Hard to believe it’s been 4 years…

Evan was born 4 years ago this past Tuesday.  Four years.  Yep, I cannot quite comprehend that.

It’s so surreal.

Was it all a dream?  It feels that way sometimes.

We had a beautiful day planned yesterday.

For weeks, I wanted to plan on us getting out into nature and enjoying what was hopefully going to be a beautiful spring day on Evan’s birthday.  The weather in our area has been so wonderful the last couple of weeks.  I have been trying to get outside as much as possible and take advantage before the high temperatures and humidity kick in.  I draw so much energy and peacefulness from being outside.

We agreed that we could go hiking in the mountains for the day.  The weather cooperated very nicely.  In fact, it was actually a little chilly.  The sun was out all day.  There was a fairly strong breeze.  It was absolutely beautiful.

We went to Crabtree Falls in Nelson County Virginia.  It was about a 2-hour trip, one way.  Once we started getting into the mountains and off the beaten path, we kept pointing out places where we could build a house.  “Oh, right there. Yep, drop a house right there and I would be happy.”  “Look at that view!”  We love the mountains, and would probably live there if it wouldn’t mean moving away from our family and close friends.

It was fairly crowded for a weekday, but it was also some of the kids’ spring breaks around here.  We had packed a lunch for when we reached the top.

We both realized very quickly that we were way out of shape.  No surprise there, but it felt good in a way.  I think we started out pretty fast too.  Our lungs starting burning a little.  But then it got better and we made it to the top in just over an hour (stopping many times to take pictures), with us both feeling pretty good.  On our way up, we decided we should do this once a month or something – just to get out in the nice weather and stay more active.  Walking around the block at home is just not the same!


We had a very nice lunch at the top.  We sat there for a little while, just sitting, talking, hanging out and cuddled up.  We talked about Evan a lot during the day, and all of the things we would be doing and places we would be going.  It was chilliest at the top, with no more towering trees all around us.    We could only stay but 45 minutes or so at the top because we only had on light jackets.  Coming down made me feel old, with my knees taking the brunt of the work.

It was such a wonderful idea (if I do say so myself)!  It was a great workout, it was a beautiful day, and we got to spend it out in nature, connecting more to our little man and each other and just soaking up all the goodness.

grant and i at top

Then, we came home.  I got to go to acupuncture, and then we ended the day with a nice, quiet dinner out (to one of the few places I can eat).  Special thanks to everyone who took time to wish Evan a happy birthday 🙂  It means so much to us.

It was a pretty awesome day spent thinking and talking about our boy, enjoying each other, and reflecting.

Fast forward to the days after Evan’s birthday.  They have hit me like a ton of rocks.  I’m borderline functioning.  Everything is stressing me out.  The anxiety is out of control.  All of the commitments we’ve made, I want or feel the need to break.  This is just how it is for us.  The day of “big” days are usually OK.  The days after are heavy.  And that is OK.  But, I wish there wasn’t so much going on right now, so that I could just get through the day and just sink into these feelings.  Fighting it is not good.  Feeling it is hard, but SO necessary.  I don’t like having to balance the two.



Happy 4th Birthday!!!

We miss you so very much down here.  Things have not gotten easier.  In some ways, things feel harder.  But I guess our coping skills have gotten better.  We definitely feel different than we did a couple of years ago (even last year), but it’s just as hard, just in a different way – if that makes sense.  Thank you for giving us such a beautiful day to celebrate YOU.  We couldn’t have asked for a better day.

We are so lucky to have had you in our lives.  You have enriched our lives in ways we never thought possible, and continue to do so to this day.  We hope you had a wonderful birthday, and hope you stretch it out to a birthday week!

Many hugs and kisses!!

Mom and Dad


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Merry Christmas, Evan ❤

We hope you had a wonderful and joyous Christmas this year.

This Christmas felt different.  I had some time to bake (although I couldn’t eat any of it).  We got our Christmas shopping done before we normally do, and in plenty of time for Christmas.  My work situation didn’t seem as stressful as it usually is this time of year (still more to come though).  And, we decorated this year (and I actually kind of wanted to).


It was interesting.  It felt just as hard as years past, and there were definite ups and downs.  But, we got a little more into it this year and were able to enjoy it more than usual.  Probably for a multitude of reasons, but much of which I will give myself a pat on the back for.  The way I’ve been eating and attempting to manage myself and my stress, and practicing mindfulness, are honestly I think mostly to blame.  In a good way.  And as I’m doing more and more research and tweaking my lifestyle accordingly, I hope that it will continue to help.  Not only emotionally mentally, and with stress, but especially physically (and most importantly).

