will never be the same, etc... My heart just hurts and I wish that things didn't have to be this way. We will be away for her 11 month birthday and I will not be able to post, so I am going to go ahead and send some more birthday butterfly kisses her way. Happy 11 months baby girl in advance, and I wish you were here with us to celebrate it at the beach! Thank you again for all of her Birthday Butterflies. They are absolutely spectacular! You have all been so sweet helping us through. We have one month left for anyone that still wants to send Allie a butterfly wish for her birthday. Just click on her button to the right to connect you to the post with all of the details. Thanks again.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Great Fourth

Well, I have been keeping myself so busy lately that I haven't even had a chance to post about our 4th of July Holiday weekend. Honestly, prior to the holiday I had built up a lot of anxiety, but like I have stated so many times before, "God is Wonderful!" He knows our every need and exactly what to do to take care of us. Throughout our entire grief process with Allie, He has allowed our emotional struggles to see-saw back and forth so that one of us could be strong while the other was falling apart. Of course, I have done most of the falling apart while Michael has been the strong one, but lately God has been with me and allowed my emotional breakdowns to take a back seat so that I could be strong for Michael and help him.


The week before the fourth did cause my emotional see-saw to fall down again, because as I stated before I had some anxiety built up about this past weekend. For those of you that do not know, I had several baby cousins that were born around the same time as Allie, and this was going to be the first time I had seen them since Allie passed away. Please let me remind everyone that I do not get upset because there are other babies. Babies, especially the ones that are Allie's age, just remind me how much I am missing her and how much I wish she was still with me. Anyway, I had this horrible fear that I would not be able to contain my sorrow and wind up ruining every one's holiday. God knew better. He was with Michael and me every step of the way, and we had a fabulous 4th of July. Michael and I talked about how much fun we had, and how emotionally beneficial it was for both us. It has been an extremely long time since we have felt happiness, and it felt so good to be filled with laughter and surrounded by family and friends that love us. It was an awesome day, and we didn't take a single picture. Guess you will just have to take my word for it :) I hope your fourth was as great as mine!

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Blog Button


Look what my sweet, sweet friend Robin did for me! She created me this beautiful button to add to my blog to let everyone know about Allie's Birthday butterflies. Isn't she just the best! Now others can "grab" the button and add to their blogs for all to see. The wonderful response that we have already received has completely amazed us. We have received such gorgeous butterflies and birthday messages for our precious Allie, and we are so grateful to everyone that has helped with this special birthday memorial. We cannot thank you enough.
For those that do not already know about Allie's Butterfly Kisses, and would like to participate, I have included the instructions below. Our precious baby girl passed away January 14, 2009 due to the chromosomal disorder, Trisomy 18. We were able to share 148 glorious days with her, and we thank God for allowing us enough time to get to know and love her. Our theme with her life was butterflies, so we felt that it was only appropriate to do a butterfly release on what would have been her first birthday. We also decided that we would like to release virtual butterflies on our blog, the day of her birthday, so that butterflies from all over could be released in her honor. All you need to do is send us an image of a butterfly, or an image of a butterfly item, etc... to the following email address: alliesparents@gmail.com Feel free to send Allie a birthday message as well. If you do not wish to leave a message or your name, we would like to at least know where the butterfly comes from because we are wanting to incorporate the messages and locations with her slide show as well. Thank you all so much for your help with this special Birthday memorial.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Sending Birthday Butterfly Kisses up to Our Little Angel

Happy 10 month Birthday, Allie! Wish you were here to celebrate. Wow, she would have been getting close to a year old by now. Just think of all she might have been doing at this age. My arms would love to be filled with that little cutie patootie again. She was such a joy and blessed our lives to the fullest. It is indescribable to express how much we miss her each and every moment, and I have the battle every morning of getting up and facing another day without her. It is extremely difficult constantly fighting the urge to just want to stare off into space each day (I'm not really sure where, but I guess it just wants to go where my mind is most days). These are the moments I am most thankful for having God in my life because when I tell myself that I cannot walk He is there to carry me. It is only through Him that I am able to conquer these battles.

