Thursday, September 30, 2010

Project 365 - Day 229

Look who came for a visit tonight!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Project 365 - Day 228

This little witch was bought by my dad back in the '80s. I think I was about 4 years old when he made his very first business trip to England. I love this little thing.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Trip to Gatlinburg

Last week we took a trip with the Henninger family to Gatlinburg, TN. The last time John went to Gatlinburg was for The Ball's bachelor/ette weekend - such a fun time! The most recent trip was very much a different kind of fun :) We left on Sunday (packed up Saturday night in which we went ahead and packed Heidi's pack-n-play that she sleeps in beside me so she slept in her room that night - MAMA DID NOT LIKE IT) and headed up to meet the family. At some point in South Carolina I jumped in the backseat with Heidi because she was tired of being ignored and let us know it. Once I was back there she was much happier. I am not sure what time we actually arrived, but we listened to football the whole way up so it felt like the longest.trip.ever (hee hee!).
We did things like make smores in the little fire pit, enjoy a glass of wine at night (beer for everyone else), visit with the family, enjoy being outdoors with the family, Ober Gatlinburg, walking around Gatlinburg, meeting up with an old friend, killing wasps, swinging on porch swings, going to an apple orchard, go-carting, putt-putt, playing with the kids, eating lots of food, fudge, family dinners, adult time, getting a tire patched, and probably many other fun things. Not being able to remember is why I need to start writing things down during vacation on each day as it goes by. I love being able to keep up with memories. I remember I would take tons and tons of pictures at events and sometimes I would wonder if I actually took the time to enjoy the memory that was being made or if I was just capturing the memory happening. Its also a little harder to take pictures with a 3 month old attached to my arm - and I love it :) For the first time in my life I was accused of being a baby hog - ha!

Project 365 - Day 226

Vacation is over :(

Back to work I go....

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Project 365 - Day 225

Hangs over Heidi's crib! Part of craft day and John turning into Martha Stewart :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Project 365 - Day 224

Craft Day! I stole this idea from a present my niece Grace received for her birthday!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Project 365 - Day 223

I meant to post this picture with my Gatlinburg trip. While we were there I met up with a long time friend of mine Emily. She brought along Morgan as well :) Emily and I grew up dancing together in Savannah. Emily and her husband are huge UGA fans living right outside of Knoxville! Heidi and Morgan are checking each other out in this picture - too cute. By the way, Emily and Jeff are expecting Baby P #2 in March!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Project 365 - Day 217

Old picture, but it made my jaw drop. This was me 8 days before Heidi was born. Jeez Louise was I huge or what??

Friday, September 17, 2010

Project 365 - Day 216

For one day I would love to have some pens left in my pen holder. Seriously...

September - Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope

I'm joining this month in the Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope writing challenge.

This month the question is:

How has the changing of seasons (from summer to fall) impacted you in your grief journey?

Seasons? What are seasons? We only have chilly, hot, and HOT here in south Georgia :). I would say though, through this season of life, my grief is in a good place right now. I know that having Heidi here has definitely helped so much in my devastation over Hudson. I cannot describe it. She has in no way replaced him, but sometimes I feel like he is here because she is here. Does that sound crazy? I guess because until we are in Heaven she's the closest thing I will have to having him here. Last year I had a project to focus on, so my grief wasn't being dealt with all the way. I shoved it in a little corner while I occupied myself with building - actually at this time a year ago exactly I was yelling at the mortgage company because we should have been in our house the day before and they were still asking us for more information; or maybe John and I were headed to the lawyers to sign a power of attorney for me to be able to close on the house. Regardless I had my hands full of moving.

So, its been a year in our house and 20 months since we last saw Hudson. Twenty months ago I was a completely different person. The memories of that very day are still as vivid as ever. I think that God allows you to keep some memories in your heart forever - maybe for comfort. I guess its different as the season changes because so does my heart. Now its "easier" to think of Hudson without so much sadness. Whether it is from God, Heidi or time, something has helped my heart to heal.


Have you ever felt you were lost in the shuffle? Maybe in school? Team sports? Social groups? Life in general? There are so many times we can all feel so lost or forgotten about. I have felt lost many times. Sometimes you have to learn to push forward and make sure you are seen - even if it means jumping up and down and shouting "I'm here!! I'm here!!". When we were in the hospital after Hudson was born I felt that way. Lost. I didn't know where to go, who to talk to, or what to do. Losing a child was foreign to me. I didn't think that this happened in real life - in my life. The choice was taken from me to hide my grief. I was blatantly pregnant - almost ready to give birth. So what do you do?

The day I was discharged from the hospital a woman came from hospice and handed me a card. That was it. That was the only outreach to a grieving woman. So I had to find sources myself. I had to search how to grieve in a healthy way. I turned to the internet. I found a girl who had a stillbirth just days before me. I dove into her writings feeling so many of the same feelings. From her blog I found another woman's blog and read over her feelings from the past of her grief. I was then given Stacy's blog by a friend of mine. From her blog I found blog after blog of women who were feeling exactly like I was. All of us recently suffering a loss. All of us dealing with our emotions. All of us trying and searching for resources and connections in aiding our grief. Most of the blogs I found comfort in were Christian based. Only one blog was from a non-Christian.