This year was one of the most unpredictable years in a while.  Losing 2 more babies for unknown (and seemingly no genetic reason) is beyond my comprehension.  It was not lost of Daddy and me this season that you and your siblings (both thought to be girls, but only one known for sure to be) now outnumber us as far as who’s there and who’s here.  That is a very uneasy feeling.

This next year more and more feels like a make it or break it year for us.  I try not to focus on the next week, month, or year for that reason, but that feels like the reality.  We will take things day by day as much as we can.  But I don’t know how many more kicks we can take before we break.  We shall see.

And one more thing.  I think by now you have most likely been reunited with Jenny (“Mama Jenny” as you may call her).  Please give her the biggest hug and kiss from us.  She has such a big place in our hearts and yours.  She is a dear friend and an inspiration to us everyday.  One of the last things she said to me face to face earlier this year was “you will have what you need when you need it.”  That had come up several times in the several years we knew her.  It is something that helped her through tough times, among other things, she would say.  And I think about it a lot.  And her.  Just make sure you give her that hug and kiss ❤

We love you so much and miss you immensely.  Day-by-day we go.  We’ll make it through until one day we’ll be reunited with you (all three of you). What a freakin’ awesome day that will be…


PAIL Awareness Day

Wave of Light 10/15/15

“How long do you want to be loved?  Is forever enough?…” ❤ Dixie Chicks

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

Tonight, I light my three candles for the three babies I hold in my heart, and all of the children gone too soon.

Evan Daniel 3/29/12 – 4/23/12

Tater Tot (“Tot”)-April 2015

“Newbie”-September 2015

I wish to share tonight how much each of them is dearly loved and missed.  I know so many other moms, dads, and families whose hearts ache each and every day, missing children that were taken too soon or that they were never able to meet.  I think of them tonight as well, and hold them so very close to my heart.  And it pains me to know how many others there are out there.

What rises out of all of this pain and loss is love.  That is the common component.  You cannot have great pain without great love, as they say.  At least this is what I know to be true.

This year has been a roller coaster of joy and hope, to heartache and emptiness.  I have learned a lot.  Some things I wished I hadn’t.  I don’t know how equipped I am yet to write about our most recent losses, as well as how this past year has evolved for us.  I definitely want to.  I have been lovingly encouraged by others to write.  I will.

I feel like I either have an overwhelming amount to share and process, or I am not quite sure how to start putting words together.

The pain is heavy.  It has piled upon itself.  There do not always seem to be three separate piles of pain, like you might think.  It just seems to stack on itself, causing older, scabbed wounds to rip open.

But in other ways, and at different times, I feel each wound as its own separate space.

See, I feel a little all over the place.  Which, as my mindfulness practices will tell me, means I need to write 🙂

I just have to figure out where to start…

Thank you everyone for your continued love, support, and hugs ❤

“Make A Wish”

Happy half-birthday, Evan!
It hit me that your half-birthday was coming up, and I couldn’t stop thinking of cupcakes. After a long time of steering clear of sugar, we, for a couple reasons, have been temporarily binging (more like, not caring as much) the past couple of weeks. Perfect timing, as I had not-so-much guilt when I went and picked these beauties up today.

It seems like it’s been a lot longer than six months since your 3rd birthday. So much has happened in that time. There’s been beauty and there’s been heartache. There’s been lives started, and then lost.  There have been trips taken, and stretches of time spent bumming around. A couple of seasons have come and gone.  Just – a lot. A lot for six months. So much so that it feels like much longer.

I was so relieved to be able to do something special this evening with Daddy for you. We are all-consumed with our love, and longing, for you. And it feels good when we get to stop and acknowledge that, and only that.  And the cupcakes were yummy 🙂

We want more than ever to be able to pick you up and love on you. We want those snuggles and goofy conversations. We want crazy days and long nights. We want all those things that we will never have. But, we will always have our love for you.

Sending you lots of extra love and hugs today. I hope to see you in my dreams, sweetie.


Happy 3rd Birthday!!

Hi Sweetie,

Happy Birthday, my love!  I can’t believe you turn 3 today.  I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday.  It was the most magical day of our lives.  Our lives changed forever.  One day I will finish writing your birth story, as I believe it to be the best love story of all time 🙂  

I hope you enjoyed your day and had a big celebration!  I hope you felt all the love people sent your way today.

We sure do miss you buddy.  

Happy happy happy birthday!!

Xoxoxo and lots of love,

Mom and Dad 

‘Tis The Season

It’s that time of the year again. This is the time of year when my year seems to end and begin.

The weather starts to get warmer and nature starts to get colorful. Things start to bloom and get a hint of life, where they have been so bare and empty. People start spending more time outdoors. The birds and other critters are out and about. Breathe deeply – spring is almost here.

The fact that Evan was born this time of year seems fitting for those reasons. There’s such beauty and promise in the air, and that’s what I feel his spirit is.