Some of you may remember a previous post about needing your help with something special that I wanted to do in remembrance of Allie. I thought that it would be appropriate to post about it on her birthday since it is something that I am planning for her one year birthday. Her one year birthday is approaching soon and I have pondered, and thought, and racked my brain for ideas of special things that I can do to honor Allie's one year Birthday. I will be releasing butterflies on her birthday since I was unable to at her funeral, because it was in January. Another idea that I have thought of adding is releasing butterflies on the blog as well. If you have noticed, butterflies happen to be the "IN" thing all of a sudden (Every time I turn around I see butterflies). I was going to take pictures of butterflies, or butterfly objects, etc... and show a slide show of all the butterflies on her Birthday. This is where you guys come into play. I thought it would be neat to let others send pictures of butterflies, things with butterflies, butterfly objects, butterfly images off of the computer, etc... so that butterflies could be released from, not only us, but from all over. If this is something that you would be interested in doing, we would greatly appreciate your help. Just collect your butterfly pictures and email them to me at : alliesparents@gmail.com Feel free to be creative, and please spread the word to others if you like. If you don't want to leave your name, we understand, but we would love to at least know where they are coming from. Thank you so much for your help with Allie's Birthday Project.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

5 Month Angel Day

Today marks five months since my precious Little Angel spread her wings and entered Heaven. She has now been an angel longer than she was with us here on Earth. Something about that thought disturbs me. I'm hurting and missing her terribly today. My fear, of course, is forgetting the details. All I have left is her memories, and oh how grateful I am that God gave us enough time to create those wonderful memories. I miss snuggling with her at night, I miss rubbing her soft hair against my cheek, I miss seeing her smile, I miss holding her, I miss feeding her in her unique way of eating, I miss seeing the look on her daddy's face when he held her in his arms, I miss seeing her big brother smother her with hugs and kisses, and along with many other things I miss constantly kissing her sweet little head. Having the memories still doesn't take away the pain of missing her, but we are thankful for them because they were all memories that we were never supposed to have. We miss you baby girl, and we are thinking of you today and always. We love you.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

A much needed beach trip

I find nothing more relaxing than a nice beach get-a-way. We had a mother, daughter, son beach trip this past weekend with our friends, and it was absolutely fabulous! We tend to do the usual Gulf Shores trip, like I read on Robin's blog the other day under the "You must be a Southerner" list (Hey, Robin, loved the list by the way!) So, yes, I am a Southerner if you haven't already figured that one out. Anyway, we decided to head to Destin, FL this time and it was beautiful, much different than I remember as a child, but beautiful. I recommend staying at Destin West if you are wanting other things to do besides just the pool and beach. We had two days jammed packed with fun, and the boys had a blast! On the first day we went to the pool, the on site splash park, the beach, out to eat at the Crab Trap, the on site lazy river, and night time crab hunting. So maybe I am contradicting myself when I said that it was relaxing :) You know what I meant. It was lovely getting some extra bonding time with my son, my mother, and my friends. This did get me to thinking about my sweet Allie though and how I would have loved for her to have been with us. I remembered how much she seemed to enjoy the beach last fall, and it would have been so sweet to see her in the pool. I wonder what her reaction would have been to the sand (Mason hated the sand on his first beach trip, but as you can see below he doesn't have a problem with it anymore). I also thought about the special bond between mothers and daughters. It was so nice having the opportunity to take a trip with my mom , which made me think of never getting that opportunity with Allie. Let's face it, when Mason gets older he's not going to say, "Come on Mom let's go to the beach for some bonding time!" :) I guess I can dream. Hope you enjoy the beach shots.

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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Summer Kickoff!

What better way to kick off summer than having a good ol' marsh mellow roast! It was so nice relaxing by the fire and having fun with friends. As you can see, the boys thoroughly enjoyed themselves.



Summertime is here, and I am filled with a mixture of emotions. I am so thrilled to have some time off, but I know with this extra time comes down time to think of and miss my sweet Allie. It is so hard not to think of what my summer would have been like having both of my babies home with me. I just think of all the fun we could have had. She would have been close to a year old and probably pulling up and trying to walk or something. Anyway, I do have several projects that I am wanting to complete to honor My Little Angel like: her butterfly garden, shadow boxes, her blanket, her scrapbook, hanging more pictures, etc.... Of course, I will be doing many activities with Mason as well, so I am planning on staying busy. I will be blogging soon about a memorial project that I have had in mind on doing for Allie's one year Birthday, and I'm going to need some help from all of you. So I will keep you posted, and I hope all of you have a Fabulous Summer!