Taylor's Blog; Angie's Blog; Holly's Blog; Kathryn's Blog; Nicole's Blog; Danielle's Blog; Sara's Blog; Trisha's Blog; Shannon's Blog; Cort's Blog; Franchesca's Blog; Julie's Blog; Ashly's Blog; Nicolle's Blog; Carly's Blog; Miche's Blog; Paige's Blog; Dana's Blog; Caroline's Blog; Whitney's Blog; Monica's Blog; Katie's Blog; Stephanie's Blog; Celia's Blog; Ruth's Blog; Lisa's Blog; Lindsay's Blog; Jill's Blog; Malory's Blog; Holly's Blog; Stephanie's Blog

Baby Loss Directory
My Very Own Angel
Stepping Stones
Meet You At The Sunset
The Beauty of Sufficient Grace
Walking With You

**I apologize if I left anyone out that I read!!!**

What is really neat is some of these amazing women I have even become semi-friends with - sharing new experiences with them as we face the world after burying our children. We support each other and know that its ok to feel the way we feel. Sometimes you can read another's blog and think "wow - I feel the exact same way". What's really cool is that a few other women are also experiencing the birth of their babies after loss (called Rainbow babies), which helps me in the new emotions I am experiencing now.

A month from now is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. There are a few websites out there trying to get the word out. Trying to raise awareness and support for everyone that has gone through the loss of a child. Wouldn't it be great if there were groups everywhere that went to the hospital to send comfort? A lot more warming than a business card to hospice. Not all women are like me. Some will not (or have not been) be able to find the groups or find anything that could aide or help them along their grief path. Please visit these sites to add your face if you have lost a child. Read the stories from other women. Even if you have not lost a child read the stories. They are adding to the stories each day, so go and visit often. Please also visit and consider making a donation to help spread support to the grieving families. Do not let someone else get lost in the shuffle...

SIDE NOTE: For those shaking their heads yes in the "lost in general" topic:

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord, "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope". Jer. 29:11

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Project 365 - Day 215

Emily left me a little present on my filing cabinet..

Heidi - 3 Months

Heidi - you are three months old today! You are so alert and such a little busy body. Constantly you are searching the room for something that intrigues you. Its hard to believe how much you are growing! Soon you will not be able to sit across your boppy to nurse! We are getting more and more smiles from you - I swear, it must be one of your favorite things to do! Each day you are making new noises and discovering your own little voice. You have a new little squeal/cry when you aren't getting what you want fast enough...especially your middle of the night feeding fast enough :) You are still wearing some of your 0-3 month clothes, some 3 month, and some 3-6 month. It really depends on the brand of clothing. I have already begun to pack away some of your clothes you can no longer fit into. Diapers are a size 2 and I think you will be wearing those for awhile.

Naps are still not a thing you like to do and we do not force you to take them. You are going to bed sometime between 8:00 - 9:00 PM and you wake up sometime between 4:30 - 6:00 AM to eat; then you go back to sleep until about 8AM. You are still sleeping in the room with mommy and daddy, but not in the bed - just in the pack-n-play. I like having you close by.
No longer do you enjoy riding in the car - I actually think you loathe it now. Maybe you are just a little homebody like your mama was. You still like to stand on us and scoot around. You are so determined to crawl - I think it will happen soon. You hate laying down and must be sitting up all the time so that you can see what is going on around you. If you are propped up on your boppy you squeeze your little abs to try and sit up straight.
You still love your bath time and you are starting to sleep on your back more often, but we have to flip you when you start to get antsy. I feel very special because we can say, "where's mama?" and you search to find me.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Project 365 - Day 214

All you old Troop 236 (was that our troop?) members - remember these old flashlights?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Night Time

Night time was always the worst. Usually its where I come up with all the topics I want to blog about and forget to do in the morning. Its a time when I reflect upon the events that went on throughout the day; replaying moments in my head. Its also when I list in my head all the things I need to accomplish the next day. Sometimes I will lay in bed trying to force my exhausted body to get to sleep. I remember, towards the end of my pregnancy with Heidi, images of my birthing experience with Hudson would play like a video over and over in my head. It would start at the beginning - the week before when I felt something was wrong, then to the first time I went to get checked out, then the story I read online about one woman's stillbirth experience, the doctor's office, our the time in the hospital, and then the trip empty handed. It wasn't like I was reflecting - it was if I was actually there witnessing these memories. Everything in color - I remember every detail right down to what color my underwear was during those days.