As we head into this rougher-than-usual time of the year, I am keeping my senses open. I will feel the crushing hurt, heavy aching, intense longing, and all of that which comes from Evan not being here with us. I will feel the fondness of my memories with him. I will remember the things that made us laugh, or smile or cry. I will make time for really letting those things in – the good and the sad, the love and the ache. I will make time for me and for us to do all things “Evan”. I will make time for whatever it is I feel I need to do. I have been trying to do this along the way the several months, but sometimes it can be hard to carve out that time. All I need to do is be aware of it.

I’ve been taking a short walk some days after work. The idea was that it would be yet another tool that I could use to work with my anxiety, trauma, and stress. I’ve learned that combatting those things takes proactive actions instead of reactions. And a physical action such as walking or exercise helps to manage those things. I have a series of tapes that I listen to fairly regularly. One of the tracks is a walking meditation exercise that I listen to when I take these walks. It talks you through your walk from a mindful perspective, and guides you to use all of your senses and bring you to the present.

The more I develop this mindfulness, the more I find Evan in life. Let me rephrase that – the more I feel Evan in my life, every day. And it’s feeling him and his energy that makes me better. I think about him all the time, of course. And I feel the physical ache and longing for him. But he’s so much more than that to me. I’ve been amazed at how I can develop our relationship and our bond when Evan’s not even physically here with us. But it truly has, and as odd as it may sound, it hasn’t just come from my side.

I will continue to see Evan in everything I do. I will continue to breathe in his energy and soak in his sunshine and feel wrapped in his love. I will see the beautiful blooms that come to life and the color that fills the sky, and I will know that it’s all for me, from Evan.

If you really pay attention, you can soak up so much of the energy that’s floating around this time of year. Maybe the next time you get a hit of spring that clears your head and makes you breathe easier, it’s Evan saying hello and offering a big hug.

Merry Christmas, Baby <3

Well, the day is over.  As usual, Christmas seemed to sneak up on me and then it feels like it’s over in a flash.  We’re lucky that we get to spend the time with great family and exchange some wonderful gifts.  We’re always missing you though, sweetie.  It’s not the same without you, and never will be.  But the day was nice.  And now I brace myself for the days after the holidays, which always seem harder somehow.  This does not get any easier.  We miss you so much.

We love that some people did random acts of kindness in your memory, or made donations, or mentioned you this holiday season.  This sounds so cliche, but it really means more to us than they will know.  It gives us that glow in our hearts that pushes us through the season.  It’s so beautiful that others remember you.  It makes us feel less alone in this pain.

We hope you had a wonderful Christmas, Evan.  Everyone here misses you so much.  We wish you could be here with us.  We will now prepare for the even harder days that follow a holiday.  We’ll hold each other and talk about you and smile and figure out a way to make it through.  And we’ll think about all the other families that we call friends, who are also missing little ones from their lives.  We’re in this together, as unfortunate as it is.  We can only hope all of you little ones are gathered together and celebrating.

We love you, sweetie pie.  Another Christmas down, a million more to go.

A Half Birthday Kind of Day


photo 1

This change in seasons is throwing us all over the place.  We cannot seem to get our bearings before our moods and feelings are changing once again.  It is almost impossible to focus on things that need attention, and very easy to focus on things that don’t.

This time of year is my favorite – the colors, the weather.  I find myself breathing it in, savoring it.  Some of the clothes I am unpacking in getting ready for the new season, are the same ones I wore when I was pregnant.  Baggy chic sweaters, suede leggings and long sweater vests.  They are some of my favorite pieces and not just because they remind me of the wonderful time we had with Evan.

I feel how much I miss that time, and how much I want it back so badly.  I just want to replay it from start to finish, and then hit repeat.  It was that magical to us.  Even the more painful moments were the best moments of our lives.  Trauma or no trauma, it doesn’t matter.

We enjoy these beautiful days together when we can.  Tonight, we were able to cook a nice meal and celebrate Evan with these yummy cupcakes.  Even though it is rainy and damp outside, and both of us feel beaten down it seems, we manage to cozy-up inside and light a candle for our boy.  We let the warmth of his constant presence in our lives shine through us and make us smile.  He makes our world so much brighter.  We wait for this wave of intense grief to slightly subside, sending us some relief to catch our breaths and focus on those things that need attention.

We love you, Evan, and miss you.  Happy Half Birthday!

Why Am I Still Surprised?

How is it that my carefree Sunday turned into a heart-stomping fest?  With the excitement that followed our football team’s stunningly beautiful win this weekend, my husband and I were determined to do nothing the following day – except eat and drink leftovers from our game get together, and watch football.  There was nothing we felt like we needed to do but that, even around the house.  We felt the need to continue the celebration with a care-free day and end to our weekend.