P.S.
The twins are doing well. Their names are now Catty and Chompers ~She rightfully earned the name :). Mason thinks that it is hilarious. We are still in the process of getting our dog to love our new kittens. Not having much luck with that, so if any of you have suggestions we are all ears :) Thanks.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Say hello to the twins!





A true cat nap.





Well, as you can tell I love animals and I cannot resist giving them a home. I think I have turned Michael into a softy as well :) Mason has barely put them down. He fell in love with them at first sight, and we couldn't say no to all of those adorable little faces. Don't ask me what our facsination with gray animals is. I was hoping our next pet would add some color into our world. These kittens look like minatures of our previous cats Chubbs and Tator, and our dog is gray also. We haven't settled on the names yet. (Waiting to get to know their personality a little better). Of course, Mason has put his two cents in. When first asked what he wanted to name his cat he said, "I'm going to name it Pet." Wow, very imaginative! Then my mom told him that it was a girl cat so it needed a girl's name. He stepped it up a little this time and said, Catty. Watch out, genious here :) He later stated that he would name the other one Petty. We may keep Catty and just spell it as Caddie instead, but I'm not sure what we can do with Petty. I guess we will just have to wait and see.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

9 months

My Little Allie would have been nine months old today. I cannot help but to think of all the things she would have been doing if she had been healthy. What fun it would have been to chase after another little one that was crawling everywhere. I can imagine Mason's reaction to it all and think of what a great big brother he would have made, because he was so wonderful during her short time with us. My arms ache for her, and just to say that I miss her is not enough to describe the pain I feel. I wonder what she is doing in Heaven? I'm sure that she is laughing and completely happy in every way. Just wanted to send some butterfly kisses up her way and wish her a Happy 9 month Birthday! Thinking of you always sweet baby girl! I love you.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Hmm...What would you call this sport?

This boy has an arm on him!




As most of you know, my son is OBSESSED with sports, and my lovely brother-in-law recently added fuel to this addiction :) He brought him a REAL t-ball bat to play with, and my "Little Man" just thinks he is the stuff now. As soon as we arrive home each day, his feet barely touch the ground before he has his bat and ball in hand. His daddy lets him play under one condition: That he wears a helmet with a face mask in case the ball bounces back. Hence the football helmet :)

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Celebrating Mother's Day with a Broken Heart

If you were to ask me how I feel today, then I might reply with a simple ;laksdjovijnoajhlkdlkdowieghnosdlkdvoaioiuerwvndkjfhgzlsialdkoig because there are no words to actually describe how I feel. I tried my best to stay focused on other events going on in my life, such as celebrating Michael's birthday this week, but I knew the emotional breakdown was unavoidable. The pain was building, my empty arms were beginning to ache even more than usual, and the lump in my throat was growing. My entire body was engrossed with sharp pains, because I knew that I would be celebrating Mother's Day with a broken heart. It was so difficult celebrating this special day with a small piece missing. The piece that makes me who I am. I feel as though when I cry my whole body weeps. I have thought before about the pain that people must feel on this day when they have lost their mothers, but it has never occured to me the pain of a mother who has lost her child. I am so thankful for my sweet little boy in these moments. He is the light of my life, and his love brightens my sorrow. I know that many prayers for me have entered Heaven today, and I want to thank everyone for being so thoughtful. Thank you again, and I want to wish a Happy Mother's Day to all of the other Mothers celebrating today with a broken heart.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rest in Peace

Today was filled with mixed emotions because Allie's marker was put into place. What do you guys think? Isn't it just precious? I don't think it could have turned out any more perfect. I am not sure if you can tell in the pictures or not, but the butterflies and flowers are different shades of purple. Her sweet little angel foot marker puts a smile on my face, and that is exactly what I was looking for. Miller's Monuments was absolutely fabulous! They were so sweet and thoughtful. We know that alot of TLC went into her marker. We love that we have this for her now, and the only thing left is to put down the sod and get some flowers for her vase. At the same time I am filled with sadness because it makes everything so final. It is at times like this when my life feels so surreal, and I think to myself, "Is this really my life? Did I really lose my baby?, etc.." She was one special little girl, and I think her headstone fits the part.