I would dread going to sleep because I would be haunted by sadness. I would begin to imagine going through the same experience again, but only this time it would be Heidi that didn't make it. Even my dreams would not let me rest. Then Heidi was finally here - safe, healthy, and perfect. You would think all of that would instantly go away, right? Nope. Next it was the fear that something was going to happen to her. I would lay in bed just staring at the rise and fall of her chest. I would have her sleep on top of me to protect her and to feel her breathing. Then there were the night time feedings which were dreadful. Her latching on hurt so bad it would make my toes curl and my eyes water. The pain felt unbearable at times. I did not want to have to keep feeding her, but I did. I kept on trucking knowing that eventually things would get better. Kind of like how I kept on going after Hudson, knowing that eventually life would become more bearable to live and go on.

Next we discovered that Heidi liked to fight sleep when on her back, so we started letting her sleep on her tummy. It drove me insane! I would sit and stare at her laying in the pack-n-play. Watching for her little butt to move up and down as she breathed. Who am I kidding, I still watch her. I read Lindsay's blog about her sweet little Ayden and I sat and sobbed as I imagined Heidi leaving us. I knew how much it hurt to grieve a son that I never got to meet, but losing Heidi too? So needless to say I hated when it was time to go to to sleep. Once, the power went out during one of the summer storms and it was still early. I looked at my husband and said, "this is what I dread - night time, the darkness. i'm all alone while you sleep". I knew I wasn't alone. I knew my little family was here. I knew that God was there to listen to me as I bargained with Him to let Heidi be okay. My prayers continued to sound like begging and pleading because I was still so scared that something was going to happen to Heidi too.

I don't know when it happened, but when I laid my head on my pillow tonight (because seriously, I am pooped...) I instantly started seeing Heidi's sweet little toothless grin. She has the best smiles - so big and she smiles with her whole little body at me. That's when it hit me. Night time isn't a time I dread anymore. I am not afraid to go to sleep. Instead of sadness in my reflections I see only happy moments. Its now my favorite time to feed Heidi when she wakes up because she is so excited and happy! Of course the pain from breastfeeding stopped a long time ago, but it is such a joy feeding her and making her so happy. So now, instead of seeing the memories of sadness they have been replaced with the current memories that are being made now. I still have moments when I long for Hudson to be here with the rest of his family, but somehow and sometime the past few months it has become easier to grieve. There are times when I wonder what it would be like to have 20 month old running around while caring for a 3 month old. And yes, there are still times when I would like to slap people for saying, "oh try doing it with a 2 year old and a 6 month old (or whatever the ages are)" or "just wait until Heidi does this or that" because it can still sting, but I guess it really does become easier with time.

Project 365 - Day 213

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Heidi's 1st Steeler Game

Heidi napped during and watched some of her very first Steeler game. Her favorite player is Troy P. and she was very excited for the big win today!

Project 365 - Day 211

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Project 365 - Day 210

Taken by John with his phone after church - she's all snug and asleep in my Moby Wrap. I highly suggest this wrap to anyone. I have not been able to use it too much outside because it has been so hot, but its so wonderful! I have been trying it around the house a lot while cooking and things like that. Heidi seems to enjoy it as well!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Time Flies...

I know I send promises of new posts and catching up on project 365, but well, sometimes life gets in the way :) I still take pictures each day, uploading is where I have the issue. I also misplaced my camera (the one I keep in my purse) for about a week and all my pictures were on it so I could not update. Luckily I still had my other camera at home because I would not like to be without a camera when Miss Heidi is around! I have also limited my computer time while at home when spending time with family. I usually find myself on it if Heidi is taking a nap or after she has gone to bed at night. Not too much at night though because that is when John and I get to hang out, until I go to bed.

I have been completely exhausted the past few days. Work has been extremely busy - I told my sister that work was interfering in my personal life :) and then by the time I get home I just want to crash. Among being tired I have been having these weird pains at random times and random places. One day my hands will hurt, then they will stop and my knee will hurt, then that will stop and it will be my foot, etc. I think a couple of weeks ago it hurt to lift my arms higher than a couple of inches. Try lifting a baby when you can't lift your arms. In the past 2-3 weeks I have only had 2 days where I have been pain free. Its annoying. I keep telling myself to call my doctor, but life gets in the way.

My mind runs in a whirlwind of posts. I start thinking about a topic and the words begin floating around in my head. Luckily I do not have a phone with internet because I would probably be tempted to write while driving. John and I have a little vacation coming up - maybe I can catch up while in the car....its really hard to believe how fast time has flown by. Its already September, but it feels like just the other day I was barely showing in my pregnancy with Heidi.

Project 365 - Day 207

I have my hands full...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Project 365 - Day 205

My nephew Hugh loves babies. He is so sweet with my nieces (sometimes he is sweet to his sister Emily!) and loves to hold them and love on them. The other day at the Wednesday night praise service he gave her a little kiss on the top of her head when he saw her. We have named Hugh as Heidi's honorary big brother. I think he really takes his duty seriously and we are very thankful for that.

Labor Day

We hung out and swam at Aunt Vicki, Uncle Hubert and cousins Hugh, Emily, & Georgia's house on Labor Day. Steaks were grilled and Grandma and Pop-Pop Kirkland came over to enjoy time with the family. Heidi was a little fussy and tired - still trying to get adjusted and back on schedule from our trip; she's also starting to get a little stuffy nose :(

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