Somehow, even though the day started fine and relaxing, at some point for me it turned heart-wrenching.  I couldn’t really tell you why or how.  I just suddenly felt this overwhelming aching in my chest and sadness in my soul.  It just sort of creeped in, until I was sitting there on the sofa, knitting and crying.  I had clearly given myself permission to sit and do nothing except what I wanted to do, so why was my body not cooperating.  Did it not understand what I meant when I said it was OK to have this day of nothing?


I have been doing so much work over the past couple of years.  I have been trying to be kinder and gentler with myself and my life.  I have been cutting myself some slack.  I have been trying to place myself in nurturing environments, and avoiding those that are unsafe to me.  I have been practicing self-preservation and calmness.  Recently, I have been doing a lot of trauma work as well, with seems to have helped some with my almost-constant physical feeling of anxiety.  I should pat myself on the back.  I do need to work on this, as I will beat myself up in a second, but not take the time to give myself praise for the positive things I do for myself.  Amazingly, practicing these things and learning to put myself first is incredibly hard.  It’s not natural instinct.  But, I understand the importance of it, and can see a definite difference.


After all of this, I still feel surprised sometimes when a large wave of grief hits me.  We’ve been in survival mode now for some time.  You get through the days as best you can.  The days turn into weeks and then months.  We find ourselves enjoying things as best we can, when we can – which is more often than you might think.  Sometimes, enjoyable times seem almost effortless, where we can have fun and almost feel like our old selves (almost).  Sometimes, these things feel exceptionally bittersweet.  You might be having fun doing something, and be crying, or wanting to cry, and the same time because you can feel that missing piece of your soul.  You just feel that emptiness and aching there, even though you are enjoying yourself.


When the grief “wave” hits, the emptiness and sadness become so overwhelming, it is hard to function in our day to day.  I know its ok and expected.  But when it hits, like it did yesterday, I feel completely taken back by it.  Why do I still feel surprised at this?  Its not as waves never hit us anymore – they come fairly frequently, and sometimes we feel like all we’re doing is treading water.  And it does not hit and go away.  I now feel swallowed by it, and expect it to stay for some time.  The seasons are changing.  The dreaded holidays are coming.  This aching, sadness, and emptiness we feel is so freaking hard to function with, it makes me feel like giving up all over again.  It will pass at some point, and I will once again try to use that time to amp up motivation and energy to do the day to day things that suffered in my life during the overwhelming time.  And then it will hit again and I will feel almost paralyzed again by grief.  And the cycle continues.  And I know this and expect this.  It’s fine, and honestly, I have accepted this as a part of life now.  I know this will continue as long as I live in some capacity and frequency or another.  I have the knowledge of these things.  I have tools to help me.  But why am I still surprised?

Happy 29th Month Birthday


Happy Birthday, love!  I tried to write yesterday on your actual day, but my emotions were overwhelming and draining.  The seasons are chaining…yet again.  It’s football season.  We just got back from our beach vacation.  We miss you.  We feel you missing in our lives.  The only way we could describe that feeling is…heavy.

I am finding it hard to believe that next month, you would have been 2 1/2 years old.  Before I know it, it will be our 3rd set of winter holidays without you.  And then after that, I will be searching for the perfect “3” candle for your 3rd birthday.  Just hard to believe.

The more time that goes by without you, the more I realize how intertwined our souls are.  I feel you in every moment of our lives.  With every breath I take, I feel you.  We are connected.  It means I sit on the beach and look out into the sand and the surf, and without even consciously thinking, I see you – our little beach bum boy running around playing in the sand and dipping your feet in the water.  It means I sit on the couch and see you sitting on the floor, playing make believe and smiling.  I feel like I can almost touch you sometimes as I picture you snuggling close with us on the couch.  Almost.  The almost is the killer.  

photo-3 photo-4

Our little Evan tree is doing ok.  Not too long after we planted it, Japanese beetles (didn’t even know we had them!) attacked the heck out of the tree.  It was so bad, I was preparing myself that we were going to lose the tree – trying to get used to the idea of digging it up and throwing it away.  After removing many of the completely dead and eaten leaves, putting up some defenses for the beetles, and lots of TLC, the leaves came back even more red and bigger.  The top half of the tree has these new leaves growing back, but the bottom half of the tree has the greener leaves (which is what they become in the spring/summer hot weather).  Some of those green leaves are partially eaten or dead, but not enough to pull off.  They are doing ok.  So the bottom half looks a little sad and the top half looks bright and vibrant.  We’ll continue to work on it and maybe one day the tree will look like the same tree throughout 🙂  We were so glad that the tree seemed to come back though!  It’s now one of a kind 🙂 And now that we know we have a beetle problem, we will be sure to be proactive in fending them off.

We love you, Evan!