Isn't her Little Foot Marker Just Too Cute!
























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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Can't thank you enough

I cannot thank everyone enough for all of your support and encouraging words. It is always scary putting your feelings out there for the world to see, but everyone's posts were so comforting. It sounds silly, I know, to say that getting it out makes me feel better, but it does. Writing about my thoughts is so much easier for me than talking with someone about my feelings. Thank you again for continuing to pray. It means more to me than you will ever know.


Sending lots of love to everyone!!!!!!!

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Monday, April 27, 2009

The Good, the Bad, and the Just Plain Ol' UGLY!

The Good:
Well, I am back from my week long trip. Wow, I was surprised to see all of my new bloggy followers. I cannot believe I am up to 30 now. Welcome everyone, and thank you for following our journey. As most of you know I have been out of town for a week on a school field trip. We went to a very magical place. Can you guess where it is? I'll give you a hint:




If you guessed Alabama Adventures, then I'm sorry you are wrong :) It was Disney World! It was really a great trip. I had never been, and it was truly an amazing experience. Now you do have to know that I am not a rollercoaster kind of gal, but I was trying to be strong for the students. The first rollercoaster that they convinced me to ride was the Rockin' Roller Coaster. I specifically asked if there were any upside down loops, and they proceeded to explain to me that it was just fast and only had three small corkscrews at the beginning. I thought to myself, okay I can handle this. Well, if you have ever been to Disney World and rode the Rockin' Roller Coaster, then you know that they LIED! I strapped myself in next to one of the students, who had also never ridden the ride, and the coaster took off at lighting speed (0-60 in 2.5 seconds). Yeah, I thought I was going to die! The entire time I was holding on for dear life I was saying over and over in my head "Try to be the adult, try to be the adult, try to be the adult!" but of course, the child loved every minute of it. I did not ride another roller coaster until we went to Magic Kingdom and found Thunder Mountain. If you have ever been to Six Flags, then you can compare Thunder Mountain to the Run-Away Mine Train. I called Michael with excitement and told him that I had found my park! Magic Kingdom has all of the kiddy rides :) It was a good trip, and I cannot wait to go back with my family.



The Bad:

Even though it was a nice trip, I was upset that my family wasn't there. I missed them terribly, and I don't think that it was a good idea to be away from them yet. Along with this and a few other issues I had to deal with on the trip, I realized that I was not emotionally stable enough to deal with certain situations. Therefore, bringing us to the down right UGLY part of my story.




The Just Plain Ol' UGLY:

I am not sure if the trip actually triggered alot of these emotions or if it was just time for my next wave of depression, but after my return home, I had what I would consider to be my worst meltdown so far. I am not sure why, but I have kept many of these emotions hidden from just about everyone except Michael. I am sharing them now in hopes of helping others that may be facing the same situation and to maybe help myself as well. For some reason I want everyone to believe that I am okay. I cannot tell you why I do this. I don't know if it is a normal part of grieving or if it is just my personality. Anyway, I have kept alot of emotion inside. As many of you know from prievious post, I have also beat myself up about many of the what ifs... with Allie. Even though I know in my heart that I did everything that I could for my sweet Allie, but I keep going back over all of the dreaded flashbacks and questioning what I could have done differently. I was having a hard time before I left on my trip, but I had gotten better right before I left. I am sorry that I did not post about these feelings, but like I said, for some reason I was scared to share these feelings. I thought that I had too many gloomy posts so I tried to find little highlights to share with everyone instead. Now that you have a little background lets get to the meltdown. My return on Friday was terrific! I don't think I could have gotten bigger squeezes from my boys, and my Little Man was a mommy leech the rest of the day. I could not have been happier! When I woke up Saturday, I felt as though my world was crashing in. I was in a very scary place with my grief. Little did I know that my sweet hubby was also headed downhill from all of the built up stress from the previous week of me being gone. Please know that now tiny things are no longer tiny. Everything is huge and too overwhelming to deal with. Therefore, once he started getting short with me just a little, I lost control. There was so much saddness that needed to get out of my poor little greif-stricken body. I didn't think that I was ever going to be able to gain enough control to stop crying. I wept for two days. All of the flashbacks returned, and I was flooded with memories of watching my poor innocent baby suffer. I went back to beating myself up about every decision that was made, and the horrible realization that I would never ,ever, ever, ever get see or hold my precious Angel again this side of Heaven hit me like a ton of bricks. I was devastated, hurt, depressed, and in need of some help. Thankfully, I have the best husband in the world to come to my rescue. We have always had a great line of communication between us, and even though we still have our small moments of stress, Allie has caused our relationship to grow even stronger. We talked, and cried (well, I cried), and prayed, and I cried some more, and we finally made it through. I feel like a new person today, and I am so thankful that I have a loving husband, a wonderful God, and a great support from family and friends. I hope that this message helps others to know that it is okay to talk about your feelings (even the UGLY ones). Please continue to pray for my family, because even after three months I've realized that we can still have our break down moments. I appreciate all you have done, and please continue to pray for all of the others on my prayer list as well: Jim Murrell, Annabel, Brianna, Stellan, and all of the other T18 babies. Thank you again.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Sending an 8th month birthday wish to Heaven

This will be a very brief post because I am headed to bed late only to wake up in a couple of hours to leave for my trip (It was difficult trying to get everything packed for my trip, have everything squared away with my boys, and dodge the tornadoes). I wanted to wish my sweet Angel in Heaven a Happy 8th month Birthday! Always thinking of you Allie, and missing you with every second. You have to read the sweet comment left on yesterday's post that Cathy (Annabel's mommy) wrote about Allie. It is the most precious thing that anyone could ever say about her. I head out tomorrow with my students on our trip, so remember to pray for the boys while I am away :) I will post more when I return. Thanks to everyone for your prayers, and remember to keep praying for Annabel and Brianna.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Another little one that is in need of prayers

Please pray for Annabel. Her mother was such a big help to me while Allie was alive. Her little girl is four years old and has full T18, but has recently been under the weather. Her health has been slowly declining, and the doctors are having trouble figuring out what is causing her most recent complications. They are not sure if it is viral or bacterial, but Annabel is not doing well. This is such a precious child who is desperately in need of our prayers. If you would, please pray for this sweet baby. Thank you so much. Her blog is down on the right column: By God's Grace

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thinking of Allie

This will be a short post to acknowledge that I was thinking of my little angel on her three month angel day anniversary. This should have been posted yesterday, but I was feeling too blue to even get on the computer. I even went to bed early. Still having a tough day today. Thanks to everyone that had me in their thoughts and prayers yesterday. I will be out of town next week on a field trip with my students, without my sweet hubby and adorable son, so you might want to have them in your prayers :) I will try to post soon when I return. Thank you again for helping me through each step.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter

I hope you all had a glorious Easter. Sunday turned out to be such a beautiful day in our area. I wanted to share our Easter photos with you guys. Sorry there's so many, but as you can tell I love to take pictures! I'll try to get better :) "Little man" had a blast hunting eggs. He kept wanting them to be hidden over and over and over again. By the end it was getting rather difficult to trick him. We have to always include our "Little Angel" in the holidays as well, so we usually decorate her grave site. This time we wanted to add a little something extra. We placed three special eggs inside her Easter basket that included a special message from each of us. It was very emotional and touching. We just want to make sure that she stays a part of our lives because she is so very precious to us and we miss her dearly. I have to admit that Easter was a tough one for me because I had imagined her being here to celebrate with us and getting to wear her first Easter dress and everything, but instead I had to send an Easter basket to Heaven along with some butterfly kisses. Thanks for all of the prayers that continue to get us through.



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Friday, April 10, 2009

Please join me in prayer

Brianna
Please join me in praying for this sweet little girl. She was born with Full T18 and will be turning 2 years old this Sunday. All I know is that she was recently sick with the typical cold stuff, and drastically took a turn for the worse. For more updates you can visit her blog at: briannagiveshope.blogspot.com. Thank you so much for your help. These precious babies need all of the prayers they can get.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Air Show

This past Saturday we went to the Air Show with some friends. We had a blast and got to see a really awesome show. It was a long day, but the joy in the kids faces made it all worth it. I was reminded the next few days that I turned 30 though. :)

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spring Break Pictures

Finally, the pictures from the highlights of our Spring Break! As most of you saw in my earlier post, I had a few bad days during Spring Break, and that is going to happen. You just hope for time to bring more good days than bad, but I wanted to share the pictures of our good moments during Spring Break. I figured out how to put them into a slide show this time instead of having you scroll down the page forever and ever :) To explain what is going on in the pictures: Mason and his buddy got to spend some time together playing outside and pretending the basketball goal was a motorcycle, they also got to have a fun day at JumpZone (as you can see, the mommies had fun too), we spent one day at the park with our cousins, and to end the week we celebrated Granddaddy's birthday at the lake and Mason had a blast driving the boat, spending time with family, and fishing (he caught his first fish on his own). I hate there are so many pictures, but I wanted to share all of the events that happened during our week off together. Thanks.



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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tender memories

Wow, so much has gone on since my last post. I previously spoke of wanting to write about the highlights of my Spring Break, but other emotions were getting in the way. A memorable date was soon approaching. Yesterday, March 25, marked two occasions in my life. Not only was I entering a new decade, and we will not discuss which decade that may be :), but it also marked the one year anniversary of when I found out Allie had Trisomy 18. I had so much anxiety built up about this date. I don't know if any of you do this, but I had assosiated certain emotions with this date, and I was expecting something bad to happen again. The memories of this date are still so tender on my mind, and to be honest I really didn't feel like celebrateing my birthday this year. Everyone was absolutely wonderful though. They kept it simple, and I received many beautiful gifts. Some good teasing came along with the new decade, which made it fun and helped to take my mind off of the tender memories. I made it through the day with the help of many prayers, and hopefully I will get to post those lovely highlight pics. from our break soon. Thanks to all of you that said an extra special prayer for me yesterday.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

7 months

Happy 7 month Birthday to my sweet little angel in Heaven. Can you believe that my baby girl would have been 7 months old today. I am consumed with thoughts of all things she might have been doing if she were still here and did not have T18. When I look around at all of the other babies around Allie's age, I get a deep pain in the pit of my stomach. I am reminded of how much I miss her and of all the things that I will never get to see her do. If she were still alive and healthy by now she would probably be sitting up, crawling, cooing, smiling, laughing, and doing all of the other wonderful things that a baby should be doing. I should be snuggling her in my arms and kissing her sweet little head. It hurts so bad not to be able to kiss my sweet baby. The pain is unimaginable, and I would give anything to feel her soft, fuzzy hair nuzzled up against my cheek again. I'm so sorry to lay it all out there, but as I guess you can probably tell, today has been really tough and it helps me to write out my feelings. This time of the month is always so emotional for me because her Angel day is only 5 days away from her birthday. I am filled with grief, and a lot of days I am not sure what to do with it all. Most days I keep my mind away from the memories because I feel that if I am not thinking about it, then I will not hurt as much. Not too sure how well this is working out for me because if I ever sit still and allow my mind to be filled with all of the memories, then I have a complete meltdown (Like today). Oh well, I don't think there can be a perfect way to deal with grief. For the most part, you find a way that you are most comfortable with and you push yourself to just keep going. If it helps you to put on a fake smile and tell everyone that your fine, even though your devastated on the inside, then so be it, you made it through another day. Time will help, and I have slowly began to realize that it is okay to let yourself escape the pain from time to time. I can tell that I am starting to heal little by little, because I have recently found myself getting engrossed in conversation with others and actually truly laughing (I think this is a HUGE step). Mourning for your Child is an extremely difficult journey, and the one thing that I know for sure is that it cannot be made without God.

I will post soon about my Spring Break, because even though it may not seem like it today I have had a good break and shared some wonderful moments with Mason and other family and friends.

On a technical note~ I have had several people either tell me, email me, or post on Allie's Trisomy page that they are not able to leave messages on the blog. I am not sure why this is happening, but the only advice I know to give is to maybe try clicking the bubble next to one of the other choices besides Google account. Had anyone else experienced this, or do you have any advice to share? I would greatly appreciate it.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Allie's prints

Yesterday I received a very special gift from my friend Katy and her family. As most of you know, due to the T18, my little Allie's hands stayed in the clinched position and two of her fingers overlapped, making it almost impossible to get handprints. Well, while Allie was still alive Katy and her sweet parents had the ceramic hand and footprints done for me. Wasn't that so thoughtful? It was definitely a challenge, and I think it took three people to get the task accomplished, but it was more than worth the while. Katy delivered them to me yesterday, and I just blubbered like a baby. (It's okay, she knew it was because I absolutely LOVED them). Oh, how I adored those precious, precious handprints. The tiles are not actually glued in the frame yet, so I just clung to them like I was holding her in my arms again. I observed and traced over each tiny detail of those sweet little hands and feet. Words cannot even begin to explain how grateful I was to be given such a priceless treasure. Yesterday was already an emotional day since it was Allie's two month Angel Day, therefore receiving the gift made my day.

Two months~ Wow, two months seems so little in most situations, but it feels like an eternity to me. For some reason I thought the two month anniversary would be easier than the first month, but it wasn't by any means. I almost want to say that it was more difficult, and I am not sure why. Maybe it is due to the fact that I have recently had to face many milestones like: picking out her marker, going back to work, and etc.... I still miss my baby girl tremendously, and I still find myself taking things one step at a time.

















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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Allie's Marker

Today we picked out Allie's marker. This was a rather difficult task, and I guess that is why it has taken us so long to complete. We had previously met with the memorial place, but we had not been able to commit to a design that we liked. Basically, we were stalling because it seemed so final. Even though we know it is final, most days I think we try to trick our minds into believing that it is all just a bad dream. That is what we want to believe, but since that is not possible we learn to accept reality.

After coming up with many ideas for Allie's marker, we finally agreed on one that we both liked and made an appointment with the memorial place. I still couldn't help feeling that I shouldn't be there, and even on our first visit the person asked, "Is this for a mother or grandmother?" It felt so wrong to reply with, "No, it is for our daughter." Our visit today was very surreal, and there were tons of decisions to be made. We didn't mind because we knew that she deserved the best, and we wanted to make sure that it was perfect for her. The cemetary where she is buried requires flat markers so we had some restrictions, but I think that it is going to turn out really pretty. It will take about 4 to 6 weeks to come in, and I cannot wait to have that for her. I visit her site almost every day, and I find it very comforting. I know it sounds silly, but I like to think that Allie can look down or hear me from Heaven. Therefore, her site is a place where I like to share my thoughts with her and God.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Snow in the South

What a fantastic weekend! We went from splashing in mudpuddles on Saturday to playing in the snow on Sunday. I know those of you that are not from the south are laughing your heads off at us right now, but getting snow in the south is a very rare occasion so we get extremely excited when we finally get snow :) We had a blast!!!! Saturday the boys, this includes Mason's 'buddy', did what all typical 3 year old boys would do when they saw a mudpuddle. They jumped, ran, and splashed in the puddles until they were completely drenched from head to toe with mud. I mean, they literally rolled in the mud like little pigs, and enjoyed every second. We thought our fun had reached the ultimate peak until Sunday morning arrived. Our yard was covered with SNOW!!! How excited we all were! We had snowball fights, we went snow sledding, we built snowmen, and we had hot cocoa. We truly enjoyed ourselves, and there were a few moments when the adults were begging the kids for one more slide. My face muscles were actually sore at the end of the day from smiling, because it has been so long since I had used them. Of course, the rest of my body was aching also, but we will not go into that discussion. Let's just say that it has been a while since we have had a good snow in the south, and I was a lot younger the last time I played in the snow. This past year has been quite difficult, and recently we have been so depressed, and I was thankful to finally have a moment of true happiness. Allie was still on our minds throughout the day, and we each had some moments of sadness as we thought about what she would have done in the snow and wishing that she could have made it to see her first snow. As our snow day ended, we visited the cemetary and built a baby snowman for Allie to see from Heaven. It was a wonderful, winter, weekend, and I am grateful to God for the small moments of joy.
Dorrie's first snow. She didn't know what to do at first :)

Best Buddies!

Phew, at least we had the slide to stop us.

Maybe I will try ............

Nope, he's not as young as he used to be either.

I think we made it.....

Awww... Wipeout!!

Yes, the water was ice cold and maybe I am regretting letting the boys turn that spot into a huge mudpuddle the day before. Those layers and layers of clothes I had on were no match for it :)

Sending a snowman to Heaven

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